Forest of Whispers & The White Lady of Durand Eastman Park

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If you know anything about me, you know that Halloween is my favorite holiday.

I love to dress up in costumes. I love seeing other people’s costumes. I love all things spooky, including spooky books. This is why I am celebrating my friend, Jennifer Murgia’s, books: Castle of Sighs and Forest of Whispers, both of which you can win through the link at the end of this post.

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Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago… and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting. Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to–one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder–a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

castleofsighs2Some secrets cannot be kept–in life or in death.Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another.After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon, and something darker seems to have been awakened, as well.

Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs–shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping she will find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.

And the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.

Sound pretty cool, huh? I enjoyed reading them! You can enter to win here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also enjoy reading urban legends at Halloween…okay, really at any time of year. My favorite urban legends are the ones with a tie to Rochester and Western New York.

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If you are from Rochester, you know the legend: a woman who lived with her daughter and two dogs finds her daughter has married in secret and is meeting a man at the beach in Durand at night. The man kills the daughter and the White Lady and dogs now haunt Lakeshore Blvd. looking for the man who has caused her her sorrow. This is the version I grew up with.You probably heard a different version of this, as there are a ton of different versions of this legend around. You can read an official version of the legend here.

Some versions say the White Lady lived in a castle; the remains you can see to this day above the road along the beach. Not to burst anyone’s bubble (but I am), those remains were for a restaurant for park visitors back in the day.

The neat thing about the legend of the White Lady is that she is not local to Rochester. In fact, there are quite a few white ladies haunting different places; most of whom had daughters who ran away with forbidden young men.

Another neat thing is that there was a movie made in the 1980s based on the legend of the White Lady of Durand Eastman. It is called The Lady in White and stars Lukas Haas.

Happy Halloween, my friends!

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