Castle of the Shimmering Sands by Georgette Overton

Naive and sublimely happy with the essentials of life, Valerie Hansen finds herself an heiress and a potential murder victim.

Valerie Hansen, a descendant of the Hightower nobility of England, has been raised to find joy in the simpler ways of life until she finds herself in a unique position. Her missing uncle, presumed dead, has left her the object of hostility by a family she has only known from the stories of her grandmother. She must determine who to trust within the family and those who serve them, including the mysterious man who was closest to her uncle and has been stalking her within her own home in the East. The accidents that befall her, the hidden passages and rooms, and the unusual history of the Hightower family come together in murder and mystery with a touch of humor.

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Oct. 5, 2010
  • Last updated Oct. 5, 2010
Castle of the Shimmering Sands
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  • Seringapatam's avatar
    Seringapatam wrote 2 years, 4 months ago
    Georgette. In a nut shell, its great..It flows so much and without any effort at all you seem to be able to be able to engage the reader without any further effort. I was hooked into this book no problem at all and other readers who are into this genre are going to love this. A really believable and delightful story. So so well done and I loved this and will be scoring this high. Sean Connolly British Army on ...
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  • georgigirl's avatar
    georgigirl Author wrote 2 years, 8 months ago
    Thank you for your comment. It has been a long time since I even checked Authonomy and coincidentally had been on the site only about an hour before your comment came to my email. I'm planning to download a revised edition of Castle I've worked on, and hopefully will be able to finish my book soon. It's funny too, that I was just reviewing earlier and thinking that why wouldn't she use an ATM card, but I think that when ...
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  • patricia mc a's avatar
    patricia mc a wrote 2 years, 8 months ago
    Passaic, New Jersey! I know I am going to love reading more about your 'Plain Jane.' Hopefully, I will soon learn her name. You have opened with an original and compelling hook and I will be back for more. Your style is very much your own and not reminiscent of authors I've read. Yet, you are easy to read. I did kind of stop when your character stops to buy Travelers Checks. Does anyone do that anymore? Even AAA has ...
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  • Retired user
    Wanttobeawriter [Retired] wrote 3 years, 6 months ago
    CASTLE OF THE SHIMMERING SANDS Wow. This is a book based on an interesting premise: would it be a good or a bad thing to learn you’ve inherited money? I like the way Valerie is so modest in her description of herself. Made me like her immediately. I think when you say she was relieved of her purse, that’s understated. Surely she’d be angry about that. The scenes where she tries to “fit into” her family are well written; I ...
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  • Nigel Fields's avatar
    Nigel Fields wrote 4 years ago

    Happy to reshelve this fine book.

  • Retired user
    katjay [Retired] wrote 4 years, 1 month ago

    Castle of the Shimmering Sands
    Hi Georgette, this is a lovely, entertaining story. Val is very appealing and you handle the 1st person POV with great skill. Good pace, great characters and the dialogue is spot on. A classic murder/mystery!
    Kat x Hens from Hell

  • Intriguing Trails's avatar
    Intriguing Trails wrote 4 years, 1 month ago
    Castle of the Shimmering Sands Premise, when a Plain Jane inherits a potential fortune she becomes a target for mayhem. Pitch - both long & short are very good. Plot - Through Ch 2 - The story takes off with the news of a disappearing uncle. Plain Jane hops a plane and meets a mountain of a man on-board. characters - good descriptions and very believable Mechanics - some of the sentences were rather involved with some comma splices. Other ...
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  • Orlando Furioso's avatar
    Orlando Furioso wrote 4 years, 2 months ago

    Greetings Georgette,

    I started reading and commented on CASTLE OF THE SHIMMERING SANDS for you, but I don't recall hearing back form you. Are you still active here? Were my comments OK? Let me know if you wish me to read more.

    Best regards


  • CarolinaAl's avatar
    CarolinaAl wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    I first read your marvelous story nearly eight months ago. I returned today to do a detailed critique of your preface and first chapter. General comments: A captivating start. A fascinating main character. Vivid visuals. Good tension. Good pacing. Specific comments on the preface: 1) You use the word 'others' three times in your opening paragraph. Is that intentional? If not, consider using an alternate word for at least one of the 'others.' 2) 'There were no strings attached' is ...
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  • Orlando Furioso's avatar
    Orlando Furioso wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    Ch 2 I lik,,e the description of the maid 'gliding gently through her tasks.' And I smiled at 'I wandered about the bedroom until...' Sounds like a prarie! Ach, and there is the gown on the bed! Dreams do come true.'Everything was new and a perfect fit' -- we are in utopia. And why not? We have to be able to imagine perfection to make progress towards it.And the notion of co-operating with the servant for fear of offending her ...
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  • PL Green's avatar
    PL Green wrote 4 years, 3 months ago

    Georgette, Just from reading your pitch I find myself wanting more. What a great way to capture a readers attention.

    Thanks for letting me look at your wonderful story.

    P. L. Green
    The Sorrow Within

  • Dwayne Kavanagh's avatar
    Dwayne Kavanagh wrote 4 years, 3 months ago

    This is good....full stop. The money worked. The voice was your strength. I think it was how you played the contrast in the opening paragraph that pulled me in. I'm thinking ego...nope. You proved that rather quickly, which made your character more empathetic. Good mystery hook with the Uncle. Although I don't read this genre, I wanted you to know how much I truly loved your writing! Very good indeed!


  • Orlando Furioso's avatar
    Orlando Furioso wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    It is a great privilege to visit this place and read fantastic stories from such a range of wonderful writers doing their best to make their mark. We are so lucky to be able to create as we do and to read others' efforts is the purest of joys. ch 1 V is one of us. We are with her on the plane and understand the annoyance of Mrs. Whozitz. She is unusually prone to eyes, thouse of the man ...
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  • Orlando Furioso's avatar
    Orlando Furioso wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    I'm in. I like the prologue. I too am a plain Jim and understand entirely the early comments. But that aspect is soon forgotten when the intrigue takes over and events accelerate rapidly until whoosh, we are off to the airport. The arousal of V's curiosity is natural and understandable and arouses its like in the reader. We want to know. We wld do the same as her. We have to find out. The Brit angle intriuges as I am ...
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  • Retired user
    Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 4 years, 3 months ago

    A suggestion is to use italics for "Well, Plain Jane has arrived..." Great style of writing. Backed. Chuck

  • Bill Carrigan's avatar
    Bill Carrigan wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    Dear Georgette, I promised to read more of your novel and to back it if it continues to sing. And it does. There's one passage, though, that needs some editing. In your Chapter 4 (Authonomy's 5). Cedric docks in S. America, sails for the West Indies around the Horn (so he must have been in the Pacific Ocean). But next he's on the WEST coast of S. America (?). He sails north and reaches the West Indies (!). Then he ...
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  • Walden Carrington's avatar
    Walden Carrington wrote 4 years, 3 months ago
    Georgette, Castle of the Shimmering Sands was a pleasure to review. You have a richly detailed writing style and a protagonist with an intriguing family history. As I read the preface, I only wished the cashier's check had been made out to me so I would no longer have to be concerned about minimum balances. Your descriptions create vivid images and one has to slow down and take notice of all the details relayed in the prose. I think Valerie ...
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  • D'Osborne Hughes's avatar
    D'Osborne Hughes wrote 4 years, 4 months ago

    Hey there georgigirl

    I expect you get tired of people introducing themselves with that, but it is a fond memory from my youth.

    I have just read your preface and it got my interest going; you give enough of the charactor forward with lots of interest and questions and the last paragraph made me want more, which I will no doubt do, but for now you are on my watch list.

    David (The Last Celt)

  • Bill Carrigan's avatar
    Bill Carrigan wrote 4 years, 4 months ago
    Dear Georgette, I've read nine chapters of your novel with pleasure and admiration. The title seems apt, since it all sounds like a shimmering fairy tale, but then again . . . the sinister events . . . I really don't know what to make of it yet, except that it's very well written and keeps me in suspense. Tonight I'll read the other chapters you've shown. We both need lots of backing if we're ever going to make it ...
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  • Mike Kavanagh's avatar
    Mike Kavanagh wrote 4 years, 4 months ago
    Hi Georgi, This is extremely well-written and grammatically perfect which enables your flowing, pacey dialogue to really shine. The plot is intriguing and opens a lot of questions that I'm sure will be answered later as I read on. I usually try to offer some suggested improvements but as yet I haven't found any areas to comment on. I have no doubt that you will reach the editor's desk with this novel and wish you the very best of luck ...
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