BooksByVicki

vlt@booksbyvicki.com

Lucky the Lion: By VLT

A story in progress…

In Ireland, there were big cats that were thought to be hunted to extinction. There remained a few charmed ones that slept in the mountains and hillsides and prowled during the night in the grassy fields.

One particular lion named Lucky enjoyed celebrating holidays. His favorite holiday of all was St. Patrick’s Day. Lucky knew that Saint Patrick was a popular saint among the people that lived in the village nearby. Like the folk, Lucky also enjoyed the lack of snakes. He didn’t need to worry about accidentally trotting on the snakes since St. Patrick banished them from Ireland many years ago.

The night of St. Patrick’s day brought a festival to the village near Lucky’s home on the hill. Once he was old enough he would creep down the hill and peer at the people and see them singing and laughing and carrying on. It looked like such a grand old time. His mother always warned him not to join in. Village folk won’t take to lions too well.

This particular St. Patrick’s Day Lucky was feeling rather lucky. “I will go down to join in the fun.” he said. So he pranced down the hill. When he arrived at the edge of the village he could see the people celebrating but they could not see him yet. Many were wearing colors of green and gold.

“That’s it!” Lucky said out loud. “I need to get festival accessories.” He slowly crept into the village and found the nearest street vendor selling green hats.

“Please sir, one hat there,” Lucky said to the man behind the cart.

The man shrieked “A lion!”

“I said please,” Lucky insisted, “now could you be so kind as to let me have one of your hats.”

Unfortunately for Lucky all the street vendor heard was a series of moans and growls.

The man screamed “Lion! Lion!”

Utterly confused by the man’s manners, Lucky decided to try one more time.

“Sir, would you be so kind as to spare me a hat?” Lucky growled at the man getting a little impatient.

The street vendor threw a whole collection of green hats at the lion and ran off yelling in the other direction.

“Well, that was odd,” Lucky said to himself. He shuffled through the hats until he found his favorite one. “Yes, this will fit nicely.” He nudged the hat with his nose and slid it onto his head. Then he went to join the festivities.

Many of the village folk were shocked to see him and didn’t greet him. The music stopped abruptly as word of a lion in the square travled to the musicians. Some folk ran away as the street vendor did. There was only one man that was brave enough to approach him.

“Nice hat,” the man complimented as he slowly approached Lucky.

Lucky was so excited to receive a compliment and make an acquaintance he chuffed with delight. This sent the man back a couple of steps.

“Oh no, I mean no harm.” Lucky told the people. “See I just came to join in the fun.” Lucky stood up on his hind two legs and started swaying from left to right like he was dancing.

The brave man laughed and did the same. Then he slowly began to cros his feet in a type of step dancing. Lucky tried mimmicking the man’s foot work but he lost his balance and caught himself on his front paws.

Lucky wasn’t about to give up that easily. He got back up on his hind legs and again tried to copy the brave man’s steps.

The man took a couple steps in a dance and Lucky followed suit. He crossed this way slowly then that way slowly and Lucky found himself keeping up. Next the man broke out into an Irish jig.

The music started back up and Lucky kicked out his own version of the Irish jig the man had showed him. Then more people came back out on to the square. At first they watched in further awe but as the man and the lion kept on dancing they couldn’t resist their own feet. They all began dancing too! The celebration was back on.

“You are one lucky lion,” the man shouted in Lucky’s direction.

Lucky nodded enthusaistically as he continued to dance. “I”m Declan, I come from the clan of Lions. You must be Lucky,” the man guessed at the lion’s name.

Declan taught Lucky more dance moves and more people came to dance along side Lucky. On many occasionas the hat fell off the lion’s head and a kind maiden or child would pick it up and Lucky would bend low so they could replace it on top of his head.

Pretty soon it was time for the festivities to simmer down. Family’s left with their young. Maidens retired to their homes for the evening. It was just the men left with Lucky the lion.

“Declan,” one man called to the brave man. “What are we going to do about this lion?”

“Yeah came another one. Now that he’s comfortable with us he’ll be back for our sheep.”

Lucky stopped dancing to listen to what the men were saying. He couldn’t believe it. He had lived atop this hill above this village his whole life and never bothered a soul even in the form of a plump sheep.

Declan winked at Lucky. “Fellows, we needn’t worry about this lion lad. He is a good luck charm. He came to celebrate with us and now he will return where he lives, hunts, and protects this kingdom.”

Lucky knew not to overstay his welcome so he bowed low to Declan and chuffed at the others in salutation and he took his leave. A good thing that Lucky was the lucky sort, no one followed him and he got home safely.

The village people spoke of it for months. The night the lion came down from the hills to dance an Irish jig on St. Patrick’s Day. A few young men tried to find him up in the hill country but he was well concealed with his luck. Soon after, the folk stopped talking about the mysterious lion and nearly forgot….

Until the following St. Patrick’s Day, Lucky the lion returned to dance a jig and have a jolly time again!

Stock image photo from Dreamstime

www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo
Irish Leprechaun Lion. stock photo. Image of holiday – 50083874 (dreamstime.com)

The battle is in my mind

That title is for myself not for you, readers. If it happens to speak to you too then I’m glad. I recently finished listening to Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind and this is a quasi review vs. self-reflection. You may have heard sayings like “take one day at a time,” ” you reap what you sow” “tomorrow will have enough worries of its own.” Those are all nice and well but are they true? The answer is yes! You have the power to transform your mind and transform your life. You can battle whatever circumstance you are in, whatever sadness or depression you are experiencing, but it takes work, and it starts in your mind.

Funny enough for those of you familiar with the books of Joyce Meyer I read Mind Connection before Battlefield of the Mind. I would say it was by chance since I found Mind Connection in the bargain section at Barnes & Noble however I believe in fate and a heavenly father who has a plan for me. So that means there isn’t a chance. Mind Connection helped me to understand how powerful my thoughts are. My thoughts can affect my emotions my thoughts can affect my actions, and sometimes stifling thoughts can be just as harmful as thinking them. I learned how to refocus. I started by praying about thoughts that I knew were not good for me, that upset me or could upset others if they knew what I was thinking. Once I started praying about these things it became easier to transform my thinking. This was good and well for a while, especially since I followed Mind Connection up with The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen. It seemed to me almost that The Power of I Am was a sequel to Mind Connection. First I learned how to control my thoughts, and then I learned how to control my speech and prevent what I was thinking and saying from bringing me down and bringing negativity into my life. Sure, I had my ups and downs and slip-ups. I’m only human, and there is a good deal of sin in the world but things were good for the most part.

Fast forward a few months and throw in a job change, a relationship change, the holidays followed by a global pandemic and suddenly my thoughts and words were all out of wack. Back to complaining, back to being down and depressed, being jealous, frustrated, angry, bitter – you name it. Whoa! What happened to all the work I had done? If you are Christian you may want to ask me how my relationship with Christ was? Was I praying was I reading the bible? The answer is yes, though honestly, these things were becoming less and less. My heart was struggling because my mind was struggling. Time to freshen up my thoughts. Joyce Meyer turned me to scripture that I needed to hear again. Battlefield of the mind reminded me that our minds are constantly at war if we don’t take proper care of them. We have to watch what we feed our mind, what thoughts with think, and when we start to slip into bad habits reel ourselves back in with God, the word (the bible), and positive thinking!

This is a working post… more to come… share your questions or comments below…

 

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Rebellion Book Review

Nora Roberts has written over 200 novels and is published in over thirty-four countries. Her name is well known and she has many stories to be told. I picked up A MacGregor Christmas in the mood for a Christmas tale in the latter part of November. That’s how I found myself reading Rebellion, a story about an Englishman in Scotland during the battles against Britain in 1745. It is a love story with several battle scenes that were not engaging enough to get into but easy enough to gloss over. The heroine, Serena was feisty and relatable and she falls for the type of man she swore to never trust. What I didn’t like about the book, had little to do with the story, but rather how it was advertised. This was not a Christmas story but it did take place during a brutal Scotland winter. I kept waiting for a Christmas feast, ball or wedding or thought the men would return Christmas day. Unfortunately, I was duped by the cover. It was a fine tale after all and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it.

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Hello Fellow Readers

These last few years have been a roller coaster. Full of lots of ups and downs and loopy loops. It hasn’t left time for writing or much reading. I think of writing often but rarely get to sit down to do it, and when I do find the time it is difficult for me to focus. I would like to be more active on my site. I’m going to need assistance from of all of you reading this on your tablets, phones, computers to cheer me on and also hold me accountable. Check back in from time to time, and drop me a comment. I hope everyone is safe, & healthy.

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Bone Slice Book Review

Bone Slice by: Bette Lamb & JJ Lamb

   Bone Slice was my first Gina Mazzio RN novel. I came into the story in book 7 when Gina and her husband go to work at another hospital to observe and test out new robotic equipment. Bone Slice revealed what a world of healthcare would be with robots. Downright scary to me. 

  In the story, there were negatives and positives of the robotic equipment until someone got hurt. As an RN, some parts weren’t easy to believe but none the less I still enjoyed the story. There was a sense of constant, What If this actually could, and did happen?

 The writers created an intriguing, fast paced novel which I like. Generally, I can’t stand description but would have liked to see more character development of some of the characters. I wanted to know more about them. Bette Lamb and JJ lamb sure did manifest a villain I could hate. The red herrings in this story also made it an interesting mystery.

  The ending left me satisfied and eager to go back and read the first six novels as well as stay tuned to whatever mischief Gina and hubby get into next!

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What is this Nerium?

 

HI, it’s me, Victoria, I am writing to tell you about my business as a Nerium Brand Partner.

My thoughts before getting started; I am a full-time nurse, I care about people I cannot do sales. I am a writer I can’t explain things without writing it down, and even then, it’s iffy. The first step was banishing these thoughts. The fact that I care about people is why I have chosen to work for Nerium. Nerium is all about changing people’s lives. Of course, I can explain things. I do it all the time as a nurse. I needed to educate myself on the products like I would a disease process or medication and then communicate it in layman’s terms. Better yet I use another source to do my talking for me, and I can write this post about how I got started.

Nerium is the name of an oleander plant and the wellness company I work for. I first heard about Nerium from a friend of mine who was selling Nerium’s skincare products. I wasn’t a skincare person. I only moisturized in the winter when my skin got dry, and it was a good day if I washed my face. My friend shared the products with me via texts, videos and her website. It seemed expensive, but I wanted to support her new business and intended to purchase the body firming contour cream but never did. Week after week I thought oh yeah let me buy that stuff and never got around to it.

Months later this same friend invited me to a Nerium get together. I asked her if I could go actually. I hadn’t seen her in a while, and I also wanted to know what she was up to. I met many interesting people that night. The ones that stood out to me were nurses who were part of the Nerium business that could work part time as a nurse and do Nerium part time. They were less stressed and able to love Nursing again. Then I met more people that quit their dreaded jobs and paid off credit card debt with the money they made from Nerium. Were these people for real?

I tried the night cream. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but I was interested in the business now, so I had to try the product at least, right? Within three days my face felt completely different. It didn’t feel frail and flaky in the January cold. Instead, my face felt plump, full of life, and smoother than a baby’s behind. I googled the crap out of Nerium. What was this stuff, was my face going to fall off or turn to marble like in Catwoman starring Halle Berry?!

Nerium works, you probably have seen the slogan real science real results because it is true. There are hundreds of before and after photos put out by Nerium and put out there by regular folks. Some of these are people who barely know how to work a camera phone let alone think about doing any photoshopping. But why try to show you repeatedly why not try the product for yourself and see the results on your skin with your own eyes?

Back to the business. I took a leap of faith and blew close to $600 to start a business in skin care. Me, the awful girl who didn’t wash her face regularly. All the products Nerium sent me as inventory for buying into the business were well worth over $600, so I felt that even if I used everything for myself and didn’t get anyone to try it or buy it, I wasn’t losing out. I love all the products! I try to share them every chance I get. If you haven’t heard of them if I haven’t gotten around to you yet, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Not only are the products life changing, but the business has also been life changing for many individuals and families. All you must do is share these excellent products. Nerium also gives back to charities and is a partner with Big Brothers and Sisters here and abroad. I hope to go on one of their mission trips in the future I’d love it if you joined me!

If you have any questions about Nerium I’d love to answer them for you! You can also visit my site http://www.nerium.com/join/victorioustrifu

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Book Review

Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Track of the Cat was my first Nevada Barr novel. While I don't tend to read too many mysteries this mystery that takes place in the Texas back country kept up my interest. Anna Pigeon is a park ranger who winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time, or does she? The murder of a fellow ranger and the threat of her beloved mountain lions has Anna on the case. With her own vague past & even murkier future Anna risks life and limb to protect what she loves. The character of Anna is not always likable but she stands up for what she believes in and works hard for her living and there is something admirable about that.

I read this book during the summer of 2016. It will be a summer I look fondly back on for years to come. My husband and I visited 8 national parks including Great Basin National Park. I picked up this book in the gift shop after getting a good recommendation from one of the sales clerks. She reported that the stories get spookier and spookier. Sounds like Nevada Barr novels get better as they go. I can't wait to see which park we visit next and what challenges we will face!

View all my reviews

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Story Time

My favorite time of day when I worked at a day care was story time. That’s why it is important for me to write books the children will love & the teachers won’t mind reading. I have three children’s books out right now with two more on the way.

Last week I had the privilege of reading to the preschool age class, The Butterflies. They enjoyed my titles; The Mixed Up Easter Bunny, Gilly’s Day At Sea & Sharie’s New Friend. I wish I had more books to read to them. They inspired me to write more!

These books along with my young adult novella, Feel Free to Fly & my Christmas Anthology, An Unorthodox Christmas can also be found on Amazon. Everyone keep reading!

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Moning Maniac

A Moning Maniac is a fan of Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series! I’m swiftly becoming a maniac myself after finishing the 3rd installment in her fantasy-thriller where the Fae are the bad guys. Not all fairies have wings and grant wishes some are the creatures nightmares are made of. If you are looking for something new to read I encourage you to start with book one, DarkFever!

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White Wine Wednesday

Chateau Morrisette- Our Dog Blue White blend

Floyd, Virginia

The tasting notes read “Aroma: Melon, Citrus, apricots, flowers. Palate: Sweet, firm acidity. Finish: Soft. Semi-sweet blend of Riesling, Traminette, Vidal Blanc. Serve Chilled. Pair: Barbecue, Spicy Foods, try over rice with a slice of orange.”

I heard much about Our Dog Blue well before I ever tried it. To my surprise it was my non-wine-loving friends who were ranting about it. In Virginia Chateau Morisette is a well known Virginia winery. Their wines can be found in grocery stores and at times the liquor store. This particular one I believe does well because it is delightful. Drink it chilled and you are instantly on vacation. The tasting notes are quite accurate if you sip it slowly enough to appreciate all the flavor notes.

Chateau Morrisette has a number of wines I enjoy! If you see the label with the Labrador on it, you are bound for a treat!

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