Tag Archives: supernatural fiction

Guest Article: Is There Anybody There? by Author Catherine Cavendish

Is There Anybody There?
by Catherine Cavendish, author of Damned by the Ancients

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In my novel, Damned by the Ancients, a little girl with a special gift is targeted by the evil and long-dead Dr. Emeryk Quintillus. She even becomes possessed by a dead woman. In real life there are numerous well documented cases of demonic possession and many involve the use of ouija boards or another spirit game called ‘Charlie Charlie’. More of that one later but, for now, let’s have a look at some of the alleged evidence levelled at the use of ouija boards.

Three or four years ago, there were a number of separate cases of students who apparently fell into a trance while playing with the board. They were believed – or believed themselves – to be possessed by malignant spirits. Fellow players saw them behaving oddly, speaking in strange voices and generally acting contrary to their normal natures. Needless to say, as is the way of things, the more the stories circulated, the wilder they became.

One such case dates from November 2014 and involved a group of 35 school students from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia. They were playing with an ouija board when they began to suffer from a range of maladies, resulting in hospital treatment. The children exhibited mental distress, trance-like states, rapid pulse rates and profuse sweating. Central and South America seems to be a hotbed for ouija enthusiasts and reports of demonic possession and mass fainting abound – Mexico being a particular centre.

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In fact Mexico currently holds the record for the largest outbreak of ouija-attributed illness so far recorded. In 2006-2007, up to 600 children at a 4,500 girls’ only, strict, Catholic boarding school near Mexico City began to show alarming physical symptoms. Headaches and difficulty in walking without the help of a fellow student were just two of the problems reported. The symptoms would vanish and then recur.

Psychiatrist Nashviela Loa Zavala investigated and concluded the cause was mass hysteria (or in his words, mass psychogenic illness). She discovered that a student at the school had used an ouija board to try and influence the outcome of a basketball game. The student, called Maria, had been summarily expelled for using the game but, in her extreme anger, had allegedly cursed the school.  The psychiatrist learned that, shortly after this, two of her former friends and fellow ouija board enthusiasts began to exhibit the symptoms. It seems belief in the supernatural power of the board and the existence of demons and evil spirits, along with rumours that Maria’s mother was a witch, led to the mass hysteria Dr Zavala diagnosed.

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Now, what is the ‘Charlie Charlie’ game?

Here we can blame social media (can’t we always?). In 2015, this simple form of ouija, originating many years ago in Spain, along with Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America, spread quickly thanks to the power of Twitter and the odd Youtube video. All that is needed is to draw a simple grid as shown on the illustration. In the centre of the grid, place two pencils on top of each other. Now ask closed questions (i.e. those that require a simple ‘yes or no’ answer). You are summoning the supernatural entity called Charlie. First ask him, ‘Charlie, are you there?’ Watch the pencils. The top pencil is the one which will indicate whether a spirit is in attendance. If it begins to pivot, watch where it points and you have the answer to your question. Charlie is communicating with you. Or, of course a draught may have wafted through the room, someone may have breathed a little too heavily, a truck may have thundered past the window, setting up vibrations…

A hundred and one things could be responsible, but belief that a spirit really had joined them was enough to cause four Columbian students to wind up in hospital, ‘screaming and babbling’ as a result of playing ‘Charlie Charlie’. In the same month (May 2015) in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and St Lucia reports flooded in of school children playing the game and ending up falling unconscious, slipping into trances and experiencing confused mental states. The following month, in the Dominican Republic, it was alleged that several young children in a primary school had been ‘possessed by the devil’ while playing the game.

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Of course as with any belief in the supernatural, proving the link between Ouija boards or the ‘Charlie Charlie’ game and evil (or even benign) spirits is impossible to prove (or disprove actually!). Those who are convinced they are in contact with a demon will not be swayed. Those who remain skeptical will point to the laws of science. The two positions are polar opposites.

What do I believe? Whether there is truly anything in it or not, my own experience has made me extremely wary of playing with occult games. When I was eighteen years old, two friends and I had a pretty scary experience with a home-made Ouija board and a heavy-duty water glass that shot across the room and shattered against the wall. This was only after it had spelled out a stream of abuse and obscenities – the like of which none of the three of us would ever use in conversation.

Best to be safe. Leave spirit games to the movies and books.

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Not that this would have helped poor nine-year-old Heidi. Here’s what to expect in Damned by the Ancients…

INFINITY IN DEATH

Vienna, 1908

Gabriele Ziegler is a young art student who becomes infatuated with charismatic archeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus. Only too late does she realize his true designs on her. He is obsessed with resurrecting Cleopatra and has retained the famed artist Gustav Klimt to render Gabriele as the Queen of the Nile, using ashes from Cleopatra’s mummy mixed with the paint. The result is a lifelike portrait emitting an aura of unholy evil . . .

Vienna, 2018

The Mortimer family has moved into Quintillus’s former home, Villa Dürnstein. In its basement they find an original Klimt masterpiece—a portrait of Cleopatra art scholars never knew existed. But that’s not all that resides within the villa’s vault. Nine-year-old Heidi Mortimer tells her parents that a strange man lives there.

Quintillus’s desire to be with Cleopatra transcends death. His spirit will not rest until he has brought her back from the netherworld. Even if he has to sacrifice the soul of a child . . .

Damned by the Ancients is available from:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple

Google

Kobo

Kensington Publishing

Catherine Cavendish, Biography –

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Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

Her novellas include Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife

She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.

You can connect with Cat here:

 Catherine Cavendish

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A Grave Inheritance, Second in Historical Fantasy Series, Leads Celtic Goddess Descendant to Victorian London

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Review~

When I read Kari Edgren’s A Goddess Born, the first book in this series, earlier this year I fell in love with it. You can see my review of that here. Not only do I like historicals, but I love paranormals/supernaturals (especially those with mythological components) and though I don’t normally like all kinds of romance, I do like them when they are not sappy or southern, so to speak.

So, when A Grave Inheritance, book two in the series also called Goddess Born series, became available to me for review, I was anxious to read it. It pretty much picks up where A Goddess Born leaves off, yet takes us to new places and on an action-adventure that kept me turning the pages. If you haven’t read the first book, she does do the usual back telling in a way that you’ll still enjoy the story, but both books are so good, you might want to go back and read the first one. They’re in digital format, so they are relatively cheap enough to buy the whole series.

In this second book, she takes her protagonist Selah (who is human, but with some powers of the supernatural, as she is descended from a Celtic goddess). Kari escorts her, and readers, back to Victorian England and ingratiates us to all the atmospheric details that emanate from that time period. She writes with a vivid and lively pen in a way that swept me right into the tale. Her descriptions are lovely and sweet-tasting, her sentences lovely. She’s one of those writers that treats writing like a work of art.

She’s labeled New Adult, but she crosses many boundaries. Without the paranormal element, she’d be historical romance. And really, to me, it’s more supernatural historical fiction! They are clean, which is the way I like my romances too (I’m not a prude either!). They essentially are good for young adult readers, too, and I’d love to share these with my daughter at some point. If you are buying for YA, they are good for 18-25, but younger also based on their interest and reading level. They are a sophisticated break from some of the dystopian, vampire, zombie, and etc. novels. I’d say they are wonderful for those young readers who like mythology, and in my case, adults too.

They do have enough meat to be read and enjoyed by adults, unless you like strictly old school Harlequin or erotica romance. But see, it’s the kind of meat that, personally, that I love in a book.  A great plot, magical story, courageous and kind main female, and a dreamy, but decent man who treats the woman as equal all score high marks with me for this book. The characters have challenges and conflicts to face, giving the reader twists and turns to enjoy, and this creates an exciting tale–one that had me sliding past each page of my Kindle with fervor.

I love Kari’s original tale and her ancient supernatural elements. I think that A Grave Inheritance was even better than the first, bringing more suspense and drama and great sense of time and place as they head to 18th Century London. I liked the villains she portrayed and the introduction of more with goddess-like powers.

I am super happy Kari chose to write this series; it has taken me to my fun place of reading magic and mythology and Old Word tales mixed with love and adventure. I absolutely can’t wait to read the next one. Highly recommended for any weekend night you have free! It will enchant you in a way that will lead you to read it very quickly.

A Grave Inheritance, Synopsis~

02_A Grave Inheritance_CoverPublication Date: December 1, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA

Series: Goddess Born
Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Buy the eBook~

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Author Kari Edgren, Biography~

03_Kari EdgrenKari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist.

Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/agraveinheritanceblogtour/

Hashtags: #AGraveInheritanceBlogTour #GoddessBornSeries #Historical #Paranormal #Romance #NewAdult

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @KariEdgren @CarinaPress

04_A Grave Inheritance_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

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Do you Feel Held Up When Life Goes Wrong? Erin Healy Delivers Allegory for Life in her Novel, Afloat

AfloatI enjoy books by Erin Healy because she mixes the supernatural and spiritual realms into her fiction in an absorbing sort of way….this time, in Afloat, we are drawn in to the wonderment by the brilliant underwater lights first seen by Simeon, the son of Healy’s female protagonist, Danielle.

The tidbits of strange occurrences is the part of the book that kept me engaged from the beginning. As the luxury residential units are floating on the river, with more being constructed, a sinkhole and hurricane-like rains send the residents into upheaval and they begin scrambling to survive.

The cast of characters each has a different personality, and some with hidden agendas, which all begin to unravel and come to light as the storm and mess continues on. I am not a huge fan of disaster and survival-type stories that have to do with the weather (or construction accidents), and due to that some of the early middle dragged for me, but the prospect of what the bright lights under the water were, as well as the encounter that Danielle had, kept me intrigued.

Afloat gives us a message that most of us can appreciate. That in the bad times, we are held up by a firm foundation that we cannot see. That sometimes things are more simple than we see. That sometimes bad things happen in order for good people to become better.  Sometimes even bad people are shown the light. Healy does a good job with her characters and I enjoyed following Danielle’s growth as a person through this trial.

By the middle of the book, after we had a chance to understand the characters and how their thoughts and actions effected each other, the mystery and suspense picked up and the story moved faster for me. I felt this was the meat of the book and that the second half delivered the supernatural vibe, as well as the mystery that I had been waiting for. Her allegory is always strong in her books, and with Afloat, Healy delivers again in giving us a thought-provoking story that is easily applied to our own situations.  It teaches us, through creative story, how faith can help us overcome the most dire of circumstances.

This is a Christian book, from a Christian publisher, so this might not be for all readers.  But if you are a fan of Christian fiction that uses allegory and encouraging, faith based writing, then I highly recommend this book for a unique perspective.  Healy’s use of the supernatural and ethereal eerie elements of life always creates an enjoyable read for me.

Afloat, Synopsis~

 AfloatWho will you trust when dark waters rise?

Eagle’s Talon is an architectural marvel-shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.

They’re bitterly divided over what to do next.

Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.

Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle’s young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater-beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.
In this watery world where everyone’s secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.

Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/liNmq

Author Erin Healy, Biography~

Erin HealyErin Healy is the best-selling co-author of “Burn” and “Kiss” (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels “Never Let You Go”, “The Baker’s Wife”, “House of Mercy”, and “Afloat.” She and her family live in Colorado. Erin can be contacted through her website ErinHealy.com or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.

Find out more about Erin at http://www.erinhealy.com.
 
 
See More Stops on Erin’s Afloat Tour:
 
Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway~Giveaway
 
Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway……..
Afloat-Giveaway300

One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin’s blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

 

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin’s blog on the 17th!

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New Crime Novel with Paranormal Twist: Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

It seems everyone has always loved a good crime and/or mystery novel, right? The current reading trend has paranormal romance and supernatural horror also flying off the shelves. This new novel I’m reviewing, Waking Hours:  An East Salem Novel by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson, couples both genres together into a fiction novel of suspense that will leave you hanging at the very end and wanting more.

Former NFL player Tommy Gunderson, turned Private Investigator-in-Training, and Dani Harris, psychologist working for the District Attorney’s office, take on a shocking murder case of a teenage girl. With the murder stemming from a local high school party, it seems odd that none of the other party attendees seem to be able to remember what happened that night.

Tommy and Dani were once Homecoming King and Queen, but things were left unspoken and they haven’t seen each other since. When they meet again on this case, both are unsure of each other’s feelings.  As this case draws them closer, they both discover supernatural elements occurring all around them. For instance, why does Dani awake every night at 2:13 a.m.? Why are her dreams so apocalyptic? And why does Tommy feel like he is being watched at certain times? What incomprehensible forces are at work in this town?

The novel does a great job intertwining crime with a mystic story line. The paranormal element will leave you spooked and wanting to know more. It was an easy read, yet I found myself not really getting interested until about Chapter 19, almost halfway through the book. At that point the crime, and the paranormal elements, got much more interesting. Though the author took time to introduce the characters, I felt it wasn’t fast paced enough for me, or maybe in relation to other books I’ve read recently. However, many people might love the book the way it is and I try to realize that sometimes authors take it slow to build up suspense. The later half of the book was pretty decent and a quick read. The ending saved the book for me, as I finally started to get spooked, began to wonder about the supernatural occurences, and saw the proverbial fight against good and evil come in to play.  The theme of the heavenly versus the demonic always interests me and it’s why I love some of these Christian books that Thomas Nelson publishes. I am extremely intrigued now to read the second novel, as this book totally left a huge cliffhanger regarding the events happening in the town of East Salem.  I’ll want to read the second novel due to this. It would be an easy entertaining read for you to settle in with and might spook you a little if you aren’t used to reading horror or paranormal already.

I am not a huge fan of Fox News, who Lis Wiehl works for, and do not endorse her or the show or their statements, but the book was purely an entertaining read and she seems to have been able to use some of her former prosecutor skills to pen the crime scenes. Wiehl has another crime fiction series published with another supporting author as well, but I haven’t read any of those to compare this too.

Here is the Book Jacket Synopsis of Waking Hours: An East Salem Novel~

All towns have secrets. Some have demons.  Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.  A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death confounds the town and intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, who is determined to unravel the mystery. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl–yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot–something tied to an ancient evil?

But it’s not just her waking hours that challenge Dani. Each night, her eyes open at 2:13 due to troubling dreams. Dreams filled with blood, water, and destruction. Is it a clue–or a supernatural sign?

Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help–and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charms years ago when they were in high school.

A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at workIt will take astute analysis and forensic skills to solve the crime. But Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance… and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.

Waking Hours is available as of Oct. 3, 2011.

You can learn more about Lis Wiehl at www.liswiehlbooks.com.  Pete Nelson is an established and acclaimed author. He lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.

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I was sent this book from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their BookSneeze Book for Bloggers program. The statements are totally my own opinions and they only asked that I give an honest review in return for the book.

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