Hoodoo Halloween Party & Ghost Photo!

hoodoo

I’m participating in ParaYourNormal’s Hoodoo Halloween Blog Party, and Halloween for me includes ghosts. So I thought it would be fun to do an interview with my mom, who–besides telling us lots of creepy stories growing up that we learned later were actually true–has managed to capture a ghost on camera.

So, before we get into the how and where and what-the-hell, here’s the picture in question:

Just another tour picture, right? Now here’s a close-up of that mirror in the upper left corner:                                     

Do you see him now? It doesn’t take much imagination to see the upper torso of a man in a white silk shirt, long brown hair… the eyes obscured by the default in the mirror. When we blow this image up more, we even see a red ring on the hand that he’s got raised in front of his torso.

Now let’s get the scoop from Carol:

Me: Where was this photo taken?

Nemacolin Castle. Photo by Acroterion, Creative Commons

Nemacolin Castle. Photo by Acroterion, Creative Commons

 

Carol: The photo was taken at the Nemacolin Castle in Brownsville, Pa. while on a tour, but this was not a ghost hunting tour. I love antiques and wanted to learn about the history of the castle. The important thing to remember about that day is they only let eight people go through at a time and didn’t start another tour until the last was gone. So there was no other group around us. But, we did notice a paranormal group in the last room as we were leaving.

Me: What was your reaction when you saw the image of the man in the mirror?

Carol: I didn’t believe what I was seeing. I called my sister immediately and our family got together to go through all the photos of the people in our group. No one even remotely resembled or was dressed like the man in the photo. So I then called the castle and asked if they had a mannequin in a period costume in that room. When they said they didn’t, a chill ran down my spine. We were all excited at this point. They asked me to bring my camera in to see the photo for themselves. They also arranged for me to meet with the paranormal group.

Me: I can imagine how excited a paranormal team must have been to see this photo. What was their reaction?

Carol: They were very excited. After viewing all the photos, they did a recreation and had me stand in the spot I was when I took that particular photo. I was standing in the doorway of the room at that time. The funniest part was the team tried to take photos from that point and their batteries drained twice before they could get a photo. Finally, they were able to take several photos with people of different heights to determine how tall he was. Their conclusion was, by the angle and reflection of the  man, he had to have been standing in the doorway next to me. And looking right at me.

Me: Sounds like you had a secret admirer! Did you have any other odd experiences during your tour?

Carol: Yes, when they looked at my photos they showed me several orbs I had captured. One was on the steps where a little girl is often seen. I suddenly remembered a man with the paranormal team telling me a little girl was following me as we were leaving. I laughed it off at the time. Little did I know what I’d find on my camera.

Thanks, Mom! Well guys and gals, what do you think? Do you believe in spirits, ghosts and things that go bump in the night? Do you have any questions for Carol?

 

Book News

Fall_Wallpaper
Fall is here and change is in the air! Normally, this would be the time of year that I would release a new book in the Pet Psychic series, and I’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately asking when book four will be out. Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

Bad news first. While I definitely will be releasing book four eventually (after all, there is Sylvia’s big wedding coming up!), it has been delayed.

The good news is why it’s delayed. I’ve recently signed a contract for a two book deal with Severn House Publishers for a brand new pet cozy mystery series!

So, this new series will be my priority. I’m so excited to be working with Severn House on this project. They have forty years of experience behind them and everyone has been so charming and kind. Plus, I am having so much fun writing the first book. I can’t wait for you guys to read it! There’s plenty of dogs, humor, romance and of course… murder.

If you want to know when either of the new books are out, the best thing to do is sign up for my newsletter. (Sign up on the sidebar—>)

I won’t spam you, I promise! I only send out a newsletter when I have a new release or special offer.

Happy Fall!

My Mystic Faire Experience

It’s been awhile since my last post, so I thought I’d share my day at a local mystic faire with you. Have you ever gone to one? It was the first time I’d ever been and I’m not sure why it took me so long, it was so much fun!

“Crystal skull” by C. Corleis – Uploaded by photographer as Image:Kristallschaedel.jpg

Some things of particular interest there were crystal skulls (above); Rods of Isis (which got super warm when my mom held them and freezing cold when I did. Not sure what that meant); a Tibetan bowl demonstration that we put our feet into while the energy sound healer made it sing. (It actually made me lightheaded); every flavor of gorgeous crystals you could imagine and of course… a pet psychic!

I couldn’t bring myself to talk to the pet psychic because I’m too emotional to handle thinking about the dogs I’ve lost in a public setting. I know… I’m a big chicken. I did, however, try a palm reading. She was pretty amazing.

First, did you know that the lines on your palm are always changing? I didn’t! She said you can make a print of your palm and then watch how the lines change over time. Anyway, the first thing she told me was never to move away from water because my soul needed to be by water. Yeah, I already learned that lesson and found happiness when I moved back to Florida.

I won’t go into all the personal things but I will just say that besides telling me basic things like how many children I had, that I was a writer, etc. she read a very specific event that threw my entire twenties into turmoil. She almost had to pick me up off the floor, I was so shocked. I still get chills when I think about her knowing such a specific thing about me. So, now I’m a believer in the art of palm reading. Or at least in this particular woman’s art.

Oh, I also brought home this gorgeous necklace!
I have no issues with psychics, energy healers, shamans, etc. After all, everything is energy so it makes sense to me there would be individuals who are sensitive to more subtle forms of it.

What about you? Have you had an experience with any psychics, palm readers, etc.? Please share!

 

Venice Book Fair

Spring is here and with it comes the annual Venice Book Fair & Writer’s Festival. It’s one of my favorite events in our quaint little beach town. I’ll be there signing my newest release so if you’re any where near us next weekend, stop in and say hi & get your books signed by some fabulous local authors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Psychic Book 3 released!

Have you met Darwin Winters yet? She gets visions from traumatized animals, which has landed her in all kinds of trouble in Books 1 & 2. She’s taken a moment out of running her pet boutique, saving animals and helping her hunky detective boyfriend solve murders to talk to the cool folks over at ParaYourNormal. You can read her interview HERE.

And now you can also read about her newest adventure in: SILENCE IS GOLDEN which has just been released!

When a St. Pete native is killed in a hit and run, pet psychic Darwin Winters gets a vision from the victim’s prized golden retriever that leads her to believe it was no accident. As suspects start piling up, Darwin finds herself in the middle of the dead woman’s family and friends, not knowing who she can trust.

Stories of artifacts and pirate legends, strange disturbances at the Pinellas Point Indian Mound, and show dog shenanigans all add up to one thing… motive for murder. Can Darwin separate family secrets from cover ups and lies to dig up the truth? Or will it be silenced forever along with the victim?

Available for your KINDLE & NOOK   (*paperback coming soon)

 

This is my old gal, Rainey… the sweet soul this book is dedicated to. Isn’t she purty?

 

 

 

Halloween Treat & Cover Reveal!

My goal was to have the third book in the Pet Psychic Mystery series, SILENCE IS GOLDEN, out this month. Unfortunately, due to a medical emergency and surgery that I’m still recovering from, the release date has been pushed back to the end of November.

But, I can give you this sneak peek at the cover, which I am totally in love with!

TA-DAAAAA!

Isn’t she fabulous?! Can you guess what kind of adventure Darwin has this time?

And because HALLOWEEN is my favorite holiday, I want to give out some TREATS!

Just leave a comment telling me what your favorite Halloween candy is, along with your email address & format you prefer  TODAY ONLY and I will plop KARMA’S A BITCH (Pet Psychic Mystery No.1) into your Halloween bag inbox!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

 

Online Halloween Party!

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that Halloween is my favorite holiday! So, I want to invite you all to come celebrate with me on Oct. 25th at the Facebook Halloween Bash my publisher is sponsoring.

Along with other misterio press authors, I’ll be giving away ebooks as well as a signed print copy of Lady Luck Runs Out!

There’ll be games, prizes and lots of swag to win!

Click the link and join the PARTY HERE!

See ya there!

 

 

Summer Book Crush – Sale!

Hey, my lovely readers! Grab a beach chair and a fruity umbrella drink because summer’s heating up!

SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in a variety of genres. FIFTY! This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢! (For a limited time only.) You won’t find a hotter group of reads on the internet, especially at this fantastic price.

ANNOUNCING THE SUMMER BOOK CRUSH

(Click the banner to get to all the books in the sale!)

 The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th. So don’t wait! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. Spread the word…this is a lot of fun reading at an awesome price and it won’t last long. Grab ‘em while it’s hot outside — there are plenty of BOOKS to share!

THE MONARCH is participating in the sale, too! So, if you haven’t read it yet, here’s your chance to grab a beach mystery for 99¢ and meet Anna Maria Island’s hunky, brooding detective, Sam Larson.

Find your summer fling between the pages of a book. And don’t stop at just one – after all, there’s a host of men for you to mingle with. Why limit yourself?

* HAPPY READING * HAPPY SUMMER *

Five Reasons I Love Mysteries

Okay mystery lovers, I have a treat for you today! Kassandra Lamb is here talking about why she loves mysteries! I’m just going to give her the floor:

Thanks so much for having me over to your place, Shannon. Can we take those cutie boys of yours down to the beach later?

But of course, you know what they say about all work and no play!

Hi Everyone,

I used to be a much more eclectic reader in my youth. I read historical fiction, family sagas, romance, and mysteries. Somewhere in my late thirties, however, I found myself gravitating mostly toward mysteries. Today I may read the occasional romance or sci fi fantasy but my true love is a good whodunnit. Here are my 5 reasons why.

The Puzzle – I’ve always loved puzzles: jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, whodunnit puzzles. I think my love of puzzles is one of the things that attracted me to psychology as a profession.

by Lynn Kelley Author, CC-BY-SA 2.0 WANA Commons

I loved puzzling out what makes people think, feel and act the way they do. But being a psychotherapist isn’t easy, and as a specialist in trauma recovery, my days at the office were pretty intense. So I also love… The Escape – Fortunately my everyday life does not involve murder and mayhem. The events in mystery novels are totally different than my own experiences (and please God, they always will be!)

Clients and students would often recommend books or movies on psychological topics, assuming I would find these fascinating. I didn’t. They were too much like work! I rented “A Beautiful Mind” three times before I finally made myself watch it. (And was glad I did; great movie!)

Nope, give me a well-written mystery; they provide excellent escapism.

The Excitement – It’s not a good mystery unless at some point the protagonist is in danger. I love the vicarious adrenaline rush as the hero/heroine is being shot at, chased down an alley, struck on the head from behind or in some other way is fighting or running for his/her life.

The Characters – My very first blog post was on this topic. We don’t think about mysteries being about character development, but the good ones are. It has even been said that mysteries aren’t really about the mystery itself as much as they are about how the characters deal with the mystery!

My favorites are books in which ordinary people like you and me are challenged to deal with extraordinary events. I like to live vicariously through their experiences and pretend that I would rise to the challenge as well as they do.

And I love series because then I can revisit my old friends, and see how they are evolving over time (Come on, Shannon, I’m dying to know what happens next in your pet psychic’s life!)

The very first mystery series I got hooked on.

The Competition – This one may have you scratching your head. Competition? Yes there is a competition, between the reader and the author. Can you, the reader, figure out whodunnit or will the author fool you until the very end?

If the author is playing fair, s/he drops a few crumbs along the way, while also throwing some red herrings in the reader’s path. It isn’t even totally about whether or not you figure it out. It’s also about how sure you are. If you think it was Colonel Mustard, but it could be Miss Scarlett, or maybe Professor Plum, then you will have a satisfying end experience either way. If the colonel is truly the dastardly devil, you think Aha! I knew it! And you feel really, really smart!

But if it’s the little miss or the good professor, you’re a bit surprised but still satisfied, because you kinda suspected them once or twice. But then again, sometimes it’s someone you never saw coming, but looking back, you realize it all makes sense. That last great twist at the end can be even more satisfying!

I love that Aha! moment, no matter who the culprit turns out to be. And then I sigh a satisfied sigh, feel a little sorry that the adventure is over… and pick up the next whodunnit to dig in!

So, tell us… what’s your favorite genre to read and why?

And now Kass is writing her own mystery series. Book 5 was just released last week. Check it out!

When a former client reaches out to psychotherapist Kate Huntington and reveals a foreign diplomat’s dark secret, then dies of ‘natural causes’ just days later, Kate isn’t sure what to think. Was the man delusional or is she now privy to dangerous information?

Soon she discovers her client was totally sane… and he was murdered. Someone is now trying to eliminate her, and anyone and everyone she might have told. Forced into hiding, she and her husband, Skip, along with the operatives of his private investigating agency, struggle to stay one step ahead of a ruthless killer. Skip and his P.I. partner are good investigators, but this time they may be in over their heads… and they could all end up drowning in a sea of international intrigue.

(This book is part of a series but is designed to work quite well as a stand-alone.)

Now available on AMAZONB&N, and UK AMAZON  And  ON SALE FOR $1.99 thru June 12th! (Goes up to $3.99 on 6/13)

Connect with Kassandra on Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephants Take the Stage

I wrote a post awhile back, about elephants, after taking our boys to the circus and having a very unexpected emotional reaction. I left there with a heavy heart and a promise to educate myself about the elephants’ life in captivity. This is a follow-up post to what I’ve learned.

One of the questions that came up in the comments was whether the elephants are better off in captivity because the wild has become an inhospitable place with an  ever-shrinking habitat and resources and poachers thinning herds yearly by the thousands. Plus, they’re intelligent creatures, maybe they enjoy learning tricks and performing for us?

I’ve watched some horrifying videos of elephants being abused by circus workers “training” them to perform, and I’ve also read the opinions of people defending such practices of using chains, ropes and bull-hooks. But, last night I stumbled upon a HBO documentary called “An Apology to the Elephants” and it was the nail in the coffin for me. Elephants have been shown to experience grief, trauma and depression. Living in chains, being intimidated into entertaining us and having their calves separated from them forcefully causes them pain. There’s no doubt left in my mind. We are harming these majestic creatures.

Here are some facts from the documentary:

• Roughly 38,000 elephants a year are killed for their tusks. At this rate, we will have wiped out their entire species in the wild in ten years. TEN YEARS.

• Over 50% of elephants in captivity will die of foot-related disease. These are creatures built to roam, not stand on hard surfaces for hours.

• It is still legal to keep an elephant chained for up to 19 hours a day.

• In the wild, they spend 16 hours a day roaming and foraging for food. Their bodies are built for this, and the swaying motion you see in zoos and circuses is from the anxiety of not being able to act on this natural instinct.

Believe me, I know there are issues in the world closer to home than making sure elephants don’t go extinct and aren’t abused and suffering in our hands. And I know that there’s only so much one person can do. But, this is my personal burden now.

So, here are some simple ways you can help:

• Don’t buy ivory

• Don’t support circuses

• Do support elephant sanctuaries and zoos that give them room to roam, like the Oakland Zoo

• If you’d like to get more involved, support PAWS Elephant Sanctuary

• Pass this knowledge on!

On a positive note, Britain has recently banned wild animals from being used in circuses. It will take effect in 2015. We need to follow their lead! As the documentary stated, “Zoos can be fixed, circuses cannot.”

Thanks for reading this far. Stepping off my soapbox now. If you have a cause you’re passionate about, please talk to me about it!

♥This post is dedicated to the memory of Topsy♥  (Warning, this is a very disturbing story)