Gifted: the Mysterious Edinburgh Book Sculptures

Nicholas C. Rossis

In 2011, ten exquisite sculptures made from books mysteriously appeared at libraries and cultural institutions across Edinburgh. The first and last were found here at the Scottish Poetry Library, and also a final gift at the end of 2012. The sculptures came with a simple message: ‘in support of books, libraries, words, ideas’. To this day, no one knows how they arrived, and the identity of the sculptor remains anonymous, but their story has traveled all over the world.

The artist’s note ‘… a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.…in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…’ forms a refrain running through the all of the works, both celebration and call to action.

See all sculptures and find out more about this unusual mystery on the Scottish Poetry Library’s website.

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The May Day’s Revolutionary Past

Nicholas C. Rossis

May Day wreath | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Greek May Day wreath. Photo: Greek Reporter

May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more. In Greece, it is celebrated as a workers’ strike. So, naturally, everyone goes to the countryside and… erm… makes themselves a May wreath to hang on their doors.

It is just as confusing a holiday in the States, as Natalie Zarrelli of Atlas Obscura reminds us. For many, it celebrates the ancient Celtic day of flowers and rebirth, with laughing children dancing around the maypole. But May Day also has a revolutionary past. The International Workers’ Day of May Day, the holiday’s full name, originated in the United States in 1886 as a radical response to abusive employers, for something many people take for granted today: the eight-hour workday.

A Nineteenth-Century Affair

Nineteenth-century employment conditions were harsh: workers often performed dangerous tasks while under-fed and under-slept, working from 10-16…

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Ruining the reputation of self-publishing: an amateur writer, one year on.

Ed Ryder - blogging to an empty theatre

approval-15914_640Before we start, apologies for the clickbait title. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the last twelve months it’s that negative headlines get a lot more attention than positive ones. You clicked on it, after all!

But what else have I discovered in my voyage into the minefield-strewn world of writing and book marketing, and how was In Vitro Lottery received (if at all) by the reviewing and buying public? Read on to find out!

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Umbrae Blog Tour: Character Interview

Welcome to Hell Bent

umbraeblogtourbannerBlog Tour Landing Page

((So, to help with this blog tour, I’d volunteered to host a character interview. However, I have a hard time asking questions, myself. So, I got one of my characters to do it. Also, due to my affinity for primates, the character I chose to go with was a chimp named Ian. So without further ado…))

Travis walked through the zoo, his tail flicking lightly behind him. He’d gotten a few weird looks from some of those visiting. It was like they’d never seen a half-monkey guy before. Granted, he took no measures to hide his opposable toes or prehensile tail. He wasn’t even walking on two legs, choosing a gait not unlike that of many primates. He’d stopped off to ask a few of those working there where he could find someone he’d been hoping to speak to. Word had gotten out about there being…

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Big Paperback Sale & SPECIAL OFFER

Big Paperback Sale & SPECIAL OFFER

Dawnrigger Publishing


This Saturday and Sunday (26-27 November)  you can get paperback copies of  Flight PlanControlled Descent together for only $22.00 plus FREE SHIPPING from

Thank the Amazon “Black Friday” book sale that goes on all weekend. Drop  $25 worth of books in your cart, enter HOLIDAYBOOK promotional code screen, get $10 off AND free shipping. Details here: Amazon Black Friday Book Sale

Real books. Made of paper. Books like Controlled Descent, Flight Plan and Weaving In the Ends. Lemmee do the math…eeniee, meenie…yup, that’s all three for only $32 plus tax.

Books make great Christmas gifts. Hint, hint. HINT.


  1. Email me a shelfie showing two or more of my paperbacks–or post it to my FB page.
  2.  I will send you official  Dawnrigger Publishing signed bookplates for each book.
  3. Bookplate offer ends Dec 31, 2016 or when I run out.
  4. You don’t have to show your face, just…

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The Astrolabe: Ancient Analog Computer with 1K Apps

Marcha's Two-Cents Worth

1280px-Planispherical_astrolabe_mg_7100 Figure 1. Planispherical astrolabe. Marocco, 16th century. Engraved brass. On display at Paris naval Museum.

Whether you’re an astronomer, astrologer or steampunk fan, you’re bound to fall in love with this ancient analog computer.  Even better, you can make one for yourself by downloading the directions from the Resources section below.

The astrolabe is an ingenius device used for nearly two thousands years, from the time of Hipparchus (c. 190 – 120 BCE) until the turn of the 17th century.  It’s typically a disc constructed from wood or brass, about 10 – 20 centimeters in diameter, and a few millimeters thick.  In 1391, medieval writer and poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote a treatise on the subject for his son, describing how to build one as well as its use.  Astrolabes had over a thousand uses, including timekeeping, navigation, surveying, solving equations, and so forth.  Mastering them all required an entire university…

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Author Interview – K.M. Herkes

My Writer's Journey


K. M. Herkes is mostly quiet with a thirty-percent chance of loud, and everything else about her is subject to change without warning. She lives in the Midwest and works in a library, where she gets paid to play with books.  When she isn’t lost in her own imagination or making book recommendations, she’s outside in the garden, up to her elbows in dirt or wielding power tools with enthusiasm.
Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail management, inventory operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing. Cats are involved.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Two series, so two sentences.

Stories of the Restoration. My characters are fighting to stay alive in a dystopian future that doesn’t look much different from the world of today

Rough Passages. Each story follows someone dealing with superpower-related crises in the present day of an alternate…

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Detective, genius, girl with attitude: Ruby Redfort mysteries (1-3)

The Book Wars

If you haven’t read Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean novels,* here’s what you need to know about Ruby Redfort, Clarice Bean’s favourite fictional character.**

  • She is a thirteen-year-old detective and also a genius
  • She has a best friend named Clancy who is her partner in crime stopping crime, and loyal to the death
  • Her butler Hitch is her other partner is foiling baddies. Hitch is kind of the perfect secret service man. Plus he cleans AND he’s clean (unlike, say, James Bond, that loser) and, y’know, actually good and cool
  • She has Rules. For instance,

Rule 1: You can never be completely sure what might happen next.

The other thing about Ruby Redfort is that she exists as the protagonist of her own series because of the many, many letters written to Lauren Child by readers of the Clarice Bean books, begging for stories about Ruby Redfort. To date, there are…

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