Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The White Temple of Thailand

    It snowed last night, and when I got up it was 5 degrees. Chores were not as much fun that morning...but it was beautiful...like living in a Christmas Card. The trees and fences were frosted in stark white, the sky so blue it hurt your eyes. 

     I heard that special scrunchy sound made only by walking on snow. Then the peacefulness was broken by a flock of noisy Canada geese flying low overhead. 

         While feeding my rambunctious, hungry "herd",
thought how fortunate I was to be enjoying such magical moment. And gazing at a world dipped in snow I remembered an article about the White Temple of Thailand.                               Wat Rong Khun, stands outside the town of Chiang Rai. Contemporary, unconventional, and privately owned, the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun, make it unique among temples. 
Built in 1997, by Thai visual artist, Chalermachai Kositpipat to date the temple is not finished. 
Eventually there will be nine buildings including a holy prayer room, a hall to enshrine Buddhist relics, a meditation hall, the monks living quarters and an art gallery.
 The main building, is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake. In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire. 

The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire. 

Next to the lake stand two very elegant Kinnaree, half-human, half-bird creatures from Buddhist mythology.

The interior houses a gallery of great visual contrast. Lots of reds and oranges with murals of flame interspersed with modern day and ancient people and characters. It is said to be quite unsettling.

(Although they can be found on-line, photo's of the interior are forbidden.) 
        Image result for pictures the white temple thailand
There is something both very romantic and
very macabre about this place!
Image result for pictures the white temple thailand

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Solace Reviewer's Choice award PLEASE vote.

           Voting starts today 2/8/18 though 2/18/18

                        Please go here to vote for SOLACE

 Solace Goodeve, one of Mother Nature’s favorite Fae Warriors, is assigned to Earth to help save the planet. Reptile invaders, disguising themselves as humans,
are waging a takeover—and Mother is mad enough to eat asteroids. Solace is ready to prove herself as a warrior, but having a human for a partner is not in her battle plan—even if the man is rugged, ripped, and ready for action.

Ex-Army Ranger, Tanner Jackson, has seen his share of black op missions. The last one took a toll on both body and soul. Tanner isn’t looking for love, even though his new partner is six-foot-tall and drop dead gorgeous. However, after Solace shows him a new meaning to working undercover, he may have to reconsider that possibility.

As the Reps plan to sabotage NOAA, Tanner and Solace must learn to trust one another. But as they're trying to save the world, Solace and Tanner might just lose their hearts—and that takes the most courage of all.

   “I mean it Solace. What’s going on? Who do you really work for?”
   She opened her mouth then closed it, and those lips he coveted flatten in to a line of determination barring words she seemed to be fighting to hold back.
    “If you have to ask, I can’t tell you,” she finally said, her gaze searching his face as if she sought some grand truth, her expression almost one of pain. “I really do need to see everything.”     
  Tanner balled his hands into fists, trying to keep his cool. Accustomed to giving orders, blindly take them went against the grain. It went against his instincts. It went against his training. What if she were lying? The stuff she was about to see was beyond top secret. It was experimental, and in the wrong hands, it could bring down an entire country.
   “Please,” she said.
   Although unspoken, the words trust me seemed to fill the space between them.
  “It truly is important,” she added.
   Tanner stepped in front of her. She didn’t blink or flinch, but rather she calmly returned his malevolent glare, the one he’d perfected to scare his worst combat enemies. Her show of toughness turned him on. And friend or enemy, he wanted her—right here, right now. He eased closer, his body pressing hers back up against the wall. Recollections of being with her at the party, and stolen kisses on her balcony, flooded his mind. “Are you remembering what we shared that night?” he asked.
    In answer to his question, a hint of a smile curved those luscious lips. “Business first,” she whispered, against his cheek. “I promise it will be worth the wait.”
   “I intend to see you keep that promise,” he said, bumping his hips up against hers.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Special Delivery goes AUDIO!

       What a thrill to hear my story come to life. 
     Thank you Wild Rose Press 
         and narrator Richard L. Walton
          Five stars 
           From Fall Into Reading
                and Still Moments Magazine

Buy at Audible.com
Buy at The Wild Rose Press
 Sample at Amazon 

         Where do you listen to your audio books?
                         Relaxing in the bath?
Out for your daily walk?
  Bound for adventure in faraway places?

                           Special Delivery  
                    Buy at The Wild Rose Press                                       Buy at Amazon with Audible

Back Cover blurb
Clover City, Colorado—1888

A mysterious letter and the drop-dead handsome town marshal, are the last things Mariah expects to find making rounds as a midwife.

Mariah McAllister plans to be married before her next birthday. Too bad Marshal Virgil Kincaid barely knows she’s alive. Not one to give up easily, she’s determined to show him she has an abiding passion for more than her work.

Virgil Kincaid loved a woman once—after she broke his heart, he spent three years in prison. Women can’t be trusted, no matter how good they look. He’s sworn off relationships in favor of Saturday night poker games. Life is simple—the way he wants it…until a stranger turns up dead in the road.

Forced to work side by side with Mariah, Virgil begins to wonder if she might be his second chance at love. As they trade kisses and oh so much more, he’s willing to take the gamble. But when a killer threatens their once peaceful town, all bets are off. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Price reduced/only $2.99 to warm your heart on a cold Winter's night.

                    The Dragon and The Rose
England 1100 A.D.
A Norman warrior—seeking land not love.
A Saxon good-faith hostage—seeking only freedom.

Only $2.99--384 pages! 

     Sir Branoc Valtaigne, ordered to Northumbria By King William II, fights to keep peace along the Scottish border. A formidable battle-tested warrior, he honors his vows to God, king, and country, but a young woman’s smile may prove to be his undoing.

     Martanzia Verheire, tricked into standing as good faith hostage for Flanders, seeks freedom from castle Bamburgh and love from Sir Branoc. As she clings to the Celtic dragon statue given to her by her mother, she leads them all to the brink of an era where true magic will be gone forever but where dreams can still come true.

A masterful job of plot and character development /Between the Lines

This is an ENCHANTING story!/The Long and Short Review

Rifkin is immensely knowledgeable about the story’s time period/ Romantic Times Book Reviews 

                           Amazon only $2.99

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hiawatha, Kansas home of famous tourist attraction: a 1930's tomb

Can you imagine visiting here in the dead of night, 
with a full moon of course.

    This grave is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is visited by 20,000-30,000 people annually. It has been featured in "Life", "Newsweek", and "People" magazines, and as well as on the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" television show.

Davis Memorial

Mount Hope Cemetery Hiawatha, Kansas
Davis MemorialJohn Milburn Davis erected this memorial to "the sacred memory" of his wife, Sarah. After she died in 1930, he almost immediately commissioned the work to begin.
davismemorial03.jpgThe life-sized Italian marble statues of the Davises were striking in their detail and accuracy. The cost of the memorial was staggering in a small town during The Great Depression. The stubbornness of Davis toward his project in the face of public criticism was prelude to a legend.
davismemorial04.jpgThe story began when Kentucky-born John Davis followed some other Kentuckians to Brown County in 1878. He met and married Sarah and they settled on 260 acres north of Hiawatha. They were hard-working, frugal and childless. They moved to Hiawatha in 1915 and lived ordinary lives of quiet routine.
davismemorial06.jpgWhen Sarah died, the script changed. John Davis suddenly became a big spender. He removed a simple "Davis" headstone from his wife's grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery, and began to erect a massive memorial.
davismemorial08.jpgIn a few years, 11 marble or granite statues were positioned beneath the canopy or surrounding it. These included an empty overstuffed chair, a winged angel-version of Sara in prayer and figures of Davis without his left hand, which he lost to infection.
As the memorial grew, so did the dismay of townspeople. Hiawatha was without a hospital and swimming pool. Community leaders wanted Davis to underwrite these projects -- and they told him so. He ignored their requests.
davismemorial09.jpgRoving American reporter Ernie Pyle, who later won a Pulitzer Prize for his work, interviewed Davis in the late 1930s. Davis told Pyle he was unmoved by the community's appeals. "They hate me," Davis said. "...But it's my money and I spent it the way I pleased."
The eccentric Davis continued to watch over his memorial into the 1940s. He had a marble and granite wall erected to discourage visitors from walking among the statues. He visited the memorial weekly and sometimes personally greeted tourists.
Through it all, Davis never wavered in voicing devotion to his Sarah, though others were skeptical. Nor did he and townspeople ever come to terms about his decision to sink money into the memorial instead of investing in the town. What is not as widely known is that he secretly gave away tens or thousands of dollars to the needy, a few hundred dollars at a time.
Davis died in 1947 and was buried next to his wife under the marble canopy. The funeral was poorly attended and the Baptist minister conducting the service gently scolded Davis' fellow citizens for not accepting the memorial-builder as he was. Said the pastor in defense of John Davis: "All of us have peculiarities."
Today an air of mystery hangs over the memorial, sort of a second canopy of skepticism and resentment.
Some of his peers insist that Davis never treated his wife as royally in life as he did in death. They suspect his generous gift was intended more as a slap in the face to his wife's heirs than it was a tribute to Sarah. And resentment lingers over Davis' refusal to be a benefactor to Hiawatha in its hour of need.
Yet the irony is that the Davis Memorial has benefited the community. Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to Mt. Hope Cemetery to view the marble statuary and to hear the story of the memorial's eccentric creator. Built in memory of Sarah, the imposing work has become an enduring public attraction.
The Davis Memorial is today a piece of history -- and of mystery. Hiawatha knows whodunit: John Milburn Davis. The question remains...why?
The above posted by the City of Hiawatha

Davis Memorial, Hiawatha Kansas
Davis Memorial
John Davis
Vacant Chair
Young John Davis
Young Sarah Davis
Sarah & John Davis statues - Davis Memorial, Hiawatha Kansas

Davis Memorial tombs

Sarah Davis Angel
Angel with Sarah's face at foot of John's grave. The head
was stollen from the satatue at the foot of Sarah's grave.

"Kindly keep off the Memorial"
Davis Memorial guest register
Davis Memorial guest register

Davis Memorial Map - Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery Map
Kansas Attractions  Kansas Travel & Tourism Home
copyright 2005-2015 by Keith Stokes

Friday, December 22, 2017

Spend Christmas in the Crimea/ circa 1854

     With bombs bursting in air, and black-market schemes afoot, join Nurse Josephine Posey, and Garrick Allen, the Times 1st war correspondent, as they try to make Christmas special for the soldiers.                                   
                          330 pages.Only $2.99 
                                 at Amazon
   Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancĂ©, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.

    In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times.  Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.

   "I highly recommend it to any fan of historical romance.”                Long and Short Reviews

“Rifkin’s novel is epic in scope, meticulously researched and finely detailed.”
                         Romantic Times Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

eBay stops sale of EJIAO products

Charity convinces eBay to ban ejiao products.

Uncovering the shocking trade

The Donkey Sanctuary has revealed the shocking consequences of the global donkey skin trade that has emerged to meet the demand from the ejiao trade. From Tanzania to Peru, South Africa to Pakistan, donkeys across the world are being stolen and skinned in the night, their carcasses found by distraught owners. For millions of people in some of world’s poorest communities, donkeys are still the main means of livelihood and sustain families by providing them with an income and independence.
The donkey skin trade is unregulated and some of the claims made about the supposed health benefits of ejiao are unverified – one of the principal reasons for eBay prohibiting its sale. 
("You would think the way it is harvested would be reason enough"
 again my words not the Donkey Sanctuary.)
Mike Baker, chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary, says: “We’re incredibly grateful to eBay and would like to put on record our sincere thanks to them for their quick response and confirmation that they will no longer be selling ejiao.”
                        Please pass the word.
                            Rosie says "THANK YOU."
             Visit the sanctuary on-line here...