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Signs from the Other Side

Hawk in the Cemetery

Hawk in the Cemetery, Courtesy of Bob Tobin

When my father passed away in 2005, something strange happened around the time of his funeral.

As my mother and brother sat in the living room at my parents’ house, they heard a thud on the front door. My mother said it sounded as though someone had dropped something on her doorstep.

She got up to check it out and when she opened the front door, she found a hawk, a pigeon in its talons, sitting on a large rock in her front yard. They stared at one another for quite a while — long enough for my brother to join her and see it for himself.

After a while, the hawk flew away, carrying the pigeon with him. White feathers covered the front steps and yard. My mother said that, for weeks after, she continued to find white feathers inside her front door.

I consulted with a First Nations friend who studies nature signs, and he told me the hawk is a messenger from the other side. Whether you believe in this type of spirit communication or not, you have to admit the coincidence was weird.

Birds of prey feature often when we seek a sign from my father. This wasn’t the first freaky coincidence, nor the last, and when it’s not a hawk we get, it’s an owl.

Since this past weekend was Father’s Day weekend, I longed to receive a sign from my dad. He’s been gone for so long, and I wanted to hear from him again.

Saturday evening, my husband and I went for a walk in the cemetery next to our house. As we rounded a bend, we were halted in our tracks by two crows dive-bombing something in a tree overhanging the path we walked.

Just then, a bird cried out, and we looked up to see a hawk sitting on the branch of the tree. He stood proud and resolute, not a bit rattled by the angry crows attempting to unseat him.

Hawk Feather

Hawk Feather, Courtesy of Bob Tobin

Awed, we climbed a nearby hill and watched them for awhile, and my husband snapped some pictures. The crows cawed in fury and flew at the hawk but never touched him. The hawk remained unrattled, keeping his perch. He gave the odd screech, a sound that sent chills through me.

Since the stalemate seemed like it would continue for a while, we decided to resume our walk. As I made my way down the hill, I spotted a feather in the grass before me: a feather from the hawk.

I picked it up, thinking about my father. Hawks always remind me of my father since that day one visited my mother after he died.


Interview about Injury on ReadFree.ly

51xtkof2hbl-_sy346_Cool news: Injury now has a featured page on ReadFreely, which includes an interview with your’s truly, and you can view it here: http://www.readfree.ly/injury-by-val-tobin/

The voting is still going on for RF’s Best Book We’ve Read and Injury is lagging. I’d appreciate your vote to help bump it up in the rankings. The link to the vote page is here: http://www.readfree.ly/bbwray2018/

You might need to click on the links twice to get the pages to display. A glitch in their system resolves links to the home page.

Thank you for voting for Injury!

A Date With . . . Val Tobin

Thank you for featuring me on your site, Frank. I enjoyed answering the interview questions.

Frank Parker's author site

My latest ‘Date’ is with novelist and parapsychology graduate Val Tobin who hails from Ontario. As usual I began by asking her to tell me a little about her home state.

I’ve lived in Ontario all my life. What I love most about it is the beauty of the countryside and the tight-knit community we live in.

The downside is the bugs, particularly the mosquitoes in the summer. I’m not a big fan of winter either. I’ve learned to bundle up for it, but that doesn’t mean I’m enjoying it. Some folks here participate in winter sports, but the closest I get to a winter sport is reading in front of a fireplace.

Val writes across several genres but has no strong preference for any, preferring to allow the story to dictate the genre:

For example, when the idea for The Experiencers, book one ofthe Valiant Chronicles series,

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Branding: The Right Way vs. the Wrong Way

Over the past few days, a crazy story has erupted on social media with the hashtag #cockygate. It involves authors (one who’s quite…erm, cocky), Amazon, and trademark law.

Author Faleena Hopkins claims her readers were getting confused by so many romance books having similar titles to hers. That issue isn’t unusual, as a quick look in any genre would reveal that popular tropes often lead to similar titles…

Read more: Branding: The Right Way vs. the Wrong Way

Injury Shortlisted for Best Book Award

InjurySo excited. I received this notice from ReadFreely and would like to politely beg, I mean, request you to please vote for Injury:
Hi Val,
At ReadFree.ly we’ve started an exciting new competition to crown the Best Book We’ve Read All Year. And Injury has made the shortlist….
…So what do you need to do? Nothing really; you’ve already done the hard part, you’ve written the book. However, you may wish to encourage your fans to visit our site and vote for Injury: there’s a link on our homepage, or they can go here – http://www.readfree.ly/bbwray2018/ ….
If you’d like to read Injury, you can download it here for #FREE: https://www.books2read.com/injury
Thank you for your help and support!

Involuntarily Underpaid Women Mark 6,000 Years Of Not Resorting To Violence

The Out And Abouter

womenunderpay.jpg A small gathering of underpaid, but non-violent, women.

As the city of Toronto, and Canada, and the world in general, becomes horrifyingly familiar with the violence that occupies the single space between the words ‘involuntary,’ and ‘celibate,’ a much more ubiquitous movement is quietly noting its sixth millennia of persistence, without resorting to killing anyone.

“The inund movement has been around as long as women have been receiving fewer – if any – wages for the same job as their male counterparts,” says Susan Longamme, the 257th director of the Involuntarily Underpaid movement, a very loose affiliation of pretty much every female who has lived in recorded history. “So, forever.”

“And in all those millennia of not receiving ample compensation for a given task – something that is in fact owed to people; unlike sex, for example – we have driven into exactly zero crowds of innocent strangers; and resorted…

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Giving A Voice To Indies

David Gaughran

A new organization is being formed which is aiming to give a voice to indies – the Indie Author Support Network. The idea was proposed by indie author Marie Force, and it’s still at the very earliest stages, but what I’ve heard so far is very promising indeed – particularly that it will be exclusively focused on high-level advocacy and interfacing with retailers on issues which concern indies.

I’m not a member of any writer organization. I joined one here in Ireland when I first returned home, but didn’t renew after they wouldn’t even take the most basic stand against a local publisher who wasn’t paying his authors.

I know people join organizations for lots of different reasons, whether that’s continuing education or competitions or even just the social/networking aspects at conferences, which are desperately needed in such a solitary profession, and I think those needs are pretty…

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