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Archive for the ‘Mythology’ Category

Owning a bed and breakfast joint may seem glamorous to some, like a lot of work to others, and downright stupid to another group. Let me tell you, it’s all of those things.

Inn sign

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Today’s blog is full of silliness. The following statements are proven facts that very few people know. Until today. Here at the Edge of Eternity, I aim to educate in a freakishly fun way.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:

surprised face 2

Honey does not spoil. That’s right. Evidently you can eat 3,000 year old honey and suffer no painful consequences.

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Last week I gave you a smattering of the kinds of paranormal activity we currently experience here at The Baer House Inn. Never anything sinister or malevolent, just little noises to let us know that “we are not alone.”

This week, I’ll delve a little deeper into some lesser know types of ghosts or ways that ghosts manifest themselves.

First, let’s talk about the trickster, the kokopelli if you will.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

According to http://listverse.com/2013/03/27/10-little-known-mysterious-ghost-types/ – “Unless one is German, then the “Kobold” is not exactly a household term when it comes to the paranormal. Like a poltergeist, the kobold is a mischievous little spirit, playing tricks on humans and doing things to unsettle whoever is occupying its space. Kobolds can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on circumstances.”

Well, I for one only want to experience the benevolent type.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Former innkeeper, Doug, had a first-hand experience with a Kobold while he was doing some remodeling work in the basement. You see, the basement (the inside one, we also have an outside one), used to be the Baer House kitchen. I know, I know – weird that a home built in the late 1860’s, early 1870’s had a kitchen inside the house. Unheard of at that time. You see, kitchens had a tendency to burn down and burn down fairly frequently. That’s because people still cooked over open fires or with open flames in cook stoves. Fire, my friends, can be very destructive if one is not careful.

Well, Ms. Leona Baer insisted that her kitchen be built right inside her home. After her original kitchen house “mysteriously” burned down (that’s a whole different blog post), her construction workers began building the basement kitchen. At that time, people thought Leona was a little off her rocker. Why risk burning down your big beautiful mansion just to have the convenience of an indoor kitchen?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Fast forward to 2005 when Doug bought the home and decided to turn that unused old kitchen space into a work-out room. During the initial remodel phase, quite frequently his tools went missing. On more than one occasion, he remembered putting a tool in a specific place only to have it disappear the next morning when he went to resume his work. Several days, or weeks, later, said tool would reappear in a very bizarre and out-of-the way place.

I’m thinking that’s a Kobold at work suggesting to Doug that perhaps a work-out room was not such a good idea. In fact, he never finished that room.

That basement was not completed until 2015, when we turned it into a downstairs family room (aka a place to store our stuff). We go down there just about every night to watch t.v. and I have a very small craft/sewing room down there. There’s also a very nice, very modern half bath.

Oh sure, the shenanigans continue, but mostly in the form of electronic equipment going wonky (ie, the television turning itself off or the dehumidifier suddenly stopping for no reason). Occasionally we’ll come home and the lights will be on. Nothing dangerous or scary, just the little trickster letting us know he’s/she’s around.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Now, it makes perfect sense that a Kobold would choose to inhabit this house. You see, this house was built by a very devout Jewish family, the patriarch of which immigrated from Germany. Remember the opening quote? Well, Lazarus Baer was a Jew from Germany, so . . . there you go.

Have you ever heard of Kobolds? I know a lot of you paranormal fans probably use that term every day as part of your regular vocabulary, but I had never heard of it. Until now. So tell me readers, would the presence of a friendly Kobold frighten you? Ever been on the receiving end of a paranormal trickster’s prank? I’d love to hear your experiences.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by and for your continued support. I love to read your comments, so keep them coming.

Word of the Day: Quadriga

Fun fact about me: I’m an avid fan of Dancing With the Stars.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Photos and images courtesy Google Images.

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Gypsy Vanner - photo courtesy Google Images

Gypsy Vanner – photo courtesy Google Images

I’ve just learned that 2014 is the year of the horse. Surely that means only positive things for my writing career, as I write contemporary women’s fiction and romance with a western flair, usually included a horse or two in the character line-up. Don’t believe me? Check out my Pinterest story boards http://www.pinterest.com/jansenschmidt/

If you were fortunate enough to have parents who procreated at exactly the right time to ensure your birth in a previous year of the horse, here’s what you might be like:

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images

Strengths : People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Weaknesses : They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. They are independent and rarely listen to advice. Failure may result in pessimism. They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper. Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency. Some of those who are born in the horse like to move in glamorous circles while pursuing high profile careers. They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own.

Oooo – those weaknesses are doozies. I think I know a few asses horses.

And, now that I have been enlightened and know about the year of the horse, I completely understand the Mr. Ed marathon from my last post. It all makes sense now. Still disappointing, but I get it.

Are you a horse? Do you believe the Chinese zodiac characteristics are pretty spot on for your sign? What sign are you? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Usquebaugh

Fun fact about me: I am a dragon.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Images and photos courtesy Google Images.

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Today I’m honored to share with you all, a glimpse into the “other worldly.” Book cover Dead Letter DayOne lucky person who leaves a comment below will receive a copy of this awesome book! (Look right.)

My special guest today is Eileen Rendahl, author of Dead Letter Day, the most recent installment in her Messenger Series. In the Messenger series, heroine, Melina Markowitz, is a kick-butt kind of girl who serves as a go-between for paranormal/supernatural creatures and the human world. She is a regular human with, let’s say “heightened sensitivities,” who communicates with other-worldly beings but she has no real super powers of her own (other than those “heightened sensitivities”).

I’ve asked Eileen a few questions regarding her recent release. Here’s how our interview went:

Me: Melina practices martial arts. Do you personally practice some form of martial arts? If so, what form, and if not, how do you get your information on the subject?

Eileen: Years and years ago, I took about a year’s worth of martial arts. I remember almost nothing. My main source for the fight scenes was Stacy Desideri. Stacy was my sons’ 5th grade teacher and she happens to be a black belt. She spent hours with me helping to choreograph fight scenes and gave me a lot of information to help me write about them in the future. I also will watch fight scenes on DVD and slow them down as much as possible to see the movements. What I loved about Stacy’s input is that she would give me the “why” as well as the “how.” It certainly made it richer in my head and I hope it made it richer on the page.

Me: The Messenger series is set in the greater Sacramento area. Being familiar with that area myself, I’m wondering, what specific landmarks you had in mind when writing some of the scenes in the Messenger books?

Eileen: Well, Melina lives in Mansion Flats. Her parents live in the Pocket. The hospital she works in is located around where Mercy Hospital is located. I actually spent some time with a map of the delta trying to pick a specific island for the mermaid in Dead Letter Day to leave near. I usually try to pick a specific location for where she’s going and what she’s doing. That said, sometimes I do just make stuff up. The town near the wolf pack in Dead Letter Day is basically Mount Horeb, Wisconsin transported to the Sierras.

Me: I’d love to meet Melina, she sounds really cool. She has a very human roommate, a sexy human boyfriend, a werewolf guy pal, a vampire co-worker (at a hospital no less where there is an endless supply of fresh blood), and she has encounters with ninjas, kokopelli and other mystical creatures and gets entangled in voodoo and other dark forces. Tell me, what surprises can I expect to find in Dead Letter Day?

Eileen: I’m so glad you like her! I feel a little like she’s the little sister I never had.

Dead Letter Day has a lot of Norse mythology. I don’t want to give too much away, but that was definitely my main focus for this book. There is also a mermaid, some dryads and a few other beings thrown in here and there.

WDW 2011 076

The Tree Lady (Animal Kingdom Park – WDW)
Photo by P. Rickrode

Me: One of my favorite parts of Don’t Kill the Messenger, the first book in this series, is this combination of two partial paragraphs: “. . . (ninjas) who seemed to materialize out of nowhere and proceeded to kick the crap out of me. That may not seem like a great feat. I am merely one not terribly large girl. Five foot seven in my stocking feet and my weight is none of your damned business.” What is one of your particularly favorite parts of Dead Letter Day?

Eileen: There’s a dryad that figures in Dead Letter Day. I’m quite fond of Melina’s first meeting with her. They start out on a somewhat adversarial footing and become friends.

Me: The first two books in the series, Don’t Kill the Messenger and Dead on Delivery, both have similar covers, primarily reds, oranges and golds with an Asian flare and a warm glow. (Yeah, despite the use of Kill and Dead in the titles, I get a feeling of a warm glow from the covers and honestly, that scares me a little, too.) Dead Letter Day; however, is a beautiful shade of royal blue with black birds, dark trees and a cold sense of impending doom. Why the drastic change in color scheme and cover art?

Eileen: I have no idea what made the publisher change to the blue colors, but I do like it. I also really like the crow and the netting and the trees. I wish the woman on the front looked a bit more like the woman on the front of the first two books, but you can’t win them all.

Side note:

Me: Shows you how much I know about working with a publisher. Excuse me a moment – (Note to self, I may not have absolute control over my book covers unless I self-publish.)

Okay, back on track.

Me: Writing a series of books that involve the same location, characters, etc., is much more involved than writing a single title book. Are you a plotter or a pantser and how does writing a series effect that style.

Eileen: I’m a plotter, but only book by book. Plotting is very difficult for me and the idea of having to plot out multiple books all at once makes my head swim. I guess I’m forcing the series to be worked out the way I work out all my books rather than the other way around. It is fun, however, to know that the end of the book doesn’t have to be the end of the story. I like knowing I can come back to my girl and grow more with her.

Eileen headshotMe: In addition to this paranormal series, you also have several contemporary chick lit and single title romantic suspense books published under a different name (Eileen Carr). Which do you prefer writing?

Eileen: The chick lit books and the Messenger books are very similar in tone. They’re also all first person. The Messenger books have a lot more plotting to them, though. From the beginning, I’ve wanted them to be a little like those old hard-boiled detective novels. Instead of a dame walking into the office, it’s a dryad or a gnome or something else unexpected. Honestly, they’re fun to write. First person for me is like slipping on my stretchy pants. I’m comfy with it. 

The romantic suspense books are a lot harder for me. They’re in 3rd person which means I have a lot more voices to create and a lot more threads to keep track of. I kind of groove on the challenge, though. 

So I guess I don’t know what I like best! I think it’s good to have both comfort and challenge in my life. It makes me a better writer.

So there you have it. I hope you’ll all check out Eileen’s books. She has a sharp wit and great talent for weaving intricate and interesting tales. While I’m not a huge fan of paranormal fiction, I absolutely LOVE Eileen’s Messenger series. The writing is gritty, witty and . . . I can’t think of another rhyming word.

Eileen Rendahl was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Eileen remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne. In addition to the Messenger series, Eileen Rendahl is the award-winning author of four Chick Lit novels. Her alter ego, Eileen Carr, released her first romantic suspense, Hold Back The Dark, in 2009. She has had many jobs and lived in many cities and feels unbelievably lucky to be where she is now and doing what she’s doing.

Send Eileen an e-mail any old time. She’d love to hear from you! Eileen@Eileen Rendahl.com. You can also connect with Eileen at EileenRendahl.com; on Twitter or Facebook. Her books can be found at Amazon.com or your local bookstore. If it’s not on the shelf, request that it be put there.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Eileen’s book. You’ll be glad you did.

I leave you with this thought-provoking question – what do you read when you read out of your comfort zone? Have you been pleasantly surprised when you ventured into that world? I’d love to hear about it.

Word of the day:  Tabula rasa

Fun fact about me: I know the 12 Days of Christmas (the song) in order. You know, lords leaping, pipers piping. I know the right order.

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