02 October 2010

Haunted Halloween: Wayne Josephson + A Giveaway!

The Ghost and the Penny
By: Wayne Josephson

       The town I grew up in had a huge, old Victorian house--dark, rundown, and creepy. No one would live there because everyone said it was haunted.
       Many years earlier, the old woman who owned the house was found dead inside. She had no relatives or friends, and had apparently fallen down the stairs. She lay there for several days until the mailman noticed that her mail was not being picked up. He called the police, they went inside, and found her. Her face was twisted in an expression of terrible pain.
       After that, people in the neighborhood began hearing noises coming from the house late at night. It sounded like an old woman crying and groaning in pain. But everyone knew the house was empty, so the rumors started that it was haunted by her ghost.
       One Halloween during my junior year in high school, three of my classmates named Lisa, Heather, and Anne, decided to find out once and for all if the house was really haunted. All of their friends, including me, warned them not to go, but they were brave and determined. They thought it would be a thrilling adventure. It turned out to be the scariest night of their lives.
        At midnight, the three girls climbed the long, winding driveway up to the house. It was pitch black. The moon was covered with clouds, and they only brought a small flashlight. Heather found an open window, and they climbed inside. It was dusty and dirty, and smelled like death.
        “I don’t think this is such a good idea,” said Lisa.
        “Oh, don’t be such a baby,” replied Heather. “This’ll be fun.”
        “Yeah,” added Anne. “If we survive.”
        They found their way to the stairs and began climbing them. Their little flashlight cast scary shadows all around.
        “Isn’t this where the old lady fell?” asked Lisa, really worried now.
        Heather didn’t answer her. She was feeling a bit nervous herself. They reached the top of the stairs and went into the master bedroom. The boards creaked as they entered. The room had been untouched since the old lady had died.
        “Okay, we did it,” said Lisa. “Let’s go home now.”
        “Not until we hear the ghost,” said Heather. “Everyone at school wants us to say we heard the old lady screaming.”
        The girls sat down on the floor in a circle, with the flashlight in the middle, and waited for a few minutes. Nothing. They waited some more.
        “Can we go now?” asked Anne. “The ghost is obviously not gonna scream because she knows we’re here.”
        “Let’s give it a few more minutes,” said Heather. “I know a game we can play.” She took a coin out of her jeans pocket. “This is my lucky penny. We toss it up into the air and make a wish before it hits the floor.”
        “Why?” asked Anne. “It’s a stupid game.”
        “Shut up,” barked Heather. “Do you have a better idea? At least it’ll pass the time.”
        “Fine,” said Anne. “But we shouldn’t do this very long. Our flashlight is beginning to die.”
        “One round each,” said Heather. She gave the penny to Lisa. “You start.”
        Lisa tossed the coin into the air, and after a few seconds it hit the floor in front of her.
        “What did you wish for?” asked Heather. “A certain boy to take you to homecoming?”
        “I’m not telling you,” replied Lisa. She handed the penny to Anne. “You next.”
        Anne threw the penny up, closed her eyes, and made her wish before the coin landed on the floor.
        “Don’t even ask me, ‘cause I’m not telling,” she said.
        Just then the flashlight died.
        “Oh, great!” cried Lisa. “Now how do we find our way out of here?”
        “Stop being a cry baby,” said Heather. “I want my turn before we leave.”
        “But it’s pitch black! I’m scared!” said Anne.
        “I’ll get us out of here. But first I want my wish,” said Heather.
        Heather threw the penny into the air and made her wish. But after a few seconds, there was no sound of the coin hitting the floor.
        “Where’s the penny?” screamed Lisa. “It never landed!”
        Heather couldn’t be brave anymore. “I don’t know what happened. I threw it up just like you did.”
        Anne’s voice was shaking as she said, “You don’t think the ghost…”
        Just then, then girls heard a moaning sound echoing through the house.
        “She took the penny!” screamed Lisa.
        They shrieked with terror, jumped up, and bolted out of the bedroom, falling over each other in the dark, trying to escape.
        The girls scrambled for the stairs and managed to climb down the steps without falling on top of each other.
        Then they dashed out the front door and down the driveway. They spent the night at Heather’s house, sobbing with fear, and grateful they had escaped alive.
        The next day, everyone at school heard about what happened. The three girls became instant urban legends.
        But, after several days, Heather, Lisa, and Anne still couldn’t shake off the scare they had gotten. They had to confront their fears and try to find out the truth about that night.
        So, about two weeks later, they went back to the house. But this time, it was during the day—a sunny afternoon after school.
        Summoning up their courage, they climbed the driveway and entered the house through the same open window. They climbed the stairs one by one, holding each other’s hand.
        The girls entered the bedroom and looked around. Chills ran up their spines as they remembered that night. They expected the ghost to scream at them at any moment.
        Suddenly, Lisa cried out, “Look!”
        Heather and Anne jumped, and turned around to where Lisa was pointing. They stared in disbelief.
        Then they all breathed sighs of relief and hugged each other.
        In the corner, the penny was suspended in a large cobweb.

Title: Emma and the Vampires

Synopsis: What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?

In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her... A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead
Screenwriter Wayne Josephson Gives Jane Austen’s Emma Some Bite. Literally.

Additional information: From Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count in the 1931 film Dracula, to the hit 90s TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, to the modern-day HBO series True Blood and the blockbuster book and film franchise Twilight, the vampire has evolved from a being that wreaks horror on humans to one that wreaks havoc on the affairs of the heart.

The Regency-era comedy of manners finds Jane Austen’s beloved title character, Emma Woodhouse, attempting to arrange the affairs of the young ladies and gentleman vampires, including Mr. Knightley, in her social circle with delightfully disastrous results.

Emma and the Vampires reflects the author’s passion for retelling the great classics of literature for a modern-day audience. Josephson originally rewrote Emma for his teenage daughter, who then suggested he add vampires given their popularity in books, TV, and film.

Emma is the most popular Jane Austen novel with young adult readers, and continues to delight audiences today, including the loose adaptation of the story in 1995’s Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, and the 1996 film adaptation with Gwyneth Paltrow portraying Emma.

Is the mashup dead? No, it’s undead.

Photo By: Victoria Feola

From Sourcebooks - AUGUST 10, 2010

About The Author

Wayne Josephson received his BA from Emory University and his MBA from Wharton. After twenty years on Wall Street, he decided to pursue his long-delayed desire to write, becoming a successful screenwriter. Josephson is also the author behind four Readable Classics books, available on Amazon and bn.com.

For more information, visit www.waynejosephson.com/


A Huge thank you to both Wayne and Scoucebooks - Wayne for the story and Scourcebooks for the donation which made this giveaway possible!
Here's the rule 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 Wayne!
You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
This contest is open to to US residents only. Sorry!
Contest ends: Oct. 16th, 2010

This Contest is NOW CLOSED!

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. Again a HUGE thank you to Wayne for his time, story and to Scourcebooks for the donation.

Check out Jessica's Haunted Halloween post with Amy Brecount White!!

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. What a fun interview. Sounds like I need to pick me up a new book!


  2. This book sounds really interesting. I haven't read to many humorous books but I have read a few and loved them. I think I will really like this one because its also paranormal.

    romancebookjunkiesdanielle at yahoo dot com

  3. That ending fooled me. I seriously thought something bad was about to happen.
    Emma and the Vampires sounds interesting, so I I'll pick it up from the libraray.

  4. Loved the story! I was expecting it to have some sort of creepy supernatural ending, but I liked the twist! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'm not eligible to enter but I just wanted to say that this was a great interview!!!

  6. OMG! I totally love October :) Awesome giveaway!

    email: beautiful_molly (at) hotmail (dot) com

  7. I thought maybe someone had followed them and decided to scare the living daylights out of them, great twist. ^_^

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

  8. Haha, just like the moth story! It was an awesome twist at the end :D Btw, love the giveaway <3


  9. I'd love to read this one! I am so interested in the classics-gone-scary that are so prevalent in today's lit culture. Thanks for the contest!

    Brianna Bruce


  10. I've been wanting to read this book so very bad. Emma is my favorite Jane Austen book of all.


  11. The cover is so creepy! It sure got my attention!


  12. Hah! Awesome story.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  13. Awesome story, I'd be the one saying don't go in and wondering why I was there at the same time.


  14. fun interview!!!! am I doing the comment contest right????

    >>>>> becarattacaso@yahoo.com

  15. Awesome story :D

    Thanks for the giveaway!


    Ashley's Bookshelf

  16. What a fun ending to a creepy story! Emma and the Vampires sounds like a terrific book!

    Crazy Cat Lady

  17. I'm REALLY liking these stories, even though I'm reading them backwards : D

    Ah well, order doesn't matter, right???

    Thanks again!

  18. Whoa the story totally scared me until I got to the ending! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    sophiayunjin @ gmail .com

  19. lol. I don't think anyone was ever so happy to see a spider web.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  20. Absolutely love the cover of this book! Cracks me up!


  21. Awesome post and excerpt. Would love to read :)


  22. I hadn't heard of this book before but it looks funny. I love all the new Jane Austen parody books that are suddenly coming out!


  23. This book looks great, love humor.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com


  24. Ooh, creepy story, yet totally possible. The best scary stories are the ones that could actually happen to people and Josephson shows that here.

    Thanks for the guest post!


  25. This sounds like such a great book! I really need to get it!

    twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

  26. OOH! Sounds good


  27. WOW funny yet creepy story. Shows how sometimes an overactive imagination can creep you out.

    truthbetold004 at gmail dot com

  28. Emma is my favorite Austen novel (after P&P, of course). Mash-ups are so fun! This one looks like a good read.

    Oh, and I liked that bit with the cobweb! Those poor, terrified girls. :)



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