Sunday, September 29, 2013

Souls Around the World October Blog Hop

Welcome to Souls Around the World October Blog Hop - October 1st through the 31st!

 Things that go bump in the night ...
It's that time of year...shorter days, chillier nights and the countdown to one of my favorite holidays...Halloween!
I've been fascinated with the paranormal for as long as I can remember and in particular, ghosts! I'll be the first to admit I've had some interesting encounters that have left me to wonder if there is truly life after death. I've always been curious about what happens to us after we pass from this earth. Do we go to Heaven? Are we reincarnated? Do we cease to exist?

Everyone has their own beliefs. I won't get into a lengthy discussion on religion or theology but I will admit I am beyond curious. Personally, I cannot believe we cease to exist. There has to be more, but if so, what? 

Perhaps these questions are what stoke the fires of my curiousity and feed my need to research all things paranormal. Do we 'cross over' and if so, do we ever have the chance to 'come back' and visit loved ones, or see to unfinished business?

I indulge in the guilty pleasures of every ghost show available...Paranormal State; Psychic Kids; Ghost Adventures; and my all time favorite, Ghost Hunters! I read anything and everything I can get my hands on and I wonder...

My weekly FREE read for Secret Cravings Publishing, My Soul to Keep, explores the possibility of life after death and what happens when one's soul refuses to cross over.


Special Agent Analiese Valentine – aka "Val" – lived and died for her career. Possessing a sixth sense for as long as she could remember, Val always knew she was different – and so did everyone else. So different, in fact, her own mother – apparently unable to tolerate her daughter's unusual gifts – abandoned her, forging internal scars so deep most relationships, if any, were cultivated at a safe distance. A near-tragic accident opens unexpected doors – some otherworldly – changing her life in ways she'd never imagined possible.

Dr. Maxwell "Max" Thornton, a psychologist, lives an almost reclusive life except for his practice. Although his empathic abilities allow him to help his patients in ways most practitioners never could, the effort is taxing, at times debilitating. Keeping a limited and selective clientele, he manages to pursue a career and maintain his sanity, convinced normal relationships are out of the realm of his reach.

When a guarded agent and a reluctant empath cross paths, unexpected revelations occur and a delicate thread binds them to one another as a predetermined Fate begins to unfold, sending them plummeting into a war between good and evil.

Here's an excerpt ...

At three o'clock in the morning, Val awoke to the sounds of voices in the other room. "Damn it Theo. This isn't a frat house," she mumbled, climbing out of bed.

Padding down the hallway, the voices stopped suddenly, a cold chill creeping up her spine. "Theo?"


"This isn't funny Theo. I have to be at work early and-"

Her half-hearted tirade was cut off by the sound of a deep growl behind her. Whirling around, she expected to see something but the room was empty, lit only by the streetlights outside. Pale fingers of light reached across the hardwood floor, tiny specks of dust swirling within. Shadows shifted in the far corners of the room and the faint sound of whispers had her turning in circles.

"Who the hell is here? Come on…show yourself."

The echo of a sinister laugh came from behind her and she whirled around again, the air within the apartment growing heavy; dark.

She'd never encountered a ghost that didn't want to talk to her. Knowing she could see and hear them was the reason they sought her out in the first place.

This had to end now.

"Whatever. You don't scare me and I'm going to bed." Before she could turn towards the hallway, something pinched her hard on the back of her upper arm, eliciting a surprised yelp. Instinctively, she grabbed her arm, turning away from the source of the attack.

"Hey! Keep your damned hands off me!" For the first time, fear crept into the picture. No other ghosts had ever touched her, no less tried to hurt her, during an encounter.

As she moved towards the light switch, a sharp slap to the side of her face almost sent her tumbling to the floor but she managed to reach out, grasping the top of a chair with trembling fingers. "You son of a bitch!"

Her first instinct was to get her gun but the realization she didn't have it anymore – and the obvious reality of trying to fight something you can't see – left her feeling unusually vulnerable.

Backing out of the living room, she moved towards the phone then stopped. Who the hell was she going to call? Surprisingly the first person that came to mind was Max, not Riley. Why not Riley first?

Maybe because he abandoned you Val, turning his back on you, leaving you to fight this thing alone. Anger began to replace fear and she used it to her advantage.

"What the hell do you want?" she nearly screamed.

An eerie silence followed the echo of her demand before she heard a spine-tingling whisper in her ear.

Your soul.

Feeling as if she were going to be sick, she ran to the bathroom, a silent scream trapped in the back of her throat when an unseen hand grasped her ankle.

The impact knocked the breath from her just before her chin hit the floor. The coppery taste of blood filled her mouth. Rolling over, she tried to sit up only to be shoved back down, followed by a heavy weight straddling her chest. She screamed as the air seemed to be pushed violently from her lungs.

"Get off me," she cried, struggling against the suffocating weight pressing her against the floor, fear again replacing anger. She didn't know what to do to fight this thing.

"Theo!" she cried out, desperate for help.

If you'd like to read more, My Soul to Keep is available for download at SCP. It's FREE and each week, a new installment is posted.

I know there are many of blogs to visit and I'm happy you stopped by! As a thank you, I am hosting a contest sof my own!

If you'd like a chance to win a $31.00 Gift Certificate to either Secret Cravings Publishing OR Amazon (winner's choice), all you need to do is leave a comment as to whether or not you've had a paranormal experience of any kind! Feel free to share as little or as much as you want to!

The contest will run through October 31st, of course, and a winner will be announced and notified November 2nd. Be sure to leave your e-mail address at the end of your comment so I can contact you if you're a winner! Winner will be chosen by!

Be sure to visit all of the authors participating in the
Souls Around the World October Blog Hop for a chance to win a Sony E-Reader filled with books from many of the authors participating!
The contest is open to anyone in a country that is participating including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The winner will be selected November 1st! Good luck to everyone and enjoy the blog hop!

Thank you again for stopping by and be sure to tell your friends about the Souls Around the World October Blog Hop! 
XOXO Layla Hunter XOXO
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great blog Layla - go check out the comment on my page, someone said they are looking forward to reading your book! Very excited to have my new Secret Cravings Family joining Lisa and I on this hop!

    1. How exciting! Thank you -- you made my night!

  2. VERY cool post! I love real ghost stories if you ever want to be a guest on my blog on Tumblr THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS , I would love it, for the HOP I used another BLOG I am number 37 and I would love to spotlight you in November ....GREAT POST

    1. Oh I'd love it! Thank you! I'll take a peek at your blog too! My e-mail is laylahunter [at] gmail [dot] com

  3. When I was little I used to talk to my dead grandparents. My parents thought I was just talking to imaginary friends since I was 5 when my mem-mem died and 8 when my pop-pop died. I don't remember talking to just my mem-mem (apparently I would sit on the floor infront of the rocking chair and talk to her for hours) But I do remember talking to both of them every night for a few years. It would be after my parents put me to bed. One would stand on either side of my bed and I would tell them about my day. Now it's been YEARS since I've talked to them but I can feel them around every so often. Oh and my email is i_love_books at aol dot com

    1. I love that story! Thank you for sharing. It seems children have the ability to 'see' more than we might as adults as their minds are open and they aren't yet jaded. I think it's amazing that you had them to talk to as well and the feeling they were always watching over you.

  4. Nothing paranormal, I guess.. unless you count in deja vu feeling from time to time :D

  5. I've never had a paranormal experience yet.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  6. When I was in my teens, I woke up in the middle of the night by a bright light. It was coming from something that resembled a short human being. It had it's back to me and looked like it was studying the electric stand fan in my room. I was scared but still called out to him ( I had the feeling it was a he) and he jumped as if surprised. The I saw him turn towards me but he was fading fast until he vanished right before my eyes. To this day, I think that it might have been a dream. But I am so sure that I was awake when it happened. But it really might be just a dream.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. My email. I forgot!
      anne.j2 (at)

    3. Could have been a dream but at the same time ... spooky *smiles* I've heard of lucid dreaming but I'm not sure this falls under the same category -- I believe that's when you control a dream (which is cool unto itself!) Thank you for sharing!

    4. I did a little research and found this on Wikipedia:
      False awakening

      In a false awakening, one dreams of having awoken. The room the dreamer falsely awakens in is often similar to the room he/she fell asleep in. If the person was lucid, they often believe that they are no longer dreaming and begin their morning routine. The dreamer remains naive to the dream either until they realize they haven't actually woken up or until they really do wake up.

  7. Ah, no, not really. Wouldn't it be cool (probably scary, too) to have one!

    mimismithblue AT gmail DOT com

    1. I feel the same way! I WANT to have one but then I stop and think ... ONCE you do, there's no going back --

  8. No I haven't and if I did it would probably scare me (and my overactive imagination) half to death.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    pinkbonanza{ AT }gmail{ DOT }com

  9. No I haven't yet..and I don't think I'd ever want one! Eeeeep O_O
    Thanks for the giveaway ^_^

    1. LOL! Indeed! Still...there's a part of me that WANTS to know ...

  10. Hi! Happy Halloween! I hope your having an awesome time! This hop is a blast! Great post! I have had experiences with ghosts. My home used to be haunted before we blessed in. We have doors open and close (even with locks), the phone would get answered by someone (everytime it rang, when we went to go answer it, we'd find that it was already off the hook). Ive had a a knife thrown at me, a pan throw at my mom, a glass lid shattered, etc. You could hear someone walking up and down the stairs, in the hallway, in the attic. The beds would shake, lights and tvs would turn on and off, etc. Things would unplug themselves and so much more! A couple of years ago, my dad was painting one of the bedrooms, he left to go to the store, when he came back, he found toddler hand prints on the window. The ghost had been playing in the paint. My brother is the youngest child in the house and at this time, he was 16.
    Thanks for sharing and for the awesome giveaway!

    1. Whoa! Now that is VERY spooky!!! And blessing the house took care of it?

  11. And the winner is jessie2247! Congratulations! I'll e-mail you shortly!

    And another thank you to all who stopped by and commented! I've enjoyed reading everyone's replies!