Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, October 25, 2010

1920’s– “MORE WAYS TO BETTER ONE’S MIND IN THE COLONY”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

Last week, readers discovered that Kenya colonists could avail themselves of an Oxford education through the mails. But an invitation to enroll at Oxford wasn’t the only way to improve the mind. Ads regularly appeared for Pelmanism, a program to develop the brain itself.

The ad stated, “The brain of a genius is to all appearances no larger than that of an idiot.” But “if it were possible to roll out flat the convolutions of a successful man’s brain it would measure quite twice the extent of an untrained brain. And it is the convolutions that count.”

The Pelman system claimed to increase the “powerful pulsations of blood to the cerebral arteries.” The result: the user would have better memory, be a quicker thinker, have less “brain fag” and would be a “success.”

Both men and women were encouraged to take advantage of the reduced War Fee rate of 50 rupees marked down from 75 rupees. And to avoid the delay of receiving books and materials, the Standard was provided with numerous copies of “prospectuses” and “initial lesson books.”

Perhaps one should try this before tackling those Oxford courses?

Quotes and images taken from The East African Standard, December 13, 1920

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

NEXT WEEK: WHEN ADS COLLIDE:

1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

1920’s– “ONLINE EDUCATION THE OLD FASHIONED WAY”

CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn
AND I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

In today’s modern world, we frequently see and read advertisements for on on-line education. With computers and internet, it’s possible to get degrees from many universities no matter how busy you are or how far removed from the school you are. And universities, often strapped for cash, have discovered that educating people at a distance can be profitable.
This is not a modern concept. Oxford University in England made the pitch back in the 1920’s and one couldn’t get much farther removed from the university than the Kenya colonist. The difference, materials had to go by mail ship to Mombasa and up the rail to Nairobi or one of the other towns. Any work or questions that the student had would have to return in the same manner, making a course a lengthy venture, not to mention a degree. (In other words, "online" back then meant that your course material was on a steamship line or the rail lines.)

But Oxford promised a personal tutor to take a “personal interest in your progress.”

The course list was extensive from Oxford Culture, Modern Business and Finance, Economics, to the Language arts, Literature, History, Political Science, and the hard sciences: Physics and Biology. This was a handy opportunity for a settler busy proving up a farm and there’s nothing like doing one’s homework after a hard day of chasing a leopard from your livestock.

Quotes and images taken from The East African Standard, April 10, 1920

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:

1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

1921-22 – “CUSTOMS OF THE KIKUYU” –part 3

CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn
AND I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

When Ngai, the Maker, accepts the Kikuyu’s offering, there is great excitement. The mundu-mogo quickly goes from village to village, spreading the news. All the Kikuyu assemble at the chief’s village, their bodies freshly “ornamented with red clay and castor oil” and sing. A “Ngoma” (dance) is held which begins at sunset and lasts throughout the night.
The “witch doctors …having taken off any garments they might have been wearing, put on a girdle of leaves, oil themselves all over, and taking half a calabash (a bowl made of dried gourd) in one hand and a sprig of wild thyme in the other, set out for the boundaries of their district.” The calabash is filled with water and, using the sprig, they dip into the water and sprinkle the boundaries. As they anoint the land, they chant:

“Send us rain, oh Spirit,
And children, oh Spirit,
Goats, oh Spirit,
And milk, oh Spirit.”

The water drops represent rain, the great blessing on the land and the other blessings that follow in suit.

Next week: More Kenya and Nairobi news.

Quotes taken from The East African Standard, Febr. 21, 1920

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:

1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.

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Monday, October 04, 2010

1921-22 – “CUSTOMS OF THE KIKUYU” –part 2

CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

Several of Jade del Cameron’s mysteries feature her Kikuyu friend, Jelani, a youth who is training to be a tribal healer-or mundu mogo. In particular, in Treasure of the Golden Cheetah, he attempts to apply to protective ancestral spirits while on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Last week’s blog looked at an article on Kikuyu customs, written in the February 21, 1920 issue of The East African Standard. In particular, it discussed tribal rituals to gain Ngai’s (God’s) blessings and provide rain.

These rituals took place in a sacred grove, and were performed by “witch doctors,” the colonist’s term for the tribal spiritual leader and healer. According to the article, these witch doctors went around the villages collecting “cattle from the chiefs, goats from the men, and fowls from the women.” The cattle were kept as a sort of fee, the goats were set aside to sacrifice, and the fowl were consumed at the villages.

The author notes that the concept of a “scapegoat” runs through many religions, including the Kikuyu’s. In this instance the goat is taken to “the sacred grove…in their special area” and is killed. The “carcass being left hanging on a branch of one of the biggest and most central trees.” It is left there overnight and in the morning if it is gone, then the sacrifice was accepted.

Next week: When Ngai Accepts the Offering.

Quotes taken from The East African Standard, Febr. 21, 1920

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:

1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

3) I took the plunge and am now on facebook, both with a profile and a "page"

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, The Leopard’s Prey, and Treasure of the Golden Cheetah all available in trade paperback. And now: THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE newly released on Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.

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