The Vanishing Twin Syndrome

vanishing twin syndrome
An ultrasound photo of identical twins at 12 weeks

A few years ago I read in a Dr. Ruth type column about a woman who was having twins and then the one baby just disappeared. I never heard of this before, so I went onto a medical site to find out more. Apart from being told to see a doctor immediately – I was not pregnant! – I was given the information I needed.

Apparently, it is quite common in multiple pregnancies for one fetus to be ‘absorbed’ back into the mother’s body. Here is the link to an excellent article about the causes and effects of the vanishing twin syndrome: http://americanpregnancy.org/multiples/vanishing-twin-syndrome/

So, why am I telling you this?

Reading about the vanishing twin syndrome made me think about the psychological adjustment of the surviving twin. We all know how close twins, especially identical twins, are to each other. Research has shown that twins feel each others’ emotions, etc etc, and if one should die, the remaining twin suffers more than when a non-twin sibling dies. But what about if one twin dies invitro, like in the vanishing twin syndrome? Would the survivor later in life ‘feel’ the loss of the twin who died before birth?

How does this all tie in?

I explored this concept in my Moragh Saga trilogy. In book 1, A Convenient Marriage, Nicole is a handful at the best of times, but a lot of her behavior can be attributed to the inexplicable ‘sadness’ she often suffers from. Something vital seems to be missing in her life, and she tries to fill the void by any means possible – partying too hard, men, drugs – until inevitably she falls pregnant by a man other than her fiancé.

But the vanishing syndrome had a devastating effect on her mother, Moragh, too. She couldn’t deal with the idea of one of her babies dying inside her, and she blamed the survivor, Nicole, for it. It became impossible for Moragh to bond with her living child. Even after her death, Moragh haunts her daughter in nightmares Nicole suffers from in times of stress.

When her fiancé, Joshua, out of the blue brings a complete stranger home as his wife, Nicole’s stress levels went through the roof, and her nightmares takes on a whole new dimension. Only then her father tells her she started life as part of a twin, and that the other baby died before birth – Nicole is the survivor of the vanishing twin syndrome. 

And Beyond?

Nicole’s story continues in book 2, Poppet Nicole. Having been thwarted by Joshua, and then promptly disinherited in favor of Joshua when both her parents die suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving her a penniless orphan.

She wants revenge for what Joshua has done to her, and she has to reclaim the inheritance she has been brought up to expect. And then Ned, the father of her unborn child, returns to the scene.

Desperately in love with Ned and carrying his child, she demands that Joshua marry her for her to reclaim her inheritance. She has no regard for his brand new marriage, because she doesn’t believe he is really married, anyway.

The question is, how far will Nicole go to get her own way? For how long will Ned stand by while she tries to ruin another man’s life?

A Convenient Marriage-spooky paranormal romance

You can find A Convenient Marriage here: http://tinyurl.com/zsy7ktw

Poppet Nicole - spooky paranormal romance

And pre-order Poppet Nicole here: https://tinyurl.com/y32d6p3l

Poppet Nicole will be released on June 13, 2019

The Traditional South African Melktert

The melktert (milk tart) is traditionally South African. The Dutch settlers in the Cape in the 1600s brought the recipe with them. It is made of a sweet pastry crust, filled with a creamy custard, sprinkled with cinnamon, which was introduced to South Africa by Javanese slaves. The tart is served sliced, chilled or room temperature.


Ingredients

Milk-Tart-Recipe-8850

Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g butter
  • pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 4 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ tbsp cornflour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • a big spoon of butter

Instructions

Pastry:

  • Cream butter and sugar well together and add the egg, before beating well.
  • Add all other ingredients – making a stiff dough.
  • Press into one or two round cake tins/pie dishes.
  • Bake blind for 15 minutes at 180°C (use wax paper to cover the pastry and place dry beans/rice over the paper to weight the pastry down). Then remove the paper and beans/rice and bake for an additional 5 minutes until light brown.

Filling:

  1. Bring milk to a gentle boil.
  2. Beat eggs well and add sugar, flour, cornflour and salt.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Pour boiling milk into the mixture and stir well.
  5. Return to stove and stir for 10-12 minutes on medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add butter and vanilla essence and mix through, then pour into cooked shell.
  7. Allow to cool in the fridge (you do not need to cook the tart any further)
  8. To decorate, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Recipes from my Books


Beef Bourguignon Recipe
Recipe - Beef-Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon appears in Runaway Couple, book 1 in Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 3 hr 45 min


Ingredients


Marinade:
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 fresh bay leaves
2 carrots, peeled and halved
2 ribs celery, halved
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
One 750-ml bottle red wine, such as Burgundy
4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
Stew:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardons
1 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 to 4 cups beef stock
3 fresh bay leaves
1 bundle fresh thyme
1 pound red bliss potatoes, quartered
1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving


Directions

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, onions and wine in a large bowl or container. Add the beef; cover and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. (This is a really important step: it makes a huge flavor difference.)

For the stew: Remove the beef from the marinade. Strain the veggies and bay leaves from the marinade and discard. Reserve 2 cups of the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and toss with the flour; don’t flour the beef until you’re ready to brown it. Add the flour-coated beef to the hot pan, but be sure to not crowd the pan; you will need to work in four batches. Brown the meat well on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a baking sheet.

After the first two batches, deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade, scraping up any browned bits. Drain the liquid into a small bowl. Add more olive oil to the pan to coat and cook the remaining two batches of meat. Add the meat to the baking sheet. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup marinade, scraping up any browned bits.

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery, onions and wine in a large bowl or container. Add the beef; cover and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. (This is a really important step: it makes a huge flavor difference.)

For the stew: Remove the beef from the marinade. Strain the veggies and bay leaves from the marinade and discard. Reserve 2 cups of the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and toss with the flour; don’t flour the beef until you’re ready to brown it. Add the flour-coated beef to the hot pan, but be sure to not crowd the pan; you will need to work in four batches. Brown the meat well on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the pan to a baking sheet.

After the first two batches, deglaze the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade, scraping up any browned bits. Drain the liquid into a small bowl. Add more olive oil to the pan to coat and cook the remaining two batches of meat. Add the meat to the baking sheet. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup marinade, scraping up any browned bits.

Fry the bacon until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic and onions, and season with salt. Cook until the mixture starts to soften and becomes very aromatic, about 10 minutes, before adding the tomato paste. Simmer to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup marinade and deglaze the pan, stirring up any browned bits, 1 minute then add the beef. Stir to combine and cook until the wine has reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add enough of the beef stock to just cover the surface of the beef. Toss in the bay leaves and thyme bundle. Cover the pan, bring the liquid to a boil and put in the oven.

Cook the beef for 2 hours. Add the potatoes and simmer for another hour. Cover the pot with the lid and put the stew back in the oven to cook for an additional hour.

Remove the pot from the oven and skim off any excess grease from the surface of the stew. Garnish with the chives and serve with crusty bread to sop up all the sauce.

https://mailchi.mp/ee37cddc7750/runaway_couple

Along Came a Spider

Does the arachnophobia in you allow you to
acknowledge
just how delicate the spider is? 
If a spider were to fall, it would probably die.
But while the thought of walking through a cobweb fills us with
creepiness,
the web of the spider has though the ages been usefull.
Beautiful as it is,  the association to the web of the universe is inevitable,
 and healing and what is hidden follows

Most Haunted Places In South Africa

Haunted South AfricaSince the beginning of time, people have been fascinated with the supernatural. Whether you believe in ghost stories and haunted houses or not, almost everyone has at least one story of some creepy incident which simply defies any logical explanation.

Cape Town is the oldest city in the country, with many tales of brave pioneers and its fair share of broken hearts and tragedies. It’s only natural then that our Mother City should have a few ghost stories to tell.

Castle of Good Hope

Cape Town

The Castle Of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest surviving colonial building and possibly one of the most haunted places in South Africa. Having served as both a prison and execution site, it is no wonder than numerous troubled spirits walk these halls.

Castle of Good Hope

Tales tell of an unidentified two meter tall figure that walks the castle’s battlements. Spotted in 1915 and 1947, this semi-luminous spectre was seen over a period of weeks, and it is said that his footsteps can frequently be heard in this part of the castle. Some believe that this is the same ghost who rings the castle’s bell form time to time. The bell in the Bell Tower was walled up centuries ago after a soldier hung himself with the bell-rope.

A black dog is also said to haunt the property and has been known to pounce on visitors and vanish at the last moment.

Other spectres which make the Castle of Good Hope one of the most haunted places in South Africa is Lady Anne Barnard. In the late eighteenth century, Lady Anne lived at the Castle as the colony’s First Lady and often entertained important dignitaries. Lady Anne’s ghost is said to appear at parties held in honour of important visitors.

Governor Pieter Gysbert van Noodt is another restless spirit in the Castle. Apparently a strict and militant man, he once sentenced four soldiers to die by hanging for desertion. One of the soldiers is said to have cursed him. Later that day, Van Noodt was found dead at his desk, having died of a heart attack and it was rumored that he died at precisely the same time as the soldiers.

Groote Schuur Hospital

Groote Schuur Hospital is believed to be haunted by a number of apparitions. A young nurse shot herself when she contracted a terminal disease during World War Two. She still roams the corridors. A  nursing sister with white eyes apparently also walk around the hospital, as do a young man who fell to his death while trying to escape from the upper floor. A grey lady, named Sister Fatima, tries to help the nursing staff on their rounds.

Tell me your ghost story and I will post it here on my blog. Don’t forget the pictures. Please contact me on hessiemt@yahoo.com for details

Posted by Maggie Tideswell, author of paranormal romance novels Dark Moon and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost, both available in paperback, ebook and audio formats from Amazon here:

Maggie Tideswell

 

 

 

Interpretation of Dreams – A window to the subconscious

 

The interpretation of dreams isn’t as straightforward as one might think. Dreams are like letters from the unconscious mind. Even modern scientists and psychologists accept dreams and their meanings are unsolved mysteries. 

We only dream for about 2 hours of the night during REM sleep. (REM – rapid eye movement) Fortunately, not everything in a dream has a subconscious meaning. Some things are just ‘background noise’ or fillers. Some dreams are clear to the dreamer: a long-lost friend reappears, a tropical beach beckons or the lottery jackpot is within reach.

But dreams don’t always tell a simple story. Dream symbols might need professional interpretation. The field of dream research becomes even more fascinating when people from different cultures and backgrounds report having similar dreams. Even when the same persom has recurring dreams of the same symbol, each time it might be interpreted differently, depending on his or her current situation.

Here are 8 such common dream symbols with a few possible interpertations:

1) Falling

Usually in these dreams the person is falling from a great height, and is symbolic of the fear of failure. People who dream of falling might have problems with work, or in a relationship.The dreamer lacks confidence in what he/she is doing or planning to do.

There is an old wive’s tale which says that, if you dream you are falling and you hit the bottom, you will die. This is not true. Falling symbolizes the mental action of waking up, and therefore the dreamer would ‘hit the bottom’ when he or she wakes up and the dream images disappear.
 
Dreaming of falling may the real life fear of letting go of something or someone. It also may suggest a loss of control in a given situation. Self-aggrandizement is another possibility. Are you above yourself and due a fall? 

Not all falling dreams are scary or negative. Some dreamers report a type of slow falling that indicates serenity and the act of letting go.

2) Nudity

Dreaming of being naked in public represents vulnerability and anxiety, common to people in new situations, like a new job, a new relationship or being publicly sqrutinized. You may feel vulnerable and exposed. If the nude person or the other people in the dream are not embarrassed, this symbolizes tht nothing needs to be hidden. But if the nude dreamer is ashamed, it points to a lack of confidence.

3) Being Chased

Being chased in a dream is one of the most commonly reported dreams. This mugh be because the anxiety we feel in the dream is so vivid, the person is more likely to remember the dream.

Despite the nightmarish feel of being chased in a dream, it might be a positive sign of encouragement for the dreamer to face aspects of the self that has been avoided. More women than men seem to have this dream, because women are more likely to feel victimized. The dreamer needs to confront what is chacing them so that they can move beyond the fear.

Often, the reason for these dreams comes not from the fear of actually being chased, but rather what we’re running from. Chase dreams help us to understand that we may not be addressing something in our waking lives that requires our attention.

4) Teeth falling out

Teeth is a symbol of power and confidence. Therefore it follows that dreaming that your teeth are falling out, it is a sign that the dreamer lost confidence in a specific situation.

Some cultures see teeth as a bad omen and teeth falling out represent a broken relationship, or it might simply indicate the fear of growing old and being unattractive.

As teeth are the first instruments of the digestive system, in a dream teeth symbolize a means of assimilating knowledge. Losing teeth symbolizes change in one’s way of thinking.

5) Water

Dreams of water symbolize the unconscious mind. Calm pools of water reflect inner peace and that the next period in life will be positive. Murky and/or turbulent water suggest unease and problems approaching.

Pools of water, lakes, rivers, symbolize the personal unconscious, whereas oceans and seas represent the deeper collective (universal) unconscious.

6) Death

Death in a dream is frightening to most dreamers because they lack understanding of the nature of physical life and death. For the aware thinker, the physical life is known as a temporary existence for the soul.


Death or dying in a dream most often represents changes in one’s life, as when something ends and something new begins. Very seldom does death in a dream symbolize true dying of a person.

A dead person in a dream may refer to past (dead) relationship with that particular person. If you are the dead person, you need to reconsider your life. Or death may simply represent your fear of dying.

8) Flying

Dreaming of flying encourages a person to let go of current issues and allow things to fall naturally into place. Or it could refer to a situation that has become out of coltrol.

Flying in a dream, and how effectively the flying is, relates to how much control we feel we have in our lives, and whether we are confident and able to achieve our goals. High flying is one of the most euphoric dreams imaginable, while flying or “skimming” low to the ground or being caught in obstacles, like power lines, can be immensely frustrating.

9) Cheating

This dream should not be taken as predictive of infidility. Rather the drean stems from feelings of neglect when the partner spends too much time and attention on something that does not involve you.

A lack of trust, in the sense of ‘will my partner be there for me when I need him or her, could spark this dream.

Keeping a dream journal might be helpful to analysze the symbolism in your dreams as they apply to you personally.

Posted by Maggie Tideswell, author of 2 paranormal romances, Dark Moon and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. Both are available from Amazon in paperback, ebook and audio formats, here:

Spider Symbolism

Something you have woven has born fruit! Congratulations!
-Spider

Spiders are timid, delicate, agile and most of their creativity happens in the dark. The spider reminds us that the world is woven around us, that we are the center of our world. Yes, the fear of spiders is the most common of all the phobias.
 
Apart from fear, through the ages different cultures have attached meaning to spider sightings and dreams.

Facts about Spiders

  • spiders have eight fragile legs
  • eight complound eyes
  • most spiders weave webs
  • all spiders are predatory 
  • most spiders are poisenous 
  • female spiders are larger that the males
  • procreation normally means the death of the male 
  • spiders are good mothers and stay with their eggs, some even carrying the eggs on their bodies, until they hatch 
  • spiders shed their skins to grow, much like snakes do.

Nearly all cultures have some sort of spider mythology, and folktales about these crawly creatures abound. From ancient times, there has been meaning attached to the spider. She has been seen as bestowing the power of magick over people and things. The web the spider weaves denotes control, which is completed as soon as the prey is wrapped up in the web. So too must people weave control into their own lives. The Spider symbolism serves as a reminder that people have choices in constructing their lives. When you see a spider, carefully evaluate the choices you are making.

Not only do Spiders and their webs draw attention to our life choices, they also give us an idea of how we can manipulate our thinking in order to construct the life we wish to live. Spiders call our attention to their amazing webs. Fully functional, practical, and ingenious in design, spider webs serve as homes, food storage, egg incubators. The cobweb seems limitless in their functions.
When we consider this ingenious diversity, we can also consider the web-like construct of our own lives. Are we designing the most effective life? Decisions, choices and actions are far-reaching, effective tools in life, and one could weave a web that can either serve or enslave one. Spider symbolism reminds one to be smart about the life one weave for oneself. 
Spider symbolism is closely tied with certain subtle characteristics that represent ancient symbols of infinity. The number eight is a symbol of infinity or lemniscate (an eight turned on its side). Most spiders have eight eyes and all have eight legs. In numerology, the number eight represents continuation, repetition, and cycles. Success is obtained through of dogged determination and repetition. Eight represents the kind of momentum in the snowball effect. As it rolls, it gets bigger with each revolution. The idea is that anything is achievable through perseverance. 
Meanings Of Spiders in Dreams

  • feelings of isolation in some situation
  • protection in alluring and tempting situations
  • feminine power or an overbearing mother figure
  • a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior 
  • to kill a spider in a dream symbolizes misfortune and bad luck
  • a dead spider in a dream implies that strong feminine temptation was overcome 
  • a spider spinning a web signifies reward for hard work  
  • spiders in dreams are symbols of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin
  • spiders dreams may indicate being entangled or trapped in a sticky or clingy relationship
  • spiders in dreams represents some ensnaring and controlling force
  • someone or some situation is sucking the life right out of you
  • a spider spinning a web in your dream could be a metaphor for the world wide web and global communication
  • spider eggs in a web suggest that you are not able to fully acknowledge your potential
  • being held back from self- expression 
  • a spider climbing up a wall in a dream – desires will be soon be realized 
  • a spider is coming down on you from the ceiling – you are unable to escape from a relationship
  • a dream of baby spiders symbolizes a new or recent relationship
  • To dream of being bitten by a spider – conflict with your mother or some dominant female figure 
  • To eat a spider or dream that a spider is in your mouth symbolizes control over a situation

In Native American symbolism, the Spider is a symbol of protection against torrential storms. In yet other Native American lore accounts, the Spider (personified as the Grandmother) was the teacher and protector of esoteric wisdom.

The meaning of Spider in India is associated with Maya. The term Maya comes from the Sanskrit root “Ma” which means no form or limit. The term Maya describes the illusory nature of appearances. The Spider’s association with Maya brings about the understanding that not all things are as they appear to be.

The Egyptian goddess Neith bearing her war goddess symbols, the crossed arrows and shield on her head, the ankh and the was staff. 
The Spider symbol meaning in Egypt, is akin to Neith, a complex deity usually depicted with arrowsused for weaving). It is this activity that gains her association with the Spider.
as she is associated with hunting. Along with hunting, she is also associated with the creation, specifically the process of recreation in the dawning and dusking of each day. Neith is also a weaver, and is often shown with a shuttle in her hand (a tool
And of course, no conversation about the meaning of spiders is complete without discussing the Greek myth of Arachne, a mortal (although of noble stature) who was a spectacular weaver. Acclaim for her luscious lively looms spread over hill and dale and ultimately reached the immortal ears of Athena. Arachne claimed she was the best weaver, and thus prompted a challenge from Athena.
And so, they played a round of “dueling looms,” but no one could confirm

Arachne

the victor. However, Arachne was quite smug about the whole process. So much so, that Athena smote her with a mighty blow of conscience and a dose of guilt. Arachne took the dosage hard, and could not live with the intense feelings of guilt and sorrow so she killed herself. Athena felt awful over the whole mess and decided to resurrect Arachne in the form of a spider so that she and all her offspring would forever be the best weavers of the universe. Spiders are called “arachnids” after Arachne.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley says in her Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft, and Wicca that in some traditions of folk magic, a black spider “eaten between two slices of buttered bread” will imbue a witch with great power. If you’re not interested in eating spiders, some traditions say that catching a spider and carrying it in a silk pouch around your neck will help prevent illness.

In some Neopagan traditions, the spider web itself is seen as a symbol of the Goddess and of creation of life. Incorporate spider webs into meditation or spellwork relating to Goddess energy.

If you find a spider roaming around your home, it’s considered bad luck to kill them. From a practical standpoint, they do eat a lot of nuisance insects, so if possible, just let them be or release them outside.

An old English folk saying reminds us that if we find a spider on our clothing, it means money is coming our way. In some variations, the spider on the clothes means simply that it’s going to be a good day. Either way, don’t disregard the message!

Symbol meanings are very personal and profound. Only you can determine what the meaning of Spider is to you.

Spiders feature in my third paranormal romance, Roxanne’s Ghost, which will be released soon. My other tow books, Dark Moon and Moragh, Holly’s Ghost are available from Amazon in paperback, ebook and audio formats.
 

Meanings Attached to the Owl

The owl’s ability to see in the dark                      

As the owl can see in the dark, the owl guides you to see what is hidden to find the real meaning of someone’s actions or state of mind.

When the owl is one of your power animals, you have a strong intuition and can access information and wisdom that’s usually hidden to most. The spirit of this animal encourages you to look beyond deceiving appearances into the true reality of a situation or a person’s motives.

If you have an owl as a totem or spirit animal, you probably like to explore the unknown.When the owl shows up in your life, listen and look out for the subtle signs around you. Your animal spirit guide helps you to see what you wouldn’t normally notice.
The owl will also help you to uncover your own hidden potential and abilities. Check whether you need to reveal more of your intuitive nature.

Night time is particularly auspicious for your creativity, so take the time to focus your creative energy in the dark hours.

The owl as messengers of change                   

Owl spirit animals are symbolic of death in many traditions. In most cases however, this shouldn’t be taken literally, but rather as symbolic death, referring  to transition in life, important changes that are taking place or about to happen.

When the owl shows up, pay attention to the winds of change. Perhaps you are about to break an old habits, change a situation that no longer serve you or bring something/someone new into your life.

Dream interpretation of the owl

When you dream about an owl, your spirit animal may be contacting you to warn you about a danger or threat that needs your urgent attention. It could offer insights about important matters that you should not ignore.

It could also mean that the intuitive part of you needs attention. Listen to the subtle signs in your life These may be important but not necessarily obvious.

Because the owl is often associated with death, an owl in a dream could mean that you are receiving guidance regarding personal change.

In many dream interpretations, the owl could represent a deceased friend or family member.

Superstition associated with the owl 

Birds, especially birds of the night, are often associated with departed souls. The owl is no exception. In some popular beliefs, they are considered as bad omen signifying the imminent death of a close relative or someone important.

  • The Romans even believed that an owl hooting from the top of a public building to be the announcement of the death of an important public figure.
  • The Romans believed that someone would reveal all their secrets during their sleep if an owl feather was placed near their pillow.
  • In the Aztec tradition, the owl was associated with the Lord of Death.
  • The Celts associated the owl with death, especially if it flew into a sick person’s house.
  • The Celts also believed that the owl carried the souls of the departed to the underworld.
  • The owl is associated with witchcraft in a number of European and some American Indian traditions. Witches would often take the owl as an animal spirit guide.
  • In Greek mythology, the Goddess Athena, goddess of the wisdom and war, was represented as an owl.
I love owl symbolism and use it quite extensively in my writing. The owl fits nicely with my favorite theme, that nothing is as it seems. It is the owl who reveals the truth, if only one cares to listen and to see.
 
In my second paranormal romance, Moragh, Holly’s Ghost, Holly heard the owls for the first time on her wedding day, soon after she arrived at Fairley, her new home. She thought they predicted death, but of course, her life was changing rapidly. She also had to deal with many secrets the new people around her kept from her. And above all, she had to find out who Moragh was and what happened to her. Holly didn’t realize that the owls could help her. As journalist, she delt in cold, hard facts.  
 
Moragh, Holly’s Ghost is available availavle on amazon in paperback, ebook and audio formats here:  https://www.amazon.com/author/maggietideswell

In my third book, Roxanne’s Ghost, Daemon knew that Millicent wasn’t what she seemed and that she was hiding things. She insisted that her twin, Roxanne, wasn’t dead and claimed that she was going to find her sister and bring her home. Too many loose ends didn’t support her claim. Daemon used owl meditations to see the truth behind her ‘mask’ and soon realized that Millicent was the key to finding Roxanne. 

 
Roxanne’s Ghost will be available soon.