Friday, May 20, 2016

A Planet and A Character

Did you know on May 30, the planet Mars will be closest to the Earth than it has been in over a decade? According to NASA it’s the best time to look at Mars through a telescope. Look southeast after twilight, you can’t miss it. If your skies are clear, you can easily see the planet without a telescope or binoculars. It’s visible for much of the night.

As the red planet neared the Earth, the Hubble Space Telescope took photos of Mars. This one was released by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) last week.
On May 30, Mars will be 46.8 million miles (75.3 million km) away. Don’t forget to look up in the night sky that evening, if you don’t, it’ll be almost 300 years before the planet come that close again!

A little history about the fourth planet from the Sun:

Our imagination about life on Mars was sparked by tales of life on the Red Planet back in the 17th and 18th centuries when astronomers got a glimpse of the planet’s polar cap, and learned its similarities to our Earth. For example there's Martian seasons and a day on Mars is about the same length as ours.

In 1800, astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli announced his claim to thin lines on Mars, calling them canals made by water. Later an American astronomer Percival Lowell loudly announced that they weren’t canals, but irrigation structures built by a Martian civilization. Inspired by all the hype about Mars, H.G. Wells wrote “War of the Worlds” and now, for a century, writers have been writing about visitors from Mars. Of course, I have to mention the comedy, Mars Attacks with Jack Nicholson (anyone remember?).

In 1965, Mariner 4 space probe snapped a picture of the planet showing craters much like our moon instead of our Earth. Then in 1971, NASA sent Mariner 9 revealed a surface of volcanoes, canyons, and river beds suggesting at one time there had been liquid water.
Is this a life on Mars…or a rock formation?

To this date, the search for evidence of life on Mars is ongoing. Upcoming future missions could possibly lead to startling conclusions that life exists somewhere other than Earth.

Now that I’ve told you about the planet Mars, let me tell you about a character named Mars in my upcoming new Christmas story, Karibou Magic.

I’m excited about the story, but I have to admit, I’ve only written a little over half so far. So please, stay tune for its completion and release date.

Here’s a sneak preview of the blurb:

Christmas is magic. At least that’s what Mars Bowman thought until that tragic night. Running from her past, she accepts a job with an old veterinarian in a small town in Wyoming. With Doc’s help and his magical reindeer, she has a reason to believe in Christmas magic once again.

But, nothing stays the same. Her newly found Christmas magic shatters. Doc becomes ill. His estranged son, Trebek Nickolas, returns with plans to change all that his father has built, including getting rid of the reindeer.

Compared to his father, Trebek is coldhearted and wants nothing to do with Christmas? Can she convince him that forgiving and loving will bring back the Christmas magic he knew as a child? Or, will she have to move? Will Christmas magic be stripped away from her life again, forever? 
An old veterinarian brings Christmas magic back into her life with his special reindeer. Will his handsome son shatter that belief?

My thanks to Sheri McGathy for the beautiful book cover for Karibou Magic:


  1. Sounds great! I'll have to read this! Can't wait. Love the cover too.

  2. Thank Mary. I'll let you know when it's completed and released.

  3. If the skies are clear, you can bet I'll be looking heavenward, Judy. the new book sounds awesome.

  4. Thanks Kim. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

  5. What a magical story, and the cover makes me want to buy the book now. Let us all know when it is available. Makes me wish for Christmas already!

  6. Thanks Gemma, I'll be sure to let you know when I'm finish and it's available. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. What a beautiful cover! One of my students is determined to be a spaceman and settle on Mars.

  8. Thanks Melissa, I love hearing about kids that think about space. It's a beautiful universe.


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