Books by J. Elliott
NEED A LITTLE HOLIDAY SPIRIT?
Haint Blue needs a vacation. It looks like she’ll be alone for Christmas. Her relationship with Buster is in limbo. Why not slip off to the beach? She can almost taste the fish tacos and fried shrimp. But before she can make a motel reservation, psychic Aunt Moira calls. “I had a vivid dream this morning. There was a bright Christmas tree…children laughing…an empty deep freezer in a garage. You were wringing your hands in a red apron. Some weird nursery rhyme repeated ‘the larder was bare, the larder was bare’. The dream tells me that you need to stock your pantry; you’re going to be a busy hostess this Christmas. Get your holiday cookbooks out, sweetheart.”
As the 25th approaches, the phone calls begin.
“Haint? This is Yolanda, from Paco’s. Our restaurant stove–something is wrong. It’s gas. Sometimes it works and then suddenly nada. Sometimes I swear I smell gas. I’m not going to play with gas. I’m afraid of gas. We were wondering if you had a few cabins?”
“Haint? Max. Listen, my sister Nellavon thinks I’m dying. She’s got this hairbrained notion to get the family together. I can’t talk her out of it. I know business has been slow, and I was wondering, you gonna be open for the holidays?”
“We’re travelling with alpacas. Do you have space to exercise them?”
“We’re the Lame Brain Zombie LARPers…party of seven, do you have a cabin?”
“My client wants privacy.”
The calls keep coming.
And odd little gifts keeping showing up and disappearing. What’s that about?
As the retreat fills to capacity, strangers become family as they come together for a Haint Blue Christmas.
Looking for a funny, feel-good holiday romp with a bit of mystery? This is the one.
Available in three formats:
Paperback with full color illustrations
Paperback with black and white illustrations
This sequel to Monkey Mind finds Haint Blue in a funk. Her retreat business is struggling. Her brother Iggy is being mysterious and evasive. That’s not normal. What is he hiding? As Halloween approaches, bookings pick up. Her guests include cryptozoologists, a weight loss club, doomsdayers, wiccans, and drag queens. All is merry until three guests go missing. Prank? Big Foot abduction? Kidnapping? Murder?
As the investigation goes French farce, Haint is distracted by a devilishly handsome Skunk Ape hunter named Buster. Someone or something has nabbed her guests; Buster is stealing her heart.
Just who are you, Buster? she wonders.
Need a sweet escape? Come hang out in Haint’s part of Florida where the Spanish moss hangs in the live oaks, the mosquitoes might carry you away, and who knows what will turn up on the wildlife cameras.
Check out the video below!
RAVE REVIEW FROM TOP FAN :
“Elliott continues her witty, madcap and hilarious adventures with Monkey Heart. You won’t forget the people portrayed in this second of the Haint Blue books – many of whom you have probably already met in your life, although with different names. I love how she also includes the “inner monologue” from her main character, whose inner musings will also strike chords with the readers.
If you’re looking for a book to keep you laughing as well as thinking about spiritual matters, this is a fun and captivating read!
I can’t wait for the next Haint Blue Adventure!”
This is author J. Elliott’s third collection of spooky short stories. It departs from its predecessors in that this one has some monsters.
The grout for this mosaic of tales is the story of Zap, an exhausted electrician with the Earle Power Company. Coming off a double shift restoring power after a wicked storm, he stops at the BW&S for a bite to eat. There’s something a bit off about the place beyond the perpetual Halloween décor. While Zap tucks into his “Beastie Burger” and works on his Uncanny Stout, nine stories unfold. You’ll meet Coral, an aging gardener with an invasive plant problem. In an homage to the M. R. James story “A View from A Hill”, is Bill, a flea market picker who finds old night vision goggles and sees more than wildlife. “The Lost Island of Unsonsy” is a whopper of a Chesapeake Bay fishing story. In “Pillow Talk” all the foster child Humphrey asks of his new parents is to have a brand-new pillow of his own. “Hoarder House” features a woman who has been collecting something more bizarre than newspapers, clothes or bric-a-brac for decades.
Ghosts, vampires, witches… Uncanny Stout is a fortifying collection of shivery offerings–a blend of classic ghost story with accent notes of The Twilight Zone.
Amazon readers said:
“…stories are unique, well-written and fast paced and kept my attention in a way that is all too rare.”
“Elliott has an engaging style and an eye for quirky details that pulls you into her stories.”
TALES FROM KENSINGTON
& OTHER MACABRE & UNSETTLING OFFERINGS
Tales From Kensington is the second volume of macabre short stories by author J. Elliott. As with its predecessor, Ghost Lite, Kensington’s tales are engaging and eerie, sometimes amusing and always disquieting. The author is a great admirer of the old classics of the gothic and supernatural: James, LeFanu, Dickens, Wharton. Join a group of college students in a cozy dormitory on Halloween night as they share true ghost stories. The lights flicker. The wind picks up. A limb falls on the roof. You know, they say that when you share ghost stories, the spirits listen in… A renowned photographer is live on a talk radio show promoting his retrospective art exhibit. But why did he suddenly give up photography at the peak of his career? Why won’t he say? There’s going to be a new candy store in the historic district. Won’t that be nice? But you know, the woman who used to live there hated children… A priest has a crisis of faith over a little girl. An innocent child, surely? Why doesn’t she have any friends? A sheriff in a small town is asked to do a wellness check on a widow who lives at the end of a country lane. She died of natural causes, but left behind a most peculiar letter… Want to cool down in the heat of summer? This’ll give you a chill! Get the popcorn. Get comfy and settle in for a special treat. Don’t wait for Halloween!
Rather than spending her inheritance on a sporty new Mustang, Haint Blue responds to her mid-life crisis by purchasing a dilapidated fish camp and converting it into a meditation/yoga retreat.
An insecure albino, she must rely on her Buddhist tenets to get through the soft opening of her retreat as her guests, the weather, the wildlife, and ultimately murder, sorely test the focus of the weekend, “Finding Inner Peace.”
Haint assists the local sheriff with his investigation while side-stepping his advances. She hopes the killer will be caught before another guest gets a premature lesson in reincarnation.
Set in fictional Catfish Springs, Florida, sister town to real High Springs, Monkey Mind should appeal to anyone who can relate to the challenges of middle age, and of keeping cool in the midst of chaos and stifling heat of September in the South.
Ghost Lite offers fifteen old-style creepy ghost stories, macabre but not grisly and sometimes humorous bordering on campy. No zombies, psycho axe-murderers, or torture chambers here. “An Old House…” is simultaneously funny and macabre. “Find A Relic…” set in 1905 in New York City is a novella written in the epistolary style of a gothic novel. “Ghost Light” recounts the life of a 450-year old lantern with supernatural powers. “Benevolent Guides” and “A Roxanne Sighting” are about guardian spirits. “Poultrygeist” and “An Old House Just Has So Much Character” concern moving into an old house still holding the energies of previous occupants. An entertaining, illustrated quick-read for folks who want a chill but still want to sleep at night.
From the Author
I get peculiar looks when I confess to having written a collection of ghost stories, as they are considered marginal to mainstream literature, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol notwithstanding. How splendid then, this comment, the first paragraph in the introduction to The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (2009 Wordsworth Editions Limited):
“In general, the literati tend to look down their noses at the ghost story, regarding it as a lower form of Literature and those writers who contribute to the genre as wordsmiths of the second rank. As the Wordsworth series of Mystery & Supernatural fiction has demonstrated time and time again, this is a grave misconception. Creating an effective ghost story requires consummate skill, ingenuity, an exploration and understanding of human nature and the workings of man’s psyche and motivations as well as the most subtle manipulation of language to conjure fear and suspense out of vague shadows.”
–David Stuart Davies
For more about the inspiration for Ghost Lite….