Friday, December 9, 2016

Sexy in Space ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS170



Welcome to the 170th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

This week’s theme: Sexy in Space

Nothing grabs readers more than a sexy hero or heroine from another planet or maybe space explorers from this planet. 

Though my story is not from another planet, it's set in another part of this world. 

For fourteen years, Dario Vitez, accumulated wealth and made a name for himself as the owner of Mezzaluna restaurant. Love is the only thing missing from his life ever since his childhood sweetheart, Irena Novak, was forced into a marriage of convenience and lives half a world away. Wondering about her for all these years, he puts his work on hold to find her.
Irena is not free from her marriage contract. Danger follows her in form of her husband, Fred Penne. Fred decided she knows too many of his secrets to live and doesn't care who else he hurts to get her. 
Discovering the truth about the danger Irena is in, Dario will stop at nothing to protect her.
Suspenseful, romantic and awash in Gypsy magic and Slavic folklore, "Gypsy Stone" captures the enchantment of the Adriatic coast and the power of love, family and friendship.

“Now you know why I had to run from your place. I left her alone for too long.” She crossed her arm over her ample chest. “Don’t worry about Ella’s attention. She adores you, that’s all.” 
“Why didn’t you tell me you had a child?” He didn’t intend for his tone to come out as scalding, so he tucked loose strands of her hair behind her ear and softened his expression. “Yes, I find her attention rather intimidating. Kids scream their lungs out over some teenage pop star.”  
“Ella’s not your typical teenager. When she was little, she wouldn’t go to sleep before I told her at least one story of our youth. Today’s kids don’t have what we had. Freedom from all this technology, that kind of life it’s foreign to them.” She drew in a long breath and blew it out. “So much has happened, I’m afraid I don’t know where to start.” 
He took hold of her trembling shoulders. Perhaps he’d overanalysed Ella’s reaction. Poor girl must be craving a fatherly figure in her life and assumed he’d fill in the position. And he gladly would if Irena would let him. “From the beginning, or in our case a new beginning.”  She only chewed her lips, and turned her head away from him.  
Her silence unnerved him. “Come on, Irena. You know you can always count on me. Babe, you’re shaking. Are you cold? Stupid of me, you’re wearing a tank top and yoga pants and I didn’t think before we stepped out in the cold air.” 
She wrapped her bare arms around his chest and he pulled her to him. A part of his body reacted to her closeness. Dammit, now was neither time nor the place, but she always had such effect on him. 
“It was a mistake to return to my home town. It doesn’t take an idiot to figure out I’d run back to you. I never should’ve sought you out, but I just couldn’t help it. And I didn’t know where else to go. We’ve been on the run for so long.” 
“No, love.” He kissed her forehead. “That’s crazy talk. Whatever kind of trouble you’re in, I’ll help you.” 
She tilted her head up, worry lines marring her beautiful face. “I was afraid you’d get involved, but it’s dangerous. You risk losing everything you worked hard for and perhaps your life and the lives of your loved ones.” 
“That is why you need to tell me everything. I need to know what I’m up against. I figured you’re on the run from Fred and…” He didn’t know whether to tell her, but judging by the receptionist’s reaction, she already knew. “We bumped into him in the lobby. You’re lucky that young guy was working the front desk. What would happen if there was someone who would’ve accepted the two hundred bucks Fred offered in exchange for the info? Fred already paid a visit to your mother. You’re not safe here or any hotel. Please, consider moving in with me.” 
“You went to my mom’s? Oh, my God, after all she put you through?” Irena pulled away from him and gripped his jacket tighter. She turned and faced the cast iron railing, her shoulders rigid. “God, this is so hard. I knew I shouldn’t have involved you in my mess.”

“Your mess is my mess now.” He placed his hand on her shoulder. “Please, there’s plenty of room for you and Ella and you can train in the rec room in my building.” 
She tilted her head, placing her cheek to his hand. “Fred is very cunning, all he has to do is ask around this town. Someone will tell him where you live.” 
Thankfully, no one could enter his condo building without punching the code into security system or if someone buzzed them in. And that was the flaw, for gullible tenants often pressed that buzzer and let door-to-door salesmen inside.  Dario cupped her chin in his fingers. “What does he want from you?” 
She closed her eyes and pulled her lips, stifling a sob. “It’s a long story. Come. Let me ask Ella if she’d want us to stay with you, although, I already know the answer.” Halting by the balcony door, she turned to him. “Did my mother have a word for me?” 
“Of course she did. Fred has agreed to pay for her knee replacement surgery. If you return to him. If you don’t, he will stop the payments to you father’s nursing home.” Dario propped his hands on his hips. Should he tell her the rest? Better not, it would only upset her more. Over the years Irena had plenty of reasons to go insane, but her mind seemed rock solid as always. No, Fred spread lies about her being mentally unstable. Irena was a pure diamond that couldn’t be cracked under pressure.  
“So my mom confused me for an obedient, gullible daughter? They don’t need Fred’s money.” Irena pushed the door open and stepped inside the hotel room. 



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Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

So stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 


Friday, December 2, 2016

My Sexy Dreamer ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS169




Welcome to the 169th week of My Sexy Saturday. 

This week’s theme: My Sexy Dreamer

This week’s theme is My Sexy Dreamer. Know that guy or girl with big dreams? The ones you always ooed and ah’d over. Yeah…that one...find the one we’re talking about? If you have stories with those heroes and heroines with big dreams, big hearts and a way to put it all together, then this one’s for you! 


BLURB: It isn’t the string of crappy jobs, or people’s irrational urge to spend their money, or even his inability to ask Julie out on a date that Zach can’t get excited about Christmas. It is the fact that today is his last day he gets to spend in his preferred human form.
When jealous Tia, a wicked sorceress disguised as the pack’s alpha female, tries to force his wolf out a day early, all-consuming anger sends him into a rage against her. She punishes shape shifter Zach, by changing him to a dog. He has 48 hours to save his family and trade his life for someone else’s in order to break the spell—the only problem, Julie’s cat Miss Molly knows who he is and won’t let him near her owner. But Julie’s safety is the greatest importance and he sticks by her side.
Julie can’t resist falling in love with the stray dog she rescues. She prolongs putting a found dog ad in the local newspaper just to keep him for another day. Strange thing is, the animal reminds her of Zach.
Confronted with the woman who stole the man she secretly loves, Julie discovers the truth about Zach. When his dog form proves useless against the powerful alpha werewolf, the help comes from unforeseen allies.


EXCERPT
Careful not to wake Julie, he got down from the bed, but caught a look from the cat.
“Molly, is there a way out of the house?” he whispered.
She yawned and laid her head back on her paws.
“Come on, Molly. I have to get out.”
The tip of Molly’s tailed twitched. A sure sign she was annoyed by his pestering. “You canines are not good at holding it. Well, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Use the pet door, if you can squeeze through.”
All right, he’d seen people put those on the back or side doors. His paws slid on the smooth tiles, stopping in front of the white panel in the laundry room. He stared at the black, narrow rectangle. Could this be the pet door? A Chihuahua couldn’t squeeze through. Let alone a large breed dog. Then again, the opening was meant for Molly. Thankfully, it was still very early, barely dawn, and few humans would be up yet. Lexa would have to come to him. He emitted a high frequency whine, calling her to his location. She hesitated in her reply. How would she go to human school if she couldn’t break her shyness of people? This was a good test for her.
“Come on, Lexa. You can do it.”  He encouraged her through their special bond.
Soon, her paws sounded on the ground in front of the door. He peeked through, eager to speak to Lexa, yet fearing Tia’s curse couldn’t be broken. “Hey, I’m guarding Julie and her cat. Have you found out anything?”
“You’re sharing the human’s house with a cat?” Lexa couldn’t hide her teasing tone, or perhaps she didn’t bother to hide it.
“Now, now, she’s a nice kitty.” His words surprised him, but in truth Molly had started to get under his skin. He couldn’t deny she was rather pleasant, at times if she wasn’t coughing up a furball. Maybe he could learn to live with her around, to remain close to Julie. “I hope you have some good news for me.”
“The old ones summoned the Wizard.” Despite her soft tone, a tremor shook her voice.  “According to him, your dog’s appearance is a very powerful sorcery. The curse could turn permanent if not reversed in twenty-four hours.”
His stomach flipped. He had no idea what would it take to break the spell, but whatever the demand, his need for Julie and her safety would beat out any fears. “What must I do?”
Lexa lowered her head, but the sorrow in her eyes deepened his worry. “One ultimate and unselfish act.”
He blew out a breath of relief. Lexa got him all worried when in truth the counter curse wasn’t bad at all. “That shouldn’t be hard. I’m a giving guy.”

Lexa’s face dropped and sadness filled her voice. “Zach, it’s not as easy as giving up your food to feed me or our mom. You’ll have to trade your life for someone else’s.” 


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Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way. 

That's it, folks. Stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Sexy Holidays ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS168




Welcome to the 168th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: My Sexy Holidays

Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

This week’s theme is My Sexy Holidays. There are so many wonderful holiday tropes like being snowed in, likes Santa’s elves, or maybe fantastic New Year’s party. Or how about a Christmas story about a woman looking for her biological family, a child wishing for an additional parent…one can go on and on…


So here's an excerpt from Love Remains. 



Christmas wrappings, ribbons, and bows covered the hotel’s suite floor and hung from the chairs. Dirty dishes covered the table. Olivia tucked her hand under her legs suppressing the itch to tidy the room up. Just a month ago, she would have expected maid service to do the job, and the thought to clean up would never cross her mind.   Enya’s “Silent Night” came from the speakers of Tom’s laptop, filling Olivia’s chest with the warm, fuzzy feeling of the season. Christmas with her family, the way she’d heard people around the water cooler describe year after year. She much preferred this over playing catch up with her paperwork while the cleaning crew paid her no heed. If only Tom would stop checking his email. He rubbed his palms. “So, all presents unwrapped? My hands are so chaffed from prying the toys out of the packaging. I don’t think I can open another one.” 
“Yes, Daddy. I checked it twice. No Rosie, the dolly is the present not the box.” Milo’s attempts to engage Rosie with her new toy were unsuccessful.  
“Alright. It’s a nice day, how about a walk?” Tom turned to Olivia. “We should get out so the maids can tidy up the suite.” 
“Yes, by all means.” She stood up. Now would be a great time to present him with her gift. Though the anticipation had been brewing in her for weeks, a sudden bout of nervousness stirred her. What if he didn’t like it?  “Not all the presents have been opened.” 
She reached behind the tree, pulled out a small box from its hiding place and handed it to him. “This one is from me.” 
“Thank you, honey.” He beamed, ripping the golden paper. His jaw dropped at the sight of the vibrant tile inlaid into the lid of the ebony box. “This is Glagolitic.” He traced his thumb over the intricate, white letter on the red background. 
“Neoglagolitic actually.” A smile stretched her lips, and pride filled her. She knew she would stun him with her gift. “The closest thing I could find. Open it, there’s more inside.” 
He popped the lid open and stared in silence for a few moments, then picked the item in his fingers, examining the golden tie clip from every side. “I love it. How did you know?” 
“Just a hunch. Since I saw your tie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” But it was the constant, burning desire for him that had started her creativity. In the past, she certainly had not put any effort into buying presents. Nor had she ever given or received any. But now with her family, she’d spent hours scouring the malls and fighting the crowds in search for that perfect gift. Milo already couldn’t put his action figures down, Rosie’s booties fit her perfectly and would go nicely with her new winter coat, and Tadem loved her sweatshirt and matching pants.  
“This deserves extra dazzling tonight. Hope you’re up to it.” His slow wink rushed heat to her face. What was wrong with her? She never blushed at a man’s advances. 
“You have no idea just how up to it I am.” She rubbed her neck to ease her pent up passion. A walk in the cold air would help. “Let’s go.” 

Love Remains by [Jelic, Zrinka]BLURB: Olivia Owen, a busy, single, high-functioning, corporate executive officer, is not afraid to die a spinster for the sake of her career. But in an alternate reality world, bridged by the angel of her sister with Down syndrome, she meets Tom Medar, a dedicated, Croatian defense attorney who dreams of the right woman, but never has time to find her. Together, they foil an adulterous murder plot while discovering there’s room for love and family in their busy lives - but not before they are separated again.
When they awaken from their alternate world, will they be able to cross countries to find each other again?

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No, not really. Stay sexy by visiting all of the below participating blogs. 



My Sexy Holidays ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS168


Friday, October 28, 2016

My Sexy Adventure ~ @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #MySexyAuthors #Saturday7 #MSS165



Welcome to the 165th week of My Sexy Saturday.

This week’s theme: My Sexy Adventure

Readers, please visit us at our new Author Central where we’ll be sharing even more from our authors besides Saturday’s snippets. We’d love to have each and every one of you there as we’re starting new things this month with fun and prizes along the way.

This week’s theme is My Sexy Adventure. What romance isn’t a sexy adventure? 



From my newly released book "Gypsy Stone", a romantic suspense. 



 He took another sip of his wine. Her closeness and warmth worked its effect on his already primed body.  “Dario,” she said, turning to him then placed a kiss on his neck. “Make love to me. Now.”  

He swallowed, repressing the urge to strip her of her tight jeans and fitted sweater right there on the balcony. To satisfy fourteen years of drought in love making would put a great pressure on any man, but he was up to the challenge. He took her hand and pulled her to his embrace. She smelled of heaven and home, and everything he always wanted. As if recognizing the scent of her arousal, his cock sprang full mast and threatened to burst out of his pants. Easy boy.  He traced his thumb along her cheekbone and she narrowed her eyes to almost almond shape, he could still get under her skin. Cradling her head in his palm, he swayed with her to the gentle blues rhythm drifting from the speaker in his living room. His lower abdomen contracted as he brushed his thumb along her bottom lip. The stir of her breath on his face when she leaned closer set his heart into a wild race. Her lips touched his, pressing, caressing, tasting.  Drawing her closer, she wrapped one arm around his neck, deepening the kiss, and reached her other hand to his crotch. The sweet hint of wine still lingered in her mouth and incited him on.  He slipped his hands under her sweater, finding the clasps of her bra, and whispered, “This night may not end here, but I want to start fulfilling your wish on the balcony.”  “No, Dario. We spent too much time here already.” A hint of fear in her voice caused the tiny hairs on the back of his neck to stand on end. “Let’s take this to your bedroom where no one can see us." 



You can get a copy for yourselves here amazon.com/dp/B01MQ5U4JI

Stay sexy and visit all of the below participating blogs. 



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Day six of of 2016 October Frights Blog Hop - October 10-15th #paranormal #horror #giveaways



If you think that only a good horror book or movie can be scary you are probably wrong.
The following two-sentence slides prove that even the shortest stories can give you goosebumps. Some of these really made my mind race and involuntarily create my own horror story.
For example, just imagine what you would think if any of these happened to you.
Enjoy these mini stories, I’ll go to turning the lights on in the meantime…






And that's it, folks! For this year anyway. Hope you enjoyed it and got some real frights. I'll be picking a few of the winners for a copy of my soon the be released suspense romance novel "Gypsy Stone". So stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day Four of 2016 October Frights Blog Hop - October 10-15th #paranormal #horror #giveaways


Today I want to share with all of  you a very interesting story of 


The Mystery of the Ghostly Stain in the Attic of the Athens Lunatic Asylum 




Margaret Shilling was deaf, she was unable to speak, to call for help. They said she was playing hide-and-go-seek, and that she just wanted to die. She has been called Ohio’s most notorious ghost, the lost lady. Teenagers have prayed to her, broken into a building for her, lit candles to her, and lay down on the spot where her body did that famous thing—where it vanished, reportedly, and then reappeared, leaving a stain.
In 1978, Margaret Shilling (sometimes spelled Schilling) was a patient at the mental hospital in my Ohio town. Opened in 1874 as The Athens Lunatic Asylum, the hospital boasted expansive landscaped grounds, lakes and woods, even a Lovers’ Lane. It would later have a flourishing farm and orchard. It’s a beautiful campus, then and today, with a famous Kirkbride design. The main building, five stories high, had “bat wings,” as a staff member called them, flanking the sides, and scalloped porches. The campus perches on top of a hill that overlooks town, and is bordered on all sides by dark trees.
The hospital in its heyday treated thousands of patients. But by the 1970s, the patient population of the asylum in Athens had dwindled, as it had in most state mental hospitals. General hospitals were starting to admit more and more mental health patients, and those who went to state institutions like the one in Athens were often poor, unable to afford private care. As a staff member told me: “Anything could get you sent here back then.” Many patients would just stay. And stay.
One of those patients was Margaret Shilling. Patient records are sealed, inaccessible to non-family members, but this much is known of her: She was likely a long-term patient. And in December 1978, the harshest winter in years, Margaret Shilling disappeared.
Before her disappearance, Shilling had gone to the attic. The unused attic, off at the end of one of the “bat wings,” had a peaked roof and exposed rafters. Maintenance was going on at the time—more than a century old by then, the asylum needed constant upkeep—and the doors to the attic, usually closed, may have been propped open by workers who were laying down insulation. Rumors have Shilling playing a game, hiding from an orderly. Much more likely, she simply saw an open door and went through it.
And then the door closed and locked behind her.
In the 70s, many patients at the asylum had grounds privileges, coming and going freely during daylight hours. Occasionally patients would not come back on time, and they would have to be retrieved from the woods. Often, according to staff, you could see patients sleeping on and under benches on the asylum grounds. They felt comfortable there.
Shilling was reportedly one of the ones in an “open ward,” with permission to come and go, though newspaper reports claimed she had dementia. But that night in December, Shilling didn’t come back. Staff searched the hospital. They searched the woods. They searched the attic. They searched it twice. They called her name. She never answered.
This is the point where a staffer tells me some at the asylum believed Shilling might have been suicidal; she just didn’t come out. She just didn’t want to be found.
And she wasn’t, for more than six weeks. Newspaper accounts list her discoverer as a maintenance worker. Other reports claim several employees found her together; they were sent to find her, and the staff knew where she was by this time, because of the smell.
Shilling was dead in the middle of the floor in the attic room, which had reportedly been searched twice. She was naked, her clothes stacked neatly on the windowsill. It was early January of 1979, in one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, with an unprecedented 34 inches of snow that month alone.
It took awhile to move the body—the state highway patrol had to be called, the coroner—and after the body was removed, something remained.
Workers scrubbed at the concrete floor. At a certain point, they gave up. You can see in the stain where they gave up. The whiskered marks of a brush juststop, mid-sweep. You can see this because it’s still there, almost 40 years later. The stain—a white, chalky image of a torso: head, back, the beginnings of arms and thighs—is still on the concrete floor of the attic, as obvious today as it was in 1979, when they could not, did not, clean it off.
“What’s the worst rumor you’ve heard about the stain?” I was asked by staff, when I visited in September, 2015.
Easy. That it’s haunted. That a college student broke into the then-abandoned asylum (it closed in 1993), touched the stain, then, plagued by a ghost, went home and killed himself. Or herself. That was a rumor I heard repeated all over town, mostly by the college students.
There are rumors about the stain—and then there are rumors about Shilling, much worse because of their personal, exploitive nature. There were strangulation marks found on the body. She was a chain smoker. She was getting cigarettes from the orderlies in exchange for sex. Staff disputes this particular rumor, saying “she wasn’t like that”—though I am never told what she was like—besides, cigarettes were for sale at the asylum commissary.
When I search archives for newspaper coverage of Shilling’s case, there is nothing on the month of her disappearance. Really, nothing. December 1978 is gone, exercised from the microfilm in multiple copies. The librarian assisting me calls this a “more exciting workday than is typical.”
Articles in the archives do cover the discovery of Shilling’s body. It is front page news on the Ohio University student paper The Post: “Missing Patient Discovered Dead.” The article from January 12, 1979, describes “three days of intensive search of the building and grounds and weekly follow-up searches” since the December 1 disappearance. It also discusses the curfew of patients like Shilling, who could come and go from the hospital, and quotes from Sue Foster, then the hospital superintendent. “It isn’t very often we can’t track down a missing patient,” Foster says. And then she says: “Normally a discharged or AWOL patient’s records are held for only 14 days after they are gone.”
This statement raises the question: Were other patients going AWOL? How many? What was happening at the hospital in 1979? Just a few months after Shilling was found dead, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees picketed at Ohio mental health hospitals, including the one in Athens. Foster was quoted in another article about the understaffed hospital: “We’re barely making it at the moment.”
But the story about Shilling is dropped. The last article on her is dated January 16, 1979. “Still Looking” is the title. The report says there’s been “little progress,” though an autopsy is being conducted and the attic has been sealed off while the town sheriff considers his own investigation. Foster says in this article, “She was alive when she was up there. That means to me that she wanted to be up there.”
Foster doesn’t mention how the doors in the attic supposedly locked automatically from the outside.
Did the sheriff conduct an investigation? Were the autopsy findings ever released? There’s no follow-up. Because Shilling’s death occurred on state hospital grounds, the Ohio state highway patrol was required by law to investigate—but their office was unable to find the file.
Here’s what I know of Shilling, without being family, without seeing the lost or missing records: She was 53 years-old. She was married. According to one local historian, she was a mother. She was not a young, beautiful dead girl, the type that attracts journalistic attention. She died in a locked room. She died and was left alone.
Her death certificate lists natural causes, yet she was only 53. Exposure to the cold, not listed, also seems likely. Ice storms had crippled the town in the weeks before Shilling was found. The power went out. Students went sledding on cafeteria trays.
Shilling is buried, not on the asylum grounds, where many patients are interred under numbered, nameless stones, but in a small cemetery in a Southern Ohio county. When I tell a staffer, he looks sad and says he’s not surprised. “That’s where we got a lot of people from then.”
Here’s what it's known of the stain, without being a scientist: In 2008, chemistry graduate students analyzed it, publishing their findings in the Journal of Forensic Science. The stain is a mixture of chemicals, human tissue. And soap.The ghost impression of Shilling’s body etched itself into the attic floor because the stain was cleaned with toxic products, much harsher than the cleaning products used today. Tissue and soap were found in the stain because a combination of factors—temperature, humidity, and the physical chemistry of her body—caused saponification, a mundane process which means that, rather than decaying, some of the fat in her body simply turned to soap. The ghostly stain in the attic ward is simply cleaning products…and soap.
It’s not exciting. It’s not scary. It’s not even that uncommon. But it’s still there, the stain in the attic ward. It’s a reminder—and the stain has its own life now. It attracts ghost hunting TV shows. It’s featured on website after website, many of the stories inflammatory and inaccurate. People still break into the asylum, wanting to see or touch it (the main hospital building houses classrooms, studio space, and a small art gallery now, but many wards, including the attic, are closed off). A staff member suggested just cutting the damn thing out, and displaying the chunk of concrete in the lobby, in a glass case.
In October 2015, Ohio University, who came into possession of the hospital campus in the late 1980s, announced future plans to demolish several asylum buildings, which they claim are “non-contributing buildings.”
But Ward 20, like it or not, is an accidental memorial. To raze that building, to destroy the stain, would be to deny whatever happened to Margaret Shilling—and the negligence and stigma that allowed her to be lost in the first place.
I have always been drawn to Shilling because of one of the rumors about her, although not the salacious ones. What drew me in was her rumored deafness. I am deaf, born with a profound hearing loss. The deaf filled many asylums, including the one in Athens (as did “shellshock” veterans and women with what we now call postpartum depression). In a different time, with a different family, would I have been sent to an asylum?
And is it possible Shilling didn’t come out of hiding not because she wanted to die, but because she didn’t hear the searchers? Nurses told there was something different about Shilling’s speech. She had a speech impediment of sorts; she whispered everything. Did she not hear the searchers? Did they not hear her? Did she not come out because she was suicidal, or simply ill or afraid?
Or was she too medicated? This was the age of Thorazine, the first generation of anti-psychotic drugs, which were extremely strong and sometimes had devastating side effects. Many patients were heavily drugged, shuffling around in a fog. Was Shilling?
“She was a relatively quiet patient,” Foster, the superintendent at the time, said.
Here’s what I know, what I know for sure: You don’t need to see the stain in the attic ward. You don’t need to touch it. If you want to feel something, don’t even bother going up the old hospital steps.
Turn to the back of the campus. Stay on the grounds. Go to the graveyards. There are five cemeteries holding the graves of hundreds of people who died in the asylum, most identified only by numbers. If you want to feel afraid, feel sadness for those lives, those lost lives: people whose deaths weren’t investigated, who don’t get newspaper articles written about them, or tours led to them, or stories (even lies) told about them.
These are the people who were left. People who spent their whole lives in an asylum. People who were misunderstood and sometimes, misdiagnosed. If you want to touch something, touch one of their numbers. Leave flowers, light candles for them, the ones nobody came back for, the ones no one will claim.
Alison Stine’s first YA novel SUPERVISION was published by HarperVoyager. Also the author of three books of poetry, she lives in the Appalachian foothills.
Illustration by Bobby Finger, source image via Sarah Hina/Flickr