Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Unexpected Turn of Events #coffinhop

The party continues. You drink and watch the people in their strange old-fashioned costumes chatter.

"Having fun?" Regan titters.

Hanover scowls and you notice he looks a little green. "What are you and Caprice up to now?"

"I have no idea what you even mean, Hanover. We're supposed to be showing our guests a few ghosts, right?" She hands Hanover the other bottle. "Can you pop the cork on this? I don't want to break a nail."

Hanover takes the bottle twists the cork. It doesn't budge. He looks at the label. "1963? Where on earth did you get a bottle of 1963 champagne?"

"From the waiter, of course. You saw me buy it."

Hanover gives a hard twist. The cork pops loud -- like a gunshot. No one stops laughing. "Hold you glass over here."

Regan puts her glass under the foam just in time. She takes yours and puts it in the stream, then hands it back to you.

"I'm not sure I need any more," you say, more than a little disturbed by the sudden feeling the floor is dropping out from under you.

"Of course you do. Besides, we're celebrating. My book High Rollers is free on Kindle today. We'll it's my story and Hanover's, but he's had others. This is my first so we're celebrating."

You feel like your feet have lost contact with the ground. You look out the window and see flashing lights in the darknesss. You realize the train is no longer on the tracks...instead, it is drifting above some eerie village.

It lurches to a stop. The door opens and a woman steps in. She is tall and thin with platinum blonde hair. She is somehow more substantial than the other partiers. Regan hurries toward her and offers her a glass of champagne.

The woman smiles and takes it.

Regan takes the woman's hand. "I'd like you to meet Kitty Kirwin, the author. I can't believe she made it. Have you read her books of ghost stories?  Haunted Bedtime Stories is so's like the kind of book I would write. So that's why I knew you could see ghosts, Kitty, and why I was dying to meet you."

"Dying to meet me?" Kitty says. "That's not really necessary. I mean...then how would I read more of your adventures?"

"You read my book?!" Regan asks.

"Of course! And it was faBOO!" Kitty takes a sips of champagne. "But you should think about dying your hair. I think you're really a blonde deep down inside."

To be continued.

A special thanks to K.F. (Kitty) Kirwin for appearing in our adventure and for letting me use her village in our flyover scene. For more ghost stories on the #coffinhop, make sure to stop by Kitty's blog.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Haunted Train Ride Continues #coffinhop

You take the window seat. Regan sits next to you and Hanover takes the seat across the aisle. As the train pulls out of the station, you look out the window to see the sky darkening. Is it that late already, or is there a storm brewing, you wonder as you watch the trees whir past.

"How long is the train ride?" you ask.

"Long enough for a drink or two," Regan answers, looking down the aisle.

"There's no service on this train, Regan," Hanover says. "They cut that years ago. Don't you remember?"

"Don't be silly, Hanover." Regan giggles. "There's the waiter now."

Hanover rolls his eyes.You look down the aisle and see no one.

"I'll have a bottle of champagne," Regan chimes. "Better make it two. And three glasses. We have company.

"I hope you're not too thirsty," Hanover leans across the aisle. "If you are, you can have some of my medicine. And if you don't like that, I'll go get you something in the dining car."

"I'm fine," you say. "I had a drink at the Black Cat."

"Hanover, are you crazy? I just ordered enough champagne for all of us."

"You thought you did, but the waiter wasn't real, so it doesn't count."

"Sure it does," Regan gives Hanover a smug smile. "I just hope the champagne's decent this time. Last time it tasted like crap."

"Last time was over forty years ago. There was a real waiter. He brought real champagne."

"Whatever, Hanover." Regan turns her attention to an empty seat near the front of the passenger car. "I'll be right back."

"Where are you going?"

"I have to find out where that lady got that marvelous hat."

"What hat? The only lady I see isn't wearing a hat."

"The red hat, silly. Don't you know anything about fashion? That hat is to die for." Regan stood. "Can you watch Dolce for me?"

You shrug and look at the handbag on the floor beneath Regan's seat. "What do I need to do?"

"Just keep her quiet if she yaps. Open the bag a little and scratch her behind the ears. She likes that. Technically, she's not allowed in the passenger car. But there is no way I'm sending her as baggage. I hate when they make up stupid rules." Regan hurries off to the front of the train.

You watch her lean over. Her hands gesture as she carries on an animated conversation with an invisible person.

"Don't mind her," Hanover says. "She can still see the ghosts."

"Ghosts?" you ask.

"The ghosts of the people who died in this passenger car  the last time we took this train."

"Oh," you say. "What happened?"

"A tornado. A real doozy. It blew a tree down on the tracks. The train hit it -- smack. Only a few of us survived. Regan might not have...except for her dog. Dolce two that must have been."

"How did the dog save her?"

"Regan was wearing some flowy, fringy scarf. When the train wrecked, she flew down the aisle. The scarf caught around her neck...nearly stangled her. That dog gnawed at it until she was freed."

"Dolce was my hero!" Regan slid into her seat. "All my Dolces are heroes. Hanover was out cold. He didn't come to for three days."


"Just in time!" Regan exclaims. She passes you a glass full of golden bubbles.

You take a sip. It's a little dry for your taste, but not bad.

"Would you like me to open the second bottle?" a man's voice asks.
You look up and see a face shadowed by a glowing drink tray.

"Not yet," Regan says. "It'll keep better if we wait."

"Very well, ma'am." The man said and then he's gone.

You hear laughter tinkling toward the front of the passenger car. You look up and see the car is filled with people, most dressed in fancy attire. Everyone is talking, laughing drinking, including a lady wearing a black dress and a red hat that's to die for.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Haunted Train Ride #coffinhop

When you arrive at the Black Cat, scurry past an odd looking family and nearly trip over a couple of kids decked out for trick-or-treat. Afraid you've missed the train, you hurry up to the counter and find it......

You order a Red Bull and the cook looks at you like you've landed in a UFO.
"Well, what do you have?" you ask.
"Everything floats. That's our specialty,"  the cook grins wide and shows a jagged set of once-pearly whites.
"Then rootbeer. A rootbeer float." It's been a long time since you've had one, but what the heck. This is going to be an adventure.
A tall frothy glass lands on the countertop about the time an attractive woman plants herself on the seat next to yours. "I'm Regan. Hanover is...."
"I'm Hanover Fist," a man on your other side whips out his hand. "I see you've already got yourself a drink. I, for one, could use something a little stronger." He pulls out a silver flask. "Would you care for some?"

"What is it?" you ask.
"Medicine," Regan pipes in. "It's the only type of spirits Hanover really likes. But I we'll see plenty others." She takes the flask from Hanover and takes a swig.
A train's whistle sounds.
"We'd better get going." Hanover tucks the flask inside his suitcoat.
"What do I owe you?" You ask the cook.

You drink down enough of the float fast enough to get brain freeze. "It's on the house," he grins and you swear you can see a knife's edge glint in his eye. But maybe it's just the brain freeze.
You walk between Regan and Hanover, past the caboose, thinking it looks normal enough. I mean, it is Halloween after a bit of goop on the wheels and a pumpkin on the roof are normal, right?

The man on the bench in front of the ticket booth looks a little thin, but Regan assures you that's the "in" look in these parts. "I only wish I could lose my pooch," she says and then looks down at her purse, mortified. "I didn't mean that Dolche!" You hear a little yap. Regan opens her large handbag and out pops a Yorkie head.

"Ssshhh, little one," Regan croons. "You know they don't let dogs on the train. You have to just sit quiet until we get there."
The dog ducks her head back into the handbag.
You buy your tickets and move back down the train, past the conductor who also looks like he's very fashion conscious. Hanover tips the man who takes your baggage. Regan giggles.

"What's so funny?" Hanover asks.

"Never mind," Regan winks at you. "You won't think it's funny. You never do."
"Whatever," Hanover rolls his eyes.
"All aboard!" the conductor calls.  You hurry alongside Regan and Hanover, trying not to notice the strange black tendrils emanating from the train. be continued.
But while you're waiting, make sure to check out the other coffin hoppers. K.F. Kirwin has some haunting ghost stories and there are many more authors listed on the Coffin Hop home page.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Excited Beyond Belief - High Rollers is RELEASED!

Good morning! Yes, it is a good morning and I'm more excited than I've been in decades. Why? Because my book High Rollers is on Kindle. Finally! Now you can read the story of how I came to realize that Hanover is not just an ordinary Dick. What, Mary? I didn't mean to be offensive. That's what we called private detectives back in the day when chasing the dragon was vogue and a Death in the Afternoon was a sparkling and refreshing beverage.

I mean, look at the cover! Rodger Francis did a great job portraying the age, don't you think? I mean, there's the piano my Dad used to play in the Ossified Owl. There's the riverboat casino where the story takes place. And there's my sweet little breezer. Oh, how I miss afternoons racing through the streets of New Orleans, the wind rustling my bob. Oh...and the lipstick. Hanover never would tell me who that lipstick belonged too, but he sure got upset when I found it.

Anyway, not only is my book available, but the authors have asked me and Hanover to take you on a ghost tour to celebrate Halloween. It's part of coffin hop and it starts Wednesday, October 24th.  To go on the tour, meet us here, at The Black Cat .
We'll grab a bite to eat before we hop the train and journey to some haunted spots. Hopefully the ghosts will be cooperative.

See you then...and if you want to read a ghost story in the meantime, pick up High Rollers on your Kindle.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hauntingly Beautiful - Spirits Revealed

Regan Worth
OK, whatever. No one has a clue where to find the spirits? Fine...I'll just have to show you.
I swear, you are all as bad as Hanover. Oblivious.

Maybe you'll see them if you take a closer look.

Can you see them now? I certainly hope so...I mean, they're obvious, right?

Anyway, it's nearly Halloween and we have some exciting things in store for you this week -- ghostly things!

The best thing is that my story High Rollers is finally hitting the shelves. I expect it will be available very soon...maybe even tomorrow. We're putting out a Kindle edition first...mostly because I'm too impatient to wait for print. I want to share my story, after all.
The other thing is Coffin Hop. It starts Wednesday. Our authors are participating and we've agreed to do a few guest posts to help them out. So stay tuned.  Look for the #coffinhop posts on Twitter..last I looked there were almost 100 participating authors. That's a lot of great spooky stuff to start your Halloween off right.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hauntingly Beautiful

Regan Worth
Hauntingly beautiful....yes that term's been used to describe me more than once. Spooky is used even more often. But today, while photographing the lovely fall colors, one of our writers managed to capture a little more than just the leaves turning.

Can you see them? Spirits! Of course, I see spirits all the time. I have since my Mom was shot when I was a little girl. But it's not often a camera finds one. Most don't want to be caught on film.

Look at the picture closely. Do you see them? I see two. What do you see?  Tomorrow I'll post a next picture with them circled, in case you can't find them. I wish I knew their story though...unfortunately, I wasn't along on the walk to talk to them. Maybe I'll wander out later and see if I can find them. After all, October is my month...and I'd like to share a couple ghost stories.

Oh...and, so you know, this is a picture of the hill that inspired The Big Hill a story by Rachelle Reese that is entered in the America's Next Author contest.

Another good place to read about ghosts is Haunted Bedtime Stories by K.F. Kirwin. There's nothing better in October than being haunted...even if you don't believe in ghosts the rest of the year. But you know...if you don't believe in ghosts, whatever. You're just missing out.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meet Dolce - Regan's best friend

Regan Worth

I am excited beyond belief! Yesterday one of the writers attended a pawty (that's anipals speak for PARTY)  -- I know, I should have been invited, I am the party girl, after all -- but I wasn't. The pawty was a benefit to help a friend of theirs, @MissBusyBiz 's family and it was attended by so many anipals that it was trending. @MissBusyBiz 's family can still use help.

If you want to learn more about their story, and maybe even donate to help them stay together as a family, here are some links:


Anyway, after a few pinktinis, they had a contest to cast one of the anipals at the pawty in Dime Store Novel. And they cast MY DOG!


One look at this little girl and I said -- she belongs to MOI. That's French for MINE. You know, I spent some time in Paris after high school and sometimes those French phrases just come naturally.

Anyway, this little girl is named Dolce and she looks just like MY Dolce. Can you believe, I had a Dolce once? I met her back in 1926. You'll get to meet her for real when High Rollers is released this month. For now, I'll just give you a sneak peek. Isn't she adorable? And, you know, the best thing is, she is only 4 lbs. That means I can sneak her with me EVERYWHERE.

So I missed the pawty, but I got a new best friend!