8.31.2014

Ten Albums That Have Affected Me

My friend Heidi Senesac tagged me on Facebook. She challenged me to list eleven albums that have affected me in some way. They don't need to be the "right" albums or great works of musicianship. So I decided to share my list here on Suspense, She Writes.

1. Dreamboat Annie - Heart
2. Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind - Linda Ronstadt
3. Tapestry - Carole King
4. Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
5. Juice - Juice Newton
6. Crimes of Passion - Pat 
Benatar 
7. Shooting Straight In the Dark - Mary Chapin Carpenter 
8. Aces - Suzy Boggus 
9. The Best Damn Thing - Avril Lavigne 
10. The Spirit Room - Michelle Branch 
11. Lying To the Moon - Matraca Berg 

Yep, I chose all female artists, because I love to sing and these ladies all gave me something to sing along with. 

One of the first concerts I attended was Heart. I wanted to sing like Ann Wilson. Well, you know that wasn't going to happen, so I settled for having big hair like hers. Wanna she a picture of that? Okay, here it is...

Just Married!

Okay, maybe I didn't quite achieve Ann's big hair either, but still...that hair is pretty big. :)




8.26.2014

Interview With a Ghost With Paranormal Investigator Mitchell Grayson

PLEASE NOTE: This post portrays a fictional character and a fictional ghost. All names, places, and events are purely the imagination of the author and the post is meant for entertainment purposes only.


Author: Today, I want to welcome Lt. Mitchell Grayson to Suspense, She Writes. Lt. Grayson is not only an investigator with the Sheriff’s department in Hill County, Arkansas, but also one of the founders of the North Central Arkansas Paranormal Society. Welcome, Lt. Grayson.

Grayson: Please, call me Gray.

Author: Okay, Gray. *author smiles because Gray is handsome* So first tell us how you became a ghost hunter.

Gray: Please, don’t call us ghost hunters. *grins at author despite rebuking her* We prefer the term paranormal investigators. The group was organized when our three founders—Josh McCord, Ashley Rivers, and I—first encountered paranormal activity on Halloween night in an old house in Hill County.

Author: That was quite a few years ago now, wasn’t it?

Gray: Oh, yeah. We were young. Teenagers really, when the incident occurred.

Author: Now, come on, Gray, confess. You were breaking and entering, weren’t you?

Gray: *grins* Yes, we were. But...that was before I swore to uphold the law.

Author: So...the interview you’re going to tell us about today actually was recorded just a few months ago.

Gray: Just last spring, actually. I became...acquainted with the new owner of an old house reputed to be haunted. The owner of Laurel Heights asked for our help with her...paranormal problem.

Author: What kind of problems was she having?

Gray: It started with strange noises in the middle of the night, progressed to cold spots and odd physical sensations, and ended up with unexplainable environmental disturbances and finally...a manifestation of Celeste Standridge’s ghost.

Author: *gets excited and doesn’t bother to hide it* Then you’ve seen the ghost of Celeste Standridge?

Gray: No, I have not. However, the owner of the house has had a close encounter with her.

Author: *author deflates a little* But you’ve had your own experience at Laurel Heights, haven’t you?

*Gray nods*

Author: So tell us about what happened to you?

Gray: The owner had given us permission to do a night investigation in her garage when she was out of town. Josh McCord and I entered the building just after midnight and began calling out whatever presence might be lingering in the garage.

Author: How did you do that?

Gray: We used a recording device that registers sounds at lower or higher decibels than are usually heard by the average human ear and began asking a predetermined set of questions designed to engage with whatever entities might be present.

Author: You used a digital voice recorder?

Gray: Yes, for recording electronic voice phenomena. On that night... Whatever was loose in the room lifted from the floor and swirled around us. A piece of...something...I don’t know what...hit Josh in the back of the head. He still has a scar from that. Everything started happening when I asked a particular question. We couldn’t get out of there soon enough, but as I was trying to leave it was as if I was stuck halfway in and halfway out of the garage, and there was no reason for that. It should have been easy to get away...but it wasn’t.

Author: What question started it all?

Gray: I asked if whoever was in the garage was angry that the new owner had moved into Laurel Heights. Thanks when everything started going...crazy.

Author: And did you capture the incident on the device?

Gray: *smiles* Wanna hear it?

Author: Yes, you know I do.

*Gray places recorder on tabletop and presses play button*

Gray’s voice on the recorder: “Is there anyone here?”

*loud static follows and Gray rushes to lower the volume*

Gray’s voice on the recorder: “What’s your name?”

*the pitch and rhythm of the static changes, a cadence that sounds like a two-syllable word repeats over and over*

*Gray pauses the machine*

Gray: What does that sound like to you?

Author: I don’t know. It’s kind of indistinct. Might be a word spoken over and over again. With an E on the end.

Gray: That’s what Lau...the owner of the house thought.

*Gray pushes the play button.*

Gray’s voice on the recorder: Are you angry that...*skip in the playback as if Gray has erased the owner’s name from the tape* ...has moved into the house?

*chant changes, distinct and unmistakable.*

Disembodied voice: Tell Laurel... My baby. Tell Laurel... My baby.

*Gray jabs play button, stopping the feedback.*

Gray: That was when everything went crazy. Whatever was in the garage that wasn’t heavy or tied down lifted up and swirled around us. *Gray clears his throat.* Freakiest thing I’ve ever lived through.

Author: Did the owner of the house understand the message Celeste was trying to tell her?

Gray: Well...at first, we weren’t sure the message was from Celeste or meant for...the owner, but...events since then have led us to believe the disembodied voice on the recording is in fact Celeste Standridge.

Author: And what was she trying to communicate to...the owner of Laurel Heights?

Gray: *shifting uncomfortably in his seat* I’m not at liberty to divulge that information. Part of an on-going...um...criminal investigation.

Author: Ah, so that’s where you other role in this investigation comes into play.

*Gray smiles*

*Author thinks Gray has a sexy smile*

Author: So would you go back to Laurel Heights and investigate again?

Gray: *with a huge grin* You bet I would, and one day when things...settle down a bit, Josh and I will go back.

Author: Will you let us know if you do and what you discover?

Gray: Of course.

Author: Thank you so much for joining us today on Suspense, She Writes.

Gray: Thanks for having me.

*Author blushes because she wouldn’t mind having him...um...getting to know him better*

READERS: If you enjoyed this bit of insight into the character of Lt. Mitchell Grayson and would like to know more of the story of Laurel Heights, pre-orders of Book One of the Haunted Hearts Series are now available on Amazon at this link.




8.22.2014

Ten Places That Have Inspired My Writing

One of my favorite things to do is travel, and in my journeys I often visit places that inspire me. Sometimes the spot will set a scene or sometimes it might be the inspiration for the beginning chapter of a book. Each of the pictures below have inspired either an already published work or a book I plan to write in the near future. Just a small sample of places that inspire me...

Capilano Suspension Bridge - Vancouver, British Columbia


French Quarter - New Orleans, Louisiana


Private Lake - Near Port Angeles, Washington


Miegs Falls - Smoky Mountain National Park


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - Durango, Colorado




Garden District - New Orleans, Louisiana


Old Towne Square - Albuquerque, New Mexico




Hamilton House - Hot Springs, Arkansas


Gulf of Mexico - Florida Panhandle


River Walk - San Antonio, Texas



Please check out my published works at:






You might also enjoy my free short story, Ghost In the Garden, available here:

8.21.2014

New Release - Bridge of Hope by Lisa J Hobman



Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Release Date: August 21, 2014


Love is like a snowflake; beautiful but fleeting in its presence…

I’ve been in love. But I’ve also been lied to, betrayed by those closest to me and I’ve suffered loss. Sadly it’s those last three things that stick with me the most. The only real constants in my life are music, Angus my dog and Rhiannon; my guitar.

But things changed when she walked into my place of work. All blue eyes, curves and a warmth that could melt even my hardened heart. I was taken over by feelings that I didn’t expect so soon. Guilt plagued me and I took my anger out on her.

On Mallory.

But I fell fast and hard and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she too became the victim of heartbreak I was the only one who understood her pain but I was the last person she wanted help from.
Would I ever convince her that we could be friends? And would I ever accept that she couldn’t love me back?


About Lisa J Hobman
Lisa is a happily married Mum of one with two crazy dogs.  She especially enjoys being creative; has worked as a singer and now runs her own little craft business where she makes hanging signs and decorations for the home. Lisa and her family recently relocated from Yorkshire, England to their beloved Scotland; a place of happy holidays and memories for them. 

Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centered on poetry and song lyrics.  The story in her debut novel has been building in her mind for a long while but until the relocation, she never had the time to put it down in black and white; working full time as a High School Science Learning Mentor and studying swallowed up any spare time she had.  Making the move north of the border has given Lisa the opportunity to spread her wings and fulfill her dream.  Writing is now a deep passion and she has enjoyed every minute of working towards being published.  Novels two and three are works in progress so watch this space!


How to contact Lisa J Hobman:



8.16.2014

How an Accountant Becomes a Writer

Seriously? Do I look like an accountant?
How does an accountant become a writer? Well, I never intended to be an accountant. When I was in high school, I never dreamed I’d go to college. It seemed like something my lower middle class family wouldn’t be able to afford. In high school, I took courses with the plan to be an executive secretary. When my father told me he could manage to send me to college only months before I graduated high school, I was stunned. I certainly had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up.

A general business degree seemed like the closest curriculum to being a secretary, so I enrolled and listed my major as general business. Of all the concentrations in general business, accounting made the most sense to me. At its basic level, it was simple. Asset = Liabilities + Equity. You couldn’t go wrong with a balanced equation like that. Okay, well, trust me, accounting isn’t always that simple. Sometimes we accountants have to get...creative. Accounting seems like an analytical, left-brain sort of thing to do, doesn’t it? One of my friends from high school told me at our ten-year reunion that she always knew I’d do something like accounting because I was so good in math. Uh, no. I wasn’t.

When I graduated from college with an accounting degree, I said I would be the most atypical accountant there ever was. Well, I'm not, but I might be coming pretty close.

I think there’s always been a deep well of inclination inside me to be something else, some more. I’ve always had the urge to creatively express myself. When I was in high school, my friend Brenda and I read every Harlequin romance we could get our hands on. Those romances inspired me. The ah-ha moments got to me every time. You know, those moments when the hero and heroine realize they love each other and can’t live without one another. That moment. Tugged at my heartstrings. I wanted to write something like that. So I wrote my first romance when I was in high school. Seventeen pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip off of the last romance I’d read. I don’t even have that story any longer. Just as well. It sucked.

When I was in my twenties, I tried writing songs. I can tell you right now that my lyrics never had the depth or complexity that my daughter’s lyrics do. She amazes me. Truth is, I was never meant to be a songwriter. Most of what I wrote will never see the light of day, but there was one song I thought was pretty good. I’ll share the lyrics with you at the end of this post. Once again, I tried to write a novel because I’d read so many Robert Ludlum books that the fast-paced, suspense-filled adventure with a hint of romance captured my imagination. At about the fourth chapter, I realized I lacked the skills to write such a novel and my suspense manuscript digressed into...well, a comedy. A spoof on the action adventure genre. I gave it up, fearing my efforts lacked credibility.

In my thirties, I was too busy being a part time accountant and a full time wife and mommy to do much of anything else. But then, I hit my forties and all that creativity that I had suppressed and the need to express myself just sort of burst in my mind. You see, I had this daydreaming habit. That kind of habit can be a bit...unhealthy if it goes too far. Thankfully, before it became a deep psychological problem, I turned all that daydreaming into a dream. I remembered the writing I had done when I was younger and realized that was a perfect outlet for my daydreams.

Now I call those dreams inspiration and don’t feel quite so guilty about spending my thoughtful times indulging in them. I spent a decade churning out one manuscript after another. I will always have something on my hard drive to edit and polish for the purpose of publication. And I keep coming up with new ideas. I’ll never run out stories. Not in this lifetime. So here I am with six books available for purchase and three more to come by the end of 2014. Seven more planned for 2015. Nope, I don’t plan to stop living the writing dream.

And that’s how an accountant becomes a writer.

Here’s the lyrics to that song I promised you. It’s call Cold December Morning. PS—When I wrote it, it wasn’t December. It was March. And no one has ever left me like that. I’ve been married to the love of my life for thirty plus years. So, no, this isn’t about my life and I don’t know where it came from.

Cold December Morning

Whisper to me softly
the things I want to hear.
Don’t tell me that you’re leaving.
It’s the thing that I most fear.
Don’t tell me that our love is cold
and gray just like the dawn.
On a cold December morning,
don’t say our love is gone.

Can you tell me truly
our love has been a lie?
Do you want to know the answer?
Do you even wonder why?
I keep clinging to the hope
our love’s not made of stone.
On a cold December morning.
don’t say our love is gone

Your bags are packed and ready.
They’re waiting in the hall.
Can you pass the moments of our life
still hanging on the wall?
Can you turn your back on all we had
and all that’s meant to be?
On a cold December morning,
will you come back to me?


8.15.2014

GHOST IN THE GARDEN - FREE SHORT STORY!

Want to read a FREE short story?

GHOST IN THE GARDEN

Strange things start happening at the old Petrie place, so Gran hires Bo’s Paranormal Extermination Service to help her with her problem, but her granddaughter Liza Petrie can smell a con artist when she gets a good whiff of her old high school crush, Bo Hendricks. To get rid of the dangers lurking in Gran’s house, both natural and paranormal, Liza must overcome her distrust and help Bo exterminate the ghosts in the garden.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO GO TO THE STORY!


http://www.denisemoncrief.com/inspiration.html
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