Book Review: Mirrored Time

review-cover-mirrored timeTitle: Mirrored Time [A Time Archivist Novel 1]

Author: J.D. Faulkner

Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Gwen Conway never knew there were so many ways to die. Honestly, it was something she would have been happy not knowing.

Maybe, they really are just dreams. Nightmares. But they won’t stop. And dreaming of her death is getting old. Then there’s the sleepwalking. She’d like to pass on that too.

Gwen’s pretty sure the dreams have something to do with her new job. Which of course, is definitely not just a ‘job.’

Don’t get her wrong, working for the Archiver of the Time Streams has its perks. Having the power to travel to any past or future time is fantastic. Plus, there’s Rafe, the ex-gladiator from the future. She’d like to keep him around too. Not that she would tell him that. It’d go straight to his head.

But she’s less than pleased to find herself in the middle of a time travelers’ war. Especially against a crazed half-god who has the power to obliterate the existence of any time or place. And the Guardians, her so called allies? All the help they offer is strict rules and smug superiority. Plus, they seem convinced she’s already lost, that she’s already died.

Gwen is starting to wonder whether she should have read her employment contract more carefully.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Honestly, this book was a bit of a mixed bag for me.—which is something I don’t often say in 4-star reviews. The premise of the plot, with the archives and the time travelers and an ancient evil locked away in a black mirror, was fascinating and drew my attention to the story. I liked the characters (except the awful janitor who was your typical evil sidekick), and the book contained a lot of beautiful imagery and fantastical settings that kept me engrossed.

However, I wish the book had taken itself a little more seriously. The humor and jovial attitude of the book made it seem a little like a cheesy SyFy channel show. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted more tension, more drama, and instead I got a playful, fast-paced romance between two very different characters thrown together by the archives. Was it bad? No… but it wasn’t my thing.

Overall, I thought the book was interesting. The characters, plot, and settings were great—I just wasn’t fond of the execution as a whole. Still, it was an entertaining read, and if you’re looking for a fast-paced, light-hearted romance with a supernatural feel, this book may be the one you’re looking for.

Book Review: Out of the Past

ww-6Title: Out of the Past [Heritage Time Travel Romance 1]

Author: Dana Roquet

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy, Time Travel

Rating: 3 Stars

amazonbutton1goodreadsbutton1

Description/Synopsis:

Torie Mills is beautiful, successful and a New York Times best-selling historical romance author. Determined to find some solace from her fast paced and demanding life, she decides to move to Mahaska County, Iowa—a mile outside of the tiny town of Fremont and into her great-great-grandparent’s old homestead. Her plan is to restore the property to its 1870 glory days.

She hires handsome, renovation expert Dave Cameron to do the work and together they bring the old Victorian house back to life. When Torie moves in, she discovers that restoring the house has opened a portal into the past. Time traveling each night to the Fremont of old, becomes her wonderful escape and her secret obsession.

When she and Dave become lovers, he gets swept into the travels as well—until they both realize, much too late, that there was evil in the past that would have been better left alone…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have mixed feelings about Out of the Past by Dana Roquet. Going in, I was under the impression that this was a time travel romance—and it both was and wasn’t. I’d expected maybe your typical endearing romance with some steamy sex and some time travel thrown in to mess things up for the characters, but that isn’t what I got. Instead, I got a story that revolved mostly around dreams of the past heritage of two families with a little bit of romance, and very little time travel involved at all.

Technically speaking, the story was decently written. The plot was new and interesting. I liked the characters, and with a few small exceptions for some flowery writing, the narrative was clean and easy to read. There were no obvious spelling mistakes, incorrect punctuation or grammar, and the sentence structures flowed well.

Unfortunately, the pace was also painfully slow. The detail lever was a bit distracting at times, often with the characters rambling on for two or three pages at a time about the histories of certain objects, complicated genealogical lines, and endless lists of replaced historical artifacts. Frankly, I was bored when the main character droned on about the history of her house and family. I had expected the book to be all about the romance and time travel but soon discovered that it had little to do with either. The story was more often about the love of the character’s restoration work and historical research, and I just wasn’t interested.

To make matters worse, the time travel wasn’t really time travel at all, and as far as I could tell, served no purpose in the plot. The characters didn’t learn anything or solve any problems by traveling (I use this term lightly) into the past. The most it did was fill in some blanks on the family tree and spur on the main character’s shopping sprees for antiques for her newly refurbished historical home.

The romance itself was a bit watered down, and in a way, almost too perfect. There was little to no tension between the couple and they never made any mistakes. The male lead said the right things at the right time, and overall, it came across as bland and contrived.

In the end, I had to give the book a 3-star rating. It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t great either. I wasn’t engaged by the story or characters. Instead, it felt like a very long, drawn-out history lesson. It just wasn’t my idea of a gripping romance, and not what I thought I was going to be reading when I picked it up.

Book Review: A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court

cover-review-a connecticut fashionista in king arthur's courtTitle: A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court [Twisted Time 1]

Author: Mari Macusi

Genre: Romance, Historical, Fantasy, Time Travel

Rating: 3 Stars

amazonbutton1goodreadsbutton1

Description/Synopsis:

Once upon a time there lived an outspoken fashion editor named Kat, who certainly was not your typical damsel in distress. But when a gypsy curse sent her back in time to the days of King Arthur, she found she’d need every ounce of her 21st century wits (and pop culture references) to navigate the legend. After all, surviving a magical plot, an evil prince, and a case of mistaken identity – all without changing history or scuffing your Manolos – takes some doing!

Luckily, she’s got her very own knight in shining armor, Lancelot du Lac, on her side. The honorable-to-a-fault and devastatingly handsome champion insists on helping her out, even though she’s not quite sure she wants him to. After all, shouldn’t he be off romancing Queen Guenevere or something? Will Kat manage to stay out of trouble long enough to get back to her beloved lattes, cosmopolitans and cashmere? And what will Lancelot’s forbidden love mean for the kingdom of Camelot?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

It took a long time for me to decide what rating to give A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court by Mari Mancusi. This was the fun, sometimes silly, often thrilling adventure of Kat—a fashion editor who’s all about Starbucks and her Manolo’s, and not so much about medieval life—but it wasn’t without its snares.

Technically speaking, the writing was pretty decent. I found a small handful of typos throughout the book, but nothing terribly jarring. The writing overall was fluid, clear, and fast-paced. I didn’t feel like I was stumbling through awkward word choices or grammar issues. The romance between Lancelot and Kat was believable and steamy, and I rooted for them throughout the book. The world building was familiar and stuck pretty true to the core tale of Arthur and Camelot, and I enjoyed the idea behind the plot.

The problem for me, unfortunately, was Kat herself. I found it very difficult to like Kat. Honestly, she was kind of obnoxious and definitely more than a little self-centered. Her words and choices throughout the book were made with little forethought, often resulting in misunderstandings and trouble for the people around her, and instead of outright apologizing, most of the time she just pouted in her head about how no one liked her because she made bad first impressions. She certainly did at that—I hated her personality and found her more than a little annoying.

Still, the book was fun and a certainly interesting mash-up of an old classic tale and modern day drama.  Overall, I rated the book a “meh”. I liked it, I’m glad I read it, but I would have liked it a lot more had Kat not been as obnoxious, and had her actions had more realistic consequences. She just wasn’t my idea of a fun heroine to follow around for the entirety of a book.

Book Review: Love Beyond Time

review-cover-love beyond timeTitle: Love Beyond Time [Morna’s Legacy 1]

Author: Bethany Claire

Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance, Historical

Rating: 4 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

It began nearly four hundred years ago. The Conall clan and all their people were murdered in a surprise attack, their beloved castle and all evidence of who destroyed them burned to the ground with their bodies. In the centuries following, archaeologists searched through the ruins looking for any evidence of what or who had caused the untimely demise of such a powerful Scottish clan. All efforts were fruitless, until a spell put in place by an ancient Conall ancestor finally began to work its magic…

Texas kindergarten teacher, Brielle Montgomery, finds comfort in the mundane routines of her life, but when her archaeologist mother asks her to accompany her on a dig in Scotland, she decides to step out of her comfort zone. Once in Scotland, they discover a secret spell room below the castle ruins, and Bri finds herself transported back in time and suddenly married to the castle’s ill-fated Laird. Now, she must work to change the fate of his people, all while trying to find a way to return to her home and century. But with each passing day, Bri finds herself falling more deeply in love with her new husband. If she can find a spell to bring her home, will she use it? And if she stays, will it ultimately mean her own death as well?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I enjoyed Love Beyond Time by Bethany Claire. Having never read this particular author’s work before, I was curious to pick up the first book in the Morna’s Legacy series to see what all the fuss was about—and I wasn’t disappointed.

Technically speaking, the book was well written. I didn’t stumble across any misspelled words, awkward sentences, incorrect punctuation or grammatical errors. The pace was a bit fast for my liking, but not egregiously so, and I found myself easily slipping into the story from the beginning. The writing was engaging and clean and read like a polished Harlequin romance… for better or worse.

I liked the characters, especially poor Brielle (love her name), who found herself sucked into the past and did her best to make an impossible situation as pleasant as possible—even if she had to delude herself a little to accomplish the feat. However, I’ll admit that there was a certain lack of depth to some of the characters that left me with some doubts.

To be clear, I really enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t without it’s problems. The book was almost a little too formulaic. There was a certain lack of complexity to the characters, a lack of grittiness to the world Brielle was thrust into that made it seem as if things were perhaps going a little too easily for the heroine. Situations arose where the solutions just seemed to pop up on their own before things got too tense, and after awhile, I felt that it sucked some of the interest out of the story for me. The quick pace of the writing contributed to the problem, making it seem as if maybe some of the world building and character development had been left out in lieu of moving the story along as quickly as possible. It wasn’t bad… but I think it could have been better.

Overall, I liked the story, the characters, the plot, even the writing. Was it the best I’ve read? No. I wish there had been a little more to it… but it’s still a good book, and I’m glad to have read it. I think people who read typical formulaic Harlequin-esque romance literature will appreciate the story a lot more than the typical fantasy reader, but I’d urge you to give it a try if you like time travel romances.

Nightmares & Hauntings: PART 4 (Story Time!)

haunted-house-with-ghost-22978-hd-wallpapers-background

My current house is 70+ years old, going on 80. It’s old. Really old—and also falling apart. It was built as part of a housing unit for the Chinese labor camps that used to live in this town when they were installing the railroad through this part of Texas. It’s cramped, shoddy, and has a history. The first day I moved into this house I lugged some boxes into my computer room (Where I’m sitting as I type this) and into the closet. The attic entrance is in the closet. It’s a drop-panel entrance. To be blunt, I nearly peed myself that day when I opened up the closet door and the attic’s drop-panel flung open and away into the darkness.

It was the air pressure between the rooms. This house sucks. Needless to say, I’ve never actually been up into this attic. I still look up at the panel every time I open the closet—just to make sure it’s still closed and not open an inch.. or six. When it gets windy, the panel bangs around in the closet, but do I open the closet to look? Nope. Never going to happen. My house is not haunted. I’m just creeped out by attics at this point. Even as I’ve sat here for the past two hours typing out these Story Time articles, I’ve glanced back at that closet about 20 times. Just to make sure it’s closed. Why? Because the other night I went to bed, and when I woke up in the morning, the closet door was open. I –always- keep that door closed.

Now maybe you understand what that door being open means to me, and why I’m currently a little freaked out. To top it off, I’ve been watching a Ghost Hunters marathon for the past three days (this was after that door was found open) so forgive me if I’m a little paranoid.

At this point, you may be wondering where Nightmares fit into all of this. I’m getting to that.

I’ve lived in this house for about 8 years. In that time I’ve had a reoccurring nightmare that I’ve just moved into a severely haunted house. I spend my nights going room to room through this haunted mansion of a house trying to discover its secrets and deal with the creatures that live in it. I say creatures because I’m fairly certain not all of them are human.

The weird part is, every time I have this dream, I remember that I’ve had it before. I know that I’m dreaming, and I remember all the previous dreams (even though I sometimes forget them when I wake up). Last week I had the 20-something version of this dream, and in that dream I was standing in my computer room, putting boxes away into the closet. At the top/back of the closet was a cubbyhole that lead into a crawlspace. I remember hearing the crawlspace open, and laughing it off as air pressure. I then went to get another box, and when I came back, an arm was reaching out of the cubbyhole beckoning me to follow it into the attic.

The creepiest part about that dream was that I remember wanting to go into the attic. I was literally trying to force the other people in the dream with me to go into the attic even though I knew what kind of malevolent creatures lived up there. Why the heck would I do that?!

Flash forward to today.

Once again, I dreamed I was back in the haunted house. Only this time, I’d gone back in time about 20 years. It was long before I moved in and the residents several decades ahead of me were painting the house, ready to put it up on the market. They’d invited dozens of people over to view the place. It was odd because as I walked into the house I recognized some of the people there (though I still can’t place where I know them from) and they were surprised when I addressed them by name. I kept hinting to them that they really didn’t want to buy this house. The house was meant for me. I knew I was going to be the last owner that ever lived there.

For once, I wasn’t freaked out by the paranormal activity. Yah, there were creepy things in the house, but they were my creepy things, and I was sort of annoyed that all these people were even considering buying the house.

I remember at one point in the dream I walked into the kitchen and a group of men and women were sipping alcoholic drinks and talking about a man who’d reportedly hanged himself in the kitchen. I laughed at them and told them he’d hanged himself here, but not in the kitchen.

Don’t even ask me how I knew that.

After getting some pretty strange looks from the group in the kitchen, I wandered into the living room just in time to hear this massive inhuman growl. The room went silent (despite being full of people) and a chair went flying across the room (with a very startled person sitting in it). I marched angrily into the room and in the loudest voice I’ve probably ever uttered (dream or not) I shouted “STOP IT! Do you think I don’t remember what you are?” I remember getting the impression that whatever it was in that house.. and however many there were (we’re talking in the dozens), they all turned towards me, zeroing in, and… they recognized me. For a moment I and the creatures living in that house were both aware that we’d been in this dream before. They remembered who I was, and knew that I’d recognized them too.

Then, I woke up.

It was so real—so intense. I still feel like I’m in that house in my dreams, and I’m still standing in that room surrounded by those things… and we’re all just staring back at each other, acknowledging the other’s presence. It feels like I’m back in the basement of my second house. It feels… Wrong.


The incidents in this article have all been 100% true as far as I can remember them. Oddly I now have the strange urge to write them into a horror story… and somehow that thought terrifies me—maybe because the dream still feels all too real.

Nightmares & Hauntings: PART 3 (Story Time!)

haunted-house-with-ghost-22978-hd-wallpapers-background

(Continued from PART 2)

After high school there was a summer where I stayed in that second house. I was 17, not yet old enough to move out, and my parents had decided to go on a trip to Vegas for 2 weeks, leaving me home alone. My sister had started college (I couldn’t afford to go), and I’d asked my two best friends to spend the two weeks with me. (There was no way I was going to stay in that house alone for two weeks.) During the day my two friends went to work, and jobless, I stayed home.

It was on this particular day that I was in the middle of a phone call with my best friend (planning a grocery shopping trip that evening) and I walked down the 3rd floor staircase onto the second floor. Now, the way our house was set up, the third and basement floor staircases both emptied into the living room,  right next to each other. Across from the staircases sat our large screen TV (which was off). As I stepped onto the second floor, I happened to glance up, and caught an image of a little girl standing on the staircase that lead down into the basement, beside me. She was reflected in the darkened TV screen.

Freaked out, I spun around to look at the steps, and standing there plain-as-day was a girl. She was maybe 6-8 years old, had long dark brown hair, and wore a little dress. She had a headband in her hair, and no shoes. I can’t remember what her face looked like, or even if she looked at me, but I have never run so fast in my life.

Phone-in-hand, and with me screaming at my poor best friend, I raced through the living room, into the dining room, and out the back door onto our deck. The door slammed shut behind me, and I ended up standing at the far side of the yard, shaking, and staring at the house like it was going to eat me. I’ve never been so terrified in my life – and that’s counting the time I was forced to hide in an outhouse for 45 minutes while a black bear and her cub tried to get in. (true story)

I just remember jabbering into the phone to my friend, telling her what I’d seen, and her telling me she was on her way back to my house. I took a few minutes to calm down, and finally decided I needed to go back into the house. I didn’t have shoes on, and the phone needed to be re-charged (cordless kitchen telephone). Problem was, when I tried to open the back door, it wouldn’t budge. Now what you have to realize is, this door was one of those that only locked from the inside with a key. You couldn’t just turn a latch and lock it, and you couldn’t open the door from either side while it was locked. I hadn’t locked the door, and I didn’t have a key on me.

I ended up having to circle the house to a basement window in that back bedroom I mentioned earlier (that felt wrong) because we usually left it unlocked for emergencies, and I crawled into the basement, and walked the length of it, up the stairs I’d seen the girl standing on, and into the 2nd floor again. I’d never seen her before that day, and I’ve never seen her since, but I got the general gist of what she wanted that day. It felt like I was being put in my place. It was her house. I moved out at the end of summer.

Still, no one believes me when I tell them what I saw that day – except maybe my best friend who heard the panic in my voice over the phone.

Every place I’ve lived after that house hasn’t been haunted. (although I had an apartment were the ceiling started to turn black and part of it peeled away…. I was just waiting for a corpse to fall out of my attic at that point… it was right after the Grudge came out.. and it turned out to be toxic mold and a burst pipe) I’ve never had that feeling again where it felt wrong to enter a room. I haven’t heard footsteps or voices. Nothing. However, my experiences as a child did fuel my love of the supernatural. Take all of this into consideration as I get into the next part of my story, because the context is important.

(Continued in PART 4)

Nightmares & Hauntings: PART 2 (Story Time!)

haunted-house-with-ghost-22978-hd-wallpapers-background 

(Continued from PART 1)

Our second house was a three-story monstrosity that had been built by a carpenter for him and his handful of sons. It had a first floor that was half underground, a second floor, and a third floor that was split in two. You had to cross the entire house to get between the two halves of the third floor via the second and a set of stairs. It also had a multitude of crawlspaces and several (yes, several) enclosed attics that were separate from each other and required separate entrances. My father even found a closed-off room behind one of the walls that seemed to have no entrance except through a hole in one of the attics.

We’re talking the stuff of nightmares here.

When we moved in, I purposefully picked a room that had no attic entrance and had a lock on the door. I was planning ahead you see. Oddly, and though we wouldn’t remember this until years later, the first day we moved into this new house, my sister and I went to our rooms, sat in the middle of the floors (to get a feel for our new space), and when we came out, turned to each other and exclaimed “A little girl used to live in my room!” “A guy used to live in mine!” It was just a feeling we had – a bit of silliness between sisters, and we didn’t think of it again for quite awhile.

I’m not exactly sure when strange things started to happen in that house. It’s a bit hazy to me—but I do remember sitting in our computer room one day (which was next to my bedroom and across the hall from the bathroom on our half of the third floor) and I started staring off into space towards the bathroom. There was the briefest flash of an imagine in my mind of a man sitting on the edge of the bathtub, watching us in the other room… like a brief glimpse of an idea or a memory, and when my sister asked me what I was staring at—even before I could think about a reply—I turned back to the computer and said as if it were the most natural thing in the world: “Joe.” and continued on with whatever it was I was doing. My sister didn’t question it. It was just something we both knew.

Now, I would never call myself sensitive or a medium. I think those labels are silly and make you sound somewhat insane—but it is widely believed that identical twins have a connection that science just can’t seem to understand. We know what the other is thinking, and often finish each other’s sentences. I’d like to attribute some of what I know and sensed in that house to that connection…whatever that means.

Even before the footsteps started and things started moving around the house on their own, we also knew just as we had about “Joe”, the man who inhabited the third floor with us, that there was something terribly wrong with the basement (1st floor). Walking down those stairs (which were right next to the stairs to the third floor) was like walking into a dark hole—even though there were windows. It felt wrong down there, and even during the day I would catch myself running up the stairs as if I were being chased. At night I wouldn’t even look down the stairwell unless I knew a family member was down there.

A few times we heard giggling, whispers, and a child’s voice from down those stairs, particularly around the room that sat under the stairs, and a bedroom at the far end. We believed there was a malevolent child ghost in that basement, though I couldn’t tell you why, and we nicknamed her Isabella. (I have no idea what her real name might have been or why she was there). I only know that she gave off this feeling that sent a chill up your spine, and she never ventured up out of the first floor. Joe on the other hand, didn’t scare us. We treated him as a guardian of sorts, and he almost always stuck to the third floor. I can’t say why we felt that way, but our general impression was that the two didn’t like each other.

Now I realize I’m starting to sound a bit crazy, but hang in there with me. These stories have a purpose: context.

One night, after raving about our haunted house to our friends for well over a year, we had a slumber party, and we invited all our friends to spend the night in the basement with us. We told ghost stories, recounted true stories about our previous hauntings, and unfortunately, we played with a Ouija Board. I won’t get into the details, but after that night, we never played with our Ouija Board again, and my friends vowed never to sleep over in our basement again. Everyone felt the wrongness of that place.

Part-way through the night, as we were telling stories, we heard a THUNK! from upstairs (the third floor where our bedrooms were). Curious, we all raced up stairs to the second floor, turned the corner to race up the stairs to the third floor, and discovered that there, sitting at the top of the stairs as if it had been gently placed there (and totally facing down the stairs) was my Kindergarten Diploma. What you have to understand, is that the Diploma (in it’s picture frame) had previously been sitting atop of a tall computer desk (one of those HUGE ones that’s over 6 feet tall) behind a lamp and a dollhouse, and also behind a partially closed door. (it was open maybe 6-12 inches).

Somehow, it had ended up at the top of the stairs (out in the hall and 8 feet from it’s previous spot) without having knocked anything down, been broken, and past the still mostly-closed computer room door. We had no explanation for it, but from that point on, my friends believed me when I said my house was haunted.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of it. I will never forget the moment it was at it’s worst in that house. Mirrors and TV reflections still make me nervous.

(Story Time will continue in Part 3)

Nightmares & Hauntings – PART 1 (Story Time!)

haunted-house-with-ghost-22978-hd-wallpapers-background 

Have you ever had a dream or a nightmare that was so real that even after you woke up, you had this sense of unease as if you were still dreaming? Have you ever had one of those uneasy dreams reoccur night after night for years on end? I have.

This is going to be a bit of a story, so bear with me. The recounting in this series of articles are 100% true as far as I am aware.

When I was a little girl my family lived in a little house along the bay in an old fishing/logging town. We lived in a section of the area called Empire, which was a bit like the ghetto of an already insignificant place. The entire area’s population was under 6,000. We didn’t have a Wal-Mart or a mall, or even our own hospital. What we did have, was history.

The house I grew up in once belonged to an old sea captain (or so I was once told), and though I don’t know the exact dates of the house, I know that when my mother first moved into it, it was the only house on the block. I remember once when I was little my father tore down a wall to expand a room and discovered the beams were made out of driftwood and old ship-timbers covered in barnacles.

I don’t know if anyone ever died in the house before we moved in, but I can tell you that someone died in it after, and I can assure you that it was haunted.

When I was little I used to share a room with my identical twin sister. We used to go to bed at night pretending we were on a Star Trek ship in our individual quarters, and we would jabber on about nonsense well into the night. Eventually, my sister would fall asleep, and I would be left wide-awake. I had what doctors refer to as 4th degree insomnia. I had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and going back to sleep once I was awake. Usually this meant I lived off about 2 hours of sleep a night taken in 20-minute bursts until I was well into adulthood.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was a very nervous kid. Our home wasn’t the happiest and I was on practically constant alert to be verbally attacked or hit. I’m an anxious person by nature to this day, but I will still swear to you that as a child, I didn’t sleep because once the lights went out and the house grew quiet, other things besides my sister and I came out to play.

I still remember laying in my bed, covers pulled up over my nose, watching small shadows move about my room like little dark goblins investigating my toys. I know my sister saw them too because she used to refer to them as the Darklings, and later by other names when she started drawing them into comics and writing about them in novels. I also remember waking up one night to see a man walk through our dining room (which my bedroom was adjoined to) and thinking it was my father—only when I asked him the next morning, my father had never gotten up out of bed.

By far my most disturbing memory however, was about the attic. You see, the attic in our house had only one entrance, and that entrance was in my room. It sat not a foot inside the doorway to my room, and it had one of those drop-panels as a door that sunk in between two ceiling beams. The only way to open it was to push the panel up and over out of the way. Attics still give me the creeps because of that house. Every night before bed I would make sure the attic was closed and the panel was in place, and every night I would lay in bed and listen to footsteps and skittering above me and listen to the attic door slowly dragging open. Now, being an irrational kid, I thought a gorilla or aliens lived in my attic. I was a kid after all, but that doesn’t change the fact that I spent every night scared out of my mind as I watched that attic door slide open.

I would wake up each morning to find the attic door slightly open. Sometimes it was only an inch, sometimes it was 6, sometimes the door was nearly entirely removed. My parents told me that wind gusts in the attic had moved it, but I knew better. They hadn’t heard or seen the things I had. Finally, one day, my sister moved into her own room, and my parents let me choose a new color to paint my brand new i-have-to-be-here-alone-OMG room. The trouble was, when they took down the attic panel to paint it as well, they discovered it was covered in three-fingered child-sized handprints. They had to paint over it 3 times before the prints stopped showing up through the paint. A few years later my mother died in that house, and we moved a few months later.

Trouble was, our new house was haunted too.

(Story Time will continue in Part 2)

Free Fiction Friday #5

Hey guys! It’s that time again:  FRIDAYYYYYY! I swear, the closer it gets to summer, the longer these weeks seem to get. Anyways, we’re going to be a little different this weekend, and this time around I’m going to offer up some 100% FREE Time-Travel Romance novels for you to enjoy over the weekend. These all have 4+ Star ratings on Amazon, so give them a look!

cover-highlandstoneHighland StoneAfter her grandmother’s death, Kara Malone inherits a key and a box with a secret. On a plane bound for Hawaii where she is to start a new job, she opens the box to find her grandmother’s journal and a beautiful stone. Magical forces propel Kara back in time to the Scottish Highlands where she is nearly run down by Alaxandar MacLeod, the dark stranger from her dreams. Her problems are just beginning.

Alaxandar has been charged with finding the truth behind the recent violent raids against his clan. When his horse almost tramples a beautiful stranger, he wonders if she may hold the key to the raids. Is she a spy or a witch come to lure him with her wiles and distract him from his mission? Whatever she proves to be, Kara is everything he’s wanted in a woman and he’ll do anything to keep her with him.

cover-daughteroftimeDaughter of Time A medieval man with an uncertain destiny, Llywelyn, the Prince of Wales, faces treachery and deceit at the hands of friends and foes alike …

A modern woman with a troubled past, Meg’s life is in tatters when she slips through time and into medieval Wales …

Only by working together can Meg and Llywelyn navigate the shifting allegiances that threaten the very existence of Wales–and create their own history that defies the laws of time.

cover-outoftimeOut of TimeProfessor Simon Cross has spent his life searching for evidence of vampires and avoiding emotional entanglements. When a mysterious accident transports Simon and his assistant, Elizabeth West, back in time, Simon finally finds both the proof that he’s been looking for, and the romance that he hasn’t.

Simon and Elizabeth’s developing relationship is tested by demons real and imagined. In 1920s Manhattan, there are more than mobsters vying for power in the city’s speakeasies. When the local kingpin with a dark secret sets his sights on Elizabeth, day to day struggles become a fight for their very lives.

cover-johnnydoesntdrinkchampagneJohnny Doesn’t Drink Champagne On a high school trip to London, Madison Lambourne meets seductive stranger Johnny De Vere, who believes he knows her already, and is torn between love and revenge.
Eager to learn more about this beautiful, lonely, young man, Madison agrees to go with him to a re-enactment at the Tower of London. Dressed as a highborn medieval lady in a black velvet gown, she accidentally slips through a doorway that leads to the past. Knowing she will not last long on the streets of medieval London, Johnny must follow her… with devastating consequences for them both.

cover-therakeandtherecluseFreedom: The Rake and the Recluse Francine Larrabee woke up on the wrong side of the century. She was fairly certain she went to sleep in her own comfy bed, but she doesn’t quite seem to be there now. Only adding to her problems is that she has no voice, is constantly being glowered at by a large, stunning man who is obsessed with propriety, and she is apparently betrothed to another horrid little man, determined to ruin her, and any other girls that get in his way.
How does she find herself in the past, when she couldn’t even find herself in her present? How does a self sufficient businesswoman survive in a time when women were still considered property for the whole of their lives and what is she going to do with this man who draws her to him so fiercely.

cover-imarriedanalienI Married an Alien When Ruth Clarke volunteers for an experiment to see into the future, she thinks it’s a bit of a joke. But when Professor Jackson ups the power, Ruth ends up catapulted three hundred years into the future, into the body of Anita DeBurgh, a beautiful woman half her age.

Anita is on her way to another planet called Terron to fulfill her tour of duty as per the requirements of The Treaty. So when Ruth arrives she very quickly finds herself married to Jordan Demantena, who claims she is his life-mate.

As Ruth struggles to acclimatise to marriage to a tall, handsome and incredibly sexy alien, there are intergalactic terrorists after Anita.

Ruth and Jordan are soon running for their lives, trying to discover just what Anita knew and how to stop a potential war between Earth and Terron that could cost millions of lives.

cover-forsakenForsaken Agilia is an assassin who has grown tired of the life she lives. She is offered a chance to go back in time, to change the world for the better, and she reluctantly accepts. Except when she goes back, and is about to complete her mission, an accident changes everything.

Agilia wakes as Elaine, a prison counselor. She has no memory of her past, no knowledge of the life lived as ‘Agilia.’ She is in the company of men who have committed heinous crimes, and is there to improve their emotional well-being. But as she gets to know those men, she discovers all is not what it seems. Are they merely murderers, or do they have a past rooted in some heroic struggle, where they were the vanquished in a long and bloody war? Does she really belong with them, or does the haunting figure in the mirror mean that she has another path to follow? Love stalks her in the dimly-lit prison corridors, and she engages in a dangerous affair with an inmate, but is he really what he appears to be? Who are the real prisoners, and who are those that can help her find out who she is, and why she is there? Elaine must tame the forsaken assassin within her if she is ever to find redemption, and save her entire world.

cover-alessoninpassionA Lesson in Passion Ginny has a successful career, nice home and good friends. The only thing she’s missing is love. Her past attempts at dating always seem to end badly, until a friend recommends some romance novels. Meant to be instructional, Ginny laughs off their usefulness.

Ian is a powerful Scottish laird, living in Medieval times. As the new leader of his clan, he is honor bound to make decisions that benefit his people. Tough, but fair, Ian has made a name for himself among the clans of the Highlands.
A freak accident leaves Ginny in a world within herself, the world of the romance novel heroine. Fighting off an evil band of Lowlanders, Ginny meets her hero, Ian, powerful laird of the clan McKenna. Ginny soon realizes she is in the body of an Englishwoman and is being forced to live with the McKenna clan.

Ginny assumes she must fall in love to move out of this world and back into her own. So before her hero can marry another, she schemes to win him back and hopefully reach her goals.

cover-crossingtherubiconCrossing the Rubicon Imagine Yourself Living Over 200 Years Ago

Every story has a beginning and an end. What lies between these two points is the journey. Crossing the Rubicon is the story of seven remarkable teens as they survive the unbelievable.

What started out as a simple weekend trip exploring the Chungo caves, became a journey which took them back 275 years in time, had them cross multiple continents, and stretched them to their limits. Discover how they survived with just the clothes on their backs, some limited technology and their wits and resolve. In a world without computers, without the basic items we use each day, could you survive?

Follow Trinity, Jacob, Keira, Tom, Kim, Andy and Robert, as they step across the Rubicon, never to return. Live with them through their story of adventure, courage, love, and honour. Taking you from the mountains of Canada to New Spain, Europe, and South Africa, Crossing the Rubicon is a powerful story of survival, based on historic fact.

They lived life like no others. “We had lived, experienced more in three years, than most people would experience in ten lifetimes.”

cover-thebridepriceThe Bride Price – Is love timeless?
Does only one true love exist for each person?
Can the course of history be changed in order to save a future generation?

Sophie Ford, awaiting a heart transplant, thought she was sleeping in the arms of her beloved husband, Jamie. However, she has woken to find herself in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1863, without explanation as to how she got there, or where her husband is.

Taking refuge with a doctor and his family, she finds herself in a volatile relationship with their neighbor, Richard Madden. His expectations and desires become difficult to ignore, and Sophie must find a way to hold off his pursuit.

She rejoices when a soldier, looking identical to Jamie, arrives. Although he claims he doesn’t know her, she’s convinced he’s her husband and sets out to make him remember. Sophie races against time as she faces increasing pressure from Richard, who threatens their chance to reunite.

Can she break through Jamie’s barriers and bring his memory back? And once found, can their love survive living in a different century?