Imagination or Inspiration from Beyond?

We’ve all had that creative breakthrough! Whether that is a chapter that writes itself, a character in our books that create their own destiny (like Shannon at the end of my second book, Caves of the Watchers) or even a complete fiction or non-fiction book that writes itself. And this doesn’t only apply to writers. Such inspiration can strikes artists and non-artists alike.

So why are we inexplicably drawn to certain interests, people or objects? What makes us sometimes veer of course of our planned destiny? Perhaps it is our own impatience and frustration with life. Or perhaps, it is calling of a different kind.

I started writing my series of paranormal mystery novels mostly out of my interest in ghost hunting. “Ghost Hunters” was one of my favorite shows and I was fascinated with the idea of life after death. Then one day in Sedona, Arizona, I had an encounter with something unseen–something or someone that placed its hand on my shoulder from behind. From that day forward, I never stopped thinking about that minute and what it might have been.

I never knew that the completion of my first book, “The Ancient Ones,” would initiate not only a series of books based on a group of paranormal investigators working with the FBI, but psychic medium abilities as well. The characters I thought had originated from my imagination turned out to be spirit guides. Joe Luna, who is my Navajo medicine man and FBI agent, was inspired by a Native spirit guide from the plains. And Ian Healy was inspired by a blond man named Lars from a past life.

How do I know this, you ask?? Because I can talk to them and I occasionally channel them to help others. Teaching others how to communicate with spirit has been very rewarding, for those that are open to it.

Does this mean that our guides, (whether relatives, those associated with us from past lives, or those guides who simply choose to help us on our journey because of who they were while alive), ARE the ones who are writing our books or creating that particular piece of art? Absolutely not. They are our inspiration. Just like us, they have something important to say. Sometimes, they will try and inspire you through dreams. Sometimes, it is through those you meet. And occasionally, inspiration comes through everyday events; finding a beautiful river rock, experiencing a moment of deja vu OR maybe even coming across something unexplainable, yet amazing.

How can you connect with your spirit guides?

  • Ask them to join you during meditation. Mine have shown me visuals and have even channeled me.
  • Keep a dream log. The most important messages from my guides come right before I wake up in the morning. These dreams could involve past life memories, your future or they could simply be introducing themselves.
  • Talk to them, acknowledge them. Many start open communication with a pendulum. Many others can hear their guides.
  • Healing stones, such as Lapis and Amethyst, are very strong tools to  help open the psychic gateway!

 

For additional information or questions pertaining to this blog post, contact me at LH_Author@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Rhythm, Magic and Meaning of the Drum

As you may know, I am taking part in the Holiday Author Event for the next 9 days. PLEASE BE SURE to stop by the Holiday Author Event page today to read the blog posts from a some of our other authors. Great stuff – and you will be entered in today’s drawing for every comment/share/like you make on the posts!

 

I thought about writing a separate post about who I am as an author, why I develop novels pertaining to Native history, culture and archaeology and why I have created such engaging characters, including Joe Luna, a Navajo medicine man and FBI agent featured in “The Ancient Ones” series. Instead, I saw this previous article that I wrote for a pow-wow band and thought it would explain my infatuation with the Southwest and the Native cultures who inspire through dance, history, art and commitment to their culture.

Pow wows are about camaraderie and competition, gathering with family and friends, and appreciation and reverence of native culture and dance. The smell of fry bread so strong you can almost taste the honey and powdered sugar, seeing the brilliant colors and designs of the extravagant regalia, listening to the tinkling of dance bells on the contestants clothing, and hearing childrens’ excited laughter as well as encouraging yells of the crowd for the proud dancers.

Perhaps one of the most important sounds? The drum groups who come to inspire the performers and instill a powerful sense of spirituality for the myriad of Native cultures present who greatly value their traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation. For many pow wow dancers and drummers, the circuit is their life.

For Young Buffalo Horse, a drum group with 13 members from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, the pow wow is an opportunity to inspire the dancers, families, elders and audience to move, dance or tap their feet to the highly engaging, awe-inspiring rhythm and magic of the drum.

According to Robert Lincoln with Young Buffalo Horse, “For many American Indians, the drum is an important part of our lives, and has been for thousands of years. The drum is our heartbeat, our grandpa, a healer – the songs that we sing around it are sacred and all have meaning. The role of a singer is significant as we keep the heartbeat of our people alive and make the people happy and reverent, or even evoke the strong emotions to empower them to get up and dance as they feel the spirit that is the songs we sing.”

With members representing the Sioux, Choctaw, Creek, Ojibwe Cree, Lakota, Dakota and Sac & Fox Nations, they have performed all over the country at pow wows, the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Comanche Nation Fair, the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival—one of the biggest pow wows in Oklahoma as well as at schools and special ceremonies. The drum group sings Northern style pow wow, a high-pitched style originating from tribes in the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Great Basin, Upper Northwest and all of Canada. Northern singing was shunned in Oklahoma and the rest of the Southern Plains until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Slight physical differences distinguish northern and southern drums, with a northern drum sometimes being smaller. The corresponding dance styles are also different than northern style, generally slower with a different accent beat pattern (called “honor beats”).

Robert Lincoln, lead singer with YBH, learned to sing by traveling with his grandfather and performing with other drum groups, such as Whitefish Bay Singers, Red Spirit from Utah, and the Eagleheart Singers and Drummers during his time with the military.

Young Buffalo Horse’s first album, “A New Beginning” was recorded live at the Cherokee Nation Holiday Powwow and was submitted in the “Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards in 2013. The album includes 17 individual tracks of Northern Style songs. Watch for their second album, named “Debwewin—Sincerity In Action,” will be released in July 2014. The title of their latest release comes from their desire to be true to their cultures and the people.

The pow wow drum carries the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the Indian nation, calling the spirits and nations together. The drum is often thought to help bring the physical and mental side of a person back in touch with his or her spiritual or heart side. As with many things in the Indian culture, the drum is used to bring balance and rejuvenation to a person through their participation in dancing, singing or listening to the heartbeat. For the 13 members of Young Buffalo Horse, it isn’t about the money. It’s about connecting with the pow wow contestants, their families and the Native and non-Native audience through the meditative force of the drum.

“Singing is our life and we set out each day to be the best that we can to make the people on the trail feel good. It’s our goal in life to make our Elders and all the people across pow wow country get up out of their chairs and dance. We’d like to say thanks to all the people across the U.S. and Canada for all the support we receive each day, to all of our brothers that sit at their drums attempting to do the same, and special thanks to all the dancers who jam to our music, and most of all to all the people who travel late into the evenings playing our music trying to stay awake. We thank the Creator for keeping us real and humble, always striving to set a good example for the younger generation.”

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples of all cultures have used the drum to alter consciousness and travel into alternate realities to receive answers. The Medicine Man or Shaman would travel to the upper, middle, or lower world, to plant or mineral, to receive these answers. Many scientists and doctors are coming to understand this altered state of the drum, and meditation, to assist in the healing process. I had my own personal experience with the power of the drum at the ASU pow wow in Tempe, Arizona on Easter weekend—it was 92 degrees that day and every time the drums started, a breeze would blow through the stands. Coincidence? Could be, but I prefer to think of it as the magic of the drum.

About the author: Lori Hines is a paranormal mystery author living in Goodyear, Arizona. She is the author of three fiction novels, The Ancient Ones, Caves of the Watchers and Whispers Among the Ruins. Awards include honorable mention in the general fiction category for “Caves of the Watchers” in the 2013 Great Southwest Book Festival. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths Chapter, the Arizona Archaeological Society, Aqua Fria Chapter, and the Arizona Authors Association.

Lori is also the host of “Under the Surface,” a radio program focused on Native American history and culture. Her show features Native American artists, musicians, actors, activists and politicians as well as shamans and healers, historians, authors and archaeologists. The program is on the ‘History Channel’ on WHVR Digital Broadcasting—whvrdigital.com.

Great youtube videos of YBH:

IICOT 2013

Women’s Fancy Shawl at Sac & Fox Pow Wow 2013

YBH Knocking out a midnight express song in Stillwater, OK

YBH Facebook Page

Lori Hines - Paranormal Mystery Author

Pow wows are about camaraderie and competition, gathering with family and friends, and appreciation and reverence of native culture and dance. The smell of fry bread so strong you can almost taste the honey and powdered sugar, seeing the brilliant colors and designs of the extravagant regalia, listening to the tinkling of dance bells on the contestants clothing, and hearing childrens’ excited laughter as well as encouraging yells of the crowd for the proud dancers.

Perhaps one of the most important sounds? The drum groups who come to inspire the performers and instill a powerful sense of spirituality for the myriad of Native cultures present who greatly value their traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation. For many pow wow dancers and drummers, the circuit is their life.

For Young Buffalo Horse, a drum group with 13 members from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, North Dakota, and…

View original post 929 more words

Interview with Joe Luna from The Ancient Ones series

Joe Luna is a Navajo medicine man and FBI Agent featured in “The Ancient Ones” series. He has been my inspiration for studying Native culture and history. My novels discuss factual elements of both prehistoric and modern-day tribes, including Hohokam, Sinaguan, modern-day Navajo and Hopi.

1. How do you feel growing up on such a remote reservation – Mystery Valley in Monument Valley – impacted your decision to become an FBI Agent? The main influence was the regular beatings I received from my father and that my mother received from my father. I told myself during one of his more serious drunken rages that I would not allow this to happen to another family. There is violence on reservations and in rural areas, but there is also violence everywhere. There is good and bad everywhere.

2. Are there any conflicts between your career as an FBI Agent and that of a medicine man? Being an FBI Agent involves physical ability and mental ability, a medicine man requires a certain amount of mental focus, but also calls upon the spiritual and that aspect doesn’t necessarily coincide with the skills of an FBI Agent. I love the fact that I can use the physical component, keep my mental faculties sharp while retaining and utilizing the aspects of a medicine man. I would never give up being able to help heal people holistically through mind, body and spirit.

3. In what kind of place do you feel most at home? The big city of Phoenix or the rugged, rural environment of the reservation? Definitely the rural setting of Monument Valley. It’s my home and sacred land. It is where I learned to become a medicine man, where I met my first love and where I learned who I really was.

4. Has living in the big city taken away from your Navajo values? No, like many other Natives of different tribes, living in such a big city challenges you to keep your values. Many feel they have to ‘blend in’ by becoming like their non-native friends or Native friends who know nothing of their culture. I have learned much about my Dine’ past and my culture through my education as a medicine man and by living among the beauty of Monument Valley.

5. How do you feel about social interaction? Does it feed you or drain you? It can do both. It feeds me when I require it and drains me when I don’t. Social interaction is an important part of life and makes you who you are. Of course, there are varying levels of social interaction—from hanging out with a friend or friends to attending parties or functions with hundreds of people. Though it can be challenging at times to interact with others, it is necessary to learn about ourselves and who we want to be.

6. What has been your most challenging case as an agent? They are all challenging, yet rewarding when the cases are solved. I suppose the most difficult was that involving a shapeshifter. It’s rather hard to gather evidence when the criminal has the ability to change form at will. He took the form of a skinwalker one minute, running alongside cars on the road, and the next, he transformed into a raven flying above. We had multiple witnesses who saw his metamorphosis’ from one form to another, but no one ever saw him in human form. Turned out he was a shaman turned witch from another state. Took us a year to solve that case, but one of our agents was undercover on the res and saw him change from human to a raven. He tailed him very closely and caught up with him when he changed back to human form at a politician’s home.

7. Native language and culture is disappearing from many societies – what do you think parents, tribal government and society can do to prevent young adults from forgetting who they are? Parents, communities, schools and young people themselves are responsible for holding on to their culture and values. Some grow up in traditional homes and learn about their culture starting when they are born, some grow up unaware of who they are and their history, but learn as they get older and some never learn. I believe there is more acceptance of Native culture than there used to be, but many are still afraid to become who they really are. Many schools have adopted a curriculum based on Native American culture and language. This is a good sign but there is still much work to be done.

8. Is one sense more highly developed than another? Has your career as an FBI Agent enhanced those senses? Sight and sound are necessary as an agent; however, intuition, or the sixth sense, must be very keen as well. People must take their hunches more seriously—everyone has them, whether it’s deciding to date a particular individual or a decision that could result in their death. For example, intuition tells them to avoid getting on a plane, only to find out later, the plane crashed.

9. Why did you decide to become a hoop dancer? Why did you give it up? The hoops symbolize a sacred part of the Native American life. It represents the circle of life with no beginning and no ending. The dancer begins with one hoop and keeps adding and weaving the hoops into formations that represent our journey through life. Each added hoop represents another thread in the web of life. I started hoop dancing when I was fifteen and made it to the World Championships at the Heard by the age of 18. It kept me in great shape, helped me learn more about myself and what I was capable of and provided much needed confidence. I lost the love of my life before the championships and didn’t have the heart to continue. Not to mention, I also began to focus more on becoming a police officer and working toward a career with the FBI. In a way, Hoop Dancing paved the way for a career in law enforcement.

10. Many Navajo are against visiting ruins where Chindi might be living – yet you visit prehistoric ruins for cases. Have you had any problems or do you do anything special before or after you visit such sites? One of our beliefs is that an evil spirit known as Chindi, ch’íidii, leaves the dying person’s body with their last breath. This spirit represents everything that was bad about this person so we have customs that protect us from contact. If this happens it can cause a “ghost sickness” or even death. I offer corn pollen to the spirits and say a prayer. My job occasionally requires visitation to such sites, and personally, I enjoy the peace, serenity and history. Actually, many archaeological sites are identified as the homes of the gods or as places of importance; for instance, Sun Temple on Mesa Verde, White House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly and Chetro Ketl in Chaco Canyon are all places where Navajo deities live. Haasch’ee’ooghaan (Calling God) is noted for living in old cliff dwellings.

Tragedy in the Pines – A short story

Published in the 2010 Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths anthology

The twisting and clicking of the doorknob was unexpected—as if someone on the inside of the house desperately wanted to get out. Or be let in. Brandon Winn brushed his short, dark wavy bangs from his forehead as he stood on his wraparound porch. His piercing blue eyes peeked through the window of his vacation home in the tall pine forest near Flagstaff, Arizona. He saw no one.

Besides the crisp forest smell, he also detected smoke. Walking to both sides of the porch, he could see nothing but more pines and two deer, within twenty feet of the house, that stood eyeing him. He glanced skyward. The full moon and hundreds of stars peered down from between the trees.

But he didn’t see smoke anywhere.

The doorknob continued to vibrate and rattle.

Brandon had moved into the two-story log house six months earlier and had experienced ghostly activity within the first few months. The next door neighbors, who lived a quarter mile away, had witnessed unusual phenomena on multiple occasions as they drove by—faux fires, sightings of children, and a mysterious red-haired woman had all been seen outside his vacation home.
He hesitated before touching the doorknob. As soon as he inserted the key and placed his right palm around the hardware, the knob turned of its own accord.

“Okay, Brandon,” he said aloud. “Your house just opened its door for you. Now what?”

“Hello?” he yelled. He waited a few seconds. Well what did you expect? The house to answer, “Yeah, I’m here. Welcome home buddy. Take a load off.”

He placed his laptop and luggage on the dark brown leather couch and waited for his friend and fellow investigator to arrive. He wondered what he and Joseph might discover regarding the home’s history. Never thought I would have to investigate my own house.

Though he wasn’t easily spooked, Brandon felt unnerved. He walked out to his car to get his ghost hunting kit. When he returned, he saw a shadow rise from the hardwood floor and cross from the great room to the upstairs. The shape couldn’t have been more than four feet tall.
Brandon was halfway up the stairs, intending to check out the mysterious figure when the floorboards in the living room creaked. He slowly turned.

“Hey,” Joseph yelled from the front porch.

Brandon gasped and grabbed the railing. “You startled me,” he said, as Joseph approached the stairs. “I just witnessed my first shadow in this place.”

“Are you kidding?” the sandy haired, boyish looking, ex-football player asked.

“No. And the door opened for me by itself. I would say the knob was loose, but I saw the handle jiggle.”

“Wow! How come you get to have all the fun? Hopefully we’ll find some evidence as to what’s going on. Maybe we’ll spot some spirits. Where should I set up the night vision cameras?”

“Try one inside the entrance pointing in the direction of the stairs. We’ll put another upstairs in the hallway.”

“Did anyone die in the house? Or any tragic events?”

Brandon gazed at his upstairs hallway, watching for any sign of movement. “I wasn’t able to get much history. It’s been a year since this place was abandoned. I’ve talked with a few neighbors who have reported bizarre lights, shadows and screams emanating from inside the house. So far, all I’ve experienced are minor noises that I first attributed to the house settling—or my imagination. But last weekend, I was lying in bed and heard a conversation downstairs. I went to check it out and didn’t see anyone.”

“What were the voices saying?” Joseph asked.

“Hard to tell. It stopped when I came down. I heard a male and a female. No one seems to know what happened here.”

“Sounds like there’s some interesting history to this place. I’ll start the baseline readings as a benchmark for our vigil tonight.” Joseph removed the Tri-field electromagnetic frequency detector, two other voice recorders, a handheld thermal imaging camera and motion detectors from Brandon’s ghost kit.

Joseph checked the battery power on the voice recorders. “I almost forgot to tell you, I invited Lara to come and check out your place. It will be interesting to see what her psychic abilities pick up along with our equipment.”

“Great idea. She’s been in sync with the evidence we found in past investigations. Do you remember she solved an old murder at Vulture Mine with her medium skills? And the caretakers weren’t even aware of that part of the mine’s history.”

“Of course I remember,” Joseph said, replacing the batteries in one of the cameras. “I was in the assay office when she came running in saying she’d heard a gunshot. That was the same time we started smelling gunpowder.”

When Brandon walked into the dining area to setup one of the cameras, he noticed his kitchen cabinets were wide open. And a ceramic black bowl, broken in four pieces, lay on the earthen-colored slate floor. The other three bowls were still stacked neatly inside the mahogany cupboard.

“Well, someone’s having parties while I’m gone.” Brandon snapped several pictures of the damage.

“What the heck?” Joseph walked into the dining area. “Has this happened before?”

Brandon shook his head. “Not like this—keys misplaced, objects missing—but I thought it was me being forgetful.”

Joseph stared, mouth agape, into the living room.

Brandon followed his gaze and saw an opaque mist. Human in form at first, it transformed into an amoeba shape. Then in a split second, the vapor became a baseball-sized, pulsating light that glowed blue, green and white. Brandon and Joseph stared, mesmerized as it zipped in between them and paused, hanging in mid-air. The light hesitated as if checking them both out then vanished through the dining room wall.

Neither could speak for a moment.

“Oh man,” Joseph finally said. “That was intense.”

“Yeah, so intense, neither of us caught it on camera. The damn thing went behind the night vision camera, not in front of it. I’d say that thing had some intelligence.”

“Ironic, isn’t it?” Joseph’s hands trembled as he placed fresh batteries in the thermal imaging camera. “The best investigation we’ve had, and it’s at the home of the co-founder of our paranormal research team.”

“I always thought it was exciting to pursue the paranormal,” Brandon said. “But when it involves your own home, it changes your perspective. I have a new respect for homeowners and families going through this.”

They finished setting up the rest of the equipment and completed the baseline readings. Then Brandon and Joseph sat down on the leather couch with their audio recorders going. Their flashlights scanned the living room for any sign of activity.

“Are we ready to try and communicate with the spirits?” Joseph asked.

“Let’s do it.” Brandon leaned forward, gripping tightly onto the recorder. “Who’s with us? I saw a shadow earlier—were you the one who tried opening my door?”

They waited, giving whatever spirits might be with them a chance to respond. Thirty seconds later, a knock on the door made them both jump.

Joseph laughed. “Either that’s Lara, or we might have an answer from beyond.”

Brandon opened the door and welcomed Lara Lanier, psychic and medium. Long silky blond hair, five foot seven and fair skin, she took his breath away every time he saw her. Unfortunately, she belonged to Matt Keegan, pagan and a paranormal investigator on another team.

“Hi guys,” she said, giving Joseph, then Brandon a hug. “Great to see you. I wish it was under better circumstances.”

Brandon breathed in her sweet cherry vanilla scent and brushed his hand against her soft locks as he hugged her back.

“Good timing.” Brandon turned away nervously. “We just started an EVP session in the living room. Maybe we can get a response from beyond. You missed one hell of a light show.”

“Interesting. Well, I’ll walk around downstairs for a few minutes to see what I can pick up.” Lara stood between the great room and dining room, staring at the mess on the floor.

Joseph continued to question the spirits. “Is there a child here? Can you tell me your name?” He turned on his flashlight to detect any movement.

“Flash,” Brandon said to prepare Joseph and Lara for the blinding light of the camera. Brandon slowly turned around, the hair on the back of his neck and his arms stood on end. Something waited right behind him.

Lara slowly turned her head and looked at Brandon.

She’s staring past me. Brandon slowly glanced in the direction of her gaze.

Joseph picked up his camcorder and started filming Brandon and whatever else might be close to him.

A few seconds later, Lara said, “It’s gone. But it was an angry presence. Not demonic, but not happy. I felt it brush by me and then it went behind Brandon.”

“Makes sense,” Joseph said. “There was an energy spike and the temperature dropped by five degrees near Brandon and me.”

Half an hour of inactivity lapsed before Brandon said, “Let’s head upstairs. Seems quiet down here for now. I’ll leave my recorder on the kitchen counter.”

Halfway up the stairs Lara abruptly stopped, grabbing the railing as she teetered to the side. “Something went right through me.”

“Do you know if it was that same presence from the great room?” Joseph asked.

“No. I sensed a female. And she was frightened.”

Brandon looked at his EMF meter to see how high the energy readings were. The 1.5 milligaus reading indicated there could have been something there.

A loud, repetitive screeching from upstairs startled the trio.

“Quick! The motion detector,” Brandon said. They darted to the upstairs hallway where they’d placed the device. Brandon and Joseph reviewed images from the camera.

“Unfortunately, this didn’t catch whatever set the alarm off,” Joseph said.

The air became electrified with energy. Brandon noticed a drop on the temperature probe to sixty degrees—and still dropping.

“My God,” Lara said. “Do you smell that?” She bent over, gagging repeatedly.

Brandon dashed to the guest bathroom and opened the door for her. She barely made it to the toilet.

A minute later, “I’m fine now,” she said, dabbing her mouth with a tissue.

As Brandon placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. It seems my private retreat is turning into a nightmare.

Lara splashed water on her face, and Joseph handed her a towel. Patting her face, she turned toward the bathtub.

Brandon looked at the thermal imaging screen Joseph held. An obscure red figure stood behind the mahogany shower curtain. It seemed to be holding something.

* * *

Slowly pulling back the curtain, Lara saw a heavyset man, solid in form, wearing a navy blue shirt and worn blue jeans. His thick black hair was matted to his face and forehead.

The man’s brown eyes widened, his breath coming in short spurts. Pressed against the cold shower tiles, he cradled a black cat with white paws. “It’ll be okay,” he whispered. “We’ll get away.”
Lara whipped around when she heard something drop behind her. Joseph’s audio recorder lay on the tile floor.

“Holy crap!” he blurted.

When she looked back, the man was gone.

“Did you both hear what he said?” she asked.

Both men nodded.

“That was a man you saw right?” Joseph asked, picking the recorder up.

“Yeah,” Lara said. “A very scared one.”

They all continued to stare into the bathtub, as if the entity would reappear.

“How about a vigil in the hallway?” Joseph asked. “That way we can catch whatever might be out there, or in the bathroom.”

Lara didn’t want to tell Brandon that his beautiful vacation home had more than a few spirits. She had picked up two Native American spirits, one of which was a Sinaguan woman—shorter inhabitants from six fifty A.D. There was also extreme pain and suffering associated with the place.

Lara faced the bathroom where the phantom had appeared.

“Tell us about yourself,” Joseph said to the spirit, still filming. “Lara saw you standing in the bathtub. What happened to you?”

Lara glanced into a room at the end of the hall. She felt drawn to its darkness.

“Lara, do you see something?” Joseph asked.

But she didn’t answer. Entering a small room, she noticed piles of unpacked boxes stacked in the far corner. Obviously Brandon’s workout room, it housed an elliptical machine, free weights, and a bench press with black and white Ansel Adams prints on the walls.

“Do you mind if I take a look in your closet?” she asked, while Brandon and Joseph waited just outside.

“Uh no, I guess not.”

“She slid the door open to reveal some partially unopened boxes with miscellaneous computer parts. A photo album had fallen into one of Brandon’s boxes, perched on top of a laptop. Lara knew Brandon was very organized, so she didn’t think it was his. Removing the album from the box, she showed it to Brandon and Joseph.

“Where did you find that?” Brandon asked.

“On top of that computer,” she pointed to the laptop.

Brandon gaped into the closet. “I was in there last week—in that very box. I didn’t see it.”

Lara and Joseph watched as Brandon flipped through the plastic-covered pages of pictures.

“Wait!” Lara said. “That’s the guy I saw in the bathroom.” She pointed to a photo of the dark-haired, chubby man standing next to a striking blond man, about six feet tall—both holding hard hats.

“Wonder who the other guy is?” Joseph asked. “Maybe they’re business partners in construction—or work together. I can see a white truck with wording in the background.”
They looked at the remainder of the pages.

“The cat!” Lara stopped Brandon from flipping another page. “That’s the one I saw in the bathroom.” All three investigators gazed at a picture of the black cat with white paws that a child held.

Lara looked at the picture she assumed was of the tall blond man’s wife. She could have been a Celtic goddess with long curly red hair and fair skin. Teenage children stood beside the woman, a boy and a girl, who had the same features.

Lara suddenly sensed intense confusion. Then she sniffed the air. “I’m smelling smoke.”
“That’s funny,” Brandon sniffed and glanced around the room and into the hallway. “I detected the same scent outside on the porch before you both arrived.”

Joseph looked at the thermal imaging camera. “Wait a minute, this battery was full. Now it’s dead.”
“So is my recorder.” Lara turned it off and then on. “Let’s walk around and see if we can find where the smell is coming from.”

“Lara, do you know who either of those men from the album are?” Brandon asked.

“Not yet,” she said. “I’m thinking their family used to live here or at least on this property. I don’t know why the man I saw in the bathtub would be involved.”

“Maybe they left because of all of the activity.” Brandon checked out the other rooms upstairs. “Maybe he was remodeling and it brought all of the spirits to the surface.”

They both jumped when Brandon’s phone rang. It was the realtor who sold Brandon the house.
“Oh, hey Sandy. Listen, I called to find out if you knew anything about the family who abandoned this place a year ago? There’s some strange stuff going on.”

“Hello?” Brandon said into his cell phone. “Hello?” He shook his head in frustration. “I think she hung up on me.”

“Man,” Joseph said, wiping his forehead. “It is getting really hot in here. The temperature is eighty-four degrees and climbing. The baseline temp earlier was only seventy.”

Soon, it felt like a sauna. Lara became faint with the overwhelming heat and nearly collapsed on the floor.

“Whoa,” Brandon said, catching her from behind. “Let’s get out of here.” Joseph supported her other side as they moved downstairs.

On the stairs, Lara thought she heard crackling and popping. At the bottom, massive, orange-red flames suddenly popped up from the floor. They licked hungrily at the pine beams on the vaulted ceiling. Thick, swirling grey smoke engulfed them. And, screams of agony emanated from everywhere.

“Follow me,” Brandon yelled, as he raced to the front door.

Dashing directly through the fire with Brandon and Joseph, Lara noticed she wasn’t getting burned. So this was one of the tragedies I picked up on. I can’t believe the residual image is so vivid.

Brandon quickly pulled his hand away just as the metal knob melted. Agonizing screams and uncontrollable coughs continued to come from behind them. In the midst of the smoke, Lara saw an unrecognizable human form melt away into a skeleton, then drop into a pile of ashes on the floor.
Then it all stopped. The smoke dissipated. The fire disappeared. The horrifying screams ceased.

Quiet.

Gasping and shaking, Brandon and Joseph stood just outside the front door.

A black Buick pulled up in the circular driveway, and a petite woman jumped out of the vehicle.

“Are you all okay?” she asked excitedly. “I saw flames erupting from the house and started to contact the fire department. But then it stopped.” She stared at Brandon’s house.

“You saw more than that, didn’t you?” Lara asked. The woman gazed at Lara as if she were nuts. But Lara was used to it—it came with the territory of being a psychic and a medium.

“Yeah,” she responded, glancing from Lara to Brandon. “A tall blond guy. I couldn’t see his features since he faced the house. He stood there watching while it burned.”

She sighed, still staring at the house. “Well, since you’re all okay, I need to get home to my kids.”
“Wait,” Brandon touched her arm. “What’s your name?”

“Oh, sorry. My name is Celia Thompson. I live half a mile from here.”

“I’m Brandon. And this is Lara and Joseph. I was wondering how long you’ve lived here?”

“Ten years. Why?”

“Could you describe the family who lived in this house last?” Brandon asked.

“The father was average height, bald, but nice looking. His wife was a little shorter and had short brown hair. Sad though—they had an eight year old son who was killed instantly when he found his father’s gun and shot himself. It happened last summer.”

“How awful,” Lara said. “Thanks. You’ve been a big help.”

After Celia left, Brandon said, “That might explain the smaller shadow I saw before you both arrived.”

“Brandon, I’m getting something.” Lara stood on the porch, her eyes closed in concentration. “There was another home here on your property twenty years ago. I’m seeing a slate blue ranch style house with white trim.” She stared into the moonlit pines. “The man Celia saw standing in front of this house was actually standing in front of what used to be his home back then.” Lara paused, looking back at Joseph and Brandon.

“This is the anniversary of two very tragic events that are crossing each other on your property. One was the death of that poor little boy.”

“And the other was a fire from the past?” Joseph asked.

She nodded. “I need more time in your house. I’m starting to get more sensations and visions.”
“Sure. Joseph and I will check on the equipment while you look around,” Brandon said. “The downstairs camera had to have caught evidence of that fire. We should also play back the recorders to see if we got any audio that might provide a clue of what happened here.”

They slowly opened the front door and peeked inside. “Seems pretty calm now,” Brandon said.
While Brandon listened to portions of audio and checked the camera that had been placed downstairs, Lara walked back up to the second floor. He gazed up longingly, imagining her as a permanent fixture in his home.

Joseph cleared his throat. “I hate to interrupt your daydreams, but we did catch some bizarre flashing orange lights. I assume from that fire.”

Brandon felt his face flush and he glanced down at the recorder he held. “That’s not all we caught.” Brandon stood transfixed, re-listening to a portion of audio. He rewound it and handed the device to Joseph.

“No other way out,” a male voice whispered.

Brandon and Joseph glanced at each other.

“That didn’t sound like the dark-haired man,” Joseph said. “This person’s voice wasn’t as deep.”
“It’s not,” Lara said.

Brandon turned around quickly to find her standing behind him.

Tears coursed down Lara’s face. Her eyes were red and her face lined with streaks. “It’s the tall white-haired man that your neighbor saw in front of the house. His name is Brendon and he stabbed his family with a butcher knife then hunted down the dark-haired man, who was his business partner, before he burned his house.”

“Oh my God!” Joseph said. “Brandon buddy, your place has an overdose of history. Maybe there’s something about this area that attracts tragedy.”

“It gets even more peculiar,” Lara said. “July twenty-fifth—I couldn’t figure out why I kept seeing that date in my mind.”

“What about it?” Brandon asked. “Is that the date of the fire?”

“Not just the fire. It’s also the same day that little boy accidentally killed himself a year ago. Your vacation home is caught between the history of the previously built home and the history of the last residents.”

“That’s a hell of a coincidence,” Joseph said.

Lara pulled out the photo album from Brandon’s workout room. “That’s not the only coincidence.” She flipped to the last page. “Think about the similarity of his first name to yours, and look at the names of the original occupants.”

Brandon Winn stared at the words in a daze. It can’t be. He suddenly realized why he was inexplicably drawn to the home in the woods. Why he had wakened one day and ended up here to see the FOR SALE sign. And why the album was in the home to begin with.

The inside back cover contained the following words:

PROPERTY OF B. WINN AND FAMILY.

Copyright 2011 – 2015, Lori Hines

 

Rhythm, Magic and Meaning of the Drum

I thought about writing a separate post about who I am as an author, why I develop novels pertaining to Native history, culture and archaeology and why I have created such engaging characters, including Joe Luna, a Navajo medicine man and FBI agent featured in “The Ancient Ones” series. Instead, I saw this previous article that I wrote for a pow-wow band and thought it would explain my infatuation with the Southwest and the Native cultures who inspire through dance, history, art and commitment to their culture.

Pow wows are about camaraderie and competition, gathering with family and friends, and appreciation and reverence of native culture and dance. The smell of fry bread so strong you can almost taste the honey and powdered sugar, seeing the brilliant colors and designs of the extravagant regalia, listening to the tinkling of dance bells on the contestants clothing, and hearing childrens’ excited laughter as well as encouraging yells of the crowd for the proud dancers.

Perhaps one of the most important sounds? The drum groups who come to inspire the performers and instill a powerful sense of spirituality for the myriad of Native cultures present who greatly value their traditions, which have been passed down from generation to generation. For many pow wow dancers and drummers, the circuit is their life.

For Young Buffalo Horse, a drum group with 13 members from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, the pow wow is an opportunity to inspire the dancers, families, elders and audience to move, dance or tap their feet to the highly engaging, awe-inspiring rhythm and magic of the drum.

According to Robert Lincoln with Young Buffalo Horse, “For many American Indians, the drum is an important part of our lives, and has been for thousands of years. The drum is our heartbeat, our grandpa, a healer – the songs that we sing around it are sacred and all have meaning. The role of a singer is significant as we keep the heartbeat of our people alive and make the people happy and reverent, or even evoke the strong emotions to empower them to get up and dance as they feel the spirit that is the songs we sing.”

With members representing the Sioux, Choctaw, Creek, Ojibwe Cree, Lakota, Dakota and Sac & Fox Nations, they have performed all over the country at pow wows, the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Comanche Nation Fair, the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival—one of the biggest pow wows in Oklahoma as well as at schools and special ceremonies. The drum group sings Northern style pow wow, a high-pitched style originating from tribes in the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Great Basin, Upper Northwest and all of Canada. Northern singing was shunned in Oklahoma and the rest of the Southern Plains until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Slight physical differences distinguish northern and southern drums, with a northern drum sometimes being smaller. The corresponding dance styles are also different than northern style, generally slower with a different accent beat pattern (called “honor beats”).

Robert Lincoln, lead singer with YBH, learned to sing by traveling with his grandfather and performing with other drum groups, such as Whitefish Bay Singers, Red Spirit from Utah, and the Eagleheart Singers and Drummers during his time with the military.

Young Buffalo Horse’s first album, “A New Beginning” was recorded live at the Cherokee Nation Holiday Powwow and was submitted in the “Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards in 2013. The album includes 17 individual tracks of Northern Style songs. Watch for their second album, named “Debwewin—Sincerity In Action,” will be released in July 2014. The title of their latest release comes from their desire to be true to their cultures and the people.

The pow wow drum carries the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the Indian nation, calling the spirits and nations together. The drum is often thought to help bring the physical and mental side of a person back in touch with his or her spiritual or heart side. As with many things in the Indian culture, the drum is used to bring balance and rejuvenation to a person through their participation in dancing, singing or listening to the heartbeat. For the 13 members of Young Buffalo Horse, it isn’t about the money. It’s about connecting with the pow wow contestants, their families and the Native and non-Native audience through the meditative force of the drum.

“Singing is our life and we set out each day to be the best that we can to make the people on the trail feel good. It’s our goal in life to make our Elders and all the people across pow wow country get up out of their chairs and dance. We’d like to say thanks to all the people across the U.S. and Canada for all the support we receive each day, to all of our brothers that sit at their drums attempting to do the same, and special thanks to all the dancers who jam to our music, and most of all to all the people who travel late into the evenings playing our music trying to stay awake. We thank the Creator for keeping us real and humble, always striving to set a good example for the younger generation.”

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples of all cultures have used the drum to alter consciousness and travel into alternate realities to receive answers. The Medicine Man or Shaman would travel to the upper, middle, or lower world, to plant or mineral, to receive these answers. Many scientists and doctors are coming to understand this altered state of the drum, and meditation, to assist in the healing process. I had my own personal experience with the power of the drum at the ASU pow wow in Tempe, Arizona on Easter weekend—it was 92 degrees that day and every time the drums started, a breeze would blow through the stands. Coincidence? Could be, but I prefer to think of it as the magic of the drum.

About the author: Lori Hines is a paranormal mystery author living in Goodyear, Arizona. She is the author of three fiction novels, The Ancient Ones, Caves of the Watchers and Whispers Among the Ruins. Awards include honorable mention in the general fiction category for “Caves of the Watchers” in the 2013 Great Southwest Book Festival. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths Chapter, the Arizona Archaeological Society, Aqua Fria Chapter, and the Arizona Authors Association.

Lori is also the host of “Under the Surface,” a radio program focused on Native American history and culture. Her show features Native American artists, musicians, actors, activists and politicians as well as shamans and healers, historians, authors and archaeologists. The program is on the ‘History Channel’ on WHVR Digital Broadcasting—whvrdigital.com.

Great youtube videos of YBH:

IICOT 2013

Women’s Fancy Shawl at Sac & Fox Pow Wow 2013

YBH Knocking out a midnight express song in Stillwater, OK

YBH Facebook Page

Watercolor Unleashed – New Directions for Traditional Painting Techniques

Here is some information from Julie Gilbert Pollard, a very talented artist from Phoenix, Arizona. Please checkout her links for upcoming workshops and to pre-order her latest book Watercolor Unleashed – New Directions for Traditional Painting Techniques.

___________________________________________________________________________

Hello & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

If you have been thinking about my June 2013 workshop at La Romita School of Art in Italy but with too much going on during the holidays to make a decision, you may be interested to know that the deadline for deposits has been extended. You can still register and there is still room for you!

BTW, my NEW North Light book Watercolor Unleashed – New Directions for Traditional Painting Techniques is now available for pre-order from North Light Shop and Amazon. There is a section in the book on plein air painting and one of my plein air demos from my last La Romita workshop is featured. I’m very excited to see the book as a reality after its long “birthing process”! Here is the link:  http://www.northlightshop.com/  And here is the cover painting…

 

Sisters in Crime authors to sign at Arizona Historical Society

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, January 18th, 2013 – 6:30 – 8:30p.m.

Join some talented local authors with the Sisters in Crime, Desert Sleuths Chapter at the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe – http://www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org/. Tour the museum and visit the following talented authors!

  1. Betty Webb
  2. Anne Butler-Montgomery
  3. Merle McCann
  4. Lori Hines
  5. Virginia Nosky
  6. Lena Jo McCoy
  7. Donis Casey
  8. Deborah Ledford
  9. Auburn McCanta
  10. Pascal Marco

Next Big Thing Blog – Anasazi Whispers

Kris Neri, author of MAGICAL ALIENATION: 2012 New Mexico & Arizona Book Award Winner and 2012 Lefty Award Nominee, invited me to participate in the “Next Big Thing Blog.” This blog chain is a great way for authors to promote each other’s work.

You can find additional information on Kris and all of her books at http://krisneri.blogspot.com/.

Kris and Joe Neri also own a wonderful bookstore in Sedona, Arizona called The Well-Red Coyote, voted best bookstore in Sedona. I have done two presentations there pertaining to Native American history and will be doing another presentation on Cannibalism and Violence in the Southwest on Saturday, February 16th, 2013 at 2p.

All authors participating in this blog chain are answering the following questions pertaining to their work in progress, so here is my interview pertaining to my third novel in the Ancient Ones series, titled “Anasazi Whispers.”

Where did the idea come from for the book? Anasazi Whispers is part of The Ancient Ones series, so the idea originates from the progression of plot from the first and second novels.

  1. What genre does your book fall under? The book is a paranormal mystery novel, but all my books also have strong elements of paranormal romance. Anasazi Whispers also has scenes that go back into the prehistoric past, so also delves into historical fiction.
  2. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Jennifer Marie Morrison, who plays the role of Emma Swan in the TV show “Once Upon a Time,” would make a good Lorelei. Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor in the feature movie, would make a perfect Ian. Joe, my handsome Native American shaman, could be played by Kalani Queypo, who played in the film “The New World.”
  3. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? An FBI agent and Native American shaman, Joe Luna, along with the members of the Arizona-Irish Paranormal Research Society, attempt to solve a rather unusual murder/kidnapping case among the prehistoric Indian ruins of the Four Corners.
  4. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I am currently represented by Aberdeen Bay, a traditional publisher.
  5. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first draft took about six months.
  6. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Not sure my novels really compare to anything else. Probably Tony Hillerman as his mystery novels are also set in scenic locations.
  7. Who or what inspired you to write this book? This is the third in a series, and was inspired by my love of Southwestern archaeology and Native American history. It takes place in the Four Corners, including Hovenweep National Monument, Canyon of the Ancients and Chaco Canyon.
  8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There are many interesting elements to the books in my series, including metaphysical, paranormal, supernatural, prehistory of the Four Corners and archaeology. Readers that aren’t even interested in the paranormal find my books fascinating because there are such strong characters and non-stop adventure.

Please check out the following websites of some very talented authors who I have tagged for this blog chain:

Jenn Czep: Author, belly dancer, philanthropist, pirate – her blog is at www.czepwrites.blogspot.com. This amazing young lady writes pirate novels, so her pirate group does yearly performances at the Phoenix Comicon and the Phoenix Zoo’s Howl-O-Ween event, among many others! I had the opportunity to see this performance at the Velma Teague Library in Glendale, Arizona, and they were very entertaining!

Lena Jo McCoy, author of “Special Run,” www.lenajomccoy.com. Lena is a very talented author, who also writes paranormal mysteries.

Karen Keilt, author of the International Thriller, “The Parrots Perch,” www.theparrotsperch.com. Karen’s book is based on her life in Brazil and is being turned into a Hollywood Movie, to premier in 2016!

Interactive Writing Workshop by Susan Cummins Miller

November 17, 2012 workshop

Fiction Writers:

Have you got saggy middles?

Lost your subplots?

Find out how to fix those beastly problems in this

interactive one-day workshop with mystery author

SUSAN CUMMINS MILLER

Most novels have 3 acts –

Act I: Sets up the conflict that drives the plot

Act II:Into the Belly of the Beast

Act III: Resolves the loose ends

  • Story arcs and the Three-Act Structure of novels
  • The “Hero’s Journey” as an aid to plotting
  • How to spot major problems leading to stalled action and flagging plots
  • The role of intermediate helpers, antagonists, goals and hurdles in creating a strong Act II
  • How character interactions give rise to subplots
  • The importance of subplots in increasing complexity, emotional satisfaction, pace and interest of the story
  • How to weave subplots to increase tension and create a satisfying resolution

 


The Workshop Scoop

This event is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

When: November 17, 2012 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration deadline (hopefully date): Nov. 13, 2012

Where:  Viscount Suites Hotel,  4855 E. Broadway Blvd.

Seating is Limited, register now.

Cost – Sisters in Crime Members:  $45.00 (includes lunch)

Cost – Non Members:  $50.00 (includes lunch)

Register at the web site:www.tucsonsistersincrime.org

Tell a friend, bring a friend. Feel free to forward to the plotters and pantsers you know who are interested in improving their writing skills.

Lori Hines’ Interview with Mystery Most Cozy’s Karen Rigley

Hello, Lori. Paranormal elements mesh intricately with mystery, so share with us about your writing.

How did you know you were meant to write?

When I began writing poetry at the age of ten, I had a few poems published in anthologies at a very young age and a love poem published in a national magazine. It wasn’t until about six years ago that I decided to start writing paranormal murder mysteries.

Writing is a learning curve.  What have you learned during your journey as an author?

I’ve learned that becoming a successful author is a long, arduous process. I’ve found it more difficult than owning my own copyrighting business. Extensive networking led to word-of-mouth business when it came to owning my own company. However, there are so many people publishing their own novels these days, both traditional and self-published. So it’s very hard to set yourself apart.

I’ve also learned that you have to be able to take advice to improve your writing. Joining local critique groups helps to get your skills up. Along with writing workshops and local writing organizations.

What inspired you to write mysteries?

I have been a paranormal investigator for the past five years, and experiences on those investigations inspired some of the characters and scenes. The paranormal fits in great with the mystery genre.

What intrigues you about mysteries?

Well-written mysteries that provide fascinating characters, and interesting twists of plot that keep the readers wondering what will happen next. I love mysteries that are set in scenic locales so that I can imagine I am there with the characters.

What enticed you to write a series?

A series represents growth and strength of characters. My fans love the bond between the individuals in the Arizona-Irish Paranormal Research Society. I also have a lot of fun with new places to explore – usually locations that I have visited myself. This includes the Vulture Mine Ghost Town near Wickenburg, Arizona, the Dragoon Mountains in Southeast Arizona, the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest near Holbrook, Arizona and the badlands and ancient ruins in the Four Corners (Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Chaco Canyon, Salmon Ruins and Aztec Ruins).

What is the most challenging facet of writing for you?

I still work full-time as a writer and editor, plus family, and traveling to promote my first two novels in the series, “The Ancient Ones” and “Caves of the Watchers.” I would love to be able to write full-time one day.

What do you enjoy reading?

J.A. Jance is one of my favorite mystery authors, but I am also doing extensive research and reading pertaining to archaeology and Native American history in the Southwest. My novels take place in Arizona and the Four Corners, so I am focusing on the cultures who resided in these places during prehistoric times. This includes the Anasazi (ancestral Puebloan) and the Hohokam who resided in Phoenix, Tucson and into Mexico.

Which authors have influenced you?

J.A. Jance because of her ability to write an amazing murder mystery set in some of my favorite places, including southeast Arizona. And J.K. Rowling because of her imagination

How much of a story do you have in mind when you begin a new novel?

I know basic events that I want to have happen, such as Lorelei meeting Ian in the first book, then getting married in the second. But I don’t like to outline the plot because I find it inhibits my imagination. It is a true adventure for me to start writing on page one and have a surprise ending. My second book, “Caves of the Watchers,” had an ending that wrote itself. And I am very proud of it! Plus my fans keep telling me they never saw it coming.

Part of the magic of writing is creating memorable characters. Who are your own favorite characters, why, and which of your books feature them?

One of my favorite characters is Joe Luna, the Native American shaman. He is a very strong character – a healer and FBI agent. He performs an interesting ceremony in the first book. Lorelei Lanier, one of the main characters, is also a favorite due to her rather unique abilities that develop throughout the series.

What would you like to tell to your readers & fans?

Thanks very much! I appreciate your continued support and great reviews! It’s always nice when people keep asking me when my next book is coming out.

Do you have advice to offer a beginning writer?

Don’t give up! What helped me tremendously was joining local writer’s critique groups. You have to be able to take advice in order to become a good writer. Also, join local writing organizations, such as Sisters in Crime or the Arizona Authors Association. Such organizations can help writers develop their skills and give them opportunities to showcase their work.

Do you enjoy a touch of romance woven into your mysteries or add it into your own stories?

Absolutely. My series is paranormal mystery, but there is a very strong element of romance between Lorelei Lanier and Ian Healy. As the series progresses, there are other romances that develop. My fans have really enjoyed the powerful connection between Lorelei and Ian.

Authors create magic to allow readers an escape into the story. As you write how deeply do you submerge into your own characters, setting and plot and do you dream any of it?

I have to imagine myself in the exact location, which is why I like to visit the places I write about. I take hundreds of photos to be able to remember the details of my locations and incorporate them into my books.

I based Lorelei’s character off of myself somewhat to be able to ‘submerge’ into the story. Being a paranormal investigator makes it much easier to relate to the plot and what the characters are thinking.

What are you writing now?

I am working on the third in “The Ancient Ones” series, titled “Anasazi Whispers.” It takes place in the Four Corners among prehistoric Indian ruins at Hovenweep National Monument and Canyon of the Ancients.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

https://lhauthor.wordpress.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Lori-Hines/e/B0054MWG38

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4895416.Lori_Hines

To join the Mystery Most Cozy Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/188620978695/?

Read the latest interviews with cozy writers: http://shimmerfall.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/mystery-most-cozy-interviews-carolyn-hart/