Books, Horror, Interviews With Other Authors, News

Minnie Quay – The Ghost of Forester, Michigan

 July 1st sees publication of yet another spooky book by my good friend Catherine Cavendish. I asked her to come over and tell us a bit about her inspiration. Take it away, Cat!


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In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.

From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound. Searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.

So it is with this account – the ghost of the lady they call Minnie Quay.

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Forester Township, Michigan is a small town of some 1100 people. It lies north of Port Sanilac, on the east Michigan coast of Lake Huron which bulges at the seams in summer when all the tourists come, gather around camp fires by the lake and share their stories. Some true – some not. But the tale of Minnie Quay is attested to by many who will swear to its veracity.

On a street in this little community is an abandoned tavern, with the date ‘1852’ above the door. It once belonged to James Quay and his wife, Mary Ann who lived there in the mid-nineteenth century, along with their children. Their eldest daughter – Minnie – died at the age of fourteen in April 1876 and it is her ghost that wanders restlessly along the shore nearby.

In those days, Forester was a busy, bustling lumbering town, used as a seaport for hauling timber to various locations on the Great Lakes. Four long warehouses and a pier (whose pilings can still be seen) saw a constant stream of traffic and sightseers, keen to see which ships had docked that day.

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There were plenty of visiting sailors and it was one of these who took Minnie’s eye. She fell in love with him, but her parents were horrified when they discovered the relationship. They didn’t want their daughter mixing with sailors! They forbade her from seeing him again.

Poor heartbroken Minnie didn’t even have chance to say goodbye to her beau. In the spring of 1876, the boat he had been working on sank in a storm. He was killed. Mad with grief, Minnie threw herself off the pier into the icy waters of Lake Huron and drowned, her only wish to be reunited with the spirit of her dead sailor. It was not to be.

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She’s buried in the local cemetery but, by all accounts, she still wanders. Weeping and searching for her lost love. But there is a more sinister side to this story. Some young women have reported that she has beckoned to them to join her in the freezing waters of the lake. One even drowned after saying she had seen Minnie’s ghost beckon to her that night. So, if you are young and female, do take care when strolling along the banks of Lake Huron alone. At night.

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A ballad was written about her tragic story. Here’s the first verse of one version (courtesy of Wikipedia):

‘Twas long ago besides Lake Huron
She walked the sandy shore.
but the voice of one sweet Minnie Quay
‘Twill echo ever more.

 

Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:

 

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Can the living help the dead…and at what cost? 

When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.

But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.

You can find Saving Grace Devine in all usual ebook formats and paperback (where available) here:

 

Samhain Publishing

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.ca 

Amazon.com.au 

B&N 

Kobo

 

About the author

Catherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, is published by Samhain Publishing on July 1st.

She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

 

You can connect with Cat here:

www.catherinecavendish.com

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendishWriter?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4961171.Catherine_Cavendish

http://twitter.com/#!/cat_cavendish

 

 

 

Horror, Magazines, News

I’ve been Massacred

The first issue of new horror publication MASSACRE MAGAZINE is out, and I’m not only in it but IN it.

Human hand with blood

Open the pages of this first issue of Massacre Magazine and release a plague of darkness. Nearly thirty thousand carefully crafted words from some of today’s most promising horror writers. Bestselling author Rupert Smith talks about his first horror novel, GRIM, and the importance of community in tales of the mysterious and macabre. Matt Harrah asks Burning Questions in his flash fiction winner, and Jake Sheridan reveals what glides down mountains full of sin in his distinctive, The Voice. Marc E Fitch rolls up his sleeves for a bit of Savage Work. Talking of savage work, we have two very different twists on The Ripper theme in Paul Holbrook’s short story, Chain Me Not in Heaven, and a poem from Anthony Crowley. Jake Swan provides a warning to the desperate in There Are Worse Things Than Loneliness. Steve Emmett – that’s me 😉 – takes us to the German countryside in Head of the House, a simmering and atmospheric tale of sweet revenge. Sailing holidays will never be the same once you’ve visited Julia Kavan’s Safe Harbour, where reality and nightmare lap at the shore. Winter wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas story, but in Demon Darkling author Dana Wright provides more red than Santa’s suit. Our non-fiction contribution comes from Tracy Kuhn who takes exception to the theory that Horror is for Boys.

Massacre Publishing is something Julia Kavan and I came up with a little while ago, and if you’d like to know more about that pop over to Catherine Cavendish‘s blog where we are spilling a few fava beans and washing them down with something rather nice. Julia is our Catcher of Souls and I’m the Curator of Concepts. We also have a Keeper of the Keys who stays out of the limelight. We run flash fiction competitions and are always looking for adult horror that pushes the boundaries. You can find all the information on the website and sign up for the free newsletter: http://massacrepublishing.com/

Massacre Magazine is available for Kindle now from Amazon and will soon be in a print version and available from other retailers. Follow the website and get the newsletter to keep up to date.

Buy Massacre Magazine now from

amazon logoAmazon.co.uk

amazon logoAmazon.com

amazon logoAmazon.ca

 

amazon logoAmazon.au

 

and  most other Amazon stores!

We really hope you enjoy Massacre Magazine – there are some great writers in it.

faded blood head

Horror, Humour, News

The Horror of Living in a Box

English: Chatteris Way, Lower Earley Part of t...
English: Chatteris Way, Lower Earley Part of the very large estate of private sector housing but close to its southern extremity. This is part of Earley, a town in its own right within the borough of Wokingham, but, in essence, a suburb of Reading. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the UK government is finally waking up to the fact that new homes which have been built in recent decades are too small for comfort (see the news item at BBC). This is good news, but much overdue. There are minimum standards for social housing, but not for the private sector. What does this mean?

Well, private housebuilders are in it for profit and by literally cutting corners off your house they can make more money. What you get is, you’ll be told, a house you couldn’t otherwise afford, but can you actually live in it in any sane and humane way?

There are new houses not far from where I live which have bedrooms too small to cope with anything other than a bed – forget the luxuries like bedside table and wardrobe! So bedroom 2 becomes a dressing room, except once the wardrobe is in you’d have to stand out on the landing to fasten your trousers or skirt. Some ‘single bedrooms’ are barely bigger than  the intended single bed, so where does anyone put clothes or the personal items that civilised life requires? Bathrooms have shrunk, too, as if someone forgot to pre-shink the material. Toilets are squeezed in to the narrowest of places so that the very purpose for which they are intended is impossible to all but the skeletal. In these vestibules of ablution a hot bath is the preserve of the amputee or vertically challenged.

Entrance halls once housed a cupboard for outer wear, a telephone table and, more often than not, storage under the stairs. Now you almost have to remove your overcoat before you can close the outer door.

You’ll notice that things like electric fires are becoming thin and flat, like televisions. This is to give adults the chance to be able to sit on the sofa and stretch their legs out without setting fire to their feet – but only if the sofa is jammed hard against the back wall so that anyone else in the room must negotiate the half-reclining parents like a heron picking its way through reed beds. And don’t trip, or you’ll split your head open on the opposite wall which is not quite the height of a human away.

 

 

English: Eric Pickles, British politician and ...
English: Eric Pickles, British politician and Chairman of the Conservative Party, at the Health Hotel “Health Zone” at the Manchester Central Conference Centre during the Conservative Party Conference 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Only a few days ago the not-so-svelte Eric Pickles said that new houses should have a cupboard outside in which to hide the ghastly refuse bins. Yes, I can agree with that, it is something that much of Europe has always done. But while he cringes at having to see his empties – of which I am sure there are many – some people would give their right arms to have a cupboard to put their wanted belongings in. Some would be glad to have a bin store to sleep in.

 

Living in too small a space – and it is worsened where the ceilings are so low that a fart with the windows shut can require the services of a glazier – does people’s heads in. These shoe boxes of misery are the modern day House of Horror.

There’s just no room for the candelabra, parties and ghosts.

 

 

 

Music, News

From Russia with Love

Obama Putin

So the Americans and the Russians are falling out again.

The Kremlin is “disappointed” the US cancelled bilateral talks due in September, since Russia granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden.

Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser said the move showed the US could not deal with Russia on an “equal basis”.

A White House spokesman said Mr Snowden’s asylum had deepened the pre-existing tension between the two countries.

So, here’s my earworm for the day, dedicated to Barak Obama: Russian March Fantasy Opus 353 by J Strauss II