For my ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own, either. I watch television programs with the supernatural and paranormal flare; documentaries from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.
Some of the stories from my anthology, Wicked Intentions, are based on actual hauntings. In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.
A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse.
And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.
On the Discovery Channel, is where I got the idea for Summer Wind. I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes.
In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family. Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder.
This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.
Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father's disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.
I set my murder mystery, The Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.
So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse.
BLOOD TIES After the mysterious disappearance of twenty-six year old wife and mother Lisa Smalley, her twin, Audra Roper, begins having dark and disturbing visions of Lisa’s disappearance. Trying to survive while looking for Lisa, Audra’s life becomes a roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue.
THE HAUNTING OF BARB MARIE Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people. This took an unhealthy toil on her throughout her childhood and young adulthood.
SUMMER WIND When twenty-nine year old Ginger discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. Immediately, the haunting’s have a negative and profound effect on the family.
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LIES-laying the Norfolk ghost to rest Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victims family, ex-lovers, and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.
THE LEGEND OF LAKE MANOR For the young psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to the infamous and haunted mansion Lake Manor, was more like a mission.
THE APARTMENT When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives.
DARK VISIONS When Carrie Reynold’s starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.
Excerpt from “Dark Visions”
Carrie examined the meds. “Mom, these are really strong. Should you be mixing them with your heart medication?”
Carrie pushed them back toward her mother, reluctant to consume any un-prescribed medication. But her mother refused to take them back.
“I’ll be fine, dear. I gotta go. Don’t be late for church.”
Carrie waved and walked on toward her home. After settling Mitzi down for the night, she enjoyed a hot aromatic bath, then sank into her queen-sized bed hoping for peaceful and undisturbed slumber. The pills her mother had given her sat on her bedroom night stand. As she lay in bed, she contemplated taking them. Perhaps her nightmare was a fluke and would never happen again. She decided against the sleeping aids and turned off the light.
Three hours later, she bolted upright, covered in sweat. The same frightening and unclear nightmare had returned…in spades. She immediately called Mark, “I’m sorry to wake you, but…”
“You had the same bad dream?”
“Yes! What do you think it means?”
“I don’t know, but I’m coming over.”
“I’ll meet ya downstairs.” A few minutes later she met him at the door. “Thanks for coming over at this hour.”
They moved to the couch. Over a glass of wine, Mark probed into Carrie’s subconscious. He ended up saying, “There’s got to be more to these nightmares than insomnia or eating something that disagreed with you.”
“What makes no sense to me is that I’ve never had a bad dream until I turned twenty-six.”
Mark thought about her statement. “Maybe there’s a connection—your age.”
“My age? What does that mean?”
“At your party, one of your relatives told me your father disappeared when he was twenty-six years old.”
Carrie remained momentarily silent. “That’s right! My father deserted me and Mother on his twenty-sixth birthday. It’s been so long I’d forgotten much of what she told me.” She buried her face in her hands. “This is too creepy. What do you think it means?”
“I don’t know, but I know someone who may be able to answer our questions. Have you ever been hypnotized?”
She was shocked. “Are you serious?”
“There’ve been many major breakthroughs in hypnotic sessions designed to restore one’s memory.”
“I’m religious. My mother is religious. Our church does not approve of anything artificial or connected to psychics or voodoo or…”
“Hypnotism is not black magic. It’s very much the opposite. It’s approved by the medics.”
Carrie was confused. “But what will people think if they find out I went to a shrink?” She paced the floor on the verge of tears.
He took her trembling hands in his. “No one need ever find out. These sessions are completely confidential. The doctor will even come here if you like.”
“Yes. I really believe this procedure will help bring your dark visions into the light.”
Mark’s gentle touch and comforting words convinced Carrie she would be right in talking to a counselor. She agreed to seek professional help.
“You won’t regret your decision,” he said, and kissed her with his full-blown passion, showing the depth and breadth of his caring. “I know exactly what you need right now.”
Carrying her into the bedroom they tore at each other’s clothes until they melted as one onto her mattress and became true lovers.5*****Review for Wicked Intentions- A paranormal anthology Reviewed May 2014 by Linda Tonis Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team "This was a very interesting collection of short stories and all had a touch of the paranormal. Overall, this is a book well worth reading."
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