Thursday Doors – William Shakespeare’s birth home

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

In 2017 we visited the birth home of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon. These are a few of the pictures I took at this house.

Front of the house
Back of the house and garden

You can join in Thursday Doors here: https://nofacilities.com/2021/04/15/naubuc-and-broad-thursday-doors/

A GHOST AND HIS GOLD: A BOOK REVIEW

Author Annika Perry has shared a wonderfully comprehensive review of A Ghost and His Gold.

Annika is a great author and has a superb collection of short stories as well as a lovely book for children so do take a look at them while you are there.

Thank you, Annika.

Annika Perry

A Ghost and His Gold combines the paranormal with intense violent battle scenes from 1899-1902; it features three ghosts not only haunting a house and its occupants in present-day South Africa but who are themselves haunted by events in their past lives; it’s a story about seeking forgiveness and ultimately finding redemption.

Furthermore the book explores not only the horror of war, concentration camps, scorched earth policy but also date rape, rape, violence against women. Can any ever be forgiven? Can anyone carrying out these acts ever find peace within themselves and acceptance by loved ones again?

Initially, A Ghost and his Gold appears to be a normal paranormal ghost story as Michelle and Tom, both working in the finance sector although she is also a part-time writer, move into their new home. The new townhouse is situated on the site of an old Boer homestead. Michelle immediately senses and…

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#Bookreview – Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

What Amazon says

Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by [Teagan Ríordáin  Geneviene]

The Fever Field is burial ground that is far older than the inhabitants of the Flowing Lands realize. We first saw it in the prologue of Journey 1, Forlorn Peak. Now we learn more about the place where ancient evil was buried and forgotten, until that moment in the prologue when it broke free.

On the cover of Journey 3, The Fever Field, Emlyn has turned to look toward Zasha. Much of this third installment is told from Zasha’s point of view. We’ll get better acquainted with the sisters in the Society of Deae Matres who traveled with Zasha. Also, we meet a tall, intriguing north-man and the most mysterious adherent of the Deae Matres.

The youngest of all the Society, Zasha encounters some resistance from the other sisters traveling with her. She also runs into trouble of her own.

Meanwhile, Emlyn’s uncertain situation with her family combines with the threat posed by the Brethren of Un’Naf. What is the greater danger, her loved ones, or the fanatics? In Journey 3, Emlyn’s circumstances reach a tipping point. There seems to be no good choice for her. How can she survive?

My review

Journey 3, The Fever Field, in the Dead of Winter saga really steps up the action. Unexpected circumstances result in Emlyn gaining a far greater insight into the silver haired man from her dreams and a frightening understanding of his frequently repeated phrase “winter is coming.”

I enjoyed getting to know a lot more about Zasha and the other Deae Matres, a society of knowledgeable women who travel around the world trying to right wrongs and preserve history and learning. I was particularly interested by Boabhan, a member of the society and a woman of seemingly great inner strength. I hope to learn more about her as the story progresses. The roles of the various women comprising the society and their conflicts and relationships with each other becomes a lot clearer in this episode.

Zasha shows herself to be young and impetuous and a little lacking in the arts of negotiation and manipulation when dealing with the more senior ladies of the organisation. She wears her heart on her sleeve and her emotions and frustrations are easily seen by others. She will need to learn to think before she speaks if she wants to do the best job she can of unwinding the mysteries that are unveiling themselves in the Flowing Lands.

The writing is beautiful and one sentence that caught my eye was “The breeze heaved an eerie sigh through the boughs, and rustled Emlyn’s skirts.

The series is definitely shaping up into a fascinating story which I would recommend to people who enjoy a good and well written fantasy tale.

Purchase Dead of Winter: Journey 3, The Fever Field by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Amazon US

Teagan Riordain Geneviene’s Amazon Page

Now Available – Journey 4, The Old Road

Blurb

Previously, Journey 3, The Fever Field left Emlyn on the run. Will the Society of Deae Matres be willing to help? After all, in Journey 1, they rejected her father’s plea to take her away.Journey 4, The Old Road features Boabhan, the Society’s most enigmatic adherent.Emlyn finds herself in another kind of danger when the archvillain from the prologue of Journey 1, Forlorn Peak returns to the story in this installment. Plus, she still has not outrun the Brethren. Meanwhile, Emlyn isn’t the only one at risk. This Journey finds many of our friends in harm’s way.This Journey is notably longer than the others. Some parts of the story needed to be told together, in one volume.Come, be a part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter.

Purchase Journey 4, The Old Road

Amazon US

Open Book Blog Hop – Me the action figurine

They’re making an action figure of you. Describe the toy and accessories. (Do you have a catch phrase? Favorite items, clothes, hair style?)

This week’s topic is very cool. I have always loved dolls, as a little girl I was never free of a doll and I even learned to make my own dolls out of corn cobs, paper, and clay. As an adult, I have a huge collection of dolls which also expends to teddy bears, beaded African animals and other figurines, and rag dolls.

An opportunity to create an action figurine modelled on how I see myself would be a lot of fun [especially as I seem to see myself very differently from how other people see me – this weekend while we were away, my family ganged up on me and said I was … wait for it … impatient! MOI! That is simply wrong. I am not impatient, in fact, I can be extremely patient when teaching kids. I am just determined].

So, back to the action girl. She would need to have long wavy hair which she would wear down when entertaining at home and in a braid when visiting places of historical or environmental interest. She would pin it up neatly for her job as a junior director in an auditing and accounting firm.

She would have a large wardrobe with lots of work clothes comprising mainly of flowery trousers with narrow legs, shiny coloured shoes and blouses. None of her shoes would be high heels because she wouldn’t need to power dress have already earned her reputation as an expert in her field.

Over weekends, she will have shorts and t-shirts or jeans and t-shirts with hiking boots for trips away and sandals for staying at home. She will have a separate kitchen that you can buy with a gas oven, bread machine and all sorts of baking and cooking utensils.

For work days and trips away, she will have three laptops, two ipads, and two iphones with a separate battery charger. She will have a large rucksack to pack them in, but will only travel with two laptops and one ipad, but both phones and the charger. The rucksack will always be carried squarely on her shoulders to prevent back pain [who knew computers were so heavy when lugged around an airport].

She will know how to shoot a gun, although she doesn’t look as if butter would melt in her mouth. She will be full of surprises and know how to do select judo throws and carry pepper spray in her car and in the side pocked of her backpack for easy access if needed.

I must say that I think this is a really fun prompt. How do other writers see themselves as action figures.

Picture of me and Ghost Mountain

You can find out here: https://fresh.inlinkz.com/party/9f6161a80e2445269264929e54996f8e

If you would like to join in, these are the rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

Guest post: About Maledicus by Charles F. French and a review

Today, I am delighted to welcome author Charles F. French to Roberta Writes with a post about his horror book Maledicus. Maledicus is the first in the The Investigative Paranormal Society series of which the first three books are currently available.

About Maledicus

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Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This issue is one of the central themes of my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I and is also one of the main issues that has faced humanity in the last one hundred years. From the consequences of millions slain in the Holocaust to one single person murdered on the streets of New York City while many watched and did nothing, humanity has been confronted with this dilemma. When finding evil threatening others, what do we do? Do we ignore it and pretend that it is not there? Do we call authorities to try to handle the situation and hope they arrive in time? Or do we inject ourselves into situations that for both individuals and nations could be filled with the worst kind of danger?

It does not take much effort to find contemporary examples of such circumstances. In all of these situations, the observers are faced with a moral quandary, and in my novel, it is that circumstance which drives the central conflict. What do three retired gentlemen who are trying to find the answer to the ancient question—is there life after death?—What do they do when they are confronted with sociopathic supernatural evil that threatens an innocent? It would be easy for them to turn aside and say—this isn’t our fight, or this doesn’t concern me. In the small town of Bethberg, PA, a demon is threatening a child. The Investigative Paranormal Society had been formed to investigate ghosts, but now they find themselves confronted by an ancient evil. Do they accept the battle, or do they turn away?

These three retired gentlemen do decide to fight this evil, even at the potential cost of their lives and perhaps souls.

In our cynical so-called post-modern world, I feel that I am a bit of a dinosaur, because I am an unapologetic Humanist. I still believe that our connections as people are more important than that which disconnects us. My three central characters believe this ideal also. Hence, they understand Donne’s admonition—“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” And they understand that whatever threatens an innocent must be opposed.

www.charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com

Twitter: @French_C1955

https://https://charlesffrenchauthor.com/

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

Ebook

Print book

Charles French Amazon Page

Thank you!

About Charles F. French

Charles F. French

I am a writer, novelist, and a professor of English Literature. I live in Pennsylvania. I am a devoted lover of nature, including hiking and fishing. I love reading, movies, cooking, and eating. I enjoy comic books and superheros as well as horror novels and movies.

My review of Maledicus

Maledicus is the right hand man to Caligula, Emperor of the Roman Empire, and they are equally despicable, inhumane and outright evil. Maledicus has plans, great plans, whereby he will ascend to the top position of Emperor but he underestimates the incumbent, Caligula, and his many eyes and ears. Maledicus never achieves his aspirations and is dispatched to the afterlife in an unpleasant and painful way.

In the non world between Heaven and Hell, Maledicus lurks. He is not reconciled to his unnatural death and believes his chance to aspire to greatness will come. He sets about manipulating events and circumstances to achieve his ultimate goals of greatness.

Meanwhile, time has moved on and in the 21st century, three elderly and retired men, Roosevelt, Sam and Jeremy, have formed a ghost-investigating group, with the occasional help and support from Roosevelt’s nephew, ex-US Marine, Patrick. They have all suffered personal losses and this is a great way for them to keep themselves mental and physically active and to indulge in an interest in ghosts and the supernatural. When their Investigative Paranormal Society (“IPS”) gets its first really legitimate case, they find themselves up against an on-going evil that refuses to die. Can the IPS go up against an ancient and expanding evil and expect anything other than untimely deaths?

I enjoyed the characters of Roosevelt, Sam, Jeremy and Patrick and learning about their individual losses and life experiences, all of which weave together into the fabric of this well planned story.

The idea behind this book is fresh and clever and the ending was superb. I was really impressed by the author’s unique and thrilling ending.

Thursday Doors – Mary Arden’s Farm

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

Mary Shakespeare (nee Arden) was the mother of William Shakespeare and this farm is her original farm and is now a working Tudor farm where people can visits and experience life as Mary and her son, William, would have known it.

These are the activities available for visitors to the farm per the website which you can find here https://www.visitstratforduponavon.co.uk/attractions/mary-ardens-farm:

A great day out for all the family! Explore the farm yard with its centuries-old barns and original dovecote

Geese herding, falconry displays and rare breed animals

Hands on archery*

Watch the Tudor farmhands at work

Nature trails & adventure playground

New Mary Arden’s Story exhibition

Gift shop and café

Here are a few of my pictures from our visit in 2018:

Join in Thursday Doors at No Facilities blog here: https://nofacilities.com/2021/04/08/naubuc-again-thursday-doors/

Open book blog hop – Research and me

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

This is the theme for this weeks open book blog. I haven’t been able to participate for a while due to work commitment but things are improving on the work front and this topic includes my favourite word, research.

Those of you that read my blog regularly know that I love research. Most of my books and short stories have a strong historical setting and flavour and they are all based on true events, even the more modern stories.

My writing does not only involve history; it also involves ghosts. Ghosts are a perfectly wonderful way of introducing history into a book and also a strong and interesting story line. Well, that’s my opinion in any event.

My current research craze is WW1 and I am reading my third book about the entrance of America into the war. I’ve read two fiction books and I am now listening to a 31 hour story about the pilots in WW1. This book covers the famous English, American and German pilots and is completely fascinating.

Crazy research though? That is something else entirely. I take it to mean doing something to learn about a particular topic like skydiving so you can write about a character who skydives.

I don’t do crazy things; I am a chartered accountant, my husband is a chartered accountant, and my sons are computer nerds. Crazy things isn’t in our vocabulary. Both my sons have always been cautious boys and never did anything that could result in severe injury. I’m not sure if that is lucky or not, but I’ve never had a child with a broken bone or snapped tendon.

My idea of conducting research is to visit the places of historical interest to me. One example of this in South Africa is when we went to Fugitive’s Drift Lodge in January this year to see the Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana battle fields from the Anglo Zulu war in South Africa. We had a great time listening to the stories, exploring the battle fields and related museums and learning a lot about the history of this country. These battles were not well covered when I studied history at school.

Our trips abroad have been similar and we fill our days with tours of fascinating historical places such as the Buried Village in New Zealand, Dover Castle and the hospital in the tunnels, Jorvik Viking Centre in York, and many, many other museums, castles, stone age mines, and sometimes caves and nature reserves. I honestly cannot think of a single thing that would fall under the description of crazy that I have ever done.

Have you done anything crazy in the name of research?

You can read what other bloggers have done in the name of research here:

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/party/dcd0df93db194da5abca500d6d173ee4

If you’d like to participate, here are the rules:

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

#Thursdaydoors

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

I have missed two weeks of Thursday doors so apologies for those I promised to share pictures of our visit to Anne’ Hathaway’s house near Stratford-on-Avon. Work is settling down now and people are going on holiday for Easter so I am getting this post in early on a Thursday.

Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where she lived as a child. The cottage is in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England, about 1 mile west of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century and the higher part is 17th century. Anne’s father was a farmer and after his death, the cottage was owned by her brother Bartholomew. It remained in the Hathaway family until 1846, when financial problems forced them to sell it. It was, however, still occupied by the Hathaway’s as tenants until it was acquired in 1892 by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Michael in the doorway. They are very low.
The same door – Greg has to bend his head (he was much shorter then than now).
This is the kitchen. I have a fascination with old kitchens.

You can join in Thursday Doors here: https://nofacilities.com/2021/04/01/naubuc-historic-district-thursday-doors/

REFLECT UPON THIS: INDIFFERENCE IS THE ENEMY! @RRBC_Org;@RRBC_RWISA;@Tweets4RWISA;@JohnJFioravanti;@nonniejules;@4WillsPub;@4WP11 #Quotes #RRBC #RWISA

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

~ Elie Wiesel

How is it that the world stood by and witnessed the Nazis deprive thousands of people their freedom, their human dignity, and their very lives? Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, encapsulated the explanation in a single word – indifference.

Wiesel (1928 – 2016) was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He wrote 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including “Night,” a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

I came upon this quote a few days ago, and I have been pondering the meaning ever since. As a high school History teacher, I taught my students about the Holocaust every semester, and I never became comfortable with this unit of human horror. Therefore, I am listening to Wiesel’s words with my heart within this context. As I write these words, I am moved almost to tears.

He points out to us that indifference is the opposite or opposing position to love, art, faith, and life. I understand the dictionary definition of indifference as a lack of interest, or of concern, or of sympathy. We may also say that a state of indifference indicates that something is unimportant.

As I struggled with these concepts, I found these words by Anton Chekhov, the famous 19th Century Russian playwright and author. “Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.” His words are saying the same thing that Wiesel expressed almost a century later.

I believe the human soul is the spiritual dimension of a person. It is the seat of our unique identity. It is also the source of our life energy and the repository of our deeply held beliefs and moral guidelines. Chekhov’s words “paralysis of the soul” is truly a premature death. That paralysis snuffs out my spiritual energy. It blinds my belief system and moral compass. I cease to be a person in the fullest sense of the word.

I cannot love anyone in this state of paralysis. I become, not only the centre of my universe, but my entire universe. There is no room for anyone else. Others may be useful – or not, but certainly not loved because they are unimportant. This allows me to turn my back on someone who needs help, or someone who is suffering. Because they are unimportant, so is their plight.

Art, no matter the format of its expression, is the outer manifestation of the artist’s soul. We can see reflections of our own souls in the many mirrors of artistic expressions, be they paintings, music, poetry, plays, novels, sculptures, films – the list is endless. If I am indifferent, the art is meaningless, and I am not moved spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually. I am dead to art and all it can teach me. It cannot nourish me.

Faith can be understood as trust or confidence in something or someone. How often have we heard people say that they don’t trust anyone, or they have deeply seated trust issues? Betrayals can make me wary about trusting others. The presence of evil in the world can make me question my faith in God. If I am indifferent, faith is irrelevant. I trust no one and become totally self-reliant. I have closed myself to the possibility of trust or confidence in anything or anyone.

Wiesel’s final analogy concerns life. If I have stilled my soul, there is no life, even though my body still functions. There is no empathy for the feelings of others, so I can walk right past a person lying still on a sidewalk or roadway. I can shrug when I read about the horrors of the holocaust and perhaps even call it a hoax.

I believe there are degrees of indifference and that it is within all of us. How else do I explain the fact that we still see and allow the evils of intolerance, prejudice, and discrimination to flourish around us? Why do we assume that this is just a normal reaction to fear? Why do we continue to laugh heartily at jokes that are racial slurs or attacks upon a gender – or worse yet, upon those who suffer from a physical, mental, or emotional impairment?

Indifference. It renders the human spirit paralyzed or dead, but indifference is very much alive and well!

To learn more about John, please visit his RRBC Author Page!

Twitter:  @JohnJFioravanti

As a very special treat, please visit WATCH NONNIE WRITE! and FIORA BOOKS BY JOHN FIORAVANTI to sample ONE free reflection and interpretation from the first REFLECTIONS and another sample from the upcoming REFLECTIONS II!  I assure you, they’re both just as amazing and inspiring as this one and will whet your appetite for what’s to come with his new release!

Thank you for dropping by to support John’s upcoming release.  Please be sure to snag a copy of the original REFLECTIONS, on Amazon now for only $2.99 and as a FREE read on Kindle Unlimited!

I’d also like to ask that you leave John a comment below and LIKE the post before leaving.  It would be great if you’d also tweet and Share the page to your social media platforms!

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore–New Book on the Shelves #Mystery #Paranormal A Ghost And His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Thank you, Sally Cronin, for this lovely post about my new novel, A Ghost and His Gold. Sally has so many marvelous books and a wonderful magazine styled blog, so do visit her and have a look around.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to add the recent release A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle to the shelves.. currently in print but soon in Kindle too.

robbie a ghost and his gold

About the book

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904. Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel…

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