I think I'll go to the refrigerator and top a few berries for my favorite treat: Strawberries, Cottage Cheese (or you may use whipped cream if you want to) a touch of Honey and cinnamon! Why? Because today is
NATIONAL STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM DAY
National Strawberries and Cream Day is observed annually on May 21st. Fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream is a must when strawberries are in season. They are the perfect, refreshing, light snack on a beautiful warm day!
Strawberries are a very healthy snack as they are low-fat, low in calories and an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Enjoy some Strawberries and Cream
Use #StrawberriesAndCreamDay to post on social media. Look for my post on https://www.instagram.com/maryrwoldering/ Later today... Yes Allen Cheesman I am learning to use a hashtag
What else do we celebrate today?
NATIONAL AMERICAN RED CROSS FOUNDER’S DAY
ARMED FORCES DAY
NATIONAL MEMO DAY
NATIONAL WAITSTAFF DAY
NATIONAL LEARN TO SWIM DAY
Last week I interviewed Stephen Trolly.
Today he brings his character Makret Truoth (Trolly Character – Rising Vengeance) Makret speaks to us before the events in Rising Vengeance take place.
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself. My name is Makret Druoth, Lord of Brennick and the South, Master of the Brotherhood of the Mordak, Captain of the Spear of Drogoda, and High General of Drogoda.
2. Tell us where and when were you born. I was born in the year 8220, Fifth Era, in Alquendiro, capital of the country of Drogoda in the Ten Nations of Anaria.
3. How would you describe yourself? Some people describe me as the most dangerous man in Anaria. Some people describe me as the fist of Taren Garrenin. Some people describe me as his lapdog. Personally, I don’t describe myself any one way. As a general, and one with all of the reputations that I have, putting myself into my own words only serves as a disadvantage by removing the aura of mystery around my person.
4. Tell us about where you grew up. Though I was born in Alquendiro, I was almost immediately removed from the city to my Houses ancestral holdings in the city of Brennick, in southern Drogoda near the border with Armanda, my country’s long-time enemy. Where Alquendiro is a grey city, encased in stone on the shore of a cold grey sea, Brennick is a city of great beauty. Gardens are everywhere in the city, the Cardor River flows past at a slow pace, allowing for pleasure on the river, and not just the businesses of ship-building and war, Drogoda’s two main exports. Brennick is not a coastal city, though the Cardor gives some access to the sea, through the also-nearby nation of Caladea. All things considered, Brennick is a peaceful city. I cannot think of a worse place for someone like me to live.
5. How old are you? With the current year being 8873, I’m about 650 years old, still quite young for a member of the Morschenic Race.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not? There may be some facts that contradict my statement, but in truth, I had what I consider a happy childhood. My mother was an important member of Drogoda’s ruling council, so growing up outside of the capital city, I had no real relationship with her before she died when I was 17, except occasionally by proximity. My father died in the first year of my life, and so I really was almost an orphan even before I was one. Though Brennick is not a city of war, war is Drogoda’s main export, and I was the son of a famous war hero. It was repeatedly beaten into me what a great warrior Carth Druoth was. I pushed myself constantly to be better. War has been my whole life now. And I am extremely good at it. I do not think that I could be if not for the losses I suffered so early.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you? I am the kind of person who doesn’t have relationships. My one love is my sword. My best friend is the pen that I use to draw battle plans. My Mordak is my constant companion. Death is the mistress that I court. So has it been my entire life, and so will it be until my Grey Ship is cast adrift on the waves.
8. What do you value above all else in life? Ironic as it may seem, I value peace. Every war I am sent to win, I win quickly. Every life I end, I end as mercifully and painlessly as possible. Every battle I fight, I offer my enemy the chance to surrender. I am a man born and bred for the hells of warfare, but what I truly fight for is to end the fight.
9. What are you obsessed with? If you can’t guess what my answer is going to be, you haven’t been paying attention. War. Death. The art of wielding a sword, and wielding armies as a weapon. This is what fills my waking thoughts.
10. How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about? Belief is a strange word. I say, as do all Morschen, that Lasheed is the One God. I perhaps believe in Him more strongly than some I could name. But I am not a man of faith. I am a man of the sword. And it is my sword, not my belief, that protects anyone who might care about me.
11. Biggest fear? That I will be denied by some capricious trick of the heavens the death in battle that I deserve. That old age will rob me of the heroes’ battlefield grave that I have sought since I first drew blood in war. In short, I fear that the work of my life will have been for nothing.
12. What line will you never cross? Never is a word far too absolute. All that a line is is a price that must be paid, and for some, that price is too dear, or perhaps they are simply uninterested in what lies beyond. I have done many things that are the subject of debate, for my enemies and my friends alike. Some make me a hero, some make me a villain. Some a puppet, and others a puppet master. I do as I must, as the situation forces me to react. The lines of morality are for man who have the luxury of deciding their own fate.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst? The best thing to ever happen to me was my appointment to the position of High General of Drogoda. The worst thing to ever happen … I’m almost numb to what people could describe as the worst. I’ve seen the worst, and done it, on every battlefield that Anaria can offer.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you? When I was 90, I was sentenced to death as a rebel. Taren, the Prince of Morieden Province at the time, not Morschcoda of Drogoda, literally pulled my head out of the noose.
15. Biggest secret? Many people would assume that a man of my stature and public figure, and a man of such apparent callousness on the battlefield, would have bedded enough women to fill a long scroll with their names. In truth, I’ve been with only one, one time, long ago. The secret of who that is, though, I will carry to my grave.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself? Effort It’s a strange choice, I know. But in all things, I put in effort. I rarely care about the outcome of something (battles can be won as much by reputation as by force), but I DO care about the effort that I put in. If I feel that I won a battle without really putting in any effort, I feel cheated, and cannot enjoy myself.
17. What is your current goal? There is a war coming; a war that will determine the fate of Anaria and the world beyond it for the rest of time. I intend to win that war.
One of the things I really enjoy is Character takeovers. Here's a recent one with my Inner bad-girl alter ego Ariennu of Tyre, one of the protagonists in the series Children of Stone and also one of the minor characters in The Black Rose Stories by Mark McQuillen and Mara Reitsma (and others) So far she's in Healings and Mirrors of the Mind and she makes a brief appearance in Valkyrie 3
When you get a character interview sheet from me, feel free to ad lib and add tons of pictures of look-alikes so we can get to know your character!
TAKE IT AWAY, ARI
There you go. Ain‘t I a pretty one?Well I looked that way for a half second once, although the sentiment is definitely me. I’m a dark sider. I spent most of my life on the dark side of people and it’s true. That is where the passion is. But being there almost killed me. Marai? Well, he saved my life. (Oh I hate to admit I needed saving, but it’d be just rude to be that ungrateful. I’m Ariennu of Tyre. They call me Red Ari, Wise MaMa, Red, and after that the names get interesting.
Here’s another look I liked. I know it’s a pirate girl but… hey… thief, pirate, adventuress, spy, enforcer, scrapper, criminal, killer, procurer, pimp – I had done it all
I was living with my “boys” in N’ahab-atall’s gang in mostly tents when we came upon a place, with a little hut and a few sheep and a cave shelter nearby. Had a wadi bed and plenty of water. But occupied.
So we got rid of the occupants. Sold them, actually. I later stood on my hind legs and broke the code to get back at N’ahab when I realized he was about to dump me for one of the women there. I cut them loose, not because I cared but because I didn't want the competition. He beat the crap out of me (people are always beating me or I’m beating them)
After that it was straight downhill for another five years. This is how I looked when Marai first saw me and after that drawing the writer dressed up as me once
But things were about to change for this old girl.
So I was at the end of my rope and on death’s door – the cost of a life lived outside any law but my own. Once I was the tough, young and sexy leader of a band of raiders, I got dumped on by my lover and kept on as a cook. I was plotting my revenge but just got too sick to carry it out so I called any god who would listen to come and kill the bastard.
He said his name was Marai
But then he took me and my two companions Bone Woman and little Brown Eyes to a wonderful place in the middle of a sand hill and made us go inside. There, we fell asleep and woke up better. I was younger, had all my old fire back and was ready to go out hunting.
Of course, I dressed a little Keftiu in memory of the father I never knew. I like the rainbow skirts, and the bodices that make a ladies lanterns stick out, but I had to tone it down in the poor district and wear an Akkad head scarf because I was supposed to be married to the man...Ha!
First things first. I found out right away there were more things I could do. I had a stone between my eyebrows now but it was different from Marai’s stone. Mine was black with rainbow lights, symbol of my darkness but something about rainbows in a storm, they said.
Oh the way the Children of Stone speak…so pretty and chant-like
The other thing I could do is mess with people’s minds. I could go invisible or make people forget I was there. The Children say it’s like bending light around a thing, not really vanishing – A personal cloak of invisible! I would throw out bent light and rainbows to hide in. I became the Lady of the Rainbow ultimately. And because I was once a spy I could transform into a hawk.
In the author lady’s third book Opener of the Sky You got to see me in action.
So why did I end up with Marai? It wasn’t out of gratitude at first. He was just unfinished business.
Plainly put, I wanted some. Then the Children of Stone needed me to do more spying and to be the secret keeper. Of all the Stones there were divisions.
There were eight important ones I’m told I’ll understand more about later. When there is a crisis, I’ll have to separate them from the others to keep them safe.
As for the rest of my adventures? Well you know what a spoiler is doncha? So read up, starting with Book 1 Voices in Crystal!
What I CAN say is
I guess Marai got stuck with me off and on, but I made it clear to him he was never going to be my one and only, especially now that I was immortal.
There’s just too much scrumptious stuff out there and trouble to get into.
You can also find me in an adventure Mark McQuillen and Davina Purnell and Mara Reitsma are writing with this author. It’s about a time way way in the future when I look more like the gal in this pic. I have this unforgettable adopted son as a sidekick who if I hadn't raised him... It’s called “Healings…” and then “Mirrors of the Mind” New friends and old battles . If Mark is stalking he’ll give you the link in the comments…
Here is a picture that might be me. Pirate tat and headset. You like? What? OF COURSE I STOLE IT.
Catch up with me in all the tales of the Children of Stone
The next Author is Victoria Saccenti
Lets learn about her and the books she's written!
What made you want to be a writer?
My writing journey began decades ago. I plunged into the adventure-filled pages of Emilio Salgari’s Tigers of Malaysia and my imagination awakened. I started writing juvenile fantasies, kept a diary, progressed to short stories, then finally took on the big project, full-length novels.
Tell us your book’s genre?
Romance. Twentieth Century Saga.
Tell us about your book and how it’s available.
(Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, paperback etc.)
Destiny’s Plan—book one of the Destiny Trilogy—opens in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War, the Hippie counterculture, and the struggle for Civil Rights.
The Trilogy is available on all Internet vendors, either in ebook format or print on-demand.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
Read, read, and read some more. That is the main advice given by every major author. As other works expand the knowledge and style base. We’re exposed to new and different worlds when we read.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
This may sound crazy, but I don’t identify with one specific character. I love and identify with all of them. When they speak to me, I listen.
Did the Bible have anything to do with your idea for this novel?
Not specifically. However, the Bible has influenced Judeo/Christian societies in some form or another. Our values and mores have a biblical foundation. It’s nearly impossible to divorce ourselves from its teachings and lore.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
I don’t like to tell anyone how or what to think. I only present events, choices, and possibilities. The characters come up to the proverbial crossroad and learn from their mistakes. In the exchange I can only hope the readers take something of value.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I hide out in my silent cave. LOL I can’t write with music. If I do, my mind wanders away, gets lost in the notes and I lose the connection to the character(s).
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
My cave is an organized chaos. I have all sorts of necessary goodies. Affectionate notes from my dear hubby, photographs of dear friends, my special notebook, things like that.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
The biggest challenge was to gather the courage to put your work “out there” exposing your soul to the public.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
I have a wonderful set of friends.
How do you market your book?
Social media platforms are a great way to spread the word. I also advertise via Internet publications. Plus, I have a terrific VA.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
Some readers have contacted me through Facebook. Their compliments are extremely rewarding.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
I send the manuscript to two fantastic Beta readers. My editor is also a wonderful barometer/critic.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
My very first book signing took place in San Antonio, Texas, at the lovely Menger Hotel. I was a nervous wreck and didn’t know what to expect, or how many books to bring. Authors decorated the packed room with colorful pullout and table banners. Logo’s, quotes, and character images where everywhere. My table partner was sweet and funny. She was probably as nervous as I was, since that was her first event as well. The happy cacophony of laughter and conversation and the scent of fresh popcorn are indelibly etched in the memory bank. Who knew that would be offered at the door? I also remember the aroma of chocolate. I had swag Hershey’s bites spread out on my table. I have a feeling the bites had a lot to do with the readers stopping by. They might have sold a book or two. Hershey’s bites rule!
What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
Reading is my favorite pastime.
Tell your readers what your favorite food and color is. Let them in to just who you are.
Food…hmmm. That’s a toughie. I’m an “equal-opportunity-food-consumer”. In addition to, roast pork and black beans with rice—the food of my native land Cuba— I love Thai and Indian food. Medium spice please, not too hot and not too bland.
Out of all the colors in the rainbow, cobalt draws me in. I can stare at the hue for hours.
Foods—seafood. Haven’t seen a color in over forty years.
Tell us your favorite novel?
I’ll take a different tack. My favorite writer is Dorothy Dunnett. I love her series The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolò. The best historical fiction books ever written, in my humble opinion.
Chips or crackers?
Hamburger or chicken sandwich?
Hamburger, I think.
Fries or onion rings?
Milk shake or smoothie?
Each has its place. There’s nothing like a milk shake when you need a fix.
Thunderstorms or star gazing??
Both. Thunderstorms are frighteningly magnificent. Stars are wondrous.
Kindle or paperback novels?
Dorothy Dunnett on paperback, always. Kindle and other electronic readers are great. You can’t beat the storage benefits.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Heck, yes. I had to rewrite my first manuscript from beginning to end. LOL. POV’s can be challenging.
What kind of advice can you give to other aspiring authors?
Hire a good editor. Editors are worth their weight in gold.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
See above. LOL ^^^
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
I hope to release my next Romance novel the summer of 2018. It’s a stand-alone, Destiny Series spin-off. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not. I promise.
Where can we find your author page of your work to follow you and purchase your awesome book?