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Die For Love

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What happened to Edward Wallingford? His great-great nephew William is determined to find out.

England 1935.
Edward Wallingford, an artist, is on a solitary walking tour of the West Country. To recuperate from pneumonia, he wants to walk, paint and enjoy the countryside. When he stops at Claeg, a village in Dorset, he visits Marston Castle on the outskirts of the town. He becomes fascinated by Rose Marston who, with her two sisters, owns and lives in their family’s castle.

England Present Day.
William Wallingford has always heard tales of his great-great uncle Edward who disappeared on his walking tour in 1935. When Will’s mother discovers a letter written in Edward’s hand telling his family that he was in Claeg and intended staying at the castle, both Will and his mother are intrigued.

William, a professional photographer, has some free time between assignments, and determines to discover what happened to Uncle Edward. Why, when he went missing, could no one find any trace of him?

Will travels to Claeg and stays at the Clay Cutters Arms where he meets the owners, Natalie Pickering and her father.

Will soon hears local rumours that young men visiting Claeg disappear from time to time.

With Natalie’s help, Will meets a local witch, uncovers an unbelievable truth and nearly dies for love.

263 pages, ebook

Published November 1, 2021

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About the author

Ellen Read

15 books86 followers

Multi Award winner, Ellen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca’s Curse, The Amber Trap and The Feathered Nest - historical murder mystery romance novels published by Crimson Cloak Publishing. Also her ghost stories Die For Love and The Ghost Rider, and Love The Gift and When Jacarandas Bloom - Novellas.

Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia and lives in Brisbane with her husband, and her extended family.

She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.

Ellen’s other passions are photography and painting. She loves to photograph flowers, landscapes and architecture. Her website features many of her photos.

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Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews
Profile Image for Pauline Reid .
318 reviews100 followers
October 11, 2022
A suspenseful, macabre ghost story, throwing you from past to present, with a mystery well worth figuring out. Superbly written and thought out, plot twist thrills and chills. This is definitely a page turner and I throughly enjoyed it. I'm sure this will end up on a book sellers list as one of the most popular books to read to date.
A 5 star review and recommending to anyone who likes Ghost story, suspense, mystery, past and present, macabre. Setting - Dorset, England.
I was Ellen Reads proof reader/Arc Reader. The ebook of Die For Love is published on 1 November 2021.
Profile Image for Karen Mossman.
Author 33 books146 followers
May 10, 2022
This was an excellent creepy story. There were times when I wondered how plausible it was. Would you visit a haunted house when you were told you would die?

William was under the spell of Rose who he didn’t believe was a ghost, just as his ancestor Edward did before him. Only he never returned which was why William felt he needed to solve the mystery.

The story switched between 1935 and present day, and very cleverly done by the author. I found myself absorbed, even though at times I questioned whether William really would do what it did.

There again, I believe anything I read, whether I agree with it or not because book characters usually have their own will, and do stupid things. He certainly did. But that said, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Die For Love was positively scary, it pulled no punches in eeriness. I would recommend it.
Profile Image for Brian O'Hare.
Author 25 books174 followers
November 8, 2021
When it comes to period stories, Ellen Read is in a class of her own. With seemingly little effort (a deceptive impression, surely!) she conjures up the mood and mores of whatever time she chooses to write about. I was particularly impressed by this gift when I read The Dragon Sleeps, one of her early Thornton Mysteries. In Die for Love, she juggles two time periods – 1935 and the present day – and does so with calm and impressive efficiency, and with such clarity that it almost seems as if she is simply recounting some of her own lived experiences.

Die for Love tells the story of two men who lived 50 years apart but who meet the same beautiful girl in the garden of the same crumbling castle ... or is one of the girls a descendant of the other? The writing, as always with Read, is uncluttered and unadorned, but the story is strangely ethereal. The events, while normal and very ordinary on the surface and appear to exist mundanely in our present dimension, seem to hover over the edge of an entirely different dimension. It takes great skill to infuse the very ordinary with this atmosphere of vague dissonance.

The beautiful, fragile Rose in the story is cheerful, loving, even slightly vulnerable. Her two lovers are mesmerised by her and she seems to present no threat. Yet each time she appears, a very tangible undercurrent of menace beats softly like a distant drum, lurking permanently just below the surface, even in the lovely surroundings of Rose’s garden. Does she have plans other than the marriage she so earnestly seeks? That is the question that drives this excellent story forward.

On a personal note. My favourite poet is William Wordsworth. My favourite poem of all time is Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality. To find both in this story gave me a considerable level of extra pleasure. However, one does not need to be a lover of poetry to enjoy this clever and well-plotted ghost story. It is Ellen Read at her very best ... and that is very, very good.
7 reviews1 follower
January 17, 2022
Having read Ellen read's "Thornton Mysteries" I was looking forward to "Die For Love". I was not disappointed. Ellen is excellent at "painting the picture" and has a knack of placing her reader within the story. Set in the same village in England and alternating between modern day and the 1930's, with a well thought out plot, the story moved at a good pace. Described as a ghost story - there was much more to enjoy - with intrigue, suspense, mystery, history and romance added to make a very enjoyable read. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a "Good Read".
Profile Image for Tina.
11 reviews
November 12, 2021
Oh, how very intriguing. A mystery, a gothic fantasy, a romance...different threads expertly interwoven, like a magical carpet. A pleasure to read, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Linda Lou.
330 reviews10 followers
November 30, 2021
Die for Love is a love story that has roots from a poem by William Wordsworth… Tis Said, That Some Have Died For Love is a poem that finds a place in this bizarre story of love. Of course, I had to read the poem before I started reading Die for Love.

Read has written a brilliant and grisly tale of unexpected love. Die For Love takes place in 1935 England and ends in the same place; except in the present. Two men related twice removed, a budding love for one of them, local rumors of other missing young men, and a twisted perception of love are brought together to bring a heart stopping love story to life.

I was so immersed in this historical story of ghosts that I found myself holding the book in a death grip and telling William Wallingford to stay away from Marston Castle…out loud. Then there’s Natalie Pickering who is helping William solve the mysterious disappearance of Edward so many years ago. I loved Natalie who is portrayed as a smart, strong and independent woman who doesn’t give up on anything, including love. However, it is Mother Wode, a minor character who won my imagination as my favorite character.

I have read most of Read’s books and all are top notch. She is able to weave in the local history down to the decor, dishes and local speech into each of her stories. Her research is both extensive and engaging, adding a distinctive layer to her stories. It makes me feel like I’m there in each of her books and not just a reader turning the next page. There is an Author’s Note at the end of the story. Don’t skip it! This is what draws me to her stories whether they’re mysterious, love, macabre or all three.
Profile Image for Vicky Coughlan.
582 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2021
I really enjoyed this macabre story. Told in the present and in the past. Will is trying to find out what happened to his great great grandfather and follows his steps to where he was last heard from. An haunted castle and 3 very nasty ghosts enter the mix in this very well told tale. I don’t give the plot away. Never do but invite readers to get this book. You’re in for a very haunted treat!
Profile Image for Ellen Read.
Author 15 books86 followers
September 25, 2021
A Ghost Story.

Die For Love will be released on 1st November 2021
Pre-order on Amazon is available now.

The idea for Die For Love came from a short story I wrote years ago.
The title is inspired by William Wordsworth’s poem 'Tis Said, That Some Have Died for Love

Claeg is a fictitious village in Dorset close to Corfe Castle. Because of this proximity to Corfe Castle, I’ve borrowed Corfe Castle’s history of clay making. In 1791, William Pike, a merchant from Devon, signed a contract with Josiah Wedgwood to supply clay and search for further deposits. I’ve appropriated Claeg into these ‘further deposits’.
The name ‘Corfe’ is derived from the Saxon word, ceorfan, meaning to cut or carve, referring to the gap in the Purbeck hills where Corfe Castle is situated. Claeg comes from the Old English, meaning clay cutter.

A couple of interesting facts about the area:
The children's author Enid Blyton spent time in the area and some of her adventure stories like The Famous Five (Kirrin Island) featured castles that were said to be based on Corfe Castle.
Corfe was featured in the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks released by The Walt Disney Company, doubling as the fictional village of Pepperinge Eye.
Corfe Castle also featured in The Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine.

The idea of calling Marston Castle, Marston Folly, came from Riber Castle, a 19th Century
country house in the hamlet of Riber on a hill overlooking Matlock, Derbyshire. It’s known
locally as ‘Smedley's Folly’ because of the difficulty of getting water to the hill summit. It too, was built by an industrialist named John Smedley in 1862 as his private home.

I hope you enjoy Die For Love
Profile Image for Steve Griffin.
Author 12 books109 followers
November 27, 2021
I’ve read several stories by Ellen Read so was looking forward to reading Die for Love, her first ghost story. I wasn’t disappointed! The book’s title, inspired by a Wordsworth poem, is perfect for this tale, which follows the stories of two men, a painter from the 1930s and a modern-day photographer, who both fall for a fey woman they meet in the grounds of an old castle in south-west England. Much doesn’t add up about the ethereal Rose, nor her sisters, stern Adelaide and disconsolate Emily, with her bloody doll. Surely they can’t be the same three women who were brutally stabbed to death in the castle in Victorian times? It’s down to photographer Will, with help from the local publican’s daughter, Natalie, to get to grips with the mystery of the disappearance of Will’s distant uncle – whilst also dealing with his own turbulent emotions for the elusive Rose. I really enjoyed Die for Love, an intriguing and romantic ghost mystery with a dark seam lurking below. Perfect for Christmas, when everybody needs a ghost story!
535 reviews
October 6, 2021
This ghost story is so well written, I would be lulled into a sense of charm and mild curiosity before being startled with such creepiness!! Then lulled again, and creeped out again! Ellen lured me through the story like Rose lures into her garden. There were plenty of moments that had me cringing in fear as well! This is the kind of ghost story I can read, with a touch of creepiness throughout rather than constant fear and disturbing actions.

The pacing was great. The story moves back and forth between past events and current events, and so many times during stories like these, I get bored with one time or the other and anxious to switch. This story hit that pacing perfectly - I was never left hanging for long, which meant I also couldn’t put it down!

I loved Will’s struggles with modern knowledge/ties conflicting with the supernatural aspects, and how that plays out. Isn’t that what’s so creepy - the possibility that even our modern intelligence and technology may not be able to compete with supernatural events and elements? Meanwhile, Edward’s story arc is just so bittersweet.

As usual, Ellen’s imagery and prose make you feel like you’re there, smelling the flowers and feeling the weather. The characters are interesting and enjoyable. The dialogue makes you care about them.

I loved the ending! I was kind of hoping something like that would happen as I was reading the book, and I was very pleased. 😁

I greatly appreciate Ellen letting me read an ARC of this! It’s perfect for this season in the north! 😃
Profile Image for Charles.
10 reviews2 followers
October 2, 2021
I loved this ghost story set in the past and the present. An exciting read.
Profile Image for Hanna Novotny.
96 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2022
I bought this book, because I wanted to read more of this author after reading The Ghost Rider.
I am not disappointed at all. Sometimes I was a bit confused, because Edward and William had the same experiences with Rose and her sisters. The story is told in Present day and 1935, switching every one or two chapters. I like it that in this way, you find out all the mysteries and in the very last moment everything becomes clear. You have all the answers. After all the horrors and murders there is a happy end for everybody, in this life and the next one.
I don't want to give away the story and spoil the reading for others. If you like mysteries, give it a try.
Profile Image for Heather W.
3,962 reviews27 followers
May 1, 2022
Die for Love is an intriguing read that shifts between the past and the present. This book is interesting and engages the reader as the time periods come together with mystery, suspense, ghosts, and romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Kara Harte (KattitudeReads).
247 reviews10 followers
January 6, 2022
𝘋𝘪𝘦 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦 by Ellen Read was an absolutely vivid, immersive experience. With stunning prose and imagery, Ellen swept me away, absolutely charmed me, and left me unsettled and flabbergasted when least expected in the best way. 𝘋𝘪𝘦 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘓𝘰𝘷𝘦 was original and spellbinding, and I highly recommend it!
1,165 reviews6 followers
March 22, 2023
Ellen Read can certainly write a good story and this one is no exception. Spell binding and creepy and if you read all the other reviews, you will not be surprised to hear me say that I could not put this book down. Well written with such vivid details that you could imagine being there and being part of it all. Thankfully, no horror or gore for sure but a delicious spine tingling atmospheric read instead. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.
Author 3 books18 followers
February 17, 2022
Touches of the Victorian era surrounding a Norman-style castle made the perfect backdrop for this mystery. The author writes in a calm style that soothes you into relative safety until someone goes missing. It is rare that I do not have the discipline to go to bed on time, but I could not put this book down!
March 28, 2022
This is the best book I have ever read. It has a great story line, well written and keeps you in suspense.
Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 reviews

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