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.
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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 fiancé 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)
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
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. Montana
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
. 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 Butte, Montana Coloma
in the . I believe you will find it
most fascinating. Garnet Mountains
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
her letter. Elizabeth
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
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. Montana
“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
. Five years her senior and a
transplant from back east, University of Montana
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 Virginia 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,
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. Elizabeth
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.”