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About S. C. Skillman
SC Skillman lives in Warwickshire, and writes psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers.
Her latest book Paranormal Warwickshire was published by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020. In this, she explores the rich supernatural heritage of this county at the heart of England, as befits the county of Shakespeare and the many ghosts and spirits he conjured up in his works.
She is currently working on a new magical realist series: Director's Cut and Standing Ovation are the first two in the series.
She began her publishing career with the psychological/paranormal thriller duology Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit which are both set in the same mysterious English manor house in the heart of England - the beautiful Cotswolds hills. There, gothic goings-on, paranormal events and ghostly tales are never far away.
She has set the books in contemporary times, not far from her present home.
She also writes inspirational non-fiction: Perilous Path, A Writer's Journey, is a self help book for those writing a novel, or who would like to write a novel. Packed full of tips and friendly reminders, it's encouraging and motivational. It's also for anyone who loves finding out about writers, their lives and works.
SC Skillman was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent, and has loved writing stories most of her life. She studied English Literature at Lancaster University, and her first permanent job was as a production secretary with the BBC. Later she lived for nearly five years in Australia before returning to the UK. She has now settled in Warwick with her husband and son, and her daughter is now studying for a Masters degree at university in Australia.
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When young journalist Juliet pursues her sister into the heart of the cult in the lovely Cotswold hills, aiming to rescue her from a fate worse than death, who'd have thought that she'd be drawn in by the cult herself?
She arrives in the mysterious community with high hopes. But intrigues, liaisons and relationships flare and flourish or fizzle out quickly in this close circle and despite her deep reservations Juliet is drawn into the Wheel of Love, with completely unforeseen consequences.
The story of the two sisters Juliet and Zoe is continued in the follow-up paranormal thriller A Passionate Spirit.
The book is ideal for fans of the Susan Howatch Starbridge series, and The Wicker Man.
"Intricate tapestry of human emotions and psyches with a romantic thread weaving through the midst." (Caroline Bailey, creative arts specialist)
"Will captivate you from the first paragraph. Like any good mystery, the more I read, the more questions I had." (Marsha Randolph, US Amazon reviewer)
"Weaves romance with spiritual searching and emotional needs, powerful universal themes." (Marie Calvert, arts psychotherapist and retreat leader)
"I fell in love with the beautiful house where the story is set and wanted to go there immediately... intense and compelling." (Eleanor Watkins, author, The Village and A Wind of Change)
"A gripping read. I wanted to find out who were the goodies and the baddies, and what would happen to Juliet and her sister." (Frances Smith, bookseller)
"As the emotional and psychological tensions crackle and ignite against each other, it's like watching a slow-motion train crash of the conflicting personalities, desires, jealousies and hurts. If you like your drama filled with psychological suspense and a hint of the paranormal, then you won't be disappointed. I'm pleased to see there's a sequel, A Passionate Spirit." (Philip S. Davies, author of the young adult Destiny's Rebel trilogy)
"I'm a great fan of the Susan Howatch Starbridge series, and this book appealed for many of the same reasons: a memorable setting, page-turning uncertainties, and being left with the image of people on a journey." Sue Wharton, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick)
"Juliet's arrival and her probing questions are a catalyst setting in train a release of emotions and a clash of personalities which will bring the entire future of the community into question. To me this is a romance, a mystery and an exploration of the deep areas of human motivations. It's about the need for honesty in relationships and about the search for healing from the past. It roams the wild borderlands between mysticism and theology. Difficult territory to navigate but the writer takes us through to a satisfactory and fulfilling conclusion." (Paul Trembling, author of Local Poet)
"I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the old house Juliet goes to with its oak beams, low ceiling and wainscoting. I liked the references to its occult/pagan past; corn dollies on the wall and stuff like that gave it a Wicker Man kind of feel. When Juliet finally meets her sister we see that Zoe is utterly caught up in the cult way of life. Craig is described well and comes across as manipulative and scary.
When new young creative retreat leader Zoe finds herself living the dream with her beloved husband Theo in a beautiful and mysterious Cotswold manor house in the heart of England’s loveliest countryside, who would have thought evil could have found her?
But she is disturbed by frightening dreams and visions of a lost ghostly child. And when two unexpected visitors – James and his mysterious and extraordinarily beautiful girlfriend Natasha – arrive at the centre, Zoe is the only one to feel uneasy, other than her friend and confidante, actress Alice Nazari. When Natasha starts to perform a series of inexplicable supernatural healings, all the guests in the retreat centre are captivated; and so too is Zoe’s husband, unconventional priest Theo, who Zoe feels sure would be the first to sniff out any hint of spiritual deception.
More and more chilling paranormal events occur which lead Zoe to the conviction that everyone in the retreat centre is in great danger, and none more so than Theo and herself. But Theo, it appears, is totally entranced by the seemingly angelic Natasha. And all the while a desperate ghost child calls out to Zoe, through a series of appearances both to Zoe and to Alice.
Feeling unsupported by the very man she had believed would protect her, Zoe has no choice but to follow her own instincts and enter into the heart of evil; an evil nobody would ever have guessed would visit this spiritual centre. An evil which includes shapeshifting, sorcery and spiritual deception of the most subtle and devious kind.
This contemporary paranormal thriller completes the story of the two sisters Juliet and Zoe which was begun in the prequel, Mystical Circles.
The book is ideal for fans of paranormal and supernatural thrillers, and new adult gothic fiction such as The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
“The scenario at first seems familiar but as unexplained events stack up, an insidious menace develops. The characters interact in a combination of naive and increasingly sinister ways... the last sections are very fast-paced with some nicely-worked twists. One to read with the lights on and door bolted in a cosy Cotswold cottage!” (David Smith, author of Searching For Amber, Death in Leamington and Love in Lindfield)
“The paranormal theme is dominant... the child added a sense of vulnerability and tension. The revelation about the child and her role in the drama added to the climax. The setting is credibly drawn and adds to the gothic feel of the novel, because modern gothic it certainly is.” (Fran Hill, author of Being Miss)
“I took A Passionate Spirit on holiday with me. I loved it. I was hooked from the very beginning, the characters got inside my head and I couldn’t put the book down. I was really very surprised at how spooked I felt considering I was on a sunny beach in Tenerife very far removed from the Cotswolds.” (Janice, Amazon reviewer)
“The book has drawn me in; I’ve spent many hours reading this page-turner. I must say I finished one chapter just before going to bed, and I really felt very spooked and spent a lot of time considering the implications of people who mesmerize people.” (Amazon Customer)
Are you writing a novel? Could you do with some encouragement, helpful tips and motivation to keep going? This self-help book may be the perfect answer for you: short, friendly, light in tone, and highly motivational. And it isn't simply about how to write a novel. It also helps you discover more about some of your favourite writers, their lives and works. Perhaps you need some inspiration and guidance. Inside this self help book Perilous Path, you’ll find nuggets and insights about such famous authors as JRR Tolkien, Jane Austen and George Orwell as well as unexpected help from people as diverse as Carl Jung, Ernest Hemingway and David Hockney.
How do you find courage and motivation when your novel sinks in the middle?
How do you stay focused as a writer through success and disappointment?
How can great artists, musicians and psychologists give you inspiration?
You'll find the answers to these questions and many others in this short, motivational, easy read. SC Skillman, writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction for young adults and new adults, offers valuable insight into such subjects as how to write a novel, how to keep going in the face of rejection, and where to look for encouragement and inspiration as you walk the perilous path into the 'promised land' of the writing profession.
An when you've finished reading Perilous Path, why not try the author's two psychological/paranormal mysteries, Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit?
SC Skillman's first two novels for new adults, Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit are both set in the same mysterious English manor house in the heart of England – the beautiful Cotswold hills. Mystical Circles begins, and A Passionate Spirit continues, the story of the two sisters Juliet and Zoe. There in that mysterious manor house, gothic goings-on, paranormal events and ghostly tales are never far away.
"I found Perilous Path very enjoyable to read at a time when my writing practice had stalled. It inspired me to get back to work, and it reminded me of why I write, and what a wonderful process we engage in when we explore words and prose. This book is great for people at all levels in the writing world, being both entertaining and informative." (Catherine Green, author of paranormal fiction for young adults)
"I found this a really interesting collection of advice, hints and observations about the writing life. I've been writing for a while, but there was plenty here to inspire. SC Skillman uses a range of illuminating examples and comparisons to illustrate her ideas and these make a difference I think any beginner writer would value such a collection." (Fran Hill, author of Being Miss)
"This book is a little gem; a mine of finely observed hints and reflections on writing. Each short chapter is clearly focused on a specific subject with great examples and well-thought-out suggestions. A very enjoyable read, written from the heart. I found some great ideas for follow-up." (David Smith, author of Searching for Amber, Death in Leamington and Love in Lindfield)