A Friendly Ghost

I’m delighted to say this is the second anthology in which I’ve had the pleasure of being included with Patti Sherry-Crews. Patti lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and two children. She writes both contemporary and historic romance. Under the name Cherie Grinnell, she has written a series of steamy romances set in Dublin and Wales. She likes to include armchair travel with her books.

Patti studied anthropology and archeology at Grinnell College and the University of North Wales, UK. After college she opened an Irish and British import store, which gave her an excuse to travel to the British Isles for the next fifteen years.

Now she works from home and devotes much of her time to writing.

Patti Sherry-Crews

Patti Sherry-Crews

Being asked to be part of The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly was a dream come true for me. I’ve always loved a good ghost story from my early days of reading Tales from the Crypt. Though nothing of the sort has happened to me in years, I used to be a spooky character myself with a storehouse of ghostly encounters and weird bouts of ESP to call from whenever someone asks if I believe in ghosts.

I would sometimes walk into a place and get all tingly, and I knew without being told something terrible had happened in that room. The one instance which comes to mind was when I was a student doing my junior year abroad in England. I was running around the Tower of London when I stepped into the White Tower. I touched the wall of the staircase and the tingling went up my arm telling me an evil deed had taken place there. Later I learned this is the tower where the two Princes disappeared during Plantagenet times and where in modern times during repair work two skeletons were found under the stairs. Skeletons belonging to two boys. My PSI agent Healy Harrison knows she’s in the presence of a ghost when her heart hums–or could the feeling be love?

I’ve had my share of encounters with ghosts. I had the ghost of an old man visible from only the waist up leaning over my bed–while I was in it–on two occasions. The cat on my bed arched her back and hissed. These two hauntings were preceded by the odor of cologne. I used both the animal reaction to the ghost and the accompanying odor in my story The Ghost and the Bridegroom.

Then there was the time I met a poltergeist. A friend was showing me her family’s new home–a mansion on Lake Michigan. She led me into one room and such a feeling of malice overcame me, I became paralyzed with fear and stood there on the verge of tears. My friend dragged me out and said, “How did you know?” When we were out in the hall the door slammed shut behind us. I mean it really slammed with great force! When they bought the house, they were told a young man had killed himself in that room. The ghost would move furniture around downstairs while they slept. Previous owners had the same poltergeist phenomena while they lived in that house. Agent Harrison has a similar reaction when she steps into a room inhibited by a black shadow manifestation.

Instead of telling you a story to make your skin crawl, I’m going to tell you about my encounter with a friendly ghost. This ghost was so friendly she helped me toilet train my son. You won’t have to go to bed with the light on after hearing this story.

The year 2001 was going to be a milestone year and it had nothing to do with the millennium. That fall my daughter would starting full-day kindergarten at the same time my son would be entering preschool. As someone who had been a stay-at-home mom for almost six years, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. At last I’d have some me-time if only for a few hours a day.

I had one stumbling block to my mini freedom: children had to be out of diapers before starting preschool. Can I say that the most nerve wracking times for me so far as a parent are kids starting to drive and potty training? Both experiences in parenting left me wringing my hands with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.

My son, Joe, was nearly three and so far, all efforts to get him out of diapers had been futile. By comparison I had a neighbor who looked at her son one day and said, “No more diapers. You’ll use the toilet from now on,” and her son immediately became potty trained. This dictatorial approach to getting my son to use the toilet didn’t work for me, I’m afraid.

Luckily I wasn’t alone in this struggle. I had a friend with a son of the same age who would be entering the same preschool program along with Joe. We compared notes and stressed about our diaper-loving boys daily.

Seeing my freedom waving me goodbye, I intensified my efforts on the potty front. We spent a lot of time in the bathroom that summer.

One day I had Joe sit on his little plastic potty seat fitted into the regular toilet while I read out loud to him. We were hunkered down waiting for the great evacuation. I looked up from my book when a movement by him caught my eye. Joe was craning his head to look over my shoulder. Then he broke out into a big smile and gave a thumb’s up sign to someone standing behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see only a blank wall.

“Why are you doing that?” I said.

He looked at me. “My grandma is behind you. She did this to me.” At that he gave me the thumbs up signal.

His grandmother, my mother, had died the previous spring. My son did start school that fall.

TGTBTGFInalCoverAbout The Ghost and The Bridegroom:

Life is looking rosy for Abbott Foster when he brings his new bride to his ranch in Arizona. But when he is unable to consummate his marriage due to a malevolent spirit in the bedroom, he is forced to call in Psychic Specters Investigations.

Agent Healy Harrison doesn’t want to accept this case. She has her own demons and likes her quiet life, lived in the anonymity of St. Louis. But Tucson is where she finds herself—with instructions to “Have an adventure! Have a romance!” Things get interesting when she meets handsome Pinkerton detective, Aaron Turrell. Is this the romance she’s meant to have, or when their two cases intersect, will it drive him away?

Excerpt:  In this excerpt agent Healy Harrison meets the rancher for the first time and learns about his haunting.

He ran a hand through his sandy brown hair. “I can’t talk to you about this. I thought you’d be a man. This is a delicate matter.”

“Mr. Foster, I assure you I’ve seen everything. There isn’t anything you can tell me I haven’t heard before. What’s happening to you has happened to many before you.”

“That’s just it. I’ve heard about it happening to other men, but it’s never happened to me before.”

“Ah, I see. Well, this too is a common reaction. Many don’t believe in ghosts until they experience the phenomenon themselves. You’re not alone.”

He looked down. “I’m not talking about ghosts.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I can’t talk to a young lady about this.”

“You can! Nothing you say will shock me.”

“Are you a…spinster?”

Healy huffed. “I don’t see how my marital status is relevant, but yes, I am not a married woman.”

“So you don’t have experience…”

“Please, I have traveled a long way under the most trying circumstances to help you. You’ve already paid the agency, and here I am!  Let’s just start at the place where you encountered the haunting?”

Abbott sighed. “In the bedroom.”

“You’re lucky in that sense. Some ghosts follow people around and make all kinds of mischief.”

“Naw, you ain’t catching my meaning.”

“Enlighten me.”

“Aw, all right.” He took a long pause, studying his boots before he looked up again. “I’m a newlywed….”


“Yes, but here’s the crux of the matter. The ghost will not allow me to…consummate my marriage.”

Healy felt her face burn red. “Oh, I see. Well, that is a new one on me. Never heard of that one before. How is it that the ghost has power to stop…the act?”

“Ever since I brought Erline—that’s my bride—home, things don’t work right.”

She put a hand on his arm. “Are you sure you’re consulting the right expert? Have you talked to your doctor?”

His face went beet red with frustration. “It’s having a ghost in my bedroom gumming up the works.”

“You have to be more specific. I need details.”

He shuffled his feet in the dust on the boards of the porch. “I think about Erline all day. She’s so pretty. I can’t wait to go to bed. I get in next to her all cocked and ready to fire—and she’s eager too–I can tell, but then when I put….”

Healy put up her hand. “I don’t mean those kinds of details. Tell me about the ghost.”

“Oh, well, it always starts the same way. First there is this god-awful odor like rotten flowers.”

“Olfactory manifestations. Very rare. Interesting. Go on.”

He looked proud of himself a minute for having a rare haunting. “After I smell the odor a shape appears in the corner. A big, black shadow.”

“Oh, this is bad. Very bad. Black shadows are extremely malevolent.”

“It gets worse.”

“Worse than a black shadow? You’re wise to call in a professional.”

“The shadow moves. It walks, or floats–or whatever those things do–and comes and stands right next to the bed, and the creature points at me! Things shrink up down south at that point, if you know what I mean.”

Find Patti on the Net:

Author Blog



Amazon Author Page


Psychic Adventures

charlene-raddon-headshot-4Another  co-author from The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly, Charlene Raddon is also a talented cover designer. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. Because of her love of romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. Kensington Books originally published five of her novels. These were later released as eBooks by Tirgearr Publishing. Currently, they are self-published with new covers designed by the author. Continue reading

Stepping Back in Time

anitaphilmarppAnita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way.

Influenced by old movies, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where special moments come to life in a great read.

Naughty or Nice?

Read her books and decide.

One of the reasons we enjoy reading historical fiction is because it gives us a chance to step back in time and experience another way of life. In McKee’s Ghost, we travel to Nebraska positioned in the heartland of America.

The small town of Shelton, Nebraska, has an interesting history starting with the way it acquired its name. Its original name was Wood River Centre and it is one of the oldest communities in Nebraska. The Great Western Stage Company established a stop here on it’s route to Fort Kearney. Years later, the Union Pacific railroad decided to use this town as a stop on its line to the west coast.

Patrick Walsh, the postman for this small town, wanted the name changed because of the confusion it had with another small community call Wood River. In 1873, he wrote the Postmaster General pleading for a new name. He renamed the post office to Shelton after Nathan Shelton, an auditor for the Union Pacific Railroad.

The town’s name shows no record of ever being officially changed. Probably to end the confusion with the other city, the citizens just started using the same name as the post office, and the name stuck.

Another interesting fact about the town is some of the residents of Shelton and Buffalo County raised Draft horses. The huge creatures were a much-needed asset for farmers. These animals were used to do the heavy lifting for their owners. Not only did draft horses plow the fields but also helped with other chores. These amazing creatures have a gentle disposition and don’t spook easily, making them perfect to have around a growing family. Living for twenty to thirty years, these animals were a solid addition to a farmer’s family.

Today, this area has a solid reputation of having some of the best breeders of draft horses in the state. Even today, the draft horse pull is one of the most popular events at the Nebraska state fair.

Like so many small towns across the country, Shelton, NE, has a unique history and has created a proud legacy of hardworking people building a solid future for their residents.

TGTBTGFInalCoverAbout McKee’s Ghost

His fiancée called off their engagement after be accosted by a ghost in his house.

Now, a beautiful ghost detective has shown up at his ranch, saying his brother has hired her to take care of the unwanted spirit.

Konnor McKee is more than happy with PSI Agent Ruth Oliva Wilson. One look and he was hooked. Now, if he can only get some help from a ghost, he might be able to secure himself a bride after all.

With the return of his ex-fiancee, his life is turn upside down by an angry ghost, a vindictive woman and a sexy medium. Konnor doesn’t know which way to turn.

Can he get everyone out of this alive and marry the PSI Agent?

Or has he lost all hope of a happy future because of the ruthless ghost of one of his ancestors?

Excerpt for McKee’s Ghost

The hands he’d dropped to her waist shifted. One drew Ruth deeper into his embrace while the other nudged her chin up with a knuckle until their eyes met. His searing gaze lit a fire, heating her core and arousing every cell in her body.

“No. The gentleman in me heads south whenever you enter the room. All I can think about is getting my hands on you.” Konnor sprayed his palms over her back and tugged her deeper against his chest. “I want you in a way I’ve never wanted a woman before, under me screaming while I make you completely mine.”

She gasped. “But you don’t even know me.”

“You’re wrong. Some instinct inside me knew the moment we met you belong to me. Now, all I need to do is convince you of that fact.” He dropped his mouth over hers. His kisses were gentle and sweet one moment, demanding and urgent the next.

The crisp flavor of the apple he’d just eaten played over her taste buds. Pleasure overruled the sound logic of keeping him at a distance. Instead, she gave into the tempestuous assault to her senses and slid her arms around his neck. Minutes passed. The hunger inside her growing until she couldn’t catch her breath.

He tore his mouth from hers, and she gasped for air. “Please, sweetheart, I’m not a patient man, especially when I’ve waited so long for you. I need—”

“Don’t say it,” she whispered and lowered her head to avoid eye contact. She’d tempted him, let him think if he asked for more, she’d willingly give him whatever he wanted.

Realizing how much she already cared for him, she rebelled against the likelihood of losing her heart to another man. More than once, she’d fallen into the trap of believing a man would love her no matter what.

Every time, she paid with a broken heart. This time, she needed to give him a day or two to come to terms with the true nature of her abilities. Once he saw her in action, he’d change. The desire he felt would wilt until he had no feeling for her at all.

“I’m sorry, but we need to take this slow.” She lowered her hands and pressed them against his chest. “Now, you should tend to your horses.”

Konnor studied her for a long moment before he slowly released his grip. “Make yourself at home. I’ll be back as soon as I’ve finished my nightly chores.”

She nodded, and he turned for the door with a sigh.

The light click of the latch falling into place felt like a shot through her heart. She’d come here determined to do her job and leave. However, Konnor had blindsided her with his charm. She’d broken her new rule of not becoming involved with a client.

Now, she had to figure out a way to keep her heart safe when everything inside her wanted to give in to Konnor’s demands.

Find Anita Philmar at

Website: http://www.anitaphilmar.com/

Blog: http://www.anitaphilmar.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitaphilmar

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Anita-Philmar/e/B002BMBE8C



Adding a dash of Western. No big deal, right?

erin-hayes-profile-photoSci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist, Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books. She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia. Here’s her take on moving from writing paranormal romance to a western historical setting. Continue reading

The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly by @andidowning + 7 Others #Paranormal #Romance #Giveaway

Title:  Long a Ghost, and Far Away   Box Set: The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly   Author:   Andrea Downing   Genre:  Paranormal Western Historical Romance     Book Blurb:…

Source: The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly by @andidowning + 7 Others #Paranormal #Romance #Giveaway

Because of Virginia City

Blaire EdensBlaire Edens is another fellow author from the Good, the Bad and the Ghostly.  She lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She grew up on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. Of Scottish descent, her most famous ancestor, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Guardian of Scotland, was murdered by Robert the Bruce on the altar of the Greyfriars Church at Dumfries. Continue reading

Yuma Territorial Prison – The Dark Cell and Ghosts

I previously had the pleasure of working with Keta Diablo on the anthology, Come Love a Cowboy, so when she asked me to join her on this boxed set I jumped at the chance. Keta  lives in Minnesota on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A lifelong animal lover, she also devotes her time and support to the local animal shelters. Continue reading

Enter to Win Paranormal and Western Romances from the Authors of The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly!

The authors of The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly are sponsoring an ebook giveaway including western and paranormal romances. Enter to win, and be sure to check out the collection!   Sponsored…

Source: Enter to Win Paranormal and Western Romances from the Authors of The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly!

Mediums and Séances in Wild, Wild Ghost

Margo Bond Collins

Margo Bond Collins

I’m delighted to have Margo Bond Collins return to my blog here.  Margo and I have previously worked together on Come Love a Cowboy. She is addicted to coffee and SF/F television, especially Supernatural. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She lives in Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Continue reading


TGTBTGFInalCover We hear an awful lot about ghost towns in the West, but maybe not so much about ghosts themselves. Have you ever seen a ghost? My own, personal encounter with a ghost was actually in Hampton Court, King Henry VIII’s favored residence outside of London. I was walking down the long corridor (known as the Haunted Gallery) and, just at the very moment a tour guide was saying it was haunted and some folks might feel a chill, I got such a chill I nearly jumped out of my skin. Let me make it clear: this was not a chill like one might get on a cold day; this was a true spine-tingler! Even my daughter, who was with me, looked at me and asked what was wrong. Continue reading