Exmoor Literally: Ravens Deep by Jane Jordan

I had pictured the house long before it came into view and from the description I had read and the image in my mind I knew it would be beautiful and ancient, a rambling relic rising up from the landscape of the moors. I imagined there would be roses clinging to the stonework and a sprawling garden filled with lavender and hollyhocks, but now I was starting to wonder if the access to the house was just too difficult, and the location too remote.

I felt as though I had driven a long way down Rush Lane and doubts were beginning to creep into my head about staying in such a secluded spot, especially because I was alone. But just as those doubts began to multiply, the lane opened up and my fears disappeared in an instant. Before me was Ravens Deep.

 Ravens Deep by Jane Jordan Front Cover

jane jordanJane Jordan is the author of The Ravens Deep trilogy. She lives on the edge of Exmoor in South West England. She is inspired by the beautiful, but mysterious moor-lands and rugged coastline that make up her surroundings, a perfect setting for dark romance novels.

In her debut novel Jane Jordan brought together two unforgettable characters; Madeline Shaw and Darius Chamberlayne. Their connection defied the boundaries of time and combined vampire superstition with a complex and modern love story.

Blood & Ashes, her second book, is a vivid and powerful follow up to Ravens Deep. A story that is layered in myth and vampire culture, and set amongst London’s hidden world and the beautiful scenery of Exmoor. A mixture of love, revenge and horror, takes the reader on an unexpected journey through the lives of three enigmatic immortals.

A Memoir of Carl, is the conclusive book in the Ravens Deep trilogy. A story layered in myth and vampire culture and set against the backdrop of Stirling in Scotland and its historic castle, the prestigious London opera house and a gothic stately home, all of which paints a remarkable picture that is rich in detail and unexpectedly chilling.


Prologue to Ravens Deep

There are those amongst us who seek unconditional love, an objective that could either be construed as wise or foolhardy. But regardless of individual perspective, many of us search for a like-minded being, someone to return our affection, capture our heart or comfort and encourage when all others may criticize or condemn.

A few relationships are to be considered unusual or diverse, but although cultural differences and personal preference may be argued, our unions typically conform to the rules and moral values that we make.

After all, most strange deviations in love can be explained. . . ordinarily.
Excerpt from Ravens Deep

Exmoor Literally: The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson

Nestled between an 11th century church at the top of the lane, and an ancient ford at the bottom, there stands a stone cottage. It has a slightly crooked front door framed by an open porch. Blue-tits nest in the porch eaves – content and undisturbed – as the door, now swollen with the paintwork of many generations, is too stiff to open. The door is painted a delicate shade of green with an unconscious nod towards a French manor house. Casement windows sit in perfect symmetry on either side of the doorway – just as a child would draw – and an exquisite flower border, heady with sweet aroma, is bedded down under the front windows.  It is a cottage that sits so comfortably in its position, surrounded by rolling Devonshire hills, wild flower meadows and twinkling streams, only a flash of Divine inspiration could have created it.”

Chapter Three, The Wedding Cake Tree

Wedding Cake Tree cover

Can a mother’s secret past provide the answers for a daughter’s future?
When failed opera singer turned style photographer, Grace Buchanan, is ordered by her hippy-chick mother, Rosamund, to drop everything for two weeks and travel the British Isles with a mysterious stranger – war-weary Royal Marine Officer, Alasdair Finn – she is more than a little surprised; after all, her mother has been dead for six months…
At the reading of the will, Grace discovers that Rosamund kept the life she lived before Grace was born a secret.  That secret is now to be revealed to Grace in the form of seven letters, written by her mother, just before she died.    Entranced by the British landscape and caught in a brief but perfect moment in time, Grace and Alasdair travel to four enchanting locations, walk in Rosamund’s footsteps, scatter her ashes, and read a letter at each one.
What follows is an emotional, fun-filled, and adventurous journey of a lifetime, on which Grace slowly uncovers the truth about Rosamund’s incredible life story, leading both Grace and Alasdair to question their futures and address their own secret demons from the past.
But can Rosamund’s puppeteering from the grave alter life’s course for Grace, or will things take an unexpected turn?
* * *
Melanie Hudson
The Wedding Cake Tree is available on Amazon as paperback and as a Kindle download.
Melanie Hudson now lives on the Devon side of Exmoor. You can find out more about her on her website.  Melanie is also on Twitter @Melanie_Hudson_

Date for the Diary: Exmoor Ponies Close-Up


Join Experience Exmoor on Sunday, 5 May, for a special Exmoor Pony Safari followed by tea with the celebrated Author of children’s pony books Victoria ‘Tortie’ Eveleigh and her husband & illustrator Chris.

“We will head out from Lynton at 2 pm for a 2 hour safari to seek out several Exmoor Pony herds – some with newborn foals – on the open moorland.  After our 2 hour Exmoor Pony trip, Tortie and Chris Eveleigh are awaiting us at their West Ilkerton farm with refreshments – and some special treats for Exmoor Pony lovers.”

joe and the hidden horseshoeTortie’s new book, Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe, comes out on 2 May – what a great opportunity to get a signed copy! Of course, Tortie’s other books, the Katie’s Ponies trilogy and A Stallion Called Midnight, will also be available.

After tea it’s time to get up close with three very special Exmoor youngsters – Orion and and his sisters Gaia and Demeter who were born in May 2011. They are very special to Tortie and Chris as they are the final three foals they bred by the lovely stallion Acreswild Zeitgeist who’s fondly known as Ziggy.
orion looking round in field

tortie with orionAs Tortie was taken on by the publishing group Orion Children’s books in June 2011, she decided to call the only colt foal of that year Orion.  Pop over to Tortie’s website to read about Orion’s early training.

Neil Osmond, Director of Experience Exmoor says: “We are delighted to be able of offer this great opportunity to not only see Exmoor Ponies in the wild, but also get people really close to these beautiful animals.  To have a popular author like Tortie Eveleigh invite our safari to her farm is a special treat. We can promise our guests a truly unforgettable event!”

Orion, the Exmoor Pony

Orion, the Exmoor Pony

Call us or e-mail Neil and Christel at Exmoor Experience to book your place for this unique event!

first year postcard

An Exmoor Evening with Victoria Eveleigh

Victoria Eveleigh and horse c Brian Eveleigh - compressedVictoria Eveleigh, the Exmoor based author, will give an illustrated talk about Exmoor ponies and her stories on Friday, 1 March 2013, at 7.30 pm, at Hannington Hall, the village hall in Martinhoe.

There will be music (played by Tom Hodgkinson), hot pasties and cider.

Admission: Adults £5 Children £3, in aid of hall funds.

“I was brought up in London, but I always longed to live in the country and have lots of animals – especially horses. Well, dreams do come true because for the past 25 years or so I’ve lived on an Exmoor livestock farm with my husband, Chris. Besides dogs, cats and riding horses, we keep Exmoor Horn sheep, North Devon cattle and Exmoor ponies. Our children, George and Sarah, are now grown up, but when Sarah was a girl she had an Exmoor pony called Tinkerbell, and some of the things they got up to inspired me to write my first stories: a trilogy about a girl and an Exmoor pony growing up together on an Exmoor hill farm. This photo is of Chris and me with Tinkerbell.Tortie_Chris_Tinks_the_Exmoor_pony

The Katy’s Exmoor trilogy was illustrated by Chris, and we self-published it under the name Tortoise Publishing. We also published a book calledMidnight on Lundy. Publishing my own books was hard work, so I was delighted when Orion Children’s Books took me on in 2011. The Katy’s Exmoor stories have now been rewritten and updated with expert editorial guidance, and are being published by Orion in 2012 as the Katy’s Ponies trilogy: Katy’s Wild Foal, Katy’s Champion Pony and Katy’s Pony Surprise. The books have a great deal of new content, including author’s notes, some new inside illustrations by Chris and beautiful cover illustrations by Angelo Rinaldi. Midnight on Lundy is also being republished in 2012 as A Stallion Called Midnight.

I’m now also working on a brand-new trilogy for Orion. It will still have horses and ponies at its heart, but this time a boy will be the main character.”