29 October 2010

Haunted Halloween: Claudia Gray + A Giveaway!

To the best of my knowledge, I've never seen a ghost. Never seen an odd shape in the mirror, never had eerily prophetic dreams, never felt an ominous chill in a corner of the attic. I should be able to happily accept that this is so because, after all, there are no such things as ghosts. It's like being disappointed that I never walked out to find a unicorn in the garage. It's just not happening, right?

But the thing is, many, many people close to me have had experiences that are hard to explain. Not odd, fringe people I kind of, sort of know and think are a bit off -- dear friends and family members I think are intelligent, practical, sane and together. I thought I'd share a few with you guys, to see if YOU can explain them away ... or not.

An uncle of mine, back when he was home from college in the summer, had a job that is going to sound unrealistic: He monitored the radio overnight at the police station. Before you scoff, let me explain -- we are from a VERY small town. You could count the number of police officers on two hands and have enough fingers left over to count the number of crimes. His job, really, was to sleep on a cot at the police station just in case somebody called something in overnight, and for the most part, nobody ever did. Usually one policeman was on duty overnight, and sometimes this guy would use the radio just to mess with my uncle's head. That was all there was to it.

Well, one night, my uncle awoke on the cot, startled and unsure why. But then he saw the policeman who happened to be on duty overnight, standing in the room staring down at him. Although my uncle was surprised he was there, it didn’t seem that unusual, and he said hello. Instead of saying hello in return, the guy just stared at my uncle in what looked like dismay, then backed away from him – and went through the wall and vanished.

This seriously freaked out my uncle, but within a few minutes, he’d convinced himself that he’d simply been dreaming. He went back to sleep. And he woke up in the morning to learn that the policeman he’d seen had, in fact, suffered a massive heart attack and died in his patrol car in the night.

To this day, my uncle is convinced that policeman came back to the station one last time. I’m not sure he’s wrong.

Another story, this one not precisely a ghost story – but certainly spooky – comes from a good friend of mine in law school. He had a wife and a four-year-old daughter, and they’d moved to New Orleans a few months before our first year of law school started, just to get used to the area. They rented a little house with a yard for their daughter and a lot of that great vintage New Orleans charm. Sounds great, right?

And yet my friend could never shake the idea that something wasn’t right in that house. Specifically, something wasn’t right in the back room. They’d planned on using it as an all-purpose family room, but instead they naturally congregated in the front. My friend was relieved by this, because that back room gave him the creeps. In particular, he said, he didn’t like looking at this one side wall. Why not? Well, it felt like something was looking back at him.

After a few weeks, he said something to his wife about the fact that they weren’t really using that back room much at all. She said that she found it scary. When they started talking, they realized that each of them was freaked out by the same side wall – and each of them had the feeling something was watching them back there.

Spooky enough, but then their little daughter, who was playing nearby, chimed in innocently, “Are you talking about the thing with all the eyes?”

The thing in the back room, she explained. Couldn’t they see it? She could.

My friend essentially got up at that moment and phoned their new priest. The back room got the full holy water treatment, after which things seemed better – but they still moved out at their first opportunity. I have to say, I would too.

These aren’t all the stories I’ve heard – I haven’t gotten to my aunt’s haunted attic, or the child that awoke one of my old bosses in the night only to turn into so much fog, or even my cousin’s beloved poltergeist, which she nicknamed “Herman” and spoke to fondly, as though he were a member of the family. But if I went into all of them, we’d be here until long after Halloween.

Even after hearing all these stories, I’m not sure I believe in ghosts and the supernatural. But I’m not sure I don’t.

Title: Evernight (Evernight, #1)

Synopsis: Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Available now from HarperTeen!

Title: Stargazer (Evernight, #2)

Synopsis: The vampire in me was closer to the surface...

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross—or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning....

Available now from HarperTeen!

Title: Hourglass (Evernight, #3)

Synposis: Bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Evernight series continues. In Hourglass, Bianca and Lucas have found a way to be together. But it means lying to the people who care about them the most.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, the elite group of vampire hunters led by Lucas’s stepfather. When Bianca’s close friend—the vampire Balthazar—is captured by Black Cross, Bianca knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. But at what cost?

Available now from HarperTeen!

Title: Afterlife (Evernight, #4)

Synopsis: The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes.

Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last.

Available from HarperTeen March 8th, 2011

Order all Claudia's books online here:

Amazon | Borders | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

Find Claudia Online:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Enter to win ONE of FOUR books!
Yep FOUR winners for this one.
GRAND prize will win a SIGNED ARC of Afterlife!
THREE runner up winners will win SIGNED
copies of Evernight!!

Here are the rules and how to enter:

You MUST complete the form to enter. No entries in comments please they won't count. Comments are welcome, so share your love with Claudia!
You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
This contest is open to - INTERNATIONAL!!
Contest ends: Nov. 12h, 2010


Good luck to everyone who enters. If you have any questions, please see my policy page or feel free to email me with any questions.

Claudia, thanks so much for taking the time to write this for our event and a HUGE thank you for the generous donation for this giveaway!

Check out Jessica's Haunted Halloween post with...........

REMINDER: *If you are interested in the COMMENT CONTEST, remember to include your email address with your comment for an extra entry!
Please ready full entry rules HERE.

*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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  1. That's a creepy one about the policeman. I wouldn't be sleeping at that police station anymore if I were him!

  2. Great stories, thanks for sharing. I especially liked the one with the creepy back room. Thanks for the contest (love the Evernight books). ^_^

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

  3. "Are you talking about the thing with all the eyes?" What?! I thought the policeman story was scary. Creepy fun post!

    Teens Read and Write

  4. Wow... Great story,I don't believe in ghosts but who knows.. maybe if one of those stories happened to me.. I would prob have to change my mind!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!


  5. Awesome! Been curious about this series for awhile!


  6. Creepy policeman. cool story :)


  7. Cool story. I have to say I've never read anything like that.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I am addicted to this series. Afterlife really needs to come out NOW!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  9. Awesome giveaway! Thanks!!


  10. Thanks for the giveaway and for sharing the stories.

    nalynboni AT gmail DOT com

  11. Great post and giveaway. Glad I found my way here...Spookiness is fantastic this weekend!

    Southern City Mysteries

  12. Why is it that kids can see the spooky stuff? Great stories! And thanks for the giveaway!


  13. Wow cool stories! Freaky that only the little daughter could see the monster-thing...Thanks for the giveaway!

    sophiayunjin @ gmail.com

  14. Thanks for turning me onto this author and for the giveaway! I will be checking out her intriguing books. I just finished a book by another wonderful author, Kelly A. Harmon, called, "Blood Soup." The story is a medieval dark fantasy, which really draws you in. I couldn't put this one down and plan to re-read it again soon.

  15. I'm not sure I believe in ghosts either, but I can't come up with a better reason right now for what they saw.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  16. thanks for sharing the Stories. Great giveaway.


  17. These are great stories, especially the one about the policeman. I was also a non-believer. I always said that until I saw a ghost myself I couldn't believe any other ghost stories. Well one night around 3am I suddenly woke up and sat upright in bed. Right by our doorway stood a little blonde girl wearing shorts and a t-shirt. At first I thought "I must be hallucinating or still dreaming", so I rubbed my eyes a few times just to be sure, but there she still stood. It wasn't until I had opened and closed my eyes three or four times that she faded away. And I just had that gut feeling that she was a ghost. We don't live in that apartment anymore, and that's the only time I saw her, but now I definitely believe in ghosts.

  18. So creepy the one about the policeman!!!
    Great giveaway by the way!

  19. Pretty creepy stories. Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  20. I've been wanting to get around to reading this series, but I have yet too! Thanks for the giveaway!

    booksoverboys at hotmail dot com

  21. Those stories are enough to make me believe. I remember my Bebe Boy James after the death of my brother, saying one of the times when the TV just inexplicably turned off and back on, "That's Uncle Dawud saying hi"

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  22. These stories really are freaky and creepy, especially the one about the wall. I would be completely freaked out about a wall if it felt like someone was staring at me and I don't blame your friend for moving his family out.

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the incredible giveaway!


  23. great story and great giveaway!


  24. Great story and great giveaway thank you!


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