Posts Tagged With: paranormal



To celebrate Spring being here at last, FIRE AND SHADOW will be on sale May 13 through May 20. Grab this paranormal suspense novel that has been called “A heart-stopping page-turner” for only $0.99! Follow Lily Evans as the fortune teller at a Celtic Faire puts her on a path she never expected to take. Lily is just coming to terms with her psychic abilities, and she’ll have to learn quickly to face what’s in store for her. A haunting portrait filled with pain. Who is the woman behind it? Was she burned as a witch? Why is it so important to find a book that she hid over three-hundred years ago? Who will help or hinder Lily on this quest? And what awaits her at the end?

International best seller. Top 100 Amazon bestseller in Occult and Paranormal.

“fast moving…plausible & exciting, delving into the psychic, dark magic, & white magic.”

“hauntingly beautiful”

“Another haunting, lyrical story from Susan McLeod. Lily Evans continues on her path toward the truth, unlocking mysteries that will leave you breathless and spellbound. A must-read!”

Watch the video:

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Cleocatra is waiting for you!

Categories: Fire And Shadow | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Special guest author Jesse Giles Christiansen talks about why authors should sometimes embrace insanity


Sometimes when you lose, you win.

This weekend is the big kickoff for a promo that I don’t think I’ll ever forget, and one that I’ve done everything in my power to ensure that I always remember. September 27-29 are my free days for my first foray with Amazon’s KDP Select program through my publisher, Imajin Books. Imajin Book’s owner and bestselling author, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, has used this program to become a bestseller, as well as other authors, including her own.
A part of me is afraid. A part of me is thrilled. The whole of me is a human live wire.
My novel, PELICAN BAY, was a list bestseller out of the gate. Being in a genre top 100 is like going to your local theme park. It’s terrific, and you definitely want to go back … but it isn’t Disney World folks.
I want to go to Disney World.
Really badly.
And stay.
Maybe I’m already there, hiding in the Haunted House and sleeping there with the familiar ghosts.
Am I a ghost? Right now I feel like a familiar ghost. And there’s nothing wrong with that. No. Not at all. I’m a new author who has tasted some success like drops of deliciously acidic rain on my tongue.
To go from ghost to bodily form, I must make the top paid 100 on Amazon … where the magic happens. But as most of you already know, this is much easier said than done. I have the help now of my marketing savvy, mentoring publisher, great authors, passionate readers, keen reviewers, artists, editors, and friends and family. However, as I write this, my promo group, which I’m calling Captain Shelby’s Skeleton Army (Captain Shelby is the big character from PELICAN BAY), consists of only 38 people. But you know what? I’d rather have 38 faithful, like-minded, artistic souls than a 1000 bandwagon-jumpers or doubters. Yes, I’ll take my little army and we’ll see what we can do.
My free days end Sunday, and then PELICAN BAY has to swim. I mean REALLY swim. I think it can. I really do. I believe it, but I need your faith, too. Your help. No one is an island, after all, in any realm.
What started all this madness, really, were two things. First, I’ve been watching PELICAN BAY and it has done some things I never dreamed a new book from a new author would. There are those days. Yeah, those days. When I’m not doing any promos, sending out just basic tweets or Facebook posts, and suddenly the book’s ranking, which I fear on those days will sink into oblivion, makes these jumps like a great tarpon finding its third and fourth winds. It truly amazes me. Also, PELICAN BAY was a list bestseller for over two months.
The other reason, truth be told, is that I was supposed to do this promo later in the year with a power author. Certain circumstances led to her having to cancel our promo. I was disappointed, not at her, but at life. Don’t laugh here, but I started to feel like Rudy in that cheesy but inspiring film, after his friend dies in the factory fire. This voice inside me just said, “You have to do this now, on your own … don’t wait.”
And so the insanity began.
Why is my promo insane? Why is reaching for the top paid 100 on Amazon nuts? Well, I’m not a math genius, but you don’t have to be to understand the statistics of a new author reaching for such a goal. There are over 3 million eBooks on Amazon. The closer you get to the top paid 100, the more your book, no matter how strong, turns into a colorful snail. It slithers inches along the pavement as if begging to be squashed by Amazon’s mighty foot.
But it’s good for an author to embrace insanity, chiefly because even the most basic, consistent things that we come to rely on in life … are incomprehensible. Take these words, for instance. Perhaps you are reading this blog post, and I thank you warmly for that. But these words. What are they? They appear so consistently to you now, but do you “know” them? You may be reading a computer screen in a complicated dream. You may forget that these very words are not objects, but only consistent flickers of your senses. Were any of countless possible events to occur inside or outside of you, these words would simply vanish.
So insanity for the artist may boil down to, really, reaching for things that defy our reliable senses, our common knowledge. If you want to do something unusual, you have to think unusually. Reach senselessly. Or as Cheryl Kaye Tardif says, “Think BIG.” And yes, she’s part of the Captain Shelby Skeleton Army. And I’m deeply thankful for that.
But what if I fail? Well … sometimes win you lose, you win.
Yours in literature,
Categories: Guest Blogs | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

“You don’t find JUSTICE-JUSTICE finds you!”

Justice-The ChoiceThis week’s guest is T.J. Tate, the author of the JUSTICE series. I’ve read both of these books and I can assure you that they’re intense, beautifully written stories full of emotion and heart! Original, thought-provoking fiction. Put me in mind of The Twilight Zone!

Take it away, T.J.!

“Second chances just became real.
From September 9-11, THE CHOICE and THREE DOORS DOWN, the first two books in my JUSTICE series, will be free.

The idea for JUSTICE came about by reading the news. My heart went out to the individuals affected by tragedies. Sometimes the crimes would remain unsolved, but even when they were, some decisions reached in the courtroom give us pause as to what true justice means.

That’s where fiction comes in. I decided to write my own stories by giving those touched by heartache a second chance at righting a wrong. By using this premise, I let my characters decide what justice means to them. It ensures that each outcome is unique and what makes the stories so compelling. With no one right answer for everyone, each individual seeks what will bring them peace. That unique perspective is what lives out on the pages, and what I hope shines through.

Another component I infuse into these dramas is the power of the human spirit. While I’m always pulling for it to triumph over evil, the dramas play out how they will. Like a gopher in a buffalo stampede, I do my best to keep out of the way and not interject my feelings. It’s not my story; it’s theirs. And so I play the part of a silent witness to the struggle, penning the epic fight waged.

Whether the ending is your concept of what justice means is debatable. All I can promise is that it is for them. Like the slogan for my series says: “You can’t find JUSTICE. JUSTICE finds you.”

“Here’s a bit more about my series:
While some will tell you JUSTICE doesn’t exist, those traumatized by life-shattering events pin their hopes on finding it. The walking wounded of the world start and end their day in pain, haunted by tragedies too horrible to imagine. Even after their bodies are healed, the mental anguish goes on. They remain caught in a trap, never moving forward from the past. They pray that one day they’ll find the commodity in short supply that will allow them to become whole.

In book one of this series of short stories, Janice Carver is tormented by an event in her past. The brutal rape occurred five years ago, but the assault has stripped her of all hope. Lurching through her life, she’s engulfed by fear, regret and self-recrimination. Worse, her assailant was never caught, and lives his life freely with an untroubled soul.
But things have a way of spinning round, and suddenly second chances are all too real. Janice Carver’s life is about to change in unexpected ways. Always trying to find JUSTICE, she’s about to learn that you can’t find JUSTICE, JUSTICE finds you.

In book two, THREE DOORS DOWN, Sylvie Vaughn’s daughter is dead. Taking her own life at the tender age of sixteen, Sylvie is left to deal with the aftermath of Katie’s suicide.
The distraught mother needs closure, but in order to find it, Sylvie must discover the reason behind the desperate act. She relies on Katie’s final note to give her the clues, but the letter states that sexual molestation is the cause. While the word is ugly, the thought that it could have occurred is even worse. Sylvie would like to dismiss the claim, but in her gut, she knows it’s true. Even before the tragedy, Sylvie’s been obsessed with one incident that happened sixteen years ago. Unable to let it go, she blames herself for not doing enough, wishing for that second chance.”

About the Author
T.J. Tate has held a multitude of jobs. A professional wine taster, barista, ghostwriter for technical manuals and lead vocalist for an obscure rock band (his), he is also an inveterate traveler.

His debut novel JUSTICE is a Fantasy Thriller with just the right touch of a classic western mixed into its DNA. T.J. readily admits to his love of watching westerns. “The whole idea of someone standing alone and facing their fear is what makes heroes–and that’s what a showdown is all about. It never failed to get my heart pumping and my rooting section going for the person wearing the white hat to win.”

Uniquely compelling JUSTICE deals with heartfelt emotions and trauma in an inventive way. As it says in the blurb, “Second chances just became real.”

***T.J. will be giving away three $10.00 Starbucks cards to three lucky people who download either/both books in the JUSTICE series while they are free. When you order, just check in the “Order summary box” and find your confirmation number. Then make a comment on this blog post and a direct link back to you before October 1, 2013. T.J. will choose three winners on October 1’st. Good luck!***

Categories: Contest, Guest Blogs | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Special Guest: Heather Graham, author of Let the Dead Sleep




It’s a pleasure to welcome N.Y. Times bestseller Heather Graham to my blog. Heather is the maven of romantic suspense and paranormal mystery, and a love of her work is one of the reasons I chose to write in those genres.

In her newest novel, LET THE DEAD SLEEP (April 2013), Heather again takes her readers on a spine-tingling visit to the world of the paranormal. When a centuries-old carving of an evil man is stolen from a New Orleans grave, it sets off a race for possession of the object – and control of its malevolent powers. The current owner visits an antique and curio shop, desperate to rid herself of the vile sculpture. But before shop owner Danni Cafferty can make the purchase, it disappears and the owner is found dead, plunging Danni and P.I. Michael Quinn into the conflict to try to keep its evil energy contained.

                                                   Question and Answer with Heather

  1. In your new book, LET THE DEAD SLEEP, the theft of a centuries-old sculpture, the carved bust of a wicked man, sparks a struggle between good and evil.  You introduce two compelling characters, Danni Cafferty, a young woman who inherits an unusual antiques and curio shop in New Orleans, and Michael Quinn, a private investigator with a mysterious past.  Is this the first of a new series of Cafferty and Quinn books with the pair battling evil with the aid of an ancient text?

Yes, thank you! The team of Cafferty and Quinn will struggle through more ordeals—and how to manage their relationship, as well.

  1. Like many of your books, LET THE DEAD SLEEP involves elements of the paranormal and the ability of human beings to deal with the unknown.  What intrigues you so much about the paranormal?

I love the possibilities out there.  I can be the world’s worst skeptic, but I’m also curious and ever hopeful.  Most of us have lost loved ones—I want to believe that I will see mine again. If such things are possible, then the world of what we don’t see all the time just might be possible, too.  I love hearing stories and I’ve heard some really good ones that make you wonder about the power of the human mind—and soul.

  1. You’ve been on a number of ghost hunts, ghost tours and walks.  Which ones are your favorites and where is your favorite haunted place?

I think I’ve loved them all. Last year (available on On Demand, I believe!) my daughter and I appeared on “Haunted Encounters” for the Biography Channel. It was for their half hour segment on the Lizzie Borden house. She played Lizzie and killed me as Abby and our friend, writer Dennis Cummins, as Andrew Borden. She was great! But they had me lying right where Abby had been found and Chynna had a real hatchet. It was pretty creepy!

I also love the cemeteries (and any place, really) in New Orleans, the Spanish Military Hospital, St. Augustine, a number of places in Key West, Salem, Massachusetts, and the Myrtles Plantation, in Louisiana.  There’s a YouTube video up (Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters Ghost Series, from our Myrtles Plantations trip.  We had the whole plantation to ourselves for a weekend to film and explore.  My friends, the Peace River Ghost Trackers, were with us. 

We had a séance once at the House of Seven Gables. That was amazing! Other places in the world would include the Tower of London, the Capuchin Monastery church in Rome, the underground in Edinburgh . . . my list could go on and on.

  1. What was your most recent ghost hunt?

As I write this, the Queen Mary.  The Peace River Ghost Trackers arranged for us to have one alone with just a single guard to explore the ship.  We spent a lot of time in the pool area and beneath the stairs, said to be among the most haunted places on the ship.   It was the most convinced my daughter ever was that something or someone else might be there.

  1. A recent survey reports that six in ten U.S. voters believe in demonic possession, more than a third believe in ghosts, and 52% believe houses can be haunted but just 47% would be willing to stay in a haunted house overnight (Public Policy Polling).   You’ve stayed in several haunted houses.  What was the most interesting and do you believe the house was truly haunted?

Most probably the Lizzie Borden house.  The owner, Lee-ann Wilbur, has done an amazing job refurbishing and refurnishing—areas of the house look exactly as they looked in pictures taken at the time of the crimes.  She also has a number of headless mannequins dressed in period clothing throughout the house.  Every year after a great conference in Rhode Island called NECON, I go up to Fall River with a group of writers.  We take the entire house for a night.  The only time I was the last one to go to bed, I was moving through the house walking normally, when I suddenly began running to get to my room.  Lee-Ann is a wonderful hostess and the B and B is beautiful. Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s a great place to stay.

  1. You’ve written a number of books set in New Orleans.  Why is it such a perfect location for paranormal stories?

There’s something extremely special about New Orleans.  It’s where the documents for the Louisiana Purchase were signed and it’s been home to about every nationality in the world. The food is great and just walking down the streets in the French Quarter you can hear some of the best music in the world.  Jackson Square is as filled with life as the cemeteries are with the essence of death.  I think I especially love the city because you do see every one of every belief from everywhere in any flesh tone known to man. I love the history because it’s so rich, and I especially love it because it’s a living history. Lafitte’s old shop is a bar. Hotels where soldiers were cared for once still stand—and welcome guests. I love the art, the music, the architecture—you name it!

  1. The location always seems to come to life in your books, whether it be The Alamo, Salem, Massachusetts, South Florida and the Keys or New Orleans.  The locale almost becomes a character in the story, just as it does in LET THE DEAD SLEEP.  How does location help inspire your novels as you are developing the story line?

If I love a place, I try really hard to let a reader see it—and hopefully, love it as I do, or want to visit!  Also, I know in life that where I grew up influenced me. What we see, feel, live, and touch every day definitely has a bearing on our view of the world.  Some of us love snow and can’t see a Christmas without it. Some of us are accustomed to having water near by—warm water in my case!—and can’t imagine life without escaping to the sea. Growing up, I was lucky. My parents were readers. I read my dad’s war books and a lot of the histories and novels my mother brought from Ireland—they made we want to see the places I read about. I hope to do the same—bring a place to life.

  1. A blogger recently reported that there are over 70 first-run or syndicated television programs devoted to topics of ghosts, aliens, mediums and psychics airing in the U.S., England and Canada.   Paranormal romances have become one of the dominant romance novel sub-genres.  What do you believe is behind their popularity?

We’re mortal—and we don’t want to be! I think, as well, that most people feel the same way I do—that we must see our loved ones again. Also, curious but true, the concept of vampires remains sexy, superpowers, well, we all want them, and as for zombies . . . well, we’re always afraid that the apocalypse is coming, so you should be ready to fight off zombies, right?

  1. What are your favorite ghost/paranormal program on television?  Favorite movie with a paranormal theme?

On television, “Supernatural” is my favorite.  When it comes to movies, I have a few! “Ghost”—a beautiful story!  “The Frighteners”—funny and creepy.  And popping vampires in there, I’d say “The Lost Boys.”

  1. What is coming up in 2013 after LET THE DEAD SLEEP?

More of the Krewe of Hunters. They’ll travel to an old theater out west, in Arizona, to a haunted restaurant in Savannah, and then to Nashville, where a Civil War soldier still tries to warn others of impending danger!   THE NIGHT IS WATCHING is out in June 2013.

11.  You write both historical and contemporary romances.  Which do you prefer?

I love them both!  When you are writing an historical novel, you’re dealing with a different set of values, a different political situation, even a different moral code dictated by another time.  To make the story work, you have to take all those things into consideration, as well as everyday things like appropriate dress, the running of a household or the raising of children, to make the story come alive for the reader.

12.  You have five children.  What’s the most important thing you have learned from them?

That your kids really raise you. Children open so many doors. As parents, you meet people you wouldn’t have met, learn about things you would have missed out on, have experiences you’d never have had without them. I’ve gotten the inspiration for books from my kids’ Little League days, a friend of one who is a U.S. Marshall, one son’s passion for dance—and the love of the mysterious and travel that we all share. But the most important thing I’ve learned from them is that there is nothing more important than the ones you love.

13.  If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you’d be doing right now?

My major was theater, so if I hadn’t become a writer, I would probably be playing one of the witches from Macbeth somewhere in regional theater.  Who knows, maybe I’d be on a top soap like Kelly!

14.  What else would you like your readers to know about you?

That I feel so blessed to be able to do something I really love to make my living, and it’s the best career in the world with five kids.

We feel blessed to be your readers, Heather! Thank you for providing us with such wonderful entertainment.

Please write in with your comments because my next post will have news of a special surprise courtesy of Heather!


New York Times best-selling author Heather Graham, an acknowledged master of paranormal fiction, believes our fascination with the paranormal stems from our hope that there is an afterlife where we’ll meet our lost loved ones, leading us to believe that their spirits continue on after death. Heather’s fascination with the other-worldly has taken her on ghost walks in haunted locales across America and around the world, and on ghost hunts in New Orleans, on the Queen Mary and to Lizzie Borden House where she actually participated in a recreation of the infamous crime.

Heather has written more than a hundred novels, many of which have been featured by the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and mother of five, she still enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from Venice, Italy, Cairo, Egypt, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Boston to her own backyard, the Florida Keys.

Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels, many of which have been featured by the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. An avid scuba diver, ballroom dancer and mother of five, she still enjoys her south Florida home, but loves to travel as well, from Venice, Italy, Cairo, Egypt, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Boston to her own backyard, the Florida Keys.

Reading, however, is the pastime she still loves best, and she is a member of many writing groups. She’s a winner of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, and also the founder of The Slush Pile Players, an author band and theatrical group.

Heather hosts the annual Writers for New Orleans conference to benefit both the city, which is near and dear to her heart, and various other causes, and she hosts a ball each year at the RT Booklovers Convention to benefit pediatric AIDS foundations. For more information, check out her website: You can also find Heather on Facebook.


April 2013


ISBN: 9780778315056

$24.95 US / $27.95 CAN.

Categories: Heather Graham | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Sunny? No, thanks. I want Dark Shadows

I am really looking forward to Friday. For the usual reasons, of course. But also because this May 11’th is a special Friday.  Dark Shadows is making its premier.

I don’t go to very many movies, much less get excited about them. I rarely even watch T.V.  I’d rather be reading a good book. Such was not always the case, however. When I was a child, my favorite shows kept me glued to the screen. And my absolute favorite was Dark Shadows.

It was my first introduction to the paranormal, and it enthralled me. I was both excited and terrified. I lived in Upstate New York and had never seen an ocean before. Collinsport, Maine, the fictional setting for the series, was as exotic as India to me. When the waves of the Atlantic crashed against those rocks and the eerie theme music played, I was transported. The great house at Collinwood! Who wouldn’t want to live in a mansion like that?

I was so jealous that David had his own governess and didn’t have to go to school. David was my first human crush. I had been in love with the cartoon character Johnny Quest, but there wasn’t much future in that. David was real. Yet he caused me much anxiety. His life was difficult, what with ghosts and vampires and all. I noted in my diary on October 1, 1967, “I am worried about David and I can’t be very happy until he is happy too.” (Also a memorable day because “somebody knocked over the offering basket in Sunday School and all the money spilled on the floor.”)

Watching Dark Shadows is mentioned in every entry. I always kept track of whether it was good or bad. Bad was having to sleep with a cross to make sure no vampires could bite me. Good was loving David “more and more every minute.”

October 16 was particularly harrowing. “Things are terrible on Dark Shadows. Dr. Woodard has been killed. He was the one who knew everything and could have solved the mystery. Now he’s dead.”

I don’t remember the details of that mystery or the convoluted plots. But certain images are seared into my brain forever. The Collins family mausoleum. Josette’s ghost removing her veil to show her shattered face. Angelique sticking pins in voodoo dolls. And the portraits. Especially the portraits.

Dark Shadows is the reason I write in the paranormal genre. The love never left me, even after David and I parted ways. When you read Fire and Shadow, you’ll see how my memories inspired me. And I don’t care how different the movie is from the television series. It’s still a return to Collinwood. If it’s good enough for Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, and the late great Jonathan Frid to make cameo appearances in, it’s good enough for me. (Not to mention that I would pay to see Johnny Depp read the phone book.) So thank you, Dark Shadows. Something tells me that you are going to live forever.

Categories: Dark Shadows | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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