Archive for February 2017

Anaerfell 4   2 comments

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 3

The room still whirled from last night. He tried to close his eyes to keep his stomach from doing the same, but closing his eyes actually made it worse. Drast was somewhat surprised that the drink was still affecting him like this. He had been having more than his fill for—he did not know how long. How long ago did Tyran leave? His mind was too foggy to remember. And Walstan was gone, too.

Vaguely, Drast saw that the sky was just turning blue with the rising sun. At least, he was fairly certain it was sunrise. None of the hues of sunset had begun to color the sky.

“Ser Drast?”

He turned his head to the entrance into his chambers and pulled himself more upright to lean against the nightstand beside his bed. One of the serving women stood just inside of his room. “What?”

anaerfell-jc-author-pic“The Arkhon wishes to speak with you.”

He was not certain what string of curses came from his lips, but the maid blanched and her face grew pink, almost to the color of her hair. The room swirled again while she spoke.

“What?” he asked again.

“I said, Ser Drast, the Arkhon instructed me to remain with you until you came to meet with him.” Her voice quivered.

She was right to fear him. Her voice was fuzzy, just like everything. But, he knew he had not been particularly kind to any of the servants of late. He had managed to avoid his father by effectively frightening the servants. Their fear, combined with late nights, ale, and sleeping until the sun set, had allowed him to avoid talking with anyone who did not enjoy a mug or two.

PictureA few of the servants had initially joined him in drinking. He loosely recalled this maid among them. Ura? Mura? Lura?

“Kura,” he finally muttered. He had been a little too handsy and she had since avoided him like—he could not clearly comprise a simile. Like. Like? Like the moon avoided the sun? Good enough.

“Yes, Kura,” she murmured.

Drast spat at the chamber pot. He was fairly certain he missed. “Well, come on in, Kura.” He belched. “I know how we can pass the time.”

Posted February 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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Anaerfell 3   3 comments

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 2

His brother looked at his hands, now covered by great warm mittens. “Drast?”

“Mm?” Drast grunted, mimicking his brother.

“How are they going to remember us?”

“Who?”

Tyran shrugged his heavy shoulders. “The Stuhia. The Vucari. The world, I suppose.”

“By our apotheosis.”

“Does it always come down to glory?”

Drast snorted. “Yes. If we fail we will not be remembered. It must come to glory.”

Tyran shook his head. “But is what we are doing glorious?”

“We are off to kill a god. How could it not be?”

Tyran stopped and turned. “But if we are wrong. If killing Wolos is somehow an evil act. Or, if we fail and we are remembered because of our tyrant father—”

“Tyran the Tyrant,” Drast interrupted, chittering.

“I am serious. How do we know that we should even be doing what we are planning on doing? How do we know it is right? How do we know we can?”

“Tyran, you are overthinking this. Why do you even care how people will remember you to begin with? It will not matter. We will either succeed, in which case we are allowed to tell whatever tale of our victory we choose, or we fail and are dead and it doesn’t matter. Regardless, people will remember us for the height of our lives, when we faced a god.”

“I want to believe that I did something right for this world before I died.”

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Anaerfell 2   Leave a comment

anaerfell-promo-coverBLURB

 

Drast, cunning but reckless, is on the hunt for admiration. Tyran, calculating but tactless, is in search of affection. Bound by a friendship thicker than blood, the two brothers have been hardened by their father’s ambitions. Drast and Tyran are forced to set aside their own hopes and dreams during their struggle to fulfill their father’s desire for immortality. Now, the two will face skin-switchers and dragons, ultimately leading to a final clash with Wolos, God of the Dead.

BIOS

 

Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.

 

http://www.robertsonwrites.com/
@robertsonwrites

 

anaerfell-jc-author-picJ.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs. He recently earned his MA in English Literature and is working on his debut novel for his own fantasy world. Despite growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and a collection of both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels, J.C. has an abiding love of classics and spends his free time reading anything he can get his hands on.

 

http://www.crimsonedgepress.com

@jcboyd_author

 

LINKS

 

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Posted February 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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Anaerfell   Leave a comment

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 1

Erzebeth convulsed. Her fur and skin shedding away while she wheeled about on the ground in agony. The bones readjusted and organs reset from beast to human. Where a beast had stood was now the naked figure of Erzebeth. Cuts and scratches patterned her body, but none were fatal.

Tyran had no place for modesty. The Vucari woman, within the privacy of the ice dome, struggled to her feet. Again, her dark eyes met his own, filled with compassion.

“You need to be put down, young Red.” Her voice was calm as her feet crossed in front of one another, closing the distance between them. “Your power is greater than any I have seen before, even from the Anshedar.”

“What?” Tyran said, forehead wrinkled with confusion. He had never heard of the race before, whether beast or otherwise.

“You are like a rabid dog, young Red. You are the perfect companion, loyal, and possibly even loving somewhere deep inside,” Erzebeth bit her lip. Her breasts, barely covered by her dark hair, touched the front of his chest. She halted her feet. “But, you are tainted by a disease that is stronger than the goodness in you. You cannot be left to live in this world, or you will corrupt every living thing around you.”

Tyran tilted his chin, lips parting. His free hand touched her pale skin, as whitish as the ice fortress that veiled this moment.

“You would taint me, young Red.” She stepped up on her tiptoes. “As with the rabid dog, you need to be put down.”

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He grabbed her by the back of the neck, and pulled her to him. He kissed her with more force than he had ever kissed any woman.

This woman was not Isolde. This woman was battle hardened, and a warrior. She was not plain.

She grabbed his shoulders and returned the embrace, her tongue touching his lips. Her body was far warmer than his own, as if it were heated by the darkness.

He did not know what he was doing in this moment. It may have likely been the first time that his mind was clear from thought, acting without thinking. Though, in time, he may consider that when his death was nigh, he found that this was something he wanted to do before death found him.

The crashing against the ice pulled him from the moment. Tyran pulled back, moving the Vucari’s hair from her cheek. “You won’t kill me, Erzebeth.”

“No,” she breathed. Her hands fell to his chest. “But, it still needs to be done.”

#Book #Free   Leave a comment

lifeasweknewitFirst in apocalyptic series. Free today ONLY. https://www.amazon.com/Life-Knew-Transformation-Project-Book-ebook/dp/B00UY6MKHG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Posted February 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion, Uncategorized

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week, I’m promoting a relaunch of Anaerfell – Book 1 of  Thrice-Nine Sagas. I’ll have an interview next week.

 

www.robertsonwrites.com

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Posted February 21, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesday

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Cops versus Citizens   10 comments

I totally support our Constitutional system of election. If you’re seeking a partner for a coup against the Constitutionally-elected President of the United States, I’m not your gal. The day the military overthrows the sitting government is the day I will begin contemplating how much I’m willing to do to fight for the restoration of the constitutional republic of the United States. For now, I will continue trying to educate with this blog.

Image result for image cop violence against citizensThere are right and good ways to reform this country. And there are bad ways. I don’t bash Trump every day and I give him kudos when he does something right, but if he does something I disagree with, I reserve the right to criticize it.

Last Wednesday, President Trump signed three executive orders to focus federal resources on fighting drug cartels, increasing overall public safety, and preventing violence against law enforcement officers.

At a quick glance, those sound like worthy goals, but …

I’m worried about all three of them, but especially the directive to “pursue appropriate legislation…that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.”

Don’t get me wrong. It might be easy to do on this subject. I think the police in general in America have become abusive to the citizens, but I am not in favor of shoot cops. I’m simply in favor of cops being disciplined to within an inch of their life when they shoot citizens. Yes, there are times when citizens do things that cops have to respond to and sometime that requires violence. But I think we’ve reached a point where the violence is often reflexive and unnecessary and the only solution I see to that is for any cop who shoots a citizen to be placed on trial for murder and forced to defend themselves by the same systems citizens have to rely on when they shoot a cop. Oh, wait, usually if you shoot a cop in the United States, you end up dead before you get to trial. So, let me reiterate — I don’t believe in shoot cops. I think all of this should be worked out in a trial court.

So, the reason this edict from on high bothers me is there is no evidence that local or state officials have been reluctant to capture and punish those who commit violence against police. There’s also is little empirical evidence that more punitive sentences deter crime generally. I used to believe it did, but after 30 years of this experiment, enough evidence has accumulated to convince me that I was wrong.

Constitutionally, the federal government has no business getting involved when local law enforcement is doing its job. This is essentially the same argument Republicans used when they opposed the expansion of federal hate crimes protections to individuals with alternative sexual orientation or gender identity. Federal criminal law should be used sparingly, and only in circumstances in which local or state law enforcement are unable or unwilling to enforce the appropriate law. Violence against police officers is taken seriously in every policing jurisdiction in America. This executive order is unnecessary and will probably be turned toward even more abuse of citizens by police.

Keeping law enforcement officers safe is a noble goal, but cops in this country don’t need even more power going to their heads. Let’s thing a little bit about keeping citizens safe from the cops.

Eggs   10 comments

Okay, so I live in Alaska, where a people tend to be pretty individualistic. I have some friends with chickens and goats and one even has a cow. Cows and horses are hard in Alaska because of the cold weather, but this cow gives good milk.

I’ve never drank this cow’s milk pasteurized. That’s right. I drink raw milk occasionally and I’m still alive.I haven’t even got sick from it. And, I like raw milk so much that I have seriously considered buying a goat. A cow might be a little conspicuous on my town lot, but a nanny goat could be a pet and allowed to mow the lawn, which the neighbors would appreciate since Brad and I can get a little remiss in that area. We might even loan out the goat to mow other people’s lawns. It’s a neighborhood win-win.

Image result for image of farm-fresh eggsAnyway, the subject is actually eggs. According to my friend who — uh, exchanges these eggs for some green paper … the eggs she’s uh, giving me do not have to be refrigerated. I thought that was pretty weird when she said it to me the first time, so I asked “What do you mean! My egg carton says ‘keep refrigerated.'”

 

I was raised by a farm girl, so I know that eggs left out on the counter will not hatch a chicken, but I sort of thought they’d spoil. She explained to me that if eggs are “unwashed” they don’t need to be refrigerated.

So, I still thought that was weird, so I researched eggs. Yeah, I officially will research anything, I guess.

I learned that in the US, government regulation requires that eggs be washed before commercial sale. Okay, sounds good. You wouldn’t want to pick up any diseases from where that eggs been.

But then I learned that in Europe egg washing is forbidden by law. Now that’s weird. You’d think Europeans wouldn’t want to get sick any more than Americans do.

 

The FDA explains that they are only saving Americans from horrible diseases.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a regulation expected to prevent each year approximately 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths caused by consumption of eggs contaminated with the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis.

The regulation requires preventive measures during the production of eggs in poultry houses and requires subsequent refrigeration during storage and transportation.

Egg-associated illness caused by Salmonella is a serious public health problem. Infected individuals may suffer mild to severe gastrointestinal illness, short term or chronic arthritis, or even death. Implementing the preventive measures would reduce the number of Salmonella Enteritidis infections from eggs by nearly 60 percent.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the regulators explain that the forbidding of egg washing is only saving people from horrible diseases:

In general, eggs should not be washed or cleaned because such practices can cause damage to the egg shell, which is an effective barrier to bacterial ingress with an array of antimicrobial properties. However, some practices, such as the treatment of eggs with ultra-violet rays, should not be interpreted as constituting a cleaning process. Moreover, Class A eggs should not be washed because of the potential damage to the physical barriers, such as the cuticle, which can occur during or after washing. Such damage may favour trans-shell contamination with bacteria and moisture loss and thereby increase the risk to consumers, particularly if subsequent drying and storage conditions are not optimal.

Who is right? According to a New York Times report, there is a case either way:

But — and here is the big piece of the puzzle — washing the eggs also cleans off a thin, protective cuticle devised by nature to protect bacteria from getting inside the egg in the first place. (The cuticle also helps keep moisture in the egg.) With the cuticle gone, it is essential — and, in the United States, the law — that eggs stay chilled from the moment they are washed until you are ready to cook them.Salmonella outbreaks are more prevalent in large operations where the chickens are kept in close quarters, often in cages stacked on top of one another. Some large-scale producers vaccinate their flocks, but not all. Thus, the one-size-fits-all washing regulation.

My egg entrepreneur friend dries the eggs with a rag, but she doesn’t wash them, so they don’t need to be refrigerated. I still refrigerate them because I’ve been brainwashed by a lifetime of government regulation and commercial practice, but this is something we should be thinking about.

Image result for image of raw milkJust like raw milk is only dangerous if cross contaminated by un-sterilized containers and yet has incredible health benefits that we Americans are missing out on, unwashed eggs are only dangerous if you lick raw chicken crap off the shell. My friend recommended that we give the individual eggs a quick bath before we crack them open. She doesn’t do this, but for the squeamish, it helps our mental health.

Government in its infinite bureaucracy always thinks it possesses knowledge of the one and only way to do something and it is so convinced of its wisdom that it is willing to impose its knowledge at the point of a gun. It’s pretty absurd that two governments completely disagree and imposed vastly different ways of going about “protecting” our health.

So, what if governments simply stopped making rules about egg washing? What if we let the market decide how best to handle that.

I can hear my liberal friends stuttering now — “B-b-but people will die!” Really? Why would an egg producer want to poison someone? It would destroy their business because when the news got out, people would stop buying eggs from them. Consumers want the tastiest, cheapest and safest eggs available and producers want to provide them at a profit. That sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me. Trust that I can figure out what is healthy for me or not. The first time I was presented with raw milk, I did a cost benefit analysis. My mother managed to drink raw milk her entire childhood and not die. My friend who owns goats grew up drinking raw goats milk and he’s still living. Didn’t seem all that dangerous to me. And, wow, raw milk … way better than that stuff they sell in the grocery store.

Same with my egg friend. Her family eats unrefrigerated, rag-dried eggs every day and, after nearly 20 years of this habit, they’re all still living. Her eggs are also better-tasting, but that might just be because they’re 3-4 days fresher than what I get at the grocery store. Come to think of it, Mom probably grew up eat unrefrigerated eggs since Granddad’s farm didn’t have electricity, although maybe they put those eggs in the spring house where the milk was chilled. My point is that many of the rules we have today didn’t exist in the 1930s and still don’t exist in other developed countries. Is it possible that they exist simply for the continuation of the administrative state?

 

What’s Relaxing?   7 comments

The topic on the Open Book Blog Hop this week is “What’s Your Go-To Relaxation?”

Alaskans live a pretty active lifestyle, so of course, my go-to relaxation is a bit … uh, active.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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My go-to relaxation always includes water, preferably hot water and low light. If I just want to relax for an evening, I fill up the bathtub and soak my cares away.

But my all-time relaxation strategy involves more than just sitting in hot water.

Image result for image of northern lights

If I have my perfect plan for relaxation, it involves some sort of exercise … hiking from Angel Rocks trailhead to Chena Hot Spring Resort (about 15 miles) along treeless ridgelines is my favorite, but that can only be done in warm weather. In winter, we drive the 60 road miles to Chena Hot Springs Resort, which is sort of an athletic feat because of the cold and the moose and caribou occasionally crossing the road.

When we go to Chena Hot Springs Resort, we plan several hours of ‘bathing’. There is something so relaxing about shedding the layers of clothing necessary to stay warm on the trip out there. Gloves, hat, coat, sweater, boots, socks, pants, undershirt … it’s one step at a time that just leaves the world back home in the locker.

The only gear you need at Chena Hot Springs Resort is a bathing suit and a towel and if your feet are sensitive — flip-flops or water socks. I leave my cell phone in the locker. My watch. Everything.

My first stop is one of the two indoor Jacuzzi tubs. Heating with hot springs water, they usually take a couple of minutes to get used to so I can slide down into the water. If I’m lucky, nobody but my husband joins me, but usually there are people already there. You can tell the old hands. They don’t talk. They sit with their eyes closed with bubbling water up to their shoulders. The newcomers feel the obligation to chit-chat … except the Japanese tourists. Even if they speak English, they also understand the importance of silence in the hot springs.

After maybe 10 minutes, we shift over to the “cool” pool. This is a shallow swimming pool where there are usually kids playing and splashing. We would skip it entirely except that it gets us ready for going outside. It is also heated by the hot springs water, tempered with cold water and the water runs about body temperature, which feels cool when you’ve been in the Jacuzzi. By bringing your core temperature back to normal, the outside air doesn’t seem quite so brutal.

Understand. We don’t go to Chena Hot Springs in the winter unless it’s below freezing, probably below zero. But the true relaxation zone is outside. Children are not permitted out there. Outside, you have a choice of a large Jacuzzi or the rock pool. We usually turn to the outdoor Jacuzzi first.

Image result for image of chena hot springs rock pool

Depending on the time of evening we get there and a whole lot of other variables, the northern lights will come out. We sit in the tub along with our fellow relaxers and watch these ribbons of color dance across the sky. If the aurora is active, we might spend hours in this tub. Sometimes we’ll stand up to cool off. Once we hung out there for four hours watching the lights.

Then there’s the rock pool, which is my ultimate relaxation spot. It never gets deeper than about four feet, so you have to squat a little. It’s a “natural” pool — it was created by the resort owner, but the water flows off the hot springs with just a tiny bit of tempering. There is snow on the huge rocks that surround the pool. When you get too hot, you can climb out on the rocks and cool down.

My favorite thing to do is go to an area where there are no other people and just float on my back. The fog from the rock pool prevents me from seeing the aurora, but the warm water and quiet chat of my fellow bathers just takes me into a zone where I could almost fall asleep (not recommended in hot water).

And then there’s the drive home, which oddly enough is also relaxing. We stay well below the speed limit, watch for moose and maybe listen to some classical music … once we regain radio reception.

Posted February 20, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Featured Image -- 38271

What is your go-to relaxation? That’s the topic for the Open Book Blog Hop this week.

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

WordPress:
<!– start InLinkz script –>
<a rel=’nofollow’ href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=695789“><img style=”border:0px” src=”https://www.inlinkz.com/img/wp/wpImg.png“></a>
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Custom Blog:
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http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=695789” title=”click to view in an external page.”>An InLinkz Link-up

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Posted February 19, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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