Friday, October 24, 2014

WEP - Haunted Memories, A Ghost Story

I didn't hear that noise. It's my imagination. . .

Hosted by Denise Covey

A moonless night with a storm approaching, and I'm all alone in this house.  I checked all the doors and windows on the lower level when I arrived, except one, but that one is hardly ever opened and always locked. I don't have the TV on since the radio weather advisory warned of nearby tornadoes. The howling winds of the storms are something I'll never get used to. It always sounds like the roof will blow away. Maybe I've watched the Wizard of Oz too many times.

The house was as silent as death before the sounds started. Great. First, I heard what sounded like a footstep. Then another. Quiet footsteps. A door creaked, but old doors do that when they settle. A house like this, which has seen many people come and go, must sigh every now and then. Can a house sigh? It seems like it. 

So much misery has been bottled up here. Why did I say I would watch the place while my family went for a short visit? I remember the stories about this house. We kids used to relate them to each other when we had sleepovers. There it is again, almost like a door closing gently.

Perhaps the ghosts in this house aren't angry ghosts, just sad ones. I'll get the flashlight in case the storm blows the fuses and the lights go out. I can hear the rain starting to fall harder now. If any of the large windows are open on the second level, I have to shut them.

As I ascend the stairs, I try not to look at the landing after the 13th stair where the staircase turns right to go to the second level.  My bedroom was on that level when I was younger. That landing features in a family story about a man who hung himself. Bereft and depressed after the death of his brother by a lightning strike, he committed suicide.

I arrive at the top step and the same window is open at the end of the hall. The window where the first brother was killed, burned by the ferocity of the lightning as he left the bathroom beside the window. The wind is blowing through the hallway, bringing in the rain. I shut the window quickly, careful not to look at any relfection that may be there, and listen for thunder announcing a coming strike. As kids, we learned to count the seconds between the thunder and the strike to gauge how close the lightning was. 

I need a cup of tea or something stronger. My nerves are on high alert. As I turn, I notice the suite across from the one we used to occupy. It's used for storage now. The house was built raised above the ground in 1875. It's easy for rats to get in the storage areas, even though the fireplaces in each room were sealed long ago. 

Not the same house but similar vintage - WC-PD*

As I descend the stairs, the house sinks back into silence and I think of grandmother and the man who gave her this house for a pittance. He was in love with her, but married her sister as she was already married to Grandfather, a man twenty years her senior, when she met the younger man.  He was a doctor and lived in another town. His daughter was our erstwhile aunt. Only one photo we have shows them talking in front of the house. How sad that they never got together. Both Grandmother and Grandfather died in this house, as did others before them. That used to be the way of families, the elderly died at home. I make my tea and reminisce. The spirits settle now, my fear is gone, but I still feel uneasy. I don't know if I can sleep here tonight.

Maybe I'll just sleep on the couch over there in this one room next to the lower kitchen where it seems peaceful.  Then again, maybe not. I wonder if I can stay awake all night?

I might need a lot of tea.


(For more details on this same house see DG's 21st Century Journal Blog), A Gothic South Tale

For a peek at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris: 2013's post at Halloween 

Have you ever felt the chill of 'otherness' in a house, room or even in an area outside? Are you fond of ghost stories, and the unknown? OR are you a fan of Halloween?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by and hope you can check the other WEP stories sometime before Halloween!

*WC-PD NOTE: Photo credit, free use image, used to set the mood. Not the actual house, as the real place on which this story is based has been renovated extensively and has a new owner.



Would you like to challenge yourself? Try Write...Edit...Publish! aka WEP

Join us for a monthly signup and some very interesting reading. It's flexible. I joined the once-a-month bloghop to write a few short stories or write in installments like the old-time serials. I've also met fellow writer-bloggers with the same penchant for responding to Denise's challenges. WEP can help you practice short writing and the prompts will invigorate your creative thinking.

Write…Edit…Publish! welcomes you to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.

Next Challenge: November - Affluenza

Denise Covey - WEP in detail, the list of participants and prompts


Monday, October 20, 2014

SURVIVE and Thrive Blogfest - It's Your HEART!

Once again, Michael di Gesu, together with Stephen Tremp, our own Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the lovely L. Diane Wolfe join together for another very important blogfest  about HEALTH!

The Survive and Thrive Bloghop is meant to bring awareness of disease prevention and early detection regarding medical conditions that may be averted or treated if caught in the early stages. If you're just entering your forties, or even fifties in particular, you can make a difference in your own chances of beating illnesses by being aware and taking steps to prevent bad habits which will pay you back later in life.

Take a walk through a senior's care home or through the recovery-rehab unit in a hospital to see the effects of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other degenerative diseases. It's an eye-opener and one we don't like to think about. It's up to us to stay out of those situations.



Eat heart healthy - lean meats, less fat and more olive oil, complex carbs, fruits and veggies

Walk, run or exercise in some manner. Get off your tush! BIC is good for writing, but not for health.

Get a checkup if Heart conditions or Heart attacks run in your family (tests specifically for the heart as well as associated tests)

If High cholesterol runs in your family, discuss the dangers and testing with your doctor, even if you're slim and appear healthy.
Tiredness can imply a warning: clogged arteries, anemic conditions, and others, so have a checkup with your doctor. A barrage of tests may be needed, but it's your life or that of a loved one at risk.

TIME Factors:

Time is essential if a heart attack occurs; you must have some idea of what to do. They can happen anytime, after a stressful situation or during peaceful sleep. Strokes, and heart attacks don't always give warning signs. Have you had any first aid training?

Will you know what to do and how fast you have to do it? My desire to know First Aid came from seeing hubs in a car accident when we were in our early thirties (I was 7 months pregnant at the time). A woman driver ran through a yellow light as it was turning red. I saw it happen as hubs was picking me up from work. The co-workers in the company I worked for were taking care of his bleeding from his head immediately after the accident occurred because they knew First Aid. I thanked each one of them individually after the accident.

After that, I wanted to be able to be competent if I ever was in a similar situation.  In addition, when I became a mother, I wanted to be know what to do if my kids were choking, or having other distress in the early years. I took several courses - basic first aid, lifesaving techniques, and baby CPR, and that knowledge helped when hubs had his heart attack this past summer. I knew what the term 'clear the airway' meant and how to do basic CPR when the 911 operator told me to do that. It is critical.

Ambulance Prioritization
I recently read a news article about the triage of ambulance prioritization of emergency calls in our local paper, The Vancouver Sun. The article says the ambulance response teams prioritize in order to help those first where time makes a large difference, such as cardiac arrests, respiratory collapse, etc. Time without oxygen will impact recovery and chances of survival. In these cases, speed is the essence that helps.
It's your choice. Wouldn't you prefer to be prepared?
To read the other blogposts, click on the title: SURVIVE AND THRIVE

Thanks again to our hosts for organizing and promoting Good Health and Prevention!


Have you had testing for various diseases: Diabetes, heart trouble, cancer, etc? Do you know first aid?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and thanks for dropping by! I'll respond.


Monday, October 6, 2014

WHITE LADY by Jessica Bell - And a Quiz

Do you like to read psychological thrillers? Then you might want to read this. . .


​Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia’s motive?

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.


The Quiz Question:


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

Jessica Bell’s favourite Classic is ...

a. Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

b. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

c. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only. If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

Click HERE to view the book trailer.

Click HERE for purchase links.

Questions for the Author:

Where is the setting for this story?
It's set in Melbourne, Australia. Lots of places I mention really exist, but many are fictional too, such as a café called Roxy's. It's location, The Docklands, is real, but the café is not. But that's the beauty of fiction, isn't it? We can do what we like with it.

Did a particular event inspire the novel to be written, such as a news article or?
No, I actually started off with one character (Nash) in a situation that didn't end up being the focus of the book. All of my novels grow quite organically. I'm never really sure where they are headed in the beginning.


Are you familiar with Jessica's work? Are you intrigued by that cover image? Are you trying the quiz questions?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by to learn more about Jessica's new book!

Who owns the mind behind this story?

Author Jessica Bell


Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:
Website | Retreat & workshop | Blog | Vine Leaves Literary Journal | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Schedule

*** Good Luck! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

GIRL OF GREAT PRICE by Milo James Fowler

A Charlie Madison Detective Story about kidnapping and a girl who is more than she seems. . .

Milo has written a companion story setting the stage for his novel, Immaterial Evidence.

Girl of Great Price begins in classic noir style with a missing person, in this case a child snatched on the street by mysterious men. Or so Charlie is told. He accepts the assignment, mainly because he needs the cash and rent is due. As his investigation begins, he sees connections running to a Russian kingpin, who has 'eyes' everywhere. In a town sunken to its knees by brutish thugs, anything is possible.

Charlie has a soft spot for certain dames and innocent kids caught in the web of adult intrigue. He's ordered to find the little girl known as Mao, and tries to bluff his way in the decadent town. The wily detective sees a setup. As the game unfolds to the kingpin's advantage, Charlie calls in an IOU from his past.

Tension is palpable when you're on the losing side. Girl of Great Price held me captive 'til the end. It's perfect for a quick read. This little girl is unique. So is Charlie.


Have you read any of Milo's books before? Do you like suspense? This isn't straight suspense, it's slightly spiked. . .

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

Girl of Great Price is available as of October 3, 2014. For more information on Girl of Great Price and Immaterial Evidence,  check at Milo's blog.