Dark Humour and Magical Realism

Debbie Young's Reading Life BlogA couple of weeks ago I was at the hugely enjoyable Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. In my next post I’ll be talking about a panel I was on there. But today, I want to mention a blog post (review) by Debbie Young, who founded the litfest – for which we’re all very grateful!

The review talks about my collection of surreal short stories: Watching Charlotte Brontë Die. WCBD - EStevenson small

Do check out the review here. If you’d like to read the short stories, they’re available on Amazon at a bargain price (£0.99 or $1.41 for the ebook). Get yourself a copy today. Here is a very short teaser from one of the stories.

Anna Grail - short extract from Watching Charlotte Bronte Die

You might also want to check out Debbie’s writing blog and find out about the books she’s written (see below). Don’t miss out!

Debbie Young's books

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Virtual Book Club Interview: Shadows of the Lost Child

Author Jane Davis BlogThis is just a quick post to say thanks to author Jane Davis for hosting me on the Virtual Book Club pages of her blog.

Here I get the chance to talk a bit about my writing but particularly about my second novel, Shadows of the Lost Child.

The book is a partly historical mystery set in a town loosely based on historic York, with a time travel angle.

The historical aspect explores the dark parts of Edwardian England, with poverty, prostitution and the pawn shop featuring; not to mention The Keepsake Arms, the local pub, where Miranda works.

We also meet Tom, a local boy, and one of the key characters, who comes from a tough part of town but is plucky, resourceful and loyal to his friends.

Then he meets Alice, and is wary but entranced.

Alice comes from the present day, but Tom doesn’t know that…

To find out more about Shadows and my writing, see the post  on Jane’s blog.

And while you’re there, you might also want to check out Jane’s books – they look very intriguing…

 jdbooks

Finally, find out more about Shadows of the Lost Child on Pinterest

Or on Amazon.

http://amzn.to/1as6vpk (UK)

http://amzn.to/1Tfu6bo (United States)

 

Books, ships and of course a SALE

Hi everyone

Just a quick message to let you know there’s currently a SALE on Ship of Haunts: the other Titanic story.

Now at 99p/$1.55 until the end of 29 May.

So don’t miss out. Get your ebook copy from Amazon and enjoy some bank holiday (or other) reading!

Warning: this is a complex, time crossing novel with various strands. Are you up to the challenge?!

To learn more about the book see Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1dqrM48

What People Have Said

‘original’, ‘hard to put down’ and ‘I recommend this book to people who love a book with a sense of history or who have a creative imagination.’ (Reenie’s Book Blog)

‘Even those who don’t really go for ghosts and the supernatural will enjoy this book because the characters are so captivating, and the historical events are well described and conform to what we know from history. A thoroughly enjoyable book!’ (V. Salvemini, Amazon Review)

About Ship of Haunts

Carrin Smith remembers a past life – on Titanic. And now she’s being stalked by a ghost from the ship.

Lily the ghost is searching for her cousin. She’s crossed time to find Lucie, but now time is running out.

One hundred years after Titanic sank, Carrin’s shipmates are gathered together to remember the ship. But who can she trust – and can she even trust herself?

For Carrin has a terrible secret, but at least Lily is on her side… Or so she thinks…

From the heat of the harsh Australian sun to the darkest depths of the ocean floor, Ship of Haunts is a novel of conflicts. Carrin is scared and Lily is desperate, both of them in a race against time. Will they manage to make it through, including surviving the vengeful Mad?

Get your Copy Here

http://amzn.to/18TtTdH (UK)

http://amzn.to/1emctJY (US)

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.Ellie Stevenson, author

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

Ghost Stories and Shadows Online

Firstly, thank you, all of you (1036 people – amazing!) who entered the recent Goodreads Giveaway for Shadows of the Lost Child, my most recent novel. Congratulations to the lucky winners, your book will be winging its way towards you soon; and commiserations to those who didn’t.

But the good news is… the ebook version is now on SALE, and for a limited time, is Aleph's house in the novel Shadows of the Lost Childavailable at a reduced price: check it out here:

http://tinyurl.com/qdolfd6 (UK) & http://tinyurl.com/ks3ksng (U. States)

OR, via http://authl.it/B00NGSSVM2 (all countries).

I hope you enjoy it. There’s a missing boot, and a mystery to solve and a girl called Alice who crosses time to meet a boy called Tom – and will there be a happy ending? You’ll just have to read it!

In the meantime, here are two ghost stories – not unfortunately, with happy endings, but of interest, especially if you’ve been to Warwickshire. Don’t go alone!

White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden, 2010 by Alexander P. KappThe White Swan Hotel, Henley-in-Arden

Henley-in-Arden, not that far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is a small town, with one main High Street. On this street is the White Swan Hotel; the present building dates from around 1600, but there’s thought to have been an inn on this site since the 14th century. At one time the site was apparently a stopping point on the stage coach route between Birmingham and London.

The ghost was a woman called Virginia Black, who fell down the stairs, having quarrelled with a man in 1845. She may have been a ‘lady of the night’ and he may have been a client of hers. It’s said she roams the hotel’s corridor, lingering outside room 17…

In case you should visit the inn yourself, she hasn’t been seen for some time!

The inn was once the site of the local court, in the mid-late 19th century. The courtyard was used for public hangings, and a ghost was said to have lingered there for some years, after she was hung, for murder.

Charlecote Park, 2013 by Karen.stepanyan (Wikimedia Commons)Charlecote Park

Also not far from Stratford-upon-Avon, is Charlecote Park, now a National Trust property and open to visitors. The house itself is said to be haunted, but so is the lake, by the ghost of a woman, possibly a servant, who may have drowned herself there in the past.

According to the story, her shadowy figure drifts from the house to the site of the lake, throws herself in, then disappears. Oddly enough, there’s never a splash, or ripples on the water.

Shadows of the Lost Child (novel)

 

Get your own ghosts and shadows to take home with an ebook version of Shadows of the Lost Child;  now on SALE until Saturday 28 February. Available from Amazon at:

http://tinyurl.com/qdolfd6 (UK) & http://tinyurl.com/ks3ksng (U. States)

 

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.Ellie Stevenson, author

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the article must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

Sources

Images

Want to share this post on Twitter? Here’s a suggested tweet for your timeline:

  wth  & SALE   – UK &  – US

Aleph’s House

Aleph's house in the novel Shadows of the Lost ChildOn 18 February, I’ll be talking about my latest novel, Shadows of the Lost Child, at Acomb Library, York (UK). As you’ll know, if you’ve visited this blog before today, the novel is set in a fictional city, Curdizan, which was inspired by historic York.

At Acomb Library on 18th, apart from reading from the novel, I’ll be talking about York’s part in the story, including the legends and history of York, particularly focusing on Bedern and Hungate.

If you’re in the area and want to attend, contact Acomb Library on 01904 552651, email acomb@exploreyork.org.uk The event is on from 7-8 pm.

See you there!

‘No, Mr Jones, they weren’t tourists, or even the kids who live around here. The children you heard were the School Lane ghosts.’

Aleph Jones is one of the main characters in the novel. When writing about his (haunted?) home, I based it on this very real house in the picture below.

Aleph's House in #ShadowsoftheLostChild
Sadly, this house is no longer there, but was once in Bedern, through the arch and not very far from Goodramgate.

Note that there is no suggestion that the original house was haunted!

Image courtesy of YAYAS (Evelyn Collection)

Was Borley Haunted? It wasn’t just the house

Borley Rectory in an earlier timeYou’ll know I’ve talked about Borley before, probably the most famous haunting of all. I thought I’d covered most of the story.

But it seems there’s always a little bit more and I wanted to share this snippet with you. For those who don’t know much about Borley Rectory, you can read the earlier posts here:

Borley Rectory: the house and its ghosts – part one

Borley Rectory: the house and its ghosts – part two

Now for the postscript.

A London journalist, Montague Eleman, who’d heard of the case while a serving soldier, hoped to sell his story to the dailies, and once demobbed, set off for Borley to see it for himself. He was a little bit late. By the time he got there it was 1946, and the house by then had been demolished. After walking around the rubble for a while and chatting to any people he could find, he left for London, carrying a piece of wood with him – the wood was charred (because of the fire) and possibly from the roof or the floor. The next nine years were something of a nightmare.

Arriving back in London that evening, he left the wood on the mantelpiece, in the room he used at his sister’s house and then went down to supper, alone. He heard a noise and when he looked up his sister was there, claiming she’d seen a nun in his bedroom. It didn’t stop there.

In the nights that followed, Eleman and his family heard quite a few noises, ranging from screams to a clock chiming, all quite close to where the wood was. But eventually, the noise settled down.

When several weeks later, Eleman moved and took up lodgings in a seaside town, there were several more incidents, the doorbell rang when no-one was there, and a dark-clad person crossed the landing. Needless to say, he’d brought the wood with him.

Eleman finally sussed that whenever he moved to a new location and took the wood, the disturbance increased, but then eased off, as if whatever it was that had been disturbed had now settled down. In 1955, after nine long years he gave the piece of timber away. Nobody knows where that wood is now.

Or maybe they do…Borley Rectory after the fire

Borley’s story is quite exceptional, it transcends time, people and the place, as we’ve just seen. But this wasn’t the first time the haunting had extended beyond the house.

In 1928, (Guy) Eric Smith and his wife Mabel moved into Borley after being abroad. They didn’t know that other vicars had refused the living, because of the house’s reputation. Like other residents before and since, the Smiths experienced some strange incidents. A mirror on Mrs Smith’s dressing table began tapping whenever she came near it, and this continued after they left Borley.

Some years later, in 1937, the Smiths were living in a village in Kent, when they were visited by Sidney Glanville. Glanville was one of Price’s researchers. He held the mirror in his hands. A week after he’d visited the Smiths and held the mirror he received a letter asking if he’d brought a ghost with him because ‘the mirror has started tapping again.’ He never went back to the house to find out.

Ghosts aren’t always tied to a house.

Shadows of the Lost Child - a novel and ghost storyMy latest novel, a partly historical mystery, with a time travel element, also centres around a house: there are ghosts in the story, but are the ghosts connected to the house? You’ll have to read the book to find out…

Article written by Ellie Stevenson, author.

This article is copyrighted material. Brief extracts including a link to this site can be quoted but the Ellie Stevenson, authorarticle must not be reproduced in full anywhere without the author’s written permission.

Want to share this post on Twitter? Here’s a suggested tweet for your timeline:

Even more about #BorleyRectory: with #thehauntedhistorian. Can ghosts follow you? http://tinyurl.com/q8t4p28

Sources

Adams, P. & Brazil, E. Extreme Hauntings: Britain’s most terrifying ghosts, History Press, 2013

Glanville, S. The Strange Happenings at Borley Rectory (originally in American Fate magazine, 1951)

Images (Wikimedia Commons)

Borley Rectory before the fire

Borley Rectory as a ruin