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!


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.

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?


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

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!

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Sarah J. McNeal said...

Thank you so much for having me as a guest today. It was so much fun writing this blog.

Celia Yeary said...

Sarah, Sarah, I thought you only had sweet comforting ideas in your pretty little head. Now you come up with something scary and creepy--that sounds like a very good story. The half-buried clown is the one that got me. I know readers will love it.
The photo of the that is really creepy.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Sarah and thanks for visiting us tody! Your story sounds terrific and the 'beastly' eyes in the cover art for The Beast of Hazard reminds me of my daughter's little black cat who gets that same 'I'll kill you!' expression in her little yellow eyes, lol.

Diane Davis White said...

Sarah, This sounds an exciting read. I'm going to look into it today! You go girl!
HeartSent Media

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Celia, you might be surprised by my dark side. My Legends of Winatuke trilogy with Publishing by Rebecca Vickery is a whole different kind of writing. Paranormal and time travel is where I started. Western writing came later--and that sweet me you mentioned. Thank you for coming. I always appreciate your support and kindness.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Lynda, the glowing eyes in the forest is a story poster Kathleen Rice Adams made for me. The actual cover for the anthology with the cowboy and dance hall girl was created for the anthology and was created by Livia Washburn Reasoner. Thank you for that lovely comment.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Diane, thank you so much for coming and for your interest in my story with the anthology. I so appreciate it.

Leigh Neely said...

Abandoned places are fascinating to me. I remember an abandoned house in my neighborhood when I was a child. It was thrilling to play there. Great post.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Leigh, abandoned houses can be creepy and dangerous.
Before we moved to the south, when I was four and my sister was five, we lived near an abandoned house just across the field from ours. All the houses in the area were old Victorians, and so was this one. My sister and I went to investigate. All the furniture was still there, but had weathered over time and had peeling paint and faded upholstery. We even found dishes in the cabinets and silverware in the drawers as if someone went to work one morning and never returned. It was while we were in the kitchen exploring when we heard footsteps upstairs. We shot out of there like we'd been shot from a canon and didn't stop running until we got home. Our mother had this pale look to her face and told us never to go there again--like we would ever go back to that "haunted" place. In the real world though, vagrants often take up residence in abandoned houses. It scares to think about how dangerous that could have been for two little girls.
Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, Leigh. I can't help but wonder, have you explored the abandoned house in your neighborhood?

Jacquie Rogers said...

What an interesting concept, Sarah. I've never seen an abandoned amusement park but with your description I realize how scary one could be!

We grew up exploring old ghost towns, but I never once associated these places with ghosts. Not sure why. Maybe it was because rattlesnakes were a whole lot more scary to me than ghosts.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Well, Jacquie, I have never visited a ghost town, but if I did, my imagination would probably get the best of me. Old building always make me wonder about the living being that once occupied them. What happened to those people? Are they still hanging around somewhere?
I don't know of any ghost towns around here. I guess the place where they filmed The Hunger Games in NC was a deserted town, but I never saw it or heard of it.
Amusement parks are another whole bag of weirdness. Discovering one in the middle of nowhere is the most disturbing part. Ever since I read Stephen King's "IT", I have not liked creepy clowns. I'm certain finding a clown overgrown with vines and half buried in the earth would freak me out.
Thank you so much for coming by. I just read where your grandson is back in school with his pirate patch and I felt so relieved for him. All the best to you.

Connie Bowen said...

Hi Sarah,
An abandoned amusement park is so... spooky! Great article and lots of good comments.
Best of luck,

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I think amusement parks left to decay out in old meadows and places that are now overgrown or become woods, are beyond eerie. Thank you so much for coming. I appreciate it.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

It's time to announce the winner of the Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 in e-book.
And the winner is......Leigh Neely!
Congratulations, Leigh. Please send an email to me at starcriter at yahoo dot com so I can get your prize to you.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to come to my blog and comment. I really appreciate the opportunity to blog here at Star-Crossed Romance.