Jaime Lee Moyer: Midnight Secrets and Lies
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Delia’s Shadow ARC contest!

People of the Internets! The time has come for me to give away a few signed ARCs of DELIA’S SHADOW. Aren’t they beautiful?

arc 6

Want to win one of these? Here’s what you do.

Tell me a ghost story.

Tell me an old story passed around at summer camp, one you heard from a friend of a friend, a local legend, or a story you made up. Scary ghosts, funny ghosts, or the odd and unexplainable, they all count.

A couple of rules: Don’t copy stories from books or comics, or recite movie plots word for word. The story you tell must be in your own words.

Easy, right? Post your entry in comments here, on my LJ or Goodreads comments, or if it’s a long story, post to your own blog and give me the link.

Each month for the next three months (July 10th, August 10th, and September 10th) I will pick a story from all those that have come in to win an ARC. I will post reminders here and on Twitter so people don’t forget the contest. This will give everyone time to think up the best ghost story they’ve ever heard.

And I could throw in bonus prizes mid-month or anytime. You never know with me. :)

Have fun with this! I know I will.

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13 Comments

  1. Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    My daughter was about 9 months old and we were asleep. It was just the three of us in the house, my husband, my daughter and I. I had a dream that woke me up with a start and heard someone say “the baby’s got blood all over her face” We listened to the house for a minute, all was quiet, my husband said, “you just had a bad dream, get some sleep.” So I rolled over and layed back down. A minute later, my daughter yelled out, I ran down the hall and she had a nose bleed with blood all over her face. Still gives me goose bumps to think about it.

    • stillnotbored
      Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      How creepy! Thank you.

  2. mariko
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I was visiting the Winchester Mystery House — famous for the eccentric heiress to the Winchester Rifle company and her belief that vengeful ghosts would be thwarted and the ghosts of her husband and infant daughter would be enticed if she built continuously to her home. The architecture and lore was so fascinating that I forgot to be scared of the house’s reputation for hauntings. But in the basement, my friend and I each felt a sudden chilly draft, as the tour guide talked about Sarah Winchester’s secret keepsakes of the husband and infant that she’d saved. Our husbands, standing right beside us, did not feel that chill. My friend and I agreed it felt like a “don’t forget about us” kind of friendly nudge, not mean or scary. Thank goodness because I’m actually quite a scaredy cat.

  3. Posted June 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    In 1998, I did a study abroad program in Oxford, England. Most of the houses my friends were in – and most of the university housing for that matter – had ghosts of one form or another. Our resident ghost was apparently quite attached to me. My close friends thought it might have been a friend who’d committed suicide the year before and traveled with me to keep me safe or something like that. I think the ghost lived there.

    Anyhow, when I first arrived, I used to hear my name right before my alarm would go off. Very clearly a man’s voice, American accent. I attributed it to deep sleep and homesickness. Soon, my wardrobe doors would open and close by themselves. Wind, I thought.

    After a few weeks of these parlor tricks, things escalated. I would be up late working on a paper and the hallway I was in (I had a roommate, as in, in my room) was become like the Arctic. I would move to the other hallway (our flat was in a V shape) and the lights would go out. Back and forth like this for hours. I would feel someone lie down next to me on the single bed, but no one was there. My room roommate started to get freaked out, though she never clearly articulated why.

    My last week there, the power kept shutting off. We’d check the circuits, nothing blown, no other outages reported. It only happened when I talked about my plans for leaving. When I started packing to go home, the lights in the flat went on and off, on and off, on and off. My friend, who’d come to travel back with me, told me I needed to make peace with the ghost. I told him I was going to miss him, but I still had to go and needed the lights to pack. That nonsense stopped until the morning I left, when only the light from a locked, empty room was going on and off. I could see it from the street. My heart broke a little. I still have no idea who it was or why he chose me. But he was a constant, strange, and yet reassuring presence.

  4. Angela
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    At 16 years old my parents left me home alone for the first time. I found sleeping difficult and stayed upstairs in my parents room to keep from having to descend the stairs into my basement room where the only light switch was several steps into the dark away from the stairway. While I lay in their bed behind locked doors I heard footsteps and watched a shadow pass outside the door. I ran into the bathroom and locked the only door left between me and the intruder and called my neighbor to come save me. When he reached my house the doors were all locked. I had to run to the front door to let him in but we didn’t find anyone in the house.
    He left me there after checking all the rooms and I curled up back in bed where I passed out after several hours of panic.
    Excruciating pain in my big toe woke me. At the end of the bed stood a shadow of a man crowned in the hallway light shining through the open bedroom door. He touched the tip of my toe again and again and the pain worsened. I tried to scream but all I could do was close my eyes and whisper a prayer. I felt the weight of sleep on me and forced myself to speak enforce I lost consciousness. “Leave me alone,” I whispered to him.
    He held my toe between his fingers and whispered back his reply, “No.” And he and the light disappeared.
    Six years later I met a man I fell in love with just after an unfortunate accident with my big toe. While we lay in bed one night I struggled to stay awake after a long day of work. I was ready to fall deep into sleep when he began poking me and asking me to stay awake. I, half asleep, told him to leave me alone. He leaned in close and held me tight and whispered “No.”
    I knew I had heard his voice before. I had heard it years before whispering only one word into the darkness. “No.”
    He kept his word. My ex hasn’t left me alone since.

  5. Posted June 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    The college I went to had numerous stories of hauntings in the dorms, including a particularly elaborate one in a house with a secret passage, in which both passage and ghost story were revealed, with a great deal of ceremony, to people new to the house, on Halloween night. I was always curious about that one, but, not living there, am not privy to it (and if I were, would have been sworn to secrecy and still unable to tell you). I did write one of my own, though. I was never quite sure what to do with it.

    I gave my dad a last hug in the doorway, then turned and walked up the stairs to the third floor, ignoring a sudden desire to run back outside and watch until the car was gone from view. The house was quiet. The bass beat that had been pounding along the second floor earlier had disappeared, leaving silence. In my room, my pile of boxes looked forlorn in its corner. My sheets, pillow and coverlet did not do nearly enough to provide spots of color in the otherwise empty room. I glanced at the second bed, then away. My roommate seemed nice enough over e-mail; I wouldn’t fret about that until after she arrived.

    The welcoming committee had said something about meeting in the living room at seven thirty. I glanced at my watch – a little after six. I opened up my computer and pulled up iTunes, but I didn’t seem to want to listen to anything that came up. Eventually I put the laptop away and sat on my bed looking out the window. No one had said how quiet it would be, how lonely, when I first arrived. Perhaps I should unpack some of my boxes. My mother’s voice floated back to me from some move, umpteen years ago, the longer you take to unpack, the longer until it feels like home, but I didn’t move.

    I sat for a while, drifting, watching the sun on the grass and the windows across the quad. After a time I became aware of a distant sound, unmistakably that of muffled crying. Upon reflection, I realized that it had been going on for some time, although I couldn’t say for certain when it had started.
    I spent a few moments debating whether or not to go search for the source of the crying, and eventually decided that company might help, and if whoever it was didn’t want company, she could always tell me to go away. I got up and padded out into the hall. I couldn’t hear the crying out here at all. Feeling a bit silly, I walked to the doors of the rooms on either side, but couldn’t hear anything, even with my ear pressed against the wood. It must be on another floor, then.

    Walking down seemed a more attractive prospect than walking up, so I took the stairs to second floor. I could hear the soft sobs in the hallway here. The door to room 209 was ajar. The muffled weeping was louder there than anywhere else, so I knocked softly on the door. I didn’t hear a response, and the sobs continued unabated.

    Feeling silly, I stood for a moment looking at the construction paper butterflies on the door (“Brianna” and “Lily”), then said, “Hello?” and pushed the door open a bit wider. The room was a double, much like mine both in layout and general unpackedness. A girl in a white dress was sitting on one of the bare mattresses with her back to the door. Her shoulders shook with weeping, and she seemed not to have noticed me.

    I took a few steps into the room. My instinct was to walk over and rub her shoulders, but that seemed an incredibly sketch and invasive thing to do at a first meeting – particularly when the other person was crying her eyes out on her bed. So I stopped moving, and asked cautiously, “Um, are you okay?”

    She started and whirled, scanning the entire room before dragging a sleeve across her face and focusing on me. There was something wrong about the reaction, but I was distracted by the realization that she was the most classically beautiful woman I had ever seen. Despite the tears still glistening on her cheeks, her skin was pale and clear, contrasting starkly with long brown hair.

    After a moment of staring at each other, she asked quietly, “Me?”

    That was not the response I had been expecting, and I had to bite back my immediate, ‘No, the other girl in the white dress crying on the bed behind you.’ Something in the odd tentativeness of the question told me that sarcasm was not the proper approach here. I took a deep breath before answering, “Er, yes, you. What’s wrong?”

    Her eyes glistened, and it looked like she would crying again, but she pulled out a damp-looking handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes before replying, “Oh, it’s all so awful! She arrived this afternoon, and she dresses like a slut – like she doesn’t even care! She has a boyfriend, and he’s awful too; they spent a whole five minutes kissing each other – like I wasn’t even here! And he goes to Amherst, so he’s sure to be over all the time, and carrying on at all hours of the day and night, I’m sure! And she put on the most awful music for hours and hours while they were unpacking, without so much as a by-your-leave; the whole room shook! I watched it!” With that, she dissolved into tears again.

    I blinked, surprised by this tirade, and asked, “Your roommate?”

    She nodded between wiping her face with the handkerchief. It was clearly soaked, so I pulled out the travel pack of tissues that my mother had impressed upon me with her last goodbye kiss. “Would you like a tissue?”

    She gasped and cried louder. After a moment the cries resolved themselves into words, “ . . . you’re nice enough, but you still don’t understand.”

    I think that’s when it began to occur to me. I’ve described her, but there was a quality to her, a distinctiveness, that I haven’t put into words – I didn’t even notice it at first. I always find black and white photography to be more powerful that color, because it makes up for the lack of hue with a certain clarity and sharpness that you don’t find in color photos. She was like a black and white photo. I’m not trying to say that she wasn’t in color; she was – her hair and eyes were brown, there was a flush of pink to her lips and cheeks – but there was also a certain definition to her, as if she was in some way more distinct than the rest of the room. I don’t know that I’m describing it very well. It was a subtle difference, certainly; I hadn’t even noticed it at first. But something about her reactions, her voice, her manner, was slightly off, and that, combined with the peculiar distinctive quality and the fact that despite her tears, her face was not red or swollen at all, made me wonder.

    But how do you ask someone if she’s a ghost? If you were wrong, it might be horribly embarrassing for you, and terribly insulting for her, and I didn’t want to label myself as some weirdo who believes in ghosts during my first week in college. I settled for, “What’s your name?”

    She blew her nose and said, “Lydia.”

    “I’m Kathryn. When did you get here, Lydia?”

    “1938.”

    Well, that answered that. “Ah.”

    “It’s awful,” she said, “I’m cold all the time, and people have sex in my bed, and listen to rubbishy music . . .” As she spoke, she seemed to thin and stretch, until I could barely see her at all. “And no one ever listens to anything I say, ever.” And then she was gone.

    I was standing alone in the middle of a room belonging to two people who I didn’t know yet. So I did the only sensible thing, walked out, swinging the door nearly to behind me, and went back to my room. Seven o’clock.

    I rooted around in my boxes for a bit until I found a pen and paper, then sat down to write a letter. “Dear mom,” I wrote, “I’ve been here for less than 24 hours, but you were definitely right – one meets all sorts of people at college.”

  6. Kathleen
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    My grandmother, who died when I was ten years old, had a fondness for lavender and lavender perfumes. Okay. That said.

    When I was twelve, I got very sick– it was a particularly virulent form of flu, or something, and it landed me in bed for three or four days, unable to speak without pain or keep down anything that went into my stomach, except (thankfully) water. I think it was the first time I’d ever felt that sick in my life.

    Two or three days into it, I had a bad fever and couldn’t sleep, because I had awful nightmares when I tried. I was lying awake, staring at the ceiling, when the door to my room opened.

    Big deal, we had a cat who was capable of opening locked doors. I assumed it was her and went on staring at the ceiling. Then somebody who sounded very much like my grandmother put a cool hand on my forehead and told me to go to sleep. I did. Next morning, my fever was broken. My whole room smelled like lavender. And the cat had been in with my parents the whole night.

  7. Posted June 12, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    It was 1968 I was about 8yrs old, I shared a bedroom with my younger sister. One night I remember waking up hearing a humming sound and as I opened my eyes I saw three glowing (orbs) balls reddish, orangy and some kind of green just floating over me. I could hear them say come see come see, I looked at my sister and she hadn’t moved. So I got out of bed and followed the lights down the hall, they stopped at mom an dads room, the door quietly opened an I an the lights went in. No sound at all, my parents heard nothing, the. Closet door opened and the lights floated up an little square door opened at the top and they And me floated up to an small cubby. The lights showed me drawings (dots and lines to me then) and told me they would be back. That morning my mom woke me an sister I remember it was a Saturday, I told them what I thought was a dream, but my dad went to the closet a said there iz a door up there! Got a ladder from the garage and went up he had to push really hard to open it but when he did, he saw the paper with the strange drawings with the colors of reddish, orangy, and greeny. Hummmm!

  8. Raymond
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Many many years ago, while Dad was at work, my mother needed to run to the store for something, she didn’t want to make a big trip out of it, so left me and my sisters at home. She’d “only be gone for a little bit, so sit and finish your game until I get back.”

    We were halfway through a game of Sorry, when the weather quickly changed to a thunderstorm. Mom wasn’t home yet, and the girls were becoming scared. I told them they didn’t need to worry, Grandpa was watching us. A few minutes later, we all “heard” something in the kitchen {but to this day, none of us could tell you what sound was made to alert us.} The girls wanted to run to the store to find Mom, but I told them she’d be home soon, and besides, Grandpa was watching us. {I should mention, the house we lived in, was his until he died the same year my youngest sister was born.} This didn’t comfort them, so I said I’d prove it, and said, “Grandpa, make a sound to let them know you’re here.” As soon as I said that, some wind-chimes my mother had hanging by her plants in the living room started to tinkle, something they could only do when someone bumped the table they hung from.

    Years later, while at my sister’s home for Thanks giving, we started talking ghost stories while Mom was trying to set up some “family pictures.” I reminded my sisters of this event, right before my youngest sister’s family got set up for their picture. In that picture, very faintly, behind her children, you can see an old man.

    Our grandfather is still watching the children in our families.

  9. Canonical
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    When I was five, I got my first pet. He was a Siamese cat whom I promptly named, Mr. Lee. We were inseparable–whenever I sat down, he was in my lap. (I was five. Don’t judge.) When I went to bed, there was always a pause and then the thud of a large cat landing on the foot of the bed. He made his stately way up the length of the bed and five seconds later he’d be “sharing” my pillow. For “sharing” read, he took up the lion’s share of it because he was a big cat.

    He was a long-lived cat, finally having to be put to sleep at age eighteen. I got drunk for the first time in my life the night I got home from taking him on his last trip to the vet. I finally got into bed that night, alone for the first time in eighteen years. From my vantage point on the pillow, I could see some of his fur still there. I thought I didn’t have any tears left, but the sight of those few bits of cat fluff proved me wrong. A moment later, I felt a familiar thud on the foot of the bed, followed by a slow, stately movement up the bed’s length. Five seconds later, enough time for a large cat to prepare himself for sleeping, I felt the right-side of my pillow depress as if a large, curled-up-catwise weight had landed on it.

    It may have been the alcohol. It may have been wishful thinking. All I know is that it was my only experience with the so-called supernatural and it was supremely comforting.

  10. Kim Johnston
    Posted July 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I must have this book.

    • stillnotbored
      Posted July 25, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Sorry it took so long to approve this. It got caught in the spam trap. See the new post I’m putting up in a few minutes. Tor is giving away copies on Goodreads. :)

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Home, Again | Beyond Distraction on June 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    […] I do have a couple of different stories in the works, thanks to the trip. One of them may show up here in an abridged version for the sake of a contest. An author is giving away ARCs in exchange for ghost stories. If any of you are interested, here’s the link: http://www.jaimeleemoyer.com/delias-shadow-arc-contest/. […]

  2. By URL on June 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: jaimeleemoyer.com/delias-shadow-arc-contest/ […]…

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