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!

 

 

More Announcements and This Week’s Schedule at ScatteredThoughts!

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Announcement clip artFirst announcement this morning?  There is another new reviewer here.  Welcome to PaulB!  We now have 3 reviewers, with another to come mid-month.  The changes continue! Check out Paul’s bio and be sure to say hi!

There are also a few winners too:

  • Congratulations to Paty, winner of Ashley Ladd’s contest.
  • Winners of the 3 copies of David’s Dilemma by Rae Brewer are:  Vicki p.,Stella M.,Barbra
  • Winner of Lissa Kasey’s Cover Reveal for Hidden Gems: Karen R.

 

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Here is this week’s schedule at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words:

Monday, September 8:

  • Author Spotlight:  Deanna Wadsworth
  • MelanieM Review:  David’s Dilemma by Rae Brewer

Tuesday, September 9:

  • TB: Bailey Bradford’s Broncs and Bullies Book Tour (contest)
  • Tara Lain’s Wolf in Gucci Loafers Book Tour (Contest)
  • MelanieM Review: Aftershock by T.A. Webb

Wednesday, September 10:

  • Raine O’Tierney’s Cover Reveal for Most Beautiful Words (contest)
  • Riptide’s Anchored by Rachel Heimowitz Book Tour (Contest)
  • MelanieM Review: Last Thing He Needs by J.H. Knight

Thursday,  September 11:

  • Book Tour:  Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese’s Starling (contest)
  • A Barb the Zany Lady Review:  Sweetwater by Lisa Henry
  • MelanieM Review:  Infected: The Lost Weekend by Andrea Speed

Friday, September 12:

  • On Tour with Sue Brown and The Last Wolf (contest)
  • K.A. Merikan’s Boys ‘n’ Guns Book Tour (contest)
  • MelanieM Review: No Fae Is An island by Angel Martinez

Saturday< September 13:

  • MelanieM Review: Pulling Leather by L.C. Chase

 

 

 

 

A Wonderful Fourth, A Beautiful Weekend and the Week Ahead!

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flowers June

 

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Our 4th of July BBQ went off without a hitch and the remnants of Hurricane Arthur brought us gorgeous weather with bright skies, low temperatures, and enough breeze to keep the bugs away.  Perfection!  Now today is rest, cleanup and leftovers!  It’s going to be great!  Hope everyone is having a marvelous weekend, whether you celebrated or not.

Here is how the week ahead is looking:

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Monday,  July 7:  

  • Secrets of Neverwood Anthology Book Tour/Contest
  • Merry Farmer’s Somebody to Love Book Tour/Contest
  • Jackie Nacht’s “Full Moon Torn”‏ Book Blast/contest

Tuesday, July 8:

  • Ethan Stone’s Vegas Hustle Book Tour/Contest
  • Somebody to Love by Merry Farmer (review

Wednesday, July 9:

  • On Tour with RJ Scott (contest)
  • Review: Neverwood Anthology

Thursday, July 10:

  • Review: Wolf Run by B.A. Tortuga

Friday, July 11:

  • Review: In Despair by Megan Derr
  • Cover Reveal by Charlie Descoteaux

Saturday, July 12:

  • Review:  Faire Protector by Madeleine Ribbon

 

 

Memories, Memorials, and Memorial Day and the Week Ahead

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Memorial Day.  Two words that bring forth powerful emotions and memories of both of those from our past as well as our present.  We think of the past and those deceased while at the same time our memories are full of family celebrations, and the laughter and love that speaks of life itself.

I was thinking of both of those as I watched the film on the news of the inauguration ceremony of National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC.  The pictures brought forth a profound sadness as the cameras scanned over the survivors and their families as well as the exhibits, stopping here and there for closeups and personal stories.  A staircase that was the only avenue for some to freedom and life stands bone white, covered in ash.  Bent, blackened metal framework from parts of the structure from the towers loom upwards over the crowds within the museum, much like the towers they once helped support.  All chilling and stark reminders of that day and our national tragedy.

But for me it was the small items that were so poignant and personal that they made the pain and loss intimate and immediate once more.  A red bandana World Trade Center 9:11 Museaumfrom a young man who sacrificed his life to make sure others got down safely.  His mother was present,full of pride for her  son, as she stood next to his photograph and his red scarf now enclosed in glass. It was the scarf that the survivors he helped down that day remember him by.  Over and over again, a young man in a red bandana grabbed people, moving them towards safety and life.  The expression on her face, so full of love, loss, and grief, was visceral as she looked at the scarf.  Another survivor was there looking at the black, dusty shoes she donated that she wore that day as she walked down all those flights of steps. She ended up caring them as she ended up finally walking down in her bare feet because the pain of going down all those steps made wearing them impossible.  Small item after item, watches, cell phones, glasses, standing side by side next to the physically imposing and massive items from the World Trade Center bombings, like a fire truck and or large pieces of masonry from the Pentagon, yes that’s there too. And there is a wall of photographs of those that died that day.  Every race, every gender,, every age….all represented there.  Forever remembered, forever immortalized.

It made me think of another wall, one full of names on black marble.  Here in Washington, DC, where huge crowds will gather on this weekend to Vietnam Vet Memorialremember, to grieve and to celebrate lives now gone.  There will be Rolling Thunder, and parades, and the echoing refrain of Taps heard over Arlington Cemetery this weekend. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, my favorite of all Washington memorials, stands as one of our more  striking and haunting memorials. The pictures found there aren’t on the wall but will be left by loved ones, friends, family, and fellow soldiers who come to commune with the dead and their memories.  There, as well as in New York City, the memorials will help all of us remember and help to mitigate the grief left behind.  Powerful images, powerful emotions, and a powerful almost unimaginable amount of loss.

Take a moment this Memorial Weekend and remember.  Do something that will celebrate their life as well as remember their loss.

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Now for the week ahead here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords:

  • Monday, May 26:        Love Comes Home by Andrew Grey
  • Tuesday, May 27:        Author Spotlight: Writing with Humor by John Inman
  • Wed., May 28:              Book Tour:  Sierra Cartwright’s Crave
  • Wed., May 28:              Hostile Ground by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt
  • Thursday, May 29:      Saugatuck Summer by Amelia C. Gormley
  • Thursday, May 29:      Clipped by Devon McCormack
  • Friday, May 30:           Moving Earth by T.A. Webb
  • Saturday, May 31:        Back Burn by Laura Harner
  • Saturday, May 31:        May Summary of Reviews/Best Covers

 

 

 

Vietnam Vet Memorial 2

 

 

Thoughts on Memorial Day…

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep – Mary Frye (1932)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow;
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain;
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush;
I am in the graceful rush.

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

 

Mother’s Day and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Book Tours and Stuff!

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It’s Mother’s Day and I am taking the day off for family events and such.  So without much further discourse, here is the week ahead in reviews, author guest posts, book tours and contests.  It looks to be a wonderful week:

This Week’s Schedule:

Monday, May 12:              Author Spotlight: Kimber Vale on Double Takes

Tuesday,  May 13:             Riptide’s Hostile Ground Book Tour with Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt

Wed., May 14:                    Daylight Again by SE Jakes

Thursday, May 15:            Double Takes by K. Vale

Friday, May 16:                  Author Spotlight: RJ Scott

Sat., May 17:                       One Night by RJ Scott

Now Cut that Out, Winner Announcements and the Week Ahead in Reviews, Author Guest Blogs, & Contests

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Now Cut That Out!!!! 

Once again we seem to be on the weather rollercoaster of all time here in the DC area (ok, so much of the country is there with us).  One day 80 degrees, the next day snow and sleet.  No really, that was us last week. The Cherry Blossoms popped out over night and record crowds packed the Tidal Basin to take in the pink beauty and monuments.

For about 2 to 3 days.

And then the snow and sleet and winds and freezing cold set in once more.  I  don’t have to tell you what happened to most of the blossoms do I?  Yep, history.  So now the temps have climbed back to the 50’s and all the plants I moved outside are back indoors until who knows when.

Like me.

Maybe by the end of June I will be able to go outside and plant in the gardens.  I have so many plants that didn’t make it through this winter.  Le sigh.  Maybe I will use this as an excuse to plan some new gardens.  I will have plenty of bare patches to fill that’s for sure.

Now on to the business at hand.  I have several winner announcements listed below, for Abigail Roux’s Ball & Chain book tour . S.J. Frost’s Vampire Prince tour, and Blaine D. Arden’s The Forester II Guest Blog/Contest:

 And the Winners Are……

Winners of the Ball & Chain Book Tour and Contest are:

Jessie Miller
Shannonn Vandermark
Melissa Crisp
Denise Smith

Kathy Latimer
Debra Guyette
Laurie Peterson
Cindi Clubbs,
Scarlett Camaj
Nicole Martens

Winner of SJ Frost’s  Vampire Prince,  tour is :  A.J.

Winner of Blaine D. Arden’s The Forester isblackasphodel

???????????????????????????????????????Vampire Prince coverThe Forester II- Lost and Found coverThe Forester cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all the winners.  My thanks goes out to everyone who participated as well as authors Abigail Roux and S.J. Frost for stopping by with such great posts and wonderful giveaways!

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Now on to the week ahead in Reviews, Author Guest Blogs and Contests:

Monday, 4/21:            Haunted Halls by M Raiya
Tuesday, 4/22:            Queens of the Apocalypse by Rob Rosen
Wed., 4/23:                  Back to the Frat with Anne Tenino and her Poster Boy (Contest)
Thursday, 4/24:          Poster Boy by Anne Tenino
Friday, 4/25:               To the Other Side by S.J. Frost
Sat., 4/26:                    Blown Kisses by Havan Fellows