Thursday Themes

Thursday Themes – Penny Hampson

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I’m delighted to welcome Penny Hampson to my blog today. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed Penny’s historical romances, but she’s here today to talk about her latest novel, The Unquiet Spirit.

Thank you for inviting me on your blog, Jo. It’s great to share with you some of the themes behind my first contemporary novel, The Unquiet Spirit.

For me, an important element of any story is the setting, so I love it when I read something set in a place I know. Even when I’m not familiar with a particular location, it’s great when an author manages to convey the atmosphere and feel of a place so that I can imagine myself there. That’s what I strive to achieve in my stories.

Well, one of my favourite places is Falmouth in Cornwall, so what could be better than setting my story there? It was also a good excuse for a research trip to refresh my memory on some of the locations. The apartment that belongs to my heroine’s parents is based on one I stayed in a couple of years ago. Set right on the pier, during my stay it afforded wonderful views of the spectacular Red Arrows display during Falmouth week. But beautiful settings can also serve as a contrast. In one tense scene, Kate is on the pier gazing out across the foam-flecked water of Falmouth harbour to the distant St Mawes and its castle. Unfortunately, she has rather more on her mind than the beautiful seascape before her!

Buildings too are important. Alas, I’ve never visited the house that was the inspiration for The Beeches, Kate’s unexpected inheritance. It’s not even in Cornwall, if I remember rightly, being a house I found on the internet. But it certainly took my fancy, and I reckoned, because of its great age, it would surely have a mystery in its past and perhaps even a ghost or two.

Another important setting is the city of Bath, another of my favourite places. Tracing the origins of a mystery portrait takes Kate here, and it is in Bath that her relationship with Tom takes an important step. I loved taking her across the city, along Great Pulteney Street and through the tourist crowded streets. 

Secrets are another theme of my story. Both protagonists have secrets that they are reluctant to share, and The Beeches of course has its own secrets. What happens when these are revealed? Will Kate’s opinion of Tom’s character change when she learns about his past?

But it is a two hundred year old secret that sets the whole story in motion and launches Kate on her quest. A hidden diary, a clandestine love affair, and a missing portrait all have their part to play in the puzzle that Kate needs to unravel.

About the book:

A new beginning. A house with a past. A man with secrets.

It was a dream come true…that turned into a nightmare.

Kate Wilson thinks moving back to Cornwall might be the answer to her prayers. But it isn’t long before she begins to have doubts. Is the house she inherited from her godmother haunted? Or is she going out of her mind? With a stalker, threats, and attempted break-ins, Kate’s troubles multiply.

Then there’s her enigmatic neighbour, the brooding Tom Carbis; a man with secrets he doesn’t wish to share. Can she trust him when he says he wants to help?

In her quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding her, will Kate uncover more than she bargains for?

Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Unquiet Spirit is a gripping suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Fans of Barbara Erskine will enjoy this tale.

To buy The Unquiet Spirit:

About the author:

Some time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.

Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the RNA and  three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a traditional Regency romance. Other books in the same genre soon followed.

But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog:


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