Jenny Kane & Jennifer Ash

Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: nonfiction

On Ghosts and History: Patrick Whitehurst

Today, I’d like to welcome fellow historian, writer, and friend, Patrick Whitehurst, to my blog.

Grab a coffee and put your feet up. It’s time to take five minutes out of your day to read about his journey into ghosts and history.

Over to you Patrick…

It’s hard to remember when I first decided to tackle a book about ghosts, particularly one that focuses on my childhood home along the central coast of California. From my earliest memories I was aware of ghostly encounters and haunted places, likely due to the sheer volumes of such stories in Monterey County. I grew up in Seaside, California, and moved to Arizona at the age of 22. From there I carried the memories of those ghostly tales with me, not to mention beat up copies of author Randall Reinstedt’s books of paranormal tales of Monterey. For a young man accustomed to such things, I was surprised to learn there were no such books in northern Arizona, though there were plenty of stories. I rectified that with a little self-published (and long out of print) book called Legends, Ghosts & Superstitions of Williams and the Grand Canyon. While I’ve learned a lot about writing since then, in both fiction and nonfiction, my love for all things paranormal has remained constant. And in early 2019, after having moved back to the California coast, I set out in earnest to explore the haunted places of Monterey County.

Haunted Monterey County is a detailed love letter of sorts. It takes a journalistic look at the ghost stories, some truly terrifying, along the shores and interior of this celebrated, luxurious piece of California while at the same time offering historical insight to the area’s rich history. For me, writing about history and its connection to the paranormal was an opportunity I couldn’t resist, a chance to reminisce with my childhood self about those chilling stories I knew so well and connect it to the history I love to write about as an adult, examples of which can be found in my Images of America books. It also offered a chance to provide new stories of paranormal incidents along the central coast, as well as updating stories that have been around for some time.

I’ve dedicated the book to Mr. Reinstedt as a way to thank him for opening my eyes to the strange and bizarre side of human existence. I was also lucky the book sparked the interest of California artist and fellow history fiend Paul Van de Carr, who provided a number of fantastic art pieces for the book. It’s my hope Haunted Monterey County inspires future historians and ghost hunters just as I was inspired as a child, under the bedsheets, in the dead of night, so many years ago.

Haunted Monterey County is now available on pre-order from the History Press. It will be released on 30th September 2019.

My website – https://patrickwhitehurst.com/

Arcadia site for the book – https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467142359

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Monterey-County-America-ebook/dp/B07W62KTGJ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=haunted+monterey+county&qid=1568223709&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

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Many thanks Patrick. Fabulous blog.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x

 

World Book Day: My Favourite Reads.

It’s World Book Day today!!

Having spent a fabulous weekend at the Stoke Lodge Hotel, near Dartmouth (Devon, UK), celebrating World Book Day early with the wonderful Annette Shaw from Devon Life magazine – hearing a wide variety of talks from all sides of the writing world- as well as from those whose jobs are made so much easier by sharing the joy of reading – I thought I’d share my favourite books with you.

As a child I read from an early age. Once I’d discovered the joy of books I never looked back. I would spend many happy hours locked in the world of The Folk of the Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton), with the likes of Moonface, Silky and Saucepan Man. I explored the imagination of Roald Dahl with The BFG. I got lost in the tales of British Myths and Legends, and walked through the trees with The Animals of Farthing Wood (Colin Dann).

By the time my teens arrived, I was seldom without a Robin of Sherwood novel (Richard Carpenter/Robin May/Anthony Horowitz), and I read Ivanhoe so often the cover began to fall off the book.

The book that stuck with me the most however- one I recall my final year primary school teacher reading to us a class each day before home time – was The Christmas Carol by Dickens. I can’t begin to describe how much I love that book. I have several copies of it, from children’s Ladybird editions, to one beautiful work written in a calligraphic style.

It took me into a world of Victorian realism, hope and magic that was far removed from the awfulness of being a shy child with low self esteem in the 1980’s.

As I grew, my tastes expanded, and now it’s a rare day when I don’t have a murder mystery or a chick lit novel awaiting my attention by the side of the bed. Whenever the days are tough doing, I will reread The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde, as it never fails to lift my mood. When I want to laugh out loud, I reach for my trusty copy of Men at Arms – or possibly Masquerade (I love them equally) – by the much missed Terry Pratchett. And if I just want to smile, I will re-read my all time favourite children’s book – Little Miss Sunshine (by Roger Hargreaves)– a character who I have always loved, and who appears on a great many objects around my house, from mugs to toothbrush holder.

At the moment I am happily devouring Murder at the Bayswater Bicycle Club by Linda Stratman – the latest in the Frances Doughty Mysteries– a series I adore.

The magic of reading- or being read to- never falls to amaze me. It is therapy- it is hope- it is escapism- adventure- romance- an adrenalin rushing fear with a solution….and so much more.

So today, rather than put the TV on when you get home, why not curl up with a good book? Read to your child, read to your partner…just read. You never know where the words will take you.

If you aren’t sure which book to read, I have written one or two! Just see the links at the top of the page.

Have a lovely World Book Day,

Jenny xxx

 

 

 

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