Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ginger's Sarah's Heart & Passion now available in a Bookstore Near You

Sarah Collins set her sights for California and a new beginning, but never imagines a war party's attack on the wagon train she joins. A sole survivor, Sarah must find her way back to civilization, and a man of half-blood happens along at just the right time and becomes her hero...or is the whole scenario only a dream driven by all the romance novels she reads as an editor? 

Sarah wakes, her cheeks damp with tears. Like a dust devil in a dying windstorm, all traces of her handsome rescuer vanish with a farewell kiss and the annoying blast of an alarm clock...until he appears at her door as a new neighbor. Will Sarah find a way to win the love she tried so hard to capture in her dream without being declared insane, or will the sexy woman living an apartment away beat Sarah at her own game? 

Previously published as Sarah's Heart and Sarah's Passion, this edition combines both stories.

Sarah Collins struggled to open her eyes against the glare, but the pounding pain in her head urged her to keep them closed. She swept the tip of her tongue across cracked lips, her mouth as dry as the feathers in her pillow—yet she felt no downy softness beneath her, only an uncomfortable jabbing in her back. Her palms groped along something gritty. Where was she?

Suddenly patchy memories flooded back. The taste of bile filled her throat. She struggled to sit, groaning as she pushed herself up from the dusty ground and the offending stone stabbing at her spine. Her eyes misted with tears, and fear clutched at her chest as she surveyed what remained of the wagon train.

Grasping her constricting throat, Sarah stood, scanning the eerie site. The bodies of her new friends lay scattered amongst the smoking ruins, some oddly contorted and others positioned just as they’d fallen. Her heart ached for the mother who sat propped against a wagon wheel, clutching her baby to her breast—both obviously dead. Sarah covered her mouth to stifle a scream. Oh sweet Jesus, why kill a defenseless infant?

Was she the only survivor? As evidenced by an attacker’s body lying a few feet from her, someone had interceded and saved her life. There had to be someone else alive. There had to be! The hair on the back of her neck bristled.

If not for the carnage, the day would be beautiful—wispy clouds floated in a powder blue sky, and an endless sea of waving prairie grass announced the arrival of spring. The only sound came from water bubbling in the nearby stream as it traveled over a rocky bed.

Sarah remembered everything now. They had just made camp when war cries sliced the air. A few hours of daylight remained, but one family’s illness prompted the wagon master to halt travel for the day. Supper fires hadn’t even been lit when a band of whooping Indians with painted faces stormed the group. There must have been twenty or more on horseback. The last thing Sarah recalled was running to fetch her rifle.

She dusted off and inspected her body for injury. Other than her throbbing head, she assumed she was all right until something warm trickled into her eye. Her fingertips reddened from touching a sticky substance on her temple, and she flashed back to the terror of looking into the scarred face of the brave whose tomahawk struck only a glancing blow. Recalling those hate-filled eyes sent a shudder through her.

Her bonnet dangled down her back, its ribbon annoyingly tight across her throat. She pulled at the ties, easing the choking feeling, and then inspected the stained head covering. After wiping her bloodied hand on the yellow gingham, she tossed it to the ground where her body’s partial outline still etched the dirt.

The sun hadn’t risen very high above the horizon. She must have been unconscious all night. Releasing a pent up breath, she lifted her dress and ripped a piece from her petticoat, folded the cloth and held it to her wound. Fear clutched at her core, and unbridled tears ran down her cheeks as she prayed to see another living soul. Surely she was no better than the rest of these simple folk who were trying to find a new start. Why would God spare only her?

“Hello, can anyone hear me?” She called out in a faltering voice, then scanned the campsite and listened, but no answer came. Nothing moved.

****---Want More????

Since this is the fifth Wednesday and we have no one scheduled to post, you can't blame me for doing a little extra promotion...can you?  BooksWeLove has put several select books through Lightning Source and made them available on the Ingrams Catalog for distribution to local retailers.  I may not make a million, but I sure would love to see this book and my other, First Degree Innocence, on a shelf.  I might even snap a selfie.  *lol*

Of course this book is still available for download on Amazon for the amazing price of $2.99

Monday, October 27, 2014


When I think of ghost towns, I visualize miners rushing from a hastily-built town to head for a new strike.  I picture gamblers, shady ladies, and businessmen loading up and following the crowd. Imagine my surprise to learn there’s a ghost town only a few miles from where I grew up in West Texas—and it was founded by Quakers!

Okay, that’s not as seasonal as a ghost town with countless ghosts roaming freely. However, this one is interesting to me. Please bear with me.

The town of Estacado lies on the county line for Crosby and Lubbock Counties on the Llano Estacado, or staked plain. Estacado was the first white agricultural settlement on the South Plains and is on Farm Road 1527. It was established by Paris Cox in 1879. 
Paris Cox (1846–1888) was born one of six children in a devout Religious Society of Friends (known as Quakers) family near Asheboro, North Carolina. During the Civil War, Cox was given a legal exemption from military service, based on the Quaker precept of pacifism.

As treasurer of the North Carolina fellowship of Quakers, Cox was instrumental in helping the Religious Society of Friends find a favorable location for both farming and freedom from religious persecution. Their first move from North Carolina was to Indiana. There, Cox married Maryetta C. Ferguson during the sojourn in Westfield, Indiana.

Looking for a suitable location to establish a Quaker colony, Cox had secured railroad land in western Crosby and eastern Lubbock counties in the late 1870s in exchange for his sawmill business in Indiana. After some investigation, Cox purchased several thousand acres in Texas in 1877 and 1878, at twenty-five cents an acre. He first saw the Llano Estacado in 1878 when guided by buffalo hunters. There he met local rancher Henry Clay Smith. Cox arranged for Smith to plant experimental crops on his acreage and to send the results to Cox in Indiana.

In the fall of 1879 the Cox, Stubbs, Spray, and Hayworth families arrived in the area in time to face a severe winter. Cox built a sod house for his family, but the other settlers were ill-prepared and spent the ordeal in tents. With the spring thaw, three families quit the colony, leaving only the Cox family in residence.

Determined to succeed, Cox stayed and eventually brought in a successful crop. The colony began to be repopulated by new families in 1881 after that successful crop had been achieved. A post office was established in 1881, with George W. Singer as postmaster. The town name was changed from Maryetta to Estacaddo. In 1884, the spelling was changed to Estacado and that year is when Dr. William Hunt became Postmaster. Dr. Hunt later wrote:

I visited the colony in August and September 1880. The first crops ever planted on the Staked Plains were then growing. I saw corn, oats, millet, sorghum, melons, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes and garden vegetables — all did well.

The last Estacado postmaster was John A. Eaves, when, on September 24, 1918, the post office was discontinued and mail service routed to Petersburg. In 1886, Crosby County was organized, and Estacado became the county seat. In 1888, $10,000 in bonds was issued to erect a courthouse.

Remains of church

Estacado store owners R. L. Stringfellow and H. E. Hume founded the Crosby County town of Emma in 1890. The new settlements began to attract Estacado residents who had been discouraged by harsh environmental conditions. On October 14, 1891, a county-wide election was held on where the county seat should be located. Estacado lost to Emma by only six votes. The Estacado courthouse building was moved to Emma, and much of the population along with it.

The community provided some of the first organized education on the South Plains when Emma Hunt began teaching in a dugout classroom in 1882; by 1884 classes were being held in the Quaker meetinghouse. 

The Central Plains Academy, the first college on the Llano Estacado, was established in the community in 1890 and operated for two years. Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University educated Rev. Jesse Moore was president of the college. Mrs. Moore, who also had a degree from Johns Hopkins University, taught music, voice and violin classes. E.C. and Elva Lewis, graduates of William Penn University, were additional instructors at the college. The twenty-by-sixty-foot frame building held 100 students at its peak. Eighteen students graduated from the college before a dwindling community population caused it to close in 1893

Estacado Cemetery

The town flourished for some years, and by 1890 the population was reported at 200. But in 1891 Emma became the county seat and Estacado began to decline. The town lacked leadership after Cox's death in 1888, and a grasshopper invasion and drought in 1892–93 all but finished it.

Favorable growing conditions attracted settlers to the region after 1900. Although the original Quaker colony had dissolved, Estacado continued to exist. The post office was closed in 1918, after which mail came through Petersburg. The population increased from sixty-eight in 1930 to eighty-five in 1940. That number remained stable at eighty from 1970 through 2000. Like many small West Texas towns, by the mid-1980s the town had only a cotton gin and a few scattered residences.

State historical marker erected in 1936 to mark the site of Estacado.

Caroline Clemmons is the Amazon bestselling and award winning author of the western historical novella, STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS now available from most online vendors including Amazon

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wit, Wisdom and Chuckles

Wit and Wisdom from Will Rogers, Red Green and other Suspect Sources

By Alison Bruce

"If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there." Will Rogers
Will Rogers was a rancher, a roper, star of wild west shows, vaudeville, movies and radio. He wrote six books and thousands of columns and was particularly famous for his plain-speaking observations about American politics.
 "On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does." Will Rogers
Despite having been born in the nineteen century and dying before the world-changing second world war, Will Rogers' humor has stood the test of time.
"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
In a thoroughly Canadian way, Red Green might be considered Will Rogers' successor... if you're willing to stretch the definition of successor a bit.
"Be really nice to your friends and family. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan." - Red Green

Created by comedian Steve Smith, Red Green is a source of wit, wisdom and what not to do with power tools. With duct tape, on the other hand, he's a pro and the official face of 3M Scotch Duct Tape.
 "You need only two tools.  If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40.  If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape."
Red Green doesn't belong in the old west, of course. But, just as Will Rogers' advice can be taken forward, some of Red's can be taken back.
"When you make a mistake, make amends immediately.  It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm."
"Never Interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
"Never pass up an opportunity to pee."
Red Green
Take the fishing cap and put a stetson on him and Red would fit in. In fact, there's a lot of us who could or would fit ourselves to the cowboy mold given the chance. Least ways, that's what my children keep telling me.

Strange Brew 8Feb2012

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Favorite Saying and Cliche's we Avoid - Blogjackked

Just a quick note to explain why I've "borrowed" this wonderful post.  I'm leaving for a prolonged trip and don't know when I'll return, so to play it safe, I'm posting this on September 24th so I won't miss my next appointed date.  I know you'll enjoy Victoria's research experience...I know I feel the same way.  I knew most of these from my own "digging in the past," but I'd never heard of Pay On The Nail

One of the joys of writing for me is doing research..  I know some others hate it and others view it as a form of procrastination but I love delving into history.  Apart from the facts I do want to confirm. I frequently come up with oddities that just fascinate me.  Some may be questionable, other folks may have a different versions of where or why a saying evolved.  The following list mostly derives from English history and the terms and sayings have been transported around the world as Britain expanded her trade and borders.

Bringing home the bacon. Having a pig to raise, or the man of the family bringing home some pork, was a sign of wealth. The pork was usually hung in the rafters of the home, close to the chimney, so it was handy for the housewife to cut slices from and to show off to visitors.

Chewing the fat. A term we think of today as people gathering around to have a pleasant conversation and that’s not far from the possible origin of this term. With visitors admiring the ‘flitch’ or uncut side of bacon hanging in the rafters, the householder would cut off a little of the fat to offer his guests so they would sit around and ‘chew the fat’. In addition, a flitch of bacon could be awarded to married couples who could swear to not having regretted their marriage for a year and a day. This old tradition purportedly still survives in some pockets in England.

Dirt poor. While wealthy people may have had slate or stone floors, poor people didn’t. Mostly the floors of their homes consisted of leveled dirt which gives us the saying ‘dirt poor’ to denote someone who really does not have very much of anything.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Do we really appreciate the luxury of the baths and showers we have today? Imagine living in a household where having a bath consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water could be so dirty you might lose someone in it. Hence the saying, ‘Don't throw the baby out with the bath water’ meaning not to lose something of value.

Four poster bed.  With only a thick straw thatch above you, there was nothing to stop bugs and other droppings falling into the house and messing up a nice clean bed. So beds with a post at each corner and a sheet hung over the top offered some protection. Over time the sheets became more elaborate canopies, including curtains surrounding the bed which could be closed to keep out drafts and afford privacy.

June Bride. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May so still smelt pretty good in June. But, because many were already beginning to smell again, brides starting carrying bouquets of sweet smelling flowers to hide their body odor.

Pay on the nail. Outside the Corn Exchange in Bristol, England, are four brass tables or ‘nails’. They have flat tops with raised edges to stop coins rolling off. The four nails were made at different times, probably modeled after the portable tables used in fairs and markets, but the oldest nail dates from the Elizabethan period.  So, if you ‘pay on the nail’, you pay in cash and on time.

Peas porridge. You may be familiar with the old rhyme ‘peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old’. This refers to a time when everything was cooked in the same pot over the fire. What wasn’t eaten would be left to get cold. Meat was not readily available to the average family, so when the fire was lit on the following day it was mostly vegetables that were added to the pot.

Piss Poor. To dispose of the overnight waste from chamber pots, many families sold this commodity to collectors who took it the local tannery or woolen mill. The ammonia in stale urine was used to tan animal skins and to set dye in cloth. If you had to do this to survive you were ‘piss poor’, but the really poor people couldn’t even afford to buy a chamber pot so didn’t 'have a pot to piss in’.

Raining cats and dogs.  In an era when houses had thick, straw thatched roofs with no wood underneath, it was often the only place that animals could get warm. Cats, mice, bugs, all lived in the roof, but when it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, so if it was raining really hard, it might be ‘raining cats and dogs’.

Upper crust.  Picture a beautiful, aromatic loaf of bread fresh from the oven. Guests would get the top, or upper crust, the family would get the middle section and servants and workers would get the sometimes burnt bottom of the loaf. Therefore, someone who is ‘upper crust’, would be considered special or of having some elevated social status.

Salute.  Who is not familiar with this sign of respect used by the military and most uniformed organizations? Especially poignant is the iconic photograph of a young John Kennedy saluting his father’s flag draped casket as it was carried from St Matthew’s Cathedral. The salute evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.

Saved by the bell.  Today we use this term to indicate a situation being saved or solved at the very last moment, but it has a rather gruesome origin. Being a small country, when English parishioners began to run out of space for burials, they would open graves and coffins to reuse them. It was found that 1 out of every 25 coffins opened had fingernail scratch marks on the inside of the lid, and it was realized that people had been buried alive. A string was then tied around the corpse’s wrist and fed through a hole in the coffin lid, up through the ground and tied to a bell. Someone sat by the grave (hence the term graveyard shift for a night worker) so that if the bell was rung the coffin would be immediately opened to save whoever was inside it.

Threshold.  Wealthy people had slate or stone floors in their homes that, when wet and especially during the winter, could get very slippery. To avoid this they spread straw, called thresh, on the floor to keep their footing. Throughout the winter more thresh was added until, when you opened the door, it started to slip outside or was carried out on peoples’ feet. A thick piece of wood was placed across the door way to keep the thresh inside and became known as a ‘thresh hold’.

Wake.  Our ancestors’ table ware was often hazardous to their health. Plates were made of pewter and any food with a high acid content could cause lead to leach into the food causing death by lead poisoning. Tomatoes have a high acid content, so for 400 years or so tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Ale and whisky were served in lead cups and the combination often knocked the imbibers out for days. Anyone walking along a road could take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait to see if they would wake up. This was the origin of bringing food and drink for guests to partake of after a funeral.

So now you know. Do you have  any explanations for sayings in common use today? 

You can find Victoria on:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014



Monte Christo Homestead is an historic Australian property located in Junee, New South Wales. The town is located in the Riverina north west of Canberra. 
It was constructed by local pioneer Christopher William Crawley in 1885. An impressive double-story late-Victorian manor, Monte Christo stands on a hill overlooking the town.
The Crawley family remained in residence until 1948. The house then stood empty under the care of several caretakers until 1963 when it was purchased by Reg and Olive Ryan, who restored it to its current condition. It operates as a museum, antique store and tourist attraction.
Monte Cristo is claimed to be Australia's most haunted house, with reports of ghostly figures, strange lights, invisible forcefields, phantom sounds and animal mutilations. These are attributed to several tragic incidents in the property's past including the murder of a caretaker in 1961 and the imprisonment of a mentally impaired man for many years in the dairy. During the Crawleys' occupation a young child is said to have been fatally dropped down the stairs, a maid to have fallen from the balcony, and a stable boy to have been burnt to death.

This historic two-story house with its wide verandas and beautiful wrought iron work is now open to thousands of visitors each year - and they all want to know about the ghosts and tragedies associated with this sprawling mansion.
The original occupants were William Crawley and his family in 1884 and it would appear that from the Crawley family most of the stories of ghosts and hauntings and many other tragic happenings seem to originate.
In fact the ghost of old Mrs Crawley has been seen many times in her former room and in recent years. It is believed that after William Crawley died in 1910, from a carbuncle on his neck becoming infected by his starched collar, Mrs Crawley only left the house on two occasions in the remaining 23 years of her life: no wonder her presence still lingers. Then there are the mysterious lights, apparitions. 

"We moved into Monte Cristo on June 3rd 1963 blissfully unaware of the Homestead's often gruesome history, those dubious revelations would be some time off.
We had been in residence about three days when we ventured downtown one foggy evening for supplies, on the return trip we turned the bottom corner of the driveway and straightened up towards the house, as we did we saw light streaming out of every door and window; we got such a shock I stopped the car and we sat staring up at the brilliantly illuminated homestead dumbfounded.
Olive didn't want to continue, felt sure there must have been a burglar up there, I replied to the effect we hadn't been away that long and had better go and investigate.
As we drove cautiously through the gateway the lights abruptly disappeared, again Monte Cristo was lost in fog and darkness.
We tried desperately to rationalize it, different people suggested the source of light was our car headlights shining onto windows of the house; but there wasn't a single pane of glass in the entire house, electricity hadn't been connected and the only source of light was a kerosene lamp not left lit.
This was the first of many strange, puzzling and sometimes frightening experiences that have occurred over the intervening years we have not found answers for.
Our first experience was eerily replayed 27 years later when our 21 year old son Lawrence was driving home one night the rest of the family were at a ball in Wagga, as he turned into the driveway he discovered all the lights of Monte Cristo ablaze but as he passed through the gates they disappeared again without explanation."

"A local Council worker, I will call John R., came up to the homestead on Council business one afternoon and entered Monte Cristo in good spirits, suddenly he backed out and left. I later spoke to him downtown and his explanation was that he didn't like Monte Cristo and would never go up there again - he never has!"

"On one of the house tours I was showing a mother and daughter through, having covered the ground floor without any problem I preceded to lead them upstairs and waited for them to catch up in the hall.
After waiting a few moments I peered over the banister to see where they were, finding both appearing to have trouble moving and on reaching the landing midway seemed incapable of ascending further. Both said in a worried tone some unseen force was stopping them going up, however once they moved down and away from the steps the problem disappeared.
The stairs often cause us problems, especially with children. Little children around the ages of three or four continually cause an uproar on or near the staircase, I've often wondered since learning about the death of a child on them if there's a connection?"

"Neil, a nephew of my wife Olive, and his girlfriend attended the 1992 Monte Cristo Ball and after it concluded in the early hours of the morning the lass wanted to use the toilet before retiring, however feeling frightened by the dark house asked Neil to escort her.
After waiting in the hallway for her Neil proceeded to escort her back towards the stairs which lead to their room, suddenly from the top of the darkened stairs a voice seemed to drift from nowhere, looking up they both saw a young woman dressed in white who said softly twice: "Don't worry, it will be all right" and vanished before their eyes."

                     The Dining Room
"The presence of Mrs Crawley is strongly felt in this room by psychic's, when the ABC brought a group here for the "Big Country" we served them lunch and diner in the room. On several occasions during meals medium Van Blerk got up and left the room without explanation, waited outside a few moments and returned to his seat.
He later told us Mrs Crawley had ordered him out of the Dining Room, so for harmony sake he waited until her presence had left the room before returning to his seat."


"When we moved into Monte Cristo this room served as our kitchen, it was in this room Olive found dead and mutilated kittens."

"In the early days I would sew on the front veranda when the weather was fine and on several occasions heard the distinctive sound of a womans' high-heels walking above me on the balcony, this was unusual as there were large sections of floorboards missing and the footfalls never missed a step as they reverberated across the full length of the balcony. Sometimes I'd call out thinking it was a member of the family but never received a reply, on investigation I discovered no one was on that floor at the time or more commonly no one home at all but myself.
Late one night both Olive and one of our daughters heard the French doors that lead off the balcony into the upstairs hall open, close and someone walk along the hall, go down the stairs and then return by the same method 15 minutes later. Being alone in the house both thought the footsteps belonged to the other, until Olive called out to see if there was a problem and to their mutual bewilderment discovered neither had left their bed in hours.
As the years passed we got used to these phantom footsteps, after hearing them so many times could differentiate between footsteps made on lino or wood. Although we have now had the hallway carpeted for several years, the sound was very distinctive although not unnerving it still causes a bit of concern.
Box Room, Mrs. Crawley's Chapel The TV travel show "Getaway" came to Junee in 1992 to film a segment at Monte Cristo. Before the cameras started rolling reporter, Rebecca Harris, entered the Box Room to scout a suitable location to film.
While in there she felt overcome by a strange sensation and compelled to leave the room, that evening while filming the producer could not get her to re-enter the room and finally had to compromise by filming the section on Mrs Crawley's Chapel out on the balcony but within view of the door."

                     The Drawing Room
"Unexplained Tears A radio announcer from FM93 in Wagga Wagga brought a friend from Tasmania over to view the Homestead, the tour went normally until the Drawing Room was reached. Upon entering the room his eyes started running for no apparent reason and he felt sad and distressed, also very embarrassed and apologized profusely.

Upon leaving Monte Cristo their next stop was Junee Cemetery to visit the graves of notable Junee pioneers, again he suddenly felt gripped by grief and began crying. Getting his wits about him he looked down and found he was standing on the grave of the child who died mysteriously on the stairs of Monte Cristo, was the sense of grief and sadness felt at the homestead and now on the grave that of a mother for her lost baby?.
Soon after an elderly English lady entered the room and started crying uncontrollably, we took her to the Entrance Building and gave her a cup of tea to comfort her, she was extremely embarrassed and at a loss to explain her sudden and apparent grief.
A Spooked Priest The Catholic Priest who conducted our marriage ceremony, Father Mac, paid us a visit one afternoon and was contentedly looking through the house while we readied lunch. Fifteen minuets later I went to escort him down to the Dining Room and as I approached from behind watched him enter the Drawing Room, abruptly back out, make the sign of the cross and blessed himself before leading me down the stairs in a great hurry. This incident remains vivid in my mind and I regret never having the courage to ask what he had seen or felt and often wonder what caused his premature departure."

                       The Boy's Bedroom
"A husband, wife and 15 year old daughter stopped in on their way from Sydney to Wagga, the family deciding Monte Cristo would be a pleasant diversion. As we entered the Boy's Room the girl started to shake and her skin cover with goose bumps, unable to catch her breath she started having an asthma-like attack and turned purple. We rushed her outside preparatory to taking her to the local Doctor, but as soon as she was out of the house she immediately returned to normal, she had never had an asthma attack in her life.

The conclusion of this particular episode took place two weeks later on the family's return to Sydney, they returned to Monte Cristo and asked if the girl could go back into the room, we did, and she had a repeat of the first visit. It thoroughly shook her parents and I doubt they will ever return again."

When our two eldest daughters were young they shared this room for several years, it has no verandah outside just a blank wall dropping away to the ground far below. Many a night they would call us in and whimper about a man's face that kept appearing out side the window. Describing him as a younger man with sideburns, always dressed in work clothes, it happened so often they got used to it and ignore his presence.


In the same room my wife's cousin John and his wife had a bone chilling experience they were reticent to recount for fear of being thought mad, apparently John was laying there awake when a figure all in white appeared, floated around the room and disappeared out the closed window.

"Same room again, a serene ladies face appeared at the foot of the bed, this happened to a friend of ours called Mario. It didn't really scare him he told us, startled him a trifle and thought it unusual to see a face appear without a body."

"One night we were holding a function in the Ballroom and I sent our youngest daughter, Shiralee, to check on her little brother asleep in the Boy's Room, she came back quite distressed and explained how as she rounded the corner from the staircase could see a young man in work clothes standing, staring down at her brother Lawrence, she could describe him right down to his work clothed with a hole in the sleeve, it took us hours to calm her down sufficiently.
In the same room we had a guest, a married man in his thirties sleeping there one night, at around 3AM I was awoken by his terrified screams of: "Reg!...Reg!..." Running down the hall I found him standing in the middle of the bed shaking like a leaf claiming there was someone else in the room with him, we had to give him another room before we could all get some sleep."

"One young mother-to-be on entering the room recently started to sway and lose colour, on removing her to the Girl's Room she recovered almost immediately.
A few moments later she asked if she could re-enter the Boy's Room and stayed about 5 seconds before rushing out pale and shaken, she apologized to the rest of the tour group and said she had to check if it was just her imagination and now knew it wasn't."

My husband and I, along with our daughter visited this home earlier this year and although walking through it caused the hairs on the backs of our necks to rise, we didn't witness or feel anything out of the ordinary. Until, we entered the old dairy and the room where a young man had been chained up for years. The room was oppressive, cold - even though the day was hot - and eerie. Was there a spirit there? Who knows, but I won't dismiss it just because I don't understand. 

It's a gorgeous home and well worth a visit or stay overnight if your game. 

Reference: Monte Christo website. 

Fall Back in Time By Lauri Robinson

On the weekend of November 1st--which is the end of Daylight Savings Time--more than 200 romance authors of the Historical Romance Network will be celebrating the diversity of historical romances by asking readers (all of you!) to show the world that we love and read historical romances. How do you do that? 

Here’s all you need to do:

1. Take a selfie with a favorite/recently read Historical Romance.

2. Post it on your social media sites starting on 10 am CST 1 November 2014. Please include the hashtag #FallBackinTime. If pictures start sneaking out on the 31st and continue through the 2nd that’s okay, too! 

3. Invite others!!! Post your pictures on their sites and ask them to do the same!

4. "LIKE" our Historical Romance Network facebook page and join the event on Nov. 1st!
5. Spread the word about our love for historical romance through tweets and facebook posts. Here are some generic tweets you can use:

#FallBackinTime to your first historical romance! This was mine: (pix)
#FallBackinTime with this historical romance! (pix)
#FallBackinTime Look, it’s me in the [middle ages/regency era/etc]
If I could #FallBackinTime, it’d be to this book, this era: (pix)
Where would you #FallBackinTime to? I'd go here: (pix)
My favorite time machine is a book. #FallBackinTime (pix)
Escape with a historical romance #FallBackin Time. I do! (pix)


Historical Romance Network social media sites:

Here is a copy of the flyer to share with others!

As you can see, I took a picture of me with my latest book, The Wrong Cowboy, which just so happens will also be released on November 1st.  
 One mail-order bride in need of rescue! 

All the rigorous training in the world could not have prepared nursemaid Marie Hall for trailing the wilds of Dakota with six orphans. Especially when her ingenious plan—to pose as the mail-order bride of the children's next of kin—leads Marie to the wrong cowboy!

Proud and stubborn, Stafford Burleson is everything Marie's been taught to avoid. But with her fate and that of the children in his capable hands, Marie soon feels there's something incredibly right about this rugged rancher and his brooding charm…. 

From RT Reviews: (Four stars and the K.I.S.S. Hero Award) Heartwarming and touching, this feel-good Western is perfect for the season.