Archive for October, 2015

Trailer: Grab a taste of Sweet Sensations!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

I’m awed by the amazing trailer for Sweet Sensations, and today I’m sharing it with you! Here is all the details about Sweet Sensations and the trailer down below.

SweetSensations_BoxedSet_Promo1-Agnew

Under the Sun Publishing

A Division of InkWell Royalty Solutions proudly presents…

SWEET SENSATIONS

 A Boxed Set Of Sensual Contemporary Romances By USA Today & Amazon Best Selling Authors

Pre-order HERE


Sweet Sensations: USA Today & Amazon Best Selling Authors Collection

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Want a sweet, sensational romance? This week I’m profiling a new box set collection of stories called Sweet Sensations. My military romance featuring a hot Special Forces officer is included in this set. You can preorder your copy through Amazon here either (including through Kindle Unlimited). This collection includes authors Ann Jacobs, L. M. Connelly, Lynn LaFleur, Ahn Lloyd, Ari Thatcher, and Marilu Mann. Enjoy!

SweetSensations_BoxedSet_Promo1-Agnew

Showcasing Lezli Polm’s Spooky Good Reads & A Children’s Book

Friday, October 16th, 2015

I’m continuing the Halloween theme this month and welcoming my good buddy Lezli Polm to my blog today to talk about her published works. Take it away Lezli!

* *

Thank you Denise for inviting me to your Halloween Blog! Welcome readers to this wonderful place!

In this issue I am showcasing three books that I hope you will consider for your autumn reading list.

LezliPolmCover

Thin is the Veil

(Paranormal Non-Fiction)

A childhood friend named Alice who appears grasping her arm, after having died in a car accident caused by a fatal reach out the back window. A horror-stricken lady in blood-spattered white emerges on a highway bridge. For author and Doctor of Divinity Lezli A. Polm, these are just the beginning of a lifetime of paranormal encounters. Now, Thin is the Veil: A Haunting Memoir recounts her numerous experiences with apparitions of every stripe, from sweet spirits to perplexing pranksters.

Many say the veil between life and death is a thin one. For Polm, that veil is nearly invisible, and has been since her early childhood days. Thin is the Veil reflects on these repeated ghostly visits, and charts the author’s immersion in otherworldly pursuits, from Ouija board mishaps to her own ghost hunting exploits.

Polm’s forays with these presences began when she was a mere toddler, as her long-departed Aunt Iva began popping up in her thoughts. As young Lezli chimed into conversations with remarks no child would say, her confounded parents did their best to suppress the unfathomable behavior. The phenomena persisted, however, as Polm confronted occurrences, including a train that had ceased to run decades before; a ghost nanny in a long black skirt that loomed over her and her playmate Joyce; bullies who pushed her off a bicycle; and a “Creepy Guy” who popped up in parking lots all over the author’s childhood town of Bisbee, Arizona.

Through it all, Polm learns that apparitions are just like the people they had been: Some are nice; some are not so nice. Some are truthful; some are not to be trusted. Whatever our encounters with those who have gone beyond, Polm’s clear and detailed account is a resounding testament to their presence around us all. In this unique memoir, as the author relates her lifelong encounters with the paranormal, she also poses questions regarding life, death and the real possibility of reincarnation. Relating her doubts and her search for answers this is more than just a collection of ghost stories. Moreover, this memoir is also the tale of a young woman named Iva whose untimely death may have warranted a return from the world beyond.
Whether doubters or believers, this absorbing, chillingly convincing book is certain to raise more than a few goose bumps, and haunt the dreams of readers everywhere.

From the author – This book is a memoir encompassing many paranormal and unusual events that I have encountered since early childhood. I wrote this book for myself, my family and for you the reader. Many of you can say that you have had things happen in your life that defy today’s scientific explanation. I hope that in reading this book you will be able to relate to some of my experiences and find that you are not alone in your quest for answers. This book is as much a journey of spiritual discovery as it is a journey with the Spirits. I think this book will fit in well on your Halloween reading list.

Triptychamazonimage

Triptych of Souls

(Paranormal Fiction)

When Holly finds an antique locket at a historic ranch in the beautiful Arizona mountains, she never imagines it will change her life forever. The seemingly-harmless locket holds secrets to a dark past and tragic love story waiting to be discovered. As possession of the locket passes to Joseph, a young, local photographer turned hero, the locket’s secrets are slowly revealed. Intuition tells Holly and Joseph’s family that danger lurks around the corner, but they might be too late to heed the warnings. Voices and events from the past bleed into the present, and lives become intertwined across time.

From the author – This novel is set in two time periods. Present day and the late 1800’s. The main characters in this drama are linked through time and many lifetimes. Emeline’s spirit is trapped in a Victorian locket. She is held there by her own inability to let go. Love, loss and hope are themes in this book. The characters are quite diverse. One is even a witch. This book also belongs on your Halloween reading list. Enjoy!

Meet the Elementals jpg

Meet the Elementals

(Children’s Book)

Logan goes camping with his cousins and grandparents. He takes along his brand new compass. The compass inspires his grandmother to tell the children a story. The tale is an old one about fascinating creatures known as the Elementals. They rule the four directions and help people with their problems. Open the pages of this book to hear all about these wonderful mystical beings.

From the author – This children’s book for ages 5-11 is the first in a series of ‘Grandma’s Stories.” These are fantastical stories that I tell my grandkids and finally decided to write down. In this first book the children meet the wonderful and magical Elementals. Children relate to these creatures because they are part of the fabric of well-known and much loved fairy tales worldwide.

* *

Thanks so much Lezli!

Marie D. Jones: I Put A Spell On You! The Power of Spells and Curses

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Several years ago I had the honor of interviewing Marie D. Jones on my Blog Talk Radio Show Authors Unplugged. Even before that I’d heard her speak on quite a few radio shows, and I was impressed with the depth and breadth of her knowledge about an amazing array of subjects. In the spirit of my favorite holiday, Halloween, I present to you Marie’s take on spells, curses, and the power of the mind. Welcome Marie!


Marie_Jones_062-2

 

Some people will believe anything. Even when it comes to things like spells and curses. Whether superstitious or not, if someone tells us they put a curse on us, some small part of our minds will feel that twinge of fear, even as all rational thinking tells us it’s nothing to worry about. Really. But do curses and spells ever have so much power they can actually kill, heal, or change our destinies?

Fetishism, the belief that a physical object can have supernatural powers, is as old as humanity itself. The use of blood, animal fur, claws, beads, coins, rings, feathers, stones, gems and crystals, and specific plants and animals by native and primitive peoples is no different from our use today of crucifixes, Buddha statuettes, Holy Water, Star of David necklaces, Rosary Beads, voodoo dolls, the Italian Horn to ward off evil eye, worry beads, prayer stones, and even four-leafed clovers and lucky charms.

The belief that symbols hold as much power and influence as what they are supposed to symbolize still makes up a part of everyday religious life. When a Christian takes the body and blood of Christ at Communion, they may not realize it, but they are practicing a type of fetishism, giving the wafer and wine a level of power which they do not have as physical objects, but rather as symbols of something far greater.

Yet, some may argue that the objects DO have power on their own. Perhaps we are somehow sending the object energy, which is then reflected back to us (or even absorbed into the substrate material itself,) based upon our motivation or use of the object. If we believe strongly enough that a lucky charm will make us, well, lucky, perhaps we may be raising the resonant frequency of the object to match the resonant frequency of our intention. We may be “instilling” a particular energy into the object, which then raises or lowers the object’s actual resonant frequency depending upon whether it will be used to charm, or to harm.

Generally, we think of the occult arts when we think of talismans, intricately designed charms worn about the neck or kept in a pocket, however, one only has to walk into a church, temple, or synagogue to see modern day talismans. Although the Catholic Church and Christian churches in general shun talismans and amulets as “witchcraft,” their own use of beads and crosses and statues of saints show that the idea of putting power into a physical object is not always the domain of evil-doers. In the Jewish tradition, amulets are abundant, many carrying holy names or phrases taken from holy texts. The Jewish tallis is a fringed prayer shawl with knotted tassels used in a similar fashion as Catholic Rosary Beads. The word “tallis” even sounds similar to “talisman,” although most linguistic experts believe the word “talisman” is of Greek origin, from the word “telsma” for “to initiate into the mysteries” (the word “amulet” comes from the Latin word amuletum for “an object that protects a person from trouble.”)

In the Muslim culture, individuals also wear amulets that bear chosen inscriptions from the Quran. Known as “Ta’wiz,” these medals are used in different situations to symbolize different things, just as one might wear a medal of a four-leafed clover to attract good, or the Khamsa pendant of Fatima’s Hand that supposedly wards off the evil eye.

The most obvious use of fetishes, talismans and amulets comes to us from the West African traditions and folk beliefs. West African Vodun or Voudou is a religion practiced throughout coastal West Africa. It is an animistic tradition, with a cosmology filled with a hierarchy of various vodun, or spirits and divine elements governing humans and the earth. Deities are called orishas, suggesting a pantheistic worldview, but there is One God, as in monotheism, with the orishas as God’s helpers (similar to the idea of the Christian God and his angels). Cuban Santeria, also practiced in some Southern American cities with large Cuban populations, is similar to Vodun, but has adopted many Christian symbols and rituals to create a syncretized and very much misunderstood religious practice.

What is most notable about these religions, which are far more organized than people might think, is that followers have a distinct relationship with nature, both the seen and unseen. Vodun practices often involve animal sacrifice and ancestral worship, even the “possession” of humans by deities during intense rituals. High on the list of beliefs is the power of fetishes and talismans to heal, or to harm. Mojo bags are magic charms wrapped in a cloth or animal skin bag, often red, tied with a drawstring. The bags can contain anything from magical rocks, animal feathers and claws, petitions to the deities and spirits, and even plant leaves. The Mojo inside the bag gives a person magical power.

Similar in intent, Gris-gris is an amulet to protect the wearer from evil, or attract luck and fortune. This small cloth bag is filled with herbs, stones, bones, hair and even grave dirt, emphasizing personal items of either the wearer, or the one intended to benefit from the contents. Gris-gris is often used for negative purposes as well, usually to conjure or cast a curse or hex on someone. Often it is left on the victim’s doorstep so that they see it and the reaction is often a slow death based upon the simple power of suggestion.

Thankfully, most Vodun followers use their religion for good, but there are sorcerers called Botono or Azetos who cast hexes and curses to bring harm to enemies (one might call that defensive black magick!). One of their favorite tools for bringing about such harm is the voodoo doll, a poppit constructed out of crude materials and colorful cloth to represent the spirit of a particular person. Voodoo dolls can be constructed with household items and are anywhere from elaborately decorated to crudely fashioned. Some call these dolls effigies, although most effigies are actually full-length figures of a person – alive or dead.

Worry Dolls, or Trouble Dolls, traditionally made in Guatemala, take a different perspective. Tiny dolls constructed of wood and cloth, these colorful dolls are often placed under pillows or “worried over” like rosary beads, and are usually used to help children heal from surgeries, as well as get over fears during the treatment of diseases. The doll is said to worry in the person’s place, allowing the person to rest, relax, and wake up with no worries.

Aboriginal Australians have a ritual of execution that utilizes a ceremonial bone called a Kundela or “death bone.” If the Kundela is pointed at a person, usually someone condemned or cast out by the tribe, that person will die. The “pointing of the bone” is always done by a powerful member of the tribe, and is accompanied by a chant that is said to curse the recipient. Famous oddity hunter John Godwin describes on Trivia-Library.com his own experience witnessing a young Mailli tribesman who had been “pointed” waste a way and die in a hospital, despite excellent medical care. The doctors could find nothing physically wrong with the tribesman, yet Godwin stated, “He died before our eyes, in dreadful agony, apparently from the mere knowledge that he must die.”

Magical tools and ritual objects have been used in ancient witchcraft and modern Wicca for centuries…from wands and swords to cauldrons and athames charged with energy used to carry out spells (positive, that is!), these tools are said to hold power in them, but one must ask if the power comes from the belief itself that the tools are sacred and special.

Desire and intent may play a role in the manifestation of spells that are cast for good. Telling someone that you are putting a spell on them to find more love in their lives would no doubt feed into the subconscious, and change both the awareness and the perception of the person. Telling someone you are cursing them to death with a chicken bone because they stole your gold might also work towards its goal, if the person you are cursing is guilty and already struggling with their own inner demons about what they’ve done.

It is almost as if the mind becomes sympathetic to the spell or curse. The weaker or more unstable and afraid the mind, the more the spell or curse affects it. Sympathetic magic suggests that like attracts, and affects, like, and that everything is connected and linked on an invisible realm. Therefore, the act of sticking a pin in a doll is supposed to harm the person the doll represents, because what occurs in the symbolic sense has an outcome in the empirical world.

Sympathetic magic is based upon two laws: the law of similarity, and the law of contagion. The law of similarity suggests that an effect will closely resemble its own cause, while the law of contagion suggests that the connectedness of all things guarantees that once we come in contact with something or someone, we remain so. A voodoo practitioner may use these laws to produce a desired effect by speaking it or imitating it. The contagion aspect occurs when another person “buys into” the whole situation and ends up manifesting the desired effect, as if the practitioner and patient were one and the same, connected by some unseen web or strand, sympathetic to the same intention between them.

The Creighton University Medical Center’s website on complimentary and alternative medicine (http://AltMed.creighton.edu/) features an interesting article titled “The Science of Voodoo,” which discusses several scientific studies into the claims of voodoo as an effective healing modality. These studies were conducted to determine the validity of voodoo in a medical sense; whether voodoo relies on suggestibility alone for its placebo-like effects, or on the various herbs often used in rituals and their actual therapeutic and toxicological value. Studies included one for the Volume 42, Number 7 2002 issue of “Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain,” which concluded that the improvement of symptoms in voodoo patients is mainly from placebo effects. By concurrently stimulating and inhibiting the nervous system, there appears to be an improvement of pain. The study author, Seymour Solomon, gives the example of someone drinking an herbal treatment over the body of a dead rabbit as both stimulation and inhibition of the nervous system, which may lead to relief.

Voodoo and other alternative healing modalities may be more “nocebo” than placebo. In voodoo practices, often the patient is cursed with negative intentions, and the nocebo effect is the result of experiencing a harmful outcome because that is the outcome that the patient expects. It is not so much that spirits and demons are conferring the negative energy and sickness, as it is the mind of the believer. The expectation of illness or death appears to lead to illness and death in voodoo and other such belief systems.

This concept leads to another interesting aspect of curses and spells. The more powerful the one who is casting the curse or spell is perceived to be by the patient, the more powerful the patient will manifest the curse or spell. A village medicine man or voodoo priest will have more ability to mold the belief of the villagers than someone with less spiritual authority. Even in our culture, we tend to look up to and trust our doctors and surgeons, and if they pronounce us terminally ill, many of us may “believe” them far more than we would if the same diagnosis happened to come from a neighbor or stranger on a subway.

Too many factors come into play in determining the power of prayer, or of curses, to be effective. The person at the receiving end seems to be the biggest factor of all. Do they believe? Do they accept their fate, good or bad? Are their minds strong enough to “unbelieve” negative input? Is the subconscious in charge, thus no matter what they think they believe is null and void?

Mind over matter, or mind over other minds, it may all be up to each of us as individuals how much control we give to outside thoughts, forces and beliefs that could hurt or harm us.

* *

Thank you Marie! It’s been great having you here today. Check out Marie’s wide variety of intriguing, amazing books. The cover for The Deja Vu Enigma is but one of her titles, both fiction and non fiction. Hey, if you read The Deja Vu Enigma you’ll even see me in there. 🙂 For more information on all of Marie’s work, stop by her website here.

DejaVuDejaVu 7.9.09

Your Must See Movies For Halloween!

Monday, October 5th, 2015

As many of you know my favorite holiday is Halloween. I love the feeling of fall, the cooler temps, the…well, everything! Including spooky movies!

0000002163

Okay, I’m not saying you must see these movies, but hey…I’m just recommending them. You may have seen most if not all of them if you’re a true scary movie fan. Every year I love to list some of my favorite horror/mystery/scary flicks and this year is no exception. Some of these movies are not true horror but more a mixed bag such as comedy/psychological/action/scifi or suspense. But even those stories can have an element of horror/scare for Halloween viewing. This list isn’t categorized and I may have forgotten something. Enjoy!

 

The Exorcist

The Shining

Sinister

Seven

The Haunting (Original)

Housebound

Young Frankenstein

The Burbs

Disturbia

The Birds

Seven

The Haunting (The Original)

Psycho (The Original)

Silence of the Lambs

Mimic

Mimic 3

Mama

The Messengers

Stigmata

Halloween

Halloween 2

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later

Leviathan

Cold Creek Manor

Phantoms

Ginger Snaps

Virus

Cursed

Supernova

The Forgotten

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

From Dusk To Dawn

Poltergeist (The Original)

Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers 2

The Others

Sixth Sense

The Village

Devil

When A Stranger Calls

Monster House

Zodiac

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Gargoyles

The Awakening

Shaun of The Dead

Scream

Scream 2

Scream 3

Dawn of the Dead

Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula

28 Days Later

Orphan

Sleepy Hollow (1999 version)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

The Descent

The Gift

Stir of Echoes

The People Under The Stairs

Lake Placid

Final Destination

Jacob’s Ladder

From Hell

The Lost Boys

Pan’s Labyrinth

Pitch Black

Beetlejuice

Jaws

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (The Original)

Rosemary’s Baby

Tremors

Tremors 2

Eight Legged Freaks

The Mothman Prophecies

The Taking of Deborah Logan

Dog Soldiers

Pitch Black

Aliens

Aliens 2

Silent Hill

The Grudge

Darkness Falls

The Faculty

Red State

Trick ‘r Treat

Predator

Predator 2

The Predator

Dark Water

Nosferatu (1922)

Slither

Cujo

Arachnophobia

Don’t Look Now

The Changling

Night of the Living Dead (Original)

The Wicker Man (Original)

An American Werewolf in London

Flatliners

Session 9

The Devil’s Backbone

The Frighteners

The Hole

Urban Legend

Open Grave

In The Mouth of Madness

And Soon The Darkness (Original)

The Innkeepers

Bug

Lake Mungo

The Entity

The Howling

The Relic

Below

Silver Bullet

Blood on Satin’s Claw

Cherry Falls

Wicked Little Things

Wind Chill

The Watcher In The Woods (Original)

The Devil’s Backbone (Spanish)

Shiver (Spanish)

Ghost Story

Burnt Offerings

Eyes of Laura Mars

House on Haunted Hill (Original)

Them

Needful Things

Wolfen

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane

Odd Thomas

Interview With The Vampire

Grabbers

Fear of The Dark

Nightwatch

Sean of the Dead

Rosemary’s Baby

Cropsey documentary

Killer Legends documentary

The Bridgewater Triangle documentary

The Legend of Hell House

Ravenous

Misery

Unrest

Sweet, Sweet Charlotte

Stir of Echoes

Red Eye

Poltergeist (Original)

Graveyard Shift

Five Million Years To Earth

Ghost Busters

The Dunwich Horror

Shutter Island

The Cabin In The Woods

The Bone Snatcher

The Hollow

Dark Was The Night

 

Ones I haven’t seen yet but want to:

The Marrow

The Woods

Sleep Tight

Pontypool

Cockneys vs. Zombies

Late Phases

From The Dark

Creep (2004)

Splinter

In Fear

When The Lights Go Out

Horror

 

Romancing A Military Hero…The Story Is Out Now!

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes is out! Whoohoooo!

Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy this week. We appreciate it so much. Also, thank you to everyone who came to our Facebook party on Monday night. It rocked meeting all of you, seeing old friends and making new friends.

So what is this Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes anyway?

New York Times, USA Today and National Best Selling Authors Sharon Hamilton, Caridad Pineiro, Toni Anderson, Karen Fenech, Kathy Kulig, Jan Springer, Lisa Hughey, Denise A. Agnew, Adrienne Bell and Monique Dubois present ten military romantic suspense stories in Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes.

What makes a hot military hero?

Whether it’s romance, suspense, or action/adventure—Romancing the Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes Box Set offers ten romance stories with something for everyone who craves a hot military hero. For a limited time this is your chance to enjoy books from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors.

We appreciate all the support you’ve given us. You can order your copy of Romancing The Military Man: Ten Hot Military Heroes at the following outlets.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

RomancingTheMilitaryMan2D_800px