Tag Archives: Forever Road

Roots of Anger

Howdy folks. Today’s post is sort of an “I think” topic. I’m going to tell y’all what I’ve learned about anger over the course of my life.

headshot of Catie RhodesDisclaimer

I’m not a therapist or a psychologist. Hell, I’ve never even been to one. I learned this stuff through reading and thinking and living life. What I say here is not intended as medical advice…or anything close. If you need a mental health professional, go see one!

(Note from Kass Lamb, mp’s resident psychologist: Ditto what Catie says about seeking professional help if you struggle with anger issues. But I gotta tell you, she is spot on with this post; sometimes the school of hard knocks is better than any graduate school program!)

The Roots of Anger

In my experience, most anger is rooted in fear or hurt. I know that sounds simplistic, but fear and hurt are both broad terms.

Fear can be related to:

  • fear of rejection
  • fear of humiliation
  • loss of income
  • loss of possessions
  • fear of loneliness
  • fear of losing control (of others, of self, of events)
  • relationships (loss of OR committing to)
  • a million other things

Hurt can be related to:

  • social isolation
  • abuse
  • powerlessness
  • victimization
  • rejection
  • loss of loved ones
  • feeling ostracized over personal appearance or some other difference
  • a million other things

Much fear and hurt can be traced back to baggage. I use the term baggage to refer to previous hurts and wrongs. Most of us lug this crap around like that heavy old Sampsonite luggage.

I’ve found, if I analyze carefully, I can find the root of my anger…and it’s usually fear or hurt.

How I Use This Information

The information here is stuff I use both in my real life and in my writing.

In my real life:

Analyzing the roots of my anger and figuring out why I feel the way I do gives me a chance to calm down and think things through before I lash out. And, believe me, my lash-outs are nothing anybody wants to see. I’m downright nasty.

Learning to analyze my anger has given me a great deal of peace. I can untangle the way I feel and understand what, if anything, I can do to feel better.

Sometimes, the answer is nothing more–or less–than removing myself from a situation or person. Other times, it’s a matter of attempting to change the way I allow myself to feel about something.

Responsibility for my Feelings

Notice I said “allow myself to feel.” One of the biggest and best life lessons I’ve learned is that I am responsible for how I feel. Even if somebody else did me wrong, I am still responsible for my feelings (and what I do about them).

Here’s why: my anger, my outrage, and my angst have more power to make me miserable than anybody else. They have more power to get me into trouble than anybody else.

But That’s Not Fair!

Nope. It ain’t. But life is not fair. Trust me on this. Often, it sucks.

Some of the suckage is stuff I can control. But the large majority of it is stuff I cannot control, no matter how I wiggle and dance. No matter how pissed off I get.

Sometimes–no, oftentimes–I have to say “just forget it” and walk away. That never, ever means I let people run over me. But I’m training myself to know which battles are winnable and which ones are not.

I suspect we each come to a point where we analyze our lives the same way as the narrator of this song:

It’s good to know how we got to where we ended up and why. And to know how we want to handle the next onslaught of crap.

In my writing…

I use what I’ve talked about here to analyze what my characters are about, especially the things that piss them off. I ask myself “Where is the root of this anger?”

Doing this helps me:

  • write deeper characterizations
  • develop fatal flaws
  • figure out upcoming plot points
  • put my characters in greater peril
  • make my characters hurt worse emotionally

Now it’s your turn. How do you handle anger? OR What’s one of the greatest life lessons you’ve learned?

Posted by Catie Rhodes. Catie is the gal your mama warned you about, the one who cusses a lot and never washes her hands after petting the dog. She’s the author of the Peri Jean Mace paranormal mystery series. Peri Jean sees ghosts, a talent she often wishes she did NOT possess.

Belle Grove Lives Again…Sort Of

a portion of Bell Gorve plantation house

Belle Grove Plantation (circa 1936; public domain)

There’s Something About Old Houses

I live in a newly developed area. The subdivisions are filled with thousands of homes based on maybe five exterior styles and maybe ten floor plans.  When I first moved down here, I drove up to the wrong house fairly regularly. They all looked exactly the same (and still do).

I’ve always loved old houses, but living here has given me a new appreciation for them. Old houses have character and presence newer homes just don’t have. One old house might have original stained glass windows. The next might have hand carved molding or unique tile work in the kitchen or bathroom.

Yes, the newer homes are more energy efficient and have fewer (expensive) age-related issues. But I still like old homes better. The uniqueness and the attention to detail simply can’t be matched. This might sound weird, but I sometimes think I can feel the history of a place speaking to me.

My Fascination with Belle Grove

The grandest of old homes are, of course, the plantation homes sprinkled throughout the South. I’ve toured quite a few in Louisiana. The juxtaposition of the plantation homes’ beauty and the horror of their role in history is both fascinating and repellant.

(Those who know me know I have a lurid interest in repellant things.)

One of the grandest plantation homes ever to exist was Belle Grove. Built in Iberville Parish, Louisiana between 1852-1857 for the cost of $80,000, it is said to be the largest mansion ever built in the South. Its seventy-five rooms were spread out over four floors.

front of Belle Grove

Even neglected and falling down, she’s impressive!

Belle Grove was abandoned in 1925 and burned in a mysterious fire in 1952. In its place now sits a neighborhood of modest homes, much like the one I currently live in (and sometimes mistake for other houses on other streets).

Belle Grove

( all pictures circa 1936, public domain)

Belle_Grove_Plantation_06 pub domain

 To learn more about the Belle Grove, check out its website or Facebook page. Click here to watch a really neat You Tube video featuring pictures of Belle Grove Plantation set to music.

The Connection to Black Opal

I first encountered Belle Grove in a book called Ghosts Along The MississippiLooking at the pictures awakened my imagination. That this beautiful place no longer existed made me sort of sad.

So, when I hired Kimberlee Ketterman Edgar to paint the cover of Black Opal, I asked her to include a plantation house based on Belle Grove. Here’s the cover art Kimberlee created:

 

BlackOpal_Ebook for BN
My series heroine, Peri Jean Mace, ends up stuck at the huge house on the cover after charging off to confront her boyfriend because she thinks he’s cheating on her. She ends up getting into more trouble than she ever imagined possible and discovering secrets she never wanted to know. But that’s the norm for Peri Jean.

Download it today at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kobo

Interested in trying out my Peri Jean Mace stories but aren’t quite ready to purchase anything? Well, today is your lucky day.

Subscribers to my newsletter can read a brand new, exclusive 14-page Peri Jean Mace short story titled “Peckerwood Bocephus.” This story takes place twelve years before the events in Forever Road and is the story of how Peri Jean got the tattoo on her arm.

Click here to sign up.

After you sign up, look for instructions on downloading “Peckerwood Bocephus” in the Final Welcome Email.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Are there any fellow admirers of old houses out there? Which ones have you visited and which one was your favorite?

Posted by Catie Rhodes. Catie is the gal your mama warned you about, the one who cusses a lot and never washes her hands after petting the dog. She’s the author of Forever Road and Black Opal, of the Peri Jean Mace paranormal mystery series. Peri Jean sees ghosts, a talent she often wishes she did NOT possess.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)

Slenderman’s Coming For You

Howdy, folks. This is the first post I’ve written expressly for misterio press blog, and I’m excited to share it.

Today, we’re going to be talking about an Urban Myth called Slenderman. The unique thing about Slenderman is that he got his start online. Every evolution of him can be traced back to something that originally appeared in cyberspace.

Before we start, let me make one thing clear. This article is not intended as a definitive post on this topic. It’s merely a starting point for those brave enough to venture into the world of Slenderman.

Firsthand Experience

The best way to introduce y’all to Slenderman is to share the experience of someone who saw him:

As to personal stories, when I was four or five, we were driving home from my grandparents’ house through a dark part of the city. I saw a tall, slender man walking toward the car as we rolled slowly by. He looked eerie to me so caught my attention. As we came parallel to him, he happened to enter the glow of a streetcorner light and I saw that his face was like ashes. It looked as if it would crumble at a touch, all dark grey, wrinkled, and papery. I was startled and said, “Mummy, look at that man.” She craned around and said, “What man?” He was gone. No sign of him. Had he merely turned the corner we would still have seen him. No idea what that was but it fits the meme.

~By Gene Stewart

Find Gene online: Facebook, Website

Who is Slenderman?

This is a list of Slenderman descriptions I’ve collected:

  • Unnaturally tall and thin figure who wears a suit and has no facial features
  • A fairy from the Black Forest
  • A boogeyman who lives in the woods
  • A shapeshifter who assumes the form of trusted adults to lure his victims (usually children)

What Does He Do?

The following is a list of Slenderman’s interactions with his victims:

  • Can extend his arms (tendrils, tentacles) to trap his victims
  • Able to appear and disappear at will (teleport)
  • Has the ability to brainwash his victims and control their actions
  • Kidnaps children
  • Starts fires
  • Causes sickness
  • Mutilates victims

First Mentions

Slenderman began on The Something Awful Forms in this 2009 thread as “paranormal pictures” contest. Forum users posted photos to which they had added supernatural images. A user named Victor Surge posted the following two images with accompanying captions.

The Pictures

Picture Number One:

Licensed on Creative Commons

 

Click here to see Senderman Picture Number Two

The Captions:

Caption 1:

We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time

~ 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

Caption 2:

One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as The Slender Man. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence.

~1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

These two images and their accompanying captions spawned all sorts of discussion and stories. The idea of Slenderman later morphed into fiction, videos, and video games.

The Fiction

Creepypasta, a website where readers are invited to contribute creepy, shocking stories, has a whole sub-genre of scary stories which center on Slenderman. Click here for the Creepypasta Slenderman Tag.

The Games

Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival

Slenderman’s Shadow

Slenderman for IOS(The linked game is one of several. Go to the iTunes Store and do a search on “Slenderman” to see what I mean.)

The Videos

Marble Hornets

The Slenderman phenomenon/story morphed into a You Tube Video series called Marble Hornet.

The story on which the You Tube videos is based is that of Alex Kralie. A film student, Alex stumbled on “something troubling” while shooting his first full length project Marble Hornets. Click here to read a longer version of this story.

If you just want to watch the videos, go to the You Tube Channel for Marble Hornets.

The Documentary

There is an Irish Slenderman Documentary on You Tube. Click here for Part 1 of 5.Look for subsequent installments in the “recommended videos” section.

Slenderman’s Origins

Mythology from all over the world seems to support the existence of Slenderman (or something like him). Here are two of my favorites:

Der Ritter or “The Knight” — Germany

418px-Der_Ritter

This is a 16th century woodcut by Hans Freckenberg. The woodcut was re-discovered inÊHalstberg Castle in 1883.

“The Faceless One” — Wales

Hush, thy childe, do not stray far from the path,
or The Faceless One shall steal you away to Fairieland.
He preys on sinful and defiant souls,
and lurks within the woods.
He has hands of ebony branches,
and a touch as soft as silk.
Fear The Faceless One thy childe,
for he shall take you to a dark place.
And what shall become of thou?
Noone knows, so be good, thy little one-
Alas! He is here to take thou away!

This lullaby dates back to the 18th century. Like many lullabies of the time, it was didactic in nature, intended to teach children not to go near the forest.

Have you ever heard of Slenderman? Ever seen him? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Sources:

Special thanks goes to Gene Colwell. He gave me more information on Slenderman than I dreamed possible.

Special thanks to Gene Stewart for providing an “up close and personal” experience with Slenderman.

Slenderman on Know Your Meme

Slenderman in Mythology and Culture

The Abilities of Slenderman

“Why Slenderman Works: The Meme That Proves Our Need to Believe” by Patrick Dane

Posted by Catie Rhodes. Catie is the gal your mama warned you about, the one who cusses a lot and never washes her hands after petting the dog. She’s the author of Forever Road, Book 1 in the Peri Jean Mace paranormal mystery series. Peri Jean sees ghosts, a talent she often wishes she did NOT possess.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)

The Pool From Which We All Drink

It was always our hope here at misterio press to make this blog more a group effort. We are pleased that this idea is now coming to fruition. Kass Lamb will still be doing her Mental Health posts a few times a month but we will now have other authors from our group contributing on other topics, mainly of a paranormal and/or true crime bent.

Today, Catie Rhodes brings us one of her favorite topics as the first installment in Transcendental Tuesdays. Take it away, Catie!

The Pool From Which We All Drink

CatieRhodes-200x300

Catie Rhodes

Some time ago, I read Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. As always, when I finished the book, I read his author’s notes. The first sentence of the first paragraph reads:

There really is a pool where we—and in this case by we I mean the vast company of readers and writers—go down to drink and cast our nets.” – Stephen King

Folklore interests me for this very reason. Seeing bits and pieces of the same tales from all over the world fascinates me. The universality of our existence makes us have similar fears and similar hopes. All we do is put little touches and little splashes of color over the same themes and ideas. The thought of it is humbling.

For an example, let’s look at “The Phantom Coach of East Texas” and talk about how it connects to the rest of the world.

The following is a summary of the story. If you’d like to read the original, check my sources at the end of this post.

The Phantom Coach of East Texas

The legend of the phantom coach in East Texas was collected from a former slave named Ben Smiley. It takes place in pre-civil war East Texas on the Ayish Bayou.

In this era, people came from miles around to gather in one another’s homes for socials.

a social of the 1800's

These gatherings provided a chance for young people to court. At one such gathering, the daughter of a local planter fell in love with a young man from one of the visiting families. Soon afterward, on the night of the harvest moon, the girl’s father held a social at their home to announce her engagement to the boy.

The young couple slipped away from the social to take a moonlight ride in one of the coaches. As was customary during the era, the slaves whose job it was to drive their owners to the social stood around the fire outside swapping tales. Ben Smiley, from whom this story was collected, was among these men.

The sound of hoofbeats and the rattle of a carriage moving interrupted the men’s swapping of tales. One of them ran to stop the carriage. He spoke to the newly engaged couple who told him they would be back soon. He let them go, and the couple was never seen again.

No one could explain why the couple would have eloped. Both sets of parents were happy about the engagement. The community was excited for the couple. The slaves speculated the couple was spirited away by demons.

Years passed and the incident was forgotten by everybody except the missing couples’ parents. The father of the young woman who had disappeared had a social on the night of the harvest moon. Once again, the slaves stood around the fire outside swapping stories.

The coachman who had tried to stop the couple years before was in the middle of telling a story, but he stopped to stare down the dark, pine tree-lined drive in front of the house. His face grew slack with alarm. The other slaves turned to see what had upset him.

All of the slaves saw a gold, shapeless glow emerge from the pine trees and move noiselessly toward them. In the glow, they saw the shape of a carriage—which was being drawn by a force other than horses. The figure of a woman sat inside coach. The coach passed the horrified slaves slowly and without sound and faded into the fall night.

Ben Smiley, the teller of this tale, was convinced the ghost of the girl who had disappeared so many years before sat in the coach. As the legend goes, the phantom coach and its ghostly passenger came up her parents’ drive each harvest moon until they died.

Great story, right?

Versions of this story are known in Italy, Spain, England and Ireland.

In England

In England, the most famous occupant of a phantom coach is none other than Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VII. After her failure to produce a male heir, Anne’s relationship with the king deteriorated. He had her charged with treason and sentenced her to death.

Anne Boleyn’s ghost has been been seen in the grounds of Blickling Hall, which was the Boleyn family home. She is dressed in white and sits in a ghostly carriage. Anne, the carriage’s horses, and the coachman are all headless. Anne holds her severed head in her lap.

Blickling Hall and grounds

Home of Ann Boleyn’s family; her headless ghost is said to ride in a phantom carriage through the grounds (photo by Evelyn Simak CC-BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia)

Sir Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, stated his belief of Anne’s guilt at her trial. Sir Thomas, too, roams the night roads in a phantom coach crossing each of the twelve bridges that lie between Wroxham and Blickling. Traveling this route is said to be Sir Thomas Boleyn’s punishment for betraying his daughter.

Irish Mythology

Both the Anne Boelyn tale and The East Texas Phantom Coach can be connected to the Dullahan of Irish mythology.

The Dullahan is a headless rider on a black carriage pulled by six headless horses or he is a solo headless rider on a black horse. Like the East Texas phantom coach, the Dullahan’s approach is silent. Like Anne Boleyn, The Dullahan carries his head with him.

The Irish Dullahan is an omen of death. He stops before the door of one who is about to die and shouts the person’s name. His call draws forth the soul of the soon-to-be-deceased. Unlike the Banshee (or Bean Sidhe), the Dullahan’s call is not a warning. He actually draws the soul out of the person whose time it is to die.

We All Add Our Own Twist

The Legend of the East Texas Phantom Coach was told by a slave named Ben Smiley. His telling added certain elements that drew from what he knew.

The gold of the East Texas phantom coach could be attributed to imagery used in African American folk music, including spirituals. According to the source material by John Q. Anderson, this gold imagery in spirituals came from the Bible story of Elijah and the descriptions in the Book of Revelation.

The silent, golden coach is also similar to “will-o’-the-wisp” folklore. This phenomenon is also known as ghost-lights and swamp gas.

oil painting of a will-of-the-wisp

Will-of-the-Wisp ~ oil painting by Arnold Böcklin, 1882

According to European folklore, the mysterious lights are faeries intent on leading travelers astray. The American version of this folklore explains the lights as spirits of railroad workers killed on the job.

The way all these stories intersect fascinates me. Connecting all the dots is like a game. It makes the world around me feel very, very large.

Floor is open. What stories can you share from the pool from which we all drink?

Sources:

“The Legend of the Phantom Coach in East Texas” by John Q. Anderson. Western Folklore, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Oct., 1963), pp. 259-262.

The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

Mystical Myth: Irish Dullahan

Will O’ The Wisp

Posted by Catie Rhodes. Catie’s debut novel, Forever Road, is Book 1 in the Peri Jean Mace paranormal mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once or twice a week, sometimes about serious topics, and sometimes just for fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)

A Ghost at Nemacolin Castle

Hey, Shannon here! As much interest as I have in the paranormal and as many hours as I’ve logged watching Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, I’ve sadly never had a personal experience with a ghost. So, I’m going to tell you about my mom’s experience.

A few years ago, my mom took a tour through Nemacolin Castle, built by the Bowman family in 1789 in Brownsville, Pa. There were eight people in the tour, four of them were my mom and members of her family. As they were led through the rooms, she snapped random pictures with her digital camera.

This is one of the pictures she took in the Tea Room:

When she was going over the photos later that night, she realized there was someone in the mirror that did not look anything like the other four people in the room with them.

Here’s a close up of the mirror:

 Can you see the man in the white shirt and mustache? Or do you see something else?

My mom contacted the castle staff the next day and a local paranormal team was there. They asked her to bring her camera back and show them where she was standing when she took the picture, which she did.

It was determined from the angle of the mirror (after two sets of drained batteries on two different cameras) when they recreated the photo, the man would have been standing right beside her.

Chills, right? Have you ever captured anything on film you couldn’t explain?

To read a great mystery about ghosts, check out Catie Rhodes’ new release, Forever Road. Her protagonist sees ghosts, much to her dismay.

Forever Road cover

My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

Check it out on AMAZON  And then come on back and tell us about your own ghost sightings!

Posted by Shannon Esposito. Shannon is a mystery writer and stay-at-home mom. She loves daydreaming and hugging her kids (including the four-legged ones). She writes the Pet Psychic Mystery series and also has a stand-alone paranormal mystery, The Monarch.

We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.

Please follow us by filling in your e-mail address where it says “subscribe to blog via email” in the column on the right, so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun!

Brotherly Love–From Beyond the Grave

In honor of Catie Rhodes’ new release, FOREVER ROAD, we’re telling real-life ghost stories this weekend. Why? Because Catie’s main character sees ghosts, and isn’t all that happy about possessing that particular talent. But here, I’ll let Peri Jean tell you about it herself:

Forever Road coverMy name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

I just love Peri Jean!

And now for the real-life ghost stories. Yesterday we had three short tales of ghosties or other strange ghost-related events. Today we have a longer and more poignant tale to tell. You might want to have a tissue handy.

From Stacy Green:

After five years of trying to have a child, and a miscarriage that had left me deeply depressed for weeks, I had finally reached the 12th week of pregnancy. But due to a genetic issue, my baby was at high risk of being born with Downs Syndrome. On June 7, 2005, my husband and I went to the University of Iowa for prenatal testing. That day my brother, Kevin, called my mom to see how I was doing and ask when we’d get the results. He told her he was worried about me.

He died in a car accident that night.

I rushed to my parents’ home two hours away and went with them and my sister-in-law to the funeral home to make arrangements. You can imagine the rest of that day. I went to bed in my parents’ guest room–exhausted, empty, and feeling guilty that I was worrying about my test results when my brother had just died.

I became trapped in a horrible dream. My brother stood at the foot of my bed staring at me with an expression I’ve never been able to fully describe. I knew it was him, even though his face was swollen and his mustache was missing. He kept trying to tell me something. In the dream, I jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. He followed me from room to room, the same pleading expression on his face. I’ve never been so scared in my life!

An alert on the weather radio, signaling an upcoming storm, woke me. It also woke my mother. We went down to the kitchen and I told her about the dream. It had been so vivid, so real. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I told her that he didn’t look like himself and that he was wearing the burgundy shirt and khaki pants he had worn at Christmas.

My mother turned white. “That’s what he’s going to be buried in.”

After an hour of talking, I explained it away as coincidence. The last time I’d seen him he’d been wearing that shirt. My mind just filled in the blanks. Still, I couldn’t shake the realness of it all.

The next day was the viewing. I looked in the casket and nearly collapsed. Not only was Kevin wearing those clothes, but his face was swollen and puffy from the trauma, and he didn’t have a mustache.

Kevin was eighteen years older than me, and I’d never seen him without a mustache. Ever. Barely able to stand, I asked his poor wife about it. “He was trimming it a few days ago and messed up,” she said. “I told him to shave it off.”

There’s no way I could have known that. The mustache sealed the deal for me. Kevin had come to me the night before. I was convinced he was trying to tell me something, but what?

I got my answer later that day when the call came from the University of Iowa. Our tests results were back. It wasn’t  absolute, but the screening indicated that our baby was very likely fine.

And then it hit me: that’s what Kevin had been trying to tell me. The day he was killed, he’d told Mom how worried he was that I wouldn’t be able to handle it if the test results were bad news. In the dream, he was trying to let me know that everything was going to be okay. I know this in my gut. The clothes, the mustache, the test results—too many things to be a coincidence.

My family will never get over my brother’s loss, but I am so grateful to him for coming to me the way he did. I’m not sure I would have believed in the test results if he hadn’t visited me in my dream. After that experience, I believed it would be okay. My anxiety about the baby went down, and I was able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy.

My daughter, Grace, was born on December 26, 2005, and she is perfect!

Grace

I told you to get tissues!

Stacy’s going to have her own new release in just a couple more days! Stay tuned for Tin God, and come on back tomorrow for one more ghost story, with an honest-to-god picture of a ghost!

Do you have any ghost stories? Please share them in the comments.

And don’t forget to check out FOREVER ROAD. You will love this book!

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.

Please follow us by filling in your e-mail address where it says “subscribe to blog via email” in the column on the right, so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun!

Ghost, Ghosts Everywhere (All Weekend Long)

To celebrate the release of Catie Rhodes’ book, Forever Road, in which her main character sees ghosts, we here at misterio press put our heads together and came up with some real ghost stories for you all.

Yes, these are real ghost sightings by one of us, or by people we know and have every reason to believe are sane!

Today, we’ve got three short stories for you, and then tomorrow and Sunday, we’ll be bringing you two more!! (In Sunday’s story, someone actually ‘captured’ the ghost in a photo, which we will show you.)

But first you’ve gotta meet Peri Jean. She’s a hoot!

Forever Road cover

My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

Forever Road is available on AMAZON for your reading pleasure!!

And now our real-life ghost stories:

 From JoAnn Bassett:  I’d taken my parents on a tour of the state of Colorado and we stopped for a night in this huge hotel where hardly anyone was staying. I had no idea at the time that this was The Stanley Hotel, where the movie based on Stephen King’s The Shining was shot.

Late at night I heard music coming from a downstairs ballroom. I looked out the window and saw a diffused light coming from the ballroom windows and when I opened my window I could hear Big Band songs being played by a large dance band. I figured someone was having a wedding and the bride and groom liked old-style music.

photo of Stanly Hotel at night

The Stanley Hotel at night (photo by lojjic, CC license 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the morning, I mentioned it to the desk clerk and her shoulders slumped. “Not again,” she said. I learned later that a couple who were married there in the 1940’s had died in a car crash going back down to Denver, and now and then when they begin to miss each other terribly they come back to the place of their wedding and re-enact their last beautiful night on Earth. I was so creeped out when I left (and it was a bright sunny day) I had to grip the wheel to avoid joining them by crashing my car on my way back to Denver!

I KNOW I heard the music and saw the shadows of people dancing in the ballroom on the first floor! And the song I remember was “Stardust.”

From Kirsten Weiss:  My sister believes in nothing but herself – and certainly not in ghosts. And while she won’t out and out say she once lived in a haunted apartment… Here’s her story.

Mysterious shadows that moved up the stairs and across the walls – she could rationalize those. Even the pumpkin that tipped over and rolled away after one of those shadows flitted over it–even that she could try to deny.

creepy hand

Photo by en:User: Drgnu23 subsequently altered by en:user: Grendelkhan, en:user: Raul654 and en:user: Solipsist. CC license 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

But once while she was alone in the apartment, she stepped out of the shower, and saw an adult hand reach beneath the bathroom door.

There wasn’t room enough for a child’s hand to slip beneath that door!

It was impossible, uncanny, and terrifying. She perched on the toilet seat, feet tucked under her, bathroom door locked, until she heard her roommate come home.

 

From Kassandra Lamb: My mother died at 76 after a 6-month battle with cancer. She and my stepfather had retired to Florida but most of their friends and family still lived in Maryland (including my brother and I at the time) so my stepfather decided to have her memorial service up north.

After the service he headed back to Florida. He’d already decided that he didn’t want to live in their house alone, so on that long drive south, my stepfather was thinking about everything he needed to do to get the house ready to put on the market. As he thought about how he would dispose of my mother’s clothing, he started getting a case of the guilts. Was it disrespectful to be so hasty about throwing out or giving away her clothes and other personal belongings?

When he got home, he walked into the bedroom and opened the closet door. The rod in the closet had broken, on my mother’s side of the closet, and had dumped all my mother’s clothes onto the floor. He looked at the ceiling and said, “Got it, Hon.” Then he went to get bags to start packing up her clothes for Goodwill.

Now when’s the last time you heard of a closet rod breaking loose like that? It happens but not that often. This was just too much of a coincidence! And it totally fit with my mother’s sense of humor.

My mom laughing

My mom laughing HAO over something my brother said.

How about you? Have you ever seen a ghost, or know somebody who has?

Don’t forget to check out Catie’s great book, Forever Road.  It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read!  (And be sure to stop back tomorrow and Sunday for two more real-life ghost stories.)

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.

Please follow us by filling in your e-mail address where it says “subscribe to blog via email” in the column on the right, so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun!

TWO MORE AUTHORS! (Somebody order more champagne!)

Shannon Esposito and I are dancing the happy dance today as we announce that two more wonderful mystery writers have joined our group here at misterio press.

old photo of two children dancing

Shannon’s the short one (photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-08238 CC-BY-SA)

Okay, that isn’t really us, but we’re that happy! We now have seven authors which is exactly the number we wanted for our indie press, so that we can provide a variety of mystery/suspense titles and maintain a high level of quality for our readers.

Since we’re introducing you to two authors this time, we got twice as much virtual bubbly, so grab a glass and stick around as we tell you about Stacy Green and Catie Rhodes. (Shh, don’t tell Kathy Owen that we’re throwing a bigger bash than she got.)

big tower of champagne glasses

(photo by Filaos, CC 2.0 license, Wikimedia Commons)

Whoa, that’s a lot of champagne!

Stacy Green already has two great creations to her credit: her adorable daughter, Grace, and her debut suspense novel, Into the Dark, (published by MuseItUp Publishing).

Stacy Green head shot

When Stacy isn’t taking care of her family or writing, she’s researching true crime and serial killers for her blog. She also enjoys gardening and healthy cooking. Her writing credentials are impressive. You can check them out over at her cyber home.

She has a new novel coming out in less than two weeks (April 8th to be exact) called Tin God. It’s the first in her Delta Crossroads series.

I have read it and can tell you that it is fabulous. I can’t wait for her to finish the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I can’t show you the cover just yet because Night Owl Reviews is having an exclusive Cover Reveal for Stacy today (Yes, she is quite the social butterfly, flitting back and forth between two parties!)

But I can tell you what it’s about:

Getting pregnant as a teenager and being coerced into giving her baby up for adoption left a festering scar on Jaymee Ballard’s life. Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee nearly gives up hope of getting her daughter back after her best friend is murdered. Now, four years later, a wealthy woman with legal connections hires her as a housekeeper, and Jaymee gathers the courage to seek her help. But Jaymee’s last chance ends up in a puddle of blood in one of the historic antebellum mansions in Roselea, Mississippi.

I just murdered your wife…again.

An unsigned letter consisting of six horrifying words turns Nick Samuels stagnant life upside down. Stuck in emotional purgatory since his wife’s unsolved murder four years ago, Nick is about to self-destruct. The arrival of the letter claiming credit for his wife’s murder and boasting of a new kill sends Nick to Roselea, where he and Jaymee’s worlds collide.

Jaymee and Nick realize exposing the truth about her daughter’s adoption is the only way to solve the murders. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence–and Jaymee’s daughter–are lost. But the truth doesn’t always set the guilt-ridden free. Sometimes, it destroys them.

 

Catie Rhodes will be the first to tell you that she’s that girl your mother warned you about…

Catie Rhodes head shotThe one who cusses and never washes her hands after petting the dog. Catie decided to turn her love of lying into writing fiction after she got fired for telling her boss the President was on the phone.

It didn’t take Catie long to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up. With her faithful Pomeranian, Cosmo, at her side, she draws on her East Texas roots and her love of true crime and the paranormal to write the kind of stories she wishes the book stores sold.

And we’re thrilled to announce the release of one of those stories next week (April 5th), Forever Road. I gotta tell you that this is the best debut novel I’ve ever read.

cover of Forever Road

I’ll let Catie’s main character, Peri Jean, introduce herself.

My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

You are going to love both of these books!

By the way, Catie also has a great blog called Long Roads and Dark Ends. Isn’t that the coolest name for a mystery writer’s blog?

I’m getting thirsty from doing all this talking so I’m gonna go get another glass of champagne. You all please make Stacy and Catie welcome now!

*dances off to get some more virtual bubbly*

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.