Welcome to Sarah J. McNeal

My name is Sarah J. McNeal and I am the author of several paranormal, time travel and western novels and short stories at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and the imprints of Victory Tales Press and Western Trail Blazers. Among my books are:
The Violin, time travel, 1927 historical/paranormal
Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride, time travel/1910 historical western/paranormal
For Love of Banjo, a western/WWI historical and sequel to Harmonica Joe
Gifts from the Afterlife, contemporary paranormal short also included in the 2011 Christmas Anthology
Heart Song, contemporary/paranormal short
The Curse of the Amber Tomb, contemporary/paranormal included in the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection.
Just under contract is my upcoming paranormal, The Light of Valmora.
I live in North Carolina with my Golden Retriever, Lily and my cat, Liberty.
It’s such an honor to be a guest blogger at Petticoats and Pistols.

Haunted Sheridan Inn

Settle in and let me tell you about a haunted hotel, The Sheridan Inn. The Sheridan Is an historic inn in the National Register of Historic Places, but once it was the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco. From its planning stage to the opening of its doors on May 27, 1893, Buffalo Bill Cody was involved and led the grand celebration into the dining room on June 27, 1893. It even had electric lights thanks to the electricity supplied by abundant coal in the area and the coal-fired threshing machine engine.
George and Lucy Canfield, the first managers, catered to big game hunters, people of notoriety, people who stayed there while their homes were built and ranchers who would spend weekends there. The price of a room was $1.00 A DAY, breakfast cost $.25, lunch and dinner $.50 and, for the stagecoach that made regular stops, it cost $7.00 for 21 meals.

Bill Cody bought the business but not the building and ran the stagecoach that ran from the inn to Deadwood, South Dakota. Although he later built his own hotel in Cody, Wyoming, Cody still visited the Sheridan often.

Now comes the good part.

In 1901, Miss Catherine B. Arnold, known as Miss Kate, came to the Sheridan at age 22 with her parents and decided to stay there working as hostess, babysitter, seamstress, housekeeper and desk clerk. Everybody loved her, both the staff and the guests. The flowers she grew in her garden decorated the dining room table every day. She lived and worked there for 64 years until 1965 when it was closed and sold to a developer who planned to tear it down. The inn was saved by the Save the Sheridan Inn Society after an exhausting 2 years of campaigning. Ms. Neltje purchased the inn in 1967 and used it for dining and dancing for the next twenty years. One year after it reopened, in 1968, Miss Kate died. Her last request was to return to the Sheridan Inn and remain there. (Here comes the creepy part.) She was cremated and her ashes were placed in the wall of the room where she lived all those years on the third floor. After the inn was saved from bankruptcy and the Preceptor of Tau Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority renovated Miss Kate’s room and placed her favorite chair in front of the wall where her ashes remain in the wall. It is said by some that Miss Kate is still the guardian of the inn and the staff often say they can feel her presence. She turns the lights on and off and opens and shuts doors from time to time. Cold spots and footsteps can be heard on the third floor, in the ballroom by the windows and sometimes throughout the inn. One person reported driving by the old inn at 2:00 AM and saw shadows moving past the windows on the third floor. Of course, the inn is closed at night so no one could be there during the wee hours of the night. Now who could that be walking the silent halls of the Sheridan Inn except the lovely spirit of Miss Kate.

The Sheridan reopened in 1997 but does not have overnight guests, but there are plans to open twenty rooms to guests for overnight lodging. (I wonder if they’ll be visited by Miss Kate.) The inn has certainly had its glory days with guests like Earnest Hemingway, Bob Hope, President Hoover and Will Rogers and maybe it will again.

Recently, I found out that, as of September 6, 2012, the Sheridan has closed its doors. I guess Miss Kate will be wondering the rooms and corridors all alone now.

The Historic Sheridan Inn can be accessed from I-90, exit #23 (Fifth Street). Travel one mile west on Fifth Street, just past the railroad tracks and you’ll be there. The town of Sheridan is in northern Wyoming at the junction of I-90 and U.S. Hwy 14.

I have a new release just out this month, The Curse of the Amber Tomb, presented as one of the stories in the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection, an anthology published by Victory Tales Press.

Love is Eternal by Cate Abbott
Falling in love with a man from work is dangerous enough. What could Angelique possibly be thinking when she goes on a weekend trip – over Halloween, no less – with this dark haired, mysterious male?

Shattered Illusions by Karen Michelle Nutt
Blood stained floors appear and disappear, low whispering voices greet her as a storm causes the lights to flicker. Brona must put her fears behind her and unravel the mystery that haunts the house.

Night of Magic by Stephanie Burkhart
It’s 800 A.D. on the Emerald Isle. Samhain. Dark. Dangerous. Powerful. Dare Finn brave the bonfires to bring Aithne home?

Magic Words by Gerald Costlow
Hundreds of years ago, Felipe was cursed to be an immortal frog. Now only the lovely Evelyn can break his curse – if he can convince her that the handsome man she met just this morning is not crazy.

The Curse of the Amber Tomb by Sarah J. McNeal
Edward, a handsome photographer who is afraid of heights and Kate, a lady archeologist afraid to love, must face their fears when they discover a deadly secret in an ancient tomb.

Buy Links: (available in multiple formats for ebooks and in paperback)
It will soon be available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and most other online bookstores.

Be sure to comment on m y blog today and include your email address for a chance to win a digital copy of the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection.

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68 thoughts on “Welcome to Sarah J. McNeal”

  1. Wow! What a strange request to have your ashes put within a wall of a building. I guess that way Ms. Kate could be sure her ashes weren’t placed somewhere and forgotten. Thank you for this interesting blog Sarah. 🙂

    😀 Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  2. Hi Sarah! Welcome to the Junction. We’re thrilled to have you come. I’ve never heard of the Sheridan Inn but it sounds like a great place to visit. How sad that it closed. I hope someone will step in and save it. Your anthology looks intriguing. Paranormal is pretty high on everyone’s list right now with the big resurgence of anything not of this world. Wishing you lots of success!

  3. Sarah,

    Love the cover of your book. I write romance, paranormal, and mystery all wrapped up in one. Your book is a must read. I love what you posted about the Sheridan Inn. Would love to visit it.


  4. Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to the Junction. I loved reading your blog, especially the story behind the Sheridan Inn. I’ve heard a lot of ghost stories here in Savannah, but this one is quite unique. 😉


  5. I really like ghost stories and wouldn’t mind driving past to see The Sheridan Inn! With so many rooms I don’t know what I’d do if I saw a ghost. Shudder.

  6. After seeing the picture you posted of the Sheridan Inn I went to visit their website – it showcased it’s interesting history and had great photos from back in the day!


  7. Hi Sarah, welcome to Wildflower junction, and in the midst of our celebration, too! I love everything there is to know about haunted inns! And I love the sound of your books. Best wishes on many sales.

  8. Hi Sarah,
    I absolutely love paranormaal/time travel. The ideas are endless. But the real deal in an old Inn is priceless. I don’t have a digital reader, but would love to read your stories.
    Mary J

  9. First of all, I’d like to thank the regular bloggers of Petticoats and Pistols for allowing me to guest blog here today. For me, it’s quite a priviledge to be here. I really appreciate the opportunity.

  10. Sarah,
    Welcome to P&P today, my friend! I loved your post about this old hotel. Talk about a weird request, but…in a way, very cool that it was honored and that Miss Kate rests in a place that she devoted so much of her life to.

    As you know, I’m a huge fan of your books–I love time travel and anything paranormal, so you know I have got to run buy this anthology with your story in it…and you are in good company with the other contributors, too!

    Thanks so much for being our guest today and for this wonderful story of the ghostly Sheridan Hotel!

  11. Cindy Woodard,thank you for your comment. Now that the hotel is closed, I’m thinking that those ashes are still in that wall so she’s left all alone. What if they decide to tear down the hotel? What will happen to her then?
    Thank you for entering the contest and good luck.

  12. Sarah, thanks for stopping by Wildflower Junction and writing such an interesting blog. I personally enjoy a good ghost story. As a matter of fact, my new eKensington book has a ghost in it! I enjoyed your story and I love history, so it was a perfect match for me. Again, thanks for dropping by. Hugs, Phyliss

  13. Linda Broday, thank you for your kind welcome. I hope you’re right about the popularity of paranormal stories. I am very happy to be here today at this wonderful blog site.

  14. Melinda Elmore, I love this cover, too. I believe it was designed by Laura Shinn. If I’m wrong about that, I’ll be turned on a spit over a hot fire. LOL I might drive by the Sheridan Hotel, but I sincerely doubt I would have the courage to actually go inside. Yikes!
    Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment.

  15. Renee, you lucky girl to live in Savannah. I visited there when I was a kid with my Girl Scout Troop (the Juliet Lowe home is there–you know, founder of the American Girl Scouts and that was the reason we were there.) Of course, we visited many of the historic homes while we were there and I’m sure some of them had to be haunted. LOL We spent several days at the beach as well. It’s a beautiful old southern town.
    Thank you for your very kind comments.

  16. Tanya Hanson, thank you for that warm welcome and your very kind comments. I wonder how many haunted inns there are–a lot I’ll bet. Hey, wouldn’t be great to actually visit them and write a book about your experiences? Okay, maybe someone else could do that. I’m too much of a scaredy cat.

  17. Mary J., I share your love of paranormal and time travel books. I think it’s fascinating to see how different authors go about getting their characters into another time.
    I used to read e-books from my computer and then I had a Palm Pilot–mighty tiny but easy to carry in my purse. I was thrilled when I got my Sony ereader. I’d also love to have a Kindle so I could get books from Amazon.com on an ereader–they have to be read from my computer now since they don’t translate to my Sony. I hope you get an ereader soon.
    Thank you so much for coming by and commenting.

  18. I’d like to remind everyone that, if you want to enter the contest, you must leave your email address in your comment so there is a way to contact you if you win. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on entering the contest.

  19. Fascinating about the hotel. What really fascinates me is how many old hotel there are that are “haunted.” The Menger in San Antonio, the one Paty Jager wrote about this mone, and many more. They’re a great topic for October!
    The anthology looks like a good one, with a great collection of authors in one place. Best of luck with it!

  20. Great post, fascinating information. I have always wanted my ashes spread in the river near where I grew up. Loved your post and thanks for sharing with us today.

  21. Sarah – We have a lot in common! I, too, write paranormal time travel that takes place in a historic hotel that I am trying to help save from demolition Instead of the west, my haunted hotel is the Belleview Biltmore, in Belleair, FL. Check out my site and let me know if you think we might be able to do some joint promotions! http://www.BonSueBrandvik.com.

    Best of luck to you… the book sounds great!

  22. Sarah I loved the story of the Sheridan Inn, the story of Kate too is marvelous and she needs her own story written. I would love to visit there and see if I can “Feel” her prescence.
    I have not read your books but they sound like some I would really like so your name goes on my authors list. I love to read and the list keeps getting longer.

  23. Cheryl Pierson, it’s so good to see you.Thank you for all your kind words and, as always, your steadfast support. A smile comes to my face just seeing your name.You write some awesome time travel and paranormal stories, too. I enjoy all of your work. Each one is so unique. Scarlet Ribbons and The homecoming are among my favorites.
    Thank you so much for coming by.

  24. Celia Yeary, I agree, there certainly seems to be a good number of haunted hotels. What’s up with that? Maybe it’s like Vegas, hotels give people an opportunity to act differently and try things that may not be in their best interest or put them in danger–someting they would never do at home. When something happens as a consequence, maybe that otherwise normal person just can’t believe they let themselves get into such a situation. So they hang around trying to figure out what went wrong. ha ha
    I love the month of October. Not only does the weather of crisp air and the color of the autumn leaves inspire me, but the Halloween season is just so much dang fun.
    Thank you for coming by Celia. I really appreciate it.

  25. Quilt Lady (love that handle), thank you for those kind words. I can see ashes in a river near home. There’s something so peaceful about that. My parents’ ashes are in Linville Falls, a beautiful place but, goodness, what a hike to get there. I bought a monument for my grandparents and my Uncle John (I wrote The Violin about him) and had the monument maker put an alcove with a glass door in te monument. My ashes will go there. It’s a beautiful place where most of my relatives are buried. Sort of ancestoral grounds. I do not intend to haunt the place. LOL Maybe Kate felt like the hotel was her only real home–still, your ashes in a wall? Creepy.
    Thank you so much for coming by.

  26. Karen Michelle Nutt, you are quite the paranormal author. I enjoy reading your stories so much. Eli and Lucca were my first introductions to your wonderful paranormal stories–great stories.
    I think mausoleums are fascinating places with people’s ashes in blocks of marble wall. Ashes in any wall is creepy to me, but ashes in a hotel wall would definitely creep me out.
    Thank you so much for taking time to come by, Karen.

  27. BonSue Brandvik, I didn’t actually write a story about the Sheridan Hotel except to post for a Halloween western historical on this blog. I have written historicals with ghosts or paranormal elements such as Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride and The Violin. I haven’t written about a haunted hotel but it seems a very interesting idea. A hotel that burns down killing numbers of guests would give their spirits plenty of reason to haunt the hotel that is resurrected in the ashes of the former hotel. A hotel in Florida would be very intriguing. Oh. And what if the fire was started under mysterious circumstances?
    I’ll check out your website.Thank you so much for coming by and thank you for your comments.

  28. Paula Osborne, you are a braver soul than I. No way would I want to step foot inside the Sheridan with Kate’s ashes in the wall. The thought of someone’s ashes in a wall anywhere near my sleeping self just gives me goosebumps. Maybe they should reopen the Sheridan and rename it The Paranormal Pallace and invite the paranormal community to come in with equipment and mediums and spend a weekend or a week. Maybe even have special paranormal adventures for the guests. I should be a publicist or PR rep. LOL
    Thank you so much for coming by, Paula, and leaving such an enticing comment.

    • Liz, I’m a wimp, too. I can’t watch scary movies on TV at night or I’ll have nightmares. Some things like The walking Dead where they graphically smash zombie heads makes me squirm. If I watch it, it just makes me kind of sick and I sure don’t want to dream about that.
      thank you for your very kind comments.

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