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31 October 2012

A Haunted Garden Halloween Hop - Giveaways galore!


This post is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author
  Sharon Donovan, who loved Halloween and telling spooky stories. She would always have  several special posts for Halloween during the month of October and would enthral her readers with ghostly tales.  
She is sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

I'm  a Wild Rose Press 'Faery Rose' Author

and I'm thrilled to be taking part in the Wild Rose Press's Halloween Blog Hop.  It's been a while since I participated in a Blog Hop and Halloween is such a fun time.  I don't write about vampires, witches or the like, so  thought I'd post an excerpt from my very first Wild Rose Press novel 'Starquest', which I think has a really 'spooky' feel to it.  My heroine is stranded on an uninhabited planet with her companion who has been badly wounded. She keeps guard during the night, watching over him and trying to tend to his wounds, but has a feeling they are not alone.


I began to grow very tired. It was a few hours before dawn, and I'd had no sleep since the previous evening. I slowly eased my aching limbs into a more comfortable position. As I did so, my eyes caught a flicker of light moving toward the entrance of the shelter.

I stiffened, suddenly alert again. Tiny, glowing tongues of flame danced in the darkness, writhing and twisting around themselves like miniature whirlpools of living fire. At first, I thought it was a trick of my eyes, caused by fatigue. After a while I decided it was just marsh gas, but as I watched I became aware that the 'flames' were orderly. They moved in groups of threes and fours, gliding in straight lines and then circling to retrace their steps in what seemed to be a methodical fashion, as no Will o' the Wisp ever did. I began to feel I was in the presence of something malevolent...evil.

Then I heard the voices. Strange, unearthly voices, which had nothing to do with flesh and blood.

"Take the male," they hissed, "while he yet lives. Before the life-force within him dies and is of no use to us."

"Wait. The female is stronger," came another voice. "Stay until she sleeps. Then will be our chance, and we can take them both."

I reached for my blaster, by now fully charged, and fired a steady beam in the direction of the 'flames.' When I laid down the gun there was nothing, only the darkness. Had the voices been in my imagination, or was it a dream? But I knew I had not slept. Trying to recall the experience, as I record this, I realise they did not speak in words at all. Yet I had understood..

I've always loved the night, the beauty of the darkened, star-filled skies. Here, however, on this forsaken and perilous planet, it is menacing, with the sense of something lurking, lying in wait. 

You can purchase Starquest  HERE at my Wild Rose Press Author Page - where you can also read my FREE short story 'A Bargain With Death' which is just right for this time of year.

Here's the blurb: Miranda’s true love lies dying. To save him, she goes in search of Death himself, putting her very soul in danger. Will she save the life of her beloved? Or will her sacrifice be in vain? And what if her surrender is more than she bargained for?

As for personal experience, I've only had one really eerie experience. It was some years ago when I was attending a writing weekend at an old mansion known as Gregynnog, in Wales.. Various halls have occupied the site since the twelfth century and it was the ancestral home of the Blayneys and the Traceys from the fifteenth century. The house is a very large, mock Tudor building.

I attended a writing workshop at the mansion. We were told there was a legend that the house was haunted by a lady whose family used to own it but who lost their money and had to leave. Apparently she returned to the house after she died because she loved it so much. I felt nothing but a warm, welcoming presence, not cold or frightening at all. I slept soundly at night and enjoyed exploring the house and grounds, and writing in the large, comfortable music room.

The gardens were mostly formal, and extend to 700 acres, although they used to be considerably larger. There was an interesting statue of a huge hand in a secluded area, not far from the house I took a photo of a friend standing beside it, and he took one of me. When they were printed the one of him was fine, nice and clear and sharp. The one of me, taken seconds later, with the same camera, showed a mist in the bushes behind me and the shadowy figure of a lady in a long flowing dress. It wasn't easy to see unless you looked really hard, and it was another friend who first spotted it. The figure eventually faded over time, although it was still visible if you knew where to look.

I would add that I’m not the only one who has had strange experiences regarding this beautiful old house.

I came across this, on the website ‘Ghosttheory’:

Sports reporter Gavin Grosvenor wrote that he believed he had encountered the spirit of the Davies sisters at Gregynog.

He said: “One cold winter evening near the hall my friend and I felt the presence of one of the Davies sisters. “We had stopped on a small bridge near the entrance to Gregynog Hall, known locally as Squew Bridge. It was a cold night but we decided to stop for a cigarette while hanging our legs over the side of the bridge.

“To this day I have no idea why I looked down into the river below but when I did I noticed the reflection of the moon on the water through an overhanging tree branch had created a very clear outline of a woman.

“I have been known to have vivid imagination so asked my friend whether he also saw the shape of a woman. He agreed it was definitely the shape of a woman in a long dress.
Before he could finish his sentence there was an inexplicable strong wind which seemed to come from nowhere.

“Minutes before the evening had been calm and quiet but now we could hardly hear each other for the screeching cold wind which seemed localised to the bridge.” Gavin and his friend quickly headed for home.

“With the wind screaming into our faces to the extent that tears were almost in our eyes we picked up the pace and just thought the person behind us was walking their dog and had been caught in the same bad weather. “As we approached the hill I looked behind and noticed this person had no dog. “No big deal I thought but I double taked and what I saw next will stay with me forever. Not only was this person not walking a dog but this person appeared to have no legs. There was also something eerily familiar about this person’s shape. It was the same shape we had both seen reflected in the water.” They picked up pace, but the spectre just followed suit.

“The wind was still strong and by now the spectre was within touching distance. Before we reached light we looked behind again. There it was. A faceless shape of a woman wearing clothes from over 100 years ago.

“I don’t know why but we both agreed afterwards that we had seen the ghost of one of the Davies sisters and it had wanted us to stay away from her former mansion home.”

TRICK OR TREAT                   *Contest*

I'll be offering a free download of any of my books, or a $5 Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate to someone who comments on my blog between today and 31st October. I'll pick the winner with the Random Generator and announce the name on November 1st. Please visit the blogs below as well, they're all taking part in this Blog Hop and offering prizes as well. The more blogs you visit, the greater your chance of winning a prize!


Visit the other participants HERE


'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle