This special commemorative coffee mug can be filled with 350ml of hot coffee, even steaming hot: it is fully temperature resistant. All types are supported: latte, cappuccino, koffie verkeerd or macchiato; its smooth surface even protects against the oxidative effects of Devil’s Brew.
How does it work? The mug comes with two holes: one hole (at the top) is used to both add and extract the coffee. The hole on the side is used to insert two fingers so that the mug can be lifted. (Confusing the two may lead to damage and/or injury.)
Can the mug be used for tea? Yes.
How about the artwork? Find the cover of Two Journeys on the front, and a mysterious QR code on the back! Where does it lead, you will wonder? Which miraculous domain of the internet?
The novel Celeterra is available as paperback and also in many e-book formats, for instance at Barnes and Noble. If you would like to read this exciting novel, simply go to the bookstore on your device, or visit your favorite bookstore, like for instance at Barnes and Noble.
What is this book about? It has many different aspects. On one side it is a crime story; there are some mystery aspects to it. It has to do with religion, and it is set both on Earth, and in heaven. It is definitely a dystopian story, about people who are power-hungry and want to misuse religion for their purposes. Most of my books deal with that motive, in some form and shape: individuals that want to profit from the misfortune of other individuals.
In the end Celeterra is simply a great adventure story to read and you won’t be able to put it down.
Altijd bent towards Vance and whispered in his ear. “Adolf Hitler!”
Vance’s mouth fell open. “What? Adolf Hitler, the German dictator, is in Heaven? Are you sure? He was a terrible war criminal, directly responsible for the murder of millions of people!”
“I met him here! Let me tell you what happened. One afternoon, Ballew and I were walking hand in hand along a small brook. The trees were golden, soft music filled the air. Extraordinary birds hopped on the path, which was covered with small diamonds. Two men came in our direction, both casually dressed; trousers, shirts, sneakers. The man on the right was Adolf Hitler, I recognized him immediately. We stopped and talked to them. Ballew seemed to have met both of them before. Hitler was rather quiet, not speaking much at first. He made a serious and subdued impression. When he did speak, it either was in German or heavily accented English. His companion was less reserved and chatted away happily with Ballew. If I remember correctly, his name was Ed Gean or something… I cannot recall exactly. Ballew mentioned later that he had been a notorious killer in his earthly life.
“Anyway, I was challenged to follow the conversation, I just stood there and stared at Hitler. He seemed to be slightly embarrassed by this. During a break in the conversation, he turned to me, stiffly, as if his back was rigid.
“‘Well, Altijd, how do you like it here?’
“At first, I didn’t know how to reply. Then I mumbled that I thought it was a great place. Hitler smiled. “‘You know, young man, I have been here for a long time. I have very much enjoyed every day of it.’
“To me, his statement sounded rather unconvincing. He had said it somewhat mechanically, as if he was reading it, from a piece of paper. Ballew took a hold of my arm. “‘Adolf is one of our most honorable guests. He has been here for quite a while, and if you have any questions about this place, just ask him, there is nothing that he has not seen or heard about. He knows every corner of Heaven and many of its more interesting inhabitants too.’
“Adolf Hitler smiled weakly beneath his moustache and took a hold of Ballew’s hand and kissed it. Ballew giggled with pleasure. “‘You are always so charming. Come, why don’t the two of you join us for our walk?’
“We continued along the path. We talked about this and that, and Adolf and Ed pointed out some of the sights. I still had difficulty taking part in the conversation, I was truly flabbergasted to stumble upon this singular, most brutal dictator in Heaven! However, my three companions chatted away happily. Even Hitler seemed to have thawed to some extent. Still, on several occasions, I saw him shooting quick glances at me.”
Altijd interrupted his narration. They were following a small track leading down into one of the valleys, towards some distant music. It was getting later in the day and the sun was setting. Sheep stood in the heather and munched away at sparse green grass. Vance noticed that he was getting hungry.
“What happened then?”
Altijd walked in front of him. Without turning around, he continued his story. “We picnicked together, underneath a tree. Blankets had been laid out for us. We had some champagne and toast with smoked fish. It was a pastoral scene, Arcadian – like a Tomas Cole painting. Ballew looked absolutely marvelous, she was always so very pretty when she was enjoying herself. She was sitting very upright and in the center. We three men rested leisurely on the grass. Hitler started to tell stories about his childhood in Austria, about small boy’s pranks and escapades. Despite myself, I had to admit that his narration was extremely funny. He was charming and a great storyteller. One story stands out in my mind; how he and his childhood friend had gone out to steal apples from a neighboring orchard. When the farmer discovered them, they had to run off as fast as they could. His friend was a bit overweight, and as they climbed over a fence, his trousers had torn. He got a proper spanking from his mother. At that part of the story, Hitler got up and was gesticulating passionately, like I had seen him do in some of those old documentaries. However, this time he was not rallying for war, but talking about his youth and imitating his friend’s mother! He was so funny!”
The unlucky episode around Harvey Weinstein. When it started to develop, my initial reaction was something like: no surprise here, after all, the man is a movie-mogul – and isn’t harassment exactly what moguls are supposed to do? But on second thought I wondered: what is a mogul actually? And is obnoxious behavior a perk of a Mogul’s job, or, even worse, part of the essential job profile? (“Our studio is seeking a motivated, experienced individual to fill the role of Senior Movie Mogul. A proven track record in lewd behavior towards junior employees and subordinates (both sexes) is a requirement. We look forward to your meaningful application. Please provide photographic evidence.“).
Time for some research
According to the dictionary, a mogul is also defined as a magnate, either a business magnate (a prominent person in a particular industry, kinda what William Randolph Hearst was for newspapers), or a media mogul, a “person who controls, either through personal ownership or a dominant position, any media enterprise”. I like the phrase “who controls […] through personal ownership or a dominant position”: both fuzzy and threatening, like the silhouette of a shark in the murky depths of an ocean.
The phrase Mogul smoothly associates with Kings of Exotic Countries: it has a dark, foreign resonance (how different from “Trump,” a name that sounds like a blown musical instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles). Indeed, the Mughal Empire, from which the word Mogul originates, has its history in India, and was founded in 1526. It was ruled by a Muslim dynasty with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia. Interestingly, the Mughal Empire did intervene in local societies during most of its existence, but balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices. The rulers of this dynasty had a highly relevant positive influence on science, trade (mostly with Europe), governmental policies, and architecture. Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, gave the world the beautiful Taj Mahal.
Further (admittedly highly superficial) investigation
This seems to indicate that like in any other dynasty, kings had varied characters and quirks; yet the word “Mogul” seems to refer mostly to the unifying character and resulting vastness of the kingdom, and less to the embarrassing behavior of the rulers.
No mention that a typical King of the Mughal Empire or, for that matter, a Movie Mogul, must embark on lecherous, randy, lewd, degraded, embarrassing, harassing, disgraceful or shameful behavior.
All over the globe – get my Books on you iPhone or iPad ! Or iPod for that matter. Here’s the direct link to my novels in iTunes.
I have an iPhone myself, and it is a great machine, isn’t it? I like iTunes mostly as a music player. I like its ability to view my music as albums, artists and songs, the searching capabilities are great stuff. The way albums open into color-matched track listings is attractive. And I use the playlist extensively, e.g. I have playlists like “play all music that I love and didn’t skip in the last three years”. These are Smart Playlists, with a breathtaking number of options available for user-created Playlists it is incredibly powerful – and with thousands of songs, it is a fantastic way to listen to music that you haven’t listened to for a long time.Things like that. I like the UI of Now Playing. It is easy to add entire albums or individual tracks, and reorder them.
But iTunes is undervalued as an eBookstore. I do see more and more people reading eBooks on their iPhone, and the sales of my books on iTunes is booming too, but the functionality of iTunes as a bookstore is meager – when compared to the functionality as a music store. Still the biggest advantage is that if you read eBooks on your iPhone, you need just a single device to enjoy both music and reading – at the same time.
“Move over, Cormac McCarthy, another survivor is traveling the Armageddon road. Clemens P. Suter’s apocalyptic thriller grabs you in the first couple of pages and never lets go. The reader feels real empathy for the main character’s plight as he begins a seemingly impossible 9,000-mile trip to learn his family’s fate. The cause of the calamity is mysterious but clues are uncovered along the way causing tension to build until we reach the shattering climax. Two Journeys is not to be missed.” – G. Dedrick Robinson, author of Blood Scourge
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Now, you may wonder, why and when should you use the contact form? Perhaps you want to tell me about a great book that you have written, and are looking for ways to cross-promote, or learn more about how to publish books. You may have a specific question about my novels or my paintings. You may need a present urgently for a loved one. Perhaps you have a question about one of the places that I traveled to. Or it could be late at night and you are drunk & lonely playing tedious computer games, and now you are looking for some alternate excitement. Perhaps your pet parrot has died, and you need tips on how to cremate its remains. Or you murdered your spouse, and the police is moving in on your house, the whole damn place is surrounded and you are getting a bit worried as they are getting ready to storm your home. Or you are in doubt whether you should continue your job as a pet shop janitor versus having a tattoo on your forehead and moving to Nepal and become a Buddhist monk. And you need advice. Or a shoulder to cry on.
Several small containers stood in an orderly row in front of him, all empty. The labels described a variety of chemicals. I recognized the names of several neurotoxins and anesthetics. A tall glass contained a few drops of clear liquid at the bottom. Had he mixed himself a deadly cocktail? Had ended his own life?
It looked as if the poor fellow had committed suicide only hours before my arrival, in the process canceling my chance to meet a living fellow human being.
I went through his notes, multiple pages of cramped and hard-to-read handwriting. Most of it was in English. They seemed to contain a report of his last weeks and final days. I left the lab and checked the other rooms in the tract, shouting and banging on the doors. I extended my search to the other floors and buildings. I didn’t find any humans, dead or alive. I concluded that if he had any companions they had most likely died before him, leaving him behind as the second loneliest person in the world. After that, he had made an orderly and clean ending to his misery. Back in the lab, I found him sitting in the same position. I took his notes and two Geiger counters and left the building. I couldn’t stay here. I needed to find a place where I wasn’t surrounded by death.
The truck shined brightly in the setting sun. We boarded and drove off. That evening we made our camp north of Seoul, close to the border with North Korea. We stopped at a parking lot next to the highway on the top of a hill. It was cloudy, and the night was dark. The dogs had their dinner underneath the truck. I huddled in my sweater and looked at the gloomy landscape from the cab. Seoul was still visible, and I imagined that I could see the flames flickering in its city center. After the dogs had finished eating, we all climbed aboard. It was a cold night, and the dogs didn’t mind when I threw a blanket over them. I switched on the heating. King licked my hand and tried to look more innocent than he really was. By the light of the small overhead lamp, I tried to decipher the words that the Korean had written.