Guest Post/Virtual Tour with $25 Starbucks GC Giveaway ~ Joseph Spencer


Great paranormal places to visit for ideas

When they open a book, readers love to be transported to places they’ve never visited or could never dream to visit in real life. Even the most talented writers can’t fully rely on their imaginations alone all the time to dream up these otherworldly settings for their fiction work. Sometimes, there’s nothing like real life experiences to spur the creative juices when you sit down to start a project.

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest places to visit if possible which could inspire you to create the perfect place for a project being stalled by an uncertainty of where to place the action. Since I write thriller fiction with a paranormal slant, I’ve come up with a list of place close to where I live in the Midwest for you to check out if you’re also an adventurer who doesn’t mind a good scare once in a while.

1.      Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (Reston, West Va.)

This mental illness facility opened in 1864 and housed 2,400 patients in its peak in the 1950s. This National Historic Landmark is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in the United States, and reportedly second-largest in the world to the Kremlin in Moscow. SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters Academy and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures have investigated reported sightings of apparitions, unexplainable sounds, and other paranormal activity. Daytime tours of all four floors are available and cost $35. For info, visit


2.     The Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville, Ky.)

Construction of this building started in 1908, but the current massive, gothic-style, collegiate structure didn’t open for business until 1926. The facility could house up to 400 patients and served as a tuberculosis hospital until 1961, when the vaccine which cured TB rendered the hospital obsolete. SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters Academy and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures have also investigated reports of paranormal activity. Daily public tours cost $22 and private tours are available. For info, visit


3.     Ohio State Reformatory (Mansfield, Ohio)

Fans of the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption may want to visit this haunted prison where it was filmed. The prison opened in September of 1896, housing its first 150 offenders. More than 155,000 men called the prison home for various stretches before it closed on December 31, 1990. There are both historical and ghost tours available for visitors and a tour related to the movie as well. For info, visit


4.     Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Walk (Springfield, Ill.)

For those who like to mix historical and paranormal sites, consider visiting Illinois’ state capital to go on a 10-block, 90-minute walking which uses President Lincoln’s sites as the backdrop for the scoop on Honest Abe’s paranormal tales. The tour covers his last visit to his law office,  his funeral in the capitol, his haunted home, Mary Lincoln’s séances, and the attempted grave robbery. There are other tours including a haunted dead walk which includes alleged paranormal activity in the old Virgil Hickox House and a more traditional historical tour of Lincoln’s life in Springfield. For more info, visit


5.     Missouri State Penitentiary (Jefferson City, Mo.)

This historic prison received its first inmate in 1836, just 14 years after Jefferson City became the state capital. Only five years later, an officer died during a prison escape. Executions were conducted on site. When the prison closed in 2004, it had served as the oldest prison (168 years) west of the Mississippi River. A guided public tour which ventures through dungeon cells and a gas chamber costs $95. Private tours also are available.  For more info, visit

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spencerAs a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.

Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.

Joseph was married Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph and Amy look forward to their honeymoon in Paris in September 2012. Murphy, a 15-year-old orange tabby, is perhaps the most vocal member of the family. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space”.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Blog

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grimPublisher: Damnation Books, LLC (September 1, 2012)
Genre: Paranormal Crime Thriller
ISBN-10: 1615727531
ISBN-13: 978-1615727537
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In a gritty town rife with organized crime, dirty cops and corrupt politicians, Detective Adam White stands alone as the people’s symbol of justice and hope for a brighter future. He’s cracked the biggest cases, and stood up to the crime families who’ve torn apart Prairieville with their power struggles. He’s gorgeous, humble and incorruptible; a crime fighter so pure that the locals nicknamed him the White Knight.

What the people don’t know is their reluctant hero is cracking before their eyes. Ten years have passed since a pack of bank robbers gunned down his wife in the street. He’s relentlessly worked every case he could get his hands on since that night with the hopes of finding some link to her killer, but every lead always winds up a dead end. He made a vow on her death bed that he wouldn’t stop looking or move on with his life, personal or otherwise, until her killer was either dead or behind bars.

His obsession is starting to affect his work, including a new set of murders which are eerily similar to cold cases in which a gangland legend called The Reaper is the main suspect. A routine canvas of the area in which the bodies were found led Detective White to Heath Grim, a reclusive millionaire with grisly facial scars and a past which doesn’t quite add up. There’s something about his story which makes Detective White curious to dig deeper into his background.

Just as Detective White closes in on his killer, the mob hatches an elaborate scheme which could cost him everything. In his moment of need, an unlikely ally presents a way out of the plot against him and information on his wife’s killer. However, it leaves Prairieville’s paragon of justice with a moral dilemma. Can he abandon all of the heroic ideals upon which he’s based his life and become the type of man he’s hunted for so long to settle a score with his wife’s killer?
















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Pump Up Your Book and Joseph Spencer are teaming up to give you a chance to win one of TWO $25 Starbucks Gift Cards!

Click HERE for full contest details.

Giveaway ends June 28, 2013


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Grim Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, May 6 – Interview at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, May 7 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Wednesday, May 8 – Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Thursday, May 9 – Book Review at Dr. Pepper Diva

Friday, May 10 – Interview at My Book Addiction and More

Monday, May 13 – Interview at Blogcritics

Tuesday, May 14 – Book Review at Sara’s Organized Chaos

Wednesday, May 15 – Interview at Books Books the Magical Fruit

Thursday, May 16 – Interview at The Writer’s Life

Friday, May 17 – Book Review at Miki’s Hope

Monday, May 20 – Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Tuesday, May 21 – Book Review at Inside BJ’s Head

Tuesday, May 21 – Interview at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Wednesday, May 22 – Book Review at The Paperback Pursuer

Thursday, May 23 – Interview at Examiner

Thursday, May 23 – Interview LIVE on Blog Talk Radio’s A Book and a Chat 6:30 p.m. eastern CALL INS WELCOME

Friday, May 24 – Book Trailer Reveal at Working for the Mandroid

Monday, May 27 – First Chapter Reveal at Offbeat Vagabond

Tuesday, May 28 – Book Trailer of the Week at Pump Up Your Book

Friday, May 31 – Guest Blogging at Waiting on Sunday to Drown

Monday, June 3 – Interview at Book Marketing Buzz

Tuesday, June 4 – Dreamcast Guest Post at Literarily Speaking

Wednesday, June 5 – Interview at The Book Connection

Thursday, June 6 – Interview at Authors & Readers Book Corner

Friday, June 7 – Book Review at Hezzie-D’s Books and Cooks

Monday, June 10 – Book Trailer Reveal at If Books Could Talk

Tuesday, June 11 – Book Review at Authors & Readers Book Corner

Wednesday, June 12 – Book Review & Book Giveaway at Socrate’s Book Reviews

Thursday, June 13 – Guest Blogging at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, June 13 – First Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn

Friday, June 14 – Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Monday, June 17 – Book Trailer Reveal at Beyond the Books

Tuesday, June 18 – Book Review at The Top Shelf

Wednesday, June 19 – Book Review at Offbeat Vagabond

Thursday, June 20 – Interview at The Dark Phantom

Friday, June 21 – Guest Blogging at Parenting 2.0

Monday, June 24 – Book Review at Jody’s Book Reviews

Thursday, June 27 – Interview at The Top Shelf

Friday, June 28 – Interview at Straight From the Author’s Mouth




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  1. BookLady says:

    Interesting post!  Thanks for sharing and thanks for the great giveaway.

  2. Linda Kish says:

    I think it would be fun to tour those places.

  3. Book Lady and Linda,


          Thanks for the feedback. I can vouch for the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. I shared a row of booths with them at Scarefest in Lexington, Ky., last year. Everyone who had went there said the place was the scariest place they had ever visited. I am from Illinois, so I love touring the Abraham Lincoln sites in Springfield, which is about an hour south of where I live.

  4. I also wanted to offer readers of this great blog an opportunity for great horror ebooks at discounted pricing. My publisher Damnation Books is offering 28 percent off all ebooks at with promo code 289snake through the rest of the year. Also, when my next book in the series, Wrage, comes out June 1st, it will be made available for free on for the first ebook buyer. The price will rise only 25 cents with each copy purchased on that opening day until the book reaches its full price. Also, if anyone would like a free bookmark or signed postcard, email me with your mailing address to

  5. Theresa N says:

    Sorry I don't want to do the tour but love reading the books.

  6. Thanks for the giveaway

  7. Cool tour, thank you!


  8. Rita Wray says:

    Thank you for the list of haunted places.  I would love to tour them all.


  9. pinky sade says:

    thanks so much for the giveaway!

  10. Hope Mitchner says:

    Thanks so much for the giveaway

  11. Lisa Vazquezanzua says:

    This book looks really GOOD! The cover is pretty scary looking. But I love reading paranormal thrillers. And this one is going to be good!! Thank you for the chance to win a copy! 

  12. Suz Reads says:

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  13. I enjoyed the post and look forward to reading your book.

  14. Brianne says:

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  15. Kate F. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Laura P. says:

    I love a good thriller and it is even better with a paranormal twist. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. Sylvia Zajis says:

    This sounds like a great thriller, a real page turner.  I love a story that can grab a hold of me and make me keep reading until I can't put it down!

    Thank you for the great giveaway opportunity.

  18. This sounds like a great thriller!  Thanks for the post.

  19. Adnana J says:

    Scary cover. ;p The blurb sounds interesting. Thanks.

  20. Bonnie Hilligoss says:

    I love the combination of thriller and paranormal!  When we travel, we always check to see if the city has a 'ghost walk' at night or something similar.  We've found a couple of good ones!!  The book sounds great and the cover is enough to make you run and hide!  Love it!!  Thanks for the giveway. (I couldn't find a place to follow on FB.)




  21. Thanks for the tour.

  22. Grim sounds like a great read!

  23. Linda F says:

    Thanks for the chance!


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