OTHERNATURALS Series by Christina Harlin
Book One: POSSESSED
Description:When a ghost-hunting episode of the popular paranormal web series Othernaturals goes bad, two cast members quit, and Othernaturals producer, telepathic Rosemary Sharpe, finds herself carrying the ghost of an axe murderer on her shoulder. Now she must hire two new members for her team before her show moves on to investigate a haunted dormitory at a state university, all the while keeping her angry companion at bay. Disgraced psychic Andrew Fletcher and renowned healer Kaye Whittington sign on, joining Rosemary’s team that includes an animal empath and his traveling companion Vladimir the cat, a psychic vampire who is more cheerleader than bloodsucker, and a haunted medium who shares head space with his best friend who died twenty years ago. Even the show’s director can see ghosts. Rosemary’s philosophy is that the supernatural doesn’t need to be real, as long as her viewers believe that it is, but her own extra passenger has other ideas about avenging himself on the team that abducted him from his haunting grounds – and on any innocent spirit they may encounter. But Rosemary inherited her famous rock star grandfather’s powerful telepathic ability to control a room. An evil spirit has attached itself to her, but exactly which one of them is in the possession of the other? Passions and paranoia are all part of the package, when filming an un-reality show. Possessed is the exciting first book in the new series by Christina Harlin, author of paranormal thrillers Never Alone and Deck of Cards and the romantic adventures of legal secretary Carol Frank in the “Boss” series. In addition to the book itself, the Othernaturals series also has a website that includes pictures, ghost stories, additional information about the characters, and some fun things for fans.
Review: OTHERNATURALS BOOK ONE POSSESSED by Christina Harlin
Oh, I love this series, and I'm so glad it was recommended to me. Anything paranormal, anything supernatural, and I am so onboard. No need for suspension of disbelief here <smile>. Book One, POSSESSED, introduces us to the cast of a supernatural web show, OTHERNATURALS. The 7 members, including producers Rosemary and Greg, all have "talents" ( although occasionally the talents involved lie in emoting rather than in actual contact with the Spirit World). But like air, the Other Side is present and affecting us despite our lack of awareness, so occasionally Rosemary, Greg, Stefan & Brentley, Judge, Sally, Oliver, and Kelly, stumble into actual phenomena. After Season Four and the departure of Oliver and Kelly, two new cast members, Andrew and Kaye, prove to be an electrifying jump start to the new adventures. Sure doesn't hurt that Rosemary, incredibly telepathic, concludes the final episode attached to a multiply-murderous century-old ghost.
The team from the popular paranormal webshow "Othernaturals" returns: Rosemary the telepath; Andrew the psychic; Stefan the medium with his ghostly best friend Brentley; Sally the vampire; Kaye the healer; Greg the ghost-spotter; Judge the animal empath; and Judge’s cat, team mascot Vladimir.
OTHERNATURALS BOOK TWO: LUCID by Christina Harlin
The promise of this delightful new series carries through in the second entry, LUCID. The OTHERNATURALS web show team investigates, at medium Stefan' s suggestion, a lucid dreamer in Southwestern Missouri--an agriculturalist and professor, who has suffered for a decade in near-constant pain and guilt from a fatal accident. On the way, they work with a "cursed acre," literally cursed; then on the tomato farm operated by Stefan' s online friend, the cast adventures into the realms of Lucid dreaming and of dream control. One of the most intriguing themes is that of the fervent "opposition," a local mover and shaker with plenty of her own axes to grind.
Ghosts, hauntings, possessions, or curses. These paranormal investigators have seen them all. But this time, the subject of their investigation is something new. A tomato farm in the small town of Clancy is the site of a mysterious brand of telepathy: anyone who sleeps there experiences the same dream of a white wolf. The dreamer, accident-survivor Ivy Robbins, has the ability to pull others into her dreamscape where they can share this other world with her and all others who are drawn in. In the dream world, there are no rules. All things are possible. Fantasies are played out and passions indulged, fears come to life, and no secret remains one for long.
Hidden in the heart of southern Missouri, Clancy does not welcome paranormal investigators. A local church group, their angry leader pushing her own vengeful agenda, will do whatever it can to drive the Othernaturals out of town, including dredging up scandalous rumors of Andrew’s past. Andrew knows all too well that no good deed comes without a price.
Heedless of price or danger, Rosemary Sharpe lets nothing stop her from producing her show and pursuing answers, not the pleas of a ghost who wishes only to put his grieving mother at ease, nor threats from the the evil spirit of the axe-murderer Rosemary still holds trapped in the corner of her mind. As she and her team explore ever deeper into the strange world of their dreaming hostess, they grow ever closer to truly knowing each other.
Guest Post by Author Christina Harlin:
Moving the Magnets
By Christina Harlin
Like a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear, what is a ghost when there is no one to believe? Aside from stoking our fear of the unknown, how much harm can a ghost really do? Ghosts are usually described as apparitions that interact with the world only minimally. Perhaps they can throw things, make noise, disrupt currents or spread feelings of distress or desolation. They may be no more aware of humans than we are of them. They’re not the real culprits when it comes to fright.
When I decided to write the Othernaturals series of paranormal investigation adventures, I knew only what a few entertaining TV shows told me about ghost hunting. So I did some legwork, accompanied by Jake, who is my son and also my research assistant. We went to haunted places, listened to their stories, and explored their corners. I never saw a single ghost. Evocative storytellers and local legends put fear into me, not spirits from another plane. I was jumpy as a cat most of the time.
The Glore Psychiatric Museum is a chilling collection of relics from the St. Joseph State Hospital, an asylum once housing as many as 3000 patients from the depressed to the criminally insane. Now, it is said, a well-dressed ghost stalks the third floor, a woman’s cries can be heard by tour groups, and unseen inhabitants banter in the morgue. On a Sunday afternoon we were primed with these tales by the grinning volunteer working the front desk, when he learned we had come for the ghost stories.
"Be careful on the second floor," he warned us.
There, surrounded by unsettling art created by schizophrenics and psychotics, I rounded a corner into a room that I thought empty. Inside a young couple stood so still that they seemed part of a display, until they turned quietly and spoke to each other. I barely stopped myself from shrieking out loud. That scare was thanks to the mischievous old man at the front desk.
The Vaile Mansion in Independence, Missouri is the former mansion of Colonel Henry Vaile. Historic tours of the grand home are available. We joined a group of sophisticated history buffs. The mansion is known for its incredible assortment of antiques, such as the massive and amazing lawyer’s desk designed for the Colonel: a law office unto itself, which could be transported by train.
There are ghost stories attached to the place. Mrs. Vaile herself is said to walk the halls.
Upstairs, our knowledgeable guide said, “This room has a ghost, but they really don’t like me talking about it on tours.” Unanimously, the group begged him to tell the story. He feigned reluctance, then his voice dropped to a whisper and he told us of the spectral lady who hanged herself from the chandelier. The chandelier continues to hang crookedly to this day, as if an invisible weight dangles from it.
Jake and I joined a rambunctious group on a Halloween tour of the infamous Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas. The mood was infectious and spirits were high—no pun intended. A true believer, our guide warned us that hundreds of ghosts lurked therein. She said the house had been "angry" lately. Once inside, ready to be sucked into supernatural central, tourists swooned with dizziness and nausea, felt presences, and saw orbs of light covering each other and moving orbs of light in the bedrooms.
They observed Sallie's doll in its carriage by the door, which moved when no one was looking! The magnets on the refrigerator moved too, while everyone was in the basement conducting an experiment in pitch darkness—everyone except me, the one who volunteered to stay alone in the kitchen and flip the light switch when they were ready.
We needed no ghosts descending the staircase or grasping from the basement’s cavern. We invented our own scares, feeding on each other's fear. Judging by the shrieks and laughter, everyone had a fantastic time, not because there were ghosts in the house, but because we believed there could be ghosts in the house.
On our way home, Jake turned to me and said, "I have to admit something: I moved the doll's arm."
"That's all right," I said sheepishly. "I moved the refrigerator magnets."
Don't think me too childish. When writing a story, moving the magnets myself is the entire point.
Belief in ghosts requires no actual ghosts. Noticing things that support our viewpoint, and ignoring things that do not, is human nature. My house is only nine years old and no deaths have occurred inside, but if I chose to believe it haunted, I could find the evidence. A perfectly eerie little family cemetery is just up the hill. My front door open and closes by itself. My cat often looks with great interest at things I cannot see. We lose small, important objects. Shadows move on the walls of the front hallway. With enough belief, whether my house is haunted or not ceases to matter. I could redecorate in gloomy colors and offer tours. Enthusiastic guests would come inside prepared to be confronted with the supernatural. They would likely find it.
Othernaturals’ telepath Rosemary is fond of saying, “Belief gets us halfway there.” Only halfway? I may have to convince her that she’s underestimating.
Christina Harlin is the author of supernatural thrillers, including the new Othernaturals series, which follows the adventures of a team of ghost hunters with otherworldly talents, passions and secrets.
Harlin is a lifelong resident of Missouri, and has drawn from her own experiences while writing, often using the Kansas City area as a backdrop. Ever since childhood, she has viewed her environment as a fascinating world there to investigate, teeming with beautiful and eerie stories. Harlin is dedicated to soaking up local flair, and is constantly seeking out spooky ghost stories of the southern Midwest. Her adventures are far from over…and her Othernaturals series is just beginning.
Lucid is available for purchase on the website above and Amazon.com