Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ten things you didn’t know about author Brenda Perlin

Brenda Perlin
This was then
This is now
Ten things you didnt know about Brenda:
1.        I am the baby of the family.
2. I went to Cal Arts for Photography, but I really wanted to be an actress
3. I tend to laugh at my own jokes.
4. I was really spoiled because my mom didnt know how to say no.
5. I have a gum addiction. I am always trying to give up my chain chewing ways.
6. I have overdosed on red Swedish fish candies. Dangerous when eaten all at once. ;-)
7. My fantasy is to be a lead singer of a band, but I cant carry a tune. 
8. I often brag that Johnny Depp is my long lost brother.
9. I watch way too much reality TV.
10. My laugh can be over the top. Have scared people in the past.


Brenda Perlin is an independent adult contemporary fiction author. Brenda evokes passionate responses in her readers by using a provocatively unique writing style. Her latest book, Burnt Promises, captures the soul-wrenching conflicts of a personal struggle for emotional fulfillment.

Ever since Brenda was a child she has been fascinated with writing. She draws her biggest inspiration from Judy Blume. This sparked a passion in Brenda to pursue personal expression through writing. Once she was old enough to go to coffee shops alone, Brenda recalls losing herself in the world of writing, all while documenting her ideas on paper napkins.

"There is really no creative process, I just write."



 Want more of Brenda?  Please visit.
Amazon Author Page
Blossoming Press
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History Trivia - Henry VIII signs Treaty of the More

August 30

 1181 Pope Alexander III died. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.

1525 Treaty of the More signed between Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. England agreed to give up some territorial claims on France. In return, France was to pay a pension and was to prevent the Duke of Albany from returning to Scotland.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

FB Event - Kim Scott - Lilies in the Clearing' Book Launch - Lydia North - Saturday, August 30, 2014 2 pm EDT

at 2:00pm in EDT
 Kim Scott launch party for Book 2 in The Spirits of Maine Series is coming! This is the sequel to the Ghost Story 'Waiting for Harvey'.

This series of Ghost Stories is published under my pen name Lydia North. The 3rd book will be out in late December.
Lilies in the Clearing (The Spirits of Maine Book 2) by Lydia North is a fabulous follow up to Waiting For Harvey. This is a series that is spooky, clever and most of all difficult to put down. I couldn’t resist the mystery, intrigue and the evil that spread like wildfire. As in the first book, I was hooked right away and had a hard time stepping away from my iPad. This book is dark in a good way. Loved the suspense that kept me guessing throughout. So many unexpected turns. This author is truly gifted. She is skilled, making her characters not only believable but life-like and writing is super smooth. She just has a way of telling a story that makes you feel comfortable, like you are there on the scene. Her descriptions of the surroundings are mesmerizing, setting the scene perfectly. Being frightened was never so much fun. This is a great escape, a real adventure and an entertaining horror ride.

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History Trivia - Temple of Jerusalem burns after a nine-month Roman siege

August 29

 70 The Temple of Jerusalem burned after a nine-month Roman siege.

284 General Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius became Emperor of Rome.

1350 Battle of Winchelsea (Les Espagnols sur Mer): The English naval fleet under King Edward III defeated a Castilian fleet of 40 ships. Between 14 and 26 Castilian ships were captured, and some were sunk, while 2 English vessels were sunk and many suffered heavy losses. Louis XI of France paid Edward IV of England to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. Edward's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), opposed the treaty and refused the pension Louis offered.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grander designs at Guédelon: historic chateau project brings past to life

Volunteers and researchers are hewing and toiling in a French forest to build a 13th-century castle by medieval means
in Guédelon, Burgundy

Workers carry stones on the construction site
Workers carry stones at Guédelon Castle. The chateau is being built using medieval materials and techniques. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images
Deep in the forests of northern Burgundy, history is in the making. Stonemasons hew at rough chunks of sandstone with tools produced from scratch in the forge by leather-aproned blacksmiths. The stone is transported by horse and cart to be raised to walls by workers in smocks marching in a wooden treadwheel operating pulleys capable of raising a tonne in eight minutes.
In the nearby wood, artisans have constructed a medieval flour mill based on a recent archaeological find. To their delight – and no little surprise – it works. Mobile phones, however, do not. And there are few concessions to those other perceived scourges of modern life: health and safety.
Outside the forest clearing it is 2014. Inside, it is 1245 and the fictional Guilbert Courtenay, aka Guilbert de Guédelon, is anxious to take possession of his new home: a modest chateau befitting his social station as a lowly aristocrat and knight who has fallen into royal favour.
Guédelon is a unique historical and archaeological project to build a chateau from scratch using medieval materials and techniques. Instead of digging down to solve the mysteries of history, workers at Guédelon are building up.
Such is the magic of travelling back eight centuries that 300,000 visitors flock to Guédelon every year and hundreds volunteer to join the workforce.
When the Guédelon project began 16 years ago, it was deemed essential to place the mini castle and its owner at a specific period of history. The year chosen was 1229, when Louis IX, later Saint Louis, was king of France, but at 15 he was deemed too young to rule.
As the story goes, his mother, Blanche of Castile, who holds the reins of power is informed of Courtenay's distinguished fighting for the royal army against rebellious barons and awards him a "licence" to build a modest castle.
Everything about Guédelon will reflect Courtenay's modest standing, which means he can afford to build a small chateau, but cannot afford a moat or architectural refinements.
A man at work at Guédelon Castle A man at work at Guédelon Castle. Hundreds of people have volunteered to work on the project. On the medieval building site, the present tense refers to the middle ages. The hundred years war (1337-1453) is still a century off, but an Englishwoman, Sarah Preston, originally from Bath, finds herself showing visitors around.
"Every element has to be referenced back to the 13th century. We ask ourselves, Guilbert de Guédelon is a low-ranking nobleman with limited resources so what are his options? Will he be able to afford a drawbridge that will take 57 felled trees and 66 iron nails? No," Preston says.
"This chateau is Guilbert sending a message to the medieval world about his power and wealth. There is no prison, for example, because a lord of his rank doesn't have the right to keep prisoners.
"At one point we realised the stonemasons were cutting the stones for the towers too perfectly, which just wouldn't h ave been appropriate. It would have suggested he had a lot of money and therefore a small army in the chateau, which wasn't the case."
Like all Guédelon workers, Preston has her "corde à treize noeuds", a rope with 13 equidistant knots used for measuring, marking circles and other geometric figures.
Much of the work is by trial and error. The right-hand section of chateau roof tiles is blacker than the rest due to the first few batches being left in the oven too long.
For the permanent workers, the volunteers and those who visit, often year after year to see how work is progressing, the project inspires passion.
"We are constructing in order to comprehend. From the first stone to the last tile of Guédelon we want to learn and understand," says Maryline Martin, the project's director general.
"When we started we thought about what a 13th-century chateau in this part of the world would look like, what the actual builders would be like, how they would work, with what materials. Our approach was scientific.
"We have succeeded on every level: human, scientific, archaeological, tourism. It's an adventure with a capital A."
Two years ago, French archaeologists found the remains of a flour mill, believed to date from the 13th century, in the neighbouring mountainous Jura region of eastern France. Working with Guédelon they attempted to rebuild it, to see if it would work.
"This was an exceptional experience. There were pieces that were a total mystery: we just couldn't work out what they were or where they went, but we approached things intellectually and we worked with the scientists.
A worker at the construction site of Guédelon Castle A worker at the construction site of the Guédelon Castle. Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images "We even went to countries including Romania to see how their mills work, to see if that helped. Today, we have succeeded in building a working mill," Martin adds.
She rejects the idea that Guédelon is a bit Disney.
"It's very French that when something works we say it is because it's populist and not serious, that it is just a theme park. We refute this idea: the site is a medieval construction site. We use horses, stone, wood, water and if it rains we advise people to come in rubber boots because its medieval and not all nice and paved."
"We started with a history committee that was independent of us and approved the plan. It's experimental archaeology and it gives a better understanding and education that explains the heritage of the 13th century to the public. It's helping us decode the 13th century.
"Guédelon is built on the strength of its team of workers. The atmosphere, harmony and team spirit are extraordinary. We have people come and work with us who normally spend their days stuck to mobile phones and computers and want to experience something completely different – not just manual, but working as a team.
Visitors at Guédelon castle About 300,000 visitors flock to Guédelon every year. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images Martin adds: "We are not just living the medieval life, it's a serious archaeological project. By decoding the 13th century we are helping people understand it."

What was going on at the time?

It is 1245 in Guédelon, in Burgundy in central France. King Louis IX is on the throne in France and King Henry III in England. Louis is married to Margaret of Provence and Henry to her sister Eleanor. The women are helping to mend relations between the two countries, riven by war since 1180 and not helped by Henry's disastrous invasion of France in 1230. In 1259 the two monarchs will sign the treaty of Paris intended to end the territorial conflict between the two countries. It will not prevent the hundred years war kicking off in 1337.
The rebuilding of what is now Westminster Abbey is being started on royal orders and the Seventh Crusade (1258 to 1254), to be led by Louis to avenge the fall of Jerusalem to the Khwarezmian Persian Sunni Muslim dynasty the previous year, has been proclaimed. It will lead to Louis's defeat, capture and ransom by the Egyptian army.
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World's Oldest Wine Cellar Fueled Palatial Parties

By Megan Gannon

Wine jugs in situ
This ancient wine cellar at Tel Kabri was likely abandoned after a cataclysmic event, such as an earthquake. In the summer of 2013, archaeologists uncovered the jugs, which hadn't been seen since they toppled around 1600 B.C.
Credit: ric H. Cline, George Washington University

Israel isn't particularly famous for its wine today, but four thousand years ago, during the Bronze Age, vineyards in the region produced vintages that were prized throughout the Mediterranean and imported by the Egyptian elite.
Last summer, archaeologists discovered a rare time capsule of this ancient drinking culture: the world's oldest known wine cellar, found in the ruins of a sprawling palatial compound in Upper Galilee.
The mud-brick walls of the room seem to have crumbled suddenly, perhaps during an earthquake. Whatever happened, no one came to salvage the 40 wine jars inside after the collapse; luckily for archaeologists, the cellar was left untouched for centuries.

Excavators at the site took samples of the residue inside the jars. In a new study published today (Aug. 27) in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers describe what their chemical analysis turned up: biomarkers of wine and herbal additives that were mixed into the drink, including mint, cinnamon and juniper.
Wild nights in Tel Kabri
Archaeologists unearthed the wine cellar in a palatial complex at a site called Tel Kabri in present-day northern Israel, near the borders of Syria and Lebanon. As far back as the Stone Age, the area's springs attracted settlers. During the second millennium B.C., a more centralized Canaanite community of thousands of people popped up around a palace, which likely housed a leader or ruling family who could redistribute wealth and commodities, said Andrew Koh, an archaeologist at Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, and one of the excavators on the dig.
The compound was at its peak between 1900 B.C. and 1600 B.C. Artifacts and paintings found at the site suggest this community had contact with Egypt, Mesopotamian cultures to the north and east, and the Minoan civilization that arose in Crete.
In July, Koh and colleagues were excavating an area they thought was outside the palace when they found a 3-foot-tall (1 meter) jar they dubbed "Bessie." The team eventually turned up 39 more jars inside a room measuring about 16 feet by 26 feet (5 m by 8 m). All together, the vessels would have held around 528 gallons (2,000 liters) of wine, and the cellar was conveniently located next to a banquet hall.
"What we have is quite substantial — 40 jars — but it's not enough to redistribute to the whole countryside, so we're arguing that this is the personal or palatial wine cellar," Koh told Live Science. "It's for a nuclear kind of in-group, whether it's the family or clan, and it's for local, on-the-spot consumption. But it's still a lot of wine — they must have thrown large parties." [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]
What's in the wine
The residue from all 32 jars sampled in the study contained tartaric acid, one of the main acids in wine. In all but three jars, the researchers found syringic acid, a marker of red wine. The absence of syringic acid in those three jars may indicate that they contained some of the earliest examples of white wine, which got its start later than red wine, Koh said.
The researchers found signatures of pine resin, which has powerful antibacterial properties and was likely added at the vineyard to help preserve the wine. Scientists also found traces of cedar, which may have come from wooden beams used during the wine-pressing process.
The researchers noticed that the cellar's simplest wines, those with only resin added, were typically found in the jars lined up in a row against the wall near the outdoor entrance to the room. But the wines with the more complex additives were generally found in jars near a platform in the middle of the cellar and two narrow rooms leading to the banquet hall next door. Koh and colleagues believe the wine would have been brought from the countryside into the cellar, where a wine master would have mixed in honey and herbs like juniper and mint before a meal.
As for the taste, Koh said the ancient booze may have resembled modern retsina, a somewhat divisive Greek wine flavored with pine resin — described by detractors as having a note of turpentine. (Koh said he and his colleagues usually hear two different kinds of remarks about the ancient wine: Some say, "I would love to drink this wine," while others say, "It must have just tasted like vinegar with twigs in it.")
While the wine wouldn't be what drinkers are used to today, the jars at Tel Kabri likely contained some the finest vintages of the day, Koh said.
"If the Egyptian kings and pharaohs wanted wine from this area, it must have been quite good," Koh said.
Recreating old wine from lost grapes
Based on the fabric of the clay jars, the researchers said the wine came from the local region, though they're still trying to pinpoint where the supplying vineyards may have been located. The scientists do know that one of the most famous vineyards of antiquity, the Bethanath estate, got its start about 1,000 years later, just 9 miles (15 km) away from Tel Kabri.
Koh and colleagues are also hoping DNA tests reveal what kind of grapes were used, which may interest not only archaeologists but also current wine producers.
The Islamic conquest of the 7th century put an end to much of the region's wine culture. It wasn't until the 19th century that Upper Galilee's vineyards experienced a revival, largely thanks to Baron Edmond de Rothschild, who imported grapes from Bordeaux, France, that still form the basis of much of Israel's wine culture today, Koh said. But these grapes are perhaps not the best varieties for the region's climate.
"It's fascinating that grapes [originally] came from this general region, but [in Israel] they're growing grapes that over many centuries have acclimated to the Atlantic coast of France," said Koh. "So if we can get DNA from our wine cellar, we'll have this genetic blueprint of presumably wine that for centuries was best suited to grow in the land we call Israel today."
The researchers hope to eventually look for a DNA match between the traces of Tel Kabri's wine and feral grapes in the region that might have been cultivated in antiquity and somehow survived into the present, Koh said.
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History Trivia - Scottish land owners, churchmen and burgesses sign the The Ragman Rolls.

August 28

430 Saint Augustine, the great Christian theologian, died at age 75.

476 the western Roman Empire founded by Augustus in 27 BC ended at Ravenna, where Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the barbarian leader Odoacer (Germanic chieftain).

489 Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths defeated Odoacer at the Battle of Isonzo, forcing his way into Italy.

1189 Third Crusade: the Crusaders began the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan.

 1296 After the Scots were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar, Edward I had the Scottish land owners, churchmen and burgesses swear their allegiance by signing the The Ragman Rolls.

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