Posted in Adventures in The Primortus Zone

Five Things You Might Not Know About New Zealand

 

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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.

 

 

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Posted in Announcements

Boston Bombing…Why?

 

It’s at the heart of all the questions…

Why did it happen?

Why the Boston Marathon?

Why do terrorists attack the most innocent among us?

We may never have the answers but the following quote from Tolkien reminds us that in times of great peril… Evil cannot prevail against Love.

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

 


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!”

Posted in Adventures in The Primortus Zone

4 AMAZING MYTHICAL WORLDS (you can actually visit)

MIDDLE EARTH

Hobbit hole

When J.R.R. Tolkien created the world of The Shire, Rivendell, Rohan and Mordor he breathed life into an enchanted place. Who wouldn’t want to stroll across those lush green fields and knock on Bilbo Baggins round door? Or maybe go for a adventurous climb over the White Mountains? But in more recent years Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring’s and Hobbit films have made Middle Earth an actual place, New Zealand.  And the following quote seems to confirm that Tolkien meant it to be just that…real.

“I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world. The name is the modern form (appearing in the 13th century) of midden-erd>middel-erd, an ancient name for the oikoumene, the abiding place of Men, the objectively real world, in use specifically opposed to imaginary worlds (as Fairyland) or unseen worlds (as Heaven or Hell). The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary. The essentials of that abiding place are all there (at any rate for inhabitants of N.W. Europe), so naturally it feels familiar, even if a little glorified by enchantment of distance in time.  J.R.R.Tolkien

Now you can go for a tour of Hobbiton in Matamata, NZ. and have a mug of ale at The Green Dragon.

http://www.hobbitontours.com/

LAND OF OZ

Emerald City

L. Frank Baum wrote fourteen children’s books and six shorter stories set in his wonderful land of Oz.  It’s a magical place with Munchkin Country, The Yellow Brick Road and The Emerald City.  Of course, with the fresh release of Oz, the Great and Powerful, you can see it all in 3D.  But have you heard of The Land of OZ park at Beech Mountain, NC?  It operated as a small theme park from 1970-1980.  And it’s now available for personal tours, birthday parties and private functions.  The enchanting private garden is perched atop the 5,506 ft. mountain.  So you really can take a trip over the rainbow and follow the yellow brick road right to the doors of Emerald City.

http://www.romanticasheville.com/land_of_oz.htm

CAMELOT

Camelot, an illustration for Idylls of the King

It’s first mention in the poem “Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart” gave no indication that it would become the kingdom of the legendary King Arthur and his queen Guinevere.

Upon a certain Ascension Day King Arthur had come from Caerleon, and had held a very magnificent court at Camelot as was fitting on such a day. 

The word Camelot brings about visions of magnificent castles, misty forests, and the knights of the round table.   But today if brings to mind Merlin, the BBC fantasy-adventure television program filmed in Wales and France.  The castle used in the series is Le Château de Pierrefonds vu depuis le Parc located in Oise, France.

http://pierrefonds.monuments-nationaux.fr/en

HOGSMEADE & HOGWARTS

English: Hogwarts Castle in the Wizarding Worl...

A fantastic village inhabited solely by magical beings.  Just down the road from the Hogwarts school, near the Hogwarts Express train station, it’s a picturesque little town of thatched cottages and shops.

“They make a fuss about Hogsmeade, but I assure you, Harry, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. All right, the sweetshop’s rather good, and Zonko’s Joke Shop’s frankly dangerous, and yes, the Shrieking Shack’s always worth a visit, but really, Harry, apart from that, you’re not missing anything.” 
Percy Weasley

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” J.K. Rowlings

Now you can stroll down the cobblestone streets, buy a chocolate frog from Honeydukes Candy Shop, drink a butter beer at The Three Broomsticks, and pick up a wand at  Ollivanders Wand Shop at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

https://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/

Can you think of others?

THE PRIMORTUS CHRONICLES ARE SET IN A MYTHICAL WORLD OF THEIR OWN.

A magical mixture of post-apocalypse, futuristic and the real world, well, sort of.  From the shining city of New Washington to the candlelit village of Dunedinshire it’s overflowing with strange delights and mysterious places.