Month: January 2015

My Happy Moment!

For some people, being featured in a magazine article is no big deal.  I’m not some of those people.  I’m more of the “Woohoo!  I can’t believe it!” type of person.  So in honor of my happy moment – I’m sharing a link to the article!  If you have a moment, click on the link:  Livin’ Outloud Magazine

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Ghosts, Shadows and the Unexplained

On occasion, I take part in local festivals.  They are a good way of connecting with potential readers/buyers of my books.  Of Dreams and Shadow, the first book in the Forget Me Not Series, features a shadow.  The shadow is an evil apparition. As people stopped by my table, I would present my pitch, hoping I could entice them to buy a copy. As I described the premise of the story,  highlighting the shadow, I was surprised at the number of  people asking me if I had a paranormal/supernatural experience as a child.  It would seem that plenty of people have.  An old woman described how as a child, she was visited by a shadow who wore a cloak and hat.  Another shared her experience of a shadowy figure who haunted her until she turned eighteen.

The thing is – these people aren’t alone.  As I was writing Of Dreams and Shadow, I researched shadow people and there are a lot of sightings.   The cloak and hat guy – I couldn’t believe how many accounts I found concerning him – and while the old woman stood in front of me recounting her experience, I realized how much her story had in common with my research.  The boundaries which divide Life from

As for me – I didn’t see a shadow but I remember having the sensation of feeling “watched.”  It was so unnerving, I shared that experience with my main character.

“There are three classes of people: those who see.

Those who see when they are shown.

Those who do not see.”
                                                        ~Leonardo da Vinci

 

So – what’s with these shadows?  Are they ghosts or something else?  Perhaps, they are nothing more than a figment of an overactive imagination or a hysterical response to something like a night terror.  If so, what about those people who’ve seen these entities during the day?

I’m not sure I believe in ghosts – but I believe there’s something going on that I can’t explain.

Years ago, our dog (who coincidently was named Shadow)  disappeared.  We searched for her for hours. I’ll never forget getting out of our vehicle, walking to our house and feeling as though Shadow was running to us.  It was strange, to say the least.  It wasn’t long before my son came inside.  He looked at me and said, “I saw Shadow.  She was sitting by the steps watching me and then she was gone.” Sometime later, we found Shadow’s body.  Do I believe that she came back to check on her boy one last time – absolutely.

How about you?  Any strange experiences or encounters with the unknown?

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta Love a Good Story – Free Young Adult E-Books

FREE?  Why, yes!  I love free!  I’ve found some of the best things in life don’t cost a cent:  sunshine, a cool breeze, e-books…   When it comes to e-books, I’ll be honest, there’s been quite a few that I couldn’t finish.  I’ve found some that I really enjoyed, though – enough to buy the sequels.  Listed below, in no particular order, are some of those stories:

the faerie guardianThe Faerie Guardian

(Creepy Hollow Book One)

by Rachel Morgan

 

unenchantedUnEnchanted

(An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 1)

by:  Chandra Hahn

 

ravenousRavenous

Book 1 The Ravening Series

by: Erica Stevens

 

dying to forgetDying to Forget

The Station Series 1

Trish Marie Dawson

 

 

If you enjoy Young Adult Fiction, you might want to check these books out.  Just click on the cover!

Family Reunions, Mishaps and Writing!

(I originally shared this post about a year ago on my old blog.)

North Carolina is one of those states that have it all.   We’ve got beaches and mountains, metropolitan areas and rinky-dink little places with colorfully unique names like Bear Creek and Tick Bite.

Why just last week, we had an ice storm so severe that people were leaving their cars along the interstate – trying to get home.  It was like a scene out of movie… Yet today, I am looking a sunny blue skies and temperatures hovering around 70 degrees.  I love winter days that feel like spring.

And it is that springy feeling that made me think of family reunions…

As I said, North Carolina has some unique town names – Back Swamp being one of them.  Back Swamp Community Building, the site for the family reunion, is literally out in the middle of the sticks.  In fact, I’m not sure that sunlight isn’t piped in for the residents.  Accompanying me to the reunion was my less that happy sixteen year old son.  I’m sure you can picture his face – the surly looks, the heavy breathing…

We pulled into the parking lot and I was immediately surprised at the number of people attending the reunion.  We normally didn’t have such a large crowd.  We got our of the car, food in hand and made our way inside the building where we were greeted by the friendliest people.  They made room on the table for the food we had brought.  There was the standard reunion questions – Who’s your parents?  Your grandparents?  And then the statement that should have set bells off in my head…”Hmmm, I don’t know them but then I’m an in-law.”

I made my way, followed by my unhappy son, to the dining hall.  I looked around trying to locate some familiar faces.  Where was everyone?  I knew my parents and my sister should have already arrived.  I suddenly felt not so warm and toasty.  I looked at my son, it wasn’t good.  Going outside, I called my sister:

“Where are you?” I asked.

“Here,” my sister responds.

“Where is here?  Because I don’t see you.”

My sister answers, “At the reunion.  Did you just get here?”

“I’ve been here,”  I replied.  “How about Mom and Dad?  Because I don’t see them either.”

My sister doesn’t bother answering.  Instead, she asks, “Where are you exactly?”

At this point, I’m frustrated.  “Where do you think I am?  I’m outside of the community

building…”

My sister starts laughing.

“I’m not in the mood for this,” I growled.

My sister can hardly get the words out.  “You’re at the wrong place.  I don’t know whose reunion you’re at but it’s not ours.”

“What do you mean I’m at the wrong place?” I asked as I remembered the food I had just carried inside.  The food that’s in my Corning Ware dishes…

It became apparent that I should have gone to my aunt’s house – which is a few miles away.  I turned to my son and shared the devastating news.  We had to go back inside and get the food!  Believe me when I say that I considered forgoing the reunion.  Why even bother?  I mean, I could get in my car and drive to Wal-Mart where there was an abundance of Corning Ware.  But those dishes have a lot of sentimental value to me.  I’ve cooked in them the entirety of my married life.  They’ve seen me through cooking disasters as well as culinary masterpieces.  I couldn’t leave them!

At this point, my son is almost on his knees, begging me to make a run for it.  But this is one of those moments – those humiliating moments where we turn to our children and with all the love we can muster, tell them to suck it up!

So, I take a deep breath as I walk back into the community building.  My son followed like a lamb being led to the slaughter.  We headed over to the nearest group of ladies and I confessed my sin.  Trust me – they found the humor in the situation.  They were laughing, hanging out of the freaking door laughing – as we made a quick exit.  Family reunion 2013 is one they’ll not likely soon forget.

We hurried to the car because honestly, Back Swamp is a small place and everyone knows everyone and if we could just make a clean break then no one else would be the wiser.  Except Back Swamp is a small place, and one of those nice ladies at the community building – yep, she knew my aunt.  My car wasn’t out of the parking lot before she did the neighborly thing and made the call – you know, to let my aunt know we were on our way.

***

I’m looking forward to incorporating the above event in a story one day.  I think with a little tweaking, it would be a great opening scene.  As writers, we spend so much time in the land of make-believe, we need to remember that life and all its quirkiness is happening around us.
So what do you think?  Do you incorporate your life into your writing?

Book Review – Just Two Weeks by Amanda Sington-Williams

I hate reviews that are full of spoilers.  I mean, why bother reading the book if I already know what’s going to happen…  That is why my reviews are spoiler free.

If you enjoy thrillers, then check out my review for Just Two Weeks by Amanda Sington-Williams

 

jtwcoverAmazon’s Description:  

After being made redundant from a seemingly secure job Jolene Carr takes a two week break in the sun. On the first day she meets Raquel, another hotel guest. Little does she realise how this apparently innocent acquaintance will lead to terrible and lasting consequences. After a frightening incident she hits a conspiracy of silence from the locals and over the rest of the holiday she feels herself slipping into a vortex of fear. Back home, the nightmare continues and she realises that Raquel is stalking her. Her hippie mother and her partner Mark tell her she is imagining it all. All certainties, even about relationships, become fluid and treacherous as her past begins to unravel. If it wasn’t for Rob, her ex-lover who Jolene thinks has his own agenda, she would be left to cope on her own.
How much fear and betrayal can one person take?

 

What I Thought:

We first meet Jo (Jolene Carr), the main character,  as she begins her vacation – alone – in Sri Lanka.  The author did a wonderful job introducing Jo and setting the scene – from the drops of water slowly dripping from the ceiling, the smell of musty tropical air, to the phone call (no answer but Jo can hear the caller breathing)… Perfect. 

As the story unfolds, we witness Jo’s paranoia and at times, we wonder if her imagination is getting out of hand.  The author sprinkles the story with little hints about what is coming while steadily building tension.  This is where she shined. 

The characters are well-developed, each having their own voice. 

The author tells a riveting story which captured my imagination.  There were times my heart was literally pounding!

Amanda Sington-Williams is a gifted writer.  She shares a tale of psychological suspense that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

 

41-2-stars1-300x93

 

 

**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**