Author Archives: G G Collins

Crystal Usage in Anasazi Medium

Crystal Blue Persuasion

by G G Collins                             Copyright 2020

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While writing Anasazi Medium I realized that Reluctant Medium, Rachel Blackstone, would have to visit the Land of the Dead. I went to friend and crystal practitioner, M J Trantham, and asked her what she thought. She said we would need not only stones to protect Rachel from the spirits, but to protect the dead from Rachel.

You can see MJ’s influence throughout my books. For instance, near the beginning of Anasazi Medium we learn that Rachel has placed a grid of Black Tourmaline and Selenite, both protective, in each corner of her office at High Desert Country in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she works as a reporter and editor. In Lemurian Medium it was Blue Lace Agates that saved the day when Rachel was threatened by the Dracs. In Atomic Medium we used Apophyllite to open a stargate, Howlite to protect against radiation in the Atomic City and Opals for invisibility.

Throughout Anasazi Medium you will notice the color blue recurring: The Blue Dog Star, Indigo children, the Blue Star Kachina, water and three carefully chosen crystals, two of which are blue.

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The character of Mari-Lynn has been Rachel and Chloe’s crystal supplier. (Also Chloe’s marijuana dealer before she went legit.) For Anasazi Medium she chose Lodolite, a Shamanic dreamstone which assists with journeys not of this world and traveling to the Land of the Dead fits that description. And as an unwelcome guest in this realm it would also protect her from negative energy.

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MJ also recommended Lapis Lazuli, another protective stone, that blocks psychic attacks, thus returning the hurtful energy to its source. When Rachel arrives in the Land of the Dead she is decidedly not wanted.

The final stone was Blue Quartz. It is a very powerful crystal. It not only calms, but adjusts its vibrational level to your needs. The Land of the Dead presented several challenges to Rachel

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and she needed the pyramid-shaped pendant made of these stones throughout this journey. Not only did she see frightening things, but traveled through time with her spirit wolf Kiyiya.

Kiyiya is playing a larger role as the Reluctant Medium becomes more comfortable, but still reluctant, in her own role of empath and psychic.

Anasazi Medium combines Hopi Native American culture and traditions with a paranormal mystery that endangers the entire planet. Rachel, and her friends, have their work cut out for them as they deal with bird kills, dangerous waters and evil men bent on taking what they want. In the meantime, the Dog Star is getting frighteningly close to Earth.

 

 

Using Crystals in Fiction

With a Little Help From Our Friends

Guest Blog Post with M J Trantham, Crystal Practitioner

Tiger’s Eye Crystals: Gold, Red, Blue. Protective Stones. Copyright G G Collins

 

We all get a little help from our friends. In the case of crystal practitioner MJ Trantham, I’ve gotten a lot of help. After Reluctant Medium was released she asked me if I thought Rachel would benefit from using crystals. My answer was “Yes!” MJ is also a great brainstormer and I send her chapters for her input–trying not to give away to much of the story.

by M J Trantham                                                               Copyright 2020

GG Collins and I have been friends for many years. I have been reading her articles and books longer than I can remember. When she began the Reluctant Medium series, I was so excited and asked if I could participate in brainstorming the development of her books. She graciously invited me into the group. I feel Rachel Blackstone has become my friend as well.

Once I know what Rachel’s adventure is going to be, I begin to think of what hazards she might encounter or mysteries she is going to solve. Will Rachel need enhanced intuition from her spirit guides or protection from ghosts and goblins?  Is she looking for someone that needs help? Maybe Rachel is on a treasure hunt?

Amethyst Crystal Ball
Copyright G G Collins

During Rachel’s journeys she most likely needs protection from a person, place or thing. Tiger Iron, one of my favorites, is formed from Jasper, Hematite and Tiger’s Eye. It is also known as Mugglestone. It forms a protective shield around the aura and points to a place of refuge when danger threatens and returns the evil to the source. Black Tourmaline is another choice.  It forms a protective shield around the person carrying this crystal.

To enhance Rachel’s intuition, I would give her an Amethyst. Amethyst also protects against psychic attacks and improves spiritual awareness allowing her to make wise decisions and clearly hear her spirit guides if she gets into a bad situation. Blue Kyanite also heightens psychic abilities and is an excellent connector to spirit guides.

Crystals come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Most have multiple uses depending on color or type. When selecting a crystal for a friend or situation, do some research to determine which definition or description means the most to you.

M J also makes the most beautiful crystal pouches and medicine bags.

Trantham’s crocheted medicine bags.

Medicine Bags by M J Trantham
Copyright G G Collins

 

Anasazi Medium Available for Pre-Order

Native American Mystery

Pre-Order at Amazon. Click the Book Cover

Eight of the nine signs signaling the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi have come to pass. The ninth is hurtling toward Earth!

Rachel is recruited by the spirit world to prevent a cataclysmic occurrence: the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi. The ancient spirit tells her: “Everyone you know and everyone you do not know will die. You will die. Your feline will die.”

In this fourth Rachel Blackstone paranormal adventure, ancient peoples enlighten contemporary humankind in a mystery as old as time. As earthquakes occur in Santa Fe and a New Mexico supervolcano threatens to blow, it becomes imperative she discover the root of all evil. But can she stop the greedy men intent on having their way and willing to kill to achieve it?

In this her most dangerous challenge yet, Rachel calls on her friends, both the quick and the dead. The survival of an unaware civilization depends on Rachel getting it right.

Available for Pre-Order at Amazon. Just click on the book cover. Thank you!

Supernatural Retrospective

Because I’ve always mentioned Sam and Dean in my Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries, I’m publishing this piece on both blogs.

 

The End of the Road

By G G Collins          Copyright 2020

From the beginning, Supernatural has been about more than two brothers slaying monsters. The series has been researched; a satisfying recipe of biblical, lore and fabrication. Drawn by good storytelling, humor and a bit—okay more than a bit—of stage blood thrown around, it caught the attention of several generations. The two stars (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) were barely known when the series began 15 years ago, but soon the characters of Sam and Dean became household words. Supernatural took us places we’ve never been before.

The boys have been thoroughly tested. They’ve had visits to the “cage” and been resurrected. They gone black and white and they’ve been on almost every night of the week. And still fans followed. Dean with his testosterone-laden personality and Sam who—except when he lost his soul—was the more sensitive of the two have created a good hunter/maniacal hunter amalgamation. And through all the ups and downs of their relationship and their passion for their work, they have remained family despite a few dissonant separations.

It is the humor and the asides of this horror series that has kept audiences tuning in for more than a decade. Remember Dean on the airplane in Season One? Screaming like a girl! Ackles recreated that scream again in “Yellow Fever” when he was infected with ghost sickness. It’s a classic; the rugged character showing unreasonable fear. And fun.

In their more poignant moments they have showed compassion. Even Dean has that ability on occasion. In “Roadkill” Molly (Tricia Helfer) doesn’t know she is dead and every year she endures her death once again. When they finally convince her, and she walks into the light they become reflective.

Dean says: “…you think she’s really going to a better place?”

Sam replies: “I hope so.”

Dean adds: “I guess we’ll never know. Not until we take the plunge ourselves, huh?”

Sam says: “Doesn’t really matter, Dean. Hope’s kind of the whole point.” (This is my favorite line of the show.)

As the storyline evolved, other characters were introduced. Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer not to be confused with the producer/director of the series, or maybe?) became a father figure for the boys and their go-to guy for lore. “Weekend at Bobby’s” was Beaver’s moment to shine and we weren’t disappointed.

Misha Collins’ Castiel could make a righteous entrance and became the boys’ “wing man.” Collins played both giggling social media addict (“The French Mistake”) and vengeful angel with equal aplomb. Who knows how many tan trench coats he went through. But bloody or not, Collins is always good.

Then came along Mark A. Sheppard as the king of hell. Sheppard milked every scene and we loved it. He’s bad and that ain’t good. He’s that friend you can never trust. Sheppard played him with a sly absurdity that was a pleasure to watch.

In a bit of inspiration, Kim Rhodes was cast as Sheriff Jody Mills. Usually women played reapers, demons and angels, with the exception of their mother (Samantha Smith). But Rhodes was given a meatier role. She had to carefully enforce the law while becoming one of the guys. In the “Time After Time” episode where Dean traveled backward and met Eliot Ness, she was trying to get Sam to rest and said, “Do I have to use my mom voice.” It was the perfect combination of authority figure and mother.

Early on, it was reported that Eric Kripke (creator) wanted to use a classic Mustang as “Baby,” but was informed there wasn’t enough room in the trunk for a body. So chosen instead was the 1967 Chevy Impala. They did get that Mustang in there during the apocalypse Season 5 when the red horseman drove into town in a red classic pony car. Baby is such an inherent part of the show it had its own episode appropriately titled “Baby.”

Throughout the series, we’ve been treated to a plethora of rock ‘n roll music that the boys’ father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) introduced to Dean. It has made for a rousing soundtrack. And don’t forget all those gaudy motel rooms; absolutely inspired! The person in charge of the wallpaper needs an Emmy please.

And so we find ourselves near the end of the road. It’s been a great ride and while we don’t want it to end, that was always implied; they are hunters after all.

How do I want it to end?

Sam looks up from laptop.

Sam: “There’s a report of an Ōkami in Kansas City.”

Dean: “Hey, aren’t they’re mostly found in Japan?”

Sam: “What do you want to do?”

Dean: “What we always do.”

Boys leave the bunker.

(“Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas plays)

Fade to black.

As we say goodbye to old friends I can’t help but think of what Chuck/God (Rob Benedict) said about writing the books to be known as the Winchester Gospel.

Endings are hard.

 

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Ghost Story for Halloween

Contact: Presence, A Short Story

Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium, is startled when a clock flies across the bathroom while brushing her teeth. Is it a message from the spirit world? She and best friend Chloe hold a transition ceremony and wait for further contact. But will it be peaceful or have they summoned another evil entity?

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Mystery Book Excerpt

 

Anasazi Medium Coming in July 2020

by G G Collins Copyright 2019

Ancient peoples enlighten contemporary humankind in a mystery as old as time. Rachel Blackstone is recruited by the spirit world to prevent a cataclysmic occurrence: the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi. As earthquakes occur and a super volcano threatens to blow, it becomes imperative she discover the root of all evil. But can she stop the greedy men intent on having their way and willing to kill to achieve it? The survival of an unaware civilization depends on her getting it right.

Anasazy Medium (1)

Coming July 2020

The computer screen went black; followed immediately by her desk lamp. It wasn’t yet dark in Santa Fe, but the sun was on its way down.

“Dammit, not again,” Rachel swore. The City Different was known to lose power from time to time so while not yet concerned, she was frustrated by the outage.

“It should be called The City Dark. Hey, we’re on deadline!” She nodded to her tortie cat, Chile Pod.

But Chile Pod was in alert mode; ears pricked forward, green eyes wide, colorful neck scruff raised.

“What? What is it?”

Before she could sort it out, a wolf howled. It carried across the city, both eerie and urgent. Rachel had heard it before; Kiyiya, the spirit wolf who always seemed to be around when she needed a heads-up.

Rachel really didn’t want to get up and look outside. It would be so much better to continue to sit in her kitchen corner safe in her ignorance. She reluctantly pushed her chair back and stood. Before she could cross the kitchen her house shuddered. Things—a lot of things—began hitting the roof and walls of the house. This was no ordinary hail storm, an occurrence fairly common to this southwestern city. They must be huge stones. Usually, they received small hailstones that tended to go splut when they impacted. This sounded more like rocks striking.

When a window shattered, she ducked.

“Chile, get under the . . . !” But the tiny cat was already under the table sitting on a chair peeking from beneath the brightly colored tablecloth.

Rachel raised her eyes upward although there was nothing to see but her ceiling. No explanation was forthcoming. Just as she reached the window something dark hit the pane, cracking it, and bounced off. She stared in horror at what was happening in her backyard.

“This can’t be!” she cried, holding both hands over her mouth.

But it was. Birds were falling from the sky, hundreds of them.

Sensing there was nothing dangerous inside, Chile Pod jumped to the counter to see for herself. Rachel covered her protectively as she watched the ghastly precipitation event. In a few seconds, they abruptly stopped falling.

“Stay inside please,” Rachel said to Chile Pod. “I don’t want to have to worry about you too.”

The storm door creaked as she pushed it open and cautiously stepped outside. There were birds lying on her stoop. She grabbed the broom from next to the door and carefully moved them to one side so she could go down the steps. They all appeared to be dead. Rachel had read about this phenomenon. It was normally caused by loud noises such as fireworks that caused disorientation or a flock flew into a hailstorm and died of blunt force trauma. Of course, doomsday predictors had a lot to say about such events and what they felt was the impending Armageddon.

Rachel was wiping tears as she walked carefully through the bird kill. She found it to be incredibly sad. Once she had navigated the stone path to the courtyard terrace continuing to use the broom to make a path in the midst of so many bodies, she stopped to observe the sunset. It was another spectacular display of colors stretching across a limitless sky, completely unaware of the tragedy that lay upon the ground.

A lone bird righted itself and stood unsteadily. It fluffed its wing feathers as if conducting a pre-flight inspection. None of the others moved. He would have a lonely journey.

Rachel watched this with trepidation and gloom. What had caused uninjured birds to fall from the sky? When the power returned, she would check the internet for similar incidents.

Her attention was quickly captured as cold air closed in around her. Within seconds, she could see her breath. It gathered in a white cloud and slowly drifted away. She held the broom handle in one hand, clutching her arms about her. It felt like winter had come too soon. But Rachel was certain that something frightening was about to happen. She was learning the signs; the wolf howl, bizarre episodes. She waited. It wasn’t her show. But she wished whoever or whatever would get on with it.

She became aware of a sound, low at first; a familiar rattle. It reminded her of the first time she had witnessed the return of a spirit in her living room only last year. Rachel waited; helpless to hasten a ghost making a return voyage.

Slowly moving streams of fog appeared from four directions, moving across her courtyard with excruciating intent. Oddly, each vaporous rivulet carried a different tint: black, white, red and yellow. Some Native Americans believed these represented the four colors of humankind as well as the four directions. When the colors united, a shape began to form.

Suddenly, the rattling stopped as the vapor integrated and became one in the center of her flagstone terrace.

Rachel stood quietly, hardly daring to breathe, every muscle taut with readiness. Just because she’d experienced this before didn’t mean she was immune to fear.

A body was slowly forming in front of her. This person wasn’t wearing a lot. She was seeing a great deal of skin. But she also noticed the spear. Of course she had no weapon unless a broom constitutes one. Just how did one prepare for any eventuality? Ray gun for alien beings? AK-47 for home grown terrorists? Stardust for pissed off fairies? These occurrences were potluck affairs.

A Native American man walked out of the mist. He was very fit, not the fitness that comes from working out in a gym, but from physical work. This was someone who labored outside. He wore a simple loincloth, probably made from an animal skin and shoes made of the same that reached upward to his knees.

His presence was disturbing. It wasn’t just the spear, but she perceived him as warrior if the need arose. This was someone to be feared. Rachel watched him carefully, reminding herself he was in spirit, but also aware that spirits could cause great harm, even kill. She was ready to run, not that it would do much good.

He stepped toward her, shoes soundless on the stones.

“You are the one?” he asked. He spoke in a language she had never heard, but the words appeared in English in her mind, much as supertitles at the opera.

“I don’t know,” she replied not knowing if he understood. “Who are you looking for?”

“The one who speaks with the dead.”

“I believe I’m speaking with a spirit now. Is that true? Are you in spirit?”

“I am from the Land of the Dead.”

“How can I help you?” She really wished she’d stayed near her back door instead of backing into a corner. When would she learn to have these unscheduled meetings on her terms? Could they happen on her terms?

“All the signs except one have been fulfilled. You must stop the last one or the world will end and another begins. This will not be good. All will die.”

“What? What sign?”

“The ninth sign is near to completion. It must be stopped.”

“What has to be stopped?” Rachel was even more apprehensive about this man’s prediction than his formidable stature and spike.

“The ninth sign. A blue Kachina in the sky. If it occurs the fourth world will end, all will die. The fifth world will commence, but without all living creatures.”

Rachel could feel the urgency in his words, but didn’t understand.

“It is the blue star; the brightest in the night sky,” he explained.

“The Dog Star; Sirius?” she asked not knowing if he would understand.

“Yes.”

“What will happen to it?” she asked.

“If bad men are not stopped, it will fall to the Earth and destroy the fourth world.”

“Bad men? That could be almost anyone, anyplace.”

“These men will kill our land, our valley where we lived in stone walls.”

“But, what can I do?”

“You have the power of the writing instrument. You must expose them.”

“And if I can’t?”

“Everyone you know and everyone you do not know will die. You will die. Your feline companion will die.” Had he seen her in the kitchen window? How did he know?

“Can you give me more information? I don’t know where to start.”

He turned and pointed north. “In our ancestral lands,” he said and faded away.

The mist dispersed and the cold evaporated. But Rachel felt chilled to the bone.

Excerpt of Forthcoming Book

Rachel Blackstone’s Greatest Challenge Yet

Anasazi Medium: A Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery  is due out in July 2020.

(Copyright 2019 by G G Collins)

Meet Kiyiya, Rachel Blackstone’s Spirit Wolf.

They ate in silence for a few minutes. It tasted like the best meal Rachel had ever eaten. Everything always tasted better, the sun looked brighter and the birds sang sweeter after a close call. She could feel the adrenaline losing its punch as she came down and began to feel tired.

“Where did the yellow water come from?” Chloe asked.

“No clue, but I’m going to find out. I got a sample on the way home.”

“Rachel, that’s great. What made you think of that?”

“Something’s very wrong,” Rachel said. “First the bird kills, the otherworldly appearance in my backyard, his prediction, the deaths of the university officials, and now being in the right place at the right time to rescue Anna. And there is the ever growing Dog Star.

“My understanding is the yellow water and fish kill is another sign of the impending end of the fourth world.”

They were thoughtful for a few minutes.

“Rachel, I wonder,” Chloe said. “Should we visit the Valles Caldera? Is there anything we could learn there?”

“I think there might be,” Rachel said thoughtfully. “The last time I was there I did an interview for the Longmire TV series coverage, back when they were filming the series in New Mexico. We ran several stories on that production. The Valles Caldera was used as Sheriff Longmire’s ranch location.”

Valles Caldera, New Mexico. Longmire ranch in series by the same name.

“Quite a drive from the Las Vegas where they filmed the downtown and sheriff’s office scenes,” Chloe said.

“Yes, I know. I drove to both sets for the interviews and again to Madrid and the Mine Shaft Tavern that was used as the Red Pony bar.”

“I hated when that series ended,” Chloe said.

“Yup, me too. Seems like the good shows always end too soon.”

“And Supernatural is ending,” Chloe added. “Don’t know what we’ll do without Sam and Dean to guide us on these, uh, mystical excursions.”

“At least they got 15 years,” Rachel said. “Longmire only got six.”

Rachel changed the subject.

“You know, I’ve had those herb plants sitting on my back porch all summer. I think after what happened today, I’d like to do a little gardening.”

“You want help?” Chloe asked.

Rachel raised an eyebrow in question. She’d never seen Chloe plant any of her gardens.

“Well, I could ask my gardener if he would have time to plant it for you.”

Rachel grinned.

“No, but thank you for the offer. I think I need to do something physical.”

“Okay,” Chloe said. “I’m going to check in at the office, see if anything critical is a foot and then go home to a hot bath and a glass of wine.”

“Do you think they will still grow?” Rachel asked.

“What?”

“The herbs.”

“Sure, everything but the parsley will likely come back in the spring. Sometimes my parsley even overwinters,” Chloe said. “Of course, as you so generously pointed out I don’t cultivate my own so my gardener may have secrets to plant longevity that I don’t know.”

“I just can’t see anything else dead for awhile,” Rachel choked.

“I know,” Chloe said and hugged her friend. “Seeing those dead men will haunt us both for a long time. Go get your hands dirty and forget about today.

“I’ll let myself out.” Chloe was gone in a whirl of her long dark hair.

Chile Pod had finished her dinner and was glazing out the kitchen window at a bird picking at the remnants left on the ground from the feeder.

“You stay there. You can watch me plant the herb bed.” Rachel grabbed a jacket off the hook near the door and went into the evening air.

She’d bought the herb plants in spring and somehow she never got around to planting them, but somehow remembered to douse them with water several times a week. There just never seemed to be a good time. Now the leggy plants were root bound. Rachel hoped she could save them.

During the spring she had bricks delivered. In a fit of energy, she had turned the soil, laid the bricks in a 6-foot square and mulched it. In the meantime, deadlines came and went. Time passed without planting the herbs.

Because she had mulched the garden all she had to do was push the organic matter away, dig a hole and add the plants. First, Rachel took a knife and cut the roots back as she remembered her father doing when she was a kid. It would help the roots grow in a more normal way. She planted lavender and then added rosemary, thyme, oregano and fennel.

With that done, Rachel picked up the bucket against her house and brought it to the garden. Inside were an assortment of stones and crystals she had collected for the past several years. She placed each among the herbs; a river stone here, a quartz there and a lovely piece of petrified wood.

When it was all watered in, Rachel went inside the house and came back with several gazing balls in purple, blue and red crackled colors. In the center of the herb bed she placed a stand and added the larger purple gazing ball. She positioned the smaller ones on the ground and stood back to survey her handiwork.

Satisfied and feeling better, she headed back inside. Before she reached the safety of the backdoor, a wolf howled. Rachel was now recognizing the various warnings that Kiyiya made to alert her. This howl was an announcement, not an urgent warning.

Rachel stopped immediately, her pulse quickened and her breath turned to fog as the temperature dropped. Once again, the rattling sound commenced, the vapors seemingly came from nowhere and formed into a column. She had no idea who or what to expect. Would it be the Native American she met most recently or someone or something altogether different?

Within a couple of minutes, it was the Native who stepped from the fog. Rachel braced herself and waited.

Again, he spoke in a language she didn’t understand, but the words appeared in her mind in English.

“The blue star grows in the sky,” he pointed.

“I know,” Rachel replied. “What I don’t know is who or what is causing it?”

“The evil men.”

“Who are the evil men? What are they doing to cause the star to grow?” Rachel asked.

“I do not know them,” he said. “They are of this time. Not of mine.”

“Do you know what they are doing that is wrong?”

“Taking from our land.”

This wasn’t going well. There was a lot of time and space between them. Rachel didn’t know if she could span the centuries. She tried to keep her words simple to enhance his comprehension.

“I’ve been looking for these men, but haven’t found them. I’ve looked to see where…where work is being done. I’ve checked for mining and drilling permits.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“I’m sorry. It’s when men remove earth by digging into the ground.” He nodded with some understanding.

“I’ve been trying to uncover what these men are doing along with two friends who are helping me. And I think that two men were killed who may have known what I need to know.”

The man was silent for several minutes. Rachel thought he was about to disappear leaving her in more confusion.

“Do your powers take you to the Land of the Dead?” he asked.

That took her off guard.

“I…I” she stammered. “I don’t know.”

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.”

“How can I do that? I don’t know how.” Rachel asked.

“You have friends in spirit?” he said as though having inside knowledge.

“Uh, yes.” As far as Rachel knew that would be one spirit. The Hopi shaman, Joseph, who had helped her before.

“You should talk with spirit,” the Native said. “Time grows…” He searched for the word. “Short.  Everyone will die.”

“I understand, but I don’t know what to do,” Rachel felt panic seeping into her soul.

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.” He faded from her view in a whiff of smoke.

Read the entire series: Click on the book.

    

Mystery Series & YA Book Sale

eBook Sale for Limited Time

Time to stock up for that summer reading. Click on the book to buy.

Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery Series

Mystery editor Taylor Browning just can’t stay in the publishing office. But sleuthing on the side can be fatal. Cranky authors, explosive bosses and quirky co-workers mix it up with murder. $.99 cents

       

Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery Series

Rachel Blackstone was a reporter in Santa Fe, until she tried to return the dead. Now she has powers she doesn’t want. Her life is increasingly challenging with spirits, shamans and spirit animals. $1.99 each

For the Young Adult and the young at heart.

“… caught between being declared an adult & not quite allowed to be a child, Collins grabbed that young voice and ran with it for an impressive winning read, perfect for any age!” Teen Lit, Loss, Being a Teen. $.99 cents

Change is all around as Molly begins a new job at a stable. She dreams of riding in the Olympics. Trauma engulfs her family and she begins to doubt her courage. Given what happens next she will need it. Teen Lit, Being a Teen, Equestrian Fiction. $.99 cents

If you enjoy your read, please consider writing a short review on Amazon or Goodreads. Thank you!

Cozy Mystery “Dead Editor File” in Paperback

Book Publishing is Murder!

Click on the book to buy.

 

 

Taylor Browning is the mystery editor at Endicott Publishing when the CEO is found dead in his locked office. Everyone is under suspicion, secrets are revealed and Taylor does a little snooping. Things go from bad to worse. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at a publishing house, this is the inside scoop. One thing is certain; Taylor can’t edit her way out of real murder.

Paranormal Investigation

Paranormal Investigation: Come Along, If You Dare

by G G Collins          Copyright 2019

To protect the anonymity of the investigators and their group, names have been omitted.

The theatre is in total darkness as six people grope their way through the former playhouse. Abandoned instruments stand quietly on stage as if waiting for ghostly musicians. The five members of this paranormal investigative team and this reporter carry flashlights, cameras and a variety of measuring tools to check everything from temperature to electromagnetic fields. It will be a long night. Paranormal investigations begin around 9PM and usually end in the wee hours of the morning. The hours between midnight and 3AM are the most active so an infrared camcorder must be in place to catch energies which may appear as orbs or mists of light. One investigator watches the monitor in the outer lobby as the camera rolls.

Camaraderie is abundant and I was given unlimited access to the investigation which became quite exciting as camera flashes began to strobe the thick gloom. Shouts of “I’m in” and “I’m out” indicate that a participant is taking shots. Any sounds made from a stumble or impact with furniture is acknowledged so it may be culled from the data later on.

It has been reported that a director of a play, back in the theatre’s prime, died during a performance. Will his spirit honor us with his presence? All souls are welcome tonight. We patrol the theatre from back to front, over the stage, and behind the curtains looking for cold spots and other indications that energy, physical or metaphysical, exists. At times the EMF meters (including mine) screech like Geiger counters over radioactive matter. Then the deliberation: Is it electronic equipment, plumbing or a water source far beneath the building? If all those things can be ruled out, then things get real interesting. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Bump in the Night

It begins when something goes bump in the night. We’ve all experienced an unexplained noise or odor that we generally dismiss as nothing. Although it’s very unusual to see a true apparition, reports of sightings continue. If mysterious things create conditions in homes or offices that interfere with normal daily living it may be time to call a paranormal investigation team.

The founder of the team had her first brush with the paranormal when she was taking Polaroid photos where she worked.

“I got an apparition on film. I said, ‘Oh my, I think I’ve got a ghost.’”

That wasn’t the only strange thing to happen that day. When she loaded a new cartridge all the pictures came flying out. They were blood red. Polaroid’s usually come out grey.

It turns out a woman had been murdered at her place of employment and with that in mind she went to the internet for information. She found the woman’s photo in the obits. The murder victim had long hair and was wearing a striped shirt just as the apparition appeared in her own photo.

As if this wasn’t enough, doors slammed spontaneously and her business cards would disappear. She found them stuck between the pages of her calendar.

“I thought my crew was playing a trick on me.” They weren’t.

By then, she had more than a casual interest and reached out to others involved in investigating the paranormal. She joined a ghost club in another city because at that time there wasn’t a group where she lived.

“I was with them for a year and they said I needed to start my own team—and (my city) needed a team.”

The new team became a reality within a few months. Other members include a historian with a master’s degree in history, doctorate level work in history and anthropology. Other members have varied backgrounds including one with a master’s degree in psychology.

Tools of the Trade

When the team goes into a structure to investigate what might be paranormal phenomena it is done with permission of the owner and an arsenal of equipment: recorders, electromagnetic field detectors or EMFs, infrared night shot camcorders, temperature meters to check for cold and hot spots, 35 mm digital cameras—and open minds.

First, a baseline of conditions such as temperature, humidity and moon phase are recorded. Later, readings repeated for verification. Cameras are set up at different locations for correlation. If one camera catches something that the others did not, it’s significant.

Photos reveal paranormal energy in different ways: Orbs or “glowies,” mists and vortices that appear as a white line through a photo. Once readings are completed it is time for the sit-down. The team remains quiet during that period and allows the equipment to do its job.

“If there’s an underground water source and the EMF meter is going off, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a ghost present. We look for any man-made sources first and any explanation we can find because we don’t want to harm the credibility of our group. We don’t want to fake it.”

Extensive interviews are done with clients prior to scheduling an investigation to learn as much about the history of the location as possible. That way, conclusions are reached with as many facts as possible.

Investigations take place in the overnight hours because that is when the activity is most likely to occur.

“There are lots of theories on why that is,” the founder says. “It could be the dew. Water is a conductor of energy. It could be the moon phase. It’s not real conclusive at this point.”

Light interferes with the process so all lighting is switched off. It’s easier to conduct testing at night because there is less evidence contamination with the outside world.

Invisible Friend?

The leader of the team is psychic and thus she becomes another tool in determining authenticity of possible paranormal incidents.

“Animals and children are very sensitive, so when your child walks up to you and says, ‘I’m going to go play with the little boy in my room’ and things of that nature you should pay attention.” Visual and auditory manifestations are very rare. Odors are the most common type of haunting. “That’s why it’s helpful to have someone who is clairvoyant.”

Unfriendly Ghost

It was in an abandoned, and creepy, hospital in another state an investigation became frightening. An entity is present in that building and likely evil.

“He gives off feelings of nausea, dizziness, and fear. If he preys on you, you know it. On the second night (of the investigation) we went into a lab area where we felt very strong energy. We set our recorder down and said, ‘Is anybody here who would like to join us? We’re open to that.’” Asking permission is one of the proprieties of this team. It’s respectful.

The two team members were using an external mic. It is helpful in that it doesn’t reproduce grinding noises from the recorder motor.

“It sounded like somebody sat down on the microphone. Everything on the tape from there is mush. It’s all muffled. We sat there a few minutes. We could feel something was there with us.”

They asked: ‘Would you like to talk with us?”

After a few more seconds they sensed it was time to leave. They bolted, leaving the recorder behind.

During an investigation in a structure that used to be an orphanage they felt the presence of some children and a female.

“We did get an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) of a woman singing. We kept hearing noises in the next room. We’d go into that room and investigate and there would be a noise in the next room. It kept avoiding us. We picked up a voice on our recorder saying, ‘I don’t care!’ It was none of us.” Voices of men arguing were also taped.

The team uses a computer program that filters out white noise and static. A clearer, more definitive tape is the result. The program also allows members to measure and profile their own voices so they can be identified.

During an investigation in another theatre things got far spookier. An opera singer reportedly haunts the building. Footsteps and other noises have been reported as have moving objects. It has been recounted that atrocities were conducted in the basement during a riot.

Who You Gonna Call?

What should the average person do if they fear a haunting? First, try to rule out a man-made cause. If you can’t, don’t go any further on your own. It’s not recommended that you try Ouija boards or séances as these could make the situation worse.

When looking for an investigative team, pick one that doesn’t sensationalize their findings or anger the entities in your home if you have them. Check for a professional association who specializes in paranormal research.The serious paranormal investigation teams have bylaws and regulations they follow.

“We have very strict protocol to make sure all our data is clean and we collect it in a controlled environment,” the founder says. “You have to wear your camera strap or take it off. All long hair has to be pulled back in a ponytail so hair doesn’t get in front of the camera and look anomalous. No reflective jewelry is allowed. No perfume or cologne. No smoking.”

These steps help avoid contamination of the site. Personal property is respected and the team leaves nothing but footprints much like the hiker’s motto.

Skepticism is a good thing

“We have skeptics in our group. There’s a good quote: ‘To believers no proof is necessary, to the hard-core skeptics you can’t get enough proof.’ We’re skeptics. We’ve thrown out a lot of data that is probably paranormal in nature because we couldn’t correlate.”

Did we find any evidence of paranormal activity during our investigation of the theatre? At least one photo produced an orb of blue light—blue orbs are said to be angels. The team determined that the theatre contained minor energies as a result of residual energy.

“These are event ‘imprints’ that happen over and over,” she explains.

The data collected at the theatre is being evaluated. As for the director? There’s nothing to indicate he materialized this particular evening. Maybe he didn’t care for the billing.

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For my post on Santa Fe Ghost Stories click here: https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/?s=Santa+Fe+Ghost+Stories

 

Glossary of Ghostly Terms

Anomaly: A deviation from normal.

Apparition: The manifestation of a spirit which can be seen in human form or in blobs or streaks of light.

EMF: Electromagnetic Field. Readings used to determine paranormal activity.

EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena. Captures voices on tape when no obvious source can be found.

Earthbound: A spirit unable to leave the physical world. Filmmaker M Night Shyamalan explored this in The Sixth Sense.

Encounter: There are three kinds: intelligent and formerly human; residual energy left over from the past; and malevolent.

Ghoul: A demon who enjoys a meal of human flesh.

Ghost Hunt: Investigation of a reported haunting using earthly technology to record any paranormal occurrences.

Haunting: A manifestation of unexplainable phenomena.

Orb: Seen as blotches of light in photos. This energy form is frequently dismissed.

Paranormal: The unexplained.

Poltergeist: A mischievous and sometimes malevolent spirit.

Spirit: Ghost of a deceased human.

Spirit Guide: A protective spirit who is with each person since birth.

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