#ScribeFest 2017 – Middlewich Literary Festival

#ScribeFest celebrates all aspects of writing, illustrating and art. There are top secret plans for an interactive genre mix adventure! 23rd-25th March 2017.

Finer details are still being worked out, but we will have events running in different venues around Middlewich, including a Top-Secret Crime Scene Investigation, a children’s story writing and illustrating workshop, and visiting speakers and performers from the literary and arts industry.

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Follow Scribe Festival on Twitter, use the hashtag #ScribeFest to see live updates, and like our page on Facebook to see exclusive news and giveaways before and during the event.

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Ghost Hunting the Old-Fashioned Way

My Google photos app recently reminded me of my ghost hunting days, before I had children. They showed me a selection of photographs from the ghost hunt that I did at Mill Street Barracks in St. Helens, near Wigan, North West England. Ah, that was a fun ghost hunt! It was also fairly primitive when I compare it to the videos I see of today’s ghost hunters with their full spectrum cameras, special infra-red equipment, and devices that can allow spirits to speak using pre-programmed dictionaries.

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Old-school ghost hunters

Back in the days when I was a semi-professional ghost hunter, working with North West Spirit Seekers, our technical equipment consisted of a collection of EMF meters, basic video cameras, thermometers and our own natural instincts. We also employed traditional methods of divination, including glass tipping, planchettes, table tipping and séances with mediums. Those were the days! Here is an account of my ghost hunt investigation at Mill Street Barracks…

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Mill Street Barracks Ghost Hunt

“This was my second visit to Mill Street Barracks, and was definitely more active than the first.  In the cellars, we felt the presence of at least two male energies, and they made my sister Emily very uneasy.  She felt that we were unwelcome down there.  Ours was an all-female group, and by using dowsing rods we spoke to a man who had previously been involved in secret talks, possibly strategy negotiation.  He basically said we weren’t welcome in the cellar; he had no use for us, so please leave the area!

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Haunted cellar Mill Street Barracks

 

Upstairs in the training room we had a similar experience.  I sensed two men watching us from the balconies but they wouldn’t speak.  When I joked that maybe it was because we were women and what if we offered them food, the dowsing rods suddenly jumped to life and began swinging around very quickly!  They had been held loosely in the hands of one of the women in our group and she was very surprised at their strength.

Later we were upstairs using a planchette on a table and were trying to speak to a young man we knew was there.  Eventually he responded when one of our group mentioned using Morse code.  He lifted the planchette up and down on and off the surface of the table, and I got a photograph of a very distinct orb underneath the table at the same time.

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Orb under table Mill Street Barracks

I came away from Mill Street Barracks with the satisfaction of a good and active investigation, and would certainly like to visit the place again and see if I can persuade some of the male spirits to actually speak to us!”

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Romance and Love this #ValentinesDay

I don’t know why, but I am feeling especially loved up this Valentine’s week. Perhaps it is because my husband and I are emerging from a very challenging phase in our relationship, and I am happy to say, things are on the up. Perhaps I simply appreciate the value of love in the face of current world events. I truly believe that love is a powerful, magical force, and when we embrace it and have faith, it will help us overcome our life obstacles.

Whatever the reason, I want to extend my love and gratitude to all of you, my beloved blog readers. It makes me very happy to know that my work is appreciated and relevant. If it is not, then I should not bother to do it. My novels are in progress, life changes are moving along nicely, and all is well in my world. I truly hope that all is well in your world, or at least that you are taking positive steps to improve what is not quite right.

Embrace a little romance for yourself this Valentine’s Day, even if you are single or in a challenging relationship. If you cannot love yourself, who can love you?

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#ValentinesDay Gifts Discount Offer

Enjoy savings at English Heritage Shop this month with a New Code. Spend £45 or more and receive £5 off with voucher code SHOP5. Why not take advantage of these savings and get a perfect gift for your most loved one with a wide range of Valentine’s Day Gifts? Unusual and romantic gifts that will be treasured forever.

How about a Stonehenge Equinox Leather Travel Wallet, perfect for summer holiday planning.

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Photo credit English Heritage Shop

Or you could gift this beautifully crafted Stonehenge Leather Satchel that is ideal for the office, for academic work, or simply as a stylish accessory.

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Photo credit English Heritage Shop

Finally, here is a lovely gift for the home. The Medieval Hunt Trinket Box is perfect for the LARP or history fanatic in your life, or simply as an elegant, unusual ornament.

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Photo credit English Heritage Shop

 

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Win a Psychic Reading for Valentine’s Day!

Love is in the air, and I know there are many people who are reassessing their emotional and romantic situations in life. Some of us have been working hard to heal and strengthen existing relationships, while others have taken the painful but necessary steps to break away and seek a new life with someone else. Perhaps some are still searching for that perfect other half. The journey is different for all of us.

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Photo credit: Psychic Light

Today I share with you a competition brought by our friends at Psychic Light. Enter now and you could win a free 1 hour psychic reading which will help to answer some of those questions and queries that are spinning around in your mind. You also receive a unique £5 discount code just for entering the competition, so go for it. You never know where it may lead… Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Dressing Up is Fun to Do

My girls love to dress up. They get it from me. If someone suggests a fancy-dress party, I get all excited and start planning my costume! Last weekend I took great pleasure in wearing a 1940s-style glamorous costume for my themed book signing event in Telford.

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West Midlands Valentines Book Signing Event

Currently my daughters favour princess costumes. The youngest (aged 3) wears her Anna dress from the movie Frozen at least three times per week, if not more. I literally wash it one day and she wears it the next! My elder daughter is moving more into the medieval princess dress styles, and she would love something like this Tudor Gown and Head-dress. She has a similar costume already.

 

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Photo Credit: English Heritage Shop

Another favourite dressing up game is to be the characters from the children’s TV programme Ben and Holly’s Little Kindgom. My elder daughter is always Princess Holly, occasionally Queen Thistle, and so this gold crown would make a perfect accompaniment to her costume. Do you and your children like to dress up?

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Photo Credit: English Heritage Shop

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Traditional Valentine’s Day Gifts

It is almost time for that special day, where we are supposed to romance each other and bestow beautiful gifts on the ones we love. My husband and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, since we are usually too busy to remember it. I do like the idea of having a day to set aside for romance, however. We are always so engrossed in our daily lives: working, nurturing families, caring for others, remembering all of those nuances that keep us moving and functioning. What about love? What about romance?

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One of my Valentine’s handcrafted cards 

I would love to receive a good, old-fashioned Valentine’s Day treat from my husband. Like a delicious box of chocolates, for example, or a bouquet of flowers. He point blank refuses to be romantic, it is his way of rebelling against society, I think. What about me? What about his wife, and her needs? Well, if he refuses, then I will romance myself. It has to be done! And today I am away with my Mum and my younger sister, indulging in our fondness for crafts at the ICHF Hobbycrafts show in Manchester. That’ll do!

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Imbolc Blessings from the #365DaysofTarot Challenge

Today is the beginning of February, and we celebrate the pagan festival Imbolc. It is a time to honour the cycle of Mother Nature, when she is waking up from the long, cold winter, and preparing to burst forth her luscious, green shoots of life in our trees and plants. I went for a walk beside our local canal this morning and found some snowdrops hidden in the woodland. They always make me smile, and I shared their photograph on Instagram.

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Imbolc Tarot Reading 

I also did a Tarot reading for Imbolc. I chose to do a Horseshoe spread, asking for guidance around current life challenges, how past influences may be causing concern or disruption, and how we can move forward. Imbolc is all about stepping into the light, embracing the warmth of the Spring sunshine, and shaking off the shadows of Winter as we dance into a new Earth cycle. Imbolc Blessings, my friends!

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I’m bringing Tarot cards (and books!) to this event

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Finding the Best Child Snack

I have talked before about my challenge of feeding the children properly. My daughters are very reluctant to eat fruit and vegetables, and even when they do try, the quantities are very small. So, I have taken to experimenting, finding ways of sneaking good food into their diets. I tried chopping up vegetables and hiding them in pasta sauces, mashed potato, and soups. It didn’t work. I tried giving the children raw vegetables to snack on. It didn’t work. I tried all of the suggestions that I picked up on social media and from friends and family.

One thing that my girls did respond to was juice drinks. And when I received a sample of Naturelly Jelly Juice for them to try, it was an instant hit. My elder daughter especially loves these drinks, because she is a jelly fiend. Today I am pleased to offer a special discount code for you so that your children can try Naturelly Jelly Juice. They recently won Gold in 2016 in the Loved By Parent Awards voted on by parents, and have now won Gold for best Child Snack in this years Loved by Children Awards voted on by children.

To receive your 40% discount on a box of 12 or more, simply enter the promo code SPOOKY10 on checkout. Click here for details.

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Winter Warmers on a Snowy Day

We are now settling into 2017 and deep in the cold, dark days of January. Christmas is but a distant memory, school and work are back on track, and the daily routine continues as always. I am feeling very cheerful because my birthday is in January, so how could I possibly be miserable? I do accept that many people in the UK are not so cheerful on these cold, winter days, so here is a suggestion to brighten your days.

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Winter is a good time to indulge in simple pleasures. Nothing pleases me more than snuggling down on the sofa with a good book and mug of tasty hot chocolate. I happen to have an exclusive special offer code for my blog readers: use the code EXTRASALE05 until the 29th January, when you shop online at Whittard of Chelsea. This code works in addition to the sale prices across their current new year range. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a snowy winter evening, rest and relax.

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