Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Something New

I know I haven’t been around much lately. I had some family obligations come up and needed to take some time to recharge. Not sure when I’ll be back to a regular blog post schedule, but don’t give up on me.

I did want to share some exciting news. I’m joining 14 other authors in a new venture. We’ll be blogging Monday through Friday, bringing original fiction, book reviews and other fun stuff. We’ll have the blog on Amazon so if you have a Kindle and want to pay Amazon’s convenience fee, you can have it automatically uploaded to your device. Or you can go to the blog directly and read for free.

I’ll be posting twice a month. I’ve decided to release my werewolf novella as a serial, available at The Digital Digest (our blog). I’ll have more information as we get closer to the launch date of June 1.

I hope you check me out on The Digital Digest.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Subliminal Stimuli

Today I want to talk about something that is related to the brain wave series we just finished up, but is different.

Subliminal stimuli.

You’ve heard of advertising executives tout the advantage of inserting a flash photo into an advertisement to sell more products. Some people worried so much about becoming “brainwashed” that the FCC banned subliminal messages in advertisements in the 1970s.

The idea behind it is that the flash of a picture or words spoken so softly as to be heard clearly bypass the conscious mind and lodge in our subconscious. It’s similar to hypnosis in that it bypasses the conscious mind. The difference between the two is the method of delivery.

But does it actually work?

I found myself needing a bit more self-discipline to get certain things done during the day so I decided to find out.

I ordered a CD specifically for self-discipline/willpower. It recommended listening to it for 1 hour per day and once a week reading through the list of affirmations that were on it.

So I did.

I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks now and I have to say I’ve noticed an improvement. Is it possible that it’s all in my head? Yep. But here’s the thing. Whether the affirmations playing under the music are what helped me get my butt in gear or my brain thinking they would help so they did doesn’t really matter in the long run. Not to me. What matters to me is that I had the focus to do what I needed to do.

I’ve not been this productive in quite a while. I’m running with it and not looking back.
In case you’re wondering where I ordered the CD, I ordered from Inner Talk. I did some research and chose to trust them and they’re patented technology.

What do you think about subliminal messages? Do you think it works? Have you tried it? Care to share your experiences?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gamma Waves

We’ve spent the last two weeks talking about brain waves and we’ve covered them. Except for gamma waves.

Quite honestly, this one is a new one for me. When I’d originally started looking at brain waves, this one never popped up. Recently I’d been looking at Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s CD offerings and found 2 for gammas. I was intrigued.

So I did some research and what I found prompted me to slap down the money and buy those darn CDs.

Gamma waves are considered the brain’s optimal frequency of functioning. They are associated with compassion, happiness and increased mental abilities. They’re found in every part of the brain and help to improve memory and perception.

Benefits of increased gamma brain activity include boosted memory (as stated above), processing multiple senses at once, increased compassion, high level information processing, natural antidepressant, advanced learning ability, increase in I.Q., higher energy levels and higher level of focus.

As always, too much can cause problems. Too many gamma waves can cause some anxiety. Also, some people are not prepared for the mental awakening associated with gamma waves so it’s best to start off slow.

Healthy ways to increase gamma brain waves include:

1. Brain entrainment – You knew I was going here. I recently (in the last month) purchased Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s Gamma Meditation System and Gamma Meditation System 2.0. I haven’t gotten to really use it yet, but if it’s a good as the previous CDs I’ve purchased, I’ve no doubt that it’s awesome.
2. Sleep – Gammas are present during R.E.M. sleep and sometimes associated with dreaming, along with thetas.
3. Meditation – I’ve mentioned this several times.
4. Hypnosis/self-hypnosis – The more often you participate in this, the more your gamma waves increase.
5. Yoga – Again, mentioned several times.

There are no known unhealthy ways increase gamma waves and virtually all activities that are detrimental to mental health with decrease gammas.

If you’re already a smart and compassionate person and experience many of the benefits listed above, chances are high that you naturally produce enough gamma waves.

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll notice several of the same things increase most brain waves in a healthy manner. Getting enough sleep, a regular meditation practice and doing yoga on a regular basis. You’ll also notice that these activities keep your body healthy too.

If you want missed my posts on meditation and yoga, check them out.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful. Monday I’m going to touch on a topic that is somewhat related – subliminal messages.

Now that you’ve read about all the different brain waves, their benefits and how to increase them, what do you plan to do? Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Delta Waves

We’ve covered a lot of ground – beta, alpha, and theta brain waves. Next up is delta waves.

Beta waves were fast waves. Then we slowed it down with alpha before going even slower with theta. Delta brain waves are the slowest of all. Whereas theta waves are associated with the subconscious mind, delta waves are associated with the unconscious mind and like other slower brain wave patterns, generated in the right hemisphere of the brain.

Delta brain waves have been linked to stages 3 and 4 of sleep. If you’ve ever woken up and felt irritable, confused or disoriented, you probably woke up during your delta stage of sleep.

Delta brain activity has been linked to boosted intuition and the cultivation of psychic skills in some people. Think of them as a radar system for our intuition. Delta waves allow us to be more aware of information that isn’t available to our conscious, beta brain. This is our “gut” instinct.

Healing of the mind and body have been linked to delta brain waves. Researchers have discovered that it’s possible to produce melatonin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) within the delta range. These substances help to slow or reverse the effects of aging.

Increasing delta waves can reduce the production of cortisol. Cortisol is often produced in times of stress and increased levels can kill brain cells, as well as speed up the process of physical and mental aging.

Some problems associated with too many delta brain waves include an extremely unfocused mind, extreme sleepiness, and hyperactivity.

Healthy ways to increase delta waves are:

1. Brain wave entrainment – Yep, you guessed it. Dr. Jeffrey Thompson has this one covered too. I own the Delta Sleep System and there is also the Delta Sleep System 2.0. When I or hubby go through a bout of insomnia, I set these CDs to play through the night and they do wonders.
2. Sleep – Getting a good night’s rest is important for staying healthy and while plenty of sleep won’t increase your delta waves the next day, you’ll experience their benefit during your non-dream sleep.
3. Meditation – I just can’t say enough good stuff about this practice.
4. Hypnosis/self-hypnosis – If you practice frequent enough, you may find yourself able to tap into your delta brain wave awareness.
5. Yoga – Again, can’t say enough.

Sometimes, skipping sleep will produce delta brain waves. This falls under the unhealthy label. In addition to some delta wave increase, cortisol is also increased.

Most people don’t produce large amounts of delta waves unless they are in the deepest sleep stages. If you experience too many of the listed negative effects, you may want to consider speeding up your brain waves into the beta range.

Just one more brain wave to go. What do you think so far? Do you recognize yourself in any of the healthy or unhealthy aspects of these brain waves?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Theta Waves

We’ve talked about beta waves and alpha waves. Next on the list is theta.

These brain waves are usually associated with sleep and dreaming. Generated in the right hemisphere of the brain, they kick in when we feel emotional, relaxed, daydreamy, unfocused or asleep.

Benefits of increasing theta waves include deep levels of relaxation, advanced intuition, peak levels of creativity, advanced problem solving skills, lower anxiety and stress, the ability to learn a new language easier, boost in learning ability, stronger immune system, improved long-term memory, the ability to hyperfocus and replenishing the body and mind.

People that naturally generate high amounts of theta waves are extroverts, people who regularly meditate, children, and people with ADD or ADHD.

As with the other brain waves we’ve discussed, it is possible to generate too many. Some problems associated with this include the inability to focus, too much daydreaming, depression, sleepiness, lack of excitement, extreme impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and an overly receptive mind.

Healthy ways to increase theta brain activity includes:

1. Brain entrainment – Again, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson has the Theta Meditation System and the Theta Meditation System 2.0. I have owned and used the first for many years.
2. Listening to music – All genres of music, except classical, target the brain’s right side and increase theta levels.
3. Sufficient sleep – Getting a good night’s sleep is important for good health in many ways.
4. Meditation – Yep. This one again.
5. Hypnosis/self-hypnosis – As with alpha waves, regular hypnosis helps reduce stress by increasing theta waves.
6. Yoga – Another activity that I’ve recommended more than once.

Unhealthy ways to increase theta waves include taking valium, drinking alcohol and taking hallucinogenics.

Theta brain waves can be an intense experience. If you find yourself overemotional and depressed, increasing theta waves would not be recommended. Are you already an overemotional person? If so, you may already produce high amounts of theta activity. If you experience too many of the negative effects, perhaps speeding your brain waves to beta would be beneficial.

Do you think you have an abundance of theta brain activity? Do you think you’d like to increase it? Have you tried any the tips so far? What have you found?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alpha Waves

Today I want to talk about Alphas. No, not heroes this time. Alpha brain waves.

Monday I told you about beta waves and that when we are actively using our minds, these are most prevalent. They are fast waves.

Alpha waves are considered relaxed brain activity. These waves are usually generated in the right hemisphere of the brain or in a synchronized pattern between both sides. We experience this brain activity w hen we are relaxed and free of stress.

In people who are relaxed and creative, alpha waves are more prevalent than beta waves. When we close our eyes, alpha waves dominate. They are considered the healthiest wave frequency and the safest to train.

Benefits of increasing alpha brain waves include a relaxed body and mind, higher levels of creativity, improved ability to solve problems, emotional stability, boosted immune system, positive thinking and increased levels of serotonin.

Who tends to have naturally high levels of alpha waves? Extroverts, people who meditate on a regular basis and children.

Of course, it’s possible to have too much. How can anyone be too relaxed, I’m sure you’re asking? Too many alpha waves can lead to lack of focus, too many daydreams, depression, tiredness, lack of excitement, lack of visual awareness and being overly receptive to suggestions.

Bottom line is that it’s not recommended to increase a brainwave that you already have high levels of.

Healthy ways to increase alpha brain waves include:

1. Brain entrainment – I mentioned this Monday with beta waves. Again, I suggest Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s CDs. I personally own and use his Alpha Relaxation System. He now also has Alpha Relaxation System 2.0. I haven’t tried this one, but I’m sure it’s as great as the original.
2. Meditation – This is a great way to increase alpha waves, plus there are other benefits that go along with a regular meditation practice. Check out last Friday’s post for more information.
3. Self-hypnosis – Doing self-hypnosis on a regular basis will help reduce stress by raising your alpha waves.
4. Visualization – Close your eyes and try to imagine. This goes hand in hand with meditation, but can be used separately.
5. Yoga – Another great activity with more benefits than just raising your alpha activity. Check out my post here if you’d like more information.
6. Deep breathing – Again, this one goes along with meditation and yoga. Deep breathing does wonders in stress reduction.
7. Saunas/hot tubs – Sitting in a hot tub is relaxing, right? Natural state to be in for alpha waves. Same goes for laying in the sun.
8. Watching T.V. – Who would have thought watching television was healthy for anything? After just 30 seconds of watching television, your brains alpha waves kick in. The radiant light from the cathode-ray technology in televisions cause the brain to shift into alpha mode.

Of course there are unhealthy ways to increase alpha waves. Drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana will do the trick, but they are not the best choice.

If you already experience many of the listed benefits, you probably don’t need to boost your alpha waves. If you experience too many of the negative effects, you may want to try upping your brainwaves into the beta range.

Where do you think you fall? More towards beta or alpha? Does increasing certain brainwaves sound like something you’d like to try?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beta Waves

The brain is an electrochemical organ. It can generate small amounts of electrical activity. This electrical activity is called brain waves.

There are several different kinds of brain waves and I’ll be discussing them all over the next couple of weeks. The first I’m going to talk about is beta. These waves are considered fast brain waves and are usually generated in the left side of the brain.

Beta waves indicate a strongly engaged mind – someone participating in active conversation, making a speech, thinking logically, feeling stressed or tense. Basically, when you’re awake and alert, your brain is giving off beta waves.

Some benefits of increasing beta brainwaves include the ability to think quickly, being more social, being more goal-oriented, high levels of focus, more energy, the ability to write easily and quickly and an increase in I.Q.

I know all these benefits sound great, and they are. But remember, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

When beta wave levels are too high, you may experience anxiety, stress, paranoia, muscle tension, elevated blood pressure and insomnia.

There are ways to increase your beta waves. Healthy ways include:

1. Brain entrainment – this is a method that I use when I want to change my brain waves. Personally, I like Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s CDs and own several. He uses classical and soothing music embedded with sound frequencies to stimulate the appropriate brain waves. If you’re interested in trying to stimulate your own beta waves, you might consider his Brainwave Symphony: Beta.
2. Neurofeedback – I don’t know much about this one, other than it is very expensive though effective.
3. Brain training games – these games increase thinking and naturally speed up your beta activity. Some possibilities include Big Brain Academy for the Wii, Brain Age for Nintendo DS or the brain program.
4. Doing homework – using your brain to complete assignments, particularly math problems or reading short stories are another natural way to increase your beta waves.
5. Drinking coffee – the caffeine gives a jolt of energy to the brain, increasing beta waves. This effect is different for everyone, though, so it may take more or less to get your own motor revving.

Unhealthy ways to increase beta activity include snorting cocaine, taking diet pills, taking amphetamines, drinking energy drinks and smoking cigarettes. I think these are pretty self-explanatory.

Beta brainwaves are great, but you need to judge whether increasing them is right for you. Are you already a positive thinker with lots of energy? If so, your brain probably produces large amounts of beta waves naturally and you may even benefit from slowing down to alpha waves (Wednesday’s topic). Are you tired a lot and feel unmotivated or bored? Then you may benefit from an increase.

Are you familiar with the different types of brainwaves? Have you ever tried any methods of training your brain? Think you want to try?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Slow Down and Meditate

Over the next couple of weeks, my blog posts will be centered on an area of interest that I’ve been studying for a while – how the brain works.

I’m not going to get all neurological on you. I don’t have the expertise for that. In fact, what I share with you will be what I’ve learned as a layman. I have no expertise in any of this. I just find it interesting.

Today I’ll talk about meditation and in succeeding posts, I’ll talk about the different brain waves we produce and how we can access them.

I started meditating about 10 years ago. I’d like to say I’ve done it steady that whole time, but that would be a lie. I’ve lapsed the last couple of years and I’m working on building my meditation practice up to a daily occurrence again.

There are many benefits to meditation. Regular meditation can lower blood pressure, help relieve insomnia and help you relax and handle everyday stresses easier. On a personal note, my husband can tell when I meditate because I apparently don’t anger as easily as when I don’t meditate.

I started with guided meditation. I found it easier for me. There are lots of CDs and books that can help you get started. Believe it or not, I started with John Edward’s set of CDs (although they were cassette tapes at that time) called Developing Your Own Psychic Powers. The first guided meditation is that one that I used exclusively for a long time. It creates such a beautiful scene in my mind and I love to visit that place.

What I look for in a guided meditation is 1) music that is relaxing and pleasant for me to listen to, although drums are nice too, and 2) a voice that is pleasant to listen to. It does no good if you are irritated by either and can’t relax.

A few that I like are First Step by Gary Guthrie, The Soul of Healing Meditations by Deepak Chopra, The Enchanted Wood by Adam James Wakeling and Silence of Being by Mary & Richard Maddux.

Amazon has samples of most that they offer. Just type “guided meditation” into the search box and several pages will pop up. Listen to those that interest you to see if you find them soothing and relaxing.

You’ll find, if you give it a chance, that the more you meditate, the easier it is to slip into that meditative state. There are also things you can do to facilitate it.

1. Meditate the same time every day. This can be difficult when you have a busy schedule, but if you can find a time you have open on a consistent basis, this will help.
2. Meditate in the same place every day. Try to find a place where you won’t be interrupted and where you feel comfortable.
3. Ritual before you start. I like to light nag champa incense before I start. At this point, just smelling that scent starts the relaxation process.
4. Deep breathing. A lot of guided meditations will start you with breathing techniques. Again, after you’ve done it for a while, just practicing these techniques will relax your body.

These are just a few things that have helped me over the years. I hope you decide to give it a try if you haven’t before. It really does benefit your body.

Have you ever tried meditating? Do you meditate on a regular basis? What, if anything, would hold you back?

I’d love to hear about your own experiences and next time I’ll be discussing Beta brain waves.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shake Your Booty

If you haven’t exercised all your life, it can be a hard habit to pick up. Let’s face it, if you actually liked it, you’d already have been doing it, right? Maybe.

Sometimes it just takes finding the right activity to get you started. Sometimes it’s just making yourself do it.

For myself, I find that once I’m actually exercising, I’m fine. I love the way I feel afterwards. But I can really psych myself out, if I’m not careful. You’ve heard the excuses: I don’t have time, I’m tired, it’s boring, etc. I think I may have mentioned before that I’m really great at rationalizing anything I want to do.

How do I get past this? The easiest way is to get up and exercise first thing in the morning. If I don’t have time to think about it, I’m already halfway done before I realize it. Another thing that helps me is music.

Research shows that listening to upbeat music while you exercise helps you work out longer and harder, leading to faster calorie burn. Sounds great, right?

I recently came across a website that groups songs that might be good workout music by genre, decade and beats per minute (BPM). Genre and decade are self-explanatory, but BPM? Yes, you can use music that have a lower BPM to warm-up or cool-down and faster BPM music for your workout. The website is called RunHundred.

In addition to this website, there is an app for your iPod/iPhone called Cadence that will go through the music in your library and find the BPM for those songs.

Have you heard of either of these? How do you find your workout music? What do you like to listen to?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ebook Week March 6-12, 2011

Not sure if you’ve heard, but this week is Ebook Week, celebrating electronic books. I started reading ebooks about 8 years or so ago. I found them quite by accident.

At the time, I’d discovered Angela Knight’s Mageverse series and loved it. So I jumped onto her website, looking for more books. I found one that she had offered through Loose Id. I bit the bullet and bought it.

Then I found other publishers. I don’t even know how much money I spent in the beginning. This was before ereaders were so popular. I read most of my books on my computer. Then I talked hubby into buying me an ereader.

Choices were limited. I went with the Ebookwise reader. It was a little bulky, especially compared to today’s models. It worked, though. I LOVED it. I still have it, though nowadays I do most of my reading on my iTouch. I’m considering another ereader, but don’t know what I want so I hold off for now.

In honor of Ebook Week, some electronic publishers are giving away free ebooks or giving great deals. Check out the websites below for deals. I hope you enjoy. If you know of any others, please share in the comments.

Ebook Week
ImaJinn Books

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Last week I talked about my foot ailment, plantar fasciitis. It definitely slowed my progress. I took a week off from my exercise class. It seemed to help and I went back. It hurt again. This was a couple of weeks before we planned to leave for the States so I ended up taking all of December off and part of January.

Before I went back to class, I started exercising again with a 3 mile walk with Peanut. By the time I got home, my feet hurt. What to do?

I didn’t want it to get so bad that I needed surgery, but I still needed to work out. I’d made so much progress that I hated to backslide. Then I remembered. My awesome teacher, Sarah, who you met here, also does yoga classes in the evening.

I had taken yoga for a semester in college. It’s something that I had always wanted to try and I’d enjoyed it at the time. Afterwards, I tried to find a yoga class that I liked, but none ever clicked for me and I let it go.

When I thought about the yoga class here, I thought it would be the perfect solution. If it didn’t hurt my feet.

I’m happy to say that the yoga doesn’t affect my feet at all, so I’m able to continue the exercise without injuring myself further. If you’ve never tried yoga, I encourage you to do so.

Many people think it’s just stretching, not real exercise. I would counter that they are wrong. There is some stretching, but it’s so much more than that. You use your muscles in a more gentle way, if that makes any sense, but you still use them.

In fact, my arms and legs have been feeling the yoga workouts more than the Sculpt & Burn workouts I’d done previously. And with yoga, there are other benefits as well.

It increases your flexibility, which in turn, makes you look younger.

It massages the organs in your body. I know that seems weird and you’re probably wondering why you would even want to do this. The stimulation and massage of the organs actually helps keep away disease. A regular yoga practitioner can also develop an awareness of their body that will warn of impending health problems.

Detoxification. By gently stretching the muscles and joints and massaging the organs, yoga pushes the blood throughout the body, flushing out toxins from everywhere. This delays aging and increases your energy level.

Toning. Of course, the toning of your muscles.

So you see, there’s a lot to be said for yoga. I’m enjoying it again and may switch to this permanently.

Have you ever tried yoga? Want to? What do you think of it? Do you find it’s a good workout?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I don’t know about you, but this holiday sure seems to put a lot of pressure on and inspire feelings of insecurity in a lot of people. Particularly single people.

In elementary school, we had to give everyone a card. Not so bad. Then comes middle school (junior high) and high school. In my school, they offered carnations for sale for $1. There were a bunch of different colors, each meaning something else. The cheerleaders (I think) would bring them around in the afternoon, “delivering” them in front of everyone.

Of course, as we get older, it carries more significance. No one wants to be single on this day of love. I have to admit, I never had someone special during this time until my husband and I got together. So that first year, I went all out on gifts.

And he didn’t.

I’m convinced most guys don’t really get the concept behind V-day. After a few years, I stopped going crazy on the gifts for hubby. Now we pretty much just do cards, maybe a nice dinner somewhere. Every so often, he’ll bring or send flowers home.

This year, I think we made up for all the past years. Hubby has been dying for one of those automatic coffee machines. After our neighbor was able to organize one for less than half the price and I made sure we’d be able to use it in the States when we go back, I relented.

We picked it up yesterday. I’m calling this a gift to each other.

I had planned to have a gift for all of you in the form of a free read. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish it in time. So instead, I have another gift. As some of you may know, I write erotic romance under the name Scarlett Jameson. As such, I’m a member of an erotic stories blog and we publish each month into an ebook.

So my gift to you is a coupon code for a free book on Smashwords, if you’d like. (I know this isn’t everyone’s cuppa.) Since some of the stories are serials and Volume 1 is already free, I’ll start with the code for Volume 2.

Volume 1 can be found here:  Everything Erotic Volume I
Volume 2 can be found here:  Everything Erotic Volume II

Coupon code for Volume 2: TR69U

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you and your honey have any special traditions?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Paige Stewart and the Ghost Cat of Columbia Square

Today we have a special treat. Paige Stewart (aka Rachel Lynne) is sharing a story with us. I know you’ll enjoy this little interlude, as well as her Jewel of the Night series contribution, Ring of Lies.

“The Davenport House was built in 1820 by master builder, Isaiah Davenport. The house is designed in the Federal style commonly seen in the New England area where Mr. Davenport was born and learned his craft. The focus of this museum is to provide an accurate portrayal of a middle class life in 1820’s Savannah. If you’ll follow me, we’ll explore the drawing room, foyer, and office.”

Paige Stewart obediently trouped behind the group of tourists and wondered what had possessed her to take the tour. Historical restoration and ‘living history’ museums were her sister Anne’s, idea of fun. Paige smirked. Her preferences leaned toward the living and the night life.

“You’ll notice the rooms on the first floor feature more elaborate moldings, fireplace mantels, and furnishings than those of the second and third floors. This is because Mr. Davenport used the home as a showcase for his business and he entertained prospective clients in these rooms.”

Paige tuned out the docent’s spiel and surveyed the room. The house was beautifully restored, right down to the foyer’s floor cloth painted to resemble black and white tiles. She scratched her head. If memory served, there was something similar in the upstairs hallway at Oak Point. Paige rolled her eyes. It used to be there anyway. No doubt her father’s trophy wife had pitched it into a dumpster as part of her ‘modernizing’ of the family’s two hundred year old plantation.

Paige grimaced at what she might find when she returned to her childhood home on St. Stewart’s Island. If Tiffany the Yankee bimbo’s,(Paige refused to think of her as a Stewart), redecorating of the Stewart townhouse on Pulaski Square was any indication of her plans for Oak Point, the Stewart ancestors would be lined up at the Pearly Gates with sharp knives in eager anticipation of her father’s arrival.

“In 1955, seven civic minded ladies founded the Historic Savannah Foundation after learning of plans to demolish the Davenport House to construct a parking lot. Saving the Davenport House was the catalyst for the organized preservation movement that has turned Savannah into an international tourist destination. The foundation has helped to save over three hundred and fifty buildings. We’ll now move upstairs to the family rooms. Note the cantilevered staircase …” The docent spun around and glared at Paige as the theme from the Twilight Zone rang out from her purse. “Ma’am, cell phone use is not permitted during the tour. We specifically ask our guests to turn them off.”

Paige flashed a tight smile and rummaged through her bag. She groaned as she read the caller id. Mouthing an apology to the docent, Paige pressed the green button and retraced her steps down to the gift shop. “Hello Clayton.”

“Paige? Where are you?”

She grinned. “I’m in Savannah, how about you?”

A snort from Clay sent static through the speaker. “Don’t be flippant, Paige, you know what I mean. You are supposed to be at the Seventeen Hundred Ninety Inn, yet I get a call from my secretary saying the reservation was cancelled. Mind explaining that?”

Paige drew a deep breath and counted to ten so she didn’t bless him out. She was still uneasy over what occurred in room 204. “Certainly. If you’ll explain to me how I came to be booked in the so-called haunted room.”

Clayton chuckled. “So that’s it. Were you scared to sleep alone Paige?” His tone softened. “Want me to come down and keep you company through the night?”

A shiver ran down her spine and it had nothing to do with ghosts. A vision of Clay’s toned body entwined with hers rose before her eyes. She gulped and blinked the image away. Clayton Moore was her boss and she had no intention of mixing business with pleasure, at least until she finished the Spectral Savannah series anyway; after that … all bets were off, and clothes too, if she were lucky.

“Paige? Cat got your tongue?”

Paige dragged her thoughts away from their carnal fantasies and tried to recall the gist of the conversation. “Yes …, er, no! No, Clay, I don’t need you to protect me from things that go bump in the night.”

“Sure? It would be fun …”

“Umm hmm, I’m sure it will—I mean would! It would be –“

“Freudian slip, Paige?”

Paige flushed at the knowing tone in his voice. Please God, open a hole in the floor so I can crawl in!
She cleared her throat and attempted to get the conversation back on a professional footing. “Did you just call to tease me or was there something you needed?”

“Oh, I need you all right …” His sexy laugh filtered down the phone line sending a wave of desire coursing through her. She’d wanted him from the moment they met two months ago but she’d denied herself; knowing business and pleasure didn’t mix. She’d even tried convincing herself he was a naïve, ghost hunting fool. Good looking and charming, but a little shy of a full deck. Paige sighed and faced the fact that the effort had been futile. Her body was intent on overriding her brain.

“Paige, you there?”

Paige drew a deep breath and told her rebellious body to chill; she had a job to do. “Yeah, Clay, I’m here. Look, I’m missing this tour so ….”

“What tour? Are you digging up some good ghost stories to replace the Seventeen Hundred story you chickened out on?”

Paige gritted her teeth. “I did not chicken out; those people were nothing but two bit con – never mind. I’m touring the Davenport House Museum. It has an interesting history and the restoration had a tremendous impact on the city –“

“Uh, that’s great Paige but … is it haunted?”

Paige huffed. “I don’t know Clayton and to be honest that isn’t my first priority at the moment –“
“Well it’s mine! I hired you to write ghost stories. My readers don’t give a damn about the –“He laughed. “Geez, you know how to push my buttons.”

Paige laughed. “Well I don’t mean to.”

“Good, bodes well for our future! Look Paige, you’re a damn fine reporter and everything you’ve turned in so far has been excellent so I have no reason to doubt you this time. Besides, I don’t want to fight with you …,” He chuckled. “I actually called to see if you were free for dinner Friday.”

Paige gulped and tried to ignore her quickening pulse, and his use of the word ‘our’. “Umm, this Friday? I thought you were in New York.”

“I was but I flew into Charleston yesterday. We’re looking at doing a series on their ghosts after your Savannah articles run. So, how about it? I’ll drive down Friday afternoon. We’ll have dinner and, since I don’t have to be back in New York until Monday, I thought you might give me a tour of your island.”

Paige laughed. “St. Stewart’s isn’t my island.”

“It’s named after your family …”

“Yes, but we don’t own it, well not all of it anyway.” Paige glanced at her watch and jumped. “Oh! Clay, I’ve got to run. We’ve been talking for thirty minutes, and the tour only lasts an hour. I’d love to have dinner with you Friday night but we’ll have to wait and see on the island tour, okay? I’ll talk to you later –“Paige started to click the phone off but stopped as Clayton yelled her name. “Yeah Clay, whatcha need?”

“Sorry to keep you from your scintillating tour but … I don’t know where you’re staying.”

Paige laughed. “Oh, sorry! I’m at the Kehoe House on Columbia Square, catty corner to the Davenport House.”

“I know it. I’ll pick you up around 8:00. Enjoy your tour!”

Paige turned her phone off and muttered, “I will, if it hasn’t ended!”

Paige ran up to the second floor and paused to catch her breath. The tour was nowhere in sight and the house was silent. She wandered down the hall, peeking into the rooms in hopes of slipping back into the group. The last thing she wanted was another scold from the guide.

She glanced into what she assumed was the morning room and found it empty. The master bedroom also yielded no results. She frowned. One room left, and the door was closed. She hesitated, wondering if the room was off limits to guests but, hearing someone singing, she opened the door. A young girl, dressed in a period costume, similar to the docent’s, sat on the floor playing with a grey tiger striped cat.

Paige smiled and bent to stroke the cat. “Do you know where your mother took the tour group?”

The little girl pointed to the floor above.

“Thanks!” Paige scratched the cat’s chin one last time and headed for the stairs. Half-way up, she paused. The Davenport House was a museum filled with priceless antiques. While a child dressed in period attire certainly added to the atmosphere, she doubted the foundation intended the child to be left unsupervised. The docent would likely be reprimanded for letting her daughter wander and it might even cost the woman her job if they found out her child let a cat inside.

Considering it her good deed for the day, Paige made her way back to the bedroom but found it empty. I tried. She shrugged and returned to the staircase, just in time to receive another glare from the docent.

“Ma’am. At the start of the tour, I clearly stated that visitors were not to wander off alone. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”

That’s the thanks I get for trying to save your ass?

Paige bit back the retort. “I’m sorry. I had to take a phone call. I was trying to find you when I stumbled upon your daughter playing in a bedroom. She told me you were upstairs so I started to join you but then I came back down. It occurred to me that she isn’t supposed to be up here alone either, and I’m sure her cat isn’t allowed inside at all.” Paige smiled. “I was going to bring her to you so you wouldn’t get into trouble, but I’m afraid she’s run off.”

The docent frowned. “Ma’am, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a daughter and there had better not be a cat running loose in here!”

“But I …”

The docent pointed toward the basement steps. “Please, I think it best you leave.”

Confused, Paige followed the woman down to the gift shop. It made no sense. She’d clearly seen and spoken to the little girl. Hell, she’d pet the cat! The woman was obviously lying … but why? Annoyed, Paige walked over to the cashier’s desk and leaned across the counter.

The docent sighed and halted her conversation with the clerk. “May I help you?”

Paige’s eyes widened at the woman’s hostile tone. What on earth had she done? “Look, I’m sorry to bother you but … I know I saw a little girl and her cat upstairs. She’s dressed in costume. Now, if she isn’t your daughter, don’t you think –“

“Oh for goodness sake!” The docent rolled her eyes. “Please stop. You’re not funny and that gag is getting old.”

“What gag? I’m not trying to be fun-“

“Ma’am, you’re not the first to come in here and try to pull this stunt. The story of the little girl and her ghost cat is hardly new. The Davenport House is not haunted by the daughter of Isaiah Davenport or a cat. We are a serious history museum. If you wish to hear, or tell, ghost stories I suggest you take the haunted hearse tour. Now, for the last time, please leave the premises!”

Paige stumbled outside and walked over to Columbia Square. She sat by the fountain and stared at the Davenport House, trying to make sense of what she’d just heard. She wanted to believe the docent was lying but, after years as a journalist Paige knew the truth when she heard it. Which left her with no acceptable explanation; she’d been hallucinating or …

She jumped up and gave herself a shake. The only reasonable explanation was the power of suggestion. Clay had put the idea of ghosts into her head right before she hung up and imagination took it from there. That was the only reasonable thing to assume. I either accept that or get fitted for a straight jacket.

Determined to take a nap, Paige walked toward the Kehoe House. Half-way across the street she stopped and stared. Her mouth dropped open as she watched the tip of grey tail disappear through the brick wall surrounding the Davenport House’s garden; a child’s delighted laughter drifted on the wind.
Paige rubbed her eyes with a trembling hand and wondered what size jacket to request.

Riley, thank you so much for allowing me, er Paige, to visit your blog! Intrepid reporter Paige Stewart may be fictitious but the history and lore of the Davenport House are all true … to one degree or another. I wonder if Paige will get her nap. Children apparently like her … and the Kehoe family had 10!
Rachel Lynne

You can find me, and my books, at my website and I often hold contests on my FaceBook Fan Page, so why not join?

If you want to see what happens to Paige at the Kehoe House, visit my Blog; the link and date of the next adventure will be posted in the News column. And, if you can’t wait for another suspenseful tale set amidst the beautiful and historic city of Savannah, may I suggest my romantic suspense novel Ring of Lies?

Secrets, Lies, and Murder surround Ivy Michaels amidst the backdrop of Savannah’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities!

Book Trailer for Ring of Lies: A café owner and an ex-cop must solve the mystery of a hot blue diamond in order to catch a stone cold killer! Excerpt

Things seem to be heating up between Paige and Clay. It’s just a matter of time before I convince her to give my newsletter readers the inside scoop so be sure to subscribe!