Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Authors to Watch

An Interview with Authors to Watch

I had a really great interview the other day with a brilliant book blogger, Authors to Watch.

It's a site worth having a look around at and not just to read my interview. 

There are lots of different authors they spotlight on. If you are looking to find some new and refreshing reads it's a good place to look. 

Thanks for reading this post.

Josephine Sanchez-Vanner

Monday, 25 November 2013

I was stalked by an evil ghost.

I was stalked by an evil ghost.

The story I am about to tell you – is not a story. It is the truth.

I know it is because what I am about to tell you happened to me.

I once lived in a very old house called Cromwell Cottage. There were many stories surrounding the house. That it had once belonged to one of Oliver Cromwell's relatives. Possibly his brother Richard or Sir Philip Cromwell, as part of his estate.

It was also said to have been at one time a dying house for plague victims and a hospital for lepers.

On a wall in the kitchen after it had been stripped of plaster during a restoration project, we found what  looked like musket ball holes.

It was said that during the English civil war, men had been put up against the wall and shot. No one knew why, or if it was true, only that it was supposed to have happened. The holes we uncovered embedded in the exposed brickwork said it was a possibility that murder had happened there.

How much of the above is true, I don't know. The name on the deeds to the property was Cromwell Cottage, so some of the stories were probably correct. What I do know, is the house was, and I am sure, still is, very haunted.

I have been aware of the world of spirit, since as a very young child of about five, I had my first paranormal experience. I saw the ghost of a man who had hung himself.

The original part of the house, built anywhere between the 14th and 16th centuries, had been extended through the Georgian and Victorian periods to form a large many roomed residence. Cromwell Cottage, had six bedrooms, four reception rooms, an enormous kitchen with a big utility room (mud room) attached and a long wide hallway - all of which were haunted. There was also a vast barn, which seemed free of any ghostly happenings.

When my husband and I viewed the house to buy it, I connected with the residual spiritual energies in the house, it didn't bother me because to me spiritual activity was quite normal.

So, we moved in with our two small boys and set about making the old place, home.

The paranormal activity started almost immediately we moved in. Heavy footsteps could be heard walking down the stairs. We heard a woman chattering excitedly as she went from bedroom to bedroom. There was the noise and laughter of children playing in the hallway. We could hear their boots scrapping on a stone pavement that no longer existed.

And many, many other paranormal sightings, of spirits, ghostly noises, the aroma of musky perfume and the smell of new paint in a room that had yet to be painted.

My husband fitted a dimmer light switch in our sons bedroom, that night after we had put the children to bed and we had lowered the light, the ghosts began to play with the light, first to brighten then dim the light in the room. When I asked them to stop because they were frightening my young children, they did. So they weren't all bad, the spirits that shared the house with us.

We were not alone in witnessing the activities. The workmen we employed to help with the renovations refused stay in the house without either myself or my husband being there.

If I was to document all the supernatural happenings of that house, I'd be writing a book, not a blog article.

The day I discovered we had an intense evil stalking our house, started no differently than any other day. My husband went to work, I took our boys to school and then came home to do the daily chores.

The feeling that there was an unwholesome presence around me began as I cleaned the upstairs family bathroom.

Someone watched me. Then whatever it was followed me as I made the beds and cleaned the bedrooms. I had felt energies around me before especially when I was alone in the house. This time though, it was different, I felt a deep sense of unease and an understanding that the energy that was with me didn't just want to make it's presence known to the physical world.

I took no notice of whatever it was standing with me, and refused to let it intimidate me as I carried on with my housework as if it wasn't there.

Was it my refusal to be scared of it that made it so angry? Perhaps but I don't think so. There was a loathing of the living that came with it. I knew it wanted to punish me in some way.

I finished what I was doing and went downstairs. As I descended the stairs, I felt whatever was there, follow me. And I heard the distinct sound of a man's heavy footsteps tread alongside me as I walked. By the time I reached the end of the stairs my heart was pounding and the skin at the back of my neck itched from the sweat sticking my hair to it.

Although, it was a beautiful sunny day and a bright light streamed in through the glass panel of the front-door filling the hallway with sunlight, I felt the atmosphere of the hallway hung with a blackened aura, as an intense psychic darkness, permeated the house with the feeling of something really evil there with me.

It was then that I realized I was dealing with an entity consumed by a wicked malevolence that was aimed right at me.

At that time I had not trained as a Spiritualist medium and had only my psychic instincts to rely on to fight the thing trying to scare me.

If it could have hurt me, I am sure it would have and I am also sure it would have done me psychical harm, if I had not had spiritual protection.

The front half of the downstairs consisted of the two largest reception rooms. A drawing room that had a large bay window looking directly out onto the pavement outside and a library/music room.

Both rooms were the scene of a lot of previous paranormal activities. The drawing room lights would be turned on every morning, although both my husband and I made sure we had turned them off the night before when we went upstairs to bed.

The library/music room apart from the walls being lined with books had a piano in it. It was not unusual to hear the piano being played by ghostly hands during the day but more often late at night.

Something inside my head told me to head for the kitchen and the other more older half of the house. I took a deep breath and recited the Lord's Prayer as I quickly walked the length of the long hallway to the kitchen door. And as my hand closed over the door knob, I got the feeling of a large thick fingered hand push down hard on my own fingers.

You cannot stop me.” I remember yelling to the air before pushing the door open and then firmly closing it behind me.

With the door shut between me and it, I said to whatever is was still on the other side, to stay exactly where it was and not follow me any more.

I waited nervously for several minutes then with a surge of relief I realized my prayer had been answered as I could no longer sense anything in the hallway behind the kitchen door.

And then it happened.

Coming from the library/music room there was the most almighty loud crash. It was so loud I thought the ceiling had fallen down causing the books to come crashing to the floor.

Adrenaline took over and without thinking I ran back out into the hallway and into the room to see what had happened.

So thunderous was the noise I had heard, I expected to see chunks of ceiling plaster, dust and books everywhere and a totally destroyed piano.

The room was completely intact. Nothing was out of place.

I stood stunned. Then I felt him standing behind me and I heard his low painful breaths rasp over my shoulder.

I sensed my tormentor's spirit was that of a man. The entity was not from the oldest time of the house. I felt he was Victorian, and a past owner. I got the feeling that during his life he had been a brutish man, who beat his wife and children. There was a dark evil to this spirit – an evil I had never felt before and I have not felt anything like that spirit's wickedness since – I am very pleased to say.

Maybe he just wanted me to leave his house but at the time this haunting happened to me, I didn't think that was so. I felt he wanted to hurt me as I sensed an intense hatred emanating from him.

Again, I recited the Lord's Prayer out loud, as I walked through him or passed him, I don't know which and back into the kitchen.

For some reason the man's ghosts didn't want to follow me into the kitchen. The kitchen and the rooms off of it, were of the older part of house and in all probability where the victims of the plague and the lepers had been brought to die all those centuries before.
You would think spirits of those who had died such a horribly painful death would have had more reason to feel anger than a man who must have been wealthy in life and very likely held a predominant position when he was alive - but something else came to the house that day to help me, a power for good – my guardian angels? Or maybe the other spirits that stayed connected to the house, stood in his way, to protect me.

Whatever the reason, the evil spirit stayed behind the door and did not come into the kitchen.

The intense hate waiting on the other side of the door for me was so deeply consumed by it's evil that I left early to pick my sons up from school that day.

About two hours early.

When we got home, I made my children stay in the kitchen whilst I went through the house saying prayers and blessing each room in turn.

The haunting didn't stop but he never came back, for which I was truly thankful.

A while later my husband got a new job and we sold the house and moved away.

The new owners? As far as I know, they never experienced any paranormal activity whilst they lived there.

Something else for which I am thankful.

All of the above really took place and in no way have I not told it the way the events actually happened to me. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013



November in England is supposed to be foggy, grey, wet, windy and generally weather wise, downright depressing – only it's not.

There's a light breeze, the sun is shining and where it is normally sub-zero temperatures it is a least 5 degrees above zero.

Freezing cold to some of you – but to us Brits it's practically summertime.

Hell - I was even wearing sunglasses taking the dogs for a walk at lunchtime.

The  wonderful weather has inspired me to create a new look for my website and a more zazzy blog.

This was the entrance to the marina where I live this time last year!

And this is me wading through the floods with one of our dogs.
I haven't taking any photos of today's weather – but trust me – it's 'nothin' but blue skies'.

So what's changed?

A brighter blog background for one. What was I thinking with all that brown? Ugh.

I'm especially delighted with the changes I have made to my web-site.

I've made navigating it simple with easy to read buttons. Got rid of some pages and added some pages.

I am particularly pleased to have included on my site a Book Bloggers page and an Authors page.

For up-and-coming authors, the exposure to the reading market via Book Bloggers and their reviews, interviews and promos is invaluable.

And I am a great believer that authors should help each other. From us 'new kids on the block' to the more established, if we share – we grow.

So I have set up a page to help my fellow authors.

About the page, someone said to me "Are you not scared someone will buy another author's book and not yours?"

My answer to that is – if someone wants to buy my books, they will and if they don't, then they wouldn't have bought them anyway.

If anyone is interested in either my Book Bloggers page or the Authors page, please contact me through Facebook.

There is no fee involved, all I ask is that you promote my website on your social media sites.

Thanks for reading and if you feel like – please share my blog.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

What's in a name?

So what's in a name?

Well just about everything really.

You have written this fantastic book with plenty of action and a whole load of sex that oozes out from every page.

It's got great characters, an alpha male that is every girl's dream. An alpha female that would have any man crying on his knees with undying love for her, if she so much as glanced at him – and you haven't sold a single copy.

Frustrated and near despair you wonder where you went wrong.

Girl meets guy, guy falls in love with girl, they have hot, passionate , animalistic sexual bliss as soon as they hit the sheets.

She falls (or thinks she does) for someone else. Guy plans to win her back....succeeds because his rival is a jerk and nowhere nearly as good looking or rich as our hero....not that the girl cared. She cares only for true love.

The making up scene is awesome....and you're not the only one who thinks so, your husband agrees, so does your mother and the rest of your family. The buying public has a different attitude.

So what's wrong with the book – the title is CRAP.

I guess to a lot of writers 'I'm preachin' to the choir' and I'm sure most of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

This understanding - I have just found out about.

I've been lucky in choosing good titles. I like to believe that I had help from my Spiritual guides but I'm not going to push that idea onto anyone. It's my belief.

My first novel The Warlock's Woman has been well received, helped by a great publisher and the most amazing book bloggers.

However – it's my second book that has really surprised me. It's just got published and hasn't had the promotional effort that The Warlock's Woman has.

But here it is – Half Blood is running alongside in the buying stakes with The Warlock's Woman.

I was inspired to call the book - Half Blood - because the story-line has an anti racial prejudice theme to it. And it would appear I wasn't the only writer who thought Half Blood was a good title.... having your book in-between copies of J K Rowling's Half Blood Prince on Amazon has proven to be very beneficial.

As I've said, I didn't choose Half Blood because other's had, I chose it because of the message in the book - but it has helped.

Sure the blurb for a book is very important - and I have to admit it – I'm no great blurb writer and don't get me started on the hoops I go through when writing a synopsis, so I'm thinking basically, it comes down to a great snappy title.

Mystery, suspense, sex, intrigue and adventure, get it all in the title and you've got a winning formula.

The sequel to The Warlock's Woman is called - The Black Ether, I chose the title before I had my epiphany about titles – bummer.

I think the title does manage to give a sense of mystery, with perhaps a bit of intrigue – words like Black and Ether, hopefully conjure up in a potential reader's imagination some of those concepts.

Should have got the sex in though, as there is a lot of that. The suspense and adventure, well......I'll have to get better with the blurb.

I have already started the marketing process, so, The Black Ether - part 1, it is – yeah and I've already got The Black Ether – part 2 as the sequel. That said, maybe I'll change it to The Bonking Psychic does the Black Ether, somehow, I don't think so.

I am however, going to make sure the sequel to Half Blood, grabs the attention of whoever reads it.

I have had one or two suggestions already from friends as to the sequel title, my answer to that is – when I want to write porn – I will - and I don't think even vampires are that double jointed.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Big Thank You

Thank you to all who have helped me with my book The Warlock's Woman. 

A special thank you to Coffee Time Romance & more for including - The Warlock's Woman in their coffee thoughts.

And thank you Keith Publications.... for fabulous support and recognizing my 'talents' in the first place.