Book Review: “Hearts Of Chaos” by Kira Brady

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Hearts of Chaos by Kira Brady
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This book was my introduction to Kira Brady and the Deathglass Series, and I was pleasantly surprised. This novel is a quest story, that centers around the two main characters, Lady Lucia and Emory Corbette, and their attempt to save their world from being destroyed by a fierce enemy with malevolent powers, pulling the reader into the web of detailed and breathless activity from the first page, and does not slow down in pace until the release of the very end.
While the book is more explicit in love making details , and therefore not a story I would recommend for someone who is not ready to read about the physical connection between some of the characters, those details are not distracting enough from the motion of the story or the romance and emotional involvement of those people, to turn it into a parody or worse.
Weaving tales of Goddesses, using mythology and creation stories, and describing mystical powers made me turn the pages rather quickly, leaving me spell bound, and surprised. It is hard to find such a elaborate, yet believable plot that can balance the magical side with the human one – even if the characters are not necessarily human, but dealing with all to familiar emotions and conflicts.
A book with a strong female lead, who grows into her own, Kira managed to balance Lady Lucia’s growth with the male main characters development, by allowing him to learn lessons about leading with the heart.
A great novel, that I highly recommend. In fact, I am looking forward to downloading the rest of the trilogy onto my kindle reader soon, and hope you will too.

Celebrate The Small Things – Valentine’s Day Edition

 

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I love quotes.

Even more so, I love lists – I love making lists, not necessarily following them, but I consider them a spring board to bigger and better things. Another way of looking at lists is to use them to let go – both of the positive and the negative, as the process of writing them allows us to move forward, and release any ties to before, that might lay heavy upon us.

Gratitude lists are specially fun, which is why I love this little blog hop roll exercise called “Celebrate The Small Things”. If you are not participating, I highly recommend that you do so, you do not have to share everything, one or two things will do.

Well here is my gratitude list for this week:

  • I am grateful for my husband – today (Valentine’s Day) is his birthday. He is sadly not home with us right now, and rather on a business trip, but he surely is loved and appreciated from all of us.
  • Email – it is soo much easier to get in contact with people half way around the world – or right around the corner – since email. While I just had to go through a binge cleaning of one of my emails, and sometimes the inbox can get messy, I do appreciate it’s function completely.
  • Big tables and big couches – out of some reason the cat seems to have found a liking as the center piece of my dinning room table, while the dogs prefer to stretch out on the couch. If both items would not be large, we would be able to use neither one. So here is my gratitude to big tables and big couches.
  • Blogging about books – I decided, that considering the fact I read a lot, I mind as well share my thoughts about the books I come across on a more regular fashion. So from now on my goal is to review at least one, maybe two books a week here.

So this is my little list – why don’t you share yours?

Have a great weekend!

A Second Chance – A Friday Flash Story

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Her heart pounded at the desolate sight in front of her. Nothing was like she remembered, nothing, yet this now unfamiliar place, held within it the most important memories of her life.

“You do remember?”

“Of course, how could I ever forget?” She turned her head toward the man in front of her.

He was shadow of the man he once was. Thin and frail, cancer eating away from the once hard and strong body that held her in his arms, his power and life-force so strong, that it used to scare her sometimes. He could have done anything he wanted to her, the small framed woman, that got his youthful attention. Instead he chose to love her.

And that had scared her even more, so much more that she had run away until today.

“Nothing is what it used to be.”

Even his voice was broken, and it tore her apart. Oh, the chances of love she missed by leaving him. Now, dying, their time was not enough to make up for the lost moments. Her fear had destroyed that chance. She would do anything to be able to turn back time. To make another decision.

“I should never have left you.”

He smiled, pulling her closer, his arms wrapping around her, as loving and gentle as they used to.

“It does not matter. You are here now.”

 

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/daily-prompt-its-friday-im-in-love/

Product Review: Green – Greener – Tampa Bay Organic!

Who? Tampa Bay Organics

What? Organic Fruit and Vegetable Delivery

How Much? Moderately priced – no delivery charge

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I have wanted to try out organic vegetable deliveries, actually have been researching what type of deliveries and coops will be available in the area we will be moving to sometimes this year for a while now. What I did not expect is, that I would find a perfect organic fruit and vegetable delivery right here in Tampa!

Tampa Bay Organics delivers a weekly (or bi-weekly – you choose) fruit and/or veggie box to your door step. We got our first this Tuesday, having chosen the large mixed box and it was amazing!

Large Mixed Veggie Box

Large Mixed Veggie Box

It’s kind of like opening a a present of local, organic goodness!

beautiful!

beautiful!

This little beauty was interesting:

Romanesco Califlower

Romanesco Cauliflower

Looks a little alien, but tastes delicious. We used it in a wonderful stir-fry that night, along with some of the other goodies, like the red bell pepper.

Rainbow carrots, blood oranges, luscious healthy romaine lettuce, and juicy apples have been grazing our table since the Tuesday delivery, and we all agreed that we can hardly wait until the next box.

Oh, did I mention that the drivers are super friendly? If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area, I highly recommend for you to check out this wonderful little secret Tampa Bay Organics! 

Disclaimer: I do not get paid to review this product, nor did I get a special discount to review their product. However, the first order with Tampa Bay Organics sometimes has a half-price incentive, which I took advantage off.

Arena de Verona – Bucket List

On my bucket list are two items that relate to today’s daily prompt:

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TONGUE.

1. I want to learn to speak Italian.

2. I want to re-visit the Arena de Verona, in Verona, Italy and watch Aida (Verdi).

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The Arena de Verona is the best preserved Roman amphitheater, located it in the Piazza Bra in Verona. It is breathtaking in its scale. I have spent a few summers of my childhood in Italy, and this building has left its mark on my soul. Sadly, I have not have yet the opportunity to see the Opera Aida playing there. What a wonderful background to an Opera, I can not think of a more beautiful one.

By the way, if you, my dear readers, get a chance to go to Italy, I suggest Verona, and the Lakes in Northern Italy, rather then the tourist trap known as Venice. They are more beautiful and give you a real sense of Italy. Lake Garda is my personal favorite.

The main character of my novel is named after the Opera, her name is Aida.

Here is a little video of a part of the performance in the Arena:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/daily-post-take-that-rosetta/

The Kitchen Witches Creed

In this pot, I stir to the sun

an’ follow the rule of harming none

Banishment of bane when going widdershin’s

And with water and salt negativity is cleansed

Household duties are more then chores

Magick abounds when mopping floors

With this broom I do sweep

To clean my house an’ safety keep

Marigold, Basil, Thyme and Yarrow

My spell is cast for a better tomorrow

Lemons for joy and apples for health

The pow’r within brings great wealth

An’ in this kitchen, I do pray

To truly walk the Witches Way

(Author Unknown)

 

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For clarity: 

 

widdershins – counterclockwise – used for banishing

bane – negativity 

Magick is not misspelled, it is how practicing Witches separate the magic that is show from the magick that is actual a tool and a power of change. 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/daily-prompt-ingredients/

Celebrate The Small Things – And Not So Small Things

This year is flying by like crazy already! I can hardly believe that I have not posted one “Celebrate The Small Things” – post since last year – that is before I switched over here to WordPress (which was one hell of a wise decision), so of course there is a lot to celebrate! And thank you to Cathrina Constantine who’s post reminded me to better get to it. So here I go! 

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1. Writing

Well I am always writing, but I am incredibly grateful for the fact that I am finally unstuck from a pretty crazy plot problem in my novel. While I might have to start all over again (yes the changes are that dramatic, but necessary to ensure continuity within the series), I know everything will flow better, because it just makes more sense for my characters. And I do find that essential. Characters actions and responses have to be organic to who they are as a person. Okay, I did make them up, but they are still people. People react differently because of their back-story, it has to make sense, or it will kill the book.

And I am published again! Three new articles related to children’s health care, another about writing, and in the last I honor the Maiden, Mother and Crone within us all.

2. Organic Delivery

Yup, you heard right, I am going to have myself some organic fruits and vegetables delivered to the house, and will (of course) write about – you should have seen that one coming. Well, our local grocery store is all nice but I prefer to eat locally, and this will be a wonderful opportunity to receive all that without having to leave my desk! I am super-exited! Yay! 

3. Business

Our truck (and with that I mean tractor-trailer, not pickup) is finally fixed and ready to roll again. Man did we have problems with our rigs, first the older one broke down (and subsequently we returned it to the dealer, as they sold us a defective piece of equipment), and now our brand new truck broke down – thank the Gods for warranties. So it is working again, and hubby is picking it up on Monday from the shop. We might be temporarily down to one, but that will change soon again as well.

4. My Faith

Well, guess what, it is also writing related, but, oh well, I would not want to have it any other way. I am conducting Spotlight Interviews for my Tradition, and with that get to talk to quite a few interesting people that are prominent in the Pagan community. It is fun to get to hear the stories about the different and very personal practices of Clergy. Even if you are not Pagan, you would find their insights interesting and relatable. 

So that is my little corner of celebration for this week. What are you celebrating?

 

 

Evening Jam Session

Picture this:

A relaxing evening of quiet reading at home. Children are behaving at their best, playing on their various electronic devices in harmony. Then all of a sudden, the silence is disturbed by drumming.

Nothing against drumming. Hey I am Pagan, I love drum circles, and I used to play percussion in my younger days (okay I am not that old, but it’s been a while). I just did not expect to be granted a first row seat – granted I am separated from the scene by the thin walls of our condo –  to a jamming session. 

Four hours later

The sound dies off, and I begin to hear the shuffling and conversations move toward the front of the building. Mind you it is 11 pm now, the kids and I should have been going to bed, but the drumming had kept us annoyed and awake.

I peaked out of the window overlooking the parking lot, half expecting to find younger and middle aged people to expell themselves from the tiny condo next door. Instead, I was greeted by the shuffling of walkers, and various other people whom could easily be my grandparents. 

I could not help but chuckle at that sight, as I turned and went back into the living room, finally coaxing all of us to bed.

Lesson learned here: Age is nothing but a number. I admire anyone who does not allow the clock of this world to define the choices they make, despite their more advanced age. But I do hope they will schedule their next jamming session a little earlier in the day. 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/daily-prompt-neighbors/

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Chronos

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Chronos – A Flash Fiction

She was his pride and joy. Having spend more time with her then with his own family, the Chronos was a marvelous piece of machinery, defying anything he had been brought up to believe technology could do. At least until he stumbled across the sad excuse of a mad scientist, Dr. Hermann, whom had brought him on board to work at this special project.
“We need ourselves a Genius. And because we are currently low on Genius, we are in need of you.”
“Thanks” he had mumbled, “but no thanks”, wondering how someone whom had as many achievements and degrees as this old man could actually believe that they could build a time machine.
But the compensation package they had dangled in front his face was too hard to refuse. Damn, fail or succeed, after this little experiement he would never have to work again. Not bad for someone in his late thirties.

Talking about early retirement.

So he tinkered, a year and seven months.

A year and seven months of long nights and disappointing his children, with missed field trips and birthday parties.
He did hate the price he had to pay for this little adventure.
Still, it was all for them, for their future. They would have all the luxuries in the world.

All because of Chronos.

Nervously, he awaited the military brass to take their place upon the podium.
Of course they wanted a show, had even chosen their perfect example of a soldier to take his little invention for a test drive.

He would have loved to be the first one to actually use it officially, but that was out of the question, so he was told.

Even though this was his baby, his labor of love, the impossibility manifested.
Chronos.
Touching the panel of buttons in front of him gently with the care of a lover, he nodded at Dr. Hermann.

He was ready. Time to shine.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/daily-prompt-machines/

Home

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Home – A Flash Fiction

Terry took a deep breath, pulling into the drive way.
Uncomfortable in the dress that reached below her knees, she shuddered at the expectations of what waited for her in that large home of her family. Terry would have avoided coming home even longer, but there was no hiding from the fact that Grandpa had passed, and the funeral was an obligation to attend.

That was a hard one to weasel oneself out off, no matter how many times she tried, and how she would rather be anywhere else in the world, hell a war-zone would look like a girl scout field trip compared to the potential landmines that she was about to walk into.
25 and not married, she was an abomination, not the girl wanted, not as loved and cherished as her cousins who according to their duty where barefoot and pregnant. Well not exactly barefoot, but clothed appropriately, in the no pants for girls uniform her parents and other authority figures had preached to them from the moment that they were old enough to listen.

She had fled that life as soon as she was old enough to hold her own job.
The bright one of the many kids that jumped around the home, too many still young even though she was way in her own adulthood, she became what she had always wanted to become, successful, independent, free.

But sometimes, just some rare times, she could not escape the consistent and disappointed calling of her family, and for a brief moment of regret opened the door to her past.

She looked into the small review mirror.
None of her friends would have recognized that demur looking young woman, glaring back at her, the fiery spark that shot at anyone whom dared to stand in her way, making space for the fears of a little girl.
She smacked the mirror out of the way.
Oh how she hated herself for that weakness!
Two days of hell ahead.
She straightened her small frame, and stepped out of her car.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/daily-prompt-home-2/