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

Teaser 21 SoV

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<3 Anna

Or, Is This Ohio House Haunted?

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The Creepy, Death-Filled History of Ohio’s Most Haunted Mansion

Written in March 2016

franklin

Built in 1881 in Cleveland, Ohio, Franklin Castle gets its name from the street it sits on—Franklin Boulevard—and gets its reputation from the mansion’s dark history of unfortunate deaths. The imposing house was commissioned for Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant. With 20 rooms and elaborate fixtures, including turrets, gargoyles and a ballroom, the place truly looks like a castle out of a fairy-tale.

A short ten years after it was first built, Tiedemann’s 15-year-old daughter died of complications from her diabetes. Shortly afterwards, Teidemann’s mother passed away.

Then over the next three years, three more of Tiedemann’s children died, sparking speculation and suspicious in the community. Rumors flew about the family, involving sexual scandals and murder—perhaps linking the terrible alleged crimes to the house’s haunted reputation.

To distract himself and his wife from their grief, they performed extensive remodeling on the house, making it even more elaborate than ever before. During Prohibition, there were even unfounded rumors of hidden passageways used for bootlegging.

Teidemann’s wife died at the age of 57 in 1895, just four years after the first death in the house. The house was sold to new owners, and Teidemann would die some years later with no heirs to inherit his wealth.

It is believed that Teidmann’s wife stayed behind, in spirit form, after the sale of the house. Known as the Woman in Black, it’s said she is sometimes spotted lingering on a certain balcony and upstairs rooms.

In the 1960’s the house was inhabited by a family of eight, who soon began to experience some otherworldly encounters. The Romano family reported multiple ghost sightings, and even turned to exorcisms on the house, and ghost hunters. Eventually the family chose to leave the house than stay in the haunted place.

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<3 Anna

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

I’m devoting July to the strong, sexy couple of Four and Tris from the Divergent series. Enjoy!

Video created by Cavill Lanter obsessed

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<3 Anna

Or, My Take On The Regency Romance Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake

sarah maclean

Back Cover Blurb:

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried – and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss – to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston – charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all – the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love….

My Thoughts:

I have yet to read a bad novel from Sarah MacLean, and 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is no exception. It has almost every regency cliche and trope you can think of, which actually made it really fun. Callie is a wallflower looking to spice up her boring existence with a list of nine things proper ladies should never do. She’s also secretly in love with the rakish and handsome Marquess of Ralston. Luckily for them both, they keep running into each other so that Ralston ends up helping Callie with her list. Along the way they deal with the heroine dressing as a man, gentlemen’s clubs, duels, wagers over women, fittings at a seamstress’ shop, lots of shopping, love matches, kissing in alcoves, the theater, de-flowerings, and balls. Everything important happens in front of the entire ton at someone’s fancy ball.

My only critique is that the middle 25% lost some of the beginning’s excitement, and I skimmed over that section. But the pace and tension picked up in a big way in the final 30% of the novel. I couldn’t put it down, I was so eager to read the end.

There’s also a subplot about Ralston’s Italian half sister that really goes nowhere. I assumed she was introduced so that she can be the heroine of a future novel.

9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was a fun, fast-paced read, and I’m so glad I downloaded it.

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<3 Anna

Or, Guests Are Welcome At Haunted Altona Homestead

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Ghost Tours of Altona’s Haunted Homestead

Written by Goya Dmytryshchak in March 2016

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Sarah Langhorne died in 1871, but many people claim to have seen her ghostly apparition peering from a window of Altona Homestead.

The homestead, built by Sarah and husband Alfred in 1842, has long had a reputation for being haunted and has attracted international attention from paranormal investigators.

Now Lantern Ghost Tours will run guided tours of the homestead from next month as part of the National Trust Heritage Festival.

Company founder Jacqueline Travaglia says there have been numerous sightings of a forlorn Mrs Langhorne, who missed city life and whose beauty stopped her from making friends.

Her life was marred by tragedy after she lost two of her children.

“Sarah gave birth to Henry Langhorne at the homestead,” Ms Travaglia said. “He died aged seven months and she also lost a teenage daughter.

“Although Sarah is long departed, people have seen a sad woman’s face staring out from the lounge room window.”

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<3 Anna

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

Four and Tris are one of my favorite couples, so I’m devoting July to the Divergent series ship. Enjoy!

Video created by RomanticCouplesAM

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<3 Anna

Or, Take A Peek At The 2nd Book In The Dark Caster Series

Teaser 20 SoB

Ghosts, Hauntings, & Cheap Books: Sign Up For My Monthly Newsletter Today.
Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

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

I’m devoting July to the strong, sexy couple of Four and Tris from the Divergent series. Enjoy!

Video created by Divergent Nephilim

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Enjoy this Free Red Plague Sneak Peek PDF full of excerpts and extras!

<3 Anna

Or, Meeting Ian Somerhalder

I can’t stop smiling after The Vampire Diaries convention in Burbank last weekend! I not only got to hear panels from stars of TVD and The Originals, but I actually got to meet and talk with Ian Somerhalder, Damon Salvatore himself! It was a dream come true.

Back when Buffy the Vampire Slayer was still on the air, I went to my first fan convention in Pasadena, CA and had my photo taken with Buffy’s bad boy vampire, James Marsters (Spike).

James Marters 2003 2

Anna and James snapped back before cell phones were banned from the photo op room. 😉 Don’t you love his leather jacket?

Sunday, I ran into Damon and Stefan Salvatore (or their cardboard lookalikes). I wonder if they’re actually that tall?

 

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Before the show, Ian was spotted looking amazing. The photo caught him in the middle of a friendly, “Hello guys.”

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First up, Michael Malarkey (Enzo) and Chris Wood (Kai). They spent the entire panel making jokes, singing, and beatboxing. It’s too bad their characters never shared a scene on The Vampire Diaries because they were hilarious together.

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Finally, Paul Wesley (Stefan) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon) took the stage at the end of the day. Though they must have been exhausted, they remained upbeat as they answered fan questions they’ve probably answered a hundred times already (“Which season of the show was your favorite?” Ian => season 1, Paul => season 3, “What is your favorite ship on the show?” Ian & Paul => Stamon LOL, and “If you could only eat one food the rest of your life what would it be?” Ian => dark chocolate, Paul => vegan cookies.)

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Then, the highlight of the day (maybe the year)–cozying up to Mr. Somerhalder. He was so charming and polite, giving each lady in line (and there were hundreds) personal attention. He gave me a high five for being a writer and made us all, in the ten seconds or so we stood next to him, feel special.

Ian Somerhalder Damon

Afterwards, I was slightly euphoric.

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Attending the convention was so much fun. I’ve been a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries from the very beginning (I watched the pilot at Comic Con before it aired and attended the panel when Ian Somerhalder was famous for playing Boone on Lost and I didn’t really know who Paul Wesley or Nina Dobrev were. I adored the pilot, though, and immediately started reading the books in preparation for the TV premiere that fall.)

Here are my two bad boy vampires. I feel so lucky to have met them both. Their characters and storylines have definitely influenced my writing, including the Beasts of Vegas Series, and my career.

Vampire Collage

Anna with Damon Salvatore and William the Bloody–the original bad boy vampires.

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<3 Anna

Or, Our Offer Was Accepted

Hopefully (knock on wood), our house-hunting roller coaster is over because one of our offers has finally been accepted on a wonderfully weird ranch-style home in Apple Valley, California. I’m so excited and relieved to be moving forward and putting down roots after relocating back and forth across the country as a US Marine Corps family for the past fifteen years.

Our road to our forever home, though, has been a bit bumpy.

House #1

Gayhead

After our first round of searching and seeing houses with our shiny new real estate agent, this home was our absolute favorite. An investment company had gutted a 1950s home and remodeled it from the inside out, even adding a pool. It had two master bedrooms and an office with French doors leading onto the covered patio. I fell instantly in love.

The only problem was, the house was listed $20,000 higher than any other comparable home in the (not so nice) area. We’d be living in the nicest house on the block. For example, the yard next door was a junk and salvage yard. So, we made an offer for $15,000 below asking price. Though the home had been on the market for more than a month, the investment company refused to even acknowledge our offer. We had to walk away.

House #2

St Timothy

This gorgeous home we dubbed “the mountain house” because it sat under tall, rocky hills was our second (and more realistic) choice. It didn’t have a pool, but it was very well cared for and the acre lot was nicely landscaped from front to back. Bonus, it was in an excellent neighborhood.

We put in an offer for full asking price plus 50% of buyers’ closing costs. The owners verbally agreed. We were in!

Sometime that night, another offer came in. We were using a VA loan, which required the sellers to shoulder a bit more of the costs as well as a 45-day escrow. The new offer was a conventional loan. The couple accepted the other offer, and we were out of luck for the second time in one weekend.

House #3

US Hwy 18

This was my husband’s favorite. It’s a beautiful home, inside and out, with lots of clever design features that make it a superstar. Covered patios, wireless speakers in every room, and remote controlled security gates, for example. Plus it had a pool.

We made an offer for full asking price on Friday. That night, the sellers’ agent let us know they wouldn’t respond to offers until Monday. So, we waited. On Monday, the sellers’ agent said we’d have to wait until Tuesday in case better offers came in for them to choose from. On Tuesday, they said, “Oh, by the way. This wasn’t in the listing, but the sellers just installed new solar panels on the house and owe $40,000. The buyers will have to assume that loan on top of the home loan.”

We had to walk away. My husband is still upset about it.

House #4

Anoka

I admit, by this time I was feeling frustrated and disappointed. Three weeks of going out, seeing houses, making offers, and waiting on pins and needles had frayed my nerves. House #4 was no one’s dream house, but it was perfectly suitable. It had two master bedrooms, a family room, and half an acre of land on a corner lot. Also, it was about $50,000 cheaper than the first three properties. It had also been on the market for two months, so we assumed the owner would be happy to receive an offer.

We made an offer for full asking price plus 100% of buyers’ closing costs. The sellers’ agent got back to us the next day. Though it wasn’t mentioned in the listing, the seller would only sell the home “as is.” He refused to pay a cent, though our VA loan requires the seller to pay for certain reports and any lender-required repairs necessary to fund the loan. I was so desperate, I said we’d still buy the home if he simply agreed to pay for any possible repairs the lender required (with the chance there would be none), but he said no. We had to withdraw our offer.

House #5

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This was the first property we saw on our house-hunting trip that day, 3 and a half weeks into the process, and I fell immediately in love. We all agreed it was perfect for our family. It boasted an acre of land, two master suites, a covered patio, new windows throughout, and a living room the size of a skating rink. On top of all that, it was built in 1965 and has the strangest, kookiest interior of any house I’ve seen. It’s full of little nooks and cubbies, plus built in bookshelves, desks, and vanities unlike any I’ve seen. At each subsequent home we saw, we used House #5 as a measuring stick. After seeing five additional homes in our price range, this was still our favorite.

We made an offer for full asking price on Friday and crossed our fingers. Unfortunately, the seller was out of town and wouldn’t be available to consider the offer until Monday morning. So, we waited. On Monday, the seller gave us a verbal acceptance, but he is the executor of a family trust (that owns the house) and he needed to run the offer by his siblings to get their okay. He’d let us know Tuesday if he’d officially accept our offer or not. Another day of waiting and worrying and hoping this was finally it and we’d have a home to call our own.

Our agent called Tuesday afternoon with good news. The seller had accepted our offer, and we were in escrow! It’s still early in the process and I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m starting to make plans for our sprawling ranch style home. The yard has no landscaping to speak of, so I’m considering fruit trees, shrubbery, and decorative rocks. The interior has wall-to-wall carpeting, but with the desert heat and sand I prefer tile. The kitchen is “dated” (the kind word our agent uses to mean old and in need of remodeling) and I’d like to install new cabinets and countertops. But I’m so excited to get started and make this home into our dream home!

 

If you have any remodeling tips or stories I’d love to hear them. Check out my Pinterest board for our home remodeling projects.

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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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