animal lovers, baking, cat familiar, cat lovers, harvest, healthy pumpkin raisin cinnamon muffins, Holiday season, Holidays, kindness to animals, Lila, Lily Cat, Princess Lily, pumkins, Pumpkin Muffins, Thanksgiving table
animal lovers, baking, cat familiar, cat lovers, harvest, healthy pumpkin raisin cinnamon muffins, Holiday season, Holidays, kindness to animals, Lila, Lily Cat, Princess Lily, pumkins, Pumpkin Muffins, Thanksgiving table
Amazon Kindle, Apple, Author Lada Ray, BN Nook, Book: The Earth Shifter, Catharsis Legend of the Lemurians, E-book, Gold Train (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), Green Desert (Accidental Spy Iraq Prequel), Kobo, price drop, Siberian Tiger, Smashwords, Stepford USA (Accidental Spy Small Town Adventure)
I have received some questions about where I’d disappeared lately and whether my books are still a part of #KDPSelect program.
Well, as some of you may know, very recently I have moved to my new residence in a different area of Upstate NY, where I am presently settling down. I love the new house; it’s nice, yet substantially smaller than my old one. I am rather happy about that since I don’t have to waste as much time taking care of the property. Instead, I can let my creative juices flow more freely, while concentrating fully on things that matter – namely my various spiritual, creative and life projects that have been blossoming wonderfully.
Read more about that here:
For a small part of my exciting plans (more coming!), check out my new page:
2014 Winter Olympics, Historic Sochi Olympic torch relay, International Space Station, ISS, North Pole, Olympic flame, OuterSpace, Russia, Russian cosmonauts, Sochi, Sochi Olympics torch at North Pole, Sochi Olympics torch in outer space, Sochi Olympics torch on ISS, Sochi Olympics torch spacewalk, Soyuz rocket
Hello, everyone! I’ve successfully moved to my new home and am settling down. The Internet is back on and I’m back in cyberspace! Meanwhile, the #Sochi #Olympics Torch relay is continuing its record-shuttering journey through #Russia and #OuterSpace. As you see, we both are not sitting idle.
Read my original post: #Sochi #Olympics and Olympic Torch’s Record Journey Through #Russia and #OuterSpace, complete with awesome images of Sochi… and lots of other cool stuff!
As promised, I’m continuing my Olympic torch relay coverage. This torch relay is unprecedented in history. Today, we’ll be watching several historic events: the Olympic flame‘s trip via an ice-breaker to the North Pole; after that, the Sochi Olympic torch’s record journey to the International Space Station #ISS, where it will make a historic walk in open Space with Russian cosmonauts. Spacewalk odyssey will be shown live on RT on Saturday and I’ll add it to this post. Continue reading »
This has been a very busy summer. I am looking forward to autumn, my favorite season, although I expect it to be just as busy. Busy is good, as the wind of change sweeps through, bringing lots of new and exciting things.
We have sold my house in the beautiful Catskill mountains, which I kept as a summer home during my Wall Street days, and which served as my secluded writer’s retreat for the past few years.
I’ll be a guest on the Vinny Eastwood Show today
March 18th, at 6pm EST!
We’ll discuss the world events, geopolitics, NWO, my new predictions for this decade and beyond, and of course, my new metaphysical fantasy thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER!
Tune in to listen on the American Freedom Radio or watch it at vinnyeastwoodshow.com and guerillamedia.co.nz. I will also post the show on LadaRay Youtube channel and here, on my blog, a few days after.
Please tune in to listen, ask questions and comment! Hope you enjoy it, and please stop by to let me know what you think!
Find out more about The Vinny Eastwood Show and subscribe:
Many thanks to Mark O’Neill, the author of The Ancients and the Angels! Check out Mark’s cool blog: http://royalmanaball.wordpress.com/
best ways to learn Russian, comparative analysis of synthetic vs analytical languages, English language, European languages, Hillary Clinton, Indo-European Language Family, language anecdotes, Linguistics, reset of relations with Russia, Romanic and Germanic languages, Russia, Russian language, Slavic language group
This has been the top post on my blog for the past month or so, which probably means that there is a lot of interest in learning Russian. While it’s an old post, I have just given it a very serious face lift based on the many comments and emails I received. Essentially, this is a brand new article and I highly recommend that you read it if you are interested in learning Russian, or any other language, or if you are interested in the history, theory, philosophy and general knowledge of foreign languages and cultures.
The post now includes my personal experiences and language philosophy; synthetic vs analytical language comparisons; practical, to the point comparative analysis of English, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish grammar; fascinating examples demonstrating the difference in word usage in Russian and English; and the now infamous anecdote about Hillary Clinton and the reset of relations with Russia. Also included is advice on college study and study abroad, as well as important disclaimers and other interesting bits.
“The ancients used to say that as many languages you know, that many times you are a human being. This is a very profound statement, as with every language you learn, you also understand better other cultures and other people’s points of view. I like to think that if everyone on Earth cared to learn at least a few languages, there would be much more peace and friendship on our planet. Generally speaking, learning foreign languages is like opening up new worlds, akin to broadening your tunnel vision and enriching your life. Be your very own, personal Columbus and discover the new world, but don’t forget to have fun along the way!” Lada Ray
To read the article, click on link above!
Albert Einstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Author Lada Ray, Bernardo Bertolucci, Blog awards, books by Lada Ray, Edgar Cayce, famous pisces, happy birthday, Liza Minnelli, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pisces, Sergei Rachmaninoff, The Earth Shifter, Tony Robbins
Happy March 15th, Ladies and Gents!
Why Happy March 15th? Aw well… because it’s my birthday, and also because it’s a belated 1 year anniversary of my blog.
MORE ABOUT PISCES & MY BIRTHDAY: Being a March baby is fun, as the spring starts awakening at this time of year. The week of March 15th is called the week of “dancers and dreamers.” Many world famous dancers were born during this time… and did I mention, I love to dance! Don’t even get me started on dreaming things up and making them come true! Those who’ve read my books know all about that!
Russian ballet dancer, Rudolf Nouriev. Born March 17th (sharing a birthday with my husband, who’s also a Pisces).
It’s so cool to share my birthday sign with so many innovators, visionaries, dreamers and EARTH SHIFTERS, including Albert Einstein (born March 14, just a few hours before me), Edgar Cayce, Rudolf Nouriev, Sergei Rachmaninov (March 20), Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Alexander Bell, Mikhail Gorbachev, George Washington, Frederick Chopin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michelangelo, Auguste Renoir, Ansel Adams, Tony Robbins, Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Bernardo Bertolucci, Glenn Close, Drew Barrimore, Bruce Willis, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Russian singer Vitas, and many others… It’s a loooooong list for sure.
And another famous and inspired Pisces! In addition to inspiration, spirituality, dance, art, photography, dreaming, Pisces also rules film. Not surprisingly, the Oscars, Motion Picture Academy Awards Ceremony, traditionally takes place during the Piscean rule, in late February or March. The Oscars 2013 took place on February 24, when this prestigious award has celebrated its 85th birthday.
More about Pisces: http://www.thepiscessign.com
They say, a Pisces can dream anything into reality, like magic…
As you all know, in the past few months, I’ve been consumed with finishing and publishing my new fantasy/thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER. It’s been a busy time, but also, extremely rewarding! I’ve dreamed it up and it’s currently available as ebook at Amazon, B&N, Smash. I will be releasing paperback in the end of March (pre-launch release).
Official book launch: APRIL 10, 2013!
Meanwhile, I also received a number of awards. I want to acknowledge the lovely bloggers who gave them to me and announce that due to my busy blogging and writing schedule, this is the last post about blog awards. This concerns only awards, so no worries. Lada Ray Blog is not going anywhere, and as a matter of fact, I’m planning a rainbow of wonderful new posts this year.
So, don’t you go away
as so much more is coming your way!
Bowing out gracefully: I want to thank all those who have supported and acknowledged this blog in the past year plus by giving it awards. I love you all, guys! I think awards are a wonderful way to support worthy bloggers and to spread the word about them. Below are the bloggers who have given me the awards recently. There were a couple more, so please forgive me if I have missed anyone (it seems I may have misplaced the links.) But know that I appreciate you all! Due to the severe time constraints, and – well – because it’s my birthday ;), I’m skipping the steps of passing on the awards and answering the questions (please allow me this indulgence). I’ve already said enough about me, and if you’re interested, please check out my prior awards and my bio page. Instead, I’ll concentrate on acknowledging those bloggers who have thought of me!
LIEBSTER AWARD, which I received from 3 wonderful bloggers. Here they are chronologically!
Jim L. Wright olbigjim.wordpress.com. A wonderful man, blogger, writer, and book reviewer, Jim is and American expat living his dream life in Jordan. How exciting! Please check out his awesome blog!
Jason Collins JJCollinsAuthor.com One of my favorite people and certainly my absolute favorite Irishman living in London! Jason is the author of several non-fiction books, his specialty being history and politics. Check out his terrific site & blog, where he shares book reviews and news about publishing industry. It’s a treasure trove!
Stefan Maxima hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com Spreading the love! Check out Stefan’s lovely and positive blog!
SUPER SWEET AWARD from the super-sweet Sofia Siberia - sofiasiberia.com. Yum! Sofia is a blogger, empath and healer, who is originally from Russia and Ukraine, and who presently resides in Lebanon. She is a very loving and giving soul and she has a beautiful blog where she shares her wisdom and her spiritual discoveries with the world. Please check it out!
I’ve also received A BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD from Sofia Siberia. This award I already have, but I am truly honored that Sofia has thought of me!
VERY INSPIRING BLOG AWARD – again, many thanks to the wonderful man and author, Jim L. Wright @ oldbigjim.wordpress.com for giving me this award! I’m truly honored!
And last, but by no means least, SHINE ON AWARD, which I just received from a truly inspiring blogger and author, Rohan Healy at Rohan7things.wordpress.com. Rohan blogs about many things, but they all have a strong philosophical and spiritual connection. He is a thinker & a beautifully light soul, and I’m privileged to know him! Please check out his popular blog for many inspiring, entertaining and off-beat posts. Incidentally, I was recently interviewed by Rohan. Check out the interview as well.
P.S. I’ve just added this award, which I received from the lovely Ruby @ yourinnerfeathersbyruby.wordpress.com, who is a “spiritual life stylist.” I like Ruby’s blog so much, that I had to add this award if only to link up and promote her blog. Thank you, Ruby, and may you have a terrifically inspiring and spiritually rewarding year!
Also, I want to take this opportunity to wish a HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY to:
Jason Collins, Rohan Healy, Madeline Walsh (whose recent interview has become an inspiration!), M.C. O’Neill (check out his awesome Lada Ray Spotlight and review!), Jason Sullivan (whose amazing May Day Interview became the centerpiece of my GOLD TRAIN Blog Tour 2012!), as well as my many Irish blogger & author friends!
Here’s to luck and prosperity! Have a wonderful holiday!
Incidentally, my husband was born on March 17. How’s that for a coincidence! Our birthdays are 2 days apart and we usually end up celebrating them as one.
Birthday cake anyone?
Amazon Kindle, author interview, Author Lada Ray, Barnes&Noble, book reviews, books by Lada Ray, Catharsis Legend of the Lemurians, Gold Train, Goodreads, Green Desert, indie authors, Smashwords, Stepford USA, The Earth Shifter, YouTube
Hello everyone! In October 2012 I did a Book Review Fest where I shared my new reviews of several awesome books by fellow indie authors. The Review Fest 1 became so popular that I decided to continue the tradition. As many of you know, my new release, fantasy/thriller THE EARTH SHIFTER, has received some very nice reviews in the past couple of months. Also, it is coming out as paperback on or after March 18th, which will be a pre-launch release: the official book launch is in April. The paperback will feature excerpts from the best and most interesting reviews The Earth Shifter has received so far.
I’m very grateful to all those who took the time and effort to not only read my book, but also post a thoughtful and honest review. Many of these reviews put a smile on my face and warmed my heart because their authors have captured the very essence of the story. All the reviews were fabulous and rich in material, and I had a hard time choosing which reviews, and which excerpts, to include. But due to space limitations, I had to make some hard choices.
Today, I want to honor all of my first reviewers by posting excerpts from their reviews, the links to their original websites and blogs, as well as other sources, where the full reviews can be found. The excerpts below have been selected for the inclusion in THE EARTH SHIFTER paperback Praise Section, as well as on the back cover. You will notice that one of the review excerpts below is longer than the others. That is because its author, Sofia Siberia, is the very first reviewer of The Earth Shifter, and also, because her review hits on so many great points that resonate deeply with the book’s message and intent.
For those who have missed my recent author interviews and features, I am also including the links below. What I especially love about these pieces is that they are all so different, reflecting varying personalities and interests of my interviewers, while working in concert to lift the veil of secrets, big and small, and complimenting each other quite wonderfully. Check out these one-of-a-kind and cool interviews (and this not an exaggeration!), which will shed additional light on the characters, settings, and the wild, wild ride that was the creation of this “cosmic adventure thriller,” as author J.J. Collins has called it!
Before we begin, a want to share some breaking news:
As you may have noticed from the image above, the front cover of THE EARTH SHIFTER has received a face lift based on my publisher’s guidance. I really like the new cover and I think it will showcase the book even better! This will be the cover we’ll use for both the paperback and ebook editions.
Also, just to mention, my birthday is coming up and to celebrate it, I’m starting a Read and Review Program. Anyone interested in reading and reviewing any of my books, including The Earth Shifter, Gold Train, Stepford USA, Catharsis & Green Desert, will receive respective ebooks for free. See the full list of my books here. The details of the Read and Review will be announced in a couple of days both here and on Goodreads, and it will be accompanied by a new, awesome giveaway, as well as other goodies! Please stay tuned!
Without further ado, The Earth Shifter Review & Feature Fest!
Check out these wonderful recent INTERVIEWS & FEATURES:
The Earth Shifter and yours truly have also been discussed in this cool radio/video interview: Ancients & Spirits: Author M.C. O’Neill on the Vinny Eastwood Show
Last, but certainly not least, I’m delighted to announce that I will also be a guest on the Vinny Eastwood Show at 6pm EST on March 18th, all thanks to Mark O’Neill’s glowing introduction, for which I’m eternally grateful! Tune in to listen on the American Freedom Radio or watch it at vinnyeastwoodshow.com and guerillamedia.co.nz. I will also post the show on LadaRay Youtube channel and here, on my blog, a few days after. Please tune in to listen, ask questions and comment! Hope you enjoy it, and please stop by to let me know what you think!
And now, the reviews!
5 Stars - “Lada Ray’s The Earth Shifter is the easiest five star review I’ve done in a long time, I loved and was captivated by the story right from he beginning. The parallels with so much of what is happening in the world today, and so many other detailed aspects give believability to this well crafted, wonderful story. My only complaint is that it is a trilogy and I have to wait till the end of 2013 to find out what happens next.”—Paulette Mahurin, Author – The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (California)
5 Stars - “The best book I’ve read in two years! Warning: Lada Ray knows more about human nature than Gandhi himself! Read The Earth Shifter and you’ll see a new definition to YA fantasy.” —M.C. O’Neill, Author – The Ancients and the Angels (Chicago, USA)
5 Stars - “Fantastic new young adult fiction! I finished The Earth Shifter 3 nights ago and it has been on my mind since. The characters and plot have stuck with me and I eagerly await the next installment. As I was reading a book set primarily in Russia about comets striking the Earth, what should happen but a comet should strike Russia! That was crazy and gave the book a whole new level of intrigue!” —Rohan Healy, Author, Blogger (Ireland)
5 Stars - “If you could read just one book this year, seriously consider The Earth Shifter! This metaphysical fantasy/thriller is simply one of the most compelling stories you’ll find. Author Lada Ray expertly weaves a tale about the consequences that mankind’s insanity has upon the world. The adventure is all-encompassing and epic in scope, and the author mindfully balances multiple story lines where the characters play a very crucial role in the outcome. It’s a real eye-opening, earth-shifting experience for sure!”—Madeline Walsh, Blogger (New York)
5 Stars - “A cosmic adventure thriller that will take the reader through history and across continents. The plot moves along quickly, introducing each key character and sub-plot with precision timing. An awesome, fast-paced, original storyline with exceptional twists that will leave you breathless and wanting more. The book is outstandingly researched and a marvel of creativity. It contains the perfect mix of history, fact, fiction and creative imagination at its best.”—J.J. Collins, Author – James Madison, The Father of the Constitution (London, UK)
5 Stars - “A hypnotizing novel which moves with deeply ingrained subplots. It serves up juicy portions of a storyline you will be begging to finish reading. A book that is hard to put down…because it is more complex than you can imagine…the next page must be turned… MUST BE… And just when you think you know all the essentials, Lada interrupts your story with an added element, perfectly knitted into the world of Sasha and the Key. I wouldn’t hold this novel to being just a YA because it is perfectly suited for the adults as well. Most all of characters were easy to grab onto and hold close. Final Verdict: 10/10.”—Bite My Book Reviews
5 Stars - “Tolkien, move over, another Russian has hit the deck running. Must read!”—Nanakulikane Reviews (Hawaii) – see this review on Amazon
5 Stars - “The Earth Shifter is a rich cocktail of amazing ingredients with the two core, and most delicious components being, the mystical realm of Lake Baikal in Siberia, as well as the Prophecy of the Key. The author covers a wide range of interests from history and legends, to mysticism, prophecy and origins of humanity. There are elements of a spy thriller set against the glamorous backdrop of modern Moscow and New York.
My family is originally from Siberia, and I was mesmerized by the beautiful descriptions of indigenous Siberia, including shamanism, ancient history, Tunguska Meteorite explosion, local village life. The author Lada Ray is a unique mysterious encyclopedia in herself! Her writing style is inimitable and her esoteric knowledge is impressive. While reading the book, I just couldn’t help but wonder how one person can possibly know all that!
The unexpected twists and turns, amazing flashbacks, stand-out characters and unforgettable settings all fold into an astonishing kaleidoscope of events and a mystically-integrated message. Every new chapter is an escalating suspense, and every new piece of information is an introduction to another, even more gripping revelation. The Earth Shifter will keep you thrilled, intrigued and glued to the next page. You’ll wish you could finish your chores ASAP so you could absorb yourself in reading again. The book brings modern present and ancient past into a fantastic unity, being prophetic, revealing, casting lights on the shadowy preliminaries and the shifting destinies of humankind.
The Earth Shifter will literally “shift” your consciousness, for, after reading it, the world as you see it will never be the same again! I’m endlessly happy I discovered Lada Ray’s books and got to know her as a writer!” —Sofia Siberia, Blogger (Russia/ Ukraine/ Lebanon)
5 Stars - “World-enriching spiritual journey filled with drama and excitement! Another impressive thriller. Ms. Ray artfully puts the pieces in place, building the suspense steadily until the reader is fully encompassed. The Earth Shifter has incredible scope. It combines geopolitics, spirituality, cultural depth and, perhaps most of all, the idea that it is the relationships we form, how we treat each other, that is so important to the healing of the planet.” —Jason Sullivan, Author – Rahala, An Ascension Odyssey (USA)
4.5 Stars - ”A complex tale with a great cast of characters. A great YA thriller that is sure to please. I think adult readers will enjoy it as much.” Kate Farrell - The Kindle Book Review & katesreads.com (USA)
You can also read these reviews & more on:
See book extras on Shelfari
THE EARTH SHIFTER characters/settings/themes/news/excerpts
Stay tuned to the Read and Review Program! Coming next week!
12/21/12, Author Lada Ray, blog award, Blog of the Year 2012 Award, ebook, giveaway, metaphysical fantasy, NaNoWriMo 2012, National Novel Writing Month, scifi, The Earth Shifter, writing and publishing, Year 2012 Predictions, young adult book
First, THE EARTH SHIFTING news!
As some of you know, I have been consumed with finishing my new YA metaphysical fantasy/thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER. It is presently being polished and professionally edited. Despite the upcoming holidays, I am making supreme effort to release my book on its original target release date of December 20, 2012. This date has not been chosen randomly, as it coincides with another date, December 21, 2012 – the notorious 12/21/12 – which some perceive as the “end of the world” and others as the time of great shift of consciousness.
THE EARTH SHIFTER is my unique take on what has been and what is to come, as we speed ahead toward our common future. As with all of my books, THE EARTH SHIFTER is a whimsical and original, yet satisfying, stew of fantasy and reality. The cataclysms and events described in it indeed took place, and those predicted may materialize, if mankind… But I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide where fantasy ends and reality starts. This is BOOK 1 of the trilogy, with Books 2 and 3 to be released in the not so distant future.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be making additional announcements and posting THE EARTH SHIFTER excerpts.
To celebrate the book launch, I am planning a huge giveaway! And I mean HUGE! What will be given away is a surprise, but suffice it to say, it’s something really awesome & valuable, and you’ll definitely want it!
Enter the new world and join me on December 20, 2012,
when the epic EARTH SHIFTER journey begins!
Stay tuned, as much more is coming your way!
It is also my great pleasure to announce that I received the newly created and very exciting Blog of the Year 2012 Award from a friend and blogger I admire, Holly Michael.
Her blog, Writing Straight, is awesome and very much worth the visit! Here is the link to her post about the Blog of the Year 2012 Award. Also, special congrats to Holly on becoming a winner of NaNoWriMo 2012!
As you can see, there is one gold star with the possibility of six in total.
The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award.
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen — there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required — and ‘present’ them with their award.
3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award —http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5 You can now also join our Facebook group — click ‘like’ on this page: ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award Facebook group, and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6 As a winner of the award, please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award, and then proudly display the award on your blog sidebar, and start collecting stars!
Yes — that’s right — there are stars to collect! Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once, this award is different! When you begin, you will receive the ’1 star’ award, and every time you are given the award by another blog you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect.
Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!
And now, it’s time for champagne… The envelope, please! Blogs to award:
Ralph Whillier http://bluefishway.com/
Darlene Foster http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Michele Seminara http://micheleseminara.wordpress.com/
Russel Ray http://russelrayphotos2.com/
Stefan Maxima http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/
Lesley Fletcher http://inspirationimport.wordpress.com/
Seyi Sandra David http://seyisandradavid.org/
Karen Robiscoe http://charronschatter.com/
Quillan and Angela http://toemail.wordpress.com/
Jim L. Wright http://olbigjim.wordpress.com/
Lori Lipsky http://poetrypatio.wordpress.com/
And last but not least – and in full compliance with the award rules - Holly Michael http://writingstraight.com/, because I would have given it to her regardless of whether I have received it from her or not.
Congratulations bloggers! I love to visit all these great blogs and I’m sure you will, too. Each one is wonderful, and each will make your life brighter and richer in its own, unique way!
P.S. Based on some questions about the upcoming release of THE EARTH SHIFTER I received from my readers, here are a few additional details:
THE EARTH SHIFTER will initially come out as an ebook available in all formats, incl. kindle, nook, PDF, etc. It will be available from all major ebook retailers and all buy links will be listed at the digital book store of my official author website, LadaRay.com.
I will certainly consider a paperback and later, perhaps an audio, but unfortunately, I don’t know much about audio books, so that could be a while. I’ll keep everyone posted of my plans, but your best bet is to read it as an ebook – if you want to read it early. It’s very easy by the way, and if you don’t have an e-reader or a tablet, you can simply download PDF to your computer. Who knows, you might enjoy this new reading experience!
THE EARTH SHIFTER description and details are available here: http://www.ladaray.com/the-earth-shifter.html
You can also sample my writing and sneak peek THE EARTH SHIFTER’s first 2 chapters, which are available as an excerpt with CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians (a metaphysical fantasy novelette). CATHARSIS can be downloaded in any ebook format for free at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/235546
In the next 2 weeks, I’ll also be posting excerpts here, on my blog.
Ah, it’s that time of the year again. My favorite season plus the mega-popular NaNoWriMo is here! Come November 1, 300,000 writers – seasoned, aspiring and anywhere in-between, will be pulling college-style all-nighters in order to accomplish the admirable goal of finishing that dream of a novel, or at least enough of it (namely, 50k words) to paste the coveted “NaNoWriMo 2012 Winner!” badge on their website, blog, or Facebook page.
This year, I decided to join, too. As many of you know, I am working on my big project: THE EARTH SHIFTER, new metaphysical YA fantasy/thriller – anticipated release: December, 2012. Full-size cover, blurb and more here.
I will not be using NaNoWriMo to write my novel from scratch, but rather to finish it, polish it up and make it as absorbing and delightful to read as possible. THE EARTH SHIFTER is substantially longer than 50k words, so I have my work cut out for me.
I went ahead and joined the Upstate New York chapter of NaNoWriMo. Writing is a lonely endeavor, therefore write-ins are a great way to break up the monotony and to meet fellow writers and kindred spirits (and potential readers, too). Write-ins can be done at participating library or book store, but for the real ambiance, a coffee house with wi-fi and all the writer’s best friends, namely coffee, tea and lots of chocolate, is highly preferred.
Image courtesy Latte Lounge, Oneonta, NY
I am looking for write-in buddies to meet at one of the following 2 places:
1. Latte Lounge, 196 Main St, Oneonta. http://www.the-latte-lounge.com/ If you are nearby and would like to join, I am planning on being there on Thursday, 11/1 3-7 pm. A couple of people expressed an interest in this write-in. We may make it a regular, if all goes well.
2. Daly’s Coffee Bar, 5410 Main St/Rt 23, Windham. http://dalyscoffeebar.com/ Time and date TBD. Possibly Saturday or Monday. One other person expressed an interest so far. Please let me know if you’d like to join our cozy gathering. Note, we may switch to Higher Grounds Coffee instead. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Higher-Grounds-Coffee-Co/302891989763169
If you live in Upstate New York and would like to join us, please let me know!
Cheers, and happy and productive NaNoWriMo 2012 to all!
Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews, Author Lada Ray, Books, Brothers Strugatsky, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling, Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, Mikhail Bulgakov, Monday Begins on Saturday by Strugatsky, Russian film Charodei, Russian film Mesto Vstrechi Izmenit Nelzia (Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed), Russian films, The Booker Award, The Master and Margarita
No, it’s not THE Booker (Prize), but this one is pretty cool too, and I am thrilled to receive it!
The Booker Award was given to me by Mardi Orlando, author of a wonderful metaphysical fantasy, Secrets of Ghosts. I recently read it, and enjoyed it so much that I immediately sat down to write a 5* review, which was featured at my Indie Book Review Fest.
Here is the link to Mardi’s post about the award: http://www.mardiorlando.com/the-booker-award.html . Many thanks, Mardi! I am privileged and honored to receive it from you!
What I especially like is that this is not a blog award – rather it is given to authors. To accept it, I am asked to list 5 of my favorite books and pass it on to 5 other authors, which I’ll gladly do.
There are so many favorite books, which I had treasured at different points of my life and that left an indelible imprint in my psyche. But here are just a few of them that come to mind immediately (both fiction and non-fiction):
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Widely regarded as one of the foremost visionaries of the 20th century, Mikhail Bulgakov is arguably the father of the contemporary urban fantasy. Written in the 1930′s, Bulgakov’s masterpiece takes place in the Stalinist Moscow, when Satan himself descends on the unsuspecting city to play with lives and desires of mere mortals and to organize his annual ball. It is about the writer – ”Master” – who is writing a book about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the predicament of Pontius Pilate, and about a secret affair of said Master with his beloved Margarita. The book is so profound, so entertaining and so amazing(!) that I would have given it 50 out of 5 stars, if such option was available. I read it in Russian, and I can only hope that the English translation does it justice! I hear that the best translations are by Ginsburg, or Burgin/O’Connor.
Here are a few of Bulgakov’s famous catch phrases, many authored by Satan (who is a very cool character, by the way): ”Manuscripts don’t burn,” “Cowardice is the worst of sins,” “They are generally not bad people, it’s just that the real estate issue has spoiled them,” “Why are humans so afraid of shadows? What would the world be like without a shadow of a tree?” “He hasn’t earned the light; he has only earned peace” (The above are my own translations directly from Russian – translations of the same phrases in the book may vary). I can equally highly recommend Mikhail Bulgakov’s other books. Read more about those here: GOLD TRAIN Blog Tour Centerpiece: May Day Interview.
The Russian Jubilee edition of The Master and Margarita (Russian: Master i Margarita).
The new excellent movie is available on Amazon with English subs. A word of warning: The movie is truly superb and true to the book, but the translation as I hear is not as good as it could be.
Journey of Souls by Michael Newton (non-fiction). It is a compilation of fascinating case studies of past lives by various patients, recounted by practicing psychiatrist and pioneer in past life regression. When I first read this book years ago, it opened my eyes on many things. Awesome!
Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, by Ted Andrews. Incredibly useful and well-written reference guide to the wisdom of the animal world, which provides techniques for recognizing and interpreting the signs and omens of nature. Meet and work with animals as totems and spirit guides by learning the language of their behaviors within the physical world. Includes extensive wisdom of Native American shamans, Chinese and other cultures.
Monday Begins on Saturday (Also, translated as: Monday Starts on Saturday) by Brothers Strugatsky. Move over, Harry Potter! Written in the 1970s, it is “Soviet research science meets the paranormal.” What a delightfully magical, entertaining, satirical and profoundly philosophical book this is! It features the Institute of Magical Affairs, located somewhere close to Moscow in Kitezhgrad, a magical town, which was recently discovered and lifted from the bottom of a sea. As the Institute completes its revolutionary, cutting-edge design of the… magic wand, the protagonists, beautiful research witch Alyona and her beloved Ivan, have to overcome tremendous odds and a huge dollop of malicious witchcraft to be together.
Russian Edition: Ponedelnik Nachinaetsa v Subbotu. A blockbuster movie based on Monday Begins on Saturday, entitled Sorcerers (Russian: Charodei) was made in the early 1980′s. Immediately after that, the girl’s name “Alyona” (which in fact is an ancient Russian name) became incredibly popular.
Sorcerers (Charodei), movie poster.
If you speak Russian, you can watch it on Youtube.
Brothers Strugatsky are the classics of the Soviet scify/fantasy, as well as the mystery/thriller genres. Their other book, The Era of Mercy, is another favorite of mine. It is about a huge wave of brutal crimes that swept Moscow in 1945, immediately after the end of WWII. It is also about the important lessons and choices the young detectives have to make while trying to solve the mystery of the Black Cat. The mega-popular blockbuster TV mini-series based on The Era of Mercy made in the early 1980′s, starred the famous Russian singer Vladimir Visotsky and was entitled: The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed (Russian: Mesto Vstrechi Izmenit Nelsia). I just finished watching it on Youtube. Simply awesome!
As my fifth choice, I decided to include Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. I think this is the best book of the Harry Potter series and I just love the character of Sirius Black! Also, J. K. Rowling is my inspiration. I know, I know, this is not the book’s cover, but shall we say, I am not a fan of the American covers of the Harry Potter books. I think, this movie poster is sooooo much more appropriate.
In conclusion, I just wanted to say that listing some of my fave books here was a fun exercise in soul searching, which made me pause and think about what is important and what isn’t. I am hereby making a solemn promise to myself to post reviews of the above, as well as of some other great books. Thanks to my friend Mardi, today I have made an earth-shattering discovery that being a thoughtful reader/reviewer would help me become a better writer. Imagine that!
The authors I would like to nominate for the Booker Award are:
Darlene Foster http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Cassandra Giovanni http://www.cgiovanni.com/
M.C. O’Neill http://royalmanaball.wordpress.com/
Janna Shay http://jannashay.wordpress.com/
Lesley Fletcher http://inspirationimport.wordpress.com/
Author Lada Ray, Comet of Karma, dystopian, Earth Keepers Chronicles, ebook, fantasy/scifi, Lake Baikal, Moscow, New York, Siberia, spiritual/metaphysical, The Earth Shifter, thriller, writing and publishing, YA fiction
Cover Copyright Lada Ray 2012
Category: novel, YA fantasy/scifi, thriller, dystopian, visionary/metaphysical
Anticipated release: mid-December 2012
Mankind would never know how close it came to annihilation on June 30, 1908. Somewhere in the murky depths of the Cosmos, a Comet of Karma is born. When all hope fades, it is sent to planet Earth, its sole mission to wipe out a failing civilization. It has happened before, and it can happen again. Except this time, the Earth Keepers would not interfere.
The Comet of Karma tasked with destroying a failing civilization…
The Earth Keepers endowed with supreme powers over the planet and agonizing over the ultimate decision…
The Protectors risking their lives to keep the world intact…
A beautiful brunette with hidden agenda, who is infinitely more than anyone knows…
Two ambitious and unscrupulous men, who’ll stop at nothing…
Global secret society bent on usurping power on Earth…
A woman, ready to betray in order to save her son…
Old spy organization with a secret human weapon…
The Shifters, with power over mind, matter, time and space…
And three teenagers, two of whom are destined to become mankind’s salvation—the all-powerful KEY of DESTINY. They will open a new era for humanity, if they succeed in keeping their souls uncorrupted… and if they manage to come together before it’s too late…
..THE EARTH SHIFTER page @ official author site: LadaRay.com.
..You can now read the first 2 chapters of The Earth Shifter FREE!
Here’s how: CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians (prequel and companion to The Earth Shifter), includes it as a bonus. Ebook is available on:
Finally, it is presently FREE on Smashwords!
(Coming to B&N, Sony, Kobo and Apple very soon)
To download, please click on links above.
Additional buy links : Lada Ray Book Store
Dear readers, thank you for stopping by and happy reading!
Please let me know what you think – comments and likes are always greatly appreciated!
Accidental Spy Adventure Series, Author Lada Ray, Beautiful Blogger Award, Blog awards, Gold Train by author Lada Ray, Golden Ring of Russia, Kremlin, Moscow, nature photography, Palekh, photos of Russia, Reader Appreciation Award, Sergiev Posad, The Earth Shifter, World Heritage Site
Welcome to my Award Party! Celebrating two new awards!
Wow! I am very honored and touched to receive Reader Appreciation Award from a fabulous guy and fellow author, Jim L. Wright. Thank you very much, Jim!
Here is the link to Jim’s post about the award. http://jimlwright.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/301/
Please check out Jim’s blog, The Left Wright Brain - it’s really great!
The rules for this award are:
I already mentioned various interesting things about myself in my “acceptance speeches” for previous awards.
You are invited to check them out here:
This time, I decided to do something a bit different, something I think my readers will enjoy. In keeping with the theme of this particular award, here are…
SEVEN THINGS I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO WRITE ABOUT!
1. Awesome adventures, mysteries and thrillers. My adventure/thriller series with a touch of romance and paranormal, Accidental Spy Adventures, is well underway. So far, I’ve released Green Desert (Prequel, short novella), STEPFORD USA (US Adventure, full size novel) and GOLD TRAIN (Russia Adventure, full size novel). Coming next year: DRAGON GATE (Asia Adventure).
2. Fantasy and scifi. On September 13 I released my first fantasy/scifi short entitled CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians (Earth Keepers Chronicles: Book 1). In December I’ll be releasing the highly anticipated THE EARTH SHIFTER, my new YA fantasy/thriller novel.
3. Wisdom and Spirituality
4. Futurism, or put another way, predictive analysis of future events
5. Nature and animals
6. Feng Shui, beauty, and Oriental art. (I regularly write about all of the above on my blog and I invite you to check out my posts!)
7. Last but not least! My travels and world cultures. In addition to writing about those, I love photography and try to post great pics of my favorite places to make it visual.
The new series of posts I am starting this fall is entitled “Beautiful Russia.” In this series I will be posting about various beautiful gems of Russian architecture, art, nature and culture. The first 2 posts will be about the Golden Ring of Russia, a ring of beautiful ancient towns north-east of Moscow. Most of these towns are at least 1000 years old and all of them are a feast for the senses, boasting beautiful art, architecture and nature. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites abound here. I will have tons of gorgeous pics soon, but for now, enjoy a sneak peek:
The ancient Kremlin, town of Suzdal, the Golden Ring of Russia
The town of Sergiev Posad, the famous Sergiev Monastery, the Golden Ring of Russia
The town of Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, the Golden Ring of Russia
The artisans of the Golden Ring produce exquisite traditional Russian art. The town of Palekh is where the famous Palekh boxes come from. Each tiny box is hand-painted in the secret Palekh technique of feather-light stroke and goes for hundreds and thousands of dollars. And the town of Sergiev Posad is the birth place of the famous Russian Matryoshka (above).
I love this award! Once more, many thanks to Jim L. Wright for nominating me for the Reader Appreciation Award!
In turn, here are five (+ one) of my favorite bloggers whom I want to nominate for this great award. I love reading their blogs and highly recommend them to my readers!
1. Russel Ray is a San Diego photographer and a very outspoken, fun blogger – I love this guy! (purely platonically, Russel ;)) http://russelrayphotos2.com/
2. M. G. Edwards blogs about his world travels – lots of great pics! http://worldadventurers.wordpress.com/
3. Francis writes lovely poetry and does lovely photography http://niltsi.com/
4. Elisa Cashiola – blogs about feng shui http://elisacashiola.com/
5. Lesley Fletcher – lovely blog http://inspirationimport.wordpress.com/
6. Holly Michael blogs about Christian values, her world travels, writing and family http://writingstraight.com/. I know she has already received this award, but I love her blog and want to honor her here. Holly, let’s consider this an honorary award.
How awesome is that! Another beautiful award!
I received The Beautiful Blogger Award from a fellow Indie author and wonderful blogger, Cassandra Giovanni. http://cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/holy-cannoli/ Thank you so much, Cassandra! It is a true honor!
Cassandra is the author of the novel, Walking in the Shadows, to be released on October 31, 2012. Check out her blog http://cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com for more about her and her books!
These are the rules for accepting The Beautiful Blogger Award:
Here are the 7 things I’d like to share:
1. I love my collection of Oriental art.
2. …And my writing retreat in the Catskills, NY
3. In 2011 I published two novels and one short novella in the Accidental Spy Adventure Series: GOLD TRAIN (Russia Adventure), STEPFORD USA (US Adventure) and Green Desert (Iraq Prequel). DRAGON GATE (Accidental Spy Asia Adventure) coming in 2013!
4. I love designing my own book covers! I find it to be a very creative, uplifting and meditative experience. I always feel better having designed a new cover–the more beautiful the better!
5. GOLD TRAIN and STEPFORD USA just got a face lift, with new cool covers and updated blurbs. Check them out!
6. I have just released my first fantasy/scifi short CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians (Earth Keepers Chronicles: Book 1), prequel to the upcoming fantasy/thriller THE EARTH SHIFTER. If you haven’t yet, check it out! It’s only $.99 on Kindle and FREE for a limited time on Smashwords. You can also enter the Catharsis Contest.
7. In December, 2012 I will be releasing my new YA fantasy thriller novel, THE EARTH SHIFTER. Earth Keepers Chronicles (see above) serve as companion for the upcoming EARTH SHIFTER trilogy. Incidentally, CATHARSIS includes an exclusive sneak peek excerpt from THE EARTH SHIFTER (first 2 chapters). More about The Earth Shifter.
There are so many beautiful blogs and it’s so hard to choose just 7! These are the bloggers I’ve decided to nominate:
1. Rick Braveheart – beautiful American nature photography http://thegreatamericanlandscape.wordpress.com/
2. http://imaginecontinua.wordpress.com/ Historic photos of Romania and nature
3. http://astronomybythecosmos.com/ Awesome posts about Cosmos, astronomy and Outer Space – I just love it!
4. Carl Pettit, columnist, journalist, author http://carlpettit.wordpress.com/. Cool illustrations.
5. Ash, beautiful poetry http://momentsofclarityandotherthings.wordpress.com/
6. Lovely Christian blog, poetry, devotional and more http://watmattersmost.wordpress.com/
7. Fascinating photography by a Spanish artist http://manolirizofotografia.com/
Once more, many thanks to Cassandra Giovanni!
Congratulations, winners! Enjoy!
This is Harvest time all over the world and the time of October Fest in Germany. As a total non-drinker, but lover of harvest and the idea of abundant October Fest,
I will host the INDIE BOOK REVIEW FEST on my blog on 10/2. It will include my recent reviews of various great books by fellow authors + the best and most recent reviews by readers of my own books! You are invited to stop by, and I promise a feast for the reader’s soul!
Amazon Kindle, Atlantis, Author Lada Ray, book launch, Catharsis, dystopia & utopia, Earth Keepers Chronicles, ebook, fantasy, fantasy/scifi, Lemurian crystal, Lemurians, The Earth Shifter, visionary & metaphysical, YA fiction
Dear readers and friends,
CATHARSIS IS FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME! Read on!
I am very excited to announce a simultaneous launch of my new series, Earth Keepers Chronicles, and of my new book CATHARSIS, Legend of the Lemurians!
CATHARSIS is Book 1 of the Earth Keepers Chronicles. This series of YA visionary/dystopian fantasy shorts
has been created as companion for the upcoming
Catharsis category: YA, dystopian, fantasy/sci-fi, visionary/metaphysical
Total word count: 15.5k words. Page count: 31 pages with bonus
Bonus: First 2 chapters from the upcoming YA fantasy, THE EARTH SHIFTER!
Download CATHARSIS ebook!
Amazon US (incl. India) only $.99!
CATHARSIS ebook will also be available very soon @:
B&N Nook, Kobo, Sony & Apple
(I will post the links here & @ LadaRay.com as they become available)
Or it can be purchased in PDF format directly from
Check it out!
Before recorded history, before Humanity, since times immemorial, the Earth Keepers have been watching over our planet. Marked at birth and endowed with supreme powers, the nine chosen ones are the Earth’s record keepers and moderators, and when the time comes, ultimate decision makers. This is the first of their chronicles.
Legend of the Lemurians
The population of the red planet Catharsis, on the outskirts of the Andromeda Galaxy, is exceedingly beautiful. Women wear exquisite gowns and gorgeous hairdos, men look stately and dignified, and children are adorable angels. Even the old people are beautiful: nice grannies knitting scarves or baking delicious cakes and cheerful grandpas taking morning strolls to discuss the latest news at a nearby café.
But Catharsians harbor a terrible secret, which they are ashamed to admit even to themselves. The thing is, they have to share the planet with another race, which they call the Uglies, although the Uglies themselves prefer to be called Lemurians. Alas, no one on Catharsis cares what the Uglies prefer. Being ugly is considered a contagious disease, and because of that the Uglies are herded into a special reservation, called Camp Ugly, where they live out their drudgery behind an electric fence.
Yet the Uglies don’t seem to fret as they work in the fields, raise children and sing their beautiful songs about Mother of All, the Goddess Mu. And so, both races co-exist without much interaction—one in their large and beautiful homes, the other in their tiny huts behind the electric fence, until the ultimate disaster strikes.
Morf is a seventeen-year-old Ugly who finds himself in the middle of it all. He is thrust fatefully into the leadership position when no one else can fill its shoes.
Will the catastrophe bring to light everyone’s true beauty and true ugliness? Will planet Catharsis survive? What destiny lies in store for the Uglies?
We are about to find out…
Read more about CATHARSIS, including excerpt, here!
I am celebrating my first Anniversary of publishing with Amazon Kindle, and I have exciting news!
One year ago, on September 2, 2011 to be exact, I published STEPFORD USA, Book 1 of the Accidental Spy Adventure Series (formerly Jade Snow Adventure Series), on Amazon Kindle. Later the same month, I published Green Desert (Accidental Spy Prequel). On December 19, 2011 GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure) came out.
To celebrate my first Anniversary on Kindle, I decided to give both GOLD TRAIN and STEPFORD USA a face lift. I’ve been wanting to change covers for quite some time as I believe that however nice the originals were, I could do better. So, I’ve been going back and forth with this idea for a while now and finally decided to take a plunge.
That said, I am very fond of the old covers and intend to keep them around as alternative covers. Gold Train paperback will still preserve its original cover till further notice.
Without further ado, presenting my new ebook covers:
GOLD TRAIN Cover 2012
STEPFORD USA Cover 2012
Check out the original 2011 covers here: Lada Ray Books
The new covers are live on Amazon Kindle on
Saturday, September 1, 2012!
Check them out!
Accidental Spy Adventure Series, Battleship Potemkin, Black Sea, Blogging, Gold Train by author Lada Ray, green tea, Lada Ray Blog, Lake Baikal, Moscow, Odessa, Russia, Siberia, Sunshine Blogger Award, Travel, World Heritage Site
I received a Sunshine Blogger Award from author and inspiring blogger, Holly Michael. Thank you, thank you, Holly! It is a great honor and privilege!
Here is the link to Holly’s blog, Writing Straight: http://writingstraight.com/2012/08/13/award-time-yay/ Check it out, it’s awesome!
To accept this award, I am required to answer a series of questions and then pass the Sunshine Blogger Award to other deserving bloggers, link my nominees to this post and comment on their blog letting them know of their nomination. Below are my answers and the blogs I have nominated.
1. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Christmas in Connecticut. It’s fun and funny, has enough intrigue and romance, plus a rare innocence impossible to duplicate today.
2. What is your favorite flower?
Lotus. Check out my recent post: The Divine Lotus
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage? Green Tea: Jasmine Pearl or Dragon Pearl (Chinese), as well as Sencha (Japanese). I like making tea in one of my traditional yixing teapots, which I collect, and drink it out of a delicate china cup, enjoying the aroma and taste. It’s a very meditative experience. Yum!
4. What is your passion? Imagining cool stories and making them come alive on paper or screen. I like to teach, inspire and open people’s eyes to the obvious and not so obvious through my writing.
5. What is your favorite time of year? Spring, because that’s when nature awakens to new life and because it’s my birthday time. And Fall, because of the beautiful colors and festive harvest.
6. What is your favorite time of day? Night time, when everything out there, in the big world, quiets down and I can sit down at my computer to think and write.
7. What is your favorite physical activity? Walking and hiking. They say, it’s a quintessential writer’s activity as creative juices flow best while walking.
8. What is your favorite vacation? I’ve been to many countries and loved them all. I really miss Russia. I went back to Russia last year to reconnect and do research for my book, Gold Train, Accidental Spy Russia Adventure set in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
One of the golden-domed Kremlin cathedrals, Moscow, Russia (this is real gold, by the way).
A beach in Odessa where I grew up. Odessa is a beautiful resort on the Black Sea. Along with several other exotic Black Sea locales, it will be the backdrop of one of the future Accidental Spy Adventures.
The famous Potemkin Steps in Odessa, connecting the historic center above with the seaport. The Potemkin Steps ensemble considered one-of-a-kind architectural phenomenon, was the site of the 1925 silent film, Battleship Potemkin (Russian: Броненосец «Потёмкин», Bronenosets Potyomkin), which has been called one of the most influential movies of all time, and was named “the greatest film of all time” in 1958.
Odessa’s spectacular Opera & Ballet House, located at – where else – 1 Chaikovsky Drive.
The famous grand stares inside Odessa Opera, considered by some architecturally the best Opera House in the world, along with Milan’s La Scala. And in case you were wondering, yes, it is real gold! The Odessa Opera, Potemkin Steps, the unique seaport, along with the entire stately center of Odessa together are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sacred Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia, also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The oldest (25 mln years old), largest and deepest lake in the world, Baikal contains over 20% of the planet’s fresh water reserves, and according to locals, possesses mysterious healing powers. It will be featured in my upcoming YA fantasy/thriller, The Earth Shifter.
These are the bloggers I feel deserve the Sunshine Award because of their positive, inspiring and/or creative blogs.
1. Lori Lipsky http://poetrypatio.wordpress.com/. I love Lori’s poetry and her sunshine attitude!
2. Russel Ray http://russelrayphotos2.com/ Russel is a San Diego photographer with sharp wit and very cool cat, named Zoey. His posts are super-creative and very funny!
3. Francis http://niltsi.com/ Francis writes beautiful poetry and does wonderful photography. His dog, Pumpkin, is a cutie!
4. Maddy Walsh at 1 Earth Now Blog http://1earthnow.wordpress.com/ For selflessly and generously seeking out & reblogging today’s best and most inspired bloggers!
5. Maxima http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/ For beautiful flowers and lovely sentiment!
6. The Blazing Trail http://theblazingtrail.wordpress.com/ For courageous and inspiring posts!
7. Ayanna Nahmias http://ayannanahmias.com/ For caring what happens in our world and speaking out for justice (even if I disagree with some of Ayanna’s views). I especially want to honor Ayanna for the heartbreaking post: Love, Compassion and Ugly http://ayannanahmias.com/2012/08/12/animal-rights-story/
Update: I have just added 3 more well-deserving blogs to my list of award recipients.
8. Benjamin http://prewitt1970.wordpress.com/, who is fighting Parkinson’s desease, while producing some absolutely stunning art! I especially want to honor Benjamin for his amazing painting and post entitled Angels and Demons http://prewitt1970.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/angels-and-demons-2/
9. Sumithra Sriram http://hearingwiththeeye.wordpress.com/ for beautiful and wise nature photography!
10. Gertie http://fabricatedfables.wordpress.com/ Gertie is only 12, but she writes with maturity some adults could envy. Her stories are imaginative and evolved and I think she has great future as a writer! I especially liked her fantasy short story, Why Should I Save the Universe? http://fabricatedfables.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/stuff/ Keep writing, Gertie!
Congratulations to all winners!
Lily is very loving, beautiful, smart and fluffy, and I love her with all my heart. She co-starred in Stepford USA, and made her appearance in Gold Train as the super-intelligent and sassy cat, Princess Lily. She also starred in my YouTube video, Enchanted Halloween, as the Halloween Cat. Despite these lofty credentials, Lily Cat likes simple pleasures of life.
Lily and I, when we were just a notch younger
Us again, today
Hello, I am the official greeter
Lily’s famous ‘white paw pedestal pose’ featured in Stepford USA
And another version of the same pose
This carpet is very comfortable
Lily, this famous master of meditation, can meditate anywhere, even in the kitchen
Meditation over, time to go
Under the Bodhi Tree. A great place to relax, Buddha style
The Bodhi Tree meditation
I want my privacy, please!
Time for a nap
Lily: a portrait
Lily of the garden
The best hiding spot
A cozy spot by the warm heater on a cold winter day
What wouldn’t I do for a nice meal!
Time to say goodbye. See you again soon!
I bet, when you saw this title you thought I was mistaken for a thief of some old Soviet clunker, arrested by the scary KGB and shipped off to Siberia? Just as a clarification for those who missed it, there is no KGB any more. It has been replaced by the FSB about 20 years ago, which, much like the CIA and MI6, hardly concerns itself with auto theft, not to mention, they apparently stopped shipping people off to Siberia over sixty years ago (can you imagine that!).
No, my story is nothing as dramatic. It actually is cute and funny. So, if you wandered in here for the wrong reason, sorry to disappoint. But if you are still reading this, chances are you belong.
Want to join me on a fun journey back in time? Then, fasten your seat belt!
In the year 2011, I opened my Twitter account and suddenly was followed by a number of auto dealerships and manufacturers, ranging from Lombardini and Ferrari to Cadillac and Mercedes. My strange popularity among auto makers and distributors continued unabated, despite the fact that I never wrote a single tweet about anything remotely auto-related and never followed back my eager auto-friends.
As those, who follow me on Twitter know, I tweet about Russia, China, USA, world events and cultures, geopolitics, nature, spirituality, music, feng shui, social media, and of course, writing and publishing.
Then, several months ago, I discovered that according to Klout, I was influential in the following topics: Russia, thrillers, Amazon, epublishing and feng shui, to name a few. Which all made sense. However, my No. 1 TOP topic, according to Klout was… cars! For those who don’t know, Klout is the standard of Social Media influence and it rates how influential you are about various popular topics.
I stared at my Klout page. I’d never tweeted about cars. I tweeted about trains a lot, since my most recent mystery thriller, entitled GOLD TRAIN, includes some great train action, and since I happen to love trains.
Then, I looked at my tweeter name, @LadaTweets, and knew: this was my answer! My mysterious and unwanted popularity with the world’s auto crowd has been explained!
Huh?.. You ask. But let me enlighten you.
It all started years ago, how many exactly is not important ;), when my well-meaning parents decided to call me Lada. This is a linguist in me talking: Lada is actually an ancient Russian, as well as Slavic, name and it means ‘balance’ or ‘harmony.’ As in ‘living in harmony.’ It’s a very good name and I am very fond of it.
As another example, the verb derived from the noun ‘lada’ – ‘ladit’ – means exactly that: to live in harmony/ peace. The popular Russian name, Vladimir, means living in harmony (peace) with the world. V-lad-i-mir = In-harmony-with-world. Many – even among Russians – think that ‘Vladimir’ means ‘the owner (or ruler) of the world,’ but the ancient root of both notions is the same. It seems, the ancients were much wiser than us as they understood that one can only rule one’s world by being at peace and in harmony with it. What a novel idea!
But back to my story. Here is the clincher: LADA also happens to be the name of the most popular Soviet car. Its manufacturer, the Soviet/Russian automaker AvtoVaz, thought it would be cute to give it a girl’s name, like Mercedes, you know. Mind you, Lada was nothing like a Mercedes. It was a rather simple, no nonsense, solid and reliable car. And cute in its own way.
Check out the general page for Lada on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada
Lada Classic. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Currently called Lada Classic, this is what Lada looked like in the Soviet days.
Lada Classic page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada_Riva
Lada Classic Estate. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Lada Classic sedan. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Excessive capitalist luxury was frowned upon in the good old Soviet Union, so things manufactured in the country were rather perfunctory, but so over-engineered that many became heirloom pieces. Interestingly enough, many of those who grew up in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries have fond memories of Lada, the car. So fond in fact that there is still a cult following of the Lada Classic. Although AvtoVaz makes contemporary cars as well, they still sell Lada Classic practically with the same exact look as in the 1970′s and 80s. It’s sort of like Volkswagen Bug – people buy because of nostalgia.
In 1989, I just graduated from high school and started at the university. My parents had recently bought a Lada and jokes were frequently made about a Lada within a Lada. My fiance at the time wanted to follow in his and my parents’ footsteps and also managed to buy a Lada, after his and my folks chipped in. It was very rare for a twenty-year-old to have a car in those days, although ours was a used one. We were an adventurous couple and that little Lada served us faithfully for a couple of years, until in 1991 we left the country, having sold our well-used car for a nice profit. Such was the power of hyper-inflation that was picking up before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Before we left, we made very good use of our car, having traveled high and wide in it, including a super-tour of Eastern and Central Europe. During our European adventure, we’d visited a number of countries and some day I’ll do a post about that.
Our adventures included a story about two-foot deep pot holes in Western Ukraine, which cost us the steering wheel that cracked in half. We made the rest of the journey to Poland, steering the car without it (I still wonder how we managed it). In Poland, we bought gasoline and the new steering wheel on the black market at a huge premium, along with some very cute boots for me (the only thing that was actually affordable). Then we crossed over to East Germany, only to find that all gas stations were closed because it was after 6 pm. And I mean, ALL gas stations! The orderly Germans loved to go home to their families early and didn’t care too much about any stranded motorists, which were admittedly very few in those days.
To save the day (or rather, the quickly approaching night), we had to cross the border on foot back to Poland under curious gazes of the Polish and German border guards, and persuade the Polish border patrol to sell us some gas from their patrol car, which they gladly did to make an extra buck. In Germany, we had a different problem. Apparently, our car liked it there so much that it refused to leave and it took us a while to convince it to start moving.
Later, the Chech border patrol was so shocked to see a loose Russian car on their little border crossing – apparently the first ever Russian car they’d seen in their lives – that they asked us if we wanted political asylum. In Prague, we settled down for the night in our car (to save money) in what seemed like a quiet courtyard, only to wake up in the middle of the Chech Police headquarters parking lot. In Hungary, we befriended the gypsies, who were… But that is already another story, which I promise to tell one day, along with many, many other funny anecdotes.
Yeah, it was a great little car – a big nostalgic sigh. Some tend to laugh at it, but I’ll always have fond memories of Lada, my first car! Lada was actually considered a luxury car in other socialist countries. Everything’s relative in this world, isn’t it? Kind of like Toyota Camry is considered an impossible luxury in Israel, where it’s unaffordable even for people who make a very good living (as I found out while visiting my Israeli friends).
In East Germany, our friends Anke and Michel were very envious when we came to visit. They also wanted a car. But the only one available to them was a Trabant, an unbelievably tiny and funny looking East German car, made out of either celullose or cardboard. There is no consensus to this day, which material was used to produce that incredible creation, but the comforting thought was that the material appears to have been bio degradable, therefore cows could chew on the remnants after humans were done with it. I am not kidding! And guess what, the nostalgia for the good old East German days causes people to collect even Trabants.
The infamous East German Trabant. Along with Yugo (Yugoslavia), voted one of the fifty worst cars ever made. Dan Niel, Pulitzer Prize-winning car critic remarked that it ”gave the Communism a bad name.” What where the other 48 all-time lemons? Well, some of them were Western European, but most were American. No Russian cars made the list.
As opposed to Trabant, Lada, properly made out of metal, was the pinnacle of desire in Poland and East Germany. As we drove our Lada through East Germany, the locals shouted appreciatively: “Ohh, eine gute Russisch auto!” – “A great Russian car!”
And so, there you have it. The mystery of my popularity in the auto industry is solved. It’s all about branding, you see. They actually thought @LadaTweets represented Lada, the car, not Lada, the thriller and fantasy writer.
Contemporary Lada: Lada Granta. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Lada Kalina. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Lada Niva. Photo courtesy Wikipedia
The trick now is to make the Lada Ray brand name just as – preferably more – recognizable. The little Lada is going strong after all these years. In competition with the Honda, Toyota, Ford and other giants of the auto world, it has outlived lots of brands, both in Russia and abroad. And people still remember that old, classic Lada with warmth. Some even still want to drive it. Whatever you think about Lada as a car, those who made it must have been doing something right!
So, I’ve been thinking: time is the ultimate test. If my books are remembered with warmth and re-read after many years, then I haven’t been writing in vain.
book, BOOK: Stepford USA, Catskill Mountains, EARTH SHIFTER, Gold Train, Green Desert, hiking, Moscow, my updates, mystery thriller, nature photography, New York, Rail Trail, Siberia, thriller, WordPress, writing, YA fantasy
The GOLD TRAIN blog tour, Stepford USA and Green Desert free promos, and life in general, have somewhat delayed the completion of THE EARTH SHIFTER, my new YA fantasy thriller. But I am getting back on track and have every intention of writing through the summer. THE EARTH SHIFTER release is scheduled for mid-September. So if I am MIA, you’ll know where to find me, namely, at my desk, typing away.
Note: This is only the preliminary cover
THE EARTH SHIFTER is set in Moscow, sacred Lake Baikal in Siberia, New York, China, as well as other mystical realms of this surreal Blue Planet. I will be posting updates of my progress, as well as the book’s synopsis and excerpts throughout the summer. To find out more about THE EARTH SHIFTER, please visit my author website http://www.LadaRay.com/the-earth-shifter.
I am also working on DRAGON GATE, the new Jade Snow Adventure set in Asia. It is currently set for release during the Holiday Season 2012.
The weather has been very nice, and I hope to also find the time to enjoy the great outdoors. We have pretty fabulous nature here, in the Catskill Mountains. I enjoy hiking on the local Rail Trail, a defunct rail road turned nature trail, looking for inspiration.
I’ve taken some fabulous photos, but since WordPress has been pretty uncooperative lately, it’s been difficult to post a lot of pics in one post, evidently, due to WordPress’ servers being overwhelmed. My husband’s verdict: they need more bandwidth. He should know, this is right up his alley. Perhaps, one day I’ll share as many great pics as possible. But today, here are just a few as a sampler. I think you are gonna love them!
Spring in the Catskills:
I’ve been nominated for One Lovely Blog Award by a wonderful woman, Sylvia W. McGrath. Dear Sylvia, thank you for thinking of me. It truly is an honor. You have a lovely, lovely blog and your flower banner is magnificent! I love flowers, can you tell?
And here comes my “ACCEPTANCE SPEECH”
Ahem… Ahem… In line with the title, One Lovely Blog Award, these are some of the things in this world I love most:
The lovely bloggers and wonderful people I choose to nominate are:
Madeline Walsh http://1earthnow.wordpress.com/
Darlene Foster http://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
M.G. Edwards http://worldadventurers.wordpress.com
Erin Pike http://erinbradypike.com/
Jeff Whelan http://jeffwhelan.wordpress.com/
Pranjal Borthakur http://pranjalborthakur.wordpress.com/
Lesley Carter http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com
Thelma Cunningham http://thelmac.wordpress.com/
Donna Jones http://donnaljones.wordpress.com/
J. Thomas Ross http://jthomasross.wordpress.com/
Marilyn Dieckmann http://marilyndieckmann.wordpress.com/
Story Addict http://addictivestory.wordpress.com/
Nicky Wells http://nickywellsklippert.wordpress.com/
Once more, many thanks to Sylvia McGrath! Please make sure you visit her lovely blog: http://sylviawmcgrath.wordpress.com/