Once again it is May 30th, and for many it is a long weekend for camping, parties, lots of sales, and even Memorial Day cruises. There are many reasons why this day is notable. But let’s not forget the real reason – the important reason. It was set aside to remember and honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the military service of America . . . Those who died fighting to preserve our lives and our freedom. They won’t be here to celebrate with us because they gave up everything for us. So amidst our celebrations, let’s pause and take time to remember the thousands of men and women whose lives were cut short so that we could live, and be with those we love to enjoy our freedoms.
God help us to remember the cost of our blessings and to remain worthy of that cost.
Who is this dark-haired beauty that they call ” The Ariella” or Queen Mother? She commands an army of Dragons and Dragon Riders as well as a group of seemingly misfit Creatures that dwell in various mountain locations around the planet. She has their fierce loyalty and is a force to be reckoned with among her global community; all of whom she guards with her life . . . she and her ominous and amazing Dragons, Basiliskos Verminthrax Pejorative – a male black Wyvern, and Invectum Viperathrax Pejorative – a male white Wyvern.
In The DRAGOMEIR SERIES books you can read all about this global population – their triumphs and defeats, while getting to know how “The Ariella” manages to keep them all alive from conflict to conflict. But how long has she been around, and how did she become Queen Mother to this unlikely group of characters?
To answer this question, I am currently writing a Prequel to the series, which will chronicle her life, and rectify some of the myth surrounding her tumultuous journey leading up to her title, “The Ariella” or Queen Mother. The story picks up shortly before her birth and follows her life thereafter. It was her destiny to become the Queen of the Dragons and a champion to the downtrodden misfits in her world.
If you love Dragons, Dragon Riders, Otherworldly Creatures, and lots of adventure and intrigue, I hope you will enjoy the first three books in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES –
AND keep watching for my forthcoming book, the Fourth Book in the Series –
- “DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD”
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Happy Reading!
www.solitaireparke.com (Books available at numerous websites)
A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is due to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar.
A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
Why Are There Leap Years?
Leap years are needed to keep our modern day Gregorian calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year, and is measured from the March equinox.
However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a leap day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by around 24 days!
Who Invented Leap Years?
Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap years over 2000 years ago. But the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year.
This formula produced way too many leap years, but was not corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1500 years later.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar by creating the Gregorian calendar with the assistance of Christopher Clavius, a German mathematician and astronomer. The Gregorian calendar further stated that leap days should not be added in years ending in “00” unless that year is also divisible by 400. This additional correction was added to stabilize the calendar over a period of thousands of years and was necessary because solar years are actually slightly less than 365.25 days. In fact, a solar year occurs over a period of 365.2422 days.
Fun facts about leap years –
- The Summer Olympic Games are always held in a leap year. This year, they take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- US presidential elections are held every four years, in a leap year.
- In Greece couples often avoid getting married in a leap year, believing it to be bad luck
- Food for thought: If you work on a fixed annual wage, today is just one more day’s work than you would usually have to do for your salary.
- As touched on above, a year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not technically a leap year. Therefore 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. “There’s a good reason behind it,” Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics, told the BBC. “The year is 365 days and a quarter long – but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years.” Pope Gregory and his astronomers’ solution will have to be rethought in around 10,000 years, Prof Stewart points out.
If you know any more Fun Facts about Leap Years, please share!
In the Dragomeir Series Book Three, “Egg of the Amphitere”, some of the more unusual visitors to Mt. Drago were the Savants. They entered Mt. Arcadia first, and impressed with three of the Amphitere Dragons, after having just appeared in the common area. Within minutes they disappeared and went to Mt. Drago to present information to Queen Mother. It was not received well.
The Savants were an ancient race of diminutive people that hailed from Oblivion. Standing only four feet tall and incredibly frail, they had managed to impress with the most violent of the species of dragons, the Amphiteres. The people of Mt. Drago only saw three of this race, all female, although Tanis had a difficult time determining their sex until an introduction was made.
All three of them wore floor length white smocks, were bald, and only spoke by writing their messages on a series of Post it Notes.
Seemingly able to move through both time and space, these unusual females quickly angered Queen Mother into a bold show of power to establish who was in control . . . and who was not.
The leader of the Savants called herself Caesarea Maritima (Also a city in Israel), and although very old, had the body of a child. The other Savants looked identical to Caesarea making it difficult to tell them apart. Their existence in our world was made possible due to the Hearths they controlled, and an underlying hatred for the Dark Lord.
The Savants can be found in my forthcoming book, “Egg of the Amphitere.”
Visit me to find out more at – www.solitaireparke.com
SECRETS IN THE DESERT
Mount Manchester is the highest peak in the Dead Mountains of extreme northeastern San Bernardino County, California in the Mojave Desert. The Dead Mountains are 12 miles northwest of Needles, California. It is the highest point at 3,598 feet. The Dead Mountains border the Colorado River on the east, and the Piute Wash of the Piute Valley on the west. Piute wash drains south, then turns east for 8 miles at the south of the range to meet the Colorado River.
Tanis, the lead character of the book,”Egg of the Amphitere,” is shocked to find a massive artifact depot deep inside the Mojave Desert. He is even more shocked to discover he has inherited its contents. A secret kept from him since he became a Thaumaturgist/Machinist, Tanis is overwhelmed by the vastness of the icons and technology held within its walls.
Once there, he determines the artifact depot is under Mt. Manchester, accessible only from the Thaumaturgists headquarters located in Phoenix Arizona.
The technology found within its caverns becomes instrumental not only to Tanis, but to the inhabitants of Mt. Drago as they struggle to keep the Dark Lord at bay.
I’ve always looked at the artifact depot as a combination of Warehouse 13, and the alternate dimensional library of ancient antiquities.
To uncover the secrets hidden in the mountain you’ll need to check out my forthcoming book,
“Egg of the Amphitere” which will be available in November. To purchase the previous
Dragomeir Series books,
“The Emerald Dragon” and
“Flight of the Aguiva”
go to my website and you will find them at a variety of places –
The Forthcoming book, “Egg of the Amphitere“, is the third installment to the Dragomeir Series. The manuscript is finished and in the final editing stages, which is always very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. In this book, Queen Mother manages to procure the third and final Crystal Key, which will keep the hordes from Hell locked on the Provinces forever. Tanis impresses with an Amphitere dragon and increases his family to four. You are introduced to a new group of people called the Savants at the mountain, and Tanis learns of a Gate system called the Hearths. This system could end the isolation of the Dark Lord and bring destruction to Mt. Drago. So Tanis and Queen Mother must find out how the Dark Lord plans to use these devices, and stop him before their world crashes down around them.
Find out if the Savants are friends or foes, and if the Hearths are the wave of the future or the end of mankind. Learn how the Amphiteres are the answer to the dragons’ past, and what they must do to survive.
“Egg of the Amphitere” finishes the original saga of Tanis Theatra and his quest to become a dragon rider, but there are many more stories yet untold. So keep following as the big picture unfolds.
See you soon . . .
Since I am currently writing a series of books which are centered on Dragons, I thought it might be interesting to find out (from the Dragon Rider’s perspective) what makes them behave and keeps them happy.
The Dragomeir Series – Urban Fantasy
And the Forthcoming book
My main character, Tanis Theatra, has not only one, but three Dragons to manage on a daily basis. So, how do you deal with creatures that are potentially dangerous, if nothing else, because of their size (Enormous would be an understatement) and then there’s that little thing about breathing fire/plasma, or just getting in the way if their mood isn’t so great and they’re just hungry. How do you pacify or keep a Dragon in a good humor? Well, according to Tanis, here are some tips –
- The only thing to fear is fear itself. Just keep telling yourself that, two and a half tons isn’t all that big. Dragons have an uncanny sixth sense about where you are at all times. You’ll probably trip over their tail long before they step on you.
- Fire can be a problem during impression, but except for rare occasions, it’s mostly a matter of symbolism. Baby Aguivas on the other hand will teach you from experience not to stand at either end. Accidents only happen to the unwary.
- Amphiteres are born angry, so consequently get up on the wrong side of the grotto every day. They want to play, and it’s a thin ploy that lets them act out their frustrations, so play with them a lot. It helps in so many ways.
- A dragon will get grumpy if they’re not fed enough, but the same result happens when they’re fed too much. Either way brings out the pent up hostility in a reptile. Once every four days is a general rule of thumb, but understand, too much is worse. Dragons grow throughout their lives and the rider is the last word on how much they eat and grow.
- In a Dragon’s “Holder of Things”, a container much like a metal trash can, you can often find one of their favorite toys – a Frisbee – which makes them very happy. They can be extremely child-like in many ways.
- One of a Dragon’s favorite things is cherry candy and they will do pretty much whatever you want to get it.
- Dragons hear your thoughts and mirror your emotions. The more stable you become, the happier your dragon will be. It’s a good recipe for both parties when the rider is on his/her game.
So, now you’ve learned a few interesting facts about the Dragons of Dragomeir. They’re really quite compelling, although they can be very formidable if you make them angry. But to a Dragon Rider there is no greater creature in the universe!
Join Tanis and his friends as they uncover fascinating relationships, deceptions, betrayals, mysterious technology, and old-world charm and of course – Dragons!
Just about everyone, including me, has watched or at least heard of the TV show, “Game of Thrones.” The author, George R. R. Martin, has been writing Fantasy books for many years before this series came out. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Since I write Urban Fantasy myself, I was curious what his thoughts were on the subject. So I thought this article on the site, Lifehacker.com, was rather interesting. His top 10 writing tips for Fantasy are as follows:
- Don’t limit your imagination
- Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope
- It’s okay to borrow from history
- Talk to real people for a believable point of view
- Grief is a powerful tool_but don’t overdo it
- Violence should have consequences _ so spare nothing
- Avoid fantasy clichés
- The world is full of “grey” characters to draw from
- Juggling lots of characters takes skill and luck
- All men must die, but we don’t have to give way to despair
To read the details of each of these tips, click on the link below and enjoy!
Any tips you’d like to share? I’m always open to new ideas for improving my writing. See you soon.