Haunted Songs #Halloween #ghosts

Since we are only days away from Halloween, I wanted to do a post about songs that have the ability to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

I can’t wait to hear from each of you, about your favorite haunted song.

I think for most of us growing up in the seventies, we automatically think of Hotel California by the Eagles. “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave…” The songwriters on this classic are Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey.

I have a couple of favorites that never fail to cause the hairs on my arms to stand on end. The first is a song by Guy Clark.

The Guitar was co-written by Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson.

“The guitar almost played itself and there was nothing I could do. It was gettin’ hard to tell just who was playing who…”

But it’s the last line that really gets to me. “There was something spooky in his voice, and something strange on his face, and when he shut the lid, I saw my name was on the case…”

Another one I love is The Lost Highway Saloon.

The lyrics say it best. “Many times I rode that highway looking for that place again. But there’s only hills and open fields and soon the highway ends…”

And when Brian Burns reads William B. Travis’ letter written at the Battle of the Alamo, I have chills from head to toe.

Now, it’s your turn!

What is your favorite haunted song that leaves you with goosebumps?

#WednesdayWonders – #Gemstones – Snowflake Obsidian

Snowflake Obsidian is such an incredibly beautiful stone. You can see it in the lower right of the photo above but here’s a clearer photo of it.

Snowflake Obsidian photo by Jan Sikes

Black Obsidian is a very powerful and creative stone. It grounds the soul and spiritual forces into the physical plane.

However, Snowflake Obsidian has some different properties. The white inclusions in the black obsidian do indeed look like snowflakes.

It is known to calm and soothe, putting you in a positive frame of mind to be receptive before bringing to your attention certain ingrained patterns of behavior. It teaches you to value mistakes as well as successes.

It is a stone of purity, providing a balance for the mind, body, and soul. It can also help you recognize and release ways of thinking that do not serve your highest good, or that are stressful ways of thinking. Snowflake Obsidian keeps us grounded and balanced during chaotic times, and encourages us to be present and in the moment.

It aids with isolation and loneliness. I think we all could have used this beautiful stone through last year’s lockdown.

It is empowering and can aid in meditation.

As far as physical healing, the Snowflake Obsidian can treat vein issues and the skeletal structure. It improves circulation and can be beneficial for the skin and eyes.

A common use is to place this stone in water and drink as an elixir.

I’d love to hear from you. Do any of you have or use this stone? It makes gorgeous jewelry!

Monday #Motivation #Meditation #RuneReading #DragonCard

This is the last week in October. It is a time when the veil between worlds thins. Let’s take advantage of that!

Instead of sharing a meditation today, I am sharing a ten-minute affirmation exercise. Affirmations are powerful and can cause a big shift in our mindset.

I was drawn back to the runes for today’s reading.

Photo by Jan Sikes 10-25-21

This is the second time I’ve gotten the Othala Rune in a reading. That tells me there is an important message. You may remember that Othala represents our heritage or our roots. This is in the past position and that tells me we are perhaps all leaning more toward tradition, looking back to our early and basic teachings. The caution is not to hang onto old ways of thinking that no longer serve us. We may be inclined to lean on family for support or perhaps to give support to another.

The second rune in the present position is Ansuz and is the rune of communication. It represents all forms of communication, but especially verbal. It may indicate that an important message or revelation is coming your way. This rune also refers to knowledge, wisdom, and reason.

In the future position, Dagaz, is the rune of daylight and is considered a very beneficial sign in any reading. Increase, growth, prosperity, strength, good health, and general well-being are indicated by this rune. It can represent new hope, light emerging from darkness. Or it could also indicate a breakthrough, insight, or inspiration, whether on an artistic creative level or in terms of spiritual enlightenment.

My takeaway:

Often in turbulent times, we find ourselves reaching backward to our original roots, or bonding more with family. There is no disputing that we are living in turbulent times. It is more important than ever before that we lean on each other and embrace our basic truths. With Ansuz, it is saying that we have the ability to express ourselves in this truth and that it may help bring about some light, a breakthrough, or inspiration, whether in ourselves or others.

This gorgeous Dragon Card reinforces that thought!

Have a great week ahead!

#SundaySpotlight – Riverside – @GuthrieKennard #NewRelease RIVERSIDE

Photo courtesy Tara Bone Photography

It has been such a long time since I’ve had a Sunday Spotlight post, and I am super excited to share this new CD release from Guthrie Kennard with you!

From the first time I met Guthrie at a songwriter swap, I fell in love with the raw honesty of his music. We have become great friends.

Photo courtesy Robert Keith

And now Guthrie has a new album out! And it’s fantastic from start to finish!

Riverside Album Cover

Guthrie started his music career at the age of 14. He has played with music greats like Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Doyle Bramhall, Sr. on Bird Records, and opened for numerous national touring acts, including Robin Trower, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, and Donovan. He toured Europe with Grammy winner Marc Benno and co-wrote “Laverne” on Benno’s album Snake Charmer. 

He is deeply immersed in Delta Blues and funk music, and this new album is a fine showcase of just how deep!

The CD opens with “Tremelo Rain,” written by Kennard and 8 Ball Aitken. While the song is a little too long for radio airplay at 4 minutes 18 seconds, it tells such a big story. “Mr. Tom is a shady cat down on Bourbon Street. He’ll pick your pockets, steal your watch and go gambling on a Riverboat Queen…” Of course, that’s just the beginning of the story. It unfolds throughout the song.

You’ll find a lot of Louisiana flavor in Guthrie’s songs. When asked about that, he replied, “I played music down in Louisana for many years and their music, as well as their culture, always resonated with me. I guess that’s why I bring it into a lot of my songs.”

Well, I have to agree with Guthrie, I too love Louisiana bayou music!

The intro to “Steel & Wood” sets the mood with a slide guitar riff.

It is impossible to listen to “Miss Honey” and not tap your foot or shake your booty! See for yourself!

The title track, “Riverside” is sinister and perfect for the spooky Halloween season. “Ain’t nobody here ever survives. Nobody crosses Riverside…Wham bam another man down. Wham bam blood on the ground…”

Another favorite of mine on this album is “Mama’s Cookin’.” A slice of life told with a raw funkiness that makes you hungry.

“Two Dollars Down” is another story song set in the old Storyville prostitute district in New Orleans in the 1800s. “Two dollars down, boy, will keep you satisfied…”

If I was forced to pick only one song from this CD as my number one choice, it would hands-down be “Across The River.” It is poignant and laced with so many paradoxes. The melody, lyrics, harmonica, and Guthrie’s signature guitar roll create an atmospheric song that moves me. “So, pick me up in the morning, take me for a ride, on the road outside of Richmond across the river to the other side. And I sing hallelujah, hallelujah…”

The album ends with “Rustle in the Corn.”

From start to finish, this is a CD I will listen to over and again. Guthrie does not shy away from his truth. With a raspy voice and unique funkiness, there is no one like him. The album is produced, engineered, and mastered by Ryan Tharp, who is a phenomenal guitarist.

I hope this piques your interest enough to head over and download some of his music. I know he will appreciate it from the bottom of his heart!

Thank you, Guthrie, for giving us another album filled with awesome music!

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Descent Into Ulthoa by Gordon Bonnet @TalesOfWhoa @MotinaBooks #NewRelease #Mystery #Horror #SciFi

I recently became acquainted with this author and find him to be not only a prolific writer but a super creative human. He has a brand new release, Descent Into Ulthoa, that I’m excited to share with you today. But, I’m going to let him tell you about it. Take it away, Gordon!

PURCHASE LINK

Thank you, Jan, for letting me visit your blog to tell your readers about my new book.

Is solving a mystery always worth the cost?

Ten years ago, a man and his girlfriend went into the woods at the end of Claver Road on what was supposed to be a weekend’s camping trip, and never returned. Police combed the area, but nothing was found except for his car, abandoned where they’d parked it. It seemed like Brad Ellicott and Cara Marshall had been swallowed by the silent, brooding forest, leaving not a trace of what had happened or nor any clues as to where they went.

His identical twin brother, left to mourn his loss, has spent the last decade unable to let go of his grief, to accept that Brad and Cara are gone forever. Based on sinister hints from a few of the older residents of the quaint, picture-postcard village of Guildford, New York, only fifteen miles from where the woods start, he discovers that there might be more to the story than the disappearance of a couple of hikers. The forest the locals call Devil’s Glen has had an evil reputation for well over a century, and his brother and his girlfriend are not the first people to defy the warnings and brave the shadows under the trees—nor the first to vanish there.

Becoming obsessed with discovering what happened to his brother, he delves deeper and deeper into the mystery that lies beyond the end of Claver Road, and he uncovers a terrifying truth that challenges everything he believes. Is the knowledge worth the cost? And will he get the answers he needs before the forest claims him as its next victim?

Inspired by the classic fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, Descent into Ulthoa brings you on a journey into a world of atmospheric horror.  Full of twists and turns, this book will draw you down a dark path where you truly will never be able to anticipate what’s around the next bend.

PURCHASE LINK

Author, Gordon Bonnet

The author, Gordon Bonnet, has lived in upstate New York—near a village bearing a marked resemblance to Guildford—for thirty years, where he taught science and critical thinking in a rural high school.  When he’s not writing, he usually can be found running, playing music, making pottery, or playing with his dogs.

Follow Gordon:

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WINNERS!!! #1000 Blog Post

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who subscribed to my Newsletter, followed this Blog, subscribed to my YouTube Channel, shared the new book trailer video, followed me on BookBub, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. You guys ROCK!!! Seriously, you’re the best!

I had an overwhelming number of entries to sort through for the giveaways on my 1,000th blog post.

Choosing was REALLY hard!!

So, without further adieu here are the winners:

$10 Amazon Gift Card:

  • Catrina Pomerleau
  • Piroska B.

Ghostly Interference eBook:

  • Janice Spina

VooDoo Or Destiny: You Decide eBook

  • Cheryl Castings
  • Meabh Stanford
  • Darlene Foster

Virtual prizewinners, watch your Inbox. I have your email addresses!

Rose Quartz Gemstone:

  • Yvette Calleiro
  • Sydney Winward

Tiger’s Eye Gemstone:

  • Staci Troilo
  • Mary Morgan

Yvette, Sydney, Staci, and Mary, I will need physical mailing addresses. Please use the “CONTACT ME” button in the upper-righthand corner on my blog site to send it privately.

My regular #WednesdayWonders post will return next week!

“make it be me” – #NewRelease @MeabhStanford #Music #Literature WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING WINNERS!

Mae Clair

Marie Sinadjan

D.L. Finn

Winners, please contacct Meabh at meabhmeabhmeabh@gmail.com to make arrangements to receive your prize!!

The artist I am introducing to you today is perhaps one of the most unusual and talented young ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting. What Meabh has done is unique and brilliant. And she is giving away a batch of goodies! I’ll let her tell you about it.

  1. About the Project: “make it be me” concept EP

“make it be me” is a concept project based on movies and novels that inspired strong emotions in me. The EP explores the effect that media has on the consumer through the lens of the characters in said media. I would say that my music is indie-pop, or alternative-pop, leaning towards the writing style of artists like Taylor Swift or Phoebe Bridgers. “make it be me” is filled with dramatic orchestration and piercing lyrics that inspect classic and modern stories, written from the perspective of well-known characters or the vantage point of an outsider swept into the deceptive magic of a universe. I immerse myself in different stories and write as if those fictional experiences are reality. 

The EP’s opening song, “Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina,” is based on the dramatic screen interpretation of the novel. I was enchanted by the way the author and directors took the mundane and inserted dramatics and pain and love into the story. I wanted to know what it would feel like to be one of those characters, who seem to live for each other, who abandon all reason in the name of love. Of course, it’s all unrealistic. But that doesn’t make it any less romantic or beautiful and she wanted to capture that feeling. The second and sixth tracks, “oh, Hyacinth, parts one and two,” revolve around the heartbreaking Greek myth of Apollo and Hyacinth. These songs are from the perspective of Apollo and follow the story of their short but intense relationship. Track three, “i can still hope” is a playful twist on the play, Romeo and Juliet Same star-crossed lovers deal, except this time, the love is unrequited on the part of who is representing Romeo’s character. The narrator, who represents Juliet, laments and self-deprecates and wishes that her Romeo would love her back.  Track four, “glory days” is a folk-pop anti-war anthem based on the point of view of Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse-Five. He is such an interesting character and because I agreed with many of his ideas, this was a fun song for me to write. However, there are parts of this song that are purely Billy. So it goes… Finally, track five, “i still remember” was inspired by the novel, The Kite Runner. It is written from the perspective of Amir, the main character. It explores themes of guilt, haunting, and the desire to run away from your mistakes, even if it includes running away from the beautiful memories too.

  1. Stream/Purchase links for Méabh’s music which has been inspired by literature:

All links can be found in the following linktree: https://linktr.ee/meabhstanford

Individual links are below:

Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/album/4uZGdGu9QeUH73zg0ATb76?si=xJGTcYgJR7uA9ABsucTj0g&dl_branch=1

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kk241_d4UpK7YRuo28pDEZDsfHR4e12E4

Apple Music- https://music.apple.com/us/album/_/1576998327?mt=1&app=music&ls=1

Bandcamp- https://meabhstanford.bandcamp.com/album/make-it-be-me

Tidal- https://listen.tidal.com/album/191317779

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/make-be-me-m%C3%A9abh-stanford/dp/B099PFQ36H/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=meabh+stanford&qid=1627089741&sr=8-7

  1. Website/Social Media Links: 

Website: https://www.meabhstanford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/M%C3%A9abh-Stanford-108163631464642

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meabhstanford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeabhStanford

4. Bio:

Méabh Stanford is a 16 year old singer-songwriter-musician from Ocean City, New Jersey. She has been in love with music since childhood and has been performing since 2016. Her musical adventure began as an infant when her parents towed her and her older brother to “Music Together” music and movement classes. As she grew, she began taking piano lessons as a young child, then moved to play the flute in the school band. Inspired by Taylor Swift, Méabh began to play the guitar and sing. Méabh’s vocal coach and mentor, Stevi Leigh, challenged her to write a song at their first lesson four years ago when Méabh was just 12 years old. Writing this first song was a groundbreaking moment and she hasn’t stopped writing since. A voracious reader and evocative storyteller, Méabh infects her sophisticated sound with semantic twists and potent metaphors. Her debut concept EP, “make it be me,” was released in July 2021 and was produced by 2x Grammy-nominated producer, Saint Luke.



Giveaways:

A t-shirt, cd, and goodie bag which would include a pin, sticker, and bookmark.

To be entered to win, leave a comment and share on social media!

#MKTG – Part 6 – Pinterest #SocialMediaMarketing #Pinterest

I am at Story Empire today with a book marketing post about Pinterest. Have you ever thought of using Pinterest to promote your work? Take a look!

Story Empire

Hello, SE’rs. It’s Jan again with another look at social media marketing. The topic today is Pinterest.

I think of Pinterest as a huge virtual file cabinet. I am forever saving blog posts that I want to reference later, or that I simply want to save. So, when I came across the idea of promoting a pin, it was news to me.

I kept seeing the option to promote pop-up when I would pin something new to my account. So, because of my promise to you, I decided to explore.

Promoting a pin was fairly easy, although I now know that I missed a few important steps on this first try.

The pin I chose to promote was a blog post featuring a 5-star review of my book.

All I did was open the pin and click on the “promote” button. In three steps, I was done. I never saw…

View original post 425 more words

Monday #Motivation #Meditation #TarotReading #DragonCard

Good morning! Welcome to a new day, a new week, a clean slate on which to write our stories.

WhiteWolf.com

This is such a beautiful meditation with a powerful mantra to begin a new day.

I was drawn back to the Tarot Cards for our weekly reading. I love the message!

Photo by Jan Sikes 10-18-21

The Two of Pentacles is about endless juggling. As you can see from the image, he has two pentacles he has continuously in motion with the infinity symbol. This card invites you to manage your time and your priorities carefully. Your workload is high right now, and to get everything done, you need to stay focused and productive. You may benefit from a ‘to do’ list, better calendar management, and a stricter schedule. (I know. I hear you groaning because I am too) With the approaching holiday season, this is timely. Balance is a must.

The Knight of Pentacles represents hard work, effort, and the responsibility of following a dream. Notice the sturdy strength of the horse the knight is seated upon. When this card appears in a Tarot reading, you are working methodically towards your goals. You have a plan in place and are sticking to your schedule to get the job done. You may not work particularly quickly, but you are consistent, dedicated, and committed to your goal. Put one foot in front of the other and finish the job. This card also asks you to continue doing what you are doing, plodding along and making gradual progress. No need to change your approach. Go with the flow, stick to your usual routines, and over time, you will reach your goals.

Then the Hanged Man tells us to take a pause from all that hard work and reflect on what’s really important in life. It can sometimes indicate a delay. Don’t keep pushing forward, hoping that more force will drive you to where you want to go. Instead, surrender to the opportunity to pause and view it as your chance to reassess and re-evaluate where you are on your path. Something new is emerging, and you won’t be able to see it unless you allow the time and space for it to come through. **Addendum** Many thanks to C.S. Boyack for pointing out that the Hanged Man is reversed. I did not see that. Whether I accidentally flipped him, or he came out of the deck that way, who knows. but it does change the reading.

Reversed Hanged Man can indicate the need to hit the pause button. And if we don’t heed the warning, we may end up crashing and burning. It can also indicate delays or things being put on hold, much to our frustration.

My takeaway:

I almost had to laugh out loud at this card spread. We have the balancing act of too much to do, hard work, then put on the brakes. So, to me, it is saying for this week, work hard, stay balanced, and don’t resist taking pause at the end of the week for a little R&R. We don’t want to crash and burn! Sounds good to me! And how ironic that we have a full moon in Aries this week which is full of drive and passion, then moving into stillness by the weekend when the moon is void of course inviting us to take it easy.

And as always, the beautiful little dragons bring such an uplifting message.


The Texans Favor – #NewRelease @dk_deters #WesternRomance @NetGalley @WildRosePress

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Wild Rose Press. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Purchase Link

Jake Fontaine, a Texas Ranger, is hot on the trail of the vicious outlaw, Grizzly Duvall, when everything goes wrong.

Kat Collins is hellbent on escaping from her abusive uncle when she witnesses the ambush that will end the lawman’s life. She makes a rash decision to fire at the attackers and her actions save him.

Now, Jake is obligated. But because she’s dressed like a boy, he doesn’t realize she’s a woman until her hat falls off and her braid tumbles out. His Texas code of ethics won’t allow him to leave a woman alone in the wilds of Kansas. Frustrated that this new turn of events causes him to lose the outlaw he is so determined to capture, he offers to accompany her to the ferry that will take her across the river to St. Louis.

Kat is strongly independent. She needs no one. She will make it to St. Louis and start a new life as a seamstress. So, when Jake insists on accompanying her, she makes it clear she does not need his help.

Thus begins a tumultuous relationship. Each struggles to deny any attraction they feel.

Things go sideways when Kat’s uncle catches up to the pair and forces Jake to marry her. After all her uncle is a judge and the marriage is legal and binding. For me, this part of the story was not believable. That a man would go to all the trouble to track down his niece, then not force her to return with him seemed a little far-fetched.

But now they’re married and when one night of passion brings them together, maybe they are going to work out their differences after all.

Not the case. While Jake is sleeping, Kat sneaks away, taking his horse with her.

Throughout the rest of the story, Kat is running and Jake is pursuing and each time they meet up, their relationship switches from cold to hot in seconds.

The story ramps up when Jake’s grandfather goes to St. Louis to find Kat and get her out of his grandson’s life forever. But instead, in five short weeks, he falls in love with the woman who has given birth to his great-granddaughter and on his dying bed, wills the ranch in Texas to her.

Now things get really complicated. Jake is betrothed to another. He has no idea he has a daughter.

He and Kat are like oil and water. I grew a little frustrated with both of them at different times during the story when they lied to each other and danced around the truth over and over.

However, the story does culminate into an action-filled shoot-out and happy ending.

If not for the frustration I felt while reading the story, and a couple of plot twists that were not believable, this would be a five-star read for me. However, I give it a four-star rating.

If you enjoy westerns, and tumultuous romances, you would enjoy this story.