Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Searching for King Arthur — Gildas #Arthurian #Legend #OurAuthorGang

Searching for King Arthur  — Gildas

Gildas was a 6th Century monk who was born in the year of the Battle of Mons Badonicus, or, The Battle of Mount Badon, as we now know it. Mount Badon is, of course, the famous battle where King Arthur halted the Saxon invasion for a time.

Gidas's great work — On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain, is no easy read. In fact, it  reads like a damning sermon. He certainly did not mince his words! He target five particular kings - goodness knows what they had done to upset him - and he isn't particularly forgiving of his fellow priests.

"Britain has priests, but they are fools; numerous ministers, but they are shameless; clerics, but they are wily plunderers."

He seems to be more than a little obsessed with the Book of Daniel, and the Book of Revelations. 

However, Gildas's work is considered one of most important sources on the history of Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries, simply because, for once, it was written by someone who was actually there and although it is not considered a primary sources it is about as close as we are going to get.

However, Gildas gives the word 'vague' a whole new meaning. He gives us very few names and no firm dates. He misses out chunks of history if they do not serve his purpose or his message.

What does Gildas say about Arthur?


The only 5th century person he does talk about is a man called  Ambrosius Aurelianus.

"... a gentleman who, perhaps alone of the Romans, had survived the shock of this notable storm. Certainly his parents, who had worn the purple, were slain by it. His descendants in our day have become greatly inferior to their grandfather's excellence..."

Now this is where it gets a little confusing. Ambrosius appears to be of Roman descent. He organises Briton and leads them in battle against the Saxons. Some historians believe that Ambrosius was Arthur, but I am not convinced with that argument. The Venerable Bede clearly states in his work — An Ecclesiastical History of the English People — that they are two separate people.

So what is going on?

Gildes is very vocal about many things, but not Arthur. He doesn't mention him. At all.

Arthur has always come across as a sort of people's hero. But in monastic writings of the time he is not described as a hero, in fact he is described as the complete opposite. Which leads me to suspect two things. Firstly, he wasn't as good as we all think he was. Or, he had fallen out with the Church. I kind of lean towards the latter. According to the Life of Gidas, Arthur killed Gildas brother. No wonder he omitted him! He wasn't going to make him immortal in his works. Who could blame him?

War is coming...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Put a Little Rainbow in Your Diet #OurAuthorGang

Make your diet as colorful as rainbow

There is a constant chemical process going on in your body, and this process frees up toxins. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which neutralize these toxins and shield your cells and DNA from the damage they would cause.

Red and pink fruits and vegetables such as tomato, red pepper, apples, onion, grapefruit, watermelon as well as beets.
They contain lycopene which aids short and long-term memory, prevents circulatory problems and heart disease as well as plays a role in cancer prevention, especially skin, prostate, uterine, breast and prostate cancers. Lycopene also blocks cholesterol deposit in your circulatory system.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables such as dark grape, plum, red cabbage, beet, fig and black currant.
They contain anthocyanin, which prevents cholesterol deposits and keeps the veins and arteries flexible. Blu and purple foods shield the skin from UV rays and protect your retina from damage.

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, pear, orange, tangerine, pineapple, mango, and banana.
They contain beta-carotene a vitamin A provitamin which aids vision, circulation, strengthens the immune system and plays a big role in cancer prevention. Yellow and orange foods also slow the process of aging and protect the skin from harmful rays as well as helps to prevent wrinkle formation.

Green fruits and vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, kiwi, green apples, peas, green beans.
They contain lutein which aids vision, strengthen the bones, prevents cancers, destroys bacteria and cleans the blood.

White foods such as garlic, onion, cauliflower, and mushroom.
They have anti-inflammatory, allergy reducing and cancer-preventing properties.

Make your diet colorful and make your body healthy 

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Passion #OurAuthorGang

by Grace Augustine

photo courtesy of OveractDev

Passion, as defined in "noun...intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; an outbreak of anger; ardent affection; a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept; an object of desire or great interest; sexual desire."

I'm sure you've been asked once, if not more times, what is your passion? What is that one thing that convicts your soul, that moves you to tears, that makes you crazy?
photo courtesy of Anthill Magazine

As a romance writer, I deal with passion in all of the ways described above. My characters have deep conviction regarding their jobs, families, and loved ones. They have passion for their spouses or significant others and act upon those feelings with tenderness and love.

So it is in the love story of Blake and Renee in MOONLIGHT AND MUSIC, a perfect read for February--the month of love.

Blake McIntyre held his position at Bankston Promotions for fifteen years. He is the top music artist promoter in the business. Potential clients by-passed the CEO's daughter and sought out his expertise. He assumed that was why he was fired. With an interview scheduled in less than six hours, he needed sleep and to be on his A-game, but the wailing coming from the apartment across the hall prevented it.

Renee Manelli, a frustrated musician, had worked twenty years as a paralegal. Her goal was to stockpile money, retire early, write songs, and hit the road performing. Her crystal-clear voice and mixed with the poignant messages in her songs make her the fastest rising independent artist in the country. She couldn't help that most of her creativity happened at 2 a.m.

A working relationship between Blake and Renee turned quickly into the personal journey of a lifetime under the stars...and moonlight and music.

I'd love hearing from you. Whether it be about my books, or life in general, let's get to know one another.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Our Guest Today is Scarlet Braden #OurAuthorGang

Please join me in welcoming author Scarlett Braden.

Scarlett Braden ran away from her secret monochomatic life in the United States and escaped to the colorful town of Cuenca, Ecuador. Her life is now prismacolor; kinda like her hair, and no longer secret. She began writing and realized that's where all the voices in her head came was characters waiting for her to tell their stories. It drives her a little crazy that they won't tell her the whole story before she begins typing, but she's learning to keep tranquilo and let them have their say. She spent most of her life not being able to tell a lie (to save her soul), to being a professional liar: the kind of liar that makes up stories. You never know if what she's telling you is the truth or fiction...or if what you say next may find its way into the pages of her next novel or in the stanza of a poem.

Scarlett's new release, LYRICS OF A TRANSCENDENTAL LOVE, will be available sometime in January.

Scarlett loves hearing from her readers and may be reached:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Our Guest Today is Author D. Fischer #ourauthorgang

Hey everyone. D. Fischer here with my guest post. 

I'd like to take just a moment and thank Our Author Gang for hosting this.

I'm just going to jump right into it. I'm an author of multi-genre's but have been focusing on Epic Fantasy recently. I grew up in eastern Iowa, and moved to western Iowa when I met my husband. We have two kids, a toddler and a first grader (if you ask him, the grade counts more than the age).
We're a pet-loving family, with two dogs who are obsessed with socks, and a fat cat who adores me (I'm a dog person, so you can imagine my dismay).

Growing up, I always wanted to write something. Anything really, I didn't care what. I loved using my imagination. I'd start a book, begin an outline, and a few chapters in, I would stop.

Eventually, writing a book entered my "bucket-list." Last year, my husband was away on business and only home on the weekends. I grew bored with all that time to myself after my kids would be tucked in, fast asleep. Characters started forming in my head, plots started mixing, and worlds would be built upon those platforms.

Last January, we didn't have a computer. We had a tablet. It was difficult, but I wasn't going to let that hold me back from bringing my imagination to screen. I started clicking away.

In April of last year, I published my first book, A Gifted Curse (The Cloven Pack Series). Since then, I have 8 published books, and 9 published co-written books.

As I mentioned before, my most recent works is Epic Fantasy. I fell in love with that genre, without actually meaning to. I've never read Game of Thrones (besides the first chapter), or Lord of the Rings. In fact, I had no idea that's what this book's genre was until after it was written. A dear friend was kind enough to tell me.

This new series is called Rise of the Realms. There is 5 lead characters, some of them supernatural, and some of them human (for now ;) ). None of these characters know each other, but their fates and circumstances keep crossing. There's tie in after tie in, until everything comes together at the end of the first book. Well... not everything. Many subplots will be delivered in the second book - which I'm currently working on. Did I mention there is a dragon? Ghosts? Vampires? Shifters? Angels? This series basically has it all. What you don't see in the first book, you'll see in the second. Several new supernatural species are entering into the fold.

Reborn, the first book in the series, was difficult for me to write. I've never written a book this complicated, and I don't like to outline (I never follow it anyway). Besides finding the crossing fates of difficulty, there was a few times I grew too involved with this book. For example, to write a certain section for Eliza, I forced myself to listen to a song for several hours. The same song. Over and over again. I went a little nuts afterwards - I call it the 'writers doom and gloom'. I totally understand why writers from the past enjoyed that alcohol so much. Thankfully, I had wonderful author friends who pulled me out of that dark place my brain submerged me, and a supportive husband who understood.

I'm proud of this book. It's my baby. I hope you find the time to sit down and read it, and I'm excited to hear what you think.

Reborn (Rise of the Realms: Book One) can be purchased here:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Book in the Spotlight #OurAuthorGang

Book in the Spotlight  #OurAuthorGang

Waters of Darkness
David C. Smith and Joe Bonadonna

Cover by Dawne Dominique

“One of the better New Pulp titles is, interestingly, a novel whose authors represent both the mid-Twentieth-Century and the New-Millennial pulp eras. This novel, Waters of Darkness, is collaboration between David C. Smith, one of the best authors to emerge during the 1970s pulp-paperback explosion, and Joe Bonadonna, one of the best writers to emerge in the New Pulp era. Waters of Darkness proceeds smartly . . . and as the horror grows ever grimmer and more triumphant the plot takes several surprising twists and turns. But even their final, unexpected journey through a remote jungle of South Africa may not save the few surviving pirates . . .  If you’re looking for superior swashbuckling pirate adventure in the mode of Captain Blood, Black Terence Vulmea, and Queen of the Black Coast, you’ll find Smith and Bonadonna’s Waters of Darkness to be just the red meat and heady rum you’re craving.”  — Cynthia Ward, Amazing Stories Magazine.

The time is circa 1640 AD. 

The main character is Angus “Bloody Red” Buchanan, a pirate of the West Indies who sails east across the Atlantic, to the Indian Ocean and the island of Madagascar, in search of new plunder and loot. With him on his Spanish galleon, the Raven, is his first mate and closest friend, Mose Cooper, an educated runaway slave from the American colony of Louisiana. Sailing alongside them aboard her own ship, the Witch of the Indies, is Buchanan’s partner and the love of his life, Katherine O’Toole, also known as Crimson Kate.
During their voyage they encounter the Servants of Dagon on the Isle of Shadow, an ancient ship of zombie sailors, do battle with French, Dutch and Arab corsairs, and tangle with a 1000 year-old Persian sorcerer who serves the aforementioned Philistine god of the sea. Man-eating phantoms, a beautiful demoness, assorted devils, dinosaurs, and creatures from the bowels of Hell will all threaten Buchanan, Kate and Cooper before their tale is done and told. There’s plenty of action, romance, betrayal, humor, drama and tragedy on this venture. There’s plenty of sword play, sorcery and battles at sea as Buchanan and company wade hip-deep in blood and brine towards a final confrontation with the Undying Wizard.      

This is high seas adventure in the tradition of Rafael Sabatini. This is an Errol Flynn pirate movie crossed with Robert E. Howard, with a little H.P. Lovecraft, and Conan Doyle’s The Lost World to spice up the rum. All you need is a Wolfgang Korngold film score. So climb aboard as Bloody Red Buchanan, Big Mose Cooper, and Crimson Kate set sail upon Waters of Darkness, an old-fashioned pirate fantasy of swords, sorcery, and the supernatural.

Waters of Darkness is published by Damnation Books/Caliburn Press, and is available worldwide in paperback, Kindle and Nook editions

#swordandsorcery  #heroicfantasy  #pirateadventure  #supernatural  #occult  #horror

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Finding Fantasy in the Bible part 2 #ourauthorgang

by Rebecca Tran

 In my last blog post on this topic, I discussed the nephilim or human-angel hybrids. This legend comes directly from passages in the Bible. The only matter up for debate here is specific interpretations of the word. That is a topic for another day and probably better left to theology scholar, not a pharmacist who writes fantasy at night.

This week instead I thought we would discuss a legend that arises from the “unofficial” books of the Bible. As discussed previously those books did not meet the specific criteria to become an official canon of the scripture.

The book of Enoch was lost for almost 2000 years. The writing it contained was so taboo that most of the copies were deliberately destroyed. Although, some copies survived and were rediscovered in Ethiopia in the 18th century. They were later translated and gave more detailed accounts of the Nephilim, and the Watchers.

The fallen watchers were a group of 200 angels that descended from heaven to earth. They lived among humans, married human women and taught humans many subjects that they were not supposed to. The information was supposed to build naturally as humans evolved instead the fallen angels forced it on them all at once.

Enoch describes God’s wrath on his fallen children. The leaders of the group were forced to watch their families kill each other while, the remaining fallen watchers were chained and locked in the

“valleys of the earth.” Their sentence was to last for 70 generations or until their or the final judgment depending on the translation. This same event is mentioned in the Bible Jude 1:6-7, however, the supporting details are lacking. Enoch gives a detailed account of the events surrounding their punishment.

When starting to research the sequel to my paranormal romance, For Their Sins, it seemed like the perfect obstacle for my Heroine to overcome. Who knows what would happen if you unleashed 200 angry fallen angels. Unfortunately, the novel is still a work in progress, it’s in my ‘to do’ pile though and I can’t wait to get back to it. In the meantime, ForTheir Sins is available now.  The companion short story, Unlike the Rest, is always free.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

#Music, My Muse: part 3 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

From Pinterest via Tone Deaf Comics

Today, in part 3 of the Music My Muse series, I’ll be sharing more on mood music and the use of a playlist. (see part 1 and part 2 here).

In my first contribution to this blog, I talked a bit about my stories playing like movies in my head. As much as I love books, I also love movies. Most of my reading life, until recent years, has been filled with science fiction, fantasy, and tales of the paranormal. When I decided to take on the challenge of writing a romantic comedy, it was my love of movies and music that helped me develop the right mindset and my story.
Over at The ToiBox of Words, I’ve blogged about the movies that influence my book, It’s Like the Full Moon, but I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about the music. It might be difficult to imagine that there are certain songs that make me think of laughter, family gatherings, sickness, death, a good meal, and so much more, but there are. Stretching myself with a genre that was practically foreign to me was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but at least I had mood music with me the whole way to help it all come together.

When I needed help writing about Rebecca’s, my main character, feelings for a lover she’d lost, there were so many songs that came to mind; some sad and some empowering. Since Rebecca’s lover died suddenly and it’s years later that she’s reflecting on the loss, I didn’t want there to be too much sadness. It was important for me to show that she would always love this person even if she moved on a learned to love someone else. Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” really helped me get through that part of the story.

One would think that if you were going to write a party scene that some kind of upbeat happy tune would help get the juices flowing. But, what if you had to write an awkward party scene where none of the guests are really having fun and there’s a secret lingering in the air for two of the attendees, one of which is the guest of honor? Amy Winehouse’s version of “It’s My Party” really helped me get into the awkward party mood. On another note, when you’re writing about a smashing-good-time of a party being hosted by a self-absorbed pretty boy, Little Richard’s “I Feel Pretty” might be just what’s needed to inspire that kind of fantastic chaos.

When you’re trying to come up with a happy ending and you’re just not sure if that’s what you’re going to have, finding the right song might help you see if your characters are really meant to be together. Considering that, It’s Like the Full Moon, is a bit of a love triangle story, you must consider that even one person’s happy ending may not be so happy for someone else. That’s why it has to be true love, real love, a love worth fighting for and the triumphant couple must think, “It had to be You.” (Harry Connick Jr.)

If you’d like to experience more of the songs that helped shape the mood and atmosphere of It’s Like the Full Moon, please check out the "A side" playlist of the dream soundtrack I posted to YouTube. (B side is also available on my channel.)
Now for something a little different. In this section, I’ll be sharing quotes from other authors and bloggers, I’ve collected in over 200 interviews, when asked, ‘When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

“Can't stand heavy metal. Love lyrical songs, such as "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen.” ~ Randy Attwood

“The song that sums up my entire married life is “Remember When” by Alan Jackson.  The one that makes me cry the most at this point of my life is “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Atkins. The music I like least is rap, unless I happen to be in a roller skating rink at the time.” ~ Paula Hrbacek

“JoshGroban calms me and makes me travel in my mind outside myself. He eases the stress that comes when the music (if you can call it music) is doing its cattle-call outside. No, not country music, that stuff that pounds and screams and makes you think of the movie, Psycho. There are some things a writer can control, other things she can't.” ~ Kathryn E Jones
Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

#moodmusic, #music, #romance, #party, #authorquotes, #Pinterest

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I'll Meet You at the Footbridge #OurAuthorGang

This story was inspired by a real life journey. I've changed the names and added a bit of imagination. Remember, February--the month of love, is only a few days away!

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

By Author Grace Augustine

Caitlyn sat down on my lap and snaked her little arms around my neck.  It made me smile to know my great-grandchildren loved spending time with us.

“Tell me again, how you and great grandpa met,” she pleaded.

I pulled her little nine-year-old body closer to me for a hug and kissed her temple.  She knew this story frontwards and backwards, but always had to have me retell it whenever she visited.

“Well, Catie, I wasn’t very good at picking out boys to date. After four years of high school and four years of college, I’d had countless boys that were just terrible.”

Catie nodded her head.

“That’s when you asked great great grandma to fix you up, right?”

I snickered silently at that sentence.  Yes, that is when I had to be fixed up with a date.

“Yes, Catie. My mom and I sat at the kitchen table discussing boys and how most of my friends were married and having children. Then there was me…”

“Yeah, but, you were beautiful, Oma Marie. You still are.”

“Oh, child, thank you. Now, do you want me to finish this story, or are you going to tell it to me?”

“I’ll shut up, Oma Marie,” the little poppet affirmed.

“My mom worked at a factory with a lot of other people. There were some young men there, one in particular, who wasn’t having any luck with dating. So, my mom asked him if he would like to come to dinner. I was mortified! But, I’m the one who told her to find me someone to marry.”

Catie laughed at that. She opened her mouth, but shut it quickly.

“Your Opa Mark knocked on the door of our home and, of course, my mom made me answer the door. There he stood, all six-foot-six of him, dressed to the nines. No words came out of my mouth. I just stared at him. He probably thought I was the biggest loser he’d ever met.  My mom yelled at me to invite him to come in, so I did.

“The dining room table was filled with food, and my two sisters and mom and dad. After dinner, mom suggested that Mark and I go in the living room and get to know each other. We spent the next three hours talking and laughing. When it was time for him to leave, I walked with him to the door. He kissed my cheek and asked when he could see me again.”

I tear up every time I tell this story to sweet Caitlyn. I hugged her closer to me as I thought of my darling, Mark. He is the best thing that ever happened to me. I constantly thank my mother in Heaven for introducing us.

“This is where Opa Mark asks you to meet him at the bridge, right?” Caitlyn’s head bobbed, as did her blonde curls.

“Yes, honey, this is where Opa Mark and I met at the bridge. Every time we met, we met at the bridge before we went out on our dates. Three months into our relationship, Opa Mark asked me to marry him,right there, standing in the middle of the bridge... and I said yes. Each year on our anniversary, we walk the length of that bridge, always stopping for a kiss in the very spot he proposed  and remember that special night. Tomorrow, we will be married fifty-five years.”

“Oma Marie! That’s a very long time! I wonder if my Momma will pick my husband.”

“Oh, Catie, you have years before you have to worry about that. Enjoy your time growing up. When it’s time for that special boy in your life, I’m sure you will have many knocking on your door.”

“But, I don’t want many. I just want one. I want one that is as special as Opa Mark,” Catie stated. “You love Opa Mark a whole lot, don’t you?”

“I love Opa Mark with all of who I am, honey.”

“Are you going to the bridge tomorrow? Can I come?”

I smiled down at my oldest great grandchild. She was so much like her grandmother and her mother with a bit of me mixed in there for good measure.

“Yes, Opa Mark and I will walk down that bridge tomorrow. We must do that. It’s tradition. And, Catie, no, you can’t go with us tomorrow. But, whatcha say to us doing it another day? We’ll get ice cream.”

Catie’s eyes grew large at the thought of ice cream. Again, her arms were around my neck and she kissed my cheek.

“I love you Oma Marie, and Opa Mark, and I love that bridge, too.”