Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Giveaway! Who's in the Mood for a Ghost Story?

Enter to win a copy of Christmas Ghost Stories: A Collection of Winter Tales by Mark Onspaugh!

Daphne and her two year old son Gus looking for treats - FarmgirlFare.com
How about you skip the story and just hand over the treats?

I've met so many interesting people since I started Farmgirl Fare back in 2005. Take my friend Tobey Crockett for example. She's a transformational coach who lives on the "idyllic central coast of California" and offers everything from business coaching and marketing consulting to White Heart Readings using her one of a kind, handmade modern Tarot deck.

Tobey spends a lot of her free time in various Native American and indigenous ceremonies, and during last summer's devastating heat and drought she even asked a shaman friend to do a spiritual investigation and see if a rain ceremony would work for our farm and the surrounding area.

She and I have been e-mailing sporadically for years, but I didn't discover until recently that her husband, Mark Onspaugh, is a writer. He's been nominated for a prestigious Pushcart Prize and is delighted to have been compared to his favorite authors, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King.


Mark's new book, Christmas Ghost Stories: A Collection of Winter Tales, features 16 "sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and occasionally bittersweet stories that can be read alone or sewn together and are perfect for sharing aloud by the fire or cuddling with someone (or something!) toasty on a moonless December night." After just a few pages, I was longing for candlelight, hot cocoa, a cozy quilt, and somebody reading to me.


Read more and enter to win a copy below. . .

Is this a book for kids? Since my experience with kids is mostly of the four-footed variety, I asked Tobey. She said, "I'd say about 50% of the book is family friendly with about 25% funny stories, four original fairy tales from the shadowy Black Forest, and plenty of romance sprinkled in too. Reading or telling ghost stories in the dark of winter is an ancient tradition and the Victorians apparently told them at Christmas as well.

"There is no gore (some blood in one or two) and even the darkest tales would probably be fine for today's horror knowledgeable tweens and older. But a few are indeed a touch scary or strange in that weirdling sense a la Ray Bradbury—as they should be!"

Would you like to win a paperback copy of Christmas Ghost Stories? To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling us something—anything!—about ghost stories or Christmas stories or holiday storytelling traditions. One entry per person, please. You can enter through next Wednesday, December 12th, and I'll pick a random winner.

**You must include your e-mail address in your comment in order to win, otherwise I have no way to get a hold of you.** It won't be used for anything except to contact the winner. To avoid spam bots, you can leave it like this: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com. I moderate comments so yours may not show up right away. Sorry, but the book can only be shipped to a U.S. address.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back into the kitchen and finish baking about five kinds of holiday cookies and then start preparing the kitchen garden for some really cold weather. Winter has arrived on the farm!

© FarmgirlFare.com, where it just wouldn't be the same without cookies and books, preferably served up together. Thanks to Tobey and Mark for providing the giveaway copy of Christmas Ghost Stories.

31 comments:

  1. We love storytime during the holidays, because some of the boys' favorite books (that get packed up along with the Christmas decorations) come out again. We have old hand-me-downs from when our parents were children, and these are the ones the boys ask for daily - there is a reason classics are classics! We cuddle up in front of the tree and read away; sometimes hot chocolate is involved, sometimes not. Great way to pass the dark winter evenings. Thanks for the chance, Liene @ LLucane at yahoo dot com

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  2. Would love to read Christmas Ghost Stories!!! My dad was a writer. One of his favorites that he wrote is called Ozark Tales and Superstitions. His name was Phillip Steele. He has been gone five years now, but I now if he were still here with us...he would LOVE to share your Christmas Ghost Stories with us and would want to be the one reading out loud to all the children who would listen.....Thanks so much..Meagan Steele, cte83969@centurytel.net

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  3. Our annual Christmas stories involve cuddling by the warm fire and watching the classic holiday movies that we have all seen many times. We also share some more personal family stories of Christmases past to remind us of times gone by and loved ones who are no longer with us. It keeps them close to our hearts during the holidays.

    The ghost story book sounds wonderful! My email address: jennifer AT nobletouchnaturals DOT com

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  4. Winter finally showed up at our place too. For us it's rain and clouds and a bit of the old wind to keep us looking out the window. There'll be no snowy nights in LyndaLand. This dip as is really obtrusive and makes it really hard to comment...

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  5. My kids and I love ghost stories and even though my youngest are 15, 15 and 13, they still like to sit in the living room and listen to me read stories by candle (and during Christmas, by the light of the tree). Christmas ghost stories would be awesome - because our favorite is the best ghost story of all: A Christmas Carol.

    oneoldgoat@verizon.net

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  6. Every year my I read a new christmas story. Last year it was The Autobiography of Santa Claus. Each Christmas Eve my house is bustling with friends and family that gather I serve a huge spaghetti dinner and share a little gift with everyone who visits. It is one of my favorite family/friend traditions. Some years we have had as many as 25 people and others as few as 10 but it is always festive. My husband our 2 children (now 23 and 25) and I have one night during the holidays set aside just the 4 of us, we watch It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol I make everyones favorite snacks and we celebrate just the 4 of us...I love the time when it is just us four. I would love for my book this year to be the Christmas Ghost Stories: A Collection of Winter Tales
    laurelDOTgyesATgmailDOTcom

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  7. My very first ghost story.. when I was somewhere between 10 & 12, I had a big bedroom with a library on one wall. I had already been snuggled in bed & for some reason looked up at the top of the wall.. and there was this white hazy area that was kind of swirling around. I was frozen, staring at it.. and I first sensed and then saw my great grandmothers face who had passed on 2 or 3 years previously. I pulled the covers over my head and started screaming bloody murder and my mother came running. I was crying & freaking out & she comforted me till I stopped crying and asked me if I wanted her to sit with me until I went to sleep again.. I said yes. She sat down in a chair that was next to my bed & we talked for a minute then I settled in to go to sleep. The next thing I knew, I saw my mom get up, bend over me, pull the cover up a bit & walk out of the room. I remember that I thought to myself "Hey!! She said she was gonna stay with me till I went to sleep! Im not asleep cuz I saw her walk out!!" Then it dawned on me that I was seeing her from the vantage point of the ceiling.. and I saw myself laying face up on my bed & I was floating above it, face down, and that is how I saw her leave the room. I wasnt frightened at all and I thought it was quite cool.. and I remember realizing that gravity was having no effect on the me that was floating.. and I wondered what else I could do.. I wiggled my hands, feet, legs & arms and then I wanted to see if I could go up or down.. I started going down towards my body and when I was about 2.5 feet or so from my body, I knew nothing else. I woke up the next morning and that entire memory was clear as a bell.. so clear that some 40 years later, its just as clear of a memory now as it was them.. It started me on a journey of metaphysics & a spiritual path I love today.. True story. :) kkaye76 at aol dot com.

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  8. I have always loved to read and this trait seems to have been passed down to my little 2 year old girl- she is such a book worm. She will leaf through books for hours each day! There is nothing better than when I read her Christmas stories cuddled up next to the tree with a plateful of snacks nearby. I would LOVE to have a good Christmas ghost story book although it would be for "mama's eyes only" after my girl's bedtime :)

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  9. Oh! I forgot to post my email- sourtymes@gmail.com

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  10. When we moved into our home 46 + years ago - it was a new build, but came already occupied by our little "girl" whom we named Pandora. We tried to get her to go "to the light" as they say, but she would rather stay here with us. She never does anything mean, just mischievous. We are all so used to her now that she is just like one of our children, except my children are in their 40's and 30's and she never grows old. Christmas if fun with "her" around because she does hide items which we eventually find, but not always easy. Oh the stories I could tell.!!!!!

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  11. Winter (such as it is) is finally arriving here in SE Arizona too. Wind and cold and a chance of rain.
    The book sounds awesome I would love to win a copy!
    I bought a Christmas story book last year written by Baxter Black, a pretty famous cowboy humorist who actually lives in our little town. We have even been out gathering calves with him. The book is called "Rudolph's Night Off" and tells how Billy the Goat from Lampasas saves Christmas! ;)
    calicocandy1958 at gmail dot com

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  12. I am a Storyteller. I am telling the delightful Christmas story of "Crooky: the Exceptional Star" by Theda Eckman McCullough at a library next week. Would love to win this book to add something to my storytelling tool kit.

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  13. For Christmas one year my grandma gave me books of old German fairy tales; this was many years ago, before the stories were sanitized, so they were full of charming details like evil stepmothers nailed into barrels and sent over waterfalls, evil stepsisters burned to death, fun stuff like that. She is long gone now, but I still have the books, and sometimes take one down and read it as an escape from relentless holiday cheer. This book sounds like it would be a welcome addition to my lexicon of holiday horror, thanks for giving us a chance to win a copy! krak_des_chevaliers AT yahoo DOT com

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  14. We recently moved to New England, and have started a new tradition--we have a winter/holiday advent calendar where the boys unwrap a book a night and Daddy reads to them before bed. Some of my best memories of childhood are of my father reading to us with his wonderful rich voice; I'm smiling and feeling a wee bit sleepy just thinking about it. I'm not sure the boys are old enough for ghost stories, yet. But someday soon!
    My email address: lorna@maurer.ca

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  15. I love reading stories aloud to my grandchildren and my husband, too. Actually, just about anytime I have an audience. My entire family are such avid readers, I have often felt like we keep the local book store in business. Needless to say, I would love to win this book and enjoy reading to all. Babs. bggeorge1@gmail.com

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  16. 12/09/12 I have several books that are collections of ghost stories, usually regional around the USA. I have never thought about Christmas ghost stories, so thanks for introducing this idea to me. We usually enjoy Christmas animal stories. If I am fortunate enough to receive your gift book, I will be reading to the members of my Gardening Club during the snowy month of January!!
    pjfinsunnyca@yahoo.com

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  17. How fun! This sounds like a delightful new tradition in the making :)! One of our favorite Christmas stories is Jan Brett's Wild Christmas Reindeer. What I remember most fondly about the story is reading it with our toddlers and the gorgeous illustrations of the young girl feeding the reindeer lush green dinner in their gorgeous stalls. The greens looked so luscious, I came to call our dinner kale
    'Reindeer Hay' after that, and when we'd have it for dinner, our kids would fly around the house, like the reindeer in the story, flying after eating that nutritious reindeer hay. Only young kids in our town that ADORED kale :)! Favorite memory. Happy Winter, Susan Dear!

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  18. Hi Susan, I just forgot to leave my email address with my Reindeer Hay story. My address is carylanneb at gmail dot com. Thanks!

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  19. We always did a lot of reading aloud to our children (now 45 and 42), but when we adopted our 2 grandchildren 21 years ago, we read aloud all the time. Even after they could read themselves , they wanted to continue our family read aloud time, Now 21 and 20, we still enjoy that, especially at Christmas. I'd love to have this book of ghost stories! lynn.rogers74@comcast.net.

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  20. As a child and one of four siblings, the month of December leading up to Christmas was when my dad would take down the very old copy of A Christmas Carole and read to us nightly. This was a tradition that would continue for many years. As I grew older, the part ablutions the ghost of Christmas Future became only a little less scary, still giving me goosebumps until I was into my teens.

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  21. Forgot to give you my email address: north coast cook AT g mail DOT com

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  22. LOVE a good ghost story and love this blog. Also missed you terribly while you were away. SO glad you're back!

    deb in Georgia (DMRogers218@comcast.net)

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  23. I always give books for holiday presents, and often found time to read the kids' books with them during the holiday afternoon lull.

    I just wrapped two Dr. Seuss books for my granddaughter -- I'm sure my son will enjoy reading them to her.

    dsbernhardt at ballstate dot bsu dot edu

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  24. I've never heard a christmas ghost story. Sounds interesting! I was a fan of the "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" series when I was young. My email victoriangal at sbcglobal dot net

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  25. I reside in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where we have a number of ghostly type encounters and ghost chasers. Always enjoyed those stories and the ones of ghosts from the shipwrecks of our Great Lakes. My email is debi.beeuwsaert@yahoo.com.

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  26. I think the donkeys would like some of those cooked you're getting ready to ake. :-)!

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  27. Oh my what a great book! My husband is a storyteller I think he'd love this! My email is joy (.) clark at gmail (.) com

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  28. My grand son loves having me read to him. One of his favorites is a book of ghost stories . I would love to read him a new story. dcfinlay at centurytel dot net

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  29. I am thoroughly enjoying all the stories I'm reading here! Sadly, I have no personal paranormal experiences to share. I guess ghosts just don't believe in ME! ;^)

    We reread the best Christmas ghost story _A Christmas Carol_ every holiday season, and would love to add some new ones to our collection! bonjon100 AT cox DOT net

    sue

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  30. Hi, I love to read as well as watch Ghost Stories. Today, I'd like to add my own. In my house, we have the garage in front and bellow the house (the garage is the first floor) and there is a small space at the bottom and top, and because of the placing of the house, the wind tends to blow in the direction of the street in front of my house. Whenever the wind picks up speed, the wind gets into the garage and it makes a uuuUUUuuu sound, and my friends think it was a ghost, I have so much fun creeping them out :P

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  31. That simply amazing story book. My daughter love ghost story. I'm sure shell going to love that book. Here my email..saltrivercoltstarting at gmail dot com.

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