Interview & Review: #Hauntings, #Spirits, & Eats #Michigan by Kathy Conder

Today, I’m chatting with Kathy Conder about her debut book, Hauntings, Spirits, & Eats Michigan.

Seasoned paranormal investigator, Kathy Conder draws on her experience with the paranormal to highlight different locations throughout Michigan that are reportedly haunted.  She includes restaurants, pubs, and hotels for those travelers who want to add a little paranormal spice to their trips.  Each establishment is listed by its location in the state and offers readers the history and hauntings connected to each.  For those who are interested in exploring the mysterious world of the paranormal, this book is a great starting point for planning your next Michigan trip.

Q & A

CHRISTINA: Thanks for joining me today. Share a bit of your background before we delve more into your book.

KATHY: I was a Zoology major in college. I wrote for my university paper and have written articles on the paranormal for other publications. This is the first time I have written a book.

CHRISTINA: Tell us about your new book.

KATHY: As director for a paranormal group, I am often asked where the haunted places are in Michigan. I decided that by writing a book, I could list places that I knew in an organized format that was user-friendly. I would also be able to include some history on each location and my personal experiences if there were any. While I loved the idea of basing the book on Michigan’s “haunted hot spots,” I didn’t want it to read like a road atlas. People love a good story – especially a scary one and I had lots to share!

CHRISTINA: What inspired you to write this book?

KATHY: For some reason, I felt the timing was right. I was still somewhat reluctant to begin and even more so, admit to friends and family that I had. That meant I was accountable. It was official. Once I made that commitment, the rest was easier. I had days where the words flowed and others where I stalled and sat on the floor assembling Lego sets for the grandkids. The most important thing to me was to complete the book. I did and for me it will always be a symbol of my accomplishment.

CHRISTINA: What kind of research did you do?

KATHY: Most of my research is done on the job. I admit that I find myself in more than my share of reportedly haunted places, studying and exploring. What I have learned over the years has been through my experiences. Evidence of paranormal activity is often anecdotal. There is, as of now, no scientific evidence to prove its existence. I do extensive research on the history of different locations since hauntings can often be related to what occurred there in the past. For that information, I have found the local historical societies are a valuable resource. Local libraries and on-line sources have a wealth of information as well.

CHRISTINA: What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

KATHY: Writing is hard!

CHRISTINA: How long did you take to write the book?

KATHY: I think it was a year-long process.

CHRISTINA: Describe your writing space.

KATHY: I write at my husband’s grandmother’s desk. I have surrounded myself with things that make me happy. I tried hard to make it my own. I find that once I sit in that space, my mind seems to switch to writing-mode.

CHRISTINA: What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

KATHY: Disciplining myself. Doubting myself. I tend to second-guess a lot!

CHRISTINA: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

KATHY: I don’t think it is interesting, but I have found music to be extremely grounding. From day to day, the music varies with my moods. I thought it might be distracting but it is the opposite. It helps me to focus.

CHRISTINA: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

KATHY: Both, equally!

CHRISTINA: What advice would you give to new writers – someone just starting out?

KATHY: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Writing is a learning process. Set up a writing schedule and stick to it, even you don’t get much written.

CHRISTINA: Where can we learn more about you and your book?

KATHY: You can find my book, Hauntings, Spirits, & Eats Michigan on Amazon and Goodreads, and you can find me on Michigan Paranormal Encounters on Facebook.

MY REVIEW

Kathy has done a great job researching over eighty haunted places in Michigan—lighthouses, inns, pubs, museums and more. I enjoyed reading the history of the sites as well as Kathy’s personal accounts as a paranormal investigator with thirty-eight years of experience. The perfect road trip book for all things spooky and historical in Michigan.

Review: Mythic Maiden Series by C.K. Brooke #YoungAdultNovels #RomanceNovels

The retelling of these myths and legends is woman power at its finest. I bought the first three novels for my sixteen-year-old niece. She graciously let me read them first. I know she’s going to love them. It’ll also solidify my status as her favorite aunt.

Secrets of Artemis

In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn’t merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him?

My Review

A creative way to bring mythology to life in the retelling of the Greek Goddess Artemis. An entertaining story perfect for the young adult reader.

I, Guinevere

On the winter solstice, a mysterious sword appears in a stone. Not even the mightiest of the village men can remove it, until fifteen-year-old Guinevere gives a try. The sword heeds the unsuspecting maiden, proclaiming the unthinkable: She is the blood of Pendrakon, heir to the vacant throne of Camylot.

Guinevere never dreamed she was royalty. Now, between apprenticing an eccentric old wizard, swordplay lessons with a boy called Lance, and clandestine meetings with the formidable High Priestess of Avalon, Guinevere is swept up in a whirlwind of training and preparation for her monumental new role as future queen. But invasions by barbarians and visitations from mysterious, dark forces loom overhead. Can Guinevere defend her kingdom against darkness and deception? Despite sinister forces working against her, can she harness the power to wield Exkalibur and rule the realm? Or is Camylot already destined to fall?

My Review

Equal parts romance, suspense, and mystery in the retelling of the King Arthur legend. Another wonderful story for the young adult reader.

Marian, Princess Thief

Lady Marian, once the beloved Princess of Sherwood, was only sixteen when her father rode off to fight in the Crusades, leaving his kingdom under the despotic rule of his brother, Prince John. The night her uncle sends an assassin upon her, Marian flees to Sherwood Forest, where she meets and forges an unbreakable bond with six other outlawed young women.

Now, the nineteen-year-old princess-in-exile and her Merry Maidens gallivant through the greenwood, cloaked under the aliases of Rob-in-Hood and his Merry Men. Together, they uphold their vendetta of mischief, undermining the Prince at every turn, robbing the rich and giving to the poor—all while outrunning their sworn nemesis, the odious Sheriff of Nottingham. After a scheme takes an unexpected turn and Marian’s only recourse is to abduct the Sheriff, the lady brigands find themselves in over their heads, stuck with an unrelenting and formidable captive. But, as Marian is about to discover, sometimes people aren’t what they seem… After all, she would know.

My Review

A fast-paced retelling of the Robin Hood legend with fun distinct characters. I see why it was awarded the 2020 Best Indie Book Award in Young Adult Fiction. This is my favorite of the three.

Mythic Maiden Series by C.K. Brooke

Review: Games Psychics Play by Kass Hillard

Kass Hillard has created the ultimate book and manual to help you develop your unique gifts of the Spirit and so much more. She’s funny, serious, kind, and strict. All the traits you would want your mentor to be and that’s what Kass has done with this book FOR YOU.

~ Clear step-by-step instructions for over 100 solo, partner, and group exercises and activities to assist you in awakening, developing, and enhancing your intuition and psychic abilities

~ Identify your dominant psychic senses, and learn how to strengthen them

~ Prompts to assist you in unleashing your intuitive and psychic superpowers

~ Discover practical ways to use your intuitive skills and psychic gifts

~ Learn how to create development circles

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kass is a retired certified reflexologist, hypnotist, and Reiki Master, and owned a holistic healing center and practice in southwest Michigan for many years. She now enjoys traveling and teaching reflexology, past life regression, and psychic development.

Her story, “The Final Gift” is featured in the #1 international best-selling book, “The Last Breath,” published by Franklin Rose Publishing. Her piece, “Woman, Rise Up,” is included in the Audie nominated audiobook, “Nevertheless, We Persisted,” by Blunder Woman Productions.

Kass is currently working on the companion book “Games Psychics Play Workbook,” and “Journal of Intuitive and Psychic Discovery,” a book of journaling prompts.

Kass currently resides in northwest Ohio with her husband, and two goofy dogs. You will rarely find her without a cup of coffee, working on an art project, or taking a class to learn something new. She is still trying to figure it all out.

MY REVIEW

The informational introduction gave me an open-minded perspective leading into the psychic games. I loved the variety of games, focusing on spirit guides, remote viewing, our chakras and more. As a novice, I found some exercises were fun and easy. Others were difficult, confirming I need to practice, practice, practice. I highly recommend Games Psychics Play. Five Stars.

Games Psychics Play on AMAZON

Accident Among Vampires Or What would Dracula do? by @E_Guizzetti

Issaquah, Washington, USA 1951

My name is Norma Mae Rollins. I’m fourteen and an illegal vampire. I miss my mom, but new ghoulish appetites force me to remain with my creator.

Bill didn’t mean to transform me. At least, that’s what he claims. His frightening temper, relentless lies, and morbid scientific experiments makes it hard to know what to believe. However, someone snitched about Bill’s experiments to a nearby Coven. Now both of our corpses will burn.

Bill won’t run. He is curious what happens to a vampire after final death. I don’t want to die again. It hurt so much the first time. Bill thinks his vampire boyfriend might shelter me. I must brave an eternal existence with elder vampires and other monsters who don’t think I ought to exist. Oh and figure out who I am allowed to eat. A vampire’s reality is nothing like the movies.

Author Elizabeth Guizzetti

Guizzetti is an illustrator and author best known for her demon-poodle based comedy, Out for Souls & Cookies. She is also the creator of Faminelands and Lure and collaborated with authors on several projects including A is for Apex and The Prince of Artemis V.

To explore a different aspect of her creativity, she writes science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, Other Systems, was a 2015 Finalist for the Canopus Award for excellence in Interstellar Fiction. Her short work has appeared in anthologies such as Wee Folk and The Wise and Beyond the Hedge. She loves vampires and after writing Immortal House, she has written​ several other vampire stories in the same universe. Guizzetti lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs. When not writing or illustrating, she loves hiking and birdwatching.

5 STARS

I love the Paper Flower Consortium Universe. The stories are rich with its coven’s backstories. This one tells the tale of fourteen-year-old Norma Mae Rollins. Guizzetti does a fabulous job growing the relationship between Norma and her bloodline progenitor Derrik. A tender, funny struggle between a teen and her “grandfather”. Trusting someone after a trauma—whether human or a vampire—can be difficult and yet rewarding. I enjoyed the smooth transitions between Norma’s diary entries and the coven’s dictations and memoires. Well done.

Accidents Among Vampires Or What Would Dracula Do?

Review: The Last Breath

The Last Breath: True Stories of Mediumship, the Afterlife & Messages from Heaven written by mediums from around the world, compiled by medium Alyson Gannon, and published by Franklin Rose Publishing.

BLURB

Join us on a magical journey of the soul, where professional mediums from around the world share their experiences of the afterlife and spirit communication. The stories in this book provide validation that our soul continues to survive, long after the death of our physical body. Our departed loved ones are not gone; they are alive and well in the Spirit World. They continue to watch over us, supporting and guiding from the Other Side. You can learn to connect with them through mediumship, spirit signs and synchronicities.

Whether you are a believer in the afterlife or an open-minded skeptic, these stories allow you to experience loss and grief from a different perspective. Death and dying are not final, but a spiritual transition to another realm. When your divine time comes, know that your loved ones will be there to greet you. Love Never Dies!

MY REVIEW

Five Stars

This collection of short stories has an amazing outlook on the difficulties of healing after loved ones breathe their last breath. Some of the stories were tougher to read than others because they hit home to me personally with such heartache.  The Last Breath teaches and inspires us to connect to the Spirit World and our departed loved ones. They never really leave us. I highly recommend this book.

AMAZON

GOODREADS

Dearest Mother and Dad: Reviews

Thank You for the Awesome Reviews! I’m so proud of this book.

“Thompson has composed a magnificent story that brings the Korean War to life with unforgettable characters that you truly care about and who stay with you long after the pages run out. I absolutely loved this book and will recommend it highly!”

“Set during a time of war, this is a beautiful love story between a son and his parents, especially his mother, and the unbreakable bond between friends. Especially poignant knowing the story is based on actual letters.”

“Feel the true emotions of war. A wonderful story of the Korean War with unforgettable characters.”

Dearest Mother and Dad on AMAZON

Dearest Mother and Dad on BARNES & NOBLE

Review: A Still, Small Voice by Echo Bodine

 

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

~ Albert Einstein

 

I love A Still, Small Voice. I’ve read it three times and will continue to read it whenever I need clarity with my intuition.

MY REVIEW

Echo Bodine inspires to go within for a relationship with God by listening to his/her still, small voice. Ms. Bodine reminds us “This voice of God, which the Bible refers to as a ‘still, small voice’ (I Kings 19:12), is our guide, our compass, our way shower, our intuition.” In her book, she explains the difference between God’s will and our will and how to live your life by the Divine Plan.

I’m learning to listen to my intuition, which is why I’ve read her book so often. I highly recommend A Still, Small Voice for readers looking for spiritual guidance and their soul’s purpose. This is my favorite quote from the book. “Once we become aware of that still, small voice within, we not only connect with our inner guidance, we live our lives in harmony with the whole universe. The universe responds by supporting us in innumerable ways…”   FIVE STARS

BLURB

In A Still, Small Voice, famed psychic Echo Bodine turns to a subject she knows deeply and is passionate about: intuition. Using humorous anecdotes and a positive, readable style, this sequel to Echoes of the Soul explores what intuition is, where it’s located, what it sounds like, and how to cultivate it. The author, who comes from a family of psychics, exposes the various internalized voices that can mask one’s intuition. These include the voices of parents, grandparents, peers, therapists, significant others, religious figures, and society, along with emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, and despair.

The book challenges the cliché that psychic abilities and intuition are the same, or that they are evil. One chapter is devoted to the many practical benefits that come from listening to intuition; another looks at the “faith-building times” in life and how to cope with others’ negative reactions to setting off on the spiritual path.

Learn how to connect with the universe in A Still, Small Voice by Echo Bodine.

Review: Immortal House by @E_Guizzetti

I’m on a reading binge while I let my story simmer before starting another round of edits. I downloaded Immortal House by Elizabeth Guizzetti a while ago. Yesterday, the cover jumped out at me as I scrolled through my Kindle books.

BLURB

Laurence Roch might be the worst vampire in Seattle. He adores peppermint mochas. He follows the Seahawks and Mariners religiously. He never wears black or sleeps in a coffin. However, coffin or not, a vampire needs a safe place to rest their head, or they will go insane.

After his mortal love dies, Laurence finds himself alone and without a home. With a booming tech industry, the city’s population keeps growing. The hunting is good, but affordable real estate is hard to find.

REVIEW

5 STARS

I enjoyed this amusing tale of a vampire searching for his forever home. I thought Laurence Roch was an interesting likable character with a rich backstory. This was a fast read that I set aside just long enough to refill my coffee mug. I liked the secondary characters a well and wanted to know more about them. Their stories by Elizabeth Guizzetti are also set in the Paper Flower Consortium Universe. I look forward to reading those too.

Check out Immortal House
And learn more about Elizabeth Guizzetti and her books

Review: Murder in Plane Sight @julieholmes2k13

I follow Julie’s blog and was intrigued with her story as well as her process on writing. You can learn more about her at Facets of a Muse. Taking a break from my own projects, I devoured this book.

BLURB

As an aircraft mechanic, Sierra Bauer is a woman in a man’s world. There are few things more satisfying to her than the challenge of working on multimillion-dollar turboprops at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, especially now that her life has returned to normal after losing her brother in a plane crash, and almost losing her career in the FAA investigation that followed.

Normal is pitched into a tailspin when she finds a frozen body in a plane she is inspecting.

Detective Quinn Moore is certain Sierra’s discovery is happenstance until he learns the victim, Tori Hjelle, is the woman Sierra blames for her brother’s death. Despite his attraction to her, he must consider Sierra a prime suspect.

Efforts to prove her own innocence are jeopardized when Rune, her ex-boyfriend, returns after a five-year stint in state prison for stalking and attempting to kill Sierra. Things get complicated when Quinn finds evidence linking Rune and Sierra to Tori’s murder, not to mention the counterfeit aircraft part discovered in her possession. He starts to doubt his belief that Sierra is innocent.

When Sierra figures out Tori discovered the key to unraveling a tangled web of conspiracy that threatens the aviation world, she’s forced to change everything she thought she knew about her brother’s death. That knowledge comes with a price. She and Quinn must expose a network of money, deceit, and murder before Sierra becomes the next casualty.

MY REVIEW

FIVE STARS

This was an exciting combination of mystery, suspense, and romance. I loved the story. It hooked me from page one. I highly recommend Murder in Plane Sight to any reader who loves to stay up late—because you will. I thought, “Just one more chapter,” after each chapter until the very end. Congratulations, Ms. Holmes, on your debut novel. I can’t wait to read your next one.