Tag Archives: gothic romance

Author Jan Scarbrough: Research Anyone? – New Release: Timeless (Gothic Mystery Romance)

Please help me welcome back Jan Scarbrough with another Gothic Mystery Romance. She’s also sharing a little abou ther research for TIMELESS. Welcome, Jan…

Being a history major as well as an ex-English teacher came in handy when writing Timeless, a Gothic suspense.

I pulled out a couple of books from my research library: Haunts of Old Louisville by David Domine, and The Great Louisville Tornado of 1890 by Keven McQueen. I wanted to use information from both books as inspiration and background for my story.

It’s strange what a novelist needs when writing, and the Internet is a handy place to find that information. Some of the things I researched were Baxter Square Park—Louisville’s first park—a party game called Flip Cup, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the events of September 11, 2001. I also researched a hill in Louisville’s Cherokee Park where people sled in the winter and is still called “dog hill.” I investigated carriages from the 1890’s and period clothing.

I combined all my research into a first person account of the heroine and her journey from the past into her future.

I’d love it if you’d sign up for my monthly newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll receive a list of my favourite places to visit in the Bluegrass, insider scoop on my stories including exclusive reads and sneak peeks for upcoming releases, and you’ll have a chance to win my monthly giveaway.

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Blurb for Timeless

When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, now a bed and breakfast. There the new mistress of Chadwick House meets the resident ghost, a little girl whose crying not only scares, but also intrigues guests. As she sets out to discover the identity of the ghost and why the child ghost appears happy to Beth, not sad, Beth is confronted by evil from the past.

Jeff Halstead, a man with many secrets, runs the bed and breakfast. But he’s more than that to Beth, and she feels their connection immediately. A psychic medium who doubts his skills, Jeff slowly uncovers the truth of their past lives. Will he be in time to reveal the identity of Beth’s enemy? Will the love they shared in the past follow them into the future? 

Excerpt – Timeless

I tried to go to sleep. My new life would be better in daylight. I could at least get a better look at my surroundings. Falling asleep would make the day come sooner.

But it didn’t work. Even though my eyes were shut tight, I couldn’t relax. Time went by. I don’t know how much time. And then I heard a faint noise.

It was the giggling of a child.

Could it be television from someone’s room?

But it didn’t sound like television. It sounded real, as if a child was playing in the hall maybe. It was a high-pitched laugh, like a little girl’s. My skin prickled, and my stomach tightened. Another chilly sensation swept over me. I was being watched. But there was no one in my room with me.

Tossing back the covers, I jumped out of bed and ran to the nearby window. Could the sound be coming from outside? A streetlamp pooled light on the sidewalk. Gray fog swirled in the air making the deserted street below seem spooky as if from a B-rated horror movie. I shivered at the thought and turned to hop back into bed.

At that moment, a flash of white raced past me, and I caught it out of the corner of my eye. I heard the giggling again, louder now. Looking back at my bed, I spotted a little girl standing on the other side of it. She was dressed in white and her slender hand reached toward my doll as if she wanted to touch it and play with it.

“Hey!”

She looked up, startled, and smiled at me as if she knew me. And then she ran from the bed toward the door to the parlor that was shut. My heart raced. I followed her, flinging open the door to stare out into the empty parlor with the gray streetlights creating a defused, half-light glow in the room.

How had the little girl gone through the door? It had been shut! How could she have disappeared so quickly? Was I dreaming? Hallucinating? I pinched myself to see if I was awake.

I was. The floor was cold even through my socks. I crossed the parlor and unlocked and opened the outer door to the hall. All was quiet except for the deep tick-tock of a grandfather clock at one end. I bit my lower lip and retreated to the parlor, making sure the door to the hall was locked.

Standing silently for a moment, listening for laughter, I let my heart settle into a normal rhythm. What was the matter with me?

Thinking back at the vision of the little girl, I realized something was wrong about it. The child’s clothes were more fitting for the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first. In fact, her clothes reminded me of the lacy frills of my doll. And the girl’s hair was long, curled in dark blond ringlets down her back, and she wore a white ribbon in her hair. Her body didn’t seem solid. It was transparent, almost ghost-like.

Ah, shit!

I charged back into the bedroom and leaped into the bed, pulling the covers over my head. As if hiding under covers could save me. I was behaving like a child myself, but I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know a phone number to call unless I punched 911. Then what would I say to the firemen or police? I saw a ghost standing by my bed. Right. That made as much sense as me inheriting a million dollars from a woman I’d never known or seen.

But I had inherited a million dollars . . . two million to be exact.

That realization didn’t thrill me. So I tried to think of another explanation, something besides the paranormal.

Try as I might, I couldn’t make sense of my experience. My mind whirled and twirled but I couldn’t come up with a clear explanation. Later I heard the grandfather clock bong once in the distance, ghost-like itself. This place was too darn spooky for me, I remember thinking. Soon after that I must have relaxed enough to fall asleep.

GIVEAWAY!

Comment and enter to win! One commenter will receive a print copy of Timeless! Winner will be drawn and announced tomorrow…good luck!

Timeless buy links

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Bio for Jan Scarbrough

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

Website: http://www.janscarbrough.com/

Newsletter Signup: http://www.janscarbrough.com/contact/

Facebook: fb.me/Romancerider

Twitter: https://twitter.com/romancerider

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/janscarbrough

 

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Author Jan Scarbrough: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Your Dreams Come True – New Release: Tangled Memories

I am very pleased to introduce Jan Scarbrough who is sharing her latest release, Tangled Memories. It’s a gothic mystery romance…which I adore!! Welcome, Jan…

 

Don’t be afraid to make your dreams come true!

When I was thirty-eight, I almost died. After that happened, I figured it was time to make my dream come true. I’d always wanted to write a novel, but had been scared of failure and never tried. After my life-threatening experience, I knew it was time to make the effort.

Tangled Memories is like an old-fashioned gothic romance with a dark, mysterious hero and the spunky heroine. There’s a big supernatural element involving a medieval plot. However, the book is contemporary, set in a modern-day Kentucky mansion. After a few starts and stops, the book wrote itself, because I had a story to tell. I was fortunate that the Romance Writers of America selected Tangled Memories as one of its Golden Heart Finalists.

I’d love it if you’d sign up for my monthly newsletter. As a subscriber, you’ll receive a list of my favourite places to visit in the Bluegrass, insider scoop on my stories including exclusive reads and sneak peeks for upcoming releases, and a chance to win my monthly giveaway.

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Blurb for Tangled Memories

 After losing his wife, Dr. Alexander Dominican is determined his infant daughter will not grow up motherless as he did. Offering sensible, kind kindergarten teacher Mary Adams a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution. The widow’s husband left her with a mountain of debt. For Alex, paying it off is a small price to pay for his daughter’s happiness. Until his sensible new wife begins to lose her mind.

On the day of their marriage, Mary starts having frightening hallucinations of medieval England—visions that feel more like the memories of woman who lived centuries before. More terrifying, someone—or some thing—is stalking the new mistress of Marchbrook Manor. Could it be one of the sinister servants? Or Alex himself? Alex is reawakening hidden desires and longings in Mary, but until she can untangle the web of nightmares and secrets, she can trust no one. Not even Alex.

Alex has no idea he’s unleashing a destiny that’s taken him seven hundred years to fulfill.

If Alex and Mary are to salvage their future, they must first unravel centuries of…Tangled Memories.

Excerpt – Tangled Memories

By Jan Scarbrough

Present Day

His eyes were gray. I had never noticed before. They weren’t the color of slate but smoky and mysterious.

Swallowing a hard knot of dread that surfaced in my throat, I walked down the silent aisle toward him. Chin held high, very lady-like in posture and demeanor, a trace of smile upon my lips—I was the picture of confidence.

Inside, I trembled.

I stopped in front of the altar. A cloying scent of gardenias assaulted my senses. How curious the delicate white flowers in my bouquet should be so overpowering. Just like the man beside me. Just like the deep, heady gray of his eyes.

I extended my hand. He took it, and I drew a breath and held it. The firmness of his fingers surprised me.

“Friends.” The minister glanced up at us and smiled. “We are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Mary and Alexander in Christian marriage.”

Alex was tall, so tall I had to look up to connect with those mesmerizing eyes. I was aware of my breathing, erratic and shallow. I’d married for the second time in my life and, once again, my reasons were more practical than romantic.

How even more ironic was the Methodist minister’s white stole, a symbol of purity and love. I felt neither pure nor in love. His black robes better matched my somber mood.

“I ask you now,” Reverend Watts continued, “in the presence of God and these people, to declare your intention to enter into a union with one another.”

To enter into a union. 

Heaven help me. Would it be a union? How could it be? Our union was a business arrangement, plain and simple. I understood that. For some reason though, sadness settled around my heart.

Reverend Watts looked at me. “Mary, will you have Alexander to be your husband to live together in holy marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?”

Alex’s penetrating gaze burned upon my upturned face. “I will,” I said at last.

“Alexander, will you have Mary to be your wife?”

From underneath my lashes, I watched him. He wore his black hair swept back and long, curling at his neck. A stray lock touched his forehead and set off his eyes. His high cheekbones and jawline gave him a classic look. His lips were full and inviting. Enigmatic in his formal black tuxedo, crisp white shirt, and bow tie, he seemed a brooding Byronic hero. Handsome, though austere, his masculine good looks belonged to another century or, at least, on the cover of a romantic novel.

How different would my life have been if I hadn’t become pregnant my freshman year in college…if I hadn’t married Bill…if I hadn’t miscarried? What if I had met Alexander Dominican under different circumstances, before life touched me so cruelly?

“I will.” His deep voice resonated throughout the empty chapel.

Turning from the minister to me, Alex’s eyes brightened as his gaze captured mine. Out of habit, I licked my lips, but nothing eased my tension. The strain I felt surely communicated to the self-assured man who held my hand. Did he feel the hypocrisy of our oath? Or was he simply satisfied with a marriage of convenience?

GIVEAWAY!

Comment and enter to win! One commenter will receive a print copy of Tangled Memories! Winner will be drawn and announced tomorrow…good luck!

 

janscarbrough_gravatar

Bio for Jan Scarbrough

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

Website: http://www.janscarbrough.com/

Newsletter Signup: http://www.janscarbrough.com/contact/

Facebook: fb.me/Romancerider

Twitter: https://twitter.com/romancerider

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/janscarbrough

 

 

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Mysteries of the Macabre Halloween Anthology – 6 Authors Share Fun Facts & Favorite Lines

I’m happy to introduce my fellow anthology authors. I’ve enjoyed getting to know these ladies (although I already knew Leah), and I had a blast working with them on this collection. Sit back and enjoy as they share a fun fact and some of their favorite lines from their stories…

6 unique stories by 6 authors…

 

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Available here: (Click on the ink to be taken to the buy pages)

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

And now, the stories… (In order of how they appear in the anthology)

SCARRED ~ Alicia Dean

Scarred

Blurb:

Sometimes, the most haunting scars are the ones beneath the skin.

When Natalie Jayne moved away from her home town ten years earlier, she left behind painful memories, along with Simon, the man she loved. Now, she’s back on Halloween night to attend a memorial marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic passing of her childhood friend, Jessica. Rumors that Simon was responsible for Jessica’s death unnerve her. Even more disturbing is her unsettling attraction to a masked stranger she meets at the event. Her gift may be the key to unlocking the truth, but will it also lead to heartbreak?

Fun fact:

‘Scarred’ was first written as part of a blog post where each member of my OKRWA writing group contributed a scene to create a story. One of the characters in the story was Cupid’s ghost. My hero, Simon’s, original transgression was that he had murdered Cupid in a blind rage. And that was how she became a ghost. 🙂 In the course of the story, he atoned for his sin.

Favorite Lines:

As the lies fell from his lips, Simon’s chest felt as though it would cave in under the weight of Natalie’s pain. She looked so stricken, so disappointed. He steeled his resolve. Better to disappoint her now than to destroy her later.

What I’m working on now:

A Christmas romantic suspense as part of the Criminal Christmas Anthology (I must really like anthologies…)

 

GRANDMA’S WAY ~ Elvy Howard

Elvy

Blurb

Generations of greed culminate in a young girl.

Fifteen-year-old Caroline only wants to go to the Halloween Dance, and only one person stands in her way, Momma, who forces her to sort and pack her dead grandmother’s belongings instead.  Discovering a shocking secret of Grandma’s brings Caroline new hope, or will salvation lead to her downfall?

Fun Fact:

Caroline’s story began as a flash-fiction exercise where an item was presented as a prompt. I worked like the devil to get an entire story in under a thousand

words, but accomplished the feat and enjoyed trying something new. Fleshing out those five-hundred words into a short story was great fun. There was so much to learn about Caroline, Momma, and poor, dead, Grandma.

Favorite lines:

“I think the reason I can’t focus on geometry is because I’m still so sad.”

“Get off your soapbox, Caroline. It’s not going to work.”

Caroline figured she’d probably played out the dead Grandma card, and wished she hadn’t.

What I’m working on now:

My latest novel is about a newly-wed teenager posing as an adult in 1953, traveling with her husband from where he had been an Air Force instructor in Mesa, Arizona, to Lexington, Virginia, his home town.  It’s my first attempt writing something not based in what I call the nebulous now, and I’m enjoying it.  I’ve located some people even older than me, who were teenagers in the early fifties. They have been a wonderful resource for all sorts of background information.

Contact

Blog – ElvyHoward.com

Email – contact@elvyhoward.com

 

BLOOD MOON ~ Leah St. James

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Blurb

Is Ronnie’s imagination playing tricks on her, or has the Harvest Moon Slasher been reborn?

One Halloween night, a killer terrorized a strip of Virginia beachfront, murdering a dozen young women whose only crime was walking the beach with a boyfriend. Now, fifty years later, book reviewer Ronnie can’t shake the feeling that another has come to take his place.

Is it nothing more than her vivid imagination running wild, or are the spirits stirring, warning of approaching danger?

Fun Fact:

I’ve always been fascinated with full moons, maybe since watching old werewolf movies as a kid. The “blood moon,” caused by a total eclipse of the moon, is also the subject of a prophecy that its occurrence is the sign of the end times. I’d love to explore that in a story some day.

http://www.endtime.com/four-blood-moons/?gclid=CIzZ25fYpsgCFQFsfgoddSIKuw

Favorite lines:

“On the beach, two lovers kissed. Behind them, the moon—hanging giant and hazy red in the sky—dripped feathery tendrils into the sea, painting crimson tips on the dancing waves.”

What are you currently working on?

Currently I’m finishing up the sequel to my first novel (“Surrender to Sanctuary”). It’s called “Sanctuary’s Promise,” and it picks up the story of FBI agents David Owens and Anna Parker who (in book one) went undercover in a secret society to solve a murder. They’re back in hot water, only this time it’s even closer to home.

Contact:
Website:  LeahStJames.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LeahStJames?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeahStJames

 

THREE, AFTER MIDNIGHT ~ Alexa Day

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Blurb:

Deirdre lost her husband, Cameron, one long-ago Halloween night, but every Halloween night brings the chance to get him back. She just needs to find a man willing to … get between them. Trip seems like a perfect choice. With his hard body and open mind, surely he won’t mind letting Cam borrow him for a night. If he’s into it, they’re in for one mind-blowing reunion. But if he resists, will Cam’s spirit be strong enough to protect her from the man she chose for him?

Fun Fact:

Readers have asked Alexa about the relationship between Cam and Deidre–wondering if there’s a future for the two lovers. The first time she got the question she smiled to herself and thought, Deidre already has a pretty sweet deal!

Leah chose her favorite line from Alexa’s story:

He’d loved her like a stranger who hoped to see her again, or at least one who hoped to be remembered fondly in girls’ night gossip.

What are you currently working on?

Sci-fi erotica.

 

THE TIMESHARE TRIP ~ Renci Denham

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Blurb:

How many of the Seven Deadly Sins can Crystal and Roy commit in one seven-day cruise?

Crystal and Roy never thought they could afford an all-inclusive seven-day trip to the tropics. After all, canned chili dinners and a wine cooler at the quick mart were the highlights of life in the trailer park. So what if the trip Crystal won required a time share presentation? It’s not like their credit would pass anyway. But is the resort everything the web page on the computer said it would be?

Fun Fact:

This was 10 years of HARD work!!!!!

Favorite lines:

“Well, that’s five bucks too much. I could have made you one out of duct tape.”

“Oh, it’s a surprise, too. I’m telling you though, it will make every woman there want to jump my bones.”

”Costa  Rico. That’s part of Mexico, right?

What are you currently working on?

“The Crown of Nebuchadnezzar” and my dissertation

Contact:

Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/renci.denham?fref=ts

 

THE FARM STRAY ~ Rohn Federbush

FarmStrayMeme

Blurb:

The discovery of an abandoned farm in the Michigan countryside triggers a vision of the farmer’s past—or is it more?

A young couple exploring the Michigan countryside stumble upon an abandoned farm. Drawn by its forlorn appearance, they explore. Eventually they’re chased away by the irate farmer, but not before the wife becomes intrigued by a weird kitchen latch at the back door, an elephant-headed rocking horse, and a rusting iron ring the size of her palm.

Back home, she’s pulled into memories she shouldn’t have. Did the farm’s spirits lure her into theirs, or did the old farm merely trigger her own?

Fun Fact:

My husband loves being part of the real story.

Favorite lines:

(I believe) The……… earth-bound soul used by eyes to capture relevant photographs of her home.

What are you currently working on?

The contrasting future of young people in small towns or big cities is explored in my newest Novella “Hastings Dead.”

Contact:

Website:  http://www.rohnfederbush.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RohnFederbush

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rohnfederbush
 

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