So I decided to post a reading from my Halloween-flavored book, The Secret of Sleepy Hollow, which is my re-telling of the classic American ghost story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the short story by Washington Irving (which you can read at Project Gutenberg).
Many of you probably know the story. Or at least parts of it. A lanky, superstitious teacher Ichabod Crane goes to a village in 1790 ostensibly for his job and seems to take a shine to a local woman, Katrina Van Tassel, but local hero guy Abraham “Brom” Bones also has his eye on her. The village is also allegedly haunted by the ghost of a headless horseman. One night at a harvest party, Ichabod gets turned down by Katrina and he leaves. It’s dark and creepy and his over-active imagination created all kinds of scary scenarios…suffice it to say that Ichabod may have met up with the horseman and he ends up disappearing from the village.
There are also other factors involved — was the horseman actually one of the local townsman who didn’t want Crane moving in on Katrina, one of the local women? Did Ichabod just get caught up in local ghost stories and psych himself out and scare himself so badly that he sustained some kind of fatal injury?
Irving leaves Crane’s fate open-ended for conjecture, which made it a lot of fun for me to explore what might have happened to him. And that’s exactly what I did in my re-telling.
Tabitha “Abby” Crane, a doctoral student working on her thesis, doesn’t allow herself much time outside academia. Fortunately, she’s managed to squeeze in a research trip over Halloween weekend to the historical society of Sleepy Hollow, New York, where she hopes to uncover new research on the notorious town’s most infamous legend — that of the headless horseman. But she has a personal stake in this trip: Abby’s own ancestor, Ichabod Crane, disappeared mysteriously over two hundred years ago, perhaps at the hands of the ghostly horseman.
Abby has no reason to expect anything of Sleepy Hollow beyond immersing herself in archival collections and enjoying its Halloween festivities, but then she crosses paths with Katie, who makes her head spin and her heart pound. When Katie invites her on a nighttime visit to the glen where the horseman allegedly rides, Abby can’t say no, upending her plans for a quiet research retreat. And when Abby and Katie, who has her own ties to the famous story, find what may be the key to the disappearance of Ichabod Crane all those years ago, love, legend, and magic intermingle, making clear that Sleepy Hollow has plans of its own for yet another Crane.
So in the scene I’m going to read to you, Abby and her crush girl and fellow history geek Katie are in a pub and Katie invites her to go to the glen outside town, where the horseman allegedly rides. Lots of ghost hunters hang out there, and it’s a major Halloween attraction, so there are more hunters than usual, as everybody is gearing up for the big Halloween celebration in a couple of days, which involves someone local (a strictly guarded secret) dressed up as the horseman who rides Halloween night through the glen. So Abby agrees to go to the glen with Katie…
Have a listen. 🙂
And if you’d like the opportunity to WIN an ebook copy, head on over to Women and Words AT THIS LINK and leave a comment. I’ll pick a winner or two on Tuesday, October 31 at 9 PM EST!
Wanna buy a copy? COOL!
Happy Halloween (early)!