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Welcome back to day two of the Steamed! Halloween Author Invasion. Don’t forget to come back each day for a new Halloween-themed post and a chance to win another great treat.

October 25 — Contemporary Romance Author Charlene Sands
October 26 — Young Adult Author Inara Scott
October 27 — Paranormal Romance Author Jacquelyn Frank
October 28 — Young Adult Author Simone Elkeles
October 29 — Paranormal Romance Author Maggie Shayne
October 30 — Young Adult Author Ednah Walters
October 31 — Urban Fantasy Author Jeanne Stein

Today we welcome Charlene Sands who’s talking about ghosts and giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! Her newest release is the novella “Wearing the Rancher’s Ring” in the Christmas anthology Western Winter Wedding Bells out now from Harlequin Historicals.

Cooper Garnett is shot and left for dead near Double J Ranch when widow Rachel Bodine comes to his aid. Could his unexpected arrival be the best Christmas gift ever— a second-chance family for Rachel and her little son?

Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and historical romances. She the recipient of the National Reader’s Choice Award and double recipient of the Booksellers’ Best Award. She’s a member of the Orange County Chapter and the Los Angeles Chapter of RWA. You can visit her website and enter her Western Winter Wedding Bells Contest at www.charlenesands.com

Ghoulish Legends of the Old West or How to Get Rid of a Ghost!
By Charlene Sands

The Legends

William Bodey discovered gold in a place that’s now called Bodie’s Bluff, just east of the Sierra Nevada slopes close to where my story takes place in Wearing the Rancher’s Ring, from the anthology Western Winter Wedding Bells. It is said that an illiterate sign painter changed the name to Bodie by mistake, but others contend it was merely changed for easier pronunciation.

By 1879, Bodie’s population grew to 10,000, with 65 saloons, 2,000 buildings and many brothels and opium dens. Crime prevailed in this city of lawlessness and killings were an every day occurrence. By the 1940’s Bodie became a Ghost Town when the mine played out and many ghostly legends abounded.

The Bodie Curse states that if anyone takes anything even as small as a pebble from the grounds, that person is “cursed” and bad luck and misfortune will follow them. Apparently the ghosts of Bodie protect this historic site as Park Rangers have filled logbooks of returned items.

The town also reports many restless spirits. The J.S Cain House on the corner of Park and Green seems to be haunted by a Chinese maid, who doesn’t like adults, but loves children. Adults have woken up at night to find a heavyset woman crushing their chest. One woman fought so hard against this unseen weight that she fell off the bed.

The Gregory House is haunted by an old woman. Many guests and staff have witnessed her knitting an afghan or have seen a chair rocking by itself.

The Mendocini House is reported to be haunted by friendly ghosts. Mrs. Mendocini loved cooking and Rangers have reported flavorful Italian aromas coming from the house. Others have heard children’s laughter emanating from the room next door.

Apparently, these Bodie visitors didn’t know these rules…

How To Get Rid of a Ghost:

• The easiest way to get rid of a ghost is to simply ask it to leave. Use a firm voice and tell the ghost exactly what you want and why. You might say something like this: “This is my house and it bothers me when you are around all the time. Would you please leave?” Remember, the physical world is your domain and ghosts rarely have any power in the physical world.

• Ghosts don’t always know that they are dead. You may have to explain to them that they are dead, that they no longer belong in the physical world and will be better off if they move toward the light.
• Sometimes you may have to ask what the spirit wants. This is often the case with someone who has recently passed over who may be attempting to communicate to you about something. Afterwards, they are happy to leave.

• Use your imagination to “see” loved ones, angels, or guides coming to
take them to the light.

Do Not:

• When telling the ghost to “go away”, do not yell or sound angry.

• Do not give the spirit recognition by talking about it in your home, or maybe avoid talking about it all together. This provides the spirit with energy, making it more powerful.

• Try not to show fear. It is your home and the spirit can generally do you no harm. Fear can also provide the spirit with energy.

• DO NOT use Ouija boards, Tarot cards, séances, or witchcraft when dealing with anything that is supernatural. These items may actually increase spiritual activity and/or “open doors” that invite demonic and other unwanted spirits.

Have you ever had any ghostly encounters? No? Have your visited a ghost town or any place that is considered haunted? How about a favorite book or movie about ghosts and ghouls? In the spirit of Halloween treat giving, one lucky commenter today will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. So, tell us your tales …

~Charlene Sands
www.charlenesands.com

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Dear Reader,

I would like to begin by saying while I revel in the science and enjoy the Victorian splendor that is in today’s steampunk, I find that there is often something missing…and it’s not steam…it’s steaminess.

Now before you get your bustle in an uproar, take a look at some of the most celebrated authors of other science fiction and action genres, like James Rollins, Michael Crichton and James Patterson. More often that not, they include some relationship (dare I say romantic) element between their characters within the context of the story. And while steampunks are full of science and fantasy elements, I believe they would benefit from a heavier dose of the relationship aspects between the characters.

Why? Because it’s human nature to be interested in the human condition. That’s part of what makes even dystopian fiction possible. There’s been a long-standing tradition among those in the science-fiction genre that says too much steaminess in a story somehow lowers its quality. Why?

After all, when you read a book, is it simply because that character has the coolest raygun in existence, or is it because you actually are curious what will happen to the character once he shoots said raygun and mayhem errupts?

When you meet a couple, do you ask how they met, or do you want to know how often they polish their brass buttons on their captain’s jacket to get them to gleam so well?

Part of the reason I adore Gail Carriger’s steampunk Parasol Protectorate series is because of the relationship between her main characters. The first book especially got me hooked because there was an attraction between Alexa Tarbotti and Lord Macon that was nothing if not steamy.

While the Victorian era was indeed a little more straight-laced about the kinds of affections that could be touted in public, we must remember that this is steampunk. Perhaps being a little steamier requires us to be a little more punk about our perceptions of the era and let those relationships out in the open.

After all, if a woman can wear her undergarments on the outside without steampunk social circles batting an eyelash, why should we not have more steaminess in our steampunk stories? What do you think? Are you for more steam in your steampunk or not? 

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