Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for 'Thursday Thirteen'

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 Sky@SkyPurington.com Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky’s Website, www.skypurington.com to download her FREE App on iTunes and Android.

Website: www.skypurington.com

A Writer’s Mind Blog: www.skypuringtonwrites.blogspot.com

Sky’s Paranormal Blog: http://paranormalromancedeepdarkanddelicious.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/skypurington

Facebook: www.facebook.com/skypurington

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1228627.Sky_Purington

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?

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?

13 Green Household Cleaning Tips

Thursday Thirteen

I’m a big fan of using natural items for cleaning around the house and will use vinegar, baking soda, lemon and salt over manufactured items. Not only is it better for the environment, but it works out much cheaper too.

Thirteen Green Household Cleaning Tips

Lemon - dreamstimefree_117467  Salt - dreamstimefree_232233

1. Clean the base of an iron with a paste of white vinegar and baking soda. The paste will make the sole plate clean and shiny.

2. To get rid of perspiration marks and associated odour on shirts – soak in white vinegar and then wash in the normal method.

3. Kill weeds or unwanted grass by spraying vinegar directly onto the trouble spot.

4. Use baking soda to clean the inside of the fridge. It will clean up greasy marks and remove any odours.

5. Clean a rubbish bin with bicarb of soda and warm water. This will help eliminate smells.

6. Clean both the toilet seat and bowl with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda in the bowl and leave a while before flushing.

7. If you spill liquids on a book or drop a book in the bath (horrors!) – sprinkle baking soda on the wet pages and let them dry – in the sun if possible.

8. If you need buttermilk for a recipe and don’t have any – mix one cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice. This substitute tastes just as good as the real thing.

9. To refresh and sanitize a cutting board – rub all over with the cut side of a lemon or wash in undiluted lemon juice.

10. To sanitize your dishwasher – make sure the dishwasher is empty and place lemon juice in the soap dispenser. Run a normal wash cycle. This also makes the dishwasher smell nice.

11. To remove mildew use a mixture of salt and lemon juice.

12. To mop up oven spills if something bubbles over in your oven – put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won’t smell and will bake into a dry, light crust that can be wiped off easily when the oven has cooled.

13. Remove red wine from a tablecloth after a clumsy guest spills their drink – pour a little salt onto the splash immediately. This will soak up the wine. When the meal ends whisk off the cloth and soak it.

Do you have any good household hints?

Source: Green Cleaning by Margaret Briggs and Vivian Head

Rodeo! About Farms and Bull Riders

NOTE: visitors for the HOT JOCK blog hop, please scroll down.

Debra Kayn is visiting today. While she’s discussing farms, bull riders and handy-dandy items with multiple uses, I’ve going to sit back in the winter sun and continue reading her new release, Rodeo Rebel. I left Florentine and Cole at an impasse and need to learn what happens next. Over to Debra!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things you can find around the farm or ranch that come in handy for other things.

1. Twine – Typically used to secure hay bales. We use twine to stake plants, hang bird feeders, make gate latches, and tie items on the back of the quad as we’re working around the property. If you have long hair, you can quickly braid and tie when you get caught without a rubberband.

2. Laundry detergent buckets – Used to haul feed and water. Used to organize bolts and hand tools in the barn or garage. Also great to use when washing cars and tractors to hold your soapy water.

3. Vinegar – We also wash our windows with a mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottom. Then scrub the glass dry with wadded up newspaper for a streak-free shine.

4. Dog nail clippers – Work great for clipping off the thorns of a rose bush when you want to gather a bunch for in the house.

5. Horse brushes – Work great as a boot brush to knock off the mud and dirt before coming in the house.

6. Cattle or Hog panels – Arched and staked in the ground make a wonderful archway to grow peas, green beans, or grapes on, and will last forever.

7. Mane & Tail Shampoo and Conditioner – Made for horses, and safe enough for human use. If you suffer from tangles, it’s wonderful.

8. Tractor inner tubes – When inflated it makes a great trampoline for kids and adults in the yard, or if you want to try to curl inside and go for a ride downhill.

9. Rake heads – When the handle breaks on your rake, you can still use the rake head in your country chic décor! Nailed to the wall, they make a great coat rack. You can also hang dog leases, belts, necklaces, and umbrellas from the many prongs.

10. Egg shells – Crush and sprinkle into the ground around plants to help them grow. It’s a great source of calcium, which plants need.

11. Plastic Milk Jugs – If you cut “flaps” around the sides (along the length) and stick them on a fence post beside your garden, the wind makes a howling sound and rattles the plastic…scaring the deer and rabbits away from the garden.

12. Chicken hook – Typically used to catch chicken. They are great for hooking apples off the tree that are too far out of reach.

13. Chicken wire – Have outside deck steps that get slick in the winter? Cover the step with chicken wire and tack the edges underneath the step. It makes a nifty non-skid surface and you can easily remove it during the summer.

Can you think of anything around your house that you use for something else besides the real purpose of the item?

Rodeo Rebel

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

Rodeo RebelBlurb

When widower and land baron Cole Reardon acquired the Turner Grain Corporation, he didn’t know the company sponsored a bull rider. He refuses to support thrill-seekers dumb enough to get on the back of a crazed animal. He’s not willing to risk his fortune and livelihood when he has his daughter’s well-being to consider. Not even when the bull rider is the sexiest woman he’s ever seen.

Bull rider Florentine McDougal plans to turn pro after the season championship, fulfilling her lifelong dream of succeeding in a man’s world. That is, until Cole Reardon shows up and threatens to break his sponsorship contract with her. Now everything she’s worked for is less than eight seconds away from being destroyed.

Cole distracts Florentine with his sexy mouth and unreasonable demands, and he’s not going to compromise his integrity. But she’s not going to let him loose until she has pro status. And neither will come away from this dust-up unscathed.

Multi-published Romance Author, Debra Kayn, lives with her family in the beautiful coastal mountains of Oregon on a hobby farm. During the summer, she enjoys riding motorcycles, gardening, playing tennis, and fishing. During the winter, you’ll find her outside playing in the snow. A cold weather nut, she lives for the days she’s snowbound and fighting with the woodstove to keep the house warm when the power goes out. A huge animal lover, she always has a dog under her desk when she writes and chickens standing at the front door looking for a treat. She’s famous in her family for teaching a 270 lb pig named Harley to jog with her every morning.

Her love of family ties and laughter makes her a natural to write heartwarming contemporary stories to the delight of her readers. As someone who met her husband on a blind date when she was nineteen years old, she’s a believer of love at first sight and happily ever after.

Visit Debra’s website

Follow Debra on Twitter

Like Debra on Facebook

Friend Debra on Facebook

Wedding Do’s and Don’ts with Catherine Bybee

Thursday Thirteen

I have a special guest today – New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer Catherine Bybee. Catherine is celebrating her new release Married by Monday, book two in her Weekday Bride series, and I’m thrilled to have her here to visit. Over to Catherine and her wedding advice…

13 Wedding Do’s and Don’ts

1. If money is tight, invite only people you plan on being friends with on your 10th wedding anniversary.

2. Don’t get married at a county office with bullet proof glass separating you from the person signing the paper.

3. Have who you want standing up with you…not who your family ‘thinks’ are the right people.

4. Don’t compromise. It’s your day.

5. Don’t get drunk.

6. Brides: Wear a button up shirt when getting your hair and makeup done, easy to get out of before getting into your dress.

7. Take a moment throughout your wedding day to run down everything that has happened…Helps you remember everything long after the day is only a picture.

8. Don’t have a full mass if you’re 8 months pregnant…people laugh at that shit.

9. Pick a wedding day away from other holidays…no need to group in all the presents for the rest of your life!

10. Grooms: Send flowers to your bride the morning of your wedding. Let her know she has made you the luckiest man in the world.

11. Don’t put your wedding on a credit card.

12. Put your maid of honor or best man to work. Have them watch out for ‘Great Aunt Drinks A lot’, or the clock so you don’t miss your flight. They can party after all the work is done.

13. Take a look at #4 – Use what I have here only if it works for you and throw away the rest.

Oh…one more thing…make sure you’re truly in love with the one you’re saying ‘I Do’ to… Unless he offered you millions of dollars for a one year contract…then WTF, do what you want!

Do you have any wedding advice to add?

clip_image002Carter Billings:

Sandy blond hair and Hollywood good looks, Carter Billings could have any woman he wants. However, when he makes his bid for the Governor’s seat in the state of California, he needs to settle down and become a family man. Eliza, the woman he secretly adores, embodies the perfect amount of spice and passion to suit his marital needs, but she’s not interested in becoming Mrs. Billings. She can’t even stand to be in the same room with him.

Eliza Havens:

It’s much easier to drive Carter away than to give into desire. Matching couples is how she earns a living, but getting married isn’t an option. The secrets she carries are too dangerous to entangle anyone else. When her hidden identity and past threaten her future, she’s left with little choice. Carter is quick to offer solutions to both their problems, but saying yes could mean endangering the man she’s growing to love.

Author of New York Times Bestseller, Wife by Wednesday presents, Book Two in the Weekday Bride Series

Purchase Married by Monday – Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Smashwords

New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Catherine Bybee has been addicted to romance since her teens. After spending a decade of her life working as an RN in urban emergency rooms, Catherine is now dedicated to writing happily-ever-afters for the world to love. Catherine is married and raising two sons in Southern California.

She loves hearing from her readers so feel free to visit her at:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

The One About Afternoon Tea

Thursday Thirteen

Recently my husband took me to a traditional afternoon tea at Cornwell Park in Central Auckland. It’s always fun setting aside the jeans for something a little dressier and enjoying the occasion. Our afternoon tea inspired my TT this week.

Thirteen Things About Afternoon Tea

1. We had our afternoon tea at the Cornwall Park Restaurant. They’ve been selling refreshments and cups of tea since 1908.

Cornwall Park Restaurant

2. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have invented afternoon tea. At the time most people ate two meals during the day—breakfast and dinner, which was taken late in the evening (around 8 pm). The Duchess started to have light refreshments and a pot of tea in the afternoon. She invited friends to join her and took the habit with her when she returned to London. Other women liked the habit so much, they started to follow suit. Afternoon tea was born.

Cornwell Park, Afternoon Tea

3. A traditional afternoon tea consists of scones (usually still warm from the oven) served with jam and cream, a selection of sandwiches (usually egg, ham, salmon, cucumber) and finished with a selection of delicious cakes. This is all washed down with lots of cups of tea.

Afternoon Tea selection

4. Tea was first drunk in China and it’s said that Catherine of Braganza, the consort of Charles II first introduced tea to England.

5. The British government placed taxes on tea, which meant smugglers played a big part in bringing tea into the country. They found that churches were excellent places to hide their smuggled goods.

Lapsang Souchong tea

6. I chose Lapsang Souchong tea, which has a very smoky taste, while Mr. Munro chose Nepal Masala Chai tea with cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

7. No one knows where scones originated, but they’ve always been associated with England, Scotland and Ireland. It’s thought that they most likely came from Scotland.

8. Our scones came served with whipped cream and raspberry jam. Personally, I prefer them with clotted cream. Yum!

9. Clotted cream is thick cream, which is obtained by heating milk slowly and allowing it to cool. The cream content rises to the top in coagulated lumps. It’s decadent and delicious and not exactly good for you Who me?

10. John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich is associated with the sandwich. He loved to gamble and didn’t want to leave his game. He ordered his valet to bring him meat placed between two slices of bread. Other men called for meals the same as Sandwich.

11. We had egg, salmon and ham sandwiches, but most British afternoon teas have cucumber sandwiches. Here’s a link to two versions of a cucumber sandwich that look delicious.

12. Cakes. Yummy cakes in small bite sized pieces. We had chocolate cake, lemon meringue pie, sticky date, lemon friands, a flourless nut cake. Chocolate eclairs are also a good addition. Just saying!

13. My favorite place to have afternoon tea is the Ritz in Picadilly, London. It takes place in the Palm Court, and there’s a dress code. No jeans allowed. This is something that must be booked ahead of time—weeks ahead—but it’s well worth it with relaxing piano music and very attentive waiters. Here’s the menu for the Ritz afternoon tea.  I highly recommend this experience if you’re ever in London.

Are you a fan of afternoon tea? Do you have a favorite afternoon tea spot?

13 Snippets About Life in 18th Century England

Thursday Thirteen

This week I’m time traveling back to 18th century England and Georgian life. I’m reading Behind Closed Doors, At Home in Georgian England by Amanda Vickery as research for a historical I’m planning to write.

Thirteen Snippets About 18th Century England Life

1. Locking the house was done with ceremony each night, with boarders, servants etc locked inside. People who loitered out on the streets late at night or early in the morning were looked upon with suspicion.

2. Most people owned a locking box where they kept valuables and other important articles.

3. Poor people tended to carry all their valuable items on their person in pockets and pouches.

4. Keys were the emblems of authority, which is why housekeepers or the women of the house would carry their bunches of keys on their person.

5. A single man in London would eat his meals in taverns, pie shops, coffee houses and chop houses. He’d pay women to do his washing.

6. Young men wanted a housekeeper and, therefore, entered the state of marriage. Young women entered the state of marriage because they wanted to rule their own house.

7. Many families exploited their unmarried womenfolk as unpaid housekeepers, nursery maids, sick-nurses, tutors, chaperons, companions and surrogate mothers.

8. Before 1750 the average age of marriage for a woman was 26. This dropped to 25 in the latter part of the century.

9. A husband’s death restored a woman’s full legal personality under common law. They were more respectable than spinsters and often were welcomed in and enjoyed society.

10. A young widow with children usually remarried quickly while an older widow with many children sometimes inherited large debts and poverty. She fell on the mercies of the parish.

11. In 1675 only 9% of households owned clocks, but by 1725 34% had a clock.

12. Thomas Chippendale was the first to publish a catalogue of furniture designs in 1754. Other London cabinetmakers quickly followed suit.

13. The culture of visiting began in the late 17th century but the introduction of tea took visiting to a new level in the 18th century. Visiting was cheap to stage and became a ritual for women alone or en masse. In May 1767 Lady Mary Coke made eighteen visits a day while in town. (that’s an awful lot of tea and gossip!)

Some interesting things – what do you think of the eighteen visits in a day?

Thirteen Examples of Kiwi Speak

Thursday Thirteen

As a New Zealand author, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a trial to my editors. I keep slipping Kiwi speak into my manuscripts, mainly the contemporary and paranormal ones. When I get my edits back there are comments about “head scratching” and lots of question marks. Here are a few you probably haven’t heard before.

Thirteen Examples of Kiwi Speak

1. “Haven’t seen you in yonks!” – This means ages. i.e. I haven’t seen you for a long time.

2. Sweet as – this means yes or I agree. i.e. Do you want to go for a drink? Answer – sweet as.

3. Were you born in a tent? – I heard this one often as it kid. My mother’s way of telling me I’d left the door open and was letting in cold air.

4. He’s on his OE, earning big bikkies in London now. – translation: The man is on a working holiday in London, has a job and is receiving a good wage. OE = overseas experience.

5. Come on, ref, are your eyes painted on? – the referee is making decisions that the audience don’t agree with.

6. Got any chuddy? – they’re asking if you have any chewing gum.

7. Nine girls are running under a wharf and here I am – this is the way we learn to spell Ngaruawahia, the place where the Maori King lives.

8. You make a better door than a window – this means you’re standing in the way of something the speaker is trying to watch i.e. the television or at a sports match.

9. No need to pack a sad – means that the person is having a tantrum or sulking. The speaker is telling them that there is no need to sulk.

10. Oh, give me a break – means that something has gone wrong i.e. you’d say this if you were mowing the lawn and run out of petrol with just a little of the lawn left to mow.

11. Your turn to shout – means it’s your turn to buy a round of drinks.

12. It’s puckarooed – means that something is broken and can’t be fixed.

13. You couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery – means the person is useless.

A bonus – Ka pai – this is Maori and means good. Puku – Maori for stomach. I often say, “My puku is full.”

Have you heard of any of these?

Source: Kiwi Speak by Justin Brown.

Thirteen Proverbs About Patience

tt_minimal3

Writers spend a lot of time waiting for decisions from editors, agents, publishers. Hurry up and wait. I’m not very good at waiting. Just saying, but patience or impatience makes a good topic for a Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Proverbs About Patience

1. Patience is a virtue.

2. Patience is the knot which secures the seam of victory.

3. A little impatience will spoil great plans.

4. Patient men win the day.

5. He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.

6. The string of a man’s sack of patience is generally tied with a slip knot.

7. Long looked for comes last.

8. Patience is a plaster for all sores.

9. Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.

10. Patience is a flower that grows not in every one’s garden.

11. We must learn to walk before we can run.

12. All things are difficult before they are easy.

13. An oak is not felled at one stroke.

Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs by Rosalind Fergusson.

Are you a patient person?