Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thanksgiving—Canada vs. U.S.

Even though Canada was first to celebrate Thanksgiving, decades before the Pilgrims arrived in what is now the United States, the holiday in the U.S. and its northern neighbor have much in common.

For those of us in the United States, imagine the Thanksgiving holiday a month and a half earlier. There's plenty of pumpkin pie but not a Pilgrim in sight. For 37 million Canadians, that's reality for the second Monday in October. Many of the trappings of Canadian Thanksgiving are similar to those of its U.S. counterpart, but the Canadian tradition belongs to the 16th century, more than four decades before the historic 17th century gathering in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621 that is the genesis of the American Thanksgiving holiday.

The original Canadian Thanksgiving feast in 1578 consisted of biscuits, salt beef, and mushy peas. That's when Sir Martin Frobisher sailed from England in search of the Northwest Passage. After his crew arrived in what is now Nunavut (newly created April 1, 1999, formerly part of the Northwest Territories), Frobisher's men took part in a Church of England service of thanksgiving.

Both Native Americans and Indigenous Canadians had long celebrated the fall harvest. European settlers attempted to follow suit as they settled on the Canadian mainland. Early attempts at French settlement along Canada's Atlantic coast had been disastrous, and ended in 1604 with a scurvy epidemic that took place after French settlers ignored warnings that winter ice would trap them on Île-Ste.-Croix, an island in the Bay of Fundy. They ended up isolated on the island for months. Half of the group died of scurvy before being rescued by Indigenous Canadians.

Those who survived moved to Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia, where Samuel de Champlain mandated a series of feasts designed to keep the settlers' spirits up. The feasts kicked off in 1616 with a Thanksgiving-like November event that included the Mi'kmaq people.

As in the U.S., Canada observed occasional Thanksgivings to celebrate important events such as the end of the War of 1812. And like the U.S., Canada's first thanksgivings tended to be religious events. The two countries also celebrated similarly thanks to pro-British Loyalists who moved to Canada during and after the Revolutionary War. New England staples like turkey and pumpkin were introduced to the Canadian celebration.

Thanksgiving became a national celebration in Canada starting in 1859, again beating the United States to the holiday. Abraham Lincoln set the precedent for the annual holiday in the U.S. after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, when he set the date at the last Thursday of November.

Unlike American Thanksgiving, Canada's national Thanksgiving date took decades to become standardized and annual. In 1957, Canada's parliament set the date as the second Monday in October. By then, the United States was officially celebrating their Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.

Though plenty of Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, it's not a public holiday in three of the country's provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. In Quebec, which has strong Catholic roots, the holiday has historically been downplayed. And Canadian Thanksgiving isn't the major travel and shopping event it has become in the United States. The holiday may have come earlier to Canada, but its southern cousin is much more invested in celebrating it.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

14 Facts That Sound Fake But Are True

There are certain facts that are so strange they sound completely made up. For example, there was Mike the headless chicken who lived without a head for 18 months in the mid-1940s and was a carnival/side show attraction. I saw a segment on a documentary type television show about the headless chicken including film footage.

I came across such a list recently (I have not verified any of these) and want to share it with you. Here is a list of 14 such strange facts in no particular order.
1) There are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than there are in the wild around the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it's estimated that around 3,890 tigers exist in the wild today. According to the U.S. government and conservation groups, around 5,000 to 10,000 tigers are privately owned in the U.S.

2) A typical cumulus cloud weighs about 1.1 million pounds. An average cumulus cloud—the fluffy ones you see on a sunny day—has a water density of half a gram per cubic meter and a volume of one billion cubic meters. When you calculate the cloud's total water content, you end up with about 1.1 million pounds.
3) Pineapples take about two years to grow. Pineapple plants take about 18 to 36 months from the time they are planted before they yield fruit that can be harvested and eaten.

4) Cheetahs can't roar. They can only meow like domestic house cats. Only four big cats can roar—lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars. Small cats such as cheetahs can purr continuously, but they cannot roar.

5) Maine is the closest US state to the continent of Africa.

6) Reno, Nevada, is farther west than Los Angeles, California.

7) A woman named Violet Jessop survived the sinking of both the Titanic and its sister ship, the Britannic. Nicknamed Miss Unsinkable, she was a stewardess and nurse on the White Star Line's trio of Olympic-class passenger ships. In addition to surviving the Titanic and Britannic disasters, she was aboard the trio's third sister ship, the Olympic, when it collided with a British warship in 1911.

8) The Holy Roman Empire still existed when the U.S. was founded. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to declare their independence from Great Britain. It wasn't until three decades later, in 1806, that the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved following a military defeat by Napoleon.

9) More time separates Tyrannosaurus rex from Stegosaurus than T-rex from humans today. Stegosaurus roamed Earth about 150 million years ago. Stegosaurus had already been extinct for approximately 80 million years when dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex first appeared about 67 million years ago. 80 million years separated Stegosaurus from T-rex, while 67 million years separate T-rex from us—a difference of 20 million years.

10) Nintendo was founded in 1889. Nintendo actually dates back to the late 19th century. Before becoming the gaming giant it is today, it got its start as a humble Japanese card game company.

11) Nearly the entire continent of South America is located east of Florida. Without looking at a map, you might assume Brazil is located somewhere directly south of Florida. However, almost the entire South American continent is east of Florida.

12) Sharks predate trees. Archaeopteris, the earliest species that scientists can classify as a tree, lived about 350 million years ago. Sharks can be traced back 50 million years earlier than that, appearing in the fossil record 400 million years ago.
13) Cleopatra lived closer in time to the release of the first iPhone than she did to the building of the pyramids of Giza. The pyramids of Giza were built between 2550 B.C. and 2490 B.C., according to estimates. About 2,421 years later, in 69 B.C., Cleopatra was born. She died at the age of 39 in 30 B.C. Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs debuted the first iPhone in 2007, only 2037 years after Cleopatra's death.

14) Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters were all born in the same year. Anne Frank was born June 12, 1929. Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929. And Barbara Walters was born September 25, 1929.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Haunted Houses

To finish my series of Halloween season blogs, I'm talking about the history of haunted houses, sharing some real haunted houses, and a few miscellaneous Halloween facts.

I remember when I was a child in West Los Angeles.  We had a very large garage and one year my mother and father fixed it up like a haunted house for my Halloween party—a winding, twisty route through all kinds of scary things.  It was a lot of fun and totally different from anything anyone else in the neighborhood did for Halloween.  Of course, back in those days scary things were not at all the same type of bloody gruesome attractions that are the main features of today's professional Halloween attractions.

Halloween attractions have moved far beyond the neighborhood scare as a fun encounter for the trick-or-treaters.  Today they are big business—very big business.  Operators of the large attractions spend most of the year coming up with new and better ideas for frightening attractions and implementing them.  They take pleasure in dreaming up even more diabolical ways of giving us the seasonal nightmares.

Let's talk about the history of haunted houses and some Halloween facts.  Just in the United States, there are over 1200 professional haunted houses, 300 theme parks that operate horror-themed annual Halloween events and over 3000 charity-run spooky Halloween attractions.  Haunted attractions have a long history dating back to early civilizations.

Ancient Times:
The Egyptians knew that the best way to keep body snatchers away from a pyramid was to really scare them away.  The commonly used mazes, moving walls, self-opening doors, and traps as well as snakes and insects protected treasure and the bodies of royalty.  True, they weren't charging admission and the public wasn't lined up waiting to get inside, but it is an early example of creating a setting to produce fear.

The Greeks and Romans have a folklore complete with mazes and labyrinths filled with monsters.  With theater being a vital part of their culture, we can assume they created numerous special effects devices to enhance the scare factor that would evolve into today's haunted house elements.

The Dark Ages:
This period in history saw the Christians continue the evolution toward today's haunted house attraction. During the 1300s through the 1500s, Europe had been converted from Celtic and pagan religions to the practice of Christianity.  Many of today's Halloween activities—carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, dressing up in costumes and even trick-or-treating—were pagan practices that stayed with us.

The Renaissance:
Theater became increasingly popular and catered to society's love of horror which resulted in the development of more special effects.  Ghosts, demons, the devil, and other monsters appeared regularly in plays including those of William Shakespeare.

The 1800s:
This was a time when the general population became fascinated with ghosts and the possibility of other realms.  Self-proclaimed mediums, fortune tellers, clairvoyants, and spiritualists engaged in conjuring sessions in an attempt to communicate with the dead which became a form of entertainment for the elite.  The theme of hauntings continued in the theater and the century provided the first wax museum, the forerunner of future walk-through attractions that played on people's sense of reality.

The 1900s:
The start of the 20th century saw the increased popularity of the traveling carnival and the rise of the what was referred to as a freak show.  Dark rides also became popular amusements.  The patrons sat in a boat or on a train and were automatically moved through numerous scenes.  Amusement parks came into popularity during this time.  Those that could not afford a big roller coaster offered cheap fun houses and haunted house attractions to pull in customers.

Also during this time, many of the residential houses built during the early 1800s had become dilapidated and worn down.  Adults would tell their children that ghosts filled the neglected homes in an attempt to keep them from exploring those structures.  This further fueled the mystique of haunted houses.

The 1960s:
In 1969, Disneyland (Anaheim, California) opened its Haunted Mansion attraction.  Rather than putting a genuine decrepit-looking structure in the middle of Disneyland, they created a lavish mansion with a pristine exterior based on the appearance of the San Jose, California, Winchester House.  It was originally a walk-through attraction but was soon changed over to a ride.

The 1970s:
Non-profit organizations began to use abandoned buildings and fields to put up haunted houses to raise money for charity.

The 1980s:
This was the decade when horror movies grew in popularity and so did haunted houses.  Most amusement parks had a scary attraction of some sort.

The 1990s to present:
Haunts are everywhere—haunted hayrides, mazes, and scavenger hunts.  They've become so popular that haunts are here to stay with the industry constantly evolving with new and more terrifying attractions.

Real Haunted Houses (that have not been turned into hotels):
Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House is a 160-room Victorian mansion brimming with bizarre architectural features and a very eerie origin. With features such as secret passageways, labyrinth-like winding hallways and a seance room, this eccentric house is rumored to have been built by and for spirits themselves.
The Amityville House
In 1974, six members of the DeFeo family were found slain in this home; eldest son Ronald DeFeo Jr. was later convicted of murdering his parents and siblings. A year later, the Lutz family moved in but quickly moved out after reports of unexplained paranormal activity—strange odors, unexplained cold drafts and an apparition that took the form of a demonic pig-like creature.

The White House (yes, the residence of the President of the United States)
For years there have been reports that the White House is a hotbed of haunted activity. Visitors, staff, and even White House residents have reported seeing the ghosts of Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, and Andrew Jackson, to name a few. FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill are among those who claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. More recently, the Obamas claim to have repeatedly heard strange sounds and felt a sensation of someone gnawing at their feet in the middle of the night.
The Joshua Ward House (George Corwin House)
Once home to wealthy sea captain Joshua Ward, the Joshua Ward House was built in 1784. However, its haunted history comes from the fact that it was built over the original cellar where George Corwin's house once stood. Corwin was the High Sheriff during the Salem Witch Trials and he took great delight in torturing confessions from accused witches and warlocks. For many years, Corwin's remains were housed in the basement, though they eventually were moved to a nearby cemetery. Rumor has it that Corwin's spirit still haunts the house along with that of Giles Corey, the only accused he was unable to force into confessing. He finally crushed Corey to death one large stone as a time.

The LaLaurie House
One of the spookiest homes in the French Quarter, the LaLaurie Mansion was home to Dr. Louis and Delphine LaLaurie, a socially prominent family in the early 1830s. Rumor has it that Delphine treated her slaves brutally, chaining the cook to the stove, chasing another slave girl with a whip and causing her to jump to her death, and torturing and mutilating many others in a secret attic room. The house, which was owned by actor Nicolas Cage from 2007 to 2009, has been haunted by screams of agony coming from the apparitions of Delphine's slaves ever since.
Franklin Castle
Built in 1865 for the Tiedemann family, Franklin Castle makes a spooky first impression with its sandstone exterior, round corner tower and gargoyle embellishments. Those who have been inside the mansion, which is known locally as the most haunted house in Ohio, claim to have witnessed an eerie woman in black staring out the tower window, small children crying, and strange happenings like doors flying off hinges and spinning lights. The possible cause? Four of the Tiedemann children died in the home, and owner Hannes Tiedemann was rumored to have killed his 13-year-old niece in a hidden passage and his mistress in the tower.

The Whaley House
Now a museum run by the Save Our Heritage Organization, San Diego's Whaley House was designated an official Haunted House by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1960s due to frequently heard heavy footsteps of the ghost of "Yankee Jim" Robinson, who was hung on the property in 1852 before the house was built. Other ghostly sightings include owners Thomas and Anna Whaley (Anna was reportedly seen by Regis Philbin), and even the family dog.

Halloween Frightening and Fun Facts:
Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the U.S., annual revenue exceeded only by Christmas.

Approximately 100 countries celebrate Halloween.

Over 7 billion dollars are spent annually on candy, costumes and activities in just the U.S.

Approximately 90% of all households with children will participate in some sort of Halloween activity.

Over 80% of all professional haunted attractions in the U.S. are operated by a charity or help to benefit a charity of some sort.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Beware Of America's Creepiest Roads!

They've been called urban legends, ghost stories, creepy encounters.  But they all have one thing in common—unexplained happenings on dark roads in the dead of night.  If you'll pardon the use of the word dead.

Or maybe it's more appropriate than you realize.  :)

Since October is the month of things that go bump in the night as well as Halloween, it's the perfect time of year to explore these creepy lanes and the unexplained happenings.  Here's a sampling of some of these haunted places.
Shades of Death Road in Warren Co., NJ:  Yes, Shades of Death Road is the real name of the street, but no one is sure exactly how the name came about.  Over the decades many murders have happened along this stretch of road, each its own ghastly tale, which certainly explains why so many different ghosts haunt the area.

The San Antonio Ghost Track:  If you put your car in neutral on the tracks, the car will move by itself off the tracks.  And if you cover the bumper in baby power, you'll find child-sized palm prints.  However, be careful if you decide to try it out.  There have been reports of bandits waiting in hiding for people to start their paranormal test.

The Georgia Ghost Roads:  Travelers late at night along Railroad Bed Road and Old Ghost Road (Robertson Road) see a faint orange light flashing in the distance.  As they drive closer to it, a man will appear who is digging a ditch…or perhaps a grave.  He turns and walks toward the car, but disappears before he gets there.
Buckout Road in Harrison, NY:  The shocking murders committed by Issac Buckhout are believed responsible for the area's many reports of notorious activities such as farms burning, vandalism in a local historic cemetery, and people who claimed to have been attacked by flesh-eating monsters because they parked in front of a specific red house and honked their car horn three times.

Meshack Road in Tompinsville, KY:  This is supposedly the original location of the oft repeated story of the young woman in the prom dress who is walking along the road and given a ride by a young man.  He gives her his coat to keep warm.  The next day he returns to the house where he took her in order to retrieve his coat.  The woman living there told him her daughter had died several years ago…on prom night.

Milford Road in Oxford, Ohio:  The story of star-crossed lovers.  The boy and girl were in love but the girl's father hated the boy.  The boy would flash his motorcycle headlight three times and if he saw her porch light flash three times in return he knew it was safe to go there.  One night he's killed on the road, but the flashing lights continue to haunt the area.

Mona Lisa Drive in New Orleans:  A philanthropist donated a collection of statuary to the city with one stipulation.  The statue commissioned to commemorate the death of his only daughter, Mona, be placed in a special location in the park by itself.  One night a car chase ended with a car crashing into the statue and shattering it.  After that, rumors began to circulate that Mona lurked in the park where the statue had been, haunting innocent and unsuspecting visitors.

Archer Road in Justice, IL:  Resurrection Cemetery is the site of a story similar to the Meshack Road haunting.  A young man met a pretty blond at a dance.  At the end of the evening, he drove her home.  When they reached the cemetery, she asked him to stop.  She got out of the car, walked toward the gate, and disappeared.  He went to the house where she said she lived and the woman told him her daughter had been dead for five years.

Spook Hill in Burkittsville, MD:  In addition to the ghostly reputation courtesy of the 1990s horror movie, The Blair Witch Project, an unexplained recurring happening here is similar to the Railroad Crossing in San Antonio.  When driving up Spook Hill, if you stop and put the car in neutral it won't roll back downhill.  It will continue uphill as if being pushed.  The local ghostly tale claims it's Civil War soldiers who think they're pushing one of their cannons up the hill.

Clinton Road in New Jersey:  If you find yourself on this haunted road, be sure to toss a coin into the river at the Old Boy Bridge. The ghost of a boy who drowned will throw it back. There have also been reported sightings of UFOs, mutated circus animals, and mysterious glowing eyes.
Highway 666:  This highway was originally named because it was the 6th spur off of US Highway 66 (now mostly replaced by Interstate 40) through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Travelers on this haunted highway, known as the Devil's Highway, have reported speeding ghost cars, packs of devil dogs, and a flaming demonic semi-truck that drives directly at the spooked travelers. Many people attribute these sightings to a biblical association between the numbers 666 and Satan. In 2003, the highway number was changed to Highway 491. There are still a few places where you can see the Highway 666 sign labeled as old next to the Highway 491 sign labeled as new.

Do you have any ghostly tales or spooky happenings where you live?

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Horror Movies For The Halloween Season—and the lessons they teach us

Today at Halloween time, we think of horror movies as being series such as Friday The 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and even a horror series titled Halloween. But these modern horror movies rely on slasher and gore for their fright factor.

What has happened to the scary horror movies from the past that traded on the atmosphere of fear rather than the visual of spurting blood and flying body parts?  The tingling sensation that made the hair stand on the back of our necks and goose bumps on our arms as our imaginations ran wild.  The spooky ground fog that slithered over and around the tombstones, cloaking the cemetery in an eerie silence and spectral glow.

I'm talking about the traditional horror classics from many decades gone by such as Frankenstein from 1931 with Boris Karloff's brilliant performance as the monster.  Also from 1931, Dracula with Bela Lugosi's portrayal of the vampire as both elegant and mesmerizing which left the horror to the imagination of the viewer.  The next year gave us 1932's The Mummy with Boris Karloff once again turning in a stellar performance, this time as the two thousand year old mummy in search of the reincarnation of his mate.  Then came 1941's The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney, Jr., as the stricken and cursed Larry Talbot.

True to Hollywood tradition, these classic horror movies spawned numerous sequels—Bride of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, Dracula's Daughter.  And as long as Hollywood was on a roll, they added to the profit factor by capitalizing on the popularity of the characters by having them co-star in such movies as Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man.  Then there were the myriad remakes that came over the ensuing years, some serious attempts and others totally ludicrous.  Each one pushed the envelope in its own way in order to hopefully make it better (as in more box office dollars, not necessarily better quality) than its predecessor.

And the award for the most remakes over the years goes to Dracula.  Some were serious films and others were more on the ridiculous side with titles such as Dracula's Dog. And don't forget the use of the character to sell products such as Count Chocula cereal from General Mills. And even Sesame Street has a character called The Count who, no surprises here, counts things.

With all four of the above mentioned original movies, the remakes never really captured the essence of the originals…in my humble opinion.

But these classic horror movies have done more than provide us with entertainment.  They have given us some valuable lessons for handling real life as well as those evil things lurking in the shadows.

Here are 9 important lessons Halloween season horror movies have taught us.

9)  When it appears that you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it's really dead.

8)  If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination with blood, glowing eyes, or increasing hairiness, get away from them as fast as possible.

7)  Do not search the basement when the power has just gone out especially if it was NOT knocked out as the result of a storm or if yours is the only house on the block without power.

6)  If appliances start operating by themselves, move out.

5)  Stay away from certain geographic locations such as: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog, the Bermuda Triangle…or any small town in Maine.

4)  If your children speak to you in any language which they should not know or if they speak to you using a voice which is not their own, be afraid…be very afraid.

3)  When you have the benefit of numbers, NEVER pair off and separate from the group (are you listening to this advice Scooby Doo gang?) or worse yet go it alone when searching the spooky old mansion for the source of the strange noises.

2)  As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open portals to hell.

And last, but not least…

1)  If you find a town that looks mysteriously deserted, there's probably a good reason for it.  Take the hint and stay away!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

HIS MAGICK TOUCH—an interview with Devon and Raina

HIS MAGICK TOUCH by Samantha Gentry, an erotic witch romance available in ebook, tells us the story of Devon Bainbridge and Raina St. Clair. So, in honor of the upcoming Samhain celebration and it's more modern Halloween incarnation, I've invited Devon and Raina to be my guests today.

Welcome to my blog, Devon and Raina.  Thank you for taking time from your schedule to be here today, especially with how busy you are due to the special gathering of covens for the Samhain celebration.

Raina:  It's our pleasure, Samantha.  Thanks for the invitation.

It's my understanding, Devon, that as a High Priest you've been invited to open and close the special ceremony involving the gathering of many covens from various states at this year's Samhain celebration.

Devon:  Yes, it's a very special gathering this year.  I'm honored to have been chosen.

And isn't it that gathering of the covens that's indirectly responsible for bringing the two of you together?  Two people who had never met but each with your own agenda in seeking out the other?  And you first encountered each other at a Halloween party, of all places?

Raina:  (laughs) That succinctly describes it.  The uncomfortable situation of a witch of the bloodline at a mortal's Halloween party.

Why would you be attending such a party?  Doesn't it violate everything you stand for and represent?

Raina:  Even though I'm a witch and immortal, I still need to earn a living.  The man throwing the party, the one who invited me, is one of my best clients.  So, even though the party theme wasn't to my liking, I felt an obligation to put in an appearance.

Devon:  And it was due to Raina being at the party that I needed to be there.  I didn't know if I would be able to make a connection with her at the Samhain celebration, so I sucked up my personal feelings and teleported inside the country club to the party location where I waited for her to arrive.

So why were you each trying to make contact with the other?  You had no prior connection, right?

Devon:  A prior connection?  That's an easy answer. A definitive yes…and no.  (chuckles)  I had never met Raina but I had crossed paths with her sister, Miranda, a century ago.  Miranda and I had some unfinished business.  Since Miranda had been deftly avoiding me, my plan was to use Raina as a source to locate her sister.  I've always lived by the witch's credo of Harm To None (a quick scowl darts across his face), but my unfinished business with Miranda was in total violation of that honorable intention.

What kind of unfinished business?

Devon:  To put it as simply as possible, Miranda St. Clair misused and abused her witch powers and in so doing was responsible for the purposeful destruction of my brother.  I fully intended to make her accountable to the council for her misdeeds and personally see to it that she did not escape retribution.

And did you?

Devon:  I can't reveal that here, but it's all in the book.

(LOL) Fair enough.  How about you, Raina?  How did you discover the truth of Devon's agenda?  And what did you think when you found out what he really wanted?

Raina:  Devon voluntarily told me about trying to locate Miranda and why.  But his assumption that I could help him with that was mistaken.  Miranda and I…well, we've…(a look of sadness comes into her eyes, Devon reaches over and gives her hand a reassuring squeeze).  Well, it's all in the book.

LOL…It seems that you're both stonewalling me.  Let me try this. Raina, what about your agenda in wanting to make contact with Devon?  What was that all about?

Raina:  I had never met Devon in person, but knew his excellent reputation as a very powerful High Priest and the respect paid him by the members of the witch community.  I had planned to seek him out at the Samhain gathering and was quite surprised to see him at my business client's Halloween party.  Why was I determined to meet him?  Devon is an acknowledged expert in all facets of sex magick.  I wanted him to teach me…to school me in the proper rituals.

Was he surprised by your request and did he agree to teach you the rituals?

Raina:  Well, to quote something I heard recently—I can't tell you that…you'll need to read the book.

The two of you are telling me the same thing?  Neither of you will disclose the information about how you resolved your issues?  You won't tell me what kind of impact Raina's unexpected request about sex magick had on Devon's quest to find Miranda and seek retribution?

Devon:  (winks at me)  I believe you've grasped the core of the situation.

Raina:  In other words…that's right!  (LOL)

Fair enough.  The answers are in the book!  Thank you, Raina and Devon, for being with us today.
HIS MAGICK TOUCH  R-Adult Excerpt #1:
She grabbed a napkin from the bar and dabbed at her neck and upper chest, leaving most of the champagne to trickle between her breasts.

He set the half-empty glass on the bar, surprise covering his features. “I’m so sorry.” A sincere concern surrounded his words. “Are you okay?”

Just the sound of his smooth masculine voice sent a ripple of desire coursing through her body, headed directly for her pussy. She gave him her most seductive smile as she continued to dab the champagne from her skin. “I’m fine, no problem.”

He ran his fingertip along the edge of her plunging neckline. “Can I be of assistance?” A quick glance down the front of her dress noticeably quickened his breathing. “I can lick up the excess champagne…if it will help.” His voice and words teased and a sexy grin tugged at the corners of his mouth, but the glow in the depth of his eyes radiated pure passion and sexual magnetism. The kind that could melt the most determined woman’s defenses.

Her nipples puckered, partly from the cold champagne and partly from his obvious perusal of her body combined with the sexual energy that practically sparked from him. Her heartbeat increased. Being this close to him had her juices flowing and her desires running at full speed. She definitely wanted to experience Devon’s sexual prowess and learn the techniques of sex magick from a master, to discover and embrace the untapped potential of her sexuality.

She smiled seductively. “That’s a very gracious offer."

BLURB:  As the powerful High Priest of his coven, Devon Bainbridge lives by the witch's credo of Harm To None. Yet he is willing to sacrifice everything in his century long quest for revenge. He intends to use Raina St. Clair as a means of locating her sister, the witch who misused her powers to destroy his brother. But once he meets Raina, his plan doesn't go as intended, especially when he discovers her agenda. She wants to learn sex magick.

Is Raina the one woman who could save Devon from himself?

HIS MAGICK TOUCH, erotic witch romance is available in ebook at Amazon:
and other online vendors

Additional excerpts from HIS MAGICK TOUCH and information on my other books available on my website at www.samanthagentry.com

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The English Language pt 2of2 -- 20 Phrases Mispronounced or Misspelled

As pointed out in last week's blog, the English language (or at least the American branch of the language) is often confusing even to those who were born here.  I can't imagine learning it as a second language.  Where other languages seem to have set rules, English has set rules that all seem to have exceptions and sometimes even those exceptions have exceptions.

Here is a list of 21 commonly mispronounced or misspelled phrases.

It didn't phase me, should be: It didn't faze me.

For all intensive purposes, should be: For all intents and purposes.

He has another thing coming, should be: He has another think coming.

Escape goat, should be: Scapegoat.

One in the same, should be: One and the same.

Given free reign, should be: Given free rein.

Low and behold, should be: Lo and behold.

Case and point, should be: Case in point.

Peak your interest, should be: Pique your interest.

Hunger pains, should be: Hunger pangs.

Suppose to, should be: Supposed to.

Should of, should be: Should have.

Nipped that problem in the butt, should be:  Nipped that problem in the bud.

Mute point, should be: Moot point.

Piece of mind, should be: Peace of mind.

Beck on call, should be: Beck and call.

On accident, should be: By accident.

Expresso, should be: Espresso.

and probably the two most commonly misused:

I could care less, should be: I couldn't care less.

Irregardless, should be: Regardless.