October, 2010

Fun Friday: Pumpkins

>Well, since Halloween in only two days away, here’s some carved pumpkins to get you in the mood.  Just a word of warning.  These videos probably contain music that would be inappropriate for work.  I do suggest turning your volume down.  Thanks.  Enjoy.  Be safe.  And Happy Halloween!

Also, don’t forget to comment on this post, to win a copy of the book PERSONAL DEMONS.

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The closet, the bathroom, and Jefferey

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As you probably know, I’ve been telling my true life ghost stories all week. You can read here and here for the others. Also don’t forget to comment on yesterday’s post to win a copy of PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers.

And now for the pièce de résistance, this is this creepiest real life ghost story I’ve ever dealt with.

It started when I was living in Maryland. There was an apartment that was pretty close to everything I was looking for. 2 bedrooms (One for me and one for the kiddo), large rooms, and even larger windows. And best of all, it was available right then and they were even going to give me a discount on the rent. How could you pass that up?

I couldn’t. So I moved in immediately. Well, the first night I moved in, I still didn’t have all my stuff. I had to wait for that to come up from Florida, so I bought an air mattress and tried sleeping in my bedroom. Only I couldn’t. There was something unnerving about the room (the walk-in closet to be precise), so I pulled the mattress into the living room and slept there.

It was always a little eerie to be in the apartment by myself, and I always felt like I was being watched in the bathroom. It got so bad that I raced through my showers and never took baths, because I was sure there was someone on the other side of the curtain.

A few months later, I moved my son up with me, and I moved my bed into my bedroom. It was still eerie, but I just dealt with it, it would seem a little strange to my son that mommy was sleeping in the living room.

However, a few weeks later, I was reading a book and I hear my son talking to someone. I thought maybe he’d gotten the phone and called his daddy—who’d opted to stay in Florida with our house until I could come back from the military. So, I called to my son and asked him who he was talking to.

He yells back that he’s talking to Jefferey.

Not knowing who Jefferey was, I went to DS’s room and saw him sitting on his bed. I asked him, “Who?”

And he points next to him and says, “Jefferey. He says, “hi,” mommy.”

There was no one next to him. I freaked, but I didn’t want to alarm my son so I just nodded and told him to say hi back. And immediately called my husband. Who laughed at me and told me it was probably his imaginary friend.

Feeling stupid, I agreed and tried not to worry when DS would start talking to himself. It was probably nothing. Just like DH had said.

But I still always felt uncomfortable in my room and the bathroom. I could never shake it.

Then one night I had a friend over to babysit for me, so I could go out with some other friends for my birthday.

When I came home the next day, my friend met me at the door. She said she was sorry, but she could never baby sit for me at the apartment again. She’d be more than happy to watch DS at her house, but she wasn’t ever coming to my house again.

When I asked her why, she refused to answer. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. Just figured she was homesick.

A few months after that, my husband came to stay for the weekend. Almost immediately he started acting strange. He wouldn’t let me go into the bedroom alone and asked me to keep the bathroom door open if I went in.

Almost immediately he started making plans to move up. He would never tell me what was up, but I didn’t question it either. I missed him and was glad he wanted to try and move up with us.

For months he tried to find work up where I was, but couldn’t, so it was just DS and me.

Then I got a leak in the bathroom. I called maintenance and was told they’d be right there. No one showed. For almost a week, I couldn’t get any one to check out the leak. I finally had to get my CO involved.

The maintenance people agreed to come that day, but only if I was there. I agreed and when they finally showed up I asked them what had happened. They didn’t speak much English, and I don’t speak Spanish, but I remember what he said, because I had to ask my friend to interpret it later. “Fantasma.” Which means ghost apparently.

They fixed the leak and then left. They were there no longer than ten minutes.

The next day I asked my friend what it meant. The same one who stayed the night with my son. She told me, then asked me why. I told her and she finally told me the story of why she didn’t ever want to stay at my apartment.

She said that every time she’d try to sleep, she’d felt a tugging on her arm and a voice telling her to check on my son. She’d been so scared that she’d called in another friend to stay with her. She’d wanted to call me, but she felt stupid, so she called the other friend instead.

Of course, now I’m starting to put two and two together and called my husband to ask him why he’d behaved the way he had.

After almost fifteen minutes, I got my answer. He’d heard a male voice coming from my room and he’d felt hostility whenever he was in it. The same for the bathroom. He’d also heard children splashing in the tub, when he knew DS was either at school or asleep.

I finally did some research on the apartment. I needed to know what was going on. I found out from the elderly neighbor across the way that a man had lived there with his two children. A boy—named Jefferey, and a girl named Melanie. Apparently there was some kind of custody battle between the man and his wife or ex-wife. So, instead of letting the courts battle it out, he drown the kids in the bathtub and then killed himself in the closet. The same closet I was worried about in the beginning.

A few weeks after that, I moved my son back to Florida. And moved into the barracks at the Naval base (after a quick sea voyage to the Middle East). Now I know why the apartment was ready for move in and there was a discount.

I just hope that no one else had to go through what I did. Or that the apartment stayed empty.

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Writer’s Wednesday: Personal Demons Book Review and Contest

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Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen (September 14, 2010)
Paperback: 365 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Author’s Publicist

Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She’s spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He’s hot, sarcastic, and dangerous—and Frannie can’t seem to stay away.
What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn’t exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the king of Hell himself has taken notice, and he’s sent Luc to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he’s just started making progress when the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for, and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.
It isn’t long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
REVIEW:  Okay, I’ve read a LOT of angel/demon stories lately.  For obvious reasons. So when the publicist contacted me, I was excited to read this, but worried, as well.  None of the other stories ever lived up to my expectations.  Which are—to say the least—someone’s soul hanging in the balance, a fight to the death (it is a book about Heaven and Hell after all), and a clearly defined romance, maybe a triangle.
This one, however, lived up to them ALL.  It has the soul hanging, the fight to the death, the romance, and even a triangle.  I couldn’t have asked for more, but Ms. Desrochers delivered all that and more.
It starts in Luc’s view, which, I think, was genius, especially when Gabriel comes in and you don’t know who you want to root for.  I’ve never been so conflicted with who I wanted Frannie to be with.  *NOTE:  I’m still confused. *   
Anyway, it starts in Luc’s view and he works for Hell’s Acquisitions department.  His job description is usually starting people on the path to Hell, but something is different with his latest mission.  He needs to “tag” someone for Hell.  Someone who’s been hard to find.  So hard, in fact, that the last two demons sent to find this person have failed.  Now he’s the new student at a school nicknamed Hades—i.e. Hell—High and he meets Frannie. Who just happens to be his essay partner.
This is where we go into Frannie’s POV—which let me just say, I’m usually not a fan of the alternating 1st person POV, but Ms. Desrochers makes it work.  I wasn’t at all pulled out any time the author switched views.
Anyway, when they meet, Frannie is immediately interested.  There’s just some about him.  He’s tall, dark, dangerous and… completely not her type, according to one of Frannie’s friends who wants to stake her own claim on Luc—which let me tell you was a twist I was NOT expecting, but was perfect for this book.
This book was simply amazing.  I seriously couldn’t put it down.  The characterization was excellent; I completely felt all the emotions from both Frannie and Luc.  And even when I wanted to strangle Frannie several times for being stupid, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her and root for good things to happen to her.  And let’s not forget Luc. I was constantly switching my thoughts on him.  I liked him.  I didn’t like him.  I was all over the emotional scale.
And the conflict arcs in this are unbelievable, just when you don’t think it can get more complicated, it did.  But in a good way.  The characters reactions were believable, as were their interactions.  Though, I think I would have liked to see more of Gabriel.  Just because of who he is.
Characters:  Frannie is a tough, kick-ass girl with plenty of emotional baggage to make her lovable.  Not to mention you immediately feel for her when she’s worried about going after the boy she has a crush on, because she knows her friend is going to want him for herself.  Luc is exactly what you’d expect from a demon.  Tall, dark, dramatic and hot as Hell.  Literally.  Gabriel is cool, calm, collected, light where Luc was dark and it was easy to tell why Frannie would have a hard time choosing between them.
Cover:  While the layout of the cover was great and expresses the gist of the story well, I was actually disappointed with it.  The models, in my opinion, don’t really look teenaged.   Maybe the model portraying Gabriel does, but definitely not Frannie.  And that’s exactly why I hadn’t picked the book up myself, though I’d seen it around on different pages.  I thought it was an adult book.  Not a teen read.
If you’re looking for a great paranormal read and an angel/demon book that is unique, you’ll love this book.
It’s going on my favorite shelf immediately and I already can’t wait to read it again, or the other two books in the series. 

Original Sin (Book #2) will be coming July 2011

CONTEST:

And as promised, because I’ve reached 200 followers, I’m also giving away a copy of PERSONAL DEMONS.  However, this contest is going to be a bit different than my usual.  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what your own personal demon is.  I’ll pick a random winner next Wednesday. This contest is open internationally.

Find Lisa Desrochers 
Purchase Personal Demons

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Teaser Tuesday: Toothless

> As promised here’s a sneak peak of my newest short story, tentatively titled, TOOTHLESS.  We haven’t come to part yet, where the title will make sense, but I hope you enjoy, even though it’s technically a vampire story.  (And as always, this is EXTREMELY rough.)

The sound of her heart racing is like a tympani to me and urges me forward.  She is mine.  From the minute our eyes meet across the dance, I knew it.  Even when she realized what I was and tried to sneak away, I knew.  And now, with her feet slapping the wet concrete of the alley, her heart hammering in her chest, and her breaths gasping, her blood beckons to me. Like a Siren’s Call it is impossible to ignore.
The red haired beauty has wound her way around the city, dodging here and there, but I’m never far behind.  And while I’m not hurrying, to her mortal’s eyes, I am a blur.  I could have grabbed her before this started, but the chase is fun.  In a life filled with endless night, a little entertainment with my meals is indispensable and the key to preventing boredom–a fate worse than a stake through the heart.  At least there’s a fight before the stake.
But the chase has come to an abrupt end, the poor dear.  And she’s run right into a dead end alley.  And apt name…considering.
“Please,” she begs.  “Please don’t hurt me.”
“Oh, this won’t hurt in the least,” I say.  However, the fangs gleaming from my smile probably don’t give her the relief she’s looking for.
She pushes herself against the wet, dirty wall as if trying to go through the wall and I have to laugh.  Why do mortals always think that cringing away from the monsters is going to make us go away?  Seriously.  It seems kind of dumb.
“Relax,” I say.  “This really won’t hurt.  You’ll never feel a thing.”
I step closer and the fear radiating from her causes me to quiver in anticipation.  Her blood will be delicious.  Like the first taste of a fresh, tart not-quite-ripe apple.
Mmm, apples.  I must have one when I get home.
Toe to toe with her now, I place my hands on either side of her face.  Her eyes are wide and I can barely see the blue because her pupils have taken over and their black depths are all that’s visible.
Her lips, painted a bloody red, tremble, but it’s not all fear now.  It’s just as much arousal.  Anticipation.  My touch and smell overpowering her instincts.
It’s such a shame really.  She really is a beautiful girl.  I trail my finger down her delicate throat and rest in the hollow of her collar bone.  Maybe I’ll keep her after all.  She would make a wonderful companion.
She’s making little whimpering sounds that make me want to moan in pleasure.  Is there anything more electrifying than a moan?
I smile, then dip my head, brushing her lips with mine, letting her breathe in my scent, which is more potent than any illicit drug.  Almost immediately it has an effect and she’s putty in my arms. Literally.
If I hadn’t been pressing my body firmly against hers, she would have fallen to the ground.

     I shake my head.  Humans really are strange creatures.  I flip her over my shoulder and bound out of the alley

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Music Monday: Monster Mash (UP)

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It’s Halloween Week on the blog.  You can probably tell from the recent remodel of my template.  This week will be FILLED with great Halloween things:
Today: My 13 favorite Halloween songs (in no particular order).  
Tuesday:   a sneak peek of my short story.  
Wednesday:  A book review and giveaway.  
Thursday:   A true to life ghost story in honor of THE DAY.  
Friday:  A surprise.  
So, buckle those seat belts, because it’s going to be bump in the night ride!

1.  Monster Mash

2. Thriller

3. This is Halloween 

4. Addams Family (Original Opening)

5. Ghost Busters


6. Purple People Eater


7. Witch Doctor

8. I Put A Spell On You 

9.  Living Dead Girl

1o. Grim, Grinning Ghosts

11. Tales From the Crypt

12. Goosebumps (Theme Song)  

13. Tubular Bells (Exorcist Theme Song) 

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