All posts tagged: ghost stories

Amy ShEARN talks about her sublime new book, UNSEEN CITY, BROOKLYN, how she believes in ghosts, old houses, books she was influenced by and asks me a question, too

By Leslie Lindsay  A multigenerational tapestry of homes, neighborhoods, ghosts, and more in this bold and atmospheric novel. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ When I heard UNSEEN CITY by Amy Shearn (Red Hen Press, September 2020), I knew I had to get my hands on it. It’s a bit of a love letter to NYC (Brooklyn, in particular), but also to those childhood books that shaped us as readers (and writers!) and also about a little-known neighborhood called Weeksville. But it’s also about love and grief and ghosts and oh gosh…it’s just so good. Meg Rhys is a self-identified spinster librarian. She lives alone–with her beloved cat–in a rent-controlled Brooklyn apartment. On Friday evenings, she grabs her pile of holds from the library and bikes home, staying in most of the weekend, because that’s how she likes it. But she’s mourning the loss of her dead sister, who died tragically in an accident. She soon becomes obsessed with a library patron who is researching a possibly haunted house. His house. Rather, his parents. That house has it’s own story to …

COMING SOON IN PAPERBACK–THE SUNDOWN MOTEL, set in the 1980s and today, a run-down roadside motel teeming with ghosts, mysteries of the past, more

By Leslie Lindsay  An atmospheric and troubling mystery set in upstate New York at a run-down roadside motel teeming with ghosts–both literal and figurative.  NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!  ~WEEKEND READING | ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ THRILLER SPOTLIGHT Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of THE BROKEN GIRLS.  New York Times Bestseller USA Today Bestseller  NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, NY. But something isn’t right at the motel, something haunting and scary. Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and to visit the motel, where she …

The most unusual, surreal, disturbingly real read I’ve ever experienced. Leanne Shapton on her collage-style fragmented writing, houses, more in GUEST BOOK: Ghost Stories

By Leslie Lindsay A one-of-a-kind, truly unique reading experience, GUESTBOOK: Ghost Stories will alight and frighten and also leave a deep residue begging for another look.   Since publishing her first book of drawings 15 years ago, Leanne Shapton has amassed a devoted following among critics and fans alike. A ground-breaking visionary, and multi-talented artist with an illustrious career in design and publishing, Shapton is unparalleled in her ability to weave entirely original narratives out of images and text. Her earlier works have earned her National Book Critics Circle award for her illustrated memoir, SWIMMING STUDIES and WOMEN IN CLOTHES was a NYT bestseller. Now, blisteringly original artist, Leanne Shapton’s GUESTBOOK (Riverhead, March 2019) isn’t quite an art book, isn’t quite a traditional narrative, but here, she effortlessly and brilliantly combines so many different art forms into one highly intriguing experience. “Shapton uses ephemera not to catalog our social ills but to collect evidence of well-heeled lives at risk of being forgotten or brushed aside. The effect is diffuse and eerie, more often mood than assertion or …

Wednesdays with Writers: Master of suspense and eerie ghost tales, Simone St. James tackles her most suspenseful tale to date about friendship, secrets, cold cases, the Holocaust, decaying boarding schools, and so much more in THE BROKEN GIRLS

By Leslie Lindsay  A chilling and disturbing tale of secrets, friendship, justice and…a ghost at an abandoned boarding school for girls… I tore through THE BROKEN GIRLS. It has all the elements I absolutely adore in a book: great, atmospheric writing, a gutsy protagonist, an old decaying building, secrets, mysteries and a ghostly haunt. Told in alternating POVs–and time periods–(1950s and 2014), THE BROKEN GIRLS is a break-out suspense novel from the award-winning author of THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE. If you’ve read that one, you’ll see how the style is similar, yet different. This  one is more suspenseful, more action-driven, but the writing is just as good . I love how St. James resurrects the history of the land where the old boarding house sits. The story is definitely eerie and unsettling, but handled in such a realistic and believable way. What if ghosts were really just manifestations of things that haunt you and not something beyond your control? THE BROKEN GIRLS touches on just that. Throw in a cold murder case from 1994, …

Wednesdays with Writers: Historic ‘dummy boards’ come to life in Laura Purcell’s eerie double-historical Gothic ghost tale, THE SILENT COMPANIONS; braiding time periods, woman’s mental health in the Victorian era and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  A Gothic, foreboding Victorian ghost story set in a crumbling mansion among dual-historical time periods.  Already published to rave reviews in the U.K., Laura Purcell’s THE SILENT COMPANIONS (Penguin Books, Trade Paperback Original; on-sale March 6, 2018) is a mesmerizingly creepy Victorian Gothic that will have you staying up all night—and perhaps checking to make sure your door is locked! When Elsie Livingstone marries Rupert Bainbridge, she is believed she is destined for a life of luxury. He’s handsome, a bit older than she, and quiet handsome. But he dies shortly into their marriage. Elsie finds she’s pregnant and alone in her late husband’s crumbling family estate Somewhere in England (near London, I assume). The family estate is not very inviting. The servants are resentful and a little rough around the edges. The villagers are suspicious of the old place and feel it’s cursed; they refuse to work there. Elsie has only her deceased husband’s awkward female cousin, Sarah for companionship…or does she? Could there be other ‘companions’ inhabiting the home, too? Told in …

Write On, Wednesday: Paul Tremblay on his post-modern, secular take on exorcisms, peanut M&Ms, New England, being a ‘card-carrying scared-y cat’ & A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS

By Leslie Lindsay  For one New England family, their world is about to turn into a nightmare. At first blush, A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS (June 2, 2015) appears to be a chilling psychological drama, but emerges a modern horror after a descent into madness. But just who is among the mentally unstable? Playing fast and loose with the supernatural, religion, and psychological storytelling, this dark, gothic narrative will surly capture the imaginations of many this hallowed month. I’m thrilled to have Paul with us today. Leslie Lindsay: Thanks for popping by, Paul. I read A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS in about two days…I got an early inkling that things weren’t quite right and wanted to get to the bottom of it. Was that your intention all along—a sort of horror-mystery? What inspired the story? Paul Tremblay: No problem. Thanks for letting me clutter up your online space. Back in February of 2013 I was doing research for a different novel and I stumbled across some very cool essays on the movie The Exorcist, and …

Write On, Wednesday: 4 BIG Questions for Writers

By Leslie Lindsay Just when I was thinking of what I ought to post for my weekly writing post, I got this tag (Tweet) from a colleage, David Ozab who writes in the Pacific Northwest. It has to do with four questions that are floating around in the blogosphere about–what else–writing!  At the end of this post I’ll tag three more writers. Question 1: What are you currently working on? I often have my hand in many pots, but this time I have learned to focus on one project at a time. Okay, well that’s not entirely true with two young kids, an aging basset hound, and well everything else that needs doing. But you want to know what I am writing?! Oh, that’s easy. A ghost story. Oh, you want more information? Okay, how about a ghost story based on an urban legend originating in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ll call it a “Midwestern Gothic.”  But there is so much more going on: orphans, miscarriages, the ghosts of Christmas’s past (Well, what I’m getting at is: most …

Write On, Wednesday: Author Wendy Webb Shares Insights on First Lines, Metaphorical Ghosts, and More

By Leslie Lindsay I am pleased as punch to welcome bestselling Minnesota author Wendy Webb to our literary community today. Ms. Webb pens novels of gothic suspense set in mystical locales where buried family secrets bubble to the surface, seamlessly weaving the past with the present. L.L.: Wendy, thank you for being with us today. I just completed THE TALE OF HALCYON CRANE, your debut into fiction and loved it. The beginning of the book completely tugged at me, urging me to read more. In fact one of the first few lines reads like this, “I was called to a tiny island in the middle of the Great Lakes by a dead woman.” What, in your opinion is so important about the first page of a novel? W.W.: For me, the first page of a novel, even the first paragraphs, are crucial. When I’m in a bookstore browsing, especially when I’m looking at books by an author whose work I’m unfamiliar with, I usually know within the first pages whether I’m going to like it …