by Joelle Steele
2014 (Print), 1st ed., 216 pgs, 5.5" x 8.5"
April 27, 2014: Shades is a complex, intellectual, short novel that is part mystery and part ghost story. It is also the account of a conflicted young man, paranormal investigator and sometime psychic-medium Michael Grainger, set against his experiences hunting and interacting with ghosts – "shades" – and his difficulty connecting with and gaining the respect and love of the living.
The tale takes place in present time at Redthorn Hall in York, England where Grainger has come to investigate an alleged haunting. Masquerading as a genealogist to engender cooperation from those who might otherwise be skeptical about the very idea of ghosts or hauntings – or who may be disguised as ghosts to halt the sale of the estate – Grainger studies the ancient history of the Arden family at Redthorn Hall. As he explores the elegant house from basement to attic and attempts to make contact with lost souls from the past, he reflects on his relationships, his former ghost-hunting adventures, and his studies of the paranormal. Ultimately, he solves a 150-year-old mystery and uncovers something far beyond your average, garden-variety haunting, and it could very well be the downfall – or the much-needed salvation – of Michael Grainger.
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Shades is also available as an audio book at amazon.com. The print and ebook editions are also available at amazon.com, or directly from the publisher (below) and are shipped within 24 hours.
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This is an excellent story that moves from real ghost hunting and geneology, to some deep spiritual questions, to the edge of madness, all the while pulling the reader along with a fascinating character most of us can relate to. At times I wanted to shake him, but then had to stop and remind myself that I've made those same mistakes, too. Great story, cool setting with deep history, very believable characters, and no "cheap tricks" like those used in B movies! - J.Z. Colby (5 stars on Goodreads)
This one was hard to put down. "Shades" strayed away from my usual crime-scene novels and I LOVED IT. I felt as if I was actually right there at Redthorn Hall, sharing the twists and turns of the plot and characters. History, genealogy, architecture, the art of paranormal investigation -- everything was synchronized into quite an amazing tale. Bravo, Joelle Steele! - D. Irene S. (5 stars on Amazon)
Interesting and exciting book. I like books that leave you wondering until the end. Shades did so. In fact, I was surprised at the ending. The book was an interesting read and I appreciated the many side stories that Joelle provided. - Kenneth Anderson (5 stars on Amazon)
A truly enjoyable novel that is as much a detective story as it is a ghost story. The main character is very well developed which put me in his shoes experiencing what he experienced. The author has great attention to detail making the story all the more real and believable. And a couple of nice twists along the way kept it unpredictable to the very satisfying end. - C. Martelli (5 stars on Amazon)
Redthorn Hall - I still feel both the warmth and coldness of this gorgeous castle, taking each step with Michael throughout his journey. A real learning experience in paranormal behavior and genealogy. An entertaining and "can't put it down" book, from beginning to end. I want more. - Jan (5 stars on Amazon)
Thumbs up! Not what I expected at all, but it definitely lived up to the description and much more. I especially liked the twisty ending. Michael Grainger is a man after my own heart. I recommend it .- addicted2books
Good atmospheric fun. I'm just a sucker for good haunted house mysteries and even if I could see early on where this one was going, I still got a kick out of it. The characters are well drawn (even the dead ones) and I found that I cared about all of them. I think that is a sign of pretty good writing. There are a few things that stretch credibility, but that just leaves the reader wondering if our main character is flawed or just crazy. Love the history aspect of it. The author draws up a great past for our haunted house without getting bogged down in too many details. - Evansthecat (4 stars on Amazon)
"Shades" is really a detective mystery looking for ghosts in a lovely old Yorkshire manor house. It has all the excitement of the hunt and kept me turning pages to see what would happen next to Michael Grainger, a lonely but likeable charater. Interwoven with that adventure are recollections of his previous ghost hunting experiences which reveal his character and expertise as a ghost hunter. I enjoyed it all the way to the end. (4 stars on Amazon)
Very intriguing and I loved all the trivia that backs it up. Michael Grainger is an interesting character. I'd like to see him turn up in a sequel. A very good read. - bookminer12am
What a fascinating character and what an incredible mind the author must have! I really enjoyed this book a lot. I hope Joelle Steele writes more books like this one. - why_o_why_me
I thought this was a very different kind of ghost story-slash-mystery. Very well written and I thought Michael Grainger was a great character. I'd give it four stars (if I could find a place to put them). - browserlyours127