Thursday, 13 April 2017

Vienna, Austria—The Jewel of Europe

Vienna, Austria—The Jewel of Europe

Vienna is a large city located on the eastern side of the country of Austria. It’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe, with a long rich history that dates back to prerecorded history. Fill up on your knowledge of Austria, as you won’t want to miss out on its exciting travel destinations. 

Fun Facts to Know Before You Go

It's believed the word "Austria" is derived from the Germanic word of “Austro”, which means “east”. Austria is a one of the few the countries that has had a national flag longer than other countries on the planet. Vienna is the largest city in Austria, with over a quarter of Austria’s population living here. 

Vienna has the oldest zoo in the world, Vienna Zoo, which was founded in 1752. If you’re travelling around Austria, you may take their reliable network of railways and trains. 

Austria is a beautiful country covered by almost 62% of mountains called the Austrian Alps. 

What to See in Vienna

You can begin with a tour of the Ring, which is a network of roads where the most popular sights are located. The Opera House, Hofburg Palace, City Hall, and Parliament buildings are not to be missed. You can do a walk around, or hop on a bus tour. 

If you need to rest, you can have snacks and treats in the Palmenhaus, or head to the Danube Channel where there are many restaurants offering delicious Austrian cuisine. 

If you’ve done your tours during the day, you’ll not want to miss out on Vienna by night. At night, the buildings are lit up with beautiful lights, offering further photographic opportunities. 

Where to Go for Shopping

If you wish to purchase gifts for family back home, or to sample some baked goods, or buy fresh fruit, and cheese while on your vacation, the Naschmarkt is the one hot spot to visit. It’s over 1.5 kilometres long. There are also many bars and restaurants here, so once you tire of walking around the booths and shops you can stop and have a drink. 

There is also the Brunnemarkt, which has the distinction of being the longest street market in all of Europe. This is a trendy and cultural region of the city to visit, and where you can find everything you need to have a comfortable vacation.

Get Away from the Bustle of the City

There is a lovely park located in Vienna, if you want to get out into nature for a bit, away from the crowds and traffic. Lainzer Tiergarten is a wildlife preserve located in the 13th district of Vienna. It’s covered in about 80% of natural woodlands. You can access it through the tram line. 

There are many more sights and places to visit during your trip to Vienna. Sit down and make your itinerary so you can avoid hopping back and forth, and wasting your time. Many sights are located together, so you’ll be able to make the most of your vacation in Vienna, Austria. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Creative Ink Festival March 31 - April 2, 2017: A Fantastic Festival for Readers & Writers

You Can Never Have Too Many Books or Learn Enough About Writing 

by Mel Dawn

The Creative Ink Festival is happening soon! If you live in the Burnaby, Vancouver, or New Westminster region, or are from out-of-town, stop by for a day or two, or better yet, book yourself into the spectacular Delta Burnaby Hotel & Casino for a weekend of fun. If you're a writer you'll meet other writers who can answer your questions. You can also learn by attending panels, and you can even pitch your book to one of the leading publishers in Canada today.

There is also much to interest the reader too. There will be a large conference hall filled with items for purchase that you won't find anywhere else: books, merchandise, and other items of interest.

Come and meet the crew, or hang out with your favorite writers. If you want in on a little secret, we hang out at the bar at the end of the night.

See you soon!

Click here for more information on Creative Ink Festival.

Click here for information on my new book, The Aquaria Chronicles.

Click here for the direct link to the discounted Delta Hotel rooms for Creative Ink Festival.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Build Your Own Aquarium Coffee Table!

This is a really cool coffee table, and is exactly what I envision as one of the apartments containing inside the world of Aquaria, a secret underground bunker that houses an enormous aquarium.

If you're ready to entire the world of oceanic and sea life, with a twist of supernatural, please buy my book now!

You can find it on Amazon here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Aqua Marine, by Melanie Dawn Dixon

Click here to order now: Aqua Marine, by Melanie Dawn Dixon

Aqua Marine is an apocalyptic young adult novel set in the near future, written by Melanie Dawn Dixon. Since she started reading adult books as a young child she now shamelessly reads the kids’ and teens’ books that she missed back then. She also enjoys writing for teens, but feels that certain themes are overdone. Instead, she has created an apocalyptic novel where a powdery blue substance rains down upon the city, suffocating everyone in its path. 

In Aqua Marine, the novel begins with the traditionally rebellious teenage girl named Aqua. She’s already discovered what she wants to do in life, against the wishes of her mom. At the start of the disaster she loses contact with her mother, and her friends. After the city goes into lockdown, she and her cat are refused entry to the city bunker. Aqua and her newly found friend Mark, who is wheelchair-bound, must find access to another bunker. Along the way they are attacked by zombies, which is the least of their worries. 

Often writers are told to write about what they know, but this wasn’t the case for Mel. She chose to do research about sea creatures and aquatic life. She also created a fictitious powdery blue substance, called bleed in the books, which is the main antagonist of the story. In order to go outside when it is raining bleed, a human must suit up with a respirator. Strangely, animals and plants are not affected by the bleed. Aqua and Mark must survive outdoors until they can find the entrance to a bunker run by the Canadian Marines. 

Readers will quickly find that Aqua Marine isn’t your standard teen supernatural novel. While it does have zombies, it also has an apocalyptic theme with a unique twist, as it’s set in a gigantic world called Aquaria, located beneath the city of New Westminster.

Aqua Marine will be a refreshing read for those seeking a different type of young adult novel that has a unique setting, and a diverse list of characters. It’s Book One of a three part set called the Aquaria Chronicles. If the characters of Aqua Marine were here right now, they would say that the safest place to be is in the water. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Review of Moana

Moana Dazzles the Senses

by Mel Dawn

Moana has been playing for weeks in Vancouver's movie theatres—unlike Monster Trucks, which seems to have bombed—so last weekend we finally decided to see it. I wasn't certain what to expect. Even though I'm a pet lover, The Secret Life of Pets was missing the magic. Finding Dory was fun and awesome, though I wasn't certain I wanted to see it again.

And then, occassionally, we see film in the animated category that truly wows the senses. This was Moana! From the start, the story captured my interest. I'll try not to give away too many spoilers, but Moana is a young girl who wants to solve the problems of her tribe. Soon, she will be Chief, and be expected to solve problems such as the lack of fish in the reef, the plague surrounding the coconut trees, and even her determination to defy her parents.

Positives of the Film

Not only did this film have an engaging storyline, but the main character is not only female, but she's also destined to be Chief of the tribe on the island of Motunui. What's not to like about that?

The graphics and action were astounding! Many parts of the film made you go "wow"! There were even pirates along the way.

I also enjoyed how the film took place in the Polynesian Islands, and not the USA yet again! It's fantastic to see diversity in film!

Another highlight of the film is that there was no romance! Hooray! Men and women can just be friends, without "ending up together" at the end.

Negatives of the Film

I was surprised to find that this film is a musical, however, the songs didn't overwhelm it. But right now, I can't recall any of the songs as being memorable, such as they were in Frozen. I do know the soundtrack did well on the charts, and I did love the tribal music. Still, I'm glad that the singing didn't overwhelm the film.

Also, I was annoyed that Maui was such a big focus in the trailers for the film. The story is about a young girl, yet the trailers made it seem like the story would be all about Maui. And while Maui is an awesome character, I wish that they had focused on Moana for the trailers.

Final Thoughts

This is one animated film that I would love to watch again. I'm sure that I missed many details throughout the action, so viewing it again will bring more of the plot to life for me. And perhaps, I may just enjoy the songs a bit more for round two!

Do You Love Ocean & Sea Life?

I write about a vast underground aquarium in my book, "The Aquaria Chronicles". Buy it right now!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Put on Your Writing Caps—CIF—Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby is Ahead!

Creative Ink Festival, Burnaby, 2017
by Mel Dawn

Are you a book, novel, fiction, sometimes writer who is stuck? The Creative Ink Festival will inspire you to keep going. Let's face it, we've all been stuck. Who hasn't neglected their next great novel idea? I personally have an entire notebook filled with great ideas for the next bestseller, or even the next top ten bestsellers for this year. But have I started writing anything yet? Nope, because I'm still busy editing my last series, The Aquaria Chronicles.

The Creative Ink Festival is an all-weekend event, and more affordable than the Surrey Writer's Conference. I've heard that one runs in the hundreds of dollars, but I'm too scared to look!

So, do something nice for yourself and book off a weekend to attend the Creative Ink Festival in Burnaby, BC, Canada. Besides great panellists, a marketplace, and guests of honour, you'll have some time to work on your next great novel.

So, make a pledge to yourself that this year it's going to be different. You will write that masterpiece!

Visit the Creative Ink Festival site to sign up now!