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2  SUPER-EXCITING NEWS, dear readers! 

1. Both THE EARTH SHIFTER and CATHARSIS are now featured on the top-rated Amazon list for visionary/metaphysical literature, all thanks to your wonderful reviews! 

2. THE EARTH SHIFTER Virtual Tour is nearing its grand finale and I have some awesome news about the upcoming giveaway! As you know, I’m giving away ARCHOS TABLET, as well as 2 complete sets of my ebooks.

I’ve decided to add something very special and exciting to my giveaway to thank all of my readers, reviewers and fans for your wonderful support and generosity. In addition to the above great prizes, I am also giving away signed paperback copies of The Earth Shifter, Gold Train and Stepford USA! Each book comes complete with 2 of my new, exclusive bookmarks, and this giveaway is open worldwide!


Giveaway Results

Links to all my books: bookstore


And now…how ’bout some TALKING NAMES, mate?

As Captain Jack Sparrow would probably say…

In the run up to ‘The Earth Shifter Virtual Tour & Giveaway Grand Finale,’ I want to invite you on a little linguistical adventure in which we’ll explore the fascinating subject of the talking names in literature, and learn some of my secrets…


Many world-renowned authors have been famous for relying on talking names in order to establish from the start the intent and direction of their characters, or alternatively, to mislead, adding a layer of intrigue by ironic, or convoluted, name usage. From names like Professor Lupin, Drako Malfoy & Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter to Jack Sparrow, Will Turner & Elizabeth Swan in Pirates of the Carribbean, the names that carry a message and tell a story are popular the world over.

As comparative linguist and toponymist (researcher and interpreter of the origin and meaning of names), I love working with names of all kinds! Toponymics is my lifelong hobby as I enjoy being able to tell loads about a person or a place by their name. A good toponymist must have a keen eye and ear that can discern the hidden; a good command of history, mythology and ancient languages helps a lot. It is clear to me that authors like J.K.Rowling and Dan Brown (fellow linguists) happen to be very good toponymists.

It’s a super-useful skill for an author to be able to use talking names, and it’s equally great for a reader to know how to interpret such names, as this adds a whole new – and significantly deeper – level of understanding to a read. I’ve developed my own categorizations of the literary talking names, which I will share with all in a separate article pretty soon. I use the miracle of talking names extensively in my writing, and you will find them throughout both The Earth Shifter and Accidental Spy books. Today, I’ll share some of THE EARTH SHIFTER talking name secrets. 


Sasha Elfimova

Protagonist, Sasha (Alexandra) Elfimova and her father, Professor Maxim Elfimov. I gave my main characters a rather loaded & multi-layered family name. Elfimov… It’s an unusual and rare name, although it belongs to a very distinguished Russian family. Apart from its Russian ending, what else do you see? Perhaps the word elf? This is the most obvious thing many notice.

However, if you dig deeper, you’ll see something else: elfim is a European transliteration of the famous Hebrew word elohim (both contemporary & ancient/ biblical). It means “God,” but it can also be translated as “powers.” Very few people realize that the word elf is derived directly from elohim, or elfim. It is rather fitting for Sasha – the powerful Mind & Time Shifter – to possess this kind of a family name.

As a side note, it is interesting that the connection between “elf” and “God” is completely lost in modern languages. The “elves” are often interpreted as these little creatures that can be helpful, but are oftentimes rather naughty or unpredictable. They hide in little corners and do things surreptitiously in the dead of the night; sometimes they are even assigned a negative role. It pays to be a linguist: philologist Tolkien certainly knew what he was doing when he attributed god-like powers, such as being able to part waters and show the light in the darkest hour, to his elves in the Lord of the Rings.

Oh yeah, the typical Russian last name ending: ov (or ova for females). “Ov” equals “of” in English. This is an EXTREMELY ancient word, preceding both contemporary Russian and English languages (as you see, it sounds practically the same in both) and originating from the primordial European language that gave birth to the ancient Celtic and Rus. In those days you referred to people by first name, and a location, or a family, they came from. So if you came from Hampshire, you’d be “Jack of Hampshire.” Or if you were a son of Jack, you might have been “of Jack,” which eventually became “Jackson” in English. In Russian language, “of” became attached to the name, thus forming one word. In this case, Elfim-ov would mean literally of God.

Handsome middle aged man leaning against wall in the sun

Professor Maxim Elfimov

Of course, I couldn’t resist giving the Elfimovs talking first names as well. Sasha is an equally popular Russian name for both girls and boys (this also has special significance, as this character signifies the divine yin-yang union of the opposites). Maxim (emphasis on “i”) is another typical Russian name. It comes from Latin and means “the highest.” So, fully interpreted, Maxim Elfimov’s name means “the highest manifestation of God.” 

Tengis 3

Siberian Shaman Tengis. He is a tiny Asian man who can see into other dimensions with his squinty eyes, who smokes his perpetual pipe, can turn into a wild bear – literally – and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Some readers have told me that they consider him the most formidable character in the book. No argument from me here, and I gave him a name to match! Unsurprisingly, “Tengis” means “precious” in the Turkic language family.


Red, a mysterious and all-powerful brunette with hidden agenda, who’s infinitely more than anyone knows… Oh yeah, that’s Red all right! Just three letters, but the name carries the impact and mystery to match the character and it hints indirectly at what or who she is. But you would have to read until the end to find out the truth… Yet even then, you’ll only know half of it, as layer after layer of this enigma gets slowly peeled in future Earth Shifter books…



Win and Kei Lee. The Chinese-American twins, who are a wild card in the book. Which one of them is the second half of the Key? Which one is destined to help Sasha create the Earth Shift? Kei is a Chinese name that hints at the “key,” and “Win” is short for “Winston” (Win is a big fan of Winston Churchill and loves to win ;)). It is a Western interpretation of a famous Chinese name, Wei (Does Wei resemble “way” to you?). Hint: the twins were originally named Wei and Kei by their parents, but Wei decided to get westernized…

Russian Oligarch Boris Konukovsky. I had a blast with this name! The moment I came up with the concept of the book, the name just popped into my mind. While The Earth Shifter carries a disclaimer that all names are used fictitiously and any resemblance is purely coincidental…but how could I resist something that was staring me straight in the eye!

Boris Berezovsky

In truth, Boris Konukovsky is an amalgamation of the two infamous oligarchs, first of whom is Boris Berezovsky, till recently, a fugitive in London. Don’t be surprised – lots of international criminals are given asylum in the UK, including Icelandic bankers who’d bankrupted Iceland, as well as the Chechen terrorists. Berezovsky recently hung himself in his London estate, and after his death it came out that he continuously wrote to Putin asking for forgiveness and begging to allow him to return home.


Mikhail Khodorkovsky

The second oligarch is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in the past, CEO of Russia’s largest and most successful oil company Yukos, presently in jail on charges of money laundering, tax evasion, conspiracy and ordering contractual killings.

Both oligarchs were involved in attempted conspiracies to overthrow or corrupt the existing Russian government. Both, especially Khodorkovsky, were suspected of being the Rothschilds/NWO front men and “Trojan horses.” A large part of the FSB investigations into their activities throughout the 1990s/2000s is classified, but even the little that has been leaked is pretty damning. Of course, you won’t hear any of this in the Western media.

Oh yeah: a nice touch in The Earth Shifter is the name of Konukovsky’s oil company: NORUS. Do you see what I see? NO-RUS… Food for thought, especially taking all the above into account.

Aloysius Drakley, Assistant Director of the CIA. Oh my, where do I begin! The moment I created this pivotal character, I knew he would be called Aloysius. A farmer’s son hungry for power, who’ll stop at nothing to get to the top. The somewhat archaic name Aloysius, used mostly in the the US South in the past, it is of Germanic origin and means “fame and war.” Initially, I gave this character a straightforward last name “Darkley,” but I wasn’t entirely happy with the overwhelming bluntness such name conveyed and tried to find something more subtle, albeit unsuccessfully, until… one day I inadvertently misspelled “Darkley,” resulting in “Drakley.” This was one of those “happy mistake inventions,” as this new name immediately snapped in place. “Drakley” hints at several different things, without naming them directly… Do you see?

Remote viewing



Having recently received a bunch of absolutely awesome reviews for my various books, I couldn’t resist including brief excerpts from the two latest reviews of THE EARTH SHIFTER by Sherry Fundin and Mr. Blues. Check ’em out! They are well worth it!

Excerpt from Sherry Fundin’s amazing review @fundinmental.com:

WOW! Lada Ray’s blend of history, current events, mythology and fantasy left me in awe. They were the Key of Destiny. They would multiply their power and propel Earth forward or they would destroy it. They are the Earth Shifter. As Sasha drifted off to sleep, she dreamt of the end of Earth. Tengis and Maxim looked at each other. She had the Vision. Time was running out.

5 STARS – Would Buy It For Them (lol)

Originally, it was the cover that made me notice the book. It was not only beautiful, but made me wonder what the book was about. Combining history, science-fiction and the paranormal makes this a unique read.

The storyline reads like the current events of today. The Mayan calendar with the date 12-21-12. The end of the world. Armageddon. The Society operates like our politicians today, above the laws of us commoners.  The misuse and manipulation of power overwhelms the headlines today. It seems they feel as if it is their right and they deserve whatever it is they are after, bar none. Sound familiar?

Lada Ray’s writing, the depth and detail of Russia and its history intertwined with the fantasy of the Earth Shifters, takes you on a fantastic journey towards Earth’s end or it’s new beginning. I was lost, as I dove into Sasha’s story, only coming up for a breath of air as I raced through the final pages. I was crushed when I reached the end, wanting so badly to continue reading. I can hardly wait for Book II…  Read full review here!

Excerpt from the Amazon review by Mr.Blues:

Prophetic and Irresistible. I was impressed by this prophetic novel, which at times felt like a mystical guide to various mysterious past and future events in our unfolding history! Already within a few months of release, several events happened in our world that were foretold by Lada Ray’s vision! A comet has recently exploded over Russia, shaking up the world. Hmm… a spooky coincidence? Or a warning, just like predicted in the book?

I enjoyed the fluid writing and gripping plot that had me reading right through the unexpected and explosive conclusion. There are plenty of twists that I didn’t see coming… But what really distinguishes this book from most is a treasure trove of valuable mystical and metaphysical information, as well as the wonderfully spiritual tone of the whole story. The book has a very intriguing ending, and I can’t wait for the sequel to find out what happens next to Sasha, Kei, Win, and Shaman Tengis!

Read both reviews on Amazon

Also, many thanks for the most recent reviews by John Paul Davis, the bestselling author of The Templar Agenda (Gold Train & Stepford USA), reviewer Sherry Fundin (The Earth Shifter, Stepford USA, Green Desert), and a reader from California, Mr. Blues (The Earth Shifter, Catharsis), as well as to all of my other fantastic reviewers!

Buy links for all my books: BOOKSTORE