Moonday’s Heroic Hunk: Isacc Asimov

AsimovWhile completing an interview recently, I was asked a question about favorite authors. I hadn’t thought of Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) in years. I had read and reread his scifi novels often but had moved on to history and nonfiction. Not just as a writer, but as a teacher, lecturer, and humanist, Isaac Asimov was a real hero. He was one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote or edited more than 500 books. Asimov was a master of hard science fiction. One of my all-time favorite series and Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series, with the Galactic Empire series, and the Robot series. Together, the novels created an amazing comprehensive scifi story. If you’re a fan of scifi and haven’t read Asimov, you’re in for a treat. Also, today I’m blogging about creating new worlds at a new scifi/fantasy group blog with a half-dozen scifi/fantasy authors at Worlds of the Imagination (http://worldsoftheimagination.wordpress.com/). Check out my previous blogs on the new SyFy series, Defiance. Next week, An Island Hero. Rita Bay

Moonday’s Not-so-heroic Hunk in History: Ares

F10_2Aphrodite& Ares PompeiiAphrodite, the Goddess of Love and her lover, Ares, the God of War are pictured in this fresco in Pompeii, Italy. Aphrodite had many lovers and Ares was one of the long-term paramours. Aphrodite/Venus was a frequent subject of the artists of the ancient world. I have a short novella, Her Teddy Bare, which is #3 in the Aphrodite’s Island Series – my first erotic romance. I’m looking for a good Ares image, unfortunately most are modern – especially from the old Hercules show. Kind of like this one. It’s paint on fresco. To produce a fresco, paint is applied to wet plaster that has spread on a wall. While some examples of fresco survives the media itself is susceptible to deterioration over time, destruction by human hands, and to external damage from weathering, floods, or earthquake.

Frescoes survive in Pompeii probably more often than any other site of the ancient world. In 79 AD Pompeii, a small but wealthy town on the Mediterranean south of Naples, was buried under volcanic ash and rocks when Vesuvius erupted. Prior to the eruption the volcano was covered by trees, vineyards, villas, and pastureland and the populace was unaware that they were living on a time bomb. The eruption was totally unexpected and resulted in the death of many of the citizens and the preservation of much of Pompeii in ash and volcanic rock. Consequently, many frescoes – like the one here – were preserved in all their magnificent colors.

Maybe another Ares next week  Rita

Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Lorenzo de’ Medici

La Primavera

Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History is Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici (1463 – 1503) who was an Italian banker and politician. He belonged to the junior branch of the House of Medici of Florence. When his father died he was placed under the guardianship of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was the ruler of Florence. His father had tried to protect him and his brother from the senior branch but Lorenzo forced them to make loans to him, which beggared the younger branch, and later only repaid half.

The younger Lorenzo received a great education and was a fellow student and friend of explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. Lorenzo grew up to be a poet and supporter of the arts with liberal views. In 1482 at 19 years old, Lorenzo was married to Semiramide Appiano whose family was a valuable commercial and political connection. Lorenzo the Magnificent may have commissioned Botticelli’s Allegory of Spring for the wedding with the younger Lorenzo as Mercury and Simiramide as the central Grace who is looking at Mercury or as Flora. He’s on the far left reaching up to pick an orange, a symbol of the Medici family.

He served as an ambassador to Paris but got into trouble with his older cousin and was removed from the roles of citizens of Florence eligible for public office until the older Lorenzo died in 1492. Shortly after his death, his son was overthrown and the Republic of Florence came into being. Lorenzo and his brother were prominent in the administration. He protected Botticelli, Michelangelo, Filippino Lippi, and Bartoloemo Scala from Savonarola’s destruction of the arts and artists. He refused to become the ruler of Florence when Savonarola himself was burned at the stake. His descendants in the younger branch of the Medici family became the ruler of Florence.

Check out my new group blog – Worlds of the Imagination, a group of fantasy/scifi writers  – where I’m writing about the new scifi program, Defiance.

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Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Timothy Berners-Lee

5251-1Today’s Heroic Hunk in History is Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (1955 – ). Sir Timothy, or “TimBL” as he’s known to his friends, is a British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web. In 1989 he proposed an information management system between computers. By the end of the year he had managed communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server over the Internet. He the director of the World Wide Web Consortium which oversees continued development of the Web. He was honored at the London Olympic Stadium as the “Inventor of the World Wide Web.” Did someone forget to invite Al Gore?

Why Sir Timothy? Today at The Writers Vineyard, an authors’ blog for authors about writing and publishing, I posted the first installment on a series about the web, webpages, and blogging. In 350 words, “Websites & Blogs – Oh My!! Part 1: Web Vocabulary and Basics” summarizes the alphabet soup that confronts the author who wants to build/maintain a webpage. By understanding the basics of how the web works, an author can make informed decisions about their personal needs for their web presence. Next month, we’ll build on today to look at web hosts, domain names, and decisions about both. Check it out at http://thewritersvineyard.com/ . Until next Monday, Rita Bay

Release Day for The Aegis

SO excited that today is release day for The Aegis, a vampires vs Light Warriors paranormal romance, from Champagne Books. Check out the cover by Petra. Click the cover to read a blurb or buy.

the aegis ecoverMelinda Kildare, antiquarian and rare book dealer extraordinaire, returns to her shop after an estate sale with a massive, sealed barrel. Too late, she discovers that the Aegis medallion that traps her head-first in the bottom of the barrel is the bait used by a family of vampires to capture and enslave women of power.

Light Warrior Damian Sinclair who has battled the Dark Ones for centuries answers Melinda’s call—the Call of a lifemate. While protecting her from the Dark Ones who pursue her relentlessly, he introduces her to passion, love, and her heritage as a Shield Bearer of the Light.

Will they find happiness as they unite to fight the Dark Ones or fall victims to the Dark forces ranged against them?

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“The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“Her Teddy Bare” Champagne’s Carnal Passions, May, 2013
“Search & Rescue” Secret Cravings, July, 2013
“Finding Eve” Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, 2012
“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand, 2012

Heroic Hunk in History: Thomas Wyatt the Younger

HolbeinThomasWyattAfter the Wyatt Rebellion in 1554, Princess Elizabeth Tudor was imprisoned in The Bell Tower at The Tower of London by order of her half-sister , Queen Mary I of England. When their father, King Henry VIII, died, he-was succeeded by their Protestant half-brother, Edward, the son of Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour. After Queen Jane’s death, Henry acquired three more wives, but no additional children. Edward, a staunch Protestant, was nine years old when he became king. He was brilliant but sickly and died from tuberculosis in 1553 when he was only seventeen. Although he had named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, as his successor, she reigned for only nine days before Princess Mary Tudor put her aside and later had her and her husband beheaded for treason.

Queen Mary I, a staunch Catholic in the now Protestant England, was thirty-four when she succeeded to the throne. Her father had divorced her mother to marry his pregnant mistress, Anne Boleyn. She had been declared a bastard, removed from the succession, and forced to play nursemaid to her half-sister Elizabeth. Her mother had died in poverty which she often shared. When Mary succeeded to the throne, she did so with the support of both Catholic and Protestant supporters, including Thomas Wyatt.

Thomas Wyatt the Younger, the son of the courtier and poet who was one of Anne Boleyn’s accused lovers, rose up in rebellion when it was announced that Mary would marry King Phillip of Spain. Having seen the Inquisition first hand, he wished to spare England. He wrote a letter to Elizabeth pledging his support. When Thomas was captured as he prepared to attack Queen Mary in London, Wyatt was beheaded and later, hung, drawn and quartered. (Portrait of Thomas the Younger c. 1540 by Holbein) More on Elizabeth in the Tower this whole week at Rita Bay’s Blog.

Tomorrow, Elizabeth’s Fate. Rita Bay

Moonday’s Villain: Henry VIII

Henry in his Prime

Henry in his Prime

King Henry VIII of England is our villain this Moonday because of his role in the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry was desperate for a male heir which his Catholic Queen Catherine of Aragon did not give him. He convinced himself that he was cursed by god for marrying his brother’s widow. Catherine claimed that the marriage had not been consummated and that Henry knew that. It didn’t really matter, though, Henry’s wandering eye had landed on Anne Boleyn who refused to be his mistress, demanding a crown instead.

Queen Catherine, Spanish and Catholic, had the power of the Papacy behind her. There would be no dispensation from the Pope to divorce Queen Catherine to marry Anne. Henry declared war on the Catholic Church in England. In 1530 the Abbot of Whitby wrote: “The King’s Grace is ruled by one common stewed whore, Anne Boleyn, who makes all the spirituality to be beggared, and the temporality also.” The English people preferred Queen Katherine and called Anne “The Great Whore.”

Henry and Anne married on  25 January 1533. It was not until May of that year that Thomas Cranmer granted Henry and Catherine’s divorce. Five days later, Cranmer declared Henry and Anne’s secret marriage valid. The Pope excommunicated Henry who assumed leadership of the Church in England. Unlike his miserly father, Henry had spent money liberally. Henry dissolved the Churches and monasteries, kept most of the assets himself, and granted properties to his supporters.

Next week, Another Tudor Villain.  Rita Bay

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