Blog on Choir of .. Canaries

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RELEASE IS FORTHCOMING in early August 2020 (delay due to COVID-19 pandemic| a head start

Armida Nagy Rose’s Choir of Cloistered Canaries reveals the inside story of a U.S. CDC epidemiologist about to retire from her long career of identifying  and combating pandemics throughout the world. Political insights are not sparedThe second historical novel by the author, Choir of Cloistered Canaries: Symbols for Everything  under the Sun and Moon, published by Page Publishing, is compelling on many  fronts. It begins with a warning that President Eisenhower made in is farewell speech to the nation in 1961 about over consumption and toying with nature. From here, the reader is introduced to why his warning is material to our circumstances today when facing an unsympathetic environment that needs to be ethically understood scientifically.This  compelling novel, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers historical background on why humanity has become the symbolic canary in the coal mine as forewarned by the 34th president of the United States. Environmental degradation due to pollutants was his message. He was the first visionary canary to warn us of consequences of cause and effect. In fact, it is no longer enough to just claim that melting glaciers are the canary in the coal mine for global warming.While in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Leitis S. Dennett, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visits her estranged mother at a medical research center. Leitis cuts her visit short upon being called to join a Rapid Response Team in progress to Rome and to the Vatican City. Without prior notice, her unscheduled private meeting with Pope Hormisdas II, while facing Rafael’s fresco School of Athens, takes her on a journey ~ another laboratory of discovery ~ into the world of alchemy of the ancient Greeks and other alchemists in search for longevity and immortality. She hopes to find the lost meanings of ancient alchemical symbols for disease prevention that eventually reveal transformative secrets only to discover that such means have been within her all the time.Meanwhile, in the Italian countryside, a love affair blooms between Leitis and Dr. Hopkins Carr, a native of North Carolina, who end up becoming expats in the mountainous region of Panama.A common them of the author’s novels is the Third Reich’s continuing influence on the world to this day. She deals with the Third Reich’s role of altering chemistry for military and commercial purposes. In this story, too, is Hitler’s early search for the “mythical” Aryan race to claim his doctrine of a master race. Another setting of Choir for Cloistered Canaries is the Roman Catholic Church with the visionary Pope Hormisdas II who sees new hope for the spiritual growth of his followers as well as non-followers. Her first historical novel, Daughters of the Dance: A Mosaic of Seek & Find, also deals with the Third Reich envisioning Hitler’s European New Order in the Americas.The expression “choir of cloistered canaries” is a metaphor for those individuals who have become sensitive or intolerant to worldwide pollution resulting from fossil-fuel combustion. As healthy canaries, they spread joy with their song, leaving us with a sense of well-being. They sing that there is still a chance for a bright and safe future for all of life. As the author points out, “I prefer to be a canary in a choir rather than caged, and certainly not both.”A reviewer wrote, “I just finished a non-fiction book classified as a novel…The Catholic Church was highly praised, thanks to the fictitious Pope, including other religious beliefs. The book is intellectual, philosophical, historical, and romantic with samplings of literary nonfiction. The messages throughout the book are greatly appreciated, and my goal is to re-read and record the author’s thoughts. It was a joy.” ~ J. P. Kane, Retired Librarian.(Posted June 29, 2020)

feather-32534_1280Is this historical novel a dystopia?

It comes close to being one, for the cloistered canaries are us in this home we only have, planet Earth. Our lives face many challenges, uncertainties, confusion, including victimization without knowing it as polluters continue to engage society to emit unwittingly more toxins into the air. As proverbial canaries, we want clean air to breathe so that we can live healthy lives. But when we are exposed to air pollution, expect the unexpected – unknown and unspecified diseases that remain elusive as greedy corporations manipulate governmental systems so that the causes of these unspecified diseases, in  particular, remain unspecified. This is the backdrop of the novel as the characters search the means to survive in an unpredictable world.

Accordingly, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. An estimated 6.5 million premature deaths (1 out of 9 people) globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children. In addition, household air pollution (for example, volatile “synthetic” organic compounds (VOC) in personal hygiene and household products) is one of the leading causes of disease and premature death in the world. Over four million deaths are attributed to household air pollution annually. For example, fifty percent of pneumonia deaths in children under 5 are due to household air pollution. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

The novel introduces the reader to many characters (described in blog below). It also introduces the reader to alchemy – an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition that was pursued throughout Europe, Africa, Asia Minor, and Asia. Alchemists have attempted to purify, mature, and perfect certain materials when, in fact, it was a pursuit to prolong longevity if not immortality. The practical aim of alchemy was to discover a cure for disease so as to extend life. The modern alchemy takes place in illegal and legal drug laboratories: for example, opioids that include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and heroin; prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

The notion of purifying our mind stream to reach enlightenment, the original alchemy, was lost in translation. From attaining supra-consciousness, it became turning some base metal into gold. The story touches on another form of alchemy practiced today – manufacturing synthetic chemicals to replace what nature had produced in synchronicity with other life forms.  

Since December 2019, the world is faced with the Coronavirus that has become a pandemic – known as COVID-19. No one knows for sure the origin of this virus. The governing theory is from a diseased wild animal while conspiracy theorists want us to believe it is a deliberate act by a government laboratory to cast blame on governments as a way to reduce the world’s population. The latter hyperbolic theory reminds me of a dog looking at where the bone is thrown instead of a lion looking at who threw the bone. As citizens on planet Earth, we need to look at who is throwing the bone to identify the sources of serious problems.

Notwithstanding, the saying, “the end justifies the means,” is not always justifiable. Good and moral acts (generated by intentions) are those that contribute to the greatest amount of happiness and the least amount of suffering for the greatest amount of people. In other word, the “end justifies the means” when the moral gains of the ends are greater than the moral losses by the means (ethical altruism). Anything else is to say that, if the end is important enough to overrule any legal or moral limits (ethical egotism), it will have detrimental consequences to the welfare of others.

Let’s pay it forward for the benefit of others, for, as proverbial canaries, we are many. It may mean consuming less or consuming consciously.    (Posted May 15, 2020)





Characters, Places, & References to Characters


Leitis Suanna DennettCDC scientist, protagonist
Izobel GoodersonLeitis’s mother, U.S. citizen born abroad
Thelma J. GreysonDirector at new health center; a Scottish immigrant
Dr. Saddam AbbassiLead medical doctor at new health center; a Sufi immigrant
Patrick MurphyResident at new health center; Irish-American from Boston, Massachusetts
Mary ConleyMurphy’s daughter
Mr. AilesConcierge of new health center
Hisao HatoriCDC scientist; Rapid Response team leader
Dr. Amador AcierWHO senior scientist
Becky ShortLeitis’s childhood friend
Dr. Mark DennettLeitis’s spouse and Director of NIH Fogarty International Center
Dr. J. R. PatelEnvironmental chemist, Duke University; Rapid Response team
Dr. Drew Hopkins-CarrBiomedical engineer, University of South Carolina; Rapid Response team; fourth generation North Carolinan
Dr. Ariel ArionMolecular scientist at new health center
Hormisdas IIPope
Barend HeeseDutch scientist; Rapid Response team
Guido Luca SalvatoreItalian citizen
Giovanni BaggioItalian scientist; Rapid Response team
Jacque LaFabreFrench scientist; Rapid Response team
Francoise d’AubigneFrench scientist; Rapid Response team
Maria & Giovanni PollioSiblings


Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
University of North Carolina
The Vatican, Italy
Lakeside Restorative Research Center ( LRCC), aka Lakeside Center fictitious
Cretone, Italy
Castillo B&B
Villa Gregoriana, Italy
Tivoli, Italy
Aeotera New Zealand
Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina
Rome, Italy
Leonardo da Vinci Airport
Apostolic Palace
Raphael Rooms at the Vatican
Le Cento Fontane, Tivoli, Italy
Cretone, Italy
Monte Zappi, Italy
Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy
B&B Catello
Palombara, Italy
Marcellina, Italy
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi
Valle de Anton, Panama
El Boquete, Panama
Piazza Nazionale, Cretone, Italy
Lucretili Mons, mountain range in Italy
Monte Zappi, mountain in Italy
Monte Castillo Natural Reserve, Italy
Ural Mountain range, Iran/Iraq
Pontic-Caspain Steppe
Zargos Mountains
Mt. Gennato
Villa Adriana, Italy
La Yeghada, volcano in Panama
Temple of Sibilla, Italy
Mount Behistun, Iran
San Polo dei Cavalieri, Italy


(Non-fictitious characters appear in boldface font)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower34th U.S. President of pardo heritage and who considered himself a progressive conservative
Barack Obama
44th U.S. President, African-American and who was considered a progressive moderate
John F. Kennedy
35th U.S. President, Democrat
Richard Nixon
37th U.S. President, Republican
H.W. Bush
CIA agent, National Clandestine Services program
Harvey OswaldCIA operative, National Clandestine Services program
DeFreitas Saab
Consultant at West Virginia University, West Virginia
SusanGranddaughter of President Eisenhower
President GrafFictitious president of the 21st century
LabryCEO of a leading chemical company
Izobel’s Maternal family branchSarah Ramona, Illa, Meira, Illa Ester, Mercedes
SaritaIzobel’s cousin
Martin Luther King, Jr.American activist and author of Strength to Love
Andras KalmarIzobel’s father (aka Andrew King)
Mr. KaskaCivilian personnelist at U.S. military installation in Panama, Pacific side
Mr. RojasSoldier of the Panama Independence War from Colombia
PetsSatto, Rodrigo, Placido, Luciano, Onza,
Bill YatesIlla Ester’s fiancé
Alberto TobaliIlla Ester’s college boyfriend
EnriqueIlla Ester’s husband
RhodaCharacter in the film, “The Bad Seed”
Diallo EvansElementary friend of Leitis
Alan BeschnerIzobel’s high school boyfriend
Dr. PhillipsLeitist’s mentor
William Henry HudsonAuthor of Green Mansions
EricIzobel’s paramour
BrentIzobel’s ex-husband and Leitis’s father
GeoffIzobel’s second ex-husband
CassiusGeoff’s life-long friend
Aunt HelenAndras Kalmar’s sister
ArtistsFrancesco Clemente, Margherite Morgantin, Willy Verginer
The GasnarHungarian refugees
RodneyIzobel’s fiancé
Nathan ThomasIzobel’s former paramour
The 14th
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama
Pat DownehillIzobel’s nemesis
Vinny RussoCustom corrupt officer
George FenceCustom corrupt officer
Daniel and NebuchadnezzarCharacters in the Hebrew Scriptures
RoxanneLeitis’s office nemesis
Dr. AnnisSocial science professor
Historians on the Third ReichJohn Cornwell, Fritz Stern, Ian Kershaw, and
Will L. Shirer
Paul WellstoneSenator of Minnesota
Albert DeSantiFounding and director of a secondary therapeutic boarding school
William Clayburn
Presidential candidate
O’SullivanPolitical operative
Aurora MarchesiAdministrative contact at The Holy See
Miguel RuizAuthor of neoshamanistic texts
Ruby LeeProprietor of a Montessori school
Theodore Vicenzo DavisIzobel’s last partner (aka Ted)
Nikola TeslaSerbian-American engineer and futurist
Claude SteinerAuthor of The Original Warm Fuzzy, a fairy tale
Emperor Kaiser WilhelmLast German Emperor and King of Prussia
Adolf Hitler 
Heinrich Himmler 
Carl DuisbergCEO of Bayer
Robert DougleThelma’s husband
EnlilSumerian god of wind….
Andrea Mantegna16th century Italian painter (The Lamentation over the Dead Christ)
Plato & AristotleGreek philosophers
Abalion PollioRabbi
Marcus Vitruvius PollioMilitary Roman architect
Ippolito II d’EsteRoman Governor and Cardinal
Roman legendsMars, Herukles, Romulus, Remus
Luigi de GonzagaSt. Aloysius
Helen Koch QuittnerResidential patient at new health center
Mrs. M. GrieveMaud; herbalist, folklorist, and writer
Andrew Carr, Jr.Drew’s son
Phoebe CarrDrew’s daughter
Alfredo VargasCharge d’affaires in Tehran, Iran
HadrianItalo-Hispanic Emperor of Rome
Eleanor RooseveltAmerican political figure, diplomat, activist, and First Lady 
RaphaelItalian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Italy
Darius IDarius the Great,” third Persian king of the kings of the Achaemenid Empire
Alexander the GreatKing of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty
Shakyamuni BuddhaFormer Buddha
The Saka tribesPrimary Scythians in ancient times

(Posted March 1, 2020)