Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Christmas Message To You

Wouldn't it be really nice if we could have peace in this world?  It's so tiresome being at war all the time.  Families are fighting, people fight with one another and countries are at war.  It's just tedious and tiring.  Wouldn't it be so much easier if everyone got along? 

Merry Christmas and Peace in the New Year for all. 


Wouldn't you rather have hugs than war?  I would. 

This is my last blog for this year.  See you January 4, 2015.  Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
Buy links at Amazon
The Catalyst -  
http://www.amazon.com/Catalyst-Riverboat-Mysteries-Sandra-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00EV47SE2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405341294&sr=1-1&keywords=the+catalyst+by+sandra+k.+marshall
Addiction - http://www.amazon.com/Addiction-Sandra-K-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00FI6JHT6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405341541&sr=1-1&keywords=Addiction+by+sandra+k.+marshall
The Deceived - http://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Sandra-K-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00G7XR0XE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405341685&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Deceived+by+sandra+k.+marshall
A Fool's Fool - http://www.amazon.com/Fools-Fool-Sandra-K-Marshall-ebook/dp/B008QC210Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405341869&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Fool%27s+Fool+by+sandra+k.+marshall
All Bets Are Off - http://www.amazon.com/All-Bets-Are-Sandra-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00LETFUZG/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1405894139&sr=8-1
 
Buy links at Barnes & Noble
The Catalyst - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Catalyst-by-Sandra-K--Marshall?keyword=The+Catalyst+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall&store=ebook
 Addiction - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Addiction-by-Sandra-K-Marshall?store=ebook&keyword=Addiction+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall
 The Deceived - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/The-Deceived-by-Sandra-K-Marshall?store=ebook&keyword=The+Deceived+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall
All Bets Are Off - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/All-Bets-Are-Off-by-Sandra-K-Marshall?store=ebook&keyword=All+Bets+Are+Off+by+Sandra+K.+Marshall
 
 

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

How Christmas is Celebrated in Other Countries

With Christmas rapidly approaching I thought you might like to know how other countries celebrate this holiday.  I chose countries that have traditions very unlike our own, although, our country is made up of many cultures and many of them do not celebrate in the same way I do.  I respect their right to their beliefs. 

Christmas in America

Here in the United States Christians celebrate the birth of Christ by putting up Christmas decorations such as a tree with lights, a nativity scene, and decorations all over the house inside and out.  We put presents under the tree to give to children and others.

On Christmas Eve many children are in small nativity plays at church, which helps them to learn about the birth of Christ.  Members of the Catholic church go to midnight mass to celebrate Christ's birth. 

Christmas in Greece

In Greece one of the traditions on Christmas Eve, children, especially boys, often go out singing 'kalanda' (carols) in the streets. They play drums and triangles as they sing. Sometimes the will also carry model boats decorated with nuts which are painted gold. Carrying a boat is a very old custom in the Greek Islands.

If the children sing well, they might be given money, nuts, sweets and dried figs to eat.  Christmas trees are starting to become more popular, but they aren't a tradition.  Going to a Midnight Mass Service is very important to most Greeks.  

Christmas in Costa Rica

During Christmas in Costa Rica, people like to decorate their houses with beautiful tropical flowers. A model of the nativity scene, called the Pasito or Portal, is the center of the display. It's also decorated with flowers and sometimes fruit. Some of the scenes take a long time to make and all the family is involved. As well as the traditional figures, people add other models including houses and lots of different sorts of animals.

Christmas wreaths are made of cypress branches and are decorated with red coffee berries and ribbons. Most homes, shops and important buildings are decorated with Christmas lights.  On Christmas Eve everyone dresses up to go to Midnight Mass.

Christmas in Hungry

In Hungary, Christmas Eve is very important and is called 'Szent-este' which means Holy Evening. People spend the evening with their family and decorate the Christmas Tree. Sometimes only the adults decorate the tree (without the children there), so when children come in and see the tree, it's a great surprise and they are told that angels brought the tree for them!

The main Christmas meal, which is also eaten on Christmas eve, consists of fish and cabbage and a special kind of poppy bread/cake called 'Beigli'.  The Midnight Mass service is very popular in Hungary. Most people go to Church after their Christmas meal.

On Christmas Day people visit their families.

Christmas in India

Compared to other religious festivals, Christmas is quite a small festival in India, due to the number of people who are Christians (about 2.3%) compared to people who belong to other religions. The population of India is over 1 Billion, and there are over 25 million Christians in India!

One of the largest Indian Christian Communities is in Mumbai. A lot of the Christians in Mumbai (previously known as Bombay) are Roman Catholics.  Midnight mass is a very important service for Christians in India, especially Catholics. The whole family will walk to the mass and this will be followed by a massive feast of different delicacies, (mostly curries) and the giving and receiving of presents. Churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service.

Instead of having traditional Christmas Trees, a banana or mango tree is decorated (or whatever tree people can find to decorate!). Sometimes people use mango leaves to decorate their homes.

In Southern India, Christians often put small oil burning clay lamps on the flat roofs of their homes to show their neighbors that Jesus is the light of the world.  In north-west India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk, go out night after night for a week at Christmas to sing their own carols the whole night through. They go to surrounding villages singing to people and telling the Christmas story.

Christmas in Jamaica

Christmas is a very special time in Jamaica and like a lot of other countries, radio stations play carols all through the Christmas period.  Lots of people paint their houses and hang new curtains and decorations for Christmas. Most families spend Christmas Day at home with friends and family members.

The Christmas day meal is usually prepared on Christmas Eve. The traditional Jamaican Christmas meal include fresh fruits, sorrel and rum punch and meat. The Christmas Day breakfast includes ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, fried plantains, boiled bananas, freshly squeezed fruit juice and tea. Dinner is usually served in the late afternoon and this may include chicken, curry goat, stewed oxtail, rice and peas.

Jamaican red wine and rum fruitcake is traditional and is eaten in most homes. The fruits in the cake are soaked in red wine and white rum for months before Christmas.

Christmas in Pakistan

In Pakistan, December 25th is a public holiday, but it is in memory of Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Like in India, Christians make up a very small part of the population. But as Pakistan has a population over 162 million people, there are more than 5 millions Christians! Most Christians in Pakistan live the country and are quite poor.

At Christian festivals, like Christmas and Easter, a big procession takes place, in Lahore, from St. Anthony's Church to the Cathedral. It takes hours to reach the Cathedral for the services. These are then celebrated with lots of enthusiasm! Before and during Advent, spiritual seminars take place to help people to prepare for Christmas or 'Bara Din' (which in Urdu and Punjabi means the 'Big Day'). This expression is very popular, even among Muslims in Pakistan.

During the last week of Advent, in many Christian areas, carol singing is performed by various groups. They go from house to house singing carols and in return the family offers something to the choir. Mostly the money collected from such carols is used for charity works or is given to the church.

In the big Christian areas, each house is decorated and has a star on the roof. The streets are also decorated and lit. The crib and Christmas tree are also important decorations. Sometimes there are crib competitions! Christians also sometimes exchange Christmas cakes.

On Christmas eve, Churches are packed for the midnight or vigil-mass services. The choirs sing very special hymns. After the vigil-mass, in some places, there are fireworks which help celebrate the start of Bara Din. People dance, exchange presents and enjoy the special night.

On Bara Din or Christmas day, Christians go to Church again for the Bara Din celebrations. People wear their best, colourful clothes. They can stay in the Church courtyard for hours, enjoying various food from the different stalls. The evening is usually celebrated with immediate family or relatives where special food is enjoyed. Adults often visit their parents.

The traditional Christmas greeting in Punjabi is 'Bara Din Mubarrak Ho', which means, 'the blessing of Christmas on you'.

Christmas in South Korea

There are more Christians in South Korea (the Republic of Korea) than in other Asian countries such as China and Japan, so Christmas is celebrated more widely. (Christians make up about 25-30% of the population.) However, the other 70% of people in South Korea are Buddhist (about 25%) or don't have a religion.

Unlike Japan, Christmas is an official public holiday - so some people have the day of work and school (although for some people it's just another working day or day at school)! But they go back on the 26th (Boxing Day). There's a longer official winter break in the New Year.

Churches are decorated with lights and many have a bright red neon cross on top (all the year!) so that goes very well with the Christmas lights! Most churches will have a service on Christmas day. Going to Church for Christmas is becoming more popular, even among non Christians.

In North Korea Christmas is very different.  Officially, a person is allowed to be a Christian, but they can be imprisoned or killed for being one.  To celebrate Christmas it's done in secret. 

Christmas in Japan

Christmas is not widely celebrated in Japan as not many people there are Christians. However, several customs have come to Japan from the USA such as sending and receiving Christmas Cards and Presents.

In Japan, Christmas in known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. Christmas eve is often celebrated more than Christmas Day. Christmas eve is thought of as a romantic day, in which couples spend together and exchange presents. In many ways it resembles Valentine's Day celebrations in the UK and the USA. Young couples like to go for walks to look at the Christmas lights and have a romantic meal in a restaurant - booking a table on Christmas Eve can be very difficult as it's so popular!

Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, so schools and businesses are normally open on December 25th.

I hope all of you found this as fascinating as I did.  There were many more countries I could have told you about, but I didn't want to overload everyone.  If there are countries you are interested in learning about their Christmas traditions go to this link: http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Do You Remember the Day?

My husband is taking over my blog, so be sure to leave a comment.  Here he is, my honey, Ron Marshall.  Smile!  It's all yours.  I may add a few comments here and there just to spice it up a bit.   

I can remember some (just some) years back when television was not on 24/7. I would watch TV in the evenings until it went off the air around midnight, TV back then signed off the air with the Star-spangled Banner song. (That was a really long time ago. They had rabbit ears then.)
Television with Rabbit Ears

Also, I remember there were only a couple of  advertisements in a thirty minute program. Now, I wonder how many people watch TV today and wonder where the hell all of those advertisements come from.  I can change channels to several different stations, and the odds of finding another advertisement is almost guaranteed. To me the odds are pretty damn good you are going to get a commercial everywhere you go.  (I understand your frustration, honey.)

I understand they need to make revenue but every 5 or maybe 10 minutes, if you are lucky. When they first talked about cable TV coming it was rumored that they would be commercial free. I just wonder why we pay so much money for cable or whatever means we get our programming to watch nothing but commercials.

So many commercials are trying to sell you medications, and you have to ask your doctor if a certain med will cure you. They warn you on the advertisement the side effects could be heart attack, liver problems, internal bleeding, swelling of your joints, etc..  There is always a disclaimer, and it goes on and on. Why would you even consider taking a medication with so may side effects.  It scares the hell out of you to take anything.  (You are right, honey, and not only that many medications make you feel dizzy and off-balance.)

Another commercial is for quick car loans with no questions asked.  hahahahahha  Well I was just wondering if you remember, I sure do. 

Well, that's it from my husband this time.    He just had to rant. 

Have a good week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Favorite Pumpkin Bread Recipe

The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving this Thursday.  It's the time of year to express thanks for being lucky to have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  When you think of all the people in the world who don't have these things then you know you're fortunate. 

This is the time of year I do all my baking.  When I used to work at TWA, I always took cookies and bread every in for everyone as my gift to my co-workers.  It's time to make sugar cookies, chocolate chips, oatmeal cookies, Christmas balls with pecans, date cookies, pumpkin bread, banana nut bread and many more.  Years ago I even made pop corn balls, but not anymore.  Too much work!  Even some of the other things have fallen by the wayside. 

One thing I do make is pumpkin bread.  It's not the traditional pumpkin bread that looks like mustard.  My pumpkin bread is rich and dark, which means it's mysterious, but I'm going to give you the recipe today.  However, I have to warn you it is rich and has a ton of calories, but you'll love it.  To make it all you do is dump all the ingredients in a bowl like a dump cake.  Simple!

Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cups flour                                  3 cups sugar
3 t soda                                               1 cup Crisco oil
1 1/2 t salt                                           4 eggs
1 t cinnamon                                       1/3 cup water
1 t nutmeg                                           1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
1 t ginger                                             2 t vanilla
1 t cloves                                             1 cup black walnuts

Use 1 pd. coffee cans or bread pans, grease and fill half full.  Depending on the size of bread pans you'll get three loaves.  I sometimes make the miniature loaves, and then I can get five or six loaves.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour for large loaves.  Be sure to check with a toothpick because it could take longer and it will take less time with smaller loaves. 

It makes a huge difference if you use English walnuts instead of black walnuts.  It changes the flavor.  Also, I have added raisins, but not often because I like this recipe just like it is. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Have a great and safe holiday, and I'll see you again next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Best Selling Author, Suz deMello Explains What You Need and Don't Need in a Book

Please welcome, author, Suz deMello and learn how to write a romance.  This talented author can give you a lot of tips if you're a beginning writer, or even a published author. 

 
About the Author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.


 

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.


A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.


Check out Suzie's site: http://www.suzdemello.com

And her blog: http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

A few words about writing sex scenes by Suz deMello (#NaNoWriMo #iamwriting #writingcraft @MFRW_ORG)

From my writing treatise, Plotting and Planning, available at http://tinyurl.com/deMelloPlotting

My first writing treatise, Write This, Not That! is free through 2014:
http://tinyurl.com/o8zy7xw     kobo
http://tinyurl.com/qewm3ts  google

 Scenes are the building blocks of your story, for acts are comprised of scenes. They're nothing more than events, most often interactions between your characters. Scenes should fulfill at least one or two of the below purposes—best if you can include all four.

•Advance plot

•Reveal or develop character

•Complicate or resolve conflict

•Express setting, mood, theme

Everything in your manuscript should have a function, even every comma or em-dash.

How does this apply to the writing of erotica?

Too often, sex scenes are shoehorned into a story to increase the word count or the heat level, while those scenes don't fulfill any other function. To quote from Plotting and Planning again, Everything in a story should contribute to it, from the biggest monster to the tiniest comma.

If a scene doesn't contribute to the story, it doesn't belong there. It doesn't matter how well-written it is. It doesn't matter how hot it is. It doesn't matter how much you, the author, may love the beautiful prose or the scorching hot, kinky sex.

There's a piece of writerly advice out there: Kill your darlings.

No one's quite sure where this phrase originated, but it's been repeated often, by such notable authors as William Faulkner and Stephen King.


But it doesn't matter who originated the phrase--it's great advice. We often fall in love with our prose and are loath to cut it, especially when we may have slaved over a particularly well-turned clause or exhaustively researched, say, the eating habits of the lesser lemur of Madagascar.

But fiction is no place to be a smarty-pants. Leave that for term papers, book reports and theses.

In terms of writing sex scenes, what do we leave in and what do we cut?

We leave in those scenes that fulfill at least one of the above purposes. Ideally, a well-written, thoughtfully planned encounter will fulfill more than one purpose.

Here's a brief example, from a story I wrote called Gypsy Witch. The back story is that the heroine is dating a cop.

 
Ben propped himself up on his elbows to better see the naked woman beneath him. Sheened with sweat, Elena’s lush curves glowed in the reddish half-light of her bedroom, curtained in exotically patterned swaths of gauze and silk. A curl of smoke from a lit incense stick scented the air with sandalwood. Otherworldly New Age music flowed out of a boombox in the corner, irritating the hell out of him.

Though the paragraph is very sensual, there’s quite a bit of characterization and even a little conflict—and this is only the first paragraph of the story. We see that Ben is very “feet-on-the-ground” while Elena, his lover, is exotic and New-Agey. So character is described, setting is related and the romantic conflict is shown.

If you like what you read, find the story here: http://www.ellorascave.com/gypsy-witch.html

 
As a romance novelist, I believe firmly that erotic scenes should never be gratuitous. If a writer keeps the purposes a scene must fulfill in mind while writing, the sex is never out of place but is a seamless part of a well-written story.

Thank you, Suz, for being here today.  I'm sure all of my readers including myself have learned a lot from you.

If anyone has any questions of Suz be sure to ask them in the comment section.  Be sure to check out Suz's website at http://www.suzdemello.com and her blog at http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

Suz, thank you for visiting my blog today.  I've enjoyed learning from you. 

Have a great week, and I'll be back on my blog next Sunday.

Sandra

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Veteran's Day

Tuesday is Veteran's Day, so please don't forget our soldiers away from home as well as here.  Our men and women in the armed services overseas are lonely and homesick, so if you have someone fighting for us in another country be sure to write to them and send them packages from home.  As the holidays approach it will be even worse for these young people so please, please write weekly to your family members and others.
 

 
So many of our young soldiers suffer horrible injuries both mentally and physically, so be sure not to forget them when they come home.  If you can, donate to Wounded Warriors at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

It's the Soldier, not the reporter Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet, Who has given us the freedom of speech.

It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures Our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness.

It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag.
Author Unknown

For those who can't donate monetary or time to help our veterans just click daily on this site and you can help them.  http://theveteranssite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/vet/thank-you

Thank you for reading, have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Contest ! Contest!


http://www.romancebooks4us.com/Monthly_Contest.html


Romance Books 4 Us is having another contest this month and below is a list of the prizes being offered. 

PRIZE LIST:
1. Two $50 Gift Cards - one each for two winners.
2. $10 Gift Card for Secret Cravings Publishing for SCP.
3. Choice of ebook from backlist books by romance author Tina Donahue.
4. Ebook of winner's choice from backlist books by romance author Jean Hart Stewart.
5. Kindle copy of Belle's Band by romance author Alina K. Field.
6. E-copy of Tidal Falls by romance author Jacquie Biggar.
7. Christmas ornaments (Texas theme) from romance author Desiree Holt.
8. Ebook of winner's choice from backlist of romance author JC Szot.
9. PDF copy of Do You Take This Cat by romance author Missy Martine.
10.Ebook of The Silk Tie by romance author Lily Harlem.
11.Signed paperback of Christmas At The Cove by romance author Rachel Brimble.
12. Paperback copy of The Rover Bold by romance author Anna Markland.
13.A Thanksgiving digital swag bag including Starbucks Gift Card, ebook copy of Scents and Sensuality and Ebook copy of Written Wisdom by romance author Joan Reeves.
14.E-copy of Romancing Christmas by romance author Sandy Loyd.
15. Kindle copy of When We Dance by romance author Alanna Lucas.
16.Ebook of winner's choice from books (including Snow Angel) by romance author Chantilly White.
17.A bag of Christmas decorations and an e-copy of The Catalyst by romance author Sandra K. Marshall.
18.Tote of Scottish goodies: books, mug, mouse pad, shirt, etc., from romance author/model A.B. McKinley.

17.A bag of Christmas decorations and an e-copy of The Catalyst by romance author DD
Details on how to enter the contest go to http://www.romancebooks4us.com/Monthly_Contest.html

Good luck with the contest everyone. 

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What Is Fan Fiction?

I'll admit I knew nothing about fan fiction until this past week.  My understanding of what fan fiction is; is that the person writing the story is a fan of  the  person they are writing about.  It can be a favorite author, a band, a singer, a favorite book, television series, or anything.  Although, most definitions say fan fiction concerns the writings of an author, specifically, rewriting the story. 

Definition : Fanfiction is when someone takes either the story or characters (or both) of a certain piece of work, whether it be a novel, tv show, movie, etc, and create their own story based on it. Sometimes people will take characters from one movie and put them in another, which is called a cross-over.
Harry Styles

How I became interested in this topic is because a young woman, a fan of Harry Styles and the One Direction band wrote stories about them.  She wrote fan fiction about Mr. Styles using his name and the other band members drawing a huge crowd to her site.  This woman has received a six figure contract with Simon and Schuster for a book titled After. 
One Direction
Of course, the publisher had the author change the names of the characters in the book, but everyone knows who they are originally.  The typos have been removed from the book and the sex scenes expanded. 

Here is the premise of the book:  The synopsis is just as vague and dirty as one could imagine. According to the After Table of Contents on Wattpad.com, the story follows thusly: "Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend. She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans."

Harry Styles is, of course, the Harry in question. Other members of One Direction make appearances in the story as well.

At this point, there hasn't been a comment made by Harry Styles or One Direction.  I forgot to mention that the book is going to be turned into a movie.  Many of Harry Styles and One Directions are very upset by this depiction of him and the band even though it's fiction.  Some fans have turned away from the group because of this book assuming the story is factual.

Fifty Shades of Gray was written as fan fiction for the Twilight series and made it huge. 

More information can be found on the links below.

http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/what-is-fan-fiction-and-why-is-it-making-people-nervous-1334505-Mar2014/
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fanfiction
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/business/media/harry-styles-of-one-direction-stars-in-anna-todds-novel.html?_r=0
http://www.musictimes.com/articles/6535/20140603/harry-styles-starring-one-direction-fanfiction-gets-official-book-deal.htm/

These authors of fan fiction might need to read the copy right law of 1976 because they could get into serious trouble.  The rights belong to the author to make any changes to her work she/he wants to. Some authors have encouraged fan fiction writers because most of them never get published. 

While many authors and television show writers such as J.K. Rowling and Joss Whedon have supported fan fiction, in that they have even hosted contests for fan fiction, these same writers have also later brought copyright lawsuits against writers of fan fiction. Returning to the Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling initially was supportive of fan fiction writers, in particular, the Starkid Productions’ A Very Potter Musical franchise. However, Rowling was also surprised by the amount of sexually explicit fan fiction written about her characters. She took action against specific writers of “smut” while remaining silent against other derivative works such as James Potter, a series concentrating on the future generations of the Potter universe. An author has a right to protect her work but what does it mean when an author chooses to prosecute a particular type of writing while allowing and encouraging others? Unfortunately for writers of fan fiction, it is unclear and the power remains with the author of the originating work.   


Do you see anything to be concerned about with fan fiction, or do you think it's okay?

Thank you for reading.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Go Royals!

You're the best
Oh yes, Kansas City is behind the Royals!  There hasn't been this much excitement over a sports team in Kansas City in many years. 
 
Do you think the Royals will win the series?  Here's why I think they will win:  There's not a big ego among the whole bunch of players.  Not one player thinks he can do it without the others.  As long as the Royals work as a team; they can win. 
 
Each player on the team contributes, and they are all wonderful no matter what position they play.  Go Royals!
 
I'll be watching!  Will you?      
We support you!
 
Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.
 
Sandra K. Marshall, Author

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Truth About Christopher Columbus

Tomorrow is Columbus Day, and it's observed to celebrate Christopher Columbus discovering the new continent.  What we have been taught in school may not be the total truth about this man.

The man who wrote this article explains how to tell the story of Columbus to a child after they've been given misinformation at school. 

The story goes that Columbus had to persevere against the odds to get support for his venture, because everyone but him believed the Earth was flat. This just isn't true. The ancient Greeks proved that the Earth was round about 2,000 years ago, and one even used the shadow of the Earth on the moon during an eclipse to estimate its circumference. The problem for Columbus is that he was bad at math and worse at geography, and everyone with an education knew it.

"He failed to get funding for a long time because his calculations of the earth were on the small side, he thought that dry land covered more of the sphere than it does, and he believed Japan was some 1500 miles off the coast of China." In other words, most people knew roughly the distance between the west coast of Europe and the east coast of Asia but believed it was filled with a vast ocean in which Columbus would surely die.

Columbus was stubborn. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, he refused to give up his plan, and because he was so stubborn, he kept fighting for funding until he finally broke through to the Queen of Spain. His stubbornness kept him from ever admitting that he hadn't reached Asia. For Columbus, the idea of a whole new continent and unknown peoples just didn't fit his worldview.

The indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, however, were used to hosting strange arrivals from all over the Americas in their towns, according to Howe. Their settlements were decades or even centuries old, built in part on transcontinental trade, and Columbus did not seem so outlandish. These were settled lands with rich societies, not, as often depicted, simple or primitive.

That's one of the real tragedies of the story of Columbus and probably the hardest part to explain to children. The complex indigenous societies of the Americas were decimated by exposure to Old World diseases, crumbling under the weight of epidemic. By the time later waves of settlers arrived in North America, they often found wilderness. It was a new wilderness, born of drastic population decline.

Columbus didn't know that his voyage would spread diseases across the continents, of course, but disease wasn't the only problem. Columbus sailed the ocean blue not for the love of exploration but because he wanted access to Asian gold. Instead, he found marvelous soft cotton, which was far superior to similar cloth in Europe. He also took slaves for display back home and to work in his conquered lands. Cloth and slavery defined the Columbian exchange from the beginning.

Despite all this, it's not correct to simply demonize Columbus. He was a brave man, launching his ships into an uncertain fate, driven by greed, faith and hope. Like many brave men, he believed very strongly that he knew what he was doing -- even though he was wrong about so many details -- and it's OK to be impressed by his bravery.

Moreover, his voyages had an undeniable historical impact, sparking the great age of Atlantic exploration, trade and eventually colonization by Europeans. In a very real way, this era reshaped the world, the languages we speak, the religions we follow, the foods we eat and the diseases we catch. I don't know if that's a reason to have a school holiday, exactly, but it's definitely worth remembering.

So if your child comes home in the lead up to Columbus Day, like the man's in this article did, full of praise for the explorer's bravery and vision, that's a fine place to start, even if he didn't really "discover" the Americas or figure out that the Earth was round. He was, indeed, brave.

But then explain that brave people can do bad things, and worse things can happen without any planning. That's one of the lessons of history.  Below is the source I used for this blog. 
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/10/opinion/perry-columbus-day-what-to-tell-your-kid/index.html

Have a great week, and I'll see you again next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Share The Road

I know I have written about this problem before, but I just have to say more on this topic. Have you ever gotten mad at the drivers around you?  Drivers have no patience these days; they are all in a hurry.  You may know my hubby and I got a Suzuki Burgman over a year ago.  We don't go too far on it, and so far we've felt relatively safe riding it, but that hasn't been the experience of many others.

Hubby when he first got his Burgman
 
 Last Sunday, my husband and I rode our Burgman motor scooter to church, but we stopped for breakfast first.  While eating breakfast, a young couple walked up to us and started talking to us about the Burgman and asking how we liked it.  We told them we loved it, and really got a lot of enjoyment from riding it. 

The woman told us the story of how she used to ride her Burgman to work because it was the  perfect size for her to manage, and had room for her laptop and other things she needed for work.  One day, she was headed to work on I-635 when a young driver drove her off the road.  When she got back up on the highway, she was astonished when the young girl flipped her off after nearly causing her to have a bad accident. To make a long story short, the woman who rode the Burgman to and from work became so afraid after that incident she sold her scooter.  She will not even ride on the back of her husband's motor cycle. 

A young woman at our bank lost her husband this past summer just a block or two from his home when a drunk driver in a pickup truck hit and killed him.  This accident happened in a residential area at a stop sign, and the man in the car was hit head on by a driver going 60 plus miles.

 It's monstrous when people drive drunk, text or are otherwise distracted, and are so careless they do not see others on the road.  We've all seen the drivers on the highway weaving in and out of traffic crossing lanes.  These drivers are dangerous.   They need to slow down and have some consideration for others. 

While we're on the topic, I want to say something about the bicycle riders.  It's true they shouldn't be riding on the road unless there is a bicycle path, but they don't deserve to be ran over either.  We need more places for cyclists to ride. 

There's more than one driver on the road.  Stay safe everyone no matter what mode of transportation you use to travel from place to place. 

Oh, by the way, I'm working on a new website again.  If you would like to take a look at it and tell me your thoughts about it, you're welcome to.  http://www.skaymarshall.com.

Also, Romance Books 4 Us is having a new contest this month. 
Romance Books '4' Us contest is up and ready for you to enter! Over 20 prizes, and you have MANY chances to win something!

Visit: http://www.romancebooks4us.com  for rules and prize list. Be sure to check every page; lots of authors and their books, industry rep and services, and a publisher with books to offer!

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.  

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Favorite Season Is Fall


I love fall for so many reasons, but most of all because of the colors.  Red, yellow,  orange, wine and greens are just gorgeous mixed together in the trees and on ground bushes.  Their beauty is wonderful to see. 

It's fantastic to ride the trails on horseback, or on the road by car, truck and motorcycle while enjoying the sight of the fall colors around you.  The air is brisk and to me it's energizing.  Even a nice long walk along the river can be invigorating, and a enjoyable way to get your exercise.  Wink!

The anticipation of hot apple cider, hay rides, cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over bon fires is high for  kids and adults.  Going to pumpkin patches to pick out pumpkins for Halloween and Thanksgiving is a thrilling treat for everyone.

Pumpkin Patch in Weston, Missouri

The Ozarks
Just to give you an idea of how beautiful it is here in Missouri in the fall look at the photos below.  Even the photos don't do the season justice.
Along the Missouri River


Park College in Parkville, MO
 
The only drawbacks to fall is the ragweed and the coming of winter.  I don't even mind the coming of winter because all seasons are beautiful, and as long as I can stay inside when it's freezing out I can still enjoy the beauty.

Now you know my favorite season, what is yours?

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sandy-marshall/1a/851/a04
U-Tube - - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jvpp21_WME
and http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=e684nldayz0
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Authors Who Make Mistakes Always Get Caught

Hi Everyone,

When writing a story even though it's fiction you need to be accurate.  In my short story, All Bets Are Off, I made a mistake. This is the first time I made a serious mistake and was caught.  It could be I've made others, and I didn't get caught.  I hope not. 

One thing I noticed is that the person who reviewed All Bets Are Off talks about the story as if she read it in print, but she really listened to an audio copy. 

This review was not horrible, but it was embarrassing.  After all I'm seventy years old and I should know my anatomy, but I failed and was told about it in a public review.  The below review is only a partial. 

The set up was good, the story OK. Contemporary romance isn’t my favorite genre, but because of the addiction angle I wanted to give it a try. Then there is the sex. I enjoy sex scenes in my stories and this book has 2 such scenes. The first is the better of the two. I was thoroughly getting into it but then the man stuck his tongue in her uterus. Yep. Uterus. Briefly, I hoped the story was going to take on some mutant scifi elements, but alas, it did not. To get to the uterus, you have to travel the entire vaginal canal and then get past the cervix. The cervix doesn’t let just any old object enter the uterus, being perhaps 1/8 inch opening nearly all the time (common exception is when a baby is headed out). So either the man had a very long and narrow tongue, or the woman had some mutant uterus that sat in the vaginal canal with the wide open cervix. Anyway, here is the Wikipedia article - and yes, it is safe for work. So I was totally into this sex scene – there was heat between the characters, great descriptors, etc. and then he sticks his tongue in her uterus. I giggled, totally taken out of the moment. At best, this is a big typo. At worst, the author is not well informed on the female genitals/reproductive organs. But, other than this one typo (I will be generous in my thoughts), the story flowed smoothly and was fun. 

If you would like to read more go to this URL: 
http://dabofdarkness.com/2014/09/15/all-bets-are-off-by-sandra-k-marshall/

Many authors get ridiculed and torn apart for mistakes they make in their stories, so most of us work very hard to try to be accurate.  This means we do our research.  Unfortunately, I didn't this time.  The reviewer was honest about All Bets Are Off not being her usual genre. 

You can bet, I will do my research in the future. 

Have a great week and I'll see you again next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com

 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Where Were You On 9-11-2001?


Twin Towers
On 9-11-2001, I was listening to CNN news at home when the breaking news came on about the first tower being hit.  I was stunned and sat in shock watching the plane hit the tower.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  It seemed so unreal, and I just sat there and stared at the television.  I felt like I was in a stupor. Finally, I ran into the bedroom where my husband was watching television and told him to watch the news. 

I went back to my television on the big screen and kept watching; still shocked. Then, a short time later, I saw the second tower hit.  It finally hit me when the towers came down; this is really happening.  A short while later, there was news of the pentagon being hit, and then a plane in rural Pennsylvania was prevented from reaching its' destination by heroic passengers and crew members.

Pentagon

Flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania
As I sat and watched these events I was so sad and full of disbelief.  How could anyone hate so much?  What is wrong?  We try to help so many and look what it gets us.  I couldn't take my eyes off the television all and for several days after.


By the third day, I was becoming angry.  I paced up and down in front of the TV ranting and marched into the bedroom to rant some more to my husband.  I was so pissed that this had happened in our country.  I wanted to reciprocate what they did to us even though it doesn't make sense to lower ourselves to their level.  Yes, I was that mad. 

Today, I'm still angry, especially, as I see Americans being beheaded by these fanatics.  Religious wars go thousands of years back, and they have always been barbaric.  I hope we can get through this period in history and still retain our humanity.

Here are a couple of sites to visit if you want to know more about 9/11.  http://time.com/3304315/september-11-articles/ and http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

Leave me a comment about how you heard the news of 9/11 and how it made you feel.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.google.com/+SandraKMarshall
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Hello Everyone,

How many of you watched Stand Up 2 Cancer on television Friday night?  I bet many of you saw it because it was on nearly every channel.  Some of you missed it because of all the sports activities revving up for the fall season.

 
Stand Up 2 Cancer is an organization raising money for research to eradicate all kinds of cancer.  Their research does not just take place in this country, but around the world.  The countries involved in Stand Up 2 Cancer Friday night were the United States, Canada, Great Britain and The Netherlands. 

Anyone who would like to donate to research can go to https://www.standup2cancer.org/ and for Canada residents go to https//www.standup2cancer.ca/. 

All of us have been touched by cancer in some way by either family or friends.  My mother died of ovarian cancer April 4, 1998.  It was a day I'll never forget.  Other members of my family have died of other types of cancer as well.  This month is ovarian cancer month, so lets figure out how to stop cancer.

To learn more about cancer go to the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org/.

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
http://www.skaymarshall.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall