Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Year of the Snake 2013

2013 - The Year of the Water Snake

This year is the year of the snake according to Chinese tradition.

Believe it or not I saw a white female snake sliding across the path to our park.

It stopped and looked at me and then slithered on.

So what do you make of that?

White snakes are considered very lucky.

What a White Snake Symbolizes

  • The most common view of the white snake is a positive one. In the Japanese culture, if someone encounters a white snake in their life, they are considered to be lucky and will continue to have luck. For this reason, people will carry a photo of a white snake with them or hang a photo of one on their wall.

2013, the year of the Water Snake is a year of influence and insight. It is good for managers, organizations and staff. It makes you motivated and take intellectual paths (like more study), and become very determined and resolute about your success in whatever field you choose. If you have clear intentions then this is a year of desires fulfilled. Affection with your families and friends is paramount this year

There is a Chinese legend about a white snake who transforms into a beautiful woman to rescue and live with the man she falls in love with – an herbal physician. A sorcerer who discovers her identity attempts to destroy her to save the physician’s soul..

Saturday, December 29, 2012



The Wandering Sannyasi

This is the true story of a young person who had the good fortune to meet an angel. Me. This meeting was by chance, the angel was real and although the person was not religious, the events leading up to the meeting and what happened afterwards are nothing less than extraordinary. In order to protect the identities of some of the people involved, their names have been changed but the events remain the same.

Here is the first of my stories.

I was on the edge of nowhere, a country school in a wildlife reserve in the holiest of holy cities in India, Benares, which is also known as Varanasi. I had been invited there as a guest teacher of the arts, language, drama and music and I was having a tough day.

It had been extremely hot, that thundery, lightning strewn day in July and the monsoon was upon me. The last thing I ever thought I would hear was a knock on my door in the middle of the night.

I shouldn't have been surprised. Since childhood I have had a lot of knocks, most of them urging me to open up and pay attention. Some bad drug experiences, terrible relationships and a disillusionment with the way the rich got richer and the poor got what was left led me to volunteer for this school way out in the middle of a field with no pens or paper and just myself and my wits to rely on.

I had my own little house with a servant and his family. I really didn’t want to accept that but was told the pittance I paid him weekly in US dollars was enough to feed his family for several months. So I took the hint and the servant stayed. He was there when I woke up to bring me breakfast before my daily yoga and the last person to say goodnight before the sun went down. 

So to get a knock at 2am? Inconceivable! 

I lurched out of bed half expecting an emergency at the school. It didn’t seem impossible for the old thing to have been blown over in the gale force winds or maybe it had caught fire.

Instead, standing on the doorstep was a woman in orange robes.

“I’ve been looking for you a long time,” she said.

I knew what she was. A Sannyasi. Someone in the last stage of life who has renounced all worldly and material pleasures and is pursuing a spiritual life. But this woman was young, white and spoke fluent German!

“I have a message for you from the Gods,” she said in halting English.

“This scroll is for you.” I held out my hands and accepted an ancient parchment with open mouth. What else would you expect at 2 in the morning.

“You have had previous incarnations in India. The one I am to speak about is your life as a Raj of a minor kingdom in the north in the 16th century. You had three wives. You loved peacocks. You adored music even more. You worshipped the Goddess Saraswati, Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. That is your purpose this lifetime. Fulfill it.”

Then she turned and headed out into the wind and rain and shut the door. I rushed after her but when I opened the door she was nowhere to be seen.

I have never laid eyes on her, before or since.

What if reality met fantasy?

Fact met fiction...

History met legend...

What would it look like?

What if angels could speak?

What would aliens say...

If you could talk to the animals...

If we could understand nature...

Connect with the planets and the stars...



The mystical properties of words

Angel Mind

The true story of how an angel saved my life began with this woman, the wandering Sanseis.

If you are reading this then you, like me, are searching for something that makes sense of life’s mystery.

These stories are about the discovery of yourself and the miracles that brings and leads on to a story that does involve a meeting with a real angel.

Everyone on this earth is awakening, and powers far beyond our imagination are waiting like wings for you to use and fly with, wisely.

These stories are about our ability to expand far beyond what we can comprehend, to let go of what we know and embrace the unknown, the mysterious. I call it the angel mind. That was the gift I was given That is the gift I want to pass on to you.

These are true stories. They all happened to me. They answer many of the questions we both have, you and I. Where are we from? Why are we here? Where are we going?

Human life, at this very moment, is poised on the edge of the remarkable, is ready to achieve the experiences great saints like St Francis of Assisi and scientists like Albert Einstein have hinted at.

If you want to connect to the mystery, the mystical, the miracle that is life, then read on.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Archangels and Demons - CD single gets 5000+ radio plays

My electro-pop single 'Archangels and Demons' has had 5000+ radio plays in the USA as of this weekend. 
To celebrate I have 10 free copies to give away.
Send me your email if you like the music and I'll gift you a copy from ITunes.
Cover design is by talented illustrator Chihiro Tani.
Thanks always for your support!

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - FREE

LES MISERABLES - Victor Hugo - FREE - on Amazon Kindle

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hugo's classic tale set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 19th-century France retains its timeless appeal in this notably condensed rendition of the struggles of former convict Jean Valjean. While the abridgment inevitably cuts many of the intricate subplots and minor characters who enrich Hugo's vast tome, this suspenseful central plot tracing Valjean's endeavor to emerge from desperate circumstances while being pursued by the duty-obsessed Inspector Javert remains intact and comprehensible to listeners. The principal characters retain their epic proportions, and the major themes of redemption through good works and the importance of authentic charity are undiminished. Narrator Michael York adds vigor and distinct characterizations to the broad cast of characters in this fittingly dramatic performance. Suitable for collections that do not already contain one of the many audio versions of this work (e.g., Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/93).?Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

A Kid's Review
To be honest, when I started reading this book I didn't think that it would be very good. The book's beginning tells of a generous bishop who is kind to a released convict. The convict goes on to become the mayor of a important city, because of the bishop's influence on him. Meanwhile, a young girl is abandon by her lover, left alone and pregant.

If I while to tell you more of the story, I would ruin it for you but I will tell you this: this book is about exreteme povetry, where people are forced to do horrible things in order to survive. It is also about how your actions can affect the lives of others.

I realize that this review does not do justice to the book but I hope that you will read it because it is very good. I have read a lot of books and out of all of them this is one of the best.

The reason that I like the Barnes and Noble eddition is because it gives you quotes from the story, information about the life of Victor Hugo, an introduction by another great writer, easy and understandable end notes, and lists other books and such that provide further reading.

I really hope that you will take the time to read it because it is good, even if you didn't like my review.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Host - Stephanie Meyer

Book Description

 April 26, 2010
Now available as a special edition eBook:

New Bonus Chapter and Reading Group Guide, including Stephenie Meyer's Annotated Playlist for the book with linking to and back from text.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST
is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won't surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body's longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it's unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story's end leaves the door open for a sequel--or another series. --Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

It's been years since parasitic aliens calling themselves "Souls" have invaded Earth and taken over. Once a "Soul" is placed in a human host, the alien takes over and suppresses the human's mind. But when Wanderer awakes in her new body, she finds that her human host isn't so easily overcome. Melanie, her younger brother, and the man that she loves have been in hiding; and she'll do anything to get back to them, even resist the alien parasite that has taken over her body.

The parasitic "Souls" are easy to dislike at first. But Meyer has given the alien race such a rich and colorful backstory that is truly fascinating. And Wanderer is a unique "Soul" who soon finds herself caring for the same people as her host, and finding herself torn between ties to her own people and the humans.

It's been a long time since I've read such a stirring, science fiction tale that has made me go through so many emotions. The Host is a deep and beautiful story, and very different from Meyer's popular, young adult series. This is a rare story that made me stop and think about the choices that are made and what I would do in their place. Intense, exciting, dramatic, and inspiring, I'd highly recommend this novel to any reader, not only science fiction fans.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas - The Hobbit - With Love from New Zealand

Happy Christmas everyone from New Zealand.

This is Lake Pukaki, one of the locations used in filming The Hobbit.

I've been through here on horseback. It's beautiful.

I've also swum in the lake. It's freezing!

The lake really is this blue-turquoise on account of the amount of silica in the water.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden - Jessica Sorensen

There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.

Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.

(New Adult Contemporary)*Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

"A compelling and superbly written story that will keep you captivated and consumed by truly loveable characters and a storyline that will undoubtedly leave its mark on your heart." --Natasha is a Book Junkie

The next review is from a fan...

This is the second book I read in a matter of weeks that ended on a total cliffhanger. It leaves me completely frustrated. I'm totally the girl that begs her husband to open Christmas presents early because I can't handle the anticipation nor do I have any patience. Jessica has already indicated that she is in the process of writing book #2 - very happy about that.

Any way, I digress. Overall, I really liked this booked. I'd have to say it's probably one of the best New Adult books I've read this year. The story follows Callie and Kayden who actually went to the same high school. They were not friends in high school but end up at the same college. Both have some serious issues (which I will not expand upon as to not ruin it) but end up finding comfort and happiness in the other. For having some messed up things happen to them, it's so refreshing seeing their relationship unfold. You can't help but feel happy for them.

Plus there were some major bonus factors that made this book even better:

The Gay BFF - OMG, how could you not love Seth? He is such a good friend to Callie. He breaks her out of her shell and he's someone she can finally trust. A few of my favorite Seth quotes:

"Fine, but when I get back to my room, I'm adding don't take s*** from anyone to the list."

I nod with my heart squeezing inside my chest. "Yeah, I'm going. Just as long as Kayden will give me a ride."
He covers his mouth with his hand to muffle his laughter. "I bet he would love to give you a ride."

"I'm not dancing," I argue, cringing. "Dancing equals touching and getting close to people. I just can't do it."
"Yes, you can. You've done it with me like a hundred times," he encourages. "I mean, think about when we first met. You would barely talk to me and you always looked like you were going to stab me with a pencil or something. Now look at you. You're sitting on my bed in my room, just you and I. You've come so far my little Callie girl."
"But you're you." I sigh, discouraged. "I trust you."
"Yes, but I had to earn it."
"I know and I'm so sorry for making you do that. I'm surprised you stuck around like you did."
He hops off the bed and opens the top dresser drawer. "Whatever. You were so worth it."

The b*tch that gets her comeuppance - Daisy is just such a b*tch. I enjoyed that she got what she deserved in the end - I actually wouldn't have minded if it was a little worse :)

The cliffhanger - I fully realize that I just complained about there being a cliffhanger. But it means that there will be a second book about Callie and Kayden. I can't wait to see the rest of their story. I also read that Jessica said she was thinking of doing a third book about one of the secondary characters (Seth or Luke perhaps?) which would also be awesome.

All in all, if you're looking for a New Adult contemporary romance, I'd definitely recommend this one. It is a bit heavier in terms of the emotions and situations the characters are put through - definitely not a light beach read. But it's the start of winter where I live so I won't be reading by the beach anytime soon :)


In the existence of our lives, there is a single coincidence that brings us together and for a moment, our hearts beat as one.

This book was so heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time. A chance encounter brings Callie to Kayden's rescue. A coincidental meeting at college, begins their surprising friendship/relationship. They are both hiding tragedies and scars that have shaped their views on their lives and future. But despite the attraction to each other, both are terrified of feelings, intimacy, and even touch so it is not easy to move forward and build trust. His best friend Luke and her new friend Seth are also affected by their pasts and the quartet become an unlikely support for each other. I loved these characters and how they interacted and were there for each other.

My heart broke for both Callie and Kayden and how deep their wounds affected them. They both had such emotional and physical symptoms of their tragic pasts. I was emotionally invested in every small victory that Callie and Kayden made together. I loved how protective they became of each other despite being afraid to face their own demons. But together they begin to realize what it is to truly live and feel.

Callie: It's like I'm not me anymore, like he's changed me into a girl who thinks about the possibilities for life and love.

Kayden: I realize that maybe I'm the one avoiding her because she makes me feel things I'm not used to; the dirty dreams, the protectiveness, the way my stupid heart starts to beat like it's finally alive.

Kayden: The way I feel is irreversible, overtaken, wanted, needed, connected. I'll never be able to let it go.

Kayden: "Callie, you're the only person that'e ever made me feel happy about anything. That night you saved me, you changed something in me--you made me want to live."

I was so glad that Jessica gave us both Callie and Kayden's POV. Their inner monologues were deep and gave so many clues into their suffering and fears.

Callie: I let is slip out, hoping he'd freak out and let me go, but he did the opposite. He held on, allowing me to cry, letting me break apart, and giving me more than he'll ever know.

Kayden: All I've ever seen in my life, is people leaving, not caring, hitting, yelling, telling me to suck it up. But then Callie comes along and tells me I can change it--that I deserve so much better It's so simple yet her words mean to much to me.

I was so hoping for a sweet, happy ending. I was not mentally prepared for a cliffhanger! A serious cliffhanger at that, and really hope Jessica does not take too long to put out book 2!

Namie Amuro - Damage

Namie Amuro
Namie Amuro is a Japanese pop singer, fashion icon and former actress who at the height of her popularity was referred to as the "Teen Queen" and the title "Queen of Japanese Pop Music". Wikipedia
BornSeptember 20, 1977 (age 35), Naha
SpouseMasaharu Maruyama (m. 1997–2002)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Star Songs

In the News: Song of the Stars

article by Amanda Stiver

We know they shine at night, but did you know that stars sing?

Source: NASA
According to recent research by astrophysicists from the University of Birmingham, stars vibrate as a result of earthquake-like seismic activity that reverberates in flickers of light across the galaxies. Scientists compared the light flickers/vibrations coming from a star named KIC 11026764 to those coming from a musical instrument, and they reconstructed the "sounds" by using a technique called astroseismology.

The sound created is similar to wind blowing against a microphone and helps scientists analyze the structure of the star. Another star recently recorded by Sheffield University is our sun. It, too, produces harmony-like musical tones. Larger stars vibrate at lower frequencies than smaller stars, and musical instruments function similarly (Richard Gray, "Star's Song Captured by Scientists,", Nov. 7, 2010).

In the Bible, Romans 1:20
says, "God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (New International Version). God created music and the ability to make and perceive it, so it should be no surprise that His creation hums with musical qualities!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hollywood Stars Demand A Plan To End Gun Violence

Gangnam Style first video to hit one billion views on You Tube

Gangnam Style hits one billion views on YouTube

The BBC's Rory Cellan Jones on the Gangnam phenomenon

Related Stories

Gangnam Style has become the first video to clock up more than one billion views on YouTube.
The South Korean dance track was posted online in July, propelling pop star Psy to worldwide fame.
It has inspired hundreds of parody clips, from members of the British army, Thai navy and Minecraft gamers, among others.
YouTube's owner, Google, said the video had been watched seven million to 10 million times a day on average.
It overtook the previous record holder - Justin Bieber's music video Baby - on 24 November.
"Psy's success is a great testament to the universal appeal of catchy music - and er, great equine dance moves," wrote Kevin Allocca, YouTube trends manager, on the service's blog.
Globalised Gangnam
YouTube screenshotThe video's YouTube hit counter added a dancing Psy animation after it hit the one billion milestone
One industry watcher said the fact so many people continued to post their own versions of Gangnam Style had played a huge part in the clip's success.
"I've seen a statistic which reckons the one song will have generated something like $8m [£5m] by the end of the year from money that comes directly from YouTube through advertising plus download sales, its uses in adverts and TV programmes," Chris Cooke, business editor of the CMU music news site, told the BBC.
"It shows that YouTube - which is a free-to-use as a promotional platform for the music labels - can lead to substantial income.
"Should every artist be trying to think of a funny video that will go viral and be mimicked? I don't know whether it's a template that can be copied, but it certainly shows how quickly an eye-catching clip can spread thanks to social networks and YouTube."
Sir Martin Sorrell - chief executive of advertising giant WPP - paid tribute to the achievement by making a link between Psy and one of the west's most influential economists.
"Another great example of Theodore Levitt's 'globalisation' and the power of K-pop," he told the BBC.
Scott Mills, the BBC Radio 1 DJ who championed the song on his show, said he was amazed by the phenomenon that the song had become.
"The thing that interests you in the video is the fact that you don't understand the lyrics.

British troops in Afghanistan have made their own version. Footage courtesy BFBS: British Forces News
"The first time I saw it was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in America and I just thought it was a bit of fun, but I didn't expect it to be as big as it was.
"Psy came into my Radio 1 show and The Guinness World Records presented him with a plaque for the most 'liked' YouTube video of all time and the amazing thing is he is just a guy, he hasn't tried to do any of this."
D C Han, a South Korean hair stylist who worked in Gangnam before starting a business in London, added that he was proud to see the song become such a massive hit.
"I was amazed" he told the BBC.
"K-Pop is getting stronger and stronger, everywhere in Asia they are listening to it - China, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Maybe even in Japan but they might not admit it."
Gangnam Style passes 1bn hits
Cumulative views (millions)
Gangnam Style versus Baby graphClicks on Psy's video rocket while interest in Justin Bieber's Baby wanes