"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Friday, October 29, 2010

Special Announcement

48 hrs of Halloween at D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters

48 Hours of Halloween at D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters 
http://dreneebagbypresentsfirstchapters.blogspot.com/


Schedule is below.It's in military time so people don't get AM and PM mixed up. Everything is EST time. There will be contests and prizes, so stop by and read some great first chapters!

30 OCTOBER
- 00:01 - Blood Moon by Ellen Keener
- 01:01 - Healer's Fate by Beth Caudill
- 02:01 - Second Nature by Jae
- 03:01 - Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield
- 04:01 - Temptation Unleashed by Kari Thomas
- 05:01 - Fearless Love by Stacey Espino
- 06:01 - Black Cat Beauty by Savanna Kougar
- 07:01 - Lilith's Daughter by G.G. Royale
- 08:01 - The Blue Moon Cafe by Rick R. Reed
- 09:01 - Where The Rain Is Made by Keta Diablo
- 10:01 - Prey by Andrea Speed
- 11:01 - The Ghost Shrink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant by Vivi Andrews
- 12:01 - Convince Me by Tonya Ramagos
- 13:01 - Delta by Brian Holliday
- 14:01 - Pray by Christine Bell
-
15:01 - A Modern Day Witch Hunt by Kiki Howell
- 16:01 - Lycan Tides by Renee Wildes
- 17:01 - Red's Wolf by PJ Schnyder
- 18:01 - The Blood of Love by Victor J. Banis
- 19:01 - Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Margaret L. Carter
- 20:01 - Sparks by Laura Bickle
- 21:01 - Mercy by Eleri Stone
- 22:01 - Familiar Magic by AJ Hampton
- 23:01 - The Scarecrow and Ms. Moon by Barbara Raffin


31 OCTOBER
- 00:01 - The Straw Man by Bonnie Dee
- 01:01 - Tempting Darkness by Jamieson Wolf
- 02:01 - The Seeking Kiss by Eden Bradley
- 03:01 - Cry Wolf by Donica Covey
- 04:01 - Balefire and Moonstone by Cynthia Gael
- 05:01 - Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes
- 06:01 - Torment by Michele Zurlo
- 07:01 - Dark Deception by Suzanne Rock
- 08:01 - The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart
- 09:01 - Bewitching Love by J. Rose Allister
- 10:01 - The Ghost Exterminator: A Love Story by Vivi Andrews
- 11:01 - Witches Anonymous by Misty Evans
- 12:01 - Blood Slave by Brannan Black
- 13:01 - Masque of Desire by Amy Ruttan
- 14:01 - Sacrifice by Luxie Ryder
- 15:01 - That Voodoo You Do by Jodi Redford
- 16:01 - Faery's Bargain by Madeleine Drake
- 17:01 - Informally Yours by Beth Caudill
- 18:01 - Living on the Edge by LaVerne Thompson
- 19:01 - Wolf Games by Vivian Arend
- 20:01 - Tomorrow Cries by Debora Ryan
- 21:01 - Beyond Death by Jinger Jackson
- 22:01 - Bloody Passion by Laura Tolomei
- 23:01 - The Bloodmoon Curse by Karen Wiesner


01 NOVEMBER - All Saint's Day
- 00:01 - Her Heart His Soul by Kari Thomas
- 01:01 - Heaven Sent by Rebecca Goings
- 02:01 - Edge of Heaven by PG Forte
- 03:01 - The Astral: Till the Day I Die by V.J. Banis
- 04:01 - A Questionable Hero by Kiki Howell
- 05:01 - When a Good Angel Falls by Savanna Kougar
- 06:01 - Her Heart His Soul by Kari Thomas
- 07:01 - Redemption by Emma Ray Garrett
- 08:01 - Testament to Love by Ariel Tachna
- 09:01 - A Brush of Wings edited by Anne Regan
- 10:01 - Angel Requiem by Jaime Samms


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Treats and More Treats!

With the full moon a few days behind us and Halloween/Samhain soon approaching, I am in my element and feeling oh so generous! *evil laughter* So read through the highlights of all the ways to get a few paranormal reads here and at the bottom find out how readers of this blog can come trick or treating at my house :)
sexual_magick_thumbnail
So, first off, I have a new free read up called Sexual Magick.

Blurb: A cast circle of sexual magic; an ancestral Books of Shadows; and a sexual magic spell cast in desperation hundreds of years ago leave Caitlyn angry that her destiny may have been tampered with. Now, she needs to know if she is meant to be with Brent, a man who often doesn’t understand her ways but to whom she is undeniably pulled.
Genres: Paranormal, Erotic Romance / Content Warnings: Explicit Graphic Language, Sex Magick
DOWNLOAD FROM SMASHWORDS
DOWNLOAD FROM GOODREADS
READ AT BOOK BUZZER
or email me at howell.kiki@gmail.com and I will send you a PDF!

Second, there are a few more days to enter my Haunted Places Contest to win your choice of one of my released ebooks. Go to http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com/2010/10/kikis-october-haunted-places-contest.html to find out how to enter.
Third, I have a lot of ebooks and a witchy bookthong for the adult treat bag up for sale at a great discount on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/KikiHowell
Last, but not least, with all this excitement of the season, I am feeling quite generous. Readers of this blog can email me at howell.kiki@gmail.com before Halloween with ‘Trick or Treat’ in the subject line, and I shall reach into my cauldron of treats and put an ebook treat into your bag. Well, I will attach it to the email anyway. Can’t wait to see your costume. I got one free this year in exchange for a review. Check out my Glamour Witch Costume Review!
Happy Haunting!
Kiki

Guest Author - Betty Collier


An editor for a magazine in which I ran an ad to promote my book, Living Inside The Testimony, asked me to come up with “A HOOK” that she could use as the headline for the ad. She said it needed to be something “catchy” that would peak the curiosity of radio and TV producers.  This is what I came up with:
·        ~ I Became an Author Overnight, and I Remember the Exact Night it Happened
·         ~How to Become a Best Selling Author Overnight
·        ~ When You Live Inside a Testimony, You Can’t See It
·        ~ Why Read a Book Written by Someone Who Never Wanted to Write One?
·        ~ Is it Luck or is it all Part of THE MASTER’S Plan?
·         ~Is Your Life Part of a Master Plan?

She considered all these suggestions, but after she read the book for herself, this is the headline she created and used for the ad:
~Marrying Your High School Sweetheart is Great: Until Your Kids are in High School
~Don’t Miss this Woman’s Fun Advice About Life

Having said all this, my point is simply that the book takes on so many different faces. It was written to be inspirational and encouraging, but it offers much more than that. It’s hard to categorize it only in the inspirational genre because it has so many other facets that are neatly tied together to flow very smoothly. The editor said she was definitely inspired, but felt the main thing I had been missing in my promotions was to stress the humorous side of the book also. She thought it was very funny, but also full of life, love, and faith. It has enough variety to appeal to the general population, whether you share my faith or not.

I never considered myself an author, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been "absolutely not!"  Perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading, but I can assure you...I am an author. I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book.  I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will understand perfectly, but only if you have the faith to believe. I wrote this book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith. If you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and alot of love. As one reader told me, "It's like being on a roller coaster. I didn't know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next...This book is a masterpiece!"

For more information about my book, please visit http://livinginsidethetestimony.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Review of "Silent Kill" by David Fingerman

I review lots of suspense/mystery books being a reviewer for Suspense Magazine, and I thought that David Fingerman’s  Silent Kill stood up well against most I read.  It kept me reading, engaged by the story. It is one of those stories where the reader gets to know things the main characters don’t, but Fingerman never gave it all away.

Written in multiple points of view, sometimes depth of character can be sacrificed. But, I found myself rooting for Louise, Andrew and Elias’s captives just the same, and in many different, torn sort of ways. I think the success of the characters was in the vast connections that the author made between them.

Elias was a tragic bad guy, and his character was where I really wanted to know more, more of his past which lead him to think the thoughts he did. Of course, us readers always want more. That has to be a compliment right there. Louise and Andrew on the other hand seemed to be built up together, unique characters for this type of story. Depth could be found in the layers of their lives. Gillespy, well I just never had a clear cut feeling about him, too complicated with such a jaded past, a character who struggles to be redeemed, but can they?. But, the best of all was the dog from the front cover – well I just loved him. What an amazing character he was, with a past, misdeeds, misfortunes and redemption all his own. I applaud this character! Wonderful :)

This is not a cozy mystery by any means. So if you like your murder mysteries/suspense stories with gore, a demented bad guy, violence, etc. I would say this one is for you. There is a lot going on in it as far as plot, some sub-plots that were not even resolved, but they didn’t need to be or shouldn’t be. The author kept adding in twists, and I know personally how much that takes to plan out.  And, his knowledge on the subjects showed. The cop talk was all very believable.

The biggest compliment I can give here is that I checked this author out. And, I really want to read, Edging Past Reality, his collection of short stories. Plus, I look forward to finding out more about his two coming releases.

Comment below to win my trade paperback review copy of Silent Kill, thanks to the generosity of the author. Make sure to put your email address in the comment so that I can contact the winner. Winner will be chosen via random number on 11/29/10.

You can buy this novel at Amazon 
 Or read more at David Fingerman’s Author Page at http://www.lldreamspell.com/DavidFingerman.htm
Or on his website http://davidfingerman.com/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Author Sonja Foust Reviews "All I Ever Wanted" by Kristan Higgins


All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

 Book Blurb: One happily-ever-after rocking chair… 

And no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol’
Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track, because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company’s new Miss Perfect. If that isn’t bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a 3-0 birthday bash in the family funeral home. 

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a relationship with the town’s most eligible — yet not so warm and fuzzy — veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark’s attention. So Ian’s more comfortable with animals… So he’s formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it’s time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But, dang — if he doesn’t shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for
Vermont’s unlikeliest eligible bachelor…

REVIEW: This book was so very cute! Loved the heroine's voice. She was really fun and relatable. Also liked the details of place in this book-- felt like I was there with every new setting. This was my first Kristan Higgins book and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I got a book with a light tone, some dramatic elements, and a lot of lovable characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but you’ll be drawn in by everyone in the story, not just the heroine and hero. Callie’s family and friends are all amazingly well drawn and really, really fun. Overall an enjoyable read!

Book Length: 318 pages
Publisher: Harlequin

Reviewed By:
Sonja Foust, Author of Shooting Stars
Sonja Foust always dreamed of being a writer, marrying a devastatingly handsome man, and living on a Caribbean island. Hey, two out of three ain't bad. Sonja lives in Durham, North Carolina (a decidedly non-Caribbean location) with her devastatingly handsome husband and writes romance novels. She can't imagine a better life... well, except an independently wealthy one on a Caribbean island, but she won't be picky. Sonja and her devastatingly handsome husband, Robbie, enjoy playing with Sydney, their black lab mix, riding bikes together, and keeping up with the latest sitcoms.

Shooting Stars Blurb: Hunter Stone, former Hollywood A-lister, is the last person Joceyln York expects to save her from an avalanche on her ill-fated Wyoming vacation. She snaps some photos of him, but he won't let her leave his ranch with them. Since she won't give up the photos that could get her out of the paparazzi life for good, she's a prisoner—albeit in a mansion on 400 acres with a gorgeous movie star. 

Hunter can't look at his new "house guest" without remembering his wife's death in an accident caused by paparazzi. But Jocelyn isn't like the others. She's artistic and smart, and just plain gets under his skin. Will she ruin his carefully guarded privacy, or will she accept a bargain that will get them into the limelight—and her into his bed—on his terms?


Author Website: http://sonjafoust.com/





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meredith Cagen ‘s Review of “Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts” by Cici McNair


Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts by Cici McNair

Review: 
Cici McNair is one of few female detectives.  After living a seemingly exciting life in Europe, and recovering from a divorce, Cici decides she wants to be a P.I.  Like any other American girl, she opens the New York Yellow Pages and telephones all the detective agencies until she finds one that would want to meet her in hopes of hiring her.  Vincent Parco was the lucky man that answered her phone call and began her journey.  Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts is her real life story.

Cici’s path to become a detective is interwoven with details of her upbringing in Mississippi, her dysfunctional family and the life she led before embarking on a career as a P.I.
I kept turning the pages wanting to know more.  More about her private life, more about the cases, and more about the type of independent woman who can mix it up with criminals and harden detectives. 

Ms McNair deglamourizes the life of a detective.  There weren’t any exciting car chases or dangerous uncover work - only boring grunt work, and creative thinking.  As I was reading the book, I was thinking how Hollywood would sensationalize her story with Jimmy Choos and Chanel clutches.

I’m looking forward to reading her next book.

Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts by Cici McNair Book Info:
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (September 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599951878
ISBN-13: 978-159995187

REVIEWED BY:
Author: Meredith Cagen
Meredith Cagen’s Author Bio:
Meredith Cagen is a working wife and mother living in New York City.  She works as a freelance writer and registered nurse.  Her family has awarded her the “Queen of the Multi-taskers” title.  In her free time she goes to the gym and out to eat.

Meredith returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  Finding the subject dry, technical and boring, she had a difficult time focusing on her studies.  Easily distracted, and prone to daydreaming, she wrote Size Eight in a Size Zero World.  

A Size 8 in a Size 0 World by Meredith Cagen Blurb:
Meet Lindsay Chandler--a 32 year-old New York City working wife and mother with old-
fashioned values who thinks she's living a fairy tale life (she's not). She's too busy navigating
between her job, husband, home, children, friends and other obligations to acknowledge her
loneliness. Then an unexpected friendship with her upstairs neighbor (he is smart, successful,
sophisticated and sexy-- she's not) unleashes her passion and re-ignites her sparkle.

This liaison causes her to realize what she is missing. Yearning for a storybook ending, she
decides to make changes in her life, embarking on a quest for self re-invention in this hilarious, witty, heart felt story. 

In the tradition of Sex and the City, Size Eight in a Size Zero World, is a modern-day story of a
good girl trying to do the right thing and the wrong thing simultaneously, while remaining true to herself, whoever that is. 

With the help of a believable cast of characters, Lindsay embarks on a plan to better herself and plight. This novel is a wickedly funny social commentary on the lives of average women in New York City's posh Upper East Side

What happens when the road to happily ever after takes an unexpected detour?

A Size 8 in a Size 0 World by Meredith Cagen Book Info:
Genre: Women Contemporary Fiction/ ChickLit/NYC ChickLit
ISBN: 978 1440169748
Copyright: 2009

A Size 8 in a Size 0 World Reviews:
This book is everything Sex and the City 2 should have been -- smart and witty with a lot of heart! I've already bought a bunch of copies for so many friend who could relate to Lindsay. 

This is Meredith Cagen's debut novel and I hope she writes more. A LOT more! 
As soon as I read the first page, I knew I would love this book! Size Eight in a Size Zero World: A Novel by Meredith Cagen is written in a voice that resonated with me. The author's smart, witty style moves along at a good pace and it kept me turning the pages. I could relate to the conflicted heroine and I kept hoping she would wake up and smell the coffee. 

Lindsay Chandler is thirty-two, a working wife and mother, who lives in
New York with her family. In the highfalutin' Manhattan society, she's an oddity, a woman who has a real day job, does not have a nanny and does her own cooking and cleaning. Lindsay's life looks perfect on the outside, but she's miserable on the inside. Her husband Grant, a divorce attorney, treats her like a servant, ignores their two kids and is an overbearing jerk. 

One day Lindsay gets into the elevator of her building and meets a man who gives her goose bumps. They strike up a friendship. He appreciates her, asks her for advice and befriends her kids. Lindsay falls hard. She loves the way they interact; he seems to accept her, perceived flaws and all. The more she sees him the more she realizes all that she's missing in her marriage. She questions her life with Grant and decides to reinvent herself and make some changes. It all leads to a satisfying conclusion. 

A wonderfully witty social commentary on the
New York scene, this is also an endearing story of relationships, love and infidelity. The characters are believable and many women will be able to see themselves in Lindsay. Sometimes I wanted to scream at her and sometimes I wanted to cheer her on, but always she kept me reading. I highly recommend it. 


Authors By Authors Review  Size 8 In A Size Zero World of http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com/2010/08/review-of-size-eight-in-size-zero-world.html


Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Chance to Support LGBT Youth from Giselle Renarde

In light of the recent message, An Important Message from Ellen About Bullying - The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I wanted to share with you a wonderful author who has been doing something to help for some time.   I tip my hat to Giselle Renarde who is donating all of her royalties to LGBT Youthline for the next three months.  I am off to buy her books, and I encourage you to do the same. Read on to find out how...



Another Chance to Support LGBT Youth!


I can't believe it's that time again already!

As some of you may remember, for the past couple years I've been donating royalties from purchases of my e-books to a great organization called LGBT YOUTHLINE. They provide queer-positive peer-to-peer counseling by phone, instant messenger, and email to young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, queer, questioning, transgender, transsexual, and 2-Spirit.

I'm a queer woman. I know that "coming out" isn't something you do once and then--ta-da!--your life is wonderful (or it isn't). Coming out is something you do (or don't do) every day, with every new person you meet, and the ramifications of being open about one's sexual identity can be devastating. Without a good support system, I'd be screwed. I want to make sure this great support system for LGBT youth remains strong. It's hard enough to be a teenager or young adult!

So here's how it works this year: during the summer I decided to be democratic. I asked readers to vote on which titles should be included in this year's royalties donation drive. You wonderful people chose the following three books:


Naughty: Red Satin
Red Satin by Giselle Renarde 
Regan and Maisie had sex once, back when Maisie was living the "boy's" life, but Regan wrote it off as nothing more than a drunken rebound hook-up.

Now that Maisie is in transition and all her feminine qualities are rising to the surface, Regan is realizing what she saw in Maisie that one inebriated evening so many years ago. But Maisie has fears of her own about starting up a relationship amidst the turmoil of other changes. Does Regan see her for who she really is, or will she love her and leave her like last time? See what power is evoked by mid-December mall magic, a red satin evening gown and two lovers who meet again for the first time.

Third Rail - Giselle Renarde

Third Rail - Giselle Renarde

Perhaps it is a touch unusual to have a girlfriend and boyfriend both living in the same body, but Kokoro doesn’t classify her relationship with Fiona and Martin as strange. Kokoro rides the third rail, a dutifully subservient lover to both aspects of her transgendered partner’s psyche.
Buy Link: http://www.loveyoudivine.com/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=66&products_id=570

The Little Burlesque House by the Sea

The Little Burlesque House by the Sea by Giselle Renarde
Sapphic secrets abound at the little burlesque house by the sea!Madame Mireille's ocean-side parlour, Les Trois Dames Jouissantes, is one of the last houses holding to the tenets of classic burlesque. They specialize in raunchy comedy sketches, undulating fan dances, chorus lines and, of course, the striptease. In post-war Maritimes, Trois Dames enjoys notoriety thanks to an all-female cast combining the smart with the sensual.
It was this reputation that drew the troupe's two newest members to the little burlesque house by the sea. Ginger the saucy redhead is master of the Comedy Striptease. New to the business, Wild Orchid embodies all that is innocent--or so she'd have you believe! Secrets abound at Les Trois Dames Jouissantes, and it takes more than slippery fingers to bring them to the surface.
Buy Link: http://shadowfirestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13_17&products_id=105

This year, you can buy these titles at any reputable retailer throughout October, November, and December 2010 and I will donate my portion of the royalties to LGBT YOUTHLINE. Keep in mind if you purchase directly from the publishers' websites a larger percentage of the purchase price will end up in YOUTHLINE's pocket. Also, The Little Burlesque House by the Sea is only available at the Shadowfire Press website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Thanks for your support again this year!
Hugs,
Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!




Sunday, October 3, 2010

Krista D. Ball Reviews "Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead"


Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead
Vampires have evolved…Meet the twenty-first century vampire!
Edited by: Nancy Kilpatrick, Published by: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2010
There was a time I liked vampires. Incubus, Succubus, Spike. Then it came. You know what I’m talking about. At times, I feared that I would go stark raving mad if I had to hear about or read another story with either “sparkles” or “Sookie” in it.
I bought Evolve several months ago at a vendor’s table here in town. The cover art is what struck me to pick it up. The cover is stunning, capturing the “demon inside” part of the vampire myth. I enjoy a good anthology on occasion, as it exposes me to authors that I have never heard of, and yet write things I might enjoy. Evolve has added several authors to my “must read” list.
While the anthology is classed as “horror and dark fantasy,” it really isn’t what I’d class as horror. Don’t get me wrong; there are some horror stories. In particular, I made the mistake of reading “All You Can Eat, All The Time” by Claude Lalumiere before supper.  However, most of the stories focus on the day-to-day culture of vampires in our society. A few were quite funny.
Many sported “Canadian Endings” (not happy ever after, not even happy right now; just plain acceptance of life and circumstances), which I enjoyed seeing. No surprise since nearly all of the authors are Canadian-born. I enjoyed the touches of Canadiana, such as Kevin Cockle’s “Sleepless in Calgary.”
I didn’t enjoy all of the stories. I’m not a fan of present tense nor second person (i.e. You walk into a room), unless it’s in a choose-your-adventure novel. Still, I enjoyed plenty of the stories, with “Learning Curve” (Kelley Armstrong) and “The New Forty” (Rebecca Bradley) at the top of my list. It was great to see Tanya Huff contributing to the anthology as well.
I highly recommend picking up this collection if you are a fan of vampires and want to see a new take on the supernatural beings.
FREE offer to Authors by Authors Readers: I’m giving away a FREE copy of “The Amazing Adventures of Wicca Dog”, a light-hearted werewolf story, over on Smashwords. Just enter the code: XY28R (Good until October 10, 2010). 
Review originally appeared in Magickal Ink, July 2010.


Krista D. Ball is a SF&F author from Edmonton, AB. Due to the cold and lack of open water, she blogs often. Usually, it’s merely the ramblings of a madwoman, but some days she says something of note – usually involving recent zombie sightings at Home Depot.

Her debut novella, “Harvest Moon” debuted Sept 10th  through MuseItUp Publishing. “Harvest Moon” is a Canadian First Nations tale about a young woman who angers an ancient spirit and has to rebuild her own identity as a man. Some reviewers have called it a twist on the cliché damsel in distress motif. This annoys Krista, as she didn’t think of that description first. Interested in an excerpt? Check out her website at www.kristadball.com under “free stories.” The first scene is free!


Krista D. Ball

Come and enjoy the adventures of a fantasy writer at www.kristadball.com

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kiki’s October Haunted Places Contest

Burying Point - Salem, MA 


It is funny, but even with Halloween being one of my favorite holidays and the fact that I write paranormal stories year round, those created Haunted Houses set up all over the place this time of year are just not my thing at all!  However, real haunted houses or places, I am not so sure about.  I recently went on a two and a half hour Haunted Footprints tour of Salem, MA one night this summer.  While I didn't encounter any ghosts, my camera says other wise as you can see above.  And, when I was young, there was this abandoned house in the woods behind my own home that I often explored during the day.  By the looks of the place, it could have easily been haunted.  I have often wondered if the house is still standing.  It would be cool to go back there now, and at night.  So, of course it is no surprise that I used it as a setting in one of my stories.

Excerpt from “The Stone Hex” in the Mystic Stones Anthology:

“Having come to the end of the trail she followed, Rachael paused where
the full green of the tree line gave way to an open expanse of land. The remains of a field, long unattended, rolled out before her until the sun-drenched colors of the landscape took on the blackness of shadow. From where she stood it seemed as if the long-abandoned house had burned the earth with its mere presence. The symmetry of the two-story square made it appear intimidating, despite it’s aged wood and cracking paint, as if the house was smirking at her in a domineering stance. Furthermore, the large fallen tree whose weight the house now sustained seemed an elaboration of contorted fingers grappling for possession of the sky itself. Dead twigs of brown held onto its foundation as if paying homage to their master.

Once she left the protection of the trees, the house, black with the soot of
neglect, chilled her even as the sun burned upon her shoulders. Nevertheless,
this was how the house had greeted her for years. As a few clouds rolled in
muting the sun, the light-play of shadows gave the illusion of specters in the
windows.

Alone with this house, Rachael always realized how far she had come
from civilization; nonetheless, she still reveled in her solitude. She had left far
behind the small fall of water in the woods just beyond her backyard that always enticed her to sit and the upward curve of the stream that always lured her up the hill. Pulling up onto the creaking porch from the bare ground where steps must have once been, she stepped gingerly.

She squeezed her body into the house beside the ancient heavy door with
rusted hinges and walked into the living room as if she owned the place. The
sun filtering through the filthy windows furthered the anomaly of the eerie feel of an aged room. It never ceased to amaze her how time took its toll. She started up the stairs walking with her hand on the wall never quite trusting the wobbly banister or the middle of the warped stairs. Her hand grazed over an upturned seam of the yellowing wallpaper right where an old red flower bled across it.”

So, in the spirit of Halloween and Haunted Places everywhere, I wanted to hold a contest during the month of Halloween.  All you have to do is send an email to howell [dot] kiki [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Haunted House Contest Entry” before midnight on Oct. 30th, 2010  In the body of the email  you can either (a) share a brief account of a time you visited a real haunted place (regardless of whether you encountered any paranormal activity or not), or (b) tell me whether you like those created haunted houses or not sharing where the scariest one is.  Easy!  If you are reading this on a blog, then share the same information in the comments section for an additional entry – just please include your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Then, Sunday Oct. 31, I will pick the winners.  One winner will be picked randomly just for emailing or commenting on a blog, One winner will be picked out of those who were brave enough to enter those created haunted houses this time of year, and one winner will be chosen for sharing a real haunted place story with me.  I am reserving the right to choose extra winners as well based upon my reactions to the emails and comments. I mean it is Halloween, one just never knows what will happen *laughs evilly*

Winners will be contacted by email and announced on various blogs, etc.

Winners will be able to chose one ebook in PDF format from my available stories.  Eligible book titles are listed below. For book blurbs, reviews, lists of paranormal creatures and erotic content warnings for each please visit my website, www.kikihowell.com

Mystic Stones Anthology
The Witches Beast Novella
The Healing Spell and Other Stories Anthology
Rituals Novella
A Modern Day Witch Hunt Short Novel
A Questionable Hero Novella
The Sorcerer’s Songs Novella

Check out Just Another ParaNormal Halloween Anthology, available now through http://www.mojocastle.com/ It includes my story, "Samhain's Visitor"

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.