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The Secret of Blossom Rise: A Ghost Story by @libraryoferana is a Binge-Worthy Festival pick #horror

Title: The Secret of Blossom Rise: A Ghost Story

Author: A. L. Butcher

Genre: Horror/Short Story/Ghosts

Book Blurb:

When a young nurse accepts a job at a former military hospital, she unearths a family secret and finds the spectral occupants a little too familiar.


It was all a sham. All of it – civilisation, decency, morality - had been tested, and found wanting. His own father had been killed in Ypres and his mother forced to raise five children on a widow’s pension. He’d gained extra money and food poaching – knew how to use a gun. Eyes closed, he saw his mother’s face as he went to war – the fear, the regrets, and the sadness. Such emotions mirrored in his wife’s younger face.

“It’s my duty,” he’d said. “We cannot let the likes of Herr Hitler control Europe. It will be over soon enough.” He’d believed that then.

Leo laughed. But there was no mirth. Four long and terrifying years of war had proven Hitler was not a man who would give up his wicked machinations easily, and Britain would stand against him, alone if she had to. Neither side would capitulate until the enemy was in the streets and at the door.

The world had gone mad with slaughter in the War to End All Wars a generation past – but that had been a lie as well. Politics, death and lies entwined as the casualties grew. Freedom exacted a terrible price. Leo knew that as the bodies had piled up around him in that small French town – now little more than a shell. He’d led what was left of his men into battle, when their captain had been slain and pushed back the enemy, gaining some useful intelligence for his pains. But it had all been futile when the next regiment of panzers rolled in and he and his men found the landmines as they’d tried to retreat. The blood still flowed when he closed his eyes.

Leo dreamt of the faces of the men he’d shot or bayonetted behind the fluctuating German lines. Men like him. Simple men who had been sent to war or signed up unknowing of the horror. Politicians made war, but soldiers died in it far removed from the seat of their government. In this war, civilians lived in fear of the blitz from the sky. Even the clouds were not safe in a world of madness and blood. Was this the end of days? The final judgement for Man’s sins? Leo did not know, and his faith in a good divinity had bled away on the fields of war.

He longed to be far away, on a picnic blanket in the Cotswolds with Mabel. Home with his wife, Audrey, and his daughters, his conscience said. He’d lost much of that conscience in this war. What was adultery, when man sinned the ultimate sin for his country, for freedom, every single day?

Buy Links:

What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?

I, the Sun by Janet Morris. It’s a biographical novel of King Suppiluliumas I of the Hittites. It’s so well written and based on a good deal of research and ancient text. He was a remarkable man, and the story really transports the reader back to that time.

What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?

The Secret of Blossom Rise tells the story of two nurses who discover the past is not what they thought it was. It’s a story of love in adversity, the cost of war and a ghostly hospital. It’s sad, as most ghost stories are, but it’s also a tale of courage.

A short read or listen, this is a great lunchtime binge.


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Open internationally.

Runs August 1 – 31.

Drawing will be held on September 1.

Author Biography:

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit - for the most part the Here Be Series

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series.

Awards: Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

NN Light Book Heaven awards:

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won best fantasy for 2018

Echoes of a Song - one of her Phantom tales - won best fantasy in 2019

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page


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Alex Butcher
Alex Butcher
Aug 11, 2020

Thanks, it was a bit of an adventure writing a ghost story, and it's loosely based on a real building.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Aug 11, 2020

Thank you, A.L., for sharing your book in our Binge-Worthy Book Festival. Wow, what a great excerpt!

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