Archive | November 2016

Cries In The Night By Lori Roberts

Cries In The Night

A Lowcountry Ghost Story

by Lori Roberts

 

Today, we have Lori Roberts on BTB to talk about herself and her amazing book, Cries In The

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I loved meeting Lori at the SOKY Book Fest with Esther, my doll.

Night. I got the opportunity to meet Lori in Bowling Green Kentucky during the 2016 Southern Kentucky Book Fest. Hers was one of the books I actually sought out before I even got there. I love researching the authors before I go and when I saw this book, I knew I had to meet her and grab this book up. Before this, I had never heard of her or her books. Now, I can’t imagine not knowing about her.

Booth Talks Books:  First of all, I am so excited to get to talk with you about your book and life.  I have been stalking your pages and have to say that you live a fascinating life.  Tell me what you do in your spare time and what’s up with all the period costumes I always see you wearing.

Lori Roberts: When I’m not teaching 8th graders, I spend a good deal of time with my grandchildren. My husband and I love camping in our RV. We love traveling, and those travels often involve a trip to the south. I love getting in research time when we are on a trip. I have dragged him along on several adventures, and if I can experience or see something, it makes the books all the more believable.

In addition to writing, I’m a speaker and reenactor. I portray Mrs. Anna Morrison Jackson, widow of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Ann Jennings, wife of Indiana’s first Governor, and Corrie Ten Boom, Dutch Concentration Camp survivor. The dresses I wear are part of those personas. Between book events and speaking events, I enjoy squeezing in time with family and friends. We also have two Golden Retrievers that we are pretty crazy about, Gracie and Maggie, and our cat, Jerry Lee.

BTB: Let’s talk about Cries In The Night.  Without giving too much away, this is a haunted house story that takes place in Charleston South Carolina.  Is there is there a particular reason for the story to take place here?

LR: I’ve spent many years traveling to South Carolina…first, the beach, Myrtle Beach. My sister/brother-in-law moved to Charleston 4 years ago. The idea for Cries in the Night came during the walks while there. I took pictures of houses, and the one that I used for the setting and cover drew me to it. The story came to me before we left the city. I have since made three other trips,­­­­­­ spending time with sources and new friends, researching and taking pictures. I have even shadowed my friend, Dr. Suzanne Abel, forensic anthropologist, who was the real Dr. Brooke Armstrong in the book.

BTB: The authenticity of this book and the hunt for these ghosts echo so closely the true stories of those who have had issues with paranormal activity in true life in their homes.  Have you or do you know of someone who has had unexplained phenomenon in their home they attributed to spirits?

LR: Yes. I have experienced things as well as friends/family.

BTB: There is a huge amount of history, research and time spent by the character exploring libraries and government offices.  Is this something you have done or do on a regular basis? 

LR: When I write a novel, the research takes more time than the actual writing. I want my work to be factual, albeit fiction. A writer is able to take artistic license when doing a story, however the history teacher comes out and I immerse myself in whatever the story is about. Family history (genealogy) is a love of mine, so I tend to bring out family and family history in all of my books.

BTB:  There is one object, an antique toy which is dominant in the story.  Did a real object inspire this piece? 

LR: Yes, a family member had a child’s ball sail through the air as they stood at the top of the stairs. They had other sounds and unexplained things happen.

BTB:  What plans to you have for this family or Carly and Austin Tabor or their friend, Delaney Warrick?  Will we ever see them again?

LR: Oh yes. I love these girls! Carly is the protagonist in the book I’m writing at the moment, Where the Sweetgrass Grows. Delaney will be there to lend a hand too. Carly will use her gift in this book to help with a string of cold cases.

BTB:  What are you currently working on?  Anything else you would like to tell your readers?

LR: At the moment, I’m working on two books. Where the Sweetgrass Grows takes place in Charleston/Johns Island, and Carly and Delaney will be back to try and solve a string of cold case abductions. The second is my first attempt at a YA historical fiction titled This Dark and Bloody Ground. As a Kentuckian, you’ll appreciate the synopsis. It takes place in 1775 with a young girl and her family from Maryland who travel on the Daniel Boone trail into Kentucky. This is the first of a two book series.

Review:

I will admit, I am a haunted house and paranormal show junky. As in, I watch them, I follow them on social media and I even love visiting the locations. I have discovered that there is so much more going on around us than meets the eye and ear.

Imagine my delight when I am researching the authors coming to the Southern Kentucky Book Fest (SOKY) in my hometown of Bowling Green Kentucky earlier this year and I find a promising book about a haunted house. The description read more like an actual event than fiction. So, I put it on my list and prepared myself to meet this Lori Roberts and give her my $16.

Fast forward three months later and I am finally able to read “Cries In The Night” and I have absorbed even more episodes of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Kindred Spirits. I might have even done some EVP work and talked to a small girl spirit at a local Civil War home. Think what you want, but they are for real!

We meet Carly and Austin Tabor and they have purchased a Civil War era home in Charleston South Carolina. So far, your run of the mill set up for a ghost story, right? Well, the creep factor starts off right at the beginning and doesn’t let up until the end. We usually have slow portions through paranormal stories so the reader isn’t “over ghosted” as I call it but not this book. You are on that roller-coaster, roaming the halls, investigating and fearing for the next occurrence right with the residences. Lori does not give up, nor do the spirits of their home. These spirits are talking, walking and freaking everyone out trying to get their message across. This is so true to real life manifestations. When a spirit wants your attention and you’re in their space, they will keep going until you do something.

Lori goes one step further as though this is a secret guide on how to investigate a haunting in your home hidden as a work of fiction (I’m on to ya). She takes her characters on a historical search for the past owners of the house, researches the antiques and even hires paranormal investigators. We go with Carly and her “sensitive” friend, Delaney as they explore courthouse documents, old newspapers and land deeds to finally solve an ancient murder that occurred in their home.

I was chilled, I was inspired and I was sobbing throughout the book. Like a wondering spirit, I attached myself to the characters and fell in love with the Tabors, Delaney and the Pettigrew family. There was no stone unturned in this book when it came to getting to the bottom of the mystery. The determination of the Tabors to stay together, support each other and choose the path they did really spoke to their relationship.

I only hope that if I ever move into a haunted residence, that I can be as awesome as this fictional couple. How on earth did a fictional couple just inspire me? Well, they did. I guess couples that ghost hunt together, stay together.

About The Author

lori-robertsCries in the Night, a paranormal suspense novel, is her first novel with Canterbury House Publishing. She and her husband, Doug, have three children and five grandchildren. They make their home in rural southern Indiana. She has published two Civil War era novels: Lost Letters and Willow.

Lori Roberts is an author, educator, historian and presenter for historical events and workshops. Lori as a living historian, often portrays Mrs. Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, wife of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  She has spoken at Civil War events in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia. Lori has been an educator for more than twenty years, currently teaching United States History at the Middle School level.

Lori has been presenting Anna Jackson to the public since 2009.  Some of the groups that have spent “An Afternoon With Anna” include : The Living History Fellowship workshop, Princeton Civil War Days, Princeton, IN; Civil War  Living History, Owensboro, KY; Lawrence County Living History Festival, Bedford, IN.;  Living History Fellowship Grant Workshop, Huntingburg, IN; Journey Through Hallowed Ground Conference, George Mason University, Manassas, VA.

 

Author Links

Website: http://stonewallswife.com/

Blog:  http://authorloriroberts.blogspot.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stonewallswife

 

Buy “Cries In The Night”

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BTB Review of The Passed Prop by Anne Hagan

The Passed Prop

by Anne Hagan

Review

passed-propI might just live in this small town that Anne has written about. Morelville, Ohio is a small farming community with people who know all the people’s private business and a downtown that needs reviving. Everyone went to school together, have worked together and have been annoyed at people together. Throw in a dead body found in the haunted house during a fund raiser and we have some great gossip and a list of suspects for this little town.

After the body of a trouble-making townsman is found in a haunted house, replacing the original manikin body prop, the town starts to question their safely. Enter Faye Crane who had been seen and heard arguing with the now dead man the night before. After her daughter, Sheriff Melissa Crane, has her mother questioned by the detective, Faye is sent on a personal mission to clear her name. After all, who could go about instigating such a gruesome death? Come to find out, a lot of people. Oh how I love small towns and their drama.

Town’s people seem to start dropping like flies and Faye asks her best friend to help her figure out who is staking the victims to death. The big surprise is where the murderer/s get the wood from and where they find the manikin prop the first time. Chloe Rossi and Faye Crane start asking questions around town, realizing not many people liked the people who are being murdered off. All of the gossip and evidence seem to be leading to the same conclusion and the connection is horrifying. I would not want to cause any problems in Morelville, let’s just say that.

Being the good sleuths they are, in true Lucy and Ethel style, they form a plan and execute it. The spy scenes are truly hilarious. Just wait until you read them. Faye and Chloe are comical. The ending is striking. It’s not a big surprise as to who did it as we have been along for the ride with these two ladies, but the take-down is cleaver. I want to high-five these ladies.

If you like snickering, being in suspense and just need an amusing book to read, this is it. I look forward to future outings with these two ladies and I hope for my sake and yours that they get into more trouble.

About The Author

anne-aAnne Hagan is an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and author by night. She and her wife live in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of her first fiction series and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Anne’s wife grew up there and has always considered it home. Though it’s an ultra-conservative rural community, they’re surrounded there by family, longtime friends and many other wonderful people with open hearts and minds.

Anne and her wife enjoy spending time with Anne’s son and his wife, with their nieces and nephews (and their great-nephews that they’re really still too young to have but, it is what it is) and doing many of the things you’ve read about in her bestselling books or that will be ‘fictitiously’ incorporated into future Morelville Mysteries and Morelville Cozies series books. If you’ve read about a hobby or a sport in one of her books, they probably enjoy doing it themselves or someone very close to them does.

Anne is a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society (under her legal name) and the Lesbian Author’s Guild.

The ladies together are the co-owners of a commercial haunted house, Hagan’s House of Horrors. Much as her dream has always been to write fiction, her spouse’s dream has been to create it through the medium of horror.

Author Links

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

Website: https://annehaganauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Anne_Hagan

 Buy “The Passed Prop”

BTB Review of Michelangelo’s Ghost by GiGi Pandian

Michelangelo’s Ghost by GiGi Pandian

Review:

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I have not had the pleasure of reading any of GiGi Pandian’s works before so I went into this read completely blind. The cover is what captivated me and from there I went to the description. That’s when I knew I wanted to read it. Being a fan of mystery and exploration, a character such as Jaya Jones was going to help me escape on a much-needed vacation and explore my need for an exotic location. I grew up watching Indian Jones and always thought the females in his movies seemed pretty week. The thought of a female exporter fascinated me. I only hoped Jaya lived up to my expectations.

We have two females who are the main characters and focus of this story. Yes, there is a brother, his girlfriend and Jaya’s two love interests that form an uncomfortable love triangle, but I’m not sure those are the focus really.  So, I am focusing on the two main ladies.  One ends up dying, people thinking her a fool and dreamer while one goes on to explore this dreamer’s theories. There are lots of plots and twists in the book, but these two ladies and how their relationship is with each other is the thing I would like to focus on.

Lilith Vine was once an impressive professor of Jaya’s, but she and others left professor Vine behind in fear of having the stigma of “crazy dreamer” put upon themselves. After all, a real researcher can’t have that shameful of a person them around. Her fifteen minutes of famed discovery was over and she was a has-been, right? Yet, when professor Vine calls up Jaya and tells her about a connection between a world-famous artist and a set of carved statues in Italy, she can’t seem to pull herself away. Even after leaving her behind, Jaya knows deep in her heart that she looks up to Lilith Vine and that the quirkiness of her ideas makes her adventurous heart skip a beat with anticipation of the unknown.

Unfortunately, a prominent death occurs that puts a damper on the research but this drives Jaya even harder to find out if there is truly a historical connection. She is led to Italy to talk to the distant family of the artist in question and finds out of the shame associated with him, the scandal of his work and just how far people will go to manipulate others to get what they want.

I loved the adventure, the characters, the scene setting and development that goes on in Michelangelo’s Ghost. Jaya goes from a researcher who is not sure of herself to one who gains a full head of steam toward her better self. The character of Jaya did not disappoint.

Anyone who likes adventures and strong female characters will fully envelope this book. I was constantly “watching my back”, trying to figure out who was after who and if people where truly who they said they were. There is no sense of security for Jaya in this book and it’s an spree to the very end. I can’t wait until the next installment. I’m now a huge Jaya fan and plan to read the prior ones now.

About the Author:

gigi-pandian-bw-headshot-14-webres-rgb-7x8SA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the the southern tip of India.

She graduated with honors from Pitzer College, studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, and went on to graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Bath in England. Before completing her PhD, she realized she was much better suited to writing about the fictional adventures of academics than being one herself. She left academia for art school, and began writing the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series.

Artifact, the first book in the series, was awarded the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant, hit the USA Today bestseller list, and was named a “Best of 2012” Debut Mystery by Suspense Magazine.

The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries continued with Pirate Vishnu (awarded the Left Coast Crime Rose Award), Quicksand, and Michelangelo’s Ghost. 

Gigi also writes the Accidental Alchemist Mystery Series. The first book in the new series, The Accidental Alchemist, won a Lefty Award. The Masquerading Magician was released in 2016, and The Elusive Elixir will be published in January 2017.

In addition to novels, Gigi loves writing locked-room mystery short stories. Her story “The Hindi Houdini” was shortlisted for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Gigi’s publishing journey was kicked into high gear by a cancer diagnosis. A month after her 36th birthday, Gigi was diagnosed with breast cancer. To get through her treatments, she decided to throw herself into her mystery writing. She’s doing well, but life is still uncertain, so she plans to have a lot of fun in life as she travels the world with her husband, camera, and notebook for writing mysteries.

Gigi sits on the board of Sisters in Crime, is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and is an avid participant in National Novel Writing Month

Links:

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

Twitter @GigiPandian

Email: gigi@gigipandian.com

Website: http://www.gigipandian.com/

 

Buy “Michelangelo’s Ghost”

Get Witch Or Die Trying Review

Get Witch Or Die Trying
Spies and Spells Series Book 3
Written by Tonya Kappes

Review by BTB:

get-witch-or-die-trying-new-ebookFinding one’s calling in life is difficult. As a normal, non-magical person, I am still trying to find mine and I am almost 40! I can’t imagine having my life’s journey laid out for me in my 20’s. I also can’t imagine being a witch living in Louisville either, so…ya. Maggie Parks has the coolest life so I guess I will just live vicariously through her as I have during the prior two books. Thank goodness this third book came out. I was getting bored folding laundry. Broom at the ready!

So, Maggie has her life’s journey now and is working for SKUL. If you don’t know what that is, read the book. She’s a necromancer James Bond with a super cool vintage talking car. I know! Her family is comparable to other families only magical of course and she works with the super swoon-worthy Mick Jasper who has seemingly gotten himself into some trouble and is at the center of a murder investigation of an ex-girlfriend, girl who is a friend? It really depends on whom you ask as to what his relationship was to her. Either way, Maggie wants to clear him and Vinnie, her car, doesn’t trust him.

Where the past books focused on Maggie trying to find herself and her life’s journey, it seems like this book focuses on Maggie’s mom, Aunt Meme and Mick finding themselves. It was quite a twist. These three characters have always been presented as so put together and sure of themselves. In book three, they seem to fall apart in different ways, losing their way and needing help from others to see who they really are again. They are crippled by their own personalities in a way and their past ways of living catches up with them. They then have to rely on family and friends to lift them up and to help them piece themselves back together again. Some rediscover themselves and others find sides of themselves they never knew existed.

This made the characters relatable to me as a reader as I too am going through a rediscovery phase in my life. Every stage of life is a new discovery and that is what this book and all of the Spies and Spells books are about now that I am looking at them as a whole. As a child, you want to know what you’ll be when you “grow up.” Maggie and her sister, Lilith represents this.

When we find our supposed life work, we then go into thinking about family, possible kids and this is represented by Mrs. Parks. She goes through protecting and raising her kids as they grow up. She is sure of herself and then at a certain age when they know who they are becoming, she begins to wonder who she is again. She begins to question who she wants to be. She begins to rethink and tries to work out the bugs in her life’s journey as she sees things seemly falling apart as her family goes in different directions.

Aunt Meme, the older woman of the house, has been through the prior two stages and is now running a thriving business and happy, or so she thinks. Her thoughts go to a possible relationship after many years of being alone. She worries about her age and if this is even proper only to realize she is letting it slip away when challenged by her nemesis, Ms. Hubbard. I have seen this with my Granny too. It was always so funny to watch her flirt with that old man, God rest their souls. Older ladies can be stubborn, but then realize that time is of the essence.

Then we have Mick, a secretive, headstrong guy who has had many unfruitful relationships and has now met a gal with as many secrets as he. As they say, “it takes one to know one.” Your soul mate is someone who you can be completely open with no matter how deep or dark your secrets. They don’t judge, they just go along for the ride. But, do Mick and Maggie find this in each other? I’m not telling you, but I can say that it’s another journey discovery just like the rest.

We are taken through each of their journeys and of their rediscoveries. This book is about so much more than magic, cars and a charming guy being investigated for murder. It’s about having a breakthrough. I expected an amusing book from Ms. Kappes, but was taken into a deeply psychological manuscript. Sure, you can stay on the top level of fun, but I dare you to look into it deeper. Believe me, it will be much more meaningful. Thanks Tonya for an amazing piece of work.

Buy:

About the Author:Tonya Kappes Pic

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

Giveaway:

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This giveaway is not sponsored nor endorsed by Facebook or its affiliates. Ya, they don’t care a bit, but we do. Lucky you!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY

 

Author Links:
Website: http://www.tonyakappes.com/
Blog: http://tonyakappes.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11

Make sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I love hearing from other readers and authors.

Have a fantastic day and happy reading!

~Sheryl Booth