Thursday, October 20, 2016

Guest Post with author CJ Burright - Giveaway

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (and to celebrate, get your FREE copy of my novella The Druid, the Witch, and the Love Curse at the end of this post). It might be the change in season, the falling leaves and crisp winds whispering of things to come. It could be the perfectly valid opportunity to dress up and scare kids and eat all that leftover candy. Or maybe it’s just the pumpkins, skeletons, and ghosties and goblins on every corner.



Personally, I think it has more to do with my Celtic roots, Samhain, and the thinning veil between the living and spirit worlds. There are just too many spooky stories surrounding Samhain to completely discount the possibility of visiting phantoms, and I have a few family tales, too weird to be explained away. Want to hear one? I thought you might. :)

It was a dark and stormy night. Kidding. It was night, and it was dark, but I don’t remember any storm happening. A quick C.J. history lesson—I grew up in the boonies. Miles from town, boxed in on two sides by endless acres of government-owned forestland, the closest neighbor a run-across-the-field away. On a good day, we got two television channels, and HBO wasn’t one of them. We lived in a double-wide mobile home with an attached garage, and the long driveway led straight into the garage. Any headlights shone right into the living room windows, so when visitors showed up, you knew it.

This particular night was the parental units’ romantic Saturday evening (aka bowling league) and my older sister was at a friend’s house, so it was just me and my younger sister, Cathy. We were hanging in the living room, watching whatever questionable television show our antennae would pick up, Hee-Haw, I think…did I mention this was long, long ago? Headlights reflected in the windows, and as it was about time for mom and dad’s return, we didn’t think much of it. The motor’s rumble echoed from the garage and cut out. The back door leading from garage to house clicked open and shut softly.

But no one came into the living room.

It took a couple minutes for my curiosity to kick in. What was taking mom and dad so long to come into the living room and why was it so quiet? Dad loved to prank us, and even though mom never played along, I suspected foul play. I strolled from the living room to the kitchen, fully prepared to foil his plans.

No one was there.

I peeked through the kitchen window into the garage.

No car.

Prickles ran down my arms as I tried to connect the empty garage with what my senses told me only minutes ago. A car had come up the driveway. Someone had come in.

Crap.

Not willing to turn my back on the kitchen or the garage, I backed into the dining room. The large windows looking out into the night didn’t help the cold racing through my veins. The dining room and living room were connected, and Cathy was lounging in a recliner, still watching television. I said, “Mom and dad aren’t here. You saw the headlights, right? Didn’t you hear the car, the door open and shut?”

Thankfully, her disbelieving expression told me if I was going crazy, then so was she. Clinging to each other, we crept back into the kitchen. Nothing had changed, no car, no parents. We agreed we had to check the house because someone had come in. Someone was in our house with us, and there were three bedrooms and two bathrooms they could be hiding in. No way would we sit around, waiting.





Like so many horror movie victims before us, we armed ourselves with kitchen knives and inched down the hallway. My sister’s room was dark, the door open. Shaking, our knives gripped tight, we flipped on the light.

The room was empty. The closet held the usual clothes and shoes, no axe-wielding ghost clowns. But we had more rooms to go.


The bathroom was easy, nowhere to hide other than the shower. We slid further down the hall, to the room we shared. I made Cathy turn on the light, my knife raised right behind her, ready to slash, stab and gouge.

Nothing hid behind my bookcase or beneath our bunkbed. My heart roared, a stampede in my ears. We looked at each other. Only our parents’ room remained. This was it. The showdown. I could hardly breathe and my fingers ached from holding the knife so tight. Together, we opened the door and hit the light switch.

The bed was made, no red eyes peering from beneath. The bathroom was empty. We both turned to the closed closet door. Final spot. Cathy flung open the door as I yelled and flicked the switch.

Nothing. Nothing in the hanging clothes. Nothing crouched behind shoes boxes. Nothing clinging to the ceiling.

What the hell?

As relieved as I was to not confront some horror that my brain could never erase, it made no sense. We’d both seen the headlights. We’d both heard the car. We’d both acknowledged the door opening and shutting.



My parents came home some time later and didn’t seem to notice the way we huddled together on the couch, every light in the house on. Neither one of us mentioned anything. What could we possibly say?

Now, I can’t blame that weird incident on the thinning of the veil on Samhain, but it was during the autumn season, when life is dying and settling in for winter. Whatever the cause, I have never forgotten it.

Do you have any unexplainable occurrences to share? Any family haunts or tales?

FREE FOR YOU! Just in time for the Samhain season, the novella start-up of my future series, Moonlight and Madness, is available for anyone who wants it. The key to unlocking The Druid, the Witch, and the Love Curse is signing up for my newsletter HERE. Have a fabulous Halloween!



With only three days to live, an ancient druid must choose between true love or ultimate freedom.

Druid Kellen Ravenwood yearns for freedom. Cursed to an enchanted dungeon with only three days out every half century, he determines to finally break the hex during his respite, no matter the cost.

But when fresh-out-of-divorce court Maggie O’Malley shows up on Samhain with the key to his prison–and his heart–Kellen must decide what to sacrifice…love or liberty.


And before you go!
Be sure to enter this fantastic giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC.



59 comments:

  1. My favorite scary movie is The Shining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got to the point of "redrum" and was done! Stephen King knows how to do creepy!

      Delete
  2. Spooky! My favorite Halloween movie is Sleepy Hollow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, that's a good one! The headless horseman *shiver*

      Delete
  3. My favorite scary movie is Jeepers Creepers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen that one...yet. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. I am a wimp when it comes to scary; your story above is about all I can take!). So I stick to the fun side of Halloween and would say it's a tradition in our house to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, there's nothing wrong with the great pumpkin, except that he totally let Linus down. :)

      Delete
  5. My favorite Scary movie is THE SHINING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, nope. Too scary! Thanks for chiming in. :)

      Delete
  6. I love The Nightmare Before Christmas ♡ Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's another one I want to see but haven't taken the time to watch it. Tim Burton is awesome!

      Delete
  7. What's your favorite Halloween and/or scary movie? Halloween Town and Hocus Pocus are my favorites to watch. I don't really do scary, life is scary enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Bobbi! Horror happens all around us, but I'm with you on the lighter Halloween movies, with witches and magic and nothing too dark. Something for everyone, yeah?

      Delete
  8. I'm not big into movies at all. BUT I really like Ghost Ship.
    I'm more a fan of scary novels, The Stand by Stephen King was fantastic as a book and terrible as a movie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ghost Ship freaked me out with the way all the passengers died. I used to do gruesome, now...not so much. And yes to The Stand!

      Delete
  9. Oh so, so, so many. Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween Town, The Addams Family, and Hocus Pocus. I used to be into scarier movies, but only watched those once because *shiver*, like Jeepers Creepers, the first Saw, and The Silence of the Lambs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, no to Saw. The gore is not for me, but Addams Family - yeah!

      Delete
  10. I don't have a favorite really. I see where Brooke mentioned Silence of the Lambs and I sure did love that, but probably one of the scariest scenes of a movie I always think of is in Jaws, the girl swimming...
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jaws is awesome, and I forget that scary doesn't always just apply to psychos and things that go bump in the night! Good one. :)

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Freddy Krueger is definitely one of my favorite villains. I love how he enters through dreams.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Ha! Truth! Every writer's nightmare. :)

      Delete
  13. I like the original "Halloween!"
    --Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also a good one. For some reason, when I was younger those movies didn't scare me as much. Now...different story.

      Delete
  14. That was really some creepy story! I love Halloween, too, by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So creepy, especially since it's true! Some things just can't be explained. Have a great Halloween!

      Delete
  15. Oooh! My favorite scary movie? Well I don't like them as they keep me up all night, so I would say Charlie Brown's Halloween special about the Great Pumpkin that airs on TV every year ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watching the Great Pumpkin every year at Halloween is tradition for me too, like A Christmas Story at Christmas. If I don't watch them, the holiday just isn't complete. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  16. I am not a big scary movie person, I don't handle being scared very well! I would say the Nightmare Before Christmas is probably about as scary as I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say a walking, talking skeleton is scary enough! :)

      Delete
  17. Samhain Blessings to everyone!

    There are so many great scary movies out there now it's always too hard to choose! I always do a scary fest when it comes to movies now but one that I always play is Aliens

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't remember the name... There was this movie I watched which had a backstory about or legend saying that One Halloween night, a group of disabled or special needs children was in a bus going for trick and treat and somehow the bus ended up in the lake and no one survived. According to the rumors the bus accident was not an accident and the children comes back on every halloween wearing the same costumes they were on their last night. Maybe one of you would remember the name?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't ring any bells with me, but it sounds super-creepy!

      Delete
  19. I'm sorry but I don't watch scary movies. Never have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scary movies definitely aren't for everyone, and even though I like them, there are some that are just a little too freaky for me.

      Delete
  20. Scary movie that I will never watch again?? Amityville Horror.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gah! I remember watching the TV version when I was younger (I can't believe my dad let me watch it). Scarred for life!

      Delete
  21. Oh eee. Nope. nope nope nope nope NOPE! That would have freaked me out. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just so glad my sister was with me! You know what happens to people when they search a house when they're all alone...victim.

      Delete
  22. It would have to be Phantasm! Even now that I am older, just thinking about the Tall Man gives me the creeps!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's one I've never heard of--maybe I'll have to check it out for Halloween night. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  23. Oh the Lost Boys is my goto for Halloween. Not too scary, but just enough for me. :)

    I love that story. I had one like that where the back door flew open and I made my dog help check out the house. The door just wasn't latched correctly... but to a kid in the dark... :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE the Lost Boys! And the door flying open for no apparent reason is enough for a heart attack. I'm glad your dog didn't stop at the closet and bark or growl... :)

      Delete
  24. My favorite scary movie is I Know What You Did Last Summer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only watched parts of that one, enough to know Buffy is in it!

      Delete
  25. i love nightmare on elm street

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Freddy is pretty hard to beat when it comes to terrifying.

      Delete
  26. Wild story! I don't really like scary movies, but I do enjoy watching Sleepy Hollow, Clue and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein this time of year. If I'm in a real spooky mood I'll go pop my Supernatural dvds in. Gotta love that snarky Dean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, don't even get me started on Supernatural and those delicious Winchesters!

      Delete
  27. Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween movie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bette Midler with her snaggly witch teeth, right? :)

      Delete
  28. Hi CJ, A bit late to your party here, but Happy Halloween! Loved reading your spooky story. :-)

    ReplyDelete