Happy Winter Solstice and the Week Ahead in Reviews!

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Tyrrhenian Sea and Solstice Sky
Credit & Copyright: Danilo Pivato

 Happy Winter Solstice!

And Happy Summer Solstice Down Under!

Happy Winter Solstice to everyone living in the Northern Hemisphere!  Today (here in Maryland at 6:04pm EST) the Winter Solstice arrives.  It marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  And for many around the world it is a cause for celebrations ancient and new as well as a time of reflection on this the darkest of days.

The word solstice means “sun stands still.” On the year’s two solstices (winter and summer) the sun appears to halt in its  journey across the sky and change little in position during this time, thus looking as though its standing still.  And while the Winter Solstice heralds the beginning of Winter, it also celebrates the promise of the gradual return of the sun after a prolonged period of darkness.  Why?  Because after the Winter Solstice, we see the incremental increase in daylight each day following the Winter Solstice will bring.

The solstice occurs twice a year (around December 21nd and June 21st) when the sun is farthest from the tilting planet’s celestial equator.

For half of each year the North Pole is tilted toward the sun, and for half of the year the South Pole enjoys that privilege. This phenomenon creates our changing seasons, because the hemisphere facing the sun receives longer and more powerful exposure to sunlight.winter-solstice-longest-night

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice always occurs on or about December 21 and marks the beginning of the winter season. As stated, it’s the shortest day of the year, featuring the least amount of daylight between sunrise and sunset.

But in the Southern Hemisphere, Down Under (hint, hint) this is the time of the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. From now on, as the northern days grow longer so do the southern days get shorter.  Why bring this up?  Because of a special event that starts here on January 1st and goes on all month long.  The big announcement will happen next week but for those of you wanting a sneak peak, check out the Menu up top for the words Down Under and get ahead of everyone else!

Meanwhile to all us Northern Hemisphere people, Happy Winter Solstice!  And to all Down Under, a Happy Summer Solstice!

Now to the upcoming week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

Monday, December 22, 2014:

  • Razor Wire by Lauren Gallagher Book Tour and Contest
  • A PaulB Review: The Alpha King by Vicktor Alexander
  • A Mika Review: My Mate Jack (A Heated Beat Story #1) by Garrett Leigh
  • A MelanieM Review: The Marine by John Simpson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014:

  • Shifting Gears by Tina Blenke Book Tour and Contest
  • My Mate Jack by Garrett Leigh Book Blast and contest
  • A Sammy Review: Corkscrewed by MJ OShea
  • A Mika Review: A Tangled Mind by Posy Roberts
  • A MelanieM Review: Comfort and Joy Anthology

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 (Christmas Eve):

  • A Mika Review: Hummingbird House by Kenzie Cade
  • A Sammy Review: Slave Eternal (In His Arena #1) by Nasia Maksima
  • Mika’s Best of 2014
  • Melanie’s Best of 2014
  • Scattered Thoughts Best December 2014 Covers

Thursday, December 25, 2014 (Merry Christmas):

  • Lone Wolf by Aleks Voinov and L.A. Witt, Riptide Book Tour and Contest
  • 12 Days of Christmas Homecoming blog tour for ZAMaxfield’s My Cowboy Homecoming
  • A Mika Review: Green the Whole Year ‘Round by Rowan McAllister
  • A Barb, the Zany Old Lady Review: Lone Wolf by Alexsandr Voinov

Friday, December 26, 2014:

  • Cover Reveal for Chris Scully ‘Nights Like These’
  • A Mika Review: Him for The Holidays by Jaxx Steele
  • A MelanieM Review: Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb
  • Sammy’s Best of List for 2014
  • A Likely Story Anthology Release Blog!

Saturday, December 27, 2014 (the return of YA Saturday):

  • An Aurora Review: Gods (Dreams of Fire and Gods, #3) by James Erich

I will leave you with a Winter Solstice Drink recipe to help fuel your celebrations!

Winter Solsticewinter-solstice-recipe

2 oz citrus vodka
½ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz pomegranate juice
1 oz simple syrup
Orange wedge
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Add citrus vodka, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a short or highball glass with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge. Drink up and repeat!