As Halloween approaches in a flurry of fiery leaves and gathering gloom, the cold air crackles in the shivery wake of Autumn and her restless spirits. The Season of the Ghost is upon us, and Central Valley podcast Ghosthropology, hosted by folklorist Matthew Armstrong and produced by his wife Kaylia Metcalfe, is here to tell you a ghost story.
After inheriting the Spirit Canyon Lodge from her late Aunt Lily, former journalist Zo Jones has been enjoying the transition into managing the Happy Camper gift shop in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota. To celebrate Halloween, Zo has organized an in-store book talk and signing by inspirational author Marianne Morgan. Although “Embracing Your Inner Witch” is meant to motivate women into reclaiming their female power, Marianne readily admits to being an actual practicing witch. While suitable for the town’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend celebration, it does stir up a mild protest from the town’s busy-body helicopter mom.
In Haunted Rails: Tales of Ghost Trains, Phantom Conductors, and other Railroad Spirits, Matthew L. Swayne offers three-score tales of hauntings at train museums, stations, tunnels, bridges, and accident sites. The bibliography lists twice as many sources. This slim-ish volume is exhaustively researched, bringing together story as well as tales of hauntings from across the United States (even Hawaii gets a paranormal mention) and Canada.
I am always excited about the release of the annual “magical” mystery anthology. The Curses and Cauldrons collection, released in September, highlights many of my favorite authors and some new ones I have begun to explore. I was able to connect with a couple of my favorite authors and ask a few questions about writing.
& Jeri Westerson
The Darkest Gateway is the fourth and final book of the Booke of Hidden series by Jeri Westerson. The third book, Shadows in the Mist, left us hanging so I was anxiously awaiting this one.
Just like it says on her business card, Ellie Wilde’s Eleanor’s Cleansing Service rids homes of whatever is haunting her clients. If that happens to be rats in the attic or mischievous teenagers playing pranks, at the end of the day everyone is still satisfied. It, of course, helps that Ellie dresses for the part and enhances her efforts with a cold-air blasting portable air conditioner and 21st century technology.
October is a busy time of year for the 11th Hour Paranormal Research Society (PRS). Whether it’s a presentation on the paranormal at A Book Barn in Clovis or an appearance at Fresno’s Gaia Fest Fall 2017, the Halloween season keeps the members of PRS on their toes. Kings River Life caught up with member Kimi Lopez to get the scoop on the organization’s most active month.
In 2013, I read about the misadventures of a self-absorbed, teen Latina whose skin turns gray (and she wants to eat raw flesh) in Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, which introduced me to the unusual world of C. A. Verstraete.
Booke of the Hidden is the first book in a new urban fantasy series by Jeri Westerson--whose Crispin Guest medieval noir books I love! I was confident that I would enjoy this new series as well-and I was right.
& VIctoria Laurie
It’s amazing to see how far Abigail Cooper has come since her first appearance in 2004’s Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye. Fourteen books ago Abby had a small psychic reading practice and was a self-declared P.I., as in Psychic Intuitive. Since then Abby has become a true professional private investigator in Austin, partnered in a practice with her best friend Candice Fusco and taking on clients that include the FBI.