Happy Book Birthday, Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide!

My life has always been a bit spooky. Yeah, big surprise. It didn't knock me over the head though until I was in my late teens. My dog, Jake, had just been put to sleep after lymphoma had ravaged his body -- but never his spirit. A week after his passing, I'd see shadows out of the corner of my eye, just close enough to get my attention but fading when I turned my head. Then I'd feel his presence as he flopped down next to me, I could almost feel the weight of his head on my lap as I sat in bed and missed my friend and companion of seven years. Jake moved on a few weeks later but it sparked my curiosity. I'd always loved ghost stories -- what if there were more to it than floating heads in gothic corridors?

A bit later I stayed at a friends house for the night. Before turning out the lights, I read a magazine only to see a woman peeking over the cover at me from the foot of the bed. Lowering the paper, I saw a middle-aged lady wearing an early 20th century styled dark-colored dress. Her hair was black and pulled back into a bun and boy, was she pissed. Her eyes bore into mine with a fury I save for political campaigns and her hands clenched at her sides. I don't get excited easily -- I resumed reading the magazine and forgot about it until the next morning. While getting into my car and saying goodbye to my friend, I felt a hand run down my back to remind me. Apparently this house has been hopping with activity for years and I'd described a woman her grandfather had often seen.

That kicked my investigative gene into action. I started chatting people up. Men in teepees who told me I was transcending and mingling with the ancestors: I think it was the giant crop of pot in back of the teepee that made my eyes wonky. Old ladies at psychic fairs who held my hand and told me I'd marry a boy named Bryan (I did, six years later). And later my own investigations into creaky old houses and digging into the history of houses and families whose names were etched on walls but not in memories. This led to twenty years of investigating the paranormal with a skeptic's eye, I'm willing to believe - but it'd better be good.

The Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide releases today from Sourcebooks and I couldn't be happier if you fed me calorie-free donuts all day. It's a fun, activity-filled book for ages 9+ and great for girls and boys with step-by-step directions on how to conduct research and an investigation while being safe, responsible and still maintaining the ability to say "why not?" when faced with phenomena that may not be easily explained. Thank you to my agent, Dawn Frederick, for instantly believing in the project and her support, and my friends and family who thought every weird story and experiment kicked butt.

Now go out there and have some fun by ordering GGHG! I'm working on glow-in-the-dark Spectre Detectors for the website and a new book proposal or two. I love this gig.

Care for a peek?
Sourcebooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Girls' Ghost Hunting Guide website

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