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Archive for August, 2012

13 Things to do with Ghosts and Ghost Hunters

The Victorian Lure

I’m thrilled to welcome Sky Purington, author of The Victorian Lure, a paranormal/time-travel/historical blend to my blog today. Since the hero of Sky’s book is a ghost hunter, I asked her to tell us a little about ghosts and ghost hunters today. Over to Sky.

13 Things To Do With Ghosts and Ghost Hunters

1. First and foremost, be logical minded and debunk before labeling paranormal. Many older houses have copper wiring and extremely high EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readings. These homes affect sensitive people and make them see things that aren’t there, not to mention influence their health. If the EMF readings are off the charts, there’s a very good chance the home is not haunted. It’s highly recommended that the homeowner hire an electrician as soon as possible.

2. Be patient when ghost hunting. It’s not like what you see on TV. It often takes a full night of investigating to gain one nugget of evidence.

3. Have plenty of extra camera battery packs. Paranormal activity is well known to drain battery life in under a minute.

4. Record a disembodied voice with an EVP (Electro Voice Phenomena) recorder. When trying to get one, be sure to ask clear, concise questions and give the spirit time to answer.

5. Catch a fluctuation in the magnetic field with an EMF Detector. Before doing so, walk-through and establish all places that already have an EMF reading such as light fixtures, electrical outlets and wires in walls.

6. Feel first-hand what a cold spot is. This is a very small area that sharply drops in temperature for no reason. Chances are a spirit’s nearby.

7. See an orb (AKA-energy ball). These are unexplained circles that often appear in places reported to be haunted.

8. Witness unexplainable heat fluctuations in a thermal camera. Again, be sure to debunk first. Even rodents have a small heat signature.

9. Be sure to bring flashlights with screw-off tops. They’re a good tool for trying to get spirits to interact.

10. Bring along flour to sprinkle over places reported to have active disembodied footsteps. Makes for good potential evidence.

11. Capture doors that shut and open on their own. Another one to watch for debunking. Often times in old houses the floor is tilted and a person’s weight on the floorboards can make doors swing without being near them.

12. Catch a face in a window. That’s when things definitely get creepy. Don’t forget to rule out reflections caused from everyday things both indoors and outdoors.

13. See a full bodied apparition. This is as good as gold to ghost hunters. Have your camera handy so it’s captured on film! Smile

Do you think you’d like to go ghost hunting?

Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter Sky’s contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Victorian LureThe Victorian Lure

Calum’s Curse Ardetha Vampyre

Book 1

Sky Purington

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

ISBN: 1601549903

ASIN: B00654CY2W

Number of pages: 310

Word Count: 80,000 words

Amazon Barnes & Noble

Book Description:

Is it true love…or is the magnetic pull just another part of the Victorian’s lure?
Dakota Allerton depends on no one but herself, but then she’s never needed a ghost hunter. When her dream home becomes a house of horrors that is holding her hostage, her only hope is a Scotsman who investigates the paranormal.
The supernatural is nothing Leathan Stewart can’t handle. However, trapped in Dakota’s cursed Victorian home, he finds himself falling back in time. Only those who persevere can survive the dark domination.
Fear has a way of drawing two people together…but so does the need to be loved. Dakota and Leathan must fight against unknown enemies, discover the secrets of Calum’s Curse and defeat a vampire bent on finishing the legacy it began.

Sky Purington

Author Bio:

Best-selling author, Sky Purington lives in southern New Hampshire with her son and husband. The written word has been her obsession from the very beginning. Purington writes time-travel paranormal/fantasy romance heavily influenced by history.

From Irish Druids to Scottish Highlanders many of her novels possess strong Celtic elements. More recently, her vampire stories take the reader to medieval England and ancient Italy.

Enjoy strictly paranormal romance? Sky’s latest novels follow three haunted houses in New England and the sexy ghost hunters determined to make sense of them. Make no mistake, in each and every tale told you’ll travel back to another time and revisit the romanticism history holds at its heart.

Sky loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky’s Website, to download her FREE App on iTunes and Android.


A Writer’s Mind Blog:

Sky’s Paranormal Blog:




A Visit to Petrified Forest

One of the things I enjoy about visiting National Parks in the US is their diversity. Each is very different.

Petrified Forest is in the Painted Desert, Arizona. The public are able to wander through a landscape full of large petrified logs and tree stumps. Scientists have discovered lots of different plant and animal fossils dating back to around 200 million years ago. I was blown away by the logs and enjoyed exploring the landscape.

Petrified Forest National Park

Stump Petrified National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re visiting Arizona, a visit to Petrified Forest National Park is worth the trip.

What is your favorite National Park to visit? Any country Smile

13 Benefits of the Public Library

Thursday Thirteen

My introduction to libraries came at a young age, and I haven’t looked back. I spend hours in the library, so it’s a worthy topic for a TT.

Thirteen Benefits of the Public Library

1. It’s free. Anything free is good.

2. A library houses books and gives away information!

3. No matter what your interest, you’ll find books to suit your needs.

4. They have special story times for kids.

5. If the kids become too much, you can search the library catalogue online from the comfort of your home. I reserve books online all the time.

6. If another patron has the book you require it’s easy to reserve it, and the library email you when the book becomes available.

7. It’s a great place for research. The library is my go-to place for all things research.

8. Besides books, the library lends music, sheet music, audio books, videos and magazines. They also have computers and family genealogical records.

9. My local library does some nifty newsletters including a romance one. I subscribe to the romance, young adult, travel and history newsletters.

10. If the library doesn’t have a particular book, you can suggest they purchase it. My library is excellent in this respect.

11. The librarian stereotypes don’t fit. They don’t go around saying shush all the time. I’ve found them very approachable and willing to help. They’re up on social media these days. My library tweets.

12. I can return my books to any of the libraries in the Auckland area. Very convenient!

13. I can check out as many books as I want.

Are you a member of your local library? Can you think of any other benefits?

A Dose of Cute Animals

Since I’m deep in edit territory I thought I’d give you cute today with some of the animal photos I’ve taken over the years.


“Hey, what are you staring at?”

Pony at Farmers' Market

“Aw, why can’t I have a more modern style?”


“Who are you calling baldy? Have you looked in the mirror lately?”

Highland Cow

“My hairdresser said this is the latest style at the farm.”

Okay – put your captioning skills to work. Give me your captions for these photos.

13 Interesting Facts About Whiskey

Thursday Thirteen

During the winter my mind often turns to whiskey. It’s my standby fix for winter ailments. Whenever I get a cold—or sometimes when it’s cold and miserable—hubby will make a hot toddy consisting of whiskey, lemon juice, hot water and honey. Delicious!

Thirteen Factoids About Whiskey

  1. Irish and American whiskey is spelled with an ‘e’ while the Scottish leave the ‘e’ out of their whisky.
  2. Once whiskey is bottled it stops aging or maturing. You might as well drink that bottle because it’s at its peak as soon as you purchase it.
  3. It’s said whiskey was first made in Ireland, although Scotland also makes this claim.
  4. Whiskey is distilled in oak casks. The casks give the drink both its flavor and color.
  5. Whiskey can be made from wheat, barley, corn or rye.
  6. Malt whiskey is made from malted barley.
  7. Whiskey appears in historical records around the 1500s.
  8. It’s said Queen Elizabeth the first liked a tipple of whiskey.
  9. In 1661 excise tax was applied to whiskey, driving production underground.
  10. There are four distinct regions producing whisky in Scotland. The Highlands, The Lowlands, Islay and Campbelltown.
  11. The whisky from each region has a distinctive taste.
  12. Most of the major whisky breweries in Scotland are now owned by international companies.
  13. Mctears Auctions in Glasgow is the most famous auction house for rare bottles of whisky.

Do you like the odd nip of whiskey/whisky? Which brand do you prefer?

Shelley’s Tip for Lazy Zips

I love my jeans. During summer I enjoy wearing shorts. Unfortunately most of my jeans and shorts end up with the same problem—a zip that keeps falling down.

The last thing anyone needs is to walk into a room with their zip at low mast. Who knows what people will see?

Maybe it’s the fact my puku sticks out—that’s Maori for stomach—but whatever the reason, it’s totally frustrating.

Then, a brainwave!


Instead of struggling to replace the zipper or paying someone to do it, why not find a cure? This is the answer to my lazy zips.

Paper Clip

The humble paper clip.

I chose one of the feet paper clips because I liked the funky look. I hooked it into the zipper tag.



I pulled up the zipper and hooked it around the stud/button thingie.


Jeans and Paper Clip


Then fastened the button hole over the top of the paper clip.

Tamed Lazy Zipper

Result: One tamed lazy zipper!

You could probably make a loop with a piece of waxed string, but I think the funky paper clip looks better. I can remove it easily when I want to wash my jeans.

What do you think? Do you have clever tips to share?

Want to win a print copy of Summer in the City of Sails? Check out my giveaway at Goodreads and enter the draw.

Summer in the City of Sails

Summer in the City of Sails – Goodreads Giveaway

Dating Tips for Wizards

I’d like to welcome Michelle Kopra, author of Hexes in Texas, a humorous story about wizards, unicorns, smart-ass cats and skulduggery. Since Michelle’s story is about wizards, I asked her to give us some dating tips. So kick off your shoes, grab a drink from the cabana boy and make yourself comfortable. Over to Michelle!

Dating tips for wizards

This depends on the wizard type

The first is adventurous, a grab life by the wand kind of wizard. This magical fella really doesn’t need any help. His deeds, his wavy hair tousled by the morning breeze and the way he chants in Latin makes the witches sigh into their love potions.

The second is more a studious kind of wizard, like Merlin. This ivory tower kind of guy loves knowledge. He’ll read everything he can from; “How to grow a silver beard in 20 minutes” to “The modern compendium on pickled pepper potions.” This wizard will do fine as long as he stays away from; “Pickup lines for the modern wizard. 10 phrases to turn a witch from icy to spicy!”

Bordering on anti-social the nerdy wizard still lives in his mother’s dungeon. Unlike the ivy tower wizard who likes to read, the nerdy wizard prefers to summon a large screen and channels his magic into the central wizard’s hub. Playing shoot ‘em up games with other nerdy wizard’s means he doesn’t have time to get out, so his complexion is more than a little pasty. The chance of finding face-to-face love is unlikely. However, this playa has a few online witchy girlfriends. Well…one witch…the others are wizards pretending to be witches to score fat loot.

The last is the geeky wizard. He will take the crazy out of the dungeon and into the real world, wearing a gold lame dragon costume. Lunging into a crowd mortals and wizards alike and screaming geekily. “I smite thee with mine wand, 2 points!” Chances of success with a witch aren’t too good. That is unless she attacked him with her potent power spell first.

Which wizard is your ideal type, and what would you do on a first date?

Hexes in TexasHexes In Texas
By Michelle Kopra

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 9781476226156

ASIN: B008G0EQ42

Number of pages: 128

Word Count: 40740

Amazon  |  AllRomanceEbooks  |  Smashwords

Book Description:

Fed up with the slushy snow of winter, and the frigid Canadian wizards Julie McNabb wants a transfer to somewhere warm, and where the men are smoking hot!

Instead, she ends up in Bug Tussle. A small wizard farming community in Texas where the unicorns freak her out, and the resident witches watch NASCAR and eat Barbeque.

Despite her goals to get out as fast as she can, Julie makes friends, has fun, and falls for Vance, the hunky animal manager.

Now if only Julie can convince Vance to give up on Mrs. Right, for Mrs. right now!

Teaser Excerpt:

“There has to be something more than this,” I sighed as the broom came dangerously close to the road. Before I turned into witch jam, I used my magic to stop the broom, tilting it up, and slowing its descent until my purple boots skidded against the pavement.

“Like what?” Skippy asked.

“I don’t know, but flying around at night, maintained spells, checking perimeters? How is that living? I want a life that’s exciting. I don’t want to die a thousand years from now, regretting I lived all my life in Hamilton.”


Michelle KopraAbout the Author:

I suppose you are dying to know who this Michelle Kopra is; n’est pas?

If you figure it out, please let me know ;)

I have worked in hospitals, in zoo’s, in casinos, and with shoes (hey, look at that, I rhymed).

I am a day dreamer, not much of a day tripper, or day trader for that matter. But I do get lost in my own little world about Fairies, Elves, brass goggles, nifty airships, and steamy romances.

I used to be a closet writer, writhing in agony if anyone came near me when I was trying to put story to paper.

Then I had kids. Two of them, with big brown eyes, and sweet little giggles and sticky fingers that goober up my computer screen, and suddenly I didn’t care how silly my stories seemed to the rest of the world. Well, not as much anyways ;)

I have six stories published on for the moment, with several more in the works. Please feel free to contact me, I can be found on Facebook, twitter, and at my website Let me know if you love my stories, or hate them, or if I parked in your spot!!/MICHELLEKOPRA