Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Adventure Continues - Return to Canterbury

A while back, I introduced a fellow New Englander and author, who grew up not too far from my hometown to my readers, Melissa Ann Goodwin.  Melissa had just released her book, The Christmas Village, which is a wonderful holiday tale (for all ages!) about a troubled boy and his adventures in finding himself. Of course, being a tale that takes place during Christmas, there is magic as well as adventure!

At the time, I read the book and was just captivated.  I had wished the story had continued.  Well, wishes do come true!! Melissa is about to release her sequel.  In Return to Canterbury, Jamie Reynolds once again takes us on an adventure.  This time to solve the mystery of his missing father, who has been gone for a year.

On his adventures, Jamie will meet up with some of the friends he made in The Christmas Village.  Can the find Jamie's father?  Can they save Canterbury?

I, for one, cannot wait to read the sequel!  I highly recommend that if you haven't already read, The Christmas Village, that you get a copy for the upcoming holidays (available on Amazon).  Then, get the sequel!

You can find The Christmas Village on Facebook, too!

Melissa Ann Goodwin is a native New Englander, now living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, artist J. Richard Secor. She has written extensively for Fun for Kidz, Boys’ Quest and Hopscotch for Girls. She was a regular feature article contributor to the Caregiver's Home Companion for more than five years. Her work has appeared in Guideposts’ Angels on Earth, Caregivers’ Home Companion, Caring Today, The Lutheran Digest, The Peak Magazine, The Andover Townsman, and the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette. Her poetry took 10th prize in The Writer’s Digest 2010 annual competition. The Christmas Village was her first novel. Return to Canterbury will be released mid-December.

Other Posts:

Introducing Melissa Ann Goodwin 
Tea and Thee 

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Good Head and a Good Heart

Photo Credit: WikiCommons

There are those who are born into this life with the destiny to lead.  Some lead only within their family circles, others become community leaders of great note, still others lead their countries through difficult times.  However, like a rare gem, there are those who are so multifaceted that they are able to lead the world. Nelson Mandela, lovingly called Madiba, Tata and Khulu by so many, was one such soul.

Nelson Mandela was born to be a hereditary leader within the Xhosa people.  His birth name, Rolihlahla, given to him by his father, means "troublemaker."  On his first day of school, however, his teacher named him, Nelson, which was the custom at that time of colonization.  The honorific Madiba comes from his clan; it is a sign of respect as well as affection.  Tata means "father."  For many around the world, Mandela is a father figure.  Khulu means "grandfather" or "Great One."  This was the name most often heard used in his later years. Truly, Madiba has lived up to his heritage!

I first learned of Nelson Mandela as a young woman.  The struggles against apartheid were, for me, the struggles of all people.  Madiba taught me that, "A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of." So, armed with that vision and the call of other great souls to work for the peace of all, I began my journey into adulthood along the road called Peace.

With Madiba's death comes an awesome responsibility for us all.  We must not let his work stop.  We must remember what he told us - "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."  We must continue to follow his example, his Light, even though it may seem dim at this moment because our grief has clouded the brightness.  

I pray that as the years go by, the vision of Forgiveness, Compassion for all, and Peace that was so much a part of every atom that comprised the man we called Mandela, will grow to encompass the entire planet, sending waves of Hope and Love throughout the universe.

Rest in peace, dear Khulu. We will carry your idea, your vision, like the young page, Tom in The Once and Future King did for King Arthur, who said, "Thomas...I have carried (the candle) for many years with a hand to shield it from the wind.  It has flickered often. I am giving you the candle now - you won't let it out?"  To which we answer with all our hearts, "It WILL burn."

Further reading: