It's early days, but it looks like the first story in a series of paranormal romances will be accepted by Total-e-Bound, either as a standalone or as part of an anthology.
Last October, as a research exercise (and as readers of my blog may remember) I went on a paranormal investigation with a friend. It was organised by a paranormal events team whose name I won't reveal, nor will I say where it was except that it was a former stately home, now museum, in Yorkshire. We did a quick walk-through and then were split into teams to carry out various exercises in different rooms, hoping to receive a ghostly response.
My team had a medium present who had apparently been on "Most Haunted", although I'll just say that I'd never heard of him. He led us in several rounds of calling out ("If there's anyone there, could you move something, make a noise, knock on something?") with very little effect, apart from the odd bang on a pipe which could have been anything. So far, so unimpressive. It didn't help that the heating had been turned up to full for some reason, so I was absolutely melting in my heavy sweater and couldn't take it off without being left in just a bra.
We then did some table-tipping, which I admit I have always been very sceptical of. A group of four girls (who were obviously friends) rested their fingertips on the table and sat for a long time, trying to coax a ghost into moving it for them. What happened next is open to conjecture. The table shuffled across the carpet in a disjointed diagonal movement.
I don't claim to know for sure exactly how that happened. I can only say that, if it was faked, all four of them must have been in on it to get that particular movement. If one alone had pushed, the table would have fallen over. I will also add that, after a while, two of the girls swapped with me and another guest, and the table refused to move with us on it.
From there we moved into a bedroom, where we tried some more calling out and then some work with a glass, none of which elicited any responses. We compared notes with the other group as we passed them on our way to the final location and found that they hadn't got anything either. Traipsing downstairs into the kitchen, my hopes for paranormal activity were not exactly high.
I'll bypass the "human pendulum" routine we went through, involving us standing in a circle and one of us being pushed around by a spirit, since frankly I found it unconvincing. There was, however, a moment on the ouija board which was worth mentioning, even though it involved the aforementioned group of table-tipping girls and therefore could have been faked.
"Can you move the planchette to the first letter of your name?" It moved to NO.
"Are you attached to this house?" NO.
"Are you connected to one of us?" NO.
"Would you like us to leave?" YES.
There you are. I can now say I've been told to piss off by a ghost. I suppose if people came into my house and started asking me questions I might get a bit annoyed too.
So that was the investigation, and from there came the story, following a team of paranormal investigators with a heroine who, in the beginning, is stuck in a relationship with the team medium but secretly longing for one of her teammates.
As I said, it's early days. I should know more next week - will keep you all updated!