Ghost Stories

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Do you like them? Do you read them?  I always have. North Carolina is full of spirits and I still have the Old North State Book of Ghosts Daddy gave me years ago.  Samhain1-150x150

Just for fun, I going to share a ghost story I wrote back when I was writing X-Files Fanfiction – okay my dirty little secret is out, but I learned a lot about writing (and critiques) that way.  Check out  The Girl Under the Bridge. Lydia is famous around High Point, NC though I’ve never seen her myself. I wonder how I’d handle it if I did?

Are there any ghosts near your home? Would you go check them out if there were?

Hope you enjoyed the story – if so, you’re welcome to check out Wraith’s Heart, a more recent story of mine.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Samhain!

 

Here’s last year’s post

Just a little something for you to check out — Ghost Photos

 

Civics Lesson

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Just for the record, women got the right to vote on May 19, 1919 (this was only three months before my mother was born). Men got the right to vote in 1776, so it only took us 143 years. Yes, the Native Americans got it after that but that’s a different blog.   I voted 2

My point? I’m not pushing either party – both are deeply flawed, but it’s the system we have. What I am pushing is that you, my fellow women, need to get out and vote. Whether you’ve been voting for decades or it’s your first time – women, please it’s your time now. It’s not too rainy or windy or cold. You can make the opportunity. Take advantage of early voting at a convenient time. You can take the kids along – Daddy took me every time and even let me put the ballots in the box for him. I knew how important the act was for him and it has become that important for me.

I voted  I hope you want to vote for someone or something instead of against, but in either case, vote. It will count and it is important. The majority of American citizens these days are women. We’re now a force to be reckoned with and we can’t let that slip through our fingers. You’ve all seen what some countries do to keep their women down, uneducated, subservient. We have freedom here – maybe not equal pay and yes there are still places with glass ceilings, but they’re crumbling under our numbers.

Please come with me to the polls and make our voices heard.  voting booth

Stepping down from the soapbox and thank you!

Winners!

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Thank you all for joining me on my marathon excerpt posting leading to Release Day for The Melting, Book 2 – The Progression.  I had great fun and I want to especially the winners for leaving me comments on the page and off.

Nancy  B- Bookmark  melting bracelet

Karen W- Bracelet

Rita – The Melting, Book 1

Karen T- The Melting, Book 1

Diane  O- The Melting, Book 1

Lilly G- The  Melting, Book 2

Lorelie R- The Melting, Book 2

Please let me know what format your e-reader is, so I can get these prizes off to you ASAP!

photo-5  Thanks again!!   Melting 2 The Progression flat

10 of October and Release Day!

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Yes, it’s finally here – Release Day!  Hope you’ve enjoyed the previews and remember, Book 3 is with the editors now!  fireworks color

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Barnes & Nobles

For a limited time Book 1 is on sale for $.99  Amazon

 The Melting, Book 2 – The Progression

Excerpt 5 – Book 2

Briana shivered as she hurried toward the kitchen. The temperature had fallen drastically and snow was spitting outside. The generators that were still working couldn’t handle the HVAC units for the buildings. More were being scouted as a top priority but in the meantime heat was a luxury.

The children had been moved to the kitchen. Between the stoves and the dishwashers some heat was generated. She knew that more people would opt to sleep there tonight regardless of the uncomfortable conditions.

None of them would take any responsibility for the hardship. That was a given. She shoved her hands back into her pockets. The gloves would help but she had to work too. At least a knit cap covered her dark hair. The gray was showing with no expensive treatments to keep it hidden, but she wasn’t alone there. She’d managed to keep her figure, but now regretted all those treats she had passed up. Having a little more meat on her bones would have come in handy to stay warm. The jogging and minor workouts in the gym were nothing compared to the kind of work she did now.

She’d taken the paper she’d found in the shorthand book back to the room she and John shared and they’d checked out the information Meg had hidden. John had moaned when he’d read the skills of the people that had left. This was a different list than the one Gary had finally located in the desk.

Gary’s list had everyone’s name, age, previous position and family affiliation. The one she found had the skills in detail. They had lost a dentist, a firefighter, and a seamstress not to mention both head cooks. They’d lost a lot of their organizational skills as well. Gary had gotten the work lists back up with help from Briana and Sarah, but the people handling the work now needed more supervision.

Briana looked at the corridor floor. It hadn’t been swept in some time. These weren’t dust bunnies in the hall, more like dust grizzly bears but there was actual litter as well. She knew for a fact that job was on the work list, but no one cared. Gary couldn’t be everywhere and no one listened to Sarah or her.

No one had cared enough about the staff that had welcomed them to learn anything about them. Or to realize their value.

Briana entered the dining room to see that it was already crowded. It smelled of a past burnt meal or two, unwashed bodies and clothes and now accidents by the children. More than one of the children had reverted with the trauma that was their reality now. Those children were in the back, in an area created for them nearer the stoves. They still looked cold and miserable.

People had begun skipping what little bathing they could do in order to avoid undressing. The temperature in the corridors couldn’t be much above fifty during the day. Thank goodness it was too cold for fleas. Would lice be next? That was a cheerful thought.

She could ask Gary to set up an area in the very back of the kitchen with some kind of privacy screen so that everyone could at least take a sink bath, wash their hair. There was more than one person in here who needed it badly. But would he listen? There would be warm water and she thought there was a drain in the floor back there.

Laundry duty had become a daily chore and with the cold, the duty was more appreciated. It was one of the warmer areas with the machines going.

If they couldn’t at least keep clean, sickness was going to be next. They did have doctors here and medicines for a while.

If they had been able to keep the people that had escaped . . .

Briana headed toward the children’s area. All of the children needed an extra cuddle these days. The yelp startled her and she saw flames take hold of the grease left from a past meal on the stove. “Get the children out!” She hissed toward the nearest woman and raced for the fire extinguisher. None of the people lounging in the area were military. That schism was growing as well, so no one reacted to the emergency.

Melting 2 The Progression flat

9th of October

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Release day is tomorrow!! Not that I’m excited or anything…  gourds

 

Excerpt 4 – Book 2

Jim joined Vic, Celine and Meg in a corner of the main room early the next morning. “We need to do a supply run.”

Vic nodded. “We were discussing our priorities. Food is at the top.”

“Yes, but we’ve got to get organized too. Without running water, things are going to get rank fast,” Meg pointed out.

“So we’ll work on the bathhouse too. There’s going to be plenty of work to do and with this crowd, the hands to do it.”

“What can you do with the bathhouse?” Celine asked.

“Not sure yet. Food first, then we try to rig up something to get water to that building, a small generator maybe, for a pump. A windmill might do it and we could install some tubs for laundry. We’ll think better when we’re more settled and being clean will help us get settled. As crowded in as we are, that’s going to be crucial.”

“Why don’t Meg and I go out on the bike? See what we can find, maybe find a car and bring back what we can,” Jim offered.

Meg looked up startled. “Me?”

“I took a small bike. Can’t see Vic holding on to me long enough for a scouting trip.” He grinned and Meg felt her stomach drop. The man had beautiful eyes, like melted dark chocolate.

She could feel Vic’s eyes on her. “Would you be okay with that?” The large man waited for her answer.

Jim raised his right hand in the Boy Scout salute. “I’m a hell of a nice fellow.”

Vic harrumphed at that and Celine laughed. Meg forced herself to meet Jim’s eyes again. “When?”

“As soon as you’re ready. We’re gonna have some hungry people when they all wake up.”

Great, she was going to be pressed up against this man on a motorcycle and she couldn’t shower. She was wearing yesterday’s clothes because she hadn’t gotten around to unpacking while she helped the others. Of course, she didn’t really have any place to unpack to yet. At least she’d brushed her teeth.

“I’m ready now.”

“Good. Don’t worry.” Jim turned to Vic again. “I’ll keep her safe.”

“You better.” Vic’s voice was deep and serious now.

Jim nodded and gestured toward the bike he had parked close to the building. He held the door for Meg and handed her a helmet as they approached it.

“What about you?” She didn’t reach for the heavy plastic.

“Only have the one helmet. You wear it. If we find another one, I’ll take it. Ever ridden a bike before?” At the shake of her head he checked to ensure she had the helmet strapped on then took his seat on the bike. Meg, with minimal hesitation, swung her leg over the bike and found herself pressed up against him.

“Hold on around my waist. Tight, that’s it. Let’s go find some grub.”

Startled, she chuckled, then her grip on him tightened as he pulled away from the building. She didn’t try to talk. The wind was in her face and she didn’t know what to say in any case. She still couldn’t believe she had fallen asleep with her head on this man’s shoulder last night. Exhaustion of course, but still . . .

 

8th of October

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October 10 is almost upon us!  Hope you’re enjoying the excerpts – leave a comment, I’m still giving stuff away  Natchez Trail Through Forestand Book 1 – The Infection is still on sale for $.99 — Amazon

 

Excerpt 3 – Book 2

Amanda sat back on her heels and wiped her forehead. The gardens had been neglected for a while before they arrived, but there was still plenty to harvest or use as seed, and they wanted to get it in before a frost. They had been eating fresh foods the last couple of days and it was been wonderful after all of the canned food in Atlanta. Even Lorene and Becky couldn’t make that stuff taste fresh.

A couple of the plots, there was no way to refer to these gardens as fields, had been cleared and David and Joe had turned them with the small gas powered tiller kept in what they referred to as the “barn.” There were no animals at this time, but that might happen—at least rabbits. They seemed to be in abundance. She’d seen David and Joe looking at snares in the book last night. The barn was where construction materials had been housed as well as a large collection of bicycles. The majority were mountain bikes and David had admitted that while he was confident he could bike down to the village, it might take him several days to get back. Still it was nice to have a sustainable mode of transportation for nearby destinations.

They still needed to check out the closer homes to see if anyone else had survived and to scavenge what they could. There were several farms within easy biking distance.

Amanda was learning to can the vegetables they harvested. They had found the supplies and with Joe’s help in the beginning, she had done several cookings. With the pressure cooker they had picked up at the last house, there were three in use. The few left overs were being composted and David had turned that area again this morning. Her cooking skills had, of necessity, improved by leaps and bounds.

Being a farm wife hadn’t been as hard to get accustomed to as she had thought, and at least she was able to wear jeans instead of long skirts. She laughed at that image of herself and was surprised when muscular arms went around her.

“What’s so funny?” That gravelly, infinitely sexy voice whispered in her ear.

She turned enough to meet his lips. “Thinking of me in a dress doing this work.”

“Mmm, a short sexy little black dress?”

She cut her eyes at him. “No, a long pioneer skirt with lots of pantaloons and such underneath.”

He shook his head. “Nope, not my idea of sexy. Of course seeing you in a burlap sack would still turn me on, so if it’s what you want . . . ”

“A satyr. I should have realized you were really a satyr.”

“You didn’t know?” He pulled her to her feet and took one side of the basket she had filled. Laughing they carried it back toward the big house.

“Where’s Joe?” She asked as they finished emptying the basket.

“He went into town.”

She stopped dead and looked toward the front door. Of course, the van was gone. She hadn’t even noticed. “Is it safe for him to go alone? I thought we were going to check out the clinic.”

“We still haven’t seen any people around and there were things we might need down there. There aren’t enough of us to double-team all the time. I’m sure he’ll save the clinic for your expertise.”

“I would have been okay here alone.”

“I know, but neither of us was willing to take the chance. I offered to go, but he volunteered. Kind of insisted really. Maybe he needed some time alone.”

“I know.” But she looked in the direction of the entry to the compound.

“He’ll be back before dark. He doesn’t like that road any better than you do.”

“There’s a good reason for that.”

David nodded. “It gets dark quicker now, that’s why he left at first light. Come on, let me get these seeds in containers. With all this privacy we could . . .”

Amanda’s lips twitched. There weren’t many places they hadn’t christened despite the lack of privacy. “You’re not going to suggest the ice house?”

“No, even I draw the line there. Shrinkage you know.”

She laughed out loud. She did that a lot more here. There was a free feeling lacking in Atlanta. Yes, it was just the three of them, but David kept talking about other survivors and she was willing to listen.

Her lips took his as she unbuttoned his shirt.

7th of October

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Good news!! Rebel Ink has put The Melting, Book 1-The Infection on sale for $.99 to get you ready for Book 2 – Go check it out!! colorful fall

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Excerpt 2 – Book 2

“It’s getting worse,” Celine said as she leaned on the counter next to Vic in the back of the kitchen area.

“What happened?” He looked down at her.

“Same old, but under better cover after that little meeting. The one where everything was tabled. I knew they weren’t going to address anything for real, but damn it!”

“I think Joe and David had the right idea. They knew how dangerous it was for Amanda and them. Taking off was the right thing to do.”

“I wish I’d known they were going, I’d have hitched a ride,” Celine said. “According to Joe, David was a resource we couldn’t afford to lose. I wonder where they went and if we could join them now.”

Vic thought about the book hidden in his room. “I can’t blame them for keeping it a secret. Those guys beat David pretty bad and it would’ve been worse if some of us hadn’t shown up. After they hit Amanda . . . Wish I’d been there for that. They wouldn’t have to worry about solid food ever again.”

Celine looked up at him. “Where would you go?”

“Me? Good question. I’ve lived in Atlanta since I was a kid. I suppose some place warm, Florida, Texas.”

“Too warm and there’re hurricanes, which aren’t going to be announced in advance anymore.”

“Well where would be safe? They’ve got earthquakes in the west, tornados in the middle, snow in the north.”

“So Tennessee maybe. Not too close to the ocean, no earthquakes.” She shrugged. “I’ve never thought about it either, but maybe we should.”

He looked at her for a long moment. “Do you want to leave?”

“Yeah, I think I do. If there was a bunch of us, you know, enough to help each other. If we could build a community, hell yes. When’s the last time one those society ladies came down here to help in the kitchen? After the first couple of times, they always had something else to do. One of them honest to God asked Brenda to look after her kids. What, she was going shopping or something? I did hear they tried to work on menus with Lorene.” She laughed. “I wish I’d been there to see that.”

Vic chuckled with her. “That would have been good. Don’t suppose they came back for a second dose?”

“No way.” She straightened up. “Seriously, do you want to do this?”

“Yeah, I think we should float the idea anyway. It’s gonna get worse here. Maybe they have food for a while, and lights as long as they keep those generators working, but I’m already tired of being a second-class citizen. I didn’t vote for any of them and don’t want to shine their boots now. We’re gonna have to be real discreet if we want to pull something like this off.”

Celine nodded. “I’ll see what part of the country looks hospitable.”

“And I’ll see if I can feel out some of the others without giving too much away.” She started for the door but he touched her arm, not grabbing her. “Did something happen?”

She didn’t turn back to face him. “They like to touch now. There aren’t enough high-class white women to go around. For some things, it’s okay to slum.”

“Not enough women? Another thing Amanda warned them about. Between David and her, we lost a lot when they had to escape. Who was it?”

“Does it matter?”

“Yes.”

The look on his face made her look down, but then she met his eyes. “One of the senators from one of the Carolinas, I don’t know which, is preaching the old ways should be back. Nash is his name. This is the wrath of God upon us for allowing women to walk upright and accepting gays and all that shit.”

“He’s a minister?”

“No. He doesn’t minister to anyone but himself, he’s a preacher.” Celine’s look said it all. “Anyone that can get Lorene to think a Bible-thumper is full of it must be doing something wrong. I think his daddy was one of those big TV preachers, so he knows the drill. I need to get back to work.”