Bublish Announces Publication of Its First Book on the Blockchain

Announcement to be made at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany this week.

Charleston, SC, October 19, 2019 –(PR.com)– The indie book publishing platform Bublish is pleased to announce the publication of its first book on the blockchain: Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure by Authors Grace Blair and Laren Bright.

The book’s debut on the blockchain was made possible through Bublish’s partnership with Bookchain by Scenarex. Bookchain is showcasing its technology and Einstein’s Compass at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany this week.

Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure tells the story of a young Albert Einstein, who is given a supernatural compass that allows him to travel through time and space. Along the way, he finds wisdom in other dimensions, including the lost city of Atlantis. But evil forces seek the power of the compass, including a monstrous, shape-shifting dragon from a different age. Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

Blockchain is a promising new technology for the book publishing industry, enabling authors and publishers to configure the security, traceability, attribution, and distribution settings (including lending and reselling) of their eBooks. While protecting and securing the eBooks against theft and piracy, Bookchain’s blockchain-based platform, allows readers to access eBook files from any device through its browser-based Web Reader. Bookchain by Scenarex, a Montreal-based startup, was born out of a passion for literature, sharing, and technology. Through blockchain technology, the company strives to create flexible, user-friendly, non-restrictive solutions that will benefit the evolution and development of the digital publishing industry.

About Bublish
Bublish is the world’s first complete indie publishing platform with built-in marketing technology. Authors can write, publish, market, and track their sales—all from one dashboard. By providing a complete publishing and marketing solution, Bublish’s award-winning platform empowers thousands of “authorpreneurs” around the world with the tools, technology, resources and programs they need to be successful in today’s crowded book marketplace.

Learn more about Bublish and its services at bublish.com.

Bublish
Kathy Meis
843-513-7337
Contact
https://bublish.com

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Lubbock’s Best Small Business Storyteller for 2019 is Grace Allison of Modern Mystic Media! 

🏆Just Say WOW! Lubbock’s Winner Of Alignable’s SmallBiz Story Search Revealed Today

Chuck Casto from Alignable

Oct 3rd, 2019

Today’s a big day for the great storytellers in our network!

After reviewing thousands of funny, emotional, and inspirational entries, plus heartfelt comments from our members, we’re happy to announce the local small business people who’ve just won the first phase of our WOW-Worthy SmallBiz Story Search.

🥁Drumroll, please! 🥁

Lubbock’s Best Small Business Storyteller for 2019 is Grace Allison of Modern Mystic Media!

And here’s the winning entry:
Why Courage and Creativity are fundamental when Change happens My journey of courage and creativity began In 1989 when doctors pronounced me with cervical cancer. When I learned the diagnosis, I called in the Light and imagined I felt the he….

Best Stories From Your Local Business Community

Criteria focused on the overall quality of the story compared to other local entries. Funny, emotional, surprising, inspirational or otherwise unforgettable stories rose to the top, via member likes, and judging panel input.

Our aim was to showcase many real stories from small business life and our impressive contest entrants truly delivered!

We were thrilled to see countless stories that reflect the resilience, dedication, and humor small businesspeople tap daily to make their dreams a reality and bolster their local economy. Many stories also included small business advice that could benefit any business owner.

Badge Enhances Business Networking on Alignable

Lubbock’s winner has received a personalized badge to celebrate this major achievement.

The badge can drive more prospects, visibility, and recognition on our Alignable network for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

Beyond the badge, all local winners are automatically entered into the semifinalist phase of our competition — state or provincial winners for the U.S. and Canada. Semifinalists will be named next month.

Upcoming Vote For Top 10 Stories & $23K In Prizes

Once semifinalists are revealed, North American voting will commence helping choose the grand prize winners, one each for the U.S. and Canada, as well as eight runners-up.

Each national winner will receive a lifetime Alignable premium membership, valued at $10,800. Runners-up will each be given six months of free premium memberships, valued at $180 each. In all, over $23,000 worth of prizes will be awarded.

1 comment to Lubbock’s Best Small Business Storyteller for 2019 is Grace Allison of Modern Mystic Media! 

  • Grace Allison

    Thank you, members, of Alignable, for recommending my spiritual/inspirational non-fiction “Do You Have a Dream Workbook” and my novel “Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure”. I appreciate the recognition and hope to inspire all who visit my books and website.
    Grace Allison Blair, Author
    http://www.ModernMysticMedia.com

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Einstein's Compass Pioneer of Bookchain

 

 

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The Quest For Home


Chapter 1

 

The northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea

 

The pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping.

How can anything hurt that much?

She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head.

And how did I sleep so long?

Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck, and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it.

A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his.

“Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out.

Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood.

“You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps.

“Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear.

She cocked her head and motioned, “You?”

Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands.

“I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries.

When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her.

The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here.

“Nightshade, what happened?”

Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood.

Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.”

A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach.

He was alive!

It was Hawk who offered her People a home when they had none, after more than a Moon of fleeing for their lives through lands so desolate, she didn’t know how anyone survived. Finding Hawk and his People, she thought she’d found a new homeland.

Her last hunt with Hawk flashed through her mind—the stone tip they created like the Big Head’s weapon, how she had hung by her ankles from a tree trunk to cross a deep ravine. How he grinned when she reached the other side, chest heaving but radiant with satisfaction. He told her many of his warriors shook with fear as they crossed. His pride in her that day glowed like flames at night.

For the first time in her life, she felt Sun’s warmth inside of her.

She looked around, saw quiet groups huddled together, males talking and females grooming children. Pan-do bent over a child, whispering something in her ear but no Hawk.

Where is he? But she didn’t ask Nightshade. The last time she’d seen the two together, they had fought.

She couldn’t imagine a world without Hawk. They had planned to pairmate, combine their groups into one so strong no one could ever again drive her away. She hadn’t known there were enemies worse than Big Heads until Hawk told her about the Ice Mountain invaders. They attacked Hawk’s People long before Xhosa arrived. Hawk had killed most and chased the rest back to their home, icy white cliffs that extended from Sun’s waking place to its sleeping nest, bereft of plants and animals. When he saw where they lived, he understood why they wanted his land.

The children of those dead invaders grew up and wanted revenge.

Someone moaned. She jerked to find who needed help and realized it was her. She hoped Nightshade didn’t hear.

He glanced at her and then away. “All the rafts were destroyed.”

She shook, trying to dislodge the spider webs in her brain. Hawk’s homebase was squashed between a vast stretch of open land and an uncrossable pond. They should have been safe but the Ice Mountain invaders attacked in a massive horde. Her People—and Hawk’s—were driven into the water. The rafts became their only escape. Floating on a log platform to the middle of a pond too deep to walk across was something no one had ever done but they must or die. The plan was the rafts would carry the People to safety, away from the Invaders.

That hadn’t worked.

“There were too many enemy warriors, Xhosa,” and Nightshade opened and closed his hands over and over to show her. “More than I have ever seen in one place.”

Images of warclubs slashed through her thoughts, flying spears, the howls of warriors in battle. Many died, beaten until they stopped moving, children dragged screaming from mothers. The giant female—Zvi—sprinting faster than Xhosa thought someone her size could, the children El-ga and Gadi in her arms, a spear bouncing off her back. Her size stunned the enemy, immobilized them for a breath which gave Zvi the time she needed to reach safety.

Almost to himself, Nightshade motioned, “I’ve never seen him this brave.”

Xhosa didn’t understand. “Him?” Did he mean Zvi?

“Pan-do. His warriors attacked. They saved us.” Nightshade locked onto the figure of Pan-do as he wandered among the bedraggled groups, settling by an elder with a gash across his chest and began to minister to the wound.

“I remember,” Xhosa murmured. When the People were trapped between the trees and the water, prey waiting to be picked off, Pan-do’s warriors pounced. That gave Xhosa precious time to push the rafts out onto the water. It seemed none of the enemy knew how to swim. Pan-do sliced through the Ice Mountain invaders without fear, never giving ground.

Nightshade motioned, “He isn’t the same Leader who arrived at our home base, desperate for protection, his People defeated.”

Xhosa’s hands suddenly felt clammy. “Is Lyta alive?”

Since the death of his pair mate, before Xhosa met him, Pan-do’s world revolved around his daughter, Lyta. He became Leader of his People to protect her. When he arrived at the People’s home base, Lyta stood out, unusual in an otherwise homogenous group. First, it was her haunting beauty, as though she shined from within, her hair as radiant as Sun. Awe turned to shock when she walked, her gait was awkward on malformed feet. She should have been destroyed as a child but Pan-do said he had never considered it. He explained that in Moons of migration, before joining Xhosa’s People, Lyta had never slowed them down. He didn’t expect that to change if the two groups traveled together.

And then she spoke. Her voice was like a bird’s song and a gift to People exhausted from the day’s work. It cheered up worried adults and put smiles on the faces of children, its melodic beauty convincing them that everything would work out.

It was more than a Moon after his arrival before Pan-do told Xhosa what he valued most about his daughter. Lyta could see truth simply by watching. No one could hide a lie from her, and she never hid it from her father. Pan-do kept it secret because the people it threatened might try to silence her. He only told Xhosa because Lyta had witnessed a conversation about a plan to kill Xhosa.

One of the people Lyta didn’t recognize but the other, he was someone Xhosa trusted.

When Nightshade nodded, Yes, Lyta lives, Xhosa relaxed but only for a moment.

“Sa-mo-ke?”

Nightshade nodded toward a group of warriors. In the middle, eyes alert and hands energetic, stood Sa-mo-ke.

She sighed with relief. Pan-do’s Lead Warrior was also Nightshade’s greatest supporter outside of the People. When he first arrived, Sa-mo-ke spent Moons mimicking her Lead Warrior’s fighting techniques until his skill became almost as formidable as Nightshade’s with one critical difference. While Nightshade liked killing, Sa-mo-ke did so only when necessary.

Nightshade motioned, “Escape came at a tremendous cost, Xhosa. Many died, the rafts were destroyed, and we are now stranded in an unfamiliar land filled with nameless threats.”

It doesn’t matter, she whispered to herself. We are good at migrating.

She jerked her head around, and then motioned, “Where’s Spirit?”

The loyal wolf had lived with people his entire life. He proved himself often while hunting, defending his packmates, and being a good friend. An image flitted across her mind, Spirit streaking toward the rafts, thrusting his formidable body like a spear through the shocked hordes. The enemy had never seen an animal treat People as a pack. Then, the wolf swimming, paws churning the water into whitecaps, gaze locked onto Seeker. Endless Pond was too deep for him to touch the bottom so his head bobbed up and down, feet paddling like a duck’s as he fought to stay above the surface.

Nightshade gestured, “The attackers almost killed Spirit.”

She bit her lip, concentrating. “I remember Mammoth’s trumpets.”

The rare hint of a smile creased his mouth. “Another of Pan-do’s tricks. It saved Spirit and probably all of us. He brayed like a herd of Mammoth thundering toward the shoreline. The invaders fled for their lives.”

Pan-do is clever.

Nightshade grimaced. “But the storm worsened and the rafts foundered. Many of the People managed to cling to logs long enough to crash onto this shore. Then, they saved others. But many died.”

He opened and closed his hands to show how many.

A stillness descended as Nightshade’s gaze filled with a raw emotion he never showed. It shook Xhosa. Nothing frightened her Lead Warrior.

She gulped which hurt her insides. Shallow breaths worked better. Rolling to her hands and knees, she stood which made her head swim and she

 threw up.

Finally, the dizziness subsided and Xhosa asked, “Hawk?”

Nightshade peered around, hands fidgeting. He examined something on the ground, toed it with his foot. “When the tempest destroyed the rafts, he dragged many to shore, to safety. The last time, he did not return. I tried to find him.”

Soundless tears dampened her face. Nightshade touched her but Xhosa focused on a trail of ants and a worm burrowing into the soft earth. Her vision dimmed and she stumbled, fell, and then crawled, happy for the pain that took her mind off Hawk. When she forced herself up, everything blurred but she inhaled, slowly, and again, until she could finally see clearly.

How dare Hawk die! We had plans. Xhosa shoved those thoughts away. Later was soon enough to deal with them.

“His People—do

they know?”

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

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

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Einstein's Compass Wins Reader's Favorite 2019 Honorable Mention YA Sci-Fi

For immediate release: Author’s new novel receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Young Adult – Sci-Fi novel “Einstein’s Compass” by Grace Allison, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0998830887.

Wins Reader’s Favorite 2019 Honorable Mention YA Sci-Fi

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Einstein’s Compass is a work of science fiction written for young adults, penned by author duo Grace Blair and Laren Bright. Taking a figure from real history and fictionalizing around him, the story places the young Albert Einstein as the holder of a mysterious compass which allows him to travel in space and time. From

dimension to dimension, to places mythical and real, Albert is able to develop his unique way of thinking about the universe, a skill he will come to use to change the modern world as we know it. But despite this fulfillment of his destiny, there are those who would use the compass for themselves, and for purposes that are far darker.

For a relatively quick read in a young adult context, this novel packs in a huge amount of detail and spans several different genres due to the time-traveling nature of Albert’s compass. The historical elements, in particular, were brought to life with fantastic descriptions and a lot of well-researched detail, even for the smallest of elements, and it’s this attention to detail that makes the story so rich as a whole reading experience. Author duo Grace Blair and Laren Bright weave an intriguing plot that is disparate to begin with but comes together with a fantastic swell of energy towards the end and builds to a startling and brilliant conclusion. Overall, Einstein’s Compass is a highly recommended story for those readers who enjoy an involved plot with plenty of amazing scenery, details and clever connections.”

You can learn more about Grace Allison and “Einstein’s Compass” at

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/einsteins-compass where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Readers’ Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202
800-RF-REVIEW
support@readersfavorite.com
https://readersfavorite.com

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Award-winning Middle Grade/YA Author Grace Blair Asks, “What if Einstein Had a Magic Compass?”

Grace will be signing her new title Einstein’s Compass at BookCon in New York City

May 28, 2019—Meet multi-award-winning author Grace Blair at BookCon and Book Expo America (BEA). Grace will be available to speak with book buyers, librarians, the press, and readers during BookCon on Saturday, June 1 as well as during BEA, which takes place beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31 at the Javitz Center in New York City.

 

In Grace’s latest book, Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure, we meet a young Albert Einstein who has been given a supernatural compass that allows him to travel through time and space. Through the compass, Albert finds wisdom in other dimensions, including the lost city of Atlantis. But evil forces seek the power of the compass, including a monstrous, shape-shifting dragon from a different age. Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

 

A finalist in the 13th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards and Winner of the 2019 eLit Silver Award for Juvenile YA Fiction, Einstein’s Compass has been called “a riveting fantasy about soul-searching and growth [that] will keep young adult readers engrossed to the end.” ~ Midwest Review of Books. Grace will be signing copies of Einstein’s Compass at Booth 1003 (Ingram Pavillion) from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Book supplies are limited.

~

About Grace Blair: Grace is an award-winning self-help and motivational author as well as a podcast host. She has helped thousands find spiritual wisdom to solve everyday challenges. As a serious student of all things spiritual and mystical, she has found that often psychological principles are enriched by a spiritual component. She frequently uncovers practical applications for her discoveries in the mystical world. Her studies, experience, and discoveries inspired her to write Einstein’s Compass. She lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband, Dr. John Blair. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30995754-einstein-s-compass

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“Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure”wins Silver in 2019 eLit Awards in the Juvenile YA Fiction Category

—with credit to D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

How did Albert Einstein come up with his wondrous theories of light and time?

What if Einstein’s remarkable theories came from his personal journeys through space and time? Einstein’s Compass: a YA Time Traveler Adventure blends this premise into a broader examination of mythology as it opens with a brief glimpse of life in Atlantis and moves to the dilemmas surrounding Raka, a fallen Angel of Light.

 

 

The spiritual shudder he experienced an eon ago leads to his theft of a vial of DNA and exposes the resentment he holds for his uncle, who won’t share secrets with him.

He seeks rewards and recognition from the Council of the Sons of Belial in exchange for betraying his fellow Atlanteans, but the secret of the Firestone crystal continues to elude him.

This is a YA read, but it should be mentioned that graphic violence is part of the storyline. Such descriptions may give pause to adults seeking ‘clean’ reading for teens, but these moments are in keeping with plot development and are not excessive in appearance, nor over-emphasized.

 

Young Albert Einstein is in possession of a compass that allows him to travel in time and space. Unfortunately, he holds a coveted key to not just enlightenment, but power, and he soon discovers that dangerous supernatural forces from different eras are also searching for his prize.

 

Readers anticipating the usual timeslip saga may at first be surprised by the inclusion of and focus on these supernatural entities. As Raka stalks his unsuspecting prey, willing to pay the karmic price for assaulting the holder of the prized Shamir,  Albert faces the death of a beloved friend, an increasing awareness of his power and its danger, and a journey that embraces not just mythological forces, but Biblical times, Jesus, and Albert’s own roots in Atlantis.

 

These subplots lend complexity to Einstein’s Compass that will be intriguing and absorbing to mature YA readers; especially prior fans of timeslip sagas more used to such stories holding historical rather than fantasy backgrounds.

 

Under Grace Blair and Laren Bright’s hands, Einstein’s Compass is more than just another time travel story, but one of soul searching, enlightenment, and classic struggles between good and evil. During this journey, young Albert embraces the threat of death and world-changing perspectives.

 

Indeed, Albert will change the world, one day. But the roots of his knowledge and endeavors take a different turn in a riveting fantasy about soul-searching and growth which will keep young adult readers engrossed to the end.

“…a riveting fantasy about soul-searching and growth which will keep young adult readers engrossed to the end.”

 

Available at all online bookstores in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.

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To Dream the Impossible Dream

What makes a writer and their brand? For me, I am wounded healer. I use my life experiences of physical, mental and emotional pain to convey through story of how to change what could be a roadblock in life to one of creative change. Like Einstein in his fictional story, I use my inner spiritual compass to lift above my life circumstances to give my reader a new perspective in their life experience. Like Don Quixote,I dare to dream the impossible dream. To fight the unbeatable foe which in Einstein’s Compass was a dragon of immeasurable dark power. To be brave to face what could be a failure to follow the star of light that shines within me so my readers can see themselves as they have never experienced before. In writing Einstein’s Compass I found the courage to write a story beyond myself. I will continue my quest to dream to march for a heavenly cause and share the depths of my soul and through story uplift my readers. That is my pledge to you.

The Spiritual Compass
Johann jerked back into awareness in the Garden of Remembrance and gasped, “I was there, at school. With Werner!” He shook his head as if to clear it, then frowned, puzzled. “He was holding a… a gun. I think I scared him.”

Standing next to the bewildered journeyer, Moses smiled. He reached his arm around the boy’s shoulder and drew him closer to his side. The brown-eyed sage gazed down at Johann.

“You did well. Your appearance prevented Werner from making an unwise choice.” Moses glanced at the crystal viewing Portal that sat on the grass nearby. “What was it like for you, traversing through time?” he asked.

Johann’s eyes misted. “It was a lot like you and Jesus told me it would be. The HU sound surrounded me, and I was filled with… joy. I floated on purple light through what felt like a door. It was like moving to another room.” Johann furrowed his brow as he worked to remember. “Suddenly, I found myself back in Germany. I was riding a bicycle.” Johann’s gaze took on a faraway look as he reflected. “It seemed like a dream, and I told Werner to forget the compass and leave Albert alone.” The boy snapped himself back and looked at the master. “The next moment, I was here.”

Moses smiled, “Excellent. Sounds like your first return to the physical world was reasonably pleasant for you.”

Johann flushed with praise. Then his face became serious. “Why is Albert’s compass so important, Moses?” Though a relative newcomer to the astral realm, Johann had acclimated quickly. He no longer stared wide-eyed at the celestial beings who visited this place often, and he had come into acceptance of his new life with remarkable ease thanks to the compassion and abundance of love accorded him by all he met.

Moses directed him to the bench next to the oak tree and gestured for him to sit. “What do you know about the compass, Johann?”

The novice sat and considered the question. Johann tapped his lips with one finger, then, after a brief pause, said, “Usually a compass is used to find your way. It points to the magnetic north of the Earth so you can get your bearings.” He paused again. “But I have seen Albert’s compass do magical things. So, I’m guessing this is no ordinary device.”

Moses smiled and nodded. “It is indeed quite unique. Albert’s compass, when used with love, can create supernatural occurrences.” Moses smiled again at Johann and said, “Think back to when Albert first showed you the compass and you saw the number thirty-three projected from it into the air before you.”

Johann’s eyes glimmered at the memory. “We were just young children when that happened. In fact, we had just met. How did you know about the number?”

Moses smiled, “Let’s just say that I have been aware of you and Albert for a long time. Now think of what Albert did that caused the number to appear.”

Johann’s face lit up as the memory returned. “I think Albert put the compass to his chest. He said he loved his papa for giving him the compass. Then it happened.”

“Yes, yes that’s it,” Moses said approvingly.

Johann became quiet. He thought back to when they used the compass at the monastery on Mary Magdalene’s feast day. “We won a relic scavenger hunt at a monastery once, too. Albert saw Saint Mary Magdalene, and she helped us find our way. Was that the compass too?”

Moses nodded. “Albert’s compass is for finding true spiritual north, for showing the direction in the realm of the spirit as a physical compass does in the natural world.”

As they were talking, Jesus approached, and Moses motioned for him to join them. “Young Johann had some questions about the compass, my Friend. Perhaps you can add some explanation.”

Jesus smiled as he eased himself down on Johann’s other side. “Ah, an interesting topic, indeed.” He stroked his beard as he considered what to say. Arriving at the angle he wanted, he asked Johann, “Do you know the story of the Ten Commandments that Moses received from God?”

Johann nodded. “Of course. Moses went up onto a mountain, and God delivered to him a stone tablet upon which were written ten rules to guide people’s lives. Things like not to steal, or murder. Not to lie. Things like that.”

“Right, the Ten Commandments were rules to guide men. You might say they were like a compass for men to use to make good choices.”

“So, Albert is learning to find his way, and his compass will help him.”

Jesus and Moses smiled at each other. “Yes… that’s exactly right. And it has other powers as well—almost incredible powers—which we will discuss at another time. But for now, you have the basic idea.”

Then Moses became serious. “But some forces would use these powers to set humankind on a different course. They have made it their mission to acquire the compass.”

As the impact of what Jesus said sunk in, Johann jumped to his feet. “I have to tell Albert. I have to help him!”

Great loving radiated from Jesus’ eyes, and he reached out and gently grasped Johann’s arm. “Easy, Johann. We were hoping you would want to help Albert, and we will assist you in doing just that. Albert has an important mission for the world—and you are destined to play a part in it as well.”

Moses nodded. “However, there is more you must learn before you can help your friend. There are rules and boundaries—for both sides—that must not be crossed.”

Jesus nodded. “And so, you can see, my friend, we have work to do.”

Now available in paperback, Kindle and audiobook

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KRMNPZK/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_JaYTCbXXXE2AZ

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How to increase your personal power

One of the reasons I wrote Einstein’s Compass was to share with people ways in which they could learn how to be more creative in their lives. A truth I learned about Albert Einstein was when he attended Aarau High School in Switzerland his teacher instructed Albert and his fellow students on how to increase their personal power of thought and imagination through thought experiments. I believe that through his thought experiments Einstein intuitively received his theories that changed the world. I wanted this chapter in particular to give anyone reading possibilities of what can be accomplished through surrendering into a higher awareness. I followed similar practices to write Einstein’s Compass.

 

 

Spring 1895
Thought Experiment

Six male students in their mid-teens dressed in wool suits, starched white shirts, and blue-and-yellow neckties sat two by two in a single row, anxiously awaiting the start of class. Albert had enrolled in Aarau High School after his unsuccessful attempt to enter the Polytechnic. Of course, he had passed the math and science section of the exam with flying colors. Yet the test showed Albert needed more study in languages, biology, literature, political science, and botany. While somewhat disappointed with the test results, he saw it would only take a year at Aarau before he could get to the Polytechnic, and he was okay with that.

The smell of fresh white chalk stimulated Albert’s mind. He focused on the three Hs the headmaster, Professor Winteler, wrote on the blackboard; the principles of teaching the school followed.

Heart – to explore what students want to learn. To develop their moral qualities, such as helping others.

Head – to understand objects, concepts, and experiences.

Hand – to learn the craft of doing good work and develop their physical skills.

Completing his writing with a flourish, the teacher turned to face his class. His brown eyes twinkled, and there was genuine warmth and enthusiasm in his voice as he said, “I have found that people learn more easily accessing their intuition, their inner powers than they do through their minds.”

In the front row, Albert relaxed. For the first time in his school life, the reject from the Gymnasium in Germany felt connected.

The wise professor put down the chalk and rubbed his hands together. He adjusted his spectacles and said, “Our first exercise will be a thought experiment. It will assist us when we want to consider a hypothesis or theory when the purpose is to think through by steps to its consequences. This practice will increase your personal power of thought and imagination. What’s more,” he said with a smile, “by going inward, you begin to trust yourself.”

A sandy-haired student raised his hand, and the professor acknowledged him. “Yes, Gregory, you have a question?”

“I do, sir,” the boy said as he stood.

The professor smiled. “Good. Questions are encouraged. What do you have?”

“In this mind experiment, do we have our eyes open or closed?”

“For the purposes of our first experiment, you will have your eyes closed. Though I am sure sometimes during the day, you find yourself in a daydream where your mind is drifting in space even with your eyes open.” Gregory nodded as the professor continued. “We are going to use a what-if, dreamy kind of imagination to allow you to let go and create possibilities.”

As Gregory sat down, the professor instructed, “Now I want you to remove your jackets, loosen your ties, and sit up straight with your arms and legs uncrossed. Place your hands on your thighs, palms up.”

The students did so and waited for the next direction.

“Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath,” Winteler said. “Inhale, then slowly let go of all the air in your lungs.” He paused for a few seconds. “Again, this time breathe in more slowly.” As the students did this, he paused, then said, “Hold the air inside.” He paused again. “Let go of all the air, slowly. Allow your body to relax. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breath going in and out. If your mind starts to chatter, just acknowledge that then bring your focus back to your breathing.”

Albert sat with his back straight though he was relaxed, surrendering his mind. Lost in the experience, the dreamer did not even hear what the teacher said next because he found himself enveloped in a warm glow, and he felt like he was rising above the Earth. A motion caught his awareness, and he glanced to the side. Next to him flew a graceful, towering, luminous being with flowing, golden hair. Somehow, Albert sensed it was an angel. The angel’s violet eyes gave the dreamer a loving smile, and Albert surrendered more fully to his experience. Archangel Michael offered Albert his hand, and Albert gently grasped it. The sound of angels singing “Glory to God in the highest” rang out over the universe.

The veil of time opened, and Albert found himself floating down onto the emerald-green grass in the Garden of Remembrance. As he attempted to take it all in, Albert saw a figure standing nearby. It slowly turned, and Albert was filled with joy to recognize his friend Johann. Somehow it all seemed perfectly right, though unreal at the same time.

The two friends embraced, then Albert pulled away. “Johann, how… how…”

Johann smiled. “Don’t try to figure it all out at once, Albert. Just let the reality reveal itself to you.”

“But is it a reality, Johann? Or am I just in a wishful-thinking dream?”

With a mischievous smile, Johann reached out and pinched Albert on the arm.

“Ow!” said Albert with a frown, rubbing the spot where Johann had pinched. Then his eyes grew wide. “Okay, I get it. It’s real.”

Johann nodded, still smiling. “It’s real all right. Just not the reality you’re used to.” In the months since his death, Johann had become more confident about what he knew about the realm in which he found himself.

“Okay, I believe you… but why am I here?”

Johann became more serious. He took Albert’s arm and guided him along the shore of a nearby pond. “We have to talk, Albert.

There is much to tell you. Things are going on you won’t believe. But this visit is just to let you know that you can come here anytime you want. The thought experiment technique Herr Winteler is teaching you will help you come back.”

Albert listened with rapt attention as his friend explained some of what he had been learning. Before he could digest what, he was hearing, Johann continued. “But for now, you must return to your body.” Johann hugged Albert and kissed him on the cheek. “Remember this, and I’ll see you later.”

“But—” Albert started to protest. In the next moment, Albert felt like he was falling from a great height. Just before the dreamer hit the ground, his eyes flew open. He had returned to his body as Professor Winteler was asking the class, “What was your experience of your first thought experiment? Does anyone want to share?”

Albert did not know how to respond. He wondered who would believe him if he told them what happened. He kept his mouth shut and barely heard the answers from his classmates. He was lost in his thoughts about seeing Johann and wondering just what could be so important that he would be called to that place… wherever—or whatever—it was.

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Survival of the Fittest by: Jacqui Murray

This is part of a series. What’s that about?

Survival of the Fittest is Book 1 in the Crossroads series and part of the Man vs. Nature saga. It delves into man’s ability to survive the unsurvivable, make decisions that could kill him, and makes plans contrary to his instincts. Most (all?) animals operate on an internal compass–instinct. Man has free will—the ability to reject our gut in favor of our intellect or heart.

 

Five tribes. One leader.

A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home.

Short Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Book information:

 Title and author: Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

 

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

https://jacquimurray.net

Chapter 1

Her foot throbbed. Blood dripped from a deep gash in her leg. At some point, Xhosa had scraped her palms raw while sliding across gravel but didn’t remember when, nor did it matter. Arms pumping, heart thundering, she flew forward. When her breath went from pants to wheezing gasps, she lunged to a stop, hands pressed against her damp legs, waiting for her chest to stop heaving. She should rest but that was nothing but a passing thought, discarded as quickly as it arrived. Her mission was greater than exhaustion or pain or personal comfort.

She started again, sprinting as though chased, aching fingers wrapped around her spear. The bellows of the imaginary enemy—Big Heads this time—filled the air like an acrid stench. She flung her spear over her shoulder, aiming from memory. A thunk and it hit the tree, a stand-in for the enemy. With a growl, she pivoted to defend her People.

Which would never happen.?Females weren’t warriors.

Feet spread, mouth set in a tight line, she launched her last spear, skewering an imaginary assailant, and was off again, feet light, her abundance of ebony hair streaming behind her like smoke. A scorpion crunched beneath her hardened foot. Something moved in the corner of her vision and she hurled a throwing stone, smiling as a hare toppled over. Nightshade called her reactions to those of Leopard.

But that didn’t matter. Females didn’t become hunters either.

With a lurch, she gulped in the parched air. The lush green grass had long since given way to brittle stalks and desiccated scrub. Sun’s heat drove everything alive underground, underwater, or over the horizon. The males caught her attention across the field, each with a spear and wwar club Today’s hunt would be the last until the rain—and the herds—returned.

“Why haven’t they left?”

She kicked a rock and winced as pain shot through her foot. Head down, eyes shut against the memories. Even after all this time, the chilling screams still rang in her ears…

The People’s warriors had been away hunting when the assault occurred. Xhosa’s mother pushed her young daughter into a reed bed and stormed toward the invaders but too late to save the life of her young son. The killer, an Other, laughed at the enraged female armed only with a cutter. When she sliced his cheek open, the gash so deep his black teeth showed, his laughter became fury. He swung his club with such force her mother crumpled instantly, her head a shattered melon.

From the safety of the pond, Xhosa memorized the killer—nose hooked awkwardly from some earlier injury, eyes dark pools of cruelty. It was then, at least in spirit, she became a warrior. Nothing like this must ever happen again.

When her father, the People’s Leader, arrived that night with his warriors, he was greeted by the devastating scene of blood-soaked ground covered by mangled bodies, already chewed by scavengers. A dry-eyed Xhosa told him how marauders had massacred every subadult, female, and child they could find, including her father’s pairmate. Xhosa communicated this with the usual grunts, guttural sounds, hand signals, facial expressions, hisses, and chirps. The only vocalizations were call signs to identify the group members.

“If I knew how to fight, Father, Mother would be alive.” Her voice held no anger, just determination.

The tribe she described had arrived a Moon ago, drawn by the area’s rich fruit trees, large ponds, lush grazing, and bluffs with a view as far as could be traveled in a day. No other area offered such a wealth of resources. The People’s scouts had seen these Others but allowed them to forage, not knowing their goal was to destroy the People.

Her father’s body raged but his hands, when they moved, were calm.  “We will avenge our losses, daughter.”

The next morning, Xhosa’s father ordered the hunters to stay behind, protect the People. He and the warriors snuck into the enemy camp before Sun awoke and slaughtered the females and children before anyone could launch a defense. The males were pinned to the ground with stakes driven through their thighs and hands. The People cut deep wounds into their bodies and left, the blood scent calling all scavengers.

When Xhosa asked if the one with the slashed cheek had died, her father motioned, “He escaped, alone. He will not survive.”

Word spread of the savagery and no one ever again attacked the People, not their camp, their warriors, or their hunters.

While peace prevailed, Xhosa grew into a powerful but odd-looking female. Her hair was too shiny, hips too round, waist too narrow beneath breasts bigger than necessary to feed babies. Her legs were slender rather than sturdy and so long, they made her taller than every male. The fact that she could outrun even the hunters while heaving her spear and hitting whatever she aimed for didn’t matter. Females weren’t required to run that fast. Nightshade, though, didn’t care about any of that. He claimed they would pairmate, as her father wished, when he became the People’s Leader.

Until then, all of her time was spent practicing the warrior skills no one would allow her to use.

One day, she confronted her father. “I can wield a warclub one-handed and throw a spear hard enough to kill. If I were male, you would make me a warrior.”

He smiled. “You are like a son to me, Daughter. I see your confidence and boldness. If I don’t teach you, I fear I will lose you.”

He looked away, the smile long gone from his lips. “Either you or Nightshade must lead when I can’t.”

Under her father’s tutelage, she and Nightshade learned the nuances of sparring, battling, chasing, defending, and assaulting with the shared goal that never would the People succumb to an enemy. Every one of Xhosa’s spear throws destroyed the one who killed her mother. Every swing of her warclub smashed his head as he had her mother’s. Never again would she stand by, impotent, while her world collapsed. She perfected the skills of knapping cutters and sharpening spears, and became expert at finding animal trace in bent twigs, crushed grass, and by listening to their subtle calls. She could walk without leaving tracks and match nature’s sounds well enough to be invisible.

A Moon ago, as Xhosa practiced her scouting, she came upon a lone warrior kneeling by a waterhole. His back was to her, skeletal and gaunt, his warclub chipped, but menace oozed from him like stench from dung. She melted into the redolent sedge grasses, feet sinking into the squishy mud, and observed.

His head hair was sprinkled with grey. A hooked nose canted precariously, poorly healed from a fracas he won but his nose lost. His curled lips revealed cracked and missing teeth. A cut on his upper arm festered with pus and maggots. Fever dimpled his forehead with sweat. He crouched to drink but no amount of water would appease that thirst.

What gave him away was the wide ragged scar left from the slash of her mother’s cutter.

Xhosa trembled with rage, fearing he would see the reeds shake, biting her lip until it bled to stop from howling. It hardly seemed fair to slay a dying male but fairness was not part of her plan today.

Only revenge.

A check of her surroundings indicated he traveled alone. Not that it mattered. If she must trade her life for his, so be it.

But she didn’t intend to die.

The exhausted warrior splashed muddy water on his grimy head, hands slow, shoulders round with fatigue, oblivious to his impending death. After a quiet breath, she stepped from the sedge, spear in one hand and a large rock in the other. Exposed, arms ready but hanging, she approached. If he turned, he would see her. She tested for dry twigs and brittle grass before committing each foot. It surprised her he ignored the silence of the insects. His wounds must distract him. By the time hair raised on his neck, it was too late. He pivoted as she swung, powered by fury over her mother’s death, her father’s agony, and her own loss. Her warclub smashed into his temple with a soggy thud. Recognition flared moments before life left.

“You die too quickly!” she screamed and hit him over and over, collapsing his skull and spewing gore over her body. “I wanted you to suffer as I did!”

Her body was numb as she kicked him into the pond, feeling not joy for his death, relief that her mother was avenged, or upset at the execution of an unarmed Other. She cleaned the gore from her warclub and left. No one would know she had been blooded but the truth filled her with power.

She was now a warrior.

When she returned to homebase, Nightshade waited. Something flashed through his eyes as though for the first time, he saw her as a warrior. His chiseled face, outlined by dense blue-black hair, lit up. The corners of his full lips twitched under the broad flat nose. The finger-thick white scar emblazoned against his smooth forehead, a symbol of his courage surviving Sabertooth’s claws, pulsed. Female eyes watched him, wishing he would look at them as he did Xhosa but he barely noticed.

The next day, odd Others with long legs, skinny chests, and oversized heads arrived. The People’s scouts confronted them but they simply watched the scouts, spears down, and then trotted away, backs to the scouts. That night, for the first time, Xhosa’s father taught her and Nightshade the lessons of leading.

“Managing the lives of the People is more than winning battles. You must match individual skills to the People’s requirements be it as a warrior, hunter, scout, forager, child minder, Primary Female, or another.  All can do all jobs but one best suits each. The Leader must decide,” her father motioned.

As they finished, she asked the question she’d been thinking about all night. “Father, where do they come from?”

“They are called Big Heads,” which didn’t answer Xhosa’s question.

Nightshade motioned, “Do they want to trade females? Or children?”

Her father stared into the distance as though lost in some memory. His teeth ground together and his hands shook until he clamped them together.

He finally took a breath and motioned, “No, they don’t want mates. They want conflict.” He tilted his head forward. “Soon, we will be forced to stop them.”

Nightshade clenched his spear and his eyes glittered at the prospect of battle. It had been a long time since the People fought.

But the Big Heads vanished. Many of the People were relieved but Xhosa couldn’t shake the feeling that danger lurked only a long spear throw away. She found herself staring at the same spot her father had, thoughts blank, senses burning. At times, there was a movement or the glint of Sun off eyes, but mostly there was only the unnerving feeling of being watched. Each day felt one day closer to when the People’s time would end.

“When it does, I will confess to killing the Other. Anyone blooded must be allowed to be a warrior.”

Jacqui

K-18 Technology

Master Teacher

Adjunct Professor, CSU, UCSD

Amazon Vine Voice

TeachHUB columnist

NEA columnist

Webmaster, Ask a Tech Teacher

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