Summer Reading for the Whole Family to take you on a Magical Trip to Bulgaria

May 28, 2018

I strongly believe that learning about your heritage and preserving your traditions in our own family is a great way to teach our children about the family’s cultural and religious history and adding to their personal identity. Observing, preserving and creating new traditions are ways of honoring our ancestors and also welcoming new members in.

This is the reason a few years ago I started writing books inspired by Bulgarian mythology and folklore, and tales learned from my grandparents in Bulgaria. What better way for the whole family to read, do activities and learn more about their heritage, or learn about another culture?

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village by Ronesa AveelaMy latest book, The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village, is not an exception.  It’s inspired by the mythological village called Zmeykovo (Dragon Village) where all mystical creatures live. It’s a perfect summer read. As soon as it was published, it became an Amazon #1 New release in Children’s Multicultural Literature.

Amazon Review: “It is a magical adventure story that is steeped in Bulgarian and Slavic myths. This is a book that will appeal to both boys and girls as it is filled with adventure and magic. Many positive messages can also be taken away from this story such as; together you’re stronger and that love is a more powerful force than hate.”

Mystical Emona: Soul's Journey bookI didn’t forget about summer reading for parents. My novel Mystical Emona, set in Bulgaria, is an inspiring story about love. It takes place in Emona, a small village on the coast of the Black Sea. It’s a place where wild horses have roamed the land since of the time of King Rez and the Thracians. In the novel, Stefan is a widowed artist from Boston, Mass, with a young daughter. He hopes moving to a secluded village on the Black Sea coast will ease his pain, and the wild, untamed beauty of this surrounding will inspire him to take up his art once again. He meets a mysterious woman and his life changes. He is drawn to her by some unknown bond, but cannot give his heart to her fully because his memories refuse to release their hold on him. Then the dreams begin. Some delightful. Others terrifying.

At the beach or at your favorite reading place, take the journey to Mystical Emona and find out if the lovers reunite. The book is sure to enchant you with its perfect blend of history, legends, rituals, and romance.

Light Love Rituals book

If you like nonfiction, I think Light Love Rituals is the book you’ll want to read. It’s recommended for children and adults from 8 to 108 who would like to take a journey and discover Bulgarian folk tales, legends, and mythology. Whether you want to learn a little about their ancient Thracian origins, or you want to experience rituals practiced throughout the year with a fictitious Bulgarian family, or even if you’re only interested in traditional Bulgarian cuisine, this book has something for everyone.

Bulgarian culture is rich in folklore and traditions surviving since the days of the ancient Thracians. As pagan and Christian religions collided, many celebrations merged into one. Light Love Rituals will take you on a journey to discover these unique festivals.

Light Love Rituals not only describes the rituals, but also makes them interesting and understandable to people of all ages. The book is divided into four seasons, beginning with winter. It includes activities where you can learn how to make martenitsi, survachka, and Easter eggs dyed with natural colors.

A short quiz after each season lets you test your knowledge of what you’ve read. To help you engage in the traditions in the book, you’ll meet Maria and her family. They’ll open the doors of their home so you can participate in these celebrations along with them. For an added taste of Bulgaria, try some of the traditional recipes at the end.

 

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Bulgarian Music and Dance

May 28, 2018

Bulgarian folk music and dance are quite different from what Americans are used to. Dances are performed by men and women in lines or circles (horo). The performers wear traditional, colorful garments of primarily white, red, and black, embellished with much embroidery. The colors and designs have meanings. White and red represent the sky and earth, the marriage of the male and female gods of creation, while black is the destruction of the earth, when it is no longer fertile. Traditionally, the embroidered designs were not symmetrical because this was considered a diabolical creation. To have symmetry was to invite the evil eye.

Bulgarian Horo

“Na Megdana” by Nelly Tonchev-Nelinda (Nelinda.com)

The dancers move their feet in fast, intricate patterns, or at times, slow and deliberate ones. They often jump and shout while they twirl around a room.

The music has an eerie, hypnotic quality to it. Common instruments are the gaida (a bagpipe made from goat’s skin), kaval (a flute-like instrument), tupan (drum), and outi (stringed instrument). In Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, Stefan hears someone singing in the forest when spring arrives. An excerpt follows:

The whistling of the wind sounded like a reverent song drifting out of the forest. He moved toward it, stopped, and spun around. The tune came from every direction, as if the forest itself sang a hymn of praise to the arrival of spring. Riveted by the music, he remained immobile until the last note drifted away like mist evaporated by the sun. So unlike any song he had ever heard, it filled him with peace, and he experienced a oneness with nature.

Maiden Horo by Nelly Tonchev - Nelinda

“Maiden Horo” by Nelly Tonchev – Nelinda (Nelinda.com)

And in another scene, preparations are being made for a wedding – gaida, zurla (another type of flute), and tupan playing at the joyous celebration.

On that glorious wedding day, festivities abounded in the village. The aroma of roasting game from the magnificent feast mingled with the fragrance of flowers decorating the streets and houses. Joyous, mellow notes of zurlas joined wailing skirls of gaidas and the steady beat of sticks against tupans. Music vibrated through the air, drowning the clamor of the multitudes.

Combine the music with the lively dance, and get swept away to another place and time. Listen to the following to get a sense of what you might have heard had you been there.

Folk music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTmF2aCEJrY

Gaida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jccGfGBkky4

Kaval: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMpxFGUDgDI

Outi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZgSj7ko9do

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_gm0j1H1kc

MEET AN AUTHOR – Heather Ramsay

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to another indie author: Heather Ramsay. When she’s not busy reading, she’s thinking of things she’d like for you to read. Here she is now. Please welcome her… and why not pick up a copy of her book?

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Hello, my name is Heather and I’m a bookaholic.

Reading is my vice. Some people prefer television, others movies, but not me. All I need is a book and a quiet place to dive in. The more books I visually consume, the more I realize I love all genres. There is just something so uplifting about a romance, exciting about a thriller, intriguing about a mystery, and wondrous about a fantasy world.

Once upon a time, I read only the most popular “it” books by traditionally published authors. After I finished one novel, I’d be off to the next one. It was through Amazon’s “customers also bought” category that I discovered indie books.

Stack of booksIt was here, out of the mainstream, where I found some of my favorite authors. After reading affordable and well written indie books, I wondered why I’d paid upwards of ten dollars for a well known author’s book. I could buy three or four indie novels for the price of one traditionally published book. My eyes were suddenly open. I began to regret all the hard earned money I’d spent on over-priced books now that I knew there were millions of hidden gems just waiting for me.

The more indie’s I devoured, the more traditionally published books became formulaic with similar storylines. I found this especially true of books in a series. Once I moved past books two or three, I started to find the rest repetitive. The protagonists were somehow always stuck in repetitive loops, doing the same thing over-and-over again expecting different results. My discovery of indie books brought my love of reading to a whole new level. These unique stories pushed the boundaries, filled with fresh views, and no fear of discussing real, gritty topics. The author’s could let their imaginations run wild with no restraints from agents or publishers.

A few years ago, I had the crazy idea to join the front lines and start writing my own novel. It began as a hobby, something to do while my husband watched TV. I wrote my book. I rewrote my book. I erased entire sections of my book and tried again. Once I finally finished it, I wondered if someone else might want to read it. Would they even *gasp* pay to read it? In the end, I decided to take the plunge. Every story has a beginning, right? Well, this is mine.

I welcome you to check out my debut romantic thriller novel, Snakebite, Alpha Squad Book 1. Let’s see if you too, prefer indie books.

Snakebite by Heather RamsayThe Alpha Squad—an elite United Nations military unit tasked with stopping the world’s most dangerous arms dealers. Their existence is shrouded in secrecy, hidden away in the New Mexico desert.

Phoenix is their newest recruit. Where she came from, nobody knows. Not even Phoenix herself. Amnesia has left her with no past, no identity. The squad is all she has. She wants to prove she belongs there – to the other soldiers, to herself, and to her commanding officer, the formidable General Cobra. Cobra is cold, hard, ruthless. And Phoenix knows he doesn’t trust her.

When they are sent to Colombia together on an assignment, something begins to change between them. They begin to form a friendship, an understanding, and maybe something more.

But Phoenix is about to learn that the past can’t stay buried forever…

Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/SnakebiteAlfaBook1

If you enjoy Snakebite, please help an indie author and leave a review. Every star counts!! 

 

About Heather Ramsay

Heather RamsayHeather Ramsay grew up in a town just outside of Toronto, Ontario. After spending a few years working and exploring California, she now resides in Pennsylvania with her family.

Personal trainer, yoga teacher, and group exercise instructor by trade, her true passion is writing. An avid reader and make believer from a young age, Heather dreamed of one day publishing her own book. When not reading or writing, you can often find her training, spending time with family, or chasing around a toddler.

 

Find Heather here:

Website: www.heatherramsayauthor.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/hramsay

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/HeatherRamsay

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-ramsay

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorhramsay

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorHRamsay

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AuthorHRamsay

Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/authorhramsay

Independent Author of the Week Angelique S Anderson

This past week A Reader Recommends has promoted the work of talented author Angelique S. Anderson. Check here every week for more authors who may pique your interest.

A Reader Recommends

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Q + A

1. Where is your favorite place to write?
I really love waiting until everyone has gone to sleep, and the animals are tucked in so that I can write when it is absolutely silent.
2. Which book influenced you to become a writer?
Honestly, I’ve been writing since I was about seven. It was a way to deal with my tumultuous childhood. I just didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I tried everything else.
3. You have a strong social conscience, how does this reflect in your writing?
Everything I write touches on not bullying, acceptance, awareness of each other and our different classes. Whether it’s my fantasy series, or my newer steampunk themed books. Kindness, looking out for each other, acceptance, and looking beyond social norms are a huge deal to me.
4. What stimulates your writing muse, coffee, tea, chocolate, another?
I…

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MEET RONESA AVEELA

Ronesa Aveela​ is featured today on Lucinda E Clarke​’s blog. Why not visit and browse for some other talented authors. Thank you, Lucinda, for taking so much time to support other authors.

lucinda E Clarke

My guest this week is a prolific writer with a wide range of interests and hails from Bulgaria. She has included lots of facts about her country, so I have included a map to show you where it is. (I wasn’t exactly sure myself). Let me hand over to my guest.

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Ronesa Aveela is a Bulgarian-born freelance artist and writer, who now resides in the U.S. She likes writing mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. In her free time, she paints. Her artistic interests include the female figure, Greek and Thracian mythology, folklore tales, and the natural world interpreted through her eyes. Ronesa is married and has two children.

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Her debut novel, Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, was inspired by a visit to this out-of-the-way village located on the Black Sea. The wild beauty of this mystical place, a land and its people and history hidden from the world…

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Stream One – Goylake Publishing

April 20, 2018

Bendideia Publishing is partnering with Goylake Publishing located in Wales.

Look to these pages for some great books. One in particular I’ll mention is The Hermit of Hisarya, by Hannah Howe.

Some people will stop at nothing in their pursuit of wealth and power. Indeed, the greedy will often resort to murder.

“You’ve been through a stressful time recently, ” my fiance, Dr Alan Storey said. “I’m off to Bulgaria to attend a psychology conference so why don’t you accompany me and we’ll throw in a holiday as well.”

Great idea, I thought. However, when I arrived in Bulgaria my inquisitive nature compelled me towards a mystery dating back to the Second World War. That mystery involved Emil Angelov, the Hermit of Hisarya. As I delved into the past I stirred up some ghosts, which led to murder and the prospect of spending the rest of my days in a Bulgarian gaol.

The Hermit of Hisarya – a story of corruption, of murder, of a woman and her seventy-year-old dream, offering proof that the past, the present and the future are all intrinsically entwined.

If you haven’t read the Sam Smith series, you can start with this one, or jump to the beginning. Each one is its own unique story, but Sam’s story progresses with each additional story.

You can find Hannah’s books here: https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Howe/e/B00OK7E24E/

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Goylake Publishing is named after a stream. Our enterprise is built around sales, business and author partnership streams. Therefore, our blog posts are numbered streams 🙂 We hope you enjoy them.

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Business mastermind Daniela Jones established Goylake Publishing in 2010 to publish local history books and websites. Daniela has a university degree and a long experience of creating small businesses, founding her first company shortly after leaving university. Daniela still owns Goylake Publishing and oversees its business activities. In her spare time, Daniela competes in triathlons and this year she will participate in Ironman Wales.

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We love music at Goylake Publishing. Indeed, our author Hannah Howe loves music so much she teamed up with children’s author Denise McCabe to form a virtual group, The Screetchers. The Screetchers promise to ‘sing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order’ (!) Okay, we’ll admit, these authors can’t sing, but they can write. Check out their books for proof of that statement.

Over the past eight years Goylake Publishing has had the pleasure of working with many creative people. One of our creative collaborations involved Downwood Film Productions who made this promotional film for A History of Kenfig. A History of Kenfig sold over 1,000 copies on publication and is still a popular title, especially at gift times. Downwood make excellent local history films and we urge you to explore their titles.

To date, Goylake Publishing has published ten audio books with more to follow. This isn’t one of ours, but we played a minor part in the book’s development and are looking forward to listening to it.

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When Daniela Jones established Goylake Publishing in 2010 her initial aim was to sell 100 books in the first six months. Eight years and over 100,000 downloads later…

Through the power of the Internet, Goylake Publishing’s books have reached the number one position on Amazon’s charts in America and Australia, the top five in Brazil, Japan and Canada, the top ten in Britain, and the top twenty in France and the Netherlands.

Goylake Publishing, the local publisher with international reach.