Tag Archive | Ghosts

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Basement by Dianne Hartsock

The BasementAlex is haunted by visions of the dying, but now it seems the ghosts he’s seeing are real as well.

In this sequel to ALEX and THE SHED, Alex wonders if he’s seeing ghosts. His friend Justin has bought the Fulton place, a beautiful old mansion on the edge of Oakton. But something’s wrong in the house. Alex has visions of a small boy, trapped in the basement, and a man at the top of the stairs who won’t let him leave.

And Logan Fulton has come to town, Helen Kramer’s cousin, a psychic medium who wants something from Helen, whatever the cost. He and Helen had spent time in the Fulton house as children and Alex suspects Logan has something to do with the spirits now awakening in the old mansion. But whether Logan is calling them forth or if something else is controlling them, Alex can’t be sure.

The child’s spirit calls to Alex, as do others trapped in the house. There is a dark entity holding them there, keeping the child forever in the basement, the others for his amusement. But Alex has never believed in ghosts, so what is really going on? As he strives to learn the boy’s secret, his friends are one by one pulled to the Fulton place and put in danger while Logan works against Alex, having an agenda of his own. Will Alex be able to solve the haunting of the old house, or will he and his friends be taken one by one, doomed to walk the dark hallways forever?

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My Review:

An enjoyable read, although I found parts of it, towards the end, a bit confusing. This is the third book featuring Alex, the main character, but it works well as a stand-alone.

Alex is psychic and is learning to control his visions with his therapist’s help. When his friend, Justin buys a new house, it soon turns from a happy future home to a haunted house of horrors. This story follows Alex, Justin and their group of close-knit friends as they investigate the foreboding atmosphere and ghostly sightings in the new house.

The characters, and their love and friendship towards each other are well-written.

About The Author:

me4Dianne grew up in one of the older homes in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. A house where ghosts lurk in the basement and the faces in the paintings watch you walk up the front stairs. Rooms where you keep the closet doors closed tight at night. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from. Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind.

She now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. Dianne says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee in her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Basement Against his will, Alex’s lashes parted, and he winced at a scintillating light, blue and white, an aura settling around the blond hair and lovely face of a man he’d known last summer. Kyle Bronsin, a man dead by Jack Gibson’s hands, who Alex had failed to save.

~The Basement by Dianne Hartsock

Christmas Countdown Blitz -Day 16

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Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett

 
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“Marley was dead to begin with . . . ”

These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

But, what about Jacob Marley?  And why hadn’t he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?

Or had he?

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Day 16 CCB Author

 

R. William (Bill) Bennett is the author of Jacob T. Marley, The Christmas Gift, and a new Christmas novel being published by a major publisher for Christmas, 2019

Website

 

Q&A With R. William Bennett:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I love stories that move the human spirit, that wake us up to realizing our gifts and reaching out to do something for others.   I love hearing them, I love sharing them.

2. What do you love most in the world?

After my family and my faith, being on the water.  Or in the mountains.  Or the  forest.  Or in the yard with the dog.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?

I have always loved telling stories of all kinds.  When I was in sixth grade, an author came to our class (Lester Del Rey) and I found out someone would actually pay you to tell stories!

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?

Cuddling with the growing family, watching “Its A Wonderful Life.”

5. What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?

For writer’s block, my only solution, but it works every time, is get away from your desk and do something physical that will occupy your mind.   Not just push-ups or toe-touches.  Go for a half hour run, or a long hike, or walk the dog for an hour, and while you are doing it, think about anything but your story.  As far as advice, its trite, but its true: Tell the story that’s in you.  That does not mean that you shouldn’t have someone else edit and consider their suggestions.  But if you feel it, write it.

6. Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

Recently, my nephew died a tragic death.  Beset with drug and other problems, his short life ended after only twenty-six years.  I was asked to speak at his funeral and while I accepted, I was completely perplexed about anything to say other then ‘don’t be like him.’  In preparing, I read a story of man who had a sister with a host of life problems.  In sitting with her in her final hours, he said he could only see her in terms of her trials.  At that moment, he received a divine rebuke, allowing him to see what she had accomplished in spite of her trials. His appreciation for who she was starting changing immediately.   He said he felt he was being asked by Deity, “Can’t you see that everyone around you is a sacred being?”

I started making a list of my nephew’s qualities, which started slow, but began to grow.  I went from feeling his life had no redeeming value, to acknowledging that he had some qualities, to realizing his list of positive character traits was long, and stronger in many ways than mine, to eventually seeing him as a magnificent human being.  One who struggled terribly and eventually lost the  battle to human frailties, but at the same time, exemplified some of the most important human characteristics – love, forgiveness, patience, imagination, and more.  It then struck me how it might change my life to try to see the magnificence in everyone, and let them know I do before I lose the chance.

We miss my nephew terribly, but he was, in the end, successful in leaving a positive legacy, something all of us would hope for at end of our own lives, long or short.

 

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Saturday Spotlight

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The 12 Terrors of Christmas
by Claudette Melanson

 
36383570Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled “Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine.” A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, “Mislead,” previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.

Terror One: Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?
Terror Two: It is said that every wish bears a cost…even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?
Terror Three: Christmas can be a time for great joy…but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?
Terror Four: Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn’s home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly-innocent luster?
Terror Five: As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa’s yearly deliveries forever.
Terror Six: A well-meaning elf casts a spell which could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa’s workshop and its inhabitants. The world’s children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.
Terror Seven: A scary twist on a classic Christmas poem
Terror Eight: Santa’s sleigh plummets to the ground, tearing all hope of a merry Christmas to bits and pieces. Will the elves be able to employ enough magic to stitch together some sort of solution? Or will their efforts only deliver greater horror and loss?
Terror Nine: Trinette is preparing to celebrate her first Christmas in love. Her boyfriend says he found the perfect gift for her, but beneath the shiny red paper and ribbon lies a secret he’s kept hidden during all the months of their courtship…
Terror Ten: The world’s population explosion means business is booming at Santa’s workshop, with the need to expand making a difficult excavation below the permafrost necessary. But the elves should use caution lest they dig up an evil best left buried.
Terror Eleven: A special holiday treat for Maura DeLuca fans! Riptide ended on a happy note, but how did Maura’s extended family celebrate Christmas? Could it be that the holiday didn’t quite play out the way the vampires planned?
Terror Twelve: It’s a dangerous time to call oneself a non-believer. Those who scoff at Santa’s existence are melting all over the world. But could the benevolent head elf turn out to be the murderer?

Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?

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My Review:

A wonderfully creepy take on Santa… and Christmas.

I enjoyed these 12 dark and disturbing stories that explore a less than jolly side of the holiday season.
The short stories include zombie elves, were-deer and vampires to name but a few, and many of the tales were interlinked which added to the interest.

This is a well-written and descriptive anthology, and an entertaining read.

 

The Author:

Claudette MelansonClaudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with seven bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters, Beckett, Sansa, Daenerys, & Caramel. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories…along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.

Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

In her spare time–what’s that???–she loves to watch anime, game the XBox 360–especially Silent Hill Games, read great works of fiction & play with the bunnies. Coffee Lover, occasional blogger, Keto eater & movie watcher.

Her first novel, Rising Tide, was the winner of the Gold Medal for YA Mystery in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Competition. Her second, Undertow, took Honorable Mention, for YA Horror the same year for Readers’ Favorite. Rising Tide was also the medalist winner for New Apple’s Summer Ebook competition.

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Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

 

September’s theme is On The Road

Four Lanes

Four Lanesby Jessica Wren

When Ashleigh Owens runs into the path of Chris Sterling’s 18-wheeler truck the two form an unbreakable link that transcends the barrier between the dead and the living.

Mile Marker 13

Mile Marker 13by Ian Williams

A night time drive turns into a terrifying journey.

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

 

 

Previous themes on Mayhem, Madness and Mirth – Great lttle stories. 🙂
Christmas Horror/Thriller
Man v Nature
Deadly Games
They come at night
Technology Gone Awry
Forgotten in Time

Great Summer Reads 2018 Countdown Blitz: Day 11

GSRCB 2018 Banner part 1

 

Beyond by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin

 

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“Dangerous. Wrong.
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”

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Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?

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excerpt
Violet’s shivering had finally subsided and she sat wrapped up in my comforter at the foot of my bed. We sat cross legged, knees to knees. I could tell she had been crying for a while. I laid my hand over hers.
“Tell me what’s going on.”
Violet didn’t look at me, but stared over my shoulder. “I’m forgetting.”
“What do you mean?”
“I feel like I’m forgetting my brother,” she said, her voice distant.
“No, Vi. Of course you’re not.” Again, I felt the choking guilt of having free access to the one thing that Violet missed the most.
She met my eyes. “That day we ditched and went to Kings Beach. Landon’s beach. That was our place. But I let myself have fun that day without him. How could I?”
“That’s a good thing.”
“I don’t think so. He used to be in my thoughts every minute. And now I find myself going an hour, maybe two not thinking of him at all.”
“Why is allowing yourself a little happiness bad?”
“Because I’m forgetting.” Her voice broke.
“He’s your twin; you are never going to forget.”
“Exactly. He was my twin and I have to pull up videos to remember how his laugh sounded.”
His voice gets husky when he laughs, I thought.
“Which side his dimple was on when he smiled. The exact shade of his hair.” She pressed her face into her hands, then roughly pulled her fingers through her hair. “It’s getting blurred.”
Dimple on the left. Hair the color of coffee without cream.
My eyes dropped to my hands in my lap. “I know it’s not the same, and I’m not trying to marginalize your pain, but sometimes when I look at Chase, I feel like I’ve lost a brother too. I’ve thought of that day at Kings beach also. Where was Chase? While we were ditching school, he was in a special-ed classroom. If he didn’t have autism, I would have brought him with us. Who am I to be making new friends and being all spontaneous when both of those things are so hard for him?”
I risked a glance and looked at her carefully. Her eyes were locked on mine and filling with tears, but I felt safe to continue. “I just want you to know that I understand how it feels to have things not turn out the way you’d hoped. What it’s like to be alone.”
Violet nodded. “There’s just no escaping it. I can’t run fast enough. It doesn’t matter how many things I fill my life with; how I try to distract myself. The pain is always there. It will always be there.”
I squeezed her hands.
She continued. “I’m just so scared I’m losing that connection we had. I’m telling you, Presley…it was like paranormal.” She smiled ruefully. “There was this one time I was at leadership camp in Sacramento. I got totally sick in the middle of the night. I thought it was just food poisoning. Then it got so bad that I couldn’t get off the bathroom floor to ask for help. Somehow, from a hundred miles away, Landon knew I was in trouble. He called and woke up my camp counselor to make her check on me.” Her eyes rounded. “My appendix ruptured and the surgeon said I would’ve been dead by morning.”
“That’s incredible,” I said.
“Exactly. Who has that? It was something unexplainable. And after he died, I could still feel him. That probably sounds crazy, but I swear I could sense him. And it’s fading. And I will never get it back.”
I could’ve fixed it in one sentence and just told her that Landon was standing outside right now. But that wasn’t my place. And who knew? It might make things worse.
I chose my words carefully. “I think I’ve learned enough about Landon to know that he’d want you to be happy. That he would be glad that things are getting a little easier for you. You’re not betraying him.”
Violet leaned forward and threw her arms around me. Her chin rested on my shoulder. “Can I just stay here tonight?”
“Of course you can.”
Long after Violet’s breaths grew slow and rhythmic, I laid there wondering how I landed here and how long I could keep this up.

before

Before

The next book in this series is available this September!

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authors

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Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She’s a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her “set-ups” have resulted in marriages.

After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she’s not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.

 

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Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She’s been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She’s lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she’s reading past bedtime.

 

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A-Z: Books I’ve Read

A-ZG is for Ghost

 

The 11th Percent

T.H. Morris

Jonah Rowe, a bored accountant and aspiring novelist, is sick and tired of his job as an accountant. He is burnt out from all the office gossip, politics, and double talk, and he longs for his life to matter. Truth be told, Jonah wants anything besides the lame routine of coasting through his workday….only to psych himself up enough to do it all over again the next day. He only wishes that his life had some meaning.

Amidst the combination of writer’s block and society’s expectations to have a “real” 9-5 job, Jonah gets his wish.

His world is turned completely upside down one evening when his vision inexplicably turns blue for several moments. He then receives a warning from a spectral visitor that not only is he in danger, but everything in his life is about to change.

Overnight, Jonah transforms from an overworked, underpaid accountant to the centerpiece of a spectral battle. Will he rise to the occasion? Can he accept that everything he knows about life and death is completely wrong? And, most importantly, will he be able to comprehend and harness the power of the mysterious 11th Percent?

Follow Jonah’s journey in this new breed of ghost story!

Amazon

The 11th Percent : Review

The 11th PercentI enjoyed this exciting, fast-paced and original book. It brings a fresh and unique look at spirits and the afterlife.

The story is well-written, with lots of action and plenty of suspense. I was hooked from the first page.

Johan and the supporting cast were well-developed, had their own personalities, and were, for the most part, likeable. Even the unpleasant Trip, turned out not to be a villain, which I didn’t see coming!

Thanks to the descriptive and engaging writing, I felt as though I had joined Johan and his new friends in the challenging world of the 11th Percenters.

The book ended well, leaving room to continue the story, but without a cliffhanger.

T.H. Morris
T.H. Morris is the pen name of myself, Terrick Heckstall.

​The initials T.H. honors my family name, and the surname Morris honors my late grandmother, Dora B. Morris, whose passing serves as one of the seeds for my series.

 

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016

Enter the chilling Ghostly Writes Anthology and be prepared to be scared with 27 short stories from around the world. Creepy houses, murder mysteries, paranormal and much more to haunt and thrill those who dare.

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Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016: Review

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2016 If you like ghost stories, you’ll be entertained by this excellent creepy collection of short stories from a wide variety of authors.

Some stories were scarier than others, but they were all well-written and most held my interest.
As is usual with the variety of tales in anthologies, I found some of them more enjoyable than others.

In fairness to all the authors involved, I’m finding it difficult to choose only one or two favourites, although Cabins by JB Taylor, Canvas by Sarah Moiser, Hello Dear by Stewart Bint and Ruby Kisses by Jessica Wren are at the top of my list…
and I would love to read more of Soul Man by Claire Plaisted