Sunday, May 31, 2009
First, the cover for Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales is up at Book Cover Lovers . Tomorrow it may be up on a poll for Best Book of May, so check back and do vote for it. You have all month to do that, until June 30, 2009.
Second, I had a very nice time at Simple Pleasures Books & Gifts in Ashland, Virginia, for the book launch of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales. People came and bought Haunted Virginia, even one person bought Haunted Richmond, Virginia.
The owners were the nicest people and we talked between customers coming in. It's a new independent bookstore in Richmond, not far from Virginia Center Commons. In the Northcross Center--same as Home Depot and CiCi's Pizza. Do go visit the store, more than books, it has luscious chocolate and neat gifts like candles. I got one as a thank you gift from them and it is one of those kind that has a wonderful odor and doesn't need to be lit to do so. More so, supoort it as it is one of other indie bookstores we have in town. Unlike the big bookstores, you get to meet the owners and it is oh so personal--like being home.
There were so many nice things in there. With books, of course. I'll be back there to do another signing on Halloween during the day.
Anyway, I am going to relax today. Even work on this poem that on suggestions do some edits as it may have a chance for this anthology was submitted to. Then go work in my veggie garden and enjoy the day. Take care!
Friday, May 29, 2009
I'll be a guest on The Paranormal View Radio Show tonight (May 29th) from 10PM to Midnight Eastern.The hosts and I will be talking about Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales, besides Haunted Richmond, Virginia too. You can join in the live chat and be able to ask questions on the air. You can participate by visiting:http://www.para-x.com/live.html
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I'll also be interviewed by Virginia This Morning tomorrow morning (Friday the 29th) to talk about my new book. The show is 8:55-10AM and I am not sure what time I will be on. But check them out.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
There are monsters and strange animal stories in this book, along with ghost stories, urban legends, myths of famous Virginians, etc... Besides that book, I will be also signing copies of Haunted Richmond, Virginia, too.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Today is Memorial Day. The day set aside in remembrance of those who served our country in past wars and to those who even now serve. Take the time during this day to stand silent for five minutes and reflect, saying a prayer in these soldiers' and sailors' honor, or if not religious, something appropriate in your mind. For if not for those who gave their lives for our freedom, you would not be able to do the things you do today, along with grilling on the grill or taking your first dip in the swimming pool that has opened for the summer.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Well, it came to me, that I had in the past when once again I went through it in the wee hours of the morning today. I am going though menopause and woke up with night sweats. Feeling hot, even with the covers off and the air conditioning on high, I finally managed to fall asleep on damp sheets, lying on my back. I had no dreams, nothing but darkness.
Not sure who long I slept, I woke up and found myself lying on my left side, unable to move at all, except opening my mouth in a small o-shape. I tried to shout out, but couldn't. It took me about seven times before I screamed, then moved. I turned on the lamp on my bedstead and sat up looking around as if to see anything or anyone else was in the bedroom besides my husband and me. Nothing. I woke up my husband, asking for the time, then used the bathroom. Crawling into bed, I switched off the lamp and managed to get back to sleep. The next time I opened my eyes it was 7:50AM.
I admit what bothered me wasn't that maybe I had done astral projection or that some supernatural being might been the cause of my inability to move, but that I couldn't move or make a sound. That there was no control of my body by me.
It also made me acknowledged the other times this happened to me over the years since I was a child. The last time before today was three years ago. I had forgotten conveniently my sleep paralysis. I admitted at the meeting that I had woken up in the past and seen these "shadowy things" in the room over the years, but wasn't sure if I ever had sleep paralysis.
The scariest part for me last night? That it reminded me of those horror stories of people who couldn't move and were thought of as dead and buried alive, even though they were not. Just unable to call out or move a muscle. I admit I have a fear of dying. Is it because of this, or something more of the supernatural reason? Good question.
Has anyone ever experienced sleep paralysis? If so, do post a comment. As many in that meeting who saw the film stated, they had in some form or another. And I would suggest viewing this documentary--it is very good and thought provoking.The website is
Monday, May 18, 2009
There'll be others selling some nice things, from collectibles to used books to more, including me.
It's free to attend.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
If anyone reading this blog has a ghost story they like to tell about set in the regions I will be writing about, contact me. Just go to the front page of My Website and scroll to the bottom of it until come to Send an Email. If you don't want your name in the book, let me know an d I will make sure you are interviewed or something. Or if you know of any haunted places in the area, do let me know too.
And now, a a story from Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales to wet your taste (something that will have to be in my next book--I have to get to that place!):
Creepy Bridge of Crafford Road—York County
There’s a bridge on a section of road where Tour Road crosses over Crafford Road that at night, weird things happen. The legend bandied about it is that African-Americans were hung at the location. They say that an African-American woman in a white dress is seen standing on the bridge at the edge and then falls from it to dissipate just before hitting the pavement.
But the strangest stories that are told about this area are about vehicles that seem to stop running as they approach the bridge. Then, the same vehicles start up again when they are pushed past the “haunted” spot. Not all cars need to be pushed, though. Some say that their car shifts into neutral and will roll uphill some distance. Afterwards, they check out their cars and find handprints all over the paint.
Next time when you decide to drive down Crafford Road and approach the bridge, beware. For your car’s engine may stop and someone may lend you a helping hand to push it—someone not of this world!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
And it looks like Star Trek will once again. Wasn't sure how it would be--continuity problems I could see in the commercials and previews. But Abrams figured a cool way that made a die hard old fan like me agree with what he did. I won't go into it. That would be a spoiler and I am sure there are those who still did not see it yet.
There was one problem I did not agree with, but again a spoiler. Something to do with Spock and Uhura. What was up with that?
Anyway, Leonard Nimoy was in it as older Spock and he was not used as a walk-on role, butr really as a part of the plot. That pleased me. The one part where he mind melds with young Kirk took me back to the old show when he did it with Shatner's Kirk. So cool.
Despite the special effects, the relationships began. Personalities between the main three worked well. Urban's McCoy had me seeing Deforest Kelly again. And Scotty? I just loved him.
If you're wondering what movie to see this weekend, look no further. Check out Star Trek. I guarantee you will have a good time. And if can. catch it on IMAX before it no longer is shown on that. The experience will go up a notch.
I give Star Trek five dragons.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Though Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales' release date is May 28, 2009, Schiffer has it for sale now at Schiffer Publishing
Otherwise, for bookstores and online retailers like Amazon, it's preorder only:
Info on it:
Back of Haunted Virginia's Blurb:
Virginia is unique with haunting myths, legends, and yes, even true stories that may sound like legends. Take a ghostly tour of this historic state to learn about the Bunnyman urban legend and what happens to mortals at his Bunnyman Bridge in Clifton at midnight on Halloween.
Discover the myths that surround Edgar Allan Poe and other famous Virginians. See why Natural Bridge is actually a haunted tourist attraction; and what makes the Great Dismal Swamp so creepy: Is it the ghosts or Bigfoot?
Meet the Witch of Pungo in Virginia Beach. Find out that Mothman and the Jersey Devil weren't just seen in their own states, but actually visited Virginia at one time.
Read about witches, demons, monsters, ghosts, pirates, strange animals, and Civil War legends. Visit an amazing, frightening, and even intriguing Virginia that you never knew existed.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Today, I have author Joan De La Haye stopping on her blog tour for her new book, Shadows. So welcome her and enjoy the blurb from her book, plus get to know her by reading the answers to the interview questions I asked of her. And she wants you to know that Shadows will be on sale at 35% off for the duration of the tour.
Sarah is forced to the edge of sanity by the ghosts of her family’s past. Suffering from violent and bloody hallucinations, she seeks the help of psychiatrist and friend, Michael Brink.
After being sent to an institution in a catatonic state covered in blood - from stabbing her unfaithful boyfriend - Sarah is forced to confront the truth about her father’s death and the demon, Jack, who caused her father's suicide and who is now the reason for her horrific hallucinations. Unlike her father, Sarah refuses to kill herself. She bargains for her life and succeeds.
In Sarah’s struggle to regain her life and her sanity, she discovers there is more to the world than she could ever have imagined, and it leaves her seeking the answer to the nagging question, "Who is really mad?"
1.)Please tell us about your latest book.
Shadows is about a woman who thinks she's losing her mind when she starts having gruesome hallucinations. Only things are not quite as they seem and Sarah realises that there is so much more to this world than she could have imagined. The story is told from three different perspectives, with each character battling their own and very different demons.
2.) What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm busy working on the sequel to Shadows as well as planning a series of books built around Sarah's demon, Jack, and the Shadow World where the demons exist.
3.) How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find out everything you need on my blog: http://joandelahaye.wordpress.com/
Or on the Rebel e Publishers website: http://www.rebelepublishers.com/
4.) How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I would say I write horror with a touch of Supernatural
5.) What motivated you to start writing this book?
It all started with a horrible nightmare and developed into a book. Getting the story out was a bit of an exorcism.
6.) What kind of research do you do?
I use the internet a lot. I love Google and Wikipedia. I'd be lost with out them. I also have a lot of books on psychology and on the occult. Books like the Goetia. I also suck the knowledge out of some of my friends. As long as I give them alcohol or coffee, they don't put up too much of a fuss.
7.) Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I try to write everyday, but sometimes the magic just doesn't seem to happen. On those days I'm happy if I manage to get a hundred words down. Then there are other days when I wake up in the middle of the night, storm down the stairs, switch on my lap top and write until dawn. So I've tried to set up a schedule and a structure, but things don't always go as planned.
8.) Where do your ideas come from?
That's a hard one to answer, because it depends what I'm working on, or what mood I'm in, or what's going on in my life at any given moment. Sometimes inspiration will hit in the form of a dream, as with Shadows, or it will come from a conversation I have or someone's suggestion, like my short story, ‘Jack's Lament’. I've even had moments when I've been in the shower and had a scene running around in my head which wouldn't work earlier; half way through the shower, with shampoo in my hair, inspiration will strike and I'll have to jump out and write it down. That's why I keep a note pad and pen next to the bed.
9.) Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
That's another tough one. I can't honestly think of anyone who I would say has directly influenced me. As much as I love Stephen King, I don't see anything of him in my work. But I'm sure one day someone will come a long and say “So-and-So has definitely influenced your work.” And then I'll know who's influenced me. I'm looking forward to that day.
10.) How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've always wanted to write. I still remember writing a fairytale and taking it to school the next day and making everybody in my class read it. My Grandmother has memories of me telling her intricate stories before I could even write and my Mother has similar memories of me driving her crazy with my incessant story telling and making the whole family listen to my little tales.
11.) What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
For me the reward comes in when someone’s read what I've spent hours, days, weeks or months working on and telling me that they loved it. That they couldn't put it down and wanting to know when they're getting the next book I've written. It's also about sharing what's been running amuck inside my head and having someone else share in the experience.
12.) Among your own books, have you a favorite book?
I think because Shadows is my first book, it will always be the most special to me.
13.) Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I have an older sister and brother. My father was a diplomat, so I grew up in places like Germany and Austria. I finished high school in Vienna Austria. I then studied Fine Art and Creative Design. After studying I ended up in the Hotel industry for a bit and realised that it just wasn't for me. I have a real problem with 'the customer is always right.' I definitely prefer working for myself.
I now live in Johannesburg, South Africa with my husband, our two dogs and two cats.
14.) Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
I would recommend that you hone your craft. Read books like Stephen King's ‘On Writing’. Go on a writing course. But most importantly - Never give up!
15.) Now for something fun:
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!
Favorite color? Red
Favorite paranormal being? Demons, but I do think vampires are sexy.
Favorite mythological being? It's a toss up between dragons and unicorns
Do you like science fiction, fantasy or horror? I enjoy reading all three, but find it easier to write horror.
All time favorite book? The Three Musketeers by Dumas
Favorite TV show? At the moment it's Gray's Anatomy
Favorite Movie? It's a tight race between the Matrix trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. What can I say? I love trilogies
What makes you laugh out loud? My dog, Horus. He's this huge beast of a dog who thinks he's still a puppy.
If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be? As far out in Space as I could go. I want to see what's out there. The whole Star-Trek thing really appeals.
A secret fetish? I wouldn't say it's a secret fetish, but I definitely have something for chocolate and whipped cream....
Joan De La Hayeshttp://joandelahaye.wordpress.com/
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Publication date is May 28, 2009, but the book can be preordered now at Barnes and Noble online or at your B&N bookstore:
Also up for preorder at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Virginia-Legends-Myths-Tales/dp/0764332813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241447003&sr=1-1.
Otherwise the only way to get it earlier than that, is at the SciFi Yard Sale May 23rd at 4844 Linshaw Lane in Virginia Beach 23455 as I will be selling copies and signing them there myself. I'll also have some Forbidden Love books I have stories in, few copies of Unwitting Sacrifice, and Being Familiar With a Witch download on CDs, all written as Sapphire Phelan.
The first bookstore signing will be May 30th at Simple Pleasures Books and Gifts 10180 Lakeridge Parkway, Suite 104 Ashland, Va. 23005 804-368-7736 www.simplepleasuresbooksandgifts.com
Week later I will be a guest Saturday, June 6th, at Fantasci 2009 at the Chesapeake Central Library in Chesapeake, Virginia. For more information and address: http://www.fantasciconvention.com/
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Though maybe the movie wasn't on par with Iron Man or Batman movie last summer, I did enjoyed it. It was nice to see Gambit and Sabretooth. Plus seeing quick update from when Logan was a young child up to modern times before he became an X-Man. If you're going to see it for Academy Award worthiness, it's not that, but if to enjoy it for what it is, an extension of the comics, then do so.