Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest - Sarah McNeal

Good morning! We're having typical Michigan weather: cold, warm, cold, warm, cold. Throw in some rain, some sun, maybe a little snow and you're here  But those fallen leaves in gold, brown and russet really help set the mood for Halloween. There's a crispness in the air and no Trick or Treater will be able to sneak up on you 

So grab a cup of coffee or tea and a delectable piece of pumpkin pie and sit back and enjoy our guest, Sarah McNeal and her take on Haunted Amusement Parks, bwahahahah!

Make sure to check out her contest!

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Abandoned Amusement Parks Are Creepy

In my new release, ‘THE BEAST OF HAZARD”, from the Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 from Prairie Rose Publications, I wrote about an unscrupulous circus owner who abandons his circus which wreaks havoc and danger on the fictional town of Hazard, Wyoming.


I started researching abandoned amusement parks and, I have to tell you, there is nothing creepier than a place where laughter and fun once resided, now desolate and eerily silent. Imagine, on a hike in the forest, stumbling upon a metal clown half buried in the dirt and a Ferris wheel covered in vines out in the middle of nowhere. Even worse, imagine in the middle of a meadow with low lying fog coming across life size statues of dinosaurs. One might even think the creatures were real at first sight. I, for one, would run shrieking and screaming. Roller coasters and carrousels appear particularly sinister empty of passengers and slowly eaten by vines and trees. It just makes me shiver to think how they must appear to someone who might come upon them by accident.  


Near my home in North Carolina is an abandoned mill. I saw it every time I drove to the beach down highway 74. The old mill has deteriorated and kudzu vines have taken over most of the structures. It fascinated me, and it creeped me out. Of course, I had to get some photographs of it. Here is one of them.




In my story, “THE BEAST OF HAZARD”, an entire town is in danger just as the children are preparing to go out trick-or-treating. What is this beast? And what are the townspeople going to do to protect themselves as well as their livestock?





 A Terrorized Town…A Killer Beast…And Deliverance

Joey Wilding isn’t certain what’s killing the livestock in Hazard. Some believe it’s a bewitched beast, others a wolf gone rabid. As the town veterinarian, he’s seen mutilation before, but not like this, as if something enjoyed the killing.
When Claire Beau asks Joey to help her injured wolf-dog, and begs his discretion, he begins to suspect he has found the Beast of Hazard—and its beautiful mistress. But as he walks through the woods after dark, something more ominous than any wolf stalks him from the shadows.

EXCERPT:
As they stepped out into the dark night, a chill ran down Joey’s spine as he remembered that terrible growl he heard in the woods. He was comforted a little by the light on the barn that flooded the space between the barn and house with a pale light. From off in the distance, a sound came from the depth of the forest that shook Joey to the core.
Claire’s face grew pale and her eyes widened. “We should hurry,” she said in a voice tight with fear. Whatever that thing was out there, Claire must know something about it. The woman who had a huge wolf as a pet suddenly looked afraid of the thing out there. Her response made him very uneasy. Could he trust her?



BUY LINKS:


CONTEST ALERT: I will be giving away a digital copy of the Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 to a commenter.

I have a story coming up in the Christmas anthology from Prairie Rose Publications, “When Love Comes Knocking”.

A lonely widow…an indiscretion…a gift for redemption

On Sale for October, my medieval paranormal trilogy, Legends of Winatuke, boxed set will be only 99 cents. It has 3 full length novels filled with adventure, creatures, evil beings, a witch, and romance: Dark Isle, Lake of Sorrows, and The Light of Valmora…all for only 99 cents.



About Sarah

Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Victory Tales Press, Prairie Rose Publications and Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press, imprints of Prairie Rose Publications. She welcomes you to her website at


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Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Don't forget to check out her contest. And please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the pumpkin pie along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1

Monday, October 06, 2014

Guest - Karri Thompson

Good morning! We have author Karri Thompson visiting us today. She's got a terrific post about one of our cultural icons - zombies! So grab a GF Vampire Eyeball Cookie, a cup of hot blood coffee and a chair. Karri has a contest so make sure you enter it (directions below). Enjoy!
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We’re All Infected
By
Karri Thompson
            As a high-school English teacher, it is not uncommon for me to hear the latest scoop on campus from my students while I circulate the classroom, helping them with their assignments. I tend to ignore the superficial stuff – the hottest boy or girl on campus, the fight that happened at lunch, why someone has been suspended, etc. – but recently when I kept hearing one particular topic over and over again, I couldn’t help but listen and eventually question them about it.
            What were my students talking about? The Walking Dead – one of AMC’s top series with an average of 10.4 million viewers per episode during its fourth season.
 Zombies? Nope, it wasn’t my thing at the time, but being a Netflix subscriber, I gave it a shot, and to my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed. My husband even joined my “Walking Dead” marathon, and he was the last person I thought would ever become hooked on a show featuring the undead.
But The Walking Dead is more than just a show about zombies. Its cast of likeable and many hot characters (Darrell and Rick), reminds us that every person is vulnerable, and that at any given moment, we might need to rely on one of our instincts, a special, biological trigger that helps us decide whether to face a danger and fight or turn away and flee from possible injury or death.
            Our brains are uniquely hard-wired to keep us alive. This fight-or-flight response is just one part of our human nature, and it just so happens to be the innate response viewers witness most often in each episode of The Walking Dead
            True – a zombie apocalypse will never happen, but people still hold the inborn fear that if they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, they might experience something similar, whether it’s a terrorist attack, natural disaster, nuclear war, or world-wide pandemic. The popularity of the National Geographic Channel’s reality show, Doomsday Preppers, only reinforces the fact that many Americans are currently preparing for the worst, a time when the phrase “survival of the fittest” might become a reality.
Recent political and catastrophic events around the world, such as the hostilities in the Middle East, cases of Ebola in the United States, and this decade’s recent string of international disasters, such as the Tsunamis that hit Thailand and Japan, only add to this sudden rise in preparatory behavior and the fear of Armageddon.
            Dystopian novels like Brave New World, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even my own novel, Mirror X, give the reader insight into a conceived post-apocalyptic world, worlds containing the many psychological and physiological survival methods used by each book’s characters. The continued popularity of this genre again reinforces the fact that as humans, we never forget that we are vulnerable and mortal.
“We’re all infected” with the same strong, intrinsic will to subsist no matter what the cost, making stories as unimaginable as a zombie apocalypse or a world where babies are harvested in containers, something millions of people love to watch and read about.
            Halloween is just around the corner, and although my agent told me the publishing market is saturated with “zombie” manuscripts, I might still write one. With season five of The Walking Dead beginning on October 12, and with a record-breaking estimate of over 20 million viewers, I think the zombie trend is far from ending, and I definitely know why.



MIRROR X/Karri Thompson

I was born more than a thousand years ago.

Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.

But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.

Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets. 
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.

When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif


MIRROR X/Excerpt

I was filled with too much turmoil and betrayal to even raise my voice. “You should have told me from the very beginning, Michael. All that talk about training and career opportunities was a big lie.”
            He bent forward, his eyes aimed at the gray floor as I watched his back rise with each breath.
            “I’m sorry, Cassie. Until you were told about the project, we had to keep you from asking questions we weren’t ready to answer. They were going to wait another week, but I couldn’t lie to you one more minute.”
            I folded my arms against my chest and sighed. “I’m being forced into doing something I don’t want to do, and I’ve been manipulated and deceived by people I thought I could trust.”
“We needed to wait until you were stronger. You were too vulnerable.”
“And I’m not vulnerable now? Look at me.” I said, raising my frail arms and letting them drop limply to the bed.
“We’re all vulnerable. We’re desperate. And we’re running out of time.”

 About Karri Thompson

Growing up in San Diego, California, Karri Thompson spent much of her years at the beach, reading novels, tanning, and listening to music. At SDSU, she earned a BA in English, MA in education, and her teaching credential. As a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher, she began writing novels, giving all of the compelling plots and unique characters in her head a home. Victorian literature rocks her socks, and when she’s not writing, jogging, going to concerts, or watching her son play football, she’s reading Dickens.

Instagram: authorkarrithompson
Twitter: @karrithompson


To Enter Karri's contest, click on the Rafflecopter link.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Lynda Again --


Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Vampire Eyeball Cookies along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1

Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest - Linda Nightingale

Good morning! We have author Linda Nightingale. And in the corner there, we have Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies and cafe au lait. Try some. They're calorie free ;-) (Alas, the member recipe for the cookies will have calories.) Sit back and enjoy!


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I have been told that readers want to know about the people who write this weird stuff.  So, I’ll introduce my weird self.  I started life on December 27th (year intentionally omitted) as Linda Joyce Brown in Anderson, South Carolina.  I grew up along the way and became a legal assistant.  The last position I held before retiring to write fulltime was with Legal Services at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  I am a mother, a writer and a lover of horses.  I spent many years in the show arena.  My Andalusian stallion Bonito was twice national champion at halter.  Our breeding operation was Camelot Act II in my hometown.  After the death of two of my horses, I sold the farm and moved to Miami, but Bonito, of course (he was my soul mate) went with me.  I’ve lived in Canada and England, and now reside in the big State of Texas.   My favorite things are my two sons, horses, piano and gorgeous men with long blond hair.

But I’d rather talk about my books!  My Work in Progress is another paranormal romance titled, The Summons.   I’m having a lot of fun writing this tale of a spirit bound to a witch who doesn’t know she is a witch.  When he rebels against a powerful Shaman bent on sacrificing her for sins she did not commit, the wouldn’t be witch must learn her craft fast.

I have four books available in eBook and in print, Sinners’ Opera, Gemini Rising, Cardinal Desires and my latest release, Sinners’ Obsession, the sequel to Sinners’ Opera and Book #2 in the Obsession Series.  Sinners’ Opera was in the Top Ten in the 2013 Preditors’ & Editors’ Poll.  Gemini Rising won the Mainstream Category in that poll in 2012.  Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award.

Sinners’ Opera, the book of my heart, was the first one I wrote, and it was years in the making and editing from over 1,000 pages to 171 published in 2013 by Double Dragon Publishing, a Canadian publisher.   My editor at DDP asked for a sequel, and Sinners’ Obsession is now in the editing phase.  I had already begun a prequel, Sinners’ Waltz.  In that long ago beginning, I didn’t anticipate writing a series, but I seem to have done so!  So, I needed a name for the series and, very originally, I have called the Morgan trilogy, Obsession.

Morgan D’Arcy, the hero, is an English lord, a classical pianist and … a vampire.   Sinners’ Opera is Isabeau’s and Morgan’s story.  You can view the book video on YouTube at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwsE3PvjFTk
The music is beautiful, and author Noelle Adams did a splendid job with production of the video.    http://www.amazon.com/Sinners-Opera-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B00DIKLEH2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407821887&sr=8-1&keywords=sinners+opera

Sinners’ Obsession was released in August by Double Dragon Publishing:
A frantic mother researches her daughter's flawed DNA in a race against time, suffering disappointment after disappointment in her search for a cure.

In this sequel to Sinners' Opera, Morgan D'Arcy, English lord, classical pianist and vampire, finally wins his Isabeau. Six months of painful separation have eroded Isabeau's need to remain true to her wicked bargain with the most powerful vampire in the world, Lucien St. Albans. During their estrangement, Isabeau gives birth to Morgan's daughter, Eroica—a DarkeChilde, half-human and half-vampire, outlawed by the Vampyre Code. She loves Morgan too much to live without him and relents to his enticing pursuit, but a dangerous confession nearly shatters their idyllic existence. In a dark moment, Morgan tells Isabeau their child carries a defective gene that will cause Eroica to go mad at puberty.

Eroica D'Arcy is the subject of Isabeau's deal with the devil. When their beautiful blonde daughter reaches her twentieth birthday, she is promised to the Dark Prince of vampires, Lucien St. Albans.

Other Books:












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Lynda Again --
Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1

Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest - Shauna Aura Knight

Good morning! It's definitely Fall here in lower Michigan. Cool temps, leaves putting on their fancy colors, squirrels and bunnies hurrying to put away their winter stores. I'm doing the same though not in a hurry-scurry manner. I'm freezing some of my herbs, corn, squash, and green beans. I'd like to do more but time is no woman's friend and we all only have 24 hours in a day. With that in mind, today's delectable treat is an easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp. And to go with it, we have some fragrant cinnamon coffee. So pull up one of our cozy chairs and have a treat that will delight your taste buds while we listen to our guest, author Shauna Aura Knight. Enjoy!



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Why do We Like Paranormal and Magical Stories?


The paranormal romance genre is pretty popular, but being a curious person I sometimes wonder what makes the supernatural, the otherworldly, and the magical, so endlessly fascinating. I must find it captivating since everything I write has some kind of a fantasy or sci-fi element to it. Even with the movies I watch, I’m willing to put up with some pathetic plots as long as there is magic, superpowers, or space ships.

Without getting too woo-woo, I think there are things below the surface of the “real world.” I think there is the occasional magic, the occasional unexplainable phenomena, even the occasional miracle. And I think that those stories inspire us and entrance us. Or maybe it goes back to hundreds, thousands of years ago, when we huddled around the fire having no idea how the world worked. At the Winter Solstice, would the nights really just keep growing longer? Or would the sun ever come back? Imagine what it must have been like, when the natural world held a mystery, a magic, and even a little terror.

Sometimes I think it’s a little thrilling to think that there are people out there with magic powers. That there are werewolves, vampires, ghosts, psychics, superheroes, and magic-users. That there is something beyond the daily grind of our reality. And in romance, I think it’s particularly alluring that there are sexy guys with supernatural abilities courting the heroine. Or that the heroine has magical powers.

In my first novella, Werewolves in the Kitchen, Ellie ends up mating two werewolves,
Kyle and Jake. They are stronger than average and have that intense primal attraction. I think there’s something pretty enticing about werewolves and shapeshifters…about a guy that is so hot for you his eyes glow and he has difficulty keeping himself from shifting into his animal form. Imagine a guy with super strength, stamina, and endurance who could fight off powerful enemies for you, a guy who has a psychic connection to you, who absolutely loves the way you smell and would do anything for you.

I think with paranormal romance, there’s potential for the traditional alpha hero to get an interesting spin as a werewolf, a vampire, or some other supernatural magic.

I have an urban fantasy novella, The Autumn Leaves, the White Dress with subtle paranormal and fantasy elements of the story including Meredith dreaming her own death, an intense Samhain ritual, and speaking to the spirits of the dead. 

I call it subtle magic because for me, this kind of paranormal and psychic phenomena isn’t really that far reality. While it’s not common, I have heard of—and experienced—prophetic dreams and spirit communication. I facilitate community rituals for Pagan and Earth-centered communities, and I also write nonfiction books on Dreamwork and other metaphysical topics. In my fiction, the paranormal elements are a little bit more reliable than they typically are in real life. In reality, prophetic dreams and spirit communication that are that directly accurate are fairly rare.

The story itself was inspired by a dream I had, though it wasn’t prophetic. Actually, a lot of my fiction is inspired by my own dreams.

My story A Winter Knight’s Vigil is probably the most subtle magic of all the stories I’ve written, and yet, it’s how real magic works. Amber and Tristan are on a retreat in a cabin in the woods with their coven, and when things get hot and heavy between them, they find themselves facing their own personal shadows and fears during intense ecstatic rituals.

I facilitate rituals like that with some frequency when I travel around the country teaching in the Pagan community. I truly enjoy writing “real” ritual magic into my paranormal and urban fantasy stories. But—for me, the kind of magic that happens in rituals like that is genuine. Participants in the rituals certainly have some intense experiences!

I think the allure of that kind of magic and paranormal phenomena is that connection with that something larger…I think we just want to know that there’s magic out there.

When I teach workshops, whether  they are psychic development workshops, dreamwork, or when I’m facilitating rituals to get people into a deep ecstatic trance state, I think that people are looking to touch the fingertips of that magic, that something deeper. Maybe you call it the divine, maybe you call it the Force, maybe it’s just the mysteries of the universe at work. I think that many of us want to see that universe at work. We want to understand it. We want to know there’s an order to the pattern.

We also want to know that there’s something special beneath the surface, something potent and inexplicable and wild and utterly fascinating.

 I think that people tend to envy the folks that have touched that something beyond. The truth is that many people lament to me that they can’t meditate, that they don’t have psychic experiences, that they can’t get visions at will. And then every once in a while, they find a way to open to that experience.

And no, it’s not like in a fantasy book where people zap people with lightning bolts, or where people shapeshift into wolves. It’s still a magic. Just a subtle magic. That subtle magic is all around us, but we have to get better at listening to find it.

Some of the books I have coming out involve the flashier magic—vampires, faeries, psychic mages, and massive epic fantasy battles with armies and elves and warriors. But I think at the core, I’ll always also deal with those more delicate magics. The little magics that are just rippling under the surface of the water, just out of reach. The magic of the shadows we face, the dark nights, the personal transformation we each go through to become who we could be.

What inspires you about paranormal fiction? What is your favorite kind of magic? Comment below with your email address for a chance to win a FREE ebook copy of Werewolves in the Kitchen (or any one of my three novellas, winner’s choice). Winner will be chosen on October 1st.

Werewolves in the Kitchen:
When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?


Available for $2.99 at:

Excerpt from Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Ellie looked up, surprised by the sudden silence in the room, and her jaw dropped a little. The two men were suddenly looking at her like hungry wolves. Ellie felt like a cornered deer and actually backed up against the washer.

Kyle stepped behind her, scenting her hair. Then Jake and Kyle shared some look between them.

Ellie was tongue-tied. They had to be teasing her.

Jake moved in front of her, and she trembled as he sniffed her hair band and then her hair. “Yes, definitely like you.”

“Yes,” Kyle murmured, nuzzling her neck. She was panting. Kyle growled and pulled back. “I don’t want to pressure you.”

“We don’t want you to feel like you have to.”

Ellie made a soft sound. Words wouldn’t come.

“Are you ok?”

“Do you want us to stop?” Jake murmured. She shook her head and then gasped when Kyle kissed her neck. Jake stroked her cheek and kissed her lips gently at first, and when she moaned he pulled her closer. Kyle lapped at her neck, nipping now, and Jake was kissing her with deep velvet strokes of his tongue.

She moaned weakly feeling Kyle behind her, Jake in front of her pulling her close against his hips. Kyle slipped his fingers into her shirt to tease at her nipples, and she leaned back against him, bucking into his touch. Kyle drew the straps of her cami-top down even as Jake started dragging her shirt up.

She pulled back to breathe, and Jake stroked her cheek, nibbling at the other side of her neck. “Guys…I need a shower….”

Kyle chuckled, lifting his head. “Not like we haven’t been baking in our own juices; we can take care of that. Come with us.”

“Come with you?”

“To our room,” Jake whispered into her ear, and she moaned, closing her eyes. “Come on,” they urged, drawing her to the stairs.

“But…I…” Ellie shook her head. “Why now?” Kyle turned her to face him.

“We both wanted you, but we didn’t want to scare you.”

“I saw you watching us. Don’t you desire us?”

“Oh yes, but I thought you two were...that is…didn’t think you’d want….”

Kyle kissed her deeply. “I want you. Jake wants you. We’ve been trying not to crowd you, but well…”

“You didn’t seem to get our signals.” Jake sucked hard on her neck.

“I just thought you were being nice.”

“Oh we were being nice,” Kyle grinned. “We’re going to be nicer. Come on.” He shut the washer.



Shauna Aura Knight
 is an author and fantasy artist inspired by the mythic stories of heroes, of swords and magic, and of the challenge we each must overcome. She’s the author of several urban fantasy and paranormal romance stories including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Find excerpts and more at www.shaunaauraknight.com/books


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Lynda Again --
Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Apple Crisp along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guest - Lauren Smith

Good morning! We've due for a lovely Fall day but I'll probably be at the dealership all morning for a safety recall on my vehicle. Not to worry though, we have author Lauren Smith visiting and talking about ghosts. There are pumpkin muffins and hazelnut coffee on the table so grab one of our cozy chairs and enjoy!

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Behind the Book Post- The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall

Two years ago, on a cold October night, I sat in a booth of an old pub house in Weymouth, England. The wind outside howled and whistled through the cozy little wood and brick pub. I held a letter written on thick, expensive card stock which bore the Weymouth family crest. Yet the letter was from my friend, Jane Seyton. She’d come here to finish her thesis on haunted castles the previous year. The local titled lord here was the Earl of Weymouth, but I’d never met him.

I’d read the letter over and over, trying to make sense of its contents. She had sent me a list titled “You May Be Dealing With Ghosts If…” and had listed several statements. Checking my watch for the time, I saw I had another couple of minutes before Jane was scheduled to arrive and meet me for drinks. Time enough to read the strange and curious list once more.

Taking a sip of my beer, I read the list again.

You May Be Dealing With Ghosts If…

1. You start having mysterious dreams about a castle you’ve never seen before.
2. You feel like a set of unseen eyes are always watching you, the press of their gaze like an icy pressure on the back of your skull…
3. You witness a forlorn woman in a white flowing gown floating along a cliff’s edge during a heavy storm.
4. You come face to face with a brooding, arrogant, yet sexy earl who doesn’t want you snooping around his castle or investigating his family’s tragic, bloody past.
5. There’s a two hundred year old portrait of a woman who looks exactly like you hanging on a wall in the earl’s drawing room.
6. Shadows keep forming in the shape of dragons on the library floor while you try to do research on your haunted castle thesis.
7. A diary dated from the early 1800s finds its way into your hands.
8. When the earl kisses you, it’s as though you’ve kissed him before in another life.
9. You keep seeing visions of a jealous witch casting a curse.

I folded the list and slipped it back into my coat pocket, just as the pub house door opened. There was Jane, her gray eyes pure and clear like mercury. Her raven black hair was a tumble of wild waves about her shoulders. She wasn’t alone. A tall man with burnished gold hair wearing a black knee length winter coat followed her. There was something elegant in his features, a handsomeness that wasn’t often seen in this century.

“Hey!” She walked through the maze of little rickety tables and slid into the opposite side of the booth from me. The man followed her like a shadow, protective, quiet, but not unfriendly. His eyes held so much sadness, but there was joy too and surprise, as though he’d only recently learned to embrace happiness.

“Jane!” I grinned, delighted to see my old school friend.

“You’ll never believe what’s happened.” She rubbed her gloved hands together to warm them, a bright gleam in her eyes.

“What?” I asked, retrieving the letter from my pocket.

“I’d like you to meet Bastian, the Earl of Weymouth.” A pretty blush colored her cheeks. “Bastian, this is my dear friend Lauren from college.”

Bastian nodded politely and shook my hand. “A genuine pleasure,” he murmured. His voice was rich and dark like aged Scotch.

“That’s wonderful, but Jane, what’s the meaning of this list you sent me.” I offered the list to her.

A little devious smile ghosted across her lips and she shared a knowing gaze with Bastian before she looked my way again.

“That’s just it. I have quite a story to share and I want you to write it down…”




  


To defeat a dark evil, they must face his family’s past…

Bastian Carlisle, the Earl of Weymouth, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Even though tragedy and mysterious hauntings have driven his family away from his ancestral home, Stormclyffe Hall, he is determined to restore the castle to its former glory. His plans are disrupted when a stubborn American shows up on his doorstep hoping to pry into his family’s tragic history. 

Jane Seyton, an American graduate student, is convinced there’s more to the tragedy of Stormclyffe Hall than history claims. Ever the scholar, she is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting up with the arrogant, yet sexy, Bastian.

Although Bastian wants nothing to do with the pushy American, it soon becomes clear that something evil is in the house—and that something is targeting both Jane and Bastian. The two must join forces to purge the ghosts of Stormclyffe Hall once and for all—even as they try to fight a physical attraction between them that grows more and more impossible to deny.

Author Bio:
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She's won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.
Twitter: @LSmithAuthor
Newsletter: Sign up at the bottom of Lauren’s website


Buy Links:
Amazon :


iTunes:

Barnes & Noble:

Kobo:

Short Excerpt:
Randolph cleared his throat. “Will she be staying here, my lord? I can have a room prepared immediately.”
Stay here? Surely he couldn’t let the woman stay in the castle. Bastian was about to declare as much when something out of the corner of his eye flickered. A shadow at the edge of his vision seemed to be creeping along the wall toward him. He turned and focused in the direction he’d glimpsed it, but all signs of the shadow were gone.
I’m seeing things, too, blast it! These workmen are driving me to madness as well. He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and forefinger.
“My lord?” Randolph prompted, which made Bastian realize he must have been silent for several moments. The shadows had him on edge. Perhaps it would be nice to have a bit of company, if only she wasn’t a bloody American. Given the rumors of ghosts and other such childish stories, most of the staff at Stormclyffe refused to stay overnight. Only Randolph and a few of the loyal staff from London remained after dark.
“I shall meet with her. She will not be staying here.”
Jane Seyton was sure to be like every other historian he’d met and probably as stubborn as one of the Queen’s corgis with a bone. Given half the chance, she’d run off to the nearest garden and bury his secrets where only she could find them. He didn’t like anyone having that power over him.
Well, he did have a way with women. If she proved too troublesome in getting her to leave, he’d simply seduce her. There wasn’t a woman born yet that would say no to an invitation to dinner if the Earl of Weymouth asked her. No doubt she was a lonely little bookworm, probably wearing spectacles and never been kissed. The idea was almost charming. He smirked as he headed toward the drawing room. If he wanted her gone by nightfall, she’d be gone and all it would cost him was dinner.
When he reached the drawing room and laid a palm on the heavy oak door, it swung open revealing the rich red- and gold-papered walls and dust covered furniture. He hadn’t had the chance to visit every room in the castle in the last seven months, since he’d been here sparingly, and he had definitely not been into this one. Randolph had been overseeing the cleanup of the rooms upon Bastian’s instructions and given the number of rooms, many had yet to be opened.
Personally, he had been avoiding this room because it was the only room in the castle where a portrait of Isabelle hung. His grandmother had said looking upon Isabelle’s face was bad luck, and since Stormclyffe had been abandoned for longer than he’d been alive, he’d never had the chance to find out himself if it was true. But now, seeing his ancestor for the first time…he was arrested at the sight.
There on the wall was the infamous woman whose swan dive off the cliffs had tainted his family’s lives forever. Bastian studied the portrait for a moment. A fair-skinned woman with a hint of rose in her cheeks gazed out from the layers of oil with serious gray eyes. Her pale blue gown molded to her curves, and waves of rich ebony hair tumbled down her shoulders to tease the tops of her breasts. There was a curious expression on her face. She was happy, but wariness lurked in the depths of her eyes, as though she expected to lose her joy at any moment.
Below the painting, a flesh-and-blood woman stood with her back to him. Windblown hair, dark as a raven’s wing, spiraled down her back in enticing waves. He had the sudden urge to thread his fingers through the silken strands and shape her full curves with his other hand. A curious burning settled deep in his bones, and a ringing filled his ears as visions of him pinning her to a bed filled his mind. Wild, erotic thoughts tumbled through him, stealing his breath before he regained control and focused on his visitor again.
As though she’d heard his lustful thoughts, the woman turned to face him, cheeks flaming. She couldn’t have known what he was thinking.  His hand dropped from the door handle, and his jaw slackened in shock.
The dreamy gray eyes fixed on him were identical to the eyes of the woman painted above her. Noble, high cheekbones, curving brows, a sensual mouth made for kisses, and that nose, both delicate and impish, a perfect fit for the face of the woman before him. Her inky-black tresses and curves designed perfectly for a man’s hands made her a living memory of a woman centuries gone.
Dear God… He repeated the words in his head over and over, mesmerized by the closeness of their shared features.
“You must be Lord Weymouth. I’m Jane Seyton.”
The woman strode over to him, hand outstretched. Without thinking, he took it. Heat flared between them. He inhaled sharply.


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Lynda Again --
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