Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ancient Greek Lunar Months of Maimakterion and Poseideon


Maimakterion (lunar month from our current November to December) began the winter season. Thus, citizens prayed to Zeus to calm his blustering winds. A sheep was sacrificed and it's fleece considered magical.

Maimakterion gave way to Poseideon (lunar month from December to January). The eighth day of the lunar month was sacred to, who else... Poseidon!

A festival waged on in his honor recognizing the importance of the sea. It is interesting to note that the number eight was significant to Poseidon. The festival honoring him was held on the eighth day of the month. Eight letters spelled Poseidon. Later, the planet named Neptune (Poseidon's Roman equivalent), was the eighth planet from the sun.

In the last half of Poseideon, A Dionysian festival was held, including a procession of men carrying phallus, men carrying cakes, and revelling singers. An icon of the God of Libation was brought into the city's center to represent Dionysis coming.

Toward the end of the month, another larger festival roared to life in which women danced around a giant phallus. Later in the evening, men were admitted and a great orgy took place for the remainder of the night. And we wonder where we got our wild New Year's Eve celebrations from?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Author Kelly Gay, Interview and Giveaway

Enchanting Urban Fantasy Author Kelly Gay stopped by Susan Adrian's blog to talk about her debut novel (on shelves now!), THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS. And there's a contest and giveaway involved... what could be better?

Kelly Gay will surely become one of my favorite authors because we have kindred spirits... she was reading Herodotus when she was TEN YEARS OLD!!! That's hot!!!

So click here to go read her interview. And then, you can enter to when a copy of her debut book! Be thinking about this before you enter to win a copy of her book... What's Your Favorite Mythological Character?

Of course mine is Kheiron, the mythic centaur trainer and mentor to many of the legendary heroes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Double Shot Of Espresso, with a side of Award Nomination!!

Today is a great day! I feel like I've been injected with a double shot of espresso.
I have been taking a break from the @OfKingsAndGods Saga.


In October, I had been furiously editing on Caenus 2.0, tentatively named Caenus And The Return To Ares' Alter (the first book in the series was Caenus And The Quiver Of Artemis.


Then in November I shifted gears to launch my alter ego, @ScottNoir-- Scott Noir's Smoldering Prose who writes Steam-Up-Your-Glasses Romance.

It was during November (National Novel Writing Month- NaNoWriMo) that I participated in and won NaNoWriMo. penning 50,000 words in less than 30 days!! Here's a link to my event recap. Now in December I'm reconnecting with friends and family after a tumultuous estrangement in November. Anyone who participated in NaNoWriMo knows what I'm talking about. A writer can spend great spans of time in solitary confinement, writing their little heart away.

Sooo, today a couple of things happened that gave me a little shot in the arm. First I hit 1,000 tweets on my @OfKingsAndGods Twitter page. That's a milestone of sorts. And, sure... there are others who tweet way more than I do. But I'm proud of my production. My tweets are quality. I'm not just hooked up to some automated tweeter.

Secondly, I recently discovered that my debut novel, Caenus And The Quiver Of Artemis had been nominated for a the 2009 Cybils Award for YA Fantasy and Science Fiction. Wooo-Hooo!!! I am humbled and honored to be mentioned in the same breath with some of the books and authors on the list!!

Happy!! Happy!! What a way to celebrate a recently observed birthday... 39 years strong and young am I. Cheers to all and enjoy your Holiday Season!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Motivational Monday

I found this little Motivational Monday gem:



"Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking." William B. Sprague


This is especially important because as tough as times are right now, one's perfect opportunity to strike may not present itself. Therefore, everyone must forge their own way and create the fire by striking again and again even if there is no immediate path present.

So, think to yourselves, what fire will you create that is not already there? What path will you forge that is not already marked?


Monday, November 2, 2009

Motivational Monday

As I have begun my journey through NaNo WriMo, writing a 50,000 word steamy romance under the name Scott Noir http://www.scottnoir.blogspot.com in 30 days... (I know, phew!!) I found a motivational nugget to help push, pull and cajole...

The best way out is always through.
Robert Frost



It is so true. Now don't get me wrong, I need no external motivation to see myself through this project. I could easily sequester myself for an entire month and exist on nothing save words... but I do have a family and a day job, so that's not likely. But I figured Mr. Frost's wisdom would be quite appropriate. I hope you find it motivational as I have.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Entry

" His heart warmed and beat a bit faster. A stream of white light entered the hall, blinding him for a second and then before him stood the most beautiful feminine form his partially impaired eyes had seen in his eighteen years"

Caenus' meeting with Aphrodite in "Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Motivational Monday

Today's Motivational Monday entry is:

"If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes."
St. Clement of Alexandra

Let this guide your Monday and your week. Let hope spring eternal. You must dream and hope for the existence you want to create... then go and create it!! For, once you create that which you have hoped for, the world will open in ways you never imagined.
Conversely, if you never hope at all, you will forever live to create the hopes of others.

For me, my hopes are driving me to stretch my literary skills into uncharted territory a I prepare for NaNo WriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. It will be my first time participating and I will be writing in a genre that's new for me, Romance (actually Steamy Romance *wink*)

What hopes will drive you this week?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Entry

"Young women belonging to the Cult of Aphrodite, wearing thin, opaque tunics, welcomed Caenus as he entered. legend held that these women performed various and sundry 'services' for the citizens of Corinth... all for the glory of Aphrodite, of course."


pg 32, Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Christopher S. Ledbetter

Monday, October 19, 2009

Motivational Monday

I hope to found a new tradition called Motivational Monday. After the comfy confines of a lazy weekend, the last thing most of us want to do is Go To Work on Monday. Therefore I propose...
Inspiration For All
in the form of a motivational message to get you going on Monday's.
I encourage all my Twitter friends to follow my example. @OfKingsAndGods
#MotivationalMonday = #MoMo

Today's Message:
"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash."
George S. Patton

I picked this one because I feel it!! To achieve anything worthwhile, at some point you must take some calculated risks. Consider all alternatives, then strike forward with everything you've got. It matters not if you fail, because the feeling of exhilaration you'll receive from simply taking the risk will be worth it.

So let me ask you... what will you risk today in order to get what you want?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why Halloween Costumes Are Awesome!


The ancient world has held my soul captive for some time now. So, when It came time for me to choose a Halloween costume... well it was kind of a "duh" moment. It took me about 2... all right, maybe 3 seconds to find my perfect costume. As I put it on, I was immediately transported back to the world I write about in many of my stories.

It was kind of like "Ahhhhh, I'm home!" Angelic voices flooded my ears, a brilliant glow from Helios' fiery chariot cascaded over me, and my eyes panned the sumptuous Spartan landscape... All that without even leaving the costume store!!!


I felt like a Greek God when I put on the costume. Edit that... I WAS A GREEK GOD!! And what I'm saying to you is that the same transportation and elevation can, no I mean, WILL happen for you. 

Happy Halloweening and, as always, Let Your Inner Deity Shine Through!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

LET YOUR DEITY SHINE--IT'S CONTEST TIME!!

It wasn't hard to come up with a contest for this month. In celebration of a rapidly approaching Halloween, this contest will run from October 15th through October 31st at Midnight.

Halloween represents a blend of cultures, past and present and provides us a wonderful window into the beliefs and practices of our ancestors. It grew from a combination of observances between the ancient Celts, Greeks, Roman Catholics and the prayer rituals of Medieval Europe.

So, to enter the contest, simply put on your best Greek God or Goddess/ Mythological Hero or Beast costume and take a picture. Then go to Caenus' Facebook Fan Page and upload it to the Halloween Contest photo album. The best two costumes will win AUTOGRAPHED COPIES of CAENUS AND THE QUIVER OF ARTEMIS

What are you waiting for... go channel your inner god or goddess right now!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday Entry- Caenus And The Quiver of Artemis

"Kheiron took him aside and told him that in order for him to keep pace with Caenus, he would have to shed his apprehension. Glory, after all, was neither for the meek nor the weak-hearted."

page 70- Caenus And The Quiver of Artemis, Christopher S. Ledbetter
I know it's my own book, but as I am editing Book II in the series, I was re-reading Book I.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seven Things To Do On Ancient Samos, Greece


“As the Sun God Helios charges his fiery steeds from the eastern horizon, setting the heavens ablaze, Samos is first to feel his glory.” –Anonymous Greek Poet


The Island of Samos, one of Greece’s eastern-most Aegean treasures, was indeed noted as being “first of all cities” by Herodotus. One of the most fertile islands in the Aegean, Samos was known to be rich in natural resources and even richer in intellectual resources. The most famous persons connected with the island were Pythagoras, Epicurus, Aristarchus- the astronomer whom history credits with the first recorded heliocentric solar system model, Theodorus- the great sculptor and inventor, and Aesop (of Aesop’s Fables). Herodotus even called the fair Samos home for a spell.
The first king of Samos was King Ancaeus, who played a role in Jason’s mythical voyage to claim the Golden Fleece. Many centuries later, the mythical tales of Caenus, Son of Kranos, crown prince of Iolkos, are recounted in the novel Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Christopher S. Ledbetter’s Greek mythology based novella.
The role of Samos in the tales of Caenus is worth noting. In Book I, Caenus falls for a girl from the enchanted island of Samos who is widely regarded as being the most beautiful in the ancient known world.
“From birth, while she possessed no divine powers, Kalliste always garnered a wealth of attention.  Slender with reddish-blonde hair, and eyes the color of emeralds contrasting her pale skin, her intense beauty and striking physical features drew scornful eyes from even jealous goddesses. One in particular.  And, of those emeralds she looked through, enchanted they were. Their base coloring hued more toward the bluish-gray of storm clouds when at rest or angry. However, when elated or whenever she looked into the sun, that is when her eyes shone a sparkling green. Given her physical attributes, she became regarded as a minor goddess on the island of Samos and began receiving marriage proposals when she turned thirteen years of age, many of which Dimitri dismissed out of hand.” -excerpt from Caenus And The Quiver of Artemis.
In Book II of the trilogy, title not yet released, Caenus makes his first voyage to the island, which becomes the scene for a grand celebration.
Following are Seven Things To Do On The Ancient Island of Samos:

1.Visit the Tunnel built by Eupalinos:The tyrant Polycrates commissioned the engineer Eupalinos to dig a tunnel through Mount Kastro to supply the ancient capital city of Samos (modern Pythagoreio) with fresh water. The tunnel is the second known tunnel that was excavated from both ends, meeting in the middle, quite an engineering feat. As the tunnel was of utmost defensive importance, Polycrates was not likely to allow visitors to enter the tunnel, but you could still admire the engineering wonder from either end.


2. Visit The Royal Family of Samos: The sumptuous royal palace of Samos, surrounded by forty-foot walls, perched solidly on the lush slopes of Mount Ampelos, in the center of the island, provided superior defenses for the royal family. It could, in dire times, also be used as a citadel for the protection of citizens from the port city. Within the royal palace walls, were the most beautiful gardens since Babylon, with exquisitely exotic flowers, both home-harvested and imported.
The royal family did not extend tours to every citizen, but if your standing was high enough, you could at least get through the gates to see the glorious palace. Book II in the Of Kings And Gods trilogy has an event that everyone in the Aegean of noble standing will surely attend.
3. Visit Heraion: The temple honoring Hera, queen of the Greek Gods, was one of the largest sanctuaries in the ancient world. Heraion was located approximately six kilometers west of the capital city of Samos at the end of The Sacred Way, a paved road with statues and other offerings along either side. 356 feet long, 180 feet wide and 82 feet high, the temple was a gargantuan structure by anyone’s measurements. Prepare your offering, for you would definitely want Hera on your side.

4. Go To A Wine Tasting: If there was one thing that Samos was known for, it was her wine. Vineyards covered a great portion of the island. And the combination of the most fertile soil in the Aegean, the Sun God Helios’ brilliance, and the perfect amount of rain contributed to a collection of wines that even Dionysus could be proud of.
Along a side street snaking away from the agora in the capital port city of Samos was a taverna, Kalliste’s Fire, named for the island’s most notable resident. In this establishment on every fourth sunset, was a wine tasting of the most celebrated of Samian wines.

5. Hike To The Summit of Mount Kerkis: This hike was not for the faint of heart. The path wound through heavily wooded areas and encountered rocky, sheer faces. But, to the victor went the spoils. Not only the highest peak on the island, it was also the highest point in the entire Aegean. The summit pierced the heavens at 1,434 metres. It was said that anyone who reached the summit could hear the voice of Zeus, himself.

6. Relax In The Thermes (Roman-Style Baths): In the section of the capital city of Samos, near the athletic facilities, the Thermes greeted one and all. The floors were covered in tiled mosaics and the walls were made of marble. There were cool baths, baths that could be warmed by stoking fires beneath the stone, and an octagonal pool. There was even a domed room that was used like a modern sauna. This was THE place to relax after a hard day’s work.

7. Visit the Waterfalls: West of a small fishing village at the northern edge of the island (modern Karlovasi) a secluded, crescent shaped beach enchanted all who happened upon her. When visiting the beach, make sure to add a walk by the river up to the waterfalls. The walk would have taken you through lush foliage and tree cover and eventually ended at a small lake where you could take a swim… the magnificent falls were then straight ahead.

Please follow me on Twitter @Chris_Ledbetter
For more info on the novel, visit www.squidoo.com/quiverofartemis or befriend me on Myspace: www.myspace.com/quiverofartemis

Seven Things To Do In Ancient Neapolis, Greece

Neapolis (“new city”), modern day Kavala, Greece, was nestled snugly in a half-moon bay looking down upon a natural harbor. An ancient port city on the northernmost edge of the Aegean Sea, it effectively divided Macedonia from Thrace. From the harbor, the city sloped away from the shore as a natural amphitheatre, backing into the foothills of Mount Symvolo, providing breathtaking views of nearby islands and the Aegean beyond. Strategically positioned at the point where East meets West, Neapolis enjoyed prosperity through trading. The ancient harbor never rested, with its busy docks. Quite rich in natural resources, nearby mines produced thousands of talents of gold and silver each year.

In the mythical stories recounted in Caenus And the Quiver of Artemis, when Caenus, the prince of Iolkos, competes in Apollo’s Tournament, he crosses swords with Makedon, a brash and ruthless prince from Neapolis. Makedon, who had been bequeathed an immortal long sword by Hephaestus, the Greek god of the blacksmith’s fire, had won the previous three tournaments and his ego will not allow you to forget it. The bad boy of ancient Greece, Makedon has the chiseled, rugged features to cause the ladies to swoon, perhaps even a few goddesses. In fact, the prince of Neapolis is to wed, Kalliste, the most beautiful girl in the world. The massive, opulent wedding is being held in Neapolis… that is until Caenus is spotted talking to Kalliste behind a temple. That, my friends, is when the drama unfolds.

Following are Seven Things To Do In Makedon’s Ancient Neapolis, Greece

1. Visit The Island of Thassos: Located across the Bay of Neapolis, Thassos rises from the sea with an imposing presence. You would have to take a ferry across the bay. On the northern side of the island, huge walls enclosed two harbors, one naval and the other fishing. The beaches of Thassos were pristine and spectacular… and plentiful. Buildings dotted the landscape from the shores to the base of the highest mountain on the island. Halfway up Mount Ipsario sat the Fortress Kastro, a site of interest all by itself. In Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Thassos serves as the naval command center for the Empire of Neapolis.

2. Go Hiking High In The Hills Above The City: As the city sat nestled into the hillside, mountainous peaks surrounded the city. The lush landscape into the hills had a myriad of trails that led high toward the summits. A hike along these winding paths is more than worth the effort exerted. You may even happen upon a mountain spring or two. Or a divine looking well… In Caenus’ mythical tales, there exists a famous looking well high in the hills.

3. Visit The Imperial Palace: The most opulent palace in northern Greece, the imperial palace was a sight to behold. Approaching the palace you would have crossed a bridge lined with statues of six of the most important Greek deities; Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Apollo, and Ares. Then upon entering the ten-foot high palace doors, the grandeur would overwhelm you. This palace is the setting for the wedding between Makedon and Kalliste. The castle still overlooks the modern city of Kavala.

4. Attend Makedon and Kalliste’s Wedding: The most lavish and opulent wedding in ancient Greece, all nobility around the Mediterranean and Aegean had been invited. The most handsome young man in the known world marrying the most beautiful young woman in the known world, it could not get any better. The wedding is being held at the imperial palace. The pre-wedding feast is held in the king’s great hall, an enormously majestic room with ceilings so high one can barely see any details and narrow windows running from floor to ceiling. The support of the room rests upon sturdy buttresses and twelve stone pillars, each representing the twelve Olympian Greek gods.

5. Pass Time In A Local Taverna: Poseidon’s Poison is the most famous, if not infamous, of these tavernas. It is a rather normal establishment. But, in Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Caenus and Makedon brush shoulders just outside the place. Drama, Drama, Drama… which happens to be the name of a city nearby to Kavala, Drama. I wonder if it was so named, because of the Drama that unfolds there in the novel???

6. Journey To Ares’ Altar: Traveling east from Neapolis, a well-worn mountain pass spills out onto it the wide-open expanse. Ares’ Altar was an infamous battlefield, so named in honor of the Greek god of war, Ares, whose legendary birthplace in Thrace was not far removed. With high hills to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south, wooded hills to the west and the Nestos River to the east, it seemed carved out especially for the purpose of war. And, forming the bottleneck between east and west, it chose itself as a fitting location for epic battles.

7. Walk In The Footsteps of The Apostle Paul: Neapolis was the first port through which the Apostle Paul’s feet touched European soil. Neapolis’ harbor was strategically located next to the coast road connecting Europe to Asia, a road that would later become the Via Egnatia.

Thank you for taking this ancient tour.

To learn more about the novel, Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, follow the links below:

http://www.caenusquiverofartemis.com

http://www.myspace.com/quiverofartemis

Seven Things To Do In Ancient Iolkos, Greece

Iolkos was an ancient city in central-eastern Greece (near the modern city of Volos). According to ancient Greek mythology, Jason and his Argonauts set sail from the ancient city in search of the Golden Fleece. The Argo, Jason’s ship, set sail for Colchis with a crew of able-bodied demigods and heroes. Along with the Golden Fleece, Jason returned from his journey with a wife, Medea, king Aeetes' daughter, who later became queen of Iolkos.

Many centuries later, the mythical tales of Caenus, Son of Kranos, crown prince of Iolkos, are recounted in the novel Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, Book I in the Of Kings And Gods Trilogy. What follows are Seven Things To Do in Caenus’ fictional Iolkos.

Seven Things To Do In Ancient Iolkos.

1. Visit the Golden Fleece: It was on display in a Museum just off the agora. The Fleece was so revered that no citizen even went to cast a gaze at it anymore. Tourists, however, could still gaze at the famed Fleece… for a few of your hard-earned drachmas.

2. Tour the Bell Tower: Three stories tall, the bell tower served as a warning mechanism to alert citizens of incoming enemies by sea. At night, a flame blazed to guide ships in the Gulf of Pagasae. The stone staircase was a little worn, but the view from the top was worth the climb. Simply majestic.

3. Grab some rays on the Beaches: The beaches that extended down the Pelion Peninsula, which was “wet” by two seas, were pristine with white sand and clear waters to either side. On one side of the thin strip of land was the Gulf of Pagasae with calm waters for wading. On the other side, the waters of the Aegean roared.

4. Grab a Gyro in the Agora: THE place to meet and eat, the agora was akin to a food court in your favorite shopping mall. Well, not quite… But, it did have lots of shops and merchants. They were more trade-based merchants than food-based merchants, though. Occasionally, one could find a smokey taverna to grab some food and drink.

5. Tour the Ruins at Sesklo: To the northwest of Iolkos, stood the military outpost at Sesklo. Some ruins from an earlier time still existed. The Sesklo settlement was one of the first Neolithic cultures of Europe, which inhabited Thessaly and parts of Greek Macedonia. The oldest fragments researched at Sesklo place the civilization's development as far back as 6850 BC.

6. Tour the ruins at Dimini: Also to the northwest of Iolkos, and very near to Sesklo, stood the military outpost of Dimini, built upon ruins of another Neolithic settlement. Rumor had it that the Neolithic Dimini people were responsible for a violent conquest of the Sesklo peoples at around 5000 BC. War in this era was always unfortunate, but ever so imminent.

7.Hike Pelion Mountain: Known for it’s lush landscape and foliage, Pelion was, and still is, a beautifully rugged mountain that looked as if there was a crown upon its summit. It was known to be the place where the Gods of the Pantheon held their summer games and festivities. It was also known for being home to Centaurs, the wisest of whom being Kheiron, immortal trainer to heroes and demigods alike. Kheiron, allegedly maintained a cave dwelling high in the hills of Pelion, but I wouldn’t venture that high if I were you.

For more information on Caenus and The Quiver of Artemis, visit www.caenusquiverofartemis.com and www.myspace.com/quiverofartemis.

Also follow me on Twitter @OfKingsAndGods

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Animoto.com

Friday, September 18, 2009


Free website - Wix.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Former Teacher Turned Car Salesman Publishes Historical Fantasy Novel