Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure $.99 Kindle

…a riveting fantasy about soul-searching and growth which will keep young adult readers engrossed to the end.” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Take a YA time traveler adventure with young Albert Einstein. When young Albert Einstein’s father gives him a jeweled compass, he has no idea the adventure that awaits. Spanning from 10,400 BCE on the Islands of Poseidon to Switzerland in 1903, Einstein’s Compass sweeps across dimensions all while Albert Einstein is growing into his destiny. But a dangerous creature hunts Albert and the compass. In this fantasy adventure, cosmic forces of good and evil clash around a budding scientist on the cusp of his greatest discovery.

2020 Certificate of Excellence in Literature Spirituality/Religion Story Monster Approved
2020 Texas Indie Best Book Award Winner – YA Fiction
2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award 1st Place – Historical Fiction
2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award 2nd Place – YA Fiction
2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention – Sci-Fi/Fantasy
2020 RONE Cover Award 1sr Runner-Up – Fantasy/Sci-Fi
2019 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner
2019 eLit Award Winner – Juvenile/YA Fiction
2019 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist – YA Fiction
2019 International Book Awards Finalist – YA Fiction

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Genetic DNA Experiments in Atlantis

 

 

Did you know the scientists of Atlantis performed DNA experiments? They discovered how to combine the genetics of animals with humans. It was a world-wide business for the military Aryan scientists to create Centaurs, Satyrs, and Minotaur’s. By blending genetics, the Atlanteans thought they could play god. Today scientists across our world are playing god by creating invisible death through biological weapons. What occurred in Atlantis is happening today. Viruses that were only found in humans and viruses only found in certain animals coexisted in the bodies of these combined beings. This artificial movement of combining what would never happen was a huge aberration from natural law and opened a doorway for viruses to move from one species into another. We have had lethal viruses appear through the crossover of animal viruses mutating into a form that humans can carry. SARS, MERS and EBOLA all originated in bats. Swine flu originated in pigs. We are as technological as the Atlanteans were when they destroyed their world. There is a spiritual purpose for the Coronavirus. The Atlanteans created Noah’s flood to clear the planet of men’s abominations. Let us learn to balance science with humanity. Let us choose with wisdom, compassion and love, not power and greed.

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Since Raka’s meeting with the council, the focus of the Aryan laboratory had moved to DNA and using it for transformation. General Tora-Fuliar envisioned an army of Draconian soldiers with which he could conquer the world. The council leader visited the lab each week for a progress report and was increasingly frustrated at the lack of results. DNA experiments required creative scientists, and creativity was not something the militaristic Aryans were noted for. It was evident that the best talent came from Atlantis. An aggressive recruitment campaign was mounted there.

The Light healers on Atlantis were primarily motivated by their desire to serve the higher Light of God with love. This intention provided them with the clarity to heal from a pure state of giving. Loving came forward and lifted the healer and the patient. The healer’s material needs—food, shelter, and clothing—came as a part of their serving. The glamour of substantial gains and recognition offered by the Aryans, however, began to distract them from the reward of serving. Increasingly generous offers seduced the Atlantean Light workers away from the healing temples to the Aryan DNA research labs. Even some high priests sold their knowledge and healing secrets to the dark empire.

The DNA experiments on Aryan required a high-quality controlled food source. Scientists used everything from cows to mice. But the trials were not without challenge. The Aryan’s successes in cloning had sparked fierce debates among scientists and the public. The people of Atlantis questioned the morality of cloning plants, animals, and possibly humans. But few knew that cloning was just a cover for a secret project of DNA experiments combining animal and human DNA. On the surface, it was producing novelty animals that had become big business on Aryan. Wealthy families and even countries were buying hybrids like Minotaur and Centaurs.

The clone business on Aryan also played into Raka’s plan for revenge. Once he had become adept at using his new body, he made his way back to the city. He set up an observation outpost in an abandoned structure in the remote industrial area where the DNA research complex was located. Now that he had a plan, he could afford to be patient. For several weeks he watched the movements of the scientists, military, and guards.

The general routinely showed up alone in his golden anti-gravity vehicle at the end of the workweek, parking away from the building to avoid attention. He appeared to be meeting with Dr. Aimee, the director of the science facility, for progress reports on his new military species.

As days—then weeks—passed, Raka’s patience started to wear thin. If progress weren’t made soon, even the general would realize that he wasn’t going to be able to produce an army of warriors like Raka—an army Raka fully intended to take over. Pacing in his ramshackle hideout, with a heightened awareness of everything around him, Raka sensed the time was approaching for him make his move. He felt increasingly impatient, believing he would soon know the moment to strike.

By the time the general returned to the facility, Raka was nearly bursting out of his skin. It took incredible self-control to hold himself back and merely observe. His senses perked up as he saw the general storm out of the facility. The man appeared furious, a sure sign he had received more bad news. The irate general made his way to his flyer and slammed its door. Raka couldn’t believe his eyes; the general had caught his hand in the door. Even from this distance, Raka could hear the general bellow in pain as he jumped out of the vehicle, blood spurting from his self-inflicted wound. Raka immediately smelled the warm, precious blood, urging him into a frenzy. The general’s screams pushed Raka over the edge, and he burst from his hiding place, streaking across the open field toward the wounded, infuriated man.

The general was not aware of Raka’s presence until it was too late. A brutal blow from Raka’s tail rendered his victim unconscious. Raka with his razor-like talons grabbed the general by the collar. With his brute dragon strength, the dragon picked up the general like a ragdoll and flew back to his hiding place. Inside, he threw the general onto a battered table. The stunned man moaned as he struggled back to consciousness. When the general’s vision cleared, his eyes grew wide at the sight of the dragon standing above him, foul saliva dripping from the creature’s lips fell on his head. “Wha…”

Raka grinned and put one of his talons to his lips. “Shhh, General, not that anyone can hear you in here.” He reached out a hand-like claw offering to help the general sit up. Reflexively, the general grasped Raka’s nail and struggled to a sitting position. Raka slowly placed his other claw on the general’s shoulder. Then, with a ghastly smile, Raka viciously yanked the general’s hand and ripped the general’s entire arm from its socket. As his victim screamed in terror and agony, Raka regarded the arm thoughtfully. He began to gnaw on it with relish. The general lived long enough to see Raka devour his other arm and start on his legs. He did not live long enough to see Raka transform into a perfect replica of the man he was consuming.

As Raka finished licking the last of the general’s blood from the floor, he heaved a contented sigh. He lay down to rest and recover once the transformation was complete. He closed his eyes, reveling in the thoughts of what he could do now as the head of the Aryan Military Council.

 

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Albert Einstein Falls Off a Mountain

In Albert Einstein’s biography he met his wife Mileva while attending the Polytechnic in Bern, Switzerland. In their budding romance Albert and Mileva loved to hike up the Albishorn Mountain nearby. In his biography Albert fell off a mountain once while hiking with his boyhood friends from school. In our story I used his real life story and gave it a little twist. Your going to have to read the book to find out who rescued Albert from a fall of thousands of feet of almost certain death.Follow me on Bublish. Watch the video of Einstein’s Compass Novel.
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Albert Einstein Falls Off a Mountain

The packs on their backs filled with hiking equipment and lunch were starting to get heavy. Albert had been trudging behind Mileva for nearly two hours. He was ready to eat. Pine needles crunched underfoot, and the breeze whistled through the woods fragrant with the scent of pine. The sound of squirrels chittering and scurrying through the trees caught his attention. He smiled, “See, Dollie, the tree rats are playing the mating game.” Dollie was Albert’s affectionate nickname for Mileva because her small stature reminded him of a delicate figurine. The racy reference brought a flush to Mileva’s face but her deep-set, dark-brown eyes twinkled as she twirled around and shot back, “Oh, my wicked sweetheart, do you fancy he will catch her?”

“Well, that depends. If little Miss Squirrel is as Bohemian as you are, then perhaps,” Albert teased as he snatched a crimson wildflower and proffered it to her.

While their passion for math and physics had initially drawn them together, something else—a mysterious sense of familiarity—propelled them into a romantic relationship that had grown and flourished in just six months. This morning, the couple had taken the early morning express train to explore the Sihl virgin forest on the slopes of the Albis hills together; a last carefree time together before parting for the summer vacation. With each stride along the trail, Mileva’s limp became less troublesome. Tuberculosis in her pelvis as a youngster had caused one leg to become shorter than the other. While she had never let that hold her back, climbing up the slope of the spinner’s pathway made her disability seem less pronounced since equal-length legs were not an asset here. The higher they went, the wilder the flora and more peaceful the feeling became.

They aimed to arrive at the summit of the Albishorn Mountain by mid-afternoon, where they could enjoy a picnic overlooking the picturesque panorama of Zurich and the lake. The sunlight shone through the leaves, creating flickering shadows on the earth. The cry hoopoe, hoopoe of the hoopoe bird, trailed in the wind.

Their final outing was bittersweet. On the one hand, it was the celebration of the end of a long school term. On the other, Albert had decided to visit with his family in Italy, while Mileva would go to be with her parents in Serbia. They would be separated from each other and the other friends they had made at the school.

Mileva laughed off Albert’s Bohemian remark, then changed the topic to divert her sweetheart from his current train of thought. “You know, when I think of physics, I imagine Almighty God in the hidden forces of the natural laws of the universe. Do you suppose there are secret rules about him waiting for us to discover? Sometimes I hear him whispering when I read Newton or Descartes. What do you think, Johnnie?”

Albert, who had been dubbed Johnnie one evening months ago when the two were being playful with each other, walked up to Mileva, a thoughtful look on his face. He took off his Bavarian hat and spread his fingers through his wavy brown hair, collecting his thoughts. Albert was not one to respond frivolously to such a weighty question. “I am not positive if Providence is speaking—though I remain convinced that there is more to the world than what we see.”

“Me too. It’s going to be fascinating,” Mileva said, her eyes glowing brightly. She was as entranced by science as Albert was—and she was quite brilliant.

As if stirred up by the conversation about forces beyond man’s perception, a surge of wind swirled through the trees around the couple. Butterflies came out of nowhere, and Albert felt something brush against him. A warm glow broke over his body, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. Beads of sweat gathered on his forehead.

“What was that?” he asked, recoiling from the mysterious energy.

“What was what, Johnnie?” Mileva asked, puzzled by his behavior.

“I don’t know. It seemed like something… someone… brushed up against me.”

“I’m sure it was nothing, Albert, just your imagination or something caused by the wind.”

“Yes, I’m sure you’re right,” he smiled, calming down, “nothing at all.” He kissed Mileva’s hand and took a step forward up the inclined path. “Come on, let’s get up this mountain before I starve to death.”

The temperature dipped as the climbers ascended in silence, still pondering the questions of science they had been discussing. The gurgle of water flowing downhill filled their ears as they crossed over a footbridge. In less than an hour, they reached the edge of the woods. In the distance, the hikers saw mountains, their tops shrouded in mist. A pebble path led to the vista of a landscape dotted with rocks and boulders. The two stood for several moments gazing upon the majesty of the scene. On the crest of Albishorn, they looked down upon the town of Zurich and the pristine lake with tiny sailboats, their sails billowing in the breeze.

Free from care, Albert dropped his gear. With outstretched arms, he breathed in and shouted into the lapis-blue sky, “Oh, how I love the pure air!” Then he dropped his arms and with a smile declared, “I’m famished. Are you hungry, Dollie?”

Mileva nodded happily and tugged Albert’s arm, urging him off the path toward the crumbling remains of a stone building long abandoned. Mileva threw open a patchwork quilt and began unwrapping the meal she had prepared. As Mileva busied herself setting up the picnic, Albert ambled to the edge of a nearby cliff. Humming a melody, he stepped down onto a five-inch-wide ledge that rimmed the cliff’s edge. Like a tightrope walker, he stepped foot to heel along the narrow ridge, a drop of several thousand feet just a misstep away.

“Luncheon is almost ready, Johnnie!” Mileva called out.

Turning to look back at her, Albert missed his footing and stumbled. Unable to regain his balance, Albert’s body pitched off the ledge and plummeted, twisting toward the rocky ground far, far below. He screamed in terror, “HELP ME.”

The sound of his voice echoed off the cliff. As he plunged, his arms flailing, the compass tumbled out of his pocket. Then, out of nowhere, a hoopoe bird swooped in and snatched the compass out of the air.

As the hoopoe circled him, Albert closed his eyes, let go and waited for the impact. Time seemed to stand still. I don’t want my life to end like this at the bottom of a rocky ravine. Within twenty feet of the ground, he felt pressure under his back. His descent stopped and like magic his body suspended in midair, then slowly floated up. In the next moment, as he tried to gain control of his breathing, he began rising toward the ledge from which he had fallen.

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Albert Einstein Time Travels to Atlantis

When I read Albert Einstein developed his theory of light in the late nineteenth century I wondered how he came upon his advanced hypothesis in the middle of the horse and buggy age? I discovered Albert learned how to do mind experiments and used his creative imagination to jump off into the unknown. However, to create something so new I thought maybe Einstein’s soul was from an advanced civilization and he was trying to remember what he had learned in his past life. Maybe Albert Einstein’s soul was from the spiritual Atlantean era of peace where light and energy were used in various scientific ways. And, Albert’s soul purpose was to bring the theories of light and time to change the course of history and advance mankind.
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As Albert and Johann clasped hands, Ezekiel uncloaked the Atlas, exposing its Light from the Holy of Holies. He touched the screen of the Crystal Lux Portal. The holographic gateway opened, and the illumination beam pulled their etheric bodies into the vessel.

The silver-haired pilot focused on manipulating the craft’s holographic controls, motioned for his passengers to sit behind him. Albert was trying to look everywhere at once. Then, he heard Johann cleared his throat. “Uh, Albert.”

“Yes. What?”

With a wry look, Johann pointed to their still-clasped hands.

“Oh, right,” Albert laughed, letting go. “But… look at this… whatever it is,” he said, gesturing to the glowing interior of the craft.

“This is an energetic vessel called an Ark, Albert.” Ezekiel completed his course setting for the ship as he spoke. “It is something of a metaphor, actually, and allows us to travel through the constructs of time and space.”

The pickup accomplished, Ezekiel gestured over the control panel, and the golden ship disappeared into another dimension of time.

“But… How?… What?…” Albert tried to formulate a complete question.

Ezekiel held up a hand. “Easy, my friend. Let me try to make sense of things for you.”

“Yes, that might help.” Albert tried to relax

Johann leaned forward to listen as well. While he had a fair amount of experience being on the inner realms of Light, this travel through time was new to him.

“Okay, let’s see,” Ezekiel said with an easy smile. “First off, my name is Ezekiel. Like Moses, Jesus, Akhenaten, and others, I am what’s called a traveler, or Mystical Traveler. We have a specific role to play in the spiritual evolution of mankind.”

Albert’s eyes widened. “Wait, Ezekiel, as in ‘Ezekiel saw the wheel’ Ezekiel?”

Ezekiel’s laugh was friendly. “Yes, that would be me.”

Having now worked with several spiritual masters, Johann was not surprised. Albert, on the other hand, was still working on it. “Uh, o-o-o-kay…” he said, trying to process it all.

“You, Herr Einstein,” Ezekiel continued, “also have a part to play in the unfolding evolvement of humanity. That’s why you are here.”

“I think you’ve made a mistake,” Albert interjected. “I’m just a student.”

“Yes, that’s what you’re doing now…well, at least at this moment in your present time and space. But you have a destiny, Albert, and we travelers are assigned to assist you in realizing it.”

“Destiny? I’m not so sure I believe in that.”

“Reasonable enough,” Ezekiel responded, “but let me ask you a question. What is consuming you? I know it’s not studying outdated science.”

Albert rolled his eyes. “Of course not. I am working on proving certain theories of light, time…” Albert was suddenly struck by where he was and that he was moving in a dimension other than his own. “…and space,” he concluded haltingly.

Ezekiel smiled as he watched Albert’s realization unfold. “So, do you know why you have such a burning interest in these things?”

Albert could only shake his head, his mind still struggling to grasp the immensity of what he was experiencing.

“Well,” Ezekiel said, “like destiny, this may challenge your scientific beliefs and your typical demands for tangible proof in the material world.”

“Go on,” Albert said.

Ezekiel chuckled again. “Well, suppose—just suppose—that you are getting glimpses into a past life you had.”

Albert started shaking his head, but Ezekiel continued. “And in that life, you were a scientist working with light, time, and space. Suppose you have been having memories about what you learned in that lifetime.”

“I’m going to need some time to think about that,” Albert declared, rubbing his temple to try and alleviate a headache beginning to pound in his head.

Ezekiel felt only compassion for his new student. “Take all the time you need. I know this challenges your analytical mind. But I think you’re getting a sense that there’s a lot more going on than what the mind can readily grasp. Why don’t you relax for a bit and digest everything?”

Albert was relieved to be able to retreat into his thoughts and consider everything he had heard. After about twenty minutes, the pilot beckoned Albert and Johann over to watch as millennia of time passed on the Crystal Lux Portal.

Albert was struck with a thought as he watched. “If things are as you say, then shouldn’t we be able to move through time instantaneously?”

Ezekiel nodded approvingly. “Excellent, Herr scientist. But remember, this craft is only a metaphor. It would be too distressing to the conscious mind to have things appear simultaneously, so we operate in conjunction with the constructs that the conscious mind accepts.”

Albert was satisfied for the moment, and Ezekiel announced that they had arrived at their intended destination; Atlantis 10,400 BCE, by his reckoning. Albert watched as the traveler manipulated the holographic controls of their craft and it came to rest in a luxurious botanical garden with flowering trees, a lily pond, and water fountains. As the craft’s port opened, the smell of jasmine greeted Albert’s senses.

Ezekiel remained in the craft as Johann and Albert exited and looked around. For Johann, Atlantis was not all that different from the inner realm school environments where he had been studying. But Albert was awed by the scene in front of him. In one location, tall Atlanteans walked a labyrinth in devotional reflection. In other areas, people walked and talked as they made their unhurried way to the temples of learning and healing that dotted the landscape. An aura of peace and tranquility pervaded.

Their attention was drawn to a blond fellow in a short emerald tunic who was sitting in a meditative posture in a grotto near where they were standing. As they watched, the man’s etheric body extended from his physical space and approached them. He waved, saying, “Welcome to Atlantis. My name is Arka.”

Albert scratched his perpetually unruly brown hair and looked up in awe of the Atlantean.

Remembering his assignment, Johann pulled himself together. “Thank you for coming to receive us. My name is Johann, and I am studying with the travelers.” Urging his friend forward, he said, “May I introduce Albert Einstein?”

Arka extended his hand and looked Albert in the eye. When their palms and gaze met, Albert felt a gentle jolt. “Nice to meet you, Arka…. But I feel like I already know you.”

Arka smiled and inclined his head as he guided the boys to a nearby bench. “I understand, Albert. And I need you to listen to what I have to say with an open mind, as best you can.”

Albert shook his head ruefully. “I’m getting that a lot today.” He took in a breath and said, “Just go ahead, and I’ll see how I do.”

Arka launched into his explanation. “Do you accept the idea of reincarnation—well, re-embodiment, actually?”

Albert shrugged. “I have heard the concept. I can’t say I believe it.”

“Fair enough. Now then, many people who think of such things believe we are a body that has a soul. But the fact is, we are souls having a human experience. Our souls extend into human bodies throughout time to gain knowledge. Can you, for the time being, accept that?”

Albert looked at Arka and considered the question. “Until today I would have said no. But I feel like the whole foundation of what I believe is being shaken, so, for the moment, let’s say that I will entertain this idea.”

Albert could only nod and retreat into his thoughts to consider what he had heard.

“Okay, good.” Arka rewarded Albert with a smile. “So, here’s the situation: our souls are gaining experience through us while we are alive, and it is gaining experience through you when you are alive.”

Albert blinked as he silently absorbed what Arka had said. “So, you’re saying…”

“Yes, we share this soul. And it is bridging ideas from your past to your awareness in your time.”

Despite Albert’s dazed look, Arka continued. “Before a soul reembodies, a spiritual plan is agreed upon. It includes many things, like which experiences the soul will need to progress, and which parents will be able to provide those experiences.”

Johann, who had been studying these things, knew his friend was having a hard time coming to grips with all this information. He had confidence, though, that Albert would come to see the truth of it all.

“I believe you have been brought here, Albert, to quicken your awareness of the principles of light, space, and time,” Arka finished.

“So,” Albert said, “this is like a class for me, so I can bring the information to my time and then expand on it?”

“Well, yes… and no,” Arka said. “We are discussing all of this in our etheric bodies. I am doing it consciously, but, as I understand it, you are not doing it intentionally. So, what you will learn here will go into your unconscious and subconscious mind, where it will present itself to you from time to time. In a sense, you will experience it as inspiration or intuition.”

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Johann and the Supernatural Compass

When Albert received the twelve gem brass compass from his father Hermann I wondered where did the compass come from? What if it were a supernatural compass? More than a direction finder, maybe the compass could help Albert in his quest to know the secrets of the universe?
Johann in Einstein’s Compass is a young boy I created to be Albert’s friend and companion. They will have many exciting adventures when evil doppelganger, dragon Raka from another time chases them through the story for Albert’s treasured compass.
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Fall 1885
A Friend

Albert’s father was a partner in his brother Jacob’s gas and electric supply company. One day, he took Albert to see an electrical lighting system the company had installed. The customer, Frederick Thomas, owned a local brewery, Munich Brau. The reason Hermann had dragged Albert along was that Thomas had a son, Johann, who was Albert’s age. Both boys would soon begin first grade, and Hermann thought it would be good for the shy Albert to know at least one boy in his class.

Albert did not want to go with his father; he preferred the familiar routines at home. Being out in new places caused him to shut off inside. When the boys were introduced, Albert just stared at the floor and went into his own inner world. He thought boys his age were dull. He wanted to be alone.

Hermann forced a smile onto his lips. He reached down and shook Albert’s shoulder. “Come, Albert, Johann wants to show you the new lights in the barn.”

Albert knew his papa would not like it if he did not do as he suggested, so, reluctantly, his eyes still down, the reluctant guest shuffled over to Johann, wishing he could escape.

Unfazed by Albert’s shyness, Johann encouraged him with a broad grin. “Wait ’til you see the lights! C’mon, I’ll race you to the barn.” Whooping, Johann burst out the kitchen door and ran toward the barn. Albert rolled his eyes. He ambled along, making his way across the yard.

Impatient, Johann bounced on his toes as he waited near the barn door for his guest. When Albert finally arrived, Johann flung open the barn door. Running inside, he jumped up onto a wooden box, reaching for a switch on the wall. “It’s amazing to see,” he said as he flipped the switch. In a moment, incandescent light flooded the spacious barn. The smell of fresh hay and saddle soap met Albert’s nose. He noticed wooden beer barrels, stacked bales of hay, and horse carriages.

Unimpressed by the lighting, Albert pointed to the incandescent bulb and went into lecture mode. “When electrical current passes through a wire, it causes the wire to heat. The wire gets so hot that it glows and gives off light.”

Johann looked at Albert in surprise, his blue eyes dancing with amazement. He could not believe what he was hearing. “How do you know that?”

This boy is interested in this? Albert thought to himself. Albert relaxed a bit and began to explain, encouraged that he seemed to have impressed Johann. “Papa takes me to work with him. He teaches me about electricity. He and my uncle want me to learn the lighting business and apprentice with them.”

“No kidding?” Johann asked with obvious interest. “Is that what you want to do?”

Albert shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it could be okay.”

Johann nodded, becoming thoughtful. “I know what you mean. My papa has plans for my brothers and me to take over the brewery. But I don’t know if I want to do that, either.” Another smile lit up Johann’s face. “Hey, I know. I’ll become a great brewer, and you can electrify all my breweries!”

Albert had to smile. Johann’s friendliness and enthusiasm were infectious. Without warning, a lightbulb went off in the electrical expert’s head. “Wait for a second,” Albert said, tugging at a chain around his neck, pulling something out of his linen shirt. “Want to see something exciting?”

“More interesting than electric lights? You bet!” Johann nodded eagerly.

As Albert dangled a brass object on a silver chain, Johann’s eyes grew large. “Wow, what is that?”

“It’s a compass. My father gave it to me. Have you ever seen one before?”

Shaking his head, Johann guided Albert over to a bale of hay, and the two boys sat. “I haven’t,” Johann said, mesmerized by the fantastic device. “What does it do?”

Albert held out the gleaming brass compass with the twelve sparkling gems. So, Johann could see it better, he opened the top and rotated the compass. “See how the needle always points north no matter how I move the case?” His bright, brown eyes twinkled as the mystery of the unknown captured his soul. “Someday, I will understand why it does that.”

Johann’s blue eyes grew even more extensive. Not only had he never seen a compass before, he had never seen anything like it. Amid this fantastic day, Johann paused in thought. He had two older brothers, Francis and Daniel, who worked in the brewery, but they never talked like Albert did. His father, Frederick, a Lutheran, said the Einstein’s were Jewish. Maybe that was the reason he knew so much.

Albert surrendered himself to the moment. He found himself trusting his charming and friendly companion, and he allowed Johann to hold his cherished prize. Johann opened and closed the clasp. “Hey, come on!” said Johann, jumping to his feet. Their eyes glued to the compass, the two boys marched around the barn and watched the needle.

Content with their first parade, they returned to their seats on the hay bale and Johann returned the compass. Albert closed his eyes and held his precious gift to his chest. “Oh, I love my compass, and I love my Papa, who gave it to me.” The compass tingled against Albert’s chest. From inside the compass, a shimmer of light burst then radiated out about ten inches all around Albert’s hand. Albert felt the unexpected warmth and opened his eyes to find a rainbow projecting from the gems. Above the compass floated a three-dimensional number 33. Johann, struck with wonder, squealed, “Look at that!”

Albert threw his hands up in surprise, dropping the compass onto the straw floor.

The boys sat mesmerized for what seemed like an eternity.

Behind them, the barn door opened. Papa Hermann hollered into the barn, “Albert, say goodbye to Johann! Your mama has dinner waiting.”

Albert snatched up the enchanted instrument and looked earnestly at his new friend. “Johann, you must never tell anyone what happened today. You promise?”

Speechless, Johann nodded his compliance.

Bonded by a special secret, neither boy had any inkling what a vital role the compass would play in the adventure of their lives.

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Evil Countess Victoria Von Baden

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure Buy on Amazon Now

In our story where in the 19th century did Albert’s compass come from? I had a relative who was a Knight during the times of the early crusades. He was one who protected the pilgrims as they journeyed to the Holy Land. I thought that perhaps during the Crusades when the Merovingian kings ruled Europe that the Compass was found by the Knights Templar in the ruins of Solomon’s Temple. In this chapter we find the great granddaughter several generations removed had the Compass. We discover how she lost it and who is going to help her steal it back. The character of the Countess is based on an evil woman I worked for. Be careful when you are around a writer. You never know if you will end up in one of their stories. #followme

 

The Spider Spins Her Web

 

The midday sun was finally breaking through the heavy snow clouds. Werner grasped the crumpled note he had gotten at the Dark Sun initiation a few nights back; a hastily written invitation from Countess von Baden to visit her home, Altes Schloss Castle. As he hiked up the steep trail, Werner could hear waves breaking against the craggy cliff behind the castle, which sat on a rocky promontory overlooking Lake Constance.

Werner was more than a little nervous about his meeting with this woman. He did not know anyone like her. He rolled his shoulders in a vain attempt to relax. The nearly three-hour train ride from Munich had left him tired and restless. He was getting in deeper and deeper with these people he hardly knew, and he wondered why the Countess wanted to help him with his initiation task. Despite the cold, his hands were warm and sweaty in the knit gloves he wore.

The smell of wood burning in a fireplace of the nearby castle made him melancholy. He really wanted to be in the familiar comfort of his family home, with the Christmas decorations around the tall spruce tree in the parlor. Instead, he was trudging in God knows where to find out how to do a stupid task that somehow would get him closer to the respect he so rightly deserved.

He finally reached the bridge that led to the castle’s entrance. He made his way across it and walked through the open wrought iron gate. He found himself in a snow-covered courtyard, and he passed a statue of a knight from the Crusades sitting astride a horse, his sword drawn as if in salute. Looking around for the castle door, Werner saw a torch lit on the western side of the courtyard. He walked over to it and found a massive iron key in the lock waiting for him. He took in a breath, stuffed the invitation into his pocket, and tugged on his clothes to straighten them.

Satisfied that he was presentable, he turned the giant key. A loud clunk shattered the quiet. A slight chill shivered up his spine as he strained to push the massive door open. Time seemed to stand still as he peered around into the grand hall. His heart raced when he gazed up at the soaring Gothic architecture.

His gaze was attracted by movement inside the room. As his eyes adjusted to the gloom, Werner saw the Countess. She was walking toward him, cat-like, in her floor-length maroon silk robes, their black mink trimming shimmering in the dim light. Smiling, she crossed the black-and-white checkerboard tile floor and extended her hand. “Welcome, Herr von Wiesel. How was your journey?”

Her voice was sultry, and she ran her hands through her waist-length ginger locks, then flipped her cascading hair back over her shoulder. Her mesmerizing, amber, cat-like eyes seemed to glow, and they mesmerized the boy. Then his gaze was captured by a red ruby embedded in a gold spider hanging on a gold chain necklace nestled in her amply displayed cleavage. Werner sucked in a breath as he became more firmly enmeshed in her web.

He managed to tear his gaze away from the spider and licked his lips. “Uh, it was good. I was glad to leave Munich for a while. And please call me Werner.” Fighting to regain his composure, he smoothed back his hair, then crossed his arms.

The temptress said, “You must be cold from your journey.” She took Werner’s hand and led him toward the fireplace. “Come, sit with me on the sofa near the fire.”

As they sat, Werner was grateful to see that the knee-high rosewood table in front of the couch held a polished silver tray with a lavish spread of fresh fruit, cheese, meat, bread, and cakes. A silver teapot with a monogrammed “B” adorned the china.

Werner had last eaten at breakfast and did not pack anything for the train ride. That and the trudge from the station up to the castle had built up a monster hunger. The Countess noticed his glance and said, “Forgive me, you must be famished.” She gestured to the tray. “I had had my servants prepare a snack for you before I dismissed them for the remainder of the day. Please, help yourself.” He needed no more invitation than that and began piling cheese and sausages on a thick slice of still-warm homemade bread. He closed his eyes, inhaled in delight, and his mouth opened wide for a big bite.

The sorceress teased Werner by smiling and pushing his hand with the sandwich away from his mouth. “Not so fast. I invited you here so we could talk privately. Have you told anyone about your visit?”

“No, of course not. You were quite clear I was to tell no one.”

The Countess narrowed her eyes. “Not even Raka? Especially him.”

Werner shook his head firmly. “No, I told no one. Not even my parents. I just said I had to do some school stuff for the day and I might be back late.” His puppy dog eyes pleaded with the Countess to allow him to take a bite from his sandwich.

The Countess paused just a moment longer, letting Werner know who held power here, then, with a smile, motioned with her inch-long, blood-red fingernails for Werner to eat. The hungry young man turned his attention to the food and in just a few brief minutes had sated his hunger. Heaving a deep sigh of satisfaction, he slouched back into the depths of the plush couch and turned once again to the Countess. She had a half-amused smirk on her face as his eyes were once again drawn to the gold necklace… and what it rested upon.

“Do you like it?” she asked coyly.

With an effort, Werner brought his eyes to her face, and he turned quite red. “Um, what?” he asked sheepishly.

“The necklace,” the Countess said, leaning toward Werner and revealing even more of her ample cleavage. “Do you like it?”

“Oh, yes,” he stammered. “It’s very… I mean…”

The Countess laughed and sat back as Werner struggled to bring his thoughts to the reason for his visit. He was very distracted and was experiencing feelings that were unfamiliar to him. The Countess, for her part, found his discomfort amusing. Finally, Werner gathered his wits. “Countess, you said you would help me. Why am I here?”

Victoria was thrilled with Werner’s naiveté. It had been a long time since she’d felt young and vulnerable like him. From childhood, her father held her as a pawn in a chess game of power and influence. Her beauty, plus the fact that she was a von Baden, made her the focus of attention of the rich and mighty. As she grew into puberty and beyond, she learned the effect she had on men. She also learned she could bend them toward her will, but she also had to be very careful and not cross the line with them. Her father’s command that she be demure and please men was alien to her character. When he demanded she be the weak little maiden, it made her want to scream.

The Countess’s mother had died in childbirth. Her older brother was cruel and domineering while her father was controlling and, at the same time, overprotective. Like a lioness in a cage, she had felt trapped for most of her life.

As a teen, she had loved to explore the vast castle. It was her favorite way to escape when life threatened to close in on her, perhaps because they were so isolated from the rest of the world. She loved the cellars and dungeons that seemed to extend into the bowels of the Earth. Even as she grew into young adulthood, she would retreat to these subterranean chambers.

One day she went down into them, hoping to escape the trials of her life. She opened the door to her favorite hiding place to find a terrifying creature sitting on a bench. She froze, unable to move, let alone flee. The sense of a human presence awakened Raka, and he saw a frightened young woman staring at him. The dragon creature in a warm, soft voice said, “Do not be afraid, Victoria, I have been waiting for you. I will not harm you.”

Victoria was mesmerized. Transforming to his human shape, Raka smiled, “I can see that you are a brave and a smart young woman. But you are being stifled by your father’s controlling agenda for you.”

Her jaw dropped in amazement. How did this stranger know her? In an instant, she felt as if he could see right through her. Raka smiled to himself.

Raka sensed her vulnerability and knew she needed him to find her real power—which was considerable. “Believe me, I can help you achieve the things of which you dream.” This was too strange. But it was also intriguing. She did not know what to do. At first. But she had stayed to listen.

Over the next several years, Raka had guided her development, building on her frustrations and displeasure with her father’s plans and step by step, corrupting her to his dark ways.

Then her father died, and it was just her and her brother. For a while. Her father had wanted her to fulfill his vision of having a husband to rescue her; a concept she did not share in the slightest. The lord of the manor would have been aghast to learn how she applied the skill she had acquired thanks to his shooting lessons. Such a pity that her brother had died in a freak hunting accident. Even odder that the bullet that killed him had gone through his back and straight to his heart. Following his funeral, the Countess declared herself a lady of the castle.

The Countess brought herself back to the present. She saw a similar conflict within Werner. She smiled and replied to his question, “I invited you here to help me steal back what is mine.”

At Werner’s puzzled look, she continued. “Raka told me your friend has my compass. My father traded it and other jewels some years ago when he needed money to install electric lighting in our home.”

Her porcelain face reddened, and her nostrils flared. “My father had no right to take it from me. It is mine!

I found it in a chest of relics from the Crusades. My many-times-great grandfather acquired it long ago. My father said the story, told down through generations, was that the knights were searching for the Ark of the Covenant.” She closed her cat-like eyes, reminiscing the pleasure. “The jewels sparkled in the light and always made me feel good. I miss having it. I must have it back.”

Werner hesitated, knowing that Raka wanted the compass. Seeing his hesitation, the Countess intensified her appeal. She grasped Werner’s hand in both of hers and clutched it to her chest, just under her throat, her lips trembling and tears starting to spill onto her cheeks. “Oh, please Herr von Wiesel—Werner—you are my only hope of reclaiming my beloved treasure.”

Werner’s glance vacillated between the woman’s tears and his hand, which was inches away from her cleavage. “Uh, well, um…” Just then, a log in the fireplace popped, sounding for all the world like a gunshot.

Werner jerked back, startled, then realized what had happened. He struggled to regain his composure and drew the Countess’s hands away from her chest. He patted them and looked her in the eyes. “I understand your distress, Countess. But Herr Raka—”

The Countess smiled, sniffing back her tears. “I know Herr Raka has asked you to steal it for him. But it is mine in the first place.”

Werner hesitated, so the Countess leaned toward him. “Besides, I know how to handle Herr Raka.”

“You do?” asked Werner, once again falling under her spell. She is so beautiful, he thought. And she obviously cares for me. The Countess could see the boy was faltering. She nodded and smiled. “Yes.”

Werner wanted nothing more in the world than to please this woman, but there was one more concern. “Uh, Herr Raka has some… information… about me, that could get me in trouble with the authorities. He threatened to expose me if I fail to secure the compass.”

The girls at school think I’m still a boy. What do they know? This beautiful woman sees me as a man who knows how to take care of her.

Watching Werner, the Countess assessed that the time was right. She suddenly brightened. “I have it! I know what we can do.”

The Countess retook Werner’s hand. “Yes. I will explain to Herr Raka that you understand the compass is mine and that I assured you that once I have it, I would be glad to share it with him.”

Hearing her words, Werner felt fantastic. The heaviness that had been suppressing him lifted. “Yes! That’s the perfect solution,” he said, squeezing her hand affectionately.

“Yes, perfect. You are my hero,” said the Countess as she leaned toward Werner and kissed him on the cheek. Werner’s spirits soared.

That evening, on the train home, Werner tried to plan for how he would steal Albert’s compass. But his thoughts kept going back to that kiss.

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Do You Have The Courage of an Einstein?

Is it “cool to be cruel”? Our culture today is suffering from cancel culture and bad behavior on social media. Why?

Einstein received a lot of personal attacks in his life. What would do if you were attacked like this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albert Einstein was never always famous. Born a Jew, he attended a Catholic school where he faced bullies daily chanting words of antisemitism. At age 16 his parents moved to Italy without him. Left alone, he had no one to help him face the brutal torture of his teachers and peers. When he graduated from college, his professors refused to give him referrals to find a job. What did Albert have that kept him going? A compass his father gave him when he was a boy. The compass was more than a direction finder. It became a dream, his moral code to stay on course to discover what is time, what is light. Albert had courage, the heart to continue his journey, no matter who stood in his way or what tried to stop him. In this time of darkness, find your spiritual compass. Maybe you too can change the world.

Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure

October 1894
Called to Task

As Albert secured his bicycle at the side entrance of the Gymnasium and took his books from the basket mounted in front of the handlebars, he wondered what the Benedictine monks thought of a Jewish boy attending their prestigious boarding school.

Dressed in a stylish charcoal wool suit, Albert walked toward the front of the building. Mounting the steps, he took off his inky, short-brimmed, felt bowler hat and smoothed back his unruly chestnut hair. He was late. Again. But he didn’t care.

Dwarfed by the tall Doric columns, he kept his eyes on the ground. He didn’t even glance at the long wall scroll with the Bavarian monks’ black-and-gold coat of arms that hung above him. Albert’s pace slowed. I am not looking forward to another day of boredom with these dullards.

At sixteen and standing five feet nine, Albert was not an imposing figure. The mild expression on his face hid the firestorm of rage that brewed in his mind. Day after day, the same thing.

This rote memorizing hurts my brain. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, Albert let his thoughts drift to his mother and father. He missed his family.

Melancholy came over him as he remembered their goodbyes in early summer. His parents left him with his aunt and uncle so they could pursue work in Italy. He had loved his life before they went. Now, he was stuck in classes where the boys were studying things that he had mastered years earlier. His guardians, unfortunately, were not as understanding as his parents about Albert’s boredom.

Albert stopped next to a column and leaned against it, remembering his initial discovery of the magic of mathematics. He had been only around twelve when Max Talmud, a family friend and struggling medical student, visited the Einstein’s for Shabbat one Friday and gave Albert a gift that changed his life. It was a mathematics book called Simple Algebra, and it opened new worlds to Albert, who at the time was in Folkenshuler elementary school. Albert mastered the text by himself and would delight in surprising Max with how much he had learned since the previous Shabbat.

For Albert, Simple Algebra was like a prayer book. He remembered his wonderment as the book began stimulating questions in his mind. Each problem became a puzzle to solve. Life was a series of “Xs” he decided, a series of unknowns.

Albert forced himself out of his reverie and reluctantly resumed his walk to class. He entered the classroom and glanced over at his friend, Johann. The teacher, Herr von Achen, was writing on the blackboard, his back to the class. Von Achen was a rigid and disciplined man on whom forty resembled sixty. His eyes were a bleak gray behind gold-rimmed spectacles, and he wore a perpetual frown under his balding head.

“The ‘late’ Herr Einstein,” taunted Werner von Wiesel as Albert made his way to his seat. Werner was his usual obnoxious self. The boys in the class would have laughed at the play on words, but they had heard this phrase numerous times already from Von Wiesel. His entourage did manage a weak guffaw as Albert slid into his seat.

Von Achen turned and frowned. “Enough, Herr von Wiesel,” he said in a halfhearted admonishment. Albert, who often challenged Herr von Achen, was far from the teacher’s favorite student. Additionally, Von Achen didn’t want to antagonize the son of Colonel von Wiesel, one of Munich’s substantial citizens.

With a disapproving glare at Albert, Von Achen began the lesson. “Today, we will discuss mathematical treatment of astronomy, Newton’s development of celestial mechanics and the laws of gravitation. Does everyone have their textbook?” Several of the boys nodded, taking out their copies of Josef Krist’s Essentials of Natural Science.

Albert raised his hand. “With all due respect, Herr von Achen, what does astronomy have to do with physics?”

Murmurs and grumbles rippled through the classroom. Werner rolled his eyes, moaning, “Not again… Einstein, do you have to do this?”

Albert stood his ground. “My interest is in learning physics. Astronomy is a waste of my time.”

Herr von Achen turned and glared at Albert. “As part of this course, we are covering the five branches of natural science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, the Earth sciences, and physics. You are to learn a broad range of subjects here, not just one or two.”

I have already covered this, Albert thought. He shook his head in resignation.

Herr von Achen challenged Albert. “Herr Einstein, please stand and explain to the class Newton’s theory of celestial mechanics.”

“The law of universal gravitation states that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them,” Albert rattled off sitting in his seat.

Herr von Achen’s face reddened. “What are you talking about? Where in your textbook did you see that?” His anger building, the older man, spat, “And when I tell you to stand young man, you will stand!”

Albert threw his hands up and stood beside his chair. “Herr von Achen, I learned Newton’s theory of celestial mechanics several years ago. I read the Peoples Books of Natural Science when I was twelve. All twenty-one volumes.” A collective gasp rippled through the classroom.

Herr von Achen could barely contain his fury. “I don’t care what you read or when.” He grabbed the copy of the textbook from his desk and held it up. “We are working with this textbook and the information in it. So…” he continued as his body quivered and he slammed the book down on his desk with a sharp crack, “you can shut your mouth now and sit down immediately!”

Turning from Albert to the blackboard, Herr von Achen began madly scribbling as he spoke in short staccato bursts of scientific jargon. Albert wished he were anywhere but here. As the other boys feverishly took notes, attempting to keep up with their still enraged teacher, Albert slumped into his chair and pulled his brass compass from his pocket. He found endless fascination studying his prized possession. Pushing on the twelve gemstones like buttons, he tried to turn it on again. How could he get the number 33 to flash the way it had when he first opened the compass?

He was pulled from his dream-like state by the clock striking the hour and marking the end of the class. Albert put away his compass and gathered his books, happy to be heading for the door. Just as he was about to escape, Herr von Achen motioned him over to his desk. Albert approached cautiously. Herr von Achen pointed his right index finger at Albert and through clenched teeth growled, “Just who do you think you are, Herr Einstein?”

Albert took in a deep breath. “What do you want me to say, Herr von Achen?”

With a vein throbbing just above his brow, Von Achen spat out, “You come to class late, sit in the back row with your attention elsewhere, and argue with me whenever you can. Where is your respect?”

“Sorry, sir,” Albert replied, his patience at an end.

Herr von Achen leaned forward across his desk, coming only inches from Albert’s face. “Well then, perhaps you would do better somewhere else.” He pulled an envelope from his inside jacket pocket and smacked it against Albert’s chest. “You are to meet with the Academik Committee in six weeks. The letter explains everything.” He spun around to straighten some papers on his desk. “And, Herr Einstein,” he said with sarcasm, his attention on the papers, “be on time.”

Not knowing what to say, Albert stepped back and stared blankly at the letter in his hand. Albert’s face flushed as the idea of being expelled from school and having his plans shattered took hold. His thoughts raced. His teachers at the Folkenshuler tried to force him to conform. Albert found it suffocating. Suddenly, the whole place felt like it was closing in on him.

Albert bolted from the classroom, ran through the hall and bolted out the front door. The biting, near-winter wind smacked Albert in the face as he burst out of the Gymnasium. Running and out of breath.

He inhaled the cold air into his lungs. Albert tried to calm himself and take stock. He needed to be alone. Slowly Albert calmed down, and rationality returned. He realized he needed his bicycle. Keeping his eyes down to avoid engaging with anyone, made his way back to the side entrance of the Gymnasium. No one paid any attention to Albert as he mounted his bicycle and pedaled away. His heavy wool suit barely kept him warm in the fall chill, but he hardly noticed.

Finally, on the edge of campus, he took one hand off the handlebars to wipe the tears from his eyes. Albert pedaled fast to Gasteig Park and the bridge at the end of the Prinzregentenstrasse. He slowed before a bench in the formal gardens and set his bicycle on the brittle, brown grass.

Sitting back, like a lost soul Albert closed his eyes. He felt crushed and out of control and just wanted to scream out his anger with Herr von Achen. He gazed across the terraces where the bare branches of tall birch and maples trees quivered in the wind. Rising above in the axis of the Prinzregentenstrasse was the Angel of Peace, a statue of the ancient Greek goddess of victory, Athena Nike. Albert stared at the towering, golden figure. “My only god is mathematics,” he declared out loud. The sun began to set, and Albert shivered in the chill air. I need to be somewhere where I can think. He didn’t want to discuss this with Johann, and his aunt and uncle would be of no assistance. Then he realized he had the perfect place.

It was fully dark by the time Albert found himself riding past candlelit houses of middle-class families. A short time later, he arrived at his destination. Quietly Albert walked his bike to the back of the house and left it under a small canopy made for the family vehicles. He opened the back door and entered a quiet house. He was alone. Since his parents had taken his younger sister, Mara, to Italy, he had the family home all to himself.

He turned on the hall light and climbed the stairs two at a time. He opened the door to find his bed, dresser, and armoire had accumulated only a light coat of dust since he’d left them in the summer. Just being back in the familiar room helped to calm him. Taking a deep breath, Albert reached under the bed and pulled out his violin case. He opened it and carefully picked up his friend, Violina. Albert stood in the middle of the living room, closed his eyes and remembered playing the Mozart lullaby “I See the Moon” with his mother accompanying him on the piano. Profoundly missing his family, he began to play the favorite tune on his violin. As the sweet notes emerged from Violina, Albert started walking, then gently waltzing, around the room. He could almost hear his mother singing the melody and laughing. The folksy love song lifted his heart. Lost in his dreams, Albert let the song fill him.

Bowing the last strains of the beautiful melody, Albert found the memory of his ordeal with Herr von Achen intruding into his awareness. The warm Violina still in his hands, he opened his eyes to a dimly lit bedroom, abandoned. He sighed and settled Violina into her case. Feeling forlorn, Albert collapsed onto his bed fully clothed and fell into a deep sleep. Tomorrow would be a new day.

 

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Interview with Grace Blair, the author of a YA historical fantasy novel Einstein’s Compass

This week, we’re talking with Grace Blair about her book, Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure

 

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

Since childhood I have had empathic visions of God, angels and Christ. Organized religions did not fulfill my quest to know more.

In 1973, I met my spiritual mentor John-Roger. With his guidance, I discovered my spiritual heart through inner discipline of spiritual exercises and soul transcendence.

 

Why do you write?

I am a shepherd of the words in the books I have written and grateful my work is making a difference in people’s lives.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

Young Albert Einstein lived during the horse and buggy days. The latest technology was the light bulb.

Where did a Jewish boy who attended a Catholic school receive his vision of time and light? What if his soul was reincarnated from Atlantis? What if he was a priest-scientist from that time who was trying to remember what he did back then?

 

What do you enjoy the most about your genre?

Historical fiction is my favorite genre because I learn something every time I read a historical novel.

Adding a science fiction fantasy to Albert Einstein’s twenty year history adds a WOW factor, especially the thriller ending.

 

How would you describe your writing process?

I listen to my inner intuitive voice to hear and see what my story and characters want me to share.

 

What do you think authors have to gain from participating in social media?

Connecting to the world of information on social media assists authors to connect their work to readers and to each other. The author community is important as we support one another in our journey and share our work.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Find the passion in your story and write.

 

How do you select your books’ titles and covers?

Research on Amazon in genres to find the perfect fit for my audience.

 

What’s your next step?

Writing a novella on the background story of Atlantis in Einstein’s Compass. “Atlantis and the Supernatural Compass”.

 

What book do you wish you had written?

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor.

 

How do you react to seeing a new review for your book?

Reviews are gold. I feel excited when I read a new review. I appreciate a reader who has taken their precious time to share their experience and perhaps influence a person seeking advice for a new read.

 

 

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Working Remotely? Using These 5 Expert Tips to Feel Your Best

Initially, the idea of working remotely can sound privileged and glamorous. Working location-independent has an allure that a stuffy office with dim, fluorescent lighting just can’t compete with. However, as anyone who has worked remotely for a long stretch of time knows, this arrangement has unexpected downsides. Setting boundaries, changing into “real” clothes for the day, and being able to fully “switch off” are just a few of the challenges that can arise.

Whether you’ve been working at home for one month or for one year, Grace Allison has five expert tips that you can use to feel your best.

Free yourself of distractions

The first significant challenge that almost every remote worker encounters is distraction. From kids yelling and crying while you’re finishing up an important report to dogs barking during your Zoom meeting, distractions are a natural part of working outside of the office. Even if you work from a coffee shop for the day, music and people talking loudly can derail your productivity.

Start by accepting that, at some level, you will always face distractions when working remotely. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean that there are no steps you can take to free yourself of many of them. Consider investing in tech accessories (such as noise-canceling headphones) to block out sound. If you find yourself checking your social media feeds more often than you should, delete these apps off of your phone for the day. Do whatever you can to reduce noise and other distractions that you wouldn’t have in the office.

Support your mental health

Regular in-person social interactions are essential for having good mental health. Socializing can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce your risk of cognitive decline, and extend your lifespan. When working remotely, you do not have daily interactions with co-workers. Depending on your circumstances, this may lead to you not seeing anyone in person for days on end.

For this reason alone, it is critical that remote workers do everything possible to support their mental health. If you are struggling with depression, for example, seek professional help to develop a treatment plan. Also, schedule regular gatherings with close family and friends to guarantee that you’ll socialize with others each week.

Make your workspace look and feel good

One advantage of working from home is being able to create the workspace of your dreams. You can fully customize your home office with any decor that you desire. Being surrounded by objects, colors, patterns, aromas, and sounds that are pleasing to you will further boost your mental health. Make your workspace look and feel good by adding things that you enjoy, such as an essential oil diffuser, a record player, a favorite work of art, or comfy pillows.

Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods

The temptation to snack on unhealthy foods is strong when your house is stocked with junk food. Clear your pantry of chips, candy, and soda. Replace all unhealthy snacks and lunch items with nutrient-dense choices that are quick and easy to make.

Set boundaries to achieve a healthy work-life balance

Among all of the obstacles you can face as a remote worker, one of the most difficult to overcome is setting healthy work-life boundaries. Most people underestimate how valuable the physical transition from work to home is when working in an office. Without this transition, it becomes easy to blur the lines between work and home. To preserve your health and well-being, set firm boundaries for checking your email, answering work calls/texts, and working on projects after-hours.

Once you get into the swing of working remotely, the pros can undoubtedly outweigh the cons. Following the tips above can help you develop healthy work habits that keep you feeling your best.

 

Grace Allison is an award-winning author and modern Christian mystic. Through her work, she has helped thousands of individuals find spiritual wisdom that helps them work through life’s challenges. Visit her blog to learn more.

Article written by:

Cheryl Conklin

Wellness Central

1 comment to Working Remotely? Using These 5 Expert Tips to Feel Your Best

  • These are all great tips, Grace, and I agree with all of them. Being somewhat iconoclastic by nature, I have adopted a different approach in my online grad school classes. I don’t care if the pet cat joins us as long as the student is still engaged. S/he can be part of an online class from the car or a family picnic as long as he focuses on the class conversation. I want to make it easy for students to blend learning with their needs.

    Education, though, is different. Thanks for sharing these!

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For Laws of Nature - Jacqui Murray

Why do Lucy’s kind (and Xha’s) ignore their dead?

Lucy’s and Xha’s kind didn’t bury their dead. That symbol of respect and understanding of an afterlife came much later. Earliest man knew of no world or life beyond their own.

 What’s with the unusually bright star Lucy saw?

Lucy saw a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus and the bright star Regulus. Such an event occurs rarely but when it does, the resulting “star” is extremely bright. Historians suggest the biblical Star of Bethlehem was this sort of planetary conjunction. Recent history experienced another one on December 21, 2020, the first in 800 years.

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

 Summary

 In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

 Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

 A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Excerpt: Chapter 1

Hunting

 

South Africa

Lucy

Fresh blood streaked Short-tooth’s muzzle, her golden eyes alert to every movement around her as she munched on Gazelle’s meaty carcass. Each movement made the Cat’s tawny fur ripple over the powerful muscles beneath her skin. She raised her head, chewing slowly while studying the grass field in front of her, especially toward the back where it blended into the forest. She couldn’t see Mammoth but smelled it, close to the Uprights, maybe protecting them. Despite being the size of a boulder, this pachyderm could outrun most predators and would think nothing of crushing them beneath its massive feet.

Short-tooth wasn’t interested in the Uprights. Their bodies had little meat and less fat. Gazelle was more satisfying.

Cat ripped a slab of fragrant meat from the hind leg. Snarling-dog—to the far side—slapped the ground. He was hungry but wouldn’t eat Gazelle until Short-tooth finished. Cat purred loudly, close to a snarl, and Snarling-dog withdrew, but not far. Carrion-bird overhead tightened its circle and a tiny shrew the size of Short-tooth’s paw waited patiently, out of Cat’s range, eyes bright, nose twitching. A shred from the carcass was all it needed.

None of these creatures mattered to Short-tooth. She was the apex predator in her savannah habitat.

 

Sticky yellow globs of Mammoth dung slid down Lucy’s back and plopped to the dry thatch. The dung coat was melting under Sun’s intense heat, exactly as Lucy planned. Its purpose was to confuse Short-tooth Cat. The hotter Sun became, the stronger Mammoth’s smell.

Lucy and her young pairmate, Garv, lay motionless, like Snake sleeping, bodies pressed into the prickly grass, oblivious to the feathery feet that scurried over their backs. She and Garv, too, wanted what Short-tooth didn’t consume. They were more patient than Snarling-dog but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t eat first. The first to arrive got the best of the leftovers.

Lucy rubbed her raw eyes, bleary from watching Cat bite, rip, and chew. If Short-tooth knew of their presence, it was not because she saw them. Lucy and Garv blended into the landscape. Their skin was the color of dirt and dry grass, impossible to find if you weren’t looking. No part of their bodies moved except their narrowed eyes as they scanned the surroundings, evaluating each new arrival to the feast. The dominant scents never changed—Snarling-dog, Short-tooth Cat, something decaying in the nearby forest, her pairmate Garv’s sweaty body, and Gazelle’s ripening offal.

Sun’s relentless heat washed over Lucy in waves. Sweat dripped down her face, over her pronounced brow ridge and into her eyes, but for reasons she didn’t understand, despite his fur pelt, Snarling-dog was dry. He reminded Lucy of Ump, her tribe’s Canis member. Even on the hottest days, Ump didn’t sweat. Instead, he panted more.

Today, Snarling-dog panted hard.

Short-tooth raised her feline head, inspecting her habitat as her jaws crunched through the fresh carrion. She reeked of malevolence which meant scavengers like Lucy and Garv willingly waited their turn.

Sun climbed through the cloudless blue sky. The morning haze had burned off long ago. The dew Lucy hadn’t licked off the leaves, Sun’s heat had. Her throat was dry, lips cracked, but that mattered less than securing scavenge. Her tribe was hungry.

Lately, unexpectedly, when Lucy sat quietly as she did now, a tingle deep inside her chest told her Raza, her former pairmate, was in trouble. The first time she experienced this tingle, what Garv called “instinct”, it churned through her body as a current does in a stream. She thought she was sick until Garv explained this was instinct and it warned of danger, not illness. He told her always to listen, but how was she to do that? Raza had been captured by the tribe’s worst enemy, a formidable Upright called Man-who-preys. She didn’t know where they’d taken him. As often as she brushed the feeling away, it returned, each time stronger than the last.

Cat’s yellow eyes snapped open and her methodical jaws slowed. Something caught her interest, maybe Snarling-dog’s impatience or Carrion-bird’s relentless approach. After a warning hiss, Short-tooth shook her big head and pawed her face. A swarm of black flies lifted, buzzed briefly, and then resettled where they’d started, again gorging on the blood and carrion that stuck to Short-tooth’s face

The flies are thicker than usual.

Short-tooth returned to her meal and Lucy sniffed, wondering what drew Cat’s attention. She didn’t expect to see Man-who-preys here, but took nothing for granted. The tall, big-headed, hairless enemy always carried a long stick which he used to kill prey. Sometimes, he didn’t eat the animal, just watched it die. This unpredictability, that he followed no norms, made him more treacherous than other predators.

She inhaled, but didn’t smell his stench so turned her attention back to the hunt.

Carrion-bird floated overhead, feet tucked beneath its sleek body. The longer Cat ate, the more of the huge birds arrived. They thought their powerful sweeping wings, sharp claws, and piercing beaks made them the mightiest among the scavengers. What they didn’t realize was that Lucy and Garv possessed an even greater weapon: They could plan. Before Carrion-bird or Snarling-dog got too close, Lucy and Garv would take what they needed and flee.

They always did.

In the edging forest, Cousin Chimp hooted, the pitch and length describing the location of a tree newly bearing fruit. Leaves rustled as his band raced away. Lucy hoped they would leave enough of the succulent produce for her and Garv.

She hunkered deeper into the tall waving stalks, tracking the other scavengers and noting again how far away the trees were in case she needed to flee. A snake slithered over her foot, through the thatch and out of sight. She and Garv had been motionless for so long, Snake probably viewed them as dirt mounds in its path.

Garv tweaked an eyebrow and Lucy motioned, hands a tight circle in front of her chest, well hidden, “Dull colors, no knobs on snake’s tail—no danger.”

Her kind—Man-who-makes-tools—used a sophisticated blend of communication including body language, hand gestures, facial expressions, mimicking, and vocalization. One of their greatest defenses in this brutal world was the ability to become part of their surroundings. Voices were unusual sounds heard nowhere in nature except from Uprights, mostly the big-headed Man-who-preys. Lucy’s kind occasionally whispered and Tree-men, like Boah who was part of Lucy’s tribe, rarely made any sounds beyond huffs, grunts, howls, and moans. Only Man-who-preys jabbered endlessly.

 

Lucy’s eyelids drooped. This hunt had started yesterday when Lucy and Garv found the fresh cloven prints of a Gazelle herd. Lucy’s kind ate copious amounts of roots, nuts, fruit, juicy stems, and insects, but only meat gave them the energy to survive their dangerous lives. Because they hunted only dead animals, they depended upon predators to make the kill. Gazelle’s fleshy body always attracted Cat and its cousins, like Short-tooth. They would pick off the injured, and Lucy’s tribe would eat what they left.

Because not enough daylight remained yesterday, Lucy and Garv set out today, at Sun’s first light. They followed the herd while the rest of the tribe—the Tree-man Boah, the child Voi, and the Canis Ump—stayed at the homebase’s cave. Before Sun had traveled far, a snarl and a screech told Lucy a predator claimed its prey. When Carrion-bird and its cousins started to circle, she and Garv knew exactly where to go.

 

Garv nudged Lucy, the movement so subtle the grass didn’t even move. “Short-tooth is leaving.”

Lucy bit her lip and shot a look at Garv. His face radiated excitement.

She studied Short-tooth, tried to see what Garv saw and finally gestured, “I don’t see anything. Why do you think she’s finished?”

He motioned, one finger moving against his palm, “Instinct.” Nothing else.

But that was enough. Garv had taught her to stalk prey, knap tools, hunt, and protect herself. Because of him, she became an accomplished hunter, never missed a print, a bent frond, the fragrance left on leaves or bark, or any other sign. As partners, they always brought meat to the tribe. Most hunters didn’t.

Garv’s instinct had found more prey than Lucy’s tracking skills or senses ever did. She had no doubt Short-tooth would soon leave.

 

Cat’s big tongue, as long as Lucy’s forearm, licked the bloody scraps from her muzzle, a sign even to Lucy that she had finished. Lucy shifted to her hands and toes, knees hovering above the ground, prepared for what must come next. Garv did the same, his body hard from the life he lived, senses alert to every noise. Carrion-birds cawed and tightened their circle. On the opposite side of the field, Snarling-dog’s pack bared their canines, tails stiff. Drool dripped from their jowls and their gaze bounced between Cat and the Uprights, knowing from experience the scrawny but agile creatures were vigorous competitors.

You are fast, Snarling-dog, but we are smart. We will always get there first!

Lucy tensed as Short-tooth pushed up to her massive paws, canines red with blood, saliva dripping in strands from her jowls. She yawned, her mouth a dark cavity vast enough to swallow Lucy’s entire head, and ambled off. Lucy and Garv exploded to their feet and sprinted toward the carcass. Their powerful legs churned while nimble hands pulled cutters and stones from the sacks strung around their necks. Lucy’s job was to delay Snarling-dog and Carrion-bird while Garv stripped the carrion.

“Argh!” Lucy roared, waving a leafy branch through the air to make herself bigger to Snarling-dog while Garv attacked the carcass. Ignoring the fetid stench of dung and urine, he swung the sharp cutter and sliced through the hide and then muscle and tendon.

Lucy flung a stone at the lead Snarling-dog. It hit his temple, hard, and he dropped with a squeal. His pack slowed to reassess the upright creature and Lucy threw another stone, this one at the new leader’s eye. He yipped and stumbled, shook his head, and pawed at the blood that oozed from the wound and dribbled down his muzzle.

“Lucy!” Garv tossed an almost pristine haunch to her and then swung his chopper at Gazelle’s ribs. Carrion-bird, well into its death dive, talons extended, screeched its imminent attack.

“Let’s go!” Lucy called, the unexpected sound of her voice meant to startle the scavengers.

She hurled a rock at the lead Carrion-bird. It squawked and withdrew, which slowed the rest of the flock. Lucy grabbed an almost-meatless leg bone. It would be filled with nutritious bloody marrow. Meat secured over her shoulders, she and Garv fled. No one chased them. Why abandon certain meat for an uncertain meal? Lucy raced past a termite mound, noted its location, rounded a boulder bed, and lost sight of the fracas.

Not the scent, though. The tantalizing aroma sailed through the air, announcing to every scavenger around the availability of meat.

Book information:

 Title and author: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

 

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:         https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                        https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                              https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                 http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

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Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

 

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