Sunday, October 13, 2013

DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS? BY HEATHER BRAINERD ON MY BLOG

Hello Heather, and welcome to my Flowers and Thorns. Have a glass of cider, sit back, relax, and tell us about ghosts.
 
 

Do you believe in ghosts?                               

By Heather Fraser Brainerd

 

My first YA novel, the paranormal romance/mystery Dream Shade is scheduled for release on October 25th.  Here’s a quick excerpt from the first chapter:
 


 
            With a groan, I looked at the clock. Not quite 3:00 a.m. Good; I could sleep some more. Maybe my dream would pick up where it had left off. Not likely, but not impossible. While adjusting the covers and rolling onto my left side, my brain registered a glimmer of movement near the window.

Scared, I lay as still as possible, my heart thundering in my chest. Looking toward the window, my eyes made out a faint shimmer in the air. Okay, this is freaky.

The slight luminescence became momentarily brighter, more solid, and then faded entirely. My entire body shivered involuntarily. The room suddenly became ice-cold.
 
 Could it have been a ghost?

 


 
              How did I come up with the idea for Dream Shade? Well, one night when I was young, I saw something strange across my room in the middle of the night. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was, and it kind of freaked me out. Then I realized it was a ghost. That’s impossible, I told myself. It was just my overactive imagination. It was just my epileptic brain making me see things. For a long time, I managed to believe it.

 But several years later, after my family had moved, I heard that my sister once saw a ghost in that same house. Then I heard that my other sister once saw a ghost there, too. And then I heard that someone had written a self-published novel set in my childhood home, the place where my family’s sightings occurred. Guess what his novel was about? A haunted house.
 
 

You see, that author’s early years were spent in the little hamlet where our big old house was located. Some of his relatives actually lived in our home, two owners prior to us. From reading his account, you can tell the old place made quite an impression on him as a child; his book is very dark.

             My encounter, on the other hand, wasn’t all that scary. I can’t exactly say that my visitor was a Casper-like friendly ghost, but more of a benign presence. I didn’t talk about it afterwards, didn’t even think about it often, but filed it away, as Sherlock Holmes would say, in my brain-attic.

 

Though I didn’t discuss it, the visitation made an impression on me. For the first time, I became interested in reading ghost stories. I devoured everything from A Christmas Carol to The Shining.

I then hit upon Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, beginning a lifelong love of his work.
Those few moments from my childhood have influenced my reading for decades. Now, I’ve finally used my brief paranormal encounter to grow an entire novel. My brother, with whom I often work, was a beta reader for Dream Shade. We proofread everything for each other, so I sent him the rough draft of this post. His comment: “Everyone got to see ghosts but me. Why didn’t I get to see any? Didn’t they like me?” Since the spirits only appeared to us girls, they might have been scared of my brother. Or maybe they were looking for some sort of comfort. My sisters and I have all become caregivers of one sort or another. Perhaps they could sense that about us. Maybe someday I’ll find out.

 So, with the season of haunts upon us, tell me… do you believe in ghosts?

 



I understand your book will be released soon, Heather, so let's show the readers that fab cover again and give them a preorder link.


Preorder link: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/coming-soon/pre-order-specials/dream-shade-detail

 

Connect with Heather:
 
 



Author page: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/51-our-authors/authors-b/291-heather-fraser-brainerd




Do you believe in ghosts?
Leave a comment below for your chance to win an e-book of Dream Shade!
 
Who will our winner be?
 
Even if you don't believe in ghosts, heck, leave a comment anyway. We love comments.
 
 
 
 
 



 


 

23 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's great to have you here. I haven't had any experiences with ghosts and I'll pass on having one, thank you. But, I do know my 'narrow minded' mother-in-law had to put up with a poltergeist at her once upon a time apartment. She wasn't a belierver and finally had to admit why she was moving. Brrrr.

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  2. Ken Hicks khicks48@aol.comOctober 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I was very frightened of ghosts as a kid after overhearing my parents talking about a ghost that had visited someone in a hospital. When I went into a house where I had never been before, I always wondered who might have died and be haunting the place. I can see that these sorts of memories would be a fertile source for a book!

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    1. Hi Ken! Yes, this brief memory gave me a wonderful jumping off point for Dream Shade.

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  3. I haven't been fortunate enough to have seen a ghost. I sure wouldn't want a poltergeist, but a bit of wispy mist resembling a past human wouldn't be so bad. Please leave me out of the draw. I have such a stack of TBRs, I wouldn't manage to get to it for a long time. Heck, I might already be a ghost by the time I could get around to reading it!

    Best of luck with your book, Heather.

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    1. Thanks, Marva! I know what you mean about TBRs - I have quite the list going myself!

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  4. You're stack sounds like my stack of TBR's. Hmm, just how many books does an E-reader hold? I'm with you Marva, except I don't even want the misty past human. You have Jack to protect you. And Heather, I can see where this memory gave a spark to your wonderful imagination and story.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Lorrie. I love hearing about the seeds from which other people's books grow, so I thought it would be fun to share mine.

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  6. I believe in ghosts, sort of. I once attended a Paranormal Convention and they showed videos of images and sounds that sure looked real. On a twilight tour of the old district of Charleston, SC, the tour guide told stories of ghosts that lived in many of the houses. I was hooked. Love to read about ghosts. Congratulations on your novel. Great cover too.

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    1. Thank you, Beverly! Ooo, a paranormal convention - I just may have to check one of those out. You twilight tour sounds like a fun experience. I'm going on a haunted history tour of the French Quarter this evening - can't wait! :)

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  7. Do I believe in ghosts? Of course. I live with three of them. An older woman who we believe is a previous tenant. A tall shadow man wearing a wide brim hat who we think is a maintenance worker from when the building used to be an elementary school. The third we call "cat ghost" because, well, it looks like a cat. The "cat" scratched my brother's leg enough to make him bleed.


    My husband and I have lived in three different units and have had weird experiences in all three. From a blender turning on by itself to water and light also being turned on. Drawers and doors open on their own, a glass moved on the counter, a candle holder was thrown off a shelf.

    I've smelled flowers and sulfur (which I heard is a bad thing).

    And we've both been touched-I didn't like that. My husbands had something tug on his shirt and pj bottoms, I was goosed (no I am not kidding).


    So yes, I'm a believer. :) Hmmm...maybe I should write a book about my own experiences. I did write a short ghost story once but the spirits were sinister. Nothing like what we deal with here. Thank God!


    Congrats and good luck with your book. :)

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    1. Wow, Darla, your comment gave me chills! Yes, you should definitely write about your experiences. If you do, I want to read it. Thanks for the well wishes!

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  8. Hey, Lorrie and Heather. Great cover! While I don't normally read, YA. I'll have to check this one out. I have an interesting experience, not as involved as some of the above. My first date with my DH was to a seance. It was pretty scary and I'm pretty certain we touched something and it tried to communicate with us. Never say never is a good way to look at this subject. Best wishes with your release, Heather.

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  9. Thank you, Marsha! And yes, I agree that never say never is a good approach on this topic. That sounds like a pretty cool first date!

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  10. I love your blog site and the animated images. Where DO you get them?

    I am drawn to the supernatural. I know I write a LOT of different kinds of books, but paranormal is my favorite. I do a lot of tralwing through our Bookstore at MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. I get all sparkly inside when I see a story laced with paranormal. Heather, I loved your cover, loved the title, and am looking forward to it and more from your creative mind.

    Thanks Ladies.

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    1. I'm drawn to paranormal, too, Lin. Even the detective books I co-write with my brother (the José Picada series) went paranormal on us, which we didn't expect when we started writing the first one! :) Thanks for your kind words!

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  11. P.S. I DO believe in ghosts and things we cannot explain. Right after I got my ex-husband out, at 3:00 in the morning, for about a week...until I took it to the mechanic, my car would start up, rev its engine...with the only hey to it...in my purse and beside my bed. When I'd go out, because I did not want the neighbors sleep disturbed enough for them to complain, the car would stop the minute I touched the door. The mechanic could find nothing wrong...but I knew better. (I donated the car to a junkyard.)

    I sometimes SEE wisps of what I believe are ghosts...but mostly, I hear them. Can't pick out what they're saying, but I hear them. There's a lot of paranormal in my books, and probably always will be.

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    1. Good thing you got rid of that car, Lin. I just went on a ghost tour last night, and the guide told us that it's quite common to hear rather than see ghosts. And I just might have caught something interesting on camera in a haunted ballroom... but I'll save that for another post. :)

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  12. Interesting post, Heather! I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts. I think there is a rational explanation for everything, but on the other hand I do believe there are plenty of things in the world that we still don't understand yet. It's not that long ago that we thought the world was flat, and that the sun revolved aruond the earth. How much else do we still not know? Fiction is a great way to explore the world around us! Good luck with Dream Shade!

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  13. Thank you, Helena! I agree with you - I like to believe there's a logical explanation for everything. But I've seen things that can't be logically explained, which forced me to open my mind to the possibilities. And, as we all know, opening your mind to possibilities - thinking about the 'what ifs' in our world and others - is how many a book is born.

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  14. Great post, Heather! I've never seen a ghost but I know people who say they have and can describe the ghost quite vividly. I also know a person who said they had a poltergeist in their home.

    It's great that your YA novel, Dream Shade came about because of your experiences.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to follow the link, Susan! I think this is such a fascinating topic!

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