Calling Crane Books
Welcome to the collected works of Joe and Paula McHugh
Coins in the Ashes by Joe McHugh
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In 2009 radio journalist Joe McHugh set out on a journey to find the family of an African-American woman named Helen who cared for him when he was a young child and who helped his family survive a terrible tragedy. Armed only with her first name and a passing reference to a house fire in a letlter written in 1952 he visited the places that shaped the early lives of his parents, interviewed family members and historians, and searched through archives in hopes of uncovering a clue that might lead him to his goal.

This is the chronicle of that quest. It is also a meditation on how relationshipa, especiallyt those during early childhood, determine the physical structure and health of our brains and how love and faith, even during the darkest of times, can transform our lives in ways beyond imagining.
Coins in the Ashes by Joe McHugh
300pages - softcover
I enjoyed reading "Coins in the Ashes." Thanks so much for your great book.
~Jim Williams, Boise, Idaho

"Let me just say: it is a good book, and you all should buy one right now."

~Carol Piening, Olympia, Washington
Phantom Fiddler
Joe McHugh, an accomplished storyteller and old-time fiddler, has put down his bow and picked up the pen to entertain us with a collection of supernatural tales about violins and fiddlers. A hotel haunted at midnight by the eerie sound of a fiddle, a dancing skeleton and a pirate’s buried treasure, a romantic rivalry between sisters that leads to foul murder, an ill-advised bargain with the Devil during the rough and tumble days of the California Gold Rush, these are just a few of the unexpected delights to be found within these pages. Each is an original tale, inspired by ancient myths and folk beliefs, and told with reverence for this most mysterious and seductive of all musical instruments—the violin.
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“I am currently reading up a storm and am nearing the end, sigh, of Joe’s WONDERFUL book! I just love Phantom Fiddler! Joe’s attention to detail, real research, quirky humor, and vividly drawn personages make this book a delight! I look forward to giving these as gifts. Joe McHugh really does have the touch.”
~Jeanie Murphy, Port Townsend, WA

“I enjoyed Phantom Fiddler.  Maybe as a result of being a "not so great" fiddler I could really relate to the tale, "Shaving a Dead Man,"  I'll look forward to reading more of Mr. McHugh's work, especially those dealing with fiddling. A great read!”
~Frank Phelps, Ennice, N.C.

“A wonderful book!”
~Erik Breslau, Sào Paulo, Brazil

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© Joe and Paula McHugh