Friday, February 22, 2013

The Restless Spirits of Ringwood Manor – New Jersey

Not only is Ringwood Manor historically interesting, it is also the home of several restless spirits. Or so they say...

Ringwood Manor by Mwanner

Built in 1762, this beautiful Manor served as the primary supply center, strategic headquarters, and transportation hub for the Continental Army under General George Washington. Robert Erskine, Washington’s geographer/surveyor, took up residence here while taking charge of Washington’s defense mapping center. After the war General Erskine stayed on and ran the local ironworks. When he died, they buried him on the property, and his ghost is sometimes seen perched atop his grave and staring off toward the pond. (And speaking of that pond, according to various reports, two French soldiers who died for the American cause frequent the area while speaking French. So if you happen to speak French, and happen by the right place at the right time, do tell us what they're talking about...please.) Other legends tell us that Erskine’s ghost wanders the grounds with a lantern.

Over time, the house passed through many different owners and two of those owners, Martin Ryerson and Abram Hewitt, made extensive renovations. Hewett’s wife is credited for giving the manor its present grandeur. More about her in a minute.

As one wanders throughout the house, one might hear the sounds of footsteps, or witness a heavy object falling to the ground. Some say they have heard the disquieting sounds of someone crying. A door, firmly shut, will sometimes open of its own accord and reveal a messy bed that no one has slept in.

A spiritual medium visited the manor once and said that all the people traipsing through and invading the home during tours had a tendency to upset a female entity residing there. This distressed woman is most likely the spirit of Mrs. Hewitt. Perhaps she isn't the sociable type or maybe she would rather issue the invitations herself. The home is hers, after all.

A chill is experienced by some on the second floor hallway at the top of the stairs and next to the door of the children’s room. Whispers abound that the ghost of a housemaid haunts this floor. Someone beat her to death, or so the story goes. There are a few other entities tied to this house that are said to have worked for Mrs. Hewitt. They don’t seem to like her much, but then again, she doesn't like them either. Perhaps it’s all their squabbling that makes one feel clammy and out of sorts when they visit the house.

Not the most hair raising of phantom residents, but interesting nonetheless, after all, they have “dead people in the backyard.”

Oh, and lest we forget, the eyes of George Washington will follow you around the room. It’s only a painting though. Just keep telling yourself that— it’s only a painting.

So anyone out there have a ghost story of your own? If not, would you like to?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Major John Clark...Spies...and “Spirit of the Revolution”

In my novel, “Spirit of the Revolution,” Colonel Daniel Morgan assigned Mathias McGregor, and his small team of valiant Rangers, to assist Major John Clark with his intelligence operations during the siege of our nation’s capital in Pennsylvania.

Referred to as the Philadelphia Campaign, General Sir William Howe captured the city and then occupied it from September 1777 through June of 1778. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to anyone that while quartered at Valley Forge during the winter months of those years, General George Washington craved reliable intelligence from Philadelphia in order to plan his summer campaign. 

In response to this great need, General George Washington assigned Major John Clark, suffering from a serious shoulder injury, to oversee intelligence operations against the British. The major immediately established a proficient group of informants and couriers to make up his spy ring. Together, they succeeded in sending over thirty reports to Washington, informing him of British activities. He even set up an operation wherein Clark offered to give Howe information concerning Patriot activities. Posing as a Quaker Loyalist under an assumed name, Howe bought into the charade. Washington seized the opportunity and fabricated a number of false reports concerning the Continental Army, their strength and planned deployments, thus aiding and furthering the American cause.

A year, later still suffering from his injury and not having seen his family in over a year, Clark asked Washington for his release. Grateful for his service, Washington put him in contact with Henry Laurens, the man assigned to audit Army expenses. Clark never released the names of his couriers or informants, and they sank into respectable obscurity. In later years, John Clark served as governor of Georgia, as a state representative, a U.S. Indian agent, and “Keeper of the Public Forests,” under President Andrew Jackson.

In the novel, my handsome, intrepid hero, Mathias McGregor, alongside his equally valiant companions, conducted covert surveillance and peripheral reconnaissance missions for Major John Clark. They also formed a portion of the courier system outside of Philadelphia. One such mission cost these men their lives. But in “Spiritof the Revolution,” their mission doesn't end there...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Need so Insatiable by Cecilia Robert

I am honored to take part in Cecilia Robert's cover reveal for her latest novel! Isn't it just gorgeous?

Book blurb: “I’ve never bowed or kneeled for anyone,” Rafael said. “Never thought I would.” Then he was on his knees. He slid his arms around my waist, tugging me closer and bowed his head. “You own me, Sophie.” He looked up, his dark eyes hitting me with enough force to snatch the breath from my lungs. “You’ve owned me from the moment I walked into your life in that music room. Then I saw you slipping out the window like the wolves were after you and I knew I wanted you in my life. You’ve wrapped yourself in my heart and mind. I can’t get you out. I don’t want to.”

Graduate opera singer, Sophie Fisher’s life is on fire and it’s not her breathtaking voice lighting it, but the trail of debts her father left behind after he passed away a few months ago. If she’s not ducking around corners or slipping out of windows to escape the debt collectors and a slew of characters sent from hell, she’s dealing with her rebellious fifteen-year-old sister, Lilli, who is still coming to terms with their father’s death. And as if that’s not enough, Rafael Van Rees bursts into her life—literally—bringing with him a set of emotions she isn’t prepared to deal with and a life the public had no idea of.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Having Fun With the Liebster Award!

I had the pleasure of being nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful Mae Clair. Mae’s book, WEATHERING ROCK is a fabulous read and one that I highly recommend!

So how does the Liebster Award work? Here are the rules:

Thank the person who nominated you (thank you, Mae!).
Post eleven random facts about yourself. Answer the eleven questions asked by the person who nominated you. Think of a new set of eleven questions and nominate eleven others to answer them.

Sounds like fun!

So, here we go:

Random Facts:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Mystique of Old Homes by Mae Clair...

I am so pleased to have Mae Clair, author of  Weathering Rock, here for a visit and talk a little bit about her amazing book and her love for historic homes, (something we share in common).

I’m delighted to be Debbie’s guest today, and hope you’ll indulge me while I take a few moments to share my passion for old homes. I love properties that resonate with the ghosts of yesteryear, awakening memories with every squeaking floorboard and groaning door. That might be because I’ve worked in the real estate industry for the last 20+ years, but I like to think my fascination goes deeper than that.

During my time in real estate, I’ve been through numerous properties, several B&B’s, some commercial buildings, farms reminiscent of a Currier and Ives print, multiple historic homes, and even a fully-equipped equine surgery center. It’s my job to dream up marketing for each of them, taking into account the characteristics of the property. Although I have an appreciation for contemporary style and design, there’s something about a house that has weathered the turn of centuries that speaks to me.

Perhaps that’s why I chose to title my debut novel, WEATHERING ROCK, after the historic home in the book where much of the action takes place. My lead character, Caleb DeCardian, has traveled through time from 1863 to the present where he meets my heroine, Arianna Hart. Caleb fought during the Civil War as a Colonel in the Union Army. Arianna teaches American history. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cover Reveal...'Til Death Do Us Part by T. Michelle Nelson

Another Cover Reveal! This time Book 2 in the Lilly Drake Series...

With a doting husband and a new job training a vampire military, Lily Drake was living up to the prophecies of being the best. Her life was seemingly perfect, until tragedy strikes bringing her a loss she's not sure she can endure.

The hard-working super mom / vampire slayer, Lily Drake, has just learned problems still exist even after you become immortal.

As everyone knows, even if you find your soul mate, you don't always get a happily-ever-after. Lily may have found temporary happiness being a newlywed, but the honeymoon is over. When she finds her husband going out for late night bites with another woman, Lily has to fight to try and regain what she wants most, love and a happy family.

If Lily thought being a single mom was hard, she’ll find being married can be a bloody mess.

Life and Death of Lily Drake – Have you read the first book yet? You wouldn’t want to miss Lily Drake kicking some serious vampire butt.

Check out more about this series here! – Life and Death of Lily Drake

With a doting husband and a new job training a vampire military, Lily Drake was living up to the prophecies of being the best. Her life was seemingly perfect, until tragedy strikes bringing her a loss she's not sure she can endure.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Watcher by Author Lisa Voisin... Tailer Reveal!

I am very excited to share a little bit about Author Lisa Voisin and her highly anticipated debut novel, THE WATCHER. This wonderful book is scheduled for release March 4, 2013, so mark it on your calendar!

There is also a giveaway for a pre-order copy of THE WATCHER for US/Canada residents. So be sure to enter via the link below.

Eileen Cook says The Watcher, “…is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night.” Yes, indeed.  We all need to read this one for sure!

So, about the Book:

Kristy Centeno talks about writing and her latest book, Enchanter...

I am so excited to once again, welcome Author Kristy Centeno!  This time she's going to share a few thoughts about writing and then give us a peek at her new novel, Enchanter...

What writing means to me.

Many authors might be able to relate when I say that writing is more of a hobby with many perks than a career. Though there are many who might disagree, for me at least, writing is by all means my favorite pastime. When I decided to venture into the art of storytelling it was never my intention to make a living out of it. My decision was based solely on my desire to accomplish a lifelong dream.

Though I’d been putting pen to paper for years, I hadn’t fully explored the endless possibilities of what my brain could actually come up with. This was put to the test back in 2010 when the urge to scribble down all those ideas, concepts, and characters that had been haunting my mind for years became suddenly too much.