Friday, September 28, 2012

Contest! Share Your Ghost Story with Debra Glass

Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by things that go bump in the night. Some of my earliest memories are of eating popcorn and Kraft caramel squares alongside my dad while we watched Dark Shadows, Night Gallery, and The Night Stalker.

I was in heaven when cable TV came to my area. WTBS out of Atlanta became my favorite channel because they showed old horror flicks at night. Vincent Price quoting Edgar Allan Poe. Tony Perkins looking innocuously innocent as a mild mannered roadside motel owner. Bela Lugosi commanding an ethereal heroine to gaze into his eyes. Lon Chaney staring wide-eyed at the gypsy fortune teller and all those fog laden movie sets! I was in my element.

Much to my chagrin, these macabre tales ended in the tragic death of the other-worldly hero. Didn’t the writers see that the vampire needed to get the girl? Didn’t they realize the werewolf just needed to go on and bite his lady-love so, together, they could roam the Transylvanian forests under the light of the full moon?

In the early 90s, I attended a workshop with Michael Garret. At the time, I was penning a vampire novel, one I’m sure will never see the light of day. 120K+ words of passive voice and melodramatic love scenes… But I digress. Mr. Garret looked at the gargantuan manuscript and declared it a romance.

He told me paranormal romance was the new trend and that I should go read a few, tailor my story to those that were already on the shelves and target those publishers.

Long story short, two months later, I was on my way to my first RWA chapter meeting in the company of Beverly Barton and Rhonda Nelson.

But it wasn’t until I encountered a real-live ghost, in a half-century old piano business I’d just bought, that I was inspired to write paranormal romance with ghostly heroes. I made my first sale in that genre at Ellora’s Cave and penned a three book series called Phantom Lovers.

My oldest daughter enjoyed Twilight and the Vampire Diaries and came to me with the idea of writing a Young Adult paranormal, featuring a ghostly hero. I drew from my historical knowledge of the Civil War, my family’s roots in the plantation capitol of the world, Maury County, Tennessee, and of course, ghosts, to write Eternal, the story of a young woman whose world is forever altered when she moves to Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, and falls in love with the ghost of the young soldier who haunts her house.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00064]Can a heart still love once it stops beating?

My hopes of having a normal life died when I did. Especially since my near death experience turned me into a clairvoyant with a disfiguring scar. Not exactly most-popular material.

Now, because of me, my whole family has been forced to move to some small town in Tennessee. My parents think a quiet new school and a new set of friends will heal me of the scars I carry both inside and out.

There’s just one problem. I’m being haunted by Jeremiah Ransom, the charming ghost of a Civil War soldier who lived and died in my house. His presence makes me feel perfect. As if there’d never been a wound in the first place.

But I’m afraid that loving him will result in my death all over again.

Excerpt:
He seemed almost human in the shadows, as if his form had taken on more substance.
Looking at him in the dim light, I found it all too easy to forget he was a ghost. I gnawed my bottom lip, wild with the desire to touch him.
“What was it like?” he asked.
My gaze found his and then dropped away. “It felt like…like you.”
He stared for so long that I thought my hasty remark had embarrassed him. At the very least, I’d embarrassed myself. A hot blush crept into my cheeks. “I…I should be getting back downstairs. If Ella wakes up­—”
“She’s not awake,” he interrupted quickly.
My lips closed. Shaking from head to toe, I realized he hadn’t given me a choice. Hope welled that he might be as interested in me as I was in him but I refused to think past this enchanted moment.
“Hold your hand up,” he said.
Cold chills washed over me but I complied with his request, bringing my right hand up, palm facing Jeremiah. My resolve swerved as his gaze held mine whole. He lifted his own hand.
He intended to touch me!
It was going to happen, and waiting for it was the most intense, torturous pleasure I had ever known. Some part of me knew this moment would remain indelibly etched in my brain for the rest of my life and even beyond. The breath left my lungs in a ragged rush as he moved his hand closer and closer until our palms faced each other a mere two inches apart.

Eternal will be release at Amazon, B&N, BAM, Smashwords, ARE, and others October 31, in both digital ebook formats and trade paperback. But you can WIN A COPY by commenting about any ghostly experience you’ve had, or not had. *Please be sure to leave your contact info so when I draw a winner on Wednesday, October 3, I’ll be able to let you know you’ve won.

Advance copies of Eternal can be ordered now, by visiting http://www.discovertheshoals.com/apps/webstore/products/show/3360934

About the author: Growing up in the south where the air is thick with stories steeped in legend and truth, Debra came by her love of romance novels honestly. Well...sort of. At an early age, she pilfered from her grandmother's extensive library and has been a fan of the genre since.

A full time freelance writer, Debra especially enjoys combining history, mystery and a touch of taboo to weave stories with unforgettable, haunted heroes.

She lives in Alabama with her sexy real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts and a diabolical black cat.
For more information about Debra’s books, visit http://DebraGlass.com

If you live in North Alabama, visit ttp://florenceonfoot.wordpress.com for information on the 10th Annual Haunted History of the Shoals Ghost Walk Tour.

26 comments:

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Debra!
I've never had a real-life ghostly encounter, but I've seen elements in pictures my husband and I took on a Savannah ghost tour that has made me reconsider! During the tour we visited haunted graveyards, homes and pubs. In the courtyard of one home and inside an old graveyard we took pictures. After we returned home and developed them we saw milky-white orbs of various sizes all throughout them! We did a little investigating and discovered that the orbs may denote energy from the presence of ghosts! So, I don't know if we encountered spirits or not...

And as one who has read "Eternal", it is a wonderful book and I LOVE Jeremiah! Sigh. He's like the ghost equivalent of Edward! LOL! Awesome book!

Alison said...

I've never had a real-life ghoastly experience and I don't really want one...sounds very scary to me :)

Debra Glass said...

Thanks, Naima!!

:-) Alison - scary fun!

Suzanne Johnson said...

Eternal sounds fabulous and I'm off to find it! I've had a couple of ghostly encounters when I was a teenager and once when I lived in an old Victorian house in New Orleans. Too scary!

Ingrid Seymour said...

I am a self-proclaimed skeptic which I think would instantly precludes me from noticing anything paranormal. I think I could have a ghost walk past me, and I wouldn't notice it, even if everyone else did, LOL!

Interestingly enough I love reading and writing paranormal stuff, specifically YA. So your novel Eternal, right up my alley. I will have to check it out!

Heather said...

My husband's family has a farm in Shelby County haunted by a Civil War era ghost (great story behind it). I was skeptical until one winter night (after hearing footsteps in the front hall which freaked me out b/c I was there alone) I found my gloves (warm and toasty) on the icy front steps. I had been inside for several hours, and specifically remembered putting my gloves in my coat pocket. I'm now a firm believer!

Lisa J said...

I'm also happy to say I've never had a ghost visit me (that I know of). My yoga instructor swears when we wake up at night with the feeling someone is watching us, it's a spirit looking out for you. It just seems creepy to me.

Twimom227 said...

To this day I will swear that I saw the spirit of George Washington when my older cousin told me we could summon him. We were in the dark bathroom at my grndmother's house. I know I saw something!

Thanks!

JoAnn said...

Our first house was built in 1913 -- don't know the history of it, but something lived in our walk-up attic and liked us to keep the attic door open. If we closed it, Herman (our name for he/she/it) would open it during the night. Herman also liked to turn the kitchen faucet on when no one was in the room. Then we moved. I miss him. :-) (Always hoped he would do the dishes one night when he turned on the water!)

bn100 said...

Congrats on the book! No ghostly experiences.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

susanmp said...

I am soooo thankful not to have a ghost story to tell! I am a HUGE horror fan but I draw the line at ghost stories and demonic possession stories! *shivers* I can't make myself watch either. My husband to me to lunch a few years ago to a restaurant a few hours away and told me that the building was haunted, I could not relax the whole time we were there and REFUSED to go to the bathroom which freakingly enough was in the basement of the building, really who would do that!!

susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

Tawnya Peltonen said...

Congrats! I loved the excerpt and cannot wait to read this book.

I've always thought that our house (which I've lived in my entire life) was haunted. But my one (pretty tame) ghostly experience didn't happen at home. I was pretty sick, but not delusional, so I was admitted to the hospital after a trip to the E.R. It was late at night and I got settled into my room before getting ready for bed. I turned off the light and was just drifting off when I opened my eyes. I was in the room across from the nurse's station and the door was open. When I opened my eyes I saw an old woman in a blue dress standing there staring at me. When I blinked she was gone. I only blinked. And there was no shadow on the floor moving away from the door so I knew it couldn't have been a real person. Anyway...yeah,that's my ghost story. Thanks for the giveaway!

lovey_20_81@hotmail.com

Meda White said...

I was born into a family where almost every member has interactions with the spiritual realm from time to time. Sometimes they see and communicate with spirits, sometimes they just have premonitions.

Have you ever heard the death knocks? They let you know a loved one will pass soon.

Have you ever heard the knife tap on the window? It signals that your loved one has safely reached the other side.

My earliest memory of seeing an actual ghost was at a seance performed by my aunt. At the moment she pointed and said "There it is!", I saw a Raggedy Ann doll with the ghostly face of a white haired man. Of course, the forced air from my cousin's ear-splitting scream blew out the lone candle in the center of our circle. The immediate darkness prompted more screams from the rest of us. Everyone present described seeing the same "thing".

I look forward to "Eternal".
medakev@gmail.com

Karen Dailey said...

Hi Debra! I've had strange things happen to me, one was the appearance of a single penny in places I knew I had not placed them. I lived alone and found a penny lying on the bathroom sink, but thought nothing of it. The next day, I found one lying on my mantle, but again, thought nothing of it. The third day, I noticed a single penny lying on my kitchen table which made me recall the appearance of the other two...crazy, right? A couple of days later, I opened my drawer to get a pair of socks and laying there was a single penny. I don't have any idea what if anything this meant, but I thought it was odd.

One other time, spending the night with a friend, I had just taken a bath and flipped my hair/head upside down to towel dry my hair. While upside down, I saw a round light orb float by my head, out her bedroom door and down the hall. When I told her, she said that's probably mama. Her mom passed away in that room at a fairly young age and popped in from time to time, or so I was told!

Good luck to you on your new book!
kfdailey@triad.rr.com

Arleigh said...

Eternal sounds great! I personally have walkedi nto my drive way and stopped walking thinking i was gonna run into someone but its like not all the person was there it was only like a mans shoulder and some of the torso...its creepy and happens every now and then and my sister was alone in our room while i was in the shower and she came running and sat on the floor and i asked what happened and she told me she heard a little girl say "play with me" in her ear and then a man laughing and that it sounded like it belonged in horror movie, neither of us slept that night! XD

Arleigh said...

oh my email is RestlessRedRoses@cocmast.net

Chris Bailey said...

Love that story concept! When I was in college, I was on the newspaper staff, and decided, for a Halloween story, to spend the night in Smith Hall, which was supposed to be haunted. A high school friend whose work-study assignment was living there as caretaker took me on a tour of the building at midnight. We were on the third floor when the elevator unexpectedly opened. I screamed, the lights went out, and we both ran downstairs, with my friend saying, "I punched the elevator button when you weren't looking, but I didn't touch the lights!"

Shadow said...

Great post! Sounds like a spooky book! :) I live in a haunted house. We cleansed it, so nothing really happens anymore. Things will move, weve seen a couple ghosts, lights turn off and on, ive had a knife thrown at me, etc. When i was younger, i had horrible nightmares from 6 (when we moved in) till about 18 of this horrible demon creature. Every night, it was the same type creature different reoccurring dreams. It scared the crap out of me. I woke more than once to my bed shaking, my door opening (makes a creepy creaking noise and i used to lock my door at night so it wouldnt do this and it still did) Ive had something sit next to me in bed, people walking in the attic, tapping on the wall next to my bed, etc. It messed with my horribly. I used to tell my family but they didnt believe me. Until my grandfather slept upstairs, and it locked him in the room, wouldnt let him out, jerked the covers of the bed and then jerked him out. If you walked down the hall, the bedroom downs would swing open and try to hit you. I used to switch rooms with my siblings because the activity would get to bad and if i switch rooms, it would stop for a week or so. Each of the rooms have closets, to this day, i hate them. In my dreams, the creature came out of them and in the morning, my closet door would be wide open. I had locks on the door and a recliner chair pushed up against it. Each morning the chair was across the room and the door wide open. My parents were fighting one day and my mom decide to sleep in my room. It was the middle of the day and not more than 15 minutes later, she came downstairs. She looked a little scared. I asked her if she was okay. She said yeah. I stared at her and asked her what happened and if 'it' scared her. She looked and me and said "you were right. theres something in the closet. The door creaked open and something peeked out. It felt evil and scared the crap out of me." I eventually started sleeping in our living room on the couch. In my room, i also have over 30 glass dolls that ive collected since i was five. When my brother used to have friends over, id let them sleep in my room. All of them either came downstairs and slept or went home and refused to spend another night here. They all told me my dolls moved and scary things happened. My cousin, whos lived with us on and off over the years refuses to sleep or even go in my room. It scares the hell out of him. Hes 22 and to this day, he wont go in. I could spend hours telling you ghost stories. Especially about my neighbors house. Very scary.

Shadow said...

Now in the neighbors house, If you go in the basement, sometimes youll see a woman hanging, the ghosts will chase you up the stairs, hurt little kids (bite, pinch, scratch), it threw one grandmother out of the kids bedroom and locked her out. When the owners moved, the house was empty, the water and electric had been shut off, at night the lights would come one, youd see a black figure standing in the windows, etc. There was one night, about 1 in the morning, there were a bunch of sirens next door. We came outside to see what was going on and the house was surrounded by cop cars and ambulances. A cop came over and asked who lived there. We told him know one. The house has been empty for months. He looked at us and said someone does, they called from this house and said they needed help. We told him that was impossible, the house phone, as well as the electric were shut off. No one could have called. The house was literally boarded up and had locks on the door. (And im talking locks from the city). The cops broke in a looked around, there was no one there. There was no electric on and the house was empty. They called the number the person called from, the number came up as shut off. It freaked the cops out. When the cops started leaving, one of the upstairs room lights came on and in the window was a black figure staring down. The cops jumped in the cars and left, pretty fast too! When they were all gone, the figure disappeared and the light went out. Its a very scary house and has had many tenants who've moved in and left just as fast.

Debra Glass said...

These stories are all varied and really neat! I've never had an experience with a malevolent spirit. Thanks for sharing, folks!

Bama said...

no ghost encounters that I know of yet...

KrystalBarber said...

Hi Debra! I'm excited to read some of your books! I recently moved to the shoals and stumbled upon you through facebook. I LOVE reading paranormal books.I have had quite a few ghostly experiences throughout my whole life. Everyone in my family has had some sort of experience. One of my most memorable ones was about 9 yrs ago when my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I were staying at my aunt's house. It was scary at the time but when now looking back it's pretty funny. We were sleeping in my cousin's room which was really dark because there was a blanket over the window. About 1am my husband started almost yelling "Whoooo", so I shook him awake to make him stop. He stopped and rolled over to go back to sleep. I sat up to straighten the covers and clearly saw the silhouette of a large man standing next to my husband's side of the bed. I flopped back down and covered my head! lol Then I nudged my husband and asked him what he was dreaming and he says "I was dreaming somebody was on my side of the bed pulling the covers". My heart stopped! I then told him that I saw someone standing on his side of the bed. He didn't say anything, just pretended to be asleep. As I lay there freaking out with my head under the covers, I could hear things moving all around the room. So finally I tell him to get up and turn on the lamp that was across the room. He tells me he's trying to sleep. lol But I kept telling him to go because I was scared. So he jumps up, flipping on the light switch as he runs out of the room and into the bathroom! lol His mom says from the description I gave her of the man I saw, she believes that he is my husband's grandfather. I also saw him about a year before this when I had another experience with my husband's brother and my sister.

Traci said...

I have lived in a couple of the Village Homes in Sheffield. The stories in this neighbor are plentiful. I can't recall anyone NOT having some kind of experience with the paranormal.

The second one I lived in was with my mother after her divorce. I was around 16 years old. We had a watchful ghost. To this day, I feel as if Mr Adams, the man believed the be the ghost, had our best intentions in mind but did like to get playful at times.

He enjoyed turning on the water in the kitchen and bathroom. He walked upstairs in the attic and his presence could be felt strongly up there.

As for watching out for us, Mr. Adams did a fine job. I once fell asleep in the bathtub. I awoke to water being splashed on my face. At first, I thought I might have jerked in my sleep, causing the water to splash, so I did a little experiment. I closed my eyes and about two minutes later, two handfuls of water hit me again. I like to think he was worried about me drowning.

He also made sure my mischiveous teenage ways were thwarted. If my boyfriend and I got to cuddly on the couch, he would open the closet door in the hall and turn on the light. That will cool anyone down quickly.

The worst and now funniest time was when I had several girls over at the house in one of those teenage, tell your mother your spending the night at my house and I'll tell your mother I am spending the night at yours. My mom was out of town for work. Two girls were in my room and two were in my mother's. We were laughing and cutting up at one in the morning, when both lights came on in each bedroom. Needless to say, all four of us high tailed it out of there and had to fess up to our scheme when we went to one of the girl's home.

After we moved out, my brother and his family moved in. Mr. Adams was very chummy with my 3 year old nephew. My brother would catch him having conversations with "his friend" who was not there. My nephew also saw Mr. Adams watching him from the hallway many times.

I still feel as if Mr. Adams is part of my life and have been told that he still watches over me. I am glad he is a part of it.

Wow, that got wordy :)

McKenzie Tittle said...

Hi Debra! I never believed in Ghosts. In fact, I often ridiculed those who did believe and would tell me the stories of their encounters. I was a staunch Atheist and was sure noting happened after one passed. This all came to an abrupt halt almost four years ago to today. I was having drinks with two friends at a house in The Village in Sheffield. It was probably around 10:30 pm and nothing exciting was happening. Usually, we are watching sports or listening to music at volume levels the neighbors can hear. But on ths evening, we were just being boring and quiet. All of the sudden a little girl started laughing from inside this home. It wasn't an evil or menacing giggle, it was quite a happy laugh. Needless to say, that didnt matter to any of the three people sitting in that living room. We all sat there. In total silence. Nobody wanted to say anything because we couldn't believe what just happened, most of all me. After a good minute of silence, I told the other guys to not say anything. I told them to say what they heard on the count of three, hoping I wasn't crazy. On three, everyone said girl/little girl laughing. I said on three again, point where you think it came from. We all pointed to the same corner. My mind was fragmented. No children lived within five houses of him on either side or across the street, plus it being almost 11 pm. So, unless a little girl snuck out of her house at 10:30 at night, walked down the block to his house, climbed the hedges, put her face to his windows and somehow made it sound like she was laughing iside the house, we had just encountered a ghost. I walked around his house and down the street no more than one minute to one and a half minutes after the incident. No kids, no cars, nobody. Silence. No animals even

Ths event changed my life more than almost anything else has. How was this possible? I know I'm not crazy because two other people heard the exact same thing at the same time. My mind was in shock. For the next few days, I didn't really talk to anyone. My brain was scrambled. I couldn't figure it out. How can this be? It couldn't be possible, right? Is it an energy transfer? Is it a frequency we can't see? Another dimension? I'm still confused by it

Needless to say, I now believe in Ghosts and the paranormal. I'm not religious but I do think there is definitely an afterlife. I can't explain it and I understand where people who don't believe are coming from. Until you actually see or hear such a thing, you won't be able to process it. No words or feelings can explain such an occurrence. It won't seem believable until it is witnessed. I've apologized extensively to all the people that I mocked and ridiculed up to that point. I was wrong for that. It seemed like something that couldn't possibly be real. It is. It's real and mind boggling. Just my two cents...

Traci G. said...

Mack,
Like I said, it is something about those Village houses :)

Debra Glass said...

I agree! The Village seems like a spooky place for some reason.