“Witch Dance” is honored

Some days are just better than others! Today is one of those days.

witch dance finalist 2019 paranormalMy latest release Witch Dance was honored with the title of finalist in paranormal stories at the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I can’t even begin to tell you how pleased I am and how happy awards make authors feel!

Below is a snippet, if you want to decide for yourself whether NGIBA was right or not. 🙂

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When the figure reached the center of the field, it stood up straight, as if being pulled upright by a string on the top of its head. As it uncurled, its hands extended to the sides with its palms facing upward, and it grew from what looked like an old hag to a healthy person. As if picked up by the same string, it rose straight up into the air. Chiksa’s eyes widened as the figure floated above the earth. A breeze caught the figure’s cloak and the edges swirled. A wind intensified, blowing around the figure, slowly spinning it in circles, but there had been no breeze a moment ago. A cloudy vortex formed around the figure, resembling tight circles of light gray smoke from a fire, extending from the ground into the clear heavens above. Even though he was known to be a mighty warrior, Chiksa’s hands began to sweat and his heart beat wildly, pounding in his ears. He had seen many things in his lifetime, but never anything like this. What kind of creature was this? When the figure hovered about four feet off the ground, the black cape dropped from its shoulders, floating to the ground like a fall leaf, revealing a woman. A young and beautiful woman. Her skin glowed under the stars as if she were the moon itself, coated in shimmering gold. Chiksa gasped and jumped to his feet.

The figure heard him and instantly returned to the ground. The vortex stopped so quickly, he wondered if he had imagined it. The woman retrieved her cloak, covered her nakedness, and walked toward him.

He couldn’t move from his spot. There was no sense in running.

She covered her head with her hood as she neared him. “Why are you here?” she asked in a cracking voice.

“I came to visit with my father,” he said in not much more than a whisper.

She cocked her head. “Your father?” She gestured around with both hands, indicating no one else was there.

He pointed to the mounds. “My father died a short time…”

She held her hand in front of his lips as if to silence him. Her fingers were long and bony, covered in deep wrinkles. Her nails were yellowed claws. This was not the beautiful young form he had witnessed only moments ago.

“There is great pain in this place,” she said.

“My people have recently lost their chief.”

“No. No people. Pain in you.” She pointed to his heart, her finger only inches from his chest.

He said nothing.

“Sa…lee…Salina?” she said slowly, her head cocked as if listening to something only she could hear.

“My wife.”

“A great blackness has taken her.”

“Yes.”

“She will die.”

He shook his head. “She can’t.”

“She can.” She paused and narrowed her eyes at him. “But she can be healed.” The old woman looked up at the sky and her cracked lips parted. Small black gaps between what looked like fangs emitted a foul stench that wrapped around Chiksa. Her yellowed eyes twinkled and she nodded toward the sky.

Chiksa didn’t move. He didn’t know if this creature had put a hex on him or if he was frozen in fear. It didn’t matter. She said Salina could be healed. That’s all he focused on.

“You can heal her?”

She was still staring at the sky.

He didn’t dare ask again. He didn’t want to anger her.

After a moment, she looked back at him. “Yes, yes, I can, but all things come at a price. I will decide the price and will be here again on the full moon. You come. Bring her.”

She turned away and moved toward the woods. He couldn’t say she walked; it was more like gliding, as if she floated just over the ground’s surface.

“What is your name?” he called when she reached the edge of the dark forest.

“Oma.”

ee4ca-witch-dance-cover

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Lori Crane books are available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleiBooks, and Audible .

Lori Crane is a bestselling author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day. 

 

It’s Read an Ebook Week!

5. GetInto - Read an Ebook Week

I admit I fought it with every ounce of my being. I love the smell, the feel, of a real book with real pages – the older, the better.

But…
Over the last couple years, I’ve discovered the simplicity of purchasing ebooks, especially with Kindle right on my iPhone, and though it goes against my gut, I have to admit, I haven’t bought a real book in about five years.

All that being said, it’s Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords!!

If you’re not familiar with Smashwords, they are a major distributor of ebooks for indie authors. They distribute to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, iTunes, etc., so when you purchase an ebook directly from them, you can download it in any format you choose. Yes! When you buy an ebook from Smashwords, you have your choice of formats. You can download it to your Kindle, your Nook, your Sony E-Reader, and even as a PDF for your tablet or your desktop. Well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Oh, wait! It does get better!!

This week, March 3-9, Smashwords is hosting Read an Ebook Week, and there are tons and tons of books on sale, and some are even free.

If you haven’t read Lori Crane books or have been putting off purchasing the next in one of the series, this week is the time! Lori Crane books are ALL 50% off this week at Smashwords. https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LoriCrane

If you’re confused about which books to buy or where to start, here is the bibliography.

The Okatibbee Creek Series: (Three books that do not need to be read in order.)
Okatibbee Creek – A woman who has lost nearly everything during the Civil War finds a way to rebuild her shattered life.
An Orphan’s Heart – Set in the late 1800s, a young woman travels the South to find her place in the world.
Elly Hays – Set in the early 1800s, a young mother finds herself in a war with a Creek Indian warrior. He doesn’t have much to lose, but she has everything to lose.

The Stuckey’s Bridge Trilogy: (Three books that should be read in order. No cliffhangers.)
The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge – A late 1800s serial killer you can’t help but love.
Stuckey’s Legacy: The Legend Continues – A character from the first book tries to live in the world of the rich. Turns out he’s a better killer than his predecessor.
Stuckey’s Gold: The Curse of Lake Juzan – The origin and completion of the Stuckey curse with characters from the first two books. This is the end. Or is it?

The Culpepper Saga: (Four books that should be read in order. No cliffhangers.)
I, John Culpepper – John Culpeper sets out to find himself in this 1600s coming-of-age tale.
John Culpepper the Merchant – England is in Civil War, and John Culpepper finds himself on the wrong side. He must escape before his entire family is beheaded.
John Culpepper, Esquire – John Culpepper sets up a new life in the American Colonies, which is not without its struggles, and a major tragedy puts him in the position of family patriarch, trying to hold his family together on two continents.
Culpepper’s Rebellion – John Culpepper finds himself in the middle of two colonial rebellions: Bacon’s rebellion in Virginia and Culpepper’s rebellion in North Carolina. The latter is headed by his own son, who will surely pay the ultimate price for his sins against the crown, unless John can save him.

Other Books:
Savannah’s Bluebird – A tragic love story that transcends the boundaries of this world.
Witch Dance – A family weekend getaway turns into a nightmare for a young family and pulls them into a vortex of tragedy and witchcraft.

Hop over to Smashwords and take advantage of this awesome sale!

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LoriCrane

IMG_20150527_100707930_HDR (1)

On This Day in 1836

Robert Theodore Pickett (my 3rd great) was born on this day in 1836. He was descended from John Pickett who arrive in Salem, Massachusetts from Kent, England in 1648 (source citation: FARMER, JOHN. A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New-England: Salem, Massachusetts; Year: 1648; Page number 227). Over the next few generations, they migrated southward from Massachusetts, through Virginia and North Carolina, eventually ending up in Alabama for this part of the story, then on to Mississippi.

Robert Theodore was born in Alabama on 2 Feb 1836 to Daniel L Pickett and Amelia Ferrill. He was the last of four children, because his mother died shortly after his birth. At that time in history, I would suspect she died due to complications of childbirth, but I have no proof. His father re-married in 1838 – a woman named Harriet Elizabeth Wilson. Daniel and Harriet had one child, and following Daniel’s death in 1851, Harriet married Miles Linton and had six more children. Robert Theodore was 15 at the time of his father’s death.

At age 24 Robert Theodore married Lucy Ann Rackley in Choctaw, Alabama, and the family remained there through the 1880 census. Lucy descended from David Edward Rackley who came to Virginia from Devon, England sometime between 1663 and 1679. Over the next few generations, they too migrated southward. (Source: Hargreaves-Mawdsley R Bristol and America; A Record of the First Settlers in the Colonies of North America; Place: Virginia; Year: 1663-1679; Page Number: 165).

All of Robert Theodore and Lucy Ann’s children were born in Alabama, but at some point, the entire family moved to Mississippi. If you don’t know, the 1890 census was burned up in a fire, so it is not available to us to research and hunt for clues. I know the family was in Mississippi by 1891, when the youngest daughter was married there. All except the youngest son are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Zero, Lauderdale County, MS. The youngest son died in Sicily Island, Louisiana and I do not know where he was buried, but he is not at Pleasant Hill with the rest of the family.

Name-ChangeThere’s some fun family name changing between local Lauderdale County families: the Picketts, the Fishers, the Colemans, and the Keenes. The Pickett children were: Sarah Elizabeth “Sally,” Margaret Madelene “Maggie,” Amelia Elizabeth “Betty,” Annie Mariah, Joseph Lawson (my 2nd great), Lloyd Daniel, Joshua H., Nathan Brightling, and Rev. Robert Tilden.

 

Pickett sister and brother married Fisher sister and brother: Annie Mariah married James Henry Fisher. Joseph Lawson (my 2nd great) married Caledonia “Callie” Fisher (my 2nd great), James’s sister.

Pickett brothers married Coleman sisters: Two of the boys, Joshua H and Nathan Brightling, married Coleman girls, Mary Ella and Johnnie Hobgood.
To make it even more confusing, Nathan and Johnnie Pickett had one girl. They named her Annie Pickett. (I guess to replace the Annie Pickett who was now Annie Fisher.)
Annie Pickett married Earnest Grady Keene.
Earnest’s sister was Eula Keene (my great grandmother), who married Ben Pickett (my great grandpa, Annie Pickett’s cousin), son of the above Joseph Lawson Pickett and Callie Fisher.
I think that makes me my own cousin, and somehow, I think the Fishers win.
picket robert t obeliskRest in peace Robert Theodore and Lucy Ann. You have not been forgotten.

Just in time for Halloween!

If you’re looking for something creepy to listen to around your October campfire, try my newest audiobooks.

The first is “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge,” narrated by the fabulous J. Rodney Turner. Here’s a bone-chilling sample:

And don’t miss Old Man Stuckey and yours truly on the Travel Channel’s “Most Terrifying Places in America” the whole month of October.

The next is my newest book “Witch Dance,” narrated by Sarah L. Colton. Her voice is pretty sweet, but the story? Not so much. Watch out for the evil witches!

Sleep well, my friends. 🙂

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge
Witch Dance

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Lori Crane books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Audible

Lori Crane is a bestselling author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Look for Lori on “Most Terrifying Places in America” on the Travel Channel the whole month of October, where her book “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” will be featured! Coming episodes will air:

Sunday Oct 21 2pm ET | 1pm CT
Thursday Oct 25 12pm ET | 11am CT
Monday Oct 29 5pm ET | 4pm CT

Stuckey’s Bridge on the Travel Channel

Stuckey’s Bridge and yours truly will be on “Most Terrifying Places in America” on the Travel Channel on the dates and times below. Mark your calendar. Tell your friends.

SUNDAY
Sep 30
11pm ET | 10pm CT

MONDAY
Oct 1
2am ET | 1am CT

THURSDAY
Oct 4
2pm ET| 1pm CT

SUNDAY
Oct 21
2pm ET| 1pm CT

THURSDAY
Oct 25
12pm ET| 11am CT

I’m so excited!! I think the history of Stuckey’s Bridge is very compelling. Enough so, that I wrote a book about it. I’m glad the Travel Channel called me to do the show, as it means someone love the legend as much as I. Strangely enough, I seem to be the resident expert.

Check out my brand-spankin’-new audiobook of The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge, narrated by the amazing J. Rodney Turner. I’m sooooo very pleased with it!!

It’s available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Here’s a sample:

WITCH DANCE is here!!!

Today is release day and I couldn’t be more excited! Drama, karma, and yes, witches are coming your way.

witch dance coverJust south of Tupelo, Mississippi on the Natchez Trace lies a place of mystery called Witch Dance.

When Thomas and Margaret Speedwell took their twins to Witch Dance for a weekend camping trip, they never imagined they would be pulled into a vortex of witchcraft, tragedy, and karma. One of the girls goes missing; the other won’t say what happened on the other side of the hill.

The tragedy pulls together a cast of characters from Margaret’s childhood and beyond – Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, Toltec ancestors, the extinct Hopewell tribe.

With the help of a childhood friend, a concerned newspaper reporter, and visions by a strange old woman, a two-thousand-year-old mystery begins to unfold, uncovering missing children throughout generations. Who is taking them? Could it be the infamous witches of Witch Dance?

Click here for Kindle.

Click here to check out a snippet.

Click here to see photos of the cast if I were to cast the movie. 🙂

New Release! Witch Dance

Title: Witch Dance
Author: Lori Crane
Genre: Historical Thriller
Release Date: September 15, 2018

Just south of Tupelo, Mississippi on the Natchez Trace lies a place of mystery called Witch Dance.
When Thomas and Margaret Speedwell took their twins to Witch Dance for a weekend camping trip, they never imagined they would be pulled into a vortex of witchcraft, tragedy, and karma. One of the girls goes missing; the other won’t say what happened on the other side of the hill.
The tragedy pulls together a cast of characters from Margaret’s childhood and beyond – Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, Toltec ancestors, the extinct Hopewell tribe.
With the help of a childhood friend, a concerned newspaper reporter, and visions by a strange old woman, a two-thousand-year-old mystery begins to unfold, uncovering missing children throughout generations. Who is taking them? Could it be the infamous witches of Witch Dance?

He heard a faint crunching of leaves in the forest. He listened but did not move a muscle. It was not an animal. The rustling sound was human footsteps. Who would be out here this late? The leaves rustled again. He shifted only his eyes toward the sound, and witnessed a figure emerging from the woods, cloaked in black, hunched, shuffling to the center of the field. Chiksa thought it must be the old medicine woman, but he wasn’t sure. After watching for a few minutes, he realized the medicine woman moved much more slowly than this person. No one he knew looked like that…at least he didn’t think so. It was hard to tell in the darkness. Chiksa remained motionless and barely breathed.
When the figure reached the center
of the field, it stood up straight, as if being pulled upright by a string on the top of its head. As it uncurled, its hands extended to the sides with its palms facing upward, and it grew from what looked like an old hag to a healthy person. As if picked up by the same string, it rose straight up into the air. Chiksa’s eyes widened as the figure floated above the earth. A breeze caught the figure’s cloak and the edges swirled. A wind intensified, blowing around the figure, slowly spinning it in circles, but there had been no breeze a moment ago. A cloudy vortex formed around the figure, resembling tight circles of light gray smoke from a fire, extending from the ground into the clear heavens above. Even though he was known to be a mighty warrior, Chiksa’s hands began to sweat and his heart beat wildly, pounding in his ears. He had seen many things in his lifetime, but never anything like this. What kind of creature was this? When the figure hovered about four feet off the ground, the black cape dropped from its shoulders, floating to the ground like a fall leaf, revealing a woman. A young and beautiful woman. Her skin glowed under the stars as if she were the moon itself, coated in shimmering gold. Chiksa gasped and jumped to his feet.
The figure heard him and instantly returned to the ground. The vortex stopped so quickly, he wondered if he had imagined it. The woman retrieved her cloak, covered her nakedness, and walked toward him.
He couldn’t move from his spot.
There was no sense in running.
She covered her head with her hood as she neared him. “Why are you here?” she asked in a cracking voice.
“I came to visit with my father,” he said in not much more than a whisper.
She cocked her head. “Your father?” She gestured around with both hands, indicating no one else was there.
He pointed to the mounds. “My father died a short time…”
She held her hand in front of his lips
as if to silence him. Her fingers were long and bony, covered in deep wrinkles. Her nails were yellowed claws. This was not the beautiful young form he had witnessed only moments ago.
“There is great pain in this place,” she said.
“My people have recently lost their chief.”
“No. No people. Pain in you.” She pointed to his heart, her finger only inches from his chest.
He said nothing.
“Sa…lee…Salina?” she said slowly, her head cocked as if listening to something only she could hear.
“My wife.”
“A great blackness has taken her.”
“Yes.”
“She will die.”
He shook his head. “She can’t.”
“She can.” She paused and narrowed her eyes at him. “But she can be healed.” The old woman looked up at the sky and her cracked lips parted. Small black gaps between what looked like fangs emitted a foul stench that wrapped around Chiksa. Her yellowed eyes twinkled and she nodded toward the sky.
Chiksa didn’t move. He didn’t know if this creature had put a hex on him or if he was frozen in fear. It didn’t matter. She said Salina could be healed. That’s all he focused on.
“You can heal her?”
She was still staring at the sky.
He didn’t dare ask again. He didn’t want to anger her.
After a moment, she looked back at him. “Yes, yes, I can, but all things come at a price. I will decide the price and will be here again on the full moon. You come. Bring her.”
She turned away and moved toward the woods. He couldn’t say she walked; it was more like gliding, as if she floated just over the ground’s surface.
“What is your name?” he called when she reached the edge of the dark forest.

“Oma.”
Bestselling and award-winning author Lori Crane is a writer of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 list many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She’s a native Mississippian, currently residing in greater Nashville, Tennessee. She is a professional musician by night, an indie author by day. 

Lori’s passion is genealogy and American history, which you’ll find weaved through each novel she writes. She is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United States Daughters of 1812, as well as the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Look for Lori on “Most Terrifying Places in America” on the Travel Channel the whole month of October where her book “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” will be featured!
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