Unicorn ???? Book Giveaway

Fantasy Adventure Book Giveaway now on until 29th Jan! bit.ly/2DkmkA2

Grab a complimentary copy of Unicorn, a Mythical Fiction adventure, filled with action, magic and, of course, unicorns ????

What is the Voynich Manuscript?

The Voynich Manuscript is a roughly 250-page book written in an entirely unknown language/writing system. It’s been carbon-dated back to the 1400s and includes illustrations of plants that don’t resemble any known species. It’s named for the Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912. It is believed to have been intended as a medical text. Its first confirmed owner was Georg Baresch (1585–1662), an alchemist from Prague, who discovered it “taking up space uselessly in his library.” Baresch tried to investigate the manuscript’s origins, to no avail.

The manuscript changed hands for centuries until it was purchased by Voynich, who posited that it was authored by Albertus Magnus (an alchemist) or Roger Bacon (an early scientist). However, some believe that Voynich fabricated the manuscript and its history all by himself. Various other hoaxes have been proposed over the years. Of course, that wouldn’t explain the carbon-dating of the paper and ink.

Source: readersdigest.ca

The Incident at Dyatlov Pass – an unexplained mystery

On the first night of February 1959, nine ski-hikers died mysteriously in the mountains of what is now Russia. The night of the incident, the group had set up camp on a slope, enjoyed dinner, and prepared for sleep—but something went catastrophically wrong because the group never returned.

On February 26, searchers found the hikers’ abandoned tent, which had been ripped open from the inside. Surrounding the area were footprints left by the group, some wearing socks, some wearing a single shoe, some barefoot, all of which continued to the edge of a nearby wood. That’s where the first two bodies were found, shoeless and wearing only underwear. The scene bore marks of death by hypothermia, but as medical examiners inventoried the bodies, as well as the other seven that were discovered over the months that followed, hypothermia no longer made sense. In fact, the evidence made no sense at all. One body had evidence of a blunt force trauma consistent with a brutal assault; another had third-degree burns; one had been vomiting blood; one was missing a tongue, and some of their clothing was found to be radioactive.

Theories floated include KGB-interference, drug overdose, UFO, gravity anomalies, and the Russian version of the Yeti. Recently, a documentary filmmaker presented a theory involving a terrifying but real phenomenon called “infrasound,” in which the wind interacts with the topography to create a barely audible hum that can nevertheless induce powerful feelings of nausea, panic, dread, chills, nervousness, raised heartbeat rate, and breathing difficulties. The only consensus remains that whatever happened involved an overwhelming and possibly “inhuman force.”

Source : readersdigest.ca

Birth

Nine Months. That’s how long it took me to plan, research and write my latest novel, Servant of Memory. Right now, it’s in the editing stage and almost ready to go to print! #excitedmuch #givingbirth ????

“Bound by the shackles of time, Elijah Levy is in his 14th reincarnation, and on the brink of a sensational discovery that will give him the power to share his accumulated memories with the rest of the world.

But there is one memory, in particular, that attracts the attention of an evil organisation who threatens to embroil him in its iniquitous affairs. It concerns the Primordial Stone, a mythical talisman, infused with the power that was used to ignite the universe into being.

Elijah finds himself in the centre of a mystery far larger than he could ever have imagined, when he must fight to discover his true purpose and save the life of Katy Saunders, the beautiful girl of his dreams.”

Another year around the sun ????

I woke up this morning, like any other morning, to the rising sun, but this time, it was the anniversary of my birth – the day I was born.

I’ve always been honoured to have been born on this day and in this month. November symbolises the start of summer (where I live in the Southern Hemisphere of course ????), the season where everyone begins to appreciate the sun and the great outdoors, in a beautiful place like Cape Town with its iconic mountain ranges and pristine, white beaches. Excitement builds as we approach the end of another year and look forward to new beginnings.

Today marks the 18th of the month, the most auspicious day there is. This is because the letters Chet (8th letter) and Yud (10th letter) of the Hebrew alphabet, add up to 18 which spell the word Chai, which means ‘life’ and represents being alive in Judaism, the single most significant thing there is to be! In Judaism, it is customary to give and receive gifts in multiples of 18, which are symbolic of a good deed or mitzvah and known as ‘giving chai’.

This particular year ahead is even more significant than ever before in my life because we’re going into the year 2018. May it be filled with blessings for a good and healthy life for all of us! Amen ????????

In closing this brief soliloquy, I’d just like to mention that I read Wired Magazine’s latest newsletter this morning and it happens to be filled with a host of incredible stories that a decade or so ago would have made incredible science fiction stories. The future is now and it needs to be embraced. What a time to be alive!!!

  • Elon Musk has just launched the Tesla electric truck with autopilot
  • Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot has now been designed to do backflips
  • Omar Akbari is reengineering mosquitoes to self-destruct
  • A robot will land on the moon in March 2018 and beam hi-def images back to Earth

Peace out ✌️

Blurb blurb blurb

Contrary to what most people believe, the blurb at the back of a book is not simply a summary of the story, it is an advert for the book itself. It needs to hook the reader into wanting to know more after every single sentence. To get this just right is probably one of the most challenging tasks for any author because it really needs the opinions of people not directly engaged in the story.

This is why I have decided to test it in public before finalising it on my novel. I have already spent many hours drafting several versions of the blurb for Servant of Memory and this one is probably not my last. Please be so kind as to have a look and let me know if it entices you or misses the mark in any way no matter how small.

Muchas gracias ????????

“Bound by the shackles of time, Elijah Levy is in his 14th reincarnation, and on the brink of a sensational discovery that will give him the power to share his accumulated memories with the rest of the world.

But there is one memory, in particular, that attracts the attention of an evil organisation who threatens to embroil him in its iniquitous affairs. It concerns the Primordial Stone, a mythical talisman, infused with the power that was used to ignite the universe into being.

Elijah finds himself in the centre of a mystery far larger than he could ever have imagined, when he must fight to discover his true purpose and save the life of Katy Saunders, the beautiful girl of his dreams.”

Arctic Nightmare by Richard Gradner

The polar bear looked up from the bloody seal carcass, as the thundering sounds of an iceberg cleaving a large section off the ice sheet, rumbled across the tundra like a herd of stampeding bison. Shards of ice, the size of houses, crashed into the Arctic, pounding the near-freezing waters with explosive force, sending wave after powerful wave smashing back against the glacier wall like angry Poseidon pent-up in a watery cage.

A dark smear in the ice sheet was revealed, an ugly stain in the pristine, white landscape. It shifted and then bulged, threatening to break through its icy prison. Cracks began to appear, spreading through the ice like a virus; the sound of splintering glass on a thousand windowpanes, ricocheting across the barren wilderness. The cracks began to tear apart from the powerful pressure exerted by the entity beneath the frozen landscape, followed by an explosion of ice and snow that sprayed up high into the air.

Out climbed a huge dinosaur-like creature. It had a long neck with a pair of gills, an elongated body with a pair of hind legs, and a long, jagged tail. It opened its mouth to reveal three sets of razor-sharp fangs and out came an ear-splitting shriek. The creature slid across the ice on its belly, dropping into the churning ocean, disappearing into the swirling depths in search of prey to feed its emaciated body.

Sixty Three A

Beady, black, unblinking orbs

Reflecting shades of green and brown

Grip softly swaying limbs up high

Soprano cries, staccato lies;

Grey obscuring blue begins

Silent stifling wraiths above

Darker now as colours fade

Falling drops the ground accepts;

Swaying left then to the right

Revealing method in design

Breath gives life to rooted trunks

Rustling shapes respond in kind;

Tearing through the moist divide

Golden beams smelt silent shadows

Shining down on basking beasts

Sharing warmth and love divine

By: Richard Gradner

Gold! – A short story by Richard Gradner

“Senór, look.” Pablo pointed at an Amazonian pyramid that came into view.

Julio raised his hand to shield his eyes from the shafts of sunlight that cut through the canopy of trees. The familiar sound of howler monkeys echoed in the distance and a flock of colourful macaws swooped overhead as Julio gradually made his way towards the ancient relic. Pablo followed, albeit reluctantly, hopping nimbly over thick roots that twisted through the earth like the mangled tentacles of a slumbering leviathan.

Julio stopped at the foot of the ochre-coloured structure and gazed up towards its summit. He opened the palm of his right hand.”Give me the talisman” he instructed.

Pablo dropped his backpack to the ground and shoved his hand into a side pocket. “Here” He produced a brown stone disc, the size of a saucer, placing it carefully into Julio’s outstretched hand.

“Look up there” Pablo pointed at the top of the pyramid.”The air, it’s shimmering, like ripples in a stream.”

Julio ascended the steps with Pablo in tow. They reached the top of the pyramid and faced the wall of vibrating matter. It pulsed and shifted with a life of its own.

“Pablo” said Julio, pointing at a gaping hole at the foot of the shimmering wall. Julio bent down to place the stone talisman into the hole. It fit perfectly. The disc glowed softly and the wall dissolved to reveal a sight that took Julio’s breath away. “Eldorado,” he whispered. “The lost city of gold.”

 

Inferno

In my upcoming novel, Servant of Memory, I’m currently writing about the famous polymath, astronomer, physicist, philosopher and mathematician, Galileo Galilei, who gives a lecture in Florence about how to calculate the dimensions of hell in Dante’s 14th century epic poem Divine Comedy.

The famous renaissance artist, Sandro Botticelli, painted a visual interpretation of Dante’s Inferno below.

I’m really enjoying this project that combines non-fictional events in history with a fictional character who is reincarnated through multiple lives over the course of over 2,000 years.