• SOLACE, A COWBOY'S FATE, VICTORIAN DREAM, SPECIAL DELIVERY, IRON HEART, LADY GALLANT, THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE, FATE OF THE SILVER MOON,......click cover to buy (image by Svetlana Petrova)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

CONTEMPLATIONS REGARDING THE 4TH OF JULY



     On July 4th 1776 we declared our independence and formed a new nation. But amidst all the flag waving and bombs bursting in air, I tend to forget the war had only just begun. It would rage on for many years demanding much sorrow and many lives to secure for me the freedom I enjoy today.

     Beyond the snippets learned along the way in public school, I am guilty of not being well versed in the political atmosphere or military maneuvers that constituted the Revolutionary War. This is something I intend to rectify.  


Loss of life from battle, disease, starvation, and deplorable conditions as prisoners of war is thought to be at least 50,000.

       The war finally ended in 1783 at the Treaty of Paris. The sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west was recognized.

        How far we’ve come, how large we’ve grown. Sadly we are once again at war. War is such a nasty business as it pits man against man. I’m not here to debate the moral legitimacy or necessity of war. Only to give thanks to the soldiers who have stepped up to protect my country and my freedoms and to offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones related to battle.

   Of late, I'm beginning to think
the only thing worth fighting for is Peace……
                                             

Monday, June 20, 2011

WISHING YOU A MAGICAL SUMMER SOLSTICE


Litha is upon us, Alban Hefin. The summer solstice.
The longest day of the year. 


     Keeping track of the seasons can get confusing because nearly every week on TV there is a season finale of one program or another and I keep wondering exactly what season they are talking about. But there is no mistaking the longest day of the year, June 21st.


     The summer solstice occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun. Although the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. Except in the polar regions (where daylight is continuous for many months during the spring and summer), the day on which the summer solstice occurs is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight. Thus the seasonal significance of the Summer solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. The summer solstice occurs in June in the Northern Hemisphere and in December in the Southern Hemisphere.

This magical day has been celebrated since time began from Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain in England to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico




            It is also celebrated in literature, most notably in Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream".


     So take a moment on June 21st and revel in the sun and know that the days will begin to grow shorter until the Autumnal Equinox when they will be equal and soon to begin to wane. A Celtic quarter day, as opposed to a cross-quarter day, is a direct barometer of what the future weather will hold. 

Should you be so inclined, here is a short ceremony of celebration.
  

From the East comes the Spirit of the Air.  Warm and gentle you carry the fragrance of the roses and other midsummer flowers.  Hot and full of fury you usher in the storms.  Welcome to our circle Spirit of Air.

From the South comes the Spirit of Fire:  Seen in the lightening the forks across the summer sky.  Seen in the power of the Sun King who now reaches his Zenith:  Welcome to our circle Spirit of Fire:

From the West comes the spirit of Water:  You nourish our crops, quench the thirst of the parched earth, and remind us of Aphrodite and Yameya Goddesses of the Sea.  Welcome to our circle Spirit of Water.

From the North comes the spirit of the Earth:  The mother of all of us in whose womb grows the seeds we have planted.  You are the ship upon which we travel the universe.  Welcome to our circle spirit of Earth.

At Midsummer, it is by wedding you, Mother Goddess, that the Sun King indeed becomes King.   Mother Nature, you are at your finest for it is your most passionate and abundant time.  Tonight your consort is at his Zenith of power and the lust you shared at Beltane becomes mature love and though the Oak King becomes the Holly King light will continue to rule until the Equinox.

We honor St. John the Baptist and the horned spirit of the forest, we ask protection from unfriendly spirits as we acknowledge and hope for a glimpse of the Tuatha De Danaan.

If we jump the fire will the crops grow up higher?  We ask blessings on our land and the animals that abide here.  Purify us and see to our health in body and soul. 

It is a time of joy though we miss and grieve for our loved ones departed.  Remember those who have gone before us and cradle them in your compassionate hand.

To the family and friends still with us on this plane we thank them for their strength, friendship, and encouragement.  Tonight we forget the cold dark days of Winter, we are languid in the heat of the day and energized by the coolness of the evenings.  Yet we remember that the fullness of Summer is transitory and we are thankful for what this season brings as the wheel of the years ever turns.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

AFTER 40 YEARS, STILL TRYING TO SAVE THE DOLPHINS

                                           

    The cruelty human's can manifest breaks my heart. After fighting to save the whales and dolphins for nearly 40 years I am disheartened that Mankind cannot seem to leave these beautiful creatures to live in peace. Please take a moment to read about this latest injustice and vote to save them.
     25 wild dolphins are facing a tormented life of captivity because Resorts World Sentosa wants a new attraction. But our global outcry can make the whole project a public relations disaster, and secure their freedom. Sign the petition to free the saddest dolphins, and fight the wild-captured dolphin trade:

      The pod was swimming peacefully in Samoa when nets closed in from behind -- trapping 25 wild dolphins for a luxury resort's latest exhibit. They are now locked in tiny pens, starved of food -- but we can free them.
      For wild dolphins captivity is torture, their powerful sonar bounces off the walls back at them -- as if they are trapped in an endless house of mirrors. Most die young from stress induced illness, but some even commit suicide. If the wealthy Resorts World Sentosa succeeds in keeping them captive then half the dolphins will die in the first 2 years -- and it will legitimise the widely banned  practice of capturing dolphins in the wild. We can’t let that happen -- let's use our voices to set them free.

     Resorts World was forced to abandon plans for a whale shark exhibit two years ago because of the huge outcry that threatened their reputation. Let’s build a massive call now to free these intelligent, beautiful creatures -- and make this a turning point in the fight to end the global wild-dolphin trade. When we reach 500,000 our petition will be delivered to Resorts World and the media. Sign now and forward this to everyone:

     The appallingly cruel wild-dolphin industry has been banned in nations from the UK to Costa Rica. The terrifying capture process involves driving the dolphins to shallow water, where up to half drown or die of their injuries before they are even caught. If we force Resorts World to free these wild dolphins now it will send a powerful message to all other resorts, and help break the back of the capture industry. We can also give these dolphins a second chance in life -- renowned dolphin expert Ric O’Barry has offered to rehabilitate them back into the wild.

     Resorts World argues that their “interactive spa program” will help heal sick and disabled children – but there is no scientific evidence to support this technique, which sees desperate parents pay thousands in pursuit of an imaginary cure. They also claim their programs aid conservation – but dolphin capture drives are also hunting expeditions. The “display-worthy” dolphins are spared, while the others are butchered. By ordering wild-caught dolphins, Resorts World is driving up demand for these barbaric hunts.

     The trade of wild-captured dolphins must end. The world is moving slowly but surely in this direction, and our intervention could set a valuable precedent. Resorts World has buckled under pressure before, and it can’t afford another hit to its image. Let’s join our voices urgently to free the world’s saddest dolphins, and win a crucial battle in the fight to save all wild dolphins from short, miserable lives in captivity. Sign now and send this to family and friends:

     Wild dolphins are incredibly playful, social and caring, as well as extremely intelligent -- they are utterly captivating creatures. In the world we all wish for, dolphins are not hunted, trapped and broken -- they are treated with the respect that all life deserves. Today, as we work for their freedom, we are taking a small but important step towards making that world a reality. 

With hope,

Ricken, Ben, Morgan, Alice, Shibayan and the whole Avaaz team.

SOURCES

Wild caught dolphins for Resorts World Sentosa - SPCA says 'NO' to dolphins in captivity
http://www.spca.org.sg/captivedolphins.html

The International Dolphin Dealers
http://www.iridescent-publishing.com/rtm/ch4p1.htm

Save the Saddest Dolphins campaign by local Singaporean group
http://www.saddestdolphins.com/

Dolphin Therapy
http://mundoazul.org/habitats-species/whales-and-dolphins/freedom-for-dolphins/dolphin-therapy/

In Opposition to Dolphin Captivity
http://animal.discovery.com/tv/blood-dolphins/dolphins/opposition-dolphins-captivity.html

Dolphins in captivity may commit suicide
http://www.thescavenger.net/animals/dolphins-in-captivity-may-commit-suicide.html

Is it cool to see dolphins at the zoo?
http://www.inkokomo.com/dolphin/captivity.html

Monday, June 6, 2011

THIRD BOOK SIGNING GOES WELL!

                                                                   
      Book signings are so exciting and a little nerve-wracking.

    I'm basically very shy and meeting people face to face and chatting doesn't come easily for me. Also it is ironically harder than one might think to come up with witty and personal one-liners to add along with one's name when signing. At least it is for me.

    I sold 6 books and having read somewhere that if you sell 8 books at a signing that's considered good, I felt fairly happy with the way things went. It was a very fun day, Gena Feldman the owner of INDIDO SKY TRADING CO. hosted the event. What a gracious and kind person she is. In her shop she sells a myriad of antiques and collectables. Also dragon and fearie statues. My wish list grows longer every time I step into her shop.



                                                   

       It seems to be a rather long and wearisome road to fame and fortune. Yes, fame and fortune. Does that sound avaricious, greedy, cocky or all three? Well I can think of a lot of good things I could do with more money. And as far as fame, well I might be shy but I guess I'm darn proud of my books and wouldn't mind a few accolades now and again. Here's an excerpt from The Dragon and The Rose......

             


THE DRAGON AND THE ROSE:
                         A very romantic medieval adventure
                        set during the last days of true magic.

     He was the Dragon of Normandy. She was the Rose of Flanders. They met in the North of England and together they changed the course of hearts and history.

     Sir Branoc Valtaigne, ordered to Northumbria By King William II, fights to keep peace along the Scottish border. He is a formidable battle-tested warrior, but as he honors his vows to God, king, and country, a young woman’s smile proves to be his undoing.

     Martanzia Verheire, tricked into standing as good faith hostage for Flanders, seeks freedom from castle Bamburgh and love from Sir Branoc. As she clings to the Celtic dragon statue given to her by her mother, she leads them all to the brink of an era where true magic will be gone forever but where dreams can still come true.


Excerpt:
        God above how he wanted to taste all the sweetness she offered.

        But Martanzia was a young lady of breeding, and destined for a nunnery. Surely she did not know what heathen longings she kindled in his belly and what pagan thoughts she inspired in his mind.

     They intertwined so perfectly, and although layers of fabric separated their bodies and true desires, the softness of her breasts was remarkably evident, and he remembered laying his hand upon her there. That mind altering experience had nearly been both their undoing.

    Last night it had taken all of the resolve he possessed to keep from picking her up and
carrying her away to his room to satisfy her curiosity and his need.

     At the recollection, the embers of need flamed anew and he transferred his weight to one leg trying to alleviate the hurtful pleasure that laid low his ability to think clearly. The maneuver drew Martanzia closer, transporting him to a new plateau of desire. She sighed and the tremulous sound reverberated against his mouth. Did Martanzia want him as much as he wanted her?

       Yes. He could feel it in her touch. That bit of knowledge pleased him beyond measure, even as it brought him to his senses. He pried her arms loose from around his
neck, eased her away from his body, and held her at bay. There was a hunger in Martanzia’s eyes and a quickening of her breath and she leaned forward as if to recapture his mouth. Reluctantly he released his hold on her and took a step back.

      “Would it disturb you overmuch,” she asked, “if I were not here to vex you and disrupt your camp?”

    The question took him by surprise. “More than you might know, lady,” he admitted under his breath. “More than you might know.”