August 28 is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day A wonderful quote found on the site https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/rainbow-bridge-remembrance-day/ goes like this:
”Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side? Rainbows are visions, but only illusions and rainbows have nothing to hide. So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it. I know they’re wrong wait and see. Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me.” ~ The Muppets
Our pets become family members most of the time. Sometimes they are like furry or leathery children. The hardest part of pet ownership is the day when they leave our world in death.
Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day was founded by Deborah Barnes, author and blogger of Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles in tribute to her Ragdoll cat, Mr. Jazz, who she had to say goodbye to on August 28, 2013.
She shared the journey of letting him go in her book, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond and the reaction from her readers was so overwhelming, she decided to create the day in his honor as a way for others across the world to share memories of their own pets they had loved and lost.
Animals have served as beloved members of our family for time out of mind, and continue to do so to this day. This includes as service animals that help those with conditions like blindness, PTSD, and epilepsy, as well as working animals on farms and police forces, as well as the simple companion pet who helps us through our loneliest times with undying unconditional love.
Rainbow Bridge carries on an ancient tradition of memorializing our beloved pets with the same care and consideration as our departed human family. Pharaohs would entomb and mummify their cats, and animals of all sorts have been found in ritualized burials. The Ancient Egyptians buried their pets with all the things they would need in their afterlife, just like the humans that were mummified and buried. Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day celebrates these ancient traditions and reminds us that there’s no reason for them to fade.
Earlier in the week I asked my readers to respond with a picture and story of their someone who had gone to Rainbow Bridge.
Four of you responded, so here is your pet's story.
As for myself, here's a special story. I've grown up with cats. The first few were outdoor strays we fed and sheltered. They were not really our pets. There were a few more cats later as I grew up: Angel Face, Mitty, Inky, Catt-Catt, and then an adoptee Meryt to go with Sith (a black cat signifying my Star Wars affliction at the time) that a friend had rescued.
My parents got him when I married and we switched to hamsters as our children grew. At some point we had an entire Pet Cemetery because hamsters only live 12-18 months and we had dozens.
The last one gone to the bridge, and our children launched, we considered ourselves pet free, but it didn't last.
Our house in Tennessee is down the road from a bridge that crosses a narrow strip of Boone Lake. Oddly enough, it was called, at one time, Rainbow Bridge. Now it's named for a veteran.
In 2008 we were doing some maintenance there when we discovered a tiny black furball under the steps. It was a kitten with eyes still closed. Further inspection revealed four more and eventually the mother arrived and asked for food. We were smitten and ended taking all six back to Ohio. My son took two Sith Chen and Kohaku River when he finished college, but we still had four.
The most affectionate cat of the bunch was Raven, a part Maine Coon with long black hair.
Sadly, he grew ill when he was just over a year old. When he got a bad diagnosis, we took him to a second vet but he died on that vet's table before she could save him. It had been severe anemia.
Our house was not the same for many months. I took his collar to Tennessee and put it in the house where he had been born, not far from the bridge. Gradually the three who remain have endeared themselves to us, especially MaMa. Nine years later we still have her, Kali and Hickey. Every time I go to Tennessee and look at the bridge I think of Raven.
Last week we met Guy Donovan, author of the Dragon's Treasure Series and many other shorter stories in the fantasy genre. Today we meet Cerys, the heroine of Dragon's treasure accompanied by some of Guy's (a former professional illustrator) drawings of her.
Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name is Cerys. It rhymes with “ferris,” whatever that is.
2. Tell us where and when were you born.
I don’t remember when, but I was born in the royal manor of Caergybi, which is in the kingdom of Môna.
3. How would you describe yourself?
Ummm…I’m short, with hair that’s kind of reddish blonde…I used to be a princess, but I’m not really anymore.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Môna is made up of two islands, Ynys Gybi and Ynys Môn. Both are really close to the mainland of Britannia. It’s often cold and wet, but sometimes it gets sunny.
5. How old are you?
I’m eleven at the start of my story.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Well, I was born simpleminded, so that’s hard to answer. Now that I’m not though, I really miss my father, who disappeared about a year ago. My mother died when I was born, so now I live with my tutor, Domelch. He’s a Pict. He’s funny. You’d like him. Most people do, except for my stepmother, the queen.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
They don’t really. Most people in Môna don’t seem to remember me much anymore now that my stepmother runs the kingdom.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
My doll, Dilwen. She’s supposed to look like my mother.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Dilwen, I guess. And I hum a song that my father taught me a lot. Oh…I almost forgot my lessons with Domie! (Domelch) I’ve got a new friend named Owena, but I call her ‘Wena. She’s nice too. She’s teaching me to sew and how to talk better now that I can.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I don’t really have any beliefs. I just want to be normal…like everyone else.
11. Biggest fear?
That I’ll never really be normal. And that I’ll never see my father again.
12. What line will you never cross?
13. Never mind. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Meeting Talorc was the best! (the dragon in the series) I have a lot of headaches though. Sometimes I feel like there’s a black flower bulb deep inside my head, and that when my headaches get bad enough, it will open up and I’ll die. That’s the worst.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I guess it was that time I went a little crazy before I met Talorc and my stepmother had me thrown into a dungeon cell next to ‘Wena’s when everyone was scared of me.
15. Biggest secret?
That’s easy. Talorc! If anyone else knew about him, I’m afraid that they’d try to kill him.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
“Stupid,” I suppose. It’s the one that most other people besides Domie and ‘Wena use.
17. What is your current goal?
I already told you…to be normal. Are you sure you’re not simpleminded too?
Thanks Cerys, we certainly hope you find your dream of being normal!
Here's a reblogged excerpt from Write Naked: A Bestseller’s Secrets to Writing Romance by Jennifer Probst (@jenniferprobst), published by Writer’s Digest Books.
See https://janefriedman.com/writing-secondary-characters/ for the complete article!
One of the things that makes a series a success is the secondary character.
Secondary characters have always been important in books. Authors use these characters to broaden the seams of the story and add depth with layers of conflict, drama, or humor. Think of the hero or heroine’s best friend, siblings, parents, co-workers, etc. Sometimes secondary characters have their own story line as part of the book, and other times they are only in the story to help make the main characters shine.
Series have become extremely popular, and secondary characters are now in the spotlight. Readers enjoy trying to spot the next potential hero or heroine, and imagine him or her as the protagonist in the author’s next book. If you properly set up the ending to your first book, you can get a reader to hit the preorder button for the next book, based on the power of your secondary characters.
That’s good stuff.
I try to determine the next leading man or lady in a series all the time. When I was gorging on Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series (which is up to book seventeen at the moment), I became obsessed with trying to figure out which secondary character would be next. I couldn’t click the buy button fast enough. She also had me wait a long time for one of my favorite couples, but I was determined to read each book in order and get there in a natural way.
You must be skillful in sketching out your supporting characters. They must be interesting, but not so interesting that they overshadow the main storyline. Sawyer Wells, a secondary character in my novel The Marriage Mistake, became a bit too big for his britches. Suddenly, I was writing him into every scene, until I remembered whose book it was. I quickly backed up, deleted some of his starring roles, and when he threw a tantrum, I promised him his own book.
He agreed and stepped back gracefully.
Give secondary characters a secret
Perfection doesn’t exist. If you are writing a perfect secondary character, make sure you surprise the reader with what lurks beneath that perfect surface. The junk is what makes a secondary character—really, all characters—interesting, and inspires the reader to try to figure out what can come next. You want readers to buy the next book.
Invoking sympathy is another great tool for readers to bond with secondary characters.
Carefully seed your plots
Because series are a huge part of the market now, when creating the first book, make sure you sketch out who will appear in your follow-ups. Yes, there are always surprises, but you should know there will be either three, four, or more characters planned in the series. Give the reader a hint of what’s to come, tease them with ideas of the hero or heroine’s match, and firmly keep all your secrets in your back pocket until they shine in their own book.
Secondary Characters in Children of Stone
I put my own Series to the test. The hero is obviously Marai and the Antagonist we meet is Prince Hordjedtef. In a way all of the women Ariennu, Naibe and Deka are secondary throughout Book 1 Voices in Crystal, as is Prince Wserkaf. With a few plot twists, these four characters blossom. In Book 2 Going Forth By Day the focus shifts to their growing relationship and introduces another secondary character Prince Maatkare Raemkai.
This was the character who almost ran away with the story, because he's an incorrigible bad boy, sorcerer and wolf-shifter that most women would at least want to enjoy in a fling, even if it's a big mistake.
What could I do?
I made him take the center stage in Book 3 Opener of the Sky. I also re-introduced what had been a tertiary character: the Akaru Metauhetep.
In Book 4 Heart of the Lotus, Prince Wserkaf re-emerges to discover a secret while the other characters relationships mature and change further.
All of this leads to the conclusion of the series in Book 5 The Lake of Memory which ends, but leaves the door open for additional sequels if there's a demand.
And now: Aaron-Michael Hall
Who are you as a person?
Aaron-Michael Hall is an award-winning author residing in Georgia (she uses the pseudonym Newland Moon exclusively for her scifan novels). Aaron-Michael writes classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge, and science fantasy romance. Since August 2015, she has written nine full-length novels and published five. Her first novel, The Rise of Nazil has won numerous reader awards.
Now, when she is not interviewing indie authors on her Desu Beast Blog, being super mom, wrangling stampeding miniature dachshunds, or managing her 9 to 5, she is interweaving genres, creating languages, and adding just the right edge to keep you turning pages.
Aaron-Michael created the Mehlonii language for her diverse Epic Fantasy series. Along with intriguing characters, multilayered plots, new species, deities, and creatures, the Mehlonii language adds that fantastical element missing from most modern Epic/High fantasy. You can listen to samples of the spoken Mehlonii language on her website’s Mehlonii page.
When asked why she wrote this series, Aaron-Michael simply said, “It needed to be written.”
How long have you been a writer?
I have been writing since I first knew how to write. I always love weaving a compelling tale and sharing it with family and friends.
Are you traditionally or Indie published? If not yet, what are you considering?
After speaking with a few interested publishers, I decided to self-publish.
What is your book/series about?
The Rise of Nazil series is currently comprised of three published novels. The first novel is actually a complete story. Seed of Scorn and Piercing the Darkness are a duology that follow The Rise of Nazil. That “trilogy” is complete. Blood of Oisin is the first novel in the second trilogy, which releases in 2018. That trilogy is complete and ready for the editor.
Stylistically, the series is classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge. The world of Faélondul teeters on the brink of war. The Nazilians rule the lands and merely suffer the humans’ presence. The humans are equally treated and some are captured and enslaved. Although the majority of Nazilians do not agree with the edicts of their Zaxson (the Nazilian ruler), they are compelled due to fear of the ruling line who established the powerful Nazilian city.
The Rise of Nazil (book I) delves into the inner conflicts and turmoil of numerous characters whilst introducing this vast new world, its mythos, and fantastical creatures. There is no destined “hero” or “chosen one” to stand against the malefic forces disrupting the fragile vestiges of peace remaining in Faélondul. It is about the individual struggles numerous characters endure to achieve a common goal. But their distrust of each other and fear of the Zaxson causes old wounds to fester and new betrayals to emerge. If these interrelated characters cannot overcome their prejudices, Faélondul will be consumed by the very maleficence each of them claims to abhor. However, they are forced to admit and overcome their own inner demons if they are to save their world.
What is the setting and genre?
The Rise of Nazil, Seed of Scorn, Piercing the Darkness, and Blood of Oisin (coming in 2018), are classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge. They are set in the fantastical world of Faélondul.
Rights of Heirdron and Orbs of Trenihgea are Science Fantasy Romance. This duology’s setting is the Ahmezurhran Galaxy.
Who is your favorite character from your book?
That is a difficult question. In each novel, I have my favorites. With such a vast cast, it is nearly impossible to choose. For the sake of the question, I will list a few. The Rise of Nazil: Danimore, Kuhani, Gali, Zeta, Itai, and Thalassa. Seed of Scorn: Ahvixx and Symeon. Piercing the Darkness: Ayrmeis and Shintao. Rites of Heirdron: Q1-Raydren and Itanya. Orbs of Trenihgea: Lezayen.
Would you say your book has a message or underlying theme? What is it?
There are numerous “messages” interwoven within the plot. However, each reader receives something different from their reading experience. Some themes are obvious, whereas others are layered within the prose and characterization.
Other than writing, do you have any hobbies?
I have always enjoyed photography. I used to have a small photography business many years ago. Music is a must for me. I play several instruments and love creating new tunes.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I do not watch much television anymore. I still enjoy Star Trek (TOS, TNG, and DS9), Game of Thrones, and independent films.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I call myself an “accidental author.” Although I have always written, I never really wanted to publish. Therefore, I have never stopped my day-to-day life; I just added this to it.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently reading/listening to the final version of Orbs of Trenihgea (releasing September 1st), writing a new Epic Fantasy (Kurintor Nyusi) with another author, and editing Blood of Oisin before sending it out for editing.
What future plans do you have in writing?
I plan to continue weaving compelling tales with intriguing characters. As long as the story is there, I will write it. I hope my readers continue to enjoy their visits to these fantastical lands and galaxies.
What links or website do you have? List them below.
Yes, thank you.
You can contact Aaron-Michael via Email, her Website, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, or Twitter.
Please sign up for her Mailing List and never miss a giveaway or book release.
You can also enjoy a short book trailer and an excerpt of Rites of Heirdron.
Rites of Heirdron Trailer: https://youtu.be/x1t6V0XgSLU
Rites of Heirdron Prelude (Narrated by Victor Bevine): https://youtu.be/4slC1MMDAyc
Anything new that you’d like to announce?
Yes, currently I have a Rafflecopter where you can win either an audiobook of Rites of Heirdron or an ebook of orbs of Trenihgea. No sign ups or email required to enter.
Almost forgot to mention the August Party Hat Winner! It's Isadora Sunday! She chose a copy of my first book Voices in Crystal
My winners are chosen in a blind computerized raffle from the names of everyone who is actively helping me promote. You can use my blog,
my author snippets on other sites,
any takeovers in which I am a guest,
my new Street Team Formation Group Children of Stone...Book Series My other pages on Facebook on Facebook, and Twitter by liking commenting and sharing. When I get Instagram fully installed and understood I'll count progress there. Likes count 1 point, comments and shares count 2 points.
If you are an author, I'll follow and as time permits, read review, interview and promote you too!
Next raffle will be the week of September 18th and announced September 25th
Let's help each other!
Recent Releases from supporters!!
Forevermore: A Once and Future Legend (The NeverLands Saga) Andi Lawrencovna 8/1/17 https://www.amazon.com/Forevermore-Once-Future-Legend-NeverLands-ebook/dp/B073ZK8JJ1/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1503880473&sr=8-3&keywords=Andi+Lawrencovna
Dragonblood Throne: Legacy Tom Falwell 8/5/17 https://www.amazon.com/Dragonblood-Throne-Legacy-Tom-Fallwell-ebook/dp/B073SYDP68/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503880858&sr=1-1&keywords=Tom+Fallwell
The Wrath of the Revenant (The Adventures of Tremain & Christopher Book 3) Terry Marchion 8/13/17 https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-Revenant-Adventures-Tremain-Christopher-ebook/dp/B074SYRGPM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503881726&sr=1-1&keywords=Terry+Marchion
A wrap for today! I'm bust with my own writing projects. Heart of the Lotus (Children of Stone Book 4) Hopefully Early 2018 Healing the Wounds Part ! - With Mark McQuillen & Davina Purnell (in editing phase) Healing the Wounds Part II Mirrors of the Mind - With Mark McQuillen & Davina Purnell (Just getting started) Ana's Dragon - Dream Flight - Super short for Dreamtime Dragon Gazette #2 - out soon
Always writing, always happy, always tired.
'Til next time, keep on reading, writing & reviewing