So you just moved to the Most Haunted Town in Virginia? Welcome. We here in Penny Hollow like to take care of our own—but just in case you’re unfamiliar with the habits of spooks, ghosts, haunts, phantoms, and poltergeists, we’ve put together this handy pamphlet. If you have any questions, be sure to give Mrs. Cartwright or Mrs. Beagle a ring, they know everything.
10. You won’t get lost, but you may get turned around.
We don’t have that many streets, however, if you find yourself at an abandoned house—we recommend heading back the way you came. Usually if a property is abandoned in these parts, there’s a darn good reason for it.
9. Everyone knows everyone else here.
You won’t be a stranger for long, and don’t be startled if everyone already knows who you are and what phantom you’re likely having trouble with. Oh, and the bed and breakfast is definitely haunted, and the kids are very mischievous. If you feel like someone is watching you…that’s the living and the dead.
8. We’re very proud of our history.
We have several festivals, and each one has been celebrated for many generations. Don’t scoff, we’ve only ever missed one and the ghosts were so consternated with us well…yes, let’s leave that for another day. Just remember to show up for all the parties and no one gets hurt.
7. Social media is alive and well in Penny Hollow.
And no, we’re not talking about Facebook or anything Internet based. Trust us, if you want it to go viral just ask Mrs. Cartwright or Mrs. Beagle. They’ll take care of anything. The ghosts have their own network, and it’s best to not talk about it. Check with Jock if you’re worried you might have offended one of our local haunts.
6. The carpet rolls up at nine.
No, seriously, like EVERYTHING is closed at about 9 p.m. Except for the Grill. They shut their doors at 11 p.m. You may notice odd lights in some of the shops, and music in the Grill after it’s closed—just keep right on going. It’s best to live and let the dead party on their own.
5. When something bad happens, we’re the first ones you call.
Don’t be a shut in, we have rules and we will check on you if we haven’t seen you out and about. If you’re single, well Mrs. Cartwright and Mrs. Beagle know all the eligible young folks in these parts. Do have a care not to visit the Thompson Plantation if you’re single. It’s just not a good idea.
4. The Founding Families all have ghosts, curses, charms, or psychic baggage.
Sad, but true. Don’t worry, it’s not all bad. But if you’re curious about the local lore with regard to one of the founding families, there’s only seven: Archer, Cartwright, Hawkins, Kent, Pope, Talbot, and Winston.
3. All emergency calls are routed through the Sheriff’s office.
And by all, we mean all…this includes, but is not limited to, a dead battery in your vehicle, missing cattle, trespassers on your lawn, and a phantom locking you out of your bathroom. He’s pretty familiar with all the characters living and dead in the town.
2. Alien abductions are just plain stupid.
If you wake up in your underwear in a field, you were likely just drunk.
1. We take care of our own.
Just what it says, so don’t think we’re going to let you tear down any of our homes or abandoned buildings. If you want to repurpose them, that’s just fine, but you take them as they are—ghosts and all.
Any questions? Remember, Mrs. Cartwright and Mrs. Beagle know everything.
by Heather Long
Recently divorced author MacKenzie Dillon has lost her writing mojo. When she inherits her great aunt’s haunted house in Virginia, she is determined to make a new start. The creepy old house provides inspiration but at what cost?
Successful architect and paranormal skeptic Justin Kent returns to Penny Hollow to fulfill his father’s dying wish of revitalizing their small town. To do that, he needs the allegedly haunted estate at Summerfield. Mac, the new owner, may be gorgeous and spunky, but she refuses to sell.
These two have a dangerous history that spans the ages, but will they discover the truth in time to save their lives?
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.