Smashwords End Of Year Sale!

Hi!

I’m excited to announce that all of my books in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, will be available as part of the Smashwords 2022 End of Year Sale! This is a chance to get all of them, along with books from many other great authors, at a promotional discount.

You can find the promo here: https://smashwords.com/shelves/promos

If you wouldn’t mind lending a hand to me and the other indie authors taking part in this sale, you can share this promo with your friends and family. Just forward this email to anyone who would love a chance to find their next favorite book!

Thank you for your help and support!

Happy reading!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

BETWEEN DECEMBER 15, 2022 AND JANUARY 1, 2023

THE COUNCIL OF TWELVE SERIES EBOOKS ARE 50% OFF ON SMASHWORDS!!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Soul Taker: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/911964

Sundance: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/953202

Demon Tracker: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1014830

Bounty Hunter: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1065921

Dream Walker: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1170474

Nobody Knows That I…

… am going out partying several times a month.

Several people who know me will now be flabbergasted, I’m sure. “But you’re such a calm, down-to-Earth, house-bound, slightly rounded person… how can that be?”

I’m telling you how:

  • Because I need ideas for my book characters? – Maybe!
  • Because I want to collect some experience for a new book plot? – Could be!
  • On a dare? – Possible!
  • Because I suffer from ‘Multiple Personality Disorder’? – Absolutely not!
  • None of the above? – EXACTLY!

How can that be that a house-bound writer in her… uhm… best years… is going out partying, and nobody ever talks?

Well, first of all, it would need an expert to recognize me. Different outfits, different hair, expert makeup… Makeup and Hairstylists are an inexhaustible source of knowledge! There are tips and tricks to show a person in a completely different light, and I learned from the best!

One night you’ll see a cool, elegant black-haired beauty in a dove gray cocktail dress, in high-heels, holding a clutch… another night you’ll find a hot brunette in a denim corsage, leather leggings, and over-knee boots, playing pool. One night you’ll watch a fiery redhead flirting at a club – and again, one night you might meet a sexy bombshell who dances a goose bump hot tango and sips Martinis… And you have no idea, that you didn’t meet four women… you just met the same woman four times.

To answer your never asked question: Yes, I’m sure I don’t have multiple personalities inside of me. I’m just doing this for the fun!

Of course, I won’t tell you about my hunting grounds, where’s the fun in that?

And: Just to make sure I’m clear: I’m dancing, and flirting, laughing, and having fun – I’m using different names, of course! My IDs? I know a guy, who knows a guy… you know how these things go… Beautiful names, exotic names, elegant names… Olivia de Jung, Denisonde van Cortlandt, Lilliane Stuyvesant, Angeline de Mondt… I am an author, after all, I’m quite practiced in creating a personal, a character… a persona.

I have outfits and wigs, makeup and accessories that would make any stage actor jealous… And still… despite the fun, despite the thrill… it’s never more than a game, a secret dream, a fleeting moment in my life… appreciate, stored, remembered, but not taking over, controlling, or steering my very self.

History of Wigs | LoveToKnow

Now, several times a month I prepare one of my secret outfits, get ready, put my wig and makeup on, dress up, and leave the house, to be picked up by a driver. Then my night starts with a cocktail, sometimes even dinner, a club, a bar, a pub, whatever I feel like.

You might ask: “Have you never been in trouble? Have you never faced a dangerous situation, going out by yourself, pretending to be someone else?”

And I will answer: “No, of course not! It’s very simple… I’m an author… and sometimes I dream away, like today, when I was debating what to write in my blog post.” And then I’ll laugh and crow: “Gotcha!” I’ll leave the secrets and the fake personas to someone else, and rather cuddle up at home with my kitty, reading or writing a good book. But let me tell you: I had tons of fun writing this!

What are you dreaming of sometimes? Do you have a secret wish you could theoretically turn into reality and don’t, because it’s completely against your nature? Tell us about it in the comments. We’re curious!

Dream Walker- Release Party!

This year, for the second time, with the organizational talent and invaluable skills of Amanda Johnson-Lindsey,

‘The Council of Twelve’ series, is going to celebrate a virtual book release party!

I’m very excited about the ‘Dream Walker’ release event, which is going to take place

November 26, 2022 11 am – 8 pm PDT

There are still spots available for participants. Please, sign up on the sheet here if you’d like to participate in the ‘action’.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R8OW9xIyJla_AnZWj-uuajWOk0zXkjqag69mayvf3GA/edit?usp=drivesdk

And please, share the link with everyone you know. The more the merrier!

If you prefer being a guest at the party, feel free to drop in anytime! Here’s the link!

https://fb.me/e/3Gdbbh6hE


Watch the trailer here:


GET THE BOOK

https://books2read.com/u/b5j087

Happy Halloween 2022

In my past few Halloween posts, I wrote about the origin of ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ and the legend of ‘Jack-o-Lantern’. Today I will take another path down history lane. Let’s find out where the superstition about black cats being bad luck comes from, shall we?

Origins of Black Cat Superstitions

The connections between humans and cats can be traced back to some of the world’s earliest civilizations, most notably, ancient Egypt, where cats were considered divine symbols. Cats also made an appearance in Greek mythology, specifically Hecate, goddess of magic, sorcery, the moon, and witchcraft, was described as having a cat as both a pet and a familiar (a supernatural creature that assists a witch, according to European folklore).

Written records link black cats to the occult as far back as the 13th century when an official church document called “Vox in Rama” was issued by Pope Gregory IX on June 13, 1233. “In it, black cats were declared an incarnation of Satan,” says Layla Morgan Wilde, author of Black Cats Tell: True Tales And Inspiring Images. “The decree marked the beginning of the inquisition and church-sanctioned heretic and/or witch hunts. Initially, it was designed to squash the growing cult of Luciferians in Germany, but quickly spread across Europe.”

Cats and Witches Seen as Threats to Early Christian Church

A Halloween postcard from the early 1900s featuring a witch, a black cat and spirits.
A Halloween postcard from the early 1900s featuring a witch, a black cat and spirits.Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

In addition to their early association with Satan, cats became inextricably linked to witches in medieval Europe. According to Cerridwen Fallingstar, Wiccan priestess and author of Broth from the Cauldron: A Wisdom Journey through Everyday Magic, witches were the pre-Christian pagan practitioners of Europe.

Although the early Christian church in Europe coexisted with witches, as the church gained power, she says that they saw witches as their direct competition in gaining the hearts and minds of the people. That’s when the church began hunting, persecuting, torturing, and killing witches in vast numbers, she explains.

“Witches honored the natural world, having a deep respect for plants and animals,” says Fallingstar. “Affection between human and animal, therefore, began to be seen as ‘diabolical’, or devilish, and the old lady with her cats became seen as suspect.”

But it wasn’t only the connection they fabricated between witches, cats, and the devil that the early Christians feared: they also saw them both as threats. “Cats, like the women accused of witchcraft, tend to exhibit a healthy disrespect of authority,” she notes. “They don’t fawn, like dogs, upon even the unworthy. In the church, neither independent women nor independent animals were to be tolerated.”

At some point, the pairing of witches with cats narrowed to black cats, although Fallingstar says it’s not entirely clear why that happened. “The relationship between witches and black cats in particular is probably imaginary, but it is possible that black cats make better mousers since they cannot be seen at night and therefore have a hunting advantage,” she explains. “Witches do tend towards the practical.”

Eventually, the fear surrounding black cats and their association with witchcraft made its way across the Atlantic, courtesy of Puritan colonists, says Daniel Compora, associate professor of English language and literature at The University of Toledo. “The idea that witches could turn into their familiar likely evolved from those accused of witchcraft having cats as pets,” he explains.

Cats Blamed for Spreading the Plague

During the Middle Ages, it wasn’t uncommon for cats to be killed, given their association with evil, Compora says. Some people even went as far as blaming cats for spreading the Bubonic plague and used that as another reason to get rid of them. However, their ill-conceived plan backfired.

“In a particularly bizarre piece of irony, the killing of the cats helped fuel the spread of the plague,” Compora explains. “With the reduced number of cats to control the rodent population, the disease spread rapidly.”

(Source: https://www.history.com/news/black-cats-superstitions)


Of course, those of you who know me, are also aware that I have a cat, Tjara, a beautiful 11-year-old Maine Coon cat. She’s gorgeous, proud, wonderful, occasionally cuddly, and very focused on me. And it happens, of course, that she’s pitch-black. And no, I’m definitely not a witch! (LOL)

Tjara

After all that information now, let’s celebrate Halloween with some known ‘goosebumps’!


Thank you very much for all your support of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ and my writing! I really appreciate it!

I wish you and your families:

Picture courtesy of “LovethisPic.com”

The Best Part Of Telling A Story – Part VII (Last Part)

April 14, 2022 I published the first part of this blog post series, on April 28, and the second part followedThe third part was published May 26, 2022, part #4 was published July 11, 2022 and Part 5 you can read here since July 25, 2022, part 6 I published August 11, 2022, and this one here will be the last part in this series. This blog post series talks about the best part of telling a story. There are so many good parts, to me, each holds its own appeal. Let’s have a look at them once more:

1. Drafting the plot

2. Finding a motive

3. Creating the protagonist and antagonist

4. Finding the perfect location

5. Thinking of plot twists

6. Create side characters

[7. Depending on the story, maybe even create a world]

Today we are trying to determine how much fun creating a world is…

I’m writing a mix of Fantasy and Paranormal Romance with my ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. That means, creating worlds isn’t (yet) a big part of my writing skills. The ‘Council members and their consorts are splitting their time between Heaven, Earth, and Hell.

We all know Earth, and many of us know Heaven and Hell exist, but nobody alive has ever seen either one, which means, I can ‘create’ the part that exists differently in each of our imaginations.

Does Hell look like a vast mine with a fire in the middle and everybody down there is either dancing around the flames, or shoveling coal? Not in my imagination… Not even the inferno part, which is only one area of hell. Another site, for example, has been reserved for the houses, palaces, and castles of the Hellish-Elite residents, in my books, it’s the Demon Kings and the self-proclaimed ‘Emperor of the Nine Thrones Of Hell’, Lucifer. Needless to say, despite the fact he built his palace himself, he still doesn’t like it. ‘Not homey enough’, as he says. And he doesn’t like the constant twilight in Hell. There’s neither night nor day, no light or sunshine… It’s just constantly pale and gray, with the occasional foggy day, mostly, when Lillith is cooking.

Heaven is another part of my imagination, all light, sunshine, green pastures, forests, walkways, troop housing, and areas for the angels to live in… formerly there were ‘towers’ with penthouse lofts, where the Archangels lived. But since they practiced an ‘open door’ policy, it got too much to be disturbed at any given time, and with their ‘Creator’s’permission, they moved out and built their own area, precisely twelve breathtaking houses, where they live with their consorts (or alone), depending on their state of a relationship.

Is this ‘creating a world’? Not in my opinion… I’m just ‘extending’ what is already there, just the way I dream it could be perfect for me.

There are far more experienced writers in world-building than I am!

One of them, one of the ‘ultimate’ best examples, is, of course, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ books, and the famous creator of ‘Middle Earth’.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Tolkien went even further for his stories, his characters, his people and his books. He became the very gifted creator of languages! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_constructed_by_J._R._R._Tolkien).

All that, in my opinion, is the epitome of ‘fun’, but I could imagine, it wasn’t all ‘fun’ for him, all the time. It needs an enormous amount of work, concentration, imagination, fantasy, but most of all, skill, to go over this kind of length for the readers.

Of course, the success proves him right! Until this day, his books and stories are of enormous success and incomparable. He has my utmost respect and admiration.

But that doesn’t mean, there aren’t other highly skilled and talented writers and world creators around!

Let us hear your experience, please, in the comments! Tell us, where the fun is, and where the difficulties are! We are curious!

Hello, Mr. Vegetarian! – A Riddle

There are two of us, if you want to compare

You can’t tell the difference, even if you stare.

One of us is bigger, but you won’t see it live

Since we never are together, even if you strive.

**

The only way you could tell is the way we talk

Otherwise, we are the same, when we eat and sit and walk.

Maybe one of us is slightly bigger, but that is hard to tell

Only one thing is absolutely clear, we all are pretty swell.

**

We only live of plants, herbivores we’re called

We normally are calm, unless we’re badly galled.

We spend the days with family, we eat, we sit, we sleep

And when there’s something happening, we can cry and weep.

**

We are plucking flowers, we pay court to our girls

We give them pets and kisses, because we can’t give pearls.

We use tools to help us get to meals

We have two legs, and two arms, but our ladies wear no heels.

**

We all live on one continent, in warmth and sun we thrive

Some of us grow in the swamps by the desert, that is where we drive.

The others live higher in the mountains, still warm and nice

We wouldn’t change it where we live, for no treat and for no price.

**

We look peaceful and also lazy, but hey, make no mistake!

To protect our loved ones, we fight, we kill, we break!

We’re strong, and big, and underestimated on the first glance

But threaten us and our families, no man can stand a chance.

**

We’re nearly extinct, our kind is endangered, which is sad

We’re worth being saved, believe me, without us the world goes bad.

The Earth is cruel, a place of miracles, currently our dying, it is stalled.

Who are we? Yes, you are right, Gorillas we are called.

*****

(Copyright, August 2022 – Aurora Jean Alexander)

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The Best Part Of Telling A Story – Part V

April 14, 2022 I published the first part of this blog post series, April 28, the second part followed. The third part was published May 26, 2022, and part #4 was published July 11, 2022.. This blog post series talks about the best part of telling a story. There are so many good parts, to me, each holds its own appeal. Let’s have a look at them again:

1. Drafting the plot

2. Finding a motive

3. Creating the protagonist and antagonist

4. Finding the perfect location

5. Thinking of plot twists

6. Create side characters

[7. Depending on the story, maybe even create a world]


Today we are looking into ‘plot twists’. When I looked at that ‘phrase’ I had to laugh loudly. Now, there are as many plot twists as there are stories. And, of course, I am unable to mention all plot twists today, or ever, when it comes to that. Important at this point is, that our story, in fact, has a plot twist.

Let me describe it that way: Reading a story without any plot twist is about the same excitement as listeing to someone reading the phone book.

I’d like to start with a simple example: Boy A separates from Girl A, to be together with Girl B. Girl A decides to continue her life without Boy A, despite thinking, he was ‘the One’. While she gets over the separation, she meets Boy B. When Boy A sees her with Boy B, he’s jealous and tries whatever he can to get Girl A back. While trying to do that, he hurts Girl B horribly… – And here it gets thrilling. (Or, it could get thrilling, if it’s done right.) Why don’t we check out different possibilities?

Romance:

Girl A finds out she was right, and Boy A is ‘the One’ for her. She forgives him, and they get back together… Girl B is hurt, but she understands. Boy B ‘disappears’ from the story, but he has always only been an unimportant side character and nobody misses him…

Chick Lit:

Girl B is sad, but is contacted by Boy B, and they both get together. A Happy End for both couples is ahead. Additionally, Girl A meets Girl B at the shopping mall and they start talking. They find out, they have quite a few things in common, and they become really great friends.

Western:

Boy A and Girl A settle down and work together on their ranch, with huge herds of cattle and they also successfully breed horses, they have two babies, a boy, and a girl. Boy B is a bit disappointed. Girl A would have been perfect for him to settle down, but this wasn’t his path. He composes and sings a really sad song and rides into the sunset. Girl B moves to the next big city and opens a brothel.

Horror:

Girl B is actually a ‘Mormos’, a cruel supernatural monster, which has to mate with a human, kill him, and give birth to the spawn, before again, disappearing for three centuries, while the spawn spreads evil in the world. Boy A’s jealousy has ended their relationship and she couldn’t fulfill her plans, which makes her kill everybody in the story, including the mermaid and the gargoyle (don’t ask me why, I had no idea they were even in that story)… then she uses Boy B for her purpose, which is ending up really badly, since he’s a werewolf.

Thriller:

Girl A gets back together with Boy A, which leaves Girl B to meet with Boy B, who is actually a serial killer and starts with her… then Boy B goes over to kill a few others on his way to kill Girl A as he had planned all along, Boy A is the only one who can save the girl (and the story, too).


Four characters, five possibilities, only from one simple example. Of course , there are endless possibilities, and I’m sure, if I thought about it somewhat longer, I could come up with a few more examples.

What we have here, at the moment, are five examples, two of them don’t really have a ‘twist’… Romance and ‘Chick Lit’ just go from A to B, nothing exciting or thrilling happens. These stories are, most likely, as lame as watching a fly cleaning itself. (Even though, I’m always under the impression, a fly rubbing its first two legs against each other looks like their incredibly smug about something and I imagine them giggling maliciously, only that the frequence is too high for me to hear… But then, that’s different, and a subject for another time)

What’s important here is, that the story has to take a different turn than what’s ‘expected’ from the reader. Generally, there is nothing wrong with the first and second examples, if it were the real life. Their uncomplicated, easy, and without any further challenges, which we, of course, would want for everybody. But for a reader, it’s the lamest story one can imagine.

We want ‘adventure’, or we want to be scared, or maybe we want to bite our fingernails while reading, because the story is so thrilling, we can barely sit still. We want to cry, to laugh, or to yell, maybe even to scream, but we want to feel something! We want emotions in our book, and we want to read about them and feel them. What would we feel if everything always goes smoothly? Nothing… boredom, mostly. And that’s when our readers say: ‘That book was a waste of my time’… and that’s exactly what we don’t want.

One of the fun parts to write our story is, to add unexpected turns the story takes. Maybe it’s fun, maybe it’s scary, but it has to lead our story into a direction the reader wouldn’t think of… and that’s going to be a good story.

Tell us in the comments, if you have another idea to take Girl A, Boy A, and Girl and Boy B… or if you would like to add something else, when it comes to plot twists? We’re happy to read about your experiences!

Church Bulletin Bloopers – Reblogged

(This post was originally re-blogged on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ 7/20/2015 – from ‘Nutsrok‘. The blog still exists, but hasn’t been publishing new posts since October 2020)

Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

1. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

2. Announcement in a church bulletin for a national PRAYER & FASTING Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

3. The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.”
The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

4. Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall – Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

5. Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.

6. The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.

7. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “Hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.

8. Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.

9. Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

10. For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

11. Next Thursday there will be try outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

12. Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

13. The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: ” Break Forth Into Joy.”

14. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

15. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

16. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What Is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

17. Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

18. Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

19. Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

20. Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

21. The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

22. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM – prayer and medication to follow.

23. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind.
They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

24. This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

25. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

26. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

27. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

28. The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

29. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

30. The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday:

“I Upped My Pledge ! – Up Yours!”

Picture courtesy of Google.com (and I love it, because it’s so bubbly, bright and friendly!)

A Smiling Acquaintance – A Riddle Poem


I live in the Americas, in Central and the South

I am a happy mammal, with a constant smile upon my mouth.

There are two families of my species, named after our feet

And also we are different, in what we hunt and eat.

**

Eleven thousand years ago, a few of us were living on the ground

The size of elephants we were weighed in tons, and not with pound…

But the arrival of humans made us easy targets, eaten and extinct

What stayed was our mini-version, the one that smiled and blinked.

**

Also, we are easy target, that means we moved us to the trees

Where we do all, eat and sleep, and slowly move, breed and pair and sneeze.

We don’t have much energy, we don’t do well with others too

Normally, we all are loners, unless we are playing peek-a-boo.

**

We haven’t much developed lately, we stay frozen in our form

We smile, we eat, and we move slowly, to us that is the given norm.

Once a week we might come down from our favorite living tree

Fertilize the soil below it, before climbing up again to be.

**

Our fur is brown, sometimes beige, always straight, and never curled.

We are breeding a very special, unique moth within the insect world.

Our name comes from our movement, sluggish, lazy, very slow.

The name is program, you might guess, we are a ‘sloth’, that is to know.

*****

(Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, April 2022)

Picture courtesy of Google.com