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Count Dracula, lanky and slight,
And eschewing a heartier bite,
Was growing bulimic
On victims anemic.
He insisted on making it Blood Lite
The word Vampire came into English language in 1732 via an English translation of a German report of a much publicized vampire staking in Serbia. The fear of vampires was so widely spread that even some government officials went out hunting and staking vampires. This scare was responsible for England's current vampire myths however vampire myths go back thousands of years and occur in almost every culture around the world. The different legends portray many variety of vampires from glowing red eyed monsters with green or pink hair as in China to the Greek Lamia which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent. Japan believes in vampire foxes and Malaysia has it's own version with trailing entrails known as Penanggalang.
The most common legend as portrayed in film and television is of a blood drinking man that has the ability to change into a bat at will, wears a black cape with a dinner suit underneath, black slicked back hair and of course the fangs in his mouth. He preys on his human victims at night biting and sucking the blood from the veins in the side of the neck. He is an undead creature who cannot stand the sunlight and usually sleeps in a coffin in the basement of an old mansion.
Vampires are thought to be most active during a full moon, on the eve of St. George's Day (April 22 - Julian, May 4 Gregorian calendar) and St. Andrew's day the night when all forms of evil were supposed to be abroad. They are immortal and can only be killed or harmed by using one of the below mentioned means. If bitten by a vampire you are to become one of the undead yourself.
<The CW Vampire Diaries-Season premiere September 15th.
Bats are believed to be associated with vampires due to the Vampire bat of Central and South America. During the 16th century the Spanish conquistadors first came into contact with them and recognized the similarity between the feeding habits of the bats and those of their vampire legends. Over the following centuries the association became stronger and was used by many authors of vampire books including Brahm Stoker and of course Brian Lumley.
Count Dracula is a fictional character, the titular antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula and archetypal vampire. Some aspects of his character have been inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallichian Prince Vlad III the Impaler (the name Vlad reminds me of the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost). In the United States, the character entered the public domain in 1899 and consequently appears frequently in all manner of popular culture from films to animated media to breakfast cereals.
Count Dracula (his first name is never given in the novel) is a centuries-old vampire, sorcerer and Transylvanian nobleman, who claims to be a Szekely descended from Attila the Hun. He inhabits a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains
(Carpathian sounds like Christine Feehan dark series novels),near the Borgo Pass. Unlike the vampires of Eastern European folklore, which are portrayed as repulsive, corpse-like creatures, Dracula exudes a veneer of aristocratic charm which masks his unfathomable evil.
And taking up arms, as befitting his rank and status as a Voivode, he led troops against the Turks across the Danube. According to Van Helsing. And who
wouldn't like a bite more of Hugh Jackman. I mean a bit.
Dracula by Bram Stoker buy it here
Van Helsing by Kevin Ryan buy it here
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Challenge: something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.; a call to fight, as a battle
As women, we play many different roles. We are wives, mothers, lovers, and friends. Though each of these roles present their own unique challenges, I believe none is more challenging than being a mother. As the mother of two teenage girls, I sometimes feel as though I’m fighting a losing battle of wills. I know that sometime in the future my hard work will pay off. Though I find it difficult to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, I find it easier to put my life in perspective when I see some of the truly difficult issues some of my friends have to deal with on a daily basis.
My friend Jenny is a happily married mother of two wonderful sons. About 12 years ago, her life and her family’s life changed drastically. When her youngest son, Jason was born, everything was perfectly normal. He was given his HIB shot on the day he was born. Over the next few months, she spent a lot of time with her nephew, who was around the same age as Jason. Jenny began to notice differences between the two babies. “When he was about 7 months old, Jason began flapping his hands in a very awkward way. He seemed to be progressing developmentally, but I was still concerned,” Jenny tells me. At around 18 months, Jason had his MMR booster shot and had a seizure. Almost immediately, he lost all of his vocabulary and did not speak.
When Jason was about 2 years old, his pediatrician suggested he be tested for Autism. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is said that 1 in 110 children, 1 in 70 boys, are affected by Autism. “It was crazy,” Jenny told me, “Jason’s diagnosis was like a grieving process. You think that someone switched babies because your baby was just fine when he was born. Then, you kick yourself in the ass and get moving!” From that point on, Jenny and her husband did everything and anything they could to help Jason, spending as much as $250,000 of their own money to get him the testing and therapies he needed. As a direct result of having the ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist and a wonderful teacher, Jenny says that Jason has made tremendous gains. Technology is another very important factor, especially for Autistic children who are non-verbal. Jenny tells me that the iPad is a tremendous help to Jason and has succeeded in opening the lines of communication with those around him. He learns at school, using symbols, letters, and words that he will eventually be able to effectively use at home.
With all of the challenges Jenny and her family face, I ask her if she gets some “down” time. “Spending time with my horses and just taking better care of myself helps me find my happy place,” she explains. “I’ve also had a life-long love for reading, thanks to my mom and it has provided a much needed escape.” She also tells me that she has a wonderful circle of family and friends, as well as plenty of support, which can make all the difference.
While we are talking, I think about my goals and expectations for my girls. I ask what hers are for Jason. “My highest goal for Jason is that he will be a functional adult and be able to provide for himself,” explains Jenny. I don’t think our goals for our children are any different.
When I think about all of the challenges we face, especially as women, it can be slightly overwhelming. I believe that we need to take care of ourselves first, so that we are able to take care of everyone else. It brings to mind the safety talk they give on airplanes and how you’re supposed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then on the other person. I don’t think I could instinctively do that if the person sitting next to me was my child. I guess it kind of proves my point that we need to spend times doing what we love, whether it be horseback riding, getting a pedicure, or reading a book, instead of solely focusing on everyone else.
I encourage all of you to go "Autism Speaks" website to get more information about Autism and how you can get involved your community.
According to government statistics, the number of children affected by Autism increases 10-17% annually, which means someone you know or will know could be affected by Autism.
Here are just a few of the scheduled walks. For more information on a walk near you check out the Walk Now for Autism Speaks website HERE
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Northern New England
Concord, NH - Saturday, September 10, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: San Diego
San Diego, CA - Saturday, September 10, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Southeast Michigan
Auburn Hills, MI - Saturday, September 10, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Southwest Missouri
Springfield, MO - Saturday, September 10, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Tennessee
Nashville, TN - Saturday, September 10, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL - Saturday, September 17, 2011
2011 Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK - Saturday, September 17, 2011
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm buy it here
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger's, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition by Ellen Notbohm buy it here
A Child's Journey out of Autism
One Family's Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure by Leeann Whiffen buy it here
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"My paper works have been based around an exploration of the relationship between two and three dimensionality. I find this materialization of a flat piece of paper into a 3D form almost a magic process - or maybe one could call it obvious magic, because the process is obvious and the figures still stick to their origin, without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in most of the cuts. Some of the small paper cuts relate to a universe of fairy tales and romanticism, as for instance Impenetrable Castle inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier, in which a tin soldier falls in love with a paper ballerina, living in a paper castle. Other paper cuts are small dramas in which small figures are lost within and threatened by the huge powerful nature. Others again are turning the inside out, or letting the front and the back of the paper meet - dealing with impossibility, illusions, and reflections."
"The paper cut sculptures explore the probable and magical transformation of the flat sheet of paper into figures that expand into the space surrounding them.
The negative and absent 2 dimensional space left by the cut, points out the contrast to the 3 dimensional reality it creates, even though the figures still stick to their origin without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in many of the cuts."
Gingko Press, Inc.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Hans Christian Anderson
Buy it here
Meet romance author Farrah Rochon, who has a new book release this week! Her new book is part of her New York Saber’s Football series - Field of Pleasure. Here’s a little about Farrah in her own words......
"Remember those annoying people in school who stood up and cheered whenever the teacher would spring a pop essay test on students? No? Well, you didn’t go to school with me. Okay, maybe I didn’t stand up and cheer, but inwardly, I did.
My love of writing goes back longer than I can remember, and it only grew as I went from high school, to college, to graduate school. Back in my sophomore year of college, after a childhood of devouring more books than I can count, I decided to write my own novel. This suspense-thriller is probably the most horrid piece of writing ever created, but I still love the story. It wasn’t until I tried my hand at writing a romance novel that I truly found where I belong.
I can’t pinpoint exactly where my inspiration for writing comes from. I’ll hear a song or hear something in passing while people-watching, and an idea will pop in my head. My New York Sabers football series is inspired by my absolute obsession with the game of football. Now that the NFL is back in action, I have a feeling ideas for more Sabers stories will start popping up in my mind pretty soon."
The third installment in the series, Field of Pleasure, hits stores this week and features the Sabers star cornerback and punt-returner, Jared Dawson, and the Saberrettes dance squad’s new freelance choreographer, Chyna McCrea.
Here is the back cover blurb:
"Life is one endless touchdown for Jared Dawson. Until the former playboy and star corner back for the New York Sabers discovers his girlfriend in bed with another man. Reeling from the betrayal, Jared returns to his flings-with-no-strings ways. But no man can walk away from Chyna McCrea. The ravishing choreographer is already tackling the pro-footballer's heart.
Playing defensively is supposed to safeguard against heartbreak. But how can Chyna protect herself from Jared's sensual onslaught? It seems the hunky athlete-and sports world's most eligible bachelor-has decided that playing the field is not an option. Together, can they score the greatest victory of all and be on the winning team of both their dreams?"
The first two books in the series are Huddle With Me Tonight (September 2010) and I’ll Catch You (March 2011), with Pleasure Rush coming this Spring (April 2012).
Here are some of Farrah’s favorite authors and books -
Judith McNaught - Whitney, My Love and Paradise
Suzanne Brockmann - Troubleshooter series
Maureen Smith - Recipe for Temptation
Simone Elkeles - Perfect Chemistry Series.
Buy Farrah Rochons books now on Amazon. Click here
Or at Barnes & Noble booksellers here
For more recommendations and reviews check out our Red-Hot Reviews section here
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Part Two: Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, England
Newstead Abbey, Nottingham, England
Newstead Abbey is located in Nottinghamshire, England. Originally it was an Augustinian priory, but is more recognized as the home of well-known poet Lord Byron. It is said that the Augustinian monks were not happy with the takeover of the abbey and its new tenant ‘Lord Byron’ so they cursed the property. With the age and history of this location, it has gathered quite a few ghosts.
So starting with the curse the monks put on Newstead Abbey. Either due to the supposed curse or not, it is said that there have been quite a few sightings of black clothed monks wondering the property. Not long before Lord Byron’s disastrous marriage to Anne Milbanke, Byron himself came across the ‘The Goblin Friar’ as he is known. He would show himself to the head of the Byron family shortly before an untimely or disastrous event. The Goblin Friar has been seen many times hovering over the bed of his unsuspecting victims. Along with the ‘Goblin Friar’ is the ‘Black Friar’. As a local villager was about to give birth, her husband called for a doctor. The doctor was late and had said if he hadn’t stopped by the abbey to ask one of the monks for directions he would have been extremely late. Little did he know that there hadn’t been monks at the abbey for over 100 years!
Now on to the ‘The White Lady’ a former resident, can now be seen wandering through the gardens she loved so much... Due to the fact she wore light clothing she was tagged as the ‘White Lady’. Sophie Hyatt, (White Lady) lived in a nearby farm located close to the grounds of Newstead Abbey. Being born deaf and mute she carried a slate to write on, should she need to communicate. Lord Byron later sold the property to a close school friend Thomas Wildman. The Wildman’s, knowing that Sophie loved the gardens and admired the former owner so much, they allowed her to wander the property whenever she chose. Having no income to support herself she relied on a family member to support her. That family member later died and in despair she got a carriage to London to try and contact another family member she had in the United States for help. Before she departed, she wrote a letter to the Wildman’s letting them know her situation and where she was heading. When the Wildman’s read poor Sophie’s letter they immediately sent a rider out to stop her and bring her back. They had planned on letting her live on the property for the rest of her life. Unfortunately the rider didn’t make it in time, as he arrived in London he found her dead. Apparently she was run down and killed by a carriage while she was trying to cross the street. Being deaf she didn’t hear the shouts from others to stop as she was trying cross. She has been seen from that day forward, walking the grounds of the abbey, her beloved garden and sanctuary.
Well I hope you enjoyed this article and come back next Wednesday for the last installment in the ‘Ghosts of England’ series!
Much Love and Happy Reading to you all!
The Penguin Book of Ghosts: Prepare to be haunted by England's most unforgettable ghosts
by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson - Buy it here
Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey by Washington Irving Buy it here
A Look at Classic Romance Literature
Developed in Western culture this literally genre was mainly in English speaking countries. Inspired by Jane Austen, the historical romance genre developed in 1921 by a woman named Georgetter Heyer. Nearly a decade later British company called Mills and Boon began releasing the first category of romance novels. In North America, romance novels are the most popular genre in modern literature.
"According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship together. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters' romantic love. Furthermore, a romance novel must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."
"In Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800), a watershed in literary history, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge presented and illustrated a liberating aesthetic: poetry should express, in genuine language, experience as filtered through personal emotion and imagination; the truest experience was to be found in nature. The concept of the Sublime strengthened this turn to nature, because in wild countrysides the power of the sublime could be felt most immediately. Wordsworth's romanticism is probably most fully realized in his great autobiographical poem, “The Prelude” (1805–50). In search of sublime moments, romantic poets wrote about the marvelous and supernatural, the exotic, and the medieval. But they also found beauty in the lives of simple rural people and aspects of the everyday world."
The second generation of romantic poets included John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and George Gordon, Lord Byron. In Keats's great odes, intellectual and emotional sensibility merge in language of great power and beauty. Shelley, who combined soaring lyricism with an apocalyptic political vision, sought more extreme effects and occasionally achieved them, as in his great drama Prometheus Unbound (1820). His wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, wrote the greatest of the Gothic romances, Frankenstein (1818).
Although the great novelist Jane Austen wrote during the romantic era, her work defies classification. With insight, grace, and irony she delineated human relationships within the context of English country life."
Here are some classics in romantic literature:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1816 - 1855; English) Buy it here
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1818 - 1849; English) the tale is set on the rugged moors of Yorkshire. Publication 1847 Buy it here
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1775 - 1817; English) - The courtship of proud Mr. Darcy and prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet Buy it Here
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1775 - 1817; English) Publication 1811
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Buy it here
published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger
This Tolstoy novel is a must add in the list of classic romantic novels of all time. Set in the backdrop of Russian high society this story tells the tale of Anna Karenina who has found herself an anew love conflict. Despite being married she was attracted to Count Vronsky. Her desire was so powerful that it has made her estrange her husband, Alexie. When she was denied divorce she has to live her life seeking acceptance for her new relationship.
And of course there are many more. No matter what genre of romantic literature you are sure to find some that are pleasing to you and help you escape from the everyday.
For more recommended reads check out our Red-Hot Reads section here at What's Hot & On Top!
References and article sources
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Selena Gomez, Jessica Biel, Jessica Szohr, Ashanti, Heidi Klum and others have been wearing feather earrings and driving crafters worldwide into a feathered frenzy. For the younger celeb lovers you see Vanessa Hudgens and Miley Cirus sporting some fashionable fish tackle. We are seeing many fashion magazine covers with models wearing feathered art from their ears, head or neck. And who can go to their local malls and browse without seeing some sort of feather variety amongst the accessory stores. From the junior accessory giants like Forever 21, H&M, Claires to higher end boutiques and specialty shops for the more pricier items ranging from $5.00 to hitting up to $250 or more depending on the jewels attached. Either way feather accessories are going to be sticking around for quite awhile according to fashionistas everywhere. Not only has this trend gone from simple and plain feather picks, combs and hair bands but now the more detailed and gemmed up bling has been the evolution of design in our feather friends. Adding colors and detailed beading and charms helps to dress it up for those special occasions.
Part of the lure has been seeing the celebs wearing them such as rocker Steven Tyler. American Idol draws millions of viewers worldwide and although the feather trend was set before Steven was seen as this years new American Idol judge, seeing him flip his hair back to reveal the popular fluffy piece certainly doesn't hurt the accessory sales industry. Although the fishing industry has made a light squabble about women buying up the saddle hackle typically used for fly fishing, they cannot complain too much with the enormous amount of sales this trend has brought them.
Here are just a few available at the Etsy Shop of Fairy Tales and Feathers:
This fashion trend is spilling over through the seasons with feather earrings that have some holiday charms to them:
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Check out the Etsy shop of Fairy Tales and Feathers HERE
Care to make your own feather accessories? Watch this how-to video: