The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Jean Auel’s Children of the Earth Series

Jean Auel’s Children of the Earth Series

I have been a fan of Jean Auel since Clan of the Cave Bear first came out and since then I have identified with Ayla. She is an independent woman, an animal whisperer, inventor, and a healer. 

Jondalar, her mate is a hunky hot Cro Magnon. Romance and science. Being a science nerd who writes romance I loved their hot prehistoric love story. 

The animal loving zoologist in me just goes gaga with all the Ice Age animals such as horses, mammoths and of course the wolf. My dog is Wolf and I’m Ayla when we go on our run. 

I loved her imagery of the epic ice age landscape, respect her research and because of her inspiration and my visit to prehistoric caves in Northern Spain I took up painting cave art as a hobby. 

She did her homework.

The great outdoors and shamanism are interests I have in common with Ayla. Imagine all that space and then at night seeing the stars and dancing to drums around a bonfire.

I just finished the last in the series and despite the criticism (Amazon readers gave it bad reviews) about her plotting being repetitive and the Mother’s Song repeated way too many times I still enjoyed it. 

I did not mind it when they greeted new friends with long introductions, naming their clan affiliations. It was not the type of plot driven story I’m used to but instead it was written in a journal style that made me feel I was back in the Ice Age.  It appealed to the naturalist in me.
Here are the books in order:
1.      The Clan of the Cave Bear, 1980
2.      The Valley of Horses, 1982
3.      The Mammoth Hunters, 1985
4.      The Plains of Passage, 1990
5.      The Shelters of Stone, 2002
6.      The Land of Painted Caves, 2011
I’m also posting a youtube Jean Auel Interview at the Smithsonian Museum. I'm a sucker for Anthropology.

Love to see your comments about the series or the science behind the series.

"I have to say, it was quite a journey"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Full Moon Interview with Domesticated Rabbits (Full Moon is on May 17)

Dear Followers and friendly visitors welcome to Our Full Moon Interview
As you all know rabbits and hares are common residents found in the Bestiary. This also happens to be the Chinese Year of the Rabbit/ Hare (no native species of rabbit in China so traditionally it was the Year of the Hare). In honor of the Year of the Rabbit, I thought this would be a good time to interview a pair of bunnies. First let’s get the classification bit in (I’m in love with Taxonomy, the science of classification).

Scientific Name:
Oryctolagus cuniculus (common name Domestic or European Rabbit )
Oryctolagus (rabbit)
Lepus (hare)

No not all rabbits are that big. The photo above is of a giant Flemish Rabbit.
Note athletic body of hare.

Not sure where the Jackalope fits but that will be another day.

I hope this year we can learn about what the Year of the Rabbit() symbolizes. It is a time when people will acknowledge persuasion is better than force. Diplomacy rather than war-drums. This is also a time when we can make money without too much labor. With the state of world politics and our economy I hope the bunny spirit gets us through tough times.
A person born under the Year of the Rabbit will lead a tranquil life. He/She is reserved, artistic, and a good scholar. The Rabbit is best and needed in the fields of law, politics, and government. My favorite person born in the year of the rabbit is Johnny Depp

Okay, sometimes, Rabbit is more like Bug Bunny, all about seeking his/her own pleasures, moody and sometimes indifferent. Good Bunny/Bad Bunny.

Rabbits have universal importance in other cultures. According to Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak . (By the way, if you love animal lore and totems, his book is a must on any shelf.)

“Rabbit is associated with Eostra, the Celtic goddess of Spring,
and therefore associated with Ostara (or Easter).

This is the reason we celebrate with Easter eggs.
Rabbit is also sacred to the moon goddess Andraste,
the Norse goddess Freya, and the Greek god Hermes.
The Hare is associated with the moon
in many cultures including Native American, Hindi, and China.”

According to D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
“Superstitions: The saying "Mad as a March hare" refers to the ferocious fights between male hares during the March mating season. During the Middle Ages in Europe, the hare came to be associated with witchcraft and black magick; they believed only a silver bullet could kill a hare.”
Interesting how silver bullets kill werewolves as well as hares. I would love to see a shifter series with werebunnies. 

Hmm. I’m putting that on my books to write list. Not scary enough? Try holding a kicking rabbit. There was a bad 1972 horror movie called Night of the Lepus (1972) about killer rabbits. Here is the trailer.

Children love stories with bunnies.

Basic Rabbit Facts:

Originated from wild rabbits of Central Europe
Cave paintings in Spain show rabbits and hares.
European rabbits were popular Pets during Victorian era.
Rabbits breed all year. Gestation period is between 30 to 32 days. A liter of 3 to 9 bunnies are born and they are blind and naked. Bunnies are independent after 30 days.
                                                    Male rabbits are called bucks;female rabbits are does.     
                                                    Kit and kitten can refer to a young rabbit.
Rabbit Burrow
 Okay, running out of time. Let's get started

Today  I have the pleasure of interviewing two rabbits that live with my friend Beth(a great humorist and writer and fellow naturalist), her family of humans, canaries, hamsters and one handsome Golden Retriever, named Apollo. I think it’s no longer PC to say pets so I usually say family members, companions and at times familiars.

Bunny Interview:

Eva: Please introduce yourselves.

Violet: Hi, I'm Violet.    I'm half lop (from my Mom)  and half dwarf from my Dad. I'm four years old.   

Peter: I'm Peter.  Only rabbits who don't know me call me a dwarf.  I'm incredibly macho and tough.  I was at the pet store for weeks and no one bought me.  Beth saw what no one else did. 

Eva: Tell us your age.

Peter: I'm seven.

Eva: How long do you live for? 

Violet: We live seven to ten years in captivity, far less in the wild.

Eva: Tell us about your living situation.

Peter: We have hutches surrounded by roomy pens in the front yard.  We greet anyone who passes by, in hopes of carrot, or at least a nose rub.

Eva: What do you guys like to eat? 

Violet:We eat timothy hay based pellets and fresh cilantro and spring mix.  Every once in a while we get a carrot, and when Beth wants to give us medicine, she embeds it in a banana, which is our all time favorite food.

Eva: Do you practice coprophagy? 

Peter: Yes, but we mostly  eat our initial smooshy poops, not our more well known dry round ones.  We don't have the enzyme to break down the ample cellulose in our diet, and so we need to rely on the microbes the live in our large intestine.  Unfortunately, that means we must run the food through twice through our digestive systems for the nutrients to be absorbed.

Eva: Is it true male rabbits are sex obsessed? I notice Peter acts enthusiastically.

Peter: Yes, there is a reason Hugh Hefner identifies with us. Being near the bottom of the food chain means we must constantly replenish ourselves. 

Eva:  I smile. Part of Survival of the Fittest means having more offspring that survive. Are your needs ever met?

Peter: Every once in a while I'll get to visit with a bunny lady. I have been known to hump human legs, which is not as satisfying. Beth should have gotten me neutered years ago, but now I'm too old.  Plus, my horniness is part of my personality.
Peter sees above photo: Now that's what I'm talking about.

Eva: Is there any truth in breed like rabbits? 

Violet: The gestation period of a rabbit is only a month, and those babies can have babies themselves in a couple months. Best of all, we rabbits have no hang ups about coupling with our siblings, or daughters. 

Eva: I chuckle. Just like the Discovery Channel. Speaking of. (My mind always remembers penguins being eaten by leopard seals. Yep, damaged for life.)How do you react to danger? 

Peter: We have eyes on the side of our head, so we can see danger.  We have those amazing ears too.  When I sense danger, I stomp my feet to warn others.  Beth thinks the light underside of our tail is a warning for lollylaggers to get running too.

Eva: Tell us about your human family.

Violet: Beth does the vast majority of rabbit care.  Walker is the thirteen year old boy who has always identified with my compact macho-ness,  Lena is the ten year old girl that used to treat us like stuffed animals and now ignores us.  Reese has always ignored us, he tolerates us because he loves Beth.

Eva: What do you think of living with a dog, your born enemy? 

Peter: Last July, the family got a golden retriever puppy named Apollo. He barked pitifully when the family went out, but then he discovered me.  He sits near my pen, and tries to steal my cilantro and pellets. He even eats my poos when Beth isn't watching. Sometimes Beth lets us sit together.  He is my friend, but he acts weird when I hop, so I try to sit still. 

Eva: Tell us about your typical day.

Peter: I wake up very early, in hopes that the other pen is open so I can fornicate.  Beth checks my water and pellets.  I look at the other pen and think about mating.  I patrol my pen area like a lion in the savannah.  Apollo visits, and tells me about the television show he watched with the family last night.  I sunbathe a while, and eat some poo.  I eat some more, and pee and poo in my litter box.  Beth picks me up and kisses my head. I check out Violet and think about creating a son who is also my grandson.

Eva: Did you do anything special in celebration of the Year of the Rabbit? 

Violet: We looked at the rabbit in the moon and were reminded that we rabbits are an important part of the universe. 

Eva: Is it really lucky to carry a rabbit's foot? 

Peter: He thumps in rage. Anyone who carries a rabbit's foot is cursed by me and all breathen.

Eva: Who always win, turtle or hare and why? 

Peter: Well, we rabbits have a short attention span and lack follow through, but who would you rather cuddle? 

Eva: Laughs. Definitely a fuzzy little bunny. Hey friends and followers, feel free to ask Violet and Peter any questions. What do you all think of rabbits? Here is a link about Bunny Care and more: Hopper Home