Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Guest Post, Review and Giveaway: Victoria Laurie

Please join me in welcoming Victoria Laurie to Debbie's Book Bag today. Victoria is here promoting her latest book in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series, The Ghoul Next Door. Do you want to know what might happen in your life in the new year? Then take a look at Victoria's guest post about how to use the sixth sense, your own intuition. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Ghoul Next Door, see details at the end of the post.

What’s in Store For 2014?

Eleven years ago I took the adage, “Write what you know,” literally, and penned my first novel, Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye.  Little did I realize that the paranormal genre was about to explode and expand to cover so many interesting sub-genres and topics.  

People are apparently fascinated by all things otherworldly.  And I get it.  I had a highly developed sixth sense as a kid, and that ultimately blossomed into a career as a professional psychic.  It’s that expertise that I’ve tried to infuse into my two mystery series, The Psychic Eye Mysteries, and The Ghost Hunter Mysteries.  In the former, professional psychic Abby Cooper solves murders by using her intuition.  In the latter, spirit medium M. J. Holliday solves murders using her ability to communicate with the dead.  And in every book there’s a little bit of me trying to divulge to my curious readers the mechanics of how the sixth sense works and what it’s really like to “sense” the unseen.

The truth is that I’m often asked for advice about how to develop one’s own intuition, and my answer is so simple that I don’t think at first people really believe me.  But I thought I’d jot it down here as we’re about to enter a new year and January is wonderful time for forecasting the year ahead.

So!  Let’s begin, shall we?  If you’d like to know what the year ahead holds for you, find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for about ten minutes or so.  Have a pen or pencil ready and a blank piece of paper.  (Or, even a computer is fine to jot down your thoughts.  Anything will work, really.)

Next, sit down and get comfortable.  Close your eyes and hold ONLY the following thought in your mind.  “What’s in store for me over the next twelve months?”

Your mind will want to wander, and that’s totally okay!  Allow it to go to the areas it wants to, even if that’s to your grocery or to-do list.  Now, open your eyes and look at your paper.  Go in order of seasons and begin with winter.  “This winter______” and fill in the blank.  Write down whatever floats first into your mind, even if it seems totally innocuous.  i.e., “This winter I will get my tires rotated.”  Something like that tells me that your car will require regular maintenance – an obvious idea, maybe – but perhaps your car will require a little extra TLC. to make it as long as you’ll need it.  Or, maybe when you take your car in, the mechanic will find a nail in your tire.  You have to remember that intuition is part what you know, and part what you’re actually sensing in the ether.  It’s this combo that makes it so powerful.

As you write your thoughts down, try and be as detailed as possible.  If not much is coming to you, go by topic, i.e. “This winter at work________.”  This winter at home________.”, etc., etc., and follow through with family/ money/ travel/ love, and anything else that’s relevant.  

Do this season by season.  Why by season and not by month, you ask?  Well, the ether isn’t always that precise.  Sometimes it’s easier to define something that’s coming down the pike by the weather.  When I was first starting out as a psychic, I used to refer to time by what I sensed outside.  “I see snow on the ground, so this must be happening this winter.”  Or, “I feel warm, so I think it’s coming this summer.”  It’s a fairly accurate way to predict timing.

Now after you’ve gone season by season, sit back and review.  Some of the things on your forecast sheet may seem a little far-fetched, and that’s okay!  Always there’s a kernel of insight in even the most fantastic of scenarios, so don’t sweat it.  

After you’re done, tuck your sheet away for a few months, then pull it out and review what you wrote down for “Winter.”  My bet is that there are more than a few predictions that actually came true, and the wonderful thing about having that to reflect on is that it’s proof that you actually can take a peek into your own future.  You actually do posses the ability to see how your life will unfold.

It works for predicting other people’s futures too.  If there’s someone you’re concerned about, make sure to include them in your forecast.  i.e., “This winter my husband will ___________at work.”  

It’s important also to understand that this won’t be an exact science.  Some things that you predict won’t happen.  Why the mixed bag?  Well, I’ve come to realize that the future is this highly malleable thing – it’s always in flux and it’s based so much more on realizing our own individual potential than it is marking events like a history book.  What you’re predicting for yourself is what is likely or possible, not absolute.  My recommendation for you with those items on your forecast sheet that you really want to come true is to go for it!  Rise to your own potential, and aim all your efforts to make that happen.  Self-fulfill your own prophecy.  You’ll be oodley glad you did.  J

And, if you’d like even more insight into how the sixth sense works, I hope you check out my two mystery series—The Ghost Hunter Mysteries, and The Psychic Eye Mysteries.  Me thinks both could be items on your sheet for Winter, (The Ghoul Next Door, released January, 7th, 2014), and Summer, (Fatal Fortune, released July 1st, 2014).  

In the meantime, good luck and Happy New Year!

The Ghoul Next Door (Ghost Hunter Mystery - Book 8) by Victoria Laurie

Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 045124060X
ISBN-13: 978-0451240606

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Victoria Laurie on the WEB: Website, Twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

What's a Ghoul to Do? (2007), Demons Are a Ghouls Best Friend (2008), Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun (2009), Ghouls Gone Wild (2010), Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls (2010), Ghoul Interrupted (2011), What a Ghoul Wants (2012), The Ghoul Next Door (2014)

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.


On a well-deserved hiatus from the ghoulish grind of their TV show, Ghoul Getters, psychic medium M. J. Holliday, her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, are back home in Boston. But there’s no rest for the weary ghost busters. M. J.’s ex comes to her for help—his fiancée’s brother Luke seems haunted by a sinister spirit.
The crew sets up surveillance cameras to watch for the possessive poltergeist while Luke is sleeping. But when he goes outside in the middle of the night and returns hours later covered in blood, they are all very concerned—especially when the news reports the murder of a young woman in the neighborhood.
Now M. J., Heath, and Gilley must remain self-possessed as they try to stop a wicked ghost whose behavior is anything but neighborly.


Victoria Laurie always brings readers a good scary mystery. Her latest in the Ghost Hunter series, The Ghoul Next Door doesn't deviate from the pattern. The creepers are a little closer to home in this one and Laurie brings back a past lover to add another dimension to the story. Readers who love paranormal cozies will fall in love with this one. Laurie does a great job of adding some pretty scary situations into this book, so readers beware... this one just might scare the pants off of ya! It's paranormal + mystery and it = a great read!

What I liked:

I like the author's commitment to her subject in this series. The author, Victoria Laurie is a psychic and she knows her stuff. That's what gives this series a ring of authenticity that other writers can't quite pull off with their paranormal cozies. Laurie uses a lot of over the top hijinks and a bit of humor as well, to bring it altogether. Basically, I like her style of writing in the Ghost Hunter series and especially in this book. She makes the sometimes unbelieveable seem like par for the course. That takes some talent.

As always M.J. is a great heroine. I liked the fact that she was having a bit of personal history making things difficult in this one. She and her boyfriend Heath are asked for help from her ex. which leads to a bit of confusion on M.J.'s part, that I thought made her seem more like a real person. Like everyone else that has issues in their lives. It made her easier to relate to and maybe even a bit more normal. Not that, that is necessary. In a paranormal cozy it's usually the weirder the better. But liked seeing her in a realistic situation.

The mystery in this one was a bit on the creepy side. Who wants to think of someone being possessed and possibly committing murder because of it? But it certainly made for some good reading. I liked Luke and I was really worried about what was going on with him. He was a good character. There was a lot going on in this one but Laurie has a knack for pulling it altogether so that the reader doesn't have a problem figuring out how she got there, when the big reveal comes. I liked the way the clues were placed and the way M.J. sorted them out in her head. Probably my favorite of this series so far.

What I didn't like:

Heath and M.J. seemed to take a bit of time figuring out just how serious this case really was. I felt like maybe they weren't taking things as seriously as they should have and were putting themselves in more danger by showing more attention to Gilley's feelings than was necessary. It's a beastie of the worst kind... what's more important than that?

Bottom Line:

Despite the lack of urgency in the first part of the book. I still really enjoyed this one. It is one of the best of the series and I think readers will enjoy M.J. getting back to her roots and her struggles with the mystery, and her personal life.

The Ghoul Next Door is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Real-life professional psychic Victoria Laurie drew from her career as a gifted intuitive to create the characters of Abigail Cooper and M. J. Holliday. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ghost Hunter Mystery series, including What a Ghoul WantsGhoul Interrupted, and Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls, as well as the Psychic Eye Mystery series.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Ghoul Next Door by Victoria Laurie.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ U.S. Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight, EST January 21st.

1. Please leave a comment describing a good ghost story you heard as a child.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

We never heard ghost stories when we were children. Storytelling about family and lives. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

We heard many, many great ghost stories as children, both about the haunted house we lived in and about the area. Of course, we weren't supposed to hear the stories about the house. We heard those by accidentally eavesdropping. We heard one story about a stretch of road that included a hill where a man's car broke down. According to the story, his truck and camper (on the truck) broke down at the bottom of the hill and someone came over the hill and struck his truck and killed him while he was trying to get it to start. Now, you can stop at the bottom of the hill, put your car in neutral and the ghost will pull your car up the hill so you don't suffer his fate. We tried it. It works. It's supposed to be an optical illusion and the hill is actually supposed to be going down rather than up, but it's still a creepy feeling.

Linda Kish said...

We never heard any ghost stories when we were kids.

Karen B said...

Maybe my memory is failing me at 72 but I don't remember any ghost stories either!

Sue Farrell said...

I don't remember any good ghost stories, but I do remember being terrified to go into the basement --thinking that "something" was going to "get" me.

cyn209 said...

a ghost story my Uncle told me as a child was a family walking on a narrow road, in a single file......then the youngest child stepped off the road & came back on the road on the next step.......the father asked 'why did you step aside?'...the child answered, 'to let the lady walk by'.........
the father answered back, 'there was nobody else but us, on the road...........'

bn100 said...

didn't hear any

lag123 said...

All kinds of stories about "Bloody Bones".

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Natasha said...

Bloody Mary stories.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Bonnie said...

We always made up ghost stories sitting by the camp fire. But my favorite was one that really happened to me. The night my grandmother passed away I had a dream she sat on the foot of my bed and gave my foot a pat and told me it will be alright.
My mother called me the next day to tell me she passed away.

Michelle F. said...

I had a book of scary stories when I was a kid. I think the book or one of the stories was called The Thing at the Foot of the Bed. The guy thought something was there, but it was just his big toe! Maybe he shot it; I can't remember.

I love ghost stories and collect those kinds of books. I love to watch ghost stories on TV, such as Paranormal Witness and When Ghosts Attack.