P. J. Bracegirdle, Campaign Challenge Reminder, and List of New Releases

P. J. Bracegirdle's last book in The Joy of Spooking series, Sinister Scenes, is out! I haven't read it yet, for I've just finished the second book, Unearthly Asylum.


"With Fiendish Deeds, the first book of The Joy of Spooking trilogy, I wanted to kick off a quirky, comedic mystery that packed some serious chills. I loved the idea of a young heroine who revels in how the worn-out relics of the past still echo with secrets and stories—and that's what I found in Joy Wells. To set the stage for her, I took a lot of inspiration from classic literary figures such as Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. ...

This trilogy itself however would be set in the modern day ... For that reason I needed a distinctively modern villain, someone both a product and a victim of these times. Someone selfish, greedy, and egotistical in the extreme. ... That character soon developed into Octavio Phipps, a failed musician who now works as assistant to the mayor of a neighboring suburban sprawl. It was then just a case of unleashing him on his mission: to destroy Spooking, the weird old town he blames for his woes..." (visit Bracegirdle's website for the full description from Simon & Schuster's Behind The Book Series)

In Unearthly Asylum, Joy's "pet frog Fizz becomes trapped behind the walls of a mental asylum, [and] Joy must mount a rescue operation that brings her into conflict with Mr. Phipps again. Along with her brother Byron and their strange playmate Poppy, Joy soon uncovers mind-bending secrets straight from the pages of her favourite author [E. A. Peugeot]. Can Joy get everyone out alive, or will they be trapped in the unearthly asylum forever?"

None of these descriptions quite convey the essence of these stories, which is sinister, mysterious and fun all at once. They're probably marketed as Middle Grade, but they're just the sort of books I loved back in my MG days and still love - where the author doesn't talk down to the young reader, and doesn't sugar coat mystery or history. And Bracegirdle (never mind having a Tolkienesque name) is from Montreal!

Speaking of local connections, Diana Gabaldon's posted the description of Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner, coming 29 November. The last time I visited Quebec City, it was after I'd read about Lord John's time there. I still get a thrill when I see lines like "Lord John Grey has brought home from Quebec..."

If you're not a spoiler avoider, there's a new mini-excerpt on the forum from the next book, Written In My Own Heart's Blood (Or MOHB - Diana's calling it Moby).

What's that you say, he's a fictional character? Well, so are Rosa and Baha from my own story Out of the Water. Yet that doesn't make them any less real. What would us writers be without voices in their heads?

Fellow campaigners, my entry for the second challenge is in the post below, featuring a tweaked snip from Out of the Water. Please head over to Rach's and click Like on your favourite entries!

Other releases, in no particular order:

Kait Nolan - Genesis
Susan Bischoff - Heroes 'Til Curfew
Duff McKagan - It's So Easy and Other Lies
J. L. Campbell - Giving Up the Dream and Don't Get Mad... Get Even

And coming sooner rather than later... Jennifer Hendren's By The Pale Moonlight. Now there's a reason for excitement!
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