Or, Relocating From NC to WA

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Last night I had to say good-bye to my Wilmington writing buddies, and it was the first time it hit me that I’m leaving my friends and my home and for the last five years. Today, I’m feeling a little melancholy. Leaving didn’t affect me when I packed boxes or searched houses online, not until I had to say good-bye.

In an effort to feel more productive, I’m spending the morning scheduling blog posts and a newsletter for June during the time I’ll be on the road and living out of hotels.

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<3 Anna

Or, My Thoughts On Julie Klassen’s Novel

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Cover Blurb:

Lillian Haswell, brilliant daughter of the local apothecary, yearns for more adventure and experience than life in her father’s shop and their small village provides. She also longs to know the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, which villagers whisper about but her father refuses to discuss. Opportunity comes when a distant aunt offers to educate her as a lady in London. Exposed to fashionable society and romance–as well as clues about her mother–Lilly is torn when she is summoned back to her ailing father’s bedside. Women are forbidden to work as apothecaries, so to save the family legacy, Lilly will have to make it appear as if her father is still making all the diagnoses and decisions. But the suspicious eyes of a scholarly physician and a competing apothecary are upon her. As they vie for village prominence, three men also vie for Lilly’s heart.

My Thoughts:

There are so many great things about The Apothecary’s Daughter. The historical details are amazing. I felt immersed in the world Klassen created. Whether we were in a London sitting room or Haswell’s apothecary shop in Bedsley Priors I felt like I was there. Her characters, too, are each distinct and layered human beings that really shine.

The only part that made me roll my eyes is that by the 50% mark, every eligible young man Lilly had ever met was crazy in love with her. Not one, but two bachelors from her London season, her father’s former apprentice, the village’s new apothecary, even the local lord’s son. Do you mean to tell me there’s not one man Lilly knows who thinks she’s pretentious or boring?

This is where Lilly slipped into Mary Sue territory. Even the people she wronged by abandoning, first her friends and family in Bedsley Priors, and then her aunt and uncle in London, forgive her immediately and completely. No one is ever annoyed with Lilly. Which I find hard to believe.

Even her flaws aren’t really flaws. She has a photographic memory. Her mother ran away when she was a small child. Both situations only make Lilly a more sympathetic character.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys richly detailed historical romances, but with a warning that the heroine might get on your nerves with her sparkling perfection.

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<3 Anna

Or, Relocating From NC to WA

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On June 11, 2015 I’m packing my pickup truck and taking off across the country. My husband, ten-year-old daughter, our dog Nia, and our tortoise Princess are tagging along. I have no idea how I’m going to manage, but I’m just going to take a deep breath and jump off the cliff.

nissan frontier

My husband’s last day as a member of the active-duty military is Halloween 2015. Rather than wait with him in Jacksonville, NC and travel together with a moving van to our new home, I want to be in our new city in the summer so I can interview for a position that starts in early September.

olympia schoolBesides, I don’t want my daughter to start middle school in North Carolina and then yank her out after ten weeks to start a new school in a new time zone. I decided the best idea for my daughter and myself was to drive to Washington as soon as her school year ended and get settled. My husband will follow a couple months later.

I figured the best way to stay sane is share the pain with you. Join me on this wild ride?

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<3 Anna

Or, Shop For Men’s Wear Under The Shadow Of A Haunted Well

Visit the original article here. Or continue reading below for the full story.

This Clothing Store Features an 18th Century Haunted Well

Written by Cheryl Eddy in Jan. 2015

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A New York City outpost of clothing store COS has a 200-year-old well tucked into its men’s department. The structure is a remnant of the building’s 18th-century past … and it’s where a woman’s strangled body was discovered in 1799.

Scouting NY (a fascinating, wonderfully detailed blog written by location scout and hidden history enthusiast Nick Carr), weaves the sinister tale:

The well-documented story has it that a young woman named Gulielma Elmore Sands left her Greenwich Street boarding home on the evening of Dec. 22, 1799, to meet Levi Weeks, a fellow boarder. The two had a secret romance and were planning to elope that night. Eleven days later, her body was found in a well in Lispenard’s Meadow (today’s Spring Street). Marks on her neck suggested death by strangulation.

For even more context (the “Manhattan Well Murder” led to a sensational trial and a controversial verdict; defense attorneys included future dueling duo Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and it was also “the first murder trial in American history to be fully documented by a court stenographer”), check out Carr’s 2011 Wall Street Journal article. He penned it when the infamous SoHo building housed a restaurant. Back then, the well was tucked into a basement that was primarily used for storage, and one had to obtain special permission to view it.

Now, though, the well — long believed to be haunted — is just hangin’ out in the men’s department, providing an awesome staging zone for what look to be otherwise rather minimalist pants and jackets. Carr notes, wryly:

While the only spirit-like entities I saw on my recent visit were a few ghostly mannequins decked out in the latest Swedish fashions, it’s still pretty amazing to be able to check out such a unique piece of New York history, an artifact dating to a time when Soho was a meadow and Spring Street actually had a spring running through it.

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<3 Anna

Or, I’m Sharing My Fave Romantic Montages With You

Because I haven’t seen enough Katniss & Peeta lately, and I miss them. Enjoy!

Video created by iSPIDERMAN

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<3 Anna

Or, Pre-Order The Final Chapter In The Dark Caster Series

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Cover Blurb:

Dive into the heart-pounding final chapter of the Dark Caster series!

If the Chaos Gate opens…
Demons will infest the world.

When the charismatic mayor of Auburn hires junior agent Jessa McAvoy to acquire him a very specific property, she hopes this is her big break. She’ll do anything to make her first real estate client happy, but the one favor he asks of her is impossible—convince her former friend Derek Walker to come out of hiding. Doing so will not only bring her into the orbit of dangerous casters, but force her to confront long-buried feelings for her missing friend.

After failing his tasks for the Dark Caster, necromancer Derek Walker is hiding in Alaska from his humiliating defeats as a card-carrying member of an evil dark cabal. But when his old boss begins opening the Chaos Gate, there is nowhere on earth Derek can hide. With no other options, he must return to the last place he wants to go—home.

When Derek Walker joins forces with Jessa and the entire Raleigh coven, the dark cabal’s biggest disappointment may be the only thing standing between earth and total destruction.

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<3 Anna

Or, Take A Peek At The 1st Book In The Dark Caster Series

SoS Quote 2

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<3 Anna

Or, Ghostly Kitty On The Prowl

Black Cat’s Ghost Said to Prowl Haunted Mansion

Written by Mary Beth Breckenridge in Jan. 2015

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AKRON, Ohio — The people who run Perkins Stone Mansion are used to things that go bump in the night.

But things that dart into people’s paths and brush against their legs are another matter.

For about a year and a half, staff members and volunteers at the Summit County Historical Society have reported encountering what they believe is the ghost of a dark-colored cat in the reputedly haunted mansion just west of downtown.

Sometimes they see a cat’s form. Sometimes they hear a meow or a distinctive sneeze. One felt something brush against his leg during, of all things, a paranormal tour.

They think they know who the mysterious resident is: the spirit of Simon Purrkins, a black cat who once prowled the mansion’s grounds as the historical society’s unofficial chief executive.

The sightings started around June 2013, some eight months after Simon died. “I just thought that was coincidental,” said Leianne Neff Heppner, the society’s executive director and one of the many humans Simon once held in thrall.

That Simon would return makes perfect sense to her. He lived a big part of his life in the historical society’s offices and on its grounds, from the time employees rescued him as a skittish kitten in 1998 until he moved East with his human family in 2009.

“He was such a fixture on the property,” she said.

Besides, the mansion is reputed to harbor visitors from the spiritual realm. Simon was a social cat who might have wanted company in the afterlife.

Heppner has not crossed paths with Simon’s spirit, but she’s heard about enough experiences to give her pause.

Volunteer coordinator Melinda Sedelmeyer’s first encounter came this fall, as she was turning off the lights after a tour of the mansion — a home built for Col. Simon Perkins and a place his feline namesake once roamed. Sedelmeyer looked down and saw a cat, but in that first instant it didn’t hit her as anything unusual because she’s a cat owner. “And then I realized I’m at work,” she said.

She turned to look again, and the cat was gone.

A couple of weeks later she was going through the same lights-out routine when she heard meowing. She figured it was a volunteer teasing her, so she yelled to him to be quiet.

He swore he hadn’t made a sound.

Sedelmeyer said she later almost fell trying to avoid the apparition when it shot past her in a doorway. And she said a motion-sensing alarm sometimes detects unexplained movement in a back bedroom that can’t be entered without going through another room. Well, at least that’s the way mortals have to get in.

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<3 Anna

Or, Check Out The 1st Book In The Dark Caster Series

Today is the last day to download Spell of Summoning (Dark Caster #1) for free! If you haven’t read the 1st book in the Dark Caster series yet, why not try it for free?Spell200x300

Cover Blurb:

Holden Clark walks into Rebecca Powell’s life, a tall, blue-eyed stranger who stirs long forgotten desires. But nothing, including this man, is what it seems. A dark necromancer is targeting Becca for a full-blown demonic possession. She is thrust into a world she never knew existed—a world where dark casters create chaos and necromancers talk to the dead.

Holden has no faith in his power. A necromancer, he communicates with the dead, but he has never embraced his gifts. Now, he has no choice. He must stop the dark caster attacking Rebecca, but accepting this mission means he’ll be delving into dangerous magics he’s never used before.

Under the protection of the damaged and mysterious Holden, Rebecca will question everything …

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<3 Anna

Or, I’m So Grateful

I woke up yesterday to a wonderful surprise. The promotion for Spell of Summoning pushed it to #1 in free ghost stories and #2 in free paranormal witch romances!

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I’m so excited and feeling so blessed. Thank you to everyone who downloaded Spell of Summoning!

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<3 Anna

"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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