Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Random Friday by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Isn't it weird how everyone looks forward to Friday? 

Even though it's been many years since I worked a 9 to 5 job, I still find myself with a bounce in my step each Friday.

I still refer to Wednesday as hump day, and, unfortunately, I still have a moment or two of dread about Monday.

Silly, isn't it? I guess some things are so ingrained in our psyche that logic never dispels them. Things like moving.

Ack! The M Word: Moving

Moving. That's why this post is up late today. Several months ago, Darling Hubby and I decided to put our house on the market. We were slow to act on this goal since neither of us wanted to tackle all of the tasks needed to make the house look perfect and non-personal.

De-personalizing our home required boxes. Lots of them since we needed to move all of our clutter into a rented storage unit.

So we got the boxes and and started filling them with clutter from closets and cupboards.

We packed framed family photos that had been artistically arranged in several rooms, and last of all, we tackled my office and my inventory of office supplies.

Toner cartridges, white boards, file cabinets, boxes of page proofs, and other detritus one finds in a working author's office.

Now, we have a 5x10X10 storage space stacked with what seems like hundreds of boxes that represent our commitment to clutter. Oh the time it took to pack them and cart them to storage. At the same time, we made several trips to Goodwill, and I found myself wishing we'd also donated all the stuff in the storage unit we rented.

However, most of that stuff is from our parents and grandparents who passed several years ago. 

Neither of us seem willing to let that go even though it's all things we never use, but I can look at old quilts our grandmothers pieced and get misty-eyed.

OMG! Deciding What You Can Live Without

The worst thing about moving is deciding what you can live without in order for your house to look like a model home. I hate this! Removing everything from my office but my computer and keeping files in a rolling file box helps, but I never seem to find what I need in any given moment.

The same holds true for the kitchen. I'm a cook, and I say that proudly. But that means my kitchen is packed with cooking and baking items I may use only a few times in any given year. 

So the huge turkey platter and roaster and all the other accessories needed for putting on a big party went into storage. 

The majority of countertop appliances joined them there because one can hardly see the beautiful granite counters when a mixer, food processor, coffee grinder, coffee maker, bread machine, toaster oven, and can opener march around the granite like soldiers guarding their turf.

Light At the End of the Tunnel

We're waiting for our painters to do some touchup painting, but they're so busy they can't make it until the end of the month.

I think today we'll be finished with "perfecting" our house which is good because I have a book that's screaming to be finished.

I'm dreadfully behind on my writing and blogging obligations. All my writing friends and readers probably think I've been abducted by aliens since I've been offline for almost 2 weeks.

Sometime this next year I'll be writing a story about a woman who's doing exactly what I'm doing—getting a house ready to sell. In fact, I think if I already had written such a book I would have never embarked on this journey no matter how much I want to move to a 1-story house.

In the Meantime

It's a mystery why one suddenly decide to take action on something after procrastinating so long, isn't it?

The women in A Moment in Time: A Quartet of Romance Short Stories don't have that problem. 

They go after what they want even though a couple of them are forced into action by their friends.

This Collection of short stories, Volume 1 of A Moment in Time Romance Short Stories is on sale for only 99¢ on Amazon.

Short reads are perfect for those times you want to be reading, but you just don't have the time to devote to a full-length novel.

A Moment in Time: A Quartet of Romance Short Stories is designed to fill that gap.

Try my short stories. You'll be glad you did!

Joan is a NY Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All of Joan’s romance novels have the same underlying theme: “It's never too late to live happily ever after.”

Joan lives her happily ever after with her hero, her husband. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a small house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, look at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

Sign up for Joan’s FREE Newsletter and receive a free ebook copy of a full-length novel when you confirm your subscription. You'll always be the first to know about new books, special deals, and giveaways.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Night I Became a Ghost Hunter by Bea Tifton

I’ve always believed in ghosts. There. I said it. I even said it out loud, but my cats were unimpressed. They know, you see.

 A few years ago, I was in a writer’s group that had monthly guest speakers from all walks of life. One month the founders of the area ghost hunting organization came to speak. They were fascinating and surprisingly down to earth. My friend and I were especially interested when the guys said that they hosted ghost hunting for amateurs at a locally famous restaurant operating in a Victorian house originally built in 1895. She talked me into saying I would sign up. 

Well, I went home and made my reservation, but my friend chickened out. I decided to go anyway, by golly. The evening began with a meal prepared by the restaurant staff. Then, we listened to our orientation. We needed to be quiet and serious about this and, as the group was rather large, we were going to have to go in two groups. I was able to go with the first group. The second group included a giggling batch of teenage girls celebrating a birthday party. They were cautioned to be quiet as they waited outside for their turn.

First, the ghost hunter in charge of our group told us about the ghosts thought to currently inhabit the restaurant. One was the lady of the house, and as the bathroom was part of her original bedroom, she was usually in the ladies’ bathroom. Her name was Caroline. Another ghost was of an old farmer, name unknown, and a younger man who like to touch women’s knees and tug at their hair. There was also a young woman who seemed unsure of her surroundings and a bride who looked out of the window of the beautiful Victorian. Things levitated and moved and there were mysterious blue lights. Nothing negative or menacing had ever been detected. 

The first thing our guide did was to offer some ghost hunting tools. We all had flashlights, but I snagged an EMF detector, thought to be able to detect a ghost’s electromagnetic energy.  Someone had a tape recorder for EVPs, which are electronic voice phenomena, or voices that can be heard on the recording that are not heard when people were speaking. 

 The group gathered around a ghost box, which is a transmitter that switches around looking for transmissions and words. The theory is that a ghost who wants to communicate will pull out one or two words at a time to make a statement. I don’t personally believe in that. There’s a thing called matrixing. It can be visual, such as looking at the burn marks on a tortilla and seeing Jesus’ face, because it’s in our subconscious to try to make sense out of an image and people try to find human faces in patterns. Matrixing can also be aural, or heard. People try to make sense of what they are hearing. One woman thought she heard her name. She shrieked and her group became loud and raucous. The lead investigator hurried in to shush them and said in a kind but firm voice, “It’s waaay too loud in here. Ghost hunting is quiet listening.” 

One particularly obnoxious woman followed people around with her husband and took pictures with a huge flash on her camera whenever anyone seemed to be having luck with something or just seemed to be onto something. After she nearly blinded me and gave me an actual start of a migraine, I headed away from the increasingly annoying group and went into the bathroom. I immediately felt a shift in the air. Scoff if you will, but it was palpable. The woman with the flash came up behind me and hit me again, but I blinked and closed the door. I said, really not expecting anything, “Wow, Caroline. Isn’t that woman getting on your nerves?”  The EMF recorder light went crazy. I continued to ask her questions. The lead investigator poked his head in and asked if he could come in. He said, “It seems like you’re getting this a little more than the rest and I bet you’re getting some activity.” But even he was amazed at how Caroline answered yes or no to my questions with the EMF detector.

Too soon, it was time to switch out. Some of the others stayed outside to see what the second group said, but I was tired (it was 2:00 in the morning), and well, tired of them. I drove home and went to bed. I really didn’t think much about my night until the next morning. It was such a fascinating experience. I don’t know if I’ll ever go ghost hunting again. It seems, well, kind of exploitive. Those spirits are people. People who’ve passed on, but didn’t move on. They must get so tired of being questioned and harassed. But I’ll always be glad I went. What a memory! 

This photo was captured by another paranormal team at the same restaurant where I got to ghost hunt. Have you ever gone on a ghost hunt? Do you believe in ghosts?