Tag Archive | haunted

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

 

A Ghostly Light
Written by Juliet Blackwell

Cover Art by Brandon Dorman
Cover Design by [TK]

 
I have never been to a lighthouse nor have I ever wanted to visit a lighthouse. I am not a fan of being out in the middle of the sea among the crashing waves, secluded from society. It has never sounded like something that would be of interest to me. Well, Ms. Blackwell, “A Ghostly Light” has now made me want to make a trip to the nearest lighthouse and go ghost hunting on my next day off. Well done!

“The tower reached high into a gray sky. A faint glow—ghostly-light-225-shadow.pngdare I say a ghostly light? — seemed to emanate from the lighthouse’s narrow windows.”

Mel Turner is a talented head of a renovation team, hired to renovate an 1871 lighthouse and home on Lighthouse Island near San Francisco. She also has the ability to see ghosts, which to me, is amazing. Spirits fascinate me. She struggles with this gift, however, but seems to be coming into her own thanks to the help of her boyfriend and family.

After her best friend is accused of murdering an abusive ex-husband, Mel must help solve not only that murder with the help of the ghost of said ex husband, but also get involved in solving a century old mysterious disappearance of a young boy whose family used to live and watch the lighthouse.

If you love ghosts, this one has three of them. They aren’t in the backstory either. They are right there in the mix with the living. There is also a ton of interesting history that, if you look into it via online and books, actually happened.

For instance, female light keepers make the same as their male counter parts during the Victorian era. Wow, that’s a fun bit of information you don’t get everyday. Like I said, sign me up to visit the nearest lighthouse. The history alone on these must be fascinating and I love history.

The character of Mel helps the reader really get into wanting to care about these old structures and the contents within. From the original woodwork to the old books and personal belongings of the former keepers, there is nothing in the adventure that the reader won’t enjoy. And yes, it is an adventure.

In “A Ghostly Light”, I as a reader discovered a new interest wrapped within other interest I had, lighthouse exploration! Juliet Blackwell brought me into a fictional world that I can now take out into the real world and really experience…without the dead body hopefully.

I haven’t read any books from the rest of her Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series but plan to after reading this piece. If you haven’t read the others either, don’t fret. This story stands alone.

So, get on your life jacket, hard hat and your EMF detector and catch a boat to Lighthouse Island to meet with Mel and her crew. An adventure awaits.

About Juliet Blackwell:
Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

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While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures.

Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade. In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series.

As Hailey Lind she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America. Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California, but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.

Purchase on Amazon: “A Ghostly Light”

Connect with Juliet Blackwell:
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Juliet Blackwell’s Official Website
Amazon Author Page

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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

btb-and-lori-roberts2

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”