Jessie: In New Hampshire where we’ve finally turned on the furnace.
I have had the pleasure of spending time with Krista several times in real life over the years and am delighted to have the chance to visit with her on the blog today! Welcome, Krista!
Some years ago, I had an appointment on October 31st with a doctor whom I had never met. She was wearing a blue gingham dress with sequined red shoes. I liked her immediately. She explained her outfit, even though I knew she was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Had it been November 1st, I might have wondered about her, but Halloween gives us license to be silly, even when we’re adults. No wonder most of us like Halloween.
It’s almost Halloween in Murder Outside the Lines. Florrie Fox runs a bookstore and draws adult coloring books in her spare time. When strange things begin to happen, Florrie isn’t certain whether they’re real or Halloween pranks.
One of the things I particularly enjoy about writing this series are the secondary characters who are former professors. They often share oddball historical tidbits (Did you know that Abraham Lincoln allegedly opened his son’s casket and held him again after he was interred?) and they quibble about such things as whether or not ghosts are real.
Like Florrie’s parents, my parents were very matter-of-fact about ghosts. They were fun, but there was no such thing. But then, after my grandfather died, my mother had a strange experience that she believes was him. My brother and I have seen our deceased father in the same place, doing the same thing, but at different times. That’s getting a little creepy. Of course, a lot of sightings can be explained away due to grief or because our brains fill in things that they think should be there.
I have done a bit of research on the subject of ghosts. For the record, most scientists poo-poo the notion. However, The University of Virginia actually has a department called the Division of Perceptual Studies. What do they study? Consciousness after death. No kidding! They don’t say life after death, but that’s what they mean by consciousness.
The most interesting part of the work they have done is with children whose distraught parents call to say their child claims to have been someone else. Sometimes the children even provide enough information for them to identify the deceased person whom they claim to be. It doesn’t always work out that way, but even once is surprising to me! It’s very difficult to explain how a four-year-old could come up with names, recognize buildings, or know how that person died. Even more strange, sometimes the children have birthmarks that correspond with injuries from a violent death. Usually, the parents have never heard of the person, so the kids aren’t picking up the information from them. If you’re curious about this, check out https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/dops-media/ or go straight to this interesting videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La8vG4mA0is&t=3105s . Some of their panel discussions on YouTube with host John Cleese are amazing.
Ghosts aren’t the main problem in Murder Outside the Lines, though there is a problematic skull named Harry in the book. It begins with a psychic author who thinks she saw a foot in a rolled-up rug. But no one else can find it. Is she pulling a fast one for publicity? Is she having a premonition? Or was there a foot in a rug that was moved before the police could check on it?
The Pen & Ink Mysteries all have covers that can be colored! You can make the cover your own! If you are one of those people who cannot write or draw on a book, then you can download a cover at https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496724632/murder-outside-the-lines/ .
Click on the word MEDIA for the link. Ordinary colored pencils work very well on the cover, as do alcohol-based pens. If you want to use water-based pens, then download the cover on paper that will work with them.
Readers, what do you think? Is there consciousness after death? Have you encountered a ghost?
New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Domestic Diva Mystery series, the Paws & Claws Mystery series, and The Pen & Ink Mysteries, which have covers that can be colored. Look for the fourth Pen & Ink book, MURDER OUTSIDE THE LINES, in bookstores on September 28th. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two dogs, two cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.