Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway – Secret of the Manor by Taylin Clavelli

To date, I have written several stories. One, my novel, Dakota Skies, was a complete historical, told with more of a modern voice. I have also written tales featuring comedy, and contemporary romance. As an author I, personally, don’t want to be restricted to one genre. In time, I may find a favorite, but not yet.  This is the first novel in which I have added the element of magic.

Secret Of The Manor combines the genres of, contemporary romance, history, and witchcraft. The main thread is the romance. But as it is set in the historical town of Cheltenham, it would have been remiss of me not to include the heritage of the area. Add in the glue of the witchcraft and you have my story.

I believe the so-called ‘dark arts’ can be combined with virtually any genre – although I haven’t seen it used in Syfy yet – at least not without a scientific explanation attached.

For me, the main element I had to overcome was the language barrier. I think some people avoid historicals because of the language differences in the eras. It potentially disconnects the reader from the characters due to the need for a translator. On the flip side, people who love history will balk at stories that aren’t entirely authentic. What to do about it was one of the choices I had to make before setting pen to paper – go traditional or not.

I settled for a compromise. I bridged the gap between the old and the new, several ways. I had my ghost able to learn, and I had my characters say ‘this is translated from Old English.’ This enabled me to have elements of old speech, told in a modern way. Similarly, by having my main character, Warren, experience the past, I was able to give my reader a vision of history using a modern eye – a bit like the discovery channel.

The other fun in writing a multi-genre novel was the increased areas of research. I won’t go into too much detail here as I have written another article which centers upon this element. Suffice as to say the more areas one includes in a story, the more one has to look up.

Regarding the historical details, I hit the books. I am a fan of history and truly enjoyed delving into the past. I’ve even been a spectator at a few jousts. As for horses; I’ve been a rider since I was sixteen and am now forty-nine – enough said. That leaves the witchcraft aspect. There, I contacted an author who frequently writes stories incorporating magic. Luckily, I hit the jackpot, and the good lady kept me on the Wiccan straight and narrow. I am proud to say that the lovely lady has since become a good friend.

When I started writing SOM, I didn’t consciously think about it being multi-genre. All I was interested in was the story I had in my head and translating that to the page. The problem of how, and who, to market it to, was at the feet of the publisher. Luckily for me, Wayward Ink was prepared to take a chance on a story that didn’t want to be pigeonholed. Hopefully, it will appeal to readers of all the genres. On the flip side, I also run the risk of none of them liking it. At the end of the day, I had to write the story that was within me. I hope you enjoy.


Title: Secret of the Manor
Author: Taylin Clavelli
Genre: Gay romance, mystery, paranormal, adventure
Length: Novel
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

2015NewAbout the Book

Warren Blake is an accountant at the pinnacle of his career. After accepting a new position he decides to settle in the scenic Cotswold village of Walmsley Hackett.  A village with a colourful history of myth, old wives tales and mystery.

One morning during his train ride into work, Warren notices a small quaint church which he becomes enchanted with. Curiousity compels him to find the church and when he finally does, he discovers an unmarked grave in the corner. Feeling sorry for its occupant, Warren becomes a frequent visitor.

Little does he know that the young man inside the coffin needs a champion and Warren is chosen.

What follows involves a ghostly medieval joust, witchcraft, love, and Warren risking his life.


Suddenly, a patch of mist marred his path, and Warren shivered. It was as if the droplets of water were crawling over his skin, tasting it, testing it. A sweet fragrance filled his nostrils, and he was sure he could hear the vapour hiss as it delved beneath his collar. A small branch came out of nowhere and thrashed Warren’s face, but he kept going. The fog enveloped the scratch, which stung like tiny needles plucking at his flesh before the pain disappeared, soothed into non-existence.

Argo stopped, rigid, and puffed loud and deep, his ears twitching in all directions. Warren could feel the rise and fall of his steed’s chest under his legs and was afraid to urge the beast anywhere until he settled. Warren breathed deep, too. Something was ahead and he had no idea what it was. His arms shook from adrenaline, and a bead of sweat ran from his brow.

Thump, thump, thump. His heart stuttered, torn between turning tail and forging on.

Argo’s ears abruptly focussed forward. Then he snorted and surged ahead. Warren ceased to be the master and became a passenger. Argo seemed to know where he was going. It was as if Warren were on a train with a single-track line, and someone had removed the brakes.

Argo puffed in excitement and upped his pace. It was all Warren could do to hang on.

To save his skin, Warren leaned against Argo’s neck and put his trust in his charger. All he could hear was the one-two-three, one-two-three thunderous beat of his horse in canter. One-two-three, one-two-three. Argo’s thick black neck surged forward in time with the beat. One-two-three, one-two-three. Long strands of mane licked at Warren’s face, and he grabbed a handful to steady himself. He almost lost his seat when Argo took off over a fallen tree and burst out of the woods into a clearing.

With a whinny and a rear, Argo announced his presence. His front legs pawed the air. Warren clung to the saddle and prayed.

Secret of the Manor Cover

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3 x Mega Swag Packs (Europe only) – Bullet USB, Keyring hip flask, Memo set, Mints, 3-in-1 Stylus pen keyring

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3 x Swag Packs – Memo set, Mints, 3-in-1 Stylus pen keyring

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2015NewAbout the author

Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.

Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.

Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.

Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.

Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.

Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:

Laughter – especially that of her children.

The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.

The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.

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