Temple of Indra’s Series
by Rachael Stapleton
This Librarian is Just Killing Time…Travel. Sophia Marcil loves her grandmother’s twisted tales almost as much as the sapphire ring passed down to her. Wearing it, however, could be her downfall. After slipping the jewel onto her finger she is pushed from a cliff—landing splat in the middle of 19th Century Monaco, where a killer plot to seize the throne could consume her entire future—past and present. Sophia believes she’s being forced into an eccentric millionaire’s dinner theatre but a hidden diary, a secret passage and a whispered conversation reveal to her that the role of a princess is not all fun and games. With the help of a man from outside the palace walls, Sophia undertakes a spellbinding journey straight out of a Grimm tale. Learning the gem’s secrets and the powerful curse behind it are only the beginning. With time and the constant threat of death hanging over her, she must take a page out of her own history to hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book. Can she do it before she’s checked out for good?
This isn’t a type of book Amber and I ( Babs ) normally read so going into the book I wasn’t sure what to expect. First you will have to read book 2 to see what happens.
Sophia is proposed to by Nick but when she says no he starts to hurt her and she falls over the cliffs at the Cannes. When she wakes up she is learns she is recused by Graf Viktor Wilhelm Alexander Ferdinand of Wurttemberg. She is Princess Sapphira Alexandrie de Monaco. It is the year 1857.
She finds the real diary of the princess and goes to town to find Rochus, whom she thinks can help her. When he notices that she is wearing a ring that contains some of the Delhi Purple Sapphire like the real princess wore under her dress he believes the story.
The book was confusing at times and so was Sophia but, you do feel like you are with her through out this book trying to figure out what is going on. You don’t know who to really trust and why things are happening the way are.
The author has a great way of story telling that will grab the reader from the start of the book and hold their attention until the end.
Family Secrets Can Be a Real Curse. Former Librarian turned Time Traveler, Sophia Marcil is looking forward to a shiny new beginning, and that’s just what she gets when the man of her dreams proposes. Unfortunately, the ring Cullen O’Kelley slips on her finger holds a piece of the very sapphire that’s cursed her. Wrenched back to a stately home in 1920, she discovers a hidden chapter in her own family story. In an effort to re-write the past, things get foggy in a London bookshop; long-lost relative’s re-surface, and as a family gathering rapidly goes awry, Sophia ricochets back to the present. Someone close to her is a killer, and this time she’s determined to read between the lines. Her ex-boyfriend seems to be the likely character, but evidence to the contrary soon has her questioning whether she wrote the wrong guy off. With her wedding day fast approaching Sophia needs to figure out if Cullen’s love, spells death? Jewels are a girl’s best friend, unless they’re cursed, then they’re just worth killing for.
The Past Is Never Far Behind…It Also Won’t Stay Buried. The page has turned at last. Sophia Marcil’s nemesis is six feet under and she’s off to return the cursed sapphire to India, so she can settle into the next chapter of her life—a new bookshop and wedded bliss. One problem, her wedding day has come early and the wrong man stands at the altar. The mysterious temple has sent Sophia back into the past, more specifically, into the body of the soon to be murdered bride of Dunlace Castle—a place she was hired to research. Thankfully her detour into the past is brief and she returns to safety in her own time. But how safe is she? Three dead bodies and her missing groom have Sophia wondering if her time travel has changed more than the castle’s structure. To make matters worse an empty grave leads her to believe that her nemesis is alive and forcing her fiancé to time travel. Sophia is determined to dig up the truth but will it mean returning to a place she swore she’d written off? Everyone has their cross to bear and Sophia’s might just live to haunt her.
Closing the Book on the Past…Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Opened. Between The Mysterious Ink Spot, Sophia O’Kelly’s cozy Dublin bookshop, and her role as mother and wife, she is more apt to exchange books and banter these days than blows with a bad guy. But living in the present has its pains; and Sophia can’t help but wonder if her migraines are connected to her fate. Sixteen years ago it was foretold to her that her daughter would become a dark and powerful witch, and stealing Sophia’s ancient spell book might just be the first step in proving the grim prediction true. Looking for answers and relief from the pain, Sophia agrees to a hypnotic regression. Unfortunately for Sophia, time’s up and she finds herself manipulated, betrayed and imprisoned for witchcraft. Meanwhile, back in Ireland, Sophia’s husband and best friend uncover a painting, offer hope that Sophia could be alive. The answers lie in a fifteenth-century castle—all they have to do is navigate time to get there. Of course, they’re not the only ones searching; Sophia’s daughter is determined to tag along, and she’s leading the traitor right to them. It’s been sixteen years since Sophia O’Kelly closed the book on her past but someone wants revenge and they’re eager to open that particular volume of secrets.
Getting Cozy in the Bibliophile’s Space Part II
BY: RACHAEL STAPLETON, AUTHOR OF THE TIME TRAVELING BIBLIOPHILE SERIES
Gothic-Renaissance Castles, Bookshops and Raven’s That Spy: A Sneak Peek into Book Four
As I said in my last blog post, when I immersed myself in writing the Time Traveling Bibliophile Series, one of the things I most enjoyed was envisioning a character who consistently found herself in the most mysterious of places. Places that I would want to visit, if given the chance. My favorite imagined space being Sophia’s cozy retro bookstore in the Creative Quarter of Dublin with velvet drapes, magical grimoires and a raven that spied on the place. In book four, Sophia is now a mother as well as a wife, and she’s experiencing migraines which she realizes after a visit from an old friend, the psychic, may be connected to her daughter’s fate. It was foretold her daughter Alanna would become a powerful dark witch and sixteen year old Alanna is certainly living up to that with her bad attitude. CHECK OUT THE EXCERPT BELOW. After that take a peek at the fifteenth century castle where the curse began in southwestern Transylvania, Romania.
Excerpt from BOOK FOUR, The Temple of Indra’s WITCH
It wasn’t quite nine in the morning but Dublin’s Creative Quarter was already buzzing. I waved to my neighbor who ran the café across the lane and stepped inside The Mysterious Ink Spot. The bell above the door jingled and my business partner and best friend, Leslie Lovari, shifted her position on the ladder in front of the book shelves.
“Happy Tuesday!” She sang out in her bubbly yet monotone voice.
“Maybe for you.” I grimaced. My head ached and my body was in a pre-caffeine fog, aggravated by the cat carrier I juggled along with two vanilla chai lattes and a container of cold eggs.
“Better put those down before you have an accident,” Leslie said.
I took her advice, then dragged the table of featured books outside, and flipped the sign to open. Leslie, now hanging dried herbs from the rafters, looked cute and perky in a floral slip dress. Ever since I’d met her, she’d been fascinated by three things—plants, books, and food—so I wasn’t surprised to see a half-eaten sugary cupcake in her hand.
“What are you eating now?”
“Choco-coco. You should try it.” She licked the last of the shredded coconut from her fingers.
“You know I don’t like sweets.” I swallowed hard, worried that my drool might betray me. Besides who eats cupcakes for breakfast? My inner adult prevented such behavior; mind you, with Alana working at the Cupcake Shoppe part-time, I had been indulging a little too often, which was strange, considering I’d never had a sweet tooth before.
I turned away from the treats and surveyed the inside of the shop. I’d modeled it after a bookstore from London circa 1920. It was a throwback to the Victorian era with wide-planked floors, velvet drapes, and antique shelves.
“Something wrong, Sophia?” Leslie asked, climbing down the ladder.
“I have a headache.”
“Again? Try letting your hair down.”
I carefully plucked the elastic loose, freeing my long dark hair from its messy bun. “I can’t even remember what it feels like to sleep through the night anymore.”
“You’ve been getting those headaches for a month now. Did you try the sleeping pills?”
“I did. I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment soon.”
Leslie gave me a sympathetic look and made a beeline for the cat carrier. “Come here, girl.”
She didn’t pretend to like animals but she loved my black cat, Daphne, which was why I bothered toting the feline along twice a week—Leslie’s shared custody privileges.
The jangling of the bell brought our attention back to the front of the store. My teenage daughter, Alana, had burst in, cheeks flushed, holding a white-and-pink bakery box.
“Mum!” she barked, mobile phone glued to her ear.
“Ah, praise the almighty. I thought ye’d gone deaf.”
I frowned and shook my head. At least she had graciously taken the time to pause and acknowledge me—a rare occurrence these days. “Very funny, Alana.”
“Well I was callin’ after ye like a mad woman…oh, hey, Les,” she added sweetly. “Mrs. Walsh sent these over.”
I made a mental note to ask Leslie about the voodoo she obviously worked on my daughter. It was the only explanation I could come up with on why she was nice to her and not me, since we both bossed her around.
“Are those the new mint buttercreams?” Leslie demanded.
Alana nodded. “Peppermint patties. There’s a lemon tart in there for ye, mum.”
I looked at the counter where Alana had set the bakery box next to the last one. The Walsh’s slogan daintily sprawled across the top: A little magic in every bite.
I rolled my eyes. “Rather like heroin. These things are more addictive than cigarettes and coffee.”
“Definitely,” Leslie said with a grin. “But don’t worry, I’ll share.”
I turned to Alana, who was now furiously texting somebody. “What is it you wanted, dear?”
“Hannah needs me at the shop—back in two shakes.”
I shook my head, looking at the Grandfather clock next to the stained-glass window. It was ten past nine. “Weren’t you just there? Besides, you’re supposed to be working here.” Alana was far from lazy, but she’d been bailing on her shifts at the bookstore ever since she started working for the Walshes’ bakery. “What does she need?”
“How should I know?” Annoyance flashed in Alana’s young eyes. “She said she needs to show me somethin’.”
“That’s vague. Something as in…porn, drugs, a new dress?”
I could tell Leslie was fighting to keep from laughing.
Not my daughter though. She rolled her eyes and more than likely readied her insults.
“Fine. Go! But I want you back…” I looked up at the jingle and realized she was already gone.
“Grrr…What is it with that damn sugar shop?” I asked, turning to Les. “I just don’t get it. Why would she rather spend her time sweating over those hot ovens?”
“Is that a real question?” Leslie mocked. “Hell, I’d live there if I could and I’m part-owner here.”
“Yeah, well, you’re a sugar addict with a tape worm. Alana’s like me, she doesn’t even like sweets.” I paced the length of the store and almost tripped over an empty box. I looked up and saw more. “What’s with all the boxes?”
“Come here and I’ll show you.” Leslie led the way to the back of the store and handed me a book titled Doorway to the Occult.
“It’s a book on the ancestry of the Ouija board,” I said, stating the obvious.
She looked at me with a guilty grin. “Welcome to our new Witchcraft Section.”
I picked up another and read the title aloud: “The Truth about Wicca. This one looks expensive.”
“It was an online request.”
I frowned. “It’s a little early for Halloween.”
“Maybe some people are genuinely interested in the occult year-round.” She stroked Daphne who gave a little purr in return.
I shrugged. “Still, you thought that warranted a dedicated section?”
Normally I didn’t question Leslie’s decisions. She was an amazing business partner, but there were a lot of new books and we needed to spread our purchases out.
“The book looked interesting so I ordered a copy for the store in addition to the client’s requests and boom—in came this whole shipment. I called the distributor. Apparently one of the warehouse staff made a mistake and it wasn’t worth the money to ship them back so we got a free load of books on magical traditions. Our lucky day, right?”
I acknowledged her with a lift of my chin. “It does cramp the space but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. They’ll sell in October.”
“I’m going to move amulets back there. That should draw some of the right people.”
“We’re relying on amulets to draw people? Is this in the official business plan?”
Leslie barked out a laugh, which was actually more of a squeal given Leslie’s pitchy voice. She walked to the front counter and grabbed one of the coffee cups.
“I think you need this.”
I held my hand out, accepting it gratefully.
“I was thinking more along the lines of merchandising, smarty pants. It’s June. People will want the amulets for Solstice to read the future. If we place the amulets near the books, then maybe customers will be inclined to grab a book, too.” She set Daphne on the floor.
Peeling back the plastic tab on my cup, I inhaled the sweet, vanilla scent of the latte. My headache finally subsided and, feeling relaxed for the first time in hours, I allowed myself to believe that today would be better. Apparently not: a dark shadow darted in and out of my peripheral vision, setting the cat in motion. Daphne sprang onto the counter, knocking over a copy of The Satanic Bible.
“What the hell was that?” I bent to pick up the thick, black book, and spilled a few drops of my coffee down the front of my shirt.
Leslie scoffed. “Relax. The bird is on the outside of the glass. The delivery guy said it followed the truck here. It’s been hanging out since yesterday morning.”
She handed me a damp cloth and I dabbed at my chest. Luckily my shirt was dark and patterned.
“Why is it just hovering there, beating its wings against the glass?”
As if on cue, the bird landed on the window sill.
I took the first sip of my latte, closing my eyes and waiting for the caffeine to power my bloodstream. The cat mewled at the bird as if she could reach it through the glass, making my head pound again.
“That’s enough, Daphne. Come here!” I scolded, which might have worked if she’d been any other animal, but she was a declawed black diva. I turned to Les, who sighed, and clapped her hands fiercely together, calling the cat’s name. Daphne sprang down from the shelf and purred at Leslie’s feet.
Clearly Leslie’s magical voodoo charm extended to more than just angry teenagers.
“There you are, pretty girl,” Leslie said, bending over. “Now you leave that birdie alone,” she told her, in a tone that brooked no argument.
“It’s a black bird,” I said, eyeing it through the window.
“You own a black cat but you have something against black birds?”
“I-I mean it’s a raven. Aren’t they a sign of death?” I was growing more frazzled.
“No . . . I don’t think so.” She shook her head. “They were cursed for not returning to Noah’s ark…but…actually…they are associated with darkness.”
I frowned, not that Leslie noticed; she was now frantically searching through one of the new piles; on the prowl for a book to quote from, I was sure. Her nerdiness knew no bounds. If she wasn’t reading a book, she was usually writing about what she’d read in her journal. It was an endearing and yet predictable quality.
“Here it is. Both witches and the Devil were said to take the shape of a raven.” Leslie picked up another book, this one black and gold, “The raven symbolizes the void—symbolic of the black hole which draws in all energy toward itself and releases it in new forms.”
“That doesn’t sound terrifying at all.” I snorted. “No reason to fear the random void sucking energy that’s stalking our window. Speaking of which, why aren’t all of the drapes pulled back? Are we afraid of the light? Should I expect a section on vampires next?”
“Actually that’s not a bad idea. We could do it for Halloween and use that beautiful castle painting that Alana did to add ambiance,” Leslie scoffed. “Transylvania and all it has to offer.”
“Don’t you dare,” I protested. Still, I did like her idea. We’d joked about doing a Halloween castle tour forever. Unfortunately, we hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe this year. “We’re at capacity now.”
“I know. I know. Time for a break! You want a cupcake?” Leslie said, getting to her feet.
“No, I’ve got my coffee. I overdosed on those cupcakes last night. Mrs. Walsh,” I said through gritted teeth, “loves to send my favorite kind home with Alana after her shifts.”
“That bitch! How dare she try to be nice?” Leslie mocked.
“Oh there’s more to it than that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Remember how I told you Cullen’s Da has a new girlfriend?”
Leslie’s mouth kicked up in a reluctant smile. “Mrs. Walsh?”
“Yep.” I returned her smile.
“Cullen can’t expect his dad to remain celibate.”
“Celibate, no. I think what Cullen objects to is the fact that the woman is Alana’s employer. She’s widowed and so Morei introduced the two, coincidentally after one of Alana’s shifts.”
“What does Alana think?”
“How should I know? She barely speaks to me.”
Leslie wrapped her arms around me. “She’s still giving you a hard time?”
“Understatement of the year—I’m officially in the running for worst mom in the world.”
“Oh please, don’t be so dramatic. You’ll never beat out that reality mom who encouraged her daughter to pose nude.”
“Well that’s a relief,” I said sarcastically.
“Alana’s turning sixteen, that’s all. Teenagers know best,” she said with a chuckle.
The beating returned but it was now coming from the other window. I crossed the store and pulled back the heavy velvet curtains. Behind them was a pair of eyes, and I jumped back, startled.
“No more caffeine for you,” Leslie said.
I stepped away from the window, just as the door jingled. In walked the woman I’d seen through the glass.
“Sophia! It is you.”
“Hello?” I said, taken aback.
Daphne scrambled down from the shelf and shot to the back of the store, in a hurry to catch whatever imaginary creature she was chasing. I drew my attention back to the front. This woman looked familiar.
“The Mysterious Ink Spot. What a clever name.”
“Have you forgotten me already?”
Corvin Castle Facts
The time travel aspect to this mystery series sends Sophia spinning once again into the past. This time into fifteenth century Romania—her first life, where the curse began and where she was imprisoned in the dungeon of a Gothic-Renaissance castle for crimes committed by the Reddish Wolf. So today we’ll take a peek at Corvin Castle located in southwestern Transylvania, in Hunedoara, Romania.
This Grimm Fairy tale-like structure is known by several names and has forty-two rooms. Within its massive walls is housed the Museum of Hunedoara and the Museum of the Corvin Castle. A number of specialists in the fields of Medieval History and Archaeology consider Corvin to be the best kept medieval monument in southeastern Europe. It was built by Iancu of Hunedoara (aka John Hunyadi) during the 15th century. According to most contemporary sources, he was son of a noble family of Walachian ancestry. He was appointed highest-ranking official in Hungarian Kingdom of Transylvania and he assumed responsibility for the defense of the frontiers against ottoman attacks. Later, the castle belonged to his son Matthias Corvinus, one of the greatest kings of Hungary. There is a historical rumour that Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned in this castle’s dungeon for seven years, a period that made him go insane and turn to his darker thoughts. This fact was never proven. Some historians say that he was imprisoned here for only three or four months. A tour of the castle would take about one hour and on it you could see the torture chamber, bear pit and dungeon where Sophia and her mother are held prisoner in the book.
To see where I found this information, check out either of these pages.
Curious to know more about the Time Traveling Bibliophile and her cozy adventures through time check out BOOK ONE Temple of Indra’s Jewel
Follow my blog tour to take a more in depth look. You can also get more visual sneak peeks on my Pinterest page at the The Magical World of the Bibliophile.
1 e-copy of Book #1 – JEWEL to enter all you have to do is follow Sleuth Cafe anyway you would like and comment with your email and the way you followed. The winner will be emailed.
About The Author
Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.
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