Guest Post & Giveaway: Haunted Florida by Martina McAtee

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Guest Post

When I first told people I was writing a book about reapers and werewolves living in Florida, I got a lot of weird looks. When I went on to further explain that they lived in a town teeming with supernatural creatures cloaked from humans in the middle of the state, I got a lot of pained smiles and wincing. When people think of Florida, they most often think of Disney World, Palm Beach socialites and South Beach parties. Even the people who live here. But there is a whole side of Florida few people pay attention to and that is the haunted side of Florida. So I thought I’d share with you some of my inspiration for the book and why the supernatural in Florida isn’t as farfetched as some may believe.

St. Augustine.

Let’s start with St. Augustine. It is one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America as well as being one of the coolest places in the world to visit. It was founded in 1565 under Pedro Menendez de Aviles as a port for the Spanish Treasure fleet before they sailed back to Spain and to serve as a military outpost. But the natives had declared the land sacred long before the Spanish arrived. The natives believed the land held a connection between the living and the spirit world, much like my fictional town of Belle Haven and the haunted buildings in St. Augustine would take up another three blog posts to explain. It would probably be easier to list the non-haunted places in St. Augustine. Much of Belle Haven’s downtown areas are a mix of Downtown St. Augustine and a town in Central Florida called Chipley.


Cassadaga is a spiritualist camp in Central Florida and home to numerous psychics and mediums who flock to the area for the mystical energy they believe the area contains. Many people believe that the limestone peninsula making up the majority of Florida’s geology allows people who are psychically gifted to harness the energy limestone is said to conduct. It was the basis for the town of Belle Haven sitting on a sort of energy vortex. Limestone is often cited by ghost hunters as the reason for the overwhelmingly large number of hauntings throughout Florida.

Seacrest Wolf Preserve

There are, in fact, wolves in Florida. Florida is home to a number of red wolves as well as the Seacrest Wolf Preserve which numerous wolves call home. The Seacrest wolf preserve is one of the largest preserves of its kind and offers interactive tours with the wolves. Yes, that’s right, you can run with wolves. Every Saturday, for the bargain price of just $25 per person, you can interact with some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet and if that wasn’t enough, they also have baby wolves, artic foxes, skunks and raccoons to play with. We are planning a trip in December and I couldn’t be more excited. While I can’t swear at least one of these wolves is a werewolf, I’d like to think, statistically speaking, at least one of them must be, right?

I had so much inspiration to draw on here in Florida but I hope this will give you all just a little insight into just how supernatural Florida really truly is.

by Martina McAtee 


About the Author

Martina McAteeMartina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack Chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. By day she is a registered nurse but by night she writes young adult books about reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. When she isn’t working, teaching or writing she’s reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is set to release on August 31st, 2015. She is currently working on the second book in the series, Your Soul to Take, due to release in 2016.

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About the Book

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead ThingsTitle: Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things
Author: Martina McAtee
Publisher: Martina McAtee
Pages: 450
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is. 

They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death. 

As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.

For More Information

  • Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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Book Review: INK by Glenn Benest & Dale Pitman



His studio has become his refuge and his prison – a place of boundless imagination and lonely isolation. Brian Archer, creator of a series of successful graphic novels about a vengeful supernatural being called “The Highwayman,” has become a recluse after the adoration of a female fan turned to rage and violence.

But all that changes when he meets a renowned and beautiful illustrator, A.J. Hart, who carries emotional scars of her own. Their work together is fueled by the unrequited passion they share and a mysterious bottle of black ink that arrives one day at Brian’s doorstep.

The impossibly dark liquid has mystical properties, making their characters appear so real they eventually come to life, reigning terror on those who mean them harm and if not stopped—threatens to unleash an apocalypse on all mankind. Brian must break free of his self-imposed exile and solve the mystery that allowed these terrible creatures into the world.

Available at Amazon.


My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book from the author for an honest review.

INK is about Brian Archer, a famous author of graphic novels who is actually a mess. Yes, he’s famous. Yes, he’s rich. But, in reality, he seems to attract violence. Because of this, he ends up as a recluse until he meets A.J., who makes him finally want to live again.

I really enjoyed reading INK. The authors have merged several stories into one, all of which involve Brian. You have the supernatural with The Highwayman, who is not only Brian’s main character in his novels, but he’s brought to life by some magical black ink. Then the story of Brian and A.J. is so sweet. She’s coming out of a bad relationship and he patiently waits until she’s ready, even though he knows he’s in love with her. And then there’s the horror of dealing with an obsessed fan and a jilted lover.

This is one of those books that is difficult to put down once you get into it. It’s full of suspense and you never know what’s going to happen next. Watch out, though, it may have you looking over your shoulder by the time you’re done with it. I’m looking forward to book number 2. 


About the Authors


7824326Glenn Benest lives in Glendale, California, along with his adorable puppy, Milton, so named after the renowned English poet. He’s an award-winning screenwriter and producer with seven produced feature and television movie credits. He has been a professional writer his entire career.

“Like the protagonist in our novel, I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. But when I got the hang of it, I spent many hours in the library, devouring everything I could get my hands on: Batman, westerns, sports books even pulp magazines. I also started writing poetry when I was in high school, then transitioned to the theater at Harvard, where I realized I had to go for my dream. I quickly moved to Los Angeles where I got my master of fine arts degree at U.C.L.A., but soon realized I couldn’t make a living writing stage plays.”

Glenn began to write screenplays and by the age of thirty wrote two films for acclaimed horror director Wes Craven.
“I think I’ve written in every genre imaginable, including romance, thrillers, mystery, comedy, and drama. Writing fiction has been my latest endeavor, although INK combines two genres that have always fascinated me – paranormal romance and horror.”

Glenn and his writing partner Dale Pitman met in one of Mr. Benest’s screenwriting workshops and quickly discovered they shared a passion for comic books and the supernatural.

This is their first novel.


Dale Pitman was born in the shadows of the Burbank Studios, which is where his love of movies began. As a kid, Dale got to play hookey and sit in with his father, renowned “Wrecking Crew” guitarist, Bill Pitman, on studio sessions for record, T.V. and most memorably, movie calls like the James Bond flick Dr. No, where Dale fell for the art of cinema (and Ursula Andress, though not necessarily in that order).

Dale began writing short stories, school plays and sketch comedy at an early age, and quickly became the “bard” of his East San Fernando Valley schools. He received an A.A. degree in Journalism at L.A. Pierce College, then after that moved to Lake Tahoe, where he graduated from “the school of hard knocks,” working as a bartender at a local casino.

Upon returning to Southern California, Dale studied film at L.A. Valley College and apprenticed briefly in editing at Stephen J. Cannell Studios. In need of a “steady gig,” Dale quit tending bar and obtained a real estate license.

In 2008, Dale returned to his first true love—film, not Ursula. He immersed himself in studying the craft of screenwriting with teachers David Freeman, Hal Croasman, Robert McKee, the late Blake Synder, and most notably, his mentor and writing partner, award-winning screenwriter Glenn M. Benest, where they discovered their mutual affinity for the works of Poe and Lovecraft.

Dale lives in Newport Beach, CA with the lovely Kelly O’Reilly

Book Review: Night Terror by Jeff Gunhus

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12-7-2014 7-39-15 PMTitle: Night Terror
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Pages: 400
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Horror
Format: Kindle

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About the Book:

Ten years after her abduction and near-sacrifice to the Source, Sarah Tremont struggles to be a normal teenager. As much as she’s tried to suppress the power inside of her, it’s grown dangerously strong and has drawn the attention of those who want to possess her power for themselves.

The nightmare that she thought was long over starts again as powerful forces descend upon Prescott City to seek her out. With her parents and Joseph Lonetree’s help, Sarah must stand up to an evil much more powerful than the one she faced in the caves a decade earlier. But in the end, she discovers the greatest danger might come from the power living inside of her.

For More Information

  • Night Terror is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for an honest review.

I really like Jeff Gunhus’ writing. I’ve read all of the Jack Templar books, which are middle grade/young adult books and I was excited about reading a couple of his adult books. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and was unable to read the first book in this series, Night Chill, at this time but I will definitely read it in the near future. Luckily, Night Terror stands on its own. Even though this is the second book in the series, Jeff Gunhus gives enough back story that I almost felt like I’d read the first book.

Night Terror starts out so horribly I just wanted to put it down and quit reading it but I couldn’t! It was intense and difficult to put down.

The characters are well developed and some of them are quite unique. It was interesting how the different characters with similar gifts used it in such different ways.

Night Terror is full of suspense and terror. It is not for those with a weak stomach but I liked it.

About the Author:

Jeff Gunhus is the author of both adult thrillers and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. As a father of five, he and his wife lead an active lifestyle simply trying to keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

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