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Monday, April 17, 2017

Within the Heart of Silence Celebrates National Haiku Day

Outer Banks, Nags Head, North Carolina
photography credit Jacqueline E. Smith
So in celebration of National Haiku Poetry Day, I wondered, what would it be like to convert one of the poems in Within a Heart of Silence to haiku?  Jacqueline E. Smith, the photographer, and I, James William Peercy, the poet, collaborated on Within the Heart of Silence.    Selecting the poem for Outer Banks, Nags Head, North Carolina, I discovered it would take five haikus to do what was done in the book if I were to stay close to the original wording.  Here is the result.  What do you think?

 Here are the five haikus.  They are based upon
 Jacqueline’s photo, Outer Banks, Nags Head, North Carolina.

Poem 1
Footsteps lost upon
The sand fading as we watch
The sea no one’s land.

Poem 2
That mortal man walked the grains
Quite unplanned in froth.

Poem 3
Waters drift upon
Our feet swishing on the toes
Washing off our woes.

Poem 4
Run your fingers through
The mist caressing the skin
With salty love borne.

Poem 5
Whispers of life’s breath
Clings to hearts that see within
A wandering soul.

Outer Banks, Nags Head, North Carolina
photography credit Jacqueline E. Smith
Here is the original poem:

Footsteps lost upon the sand
Fading as we watch,
Evidence that mortal man
Walked the beaches quite unplanned
Into a sea of froth.

The waters drift upon our feet,
A soothing of our toes.
The gentle splash of warm embrace
Washes off our deepest

Run your fingers through the mist.
Feel it touch the skin.
Love the whispers of life’s breath.
Cling to hearts that see within
The soul.

They do make us whole.

Similar yet different?  Perhaps it is not unlike the conversion of a book to a movie or a movie to a book.  The very nature of the format forces the difference.  Hopefully the meaning is still clear.
If you like photography and poetry, please visit our website at
This book was published by Wind Trail Publishing.  Check out their other books!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter's Curse by April L. Wood

A Great Debut Novel

Winter's Curse by April L. Wood
A young adult romance with witches, this urban fantasy integrates fiction with our modern world.  Winter is chased from her home by witch hunters and races against time to reach a safe haven.  But how safe is it, and what dark secrets have been carried by those of the covens?

She finds comfort with a boy, not of her clan, and discovers how unforgiving the Segregation Curse is.  Determined to shift the tares from the wheat, she struggles at every turn to discover the realities about herself, her curse, and those who pretend to be her allies.  Will she learn the truth in time, or will she be lost?

I found this story interesting on many levels.  It is fast paced with a blend of mundane and magic.  While not a typical read for me, it picked up well and continued with enough momentum to keep me reading on.  April L. Wood has done a great job.

But don’t believe me.  Pick up a copy and look for yourself.  Be sure and drop a review.  She will thank you for it.


James William Peercy

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Twist of Tobacco Vol1 by Rita Ownby Holcomb

Civil War Family History

Based upon the factual history of the Civil War and her family’s past, Rita Ownby Holcomb weaves in details discovered by research and hard work.  In the areas where facts fail to be known, Rita surmises human nature, strength of character, and the determination to survive.  These are all necessary characteristics of a family’s struggle against the forces of war.

Her sources vary, documented after each discourse.  The stories delve into the horrors man would perpetrate against man, as well as, what mankind would do to help each other.

Despite all odds, this family stayed together as tightly as possible.  They were patriots, heroes, and martyrs.  They left a legacy worthy of the telling.

Rita has done a splendid job.  Read it and post a review.  The author would be most grateful.


James William Peercy

Worldwide by Jacqueline E. Smith

Worldwide Love Life

Trouble is brewing with a band as famous as The Kind of September.  Add to it rumors about the relationship between Sam and Melissa, and the mix gets quickly out of control.

Preying upon the attention the band receives, the threat of a breakup comes closer.  But whose?  And what will happen to those that do?

Worldwide continues the problems a popular band can generate and who can be hurt through the simplest of decisions.  It delves into the thoughts and feelings, exposing the harmful actions that plague humanity whoever we are.

Jacqueline E. Smith does a great job at weaving the story.  For those of you who liked the first two books, there is an unanticipated twist.  Read it.  Post a review.  I would love to know what you think.

Worldwide by Jacqueline E. Smith


James William Peercy

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Love is a Roller Coaster - Backstage

Last night, er, early this morning, I finished reading Backstage by Jacqueline E. Smith.  It is the second book in her Boy Band Series.  While I have never been one to follow music bands, music is a vital part of what I do.  When poetry is written, I hear the notes.  Rhythm and rhythm are integral parts.  Having read other books by Jacqueline and loved her style of writing, I had to continue with the series.

Right off the bat, she weaves in so many axioms.  True relationships are complicated.  We are pulled one way and then another, sometimes at the same time.

That’s what Backstage is about: the balance of love, honor, integrity, and trust.  The heart knows what it wants, but do you act on it?  If you do, what happens to those around you?  Is it for the common good? Is it only for your heart?  When feelings are given free rein, there’s never an easy choice.

Suspense, love, and heartbreak: you’ll find all that here.  With Mel, Sam, Joni, and the others in the band, it’s never going to be simple, but isn’t that what love is all about?

And now it’s time for the next one!  A great read!

If you haven't read it, you can find it here!

James William Peercy

Thursday, December 1, 2016


A. A hip phrase?
B. A rock band?
C. A title for an upcoming book?

If you answered C, a title for an upcoming book, you are correct!
(It might turn into the other two! :)

EVER IN THE AFTER: 13 FANTASY TALES is a brand new fantasy anthology that will be released on April 1st, 2017!

All proceeds from EVER IN THE AFTER will be donated to Lift 4 Autism as part of the Lift 2017 campaign. The authors selected to write for this anthology are Melle Amade, Miracle Austin, J.A. Culican, Madeline Dyer, Jessica Hawke, Alaina Hebert, Elizabetta Holcomb, Stephanie Keyes, Christopher D. Morgan, Mandy Peterson, Alice Rachel, Cadence Rae, and Jacqueline E. Smith. So please help us spread the word for this anthology far and wide!

James William Peercy

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Island Cemetery: What spirits walk Galveston Island?

Warning: Please read no further unless you wish to know the truth.


Traditionally, spirits tend to walk outside of cemeteries.  Though the dead bodies are buried there, their life-force left long before they were laid down to their final resting place.

But Galveston is different.  In the great storm of 1900, thousands of lives died.  Some washed out to sea.  Others sank in the sand.  Still, some were buried in debris.

Children were paid to haul bodies in wagons.  So many dead were found that the adults in charge decided to dump the deceased, weighted down, into the waters away from the island.  Unfortunately, they washed back up bloated, rotten, and eaten.  This resulted in two huge bonfires to burn the putrid corspes.  It lasted for weeks.  The stench was terrible.  The land was corrupted.  Clean up began.

Note: For the longest time, no one would eat seafood for fear they would be devouring their own loved ones.

Men were forced at gunpoint to help in the collection of the dead.  Only one was shot for refusing to work.  The others then fell in line.  Of all the places known to modern civilization, can it be any wonder that residual energy would still exist there today?

Wars were fought on the island.  The cries of native women and children rose as they were slaughtered.  For untold years after the 1900 event, death haunted the city.  And yet, they rebuilt.

On the graves of those buried, burned, or without remembrance, entire blocks of buildings have been placed.  A seawall was added to help against nature’s attacks.  The city prospered again.

So did the spirits.


For us, this particular adventure started on October 30th, 2016.  It was one of several.  For three days we hunted Galveston for the paranormal.

We arranged to meet our friends Charlie and Susie Clevenger for a downtown ghost tour.  ( )  

Our guide showed us around the Strand, an area of downtown Galveston.  We learned fascinating history and ghostly stories but the end of the tour became even more enthralling.

Our guide was part of a paranormal group that had their own investigation planned for later that evening.  So about 11 pm that night, we joined in at the Ashton Villa Mansion.

It is a three-story home, was built before the Civil War, and was used as a hospital for Confederate soldiers.  It is constructed of brick and cast iron.  Interestingly, the house is not only surrounded by an iron fence but has iron rails and supports around its front interior.

Because of the investigation, we were given relatively free access to the house.  What we found was intriguing.  On the stairwell from the third to the second floor, sharp spikes would abruptly appear on our EMF detector and then vanish.

The stairway, we were told, was the one Tilly Brown would use.  A bedroom was on the third floor.  The third floor was said to have most of the paranormal activity.  Both Claudette Peercy and Jackie Smith  ) received readings at separate times: sharp spikes and then nothing.  The energy appeared to move up and down the stairs.

Down below, in the golden room, Jackie noticed high EMF spikes in the corner of all Miss Bettie Brown’s paintings.  It was always by the signature on the painting.  We found no electrical lines around these areas.  Was this Bettie’s way of saying she appreciated us enjoying her artwork?

In the great banquet hall, just as one enters from the main house, we found massive, constant, and repeatable EMF readings emanating from the floor.  When we asked our host what was down below, they said, ‘Nothing.’  Upon further investigation, we discovered a basement had been below the house at one time.  However, after the storm of 1900, they had filled it in.  It makes you wonder, had this basement been used as a makeshift tomb?

We snapped pictures, ran thermal scans, and recorded EMF readings.  Around 2 am in the morning, exhaustion started to set in.  Still filled with excitement but unable to continue without rest, we headed off to our hotel.

The next afternoon, we met with Susie and Charlie.  They guided us to another location called Fort Travis on the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston County.  It was established in 1820 and modified through the years to be a defensive position for the United States. ( )

We took many pictures, ran a few EMF scans, but seemed to come up with nothing too unusual, until this one photo.

It wasn’t until later that it caught my attention.  It is the shadow of a person following us who was not part of our group.  I say ‘shadow’ because we saw no one else at the time.

By the evening, we were back at Ashton Villa.  This time, it was the official tour, not the investigation.  Our access was severely limited.  

We were not allowed on the third story so we could not verify the EMF readings we had recorded the night before.  We were guided room by room with some great stories by those who helped take care of the mansion and the odd things they had encountered.  A partial confirmation was attained.  The signal strength on the floor of the banquet room was just as strong as ever.  However, before the stroke of twelve, we were hurried out the door.

It felt like they were afraid of being in Ashton Villa after midnight, especially on Halloween night.  With some of the stories that our guide told, perhaps there was a concern.  I did notice that every time I raised the camera to take a photo, the tour guide watched me with darting eyes as if expecting I had caught something.

She warned us to be watchful for Confederate ghost soldiers as we left the manor out the backdoor.  Still taking pictures, I stopped by the gazebo and found this.

Once more, I thought nothing as I snapped it, not even realizing there was a shadow.  No people were in view.  It wasn’t until later when I was evaluating what we had captured that I realized the two images, one at Fort Travis and this one, were similar.  Had the ghost of Miss Bettie Brown followed us to Fort Travis?  Had she followed me at Ashton Villa?  Perhaps we’ll never know.  However, if I get another shadow in a picture, it will definitely make me look twice!

BISHOP’s PALACE       Oct 29th, 2016

The three of us, Jackie Smith, Claudette Peercy, and I head to a place called Bishop’s Palace.  We get there early.  We snap great pictures of the outside and explore the basement.  The basement has been converted into a souvenir shop.  It’s cool but much too commercialized.  On top of that, the EMF detector shoots to the top and holds all around the checkout counter.  Right off the bat, we know there is way too much electrical in that area to even try and detect a spirit signature.  To the store clerk’s surprise, we use the EMF device to identify the wifi router behind the counter.

Bishop’s Palace is one of the only four homes that remained after the flood in the storm of 1900.  At the time, it was built seven feet above sea level.  When the storm came in, they helped to fish out as many people as they could to save them.

The architecture is absolutely wonderful.  The rounded towers, statues, and ornate artwork make a unique and beautiful setting.

When the host comes out and invites us in, he is dressed in ghoulish white makeup and a suit.  In the spirit of Halloween, they have provided other actors to appear as the tour progresses.

All the lights are out.  We are given red lanterns.  Photographs can have no flash.  The host begins our tour of the house.  ( )

With EMF out, we probe as we walk.  The dumb waiter in the building no longer works.  They use it to run networking and electrical lines from the bottom basement to the top floor.  Once more, though we can detect the location of the lines, it makes the device useless for finding energetic spirit manifestations.

Our group is fairly large.  There are enough people that the thermal scanner is not practical.  As we get to the second story, a sensitive claims she detects a little boy playing on this floor.  There are no children in our group.  I can hear her talking outside the room I am in, but we get no spikes.  Nothing seems unusual until we get to the second floor chapel.

Strangely, on a hunch, we check each of the prayer benches.  The EMF detector shoots up to the top two or three times on three of the four benches and then drops to normal.  It does not repeat no matter how many times we check it again.  If we didn’t know better, it was like a child had played in the room bouncing from one cushion to another.

Our guide moves on, but if it was the child causing the spiking, he appears to have slipped away too.  We listen to the history.  The tour guide finishes.  We start the journey down the stairs.

Once we hit the bottom floor, everyone starts out through the front doors.  I turn back one last time to take a picture of the curving ornate staircase and the picture in the center.  One of the tour guides is holding a red lantern at the half circle landing in the upper right corner.  There is no one else on the stairs.  I snap the picture and turn to go.  Talking with some of those who helped with the tour, the lights come on.  We say our goodbyes.  It wasn’t until that night that I realize something unusual was caught.

Remember what I said?  No one else was on the stairs except someone on the landing.  Oddly, in the picture I took, there are now two people.  Not only is there a second person, but he is shorter than everyone else in the group we were just with and barely tall enough to have his shoulder over the banister.  Who or what he is, I cannot say, but the photograph caught him when my eye did not.

Thanks for reading!

James William Peercy