/> Witchblood: October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Big Halloween Giveaway

So it's the week we've all been waiting for... well who doesn't love Halloween?! I thought I'd post this a little early and leave it up all week because with two small children on half term holidays I am going to be busy next week... in fact I've set myself a new challenge and decided to make a Gingerbread Haunted House (from scratch - no kits here!) So that will probably take up the next few days lol!

So as a big THANK YOU to all my lovely fans who have supported me this year, bought, downloaded and reviewed my books here is a little treat for you. I am going to run a big giveaway which is open INTERNATIONALLY.

The Prize will consist of: Witchblood Book Bag, Bookmark, a WitchLove Magnet & Jess's Obsidian Protective Necklace that she is given in WitchLove!! Also included is the new edited versions of both WitchBlood & WitchCraft.

I have added a Rafflecopter entry form below, please if anyone wants to enter and has problems with this let me know. You can also enter by leaving a comment below or on my Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 22 October 2012

Scary Reads for Halloween

As it's only 5 days from my big giveaway I thought I'd begin the countdown to Halloween with a post about the scariest books. Now I've not actually read many scary books, in fact I think the scariest book I've read is probably 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' by Lionel Shriver. I read this book last year for book club and it was possibly the most depressing and frightening story I've every read! You've probably all heard about it, as it's now a movie (which I haven't bothered depressing myself with) but the idea of a truly evil child is the worst kind of horror!

Apart from coming up with WNTTAK book I couldn't think of much else so I googled scariest novels and this is Goodreads Top 5:
  1. The Shining - Stephen King
  2. Salem's Lot - Stephen King
  3. IT - Stephen King
  4. The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
  5. Pet Semetary - Stephen King
As I thought this was a little bias towards the mighty King I did another non-S.K search and came up with Bram Stokers 'Dracula', American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. My husband also suggested The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

From reading through these lists I can now add that I have read and loved Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it's not particularly terrifying, nor is The Turn of The Screw by Henry James. So I decided to challenge myself to read one of the top 3 by Halloween.

I've chosen Salem's Lot, firstly because I can't get the image of Jack Nicholson from The Shining movie out of my head, and that alone enough to give me nightmares; and secondly because Salem's Lot is about vampires... right up my street! It's also set in New England which is where I am writing about currently in WitchLove, so I thought it would be interesting.

Tell me, what is the scariest book you have read?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Journey to Paperback

Well I can now happily say that Witchblood is now available on Amazon in Paperback! It has been a long time coming and was a difficult decision to make, but in the end I decided to go for it using Createspace which is free, as I had nothing to lose.

In preparing the book for paperback it has also been given a thorough edit by a professional American editor, Holland House, who I fully recommend to any indie authors out there, also it was rather gratifying to see that actually there wasn't that much that needed changing.

For anyone interested in the paperback process, it is fairly simple to do on your own... just a little time consuming! Createspace takes you through everything step by step. As with the Kindle publishing the most difficult part is the formatting as everything needs to be re-formatted depending on which book size you choose, and then you have to design a front and back cover, and again everything needs to be changed size-wise.

But the end product is worth it, and its nice to know you've done it all yourself... okay I'm probably a control freak, but at least I know I've got the cover I want, the book size I want and everything about it is my decision.

The one thing that surprised me was the print costs. I honestly couldn't get the book price under £6.99 / $8.99 as the print costs actually cost me almost the same. I'm actually not making any more profit on my paperbacks than my kindle copies. So out of £6.99 I get about 30p!!  But I'm not bothered, I just wanted it out there available for the people that don't have e-readers yet. So now if you go to Witchblood on Amazon you should be given a choice between Kindle & paperback.

Next I'm working on Witchcraft and hope to have it ready before Christmas.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Witches Chant for Halloween

Today I've been writing chapter nine in WitchLove and coming up with some fun spells, so to get us in the mood for Halloween I thought I'd give you the most famous spell of all, read in a really spooky whisper which I love!

1st Witch:
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

2nd Witch:
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.

3rd Witch
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
1st Witch:
Round about the cauldron go:
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot.

Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

2nd Witch:
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.

3rd Witch:
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,-
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingredients of our cauldron.
Double,double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
2nd Witch:
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
 So I am still running my giveaway month so if you want a Witchblood bookmark leave a comment below and let me know where this chant is from.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Local Ghost Stories: Part 2

Following on from the Spectre Hound story we have another two stories which abound from the very same area in Hyde, a few miles from me. The first is that of the old woman who haunts an old farmhouse, near to where there have been sightings of the spectre hound. In the same book, 'History of Hyde' it says:

Tradition says that the farm is haunted. In former times it was occupied by a family, the last survivor of which was an old dame, who is said to have been the very picture of a witch. After her death, her spirit, unable to rest in the grave, commenced to wander through the farm at night. Various persons who have at different times resided in the farm, have related strange stories of their experiences of the ghostly visitant. In the dead of night, the doors - even those that were locked - have suddenly opened, footsteps have been heard as though some unseen being walked through the rooms and up the stairs, and then the doors have closed and locked themselves as mysteriously as they opened. Sleepers have been awakened by the beds on which they lay suddenly commencing to rock violently; and at times the bedclothes have been snatched away, and deposited in a heap upon the floor. The ghostly figure of an old woman has been seen moving about from room to room, and then has vanished. Fire-irons have been moved, and have tumbled and danced about mysteriously; pots and pans have rattled, and tumbled to the floor; and there has been heard a strange noise as though someone invisible was sweeping the floor.

(In) 1890 the occupants were startled by hearing a loud noise in the upper rooms. When they entered the room from which the noise came they beheld the curious sight of an old rocking chair, violently rocking itself as though some person might have been seated in it, and the rocking continued unabated for a considerable time. It is said that the old dame, whose ghost haunts the place, died in her rocking chair in that very room; and the belief was that it was her spirit, invisible to the inhabitants of the farm, which set the chair rocking so mysteriously.

To add to the mystery and the uncanny character of the place, there is a certain part of the garden of the farm on which nothing will grow. Some time ago human bones were dug up, and it is said a murdered man was once buried there, and that the place is accursed. Several tenants of the farm have assured the writer that they have again and again tried to bring that spot to the same state of fruitfulness as the rest of the garden, but all to no purpose!!!

Spooky! This tale reminds me somewhat of the film, Paranormal Activity... scary scary! The other ghost story from this area is even weirder and is that of a phantom lorry! This is the story written by a Jeffrey Stafford:


Monday, 8 October 2012

The Magic of Glastonbury

For those who don't know, Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset England, famous for its music festival and it's Tor. As I live in North England I have never been to Glastonbury before, but when I heard about the Witches Market, being held there this weekend, I knew I'd have to go!

Glastonbury is a magical place with an abundance of fairy tales and myths. The most famous myth of course is that of the Isle of Avalon and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. An early Welsh poem links Arthur to the Tor in an account of a confrontation between Arthur and Melwas, who had kidnapped Queen Guinevere. According to some versions of the Arthurian legend, Lancelot retreated to Glastonbury Abbey in penance following Arthur's death, and in 1191 some monks claimed to have found the graves of King Arthur and Guinevere in the Abbey.

In the afternoon, with the sun shining we walked up the Tor, which is so beautiful and affords amazing views of the surrounding countryside. The Tor is another magical place in Glastonbury. It has been called a magic mountain, a faeries' glass hill, a spiral castle, a Grail castle, the Land of the Dead, Hades, a Druid initiation centre, an Arthurian hill-fort, a magnetic power-point, a crossroads of leys, a place of Goddess fertility rituals and celebrations and a converging point for UFOs!

Magic is all around. The town centre itself is filled with crystal shops, witches shops and heavenly little cafes. Another favourite place we found was the Glastonbury White Spring Temple. There are two different healing springs in Glastonbury, one touched red with iron and the other white with Calcite and they both rise within a few metres of each other from the caverns beneath the Tor. A temple has been created around an old Victorian well house. It is lit with candles and free to enter and to collect the water... or bathe in it if you so wish!
The Witches market itself was brilliant and I soon emptied my wallet (& my husband's) on a bagful of faerie books, candles, crystals and cookies! I met some lovely people there, everyone is so friendly in Glastonbury and I hope to blog about them and their work soon. I think I've found my soul-home. I need to live here!
The winner of Friday's bookmark is Nancy Allen and if you want a Witchblood bookmark leave a comment below and tell me if you've ever visited a place and felt instantly at home.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Halloween Post 2: Ghost Stories

Well, I've been thinking of some ideas for my blog for the next couple of weeks and I thought it would be fun if I researched some local ghost stories. After all, who doesn't like a good old ghost story?! But firstly, seeing as I only had two comments on Monday's post & it's the first halloween post, I'd send bookmarks to both, so congrats Heavyn & Kaylee and thanks for commenting. If you like my facebook page and send me a Direct Message with your address in, I will get them posted out to you.
So for today's post here is the story of  The Ghost Hound of Godley Green, which I found in The History of Hyde. It mentions an old farmhouse in Godley which was haunted by the ghost of a woman who was the last survivor of a family which had occupied it. (I'm doing this story soon!) The book then says:

'A few hundred yards away from the haunted farm of Godley Green, there once stood another old and picturesque farm which was pulled down towards the end of the nineteenth century. There is a curious legend told of this old building. The legend says that some people were murdered in the house; and that ever since an evil spirit in the shape of a great yellow hound has haunted the neighbourhood. Many people claim to have seen the spectre hound. Old occupants of the adjoining farms have assured the writer that they have been awakened from their sleep in the dead of night by noises in the fields, and on looking through the windows have seen the terrified cattle dashing wildly across the fields, chased by the horrible form of the great ghost-hound.

One well-known tradesman of Hyde, thus relates his experience:
"I was walking down the lane when suddenly I saw the thing beside me. I was not more than a yard from the hedge, and the ghost was between me and the hedge, I struck at it, but my hand went clean through it, and my knuckles were scratched by the hedge. My blood ran cold, and I was terribly frightened. It ran in front of me, and then came back; it did not turn round to do this, but strange to say its head was in front when it returned. As soon as it vanished I took to my heels as fast as I could run and it was a long time before I ventured in that lane again."'
Again, if you would like a Witchlood bookmark, leave a comment below. Do you know any good local ghost stories?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Tis the month of Halloween...

October is usually one of my favourite months of the year. I love the changing season, the leaves turning from green to red, the cool crispness in the air that gets you wondering whether to put on a hat... and of course Halloween! I only say usually because this year the only sunshine I've seen was in Greece, and there hasn't been a summer to change from. Winter is pretty much already here!

As I love all things supernatural, real and fictional, and could probably class myself as a little bit wiccan... I just haven't the time available to put into the studying required (plus Wiccans love all nature and I pretty much only love dry nature. I'm not so good with rain and tend to hibernate in the winter unless it's one of those beautiful sunny, freezing days where the sun sparkles on the frost...) But Ghosts... yes I've seen them, Crystals... yes I love them, a female-centric religion which worships goddesses AND gods... much more appealing. Stories about vampires, witches, werewolves and faeries love, love, love, so lets bring on Halloween!

So, I thought as we are starting the month with September's harvest moon (the last day of the full moon is tonight) and ending the month with Samhain (or Halloween) I'd do a month of Halloween related posts and a month long giveaway! I'll be setting up the grand prize giveaway to run in the final week of October, with bookmarks to giveaway to a random comment each post, starting with this one! So leave me a comment and tell me what you most like about October to win a Witchcraft/Witchblood bookmark.