Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This Spells Trouble by Olivia Hardin Cover Reveal

This Spells Trouble (2)It took some work, but Lynlee Lincoln has finally found balance between her life as a witch and her relationship with Beck Hale. A human boyfriend with two kids wasn’t something she ever planned, but their new arrangement lets her have her cake and eat it, too. Just when she’s getting comfortable, puzzling visions of impending danger at home begin to haunt her dreams. And if personal issues aren’t troubling enough, Lynlee and the entire organization of Neutralizers go on alert when a phantom creature begins staging magical episodes on live television. If they can’t put a stop to the sensational events, all hell will break loose in the human world. Can Lynlee keep both her new family and the world safe without getting swallowed up in the process?

PREORDER NOW!

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-dj6Nn4TH0]
And be sure you're caught up on all the other stories before this one drops!
Trolling for Trouble- Olivia Hardin (2)FREE! Magical and undead creatures can get into plenty of sticky situations. Lynlee Lincoln loves her job as a neutralizer, but she needs a break from the supernatural chaos after an ultra-busy Halloween night. Coming home, she's ready to collapse into her bed and forget the day... until she discovers two children scavenging through her refrigerator. One look at the pair and she feels a tug on her heartstrings, then she learns their father is the man she spent years trying to forget. When Beck pleads with her to help save his daughter, Lynlee gets thrust into a heap of trouble.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00020]Lynlee Lincoln isn’t just a witch, she’s also a Neutralizer. Her job is a juggling act to keep magical and undead clients out of trouble. But getting back together with her old flame throws one more ball into the mix and romance with a guy who has two kids can get complicated. When her old mentor asks her to investigate the goings-on of a dark witch, things turn messy. The witch is stalking supernatural creatures to collect ingredients for a potion that Lynlee can’t seem to figure out. To keep those closest to her from becoming the next victims, she may have to confront the demons within herself.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords Trouble with Holidays (3)And get the prequel to the series in A Christmas Yet to Come Anthlogy: Falling for a human who doesn’t believe in magic was the last thing Lynlee Lincoln needed. Beck Hale was a young architect and she was a Neutralizer-in-training—they were drawn together, but worlds apart. When Beck’s apartment gets flooded, she invites him to her home for Christmas. Lynlee tries to ignore the pull of the mistletoe, but after all, ‘tis the season. Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords   olivia hardin pic b&w.jpgAbout the Author: When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is, until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again. Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”' and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny and their puppy, Bonnie.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Haunted location

Okay this one also comes from my travels. This past spring I was in Savannah and Charleston, two of my favorite cities. While in Savannah I took the ghost tour for about the fourth time only this time I heard a new story. An exceptionally creepy story. It is about a house, 432 Abercorn. Basically, they told us about a strange and somewhat horrific history of this house.

How much is true, I don't know. But here is the story because it is fun.

-Benjamin Wilson: 1868 house was completed for Wilson (there is debate on whether he was a cotton merchant or some sort of military. Wilson moved in with wife and youngest child, who was 9 years old. Wife died of yellow fever and Wilson didn’t know how to handle a child. He decided to keep her inside where she was safe. One day he came home from work and caught her playing in the square with other children. He was furious, dragging her back by the ear while she was kicking and screaming. Inside the neighbors heard her yelling and crying. Several women went up to the door and knocked. Wilson told them in no uncertain terms his child was none of their business.
The next day they say the girl tied to a chair next to the window where she could see the park but not go. This went on for days. Until one day Wilson came home and the neighbors heard loud yelling and furniture being overturned. They thought maybe the child escaped. They started toward the house and he sticks his head out of the second floor window and tells them if they come any closer he will make them regret it. A few minutes later he jumps from the window with a noose around his neck and kills himself. The neighbors go inside and find the girl still tied to the chair, dead from dehydration.

1870- A cotton plantation own and his family move into the house. No one really talks about what happened there. He had three girls: 10,12, and 15. One night he attends a party with his wife. They come home to find the 10 year old beaten to death in the park, the 12 year old decapitated in the doorway, and the 15 year old hanging from a noose from the second story window.

1960’s- Family comes home to find three of four daughters killed (with their organs removed) and laid out in a triangle on the parlor room floor.  The fourth child is found hiding in a bedroom curled in a fetal position and struck mute.

1973- Purchased by Omi G. Walden for 75,000. Still owns to this day. Has never lived in or rented the house in any way. According to property records main three floors are uninhabitable, but top floor is. Owner claims to be doing renovations herself but neighbors say no renovations have ever been done.
Legend is (according to tour) her mother and sister were raped and murdered in the house and she came home to find them which is why she bought the house and set up a trust to care for it so no one else could be killed by the house.

-Dave the tour guide (date uncertain)- Took a group on a walking tour. Two women wanted to go up the steps and peek through the mail slot. He let them and when they looked through the screamed and ran away, but one tripped and broke her leg. They both swear they saw an angry old man running toward them.

-Women have reported feeling sick or getting headaches when walking in front of the house or near it. Many pictures claim to have caught paranormal phenomena outside of the house or faces in the window/plaster on the wall.


-Claims that 34 women have been brutally killed in the house. 

-Liz

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top Five Supernatural Creatures You Haven't Heard Of

Okay so my title is reaching. I don't know what you have or have not heard of, but that's okay. I am still going to give you a list of some of the more usual ones that are tempting to use in a story.

1. Clurichaun: This awesome creature is kin to the leprechaun only they are more curmudgeonly and they guard wine cellars. This is my kind of supernatural creature.

2. Leshi: This supernatural baddie will do the unthinkable. He will take you to his cave and tickle you to death. That's right, friends, we have the tickle monster all the way from Slavic mythology.

3. Lady Midday: Now this one is a weird one. She will question workers at noon on hot days, asking them very difficult questions. If they do not get them right she chops off their head. I believe this was how employee evaluations got started.

4. Dullahan: This is a headless horseman, but not quite the one Washington Irving imagined. This one carries it's own head under one arm and a human spine in the other hand to use it as a whip for, you guessed it, his horse. But that isn't the end of the grotesque details. The head also always have a smile and the eyes move around in it. All I can say if they should have reached further on the headless horseman.

5. Bakhtak: I like this one because I have lots of nightmares. This heavy little dude climbs on you while you sleep and makes you have bad dreams while also causing sleep paralysis.

Okay, that's my list!

Liz

Monday, October 6, 2014

Costumes, Family Friendly Halloween Movies, and Behind the Book: The Ninth Floor

So yeah, the 31 Days of Halloween are still going on; however, weekends are dicey. I'm probably not going to write a blog post on Saturday or Sunday. However, that is okay. It just means that Mondays will be all the cooler because they will consist of three days of goodness. Let's do this!

Day 4: Costumes
Someone miscounted (it was me) and this was a throw back Thursday post (on a Saturday) with my old Halloween costumes pictures. :-)

The Evil Queen

My favorite kind of costume, random crap

Maleficent 

The year I was a member of Josie and Pussy Cats

Not a costume but I carve pumpkins with my friends every year

Okay, so this isn't actually makeup, but it is still fun!

Day 5: The Top Five Family Friendly Halloween Movies according to me

Yay, a list. I love lists. Stop judging me. 
1. Hocus Pocus (like there was even a doubt)
2. Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetljuice)
3, The Addams Family (I will never get tired of this movie)
4. Ghostbusters (Who you gonna call?)
5. Casper (maybe it's my age, but I love this movie and I always will)

Day 6: Behind the book

I was smack dab in the middle of writing my fantasy/romance series (The Guardian Trilogy and Easy Bake Coven) and my mystery series (the Ella Reynolds series) when I went on a spa trip to Arkansas, but it was there I was inspired to write a new book: The Ninth Floor. 



Now whenever I go on a trip I always take the ghost tours and generally trip to range for allegedly haunted accommodations. It adds a nice layer of ghostliness to any trip. Anyway I was on the ghost tour which was fairly typical as far as ghost tours go, that is until they told us a story that caught my imagination. 

I have no idea about the validity of the story, but none of that really matters when you write fiction. The guide mentioned, pointing up a high to the tall hospital building looming over the small town, that there was one floor of the hospital that had been shut down due to an unusual death rate on the floor. Only it wasn't a patient death rate, it was the employees too. He claimed that the people who worked there weren't allowed to talk about it. or even mention any ghostly experiences they might have inside the facility. 

Obviously that leads to questions like if people weren't allowed to talk about it, how did he know. But alas, I didn't care. That idea that one floor of a building where life hangs in the balance day in and day out could be host to something dark and malicious set my mind soaring and from that prompt the Ninth Floor was born.  

Whew! All caught up. See you tomorrow for the top five supernatural creatures you haven't heard of. :-D

-Liz



Friday, October 3, 2014

True Haunts: Missouri State Penitentiary

This picture is from the first time I went for a regular tour. I didn't take any pictures when I went on the ghost tour. 

Halloween is upon us. It is my favorite time of year. Growing up I always loved everything and anything scary. Naturally, I became a writer. I like to incorporate a little ghostly presence in most of my mystery novels because the unknown element is one that is frightening to me.

One of the questions I am asked the most is do I believe in ghosts. I normally tell people I am an open minded skeptic. What I mean by that is I don’t necessarily believe, but I am willing to accept there are a lot of things in this world I cannot explain. However, when I travel I try to stay in haunted locations and there is nothing I love more than a good ghost tour. In fact, the Ninth Floor was inspired by one particular ghost tour I went on. But that isn’t the story I am going to tell you today.

Recently I went on a ghost tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary, once known as the bloodiest 47 acres. It is infamous for the inmates it held, the violence contained within its walls, and the more recently for the ghostly sightings. Syfy’s Ghost Hunter, Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventurers, and I am sure many more have all done investigations of this former penitentiary to the same result—it’s haunted.


The tour started at 9:00 p.m. I arrived with my friend and the tour started. At first it seemed there were too many people to really get the full effect of the creepy, deserted prison at night atmosphere. I had been on the history tour before and the ghost tour was just as good. Both times I have been there the group was guided by a former prison guard who actually worked within the walls. The stories they shared of what it was like inside are riveting.

I didn’t see or hear anything noteworthy in the first half of the tour. It wasn’t until we headed to the oldest building and were taken down to “the hole”. We were directed to enter one of the cells. The first cell I went into was too crowded so I moved to the next. It wasn’t crowded, only one other person, but it also didn’t feel creepy and that was what I was looking for. I went down the narrow hallway to the other row of cell door and entered the first one. Immediately it felt different than the others. I didn’t let that bother me—that was what I paid for.

The tour guide flipped off the lights so we could experience solitary confinement. Immediately the room felt massive, though I knew it was compact. It was disorienting so the first noise I heard I dismissed as an overactive imagination. It was something like a growl that came from my right hand side behind me. I shook off any fear and continued to allow the experience to build. Next I heard what sounded like a yowl. The best and most accurate way I can describe it is it sounded like a person pretending to be an angry cat. It was quite loud and real sounding. It happened two times and the tour guide asked who made that noise. No one answered. He repeated the question and still no one confessed.

He turned the lights back on and we all came out. He asked us again and this is where things get weird. The first cell I went in, the most crowded one, didn’t hear anything. The cell next to me that only had two people in it, also didn’t hear anything. It turned out only three of us heard the sound at all: the tour guide, the man in the cell facing me, and me.  It sounded to me like it came from my left hand side, but while the two women in the cell to my left were frightened they didn’t hear anything.

I can’t say whether or not it was a ghost, but I will say it was one of the strangest experiences I have ever had. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Halloween Day Two: Apple Pie Recipe

The recipe I am going to share with you is so simple I actually considered not sharing it at all.


However, apple pie is my very favorite fall treat and I have been making them like crazy.
You see, I only like apple pies in the fall. I hate with the fiery passion of a thousand dragons guarding their treasure bought apple pies and apple pie filling. They are disgusting and taste nothing like apples. Also contributing to this hatred of them is the fact that I have no tolerance for cinnamon. I don’t like the taste or the smell of it (nutmeg too). Apples are delicious just as they are when they are fresh. Stop messing with them world!

Okay back on point. This is how to make an awesome apple pie.

Step one: Buy the freshest baking apples (tart is better) that you can find. I like to go to local pick your own orchards because growing up we had apple trees and we always picked our own apples. You want the apples to be tart enough that they will blend nicely with the sugar you are going to add, but you don’t want them to be so tart you can’t enjoy them.

Step two: Either make or buy your crust. Obviously making it almost always tastes better. However, in the real world most of us don’t have the time to do it. So do whatever you want.

Step three: Peel, core and slice your apples directly into the pie pan on top of the bottom lay of crust. Do this until you have a mounding pile of apples.

Step four: Sprinkle the apples with a half of a cup of sugar, a fourth cup of flour,about two to three tablespoons of butter placed around the pie, and cinnamon to taste. Cover with the top part of your crust and stab it a few times with a fork then bake until golden brown. About 1 hour.



Step five: Enjoy
 
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