Tag Archives: paranormal

Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

It’s finally time to reveal the secret project I’ve been working on for Severn House and TAAA DAAAAA!!! Here is the cover:

Isn’t it soooo cute?! I have to tell you, I was a bit worried when they said they weren’t going with the traditional illustrated cover (at least it’s traditional here in the US for cozies) but I really love the cover they came up with. It sets the perfect atmosphere for the story. And what is the story? So glad you asked. Here’s the blurb:

Introducing ‘doggie-yoga’ instructor Elle Pressley, in the first Paws & Pose Mystery – featuring canine cuties, Florida sunshine, a sexy Irish PI . . . and murder.

Doga instructor Elle Pressley just wants to teach her classes at Moon Key’s Pampered Pup Spa & Resort in peace and save money to move out of her crazy mother’s house. But when her deceased childhood dog, Angel, shows up, she knows she’s about to be in danger. Sure enough, one of her clients winds up dead, and Elle is pulled head first into the investigation. For the prime suspect is Dr. Ira Craft . . . the husband of Elle’s best friend, Hope.

Elle is determined to clear Ira’s name, for Hope’s sake, and she enlists the help of Irish private investigator Devon Burke. But someone is determined to stop Elle from uncovering the truth. And now that Devon’s involved, it’s not just Elle’s life that’s in danger: her heart is too . . .

What do ya think? Sound like a story you want to cozy up to? (See what I did there :-))

Well, if so here’s the details:

It will be available in the US & as an e-book on December 1st. PREORDER
UK folks can order it on Aug 31st or PREORDER


Now the fun part… the super cute doga beach-tote giveaway!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY you just need to leave a comment below with the email address you’d like to use to receive my newsletter. (I only send them when there’s a new release or contest)

Also, if you want me to put your name in the hat twice, you can like my Facebook page here as a bonus. (Mention that you did this in your comment)

That’s it!

I’ll randomly select a winner on Tuesday, August 18th. The winner will be notified by email and also be announced on my Facebook Page.

Go forth and enter & good luck!

Are you on Pinterest? Want a peek at my inspiration for this book? Just go HERE

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?

 

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!

 

Book Review: The Infernal Detective

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Author: Kirsten Weiss

Blurb: When Riga Hayworth finds a dead body in her bedroom a week before her wedding, it’s par for the course. When the corpse drives off with her fiancée… That’s a problem.

Riga knows dead. More intimately than she’d like. So when a murdered photographer gets up and walks away, she’s believes there’s necromancy afoot. And when she discovers that several of her wedding guests are under the influence of dark magic, she’s certain. But how can she catch a killer and stop a necromancer when even her nearest and dearest are lying to her?

My rating: 5 out of 5 paws

     

 

My thoughts: The Infernal Detective is the brand spanking new fourth book in the Riga Hayworth Mystery series and it may just be my favorite. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot and spoil the small surprises sprinkled throughout, so I’ll just say that the story opens with a pre-celebratory wedding bash for Riga and Donovan that leaves them both in a terribly sticky situation.

 There’s a dead photographer that walks away from the party and a groom-to-be that disappears. Riga not only has to worry about who murdered the photographer but what has happened to the man she’s about to marry. Some of my favorite scenes involve Riga’s aunts, two very colorful characters who provide comic relief. I also enjoyed the descriptions and explanations of the magic used and Riga’s growth in her magical abilities. Yeah sure there’s crazy mob bosses, witches and necromancy, but at the heart of this story, it’s still about the strength of the human spirit and that’s a magic all its own.

 

Now available on Amazon

Book Trailer

Catie Rhodes Gets Cozy!

I’m so excited to have Catie Rhodes on my blog today! Not only is she a fantastic writer with a new paranormal mystery out, but she’s a writer I respect as a person, fellow animal lover and just, flat out, one cool gal!

Catie’s fabulous new paranormal mystery!

So, Catie, have you ever experienced anything paranormal yourself?

Nothing as dramatic as my series heroine, Peri Jean Mace, experiences on a day to day basis. However, I’ve had some odd experiences. Right now, I’m trying to think of the right one to talk about. Okay. I think I have it.

Back in 1995 or so, my husband and I took a fall trip to New Orleans. We used to go to New Orleans a lot. My husband likes to take pictures and is a history buff, and I have a paranormal jones. New Orleans was a good place for us.

That trip, we stayed at the hotel built on the site of the old French Opera House, which burned down in 1919. You can still see the indention in the curb where carriages pulled up to the opera house to let out opera goers. It’s a neat place.

We had a large corner room that we both loved because it had a couch and a little table. The problem was that the room’s temperature went from icy cold to blazing hot. The hot water was intermittent, making showers a duck and run affair. And we couldn’t sleep. Both of us kept hearing footsteps and doors slamming.

Finally, on the last night of our stay, I woke from a nightmare to find a form standing over the bed. It wore a mask that reminded me of something you’d see at a Mardi Gras parade. The mask sort of looked like a dragon. The figure leaned toward me and did this little jig, waving its hands around its head.

I elbowed my husband, trying to get him to wake up, but he could sleep through Godzilla ripping the roof off the house. I pulled the covers over my head while I tried to figure out what to do next and went back to sleep.

The next morning, we woke to rain pattering on the streets below our room. If you’ve never seen New Orleans’ French Quarter in the rain, it’s very noir in its mystique. It’s unforgettable. My husband and I packed and got ready to go home. On the way out the door, he said, “Maybe now I can get a good night’s sleep. I kept dreaming somebody was in the room with us.”

So there you go.

Yikes! Putting New Orleans on my must visit places! So, your protagonist, Peri Jean Mace, is such a strong, feisty character. I’d call her a survivor. When writing this book, did you create her first or the plot first?

Peri came first. I love watching those paranormal documentaries on TV. Peri is made up of bits and pieces of things I saw on those documentaries that caught my interest and made me ask “what if…”

As a fellow paranormal junkie, I understand. If you could see ghosts, like Peri Jean can, do you think it would be a curse or a gift?

A little of both. If the information I got from interacting with the ghosts was as limited as Peri Jean’s, I suspect it would be pretty frustrating. I mean, she’s got these beings who don’t need sleep, aren’t going to take a lunch break, and who will never go away harassing her to fix the unfinished business they left behind when they died. Problem is, she has to sort of figure out by trial and error what they want her to do.

However, it might be sort of a gift because seeing ghosts is not something everybody can do. It might lend an advantage if the right situation came up.

Now we understand why you write what you write, but when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was in 5th grade and read THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton. Then, two years later, I discovered Stephen King and thought I’d never be able to write that well and sort of gave up on the dream of being a writer. But, when I was 35, I reached a sort of crossroads in my life and took up writing again. And here I am now.

Luckily for us! What are you working on now?

I am in the process of edits on a novella set in the same world as FOREVER ROAD. In it, Peri Jean gets involved in a twenty-year-old missing persons case that leads her to discover a murder. And I won’t say any more than that.

GET FOREVER ROAD HERE

Visit Catie’s online home HERE

Connect with her:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

 

Leave Catie a note & tell us, would you want to have the gift of seeing ghosts?

The Cover is Done!

So, this is it!  The secret project I’ve been toiling away at, inspired by my visit to St. Pete. The release date is still two or three weeks away but I just had to share the amazing talent of this cover artist, India Drummond with you. Isn’t it fabutabistica!!!! It’s so amazing, I’m making up words!

If you are an indie author looking for a cover design, I highly recommend India. You can find her here: http://www.indiadrummond.com/

If you are a fan of cozy mysteries with a bit of magic…stay tuned!

Ghost Hunting

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new town is take the ghost tour. Recently, we visited St. Petersburg, where I promptly fell in love with the city and set my new sekrit mystery series there. So, since I’ve been hard at work on the novels instead of friday flash stories, thought I’d share some ghost pics with you in lieu of actual writing.

This is one of lots of photos I snapped inside an old hotel on the St. Pete tour. Just a regular picture, right?:

Upon close inspection, it seems like something or someone was watching us in the window:

How creepy is THAT face???  And, although I’m not a big believer in orbs, this one seems particularly out of place:

As a bonus, here’s a photo snapped in Nemacolin Castle in Brownsville, PA by my mom during a ghost tour a few years back:

And a close up of the mirror in that photo:

Hard to be a skeptic, right? Or do you see something different?

Friday Flash: Sea Glass

seaglass2

Fiona heard Roger come home, recognized the soft thud of his suitcase tossed on the bed.

“Fiona? Where are you, Darling?” He joined her on their bedroom balcony, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of her head. “Of course. Out here listening to the whispers of the sea again?”

“Yes,” she said.

“I’ve brought you something back from Ireland.” He kneeled down in front of her.

Fiona pulled her watery green eyes from the ocean to stare at his outstretched hand. Surprise reshaped her mouth.

“It’s sea glass. I thought of you the moment I saw it.”

Fiona reached out and carefully lifted a piece from his palm. A tiny vibration tickled her fingertips. “Oh,” she whispered, the surprise deepening.

“It’s good to see you smile.” He took her hand and slipped the remaining pieces of smooth, cool glass into her palm. “Like emeralds, aren’t they? The same color as your eyes.” He closed her palm around them and kissed her fingers.

Fiona gasped as a more intense vibration moved through her hand, her arm and then branched out to consume her body, warming it from the inside out. The whispers she usually had to struggle to hear were whisked into her mind by the vibrations, suddenly as clear as a bell: Hoooommmmeeee.

“Home,” she repeated.

“Yes, Darling. I’m home.”

Over the next few weeks, Roger watched as his wife blossomed. She stopped spending her days as a lost, sad soul on the balcony and began haunting their marble mansion restlessly. Her voice echoed through the rooms as she sang strange and mystical tunes with a voice so sweet, it made his heart swell, his eyes tear.

By fire and wind and sea and rain,

       Beloved, he made me

       With hands of light,

       And feathers of flight

       Come close, come close to thee’

He began to find more and more sea glass; in jars on the kitchen counter, on her nightstand, glittering in the potted plants and even around her neck.

She looked up from making a salad as he stood staring at her on the other side of the kitchen island.

“Yes?” she said, the corner of her mouth pushing up in a seductive smile.

Roger’s heart skipped. “Wow, Fiona, you look amazing.” And she did. Her skin glowed like a pearl, her red hair lay in waves cascading around the curves of her shoulders and her eyes…he could get lost in her eyes. They glittered with ancient secrets and the light of a million stars. Who was this woman? He moved his gaze to the sea glass necklace.

“I’m glad you liked my gift so much, Darling. Where did you get more?”

“Ebay.” Her smile widened and she moved her attention back to slicing cucumbers.

He shivered as he thought about the old village woman he had bought the sea glass from and her broken English warning:

In the wrong hands, it will bring out one’s true nature. Connect that person to their imprisoned soul.’

       Well, if this was his wife’s true nature, he thought as he looked lovingly upon the gorgeous creature in front of him, then he could live with the old lady’s warning coming to fruition.

Or so he thought.

“Fiona?” he called, peeling off his wet tie and dress shirt. “I’m home. That’s some storm out there, huh?” No answer. Steam was seeping from beneath the bathroom door. “Fiona?” He opened the door cautiously. Through the steam, he could see his wife stretched out in the spa tub, unmoving. His heart did a back flip in his chest. It seemed he was moving in slow motion as he crossed the white tiled floor, tripping over emptied cans of sea salt to stand above her body.

Her eyes were closed, her hair fanned out around her like fire, her skin an eerie green glow. It took him a moment to realize the color was coming from all the sea glass she was laying on. The tub was half full with it. And then he noticed something that horrified him. He could barely take in a breath. His mind struggled to grasp what he was seeing. Falling to his knees, he peered through the water at the large cuts in her abdomen, beneath her ribs. Open wounds so deep he could see the pink of her organs.

“Oh my god, Fiona,” he cried, his hands moving helplessly in the air. Shock giving way to grief. Should he try to lift her? Should he try CPR? Where was the blood?

“What did you do?” And then he cocked his head and leaned closer, his face inches from the water. There was slight movement. The cuts were opening and closing. Almost like she was breathing…

He glanced at her face as her eyes popped opened.  Her lips parted in a grotesque smile that exposed a mouth full of pointy teeth.

Roger screamed and thrashed as she tore flesh from bone, feasting until the twitching stopped and the only sound was the storm still raging outside.

And then she began to sing.

Friday Flash: A Bottle of Spirits

Smoke0036_thumblarge

I should have known the sweet sound of jazz music wafting from a town all-but closed up for the night would be trouble. I should have made Lizbeth walk to the next town when our car engine refused to turn over at the gas station. I should have got down on one knee and slipped that damn diamond ring onto her finger right there in front of the ninety year old deaf gas station attendant. What I did instead was let her lead us right into our last moments together.

“What are you thinking about?” Lizbeth purrs at me now.

‘I hope you can’t read my mind,’ is what I’m thinking.  I glance at her. She isn’t smiling. I don’t bother answering her. What’s the use? Instead, I think about the last time I saw her smile.

“Oh, come on. It’ll be an adventure.” She had said, pulling at my arm.

“I don’t know. What about the car?”

“Well, it’s not going anywhere tonight, obviously.”

“Fine.” I wasn’t too upset. I enjoyed giving her what she wanted. In exchange I got her smile.

As we walked down the sidewalk, hand in hand, passed the closed shops, palm trees swaying above us, I began to think maybe this was the universe…fate or whatever giving me a romantic place to pop the question. I stroked the ring in my pocket, feeling good about my secret.

Warm light, cigar smoke and jazz poured out of the opened door. We stepped in and glanced around. The place was cozy. A couple of tables with red velvet table clothes, flickering candles, a long bar with a few patrons grooving along with the music. The bartender watched us take a seat at an empty table and nodded at the waitress.

We were huddled together with a small paper menu in front of the candlelight. I had never heard of any of the wines on there.

“Evening, folks. What can I get you?”

“What do you recommend?”

“Well, we have a good honey wine if you want simple.” At this point I saw her eyes dart to the bartender. “Or the raspberry delight is good if you want something frozen.”

Why did she seem so nervous?

“I didn’t know you could make wine out of honey,” Lizbeth said.

“You can make wine out of things you wouldn’t believe,” the waitress mumbled.

“Well, I’ll try the honey wine.”

“And for you, sir?”

“Water, please.” I don’t know why, but I was suddenly feeling like I needed to stay on my toes.

Halfway through that glass of honey wine, Lizbeth gasped. “Oh, isn’t that just exquisite!”

I was still thinking about the fact I had never heard her use the word “exquisite” before as she got up and lifted a black and gold mask from the corner of the bar. She was turning it back and forth, admiring it as it glittered in the candlelight. I stuck a finger in my ear and shook my head like a dog. What is that? Voices? It sounded like thousands of whispering voices entwined in the music and they were getting louder.

“Liz?” I called. The bartender was standing in front of her now. I thought maybe he was going to tell her she wasn’t suppose to be touching the décor, but instead he motioned to her and she lifted it to her face. “Oh, Lizbeth.” I stood up, feeling anxious and realizing that the voices had stopped, but so had the music. I glanced around and everyone was smiling at Lizbeth.

She suddenly whirled around and my heart skipped a few hundred beats. The mask was moving, molding itself to her face. It didn’t seem solid, more like gold and silver threads as fine as spider webs spreading in waves over her face. Her eyes were closed. My feet felt like lead. I watched helplessly as the bartender came around the bar, kneeled down on one knee before her and held up a glass of red wine. Without opening her eyes, she accepted the glass and titled it toward her lips.

“She has been chosen.” The waitress was standing behind me. Her words knocked me in the back of the head like a baseball bat and I fell forward, my feet suddenly free.

“Lizbeth, don’t!”

I pushed the bartender to one side and grabbed her by the shoulders. She dropped the empty glass and her eyes popped open. I fell back. Her eyes were slick black orbs, shiny and wet.

“Oh my god.”

I watched in disbelief as they began to dull and shift to a cool green.

She smiled at me then. “I accept. I will be your god.”

The mask seemed to lose its shine, too and she reached up and plucked it off her face, tossing it back onto the bar. I couldn’t stop staring at her mouth, stained red, a stringy chuck of something stuck in her tooth.

“You have something,” I motioned to my own teeth, “stuck…”

“Enough,” she hissed. The music started back up and she walked to the door. “Come, I’m ready to see the world.”

She stepped out into the moonlight. The waitress slipped in front of me and placed something hard and warm between my palms.There were tears in her eyes. I moved toward the door on shaky legs, glancing at the tiny glass perfume bottle in my hands. As I slipped it in my pocket, I heard it clink against the ring and almost broke right there.

I didn’t. I’m being strong.

“Oooo,” she gasped, placing a warm hand on my leg. “Pull in, over there. I want to try one of those.”

“Yes, dear.”