Tales of Coles County is Available for Pre-Order

Tales of Coles County XThe 10th Anniversary edition of Michael Kleen’s classic Tales of Coles County, Illinois combines both the original book and the Legends and Lore of Coles County, with updated content and additional legends.

First published in 2004, Tales of Coles County, Illinois takes an entertaining look at local history through vivid historical fiction. When four students from Eastern Illinois University are stranded during a violent storm, they seek shelter with an elderly couple who give them more than they bargain for. After one night, the four will never look at Coles County the same way.

In the Legends and Lore of Coles County, Michael Kleen reveals over a dozen hidden stories from the from the area’s past and present, leaving no stone unturned. What is the history of Coles County’s ghost towns? Does a werewolf stalk the Charleston Stone Quarry? When did a poltergeist terrorize one rural family in Pleasant Grove Township? Is there buried treasure in Coles County? What is the real story behind the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this definitive volume.


Pre-order Tales of Coles County, Illinois today and get it as soon as the book is released! Pre-orders will be accepted until July 29, 2013 and books will be shipped on August 5th. Use the Paypal button below to secure your copy of Tales of Coles County; or download, fill out, and mail this order form along with your check. Please make your check out to Black Oak Media, Inc.



One Eastern student took several events from the darker side of Charleston’s history and creatively blended them into a fictional story in his book entitled, Tales of Coles County, Illinois. The story follows a group of Eastern students, Tami, Max, AJ and Nancy, as they are stranded in the rain when their car breaks down while looking for a campsite just south of Charleston. They come upon a small cabin in the woods and are invited inside by an old man and woman, who give them dry clothes, shelter and a warm dinner. During the meal, the couple shares stories with the students, stories about the history of Coles County and things they remember from their childhood that went on in the area, in chronological order. The sequences inside the cabin when the students interact with the old couple are well written and interesting. Vivid descriptions, such as the scene where the plain clothes given to the students are described, make it easy for the reader to imagine actually being there. ‘Nancy pulled at the loose sleeves of the faded gray dress she wore with contempt, while Max tried not to look like he was scratching his legs, which were getting irritated from the rough, cotton pants.’ Readers can almost smell the mothballs…

-Laura Griffith, Daily Eastern News, October 28, 2005.


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