Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Origins of #Halloween #Halloween19 #HappyHalloween #Paranormal

The month of October conjures up images of turning leaves, hayrides, pumpkins, scarecrows, black cats, and of course Halloween decorations.  I love learning about the origin of the holidays we celebrate, so I did a bit of (admittedly rudimentary) research to discover some of the reasons we dress up and try to scare each other on October 31st.

Originally known as All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain.  This last day of autumn was considered the time of year when the barrier between the paranormal and physical worlds grew thin. 

The Christian holiday of All Saints’ Day (All Hallows) also influenced Halloween.  It was said that the souls awaiting release on November 1st had one last night to extract revenge on their enemies before leaving the earth.  Cautious Christians would disguise themselves with masks to avoid recognition.

The custom of carving pumpkins originated from a Samhain practice of remembering souls with turnip lanterns.  Trick-or-treating can be traced back to “souling”, a medieval practice which involved the poor and hungry travelling door-to-door and offering to pray for the dead in return for food.

My favorite Halloween tradition is visiting haunted houses (well, staged haunted houses for entertainment...I do visit actual haunted houses as much as possible at any time during the year).  Last year, I dragged my best friend to an incredible haunted house and haunted basement at Paxton Manor in Virginia, when we were there visiting earlier in the month.  We screamed the entire time, but we laughed just as much, and we made it out alive (see below).  I love being scared like that, when you know in the back of your mind that it really is just an attraction (or movie, tv show, or book).

Emerging from the Haunted Basement victorious!

The medium in GULL HARBOR, however, spends her summer in a truly haunted house.  Claire Linden arrives in Gull Harbor ready to take on an aggressive ghost—now that she’s embraced her psychic gift, she’s confident she’ll be able to rid her temporary home of the restless spirit that drove the owners to hire her.  However, she doesn’t expect to encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever, then abandoned her without an explanation five years ago.  As Claire unravels the truth behind the haunting, Max must share his secret in order to stay close enough to help protect the woman he still loves from a danger that extends beyond the paranormal…

To celebrate the spooky season, Gull Harbor is just 99c on Kindle, Nook, and iTunes on Halloween day ~ Ends soon, hurry and grab your copy!

My latest ghost mystery, The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, also involves a medium...and a very scary ghost.  This title just won the coveted RONE Award for Best Paranormal from InD'Tale Magazine!

A haunting, an old flame, and secrets from the past...

My very first novel, SILVER LAKE is another suspenseful ghost story/mystery with plenty of romance.  Will Rain and Jason get another chance at first love before a desperate spirit tears them apart again...forever?

Another of my ghost mysteries also has plenty of steamy romance to counteract any chilling scenes, and HAUNTED SOULS was inspired by a trip to the Old Jail, a historic building on Cape Cod which is considered actively haunted.  And the title has a double meaning, as Brett and Emily each have their own torturous choices and memories to overcome if they have a chance for a future together.

A picture I took of the Old Jail...seriously, what's up in
the top right window?  And in this pic, there's a red flash
in the lower window that isn't in any of my other shots.

Happy Halloween and Happy Haunted Reading!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Signing #Books at Vendor Fair in #Falmouth! Cape Cod #Author Events #Halloween #Ghost #Mystery

Available on Kindle as well!
WINNER ~ InD'Tale Magazine
RONE Award Best Paranormal
WINNER ~ Book Heaven Best
Romantic Suspense
A Top 40 Paranormal Romance
Pick ~ Reedsy
I'll have a table set up at the October Bingo and Shopping Event this Wednesday, October 30, in Falmouth, from 5:00 - 9:00, and I'll be signing books, including my latest ghost mystery Romantic Suspense The Haunting of Hillwood Farm, perfect for the Halloween season!  Other crafters and vendors will have tables set up as well, and it's a perfect time to start thinking about holiday shopping while supporting local businesses and this month's charity.

Signed books make great gifts!

This is always a good time! The suggested donation is $20 for 20 games (a portion of the proceeds from both game cards and vendor table fees go to National Breast Cancer Coalition, wear pink for a bonus card!). Complimentary light appetizers and a cash bar and buffet too.

I'll have copies of all my books, including my #1 Amazon and B&N Bestseller Gull Harbor.  If you prefer e-books, this title is **ON SALE** for 99c on all ebook formats!  That's 80% off the usual $4.99 price, and sales on this one don't happen often, so grab a copy to get into the Halloween spirit (see what I did there?)  

Doors open at 5:00, Bingo games begin at 6:30! Holiday Inn Cape Cod in Falmouth, 291 Jones Road.

List of vendors and crafters:

Join Us Early and Shop from our Amazing Vendors:
PartyLite ~ Christina McMenamy
Lilly's Love Bugs ~ Lilly McMenamy
Nanny's Knits ~ Tariesa A. Reine
The Pampered Chef ~ Kelly Washburn
Arbonne ~ Barbara Gleason
HempWorx ~ Gayle Kough
Origami Owl ~ Ellie Russo
Young Living Essential Oils ~ Gina Eynon
Mary Kay ~ Joyce Gwardyak
SeaSalt Custom Creations ~ Lee Parrott LaFrance
Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski ~ Linda Dupuis
Plexus Worldwide ~ Ana Liza Fulay-DeSimone
Paparazzi Jewelry ~ Angela Morss
Pure Haven ~ Nikki Picariello
Thirty-One ~ Diane Leal
Sucavu ~ Jenna Horne
Younique ~ Kristin Sullivan
Color Street Nails ~ Kim Stanfield
Poppiegirls Crocheted Items & Avon ~ Cyndi Whitehouse
LimeLife ~ Stephanie Rabesa
Tupperware ~ Chris Farrell
Monat ~ Sylvia Donnelly
Scentsy ~ Melissa Herren
doTERRA Essential Oils ~ Jennifer Glydon
Spray Away Cleaner ~ Beth Chester
Audra's Cheesecakes ~ Audra Wilson-Bariteau
Mash and Mills ~ Kim Gazal
Kathryn Knight Books ~ Kathryn Knight
JJ Made by Heart Studio ~ Jamie Joseph
Sassy Scones ~ M. Black
Bridget’s Creations ~ Bridget Parece
Usborne Books & More ~ Hillary Irey

Friday, October 25, 2019

Steamy Romance + Ghost Mystery #99c #sale! #amreading #paranormal #Halloween #Books #FridayReads

October is the perfect month for a hot romance with a haunting mystery!

This title is $4.99 most of the year, but my publisher is putting GULL HARBOR on sale for a short time for the Halloween season! This combination of steamy romance and spooky suspense has topped the charts on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a #1 Bestseller on several occasions, so grab your copy while it's less than a buck ~ a savings of 80% off the regular price! 

The offer is available for Kindle , iTunes, and Nook formats, and this limited-time promotion is the first sale on this title since last October!  I've included the links below along with the book's description.  Treat yourself to some time on the sandy shores of Cape Cod, where both a dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic medium Claire Linden...

When Claire Linden’s job sends her to the sleepy town of Gull Harbor, she never expects to encounter her ex-boyfriend. As a medium, the prospect of tackling a haunted house is less daunting than seeing Max Baron again. Throughout their passionate college relationship, he promised to love her forever. Then, without explanation, he abandoned her on graduation day.

Max never intended to break Claire's heart—a cruel ultimatum forced him to disappear from her life. While he's shocked to find her in Gull Harbor, he isn't surprised by the bitter resentment she feels for him...or the fiery attraction that remains between them.

Claire is determined to rid her temporary home of its aggressive ghost, but Max soon realizes she's facing a danger beyond the paranormal. When Claire risks everything to help a desperate spirit, Max must race to save her—before another tragedy tears them apart forever.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Huge #Romance Sale! Fan the Flames #Free #99c #Books #amreading #Kindle

A little teaser from GULL HARBOR...
on sale for 99 pennies!
Ready to add some heat to these crisp fall nights?  Check out Fan the Flames, a collection of 48 Romance novels all FREE or on SALE for 99c!  This is a limited time promotion, and the sale dates for these titles run from October 19th to the 31st.  

My #1 Amazon and B&N Bestseller GULL HARBOR is part of this book sale, and this story is perfect for the Halloween season...second-chance romance mixed with a ghost mystery for both steamy romance and spooky suspense!

Gull Harbor is usually $4.99, so grab a copy during the limited time sale!

A dangerous ghost and an ex-boyfriend await psychic Claire Linden in Cape Cod's GULL HARBOR...

Hurry and pick up your copy, and all the Fan the Flames sale titles that spark your interest, for 0 to 99 pennies each!  Visit the sale page below for all the links ~

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm WON! #RONE Best #Paranormal #Ghosts #Romance #RONE2019 Awards #Books

The long weekend was great for a lot of reasons--my college kid was home, we did family stuff both nights despite the horrible weather, and I had a lunch date with the president of my publishing company and some other local Cape Cod authors who write for the company.  And then, after a movie with the family on Saturday night, we were settling in to watch a TV show and I got a FB notification from an author friend:  "Congrats on the RONE Award!"  My heart did a cautious dance as I read it over a few times and responded "Wait, WHAT?"  I told my family to stand by as I tried to figure out if I was reading and interpreting the message correctly.

Turns out, I was-- The Haunting of Hillwood Farm WON the very prestigious RONE Award in the Paranormal-Short category!  This is a very big deal in the writing world, as the judging goes through three tough phases.  First, a book has to earn either a 4.5 or 5 star review from InD'Tale Magazine.  They review hundreds of books so this is no easy task, and I was so excited when my ghost mystery/romantic suspense was given a Crowned Heart of Excellence Review by InD'Tale Magazine and thus nominated for their RONE Award.  

Once the nominated titles for each category were announced, the second phase involved voting.  Readers visiting the site voted for nominated titles to move to the next round to become finalists, and I'm so grateful that The Haunting of Hillwood Farm gained the votes to become one of the six Finalists.

But even being one of six Finalists in the category did not make me think my title would win by any means.  The third phase was a panel of judges reading each book in the category and rating them.  To get the highest rating among six great books definitely felt like a long shot.  

But my author friend sent me the video of the awards presentation, and yes, my book did get the highest rating, along with another title in the category for a very unusual tie!  I am over the moon.  For me, the old cliche is true...I really did feel it's an honor just to be nominated, and to make it to the finals is incredible, so I would like to again take this opportunity to voice my appreciation for everyone who voted for The Haunting of Hillwood Farm...HUGE THANKS!

To win feels like a dream...I write my stories to entertain readers and give them (hopefully) a pull-you-in-on-page-one/can't-put-it-down book to help escape the everyday stresses of life.  There's not much I enjoy more myself than finding a book that does that for me.  Writing isn't easy, so every time I hear from a reader who enjoyed one of my books, I'm thrilled.  To have won an award through so many phases of judging will have me celebrating for quite some time!  

I get to change "FINALIST" to "WINNER"!
A dangerous ghost brings them together...
but will they survive long enough to find happiness?
Grab a ghost mystery/romance for the Halloween season!

Free with Kindle Unlimited!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Curse of #TheExorcist ~ #Paranormal Postings #Halloween #horror

I often blog about haunted places and spooky themes, since I write a lot of ghost mysteries into my novels.  Not surprisingly, I love October, because I’m a big fan of everything paranormal—books and movies especially. While I do read horror, the paranormal novels I write aren’t designed to fit into that genre. I aim to create mysterious, spooky, and suspenseful (but not gory) ghost stories. Thankfully, many readers have claimed certain scenes sent chills down their spine, which is exactly the kind of reaction I intend (and I include romance as well to heat things back up). Many have also said they stayed up all night reading one of my books--hopefully that was because they couldn’t put it down, and not because they were afraid to turn off the lights!

The scariest book I ever read was The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, in part because it’s based on a true incident that happened in the DC area, not far from where I grew up (the actual exorcism was performed on a young boy from Cottage City, MD). Part of the movie was filmed in Georgetown (I’ve visited the so-called “Exorcist steps” many’s definitely creepy), and I think the film is even scarier than the book. The terrifying visuals were heightened by the unconventional methods director William Friedkin used to get real reactions from the actors—slapping one actor in the face and firing a gun behind another are just two examples.

The steps from the film...located in Georgetown, DC

Then of course there is the so-called curse surrounding the film. In the early 1970s, not everything was documented for reality TV, so there are conflicting accounts of the strange occurrences. It’s said that between 4 and 9 people associated with the film died during filming or shortly after the release. An unexplained fire destroyed the MacNeil residence movie set—with the odd exception of the character Regan’s bedroom—causing a six-week delay in production. At the Italian premier of the film, a 400-year-old cross near the theater was destroyed by a bolt of lightning.

My sister loves this movie too...check out
her Halloween costume from last year!
Can't wait to see what she comes up with
this year  :0
Re-watching The Exorcist is one of my favorite Halloween traditions, and the movie is on my list of five books and films that scared me...and I don't scare easily when it comes to this stuff usually!  If you're looking for an adrenaline fix, check out my list here.  I also have posts of my favorite ghost movies and ghost novels.  And if you enjoy steamy romance mixed with spooky suspense and mysterious hauntings, I hope you'll check out some of my books!  Happy Haunted Reading.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

I'm Featured in Uncaged Magazine! #Paranormal #Author #Ghosts #October #Halloween #Books

As a fan of all things spooky, October is my favorite month, and I'm thrilled to be a featured paranormal author in Uncaged Reviews October magazine!  There are some great interview questions and an excerpt from my latest novel, The Haunting of Hillwood Farm.  If you're looking to celebrate the season with some ghost mysteries that will send chills up your spine--along with some steamy romance to heat you back up--I hope you'll check out my novels!  To take a look at Uncaged's October issue, click the link'll find lots of fabulous authors and new reads :)  My interview begins on page 32...Happy Haunted Reading!

A few of my favorite and presenting a big
check to Pets for Vets from the authors of Love Under Fire!

P.S. Several of my novels are now available in audio format, too, if you prefer to listen...the narrator who does my books is amazing!

This month in my newsletter, I'll be giving away some Audio codes and announcing a 99c sale on one of my most popular titles, so if you want to receive your copy, the "Subscribe to my mailing list" sign-up box is along the right side bar of this page --->

My pets made the "Authors' Pets" article too! (page 65)