Ghostly Tales

FireChristina here and I’m continuing with the paranormal theme, even though Halloween is over. I love this time of year when the nights are getting longer and darker, and we (in the northern hemisphere) begin to light log fires and candles at night to dispel the gloom. It’s easy to imagine that the shadows around us are moving and there’s something, or someone, lurking in the corners, especially if you live in an old house. In other words – it’s the perfect time for ghostly tales!

Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits or lost souls who remain on earth because of unfinished business? I do, but I’ve never been fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to encounter one myself. To tell the truth, I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat and would probably have had hysterics if I did come across anything paranormal, so perhaps hearing about it second-hand is the better option for me.

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Chatsworth By Rob BendallI’m working on the last book of my School of Magic series, currently under the title of Captivating the Countess (I’m hoping by writing this here I’ll finally commit to a title. Those of you who read my newsletter will note that I’ve been struggling with the previous title of The Duke’s Magic because the marquess is the hero). This book is basically an aristocratic house party in a house as large as Chatsworth—with ghosts. Unlike Christina Courtenay, I have no need to research house plans. I love making up my own, and I’ve visited enough old houses over the decades to have a fairly good knowledge of what goes where, if it absolutely must.  

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Do You Believe in the Supernatural?

Moonlit thatchNicola here. Halloween and the long dark nights of winter may seem a more appropriate time to be talking about ghosts and the paranormal, in this part of the world at least, but in other places such a Japan the summer twilight is the time for sitting around a campfire and telling chilling tales. So today, whilst the sun shines and all seems quiet in my ancient village, I’m talking about the paranormal elements in my latest book, The Forgotten Sister, and asking “do you believe in the supernatural?”

The Forgotten Sister is probably my spookiest book yet. At the centre of this paranormal web is Lizzie Kingdom, a young woman who possesses the gift of psychometry, the ability to read objects and connect to their history or to the people who owned them. Lizzie has always kept this ability secret because she grew up as an outsider and didn’t want anything else to mark her out as different. Her gift for reading objects is a deeply personal thing that she uses to connect to the lost maternal side of her family. As she has never truly explored her gift, Lizzie doesn’t realise that it is greater than she imagines. Then she meets Arthur Robsart and is rather intrigued to discover that she can read him too. Arthur, unsurprisingly, finds this an invasion of privacy!

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Moonshadows: An Interview with Melinda Hammond

PortraitNicola here. Today it is my very great pleasure to welcome Melinda Hammond back to the Word Wench blog. Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory is a long time Romantic Novelists’ Association friend and colleague of mine and we share the same taste in fast cars! She is also an award-winning author of Regency historicals. Today, however, we are chatting about her haunting timeslip novel Moonshadows, set in the Georgian period and the present day, originally published by Samhain and now re-issued by Melinda herself.

I first read Moonshadows a number of years ago and found it a thought-provoking read as well as a beautiful mix of the past and the present. In the interview below, Melinda mentions why she feels the story takes a different slant on the idea of the 18th century rake. The conflict at the heart of the story is strong and heartbreaking and (no spoilers!) tells of the ultimate price of getting what you wish for…

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Things That Go Thump in the NIght

MerlinQuantum has asked for our “views/discussion of paranormal fiction, particularly with ghosts and time slip involved.” She adds, “It seems to me that plausibility is very important in grabbing reader interest, but main stream science is rather dismissive of this area. . .What do the Wenches think?”

Well, as always, the Wenches have an opinion, and we owe Quantum one free book for her excellent question, thank you!

From Pat:

I’ll let the other Wenches speak to their own beliefs, but I’m totally open to all possibilities, up to and including space aliens seeding this earth a gazillion years ago. <G> Science tends to be fact-focused, as it should be, and facts are very hard to come by when it comes to the more woo-woo aspects of our world. Scientists have their hands full measuring what they can see. Working with what they can’t see is currently beyond their abilities, and possibly, beyond the imaginations of the people who fund them.

I like to believe that people who claim to see ghosts, possess clairvoyance, or other unexplained oddities have neural pathways that we have yet to explore. And maybe one day we’ll understand what’s behind string theory and quantum physics and develop a better comprehension  of what reality means.

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