Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our final stop on the Haunted America Tour:

Haunted America Day 5

It is difficult to define a haunted place as each has unique paranormal activity. Researchers can put in a ton of hours just to study one particular place before assigning it “Haunted”.  This final stop on our tour is one place considered to be the scariest!

Reminder-Anyone who comments this entire week up to Halloween day is entered to win a $10 gift card to ArE ebook store. Make sure to leave your email address inside comment to be entered.

Haunted America #6: The Haunting of the West Virginia Penitentiary


West Virginia State Penitentiary is considered by many to be the scariest haunted prison in America and by the sounds of the ghost stories and history of the prison its obvious why. West Virginia State Penitentiary was opened in 1876 with 250 inmates going straight into the cells. If you look at any pictures of the prison you will see a very Gothic and spooky building, even if the prison wasn’t haunted it would still spook most people.

It was decided that the prison would be extended in 1929, the construction did was not completed until 1959. In these 20 years the prison was grossly overcrowded with some cells having 3 inmates each.

West Virginia State Penitentiary is the home of many executions over the years it was open either by hanging or electric chair, but executions were not the only deaths in the prison; Illness, Overcrowding and Riots killed many inmates.

How haunted is this place?

Over the years visitors and paranormal investigators have commented on being touched or feeling ’something’ close to them, many have said that feel that someone is watching them. Of course this prison will give most people the spooks because of the spooky building but 3 different ghosts that keep coming up when asking visitors for details on their experiences.

The Maintenance Man

This is the most popular of the 3 to come up. A maintenance man working at the prison when it was open used to spy on the inmates and reporting the inmates’ bad behavior. One day he was in the bathroom, he was attacked by several inmates and killed. He is said to be lurking in the bathroom where he was savagely murdered, but he makes no contact with the living.

Robert the inmate

Robert is said to be an inmate who was violently murdered by the prison guards who were known to be physically abusive towards the worse inmates. They would beat them to ‘near’ death, but this time ‘near’ was too far and they killed Robert. His remains are said to be buried behind one of the walls in the prison. Roberts’s spirit walks the prison to this day terrifying anyone he comes into contact.

Avril Adkins

Last but certainly not least is the story behind Avril Adkins, he was sentenced to hang by the neck until death. He was taken to the Gallows for hanging but something went wrong during the hanging and Avril fell through trap door and landed on his head, he had a very serious head injury. The guards picked him up, took him back up the stairs and hung him, this time he died. Many visitors to the prison have said they have seen him walking around the Gallows where he died.

West Virginia State Penitentiary is now closed to all inmates, but it is open to tourists and visitors.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Haunted America Day 5: The Stanley Hotel

Picture is courtesy of about.com

Haunted America Day 5

It is difficult to define a haunted place as each has unique paranormal activity. Researchers can put in a ton of hours just to study one particular place before assigning it “Haunted”.  Our next trip into Haunted America comes to a hotel that has ghosts who are residents and are non-violent.

Reminder-Anyone who comments this entire week up to Halloween day is entered to win a $10 gift card to ArE ebook store. Make sure to leave your email address inside comment to be entered.

Haunted America #5: The Stanley Hotel


The Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park, Colorado it is a 138 room hotel which has amazing view of the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Hotel was opened in 1909 by American businessman, Freelan Oscar Stanley. Stanley suffered from Tuberculosis in 1903 and was asked to move west in order to help his recovery, while staying in a log cabin in Estes Park he instantly loved the area and he decided to build The Stanley Hotel there.

Hauntings of The Stanley Hotel……..

The Stanley Hotel has many stories but no of which have been violent, so it appears that the ghostly residents are just that, residents. Hotel workers and guests have commented on hearing the piano in the Ballroom being played, when it is investigated no one was found at the piano or even in the Ballroom. The employees of The Stanley Hotel believe that it is the wife of Mr Stanley that is the ghostly piano player.
Room 418 is said to have the most paranormal activity and the full 4th floor has the majority of the paranormal activity, the sound of children playing in the halls has been heard on a few occasions even though there have been no children around. There are reports of people seeing a man standing in their rooms and then running into the rooms closet, others have said they have seen someone standing in the middle of there room and then just disappearing.

The most prolific story to date is the one from GhostHunters TV show, while the camera crew was changing the tapes in their cameras a table had jumped two feet into the air! Now this would have been great evidence if caught on camera. Also, Ghost Hunter Jason stayed in the room of which a spirit stealing from guests is said to stay during the night he claims that the bed moved, closet doors locked and unlocked and his glass at the side of his bed cracked open from the inside.

A person was on a ghost tour of the hotel and happened to take this picture just out side the hotel. As you can see the window has a child at it, but the figure is very hazy when it shouldn’t be because that window is actually opened. The person that took the photo investigated into this photo and called the hotel. This is the response he got:

OK, the room number is 1211. Last Friday, there was a single man checked in that room who was part of a business conference. That doesn’t mean he DIDN’T have a child with him, but it is unlikely that he did. — Stanley Hotel

The paranormal activity present in The Stanley Hotel is a lot, I do have no reason to think that there are any violent or bad spirits present. So if you are ever near The Stanley Hotel and are need of a hotel for the night, you know where to go.

An Immortal Treat with Poisedon and Mila & A Contest

 An Immortal Treat and Contest with Poseidon and Mila by Susan Hanniford Crowley

Poseidon, god of the sea, and his beloved Mila (from Poseidon’s Catch by Susan Hanniford Crowley) would love to share the new desert they’ve created to celebrate the festival of Dionysus (which happens to be at the same time as Halloween).

Fire Blossoms in Snow


Ingredients:
Cherries (pitted)
Quart of Vanilla Ice Cream
Bag of Oreo Cookies
Chocolate syrup
Quart of Cherry Ice Cream

Directions:

1 Crush the Oreo Cookies in a bowl
2.      In a small bowl put a scoop of Cherry Ice Cream
3.      Crisscross with chocolate syrup
4.      Spoon in two tablespoons of crushed Oreo Cookies
5.      Crisscross with chocolate syrup
6.      Add a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
7.      Cut each cherry in a crisscross (cut cross ways but not all the way through) and spread the four petals like a flower
8.      Place two or three of your cherry flowers on the top


In these modern times, even the Greek Gods need to adjust.  When Poseidon wanted to find love, he wanted to make the best impression possible on a modern woman. 

BLURB of Poseidon’s Catch:

Sexy Poseidon aches for eternal love.

Mila would be content to taste love
once however fleeting.

When Poseidon meets Mila, a passion
ignites in him that he's never known
but she is burdened by a secret.

Can Poseidon save the woman he
loves before the sands of time run out?

EXCERPT:

“I want to hear what Aphrodite suggests.”

Her smile broadened. “For starters, the beard has to go. It makes you look old.” She tousled his hair. “That wavy black mane of yours could use a trim. Oh, those gorgeous cerulean eyes are perfect. Maybe some sunglasses to play a sexy game of peek and boo.”

The two gods followed the goddess of love, as they went down two corridors and into her throne room. A mirror on a marble table stood off to one side. The three gazed into it at once.

“Now to find the perfect place where Poseidon can fall in love.” Paris lit up then faded. Numerous romantic locations displayed their glory in Aphrodite’s mirror. Finally it was down to two: The French Rivera and Cancun.”

A frenzy of almost nude dancing bodies filled their view. “Cancun is having a bacchanal?” Poseidon stared wide-eyed at the wet barely clad beauties.

Apollo drooled. “This one. Posei, pick this one. I’ll go with you.”

The view kept changing. In a sea of faces, Poseidon saw one small delicate face. Then she was gone, lost in an ocean of sprawling, celebrating, feasting humanity.

Aphrodite giggled. “Cancun it is then.”


Poseidon's Catch  by Susan Hanniford Crowley is now available at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-poseidonscatch-454453-143.html

In addition to Greek Gods, Susan is also the author of the Vampires in Manhattan series. 

Now for the contest, visit http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com and discover which book is the love story of Vampire David Hilliard and Telkhine Laura Cordelais.  Come back here and post the title of thata book in the comments.  The winner will be selected from those giving the right answer. Good luck.  The contest ends
midnight EST on Halloween. The winner will have their choice from the following pdf ebooks: A Vampire for Christmas, When Love Survives, or The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais.  May the ghosts be with you!  LOL

    

Friday, October 29, 2010

Haunted America Day 4: The Ghosts of Bowling Green State College

Haunted America Day 4

This college has the distinction as being one of the most haunted in America.
Reminder-Anyone who comments this entire week up to Halloween day is entered to win a $10 gift card to ArE ebook store. Make sure to leave your email address inside comment to be entered.

Haunted America #4: The Ghosts of Bowling Green State University


The grounds and precincts of the Bowling Green State University has the distinction of playing host to a number of haunted events making it one of the most affected places in terms of haunting. The theater within the University has a ghost visitor named “Alice” and many have sighted a woman with flowing hair repeatedly making a visit since the 1920s. Though nobody is aware of the exact reason behind the name of Alice, there is a belief that before the screening or holding of any major film or drama, the manager must formally extend an invitation to grace the event, the absence of which will render the event a failure.

This might be superstition but going by what transpired when a Henry IV production was supposed to take place, this superstition seems to be well placed. Apparently there was some loose talk about Alice during the rehearsals and very surprisingly on the opening day of the show, the University computers just went offline without any reason and certain props that were part of the show also suddenly gave way injuring some actors severely. People then believed that this happened due to the loose talk and Alice was the person who caused this to happen.

The Sorority House within the campus also has had a ghost in the form of Amanda visiting it quite frequently. She is reported to have been killed in a train accident and this happened the same night she was supposed to have been inducted into the Sorority. A particular room in the Sorority constantly witnesses strange poltergeist similar happenings with picture frames falling off suddenly and even lights getting turned on and off on their own, besides noises coming out of nowhere and without any warning.

The girls at the Sorority still leave a vacant seat for Amanda respecting her wish to become part of the Sorority when they take out group photographs

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Haunted America Day 3: Waverly Hills Sanatorium/CONTEST


Haunted America Day 3

Today we are talking about a freaky scary sanatorium that even I couldn’t believe all that was told about it. You be the judge!

Reminder-Anyone who comments this entire week up to Halloween day is entered to win a $10 gift card to ArE ebook store. Make sure to leave your email address inside comment to be entered.

Haunted America #3: Waverly Hills Sanatorium


Waverly Hills Sanatorium is one of those stories you think just can not be true, it feels like it has been dreamt up by some big shot horror movie director or its a new haunted house attraction at a theme park… But Waverly Hills is a real place, the stories are real and this is certainly not a place you want to take the kids.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium like any other haunted hospital has a gruesome past and lots of horrifying stories. Waverly Hills is situated in south western Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky, it opened in 1910. The hospital was opened due to the outbreak of Tuberculosis in Jefferson County the hospital was just a small two story wooden building just enough to treat 50 patients. With increasing repairs needing to be done to the wooden buildings it’s was decided that a more durable and permanent building should be built. The new building was opened in March 1924.
The haunting of Waverly Hills Sanatorium are well known to the locals and the paranormal investigators that have visited the hospital but I will share with you some of the most horrific and terrifying stories to come out of the wards of Waverly Hills.
Room 502
The most known story about Waverly Hills is that of Room 502. A nurse, Mary Hillenburg, was found hanged in the door way of Room 502 in the year 1928; it is thought it was suicide as she had recently discovered she was pregnant out with wedlock. There is a story that Mary Hillenburg was impregnated by a doctor of Waverly Hills who was actually married. He tried an abortion which killed Mary Hillenburg in the process and to cover his back he made it look like a suicide.
Another nurse later took her own life in 1932 by throwing her self out of the window of the room that she worked in, Room 502. There are no reports of why she would have committed suicide but there was a rumor that someone did in fact push her. There are also reports that people have seen shadows move across the floor and walls in Room 502, so was this nurse pushed to her death by a ghostly spirit?…
Body Chute
The Body Chute was a tunnel which leads from the back of Waverly Hills to the train tracks at the bottom of the hill. This tunnel was built for supplies and deliveries and ease of access, but when the outbreak of Tuberculosis hit the tunnel was used to transport the dead bodies out of the hospital by a motorized trolley. This was used as the patients that were being treated would originally see all the bodies of the dead patients leave the hospital by the front, which depressed the patients and in turn would kill them.
The Tunnel now is said to be haunted by the spirits which traveled the length of that tunnel. Voices and unidentified noises have been heard in the tunnel, while cold shivers have been felt by paranormal investigators.
So as you can see Waverly Hills is not for the light hearted of us, but this is surely one of the most haunted places in America, especially when you take in to account the rumored number of deaths, 63,000.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bitten By Books Guest Author Day with Rachel Caine/CONTEST

Bitten By Books is hosting author Rachel Caine and she has a new release in her YA Paranormal/Vampire Series, Morganville Vampires. I have to admit, I haven't read this series yet. My daughter loves it and I have heard nothing but good things from everyone who has read them. Guess it's time to get on the band wagon. :)

If you go over to Bitten By Books this week and participate, you are entered to win this awesome prize: an IPAD!!!! Yes you heard me...an iPad. What a great and generous author she is. :)

Where do you go? HERE

There looks to be several books in the series and I think I will see if my library has them. :)

Bitten By Books Guest Author Day with Maggie Shayne/Contest

Bitten By Books is hosting author Maggie Shayne today as she celebrates her newest re-release of her 'Twilight' or Wings of the Night Series. She has some great prizes to give away and more. Come on over to Bitten By Books and see what Ms. Shayne has to say about her very successful vampire series.

http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=32575



I remember starting this series and falling in love with the characters. Ms. Shayne has a great way in creating memorable characters, a fast paced storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat and she has three more coming to the series making it a total of 20 books in all. WOW! 


With each book, the reader will be drawn into a world that this author lovingly created and one that will never grow old, IMHO.

So what are you waiting for? RUN to Bitten by books and check out this author's guest day there and enter to win some wonderful prizes.

Haunted America Day 2: The Frankllin Castle in Cleavland

Haunted America Day 2

Next up is an eerie castle that sends shivers down my spine reading up on it.

Haunted America #2: The Franklin Castle in Cleavland


Located on the west side at Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio, Franklin Castle is known to be one of the most haunted and eerie castles in the world.

This historical building comprises of four stories and twenty rooms and has been constructed in the gothic architectural style. Although this building is of historical significance its popularity is supplemented by the mystery and haunting that surrounds it.

Over the years reports about the castle being haunted have surfaced and made headlines, but the mystery of ghost sightings is shrouded within the walls of this magnificent castle. Witnesses mention the presence of poltergeists, and disturbed spirits lurking in corridors.

The unearthly voices of tormented individuals and wailing children among vivid reflections of translucent images are common occurrences that are said to emanate within the walls of this castle.

The mystery of Hannes Tiedemann
Cudell & Richardson were the architects responsible for this architectural wonder. They built this castle in 1865 for a German immigrant, Hannes Tiedemann who was known to be a strict disciplinarian. He was a well known grocer and investment banker who was reputed to have a harsh temperament. Although theories about Hannes Tiedemann being authoritative and physically abusive with his family have made tasty titbits for news channels, the truth remains a mystery.
Hannes Tiedemann had a large family and many servants at the castle and it is believed that he was sexually involved with many women in the castle which included mistresses and servants. He is believed to be responsible for a number of deaths that took place in the Franklin castle and is believed to have hung, strangulated and hacked his victims. The walls of Franklin Castle shroud the number of deaths that occurred within the castle. The diabolic scent of death is perpetuated by hidden facts in the form of trapdoors and hidden doorways that lead to suspicion of foul play.
Several mysterious deaths occur at Franklin Castle
Although there is no conclusive evidence on the number of deaths that occurred in Franklin castle, researchers believe that there have been several murders that didn’t see the light of day. The first death to have occurred in this castle was that of Emma, Hannes Tiedemann’s daughter, who at the age of 15 was believed to have succumbed to diabetes. Soon afterwards Hannes Tiedemann lost his ageing mother Wiebka. During the next few years three more of his children died which led to the belief that the hidden truth about these mysterious deaths was lurking within the castle.
Many researchers are convinced that the birth and death of a number of babies in the castle wasn’t revealed. It is also believed that Tiedemann hanged his niece with the help of an exposed rafter in one of the secret tunnels. Legend also has it that Hannes Tiedemann strangulated a lot of women in a fit of rage when they rejected his advances or caught them cheating on him. It is believed that the bodies were hidden in secret rooms and passages. Although Luise, Hannes Tiedemann’s wife died in 1895 of liver disease, many still believe it was murder, too.
There have been sightings at the Franklin Castle of a mysterious woman in black who is believed to be one of the many servants or mistresses of Hannes who died there. Witnesses also mention the voices of little children crying and a shapeless vision of a young girls face. People who have visited the castle also mention a feeling of disgust and guilt that seems to surround them. Strange noises and objects flying in the air are commonly experienced by people visiting Franklin Castle. Whatever lurks in the depth of this magnificent castle will remain a mystery, and I know the secrets…Got to go now…Luise is waiting.

Get to know G. G. Royale

 
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

My latest book, My Two Doms, is my first venture into ménage. I sort of set it up in The Lovely Kittengirls of Mew Orleans, though I didn’t want to spend too much time hinting that there would be a sequel. I like to try to say invested in the present story, rather than moving ahead before it’s finished, but when I started writing Haley’s character in Kittengirls, I just knew she’d have to have her own book in which she could rectify her double dom dilemma.

This had to be one of my more challenging stories. I am quite monogamous, so I had a hard time getting into Haley’s head, trying to figure out how she could love these two men at the same time and how they could come to understand her well enough to enter into a threesome.

What are you working on now? Anything you want to tell us about?

My current work in progress is another interracial BDSM novella. It’s going to have a lot of football, and a lot of spanking. Think Jeremy Shockey meets, oh, Tyra Banks. And then spanks her silly. And then they fall in love.

What books are currently on your nightstand/bedside? Anything coming you are dying to read?

Currently I’m rereading a collection of H.P. Lovecraft and a manual on how to write mystery stories. I revisit Lovecraft frequently; some of my first publications were based on his world, and I always like to submit to Lovecraft-themed anthologies and magazines when I have the chance.

The manual is because I realized recently writing mysteries was something I’d never tried, and I had no way of even knowing how to go about it. I read a lot of Doyle when I was younger, but I needed to know the nuts and bolts of the process. I’m getting some good insights, but I’m not yet sure anything will come of it.

Anything I’m dying to read… I’m in an upcoming anthology of erotic fairytales, Rumpledsilksheets, and I can’t wait to see what the other authors contributed to the volume. I had a lot of fun writing my story, “The White Bride,” for that, and I know some of the other stories will be hot, hot, hot!

If one of your books were to be made into a movie, which book would you choose and who do you see playing your characters and why?

That’s an easy one. I’d want to see The Flapper and the Fellow made into a movie. Jude Law would play Winnie -- he’s the only face I saw when I wrote that -- and Zoe Deschanel would play Dot, because I have the biggest crush on her. Or, if I could have made it in the 1930s, it would have to be Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert all the way -- I love them together.

I’d want it to end up resembling Secretary to some extent, but with all that Jazz Age pizzazz. Soundtrack courtesy of Django Reinhardt, of course, and a little King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.

What is your favorite pizza toppings?

Well, in my upcoming holiday release, The Adoration of Addana, you’ll run into a local pizza joint that used to be open down the street from me here in New Orleans. They used to make me a pizza with chicken, artichoke hearts, and black olives on it that I really loved. The sauce tasted very spicy; the crust was thin yet had a good body to it. Add a few dollops of ricotta cheese on that before throwing it in the oven… Oh yeah.

Which do you prefer: Mac or PC? 

Well, I prefer a Mac, but it’s never in the budget. I tend toward refurbed, bottom-end PCs from the Tiger Direct clearance bin. I don’t do a lot of fancy stuff on the computer. I need Internet and word processing; that’s about it.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to one of your characters?

Umm, falling in the swamp and nearly getting eaten by an alligator, I think. Or possibly separating the two lovers without one realizing they’d get back together again. That’s pretty harsh.

Which of your books contains the sexiest love scene? (if you have one that is J)

I think one of the sexiest scenes is in The Flapper and the Fellow, when Dot, on her hands and knees, has to balance a martini on her back while Winnie has his way with her.

Which of your covers is your favorite?

I love everything Christine Griffin does for me. She makes me want to write more stories in the Kittengirls vein just so I can have more pretty covers to look at.

Which of your books was the easiest to write? 

I have a Dreamspinner Press release coming out in December: The New Game. What made it easy was the fact that I had the cover art ahead of time, and I wrote to match the cover art. I stuck to my outline and got it done in record time. Plus, it’s short, only about seventeen thousand words, so that made for a quick job too.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Everyone’s always commented on how good my ideas are. I have great concepts, I think, but my biggest problem is characterization. Too often I let the plot control me, rather than the characters. I never have one of those moments where I complain about a character doing something unexpected, where I have to step away and figure out how to fix the plot to account for the character. I would actually like to know what that feels like, to be so wrapped up in a character that she actually begins to act on her own. I’m too rigid -- right now anyway -- to allow that to happen. I imagine my writing must suffer for it.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I went with the old method of picking a stripper name: the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on. However, “Gray Cat Tenth Street” wasn’t the best name. Translate “Gray Cat” into Spanish, drop it to the initials, change First Street to the street my favorite house was on… That’s how I got G.G. Royale.

Where can readers find you on the ‘net for more information on you, your books and other fun stuff?

Boy, all over the place! First, www.ggroyale.com is my site. I blog at www.ggroyale.blogspot.com. I have a Facebook fan page as G.G. Royale, and I Twitter as @ggroyale. I’m running a contest for people who follow me on Twitter, by the way. For every hundred followers (at 100, 200, etc) I pick a random winner and give out a prize. The more followers, the bigger and better the prizes will become!

*~*
Sneak Peek From My Two Doms

Haley reveled in the shouts and whistles coming from the audience. She showed off her cat costume, acted the part, playing with the toys Gregory, her handler, offered her, and made sure that the judge for the contest, Lady Corneille Noir, got all the choice views. The three-piece band tried to keep up with her, and she did her best to make it a challenge for them. Margot was right; this is fun. Gregory ran his big hand down her back. She arched for him, winking at the crowd. Then she stuck out her ass and shook her tail. The bell on her collar and those tied to her tail with ribbons jingled, adding to the glorious cacophony.
But something didn’t feel quite right. Something was missing.
As Haley batted at a feather-ended cane Gregory dangled in front of her, she scanned the audience.
Oh no. She saw him: Jason, her other dom, the one who didn’t do any of this kind of stuff -- the hard-edged, whips-and-handcuffs one.
Haley froze, and the audience seemed to recede, shrinking away as Jason’s face took her full attention. She hadn’t expected him to come. She didn’t want him here. He couldn’t know about…Gregory. She looked back at the other, bigger man. How would she explain this to him? What would he do to her? A slight frown crossed his face, and he tried to recapture her attention with the toy he held, but she couldn’t become reabsorbed in the play. She swallowed. Heat bathed her. She thought for a moment about all those in the audience watching her, but she couldn’t even pull herself together for them. Her concentration had broken, and now fear dominated.
Her men would find out about what she’d done to them. Tonight. She hadn’t prepared herself for that.
Finally Lady Corneille -- dressed as a ringmaster in purple and gold vinyl -- ushered them off the stage. “Haley Cat and her handler, Gregory, everyone!”
Applause followed Haley as she took the steps down to the auditorium floor. Her legs felt weak, and she had to grasp the handrail as she descended. What would she say to him? Which him? To them?
This could go so badly.
Without asking or even waiting for permission, she headed to the back of the hall. Vaguely she heard the next kittengirl’s introduction, but Haley’s world had shrunk down to the situation that had just arisen.
Her two doms were here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Haunted America Day 1: Alcatraz Prison

Reminder-Anyone who comments this entire week up to Halloween day is entered to win a $10 gift card to ArE ebook store. Make sure to leave your email address inside comment to be entered

Haunted America Day 1

Halloween is upon us and I am counting down with a Haunted Place a day. Yes, I know that sounds lame but hey…I am still waking up here. *grins*

So be prepared to learn of a few haunted places in America and I apologize to those overseas. The world is so big that I would be here for days posting on different haunted places. Maybe next year I can do Haunted places in the world or something.

Haunted America #1: Alcatraz Island


The notorious Alcatraz Prison is known for its infamous inmates and its strictness. Alcatraz is a small island located in San Francisco Bay, which is named Alcatraz Island. The environment which surrounds the prison made it near impossible to escape with the sea currents very strong and no chance of swimming across.
Alcatraz was originally a high security military prison, which opened in 1859. In 1933 it was then made a high security federal Prison for the most hardened and dangerous criminals. The conditions of the prison were terrible with a very strict management. If any inmate was to behave badly in anyway it would mean solitry confinement or even the stretch in the dreader steel box. Due to the building literally crumbling away the prison was closed in 1963 but was made a national park.

There have been reports that haunting have been witnessed by National Park staff that vary from voices to loud noises behind doors.

The most famous ghost is of course, Al Capone.

Al Capone’s ghost

Al Capone is one of the well known prisoners of Alcatraz. While he spent the last years of his life in the High Security Prison, he joined a band where he played the banjo. While he was at Alcatraz he feared that he would be killed by other inmates if he was to spend his recreation time in the yard – Al Capone was then allowed to spend time practicing his Banjo within the showers.

To this day National Park staff and members of the public taking the Alcatraz Tour have heard a noise which has been stated to be a Banjo, coming from the showers. This noise has never been explained and people are still reporting it.

Cell 14D – The Hole

Cell 14D is one the Hole cells where inmates were sent for bad behavior. When the prison was open there was an incident where an inmate was sent to cell 14D. The inmate screamed though the night telling the guards of monster with glowing eyes was going to kill him. The next morning the cell was opened and the inmate had been strangled.

That same morning when doing a head count, the guards counted one extra prisoner. The guards that counted claimed to have seen the prisoner that had been killed through the night.

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse which was original built and then removed in 1909 is a paranormal hotspot to this day. Many witnesses have reported that on foggy nights the lighthouse will appear with a light on and then disappear just as fast as it appeared.

The Utility Corridor

This is now known has the most haunted place in the prison. There was a night watchmen that heard noises from the corridor so opened the door to investigate, the noises instantly stopped so he flashed his light down the corridor and saw nothing that would cause the noise he then closed that door and the noises started again! He opened the door and again saw nothing.

The door to the utility door was once welded closed for an unknown reason, but it is believed that it was done for some paranormal reason.

There are many more haunting sightings told about this famous place. You can find out more all over the internet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting to know Jan Irving

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

My latest book just out is Jesse, a contemporary western from Loose Id. I wanted to do a May/December romance of a hard working ranch foreman, Kyle Jacobs, and Jesse Coulter, a twenty year old who takes a job working for Kyle—he’s in love with him, even though Kyle was once his older brother’s lover.

What are you working on now? Anything you want to tell us about?

I’m working on A Barley Moon, a paranormal western contemporary romance. Rafael Coulter is a cougar shifter and ranger who lives in the mountains, sheltering a band of misfits. When dedicated teacher Angel Stone arrives at his door with a young boy he claims is Rafael’s son, Rafe is not happy. He doesn’t want to be a father, but Angel may not give him a choice. I’m also working on an unusual m/m/f ménage which I think will be a lot of fun.

What books are currently on your nightstand/bedside? Anything coming you are dying to read?

I’m anticipating reading J.C. Owens’ The Emperor’s Wolf. I read the other stories by this author and enjoyed them. I am also reading Nora Roberts Black Hills.

If one of your books were to be made into a movie, which book would you choose and who do you see playing your characters and why?

I think probably The Janitor. Maybe a young Colin Firth as Noel, the shy graduate student who falls for boxer and janitor, Dane. Dane would be played by Ian Somerhalder. Why it would be a good film is Dane is a very endearing hero who winds up in the boxing ring at that climax of the book.

What is your favorite pizza toppings?

I sometimes go hiking on a small island with a fantastic wood fire oven pizzeria. My favorite is olive oil, cracked salt and fresh rosemary, only that.

Which do you prefer:Mac or PC? 

PC. I’ve never used a Mac.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to one of your characters?

I think probably when I killed a father figure one of my heroes loved deeply. But I had to do it.

Which of your books contains the sexiest love scene? (if you have one that is J)

That’s a tough question. I usually like whatever one I’ve done most recently. I think it would be a tie between Mastering Toby and Jesse. There is a threesome in Mastering Toby and in Jesse, the first kiss leads to a pretty explosive scene.

Which of your covers is your favorite?

Very tough question. I think I’ll have to go with April Martinez’ cover for my first book The Janitor. It’s riveting.

Which of your books was the easiest to write? 

Most recently Jesse was the easiest because I wrote it in a white heat over six weeks. I didn’t work on anything else except for edits of other material during that time, really swept away.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Sometimes the endings are very hard. I sometimes add something to them later, like with Luke, I added an epilogue a few months after I finished the novella.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I write under Jan Irving but it’s not quite my full name, so there is a degree of separation.

Where can readers find you on the ‘net for more information on you, your books and other fun stuff?

My website: www.janirvingwrites.com


Sneak Peek Excerpt: Jesse by Jan Irving
Loose Id Publishing
M/M Contemporary Western


When Jesse Coulter roars up on a Harley one dusty afternoon back into ranch foreman Kyle Jacob's life, Kyle is confronted with everything forbidden he has wanted for years. Jesse is twenty years old, with a ruff of dark hair and blue eyes that remind Kyle of the heart of a lit gasoline flame, yet Kyle can’t let himself touch Jesse because not only is he too young, he's the brother of Kyle's lost lover Mac.

That they also share an uncanny telepathic bond hasn’t made things any easier for an ordinary working cowboy; Kyle is drawn into Jesse’s dreams of him as the hot older man Jesse holds captive, pleasuring him every night with Jesse’s raw man-takes-man brand of lovemaking. But Kyle and Jesse face other problems to their unconventional romance. Jesse has custody of his vulnerable younger brother who aches for a stable home, and an enemy from Kyle’s past is threatening not only his beloved draft horses and carriage business but the new life and family he yearns for.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM elements, male/male sexual practices.


Excerpt:


When Jesse Coulter roared up on his battered Harley, a dust cloud a high plume behind him, Kyle ducked behind the bunkhouse on the Double M Ranch.

Ducked, hell. Here he was, the foreman, and he was hiding! He pulled off the leather gloves he'd been wearing while working in the horse barn and wiped his damp, shaking palms on his dusty jeans, tears burning his eyes.

Jesse.

He couldn't stop himself from taking another look at the young man as he removed his motorcycle helmet, his dark brown hair still cut short, but spiky at the front. His lean face was on the long side, with a trace of early beard on his chin, adding the texture of manhood to his olive skin. But it was his eyes that made Kyle feel like he'd taken a punch, eyes the pale blue flame of a lighter flaring in the dark.

His lover Mac's kid brother. Kyle had missed Jesse intensely, an ache in his gut.

Kyle hadn't seen Jesse since the day of Mac's funeral. He squeezed his eyes shut, remembered pulling up in his truck at the ranch that terrible day, Jesse and his younger brother, David, crammed together in the passenger side, Jesse looking at Kyle so Kyle could see his bewilderment. Why had Mac died?

"Jesus, kid, I don't know." Kyle's voice had broken as he undid his seat belt. It'd been an accident. Looking for reasons… He couldn't help doing it too while the clock ticked in his empty bedroom.

Jesse had helped the dazed twelve-year-old David out of his seat belt from habit. They'd all stumbled from the truck, the boys wearing black jeans and T-shirts because there'd been no time to purchase suits for Mac's funeral. Suddenly David had thrown himself into Kyle's arms.

"He's never coming back," he’d whispered.

Holding on to David, rubbing his back, Kyle had felt lost. He had been forty-one, and he'd felt lost. He'd stared at Jesse, at the single tear that tracked down his cheek before dripping off the edge of his jaw. "Jesse," he had whispered, aching to give comfort. Kyle took a deep breath and tried the other way to communicate with Jesse, to offer him what solace he could.

"Jesse, I don't know why Mac's gone. It doesn't make sense."

Jesse's jaw ticked, and for a long moment Kyle thought he wouldn't make use of the strange telepathic bond that linked them. Hell if Kyle understood it, but from the moment Mac had brought his younger  brothers to the ranch, Kyle had been able to pick up on Jesse's thoughts sometimes.
"I have to take care of David. How do I do that?"

Jesse's voice sounded like everything that made him Jesse. Like his love of tinkering with engines at school, like a fork of lightning before connecting with a tree.
 "You and David will always have a home here with me. We'll find a way to stay a family, I promise you.”

Buy Jesse here: http://www.loose-id.com/Jesse.aspx

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Talking about 'Out of this World Writing' With Author Victoria Blisse

Out of this World writing.

No, I’m not tooting my own trumpet on this occasion, I’m going to blog today about how I have enjoyed writing paranormal characters. It is the time of year for it afterall! 

Firstly, thanks to Dawn, for hosting me today and secondly I’ll introduce myself a little. I’m Victoria Blisse, I live near Manchester in the UK and I’ve been writing erotic romance for the past ten years. I love to cook and especially enjoy baking, I sing in my church choir and I have a thing for owls. My house is starting to look like a cute, cuddly owl sanctuary!
To find out more about me check out my website 
http://www.victoriablisse.co.uk and if you’re on facebook and twitter look me up I’m victoriablisse on both sites. 

Now recently I’ve found a soft spot for characters that are traditionally portrayed as the bad guys. I started with a werewolf. I must say, for a writer who is mostly accustomed to writing sweet but hot romances it came to me as quite a surprise when my new character was a werewolf. I tried really hard to ignore him. I didn’t know where to start writing a paranormal story but Lowell, bless him, was persistent. So Moon Shy was born. 

It took a lot of planning but Moon Shy did come together and I thoroughly enjoyed writing about my reluctant werewolf and his struggles with himself, his love affair with Jenny and the rivalry with Desdemona, the evil werewolf. When I finished with Lowell, I knew that he wouldn’t be my last paranormal character. 

Next, I picked a vampire. My inspiration came from the beautiful but stark Yorkshire moors as I traveled across them by bus to Whitby. Bram Stoker was inspired in Whitby to write Dracula and so it seemed serendipitous that the inspiration for my vampire came from the same part of the world. 

The wonderful fun of being an author is that you can twist things any way you like. When you’re writing a contemporary story you’re tied down by many constraints which just aren’t there when you start involving fantastical characters.  Although when you pick a classic monster, like a vampire you have certain rules that come with them and you have to choose which to keep and which to break.  You could break all the rules but then how will people know your vampire is a vampire? 

For me, I had to find a convincing way for my vampires to get the blood that they need to survive without killing people. I’m a nice girl at heart and don’t want to be cleaning up dead bodies left right and center. So it came to me in a flash of inspiration that my vamp could discover that blood taken when the human having an orgasm is more satisfying than if the human is petrified. So the ten second rule was born.  Hugh, my first Vampire from The Point, would take blood from a human who was orgasming for ten seconds then pull away. He would get the sustenance he needed and the human would stay alive. Brilliant. 

The Point was born as a place for this to happen. It’s a trendy bar and nightclub with a VIP area and assorted bedrooms behind the scenes for vamps and humans to interact. All of my Point Vamp books have a connection to The Point which I thank my husband for as he came up with the name. It came to him in a dream, funnily enough. 

So I enjoyed writing my vampire so much I decided to do another one and Stopping Point, the second book in the Point Vamp series is out now. Whereas  Hugh was an older, more experienced vamp, Josh doesn’t even realise he is a vampire at first. He has to learn everything from scratch from his sire, Cara who is somewhat flaky shall we say and flits in and out of his life with little notice. 

And I’ve written a couple of short stories involving my favorite creatures of the night too. You can find To Comfort a Vampire at Total-E-Bound and that is a free story for you to download. Also my story First Time Fang Bang which is in the Just One Bite contest at All Romance Ebooks currently is a hot threesome story featuring two exotic vampires and one not so innocent human. If you pop over there you can read it in pair three and I am appreciative of any and all votes, thank you!
And now? Well now I’m looking at writing Point Vamp Book three which I already have a tentative idea of. Talking of which I better get on with it. An author’s word count is never high enough, I can tell you. There’s always more to write. 

So what do you like to see in a vampire tale? Do you like the traditional evil monster or the vampires with souls which are developing these days?  What would you like to see more or less of in vampire stories? I look forward to reading your opinions on the matter.


Starting Point
Victoria Blisse
Total E-Bound Publishing
Buy HERE

Book two in the Point Vamp Series

Josh is a vampire he just doesn't quite know it yet.

He is confused and his voluptuous sire, Cara is far too busy being mysterious to really help him unlock the secrets of his Afterlife. However, he pieces it together by himself and decides to turn his best mates into Vampires too. This doesn't quite go to plan but he does discover The Point and its unique, ten-second rule.

Cara does not approve of Josh visiting The Point but that night she turns up at his door bloodied and much more dead than usual, and accepts Josh's help to escape from her much older and much crazier Sire Leopold. How is Josh going to defeat an older, wiser and more powerful vampire? He hasn't a clue but for Cara he is willing to find out.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Top Ten Books I am dying to read



Ok, I figure I need to do a segment every month on the top ten books-print and e-books-I am dying to read. I have such an extensive list that it is hard to round it to ten so please forgive me if I don't mention your book, authors. I would be here till doomsday and then some. *grins* Now onto book goodness.....

*~*~*~*
10) Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep (Book 3 in Elemental Assassin Series)
Release date: April 26th, 2011
Available for pre-order at Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy


I just got Venom and need my Gin fix. I so can not wait to see what happens next to this retired assassin and her crazy cast of friends/family.
*~*~*~*~*

9) Trust Me If You Dare by L. B. Gregg (Book 2 in Romano & Albright series)
Release date: December 2010 from Samhain Publishing
Genre: M/M Mystery


I loved, loved, loved Catch Me If You Can and can not wait for this one. I need my Romano & Albright fix desperately. Besides who doesn't like a hot, sexy M/M Mystery/suspense to keep you enthralled? I know I do.

*~*~*~*~*

8) Hunger by Jackie Kessler (Book 1 in Eternal Riders YA Series)
Release date: October 2010
Available at Amazon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


I got to admit, I have heard nothing but good things about this newest series from Ms. Kessler and just have to read it. Maybe Sanata will be good and bring it to me for Christmas? *Pleading Gaze*

*~*~*~*~*~*

7) Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick/Dark Hunter Series YA)
Release date: February 2011. Available at Amazon for pre-release
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy


I so need my Nick fix it isn't funny. Who knew Nick and the Dark Hunters were so amusing when he was a teenager? I am counting down the time till this comes out and I got my daughter hooked on Infinity, the first book so that she now asks when the second one is out. :)

*~*~*~*~*

6) The Sworn by Gail Z. Martin (The Fallen Kings Cycle Book 1)
Continuation of the Chronicles of the Necromancer Series
Release date: January 2011. Available for Pre-release at Amazon
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure


When I first picked up the first book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer, Summoner, I literally fell in love with this author's writing and her cast of characters. If you  enjoy fantasy with a bit of adventure, mystery and romance, then I highly recommend this series. I am eager to grab this with my holiday gift cards in early January. *grins*

*~*~*~*~*

5) Master of the Abyss by Cherise Sinclair (Master of the Mountain Book 2)
Release date: October 26th, 2010
Available for Pre-order at Loose Id  Publishing
Genre: BDSM Suspense


I read the first book, Master of the Mountain, and loved it. I was thrilled to see Master Jake get his story told and Cherise Sinclair is a talented writer. If you haven't tried out her books, I highly recommend you do. Sensual, entertaining and delightful. Need I say more?

*~*~*~*~*

4) Men In Space Anthology (Three M/M Sci-fi Adventures)
Release date: November 2nd, 2010
 Samhain Publishing
Genre: M/M Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance


I loved these in ebook format and was thrilled to see them all together in one print volume. Manlove in space....who could ask for anything better?

*~*~*~*~*

3) Pale Demon by Kim Harrison (The Hollows Series Book 9)
Release date: February 11th, 2010
Available for pre-order at Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy


The next Hollows book is almost here and I am anxious to see what mischief Rachel, Jenks, Ivy and all their friends get into next. 

*~*~*~*~*

2) Harvest  Hunting by Yasmine Galenorn (Book 8 in Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series)
Release date: October 26th, 2010
Available for pre-order at Amazon
Genre: Urban Fantasy


I love this series. Ms. Galenorn has a great writing style that keeps the reader glued to their seats and eager for  more when the last page is read.

*~*~*~*~*
And Number One is........

Truthseeker by C. E. Murphy (Book 1 in Worldwalker Duology)
Available now and at Amazon
Genre: Fantasy


I love C. E. Murphy's writing and was thrilled to see a new book out from her. This is the first book in a new duology series. It looks just as good as her other books and I am hinting rather loudly to DH on this one for Christmas.

*~*~*~*~*

Well this was just a taste of what I am looking forward to reading. Any you want to recommend?





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