Welcome Lisa Chalmers for Ghost #BookHugs

#BookHugsHow hard would you fight for the one you love?

Josh Collins has the perfect life—a beautiful girlfriend and a baby on the way, until an accident takes his life.

Avery Rhodes’ world imploded the moment she lost Josh. Her life and future unravelled in an instant. Alone and pregnant, she finds herself facing an unimaginable, turbulent and painful new reality.

With his newfound guide Gabriel, Josh is witness to the unintended consequences of his death, until he can’t take it anymore. He has to fight for everything and everyone he loves.

Together, Josh and Avery are forced to learn what happens…

IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES.If-Tomorrow-Never-Comes-eBook

Excerpt:

Josh had the sketchbook Gabriel had given him propped on his legs as he sketched absently as he sat on the beach, the sun rising behind him, not concentrating on what he was doing, the pencil moving quickly across the paper. His thoughts were where they always tended to drift to lately, Avery and the baby. He’d been afraid to sneak down and see her since the day he’d actually held her. It tore him up inside to be away from her for so long, but he didn’t understand what that meant, that he could suddenly touch her and she’d feel it. He didn’t want to scare her somehow. He smudged one of the lines he’d drawn and studied his work. Her face stared back at him. He darkened a few lines before he set the book beside him on the warm sand and closed his eyes, thinking back.

He’d decided to go with her to that very first doctor’s appointment, the one to confirm whether or not her suspicions were correct. It was uncomfortable being the only male in the doctor’s waiting room, being smiled at by every woman who walked in. He could still see the surprise on the nurse’s face when she walked out and found him there by himself for the first time. He’d tried to keep from squirming around anxiously in the chair every time he heard a door open and close in the distance. He wondered just how long it took to come back with test results anyway. They’d called and said they were in, so it didn’t take all that long to tell her yes or no, did it? He kept stretching his legs out ahead of him then bringing them back, not wanting to trip anyone as they were called for their appointment. He’d been there at least an hour waiting, jumping at every noise. He’d been sure the nurse was about to give him something for his nerves when he felt someone nudge his foot. He scooted his feet back, letting whoever it was pass by on their way to their appointment.

“Good quiz in Cosmo?” Avery’s voice came from behind the glossy pages.

He lifted his gaze in record time. “Who cares?” He tossed the magazine on the empty chair beside him.

She read the cover. “Rating your lover in twelve easy questions.”

“Avery?”

“What?” She’d been reaching for the magazine.

“I want to know.”

“I haven’t taken the quiz yet.” She giggled as he batted her hand away. “You’re absolutely crazy.”

He glanced around the almost deserted waiting room before he pulled her down to sit on his lap. “I want to know if we’re going to have a baby.” His arm wrapped around her waist, his fingers sliding beneath the back of her shirt, rubbing the soft skin at the small of her back. “I need to know.”

“You need to know, huh?”

His eyes locked on hers. “Come on, Aves. Am I going to be a daddy?”

She took one of his hands and moved it around, resting it on her abdomen. She bit her lip for a moment before breaking out into the most beautiful smile he’d ever seen. “I think Daddy’s crazy, don’t you, baby?”

Josh’s jaw dropped, his mind going absolutely blank as he tried to comprehend her words. She was kidding, she wasn’t kidding. She didn’t look like she was kidding. That smile on her face, the way her eyes were shining as she waited for his reaction. “Oh my…oh my God…”

“So I guess I was right.”

“Let’s take you home,” he said suddenly, his hand tightening over hers.

“Why?”

He leaned in close to her. “Because I want to talk to the baby and then I want to make love to his beautiful mommy.” He stared into her eyes. “All right with you?”

She blushed as she slid off his lap. “More than all right with me.”

~~~

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Author Bio:

Lisa Chalmers writes wherever her muse takes her – which is usually somewhere warmer – Florida, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. She has a deep love for the paranormal. IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES is her first release.friends quote

Author links:

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Welcome Anita Philmar for Ghost #BookHugs : Banished Hero – Book 1 in Banished Series!

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Inspiration: A lover is important but so is a friend. It’s even nicer when

they can be one in the same.

An Exciting Shapeshifter Syfy Romance by Anita Philmar

 

AP-Banished-Hero-300x450Can a lost princess find her way home?

Can a sexy wolf save her or is he out to eat her alive?

Shapeshifters need love too!

Blurb:

With no memory of her past, Faye Lynn Berton clings to a father who curses her ability to shape-shift, then uses her special skill to scam local villagers. The only freedom she knows comes as she soars through the sky in falcon form. A chance meeting with another changling turns her world upside down. Beyond satisfying the powerful sexual cravings that follow transformation, he reveals a surprising dimension of sex between their kind…one to unlock the secrets of her soul.

Havyn Westmore has questions…Faye Lynn holds the answers. Determined to unravel her secrets, he must strives to gain her freedom and trust. Teaching her the finer techniques of transformation keeps her close while sex strengthens their bond. But on the trail of discovery, Havyn must confront his own past. Accused of a heinous crime, he was banned from his homeland. Now, he must choose between returning to face certain execution—or robbing Faye Lynn of her birthright and a life in Paradise.

Read a  Long Excerpt

Available at

Amazon | UK | CA | AU | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | Apple

Excerpt  (PG)

“So tell me, how did you get onto my property?” He leaned against the rock where she’d transformed.

His nostrils flared. He turned his head. His dark hair caught the light of the falling sun and sparked with the same red highlights from the night beast. The fabric across his chest expanded, displaying strong, well-defined muscles.

“What?”

He turned and nailed her with a piercing black stare. “You’re a shape-shifter, aren’t you?”

Uncertain if she should speak the truth, Faye Lynn shook her head. “Why would you say such a thing?”

“Because I can smell you.” He stepped forward. His rubber boots splashed in the shallow waters of the river. Each step drew him closer.

If she knew how to swim, she would’ve turned and swam away, but alas, she didn’t. “What? What smell?”

A lustful smile passed over his lips. His white sharp teeth looked ready to feed on her flesh. He licked his lips and stopped a few paces from her. “An alluring scent of a shape-shifter. After changing form, they burn with a hunger that can only be satisfied in one way.”

Her heart jumped into high speed at idea of this excellent example of a man knowing her desires. She studied him again, taking in his narrow hips and powerful legs.

Oh, what a superior lover he’d be.

Faye Lynn swallowed her yearning to mate and denied his claim. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I just decided to take a quick dip in the lake so I could cool off after the walk I took through the forest.”

His gaze examined her, and she shifted lower into the lake, wondering if he could see her naked body under the clear water.

A flame lit his eyes. “Then where are your clothes?”

~~~

Other Books in the Banished Series

Banished Scoundrel

Banished Witch

Banished – 3 books in one

 

Some of Anita’s other Titles

Black Dragon’s Blood

In Deep Water

In Too Deep

Duty’s Bride

More Than Ready

A Cowboy’s Pleasure

The Country Doctor’s Bride

AnitaPhilmarProfilePicBio for Anita Philmar

Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by old movies, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where special moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?

Read her books and decide.

You can connect with Anita here:

Website:  http://www.anitaphilmar.com/

Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com

Blog: http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/

FB:  http://www.facebook.com/anita.philmar

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1329767.Anita_Philmar

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitaphilmar

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Anita-Philmar/e/B002BMBE8C

 

 

Welcome Jenny Hinsman, Rave Reviews Spotlight Author!

SoulsI have learned so much from my fellow Independent Authors.  Rejection and fear came into play very early on when I decided to put the stories in my head down on paper.  I published my first book, Souls, A Novel, in 2012 and attempted to get a literary agent.  It was difficult at first to get rejected, but the more I read about publishing the book myself, the more sense it made.  It may not be for everyone, but it was fantastic to get my story out, whether I sold a million copies or not.  I truly had a blast writing my story!  I can honestly say, just from the fun I had writing it, it was so worth the time and effort.

I have since found the community of Indie Authors to be very supportive, encouraging and helpful.  I have supported many of them and they have in turn, supported me.  It has been a win-win because I have discovered so many wonderful books that I have really enjoyed reading.  I may have never discovered these treasures had I not met these authors through social networking and publicizing my own books.  We really want to see each other succeed.

Rave Reviews Book Club has been a great place to learn so many aspects of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.  I’ve met people from all over the world and discovered their books too.  Everyone is very supportive and I’ve been able to market my book in places I never would have imagined. Angel of Death

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Author Bio:Author Pic

Jenny graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in business. She currently resides in Michigan with her husband, two sons, a furry son (pet dog) and a furry daughter (pet cat). Jenny is an avid reader and loves to escape with a great book. She is a huge animal lover and supports rescue organizations that help save all kinds of four-legged family members and more. All of her family pets have been rescues.

 Twitter – @JennyHinsman1

Facebook – @SoulsANovel

Website – hinsmanj.wordpress.com

Amazon – amazon.com/author/jennyhinsman

 

 

 

“Freaky Synchronicity…”

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I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for fall. Ready for sweaters and stocking caps; crisp, sunny days; frosty nights. Ready to drag out the corn stalks and scarecrows. Ready to start gearing up for Halloween!

First, however, it seems we’re going to have to get through a rather strange period of astrological discordance.

This is what the Astrology King has to say about tomorrow’s impending full moon, scheduled to reach its peak at 3:03 a.m. EST. This year, due to the event occurring further away from the equinox, September 6th’s full moon will be called the Corn Moon. The Harvest Moon will occur on October 5th at 2:40 p.m. EST.

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So what’s all this about “freaky synchronicity“? Apparently, several factors align, giving this full moon more power over us mortal beings than usual. The event coincides with certain arrangements of other planets, namely Mercury and Neptune. According to astrologers, the alignment of the planets (particulary Sun opposite Moon) has increased effect on the polarities in your life: work vs. personal, needs vs. wants, and physical well-being.

This conflict raises tensions that could affect your interpersonal relationships or decision making. We are warned that our intuitions may have higher sensitivity, but their messages might be misinterpreted or skewed.

And the scary part is this: the effects of a full moon last two weeks!

So, two weeks of faulty intuition, high tension, and—as a bonus—increased susceptibility to illness. Here in New England, the weather this week won’t exactly stir longings of fall activities. After some quite chilly nights (it was 41 degrees F at my house the other morning!), we’re expecting temps to hover in the 70s most all this week. And just when I was beginning to pack away all my summer wear and drag out the sweaters . . .

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Talk about confusing our lives: it gets even freakier. Some sources claim that even though the fall equinox (the official start of fall) isn’t until September 22nd this year, “unofficial” sources claim that tomorrow, Sept. 6th, is the first day of autumn.  This surely adds some additional imbalance to my life! Do I put out the fall decorations and go apple picking? Start brewing spiced cider and baking pumpkin pies? (If it’s 90 degrees in my kitchen, I can tell you the baking part isn’t going to happen.)

So I’m here to warn you: be prepared for some chaos in your life for the next week or so. If the full Corn moon has anything to say about it, you can count on some unusual forces screwing around with your brain. My advice is to put your head down, consider carefully any “gut” decisions before you take action, and try not to strangle your significant other in their sleep.

As for me, I’m usually awake at 3 a.m. anyway. Maybe I’ll just plan to brew a cup of something tasty and go outside to howl at the full Corn moon.

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Claire Gem is an award-winning author of contemporary romance & supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her and work at her Website or her Amazon Author page.

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Gearing up for Halloween . . . already!

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I know . . . It’s still mid-August and summer is in full bloom, but as September draws near my mind begins to wander on down time’s path to my favorite season—autumn—and my favorite holiday: Halloween. My affection for this holiday has its roots in my childhood, when my mother bent over backwards to make the occasion special for her children. We lived out in the country and there just wasn’t anywhere safe to trick or treat. Instead, she threw a Halloween party, just for my brother and me.

It’s an ancient custom, this “Halloween.” Just when did it start, where, and why? Over the next weeks, I’ll be dedicating my Haunted Pathways blog to exploring the roots of the holiday.

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Apparently, the Celts began this custom 2000 years ago. They lived in what is now Scotland, the UK, and northern France, and called their holiday “Samhain.” This is pronounced “sow-in,” and represented their New Year, on November first. The Celts believed that this date marked the official transition from autumn to winter.

Winter, before the age of insulated housing and reliable heating sources, was often associated with death. The trees became denuded, the land barren, and many frail, old, or young could not survive winter’s wrath.

spooky-2580548_640The Celts believed that the night before this seasonal transition occurred, the “veil” between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. Thus, October 31st became a day of ritual when bonfires were lit, and sacrifices of crops and animals made to appease their gods. They prayed for protection from the ghosts of the dead who they believed returned on this night to destroy their stores of food for the winter. They also believed that their priests had enhanced power on this night to predict future events.

So, not only ghosts, but psychic powers can be linked to the ancient Celts’ celebration of Samhain, or Halloween. Two of my favorite subjects to write about. No wonder it’s my favorite holiday.

What are your favorite Halloween traditions or memories? Please share in comments!

~~~

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Claire Gem is a multi-award winning author of supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her & her work at her Amazon Author Page, and on her website, www.clairegem.com

Boston’s Mysterious Secret Tunnels

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I am not a native Bostonian, but have been residing now for almost ten years just an hour away from this iconic city. One, apparently, jam-packed with history—both legendary and secretive.

Underground tunnels are one of the mysteries of Boston’s history, and I’m not talking about the Big Dig. Local lore documents a series of tunnels that existed—may still exist—under Boston’s North End. Who built these underground passages and why?

History points to a privateer named Thomas Gruchy who lived and operated in Boston’s North End in the 1700s. A tunnel under his Commercial Street mansion connected his basement to the wharves, where it would have been easy to smuggle goods, thus avoiding the British tariffs or taxes. It is even speculated that the four plaster angels decorating the Old North Church, donated by Gruchy, were stolen from a French ship. These statues still stand in the church today.

That seems like a classic explanation for an underground tunnel, but what about the others? Writing from 1817 indicates a tunnel underneath a Lynn Street house, and another on Salem Street has a bricked up archway in its basement. It is said this blocks a tunnel that leads to the Copp’s Burial Ground.

In 1927, fantasy and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft crafted a tale called Pickman’s Model in which the North End secret underground tunnels play a key role. I mean, seriously—what better place to set a spooky story than in an underground tunnel, particularly one that leads to a graveyard?

IMG_0831On the campus of the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine where I work, underground tunnels still exist between some of the original buildings. These grounds comprised the Grafton State Mental Hospital in the late 1800s and up until the 1970s, when Tufts purchased the property. I’ve been in a couple of these tunnels, some of which have been repurposed for storage and animal containment. Others remain exactly as they were a hundred or more years ago.

Yes, there is a ghost story coming set on these grounds . . . it’s on my bucket list of supernatural suspense novels. I even have the plot and characters sketched out, and the title is “Electricity.” Stay tuned for that book to be released sometime in early 2018.

Although many of my novels are set in my native New York State, it appears there may be more fodder for spooky mysteries right here in Massachusetts than I’d previously suspected. Does anyone know of any other interesting sites I might explore? Please chime in under comments.

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Do You Believe In Ghosts?

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On the surface, this question seems simple enough. There are people who claim to have had sightings or other communicative interactions with the dead, and believe fervently that the events truly occurred. There are others who think the whole business is hogwash.

I’m not sure if anyone has done a study comparing the spiritual/religious status of ghost-believers vs. the non-believers: If you believe in life—or existence in some form—after death, then are you more likely to believe in ghosts? I believe this is probably true. People who believe that our consciousness—our spirit, if you will—dies with our bodies probably think belief in such supernatural phenomena is ridiculous.

What does science think? A 2015 article in Psychology Today written by Frank T. McAndrew, Ph.D. goes into the possible, scientific explanations as to why some people “see” ghosts. He concludes:

“There are really only three possibilities:

  1. The event really happened, just as the person has reported.
  2. The person truly believes that the event has happened, but it has not.
  3. The person is fabricating a story for some reason.”

Dr. McAndrew refers to ghosts as “sensed presences,” and outlines some of the common conditions under which individuals experience them. Some of these include changes in brain chemistry triggered by motion, stress, a lack of oxygen, or increased hormonal activity. Studies have even pinpointed the specific area of the brain where such “visions” might originate. Mourning individuals often experience sightings or other communications from recently deceased loved ones. Isolation is also a common “trigger.” But are all of these people who see ghosts believers in life after death? I would love to see a study done, and welcome those of you in the reading audience to chime in under comments.

Yet some atheists (those who do not believe in God, or any god) do believe in an afterlife. Hmm.

NBC News’ Website recently ran an article highlighting the fact that while there are fewer Americans who believe in God, more Americans believe in an afterlife. Huh? The author claimed it was a “millennial thing,” and psychologist Jean Twenge is quoted as stating:

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“It might be part of a growing entitlement mentality – thinking you can get something for nothing.”

Interesting thinking, but do these “entitlement millennials” believe in ghosts? Any of you out there? Come on, ‘fess up!

While the world of logic and traditional science pooh-pooh the concept of the ghost, there are other organizations who strongly believe the “illogical” and “unexplainable” are possible. The Rhine Research Center, located at prestigious Duke University in North Carolina, centers its studies on all things paranormal. These are not Saturday night spoofs conducting technologically enhanced ghost tours, folks. These are smart, highly educated individuals who are respected, and supported, by the academic and intellectual communities. Their history is long (est. 1930) and their mission statement simply stated:

The Rhine Research Center explores the frontiers of consciousness and exceptional human experiences in the context of unusual and unexplained phenomena.  The Rhine’s mission is to advance the science of parapsychology, to provide education and resources for the public, and to foster a community for individuals with personal and professional interest in PSI.

Rhine defines “PSI” as the collective para-psychological phenomena, including extra sensory perception (ESP), psychokinesis (PK: the ability to move physical objects with the mind), and the belief that the spirit survives physical death of the body. The Center conducts ongoing research studies, and publishes the Journal of Parapsychology, described as:

“…an authoritative resource for anyone interested in the scientific study of paranormal phenomena.”

So, some really smart people believe in the paranormal. Not just the overly imaginative or emotionally unstable.

What do I believe? Well, I write supernatural suspense. That should tell you something—I’m not the kind of person who could write a 100,000 word story about a phenomenon I don’t believe in. But I’m also a scientist (no, really). I work in a research laboratory for Tufts University, performing very left-brain activities for the majority of my weekdays. I am considered by my peers to be a logical, educated individual. But I still believe in ghosts?

Yes, I do. Have I ever seen a ghost? No. But I have, shall we say, “had contact” with spirits of the dead—some of whom I never met, but just knew of. I’ve experienced premonition dreams. In 1968, on the night Robert Kennedy was shot, I saw the entire tragic event happening in a “dream.” I was only ten years old at the time. I was the one to deliver the news as a “bad dream” to my parents the next morning, who did not yet know.

On Jan. 28, 1977, another famous person, Freddie Prinze Sr., shot himself in the head. During the very same night as he lay in a coma, I dreamed I had a “meeting” with him in the underwater cabin of a ship. He discussed with me the reasons for his depression and assured me of his wish to end his life. At 1 p.m. the following day, after his family took him off life support, he died. I was twenty and only had peripheral knowledge of who Freddie Prinze even was, let alone the fact that he had shot himself.

Nearly a year after my father passed away, I “dreamed” that he called me. I picked up my bedside telephone and heard him say my name. Shocked, because the logical part of my brain knew he was dead, I asked, “Daddy . . . where are you?” He answered that he was “Far, far away . . . but not too far.” He sounded very upbeat and said that he was fine. When I asked if he was with my mom yet (who had passed away three years earlier), he said, “Not yet, but very soon. That’s why I wanted to call and let you know I was okay—that we are both okay—before I leave. Don’t worry about us anymore.”

I awoke with the phone in my hand, silence in my ear.

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Yes, I believe in life after death, and I also believe in reincarnation. I think we are given more than one shot at this thing we call life. Many times I have said, about some seemingly undeserving individual who has been dealt a crappy hand in life, “He/she must have done something really bad in a former life.” The reverse is true, I believe, of people who appear consistently and irrationally lucky. They must have been freaking saints.

How do I express my interest and curiosity about the “next realm” of life after death? I write supernatural suspense. I create characters who are psychic, have unusual PSI-type powers, or who, for some reason, are “chosen” by certain ghosts to be their human contact. Are these people special in any way? Yes, I believe they are.

I know it’s hard for the younger generation to imagine this, but there was a time—before cable and satellite—when your “equipment,” i.e., your TV or your radio, had to have a very sensitive antenna in order to be able to pick up an electronic signal of a broadcast. If your equipment wasn’t very sensitive, you would see or hear only static or white noise. I believe communication with those who have passed into the next dimension is very similar. Some living people have sensitive antennae: some people do not.

Who knows? Maybe we all have the capability to “tune in” to the energy of a soul whose physical body is gone, but whose energy remains here on earth. If we don’t believe in life after death, though . . . if we don’t believe in ghosts, there’s no way that person’s energy can communicate with us. Our power switch is essentially turned off.

After all, the life force—our spirits—are forms of energy. The first law of thermodynamics tells us that “energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred from one form to another.” So what happens to our life force, our spirit, when our body dies? It can’t just go away, disappear, no longer exist. It has to go on, somewhere, somehow, in some other form.

Do you have sensitive antennae? Do you believe in life after death?

Do you believe in ghosts? Please share in comments. All viewpoints welcomed.

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Claire Gem is the multi-award winning author of five contemporary novels, three of which fall under the genre of Supernatural Suspense. You can find out more about Claire and her work at her Amazon Author Page or her Website.