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Oh! No! A Murder of Crows!!

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“Oh! No! A Murder of Crows”

A flock, a flight, a ‘murder of crows’,

Which word to use?

I’m in the throes!

~ ~ ~ ~

I am both terrified and fascinated by crows, and even used a particular ‘murder of crows’ in my latest novel, “Ghosts of White Raven Estate”.

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks and paperbacks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Available where eBooks and paperbacks are Sold!

Yes! That’s what a flock of crows are called, you know . . . a “murder”. But why?

I recently looked up the etymology of “murder of crows” and learned the term is used primarily by writers and poets (not scientists and/or botanists).

According to zBeckabee who posts on FunTrivia, The term “murder” was used to describe a flock of crows as far back as the 15th century, as published by the Oxford English Dictionary. (Here’s a spine-chilling version from 1475: “A morther of crowys.”)

The OED suggests this is an allusion to “the crow’s traditional association with violent death” or “its harsh and raucous cry.” If you’ve ever heard dozens of agitated crows in full cry, it really does sound as if they’re yelling bloody murder.

This usage, which apparently died out after the 1400s, was revived in the 20th century. The first modern citation in the OED comes from 1939, but the usage was undoubtedly popularized by its appearance in An Exaltation of Larks (1968), a compendium of “nouns of multitude” by James Lipton.” ###

Of course Edgar Allen Poe (the poet in residence of my ancestral hometown (Baltimore) uses crows in metaphors, as tormentors, and certainly as messengers; Alfred Hitchcock (my Fave author) uses crows.  And who doesn’t delight in the writing of Joyce Carol Oates and particularly her “Mudgirl Saved by the King of Crows“.

And, let’s not overlook crows at the box office. Oh! Yikes!! Crows don’t seem to fare well on the big screen if 2013 “Wrath of the Crows” directed by Ivan Zuccon is any indication http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2070897/.

But enough about Ivan, more about . . . me!

Let’s take a read of how I used crows to torment-the-tormenter in my latest novel: From “Ghosts of White Raven Estate” this is our beloved anti-hero Father Vivenzio scrapping with the messengers of doom in my novel:

“His breathing quickened; he cautioned himself to not appear fearful. Don’t look over. Don’t look over. A lone howl, long and mournful, emanated from the shadows of the pine grove near the back of the graveyard. The exact source of the howling could not be determined.

The priest clutched at his robes and reached into his pocket for his handkerchief. He mopped his brow, patting the beads of sweat from his forehead. The New Orleans heat had been unbearable when he left the rectory that morning. But now, without the protection of his three-cornered hat, the crows might be attracted to the top of his shiny, baldhead, he imagined.

He scurried along Washington Avenue from St. Charles Avenue to Prytania Street. “How could any family live across the street from a cemetery? Even if it is their own cemetery?” Two hundred years of history. What secrets are enfolded in the history of the Calais family? He admonished himself for his uncharitable thoughts and shrunk down into his collar as a raven cackled in the distance. He did not feel inclined to run from the pack of dogs or cower from the crows and ravens cawing their contempt. This damned heat!

“What the . . .?” Father Vivenzio uttered stopping in his tracks. His eyes caught something strange attached to the cemetery’s wrought-iron fence. Something hanging on the gate up ahead? He stared at the object as he approached, trying to figure out what was hanging on the black iron bars. The object grew more distinct as he advanced. The realization of what it was struck him like a bolt of lightning.

” [Dear Reader: It’s a voodoo doll that has been left for the Good Father to find.]

What does happen to Father Vivenzio is revealed at the end – last chapter – no spoilers here.

But, aren’t you marvelously merry that you did the click! click! on “A Murder of Crows”?

Leave your “Hello” in the comments ~ I love having visitors!

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GUEST BLOG: Seer and Popular Author ~ Rick Waid ~

My Paranormal Journey: One Man's Obsession

My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession

This week I have the tremendous pleasure of interviewing Rick Waid, well-known in paranormal circles, and the author of the very popular new book, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’.  Rick’s book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as through his website (listed at the end of this blog).

Rick Waid is a seer, remote viewer, and past life reader. Rick realized his gifts during his late-30s; his mother was also a reader. As Rick began to connect with the Other Side through Electronic Voice Phenomena (also known as EVP), he began having visions and hearing his spirit guide. As his gifts developed, he learned how to remote view and was able to psychically see places he had never actually visited. As Rick’s gifts continued to evolve, he began seeing the past lives of other’s. He now connects with the Other Side frequently, and receives messages from loved ones Beyond The Veil.

A sought-after radio guest, Rick has been interviewed on numerous on-line radio programs. His candor and sincere approach, make him a popular choice among paranormal-radio hosts including Kurt Logsdon, Todd Bates, Diana Stack, and Evan Jensen of ‘Beyond the Edge of Reality/Australia‘.
I found Rick’s responses to my questions fascinating, and informative. They provide the perfect backdrop for getting to know the author of ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’:

1)  What message, or lesson, do you want the paranormal community to take away from reading your new book, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’?
Answer:  You should never give up on something you believe in. No matter how many people you encounter who are against [it].  Always get permission of the owner to research any place.

2)  How has your life changed for the better – and also – what challenges do you now face, since entering (nearly full-time) into the paranormal realm?
Answer:  I have made so many new friends and have opened more paths toward my destiny. There are still so many people that do not believe in the paranormal. My biggest challenge will be convincing people that they are around us daily.

3)  Now that you are a successful author; which compels you more – your journey as an author, or your journey in the paranormal world? What similarities do your find in each?
Answer:  They both compel me, because I want to write [a] second book that continues from ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’; and I want to be very active in the paranormal world where I can help so many with my gifts.

4)  You describe in your book feelings of invalidation, and non-caring, as you began realizing that you were experiencing paranormal activity. Will you describe the break-through of overcoming the feelings that those closest to you may not have believed in your psychic abilities at first?
Answer:  Many people turned away from me and never wanted to talk to me again. I knew I could never give this up because of how many people I was helping with my insights into their situations. This is what [compelled] me to stick with it; because I saw it in their face and felt it in my heart.

5)  You did readings on GhostPlace.com as you began developing your psychic abilities; are you staying active in that on-line community?
Answer:  They were there for me when I started and I will be going back there for them.

6)  Please introduce us to your Guide; a description of how you perceive this entity, would be helpful.
Answer:  I have never met my guide. I ask for their guidance and I can feel I am receiving it. I believe my guide is the same as other people’s guides. I saw a man with a white beard in many of my reads and I saw him in a dream. This could be my guide but I have not had a one on one with him.

7)  What do you feel emotionally, and physically, in your psychic state?
Answer:  I feel at times like I am the person I am reading. I see through their eyes and I feel their sickness and pain and see things in their past present and future.

8)  Describe how you differentiate yourself between a medium, a psychic, a channeler?
Answer:  I am a seer and I see objects that are connected with passed loved ones. I am able to pick up injuries by scanning the body. I am able to hear spirits talk to me and offer information about the sitter. I am not like a normal psychic or medium. I offer direct connects to people which holds meaning to them. This is the difference between me and most because I remote view a lot.

9)  Do your visions or messages, come in interpretative symbolism, or are the messages you receive more than distinct?
Answer:  They come in both ways. When I see stuff I try to figure out why and offer the information. Usually the sitter knows exactly what I am offering them.

10)  “Come find me . . .” This would be an interesting case to describe to those who have not yet read your book. How did that case resolve itself?
This case is still on going. There are so many [examples of how] the police have gone [above] and beyond to find this young lady. They have put so many [resources into leads that come to dead-ends. They will not do any more [investigating] unless they [find someone who] was involved with the disappearance.

11)   It’s said that people with physical challenges/sickness live close-to-the-line of the other side – does that describe you?
Answer:  I am in great health and this does not fit me. I have talked to many people with serious illnesses, and I have seen them being watched by the other side. People are really there waiting.
12)  Reading people, how did you transition to that service?  Answer:  I was an EVP specialist and I was getting into trouble for recording [at locations] I was not supposed to . One day a man gave me a bible brochure and I started seeing small green bibles everywhere. That is when I felt the recordings were not what I was supposed to do anymore. So I [used] the recorder [to describe] what I perceived I would see on my next job site. I realized this was my new path because the [information I was receiving] was more accurate.
13. What elements of your upbringing and family life hindered –or facilitated — the development of your psychic gifts?
Answer:  There was none. My mom was a reader, as were my siblings. This fact was hidden from me for my protection until I was ready to accept it.

~*~  ~*~

Rick Waid ~ Seer and Author.

Rick Waid ~ Seer and Author.

I know that you will want to follow Rick Waid and his wildly popular, ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession’; here’s how:

On Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Barnes & Noble

Rick Waid on Facebook

Rick Waid’s blog ‘My Paranormal Journey: One Man’s Obsession

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GUEST BLOG: The Importance of Secondary Characters, by Jill Edmondson

I am thrilled to welcome phenomenal and prolific author, Jill Edmondson to my blog on the eve of her newest release, ‘Frisky Business’.

•*¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮ Here’s Jill:

Jill Edmondson

Jill Edmondson

Getting into a good book is like going to your high school reunion.  You’ve maintained close friendships and frequent contact with many people, you have a chance to reconnect with someone you thought had fallen off the face of the Earth,  of course,  there are a couple people there whom you never liked in the first place, and there are a few you just never really paid attention to – they were probably in the chess club or some other nerdy thing 😉

Your books have these relationships as well.  There’s the hero, the antihero, and the other significant characters who appear in key scenes or in repeated passages.  It’s these “B List” folks, these seemingly peripheral people, who can really add strength to your story.

If nothing else, these supporting characters give you an opportunity to reveal more about your main characters by showing how they interact.  How does your bad guy treat the cashier at McDonald’s?  How does the cashier respond?  Does your heroine generously tip the mailman $20 at Christmas?  Would the tip be accepted graciously, or would the mailman scoff at the amount?  Would your protagonist chat with his seat mate on an airplane?  And would the fellow traveller spend the rest of the flight talking about grandchildren and showing photos?

You certainly don’t need to give pages and pages of description and backstory to the sales associate at Home Depot, but when you invest the time in giving these characters depth and personality by showing some of their quirks, then the reader is taken just a little further into the world you’ve created.

I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I published my first book (and perhaps I still don’t!)  But one of the surprises I got when I heard back from readers and reviewers was that they loved the character Victor.  I had no idea people would even really pay much attention to him!  But – for whatever reason – when I was working on the manuscript, I put some effort into making him uniquely nerdy.  He speaks too quickly and repeats himself.  He has no idea when he is being snubbed.  He’s innocent and awkward.  If someone told Victor to bring his date a box of truffles, he’s show up with a box of fungus instead of chocolates.  And somehow, that resonated, people kept asking for me to bring Victor back in another book.  And I will, but I don’t think I’ll include him in any romantic story arcs.

* * *

Jill Edmondson is the author of the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.  The fourth book in the series , ‘Frisky Business’ will be available December 1st on Amazon.

Available on Amazon on December 1st

Available on Amazon on December 1st

Note: Jill has announced that ‘Blood and Groom‘ will be #Free! on 23 and 24 November (Saturday and Sunday) !

Free on Amazon Kindle November 23 & 24

Free on Amazon Kindle November 23 & 24

For more info on Jill, check out:

Jill’s Website

Jill’s Blog www.jilledmondson.blogspot.com

Jill’s other titles on Amazon

Jill’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sashajacksonmysteries

Follow Jill on Twitter @JillEdmondson

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myBLOG “Cradle to Grave” ~ Children Who See Grandparent Ghosts

"Isn't She Lovely" available in 'The Ghost Chaser's Daughter'

“Isn’t She Lovely” available in ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’

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FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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Because the first apparition I ever saw was that of my grandfather I have naturally searched for stories like mine, in which a child’s first encounter with the paranormal world is sighting a grandparent.

I was six when the ghost of my grandfather began making visits. The incident is detailed in my set of short stories, ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’.  Grandpa Jimmy had died on the way home from work in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  In 1956 railroad crossings were not required to *¨* ♥ ☆╰☆╮

Because the first apparition I ever saw was that of my grandfather I have naturally searched for stories like mine, in which a child’s first encounter with the paranormal world is sighting a grandparent.

I was six when the ghost of my grandfather began making visits. The incident is detailed in my set of short stories, ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’.  Grandpa Jimmy had died on the way home from work in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  In 1956 railroad crossings were not required to have flashing lights, cross-bars that came down, or any other protective equipment that came between the speeding locomotives of southern Ohio and automobiles. Family gossip years later told of his jawbone being found 500 feet up the rails from the point of impact.

It’s not unusual for the victim of a sudden death to stay attached to earth; and my grandfather was no exception. I presume that as he drove through the snow toward the Belfast, Ohio farmhouse that he shared with my grandmother in the 1950s that his thoughts were on celebrating Christmas and being ‘around’ for many more years.

I soon came to realize that a lot of grandparents ‘come back’ to check on their grandchildren. One story that was told to me was that of a young mother whose father had died just days prior to the birth of a little granddaughter.  The family’s hope was that the patriarch would live until the newest member of the family could be presented to him.  But, it seemed, that was not to be – until the most unusual occurrence happened:

You see, the patriarch had the custom of smoking a certain very fragrant pipe tobacco. The first afternoon home from the hospital the young mother put her baby to bed and laid down for a nap in her room down the hall. A deep sleep came over the mother within minutes.  She awoke from her deep sleep to the fragrance of her father’s pipe tobacco permeating the house.  It disoriented her because the smell was so distinctly tied to her father, now four days dead.

Although the house was quiet, and the baby sleeping, the mother crept into the nursery, tracking the familiar fragrance.  There, leaning over the crib, was her father as clear as day. No ‘see through’ apparition – it was him!  He straightened when his daughter entered the nursery and murmured the words, “Isn’t she lovely?” before leaving this earth, never to be seen again.

I have heard other stories in which a beloved grandchild will herald the death of a grandparent in the dead of night and without the benefit of phone calls, telegrams, or anything other than the bonds of affection and understanding between one generation and another – most recently from my friend Nicki Chen (of NickiChenwrites).  Nicki’s husband, Eugene, foretold his own grandmother’s death and Nicki’s telling of the event is quite remarkable.

But why this link between the youngest generation of a family, and the oldest?  I looked to Nicole Leader for an explanation of this phenomenon. Ms. Leader has done extensive research on the topic of children who see ghosts.  She says, when children are born, [they, themselves] have just crossed over from the “other side” [and] are close to others from that realm.  Therefore [a child] can more easily see [those who cross over] . . . into this existence to visit that child, or protect them.

My own grandson, as a four-year old, began to independently ask about my mortality. He wanted to know where I would ‘be’; how the family would find each other again after I died. We’ve picked out a star, and that is where we will all meet, I told him; but his question confirmed my own belief – cradle to grave – grandchild to grandparent — if he wants to see me after I’m dead, he most probably will.

Are there stories in your own family in which a grandchild seems to have a connection to a grandparent who is on ‘the other side’? Or; the story of a grandchild correctly predicting the death of their grandparent? If so, join the discussion.

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•*¨* ♠ ☆ New Novel: ‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’ Parties its Way onto The Book Scene

FOLLOW THIS BLOG! And . . .  The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter 
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This is a very exciting week for me, and I have All of You to thank.

☆♥*¨*• So, Thank You so Much!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

Ghosts of White Raven Estate ~ Where eBooks are Sold!

‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’, my NewEST novel partied its way onto the eBook scene with Mardi Gras spirit!

I am so proud of the production team that helped me bring to my readers the first full-length novel that I’ve published in three years.  (‘The Jenkins of Baltimore’ another family-saga— with Civil War overtones—was my 2010 novel.)

‘‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’’ is a NaNoWriMo 2012 winning submission to the eBook world, published by the A.V. Harrison Publishing team of Linda Hope Lee, editor; and Kathi Humphries Design and New Media as contributing designer.

This wild-ride of a New Orleans Garden District 1800s family broke into the Amazon Kindle TOP 4percent within 48 hours of publishing; ranking 45,300 with dozens of sales around the globe!

‘Ghosts of White Raven Estate’ is available where books and eBooks are sold.

Kindle

Nook

 Smashwords for iBooks

•*¨* ♠ ☆•*¨* ♠ ☆•*¨* ♠ ☆

And, once again, Thank you for your support and encouragement over this past year as my newest novel took shape.

I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing the story!

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