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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

"Best Selling Reads" - A website to check out!


Greetings My Lovelies!!!
(That doesn't sound too psycho-thriller-killer-ish does it?)

Am keeping it short and sweet!!

I just wanted to let you know about a new website called Best Selling Reads and GIVEAWAY they are hosting!

Lots of stuff on this new website... blogs, giveaways, 99c and free ebooks...

What are you waiting for?
Give'er a looky-loo!





The best authors in New Fiction are celebrating the grand opening of BestSellingReads.com with a February promotion:


Best Selling Read’s February Deal

Prize for winning reader entry: iPad Mini with Wi-Fi 16GB plus 1 eBook from each BSR author
–OR-

$300 Amazon gift card plus 1 eBook from each author (if winner received eReader holiday gift)

2nd & 3rd place winners: $25 Amazon gift card


Winners will be chosen February 28th by Rafflecopter. No purchase necessary.


 CLICK LINK BELOW TO ENTER!!!







Sunday, 20 January 2013

"Dark World" by Zak Bagans & Kelly Crigger

BOO!!!!

(Yeah I know, I didn't scare you but perhaps that shadow figure standing behind you will)

I know Halloween is a long ways away, but if you are like me than you like a good scare year round! (Unless it involves clowns..they are terrifying and uncool at any given time!)

My interest in the paranormal started at a very early age. Probably as far as my memory goes back.
I remember bits of pieces how as a young child, I'd complain about seeing faces in the attic window, hear whispering, see people at the end of my bed. It was always chalked up to 'an over active imagination' (Yeah, whatever you want to tell yourself Father-Dear)
At 32 (I mean 25....) looking at the past evens, something had to be going on! I had these feelings and sightings BEFORE I was even aware of what they really could have been (over active imagination accusations not included)
It leads me to believe that what my parents brushed off (Heaven forbid a Pastor's daughter 'see's' things) could actually have been paranormal in nature.
*for the record, my mother, sister and several others also had paranormal experiences in the home as the years went on, thus vindicating me.

The house I grew up in, pictured just before we moved in (1980's)

Sure, for all you skeptics out there rolling your eyes I say this to you: *ahem*

 "I wish upon your head an unexplainable over-active imagination experience!" (xoxo)  And if you don't 'believe' than for sure this latest book review isn't for you.

If you are skeptic, but curious... continue...

If you are excited at the thought of paranormal... this blog (and book) are for you!!

I have had so many creepy unexplained events in my life it's hard to pick which one to share with you. I've been lucky that some of my experiences have been shared with others. I love them witnessing the unexplained along side me. (Thinking back to the time at work when two of us were alone in the building, footsteps occurred in the backroom, a curtain parted and no one 'visible' walked through.
Jaw's hit the floor, we look at each other and say 'K, you saw that right?')

One of the scariest experiences I encountered was when I was about 20-21 years old. I was still living with my parents in our old (and active house) in the country.
 My parents left to run errands in town for the evening. For whatever reason (probably nursing a hang over) I was in my bedroom half asleep with my dog Sparky sleeping at the end of my bed.
 I started hearing the 'usual' activity..... it sounded like someone was behind the other wall, in the kitchen, walking around while banging pots and pans. Disturbing, but it was something we heard frequently so I just decided to ignore it. Sparky, as usual, snapped to attention, assumed the attack position, growled, but never left the bed. My hero pup was protecting me!
Moments later however, something above the norm happened. The radio in our living room suddenly turned on and started playing the radio..only to turn off...than turn on again..... It than stayed on but the volume would turn up very high....and turn down. This kept happening. At this point, my heart was beating out of my chest and I was terrified. Sparky had stopped growling, turned to whimpering and came to sit with me. He was shaking. My attack dog and protector had turned into a big wuss. I grabbed the phone next to my bed, and called my parents on their cell crying and freaking out, begging them to come home. Mom could hear the noise in the background and while my dad scoffed, she confirmed how she too could hear the music turning up and down. My father assumed maybe someone had walked into the house thinking it was empty and was goofing off with our things. They rushed home to be safe.
The radio clicked off, the whole ordeal lasted about five minutes or so. My parents arrived home to a terrified daughter and dog. My dad searched the house and no one was there. To this day, I, and many others swear that house was haunted.
Perhaps not by innocent things either. Remember, my dad is a pastor, perhaps we aren't talking 'nice' spirits who wanted to play. The house sold a few years ago, and am tempted to knock on the door to see if the new family has had similar experiences.
I always find it silly that most religious people believe in Demons, believe our spirits go to either Heaven or Hell, yet turn their noses up at the idea that they can stick around or come for a visit. I prefer to have an open mind. We're human, contrary to what people think, we don't know everything and I like to keep an open mind... I mean hey... they used to say the Earth was flat right?
I digress....

I'll share one more story with you before I continue on with sharing my latest read:

This experience is one that happened to my daughter and I when she was 3 and a half years old.

We were renting a house in Oakville at the time. An older home, about 50-60 years old.
It wasn't as active as previous locations I'd lived in, but sometimes I would go into the kitchen to find previously closed cabinets wide open (one time there was a large noise, I walked in to find every single cabinet in the kitchen wide open, freaked me out). If we were sitting in the living area, you could hear someone walking in the hallway and when you looked no one was there.
The worst was when I woke up one sunny morning and heard my daughter playing and talking with (I assumed) her dolls. After a few minutes she started screaming hysterically 'No No NO you are NOT my grandma!!!!!!' and 'GO AWAY'  I swear, the way she was talking and screaming that someone was in her room with her. I rushed in to discover her sitting toward the back of her bed, hands over her ears at this point screaming 'Go away, I don't want to see you or listen to you!'.... I had a very creepy vibe when I entered the room. There was no one there, she was yelling in an empty room.
I tried to comfort her but she yelled 'Mommy do you see her??? She wont go away, she is still there, she says she is my grandma and she isn't!!!'
I was stunned. There was no one there. I had never discussed spirits or exposed her to the topic before. Remembering how I was never believed as a child, I didn't want to do that to her. So I calmly (albeit nervously) said to the thin air 'Excuse me, I don't know who you are, but you are scaring Naomi. If you could please leave her alone and leave our house, I'd appreciate that...Go to the light'
Mommy to the rescue!

And that was that. After she calmed down Naomi told me that she had woke up and wanted to play, but the lady at the end of her bed distracted her. While she was nice to talk with at first, this lady was adamant she was Naomi's grandmother (at this time in her life, all her grandparents and great grandparents were alive) and she just wouldn't stop telling her this. Naomi still talks about this experience to this day, and she is 9 years old.

Dd in her room in Oakville. The same room the lady appeared to her.

Needless to say both of us have an interest in the Paranormal.

When I heard that Zak Bagans, the hunky host of my latest favorite television obsession had written a book on his experience with the Ghost Adventures crew, I had to read it.




In 'Dark World ~ Into the shadows with the Lead Investigator of The Ghost Adventures Crew' (say that ten times fast!) Zak tells us about how he went from skeptic to believer to a lead investigator hunting spirits.
He shares stories of encounters, and also theories on why locations are haunted (I love the thoughts on materials, like limestone acting like tape recorders thus leading to residual haunting)
Zak discusses his theories on children spirits versus a demon trying to trick you. He explains the different devices that they use to help detect and communicate with ghosts. I found it interesting how one such invention came to be when a man tragically lost his daughter and activity began.
He discusses Spirit Boxes and while I believe in ghosts, I have to admit, I am skeptical about a spirit box. I would love to play with one to see if it works for myself (Bucket List!!! I'd love to go out with an experienced Ghost Hunting crew armed with these items to see for myself!*cough* Zak?*cough* Nick?*cough* Aaron? *cough*)

Needless to say the information is very intriguing and informative for ghost lovers and future ghost hunters everywhere.

"Dark World" is very easy to read and follow. For example when he chats about quantum physics (a topic that interests me but makes my eyes roll back into my head) I actually found it easy to follow what he was saying, digest it and I wasn't bored. (Though I was wondering what I was up to in a parallel dimension)

If you are a fan of Ghost Adventures (on Travel and Escape for us Canadians...for the rest of you check your local listings!) you will love how he brings up locations they have visited, all the while taking a few shots at the goofy and adorable Aaron Goodwin in the meantime.

I have a collection of books on the paranormal that I have accumulated over the years and Dark World makes a great addition to it!

On another note, Nick Groff, also of the Ghost Adventure's crew has also written a book called 'Chasing Spirits' and I fully intend to read it and see what he has to say!
I'd love to see if the lovable Aaron Goodwin will eventually write a book as well. If he does, and if he ever reads this..... may I suggest the title: "Damn it Zak I do NOT want to go in there alone!!"


Happy Reading!




Friday, 11 January 2013

FIVE Stars to Finding Gloria ~ by Marianne Curtis

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

The Holiday season is over and 2013 is here!

I don't know about anyone else but I have been cleaning like a mad woman, rearranging the house and trying to start the new year off on a high note. If the house is perfect, it leaves more time for fun (and reading!)
 I guess you could say my resolution for 2013 is to be better organized! (And here I thought I didn't make a resolution!)

We didn't do very much for New Years in our house. What was previously my favorite holiday for the third year in a row has turned into a quiet evening at home. We were even in bed before midnight! (Sorry honey, I will wish you a Happy New Year at 8am over scrambled eggs)

That said, one thing I did that night was read.

The book I chose to 'ring out' the old year?





I find it hard to use the word ‘Love’ to describe a memoir. I don’t want to. What is to 'love' about reading a true life story of a lonely childhood? 

Before I answer my own question, I will tell you a bit more about the book!

I came across ‘Finding Gloria’ by Marianne Curtis, after hearing about it from a friend of mine. (Shout out to Ms. B!)  The author happens to belong to an online book club we are in. When I heard it was a memoir about adoption and her life afterwards, I was intrigued. I added Finding Gloria to my reading list! I was lucky enough to grab a copy one day when Ms. Curtis had it offered on Amazon for a short time as a free e-book special! (I love it when a book I have marked to read is free!)

Here is a snippet of the book description from Amazon.com:

"Pouring her own hardships out onto the page, Marianne Curtis recounts her experiences growing up as an adopted child: adopted at birth, she was raised in a household where she was subjected to terrible and heart breaking forms of abuse. Her adoptive mother repeatedly tried to break her spirit, insisting that she was worthless and unwanted.  In a desperate attempt to escape her circumstance, Curtis fled, as a teenager, to another city.
Desperate for acceptance and love, she married at age eighteen, and, by twenty-four, had four children.  Her insecurities from her traumatic childhood followed her, however, and eventually led to the dissolution of three marriages and her own mental breakdown.
Finally, after the death of her adoptive mother, Curtis searched out her birth family, found them through Facebook, and eventually came to a place of love, healing, peace, and acceptance through the family she had not known for more than four decades."



As I said above, it is hard to describe a true story as something you ‘love’. I don't love the unimaginable pain and suffering inflicted on a helpless and trusting child. It broke my heart. I didn’t 'love' the fear and embarrassment she suffered as a teenager, it made me sad and angry. It also made me regret (as it should) so many things said and done to others when I was in high school.
 As a mother I couldn't fathom treating a child terribly, or being forced to give my child up for adoption. I cried at times reading it. (yet another book that needs to come with kleenex!)

All that said, I did love the courage, the determination, the journey to healing that Marianne Curtis showed within the pages of her novel. Her writing style completely drew me in from page one and I finished the book within hours of starting it. You could not pry my iPhone out of my hands (Kindle App...LOVE it!)
One of the things I want to note is how the story flows. There is a quality to it that makes it feel as if you are experiencing it with the author. Her life's lessons and struggles are hard for anyone to swallow, but they really make you think. For those few hours on New Years Eve I felt like I was living it along side her. When she was telling her birth mothers tale, I felt the pain of that mother come through on the pages. When she spoke of desperately trying to escape her home, I was praying that she could too.When she connects with her birth family via Facebook, I was ecstatic! I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the book comes toward the end. No spoilers, but I will hint and say it is very spiritual and (in my opinion) brings things full circle.

It takes a brave person to write a memoir. Let me pose a question to you? If you are completely true to yourself, do you have the strength to put your personal thoughts, mistakes, suffering and story to paper for the world to read? (Pretty sure I'd be hyperventilating into a paper bag if I wrote one and sent it to be published)
 
I am going out on a limb here to say THIS is a book you SHOULD read and will be one of the better books you read this year! I implore you to grab a paperback or grab an e-book. (Just do it!)

There are so many reasons to pick up a copy of 'Finding Gloria'. If you have ever felt alone or suffered from abuse, use this book to inspire and help you heal. Know that there are people with the courage to come forward and share their stories and who succeed in life no matter what may come there way. If Marianne Curtis can do it, so can you.
This book could be used to educate! THIS is why we need to hug our children, THIS is why we should not turn a blind eye to mental illness. THIS is why we need to teach our children that being cruel to those dubbed the 'weirdo' (or anyone else) is unacceptable. You don't know what is going on in anyone's private life. You don't know why that person has to dress that way, wear her hair that way or why they act and react the way they do. Learn from this woman's experience!!

I admire the courage it took for the author to share her story with the world. Marianne Curtis is a true inspiration. FIVE Stars!

On that note, I will spell it out once more... (because I can)

'Finding Gloria' is real, it is raw and it truly is a must read.


Happy Reading!!