Or, My Spring Break Trip To The Grand Canyon

This was my second excursion to the Grand Canyon, but the last time I went my husband and I walked to the edge, saw it, and went back to our hotel room. So, this year I really wanted to enjoy the experience. Bonus–it was my daughter’s first visit.

We started our adventure in Williams, Arizona at the Grand Canyon Railroad Depot with a live cowboy shoot-out!

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The train ride was about 2 hours, but it hardly felt that long. We enjoyed live entertainment and a dining car, plus the passing scenery was one-of-a-kind. It was like a trip back through time to the American West of the nineteenth century.

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Disposable cameras used to be my only option for vacation pics. Now, they’re a clunky relic of a pre-cell phone world. My daughter thought turning the exposure gear and hearing each picture snap was hilarious.

After our arrival, I didn’t just want to stand at the edge, I really wanted to spend time in the National Park. I hadn’t planned far enough in advance for burro rides or anything like that (maybe next year!), but we did take the angel trail toward the bottom of the canyon. It was so early in the year, there was still snow on the ground, which made the trail slippery, but the cowboys on horseback we passed didn’t seem to have any problem with it.

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You can see patches of snow in the lower left corner.

The views were spectacular, and I’m so glad we slowed down and took our time.

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My favorite part of the trip, though, was finding the Native rock art along the Angel trail. I’m a huge fan of all things historical and archaeological, so I was definitely on a hunt for the artwork from the moment I heard it was visible from the trail. It took a while to find, but I did finally discover red animals, shapes, and humanoid figures on the canyon wall.

 

Rock Art Grand Canyon Collage

The Native rock art is red against the pale cream rock.

If anyone knows anything more about the rock art in the Grand Canyon, I’d love to hear about it!

train robbery grand canyon

Finally, on our way back to Williams our train was boarded by a nefarious gang of outlaws. Luckily, we all survived to tell the tale.

 

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<3 Anna

Or, Take A Peek At The 3rd Book In The Dark Caster Series

Teaser 19 SoV

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Or, Ghosthunters Couldn’t Hack A Night In A Haunted House

Click here to see the original article or scroll down to read the whole story.

Ghost Hunters Rescued From Derry Haunted House

Written in March 2016

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Two ghost-hunters had to be rescued after becoming trapped in Derry’s best known haunted house.

A number of ghostly tales have for many years been associated with Boom Hall which was built in 1779 on the banks of the River Foyle at Culmore.

The historic building has been vacant for decades and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that the building and the area has been cordoned for a number of years because of fears that it could collapse.

However, it has emerged that the fences around Boom Hall have not deterred would-be ghost-hunters from having a look around the building.

Two men recently became trapped in the dilapidated building while on the lookout for ghosts in the dark of night.

A fire crew was called to the scene to help the two men to safety.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the rescue operation had taken place.

A spokesperson said: “We received a call at 7:24pm to a report of an incident at premises at the Culmore Road area of the city on Saturday 13th February.

“One fire appliance from Northland Fire Station was deployed to the scene of two men requiring rescue assistance from a property in the area.

“Firefighters were able to rescue the two men using keys provided by the property’s keyholder. Both men were uninjured.”

The NIFRS said the rescue operation lasted for around one hour.

It is understood the two men told their rescuers they were interested in ghosts and that’s why they were within the walls of Boom Hall.

When built, the building was named after the boom which had been placed across the Foyle during the Siege of Derry in 1689.

The boom was broken by ships which relieved those who had taken part in the siege within Derry’s Walls.

Throughout its history, Boom Hall was home to some of the local area’s best known families.

However, for many years, the building has been neglected although there are plans currently being discussed for its regeneration.

In relation to the ghost stories associated with Boom Hall, number of them were outlined in a book by Madeline McCully called Haunted Derry which was published last year.

One story involved a girl who was a relative of the family who lived at Boom Hall at the time.

She had been sent to Boom Hall to remove her from the attention of a young groomsman employed in her own home in England.

However, the young man followed her and hid out in the stables where they had secret trysts.

When they were discovered the girl was locked in an upstairs corner bedroom but the young man got away.

The girl pined and a few weeks later the bedroom went up in flames.

The family frantically tried to get into the room but to no avail.

When eventually the flames were extinguished the ashes were searched for the body of the young girl but nothing was found.

Legend has it that the ghost of the girl can be seen walking along the corridor at the top of the house.

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Or, Try The 1st Book In The Red Plague Series For No Cost

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The ebook edition of Elixir is still free on Amazon today. Click HERE, and try it today!

Blurb:

The red plague has devastated the human race, turning billions of people into zombies with red eyes and an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

The 212R virus sweeps through the population so quickly a possible cure is left to rot. Seventeen-year-old Maya Solomon may be the only survivor who knows where it is. But to reach the lab in Raleigh, North Carolina she will have to outrun the infected boy tracking her every step and cross into a city swarming with monsters.

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And don’t forget to pre-order a brand new Red Plague novella, Remedy. Click HERE, and pre-order today!

Blurb:

The red plague has devastated the human race, turning billions of people into zombies with red eyes and an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

Seventeen-year-old Callie Crawford is used to fighting. She was an all-star wrestler in high school, and since 212R destroyed her world, she hasn’t stopped fighting. When her high school boyfriend Levi caught the virus, Callie saved him by keeping him chained in a rural North Carolina barn, waiting for something to change.

Before 212R, Roman Duran was a computer nerd, but since the virus, he’s become a guard in the survivor enclave in Washington, DC. After volunteering for a rescue mission, Roman has been belittled, robbed, and left for dead. He hasn’t saved a single person.

Until he stumbles across Callie. Because she has a zombie on a short leash, and Roman is carrying a syringe full of zombie cure.

Callie and Roman will face soulless survivors and rabid zombies on their journey to save a single infected. Along the way, Callie will have to choose between her past and a whole new future.

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<3 Anna

Or, Take A Peek At The 1st Book In The Red Plague Series

Teaser 18 Eli

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Or, Take A Peek At The 1st Book In The Red Plague Series

Teaser 17 Ant

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<3 Anna

Or, Learn More About Ireland’s Most Hunted House

Click here to see the original article or scroll down to read the whole story.

Ireland’s Most Haunted House Celebrates 666 Years

Written by IrishCentral in March 2016

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Loftus Hall

Isolated on the Hook Peninsula in Wexford, the once stately Loftus Hall is said to have been haunted by the devil and by the ghost of a young woman. This year the house is celebrating its 666th birthday with a series of spooky events.

The mansion, with a history of ghostly occurrences and misery, opened its doors to the public for the first time in 30 years in 2012. Would you be brave enough to take the tour?

In August 2014 a tourist snapped a shot of a ghostly female figure in the grounds. Thomas Beavis, 21, from Lewisham, snapped this shot while he was on the the tour.

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Is that a ghost in the window?

It wasn’t until he’d left the Loftus Hall grounds that he noticed the figure – who is believed to be the spirit of little Anne Tottenham – and the face of an old lady at the window.

Loftus Hall is a 22-bedroom period mansion on Hook Peninsula in County Wexford. The house is set on 60 acres, overlooking a lonely stretch of the southeast coast. Since it was abandoned over three decades ago, the grand building has only had structural repairs.

Owner Aidan Quigley now hosts guided interactive tours, which he says are not for the fainthearted.

Built over the remains of Redmond Hall, and home of the Redmond family since around 1350, in 1666 it became the home of the Loftus family and was renamed Loftus Hall.

The ghostly tours are based on the story of Anne Tottenham and a visitor to the house in the 18th century whose body, during a game of cards, went ‘through the roof’, leaving a hole in the ceiling which is visible to this day, and left young Anne in a state of terror.

She was put into a room known as the Tapestry Room to rest, and it is here that she stayed completely silent until her death in 1775. The Loftus family abandoned the house in the early years of the 20th century.

Over the years since, servants claimed to have seen a dark, mysterious figure roaming the halls, causing disturbances.

On March 1 Quigley unveiled a new program of events for Loftus Hall’s 666th anniversary year, including an incremental restorative walled garden project launch, the opening of a new interactive visitors center and the Raymond Le Gros Norman Festival.

Quigley and his family purchased the Hall in 2011 and have been working on reviving and consolidating it as a unique tourist destination ever since.

“We didn’t have a blank canvas, as such, to work with when we purchased Loftus Hall, as it came with over 600 years of history, intrigue and some rather unexplained spectral phenomenon. However, we were determined to make the Hall’s 666th year rather special with a broad appeal to people of all ages and interests,” Quigley said.

Whilst Loftus Hall has provided hugely successful house tours and paranormal investigation lockdowns, particularly popular at Halloween, Aidan and his team are determined to showcase the other elements of the hall.

“The gardens and grounds of the hall are hugely significant. In the 17th century Henry Loftus took great care in enclosing the gardens to preserve newly planted fruit trees with high stone walls,” said Quigley. “We plan to progressively restore the five-acre garden in the spirit of the period and aim to plant trees, flowers and shrubs that would have been available to Henry Loftus in the 17th century. Fortunately, the walls are in a reasonable state of repair and some of the original garden ornaments remain on the property.”

Quigley also revealed the plans for the new visitor center which will open to the public on June 6. The new center will give visitors the opportunity to discover more about the fascinating heritage of Loftus Hall. A historical timeline will chart key moments in the hall’s history, such as the invasion by Norman knight Raymond Le Gros, the Redmonds’ Cromwellian battle, and the 4th Marquess of Ely’s extensive renovations in anticipation of a visit by Queen Victoria.

Quigley, who is currently in his final year of a Conservation and Restoration Diploma, is focused on broadening the historical appeal of the area and is working closely with Wexford County Council, The Three Sisters Bid Team and Failte Ireland’s Ireland’s Ancient East initiative to showcase the culture and appeal of Wexford.

“Wexford has a rich and varied offering, it’s coastal and rugged, lush and beautiful, historical and contemporary. By working together with local authorities, tourism providers and neighboring counties, Wexford and the southeast has the potential to become the go-to tourist destination for national and overseas visitors.”

“If we, collectively, can offer an experience that is unique, exciting, fresh and appealing, the region is destined to flourish.”

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Or, My Conference SWAG Arrived And I Want To Share!

I’m so excited to attend both Comic-Con and Romance Writer’s of America’s national conference (I can’t stop smiling!), I ordered new promotional goodies. If you’d like to receive the pictured loot, send me an email at anna@annaabner.com or leave a comment on my blog and I’ll ship a personalized care package to the first 10 responders. Good luck!

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My goody bag includes two postcards, an adorable purple pen, and a Spell of Joy temporary tattoo.

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Or, Footage Shows Ghostly Shape Over Haunted Organ

Click here to see the original article or scroll down to read the whole story.

Spooky footage shows ‘ghost-like’ object floating above organ in ‘haunted’ ancient cathedral

Written by Ruth Halkon in March 2016

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[The Lincoln Cathedral] is said to be haunted by the ghosts of plague victims, a spooky cleric and a chaotic imp that caused havoc until it was turned to stone.

And now a daytripper may have captured one of those strange apparitions in the flesh.

Paul Jackson took the bizarre footage while visiting the ancient Gothic building with his son on February 6.

The 46-year-old IT engineer caught what appears to be a sprightly spirit passing across the width of the Willis Organ while on a roof tour.

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He explained: “We didn’t spot anything strange at the time but when I was reviewing the footage I noticed this orb and thought, ‘What on earth is that?’ I didn’t know what it was.”

Paul shared the mysterious video on his his YouTube channel ArcturanMegadonkey where it has been viewed 14,215 times.

Several users commented on the spooky clip, offering their ideas for what the ghostly shadow could be.

Dean Edelsten suggested it was a ghoul that “guards the church grounds for night hawkers” while David Hopper wrote: “Wow very spooky.”

Others were more sceptical of the sighting, with some claiming it was a reflection, a pigeon or even a hoax.

One quipped: “Its a crisp packet. walkers would be my guess. cheese and onion late 2015.”

Paul told the Lincolnshire Echo he himself was not convinced it was a ghost, but said it was certainly a bit of a laugh.

He said: “I personally think the best explanation is that it’s a high powered torch from the tour group below the organ.

“I love the cathedral – it’s a stunning building so I hope the video will encourage more people to go on cathedral tours and see it for themselves.”

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<3 Anna

Or, I’m Sharing My Favorite Montages With You!

Because of the release of Captain America: Civil War this month, I’m dedicating May to one of my favorite ships–Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, AKA Stucky. Enjoy!

Video created by aceiel

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"A sizzling and sweet paranormal romance." 5 stars.
--Christine Rains, author of the 13th Floor Series

"A wonderful, suspenseful love story." 5 stars.
--Coffee Time Romance

"A great paranormal adventure with many twists and turns." 5 stars.
--Community Bookstop

"This book kept me on the edge of my seat." 4 stars.
--The Reading Cafe

Anna's bookshelf: Read

The Duke Is Mine
5 of 5 stars true
I'm not ashamed to say I cried at the end of this book, or that I read it in a single day because I couldn't stop.
Forbidden
3 of 5 stars true
The story started out a page tuner I could not put down, but by the middle I was skimming to the end just to see how it all wrapped up. I think the James' are wonderful storytellers, but this particular story didn't do it for me. I'd lov...

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