Sunday, November 17, 2019

Book Spotlight and Guest Post: A Darker Shade by Laura K. Curtis

Title: A Darker Shade
Author: Laura K. Curtis
Publisher: River Hills Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2019
Print Length: 272 pages
Genre: Gothic Fiction
What is haunting young Liza Prescott?

Molly Allworth has been in service since leaving college when her mother died. Still, her situation is getting desperate and when the agency offers her a position that sounds too good to be true, she cannot resist.

Soon she finds herself in a remote house in Maine, caring for a little girl who swore she saw her mother’s ghost…before she stopped speaking entirely. Nathaniel Prescott, the child’s father, thinks any belief in the supernatural is absurdly credulous. Molly’s history and heritage, however, have given her a wider view.

There’s a significant bonus for Molly if she lasts the year. But as winter closes in and mysterious, often creepy events begin to occur, even her growing affection for Nathaniel and Liza may not be enough to make her stay.

Laura K. Curtis does everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty.

Laura has written four romantic suspense novels, two contemporary romances, and is moving into the arena of the Gothic (because she doesn't have enough on her plate).

Laura has taught middle school social studies, high school literature, and college-level rhetoric, all with relative success. She’s also a full-on Mac geek who spent years as a consultant and running an academic computing lab. The only thing she completely failed at in the field of education was attempting to teach obedience to her pack of Irish Terriers. Currently, she lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and two insane Irish Terriers who have taught her how easily love can coincide with the desire to kill.

Website * Amazon * 
I love ghost stories. I’ve gobbled them up like candy pretty much all my life. But still, when someone asks me whether I believe in ghosts, I have a hard time answering. I definitely believe in auras, in presences, in psychic stains, if you will, but not so much in the soldier who appears in uniform where he died, or the woman whose form plummets from a window on the anniversary of her suicide every year. I think those figures are a combination of presence and expectation. If I know I am near a Civil War graveyard and I feel a presence, I am apt to garb that presence as a soldier in my mind.

Which, if you ask me, is even scarier. Because what if the presence you feel is not the one you’re expecting? What if you dress it up completely wrong—as, say, a husband mourning the death of his wife and child, when in reality the presence is their murderer? Maybe the presence cannot act on you, but maybe it can.

I grew up in a place where the mists rolled in thick and fast off the ocean, and once the fog had you, you couldn’t find your way out. Sounds echoed from impossible places and it was all too easy to imagine some creature lurching at you from the clinging damp. The faintest breeze could gather a cluster of fog into a ghostly form, one of the most traditional of all ghosts, the white lady. It was an entirely natural phenomenon, but fear rarely reacts to reason. Fear feeds on imagination, until reason has no voice.

That’s what scares me the most. The thinning of the wall between imagination and reality. The idea of not knowing what is real and what is not. The faint tinge of madness that lurks on the edges of every good ghost story. Because ghosts aren’t real…are they?

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