Interviewed by Don Massenzio

imageDon Massenzio writes crime stories and thrillers. He has a very popular blog, which you can find here. He frequently invites other writers to make guest posts on his blog. He also interviews other authors and posts the transcripts of the interviews on his blog. He has an interview with ME that he will be posting on Friday, June 24. 😊

Please take a moment to read the interview and then take a look at Don’s books on the “author–book page” of his website.


St. Vitus' Day (Vidovdan) marks the Ottoman defeat of the Serbians at Kosovo in 1389.

St. Vitus’ Day (Vidovdan) marks the Ottoman defeat of the Serbians at Kosovo in 1389.

St. Vitus, a Christian in Sicily who was killed for his faith in A.D. 303, is commemorated each year in mid-June. He is most often associated with epileptics or those who have seizures for other reasons, because he looked as if he was having a seizure as a lion killed him and tore his body to shreds. He is also said to protect against lightning strikes, animal attacks and oversleeping. He is the patron of the cathedral in Prague.

He is also important in the history of Serbia. It was on his feast day (known as “Vidovdan” in Serbian) that the Serbian army, led by Prince Lazar, was defeated by the Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad in the field of Kosovo. The defeat at Kosovo on Vidovdan came to be considered the defining moment of Serbian national consciousness as it was the first time that several of the Serbian clans set aside their local disputes and came together for a common purpose (under the leadership of Prince Lazar). The anniversary of the defeat at Kosovo is particularly important to Serbian history, tradition, and national identity. The date is ingrained in the Serb consciousness, and is the date on which South Slav nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, setting off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I.

Reliable historical accounts of the battle are scarce. The bulk of both armies were wiped out in the battle; both Lazar and Murad lost their lives in it. Although Ottomans managed to annihilate the Serbian army, they also suffered high casualties which delayed their progress. Serbs were left with too few men to effectively defend their lands, while the Turks had many more troops in the east. Consequently, one after the other, the Serbian principalities that were not already Ottoman vassals became so in the following years.

One of my best friends in seminary, a third generation Serbian-American, said once, “Only the Serbians would make a national holiday out of their worst-ever military defeat!”

Stars and Cards: Gemini

The Lovers and the Magician from the Tarot of Marseille deck, published by Lo Scarabeo.

The Lovers and the Magician from the Tarot of Marseille deck, published by Lo Scarabeo.

The sun begins its month-long journey through Gemini, the sign of the zodiac associated with the Lovers trump of the tarot, on May 21. The sign Gemini belongs to the element air and is ruled by the planet Mercury (the Greek messenger of the gods), which is linked to the Magician trump of the tarot. The tarot’s air suit of swords illustrates typical scenes of daily life related to intellect, communication, logic, strife, conflict, choice, decision-making and the overcoming of adversity.

As an air sign, Gemini is concerned with all aspects of the mind. This zodiac sign is ruled by Mercury, which is a planet that represents communication, writing and teaching others. They get fascinated by almost everything in the world and they have a feeling as if there is not enough time to experience everything they want to see. This makes them excellent artists, writers and journalists. Gemini sign means that sometimes people born under this sign have a feeling that their other half is missing, so they are forever seeking for new friends, mentors and colleagues.

During the time of the sign Gemini, we have an excellent opportunity to meditate on the tarot’s Lovers and Magician cards, as well as the suit of swords of the minor arcana. Ponder the myths of Castor and Pollux, and of Helen of Troy — all figures associated with the constellation Gemini. Do you show your loved one how much you really care? What are the important decisions you are facing in your life and what are the potential consequences? Where must you turn away from the things of childhood and assume your position as an adult member of society? How can you use your talents to work magic in your own life and in the lives of those around you?