Posted in Adventures in The Primortus Zone

Five Things You Might Not Know About New Zealand

 

Image

 

1.  The Maori name for N.Z. is ‘Aotearoa’

It means “the land of the long white cloud”

IMG_3651c
IMG_3651c (Photo credit: mollydot)

2. In 1893, New Zealand became the first Country to give women the right to vote

new zealand traffic jam 1
new zealand traffic jam 1 (Photo credit: kidicarus222)

3. New Zealanders are outnumbered by sheep

In fact, there are around 5 sheep per person 

22 Jun - My bookshop Beattie & Forbes
22 Jun – My bookshop Beattie & Forbes (Photo credit: catspyjamasnz)

4. There are more book stores per person than any other country about one for every 7500 people.

Gandalf
Gandalf (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)

5. New Zealand is more than Middle Earth

“That was the big effect Lord of the Rings had on me. It was discovering New Zealand.  And even more precious were the people not all like the Australians.”- Ian Mckellen

The following is an excerpt from Eleventh Elementum, Book One of the Primortus Chronicles. 

Skylee set down her suitcase, dropped her backpack onto the bed and threw herself back against the soft pillows.  She was happy to finally be in New Zealand.  The flight had been exhausting, not the plane-ride itself, but the seventeen-plus hours of listening to Chrism complaining, whereas Skylee only had one complaint.  The fact that she had to share her Luck-E-Chocs with everyone and now she was down to two pieces.  However, her sister had enough grievances to create a list, which included the seating, the food, the ‘stupid’ movie choices and the poor service.

At one point during their flight Skylee had pretended to be asleep, which only gave Chrism several hours to flirt with Will.  She had read to him endlessly from her V-phone about New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie locations.  Will sat attentively smiling and nodding at her the whole time.  During the unfortunate episode, Skylee found herself becoming increasingly annoyed with her new stepsister.

She didn’t know why.  It couldn’t be jealousy, not over Will.  What was there to be jealous about?  At least that’s what she told herself.

Now Skylee was alone for the first time in days, and it felt nice.  Her mind immediately turned to the book, which she had carefully concealed inside her backpack.  Luckily Chrism hadn’t noticed when she cut the lining to create a secret hiding place.  A couple of times she had even snuck a look at the book, but she couldn’t find the privacy to really examine it as she wished.  She knew it was pointless to fish it out now since Chrism would arrive at any moment.  Exhaling loudly she relaxed into the fluffy pillows, picking up a brochure from the bedside table.  She read.

Visit Ancient Maori Village

Long ago, the land was covered by rainforests…

the calls of the laughing owl and the giant Mao filled the air…

the Maori people knew no fear   Step back in time…

You’ll fall in love with New Zealand. 

            She studied the glossy pamphlet and three words seemed to jump out at her.  Fall in love. Surely they don’t think you can fall in love with a place.  Or do they? she pondered.  She didn’t think so.  She wasn’t sure she even believed in falling in love.

 

 

Posted in Adventures in The Primortus Zone

Power of Fandom

“I am looking for someone to share in an adven...

Those of you who have been living under a rock might ask…What is a fandom?

The following short video explains it in the words of the fans themselves.

 

It’s every author’s dream to have a host of fans that are willing to step up and fight for your book character.  That’s what happened last week when little Bilbo Baggins found himself in an epic battle with none other than Snow White.  The two characters were nominated for the award of Best Hero by MTV.  For a while it looked like Snow would win.  Then a real battle broke out between the “Ringers” and the “Twihards”, otherwise known as LOTR’s and Twilight fans.

 

So who won MTV’s Best Hero Award?  Bilbo Baggins…let the party begin!   We can’t help but wonder if J.R.R. Tolkien is doing a hobbit dance somewhere up there.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

The Hobbit, Again.

 

The Hobbit book

5 stars

There and back again…How could I resist returning to Middle Earth for an adventure? Especially since I’ve co-authored a fantasy/adventure set in New Zealand myself. Truth be told. I remember reading (well, sort of skimming) The Hobbit in my childhood and sadly I didn’t appreciate J.R.R. Tolkien‘s flawless storytelling back then. But this time as I followed little Bilbo Baggins on his dangerous journey I was in awe of the author’s rich and imaginative use of words. But I also couldn’t help wondering how this sweet fairytale would’ve been received were it to have been written in 2013.

 
Would today’s reviewers criticize Tolkien about the character of Bard popping up out of nowhere to play such an important part? *No spoilers here*  But it truly gave me pause as I read the “Fire and Water” chapter. Is it just me, or does it seem kind of anticlimactic? Then again, maybe Tolkien’s ability to use a humble hero like Bilbo in a way you might not expect is what makes The Hobbit so brilliant!

So even if you’ve read it before, it’s definitely worth going “there and back again!”