The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder is a Science Fiction Romance. Coming on December 30th from Soul Mate Publishing. Here's a blurb, excerpt, and a little about the author to wet your appetite until then. Enjoy!
Blurb: A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.
Twenty Second Century
Sheraton Home World
I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.
“Ariel, are you listening?”
Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”
She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.
A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.
Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?
Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.
No longer on her planet, Grinocx, she did her best to understand this planet’s culture. Order made sense, but the Sheratons never made sense. Her gaze wandered to the well-manicured lawn designed for ostentatious parties. Not paying attention, Ariel’s mind still picked up a few phrases in the lecture, please a man, be agreeable, and do whatever is asked with a smile, floated in the air.
Lenchena’s voice became animated as she told them, “Ferula can be used on your future husband to ensure he finds completion even if you are too tired to perform your duties. However, with your husband, do this sparingly or else he’ll find you a lazy wife.”
Ariel blinked after that statement. Another grueling lecture on pointless marriage and sex. Blah, blah, blah. Her people, Grinders, didn’t believe in love and mating only to reproduce. Being stuck on Sheraton where the women dressed in long dresses, caring for homes with neatly cut green grass, and doing nothing more exciting than watching the pink dawns, while the men held careers in outer space, had never been her plan.
Was she really sitting in a lecture on how to please the male species? She rolled her eyes. Seriously? No, she refused to listen to this nonsense. The words ‘ladies never say no’ reverberated behind her back and made her face pucker.
Ariel schooled her features, pretending to listen to the school master, Ms. Rochelle. The woman had no heart. No one had listened to Ariel when she had cried for days and days that some young teenager had switched bodies with her, trapping her in this alien hell. Rochelle had dragged her back to school, and kept her under lock and key.
Hope became fleeting after that, while the years ticked past. For the past four years, she’d been training at the all-girls school for orphans on how to be a proper maid and housewife.
The twenty-five years of her life training to be an engineer, then serving on the starship Tygra, then the sistership Thrycer, had been stolen.
Now that this body was almost of marriageable age, Ms. Rochelle, cursed school teacher, paraded Ariel out of the orphanage to find her a match. Every week or special event needing service, Ariel had on the job training with heavy supervision, pointing out Ariel’s light pink hair and ability to be a serviceable wife to a working man. Pink hair girls are sweethearts. Yeah right. That lowlife bottom-feeding insect, Lenchena, had stolen her body and her life.
Ariel had stopped complaining years ago because it got her nowhere. She was on her own and needed to find a way out of this body and back to her ship. With the almost age of marriage upon her, it was now or never. Then Ariel was going to find that little twit who stole her body and make her pay for stranding her on this backward planet.
“In a few weeks Ariel will be leaving us. Heading toward marriage with Massimo?” Ms. Rochelle’s voice pulled her back into the lecture.
“Err . . .” Massimo, with his hovercraft, became convenient transportation to leave the school with permission, but marriage? The boy dreamed of owning a restaurant with a pretty wife. She’d find a way off the planet, when she wasn’t being observed or offered for marriage to every low level non-space going man on this planet. Time ticked fast now.
“Ariel is lucky to have found a man so interested in her beauty, he can overlook her status.”
Ariel’s mouth tightened and she lowered her head to hide her scowl. No. Massimo was a child, too. Getting her body back from the child thief, Lenchena, mattered far more. This body was now strong. Away from the ever-watchful teacher, she’d have her chance for escape at one of the upcoming diplomatic events where she’d be a maid or serve others dinner. Plus, Sheratons mated for life, something Ariel refused to believe in. But in order not to draw attention to herself, she played along. “Um, yes. I am.”
A group of male soldiers marched past the closed door of the school room. The females in the class twisted around to catch a glimpse of them. Ariel didn’t join her classmates in staring and drooling at the opposite sex.
Why did these aliens keep males and females separate until marriage? The customs of this world never ceased to amaze her. The teacher taught the virgin teenagers to expect women to fall into orgasm whenever a man’s hand grazed her body. Seriously? Had they never had sex before? In her memory, sex hadn’t been that all-encompassing.
For the past four years she’d been stuck in this body, living through alien teenage hormones. The sexually denied tightness irritated her body, and her mind longed to be back working on a single engine design. On the Thrycer, she’d run a top design engine room, winning numerous awards for ingenuity on a space ship. Then she’d joined the boarding party to Sheraton, being told the planet was a relaxing and safe tranquil spa. Lies.
If Ariel let them, these alien hormones would dull her reaction time in the girl’s leftover body that held her consciousness. She’d managed to keep slim and fit with exercise as she bided her time until she found a way to her freedom, and got her body and life back. When she finished this, she’d fix everything. She’d force the girl who stole from her to return with the borrowed body to make the final switch and right everything.
About the Author:
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.
Visit Victoria online at:
Authors Website: http://www.victoriapinder.com
The big day finally happened!by Debbie Herbert
I attended the fabulous Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama the day after my debut novel, Siren's Secret, was released by Harlequin Nocturne. Over 140 readers and writers attended the event.
Since this was my first book signing, I had no idea what to expect. Me and fellow writer Lexi George, along with our friends Tammy Lynn and Fran Holland, went the night before. At dinner we met the Famous Barbara Vey of Beyond Her Book blog and the founders of Fresh Fiction, a delightful mother/daughter team that came in from Dallas. As if that wasn't heady enough, I sat across the table from Tavia Gilbert, the narrator for all of Jeanine Frost's books. I also became reacquainted with Laura Haydon, writer extraordinaire and founder of Author/Author book publishing.
Still not the best part.
The day of the signing started on an ominous note when I had trouble with my truck, but we all arrived on time. I sat at the table with the luncheon MC MV Freeman, a great writer, and some readers. I even spent about ten minutes talking with keynote writer/speaker Jeanine Frost - who is as sweet as she is talented. When my name was called I got on stage and told a bit about my book and was met with a nice round of applause. Fun!
Still not the best part.
As an author, we were all required to put together a basket as a door prize. Mine was a mermaid/ocean theme and I actually drew the name of someone I knew -- fellow Georgia Romance Writer Hilde McQueen. Congrats, Hildie!
After lunch, I put up the fab, large posterboard of my book cover that Harlequin so kindly sent over. It was a big hit and I sold over a dozen books. Not bad for a newbie!
Still not the best part.
I checked my i-phone and discovered Siren's Secret was the #1 selling Harlequin Nocturne and had made the top 100 in Amazon's paranormal romance shape-shifters category.
Thrilling, but still not the best part.
After all was over and a handful of us authors were left, waiting to meet with Laura and get our book credits, my friend Tammy led me by the elbow to a table where a woman sat, her nose buried in my book. "She's already on page 36 of your book last time we checked," Tammy whispered. "She's been reading it non-stop."
The reader (see above) was Nephartari Yancey -- I do so hope I spelled her name correctly! -- , sister of writer Naima Simone who will be next year's RWA Southern Magic President.
The Best Part.
I actually got a little choked up. Yes, it was fun to hob-knob with the industry hotshots and network with fellow authors and sign books. But there is nothing -- nothing! -- like seeing someone engrossed in a book you wrote. Someone that is not a friend or family member -- those close to us HAVE to like our book -- or at least pretend they do!
The memory of that moment is helping me deal with new worries I didn't have while unpublished -- things likes sales numbers and reviews or lack thereof.
Wishing every writer that same thrill of connecting with a reader -- over and over.
Have you experienced meeting or hearing from a reader? What's been the most exciting moment of your writing career- published or not-yet published?
Until next time,
Visit my Amazon author's page : https://www.amazon.com/author/debbieherbert and like me on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Debbie-Herbert-Author/151793451695632 Debbie Herbert Author
(Image courtesy of artur84@FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I’m writing a series of vampire novels, and keep hearing the rumor that the market is flooded. And no publisher will buy another novel about vampires. That may very well be true, but vampire fiction has flourished for centuries. If you look back at some of my earlier posts, you’ll see vampire fiction documented as far back as the sixteenth century. I decided to show you just how infatuated our society has been with these mythical creatures since the invention of film. I’ve not named them all, but if you’ll notice, there have been popular motion pictures about vampires during every decade except one.
So sit back and let me take you on a journey through time. Okay, maybe not a real journey, but you get the picture.
- Nosferatu: 1922 - This adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was not released at the time due to a dispute between the director and Stoker’s widow over copyright. But bootleg copies of the film survived, and it has since become a classic.
- Dracula: 1931 - Based on the stage adaptation of the novel, this highly publicized movie introduced Bela Lugosi in the title role. His menacing performance had audiences fainting in the aisles, and the film proved a massive box-office success.
- Vampyr: 1932 - A slow-paced take on the vampire myth, in which vampires lured villagers to commit suicide, then become servants of the devil. The movie is now viewed as a groundbreaking piece of film history.
- Horror of Dracula: 1958 - This film was made on a low budget but went on to break box-office records. It also spawned eight follow-ups, which were dubbed ‘Hammer Horrors’ after the studio that made them.
- The Last Man on Earth: 1964 - Starred Vincent Price and was based on the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. In 1971 it appeared on screen as The Omega Man, and in 2007, it was remade under its original name I Am Legend.
- Rabid: 1977 - This one sounds weird. It tells the story of a woman who grows a phallic organ under her armpit and goes on to suck blood through it, infecting others with a form of rabies, causing widespread chaos. Told you it was weird.
- The Hunger: 1983 - It starred Susan Sarandon and David Bowie, and was criticized for a slow-moving and bad plot. However, its dark glamour and lush visuals earned it a cult following, especially among the goth subculture.
- The Lost Boys: 1987 - This was one of my favorites that I watched with my daughters too many times to count. It starred Jason Patric, Cory Haim and Kiefer Sutherland. It tells the story of two boys who move to California and find themselves in conflict with a gang of teenaged vampires.
- Dracula: 1992 - Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Keanu Reeves. ‘Big names, a big budget, big sets, and big hair’ was how one critic described this film. But audiences loved it, and it was a box-office smash.
- Interview with the Vampire: 1994 - Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, was based on the Anne Rice Chronicles. The film attracted controversy because of its violence, and the fact that Rice was not enthusiastic about the casting of Cruise in the role of Lestat. However it ultimately went on to be a hit. And I’ve never seen a sexier vampire than Brad Pitt in the role of Louis de Pointe du Lac.
- From Dusk till Dawn: 1996 - A pulp B-movie starring George Clooney and Selma Hayek. This film featured sex, violence, gore, and stripper vampires. But, I still liked it.
A New Century of Vampires Begin
- Blade: 1998 - Wesley Snipes played Blade, a character based on the fictional hero of Marvel Comics. He played a half human half vampire who fought off a vampire invasion. It was a massive box-office success and spawned two sequels.
- Underworld: 2003 - Kate Beckinsale stars as a kickass female vampire who hunts Lycans. Two sequels followed.
- Twilight: 2008 - The huge popularity of Stephanie Myers Twilight Series and movies about teenage love between a human and vampire set off a firestorm of vampire novels the likes of which have never been seen.
- True Blood: 2009 to present - The HBO series based on the Southern Vampire Mystery novels by Charlaine Harris. In my humble opinion, True Blood brought the sexy vampire to television. I read the books and have been a fateful watcher of the show. What can I say, I do love vampires.
- The Vampire Diaries: 2009 to present - This is another television series based on the popular Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith that features teenage vampires. And I have to say, Ian Somerhalder who plays the role of Damon has the sexiest, smoldering eyes of any fictional vampire I’ve seen.
- Dracula: 2013 - This is a new series that just aired for the first time last week. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is going to make a wonderful Dracula. He’s extremely sexy, dark, and mysterious. If you watched him in the lead role of ‘The Tudors’ you know he can play one badass alpha male. It looks to be another great show to watch that will take me away from writing my own sexy, alphas with fangs.
Looking back over this list, it seems a lot of films were inspired by Bram Stokers Dracula. But over the years vampires have turned from Stokers hideous creatures of the night into the smoking hot vampires we dream of taking us away and fulfilling our every desire. Oh, if we could be so lucky.
Who are your favorite alpha males with fangs? Leave a comment, because I never get tired of talking about vampires.
Until next time,
There are a lot of folks out there who don't pursue their dreams because they believe they're missing the creativity gene needed to reach their goals. It is my belief that everyone has the ability to be creative. They only need a little inspiration.
When I was younger, my twin sister often said "you're the creative one", because I liked to draw, paint, write stories and I rarely let a picture in my coloring books go blank. My sister was the one we believed had more of an analytical side.
I got an English degree focusing on literature. She got an English degree focusing on grammar. I lost count of how many times I told her she had creativity, she just needed the right inspiration.
So, let me tell you about an analytical woman who got inspired. My twin makes quilts. Her quilts are absolutely lovely. Each quilt takes time and a lot of work, not to mention the loving care and precision it takes to place all those pieces together. I would never have the patience for that!
Nearly everyone in our family has a quilt made with love by Jerrie. So, since next month is our birthday (how many people can say that?), I thought I'd share a few photos of her creations. I tried to encourage her to sell some. Her response was that she makes them because she wants to, not because she has to. I lost count of how many projects she's working on. It reminds me of how many stories I have going. I think when you're inspired to create, no matter what course it takes, then it's impossible to just turn it off. I'm glad of that. Anyway, Happy Early Birthday, twin of mine!
After four years of writing, my fourth novel, Siren’s Secret
, was bought by Harlequin Nocturne and will be released in November.
What a journey the last few months have been!
Yes, it’s exciting and wonderful and, most important for me, validation that I must be doing something right with my work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attended conferences or taken courses only to panic at the detailed analysis of GMC and the hero’s journey. Incredibly helpful stuff, but often left me panicked that I wasn’t smart enough to get all if it in my story. But I’ve learned that if you are a bookworm, you are soaking up story structure and use it when you write a novel, whether you are conscious of it or not.
So onto lessons learned in having your
first novel published. 1. Expect revisions.
I was dumbfounded when I got my first revision letter. For years I worked on how
to write. Revising is a whole different skill set. It’s deconstructing your work on a grand scale.
2. Have your social media and marketing in place.
I thought having a website, Facebook page, a Facebook Author page and a working familiarity with Twitter was plenty. It’s a start, but not near enough. My computer skills are lacking and even when I know what I should
be doing – like setting up a newsletter signup on my webpage – I don’t know how
to do it.
3. Time Management.
In hindsight, the past four years of writing were a hobby – albeit a passionate one – and not a business. Now I am not only writing and marketing but with just three weeks left until my book hits the shelf, I’m on a deadline for finishing the revisions for the contracted book two of the series.
4. The specifics.
I’ve got two wonderful marketing resources to get you started. One is free and the other 99 cents. Visit author Valerie Bowman’s website http://www.valeriegbowman.com/for-writers/
and purchase her e-book, Painless Marketing for Busy Authors
, for just 99 cents. Then check out writer Marcia James free information for writers on her website at http://www.marciajames.net/
. Request her free marketing information and she’ll send you two 400-word files loaded with information.
5. More specifics.
Do a Goodreads giveaway SIX weeks before your book is published. The best way to create preorder buzz is through them. On your amazon author central page, post excerpts of positive reviews because that is the only way potential readers will see them on that site.
6. Develop relationships.
This takes time but do all you can to meet fellow writers and pick their brains. Talk to someone who’s been through the publishing process and ask them what they did right and what they did wrong.
I hope this information helps someone else about to be published or prepares those not-yet-published writers. If you’re published, please share any tips for the rest of us! If not, what kind of burning questions do you have about the process?
My book, Siren's Secret, is available for preorder on Amazon. It's published by Harlequin Nocturne and will be released digitally on Novmber 1. On November 5, it will be in print wherever most books are sold.
Facebook: Debbie Herbert Author Page
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Empathy - the ability to share in another’s emotions, thoughts, or feelings.
A few years ago I joined my first professional writers group, Romance Writers of America. I was amazed at how kind and supportive everyone was. Empathy among this group of writers was evident, in spades. I’ve heard writers say, fellow writers are the only people who know what you’re going through. That may be true, but there was something else. Never had I seen this type of camaraderie with my other jobs.
I began to wonder, what was the cohesiveness that made this group different? It didn’t exist among my fellow workers when I was a nurse, (which should have been some of the most kind and caring people on earth.) No one but another nurse could possibly understand the stress you’re under. Nor was it there when I was a hairdresser, or the numerous jobs I held when I was young.
To become a good nurse, you must learn to distance yourself from the patients you care for. If you didn’t, you couldn’t be effective at your job. You would be an emotional mess. As a hairdresser, you hear a lot of customer’s problems. And again, you must distance yourself.
Then, it dawned on me that as a writer, you must do the opposite. When I finished the first draft of my first novel, and started looking for my character arcs, I realized how deeply I cared about them, as if I had lived their story right along with them. I’d cry when they cried, laugh when they laughed, and felt their excitement with their first kiss. I had an epiphany. To write a character well, you put yourself in his or her shoes. You feel what they feel - you are empathetic.
I'm not saying other professions have no empathy. What I am saying, is to be an effective writer, we must develop empathetic personalities. I believe it’s why we’re more in tune to our fellow writers. We not only have first-hand knowledge of what they’re going through, we feel their struggle, their frustration in that difficult scene, their fear of rejection, and heartache when it comes. And if we develop this character trait well, we can take our readers on that same journey, making them feel the same empathy toward our characters and story as we feel.
I’ve enjoyed being a member of RWA and the wonderful group of writers I’ve found there. I joined my local chapter to get one-on-one face time and support. I also joined my subgenre chapter (Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal.) And then I joined another group I’ve enjoyed, Savvy Authors. I’ve met some amazing people and made life- long friends. In all my years, and professions, I’ve never met a more empathetic, supportive group of worldwide co-workers. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
If you’re a writer, and you’ve held off on joining a group of like-minded people, give it a try. You won’t regret it.
If you have questions about any of these writing groups, please leave a comment. Even if you don’t, I’d love to meet you, too.
Until next time,
As promised, I’m sharing with you some highlights from my recent trip to the UK. Although the plane trip to London was over 8 hours long, it seemed shorter. I think it was due to the rapidly building excitement of finally fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting London, England. Once we arrived, we did the normal travel duties (checking maps, exchanging money, running outside to grin like madwomen that we had arrived) and then off to our trip on the tube (subway) towards our hotel designation. Of course, being Potter fans, we located
a hotel situated right off King’s Cross Station. As such, our first stop was the 9 ¾ platform set up exclusively in the train station for such enthusiasts. For four days and three nights, we walked and walked all over London. When our feet tired, we took a bus or the tube. See photo here that shows those Brits help out
the directionally challenged (which saved us a TON of time). Ha!
But, mostly, we walked. I will be posting additional photos once I get them from my daughter. In the meantime, I’ll share here the ones I took on my phone. Our very first stop was the British Library (I’m a writer, so of course this was the first stop)!
The London Bridge was another one of our first day stops. It, of course, was not as beautiful as the Tower Bridge. Most Americans, I heard, confuse the two. The London Bridge is more modern with the Tower Bridge being the one that most associated with London.
Of course, we watched the tourists heading into the Tower of
London. We tried the traditional dish of “fish and chips”, with chips being French fries, not American potato chips. Those are referred to as crisps. We took a tour of the Globe Theater and watched a rehearsal in progress. Beautiful! The weather was cool, but not cold and the River Thames was everything I thought it would be. As I am currently writing Regency Romance, this was a great opportunity to do some research on actual locations of specific places (Vauxhall Gardens, Hyde Park, etc.). More to come on my next blog!
Remember, dreams can come true. This is proven by my trip and the fact that my best friend and co-blogger Debbie Herbert’s debut book is coming out in November! Dreams just require some work, that’s all. If you have been to London, or anyplace you’ve dreamed about, I’d love to hear about it.
Today I want to welcome Gioconda Lyss who is celebrating the release of her
first novel which debuts this Friday. "Heaven on Earth" is Gioconda Lyss'
first erotic novella. She lives in Nevada with her husband, two wonderful
children, and the world's most spoiled cat and dog. You can find her on the web at http://www.giocondalyss.com/
Book Blurb: Gwen McAllister and Desmond Blankenship have both had their share of disappointment
in love and marriage. Gwen is a divorced woman who swears never to love again.
Desmond is a businessman who finds his wife in bed with a friend. The two meet
at a party in Phoenix and soon begin a long-distance relationship. While Desmond
knows Gwen is the woman he wants to be with, Gwen is reluctant about facing her
feelings for Desmond. Just when Desmond is ready to declare his true feelings
for Gwen, Gwen’s life take an unexpected turn. Leticia Martinez, Gwen’s long-
time friend and occasional lover, makes an unexpected visit. At first, Leticia
and Desmond express an instant dislike for one another. Will Gwen have to choose
between the two people she loves the most, or will they make the relationship
work for all three of them?
The author has stopped by today to tell us more about herself and her book. First, Gioconda, I'd like to know the significance of your beautiful name.
Thank you, Debbie for having me as a guest on your blog today. My name, Gioconda, is another name for Mona Lisa, which is my real name. When I decided that I wanted to write erotic romance and that I was going to do it under nom de plume, the name Gioconda Lyss came to mind and …I liked it. I thought that it had a nice ring to it, and that it also sounded different and charming. “Heaven on Earth”, your novel, is being published by Secret Cravings. Tell us the special celebration party you have planned on your Facebook page.
I have invited my friends and family to celebrate
the release of “Heaven on Earth” in a virtual party on Facebook, Saturday between
10:00-11:30. There will be prizes and I am sure that everybody will have a great
time. How long have you been writing and is this your first finished book? Do you write other genres?
I have been writing all my life, it seems, but only considered making it into a profession five years or so
ago. I published short stories in the Fantasy/ Sci-Fi genre before moving into
the Romance genre. I find erotic romance such a wonderful and fun genre to write
in and I absolutely love and adore everything about it. I plan to write in it
for a long time, though I also consider going back to fantasy in a few years,
and finish some projects that reside in my computer and have not yet seen the
light of day. What inspired you to write this book? Are there more planned in the same genre?
“Heaven on Earth” is about a plus-sized woman who finds love and fulfils her wildest fantasies with the two
people that she loves the most. I wrote “Heaven” as homage to all plus-sized
women out there and to tell them that it’s okay to have curves, a crazy,
wonderful sex life and find love in the process. I am working on a “French” series: I have
completed “The French Model” and I am now working on “The French Virgin” which I
intend to have done by the end of the month. In the series I have also planned
“The French Maid”, “French Kiss”, “The French Tart”, and “The French Star”. Anything else you'd like to add?
I am looking forward to seeing all of you at the party and I want to thank you for
the opportunity to talk about “Heaven on Earth”. You can find me at http://www.giocondalyss.com/ Wishing you much success, Gioconda!
For Friday the 13th, DH and I went on a little motorcycle road trip to Elberton, Georgia to visit what’s billed as an American Stonehenge. Okay, we didn’t realize the trip coincided with the 13th, but the date fit perfectly with the mysterious theme of the granite megaliths. The huge slabs are etched with a set of ten principles and the original owner, or owners, are unknown. No one knows why this was erected and why it’s located in a rural north Georgia field.
When people told us it was out in a field in the middle of nowhere, they weren’t exaggerating. Our GPS wasn’t working and I thought we’d never find it. There are no road signs marking the monument location and entry to it is on a dirt road. We arrived mid-morning and the only other person there was an elderly man in a pickup truck. My husband spoke to him and asked if he knew anything about the stones. He didn’t. My husband – who heard it theorized the owner was a Rosicrucianist – then asked him if he was Rosicrucian. The man crinkled his face and asked if ‘Rosicrucian’ was a type of truck, because the only trucks he ever bought were Fords.
No enlightenment there. While we explored the guidestone, I was always aware of the old man as he sat in his truck and watched us the whole time. Perhaps a secret protector of the stones?
We read information carved on a separate stone structure off to the side of the monument. The guidestone was built in 1980 and its owner is unknown. The structure consists of six granite slabs, and is just over nineteen-feet tall. As you can see from the picture, there is a center slab surrounded by four others and topped by a capstone. The structure is built to be astronomically correct. On each of the four outer slabs is a set of ten guidelines, etched in English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The top capstone has inscriptions in Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The principles it espouses are mostly universal – with the huge exception of number one. My husband has heard rumors that the original owner or owners believed a catastrophic event would befall earth and reduce the world’s population to under half a million.
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth -- beauty -- love -- seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
My favorite principle is number nine, while my husband’s is number seven.
After about twenty minutes of arriving, a group of motorcyclists dropped by and we chit-chatted a bit before taking our leave. I have no idea how many visitors the guidestone gets, perhaps nobody does – with the possible exception of the old truck driver.
Sadly, I have to report that neither of us felt a single woo-woo vibe. Not even a tiny tingle as we ran fingers over the inscribed words. Still, it was a fun trip and if you are ever in the area check it out.
Have you ever visited a place where you felt a special connection to history or the earth?
Hey there Plus Ones!
I leave this week for England, Scotland, and Wales! I am super excited to finally be making a trip overseas. One of the biggest things I am looking forward to this week is all the tea and biscuits I will be indulging in.
While in school, I came across a great recipe for butter tea cookies that are easy to make, versatile for every occasion, and very delicious. So I leave you with this recipe and I will think of all of you while I am
having my own tea and biscuits. See you when I get back!
Butter Tea Cookies
Oven Temp: 375 F
Baking Time: about 10 min
Butter (or half butter and half shortening) 12 oz.
Granulated Sugar 6 oz.
Confectioners’ sugar 3 oz.
Eggs 4.5 oz.
Vanilla extract 1 tsp.
Cake Flour 1 lb. 2 oz.
Paddle butter and sugar until smooth. The paste should have the look of smooth peanut butter. Add eggs and vanilla a little at a time until fully incorporated. Then add the flour. Put dough into a bad and pipe out small cookies about the size of a quarter, (You can use a star tip or a plain tube as well), onto an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until golden on the edges.
My favorite are to create an indent on the top of the cookie and fill it with jam then bake them. There are so many variations you can do with this cookie. Get creative and let me know how they work out!