Sunday, December 06, 2009

Guest Blogger: Sharon Ashwood

The winner of Sharon's book is: Ashley! Congrats, Ashley! Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Sharon. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Sam and Dean never had this problem.

The Winchester boys from the Supernatural TV show have ghostly encounters galore, but then they’re hunters by trade and fictional heroes to boot. A real-life spook watching expedition is quite a different experience. For one thing, the supernatural doesn’t make command performances, so ghost hunting may never move on to ghost finding.

As an author of paranormal fiction, I thought it would be nice to be able to get up close and personal with a spectre once in a while. Besides, the idea of playing supernatural sleuth was just cool, so I thought, “heck, why not?” Maybe we’d get a reality show, or at least a popular video blog out of the deal.

So my trusty companion and I headed out to bag us a spook. As the corner hardware store was sadly short of EMF readers and other certified ghost hunting gear, we took cameras and tape recorders. It was raining, so we started with Craigdarroch Castle because it was indoors. This local landmark has a fascinating history and a few known ghosts. One is reported to appear as a pair of feet in dancing slippers descending the grand staircase.

Like many old places, the Castle has rooms with more than the average amount of atmosphere. Certain corners drew me, others repelled, but I didn’t sense or see anything too specific. The most interesting data came from the photographs we took. We got a lot of “orbs.” While these are considered by some to be energy balls indicating a haunting, some (undoubtedly most) are caused by light bouncing off moisture or dust in the air. Even though the orbs appeared in the room that “felt” the most haunted, it was hard to tell if we’d hit pay dirt or just a spectral dust bunny.

Next, we took on one of Victoria’s other spooky standards, the April Ghost, a woman murdered near a seaside golf course. Lots of people have seen her since her death the 1930s (There’s a YouTube video on this and other local ghosts at We set out near dusk to wander (read: trespass on) the greens where the most sightings occurred. It was perfect weather – moonlit and clear. I took some photos, met a bunch of people walking their dogs, but no ghostly sightings.
What I did experience was a sudden up-the-spine, hair-on-end freaky feeling that screamed close encounters of the walking dead kind. Sadly, I got it in completely the wrong location. The place where this was supposed to happen seemed a nice, dull patch of grass with an ocean view. Was the spook wandering? Playing games? Who knows?

Stupid ghosts.

So far we’re 0 for 2 with no more than a few teasing hints for our troubles. My understanding is that this is typical. The scientific seeker can wait for years before documenting anything, while unsuspecting passers-by can experience all sorts of whacky stuff they don’t want to talk about. The only place spectres appear on demand is TV.

I guess my own reality series will have to wait. Too bad – I was looking forward to inviting the Winchester boys to do a guest spot. In the meantime, at least I’m getting some fresh air and exercise.

How about you? Does the paranormal stay on the page, or do you come across it from time to time?

Blurb for Scorched:

Welcome to the Castle. The price of admission is your soul.

Ex-detective Macmillan always had a taste for bad girls, but his last lover really took the cake—and his humanity. Now half-demon, Mac's lost his friends, his family and his job.

But Constance, a strangely innocent vampire trapped in the supernatural Castle prison, needs his help. Her son has been kidnapped, so suddenly Mac has a case to work—one that embroils him with a mad sorcerer, an even madder city council, and a winged love god. The trail leads deep into the supernatural prison, and Mac soon learns that cracking the case will cost him his last scrap of his humanity.

Fiery, vulnerable Constance will do anything for those she loves, including Mac. He'll be damned if he turns his back on her… and a demon forever if he doesn't.
Sharon's winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you've won.


Blogger Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you Sharon for sharing here today! I enjoyed reading your post.
All the best,

8:36 PM  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

Loved your post. I love reading about the paranormal and have on occasion felt things like hands on my right as I'm going to sleep. Everyone thinks it's a mind trick...but I think there might be another reason.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Sharon and Lydia!

It's always nice to peek inside and get to know the author a little. Scorched sounds great, unique, can't wait to read!


Dottie :)

8:55 PM  
Blogger donnas said...

Awesome post. Mostly my experiences are read about or seen on TV although I have seen and experiences some slight odd things in my time that could almost be considered spooky.

9:08 PM  
Blogger mariska said...

I've been dying to win this book ! please count me in the drawing :)

i love paranormal, and for me, some times i can feel 'something' is there even i can't see it.

uniquas at ymail dot com

9:12 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

loved your post and would love to win this. please count me in.

9:22 PM  
Blogger cait045 said...

I have been looking forward to this book since Ravenous so please count me in

6:37 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Awesome blog!

I live in an area that is pretty old and being so the ghost stories are everywhere. We have a TB home here from the 1800's and I swear every time I go by it, I feel like I am being watched...but I feel the same way when I drive through the cemetary.(not because I want too, its how the road was built, LOL)

Count me in for the drawing, and good luck to everyone.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Rosa Lario said...

Great post, Sharon. I'm a big fan of the supernatural and have always wanted to see a ghost. That's why, whenever I'm visiting an old town with lots of history, I will do the local ghost tour if there is one. I haven't seen anything supernatural yet, but I suspect that,despite all of my bravado, if I did see one I would probably faint. :-)

7:00 AM  
Blogger Bart said...

Nice post, Sharon. My local chapter recently had a local ghost hunter and he pretty much said the same thing. Only on TV, and all of that is hype and most of it is bogus. Must have been fun, though!

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Sharon Ashwood said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Rosa, I love doing local ghost tours, too. They give a great insight into the history of a town.

Ashley - a TB sanitorium? That sounds like a great setting for a horror novel!!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Andrea I said...


I enjoyed your adventure. I leave the spector hunting to others. I do like to read or watch programs about it.


Thanks for hosting the interview.

10:44 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

I enjoyed Ravenous and I've been looking forward to this one, count me in!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Cathy M said...

I love reading paranormal romance stories, but they pretty much just stay on the pages of a book for me.


12:45 PM  
Blogger Cybercliper said...

I like my paranormal activity on the pages...I have such a vivid imagination that I easily freak myself out - storms are the worst for this! I loved Ravenous and am glad to finally get to see what happens to Mac!!!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Barbara E. said...

I haven't had any paranormal experiences, so I'd say it stays on the page for me. But I sure do love reading about it. Great post, I really enjoyed it.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Lori T said...

Great post! I am really looking forward to reading Scorched!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Yes Ma'am Ms. Sharon. It's only about 1/4 mile from my house. From what I understand there have been three owners since it was closed. Each owner has tried, unsuccessfuly, I might add to fix it up, but something "happens" and well they sell it.

The people who live in the Doc quarters have been slowly working on the house which sits on the property but they leave the sanitorium alone.

Oh and don't get me started on the plantation house which still has the original church, school house and slave quarters on the grounds. I so want to go into that house.

Oh and the Ella Smith house too, which no one seems to want to go into, even though its a museum LOL!!!


7:23 PM  
Anonymous Victoria Roder said...

My sister is on a paranormal investigation team in California. You're right nothing appears on command. I enjoyed your post.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Sharon Ashwood said...

Ashley - Is that the Ella Smith of Roanoke Doll fame? Haunting + dolls always gives me the wiggins.

Victoria - I bet your sister still has some interesting tales to tell!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Stacey Smith said...

Good Post sound like a good book.hope your having a Great Holiday Season.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous D. B. Reynolds said...

Hi Sharon!
I love your books and can hardly wait to reach Scorched. As for my own ghostly adventures ... pretty dull. I did see a very specific shadowy figure THREE TIMES!! in my first apartment. It was pretty creepy and I'm still convinced it was real. He was even dressed in period costume! Cool.

Thanks for a great post and for writing wonderful books, too.


3:14 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Yes Ms. Sharon,

That would be the same Ella Smith Dolls from Roanoke, AL.

See, we so need someone to come here and investigate, but I soo want to go with them LOL!!!


9:23 AM  
Blogger Jessa Slade said...

My sister, a sleepover companion, and I freaked ourselves out badly once, as kids, convincing ourselves that the spirit of one of our plastic Breyer horses had come alive.

It was 2 a.m. and a lot of sugar had been consumed, so verification was unrealiable.

Congrats on the new release, Sharon! Can't wait to get some free time to actually read SCORCHED!

11:57 AM  

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