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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

once you check in...you never leave - Castle in the Air by Jennifer Tressen

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel" largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a "cancer treatment hospital" which he called his "Castle in the Air." 

Description:

Published: July 23rd, 2015

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called "America's Most Haunted Hotel" largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a "cancer treatment hospital" which he called his "Castle in the Air." 

Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren't quite what they appear to be. Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in - something is definitely not right at her uncle's hospital. But what? Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will be forever be doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check in...you never leave. 

GUEST POST
8 Tidbits about “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” 
The Crescent Hotel
  1. Originally opened in 1886 as a luxury resort. Later it was a girls’ conservatory, then the Baker Cancer Hospital and finally The Crescent Hotel. 
  2. The team from the show Ghost Hunters filmed an episode at the hotel and indeed found apparitions. 
  3. It is said that over 400 people died while under Dr. Baker’s “care” at the Baker Cancer Hospital. 
  4. Morris, a cat who lived in the hotel for 21 years, is still seen roaming the halls in ghost form. 
  5. There are at least 8 known apparitions which have been seen repeatedly with sightings of others reported as well. 
  6. Dr. Baker, the owner of the property in the late 1930s, was tried for mail fraud, practicing medicine without a license and other charges. He served four years in prison. 
  7. One person is known to have died during the original construction; a stone mason, who still is said to haunt rooms on the second floor. 
  8. The property has undergone several renovations through the years; however the ghosts have always remained. 
EXCERPT






Sleep was not a friend to Clara. She tossed and turned for the better part of an hour before she finally slipped into a dream world. Theodora stood over her, the beautiful woman she had first met in the passenger seat of the new Model T. Her hair was a radiant color, lips beaming with color, lashes coated long with mascara.

“You’re back,” Clara smiled.

“I never left,” Theodora said ever so cool in her presentation.

“What happened?”

“Shhhh,” Theodora raised a single finger to her lips.

Clara tried to reach out to touch Theodora’s flowing hair. It moved loosely as if being blown by a fan. Theodora continued to glide side to side evading her movements.

“I want you to stay.”

“Stay where?” Clara asked.

“Stay.” Theodora’s hair started to turn gray, her skin becoming more and more pale every second, eyes hollowing.

Scared, Clara tried to back up but she was against the headboard of her bed, there was nowhere to go. Gripping at the sheet she lifted it up to her chin. Theodora reached out with her now skeleton-like hands, wrapped her fingers around Clara’s wrist and yelled, “Stay!”

Clara screamed.

Sitting up in bed she realized it was just a dream. Lily awoke and came to her side.

“Are you alright?”

Clara nodded slowly, “Just a bad dream I think. I was screaming and then I woke up.”

Lily looked at her closely, trying to get more details.

“Sorry I startled you.”

They both looked over at Susan’s bed. She was fast asleep quietly snoring.

“Do you need a glass of water or a snack perhaps?” Lily asked, the tenderness in her voice the same as it was the first day she had arrived.

“No that’s alright. I have some,” Clara lifted a glass of water up from the bedside table. “Thank you though.”

“Alright then I’ll let you get back to sleep.” Lily took two steps backwards to her own bed without taking her eyes off Clara. “Sure it was just a bad dream?”

Clara studied Lily for a moment, “Yes. What else would it be?”

“I don’t know.” Lily shook her head and started to lay in her own bed. “Guess I’m just tired. Goodnight.”

“Night.”

Clara lay in bed, her eyes open.

“Stay.”

Clara sat up, “What?”

Lily sat up as well, “I didn’t say anything.”

“Huh.” Clara lay back down and closed her eyes.



About the author:
Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder. 

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer attributes her love of reading and writing to her mother who always reminded her of the power of literacy. Besides telling her and her siblings that they could do anything they wanted if they knew how to read and write, she said, "You can go anywhere in a book. You can be anyone."


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1 comment:

Arf2-D2 said...

What a cool choice for the setting of the story.