Sunday, September 26, 2021

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Bly by Kelsey Ketch

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Bly by Kelsey Ketch. This blog tour was organized by Lola's Blog Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a ghostly guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy/eCopy of the book and a lavender wand. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Bly book cover
Title: Bly
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: September 22nd 2021
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Supernatural Mystery
I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.

Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.

These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.

A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.

I stand under an elaborate tray ceiling, painted in patterns of faded indigo, gold ochre, and linen. The heels of my flats click against the white marble floor tile as I wander farther inside. The echo of which radiates throughout the house and back. Before me, in a wide hallway that could fit six average-sized cars, are five staircases. Two Grecian columns flank each of the four grand staircases. Two leading to the upper levels, with one extending toward the east wing and the other extending to the west wing. Another grand staircase leads to an empty wall panel. Yet another leads straight into the ceiling. And the fifth and final staircase doesn’t even fit the rest of the d├ęcor. It’s a metallic, spiral staircase placed right in the center of the hall, leading beyond the hanging, crystal chandelier.

A familiar anxiety begins to gnaw at my gut. Once again, I’m alone. In an unfamiliar house. I slowly spin around, looking at every door and stairwell. Someone is missing. Someone who has been around me so long, it’s as if they have become a part of my life.


I pause to look at the five staircases. One of these has to lead to Nolyn. But which one?

As before, I sense a presence watching me, hovering over my shoulder. The energy is unreadable. Like a brick wall is between us, even though the presence is so close. However, there is a second presence. A soft tingling that brushes my upper arm and side of my leg, as if someone just walked by. I follow the new energy, letting it guide me to the spiral staircase in the middle of the hall.

My fingers slide over the cold, metal railing. Echoes of my steps radiate throughout the house and back as I climb higher. The staircase is narrow and tightly curled around itself, like those you find at the top of a lighthouse. Yet, it carefully winds around the crystal chandelier and the chain that suspends it in midair. I approach an opening in the ceiling, where a weak, flickering light shines through inky shadows. I ascend into the darkness, finding a small beeswax candle sitting in an old-fashioned tin holder upon a side table. I pick it up and move slowly down the hall. Unlike the hall before, there is no odd staircases. Only wooden door after wooden door after wooden door. All lined up on the walls, floors, and ceiling.

I hear a male voice muffled in the distance, which lightens my heart. Had I actually found Nolyn? I carefully make my way around the doors on the floor, sticking to the white plaster that covers all surfaces of the hallway. It reminds me of the servants’ halls one sees when touring a historical estate. Only, this one appears to be endless. The male voice grows in volume as does a young woman’s voice. One I do not recognize. Why would Nolyn be talking with a young woman? As I near the source, I realize the man’s voice is not Nolyn’s at all. In fact, it sounds eerily similar to Mr. Hellings’s instead. I step up to the door I hear the murmurs drifting through, place my hand on the doorknob, and open the door only a crack.
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

- Have you ever encountered anything supernatural? If so, what happened?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been very sensitive to spiritual energy. I can often sense spirits, memories, or any energy imprint. Even when it’s connected to the smallest of objects. Sometimes I hear them, and occasionally, even see them. One of my more notable experiences occurred while staying in Ouray, Colorado. It was the summer semester of my sophomore year, and I was traveling across the state as an intern for my university’s herbarium. During these travels, my mum and I decided to spend the weekend in Ouray to take in Cascade Falls Park.

Walking along Main Street after an evening meal, I got a familiar sensation. Not the classic tingling of goosebumps nor the raising of hairs others often describe. In my case, it’s more like a heavy blanket has been draped over my aura or a lingering touch to certain parts of my skin. I instinctively turned my attention to the third-floor windows of a historic brick hotel, where I feel the presence’s gaze. All the white curtains are drawn. Yet, in one of the windows, I spied an outline of a woman gazing out at the street. Her figure was transparent enough to see the curtains behind her, but opaque enough to note her skin was pale and her hair was as black as night, tied in a bun on top of her head. And her old fashion blouse was as white as the curtains behind her.

As with other ghosts I have encountered, I know she’s there, yet at the same time, something in the back of my mind always doubts my senses. So, to be sure, I asked my mum if she sees anyone standing in any of the third-floor windows. After a moment, she confirms she does not.

The woman didn’t disappear as we continued down the street, nor did the woman take notice that I was continuously watching her from the street. It was the longest a spirit had appeared to me since I was a small child. On top of that, questions plagued my thoughts. Why was I seeing this spirit? What was the building’s history? Was there a known haunting in the hotel, or have I stumbled on something no one knows about? As we walked back to our hotel (which was three blocks from the historic hotel on Main Street), my mum finally convinced me to ask the receptionist.

Self-conscious about the matter, I start the conversation with a simple question: does the historic hotel up the street have a haunted history? The receptionist first verified which hotel I was speaking about, smiled, and then went on to tell us of a woman who was murdered there. A woman whose spirit was said to still be seen wandering the halls by many of the guests who witnessed her.

It was at that moment I figured I had seen the same woman the receptionist described in her story. Only I hadn’t seen her in the halls of the building, but in the window of one of the rooms. I didn’t ask anymore questions, but when walking the town, I continued to look up at the third-floor windows. I didn’t physically see the spirit during the rest of my weekend trip, but I knew she was still in the building, somewhere. I felt her energy every time I walked past.
One Winner: A signed copy of Bly by Kelsey Ketch and a lavender wand. (US only)
Ten Winners: eBook of Bly by Kelsey Ketch sent through Bookfunnel (Worldwide)

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. Lola's Blog Tours assumes all responsibility for this giveaway.)

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  1. Cover looks awesome! Excerpt is intriguing. Great work!

  2. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for participating in the Bly Blog Tour!

  4. The book cover is ethereal and has a pentagon in a circle which represents witchcraft, but it looks as if a rectangular keyhole is in the middle. The excerpt is chilling.