This post is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend the late Sharon Donovan, a romantic suspense author, 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, and I miss her even more at this time of year!
As for spooky tales, I had an eerie experience some years ago when I was attending a writing weekend at an old mansion known as Gregynnog, in Wales.
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 extensive grounds, and writing in the large, comfortable music room.
I took a photo of a friend standing beside a large stone hand in the garden, 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 and a reflection of a lady in a long, flowing dress has been seen in the river beneath a small bridge, near the entrance to Gregynnog, accompanied by a sudden strong wind where previously all had been calm.
To end with, I thought I'd share an excerpt from my very first Wild Rose Press novel 'Starquest', which I think has a really 'spooky' feel to it, although it's SF romance rather than witches or vampires! 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.
Then tiny, dancing pinpoints of light appear...
EXCERPT FROM STARQUEST
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
TRICK OR TREAT
I'm 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 1st November I'll pick the winner with the Random Generator and announce the name on November 2nd - and don't forget the Snarkology Blog Hop Grand Prize of $100 - enter below
You'll need to click on the link above to enter via the Rafflecopter -Sorry for some reason it's stopped showing up on this post but the link works.
The other Blogs taking part in this blog hop are in the link below. Visit them all on a virtual 'trick or treat'for the greatest chance of winning and most of them are offering their own prize as well!
Follow the Trick or Treat Hop trail hereThank you for stopping by on my stage of Melissa's Halloween Blog Hop. Continuing the 'spooky' theme, while you're here, if you have a moment, please take a look at the 'Cover Reveal' for my friend Echo Shea's latest release 'Light A Candle For The Beast', to be released on 26th November.. which is directly beneath this post. I've had the privilege of reading an ARC of this and it's a chilling and compellingly haunting story! (If you leave a comment on that post as well, I'll give you another entry into my contest.)
'STARQUEST' 'CHILDREN OF THE MIST' (The sequel to Starquest)
Dancing With Fate 'Freeread': 'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH
Your friend sounds like a proper Halloween lover. I'm so sorry she's past, but this is such a nice way to celebrate her life. I love the excerpt from Starquest.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the chance!! email@example.com .. great blog ..ReplyDelete
Hi Echo - thanks so much for stopping by. Glad you liked the excerpt. You'd have liked Sharon. Despite being blind, having diabetes and heart problems, she had such a zest for life and such a wicked sense of humour. She is sorely missed by all who knew her!ReplyDelete
Hi Joely, thanks for commenting - glad you like the post and good luck in the draw!ReplyDelete
Liked your post. Sorry your friend is no longer with you. Liked the excerpt and would love to win it. Thanks for being part of this fun hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>ReplyDelete
reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Lovely tribute to Sharon!ReplyDelete
I love that you dedicated this to your beloved friend. I also loved your story of your time in a beautiful, but obviously, haunted house! I LOVE your Proud to be Welsh flag too! I have Welsh ancestry (waaaaaay back) but am every bit as proud of it as I am of being American. Thank you!ReplyDelete
My dippy self always forgets this! firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
Hi Lori, how interesting to meet an American with Welsh heritage! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Good luck in the draw!Delete
Lyn, I loved this haunted post. What fun! And how eerie that the apparition is fading from your photo. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I forgot to include Sharon--hard to believe she's no longer with us. I know you were especially close to her. Hope her loss is growing less painful and thoughts of her now bring only happy memories.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for stopping by, Caroline, and yes, Sharon is missed so much but as you say, leaves a legacy of wonderful memories and stories. Glad you enjoyed the post.Delete
Hi Nay-Nay, thanks so much for stopping by - glad you liked the post! Yes, Sharon was a wonderful friend and a gifted writer!ReplyDelete
Hi Trix, Thank you so much for our kind comment.ReplyDelete
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
Thanks BN100, glad you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
What a lovely old building. It must have been wonderful being able to stay there as part of the writer's workshop. Thank you for sharing your experience and your stories with us, and for taking part in the Hop. :-)
I would love to have a chance to visit a building like that, let alone stay a weekend and attend a conference there.ReplyDelete
Hi Melissa and Sheryl, it's been so much fun taking part in this blog hop. Yes, Gregynnog is a wonderful old building, and the inside is as spectacular as the outside, a really atmospheric place to spend a writing weekend!ReplyDelete