Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Snuggle With A Smuggler

“It Takes a Thief” was the name of an old television program and also the series of three mystery/romance novels from Elizabeth Jill Nelson. Although the trio of novels are built around the same characters and build upon each other chronologically, each story can stand quite nicely on its own merits. Therefore, Reluctant Smuggler, which is the last of the series, should be easy for any reader to follow.

Like its predecessors, Reluctant Smuggler stars Desirée (Desi) Jacobs and her fiancé Tony Lucano, an FBI squad leader in Boston. It opens with Desi in Mexico, preparing to play art thief in order to prove that her archrivals in business, the Greybecks, are not able to provide the security that the Muséo de Arte Mexicana really needs. She plays her part flawlessly and gets away with the priceless headdress. Almost. Almost as soon as she realizes that the headdress is a fake, thugs are on her trail to take it away from her. Knowing she took the bait and sprang a trap, she has to escape pronto. Not so easy...

This happens in the opening scene, and from there it gets more interesting! A blizzard back in Boston cuts off air travel so Desi can’t go home. Tony can’t call because phone service is out. His squad is called out to interfere in slave and drug smuggling, and Tony struggles with death while Desi finds herself in hot water down in Mexico. The Greybecks start a smear campaign against Desi’s detective agency that is worse than ever, and everything Desi does seems to make things worse. Harrowing run-ins with Mexican gangs, explosions, gun shots and kidnapping. Not only that, but she and Tony take turns having doubts about when and whether they should proceed with wedding plans.

Will Tony recover? If so, will it be enough that he can return to the job? Will Desi and Max be able to counterattack and save the detective agency? Can any of them and their teams stop the slave smugglers and discover who is stealing Mexico’s treasures? And what is going on with tough Steve, Tony’s old and crusty partner? Will Desi and Tony ever get married? For the answers to these questions and many more, you’ll need to read Reluctant Smuggler for yourself!

This book is a good one for those who enjoy mysteries and/or romances, especially with Godly and scriptural truths neatly enclosed. There is plenty of action, enjoyable repartée between characters, and well-developed characters that the reader can feel an affinity for. The bad guys are not quite as much defined, but a few of them are shown as three dimensional figures and not just caricatures. It is probably targeted for adult readers, but it is an easy read for teenagers as well.

Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Multnomah Press

ISBN-10: 1590526880
ISBN-13: 978-1590526880

352 pages

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Talking to The Time Mistress

Recently, I interviewed Geralyn Beauchamp through email. Geralyn has written Time Masters Book One: The Call, which was recently released and has been featured this past week by the CFRB at

Geralyn, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions and chat with me. I know you’re really busy right now, what with Time Masters just recently released and this blog tour by CFRB. First of all, I want to tell you that I really enjoyed the book, but it gave me a big headache and Reader’s Hangover! That’s because I had to keep on reading and couldn’t stop to sleep!

Yes, I'm into everybody for Advil!! I owe bottles! Two readers had to go see their chiropractor! One still claims I owe her fifty bucks! She even mentions the visit in her comment in the first part of the book. Figures Cold Tree would pick THAT one to go in! Sorry you succumbed to the Call of the book as well and lost sleep. I'm glad you enjoyed the book not to mention survived it!! At least you only suffered a headache and were not threatened with divorce like Laura, my one reader!!!

Divorce?? Can you explain, please?

The funniest story I've heard is from one of my test readers who fell asleep with the manuscript cradled in the crook of her arm. Her husband told her the next morning that if he catches her sleeping with Dallan MacDonald one more time, he was getting a divorce!!!

Too funny! So maybe you should have a warning label: Caution; this book may be hazardous to your health or marriage.
All right, time to get down to business. First of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, like where you come from and your family?

Well, I went to college as an opera major with a flute minor. Hey, it was artistic even if it wasn't writing though I've written for fun all of my life. My dad is a retired homicide detective so you can imagine what it was like growing up! Our mother died when I was 19. My little sister is a professional race horse jockey, my big brother a fire chief and my older sister has one of the meanest green thumbs I've ever seen. That woman can grow anything! Gads, I'd probably manage to kill a Chia Pet!

I have three kids, Troy age 27, Kyle age 21 and Hannah age 17. We have a family homestead that belongs to all of us and basically whomever is living in it is in charge of all the family holidays, as they are mostly held there, taking care of the place, though we all pitch in, and of course, looking after our father when he is home as he winters about six months or so down in southern California. When our father IS home for the summer, he rules the roost and we all cater to him! Hey, he'll be 85 in April. Let him rule what ever he wants!

What are some of the things that interest you besides writing?

Music obviously. I still teach and play flute and sing when I can. I also have a hankering for history, especially Victorian history among other things. I also love architecture, again, old. 1930's and back.

As I read through the official information on your website, I see you have had a lot of interesting jobs. Book reviewer, producer, now a wellness and relationship coach? Just what is a relationship coach? What have been some of the high points of your careers?

As to jobs and things, I'm pretty much a jack of all trades, or, what's the word, renaissance person. I've always been involved in singing, playing flute, writing, and acting in some form or another. After I wrote Time Masters and stuck it in that trunk, I met Jim Layes who was looking to produce a comedy western. I created and wrote "Faith" or what we also call The Town of Faith. I got to write it, and even direct a little of the tech reel that was shot. I was still a book reviewer at the time as well. I met quite a few folks in the arts during those years. Actors, models, authors, singers. All kinds of folks. Some very well known, and some not so well known too.

Relationships have always fascinated me and I have a knack for connecting deeply with people. That apparently comes out in my writing I am told. At any rate, I got into the coaching for the formal educational end of things, and because I wanted a different day job so I could get back to doing some writing. It's fun but I'm finding that working with other authors and teaching them how to market their books is becoming just as rewarding. I'm basically a natural coach. Whether for life purpose, relationship, wellness or writing and marketing books. I just love coaching!

Have you had anything published other than Time Masters?

Nonfiction type stuff. Classes for the company I work for. (Rules of writing, never give up your day job!) and a marketing manual I created for my own publisher, exclusively for their authors. I also write workshops and seminars for other coaches. And of course, I've written for the screen and have a project along those lines here and there. Usually for small independent producers. In fact, there is a clip of a tech reel of which I wrote the script on line right now. A tech reel is simply done by throwing a bunch of folks together, rehearse the script a few times then shoot the thing! The people don't have to be professionals, and most of these folks weren't. In fact most of them we pulled from the church I went to at the time. Here is the link. There is a Heinz ketchup commercial they shot and then a clip from The Town of Faith which is an episodic; they are raising money right now to produce it.

How long have you been working on Time Masters? When did you first come up with the ideas for it? Was there anything in particular that triggered the story?

I wrote Time Masters back in 1994. I've had ideas for it since the mid 1980's and wrote a few things but then put them away and didn't pull them out and get serious with it until later. Once I did get around to really working on it the research is what took so long. That and character creation. I'd have to say I worked on that over a year. The actual writing took about three or four months once it got going. But then there was the editing, ahem ?

Where did the name Dallan come from? Any particular reason for any other names in the novel?

Dallan is actually an Irish name. I didn't find out its meaning until after I'd written most of the story. The name actually means blind. I picked it because it sound solid and strong. Shona is the female Scottish form of John and her middle and last names, Elsey Whittard, have Elf meanings. I believe one means pretty while the other one means victorious. I'd have to go on an archeological dig to find my notes that have the exact meanings of them! Kwaku is the Azurti name for Wednesday. And if Wednesday's child is full of woe, then Kwaku wanted to make sure he didn't have any!

Kwaku is an interesting character, but I don’t understand why he has to be so mean. I imagine other readers are going to wonder about him also.

Kwaku has his own story, some of which is revealed in TM2. But suffice to say, he is good. Along the lines of "Is he a tame lion?"
"No, but he's good."
And the further into the book you go, the more you get to know him. (Wink and a smile)

Something I enjoyed but wonder about is the Scottish brogue that you write for Dallan’s speech. It sounds great to me, but I wonder what a real Scot would think. You must have had to do a good bit of research for that.

The book was a lot of work as far as preparation went. I attended as many Highland games as I could to listen to Scots accents and dialects and bought a Scot's dialect book and studied it. A book I can't seem to find anywhere dagnabit! So I had to go out and buy another one just last week. I moved back in 8/98 back home to Oregon so it may have been misplaced then. I dunno. And the ladies at Portland's Scottish Country Shop have been very helpful with hooking me up with different folks. Including a gent who will read the book at book events if I want. :) Ahhhh the Scots! Ya gotta love em!

I know my line of questioning is a little unusual. I know everyone asks for your summary of the book, so I guess I should, too, just in case the readers don’t know yet.

The year is 3698 and the threat of civil war is not only brewing, but near boiling. Kwaku Awahnee, Time Master of Muirara, must pass on his Time Mastership to his pre-chosen successor, Dallan MacDonald, to prevent the inevitable. Councilor John Eaton must tell the unsuspecting Scot of his new office and all it entails. There are, however, a few slight problems. To become a Time Master, the Highlander has to willingly join with a Muiraran Maiden, who, stolen as an infant, hidden in another time, and now grown, must mate or die. Dallan's job of convincing her that she is Muiraran, not human, and persuading her to fall in love with him is a small task compared to their impossible race against time. John's job is to make sure the Scot is ready to listen. And then, of course, talk him into it along the way!!

Now one last question... What, above all else, would you want readers to come away with after they have finished Time Masters?

To know that purity is not linked with weakness, that instead it is linked with virtue. Virtue that can lead to great power when used properly and the way God intended. With that in mind, I am writing a workbook for the Christian audience that goes deeper. This way, groups of adults or youth groups can use the workbook to better understand things like relational bonding, something kids are losing their ability to do. (Not to mention some adults). Purity, the sanctity of marriage and so on. I'm supposed to have the workbook turned in the first part of January and it will be available only from Cold Tree Press.

Thanks so much for opening up with us. I enjoyed the book, and I have enjoyed getting to know you better.

It’s been my pleasure, Cathi. Blessings!

Featured at her own site Welcome to Time Masters
You can find it at Barnes and Noble
As well as at Amazon
And of course at Cold Tree Press

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wanna Hear the Truth About Dallan and Shona??

In my opinion, a key ingredient for a great novel is well-developed characters. Without a doubt, Geralyn Beauchamp has created strong characters for Time Masters Book One: The Call. She has created a population that you come to know on a deep level; even some of the minor ones become familiar. Today I want to introduce you to these people. You’ll want to know them better.

PhotobucketDallan MacDonald. The hero and main character of the novel. He has all the usual qualifications of a hero: handsome, rugged, strong, intelligent, ready to fight for the oppressed and weak. He has a soft spot for kids and treats women with respect, loves his family and his country, takes the roles of protector and leader seriously. Dallan is a fierce warrior but a kind and gentle friend. His major weaknesses are excessive pride, impatience and a tendency to flare up in anger much too quickly. Well, actually, his major flaw is a lack of trust and faith. He needs to develop these, especially faith in the will of the Creator God. Dallan was a MacDonald in Scotland in 1692, and he was pulled away during the Massacre at Glencoe, a true event that involved an edict from King John of England, The Campbells carried out the edict, killing all the MacDonalds in Glencoe. What haunts Dallan is his inability to save his little brother Alisdair; he hates the one who pulled him away too soon, and he blames himself constantly for not saving his brother. By the plan of the creator and in His supernatural ways, Dallan somehow came to know a little girl who bonded with him at that early age. In the dream of vision or whatever it was, he gave her his heart way back then. She still has his heart, and at the time of most of the action of the novel, he feels a tug from that heart, pulling him across time and space to that girl, now grown up. A large portion of the story revolves around his search for the Maiden and the need to rescue her. Until they come together, the pain of the separating increases to a horrible level, and the reader experiences the pain with Dallan.

Photobucket Shona Elsay Wittard, aka The Maiden. This girl is purity itself, but as the reader meets her, she is terrified at physical experiences that she doesn’t understand coupled with troubling dreams. She is a very lovely girl who wakes up for these dreams and find her facial features are changing. When she looks in the mirror, it takes a few minutes until she looks normal again. And it gets worse and more frequent as time goes on. Is she crazy or is it really happening? Shona doesn’t want anyone else to see it, and she sure doesn’t want to tell anyone. The poor dear feels more alone than she ever has in her life. And the dreams...she is calling for someone, and sometimes she sees the boy from her long past dreams. Every time there is a great deal of pain, but it gets better when she sees the boy. Until it ends. When the pain starts, she often can stop it with music, even singing to herself. Now music is her life. She is an extremely gifted singer an musician; they have even set up a music room for her in the house. Her parents have provided for her very well, but she feels great loneliness. Her only friends are a girl named Kitty, her tutor Julia, and a part-time tutor named Tomy. Then there is a man named Philip, who hasn’t visited since she was a child, but there is some significant connection between him, her parents, and her tutor. Julia says that Shona likes Philip, but she has noticed that his name makes her parents blanch and look worried. Shona loves to spend time at the library. She has decided to trust Kitty enough to tell her about the strange dreams, but not the face changes.

Kwaku Awahnee. Kwaku is the present Time Master, a huge African (Azurti tribe) with a tremendous laugh, a laugh he expresses quite often, even when no one else feels like laughing. It was Kwaku that snatched Dallan from his own time and brought him to the future, 2688 to be exact. The novel is mostly told from ten years later, 2698, and during those ten years, Kwaku has been training Dallan to be the next Time Master. Not everyone agrees with Kwaku’s harsh methods of training. He never lets up on Dallan, and their combat sessions are brutal. Everyone else is afraid of him, but Dallan constantly stands up to him in order to protect the villagers. There is another side to Kwaku, however, one that astounds Dallan.

John Eaton, Lord Councilor. John Eaton is the twelfth Councilor who has been assigned to Dallan. He is a go-between from the Elders who make the decisions for the world population of the time. No one before him had been able to get inside Dallan’s thoughts and get to know him, but John is a little different. This is a man who loves his family and takes his job seriously. John loves God, believes in His will and plan, and believes that He hears and answers prayer. He feels the weight of the assignment and the great need for speedily bringing Dallan to a point where he is ready for his Divine appointment . Unlike the other councilors who preceded him, John is a man full of empathy and compassion, virtues that Dallan senses from the start. That starts a connection in which Dallan begins to open up a bit. John feels the pain, to an extent, that Dallan experiences, and with time he becomes quite close to him.

Lany Mosgofian is John Eaton’s assistant. Lany is much different in his behavior, although he is compassionate at heart. He, like John, is a devoted husband who misses his wife a great deal while on this assignment. He tends to be calmer, at least on the surface, most of the time, so he make a good partner for John. However, Lany does display a dry wit which sometimes forces comments at inappropriate times. There is some kind of connection for him with the Muirarans, but it is only hinted at.

Kitty Morgan is Shona’s best friend. Everyone else wonders why, and most of them cant stand to have her around. Kitty is an total airhead, a non-stop chatterbox, boy-crazy, and klutzy to boot. Her driving skills are terrifying. In spite of her obsession with guys, however, she is a virgin and intends to stay that way until marriage. When it comes to her friendship with Shona, Kitty is true blue and loyal to the end, even when it is a choice between Shona and her sister. As much as she is a chatterbox, she keeps the confidence that Shona shares with her about her dreams and such. Kitty would be an annoying person to have around, but she provides great comic relief. In one scene, especially, when they are a little armor shop. It seems that Kitty and her purse are too much for the little shop, as she knocks things over and breaks them with every move. In the novel, this scene is worthy of Lucille Ball.

Julia is a very odd character indeed, Shona’s overly controlling tutor. Shona’s parents seem to be afraid of her, and they let her pretty much run Shona’s life. Shona trusts her and dutiful obeys her, but here is something shady going on with her. Or is it just my imagination?

There is still a long list of characters with significant parts to play in the tale, but I am afraid I may have already gone on too long and lost some readers to boredom. I hope that’s not the case. In order to avoid spoilers, I left out a great deal. If any homeschoolers or Christian school teachers are reading, I hope you can see this book would be a good on for the characterizations alone.

Once more, I want to direct you to the main blog site for CFRB, where the blog tour for Time Masters continues, and other links are also provided.

Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp
Published by Cold Tree Press 2007
Available through,, and Barnes and Noble

author’s sites at and

Monday, January 7, 2008

Trailer Time!

A kind of spooky sound track, but this is a cool trailer for Time Masters Book One: The Call

New posts up on the Time Masters Blog tour include another great insight at CFRB (, at Sojourner's Journey, and at Back to the Mountains

Sunday, January 6, 2008

WARNING!! You Probably WON'T Like This Book IF...

Now, I don't want to steer anyone wrong here. During the week of January 6, 2008, the Christian Fiction Review Blog ( is featuring Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp. As a reviewer, I feel it is my duty to let the reader know the truth, and the truth is you may not care for this novel at all IF...

  1. Your favorite reading material is a didactic book of lectures

  2. You can't stand that romance junk

  3. You like characters that are shallow, two-dimensional caricatures

  4. You dislike Scottish dialect or African dialect. Just the plain old American stuff

  5. You enjoy staying in the rut rather than riding on the ridges

  6. You can't stand much action, adventure, or surprising twists in a story

  7. You don't believe that fiction is a proper vehicle for Christian values or ideas

  8. You only like nonfiction

  9. Your favorite meal is tasteless bread and water

  10. To you fantasy is a lot of balderdash and a waste of time

  11. Such values as purity, the sanctity of marriage, and answering the call of God are unimportant

  12. You don't think comic relief has any place in a book that is supposed to be teaching Christian values, and you never laugh

  13. You think it's silly to imagine the future and what might happen then

  14. You are afraid to try something new and different

  15. Your idea of excitement is counting the cracks in the ceiling and matching up socks

  16. You don't like having your socks knocked OFF by an exciting adventure

Now, if this doesn't describe you, then there is a VERY good chance that you will enjoy the story of Dallan MacDonald and the sweet Shona, the rugged Scot and the gifted Muiraran Maiden who are the only ones who can save the world. If you haven't read my review of Time Masters yet, please go back to the blog entitled "Time and Time Again." Also, check out all this week for oodles of information about this deep yet entertaining tome and the equally entertaining Geralyn Beauchamp herself.

On the CFRB site there is a list of other members who are doing the tour this week. Caprice Hokstad has a nice review up at Grace Bridges, in spite of the fact that she is traveling in Ireland (sigh), put a review on her site at Other reviews, so far, are at these URLs:,,, and You can also visit Geralyn Beauchamp herself at or On her Shoutlife site, she has a blog with the first chapter and more, which should give you a really good idea about the novel.

Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp

Published 2007, Cold Tree Publishers,

Category: Fiction
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-58385-191-3
Hardcover bind style: Hardcover w/Dustjacket
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58385-198-2
Paperback bind style: Perfect Bound
Pages: 588

Available now at Barnes and Noble,,,

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Why Not? My Top Ten Favorite Novels 2007

Well, everbody's doing it, so why not me? This year I have read a lot more than I have for many, many years, and my eyes have been opened to a wealth of Christian fiction. Some of them I have written reviews for, others are still to be reviewed. So without further ado, these were the ten novels that are at the top of my list for 2007. One or two may actually be from 2006, but I just read them recently, and it's my list, my rules!

1. Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground by Frank Creed. Publisher: The Writers' Café Press, Lafayette IN. Biblical spec-fic (Cyberpunk sci-fi)

2. The Reliance by M. L. Tyndall. Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Uhrichsville OH. Romance, historical adventure fiction. Second in the series

3. The Restitution by M. L. Tyndall. Third in the series.

4. Never Ceese by Sue Dent. Publisher: Journey Stone Creations. It's classified as Young Adult, but it's kind of a sci-fi/fantasy that appeals to older readers as well.

5. Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Caprice Hokstad. Publisher: Vici Publishing. Fantasy, for adults and advanced teens.

6. Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp. Publisher: Cold Tree Press, Nashville TN. Christian Speculative Fiction/Time Travel Romance/SciFi/Fantasy

7. Children of Hurin by J. R. R. Tolkien. The writing is all his, but it is a new novel, collected from more of his notes. Fantasy.

8. DragonKnight by Donita K. Paul. Publisher: Waterbrook Press, CO. Young adult/Fantasy
This is the third book in the series.

9. DragonFire by Donita K. Paul. This is the fourth book in the series.

10. Return of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock. Publisher Bethany House. Fantasy. Fourth in a series.

There are several other books that I read and really enjoyed, but these are my top ten. I'm sure everyone else has their own favorites. If you haven't yet read any of these, I recommend them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp

The Call is a tale of shifting time, shifting shapes, and of love and purpose that stretches beyond normal boundaries. Time travel, romance, and fantasy all rolled together, the story begins in 1692 in the midst of Scotland's historical Glencoe Massacre. Dallan MacDonald, unable to save the ones he loves, is snatched away just as a murderous villain holds a knife over his young brother. When the next chapter begins we find Dallan in a small village defending a young boy from the current Time Master, Kwaku Awahnee, in the year 3698. We soon learn that Dallan has been in this place for ten years, ten very long years and every day has had to fight grueling battles with Kwaku. Dallan hates every minute of it and is consumed with not only going home to Scotland, but with anger because he could not save his brother, not to mention being held against his will in a place he hasn't a clue is in a time far from his own. Little by little the reader learns the facts and reasons for this brutal treatment. The truth is, Dallan MacDonald is the one man who can save the world and all humanity. But first he must be ready to fight the worst of evils and come to believe the truth of the Creator. More than that, he has to find the one girl in the world who is destined to join with him, to love and marry him and thus save all mankind from total destruction. Oh, and did I mention she was kidnapped as a baby and hidden in another time? She's been blissfully living in the USA in 1995. Oh, and did I mention she is oblivious to her destiny? That she thinks she is human, but she really isn't? She's Muiraran, and she has special traits that she is ignorant of, although the manifestation of these traits has started to take place. A sure sign it's time for her to meet her one true love, to join with him and create a supernatural force that can only happen when the two of them are together. So, a simple task for Dallan to perform. Right? Find and rescue the Maiden, convince her she's not human then get her to fall in love with, and marry him? Only one problem. Dallan doesn't beleive any of it. Enter those chosen to help Dallan accept his role, which is to become the new Time Master, to control his temper and use his strengths well, to believe the truth about splitting and traveling through time and the will of the Creator, to accept the need to find the Maiden, and then get her to love him and agree to marry him. But they are running out of time. Even worse, there is a villain in the wings who intends to take the girl for himself.

Whew! This is the shortest summary I could come up with that still held the essence of the story. Time Masters Book One: The Call is a lengthy book at 566 pages, but it is fairly easy to read with lots of action. It's a long ride full of twists and turns, hills and long drop-offs. The characters are strong and well developed, even the minor ones. Written in a third-person omniscient point-of-view, the novel opens up all the thoughts of different characters so that the reader is aware of what each one is thinking and doing most of the time, except when the author wants to surprise us. For this story, I think this was a good choice. Some of the characters, such as Kitty, the Maiden's talkative and klutzy friend, are added mainly for comic relief. Geralyn Beauchamp has included a great deal of humor, from Kitty's slapstick to Dallan's wry wit in his speech.

While Time Masters is a very entertaining adventure story, it is also chock full of spiritual themes. What struck me in particular was the emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and the special 'power' in the joining of man and wife as two become one. The strength of commitment and true vows, purity before marriage, are so well demonstrated even if it is fiction. Other themes include yielding to the will of God, faith, living out your salvation, and submitting to God are also included. The tale is never preachy or heavy, however.

If you are too impatient to read a long story, you may not care for Time Masters. It will take a while to peruse, even though the action makes the time pass quickly. If you are willing to try it, I think you will enjoy the tale, especially if you enjoy speculative fiction with lots of romance and action/adventure. For those of you who like a lengthy tome, you'll be in Heaven.

Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp

2007; 566 pages in paperback. Also available in hardcover

ISBN 978-1-58385-198-2published by Cold Tree Press, Nashville TN

Available at, Barnes and Noble stores and
Time Masters Book One: The Call is a featured book this week at, Christian Fiction Review Blog. There will be a review, biography, or other information posted each day at this main site. Additional reviews and interviews will be posted by other members of the CFRB. Links to these sites are on the left side of my page in a scroll-down list under the yellow banner.