August 27, 2016
LOCATION: Southern New Hampshire, USA, EDT
# of PRIZES: 4
*2 audio books: The Christmas Thief
WINNERS: JOY NWOSU LO-BAMIJOKO & NATALIE DUCEY
*1 ebook: Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey
WINNER: C. S. BOYACK
*1 ebook: Light Love Rituals: Bulgarian Myths, Legends, and Folklore
WINNER: HANNAH HOWE
You are nearing the end of the RRBC Book & Blog Party. We hope you’ve had a pleasant time and have met a lot of wonderful, talented authors. If you’ve missed any, here’s a link for you to go back and visit the others:
While you’re here, please leave a non-spam comment on this page for a chance to win one of the above prizes. Contest ends midnight CDT, August 27, 2016. Winners will be drawn by RRBC and announced shortly after the contest ends.
Want to learn more about Ronesa? Check out her RRBC Spotlight interview.
The Land of Bulgaria
MYSTICAL EMONA: SOUL’S JOURNEY
We’d like to start you off with what inspired “Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey.” Henry James once said, “It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.”
So, while the main theme of the story is soul mates finding each other after centuries apart, the book unveils much more than a love story. It’s a story about the modern Bulgarian people and their culture. The book introduces readers to ancient Thracian customs and rituals that have survived through the ages. As one reviewer stated so beautifully: “The relationships are handled with loving care as the story weaves a tapestry of ancient myths and traditions, mingled with the world of today.”
An RRBC Book of the Month Selection
In addition to these traditions, the wild beauty of a real village called Emona was the inspiration behind this book. This secluded, mystical place located on the Black Sea, its people hidden from the eyes of the world, is filled with history and a soul of its own – from being the legendary birthplace of Thracian king Rhesus, who fought in the Trojan War, to being the site of a fortress during the Middle Ages.
Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100485397/mystical-emona-where-ancient-legends-are-still-alive-to-this-day
LIGHT LOVE RITUALS: BULGARIAN MYTHS, LEGENDS, AND FOLKLORE
Bulgarians take pride in their heritage and culture, which is rich in colorful folklore and traditions. The nation practices more than ten thousand rites from a person’s birth through his death. Many of these date back to an era when people both feared and worshiped nature. In the process of writing Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, I found myself asking “Why?” on numerous occasions. Why did people do the things they did? Those “whys” resulted in further research. What were the origins of these customs and rituals? What did they mean?
What I discovered was an overlap of pagan and Christian beliefs. Many customs originated in the days when Thracians inhabited the area that is now modern-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. So much of the material I read said Bulgarian traditions had Thracian origins, but few articles delved into what those Thracian beliefs actually were. So I continued digging.
This book is a summation of many months spent researching. Although I did search for reliable sources to validate the claims articles made, Light Love Rituals is not meant to be a scholarly document. Nor is it an exhaustive study of rituals. Its purpose is to provide readers with a glimpse into Bulgarian culture. It’s information I found interesting and wanted to share, so other people could take the same journey to discover the way others live and believe.
The following, among many other traditions, are part of the cultural heritage thriving in the Balkans today. The book will take you on a journey to discover some of these unique festivals.
- Illuminated by the light of the full moon, a woman in a long, white robe holds an icon while she dances in a trance over burning coals. The mystical music of a shepherd’s pipe plays in the background.
- Women dressed in colorful outfits dance in a circle, then pass through an enormous wreath made of magical healing herbs.
- Wild spring flowers decorate the hair of young girls. Laden with baskets filled with colorful Easter eggs, the youths travel from house to house singing about health and prosperity.
- Men clothed like wild animals with colorful, scary masks parade around a village. Attached around their waists, giant bells resound, announcing their arrival. The men jump and yell to scare away evil spirits.
These rituals have survived thousands of years and have been practiced by Bulgarians, Greeks, and other European. They have been transmitted from generation to generation. Some of these stories and rituals may seem silly, but the fact that they survive today is a testament to just how strong the forces of nature and love are. We encourage you to follow us on this blog tour to discover more about these people and their wealth of traditions and beliefs.
Praise for LLR: This is a charming and interesting book. I was hooked from the start. Our author takes us on an interesting journey to the heart and soul of Bulgaria. The details in this book made me feel as if I was in this ancient and marvelous country. There are instructions to make crafts and, being a story teller at heart, I loved the anecdotal passages. There is also a charming collection of delicious recipes. I loved the illustrations. I thought they added to the excitement and energy of each of the customs. This book will appeal to a wide audience from children to grandparents whether you are from Bulgaria or not. It’s educational, fun and very entertaining. I recommend it highly.
Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100570702/anelia-toncheva-the-magic-of-bulgarian-folklore-changes-bulgaria-s-perception-abroad
BABA TREASURE CHEST series of short stories / coloring books for children and adults
After writing these two books, we turned our pen to lighter fare: children’s books. These, too, have Bulgarian customs woven into the story. Although we say these short stories are for children, they are really for the entire family–in the tradition of Bulgarian storytelling, where grandparents preserve customs and pass on traditions to their grandchildren. And they are more than stories. They are activities and coloring pages to provide further entertainment for the entire family.
Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100638950/the-christmas-thief-or-tales-from-babas-treasure-chest-with-anelia-toncheva
Do You Like Mermaids?
Mermaid’s Gift, short story and coloring book, part of the “Baba Treasure Chest” collection.
Mermaids Around the World, an adult coloring book with 26 lovely designs by the talented Nelinda. Each page has the name of the mermaid, her origin, and a tidbit of information about her.
Thank you for visiting. We hope you have learned a little a country many people are unaware of. Please be sure to leave a comment by the end of today, August 27, 2016, for an opportunity to win one of our prizes.
All of our books are available on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, & Smashwords. Discounts are available on the paperback versions of MYSTICAL EMONA, LIGHT LOVE RITUALS, and THE MIRACLE STORK. Contact us for discounts on the others.
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