Giveaway ~ Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle ~ Guest Post & Reviews

Posted: April 24, 2013 in giveaways, Mystery, otherworldly, Paranormal or fantasy, Romance, Series, Vampires
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I’ve got a special treat for you today.

Taylor Dean is here to tell us about how she got started writing paranormal romance.

Then I have reviews for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle.

But that’s not all. Taylor has a very special giveaway.

So, please welcome Taylor Dean and feel free to say hello!

~

Taylor Dean

What inspired me to write a paranormal romance?

I write romance in all of its many sub-genres: paranormal, suspense, contemporary. The main theme is always ROMANCE. It’s what I love to write. My daughter called me one day and challenged me to write a paranormal story. It’s her favorite genre—and she doesn’t really enjoy romantic angst in other forms.

“Mom,” she said, “Let’s both write a paranormal story and see what comes of them.” I responded with, “My mind just doesn’t think that way.” Truth be told, I didn’t really want to write anything paranormal and I kinda dismissed the whole idea pretty quickly, even though I found myself promising her I’d think about a plot as we hung up.

Paranormal? Really? No way, I thought, I write about sweet ROMANCE, not things that go bump in the night. Not going to happen, I told myself. This was during the Twilight craze (has that ended?) and I figured the world had seen enough paranormal! Although I love Twilight, I admit it. Okay, back to the story. At about this same time, I was ridiculously addicted to American Idol. With the crazed excitement of a groupie, I watched every minute of the Season 8 finale.

And then it happened.

Who’d of thought that an American Idol performance could inspire a 90,000 word novel? Not me. But it did. Go figure.

How the heck did an American Idol performance inspire Lancaster House?

Good question. I’m not really sure myself, but somehow the visual kicked my imagination into overdrive. Season 8 of American Idol blew me away. I thought Adam Lambert was amazing in every single performance. During the finale, Adam once again sang his haunting rendition of ‘Mad World.’ Even my husband was impressed by this performance, and that’s saying a lot because he isn’t usually impressed by singing performances. (Ever) Adam performed while wearing vampire-like garb on a fog-shrouded stage.

This link is a very poor video of the performance. I couldn’t find another one and I’m surprised that there are not more links to it. I own a perfect copy of it that I purchased through iTunes. I watched it umpteen times as I wrote Lancaster House.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEQyz0acKNo

It’s a haunting performance—like Twilight, the Musical or something! I remember saying to my daughter, “Now that’s how I pictured Edward.” My daughter, a book-a-holic, immediately corrected me. “That’s not how Edward is described at all, Mom.” She was right and I knew it, but I have this nasty habit of picturing the hero of the story the way I want to picture him, no matter how the author describes him. Adam wasn’t Edward. Not by a long shot. But, he was how I pictured Edward. There was only one thing to do.

Write my own story.

d67da-madworld-andre

The visual of Adam rising up out of the stage amidst fog and then pausing before he began to sing, the way his movements were slow and dreamlike—all of it left me intrigued. It screamed paranormal story. What if a man appeared in my home looking like that? (sans the microphone!) What if he was a ghost? I would be scared and fascinated all at the same time. It was at that moment that Lancaster House was born.

It wasn’t quite that easy, of course. My hubby and I spent an entire car drive to Idaho (driving our daughter to college) hashing out all of the details of the story. By the time we arrived home, I had my story in my mind, beginning to finish.

And it was all due to one amazing performance sparking my imagination.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Taylor.

And now for my reviews.

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To find out why Joy tried to kill herself, why she is under the care of Dr. Channing at Serenity HIlls, and why she is suspected of killing two men, we have to go back to the beginning.

When Joy first laid eyes on Lancaster House, she knew she had to have it.

She couldn’t wait to get started on the restoration. Couldn’t wait to bring the old house back to its former glory.

hauntings photo: S1081774201401.jpg

The work was slow but rewarding. She was doing one room at a time. She would go to bed exhausted and rise to start again the next morning.

After five hours of scraping and sanding the bannister, she took a lunch break. When she returned to finish up, she couldn’t believe her eyes. It was finished!

She told herself maybe she was confused, being so tired and all.

But the next night it happened again. She didn’t get the wall papering done.

In the morning, when she came downstairs, it was finished.

Now she panicked, racing through the house, but no one was there.

Not one to be scared, she knows she can figure this out.

Stop standing here like a ninny and figure this out. There has to be a logical explanation.

But there isn’t. And she is beginning to think the former owner, Andre Lancaster, is still living in the house. Either that or she is going crazy.

~

Mini Excerpt for ya.

“You can see me?” he asked again, his tone urgent.

“Yes,” she whispered, unable to find her voice.

For several seconds he simply stared at her, his eyes smoldering. She trembled under his gaze, her bottom lip quivering. One hand reached up, his motions slow, and cupped her cheek. He let out his breath and closed his eyes as if the feel of her did something to him.

“I won’t hurt you Zoe.”

~

But how can that be? He’s been dead for many, many years.

A really fun part of this story is the language. The slang from the 1920’s is quirky and I enjoyed reading how Joy figured out what Andre meant by some of the sayings.

Stuff like giggle water is alcohol. Makes sense. And Bank’s closed which means no kissing.

After you finish reading Lancaster House you tell me what you think. Is Joy crazy?

ghost hands photo: Ghost Hands Hold Me hold.jpg

Did she just make up Andre and their passionate affair to keep from being alone?

 Is Dr. Channing right in that ghosts don’t exist?

So many questions and an ending that will let you decide, or not.

I adored Joy and Andre and want a Lancaster House of my own.

5 Stars for this haunting love story.

And it continues in The Middle Aisle

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Hmm, how do I tell you about this book without spoiling it. It’s hard to review the next book in a series.

In Lancaster House, you are left wondering if Andre is real or a ghost. Is Joy crazy as a loon, desperate for any kind of love, or is her house haunted?

In The Middle Aisle, you will still be wondering. You may think at some point, “Oh, now I see.” But then, as you read further, you are in doubt again.

Taylor Dean has written a series like none other. You are kept “in the dark,” figuratively, throughout both books.

I don’t recall ever being so unsure of my own conclusions in a book.

The love between Joy and Andre is very real and so endearing. But is Andre real? If he isn’t, then is their love real?

~

Mini Excerpt

“You’re imagination intrigues and fascinates me, Zoe,” Wade commented, his voice cracking. He cleared his throat and ran his hands over his face. “Why don’t we take a break?” he suggested and quickly exited the room, stumbling on his own feet as he left.

It wasn’t possible, it just wasn’t possible, he thought, as his mind wandered to that moment…. Turns out it was possible, it just wasn’t real…

~

And if Andre is real, then that makes the alluring, malevolent Adelle real as well.

hauntings photo: hauntings ShhhhhhEyes.jpg

Aah! I can’t say I ever really figured it out. But, I don’t have to. I feel it is up to each reader to decide for themselves. And whether you figure it out or not doesn’t matter. It is still a love story for all time. One that goes beyond the physical, to the otherworldly.

5 Stars for keeping me wondering.

That makes a total of 10 Stars for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle.

I had these books on my kindle, but when I saw a giveaway on Sherry’s blog fundinmental, I just had to try to win the paperbacks, and I did!! Thanks so much Sherry.

Since then, I’ve went on to read Taylor’s “i have people.” You can read my review here.

 And I’m getting ready to start reading Sierra. Next up will be the upcoming new release of Joshua’s Folly.

Thanks so much for your lovely books Taylor.

As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading!

Giveaway

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You could win this really awesome swag pack from Taylor. Check it out!

One winner will get signed paperback copies of both books along with a tote bag, book marks, and a “Believe it, Know it, Accept it” pencil.

US Only

AND

Five winners will get:

e-book copies of both books.

E-book Giveaway is International.

To enter, please leave your email address, specify whether entering for swag pack or e-books, and answer this question,

“Have you ever been in a haunted house?”

Giveaway ends May 3rd.

Good Luck ya’ll!

About the Author:

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you’ll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up.

Lancaster House & The Middle Aisle, available in print or eCopy
~

For all of Taylor Deans books go here.

Lancaster House  The Middle Aisle (Lancaster House)

I Have People and coming soon! Joshua's Folly

Sierra

For all of my giveaways go here.

For a list of free e-books go here.

Comments
  1. In a departure from my norm, I’ll enter for the swag giveaway.:) Yes, I have been in haunted houses; I’ve lived in some. The house before this one, which we had to leave in Dec. 09 due to a chimney/attic fire, was severely haunted. It was eventually razed to the ground, I think last year sometime. Thankfully. The ground should have been salted where it stood.:(
    Archie.Standwood.Author@gmail.com

  2. Rose Milligan says:

    I would love to be entered in the swag pack giveaway. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a haunted house. But my friend’s mom stayed in an old hotel one time, and it was rumor that if you took a picture a ghost would show up in the background. In all of her pictures from the hotel there’s a glare/circle thing behind her head. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  3. I loved Sierra and I have People by Taylor Dean very very much and have the Lancaster House series on my Kindle but would LOVE to win the books/swag pack. That would be so awesome. Thanks for the chance. :)

  4. Linda S Moore says:

    I love Taylor Deans’ Sierra and I Have People and would love to win the book copies of the Lancaster House series swag. That would be so awesome.. :) Good luck to everyone that enters.

  5. LeKeisha Thomas says:

    Yes, at a Halloween Carnival when I was a teen.

  6. LeKeisha Thomas says:

    Oh sorry I forgot to say what I’m entering for. That’d be the paperbacks and swag!

  7. Lee Ashford says:

    Well, from the looks of things so far, the books and swag look like tough competition, but that’s what I’m going for, too. As a matter of fact, my wife and I currently live in a haunted house. We have seen the ghost, as have some of our house guests, and somehow we know her name is Lucy, but we aren’t sure if there is only one, or possibly two, because sometimes she appears as a young lady, and other times as an old lady, but never both together. As an old lady she is just walking through the house, like she’s going to the kitchen for a glass of water or something. As a young lady, she’s usually hovering above me when I’m asleep at night, when I suddenly wake up (sometimes because I’ve been touched), at which time she kind of floats away real quick. It’s almost like she’s studying me in bed. Once she shook my foot to wake me in the morning; I thought it was my wife, but she was in the other part of the house and said she hadn’t been in the bedroom since she got up a while earlier. I won’t tell you what else she has touched, but I’m not complaining! I’m perfectly happy sharing the house with her.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Bad ghost!! lol Don’t think I would want one in my home, let alone two. To wake up and have one hovering would scare me to death, friendly or not.

  8. jaxgrampy says:

    From the looks of things, the paperbacks and swag will have some tough competition, but that’s what I’m going for, too.

    I currently live in a haunted house, going on 8 years, with a young lady ghost named Lucy. Once or twice she appeared as an old lady, so we’re not sure if she has the ability to appear at different ages of her life, or if there might be a second ghost, too. As the old lady, she only has been seen walking through the house. As a young lady, I often see her when I suddenly awake at night, to find her hovering over me. When I wake up, she fades away, but often I woke because she touched me. Once she shook my foot to wake me in the morning. I thought my wife had done it, but she said she had been in another part of the house for a while, and hadn’t been back to the bedroom since she got up. I won’t tell you where else she touches me, but she’s welcome to stay as long as she wants. She has never caused us any kind of trouble at all.

    acwa (at) netscape (dot) com

  9. Awesome giveaway! :o} I have been in a haunted house many times. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to see/hear people that no1 else can. One night, some friends and I went to this old cemetary. I was able to see a young blonde woman – She didnt disturb us but watched us.

    When I got home, I began to relax and laid down. The TV was on mute as I pulled the covers and just then a female voice whispered in my ear. Now, I figured it was just my imagination so I didnt react until I heard her whisper again. You better trust and believe my butt jumped off my bed and gave her a stern talking to. lol

    My home is my oasis and now she knows not to freak me out. She’s still around and comes and goes. She doesnt hurt any1 and likes cartoons. I know one thing. I’ll never go to another cemetary with the intent of ghost hunting again – You never know what you are gonna bring home especially when I;m already sensitive to the paranormal.

    Okay, now for what I’d like to enter: The swag/books.

    emilymarie070750@gmail.com

  10. Taylor Dean says:

    Hi Laura! THANK YOU for the fantastic reviews of both Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle. I was feeling a little on the edge of my seat, wondering what you would rate them–and I’m thrilled with five star reviews! Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the books. Thanks for having me on your blog and letting me have the opportunity to offer your followers a giveaway!
    BTW, some of the above comments about haunted houses really freak me out! I’m such a wimp–I don’t know how I ever wrote a ghost story!!
    Thanks again! It’s a pleasure to make an appearance on your wonderful blog!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      It’s an honor to have you on my blog and I should be thanking you for the wonderful reading and the giveaway!
      I’m a big baby about ghosts too. Don’t want to meet them and definitely don’t want them in my home. I’ll stick to reading about them!

  11. Lacey Galicia says:

    I would like to enter for the swag pack please! :)

    I have been to the Winchester Mansion here in California. It was really interesting! I hear its a lot more scary and creepy when you go on the night tours which I was not able to go on. I really want to go to Alcatraz and to some of the haunted Asylums!

    Lakeyg@yahoo.com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’re braver then I am. Used to think it would be fun, but now I’ve heard so many things, I don’t want to have any following me home!

  12. Hey Laura. Great reviews. I really wanted to see what you thought about them, but I knew you would love them. Her books are so Yummy. When you start Sierra, be prepared to read it straight through. I can hardly wait for her next book.

  13. Kay LaLone says:

    I would love to visit a haunted house. kaylalone@yahoo.com

  14. jannashay says:

    Great reviews. Both books sounds terrific. More books for my TBR list. Thanks, Laura.
    I’d like to enter the giveaway for the ebooks.
    janna@jannashay.com

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’ll love these Janna! I just wish I could have expressed myself better. Sometimes I can’t find the words to tell about how a book affects me! These are amazing.

  15. Terri Bruce says:

    I live in a haunted house – it was really bad when we first moved in, but my husband and I have been here ten (almost 11) years now and everyone (dead and living) have learned to co-exist :-) The scariest thing that happened here was that during a renovation, we found a crucifix IN THE WALL (behind the sheetrock). That kind of freaked me out – like, “what, exactly, is this doing/protecting me from?!”

    LOL – I’m not fussy…can I enter for both? I guess….I’ll enter for the ebooks (less competition :-) ). TBruce@terribruce.net

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I don’t know how you did it. I would be terrified. I like to watch haunted house movies and read about them, ficton and non-fiction, but to actually live in one, No Thank You! I’m a scaredy cat!

  16. Tasha Turner says:

    I’ve been in a couple of houses that people swear are hunted. No clue if they are right. I’ve never seen or heard anything. tasha@tasha-turner.com

  17. T Hammond says:

    When I was in high school, we had a field trip to the Winchester Mystery house which was supposed to be haunted. It was fun and exciting (but, no ghosts in sight- I’m sure a class of 14 year olds had something to do with that?). I would love the swag pack. Thanks for the great giveaway– best of luck to everyone, and thaks for a great review/interview.

  18. wayne32 says:

    Reblogged this on MY BLOG13.

  19. Rich Baker says:

    Have I been in a haunted house? I have seen some weird shit in my time, so yes.

  20. Rich Baker says:

    Oh, and I’d prefer the books. Thanks!!

  21. Marianne says:

    I have never been in a haunted house. However, I have been in a house that I actually dreamt about being in room by room before seeing it. That was kind of creepy. Thank you for the giveaway and I would prefer the books.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I’ve experienced deja vu! I swear I’ve been somewhere, knowing it wasn’t possible. Everything I saw I knew was going to be there before it appeared! Weird, but not too scary.

  22. Jessica says:

    I’m thoroughly convinced that the house I currently live in is haunted. I’ve never actually seen a ghost, but strange things happen pretty frequently. Once I watched as our front door slowly swung open by itself… after it had been properly latched and locked!

    These books sound really fascinating – so much so that I’ve already added both to my to-read list on Goodreads and my Amazon wishlist! :) I’d love to enter to win the ebooks please. Thank you so much for the opportunity. XXtangledXX@gmail.com

  23. Jessica says:

    I’m thoroughly convinced that the house I currently live in is haunted. I’ve never actually seen a ghost, but strange things happen pretty frequently. Once I watched as our front door slowly swung open by itself… after it had been properly latched and locked!

    These books sound really fascinating – so much so that I’ve already added both to my to-read list on Goodreads and my Amazon wishlist! :) I’d love to enter to win the ebooks please. Thank you so much for the opportunity. XXtangledXX@gmail.com

  24. raingirl46 says:

    I used to live in a haunted house and it could be a but freaky at times. Luckily it seemed that most of the spirits there were family, or at least friendly. I would love to enter for the swag bag please.
    Alisa Ables
    alisa.ables@gmail.com

  25. Dalene K. Rodman says:

    I have been in halloween haunted house, but never a real haunted house. I would like to enter for the swag bag please.

  26. Esther says:

    Oh my gosh, seriously you got me at the first 2 lines of the first excerpt…

    [[ “You can see me?” he asked again, his tone urgent.

    “Yes,” she whispered, unable to find her voice. ]]

    Seriously, doesn’t seem like much, but those lines put a huge smile on my face and filled me with excitement and anticipation! I could feel the tone, the atmosphere, the incredible revealing moment between the characters.

    I’m so, super excited to read these books! I’m adding them to my to-read list RIGHT NOW and CANNOT wait to actually be able to get them! Wow.

    I’d absolutely love to enter both contests, the swag pack and ebook contests. :)

    Thank you so much for having this contest! Yay~

    Email: inkypaper1(at)gmail(dot)com

    – Esther
    http://estherkimcotton.com

  27. Esther says:

    Oh! And I forgot to add that, while I don’t think that I’ve ever been in a haunted house, I was in an underground tour of Old Sacramento once and in the tour was a ghost hunting group. They wanted to check out Old Sac and peruse the place to check out the energies before having a full out ghost hunt. They told us some stories of what they do, and what they thought of some of the historical sites we toured. That was pretty interesting. :)

    – Esther
    http://estherkimcotton.com

  28. jobhuntdiary says:

    I’ve been in several houses that were purported to be haunted, but never saw any spooks. My sister, however, lived in a haunted apartment, with all sorts of paranormal activity. Alas, I was overseas at the time and never got to visit the place.

  29. Sandy S. says:

    Great post and a new author for me

    I am international

  30. […]  My reviews of Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle […]