Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Trailer for "Darkness in the World"

Darkness in the World is the third and final book in the SPRG Series, the college paranormal romance trilogy that's set entirely in Manila, Philippines. :-)

SPRG stands for "Student Paranormal Research Group," the university org that our heroine Samantha Davidson joins when she moves to the Philippines, hoping she could find answers about her disturbing experiences.

Watch the book trailer here:

Meanwhile, you can also get the basic information you need on the SPRG Trilogy here (just click on the photo):

Monday, June 1, 2015

What You Should Know About the #CharlieCharlieChallenge

Charlie Charlie, Are You Real?

By: Yvonne S. Santos

“Charlie Charlie,” a game/Internet urban legend of sudden and unfathomable popularity, surged to the top of the global social media charts in the last week of May 2015 after kicking around on the Spanish-language Internet for decades.

How Did It Become So Popular?

According to, Charlie Charlie (Charly Charly) was an old schoolyard game played by children in Spain. The site says that traditionally, the version with the crossed pencils was called the “Juego de la Lapicera” while “Charlie Charlie” was a slightly different game, played with colored pencils. At some point in their Internet and playground travels, the two games seem to have merged. In either case, both have always had demonic or supernatural connotations; one site calls Lapicera “the poor man’s Ouija board.”

The game was rumored to have started to become popular when a local TV news station in the Dominican province of Hato Mayor broadcasted a report about the “Satanic” game overtaking local schools. From there, social media users in the Dominican Republic began Tweeting, Instagramming, and Vining about the game, and the phrase “Charlie Charlie” was suddenly trending on Dominican Twitter.

It only took one 17-year-old from central Georgia to Instagram herself playing the game and gave it the #CharlieCharlieChallenge hashtag before it became a viral thing. It’s been Tweeted more than 1.6 million times since then (as of this writing).

Thousands of people have been treating this game as some kind of dare so much that it has become a new trend, spreading worldwide. It’s all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and almost any other popular social networking site. More people are Googling “Charlie Charlie” than virtually any other news event this week.

How Do You Play It?

The game is easily played: just draw a cross in the middle of a piece of paper, creating  four squares total. Label two quadrants “no,” and the other two “yes.” The player then positions two overlapping pencils on each line of the cross, intersecting them in the middle.

The game starts when the player says, “Charlie, Charlie, are you here?” And when the pencil moves to “yes,” the player can then ask Charlie to respond to any question they ask.

Is It All Just Fun and Games?

It is never good to meddle with things you don’t understand. It's even worse to try to invite spirits to come and communicate with you.

The most dangerous thing about the Charlie Charlie challenge is that it seems harmless and fun, is just a little bit thrilling... and much too easy to do (which is why it's gone viral). But the consequences that come after may be deadly. 

Because while it’s easy to invite a spirit to interact with you, it is way more difficult to ask it to leave... especially when it doesn't want to.

But maybe you don't believe in such things as spirits and ghosts.

Remember, however, that just because you don’t believe in something--or just because it hasn't happened to you--doesn’t make it any less real, particularly for the millions of reported (and thousands of documented) paranormal phenomena collected throughout history worldwide. 

(People didn't use to believe in gravity either, until it was proven by theory, mathematics, and gravity's effects. When it comes to the paranormal, the cases and theories are there: we still just haven't pinned down the math.)

Bottom Line: the Charlie Charlie challenge is a form of ritual that invites a spirit to communicate with the players. 

“Charlie Charlie, are you here?” may seem like a simple phrase that won’t harm anyone, but that is not true. That mere phrase is an open invitation to anything that’s out there.


It is okay to be curious, but it is never okay to be stupid. 

As mentioned in SPRG Book 1: Voices in the Theater, dealing with the paranormal is not simple:
“The fact of the matter is this: you might think you’re studying something as simple as a roller coaster, but you’re not. Instead, you’re dealing with something more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. If you don’t handle it carefully or neglect to respect its power, it could cause you and others a lot of unnecessary harm.”

It is said in recently-published  articles that a Vatican-backed exorcist has claimed anyone who performs the "demon-summoning" Charlie Charlie Challenge could end up "harassed" by evil visitors from the other side. Leaders from Catholic groups see this game as a threat, and it is. It is not as harmless as it seems. 

And it's very hard to ward away something you have invited out of your own free will. 

This is a warning. Stop the Charlie Charlie challenge.


Beyond Ouija boards and Charlie Charlie, learn about the "Top 3 Things Teens Need To Know About The Paranormal" in this special report by A.S. Santos: