Tag Archives: ghost stories

Looking for Haunted Reads?

Fantastic Fridays

a paranormal blog

It’s Friday! And it’s time to explore the world of ghosts. My latest foray in to the paranormal is a romantic ghost story, Ghosts of Christmas Past, and while I may have trouble deciding if it’s a modern Gothic, a romantic suspense with paranormal elements, or a New Adult paranormal romance, I do know one thing about it (besides the fact that it’s a romance): it has ghosts.

Writing ghost romance means I’m anticipating Halloween and today I decided to take a journey into the land of true ghost stories. I grew up reading tales of terror, provided through the Arrow and Scholastic book clubs. You can read that post HERE, but now I’ve discovered that it’s all on the internet. So here are a list of a few blogs you can hop to and discover ghosts, ghouls, and the truly creepy.

halloween toombstonesThe first blog I’m going to send you to is Paranormal Stories  and I particularly was intrigued by the title of one of their blogs Corpse Roads.  Gives me the shivers just reading it. Reminds me of when Mary and I drove down to RWA this summer. We drove through the vast open prairies of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. And there was one town that was stuffed full of graves. Tiny little town and multiple cemetaries. We figured people had driven for miles through rural Texas to be buried there. All those corpses rolling over the three roads that came into town. Now that place must have some ghost stories.

Since my story is a modern Gothic, I set it in a haunted house in the US. So if you are looking for more stories of haunts in the United States, then check out American Ghost Story. Tales of the supernatural from all over the states. What I find interesting about this blog is that it’s full of short, almost Flash Fiction personal tales of ghosts from all over. If you want quick creepy stories, this is the link for you. I loved the typo in the story about a haunted youth “hostile” in Berlin. It definitely was hostile.

And I haven’t been brave enough to listen, but if you love the sound of Neil Gaiman’s voice, like I do, merely the idea of him reading ghost stories sends shivers up my spine. Check out the TED Blog and let me know if it’s as spine chilling as I think it will be. Even the title of the story is creepy, Click-Clack the Rattlebag. Brrrr!

 What’s Happening: I have guests every Wednesday on the blog, this week author Sandra S. Kerns, shared her research into diving for Her Master Diver. And next Whimsical Wedesday you will meet author Tameri Etherton.

Check out the quickie glimpses into Ghosts of Christmas Past, this month with Sneak Peek Sundays. Every Sunday I’ll be giving you six paragraphs from the book. 

Next Friday I’ll go over my Fantastic Halloween! October is going to be chock full of events where you can win everything from print books to Amazon Gift Cards, so check back!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at https://jessicaaspen.com/what-hot-new-story-is-jessica-working-on/

 Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

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Filed under Fantastic Fridays, ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Gothic Romance

Stephen King, the threat that hangs over all writers

Thursdays Bite

a blog about the horror of writing

I’ve started writing ghost stories. Gothic romances of vulnerable heroines, desperate heroes, and scary haunted ghosts. I have an extensive reading background in Gothic romance and I love it, so it’s easy for me to create the spooky house, the dark and stormy night, and the hero who might be a threat.

What isn’t so easy for me was writing the ghost. But luckily I have my own ghost lurking behind me, Stephen King. Not that my little haunted holiday romance is anything like Stephen King’s writing. It’s not. Not at all. Don’t pick it up thinking it is. But more to the point, Stephen King is what scares me.

cujo by stephen kingI’m so terrified of him that I’ve never even read one of his fiction books. Just the idea of reading Cujo or Pet Cemetery makes my palms tingle and my knees weak. I know I won’t sleep. I know I’ll be afraid to even turn off the light.

That’s the kind of writer I want to be. Someone who has mastered his craft so well that even the thought of reading their books brings up emotion. I have read Stephen King’s book On Writing. And that was scary enough. I know have Stephen haunting me. Lurking behind me if I don’t write with dark looks, waving a judgmental finger at me. Saying, “You didn’t write today? For shame!”

When I first read On Writing and realized that Stephen King did not consider you a real writer, a serious writer, unless you wrote everyday, I nearly gave up. There was no way with a job, two small children, and a house to run, that I was going to be able to write every day. I needed time to focus. Time to work without someone needing me. Time to write.

But I didn’t give up. I faced the specter of Stephen King’s dire warnings about not writing and I did my best. I wrote slowly during those days. If I hit 500 words when I wrote, that was a good day, and if I wrote three days a week, that was a good week. But still he haunted me.

Even now I can feel him standing behind me. Why are you wasting time blogging? Why aren’t you writing the book? What are you scared of?

Um, you.

I am scared of not writing. Scared of writing. What if it’s not good? What if they hate it? What if I fail?

Stephen moves in closer. I can feel him nearly touching me. So what?

So write.

Even though I’m scared, the ghost of Stephen King is right. None of that matters. What matters in the end is the wordcount. How many words got down on the page. In the long run, that’s all I’ll see as my success or failure.

Who is your motivator? What ghosts do you have lurking behind you  driving you to succeed?

Happy dancing! Ghosts of Christmas Past recieved two five star reviews this week! WOOT! You can read Patricia Statham’s review at Books To Curl Up With or you can check out the five stars that Kathy left on Amazon or Goodreads.

And don’t forget, Ghosts of Christmas Past is only on sale through the end of August. Get your holiday read for 99 cents today!

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks and AllRomance E-books

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj


Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj



Filed under About the Author, channeling success, facing failure, ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

Ghoulies and Ghosties, guest author Meg Benjamin

Thursdays Bite

This month and next I’m featuring a different paranormal author every week. My guest author today, Meg Benjamin, is a prolific romance author who covers the genres from contemporary Texas Hill country novels to paranormal stories of mediums and ghosts. She’s addicted to travel and cool Texas music, and loves animals. Please welcome Meg Benjamin to Jessica Aspen Writes.

My first paranormal novel, Medium Well, was released recently by Berkley InterMix (followed by Medium Rare on August 20 and Happy Medium on December 17). All three novels are ghost stories because, well, I’ve always been sort of intrigued by ghosts. Haven’t you?

When I was a kid, I devoured every ghost story I could lay my hands on at the local library, and I still enjoy reading those “ghosts of Colorado” books they sell to tourists. So when I started working on my ghost books, I found that I knew quite a lot about what ghosts were supposed to be like. I knew that a lot of ghosts were looking for closure, and if you could figure out what they wanted, they’d go away. I knew that twilight was ghost time, or at least you were more likely to see them then than at other times of day. And I knew that ghosts tended to stick around places where they’d had traumatic experiences, sometimes places where they’d died.

But that was all pretty standard stuff. As I started to work on my medium books, I found lots of questions I didn’t know the answers to. How do you protect yourself from ghosts, for example? Different cultures had different answers, but elements like iron and salt seemed to be pretty standard. Did ghosts ever threaten humans with anything besides just a good scare? Yes, as it turned out. Most cultures have stories of malevolent spirits that could really do a number on the living if you weren’t careful.

All of my research gave me ideas to play with. What if you had ancient ghosts who were a little like vampires, drawing strength and “staying power” from humans? What if you were a reluctant medium who really didn’t know how to go about using your power? And what if your “spirit guide” was a real pain in the posterior?

In the end, I came up with a mixture of traditional ghost lore and my own inventions, all of it set in a very real place—the King William District of San Antonio. And I had a lot of fun doing it. After all, who doesn’t like a good scare, assuming there’s a happy ending somewhere down the line!

Here’s the blurb for Medium Well:

Medium_Well72WebMedium Well

Love At Second Sight

Real estate agent Danny Ramos has always had a knack for selling homes, but when his boss saddles him with a neglected carriage house, Danny discovers that his abilities are more than simple intuition…

On his first visit to the house, Danny is confronted with visions of a violent murder. His assistant, Biddy Gunter, doesn’t seem affected, and Danny starts to think he’s going crazy—until he gets a visit from his mother, who suggests that Danny’s uncanny talent to sell old houses may stem from his family inheritance: psychic empathy.

When Biddy reveals to Danny her own strange dream about the carriage house ghosts, they team up to investigate and discover both the house’s dark history and their own unexpected attraction. But as the hauntings turn from unsettling to downright dangerous, Danny and Biddy need to figure out how to rid the house of its ghostly inhabitants, before their budding romance meets an untimely end…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Before I came to Texas twenty years ago, my husband and I lived all around the U.S., including Kansas, Iowa, Washington, Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Pennsyvania, with brief visits in California, Connecticut, and New Mexico. In fact, one of my favorite things to do (in pre-gas price hike days) is to travel around the country, preferably off the Interstate.

A couple of years ago my husband took a new job in the Colorado foothills, so I’ve now relocated to the northwest Denver suburbs. It’s a big switch, but my mom grew up on the Western Slope, and she gave me an abiding love of the mountains, so I’m not expecting too many problems (and no, I don’t mind the snow).

In Texas I taught English, desktop publishing, Web design, and editing, among other miscellaneous things, before finally retiring after putting in my twenty-five. At the same time, I worked as a freelance writer and editor, on projects ranging from computer manuals to underwater photography books.

My husband and I managed to raise two wonderful sons, along with a variety of cats and a couple of dogs. We still visit South Texas, and we still love to wander around the country when the spirit moves us, although these days we’re likely to fly in and rely on public transportation (let’s hear it for light rail trains!).

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Next week I’ll be on the blog with the Tortured Hero Bloghop and giving a way a copy of my own tortured hero’s book, Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Check out the link HERE to see what other fabulous authors will be on the hop. There will be some terrific prizes on most of the sites and a large swag basket, so plan to be hopping April 25th-28th.


Filed under ghosts, guest post, Thursdays Bite

The Bride & The Bellhop

 Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

It’s Rom Con Weekend and I’m on holiday! But I wanted to leave you with a paranormal post for the weekend, so just in case you missed it hop on over to Sherry Isaac’s Sizzling blog and check out her ghost story: 

The Bride & The Bellhop.

via The Bride & The Bellhop.

I’ll be incommunicado all weekend, so don’t pull out the Ouija board. I’m not dead. Just ignoring my laptop in favor of all those fun exciting Rom Com games! Ta ta for now!


Filed under Bloghops, ghosts

Who’s Haunting the House on Third Street?

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

I’ve written my first ghost story. Brrrr.

I was inspired by watching My Ghost Story on the Bio Channel, which I was inspired to watch after reading Hillary Seidl’s blog Hillary’s Haunts on ParnormalFreebies.com. I frequently watch historical programs on hauntings because I love hearing the old stories about castles and haunted inns, but My Ghost Story has a more personal bent. On My Ghost Story modern people tell the stories, although they may be about older ghosts and spooky mansions.

This particular story was written also because I had a need to fill. On Paranormal Freebies we will be having a sign up for our e-zine and as a bonus for signing up we are going to be giving away free fiction! So I needed something to give away. Something short, for our anthology and something paranormal. For some reason I had trouble writing a short romance. But a ghost story, ah, now that came fast.

I love ghost stories. I have those collections I bought as a kid, and some I’ve purchased as an adult. I love to go on the tours (especially the night tours) and get scared. Stories about tragic deaths, murders and lost souls turn me on. I guess I’m a little twisted.

I have ghosts knocking around in my head that want to have a full length novel too, but I’ve told them they have to wait in line. The elves and witches and were-wolves were there first. No, no! Say the ghosts. We were here first. We’ve always been here.

And they are right.

Ghost stories have been with us as long as we’ve had death, and they’ll be with us until the end. We even have stories of ghosts in space. Want to see a truly scary movie, watch Event Horizon. You won’t sleep.

We write stories, make movies and even sing songs about ghosts.The Highwayman, Have You Seen the Ghost of John? are two examples that come to mind. “Wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin on?”

One would think ghosts were a new phenomenon. Suddenly there are almost enough shows on TV to have an entire network. You can watch celebrity’s share their stories, go on ghost hunts, and sleep in haunted rooms. If you want ghosts, they’re out there.

I prefer the older types of ghost stories, so The House on Third Street is modern but has an old fashioned feel. I think it’s something about ghosts, that even the newest ones feel old. Like they’ve been there forever. Maybe it’s because they will be.

What kind of ghost stories do you like? Are you a fan? Do you love to secretly watch them bang around in the dark with all that equipment on TV? Or are you like me and love the historical houses with their years of tragedy. Ghost layered upon ghost. Leave me a comment and share how you get your ghost fix.

And if you want to read The House on Third Street it’s  available HERE.


Filed under paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite


Moonday Mania

a writer oriented blog

This morning I’m happy to welcome guest author Sherry Isaac back to Moonday Mania. Sherry is a talented author from Toranto whom I met at Margie Lawson’s house during a fabulous week of Deep Editing Immersion. Sherry is continuing her blog, How Paranormal Seeds Grow from last week and giving us insight as to where the ideas for her short stories in her new release Storyteller spring from. Welcome Sherry!


 I love ghost stories, stories that make me wonder where the soul begins and where its journeys leads once it leaves the body.

There are ghost stories on both sides of my family tree, none of them frightening in a white sheet and clanking chains kind of way, but stories that prickle along the spine with the knowledge that there is something more.

And I believe that there is more than one way to be haunted.

Settled in the 1850’s, Streetsville is a tiny hamlet on the banks of the Credit River, not far from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The city of Mississauga has grown up around the village, yet Streetsville retains its small town feel. A stroll down Queen Street can easily transport one to an earlier time.

A graveyard filled with crumbling stones dates back to the founding days. One plain headstone was erected in memory of a child. Isabella.

Isabella died when she was four. I have no idea who Isabella was and can’t even say why her stone impressed me. Not far away is another stone, more ornate, commemorating the life of another little girl. But it was Isabella’s stone that captured my imagination and held it fast. I doubt Houdini could have escaped.

On the summer day that I meandered through the grass, the shade, and the stone monuments, another place and time became reality. Cars and busses and trucks rolled by on another plane.

Maybe I’d watched too many episodes of Little House on the Prairie in my impressionable years, but I could not shake the image of a young girl, 15 or so, leaning from the upper window of any one of the original buildings that remained, a silent testament to the early days of the pioneer settlement. A girl who held up her skirts when she crossed the dirt road. A girl who rubbed the nose of her favourite horse. A girl who picked pussy willows on the riverbank, not far from the grave where I stood.

What might it be like to give Isabella life, if only on the page? I pictured that girl walk out of the general store with a friend, giggling over new ribbons for their hair, ribbons they would wear to a fair in a neighboring town, ribbons they hoped would catch a suitor’s eye.

When I sat down to write Isabella’s story nearly ten years later it worked out differently. Left on the back burner of my mind to simmer, Isabella’s story had taken root, its branches stretched in another direction, the blooms took on a different shape and hue. Isabella’s story was claimed by a brother I never imagined she had. His name was Alistair and he’d been instilled with the gift of storytelling.

I handed the keyboard to Alistair and let him tell the story, let him bring Isabella to life in a way I was powerless to do.

I think he did a pretty good job.



Short Story Excerpt

Sherry Isaac

Alistair crept through another crowd in another town, late the next afternoon, shoulders hunched, hands clenched like claws, a predator ready to pounce.

“I was a fool to go out on my own and without my gun, but the bite of hunger overpowered my senses. If you’ve never seen the jungle then ye cannot imagine the trees that grow so tall and thick they block can out the sun, or shield a wild panther.

“The ground was soft, I made my way forward, stalking a bird with feathers of colours so brilliant and rare not even a rainbow has seen them, unaware the giant cat was stalking me. Slowly, slowly I inched closer to my prey, my mouth watering at the thought of its succulent meat roasting on a fire. I stepped on a twig. The bird took flight, the cat roared, terror shook my spine. I looked above me, my eyes wide as I met the cat’s yellow stare.

“My bare arms made a hopeless shield. I closed my eyes, ready to become the big cat’s dinner. A gunshot rang through the air. The cat landed at my feet with a thump, so close I could smell its breath.”

Alistair straightened, his head cocked and his smile easy. “And do ye know who my rescuer was?”

“Isabella!” the children cried.

“Isabella!” their parent’s echoed.

Alistair put his hands on his hips, swayed back as if slapped. “You’ve heard this story before, then?”

“No!” The children’s voices a chorus.

“Aye, you’re right. It was my little sister who came to my aid, with more stealth than any feline hunter, and an eye sharper than an eagle’s.”

Winner of The Alice Munro Short Story Award, Sherry Isaac’s tales of life, love and forgiveness that transcend all things, including the grave, appear online and in print. Her first collection of shorts, Storyteller, debuts July 2011. For more information, or to order an autographed copy, click HERE.


Filed under Moonday mania, paranormal inspiration, writing craft