Monday, February 25, 2019

Touring Historic Mt. Washington Hotel #NH Mount Washington Resort #travel

Unfortunately, the fog completely obscured the majestic
Mt. Washington behind the hotel...but it also
added to the spooky The Shining atmosphere!
A few weekends ago, my husband and I traveled to North Conway, NH, for a fun-filled skiing weekend with friends.  Now, I only cross-country ski at this point in my life, thanks to a certain disastrous skiing weekend in 2013.  But, that's okay, because I was able to cross country right from the back door of our friends' condo, while most of the others drove to a nearby mountain.  But as we all shared coffee and chatted that first morning, the subject of having drinks later at Mount Washington came up.  I had no idea what everyone was referring to, but by the time I'd learned this grand hotel was built from 1900 to 1902, had an amazing view of the highest mountain in the Northeastern U.S., boasted a fascinating--some say haunting-- history, and eerily resembled the hotel in The Shining, I knew I had to get myself there, and not just for drinks.  I called to inquire about the daily tour schedule, and three of us made the short trip to Bretton Woods early to learn more about Mount Washington.  
**Disclaimer...I took photos and notes from the tour and backed it up with research, but any mistakes are mine.

First impression is that the hotel does indeed look like the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King's The Shining, both outside and in some parts of the interior.  And due to efforts to return the decor to the vintage splendor of the opening season in 1902, walking through the doors feels like stepping back into the past.  As our guide began the tour, we learned that this hotel was indeed the height of luxury even when it was one of the first hotels to have electric lights and private bathrooms.  In fact, Thomas Edison himself designed the lights that still grace the lobby.

A portrait of "The Princess" now hangs above the
original balcony that was part of her rooms.

The original owner and builder, Joseph Stickney, saw only one season before he passed away, leaving his young bride Carolyn to inherit the property.  Carolyn eventually remarried a prince and was hence known as "The Princess".  During her years of presiding over the hotel, she became known for some eccentric habits...for example, she would sit in a balcony of her room, overlooking the staircase leading to the dining room, to watch the guests descend for dinner.  If any of the ladies were dressed more elegantly than she was, she would change.  If she dined in the dining room, she was the last to enter, and she ate alone at a small table by the door, which was closed after her entrance.  No one was permitted to leave until she did.

Apparently, she also was quite attached to her large four poster bed...which I understand completely.  But she went a step above and beyond and took it with her wherever she went...having it disassembled and then reassembled during her travels.  She died in the bed, and it now welcomes guests who opt to stay in "The Princess Suite" (Room 314)...the haunted room, or at least one of them, according to gossip.  Where can I sign up?

We asked if we could open
the trapdoor...and we did!
Prohibition in the 1920s put a damper on the hospitality industry, but on the tour, we were introduced to an area, now The Cellar bar, where a plan existed to circumvent the national law.  Guests drank liquor out of teacups, and a lookout sent up an alarm in the event of an impending raid.  The liquor was dumped and the bottles were tossed into a barrel, which was lowered into this trapdoor in the floor.

Entrance to The Cellar

After The Princess passed, her nephew inherited the hotel, but he wasn't particularly dedicated to managing a resort, and financial struggles and WWII resulted in closure in 1942.  Shuttered, the abandoned property stood vacant until 1944, when it was purchased and renovated in preparation to serve as the site for the Bretton Woods monetary conference.  During the clean-up, workers were instructed to paint everything white...which resulted in gilded artwork and trim, stained glass windows, and original brass lighting being coated in white paint...the great "White-out".  Much of this has been restored, except the gold leaf paint, which is now lost forever.  Thankfully, one room was left alone, the gold paint intact, for reasons unknown.

Countries present at the Bretton Woods Conference...some of
which no longer exist anymore as countries
The Bretton Woods conference hosted 730 delegates from all 44 Allied countries while the world was still at war. Part of the reason Mt. Washington was chosen as the site involved security...with so many leaders of different countries in one location and WWII raging, security was a major concern, and the hotel surrounded by mountains had limited access.  The conference resulted in the establishment of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Now the hotel has been restored to its original glory as closely as possible, and it is owned by Omni.  It's on the US National Register of Historic Places and is a US National Historic Landmark.

The rest of the group joined us after
skiing at the hotel pub for a fun night!
Closer to my passion for spooky things, the hotel has been featured in two episodes of Ghost, yeah...I hope one day I can actually stay overnight.  But even just a day trip for the tour, the breathtaking view, and a fun time in the pub made for a memorable weekend!

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other posts on my visits to haunted historical places:  The Catacombs of Paris, The Dakota Hotel in NYC, The Old Jailhouse in Barnstable, and The Abandoned Glenn Dale TB name a few!

And I hope you'll check out my novels in the tabs above if you enjoy spooky suspense!

I was hoping I might catch an image in my pic down the hall...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Voting's Open! Dangerous Currents up for #Book of the Month! #amwriting #romance #suspense #amreading

One fateful night tore them apart...
will they get a second chance
before a killer strikes?
I'm thrilled that my Romantic Suspense, Dangerous Currents, is one of six books chosen for February's Book of the Month shortlist at Read  Voting is open for the next week and I'd love if you could take a moment to show some love to Dangerous Currents!  

Link to vote is here:  Read's Book of the Month

An email is required to vote, so no one can vote twice, but the site is very safe and reputable (and if you're an author, you should be taking advantage of their free and low-cost promotional services!).  In fact, my ghost mystery/romance Haunted Souls made it to their best books of the year in 2016 and came in second, out of 100 finalists!  Every time one of my novels is on sale, I make sure I visit their site to enter the sale info...and it's free!

N.N. Light's Book Heaven on Dangerous Currents

HUGE, heartfelt thanks to anyone who can take a sec to check out Dangerous Currents and the other books and cast a vote for the one they'd like to see featured.  Happy Reading!

If you enjoy second chance romance filled with secrets and suspense,
check out Dean and Malorie's story in Dangerous Currents!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

History of St. Valentine's Day ~ Happy #ValentinesDay #ValentinesDay2019

Valentine's Day is here, and in the tradition of dedicating my blog to a bit of history about certain holidays and traditions, I decided to look into the facts behind St. Valentine and the reasons we celebrate love and romance on February 14th.  Turns out, there is quite a bit of conflicting information regarding this particular saint and the holiday named for him. Disclaimer: as always, please keep in mind I am a romance author, not a historian!  

The name Valentine comes from the Latin word "valens" which means healthy or strong.  The derivation Valentine was a popular name between the 2nd and 8th centuries AD, which could explain part of the confusion surrounding this saint.

St. Valentine Kneeling in
Supplication by
David Teniers III
Public Domain
The Valentine remembered on February 14 was a third century Roman Saint martyred and buried in a cemetery on the Via Flaminia, an ancient Roman Road.  It's possible that early references to Saint Valentine actually referred to several saints with the same name.  Sources including The Catholic Encyclopedia mention three Saint Valentines connected to the February date: a Roman priest and a bishop, both buried along the Via Flaminia, and a saint in a Roman province of Africa. Some information points to the first two Valentines actually being the same person.

The details surrounding the acts and eventual martyrdom of Valentine are also hazy.  Common threads point to an account of Valentine performing a miracle (restoring the sight of a young girl), aiding Christians and encouraging others to embrace Christianity.  While imprisoned, he refused to renounce his faith and was executed.  

Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14 in 496, acknowledging that while not many details were known about Valentine, his acts were known to God.

The more modern traditions connecting Saint Valentine's Day to romantic love date to the fourteenth century and are generally attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer, "the Father of English Literature", and his circle of friends.  In the Middle Ages, birds were thought to pair in mid-February, and in his poem "Parliament of Foules" there is mention of February 14th being the day birds as well as humans find a mate.  
Now that St. Valentine's Day is linked to celebrating romance, common themes include cards, flowers, candy, hearts, and of course, a focus on love stories.  Why not download a page-turning romance novel and enjoy the thrill of the characters' journeys as they fall in love?  Or send an e-copy to a friend or relative for less than the cost of a card!  All of my titles involve romance mixed with suspense, some with spooky paranormal elements and some with dangerous killers.  Take a peek at the tag lines below, and the links bring you to the blurbs!  Don't forget Amazon allows a free sample download, so you can check out the first few chapters.

DANGEROUS CURRENTS ~ steamy second chance romance filled with secrets and suspense...One fateful night tore them apart...will they get a second chance before a killer strikes?

Reading Review Wars on Dangerous Currents

For steamy romance mixed with spooky suspense, try #1 Kindle and #1 Nook Bestseller GULL HARBOR, where a medium encounters both a dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend in a sleepy Cape Cod town.  Also available on Audible

#1 Kindle Bestseller SILVER LAKE also involves a haunting mystery as a group of estranged friends reunite to try to solve their friend's disappearance...and two star-crossed lovers fight for a second chance.

In DIVINE FALL, an award-winning Young Adult Paranormal Romance, forbidden first love meets supernatural secrets as the last Nephilim seeks his revenge.  Suitable for teens!

In HAUNTED SOULS, a damaged soldier, a secret baby, and a haunting mystery collide for a steamy and spooky read.  Also on Audible!  

Celebrate the steamy this Valentine's Day!
(Editorial Review quotes from reviews of Haunted Souls)

My latest release won Best Romantic Suspense at N.N. Light's Book Heaven Reviews, and was part of the USA TODAY Bestselling Box Set Love Under Fire.  Now you can get this short novel on its own...or read it free with your Kindle Unlimited membership!  THE HAUNTING OF HILLWOOD FARM.

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

Treat yourself to a page-turning new read!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

"Intense emotion" "Heart-stopping action" 5* #Review! #amreading #suspense #romance #book

A shiny new review from Page Princess for Dangerous Currents that has me grinning ear to ear!  Dangerous Currents is a steamy second-chance romance with suspense and dark secrets, and it's the only one of my novels without a paranormal element.  Of course, I have to tell the story that's in my head (or pick one of them, anyway), but I do like to challenge myself to try different things.  It definitely involves coming out of my comfort zone a bit.  For example, I have one Young Adult novel, Divine Fall, and I wrote that in first person POV (point-of-view) versus third, which involved a learning curve.

So hearing that the suspense plot in Dangerous Currents was "well thought out" and that "the build up was perfectly timed...the reveal was a beautifully orchestrated piece of heart-stopping action" made my day!  

One thing that does tie all my books together is the Romance element, and I have novels with varying degrees of heat level.  This one is one of my steamier ones, but what matters most to me is that the reader feels the connection between the characters, the undeniable chemistry, and roots for them overcome the obstacles in their path.  

So seeing "I loved the intense emotion that filled every page of this wonderful story" and "their attraction is palpable" means so much.  Even better, "she creates characters that I love and can believe in being real"!  Such a thrill for an author - all my characters are very real to me, and I miss hearing their voices every day when I type "the end".

You can read the entire review here: Page Princess Review of Dangerous Currents by Kathryn Knight

And if you'd like to try Dangerous Currents, it's available at the links below, and in paperback.  And reviews from wherever you purchased it are SO important to's the lifeblood that keeps us going.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!