Category Archives: Guest Blogs

This Is Not a #Ghost Story ~ Or Is it?

I have invited Nicki Chen, a good friend, and talented writer, to guest blog today.  Nicki blogs at “Nicki Chen Behind The Story” here on WordPress.

Nicki’s debut novel, Tiger Tail Soup, pays tribute to her husband’s Chinese heritage.  The novel’s beautiful design is inspired by Nicki who is an artist, as well as an author. Tiger Tail Soup is available now on Amazon in paperback.

Unsettled Spirits? The ghosts of war? Here’s Nicki’s story, “This is Not a Ghost Story”

~ ~ ~ ~

“When war invades a country and many people die before their time, ghost stories multiply. They become part of the landscape. So it was inevitable that in my novel, Tiger Tail Soup, I would mention ghosts. They’re not a big part of the story, but I couldn’t avoid them. The unsettled spirits of those who died too soon were just one more thing my characters had to contend with.

I personally have never seen a ghost or received messages from beyond the grave. But, yes, I have experienced something not easily explained by the ordinary laws of science.

We were living in the Philippines when it started. It was 1976, before email and Facebook and cheap long distance calls. So I kept in touch with my parents who were in the United States by mail, one letter every week.

One evening in April (It would have been daytime on the West Coast of the United States.) I was walking though the family room, feeling fine. The kids were in bed. My husband was in Mindanao on a business trip. Suddenly I wasn’t feeling fine. I was sure I was about to die and I didn’t know why. I couldn’t breathe properly. My chest hurt. I couldn’t think straight.

A few minutes later, the phone rang. It was my husband, calling from Mindanao. I couldn’t concentrate as he talked about his work and his travel plans.

“Can’t you come home?” I asked, interrupting. I knew he couldn’t. I’d never asked anything like that before.

For the next three months the anxiety attacks continued. They were always with me, rising and falling, striking hard without reason. I got a prescription, which helped … a little.

Then it was time for our home leave. My husband, our three daughters and I flew to Seattle. When our plane arrived, we were expecting my parents to meet us at the airport. Instead, my aunt and uncle were there, waiting for us beyond immigration and customs. “Your mom and dad couldn’t come,” Uncle Joe said, grabbing a suitcase. He didn’t tell us the rest of the story until we were all in the car.

My aunt finally broke the news. My dad had lung cancer. He’d been diagnosed three months earlier, at about the same time I’d started having anxiety attacks. Mom hadn’t said a word in her letters. She didn’t want to worry us.

I stayed on in Seattle for a while after my husband and children left. I cooked and took walks and accompanied my parents to doctors’ appointments. All the while I continued to be plagued by anxiety attacks, now with good reason.

After a few months back in the Philippines, I received a call from Uncle Joe. “The doctor says you should come back,” he said. I knew what that meant.

On the plane, I felt the same ever-present anxiety I’d been experiencing since that evening in April and the constant pressure to keep it under control and avoid a full-blown anxiety attack.

But then, a couple hours before we landed in Seattle, it left me. Completely disappeared.

When I saw Uncle Joe at the airport, I knew what he was going to say before he opened his mouth. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, giving me a hug. “Your dad died just a couple of hours ago.”

Do you have any ghost stories or tales of the unexplained? If so, leave your message for Nicki and me here and follow this blog.

╰☆╮☆♥*¨*• 💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮💕💕 •*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

And Emily Hill’s ghost stories at  . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter

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GUEST BLOG: Seer and Popular Author ~ Rick Waid ~

My Paranormal Journey: One Man's Obsession

My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession

This week I have the tremendous pleasure of interviewing Rick Waid, well-known in paranormal circles, and the author of the very popular new book, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’.  Rick’s book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as through his website (listed at the end of this blog).

Rick Waid is a seer, remote viewer, and past life reader. Rick realized his gifts during his late-30s; his mother was also a reader. As Rick began to connect with the Other Side through Electronic Voice Phenomena (also known as EVP), he began having visions and hearing his spirit guide. As his gifts developed, he learned how to remote view and was able to psychically see places he had never actually visited. As Rick’s gifts continued to evolve, he began seeing the past lives of other’s. He now connects with the Other Side frequently, and receives messages from loved ones Beyond The Veil.

A sought-after radio guest, Rick has been interviewed on numerous on-line radio programs. His candor and sincere approach, make him a popular choice among paranormal-radio hosts including Kurt Logsdon, Todd Bates, Diana Stack, and Evan Jensen of ‘Beyond the Edge of Reality/Australia‘.
I found Rick’s responses to my questions fascinating, and informative. They provide the perfect backdrop for getting to know the author of ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’:

1)  What message, or lesson, do you want the paranormal community to take away from reading your new book, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’?
Answer:  You should never give up on something you believe in. No matter how many people you encounter who are against [it].  Always get permission of the owner to research any place.

2)  How has your life changed for the better – and also – what challenges do you now face, since entering (nearly full-time) into the paranormal realm?
Answer:  I have made so many new friends and have opened more paths toward my destiny. There are still so many people that do not believe in the paranormal. My biggest challenge will be convincing people that they are around us daily.

3)  Now that you are a successful author; which compels you more – your journey as an author, or your journey in the paranormal world? What similarities do your find in each?
Answer:  They both compel me, because I want to write [a] second book that continues from ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’; and I want to be very active in the paranormal world where I can help so many with my gifts.

4)  You describe in your book feelings of invalidation, and non-caring, as you began realizing that you were experiencing paranormal activity. Will you describe the break-through of overcoming the feelings that those closest to you may not have believed in your psychic abilities at first?
Answer:  Many people turned away from me and never wanted to talk to me again. I knew I could never give this up because of how many people I was helping with my insights into their situations. This is what [compelled] me to stick with it; because I saw it in their face and felt it in my heart.

5)  You did readings on GhostPlace.com as you began developing your psychic abilities; are you staying active in that on-line community?
Answer:  They were there for me when I started and I will be going back there for them.

6)  Please introduce us to your Guide; a description of how you perceive this entity, would be helpful.
Answer:  I have never met my guide. I ask for their guidance and I can feel I am receiving it. I believe my guide is the same as other people’s guides. I saw a man with a white beard in many of my reads and I saw him in a dream. This could be my guide but I have not had a one on one with him.

7)  What do you feel emotionally, and physically, in your psychic state?
Answer:  I feel at times like I am the person I am reading. I see through their eyes and I feel their sickness and pain and see things in their past present and future.

8)  Describe how you differentiate yourself between a medium, a psychic, a channeler?
Answer:  I am a seer and I see objects that are connected with passed loved ones. I am able to pick up injuries by scanning the body. I am able to hear spirits talk to me and offer information about the sitter. I am not like a normal psychic or medium. I offer direct connects to people which holds meaning to them. This is the difference between me and most because I remote view a lot.

9)  Do your visions or messages, come in interpretative symbolism, or are the messages you receive more than distinct?
Answer:  They come in both ways. When I see stuff I try to figure out why and offer the information. Usually the sitter knows exactly what I am offering them.

10)  “Come find me . . .” This would be an interesting case to describe to those who have not yet read your book. How did that case resolve itself?
This case is still on going. There are so many [examples of how] the police have gone [above] and beyond to find this young lady. They have put so many [resources into leads that come to dead-ends. They will not do any more [investigating] unless they [find someone who] was involved with the disappearance.

11)   It’s said that people with physical challenges/sickness live close-to-the-line of the other side – does that describe you?
Answer:  I am in great health and this does not fit me. I have talked to many people with serious illnesses, and I have seen them being watched by the other side. People are really there waiting.
12)  Reading people, how did you transition to that service?  Answer:  I was an EVP specialist and I was getting into trouble for recording [at locations] I was not supposed to . One day a man gave me a bible brochure and I started seeing small green bibles everywhere. That is when I felt the recordings were not what I was supposed to do anymore. So I [used] the recorder [to describe] what I perceived I would see on my next job site. I realized this was my new path because the [information I was receiving] was more accurate.
13. What elements of your upbringing and family life hindered –or facilitated — the development of your psychic gifts?
Answer:  There was none. My mom was a reader, as were my siblings. This fact was hidden from me for my protection until I was ready to accept it.

~*~  ~*~

Rick Waid ~ Seer and Author.

Rick Waid ~ Seer and Author.

I know that you will want to follow Rick Waid and his wildly popular, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’; here’s how:

On Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Barnes & Noble

Rick Waid on Facebook

Rick Waid’s blog ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession

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GUEST BLOG: The Importance of Secondary Characters, by Jill Edmondson

I am thrilled to welcome phenomenal and prolific author, Jill Edmondson to my blog on the eve of her newest release, ‘Frisky Business’.

•*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮ Here’s Jill:

Jill Edmondson

Jill Edmondson

Getting into a good book is like going to your high school reunion.  You’ve maintained close friendships and frequent contact with many people, you have a chance to reconnect with someone you thought had fallen off the face of the Earth,  of course,  there are a couple people there whom you never liked in the first place, and there are a few you just never really paid attention to – they were probably in the chess club or some other nerdy thing 😉

Your books have these relationships as well.  There’s the hero, the antihero, and the other significant characters who appear in key scenes or in repeated passages.  It’s these “B List” folks, these seemingly peripheral people, who can really add strength to your story.

If nothing else, these supporting characters give you an opportunity to reveal more about your main characters by showing how they interact.  How does your bad guy treat the cashier at McDonald’s?  How does the cashier respond?  Does your heroine generously tip the mailman $20 at Christmas?  Would the tip be accepted graciously, or would the mailman scoff at the amount?  Would your protagonist chat with his seat mate on an airplane?  And would the fellow traveller spend the rest of the flight talking about grandchildren and showing photos?

You certainly don’t need to give pages and pages of description and backstory to the sales associate at Home Depot, but when you invest the time in giving these characters depth and personality by showing some of their quirks, then the reader is taken just a little further into the world you’ve created.

I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I published my first book (and perhaps I still don’t!)  But one of the surprises I got when I heard back from readers and reviewers was that they loved the character Victor.  I had no idea people would even really pay much attention to him!  But – for whatever reason – when I was working on the manuscript, I put some effort into making him uniquely nerdy.  He speaks too quickly and repeats himself.  He has no idea when he is being snubbed.  He’s innocent and awkward.  If someone told Victor to bring his date a box of truffles, he’s show up with a box of fungus instead of chocolates.  And somehow, that resonated, people kept asking for me to bring Victor back in another book.  And I will, but I don’t think I’ll include him in any romantic story arcs.

* * *

Jill Edmondson is the author of the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.  The fourth book in the series , ‘Frisky Business’ will be available December 1st on Amazon.

Available on Amazon on December 1st

Available on Amazon on December 1st

Note: Jill has announced that ‘Blood and Groom‘ will be #Free! on 23 and 24 November (Saturday and Sunday) !

Free on Amazon Kindle November 23 & 24

Free on Amazon Kindle November 23 & 24

For more info on Jill, check out:

Jill’s Website

Jill’s Blog www.jilledmondson.blogspot.com

Jill’s other titles on Amazon

Jill’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sashajacksonmysteries

Follow Jill on Twitter @JillEdmondson

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Guest Blogger: Dan O’Brien on ‘Water’ a post-Apocalyptic Adventure!

'Water' a post-Apocolyptic Dystopian novella available thru all eBook vendors!

‘Water’ a post-Apocolyptic Dystopian novella available thru all eBook vendors!

Emily, I want to thank you for having me on your blog to promote the release of my latest publication. Water is a novella in the B-Sides universe, which follows people in a post-apocalyptic world. While each story is a standalone adventure, together they form a deeply intricate web of action, drama, and hope. Here is a brief summary of the novella:

The next installment in the B-Sides series follows a father and son living out a quiet life in northern Arizona. A strange occurrence at the border, and a series of events that turns the world upside down, plunges society into a spiral from which it might not be able to recover. Having to flee from their home with a band of unlikely friends in tow, the open road beckons. 

Can they survive? 

And here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Tuesday

His phone vibrated as it slowly ventured toward the edge of his nightstand. Shaking and spinning, it was a ballet of electronic futility. James had left it behind; it wasn’t even an afterthought as he neared the valley of sand and heat that he had passed through only the night before. There were two reasons to live in the desert: sunsets and sunrises.

This particular morning was no exception.

The valley was formed of a crimson pastel rock that from a distance looked like the mountains at the entrance to some unknown world. But in the morning and just before the wisps of night grab a hold and smother the day, there was an explosion of colors. It was a beautiful cornucopia of blistering and beautiful art.

The sun crawled just above the sand dunes, flooding the valley in sunshine. The splashing light tumbled across the rock formations, and iridescent stones ignited the walls of the basin.

This was the part of the day James loved the most.

This was when his life felt less worthless.

There was purpose here.

The sun came into the valley each day to create this beautiful marvel, and each day he was here to witness it. The twisting serpent of the road wove in and out of the majesty of nature, until the paved parking lot of his daily grind came into view.

A grotesque sign was perched just off the road.

It read: Our Stuff.

The door of the jeep creaked as James closed it. He pulled his red vest over his black t-shirt and ran a hand through his short hair.

The parking lot was mostly empty.

A beat-up Buick had been parked there since the late 90s and had never moved. By this time, it was a makeshift homeless shelter for local transients. It was an important component of his duties for the day, driving off the homeless when they panhandled in front of the store.

Silence permeated the morning––a rare treat James relished in the early mornings. She walked in from the other side of the parking lot. A blue Honda with a dented door and missing hubcaps was parked some distance away. She was his dream girl, of a sort. She was married to––or had been, it was a strange situation to be sure––a local drunk and abuser.

Light brown hair to her chin: It was often combed over one eye, mirroring a childhood memory. There was too much eye shadow to hide indiscretions, long shirts to hide bruises.

She was a broken doll.

“Hey Violet,” James mumbled as he got closer, chancing an awkward wave.

She rarely looked up and when she did, all he was struck by was the wide eyes that looked at him in gratitude for recognizing her existence. This day, she smiled weakly. Dimples in her cheeks deepened as he got closer.

“Hello, James,” she whispered back, her voice small.

He felt protective of her.

As he neared, he smiled widely, invitingly.

“Did you bring Julie with you today?”

Julie was her eight-year old daughter who often frequented work with her mother when her father was away on a binge, or more violent than usual. James felt defensive of her as well, much to his detriment.

She shook her head. Most of the time she wore an over-sized coat with a faux fur lining and hood that was often the barrier of her hidden face.

“Her father took her today.”

James nodded absently, as he could not imagine what that man could do with a child. He could barely take care of himself. Too often, he would barrel into the store––half-drunk and yelling––and would have to be dragged out by the police. The automatic doors at the front of the store did not open as they approached.

Reaching out, James pulled them open and gestured for Violet to go first. She bowed her head, making an already smaller person even more diminutive. The interior of the store was still dark. The echo of the speakers played elevator music, water-downed versions of songs no one wanted to hear. As Violet disappeared into the aisles of the store, James turned and shut the front doors and locked them.

“See you later,” he spoke, trailing off at the end.

*

The morning passed as it often did.

The sun rose.

Heat sweltered in the desert and the fringe humanity of Miranda sought air-conditioned shelter. James was a walker, a transient employee who sauntered through the store. Seeking out customers who required help, he sometimes cleaned the bathrooms. Often, he attended to those duties that fell between the cracks of other employees. As the morning gave way to the afternoon, there was a palpable tension in the air.

Customers were more curt than usual.

People left angry.

It was not until James had the distinct pleasure of interacting with a deranged desert degenerate that he began to understand what it was about that day that was enraging people so.

“Nametag.”

James did not register the cruel tone at first.

“Nametag,” he repeated, this time drawing James’ attention. “Nametag, I’m talking to you. Turn around.”

James turned, his grimace dissipating into an even line.

It was his best attempt at a smile.

The man was a caricature of a person. His chin disappeared into his pocked neck and his bulging brown eyes seemed to be of two different sizes. Crooked teeth were revealed as he opened his mouth to speak once more.

“Hey, what about customer service? C’mon, nametag.”

“What can I help you with, sir?” mustered James.

The man’s face twisted into a sneer.

He was wearing a shirt three sizes too small, his hairy belly exposed from just beneath the dirty white shirt. Putrid breath radiated from the man. It was an odor that could have risen from a trash heap in the Mojave Desert. “Attitude? You giving me attitude now, nametag? Time like this, in a crisis and what not.”

“I’m sorry that you feel I am being discourteous…”

The man sneered again. His voice, though masculine, broke as he spoke again. “Using big words on me now, college dropout. You think you’re hot shit, selling commodities to us lower folk.”

James looked at the man in disbelief, his behavior was deplorable. “Perhaps if you can just calm down, I can help you find whatever it is you are looking for.”

The man moved in closer, the scent of body odor was overpowering. “You some kind of wise guy? Why do you think I’m here? You retarded? Don’t you listen to the news? Don’t you know what’s going on?”

James looked at him, bewildered.

“Sir, I…”

“Water,” the man spoke clearly. “Water, I need water.”

“Bottled water? Is this about the Hernandez thing? The border?” queried James, making a connection slowly, though uncertainly. “Are they peddling hysteria already?”

“Hysteria, boy, you must be living under a rock. It’s coming. That border thing’s old news. Poison is in Texas now, parts of New Mexico. They’re talking about rationing and sanctions on tap water. You believe that shit?”

James looked around the store. “I really don’t.”

It had evaded him previously.

The scampering populace of Miranda bustled about the store, arms full of plastic water bottles and greater containers. One woman had another by the hair, dragging her away from the last water bottles on the shelf. People screamed at each other, pointing accusing fingers, claiming water as their own.

“It would appear you aren’t the only one looking,” replied James, as he pointed to the pandemonium. “Best of luck to you.”

The man glowered at him as he passed by, but James could not believe his eyes. Lines were backed up, people nearly climbing over each other to get water and carry it away in the heat of the day, to survive.

He stalked over to the throng of people who had begun to congregate around the empty shelves. As he approached, the masses turned as one. Their bleary eyes and angry words were upon him before he could even speak.

“Where is the water?” one cried.

“Is there more?” queried an elderly woman shakily.

“What do we do?” screamed another.

James held up his hands, trying to calm them.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he began, but they continued to bicker. Each voice rose above the others. Some shoved those smaller than themselves, like a rabid mob. He raised his voice. Some mumbles remained, but most had directed their attention at him. “Let’s all calm down for a moment. I will go in the back and see what we have.”

He moved away from them, not giving them time to object or grow ever angrier. The store was packed. Never in his eighteen months there had he seen such a rush on the store. He wondered what it was he had missed to which everyone else was reacting so intensely. Pushing open the double doors that led into the warehouse, James sighed.

The madness was tangible.

It permeated the air, made it thin.

Other employees had congregated in the back, seeking shelter from the madness. Two of them talked loudly with each other. One he knew, the other was a new employee or perhaps someone with whom he had never crossed paths. The first was dressed in a style that could only be described as early fuckup. The other was the kind of person who you would not give another look, as average as they come.

An unevenly mounted nose ring, jagged teeth, and a tone that was filled with ignorance: The younger man James did not know spoke in an overbearing tone.

“This is epic. All these fucking hillbillies running around like the skies are falling in. I’m surprised the fat ones aren’t screaming Chicken Little. Epic.” He held his hands up demonstratively. “Epic.”

Average Bob watched the less-than-eloquent fellow employee with a listless gaze. “The news said it was serious though…”

“The news? You can’t trust the news, man. They are trying to pull some bullshit over our eyes. Always, trying to force your hand,” he continued to rant.

James moved past, making sure not to make eye contact, as he did not wish to engage them in some kind of rhetorical conversation. As he moved out of earshot, he could not help but shake his head at the redundant movie references that took the place of grammar and syntax. There was only the replacement of actual thought with recycled thought. It had become the repetition and regurgitation of the words of another. He was not necessarily bitter toward fan worship, but was simply irritated by the lack of thought most other people his age seemed to show. They were more content in the safety of what other people thought––more concerned with their small shell of a world and not the greater picture.

His face twisted into a scowl as he moved past racks and racks of brown boxes marked in black permanent marker with various numbers designating position, quantity, and retail-related mediocrity. As he reached the back, where normally there were pallets upon pallets of shrink-wrapped water cases, he swore.

Reaching down, he picked up the wayward bunched band of plastic that had once held the pallet in place. There were seven empty pallets, the entire back stock of what the store carried.

Where had he been?

How had he not seen this?

The voice startled him. “Pretty intense, huh?”

James rose slowly, turning to face Violet. “Yeah, wild. How did I not notice all of this water going out?”

She moved next to him, folding her arms across her chest. “You’ve been in a daze lately, moving around as if you didn’t notice anything, anybody.”

They lingered like this for a moment.

Neither spoke––nor breathed really––except in fractured, shallow breaths. Finally, letting out a burst of air and licking his lips, James shifted his feet and ran a hand through his hair. “I should check on those people out there. They were acting like fucking animals.”

Violet nodded, tucking her hands inside her sleeves.

“Yeah, my break is almost over. I should be getting back.”

James nodded again, awkwardly.

Turning away, he disappeared into the racks once more, leaving Violet to her thoughts. He shook his head and mumbled to himself in mock anger. Whenever there was a moment when he and Violet seemed to connect, they both froze, neither making a move. She was scared, but was looking for a way out.

He knew that.

He could be there for her.

Smacking a hand against his forehead, he whispered to himself angrily. “Stupid.”

Dan O'Brien, Author

Dan O’Brien, Author

A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World PlaylistBittenThe JourneyThe Ocean and the HourglassThe Path of the FallenThe Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.

Water (US)

Bitten (US)

End of the World Playlist (US)

Cerulean Dreams (US)

The Journey (US)

The Path of the Fallen (US)

The Twins of Devonshire (US)

Water (UK)

The End of the World Playlist (UK)

Bitten (UK)

Cerulean Dreams (UK)

The Journey (UK)

The Path of the Fallen (UK) 

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