Thursday, 19 December 2013

Today's update to Am I an onlooker to a Past Life?

20th December 2013-12-20
Last night, I had the name David Williams,1940 given to me. He was 22. I also sensed a lot of thick smoke. Not from the fire last year caused by the Chinese Lantern. This is back in the 1940s. I saw him in army uniform running up the lane, he bent down and scooped a small girl up. She had on a white pinafore. Her hair was tied in a half ponytail. Her name was Polly.
I saw a class of young boys wearing grey jumpers, they were writing, all of them sitting at  old fashioned wooden desks. The type with sloping lids, that had an opening on the right hand side at the top of the desk for the inkpot.
The woman in the bedsit – her room overlooks a park to the left. I saw her gazing out of the window again. There appeared to be sand scattered around the park entrance, some of the sand was also on the pavement leading up the facing road.

This is  strange; I still have not found a connection. 

I wrote some time ago about my trying self-regression. It did not pick up on anything relevant for a while, then one time I found myself in a street, in a place called Smethwick, Birmingham UK. It is a place I had only heard about. I had never visited it.
My regression took me to the 1940s. Briefly, I found myself watching a scene of a group of women hurrying down Windmill Lane. The woman at the head of the group was young. She appeared distressed, she had blonde hair worn with a hair grip holding it back. The young woman wore a light colour camel, belted coat. The majority of the women in the group wore headscarves, tied turban wise over metal hair curlers. They were wearing wraparound floral pinafores. Down the road I saw a horse and cart. In the distance were gas works. It could have been a coal merchant.
There were girls playing skipping, boys playing marbles, I could see a shop on the corner.
I found it an extraordinary experience. I wondered if the woman had received bad news concerning her husband. Perhaps he was abroad fighting the war.
I never returned to Smethwick, that is until two nights ago, I had been reading -nothing about regression, I'm reading Brian Sewell's autobiography Outsider -it couldn't be further from the Supernatural.
I'd switched my bedside lamp on and going over Brian's book in my mind when I suddenly found myself in Windmill Street again! It was still the 1940s. I saw a woman in great distress, she was standing outside the shop on the corner. She had on one of the wraparound flowered overall type pinafores. Her hair tied up in the turban style flowery scarf of the times. In her arms,  she was holding a child. I'd say the child was about 8 months old. The baby must have been ill the woman did not appear to know where to go for help. I think the corner shop sold different types of goods, they were outside on the pavement. I did not see what they were.
Suddenly the scene completely changed.
I found myself in a room which appeared to be a bedsit. On the wall to the left was a long wall mirror. A woman and young boy were looking into it. The boy was wearing what looked like a white sailor top with dark blue knee length trousers. The woman and boy then walked over to a large sash window. I remember the curtains looked a little dark and dull. The woman stood gazing out at a scene of a tree lined road facing her window, a large tree stood on the corner, it appeared to be autumn time, the leaves were different shades of golds and reds. I can't describe the woman's clothing apart from that she wore a long dark coloured skirt.
I can think of no reason why I should be shown these happenings. I have never to my knowledge had any connection with Smethwick in my life.

 I haven't a clue where the bedsit is situated. It could have been somewhere in the Birmingham area. At that time Birmingham  was not so built up.
I have started researching the above. I have discovered that there was in fact a Windmill Lane in Smethwick. I know, it was, and is a popular name. It could be a coincidence. There were also gas works.
I do wonder who these three women I have seen are, and what there connection to me is? I feel that the last woman I saw lived around 1904.

An excellent book I have recently read is The  Watchman Calls The Hours by David Mills. It is a real page turner.
My Review
David Mill's latest book is a gem. Having read his first book The Many Coloured Day I was eager to read this one. I was not disappointed.
David has created believable well rounded characters who I loved to hate and love in turn. At all times I was eager to discover their stories.
The story runs seamlessly and is a real page turner. I felt as if walked the streets of old Lichfield, particularly around The Close, with his characters.
Chapter 5 is outstanding IMO.
I look forward to David's next book.
David's book is available from

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A short ghost story about my dog(s)

Boyden, he was so beautiful
Since my dog, Boyden, died on July 7th this year, I've found it hard to accept that I will never see him again. Sophie, his sister is a huge comfort. I worry how I will cope when she goes. The vet has told me that she won't live much longer. I found this hard to believe, until the other day when completely out of the blue she had a mini stroke. That pulled me up sharp. Only a short while before she had been chasing the wind in the garden. For a 13 year old dog she certainly has some energy. As it stands now I will love and enjoy her company while she is here, and not worry about the future. Much to my relief she recovered from the mini stroke within an hour or two. I knew she was okay as she was demanding food.
I thought she was going to join her brother, Boyden. I've been aware of his presence quite a few times since he died. Not so long ago, as I was walking upstairs, I heard doggy footsteps behind me. I thought it was Sophie. I thought she was down the garden, the next thing I knew I felt a rush of wind go past me, but no dog! Boyden always followed me wherever I went when he was alive. There were no doors or windows open in the vicinity of the stairs. I knew at once it was him and felt comforted.
The night of the day when Sophie had the mini stroke, I was walking from the kitchen into the lounge, (I have to walk through the dining room to reach the lounge). I glanced into the dining room and saw Boyden, he was standing looking at me. To say I was shocked is an understatement. It was so totally unexpected. He was there but he wasn't, if you understand what I mean, he appeared in ghostly form.It was the first time I had actually seen him since he died. He looked at me and disappeared. I felt overjoyed to see my boy, and know it will happen again.
Boyden & Sophie - they were always close

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Other Place - 75p

Number 1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller (Supernatural and Reincarnation Category) for three months.

Chrissie James is a troubled soul: with family problems, unexplained phobias and a stalker to contend with, she seeks help with a hypnotherapist. Whilst in therapy, Chrissie discovers she has led a past life. 
Will living a previous life help Chrissie to discover the truth of what caused her fears and phobias, and will she find out who is stalking her? 
The Other Place is a paranormal mystery. Its many twists and turns will keep you guessing to the very end.

2 of MyReviews

Misty Blue 
This book is well worth a look for the sheer originality and compassion the author shows in her writing and in her characters. 

S Douthwaite 
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I felt drawn in and invited into a lovely story with emotional twists, supernatural wonder and family values. I love the way the author cleverly dips the characters in and out a past life. The story really flows. I found this an unusual plot and very good, especially the ending. The Other Place is a very special place. 

Available from Amazon Kindle

Thursday, 28 November 2013

An unusual story - About Sophie my dog. It's not really a ghost story. It's different.

My beautiful Sophie

This was so strange. I went upstairs and walked into my bedroom, I heard Sophie my dog come upstairs and I called to her, saying. ‘I’m in here, Soph.’ Silence, I looked out of the door, no Sophie, I looked in the other bedrooms, and in the bathroom. No Sophie. I realised that she was still downstairs. I know that  I did not imagine this happening. Sophie was in the lounge. Now, if she had come upstairs and decided to go back down. I would have heard her wouldn’t I? I didn't. 
Perhaps, because I thought that she might follow me upstairs I imagined hearing her! I know I didn't though. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ghosts Church Bells and other thoughts - added to yesterdays blog

I've been collecting ghost stories since the 1980s. I have always found the subject fascinating. No-one really knows whether ghosts exist or not. This only adds to the intrigue for me.
Having researched the subject for many years I have found myself becoming a tad sceptical of some ghost stories that are published.
I have collated stories for over twenty-five years, mainly because I thought it would be useful for ghost investigators in the future. I even collected the one-liners. In fact I have had quite a lot of feedback on the stories over the years. People have contacted me saying a similar thing had happened to them at certain sites which I have mentioned in the stories. This proves to me that my collection is worthwhile.
When land at Blithfield in Staffordshire was flooded, in the 1950s, for a new reservoir, stories started to be told that people could hear church bells ringing around midnight. Rumour, had it that a village had to be abandoned due to the water board buying the land for the proposed reservoir.
I did not live in the area until the late 1960s, and many years later when I collected the stories of the haunted reservoir there was no internet or information regarding the story. In good faith I published the story of church bells being heard at night. I only discovered a few years ago that there was no village, and no church; just an old mill and a cottage were actually on the land that was flooded.
Now, this leads me to wondering how people could hear church bells by the reservoir in the dead of night? Is it purely down to their imagination? Perhaps, knowing the story they really do believe they can hear them. Turning the story on its head, maybe they do hear them and the place is actually haunted by ghostly church bells. I don't know. My story is only hearsay, or you could say, rumour via the grapevine. Stories get lost in time, just as the ghostly church bells have.
Since The Most Haunted series appeared on the television, the ghost-story world has gone plain silly. A few people have jumped in and started publishing books of ghost stories that are far from interesting. One or two authors have also been publishing stories that are already in books. I'm sure readers must find this annoying. I know I do. Particularly if the stories happen to be from my books.
I have always been of the opinion that if a ghost returns it will go to the place where it spent its happiest years on Earth. I wouldn't think that it would hang about a dark, cold graveyard. And, if there is an afterlife, the spirit will not be lying in a coffin in the churchyard. It will have left the earthly plane at the moment of the death. So why all the stories surrounding ghosts in church yards? This is all down to films, books, and  television programmes. It makes for good reading and viewing. A haunted grave site with a church as a back drop, add misty conditions; what could be a more spooky and atmospheric setting? It's all a bit old hat now though. Let's face it, in our earthly lives we certainly do not revisit places where we were unhappy. Well, I know I wouldn't.

Most Haunted, was aimed at the youngsters. I've always thought that a valuable opportunity  was missed with this show. If presented correctly the younger generation would have understood more about ghosts and the correct way to investigate them. Most Haunted, well, the ones I saw anyway were simply a scream time.
This led to a plethora of poorly researched books hitting the market, and more unrealistic programmes being shown. It became boring very fast. Sensible researchers were shoved into the background as the media-savvy authors and investigators gave out silly stories. This is when ghost and angel orbs became fashionable. I found these stories funny, but on a more serious level again I felt sorry that people were being misinformed. Ghosts have been 'seen' since time immemorial, as have angels. Why would they suddenly start appearing in orbs? It does try your intelligence when people expect you to believe in things like that.  
Blithfield Hall, is not far from where I live, and it has been mentioned recently in two books. The books say that there are at least five ghosts that haunt the premises. 
Nancy Lady Bagot, who survived her husband has looked after the affairs at Blithfield since 1961. They came to Blithfield in the mid 1940s. Sadly Nacy Lady Bagot died in 2014. She will be missed by many. She was such a pleasant person.
I decided to write and ask Nancy, Lady Bagot if there were any ghost stories linked to Blithfield. After all if  anyone would know, she would!
She kindly wrote back to me saying that in all the years that she has lived at Blithfield she had never seen sight nor sound of a ghost. Neither has anyone else, apart, that is from a friend who was staying one night. The friend thought she heard a disturbance, nothing more. It wasn't really a ghost story, but Lady Bagot was being helpful. I have written to her about one or two matters in the past and found her more than helpful.
I know I'm beginning to sound sceptical, but surely if a family have been in residence at Blithfield for near enough sixty years they would know that if their home was haunted. 
I accept Nancy Lady Bagot's story but certainly not the stories in the above books. They have gone on rumour,  and silly stories picked up and passed down through the years.
The books mentioned have picked up on stories of grey ladies. Now, when I read or have written someone's story myself about grey or white ladies, I think nowadays, surely it would read better as a ghost dressed in grey or white clothing.
In one book I recently read, the fact that a woman goes into a public toilet and the hand dryer starts up, is written as a ghost story! I found this hilarious.This is not  a ghost story. Hand-dryers do come on when you walk past them. I've had it happen numerous times. I never thought that there was a ghost about. Our television changes channel sometimes I don't immediately think that our house is haunted. I would have thought that the author would have realised electricity does things like this from time to time. The author goes on to mention that he knows that public toilets are haunted. Really? Does he believe a ghost is  going to spend his/her afterlife haunting toilets? I think not. I would say he is lacking in experience regarding ghostly matters.
I shall in the future be publishing various stories that do not in my opinion add up as to what a ghost story should be.
The West Midland Ghost Club is a group who have been investigating ghostly occurrences for over twenty years. You can find them here.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A little more about reviews - with indie authors in mind.

I noticed on one of the Amazon forums they were discussing reviews, in particular about self published books, and the errors they contain. I recalled reviewing a couple of self published books and why I gave them five stars, despite them having grammatical errors.

I recall reviewing a s/p book once. I came across the young woman on F/book -some of her friends were on my F/book page. I read her page for a while, and developed a tremendous admiration for her courage. She had breast cancer.
I read her book, it was a harrowing account of what she had endured when she joined the army at eighteen. She'd joined because she wanted to serve her country, as her father and grandfather had. No girl should endure what she went through at the hands of eight men.
  The person she eventually married abused her terribly. Despite suffering all she did she still went on to help others as much as she could. After her divorce her abusive husband kept the rights to her book. The book had errors in it. I wasn't bothered by them at all.
Eventually she was given the all clear from her breast cancer. I read her second book. It was an inspiration, again it contain errors, I wasn't bothered because I admired her tremendous courage that through everything she had suffered she still managed to encourage and inspire others through her writing.
I became her friend via F/book and exchanged many private messages. Never once did she ever complain about what had happened to her in the army or her illness. Even when the cancer returned, she still helped others as much as she possibly could. She died a few months ago, she was just 36. I and many others will always miss her. Her books were not pity me books.
Her books were not perfect, but I don’t look for perfection, when reading, . I did not expect to read what I did when I read about her life in the army, but her courage and determination to get justice was inspirational. As was her second book and her fight with cancer.  She did not deserve all she suffered in her young life. She spread sunshine and happiness throughout her life, not bitterness, no reproaches, or pity me. She was different. I was fortunate to know her. 
If I could have given her a gold medal and fifty stars I would have.
Of course the above does not mean that I think books trad or s/p are acceptable if they are littered with errors. It the text engages me then I will read it.
Indie authors have come in for a lot of stick over the last few years. Some deservedly so, others not. It's the way of the world and we just have to accept that we can't please all of the people all of the time.
I recently read a well known TV personality's autobiography. I was quite disappointed with it. To me it did not do him justice, his character did not shine through at all. I think much of it was ghost written. Unlike these two books, both self-published but well worth a read.
Hazelnuts & Moorhens No, I do not know this author. I only wish I did. He comes across as a very nice man.
The Age of Innocence  No, I didn't know this lady either, until after I had read her book. I'm proud to say she is my friend now.
I never normally make the point that a book I read or occasionally review is traditionally or self-published. I'm not interested, life's too short to keep harking on about such unimportant matters. I've mentioned it here to make a point.

Friday, 8 November 2013

A very quick trip through my publishing journey.

The following is a quick skip through my publishing journey. I will be expanding on it in the coming weeks.
Ever since I could read I have been addicted to the printed word. I don't just mean reading, I would wonder how the words actually on the pages of newspapers, magazines, and most importantly books.
We were too poor to be able to buy books in those days so I used the public library - along the Moseley Road, Balsall Heath. This started my life long love affair with libraries. It was exciting to me as a child to go into this large space and be able to see so many books and be allowed to choose a couple of books, or perhaps we were only allowed one in those days. It was so long ago I can't remember.
My favourite children's books were Enid Blytons books which included the Famous Five and The Secret Seven series. Another major favourite was Johanna Spyris's classic book - Heidi published in 1880. The first film of the book starring Shirley Temple was released in 1937. Heidi is free at the moment of writing this, it's available on Amazon Kindle. None of Enid Blytons books are free. There are boxed sets available. My sister and I were allowed one comic between us - this was The School Friend.
I remember longing for a John Bull printing set when I was a child. I never had one. My husband told me he did (his family were better off than ours). He said you had to pick the tiny parts up with tweezers. I would have enjoyed experimenting with one of those.There are photographs on the website of the original sets. Type it into Amazon and you get taken to today's printing sets.
I've never lost my love of reading or wondering about printing/printers. I couldn't even estimate how many books I must have read during my lifetime. If I had a £1.00 for every book I would be extremely rich.
It wasn't until I wrote my first booklet back in the early 1990s that I actually dealt with a printing company.
It was fascinating to see an enormous printing press working. Of course I was the other side of the counter. 
One day I went into the printing premises and the man who operated the printing press called me across. He told me that he was just setting up the printer for my booklet. He pulled up a stool and allowed me to watch the process. How I wish I had a photograph of that occassion. 
I do not have a photograph of the original booklet but last year was the 21st anniversary of the book publication so I published this anniversary copy.
Publishing my booklet was exciting and to my relief it was successful. I was asked if I would write another booklet, I did, and I wrote another one, swiftly followed by yet another.
Eventually I decided to collate all the stories into one. But how would I publish my book. I had heard of a publishing company called I gave them a try along with my book Birmingham Girls.
It eventually turned out fine. I did have quite a few hiccups along the way. One major trouble being when the books went online they were very expensive. How would I ever recoup my editorial fees my royalties were almost nil as I tried to keep the price down.
It was only when Kindle entered the market-place giving indie authors control over their pricing that my books finally found the right sales outlet. Everything altered. Being able to upload our work in a jiffy is wonderful.
Although I will always be grateful to Lulu for giving me the opportunity to publish my books there is no comparison sales wise to Kindle. 
I've now left Lulu and recently started changing my books over to CreateSpace. There is no comparison between my previous publisher and C/S.
CreateSpace actually review your work and point out your errors on the preview platform. You are guided through every stage of the publishing process. I did have a few troubles with the cover platform. I worked through it and it slowly dawned on me what I had to do. I hadn't a clue how to make a wraparound cover of my own design. I aim to find out though. C/S do give you a template which you can put your cover photograph in. I designed my cover before uploading it. They provide the spine. They then check that it's okay. Perfect to save you time and money. They do have cover templates if you prefer to use these. The previous publisher hardly bothered with the text file. If your cover does not reach C/S specifications they tell you where your errors are so that you can fix them.
I ordered my proof copy and chose the express service. The proof copy comes from the US, after accepting the copy apparently any orders are printed in the UK.
A Haunted Past Life paperback & Kindle available on this page
My book arrived within a few days. I'm thrilled with it. I had always wanted to publish a novel in the 5 x 8 size. Lulu do not do this size. They do use a 5.5 x 8 size. I'd ordered a couple of proof copies to see what they were like. I was charged £4.00 postage for each item but did not receive a book which I ordered on the 23rd October until today, 8th November. It had been printed in Belgium. I'm still waiting for the other one. I should imagine any customers ordering copies would be disappointed in such a long wait.
My books were uploaded to CreateSpace within 12 hours. 
There is also a help line you can telephone seven days a week. I believe they call you back.
Thank goodness for CreateSpace and farewell Lulu.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

One of my reviews for my book - The Other Place -only 64p!

Available from Amazon Kindle. 

From the start Chrissie is a sweet, but complex girl with many phobias and as a result she's quite a loner. She's close to her sister Babs, and has an imaginary friend Amy, who has become her soul-mate. Becoming fearful she's being stalked, she is also tormented by latent vague memories of something unpleasant having happened to her as very young child. Her weak mother, Lilly and mean stepfather Alf, appear to afford her and her sister no kindness or consideration whatsoever. Babs seems to cope better than Chrissie with this tear jerking situation.

As the years pass, in order to find out more about what her problems are, she eventually goes to see hypnotherapist, Barbara, who helps her to transgress into a past existence. This is where I began to occasionally get confused about which period in time and which character I was reading about. However this eased as the book progressed, and by half way through, I'd become utterly enthralled with Chrissie's two very different lives.
As it dips in and out of the past and present, things do begin to reveal themselves, to slowly answer many of her questions. Mine too.
This book is quite a page turner, and as the storyline develops, involving many twists and turns, Chrissie's emotional journey of self discovery often becomes quite heart-rending.

To find out what happens, where "the other place" is, and what ghosts she has to lay to eventually find peace of mind and happiness in love, you simply must read the book yourself.
I think different people will probably have very different psychological experiences from reading this evocative story. It is masterfully written, and I congratulate Carol Arnall on its uniqueness. It has also converted me to possibly consider reading more of this genre.

                                                                   Out in paperback soon.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

About the Amazon Forums - just my opinion!

So much heated discussion has taken place on  Amazon Forum boards over the years about self published authors. It’s astonishing that when everything else about them has been exhausted the discussion turns to commas etc, and accusing authors of promoting themselves!
I ask myself does it honestly matter. In books definitely yes, on a discussion thread no. In books definitely yes, on a discussion thread no. Particularly when you do not know what difficulties the poster might have regarding sight and other obstacles.
Self published authors like traditional authors have their work checked by proofreaders, and it they can afford it professional copy editors and editors. They can also have their work professionally critiqued.
Not being able to place a comma in the correct place or if an apostrophe is missed on a thread is IMO is just not relevant. Readers go to the look inside feature and then make their own decision. By the way the majority of readers are not pedantic and can forgive a few errors. And the majority of readers simply ‘do not see misplaced commas’. Unless they are reading a serious literary book; on saying that it’s still no excuse for not getting your book proofread. Even if you cannot afford a professional editor there is always someone in the community who will help you out.
Books with editing problems have been picked up by publishers on Kindle and published. It is always, always the story line that is important to a publisher, not whether it has been proofed to death. It is the same with articles. You do not have to have an article proofread before sending it to a magazine it is the idea and the writing style which determines whether an editor will pick it up or not.
Agents don’t just look at the Kindle top 100 list. Agents are constantly looking at all of the books on the site to see if they think it is worth following up.
As for the few posters who accuse authors of promoting themselves on the Amazon fiction and Kindle threads that is quite absurd. There are hardly any new readers visiting the Amazon Boards nowadays. Authors visit the boards to chat to other people who have a love of books and different discussions. Okay, someone might like your writing style and click on your profile to see your books. That’s one person out of the millions of readers who visit the Amazon online shop. Maybe readers left the Discussion threads because of all the attacks on the authors. Another reason could well be that in the main it was the authors who kept the threads going. When Amazon introduced the MOA authors found they did not need the fiction forum anymore.
So okay occasionally new readers slip up and promote their books. A polite word is all that is needed to point them in the right direction of the Meet Our Authors forum. No need for the over reaction that some posters come out with. It’s hardly a hanging offence to leave an accidental link to your book.

To sell as many books as they do, without the marketing arm of a publisher behind them I think self published authors are quite remarkable.
A regular poster to the Amazon Discussion Forum has made this interesting post.
Being interested in writing I've always had a foot in both camps so although I take breaks I didn't leave the forum for good but many clearly have.
And it's not just readers. Since Amazon created MOA most authors have had to adhere to their guidelines or risk being banned and many no longer even post on the kindle forum as they used to, which was always busier than fiction. On MOA too there are fewer chat threads than at its inception.
I think it's no one's fault but in the main authors and readers simply don't mix. They have different agendas for being here.
Thanks Ethereal.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A visit from my dog (in the spirit world) on Halloween

Boyden 2000 - 2013
Yesterday was Halloween. Tradition says that at midnight the veil between this world and the next is at it's most vulnerable. I wondered whether any of my loved ones would be able to make contact.
Midnight came and went. I received not at a sign. At 12.15 I thought I saw a movement on my dog's blanket. She -Sophie- had gone to lie in another part of the bedroom at just gone midnight. On seeing the movement I blinked, but could not see anything.
This morning when I looked at the blanket there were two white feathers lying on it. To me these tiny white feathers are always a sign of contact from someone in spirit. As they were both on the dog's blanket I can only assume they were a sign from my dog, Boyden.
I felt a lovely warm glow knowing that he had visited me. Not that he has ever really left me or ever will.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Boyden - A poem for my dog

2000 - 2013 RIP My beautiful boy


I can’t believe you’ve gone away.
Away to a place where I cannot stay.
You’re in a place where’s there is no time, just space.
But in this space I have no place.
I need you to be with me within my space.
Because without you I have no place.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Haunting of Kate Somner - My new novel

After a reading from Gary, a clairvoyant, Kate Somner’s life changes forever.
Her husband Ben disappears in unusual circumstances.
She loses her job, her home and discovers she is pregnant.
As if all the above isn’t bad enough, Kate begins experiencing time slips which take her back to the 1960s. Here, she “sees” Sheila, who is living in the same flat that Kate now lives in. Is there a connection between the two women?
Kate revisits Gary, hoping that he will be able to help her.
Will Gary help Kate find her missing husband?
Will she unravel the mystery of the time slips?
The Haunting of Kate Somner is a supernatural mystery full of intrigue, secrets and deception.
Link to Amazon Kindle

Thursday, 3 October 2013

A poem in memory of my dog, Boyden

You’re Not There

I reach out to touch you, but you’re not there
I call your name; it hangs in the empty air
I touch your lead; I look at your empty chair
You’re not there
My days are long and sad
You’re not there
My fingers ache to stroke your soft fur
You’re not there
My arms ache to cuddle you forever
You’re not there
Because you’ve gone to a place
Where I’m not there

Boyden 2001 -2013

Friday, 16 August 2013

Latest review for Birmingham Girls

Birmingham Girls
Click below to buy a copy

The story of two sisters growing up in post-war Birmingham.

The latest review for Birmingham Girls
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Birmingham Girls (Kindle Edition)

Gripping book easy reading and enthralling great read! Would definitely recommend this book if you like light hearted books to read

Friday, 5 July 2013

Memories -


This book is written as a tribute to Muriel Arnall, a Birmingham girl; who loved the city, but who also fell in love with Bryntegan, a cottage in Wales. They bought it in 1958.

Muriel Arnall was my Mother-in-law, and in later years she encouraged me in my writing. When she became ill she passed her letters and personal documents on to me and said she would be proud if they were published.

Muriel (Mom) died on the 10th September 2012.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Haunted Past Life

 A Haunted Past Life

Can a taxi ride change your life forever? It does for Jen Rickmand.
After suffering abuse from her stepfather, Jen flees her childhood home with hopes of starting a new life. Struggling with agoraphobia, panic attacks, and concerns for her well being, Jen finds comfort in the spirit world, developing connections with the paranormal that she never thought possible.
A simple taxi ride turns her life inside out when she finds herself transported back in time to 1965, where a husband and child await her. Despite her protestations, and her husband’s concerns, Jen is desperate to return to 2011, but only if she can take her new daughter with her.
Horrified when she is suddenly whisked back to the future without her, Jen is torn between the two worlds. Will they eventually collide, allowing her to find the happiness she truly deserves?
A Haunted Past Life, is an intriguing blend of spirits, ghosts, and time-travel with a heady mixture of love, tangled emotions, and relationships.

Friday, 28 June 2013

A video for my book - The Other Place

Click here to visit Amazon to buy a copy of the book

Here's a link below to the video - I hope to add audio soon. 

Chrissie James is a troubled soul; with family problems, unexplained phobias and a stalker to contend with, she seeks help with a hypnotherapist. Whilst in therapy, Chrissie discovers she has led a past life.
Will living a previous life help Chrissie to discover the truth of what caused her fears and phobias, and will she find out who is stalking her?
The Other Place is a paranormal mystery. Its many twists and turns will keep you guessing to the very end.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

About my Book Cover for The Other Place

To buy a copy of The Other Place

This might seem an unusual blog, but we often discuss book covers on the forums and it set me thinking about mine. A few of the sites were I took the photographs have quite interesting stories attached to them, I decided I would write about how they came about, where I took them, and any historical interest. And being me mention if any of the sites are haunted.
Take the case of where I took the photograph, (quite a few years ago) for my book, The Other Place.
I took it at Hawkesyard Hall, in Staffordshire.
Many years ago I visited Hawkesyard with two friends, we walked around the grounds, they showed me a small graveyard. There were numerous headstones with the names of monks engraved on them, what puzzled me was that the dates when they died were all in 1952. I wondered why so many of them had died at that particular time.
One morning in October about six years ago I decided to revisit Spode to see if I could find the site of the graves, and to see if any of them gave a clue as to what they had died of. It was a beautiful autumn morning, the frost was sparkling in the grass, there was a slight mist in the distance, I could hear the birds singing. To me it was a special morning. I took many photographs. I never imagined that in years to come I would use one of the photographs as a book cover for my novel.
While we were walking I recalled a few of the ghost stories, I'd heard. One the stories is that, apparently a man and a woman have been seen standing at the entrance to the park, they are seen looking out, someone said, it's as if they are waiting for someone. Sometimes, people report just seeing the man alone; other people have said they see the woman.
The graveyard was in a sorry state when we found it. The steps were broken and covered in moss, it was quite dangerous to walk round. I eventually found out that it is possible the monks died of Asian flu, which swept the country in that period.

A brief history of Hawkesyard Hall
I found a few of the following facts on Wikepedia.
Armitage Park (which has recently reverted to an earlier name of Hawkesyard Hall) is a 19th century Grade II listed country house at Armitage near Rugeley, Staffordshire.
The estate was purchased by Nathaniel Lister, (poet and author, Member of Parliament for Clitheroe and uncle of Baron Ribblesdale) following his marriage to Martha Fletcher a Lichfield heiress and he built the house in the Gothic Revival style about 1760.
Josiah Spode IV, greatgrandson of Josiah Spode bought the estate in about 1840 and the house was much altered and extended. During the Spode occupancy the house was known as Spode House. Josiah Spode was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 1850.
On Spode's death in 1893 the estate was left to  his housekeeper Helen Gulson who had a vision of Mary in the gardens of the Hall. This vision led to the building of the Church at Hawkesyard and the Altar was placed on the very spot where Mary was seen. Helen Gulson left the Hall, Church and grounds to the Dominican Order and moved into Gulson House on the Armitage Park Estate. Hawkesyard Priory was later built for the Dominicans.
The Hall eventually fell into disrepair and after the Dominicans left it was used as a School before being finally closed and boarded up. In 1999 the Hall was purchased by the Whorton family who strove to return the building to its former glory days. Nigel Whorton and his wife decided to use the original name of Hawkesyard, and set about restoration of the building partly by using photographs from the Shugborough collection. This estate which includes Hawkesyard Hall, St. Thomas's Priory Golf Club and Armitage Park is now established as a conference and events centre.
The church is still there and someone told me that the nearby nursing home holds the keys. If you want to look round the church you have to contact the home.

To buy a copy of
The Other Place

Saturday, 4 May 2013

An extract from Birmingham Girls


My sister Pauline and I lived in Coneybere Street, Balsall Heath, with our mom during the mid to late 1940s - up the terrace as it was called - Newport Terrace to give it its proper name. It was a back-to-back house at the top end of a row of terraced houses. It was a two-up and two-down house with a patch of ground outside the front door, called the garden, but I can’t even remember weeds growing in it let alone flowers. The washhouses were at the top of the terrace where the women took it in turns through the week to do their washing. I see the old mangles and boilers fetching a small fortune now at the antique fairs. We never thought where we lived was a slum. Why should we? We knew of no other life except that small house at the end of the row.

We would jump over the side fence to go to the toilets housed in the yard. From what I can remember, there were only about eight toilets for the whole terrace. We shared with neighbours from along the row, early unisex communal toilets.

The only memories of the very early years I have are when Mom sat me on the side by the sink and gave me some cod liver oil followed by a spoonful of malt. I was very young then, no more than two or three I should say. The malt was delicious but the cod liver oil diabolical.

Mom told me she would carry us girls down Coneybere Street first thing in the morning to take us to the nursery in Parker Road, run by Matron Green. She worked in a machine factory. It must have been really hard for her struggling through the war years to bring us up.

I never knew my father as Mom divorced him soon after I was born and he never saw me. I do have lovely memories of my grandparents in Derbyshire. They must have thought a lot of us girls as they kept a photograph of Pauline (my older sister) and me on their sideboard. This is the photograph I used for the book cover.

I remember when we were staying with them once and recollect Mom getting up very early one morning, we shared her bed, and she disturbed me as she was dressing. I called to her as she was creeping out of the bedroom and she whispered, ‘Go back to sleep, Carol.’ I was frightened thinking that we would never see her again. In fact, I found out later she had gone to Birmingham to find work and a house so we could all live together. Mom seemed to be gone forever and I missed her so much. I would spend hours in the front room with my nose pressed to the windowpane, steaming the glass up with my breath, and then making squiggles down the pane, looking to see if she was coming to fetch us. I do not think she was away that long, it just seems long when you are a child. When she returned, she took us back to Birmingham where she had found a house and a job; my mom was a very independent and strong woman. It would have been all too easy to have us put in a home or have a relative look after us. Not Mom, we were her girls and no one else was going to have us.

Our grandparents lived in an old farmhouse in Market Street, Normanton, Derby. I have never been there since growing up, but Pauline went in the 1970s after tracking our relatives down. This is how I know about the photograph being on the sideboard. At the time of Pauline’s visit, our father was out walking and I don’t think she ever met him. I had no real interest, as I thought he had been rotten deserting my poor mom and leaving her with two youngsters to bring up and with no income or means to support herself, let alone us. ‘Why on Earth,’ I asked Pauline, ‘would I want to know about him?

Me at the Tulip Festival in Cannon Hill Park 1960s
With Pauline (left) at Calthorpe Park, Balsall Heath,        Birmingham
Pauline (right) with cousin Maureen on holiday.

Birmingham Girls is available from Amazon Kindle

Saturday, 27 April 2013

An unusual psychic story - linked to my book Dancing With Spirits

The Mesolithic Cave.
The story of this cave just over the Rugeley borders, about a mile from Etching Hill, inspired me to write my novel, Dancing With Spirits.

I came across the story of the cave about 15 years ago. I felt drawn to researching it as the thought of the two women who died there kept coming back to me. I wondered what circumstances led to their deaths on such a bleak, lonely hillside, all those thousands of years ago.

The cave is on private land. I think I became a little obsessed with the story (as you do!), and wanted to visit the site of the cave. I tried writing to the land owner. She rang to say they had sold the land. I wrote to the new owner, but he never replied. One day I was out walking with my husband  in the vicinity of the cave –it is strange how my walks always led me to the area of the cave. My husband knew I desperately wanted to visit the cave, so he headed off to try and find it. To my delight he did and took me to its location. Walking around the outside of the cave, I was surprised that instead of feeling happy at finding the cave, instead I felt incredibly sad. I was filled with a terrible feeling of horror, sadness and death. It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever had experienced. Despite, the weather being quite warm that day, I started shivering and felt as if I needed to get away from the area.
I was so puzzled by my reaction I decided to try and find out more about the cave. After many more months of research, I discovered the reason for my reaction to the area surrounding the cave.
Apparently the findings at the cave had been sent away for analysis; there were children's teeth, and many human bones in and around the cave. I had written in my book about a massive battle taking place at the site of the cave. At the time of writing my book, I believed that there had only been the two women near the cave. When I visited it that day somehow I became linked with the awful happenings of the past.
It was a strange episode. I'm convinced that the area of the cave holds all the memories of what happened. I'm also convinced I was meant to visit it that day. I did not have an inkling of what was about to happen.

The site is on private land. The area where the cave is can been seen from the layby, near the roundabout, which is at the start of the Rugeley bypass -the A51. The site is not far from the sewer building, at the bottom of the field. A bronze arrow head was found one day on the site of sewer company. Also a man was gardening one day, at a housing estate not far from the field when he also found a bronze age arrow head. Further proof the area was occupied thousands of years ago.

Below is a brief history of the Mesolithic Cave This occupation site dating to the middle-Stone-Age consists of a shallow cave about 2.5 metres deep and a maximum 1 metre in height (c. 8 x 3½ feet) and is located on the southern side of a small sandstone outcrop overlooking a shallow, dry valley running north towards the Trent. When excavated, the cave was found to contain a hearth together with a 'lithic assemblage' of 267 stone tools dating to the Mesolithic period (10,000 – 4,000BC), with an early-Bronze-Age (2,500 – 1,500BC) knife which may have been purposefully deposited. The site was discovered by accident in 1978 when the remains of two human skulls were unearthed by children playing within the cave entrance. A forensic investigation of the two skulls concluded that they were probably both females, 'one [aged] 18-20 years and the other considerably older,' both having died in prehistoric times. The skull fragments were located in a stratified layer above and unconnected with the Mesolithic occupation deposits in the cave, which is evidence that they are later in date, perhaps belonging to the late-Stone-Age or Neolithic period. The cave is now back-filled and buried in order to preserve the site.

Available from Amazon Kindle please click the link below

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My Novels

After a reading from Gary, a clairvoyant, Kate Somner’s life changes forever. 
Her husband Ben disappears in unusual circumstances.
She loses her job, her home, and her friends.
As if all the above isn’t bad enough, Kate begins experiencing time slips which take her back to the 1960s. Here, she “sees” Sheila, who is living in the same flat that Kate now lives in. Is there a connection between the two women?
Kate revisits Gary, hoping that he will be able to help her.
Will Gary help Kate find her missing husband?
Will she unravel the mystery of the time slips?
Same Time, Same Place is a supernatural mystery full of intrigue, secrets and deception.
Link for Amazon below

Amazon  link
Chrissie James is a troubled soul: with family problems, unexplained phobias and a stalker to contend with she seeks help with a hypnotherapist. Whilst in therapy, Chrissie discovers she has led a past life.
Will living a previous life help Chrissie to discover the truth of what caused her fears and phobias, and will she find out who is stalking her?
The Other Place is a paranormal mystery. Its many twists and turns will keep you guessing to the very end.

   UK link
   US link
Jen’s unhappy life changes forever when she finds herself leading a past life in the 1960s.
She is astonished to discover she is happily married, with a husband and an eight year old daughter.
Jen is suddenly torn from her only daughter and taken back to 1965. Could this be a past life? Is she dreaming?
Trapped and confused, Jen tries to unravel her tormented emotions with newly discovered relationships, living and dead.
Jen is haunted by these two lives but has her spirit guides to reassure her. She needs to make an important decision - Should she stay or should Jen find her way back home again? But how can she possibly leave if she has fallen in love?

A novel of love and time travel which spans the centuries.

Special Offer
Two Books in one.
A Haunted Past Life and The Other Place  99p

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Haunted Past Life

Jen’s unhappy life changes forever when she finds herself leading a past life in the 1960s.

She is astonished to discover she is happily married, with a husband and an eight year old daughter.
Jen is suddenly torn from her only daughter and taken back to 1965. Could this be a past life? Is she dreaming?
Trapped and confused, Jen tries to unravel her tormented emotions with newly discovered relationships, living and dead.
Jen is haunted by these two lives but has her spirit guides to reassure her. She needs to make an important decision - Should she stay or should Jen find her way back home again? But how can she possibly leave if she has fallen in love?

Here is the Amazon link to purchase a copy of A Haunted Past Life (Jen's Story)

Amazon Link UK to A Haunted Past Life -

Amazon Link US to A Haunted Past Life  -

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Why I wrote Birmingham Girls

Birmingham Girls

When I first sat down to write Birmingham Girls in the 1990s, my mom, was alive as was my sister Pauline, also my best friend in the whole world, Hazel Robinson. My mother and father-in-law were also still alive. They've all gone now, and life is truly different and difficult at times without them.
I must admit I did not put my heart and soul in to the early manuscript of Birmingham Girls; when I first started writing it, I would occasionally jot a few memories down here and there, then leave it for a few months. My sister Pauline, promised repeatedly to write her memories down, so I waited and waited. Unfortunately, she never got round to it, due to health problems, and she died suddenly from kidney failure, 31st December 1996.
Pauline had health troubles for many years, but I didn’t realise she was so seriously ill. I was devastated by her death and have never quite come to terms with it.
At first, I found myself waiting for her daily telephone call, or going to pick the phone up to call her. God, I miss the sound of her voice to this day, and my moms. It’s so difficult knowing that we will never hear or speak to our loved ones again.
Pauline would have adored mobile phones, she spent hours every day telephoning people. To think she could carry a phone with her, and speak on the go would have pleased her no end.
Eventually, I did settle down to begin writing Birmingham Girls, after all, by this time my cousins had sent me their research about our ancestors, all I had to do was add to it.
In between whiles, I had written and published my first collection of ghost stories, Mystical Staffordshire; to my delight it was extremely popular and sold out. I had also had articles published in leading magazines, so really, I had no excuse not to write Birmingham Girls, which at that time I called, Brummagem Girls.
Writing the book still took me quite a few years, I found it difficult to sift through my memories; I also always seemed to be busy, doing other things, such as researching my ghost stories. The book, Brummagem Girls, first went out in A4 format via Lulu in 2008. At that time, I didn’t know there was another format to publish it in. I had it proof read, but quickly realised it wasn’t how I wanted the book to be, so I removed it from sale, and rewrote it as a tribute to my Pauline, eventually I republished it with a new cover as Birmingham Girls in 2010.
Since 2010, I have rewritten much of the book, and added photographs as I’ve gone along. Publishing to Kindle makes this easy. I will be adding more photographs in the coming months, and possibly more memories.
The book has sold far and wide, and I have received emails from long lost relatives, and people who I  worked with over the years, thanking me for reminding them of times past.
My Mom died 3 years ago, Hazel, my best friend died in January 2012.
My mother-in-law died in September 2012. I have written a short tribute to her, in my book, Whatever Happened After Birmingham Girls? It includes photographs, and her letters, poems and articles. This came about as I happened to read an article she had written about her early life, I told her how interesting it was, and well worth publishing. She was so pleased when I said this that she gathered other work together and asked me to publish it. The book is mainly her work.
Since the deaths of my relatives, and best friend I have found it difficult, to say the least, to speak about them without feeling upset. It’s a normal reaction I know, and one everyone eventually has to learn to cope with. The passage of time does not make their loss any easier, I find writing about them does. I never want them to be forgotten, they were all special people who deserve their place in history.  I'm so pleased I eventually managed to write it all down.

My parents in law with my husband and late sister-in-law late 1940s

My late mother-in-law with her best friend

Birmingham Girls link

Memories Link

Friday, 1 March 2013

About Me

It was following a serious road accident in the late 1980s that I decided as I could not return to work, I would write a book. Having always had an interest in the Supernatural - I read the tarot cards for a while - the booklet was obviously always going to be about ghosts. When I was reading the cards many people told me ghost stories, so with their permission these were included. Local papers were always helpful in publishing my appeals for stories, and there was no shortage of people willing to share their ghostly tales.
My first ghost booklet Mystical Staffordshire appeared in the early 1990s. I only ever meant to write one booklet, but, as, it was so popular I wrote another, then another. Numerous ghostly booklets later I combined them together into Mystical Happenings. Since publishing this book, I have written numerous booklets and had many articles published in leading magazines.
My dream was always to write a novel; after many false starts I sat down one day and began to write, ‘Dancing With Spirits. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and immediately wrote the sequel Spirits of the Lights
Since then I have written,
The Other Place. A supernatural mystery.
The Other Place is set in Birmingham in the 1950s and follows the life of Chrissie James and her family. Chrissie, suffers from claustrophobia and various other phobias, a hypnotherapist helps her by regressing her to a past life, in the hope that  it will help her to find the cause of her illness and help her recovery. 
A Haunted Past Life A supernatural story.

Birmingham Girls, Memories, Mysterious Happenings, Choosing Your Psychic Pathway, Ghosts Angels &; Hauntings, and Memories. are my nonfiction books.

To buy a copy of Dancing with Spirits click here -
To buy a copy of The Other Place click here -
To buy a copy of A Haunted Past Life click here -

A Haunted Past Life

 Jen’s unhappy life changes forever when she finds herself leading a past life in the 1960s.

She is astonished to discover she is happily married, with a husband and an eight year old daughter.

Jen is suddenly torn from her only daughter and taken back to 1965. Could this be a past life? Is she dreaming?

Trapped and confused, Jen tries to unravel her tormented emotions with newly discovered relationships, living and dead.

Jen is haunted by these two lives but has her spirit guides to reassure her. She needs to make an important decision - Should she stay or should Jen find her way back home again? But how can she possibly leave if she has fallen in love?

Here is the Amazon link to purchase a copy of A Haunted Past Life (Jen's Story)

Why I wrote my book - Mysterious Happenings

Why I wrote Mysterious Happenings

I was injured in a serious road traffic accident in, 1989; btw, I was not the driver of the vehicle. Due to my injuries I lost my business. Having extra time on my hands, I decided to write a book. One of my interests along with the supernatural has always been writing, so I looked on the accident as an opportunity to write it. So I did!

Having read the tarot cards and crystal ball for a few years I had been told ghost stories by a number of my clients. With their permission, I had written them down in case I ever wrote a book of ghost stories. I did not realise how soon it would happen.

I appealed through local papers for stories and was quite overwhelmed by the response. To my delight, the stories I received were many and varied. I decided to include the stories that had no logical explanation. I soon had enough stories to write the book.

After having my book proofread, I decided to publish it as a booklet. Mystical Happenings was a tremendous success. Other booklets quickly followed. In 2010, I compiled all the booklets into one book, Mysterious Happenings. This has been well received in paperback, on Amazon Kindle and on Smashwords.

One of the stories from Mysterious Happenings


Ravenhill House, Brereton, Staffs, at one time stood alongside the busy A51 between Rugeley and Brereton, and was reputed to be haunted by the spirit of an old grey-haired lady. The building was over 200 years old when it was demolished several years ago; it has a well-documented history. It was used as an old soldiers' convalescent home in the 1914-18 war and housed American Servicemen during the last war, but since 1948 it was part of premises of an electronics company owned by Thorn EMI Electronics Ltd.
An employee of the company claimed that one evening when working late in the House, he entered one of the rooms and found the figure of an old lady sitting by a sealed-up fireplace, but when he approached to speak to the unknown person, she just disappeared.
Further enquiries led to reports of other people having witnessed the ghostly lady on different occasions. An eminent witness was the wife of Colonel Guy German D.S.O. to whom the first major book written about the notorious wartime ‘Colditz’ German P.O.W. Camp was dedicated.
The parents of Major T. Gardener of Bishton near Wolesley Bridge owned Ravenhill House and over thirty acres of surrounding land, from 1920 until 1936 when the house, with its superbly kept gardens and two streams and ornamental pool was pleasantly set in open countryside. The Major recalls one evening during this time, when Mrs. Rosemary German, who was staying as a guest for a few nights at Ravenhill, surprised her hosts, Mr. And Mrs. Gardner. They were walking down the stairs to dinner when she rushed up to them saying that she had entered the dining room to unexpectedly find an elderly lady sitting by the fireside to whom she hadn't been introduced.
Knowing of no other guests, the hosts were naturally puzzled, but when the three entered the room, there was no longer any sign of the old lady. At this point, Mrs. Gardner related that she had previously already seen the apparition in the same room, as had the Governess, Miss Minnie Galivan. Miss D.F. Landor of Tithe Barn Road, Rugeley, who had earlier lived in the black and white cottage nearest to the pelican crossing in Rugeley Horse Fair when she was Miss Landor’s Governess, gave some more information. Miss Galivan was strongly of the Christian faith and had attempted to exorcise the ghost by praying over the spot where it was seen.
Other reports tell of a ghostly coach and pair being seen on the driveway to the house in earlier times.
Witnesses generally agree that the ghostly lady was old, small, and grey-haired, and one claimed that she wore blue. Unfortunately, details of the spectre’s attire are insufficient to give a clue to the date of her real life. She wasn’t a mischievous ghost.
Link to Amazon Please click here

Watch the video here of Mysterious Happenings.