Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Oliver New Year contest

Happy 2011! I hope the New Year is a happy and healthy one where all your dreams come true! And with me, it’s all about traditions. With my heritage being predominantly Polish and Irish, along with a wee bit of Scottish, Welsh and Austrian blood, is it any wonder? I grew up with a blend of all these well wishes for the New Year, and I’d like to share them with you. Enjoy!!

An old Irish tradition:
At the stroke of midnight, open the front door to let the New Year in and make a wish. Then run to the back door or side door and open it to let the old year and all the bad luck out!
A Polish tradition from my Grandfather passed on to my mother.
The Polish believe snow on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. On a snowy New Year’s Eve, place two silver dollars outside on the window pane. The following morning, scoop up the money, along with a generous handful of snow. Close your eyes and make a wish. Then run to the bathroom and wash your face in the fresh snow and your wish will come true!

Words of Wisdom from my Irish aunt, Aunt Sis, who has starred in many of my blog posts, was a big one for legends and superstitions. She used to tell us to never eat chicken on New Year’s Day or we’d be scratching all year! This, we learned, was a reference to money. Eating pork is said to fatten the wallet for the coming year!

My Polish aunt

Not a big one for legends or superstitions, but Aunt Mary used to give a piece of straw from her Christmas manger to all her nieces and nephews. She told us to keep it in our wallets and we’d never be broke. Maybe because I’m such a believer in legends and lore, it works for me. But this is the truth. When I’m running low on money and rub the straw between my fingers, I’ve been known to find money, get some unexpected cash or win the lottery. Now, grant it, I’m not talking about any large sum of money that will allow me the luxuries of the world by any stretch of the imagination. But just enough to be a blessing!

Somewhere in Austria

There are said to be Austrian relatives on my mother’s side of the family. Very little is known about them other than my grandmother and aunt spoke of a connection to royalty. There were letters from many years ago. But after my grandmother and aunt passed away, the stories they used to tell us at Christmas and Easter faded and nothing more was ever mentioned. But one thing that stuck in my head is a New Year’s tradition they spoke of. It’s a bit chilling, but since I’m such a big believer in angels,I don’t question it.Pick up the first shiny penny you spot gleaming in the snow in the New Year. Check the date. If it’s either the year of birth or year of death of a loved one, that person is said to be your guardian angel and will watch over you for life.

The Scottish Blessing

The Scottish are big believers in purifying the home for the New Year. This can be done in whatever traditions are passed on from generation to generation in your family. One way is to sprinkle fresh water in each room to kill the germs of the old year. Some local priests come to the homes and sprinkle holy water and bless the home.

Welsh Wishes for Good Luck

I’ve always been drawn to the fresh scent of evergreen in the house at Christmas and saddened when the bristly needles fall off and pine away. With all the legends&g and lore I’m blessed with, bringing a bit of the good earth into the home had to mean something. I recently learned we have some Welsh relatives on my dad’s side of the family. And a Welsh tradition for the New Year is to break off a piece of the fresh pine and sprinkle the branch through the home.
No matter what your traditions are or how you choose to ring in the New Year, Oliver and I wish you health and happiness for 2011. Happy New Year!

I invite you to add your favorite New Year’s tradition to mine. And to sweeten the pot, Oliver is running a contest. On January 31, he will choose his favorite tradition and send you a goodie bag full of his special blend of Chai tea! Good luck! What’s that, Oliver? Sharon chuckles. Oh, all right if you insist, who am I to stop you? So here’s another tradition to add to the list, Oliver’s favorite. According to Celtic legend and lore, the hazelnut has the power to determine whether or not your mate will be true blue. You heard right. What’s in a nut? Fidelity or infidelity? You be the judge!

On New Year’s Eve, in front of a rip roaring fire in the hearth, take a hazelnut and inscribe the name of your lover. Then close your eyes and make a wish and pitch the nut into the flames. If the nut pops out, your mate will run from you and never be true and will break your heart. The nut that burns to ashes will hold a burning desire for all of eternity.
So being a fool for superstition, Oliver has hurriedly inscribed the name of Dominique, his lady love in his book
And even as we speak, Oliver’s eyeballs are glued to the fire in the hearth, watching the hazelnuts do the dance of love. Is Dominique his one true love? You be the judge

Charade of Hearts
Oliver’s story!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


SEASONS GREETINGS! Oliver and I, along with our adorable feline family, would like to wish you and yours a Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oliver's Party'

Welcome to Oliver’s party! I am thrilled to announce the release of Charade of Hearts, the book you’ve all been waiting for. In my latest romantic suspense by The Wild Rose Press, our very own Oliver fights off the villain to save his lady love from harm’s way. In honor of this handsome knight in shining armor, I’m throwing him a party in a century old sugar plantation in gorgeous Hawaii. Why Hawaii you ask? Because the tropical paradise is the setting for Charade of Hearts, and as one of the books in the Jewel of the Night series, it packs a lot of heat! And now it’s time to party and dance the night away! We invite you to spend an enchanted evening in the grand ballroom for a night to remember. Come on in!

With an explosion of light, velvety skies open into a kaleidoscope of blue diamond fireworks that glitter like shooting stars. In the distance, the jagged peaks of Diamond Head shroud the plantation like an iron fortress. A green sea turtle meanders along the shimmering black sands as frothy white waves gently lap ashore.

(Picture by Christian Riesse Lasse
Balmy palm trees sway lazily in the hibiscus-scented evening as guests donned in formal black tie careen their way up the undulating white marble steps leading to the estate. A myna bird whistles and love doves coo, their lyrical singing softly floating across the warm sultry night. The lush landscape encompassing the spacious manor house invoke a feeling of tropical relaxation.The bluesy sound of jazz teases, the taunting twine of sax beckoning.

Oliver, looking movie-star handsome in his black tuxedo, stands poised at the oval archway, a dreamy expression in his star-spangled eyes. A red-jacketed piano player breaks into a jazzy deliverance of A Star is Born, the soft pang of the Baby Grand floating suggestively across the ballroom. Open terrace doors bring in the sweet scent of hibiscus and magnolias. 

A beautifully decorated Douglas Fir stands tall and eloquent, its blue diamond twinkle lights reflecting on the gleaming cherry wood floors.

The grand ballroom invites guests in with its royal setting. Whimsical figures portraying kings and queens that reigned during the Hawaiian Monarchy look so real the walls seemed to vibrate with their presence. Marble floors gleam under the brilliancy of a Baccarat chandelier, and a spiraling staircase leads to upper balconies. Guests sit on plush sofas enjoying cocktails while being entertained by classical music.

The ladies pour in, dressed to the nines in gowns that shimmer and shine. Beaming at the guest of honor, they blow him kisses. As each lady crosses the threshold, Oliver bestows a blue diamond lei around her neck, brushing his sensual lips to hers! Then in true Oliver style, he winks and gazes into her eyes.

“Welcome to Hawaii and welcome to my party! Come on now; give us a kiss, love! And as a token of my appreciation for coming to my party, I insist that you keep this blue diamond lei as a Christmas present.”

Sharon, looking dazzling in a crimson gown of beaded gemstones, saunters
over to her butler on a whisper of silk.

“Oliver, darling,” she gushes. “I have a surprise for you.”

“A surprise?” hope gleams in his star-spangled eyes. “You’ve invited Lori Graham?”

“Lori Graham!” Sharon glares at her too sexy for his own good butler. “Why on earth would you be looking for my editor?”

“Because, love,” he pats her on the cheek. “She signed my contract for Charade of Hearts and I’m the star!”
“And I’m the author that got you the contract!” Sharon grabs a flute of champagne from a passing waiter and downs it in one gulp. “I wrote your lines, after all.”

Oliver smiles a beguiling smile. “Of course you did, love, but I still want to steal a kiss from Lori when I bestow the blue diamond lei around her neck, thank her for granting me a contract for my book.”

“Your book!” Sharon flags down the waiter for another flute of champagne. Toying with her blue diamond lei, she motions to the band. “Getting back to my surprise, Oliver. I wrote this song just for you. Enjoy!”

As the band breaks into song, the massive sky dome opens. The guests all gasp in wonder and awe as a series of blue diamond fireworks explode like boomerangs above their heads. Heart-shaped balloons float upward and the music begins.
Picture yourself in a plantation in Hawaii
Beneath blue diamond spangled skies
Somebody calls him he answers quite slowly
The guy with kaleidoscope eyes

Shimmering comets of fiery blue diamonds
Explode over his head
Look for the guy with the stars in his eyes
And he’s gone

Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds

Follow him to a table full of books

Where suspense readers read Charade of Hearts

Everyone smiles as he pulls out his fountain pen
To sign their stocking stuffer!

Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds
Ollie in the sky with blue diamonds

With a tear of joy in his eye, Oliver plants a big wet one on Sharon’s crimson painted lips. Then, regaining his cool bravado, he engages her with his most beguiling smile and pumps his biceps.

“Say now, love. You’re a gem, a blue diamond of a gem, and I promise to save you a dance, but, naturally, Lori gets the first dance.”

“Naturally, Ollie.”

Catching Hywela Lyn’s eye, Oliver blows her a kiss as she chats with Mary Ricksen while admiring the table of books adjacent to the Christmas tree. They both look stunning in beaded silk gowns that pick up the glow of the blue twinkle lights. More guests saunter on over to join them, Blue Hawaiian cocktails in hand

 “Oh, Oliver,” Sharon whispers, giving an approving nod toward the entourage of admirers. “This is so perfect.”

“And only two weeks until Christmas,” Oliver beamed. “Do you think guests will buy my book as a stocking stuffer?”

“Well now, dear heart,” Sharon rolls her eyes. “I guess that all depends on your charm.”

Oliver blushes. “Just out of curiosity, love, what part of my book do you think the ladies will like the most?”

Sharon smiles, giving her butler a knowing look. “That’s easy, dear heart. The thing the ladies will find most endearing about Charade of Hearts is that their Darling Oliver wears his heart on his sleeve when he falls head over heels with his Lady Love and puts his own life on the line to protect her from his evil twin brother and the other scoundrels in the jewel ring. What woman couldn’t relate to that? Sigh…”

Oliver pumps his biceps. “So you think the ladies will join my fan club? Buy my book perhaps? I’ll make it worth their while with the contest I’m running. Grin.”

Sharon shakes her head. “Speaking of which, I can’t believe you actually started your own fan club. Have you no shame?”

Oliver pumps his biceps and motions to the band.

“Not me, sweet cheeks. I’m downright shameless.”

The band breaks into a snappy version of Shameless by Garth Brooks. Oliver takes a sweeping bow and grabs the microphone and smiles.

“Ladies, ladies,” he pumps his biceps. “Now for the announcements. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for coming to my party.” I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. And if you join my fan club, I’ll give you your very own ‘I Love Oliver’ button! And here’s the best part. Wanna win a box of the delicious chocolates that I gave the lovely Dominique in Charade of Hearts? And just because I love you so much, I’m also adding an Oliver coffee mug and an Oliver t-shirt! See them pictured here. 

Mug front

mug back

How do you enter you ask? Simply answer the three questions I’ve dreamed up for you. 

Good luck, ladies! 
Details are on the boss’s website under OLIVER CONTEST. 

And don’t be shy about heaping up your plates. Try a Mai Tai or a Blue Hawaiian. Eat, drink and be merry!  
Silver candelabras grace either side of the appetizer table, and crimson roses in Waterford vases line the mirrored wall. The scent of lemon-crusted medallions of beef, spicy shrimp and Jonah crab claws waft through the air.

The cake, a sinfully decadent chocolate fudge marble in the shape of a heart graces the dessert table.

White-jacketed waiters serve stuffed mushrooms, spicy olives and exotic black caviar while bartenders hustle behind the bar to mix cocktails. Spying Lori Graham at the entrance in a black sequence gown and blue diamond earrings, Oliver makes a bee line.

Oliver bestows a blue diamond lei around Lori’s neck and kisses her. Then he whispers in her ear.

“I can’t wait to dance with you.”

With the gentle strum of a violin, the Viennese Waltz begins and Oliver and Lori glide across the ballroom floor. On a romantic lilt, Oliver ends the dance by placing his left thigh under Lori’s right thigh. To applause and whistles, he lifts her high into the air before bringing her back down to earth with the greatest of ease.

Thunderous applause explodes across the ballroom. Oliver smiles and pumps his biceps. Sharon takes the microphone.

“Oliver will now read an excerpt from his book Charade of Hearts. This party is just getting started. Mingle, dance with Oliver and be merry! Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays!”

While scuba diving off the coast of Diamond Head with her diving partner on a quest to find a family heirloom, underwater photographer Dominique St. John witnesses his brutal murder and photographs it, ensnaring her in a deadly jewel ring. And when the investigating officer turns out to be her partner’s identical twin, a man she knew nothing about, her life becomes a Charade of Hearts.

Welcome to the world of greed, intrigue, deception and murder. And at its core is a blue diamond worth millions.

As honest as his twin was corrupt, Honolulu Homicide Detective Oliver Carvalho must convince Dominique that her diving partner and best friend was a crook. In a race against time, Oliver must rescue Dominique from a ruthless killer. But his biggest challenge proves to be mending a broken heart torn by betrayal that can only be redeemed by love.


The fog in her head slowly cleared. She was on assignment in Hawaii, photographing the shipwreck that had taken her mother’s life. And while she’d been shooting pictures, Roberto had been scouring the ocean floor for her mother’s blue diamond. Her stomach tightened and cramped. It was all coming back. By some miracle, Roberto had managed to find the necklace. And just as they were about to surface, a diver came out of nowhere and stabbed him. Her eyelids flew open in shocked horror. Her heartbeat tripled, causing the soft beeping to crescendo to an ear-splitting shriek.

“Easy, Ms. St. John,” a nurse was at her side checking her vitals while a younger nurse adjusted the monitor.

“Roberto!” Dominique screamed, her voice a nasally squeak. Frustrated and annoyed, she yanked the tubing out of her nose and tried again. “My diving partner? Is he here? Roberto Carvalho?”

The woman’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John. I really don’t know anything about your partner. You were the only patient brought in by emergency helicopter. You’re at the Queens clinic. You have the bends from ascending too quickly.”

She needed to find out about Roberto. Who would know? The owner of the charter boat. He would know. Dominique recalled him hoisting her onto the charter, removing her wet suit and then what? She remembered hearing a helicopter a split second before passing out. And she vaguely recalled telling him Roberto had been stabbed by a diver. Dear God. Killer sharks had been thrashing toward Roberto, jaws chomping. The words came out in a strangled moan. “The owner of the charter? Is he here?”

The nurse shook her head. “He stayed for a while to make sure you were all right. But he had to leave. But there is someone anxious to speak to you when you feel up to it.”

And that’s when Dominique spotted him, big as life, framing the doorway to the small room. He was fine; he’d survived the shark attack. His name caught in her throat. “Roberto! You’re alive! How…”

He strutted toward her, his narrow hips swaggering as he closed in on her, stirring her blood with a primal lust she had never felt. And those dark, broody eyes, so alive with passion, like fiery comets. She reached for him with her free hand. “Dear Lord, you’re safe! Thank God.”

He loomed above her, his lips pinched into a thin line. “I’m sorry, Ms. St. John, but I am not Roberto. He flashed a badge. “I am Detective Oliver Carvalho, Honolulu PD, Homicide. Roberto Carvalho was my identical twin brother.”

CHARADE OF HEARTS                           

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oliver's release party

Hear ye hear ye! Major announcement regarding Oliver! As most of you know, my sexy cyber butler will be starring as the hero in my upcoming romantic suspense


Part of the Jewel of the Night series by
The Wild Rose Press

To celebrate, I am throwing him a party to end all parties and you’re all invited!







Oliver and I are counting the days and look forward to you all joining us. See you soon. Aloha!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A typical traditional Thanksgiving

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh how the wind does blow
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go

Over the river and through the woods,
And through the barnyard gate
We seem to go extremely slow
It is so hard to wait

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
I'm Thankful For Family Myspace CommentThrough white and drifted snow

Hooray for the fun
Is the pudding done?
Hooray for the pumpkin pie
Is the pudding done?

With Thanksgiving in a few days and the crisp autumn leaves turning into snow-slick leaves of winter, family gatherings come to mind. For those of you who know me and read my blog, you know that holiday traditions are the backbone of who I am and what I am made of. For the past few weeks, the media has been all a buzz with turkeymania! Everyone is caught up in holiday madness, scurrying about planning traditional holiday dinners with all the trimmings. Favorite family recipes are prepared with tender loving care, holiday candlestick holders are buffed to a gleaming shine, a fall centerpiece is masterfully created and the table is set with holiday runners, vintage wine glasses and polished china and sterling silverware@

No one can say for certain precisely what food was served at Plymouth Rock on that momentous day in 1620, but what is certain is that a tradition was started that has  endured the test of time.  Family and friends still gather together at a loved one’s home to celebrate good times and good people with a celebratory feast.

My Thanksgiving celebration is an old fashioned traditional dinner with all the trimmings. Although we don’t travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, we gather each year at my mother’s and she is grandmother to two wonderful grandchildren who bring us so much joy.

As per tradition, the women in the family all cook or bake a dish which has been branded with her name on it.

Mom typically roasts the bird to a crisp golden brown. She stuffs the turkey with bread crumbs, onions, celery, butter and sage. She also makes a sweet potato casserole and bakes those delicious pumpkin pies

I peel and mash the potatoes as well as bake my Irish soda bread and an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms. My sister brings another appetizer of crab meat dip generously spread on Triscuit crackers as well as the world-renown green bean casserole. Would it be Thanksgiving without it? Her daughter Kendall adds to the feast by baking her yummy pumpkin cookies. My brother and his wife live in Wisconsin and have made trademark sausage and artisan cheeses a tradition in our home.

And while the women folk are bustling about in Grandma’s kitchen in preparation of the celebration, what are the men folk doing? Why, watching football, of course while munching on appetizers. My brother-in-law and his son can’t shove those stuffed mushrooms in fast enough. But when it comes to the final countdown, the men all chip in with all those last minute details to bring the meal full circle, beginning with Grandpa carving the turkey.

After dinner and after the pumpkin pie, we all waddle into the living room for more football. While our meal is digesting, we draw names for our Christmas grab bag gift, something that has made its way as part of the Donovan Thanksgiving family tradition

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Myspace CommentWhether you travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house or not, traditions are the hallmark of family and are born to be passed on from generation to generation. Whatever you do or however you celebrate, wishing you and your family a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and Holiday Wishes Myspace Comment

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reviews for Her Biggest Fan

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Her Biggest Fan…

An edge of your seat chilling suspense, I couldn‘t wait to see what would happen next. Her Biggest Fan really was a book I couldn‘t put down. This book was an addicting, pulse-pounding read with an explosive climax. The drama was intense and I loved every minute of it.
Read full review
Rating: You Gotta Read!
Reviewed by Val

This was a great mixture of psychological thriller, Classic Gothic and old Hollywood glamor.
I loved the setting of this story and could practically smell the salt water in the air and hear the soothing sounds of the ocean--mix that in with a desolate manor house—it begs for a thrilling tale to be told. Fans of this well-written genre will definitely enjoy this story.
The Romance Studio
Rating: 4 hearts

Read full review

Her Biggest Fan
ISBN: 1-60154-813-3

The Wild Rose Press
Buy link

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wiccan rituals

What are some magical spells and rituals of the Wiccans?

Samhain is most significant to Wiccan worshipers as it marks the witch’s New Year and the atmosphere is sizzling. The magic in the air is tangible on Halloween, this most sacred of nights. With the fall air crisp and clear, it’s the perfect season for a bonfire to renew the spirit.

An indoor hearth is also used, and orange and white candles are lit for the ceremony. Write all unpleasant thoughts on a piece of paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Say them aloud. Then crunch the paper in a ball and pitch it into the fire. This will renew the spirit.

Elderberry is a fruit associated with fall and Samhain, and Elderberry wine is delicious and perfect for a Wiccan Halloween. Samhain is traditionally a time for reflection of present, past and future and divination. Tarot cards and scrying are practiced at these rituals.

If a young woman stares into a pond at midnight and sees the reflection of a man, this is her future husband.

Have a Wiccan ritual to share?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Legend of Frankenstein

Why the morbid fascination with Frankenstein more than a century later?

This rather bizarre question occurred to me last night when coming across an old classic movie starring one of the most legendary monsters of our time. Since the book was written in 1818, frankenstein has been the subject of countless movies, plays and horror, not to mention the wild and outrageous at the Halloween masquerade. Who exactly was this Frankenstein and how was it created? Realizing how little I actually knew about the legend, I found myself paying close attention.

Apparently, a mad scientist set out to conduct an experiment to bring the dead back to life. After successfully resuscitating an animal, he took it to the next level when a guest in his home was said to possess the most brilliant brain in the world. So the mad scientist killed him and transplanted his flawless brain into the corpse of a criminal.

But when the dead resurrected, a monster was born. Frankenstein was out of control, stampeding through the streets on a deadly attack to mutilate innocent victims. But even when shot to death, the monster rose from the dead to kill again and again.

Thus the legend was born. Do you have a fascination with Frankenstein and if so why? Did you ever dress as him for a costume party? Tell me. HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ghostly encounters in the land of Wales

Dressed in black, the bewitching Welsh witch Hywela Lyn snakes between mystical ponds and mountains and vales to the eerie yellow house on the sinister cliff overlooking the rising river. The spirits of black dogs yip, their daunting echo haunting in the howling wind.

Oliver steps out of the shadows and hands Lyn a glass of mead. Graciously accepting it, she recites some of the legendary superstitions.
Good morning Sharon, and thank you Oliver. 
Thank you for inviting me Sharon - it's wonderful to be here in your -er - charming house. Wales is a land full of myths and legends, and has its fair share of ghosts.  Here are just a few tales of hauntings from various parts of the Principality.

There was once a lady who died but could not rest in her grave because of her misdeeds, and she haunted the locals until they could stand it no more.  Somehow they enticed her to shrink and enter into a bottle, after appearing in a good many hideous forms; but when she got into the bottle, it was corked down securely, and the bottle was cast into the pool underneath the Short bridge at Llanidloes, and there the lady was to remain until the ivy that grow up the buttresses should overgrow the sides of the bridge, and reach the parapet.  In the year 1848, the old bridge was blown up, and a new one built instead of it.

 A small river runs close to the secluded village of Llandegla, and in this mountain stream under a huge stone lies a wicked Ghost. This is how he came to be there:
It  not is not known why Ffrith farm was troubled by a ghost, but when the servants were busily engaged in cheese making the Spirit would suddenly throw earth or sand into the milk, and thus spoil the curds. The dairy was also visited by the ghost, and there he played havoc with the milk and dishes. He sent the pans, one after the other, around the room, and dashed them to pieces. The terrible doings of the ghost was a topic of general conversation in those parts.
The farmer offered a reward of five pounds to anyone who would lay the Spirit. One Sunday afternoon,  an aged priest visited the farm yard, and in the presence of a crowd of spectators exorcised the ghost, but without effect.

The farmer then sent for Griffiths, an Independent minister at Llanarmon, who enticed the ghost to the barn. The ghost then changed its appearance to the form of a lion, but  could not touch Griffiths, because he stood in the centre of a circle, over which the lion could not pass. Griffiths tricked the ghost  into appearing in a less formidable shape, and it changed into a mastiff, but Griffiths demanded that it change to something smaller. At last, the ghost appeared as a fly, which was captured by Griffiths and secured in his tobacco box,  This box he buried under a large stone in the river, just below the bridge, near the Llandegla Mills, and there the Spirit is forced to remain until a certain tree, which grows by the bridge, reaches the height of the parapet. When this takes place, the Spirit shall have power to regain his liberty.  To prevent this tree from growing, the school children, even to this day, nip the upper branches to limit its upward growth.

There is a picturesque valley between Corwen and Cerrig-y-Drudion, down which rushes a mountain stream, and over this stream is a bridge, called Pont-y-Glyn.  On the left hand side, a few yards from the bridge, on the Corwen side, is a yawning chasm, through which the river bounds.  Here people who have travelled by night affirm that they have seen ghosts — the ghosts of those who have been murdered in this secluded glen. A man who was a servant at Garth Meilio, said that one night, when he was returning home late from Corwen, he saw before him, seated on a heap of stones, a female dressed in Welsh costume.  He wished her good night, but she returned him no answer.  She, got up and grew to gigantic proportions as she continued down the road which she filled, so great were her increased dimensions. Other Spirits are said to have made their homes in the hills not far from Pont-y-Glyn.

An exciseman, overtaken by night, went to a house called Ty Felin, (Yellow House) in the parish of Llanynys, and asked for lodgings.  Unfortunately the house was a very small one, containing only two bedrooms, and one of these was haunted; consequently no one dared sleep in it.  After a while, however, the stranger induced the master to allow him to sleep in this haunted room. He had not been there long before a ghost entered the room in the shape of a travelling Jew and walked around the room.  The exciseman tried to catch him and gave chase, but he lost sight of the Jew in the yard.  He had scarcely entered the room, a second time, when he again saw the ghost.  He chased him once more and lost sight of him in the same place.  The third time he followed the ghost, he made a mark on the yard where the ghost vanished and went to rest, and was not disturbed again.

The next day, the exciseman got up early and went away, but, before long, he returned to Ty Felin accompanied by a policeman, whom he requested to dig in the place where his mark was.  This was done and underneath a superficial covering, a deep well was discovered, and in it a corpse.

Under interrogation, the tenant of the house, confessed that a travelling Jew, selling jewelry and such items, once lodged with him, and that he had murdered him and cast his body in the well.
In Welsh mythology and folklore, Cŵn Annwn" hounds of Annwn") were the spectral hounds of Annwn, the otherworld of Welsh myth. They were associated with a form of the Wild Hunt, presided over by Gwynn ap Nudd. Christians came to dub these mythical creatures as "The Hounds of Hell" or "Dogs of Hell" and theorised they were therefore owned by Satan. However, the Annwn of medieval Welsh tradition is an otherworldly paradise and not a hell, or abode of dead souls.
They were associated with migrating geese, supposedly because their honking in the night is reminiscent of barking dogs. The Cŵn Annwn also came to be regarded as the escorts of souls on their journey to the Otherworld.

The hounds are sometimes accompanied by a fearsome hag called Mallt-y-Nos, "Matilda of the Night". An alternative name in Welsh folklore is Cŵn Mamau ("Hounds of the Mothers").

Hunting grounds for the Cŵn Annwn are said to include the mountain of  Cadair Idris, where it is believed "the howling of these huge dogs foretold death to anyone who heard them.The locals claim that the mountain is haunted, and that anyone who spends the night on top of Cadair Idris will wake up either a madman or a poet. Different legends surround the mountain and one of the earliest claims that the giant Idris lived there. Three large stones rest at the foot of the mountain, and legend says that Idris got angry once and kicked them, sending them rolling down the mountainside.  

Other Welsh legends state, however, that Arthur made his kingdom there, hence the name Cadair Idris: or the Seat of Idris.

Pwll-y-Wrach, the Witches Pool.
There is a pool hidden from the road among a copse on the top of Flint Mountain, in Flint North Wales. The pool is so small that travellers from Flint to Northop would not give it a second glance. But this was not always so. In days gone by Flint Mountain was a bare and desolate place and the pool was known as Pwll-y-Wrach, the Hag's Pool or the Witches Pool, the place where the ellyllon (as the Welsh call fairies or goblins) would congregate, and thus a place where humans would stay well clear of, especially after dark.

In 1852 John Roberts a farm labourer paid an unexpected visit to Pwll-y-Wrach. It was a cold winter's  morning and John was setting out to work when he found a youth blocking his path. With a harmless gesture he made to pass the youth but all of a sudden a force propelled him through the air. He landed face down above Pwll-y-Wrach, and the force held him there despite John's best efforts to free himself. He struggled for what seemed a lifetime, but in fact was just a few short minutes, until at the sound of a cock crow he was released. The ellyll, still disguised as a youth, stood astride him and warned. " When the cuckoo sings it's first note on Flint Mountain I shall come again to fetch you".

John got to his feet and stumbled back home, shaken but otherwise unhurt.

The following May John Roberts died. He had been repairing a wall at Pen-y-glyn on Flint Mountain when it collapsed and crushed him. A lady who witnessed the accident said a cuckoo had come to land on a nearby tree just as it happened. And when the body of John Roberts was being returned to his home the cuckoo had followed, singing from tree to tree all the way to the front door.

To finish off I thought I'd read you a short excerpt from my Story 'Dancing With Fate' about the Greek muse Terpsichore who is sent to 5th Century Wales and meet up with the mysterious Myrddin.  This is her encounter with the demonic 'Ellylldan' or fiere goblins.

The sparks of light appeared a few hours before dawn. Terpsichore looked across to where she could just make out Myrddin, lying close to the fire, apparently asleep. She stood and wrapped her brat around her shoulders. What unearthly lights were these? In the name of Hades, she had never seen anything like this before. She watched them, swooping and dancing. They seemed to beckon to her. She walked forward a few steps. This was not natural. She sensed evil, but of a kind she had never come across before. 

She tried to turn her head, to look away and move back to the fire. Some force compelled her to keep staring at them, to move forward. Further and further from the campfire she wandered. The air grew chill and she pulled her brat more closely around her. The flickering lights gyrated in a wild dance, inviting her to follow them. Dawn was approaching. In the dim early morning light, she could make out demon faces, with glowing eyes, hands outstretched, and flames at their fingertips. 
She recoiled in horror. Somewhere in her subconscious, she knew she was in deadly danger, but still she moved forward. They summoned her to follow and she could not help but obey. She tried to call to Apollo, and her father, but her mind was numb. She could reach no one on Olympus. "Myrddin!" No sound came from her lips. Still, a strange unearthly power obliged her to walk forward toward those eerie, mesmerising points of light. The ground grew soft beneath her feet. Cold mud oozed between her bare toes. The further she walked, the deeper the mud became; eventually, she realized she was up to her waist in chill, muddy water, and she was powerless to turn back, or even to move any more. 

Zeus, oh, Father, please help me...don't desert me now. For the first time in her eternal life, she knew fear. These creatures of nameless evil had her trapped. They would drag her down to the underworld and she would never see Olympus or her family again. 

Then strong arms encircled her, swung her round. "Cora, look at me."

She gazed into two pools of azure blue, filled with concern, and a pale face set in resolve. Still she had an irresistible urge to look at those weird, flickering lights. She turned her head, and at the same moment, there was a flash likelightning. The ground behind her burst into a wall of blue flame. It blotted out everything, engulfing the demonic lights and the hideous forms that a moment before had lured her onward. 





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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Oliver watches through gleaming eyes as Victoria Rodder winds her way up the path to the haunted mansion, garbed in her blood-stained nightgown. Blood glistens under the glow of a hunter’s moon. A coyote howls, its piercing yip cutting through the night.

The candles flicker as Victoria takes a seat in the parlor and stares into the house across the lane. WHY?

Oliver’s laughter bubbles from deep in his throat. "Allow Vicky to explain while I muster up some refreshments."

            What can cause the hair on your arms to rise?  Is it a sense of being watched? Seeing a shadow out of the corner of your eye?  Perhaps, it’s a sound that shouldn’t be there but is.   A residual haunt is a continual playback of a past event.  The ghost will repeat an action over and over, but not interact with people.  An intelligent haunt is a ghost that can attempt to communicate or interact with us.
My paranormal romance, The Dream House Visions and Nightmares received the highest rating of BEST BOOK on The Long and Short of it Reviews.  It is a murder mystery wrapped in a paranormal ghost story.  Recurring dreams of a house Hope Graham's family rented when she was a child, taunt her nights with images of a woman in a bloody nightgown pleading for help.  Dream sequences of children metamorphosing into rats, blood spewing out of windows, and walking across decaying bones, foretell of sins of the past and forewarn of danger in the present.  In an attempt to end the agony of her sleep deprivation, Hope travels to her hometown...only to discover that the truth can be more frightening than a nightmare.

*The main character Hope Graham is sitting in a living room watching the house across the street.

The house instantly transformed.
Instead of the deserted, falling down state, it had a fresh coat of white paint and the groomed lawn held children’s toys.  Riveted I watched a red ball roll off the intact porch, bounce down the steps and continue down the sidewalk, depositing red blotches in its wake.  Tearing my eyes away from the ball, I glanced back at the house.

Before my eyes it reverted to total dilapidation, but the vision didn’t end.  The frame that had once held the downstairs bedroom window began to fill with a red liquid.  I soon realized it was blood.  The blood oozed out of the window frame onto the weathered boards and ran down to the now neglected grass.  Terror filled me and I lifted my feet off the floor.  Fear that the blood would flow into Ida’s house to drown me irrationally gripped me.
The Dream House Visions and Nightmares is available at and also at Amazon

My published work includes a paranormal romance novel, The Dream House: Visions and Nightmares Asylett Press July 2009, a mystery suspense, Bolt Action, Champagne Books April 2010, short stories A Gift Among Sisters appeared in Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul, and Why I Believe In Angels appeared in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families.   My picture book, What if a Zebra had Triangles? will be published by Vinspire Publishing, and I just received a contract for my children’s book, The Curse of King Ramesses II from Wild Child Publishing.  I have had several articles published in REAL Canadian Kids Magazine, Guide Magazine, Pockets Magazine, Farm Life Magazine, Lifelines, One Way Street, and The Highground.