My Ghostly Encounter in Scotland
Since today is Halloween, I thought I'd share a spooky experience of my own. During our first trip to Scotland, we toured Edinburgh Castle, which has the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in Scotland.
Edinburgh has a hidden underworld strongly connected to the castle, a series of secret tunnels leading from Edinburgh castle down the Royal Mile. One of these is thought to lead to Holyrood. When the tunnels were first discovered several hundred years ago, a piper was sent to explore. As he navigated the tunnels he played his bagpipes so that his progress could be tracked by those above. About half way down the Royal Mile the piping suddenly stopped. When a rescue party was sent, there was no trace of the piper. He had simply vanished. Several search parties went into the tunnels, but no trace of the piper was ever found. The piper's ghost still haunts Edinburgh today, walking along the underground tunnel beneath the Royal Mile. His music can sometimes be heard from within the castle and on the streets above the tunnels.
Many people have heard the sound of ghostly drums within Edinburgh castle, but few have seen the drummer. The reason for this is the drummer ghost only appears when the castle is about to be attacked, which hasn't happened for some time. The ghost drummer was first witnessed before Cromwell's attack on the castle in 1650 and is reported to take the form of a headless boy. Who the boy was and why he now haunts Edinburgh castle is not known.
In the 16th century Janet Douglas, Lady of Glamis, was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, accused of witchcraft and conspiracy to murder King James V. Evidence was obtained against her by the torturing of her servants. She was burned at the stake on July 17, 1537, and her young son Gillespie was brought out and forced to watch from the battlements. Lady Janet's restless spirit is said to still haunt parts of the castle. Hollow knocking sounds are sometimes heard at night these are said to be the workmen building the platform on which she was burned.
What makes the Edinburgh castle dungeons unique is that the presence of ghosts or the presence of something has been scientifically proven. In 2001 Dr Richard Wiseman ran a research project studying the reactions of people to various parts of the dungeons and surrounding areas. These visitors who had no previous knowledge of the castle felt something far more often in the areas with a reputation for being haunted than anywhere else in the castle.
Edinburgh like most castles has dungeons where prisoners were often tortured and often perished. The dungeons have frequent paranormal sightings and are haunted by ghosts of former prisoners.  One desperate prisoner hid in a dung barrow, hoping to be carried out of the castle down the Royal Mile and escape to freedom. The unfortunate man died when the barrow was emptied down the rocky slopes of the castle, sending him to his death. Visitors say his ghost tries to shove them from the battlements and is accompanied by a strong and unpleasant smell of dung.
Colored orbs are constantly photographed by visitors, which apparently is what happened to me. After touring the dungeon, and before leaving that area, I noticed an iron gate blocking some steps leading somewhere below. I stuck my camera between the bars and snapped a photo down the steps. I checked the photo on my camera, and found a strange object hovering near my left hand.  It was flesh colored and somewhat round. I was so frightened I quickly ran outside. Before doing this post, I tried, without luck, to locate that photo. I did show it to several people, and no one seemed to know what it might be.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my ghostly encounter! Happy Halloween!

Gwyn


It's All about the Boots
Happy Thursday!

I hope your day is going as great as mine. I'm thrilled because I have finally found a costume for under $50.00. It's sort of an alien chick get-up with flight glasses and white go-go boots, which, I have to tell you, are quite awesome.

It's funny how a little costume accessory can change the way you feel about yourself. I hate costumes that are too tight--make me feel fat. I don't like costumes that are too short--make me feel like I'm showing off my undies, which is problematic because I might forget them and not be wearing any. I hate spending a lot of time and money on a costume because they're just supposed to be funny little things to wear and converse about before the party food comes out. However, I'm glad I took the time to find this gem and it's simply because of the boots.

Have you ever heard the song "These Boots were Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra? It was popular back in the 1960s and then then Austin Powers movies made it famous again. It was even better the second time around. Well, when I put on these white go-go boots, I could hear that song playing my head and I felt absolutely groovy, baby! Yeah, I still had the lumps and rolls the little alien-ish dress showed, and the weird aviator glasses made my eyes look three times bigger than they were, but all I could look at were the boots. They made my legs look terrific! I now realize the women in 1960s and 1970s probably used them as their secret weapon. No matter what you look like, put on a pair of white go-go boots and you suddenly look...SEXY!

Yep, one little pair of boots changed my whole outlook, and, as a result, I had a great time at the Halloween party I went to last week. We have another one tomorrow, and I can't wait to show off my new boots. They're kind of like that neat shirt you loved as a kid that you wanted to wear every day but your mother wouldn't let you. I even want to wear my boots to bed, and my DH seems eager for me to do so...but that's another story. :)

What's the coolest Halloween costume you ever wore or that you've ever seen? Please do share and have a safe and happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween!
Halloween Fun
I'm not really a Halloween person. I never could think up cool costumes, and it was always cold and sometimes snowy when I had to cart my kids around for trick or treating. And since my husband is a volunteer firefighter, more often than not, he was called out to put out leaf fires and clean up smashed pumpkins in the road. To me, it seemed Halloween had turned into a night when people could break the law and get away with it. So when I mentioned this year that I didn't like Halloween, my son turned to me in surprise. "But you go out every year!"

Okay, so for the past few years, my hubby and I have been going out with a group of friends, sometimes in some pretty elaborate costumes. Luckily, a few members of the group CAN think up cool costumes. We've won prizes several times and we did this year again. But to me, and I think to most of us, it's not Halloween we like, but the excuse to get together and do something a little crazy and have fun together. We've been lobsters and red Solo cups and pumpkins, and this year we were...road signs!

Here I am - Speed Limit 55


Hubby was the railroad crossing sign


And here's the FIRST PRIZE winning group:



And if you're in the mood for a sexy Halloween read, Bound to Submit is now available.


Excerpt:

“What do you mean I’m going to be tied to a bed all night?” Kelly Long’s frantic words echoed in the sudden silence. Laughter burst out from the dozen or so friends and community members around her getting ready for the annual Halloween haunted house.

“Yeah, sorry. I know it will be kind of boring to just lie there.” Lisa grabbed her by the arm and led her through the large living room draped with cobwebs and spiders, bats and ghosts. “But hey, it’s got to be better than the pathetic way you’ve been spending your evenings lately.”

Her best friend knew her too well. Since her painful break-up with her last boyfriend, Kelly’s life had been reduced to lonely runs in the morning, a busy teaching schedule during the day and binge-watching old sit-coms at night. And doing a little bit of research she didn’t want anyone to know about.

Electric candles flickered from the corners of the room, giving it the perfect eerie atmosphere.

“But tied up? To a bed?” A deep, seductive voice whispered in her head, memories of the temptation she’d been so close to giving into. The temptation she’d run away from.

“Stop whining. It’s for a good cause.”

“I know that,” Kelly snapped, suddenly on edge. “The proceeds from the haunted house stock the food bank for months, but I thought I was going to be taking ticket money.”

“We added some more scary rooms to the house this year and had to shift around some volunteers.” Lisa, tall and thin in a black Elvira’s dress and teased black wig, nodded her head in the direction of the entryway of the old mansion where the ticket table was being set up. “Mabel Grimes volunteered to help. I couldn’t turn her away.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “We need you in the damsel in distress room, Kels. Can you see Mabel struggling against her bonds and screaming for help in that gravelly, smoked-for-too-many-years voice of hers?”

Kelly didn’t answer her. Strange, forbidden tingles ran along her skin at the thought of her arms and legs being tied to bedposts, even in jest. She rubbed her wrist. She hadn’t felt this illicitly excited since she’d last seen…

No, she couldn’t think about Mason now. She’d never make it through this evening if she thought about his broad shoulders and shaved head. His deep, dark eyes staring down at her. His fingers wrapped around her wrists. His voice whispering those tempting words.

Oh, shit. She should have realized Mason would be around here somewhere. She whipped her head around but couldn’t pick him out among the ghosts and goblins and other masked creatures wandering about. He’d stand a head taller than most of the people here. Where was he?

As head of the Halloween fundraising committee, he was probably out coordinating all the different activities. The bonfire. The costume contest. The pumpkin carving and apple bobbing. And of course, the haunted house. She’d deal with it if she ran into him, but she wasn’t looking forward to the awkwardness that was sure to result.

She hadn’t seen him in weeks. Not since the night she broke things off with him. Kelly pushed away the memory of the stricken look on his face as she followed Lisa around the corner. It was probably better to be shut up in one of the rooms after all, rather than sit out here where everyone, especially Mason, would see her when they walked in the door. Maybe she could get through this evening without running into him at all.

Kelly’s heart pounded as Lisa led her up the long, steep staircase with its intricately carved spindles. The old Bartholomew mansion was the perfect venue for the haunted house, with its many rooms and dark, old-fashioned décor. There was a rumor that this house on the hill had been a bordello back in the old days.

“All you have to do is scream your head off whenever the door is opened,” Lisa was saying.

“What?”

Lisa sighed. “Pay attention, hon. I have to get everyone else set up too.”

“Sorry.”

“We’ll be taking groups through the house one at a time. They’ll have to wait their turn in the spider web room. Cool, huh? Dark and spooky, ya know?” Lisa glanced at Kelly over her shoulder with a big grin.

“Getting them into the mood.” Kelly was already spooked.

“Anticipation can be pretty powerful, especially in the right atmosphere.”

Kelly rubbed her wrist again.


Whether you enjoy Halloween or don't celebrate at all, have a great week!

Natasha
www.natashamoore.com
More Bears and House Fixings!
I spent some of yesterday working on bear orders and moving furniture. They’re ripping up the old carpeting and breaking up the old tile and then replacing everything with new tile. So it’s a mess. :)
purple, black tipped, gold, black tipped, baby bear 006 (640x614)
Blondie, black tipped fur bear
purple, black tipped, gold, black tipped, baby bear 002 (635x640)
Plum, black tipped fur bear
Cutting out more bears for orders and here is a new one too
Sweatpea pastel rainbow bear
Sweatpea pastel rainbow bear
This carpeting is such a mess! 35 years of stains.

And beneath it? 35 years of dust.  :)

Will show After pictures later. :)
Okay before they get to jackhammering the old tile, I’m off to try to get word count on Phantom Fae. :)
Have a super great day!!!
Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
www.terryspear.com
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website:
www.terryspear.com
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears
http://www.celticbears.com
Historical romances… Escape To The Pleasures Of The Past
Historical romances may be about the past, but they’re not dead! Just look at the current popularity of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander television series on Starz.  Network executives renewed the series for a second season based on overwhelming viewer response after just the first episode!

And now there’s a new group called the Historical Romance Network on Facebook and Twitter, which hopes to promote a love of historicals, whether your taste runs to Regency, Victorian, Medieval, Scottish, Roman, Egyptian, American Cowboys, or anything that’s happened in the past.  Pirates, knights, Vikings, gladiators, take your pick!

As an author who writes Victorian romance for Red Sage Publishing with my series The Disciplinarian (Secrets, Volume 15), The Disciplinarian’s Daughter (Secrets, Volume 31) and The Bet (Secrets, Volume 27), I’m thrilled to see this renewed interest in historicals. Historical authors put countless hours into research to make sure what we write about is accurate.  For my Roman epic, Conqueror Vanquished (Ellora’s Cave), every fact about the Roman army I included in the story (what soldiers wore, how they fought, what they ate, the forts they built) is accurate. Setting a story in the past actually makes it more fun to write, since you can immerse a reader in a world long forgotten.

Here are some links to the Historical Romance Network, including a video they created which you might enjoy:

Twitter: @HistRomNet   

I hope you’ll ‘escape to the pleasures of the past’ and try a historical romance. You might like it!

Until next month,
Leigh



Scotland in Autumn
Scotland in autumn is a wonderful place. The air is cool and fresh, the colors are vivid. The grass is still bright green in many places, but the trees are also turning. Here are some photos I took at Crathes Castle one October.
Crathes Castle

View out the castle window.




The below photos are from the Fyvie Castle gardens the same day.



Below are more October photos from different places in Scotland.

Glencoe

Rannoch Moor

A road through the Highlands.

Highland cattle on Isle of Skye.

Fairy Glen

Fairy Glen
 The below photos were all taken in Glencoe in late September two years ago.




 Click to enlarge.


Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of Scotland in autumn.
Thanks!
Vonda
www.vondasinclair.com

The My Fierce Highlander audiobook is available. You can listen to the sample by clicking one of the below links.

Audible



Also available at 


Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans--her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths. She risks everything to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he’s left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family? 

Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her--give up her son or the man she loves.
Bound to Submit is Available Now!!
Just in time for Halloween!! It's release day for Bound to Submit!!! The erotic romance is now live on all your favorite vendor sites!

We have a few fund-raising haunted houses around here every year. I'm always too chicken to go to them. But I had fun shutting my two characters together where they had to start working out their problems.

Mason’s dark good looks and dominating personality stirred up Kelly’s forbidden fantasies, frightening her so much that she broke up with him. When she agrees to help out at the community haunted house, she never expects to be tied to a bed, playing damsel in distress to Mason’s masked, whip-wielding villain.

Mason knows Kelly is fighting her sexual needs and he hopes that a few hours of playing out her fantasies with him will prove it to her. Bound and under his control, she can’t run away from him this time.

Previously published as Nothing to Fear, but has been significantly revised and expanded.



Excerpt:

“What do you mean I’m going to be tied to a bed all night?” Kelly Long’s frantic words echoed in the sudden silence. Laughter burst out from the dozen or so friends and community members around her getting ready for the annual Halloween haunted house.

“Yeah, sorry. I know it will be kind of boring to just lie there.” Lisa grabbed her by the arm and led her through the large living room draped with cobwebs and spiders, bats and ghosts. “But hey, it’s got to be better than the pathetic way you’ve been spending your evenings lately.”

Her best friend knew her too well. Since her painful break-up with her last boyfriend, Kelly’s life had been reduced to lonely runs in the morning, a busy teaching schedule during the day and binge-watching old sit-coms at night. And doing a little bit of research she didn’t want anyone to know about.

Electric candles flickered from the corners of the room, giving it the perfect eerie atmosphere.

“But tied up? To a bed?” A deep, seductive voice whispered in her head, memories of the temptation she’d been so close to giving into. The temptation she’d run away from.

“Stop whining. It’s for a good cause.”

“I know that,” Kelly snapped, suddenly on edge. “The proceeds from the haunted house stock the food bank for months, but I thought I was going to be taking ticket money.”

“We added some more scary rooms to the house this year and had to shift around some volunteers.” Lisa, tall and thin in a black Elvira’s dress and teased black wig, nodded her head in the direction of the entryway of the old mansion where the ticket table was being set up. “Mabel Grimes volunteered to help. I couldn’t turn her away.” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “We need you in the damsel in distress room, Kels. Can you see Mabel struggling against her bonds and screaming for help in that gravelly, smoked-for-too-many-years voice of hers?”

Kelly didn’t answer her. Strange, forbidden tingles ran along her skin at the thought of her arms and legs being tied to bedposts, even in jest. She rubbed her wrist. She hadn’t felt this illicitly excited since she’d last seen…

No, she couldn’t think about Mason now. She’d never make it through this evening if she thought about his broad shoulders and shaved head. His deep, dark eyes staring down at her. His fingers wrapped around her wrists. His voice whispering those tempting words.

Oh, shit. She should have realized Mason would be around here somewhere. She whipped her head around but couldn’t pick him out among the ghosts and goblins and other masked creatures wandering about. He’d stand a head taller than most of the people here. Where was he?

As head of the Halloween fundraising committee, he was probably out coordinating all the different activities. The bonfire. The costume contest. The pumpkin carving and apple bobbing. And of course, the haunted house. She’d deal with it if she ran into him, but she wasn’t looking forward to the awkwardness that was sure to result.

She hadn’t seen him in weeks. Not since the night she broke things off with him. Kelly pushed away the memory of the stricken look on his face as she followed Lisa around the corner. It was probably better to be shut up in one of the rooms after all, rather than sit out here where everyone, especially Mason, would see her when they walked in the door. Maybe she could get through this evening without running into him at all.

Kelly’s heart pounded as Lisa led her up the long, steep staircase with its intricately carved spindles. The old Bartholomew mansion was the perfect venue for the haunted house, with its many rooms and dark, old-fashioned décor. There was a rumor that this house on the hill had been a bordello back in the old days.

“All you have to do is scream your head off whenever the door is opened,” Lisa was saying.

“What?”

Lisa sighed. “Pay attention, hon. I have to get everyone else set up too.”

“Sorry.”

“We’ll be taking groups through the house one at a time. They’ll have to wait their turn in the spider web room. Cool, huh? Dark and spooky, ya know?” Lisa glanced at Kelly over her shoulder with a big grin.

“Getting them into the mood.” Kelly was already spooked.

“Anticipation can be pretty powerful, especially in the right atmosphere.”

Kelly rubbed her wrist again.


Do you like to go to haunted houses? How about reading Halloween themed stories?

You can find Bound to Submit here:
Amazon
Nook
iTunes
Kobo

Natasha
www.natashamoore.com

Have You Ever Been to a Renaissance Fair? & Wolf Awareness Week Continues!
Going to a Renaissance Fair in Texas can be challenging–clothes wise.  You’re trying to dress up in period clothes and its HOT!

Anyway, my son-in-law is dressing up for the first time, and I’m excited. I’m wearing cooler. :)  I just throw some stuff together. We don’t go to them enough to pay a lot of money on costumes and I had a few things from some other events I wore, so should work. It’s the fantasy theme, so that should be fun.
Denali, Bolz, and Luna at fence where workers were doing something
Denali, Bolz, and Luna at fence where workers were doing something
Curious and interested in what was going on. Food maybe? They were fed once a week like they would be fed in the wild.
Wolf behind purple leaves
Wolf behind purple leaves
And it’s fun time with bears!
Sherbert bear on fur
Sherbert bear on fur
Feather Bear Large
Feather Bear Large
Feather Bear Small
Feather Bear Small
And pictures from the Renaissance Fair we went to a few years back. :)
KnightfightingRenn Faire 002 (480x640) Jenn2 (480x640)Renn Faire 003 (480x640)
Okay, off to work. Got Jaguar Pride final proof to review back and more beta reader critiques for A Silver Wolf Christmas, and more bear orders, and what am I doing playing around with pictures again???

I did turn in SEAL Wolf Hunting!

Have a great Friday! Happy TGIF!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
www.terryspear.com
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website:
www.terryspear.com
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears
http://www.celticbears.com
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