Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Signing at Hanover Book Festival This Saturday

Saturday, August 1, 2009, I'll be joining 50 other authors and publishers in selling and signing at the Hanover Book Festival 10:00P.M. to 2:00P.M. at the VFW Post 9808 Building 7168 Flag Lane Mechanicsville, Virginia. The book signing event is free. My table is #32.

I will have copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, 5 copies of Haunted Richmond, Virginia, couple of my chapbook of four fiction ghost stories, Beyond the Four Walls, 2 copies of the anthology, World Outside the Window (have fictional ghost story, Misery Loves Company in this), 1 copy of trade paperback of the scary anthology (I have a story in this) Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weird Wednesday

For Weird Wednesday. Someone ought to tell this guy you can't park in a tree if can't find a parking spot on the street!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm Signing My Ghost Books at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond Thursday, July 30

I'll be chatting about and signing Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales and Haunted Richmond, Virginia at Fountain Bookstore in Historic Shockoe Slip, 1312 E. Cary Street Richmond, VA 23219 on Thursday, July 30, 12:30 to 2:30PM. Bookstore's Phone Number: 804-788-1594

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday in Virginia Beach

Yesterday, my husband, Bill and I went to Virginia Beach, not only to stop at some bookstores and places down there to leave promo flyers for Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, but to spend a day at the beach. Yes, I got my feet wet in the Atlantic Ocean, but we also walked down Atlantic Avenue, checking out places along the way and having lunch in George's.
The day was very humid, making the heat even ore nastier. It felt good to stand in the waves, letting the cold water cool me down. Unfortunately, that didn't last long as we walked down the street. We bought bottles of ice cold water from one store and took swigs of it. When we got to Nightmare Mansion, a haunted house attraction, we crossed the street to head back down the other way. We stopped in at the Old Coast Guard Museum gift shop, but not the museum. The guide wasn't there yet to take people in and we had to leave. By the way, this place has the reputation of being haunted too.
The beach had an endless line of people and umbrellas along the sand, proving many people were at the beach. After we drove away from the parking garage we parked the car in, we stopped by the cavalier Hotel. There is a new version, but across the street is the original one, looking like the Stanley Hotel in The Shining by Stephen King, and like that famous other hotel, is haunted too. What is cool about this hotel, I'll be staying there in March 2010 as a guest for the paranormal conference, Eastern Paranormal Investigator's Co-Op Paranormal Conference. It will be held march 12, 13, and 14, 2010. If you're interested in EPICCON:
Anyway, it was a nice day, though we were both happy to get home in time to watch Dr. Who: Planet of the Dead in BBC America at 8PM. Dinner was Taco bell we brought home as both of us were too tuckered out to cook or grill.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get Beyond the Four Walls as eBook at's eBook Store

 now has an eBook store. And my chapbook of four fiction ghost stories, Beyond the Four Walls, is an eBook for sale on their site. You can find it at

Here is blurb of the collection:

Ghosts haunt more than houses and aren’t always bound by four walls as proven by the four stories in Beyond Four Walls. In “Spectre Dreams and Visitations”, Sherry buys an old book of ghost stories at a yard sale for some good reading and finds that it results in something far more than she can handle or even wants. And haunting proves to be a dusty business for one reporter staying the last night of a reputedly haunted movie theater before demolition in “Gray Dust.” “Hard Drive Haunting” reveals to a young woman that surfing the Internet can do even more terrifying damage to her life than a computer virus. And in the last ghostly tale, “Call in the Night”, Sandy finds that the call she’s been receiving each night is definitely more than a wrong number.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weird Wednesday

Is this ghost Henry VIII? Or something else? Or a trick? Whatever it is, this is my weird picture for my Weird Wednesday. Enjoy and ponder.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Next week, I'll be doing two book signings, one in a bookstore, the other two days later at a book festival, both in Richmond, Virginia area.

Thursday, July 30, 2009, I'll be chatting about and signing Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales and Haunted Richmond, Virginia at Fountain Bookstore in Historic Shockoe Slip 1312 E. Cary St.Richmond, VA 23219 12:30 to 2:30PM.

On Saturday, August 1, 2009, I'll be joining 50 other authors and publishers in selling and signing at the Hanover Book Festival 10:00P.M. to 2:00P.M. at the VFW Post 9808 Building 7168 Flag Lane Mechanicsville, Virginia
I will have copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, 5 copies of Haunted Richmond, Virginia, couple of my chapbook of four fiction ghost stories, Beyond the Four Walls, 2 copies of the anthology, World Outside the Window (have fictional ghost story, Misery Loves Company in this), 1 copy of trade paperback of the scary anthology by Shroud Publishing (I have a story in this) Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales.
I write erotic romance as Sapphire Phelan and will have them with me in container behind table, so ask if want one of those. This is a family event, so otherwise, I will not have the erotic stuff out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island by Barbara Bonfigli – Virtual Tour

Welcome author Barbara Bonfigli, as she stops on her blog tour for her novel, Café Tempest. Not only does she gives answers to the interview I do with her, but gives a link to find a tasty Greek recipe just like in her book.

1.) Please tell us what motivated you to write Cafe Tempest?

I'm a writer by nature; I don't know about design. When I get up in the morning I'm motivated to write. Then life intrudes -- errands, bank accounts, friends' urgent requests. Eventually I find some time to do what I choose. Café Tempest emerged from a personal history of traveling to Greece and falling for the place, the people, and the culture --especially the little things that, when they don't work well in America, drive you crazy, but on a Greek island bring complete bliss.

2.) Why the setting of Pharos? What drew you to make the island the place?

Pharos is an imaginary island, a blend that is two parts reality, four parts fantasy. I do believe there is something that most islands, even Nantucket, share, and that is a closeness among the inhabitants. It's almost a feeling of family. They have to like you a little. Which is why a person with almost no vocabulary in the native language can land on a place like Pharos and be welcomed...even understood.

3.) What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

I called upon my own extensive experiences of Greece and travel in general. And I let my imagination loose.

4.) It says a fictional memoir—how much is the character, Sarah like you?

Sarah is a close friend, for sure. But almost every character a writer creates shares some of her qualities or at least her observations. Fictional because the author never directed the islanders in a play; memoir because she's overly attached to her motorbike and her inflatable dingy.

5.) What kind of character is Sarah? Explain the contrast between her and Alex? Between her and the islanders?

I let my characters explain themselves. Beyond that, my job is to write and the reader's is to read, think, decide for themselves.

6.) How important is humor in the relationships Sarah has with Alex and others? Is this her way to set up emotional boundaries, or something else? Or nothing at all?

Again this is something for Café Tempest readers to discuss. Sarah tells you she sees life as a mostly fantastical comic adventure. Humor is a genuine point of view. It can be used to lighten even the darkest situations and of course it's an excellent defense against others' personal dramas.

7.) At the end of the book, do you think Sarah has a transformation if her life? Does she learn a new lesson she never knew before?

Another reader's question. Do you think Sarah is transformed? I wrote the book; it's for the reader to interpret, analyze.

8.) In this, you have a female character fall for Sarah, a woman who has only before heterosexual relationships? As for Sara, she is comfortable in her own flesh, able to love both men and women in her life. How does this define the novel, too?

I don't think any one element of the plot defines the novel. Friendship, love, embracing another culture, these are the main themes of the story. Sarah is as much a philosopher as her Greek neighbors. She and all the characters are the sum of their many parts. No one thing defines them.

9.) How would you describe the genres that you like to write in?

I like every one of them except farce. And of course every author mixes genres to some extent unless they're writing haiku, or sonatas, where the rules must be obeyed.

10.) Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow? No set schedule. In fact the word schedule is almost as hard for me to say as to spell.

11.) Where do your ideas come from?

Life, both real and imagined. And then there is the mysterious process of creativity. Your character says something, and that leads you in a direction you hadn't planned on. FUN.

12.) Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

Probably every good writer I've ever read has left a mark in the grey matter. My early favorites were James Joyce, Thomas Mann and the Russians -- Tolstoy, Dostoievsky, Nabakov. Later and continuously -- Georges Perec, Paul Theroux, Marguerite Yourcenar, Marcel Proust, Alice Munro, Rumi, Hafiz, Mary Oliver and Bob Dylan come immediately to mind. But for sure I've left out some of my favorites.

13.) How long have you been writing—have you always wanted to be a writer?

It started with crayons, before I had actual letters. From letters it was pretty much all uphill. The Brownie skit, the high school skits, the school newspaper, lyrics for on and off-Broadway shows, ads for the shows I've produced in London and the States, a few scripts.

14.) What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? Writing is it's own reward and right after that, the reactions of my readers.

16.) What can we expect from you in the future? I'll be looking for question 15?

17.) Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Self-publishing is no longer vanity publishing. It's accepted as a smart alternative because it's so hard to get fiction published. but that's no reason not to write it. And the internet is a fantastic way to bring your work to the public, a world-wide audience pool which was never before available.

18.) Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so that readers can find out more about you. is full of news, biography, latest reviews and interviews. My publisher's website has lots of info.

19.) And of course, what are your favorite Greek recipes, since there is some in the book? I hope you also share a couple with my blog readers.

I love cheese pies and spinach pies as long as they're bite size with the thinnest filo wrap. Ana Espinosa is a terrific chef who teaches you exactly how to make filo. Check out her recipes at the back of Café Tempest. You'll find one recipe on my website, and there may be one on the Amazon site under Look Inside.

Please see for one recipe. Many more can be found in the novel. Sarah herself is not a cook and her creator wouldn't dare share a recipe she hasn't tested herself.

To learn more about Barbara Bonfigli and her book, Café Tempest, feel free to visit any of these sites:

Barbara Bonfigli’s website –

Order Café Tempest directly from the publisher - or from Amazoné-Tempest-Adventures-Small-Island/dp/0981645313

To see the complete tour schedule visit

Barbara Bonfigli’s Bio

Barbara is an author, lyricist and theatrical producer. When she isn’t writing songs or travel articles, or producing shows, she packs some French roast and catches a plane to Athens. Then a ferry or a hydrofoil to... but that's classified.

She hitchhiked to Greece in her first nomadic summer, and discovered her native land. She’s been exploring it ever since -- hiking in the Pelion, kayaking in the Dodecanese, sailing the Aegean. In a tiny seaside taverna, over fried kalamari and a pitcher of homemade red, a few Greek families and she watched Obama conquer Berlin.

Maps are her recreational drug of choice. After wearing out five passports and four continents she uncorked her memories and imagination -- and a bottle or two of retsina -- to write her first novel, "Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island". It's a kind of "A Year in Provence" meets "Zorba the Greek". You are invited to the mythical island of Pharos, to laugh and dance in the hammock, not the cradle of Western civilization.

About Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island

What is it about Greece that makes it so exotic, so romantic, so tantalizing that it’s right at the top of everybody’s bucket list – the one foreign land they’re longing to visit? Our dreams are made on Never on Sunday, Zorba the Greek, and more recently My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mama Mia.

Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island is a witty, evocative, beautifully written novel that puts you right in the heart of Greek island life. It’s so alive with the sights and smells and tastes and characters of Greece that you can pick it up and start your Mediterranean vacation on page one. On a deeper level, the book is filled with the kinds of observations, reflections, and arc of self-discovery that make Eat, Pray, Love so compelling.

“Welcome to Pharos. Laugh and dance in the hammock—not the cradle—of Western civilization,” says author, lyricist, and theatrical producer Barbara Bonfigli. “I’ve been falling in love with Greece since I was old enough to drink retsina. But if Sarah hadn’t captured my imagination you’d never know how I feel about friendship, feta, and the abundance of grace that turns friends into lovers and fishermen into kings.”


When Sarah, a thirty-something American theatrical producer, is asked to direct the locals in their summer show, she picks Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. What follows is a hilarious adventure in casting, rehearsing, and consuming. Her neighbors are excited about acting but delirious about eating. Their rehearsals in a deconsecrated church become a feast in four acts.

Armed with a sizzling wit, a dangerously limited Greek vocabulary, and a pitch-perfect ear for drama, Sarah navigates the major egos and minor storms of a cab driver Caliban, a postmaster Prospero, and a host of fishermen dukes and knaves.

When she falls in love, there are even trickier seas to navigate. Her own offstage romance provides an exhilarating, unpredictable counterpoint to Shakespeare’s story of magic, intrigue, and the power of love.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'll Be Interviewing Guest Blogger on My Blog Tomorrow

Stay tune for tomorrow's blog. I will have author Barbara Bonfigli stopping at my blog for her blog tour of her book, Café Tempest: Adv. on a Small Greek Island. So do check it out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Got An Article Coming in Withersin Magazine's July/August Issue

My article, 'Don't Pet the Heads of Strange Black Dogs," about the Black Dog myths, which will be in the July/August 2009 issue of Withersin Magazine coming out soon. order it at
And if you have it and I am at a convention or book signing near you, bring it and i will sign the article.
Here's on the issue:

TURPENTINE (volume 3/issue 1)

Features fiction from Ted Davis “The Clinic”, Michael Pignatella “Still Life, With Fries”, Colm McGeever “Words” and Jack Westlake “Conversion Completion”.

Razor wire artwork by Jeff Ward (cover), George Cotronis, Doug Draper and K. Sumek.

Non Fiction pieces from M. Awren Grey and K. Sumek, plus articles on “Where the Werewolves Were” by Tom Hamilton, Pamela Kinney tells us about strange black dogs, Michael Lohr interviews Robert Schoch, Larry Roberts’ “Oddments and Incongruities” article, turpentine uses, strange and scary tourist stops in North Carolina, the story of St. Rita of Cascia, understanding Ogham and more.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter--Why Do We Love Him?

Why do we continue to go to the Harry Potter films and still read the books, and even more so, fantasies these days?
Good question. I know why I do. I've always liked fantasies, since I read my first Narnia book as a child. Also there's something about Harry Potter, how a young boy whose parents are killed when he was a baby, lives with relatives who do not want him and yet, can not dump him off as then they would not look responsible, and more so, finds he is a wizard and must go off to this school to learn to do magic. Ah, the adventures he has and some great friends he makes. But yet, he's the Chosen One and because of that has a very nasty, evil sorcerer after him.
He draws us into his world, a world where we can forget about our troubles, the economy, and worries. It's a mini vacation we can all afford. Fantasy has a way of doing that. We want the hero to battle the villain and win. We want a happy ending for that book. Something that may be hard to do in our mundane world. The monsters in fantasies become depression, lack of money, and worries. We battle them as Harry does.
So next time you feel that the real world is collapsing around you, go check out a fantasy at the library or pop in a DVD of a fantasy movie. I guarantee you'll forget the mundane world for a while. Maybe be ready to take its dragon on.
Thank you, Harry Potter, and all other fantasy characters, for bringing us all the magic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weird Wednesday

Today's weird picture is an optical illusion. See if you can count the black dots.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Signing at Barnes and Noble in Richmond, Va., Virginia July 18

I'll be signing copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales along with Haunted Richmond, Virgina 4-6PM Saturday, July 18 at Barnes and Noble at Chesterfield Town Center 11500 Midlothian Turnpike Richmond, Virginia 23235 804-794-6640

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Book Signings and Visit to First Haunted Place for Next Book

I had two book signings this past weekend, along with starting to work on my next ghost book. My first signing was at Minerva Books in Petersburg, Virginia
My first time there, I was sad to hear that it will be closing next month. It is a very nice bookstore and if you can and are in the area, drop by. All books are 30% off.
Saturday, I signed at the Barnes and Noble on Virginia Beach Virginia Beach. I did very well. Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales had sold out and the ones they ordered for my signing didn't come in time, but all the copies of Haunted Richmond,Virginia went and three of the five copies of Shifting Desires, that I have an erotic paranormal romance novella, Beast Magic, included in. Thanks to all those who came in and got my books.
After the signing Saturday my husband drove me to Champlin Hotel on Fort Monroe as I am starting to do footwork of my next ghost book. The hotel is used no longer as a hotel, though is a museum and in use (like for weddings--one happened that day we got there). It also has a ghost.The gentleman I could talk to was out of town, but I plan to give him a call and set up an interview. I did take some pictures, plus let my husband take one, which you can see here on this blog. The hotel is very large.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in Virginia Beach, Va. Saturday, 7/11

I will be signing copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales along with Haunted Richmond, Virgina 1:00PM to 3:00PM, Saturday, July 11, 2009 at Barnes and Noble 4485 Virginia Beach Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23462--757-671-2331.
I also will be signing copies of Shifting Desires, an erotic feline shapeshifter romance anthology I have a novella included in written under the pseudonym, Sapphire Phelan.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Weird Wednesday

Here is the photo for today's Weird Wednesday. Please leave a caption for it and I will announce the winning one on tomorrow's blog. tell me this picture couldn't inspire you!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Book Signing at Minerva Books in Petersburg, Virginia July 10

I'll be talking about the haunted places of Petersburg and signing copies of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales along with Haunted Richmond, Virgina 8PM to 9:30PM Friday, July 10 at Minerva Books and Cafe 233 Bartow Alley. Petersburg, Virginia 23803 804-732-2440 This will be during JULY FRIDAY FOR THE ARTS.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Fourth of July

Not in order they were taken, but some of the photos I took at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden yesterday, July 4th. I got into the Conservatory to see Butterflies Live, where butterflies from South America are loose and flying about. I even caught a picture of one resting on one of the volunteers working there. I said that the insects were used to the workers, but wouldn't do that to the visitors as so many of us. One made me eat my words as it landed on my leg and people took pictures of it. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture of it myself.
The flowers were gorgeous and the place really cool. I had never been there and plant o go back in the Fall, with my husband as he had to work on call and couldn't go with me. Of course, it will cost to go next time. But the place is worth it. There;s the Conservatory, the Children's Garden, pathways through many gardens and so many plants, trees and flowers. Too bad it was such a hot, muggy day. But glad it did not rain, but held off, as it is doing today.
Enjoy the pictures. And check out the place yourself. Here is the link to the website: where you can get directions and the contact phone number, plus check out the place virtually.