Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haunted Writer Retreat

Tia Dani is a multi-published writing team made up of good friends, Tia Eaton and Dani Petrone. Together they create endearing and realistic characters, humorous dialogue, and unusual settings, and, best of all…they’re having the time of their lives. There's a giveaway, so be sure to keep reading and leave a comment I'll announce the winner on Thursday, so you have plenty of time to pass the word!

First of all, Terry, thank you for inviting us to Terry’s Place. We’re excited to be here visiting with you and your readers. In appreciation we are giving away a CD of our book, Color of Dreams, to one reader who leaves a comment.

As a writer sometimes you just need to get away and re-charge your brain cells. The best way we light a fire under our dormant muse is to hang out with like-minded friends, brainstorming, eating chocolate and drinking wine. We do this several times a year by going on a weekend retreat at a fun place in our state. And nowhere is more fun to us than staying in a hotel that is supposedly haunted. For us as writers the fun of delving into ghost lore comes from learning the story behind the haunting and then exaggerating it to another level.


One of our favorite places to visit is Jerome, AZ. Jerome is an old mining town set on the side of a mile-high mountain. The timeworn, crumbling buildings are now home to mostly artists who sell their work in the shops lining the main street. Jerome is a wonderful little town to purchase gifts of sparkly jewelry, scented candles, lovely paintings and beautiful handmade clothing. And when you get hungry you must stop in the Haunted Hamburger for lunch, but be sure to save room for dinner. The Asylum, the dining room in the Jerome Grand Hotel features mouth-watering entrees and a great wine list. Besides, you never know who might drop in to say ‘hello’ while you’re dining there. Local legend tells the story of a lady who roams the building looking for her daughter who died at birth.




Last October a group from our local RWA chapter reserved the entire third floor of the Jerome Grand Hotel, which sits on top of the mountain. This Spanish mission style building, constructed in 1926, started out as the United Verde Hospital. In 1930, it was known as the most modern and well equipped hospital in Arizona and possibly the Western States. In 1950 as the mine operation was being phased out, the hospital was closed and the building remained vacant for 44 years. In 1994 the building was sold and the new owners turned it into the Jerome Grand Hotel. When the hotel doors were opened in 1997, the haunting began.

“What makes the Jerome Grand Hotel a worthwhile place to stay, is the fact that this is probably one of the most active haunted locations in the world,” according to www.ghostlyfavorites.com.

As we checked into the hotel we were told stories of strange noises coming from empty rooms such as coughing, labored breathing, and even voices. We were told not to be surprised if the lights or TV's turned on and off by themselves. As we made our way toward our room, our spines tingled in anticipation of a ghostly encounter. Several in our party felt cold spots in the hallway and there were reports of strange sensations.


On Saturday night, the Jerome Grand took our group on a fun ghost hunt where we got some great orb pictures. We didn’t see any ghosts while on the tour, but some creepy events happened to us after we went to bed. Our room phone rang at midnight waking us up, but when answered, no one was there. The ringing phone was a bit spooky, but the scariest of all was the feeling of panic Dani had as unseen hands tugged on her body as if trying to scoot her off the mattress. Since this hotel was once a hospital could it have been a nurse trying to move a patient? Convincing ourselves this was only a dream we tried to go back to sleep, until Tia screamed that someone had yanked her hair. After that happened neither of us slept until the sun came up.

Was all this real or just active imaginations of creative romance writers? A personal experience can either change your mind or reinforce your belief in paranormal activity. We believe there are things that can't be explained. And, besides, who doesn’t love a good ghost story?

Tia Dani is published with Sapphire Blue Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. Their paranormal romance, Death Unseen, is coming October 15 with The Wild Rose Press. Find out more about, Tia Dani, their books and their adventures by visiting www.tiadani.com.

40 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like the perfect place for a paranormal writer to go for inspiration!

I think I'd have been too much on-alert to sleep, though...sounds like it wasn't the most restful night, but the experience made for an interesting stay! :)

Judy said...

Oh goodness, this is very eerie!! I am a scaredy cat. We have a place her in Louisiana that you can go for tours, it is a bed & breakfast type, called The Myrtles, that is suppose to be haunted also. My granddaughter wants to go for her 13th birthday next year. NOT ME!! My daughter and niece are going to take her. I love reading about things like this, but not have an active part in it :)

Judy (magnolias_1@msn.com)

Tia Dani said...

Hi Elizabeth, You're right, we didn't get much sleep. We sure did a lot of brainstorming and laughing. It's always fun to hang out with a bunch of writers.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Judy, Oh, goodness, we're scaredy cats too. But, somehow when there's a bunch of us together we get brave. Or maybe that's the wine we drink. You should go with your granddaughter. Sounds like a blast. Louisiana has lots of haunted places we'd love to visit. If you go, send us pictures.

Donna Del Grosso said...

Aaahh. You brought back fond memories of the retreat! Jerome is so beautiful in October. I had no odd/scary experiences on my end but it was fun anyway. And the story about the elevator. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

What a fun idea. It's great to read how much you both enjoy the journey of writing together.

Tonya Callihan said...

There is a haunted house up the road from where I live. I have been wanting to visit it for years now...but no one will go with me, too afraid to do it alone. And the weather has been perfect for it too. Cold, windy and raining.

Tonya
tonyacallihan AT hotmail DOT com

Katie Reus said...

How fun! I love staying at haunted or supposedly haunted places. The last haunted B&B I stayed at was in St. Augustine :)

Tia Dani said...

Hi Donna! Oh, yes, the elevator. We'll have to tell that story some time. Doesn't this make you want to go back again?

Tia Dani said...

Hi Tonya, i wish you lived close to us. We'd get a group together and go visit that house. Humm, what's your address?

Tia Dani said...

Hi Katie, Did you have anything happen to you when you stayed at the B&B? That little smiley face makes us wonder.

jrlindermuth said...

Interesting place to visit. Obviously not the best place for sleeping.

Kim Watters said...

Hi Chris and Bev. Thanks for the memories. That last trip, we had a ghost on our bed. Sure made it rough for sleeping. Jerome is so beautiful, I look forward to visiting again some time with both the living and the unliving:)

Faith V. Smith said...

Wow, all I can say is you have more guts than I do! I'm chicken to my Georgia bones! Congrats on the new book coming out! And very interesting blog post!

Faith V. Smith

www.faithvsmith.com

Tia Dani said...

Kim! Hi, and thanks for stopping by. Thant's right, you did have a ghost in your bed! Are you ready to go to Jerome again?

Tia Dani said...

Hi jrlindermuth, Great place to visit, but you're so right, not real good for sleeping. Thanks for stopping by.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Faith! We can get really brave in a group. LOL Great to see you here and glad you like our topic, even if you won't go ghost hunting with us. Thanks!

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Boy, I'd forgotten what a scary place Jerome can be -- but it sure does sound like fun!

Side question: I understand your new book is out in print? Where can I get it?

Laurie, hoping you'll have time to share the elevator story :)

Tia Dani said...

Hi Laurie, Welcome! We love going to Jerome and, yep, it can be a bit frightening at times. Still fun. Thanks so much for asking about Death Unseen. It is out in print at www.thewildrosepress.com and will be available in ebook October 15th. We are thrilled!

Tia Dani said...

Oh, Laurie, yes we need to write the elevator story. I guess that means we need to go back and get more pictures.

Samantha Gentry said...

What a marvelous time you must have had. I've read about the hotel and wanted to visit it last time I was is Sedona (just "down the road"), but we didn't have the opportunity.

jenny milchman said...

With those kinds of stops you almost don't need fiction!

Note--I said *almost* :)

Tia Dani said...

Hi Samantha, It's not as beautiful as Sedona, but definitely worth the trip.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Jenny, LOL We have to add the fiction to make it believable. Thanks for stopping by.

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds cool, but I'd want to be sure I was sharing a room with someone other than a ghost.

Historical Writer/Editor said...

I like a good ghost story. Colorado has old mining towns in our mountains, and it made me think of that. Sounds like you had quite the adventure. -laura

Caroline Clemmons said...

Such an interesting post! I hadn't heard about the ghostly side of Jerome. A lot of people from our area go to Eureka Springs Arkansas to stay at the Crescent Hotel, and similar things happen there. It was once a "cancer hostpital" for a phony doctor whose treatments consisted mainly of water.

Thanks for sharing! I'd love to win your book.
caroline@carolineclemmons.com

Wendy_Ely said...

Hiya, Tia Dani! It was fun reading your post and I'm still trying to get the nerve to visit the hotel! Who knows... maybe someday I will ;)

Wendy Ely

Ashley Kath-Bilsky said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to plot a book! I now have this on my list of places to visit. Thanks.

Mimi Barbour said...

Hi Dani,
Thanks so much for the blog and a really good suggestion as to where I'll be visiting for sure come holiday time in November. We're booked for a month in Arizona and I'm making a list of places I want to see...lists!?? Plotting...
I wonder if there's a tie of some kind....

Terry, see you in Seatle!!!
Mimi

Kathy said...

HI I wish I could just go visit wherever and whenever I hear or read about something interesting like a Haunted Place :-). I'm sure we have lots here in TX. There was the tale of the Lady of White Rock Lake in Dallas when I was growing up and other scary stories you hear as a kid. I'm sure I will learn of some around the Fort Hood area as we settle back into the area. I don't remember any from when we lived here in the 1970's.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Sheila, Yep, need to find a better roomie than a ghost.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Laura, I bet we can find some great ghost hunting places in Colorado. Colorado is one of Tia's favorite spots. We may make it up there sometime.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Caroline, Glad you liked our post. Sounds like we need a trip to Eureka Springs.
Good luck, we hope you win too.

Tia Dani said...

Wendy!! Hi. You know you're going with us sometime.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Ashley, Jerome is a great place to plot a book. Oh, and it's also a biker hangout. It's the perfect road trip up from Phoenix.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Mimi, Thanks so much for stopping by, and how wonderful you are coming to AZ. I hope you have time to make it to one of our local chapter meetings while you're here. We would love to meet you.

Tia Dani said...

Hi Kathy, Yes, that be the perfect life, traveling around looking for ghosts and then writing fun ghost stories. Well, maybe someday.

Tia Dani said...

This has been so much fun! Thank you, Terry, and everyone who stopped by and read our post. We hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure as much as we had writing about it. Reliving these memories makes us want to go back again. And who knows, maybe next time we'll actually see something, or someone, from the past.
Don't forget we have a new book out, DEATH UNSEEN, set in our lovely state of AZ and we promise you something scarey will take place. Also, look for us on facebook. Tia Dani Author.
Thanks again,
Tia and Dani

Patricia Stoltey said...

That sounds like a fun place for a retreat, Tia. Jerome isn't far from one of my favorite mining towns (with haunted hotel)-- Oatman, AZ. The next time I'm there, I may take a side trip to see Jerome. I love the looks of the Jerome Grand hotel.

Thanks for featuring Tia today, Terry. (Alliteration totally accidental)

Patricia