05 October 2010

I like being scared but I also scare very easily. I'm the kind of guy who will read a scary book right before bed but then have to sleep with the lights on. It's a little masochistic I think. But the scariest thing that ever happened to me happened in an actual haunted house.

My friend Jon was having a birthday, and more than anything he'd wanted to spend the night in a haunted house. I didn't enjoy the idea of spending the night in some crazy abandoned house, so I got together with another of his friends and we found a really great haunted bed & breakfast in this tiny little town called Micanopy. The Herlong Mansion was supposedly haunted by the ghost of the previous owner, Inez. It was the most stylish haunted house I'd ever seen.

To make it even better, I scheduled our stay to coincide with Friday the 13th, two days before Jon's birthday. When we arrived, he was really excited to spend the night in the haunted house. According to the manager, there was only one other group booked for the night, so we essentially had the whole place to ourselves. Throughout the night we told ghost stories and played with a Ouija board. The regular scary stuff. But the real scares didn't happen until later that night.

Around the witching hour, we began to play hide & seek. There may have been alcohol involved. Okay, there was definitely alcohol involved. Either way, we split up and ran through the house. I was hiding under a bed when a storm moved in. Being from Florida, fast and furious storms were nothing new to me, but whether it was my overactive imagination or the ghost of Inez, I began to feel distinctly unnerved. The storm raged outside, a symphony of thunder and wind and tree branches scratching against the windows. From my hiding spot under the bed, I could feel my heart pounding against the floor and I wanted nothing more than to run out and hear my friends talking. But I stayed where I was.

Then the power went out. The room was plunged into darkness and I began to panic. What had I gotten myself into? I was in a strange haunted house on Friday the 13th, hiding under a bed in pitch black darkness.

I waited under the bed as long as I could but I was gripped with fear. I heard whispers and taunts. Voices in the dark telling me to run, flee, get out of the house while I still could.

I shot out from under the bed and felt my way to the door and into the hallway. I thought I was going to tumble down the stairs but I ran into someone and screamed at the top of my lungs. It turned out to be both of my friends. The lights came on and we all had a good laugh. I don't know if I ran into a ghost that night, all I know is that I didn't sleep a wink.

Title: The Deathday Letter

Synopsis: The clock is ticking?

Ollie can't be bothered to care about anything but girls until he gets his Deathday Letter and learns he's going to die in twenty-four hours. Bummer.

Ollie does what he does best: nothing. Then his best friend convinces him to live a little, and go after Ronnie, the girl who recently trampled his about-to-expire heart. Ollie turns to carloads of pudding and over-the-top declarations, but even playing the death card doesn't work. All he wants is to set things right with the girl of his dreams. It's now or never?

Available now from Simon Pulse!

Order online here: Amazon | Borders | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

BOOK SIGNING: Exciting information for anyone in New Your City! Shaun and 10 other debut authors will be at Books of Wonder signing and talking books on Oct. 10th, 2010 at Noon!!! Anyone close should go check it out! Sounds like a great time with a bunch of great authors. Check out Shaun's blog post here for some info on the event and a list of who'll be there ready to sign your books and answer questions! Oh, how I wish I could go.

Books of Wonder
18 West 18th St., between 5th and 6th

Find Shaun online:

Enter to win a Finished copy of The Deathday Letter and Bookmark! Both signed!

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 Shaun!
You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
This contest is open to to US residents only. Sorry!
Contest ends: Oct. 19th, 2010


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

Also, a HUGE thank you to Shaun for his time, story and donation.

Check out Jessica's Haunted Halloween post with Shannon Delany + A Giveaway for a Signed copy of 13 to Life and some swag!!

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. I was just reading a review of this book!

    It seems awesome!!!
    Thanks for hosting the interview and good luck to everyone entering the contest!
    Darnit, I'm not eligible! :P

  2. Awesome giveaway! Great story by the way.

    swordsforfighting at yahoo dot com

  3. Great story. Thanks for sharing, definitely an experience.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  4. Hilarious story -- thanks for hosting Shaun and the lovely giveaway!

  5. That was a great story!! LOL! I would have been SO freaked out if the lights went out : /

    I'm the same way though, I love to read the scary stories and do so right before bed. BAD plan!! I've always had the freaky thought that if I lay on my left side, someone will come up on the right side and stab me in the back. Then vice versa with the right. I don't know why, but it STILL freaks me out at home (at school I'm up against the wall on one side). Lol...what a dork

    : S

    Thanks for the giveaway we really appreciate it!!

  6. I'm a lot like Shaun, in that I LOVE to be scared, but I scare very easily. Maybe I'm a masochist as well! I really like watching horror movies and reading creepy books, but I tend to scare the crap out of myself if I do it right before I go to bed!


  7. Si it wrong that I found your story funny? Wrong or not it had me laughing. *sorry* ^_^
    The Deathday Letter sounds like an interesting read, love the cover so simple, yet so awesome.

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

  8. OMG! I love the form! It looks awesome! For a minute I thought I was somewhere else, lol :) Thanks for the awesome giveaways all month!

    email: beautiful_molly (at) hotmail (dot) com

  9. wow! thanks, i hadn't heard of this before, it looks greaT! looking forward to more 'haunted halloween'!!

  10. Wow great story lol :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    sophiayunjin @ gmail .com

  11. Hahaha that is terrible i don't blame him i don't think i could do it! loved this post of to look up his blog now!

  12. Wow, what a crazy story. I think I would have lost it. I don't like scary stuff because it gives me nightmares (I know I'm such a baby) and I'm scared of the dark so I would have peed my pants. LOL

  13. I forgot to leave my email in my comment above

    romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

  14. Wow! That was a great story :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!


    Ashley's Bookshelf

  15. I'm definitely not the person who seeks to get scared especially during the night.

    nalynboni AT gmail DOT com

  16. I wonder if your friends heard those voices too, or maybe they were the source of them??? You are definitely braver than I am, for even agreeing to stay in a haunted house in the first place!

    Crazy Cat Lady

  17. Nothing would have kept me under that bed once the lights went out, you are a very brave man.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  18. OOoo I scare easily too! Looks like a great read!


  19. What a great idea for a book. I can't wait to read it.


  20. This book was an interesting mix of dark and light-hearted - very fun!

    Teens Read and Write

  21. What a story. I only thought people from movies and shows spend time in a haunted house. Anyway, thanks for the contest.

  22. Oooh good story. Loved the excerpt!


  23. I scare easily too and I would have not been able to get through that!


  24. The cover of the book is awesome!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com


  25. Somehow I have yet to pick this one up, but it's on my list for the Debut Author Challenge. Thanks for sharing Shaun!


  26. Oh my gosh: a haunted house + Friday the 13th + no power + a storm outside?! This guy doesn't scare easily!

    Thanks for the contest. :)

  27. Thanks for the giveaway and the story! The book sounds really good!

    twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

  28. loved the story!


  29. What were you thinking? A haunted house on Friday the 13th@!!!!! AHHH

    truthbetold004 at gmail dot com

  30. A haunted B&B (I didn't even know they had those), drunken hide-and-seek in a mansion, on a stormy night? This sounds like one AWESOME birthday! Actually...I kinda want to do this for my own birthday next year. Thanks for the great idea!



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