Category Archives: Ghost Stories

Short Story Sunday: Yellow Smoke, Scott Thomas

Urn and Willow Cover

While every story in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow—a collection of ghostly tales set in 18th and 19th century New England—is great, “Yellow Smoke” is a standout for its genuine mastery at inducing absolute terror; few short stories scare me into sleeping with the lights on like this one does.

This is due to its Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Photos from THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to celebrate the release of my short story collection, The Shadows Behind, with a party at my house. Here are photos from the event!

SETTING UP

THE CAKE Read the rest of this entry

It’s release day! Special preview of THE SHADOWS BEHIND

 

Cutting the cake at THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party

Man, I did NOT want to cut this gorgeous cake! It was worth it, though: a thick layer of cream cheese frosting sandwiched inside yellow cake, smothered in butter creme icing! YUM! Photo by Tom Libonate.

It seemed like it would never come, but it’s here: release day for my short story collection, The Shadows Behind! Want a preview? Here’s a reading of the first half of the short story, “Roots,” at the release party this past weekend.

You can get your copies where books are sold or through Amazon here: http://bit.ly/shadowsbehind

If you’d like a signed copy shipped directly to you instead, drop me a line through my contact page with your email and we can make arrangements.

 

Sinister Settings: Tambora

Tambora Caldera

Mt Tambora’s caldera, taken in 2009. Photo: NASA

We’ve all heard of massive volcanic eruptions in the past killing thousands of people and laying waste to cities and entire landscapes. Before Santa Maria, before Mt Pelee, and even before Krakatoa, there was Tambora.

Tambora is an active volcano on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. On April 10, 1815, Read the rest of this entry

I have a talented sister-in-law…

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery Petersen, spent countless hours making me these special cookies for THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party.

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery-Petersen, spent countless hours making me these special cookies for THE SHADOWS BEHIND release party.

My sister-in-law, Rebecca Avery-Petersen, loves to bake, and is really good at at it (much like my late mom). One day a few weeks ago, she messaged me and said she’d been playing around with doing something out of her comfort zone with her sugar cookies: my book cover.

If you’ve seen the book cover for The Shadows Behind, you know this is not a small undertaking. I really loved them, and she then volunteered to send me a few dozen for my release event this weekend.

I had to share, because she’s amazing. That’s a pretty cool person who just volunteers to take on that kind of thing out of pure love and passion. And suffice it to say the only thing I can bake is the stuff that comes out of those round tubes!

THE SHADOWS BEHIND: copies are here; Amazon pre-order

THE SHADOWS BEHIND book delivery

It’s been an exciting few days! The first shipment of copies of my new short story collection, The Shadows Behind, arrived on Wednesday. I’ve also received many requests for signed copies and have shipped them or am in the process of shipping them out!

In other news, Amazon now has the paperback available for pre-order (the Kindle edition will be available for pre-order shortly). Both will ship/deliver on April 30, Books and Boos Press’ official release date. You can check that out here: http://bit.ly/shadowsbehind

If you’d like a signed copy shipped directly to you instead, drop me a line through my contact page with your email and we can make arrangements.

 

THE SHADOWS BEHIND cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to show off the cover for my forthcoming short story collection, The Shadows Behind, coming from Books and Boos Press on April 30, 2019! The cover’s art is by A.L. Cortez, who had some interesting things to say about its creation. You can read that on the press’ website here: https://booksandboospress.com/2019/03/21/the-shadows-behind-cover-reveal/

The Shadows Behind Final Cover

This collection, which is foreworded by Damnation Island author Stacy Horn, contains six long out-of-print favorites, among them “Doors” (Carpe Articulum, 2010), as well as four featured in various, esoterically-themed anthologies (which, if you didn’t buy those anthologies, you probably haven’t read).

What’s most exciting are the seven new Read the rest of this entry

“Splendid Chyna” on Black Friday sale for a whole week!

Nothing says Black Friday like a ghost story, right? If you missed the opportunity to read my novella “Splendid Chyna” – perfect if you like Asian Horror (i.e., The Ring, for those of you not familiar) and abandoned theme parks – the Kindle version is on sale for 99 cents through Thursday, November 29!

“Splendid Chyna” appears in the collection Three on a Match with two other novellas, “All’s Well that Ends” by G. Elmer Munson, and “Thicker than Water” by Melissa Crandall. These shorts are just the thing to be reading in between season busy-ness.

You can get it here, and happy holiday shopping!

Jinkies! It’s a haunted toaster oven!

Haunted Toaster Oven

The toaster oven in question. I have no idea how old it is, but it’s…OLD.

Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, I think it’s safe to say that you’ve probably had at least one thing happen to you that defies explanation.

Do I believe in the supernatural? Yes, I do. I have since I had something I had no explanation for happen to me in college back in 1989 (which is too terrifying for me to write about. I think there’s maybe one interview someplace in which I bring it up, but that’s it); and in 2007, on a dark road late at night, a person in a white runner’s outfit ran in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, and, heart racing, I leapt from the driver’s seat to find out if the person was okay.

There was no person in white runner’s shorts, and there was no sound of the crunching of leaves in the nearby woods.

I called “hello?” without response.

There was no one on that road but me.

No head-scratching experiences since then—until last week.

I was with my sister and brother and their families at my aunt’s house for what you might call an early Thanksgiving. In its glory days, the three-family house was the social center of a large Italian family. There were Sunday dinners, all-nighter New Year’s Eves, endless pinochle games, summer picnics in the screen house, fresh vegetables from the garden and jugs of plain awful homemade wine. The generations that were responsible for all of that are pretty much gone, but the house, built very early in the 20th century, still stands.

So does a bunch of stuff in the basement.

My brother and his family were rummaging around down there, finding things like original Burger King Star Wars glassware in mint condition, century-old cookbooks, and Disney board games no one’s seen since the 1950s.

I was standing in the kitchen. Just as I saw them emerge from the basement, I heard the bell on the ancient toaster oven go off.

My first thought was that my aunt—who is now suffering from a form of dementia—had perhaps gotten up and come into the kitchen and turned on the toaster oven. I knew, though, that this wasn’t possible—I’d just spent the past hour with her, and she hadn’t moved from her chair.

I said something to Maryanne. She said, “Sometimes that bell just goes off.” And it is possible someone could have jostled it earlier in the day, when we were all cooking in the kitchen.

Then I touched it, and it was hot.

Which would’ve been fine—except that it was unplugged.

I called my husband Nathan, who’s a retired paranormal investigator. He gave me a list of things to check, so we all discussed the possibilities: was it sitting in direct sunlight? No. It’s over the spot in the basement where the furnace is, so are the cabinets underneath hot from heat that could be coming up through the floor? No. Did Uncle Lou, who came over to the area a few minutes prior to get a glass of water, use the toaster oven? We asked; the answer was no. Had either of my brother’s sons played with it? We asked; no, and anyway, they were down in the basement the whole time. A toaster oven might retain heat. Has it been used in the past twelve hours? No; its last use was two days prior, and no toaster oven retains heat for over 48 hours. Could it have a short? Well, sure, yes, but how does a toaster oven, which doesn’t have any battery back-up, have a short and get hot when there’s no power source?

So there you have it. Absolutely no explanation. If anybody has any ideas, I’m all ears. Otherwise? I’m chalking this one up to the supernatural.

Books and Boos Press signs THE SHADOWS BEHIND!

Shadow in the Cemetery

I’m over the moon to announce that I’ve signed the contract for Books and Boos Press to publish my collection of short stories, The Shadows Behind. The original announcement is on the Books and Boos Press website here.

Release date is set right now for April 30, 2019, and there will be some signings, along with a special one up at Howe Caverns in Howe’s Cave, New York, next summer!

Although the Table of Contents is still being finalized, this collection will contain a few long out-of-print favorites, among them “Deconstructing Fireflies,” (co-written with Nathan Schoonover), “Candle Garden,” and “How I Learned to Stop Complaining and Love the Bunny,” which was originally published in Citizen Culture back in 2005.

It will also include some pieces which are only available in single anthologies, and several brand new stories as well as a preview for an upcoming novella.

I’ll keep you posted!

%d bloggers like this: