Friday, August 31, 2012

History Trivia

On August 31

12 Caligula, Emperor of Rome 37-41, was born. He was noted for his insanity and cruelty.

161 Commodus, Emperor of Rome 180-192 was born.

651 St. Aidan died. A monk at Iona, Scotland, Aidan became the first bishop of Lindisfarne.







1056 Byzantine Empress Theodora became ill and died suddenly a few days later without children to succeed the throne, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.

1314 King Håkon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.

1422 King Henry V of England died of dysentery while in France.

1422 Henry VI became King of England at the age of 9 months.

1535 Pope Paul II deposed and excommunicated King Henry VIII.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

History Trivia


On August 30

1181 Pope Alexander III died.  He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.


1464 Pope Paul II elected.

1525 Treaty of the More signed between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. England agreed to give up some territorial claims on France. In return, France was to pay a pension and was to prevent the Duke of Albany from returning to Scotland.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Go Indie -- Discover Indie Authors: Summer of Indie Meets Steven Greenberg

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History Trivia

On August 29

28 John the Baptist was beheaded by Herod at the request of his stepdaughter Salome.

70 The Temple of Jerusalem burned after a nine-month Roman siege.

284 General Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius became Emperor of Rome.







1350 Battle of Winchelsea (Les Espagnols sur Mer): The English naval fleet under King Edward III defeated a Castilian fleet of 40 ships. Between 14 and 26 Castilian ships were captured, and some were sunk, while 2 English vessels were sunk and many suffered heavy losses.

1387 King Henry V of England was born.

1475 The Treaty of Picquigny ended a brief war between France and England. Louis XI of France paid Edward IV of England to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. Edward's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), opposed the treaty and refused the pension Louis offered.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Go Indie -- Discover Indie Authors: Summer of Indie Enters Mahinder's Grand Tournament...

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History Trivia

On August 28

430 Saint Augustine, the great Christian theologian, died at age 75.

476 the western Roman Empire founded by Augustus in 27 BC ended at Ravenna, where Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the barbarian leader Odoacer (Germanic chieftain).




489 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo, forcing his way into Italy.

1189 Third Crusade: the Crusaders began the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan.

1296 After the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar, Edward I had the Scottish land owners, churchmen and burgesses swear their allegiance by signing the The Ragman Rolls.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Choose Or Die: ECOPOCALYPSE CH.2 - WHERE TO, HOT SHOT?

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History Trivia

On August 27,

 550 BC Confucius, famous wise man of China is believed to have been born around this date.

479 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Persian forces led by Mardonius were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea.



410 The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths ended after three days.

1172 Henry the Young King and Margaret of France were crowned as junior king and queen of England.

1626 The Danes were crushed by the Catholic League in Germany, marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Interview with author Maggie Secara

 
 
  Photographer:  Andrew Schmidt

 Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Maggie Secara has stopped by to give us a little insight into her life and her books.  So let's get started.
 
Please tell us a little about yourself.
 Let’s see. I have a Master’s degree in English and, before you roll your eyes, I actually make a living at putting words in a row. Not fiction, no, alas—but I am a technical writer, which is almost as good. Currently, I’m working on contract for the Los Angeles Police Department. I live in N. Hollywood, CA with my very supportive husband, the amazing  JimDear, and our cats: a champagne and buff tabby called Mister, and Coco, a very fluffy torty. Everything else, as they say, is subject to change without notice.
 
When did you start writing?
 I wrote a little poem when I was about 8, which I can still recite. It began: Spring is in the flowers, Spring is in the air...” And they haven’t been able to shut me up since.
 
What projects have been published?
 The Dragon Ring, my first fantasy novel, came out in March as an e-book from Crooked Cat Publishing.  It’s Book 1 of the Harper Errant series, and concerns Ben Harper, an American reality show host who finds himself on a mission for the king of Faerie. The paperback will be available August 31, and I'm very excited about that. I recently turned in the manuscript for Book 2, King’s Raven. We'll be starting the editorial round shortly, then they can schedule the release. Since small publishers have much shorter lead times than the big guys, it shouldn't be too long a wait.
 


I've self-published two projects: Molly September, a romantic adventure novel set in Port Royal and the Spanish Main (2011) and A Compendium of Common Knowledge 1564-1603, a little handbook of Elizabethan daily life for writers, actors, and re-enactors (2008). I've also written poetry now and then, and have been fortunate enough to have a few poems published here and there in little magazines.


 
Illustrator: Larissa Neto

 Tell us about The Dragon Ring: 
The Harper Errant series is essentially a blend of urban and mythic fantasy with time travel. In other words, while my hero, Ben Harper, starts out in the modern world, he can find himself pursuing an artifact, a lost friend, or a killer through time, usually on behalf of the king of Faerie. Music is the foundation of Faerie magic, you know, and the stories are wrapped in music, magic, and adventure.  At the center of The Dragon Ring is a broken Viking arm ring with dragon-headed finials whose pieces have been flung into various points in the past.  Ben has to locate the pieces so that Oberon can magically restore the ring to its proper form and return it to the court of Alfred the Great, in time to make a treaty with a Viking warlord - a pivot point in history on which the world depends.  The action takes him to Viking Age Wessex, of course, as well as Elizabethan London and 18th century Devon.
 


Illustrators:  Scott Perkins and Ari Berk

 What was your inspiration?
 This is actually kind of a funny story, but only if you know my friend Ari, who’s a college professor. He’s a brilliant scholar and folklorist, and a gifted writer with a devastating wit—and I’ve known him since he was a teenager. Well, I’d been wanting to tackle a mystery for some time, and was racking my brain for a starting point, when late one night in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, a question popped into my head: “What if Ari had to solve a mystery?” That tickled me so much I knew it was the start of a great idea. For one thing, if he was in it, Faerie had to be involved. There had to be a puzzle worthy of his talents. And there had to be something precious at stake to be worthy of his time. I stayed up all night scribbling on anything I could find, asking “what if...” and “what about...” until something like a plot started to gel.
 
In the end, the story is more of a quest than a mystery, and Ben isn’t very much like Ari except in his eclectic interests, his Renaissance Faire experience, and his intimate acquaintance with Faerie. And oh yes, Ari’s son Robin became the model for Ben’s son Sparrow—the precious thing that’s at stake.  That’s the reason The Dragon Ring is dedicated to Robin and his parents. One day, I really have to write a mystery for them.
 
How did you select the title of your novel? 
The original title was Sparrow’s Dragon, a play on Ben’s son’s name. It seemed to make sense because he is the object of various villainous threats. The trouble is, he’s not really a main character. And with that title and my original opening, too many people thought of it as a YA book! Not that older teens wouldn't enjoy it, but that wasn't the intention. Clearly, I needed a new title.  Since the dragon arm ring is the object of Ben’s quest, The Dragon Ring turned out to be the perfect answer.
 
 What are you currently working on? 
Well, I just finished creating a good, clean submission draft of King’s Raven. It wasn’t bad at the beginning of the year, but getting Dragon Ring out kind of interrupted the polishing for a while. I still had 8 pages of notes to fix this or fill in that, smooth this transition, check another source. So I’m taking some time to just read and watch movies for a few weeks, and do some final research for Book 3, The Mermaid Stair. It’s still more or less a first draft, so as you can probably imagine, the file of notes for that is even longer! I also have The Curse of the Crystal Palace, a half-finished Victorian paranormal, still waiting for me to get back to it—it’s outside the Harper Errant sequence, but uses some of the characters from King’s Raven. And then there’s the Elizabethan mystery. I’m definitely going to be busy for a while!
 
What are you reading at the moment? 
Some of my reviewers have said things like “if you like Charles de Lint, you’ll love this book,” so I thought I’d better see what they were talking about. As it turns out, it is a terrific compliment, and I can see the connection. I’d never read much of his work before, and it’s complex, resonant, mythic in a unique and idiosyncratic way. He takes the elements of Faerie and North American shamanistic tradition and blends them into a contemporary setting in a way that manages to be both mystical and naturalistic at the same time! I can only hope I’m really that good, but what lovely company to be in. I’ve also just discovered S.P. Hendricks' Glastonbury Chronicles.  Horned King, dying and rising god, sacrifice to replenish the land, multiple reincarnations, and true love: its all believably told and beautifully written. My other favorites at the moment are Marie Brennan, Connie Willis, and Ari Berk.
 
And finally, can you tell us some fun facts about yourself, such as crossed skydiving off my bucket list.
Here's three... I once worked as an office assistant for Harlan Ellison (Deathbird Stories, Dangerous Visions, Strange Wine, etc.). One of the strangest, most bizarre years of my life, but definitely a learning experience.
 
I spent at least 20 years working the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in California; I’ve been both a countess and a camp follower, and made all my own costumes. Most of my friends (including my husband) are Faire people, even now. And oh yes, there’s a website and a book that came out of the experience (The Compendium I mentioned earlier)!
 
In my extreme youth I saw the Beatles in concert each of the three years they played in Los Angeles. I screamed and screamed!
 
Where can we find out more about you?
 Find out more about me and all my books, with background material (including video links for most of Ben’s music) at http://maggie-secara.com.
 
Where can we purchase your books? 
  The paperback versions are all at Amazon and most other online booksellers. Molly September and The Dragon Ring are also available as e-books in all the usual places, including Amazon, the Apple Store, and Smashwords. And you can get Dragon Ring direct from the publisher's book store at Crooked Cat Books.
 

History Trivia

On August 26

55 BC Julius Caesar and his Roman Legions invaded Great Britain.

1017 Turks defeated the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanus IV at Manikert, Eastern Turkey.

1346 Battle at Crécy - King Edward III and the Black Prince defeated the French; cannons were used for the first time in battle. 

1429 Joan of Arc made a triumphant entry into Paris.

1466 A conspiracy against Piero di Cosimo de' Medici in Florence, led by Luca Pitti, was discovered.

1498 Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pietà.



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Go Indie -- Discover Indie Authors: Summer of Indie Meets "The Chosen" With Andrea Bug...

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History Trivia

On August 25

357 Julian Caesar defeated the Alamanni (alliance of German tribes) at Strousbourg in Gaul.



608 Boniface IV became Roman Catholic pope.

1270 King Louis IX of France (Saint Louis) died in northern Africa while leading the Eighth Crusade.

1346 Edward III of England defeated Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.

1549 Kett's Rebellion was a revolt in Norfolk, England during the reign of Edward VI. The rebellion was in response to the enclosure of land. It began in July 1549 but was eventually crushed by forces loyal to the English crown when the Earl of Warwick attacked and entered Norwich on August 25.

The Wizard's Cauldron: An Interview with Monique Rockliffe

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Choose Or Die: ECOPOCALYPSE CH.1 - JUST DRIVE!

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History Trivia


On August 24

49 BC Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio was defeated in the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio committed suicide to avoid capture.

79 Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried in volcanic ash.  Pliny the Elder died of asphyxiation at age 56 while witnessing the scene from the coast.




410 Alaric, leader of the Visigoths, sacked Rome, but spared its churches. This was first hostile occupation of the city since the fourth century BC.

1113 Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and ancestor of the Plantagenet kings of England was born.

1200 King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

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The Wizard's Cauldron: Likemonsters

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

History Trivia

On August 23

 79 Mount Vesuvius ( a stratovolcano on the Bay of Naples, Italy) began to stir, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

93 Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman Governor of Britain died. 

406 Battle at Florence: Stilicho's Roman army beat Radagaisus' Barbarians. Radagaisus King of the Goths (East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin) was captured and executed.

476 Germanic warrior Odoacer was elected King of Byzantium. 

686 Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, was born.





1305 William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason by Edward I of England.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

History Trivia

On August 22

392 Arbogast (Frankish general of the Roman Empire) had Eugenius (a Christian who was the last Emperor to support Roman polytheism) elected Western Roman Emperor.

476 Odoacer was named Rex Italia (King of Italy) by his troops. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the classical Roman Empire in Western Europe and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

565 St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness, Scotland.




851 Erispoe, King of Brittany, defeated Charles the Bald near the Breton town of Jengland.

1138 Battle of the Standard where English forces repelled the Scottish army led by King David I of Scotland.

1485 Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and Henry VII became the first king of the Tudor dynasty.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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History Trivia

On August 21

1165 Philip II (Philip Augustus) the first king of the Capetian dynasty in France was born.

1689 The Battle of Dunkeld in Scotland was fought between Jacobite clans supporting the deposed king James VII of Scotland and a government regiment of covenanters supporting William of Orange, King of Scotland, in the streets around Dunkeld Cathedral, Dunkeld, Scotland, and formed part of the Jacobite rising commonly called Dundee's rising in Scotland.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Choose Or Die: ECOPOCALYPSE CH.1 - MONDAY

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Battle of Brémule


August 20, 1119 Henry I defeated an invasion of his Norman lands by Louis VI (the Fat), King of France, at the Battle of Brémule. The defeat effectively crippled the baron's rebellion and led to King Louis having to accept William Adelin as Duke of Normandy. William was officially invested with the duchy in 1120, even though King Louis continued to support William Clito's claim to the honour. The contemporary Norman historian Orderic Vitalis noted that the quality of their armour and the chivalrous preference for capturing (and presumably ransoming) the enemy meant that of the 900 knights engaged in ‘the battle of the two kings’ only three were killed.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQtjuHspXDs


Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Interview with author Leah Crichton






Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Leah Crichton has stopped by to give us a little insight into her life and her books.  So let’s get started.

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 32 and married with children. By day, I work in GIS (I make maps), by night aspiring YA author and best seller hopeful. I love music almost as much as I love writing. I’m slightly addicted to various flavors of lip gloss and have a massive coffee habit.

When did you start writing?
Does Kindergarten count? I’ve always written. My dad is an author as well and growing up I thought it was “normal” for people to write books. The younger years were filled with great imaginative stories, whilst my teen years are mostly documented with angst-ridden poetry.

What projects have been published?
Only one.  Amaranthine. But I have my second novel completed (it’s out with Beta readers now) and the third one on the go.

Tell us about Amaranthine.
Amaranthine is the story of a young girl who is involved in a life-changing moment (a car accident) that leaves her questioning what is important and what is not. It deals with mortality and the realization that life is too short to take for granted. Add a swoon-worthy boy and an out of this world twist and that’s the book in a nutshell.

How did you select the title of your novel?
Brace yourself for the most unoriginal answer in existence. A thesaurus. Amaranthine means everlasting, eternal, unfading, undying. It’s also a flower. I needed something that meant forever.

What was your inspiration?
For the actual story itself it was two songs that played back to back on my iPod. The lyrics sparked the idea and I went home that night to begin writing.

What are you currently working on?
Book two of my first ever series! The series is about a rock boy band who hit the big time. Each band member has a story to tell so I figure I should be able to pump out four novels for it.

What are you reading at the moment?
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.

What do you like to do in your free time when you're not reading or writing?
I have kids. I don’t know what this “free time” you speak of is.  But I do enjoy photography, concert going, warm places, and socializing with friends.

Do you have any advice for other authors?
Write something every day. Even when you don’t want to. Even when you’re tired/achy/sick/bored. It’s important. If you can get at least a paragraph or two written in a day at least you’re keeping those cogs inside your brain working.

And finally, can you tell us some fun facts about yourself, such as crossed skydiving off my bucket list.
I have too many things on my bucket list---I’ll never get them all done. If a personality could be physically seen, you’d probably never catch mine. I’m constantly on go mode. I paint my house like every six months or rearrange the furniture because I get bored. My hair has been black, blonde, brown, red, pink, purple, because I don’t like “normal” and I get sick of looking the same way for too long. I love huge clunky jewelry (especially bracelets), tattoos, and my iPod. I suffer from insomnia because I can never seem to stop thinking.  None of that is all too interesting but there you have it—me—in a nutshell.

 
To find out more about Leah, visit:
Twitter: @LDCrichton; http://twitter.com/ldcrichton

To purchase Leah’s books:
Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:

19th of August 1504 - The Battle of Knockdoe


Loud blares the trumpet, the field is set. Loud blares the trumpet, the foe men are met. Steep slopes the hill, at Knockdoe in the West. There stood in Battle, the South at its best. Hi Manny O'Kelly, with the Burkes is at War, and Clanrickard has gathered his friends from afar. Kildare he advances like the fox that doth stalk, O'Kelly sweeps down with the speed of a hawk. Loud sounds the trumpet, the sunset is fair. Hi Manny triumphant. The Earl of Kildare.

(Local folklore has it that the above poem was found in the pocket of a slain soldier.)

History Trivia

On August 19

480 BC Spartan soldiers made an heroic last stand against the Persians at the pass at Thermopylae.


43 BC Octavian, later known as Augustus, compelled the Roman Senate to elect him Consul.

14 Roman emperor Augustus Caesar, first Roman Emperor, died at Nola at age 76 after a 41-year reign.

 312 Roman emperor Constantine the Great supposedly saw a vision of a cross and the words, "In this sign conquer," which caused him to eventually embrace Christianity. 

1274 Edward I was crowned King of England. 

1493 Maximilian succeeded his father, Frederick III, as Holy Roman Emperor. 

1561 An 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.

Jenna Elizabeth Johnson: Author Spotlight: Interview with Mary Ann Bernal

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kindle edition of The Briton and the Dane: Birthright free this weekend


The Briton and the Dane: Birthright is free this weekend (8/18-8/19/12) in the Kindle Store:


History Trivia

On August 18

293 BC The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica (festival sacred to Jupiter).

328 Saint Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, died at age 82.

410 King Alarik I, King of the Visigoths, occupied and plundered Rome, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Roman Empire.




1201 The city of Riga (Baltics) was founded, and became a thriving center of Viking trade.

1227 Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, died at age 60.












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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Wizard's Cauldron: An Interview with Leah Crichton

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History Trivia


On August 17 

682  Pope Leo II began his reign; he was known as an eloquent preacher who was interested in music, and was noted for his charity to the poor. 

986 A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron. The Byzantine emperor Basil II narrowly escaped. The Battle of the Gates of Trajan only postponed the fall of Bulgaria, which occurred in 1018.

1498 Cardinal Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI and Vannozza dei Cattanei, renounced his vows and office so that he might marry a French princess.

1510 Edmund Dudley was executed for treason under Henry VIII. While waiting for his execution he wrote The Tree of Commonwealth, a treatise in support of absolute monarchy; Dudley hoped to gain the favor of Henry VIII, but there is no evidence that Henry ever saw the document. 




Thursday, August 16, 2012

History Trivia




August 16 1513 The Battle of Guinegate (near Saint-Omer in the Pas de Calais, France)or Battle of the Spurs: As part of the Holy League under the on-going Italian Wars, English and Imperial troops under Henry VIII and Maximilian I surprised and routed a body of French cavalry under Jacques de La Palice. The English army was provided by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and combined several different types of martial forces, and included cavalry, artillery, infantry and longbows using hardened steel arrows designed to penetrate armor more effectively. The French forces were mostly companies of gendarmes and pikemen, with some other mixed forces as well. The battle became known as the "Battle of the Spurs" because of the haste of the French horsemen to leave the battlefield.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation


"Murder in the First" by Mary Ann Bernal is featured in the Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation, Volume 1

"Murder in the First" tells the story of one woman’s quest for vengeance. As judge, jury and executioner, she decides the fate of the man responsible for her plight, but things go terribly wrong, and the predator becomes the prey.

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History Trivia

On August 15

778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass (Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain), at which Roland (commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne's army) was killed. The battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict between Christians and Muslims, when in fact both sides in the battle were Christian. The legend is recounted in the 11th century The Song of Roland, which is the oldest surviving major work of French literature, and in Orlando Furioso, which is one of the most celebrated works of Italian literature.

982 Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria. 

 1248 The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.

1261  Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.

1309 The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights established their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.

1457 "Mainz Psalter," the earliest dated book was completed.

1483 Pope Sixtus IV consecrated the Sistine Chapel. 

1548 Mary Queen of Scotland arrived in France.



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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

History Trivia

On August 14

1040 Duncan, King of Scots was murdered by Macbeth, who became king.

1457 The first book ever printed was published by a German astrologer named Faust. He was thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris because authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.

1585 England's Queen Elizabeth I refused sovereignty of the Netherlands.

1598 Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford: Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.







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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Wizard's Cauldron: An Interview with Mary Ann Bernal

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History Trivia

On August 13

523 John I was elected Roman Catholic pope. He ended the Acacian Schism, bringing reunification of the Eastern and Western churches by restoring peace between the papacy and the Byzantine Emperor Justin I. He also set the rules for the Alexandrian calendar computation of the date of Easter, which was eventually accepted throughout the West.

1415 Hundred Years War: King Henry V of England's army landed on mouth of the Seine River, and organized the siege of the town of Harfleur (now part of Le Havre).

1422 William Caxton, first English printer, was born.

1516 The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain was signed. Francis I of France recognized Charles's claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor recognized Francis' claim to Milan.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Interview with author Bill Jones


Welcome to Meet The Author! Today Bill Jones has stopped by to give us a little insight into his life and his books.  So let’s get started.

When did you start writing?
I first started writing poetry shortly after I finished college. I had met a number of artists, poets and musicians, and despite my accounting degree, realized I was more like them than any of the business students. I had a number of poems published, but then stopped in the name of being “responsible.” Corporate America called, and I went running.

In 2006, I started blogging, after winning a laptop in an essay contest. Again, I met writers, and realized I had been suppressing who I was. I began writing feverishly. In 2009, mostly to stop thinking about my impending divorce, I decided to try Nanowrimo. I was hooked. Not only did I finish my first novel, I wrote the second one immediately afterward.

What projects have been published?
I have published two books so far. They are books one and two of my fantasy adventure, “The Stream.” In the first book, “Discovery,” we meet Charlie and Robin, two tweens who discover they have the ability to walk in others’ dreams. It’s a story about love, perseverance, innocence, battles with evil denizens of the dream world, and of course, dragons. I also published the sequel, “Awakening,” wherein Charlie and Robin find themselves in an all-out battle against evil.

Tell us about “Hard as Roxx.”
It stars Roxanne “Roxx” Grail, a single mother of two daughters in the year 2137. She lives in a post-Apocalyptic earth, where the world’s population has been altered by disease, famine, and the collapse of central governments. Roxx has given birth to a second child, in a world where having more than one child is both impossible, and illegal. There have been no second children in decades. The penalty is simple: death – for the child, and the mother.

Now, Roxx must reach the safety of the icy north, in what was once Europe. However, getting there is only part of the problem; remaining safely tucked away is quite another. Roxx, however, is determined to meet the challenge. For her there is but one way to survive: any way you can.
Despite the theme, it is NOT a depressing tale of how crappy the world can be. Rather, it will be a tale of redemption, of hope, of facing obstacles head-on.

How did you select the title of your novel?
Frankly, I just became tired of weak female leads. I wanted a name that sounded strong, and Roxx immediately came to mind. Roxx is hard-as-nails, except with her family. Think of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name, except prettier, and quite feminine. I liked the duality of a woman who is ferocious with enemies and nurturing with her daughters.

What was your inspiration?
Believe it or not, the entire idea for the book came to me while watching the video for “Do It Like a Dude,” by Jessie J. I saw the video, and began wondering what a world would be like if there was a female lead like the character Jessie J plays in the video. Quickly, one thing led to the next, and the entire plot of the story came in days. (I wish the writing had too.)

What do you like to do in your free time when you're not reading or writing?
I like to count the millions I make from self-publishing my books. Then I wake up, grab my cameras, and shoot whatever is there. I also love hiking, so I combine the two, and do a lot of street photography.

Do you have any advice for other authors?
Writing is not a linear exercise. Whether you are dealing with a single piece, a novel, or your entire life’s work, the process ebbs and flows. The ideas come in a rush, they slow, then drift away. You make progress; you face erosion. They love you one minute, and critique you the next. However, that is all part of the process. You will get where you need to be with faith and perseverance. And when you reach those points where you want to quit – do so. Because if you are a writer, truly a writer, that feeling will fade. It is just a wave, clearing you of the debris left by others. Writers write. It is who we are, and we can be nothing else.

And finally, can you tell us some fun facts about yourself, such as crossed skydiving off my bucket list.
Let’s see: I used to sound like Barry White (when I talked, not when I sang). But I’ve had 7 throat surgeries (or 6, or 8, I lost count) and now I sound more like Louis Armstrong on some days.
I have been married and divorced twice, but have never spent a single penny on a lawyer. I estimate 95% of my friends in my life have been women. I have no idea why women like being my friend so much.

I walk pretty fast, something like 4 mph. Often, when I’m approaching someone younger than me, they speed up, so the old guy won’t pass them. But I’m competitive, so I pass them anyway.

I went to South Africa, Zambia, England, Austria, Mexico, and several other countries and never took a camera. I thought it would make me remember it better. I’m odd. I was also incorrect. I took my camera to the Caribbean, however. (They have beaches.)

I once had a job as a scallop shucker. I quit at lunchtime; my shoes stank so much, I had to throw them away.

In grad school, I tutored two classes I had never taken. None of my students got lower than a “B.” I needed the money.

My foot rubs will make you fall asleep. That’s how I landed my first girlfriend.

To find out more about Bill Jones, please visit his website:

 http://www.billjonesjr.com



To purchase Bill’s books:

“Discovery” is on sale on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NL83I2 or from Lulu at  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/billatbilljonesjrdotcom.

“Awakening” is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Awakening-The-Stream-ebook/dp/B007KD2DUU .     Both are available in ebook and paperback format.

History Trivia

On August 12

30 BC Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.

1099 First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon: Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeated Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah. This is considered the last engagement of the First Crusade.

1164 Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeated the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.

1332 Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of David II, infant son of Robert the Bruce and rebels supporting the Balliol claim, and is a significant battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence. 

1336 England's King Edward III ended wool export to Flanders. 

1480 Battle of Otranto - Ottoman troops beheaded 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.


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Saturday, August 11, 2012

History Trivia

On August 11

480 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium – the Persians won a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium, a promontory on the north coast of Euboea (island of central Greece in the Aegean Sea).

355 Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.

1492 Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI. One of the most notorious men to sit on the papal throne, Alexander VI was worldly, ambitious and ruthless. However he was a patron of the arts (Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio) and also encouraged the development of education as evidenced by the issuance of a Papal Bull at the request of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, and King James IV of Scotland, founding King’s College, Aberdeen.

Friday, August 10, 2012

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History Trivia

On August 10

955 Battle of Lechfeld: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor defeated the Magyars (Hungarians), ending 50 years of Magyar invasion of the West.

991 Battle of Maldon: the English, led by Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings near Maldon in Essex.

1316 The Second Battle of Athenry during the Bruce campaign in Ireland marked the definitive end of the power of the Ua Conchobair (O'Connor's) as Kings of Connacht. The decades following marked the high point of Norman rule in Connacht, and the rise of the towns of Athenry and Galway as centers of economic and political power and wealth. Unlike the First Battle of Athenry in 1249, no account is given of the battle itself in any surviving account, and even the site of the battle itself is uncertain.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

History Trivia

On August 9

480 BC The Persian army defeated Leonidas and his Spartan army at Thermopylae, Persia.

48 BC  Caesar's civil war: Battle of Pharsalus (Greece) – Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey fled to Egypt where he was later murdered. As a result Caesar had absolute control of Rome.

117 Hadrian became Roman Emperor upon the death of Trajan.

378 Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths in present-day Turkey. Valens was killed along with over half of his army.

1173 Construction of the campanile of the cathedral of Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa) began; it would take two centuries to complete.

1274 Edward I was crowned King of England.

1483 Opening of the Sistine Chapel in Rome with the celebration of a Mass.

1655 Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell divided England into 11 districts.