Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Bloggers: Kelly Abell & The Ghost Guys

Hi Everyone,

Kelly Abell and The Ghost Guys have stopped by to share chapter one of their new book "A Miner's Curse" with us for free.

Available on Amazon

Also available at:
Solstice Publishing
Barnes And Noble

Coming soon in Audio Book!

University of Montana archeologist Karen Fey has made it her life’s work to study the effect women had on creating some resemblance of home in the rough and rugged Montana mining communities of the early 1800’s, so it’s really no surprise when she receives the mysterious letter. Some crazy old woman offers her a small fortune to retrieve a tombstone from an old abandoned mining town near Coloma, MT. In addition to the money, the old woman offers Karen a prize she can’t resist, but warns of a terrible curse that haunts the old mine. 

Ignoring the warning, Karen and her fiancĂ© Rob travel to the coordinates in the letter. Everything the old woman warned about...mysterious disembodied voices, unexplained lights in the woods, frightening growls from the darkness and knocking sounds coming from underground...exists, and Karen and Rob quickly discover they are not alone. Rob calls in his friends, paranormal investigators, Mike Clark and Jim Choquette, The Ghost Guys, to investigate. What The Ghost Guys discover leads them all to a terrifying conclusion... A Miner’s Curse is real.

Based on a true story of the investigations of the Ghost Guys. Do you believe?

Free: Chapter One
(Please disregard any formatting issues that this blog has caused Chapter One. Any formatting issues here will not show up in the purchased book)

Chapter One
Karen sat at her desk in the glow of her laptop and studied the words on the screen. The final paragraphs of her article eluded her. This was her most important work yet, and the conclusion had to be spot on. The article was headed to her editor with the hope that Archeology Today would run it in their fall issue. Brow furrowed, she read her words again. She’d spent years researching the role women played in these old mining towns, in developing a rough and ready land. Her words needed to do them justice.
Inspiration struck and she started to type, only to be interrupted seconds later as her partner both in life and academics, burst through her office door.
“Karen, you have got to see this,” Rob exclaimed as he rushed toward her, plopping himself down in an empty, metal-framed vinyl chair, so hard that papers fluttered on her desk. 
For a moment she ignored him, typing furiously, trying to get those elusive words on the screen. This was the most important part.
“Karen! Did you hear me?” He waved a piece of paper in front of her face. “Look at this.”
Words lost, Karen stopped typing and glared at Rob. “Damn it Rob! I had the final few paragraphs left to go on this article and you ruined it. This better be important.” She snatched the piece of paper from his hand.
It was a letter. She glanced at Rob who now sat on the edge of his seat bouncing his feet on the floor. 
“What is this?”
“It’s a letter, you dope.  Read it.”
Karen sighed and studied the paper.

Dear Dr. Fey and Mr. Woodson,
My name is Elizabeth Grayson. I know you haven’t heard of me, nor do you probably care about who I am, so I won’t bore you with the sordid details, but I guarantee you will be interested in my offer. I’ve followed your work for years and am fascinated with all the information you’ve unearthed on the old mining towns in Montana. Call me eccentric, crazy, or both, but for many reasons I am drawn to these old mines. Perhaps it is because my great grandfather died in one. His name was Frank Holmes. He came to Montana back in 1912 and staked a claim there. 
Legend has it that the old mine was cursed and as the miners worked, they would hear knocking sounds coming from under the ground. While in the mine they’d hear voices and a deep growling. One day the mine caved in, killing at least twenty miners, one of which was my great grandfather. He was buried alive in that mine and a gravestone erected in his memory, along with many others for the miners who died that day. 
I guess you are wondering what this has to do with you.  I think we can be of help to each other. It is my desire to bring back the tombstone in his honor and place it in our family plot in Butte, Montana. I believe with your expertise you can find it and in turn have another story to write about. If it is a woman’s role you are interested in, I have some valuable information for you. If you bring home my great grandfather’s tombstone I will share with you my great grandmother’s journal of life in that mining town of Coloma in the Garnet Mountains. I believe you will find it most fascinating. 
Enclosed is a check to show good faith on my behalf. I’d like to fund the entire expedition, and if you need more money, feel free to contact my attorney, George Ledbetter. His phone number is listed below. I can be reached through him if you have any questions. I’m sorry I’m personally unable to embark upon this adventure with you but my poor health leaves me house bound. 
One final thought. If you choose to work with me, I feel I must warn you. The curse that killed those miners is very powerful. It is my understanding that whatever enacted that curse upon those poor unfortunate souls, wishes to stay hidden. Disturbing the mine could re-kindle the activity and cause you much danger. That is why I’m willing to pay you well to recover the tombstone. The geographical coordinates where the mine is believed to be located are enclosed in the envelope along with copies of a few pages from my grandmother’s diary so you know I am telling the truth. She speaks of the curse. Heed her warnings carefully, Dr. Fey and Mr. Woodson. It chills my bones just reading her words. I can’t imagine what it might be like to face such evil. Be careful.
If you choose to accept my request, please call George and let him know. He will see to all your needs. I thank you in advance. 
Elizabeth Holmes Grayson

Karen dropped the letter on her desk and glared at Rob. “This is what you interrupted me for? Some letter from a crazy old woman who wants to trace her ancestry? I was on a roll here, Rob. This article is important to my tenure, and just when I’d broken through and gathered the right words for these last two paragraphs you come barging in here with this shit?”
“I’m sorry, Karen, but this is no joke. The woman may be eccentric, but I’ve called her lawyer. This is legit. Here look...” Rob handed her a piece of paper with the coordinates Elizabeth mentioned in her letter.
Karen sighed as she gave it a cursory study. Then she tossed it back at him. “Rob, we’ve combed this entire area. If there were a collapsed mine there we would have found it by now. Stop wasting my time. Go home.”
Rob reached over and grasped her hand. “Karen, baby, I know how important this paper is to you and I wouldn’t have interrupted you if I didn’t think this was important. I’ve already compared the coordinates of all the sites we’ve visited and this one is seven miles east of where we’ve explored. We haven’t been there.” His voice rose in pitch as his excitement built.  “Look at this before you say no.” He shoved an envelope across the desk.
Karen studied Rob’s expression. She’d never seen him this excited about anything to do with her work before. Oh, he was companionable enough about her studies alright. He’d worked diligently by her side for years while she’d built her reputation in the world of archeology and anthropology. He was a good professor. But that was all he’d been interested in. Field work had never been a passion of his, so this sudden interest in this crazy old woman’s letter was a bit surprising.
Moving her laptop to the side, Karen reached for the envelope. She emptied the contents on her desk. Four loose leaf pieces of paper fluttered out, along with a check. She flipped the check over and immediately sucked in her breath.  She couldn’t remove her eyes from the check.
“I know, right?” Rob’s wide grin almost reached both ears.
Karen finally looked up from the check. “Twenty five thousand dollars?” she breathed.
“I know, right?” Rob repeated.
“This woman is not only eccentric, she’s flat insane. Is this for real? You’ve called the bank?”
Rob nodded. “Yeah, it’s good. But you haven’t seen the best part.” He motioned to the four pieces of paper on her desk. Look at these.”

Karen sat against the headboard of their bed, knees bent, studying the four pieces of paper in her hands, photocopies of an old diary.  She had just finished her article and emailed it to her editor and she and Rob had returned home for the evening. Hot summer nights were rare in Montana and she enjoyed the warm breeze that fluttered the curtains of her open window. Outside crickets chirped and locusts sang deep into the woods behind their house. Rob came out of the bathroom waving his toothbrush, his mouth full of sudsy toothpaste. 
“I’m telling you we need to do this,” he said, stuffing the toothbrush back into his mouth and sauntering back into the bathroom. 
Karen’s lips curved at his eagerness. She’d fallen for Rob the first week he’d worked at the University of Montana. Five years her senior and a transplant from back east, Virginia to be exact, he’d struggled with fitting in. She loved his southern drawl and great sense of humor but most of her colleagues didn’t take him seriously at first. They couldn’t imagine why someone would travel all the way to Montana to teach when there were so many excellent universities back east. They assumed he must not have been able to get a job anywhere else. 
How wrong they’d been.  Rob was a wealth of knowledge in the field of archeology. Even though he wasn’t fond of field work, he’d been all over the world and written several articles on proper dig techniques.  He’d learned under some of the most famous archeologists and knew more about radiocarbon dating than anyone she’d ever met.  
She watched him in the mirror as he finished brushing his teeth.  His shoulder length blonde hair was pulled into a short ponytail at the back of his neck and his round rimmed glasses were covered with water spots. He grinned at her, his blue eyes sparkling. A man with a boy’s heart, she thought.
She picked up the check and stared at it. This Elizabeth Grayson woman was crazy. But if they took this insane notion on, and were conservative, they may be able to save enough money from this dig to get married in the fall. 
Karen glanced back at the copies of the diary pages, excitement tingling in her nerve endings. If this diary was legitimate then she had the key to unlock the door to all her theories.
Women’s roles in these historical mining towns had always fascinated her. Aside from prostitution, which is the most commonly thought of role for women in a remote western town, women pretty much ruled. Oh, not out front where anyone could give them credit for it, but they ruled with an iron skillet. The forges of many a kitchen fire had borne ideas that saved the lives of many and moved this country forward. 
From the time she’d read Little House on the Prairie, Karen had admired pioneer women and how they’d etched out a life for their families in some of the most unforgiving territory known to man. Judging from these few pages, Elizabeth possessed the mother lode of information she would need to write the book that would ensure her tenure at UMT. One small tombstone returned to its rightful family seemed a small price to pay. It wasn’t like she’d been asked to dig up a body or anything.
Rob pulled the tie from his hair and plopped on the bed, smelling of mint mouthwash. “See, I told you it was legitimate.  When do we leave?”
Karen smiled. “I’ve got a few things to wrap up with this summer class. How about week after next? We’ll take two weeks off and get this done and be back in time for fall registration. Agreed?”
Rob pulled her close and kissed her on the mouth. “Agreed. Now put those copies away so I can do a little exploring of my own.”

Monday, February 11, 2013

Guest Blogger Lee Wilson

Welcome Lee Wilson to my blog today!

** Please tell us about your latest book.

The book is called, "The Last Hybrid: Bloodline of Angels." It's about two
people. One is Hannah who is going back to college after having lost her
scholarship a few years earlier when she, after being an overachiever in
high school, began drinking and partying instead of going to classes. She
has cleaned up her act and intends to focus this time.

It's also about a man named Daniel whose mother told him all his life that
he was half angel. It isn't until he falls for a red headed co-ed named
Hannah that the truth of what his mother told him becomes a matter of life
and death.

** What can we expect from you in the future?

At the moment, I'm immersed in "The Last Hybrid" which is a trilogy and
that means I'm only one third of the way complete. Beyond that, I'm
considering historical romance or science fiction.

** How do we find out about you and your books?

Anyone can register to win a FREE copy of the book at
http://www.TheLastHybrid.com. We're giving away several copies sometime
around March 1st. My personal website is at htt://www.lee-wilson.net

** Why did you decide to write romance novels?

This is my first one. Shortly after co-writing a nonfiction book with my
best-selling father-in-law, I remembered an idea for a novel that I'd had
as a teenager after reading about Nephilim in the Bible. I imagined a
half-angel character and all the difficulties and choices that would come
with that lineage. I remember seeing him in my head as he kissed a red
headed woman. All the while he's being pulled one way by angels of light
and the other way by angels of darkness in a psychological chess match
that threatens everyone he cares about.

I sat down one day and wasn't sure how much I would write or if it would
be anything more than a document saved on my computer. I finished the
scenes that had been in my head for years and the story developed from
there. It became a romance more than I decided it to be. One day I just
realized that based on how people put novels into genres, this one was a
romance. A paranormal romance to be exact.

** How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Definitely a solid amount. Daniel might not be exactly me, but I can
relate to him in so many ways (at least the way he reacts to his
situations and the way he sees life).

The book disclaimer says that characters are purely from my imagination,
but many, if not most of them, are influenced by people that I've known.
So my imagination, at least some of the time, was pointed in the right
direction by real people.

** Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

Nonfiction is a lot faster for me. "The Last Hybrid" took me about four
years. I think the first book in "The Last Hybrid" series will be the one
that took the longest because I had to create the characters, the world
and the situation. The next two books will be a continuation of that.
During that four years my agent decided she was tired of being an agent
and retired. So I, along with several writers, were in limbo for a while.
That added time to the project as well. So the bottom line is, I don't
know how long it would take me on average.

** Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I try to schedule. I really do. But usually my writing occurs from
sessions that happened when I realized I had time to write. In those
sessions I take as much time as I have and write as much as I can until I
have to stop.

** What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

Get a full-body massage. The relaxation, the music and the massage seem to
let my imagination function much more smoothly. I can explore
possibilities without walls it seems. Golf too. But I usually feel like I
need to be writing so I don't do either of those things as often as I'd

** Where do your ideas come from?

Often times they come from dreams. If not dreams, it's me just letting the
little kid come out of me to pretend. It's kind of immature if you think
about it. But it's almost spooky how dreams reveal situations and even the
next part of the story to me. It's kind of like cheating.

** What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them
difficult to write?

I don't find them difficult to write. Maybe that's because of the energy
that naturally seems to build when I'm working on writing them. I feel a
lot for my characters. Maybe it's empathy. I feel and envision sexual
tension even in some seemingly average situations or dialogue. So that
tension builds and releases itself when I write the scene.

** What kind of research do you do?

With this book I researched the theology of angels. I wanted to be
accurate in the way I represented them. The only liberties I took, in my
opinion, were in details that were in the realm of the unknown. My
father-in-law happens to be an angel expert, so I'd run details by him
occasionally. That was helpful. I also read a lot of scholarly resources.

** Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

Sci Fi for sure. Then sometimes I think I might just go crazy and write
Amish romance or something.

** What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing?
I was worried about that some when I first started. I didn't know if she'd
like it or not. She quickly became the number one fan of the story. She
would push me to finish chapters so that she could know what was going to
happen next. She's attached to the story and characters and sometimes I
think she forgets that this stuff is coming from my imagination and that
I'm not just the messenger. Or maybe she's right and I am just the
messenger. ;)

** Do you ever ask him/her for advice?

Definitely. She dressed Hannah in "The Last Hybrid"!

** How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?

I've wanted to write creatively ever since I learned how to put words
together to form a sentence. My favorite subject in elementary was
creative writing and I remember that in third-grade English we were
assigned story writing a lot. I loved it. But I didn't need an assignment
to get me to write. I'd staple notebook paper together to make books.
Mostly about space adventures. I've always wanted to be a writer and as I
started writing professionally - mostly informational at first - I
realized that the love to do it had remained.

** How many books have you written, how many have been published?

I've co-authored two and authored one by myself. All three have been

** After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy
it and/or read it?

My second book was released in 2010 and a few months ago I bought it in a
Books-A-Million just for the experience of buying one of my books. The
cashier's face was priceless when she looked at the name on my check card.
"Oh my gosh, I've met an author!" she said. I figured she had met a lot of
us, but she told me I was the first one. I refer to my books a lot. Mostly
to experience what the reader does so that I can reassure myself that it
feels like I meant for it to.

** Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

For "The Last Hybrid." The characters came first (at least the main ones),
followed by the setting and then the story developed. In fact, I would
often start with a dream I'd had or a scene I'd envisioned and let the
characters take it somewhere. Some of the people who've reviewed the book
in its pre-published stage have commented that they liked that they
couldn't see where it was going. What's funny is that most of the time, I
couldn't either. So it's no wonder they couldn't!

** What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?

The hardest part is managing the complexities of a novel. Even when you
have a big-picture idea, you have to be careful that the details - even
the small ones - don't conflict or contradict. The easiest part is writing
a scene after seeing it in my head. It's exciting and fulfilling.

** What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Holding the book in my hands for the first time. Feeling the cover.
Fanning through the pages and taking a whiff of them. Yes, I said it! All
books seem to have a different smell.

Thanks for stopping by today!