A History: The date palm is the oldest known cultivated tree, and is appreciated for the many blessings it bestows on people across North Africa and the Middle East, into Asia and other hot climates.
The date palm (phoenix dactylifera) is believed to have originated in the Middle East where its majestic trunk and luxurious fronds promised water, shade, rest and food to hungry travelers in arid lands . Palms are flowering trees that fruit at the top, with a single bunch containing as many as a thousand dates. In the right conditions, a single tree might produce as much as 300 Kg of dates.
Palms have deep roots capable of reaching water far below the surface. They may grow up (100 feet ) and live for more than 200 years.
No wonder the date palm has become synonymous with hospitality, long life, fertility and prosperity; Dates have been eaten for more than 7,000 years
Organic Medjool dates are a real treat popular in North America. They are naturally flavorful, low in fat and high in potassium for a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth. These dates are huge and ideal for snacking; just remember to remove the pits first.
The fruits can also be used to make energy bites or raw desserts.
4 Health Benefits of Organic Medjool Dates
1) Potassium Powerhouse: Organic Medjool dates are chock-full of potassium, the mineral that protects the heart by keeping sodium levels in check and preventing high blood pressure. A 1-cup serving of dates contains up to three times as much potassium as a 1-cup serving of bananas.
2) High in Fiber: Every 2.4 ounces of Medjool dates provides six grams of dietary fiber. Most Americans do not meet the daily recommended intake for fiber (25 to 30 grams a day from food), so a handful of dates can help you get more fiber in your diet. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and it can be beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol.
3) Mighty Minerals: Stock up on minerals during snack-time! Dates supply important minerals like calcium, magnesium and copper. These minerals support everything from the health of bones and teeth to the production of red blood cells.
4) B-complex Vitamins: Are you getting your B Vitamins? Medjool dates are a good source of the B-complex vitamins known as pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These essential vitamins assist the body by helping to convert food into energy.
Organic Medjool dates contain pits. There are approximately 23 dates per pound.
Naibe’s Dates – a series catalyst
Naibe-Ellit, also known as Brown Eyes or Baby or Little One was Marai's female companions after he was transformed by The Children of Stone. Like most women of her era she is industrious and has always made delicious honey and cream filled dates to sell in the market.
Naibe's dates attract the attention of the priesthood, bring delight to a lonely prince and king, and become more than once a tool of both seduction and vengeance.
Here's an excerpt from Voices in Crystal (spoiler alert) when Naibe uses dates and her dance to break the concentration of a visiting investigator into their activities. She already knows he will be important in their lives. He has just turned down an offered drink. This is from the soon to be published revised version. ~~~~~~~ “My Lord, may I speak?” Naibe-Ellit's voice fluttered in the studied shyness of the Ashera voice Marai knew from so long ago in the wilderness
“Go on, woman.” The priest sucked in a little air, lowered his eyelids and coughed as if he was trying to break the charm of her seductive gaze.
“If you do not wish to drink much more, have some of these. They are very sweet.” She handed the Inspector a date from the basket near the door.
He nodded his thanks and bit into it. “Oh! These are exquisite! I should order some for...” the priest almost said the name of someone but froze his thoughts, adding Clever, young goddess-woman. Almost--
Both Marai and Naibe-Ellit stared at him after that slip. The sojourner continued eavesdropping on their mental exchange as she sent her own thoughts: You call me a goddess-woman. You recognize. But you should. You are a Lord of dance magic and so I will dance for you, so that you can understand how my words fail me at times.
So that’s the reason behind his excellent condition. Marai verified his original curiosity about the priest. Teaches physical movement and meditative motion.
“These dates are those which ‘My Lady’ adores away in Shinar lands?” The priest answered aloud. His slim hands clasped again “Do they come with the dance you are wanting to show me?”
Oh--charming him like a cat on a bird, Marai smiled inwardly as she began to sway, circling her arms up then out as if caressing the air, then drawing it down into her spirit. She must know something.
The movements of her belly made the air shimmer and sigh with each dip and sway. As she moved, her hands loosened the knot at the back of her neck and a panel of it wafted to the floor.
She spoke softly as she, bent close to the priest’s ear, dusting it with another piece of her wrapped shift. “For you, esteemed one, a gift, since our drink was not a fitting gift. From my land to yours, from all women...a blessing because I know in my heart, you will not fail to be kind...even when it is asked for you to be hard-hearted.” He’s a connection, then. She’s making a link with him now for some reason.
Marai’s heart quickened in desire, joy, and hilarious amazement, because the dance aroused him even more than it seemed to affect the Inspector. She shouldn’t be doing this...It's going to be trouble
Last week Sam Kates described his life as a writer.
Here's a synopsis first:
In Book 1, Matt and three others step into an unremarkable elevator, intent only on reaching their offices, but all thoughts of work are driven from their minds the moment the door slides open. Thus begins a day that will change the lives of all four reluctant travellers. A day Matt will never forget, no matter how much he’d like to.
Book 2 sees Jack journey to a strange land inhabited by people lost in space and time. A land where the Scourgers roam. What he discovers changes all: it is not merely his own and former Elevator companions’ lives that are at risk. The stakes are much higher. And, like it or not, Jack is forced to join the game.
In Book 3, a future hangs in the balance. Only one person has the power to prevent it all unravelling and he can’t do it alone. But for humanity to prevail, the choreographer of chaos must be vanquished. Personal demons confronted. Insanity and depravity overcome. The Lord of the Dance lies in wait…
Now let's meet his character Jack from Book 2
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name’s Jack. Yeah, I have a surname, but I don’t see it’s any of your business. Besides, I hate it—it’s also her name.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born towards the end of the twentieth century in a shitty British town much like any other shitty British town.
3. How would you describe yourself?
Like a cross between Deadpool and Marcus Fenix. Nah, not really, but I enjoy giving stupid answers to stupid questions.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
What’s there to tell? I grew up in the same shitty town where I was born and almost died. If there’s one good thing to say about my current predicament, it’s that it doesn’t look likely I’ll ever return there. Good riddance, too.
5. How old are you?
I’ve not long hit my twenties. Like, so what?
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
About as happy as having fingernails torn off with pliers. You see, my… I hesitate to use the word ‘mother’, since that implies love and nurturing. My childhood more or less consisted of dodging blows from whichever dysfunctional boyfriend was flavor of the month, until I reached my sixteenth birthday when she chucked me out onto the streets.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
After living for a while in a council hostel, I discovered drugs. Actually, I’d already discovered weed, filching some when she and her latest beau were too pissed or stoned to notice, and smoking it in woods near her council flat.
When I was sixteen, I learned about the hard stuff and it nearly killed me, causing my heart to stop and leaving me with a permanent defect that the doctors say will foreshorten my life. No big deal—it’s a poxy life anyway.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Look, I share a flat with a bunch of wankers. The people I work with are worse than that, but I’m trying not to be too foul-mouthed. I’ve had no contact with her since she threw me out, apart from one birthday card the council forwarded—I don’t even know where she currently lives. I have no other family, no friends, no belongings worth talking about. What’s there to value?
9. What are you obsessed with?
Until a few hours ago, I would have answered this with the same lack of enthusiasm I’ve replied to most of the questions above. But then the elevator called at the Second Floor. (Shit a brick! That Yank, Kim, has got me calling it an elevator, too—it’s a lift for crying out loud.) That’s where I met Miriam in a far-future world she called Terra Two, right before its dying sun destroyed it. You see, I’m learning to become a computer programmer and if there’s one thing above all others that’s a wet dream to computer geeks, it’s AI. And I’m sure, though I only had time to talk with her briefly, that Miriam is advanced AI and would sail through the Turing Test and any other test we can devise. Now I’m sitting here eating watermelon in what used to be the Basement, but is now a grassy hillside next to a sluggish brown river, and all I can think about is Miriam.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Have you not been listening? There is nobody I care about. As for my belief that Miriam is genuine AI, it won’t do me any good unless I can find a way of meeting up with her again. Since she’s on a different planet in a far-flung future, that’s hardly likely. Still, none of this jaunt in the elevator (lift, damn it!) falls within the bounds of likely, or even possible, for that matter, so who knows? I might yet encounter her again.
11. Biggest fear?
Miriam provided me with a taste of something bigger and better and worth striving to attain. I guess my biggest fear is that I’ll never get to sit down to the full banquet.
12. What line will you never cross?
Well, I’ve never killed anyone…
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Seriously, dude, you have to pay attention to my previous answers. Meeting Miriam is by far and away the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I suppose the worst is suffering a heart attack before I was out of my teens. By the way, I’m not looking for pity. No one forced me to ingest every illicit substance I could get my greedy mitts on.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
At the height of my days as an addict, I was stumbling along the high street on my way back to the squat, stoned on something new that turned the contents of my bowels to slush, but not stoned enough not to notice the wrinkled noses and looks of disgust from
passersby when my bowels exploded without warning, ejecting a foetid lava-flow that followed me like some hellish slug trail.
15. Biggest secret?
You’re kidding—I just told you about my slug impersonation and you think we still have secrets?
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Not to have to set foot in that bloody lift again. Wait—perhaps I’m not so aimless now, after all. I am going to do whatever I can to find Miriam and the future she inhabits. Got to be better than returning to my old shitty life, right?
Military Fiction by John Holmes - Let's talk!
What made you want to be a writer?
I was watching (and criticizing) The Walking Dead, and my wife dared me to do better.
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.
My next book will be the start of a new series called “Off World”. Military Science Fiction set on another planet, where a cut off colony from Earth is defended by a US Army Regiment.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I can’t emphasize this enough. I read three to four books a week when not writing.
Do you remember the first book you read?
Nope! Started reading at age 3.
What book are you reading now?
“Empire of Man” by John Ringo and David Weber.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
I never stop thinking. My last series I was thinking about Enders Game while standing in the shower, and the thought popped into my head, “What if we lost?”
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
Nick Agostine is my alter ego. He’s the main character in my Irregular Scout Team One books, and also appears in many other places in the multiverse.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Much of my military fiction is based on my experiences in the Army.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
To the coffee shop, mostly!
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
No damned kids on my lawn!
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
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.
Honestly some of the hate that’s on the internet. It’s toxic, and until I learned to ignore it and block it, it really dragged me down. One star reviews used to make me cringe, but I realized most of them never read the books.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
How do you market your book?
Heavily on social media and Amazon Marketing. I have a pretty big fan group who I involve in the process of writing, critiquing, etc.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
I regularly interact with my fans on social media, and have become very good friends with some.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
I have a regular roster of beta readers.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
I don’t do books signings, just go to cons, and you know what those are like! I enjoy panels.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Yeah, be entertained.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Probably Matt Damon or Mark Walhberg.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Already met her.
Do you have any hobbies?
I play RPG’s.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Binging on Battle Star Galactica right now.
Any! No seriously, probably a slice of pizza or a breakfast sandwich form a deli on Long Island.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Gemini. I don’t believe in luck, I believe in hard work.
What’s your favorite color.
1968 Ford Green.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
Well, the theme for Irregular Scout Team One is “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Go bonkers. Seriously, I have too many stories in my head.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend it with my wife, who is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Soldier. Husband. Father.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Yeah, my writing sucked.
Is there any advice you have for aspiring writers?
Writing is hard work and takes tons of practice. Grow a hard skin, and listen to advice. Read your three and two star reviews, and learn from them. Writing is also a business.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.) www.amazon.com/author/jfholmes
Social media links and websites? www.cannonpublishing.us www.facebook.com/groups/thecommandpost/
Everyone's been busy this month!
Here are a few New Releases and their links.
Take a look!
The Alchemist: A Mystic Realms Love Story Kindle Edition
Toil & Trouble: A Paranormal Reverse Harem Romance (Mystic Hallows Harem #2) Nikki Landis, Cooper Art, Victoria
Released on January 02, 2019https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L2JXB3X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5
Shadowy Passions Unleashed (The Incubus' Passion 1) Reed James
Released on January 16, 2019https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1794299351/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2
Trial of Stone: An Epic Fantasy Young Adult Adventure (Heirs of Destiny Book 1) Andy Peloquin
Released on January 19, 2019https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYD6VQL/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Bound By Air: A Zodiac Shifters Paranormal Romance: Aquarius (The Wardens of Terra Book 1) Kindle Edition by C.D. Gorri (Author), Zodiac Shifters 1-29-19 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KFM8CJC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4
Want to meet lots of famous and infamous Romance authors (other genres too) at one event? Check this out and stay tuned for more info here and on my Facebook pages
February 11 *Be Electrific Day: Where do we go from here. Your survey answers
John Holmes "Brittany"
Richard Gibney A Review and Releases Authors and Dancers Against Cancer
If you build a world, they will come ... but only if you promote. Thanks in advance for sharing