Unicorns, Updates, and Giveaways

Giveaways will be located at the at the end of the post.

Fast Updates:

The Mighty Con show : Quad Cities Comic Con in Rock Island was a blast. I was able to meet a lot of interesting people and I am looking forward to participating in many more shows in the future.

Thank you for stopping by my booth.

After getting many requests for an audio book version of “Rise” I have begun reviewing my options for having one created.

Book covers for Lost:

I have received an alternate cover design for Lost” featuring wisps and would love some feedback. Right now I think I prefer the original design…

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Original Cover Design

 

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Wisp Cover Design

 

Also:

readersfavorite.com will have “Rise” listed as an available prize for the monthly book giveaway. If your interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: https://readersfavorite.com book giveaway

Next:

The next post will feature guest author T.S. Lieber. He will be blogging about characterization.


Unicorn Related Quotes:

 

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“I thought unicorns were more . . . Fluffy.” -Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

 

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“Unicorns,” I said. “Very dangerous. You go first.”- Jim Butcher, Summer Knight

 

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“Toads are to dragons what carrots are to unicorns.”- Ness Kingsley, The Curse of Cackling Meadows

 

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“Sometimes we all need a unicorn to believe in. Sometimes we need a unicorn to believe in us.”- Claudia Bakker

 

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“That is exactly what heroes are for. Wizards make no difference, so they say that nothing does, but heroes are meant to die for unicorns.” – Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

 

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“Stars were golden unicorns neighing unheard through blue meadows.” – William Faulkner, Soldiers’ Pay

 

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“Sara: Tegan just recently discovered that unicorns don’t exist.
Tegan: I just thought they were extinct.” – Tegan Quin

 

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“Wherever they may have come from, and wherever they may have gone,
unicorns live inside the true believer’s heart.
Which means as long as we can dream, there will be unicorns”.-Bruce Coville

 

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“What use is wizardry if it cannot save a Unicorn? “-Peter S. Beagle

 

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“Unicorns, dragons, witches may be creatures conjured up in dreams, but on the page their needs, joys, anguishes, and redemptions should be just as true as those of Madame Bovary or Martin Chuzzlewit.”-Alberto Manguel

 


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Definition of unicorn:

Dictionary.com

1. a mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead: often symbolic of chastity or purity. Dictionary.com

Merriam Webster.com

  1. a mythical, usually white animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse with long flowing mane and tail and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead. merriamwebster.com

2. something unusual, rare, or unique. merriamwebster.com

 


 

Unicorns Of Legend:

The unicorns in modern stories and fairy tales usually resemble a horse with a shining white coat of fur and have a single spiral horn protruding from the center of its head. Their rare appearance is often described as awe inspiring. These proud creatures dwell deep in the forests and are rumored to be much too fast to be conquered by man with one exception, it is said that they have a weakness for virgin maidens.

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Greek travelers told tales of unicorns that lived in far-off lands more than 2,000 years ago and as the fabulous accounts spread throughout the West, most people didn’t question their existence. In fact, early naturalists considered the unicorn to be a living creature. Several ancient catalogues and natural history textbooks of the world included information on unicorns, but their descriptions varied a great deal.

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In his work entitled ‘Indika’ (meaning ‘On India’), the Greek historian and physician Ctesias, describes unicorns as having a horn of about 28 inches in length which protruded from the center of its head. These horns, he wrote, were white at the base, red at the tip and black in the middle and he claimed that those who drank from this horn could be protected from stomach problems, poison and even epilepsy. He also made mention that the unicorn was incredibly fast and further compared the animals features to having the build of a wild ass that sported a white body, purple head, and blue eyes.

It’s more than likely, Ctesias had never actually set eyes on this creature himself but was relying on other people’s accounts during his travels through Persia (now Iran) in the 4th century B.C. During that era it was common for stories to travel great distances by word of mouth.

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Unicorns were also included in, Natural History (Latin: Naturalis Historia), an epic encyclopedia written by Roman author and naval commander, Pliny the Elder. His encyclopedia stood largely as fact for some 1,600 years. In it he wrote, “The unicorn is the fiercest animal, and it is said that it is impossible to capture one alive. It has the body of a horse, the head of a stag, the feet of an elephant, the tail of a boar, and a single black horn three feet long in the middle of its forehead. Its cry is a deep bellow.”

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In 1551, Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner wrote Historiae Animalium, a book describing all of the animals that he thought lived on Earth. The 1620 edition includes a description of a unicorn, presumably based on the accounts of travelers from far-off lands. You can view the image here at Gesnergallery on page 781: Gesnergallery.htm

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Unicorns have been discussed by luminaries such as Aristotle, Julius Caesar, the scholar Isidore of Seville and Marco Polo. They appear in ancient Sumerian culture, as well as throughout the Old Testament. It is likely that these portrayals all come from folklore and natural history.

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In the Italian explorer Marco Polo’s account, c. AD 1300, he describes unicorns as ugly brutes that where almost the size of elephants.  He said they featured a black horn in the middle of their heads and totted hair he compared to that of a buffalo’s. These animals, that appeared to prefer spending their time wallowing in mud and slim, were not what he was expecting to find after hearing tales of enchanting unicorns.

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In older stories, many descriptions include, a short blunt colored horn, cloven hooves and a goat’s beard or the tail of a lion. Although there are different interpretations of the unicorns throughout the Medieval Ages, most of the descriptions echoed the magical awe of the animal and helped to implant the unicorn firmly in European lore. These strong creatures came to symbolize power, majesty and purity.

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Due to the belief that their horns held magical and medicinal powers they became an extremely valuable commodity and often were sold for what would be tens of thousands of dollars today. Royalty stirred drinks with the alicorn (Unicorn horn) because it was rumored to detect poison and pharmacists ground it down into alicorn powder to sell, claiming that the product could cure several ailments.

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Belief in unicorns didn’t begin to wane until the 1700’s as more of the world was explored and these animals were not found. Even after a Danish physician, Ole Worm determined that the alleged alicorns he came in contact with were the tusks of narwhals in 1638, false alicorn powder, made from the horns of various animals, continued to be sold for medical purposes in Europe as late as 1741.

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Although legend says that, the Throne Chair of Denmark is made of unicorn horns, it has been determined that it is made from Norwegian narwhal tusks. Likewise, many cups and decorative fixtures once thought to have been carved from unicorn horn are now believed to be made from ivory, rhinoceros horns or narwhal tusks.

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A great number of stories and artworks have been devoted to these mysteries creatures but although single horned animals do exist, it would seem that the historical unicorn described for two millennia and passed across continents, does not. Many researcers suspect that it’s a case of mistaken identity, they believe it’s more likely, Indian rhinos, now-extinct wild ox, and Arabian oryx were combined to form the myth of the unicorn.

Some scientists believe the myth of the unicorn may have come from sightings of antelope or other horned animals, after having either lost their second horn from scrapping with a predator or being born with a defect, like the deer nicknamed Unicorn that was born in captivity near the town of Prato (Italy). The horn that sits at the center of his skull is said to be a genetic anomaly.

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As you can see, scientists have associated many living animals with the stories of the unicorn. Another interesting example is the Okapi which are known to feed on over 100 species of plants, some of which are known to be poisonous to humans. Okapi’s are the only living relatives of giraffes. They dwell in the rain forests instead of the open savannah’s and are much shorter, measuring only about five feet in height at the shoulders. This elusive animal has been long referred to as the African unicorn. They are excellent hiders, and even though explorer’s heard rumors of this animal in the 1880’s, they weren’t discovered by western scientists until the 1900’s.

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The Siberian Unicorn (Elasmotherium) is also thought to have played a role, it’s believed that prehistoric humans could have come into contact with these creatures well before this single horned animal’s extinction. Its said that the Siberian Unicorn looked similar to a wolly Rhinsorous. This creatures horn was located on its forehead and scientist believe it could have grown from one to two meters in length. Paleolithic art from Rouffignac Cave, France is thought to be an image of this animal.

 

 

 

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Even though the most popular depictions of unicorns come from European and Greek accounts, there have been similar versions of unicorn-like creatures recorded throughout the continents. Many representations of the hunt of the unicorn still survive today in medieval art from Europe, China and in the Islamic world.

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Some other legendary creatures that hold some qualities of unicorns include: Al’miraj (Arabic), The camahueto (Chilote mythology-Chile), the Indrik-Beast (Russian folklore), The Karkadann (India and Persia), and Shadhavar (Persia)

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There are people still searching for evidence that unicorns did exist at one point in time. They theorize that this creature went extinct or possibly even evolved into another animal. In some instances people have decided to fabricate their own proof.

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The most notable example of this is the huge skeleton created by bones found in Einhornhohle,(Unicorn Cave). An account of the discovery was written by  German scholar, Otto von Guericke in 1663. It wasn’t until decades after his death that it was determined that the skeleton was actually created using remains from a Woolly Rhinoceros and a Mammoth. The horn is now believed to be from a Narwhal. It is currently exhibited near the entrance of the Zoo of Osnabrück, Germany.

 

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In the 1930s, a biologist from Maine named Franklin Dove, manipulated the horns of a calf so that they grew entwined as one, proving, at least in theory that unicorns could exist.

In the 1970’s, a self-proclaimed wizard named Oberon Zell, began to study mentions of unicorns throughout history. Zell, whom took biology and premed in college began using Doves notes as a basis for his own work in the 1980’s.

Zell used Doves simple surgical method of fusing the horns. This procedure required a Kid (baby goat) not more than a week old, so that the horn buds were still only part of the skin and had not yet fused to the skull. He would then stitch them closer together so that they would merge at the center of the forehead as they grew. Then he began using angora goats for their luxurious coats and cross-breeding them with Saanen goats to get slightly higher legs

It was said that many people couldn’t recognize his unicorns as goats at all and eventually Zell was persuaded to sign a contract with Barnum and Bailey allowing them to take his best animals on tour with them across the country.

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When the tales of unicorns reached him, Aristotle is said to have argued, was this single-horned, silvery being any more absurd to imagine than a giraffe or an elephant?”  Though to date, no real unicorn horns have been found, there are optimists that still hold out hope.

Anyone interested in unicorn questing can obtain a license here: www.lssu.edu. Be sure to review the Unicorn Hunting Regulations before starting out.

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Unicorn Questing License Issued 10/18 To M. Ainihi From lssu.edu – Unicorn Hunters

 

Learn more about the legends of unicorns:
britannica.com, mythology.net, allaboutunicorns.com

 

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*Warning*

***-The following section (Unicorns in The Blood Inheritance Quartet) contains information and a short excerpt from “Lost” the upcoming blood inheritance novel-***

 

Unicorns in The Blood Inheritance Quartet:

The Unicorns that you are introduced to in “Lost” are nocturnal creatures that live in the arcane realm. Majestic yet a bit creepy, Kiami first encounters these carnivorous beasts when Aden brings her to the Arcane realm so that she can meet Amanda.

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Giveaway-Kindle Edition

Runner’s Rise: Road to Pro

By: Vincent Hennings

Enter the giveaway here by clicking the link: Giveaway

View it here on Amazon by clicking the link: Runner’s Rise: Road to Pro

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E-sports is at the height of its growth. Teams and their stars are reaching celebrity status. Heather has long been chasing the dream of being a professional gamer. She finally has her chance to show the world she belongs there as Runner, her online persona.

When choices are made that jeopardize her career, will she stand and fight or accept that maybe it wasn’t meant to be? A heart-breaking tragedy within her family still weighs heavily on her heart as she makes her decision. Does she have the will to overcome these obstacles and will she sabotage herself once victory is within reach?

You can also enter the giveaway here:

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Runner’s Rise: Road to Pro (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/054ca9c28ffdb208 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Nov 5, 2018 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed.  https://giveaway.amazon.com/rules 

Updated Giveaway Link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/13f795cc0a194af2


Giveaway-Paperback Edition

Rise

By M. Ainihi

Enter the giveaway here by clicking the link: Giveaway

View it here on Amazon by clicking the link:  Rise

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When Amanda Garrett stumbles across a strange artifact in the woods, she has no idea of the dangerous secret it holds. The teen soon discovers that she has unwittingly released Erol, an imprisoned jinni, and whether she likes it or not, they are bound together until death. Amanda’s life soon begins to spiral out of control and she finds herself orphaned, kidnapped, and thrust into a terrifying reality.

Rise is a fast-paced (standalone) introductory novel to an alternate world where mundane humans are oblivious to the existence of the realms that separate them from other magical races.

When she feels, the darkness closing in around her, Amanda is not sure if she can hold onto a single speck of light, and soon she comes to understand that some secrets are better left buried.

You can also enter the giveaway here:

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Rise: A Blood Inheritance Novel. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/8ddf08b4da63b4e5 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Nov 5, 2018 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules https://giveaway.amazon.com/rules

Updated Giveaway Link:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e274e829bfff332f

 

The Best ay To Thank Wan Author Is to rite a Revie

Check out these sites:

wordrefiner.com
donviecelli.com
www.sfwa.org
ryanlanz.com
boundlessblessingsblog
writersblockmagazine.com
cncbooksblog
potcakeplace.com
mythologian.net

 

Jump to:

Rise
Reviews
Lost
Contact
Book Trailers
Illustrations
Acknowledgements
About The Author

 

 

 

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