Saturday, November 29, 2014

Author Interview with Harry Wegley

Christmas is coming. Books make wonderful presents. Just a friendly reminder. I try to help followers of this "Writing with God's Hope" blog to choose books wisely. On Dec. 10, I'll post my list of recommendations.

I've been blessed to have many super authors as guests the last few weeks. Today, I wish to introduce you to thriller/suspense author, Harry Wegley. I've read books by him and found them fascinating and thought-provoking. I asked him several questions so that you, and I, might get better acquainted with him as a person. So, here we go ...

 1. Harry, tell us a little about your writing journey.

As a research scientist, I suppose you could say I wrote professionally for several years. But my writing fiction began in the USAF when my wife and I were too broke to do much of anything. I got her hooked on Zane Grey books and, while she read, I wrote some short stories. They were awful – 3 paragraphs of telling and 2 lines of dialogue. Fast forward 40 years – I wrote my first novel in 2010, Hide and Seek, and writing that story was more than fun. It was fulfilling and exhilarating. But reality slapped my face when I had it critiqued and had to rewrite it. I attended some conferences, took classes, had it critiqued again, and rewrote it a second time. 18 months after the first draft, Hide and Seek won a contract. I now have a series of 4 contracted books and am finishing my 8th novel.


2. Congratulations. That's an inspiring story. Did you ever feel like giving up?  And how did you press through this?

I’ve never felt like giving up on writing, but I nearly gave up on publishing Hide and Seek. I went on to a second novel, On the Pineapple Express. The draft weighed in at 105K words. I submitted it and got a bite, but the acquisitions editor wanted it reduced to more like 65K words. I almost gave up on this story too, because of the effort to retell a shorter story, but that’s when I got the contract for Hide and Seek. For me, giving up on writing was never the issue, but giving up on a story has been an issue several times.

3. How did you come upon the title for your latest release?

My wife and I were joking about my heroine being a triple threat, beauty, brains, and brawn, the 3 B’s. Then I mentioned the 3 attack vectors used by terrorists in my story, cyber warfare, biological warfare, and forest fires.  My wife latched onto Triple Threat and it stuck.


4. How do you feel this book will help readers?

In a society that has become pluralistic over the past 60 years, we have probably all discovered that it’s much harder to defend our Christian worldview against attacks out in the marketplace of ideas than it is to sit back in our fortresses—our churches and friends— and take long-range pot shots at someone else’s beliefs. It’s intimidating to think about preparing to give a reason for our faith to anyone who asks, but that’s exactly what our Lord asks us to do. I tried to show some good ways of doing this, in the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15, through my heroine, Katie Brandt. Over the course of the story, she refutes nearly every major objection to the Christian faith. Though she has an IQ of 180+, we can all use the simple facts and approaches she uses to defend her faith, approaches that look for the underlying questions and needs residing in the hearts of our audience.


5. Any other writing-related careers that we will find on your resume?

In your first question, I mentioned that I worked as a research scientist. I researched a variety of problems in atmospheric physics, everything from diffusion of effluents from nuclear power plants to wind energy. If you google H L Wegley, you’ll see several references to me in the scientific literature related to siting wind turbines.


6. If your life resembled a song, what would that song be?

I think it would be a funny, lighthearted, country song that, I believe, BJ Thomas sang, Help Me Make It to My Rocking Chair. It expresses what we all need in our spouses, and it does so in a humorous but, in my case, fairly accurate manner. After 48 years of marriage, I found someone to help me make it to my rocking chair and, at this point in our lives, that chair is sitting right in front of us. Please don’t try to find any great spiritual message in this answer. You probably won’t. But if you’re interested in this musical masterpiece, here’s a link to the lyrics and the song:


 7. Anything more you'd like to add? 

Thank you for hosting me, Janet. If anyone has weather-related questions, especially for your writing, please feel free to contact me for weather stats, realistic scenarios, storm info, etc.. You can message Harry Wegley on Facebook. I have been known to do custom forecasts for people, upon request, but only if they promise not to sue. J


 8. How can readers find you?

Here are a few of my web links:

Author Web site:


H. L. Wegley has been a USAF Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer, performed weather research, and published in the scientific literature. After earning an advanced Computer-Science degree, he developed computing systems for 20+ years, then retired to write. He has a contracted 4-book, Christian, thriller/suspense series with Pelican Book Group. The 4th book released in November 2014. He’s currently finishing his 8th novel.


Brilliant, beautiful, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, detects a deadly conspiracy. Suspecting it's only the tip of an iceberg, she dives in, pulling fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation of a cyber-terrorist plot. Damaged by the foster-care system, Katie takes huge risks to win acceptance and love. But when she risks Josh’s life, an agnostic, who isn’t prepared to die, she fears her mistake might have eternal consequences for Josh, a mistake that could break Katie's heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh.

Will Katie and Josh survive the investigation? If they do, can they ever span the chasm of divergent worldviews that separates them? How can they awaken a dozing nation to a three-pronged danger that threatens its very existence?

Triple Threat, an adventure that spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow's paper, but pray you never will.


Triple Threat purchase links:


Barnes & Noble:

Pelican Book Group:

Sounds like a winner, Harry. Can't wait to take another ride with Katie. She's quite a heroine, the kind we'd all like to be. 

 I enjoyed getting acquainted with you. Who knew we had our very own weather expert. We may be calling on you.  Anyone have a comment or question now? Click on post a comment below.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Cover Reveal of Worth Her Weight

How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God's love and healing when she believes she's fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Is she Worth Her Weight?

 Brown's debut inspirational women's fiction. Available for preorder before Christmas at
Watch for the date.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I wish to thank everyone who has followed or viewed any of my blog posts in 2014. Thank you to all my faithful readers. You light up my world.

And thanks be to God, from who all blessing flow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Ghost Tale from Fort Sill, Oklahoma and a Book Giveaway

It's Weird Wednesday  on Writing with God's Hope blog. A few weeks ago, I told you a legend from Fort Sill, Oklahoma near my home. Today, I offer another tale. To remind you this one also comes from the book, The Ghost of Fort Sill, by Robert R. Hiatt. It was published in 1989 with over thirty ghost sightings from the old fort.


Today, my story is called “The Phantom Child of Quarters 424 East.” Sightings about this ghost were reported in the 1950s, 1960, and up to the 1980s.


On one occasion, the lady of the house hosted a card party attended by wives of other officers. During this middle-of the-afternoon party, she heard a baby crying. She assumed one of the ladies had brought her child who had now awakened.


“Whose child is that?” she asked.


No one had brought a child. All the ladies heard the sound. The crying continued and disturbed their fun. Finally, they went as a group upstairs and determined the sound was coming from the middle bedroom. The lady of the house opened the door. The room was empty. The crying stopped.


Near this period of time, a workman was inside this same house doing maintenance. A child crying unsettled him while he worked. He searched the empty house but found nothing.


Who knows? The story goes that a child was lost going to the out house and froze to death. The base tore down the out house in December, 1929. From then on, stories of hearing the crying have cropped up every few years.
Just another Weird Wednesday ghost story? Maybe, maybe not.
Next Wednesday, I'll tell you another from this book, so drop back by when it's Weird Wednesday, again.
I tried last week to host a Rafflecopter book giveaway, but because of my lack of tech-savvy, I never got it working correctly. The only way you could enter was to tweet about it, and many didn't use Twitter. I wish to thank Amy Cattapan for pressing through and tweeting to be the only one who entered for a chance to win a free copy of Victoria and the Ghost. Thanks to her perseverance, she wins a free book.
However, today, I wish to extend another chance to others to win a free copy of Victoria and the Ghost in time to give it for a Christmas gift.
All you must do to enter is leave a comment below, giving your e-mail address, so I can notify you if you win. I will draw a name after midnight on December 2 and announce the winner on Weird Wednesday next week.
So comment now and check out Weird Wednesday again on Dec. 3.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Interview with MG Author, Mary Hamilton

My special guest is middle-grade author, Mary Hamilton. When I met Mary at ACFW conference in 2012, I fell in love with her sweet spirit. I read her debut novel, and that made me hungry to read the second in the series. She has the voice and heart of the preteen/early teen. In Speak No Evil her characters are a couple years older.

    If you ever went to summer church camp, you will relive those years in her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series, both the good and the bad.

     If you have a middle-grade student on your Christmas list, this is a must-buy for a stocking stuffer.

     So, now I have some questions for Mary, so that you might meet her, too, and learn about her new book, Speak No Evil.

1. When was the last time you wanted to give up on writing? What saved you from doing that?

I’ve wanted to give up many times in the last few months as I’ve worked on the last book in my Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. It was a difficult story that I struggled with all the way through. The only reason I didn’t quit was because I had a contract to honor.


 2. Ah, yes, those pesky contracts that we both love and hate. Where did you get the idea of your new book?

When Hear No Evil, the first book in the series came out, I received many comments that the bully in the story was very relevant to today’s youth. So I decided to make him the star of the second book. I wanted to figure out what made him tick, why he acted the way he did.


3. Who is your favorite character from your new book?

I’ve developed a great fondness for Taylor, the main character. When I first started writing his story, I didn’t particularly like him. He was, after all, a bully. But the more I wrote and got to know what was in his heart and the hurt he was hiding, the more I came to love him. He reminds me of a couple people I know who are rough around the edges and kind of prickly at times, but inside they have a good heart.


4. If you could be a song, what would it be?

I would like to be any one of the great hymns, because they are enduring, meaningful, and their whole purpose is to praise our God.


5. In what place do you do most of your writing?

If I’m working on a first draft, I’m usually closeted in one of our upstairs bedrooms away from telephones and noise and our attention-loving Golden Retriever. If I’m rewriting, I’m either at the kitchen table or out on the patio (with the dog!).


6. What book are you reading right now?

I just finished Red Zone by Kelli Hughett. It’s a romantic suspense played out on the edges of professional football. I highly recommend it.


7. How did you connect with your current publisher?

I met Lynellen Perry of HopeSprings books at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. We sat across the table from each other at breakfast the last morning, when I’d pretty much given up on getting my first book published. Obviously, God had a different idea!

What a wonderful inspiring story for other still unpublished authors who are getting discouraged.


Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. One summer, she even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.


Connect with Mary:



Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain to go so deep.

At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction? Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?



I love the cover, Mary. Of course, I love Mustangs. The book is good.

Do any of you have questions or comments for Mary?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2 More Ghost Stories from Deb Hockenberry

Children's author, Deb Hockenberry, visits us again on Writing with God's Hope blog. She has two more ghost stories about her mother's haunted bedroom. After all, it is Weird Wednesday.
A few weeks ago, Deb spun a tale involving people marching across her mother's bedroom in the home near Gettysburg, PA. She returns today to tell us two more "weird" happenings. Thank you, Deb.
One Christmas I was staying with Mom and slept in that same bedroom. I was having trouble getting to sleep. I heard loud footsteps on the stairs leading to the living room which was right off my mother’s bedroom. Slowly, they came up the stairs.
Mom heard them, too, but she also saw something. The person wore a short blue coat that came down close to his knees. Mom thought it was my brother.
When she questioned him about it, he assured her it wasn’t him. To this day I’m convinced it was a Union Soldier who was still on guard duty.

Once again, this time at Easter, I was at home in Gettysburg for a visit along with my sister-in-law's parents. In the middle of the night, we were all awakened by horses snorting, the metal in their bridles clanging, and marching through the house.
Oh, my, Deb, you are full of ghost stories. I love it. What an exciting place to visit, obviously.
 I wish Deb well with her upcoming children's book soon to be released by 4RV Publishing.
 Find her at
She has wonderful helps for new writers, so be sure to seek out her site.
One more thing, Deb, will you return another Weird Wednesday to tell us another Gettsburg story?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Giveaway This Week Only



Sign up now through Nov. 25. This would make a great gift for a teen or adult just in time for Christmas.

    At fifteen, Victoria, a city girl, loses her mother’s love and copes with country isolation, no friends and no one who cares, until she meets a ghost.

     When her mother leaves the family to become a Dallas trophy wife, Victoria’s dad moves her and her sister to a North Texas farm to herd cattle and raise chickens. Refusing to believe this is more than a temporary set-back, Victoria tries to make new friends which isn’t an easy task. The first one stabs her in the back with gossip and a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, her new stepsister takes Victoria’s place in her mother’s heart. Rejection and anger stalk Victoria like a rattlesnake in the cemetery. Good thing she makes friends with a ghost and through him, a good-looking teenaged cowboy." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Visit with Eleanor Gustafson

Don't you just love meeting new people? Today, you and I are getting acquainted with Eleanor Gustafson, a Christian author who loves horses. I can't see a thing wrong with that, can you?

Eleanor, tells us about yourself.

Why am I a writer instead of a church organist somewhere? My mother loved music and was herself an organist, and when I finally decided to be an organ major at Wheaton College—instead of taking up veterinary medicine at Cornell—she jumped for joy. (Well, maybe not literally.)


I came out of college being able to play the organ respectably, but marrying one of my horsemanship students who also played the organ (more anon on that) set me on an entirely different course.


Though she would be sad to hear it, you can blame my mother for my current writing track. As she read stories to me every night before bed, I soaked in Story, and that seems to have had even more influence than my chewing the piano while Mom and siblings sang. My teeth marks are probably still there.


Even though Story won out in the end, music continued its influence. My first novel, Appalachian Spring, is titled after a classical piece by Aaron Copeland and contains the melody for the familiar “Simple Gifts.”


Leaping ahead, my husband Jim and I just celebrated our 50 years as tree farmers in Vermont. No, not Christmas trees; just a large forest that we have thinned, pruned, logged, and made maple syrup. A tree farm became the setting for my second novel, Wild Harvest, in which a modern girl meets a boy of 1796 over a stone wall in Vermont. A time travel.


The next three books showcase my passion for God. Well, I guess all of them do. Middle Night is a rough, raw book that few have liked, but it powerfully dramatizes the gospel, using no religious language or known religions. A good story, but I got carried away, balancing off a superbly good God with terrible evil on the other side. True to life, as we are seeing every day, but not fiction to curl up on a couch with.


The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David puts flesh on the bones of history. Eugene Peterson endorsed that one, as did other Old Testament notables. David has always been my biblical hero, and I had to write his story.


My most recent novel, Dynamo, showcases not only my passion for horses, but also my deep fervor for our sovereign God. He will do what he wants, when he wants to, in order to accomplish His will. Dynamo is a nasty but extraordinarily beautiful five-gaited stallion. His trainer, Jeth, pours his heart into preparing him to show, but at the same time, God is training Jeth to become an extraordinary servant. A page-turner, on most accounts.


God has trained me, as well, using multiple influences—Story, music, horses, Wheaton College, marriage, tree farming, writers’ conferences, relationships…….and the list goes on. My husband, by the way, is now our church organist. I can’t play the instrument anymore, but I can still write.


Story is my game.


Back cover:   Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob's jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.

Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God's hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, "Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I'm being set up for something."

He is, indeed. Jeth's life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.

This story is God in your face: Who is He, really? What does He ask of us

Born and brought up in Branchville NJ (population 1000), Eleanor Gustafson branched out in several directions.

·         Graduated from Wheaton College, IL.

·        Involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager.

·         Done horses, house construction (including our house, a tepee and log play house), music, Christian camp programming, tree farming (as in logging, firewood, maple syrup), gardening, but, alas, minimal house cleaning!

·         Love to laugh.

·         Love homemade bread, hot out of the oven.

I started publishing fiction and nonfiction in 1978, the most recent novel being Dynamo. I love to write. One major writing goal has been to bring scriptural principles to full-color life for today’s readers through strong characters and dialogue. Let me know if you think I’ve accomplished that.

I will, Eleanor, I will. Since hearing your voice through your words and reading about your books, especially the new one, Dynamo, I'm eager to read your "stories," and I will let you know if you've accomplished your goal. Anyone out there that's already read some of Eleanor's "stories?" Leave a comment and let the rest of us know.
Eleanor, tell us where we can find out more about you and your books.







Thank you for being my guest today. Can't wait for my copy of Dynamo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Ghost Tour of Granbury, Texas

In honor of Weird Wednesday, here's a story about a recent experience I had and the strange tales I heard.

Map showing Granbury, TX marked with the G

My husband and I took a fascinating ghost legend tour. The setting was historic Granbury southwest of Fort Worth. (See map. FYI I live in Wichita Falls to the north) Downtown consists of a square around a beautiful court house. Gift shops and snack places line one side. An opera house and restaurant holds down another side. A theatre with exciting music is the focus on yet another side. The fourth includes the Nut House Hotel.
The Nut House Hotel


Our guide is dressed in period costume to set the mood. His knowledge of Granbury’s history and ghosts is phenomenal. He keeps us enthralled for about an hour.


The Nut House Hotel is of particular interest. A long-ago cook, named Mary Lou Watkins lived in room four. Ask anyone who has stayed there. She’s still there in spirit.


On the right front corner looking from the court house, we learned about a ghost that leaves playing cards to remind others that he’s still around.


Our guide told us about John Wilkes Booth. He lived for awhile in Granbury. His ghost still shows up at the opera house.


The ghost of Indian Joe makes appearances at the jail on the back right corner. We shudder as we watch him swing from the noose.


A girl lost her life leaning too far over a balcony. We look up at that balcony. The tension is strong. We almost hear the circus that she wanted so badly to see. Often, this faceless girl appears in the window.


If you’re interested, here’s the link about the ghost tour.


They don’t guarantee you’ll see a ghost, but not many that walk that square with the guide, Boots Hubbard, miss spotting some spooky sites.


Don’t forget to get your ghost sucker when you leave.

Have any of you went on a ghost tour before? Heard a ghost? Remember a local legend? If so, please contact me. Weird Wednesday on the Writing with God's Hope blog is always looking for new stories.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Word from Pen-L Publishing, Publisher of Divine Dining

Me with Duke & Kimberly at OWFI in May, 2013
For the first time on "Writing with God's Hope" blog, I have the opportunity to welcome my own publisher, Pen-L Publishing Company. Duke and Kimberly Pennell know the inside scoop on Janet K. Brown, Author and on publishing in general.
Now, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.
Tying the Knot: “I Do” or “Oh No You Don’t”?


From Pen-L Publishing, Duke and Kimberly Pennell

When we first met Janet, back in July of 2012, we were only five months into our publishing experience. She took a chance with us and we were thrilled. Since then, her book, Divine Dining has inspired many to create a new and happy relationship with food and their bodies. It’s worked out well for both of us. Janet is a great example of a professional writer. She writes most of the time (she and her husband do have the travel bug to feed) and promotes constantly. She loves to talk and teach and learn and she’s kind, committed, and flexible. No wonder we’re soon publishing a second book with her! Worth Her Weight is a love story about overcoming through friendship and faith, due out late this year.

One thing we’ve learned since early 2012 is that no two writers are alike. That means some are a joy to work with, some are fine, and some are, well, “challenging.” That’s not to say that they’re not good people, just that they’re an uncomfortable fit for us. We’ve learned from experience to get to know our authors a bit before offering them a contract, and to be specific about what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. We’ve found that this makes it much more likely that it will be a happy experience for everyone involved.

One day, it occurred to us that working with our authors is a bit like being married. After nearly thirty years of the give and take of a relationship, we’re found both have many opportunities to stand firm, give in, or find compromise, depending on the moment. Surely the best way to ensure a happy pairing of any kind is to:

·         spell out what you expect from the other party

·         know what you are willing to do to achieve your goal

·         communicate your wants and willingness

·         ask for the other party’s expectations

·         look for any mismatches and discuss

·         don’t assume everything will work itself out!


The thrill of knowing that someone has chosen you to partner with – whether your sweetheart or a publisher – has been known to suspend people’s rational thought. But this is the time you need it most. Don’t say “I do” until you know the match is a good fit. If it isn’t, hold out for someone who is.

Remember, there are no stupid questions – don’t assume things will be the way you envision them – ask. And ask yourself important questions too – where do you want to be in your writing career/marriage in five years? Ten? Twenty? Make sure your intended has a similar picture of the future.

So if the day comes when you are considering entering into a contract – marriage or publishing – give some time to examining the expectations of both partners. It will help you avoid much stress, disappointment and frustration, and help create a more peaceful union.

Make sure your “I do!” doesn’t become a “Why didn’t I?”

Wonderful advice for prospective brides and groom, and new writers searching a fit for their book. Thank you for a wonderful, insightful article, Duke & Kim.

I remember that first visit with Duke when I pitched my devotion book, Divine Dining. Like most authors pitching to a publisher at a conference, my knees were knocking, and my heart was galloping, but Duke was kind, professional, and receptive to the idea. I was ecstatic. After a few weeks, I received a contract, and my relationship with Pen-L began.

If you're looking for a chance with a small, traditional press, I recommend Pen-L The company has grown since the early days of 2012. They've hired editors and cover designers. They've moved  more into promotion. But, they maintain the friendly, small-group atmosphere.

Here's a few books Pen-L wishes to highlight today.

Thank you again, Duke and Kimberly.
Do any of you have questions for Kim and Duke? Click on "post a comment" and ask away. You have their ear now, and that doesn't often happen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Ghost Story by Mary L. Hamilton

It's Weird Wednesday, again. Eek!

My good friend and wonderful author, Mary L. Hamilton has a "weird" ghost story for us today.

The Ghost in the…Bathroom?

The sound of water running in the downstairs bathroom halted my steps on the stairway landing above. It wasn’t the first time I’d discovered the water running with no one around. I’d always blamed it on the kids, thinking my son forgot to turn off the faucet in his rush to get back outside with his friends. Or my little daughter, just tall enough to push the lever up to wash her hands but too short to pull it down when she finished. I’d always imagined a reasonable explanation.

Until now. 

There was no explanation—reasonable or otherwise—for water to be gushing into the sink in that bathroom. The kids and I had played games in the family room downstairs all evening. At bedtime, we passed that bathroom on our way up to their rooms. No water was running then, and no one had been down there since. The kids were all in bed and accounted for. So why should the faucet be running full blast?

My pulse raced right alongside my imagination. Is some psychopath down there waiting to kill us? Should I call the police and tell them the water is running in my downstairs bathroom? No, I’ll call my next-door neighbor, ask him to come over and check out the house for me. Except, I’d have to go get my phone. Which I’d left in the family room. Downstairs.

  Okay, seriously, if somebody wanted to kill me, he probably wouldn’t lure me downstairs by turning on the bathroom faucet and waiting for me to notice. I grab my son’s baseball bat anyway, just in case, and silently descend the first six steps. The bathroom is at the bottom on the left–the bathroom where the water is still running. I flip a switch, illuminating the family room below and take two more steps down. The water continues to run. Another step. 

    Holding my breath, I peek into an empty family room before descending the next step. I swallow my heart that’s pounding in my throat. One more step. My sweaty hands twist the bat and I raise it over my head as I reach the bottom. The water is still running.

I consider uttering a battle cry as I burst in swinging, but first I peek between the hinges…a little further…around the door until I see–

Nobody. Just water gushing full blast into the sink. I slam the lever down, take the first three steps in one leap, race up the rest of the stairs and hide the bat under my pillow.

My husband always manages to be out of town when things happen—floods, tornadoes, fires, ghosts. When he calls, I casually ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“What kind of question is that?”

 I explain what happened, but since I’ve never mentioned the earlier episodes of running water to him, he’s skeptical.

 “There has to be a logical explanation for it,” he says.   

 Of course, there is.  Like a psycho killer who lures his victims downstairs by turning on the faucet. I think I’m more comfortable with the ghost explanation–a ghost who likes to wash his hands.

  Weeks later, Hubby comes down to breakfast, looking a mite sheepish.

  “I couldn’t sleep last night,” he says, “so I went downstairs to read. All of a sudden, the water came on in the bathroom, running full blast into the sink. I knew no one had gone in there, because I was sitting facing the bathroom. I would’ve seen them. I don’t blame you for being scared. I was scared.”

    “Oh!” I said. “So you met Caspar.”

     “Caspar?” he asked.

      “Of course.  Caspar the Cleanly Ghost.”


Author’s Note: This story actually happened. We never did figure out exactly what caused the water to come on. Our best guess was that water pressure from the upstairs bathroom would build up to a point where it would force open the valve on the downstairs faucet. But, we thought it was much more fun to believe it was a ghost who liked to wash his hands.

Oh, I love that, Mary. Thanks so much for your story. Aren't ghosts fun? I like your Caspar.

Mary L. Hamilton is the author of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for tweens. She grew up at a Bible camp, much like the setting for Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil, the first two books in the series.

She and her husband raised three terrific kids and make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever. But no ghosts.

Connect with Mary:


Let me say I highly recommend either of Mary's tween books. She is an excellent writer, really has down the voice of the tween, and knows her Bible camps. If you've ever gone to a camp as a kid, you'll love these books.

If you have a ghost story, let us know and don't forget to check out Mary L. Hamilton's books.