When Maddie Kosloski got roped into managing her home town’s paranormal museum, she figured. . . Well, she didn’t know what to figure. But she’s run with it. Here’s a typical day-in-the-life of Maddie, museum owner, in her own words.
8 AM. Get up. Think about exercise. Don’t do it.
One of the benefits of owning a paranormal museum is the hours. No one shows up before ten AM. So there are no pre-sunrise wake-up calls. Another advantage is the dress code. Jeans and a t-shirt are all I need, plus a jacket in the winter until the heater kicks in.
9:30 AM. Open museum.
I know, I said things don’t start until ten, but the exhibits need regular dusting, and GD Cat needs to be fed. GD’s short for Ghost Detecting. Since the cat is one of my museum’s favorite “exhibits,” and he understands revenge, I’ve learned to be prompt when it comes to filling his cat bowl.
10:00 AM. Customers!
Not a whole lot though – just folks who arrived in San Benedetto too early for any of the tastings at the local wineries. This gives me time to research one of our haunted photos – an old woman in Victorian dress who might have been murdered by one of her relatives. I say “might” because the notes on the exhibits I bought with the museum are thin. Was she really murdered? And if so, which of her relatives did it?
12:00 PM. Lunch!
Harper stops by with a bag full of burritos, and our friend, Adele, slips in from her tearoom next door. We sit around the séance table and nosh beneath the watchful gaze of GD Cat, who’s perched on the spirit cabinet. He’s in for a disappointment, because all the burritos are vegetarian.
I’ll probably pay for that later.
1:30 PM. Digestion.
The museum’s getting busy, and I’m seated behind the register, handing out tickets. GD seems to know that the tip jar on the counter keeps him in kibble. He puts on a show, staring intently at empty corners and growling at the creepy dolls.
Outside, Detective Slate walks past the window. He catches my eye and grins, and something hooks in my chest. His partner, Detective Laurel Hammer glares, and I shrivel in my seat. She really doesn’t like me.
2:30 PM. Herb Tries to Sell a Magic Mirror.
If you’re wondering where a paranormal museum gets its exhibits, that’s an excellent question, and I’m glad you asked.
Fortunately, my museum came fully furnished. But most of the exhibits were sold to the prior owner by Herb, who calls himself a “collector.”
Nose twitching, he tries to sell me a mirror once owned by Dion Fortune. For the price he’s asking, the mirror would need to grant wishes, such as vanishing the ten pounds I’ve been trying to get rid of for the last year and a half.
I decline the offer.
2:45 PM. Research Said Mirror.
So it turns out Dion Fortune was an early 20th century occultist. She wrote a bunch of books – both fiction and non. Hm… If I had the mirror, I could use it as a marketing gimmick to sell her books. But I’d have to sell an impossible about of books to make that mirror worthwhile.
The haunted picture of the old lady crashes to the floor, startling the customers. Fortunately, no one is hurt, and everyone is spooked.
3:00 PM. Talk Adele into Lending Me One of Her Waiters to Watch the Museum while I Run to the Hardware Store for Better Picture Hooks
Fortunately, nothing is far in downtown San Benedetto. We are a quite literal cow town. With wine!
I hustle back to the museum and pass the custom motorcycle shop next door. The owner, Mason, leans against a Harley in the window, muscles bulging against the seams of his t-shirt as he chats up a leather-clad customer. Mason rakes a hand through his blond hair, and I try not to drool at the big Viking.
Hey, he’s hot.
6:00 PM. Close the Museum.
You’d think a paranormal museum would be busy at night. Not here. Once the wineries close up, the tourists go away, and most wine tasting stops at six.
I meet Harper and Adele at the local microbrewery, killing time. Though most days I’m done by this time, not tonight. I’ve got a gaggle of ghost hunters coming to the museum at nine o’clock to test for paranormal activity.
9:00 PM. Open the Museum for the Ghost Hunters.
The good news?
The ghost hunters don’t want me around while they’re using their gizmos and gadgets to check for haunts.
The bad news? I have to return at 1 AM to close up after them.
I drive home and watch Magnum PI reruns until. . .
1:00 AM. Close the Museum for the Ghost Hunters. Go Home.
The ghost hunters caught some orbs on video! Many people believe these floating bits of light are ghosts. I’ve seen some orb videos that have made me wonder. but I’m still skeptical. The floating lights could be bits of dust. Or reflections on the lens. Or a ton of other things. But that video’s going on the website!
I drive home and fall asleep, dreaming of Vikings.
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum is the first book in the NEW “Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, March 2016.
About The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
When Maddie Kosloski’s career flatlines, she retreats to her wine-country hometown for solace and cheap rent. Railroaded into managing the local paranormal museum, she’s certain the rumors of its haunting are greatly exaggerated. But a new ghost may be on the loose. A fresh corpse in the museum embroils Maddie in murders past and present.
With her high school bully as one of the officers in charge, Maddie doubts justice will be served. When one of her best friends is arrested, she’s certain it won’t be.
Maddie grapples with ghost hunters, obsessed taxidermists, and the sexy motorcyclist next door as outside forces threaten. And as she juggles spectral shenanigans with the hunt for a killer, she discovers there truly is no place like home.
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Meet the author
Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and in South-east Asia. Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes steampunk suspense and paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. Get updates on her latest work at: kirstenweiss.com
All comments are welcomed.