Tag Archives: paranormal

The Woods – 7 Return to the House (1985) by LV Gaudet

1The Woods:

1 – The Woods – The Dare (1985)

2 – Thirty Years Later – The Old Bennet House is for Sale (2015)

3 – The Woods – Jesse Hears a Noise (1985)

4 – The House – First Entry in 30 Years (2015)

5 – The Woods – Return to the House (1985)

6 – The Woods – Inspecting The House (2015)

 

1985

The boys race back, crawling over the rotting downed tree, and through the woods.  They can see the house through the barren limbs of the trees, branches that stick out, their branching fingers trying to block their view of home.  They push through those branches, some twisted in odd directions, misshapen bony arms that were broken and healed to grow that way. They focus on the house through the trees.  Home.

They break free of the woods into the sudden freedom of their yard. Their boots slip on the snow, sloppy wet from the early spring melt.

A discarded bike lies on the ground, half buried, sticking out of the snow like the skeletal remains of a man fallen in an odd position.

“The grass,” Kevin calls breathlessly as they run for the house.

“We must have imagined it,” Jesse pants.

They charge into the house again, kicking off their boots, racing past the comic and discarded socks, to the kitchen again, calling.

“Mom!”

“Mom?”

“Mom!”

She isn’t there.  They search the house again.

“She’s not here.”

“Next door?”

Jesse frowns.

“Come on,” Kevin urges.

They head to the back door again, pulling their boots on, and going out.  They go around to the side, heading for the front.

“Kevin! Kevin!” Jesse cries.

Kevin blinks, disoriented. It’s hard to breathe, a crushing weight is pressing down on his chest. He tries to move and can’t. He’s pinned down.

Kevin is laying on his back in the snow. He stares at the bare branches of bushes pushing up through the snow around him and the bare branches of trees above.

“Jessie? What’s happening?” His voice is cracking with fear.

He is pinned beneath the rotting fallen tree they had climbed over earlier.

“How?” he croaks.

“Kevin?” Jesse’s voice is shaky.

Jesse takes a step back, staring fixatedly ahead, stopped by a tree behind him.

“Kevin, what’s happening?”

Before him is the rotting old stump, its sharp splinters and points of shattered wood sticking up, soft and crumbly with rot. He feels vertigo, the world seems tilted, and he feels the sickening sensation of falling.  Falling on the sharp jagged edges sticking up from the stump. He imagines himself impaled and his blood oozing out to drip down the stump, staining the snow and rotting leaves.

He turns and staggers away, looking for Kevin.

He takes four or five steps before he spots him.

“KEVIN!”

Jesse runs and falls on him, clawing at the snow and the downed tree, his fingers scratching at the rotting wood, trying to dig at the ground still hardened with the winter frost.

He’s sobbing as he frantically tries to dig his brother out.

 

* *   ***  **  ***  **  ***  **

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Author’s Note

Summer is here, and with it another year of every night busyness running around officially ends with the closing ring of the school bells.

This weekend we celebrate Canada Day here in the Northern part of North America and it is a big one inspiring a more intense round of both celebrations and protesting the act of celebrating the country.

This year Canada celebrate’s 150 years of Canada’s anniversary of confederation.  Whether that is good or bad depends on which side of that argument you are on.

Across Canada, people are asking, “What is Canada to you?” in an effort to determine that hard to pin down intangible thing, the Canadian identity.

In our new world, this 150 year benchmark celebration also brings the (no surprise) never ending threat which hangs a darker cloud over the world: ISIS’s war against the world and threats of attacks during the celebrations.

While our police and military will stand on guard for us against all threats, including terror, drunk drivers, and possibly the occasional summer spider; and scores will celebrate hugely this weekend; I will have a nice quiet summer weekend with friends, deep fry, wine, and a small local book signing.

Go Canada!  All of us who make Canada what it is: the indigenous celebrating more than 150 years of  making this country what it is today, the immigrants and refugees from around the world who add so much diversity, whether they are new first generation people welcomed to our country, or second or third or older generations,  and the generations born here whose ancestors colonized this great country.  For better or worse, we are all a village.  Together, we are Canada.

 

Follow The Woods installments

 

L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm
where the bodies are

 

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions? Find out in Where the Bodies Are.

 

The McAllister Farm-cover 1

Take a step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are:  The McAllister Farm reveals the secrets behind the man who created the killer.

 

Link to purchase these books by L.V. Gaudet

 

 

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

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5 The Woods – Return to the House (1985) by LV Gaudet

 

 

The Woods:

1 – The Woods – The Dare (1985)

2 – Thirty Years Later – The Old Bennet House is for Sale (2015)

3 – The Woods – Jesse Hears a Noise (1985)

4 – The House – First Entry in 30 Years (2015)

 

 

1985

 

The boys burst into the house, hurriedly kicking off their boots at the back door before going any further.  Everything looks exactly like it did when they went out to play.

It’s 1985 and the furniture and décor are a clash of pieces mostly from the sixties and seventies, some bought new, some second hand, and some are hand-me-downs.  Nothing has been upgraded in the past ten years, a testament of thoughtful care and financial mediocrity.  The worn couch and dented coffee table, victims of having two rambunctious growing boys in the house, are overdue to be replaced.  A comic book lays discarded on the floor, open as if it is trying to fly away, The Thing is caught forever in an epic battle against a green monster that looks like a rough tree bark wall with many arms surrounding The Thing with flailing punching fists.  The television, an ancient tube set, sits dark and quiet on its stand.  A pair of discarded boy’s socks are tossed carelessly on the floor, and the latest edition of TV Guide sits on the coffee table.

“Mom!” Jesse looks around.

The house is dead silent except for their own breathing.

“Mom?”

Kevin stands there, looking around.

The house is exactly as they left it before they went outside to play.  How long has that been?  An hour?

But not quite.

Everything seems a little muted.  Off.

And more dusty than he remembers.

Jesse runs into the kitchen.  After a pause of a few heartbeats, Kevin follows.

“Mom?” Jesse pauses just inside the doorway, looking expectantly for their mother.

The teakettle still sits on the stovetop, two tea towels hang from the oven door handle where they were hung to dry after washing dishes in the sink, and the table is set for dinner with places for four.

Flour and sugar bags sit on the countertop next to a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and measuring cup, pulled out in preparation of baking a cake.

Their mother is not there.

They run through the house calling, “Mom! Mom! Mom!”  They end their search back in the living room, out of breath.

“She’s not here.”

“Where could she be?”

“Next door, maybe?”

“Let’s go see.”

They pull their boots back on and rush out the door into the backyard, trained not to use the front door because that would somehow make more cleaning work for their mother, and around the side of the house to the front.

They stop, staring around wide-eyed, and turn to stare at each other, their faces full of fear and confusion.

They are standing in the woods next to that old stump.

“What the hell?”

“Don’t cuss,” Jesse says automatically.  There is hell to pay if their mom ever hears them use bad language.  Hell is one of many forbidden words.

Kevin turns to him, appalled.

“Seriously?  You’re worried about me cussing? We are back in the woods! How?  This is impossible!”

He stops.

“Jesse.”

“What?” Jesse is sulking now.

“The grass.”

“What about it?”

“Wasn’t there grass in the yard?”

“Yeah, so?  There’s always been grass in the yard.”

Kevin narrows his eyes, wondering if Jesse is just being dumb or is messing with him.

“It’s early spring.  Look around.  There’s still snow everywhere.”

“Yeah, so?” Jesse isn’t getting it.

Kevin’s shoulders sag with the futility of it.  Do I even bother? He sighs.

“Jesse, do you remember what the yard looked like? Just now, when we went back to the house.”

“Yeah, your bike was laying on the grass. I almost tripped on it.”

“Where was the snow?”

They both just stare at each other.

 

 

Follow The Woods installments

L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm
where the bodies are

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions? Find out in Where the Bodies Are.

The McAllister Farm-cover 1

Take a step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are:  The McAllister Farm reveals the secrets behind the man who created the killer.

Link to purchase these books by L.V. Gaudet

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

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Google+

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

WordPress

LV Gaudet, author

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ACQUIESCENCE (excerpt) – by Velya Jancz-Urban

book cover changed croppedLara stopped suddenly and said, “They’re in there.”
“Who’s in there? What are you talking about?” I responded.
“Spirits,” she said, putting down her boxes and feeling the door frame.
“What? What spirits? What are you talking about?” I asked.
“There are spirits in that room,” she calmly explained.
“How do you know?” I asked skeptically.
“Didn’t Luke tell you?” she asked.
“Tell me what?” I said, my voice rising.
“That I’m an intuitive?”
“An intuitive? What the heck is an intuitive?”
“An intuitive uses their psychic abilities to sense, feel, hear, and see the energy fields of a person,” she explained.
“Uh, no,” I maintained, “this is the first I’ve heard about this.”
“I’m able to see pictures and images around people that help me tell their stories,” she continued.
“Luke never said a thing. I had no idea you had this ability.”
“Well, they’re in there,” she repeated, putting her hands in front of her like a mime.
“Okay, so what do we do now?”
“Let me see if I can see them.”
“SEE them? You mean they’re in there right now? Like in the room?” I asked in disbelief.
“Maybe. Let’s see,” she said and we entered the cluttered room. Lara looked at the foot of the stairs and said, “She’s right there,” pointing to a corner of the room.
“She is?” I whispered. “Who is she?”
“Give me a few minutes alone in here,” Lara said.
I left the room and waited in the kitchen, leaning on the counter. I wasn’t scared, or upset – excited best described it. This spirit idea had never crossed my mind. Yet, I admitted to myself that I really didn’t know Lara very well. Was she a crackpot? She was a little flaky, but then, most people I was attracted to were free-thinkers and open-minded. I wasn’t religious, but did believe everything is made up of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. Why couldn’t the energy of some dead person be in our home? Right from the start, Jim and I said we didn’t feel like the owners of the house, more like the stewards, and I often thought about the women who came before me in this old home. As I was leaning on the counter digesting all of this, Jim came home from work. Noting her red Audi sports car in the driveway he asked, “Where’s Lara?”
“Well, you’re not going to believe this, but she thinks we have a spirit in the back room. Apparently, she has some kind of psychic powers. She calls herself an intuitive,” I explained matter-of-factly. “Oh my god,” I mused aloud. “I wonder if that’s why she said the stuff about the grandfather clock!”
Jim, in his usual calm way, took all of this in stride and a few seconds later we heard Lara’s footsteps in the hallway. She came into the kitchen, greeted Jim and said, “Pamina, I want to do a reading of you in that room once you have all the boxes cleaned out.”
“What’s a reading?” I asked.
“In a reading, I’m able to contact and channel the spirits of deceased people, and it’s an opportunity to help you connect with your own higher self. There’s a woman in a rocking chair in that back room, holding her dead baby. She stays there all the time. She has a very close bond to you,” Lara said, nodding at me.
“To me?” I breathed, not really registering the dead baby part.
“Yes, her connection to you is incredibly strong,” Lara explained, “but we’ll learn a lot more when I come back. I walked through all the other rooms, but that’s the only one that has a spirit.”
As Lara prepared to leave, she advised, “Get a runner for the hallway outside that room.”
“A runner? What’s a runner?” I asked.
“You know,” Lara explained, “one of those long narrow carpets people use in hallways.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah. I know what you’re talking about,” I said. “But why do we need one?”
“So she can leave the room if she wants to. Put one end of the runner right in the room and extend it out into the hallway. It will serve as a bridge for her.”
“Okay,” I said skeptically. Oddly, the thought of this spirit lady roaming around the house didn’t faze me.
“I’ll come back when you guys are more settled in here. Pamina, you and I will do a reading in that room.”
In a fog, I walked Lara to her car, came back to the kitchen, and found Jim looking through the mail as he leisurely ate a handful of almonds.
“Can you believe this?” I asked.
“Of course,” Jim said in his unflustered way. “It’s a house built at least two hundred years ago. Of course there are spirits here. I’d be surprised if there weren’t. I have no doubt there’s a woman in there.”
“But in that room,” I said. “Don’t you think it’s weird she’s in that particular room?” For the room – the room that now held a mysterious spirit woman – had been intended for my mother, and had also been home to the multiverse bats.

Velya Jancz-Urban is the author of Acquiescence.

Visit her at: http://acquiescencethebook.com

http://www.amazon.com/Acquiescence-Velya-Jancz-Urban/dp/1630661023/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Velya Jancz-Urban, and her protagonist Pamina Campbell, have a lot in common. Both are teachers and hoodwinked Brazilian dairy farm owners, and both share a 1770 Connecticut farmhouse with a spirit woman. Velya has been married for 32 years, and is the mother of two grown children. She has a few too many rescue dogs and cats, is happiest with a fresh stack of library books, loves thrift shops, and is passionate about alternative medicine. Velya is the creator/owner of “How Cool Is That?!” (Hands-On Science) (www.howcoolisthat.name), as well as the east coast instructor for the “Earth Balloon.” Her entertainingly informative presentation, The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife is a result of the research completed for this novel.

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Fifty Shades of Jim by Velya Jancz-Urban

handcuffs

My female goddess awakened as Jim tickled me down there with an ostrich feather. I chewed my lips as he salaciously cocked his head to the side and rocked his groin upward.

“Holy crap,” I gasped, about to reach my seventh orgasm of the day. Jim stroked his humongous male organ with a riding crop while he slowly tied my ankles to my elbows with his silver necktie, my favorite necktie, the one that always made me gasp – but first he freed my breasts from the restraint of my black lace bra. He made me repeat our safe word: Fiddledeedee, as he ran his hand over my sex. His manhood pushed against my belly and I bit my lip to keep from crying out. His ginormous tool bobbed as he strode to the playroom cabinet where he kept his toys. He made a low primal growl as he inhaled sharply. Yes, he did both things simultaneously.

“Jump down. Turn around. Pick a bale of cotton,” he commanded. I gasped at his words, my insides liquefying. He was about to push me over the brink once more when he slipped a Delta airlines eye mask over my face.

“I want you upside down on the nightstand!” he ordered.

“That’s a little tricky, Jim,” I answered in a hoarse whisper. “I’m kind of tied up right now,” I purred.

“Do you want me to spank you?” he hissed, his breathing labored.

“Yes, yes,” I begged and murmured. A moment later I heard him open a drawer. I sensed him behind me.

“So you want it rough?” he breathed.

“Yes, oh yes!” my female parts moaned.

His erection trailed across my back as he growled, “Do you know how hot you are right now, Wifely?”

WIFELY??!! My building orgasm came to a screeching halt.

Can you tell I’ve been reading Fifty Shades of Grey? Are you wondering why? A paperback copy from Woodbury Library sits on our coffee table and I wonder why myself. The plot is terrible, the characters are two-dimensional. The term inner goddess is used fifty-eight times and someone murmurs one hundred ninety-nine times. Some people see a story about a man who was abused at a young age and a woman trying to free him from his demons; a man who is afraid to love and a woman trying to show him how, as they mend the broken parts of each other. Some people are disturbed by the materialism and feel if you take away the kinky stuff, it’s just another Harlequin Romance. It’s been suggested the book’s focus on a BDSM relationship appeals to a woman’s desire to be dominated. Could women love the book because it shows a man doing all the right things in bed – without having to be asked?

Jim and I – the real Jim, the one who doesn’t own a riding crop but does have a humongous male organ – were in the shower yesterday afternoon. He kind of half-heartedly slathered shampoo around on my head with one hand and washed his face with the other hand. As shampoo lather dribbled down my shoulders, I turned to him and said, “You know, this isn’t how that Christian Grey guy washes hair.”

“Who’s Christian Grey?” he asked as he soaped us up.

“The Fifty Shades of Grey guy,” I said.

“Why, how’s he do it?” Jim asked phlegmatically (EL James isn’t the only one with a thesaurus!).

“Oh, he kinds of holds the woman’s face in his hands, peers into her eyes, acts like he doesn’t even realize she’s naked, and totally concentrates on gently washing her hair with some exotic jasmine shampoo,” I explained.

“You beguile me, Wifely,” Jim said (no, he didn’t) as he held my face in his hands, peered lovingly into my eyes and slipped his fingers into my nostrils (yes, he did). This is my Christian Grey. He doesn’t buy lingerie or send me erotic texts. Actually, his last text consisted of one word: Great. He’s never heard of Manolo Blahnik’s, doesn’t have an Audi R8 Spider, or a helicopter We don’t have red paint on our playroom walls, he doesn’t lavish me with praise, and we don’t own nipple clamps. In November, we celebrated our thirty-second wedding anniversary. My stomach still flutters when he comes home from work and he’s the first person I call with good – or bad – news. He doesn’t try to control me, yet his is the advice I most value. When I wake up in the middle of the night he’s always worked his way over to my side of the bed. He never panics. He never flirts with other women. He’s always believed in me, even when I haven’t believed in myself. He’s a man of honor and integrity. He doesn’t hold my hand in public, but he’s been at my side for the last thirty-two years. He loves me with his actions, not with butt plugs, handcuffs, or words. Last night, when I told him how much I loved him, he said, “Alright.” It is alright and I’d marry him all over again.

Laters, baby.

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Interview With Katie Burgess McClaren, Hero of “Ghosts and Physics” by April Arnold

Ghosts and PhysicsWhat is your story?

Oh geez, my story…teachers back in high school always gave us writing assignments like this, and I didn’t know what to say even then. A person’s story is just too intricate…and generally boring to 99% of the world’s non-family population. But since you asked so politely, I’ll give it a shot. My name is Katie Burgess McClaren, and I’m a confirmed English fanatic. I’m also passionately in love with all things sci-fi with an adoration of the fantastical too. I don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, even though Mick–he’s my boyfriend-turned-husband…you’ll have to read the book–is always reminding me that I’m already supposed to have achieved adulthood. I don’t like that notion because it means there’s a sizeable amount of catching up to do. Anyway, I also have a penchant for ghost-hunting shows, unorthodox clothing choices, and wine of all shapes and sizes. I’m a really nice person in possession of what I think is an awesome sense of humor. I also second-guess myself a lot…most of the time, in fact. And I randomly change the subject. But all in all, most days I manage to hold myself and life together in a successful manner. It’s just a good thing that life is supposed to be about the journey and not the destination because I’ve been reaching some pretty freakish destinations lately!

Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

Yes, I have a problem not mentioned in the story: roosters! No wait, that was mentioned in the story. The PRIMARY problem at present has been getting stubborn Mick to help me prove my theory on ghosts vs. time-warping people. Well, that was part 1 of the problem anyway. He finally did invent this totally groovy machine which proved my theory irrefutably…but it also got us stranded in 1922. The nice couple we met there were subsequently transported to the present, and we spent the rest of the book’s chapters trying to figure out how to swap ourselves back. Well, and some government agency was trying to steal Mick’s machine. That didn’t exactly help with the problem either.

How do you see yourself?

I’m always honorable but only sometimes healthy. Honor comes easily for me because anytime I’ve attempted dishonorableness, it’s royally backfired! Like if I tell a lie? You can absolutely bet that a) my face will immediately give me away and/or b) I’ll be lying to somebody smarter than I am who already knows the answer to the question they’re asking and are only asking said question to test my honorableness. Being healthy…well, I drink lots of diet soda and sometimes exercise during a sudden onset of Physical Fitness commitment. Okay, so I’m not at ALL honorable when it comes my commitment to Physical Fitness. I cheat on Physical Fitness all the time.

What makes you angry?

Willing, habitual, on-purpose ignorance makes me angry. And orange sports cars. I mean, what the hell??

Do you like remembering your childhood?

I had a pretty great childhood, actually, except for all the forced child labor my parents inflicted. Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but working in the cotton fields in the middle of a Texas summer-furnace is not a happy memory. That sweaty experience aside, my parents were rather awesome in that they took excellent and loving care of my brother and me (the cotton fields aside). We lived in a small community outside of Austin where my Dad farmed and did the cow-raising thing. There was a gorgeous creek a mile or so behind our house where I often wasted a lot of time that could’ve been spent studying or cleaning the toilet or getting a real job…stuff like that.

Anyway, when I got old enough, I escaped the country life and moved to Austin proper where I made just enough money to pay rent and support the wine and Papa John’s industries. My brother and I weren’t pushed to “be” anything as kids. That can be a really great thing since I feel like too much pressure is put on children today to know exactly what they want to do/be as adults and know it by age 5 so an educational plan/plot may be established on the first day of kindergarten. Human beings have a bad habit of categorizing their offspring to the point that said offspring feel trapped in one skill, one path, one destiny. Destiny is undefinable and ever-changing. But that’s too much philosophy! What I’m trying to say is that I kind of wish my parents HAD pushed us to be more ambitious. I feel like I’d have accomplished much more far sooner than I have.

What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is that killer all-leather outfit that Mick has confiscated and will never let me wear.

Have you ever had an adventure?

Have I ever had an adventure? My entire effing life has officially become an adventure! I wish the adventure would stop! I’m OD-ing on adventure! What I wouldn’t give to be bored and just STATIONARY for five minutes…

What about your past would you like to forget?

What about my past would I like to forget…hmm…well, since my past has become my future and vice versa, it’s kind of difficult to answer such things. I guess anything related to chicken coops or gopher death would be pleasant to forget, and if we suddenly get sucked into the past again, there will probably be something new that’s worth forgetting except that “something” is still in my future in the past…good gravy, where did I put that bottle of Tylenol…

If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Ooo, I like that easy and philosophy-less question…imaginary shopping! What ten items would be in my shopping cart, let’s see…Diet Dr. Pepper, a bottle of Thai lemongrass dressing, a bottle of wine, make-up/foundation, mascara, cleaner for my contacts, sushi, chicken tenderloin, salsa, and cilantro.

How do you envision your future?

How do I envision my future…wow, which one? It could literally shift with a single push of the button on Mick’s electromagnetic field-increasing, time-shifting machine. Our future will forever be decided by circumstances that we and this mechanical marvel have created. Uncontrollable events have been set in motion. Unavoidable outcomes have been initiated. I envision my future as one not of my own choosing. I didn’t mean to get all depressing on you, but yeah…that answer is a truthful one…because I’m honorable.

***

About April Arnold:

http://secondwindpublishing.com is your initial go-to source for my books. They will also be available on Amazon.com in both print and electronic formats. Updates and information on the State of my Writing Union will be posted on my WordPress blog entitled Diabloggical Me. I’ll also be posting information on my Ghosts and Physics Facebook page which is coming soon!

Click here for an Interview with April Arnold, Author of “Ghosts and Physics”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 33 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverDr. West isn’t convinced that Kyle is legitimately interested in Emily. He fears that Kyle is just after her money, much like her ex-husband was.

“Mr. Scott, you’ve convinced me and I don’t convince easily. Maybe you are the right one to go. I’ll set it up.”

“Can you reach someone at this hour?”

“Watch me.” He grinned. “I’ll call your cabin when it’s done. And do me a favor, will you ask Carmelita to meet me for drinks?”

“Ask her yourself when you call. She’ll think I’m being a smart ass.”

Conceding the point with a nod, the doctor picked up the phone. Kyle waved and left. A different nurse was on duty than the one he had danced with. She stopped him as he headed toward the door.

“You’re Ms. Geraci’s friend, aren’t you? The dancer?”

Kyle chuckled, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Well, I dance, but I’m not a dancer by profession.”

“You made quite an impression on Becky this morning.”

“Oh, yeah?” He chuckled. “See what being light on your feet can do for a guy?”

“I wish my boyfriend could dance. Do you give lessons?”

“I live in Orlando. Might be a bit of a trek for one of us.”

“Oh, no. I live in Winter Park. I’m just here as a favor to Dr. West. Do you give lessons?”

“I hadn’t thought about it.”

“Maybe you should. Emily said you taught her to dance and it would be so much fun if Matt could take me dancing. He’d rather watch sports.” She wrinkled her nose.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Thanks!” She kissed his cheek. “Here’s my number. Call when you get home and let me know.” She handed him a piece of paper with her number and the caption ‘dance lessons for two’. “So you know I’m not just hitting on you.” She blushed.

“I’ll let you know, but don’t get your hopes up.”

Back at the cabin, he poured himself a JD and Coke, sipping it while he waited. True to his word, Dr. West called a few minutes later.

“It’s set. The priest was incredibly easy to reach. He’ll see you tomorrow afternoon at 2:00. One of our reps will be waiting for you to take you there.”

“That’s about the time the sightseeing tour leaves, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but I don’t see how you can manage both.”

“No, the point is I don’t want Emily to think I’m sneaking around behind her back. I’ll get off the ship with everyone else. My family will understand, at least I hope they will.”

“Take them with you. The rep can give you a private tour when you’re done. And having your family with you will give credence to your request.”

“Thank you, Dr. West.”

“Mr. Scott, I want Emily well as much as you do. If this helps her….”

“Yeah.” Kyle’s eyes suddenly filled with tears. He wanted to get off the phone before he started bawling like a baby. “Did you talk to Carmelita?”

“My next call. Goodnight, Mr. Scott.”

“Call me Kyle.”

“And I am Thad.”

They hung up. Kyle had the momentary qualm wondering if he was doing the right thing. Closing his eyes, Emily’s pain ravaged face floated past and he knew he had to do whatever it took to bring back the flush of health he saw in her picture.

Carmelita tapped on the suite door before opening it a crack.

“You decent?”

“As much as I ever get. I’m dressed.”

She poked her head around the door. “I’m going out for a bit. With Thaddeus.”

“Go have fun, Lita.”

“Shall I leave the suite door open so you’ll hear Mindy?”

“Yes. Let Cindy know you’re leaving.”

“She’s asleep already.”

“No she’s not, she’s faking. Probably reading some torrid romance novel with a flashlight.”

“I’ll tell her or leave her a note. I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”

“Enjoy yourself. How often do you get to have drinks with a handsome doctor? Have fun, but make good choices.”

© Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

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Interview with Celeste Paulette Boudreau, Character From “Rubicon Ranch: Secrets”

RRBookThreemidsizeRubicon Ranch is a collaborative and innovative crime serialization set in the fictional desert community of Rubicon Ranch and is being written online by authors of Second Wind Publishing. Celeste Boudreau is the creation of Dellani Oakes.

Who are you?

Celeste Paulette Boudreau, though I wasn’t born with that name.

Where do you live?

I just moved to Rubicon Ranch.

What is your problem in the story?

I’ve got a secret I’m desperately trying to hide.

What is your secret?

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, would it?

What do you think of yourself?

I’m more dangerous than I seem. People see the outrageous wigs and the colorful skirts and don’t see past them to who I really am. Deep down, I’m not the colorful, flighty psychic. I’m much more than that.

What are your achievements?

I’m a psychic – a real one. Not one of these smoke and mirrors types. I see things in dreams, I know things about people that they would rather I not know. I have secrets of my own that would put theirs to shame. These imitation soothsayers make me sick. They wander around pretending to have spirit guides and hear the secrets of the universe. If they spent an hour in my mind, they’d see what real spirit guides are like. You think they’re warm and fuzzy? They aren’t. They don’t care if they jerk me out of whatever I’m doing to tell me something they think I should know. I’ve nearly been in three car accidents because of them.

What I wouldn’t give to be normal, just for one day. There are people who call this thing I do a gift. It’s not a gift, it’s a damn curse. And try to make money at it! People think you’re crazy or a fake and they won’t listen, no matter what you say. Idiots.

Do you talk about your achievements or do you keep them to yourself?

My achievements make people laugh. They don’t believe them. When I say that I’ve been instrumental in solving three homicides, they ask why I didn’t help on the ones in Rubicon Ranch. Well, cause no one asked me. I’ve gone to that idiot of a sheriff more than once with my visions. He threatened to have me arrested for contaminating a crime scene and obstructing justice. Is it my fault that the ghost of the dead woman possessed me and made me walk around like a lunatic while she spouted some nonsense about who killed her? She didn’t even see the man! That case is still unsolved – but that’s not my fault. I tried to help and they won’t believe me that it was her scumbag neighbor. Pervert, that’s what he is. One day, he’ll get killed and just see if I’ll help out on that one.

Do you have any special strengths?

Yes, I’m a psychic. I’m a damn good one too. And no, I can’t tell you the winning lotto numbers or how your mother likes the afterlife. It doesn’t work like that. I can’t just summon it for answers. If people tell you they can, they’re lying. This is unpredictable as the weather.

I’m also a damn good liar.

Do you have any skills?

You mean besides divining the future and being ignored? Yeah, I’m really good at telling stupid people what they want to hear. I’ve been a psychic advisor on TV and radio. I even was on the Psychic Phone Network when I first got my powers. I thought I could really help people, but you know what? Those morons don’t want the truth. They want platitudes. When you tell them the truth, then you get sued.

What makes you happy?

The bottom of a gin bottle after I’ve drunk my way to the bottom.

What are you afraid of?

You want a list? So many things, I can’t possibly tell you all of them. Let’s start with that creepy “guide” who showed up when I was talking to Ward Preminger and won’t go away. I think I’m being haunted by the ghost of Morris Sinclair. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What makes you sad?

I don’t have time to be sad. Being sad doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you go or who you say you are, you can’t escape some things. Sadness doesn’t help with that.

What was your childhood like?

I was born with the ability to see things about people. I could sense auras before I knew what they were. I could get an accurate read on a person just by touching them. No one in my family understood. They thought I was crazy, some called me a witch. We moved a lot because after awhile, someone would find out about me. Someone tried to abduct me once because of my powers. Because I could sense that, I got away before they could catch me. My life got even more interesting when my other abilities surfaced at fourteen.

What is your favorite music?

I love Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, Pink Floyd.. Don’t give me any of that wonky, new age crap. I only listen to that when there are clients around. Classic rock all the way.

What is your favorite item of clothing? Why?

I love my wigs. They express who I am trying to be.

If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

I’d like to be by myself. Maybe then I’d get a little peace.

How do you envision your future?

Pick one – I can envision yours, mine, the dog next door…..

***

Click here to read: Rubicon Ranch: Secrets ~ Chapter 4: Celeste Boudreau — by Dellani Oakes

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Why Do You Write That Stuff?

You might as well ask me why I like black licorice. I just do. And I like Stephen King’s answer to that question. “What makes you think I have a choice?”

But why do I write paranormal stories?

As a kid, I had experiences I couldn’t explain and got few answers to my questions. So I went in search of knowledge, reading all I could find on the strange and usual. The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz pushed the needle in that grove for me. I was obsessed with what happened to Flight 19, and traveled through The Triangle several times. Nothing happened, as if someone saw me coming and thought it would be funny to order up the most perfect days on record. Not a white cap on the horizon or a cloud in the sky. But that didn’t make me any less addicted to the idea of experiencing something amazing and unexplainable.

I had written traditional stories for years, but none of them sold. The trending advice was: “write what you read.” I had trouble finding new fiction of interest outside the teen section. How did that happen? I wanted paranormal for grown-ups, not dreamy infatuation and delusional super powers. And I wasn’t alone. This need for more mature paranormal stories spawned a genre called New Adult.

I read literary works, and am painfully aware that serious literature gets better press. But when reading for recreation, who really wants to be mired in situations so steeped in reality? Where is the fun? Where is the escape? And I don’t mean the wrist-slitting kind. I enjoy intellectual book discussions as much as anyone, but I my hackles went up a little when a guy asked me with a crinkled face, “Why do you write that stuff?” He sounded as if he was spitting out a bitter slice of something only the Bizarre Foods guy would put in his mouth.

“People remember a good story,” I said, resisting the urge to pick a fight.

For centuries, people have passed their history and knowledge through oral stories. Never mind that the first written stories were pictorial.

Paranormal writing suffers the stigma of being viewed as dime novel or pulp fiction. Popular fiction isn’t necessarily written for the purpose of teaching, but it can. Although genre work might not garner the respect of literary fiction, escapist stories can heal and inspire while they entertain. Isn’t it more fun to be entertained without realizing that you might be learning through the relationships of the characters and their circumstances?

I like to think I’m attracted to the paranormal because I’m open to new ideas. There is so much we don’t know about the mysteries of the universe. I enjoy exploring what I think and believe about the unknown. Anything is possible, if not necessarily probable. The paranormal might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it can open a closed mind to a new world of possibilities.

I write that stuff. It’s what I enjoy.

***

Sheila Englehart is the author of Warning Signs, published by Second Wind Publishing

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Reaching for the Stars by Sheila Englehart

As a writer, I’ve never been much of a planner. As a writer new to marketing, I’m fast learning that the art of selling a novel requires a bit of preparation. I don’t have a massive online marketing platform so I decided to find influential readers interested in my genre who did. I thought if the right person with a longer reach than mine praised my book, their fans might check it out. Ask any author who caught Oprah’s eye.

 Warning Signs is an afterlife suspense, who better to target than the people who seek out – or even talk to – dead people for a living? Ghost hunters, monster chasers, and psychic mediums topped my list. And where could I find them in the broad daylight? Paranormal conventions. October is Dead Season, when those in the paranormal field hit the black and orange road leading up to Halloween.

Paracon was holding its second annual convention in Mahnomen, MN. When I saw their guest list, I put it on my calendar and bought tickets the minute they went on sale. This event was playing host to the stars of SyFy’s series Ghost Hunters, Haunted Collector, Ghost Hunters International, and Destination Truth along with famous medium Chip Coffey from A&E’s Paranormal State and Psychic Kids. Each show had a star who had penned a memoir about their life or their show. Paracon was going to be an all-in-one stop for this paranormal novelist.

My plan? Take the books I owned by these already- famous authors, get them signed, and give them a copy of my book. No pitching, no begging them to read it, no asking for reviews.  Who is going to turn down a free book? Not the most elegant plan. But what was the worst that could happen? They throw it in the trash before they head for home? I was starting with nothing, and had nothing to lose. I told myself, “You must boldly go where you never imagined you would, or you won’t get anywhere.”

I had five specific targets: two mediums and three television stars. The first two graciously accepted my offering with congratulations. I felt awkward and silly, but I managed to create a little small talk hopefully without repelling them. The remaining three presented more of a challenge. One medium was so busy that she was impossible to pin down. I was smart enough to grab her card to contact her later. Another TV star was a no-show. The guy chases monsters for a living in the most remote places on the planet, and what took him down? Poison oak. The star I thought would be a sure thing told me that she didn’t read fiction. What? It took me a moment to recover, but when I did she shared that she enjoyed history, true crime, and genealogy. That’s tough competition.

Striking up conversation about my novel with other attendees proved even harder. Celebrities are always the big draw at conventions. Booths manned by unknowns hawking books and services were largely bypassed by the herd. People had come to touch the heroes they invited into their homes for an hour each week. Unless I was connected to one of those stars, they didn’t care about my book. That didn’t stop me from discreetly leaving my bookmarks around for people to find: in hotel rooms, seat pockets of the plane, magazines, beneath tips in restaurants. I did resist planting them in the bestsellers at the airport bookstores.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’ll go as far as I can reasonably afford to get my book in as many hands as I can. I wish I could have hit all my targets, but I did my best to get my book into influential hands.  Couldn’t hurt to have a famous fan. I would have loved to hit another convention before the season ended, but ran out of time. Lesson learned for next year.

As the Ghost Hunters used to say at the close of each episode, “On to the next.”

https://secondwindpub.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/reaching-for-the-stars-by-sheila-englehart/

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The night the moon sang

My husband, two little boys and I had driven 7 hours north through snow and ice from Connecticut to Maine to see his favorite cousin, Susan. She and her family were house-sitting in a large, lovely 18th Century sea-captain’s home whose sloping lawn stretched down to an inlet of the sea.

The whole world was electric blue twilight when we piled out of the VW and waded the last few feet of their driveway. We stomped our feet to get rid of snow in the unheated  mud room. The kitchen was wood fire piecemeal hot, and Susan was belatedly beginning to work on a sink full of dishes. The family lived for the winter in a few downstairs rooms, and kept the pipes warm for the owners, who were off sailing in the tropics, very upscale and almost unimaginable to us. Sue’s husband was a potter, and while he made beautiful things, from dinner services to exotic display pieces, they were not exactly flush with cash. Beans or spaghetti and homemade bread were probably supper that night; I don’t remember.  It was Susan’s birthday, so she’d made a delicious, heavy, scratch chocolate cake, and I’d brought up Grandma Carol’s family famous “Cowboy Cookies.”

Night grew deeper. Finally, the kid cousins were extinguished; the adults all talked out. We retired to couches and sleeping bags. It was cold as the hinges of the 9th Circle of Hell in any room without a woodstove, an utterly clear and magnificently dark sky starry night—at least, until the full moon got up over the tall black pines. Then it was like day out-of-doors, the moon balefully glittering down on those crisp, fresh pillows of snow. Susan and I had agreed to wake up later, because we’d consulted the almanac and learned that there was to be a lunar eclipse around 1 a.m. It was the night between our birthdays—mine would be tomorrow. We were a kindred pair of magical-mystery-tour women, both Pisces in the cusp, and not about to miss such a grand celestial side-show.

Exhausted from carbohydrates and driving , I’d fallen into a deep sleep, but in what seemed only a few minutes, I heard Susan urgently whispering.

“Juliet! Get up! Get Up!”

I sat up groggily. I could see her quite well with the moonlight pouring in the windows; it was amazingly bright.

“Get your boots and get downstairs—quick—quick–hurry!”

I did as she asked, for she sounded almost desperate, as if something was terribly wrong. Not only that, but she enforced the idea by rushing out of the room as soon as she finished speaking. I heard her feet going down the stairs rapidly. I got my boots on and followed, fast as I could. When I reached the kitchen, there she was, my coat in hand.

“Is it the eclipse? What’s up?”

“Come on—quick! You have to hear this! It’s crazy!”

I threw the coat on and followed her out the door. The first breath, as we stood on the back steps, froze my nose and made me choke. It must have been zero—or lower—outside. She gestured upward toward the moon, sailing high now over the forbidding, snow robed pines.

As we stood there, trembling, it acquired a halo of dull red as the eclipse began. The weighted branches randomly cracked. I had an odd feeling inside my head; I seemed to be looking up through water.  Next came a kind of hum, a low tone that reverberated through the scene, and then I heard sweet round tones, like a flute or an electronic instrument, ring across the sleeping, snow shrouded land and across the icy ocean at the bottom of the hill.

The veiled moon grew redder; the sweet little song repeated. Susan grabbed me by the shoulder.

“Do you hear it? Do you?”

“Yes! Yes! What on earth…?” I kept looking up and down and side to side to see if anything else was different, but nothing else in reality was in any way unusual.

“Thank God!” Susan giggled. It was a beautiful, melodic –and normal–sound. “I thought I’d completely lost it.”

Well, when the “singing” stopped, we went back inside and attempted to wake our respective spouses, but that was hopeless. Neither of them wanted to leave the warmth of their beds—besides, they knew that the two Pisces women were engaged in some weird, annoying folie à deux

Now if you are thinking about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” go right ahead.  Our brush with the other happened in 1973, four years before Spielberg’s blockbuster.  In fact, when I heard the tones in the movie, all the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up, as I remembered the night the moon sang to Susan and me.

~~ Juliet Waldron

http:www.julietwaldron.com

 

 

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