Friday, June 30, 2017

All Kindle Books now $.99

I am very pleased to announce that I have lowered the price of the kindle editions of each of my books. For a trial period, each book will sell for just $.99 on Amazon.

These are not run of the mill $.99 self-published novels. Each one is a completed story of over two hundred pages. You will not reach the end of your kindle edition only to find that the last chapter has been removed and that you have to pay a second price for it, nor will you discover that what you hoped to be a juicy read turns out to be a low-effort, seventy-page promotion for something else. I am very proud of each of these novels and worked diligently on them. As always, they are free to read for members of Kindle Unlimited.

If you choose to purchase or borrow anything I have written, please remember that the greatest gift you can give an author is an honest review. Whether one sentence or multiple paragraphs, one star or five, every review and rating is helpful. I learn from criticism and profit from praise.

Remember, you can also leave a comment here or contact me by email or on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Body in the Bog: Elling Woman

In 1938, a local farmer discovered what he thought to be the remains of an animal in a peat bog in Bj├Žldskovdal outside Silkeberg, Denmark. Then, he noticed a belt fastened around the remains. Instead of a drowned animal, he had found the remains of a long-deceased human. The farmer contacted the National Museum of Denmark and the body was subsequently transported to Copenhagen for further inspection.

The front of the body suffered decomposition while the back had been better preserved by the acidity and lack of oxygen in the bog. It was determined that the person wore a skin cloak and belt with a blanket of cowhide covering the lower body and legs. Because of the furrow left in the neck and the skin belt with a sliding knot which was discovered with the body, it was determined that this person was hanged to death. With the available technology of the time, researchers found it impossible to discover more, and the body was then moved to a storage room in the museum.

It was not until the 1970's that x-ray technology allowed researchers to discover the sex and age of the body. These were the remains of a young woman, approximately 25 years old. Radio Carbon dating placed her lifespan during the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C. in Northwestern Europe.

Although the discovery of bodies preserved in Northern European bogs was not unusual, nor was her mode of death or dress uncommon amongst the bodies found, one there was something remarkable about the body.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Medieval House Garden in Spring

DisclosureAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.This post contains affiliate links.

I love gardening. As most of you know, I recently moved away from the beach and back to the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This winter provided an intense relief from the last seven years of drought, forced us to evacuate our home under the severe flood warning caused by issues at the Oroville dam, and ripped apart many a landscaped yard. My family actually had to rent a tractor to repair the dirt roads on their ten-acre parcel, many of which were wiped out by torrential rains.

So far this year, I have planted roses, lilies, delphiniums, bougainvillea, and marigolds. Fresh sod has been put down in one area of the yard. Bare-root apple, plum, peach, nectarine, cherry, and apricot trees were planted in February. Tomatoes and potatoes went into the ground weeks ago. Today, we are going to plant daffodils and tulips purchased on sale last spring. Later in the week, carrots, greens, and herbs, will be planted.

Where we were living on the coast, you cannot tomatoes because of the lack of sunshine, so I absolutely cannot wait for my first home-grown tomato in six years. If you have never tasted a truly fresh, sun-ripened tomato, I think John Denver summed up the experience best in his song aptly titled Home Grown Tomatoes.

Because I am a self-described Armchair Historian, today I am bringing you some gardening advice from the fourteenth century.

A Medieval Home Companion is a partial translation by Tania Bayard of a text written by the elderly, Parisian husband of a fifteen-year-old girl. In the opening pages, the author assures his young wife that he is very pleased by her and that he requires no further duty or change of character from her. However, because she was separated from her mother, father, and all others who may give her advice, she has asked for his instruction so that she may be a good wife and keep their home well. To appease her wish and to attempt to prepare her for her future life a second marriage, he carefully composed one of the most exhaustive texts on moral and domestic instructions to come out of the century.

The following passage contains his advice for the garden in April, May, and June which is as true today as it was then: