Friday, May 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Half Faerie

The short & sweet conclusion:

"a mythical tale as appealing as it is impressive"Kirkus Reviews

The full Kirkus Review:

HALF FAERIE

Heidi Garrett
(446 pp.)

$13.95 paperback, $4.99 e-book

August 13, 2014

BOOK REVIEW

A half-faerie teenager struggles to stop a malicious entity from destroying both the mortal and enchanted worlds in this YA fantasy.

Life as a half-faerie has never been easy for 18-year-old Melia. She and her sisters, Melusine and Plantine, were born to mortal druid Elynus and full-blooded faerie Pressina. But when Elynus broke the faerie troth by seeing his wife at childbirth, his family had to return to the Realm of Faerie in the enchanted world. The sisters can communicate telepathically, but Melia’s disturbed by her telepathic link to Elynus, which triggers visions of violence and death. The druid’s trying to incarnate Umbra, a sinister consciousness that needs a living vessel and whose emergence can destroy the Whole, encompassing all known realms. Elynus wants to reunite with Pressina but hints to Melia, who visits him in the mortal world, that Umbra will right the “horrible crimes” in Faerie. Melia’s determined to stop her father, but a sudden tragedy rattles her faerie household. At the same time, others hoping for an Umbra incarnation kidnap Plantine (a family secret explains why) and seek a sword and basin that together can lead Umbra to a vessel. Melia and friends, from spring faerie Flora to priest Ryder, set out to save Plantine and thwart Umbra. The tale is practically bursting with characters, all of whom Garrett (Half Mortal, 2015, etc.) skillfully molds into individual personalities. Flora, for one, is reputedly the last of the spring faeries, while 19-year-old Ryder is the same soothing green-eyed stranger from Melia’s visions. There’s an unmistakable villain—Plantine’s abductor, who plans on marrying Melia’s seemingly spellbound baby sister. Quite a few characters, however, are deliciously ambiguous, including Pressina, who dabbles in black magic, and Sevondi, a dragonwitch who may be bad but is also a scorned lover. Other mythical characters crop up, like dwarves and elves, and though the story’s primarily a rescue mission, simply reaching Plantine involves an arduous journey. The indelible ending resolves much of the plot while a lingering uneasiness aptly sets the groundwork for a subsequent volume.

Melia isn’t the only character who can carry her own series in a mythical tale as appealing as it is impressive.—Kirkus Reviews

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 13

While doing some research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light, I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality. The world I created in Daughter of Light, the Whole, draws on my (somewhat limited) understanding of quantum theory.  (I am no mathematician!) i.e. there is no Heaven or Hell, etc. in the Whole. The resolution of a mortal life is not judged with a standard of good or evil, right or wrong, but rather on the extent that consciousness has evolved and been integrated. Considering how our human view of religion and spirituality has evolved over the centuries has helped me finesse the arc of this third and final book in the trilogy.

In the meantime,  I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that! The past few weeks, it's been tough to find articles worthy of sharing, but this week, I've found some great ones.

Enjoy!

Mystic Mantra: Sanyas - Art of meditation: I appreciate much of the insights shared in this article, particularly this: "The life has not to be in any way renounced but transformed. Renunciation is escapism, it is cowardliness. Till now you have worshipped cowards as saints. You have worshipped people who were not courageous enough to accept all the challenges of life. And there are millions of challenges — every moment is challenging. The coward escapes."—Osho.

Now, as a guru, Osho is as flawed as any other spiritual leader, but at least, like Sri Aurobindo, he was intelligent enough, perhaps "in touch" enough, to throw off some of the tired dogma inherent in eastern "religion" that most prefer to call "philosophy" and discover/receive something unorthodox.

It baffles me when believers insist eastern philosophies/religions are far superior to western philosophy/religions. Really? They're both entrenched models that are as accurate as "The world is flat", i.e. when you're standing on the ground and looking about five feet in front of you, you might think that were you to just keep moving forward, one day you'd reach an edge ... and fall into oblivion! But when you're flying in outer space, planet Earth appears spherical. Hmmm. No matter what, the commonality between eastern and western religions is that bits of truth are littered with distortions, distortions we're still evolving to recognize. Zooming in, the texts are different, but when you zoom out, they're still filtered, canonized perceptions of the things we still really don't fully understand, like "What is the essence that animates us, and to what purpose?"

For whatever reason, we humans like to cling to our pasts, and that desire persists equally in the lifeboat of holy texts promulgating both eastern and western religions/philosophies.

Was that a rant? Possibly.

Deepak Chopra: Spirituality in Business is Profitable: Some folks decry the idea of secularizing spirituality but there really shouldn't even be a line between the two, should there?

How Spirituality helps us grow in a physical world?: Yes! We're multi-dimensional beings. Currently, I perceive a continuum of consciousness: awake in daily life, daydreaming in daily life, imagining in daily life, meditating in daily life, the dreams we experience while asleep, and asleep. So, I agree that the dreams we dream at night might be a reflection of the depth—or lack of depth—to which we've integrated our life experiences within in our consciousness.

Winner of teaching award says children benefit from yoga, meditation, and mindfulness: Hopeful.

Seeing Spirituality in Chimpanzees: I posted a link to an earlier article regarding this subject by a different writer a few weeks back (see Volume 9). Although King is a sceptic, I was thrilled to see her point to Donovan Schaefer's work, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power, and that as a result of reading the book, she was willing to reconsider opening a door she'd previously closed. After all, opening a door we'd previously closed is something that an evolving consciousness demands from time to time.

A Blog Series About Spirituality

Friday, May 13, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 12

While doing some research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light, I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality. Daughter of Light is placed in a cosmology that is more quantum based and metaphysical, one that values the primacy of evolving consciousness. Although I've long known how Melia's journey would end, the nuances needed to be hashed out. Considering how our human view of religion and spirituality has evolved over the centuries helped me formulate the arc of this last installment, and now that I'm deep into the writing of the first draft, I'm getting really excited about it.

In the meantime,  I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I believe it really is all about evolving our consciousness and meditation is one of the best ways to do that!

Enjoy!

'Billions' Co-Creater Brian Koppelman on Why the Shows Main Characters Meditate: Take the time to listen to Dan Harris's 45-minute interview with Brian Koppelman. It's a great conversation comparing two popular types of meditation and ... the idea that meditation might not necessarily make you kinder but just might help you be "more of who you are".

This is Why Meditation Makes You Feel Better: And it has nothing to do with the opiod receptors in your brain! Love the definition of meditation: The mindful art of doing nothing but sitting still!

The Big Quiet is Bringing Meditate to the Masses: Did you make it to the meditation party in New York City's Central Park last year?

Silence is Golden: the art of meditation and inner stillness: Can't sit cross-legged? Sitting upright supported on a chair or lying on a comfortable surface is perfectly acceptable.

Is meditation better for you than exercise?: I'd rather do both.

How Running and Meditation Change the Brains of the Depressed: Like I said, both.

Deepak Chopra's Top 8 Meditation Tips: Yes, trying to stop your thoughts is a thought!

A Blog Series About Spirituality