Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dragons: What to Know Part II

Dragons: What to Know Part II

Christina Weigand



Like people, dragons come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. In a previous post I talked about their colors and the breath weapons that accompany those colors. That article can be seen here: Dragons1 Today I want to take a look at size.

In actuality their color and size are related although I suspect that there is always one that doesn't fit the set mold.

The black dragon usually weighs in at a cool 160,000 pounds with a forty foot wingspan and a height of sixteen feet. The blue dragon is the same in all but the wingspan. Hers is a whopping eighty feet.

A green dragon comes in a little shorter at ten feet, but still has the weight and wingspan of the blue.

I'm thinking this next dragon, the red dragon, is by far the largest and most fearsome of all the dragons. He will measure in a twenty two feet tall and weigh 1,280,000 pounds. And his wingspan is nothing to sneeze at, measuring 150 feet.


With the white dragon we are back to a more normal size. They are generally sixteen feet tall and weigh 160,000 pounds. There wingspan has been measured at seventy two feet.

A brass dragon is similar measuring sixteen feet tall, 160,000 pounds and a wingspan of sixty feet.

The bronze dragon joins the green dragon in height and weight and wingspan. The copper dragon checks in at sixteen feet tall, weighing 160,000 pounds and an eighty foot wingspan.

The gold dragon. Here take note that I misspoke when talking about the red dragon. The gold dragon matches the height and weight of the red dragon. Her wingspan is a bit smaller at 135 feet. She also tends fight for good instead of the evil the red dragon is famous for.


And finally the silver dragon. He falls into the large category of the red and gold dragon with a wingspan of 150 feet, but the same weight and height.

Needless to say I wouldn't want to meet these dragons in a dark alley, not that they would fit unless it was a big alley.

Like the colors and size their personalities and habitat are as varied as humans. But,I will leave personality and habitats for another post. I will give you a hint though they are not what you expect. So until tomorrow, bensvelk thurkear (good night in dragon).





 To read more about my books and me go to my
 Amazon Author Page: Amazon

To read some more about dragons check out Rebecca Tran's posts:

Dragon Myths 1

Dragon Myths 2


Visit us and take a guess as to when we will pass 200000 views and win a prize for the closest guess.
Guess the Date

Guess the date correctly and win a $50 gift card


Loki, our mascot, is very eager to see people entering the guessing game because every time a new person follows our blog, he gets a super-tasty treat.

The Author Gang formed a year ago and our mission is to support Indie authors and each other. We post something interesting, useful or fun every day, and we have guest authors on weekends.


This poll will be open until August 15 and we will announce the winner when the blog reaches 200,000 views

Guess the date when our blog will reach 200,000 views




Friday, June 29, 2018

Two Movie Reviews for the Price of One!

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Reviewed by
Joe Bonadonna


 "I'm a scientist, Ranger Brad. I don't believe in anything."

Having seen this wonderfully campy film several years ago, I mentioned to my friend and fellow author, Ted Rypel, that I wanted to see it again; Ted is good friends with the film's star, writer and director, Larry Blamire. So Ted bought me a copy and had it sent to me. This is a highly-enjoyable film, a nostalgic romp back in time for those of us who grew up on films like this -- except those films were unintentionally funny. This film has every intention of making you laugh and smile. Larry Blamire's silly and brilliantly funny spoof of those old, black-and-white sci-fi films of the 1950s and early 1960s is even better the second time around. Two scientists, one more dim-witted than the other, are searching for a meteor that contains the most valuable "mineral" in the universe: atmospherium. Professor Paul Armstrong, one of the scientists played by Larry Blamire himself, does "science things." His wife, Betty, is the perfect 1950s housewife, and not too bright herself. "I know it's hard being a scientist's wife, being the wife of scientist," he tells her at one point. The aliens from the planet Mavra are also in need of the atmospherium to repair their damaged spaceship, which looks as if it was made by a 10 year-old kid out of tin foil and an empty paper towel role. Both aliens are as dumb and as strange as you can get, and they drink cherry wine out of candle holders! An evil scientist uses the aliens' caulk-gun gizmo to turn four forest creatures into a sexy but very bizarre human woman who likes to dance to rock and roll music. The mutant is the funniest looking and most hilariously conceived creature since those old Italian "pepla" films. The lost skeleton itself is held together by wires and manipulated with strings that are all too clearly visible. He's a wise-cracking skeleton straight out of vaudeville. Every time the skeleton appeared on screen I kept expecting him to use that old Three Stooges' gag: "Greetings, gents! My name is Red!" To which Curly replied: "Oh, Red Skeleton!" But Blamire is too clever a filmmaker to borrow a bit from another source. With quotable dialogue that is far from clichéd and you won't see coming at you, with the cheesiest special FX since Ed Wood picked up a camera, with a silliness that is highly contagious, and with cinematography that captures to perfection those classic B and C movies, this one is in a class of its own. Great cast that surely had a ball making this film.
  
If you loved Young Frankenstein, you're really gonna love The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

And don’t miss the equally funny and outrageous sequel. . .  

The Lost Skeleton Returns Again


It's called Jerranium 90: a little rock that made all the papers, science magazines and social media sites. However, what wasn't mentioned was that the source of this bizarre, new element is buried deep within the Amazon Jungle. And everybody wants it, including a crooked importer, a cheap crook, and an evil scientist. So when "secret agent" Reet Pappin is sent on a super-secret mission to find Professor Paul Armstrong, who's now a bitter alcoholic and totally disenchanted with science. But Reet may have more than he can handle when he's joined by Armstrong's loyal wife, Betty, and the mind-controlled, not-too-bright twin brother of one Dr. Roger Fleming, who is carrying the skull belonging to the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra!

As the characters find themselves in the scary Valley of the Monsters, other familiar faces from the first film begin to pop up, and with some truly brilliant and funny explanations of who they are, or who they were, and why they're there now! Needless to say, there's  a variety of monsters and an ancient race known as the Cantaloupe People, led by a one truly loony-tune of a queen. So what happens to the skull? What happens to the skeleton? Will Professor Paul Armstrong stop drinking and start "doing science things" again? Will his loyal wife Betty be content to being the wife of a scientist who does science things? The answers to these questions and the mysteries of the Lost Skeleton are there for you to discover. So sit back and enjoy yourselves. You're in for quite a wild and crazy ride! 

Larry Blamire brings his own brand of adventure to side-splitting life in this sequel to The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra! Check out The Lost Skeleton Returns Again: It's the perfect tongue-in-cheek celebration of the adventure/horror serials of the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, and both films are presented in the glorious black and white process called Super Skeletorama! Oh, but wait! Near the half-way point in The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, there's a surprising and hilarious shift in cinematography that is certain to leave you shaking your head in disbelief and laughing until your own skeleton starts coming apart at the joints. 

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra 
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Skeleton-Cadavra-Larry-
Blamire/dp/B00LC92BE6

The Lost Skeleton Returns Again! 
https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Skeleton-Returns-Again/dp/B003IRUFCA

Larry Blamire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Blamire


#larryblamire  #thelostskeletonofcadavra  #thelostskeletonreturnsagain 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Baba Yaga Folk Lore Part 2

Rebecca Tran
rtranbooks.net

In case you missed the first post you can read it here.
Baba Yaga is a witch from slavic and Russian folklore. There are many different variations of her folk lore. All of the picture her as an old crone whether there is one or three of them. She rides around in a flying mortar that is steered by a large pestle that doubles as a weapon.

It is never quite certain whether or not Baba Yaga is going to help or harm. Usually the outcome of the tale depends on the character of the petitioner. If the person seeking out Baba Yaga is of pure spirit, has good intentions, or has good manners the story generally has a good outcome. However, if the opposite traits are true Baba Yaga is dangerous even deadly at times. 

Stories that portray Baba as the villian show her kidnapping children and threatening to eat them. Just seeking her aid in these stories can be a dangerous act. When Baba chooses to help though she may give advice, or bestow magical gifts. Whatever she feels the petitioner needs to succeed in their quest. 

One famous story is about a beautiful maiden named Vasilisa. There are several versions of the story but most of them involve Vasilisa's mother giving her a magic doll before she dies. When her father goes away on business the evil jealous step mother sends Vasilisa to Baba Yaga's hut to get fire to re-light theirs. 

Baba Yaga agrees to give her the flame but only if Vasilisa completes a series of tasks for her. The only way the beautiful knows how to complete the impossible tasks is with the aid of her magical doll. Eventually Vasilisa obtains the flame by various means depending on the version and returns home.

Most stories say that upon returning home the flame burns down her home killing her step mother and sisters. Vasilisa usually gets her happy ending though. She goes to town and lives with a woman who teaches her to weave. A piece of cloth she weaves eventually impresses an important man at the palace and they marry. Eventually her father returns and they all live together.

Its uncertain here what role Baba Yaga truly plays in Vasilisa's story. Call her a villain if you want. Without Baba Yaga Vasilisa would still live with her step mother and sisters in the woods. 

Vasilisa the Beautiful was the inspiration for the name of my main character in my new novelette
Magic Always has a Price

Vasalisa Fenenko Danilovna is a normal 21 year old college studnet. So far life is better than she planned. Vasalisa has parent's who love her, staight A's and she's dating the school's star soccer player.There's just one little problem. Vasalisa's a witch who foretold the death of someone she loves.

This does not have a HEA


Excerpt:

I quit paying attention to Ashley mid-sentence. I didn’t mean to be rude. I simply couldn’t help it. I felt the same magnetic pull that I had on Friday night. It meant one thing. He was here. Brad Ford walked past my table. He wore an SLU shirt today and jeans that made his ass beg to be touched. He glanced over his shoulder as he passed. I felt an almost electric shock when our eyes met.
I quit breathing once more. I saw things so clearly if only for a moment. Brad held me close kissing my neck. He smiled at me and said he loved me. We held hands as we walked through campus. We kissed in the dark as his hands wandered over bare flesh.
“What are you thinking about? Your face is beet red.” Ashley asked. She saw my eyes flick toward Brad. “Oh, I get it. You have a crush.”
I sat back in my chair flustered. “It’s not like that.” How could I explain to my best friend that I thought I just had a premonition? I barely believed it myself.
Ashley tucked her hair behind her ear and leaned forward, “So prove it.  Go talk to him.” She dared.
“Like this?” I was mortified. I was wearing a T-shirt leftover from my marching band days in high school. My jeans were had paint stains on them from painting the kitchen over the summer. I never bothered with makeup, and my hair was falling out of its braid. There was no way I was going to talk to Brad Ford looking like a band geek reject.
Ashley literally waved it off. “It would take more than that to scare a guy off. Don’t you own a mirror? You have this whole ‘I’m eastern European look at me’ thing going on.” She sighed. “You have since you got boobs and grew four inches the summer before freshman year of high school.”
“It was only an inch,” I said defensively.
“Just go,” She reached across the table and pushed me on the shoulder towards the makeshift aisle between tables.
I got to my feet. Immediately I saw Brad. Although, he was hard to miss, or at least I thought so. He sat with his back to us with two other guys. I cursed. This was going to be so embarrassing when he turned me down. I gave myself a pep talk as I walked to his table. He was a person like any other. Brad looked up from the guy he was talking to when I stopped at his table.
“Uh, um, hi,” I said lamely. I shouldn’t be nervous. If I truly believed I had a premonition it meant we were at least going to date. So the question was: did I believe it? “Bye,” No, it was a daydream, a stupid fantasy. I marched back to my seat and sat down. I put my head down trying to hide.
Ashley shook her head then accused me of being a chicken. I agreed with her.  Brad was gorgeous he didn’t want me, and I didn’t want a boyfriend. She teased me some more, and it irritated me. I finished my lunch quickly ready to go. Ashley apologized as I grabbed my tray and I settled down. Still, I had class in 20 minutes. I was just getting up when someone stopped next to our table. I knew who it would be before I looked up. Brad Ford.
“You didn’t give me a chance to say hello earlier. I’m Brad Ford” He smiled, and I melted.
“I know,” I groaned inwardly. Why was I so stupid around him?
He laughed a little and leaned down towards me. “I think this is the part where you’re supposed to tell me your name.”
My cheeks flared red, “Lisa Danilovna,”
“So, Lisa Danilovna can I buy you coffee tomorrow?” He asked.

“Here’s her number,” Ashley tore out a piece of paper and handed it to him. “Send her a text after her one o’clock class.” I smiled dumbly at Brad as I left. “You have to talk tomorrow.” Ashley hissed in my ear.

Find out more about my books on my page. Click the link to claim a free copy of Magic Always has a Price until Monday 7/2

If you enjoyed this post on Baba Yaga Folk Lore Read Erika Szabo's posts on mythology here. 



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Book to Screen Debate, part 4, the finale by Toi Thomas

So, the day has finally arrived for me to ruffle some feathers about movies that might be just as good as the book if not better. If you missed the previous posts in the series, check them out here: part one, part two, and part three.

The first thing to understand about today’s topic is that all opinions are relative. While many may agree on something, there’s no way to have everyone agree on any one thing. I think it just goes against human nature. Still, most book lovers, myself included, will agree that film versions almost always fall short of the impact the original book made. However, I do believe there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Wikipedia
1) Frankenstein 1931. Back during a time when science fiction was not taken as seriously as it is today, during a time when science fiction films were even less regarded than the literature, a monster movie began to change that. I am not saying that this old film is actually better than the book, but I am saying that it may be more impactful than the book. It is because of this film that many people have gone back to read Mary Shelly’s original novel. There are countless social messages to be learned from watching this film and reading the book, but it was the popularity of this film that has made, even Mary Shelly, so notable and attention worthy. This film almost stands on its own as a cinematic sci-fi/horror masterpiece separate from the literary classic Shelly wrote.

Wikipedia
2) Disney’s Peter Pan 1953. I am not about to go on a praise bandwagon for all the stories Disney has reform to fit their fun-loving formula. However, I will give praise to their version of Peter Pan. Oddly enough, this story started out as a stage-play in 1904 (The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up) and later became a novel in 1911 (Peter and Wendy). The Disney version of this story came along at a time when many children would have never been able to see it on stage and may not have been able to get a copy of the book. Plus, in traditional Disney fashion, the story was polished a bit to suit a wider audience, though some of the portrayals in the film are clearly dated and even a bit controversial (probably why I enjoy many of the newer culturally diverse or culturally accurate versions), but compared to the book, it’s light and fluffy. Just the way many of us like our children’s stories.

Wikipedia
3) The Outsiders 1983. This is another film that I don’t actually think is better than the book, but it’s just as good and may have made a greater impact than the book. The film almost stands on its own, separate from the book, because of how it changed filmmaking. Without the success of The Outsiders film, Twilight, Hunger Games, and other teen films may not have been possible (whether you like them or not). Because of this film, not only did people go out and read the original novel, they also read a lot of Robert Frost, and read and watched Gone with the Wind.

Lastly) This is totally a personal preference and has no logical, social, or other explanation what so ever. I enjoyed reading the original Stardust book but I thoroughly enjoyed the film (Stardust 2007) more. I honestly liked most of the changes that were made, and just ignored the changes I didn’t like…
Wikipedia

I will say one thing for those who think that the book is always better than the film no matter what. It’s all about perspective. If you see the film first and love it dearly, reading the book later may disappoint you or excite you. It’s a toss-up

If you liked this post and or series, please consider checking out Remakes-The best and worst of books film music and more, over at The ToiBox of Words.

Oh, and Joe Bonadonna has a great list of dystopian books and films at Dystopian Fiction: Part 4.


-
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.


#book2screen, bookvsmovie, 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

7 Tips To Boost Your Book Descriptions by Nicola McDonagh #OurAutorGang




Whether you are Traditionally or self-published, your book description along with your cover, is key to selling your work. A good blurb will attract readers, so it is as, if not more important, to get it right. I find writing my book blurbs one of the hardest things to do, along with writing a synopsis. I mean, what do you put in it? What do you leave out?

Now I’m not saying that my blurbs are the best in the world, but after looking at tons of other authors descriptions, the ones that sell, I realised that there are ways to help you write that all important book description. Here a few tips to get you started:


1: Use a tag line/headline in bold to grab the reader’s attention that gives a clue to what the book is about. For Whisper Gatherers, I put: 
Adara has a secret. A paranormal power she cannot unleash. If she did, her life would be over.

2: If it is a series, mention that either in the title of your book, or make a reference that it is a continuation in your blurb. For Echoes from the Lost Ones, I put:
Follow Adara on her mission to find her brother, as the enthralling Song of Forgetfulness dystopian, sci-fi adventure continues

3: Don't give too much away. Keep the description fairly short after all you aren’t writing a synopsis just a brief attention grabber. Include as few names as possible. Give a hint at your protagonist’s dilemma and emotional state. Make sentences as short as possible to give a greater impact. For non-fiction, bullet points of relevant features should be in bold. I try to keep my blurbs under 400 words.

4: Include rave reviews near the top, bottom, or at appropriate points. Again, keep them short. If they are from a magazine or known publication, person, include their name. If not, say where they come from, such as, Amazon Review. From A Silence Heard: 
‘Exciting, fun, unique, and creative. The author is truly a gifted writer to be able to whip up something like this.’ (Amazon Review)


5: Add your books keywords as part of the description, the ones that you used for KDP in the book details section. It will link to your book that way. You don’t have to use all of them.



6: Mention famous authors and perhaps books that are similar to yours. Try not to go overboard with that. If you aren’t sure, you can find them if you look at ‘People who bought’ on your Amazon sales page.

7: Use HTML code to make your description look great. If you don’t, it will appear as one big lump of text, not  very exciting. If you don’t know how to use HTML code, here is a great free tool that will generate the code for you. All you need to do is to type your blurb into the box and click the generate button: 




I hope these tips prove useful to you when you write your book description. Don’t be afraid to change your blurb occasionally. It can’t hurt to try out different headlines, reviews etc to help your book have a greater impact when a reader clicks on it.

For more information about my books, please visit my Amazon Author Page: Author.to/BooksonAmazon


You may also want to read Erika M Szabo’s post ‘What Makes You Open A Book?

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Small Gang of Authors: Women in Science Fiction – Clare Winger Harris

A Small Gang of Authors: Women in Science Fiction – Clare Winger Harris: Ruth de Jauregui While most women writers in early science fiction used their initials or a pen name, Clare Winger Harris (1891-1968) wa...Another great woman in Science Fiction with Ruth de Jauregui.

Women in Science Fiction – Clare Winger Harris

Ruth de Jauregui

While most women writers in early science fiction used their initials or a pen name, Clare Winger Harris (1891-1968) was the first to use her real name in the science fiction magazines. Her debut story "The Runaway World" was published in 1926 in Weird Tales under Mrs. F C Harris. (Her husband was Frank Clyde Harris, described as an innovative and visionary architect and engineer.)

Harris' second story "The Fate of the Poseidonia" placed third in a contest for Amazing Stories. Editor Hugo Gernsback wrote in his introduction of the story in the June 1927 issue of the pulp magazine, "That the third prize winner should prove to be a woman was one of the surprises of the contest, for, as a rule, women do not make good scientification writers, because their education and general tendencies on scientific matters are usually limited. But the exception, as usual, proves the rule, the exception in this case being extraordinarily impressive. The story has a great deal of charm, chiefly because it is not overburdened with science, but whatever science is contained therein is not only quite palatable, but highly desirable, due to its plausibility. Not only this, but you will find that the author is a facile writer who keeps your interest unto the last line. We hope to see more of Mrs. Harris's scientification in Amazing Stories." Sadly, her byline was not on the cover.

Amazing Stories June 1927
She may have been influenced by her father's writing, though it may have been a shared interest in science fiction that led to his own novel. Her father, Frank Stover Winger, the son of the Stover Manufacturing Company founder, published his only novel The Wizard of the Island, or The Vindication of Prof. Waldinger in 1917. It was described as a "Jules Vernian story of super-science set in the South Seas."

Harris' short career produced 11 short stories, mainly published in Amazing Stories, and one historical fiction, the novel Persephone of Eleusis: A Romance of Ancient Greece (1923). She put down her pen in the 1930s, reportedly to raise her three sons, after writing four letters for the pulps. Her final letter, published in Wonder Stories in August 1931, classified some of the predominant themes of science fiction.

Amazing Stories December 1928
Cover art by Frank R. Paul
Harris' stories were collected into one volume, Away from the Here and Now (1947), and have been reprinted in a number of anthologies. In addition to being the first woman to publish under her own name in the pulps, she was one of the first authors to write female main characters and from a woman's point of view. Among her stories were those focused on cyborgs and ape-people as well as strong female characters.

Paperback Edition (2011)
Amazon Search: Clare Winger Harris

The Wizard of the Island, or the Vindication of Prof. Waldinger by Frank Stover Winger

#ClareWingerHarris
#WomenInScienceFiction 
#RuthDJ 
#OurAuthorGang

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Our Guest Today is Keriann McKenna #OurAuthorGang

Welcome, Keriann!  We're so glad to have you with us today!
 Writing has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a great storyteller and now I am telling stories, hopefully, as good as his.

I write Women's Fiction, Romance, Erotica, and currently sweet romance. Readers may reach me through my Facebook page.

http://facebook.com/keriann.mckenna

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1Zjj36e

Professor Ian MacDermot is pleased when a beautiful young woman is turned over to him for individual instruction by the Dean of a private school for girls. His task—to teach her to be a dutiful wife. 

The fiercely independent-thinking Sarah MacDonald is having none of it. She vowed never to marry and become a 'sex slave' to any man, but Ian MacDermot is not just any man. Confined to his quarters over the carriage house, Sarah is haunted by a dark experience from her past and confused by her feelings for Ian. 

When Ian reads the instructions written by the Dean of the school, detailing exactly what he is expected to do to train her, he and Sarah develop a passion for one another and embark on an impossible mission to bring the Dean to justice. They know they may not succeed but time will tell...and timing is everything. 

Set in Scotland in 1912, “On Loving a Woman” is filled with romance and suspense that will keep you turning the pages.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

King Lear — who was he? What did he do? By Mary Anne Yarde #Myths #Legends #OurAuthorGang



King Lear — who was he? What did he do?
By Mary Anne Yarde


“The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.” 

King Lear by William Shakespeare 



King Lear — immortalised by Shakespeare as the mad old King who loses everything. It is nothing short of a tragedy.

But did you know that Shakespeare's King Lear is based on the 'historical' King Leir of Britain? As with many Kings of this era, Leir's stories cannot be found in the history books, but instead, his story resides in folklore.


A watercolour of King Lear and the Fool in the storm from Act III, Scene ii of King Lear ~ Wikipedia

The story of King Leir
 (c. 800 BC)

As King Leir neared death, he feared for his Kingdom — the Kingdom of Briton. To help ease his troubled mind, he decided to split up his kingdom between his three daughters. But first, he wanted to know just how loyal they were to him and more importantly, how much they loved him.


King Leir and his daughters, a marginal illustrationin the Chronica Majora, c. 1250 ~ Wikipedia


His first daughter, Gonorilla flattered her father, she said she loved him more than any precious stone. Leir was pleased with her answer and basked in her words.



His second daughter, Regan, also saw the wisdom of complementing her father. She flattered her father with words of love. Regan promised that she would always love him more than any other man on the face of the earth. This was exactly what Leir wanted to hear.



Feeling blessed, King Leir turned to his third daughter. Cordeilla was his favourite child, and he waited with pleasure for the compliments he was sure his daughter was going to bestow on him. Cordeilla, however, was not one to give any man false flattery, so she simply said...

"I love you just as a daughter should.”


Cordelia in the Court of King Lear (1873) by Sir John Gilbert ~ Wikipedia


King Leir was left speechless by Cordeilla's response. He thought her response cold and callous. Soon anger replaced the shock. So great was his rage that he decided not to give her a share of the kingdom, neither would she have a dowry, he then unmercifully banished her. He wanted nothing more to do with her. She was dead to him.



Cordeilla fled to France. Here she met King Aganippus, the King of the Franks. Despite Cordeilla having no dowry, Aganippus loved her so much that he married her anyway.

Meanwhile, King Leir gave Gonorilla and Regan half of his kingdom. They would receive the rest once he was dead. It was then that he discovered that his daughters did not love him as much as they had said they did. In fact, they didn't really love him at all.  Gonorilla's husband, Duke Maglaurus of Albany, overthrew Leir and seized power. Leir was a defeated and broken man.

Duke Maglaurus generously allowed Leir to keep a retinue of  60 knights, but this was too many knights for Gonorilla's liking. She banished a further 30 of her father's men.With only 30 knights left, Leir fled to Regan's household, but Regan was no better than her sister and soon Leir was left with only one knight to protect him.


King Lear and the Fool in the Storm by William Dyce (1806–1864) — Wikipedia


It was then that Leir realised what a terrible mistake he had made. Cordeilla had not stroked his ego by offering false flattery. Instead, she had been speaking truthfully and from her heart. With his head hung in shame, he made the arduous journey to France to plead for forgiveness.

Leir's journey was challenging and long for an old man of poor health. He was no King now, and he was not treated with the respect he had once been shown. He realised, too late, that the people were not loyal to a person, but a crown. It was a very sobering discovery.



Leir feared what kind of reception he would receive when he was finally reunited with his estranged daughter. Would she turn her back on him as he had done to her?

Cordeilla, meanwhile, had found happiness in France. She was married to a man she loved and who loved her in return. She was, despite the pain it had caused, thankful that her father had banished her. If he had not, then she would not have met and married the love of her life.

Leir was welcomed to the French court with open arms. His daughter forgave him, and his honour was restored. King Aganippus mustered an army, and they journeyed to Briton together to retake the land. The war was bloody, but Leir was victorious. Leir's daughters and their husbands paid for their treachery with their lives.

King Aganippus restored Leir to his throne, and Leir ruled for three years until his death.


A 1793 painting of King Lear and Cordelia by Benjamin West ~ Wikipedia



Cordeilla buried her father under the River Soar and founded a city nearby in his name. She called this city...

Leir-under-the Soar.
(Leicester)

Cordeilla ruled the Kingdom Of Briton with a tender heart. She is remembered, in folklore, as being a just and beautiful queen.


This story can be found in Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Briton (late 12th Century). Of course, the most famous retelling of the story was by William Shakespeare, and that is how King Lear is now remembered. But as you can see, the story from days of old, is not so much a tragedy, it is a tale of an old man learning that false flattery is no flattery.

Is Leicester really named after King Leir?

Probably not, but it is a great story, isn't it...?

Reference:
All pictures, unless otherwise stated, can be found on Pixabay
First published on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots — 3rd August 2017




Mary Anne Yarde is a multi award-winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, the Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

Friday, June 22, 2018

In the Garden -- Growing Fuchsias

Ruth de Jauregui

Credit: loneangel / Morguefile
When I think of fuchsias, I think of the narrow reddish purple blossoms of my Grandma's shrubs in Brookings, Oregon, and my Mom's collection that grew on the east side of our little house on the Northern California coast. Mom's fuchsias were sheltered on the east by a 6-foot-tall fence and tall cypress hedge and on the west by our house. They thrived in the cool, moist climate and bright light, sheltered from the wind and sun.

Fuchsias (Fuchsia spp.) are small trees or shrubs found primarily in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, though there are a few species native to New Zealand and Tahiti. The tender plants are generally winter-hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11, though Mom's thrived in their sheltered zone 9 location. A few hardy species survive down to zone 6.

While you can purchase fuchsias, they're easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Simply take 2- to 4-inch cuttings of growing tips. Strip off the lowest leaves and swirl the stem in rooting compound, if available. Insert the stem into moist sand, perlite, vermiculite or soil. Use bamboo sticks to suspend plastic wrap above and around the cutting and its pot. Snip a couple of small holes in the plastic for ventilation. Place the cuttings in a warm, bright location, but avoid direct sun. A window covered by sheer curtains will diffuse the sun's rays adequately.

Credit: Erland / Morguefile.com
Once the cuttings establish roots, in three to four weeks, remove the plastic wrap. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged as the plants develop new leaves. Transplant into flowerpots, hanging baskets or in a sheltered, light or dappled shade location in the garden. In general, fuchsias prefer temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When the weather heats up, move the plants into deeper shade and protect from drying summer winds.

Water fuchsias when the soil is dry to the touch. Check potted fuchsias daily, especially in hot weather and water as needed. Fertilize every one to two weeks from spring until fall with a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer solution. Use 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water. Water after fertilizing to prevent the fertilizer salts from damaging the tender roots.

Credit: maggieau124 / Morguefile.com

When frosts threaten in fall and winter, take the fuchsias inside. A sunny window or enclosed porch that stays above freezing will allow the fuchsias to overwinter indoors. Protect fuchsias in the garden from frost with sheets or plastic suspended on bamboo poles and anchored to the ground with rocks, bricks or lumber. Do not allow the covering to touch the foliage.

In addition to their beautiful blossoms, fuchsias attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

#InTheGarden  #RuthDJ  #OurAuthorGang

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dragons: What to Know Part 1


Dragons: What to Know Part 1

By: Christina Weigand




What can I say about dragons? I have numerous dragons that inhabit my world. For sure too many to count and new ones are always showing up to populate my books.

They come in all colors and have different breath powers. When I started researching my dragons I discovered that there are several different breath powers that depend on the color of the dragon. A black dragon breathes acid. The blue dragon breathes lightning. A green dragon will breathe chlorine gas. I bet if you stop and think about it you can guess what a red dragon breathes. If not I will tell you, they breathe fire. The white dragon, come on take a guess. No, well a white dragon breathes frost. I think one of them must have visited southwestern Pennsylvania recently, based on the temperatures we have been experienced this past winter. The brass dragon breathes fire and sleep gas. I could certainly use him on those sleepless nights. A bronze dragon breathes a cone of repulsion gas and a line of lightning. He would be a good one to have on your side in a battle. The copper dragon breathes slow gas and a line of acid while the gold dragon breathes a cone of weakness and fire, a good tool for fighting the enemy. The silver dragon breathes a paralyzing gas and a cone of cold. He may have been with the white dragon that visited Pennsylvania.



Now you may be asking what happens to a dragon who is not one of those colors? My opinion is that you would have to look to that dragon’s parents, so say a purple dragon like Myrria would have had parents that were blue and red. So she would be able to breathe lightning and fire.

Dragons also come in all shapes and sizes as well as living in different lairs, eating different foods, having different enemies and collect different treasures. Much like humans you cannot judge one by another, for dragons are as different as humans. And don't you dare think that they are all the same, because the minute you do that the dragon will gladly demonstrate how she is different.





 To read more about my books and me go to my
 Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/ycek3om4
or

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The fascinating tale of Dunstan — the Abbot of Glastonbury by Mary Anne Yarde #Folklore #Myths #OurAuthorGang





The fascinating tale of Dunstan — the Abbot of Glastonbury
by Mary Anne Yarde

Saint Dunstan ~ Wikipedia

I have always been fascinated with folklore, and today I want to tell you about a 10th Century Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey.

Dunstan had a notable career. He was not only the Abbot of Glastonbury but also the Bishop of Worcester, the Bishop of London, and if that was not enough, The Archbishop of Canterbury. He was a famed worker of metal. He was also an illuminator and a great musician. There is also a rumour that he dabbled in unlawful arts when he was a young man. But most notable, Dunstan restored monastic life in England and reformed the English Church.


But what does Dunstan have to do with folklore? 
Well, this is where it gets interesting. 
I think it is time for a story...



Dunstan was a man of God. Wherever he went, and whatever he did, God never strayed far from him. They were inseparable. He was the holiest of holy men.

Dunstan could often be found working in the smithy, for he was a skilled craftsman. One day, a woman of great beauty came into his workshop. She smiled becomingly at him and asked if he would forge her a toasting fork.



Dunstan agreed. But instead of leaving him to his work, the young woman watched as Dunstan worked the metal, moulding it and shaping it. Unable to resist, the young woman began to tease Dunstan. But Dunstan was not one to be manipulated by a beautiful face even if her eyes did sparkle with the promise of seduction. He continued with his work, trying his best to ignore her.



The woman became even more daring in her bid to get Dunstan to pay her some attention. But as she danced around him, her skirt lifted up, and Dunstan could clearly see hooves where feet should be.

Not one to be easily shocked, Dunstan very calmly picked up his pair of tongs, that had been resting in the fire, and he clamped them hard on the woman’s nose. The woman screamed, and her appearance changed. Wings came out from her back, and Dunstan watched, with no surprise, as the woman turned into the Devil.



Lucifer (Le génie du mal) by Guillaume Geefs (Cathedral of St. Paul, Liège, Belgium) ~ Wikipedia

The Devil managed to free his nose from the burning tongs, and he flew up into the air. It is said that the Devil flew to Kent and seeing the water at Tunbridge Wells, he landed and dipped his face into the water in a desperate bid to ease his burning nose. And from that day on the water turned red and tasted of sulphur.

But this wasn't the last encounter Dunstan was to have with the Devil. One day the Devil came to Dunstan and asked him to reshoe his horse. But instead of putting the horseshoe on to the horse's foot, Dunstan nailed it onto the Devil's hoof. The Devil, understandably, roared with pain. He ordered Dunstan to take the shoe off. But Dustan folded his arms about him and shook his head. In the end, the Devil began to beg. Dunstan said he would take the shoe off but only if the Devil swore never to enter a house that had a horseshoe nailed above the door. The Devil agreed, and now you know why a horseshoe hung over a door is considered lucky. For the Devil will leave such a house alone.


Dunstan shoeing the Devil's hoof, as illustrated by George Cruikshank ~ Wikipedia


The life of Dunstan is a fascinating one. He was disgusted with how the Church was run, and he wanted to do something about it. He did not think it right that priests could marry and have families. Priests, in his opinion, should take a vow of celibacy. Well, as you can image, his view was not popular, and he met a great deal of opposition to his argument.


Possible self-portrait of Dunstan. Detail from the Glastonbury Classbook ~ Wikipedia



Things finally came to ahead in the meeting which had been called to address this troublesome matter. These important men of the Church met on the first floor of a building in Wiltshire.

Wiltshire

They debated, they argued,  but no one could agree. They were going around in circles with their arguments. This was going to be a complete waste of time. Dunstan had had enough, so he simply said...

"Let Jesus decide."


And with those words, something terrible happened. There was a creaking and a groaning and then without warning the floor gave way. Many men fell through the floor. I was quite a drop, and many were injured. But Dunstan and his supports stood on the other side of the room unharmed, and they looked down, though the hole in the floor upon their fellow priests with shocked surprise. Jesus had decided.

Those who had fallen through the roof believed that it wasn't Jesus' will that had made that part of the floor collapse, but instead, it was Dunstan's will. He had sabotaged the floor. But no one would believe them.

Dunstan won that argument and from that day on priests were forbidden to marry.

But there is more. It wasn't plain sailing for Dunstan as he tried to implement new laws for the priesthood. He wanted to see an end to the days of drunkenness and disorder within the monasteries. But he had learnt that arguing had got him nowhere, so from now on, if anyone disagreed with him, he simply turned them into eels and threw them into the rivers and lakes of the Fenlands. A certain place that Dunstan favoured became known as Ely — the place of Eels!


So there we have it. No wonder everyone both feared and respected Dunstan.


Dunstan died on the 19th May 988 at the age of 79. He was made a saint shortly after.


References

If not otherwise stated, all images can be found on Pixbay.
First published on Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 10th August 2017


Mary Anne Yarde is a multi award-winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, the Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.