Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bet You Didn't Know: Halloween

All Hallows Eve
origin - medieval Britain
All about Witches


The Wizard of Notts Recommends: Hallowe'en: The 10 most haunted spots in Nottingham and Notts

The grounds of Newstead Abbey where a "White Lady" is said to walk.

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Galleries of Justice

Nottingham's old courthouse and jail are said to be haunted by criminals who were executed on the site.
There have been reports of footsteps and shadowy figures in the cave system.

Newstead Abbey
There are said to be several apparitions which haunt this monastic house, founded in the 12th century.
The White Lady, Rose Lady, Goblin Friar and Black Friar are all said to wander the halls and gardens where the poet Lord Byron once lived.

The Trip to Jerusalem
Built in 1189, this inn is reputed to be the oldest pub in England and was a favourite watering hole for the crusaders on the way to the Holy Land.
Among the many spooky legends surrounding the pub, is the curse of the model galleon. Hanging from the ceiling of the Rock Lounge, the model is covered is dust and cobwebs. No one will clean it because the last three people who did are said to have died mysteriously afterwards.
Staff have also heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the bar, but on going to sweep it up, cannot find any.
A clock in the bar is also said to be possessed by evil spirits, and wafts of old-fashioned scent often drift through the air.

British Transport Police Station, 1 Queens Street
The station is said to be haunted by the ghosts of former prisoners. One officer working alone at night heard a heavy door slam, and on going to investigate found a set of wet footprints leading the toilets even though the weather was dry.
Following the prints into the toilets, he found the room empty. Thirty years later, another officer spotted a man walk into the toilets - realising that he and his colleague should have been the only people on site, the officer looked into the room and found it empty.

Former Police Station, Canal Street
This Edwardian building was said to be haunted by moans and groans, banging and by a particular light being switched on by an unseen hand. The atmosphere in the pitch black cells and interview booths is said to be terrifying.

City of Caves, Broadmarsh shopping centre
The network of dark medieval caves underneath the Broadmarsh has been the scene of many spooky sightings.
Dark shadows have been seen darting around, and an upset woman in Victorian clothing has also been spotted. Some people report hearing the sound of explosions overhead - the caves were used as bomb shelters during the Second World War. Other people have reported stones being thrown, voices in ears and cloudy apparitions.

Bestwood Lodge Hotel, Arnold
Bestwood Lodge Hotel was the love nest of Nell Gwynn, an orange seller who later became an actress, and Charles II.
There have been a number of ghostly happenings at the hotel, which have been blamed on Nell. The family room is said to smell of oranges whenever children stay in the room. No orange peel is ever found, and the smell only ever occurs when children stay in the room, never when adults stay in the room alone.
Staff at the hotel also often see figures walking around the corridors.

Clifton Hall, Nottingham
This 52-room Grade I listed mansion was originally the home of the Clifton family in the 13th Century and is thought to have been built to aid defence in the area - it is perched on top of a cliff overlooking the River Trent.
Charles I stayed at the Hall in 1632 as a guest of Sir Gervase Clifton, who prepared for the visit by having works done on the property and its grounds.
The hall was opened as Clifton Hall Girls' Grammar School in 1958 and was then used by Nottingham Trent University from the school's closure in 1976 until the 2000s.
In 2006, businessman Anwar Rashid bought Clifton Hall - but had to give it up after eight months after a series of ghostly happenings.
Spectres took on the form of his children, he and his wife heard knocks on the walls, and bloodspots were found on his 18-month-old baby's quilt.
He brought in the investigators, but they were unable to stop the haunting.

Wollaton Hall
Room 19 of the 16th century hall is said to be haunted by Lady Middleton, who was paralysed after a fall. She spent the rest of her life in the room she now haunts. There is said to be some paranormal activity in the corridors and cellars beneath the hall.

The Bell Inn, Old Market Square
The ghost of Robert is said to walk through the restaurant, which is also haunted by two men who are seen sitting at a table before disappearing. The women's toilets are home to a female phantom, while a jester is said to stand outside the front door.

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The Phil Naessens Show 10-31-2013 NBA News and 2013-2014 Week 1 Game Previews

Segment 1: Welcome to Loud City Manager and Lead Writer Zeb Benbrook joins Phil to discuss the new 7 game playoff format of 2-2-1-1-1 for this years playoffs and preview Thursdays games between the New York Knicks/Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers/Golden State Warriors and Fridays Houston Rockets/Dallas Mavericks contest and much more.
Segment 2: Welcome to Loud City Manager and Lead Writer Zeb Benbrook joins Phil to discuss the possibility OKC Thunder PG Russell Westbrook may return sooner than expected from knee surgery and preview Friday’s Miami Heat/Brooklyn Nets game, Portland Trailblazers/Denver Nuggets and Sundays New York Knicks/Minnesota Timberwolves contest plus much more.

History Trivia - All Hallows Eve

October 31

834 1st All Hallows Eve (Halloween) observed to honor the saints.


475 Romulus Augustulus was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor. His deposition by Odoacer in 476 traditionally marks the end of the Western Roman Empire, the fall of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe.

1517 Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther published his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, sparking the Protestant Reformation. 

 1541 Michelangelo Buonarroti finishes painting The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Facebook Event - November 1 - December 7 - 2013 - Author Kim Scott giveaway

FREE? Free is good! From Nov 1st to Dec 7th, Kim Scott  will be giving away a Kindle or Nook copy of Shuttering the Manning House each day.* Just click on "GOING" for the Release Party and you'll be entered to win. Winners will be chosen daily from the "GOING" list for this Event.

This book is the sequel to What Happened to Alex Manning? Haven't read that book yet? It's only .99 on Kindle & Nook now. Grab your copy today!
Also in paperback on and at Bull Moose Books in Maine!

*All copies won before the launch date will be delivered on the release date.

Halloween 2013: Fright Night with Betty Dravis


Horror/Paranormal/Supernatural/Thriller Books & Movies guaranteed to keep you awake all night. Be sure to lock your doors while reading, then turn off the lights for full frights while watching movies! Pull up a tombstone & settle in...

The Phil Naessens Show 10-30-2013: 2013 World Series Plus Athletics, Dodgers and Mets Hot Stove Baseball


Segment 1: Athletics Nation Lead Writer Alex Hall joins Phil to talk about the World Series and whether or not the Oakland A’s will try to sign Free Agent SP Scott Kazmir plus much more.
Segment 2: True Blue LA Managing Editor Eric Stephen joins Phil to talk World Series baseball, the future of Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, the Dodgers not winning any Golden Glove Awards this season and potential off season Free Agent signings and much more.
Segment 3: Blogging Mets Mark Berman joins Phil to talk World Series baseball plus whether or not the NY Mets should sign free agents Adam Dunn and Dan Haren and much more.

History Trivia - Swithun becomes Bishop of Winchester

October 30

852 Swithun, counselor to Kings Egbert and Aethelwulf, became Bishop of Winchester.

1270 The Eighth Crusade and siege of Tunis ended by an agreement between Charles I of Sicily (brother to King Louis IX of France, who had died months earlier) and the sultan of Tunis.

1470 Henry VI of England returned to the English throne after the Earl of Warwick defeated the Yorkists in battle.

1485 King Henry VII of England was crowned.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Wizard of Notts Recommends: If you're on Carrington Street, visit Cappuchaino's

The Wizard of Notts says:

If you're on Carrington Street, there is a new Nottingham-folk owned place called Cappuchaino halfway down. WiFi and proper teas. Buy Local!

Main Street Comeback: How Independent Stores are Thriving (Even in the Age of Amazon)
Despite behemoths like Starbucks and Amazon, the number of independent bookstores, coffeeshops, and other businesses is growing.         

Bookstore Photo by MorBCN
Photo by MorBCN
So we all know that the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon are killing Main Street businesses, right? It’s certainly partly true. Those retailing behemoths have devastated a lot of communities across the country, and they’re still growing.

But, there are some surprising bright spots on Main Street. I heard about them at the annual Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference, where more than 600 high-energy people strategized about the transition to a more localized, Main Street economy. Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) told me of independent retailers that are thriving.
Stuff Cover

One surprising comeback, Mitchell says, is independent bookstores. Yes, even in the age of e-books and Amazon, independents are growing: For the last four years, their numbers and total sales have grown, despite the recession. In 2009 there were 1,651 independent bookstores in the United States. Today there are more than 1,900.
Bookstores aren’t the only retail sector where independents are expanding. Local coffee shops have grown faster than Starbucks. Bakers and specialty food stores are thriving. Independent pharmacies and pet, fabric, and stationery stores are growing too.
How do they compete with the giants? One factor is the “buy local” ethic so evident at the BALLE conference and promoted by other groups such as the American Independent Business Alliance. ILSR reports that 2012 sales at independent businesses in cities with “buy local” campaigns grew 8.6 percent while those that did not have such campaigns grew 3.4 percent.
Independents are also capitalizing on their ability to win loyalty by hosting events, such as author talks at bookstores. And bookstore owners have learned to feature high margin items such as notecards, toys, and chocolate.
Like what you’re reading? YES! is nonprofit and relies on reader support. Click here to chip in $5 or more to help us keep the inspiration coming.
The public is realizing that buying from local independent stores supports the community and keeps more dollars circulating locally. I watched my local fabric store’s sales force march in our town’s 4th of July parade, showing the quilts they donate to injured vets. I was glad I had chosen to purchase my upholstery fabric at that store, even though I was tempted to shop at a big chain that had greater variety on display.
So, besides shopping at their stores, what can we do to help our local retailers? We can't do much about the big boxes’ ability to get major discounts from suppliers and pummel the public with advertising. But we can protest when local governments give tax abatements and free land to the retail giants. Indiana, for example, gave Amazon $11 million to locate five warehouses in the state, according to Fortune magazine.
We can also press our local governments to collect taxes from online retailers. Fortune says that Amazon built its empire on the advantage of not having to collect sales tax in any state but Washington, where it is based. But states are exercising new clout. ILSR reports that new state laws and agreements require Amazon to collect sales tax in 10 states representing more than one-third of the U.S. population. In May, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, requiring online retailers with sales of more than $1 million to collect taxes on all U.S. sales. The House, as of July, had only sent the bill to committee.
So don’t think Main Street is down for the count. As the “buy local” ethic continues to gain momentum, as stores get creative in using their local advantage, and as online sales lose their tax advantage, the lights may again shine bright on Main Street.

Fran KortenFran Korten wrote this article for the Human Cost of Stuff, the Fall 2013 issue of YES! Magazine. Fran is publisher of YES!

The Phil Naessens Show 10-29-2013 Should the Utah Jazz Extend Gordon Hayward's Contract Before October 31, 2013?

Segment 1: Indy Cornrows Managing Editor Tom Lewis joins Phil to discuss the home opener with Orlando, the injury to Danny Granger, and a look ahead to the rest of the week’s games with the New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers and much more.
Segment 2: Rotowire NBA Editor Kyle McKeown joins Phil to discuss the first week of the Fantasy Basketball season. McKoewn gives advice, some sleepers and much more on this segment.

Segment 3: SLC Dunk Managing Editor Amar joins Phil to discuss whether or not the Utah Jazz should extend SG Gordon Hayward’s contract before the October 31, 2013 deadline or take their chances matching some other NBA teams offer, the Jamaal Tinsley signing plus much more.

History Trivia - Sir Walter Raleigh is executed for treason

October 29

437 Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor, married Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of his cousin Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople unifying the two branches of the House of Theodosius.

969 Byzantine troops occupied Antioch Syria.

1268 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors, was executed along with his companion Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily, a political rival and ally to the hostile Roman Catholic church.

1390 First trial for witchcraft in Paris.

1618 English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for treason under a sentence passed 15 years earlier. He was a known writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer who was also largely known for popularizing tobacco in England. He fell out of favor with Queen Elizabeth I when his secret marriage to Bess Throckmorton was discovered. Because they were wed without the Queen's permission, they were imprisoned in the Tower of London. After being released, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Gladiator's Pen: One Word / 60 Seconds: Routine

Gladiator's Pen: One Word / 60 Seconds: Routine:  is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires . T...

The Phil Naessens Show 10-28-2013 NBA Northwest and Southwest Division Previews

Sonics Rising Managing editor Kevin Nesgoda joins Phil to preview the NBA Southwest and Northwest divisions plus much more NBA talk on today's show.

History Trivia - Constantine I victorious at Milvian Bridge

October 28

306 Maxentius was proclaimed Roman Emperor.

312 Constantine I defeated Maxentius and became the sole ruler of the Roman empire in the west with victory at the Milvian Bridge.

1017 Emperor Henry III was born. Holy Roman Emperor and German King, Henry was the last emperor to effectively dominate the papacy.

1216 Henry III of England was crowned. Henry was the first English monarch to be crowned while still a minor.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

History Trivia - Constantine the Great receives the Vision of the Cross

October 27

97 To placate the Praetorians of Germany, Roman emperor Nerva adopted Trajan, the Spanish-born governor of lower Germany, as his successor.

312 Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross.

625 Honorius I Elected Pope.  Honorius sponsored the restoration of Roman buildings, worked to Christianize the Anglo-Saxons, and reorganized the Visigoths. He was deeply involved in the controversies over monophysitism and monothelitism.

710 Saracen invasion of Sardinia.

939 Athelstan died. Athelstan was the first West Saxon king to have effective rule over the whole of England. He was succeeded by Edmund I as King of England.

1401 Catherine of Valois was born. The neglected daughter of King Charles VI of France, Catherine married King Henry V of England and gave birth to his son, Henry VI. After her husband's untimely death, she began a relationship with Owen Tudor, and married him in secret. One of their sons was the father of King Henry VII.

1662 Charles II sold the strategic port of Dunkirk to Louis XIV of France because he needed money.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

History Trivia - Alfred the Great dies

October 26

899 King Alfred the Great died in Wessex. The actual year is not certain, but the year 901 as stated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is suspect. How he died is unknown. He was originally buried temporarily in the Old Minster in Winchester, then moved to the New Minster. When the New Minster moved to Hyde, a little north of the city, in 1110, the monks transferred to Hyde Abbey along with Alfred's body and those of his wife and children. Soon after the dissolution of the abbey in 1539, during the reign of Henry VIII, the church was demolished, leaving the graves intact. The royal graves and many others were probably rediscovered by chance in 1788 when a prison was being constructed by convicts on the site. Coffins were stripped of lead, bones were scattered and lost, and no identifiable remains of Alfred have subsequently been found. Further excavations in 1866 and 1897 were inconclusive.

Alfred successfully defeated the Viking King Guthrum at the Battle of Edington in 878. King Alfred was a visionary King, inspired by the great Charlemagne.  He founded universities and seats of learning, promoted justice and founded a code of law; he built up his defenses, established fortified Burhs and military training camps along the Wessex coastline and instituted a well-trained standing army.  He also increased the size of his navy and successfully defeated the Northmen at sea.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Mark Barry's Carla in the spotlight

Mark Barry's Carla Has a Facelift!

Mark Barry has been a writer since childhood.

 Later, fifteen years passed writing bids (downloading a record £20m in funding) before the inevitable mid-life soul-search. Result? A switch in focus.

 Surfing the new wave of Independent publishing, he used his undoubted talent to write several novels, including the acclaimed Carla, the quirky Hollywood Shakedown, and cult favourite Ultra Violence.

 Mark has been interviewed on several radio chat shows where he has given readings of his work.  His writing has been featured in the national press, and he has also been interviewed on television.

Mark lives in Southwell, likes music, horse-racing and collecting books. He fanatically follows Notts County FC and is the father of one son, Matt. He is the owner of Green Wizard Publishing, and interviews authors on his interview blog, the Wizard's Cauldron.

 Cult novel Carla, is an introspective, moody and chilling romance novel with its roots firmly grounded in the work of the great pulp writers of the fifties, particularly Jim Thompson, to whom the book is dedicated.

It is a book for adults and for those who have lived through the occasionally bloody battlefields that are the relationships between men and women.

It is suitable for men and women who enjoy good writing and a book which involves the senses. The book may also interest those in mixed age relationships (in either role) or those who suffer (or is related to someone who suffers from) Borderline Personality Disorder.

Paperback: The paperback in particular is striking looking and with Kindle Match, you can get a FREE e-copy so you never have to bend the cover. It is perfect for coffee tables and bookshelves, with a glorious looking spine. The typeface is an easy reading font and there is plenty of clear cream space. It's an easy, fast paced page turner which doesn't overstay its welcome and leaves, according to reviewers, a lasting imprint on the consciousness.

So far, the book has gained 17 5* reviews and a cult following. Comments from people who have read the book appear all over the Net.

EVERY single review of Carla, whether the reader likes the theme or not, has commented on the quality of the writing. This second edition has been even further improved by micro-editing and the book raises the Indie standard further.

The Carla paperback is an ideal present. Small, compact and able to fit in a clasp bag, it is ideal for Secret Santa, beach holidays, air travel and christmas/birthday gifts. It is also cheap enough to buy as a spontaneous present for someone you like. (Or love).

Buy if you like: love stories, strong writing, emotion, psychology, ambivalent characters; reality fiction; thought provoking, quirky, innovative books; sad romance; black humour and stories which feature stories within stories.

It is set in the beautiful middle English town of Southwell and interested readers can follow the John and Carla to the footstep.

Back matter: Borderline Personality Disorder sufferer and released mental patient, John Dexter, falls in love with Carla, a fresh- faced environmental student and part-time barmaid, the first time he sees her. He should walk away, he knows he should, but he doesn’t. He can’t.

And by falling in love, he sets off a chain of events, which are at first, heart-warming and inspirational, and then bleak and horrifying.

The origins of Carla, complete with the original cover, may be found here:

Secret Snippets:

The Story Behind the Story! -

The Phil Naessens Show 10-25-2013 NBA Pacific Division Preview

Segment 1: High School Football coach Joe Mullinax joins Phil to discuss high school sports camps, camps geared toward high school student athletes, NCAA recruiting agencies and much more regarding the NCAA recruiting process.

Segment 2: Memphis Flyer reporter Kevin Lipe joins Phil to discuss the plusses and minuses of the Memphis Grizzlies pre-season and looks forward to the regular season beginning October 30, 2013 when the Grizzlies travel to San Antonio to open their 2013-2014 campaign plus much more

Segment 3: Sonics Rising Managing Editor Kevin Nesgoda joins Phil to continue their pre-season NBA division previews. Tonight they focus on the Pacific Division and much more.

History Trivia - Henry V victorious at Agincourt

October 25

 1147 The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England and Flanders conquered Lisbon after a four-month siege.

1154 King Stephen of Blois (grandson of William the Conqueror) died. After the death of King Henry I, Stephen took the throne, preventing Henry's daughter Matilda from ruling, and setting off a civil war.

1400 Geoffrey Chaucer died at the age of 57. He was the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

1415, in Northern France, England led by Henry V won the Battle of Agincourt over France during the Hundred Years' War.  Almost 6000 Frenchmen were killed while fewer than 400 were lost by the English.