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A Civil War Ghost Story

Amanda Hogg reviews Picture the Dead ($8.99,  Sourcebooks, Ages 10+)
 
16 year old Jennie has had a rough life. After her parents died, she and her twin brother were sent to live with a despicable aunt, cowed uncle and two cousins – Will and Quinn. Jennie briefly finds happiness after she and Will fall in love and become engaged, but that happiness is short-lived as Will and her brother are killed in the Civil War. Jennie is devastated by her loss, terrified about her future and haunted by Will’s ghost. Luckily, Quinn, Will’s brother, comes home from the war with the intention of marrying Jennie, which should secure her future – or so she thinks. 
Because Will had been kind and good to her while Quinn had been cruel and scornful, Jennie is immediately suspicious of his intentions towards her. As Quinn begins to protect and defend her from his mother, her fears about his real intentions lessen, but the frequency and intensity of Will’s spectral visits, which frequently manifest as hands wrapped around her neck, increase. To set Will’s spirit at peace, Jennie begins to investigate his death, which leads her down a confusing path strewn with lies and schemes, and makes her question who she can trust – the new, kind Quinn, or Will’s ghost.
Part historical fiction, part gothic mystery, part scrapbook, Adele Griffin’s words and Lisa Brown’s illustrations in Picture the Dead provide a complete picture of the lives wrecked, the careers created and the hearts broken by the Civil War. Picture the Dead weaves the Spiritualism that was rampant during and after the Civil War into the storyline in the character of Geist, a medium who claims he can capture spirits in photographs. The illustrations serve to explain how Daguerreotypes were made and forged in addition to providing clues to Will’s mysterious death. Picture the Dead is a transportive read that will leave readers chilled to the bone. 
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Marital Woes in the Afterworld

Regular Good Reads With Ronna contributor and very funny lady, Lindy Michaels, has written an out-of-this-world ghost story. Download it today – it’s the best $2.50 you’ll ever spend!

THE GHOSTS OF WINTHROP MANOR

Novel and Screenplay by Lindy Michaels

120564039Let’s face it, figuring out relationships are, at best, tough nuts to crack. She shops too much. He leaves his socks on the floor and the toilet seat up. What about balancing work and family? Of course, there is some hope to these problems in counseling, self-help books and watching Dr. Phil. But that’s if you’re ALIVE!

So what happens if you’ve unfortunately left this world as we know it and never took the time or effort to work out your marital woes? Which brings me to THE GHOSTS OF WINTHROP MANOR. What does happen when three unhappy couples, from different decades, happen to marry and later die, all at this century old mansion? In the purgatory these six folks find themselves, what else can they do but bicker and complain and of course… haunt the place!

The ramifications of these hauntings are magnified when the Winthrop Manor is now a wedding sight, run by Randolph Winthrop IV, the great grandson of the manor’s first owner. It is further magnified when our six unhappily married ghosts take it upon themselves to decide that prospective brides and grooms shouldn’t marry in the first place, thus jeopardizing the financial future of the Manor. That is, until two therapists, looking for the perfect place to wed, themselves, try and contact the three long-dead couples… their theory being, if they can help these folks work out their wedded suffering, it might well release them to a happy eternity, together.

Will these two well-meaning shrinks be able to contact the ghosts, in the first place? If so, will they convince them it’s not healthy to hold on to nuptialed grudges in the hereafter? Can they help save the Winthrop Manor from bankruptcy? And could it be that the saga of THE GHOSTS OF WINTHROP MANOR might well aid other couples learn to live happily ever after in the here and now?

I invite you to step inside the great Winthrop Manor and see for yourself. Living or dead, you’re in for a heavenly and hysterical treat.

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There’s No Place Like a Funeral Home

pc0706211Matthew is a 10-year old boy from Virginia. He loves to play basketball, is very involved in the Weeblos and loves to camp. He also plays piano and viola.

9781416935964From the The Funeral Directors Son series comes Kip Campbell’s Gift, written by Coleen Murtagh Paratore. This is the best book I have ever read. Kip Campbell can talk to dead people. That’s really awesome. Some people think Kip is weird, but I think that would be cool. Kip helps his family because he can talk to dead people. The dead people leave Kip gold when he helps them.

Editor’s Note: This book is recommended for ages 8-12. If you want to get hooked, try reading an excerpt from the first chapter by clicking here now.

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