At last!

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Divorce Can Be Deadly (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries Book #2) is live on Amazon. Here’s what it’s all about:

“Two ghosts troubled Dr. Benjamin Bones. One he feared would never release him. Another he worried might slip away, however much he tightened his grip… .”

So begins Divorce Can Be Deadly, the long-awaited second book in Emma Jameson’s wartime cozy mystery series. Return to Birdswing, a tiny Cornish village, in the bitter winter of 1939 and revisit old friends as they embark on more amateur sleuthing. Irrepressible Lady Juliet is taking a correspondence course in private detection and is vexed by the return of her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Meanwhile, not only has Ben failed to realize the depth of her feelings for him, but his obsession with Lucy, the Fenton House ghost, is growing stronger.

When a bloodless, half-naked corpse is discovered in a great house in a nearby village, Ben and Juliet must again follow the clues to solve the case. Join them as they pry into the secret lives of villagers in seemingly picture-perfect Barking, including a vicar who hides from his secretary, a baron haunted by the Great War, and a butler who just might have done it.

Brimming with romance, historical details, and warm humor, Divorce Can Be Deadly is already being called “worth the wait!”

The book is currently publishing on other platforms and should be available soon for Nook devices, the Apple store, Kobo, and Google Play. Watch this space and I’ll let you know!

Don’t forget you can also preorder Dr. Bones and the Christmas Gift on most platforms. It will go live on December 23rd and take up right after the events of Divorce Can Be Deadly. Click below on your preferred vendor:

Amazon 

Nook from Barnes & Nook

iBooks

Kobo

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Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King … a review by Emma Jameson

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So first … a caveat. I almost never write book reviews. Think about it. As a novelist, when I write a review, that review arrives with a certain amount of baggage. And the questions that might crop up, as the review-train puffs into the station, can be excused as only human. Why did I write it? Am I propping up a friend? Dissing a competitor? Discharging some shadowy obligation?

So on this blog I feature new releases, and I mention them, and if the author is a personal friend, I mention that, too. But this is different. It’s a review from me, and suffice it to say, I am not blessed to call Stephen King a personal friend.

Having said that … for the last thirty years, you might say Danny Torrance has been a personal friend.

I read THE SHINING for the first time when I was 14. I re-read it several times during my teenage years. I can’t say precisely why, but THE SHINING was an intensely personal book for me. It taught me so much about writing characters, especially flawed, wounded, hopelessly striving characters. Because in many ways, it was more about poor, alcoholic, doomed-from-childhood Jack than his gifted five-year-old son, Danny.

Jack, a sensitive, intelligent child, watched his father, a hospital orderly and drunk, beat his mother at the dinner table until her eyeglasses landed in the mashed potatoes. That was the image that haunted Jack: those poor sightless specs, adorning a side dish while his alcoholic father vented his wrath. When he grew up, Jack escaped his dysfunctional family, teaching English at a prestigious prep school. even writing for publication.

But the ghosts of his past were not silent. They spoke. And Jack started to drink. The result–harm to a student, harm to his young son–drove him to take a last-chance job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. Another place filled with unquiet ghosts. Which ghosts were more real, and more deadly–the ones in the hotel, or the ones in Jack’s memory? That, dear reader, is up to you. (And if you’ve only seen the Stanley Kubrick film, I must urge you to read the original novel, because this review has nothing to do with Kubrick’s film. No disrespect intended, just a statement of fact.)

At any rate, most of the Western world has seen the movie, and knows Mrs. Torrance and her son Danny escaped the Overlook Hotel. But what happened next? Approximately thirty years later, Stephen King tells the tale.

Danny–now Dan– is twenty-something, beset by a terrible temper, and a drunk. The thing he swore he’d never become is the identity that consumes him. He drifts from town to town, content to deaden his telepathy (the shining) with booze, wishing himself dead. Then he hits bottom, a deeply humiliating bottom, and drifts to a town called Frazier, New Hampshire. There he has a chance to get sober, and to earn the friendship of a little girl called Abra. Once, Dan was the child in desperate need of an adult (Dick Hallorann) who understood. Now he is the adult called upon to help, and he can either live up to the calling or crawl back in the bottle.

I won’t waste time teasing you with further details. If you’ve read my description, you’re either in or you aren’t. All I can add is this. For approximately thirty years, I waited for news of Danny–Dan–Torrance, never expecting to get it. When I heard Stephen King had published a sequel, my first reaction was fear. This will ruin my vision of Danny’s future, I thought. It won’t be right.

But no. It was perfect. Perfectly conceived, perfectly edited, and perfectly laid down. If you loved THE SHINING half as much as I did, get yourself a copy of DOCTOR SLEEP.

Emma Jameson,10/21/2013

Real Victorian People: Florence Cook



Spirit Katie King with Florence Cook (left) and Sir William Crookes

 The Spiritualism Movement

“Spiritualism” was popular in England from the 1840s until the end of the Edwardian era.  One of its most famous proponents, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, championed individuals he believed possessed true psychic powers, writing books and articles on the topic.  In those days, spiritualism was one of the few areas where a female practitioner could be acknowledged as an authority.  In fact, since women were regarded as innately more spiritual than men, a woman who professed to see ghosts or channel messages was often considered more credible than a man making the same claims.



Famous (later infamous) medium Florence Cook


Florence Cook and Katie King

Florence Cook professed psychic abilities from childhood.  This included seeing apparitions, hearing voices, and eventually falling into trances.  By 1872, sixteen-year-old Florence began taking part in seances.  During a seance, Florence and a few others sat around a table in a dim parlor.  With the curtains drawn and the lamps low, the medium and her audience strove to contact communicative spirits.  Whether you believe in this sort of thing or not, there can be no doubt much of the tapping, moaning, chain-rattling and light-flickering that went on in these darkened parlors was pure fakery.  Even today we still use the term: parlor tricks.

As Florence gained prominence among English spiritualists, Katie King appeared.  Katie King was an entity already known to paranormal enthusiasts.  According to the story, she first appeared to American spiritualists in the 1850s, claiming to be the daughter of a spirit called John King who in life was the buccaneer known as Henry Morgan.  To me this sounds a bit muddled — spirits taking up aliases?  But the Spiritualists found nothing unusual about it, apparently.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle explains it all in his History of Spiritualism.

Katie King and Florence Cook seemed to get on well.  First Katie’s floating face appeared during one of Florence’s sessions.  Then her whole body.  Then Katie reportedly began making daily appearances and promised to remain with Florence for three years.



Katie King, or Eliza White in costume?

Scandal

Florence Cook’s manifestations of Katie King were debunked not once but twice.  First, a lawyer named William Volckman broke several rules of spiritualist etiquette by leaping up from the table, grabbing Katie King (!!!) and insisting she was, in fact, Florence Cook in costume.  Florence and her defenders maintained that the startling resemblence between Katie and Florence was unsurprising.  Materialized spirits, they explained, are formed from the medium’s personal energy.

Later, a scientist named Sir William Crookes tested Florence to his satisfaction and declared her mediumship genuine.  But just as an article praising her authenticity was prepared for Atlantic Monthly, a woman named Eliza White announced the “authenticated” photograph of Katie King was really a picture of her in costume.  Again, Florence and her defenders offered a swift explanation — bright light ruins materializations, so to permit the public to visualize Katie King, someone was hired to pose as her.  The real villain, they argued, was Eliza White, for going public.

You can read a very nice and far more detailed article on the topic here.