Thursday, October 8, 2015

Paranormal October: Adventures of a Real Ghost Hunter by Lisa Kovanda

Paranormal October!

Paranormal October continues on my blog and today I welcome author Lisa Kovanda. Lisa is a real life paranormal investigator who has seen lots of ghosts. Check out Lisa's description of the day in the life of a real ghost hunter. And make sure you enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win an audiobook copy of Lisa's book Flight Plan (as well as all the other prizes author's are giving away this month!). Enjoy :-D

Adventures of a Real Ghost Hunter

If you haven’t seen a television show or movie about ghost hunting, you must have spent the past decade in a coma, in which case, this post is the least of the things you need to catch up on. But, as a real-world paranormal investigator, I’d like to tell you how things in the trenches differ from what you see on TV or the big screen. The good, the bad, and the downright dirty truths.

First of all, they only skim over the tedious and sometimes backbreaking work of lugging equipment around—not to mention the fact that real-world paranormal teams aren’t handed the newest technology in exchange for promoting it on air—we pay out of our own pockets for that stuff, and none of it is cheap. My team specializes in private residences and businesses. Our goal is to help  people who are afraid in their own homes.

Television shows make it look like it’s non-stop action, but that’s not how it usually goes. Paranormal investigation is usually 99% boring, and 1% “Holy crap, did that just happen??” They also don’t show the tedious hours in front of computers after each investigation reviewing video and audio footage. For every hour of recordings, it take up to three hours to thoroughly analyze the results. That’s for each device, so it adds up in a hurry. We spend a lot of our time looking for man-made causes for the client reports. It can be life-saving if we discover faulty wiring, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, or can attribute experiences to a crumbling foundation and house settling.

If you’re doing this for a thrill or entertainment, this is where I am going to suggest you find another hobby. Go on a haunted tour led by experienced investigators in you want to dabble, but if you get involved with true ghost hunting, you will run across real ghosts. No way around this, some people were assholes in life, and death does nothing to improve their personality. A few don’t know they’re dead. Others are fiercely protective of what they believe to be their property, and will do anything they can to get the current residents to leave. I’ve been hit, scratched, and forcibly thrown six feet across a room. There are also the exceptionally rare cases of inhuman entities like demons. In almost ten years, I’ve only been in one location where I even suspected something demonic, and that was determined by religious experts long before I arrived on the scene.

Yet I keep coming back for more. Why? The answer for me is simple. I lived in a haunted house long before ghost hunters were on every channel. I was terrified and thought I was losing my mind, and I don’t want anyone to go through that alone.

Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon.

I’m a Nebraska girl, by way of Tehran. I’ve lived a lot of life, and the best is yet to come. I write because only writing keeps me sane. I am also a paranormal investigator and a student of life.
I write fiction and non-fiction books, stories, and screenplays. My works include urban fantasy, horror, paranormal, and historical. People in my life tend to find their way into my work, so consider yourself warned!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Ghost Stories: "Pie" by Amanda Carney

I've got another eerie ghost story for you today by my guest, author Amanda Carney. Check out this spooky short story and make sure you check out Amanda's great cover and info for her new book, First Fruits.

I stared up at the crooked, faded sign. “You sure this is the place?”
Trina shrugged. “Says Delacourt’s Pumpkin Patch. Gotta be it.”
I eyed the overgrown weeds and skinny-branched trees lining the neglected drive and considered leaving. Surely the farmer’s market pumpkins would make good pies, too?
But I didn’t want to make a good pie. I wanted to make a spectacular pie.
An award winning pie. One that would bring home the blue ribbon in the Apple Creek Harvest Festival’s pie contest. At seventeen, I’d be the youngest winner in the event’s history. Something I wanted so badly I could taste it. No pun intended.
“Why are we taking advice from your biggest competitor again?” Trina asked.
I gave her a look. “Norma is my grandma’s best friend. I trust her.”
Was my grandma’s best friend. I swallowed the lump in my throat. Norma was the reigning champion ten years running, but she’d known me since I was a baby, and she’d been there for me after my grandma’s death. She was rooting for me. And I had a good chance, too. I had my grandma’s secret heirloom pumpkin pie recipe and a burning desire to win the two-thousand-dollar grand prize.
Trina looked unconvinced. “You could always try getting a loan for the bakery. Maybe if your mom and dad co-signed.”
I pulled down the driveway. “I want to do it on my own.”
My grandma had built her seamstress business by working hard and saving. I’d do the same. The prize money combined with what she’d left me in her will would buy the bakery of my dreams. I smiled as I pictured the quaint, brick building with its glass front and blue awning. My smile dissipated as I also pictured the “For Sale” sign in the window. Eventually someone would buy it. I just hoped it was me.
The estate came into view as we approached. It was a great, sprawling thing that’d seen better years. The once-grand porch roof sagged. The many windows were dark and ominous. Ivy crept up the sides like a spiky, green plague. I shivered as I turned the car off. “Doubt the grass has been mowed in this century,” I murmured.
Trina nodded. “Straight out of a scary movie.”
As we got out, I squinted in the late afternoon sun. “Where do we go?”
“There.” Trina pointed to what looked like a greenhouse off to the right.
As we neared it, we discovered it was in equally poor repair. Sections of the bluish glass panels were cracked and missing altogether in some places. Vines grew rampant up the sides, obscuring the already dirty windows. I stared up at the soaring, arched double doors with their rusted iron filigree work, reminding myself that it was for the pie.
“Let’s do this,” I said and pushed open the doors with an incredibly loud creak.
And nearly collided with the man waiting on the other side.
Trina and I froze, startled. He looked like a dusty relic. Wispy white hair. Frayed and tattered butler’s suit. Scuffed shoes. Sunken, pale face. Yet his posture was ramrod straight and the set of his nose imperious. He bent slightly at the waist. “Welcome to Delacourt’s.”
We both took an involuntary step back. “We’re . . . here to buy some pumpkins,” I managed.
“Of course you are.” His smile was yellow and gappy. He gestured with a flourish of his arm. “Do come in.”
I exchanged a tense look with Trina as we stepped past him. When the heavy doors closed behind us with a jarring clank, we both jumped.
And then I saw the pumpkins.
Neat rows of them lined the weedy floor of the arboretum, their skins shiny and orange in the muted light. They were the most beautiful pumpkins I’d ever seen. No blemishes. Uniform roundness. Magazine quality.
If it wasn’t for the plastic tubes, much like a hospital patient’s IV line, connected to each one. Like some kind of . . . feeding system. Only it wasn’t liquid fertilizer being pumped into them.
It was blood.
Trina squeaked and grabbed my hand as we stumbled backwards—right into the chest of the creepy old man.
We froze in unison. He leaned in and spoke in our ears, his voice skittering across my skin like cockroaches. “You wouldn’t believe how thirsty they are.”

As his iron fingers clamped down on our shoulders, our screams echoed off the grimy glass walls of the greenhouse.

Amanda Carney
Amanda Carney grew up barefoot and freckle-faced in the beautiful hills and valleys of rural Ohio. She resides there still with her husband, loyal old dog, and menagerie of beloved cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a book in one hand and a crochet hook in the other. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for updates on new releases, appearances, contests, and more. 

You can connect with Amanda here:

Amanda, congratulations on the release of your new book, First Fruits! Awesome cover :-) Here's the pitch for this new adult paranormal romance:
She ran from her past--now she's running from her future. 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Paranormal October: Halloween & Death and Days of Passing with Ingrid Hall

Paranormal October continues! 

Today I welcome to the blog writer Ingrid Hall. Today Ingrid shares with us some thoughts about the relationship between Halloween and death. What do you think? And please be sure to check out the free anthology (link below) and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway (link after the bio). 

Our Day of Passing

Ingrid Hall

In the same way that consumerism has taken over Christmas Day and millions of people now associate it with the giving and receiving of presents rather than the birth of Jesus Christ, Halloween, rather than just being an opportunity to don a silly mask, dress up in an outlandish costume and scare your neighbors into giving you loads of candy actually has a darker meaning. For All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day in which the dead are honored was once the night when people stuck two fingers up at death by ridiculing it.

Death has both scared and fascinated people in equal measure since the beginning of time.  Whether it scares you or fascinates you, it is not something that you can escape. Many face their fear of death  with with a gallows style sense of humor. Perhaps that it one way people wrap their heads around their own mortality.  I used to be terrified of dying until a near-death experience in my mid-twenties changed all that! The experience would later be the inspiration for my novella The Tunnel Betwixt and it was also the main reason I was happy to agree to compile and edit Our Day of Passing – An Anthology of Short Stories, Poems and Essays with my co-conspirator Franco Esposito.

The Anthology, which includes work by an eclectic bunch of over thirty international authors and poets, tackles the subject of death and dying head on.  At times macabre, at times uplifting, one thing is certain it is guaranteed to get people thinking and talking about the subject.

Some people believe in ghosts. Some people do not. Others believe in God and Heaven, whereas for others death is quite literally the final curtain. Whatever your beliefs and no matter how comfortable (or uncomfortable) the prospect of your own mortality makes you feel, I hope that you will find something in this collection to make you sit up and think.

Our Day of Passing – An Anthology of Short Stories, Poems and Essays is PERMANENTLY free to download from Smashwords.

Death is a topic that has the ability to stimulate the most creative and thought-provoking written pieces. Testament to this is Our Day of Passing which is formed from an eclectic mix of short stories, poems, fictions and essays. With contributions from more than 30 talented writers across the globe, this anthology provides a fascinating interpretation of an event that comes to us all...eventually.

The following authors and poets have all contributed their work to Our Day of Passing: Ingrid Hall, Franco Esposito, Dennis Higgins, Virginia Wright, Candida Spillard, Valeri Beers,Dada Vedaprajinananda, Strider Marcus Jones, Adam E. Morrison, Allyson Lima, D. B. Mauldin, David A. Slater, David King,  Dee Thompson, Don Illich, Edward Meiman, Eileen Hugo, Emily Olson, Joan McNerney, J.S. Little, Kin Asdi, Madison Meadows, Malobi Sinha, Marianne Szlyk, Mark Aspa, Mark David McClure, Megan Caito, Michael Brookes, Michael Burke, Pijush Kanti Deb, Prince Adewale Oreshade, Rafeeq O. McGiveron, Robin Reiss, Sasha Kasoff, Stephanie Buosi,  and Talia Haven.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Ghostly Encounter at the Nootklatch Lodge by Leigh Shearin

Can you believe it's October already? The time of pumpkins and chilly nights. Of cider and costumes and ghost stories. It also happens to be my favorite month of the year.

This year I've invited authors to share their ghostly stories with us on my blog. When I sent the invite, I had no idea I'd have such an overwhelming response! And oh, the great stories that are pouring in. You're in for a treat this month!

Today I welcome author Leigh Shearin to the blog. She has a wonderful true story of her  ghostly encounter. And be sure to check out Leigh's most recent release, John Bloom and the Victory Garden.

"The Lodger"

by Leigh Shearin

Room #5 at the Nootklatch Lodge is haunted.

Awake at 2 am, despite a comfortable, clean room, I cursed menopause for the 689th time, and flipped over in a vain attempt to capture some Zs.

...and heard footsteps.

At first, I though my husband had slipped out of the massive king-sized bed and gone to the nearby bathroom. Made of some low-jiggle space-age foam, the bed was also so large, he would have had to telephone to let me know he was getting up. I turned my face over to look at the place he'd occupied, only to find him still wrapped in sheets.

It was then that my hackles rose.

Who's footsteps was I hearing? Ribbing myself, I started a mental checklist of possible non-paranormal sources for the noises I was hearing. We were in a first floor room; surely someone above us was just moving around, causing the floor to creak. The part of the Lodge we were staying in is constructed of enormous logs, so it made sense that some shifting and squeaking would happen. The sound wasn't really what I associate with creaky boards. It was more of a shuffle.

More desperate to sleep than I was to commune with the afterworld, I put the notion of wandering spirits out of my mind and began to doze off.

...and heard more footsteps.

Annoyed now, more than scared, I flipped over, slammed my arms down on the mattress and blew out an exasperated sigh.

"Cut it out, will you?" I said, feeling only mildly foolish for talking to an empty room. "I'm trying to sleep here. Can you please go away for a while and come back later?" I tried to be polite. I didn't want to irritate the specter, after all.


Growling with exasperation, I flopped down on the pillow and rolled away from the offending emptiness. Ridiculous, I scolded myself. Get to sleep. You've got a long day of driving tomorrow and if you...

    A push of energy stopped my self-lecture in it's tracks.

    That's the only way I can describe it. Almost a breeze, the sensation manifested itself between the nightstand and my head. Gooseflesh accompanied my now pounding heart as my eyes flew open, straining to pierce the darkness, trying to identify the cause of the feeling.


I wouldn't say I was afraid. Alarmed, maybe, but fear wasn't a part of my emotions. Acquiescing to the presence,  and working to control my heart, which was going like a trip-hammer, I drew in a deep breath and closed my eyes.

"Okay." I whispered, "I hear you. I sense and recognize you. I know I'm not dreaming. You're welcome to stay, but can you please settle down and stop making noise so I can sleep? I'm really tired."

I imagined the phantom moving away, toward the window at the back of the room. Utterly undone, it took me an hour to start feeling drowsy. Eventually, I fell soundly asleep and woke with no immediate memory of the experience. Later that day, on the drive home, I had a vivid flashback, but hesitated to relate the story to my just-the-facts-ma'am, hard-driving husband. Still, I wanted his take.

"Our hotel room was haunted." I blurted. In for a penny, in for a pound, I thought. Braced for ridicule, I grinned over at Jeff, who was tensely navigating construction traffic.

"Yes," he said. "I know. I thought I heard something. Footsteps, wasn't it?"

Settling back in my seat with a gasp, I realized it was true. I wasn't crazy, hallucinating, or unconsciously grinding out ghost stories to lull myself to dreamland. Room #5 at the Nootklatch Lodge was haunted.

I had felt it with my own two eyes.

Leigh Shearin, Author
Leigh Shearin is farmer, baker, teacher, and lifelong dreamer.

Leigh earned a B.A. degree in Studio Art at Maryville College and worked as a graphic artist before earning an ASS degree in Culinary Art.  She has worked as a chef, baker and culinary arts instructor.  Most recently, she and her husband bought rural land and are developing Winterrest, a small farm in central New York.  Through all this, Leigh wrote stories and poems…some published; some tucked away.  

She is happiest living off the land and developed a passion for local and sustainable farms, farmers and practices, spending hours researching farming and learning by trial and error.  She is an avid supporter of Farm-to-Fork and “locavore” restaurants and plans to supply these restaurants with her own farm’s products soon.

Leigh writes fiction stories for middle-grade readers. Along with illustrator Kate Shearin, Leigh spins tales of self-sufficiency and independence, along with gentle agriculture education. Since historical fiction is also a lifetime interest, Leigh uses true stories of the past to bring inspiration and joy to modern-day children.

Leigh lives with her husband and children in rural central NY.  You can check out Leigh’s blog at,,

Twitter: @LeighShearin
FB: Leigh Shearin, Writer
Instagram: Winterrestfarm

Check out Leigh's book here:
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