Clarissa Johal: 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Release -The Exile of Elindel (The Elwardian Chronicles) (Volume 1) by Carol Browne #fantasy #elves

The Exile of Elindel (The Elwardian Chronicles) (Volume 1) 
by Carol Browne

Print Length: 349 pages
Publisher: Burning Willow Press, LLC
Publication Date: October 8, 2017
ASIN: B075ZK3T5J
ISBN-10: 1947584065
ISBN-13: 978-1947584068

Blurb:

Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.
Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.
A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.
When destiny throws Elgiva and Godwin together, they embark upon the quest for the legendary Lorestone, the only thing that can save Elvendom from the evil that threatens to destroy it.
There is help to be found along the way from a petulant pony and a timid elf boy but, as the strength of their adversary grows, can Elgiva’s friends help her to find the Lorestone before it falls into the wrong hands?



Author Bio
 
Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her hometown. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes speculative fiction. Carol’s first novel The Exile of Elindel was published by Musa Publishing on 18th April 2014. Following the demise of Musa Publishing, she became a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Her non-fiction novella Being Krystyna - A Story of Survival in WWII was released as an ebook by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016.

Twitter @CarolABrowne

Monday, October 9, 2017

#MeatlessMonday - Granola Super Bars #vegetarian #recipe

These have a ton of ingredients but are super easy to make. The recipe is quite versatile; substitute nuts of choice, raisins instead of cranberries and add any extras. They're great for hiking, snacking or a healthy after-school treat. Enjoy!


Homemade Granola Super Bars


Ingredients:

4 cups whole oats
3/4 cup almonds, whole or sliced
3/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Pour 1-1/2 cups of the oats in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
Mix all oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, and dried fruit in a large bowl and set aside. 
Spray a 13x18 glass dish with cooking spray and set aside. 
Mix brown sugar, honey, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and remove from heat immediately. Stir in the vanilla and salt. 
Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients.
Mix well and transfer the mixture into the glass dish. Spread and press mixture until packed. 
Refrigerate for 2 hours and cut into squares. 
Wrap individual bars and store in the refrigerator. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#FolkloreThursday - The Sandman #European


De Zandman. Frontispice uit de Nederlandse vertaling
'Sprookjes: tweede verzameling', 1847

The Sandman. Most think of him as a mythical character from European folklore who sprinkles magical sand onto the eyes of children and brings good dreams. His appearance is usually that of an old man wearing a gold robe and carrying a bagful of sand. Innocuous enough, right?

But there are other creatures bearing the name Sandman--and these creatures are very different. The first has long fingers, sharp teeth and skin that is decayed and discolored, like a that of a dead person. It hides in the dark and whispers, "tik-toc, tik-toc" to its unlucky victim, putting them into a deep sleep. Once asleep, this Sandman will come out of hiding and devour the sleeping victim with its sharp teeth. It only needs to feast once per night, but will sometimes choose to kill for fun.
The other Sandman was used to scare children in the early 19th century. He would sneak into the rooms of children who wouldn't go to sleep and throw sand into their eyes, causing them to itch. When the child rubbed, their eyes would fall out on the floor in a bloody mess. The Sandman would then collect these eyes to feed to his pet bird that lived on the crest of the moon.
Sleep well, little children.

By the late 19th century, the nightmarish Sandmen had transformed from monsters, into a benign character that brought children pleasant and happy dreams. This led to the belief that there were two Sandmen, perhaps brothers. One brought good dreams, while the other had more evil intentions. In some stories, the powers of these Dream Creatures became even greater. Each person or family had their own Sandman. They could give you a dream you want, power over your own dreams, or glimpses into your future. Over the years, the folklore continues to change due to references in popular culture. It will be interesting to see what happens to the Sandman fifty years from now.

So...which Sandman will be visiting your bedroom tonight?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tangled Tuesday - #Paranormal #Cat Fur and the #Dog Days of Summer

Summer is here! The teens are off from school and at Day Two, already bored. My latest book, Whispers in the Wood is proving to be quite the challenge to finish. That said, my goal is to finish it by the end of the year. My characters are already complaining I've put them on hold during the day, but I find it impossible to write with other people around. Unfortunately, that leaves the wee hours of the morning and late, late nights when my brain is babbling weird crap that makes no sense.

Another summer event is that my dogs and cats go out of their way to shed extra hard. I keep thinking they'll eventually go bald. C'est la vie, it's always house cleaning day. While sweeping up their offerings, I noticed that fur is quite paranormal in nature. Here's why:


Spiritual Attachment - It will attach itself to you and nothing short of an exorcism can get it off. Be forewarned.

Full-Bodied Apparitions - It hides under your bed and drifts out when you least expect it.

Feelings of Being Touched - Usually around the face and nose.

ESP - Black fur is especially sensitive to white clothing, while white fur is drawn to black clothing. I can only attribute this to the fact that fur must be psychic.

Reincarnation - Fur is reborn even after you brush it away. Fur is eternal.

Feelings of Dread - Usually experienced on house cleaning day.

Orbs - Fur appears "front and center" in photographs. Every. Time.

Unexplained Odors - Coming from the dog bed. Even after you wash it. Twice. 

I've tried salting and saging my house but the fur keeps returning, more powerful than ever. Crystals are next but I've never had luck with those.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Frightening Friday--Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls)

Photo courtesy of Esparta via Flickr
Dolls. I've never been a big fan of dolls. I think they're creepy. Their blank stares, frozen expressions, predatory smiles...yeah, it's creepy.

Just south of Mexico City and between the canals of Xochimico, there is a small island known as Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls). As if one doll wasn't creepy enough, here you have a whole island of decapitated doll heads, arms and bodies; weathered by the elements and home to spiders and everything else. Oh, and did I mention? The dolls that populate the island have been put there to appease the spirit of a dead little girl and are reputedly haunted.

Don Julian Santana Barrera was a hermit who lived on the island. The story goes that he witnessed a little girl who drowned and was unable to save her. Seeing a doll floating in the canal, he hung it in a tree as a way of showing respect for her spirit. Shortly thereafter, Don Julian claimed he was haunted by the little girl and began hanging more dolls in an attempt to appease her. After 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them around the island, Julian was found dead, drowned in the same spot where he found the girl. 

After Don Julian’s death in 2001, the island became a tourist attraction run by his family members. Local legend says that the dolls move their arms, heads and open their eyes. Some witnesses claim to hear the dolls whispering to each other, while others say the dolls have lured them to come to the island. 

Here's a short video to get an idea what the island looks like now. A trip to la Isla de las Munecas is not on a regular tourist route. If you want to visit, you'll have to hire a private boat at $15 USD per hour, prices vary. A trip to the island takes about two hours. Any takers?



Thursday, June 8, 2017

#FolkloreThursday - Gashadokuro #Japanese #ghost

"Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre"
Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861)
Creative Commons
The gashadokuro are skeletal giants created from the bones of people who died of starvation. A class of supernatural monster, or yōkai, their teeth chatter and their bones rattle as they walk. If they come across a human at night, they will turn invisible and silently creep up on their victims to crush them in their hands or bite off their head. It is said the victim can hear the sound of ringing bells before they strike.

Victims of famine who die without receiving proper funerary rites are at risk of becoming gashadokuro. Unable to pass on, these souls are reborn as hungry ghosts. When the bones of hundreds of these victims gather together (due to a village famine or soldiers who die in battle) they can form the skeletal monster. Too large and powerful to be killed, it will continue to feed until the energy and malice stored within the creature has completely burned out. The gashadokuro are indestructible, though Shinto charms can ward them off.

The earliest record of a gashadokuro goes back over a thousand years ago. A samurai named Taira no Masakado led a bloody rebellion against the central government of Kyoto during the the Heian period. His daughter, Takiyasha-hime, was a famous sorceress. When Masakado was killed in battle, his daughter continued his cause. Using her black magic, she summoned a giant skeleton to attack the city of Kyoto. Her monster is depicted in a famous print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (shown above).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday - Sucreabeille @sucreabeille #unique #handmade #bathproducts


Welcome to Wishlist Wednesday!


Photo used by permission, courtesy of Sucreabeille

My shout-out is to a shop I found at Animazement. 
Sucreabeille makes atmospheric sprays, bath and body oils, soaps, lotions, hair products and deodorant. Her scents are unique - check out her scent list. With products such as, Norman Loves Mother soap,  It Puts the Lotion On Its Skin unscented lotion bar, and Calm the F**k Down relaxation and stress relief aromatherapy oil, what's not to love? 



I went on a soap shopping spree and bought several - Graveyard, Jareth, King of the Goblins, Wicker Man, Papa Legba, and Frau Perchta. I went a little crazy because they smell THAT good. 
Dragon's blood, dirt, cedar, woodsmoke and papyrus? I'm all in. 


*Products are made to order - make sure you check her shipping time.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tangled Tuesday - Top 10 #Anime Picks #paranormal #horror

I've been a fan of anime for 20+ years. I love the artwork, complex themes and the fact that they glean from Japanese folklore and mythology. Take a peek...

**All links go to Hulu, except for Vampire Hunter D (movie site) and Tactics (AnimeHere).

My top 10 picks in paranormal horror anime...in no particular order

Photo courtesy of Keng Susumpow via Flickr
1) Death Note (2006-2007)

Manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata.

Plot:
Yagami Light is a bored A-student with great prospects. One day, he finds a notebook (Death Note) from the realm of the death gods or shinigami. The book has the power to kill people in any way he desires, he merely has to write their name in it. Light decides to create his perfect world, one without crime or criminals. However, when criminals start dropping dead one by one, the authorities send the legendary detective 'L' to track down the killer. A battle of wits, deception and logic ensues, much like a chess game. 

My thoughts: This the crème de la crème of anime. The story is complex and the concepts of good and evil are challenged.

Fave character: Ryuk. Gotta love an apple eating shinigami with a sense of humor.

*I prefer sub-titled anime, but this dubbed version of Death Note is quite good.



2) Blue Exorcist (2011)
Manga written and illustrated by Kazue Katō. 

Plot:
Humans live in the world of Assiah, and demons live in Gehenna. The two dimensions are not meant to interfere with each other. In spite of this, demons still possess creatures in Assiah. The humans who can fight these demons are known as exorcists. Rin Okumura bears the curse of being Satan's illegitimate son. His foster father sacrificed himself to save him from demons. To avenge his foster father's death, Rin decides to follow the path of an exorcist.

My thoughts: This anime has many similarities with the current television series Supernatural. See if you can spot them!

Fave character: Mephisto Pheles. He enjoys chaos and is always ahead of the game. Plus, he dresses fab.

3) Vampire Hunter D (1985 Film)
Manga written in 1983 by Hideyuki Kikuchi and illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano. 

Plot:
Technology and the supernatural have overtaken the world. What's left of the human race live in fear of vampires, who keep werewolves and mutants to protect them. Doris Lang trespasses into vampire territory and encounters Count Magnus Lee, who tastes her blood and chooses her to be his next wife. Doris hires a vampire hunter by the name of 'D,' a dhampir (half human, half vampire), to rid her of this fate. 

My thoughts: Vampire Hunter D remains a cult classic.

Fave character: Carmilla. This vampire is deliciously evil, cunning and intelligent...and her clothes are awesome.

4) Black Butler (2008-2010)
Manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. (The second season, Kuroshitsuji II, aired in 2010 and did not feature in the manga.) 

Plot: 
In Victorian-era London, a young boy sells his soul to a demon in order to avenge his family's death. The demon takes the form of a loyal butler and is required to protect, serve and arrive whenever summoned by his young master until the deal has been completed.

My thoughts: I love the Victorian costumes and artwork in this series--flat out. I will drop a warning however, the relationships between the butlers and their underage 'masters' toe the line.

Fave character: Grell Sutcliff in his Grim Reaper form. Over-the-top, flamboyant and outspoken. What's not to love?
 
5) Mushishi (2005-2006)
Manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara. 

Plot:
The story follows Ginko, a man who dedicates himself to keeping people protected from supernatural creatures called Mushi. The Mushi are beyond the shackles of the words "good" and "evil." They can exist in countless forms, and are capable of mimicking things from the natural world such as plants, diseases, and even phenomena like rainbows.

My thoughts: This anime is beautiful to watch and the concepts are very thoughtful. It's paced very slow, so if that's not your thing, it's not for you.

Fave character(s): Technically, there's only one main character (Ginko) but I really liked the concept of the Mushi

6) Vampire Knight (2008)
A shōjo manga series written by Matsuri Hino

Plot:
Yuki Cross is the adopted daughter of Kaien Cross, the headmaster of Cross Academy. Yuki's earliest memory is of being attacked by a rogue vampire and of being rescued by Kaname, a Pureblood vampire. Ten years later, her adoptive father is the guardian of the vampire race and leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school. At Yuki's side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend whose hatred for the creatures leaves him determined never to trust them. The coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways? 

My thoughts: This series gets a bit Twilight'ish towards the end. Turning a blind eye to that--if only because of the artwork and story arcs.

Fave character: Zero Kiryu because he always tries to do the right thing.

7) Boogiepop Phantom (2000)
Manga written by Kouhei Kadono.

Plot:
The story takes place a month after a pillar of light appears in the night sky, and five years after a string of serial killings. High school students have started to disappear and the blame is placed on Boogiepop, an urban legend who is said to be the personification of Death. Each episode centers on a different character who had a short involvement in the major event. Some episodes are out of sequence and scenes are shown from different perspectives. Through this non-linear style, the characters are used to develop the central themes of Change, Escapism, Memory and Relationships.

8) Ghost Hunt (2006)
Manga written by Fuyumi Ono. The last novel was published in 1994 and the story was left incomplete. 

Plot:
The story follows the adventures of the Shibuya Psychic Research Center as they investigate mysterious occurrences all over Japan with a team of other spiritualists and assistants.

9) Tactics (2004-2005)
Manga written by Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama.

Plot:
Supernatural sleuth and writer, Kantaro Ichinomiya, spends his days fighting demons and writing about his adventures. Accompanied by a mysterious Demon-Eating Goblin and a band of demons, Kantaro travels the Japanese countryside in search of ghostly mysteries and the paranormal.

10) xxxHOLiC (2006)
Manga written and illustrated by the group of manga artists known as Clamp. The manga was adapted into an animated film, xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream which premiered on August 20, 2005. It was followed by two anime series which ran from April-September 2006.

Plot:
The story revolves around Kimihiro Watanuki--a high-school student disturbed by his ability to see the supernatural, and Yūko Ichihara--a witch who owns a wish-granting shop. When Watanuki asks Yūko to remove his ability to see spirits, she grants it--on the condition he pay for his wish by working for her.

That's my list! What are your favorite anime?


Monday, June 5, 2017

#Meatless Monday - Another Tofu Recipe...Run in Fear

Photo courtesy of Puno 3000 via Flickr
It's time to share one of those recipes. (cue scary music) mua-ha-ha! Tofu isn't scary, I promise. But it only works if you do something with it. Marinate it, spice it up, put it in something, but for goodness sake, don't just lay a white slab on your plate and call it a meal. That's just gross. Think of tofu like a sponge. And on that culinary note, here we go...

Because the weather is warming up, I decided to share a tofu burger recipe. I see you trying to sneak away! Come back, or I'll send my minions to fetch and make you eat tofu for eternity. It's just one recipe.  Enjoy!

Tofu Burgers

1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
6-1/2 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
11 oz firm tofu
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 T basil
2 cups wholegrain bread crumbs
1 T tomato paste
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T chili-garlic sauce
1 egg (to make recipe vegan, you can add 1/4 cup tomato sauce)

8 wholegrain buns
*Cooking oil

1) In a pan, heat 2 tsp. of olive oil and add onions, mushrooms and spinach. Cook until softened.

2) Blend the tofu, garlic and basil in a food processor until smooth.

3) Transfer tofu mixture to a bowl and stir in onion mixture, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, egg (or tomato sauce). Refrigerate 30 minutes.

4) Divide mixture into 8 patties and press together well.

5) Heat cooking oil in a pan and fry patties for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden. They will fall apart, so be careful! OR you can bake patties at 375F for 30 minutes. turning once

*Serve in wholegrain buns with avocado, cheese, sprouts or topping of choice.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Frightening Friday - Haunted #Raleigh #NorthCarolina #Ghosts and Urban Legends - Part 2

In continuing with Haunted Raleigh, here are several other places you may want to check out.

Photo courtesy of Mark Turner - Public Domain
Mordecai House

Built in 1785, the Mordecai house is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Once part of a plantation, it's one of the oldest homes in the area. Historic outbuildings include the overseer's office and smokehouse, the Allen Kitchen, the Badger-Iredell Law Office, St. Mark's Chapel, and the Andrew Johnson house, birthplace of the 17th President, Andrew Johnson.

The ghost who inhabits the Mordecai house is said to be the spirit of Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, who lived from 1858 to 1937. She appears as an apparition wearing grey 19th century dress. She can occasionally be heard playing the piano in the downstairs drawing room, and visitors to the house have seen a grey mist hovering near that piano. The home is filled with family portraits and original furnishings. Many have reported that unkind remarks directed towards Mary's portrait, have resulted in the portrait dropping from the wall. During a field trip, a child reported they'd seen a man with a scar on his face, appear and disappear by the Andrew Johnson house. The child became inconsolable and had to be taken back to the school. There have been many investigations on the property - all resulting in impressive evidence of paranormal activity.

The city of Raleigh hosts a family friendly Haunted Mordecai Festival every October.
Year-round tickets for a guided tour of the home may be purchased at the Visitor Center.

Phot courtesy of Mark Turner - Public Domain
Governor’s Mansion

This Victorian-style mansion, home to N.C. governors since 1891, once was described by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as having “the most beautiful governor’s residence interior in America.” It was built from native materials, and been occupied by 28 governors’ families throughout North Carolina's history. It is also reputedly haunted.

In 1891, Governor Daniel Fowle gave carpenters precise measurements to construct a bed for the second-floor bedroom. He died in the same bed, and many have suggested that his spirit remained. In 1970, Governor Bob Scott decided to replace the massive wooden bed with a modern, king-sized bed. The old bed was moved to a room on the third floor, and the new bed put in its place. A short time afterwards, the governor was awakened at night by a strange rapping sound coming from the wall where the original headboard had been. The rapping continued for several years, and the family nicknamed the pesky spirit, "Governor Fowle’s Ghost."

When a new administration took over the office, they decided to move the old bed back down to its original location. The ghost has not been heard from since.


Photo courtesy of Hans via Pixabay - CC0 Public Domain
Poole Woods

During the period of the Civil War, William Poole was a wealthy mill owner with large tracts of wooded land just east of the city. When Union troops marched into Raleigh, rumor spread that Poole had vast amounts of gold hidden in the woods around his estate. The Union troops confiscated Poole's belongings, including his prized white horse, but the gold was never recovered.

Poole's wishes that the trees surrounding his mansion not be used for timber were ignored. They were cut down, but were worthless, having rotted from the inside. Shortly after Poole’s death, a ghostly white horse was spotted along the road in the woods surrounding the mansion.

Poole’s estate house burned to ground over a century ago. The tract of land can be found between Walnut Creek Amphitheatre and the Neuse River.

______________________________



Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thoughtful Thursday - The Overtoun Bridge Mystery

Photo courtesy of Allan Ogg Creative Commons License 
Overtoun Bridge, an arched bridge near the village of Dumbarton in the Scottish Lowlands, has gained quite a bit of media attention. Over the past 60 years, the crumbling stonework has seen more than 600 dogs taking a 50 foot plunge, with many of them meeting an untimely end at the bottom. All of the deaths have occurred at virtually the same spot, between the final two parapets on the right-hand side.

Rumors have long circulated that the bridge and the nearby Overtoun House are haunted, with the spectres said to be responsible for influencing the living. In 1994, a local man threw his baby son off the bridge, claiming the child was the anti-Christ. Shortly after, he tried to end his own life with an unsuccessful suicide attempt from the same bridge. In Celtic mythology, Overtoun was known as 'the thin place' - an area in which the veil between heaven and earth could easily be passed.

Animal experts have conducted experiments as to why dogs would be jumping to their deaths. Their conclusion? The musky smell from mink living under the bridge was the culprit. For those who are not satisfied with that explanation, you are not alone. Dogs who survived the jump didn't run off to catch those minks--they ran back to jump off the bridge again. 

The bridge now has a warning: "Pet owners should only walk their pets at Overtoun with extreme caution. Dogs should be leashed, leash-trained and under the control of an adult."

The mystery continues.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On Hiatus #amwriting #paranormal #darkfantasy

I haven't posted in a while (an may do some re-posts) but I'm still here!

I've been working hard on Whispers in the Wood, my new paranormal dark fantasy. Stay tuned!





Whispers in the Wood - Coming 2017

It all began with an acorn.

There are some places you shouldn’t disturb, places where history lingers. When Rowan travels to England, she finds a remote village, hidden in the shadow of an ancient forest. Vague warnings from the local people aren’t enough to stop her from venturing into the trees, or from picking up a single acorn. It seemed a simple action. But when a stranger emerges from the forest claiming the acorn belongs to him, Rowan finds herself pulled into something both centuries old, and deadly.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Frightening Friday - #Raleigh #NorthCarolina #Ghosts and Urban Legends


I love urban legends and haunted places. In Raleigh, there are many such legends. But whatever city you live in, I'm willing to bet you have some of your own. I thought I'd throw a couple of less-known places out there, in case you decide to visit. Whether they're "truly" haunted or not, is up to you to decide....




Ratcliffe Angel of Oakwood Cemetery

In the beautiful and historic Oakwood Cemetery, is a grave belonging to Etta Rebecca White (1880-1918). The grave is marked with a stone angel, shown in my picture above. I've taken photos of this angel numerous times. Little did I know, there was a legend connected to it.
Legend states the stone angel turns around if viewed at night. It has also been reported that people have felt the angel's gaze upon them, following their every movement.
I can't say this is much more than a legend, but the stone angel is beautiful and makes for a good photo. My respects to Etta Rebecca White and her descendants. If this legend is true, apparently, the stone angel is her sentinel.

Dos Taquitos Restaurant

I've eaten at this place - the food was good, the staff was wonderful, and the artistic ambiance was really cool. However, the place made me oddly uncomfortable, and I felt agitated while there. When doing research on haunted Raleigh, I was surprised when Dos Taquitos turned up! Apparently, the building has a history of paranormal happenings. The history is grim; the building has burned down twice, there was a death on the premises, and another death next door. In addition to those two deaths, in 1995, John Williams Jr. murdered four prostitutes on the nearby railroad tracks. Patrons and workers alike have experienced whispers, knocks, and other spooky happenings. In spite of all that, I do recommend you check out the restaurant. Best nachos ever!

Check out this YouTube video



The Nazareth Catholic Orphnaage c1930
Image courtesy the NC Division of Archives and History
Crybaby Lane

There are a few stories regarding the Nazareth Catholic Orphanage. Once a large and beautiful building, it is now no more than a little stretch of deserted grass off Bilyeu Street and referred to as Crybaby Lane. After doing some research on this place, here's what I came up with.

The story: In 1958, a fire broke out in the orphanage dormitory. The fire spread quickly throughout the building. By the time the sleeping children were aware of the smoke filling the hallways, it was too late. When the fire department arrived, the building had already been gutted. Months after the remains of the orphanage were torn down and removed, neighbors complained the smell of smoke was still in the air. The smell was so strong that some people would choke when they walked into the field. In addition to that, people said they heard the cries of children, calling out in fear.

The truth: There were several fires, but none that reportedly killed the children. There was a death on the property, however. In 1905, a fire consumed the priest’s living quarters. One priest was crippled after jumping from a third story window to escape the flames. Another, John Gladdish, was unfortunately killed after helping a number of his fellow priests to safety. In 1912, a fire burned out the stables, but no one was injured. In 1961, a fire was accidentally started by a priest who was attempting to burn wasps’ nests. It burned the rectory to the ground, but again, no one was injured.

Today, most of the houses surrounding the orphanage have been abandoned. The area is now an empty field. If you hunt through the grass, you'll be able to find the cornerstone, which is all that's left of the old orphanage.

Stay Tuned for Haunted Raleigh: Part Two

There are several other less-known and reportedly haunted places in Raleigh. 'll post them once I finish checking the historical facts.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tangled Tuesday - Luminous Spirits by Dusty Crabtree #newrelease #giveaway #youngadult #paranormal



Psst! Dusty Crabtree is having a giveaway. One lucky winner will win a print copy of Shadow Eyes or the sequel, Luminous Spirits, 3 will get the ebook version.

From 3/17-3/24, the first book, Shadow Eyes, is on sale for ONLY 99 CENTS!


Shadow Eyes

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.
Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.



Luminous Spirits

Old habits die hard. Old enemies, even harder.

Iris must now perfect her newfound abilities in order to help her shadow-oppressed family and friends, but more importantly, she must prepare for an impending fight with her most hated adversary. After the arrival of a new mean girl who seems to have history with Iris’s boyfriend, Iris quickly figures out that she is anything but the typical mean girl. She not only creates havoc and conflict among Iris and her friends, but her presence also means that Iris’s inevitable confrontation with her enemy may, in fact, be closer than she thought.

If Iris can figure out why the new girl is there and what her enemy is planning, she’ll at least be one step ahead of their game. But will she be ready when the time comes to face her biggest challenge yet? Or will they succeed in tearing Iris apart before she even has the chance?





Author Bio


I love a good story, but I also love young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of my life. I
have been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. I’ve also been a youth sponsor at my local church for as long as I’ve been teaching. I feel very blessed with the amazing opportunities I have to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With my love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in my life. I live with my husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where we often serve our community as foster parents. When I’m not chasing kids around the house or teaching, books and movies are my favorite diversion. Some of my favorite book series are The Hunger Games, Hush Hush, Divergent, and Percy Jackson. Some of my favorite movies are Inception, Avengers (and most Marvel movies), and Pride and Prejudice – an eclectic mix, I know.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Smashwords
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter @DustyCrabtree

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring Equinox! #amwriting

A quickie post and a happy spring to you! In North Carolina, spring feels right around the corner. 

I'm sharing baby bunnies with you today. It seems like a fitting thing to do on the Spring Equinox! In 2011, I had the pleasure of helping to rehabilitate these guys - they were released back into the wild when they got big enough. (Mama bunny had unfortunately met with an accident or become prey.) Every time I go for a run in the nature park my bunnies were released, I think of them. I hope they grew up and had baby bunnies of their own.

On the writing front, I've been spending a lot of time in my local forest to immerse myself in my character's world. You've heard of method actors? I'm what you'd call a method author. I like to experience what my characters would experience. Whispers in the Wood is coming along in fits and starts, largely due to the fact that I've been unable to get away for a writing retreat. Hopefully, that will happen soon. The book will be worth the wait, so please stay tuned! I'll leave you with the blurb, in case you missed it...

Whispers in the Wood
A paranormal dark fantasy

It all began with an acorn.

There are some places you shouldn’t disturb, places where history lingers. When Rowan travels to England, she finds a remote village, hidden in the shadow of an ancient forest. Vague warnings from the local people aren’t enough to stop her from venturing into the trees, or from picking up a single acorn. It seemed a simple action. But when a stranger emerges from the forest claiming the acorn belongs to him, Rowan finds herself pulled into something both centuries old, and deadly.