Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sylvia Shults  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Horror Mystery Non-Fiction Romance

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1968 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Sylvia Shults on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Shults has lived in Illinois all her life. Born in Chicago and raised in LaGrange, she went to college in Monmouth then moved to Normal for grad school. She lived in Bloomington for a while, and worked at the Bloomington Public Library. When she met her future husband, she moved to Pekin, and has been there ever since. They got married New Year's Eve 1999. She has worked at the Fondulac District Library in East Peoria since 1997.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sylvia Shults has worked as a librarian, Bookmobile driver, flower seller, dancer, and art model. She holds a Bachelor's degrees in Classics (Monmouth 1990), and a Master's in ancient Roman History (ISU 1992). Her hobbies include wild food foraging, baking, making wines and cordials, and gardening. She is hopelessly addicted to classical music and reading. Also a paranormal investigator, she writes both horror and romance, and is the first to admit that the line separating the two can be very fine indeed. She firmly believes that there is no such thing as too many projects, and is currently at work on her next novel. She lives in Illinois, practically right on the Illinois River, with her husband, two furry German shepherd daughters, two rotten cats, and far too many books.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Golden Horus
ISBN: 0738839647

Xlibris Corp. 2000

Susan Delkirk is a historical romance writer who is about to start a romance of her own. Her research turns up a handsome stranger who will take her study of history to a new level. He is Tutankhamen, an Egyptian pharaoh who has accidentally travelled to our time. Susan helps him find his way back, but can she let him go?

Voices in an Empty Room: A Collection of Stories
ISBN: 0595210384

iUniverse. 2001

A vampire's latest victim is not what she seems. A hospital patient lives in terror of the destruction his dreams will bring. A musician is haunted by a fatal love song. There is more to this world than the papers' headlines reveal. Sylvia Shults takes you on a journey through the darker side of life. These stories explore the hidden reaches of the mind, and the monsters that can lie waiting in the shadows.

Games of Venus
ISBN: 073884070X

Xlibris Corporation. 2001

Orphaned at a young age, Camilla Secunda is sold into slavery, then rises through the patronage of her mistress to become one of the most sought-after courtesans in Pompeii. She is beautiful, wealthy, talented, and utterly independent-- until she falls in love. Her journey for love's sake will take her to the ends of the Empire, and test the limits of her heart.

ISBN: 160076035X Publishing. 2007

It all started when they moved. . .Ryan Alldred knew that moving several states away from where he'd grown up would be hard. He had no idea. He didn't know about the ghosts. He didn't know about the bloody dreams that would terrorize his twin sister Stephanie. And he didn't know about the butcher knife. . .But he's going to find out.

Trilogy No. 110: Timeless Embrace
ISBN: 1602020736

Linden Bay Romance. 2007

Romance is timeless, love is eternal. Come experience love through the eyes of three ancient cultures in this trilogy of novellas from the imagination of Sylvia Shults. Let yourself be lost in a Timeless Embrace. What You Wish For: Egyptian prince Ankh-Kheperu had been dead for centuries, until museum curator Emily Chase coaxes him back to life with the help of text from Ancient Egypt's The Book of The Dead. What kind of girl could say no to being seduced by a dark, handsome, exotic Egyptian prince? Love 101: Someone is stealing ancient Greek artifacts. When sexy detective Tony Saals signs up for Professer Becca Hellenga's art history class, he thinks that he'll learn something that will help him catch his man. But Becca is about to catch a man of her own! Through a Glass Brightly: When American Angela Woods moves to Europe to pursue a job as a English teacher, she never expected to find herself caught in a mnage a trois with two attentive Italians, both dedicated to pleasuring her to utter writhing fulfillment. The problem? One of them is a ghost!

Borrowed Flesh
ISBN: 1600761496 Publishing. 2009

A woman weighed down with the secrets of her past meets the young girl who will teach her to love again. But someone is watching them both... Being laid off sucks. But now Claire has the time to do her friend Darlene a favor. Darlene's kid, Melody, has been coming home with some pretty wild stories about the Catholic grade school she attends. And when Melody goes missing, Claire knows she needs to be the one to find her. The demon Araknagoth knows all of Claire's secrets. It knows her weaknesses. And it knows about her desperate search for Melody. Borrowed Flesh ... a story of demonic doppelgangers, the dusty shadows and forgotten sins of a repressive Church, and a kidnapped little girl. Open the book, turn the pages, and shiver your way through Borrowed Flesh.

Ghosts of the Illinois River
ISBN: 1571665978

Quixote Press. 2010

"from ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, the Good lord deliver us." There are all kinds of bumps in the night to be found along the Illinois River. The river has seen centuries of history come and go, and has witnessed its share of mystery and dark deeds. Sylvia Shults is your guide on a trip down the longest river in Illinois. Come and meet the GHOSTS OF THE ILLINOIS RIVER.

Price of Admission
ISBN: 0983160325

Crossroad Press. 2011

Music touches our hearts, molds our lives, strengthens our souls. For Jessica Taylor, though, life has become monotonous, a simple tune played over and over to the point of exhaustion. Then she meets Max, a gifted musician, who brings the melody back into her life. But Max is hiding his own the fact that he's a three-hundred-year-old immortal. It's the power of music that gives Max his eternal youth, and the power of music that draws Max and Jessica closer together. But as Jessica finds herself falling for Max, circumstances threaten to destroy their newfound happiness. Ghosts from Max's long past return to haunt them both. Will the secrets of Max's past drive them apart? What chance does a mortal woman have to gain the love of an immortal? Will the price of admission be more than either of them can bear?

Taming of the Werewolf
ISBN: 0983160376

Crossroad Press. 2011

"BEFORE I MET YOU, I NEVER KNEW WOLVES COULD SMILE..." Was ever any gentleman thus grieved as Baptista Minola? An Italian lord with two daughters, the youngest of which cannot be married until the elder, Katharina, is wed... AND THEREBY HANGS ATAIL..." Because Katharina is cursed. She has a fearsome temper and a sharp tongue. And even sharper teeth... KISS ME KATE, FOR WE WILL BE MARRIED ON SUNDAY..." I'LL SEE YOU EATEN ON SUNDAY!" Petruchio is determined to win her hand. A large dowry is a rich incentive indeed for this less-than-gentleman fromVerona, even if there are...issues... The sexual politics of Renaissance Italy succumb to the true nature of the beast within. This is Shakespeare withTEETH.

The Dark at the Heart of the Diamond
ISBN: 0984893199

Crossroad Press. 2012

A vampire's latest victim is not what she seems. A hospital patient lives in terror of the destruction his dreams will bring. A musician is haunted by a fatal love song. There is more to this world than the papers' headlines reveal. Sylvia Shults takes you on a journey through the darker side of life. These stories explore the hidden reaches of the mind, and calls forth the monsters that can lie waiting in the shadows. "Sylvia Shults is the princess of darkness, a mistress of malevolent miracles...and her lean, mean prose will keep your nightlight on well past your bedtime. Highly recommended." -- Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR, PINKERTON'S WAR, and THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND "Price of Admission is beautifully composed, brilliantly executed. Sylvia Shults plays upon the English language like a master musician on a fine-tuned instrument." -- Andrea Jones, award-winning author of HOOK & JILL

Double Double Love and Trouble
ISBN: 098489313X

Crossroad Press. 2013

Opposites attract -- but sometimes it takes a while! Meet Selena Goode. She's an herbalist, she runs a small museum in Salem, and she's a practicing solitary Wiccan. She likes her life, quiet as it is. Then Brian Gottschalk comes barreling into it with the force of an Atlantic storm. He works for a ghost-hunting TV show, and he's in Salem to find a story. He's witty, charming ... and a total jerk. Selena has no problem with ghosts. She does, however, have a problem with Big-City Brian. It will take all his charm, plus the silent advice of a caring ghost, to make Selena realize that maybe, big-city isn't so bad after all. Both laugh-out-loud funny and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, Double Double Love & Trouble is a sexy, humorous romp from an author at the top of her game. Let it cast its spell over you.

Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital
ISBN: 0984893113

Crossroad Press. 2013

During the first half of the twentieth century, the Peoria State Hospital was the premiere mental health facility of its day. Dr. George Zeller instituted the eight-hour workday for his staff, removed patient restraints, and made the asylum into a model for the care of the mentally ill. Today, there are only a few buildings of the hospital left. Some of them are still in use, others are inhabited only by ghosts. Our guide to these ghosts -- and the history they represent -- is Sylvia Shults. In Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital, she brings a passion for paranormal investigation to her adventures at this haunted hotspot. The spirits come to life once more as Shults explores their former home. Other voices help her tell the story: this is a collection of people's experiences at the Peoria State Hospital. Ghost hunting groups, sensitives, former nurses, and ordinary people share their stories with us, their voices resonating to create a panoramic view to rival the vista of the Illinois River. To visit the remaining buildings of the Peoria State Hospital today is to visit a small piece of history. A ghost story over a hundred years in the making, Fractured Spirits is narrative nonfiction at its finest.

Hunting Demons
ISBN: 1892523965

Whitechapel Productions. 2015

HUNTING DEMONS A TRUE STORY OF THE DARK SIDE OF THE SUPERNATURAL BY SYLVIA SHULTS IN THE DARKNESS, HOW DO WE KNOW WHO IS BEING HUNTED? For more than a 150 years, seekers of the unknown have been trying to communicate with the other side, seeking out the lost souls who have died and yet still inhabit the earth. But what if some of spirits being sought were never really human at all? What if what they were hunting was also hunting them? Linda was a seasoned paranormal investigator, founder of a well-respected ghost hunting group, with a religious conviction that allowed her to hear the voices of the spirits that she was seeking to help. Unfortunately, Linda's prayers for the souls of the dead were answered -- but not in the way that she ever imagined. Sylvia Shults, author of Fractured Spirits: Hauntings of the Peoria: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital, presents the chilling true story of a woman who steps over the line into the darkest corners of the paranormal. Encompassing the history of diabolical folklore, possession, the spirit world, and fallen angels, she then reveals one woman's battle against demonic oppression, human frailty and Linda's all-encompassing trust in her God. It's a compelling volume for anyone with an interest in the paranormal and a must-read about the dangers of the supernatural -- and about what just might be waiting for us out there in the darkness. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sylvia Shults is the author of several previous books, including Fractured Spirits and Ghosts of the Illinois River. She describes herself as an open-minded skeptic but has been a paranormal investigator for many years. She goes into the dark and spooky places, she says, so you don't have to! She currently resides in Illinois.

44 Years in Darkness: A True Story of Madness, Tragedy, and Shattered Love
ISBN: 1536916854

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016

In the later part of the nineteenth century, Rhoda Derry spent over forty years in the Adams County Poor Farm, curled in a fetal position in a box bed. She had clawed her own eyes out. She had beaten her front teeth in. Her legs had atrophied to the point where she could no longer stand on her own, or even sit in a wheelchair. She had been committed there by her own family when they could no longer care for her at home. She spent decades locked away from the world. Her crime? Falling in love. Rhoda suffered a mental breakdown after being “cursed” by the mother of the boy she was engaged to marry. Committed to the almshouse for violent insanity, she was eventually rescued by Dr. George A. Zeller. She was transferred to the Peoria State Hospital in Bartonville, Illinois, where she spent the remainder of her days in peace and comfort. Rhoda died in 1906, but her spirit seems to live on … The story of Rhoda Derry is one of the great tragedies of mental health care in Illinois, and one of the great success stories of the Peoria State Hospital. Sylvia Shults, author of Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital, returns to the hilltop to tell the story of Rhoda's life, and her afterlife. She examines the social pressures that led to Rhoda's breakdown and her eventual insanity. And she explores the stories that continue to be told about Rhoda, and her presence on the hilltop.


Timeless Embrace

  • USA Book News Finalist - Best Romance Novel
  • The Dreamwatcher

  • USA Book News Finalist - Best Horror Novel

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    The author prefers to stay in central Illinois, but will consider going farther afield.