Monday, April 23, 2012

BPL’s Jared Millet Edits Collection of Ghost Stories

book coverSummer Gothic: A Collection of Southern Hauntings
Edited by Jared Millet

Anytime is the right time for a good ghost story, or maybe 22 of them. This you will find in Summer Gothic, a new collection of stories edited by Jared Millet. As head of the Birmingham Public Library's Acquisition Department—the people who buy the books for the library—Jared knows good story telling and he's assembled a score plus two ghost stories with a summer theme.

While we think of dark and stormy nights as the best time for reading ghost stories, Summer Gothic might be more appropriate for the beach or the pool. In the story "Beachfront," a demonologist and her friend spend a week at a beach house that was the sight of a grisly murder. In "Fourth of July," set on Alabama's Smith Lake, a suicidal young woman returns to her family's vacation cabin searching for the ghost only she sees. In "Earl and Bubba Save the King," two beer besotted good old boys, devoted sons of an Elvis fan still grieving the King's death, use the power of their minds (stop laughing) to travel back in time to 1972. It's a simple plan to prevent Elvis' death and "make Mama happy again."

In Jared Millet's contribution, "Hurricane Season," a young woman moves to the Gulf coast to live in her grandmother's house that she has inherited. Once there she discovers a ghost, who walks about in the rain, and a terrible family secret. Jared conjures ghosts with a sense of place and writes with wit. As his heroine ponders the financial consequences of abandoning her haunted residence, Jared asks his readers, "After all, what did the wrath of a murderous spirit matter compared to her credit rating?" He describes the first rain of an approaching hurricane as Mother Nature's "statement of intent." It's the kind of good story, and good writing, that will keep you turning pages until the end.

Summer Gothic is available from Amazon (in paperback and Kindle editions), Barnes and Noble (in paperback and Nook editions), and is available for check out from libraries in Jefferson County. For more information visit www.summergothic.com.

Jim Baggett
Archives Department
Central Library

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