February 28, 2014

MARTISOR -Traditional Romanian Celebration

Mărțișor ( [mərtsiʃor]) is an old Romanian celebration at the beginning of spring, on March the 1st, which according to old calendar was also considered as the beginning of the new year. Symbolically, it is correlated to women and to fertility as a means of life and continuity. Alike though not identical customs can be found in Bulgaria, while similar ones exist in Albania, Greece and Italy.

The name Mărțișor is the diminutive of marț, the old folk name for March (Martie, in modern Romanian), and thus literally means "little March". It is also the folk name for this month. Some ethnologists believe that the Mărțișor celebration has Roman origins, others support the theory that it is an old Dacian tradition.

Mărțișor, marț and mărțiguș are all names for the red and white string from which a small decoration is tied, and which is offered by people on the 1st day of March. Giving this talisman to people is an old custom, and it is believed that the one who wears the red and white string will be strong and healthy for the year to come. It is also a symbol of the coming spring. Usually, both women and men wear it pinned to their clothes, close to the heart, until the last day of March, when they tie it to the branches of a fruit-tree. In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most of its talisman properties and became more of a symbol of friendship or love, appreciation and respect. The black threads were replaced with red, but the delicate wool ropes are still a ‘cottage industry’ among people in the countryside, who comb out the wool, dye the floss, and twist it into thousands of tassels. In some areas the amulets are still made with black and white ropes, for warding off evil.

                Nowadays, on March 1, Romanians buy silky red-white threads tied into a bow to which a small trinket is attached and offer them to the (female) family members, friends and colleagues to show friendship, respect or admiration.

February 23, 2014

Shadows of the Past - snippet for Sneek-A-Peek Sunday

I thank Sara Ellwood  and her Sneak Peek Sunday blog hop, for this opportunity of further promoting my paranormal romance
                             Shadows of the Past,
                 released by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

             Here is an excerpt from this touching, compelling story:

"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."

Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"

Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.

Calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."

With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.

"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.

Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.


Buy Links: Wild Child Publishing
                  All Romance

February 21, 2014

Book Reviews (XXVI)

Ladies Night


Carol Malone

Book Description

Publication Date: September 4, 2013

Los Angeles, 1954 ... Gangsters, crime, boxing – and romance ...

Jimmy Doherty, a hard-luck orphan from the south side of Chicago, was mentored in the sweet science of boxing by Father Tim Brophy, the Battling Priest of St. Vincent's Asylum for Boys. Jimmy’s fists were good enough to take him to LA where he has begun his rise up the local fight-cards. He has big plans to be a contender and even bigger plans for Lindy – his trainer’s only daughter, who's sweeter than apple pie and harder to resist.

But when Lindy is arrested for killing a boxer with ties to gangster Mickey Cohen, Jimmy is forced to join forces with the arresting detective – who would like to do much more with Lindy than put her in handcuffs – in a desperate search for the real killer.

Love can be murder – in the ring and out ...

My Review
The first pages plunge us directly into the tragedy that hits Jimmy’s family. The story starts in 1945, Chicago, introducing Jimmy Doherty, eleven years old,  who attends the Requiem Mass  held at  the death,  in the war, of his father, better known as The Fightin’Irishman.  Several months later, not able to recover from the grief of losing her husband, Jimmmy’s mother dies too.

Aunt Alice’s words  Jimmy Patrick Doherty’s strong, tough and a survivor can characterize the development of this beautfully penned story. After the death of his aunt, Jimmy is taken to an Asylium for boys. We meet him ten years later in Los Angeles. Oh, but I am not going to tell you the story. I hate spoilers. You have to read the book and see how things develop.

The author proves a deep knowledge of  fight game terms and elements. Even the cahpters of the book are named as in box fighting – round. Well written -  with a carefully built plot and consistent

I loved the characters the author, Jill Tunney aka Carol Malone, created from the very first moment I met them in the story. Jimmy, Lindy, their emotional journey, detective DeLuca Marc. The character that went straight to my heart is Lindy Dominic, a woman who is, according to Jimmy’s words, full of compassion and intelligence. Read the story and you’ll understand why.If you are looking for a story with meaning and with growth, this is one for you. All in all a great young adult story.  It was a pleasure to read a well written and researched novel.

I think this one deserves a  solid 4.

February 19, 2014

Book Reviews (XXV)

Not Juliet


Ella Medler

Book Description

Publication Date: February 10, 2014
Riella Smith, an unconventional Romany Princess, travels to Tuscany on the trail of her father’s challenger, to delay him and prevent unnecessary bloodshed and humiliation. What she expects is trouble from a fearsome rival. But life is rarely that easy.

The trouble she finds is of a different kind. Soon, she faces the toughest decision of her life – again – though it should really be a no-brainer. All she has to do is choose between her people and a myth.

After all, there’s no such thing as love at first sight.

About the author:
Ella Medler is a U.K. author and free-lance editor. She writes fiction in more than one genre in a seemingly vain attempt to slow down her overactive brain enough to write non-fiction on subjects she knows a thing or two about. She also does not believe in the starchy use of English and ignores the type of rule that doesn’t allow for a sentence to be finished in a preposition. Her books are action-driven and well-developed characters are her forte. Loves: freedom. Hates: her inner censor.

To keep up to date with her current writing and future projects, visit her website at http://ellamedler.wordpress.com/

My Review
Having already read two of  Ella Medler's previous books, Martin Little Resurrected and Blood is Heavier, I was very interested to read Not Juliet. I must say it was a pleasant surprise to discover the author’s creative imagination in a compelling romance. 
The first chapter introduces Riella, a Roma girl, the king’s daughter, Goliath Petulengro’s only offspring. She guiltily thinks of her decision to leave the Romany settlement.   
Riella has romantic dreams and expectations for a second half that would complete her soul. A great kisser, so warm soft lips would be a must. Eyes to get lost in, deep and dark… She searched for the perfect Romeo to her Juliet.  
Her romantic dreams are shattered by the cruel hands of tragedy. She finds the camp on fire, one of the women accusing her of the tragedy, and finds her father severely ill. The fire crew confirms it was arson. Someone wants her father dead.
 Riella embarks on a search for the arsonist with the intention to ask him, to beg, if necessary, to allow her father live his last days in peace. But I won’t tell you how the story develops. Grab a copy and find out. You won’t regret. 
Not Juliet is full of suspense that keeps you turning page after page. The plot and characters are very well written, the story flows extremely well and it's one of those books you don't want to put down.

                                   I rate it Five Stars