Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hair Superstitions

Hi everyone,

We as human beings have been trying to figure each other out since the beginning of time.  That lead me to wonder about people superstitions.  I figured it would be fun to start with hair coloring.  There are over two hundred shades between black and blonde hair. 

We've all heard that redheads have tempers and are emotionally unstable.  But do not lament that.  It is supposed to be good luck to rub the head of a redhead.  They are good conversationalists.  It is believed that bees sting redhead more often than any other color.  Red hair is associated with fire.  In ancient times red hair was very unpopular wtih Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, but elsewhere it was considered lucky. 

Curly black headed people are considered neat freaks, while straight black hair denotes extravagence.  People with thick black hair is a sign of good health.  There's an old superstition that any person to first step over a threshold will bring good luck unless they're dark haired.  They'll bring bad luck. 

Brunettes are considered sincere.  In the game of survival they have a better chance in the struggle for extence than blondes.  Dark haired men are considered deceitful, but if a man's hair is neither too dsrk or too light, they will have the best characteristics. 

Speaking of blondes . . . remember the one about blondes being fickle and air-heads.  At the fall of the Roman Empire most of Europe's ruling classes fell into the blonde category. 

An ancient superstition claims that white hair on a young person means they're a genius.  It also is believed that they will live a very long time. 

These are just the basics about hair.  Do you know any others?

Thanks for stopping by.

darcy

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dragon Eggs

Hi Everyone,

Since this weekend is Easter and to me that means Easter eggs (actually peeps but who's checking), I thought I'd tell you about dragon eggs.

Dragon eggs come in different colors and all sizes, depending on the type of dragon.  Most have speckles over them.  The big thing about dragon eggsis they have to be kept warm--literally in a bed of live coals.  Usually the female dragon will breathe a jet of flames over her eggs every few hours. 

Dragon eggs start off with an egg shell, amnnion and yolk sac.  This takes about three months for the embroy to develop.  In the second stage features become distinguishable.  The embryo is developing.  This takes twelve months.  In the third stage an 'egg horn' develops to aid the chick in breaking open the eggshell.  Once the chick is born and free of the egg shell, the egg horn falls off.

The life cycle of a dragon is similiar to a lizards, but their life spans are quite different.  Chinese dragons are said to live the longest--over 400 years.  European dragons live about 300 years.

Thanks for stopping by and learning a little more about dragons.

darcy

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Number Superstitions

Hey there,

I tried to find some superstitions about castles and/or guns and couldn't.  I promise to keep looking . . . meanwhile I stumbled upon several about numbers and thought they were interesting.

Did you know a large number of people are superstitious about the $2.00 bill?  Gamblers don't like them and to remove the curse of this bill, they tear off tiny corner.  If another superstitious person gets their hands on the bill, they tear off another corner.  Eventually all the corners are removed and the so-called curse is removed for good. 

We've all heard of good or bad things come in threes.  Where did it start?  No one knows.  Supposedly, three represents the beginning, middle and end (kinda reminds me of a book).  Ancient Egyptians worshipped the Trinity of the father, mother and child. 

An old war story is 'three on a match'.  You didn't want to be that that third person because it gave the enemy time to mark, set and fire.  The outcome wasn't good. 

Four-leaf clovers are considered lucky.  One legend claims Eve carried one after being ejected from the Garden of Eden.  The sun-worshipping Druids held four-leaf clovers in high esteem because it allowed them to see evil beings.  Naturally, in Ireland, the four-leaf clover is venerated.  It is credited with keeping snakes away from the country.

How many know that 'five' is important.  We have five senses--sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell.  Unless your scentist . . . then we have eleven.  Muscular sense (the ability to sense resistance when lifting or moving objects).  Temperature senese (the ability to tell the difference between heat and cold).  Pain sense.  (No explanation needed).  Articular sense.  (

Friday, March 15, 2013

Leprechauns...

Do you like leprechauns? Honestly, they've never been my favorite faerie. Little men, dressed in my least favorite color, with odd hats. Not so sensual or gothic or mystical to me.

Of course, the gold is appealing. Who wouldn't want a pot of gold, especially at today's prices?

So who are these little fae? Of course, they are from Irish mythology. They are small ("wee folk"), they drink moonshine (poteen), and they like to play music (harp, fiddle, and others), and dance. Sometimes, they play tricks on humans--especially farmers. Many people try to catch leprechauns, but they are notoriously difficult to catch. My kindergartner's class made leprechaun traps this year--they had a leprechaun visiting the room, leaving green footprints everywhere, making messes, and even using the toilet (green pee...yeah, that was odd). The kids haven't caught the creature yet.

Leprechauns are shoemakers, too, and you will often see them depicted with a shoemaker's hammer. They make fairy shoes! To me, that is the most interesting thing about them. Making little shoes would be a ton of fun!

They have cousins who are much more tricksy--called cluricauns. Cluricauns play lots of tricks on humans, and like to steal things--livestock, food, drink--whatever they can. They are always drunk, and they apparently don't have a pot of gold. They are always partying and making mischief--I think they actually sound more interesting than leprechauns.

What about you? Do you like leprechauns?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Color of Romance


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about color. Color is often taken for granted by those of us with color vision, but it is so important to our world as romance writers.

We add imagery to our stories using color. The color of hair, eyes, complexion, along with other attributes allows the reader to visualize our characters. Color allows us to set a scene—the soft greens of a woodland, the vibrant reds, oranges, and gold of a summer garden, and the vermilion of a sunset.

What would a regency romance be without colorful garments and opulent ballrooms? Does the choice of color for a contemporary heroine's blouse tell the reader something about her character? Does the colorful plaide of a Highlander inspire courage?

Color is important. We need to fill our stories with living color.

In my Highland Gardens series (Scottish time travel with fantasy elements), each book has a gemstone that inspires the color palette. In Just Beyond the Garden Gate, it's sapphire. In Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, it's moonstone. In my WIP Christmas story, it's ruby.

I recently participated in a cover design workshop and learned the importance of color on the cover of a romance novel. Depending on the background, certain text colors recede while others pop. We want our cover colors to catch the eye, especially as a thumbnail.
Do you find color important in romance novels?
 
~Dawn Marie

Monday, March 4, 2013

Genre Bending...


Genre Bending…
So did you read—Gender bending?  Close but no cigar.  Think of it as merging two or more genres into one unique read.
My first love for reading picks tends toward paranormal, heavy on Urban Fantasy.  Give me Kelly Meding, Jennifer Estep, Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews or Patricia Briggs and I’m a happy camper. But,  I have to admit there are other genres that fight for their place in my heart. 
My second contender for reading preference-military romantic suspense.  Maya Banks, Cindy Gerard, Cherry Adair, Christy Reece, and Julie Ann Walker can come visit my Kindle Fire anytime.  Oh yes, I have some hot and heavy thoughts for those Special Forces bad boys. Dangerous and delectable, those plots can keep my pulse rate up more than a treadmill.
But sometimes, when you read and write a certain genre, you like to take a break and whet your creative mind with something a little different.  I hit this point recently as I finished up my third novel, Shadow’s Moon and sent it off to find a home.  As much as I loved my UF and romantic suspense, I wanted something…more.
                  Years ago, when I first read Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series, I was hooked.  Her ability to merge romance, military and paranormal really did it for me.  Yet I had a hard time finding other stories with similar elements.  So this year I headed out in to the wide world of books and searched again. I was thrilled to find some great new authors out there. 
My two top contenders had merged into some captivating novels!.  What happens when you mix military, romantic suspense, paranormal? You get some fantastic reads like Trish McCallan’s Forged in Fire, J.D. Tyler’s Alpha Pack novels, and Cherry Adair’s T-Flac/Psy books.  I even picked up some of Rebecca York’s earlier works-Decorah Security series, but just haven’t had time to read it yet.
In the ever changing book world, readers and authors alike are looking for the next unique idea.  As the lines between genres begin to blur, what are some combinations you, as readers, love or would love to see?
-Jami

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Desert Dragons

Welcome,

Desert dragons are either Fire or Earth dragons.  Draco flameus or Fire Dragon is the rarest of all dragons and is often difficult to observe.  The color of these dragons is browns, tans, whites and other colors that blend with their surroundings.  Think chamelon.  Because the dragons colors are mottled in such a way that they can be nearly invisible if they lie still, more so than any other kind of dragon.  They like to hide under the sand or in gullies when hunting.

Again like lizards, many of the arid land dragons are serpentine in shape with long slender tails.  The larger desert dragons often have huge, membranous wings while the smaller desert dragons have extremely small wings.  Flying is difficult for them.  Rather than flying, the smaller dragons take long hops or jumps.  Both sizes use their wings to create whirlwinds of sand and dust to confuse their enemies and prey.

Both large and small can have either two or four legs which allow them to move rapidly.  The two-legged dragon is usually a wyvern.  They have tightly overlapping scales that helps keep out the sand and fine dust.  The larger ones are more reserved.  They have heavy ridges of bony eye socket to shade their eyes from the sun.  Their gaze is considered hypnotic and can immobilize their prey or cause hunters to forget they saw a dragon. 

All dragons love treasure, and desert dragons are no different.  It is said the treausre in their lairs is a combination of ancient armor, swords, gems and modern exploration equipment.  They are considered skilled thieves with pack rat tendencies. 

Since living in the desert is harsh, desert dragons are very territorial.  They are unpredictable and difficult to work with.

Do you have a favorite dragon type? 

darcy 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Paranormal creatures...

I think I've learned more about the creatures that inhabit paranormal romance in the last two years, than I ever knew. Of course I had read about vampires (Anne Rice), and some werewolves, and witches. And such. But I've learned about all sorts of new creatures while editing and reading. Banshees (or half-banshees, Tiffany Allee's Banshee Charmer), more vampires, witches, fairies, angels (Deena Ramiel's series), ghosts (Stacey Kennedy...), demons (Boone Brux...), dragons, and all sorts of other creatures.

I think authors can make any of these non-humans sexy, or scary, or both. Really good books make you believe in the paranormal creatures--make you feel for them, lust after them, empathize with them. Or make you lock your doors and sprinkle salt...

I am intrigued by shifter books. I've read some that I thought weren't very good, and then some that made shifting as natural as sleeping. I was thinking, I could never write shifters, but then I realized, I've written mermaids a couple of times. They are shifters, yes? *I feel so accomplished*.

I've loved reading and editing in the paranormal universes authors create--and I really enjoy unusual creatures--especially if they are the focus of the story (I am less enamored with worlds that have a zillion paranormal creatures, but that is just me).

What is your favorite paranormal creature to read about? Write? What don't you enjoy?  And what is the most unusual creature you have read about?

Happy Friday!

Kerry