Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for a Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Guest Post: The Siege of Ladysmith by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Background

The siege of Ladysmith, a town in British controlled Natal, was a lengthily engagement between the British and the Boers during the Great South African War (Second Anglo Boer War).

When the negotiations between the two Boer republics and Britain broke down and war was declared on the 11th of October 1899, 21,000 Boers advanced into Natal from all sides. By way of a countermeasure, Lieutenant Sir George White deployed his British troops around the garrison town of Ladysmith. As the Boers surrounded Ladysmith, White engaged in the Battle of Ladysmith with ended in disaster for the British with 1,200 men killed, wounded or captured.

The town was then besieged for 118 days from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900. On the 15th of December 1899 the first British relief force under General Redvers Henry Buller was defeated at the Battle of Colenso.

On Christmas Day 1899, the Boers fired into Ladysmith a carrier shell without a fuse. It contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Flags and the message ‘compliments of the season’.

Following repeated attempts by Buller to fight his way across the Tugela River, he finally broke through the Boer positions on the 27th of February 1900. On the evening of the 28th of February, the first party of the relief column, under Major Hubert Gough and including Winston Churchill, rode into Ladysmith.

Map from Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Ladysmith

Extract from A Ghost and His Gold

Robert’s Diary – 13 January 1900

Today, Richard arrived in a state of great excitement.

“The Boer besiegers of Ladysmith launched an attack on the British defenders last week and it was decisively repulsed.”

This was an encouraging piece of news.

Ladysmith is a large town in Natal. The last news I’d heard about it related to the disastrous Battle of Ladysmith on the 30th of October last year.

 A large British force had gathered in the town under Lieutenant General Sir George White, an elderly officer who had served mainly in India. He ordered a sortie of his entire force to capture the Boer forces who were stealthily surrounding the town.

This approach resulted in complete defeat for the British. His troops were driven back into the town after having suffered losses of one thousand two hundred men, killed, wounded or captured.

News of a defeat of the Boer besiegers was encouraging, especially in the context of Mafeking’s own besieged status.

“The men are all celebrating the news,” continued Richard, his eyes sparkling with pleasure. “The dispatch said that sixty-five Boers were killed during the attack and another one hundred and twenty wounded. “It also said that on Christmas Day, the Boers fired a carrier shell into the town without a fuse. It contained a Christmas pudding, two Union Jacks and a message saying, ‘compliments of the season.’ Isn’t that hilarious? The Boers do have a sense of humour, don’t they?”

I grinned back at him, his enthusiasm was contagious.

“That is funny. I told you many of the Boers are intelligent and witty.”

“There is also a poem that was written by one of the people in the town at the beginning of the siege. It is aimed at the Boer military leader, Kommandant-General Piet Joubert.”

Richard stopped speaking to pull a crumpled piece of newspaper from his short-pants pocket. A collection of other items came out with it, including a bit of string and a nail.

He’s still such a boy. He should be going to school every day and playing sport with his mates, not fighting in a war.

Opening the paper out, he smoothed it with his hands and started reading.

To General Slim Piet

Hail mighty Oom: Jew Boer

Proud leader of a dirty crew

Who shell at night instead of fight

as savage Bourbon Tartars do.

Your deeds of valour at the sound

the nations well may quake

The sick and wounded down you strike

The Church and Town Hall break.

The nature folk you blandly strip

of cattle clothes and money

and thus you prove you’re closely bred

To sow and wolf or monkey.

Oh slippery one at last you’ve hit

The biggest marks in town

Days twenty four you’ve done your best

To shell the Red Cross down.

But still it waves and up its back

Stands honour, brave and true

Our warrior lads but wait the word

to meet and share and square with you.

“What does slim mean?” he asked when he’d finished.

“In South African English it means someone who has outwitted you. It is not an insult.”

His forehead wrinkled with effort as he attempted to understand the poem’s satire.

“The use of the word slim in this context is satire. The poet is ridiculing the general by saying his is clever and then clearly informing him that the shells he is firing into Ladysmith are only hitting soft targets like the churches, hospitals and civilians instead of the military. The poet is essentially criticising him for his stupidity while praising him for being clever.”

“I understand now. Thanks for explaining.”

The corners of his mouth turned up in a broad smile as he silently re-read the poem with greater understanding.

Seeing this boy learn and develop is rewarding and I’ll miss him when the siege eventually ends, and I move on from Mafeking. Assuming it ever does end; it is relentless and endless right now.

The poem is from “The War Report, The Anglo-Boer War Through the Eyes of the Burghers” by J.E.H. Grobler


A Ghost and His Gold
by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

About A Ghost And His Gold


A Ghost and His Gold
Supernatural Historical
Stand-Alone Novel
Publisher TSL Publications (1/27/2021)
Number of Pages 264 pages
ISBN 9781914245039

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

About Robbie Eaton Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate children’s picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.

Children’s picture books – available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle):
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook

Middle school books:
Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas)
While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)

Poetry book:
Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)

Supernatural fantasy YA novel:
Through the Nethergate

Supernatural historical adult novel:

A Ghost and His Gold

Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre):
Spellbound
Nightmareland
Dark Visions
Wings & Fire

Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth):
Spirits of the West
Whispers of the Past

Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley)
Death Among Us

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:

Website https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19631306.Roberta_Eaton_Cheadle

Twitter https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

Purchase Links – Paperback: https://tslbooks.uk/product/a-ghost-and-his-gold-roberta-eaton-cheadle/https://amzn.to/3sqtkBH

Ebook: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/robert-eaton-cheadle/a-ghost-and-his-gold/ebook/product-d858km.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Author:

I'm a librarian at a public library and author of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, and the 5 books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, and NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks by Solstice Publishing and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My standalone psychological thriller, SEA SCOPE, and my medical mystery, MEMORY MAKERS, are published by NEXT CHAPTER PUBLISHING who has also published my latest book, the time-travel thriller, TIMES RELATIVE. My non-fiction cat book, PET POSTS: THE CAT CHATS, features blog posts and articles "written" by 2 of my current cats and 2 previous ones about feline health and behavior issues told from a cats' point of view. I have also completed the first book of a new cozy series, THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY, Buttercup Bend Mystery #1, for which I am currently seeking representation. I am a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Long Island Authors Group, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 3 cats.

8 thoughts on “Guest Post and Blog Tour for a Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

  1. Fabulous guest post. I like the detail about the string and nail in Richard’s pocket. Yes, it’s so much like a youngster. I’m reading A Ghost and His Gold, having fun with it!

    Like

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