Sunday, March 31, 2019

Why Women Live Longer Than Men?

Gentlemen, no pun intended.
Enjoy the videos and stay safe!

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Happy Sunday, and stay safe

Friday, March 29, 2019

The First Vampire

Everyone thinks they know who the first vampire is. This guy right?

Vlad the Impaler or as Bram Stoker named him Dracula. Nope dead wrong. Vampire legends stretch back to ancient Greece. Myth has it that a young Italian man, Ambrogio, fell in love with a woman named Selena after visiting the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo. Since Ambrogio was madly in love after one meeting he asked her to marry him. Luck however, was not on his side. Jealous Apollo wanted her too, and being a god he wasn't going to be out done by a mortal. Apollo cursed Ambrogio so his sun would burn everytime he was exposed to sunlight. Sound familiar?

Ambrogio didn't give up though. He went to Hades for help and you know that never ends well. In order to get Hades' help he had to steal Artemis' silver bow. Just FYI if you steal from a god don't get caught. Ambrogio either didn't know that or he was a lousy thief because Artemis caught him and cursed him as well. Now silver burned his skin.

As time wore on Artemis eventually takes pity on Ambrogio and grants him gifts to compensate for all the burnt flesh. Super strength, immortality, and fangs to kill beasts for their blood to write love letters to Selena.
 Oh how romantic! Where are my love letters written in blood?

Somehow Selena eventually escapes Apollo, and Artemis who now has a soft spot for Ambrogio tells him how they can be together. Ambrogio can make her immortal by drinking her blood. YUCK! It would kill her body, but her spirit would live on. And hey, if you want to procreate just combine your blood and let someone drink it, poof new vampire. So if you ever meet a couple named Ambrogio and Selena steer clear, well unless you want to be a vampire...or their dinner.

My vampires stray from the typical vampire lore, but they are no less interesting. For Their Sins is a love story that spans 300 years available for purchase on Amazon and other fine retailers. Unlike the Rest is an erotica with a little horror thrown in for good measure available as a free download on my website. 

I am a mother, pharmacist, and author. I love all things fantasy and sci-fi. The Proposal and Everafter are two of my favorite chick-flicks. Wolverine, Batman and Wonder Woman are the best super heros out there, sorry they just are. And Sword Art Online is a great anime. I write what I love so my book genres aren't that surprising. Currently I am on a temporary writing hiatus but hope to get back to my fantasy and romance series soon. If you would like to learn more about me please check out my website. For more about my books please shop my store.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dr. Seuss by Cindy J. Smith

Seuss did not start out as a children's author

Related image

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born March 2, 1904 in  Springfield, MA and died September 24, 1991 in La Jolla, CA. He never had children, stating often that he preferred to just entertain those of others.

Seuss did not start out as a children's author.  He wrote political cartoons and advertisements for several magazines.  His anti-Japanese cartoons helped to fuel the flames of distrust in Americans for their neighbors.  After the war, however, Seuss went to Japan and he realized the effect or WWII on everyone. His book, Horton Hears A Who, seems to represent his change of heart as Horton continuously repeats “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

Dr. Seuss decided to try his hand at children's literature when he saw how rampant illiteracy was becoming.  He believed the boring nature of children's books was the main reason for the lack of desire to learn to read.

I was surprised to learn that Cat In The Hat was not his first children's book. His first was:  And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.  It had been rejected 27 times before he showed it to a former classmate who worked for Vangard Press. Knowing this talented man received rejection letters lessens the sting from those I receive.

He not only wrote his children's books, he illustrated them. He also did several animated works, both political and book related. He received many awards in his career including two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Pulitzer Prize and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

I found it interesting to learn that I, along with most people, have always mispronounced his name as is remarked by Alexander Laing who wrote: 
"You're wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn't rejoice
If you're calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice"

One of his many well-known books, Green Eggs and Ham was written because of a bet with his publisher that he could not write a book using less than the 236 words he used in The Cat in the Hat.  He won the bet as the book only uses 50!
I know I read somewhere that his book, Fox In Socks, was written as a fun way to help children with speech impediments, however, I cannot find it referenced anywhere now.

Dr.Seuss is my lifelong favorite author. He is my inspiration. The way his books could evoke feelings of morality without forcing the issue amazed me. His style of writing led me to mine.  I write in the first person, to show people different viewpoints while never aiming my finger at anyone.  My desire being to enlighten people to become more caring, more humane.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Picture Books by Erika M Szabo

Picture books for children 2-8

I love writing and illustrating picture books for children. The stories are short and deliver valuable message without sounding preachy.
 In this story:
Terry is struggling to learn numbers. Pansy, Terry’s dog, and Pansy’s best friend, Oliver, the hedgehog, want to help but they don’t know how. In the morning, Terry tells her mother that the fairy showed her the numbers in her dream. 

This little book is about:
Penny always wants to do what her big brother does. She imitates his every move and constantly tweets, “Me, too.” Spike is angry at his sister and threatens to name her Metoo, but when the two young chickens face danger, Spike realizes how important family is and happy to have a sometimes annoying, but loving and brave little sister. 
Enjoy a short video

And visit my website to see my book pages:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Monologue or Soliloquy by Rick Haynes

Monologue or Soliloquy


I always get these mixed up so looked at the definition of both.

Delivered by one character to other characters, or at least overheard by other characters if delivered to an audience.
It should serve a clear purpose and reveal something about the speaker and/or the situation that cannot be revealed by dialogue or character interaction.

Delivered alone by one character without any other characters overhearing.
I’ll concentrate on the former.

A monologue will have a clear beginning, middle and end. Like a mini story within the bigger one, the speaker has a realisation or revelation at the end. As in any story a monologue should grab the reader’s attention immediately – the hook if you like. A strong voice will enhance the tale giving the reader a sense of character. Past or present, the character should use memory in bringing forward past events.

A clear ending is important as it brings the tale to a conclusion.
Think of William Shakespeare and his monologue in Henry V, the speech before the battle at Agincourt. Here is the main part
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
All good so far, I thought, but then I realised I needed to write one. As I love medieval fantasy, perhaps I could think of a rousing speech before a battle? That was easier said than done but eventually, I succeeded. With sincere apologies to the great bard, here is my humble offering.
“You men, my comrades. Strong of arm and fearless in battle, now is the day to show your worth.
The enemy is near, their banners bright and their spears sharp. Yet most are mercenaries who will run at the sight of a true warrior. Listen to them, they’re screaming like a gaggle of washerwomen. And who among you has ever been afraid of foul words from a gathering of she-cats?”

“I share in your laughter yet would urge you to look again at their front ranks. They may strut like peacocks but see the terror in their eyes.”

“You have earned the right to stand tall and now it is time to send these upstarts to hell. I am proud to stand before my men, my sword shields, my friends in battle, for today we fight together as one clan.”

“Are you with me?”


Monday, March 25, 2019

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three

Sanctuary of Nine Dragons

Christina Weigand

Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.

With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.

Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?

Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?

Dragons of Asha

Dragons of Sidramah


“I have sent one who can save them, but he can also bring about their final destruction.

“You, my Guardians, must seek him out. Protect him and ensure he is guided on the right paths.”

Alorn lifted his great, ruby-red head. “Tell us who is he, Lord, that we may fulfill Your wishes.”

“I cannot reveal his identity…yet. Just know there are three who need you now. My power will be seen in all, but only one will be the savior in the end. However, all are needed to bring My Will about and they must all be protected and nurtured.”

“How will we know them?” Stefano leaned forward.

“All will be children of Brandan or Joachim and they will blend the lineage of the three races.”

“We know of Joachim’s children, but Brandan has none.”

“He has one, a half Mantion-half human child. Gorou is the third and he will be the hardest to protect and nurture.”

“Why a child of Brandan?” Cielo asked. “Brandan has already chosen the path of evil time and again. Would not a child of his be exposed to that same evil?”


Excerpt II

Joachim cringed as he thought about what he had to do. The council had decided. He didn’t agree completely, but in the end, Joachim knew it was the only way; something had to be done. Maybe Brandan would give him a reason not to send him away.

King Brandan stomped into the room. “Why, Brother, have you no throne prepared for your poor, missing brother? I’m hurt. I expected more from you and my sister-in-law. Maeve, dear, couldn’t you have helped him prepare better?” He stepped toward her, quickly grabbed her hand, and kissed it.

Joachim lunged at him, pushing him from the dais. Brandan staggered then regained his balance and gazed at his brother. “Why such violence, especially when I am so recently injured?”

Stepping off the dais, Joachim stood eye-to-eye with his brother. “Enough! You’re no more hurt than I am. And you have no business touching my wife, or sitting on Crato’s throne.”

Brandan laughed, pushed him aside, and stepped up to claim his throne. Joachim grabbed his twin's shoulder, spun him around, and punched him in the mouth.

Rubbing where Joa’s fist had landed, Brandan smirked. “Well, my brother has finally developed some stones.” He raised his other hand to hit Joachim.

Matthias stepped forward, sword in hand and grabbed his arm before he could hit Crato's king. He pulled the king’s brother away, so Joachim could reclaim his throne.

Jerking himself free, Brandan straightened his tunic. “This has been fun; but as you seem to be in no mood to visit, I shall take my leave. Come to me when you’re in a better frame of mind.”

“Stop! You are going nowhere until I say you can.”

Brandan stopped and looked at his brother. “What did you say to me? Is that how you talk to a fellow king and brother?”

“Yes, it is. As of this morning, you are no longer a king, and I’m not sure I should even call you brother.”

“Why dearest brother, whatever do you mean?” Brandan asked.

“Ever since we were boys, you have done everything you could to make trouble. I was always willing to forgive you and hoped you would change your evil ways. But no more! You have pushed me—pushed this country—too far this time,” Joa thundered at him.

 “What are you rambling on about?” Brandan sneered and bit a fingernail. 

“Brandan, I should sentence you to execution, but there are two things keeping me from that. First: you are my brother, and I hold onto a hope, however faint, you can be reformed…”

Brandan chortled. “Not a good bet, brother.”

“Second, I strongly suspect you of making two attempts on my life.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough evidence to prove it was you. I punished one innocent man because of the little evidence we do have. I do not wish to make that mistake a second time.”

Brandan laughed again. “So, if we’re finished here, I’ll be leaving.”
“As I said before, you won’t be going anywhere until I say so. I may not have what I need to sentence you to death, but after your actions toward the queen this morning, I have some recourse.”

“What are you talking about? I did nothing she didn't ask for.”

Maeve rose from her throne. Joa put his hand on her arm to stop her.
“Brandan, I suggest you remain quiet until I finish.”

“Brother, you do not have the authority to do this. We are equals.”

“Do you not see the Adept Council before you? We met and discussed this matter at length... They have given me the authority.”

“This tiresome group of old men?” Brandan laughed. “They have even less power over me than you do.”

Ignoring Brandan’s comments, the king continued. “First, I strip you of your title. You are no longer King Brandan but will henceforth be known simply as Prince Brandan.” He paused and swallowed. He didn’t know if he could continue. The lump in his throat felt as big as a koali fruit. He swallowed again. Maeve grasped his hand. Warmth and reassurance enveloped him. He knew what he had to do.

“When we have finished here, Rupert, Salochin, and Master Frederick will take you to Rupert’s tower. There, they will strip you of your magical powers. When they are finished, Matthias and Wilhelm will escort you to the Port of Wyrzburg, where you will be put on a ship bound for Hyogo, the prison island. There you will remain for the rest of your life. You are never to return to Crato or Mahorg. You will live in the mountain abbey with the monks and work side-by-side with them.”

“You’re a misguided fool.” Brandan sneered. “If you believe that by exiling me, you are saving yourself from evil—think again. You may have peace and rest comfortably for a short while, but don’t assume I won’t find a way to come back and destroy you.” He stepped up to the thrones and leaned forward, placing a hand on each. The guards on either side of the king stepped forward to stop him. Joachim raised his hand signaling them to stop.

Brandan glared at the guard and muttered, “Freisen!” The man froze where he stood.

Brandan turned back to his brother and sister-in-law. “No, Joa. This is not over and what I did to your guard is nothing compared to the evils you will suffer by my hand.”

While he was speaking, Rupert chanted a binding spell. Matthias came forward and placed his sword tip to Brandan’s back.

The king put his good hand on his brother’s shoulders and pushed him upright as he stood. “You have done enough! Matthias, escort him to Master Rupert’s tower.”

As the prince was escorted from the room, Joa slumped back into his throne. It was done, he thought as remorse washed over him. A tear crawled down his cheek as Maeve squeezed his hand. 

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