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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Can a Ruby Heal Your Heart?

No, I’m not talking about a balm to soothe a broken heart, although jewelry has been used throughout the ages to profess love. In Ayurvedic medicine, rubies have definite healing power and curiously enough, that extends to heart trouble.

The medicinal aspect of rubies extends also to conditions of impotence, loss of blood, tuberculosis, indigestion, prolonged fevers, and diabetes to name a few. Rubies are supposed to empower the Thalamus (basically, the nerve center involved in sensory and motor relay and regulation of consciousness and sleep) and aid in the general health of the body. Powdered ruby is said to banish plague, pestilence and cure the wearer of vain, foolish fancies.

In Indian lore the ruby is associated with opening the Sacral Chakra. Located in the area of your navel it affects creativity, sexuality, money, relationships, empathy, nurturing, pleasure as well as emotions and represents the ability to go with the flow. The ruby also affects the Heart Chakra, the location is, as you might have guessed, the region of the heart and represents love, joy, warmth, compassion and the deep bonds you have with others.

While the Chakra points deal with your emotional well-being, rubies are also associated with the physical maladies of the body and are believed by contemporary Ayurvedic practitioners to heal heart ailments, ailments of the spleen, skin, hypertension, brain, bones and eyesight, which goes along with the idea that powdered ruby sweetens the sharpness of humors (blood and bodily fluids) and vital organs.

While some practitioners believe that rubbing a ruby on the skin maintains a youthful appearance there are others that believe this would disturb circulation of the blood and arouse anger in the wearer. Still others believe it cures a hot temper and impatience.

It is believed that rubies emit strong, hot rays and are effective in treating maladies of cold and dampness, such as low blood pressure, low libido, constipation and anemia by raising the body temperature and increasing the metabolic rate, circulation and muscle tension. This is confirmed by monitoring the patient’s pulse or using a thermometer or blood pressure meter before and after the treatment with the prescribed gem medicine.

The wealthy often wear large medicine rings that are open on the back so that the sun’s rays can penetrate them and reach the skin. The rings are changed periodically by the Ayurvedic physician who works in tandem with an astrologer because it is believed that the gems have a direct correlation to the planets. It is believed that each planet reflects a different colored light from the sun and has influence on biological organisms. The ruby reflects the color red and its energy properties are hot, heating, drying, energizing and expanding (which I take to mean rejuvenating organs that may have been shriveled by disease, but that is just my interpretation).

Powdered gems can be mixed into a paste or burned to ash and mixed with herbs and oils but this must be done by an experienced practitioner because they are exceptionally strong and as with any medicine, I imagine, quite harmful if ingested in the wrong proportions or self-prescribed.

On a lighter note, it is said that rubies induce sensual love. A diamond engagement ring might symbolize eternal love but a ruby signals fiery passion. I'll have one of each. Just kidding.

Can a ruby heal your heart? I believe whatever method you decide to use has the ability to heal because it’s only assisting your belief that you will heal. I’m a big believer in alternative healing methods but I don’t think I’ll be turning in my turquoise jewelry for rubies, anytime soon.

Until next month,
Happy Reading!

Paris Brandon

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Message in a Bottle By Rose Anderson

Happy 4th of July! Independence Day is a marker for me. To me it means summer is officially on. Where I live, the corn is supposed to be knee-high by the 4th of July. We're right on schedule. In keeping with RB4U's summery theme for July, I'm talking about beaches and the things people find on them.

Don't you just love beaches? I do. I love the solitude, the sandy, wet, somewhat fishy scent on the air, and especially the sound of moving water. Visually, you can't beat an overcast day. That's when you realize the tan sand beneath your feet is actually a rainbow of colored micro stone. That's also when the silvery-gray driftwood comes alive, sort of like Tolkien's Ents. Void of shadow, they become living beings who stand perfectly still whenever an eye is cast in their direction. 

One of my favorite things to do on the beach is look for treasure. I've never found a gold doubloon, but I have found other treasures such as shells of all sorts, bleached sand dollars, dried starfish, and those otherworldly mermaid purses (empty shark/ray egg cases). Of all, my favorite beach treasure is polished beach glass. A metaphor if ever there was. If conditions are right, the glass trash we throw in the water surrenders to the waves and the water reclaims the sand that made the glass. If the conditions are right. We humans are sloppy creatures. I won't linger long on our plastic trash that's choking the world's oceans other than to leave you a bit of good news here.

Long ago, on some sunny Pacific beach in California, the child I was found a glass Coke bottle with a note inside. Unfortunately, the bottle wasn't sealed well. Water had made the note illegible. I've often wondered what the had said before the salty sea washed the ink away

I've since learned people have cast bottles of messages upon the waves for a very long time. In 310 B.C., the Greek philosopher Theophrastus tossed sealed bottles in the sea to prove the Mediterranean was formed by the inflowing Atlantic ocean. Fearing bottles might contain secret messages sent home by her numerous British spies or her naval fleet, Queen Elizabeth I of England appointed an Uncorker of Ocean Bottles to her royal cabinet. Under his watchful eye unauthorized opening of bottled messages became a capital offense. Then there's this famous message in a bottle from a passenger on the torpedoed Lusitania in 1915. The poignant note reads:

Still on deck with a few people. The last boats have left. We are sinking fast. Some men near me are praying with a priest. The end is near. Maybe this note will...  (That's where the sentence ended.)

There are many interesting stories of messages in bottles. I'll share a few in order by how long they were at sea:

1.) Time spent floating at sea~ Just a few months.
When crossing the English Channel on a ferry in 2002, a mother from France tossed a message in a bottle overboard. The message was a note to her child who had passed away at age 13: It said:

"Forgive me for being so angry at your disappearance. I still think there's been some mistake, and I keep waiting for God to fix it … Forgive me for not having known how to protect you from death. Forgive me for not having been able to find the words at that terrible moment when you slipped through my fingers".

The bottle washed up on a beach in Kent to be found by a woman walking her dogs. Along with the note, the woman found a lock of hair. Her friend, Author Karen Liebreich, translated the message and was inspired by it enough to write The Letter In The Bottle. Several years later, the mother who penned that heart-breaking note contacted the author and they eventually met.

2.) Time spent floating at sea~ 76 years
One November in 2012, a bottle with a note was found floating in the surf in Australia. The handwritten note was dated March 17, 1936. It said:

At sea. Would the finder of this bottle kindly forward this note, where found, date, to undermentioned address.

The note was written on special stationery marked with a picture of a ship, and was signed: H E Hillbrick, 72, Richmond Street, Leederville, Western Australia. It's believed the ship was the SS Strathnaver, a British Royal Mail Ship bringing mail and passengers to and from England and Australia. The finder tracked down Mr. H. E. Hillbrick, but the man had died sometime in the early 1940s. The address lead to Hillbrick's grandson, who was alive and well and living in Perth. The grandson told local media about his grandfather's message, saying it was his only connection to the man.

3.) Time spent floating at sea~ 85 years
In 1999, a fisherman found a green ginger beer bottle with a note from Private Thomas Hughes, a 26-year-old World War I soldier, to his wife. Along with it, a note for the finder of the bottle which read:

Sir or madam, youth or maid, Would you kindly forward the enclosed letter and earn the blessing of a poor British soldier on his way to the front this ninth day of September, 1914. Signed Private T. Hughes, Second Durham Light Infantry. Third Army Corp Expeditionary Force.

The bottle had been tossed into the English Channel when Private Hughes was en route to fight the war in France. The note to his wife read:

Dear Wife, I am writing this note on this boat and dropping it into the sea just to see if it will reach you. If it does, sign this envelope on the right hand bottom corner where it says receipt. Put the date and hour of receipt and your name where it says signature and look after it well. Ta ta sweet, for the present. Your Hubby.

Two days later Hughes was killed. The fisherman delivered the letter to Hughes' daughter 85 years later.

3.) Time spent floating at sea~ 98 years
A few years ago, a Scottish fisherman trolling the waters off the Shetland Islands hauled up a bottle in his nets. The note inside said simply:

Please state where and when this card was found, and then put it in the nearest Post Office. You will be informed in reply where and when it was set adrift. Our object is to find out the direction of the deep currents of the North Sea.

This wasn't a love note or an S.O.S., but rather a century-old science experiment meant to study local ocean currents. In June of 1914, one Capt. C. Hunter Brown of the Glasgow School of Navigation set this bottle to sea, along with 1,889 others.  At the beginning of the last century, these drift bottles gave oceanographers valuable information regarding the patterns of water in circulation in the seas around Scotland. The Guinness Book of World Records considers this one to be the oldest message in a bottle found. But who knows what else is floating out there.

From bottles to beach glass to gold doubloons, have you ever found some sort of treasure on a beach? Have you ever launched your own message in a bottle? It just may be found one day!
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About Rose
Rose is a multi-published, award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Guest Blog: Judy Baker/Ann Sugg: July's Flower and Birthstone

Judy Baker/Anna Sugg writes historical western romances and contemporary/suspense romance. Judy lives in the beautiful western state of Utah. Though she’s a southerner at heart, she loves the surrounding mountains and the desert valleys. When not writing the stories that fill her head, she enjoys RVing with her family, stargazing through one of her many telescopes, digging in her wildflower garden, and golfing, or just swinging on the patio while plotting her next story. She’s also an avid sci-fi fan, loves coffee, sweet southern tea, and the ocean.
Since the month of July is my birth month, I did a little research on the month’s flower and gemstone that I’d like to share with you. I hope you find this interesting even if your birth month is not July. The July flower is the Delphinium, aka Larkspur, and the July gemstone is the Ruby.

Did you know it was over 130 million years ago that the first flowers graced planet Earth with beautiful colors and delightful scents? Hmm, maybe the dinosaurs like the way they tasted. Celebrating birthdays with flowers dates back to the Roman Empire times, honoring the Roman gods and adorning the altars with flowers. The Roman Goddess of flowers was Flora, a collective term used for plant life and flowers to this day.
During the Victorian era there were strong rules of etiquette when expressing affection or feelings of love, hence, the “Flower Language” evolved. Each flower was assigned its own message, and when a lover sent flowers, the beautiful posy conveyed a hidden romantic meaning, communicating in a mysterious, romantic way. Oops! I got carried away with the flower and its origin. Back to the July flower.
The delphinium (larkspur) flower resembles the shape of a dolphin’s nose, hence the name.  

The Larkspur is mentioned frequently in mythology. One such Greek legend takes place during the battle of Troy, when Achilles’ mother ordered her son’s armor to be given to the bravest warrior during the battle. When the armor was given to Ulysses, the brave warrior Ajax was so upset that he threw himself on his sword. It is said that small blue larkspurs grew where his blood hit the ground. Another Greek mythology story attached to the larkspur is the handsome Spartan prince, Hyakinthos, who was transformed into the larkspur flower by Zephyrus’ jealous anger. Even Apollo, god of war, believed the flower sacred.  If you’re into Greek mythology, there’s many more stories involving flowers.
Did you know
-          a dried larkspur placed in stables keep witches from casting spells on your animals?
-          the larkspur flowers cures ailments and are used during the Summer Solstice celebrations in England?
-          the blue dye of the larkspur flowers were used by Native Americans?
-          the larkspur flowers were used by the ancients to drive away scorpions?

The history and traditions surrounding the birth flowers, also includes gemstones.
July’s birthstone is the Ruby.

The gleaming Ruby should adorn,
All those who in July are born,
For thus they’ll be exempt and free,
From lover’s doubts and anxiety.

Interesting facts about the Ruby:
Ruby derived from the Latin word, ruber, meaning red
It’s the Birthstone for July even during ancient times and continues to this day
Deep red stones are the most valuable, out-valuing diamonds of the same size
Rubies are extremely hard, second only to diamonds
Rubies are rare, not frequently found in large carat sizes
Rubies the color of blood and fire symbolizes vitality, vigor, power, strength, love, anger, undying devotion and other passionate emotion
Rubies are graded like diamonds, by color, cut, clarity and carat weight.
Ruby is a member of the Corundum (aluminum oxide family)
In ancient times, inserting a ruby in your skin was believed to ward off evil and make you courageous in battle.
Rubies are high energy stone, opening a heart to true love.

July Birthstone video:

For those of you that celebrate your birthday in JULY, I wish you the best day during the month, and for the rest of you, remember to give someone a flower to express your affections to one you love.
Thank you RB4U for having me as your guest.

New Release: Spirit Catcher, April 8, 2015    Link
Where you can find Judy Baker


Thursday, July 2, 2015

In the month of July I really start to miss Big Water and Beaches. Being that I live in the Heartland of America, smack in the center of the U.S. of A., I can't get much more landlocked. It's this time of year that I have to either travel to the east or west coasts or resort to memories of beach and ocean visits. Having lived in Florida for nineteen years I  have a zillion hours of sun and sand soaked memories of walking the Atlantic ocean coastline .

                                        St. Augustine, Florida

My dad grew up in Massachusetts, about twenty minutes from Cape Cod. Summer visits to see grandparents and cousins always included going to the Cape, climbing the sand dunes that line the coast, splashing in the cool water, often dodging giant spools of kelp. Unlike Florida, cars aren't allowed on beaches so there's a trek from the car to the beach, which is how it should be.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts in July

Cape Cod in November
Last July my husband and I went to Virginia to see the bands of wild horses that have called Chincoteague and Assateague Islands their home for a couple centuries. I'd wanted to go there ever since I read Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague, when I was in grade school.

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

A couple years before that trip, we went to Mendocino, California. It had been twenty years since my last visit to the northern California coast and I was amazed at how little the area had changed. Even the Agate Cove Inn, the bed and breakfast inn I'd stayed in before was still there. Different owners but still the gorgeous view, cozy accommodations and great food. The Pacific coast this far north is very different from the south end, just like on the Atlantic side of the country. Darker water, a little less hospitable, especially this far north on the west coast. Rugged cliffs, patches of sand that can't really be called a beach, but so what? It's glorious. Everything about it. The sight, sound, scents. I love it all.

Mendocino, California coastline

A trip to Scotland and Wales in 2011 combined my obsession with Big Water and my love for castles when I visited the city of Caernarfon, Wales and its castle. Caenarfon Castle, in northern Wales is situated on the southern bank of the Menai Strait between north Wales and Anglesey.

 The Mensai Strait flows into Caenarfon Bay, west of the city, which flows into the Irish Sea. From atop the castle you can see the bay and imagine it stretching out into the Irish Sea. A breathtaking sight.

So when I start pining for bodies of water that are so immense their opposite shores can't be seen, I pull out my photos and my rock, seashell and sand collections (I have bowls of sand from every beach I've ever been on), add a mental soundtrack of seagulls and ospreys, and let my ocean-side memories whisk me out of the Ozarks. It doesn't cure my longings, but I'm grateful for the memories that let me travel first class, totally free, until my next visit to an ocean.   

Any ocean-side memories of your own? Have you written scenes set on a beach?

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Secret Ingredient to Love with @AuthorNicMorgan #Romance #RB4U

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us everyone. I'm your tour guide for the day, Nicole Morgan and as some of you may have noticed I drop by with a new post on the first of every month and either ramble like a fool or amaze you with my intellect. LOL. Okay, yes that last one was a stretch, but...I've got you smiling now, don't I? Now that you're good and loosened up, go ahead and kick your shoes off, sit back, relax and enjoy!

The Secret Ingredient to Love... 

For the month of June, the authors of Romance Books 4 Us we have chosen the themes of the July birthstone, Ruby, the July flower, Larkspur and added to that the theme of Beach scenes/scenarios; music, movies, plays, books with beach settings. What do these things mean though, once combined together? For each of us we will probably have our own unique thoughts and ideas. And that's what I'd like to focus on for today's post. 

Ruby is thought to be the gemstone which promotes friendship and love. And if there is one thing I think we can all agree on, it is that in order to love someone completely, they must also be our friend. Only with that type of connection with another can you truly be in love. Without it, its almost like an elemental ingredient would be lost on your entire relationship. The person who you choose for your partner should be the one you turn to when you're sad, the one you turn to when you're happy and the one who makes even the most monotonous of days and tasks so much better. 

So, what's my message? It's simple... when finding "love" or even maintaining it, never forget to be a friend and keep that friendship alive. The physical attraction and connection with someone can only go so far. It is the emotional connection that keeps those home fires burning and the heart truly invested in one another. 

If you're lucky enough to find love, respect it enough to nurture it. And above all else, cherish your friend, and love them fully... ❤


Indulge in this decadent collection of Teasers and Tastes from some of today’s hottest romance authors in a variety of romance genres including Billionaires, Cowboys, Super Steamy Romance, Firefighters, Historical Romance, Holiday Romance, Mechanics, Motorcycle Clubs, Men in Uniform and Military Romance, Paranormal Romance, SciFi & Fantasy Romance, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense/Mystery, Hot SEALs, Time Travel, Vacation Romance, Vampires and more! 

and find all of my other books on any of these fine retailers: 

That's all for me this months, guys and gals. 
I'll see you here next month,

Same bat time...Same bat channel.

Nicole Morgan is an author of erotic romance novels, which more often than not have a suspenseful back story. Erotic romance mixed with good old-fashioned whodunit. While she's written everything from contemporary to paranormal her leading men will more than likely be wearing a uniform of some kind. From military to police officers, she has a love for writing about those who protect and serve. From her very first novel about Navy SEALs to her more recent releases you will be sure to find a few twists and turns you were not expecting.

She also has a recurring monthly column in Book & Trailer Showcase's eMagazine, is a proud member of the Romance Books 4 Us Gold Authors, as well as Sweet and Sexy Divas. 

Find out more about Nicole and her books by visiting her website, blog, Google + Page, Twitter, Facebook and her Yahoo Group, Nicole’s Think Tank.

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