Monday, October 7, 2013


In 1989 I worked at a restaurant in Rockledge, FL called Ashley’s Cafe

Though fictional, my idea for The Depot stemmed from the ghost who haunts the 1930s tavern.

My fascination with the restaurant came about the first night I served as the restaurant’s general manager. I’d worked there for almost two years and had never heard or saw a thing, but my first night in my new position was a different story. It’s been so long, I barely remember all that happened, but one thing that I’ll never forget is one of those large oval trays—that can’t possibly balance on its side—came sliding across the floor at me. Also, a five pound bucket of water spilled across the floor when no one was near it. Maybe the ghost was just reminding me who was boss.

But the most nerve wracking occurrences throughout the years was the number of employees—including myself—who felt as if someone had pushed them down the service stairs.

My husband—who happened to be a police officer at the time—also got to hear all the stories from the other officers who’d searched the café in the middle of the night because of alarm calls. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any stories, but the detective’s account in The Depot is based off several officers whom my husband knew and trusted.

Since I’d always been interested in the supernatural, I decided to look up the woman’s death who supposedly haunts Ashley’s when I worked there. At the time of her death, it was on record as one of the most heinous murders in Florida’s history. The murderer had gone through great lengths to conceal the woman’s identity, including smashing out all her teeth, cutting off her fingers, and burning her body. According to witnesses, the woman had been dating someone of wealth. And to my surprise, when I looked forward past a few days in the microfiche, the story had all but disappeared. Weeks later, nothing! Think about that! One of the most shocking crimes in Florida’s history in 1935 and the newspapers drop the story.

Yeah…things that make you say, “Hmmm….”

So there you have it. While my story is fictional, there is a ghost story. I believe the ghost of Ethel Allen will haunt that restaurant until someone uncovers the truth about her murder.

If you are interested in reading my twelve thousand word short story, The Depot is free for all to enjoy.

If you’d like to read more about Ashley’s ghost, click here.

Until next time, happy reading, friends!


I love talking about all things books, so please connect with me via one of the links below.

Photo Credits: Photo of Ashley's of Rockledge Incorporated is courtesy of TripAdvisorIn  


 October 7th GIVEAWAY

Today everyone who partakes of Carmen's giveaway is a winner! Simply download your free copy of THE DEPOT and enjoy! Easy, October breezy! 


Due to popular demand, The Depot is officially a prequel. The next chapter of Detective Mark Water's life will be available soon in The Library. For now, enjoy this twelve-thousand-word short story by bestselling romantic-suspense author Carmen DeSousa that has just enough mystery, paranormal, and even a little romance to round things out.

 They say The Depot is haunted. But in all the years homicide detective Mark Waters has visited the ancient train station turned restaurant, he's never seen proof. Until now.

As he investigates a supposed suicide by train, he learns secrets of a murder that took place eighty years ago may directly affect his case.

Download your copy at your favorite book retailer:
Amazon US                             
Amazon Word Wide (Sorry Amazon won’t run free in all areas)


  1. Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. I hope your friends will enjoy my FREE short story. And never fear, the follow-up *novel*, per reader demand, is scheduled to publish in a few weeks. Happy reading, friends. :)

  2. I have cold chills thanks to Carmen! LOL Love the post. :)

    1. Cool, Laura! I love when I can give readers chills. <3 I hope you enjoy the one-hour short story. It's perfect when you need a quick read. :)

  3. A ghostly true background to the story.......

    1. Thanks for commenting, Seb. Yep! Sometimes there are unexplained events. :)

  4. It's amazing where we can get inspiration for a story! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, David! Yep! I think most of us authors are proficient at people watching and atmosphere searching. I can't go anywhere without thinking, "Ooh...this would be interesting to write about..." :)

  5. Wow. That's an interesting experience. When my husband was a teen, he worked at the haunted Toys-R-Us in Milpitas, CA from "That's Incredible." Of course, he and the other employees took advantage of the hype and would roll toy cars down aisles, etc. to freak customers out. He never actually saw anything, though.

    1. LOL! That's great. I think a lot of occurrences are what we make of them. As I said, I saw very little of anything except for my first night as manager, and I worked there three years. I did, however, fall down the stairs several times, and I'm not a klutz by any means. The service stairs were barely just wide enough that one person could fit through and had a railing, so it didn't make sense that so many people fell. It was so bad, though, we put a sign up reminding customers that they were service stairs only, and that they should use the front stairs. Of course, they wouldn't listen, and inevitably, they would fall. The restaurant ever had a dumbwaiter! When's the last time you saw that? LOL!!! We didn't use it, but it was cool. It really was a neat restaurant. :)