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Celia Breslin and Bumped by the Banshee

Goosebumps contributor Celia Breslin is an author of urban fantasy and  paranormal romance for Champagne Books. Celia relates: “I grew up listening to my Irish grandmother’s stories about the Fae, including her encounter with a Banshee in her cellar when she was a teenager. Of her many stories, this is my favorite.”

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“Bumped by the Banshee” by Celia Breslin    (Based on actual events as recounted by her grandmother)

I lived in a large two-story house with my parents, sister and grandmother. It was a cold, winter evening, nothing special or out of the ordinary. The family dined together, then my sister and I cleaned up while our parents and grandmother drank tea. We joined them at the dining table to do our homework, but my grandmother said she was tired and went upstairs to bed. My parents followed shortly after that, but my father paused on the landing.

“Maeve, it’s going to be a cold night. Fetch us some coal, please.”

I abandoned my homework, grabbed the empty coal bucket from the kitchen, and went down into the cellar.  I filled my bucket and returned to the stairs. I had one foot on the first step when the temperature in the cellar, already cold, dropped dramatically. Chills ran down my back. Behind me, someone moaned.

But how could that be? I was alone…

Terror rooted me to the spot. The keening grew louder. I dropped my bucket and covered my ears. A cold wind bumped against my back. I stumbled forward as the shrieking wind rushed over me and up the stairs.

But how could that be? The cellar had no windows…

Above me, the cellar door slammed shut. The sound broke me from my stupor. I screamed and ran from the cellar, through the kitchen and dining room, up the stairs to my room. My parents and sister found me under my bed, shaking like a puppy lost in a snowstorm.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” They asked me, while pulling me from my hiding place.

“I heard the Banshee wail.”

We stared at each other in silence, all of us reaching the same conclusion moments later. We hurried to my grandmother’s room.

She was dead.

Copyright 2013, Celia Breslin. No part of this family story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without permission from the author. Rita Bay has my permission. 🙂

 

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Haven is an urban fantasy romance from Champagne Books (July, 2013). If you like vampire stories, you’ll love Haven. Check out the Haven blurb:

Haven_San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli works hard, plays hard, and never allows the death of her parents and her twelve-year memory gap to get her down. But her life takes a left turn when a witch attacks her on her twenty-fifth birthday.

Three hauntingly familiar vampires emerge to reveal she possesses a latent power. To protect her from their enemies, they admit to wiping her memories clean and abandoning her as a child, but now they need her help. As she struggles to evade her new protectors and even newer enemies, she meets Alexander, an enigmatic, undead musician. Insta-lust flares, leaving her wanting more.

With evil’s minions hounding her every move, and everything she thought she knew turned on its head, Carina must harness her burgeoning power, unravel her vampire family’s web of deceit, and fight to have a love life…without getting killed in the process.

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Haven Buy Links: Champagne / Amazon

Visit Celia’s WEBPAGE or follow her on FACEBOOK / TWITTER.

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Welcome Goosebumps Author Lynn Rae

Goosebumps Author is Lynn Rae writes contemporary romance. She’s published with Musa and Sweet Cravings Publishers. Her paranormal story was a workplace incident.

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Let’s Not Play Hangman

The following is a true story.

I used to work as a museum director in a medium sized town in Ohio. My work took place in a historic house with an addition we used for exhibits. The place was under constant renovation and the sound of saws and hammers and a fine coating of sawdust and sanded plaster were everywhere, so whenever someone invited me to go out and visit another site, I was happy to leave the building for a few hours.

On this day, I was lucky enough to get a behind-the scenes tour of a nearby castle. Yep, that’s right, a stone castle with a tower and tapestries right in the middle of the Midwest. The director was leading us around and since we were all in the public history field, we spent much of the tour bemoaning how difficult it is to care for old properties with limited funds. We were in an upstairs corridor not included in the public tour and the director stopped at a heavy wooden door.

“We don’t go in here much, it’s full of stuff,” he explained as he laid his hand on the knob. Every museum has such rooms; a catch-all for the bulky items that don’t fit with the period of the house. I wanted to see it to compare to the ones I had back at my museum; if it was really messy, I wouldn’t have to feel too bad about my disaster zones. Then again, if it was wonderfully organized on gleaming metal shelves, I would shrink with shame.

He opened the door and we entered the long, high ceilinged room illuminated by numerous windows. There was a lot of furniture, a lot of boxes filled with mysterious items, but before I could really take a look, my throat closed off. Completely tight and painfully obstructed. I tried to swallow and coughed harshly. Once I started to cough, I couldn’t stop and it wasn’t the sort of cough that would clear out an obstruction. It was a weak hacking that didn’t alleviate my distress. I finally waved my hand and stepped back out of the room into the hallway so my choking and gagging sounds wouldn’t disturb anyone else on the tour. Within seconds, the constriction was gone and I was breathing easier.

Soon enough, everyone emerged from the room because once you’ve seen one sprung horsehair sofa, you’ve seen them all. I assured everyone I was fine even though I was very confused at why I’d had such a reaction.

“Are you allergic to dust?” The house director asked and I told him no. I’d worked in museums for years and you don’t hold those sorts of jobs if you have any sensitivity to grime. I explained it was like someone sudden grabbed my throat and I’d never experienced such a sensation before. He went pale and closed the door to the room with a firm click.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but years ago, someone hung himself in that room.”

Here’s the funny thing; as soon as he told me that I felt completely fine. Everyone else on the tour gaped and expressed horror, but I was happy there was a paranormal explanation. I love working in museums, so if I’d sudden developed an allergy to dust, I’d have had to find a new line of work. Ghosts I can deal with.

Copyright 2013 © by Lynn Rae      Used with permission.

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return-510Return is Lynn Rae’s  Contemporary  release by Musa Publishing September (2013).  Check out the blurb:

James Winchester is content with his predictable small town life. He lives alone, helps out at his family farm, and doesn’t miss an ice cream social. His life is so neat and ordered he could use one of his accounting spreadsheets to chart his upcoming years.

Evelyn Prentiss’s world is in chaos. She’s returned to her home town twenty years after leaving and the transition isn’t as smooth as she’d anticipated. Her home needs renovated, her parents are once again too hands-on, and she only has the summer months to settle in before she starts her new teaching job.

In an effort to be a good neighbor, James finds himself stopping by Evelyn’s house more and more to help with her endless to-do list. When a mystery from their past resurfaces and opens old wounds, the two find comfort in each other. And so much more.

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Buy Links for Return : AMAZON / B&N / SMASHWORDS / BOOKSTRAND

VISIT Lynn at her WEBPAGE or follow her on FACEBOOK.

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Welcome Elizabeth Fountain to Goosebumps

I’m so pleased to welcome Champagne BURST! author Elizabeth Fountain to Goosebumps. She writes sci-fi and  fantasy, but, whatever the story, you get a glimpse of Elizabeth and you’re left with a smile. “Delilah’s Ghost” is no exception. I loved every word and bet readers will too.

Delilah’s Ghost

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen my brother’s dog gave birth to five puppies, I asked for the only female. As the youngest child, and only five years old, I wasn’t certain whether my parents would let me keep any of Queenie’s pups. But they agreed relatively quickly; I think my mother secretly wanted to keep them all.

We named the pup Delilah. Why such a glamorous name for a small mutt of a dog? I don’t recall. A dark brown fur ball, Delilah’s appearance reflected the mix of her mother’s spaniel and her papa’s “unknown provenance,” shall we say. She quickly showed us her spirit, which lived up to her name: regal doggy smile on her sweet face, a ton of feminine spunk in her demeanor. As she aged, spunk sometimes became crankiness. A lifelong problem with hip dysplasia meant Delilah felt some pain or discomfort most of the time. Occasionally, she showed her impatience, but she was always as glamorous as her name.

House rules meant our dogs lived outdoors. They shared a comfy doghouse with beds of clean straw to keep them warm in winter. Delilah stayed furry, like a chow, adding to her coziness in our cold winters. I longed to be allowed to let her come to bed and sleep with me, to curl up with her chocolate-brown furry warmth in my arms.

Because of the good care our family dogs received, mostly due to my mother, they all lived long lives. Delilah was well into her teens when she died, while I was at college.

I cried.

Life went on.

And so did Delilah’s spirit. Her ghost followed me through moves, school, careers, other pets, marriage, and divorce. Out of the corner of my eye, I’d see a pile of brown fur, sweet brown eyes, that regal doggy grin. Delilah reminded me of Queen Victoria in her old age: the little dog moved as if she wore a crown, barked in the “royal we,” and expected deference from one and all, other dogs and humans. She also showed tremendous love and loyalty, in the way of all family dogs. Whenever I needed any of that – queenly energy, loving company – I’d see Delilah, hear her bark, wake up to the sensation of her warm self next to me, the way I’d always wanted as a kid. I hope she’ll haunt me always.

Delilah’s hip problems made her clumsy, at times. Just now, as I am finishing this story, I heard a noise.

A spoon fell on the kitchen floor, for no reason. There’s no one here but me.

Except – maybe, out of the very corner of my eye, I spy a mound of warm chocolate brown fur, a wagging tail, and a sweetly royal doggy smile.

Copyright 2013, by Elizabeth Fountain Used with permission.

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About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Fountain left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels.  Her first book, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, was released by BURST Books in 2013; and You, Jane, her second novel, will be published in 2014. On her breaks from writing, Liz teaches university courses, spends time with family and friends, and takes long walks in the diabolical Kittitas Valley wind. Her quirkily humorous view of humanity is well suited to her tales of aliens and angels, love and death, friendship and dogs.

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An Alien’s Guide to World Domination  is a humorous science-fiction novel from BURST! Books (Champagne Book Group)

Louise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to try to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime Jell-O ™ gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to her boss, confront her oldest enemy, and make peace with her Aunt Emma, who annoys her in the way only true family can. She also has to rely on Buddy, the little blind mini-Schnauzer who saves her life twice – and really is from Mars.

An Alien’s Guide to World Domination is available from AMAZON Kindle and BURST! Books

Visit Elizabeth at her WEBPAGE or follow her on FACEBOOK.

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Author Paula Hardin Seeks a Ghost

My long-time friend, Paula Hardin, tells her story today. Paula Hardin is a New Orleans girl born and raised. She’s married to her soul mate of over nineteen years. Paula has three children and two step-children, and five grandbabies. Her passion is for the paranormal, mystical, and anything other than the norm. She also loves the Sci-Fi channel. Some of her favorites are dark artwork, gothic, dark pictures and paintings. She writes paranormal romances, steam punk, contemporary, which has lots of suspense, but ends with a happy ever after.

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La-Belle-Bed-and-Breakfast-in-Picayune-Mississippi-39466PaulaI’m Paula Hardin and I always wanted to see a ghost. Not the scary kind but a friendly one. Where I live in Picayune Mississippi there’s a Bed and Breakfast that was built in 1904.  Nothing is really known about the original owners, only that it was a private residence and, at one time, a boarding house. The present owners, my friends Lyndon and Penny Glaesman, say it’s haunted. Story goes, Penny woke up one night thinking she had left a roast in the oven. She climbed out of bed and walked towards the kitchen, but as she got closer the smell disappeared.

But that wasn’t the only manifestation. A guest came to her in a panic saying, “I swear I wasn’t smoking in the bathroom, but someone was.” Penny advised the guest to tell the ghost to go outside and the smell would leave. Sure enough, that is exactly what happened. On another occasion, a woman who was sensitive to ghosts pulled up to drop off a friend. She refused to get out of the car because, she told her passenger, there were ghosts in that house.

When Penny, my dearest friend who owned the Bed and Breakfast, and her husband decided to spend Christmas with their family, she invited us to housesit. After Katrina, we’d lost everything, even a place to live. The government helped us get into a FEMA trailer which was a sardine can by any measure.  Their house had a fifteen-foot Christmas tree. Of course, we agreed.

I knew the place was haunted. Penny and I had discussed the things that had been observed by their previous guests. She told me to buy navy slippers. She swore that if I put them beside my bed the ghost would move them. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Discouraged, the next morning, I talked to the ghosts while I made the beds. Later, I walked past one of the empty bedrooms and the bed looked like someone had lain upon the covers and pillow. I smoothed the spread, fluffed the pillow, and left. A little later, the same thing happened, so I fixed it.

After the fourth time, I told my girls to stay out of the room that I was tired of fixing the bed.  They both looked at me strangely and told me they hadn’t been in that room. Perhaps the ghost didn’t move my slippers because for that weekend she was in the other room. I was so excited, but disappointed at the same time.

At different times, I’ve gone over to help clean the house when Penny was expecting company. I’d talk to the ghosts the whole time, telling them ‘Hi,’ and ‘I’m cleaning your lovely home,’ and nonsense like that, hoping they would let me see them. That never happened.

One day Lyndon came to see me at work. I was upset thinking something was wrong.  “No,” he said, “I need to talk to you.“  I was like “okay.” I waited with bated breath, wondering what he had to say.

The words that came out of his mouth killed me. He told me that he was sitting in the parlor and out the corner of his eye he saw her. A little old woman came from the bathroom I had used during Christmas and walked right through the French doors towards the front of the house. My mouth hit the floor. I was so jealous. We believe the ghosts of an elderly man and woman, probably husband and wife, reside in that bed and breakfast.

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 FOREVER LOST

FINAL-VERSION-PaulaAlone and homeless, Elizabeth Fountain disappears from the priest to find comfort at her mother’s grave. Instead Elizabeth finds the one man who could steal her heart and give her everlasting love. That is if he can keep his fangs out of her neck.

Benson Jackson, a vampire, considered himself a gentleman, even though he’s no longer human. He still believes in helping a damsel in distress. Yet when he finds young troubled Elizabeth, he can’t stop the blood-lust she stirs within him. Can the two head off trouble and find love, or will her past and his deranged mother rip them apart?

Buy Forever Lost at AMAZON

Visit Paula at her WEBPAGE or follow her on FACEBOOK.

Next up, Friday I tell the story of “Cousin Lula’s Gift”

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“My Family’s Home?” by Rita Bay

Welcome to Goosebumps. I’m sharing a family ghost story, “My Family’s Home?” I write paranormal, historical, and contemporary novels, novellas, and short stories which are published by Champagne Books, Carnal Passions, Secret Cravings Publishing, and Siren BookStrand.  Check out the blurb and buy info for my paranormal novella, Finding Eve, following my story about my family’s century-old home. The pic below is my family’s home which was pre-1906. The lady sitting on the porch died that year and the 1906 hurricane took down the eyesore of an oak tree on the right side of the pic. There’s a cat sitting on the steps and a man with a straw hat standing in the door.

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Have you ever been in an old house and knew you weren’t alone?  There’s something about old houses. Strip away the wallpaper and paint throughout. Change the drapes. Refinish all the furniture. They still don’t feel new. How do I know? After all my mother’s efforts to restore our century-old family home, we always knew we weren’t alone.

My great-grandfather, a cotton broker who built the house in 1889, lived comfortably with his wife and son in what their rich relatives called “the cottage.” Great-great-grandmother Mary moved in with them. She was the first to die there—of old age in 1906. In time, both of them died in their beds.

My grandfather and grandmother lost twin boys in a late-term miscarriage and their baby daughter during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Grandfather died when Mama was twelve. Like his parents and baby daughter, his wake was held in the living room.

When Mama married my father, they built their own home on the river, but we were frequent visitors in town. Even as a child, I felt Gramma wasn’t alone there, but it was always a comfortable, welcoming feeling—never threatening.

We moved in with Gramma when she was diagnosed with leukemia and couldn’t live alone. She died in her bed on Christmas Eve. I KNOW she stayed around but to this day can’t talk about what happened the week after she died.

After Gramma died, Mama totally restored the house. We’re talking award-winning with signs and plaques. When we held my wedding reception there, I discovered later that some of the guests had been a little uneasy about attending. A cousin confided that everyone was certain the house was haunted.

Years passed, Daddy died from a heart attack while working in the yard. The neighborhood changed from rural to urban shambles. Mama refused the invitations to move in with my family. Then, abruptly, she accepted.  Years later, she told me why.

Our spectral family had always confined themselves to the living room, dining room, and hall. They were benign presences, strictly observers; that is, until one of them invaded the kitchen. One day, when Mama was washing dishes, she thought she heard something in the front of the house. She walked over to the door leading to the hall. She stopped, unable to touch the doorknob. Suddenly, her hair was yanked from behind and a voice distinctly said “Go!” She grabbed her head and turned quickly but the room was empty. For the first time in her life, she felt unwelcome in her home. She believed that this was her family’s way of telling her—or giving her permission—to leave.

We maintained the empty house for more than a year before putting it on the market. We didn’t attend the closing when it sold. The new owner died within the month. His widow never lived there. Today, the house is a well-maintained business. I don’t know if my spectral family stayed with their home or accompanied their possessions which are in my home. They’re welcome to visit or reside with us anytime or maybe they’re already here.    Copyright © 2013 by Rita Bay

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Finding Eve, is the second novella in The Lyons’ Tales shapeshifter series. It’s available from  CHAMPAGNE BOOKS or AMAZON.

CLICK TO READ EXCERPT/BUYCan a feral cat ever return home? Nicholas Lyons, chief physician to the Lyons clan of shapeshifters, has mourned the death of his promised lifemate until a rogue shapeshifter reports having seen her at an exotic animal sale. Accompanied by Marie Lyons who is no stranger to the dark side, her new lifemate Anthony, and the imperious Lady Bat, he embarks on a frantic search for Eve through the dangerous world of exotic animal trafficking.

Eve, whose first memories are of recovering from an injury at an isolated animal refuge, has lived through a succession of owners in a world filled with cages and cruelty. When Eve meets Marie at the exotic animal sale, she begins to have flashes of a different life – a life in which she was something other than feline. Her last sale, however, has landed her as prey to exotic animal hunters and the clock is ticking.

Read more about/follow Rita: WEBPAGE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER /

Coming Friday, Soul Cakes: a Recipe and History

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