Happy New Year, Readers !

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So I’m a little late. What are a few days among friends?

I’m trying to get my fingers moving, get my brain tumbling, get some words on the page. It’s snowy today, and very cold, so my primary impulse is to wrap up in a blanket and sip cocoa while I read what someone else has written. But what about my characters? The ones I set up a few weeks ago and left looking around, wondering what was to happen to them next. They sit there still, no voices, no ideas, no nothin’.

What I had in mind is to follow a thread about what occurs at Wisdom Court now. The three books containing the story arc I began with are now sitting on the bookshelf. (And available as e-books and trade paperbacks at Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Google, and God knows where else.)

What happens at a women’s institute when everyone there admits the place is thoroughly haunted? Sure, they found out why so many terrifying events happened, and how it all got started, but now what?

Don’t you think there would be a long line of spirits wanting their stories told? After all, the way ghosts are usually laid to rest is to find out why they’re ghosts–what evil in their lives made them hang around after they died. Who cares if that creates problems for Wisdom Court as a place where women can come spend a year working on whatever they want to do–have always wanted to do–completely supported financially and emotionally? Ghosts have rights! They deserve to have their stories told.

So the plan: provide a forum for the ghosts, pay attention to them, aid them on their way to the Other Side. Surely the women of Wisdom Court wouldn’t mind helping in their spare time. It’s true that being surprised by entities not totally in control of their abilities to communicate might be a little off-putting. Suddenly seeing an image in the mirror not belonging to the person looking at herself would cause some upset. There are worse things.

I would write the details of these encounters and perhaps collect them in an anthology at the end of the year. A noble goal, right? Well, sure, if I can get my brain functioning, my fingers typing, my will cranked up and humming.

Brrr.  It’s cold up here in my garret. I’m assuming that’s because of the snowstorm. I’m alone here except for my noble cat, Oreo. She hasn’t given any indication of other…persons…being present.

I’m going downstairs to put the kettle on for some cocoa.

Love that word: bestseller

9781614176459For the last three days the first of my Wisdom Court books, Edge of the Shadow, has been featured on Bookbub. My book sales on Amazon, at least, have soared, and the book hit # 1 on Amazon’s Ghost Thriller list on Sunday night. It’s still there despite a slight decline in numbers, so I’ve been relishing my sparkly new status.

If any of you want to get hold of Edge of the Shadow at the bargain price of 99 cents, go to Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/books/edge-of-the-shadow-by-yvonne-montgomery which has an amazing array of books available. Also, here’s a link to Amazon. http://amzn.to/2hs7U33  The second book, A Signal Shown, is on sale for $2.99. Ooh! And today is launch day for book 3, All in Bad Time, at $3.99.

As always, I’ll provide you with copious amounts of gratitude if you’ll write a review after you’ve read my deathless prose. Even if you only award stars (five are great) and say, “I like this book a lot,” that counts as a review. No English teacher will look over your shoulder to catch dangling participles. You’d be amazed at how important those reviews are.

Off I go to brag to more people about my being a bestseller. Love that word.

And November has never felt so long…

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I’m baaaaaaack. I’ve been nursing my psychic wounds (my candidate lost) along with the respiratory virus that will not let go. I almost feel compelled to write a horror movie screenplay to destroy the thing, but haven’t had the energy. And now we’re near Thanksgiving and the swoop into The Holidays.

Good news: I corrected the galley proofs for Wisdom Court Book 3, All in Bad Time. The cover’s been set and we’re getting close to liftoff. Of course I’ll let you know when. I’m excited and hope you readers out there are, too.

Life goes on, my mom always said, and Scarlett O’Hara chimed in with “Tomorrow is another day.” I hope all of you are well and busy with creative projects. I’m planning to continue posting more often since I developed a taste for it during the Halloween marathon. Here’s to a wonderful Thanksgiving for us all. 998584-195

1 Day of post-Halloween anticlimax…and (a) Prize-winner!

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Well, here we are, stuck with the mess. It was a good party, though, right? I enjoyed “31 Days of Spooky Stuff,” though there were a couple of days when my brain was very much like an empty vat. I learned I can write about stuff–or find a good piece someone else will share–even with a dreadful virus dragging me down, always a useful bit of knowledge to have. And, best thing ever, I had six people commenting on various posts–a record for me. You’re all wonderful, highly intelligent and sensitive to the Halloween zeitgeist. It was fun.

I put your six names on small pieces of paper and dropped them into a bowl. After much shaking and mixing, I pulled out a name: Christine Valentor! Yes, the author of Halloween Jack, published on Day 21. Now, considering that Christine ended up being the author of a piece for “31 Days,” my panel of judge said I should consider pulling another name. Why? To allow for a winner who was solely a commenter. (The panel of judge has firm ideas. Commenters are highly valued here at Writer in the Garret.) I closed my eyes, pulled out a piece of paper, and read the name: Shyla Fairfax-Owen!

So, we have two winners! That’s the good news. The bad news is that while I’ve had my fingers crossed for weeks, I’m still waiting for the third book to be finished by my publishers. They have promised early November. Since the third book, All In Bad Time, is being published as both an e-book and a trade-paperback, I’m a little fuzzy on the exact date I can get the paperback to the winners.

Here’s my question, winners. Do you want me to send you the first two Wisdom Court books now? I can easily do that, and then send the third as soon as it arrives. If you’d rather wait to receive all three at once, that’s fine, too. All you have to do is give me your postal addresses at my email: yvonne.montgomery@gmail.com and let me know your preference. Your wish is my command!

To the rest of you, I will let you know ASAP when I find out the publication date for All In Bad Time. I’m hoping we’ll start out with reduced prices as the book is launched, or possibly lower prices for the other two. I will let you know what the plan is. (I will also beg and plead for all of you to write reviews for my books, which will make my panel of judge happy.) Thank you all so much for getting into the spirit of “31 Days…” I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have.

Happy November! It’s going to feel weird not writing a post about Halloween tomorrow. Maybe I’ll write one about something else. We’ll see.

 

31 Days of Spooky Stuff, October 31: Happy Halloween

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We’ve looked at many aspects of Halloween this month, most of them spooky. We’ve whistled past some graveyards, viewed some monsters born of All Hallows Eve. We’ve read a spirited story (get it?) by Denver author Douglas D. Hawk called “Moonlit Dream Girl.”

We read the story “Halloween Jack” by Christine Valentor, and better understand why we see his image everywhere on All Hallows Eve. We traveled to haunted places in the U.S. where ghosts still shift among historic buildings in CR Richards’ “Halloween Blog Hop.”

We curled up with a bag or two of Halloween candy (bought purely to sample for good quality, right?) while we watched old favorite movies that still make us shudder or give us bursts of nervous laughter.

Why is it we wish each other Happy Halloween? What does it even mean? That you hope people have fun scaring each other? That dressing in costumes will help you avoid the evil spirits out and about on Halloween night? That we’ll all get bunches of candy we shouldn’t eat to help us get to Thanksgiving? That all of us will enjoy our humanity just a little more by wearing that costume, by giving that handful of candy to a child, by remembering old magic in our cells, where it lives under our work clothes and serious expressions?

Maybe magic can be reignited by following rules learned in childhood, by showing our true identities–only for a short while–and by feasting on the food of the spirits for a night to protect us from evil.

Thanks to everyone who participated in “31 Days of Spooky Stuff.” Hope you get good candy.

You can still enter the drawing (to be held late tonight) to win signed copies of my Wisdom Court books: Edge of the Shadow; A Signal Shown; All In Bad Time.

The winner of the drawing will be announced tomorrow.

31 Days of Spooky Stuff, October 30: Cemeteries of Denver that give you Goosebumps…

Posted in Denver August 25, 2016 by

8 Disturbing Cemeteries Around Denver That Will Give You Goosebumps

Who’s on the hunt for the heebie-jeebies? Call me crazy, but one of my favorite places to rove around and take photographs is most definitely at a cemetery – and the eerier the better. There are so many thought provoking structures that “grow” from the ground, including tombstones, trees, monuments, statues, mausoleums, and unidentified objects. You just never known when you may encounter an unexplained presence or phenomenon at these creepy cemeteries in Denver. They lend the phrase “dancing in the moonlight” a whole new meaning.

31 Days of Spooky Stuff, October 29: What is it about clowns?

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I’ve never liked clowns, but wasn’t actively afraid of them. As a kid I watched Denver Channel Two’s kids’ show, Blinky the Clown, and didn’t particularly like him. I always had the feeling he wasn’t crazy about kids. I remember his honey-dripping voice when he talked about birthdays, and he was frequently shown visiting kids in hospitals, so I’m sure he was a wonderful guy. But he was a clown. He had makeup all over his face and you couldn’t read his emotions because of it.

The clowns at the circus jumped around a lot, filling up cars, tumbling over each other like maniacs. Little prig that I was, I couldn’t figure out why what they were doing was supposed to be funny.

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As you can probably tell from the pictures here, I underwent a change in attitude toward clowns thanks to reading/seeing some highly disturbing stories about them. And I’m not alone. Many adults dislike clowns now. Just the other day I read an alert about clowns being chased out of neighborhoods. My first response to that was, What the hell are clowns doing in neighborhoods?

For me, the drawback to clowns is the same I felt as a kid: you can’t assess their intent because they hide themselves behind makeup and costumes. Call me paranoid, but that’s a deal-breaker.

I’ve attached a link to an interesting article from The Washington Post titled “Why Clowns Creep Us Out.” Author Frank T. McAndrew, psychologist, gives plenty of reasons why those of us who are creeped out by clowns can make our cases for it. The portion about “The Phantom Clown Theory” is especially interesting.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Why+Clowns+Creep+Us+Out&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 Frank T. McAndrew

Have you ever noticed how few children have clown costumes for trick-or-treating? They know what they know.

To enter the amazing drawing to be held on Halloween, comment on this post. The prize will be signed copies of the Wisdom Court novels: Edge of the Shadow; A Signal Shown; All In Bad Time.

31 Days of Spooky Stuff, October 28:Halloween Blog Hop from CR Richards

Halloween Blog Hop – Oct 28th

Today’s post comes from author extraordinaire CR Richards. with thanks.

My Favorite HAUNTS

Once a year, I take a trip to some place I’ve never been. I usually spend the day sightseeing or lounging at a day spa. The nights I save for my favorite hobby – Ghosts! In the Spirit of Halloween, I’ve listed my favorite Haunts.

Old Alexandria, VA

 Do yourself a favor and visit King Street. The shopping is phenomenal and the food is scrumptious! Then take a walk to the Alexandria Visitor’s Center. It’s here you’ll begin the ghost tour. Get ready for a spooky walk by lantern light. Your guides are dressed in their best Colonial garb and are ready to spin tales of betrayal and tragic death.

New Orleans, LA

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 – Photo by C.R. Richards

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What can I say about the Big Easy? Death has been a part of its history from the beginning. I think that’s why there is so much celebration of life, music and food. Way too many tours to pick from in New Orleans. I like the French Quarter (Bourbon Street and the famous cemeteries). Be prepared to practice “Safe Tourism” though. Walking around at night on your own is not encouraged.

Santa Fe, NMloretto

The Loretto Chapel: Beware of ghostly nuns – Photo by C.R. Richards

Santa Fe is an eclectic town full of historical sites and amazing art. I went there for some healing time, but soon found I’d chosen a haunted hotel! Julia Staab, original and eternal owner of La Posada, is said to wander the rooms making certain her guests are comfortable. I made sure to spend time in the Rose Room (dedicated to Julia) where tales of a spectral torso is supposed to float.

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San Antonio, TX

 

Zombie by the Alamo – Photo by C.R. Richards

And now for my favorite! San Antonio has it all. The River Walk. Mexican food. Music. Mexican food. And tons of ghosts. Treat yourself to a stay at the Menger Hotel. It’s right across the street from the Alamo. The last two times I’ve attended a writer’s conference in the hotel, the group and I have experience paranormal occurrences. Locked windows opening on their own. People being touched on the stairs. Dark spots in the elevator and halls. Love it!

These are my favorites so far. I have plans for more ghost tours in the near future.

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Tombstone

Happy Haunting on your own adventures and Happy Halloween!

My Latest Release

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About the Author

A huge lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, C. R. Richards enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Having began writing as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper, Richards has worn several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. She has now published a handful of novels, including Phantom Harvest – book one in The Mutant Casebook Series – which took home the EPIC eBook Award for Fantasy in 2014. Richards beat out entries from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other English speaking countries.

Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man’s Parish and the newly-released dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Horror Writers Association.

In January, Richards releases her epic fantasy novel The Lords of Valdeon, the first installment in the Heart of the Warrior series. Through her storytelling, Richards aims to reach lovers of fantasy who are exploring alternatives to the traditional status quo. Her message is simple: One person can be a catalyst for change.

Author Website – CRRichards.com    

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorcrrichards/

Twitter – @CR_Richards

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Author Website – CRRichards.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorcrrichards/

Twitter – @CR_Richards

Many thanks to CR Richards for her blog post today. Remember, to enter the Halloween drawing, comment on this post. The prize is signed copies of the Wisdom Court Novels: Edge of the Shadow; A Signal Shown; All In Bad Time.