SOUL RETRIEVAL: Connecting With My Brother

My Brother and Father:

My brother died in March of 2005. He died of alcoholism alone in his cabin. After he died, I contacted him by going to the “tunnel” I see when I shut my eyes and focus on my third eye area. I went to the edge and shouted his name (silently) several times. In the far distance I saw something moving, very tiny and far off, coming toward me. I waited and it came close enough to see it was my brother, lying down flat, hands by his sides, his skin was grey and his eyes were shut.

He was an atheist in his life as far as I know. He probably had expected to just die and cease to exist, so when he left his body that is the pose he adopted, just shut himself down and lay still and grey. I called his name again and he saw me standing there. I took his arm and said, “Stand up, let’s go, I will take you to Dad. He’s in a place called The Park. Come on. I’ll take you. It’s easy.” He stood up, accepting this strange intrusion into his death experience, and willingly let me guide him. He did not speak. He seemed to feel a bit confused but he stayed with me as we entered the Park, where I always picture it with grass and many rose gardens near where I always enter. We passed benches and flower beds and ponds and came to what I call the Picnic Place, by the ocean, lots of benches and usually many people there enjoying the oceanside ambience and eating and drinking coffee etc.  There always seems to be people around there.

I was astonished, nobody there to greet us. Then I was alarmed, thought, ok, I really have been imagining all this and now I have Tom here and I can’t find anyone for him. Help!! So I stood there and hollered for Dad and yelled and yelled for him, and was starting to really panic. Then I got the feeling the whole picnic area was some kind of stage set. Over at the end there were even the “wings” of the set. From around the back “wings” my Dad came. He did not look cheerful about this event. He looked like he had been dreading it. Anyway he came over to us and I said, well, here’s Tom, and neither of them knew what to say. So I said, uh, feeling kind of awkward, this had never happened before, I said Let’s go to Dad’s place, ok Dad? So we shot off to his lovely cabin where he lives with his two dogs and his fireplace and his nice set-up in some green rolling mountains. I walked in with Tom behind Dad. We stood by the fireplace for a minute and the two dogs were lying down in front of the fire. They didn’t seem bothered by us coming in.

Then my brother looked at my Dad and seemed to suddenly really come to life. He said “So, we can build things here?” He was catching on to the new reality fast. Dad said, “Yeah. We can build things.” I said I had to go and excused myself and shot off back to my home in beautiful B.C.

I take some pride and happiness in knowing I rescued my poor brother who really had a sad life and surprised him no end with some really, really great news…his real life was just beginning!

I have caught sight of him a couple times since then while exploring. He has been hanging out with a wide range of wildlife and enjoying the woods and forests there, he was a real outdoors guy when he was sober. He is loving the animals and helping them as they arrive there, trying to offer what healing he can.  I don’t know if Dad or anyone has introduced him to any healers or guides yet…anyway.

That’s my story of retrieving my bro. So cool. One of my happy things for sure. Used Bruce Moen’s method outlined in the appendix of one of his books.

Since retrieving my brother and taking him to The Park, I have visited him a few times. I am not accomplished at conversing with people there much, and hope to improve in that area. A week or so ago, he “tapped me on the shoulder” so to speak while I was doing other stuff, I had not been to see him for quite a while, and so I took a few minutes to go drop in on him and see what he wanted.

First, he wanted to show me that he had built a home for himself, that is, a house type of home. When he first went to the park he built himself a forest, which is what he likes best, but now he has completed work on a cedar shake house, only he has left out one of the walls, overlooking the valley below his forest, so he can be in his house or he can move out onto his cedar deck by just walking out where the wall should be, you know? It’s kind of neat, only you could only do that in a part of the universe where you could control the weather!!

He was sitting out on his deck looking proud when I arrived and he mostly wanted to show me a couple other things, one is, he has of course been looking after traumatized animals since his “demise”, lots of wild and small animals, but now he has been given responsibility for a large herd of horses who have passed in difficulty. I could see them in the valley below his forest, and he had been sitting on his deck watching over them. They were very aware of us, kind of connected to him by some kind of invisible energy field, constantly aware of his caring presence there. One horse in particular drew my attention, must be the leader I guess, and this horse is sort of roughly a creamy color and has a black streak down his handsome nose, a very proud, large horse. The other thing he wanted to show me was, he is now growing marijuana and enjoying it. I guess alcohol does not work very well in The Park so he has been looking for an alternative, I guess to satisfy his cravings, I don’t know since I don’t converse well with them there yet, but he was happy and pleased and also kind of wanted to shock and maybe annoy me a little. Still a brother, ya know?

I have read somewhere that alcoholics who pass over still crave alcohol for a long time and it doesn’t work the same way on that body, which is very frustrating for the addict. I am guessing that my brother has started using marijuana as a way of settling his brain down since he craves alcohol and it won’t work for him any more. They grow all kinds of plants there, so why not mary Ruth, I guess.

When you stop to think about it, addiction is a product of our imagination, just like astral travel to the Park is, and responses to sugar pills, and probably pretty much everything, so if I were an addict and went over there, and discovered how easy it was to build things using the power of imagination, I would for sure start trying to use my imagination to get my substance and enjoy it the same, but of course that body wouldn’t necessarily process any substance the same way as this body does…or this body has been trained to, by our imagination…this is where it all goes off course since our imagination is probably an imaginary thing anyway…I never seem to get any further than that, it implodes right there.

I also don’t know if my brother used marijuana in addition to alcohol but it seems likely he would, he did smoke all his life and deliberately sat down in his cabin alone to drink himself to death after a cancer in his kidney recurred, his body must have been in pretty awful shape when he began this next chapter of his life in the Park.

I haven’t been given any info on any healing time or hospital time or whatever he went through after I left him there the first time.



Click here to see: My Books on Amazon

To see My Books on Solstice Publishing website



A woman’s journey to healing from violent crime through the love of a good man



Three short stories of love and passion: Love, Food and Heaven/The Love Potion/First Love: Born of Fire


The Boy ScoutPagan flames

Pagan Flames and The Boy Scout: Tales of Avalon series

**Pagan Flames was listed as one of the TOP SEVEN Young Adult books of 2015.



Sacred Trust: A young wife must flee her marriage to begin again.

O BEAUTIFUL EM DASH (to be sung to the tune Olympia and with gusto)

FB often has posts about writers and what strange people we can be, how differently our brains are from more sensible folk. It’s true, I’ve noticed, that writing about paranormal fantasy romance, fairy love stories, wizards and shapeshifting, ( not to mention hot sex) tends to go along with other odd behaviors.

When I started writing a couple of years ago, I had a habit of using ellipses very, very often. Some publishers don’t really want ellipses popping up all over the place, and I had to figure out some other way of ending sentences when unspoken details were meant to be imagined by the reader. (An ellipsis is the three dots you often see at the end of a sentence instead of a period, for example, as in, …, just in case you didn’t know this extremely important factoid.)

The editor assigned to walk with me through the sorting of one of my books encouraged me to use other things. So I began to use two hyphens, as in –, if you see what I mean. One hyphen is for double barrelled words, like, um, high-spirited, for yet another example. Two hyphens are for, well, I am not too sure. But that particular editor taught me about en dashes and em dashes. She wrote me emails which I printed off and tried to understand. All I could produce from my elderly (but ergonomic, I hasten to add with pride) keyboard were two hyphens.

What is it about such simple things that confounds the human brain? How many times did I read about the em dash and then slide the piece of paper into the stash of instructional emails I keep buried in my intray, feeling totally confused?

Finally, while editing the first fifty pages of my current book, I gave in, caved, imploded at long last and looked up “em dash” on Google. Well, I could see that I didn’t have one on my keyboard. I did what Google said, and it doesn’t work on my keyboard. So I went to the place of final authority, and asked my editor, KC Sprayberry, to explain about the em dash and how to get one.

In the end, having tried different ways of achieving this mystical procedure, I did as she suggested as a last resort, which was to get into it via the Symbol function on the Word Insert menu. It worked! At last! A beautiful em dash appeared, slim and graceful, velvety and silky, unhampered by ugly spaces like the double hyphen, and I fell in love with the em dash.

The pleasure I felt in wading through fifty-odd pages of trauma and romance, searching for the dreaded double hyphen was really weird.

I felt it in my body, in my throat and chest and stomach, the joy of erasing that ugly double hyphen everywhere, along with the unwanted ellipses, and inserting instead the graceful, gorgeous em dash.

A single line, made probably of two bits, like two hyphens but so much more perfect, sliding in there, the one on the left kissing the final letter of the word before, and the one that would be on the right, if it WERE a double hyphen, God forbid, that one kissing the first letter of the next word. How perfect is that, in a romance novel?

I had such a good time, it was better than a glazed doughnut. Call me crazy, call me a writer even, if you must, but I LOVED every single experience of inserting those em dashes. When I came to the last paragraph, the end of the manuscript as it stands at the moment, I felt a miserable sense of deprivation.

And I have come to realize, you know, as I just finished telling my therapist this morning, I have just got to GET OUT MORE.

If I didn’t realize it before, I sure realize it now.

But, OMG, the beauty of the em dash. I love, love, love it. That black, shiny, slender line, unmarred by any spaces…


Maybe I should start writing non fiction. I mean, sorry, non-fiction.


AND!! (OOPS, no double exclamation marks, please.)

In addition, did you happen to notice how I cleverly slipped in a number of the keywords my very expensive marketer found for me? The ones I was supposed to be putting in ALL posts of ALL kinds for the last year, and forgot until he went in and looked at my blog posts last week and had a fit. No keywords? Where are your keywords, woman?? (oops, there I go again.)

Well, from how on, there shall be keywords. And em dashes, by the Gods of War, as my Norse mother used to say, in multiplicities.

You just watch. Watch me fly. Dashing through the snow, or cherry blossoms, whichever, em dashing forever across the starry wastes of the universe…

I never should have left nursing.




Just a little FYI for anyone who remembers me complaining about my house and my cell phone both being haunted, a few months ago. Both mysteries have been solved. Like I say, just FYI.

A friend suggested I turn my cell phone off when I charge it, and that would clean out any old cookies or junk that might be in there making it behave like a crazy machine. She was right – my cell phone has entirely stopped going into my contact list and sending insane sputterings to whoever it picked via Text Message. All that stuff is stopped.

That was embarrassing and who would believe me when I said I didn’t send them any texts?? Then I had to explain my cell phone was haunted. Much better.

Anyway, that’s all ancient history now.

As to my home being haunted, that was because in the morning I got up to find all my window blinds were OPEN! Some ghost was opening my blinds in the middle of the night! AAGGHH. Except my pharmacist just happened to explain to me recently that one of the most troublesome side effects of my sleeping pills happens to be sleepwalking.

So the lights all came on. I guess I am the ghost who is opening the blinds in the night while I am, apparently, sleepwalking.

Oh who needs fiction when reality is so nuts.

And if you are really into weird things like shapeshifting and saving the world, take a look at my books on Amazon:

Vanayssa Somers Books


Sensual roses

Who hasn’t stood under a starry sky at least once when they were young and wished upon a star for their soul mate? The search for the love that never dies is inherent in our genes, in the most primitive reaches of our mind and brain. Not to mention, our heart.

In our energy field lie many stories…thousands of stories. Stories from past lives, stories of love and betrayal, stories of families we now have forgotten, people who loved us or hated us, people who were tied to us by blood and are now forgotten as we struggle on with our current lives.

But wherever we are in time or space, the yearning for a soul mate never disappears; it’s with us every morning and night, even if we are happily married, yet still feeling that absence, that thing we can’t explain that tells us, someone is missing.

Unless we are one of the lucky few who have met and married their soul mate, perhaps even met them while young and were able to spend their lives together.

How wonderful it will be when we set foot upon that shore and someone special will come running to meet us, arms outstretched. Our one true love, the one we always knew was missing.




Yesterday I received a set of Pennie McCracken’s oracle cards, something I was very much looking forward to.

Pennie had done a reading for me using her cards, off of her website (click above there for a look at a fabulous website) and I had to order a set for myself. The reading showed cards with deep insight, as though each card is a portal opening to new aspects of my life and myself.

So when my own set arrived, and I was on my way out for coffee, you can imagine…I couldn’t wait a respectable amount of time to get home, I had to rip the padded envelope apart there in the coffee shop with my bare fingers (no scissors around, and of course all that tape!) and start looking, fiddling, shuffling, thinking.

The cards are her own creation, as she is an artist (see her site for paintings and other items) and are larger than some decks. They must be shuffled from the side, not the ends, as in poker-style.

There are ten topic cards, addressing things like Family, Career, Health, Communication, and so on.

This morning, in the peacefulness of my home, I set out the ten topic cards and then shuffled the rest of the deck, took the top card and lay it on one of the topic cards.

After they were all done, I had ten sets of two cards each to read and think about concerning my day ahead. (Hey, I’m retired, I have time in the morning.)

When it came to Family, it told me to expand my horizons. Very puzzled, I said, What?? How can I do that?

Then I remembered people in my family I hadn’t seen for a long while, and immediately took my phone and sent one of them a text message. I felt a surge of excitement. Haven’t seen this gal for a long time. I’m looking forward to hearing back from her.

Communication told me there would be some deception happening today, either someone not being honest with me entirely or vice versa. This gave me food for thought.

Career? I got a shock. The card I’d pulled for Career had an image of horse racing on it…it’s time for me to take off and get out of the gate! Yay! I know exactly what to do!

How many tarot card decks have you ever bought that could open portals like this for you? I adore tarot cards and have decks all over the house. For forty years of my life, in addition to working, I professionally read cards, teacups, and past lives in my spare time. I set those things aside once I retired, but it’s second nature to keep tabs on my own and my loved ones’ lives.

This deck is like that movie…Once Upon a Time…the series of modern day fairy tales, adapted for today’s world. There are endless possibilities.

So I will leave you there and go make breakfast…and since Health told me to Let Go and quit letting my fears and insecurities affect my life choices, I know I had better have a sensible breakfast and get ready for this day, a day in which I open myself up to some things I am a bit nervous about.

This amazing day, promised by these amazing oracle cards, by Pennie McCracken, on her site, Endless Skys.

Go take a look….put your name in for a free reading draw! Experience her cards first hand!








TEEN LOVE – FIRST LOVE! Remember the song?

Young love, first love…

Nothing like it. We all remember the first person who every plucked our heart strings, stole our heart, ravaged our hearts, whatever it was like. I recall a pair of amazing blue-green eyes fringed with dark lashes.  We lived a long way apart…I remember the tears, those painful first tears, sleeping with his shirt stuffed under my face on my pillow. We’d never see each other again, we’d met on a camp out with a bunch of friends, on a beautiful beach. The moon, the stars, the soft waves rolling in…

Everyone has a first love.  What was yours like?

Solstice Publishing has put together a collection of First Love stories to pull at your memories and your heartstrings.

Is fourteen too young to fall in love? Really?

In my story, First Love: Born of Fire, Petra and Jim discover what their hearts can do in times of danger and stress. Fourteen. In love.

A precious collection of love stories from Solstice Publishing authors.

Buy This Book Today!

– See more at:




Pop’s Picks for 2015

In 2015 Pop’s Blog erupted on the Net reviewing over 30 YA novels and short stories. We decided to focus our attention on books published by independent publishers and authors because too many review sites tend to ignore these amazing books. Yes, we’ve read and reviewed popular books likePaper Towns by John Green, but those books seem to garner the most attention ignoring wonderful Indie authors.

Now, without further ado… Here are Pop’s 7 favorite YA novels of 2015.

#7. Pagan Flames by Vanayssa Somers

Theresa Bordils, a teen orphaned at 12, lives within the safety of a 15th Century Convent in Palma, Majorca. When the Office of the Inquisitor uncovers her activities in Magick, she is sentenced to burn at the stake, just like all the other witches.

Teri is a grad student working on a PhD in History. As her advisor’s best student, she is invited to fly to Majorca, Spain on an archaeological dig. Since her research thesis is about the Inquisition in Palma, she is thrilled to accept. Little does Teri know that her past life as Theresa Bordils will come crashing down on her when she explores the Majorcan Caves.

Vanayssa Somers has created a timeless love story while weaving pagan magical arts into her tale. The passion in this YA love story will melt pages.

#6 Ennara and the Fallen Druid by Angela Myron

Ennara lives in Estlan, a land of magic and mystery. She was born a caul, a baby with a mask foreshadowing great magical ability. So her parents had to have her hand tattooed with a picture of a fire-breathing dragon to warn others of her great powers.

One night, during her eleventh year, Ennara is attacked by a shadespawn, a shadowy demon that seems to be increasing in number absorbing people and leaving Estlan frozen in fear. Ennara barely escaped with her life.

Then one day the wizard Tork, Ennara’s magical tutor, arrives telling her parents that he must find the Sword of Gisilfrid, necessary to break the curse creating the heinous shadespawn. To make matters worse, he needs the luck of a caul to ensure the success of his mission or else Estlan would fall under the dark spell of the Fallen Druid.

Ennara and the Fallen Druid is an exciting read from first to last page. And the good news: there’s book two, Ennara and the Book of Shadows, to relieve any reader’s Ennara addiction.

#5 Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi

In the year 437 after the Great War, the Tafel lived underground to protect themselves from the harsh surface conditions that would probably instantly kill a human. They barely survived in an old military installation built inside a mountain near Cape Town, South Africa. They were the only known survivors of the man’s final folly.

One of the few white descendants of the human race, Willem the Ghost faced bullying by his Shadow peers. One day, while relaxing under the heat lamps that nourished Tafel crops, Bongani, a Shadow bully, found Willem. Unfortunately for Bongani, he lost his footing and plunged to his death.

The Shadow authorities said it was murder, so Willem was expelled from the safety of their cavern home and sent out onto the surface—a death sentence. Or so they thought.

Willem survived the surface, which had cleansed itself of the nuclear winter. Alone and frightened, Willem soon made a startling discovery: The Tafel weren’t the only Survivors of the Great War. In the rubble of old Cape Town he meets travelers from Madagascar who had recently arrived by a sailing vessel.

In his riveting novel, Hirschi tackles important issues—racism, global warming, homosexuality, and survival. Through surprising twists and turns readers will be routing for Willem and the people he encounters outside of the Tafel.

#4  Lost: The Caelian Cycle (Book 1) by Donnielle Tyner

In 1916, during the great World War, a meteorite struck during a small skirmish. Its dust enveloped surviving soldiers altering their DNA providing them with a Talent. Some could manipulate sound, light, fire, a life force, or have great strength or speed. The future off spring from these troops spread quickly throughout the planet becoming known as Caelian. If a normal couple gave birth to a Caelian child, the child would be given up to a special orphanage, where the children would be raised to learn to control their Talents.

Sadie was one of those children. Abandoned at birth by her mother, Sadie was raised at the Saint Vincent’s Orphanage where her family becomes her friends. Now, at 17, Sadie’s Talent is about to be realized, but she will soon find out that her gift could leave death in its wake.

Donnielle Tyner does a superb job of characterization. From Sadie’s first person perspective, we get to know our heroine well. We also learn to love her best friends Madison and Rebecca—two other Caelians with fascinating Talents.

#3 Harry Lane is Innocent by J. Scaddon

Harry Lane is Innocent is a scathing account of an innocent man accused of murdering Peggy, a college student in the park on her way home.

Though Harry Lane had the body of a twenty-three year old, his mind was like that of an innocent child. Harry was incapable of murder.

But Douglas Fields was. Fields was an angry young man capable of committing atrocious crimes of violence without a trace of remorse. While drunk one night he saw a young woman pass him along a dark path through Hunter’s Park, in London. Refusing his obnoxious advances angered Fields to a breaking point. After stabbing Peggy to death, Field’s grabbed her purse and escaped.

That’s when Harry Lane showed up to witness a helpless girl stuffed between rows of bushes. Not knowing what else to do, Harry held Peggy in his arms until she died, covering the young man in her blood.

Scaddon’s ninety-five page novella is a scathing account of the death penalty with unforgettable characters and a plot that will keep readers riveted from first to last page.

#2 Bridge Through Time by Scott Spotson

Kyle Thorning is a brilliant young physicist working as a researcher at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research where scientists probe the fundamental structure of the universe. Kyle’s secret project is to create a time travel machine.

Why the interest? Kyle’s dad, Max Thorning discovered a book, Account of Time Travel on Earth Using Wave Theory, and gave it to his son as a way to cope with his ADHD. The book led Max to Dr. Time, a seemingly benign alien and his Time Weaver device that sent 42 year-old Max back in time to his 16-year-old self to relive an unfulfilled life in Life II. This action created a rift in time and an alternate universe.

Writer Scott Spotson, author of Life II and now its sequel, Bridge Through Time does an amazing job of creating an alternate universe with believable characters, beautiful settings, and a plot that moves breathlessly until the spine tingling climax.

#1 Freedom for the Birds by J.M. Sutherland

K’Lar and D’Ree are red-tailed hawks who have recently migrated back to Alberta, Canada from Southern Mexico for the summer. They need to find and repair their old nest so D’Ree can lay her clutch of eggs.

They fly through a city filled with noise and pollution. When they finally arrive at their valley home, all the trees are gone leaving their hunting field a swath of mud encircled by homes under construction.

Incredulous that the humans violated their own law by destroying a hawk habitat, the migratory birds fly to a farm at which they had nested many earth cycles ago. But alas, the farmer sold out to numerous developers and the area was converted into housing subdivisions centered by a hospital.

Distraught, the saddened couple moves on to another valley where they meet an aging hawk, T’Nal. He offers to share his hunting grounds with them, and just in time, too. D’Ree is about to lay her eggs.

Freedom for the Birds is a fantasy with animals talking to each other and even attending classes together led by wise old owl, Griffin. Sutherland takes literary liberties to show her human audience the hawk perspective of the life they must live due to our tragic housekeeping ways.

No reader will walk away from this novel without feeling a deeper respect for the other organisms that inhabit our world.


If you are an Indie author or publisher and would like a book reviewed, please contact Pop Also, if you have read a YA book you’ve simply loved and would like to post it on Pop’s Blog, contact us, too.