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The Black Casket Legacy- Darkest Frost was written by Bobbi Huges-Millman and published by BookBaby in 2012. You may purchase it at Amazon.com/Kindle. Visit the author on Facebook.

By Bobbi Hughes Millman

Eastbend has a dark secret and newcomers to the town are left guessing about the distant whispers and rumors of missing people. When 5 kids unearth a black casket in a deteriorating shed hidden in the deep woods, they discover there is more to the town they live in and have grown to despise, they could have ever imagined. When they find themselves in the middle of a frozen forest – very unlike the one surrounding Eastbend – they realize the icy path they had been following holds dangerous secrets hidden in the thick ice. Her nightmares coming to life and challenged beyond reason, Becca has to find a hidden strength to save herself, her sister and her closest friends from freezing to death from the inside out.

There’s a bond that childhood friends have which holds loyalty, trust and an unwavering determination to hold secrets that most of the adult world would not understand or believe. This is the backdrop to this first tale in The Black Casket Legacy series and it will freeze you to the page and it will not let you go.

The woodland shed that they are compelled to enter holds the answers to many of the questions that a shocked townspeople have been despairing over. Will these kids be able to endure the torturous and icy cold death that awaits them? Will it move them closer together as friends or will it chill and solidify the regrets that most of them have over how they treated their friends and family in the past?

Bobbi Hughes-Millman brings together a fantastical imagination, a deep desire to help others and weaves a tale that will give you a deep appreciation of what is really important in life. This is a book that is well worth the read and I look forward to more from this author.

Please scroll down this page to see the review of the 2nd installment in this series: The Black Casket Legacy-Crimson Tears

I give The Black Casket Legacy- Darkest Frost 4 stars.

Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

Tom Riddell is also a book reviewer over at WEBBWEAVER

 

Mysterious Minnesota- Digging Up The Ghostly Past was written by Adrian Lee and published by Llewellyn Publications in 2012. You may purchase it at Amazon.com. Visit the author at: www.heavenandearthessentials.com.

By Adrian Lee

Are you ready to experience Fort Snelling’s resident spirits, Wabasha Street Caves’ ghostly gangsters, Native American warriors, and the restless souls of criminals and murder victims? Join ghost hunter and historian Adrian Lee, along with his elite team of paranormal investigators, on a compelling tour of Minnesota’s most haunted historic places. His chilling firsthand investigations of thirteen famous locations—accompanied by rich historical details—will send shivers down your spine.

Explore clashes between Native Americans and the early settlers, lavish parties during the Roaring Twenties, botched public executions at Minneapolis City Hall, and the legend of John Dillinger. Learn about specialized ghost-hunting equipment, including electromagnetic field meters, the ghost box, and the Ovilus, as you read this one-of-a-kind haunted landmark guide. With such storytelling enthusiasm, you’ll feel like a member of the team.

Welcome to Mysterious Minnesota!

I was extremely excited and eager to dive into this book. Why you may ask? Because I was part of the “Team” who helped Mr. Lee investigate many of the 13 haunted sites which are included in Mysterious Minnesota. What he failed to mention in the book, by way of a disclaimer, is that for many of the sites that were investigated by the team, Mr. Lee was not present.

Because of some legal glitch, airport security, via homeland security, kept him in England for all of 2010. Since he was not here in Minnesota with us, we were asked by him to be his “eyes and ears”. All of us honored his request and we spent hours documenting the investigations in writing  and I even videotaped several investigations and interviews so that he could get a “sense of place” to help him write his book.

One place in particular sticks out in my mind: The Old Jail and Saloon (B&B) in Taylors Falls Minnesota. My wife and I and several other team members made the trek there during a bitterly cold winter day in early 2011. It was a very interesting investigation and I had my video camera on to record much of it. (See video below)

Under “Investigation”, for that chapter, Mr. Lee writes: “I decided to set up a trigger-object experiment on the rocking chair by placing three wooden sticks in various strategic places.”  The huge problem I have with this is that the person who actually documented and wrote this is not given credit for actually writing what Mr. Lee is claiming is his own words- also given the fact that he wasn’t even there with us.  I was told during several meetings before the publishing of the book, that we would all be given credit for whatever writings he used in the book that were ours.

In his Acknowledgments- In the 24+ people that he said had “supported” him in the book he never mentioned their writings (or their video support) and my name was “mysteriously” not mentioned- even though my wife “Lou” was listed as a “very committed investigator”.  It seems that my wife and Mr. Lee had become closer than I thought but why was I not mentioned when I was always with her?

In ending- this book had a lot of promise.  The people who worked hard on this project of Mr. Lee’s deserve much better than what they got. But an ego got in the way and ruined all credibility. When we go out to investigate- we investigate the FACTS. Mr. Lee avoids a true representation of the facts in this book and in doing so taints all of it to his own liking.

UPDATE:  I just read in the book- the investigation that we did at Minneapolis City Hall- he talks of his riding up in the elevator to the bell tower. He writes: “The elevator jumped, squeaked and groaned with random regularity as I shuffled uneasily on the spot like a man standing in a minefield.” The trouble is, HE WASN’T THERE! I WAS AND I WAS NEVER MENTIONED! All “good” writing for a work of fiction- but this wasn’t suppose to be fiction. This was suppose to be written based on facts. He also embellished and added fabrications to his writings regarding the investigation at the St. James Hotel in Redwing, Minnesota. “Facts” were not recorded accurately- and I know this because I was there- he wasn’t. AMAZING! Such a GOOD writer has to dirty his work with such rubbish! I hope Llewellyn Publications has the sense to pull this from their shelf.

I am very disappointed and disgusted.

I give Mysterious Minnesota- Digging Up The Ghostly Past 2 stars.  


Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

Tom Riddell is also a book reviewer over at WEBBWEAVER

Black Casket Legacy: Crimson Tears was written by Bobbi Hughes Millman and published by Black Casket Publishing in 2012. You may purchase it at Amazon.com/Kindle. Visit the author on Facebook.

By Bobbi Hughes Millman

Due to a tragic event, Dean Moore’s life has plummeted into a devastating spiral. Once a talented artist, he finds himself trapped in a dimension of his canvas with feisty 13 year old Lyn Staley. The layers of paintings mark important segments of his life, including a portrait containing his anguish and one holding his fury. In order to save the girl he must fight to live for the first time in his life. The only way to do so: go through the portraits and face the pain and anger that work to destroy him on his journey to salvation.

This is a story that holds a lot of the supernatural elements of Alice In Wonderland but in this tale the storyline involves a creature known as a Volkmanche; a much more sinister character than a white rabbit with a pocket watch. Dean Moore is a struggling artist with a painful past who is looking for a lucrative future. In an attempt to meet his needs, he locks his self away in a ramshackle apartment and endeavors to paint his way into a much more happier life. With brush in hand he starts to paint an odd looking prop that he found in the apartments closet- shaped in the form of a small casket with a deep strange ebony luster to it. As he goes to work on his painting he quickly finds himself tumbling down into his own rabbit hole, which is his canvas, where he is forced to confront the many layers of his paintings as well as coming to grips with a disturbing past that he would rather forget.  A young girl, who he has never met before, with her own set of problems, accompanies him in these many dimensions of his life and she gives him hope and determination to live.

Bobbi Hughes-Millman shows us that although we can’t escape our past, we can turn our yesterdays, no matter how painful, into wonderful beautiful paintings that we can proudly display for all of the world to see.

Please, don’t forget to read the first book in this series: Black Casket Legacy: Darkest Frost    It’s next on my list of books to read.

I give Black Casket Legacy: Crimson Tears 4 stars

Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

Tom Riddell is also a book reviewer over at WEBBWEAVER

 

 

November 17th, 2011

~ I have decided, after several months, to post the following on the dissolving, or more accurately, the immediate disintegration of my marriage. The operative word here is “my” because even though it involves another person, it was MY marriage also and I have a right to put out my version of the events that led up to a very troubling time in my life.

I think the broader use for the content that is written here would be to help others who are in a relationship, marriage or otherwise, where dishonesty and trust are about to collide. It is my hope that you’ll look at your relationship with another more closely and not search for suspicious behavior but rather that you’ll work to find a real solution for the problems that may face you-before it’s too late. Don’t be willing to throw a lifetime of dreams away- but if the other person wants out, be wise enough to know when to hold em and when to fold em.

My intention here, although it may seem to some to have been submitted with a vengeful tone, is more in line with being fair.  As you will read, there are some people out there who use to be friends or associates of mine who have been told that I have been responsible for an “abusive” and “destructive” marriage. Although it is open to many forms of interpretation, I can assure you that I have never strived from living a good life and most importantly I want everyone who reads this to know that I abhor anyone who involves themselves with any kind of an intent to abuse or destroy anyone or any relationship. That is just not me. It is not who I am.   Who I am is someone, who over time, through another strife filled time in my life, learned the importance of self-respect and it’s high time that I finally get these things off my chest- for my own good. It is only fair to me and it is only fair for others who have been interested in what happened here to hear the truth from my end of it.

 For those, who may see things differently, including my soon to be ex-wife,  I expect that you may very well present your own very public version of WHY, and that is your right, but please know that as much as I would like to engage you in that sort of “discussion”, I intend to move on with my life from here. This is my final bleeding out of what has happened and I have taken great caution to present only the facts as I know them which has been mixed with opinion regarding those facts.  

It is time…to move on. ~

 

A marriage of 10 years seemed like a lifetime to me. It obliterated the lonely and desperate search for true love in the 45 years that came before it and it promised by way of a vow under God,  that the contentment, and yes love, that I felt after the matrimony would last until I was in my grave. From the beginning and throughout my ten years of marriage to her (until the end), I found my wife to be as she presented herself;  a refined, smart, laid back, honest, caring, responsible and a God loving woman.

In mid November, just as I was at the zenith of contentment and happiness, the bliss that I had searched for all my life was virtually blown to bits by my wife within minutes; it was like a massive runaway train hit me straight on.  With help from the amazing technology of an iPhone and the popular iconic lure of sexting,  my marriage was over quicker than it took me to microwave a meatloaf and mash potato dinner. Without saying- I went without dinner that night- as the train blew apart my appetite as well as any hopes that I had of saving our marriage.

And what about that chugging, colossal, runaway marriage killing train, you ask? The truth is: Except for a few red flags along the way and the explicitly raw sexting e-mail that I accidently opened up a month before the locomotive hit- I never heard it coming. I never saw it coming.  Why? Because “I trusted my monogamous wife…completely and without reservation.” Even after I saw the e-mail in October, I wanted to believe it was a mistake. “It was just a onetime flirt…”, I would tell myself. “She was just caught up in a moment.  She would never do something like this…”, I believed. After all, she had once been a deeply religious person and still had a strong love and an abiding belief in God.  Again- I chose to TRUST my wife.

Now, some will say, “Well, yeah. We’re hearing his side of the story. But there must be something that he did that caused the marriage to fall apart…and he should have seen it coming.”  and they would be right-to a degree.  There were things that I did that didn’t exactly land me into the “best husband” club. Among lapses of consideration and attention that most marriages deal with from time to time, there were times when this new technology, called a computer, would launch me into more than mild fits of frustration.  Instead of throwing chairs across the room, punching holes in walls and swearing like a drunken sailor- I would SING & WHISTLE. No, it wouldn’t be Peace Train, Silent Night or All We Need Is Love. It would most times be a warped rendition of those songs, at a very high ear piercing volume, so loud that it would send the cats flying nails over vinyl for cover.  And if the windows were open, it could break glass more than a block away. Yes, that would be frustration X 10. And, on more than one occasion, the decibel level would penetrate our bedroom wall and my wife’s ear plugs- causing her to make an appearance. She wore them because I also have a bad habit of snoring. Shambling sleepily out of the bedroom, looking none too happy I might add, she would scowl at me and ask me to “PLEASE…stop!”   Yeah….there were times when I would let up for a bit…but then I would start right in again.  And during those times….the respect that I should have shown to my wife was nil. I was too caught up in my frustrations and determinations to solve the problem before me to care much about her concerns.  I would often mumble to myself, “can’t they make better ear plugs?” But even now- those behaviors from me are embarrassing to admit and I regret that it caused my wife distress.

Aside from the above behavior- I didn’t really have time to be a “lousy husband”- as she told me she labeled me “for years” to her co-workers. I have also recently heard from several friends (one of them passed away before I could explain) who described my wife’s description of me and our marriage as “abusive”, “destructive” and she even accused me of engaging in “stalking”.  I am staggered by the adjectives that were used because up until the end we were very busy doing a lot of things together. As an example, in the past year: We co-hosted a Blog Talk Radio Show from August thru November, we traveled and ghost hunted around Minnesota from January thru November, went to movies, went out to dinner every Saturday afternoon and also maintained our full time jobs-where we would routinely keep in touch with each other every day. The fact was: Even with a few bumps along the way, as I often told her within the past year, I was content in my life and in my marriage and if she had said to me that she was unhappy and told me why- I certainly would have worked to correct things.  But I would have to ask her:  If I was “destructive”, “abusive” and a “lousy husband” why were we spending so much time together, supposedly enjoying ourselves? We kept busy doing things together which included a surprise 50th  Birthday party for her in May, we had a very nice tenth wedding anniversary trip to Duluth in June, we were involved in planning a two week cruise to Hawaii in August for April of 2012, and we went camping with friends in both May & September. It is also important to mention that on many occasions, when I sensed she was down, I would give her a hug and the hug would always break with a kiss and an “I love you..” from me. My only concern was that she rarely initiated the “I love you” and the kiss from her was limpid and emotionless- but I put it off to her once saying to me that she wasn’t a “touchy feely” kind of person. She would jump if I even happened to touch her back in bed- as if I was putting ice down her back.  It all makes sense to me now. As I have recently found out, the contentment that I was feeling in my life and in my marriage was just an illusion of smoke and mirrors because during that last year together, and more than likely for a lot longer, she was involved in extracurricular activities. These were “Touchy feely”  extracurricular activities. More on that in a bit.

A few years back, as I recall, we had “one” fairly in-depth discussion about our marriage, which was then a bit on rocky ground. During our “marriage on the rocks” discussion I agreed to work on my computer frustrations, which she mentioned was a huge problem, but I also was concerned and wanted her to work on cleaning up a horde of cosmetic bottles that were piled up to the drain pipe under her bathroom sink. I also asked her to keep me informed of the process of transferring a sum of money out of  a South African bank account- which she had before moving to the states in 2001. Here’s the story:

She had led me to believe, after some prompting from me, that she wanted to transfer the money to help in eliminating our debt. In 2003 we went to SA to visit and to retrieve that money but we weren’t successful- even though my wife told me that the bank would transfer the funds to our account while we were still on our vacation there. She had met with bank representatives while I was asked by her to sit  in the waiting room with a friend of hers who was with us. I have always thought that was a bit odd not to be included in that meeting since we were married and the money was due to show up in our joint checking account. But after all, it was her money and after her brief meeting, she arrived in the waiting area with a smile on her face telling me and her friend that the money would be transferred, that she had withdrawn some money for our vacation and we could enjoy the rest of our vacation knowing that the money would be in our bank account when we returned. The bank never transferred any funds to our joint checking account. We found out after returning home to the states. I remembered being pretty agitated about that- since she had taken the time to meet with someone from the bank and that being a major reason for making the trip to SA. Even as upset as I was, she seemed oddly subdued about not receiving her money.   Anyway- she never kept me  informed of any process that she said she was “working on” for almost 8 years except to say that I was only aware that the bank was asking for more forms and that her brother and a friend were helping with obtaining those forms.  As it turns out  she also never lifted a finger to pick up the large pile of bottles and mess under her sink- along with other “collections” of “trash” that she kept in her desk and around the house. There were also used Kleenex tissues that she allowed to pile up under our bed. She ignored my request to keep them picked up even after I explained my concerns about unsanitary conditions.

Deception is a lot more damaging to a marriage than a onetime sexting incident- especially when the deception is a lot more involved and when it occurs over a longer period of time.

Many have heard of overseas romances that turn into “marriages of conveyance”- for purposes of a United States citizenship.  After considerable thought and the benefits of painful hindsight, I have come to the conclusion that if my relationship with my wife wasn’t a “marriage of conveyance”, at least from the beginning- there is good reason to believe that it was convenient for her to deceive me in what she was planning with other men and what she planned to do with the SA bank account. I often said to myself: There can be no good reason, after 8 long years, why there has not been a resolution to the banking matter. Her unwillingness to not keep me informed of the “process” that she claimed she was involved with, with the bank, is glaringly transparent. Either she had stopped her requests for a transfer with the bank or something else was up.

Sometimes when we need answers to troubling questions- situations arise to help us meet the answers head on. Just after she left the house and our marriage, I found what I was looking for.  I discovered a secret checking account that she had opened and had had opened for quite some time.  The secret account was for the purpose of receiving the transfer of funds, other than the deposit of her employment income which was always handled by our joint account. This only cements in my mind how deep and disturbing the deception went in destroying a ten year marriage- well beyond what my singing and whistling did. In the end, she was entitled to keep her money. She could have come to me and said, “I don’t want the money transferred to our joint account…” It would have caused me some serious concerns as to why she didn’t want to help with eliminating our debt, but it would have been her right and I would have tried to understand. I fought hard to trust my wife as every husband should- but the trust was waning over this banking matter and maybe my concerns and frustrations began to show- which hastened her desire to depart. I think she knew it was only a matter of time before I found out many of her indiscretions and deceitful behaviors.

I have to conclude that she was looking for an out for up to 8 years or possibly more. After she gained her citizenship in 2006- she became more aloof over her desires to retrieve that overseas money and our talks about it became more contentious with her telling me several times, “I don’t want to talk about it…”   I now believe- without a doubt- she used that money, along with her total withdrawal of her retirement account to bank roll herself out of this marriage and that she was planning this for a very long time.

The one thing, through ten years of marriage, that I never saw any evidence of or could ever believe was her infidelity towards me with other men.  I now have proof that she was testing the waters with other guys since 2010 and possibly as far back as 2006. She tested her alluring skills through social media sites and I just recently found out that she had an intimate connection with a certain married Englishman in our bedroom at the beginning of 2011.  She has openly admitted to that and to another affair and she tries to excuse her behaviors because of what she saw as her “deteriorating” marriage. She doesn’t seem to care or understand that by cheating for her own selfish reasons- she is also helping to destroy other marriages- and in addition she also betrayed and hurt someone who was a very  good friend of hers in the process.  The wife of the Englishman.

When the Englishman’s wife, our friend, found out and was devastated over her cheating husband (Yes, there were other women including my wife) my wife expressed no sympathies to her and continued to call the husband “a friend”.  Surprising, since my wife once admonished my brother, who was a guest in our house in 04, when she caught him cheating with another woman on our computer. She labeled that behavior as “disgusting” and I remember her saying, “It’s not right what he’s doing to his wife…”.

When I reminisce about a party we attended in March of 2011 for the Englishman’s birthday, I remember an across the table lustful look that she gave him.  At the time I put it off to “my imagination” because, “my wife would never entertain feelings like that with another man. Especially, a married man…” Well, as we now know- married men are not off limits to her. It is also not surprising, after looking back on it, that the Englishman played a part in the end moments in the breakup of our marriage. After he made some negative online comments to me that I termed “disrespectful”- which others agreed with- my wife remained curiously mum to speaking out in support of me, her husband, and once again…she was mysteriously muted and defended “her friend”.  Now we know why. That happened minutes before the train hit when I confronted her about sexting nude pictures of herself to a married Maryland truck driver, whom she now lives with and owns a sex toy shop with.

As the months roll on I’m deep in the process of divorce proceedings and I only ask that she pay her fair share of the marital debt, which she walked away from. It’s not happening. She is acting as her own lawyer and ignoring my lawyer and she has also ignored a court date. She has ignored my lawyers request to calculate her version of the marital debt and to disclose her assets, which includes the status of the SA account. That does not surprise me. Instead of paying her portion of the debt, she has openly told the court that she decided to “invest” a good portion of her assets in “the business with my partner”.

I have also received bogus communications from her under fictitious names which have been traced back to her IP address.

It is a tough thing to give your heart and soul to a person, under a vow of marriage, only to have them disavow those vows, engage in deceit and take up  with selfish and lustful feelings for another.  Marriage takes work and I was always ready to work on my marriage- my wife on the other hand- literally couldn’t even lift a finger to work on her half of it.

As another train leaves the station, I will continue to follow the tracks on foot and I hope that someday I will be able to fully trust in another. As of right now, I’m still scrambling to pick up the pieces from that horrible day in November when my world was smashed to smithereens.