Cora Blu Katana Sword

Katana Sword.  Some information is just fascinating.
I found this weapon to be very interesting when researching for this story. Growing up with brothers that did karate, wrestled and weight lifting, I find I’m drawn to physical activities. A little background information on the Katana sword used in “Blade”. Although my heroine uses the bamboo cane more the sword, it  has a special meaning between she and the hero, if only he could remember what before he becomes pry to the rampant shark finning attacking his shifters.
http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14711590
The bond between the katana and samurai welder was sacred. The sword was always used as a last resort. The samurai believed the katana was linked to their soul and should only be drawn under the most dire of circumstances (which could include saving a nobleman or family members, defending oneself from certain death, or chopping sausages for dinner or lunch (only acceptable if you’re really hungry).
The katana was often worn paired with another smaller sword or dagger. The shorter sword, called a wazashi (also known alternately as Wakizashi and, occasionally, Fred) measured twelve to twenty-four inches in length. The dagger, a tanto measured six to twelve inches in length. Tonto, from the Lone Ranger series, has nothing to do with Asian weapons, but for the record, he was 67 inches long. The paired weapons (katana and wazashi) were referred to as daisho(the big and the small). The long sword was used for cutting and the short blade for stabbing. The most skilled practitioners of Kenjutsu(the samurai sword art) could even wield both weapons at the same time. The legendary swordsman and author of the “Book of Five Rings”, Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) perfected a two-sword kenjutsu technique he called niten’ichi (two heavens as one) or nito’ichi (two swords as one). In that technique, the swordsman uses both katana and wakizashi at the same time. Musashi was rumored to have participated in more than 60 duels. He was never defeated.

ID-card-for-Blade_edited-4

The katana is a long curved blade with a chisel like point. Because the katana is a single-edged sword it is also referred to as a back-sword, meaning it had an unsharpened edge or back, rather than a sharpened edge on both sides. Because of its curved shape and chisel point, the katana could be used as both a slashing and thrusting weapon.
The katana has a blade length that measures approximately 28 inches. It was worn blade up through a belt-sash. Another curved Japanese sword is the tachi, which is slightly longer than the katana with an average blade length of 31 inches. The tachi was worn suspended by cords from the belt. The tachi was favored by warriors on horseback where the added blade length provided the reach required to battle a samurai on foot.

Info Google

I hope you get a chance to read it and tell me what you think. “Blade” has more action than, “Dagger” yet many of the players in Dagger are in Blade. Plus I introduce you to the next brother in the series, Ridge. And look for some special attributes to “Drew” now that she’s a shifter.

Enjoy, Sincerely, Cora Blu

Someone was finning his people at an alarming rate, but restoring their friendship was the only way to save his ocean.

Someone was finning his people at an alarming rate, but restoring their friendship was the only way to save his ocean.

A little underwater did you know

Excerpt from “Dagger”  

Drew and Jim her mentor and boss discuss her obsession with the marine life and finishing her father’s work regarding the corals.

Read the Did You Know Section on bleached corals following the excerpt. Enjoy. 

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“Listen, Drew, about what happened down there. Losing Martin and your mother so sudden and so violently, it’s understandable your need to carry on in his footsteps. But you gotta be careful. Yeah, you’re great with the animals…you’re not one of them.” 

 

“I know and I appreciate you hanging by my side all this time. You have to admit, this last week finding the high levels of human protein and concentrated levels of sulfur where there’s no vents releasing gases, and the large volume of dead algae…” she shook her head unable to finish the thought. “I’m worried for the ocean, Jim.”

 

“And T-bone?” he observed.

 

“Yes…and T-bone. You have a pet dog; I have a pet tiger shark.”

 

“Alright, Dr. Doolittle, but your right, coral…definitely stressed. Their zooxanthellae’s have been dying rapidly,” Jim said.

 

She gave him slow eyes and said, “You like saying that word don’t you?”

 

“Cool word. I tried to get Rachael to say it last week.”

 

She thought her eyes would fall out her head. They had to be round as saucers. “She’s three, Jim.”

 

“I laughed for an hour.”

 

“That’s cruel, dad. Anyway, as I was saying, people don’t realize the true danger of an overheated ocean. Algae can’t survive, corals starve to death.”

 

“It’s becoming more and more imbalanced year after year.” He finished pulling the tarp over the boat. “I’ll be right back. Let me run this stuff to the car. Try not to save the world before I get back or drag a whale out of the ocean.”

 

“You’re cutting into my fun, Jim,” she said to his retreating.

 

 Drew sipped the tepid coffee, wishing she could get beneath the ocean floor. See why the organisms rose to surface level. The ocean floor had shifted, allowing these creatures to surface, but why?

 

 This made her proud to work on the artificial reefs, better known as the Rigs to Reefs program, giving a new home for coral to breed and reusing old ships and scrap metal. Recycle and reuse, her personal motto, if it doesn’t work for the earth, it doesn’t work.

 

Her father would’ve loved to see how beneficial this project turned out to be. Malcolm, her fiancé and professional angler, loved them since it gave him a higher volume and variety of sea life to fish. She missed both him and her parents.

Did you know?

One of the major impacts of global warming is a rise in ocean temperature. In tropical regions a temperature increase of only 2.7-3.6F (1.2-2C) above normal can lead to the loss of the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that nourish coral polyps. As the polyps become malnourished, they turn white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. Affected corals can sometimes recover, but only if the bleaching is quickly reversed.

And you thought the heat only bothered you. 

Remember the ocean is alive.  Corals are more than just pretty.

To Be Released Soon: Get your copy of “Dagger” because “Blade” comes out.  Shark finning on the rise in the Pacific, Blade will have his hands full. He’s found his mate, but he’s her biggest nemesis.

Coming late winter 2013

Cora Blu 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cora Blu "A Little Underwater Did You Know"

Although tiger sharks are native to the tropical waters of Pacific Ocean, in my world they live in all waters. As the largest member of the carcharhinidae family of sharks, which include other species like the bull shark (head of security in “Dagger”) and blue shark, they are majestic in my opinion.

One of the interesting facts concerning the tiger shark is their propensity to venture into shallow waters in search of prey—a behavior not common in fish of this size. (10-14 ft in length)

Tiger sharks are fish, not mammals, hence the gills. 

Reproduction: Female tiger sharks become fertile about every three years, they carry 80-100 fertilized eggs. Only one or two of these eggs survive, resulting in a live birth about 14 months later. 

(Fortunately, I’ve tweaked that a touch in “Dagger”. To be pregnant for fourteen months is a bad look, doesn’t matter how much pregnancy glow you have.)

What happens if you turn a shark on its back—if you get that close? Tonic immobility.

This is a behavior, which occurs in sharks when a diver turns them onto their backs in the water. For some reason, turning a shark onto its back causes the shark to go into an almost trance like state. As soon as a shark is turned right-side-up again it swims away acting as if nothing had happened. Scientist have not yet discovered what causes tonic immobility in sharks, but they have theorized that being turned over somehow causes an imbalance which puts the shark into this immobilized state.

(In California a pod of killer whales have somehow figured this out. By ramming the shark in the side, flipping it over, it’s immobilized long enough for the killer whale to then hold it suspended upside down until the shark slowly suffocates and dies. Seemingly they only eat the sharks liver.) 

  • Hearing:
    1. Sharks have only an inner ear, which consists of three chambers and an ear stone called an otolith. A shark’s inner ear detects sound, acceleration, and gravity.
    2. Sharks use sound to locate food.
      1. Sound is often the first sense a shark relies on to detect prey.
      2. Under water, sound travels faster and farther than on land.

Sharks are attracted to low frequency pulsed sounds, similar to those wounded or ill prey would emit. Most attractive sounds are in the frequency of 25 to 100 Hz. Some sharks are attracted to sound sources from distances as great as 820 feet.

(These proved helpful in creating my characters, pretty cool when you can feel someone at the front door when you are in the shower)

  • Lateral Lines:
    1. The lateral line system is a series of mucus-filled canals just below the skin of the head and along the sides of the body. The canal is open to the surrounding water through tiny pores.
    2. Like the ear, the lateral line senses low-frequency vibrations. It functions mainly in distance perception and detecting low-frequency vibrations and directional water flow. Water movement created by turbulence, currents, or vibrations displaces the canal mucus. The lateral lines in the shark transforms underwater sound or mechanical disturbance into nerve impulses.

Eyesight

  1. Sharks have good eyesight and they have color vision.
  2. Shark eyes have a large, spherical lens, a cornea, a retina, an iris, and a pupil. They even have good vision in dim light.
  3. Sharks, like cats who also see well in dim light, have a mirror-like layer in the back of the eye, the tapetum lucidum. This layer doubles the intensity of incoming light, enhancing light sensitivity.
  4. Unlike other fish, shark’s pupils can dilate and contract to control the amount of incoming light. The retina has a greater proportion of light intensity sensors (rods), than color sensors (cones), so sharks are very sensitive to small differences in light intensity (dark versus light).
  5. Some sharks have a nictitating membrane, a type of second eyelid, that protects the eye during hunting.
  6. Sharks that live deeper in the oceans usually have larger eyes than those that live nearer the surface.
  7. A shark can see at a distance of up to 50 feet.

 

Smell

  1. Sharks have a excellent sense of smell. They are well known for their ability to detect minute quantities of substances such as blood in the water.
  2.  Sharks can detect a concentration as low as one part per billion of some chemicals, such as certain amino acids.
  3.  A shark’s sense of smell functions up to hundreds of yards away from the source.
  4. Water continually flows through the nostrils, giving the shark olfactory information.
  5. Unlike humans, shark nostrils have nothing to do with breathing and they are not even connected to the mouth. Their nostrils take in water and flush it out, picking up scents in the ocean.  It does not flow back into their gills.

There are so many fascinating things about sharks that would take all week to share with you. In my series, Brothers of Element, I tried to give every animal function a use when in human form.

Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

——–Drew has her first exam after going beneath the currents—–

Carina slid an arm through hers. “Are you alright, my Queen?”

“Yes. Startled, bewildered, and flabbergasted, but alright.” Even if none of this were true, there stood Dagger. She sighed. Little things he did endeared him to her more and more. “Question—birth control—tiger sharks carry over a year, with about eighty eggs fighting to survive.”

“Not in human form,” Dr. Sarah assured her. “And tiger shark women are only fertile every three years and have single or maybe a twin birth,” Dr. Sarah said, hands in her lab coat pockets, resting a hip along the sink. “Human fertility I have no experience with, although I have familiarized myself with the human anatomy in preparation of your arrival. Your spine shows a slight misalignment. The childhood injury I presume?” she queried. “The body protects itself when under attack and a pregnancy is an intrusion, a natural one, yet still an intrusion. I will have to go over the x-rays to be certain, but I do not believe this is a permanent state for you. Normally, I would recommend full bed rest after five months. In your case I will examine you after you meet Clear Coral.”

Tossing a look between women, Drew said, “And she will what?”

Dr. Sarah smiled as she uncrossed her ankles and said, “Our legend and existence stems from emotion. If you are whom we believe you to be, Clear Coral will comfort that which has been abused with in you.”

“Abused. You mean, it’ll fix what’s broken?”

“Precisely”

“And birth control?”

“Pregnancy is by choice. You request the male’s fertilizing sperm.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “I need to write this down.”

“We have surrogates… if pregnancy becomes detrimental to your health. And do not be concerned; our children do not take on their animal until adolescence. He or she will appear human in form, outside of their coloring.”

Carina added, “Tiger and bull sharks tend to show signs of change earlier than most other species.”

She scrubbed a hand up her arm to cover her shoulder and felt the shark under her fingers. She was becoming one of them.

 Drew’s in for an adventure. 

Sincerely, Cora Blu.