Fun Friday: Spring Celebrations, Traditions, and Fun Facts by Karen Michelle Nutt

Fun Friday: Spring Celebrations, Traditions, and Fun Facts by Karen Michelle Nutt

CELEBRATION

There are pagan and religious holidays associated with spring. The earliest reference to a spring celebration dates back to Babylon, 2400 BCE. The city of Ur’s celebration was dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox. On the spring equinox Zoroastrians celebrated, No Ruz, the new day or New Year.

necropolis, Knowth, IrelandTo the Celts, the equinoxes and the solstices were the holy times of transition, where nature and life cycles renew. Alban Eiler means ‘Light of the Earth.’ It was the first day of spring where day and night were equal. The spring equinox was celebrated before the Celtic tribes arrived in Ireland. There are ancient Irish equinox temples in Knowth. This is near Newgrange or ‘Brú na Boinne.’ Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that accepts the Sun on the morning of the Spring and the Autumn Equinox. In Longhcrew, ‘Cairn’ is an older stone cairn equinox temple.

TRADITIONS

Easter is derived from Eostre, the name of the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess. Eostre’s feast day was held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. On this day, the goddess was believed to mate with the solar god and a child would be born nine months later on Yule, the winter solstice on December 21st.

Eostre’s important symbols were the hare and the egg. The hare represented the full moon and fertility.

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The egg represented growth and possible new life. Even today these two symbols are popular with the modern Easter celebrations.

Rabbits have long been associated with fertility and birth. There is a German legend where a poor woman had decorated colorful eggs for her children to find. As soon as the children found the hidden eggs, a large bunny was spotted hopping away. Some believe this is how the legend of the Easter Bunny was started.

Interesting Facts About Spring and Easter Eggs

If you were standing on the equator during either the vernal equinox or autumnal equinox, you would see the sun pass directly overhead, the only two times in the year when this happens. These two equinoxes is the only time the sun rises due east and sets due west.

In Spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted toward the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was over 25 feet high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs.

The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.

Filigree

About the Author: Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chihuahua/Yorkshire terrier is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.https://i0.wp.com/www.kmnbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/shapeimage_6.jpeg

Her new passion is creating book covers for Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. In her spare time, she reviews books for PNR-Paranormal Romance Reviews.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at: http://www.kmnbooks.com

Stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats and contests at:

http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com

*All photos are Bigstock Photos and purchased by the author.

Front Porch Saturday: jj’s Sundry

Front Porch Saturday: jj’s Sundry

jj’s Sundry

 

My writing career began when I received my first box of markers and found a wonderful, large, piece of paper, aka my bedroom wall. That first piece of writing won me a time-out. My first contracted book — I was inspired to write as the result of my young son becoming a victim of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (cancer that strikes children, teens, young adults). During the long chemotherapy sessions, choosing not to talk, he slept or watched TV and I wrote. A four book series came from those six months: The Watcher (soul mates find each other), Believe (children being experimented with and transformed by using chemotherapy drugs…this story is so close to what could happen it’s frightening) and Melody’s Song (a woman deals with the death of her son to cancer and rises like the phoenix to find love again) and the final book, Shadow of the Hawk.

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Some of the settings in the Believe Series are in England and Scotland. I love to travel and use my limited experiences in my books. I can’t say my travels are exotic…Canada was my first time out of the country and I’ve been there a few times. Mexico was an experience; I wish I could have visited some of the Mayan ruins. My husband and I traveled throughout Europe, and as far as I’m concerned, not spending near enough time at one place. We need to revisit. We took copious photos and I use them as references when I need scenes in England and Scotland. The gardens are beautiful and the countryside well manicured. If you’ve ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, VA, they have similar settings. The gardens appear to be designed from traditional English herbal and floral gardens. Including the hedgerow mazes… which I adore. Williamsburg is a step back in time and I try to visit every two years.

I’d hope to use the English gardens in my own home design, except my gardens are dismal at best. I have a kitchen herb plot directly out the back door. A vegetable garden is south east of the house, now waiting on the arrival of spring. Best of all, patches of flowerbeds are located throughout the acreage. Wondrous-layered color flows from blue periwinkle to purple lavender, from butterfly bushes and white foxglove to baby chick yellow and white chamomile, golden Shasta daisies and bright yellow sunflowers. I like to keep the sections organized so we have continual color from early spring to late fall. Time consuming? You bet, but oh what fantastic natural beauty.

Speaking of beauty, some of my other books have key best friend characters, due to Ramona Bauchert, who I’ve known since we took step aerobics together a lifetime ago. We have that unusual and much sought after friendship that despite how much time has passed when we get together, it’s like nothing has changed. We must have been together in past lives. Her wit and charm is always present in each book I write.

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In Trade Agreement, a quick read, full of suspense, Gemma is best friend to Georgina who travels from Boston, to Virginia. I tried a different technique by separating the story and pulling it together at the end. So far, the reviews have been fantastic. I wanted the heroine to find her true strength and dominate over any adversaries she might encounter. She had quite a few. The story was nominated for the Best of the Best at LASR.

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The Valkyrie Series, The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, and Memory of Love all have a secondary character, Skogul, who plays a key role next to the heroine. Skogul finally gets her own story in Memory of Love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my personal life. Please feel free to share your comments and we’ll chat a little longer.

 

Sincerely,

jj

 

http://www.jj-keller.com

Fantasies with spice and humor.

TWITTER http://twitter.com/jjKellerauthor

 

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/JJ-Keller/263353331459?v=wall

 

WORDPRESS http://romancewithjjkeller.wordpress.com

 

BLOGSPOT http://jjkeller.blogspot.com

 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=JJ%20Keller&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

 

GOODREADS:

https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomjj_Keller

The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love

Shadow of the Hawk/Dark Sun. He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation.
http://cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/jjkeller.htm
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED.  www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
All rights reserved.

 

Front Porch Saturday: The Loss of My Sanity by Jennifer Wilck

Front Porch Saturday: The Loss of My Sanity by Jennifer Wilck

I’ve had painters in my house all week and it’s driving me crazy.

My house was looking dingy and old and it was in desperate need of a paint job (as well as several other things, but I don’t want to give my husband a heart attack, so we’re taking things slowly). Now, while I am the first to point out when something needs to be done around the house, and I love the end product, I have no patience for actually having anything done.

My patience lasts three days. Three. Not four. Not even three days and one hour. Three days.

It took me six weeks to find a painter and pick colors. That’s significantly longer than three days, so I already went into this project at a distinct disadvantage. Or maybe I should say, my painter did.

Now, I want to say, first of all, how awesome my painter is. He’s a really nice guy, is meticulous and cleans up after himself every single day. So I’d hire him again in an instant and recommend him to everyone.

My problem is that he’s in my house. With me. When I’m used to being by myself. He’s a little hard of hearing, so he talks loudly. And he gets bored, so he listens to sports talk radio loudly. And when he’s tired of that, he listens to country music loudly.

I’m used to silence. My kids are loud. The TV is loud. There are so many things that go on in my house in the afternoons, evenings and weekends that when everyone is at school or work, I like silence. It keeps me sane and it helps me write.

If music is playing, I start singing. And if I’m writing, I start writing what I’m singing. And talk radio? I start writing what they’re saying.

I don’t want to write about sexy tractors–it’s been done and I don’t feel like getting sued for plagiarism. And hockey stats are not going to make my books page turners.

So needless to say, I have gotten zero writing done this week.

But my house looks pretty and they’ll be done tomorrow.

My sanity, however, may be gone for good.

Fun Friday: Omens That Foretell Good Luck @KMNbooks @SandraSookoo

Fun Friday: Omens That Foretell Good Luck @KMNbooks @SandraSookoo

IrishDo you really believe a four-leaf clover will bring you luck; or if you see a penny and pick it up, you’ll have good luck all day? How many of you have a St. Christopher medal in your car? Maybe you wear a talisman of some sort or perhaps it is simply a lucky shirt. Many people believe in charms and their magical properties of luck and protection. Whatever it may be, you are not alone. Below are a few omens and good luck charms that may not be familiar to you.

Never disturb the swallow’s nest for they are wise birds and will take note of your behavior. They will either give you a reprimand or perhaps if they think you are worthy, grant you a kindness.

If you happen to find the back tooth of a horse, you should carry it with you as long as you live, for you will never want fCheerful Horseor money. Remember you have to find it by chance. You cannot give it to someone else for the charm will be broken.

If your palm itches, you will be coming into a sum of money; it the elbow itches, you will be changing beds.

If you see two magpies on the left hand when on a journey is unlucky but if you see two on the right it is a good omen.

If you hear the cuckoo on your right hand you will have luck all the year.

To throw a slipper after a party (this is when you are going home) is good luck.

cinderellaIf you have breakfast by candlelight on Christmas morning you will have good luck.

A four-leaf clover represents God’s Grace; therefore, good luck.

A white clover is held in high esteem by the Celts of Wales. It is thought to ward off evil spirits.

Druids held the four-leaf clover in high regard considering them good luck.

It is very good luck to have a hen and her chickens stray into your house.

It is good luck to meet a white lamb in the early part of the morning. The sunlight must be shining on its face.

If you find a purse made from weasel’s skin, you will never be without money.

A cricket in the house is good luck. If you kill it, all the other crickets will come into your house and eat your clothes.

That’s all I have for now. Here’s wishing you have good luck in all you do!

Filigree

About the Author: Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chihuahua/Yorkshire terrier is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.https://i0.wp.com/www.kmnbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/shapeimage_6.jpeg

Her new passion is creating book covers for Western Trail Blazers and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. In her spare time, she reviews books for PNR-Paranormal Romance Reviews.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Visit the author at: http://www.kmnbooks.com

Stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats and contests at:
http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com

*All photos are Bigstock Photos and purchased by the author.

Front Porch Saturday: Don’t Fence Me In?

Front Porch Saturday: Don’t Fence Me In?

February 19, 2015 at 9:30 AM.

I try to walk my dogs every day. They enjoy getting out and taking in the sights and I relish the exercise and fresh air; however, this winter season is the true north of the definition…icy, chilly, the coldest season.

Yesterday, at negative ten we didn’t walk and my Sheltie exhibited HD tendencies. Today, it’s a solid one degree the sun is shining, with a slight breeze, so I smeared face cream on and bundled up.

The girls danced around, even in their harnesses. Hooked up to their extend-a-leashes we set out.

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I stayed on the sidewalks and headed toward my favorite part of the neighborhood beginning at Sandstone. The colorful houses are a throw back to the days when front porches were popular and detailing made the home unique and curb friendly. I believe, in Midwest, this is the only area with the upsurge of new homes having the classic Craftsman style and I love them.

Trotting along, trying to work off calories I gazed into the windows trying to see how people decorated close to million dollars homes. My Sheltie took off, pulling the reins, then our little rescue joined the fray and jerked off my feet I landed on a hard ice-covered snow bank.

Growls, barking, and tugging on the reins continued as I tried to sit up, but I kept slipping on the ice. The leases had clicked out of their hold position and the dogs had a couple feet of freedom and they loved it.

A large Doberman galloped toward my little dogs. In addition to the noise, my defenders footwork would have impressed a boxer-in-the-ring. My pets’ guard techniques didn’t detour the enormous dog as it took up most of the sidewalk. Its tail was not wagging.

I rolled over into the street and jumped up, then started reeling-in my pets, while commanding them to come. They weren’t buying it and continued to snarl, bark and growl.

“Katie!” Finally, the sourpuss faced owner, wearing flannel pajamas, came out and addressed the situation. Her dog dominated the sidewalk, snarling with mammoth teeth.

Katie didn’t respond, instead romped closer to my weak-assed stance in the street.

My dogs flanked me and I limped home. They seemed quite proud of themselves, almost noble, as they walked.

I’m all for letting a dog have freedom. I don’t agree with cages, but when a person lives in a neighborhood where there are children and older adults using the sidewalks, or people riding bikes on the streets, secure your pet.

We live on a lake and as much as I hated to create a fence I wanted my pets to be safe and the neighbors to not have to worry about my dogs going into their yards. Be a good citizen, take care of your pets and have consideration for your neighbors.

As I’m finishing this blog for Saturday, I’m in pain, with a sore back, two aching hips and a grapefruit-sized bruise on my left knee.

While not a fan of electric fences, I sure wish Katie’s lazy owner had installed one or at least put her on a leash so she’d stay in her yard instead of attacking my pets.

photo

http://www.jj-keller.com

 

Now in POD.. (Jewel Heist and Love Hurts)

Twitter  Facebook   Romance with jj Keller  jj Keller Blogspot

Amazon  Goodreads The Romance Reviews

 MEMORY OF LOVE 

Forget FSOG, Fatal Pursuits has the sex and mind games but in a Regency setting

Forget FSOG, Fatal Pursuits has the sex and mind games but in a Regency setting

Hello gang! It’s been quite a while since I last updated the blog. Quite frankly, I’ve forgotten about it and even wonder if there’s a readership, but on the off chance there are some intrepid followers out there, I’ll try to make an effort.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce a new release. It’s Regency era erotica written under my pen name of Mary Alice Williamson. Yup, it’s really me, and since the closing of a publisher where I’d written Regency era erotica under that name closed, I decided to come clean (ha, clean and erotica in the same sentence!) and just own the books. I’m not ashamed.

Anyway, here’s the blurb and a very hot excerpt (R rated, so if you’re squeamish or not into that look away)

Blurb: Everyone makes mistakes. Some can be fatal.

Miss Sophie Henricker might take on male clients and spend time in their beds for trade, but she dreams of writing improvement books for a London publisher. Except, she’s fallen in love with Graham, a man she shouldn’t want.

The Honorable Graham Cranfield is bored with his life. A rake and a third son, he has nothing but time and money on his hands. He wants exclusive rights to Sophie and her lush body. When she declines with words of retirement and he doesn’t offer marriage, she leaves. He’s alone and rejected—and he doesn’t care for it.

The pursuit begins. With pretty words and charming wiles, Graham chases her through the English countryside and back to London. Passion follows, and every time the sex is better, but the danger grows. The more Sophie flees, the more he chases. There’s nowhere she can run that he won’t find her. Yet the needs of her body are too great to ignore, and when Graham comes up to scratch, she’s more than trapped. The only way out is through a dark path even Sophie fears to tread.

Adult rated excerpt:

A sharp pinch to her arse yanked her from her thoughts. “I rather like my women to be in the moment when I’m pleasuring them,” he said with annoyance riding every word. “Especially since you are the only woman I’m doing such things to at the moment.”
“I apologize.” She met his gaze. “You have all my attention, Graham.” He always would until the day she died. “My body is yours to command.”

“That’s better.” He flicked the tip of his tongue over her swollen button. “How should I take you tonight?”

“The possibilities are limitless.” She didn’t protest when he urged one of her legs onto his shoulder, opening herself further for his devouring. “The chair the last time we were together was most satisfying.”

FatalPursuits_Final“Mmm.” The word vibrated against her tingling flesh. “Let me think about it.” He slid two fingers into her passage without warning and grunted when a gasp of surprise left her lips. “Those sounds you make haunt my dreams, Portia.”

She moved her hips in time to his finger-fucking. As he increased his rhythm, she threaded her fingers through his hair and encouraged him to continue his torment. “Well, you do know all my secrets.” Except of her heart.

Graham rewarded her by sucking her nub into his mouth.

Sophie moaned. Stars danced behind her closed eyelids. He was particularly skilled with tongue and teeth. “Yes.” She hissed the word while delicious, hot pressure filled her core.

Over and over he sucked at her button, rubbed his tongue over it then released it only to nip it with his teeth. The cycle left her shaking with desire and wet with need. He worked her with both fingers and mouth, and then he’d pull slightly away, blowing on the flesh he just tormented. Cold chills invaded her skin, a direct contrast to the heated moisture seeping from her channel the longer he claimed her pussy. He stretched her by adding a third finger, and she moaned. Graham had never done that before.

“Finish me.” She bumped her hips against his hand.

“Not yet. I want to hear you scream my name.” He wrapped his free hand around her hip, keeping her still. “Tell me I’m the best lover you’ve had.” His fingers were a blur. Deeper and deeper he delved, and every time he’d hit that certain spot on her vaginal wall that made her want to leap right out of her skin.

Instinct took over and pleasure became her guide. Sophie ceased to think and instead chased the release that dangled just outside of reach. She squirmed in his grasp, both holding him close and attempting to pull away from the exquisite torment he gave her.

In the end, she wasn’t strong enough. She never was, and she surrendered. The building pressure broke, first in little waves of bliss that shot contractions through her pussy, then growing in strength.

You can buy the book at the following retailers:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TDAI6SQ

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id965645234

B & N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121189612?ean=2940151703031&itm=1&usri=2940151703031

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fatal-pursuits-1

ARe: http://tinyurl.com/qb8vx28

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll pick up this hot little number and I hope it’ll make you tingle!

Sandra
xoxo

Front Porch Saturday: Gym Rats by Jennifer Wilck

Front Porch Saturday: Gym Rats by Jennifer Wilck

Just like every other resolution-making hopeful in January, my daughter and I joined a gym. I hate gyms. I always feel intimidated by the people who are in better shape than I am, can lift heavier weights than I can or just know what they’re doing more than I do. So my gym memberships are notoriously short.

But she wanted to join to get in better shape and I didn’t want to discourage that. Since she’s thirteen, she needed an adult to join with her. That was me.

I have to say, it’s been a lot better than I expected. She’s a lot of fun to be around and having a gym buddy gave me more confidence. The equipment has been fun to use and there’s a satisfaction in knowing I’m doing something healthy. Plus, it gets me out of the house, which is good for a writer!

Of course, being me, there are plenty of things to laugh about. Like how it took us three or four times using the 30-minute circuit to figure out we’d missed 15 minutes of it. And the treadmill stops short when it thinks you don’t have a heartbeat (which is a good safety measure), only I DO have one, it just can’t find it because I have low blood pressure and really, really cold hands. Or the bald guy who used the cleanser meant to sanitize the equipment on his bald head.

The gym is a judgment-free zone, but I think I’m going to get a lot of fodder for my books. There are signs all over that basically say I can’t point and laugh. But they say nothing about writing about them!