A haunted hotel and a new book–A Witch’s Quandary by Tena Stetler–keep things spooky in Sorchia’s Universe this week. Read all about it and don’t forget to enter N.N. Lights Summer in the Sun Book Giveaway.
The Haunted Imperial Hotel
by Tena Stetler
Before I give you a glimpse between the pages of my new release, A Witch’s Quandary. I wanted to tell you about a city near where I live.
With its wild and turbulent past, Cripple Creek has a history of unexplained, supernatural occurrences, no wonder it’s earned the reputation of one of the most haunted towns in America. Tales of haunted Cripple Creek hotels, casinos, and homes flourish.
The Imperial Hotel at Third Street and Bennett Avenue known originally as the Collins Hotel, was built after most the town burned to the ground in 1896. As a young man, George Long emigrated from Europe and eventually made his way to Denver. He married his first cousin and together they ran the hotel. The union produced two daughters and a son. The eldest daughter, Alice, was mentally disturbed and the parents were forced to keep her locked in their apartment next to the lobby for her safety and the safety of others. Soon after George fell to his death while negotiating the narrow stairs to the basement. Or some say Alice escaped, waited for him at the top of the stairs, struck him over the head and he crashed to his death from the stop of the stairs. It’s rumored his ghost haunts the hotel to this day.
My experience in the Imperial Hotel was at the performance of Dracula by the Imperial Players in early 1990’s. The performance was excellent. However, during the entire play, a strong feeling of someone watching me, icy patches and pressure on my arm and lower back as I climbed the narrow stairs to the seating area. No one was there. The sensations continued throughout the performance. The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up.
At the end of the performance we were invited to meet the cast in the lobby for an autograph session. As soon as respectively possible, I dragged my hubby, mother, and son outside the hotel and raced to the safety of our vehicle thankful that we hadn’t booked a room. Looking back on the experience was it the performance of Dracula in the supposedly haunted hotel that caused my imagination to run wild or was there really something there? I admit to having an overactive imagination, but not that time. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.
In the years since, I’ve visited Cripple Creek on numerous occasions to explore old buildings and mining shacks. My husband and I drive up Hwy 67 to enjoy the turning of the Aspens in autumn, used to camp at the Lost Burro Campground just outside Cripple Creek, but I haven’t set foot in the Imperial Hotel since that night.
Switching gears, let’s talk about why I write Paranormal Romance/Mystery.
It’s pretty simple reality sucks and the fantasy world I create to work in everyday rocks. Oh, and I love Happy Ever After endings.
Now how about a little how A WITCH’S QUANDARY came to be? Secondary character, Gale, popped into A Magic Redemption (5th book in A Demon’s Witch Series) as the niece of powerful witch, Erin, and her husband King of the Faries, Tiarnan, in Ireland. After that book was published, Gale demanded to have her story told. Being the panster that I am, how could I refuse? She had an established apothecary business when she met Dillon from a prestigious family in Scotland. He is the son of the head of a prominent law firm in Scotland that had stood for over 100 years. Reputation impeccable. But treachery, stolen black magic, and desire for power undermined the family’s long standing firm. (Having worked in the legal field for eighteen years, I understood her situation.) That’s how A Witch’s Quandary came to be.
A bit about A Witch’s Quandary itself
Gale’s engagement is off because she refuses to leave her thriving business in Ireland to follow Dillon to Scotland. Her family and friends are on the emerald isle. Yet, when Dillon returns with the whole story and asks for her help, she must follow her heart.
Becoming a Solicitor, then partner in the family law firm was never Dillon’s dream. Now it’s his nightmare. Called to Scotland, his father demands he take his rightful place in the firm or be disowned and disinherited. Something is terribly amiss in the firm and family.
During Gale and Dillon’s investigation, they discover the enforcer for the Demon Overlord is also delving into rumors the firm is acting illegally. Magic has been stolen, someone is being blackmailed, and a member of the Witch’s council is corrupt. If Gale and Dillon want a life together in Ireland, they have to unearth secrets threatening to destroy the firm and family in Scotland.
A Sneak Peek–A Witch’s Quandary
“This is an outrage. It’s my firm.” Bram bellowed slamming his fist down on the table. Sparks flew in all directions creating a red-hot spider web of power crackling across the tabletop. Everyone at the table scrambled back or stood. Dillon caught the malevolent spark in his father’s eye a split-second after Gale. She had already brought her hands together, the room sizzled as she conjured a ball of fire and with a few words sent the witch fire and spell at him.
“What have you done?” Bram screeched as the fire and spell hit him center mass. “Witchfire too? Bitch.” He slid to the floor.
Iris ran to his side, tears spilling her cheeks, she wiped his sweat-soaked brow with a napkin. “You just couldn’t stop, could you? What did you do? Make a deal with the devil? We should have put a stop to it. To you. But…” She helped him into a chair. “I’m afraid you’ve messed with the wrong witch, this time. Brought this on yourself. You did. But I won’t let you take this family—the firm—down with you.” Giving his shoulders a little shake, she gazed into his shocked eyes. “What have you done?”
Bram slowly shook his head and murmured, “It’s my firm.” He raised his gaze and glared at Gale pointing a bony finger at her. “You’ll pay for this.” Then turned his attention to Dillon. “I told you nothing good would come from aligning yourself with this witch. Her blood is not pure. Diluted by the Fae power of her…” He broke off.
Dillon stood at Gale’s back his hands steady and supportive on her shoulders as she said nothing for several beats. Eventually, she turned her emerald green eyes to him and held his gaze. “I couldn’t let him divide the family with that dark magic. I tempered my deadly witch fire with the spell.” She tore her gaze from Dillon’s, touching her fingertips to the scorched marks radiating across the table stopping an inch from the edge all around. “If he’d succeeded, there’d been no turning back. If the tendrils of that spell had left the table and reached one of you…” She shook her head.
Appearing to gather his wits about him faster than the rest of his family, Sturgen surveyed the scene, wiped his brow with a monogrammed handkerchief, and sucked in a breath. “The firm is no longer yours.” He squeezed Olivia to him, starting for the door. “We’ve had enough for one night. Let’s adjourn until a full audit of the cases and firm can be conducted.”
Gale leaned against Dillon, his strength and calm flowed into her. “I felt your father’s intentions. The intentions he was able to disguise from his family. He planned to destroy all of you.”
“I know. I felt him…hmm…something evil. Only my reaction was a second too late. I’m glad yours wasn’t. How long will he be spellbound? That is what you did. Right?”
“Aye. Among other things. Indefinitely… I hope. He’s got a lot of power that isn’t his. I’ve no way to bind what I don’t know.”
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Meet Tena Stetler
Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors.
Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.