Welcome to our Virtual Haunted Mansion…Muahahaha!

Creaking doors. Musty attics. Groaning floorboards and whispering walls. Dark basements and dank dungeons. Dare to take a tour?  

This Halloween we're sharing scary moments from real life, books or movies.  Have you ever seen a ghost? Felt a cold spot in a strange house or worse––your own home? Take a tour of our virtual haunted house and remember to share a scary story, book, or movie with us in comments.

Remember REDRUM and the strange twin ghosts in The Shining? Don't let the flower print wallpaper fool you.


I'm a big baby when it comes to scary stories and I try to avoid them as much as possible. You couldn't pay me to spend even five minutes in a haunted house. Sure, the twins look innocent enough in this picture, but I'm no fool. I'd be running in the opposite direction...or passing out.  


As long as I can cover my eyes and peek through my fingers, I love scary movies. I also love creepy disturbing images and fast or slow moving zombies. And oh yes, the Fawn in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is a truly remarkable creature as he is both frightening and protective at once. He reminds me of a classic fairy tale character. Brilliantly conceived and executed. On my scary scale the Fawn is a 10! 

The Fawn in Pan's Labyrinth.

A face in the dark is definitely creepy. 


I am completely and unreasonably terrified of seeing faces in the dark.  I especially dread looking into mirrors or out windows when it’s nighttime. But that’s not all. Old as I am, I turn over magazines on tables if I might run across them after the lights are out. I will not look outside if I hear a noise, and I avert my eyes when I pass a mirror if I have to get up from bed. It’s absolutely stupid I know—nevertheless, I’ll leave looking out the haunted mansion windows to you!  Happy Halloween, to all you GLIAS ghosties and ghoulies!



The scariest book I ever read was an all-nighter: THE SHINING. I remember propping my back against the headboard, pulling the pillows close all around me, and reading this until I was so scared I couldn’t move. Even though the movie with Jack Nicholson was a little different, REDRUM, the twin ghosts & all the hotel guests continue to scare me just thinking about them. 
I’ve entered rooms in real homes that give me the heebie jeebies and goose bumps. Seriously. Give me a good haunting and I’m completely scared to death. I tend to laugh through slasher movies. 
And the only zombie movie that’s ever kept my attention is WORLD WAR Z.


I hate scary movies.  Hate them.  I think it stems from when I was little and had to go to bed before any of my siblings.  My dad was finishing off the basement, where our bedrooms were, and used to have the Twilight Zone television show on when he worked on Sunday nights.  I’d lay in bed, frightened out of my mind just listening to the show.  So when my boyfriend took me to see the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre at a drive-in—I spent most of the movie cowering on the floor.

 Trick or Treat!


I used to stay up late at night reading Stephen King books. Not any longer. I need my sleep! I'm a bigger fan of his books than of the movies made from them. Scary movies? I love a good Dracula flick, and this one from 1992, Bram Stoker's Dracula,  is my favorite (probably because it's closest to the book). I love the way Dracula (Gary Oldman) changes from an eerie ancient monster to a hot immortal. Forget Twilight. Give me the REAL vampire.

"Love Never Dies..."

Commenters: Instead of tricks, share a real-life scary story, or favorite horror movie/book in comments for a chance to win this Halloween treat: $10.00 eGift card from Amazon. Remember to leave your email contact information to be entered in the raffle! 

And please, whatever you do, have a fun and scary Halloween.


Christie Meierz: Falling in Love With Secondary Characters

Hi GLIAS Friends--it's Liz here, very excited to bring you our second visit from wonderful sci fi romance author Christie Meierz. Her newest novel, Farryn’s War, was released on September 22, and today Christie is here with some insight into secondary characters. So help me welcome Christie Meierz back to Get Lost in a Story!
Hi Everyone! 
In a romance, everyone is watching the hero and heroine, but that doesn’t mean the secondary characters are scenery. In my second novel, for example, a secondary character gets romantic advice from awhale—while everyone thinks he’s dead.
In my third novel, an ambassador from an empathic civilization, on the way to delicate negotiations with Earth, meets anelderly revolutionary with a disapproving husband, as well as an aristocratic foodie with an interest in martial arts and a talent for making money.
     What do these characters do for the story? They can serve as foils to the main characters, of course, and add color and vibrancy to the setting. They can also introduce an element of fun, even when the main action is serious. Bertie, my aristocratic foodie, dresses up in lavender and introduces an entire world of empaths to baklava; Evie, the elderly revolutionary, fixes the ambassador up with Bertie; and Neera, a sex slave from one of the human colony worlds, is destined to introduce coffee to the empaths of Beta Hydri IV.
     That world may never be the same again.
     The danger for the writer, however, is falling in love with these characters and letting them take over. Bertie burst into existence fully formed, halfway through my third novel, and he was such a compelling character that even my editor—who believed that all important characters must be introduced in the first few chapters—either didn’t notice or elected not to complain. Evie’s existence hints at all sorts of interesting complications going on under the radar of Earth’s repressive government. And the villain of my third novel captured my attention so completely that I simply had to write his story, and he became the protagonist of the fourth.
     Which is, of course, one of the best things an author can do with the secondary characters that they fall in love with: give them their own story, or at least carry them into the next book. The recipient of the whale’s advice on love, for example, put in appearances in my first three novels, and will be a necessary voice in my fifth. The technique of folding continuing characters into the action helps keep the author’s To-Do list to a dull roar, because if every appealing character got his or her own novel, you can see how the number of works waiting to be written would quickly escalate into unmanageability.
     Characters and stories are inseparable, and vivid characters—especially secondary characters—make for a richer world. When you fall in love with them, you get lost in their story, once again.
     Which is what reading is all about.

Award-winning author Christie Meierz writes space opera and science fiction romance set in a civilization of empaths on the edge of a dystopic Earth empire. Her published works include her bestselling debut novel, The Marann, its sequels, and two prequel short stories published in Into Tolari Space ~ The First Contact Stories. Her forthcoming novel, Farryn’s War, was released on September 22, 2015.
Christie has spent a night and/or eaten a meal in all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently, she lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her mathematician husband and an assortment of stuffies. When she’s not writing, she writes about writing on her blog, Meierz Musings (christiemeierz.com/blog), and Facebook (facebook/christie.meierz and facebook/tolarispace), where she welcomes comments and friend requests.

Christie's Question and Giveaway for you:
What's your preference -- Science Fiction, Romance, or both? Christie has e-book copies of FARRYN's WAR to give to two commenters today!

Contact Christie:
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102691646677524435055/ (I know, I know. I refuse to give them my mobile number; they refuse to give me the custom URL based on my name. What can ya do?)


Get Lost in the Highlands!

Folks, please help me welcome a friend of mine who also write Scottish stories! Although, Vonda’s stories take place a few centuries earlier than mine. Let’s get to know Vonda Sinclair!

Vonda Sinclair’s favorite indulgent pastime is exploring Scotland, from Edinburgh to the untamed and windblown north coast. She also enjoys creating hot Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. Her historical romances have won an EPIC Award and a National Readers' Choice Award. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she is no doubt creating another Scottish story.

When Chief Dugald MacKerrick's ancient and priceless jeweled dagger is stolen, he follows the suspected thief and abducts his young wife to use as leverage to get his dagger back. During his mad dash back into the Highlands, he is incensed to realize he's attracted to his beautiful captive who is more trouble than she's worth. To his further annoyance, this blond Frenchwoman isn't who he thinks she is. She's Camille Bouchard, cousin of the Countess of Draughon, and has no connection to the thief. But maybe the real prize isn't the dagger at all, but the lass.

Camille isn't sure she wants to be rescued from the Highland rogue who has kidnapped her. She likes his bold, take-charge attitude and his determination to reclaim his dagger. Much to her dismay, after a few stolen moments of passion, she finds herself falling for the kilted devil. But Dugald's destiny as chief is to marry the daughter of another chief, not the illegitimate daughter of a Frenchman. How can she possibly give him up once this adventure is over?

Amazon Author Page 
Group Blog

ALEXA: How often to you get lost in a story?
VONDA: I would love to read a lot more than I do but unfortunately there's not always time for that. I have a lot of responsibilities and things that keep me busy outside of writing so I try to spend as much free time as possible writing. Of course, reading inspires me to want to write more so I have to fit a little in a few times per week.

ALEXA: What’s your favorite “love” word?
VONDA: Love is my favorite "love" word. :) It's the most powerful force in the universe and the reason I write romance.

ALEXA: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
VONDA: Dirty Dancing. I think this was an iconic movie for a generation. It contained romance, fun, excitement and many life lessons about standing up for what you believe in, coming of age. To not be judgmental. How you can do things you never dreamed possible. How the best things in life can come from unexpected places.

ALEXA: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
VONDA: Both combined and merged into a story that is highly romantic and filled with adventure… that's what I write.

ALEXA: What is your favorite trait about your hero in Stolen by a Highland Rogue?
VONDA: Dugald is incredibly determined to reclaim his valuable dagger. I admire that sort of perseverance. It isn't the monetary value that's important to him. This dagger is very special and ancient. It has been in his clan for generations. He feels he let down his late father when the dagger was stolen. He was not guarding it carefully enough. And now he may have prevented his future children and descendants from having it. Despite his willingness to do almost anything to get the dagger back, including kidnapping, he shows compassion to his hostage.

ALEXA: What does it mean to love someone?
VONDA: To accept someone unconditionally and not place any sort of judgment on things they do. To understand that person, or at least try to. To accept them, imperfections, flaws and all because no one is perfect.

ALEXA: High Heels or Hiking Boots?
VONDA: Hiking boots for hill walking in Scotland. :)

ALEXA: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
VONDA: For Highlander Unbroken my upcoming novel, the idea for a dark, troubled Highland hero came to me while listening to the song Demons by Imagine Dragons a few years ago. I then had to figure out how to work it into my series. Once I discovered Maili's brother Neacal MacDonald, first introduced in My Captive Highlander, had a tortured past, literally, I had to write about him. For my novella, Stolen by a Highland Rogue, since my second book (My Wild Highlander) came out I'd wanted to write a story about Camille, a secondary character and the French cousin of the heroine (Angelique). Camille seemed to be a fun person who used weapons and wasn't afraid of a little adventure and danger. She has faced dangerous men in the past, so I knew being kidnapped wouldn't faze her. She would stand toe to toe with the braw Highland warrior and tell him off for abducting her. It was a fun story to write.

ALEXA: Describe an absolutely perfect day.
VONDA: A sunny day in Scotland touring an amazing castle, or hiking to a beautiful place and taking a thousand photos. My recent trip (September '15) to visit Castle Tioram in Scotland comes to mind. It was about 20 to 30 mile drive from our hotel out to the ruin on the remote west coast. My friends and I stopped at several places along the way to take photos of beautiful old bridges, lochs, rivers and mountains. The drive for many miles along a single track (one lane, two way traffic) was tedious and tiring, but once we arrived and saw the castle ruin in the distance on a tiny island in Loch Moidart it was all worth it. We walked a short distance across a sand bar, which the tide sometimes covers over. It was amazing and wonderful to visit the castle that inspired the setting of My Captive Highlander and Highlander Unbroken. Castle Tioram was a MacDonald of Clanranald stronghold for centuries. It was abandoned hundreds of years ago but stands as lingering history that you can see and touch. I felt so fortunate and grateful to get to sit on the rocks for a short while and simply look at it and take hundreds of photos. We were not allowed inside because of the danger of falling masonry, but walking around it was fantastic.

ALEXA: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?
VONDA: A major love of Scotland. I think I'm obsessed with the country and I don't know why really, other than it's so amazingly beautiful and has a rich history. There's something about Scotland that resonates in my soul. Getting to visit Scotland and explore it is something I treasure.

ALEXA: What inspires you daily?
VONDA: Readers! I always get more inspired and motivated to write when readers contact me and let me know they're enjoying my stories

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ACTOR/ACTRESS & WHY? This is difficult for me to answer because I don't watch that many movies. One favorite that comes to mind is Johnny Depp. I like his versatility and how he always plays unusual and interesting characters. I think he's incredibly talented at what he does.

ALEXA: Got a question you’d like to ask your fans?
VONDA: Do you read Scottish historical romance and if so what is your favorite thing about it?

Thanks so much for visiting us, Vonda! Folks, get busy leaving comments or answers to Vonda’s question. Why? Because she’ll be giving away Celtic earrings and a postcard souvenir from Scotland along with a tote bag swag pack. (North America ONLY.)

Note: Please leave an email address for notification. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.