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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Saga of the Thunder Priestess

The Hammer of Greatness: Life of the Oseberg priestess (783-834 AD) (BLADE HONER Book 1)The Hammer of Greatness: Life of the Oseberg priestess (783-834 AD) by Maria Kvilhaug
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tale that starts off with a dream by a sacred healer who lives close to the river with her people. The village is a place of freedom and peace. It is a place where women are respected and thing are rather matrilineal with the men following after the ways of the women. Much different from the Viking era world were men hold sway over everything. Perun or Thor the Thundergod is central to this story even if he is not actually present. The dream eventually come true. A wounded Norseman name Thorbjorn comes to a village wounded, he arrive at the Thunder Gods shrine. There he is met by the healer who marries him eventually and thy have two kids together. The healer had a child from before and her name is Zivah. Thorbjorn or Thunderbear as he is called has lived a life of disaster and has seen his whole family wiped out by a paranoid and power hungry king of Svears. Thorbjorn after leaving his village goes from one disaster to another on board a Viking ship where he is circled by multiple enemies an wounded badly. That I how he gets to the village. The two children they have together are Thordis and Thorowolf.
After the birth of Thordis the relationship between Thorbjorn and Zivah starts to deteriorate. Zivah was once meant to follow in her mothers footsteps and be a healer uut when Thorbjorn midwifes his daughter into birth Zivah is angry because she was supposed to do that. So she hates her family breaks the hart of many young men while fantasizing about marrying a rich prince. Her flirtations with bad people get her into some danger as her younger sister looks out for her and Thorbjorn must kill rogue Viking to protect her.
Life changes when one day the Viking Rus invade their village and wipe out the inhabitants. Zivah survives and is almost violated on many occasions. Her mother dies protecting her . Thorbjorn dies in battle. Thorwolf died years earlier in a drowning accident. Zivah is relegated to the status of a concubine while Thordis gets recognition as a Thunder Priestess in the making. Life will change for both girls as they realize their destinies as blade honers. Blade honers make men strive to be better than they are at present. Zivah adapts to being a slave in the Rus Viking compound.

The strong point of this book despite it being a rather good story that is very entertaining to read but the author is very knowledgeable about Norse life back in Viking time and she has done her research. Think she has PHD in Ancient History of that period. She does not glorify the Viking like lots of authors are tending to do. They were a rough group of slaver and raiders yet they did have a code of honor. But they could be very mean and very nice in comparison. The slavers take the girls through the slave markets of Khazaria and Arnulf the Viking leader tls about life in Baghdad and there is some meaty discussion on religion. An excellent book and very informative.


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast - All Four VersionsBeauty and the Beast - All Four Versions by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely one of the most popular faery tales, it has been made into a movie or tv series countless times. Disney made a carton movie out of it, later on the French made a movie out of it and now there is a new version out. The TV series makes further twists on the plot. When it comes to faery versions there are basically four major ones. The first one is just a regular faery tale, the second is a condensed version of the first, The Grimm Brother version is much different while the fourth is written by Andrew Lang.
The first version is the most complete of all. In fact it is so complete that the ending part which explains everything in great detail becomes rather long and painful. Sometimes I got lost while reading the ending part because in reality it goes into the backstory rather in depth, something which the other three don’t. Most versions of the story start out with a wealthy business man who loses everything after a fire burns his house and his fleet of boats get drowned in a storm. With very little money let the merchant takes his sons and daughters to a country villa where they have to do their own chores now. Further in the tale the father gets word that one of his ship made it. Expecting great fortune the kids all want expensive gifts, everyone except beauty who wants just a rose. Well his partners thought he was dead and split everything up. On the way home with almost nothing to show for his endeavors , the merchant gets caught in the snow it is during a snow storm that he finds relief in a castle. He is well fed and well rested and spying on a rose, he takes one that is when he is confronted by a beast. The beast threatens to kil him in retaliation for taking his rose after receiving such great hospitality. In return for letting the merchant live his daughter must take his place. She must stay there forever and she is expecting to die. The beast , however, kills her with kindness. He tries to woo her and get her to fall in love. When she wants to go home for a week or month or two months depending on the version the beast lets her and he gives her magiac so she can get back quickly. When she takes too long he starves himself almost until the point of death. At this point she realizes her love for him and agrees to marry him. The Beat turns into a prince and a handsome one at that. The second version pretty much ends there while the fourth version, written by, Andrew Lang, explains that then a wicked faery turned him into the beast for spurning her. He would have to have a virgin fall in love with him. The first version goes into even more detail. It notes that the princes mother wants him to marry royalty. Good thing that Beauty was an adopted child by her merchant father. Her real father is a king. There is also a good faery who teaches them how into counter the wicked faery’s spell. The wicked faery helped the prince’s mother capture land and maintain her kingdom. It goes a bit into faery politics.
The Grimm version is much much different. In this version the beast is a lion and instead of a rose the man takes a bird. There is a sojourn back home and the revived lion gets well and marries her. When she wants to go home with him for a celebration he warns her that if he is touched by candle light he will turn into a dove for seven years. Well he gets touched by candle light and she has to pursue the dove for seven years. She asks the winds for help as well as the sun and the moon. They each give her gifts which she will need. It ends up that the lion has resumed his form and is fighting a dragon who happens to be a queen. Magic makes them resume human form an away he goes with the queen leaving his beloved behind. She follows him to the kingdom but he has forgotten her. Twice she triks the evil queen into letting her sleep in the same room as her husband. Eventually she wins him back. Fun read an very informative to see how different versions of a story play out.


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

French Art of Seduction

French Women Don't Sleep Alone:French Women Don't Sleep Alone: by Jamie Cat Callan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

American men love international women, they are mysterious, exotic and alluring . The French women have this kind of allure and enchantment over all men who come into contact with them. How do they do it? They are much more interesting than American women and this book tells why.

This book was written by an AMerican woman who is an admirer of the French and has spent some time there. It is a guide for American women on how's to be seductive like French women are. While it is a book for women I think the men can learn a thing or two from it as well .

First off French women do not date. Dating is boring and stressful and to me totally unromantic . French women have a circle or coterie of friend, both male and females . They invite friends over to dinner parties and basically mingle with everybody and everybody mingles with everybody else. You are not closed or boxed into the two hour interview. Men and women can see each other in a natural environment. They can also converse and be flirtatious which means that the man has to compete with others for the French woman attention. IF a woman or man like each other they will often go for a walk in the park for further conversation. This lets the man observe that the woman is being admired by other men and that if he does win her heart he can still be replaced by other admirers.

French men know they can never fully possess the French woman which helps keep it interesting . He can lose her in a second if can he fails to properly attend to her. French women always maintain the mysterious so as to keep the guy guessing. They never get to familiar. French women make have their secrets and they enjoy and employ constant change. There's coterie of friends keep her confident and alive. They do not collapse into relationships and forget about everyone else. THey do things separate from their lover. Remember familiarity breeds contempt.

The author discuses several techniques for a woman to look and feel sexy. French women definitely take care of themselves . They cultivate their minds and skin. Education and really nice creams for the skin. They also eat in moderation. Enjoy everything but do not pig out. They wear lingerie underneath their clothes and even if men cannot see the lingerie the woman feels sexy and that shows.

I learned many things from this book and I recommend it highly. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Herbal Remedies

Herbal Remedies A-Z: Your Complete Guide to Natural Health and BeautyHerbal Remedies A-Z: Your Complete Guide to Natural Health and Beauty by Infinite Ideas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Herbal Remedies A-Z

This nifty book has just about every herb listed and what it can be used to treat. The description of the herbs gives formulas and preparations for various ailments.

More and more people are switching and /or starting to use herbs. For one herbs are cheaper than medications and have fewer side effects. Besides if you have the sniffles or stomach upset you do not want to run to the doctor or I ingest medication that has side effects. Plus Trump might take away your health care.

Here are some notes from
What I read.

Caraway seeds are great digestive agents and a noted anti-flatulence remedy. In north-European cookery they are often added to gas producing dishes such as cabbage.

Arnica to treat bruises, sprains, strains, swelling and fractures, and calm the pain that they cause. It’s a marvellous remedy.

Cayenne is a warming spice that helps to thin mucus, so can be helpful for bronchitis. It can also improve circulation for problems like varicose veins. Hot cayenne pepper delivers a terrific boost to the immune system.

For body odour, especially under the arms, James Duke, a leading US authority on healing herbs, suggests using cider vinegar. Swab the underarms with it. Steep several leaves of sage in it for a couple of weeks, to make it even more effective.

Those are just a few remedies. It is not the complete end all but for the price it is a good read with lots of good information;

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Baba-Sali

Baba-Sali
Holy Morroccan Sage engaged in Prayer

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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