Dark Origins – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

This month, my Dark Origins post focuses on the famous American tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which features the well known character, Ichabod Crane. The background to this story is rather interesting. Thank you to Kaye Lynne Booth for hosting this post on Writing to be Read.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a gothic story by American author, Washington Irving, and is included in a collection of 34 essays and short stories entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

Cover of The Sketch-Book by Washington Irving from Amazon US

The plot

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane (1858) by John Quidor

The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, New York. Sleepy Hollow is a secluded glen which is famous for its ghosts and haunting atmosphere.

Ichabod Crane moves to Sleepy Hollow to be the schoolmaster of the village. As was customary at the time, Ichabod earns practically no money, but is provided with lodgings and food on a rotational basis by the local farmers who are also the fathers of the boys he teachers. This arrangement, and the singing lessons he gives on the side, keeps him employed and also gives him numerous opportunities to listen to the many tales about ghosts, haunted spots and twilight superstitions shared by the farmers wives.

Continue reading here: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/04/28/dark-origins-the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/

Open Book Blog hop – Prologues and Epilogues

This weeks topic is ‘Prologues and Epilogues. Yes or no?’

I have not included either a prologue or an epilogue in any of the books to date. As I only have two full length novels, that doesn’t necessarily mean I never will, but merely that this concept wasn’t useful to me for either of Through the Nethergate or A Ghost and His Gold.

Literary terms describes a prologue as “Some works of literature start with a prologue (pronounced PRO-log), a short introductory section that gives background information or sets the stage for the story to come. The prologue is usually pretty short, maybe a few pages . But it may be the most important section of the story, and if readers skip it they may be lost for the entire story.”

I had a look at a list of the top 12 novels with prologues that worked and I haven’t read any of them. The only prologue I can distinctly remember was the one in the musical production of War of the Worlds which goes like this:

“No one would have believed in the early years of the 21st century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own. That as men busied themselves about their various concerns, they observed and studied, the way a man with a microscope might observe the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our planet with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, drew their plans against us.”

I think this prologue definitely worked! Of course, I do admit to loving this book [not the film], so maybe that is why I love this prologue.

Literary terms describes and epilogue as “an optional final chapter of a story, such as in a play or book, and which may serve a variety of purposes—concluding or bringing closure to events, wrapping up loose ends, reporting the eventual fates of characters after the main story, commenting on the events that have unfolded, and or setting up a sequel. It can appear as a speech (especially in a play), a series of scenes, or an essay by the narrator.”

I had more luck thinking of a series which ended with an epilogue – Harry Potter. I remember it because I didn’t feel the epilogue added value to the series and I would have preferred to have drawn my own conclusions about the futures of the characters. In fact, I found the epilogue quite annoying.

Download Harry Potter Novel Series 1-7 PDF Free - TechnoLily | Harry potter  book covers, Harry potter all books, Harry potter pdf

In conclusion, maybe my thoughts are quite simple” “maybe a prologue, but never an epilogue.”

Have you written any prologues or epilogues, or do you prefer leaving them out? Add your blog hop post to this one by clicking the blue button below, or just leave a comment.


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Poetry Treasures, a new WordCrafter poetry anthology

Poetry Treasures is a new WordCrafter poetry anthology with contributions from guests to the 2020 Treasuring Poetry series on Writing to be Read, hosted by Kaye Lynne Booth and myself.

You can read the latest Treasuring Poetry post here: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/04/17/treasuring-poetry-meet-poet-and-author-elizabeth-merry-and-a-review/


A collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on Writing to be Read in 2020. Open the book and discover the poetry treasures of Sue Vincent, Geoff Le Pard, Frank Prem, Victoria (Tori) Zigler, Colleen M. Chesebro, K. Morris, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jude Kitya Itakali, and Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

This wonderful cover was designed by Teagan Riordain Geneviene. You can find Teagan’s lovely books here: https://teagansbooks.com/ and you can find her ready designed covers here: https://teagansbooks.com/riordain-cover-designs-portfolio/

A reading of What is Happiness?

What is Happiness? is one of my five poems in Poetry Treasures.

Links to samples of other poems and readings

K. Morris

Geoff Le Pard

Colleen Chesebro

Purchase link

If you would like a free copy for review, please email me at sirchoc[at]outlook[dot]com.

Thursday Doors – Ghost Mountain Inn, Zululand

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

About Ghost Mountain

“It is a great and strange mountain. It is haunted also and named the Ghost Mountain, and on top of it is a grey peak rudely shaped like the head of an old woman.” So wrote Rider Haggard in his book “Nada the Lily”.

The Legend of Ghost Mountain

I took this information directly from the Ghost Mountain Inn website which you can find here: https://www.ghostmountaininn.co.za/

A section of the Ndwandwe tribe, headed by the Gaza family, had their home beneath this mountain until they were conquered by Shaka in 1819 and the head of the family, Soshongane, fled with his followers into Mozambique, where he founded the Shangaan tribe.

From early times it had become customary to bury the bodies of Chiefs on Ghost Mountain. High on its slopes there is a taboo cave, used as a tomb by generations of the Gaza family. Soshongane and his descendants, although they lived many miles away in Mozambique, were carried back to the Ghost Mountain when they died.

Their bodies, mummified and wrapped in the black bull skins, had to be transported by bearers who travelled by night and hid during the day to avoid detection by the Zulus. After the Anglo Zulu War in 1879, when the British tried to rule Zululand by dividing it into 13 separately ruled states, there was a period of chaotic rivalry, feuding and fighting. The two principal rivals were Prince Dinuzulu, the son of the deposed Zulu King Cetshwayo, and his Usuthu warriors, and Zibhebhu, head of the powerful Mandlakazi section of the Zulu nation.

In a series of bloody fights, Zibhebhu gained the upper hand. Dinuzulu, in desperation, enlisted 600 Boers and Germans, led by Louis Botha (later General Louis Botha, who was also to become the first Prime Minister of The Union of South Africa), who were promised rewards of farms for their help. In June 1884 Dinuzulu’s army of Zulus and Europeans invaded Zibhebhu’s territory.

Zibhebhu was a resolute leader and his Mandlakazi section was considered to be made up of the finest warriors, and although he also had a handful of white supporters, including the famous frontiersman, Johan Colenbrander, he had little chance against the opposition.

Zibhebhu made a fighting retreat to the Mkuze River Pass through the Lebombo, and on the 5th of June, in this rugged gorge beneath Ghost Mountain, there was a vicious struggle known as the Battle of Tshaneni. The Mandlakazi fought stubbornly, but heavy rifle fire from Dinuzulu’s army mowed them down and they broke and fled into the dense forest country of Tongaland. The battlefield was littered with thousands of bodies, and of this the late Col. Reitz makes mention in his book “Trekking On”, where he claims that in the early 1920’s he journeyed through skeletons that were still strewn about on the slopes of the Ghost Mountain.

Denys Reitz was made Minister of Lands in 1922 and journeyed up through Zululand to establish the position of a new harbour. His opinion was that Richards Bay would not be suitable but Kosi Bay would be ideal. On this trip he went on a Hippo hunt with, as his book ‘Commando’ states, “The mad Rutherfoord brothers”. This trip is documented in a series of photographs hanging in the Inn. Peter Rutherfoord, the grandson of Richard Hubert, who escorted Denys Reitz on the Hippo hunt, is the present owner of the Ghost Mountain Inn.

Some doors

We had a lovely time at Ghost Mountain Inn and were entertained with various tours during our stay, and some lovely meals, including a braai and a buffet.

Picture of me with Ghost Mountain in the background. The body of water is Pongopoort Dam, home to numerous hippos and crocodiles. There is a sign telling visitors to beware.
This is the back side of Ghost Mountain. I thought it looked like a screaming mouth.

You can join in Thursday Doors here: https://nofacilities.com/2021/04/22/barn-doors-thursday-doors/

A Ghost and his Gold

Author, Barbara Spencer, has shared a fun and interesting post about my development as a reader and writer. She has also included some information about Colonel Baden-Powell, one of the real historical figures who features in my novel, A Ghost and His Gold. Thank you, Barbara.

Pictures From The Kitchen Window

If you type the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle into the computer, up comes details of her ghost story ‘Through the Nethergate.’ Now that is impressive. And then we are treated to details of her early life growing up in South Africa – fascinating!

But the wonders don’t stop there. Take Robbie’s early reading list: L.M. Montgomeery (Anne of Green Gables), The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge, Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (although strangely he is now always referred to as Tolkien, no using the JRR). Nothing odd about any of those, a typical diet for a young girl starting out on her reading journey. Even after exhausting all the children’s books, which Robbie had by age 11, her diet was still very acceptable: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the Bronte Sister’s … that…

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A Ghost and his Gold – Roberta Eaton Cheadle -Book Tour – Day 3

bToday, author Jessica Bakkers has hosted my blog tour post for A Ghost and His Gold. Thank you, Jessica. This post includes a recipe for potjiekos, a traditional South African stew cooked in a three legged cast iron pot over an open fire. Jessica has short stories in Wings & Fire and Shadowland horror anthologies [compiled by Dan Alatorre] and her own book, Guns of Perdition, an excellent and unusual horror story.

Jessica Bakkers

I am lucky enough to bring to you, not only a new paranormal history book from Roberta Eaton Cheadle, but also a description of one of the historically accurate meals enjoyed by the folks in “A Ghost and his Gold”…something that sounds delicious, even if I can’t pronounce it! Enjoy and celebrate the tour with Roberta, and check out details below for a great give away offer!!

A Ghost and His Gold Give Away

Each stop on this five-day book blog tour will offer the opportunity to win a $10 Amazon gift voucher. (*Winners must be able to retrieve Amazon US gift vouchers.) Author Roberta  Eaton Cheadle will also give away 2 paperback copies of A Ghost and His Gold. All you have to do to enter is drop by each tour stop and leave a comment!

The origins of potjiekos and a recipe:

The Dutch hutspot came into existence…

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Welcome to the WordCrafter “A Ghost and His Gold” Book Blog Tour & My Review

Kaye Lynne Booth has kicked of Day 1 of the WordCrafter blog tour for A Ghost and His Gold with a post about where the original spark for this story came from and a wonderful review. Thank you, Kaye Lynne Booth for being a wonderful host.

Writing to be Read

A Ghost and His Gold Book Blog Tour

Today is Day #1 of the WordCrafter A Ghost and His Gold Book Blog Tour with an interesting guest post by author Roberta Eaton Cheadle explaining how she came to write this wonderful paranormal historical novel. I hope you will join us at each of the tour stops because this tour has a great giveaway! Each stop on this five-day book blog tour will offer the opportunity to win a $10 Amazon gift voucher. (*Winners must be able to retrieve Amazon US gift vouchers.) Author Roberta Eaton Cheadle will also give away 2 paperback copies of A Ghost and His Gold. All you have to do to enter is drop by each tour stop and leave a comment!

And now, please welcome Roberta Eaton Cheadle as she introduces us to A Ghost and His Gold.


How A Ghost and…

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Shadowland, A horror anthology (The Box Under The Bed Book 6)

Dan Alatorre has compiled and edited Shadowland, Book 6 in the Box Under the Bed Horror Anthology series.

My short story Hide and Seek appears in this anthology and it is quite a different tale to any of my others to date.

You can listen to the beginning of Hide and Seek here:


From the creators of the #1 bestselling horror anthology The Box Under The Bed and its FOUR #1 bestselling sequels:

Wealthy eccentric Dr. Aumental tasks his Literary Arts students with tracking down and exploring the root elements of horror stories and ancient folklore they’ve known since they were children, allowing them to travel anywhere in the world. As each group of students embarks on their journeys, they encounter legends, fantasies, lies – and the awful truths none of them could ever have imagined.

* After a cave-in, a mine foreman stumbles upon a deadly buried secret.
* A childhood game of Hide and Seek creates ghostly repercussions.
* Seeking help from disabling arthritis, a New Orleans pianist takes a voodoo cure – but the price is not what she thinks it is.
And many more!

A wide ranging thrill ride that any horror fan will enjoy!
Compiled by USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror once again unites the minds and talents of more than a dozen amazing authors.

Shadowland takes you into the eerie and macabre, with heart stopping stories from:

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Gamma Sequence)
award-winning bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant)
award-winning bestselling author Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Through The Nethergate)
award-winning bestselling author Betty Valentine (A Twist Of Starlight)
award-winning bestselling author Christine Valentor
award-winning bestselling author MD Walker
bestselling author Jessica Bakkers (Guns Of Perdition)
And more!

Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, watching TV with family, or even going on a casual boat ride.


Purchase Shadowland, A horror anthology

Amazon US

Review of Shadowland, A horror anthology

5 Star Amazon review

Somewhat different from the other anthologies, but a good read nonetheless, the author serves up an interesting mix of short horror stories which in some way, shape or form, actually link together. Want to know more, you need to read this and see for yourself. The characters are presented in such a way that you think they are actually doing the storytelling, and I think you’ll find as I did, that once you start it will be difficult to put down until you finish.

Welcome to Day 5 of #RRBC’S ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR! @RRBC_Org @ RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA @YvetteMCalleiro

Welcome to day five of RRBC’S 2020 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR!  Each year, the wonderful members of the club donate to this event to ensure that we are able to offer our $100 Amazon Gift Card Gift Basket raffle and we want to show them just how much we appreciate their kindness and generosity.


Leave a comment below to ensure that you have a chance at winning a $20 Amazon Gift Card!


Today, I am delighted to welcome talented author Yvette M. Calleiro to Roberta Writes to tell us about her short story, Breathless, A Short Story.

Writing short stories by Yvette M. Calleiro

For those of you who haven’t read Breathless- A Short Story yet, this is my first short story ever written, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I wrote it as a personal challenge for the 2020 #RRBC 90-Day Alpha/Omega Short Story Writing Contest

Writing short stories is not easy. You may be shaking your head and thinking it must be easier than writing a 75,000+ word story, but I would disagree. You see, there is this tiny little word that taunts and traumatizes me, and that word is short. Short stories must be short, and as a fantasy writer, I was used to quite the opposite.

Short stories are shackled to such a small word count that a reader can almost begin and end the story in the ads that interrupt YouTube videos. (Okay, I’m exaggerating just a tad, but not by much.) They don’t leave much room for backstories and subplots or multiple characters and their subplots. Word choice must be scrutinized and dissected to make sure that each word is worthy of the count it adds to the overall story. It’s pure torture, I tell ya!

Luckily, I survived the process. Some may even say I thrived, but let’s not get carried away. The truth is I cheated (shhh… don’t tell anybody). This short story isn’t a standalone story. It’s just the beginning of a journey for one of the characters. And once you read it, you will be thanking me for wanting to write a full-length novel for him. 😉

So, without further ado, here is Breathless, A Short Story:

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

Purchase Breathless, A Short Story by Yvette M. Calleiro

Amazon US

Yvette M. Calleiro Amazon Page

About Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school reading and language arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who enjoys paranormal and adventurous stories as well. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

Find Yvette M. Calleiro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YvetteMCalleiro 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/yvettemcalleiro 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yvettemcalleiro/

Thank you for supporting the books and authors along the RRBC ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR!  These authors are generous in their support of others so we want to show our support of them in return.  You may follow along each day of the tour by visiting the tour’s home page.  Be sure to leave a comment below to ensure that you have a chance at winning a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Thursday Doors – William Shakespeare’s birth home

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

In 2017 we visited the birth home of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon. These are a few of the pictures I took at this house.

Front of the house
Back of the house and garden

You can join in Thursday Doors here: https://nofacilities.com/2021/04/15/naubuc-and-broad-thursday-doors/