For this Mothers Day, an excerpt ~

FeaturedFor this Mothers Day, an excerpt ~

For this Mothers Day, I offer an excerpt from the current draft for IDOLATRY, Part III, The Fruit of the Tree (working title):

The lines had shuffled forward. Paige found herself standing next to the mother. The baby, bundled in her arms, had settled and calmed. He was so beautiful, so right, his blue eyes as clear and complete as little planets, encircled with rays of long blond lashes. His lips were ripe petals, formed for ready suckling. His ivory skin as of the most translucent, softest white marble imaginable, a glowing blush in the cheeks only the most accomplished painter might capture. Every little hillock and vale of his little body’s topography, every rise and fall, every curve and round—it was all mere suggestion of the man to come, all mere promise, and yet, here he was, already present, already real. And flawless. To mothers everywhere, in all times, all but the most unfortunate babies are perfection, but Paige simply couldn’t imagine any woman wanting anything more or less than what this woman held in arms—a complete little world in himself, needing and wanting nothing more, lacking nothing, being everything. There was nothing to add, nothing to subtract, nothing to change. This—this perfect little thing should be untouchable, undefilable, always and forever. How could anything on earth or in heaven be more perfect and whole, in and unto itself? If only it could remain so, if only he might never come to know a moment of sorrow, of pain, of evil, of disappointment. Paige wanted to draw a circle of protection around him, an impenetrable halo of sacredness, to suspend time.

She was blinking away a welling wetness in her eyes. An ache had come to her heart, her stomach: she herself would never have that. She would never have what this woman had. She had never really even wanted it until now, never wanted a child, but at this moment, she found herself wanting it more than anything in the world. How could any woman not?

She looked up to find the mother watching her. Her eyes understood. Woman to woman, the one knew the other’s ache, recognizing the depth of the longing in a woman-child who had lost her own mother, a daughter who wanted nothing more, in that moment, than to be a mother herself.

The mother glanced down at her child, and back up to Paige. Wordlessly, she asked the question.

Paige could only nod, blinking back tears, stunned at the kindness of the offering, a place inside her heart breaking open.

As she accepted the baby, her arms naturally, gently formed around him. It felt so right. She felt her entire body warm with joy. He was so small, so light. She gazed into the blue orbs, perfect worlds of their own, as they gazed back into hers. She marveled the beauty of the little face in all its wondrous glory. He was staring back into a face that was new to him, too, seemingly as fascinated with her as she with him. Her rocking sway, the gentle bounce, had started without her realizing or intending it. She began humming a melody. Her lullaby. Skye’s lullaby….

*****

Parts I & II of Idolatry are available in ebook, paperback and audiobook on Amazon….

Martin Eichinger’s Lullaby

available in limited-edition through

Quent Cordair Fine Art in Napa, CA

www.cordair.com

(707) 255-2242

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The real meaning of Earth Day

FeaturedThe real meaning of Earth Day

For this Earth Day, a brief passage from Chapter 3 of A New Eden, Part II of Idolatry:

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The sun had risen high. The breeze was warm on their faces. Ian produced a bottle of chilled white wine and two glasses, removed the cork, and poured. He raised a toast.

“To another day in paradise.”

She touched her glass to his. They drank, the sunbeams reflecting off the wine and the glasses, dancing across their faces, splashing in their eyes. The wine was crisp, light and good.

“Paradise . . .” she mused aloud.

He had used the word without a trace of sarcasm or irony. The dry ruins beneath their feet, the surrounding hills, and the alkali flats were predominantly in chalky browns, yellows and whites. The sparse native vegetation was all of the scrubby, hardier varieties, evolved over the eons to survive the long droughts, blazing summers and freezing winters of the high desert. From the reservoir, her eye followed the river, the presumable source of all things green in the valley proper. There were bends in the river’s line, but other segments were unwaveringly straight – it wasn’t a natural river at all, but a manmade canal.

“Paradise – ” She smiled at the epiphany – “just add water.”

Ian had laid out an offering of cheese, olives, fruit, and finger sandwiches. “When the first explorers came through this way,” he said, pausing to sample a strawberry, “the valley was a desolate wasteland. There was hardly a reason to even note it on the maps. Most of the early settlers passed north of here, following the Humboldt River west. The few who detoured this far south saw little if anything to recommend the valley – they barely paused on their way to California.”

Paige watched his eyes. They were shaded by the brim of his cowboy hat, following the lay of the land with an easy acceptance and steady intent. His body was relaxed, at one with the place, as if he too had sprouted from the earth here, watered and grown by the river that was a canal. She followed his gaze, trying to imagine the unwelcoming, harsh emptiness that the valley must have been.

“But one man came,” he said, “and that man stood alone on the top of this hill, above where we are now. He envisioned a paradise in this place – and proceeded to make it so.”

There was solemnity in his voice. Paige set her glass quietly on the stone. “Do tell. . . .” she urged.

He glanced at her, studying her in the same steady way he studied the land. Adjusting his hat, he took a bite of an olive, followed it with a sip of wine, and looked out to the horizon and beyond.

“At the time, that man wasn’t even a man yet – ” he said, letting the story begin – “but a boy.”

***

Enjoy the acclaimed IDOLATRY series in paperback, audiobook, and ebook ~ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072HTC1FV

 

None more wondrous or impressive . . .

FeaturedNone more wondrous or impressive . . .

Never has there been a god or goddess more wondrous or impressive than the wondrous and impressive beings after whom they were modeled. Man is quite incapable, thank goodness, of inventing an entity more remarkable or exalted than himself. The gods are nothing more, nothing less, than creations molded from Man’s own characteristics, his own virtues and vices, his own qualities reconfigured and remodeled in effort to answer his own hopes, longings, fears, and uncertainties. The gods are, at best, reflections of Man’s own essence, distillations of his own actuality, glorifications of his own potential. At the end of the creative day, however, though he may fervently wish or believe otherwise, no creation of Man can be Man’s master. Though the creator may bow and worship the creation, the creation is not, and could never be, the creator’s superior. The creation can be nothing more than the creator’s servant, a means to his end. If the creator chooses to kneel before his creation, he is free to do so, but he cannot blame the creation for staring back at him in mute wonder.

~ Quent Cordair, on Idolatry

The Idolatry story opens in the twilight of the Roman Empire. As the darkening forces of mysticism descend on Western Civilization, the daughter of itinerant traders is falling fast for a local boy—the apprentice and adopted son of a sculptor. The old master, concerned for the boy’s future, recalls his years as a younger man in bustling Alexandria, where he had found the love of his life before having to flee the threat of religious persecution. Now, having finally rebuilt his life and career in a village far away, an enemy from the past reappears, threatening all he holds dear….

Parts I & II of Idolatry, *Genesis* and *A New Eden*, are now available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook editions on Amazon. Part III is being written.

 

I used to live in Charlottesville

FeaturedI used to live in Charlottesville

I used to live in Charlottesville. Today I’m reminded of this: “All of humanity was reforming into packs, each pack for protection against the others, with the barking and baying growing louder as the collectives circled, sizing each other up. Disassociated individuals were viewed warily, with suspicion, branded as a danger. If you aren’t for us, you must be against us. Choose! In the press and on social media, behind the slanted headlines and sniping innuendo, the snapping and snarling were intensifying, the pretense of civility crumbling as the packs grew and merged, the smaller groups absorbed into the larger. The collectives were circling and coalescing, testing and reaffirming loyalties, choosing leaders, sharpening claws, baring teeth. Self-loathing and fear were turned and projected outward. Homo sapiens was becoming increasingly less sapiens, devolving, seemingly doomed to another round of sub-civilized, tribalistic brutality. How dark would the next darkness be? How long would it last? How red would run the streets? How unexpected the particular details, the extent of the carnage?”

~ from Chapter 15 of A New Eden, Part II of IDOLATRY, from a darker moment of Professor Harris Grant’s thoughts as he sits on the edge of the cliff overlooking Aurum Valley.

The root from which a tyrant springs . . .

FeaturedThe root from which a tyrant springs . . .

From an exchange between Apollonius and his beloved teacher, while examining the Colossi of Memnon, considering the meaning, the purpose of the sculpture. She offers a quote from Plato: “The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. . . . This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs—when he first appears he is a protector. . . . ” Genesis, Part I of Idolatry, is now available in paperback, for Kindle, and on audiobook.

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In the twilight of the Roman Empire, as the darkening forces of religion descend on Western Civilization, a sculptor struggles to keep an ancient dream alive while honoring the love of his life and raising his adopted son. Part I of the epic 5-part IDOLATRY series. “Beautifully written, on the order of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, with the historical insight of James Michener, it brings to life a time of great thought, great art, and its clash with religious fanaticism. Cordair writes with a poet’s sense of scene and nuance and gives us a great deal of insight into the mind of a sculptor; I found this an exciting and easy read.” ~ Alan Nitikman

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Now on Amazon …

A gift for you, until midnight

FeaturedA gift for you, until midnight

A little gift to help start your year off right.  This one is on me — it’s FREE until midnight Pacific tonight, Jan 3. The Amazon reading app, which works on any device, is free too. “Beautifully written, on the order of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, with the historical insight of James Michener, it brings to life a time of great thought, great art, and its clash with religious fanaticism. Cordair writes with a poet’s sense of scene and nuance and gives us a great deal of insight into the mind of a sculptor; I found this an exciting and easy read.” ~ Alan Nitikman. Available through 12a.m. PST at http://amzn.to/2j4Bccd

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Free until midnight Pacific tonight on Amazon …

Featured

Update on the audiobook of A NEW EDEN

(UPDATE: See below…) ALERT to those who have already downloaded the audiobook of A NEW EDEN, Part II of IDOLATRY, or for those considering purchasing. I’ve been alerted by a listener this morning that the current audiobook available of A NEW EDEN somehow ends with Chapter 11 — but there are 15 chapters total! Please know that the situation will be corrected shortly.
UPDATE: Working with Audible to correct the title. They’re estimating 10-14 days for the corrected title to be processed and to propagate through the retail sites, then purchasers can simply re-download the corrected title with all 15 chapters. They’ll keep me posted, as I will you, with apologies for any inconvenience. (Four more chapters to look forward to!) Please LET ME KNOW if you’d like to be notified when the corrected edition is available. Audible will NOT notify you directly.

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My very sincerest apologies for any inconvenience. The last four chapters are worth waiting for.