Well, 2014 is done. I have spent the morning doing my annual closet clearing. It was more in depth than usual. I finally reached the point where I gave up on the hope of ever fitting in some of my old clothes again. They are going to Goodwill for a tax deduction. It’s not that I’ve gained weight over the year. I’m the same size I was last year. I just don’t see the point of holding onto clothes I will likely never fit in again. I have a permanent physical condition preventing me from working out and diets have never really stuck with me. I don’t see the point of half my closet space (I only get a third of it to begin with) being wasted by reminders of thinner days. It’s depressing and creates a clutter. Furthermore, if I were to lose weight, I am sure I would want to go buy new clothes to celebrate. So I finally decided to part ways with my old clothes. This year has had its ups and downs. Due to my ailment I was unable to work at my other job for nearly 3 straight months. That was a financial hurdle we are still overcoming. On the other hand, things with the books are going well. I have had many positive reviews on “Quest for the Red Sapphire” and “Sapphire Crucible.” Look for the next book, “Mandrean Revenge” to come out in the next six months. I will go over the new edits for “Sapphire” just as soon as I have time after the holidays. Then a second edition will be released with a great new cover. No major catastrophes have happened to my family in 2014 and that in itself was a blessing. We discovered the reason my daughter had been so sick for so long. After thousands of dollars in tests and countless missed days or school a simple test by our family doctor disclosed she was allergic to wheat. I had heard of gluten allergies but never wheat. After some research we discovered it has become a very common problem and the diet was the same as gluten free. Now we keep my daughter away from wheat and she is finally well. I must say I am glad it’s not me because gluten free food (what she normally eats) is both expensive and not usually tasty. My son is starting to slowly get some direction in his life. It’s hard as a parent. Both good and bad, you compare your children to yourself. When they lag behind in a certain area you tend to lose sight of the things they have done well that you didn’t. Some goals I reached this year while others I missed. Overall the year flew by. There is much to be done next year and I have goals in place. I hope to devote more of my time to my writing. I get the most joy from that. It is my hope that the new editions of my books will help them rise to new heights. Staying healthy would be a huge help. I must work hard at my other job to provide for my family. In all, I want to be a better man who appreciates what he has instead of longing for what he doesn’t have. 2015 is about to arrive and I intend to tackle it head on.
Christmas has come and gone once again. Many things are the same as usual while others are not. The caramel apples wrapped for the stockings were once again a success. The fruit in said stockings was not. I put far too much thought into my gifts I gave and missed the mark as often as I hit. The expensive foot massager for my wife was a particular flop. The new IPhone for my oldest daughter was a huge success. Then I bought a new case for my younger daughter’s cell phone only to discover Christmas Eve that her phone had just died and we had to order her a new one. The postage to send the case back was going to be as much as the refund on the case so here I sit with a case I can’t use. It’s not a huge financial loss but it was a gift I had planned for months and was now pointless. Waste always bothers me. The school apparel from our alma mater was a hit with the wife. Overall the family was pleased with the day. As I watched them rummage through their stockings and tear open wrapping paper we snapped photos. I started thinking it wouldn’t be long before my oldest wants to move away. My second oldest goes to college next year and plans to go to the East Coast, as far in the continental U.S. as possible from us. Who knows if she will even be home for Christmas next year? When I was in college the last thing I ever wanted to do was come home. That would leave just my youngest daughter with my wife and me. As I watched the family laughing and having a merry time I could not help but wonder what it was like for my parents when they had their first Christmas with no one to wake them up and beg them to open stockings. What was it like not to have the big breakfast with all the artery-clogging food? Did they wait by the phone for calls from us so they knew they were not forgotten in the season of giving? No pile of presents was under the tree. They just had each other. What was that like? Now it is just my father…alone. It has been 5 years since Mom died. I always call Dad on Christmas but he is sullen and does not want to talk. Our calls last 5-7 minutes at best. It hardly seems worth the “Call Canada” plan I pay for every month but there is always that hope that he will want to converse longer. Perhaps he is missing Mom…or the family…or his degrading health has left him uncomfortable talking for long. For one reason or another, he is hurting, especially at Christmas and one day that man is going to be me. How I will miss the days of being asked to put the batteries in some toy. Will my children carry on my traditions or start new ones of their own? Will I see them on Christmas or will I be a 5-7 minute call? I cannot choose the paths my children will walk. All I can do is enjoy the time when they are on my path and build memories to fill the possible empty years ahead. Even if my wife and I end up alone, we will have our treasure chest of memories to soften the blow.
With all of their might, the goblin infantry pounded their spears and pikes on the weary defenders. Three and four spears at a time would strike each shield. The sound was deafening as they unleashed their might on the wall.
At the onset, neither side made progress. The pikes could not penetrate the shields and the Valians could not reach the goblins with their short swords. It was a stalemate that did not last long.
Though the pikes were not penetrating the shields, the force from their blows was still jarring their targets. The unrelenting attacks began to take their toll on the defenders. Of greater concern to the Valians, was the fact that the attacks were too constant to allow fresh soldiers to rally to the wall. It was only a matter of time before the pikes would force their way through, to begin the slaughter. As the struggle continued, the situation for the Valians became perilous, as the wall began to buckle under the beating.
It was at that moment of uncertainty that Linvin and his cavalry attacked from the rear along the entire line. The goblins were so preoccupied with the happenings in front of them, that they paid no heed to the cavalry in the rear, forming a line along the length of their formation. Bewildered goblins never saw the strikes coming that cut them down. The phalanx was so tightly packed that Linvin’s troops could not miss.
Linvin struck like thunder with his long sword. He slashed to his right and then his left, dropping goblins with each stroke. As quickly as he could swing his sword, he would kill another.
Linvin was not alone in his success. His cavalry cut deep swaths into the rear goblin ranks. The cavalry maintained their line and did not get too far ahead of each other in order to avoid being surrounded.
The discipline observed among the goblins seemed to bleed away in the chaos. Indecision took center stage. Due to the close formation, they could not turn to fight without dropping their pikes. But without their pikes, they would be at a great disadvantage to the horsemen. It led to carnage on an unprecedented scale, courtesy of Linvin’s cavalry.
Indecision gave way to panic as the majority of what was once a phalanx dropped their spears and drew their melee weapons. Rather than continue to be attacked from behind, they chose to turn and fight as best they could.
The change in tactics could not have come at a better time at the shield-wall. The front line had collapsed and Sculla’s men were on the verge of being routed. With most of the pikes discarded, there was at last a moment to hasten fresh troops to the line and reform the wall. Personally taking the lead, Sculla ordered an advance. They marched with their wall intact to the front of the goblin line and engaged.
The cavalry was meeting with more fierce resistance with the change of weapons. Their progress slowed and they began to take losses.
Linvin was striking more swords then armor as his enemy rallied. At least one goblin had kept his spear. He struck Linvin’s horse with a killing blow. The steed stood on its hind legs and then fell to its side.
Linvin was thrown to the ground with his sword and shield flying from his hands. His helmet fell forward, covering his eyes. With a swipe of his forearm he knocked the helmet off.
A goblin stood above Linvin with his sword in hand. He was ready to strike. He propped his arm in front of him and braced for the blow. Nothing happened. Linvin looked again and saw a blade erupt from the goblin’s chest before sending him to the ground. Left standing behind the body was an astonished Fardar.
Linvin could not believe it. They exchanged a brief nod. Linvin regained his feet quickly, holding a sickle-sword and hand ax. He immediately struck right past Fardar’s head with the sword. It caught a goblin in the face that was about to kill Linvin’s savior. There was no time to thank one another. The two stood back-to-back and continued the fight.
Today I have a special guest author, Bernard Young. He is here to tell us about his series.
A Harem Boy's Saga; a memoir by Young
"OMG! I can't believe this is a real story!"
Never have I read a story that has me exclaiming "OMG, OMG, OMG" every few chapters. This autobiographical story shares the intensely personal journey of a young boy as he comes of age in the midst of a male harem in the Middle East. He experiences all the things that forbidden and taboo...you know those "unmentionable elephants in the room" that we are warned about from an early age. I had to read this real life adventure to find out how messed up and damaged he must be. Imagine my surprise to meet an emotionally healthy young man who successfully grabs all life has to offer and does it with an innocence that is simply beautiful.
Don't read this book if you aren't ready for your ingrained beliefs and values to be challenged. Don't read this book if you are not ready to delve into a side of our global society that is well hidden from most. Don't read this book unless you too are ready to step into a new adventure. Initiation will change how you view the world.
5-star review by Wendy Acosta
A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young series is published by Solstice Publishing, Can you tell us how it begins?
The first two books; A Harem Boy’s Saga – I - Initiation and II - Unbridled were originally self-published. A year later I found my literary agent, Emerantia Antonia Parnall-Gilbert (Gilbert Literary Agency) after searching for a publisher and a literary agent.
It was Emerantia who hooked me with Solstice Publishing. I’m blessed that Solstice Publishing is interested to publish the entire 7 book series.
What is A Harem Boy’s Saga; a memoir by Young about?
Let me give you a synopsis of each of the books. I’ve completed three books in the seven volume series
A Harem Boy Saga - 1 – INITIATION; a memoir by Young
This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.
I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers' footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknownst to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.
My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.
A Harem Boy’s Saga – II – Unbridled; a memoir by Young
This is the sequel to Initiation - A provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother’ and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperones and mentors during the boy’s Harem services.
This book follows the teenagers’ erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at their 2nd Arab Household Harem, the Sekham. They were apprentices and models, for the household patriarch’s controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places”.
The author's experiences present facts that are truthful. Through these truths, which are often demonized by contemporary societies that deem such behaviours inappropriate, the author hopes to dispel condemnations and negativity which relate to his experiences.
A Harem Boy’s Saga – III – Debauchery; a memoir by Young
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Debauchery is the triquel to A Harem Boy’s Saga, a provocative story about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society through his UK boarding school. From there, he was spirited to the Middle East to attend the Bahriji (Oasis) School in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for Harem services for the wealthy elite.
It is also a love story between the young man, his ‘Big Brother,’ and his ‘Valet,’ who served as his chaperones and mentors.
This book follows the teenagers’ erotic and exotic adventures and experiences at their third Arabian Household Harem, the Quwah. There, they became confidants to a prince, assistants in an international dance club venture, “Carousel,” and apprentices and models in a controversial photography project, “Sacred Sex in Sacred Places.”
This story is an account of the author’s experiences. Through these truths, often demonized by contemporary societies that deem such behaviors inappropriate, the author hopes to dispel condemnation and negativity related to sexuality, love, and personal freedom.
What inspired you to write about your harem experiences?
I believe my geographical location (being in spiritual and beautiful Maui, Hawaii) inspired me to pen my seven book series.
Now that I’m semi-retired from my once very active fashion lifestyle, it is time for me to reflect upon my unique early experiences and to inform the world what my positive experiences in the Middle Eastern harems were like.
I believe my early experiences shaped my adult life to who I am today.
There are also a series of goals I hope to achieve through writing A Harem Boy Saga:
What challenges did you face while writing your memoirs?
Remembrance of things past. Luckily I’ve an abundance of photographs, diaries, journals to spur me to remember what transpired during those early years of my Middle Eastern harem experiences.
Although, I’ve taken creative liberties when it comes to the individual dialogues spoken by the various characters in my autobiography. I remember the gist of what transpired.
I’ve also changed the names and places to protect the identities of those involve in the secret society and the unique school and Arab Households I was in service at.
Historical accuracy is an important factor to consider when writing memoirs/autobiographies and biographies.
Where can readers buy your books and are they available in e-book, print, or both?
A Harem Boy’s Saga e-books and print books are available at (Audio books will be available in 2015):
US amazon: http://amzn.to/1qmL75W
UK amazon: http://amzn.to/1tUUU7Y
Canada amazon: http://amzn.to/16pcUPC
Australia amazon: bit.ly/1IWkwIn
No Distance Between Us (A Yuletide coming-of-age gay true love story): e-book: http://amzn.to/1Asn0fO
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/haremboysaga/a-harem-boys-saga/ (contains adult contents)
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/trisf2013 (contents adult contents)
Amazon Author's Page: http://www.amazon.com/A-Memoir-by-Young/e/B00CENKJKM
Video trailer for all the 3 books in A Harem Boy's Saga series (conservative version): http://youtu.be/F0Lv80yhhq0
Video trailer for INITIATION (sensual version): http://youtu.be/db3bTrN1v3I
Video trailer for UNBRIDLED (sensual version): http://youtu.be/6J4ewXGxl-UVideo trailer for DEBAUCHERY (sensual version): http://youtu.be/y8g-hLjRJr8
Here it is; Christmas Eve and I still have so much to do. One thing I was able to strike off my list last night was seeing “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.” You will get no spoilers here but I can safely say the movie didn’t disappoint. That being said, the purest in me was still baffled by the excess content added by Peter Jackson to make one book into three but I could only hope to have someone do that with my books one day. It was a great movie and I would see it again today if time permitted. One thing I hope to find under my tree tomorrow is books. I particularly would like to read more by David Eddings. He is an unsung hero in the fantasy genre and helped pave the way for people like me. I have read his first book, “Pawn of Prophecy” and look forward to reading the rest of the series as well as his other works. He has a totally different writing style than I do and that alone keeps my interest. His characters are fallible like any other person and easy to relate to as you read. Fantasy is such a wonderful field to read because anything can happen. Characters can be of any race or have any special abilities. The limits really are your imagination. I was asked the other day about science fiction and which I liked better. I love science fiction but there are times it either makes no sense to me or simply makes my brain hurt. (I still don’t think I have all the nuances of “2001, A Space Odyssey” figured out.) With fantasy I always feel like I’m coming home. These days the lines have become blurred between the fields as evaluators seek to classify books and movies. The way I like to think of it is this: If there is a robot or computer in it then it is not likely fantasy. One the other hand, if there is magic in it, it not science fiction. People can argue those definitions but they tend to ring true. So with the big day around the corner I am hoping for some fantasy or science fiction but really hope for more works by Mr. Eddings. He could be next in line for the cinema.
You are familiar with the song “Jingle Bells.” Well I happened to have a similar incident in my own life. Back when I first started writing I was thirteen. My father’s health was dangerously poor and it led to him losing his job and our family losing our home. We moved out of Toronto down to my grandmother’s cottage on the north shore of Lake Erie; still in Canada. The home was not heated so we huddled around the fireplace in that particularly cold winter and chopped wood in all-weather after school. The cottage was across the street from my father’s boyhood farm (long since sold off after Grandpa’s passing years before.) We were getting by with government and church help. Christmas did not promise to be anything special and so my expectations were low. We exchanged gifts we already owned and figured Christmas was done. Remember this is the rural community where my father grew up. There came a knock on the door. An old family friend was there who had been friends with my father’s family for generations. Halloween consisted of going to just his house and eating treats and hot cocoa all night. It took too long to walk to many farms. His name was Mt. Larimee. Aside from farming, he raised prize winning ponies of a rare Belgian breed of great size. He had one hooked up out front to a sleigh and wanted to take us for a sleigh ride. Who could say no? We went all through the neighborhood and around the farms under a blanket in the sleigh. He even had the bells on the horse as he trotted through the foot deep snow. I was thrilled and didn’t care about the cold wind on my face. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was as though the Grinch had stolen our Christmas and it was brought back to us. We had no presents or ham or candy but we had the best Christmas ever. And it was all because a kind, old family friend whom we rarely saw, came out of the blue with his jiggle bells. This year, don’t regret what you do not have. Be thankful for what you do have. Merry Christmas.
Within the walls was the castle itself. It too was a paradox. Rather than being built as a fortification, it was made to be a palace. Undoubtedly, the structure was being constructed to proclaim someone’s glory rather than protect it.
The city was a hive of congestion and urban sprawl lining a narrow north-south running river. With no thought having been put into planning, it had grown around the palace and followed no logical path. As they came closer they saw merchants clogging the streets peddling everything imaginable. The entire city was one giant marketplace. Not a single house could be found within the market. Only shops, stands and tents lined what had to be called streets for lack of a better term. Shacks which dared to be called homes, encircled the trading zone
Linvin stuck his face between the bars of their cell and called to a nearby soldier marching alongside. “Is that where we are going?”
“Yes,” replied the guard who looked around to make sure no one saw him talking to a prisoner.
Linvin asked more. “What is that place?” Again the goblin looked around and then said, “Marinhalk...It is the capital of the Empire.”
“Why are we being taken there?” Linvin inquired. Before the goblin could speak a whip struck him from behind. “Silence,” ordered his Goblin Sergeant. “You do not speak with the Emperor’s prisoners.” Linvin found the comment to be strange. They had become ‘The Emperor’s prisoners’?
Linvin could not help but compare Marinhalk with the other capitals he had known, Sarice and Fraylic. In the comparison, Marinhalk was the dismal poor cousin.
Sarice was the finest fortification in the world. Its inhabitants built a dense, well-organized capital for an endangered kingdom. Her walls displayed might and her stone interior resisted fire that could be used in a siege. The complex multi-level buildings made all possible use of the protected area.
Fraylic was an entirely different, though equally impressive capital. Having no pressing defense worries, the Sartanian Capital took no measures to fortify its exterior. The founders laboriously planned an infrastructure of wide, straight streets stretching out from the city’s center like the spokes of a wheel. As the city expanded, so did the roads. Trade could flow swiftly and efficiently through the economy. It was the perfect hub for a trade route.
Marinhalk possessed none of the others’ characteristics. Linvin needed no history lesson to discern the seat of power had been chosen in the empire’s early days due to its central location and proximity to fresh water. A wooden fort had been built and merchants clustered around. As the empire grew, engineers spent their energies building roads and distant fortifications to project the empire’s borders. Clearly the philosophy of the empire was to take the fight to the frontiers and never let it near the base of power. Such an aggressive and expansionist viewpoint meant the capital was left to grow on its own, without guidance or direction. In addition to a lack of adequate streets was a total neglect of sanitation and access to drinking water. With the addition of the autumn rains, the city was a quagmire of refuse and human misery. In the capital of the mightiest empire in the world crime, poverty and starvation held greater power than any army.
Sculla was positioned in the middle of the front rank. His men stood at attention; awaiting their leader’s command. “Javelins!” Sculla yelled. The men each grasped one of their javelins and hurled the weapon at their enemy.
The salvo was accurate and lethal. Nearly the entire first line of goblins fell in an instant. The next several rows suffered heavy losses as well. Even so, the army pressed toward the Valian line. At twenty paces, another round of javelins proved even more effective than the first. Goblins fell, screaming in pain. Without shields, they were easy targets. Even with their horrible losses, the goblins reached the line and attacked.
With the goblins’ front lines decimated, the initial contact was only in a few places along the wall of shields. As a result, there were large gaps in the marsh dweller’s ranks. Feverishly, the goblins struck out again and again with their pikes, but their blows were blunted by the disciplined formation.
“Arrows?” asked Fardar.
“Not this time, Lord Fardar,” Linvin answered patiently. “In the previous two battles, we held them at the wall and did our damage with arrows. Their war chief is testing me. First, he wants to see if we have archers. If we do, he wants me to exhaust my arrows on his weaker troops.”
“Then why not encircle them with your cavalry?”
“Again Fardar, he looks to see if I have cavalry. This is bait. The trap he hopes to spring, waits at the edge of the fog.” Linvin handed the looking glass to Fardar. In viewing the far edge of the battlefield, he could just barely make out ranks of heavily armored goblins in tight formation.
“We would be caught between two forces.” Linvin explained.
“How many are there in reserve?” Fardar inquired.
Linvin took the glass back and replied, “My scouts say about 12,000. That is the hammer that is meant to strike our anvil.”
“We must do something, General. You keep saying we cannot attack. What can we do?”
Linvin smiled and turned his gaze once again to the growing engagement. “Sculla is doing it now.”
Even at their distance from the battle, Linvin and Fardar could hear Sculla yell, “Advance.” Before the Goblins could fill the gaps in their lines, the Valian infantry marched steadily forward. Goblins hurried to fill the break in their line but it was too late. Once Sculla’s men were past the pike-heads, they had a clear run at their enemy. There was no room for the goblins to maneuver their long spears. With their adversary in their face, the goblins dropped their pikes and drew their close quarter weapons.
“Wall!” cried Sculla upon noticing the change. His troops interlocked their full-length shields, reforming the shield wall.
I have a special blog today because I have the honor of being a guest on the blog “In-the–Harem”. It is rare to be interviewed and featured there. I am most fortunate. Here is the link: http://bernardfoong.typepad.com/in_the_harem/2014/12/welcome-to-author-rival-gates-world-.html
So today I spent the morning at the auto dealer having them fix a recall on my car. They tell you it will be a short wait but this isn’t your first visit to the dealer and you have brought plenty of the latest grocery and department store ads to read in order to finish preparing for Christmas. Then you get through reading those and are stuck. You could go on line in their waiting room but the sites are so restricted you can’t read even about your favorite sports team. That left me with the newspaper as someone else was watching a boring program on television. I skimmed the main section and there was nothing much of interest. Then I came to the “Living” section. One of their writers had gone to a local movie theater where they were showing all three Hobbit movies in a row. I was excited to read the article. He began by saying he had no love of epic fantasy. It was something he was indifferent to or to use his words, “I do not hate the fantasy genre, I’m just generally unaware of it, like I’m unaware of NHL hockey or the geography of Eastern Europe.” As an epic fantasy writer that is an ice pick through the heart. He was only going to the 9 and ½ hour viewing because a friend asked him to go along. The writer admitted to never reading or watching any of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings before. So why go now and write an article tearing down what anyone outside ISIS knows has been at the very least a popular series? I don’t like sushi. So do you know what I do? I don’t go to sushi restaurants; even if friends ask. The concept is not that hard. And to put it in comparison, I would not go to an all-day sushi buffet. Still this person, who is not even a movie critic for the paper went and watched the movies and hated them. He even disliked the crowd, “At various points, I was repulsed by the other audience members, and also felt strangely close to them, like we were A Band of Nerd Brothers.” How quaint. He went on to ridicule someone dressed as Gandalf eating nachos. He wasn’t finished with the audience, however. “There were hundreds of people who had decided to spend an entire Monday watching all three “Hobbit” movies instead of volunteering at a soup kitchen or petting a sick puppy.” Really? He had to go there? It took ¾ of the article just to get to the points about the movie. He said the movies plodded along too slowly but then said the final one had too much action. Imagine that with a name like “Battle of the Five Armies.” He wrote that the viewer never became emotionally attached to any of the characters and therefore was not concerned if they lived or died. In connecting the movies, he says there are no flashbacks to help people who did not watch the previous movies become adjusted. It’s a series. Harry Potter never needed to bring you up to speed. Neither did Twilight or the Hunger Games yet patrons seemed to follow along. And why did he care? He was watching a marathon. I freely admit that Tolkien’s writing has been a source of inspiration to me and millions more like me. One uneducated person’s opinion should not bother me so but he had a page and a half in the newspaper devoted to his ramblings. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I plan to see the last installment of the Hobbit around Christmas. I’m sure I will not be disappointed. It’s not the fans I worry about. It’s the fence sitters who wonder if this genre is worth looking at more closely. Writers like this man do a disservice to all fantasy writers when they focus more on what Gandalf is eating than what he is doing.
Fantasy fiction is my passion. This series embodies my love for a good story and action. You will find it to be many things, but not boring! Read what you love and love what you read...