Category Archives: Paranormal

Welcome, Linda Nightingale!

Presenting…

Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Masquerade

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The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D’Arcy to fear nothing and no one. Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless… you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?

 

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About The Author

 

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A born-and-bred wanderer, (actually nothing quite so romantic!), Linda hails from South Carolina, but has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and has 7 novels in print with 2 contracted. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Symphony League, and enjoys events with her car club. Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

 

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Welcome Dawn Colclasure

Please join me in welcoming Dawn Colclasure to Hightlighted Author.

Hi, Dawn.  Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, Charlene. Thank you for having me on your blog as a Highlighted Author. I’m a Californianative living in Oregon. I am a mother of two children, ages 4 and 10. I am deaf but was not born deaf; I lost my hearing at the age of 13 when I was sickened with spinal meningitis. For this reason, I can speak clearly. My children can both hear and it’s been a rewarding experience of having both the deaf and hearing worlds in our home. I am the third of seven children and I enjoy reading or watching movies in my spare time.

What genres do you enjoy reading/writing?

I love to read just about anything under the sun! As for writing, I prefer mysteries, suspense and paranormal. I do enjoy writing for children, but so far, I’ve only written one children’s story that I thought was suitable for publication.  My FIRST children’s book is available as a print and E-book! Check out The Yellow Rose.

What was it that made you decide to become a writer?

Writing became a fixture in my childhood. At the age of 20 months old, I was in a car accident. My mother was carrying me as she walked along the sidewalk and a van struck her and pinned her to a wall. I was thrown from her arms and landed underneath the van, which was on fire. This caused my third degree burns, which meant several stays in hospital for reconstructive surgery. It was at one such hospital where a nurse gave me a journal and suggested I write poetry. That was literally the switch that turned on the “writer” in me and later I was writing short stories, scripts and book-length stories in addition to poems. I moved on to write articles and essays in my teen years.

I found that I really enjoyed this writing thing. Those stays at the hospital grew pretty lonely and boring, and I found that it wasn’t just books or crafts I could use to pass the time with, but writing, as well. I wrote several short stories and poems while in the hospital, and it was fun sharing my writing with the doctors and nurses. Also, writing became a great escape. While I was confined to a hospital bed with stitches or in bandages, I was free to explore and travel in my stories.

Who was your biggest supporter or influence in becoming a writer?

My parents were the first people to support my writing, and they have never stopped supporting it. My dad would often read my stories and talk on the phone with editors and publishers. He would also read over contracts. My mom was strict with chores, but anytime I was writing was my time to write. While my brothers and sisters had to vacuum the floor or make their bed, my mom wouldn’t say a word to me while I sat at the typewriter for hours, blissfully typing out stories.

You’ve written several books:

  • November’s Child,
  • Take My Hand,
  • 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration,
  • Writing Prompts and Beat the Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity, 
  • BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents,
  • Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion,
  • Songs of the Dead, co-author of TOTALLY SCARED: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses,
  • The Yellow Rose

And you have a  forthcoming title: WIP It! How to Revise Your Writing Like a Pro.  Is there one that stands out as a favorite?  Why?

Oh, wow. It is so hard to pick a favorite! Every one of my book is my favorite. Every one of my book is my baby. But if there was one that stood out, it would have to be my forthcoming novel, Shadow of Samhain, coming in the fall of 2011. This book was originally published as November’s Child in 1993, but the publisher went bankrupt and the book was in limbo for a long time. I had the remainder copies of the book, but even those were snatched up by readers. I spent years talking to several people to find out if it was safe to republish the book, as well as research for and write a new version of the story. I didn’t mind changing a majority of the story, but I did mind changing the title. This one is my favorite because it was a “family project.” I actually dreamed about a man named Jonathan for many years and one dream showed various scenes from the dream as one novel called November’s Child. That title was actually in that dream! That is the story I wrote, but I had trouble figuring out how to make the dream aspect work. One of my sisters suggested I turn my character, Jonathan, into a Druid. She’d just seen a movie about Druids so she was interested in them. My mom knew about my dreams and even told me that she herself dreamed about Jonathan, too. This made a light bulb go off over my head and that’s how I added the whole “family curse” element to the story. The character, Jovin, is based on another man I saw in those dreams. This man did not have a name, but in my research on Druidism, I came across the name “Jovan.” I liked that name, but changed the spelling. I also like how I took one big thing that really happened, and a bunch of small things related to it, and put it all into one story. I do like the new title, but I’ll always remember it as November’s Child. Coincidentally, my mom, who the book is dedicated to, is a November’s child!

Tell us about your featured book, Totally Scared.

Totally Scared is pretty much an “everything you ever wanted to know” kind of book about haunted houses. I started writing articles on this theme when I was writing for the Shadowlands newsletter. I have lived in a haunted house, as well as houses with paranormal activity, so I was curious about this topic. After a while, I realized this series could work as a book. I worked on it for several months before I realized I was into something much too big for just one person to handle. I was acquainted with my co-author, Martha Jette, through her paranormal writings and newsletter, so I approached her about this project. We got to talking and she offered to join this project as a co-author. I thought that was a great idea! Together, we both covered topics such as true stories of people living in haunted houses (something I was surprised to learn Martha had experience with, as well), what paranormal investigators do when they are called to check out a haunted house, and the different types of people who can also help in cases of a haunting. We also wrote about “hauntedHollywood,” 15 famous haunted houses (as well as not-so-famous haunted houses), haunted real estate and the kinds of things people can do when they are experiencing activity or struggling with terrifying memories of haunted encounters. Martha brought a huge amount of great material into this project and shared some fabulous ideas on how to make this book better and I’m so glad I talked to her about this book in the first place.

What kind of research was involved in writing such a book?

Martha came to this book with connections to people sharing their true stories of haunted encounters and I already knew some investigators thanks to the article series. I also had to check out a variety of other haunted houses books to see what types of things were discussed about haunted houses – and, specifically, what wasn’t discussed. I also came across one interesting story from a source who owns a haunt attraction that is actually haunted, and I started to wonder, are there others out there? I asked book coach Judy Cullins if I should cover something like that in this kind of book, and she agreed it would be a nice fit. Actually researching the topic was another story, however! I spent weeks reaching dead ends until I learned I was actually using the wrong kind of term in Google! It helped that I talked to people in this kind of industry and figured out what I was doing wrong. These people referred me to getting in touch with other people they knew who could be a good source. Also, in my research on books, I would read amazon reviews and if people said “you know, you really should contact Person X because she does this particular kind of work,” I would follow up on that. I’d search the web, search Amazon for their books, send emails out to people who made such comments or featured that person on their blog. It was just a matter of following leads and talking to a lot of people. I also read every newspaper and magazine article I could find on this topic. This helped a lot in finding out if other things I read were true or not. Also, again, I can’t say enough good things about reading reviews and comments people leave on web sites.

Do you have any other projects in the works that we can look forward to?

I am actually working on a book about haunted cities. This book was originally going to be published by one particular publisher, but that deal went south. I picked up the manuscript, changed all my previous plans for it (along with the title) and resumed work on it. In this book, paranormal investigators share their experiences investigating locations in some ofAmerica’s most haunted cities. It is an ongoing project and I am still contacting paranormal investigators in various cities to gather their stories for this book. I will not be submitting it to my publisher until I am satisfied with the content and have included certain cities which I feel MUST be in this book. It’s just a matter of getting in touch with the groups and collecting their stories! I am also working on a middle-grade paranormal mystery series for children aged 8-12. The first book should be published in early 2012. Finally, I am at work on another series: A 3-book series for writers on revising your first drafts.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?

One quote that I live by comes from Walt Disney: “If you believe in something, believe in it all the way.” Be prepared to spend months, even years, working on your book. It can take a long time to go from writing that first word to seeing your words in print. The Totally Scared book was a work-in-progress for years, and the editing took weeks to complete. Then it took some time before the book was accepted, and in that process it changed hands with several agents and publishers, then there was more time we had to wait for it to be published. But sooner or later, the end of the journey draws near. Be patient. Be persistent. There is a lot of work involved, as well as a lot of effort and patience. If you believe in your book, believe in it all the way.

Would you share an excerpt of Totally Scared with us?

 

Totally Scared

blurb

Why are some homes haunted and what is it like to live in a house where spirits of the dead still roam?

Find out first-hand from those who have lived or are still living in haunted houses.

How did they cope and did they seek the right help? If it happens to you, what should you do?

Is the actual house haunted or something else – an old mirror, an antique chair, an unusual painting, perhaps a turn-of-the-century doll or a home built on a burial ground?

You will find answers to all of these questions and much more within this book’s 344 pages. You will also find an extensive index of paranormal investigators and haunted houses world-wide. Take it along on your travels, spend a night at a haunted in or two and experience the other side of the veil yourself!

Written by Dawn Colclasure & Martha Jette

 

Click Image To Purchase!

Totally Scared

excerpt

The thing that got me started in writing about haunted houses? My desire to know WHY houses are haunted. For this reason, perhaps it is appropriate that I share a page from Chapter 3, “Why is a House Haunted?”

You can find them anywhere – in any city or town and in any neighborhood around the world. In fact, even the White House has its resident ghosts. Haunted houses come in all shapes and sizes – old, historic homes or new ones. It is hard to find someone who has never heard of a haunted house or a story relating to one but what is difficult to find is someone who understands exactly why a house is haunted. We know they exist – but why?

John Zaffis, Director of the Paranormal Research Society of New England (PRSNE) inStratford,Connecticuthas made it his business to understand why houses could be haunted. After 32 years as a paranormal investigator, he certainly should know.

“Sometimes it can have to do with the property or it could have something to do with the people that move into these houses,” he explained. “And sometimes it is a combination of both.”

Anne Palagruto, a paranormal investigator for seven years and Co-Director of the South Jersey Ghost Research (SJGR)  in South Jersey agrees. She is also the Director of the South Jersey Ghost Research Kids Club (SJGR Kids Club) and the Philadelphia Institute for Paranormal Research in Philadelphia and the author of Forensic Ghostology – How to Investigate a Haunting and Deliver Us From Evil – Prayers for Spiritual Warfare.

“There are several reasons why a house can be haunted,” she said. “Sometimes a ghost just misses his family and wants to visit. Sometimes he loves his house so much he doesn’t want to leave. Sometimes a person didn’t get to finish something he started or to do something he needed to do when he was alive, so his spirit will hang around to try to finish it. Sometimes, especially if a person dies suddenly or violently, he will not realize he is dead. The concept of time mat be different in the hereafter than it is on earth. What is a year for the living may only be a minute for a spirit, so the few minutes it takes to realize he is dead may be years here on earth.” 

 

Want more Dawn?  Find her here:

Totally Scared site: http://totallyscared.webs.com/

Author site: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/

Twitter: @dawncolclasure

Book review blogger: http://writedmc.livejournal.com/

 

Or you may contact her at:

Marthajette[@]yahoo.com

Dmcwriter[@]gmail.com

 

Get your copy of Totally Scared at these fine outlets:

Saga Books

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Martha Jette

Join me in welcoming Martha Jette to Highlighted Author.

Martha is not only an author, she’s also a freelance writer for the Examiner.com, manuscript editor and book reviewer at MBook Reviews By Martha Jette.  She also operates a site entitled Boomers Write , the only writing site specifically for those over 50, and the blog Aging With Creativity.

Personally, Martha is a mother of two grown daughters, grandmother to two (soon to be three!), who enjoys reading, swimming and painting the universe’s amazing nebula (forming galaxies) with oils and acrylics in her spare time.

Welcome, Martha.

Hello everyone!

I believe some folks are just meant to be writers – it’s in their blood and as much as they might wish to ignore it at times, the urge to write cannot be denied. My writing career began the day I decided to go back to school at the age of 32 to take a course in journalism. Even now after a career as a newspaper reporter/editor/photographer I still have not stopped. I retired due to health reasons in 1996 but since then, have written and published seven books:  “Glimpses” True Stories of the Paranormal (Creative Book Publishers)“Glimpses 2” It Could Happen To You!  (Saga Books), Talking To My Angel (children’s book)(Saga Books), Playing With The Devil (Saga Books), The Man With The Magic Spectacles (Currently on hold pending a new publisher), Blood Vengeance: (Cold Case #4-183) Not of this World (Saga Books), Totally Scared: The Complete Book On Haunted Houses (Saga Books).

When did you decide to be a writer? 

From my first part-time job at 16 until I turned 30, I worked as a secretary in a variety of offices for lawyers, land surveyors and more. However, I found no joy in this work and certainly little reward monetarily or otherwise. That is when I decided to go back to school to take a 3-year course in journalism. With a toddler and a pre-teen at home, it was quite the challenge. However, I managed to graduate top of my class on the Dean’s honor role.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

My favorite genre to write about is the paranormal, something I have always been intrigued by. I enjoy writing about everything from ghosts and hauntings to angels, demons, ESP, past lives, reincarnation and more, even including aliens and UFOs.

What prompted you to write about paranormal experiences?

I believe my own paranormal experiences played a huge part in this choice. The most significant events over my 61 years include a vision when I was 7 years old, seeing spirits, hearing the angels sing on a number of occasions and a near death experience. I have also read countless books on paranormal topics.

What kind of research is involved in such an endeavor?

Getting the story directly from the experiencer is key. When I put together Glimpses: True Stories of the Paranormal and Glimpses 2: (it could happen to you!), I kept files on all of my contacts with their personal information included. I also requested pictures from everyone to add validity to their stories. Of course there were also cases when I needed to do my homework by researching information on the Internet as well.

Did you find it difficult to find those willing to share their experiences of the paranormal?

Since the ‘paranormal’ is not yet a news item carried by the mainstream media, the subject has been for the most part, confined to conversations within families and with close friends. No one wants to be viewed as abnormal in some way and there were a number of people whom I had to convince to share their stories in such a public format.

Do you relate to any of the experiences in your books?

I can certainly relate to what it is like to share a place of residence with a spirit. There are many such stories in Totally Scared: The Complete Book On Haunted Houses. In fact my co-writer on this one, Dawn Colclasure, has also lived with ghosts, so we drew from our collective experiences when writing it.

My daughter and I lived in a beautiful home that came with a resident ghost. Personally, I never saw this one although my daughter saw a male spirit on a number of occasions. One night she came running into my bedroom terrified. She said her dresser drawers were shaking. I was rather skeptical but went back to her room to stay with her for a while. I was not even there five minutes when those drawers began to rattle and shake!

In that same house, my brother saw the male spirit as well. Considering himself a sane and normal individual he said, “If you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll have to kill you! Of course, he was joking but at the same time quite serious.

What was the most frightening you’ve encountered?

I don’t really become frightened when I see spirits. I realize that they are for the most part, everyday folks who have passed over and chose to stay behind for some reason. Others might still linger because they passed due to a trauma such as murder or a sudden accident. However, there was one experience that truly unnerved me.

I was working full time at a local newspaper when I fell suddenly ill. The overall body pain and fatigue was entirely consuming and almost more than I could bear. I was sent for a host of tests yet no one seemed to have an answer as to what was wrong. I lay down in bed to rest one afternoon and within a few seconds, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. (Interesting because the steps were thickly carpeted.) Nevertheless, I thought my fiancé might have come home early from work and was coming up to see how I was doing.

Then the figure of a man appeared beside my bed and I immediately froze. I knew immediately that this ‘entity’ was evil. Sure enough, it proved to be. He said to me: “Give me your soul and I’ll take away all of your pain right now.”

“I love Mary, Jesus and all the angels and saints, and you will never get my soul!” I replied.

With that, this ‘thing’ turned on its heels and left.

One story that is rather similar to this is entitled: My Dead Ex-Husband Won’t Leave. Mary Jane Holzer and her husband, Randy, suffered a serious car accident in which she was badly injured and he died instantly. Fortunately, their three children were not with them. However, Mary Jane would soon realize that Randy did not completely pass over.

“Snuggling into bed one night, Mary Jane savored the thought of sleeping away the dark memories of that fateful day. But it wasn’t to be! As she pulled the blanket over her shoulder, she heard a loud thumping outside her bedroom door. Then – thump, thump, thump – the footsteps entered her room! Trying to remain rational, she assumed it was just her mom coming to check on her, so she turned over and tried to sleep. Again – thump, thump, thump. This time the footsteps stopped right beside her bed.

An icy-cold chill ran through her and she froze, too terrified to turn over or move at all. Finally, she managed to scream out to her mom, who came running up to see what was wrong. Mom found no one else in the room and was reluctant to believe the story Mary Jane related through her hysteria and tears.”

To summarize, soon many other paranormal events occurred including rapping on walls, the doorbell ringing with no one there, dining room chairs moving about the room and more. Mary Jane moved a number of times in hopes of leaving Randy behind but it never worked. The final straw occurred when the spirit of Randy was seen a couple of years later by both she and her new husband leaning over the crib to look at their new baby!

When I asked how these experiences had affected her she replied:

“It has changed my life because I now know for sure that there is something other than this world. Whether it be heaven or hell, or maybe an in between, it does exist and there’s a very thin line between the worlds. Spirits can come and go, and just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Believe me, they are there!”

What was the most touching?

I believe the most touching experience I ever had was when I was 7 years old, an orphan and living in a foster home. I had seen other kids come and go from the home, and knew that they had been adopted. I was extremely depressed at that time and losing hope of ever having parents of my own.

Because there were so many children in the house, I was relegated to sleeping in a pantry just off the kitchen – very small with only about three or four steps from my bed to the door. One night I awoke to hear the most beautiful music. (I should add that my foster mom ensured we always went to church on Sundays. I came to love the Lord at a very young age and still do today.) The music was similar to what I heard at church but much sweeter and it truly touched my soul.

I looked up and in one corner of the room at the ceiling above my feet was what appeared to be a television set. A dark-haired man was singing and looking right at me. (This appeared in color but there were no color television sets at that time.) I thought I must be dreaming of course so I rolled over, pinched myself, even sat up in bed and this ‘vision’ was still there! I decided that because the song was so enthralling to just lie there and enjoy it. When the man finished singing, the vision simply faded away.

Naturally, no one believed me when I told them what had occurred. However, within two weeks I met my parents-to-be! I believe this vision was sent to give me strength – to hold on just a wee bit longer – that I would have parents of my own after all!

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

As I noted earlier, I feel it is vitally important that folks share their experiences. As they say, there is much more to our existence than what we know through our regular five senses. There are so many mysteries in life to explore and the only way to learn is by coming forward to relate our experiences.

Would you share an excerpt with us?

One of the stories I truly love is called Daddy’s Little Girl Makes Final Appearance.

I’ve posted it below for you, folks. 😉

Is there anything you’d like to add?

As you can probably see, I prefer to let folks tell their stories in their own words. That way the truth can be told directly with only minor comments from me. Also, the reason I wrote my very first book is because I hope to bring this topic out of the closet, so to speak. We have so much to learn by sharing these types of stories.

I’d like to ask a question for me. : )  I write fiction paranormal romance.  In my books, reincarnation is common.  Have you ever met a reincarnated soul who knew of his/her previous life?  What was it like for them?  (okay, I asked two. *wink*)

Oh my! Yes, I included one story in Glimpses 1 and further elaborated on it in Glimpses 2 about a man who strongly believes he is the reincarnation of Elvis’ unborn twin, Jesse. I personally know this man. He is a strong believer in God and more honest than most folks I know. He uncovered what for him at least is truth through a series of numbers that kept reappearing in his life over many years. The story is quite involved actually and much more than I could relate to you here.  Now that I’m thinking about this, there was another man who uncovered a past life through a series of events in which he knew everything about certain places he’d never been before.

 

Glimpses 2: (it could happen to you!)

 

Even if you’ve never seen a ghost or experience anything paranormal in your lifetime, the chances are that eventually you will! I have had many other worldly experiences including a vision at 7 years old, a nar death experience, hearing the angels sing and a few ghosts thrown in for good measure over the years. This extensive tome covers not only my experiences but also those from folks around the world on everything from ghosts and hauntings to angels, demons, past lives, reincarnation,ESP, premonitions, visions, soul mates, haunted homes and sites, angels, near death experiences, and much more.

 

Daddy’s Little Girl Makes Final Appearance

excerpt from Glimpses 2

 

Marland lost his beloved daughter, Dana, unexpectedly when she was 45 years old. While still alive and visited her father, she often stayed up late at night cleaning in the kitchen.

“It was not unusual for her to be in the kitchen at3 a.m., emptying the dishwasher or doing other chores,” he said.

Usually, he would just roll over and go back to sleep but this time (following her untimely death), sleeping was just not possible.

“During this visit I heard dishes, pots and pans banging in the kitchen on several nights. I convinced myself that I was dreaming and didn’t give it much thought.”

But after a few nights of this, Marland forced himself to stay awake, just so he could see what was going on. Was he dreaming or not?

“I most certainly was not. That clanging and banging was for real!” he said.

Of course, Marland found no one in the kitchen when he went downstairs to investigate.

“I tried to understand what this meant and could only come to one conclusion. Dana had always been one for teasing, playing pranks, simply anything for a good laugh. I think she was being a mischievous little angel and had been teasing daddy for several nights, just like when she was a little girl.”

Marland truly struggled over the loss of his child and one night he actually saw her – not as a grown woman but as the little girl he once knew.

“I always turn around as I head down the hall, raise my hand and say goodnight to her. Many nights I would fall asleep in my chair before heading up to bed but on this night, I did not. I was wide-awake. I raised my hand, said goodnight as usual and when I turned to continue to our room, suddenly Dana was in full view! She was running from the foot of our bed into our bathroom area. She was a small child again – approximately 2 years of age. I stood there trying to comprehend and make sense of what I saw or thought I saw.”

Again, Marland found that no one was there.

“Shortly, I climbed into bed and pondered the situation further. I could only surmise that she was telling me she was okay and was still daddy’s little girl.”

These events brought great comfort to Marland.

“I truly think that overall, I felt a sense of relief. Not only was she still my little girl, I believe she had a message for me. To help ease my pain, she wanted me to know she was as happy and carefree as she had been at the age of 2. Who could ask for more than that? Unless of course, another interaction some time in the future!”

Is there anything you’d like to add?

As you can probably see, I prefer to let folks tell their stories in their own words. That way the truth can be told directly with only minor comments from me. Also, the reason I wrote my very first book is because I hope to bring this topic out of the closet, so to speak. We have so much to learn by sharing these types of stories.

Find more Martha at http://www.boomers-write.com 

Thank you for being with us today, Martha.