Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Tale of the Polite Ghost by Kathryn Hills #RomanceGems

It was a dark and stormy night…

Kidding! It was a beautiful spring day back in 2011, and I was visiting Salem, MA for a writer's conference - NECRWA’s (New England Chapter Romance Writers of America) “Let Your Imagination Take Flight.” The lobby of the historic Hawthorne Hotel was overflowing with writers, all checking in via one small, seriously overwhelmed front desk.

I stood in line with everyone else, checking our watches, sweating a wee bit. It was 3:00 PM. Most days that wouldn’t be a problem. It’s a standard check-in time. But on this day, many of us had tickets to attend Donald Maass’ bonus workshop, beginning in thirty short minutes.

When it was my turn, I watched the desk clerk activate my plastic room key. Twitching, I glanced at my watch again and stifled a groan. 3:15 – Fifteen minutes. Yikes! Sign-in complete, I spun with my luggage to encounter the epic line for two tiny elevators. They were lovely with brass trimmings and red velvet interior back then. However, they were not lovely when you have only minutes to heave your bags into a room on the fifth floor, change, and be back downstairs to learn things, and be social. I’ll step back here and add I was a VERY NEW WRITER, and I was pitching my first book to an editor that weekend. I needed all the help Mr. Maass could give me!

Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA
Out of the elevator in a flash, I schlepped my stuff to the designated door, inserted the plastic key, and… Nothing. (cursing) I tried again. Nothing. (more cursing) One final failed attempt more sent me rushing back to the elevators to make the long trek to the lobby for another key. I fidgeted in place as I waited. Then...a hunch! I raced back to my door. Perspiration dampened my face as I stood before it. With that plastic key in hand, I muttered, “Please, can I get into my room?” I inserted the key, the door unlocked, and I was in.
Yay! That was super-weird. Now hurry!

Fast forward to later that night. I DID make it to the extra workshop and learned lots of great things from Mr. Maass. My friends and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner out, making a night of it. Everyone said their good-byes and went their separate ways. I returned to the fifth floor, slid my plastic key into the lock, and, you guessed it…… Nothing. Several tries later, I had an idea. “Please, may I get into my room?” I asked sweetly of whoever or whatever might be listening. Lo and behold…the door opened.

Each day—Friday through Sunday—those magic words were required to open the door. Without exception. The addition of “may I” ensured a speedy entrance. “Let me in!” left me standing in the hallway like a jerk. I know, because I tested this bizarre ritual throughout the weekend. Not once did that door open without a well-mannered request.

So, there you have it, a polite ghost. Or a manners-obsessed ghost? Perhaps someone’s mother, grandmother, or governess? Or just a busting ghost that laughed and laughed at the dummy in the hallway. Take your pick. I share this story because it’s a fun ghost story—not a scary one. Ghosts, spirits, whatever you call "them," are often NOT scary, in my opinion.

I’ve stayed at The Hawthorne many times since and haven’t encounter that spirit again. Maybe you will if you visit. But remember to brush up on your manners first, and “please” tell me if you do. I love a good ghost story!

What does any of this have to do with my books? Paranormal experiences spark my imagination and serve as inspiration. Visit my website to learn more.

Thanks for reading. Happy Halloween!

~ Kathryn

Don't forget our October Giveaways!

Every Day is Treat Day in October, and I'm giving away a signed copy of Haunting Highland House - A Time Traveler's Journey. I'll even include a surprise spooky treat! To be entered in my random drawing, leave a comment with your email address written out (not as a hot link). The deadline for doing this is Halloween. I’ll draw the winner's name on October 31st by 12:00 PM CDT and notify that person by email and by leaving a comment on this post soon after.

Please note: This signed book and treat can only be sent to winners within the continental U.S. If the selected winner is outside that area, the prize will be an ebook.

Wait! There's more!



Click here to enter our No Tricks—Just Treats Rafflecopter today for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards. Enter often and tell your friends! (You can also click Monthly Giveaways on the Menu Bar of the blog to see details of the current month’s Rafflecopter and to enter it.)


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Timeless: A Ghostly Adventure by Jan Scarbrough #RomanceGems


With Halloween approaching, I thought I’d tell you about my one and only ghost story. It started with a cover for inspiration. The original cover showed a man and a woman, probably in love, and a little girl in the background. Of course, I thought, the child must be a ghost!

I needed a character who could communicate with my little girl ghost. Enter Jeff Halstead, the hero and my reluctant medium. I call him reluctant because he’s not sure of his spiritual gifts.

When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, now a bed and breakfast and run by Jeff. And guess what? They have a history together that they know nothing about, but our ghost does!

Writing the story was an adventure, because I needed to do a bunch of research to make it all come together.

I pulled out a couple of books from my library: Haunts of Old Louisville by David Domine, and The Great Louisville Tornado of 1890 by Keven McQueen. I wanted to use information from both books as inspiration and background for my story.

I went to the Internet for other research. It’s strange what a novelist needs when writing, and the Internet is a handy place to find that information. Some of the things I researched were Baxter Square Park (Louisville’s first park), a party game called Flip Cup, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the events of September 11, 2001. I also researched a hill in Louisville’s Cherokee Park where people sled in the winter. It is called “dog hill.” I investigated carriages from the 1890’s and period clothing.

After all that, I put the book together, making it a Gothic romance with ghostly elements!

Dale Epley, my friend who is also a medium, said this about my book: Timeless is a beautiful love story that intertwines two different lifetimes, and Jan has done an incredible job of introducing reincarnation and numerous other “Spiritual gifts” that we all possess in a clear and concise way that will help you to understand the possibilities, even if they are not in your reality yet.

So, if you want a non-scary ghost story for Halloween, take a look at Timeless!






*****

Every Day is Treat Day in October. To be entered in the random drawing for Timeless leave a comment with your email address written out (not as a hot link). The deadline for doing this is 2 days from now. I’ll draw the winners name on October 24, 2019 and notify the winner by email and by leaving a comment on this post.

By the way, in case you wonder why Authors give away books, it’s simple. We give away books to introduce new Readers to our writing. The best way to thank an Author who gives you a book is to post a review of the book. Just a few sentences saying why you liked the book is all that is needed! Do this, and we’ll adore you!

Click here to enter our No Tricks—Just Treats Rafflecopter today for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards. Enter often and tell your friends! (You can also click Monthly Giveaways on the Menu Bar of the blog to see details of the current month’s Rafflecopter and to enter it.)


Monday, October 21, 2019

Speaking of Ghosts...by Karen Kelley #RomanceGems


We bought an artificial Christmas tree yesterday. Maybe I'm wishful thinking that cooler weather is on the horizon. It was 92 for a high. Good news, I think fall is around the corner, or maybe winter. I'm not sure. Texas has crazy weather this time of year.

I love Christmas, though. We put the tree up so we could check the lights since it was pre-lit. I wanted to leave it up. Hubby said it was too soon. I finally caved and we put it back in the box. I'm thinking November 1st. Why not enjoy it a little longer. One month is too short.

I'm thinking about turning the ac down really low, then snuggling under a warm blanket and pretending it's cold outside. Do you think that would work?

I guess I'll at least wait until after Halloween. Speaking of ghosts, well sort of, Double Dating With The Dead is on sale for 99 cents, but only for today, then the price goes back up to $2.99.

Back Cover:
Skeptic and author Trent Sanders will make so-called psychic Selena James pay for challenging him to stay two weeks in the supposedly haunted, vacant hotel of Garvey County. By the end of their two weeks he’ll expose her for the fraud she is. But when he sees her in person, it might just be possible she can raise the dead.

Selena James is really pissed at Trent Sanders for publicly proclaiming her delusional. She doesn’t care how hot the guy is, he’ll be eating his words before the two weeks are up! She’ll prove ghosts exist. At least, she hopes she can. Ghosts can be very stubborn, obstinate, manipulative…. This may be a very long two weeks.
 
                                                        
                                                          Purchase now for .99 cents
                                                            or read for free in KU
 
 
Do us a favor and tell your friends about the monthly contest and our great blog!
https://romancegems.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_28.html 
 
 
Best Wishes,
Karen Kelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

 

 

 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

DID YOU SAY WHAT YOU MEANT?

By Caroline Clemmons

Recently I was under the weather and was forced to lounge about reading for a day (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The books I read were written by intelligent authors who used beta readers and editors. There were still consistent errors.

Sure, this is exactly how I look,
right-o, you can trust me.


Writers are always in hurry to meet our deadline or personal goal. We often confuse words when we know the difference. Sometimes, however, we may have forgotten proper usage. The following are errors I have seen repeated in books, blog posts, and on Facebook.

Conscious and conscience -- These are not interchangeable.
His conscience bothered him because he was guilty.
She was still in a coma and not conscious.


Virile but, as far as
we know, not viral

Viral and Virile -- not the same
 He was a handsome, virile man.
 The illness was viral. The video went viral.

Then and than
We went to the movies then to have ice cream. (a sequence)
I would rather have Dr Pepper than Coca-Cola. (a comparison)

Further and farther How much farther is it to the hotel? (physical distance. Remember far is in farther)
Go any further and I’ll punch you into next week. (figurative distance)
According to some experts, confusing these is not a big deal.

Here is my Achilles heel:
Lie and lay
Lay means to place something down flat. Lay requires an object to act upon.
Lie means to be in a flat position on a surface. Lie describes something moving on its own or already in position—it’s a quiet word.

Our chickens lay brown eggs. I lay down my book to answer the door.
I need to lie down. If you need me, I’ll be lying on the couch.

Don’t be confused by the children’s prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” That line says “I am laying me down” rather than “I am lying down.”

I’m sure you have similar words that are your pet peeves when used incorrectly. I hope I don’t misuse them!


I’m giving away a copy of one of my e-books to two people who comment today, reader's choice. 

This month every Romance Gems author is giving away something plus we’re giving away 4 Amazon Gift Cards via the October Rafflecopter. Enter often to improve your chances of winning.

Do us a favor and tell your friends about the monthly contest and our great blog!
https://romancegems.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_28.html

Happy Hallowe'en!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fall in Love in New England


Hello again, 
As you are reading this I’m attending Fall in Love in New England with many of my fellow Romance Gems authors. It’s a reader / author event where we spend the weekend mixing, mingling and talking about all genres of romance books. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since our last get together. I was fortunate to meet a few other amazing authors, Nancy Fraser, Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen and Christine Mazurk to name of few. I can't wait to meet some of our #Romancegems in person this year... 

So, you may be wondering what exactly goes on at this event? For starters authors do a special giveaway, charms. I found this to be especially fun to see each charm the authors came up with to depict a book. This year I used the covers of my new trilogy as the charms. 

What else do we do? There are sessions open to readers and authors alike. We play games, have open question and answer sessions and basically revel in romance books. What’s not to love when you get to see old friends and make new ones who are passionate about your favorite thing too, reading. 

I like to hand out recipe cards based on The Loudon Series. Sharing my favorite pumpkin bread and a cookie recipe, triple chocolate Romeo's, is something Cari would do at What’s Perkin.  

Which brings me to something fun
Every Day is Treat Day in October. To be entered in the random drawing foLost and Found, leave a comment with your email address written out (not as a hot link). I’ll be giving away a signed print copy if the winner livein North America or an e-book anywhere else in the world. The deadline for doing this is 2 days from now. I’ll draw the name on October 21 and notify the winner by email. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.

By the way, in case you wonder why Authors give away books, it’s simple. We give away books to introduce new Readers to our writing. The best way to thank an Author who gives you a book is to post a review. Just a few sentences saying why you liked the book is all that is needed! Do this, and we’ll adore you!

Click here to enter our No Tricks—Just Treats Rafflecopter today for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards. Enter often and tell your friends! (You can also click Monthly Giveaways on the Menu Bar of the blog to see details of the current month’s Rafflecopter and to enter it.)

Until next time, 
I wish you happiness.

Lucinda


Friday, October 18, 2019

What do you make with APPLES?


Fall is a time for pumpkins and apples. Personally, I prefer apples.
Apple pie, apple crisp, candied apples, apple jelly, and best of all, apple Whoopie Pie Cookies.



  Apple Whoopie Cookies


Years ago, we had a parent of one of my students who was the most amazing baker. She used to bake the teachers all sorts of goodies and send them in for us. But the absolute BEST thing she ever made was Whoopie Pies but with Apple Cookies instead of the typical chocolate. And the frosting inside was a buttercream, not a whipped cream frosting. 
Thankfully she gave us the recipe and I have made them several times. So good, though they do take a while to put together.

Fair warning: there is nothing low fat or low calorie about these. But they are so amazingly delicious!!

Whoopie Apple Cookies
By Lauren
Cookies
1 ½ cups peeled and grated apples                        ¼ cup apple jelly
1 tsp ground cinnamon                                          ½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour                                         ½ tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) lightly softened butter                   1/8 tsp salt                                                              
¾ cup packed light brown sugar                            1 large egg yolk

*Cream butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy.
*Add egg yolk, apple jelly, and apples until blended. (Tip: place grated apples on a paper towel to absorb some of the extra moisture before you use them)
*Then add dry ingredients; cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.
*Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Do not over mix!
*Scoop and place onto lightly greased baking pan to make cookies.
*Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool a bit before placing on rack.

Buttercream Frosting
½ cup Crisco                                                            ½ cup butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract                                          4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 - 4 tbsp milk - add more or less for desired consistency

*Assemble cookies: Put frosting in the center of two apple cookies. If desired, drizzle tops with
2/3 cup powdered sugar                                       ½ tsp light corn syrup
2 - 3 drops pure vanilla extract


I am offering one fabulous reader a digital copy of my newest release, ELUSIVE DREAMS. Simply tell me in the comments what your favorite way of eating apples is. Don't forget your email address written out ( so and so at this dot com).  I will choose a winner by October 24 and let you know by email and in this post. Good luck! 


DON'T FORGET THE GEMS HAVE A MONTHLY GIVEAWAY ALSO:


Click here to enter our No Tricks—Just Treats Rafflecopter today for a chance to win Amazon Gift Cards. Enter often and tell your friends! (You can also click Monthly Giveaways on the Menu Bar of the blog to see details of the current month’s Rafflecopter and to enter it.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Haunted Love Affair @ConstanceBretes #romancegems

Last year, I decided to join this group called Common Elements Romance Project to write a story that has five common elements in them. It could be any genre as long as it was a romance. I decided to try this because I have always been traditional published, and never self-publish before. After some debate among over 100 of us authors, we've determined the five elements.

-->a lightning storm
-->lost keys
-->a haunted house (really haunted or rumored to be)
-->a stack of thick books

-->a person named Max (which can be short for something)

l

The result is my first attempt to write, and self-publish, a contemporary romance with some paranormal things. Here is the blurb:


A possessive spirit and sex, behind closed doors.


Pamela Parkins accepted a live-in housekeeping job with Dr. Casada and his son, Max in a house built in the 1900s. What she didn’t expect was that the house—more specifically, her bedroom—was haunted by spirits.

Dr. Casada doesn't believe in spirits. He has a purely mathematical mind, and there’s no room for the paranormal. Right?

Strange things are happening in the house. Things Pamela can't explain. On top of that, she's fallen for the doctor. Can they solve the mystery of what is happening? Will she find her happy ever after with the doctor?

The book is scheduled to be released October 21, but is currently available for pre-order here. https://books2read.com/u/mqDqL9


Since this month is 

No tricks, Just treats 

with Romance Gems. I will leave it up to the readers to decide what you would like to win from me. I got 11 ebooks you can choose from. You, the reader, decides. Be sure to leave a comment, with your email address, and what you would like to have. Let me know which book you’d like. You can go to my website and read the blurb for each book before making a decision at https://constancebretes.com






No Tricks, Just Treats


Every day an author is giving away something, and the October Rafflecopter we're giving away 4 Amazon Gift Cards so enter the Rafflecopter, which opens at midnight October 1,  often to improve your chances of winning. Do us a favor and tell your friends about it and our great blog posts also.