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Sylvia Shults

Sylvia Shults

Sylvia Shults combines her love of history and her fascination with ghost stories to write passionate, intriguing books of paranormal nonfiction.

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About the author

Sylvia Shults is the author of Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital, and Ghosts of the Illinois River. She sits in dark places so you don't have to. She lives a short motorcycle ride away from the haunted asylum that features in many of her books. She considers it the highest privilege to share the compassionate history of the Peoria State Hospital.

After battling a lifelong fear of the dark, Sylvia decided to become a ghost hunter. (What WAS she thinking?) As a paranormal investigator, she has made many media appearances, including a tiny part in the Ghost Hunters episode "Prescription for Fear".

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Pre-orders

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Success! 44 Years in Darkness has already sold 10 pre-orders , was pitched to 17 publishers , and is in discussions with publishers .

$20 Copy of 44 Years in Darkness

3 readers

Be the first on your block to get a signed copy of 44 Years In Darkness when it's released at the beginning of October, 2016. You'll get a digital copy of the book, too, because I'm cool that way. You'll also get a magnet with the cover of the book, just perfect for sticking your grocery list to your fridge, or to your stove, or to your neighbor's car ... you get the idea. Choose from two designs -- the cover of 44 Years in Darkness, or a magnet with the QR code for Lights Out, my ghost story podcast.

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$30 Advance Copy of 44 Years in Darkness

5 readers

Be the first EVER to get a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of 44 Years In Darkness. With this perk, you get your hot little hands on the book at the beginning of August, 2016 -- two whole months before it hits bookstore shelves. Plus you get your choice of magnet, because you can never have too many magnets.

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$50 Book + Skype

0 readers

This perk is for those awesome people who already own a copy of Fractured Spirits. You get a signed copy of 44 Years In Darkness when it comes out in October 2016, plus a digital copy, and a Skype Q&A with the author. We'll sit and chat one-on-one about history, ghosts, other spooky stuff, your pets, my pets -- just about anything, really! And I do have some magnets left, so let me know which one you want.

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

5 of 5 left

$50 The Matched Set

1 reader

With this perk, you get a signed copy of 44 Years when it comes out in October, plus a digital copy, plus a signed copy of Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital -- the book that kind of started it all. Feed your need to read with a double whammy of history and hauntings. Plus your choice of magnets, because why not?

2 copies + ebook included

$10 shipping

$50 Gift Shop Perk

0 readers

This perk is for managers of museum gift shops (or for anyone who really, REALLY likes books). Buy five copies of the book for $10 each. (Copies will retail for at least $15). Stock your store shelves with quality nonfiction.

5 copies + ebook included

$5 shipping

$90 Gift Shop Perk

0 readers

This perk is for managers of museum gift shops (or for anyone who really, REALLY likes books). Buy ten copies of the book for $9 each. (Copies will retail for at least $15). Stock your store shelves with quality nonfiction.

10 copies + ebook included

$5 shipping

$100 Stock Up

0 readers

Christmas is just around the corner. Got friends or family who dig history and/or ghost stories? This perk gets you five signed copies of 44 Years when it's released at the beginning of October 2016, in plenty of time for you to wrap them. (And yes, I'll sign them all to different people if you want me to. Hey, I'm easy.)

5 copies + ebook included

$15 shipping

$100 PARTAYYYY!

0 readers

We've got one more super fun perk at this level. This perk gets you an ARC (advanced reading copy) of 44 Years at the beginning of August, AND an invitation for you and a friend to attend the launch party for the book. Show up at the Peoria State Hospital Museum in Bartonville, Illinois, on Monday October 10 at 7 pm, to help us launch the book and celebrate Rhoda's birthday. Or party with us at Pandora's Box in Pekin, Illinois, on Friday October 28, from 4 to 8 pm. (Travel arrangements are strictly the responsibility of the donor. I'll feed you cake, but you gotta get here on your own.)

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

$120 Gift Shop Perk

0 readers

This perk is for managers of museum gift shops (or for anyone who really, REALLY likes books). Buy fifteen copies of the book for $8 each. (Copies will retail for at least $15). Stock your store shelves with quality nonfiction.

15 copies + ebook included

$5 shipping

$120 Gift Shop Perk

0 readers

This perk is for managers of museum gift shops (or for anyone who really, REALLY likes books). Buy twenty copies of the book for $6 each. (Copies will retail for at least $15). Stock your store shelves with quality nonfiction. (Note that this perk is pretty much the same offer as the "fifteen copies for $8 each". So you might as well get twenty for $6. Just sayin'.)

20 copies + ebook included

$15 shipping

$125 Gift Shop Perk

0 readers

This perk is for managers of museum gift shops (or for anyone who really, REALLY likes books). Buy twenty-five copies of the book for $5 each. (Copies will retail for at least $15). Stock your store shelves with quality nonfiction.

25 copies + ebook included

$5 shipping

$150 History Tour

0 readers

Oh, it gets really interesting from here. This perk lands you an ARC of 44 Years at the beginning of August. Then, you and a friend get to join me for a personal tour of the Peoria State Hospital Museum, the four asylum cemeteries, and the Pollak Hospital, all nestled together on the hilltop in Bartonville, Illinois. Stroll the grounds of the asylum with me as your guide. Enjoy a historical tour of the Pollak Hospital with costumed interpreters from the asylum's history. Ask all the questions you like -- we love to talk about history AND ghosts! (Travel arrangements are strictly the responsibility of the donor. This perk is, unfortunately, not available during October, due to the Haunted Infirmary being set up at the Pollak Hospital.)

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

3 of 3 left

$300 Let's Be Ghost Hunters!

0 readers

Like the paranormal? Got some buddies who are willing to ghost hunt with you in a haunted tuberculosis ward? Join me for a personal tour of the Pollak Hospital, complete with costumed actors who portray scenes from the asylum's history. We'll visit the Peoria State Hospital Museum, just down the road. And you and three friends will get to hang out with us on an overnight ghost hunt of the Pollak and the four cemeteries. Be sure to bring the signed ARCs of 44 Years you got with this perk! (Travel arrangements are strictly the responsibility of the donor. This perk is, unfortunately, not available during October, due to the Haunted Infirmary being set up at the Pollak Hospital.)

4 copies + ebook included

$20 shipping

3 of 3 left

44 Years in Darkness

A True Story of Madness, Tragedy, and Shattered Love

Rhoda Derry spent decades locked away in an almshouse, battling severe mental illness. Her crime? Falling in love. She had been "cursed" by the mother of the boy she was engaged to marry. She was eventually rescued by Dr. Zeller of the Peoria State Hospital, spending her final years surrounded by caring nurses.

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Journalism History
75,000 words
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10 publishers interested
10 publishers interested
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  • Mildred Derry
    on June 16, 2016, 4:35 a.m.

    She is family and I like reading about her from different people

  • Sylvia Shults
    on June 16, 2016, 3:06 p.m.

    Thanks Mildred -- and now you'll get to read the book two months before everyone else does! I appreciate the preorder. :)

  • Kim Setraycic
    on June 22, 2016, 1:11 p.m.

    I enjoyed reading your Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital and know this book will be another page turner that will be hard to put down. Good luck with your campaign...cannot wait for August to roll around.

  • Brandy Yassa
    on June 24, 2016, 11:39 p.m.

    I am very much looking forward to receiving signed copies of both books mentioned, the e-book, & of course we mustn't for get the magnet (which is very cool since I collect them😉)!
    I was my pleasure to help support your campaign, and I will share it around as well...good luck!! 😊