Hermit Crabs: Pets or Not?

What child hasn’t wanted a pet? But taking care of them is a serious matter, and even adults find they can’t always fully commit to the care of, say, a cat or dog. Rebecca and I both had cats and dogs growing up. I also had parrots and guinea pigs, and Rebecca’s family had chickens, turtles, birds, and a white rat. But there were always cats. In Rebecca’s case, lots and lots of cats all at one time.

When I stared the Seababies Adventure series, I researched the sea creatures that would appear in the books. I wanted to share knowledge about them with our young readers. One of the books is about Seamore, a funky little hermit crab. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the ocean or in the stores at the boardwalk gift shop. Tiny little things with painted shells.

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Many people buy them, but when they return home from vacation. They’re unsure how to care for them. I wanted to get a hermit crab a few times. I was going to name him Seamore, after the character in our book. However, after learning facts about the crabs, I changed my mind for good.

On the beach in their natural habitat, they’re happy, splashing like Seamore and playing with other crabs. But when they’re taken from their wild environment, their story becomes sad. Not only does it hurt the environment to take them away, it hurts the creatures themselves.

Even though their name has “hermit” in it, the crabs are quite sociable and live in communities. I read somewhere that they are called hermits because they carry their home with them. This is often a shell another creature has outgrown. Hermit crabs, too, change their home as they grow.

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When taken into captivity, some of them die from loneliness. Also, unlike cats or dogs, hermit crabs are stressed the more you touch them. They’re not pettable pets.

You also have to make sure their environment is suitable for them. They need a special diet and don’t like to be bathed as a lot of people think. Calcium in the sand could kill them.

Maybe you’ve decided you want to buy the crabs so you can release them back into the ocean. Although altruistic, it’s not a good idea to return crabs to the wild. One of the reasons is that the ones you buy in stores may carry bacteria or contagious viruses that would infect crab colonies.

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That’s not to say, the situation can’t work. There’s a happy story about a hermit crab and his owner. They have been best friends for more than 40 years, and now they both live in a retirement home together. You can watch this video about them: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2jPGbZRGKpo.

While I was doing my crabby research, I found an organization that provides information on how to care for crabs. You can adopt one or become a foster parent them if you’re interested. Their link is here: https://lhcos.org/our-history/.

They are a registered non profit. CrabStreetJournal.org is where they share all of their care guides. Crabcon.org is the page for their annual convention.

Here’s another great video about crab facts that can help you to make the right decision: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kvfToWMiyTw.

I hope our book Seamore Sees More brings awareness about this topic. The next time you see this cute little creature with painted shell in a gift shop, it’s best not to buy it. Perhaps this will discourage the trend of crabs being taken from their homes for pets. Or, if you do get one, first educate yourself on how to care for the creature. Reach out to these organizations to help you make a decision or learn how to care for a crab as a pet.

Please follow our Kickstarter campaign to know immediately when it launches.

You’ll learn more about crabs and other sea creatures and get some great books and merchandise to go along with them: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/seababies-adventures.

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The Power of Friendship

Overcoming difficulties and differences with the power of friendship

July has been an exciting month.

First, I’ve been accepted as a lifetime member of the Virginia Writers Club. I’m flattered and honored to have received this recognition, and I’d like to say thank you to my friend Rebecca, who is the other half of Ronesa.

The club was founded in 1918, as they say, “to make Richmond an influence in the world of letters and to line it up with other literary centers of the country.” From their website, the club’s mission is “to support and stimulate the art, craft, and business of writing, as well as advocate the literary arts in the broader Virginia community.”

Second, Rebecca and I are continuing our writing journey with our latest book series, Seababies Adventures, which is inspired by the ocean and the power of friendship.

Seababies

The books bring awareness to challenges common during childhood. Everyone has a story about one or more difficulties they’ve overcome as a child. They may not seem overwhelming to us now, but as a child, they may have been traumatic and caused fear of being ridiculed by other children.

Losing your front teeth and not being able to pronounce some words correctly. Having to wear glasses or braces. Moving to a new state (or country) and being “different” from the rest of the kids in your class. If you were lucky, you found friends who supported and encouraged you.

The Seababies Adventures was inspired by these challenges. Each story brings awareness to a childhood problem. The tales teach children to value friendships and teamwork and that it is okay to be unique. I use sea creatures to tell these stories, not only because of my love of the ocean, but also as a way to introduce young readers to ocean life.

In the first book, you’ll meet Whimsea, a charming little mermaid full of energy and love. She comes from a different place, which makes it difficult for her to achieve what comes easily to others. She learns that different can be cool and something she can be proud of. Book two is about Seamore, a little crab with googly eyes, and book three features Cupcake, a jellyfish. Both overcome problems and fears and help support their friends in the process.

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Seamore

To go along with the books, I have created clay figurines and a board game. They will take your children on a magical learning journey.

In our books, we strive to promote diversity and cultural awareness. In the Seababies Adventures, you’ll also learn fun facts about the creatures and their lives in the magical kingdom of MerrowLand.

We’ll be launching this project on Kickstarter. To get notified when we go live and be among the first to get cool perks, follow our Kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/1290677991. If you want to be kept aware of updates, sign up for our newsletter.

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Magical World Dream Builder – Alexander Petkov

Years ago, when we started writing about Bulgarian and Slavic traditions and folklore, Nelly created all of the illustrations, but we wanted to do more to promote these traditions from Eastern Europe. We found a way by commissioning rising stars and well-known artists and illustrators for our books. 

We are excited to share that we have a new star working on the illustrations for our next book in the Spirits & Creatures series: “Baba Yaga.”

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Alexander Petkov’s work is inspiring and unique. We first saw examples of his talent through illustrations and a cover he’d created for another Bulgarian author: Silviya Rankova, who writes children’s stories.

Fay The Maple Fairy and The Tree Doctor by Silviya Rankova

The Very Stubborn Camel by Silviya Rankova

Not only are these covers exemplary because of their fascination use of shadows and light, but the characters are fabulously expressive.

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From Fay the Maple Fairy by Silviya Rankova

From The Very Stubborn Camel by Silviya Rankova

We wanted to write a review about his inspiring style, but we’ll let this talented artist with Bulgarian roots speak for himself, and let his illustrations take you on a magical journey.

Alexander PetkovAlexander Petkov

I call my work as an artist “the once upon a time syndrome.” It is influenced by the richly told and illustrated tales in books I read as a child and the stories my grandparents shared with me. It is soaked with the visuals of my childhood experiences – the magic of sunlight  bursting through the cool, mysterious shadows of the woods, the never ending up-and-down intriguing line of a mountain silhouette over the horizon… About a 1000 years later, all those experiences still play with my imagination, giving me the joy to find a wink and a giggle even in the darkest grays.

I am a freelance artist-illustrator based in the Chicago, IL area. For the last several years creating mostly digitally. I’ve worked on numerous illustration projects directly with individual writers, Parnas Press, Fantasy Flight Games.

You can see most of my recent works and join me on my visual adventures at:

https://society6.com/alexpart

https://www.artstation.com/alexpart

https://www.instagram.com/alexpdreams/

https://www.facebook.com/alexander.petkov1

Contact: alexpartcomm@gmail.com

All Images are copyright by Alex Petkov.

 

More Kickstarter FUN

Our Kickstarter campaign will be ending at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, May 26. This will be your final opportunity to snag a copy of the deluxe print copy. It won’t be made available in retail stores until late November. And, if you want a digital copy, now’s your chance. We won’t be offering it through any retailer.

Visit our Kickstarter page now so you don’t miss out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=4clmvo

While you’re there, check out these awesome ongoing campaigns. You won’t regret it.

Nohlty - Godsverse

Godsverse Chronicles: The complete portal fantasy series Kickstarter campaign

Are you obsessed with mythology?

Are you gaga for monsters?

Do you love exploring new fictional worlds?

Then you’ll love my twelve book portal fantasy series, The Godsverse Chronicles (covers and reading order listed in the image above).

Portal fantasy is my absolutely FAVORITE genre of fiction, whether it’s The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, The Magicians, His Dark Materials, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe The Hazel Wood, Caraval, Ten Thousand Doors of January, Peter Pan, Coraline, or literally any other book about characters traveling to different places, worlds, realities, they are my jam.

If it has portals, then I’m there, and the Godsverse Chronicles has just about every portal story you can imagine.

Across the twelve books of the series, the main characters of the Godsverse travel to Heaven, Hell, Mount Olympus, Valhalla, other dimensions, different planets, time, space, and reality on their adventures across Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, and Judeo-Christian mythology.

Before this campaign, there were seven novels and three graphic novels in The Godsverse Chronicles.

Now we’re BACK on Kickstarter to complete the series with four more books with Kickstarter exclusive covers that will never be printed again!

In total, there are now 11 novels and 1 novella in this series. The entire series in reading order is listed above, and is discussed below.

This campaign features FOUR new portal fantasy novels, including And Magic Followed Behind Her, And Evil Followed Behind Her, And Time Followed Behind Her, and And Heaven Followed Behind Them, and a prequel novella which comes included in every pledge.

Dark Side of New Orleans

This one was so cool that I backed it right away. So much spooky fun!

Eerie Ghosts and Vampires of the New Orleans French Quarter

An exclusive pair of spooky, self-guided tours created by two Big Easy storytellers. In ebook, print, and audio. Enjoyable anywhere!

Do you love ghost stories?

Do vampires intrigue you?

Are you curious about New Orleans and her haunted past?

If so, then our project – The Dark Side of New Orleans – is right up your alley!

One Halloween, my husband, Dan, and I decided to join a nighttime ghost tour through the legendary New Orleans French Quarter. Although we appreciated the theatrical enthusiasm of our tour guide and relished strolling through the historic streets of our neighborhood, listening to assorted tales of tragic hauntings, the experience ultimately let us down.

The unwieldy size of our group made it tough for us to hear the guide and, worse, kept us from immersing ourselves in the haunting ambience of the city’s oldest district.

In search of a more riveting, less restrictive experience, we decided to create an affordable, self-guided excursion of our own, one that would blend our love of scary stories and our fervor for New Orleans with our desire for autonomy.

Eventually, we produced two self-guided audio tours of the French Quarter – In the Footsteps of Ghosts (featuring 15 spooky locales) and Strolling Among Vampires (one nocturnal bloodsucker’s first-person account of 11 riveting sites). Together, they present classic stories as well as never-before-heard tales, with just enough immersive sound effects to enhance the creepy vibe. Our initial listeners loved them, relishing the stories as well as the flexibility of our tours – particularly the fact that they could take them at any time of day, at their convenience, and even pause the tours between meals and other diversions.

We’d created these excursions out of a mutual passion for history, storytelling, the Big Easy, and all the things that bump and bite in the night, but eventually, we realized that we were limiting ourselves – and our tours. We longed to spread the love, so to speak – and send our creations beyond the confines of the French Quarter.

So, that brings me to this Kickstarter campaign – our very first ever.

What’s Special About This Book?

If this is news to you, our campaign is about the book people have been asking for. It provides lots of fascinating information about the herbs that make up a Bulgarian Eniovden (Midsummer’s) wreath.

I, too, was curious what herbs made up the 77½ in the wreath, so I researched old Bulgarian books and articles and finally discovered a list. That is how the idea of “77½ Magical Healing Herbs” was born.

In this unique book, you’ll also learn about well-known healers from Bulgarian history. Baba Vanga is one whom many people these days have heard about. She’s a clairvoyant who’s been called the Nostradamus of Balkans and has predicted many events that have happened in our lifetimes. But she was also an herbal healer. All the healers from the past were not treated kindly or with respect, however. In the tenth century, the Bogomils were burned like the Salem witches. These are only two of the healers mentioned in the book.

I have been blessed to know talented Bulgarian painter Keazim Issinov. With his permission, we have included in the book five of his one-of-a-kind paintings of Bulgarian healers.

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The bulk of the book focuses on the Midsummer’s Day herbs—all 77 (and a half) of them. It’s an ultimate guide to tap into knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation.

More than 200 eye-catching images illustrate the book, including a full-page botanical image, to help you recognize the herbs, along with the descriptions. But the book contains much more information.

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Water Clover PDF2 with border for KS

Historical facts and traditions will take you back to school days, while medical, culinary, and magical uses will have you heading to the kitchen or garden store. Fun facts, legends, and recipes fill the pages. Or perhaps you’ll just want to forget about everything that’s going on in the world and bury yourself in the book.

The book is for anyone who wants to widen their knowledge about herbs and also learn about Slavic traditions and beliefs. It will satisfy your curiosity and widen the horizons of your mind. It’s the perfect gift that will make a beautiful coffee-table book.

Here’s your chance to learn how to make basic recipes and discover fun facts, lore, and magical beliefs.

But you can only do it if you back this campaign through Kickstarter. The print version won’t be available on any retailer until the end of the year. Backers get advance copies. Head on over to Kickstarter now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

FREE Sci-fi Books

It’s the final week of our campaign. This is your last opportunity to get FREE ebooks in addition to your pledge. Support us at any pledge level before the campaign ends, and you’ll receive these books along with all the goodies in your pledge level. Everyone who has already backed the project will get these ebooks added to their rewards at no additional cost.

So, head on over to out Kickstarter campaign and select any pledge level before 9 p.m., Thursday, May 26 to get these books: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

Week 2 Perks

Cold Between Stars (The Echo 1) by Belinda Crawford

In the dark, empty space between solar systems, something lies in wait.

It’s pretty easy being a ship kid; clean out the cyclers, avoid your sister, don’t get sucked into space. The hardest bit about it is spending a couple of decades in stasis/sleep while your ship travels to the next solar system. Then rinse and repeat all the way back to a home you’ve never seen.

Except I just got kicked out of stasis early, like years early. And I’m alone.

All. Alone.

Except for the fug.

The Echo trilogy is an epic sci-fi series. With aliens, spaceships, big arse mechs and an LGBTQI+ hero having a REALLY bad day, it’s perfect for fans of The Expanse, Murderbot and Alien.

www.belindacrawford.com

Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western by Jonathan Fesmire

Murdered by a wanted outlaw and resurrected by a secret inventor in the basement of a brothel, U.S. Marshal James “Bodacious” Creed must find the killer to protect a city and those he loves.

Lucky Logan by J. R. Frontera

Before he was a rancher and a family man, Logan Delano was a 15-year-old orphan, running in an outlaw gang led by the ruthless Paul Johnson. In the wilds of the Independent Americas, under the merciless eye of Kill ‘Em All Paul, having any kind of conscience just might land you dead.

Unfortunately for Logan, it seems he’s still got part of his…

LUCKY LOGAN is a prequel novella to the gritty, gun-slingin’, gadget-laden 6-book steampunk western series The Legacy of Lucky Logan! If you love the quippy dialogue, stare-downs and shoot-outs of The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and the action, adventure and artifacts of Indiana Jones, you’re gonna love this series!

“…such cruel, manipulative characters in an unforgiving world beautifully juxtaposed with kindness and generosity. I love it.” — Roger Clark, Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption II

(Look for the audiobooks of the main series, narrated by Roger Clark, available wherever audiobooks are sold!)

PLEASE NOTE: This series contains adult themes, situations, and language. Additionally, the steampunk elements are a semi-slow build, appearing in a “lost civilization is rediscovered” kind of way.

www.jrfrontera.com

Kickstarter Challenge Results

And… the results are in. Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you had as much fun as we did during this event.

CHALLENGE WINNERS

For those who missed it, the official winners of the challenges are below.

Kickstarter Challenge 1: Lesly

Kickstarter Challenge 2: Jane

Kickstarter Challenge 3: Lesly (for both parts)

But everyone who participate is a winner! Thank you so much for taking the time to submit your responses and learning more about herbs in the process. It was fun, and I had a blast doing this with all of you. I hope you enjoy your prizes.

CHALLENGE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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Kickstarter Challenge 1 Answer: Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), Marigold (Calendula officinalis), Lavender (Lavandula vera)

Samodivi Apothecary Cream

500 g of organic olive oil
1 handful of marigold petals, elderflower, and died lavender

Warm up the olive oil in a clean pan over low heat. Add the marigold petals. Leave it on the stove for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 24 hours. Reheat two more times and then strain out the flowers. When it’s cool, store the ointment in a jar in a dark cool place.

If you don’t like olive oil, substitute coconut oil or shea butter. You can also add beeswax to the recipe, but Diva’s recommendation is to keep it easy and simple.

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Kickstarter Challenge 2 Answer: Yellow bedstraw or Lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum)

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Kickstarter Challenge 3 Answer: This was a trick question, because the answer is ALL of the herbs listed can be found in a Znahar’s garden. Each herb from the magical Eniovden wreath is used for medicinal or magical uses throughout the year.

For the second part of the challenge, the five herbs in particular we were thinking of are Fennel (Foenicilum officinale), Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), Nettle (Urtica dioica), Summer savory (Satureja hortensis), and Water clover / Raskovnik (Marsilea quadrifolia).

Our Campaign Is Ending Soon

Our campaign is ending on Thursday, May 26, at 9 p.m. Eastern time. If you’d like to learn more about the herbs in this book, head on over there and pledge at the level of your choice: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

Kickstarter Challenge #3 – Magical Herbal Garden

And here’s our final challenge.

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There are multiple herbs that qualify. The first person to guess 5 of these herbs that might grow in this garden will receive a digital copy of our children’s book about a Znahar, Born From the Ashes.

If you also guess the 5 herbs  we’ve selected for this garden, you’ll also get a digital copy of Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, our fantasy romance in which a Znahar is one of minor the characters.

To participate, head on over to our Kickstarter campaign and check out the full instructions in the UPDATES section: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

If you want to qualify for the prize, you MUST submit your answer on Kickstarter in the COMMENTS section. Include “KS Challenge 3” in your response.

Kickstarter Challenge #2 – Queen of the Herbs

Do you think you know herbs? Today and tomorrow, we will be holding a challenge to test your knowledge with information from our book. (We apologize for not posting the first challenge. There was a mixup in the posting time.) Prizes are available for the winners and will be announced on Friday, May 20.

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The first person to name the right plant will receive a digital copy of our book of dragon fairy tales, Dragons Tales of Eastern Europe.

The contest ends at 9 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow (Thursday, May 19) or when we get a correct answer.

The final contest will be posted on Thursday.

To participate, head on over to our Kickstarter campaign and check out the full instructions in the UPDATES section: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

If you want to qualify for the prize, you MUST submit your answer on Kickstarter in the COMMENTS section. Include “KS Challenge 2” in your response. Responses left on our website are invalid.

Why You Should Back on Kickstarter

You may or may not be familiar with Kickstarter. So, before we tell you the benefits of backing on Kickstarter rather than buying through a retailer, we’ll tell you what this platform is.

It’s a crowdfunding platform. But, unlike many others out there, Kickstarter is a place where people promote CREATIVE PROJECTS to potential backers. It’s a way to test the market to see if the product is something that consumers desire.

What it’s NOT: It’s not a platform for people looking for money for personal goals. You won’t find charities or general fund raisers on Kickstarter. You won’t be donating to a cause.

Instead, on Kickstarter, backers are helping creators support a PROJECT with an outcome—whether it’s a book, a game, a movie, or some other creative endeavor.

The same as a retailer, right?

No. That’s where the similarities end.

On Kickstarter, you can receive more than a book. Creators BUNDLE rewards. These can be digital or physical, or even services like consulting or training. As you help the creator reach his funding goal, he’ll return the favor and offer you incentives and perks as a thank you.

Even more than that, backing on Kickstarter lets you get to know more about the product than a simple description on a retailer can provide you. The “Story” section digs deeper into what’s on offer. You’ll find samples and behind-the-scenes details. Kickstarter allows creators to share why they are producing this product and what is unique about it.

Kickstarter also lets you get to know the creator better, and he or she gets to know and interact with fans. That’s impossible to do on a retailer.

We hope you’ll join us on this venture. You’ll get all kinds of cool perks if you back the project to help us achieve our goal of producing this informative book.

You can find the on-going campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ronesa-aveela/77-1-2-magical-healing-herbs-the-secret-power-of-herbs?ref=a23n7m

Herbs Cover Image with Project we Love

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