Plan-Act-Do! a Suggestion from Nancy Lee Badger

plan-act-do signA new year means a new hope and a chance for new beginnings. Only you can decide how the next 365 days will unfold. Did you have a bad year? If you want 2019 to bring better days, may I offer a suggestion?

Write down what you want to happen. A trip? Finish writing a novel? This is the year I will put aside more money toward retirement? Whatever it might be, sometimes simply writing it and seeing it in black and white can light a fire beneath you!

And…if you pencil in time to relax, consider reading  one of my books. You can find paranormal romance, contemporary, time travel, and much more HERE  

Heaven-sent WarriorMost of my titles are available in ebook and print. Check them out and add ‘read a book’ to your New Year’s resolutions.

Nancy Lee Badger

 

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The Wren, the Wren, the King of all Birds by Dawn Marie Hamilton

It’s that time of year again. I so love the Christmas season. One of my favorite things is the Christmas music. We have a large collection that we start listening to the day after Thanksgiving.

Again this year, while listening to The Chieftains’ The Bells of Dublin and the Wren in the Furze song, I wondered aloud how the wren became the king of all birds. My husband jumped on it and did an internet search. He found a site, The Little Brown Wren, which explains via folklore. It seems the world of birds decided they wanted to have a king same as the humans. But how should they choose who among them should be king. They decided to hold a contest…whichever bird could fly the highest would be the king of the birds. On the day the contest was held, the eagle climbed ever higher into the sky. After the other birds gave up and fell to the ground, he smugly began his decent, believing he was the king of the birds. But above him, a wee wren fluttered her wings and sang a beautiful song. Having hidden within his feathers, she’d ridden into the sky on his back and became king through cleverness.

There is more to the story. Check it out at The Little Brown Wren.

There is a tradition in Ireland to ‘hunt the wren’ on the feast of Saint Stephen, which is celebrated on December 26th. On Wren Day, the wee bird is secured to a decorated staff and paraded through the village with music and dancing and much celebration. Fortunately, in our modern times a fake bird is used.

I’ll think of this tale every time I watch the wren in our backyard flutter from the shrubs near the house to the suet feeder.  Or when it sings its beautiful song mid-winter.

wren cutout

The Chieftains, The Bells of Dublin (1991)
Wren in the Furze

The wren, oh the wren; he’s the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen’s Day he got caught in the furze,
So it’s up with the kettle and it’s down with the pan,
Won’t you give us a penny for to bury the wren?

Well it’s Christmas time; that’s why we’re here,
Please be good enough to give us an ear,
For we’ll sing and we’ll dance if youse give us a chance,
And we won’t be comin’ back for another whole year!

We’ll play Kerry polkas; they’re real hot stuff,
We’ll play the Mason’s Apron and the Pinch of Snuff,
Jon Maroney’s jig and the Donegal reel,
Music made to put a spring in your heel!

If there’s a drink in the house, would it make itself known,
Before I sing a song called “The Banks of the Lowne”,
A drink with lubri-mication in it,
For me poor dry throat and I’ll sing like a linnet!

Oh please give us something for the little bird’s wake,
A big lump of pudding or some Christmas cake,
A fist full o’ goose and a hot cup o’ tay (Tea),
And then we’ll all be goin’ on our way!

The wren, oh the wren; he’s the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen’s Day he got caught in the furze,
So it’s up with the kettle and it’s down with the pan,
Won’t you give us a penny for to bury the wren?

 

gorse

Furse is another term for gorse; a yellow-flowered shrub of the pea family, the leaves of which are modified to form spines.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

~Dawn Marie

*images from Pixabay

 

Holiday Novellas by Dawn Marie Hamilton

One of the things I love about the holiday season is the abundance of wonderful holiday novellas.  Holiday novellas are sometimes part of an author’s on-going series, or part of a collection with other authors, or stand alone. What ever the case, they bring the joy of the season.

I just finished reading a fun, contemporary romance by Roxanne St. Claire from her Dogfather series–Bark! The Herald Angels Sing. Loved it! Made me cry! Made me laugh!

I have a Christmas novella from my Highland Gardens series on sale. Just in Time for a Highland Christmas is $0.99  through the end of December… 

Cover for Just in Time for a Highland Christmas

Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match in time for Christmas?

Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Kobo.

And…

Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic is exclusively available at Amazon for $0.99!

Twelvetide-200

He has twelve nights to gain her love.
She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Get it at Amazon.

 

~Dawn Marie

 

Enjoy December Differences

by Nancy Lee Badger

December can mean different things to different people.

To some, it is the end of the year. To others it is the best time of the year. Many people realize snow and ice are obstacles they need to contend with. Others wonder how they can celebrate Santa when palm trees are swaying outside their condos.

For me, it is too soon after my birthday and Thanksgiving to worry about the Christmas holiday.

I had my son drag boxes down from the attic, and the cat and I will fight over what I want to display and what ornaments he wants to eat, but I will find time to keep writing. Even if snow hits us here in sunny Raleigh, North Carolina, I can visit the NC Museum of Art and enjoy reflecting on the future…spring! Here is one of my favorite paintings hanging there. It is called Morning on the Seine, near Giverny by Claude Monet.

The art at this museum, which is only 5 miles from our home, is extraordinary, especially the 30+ works by the famous French sculptor, Auguste Rodin. It affected me in such a way that I planned my next book series there!

Book #1 of my Warriors in Bronze series is Heaven-sent Warrior. Asleep inside Heaven-sent Warriora bronze statue, a naked Frenchman wakes a century later to save a half-Fae museum curator from a demon bent on ruling our present-day world.

Check it out in ebook and print. The buy links are HERE

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

The History of Science Fiction

With the passing of Stan Lee this month at the age of 95, I got to wondering about how old the genre actually is. Talk about getting bogged down in research, you can go back as far as the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is 2000 BCE, but I wasn’t looking that far back.

Scholar Robert Scholes calls the history of science fiction “the history of humanity’s changing attitudes toward space and time … the history of our growing understanding of the universe and the position of our species in that universe.” In recent decades, the genre has diversified and become firmly established as a major influence on global culture and thought.

It was more personal for me. I learned to read by devouring Superman comics. Dick, Jane and Sally held no interest for me. Man, were those kids boring! So, on Sunday afternoons Daddy would walk to town on the train tracks with my sister and me togo to the drug store in downtown Hudson and look at the comic books. They cost 12¢ back then and I still have most of them, carefully preserved now in plastic. I know Stan Lee was Marvel and Superman is DC but I love characters in both universes.

220px-Action_Comics_1    Amazing_Stories_v11n01_1937-02_0000    Amazing story

I was always drawn to science fiction, with its endless possibilities. I admit I preferred Gene Roddenberry’s concept of a peaceful future to what I read in the pulp fiction of Daddy’s basement. Scary aliens didn’t entice me, but ET and Close Encounters were made for me and I’ve seen both countless times.

It’s what drew me to write Alien Embrace. A young woman who wakes in a hospital with no memory—where did she come from and why? Throw in a little of the ecological, and you’ve got the kind of story I go looking for.

Alien Embrace Cover 5 copy

Have you been a sci fi (never SyFy!!) fan long or do you gravitate toward fantasy or paranormal? Who are some of your favorite authors – Larry Niven, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ursula K. LeGuin, Sherri Tepper, Philip Dick, Jules Verne? Let me know, maybe there’re some out there I haven’t found yet!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be careful out there if you go Black Friday-ing!

Christmas Stories Rev 03 final copy

Christmas Shadow – New Release

After falling and suffering a concussion, I wasn’t sure if I could get a Christmas story out this year. SURPRISE!
Newly released, I bring you:Christmas Shadow

Christmas Shadow
Book One of the Shadow Walker-Lycan Hybrid Second Generation Romance Series

Aleksei Sokolov, a Shadow Walker-Lycan Hybrid, is trying to protect his best friend, Daven McCloud. He installs an Isanti security system in Daven’s Beverly Hills estate and assumes his identity. Stepping into Daven’s shoes puts him directly in the path of a killer, but it also puts him in the path of Sheridan Harbrook, who has been contracted to decorate Daven’s estate for Christmas.
One whiff of her elusive scent and Aleksei thinks he’s found his mate, but where is the Lycan Heartmate Bond? How could he be falling in love with a woman who isn’t his mate?
Sheridan Harbrook is struggling to care for her terminally ill mother and keep her business afloat. She has no time for anything else, let alone love. She’s seen Daven McCloud at parties before and thought him an immature playboy. Despite his reputation, she agrees to decorate his estate for his company’s annual Christmas gala.
When she meets with the man she believes is Daven, she can’t help but be surprised at how different he is when he doesn’t have a starlet on his arm. Feeling that she’s misjudged him, she lets him kiss her goodnight, even though the evening was strictly business.
She likes the man and one kiss tells her she could more than like him. But as their relationship progresses, danger surrounds them both. Will involving herself with a client put her in the crosshairs of a murderer and will this Christmas be her last?

Amazon

Smashwords

Coming Soon to KOBO, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

A Few Kilts Can Thaw a November Chill

NH Highland Games sky

I recently attended two very different Scottish Highland Games – one in New Hampshire and the other in Georgia. Both these USA-based gatherings had one thing in common…kilts in a wide variety of Tartans.

historical kilts

A Tartan is a plaid of certain colors that pertain to a clan or family that have traced their roots to Scotland. Many ‘Ancient’ tartans, or plaids, have muted colors. Before weaving, the original homemakers of the early centuries dyed the wool strands by using bugs, berries, grasses, and the like. Today’s tartans are more brilliant and though most are still woven of wool with a multitude of pleats at the back, others are made in solid colors of waterproof duck or soft cotton blends. Many of these have wider and fewer pleats and even add-on pockets. Some choose a military branch’s specific pattern.

kilts

Whatever a person chooses to wear, these men, women, marching band members and even performing musicians wear their plaids with pride. Here is a link to a video of one of favorite groups, Albannach, who played at the September 2018 NH Highland Games   https://youtu.be/uENuWEoFwOk     Listening to them was a pleasure!

Other sites, including the kilted athletes, were not to be missed. I am glad we were able to attend both and I gained quite a few plot ideas for future books!