Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

SPECIAL KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL
Last Day 10/31 - $4.99









LAST DAY OF WITCHES OF GALDORHEIM #99CENT SALE
LAST DAY TO COMMENT TO WIN FREE EBOOKS AND AUDIO BOOKS

BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook

MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook 

SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords



WRITE A COMMENT - WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK OR EBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS
Tales of a Texas Boy
Missing, Assumed Dead
Bad Spelling
Midnight Oil
Scotch Broom



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Scotch Broom - Sianach and Cusith

SPECIAL KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL
10/29 - $2.99
10/30 - $3.99
10/31 - $4.99

HART AND HOUND

Researching Celtic mythology, I knew I wanted to use some of the lesser know magical creatures. I a
Also decided that they needed to be “like” animals, but not quite. The reason for this is obvious to readers who’ve been following Kat’s story from the beginning. Kat’s magical ability is to talk with animals. She has greater or lesser success depending on the innate brain-power of a natural animal. For example, she chats along nicely with Salmon the Orca since a killer whale is the largest of the dolphins and are at the top of the IQ charts. I believe the ability to communicate to others shows greater intelligence. Sorry. Don’t want to offend any fish out there, but you guys just aren’t that bright.

I found two mythic creatures who met my criteria. Sianach, a huge stag (possibly a Red Deer) and Cusith, a giant-sized green dog with a braided tail.

From my favorite source, Encyclopedia Mythica (http://www.pantheon.org/areas/folklore/folklore/articles.html).

Cusith

An enormous hound of the Scottish Highlands. It is said to be a dark green in color, with a long braided tail and the size of a bullock. Whenever his baying was heard on the moors, farmers would quickly lock up their women because the hound's mission was to round up women and drive them to a fairy mound so they might supply milk for fairy children.

I’m a bit leery of that rounding up women part, but decided that was just an ancient attempt to keep women close to home. Clearly, not much has changed except for the mythological excuses.

Sianach

"Monster." In Scottish Gaelic oral tradition, a large, malevolent, predatory deer.

That’s to the point. Other research indicated that the basis for Sianach might be the Irish Elk, which is now extinct.

Now that I’d identified a couple of mythical critters, then all I had to do is get them together with Kat. Since she was tricked into entering the Otherworld (land of fey), she has been searching for the hall of the Trow King. She meets Sianach first and he agrees to guide her to King Connor’s hall. What Kat find strange is that she can’t look into Sianach’s mind; he can close off his thoughts from her. This makes Kat a bit nervous since Sianach, while seeming to be amenable to helping Kat, is also very vague as to his reasons for doing so.

The two begin their search for the Trow Hall, although Sianach claims, reasonably, that in the Otherworld, there is no such thing as a map to anyplace. They’ll have to seek the Hall in other ways. Apparently, Sianach’s method is to simply wander around through the swamps.

They camp for the night, and the next morning, Kat meets another denizen of the Otherworld, the giant green hound, Cusith.

Excerpt:

Sianach grazed near the edge of the small clearing. When the lean-to disappeared, he raised his head. “Good morning. I thought you were going to sleep all day.”

“You sound just like my mom.” Kat let out an exasperated snort. “Besides, it can’t be past eight o’clock.”

“I do not carry a timepiece.”

“Of course, you don’t.” Kat opened her pack and rummaged through it. “Cool. I’ve still got the granola bar.” Her head snapped up when she heard something large crashing through the underbrush. Sianach stood stock still, staring toward the ruckus.

“HHHHRRRRROOOOOWWW!”

“Omigosh, what’s that?” Kat’s voice trembled as she looked to Sianach for an answer. The hairs on her neck and arms stood at attention.

Sianach turned toward a nearby tree and struck his antlers against it. The clash of antler against bark rang like a warning bell. Kat didn’t expect the loud clang coming from horn against wood.

“HHHHRRRRROOOOOWWW!”

“Hide,” Sianach said in a breathy whisper. His head raised now and pointed toward the howl that sounded closer than before.

Kat did as he told her but had to ask, “What is it?” just before she crouched behind a bush.

“The Hound from Hell,” Sianach replied. He dashed into the woods with antlers thrust forward to meet the howling canine. Kat heard a sharp yip from the dog. Sianach must have scored the first strike. Sianach bugled, and the hound yowled. Thuds punctuated the vocalizing, when one or the other creature struck a blow.

“I have to help,” Kat muttered. She jogged across the clearing and pushed her way through the saplings and undergrowth blocking the way. She followed the battle sounds—bugling stag, baying hound, splintering of small trees being knocked aside. She darted around another large tree and saw the combatants squared off in an area beaten down by their fighting. She stopped still, her eyes widened. A huge green dog faced Sianach, its fangs exposed from under snarling lips. Kat gulped and stood frozen with fear.

Sianach’s head lowered, and he charged the hound with out-thrust antlers. The dog jumped aside at the last second and leapt on Sianach’s back. The monstrous creature bit down hard on the stag’s neck. Kat heard the sickening crunch of breaking bones. Blood gushed high, and Kat gasped at the sheer volume. Kat screamed. “Sianach!”

The hound jumped off Sianach and stood aside, panting and watching the deer fall to the ground on his side. Sianach’s head dropped, held up only by his antlers, then the mighty rack shrank, and his head hit the ground with a thud.

“No!” Kat screamed and raced toward the two. The dog looked away from the dying stag toward Kat. His lips peeled back in a slathering snarl. His muscles tensed to leap on her, and she cast her eyes around trying to find a defensive weapon. “Of course!” She cast a defense spell around herself. The hound lunged toward her and smashed into the fragile shield. It shattered and pale yellow splinters like glass scattered through the air. However, it protected Kat for a moment. The hound rolled aside yelping in pain.

Gathering her strength, she blasted the dog with a clear message: “Sit! Stay!” The hound rose to his feet then plopped his rear end on the forest floor. His tongue lolled from the side of his opened mouth, and his tail thumped on the ground.

Kat’s jaw dropped. “Oh! Um, that’s better.” Kat was amazed her command worked at all. “You stay. That’s a good dog.” She stepped slowly toward Sianach but kept her attention on the dog, watching for any change in his now friendly demeanor.

“Oh, no! Sianach?” She dropped to one knee by the deer and placed her hand on his brow. Eyelids fluttered and then opened. Sianach looked up at her. In a weak voice, he said, “That was fun.” He then jerked himself upright and stood. Kat jumped back, astounded as she watched the wound close, the blood slow, and then stop.

Kat glanced at the dog and saw that he stayed put. She didn’t know whether to keep watch on the mutt or try to do something to help Sianach. However, the stag was rapidly healing and soon seemed unharmed, except for the drying blood on his neck.

“What? How?” Kat stammered. But Sianach was not your average, everyday red deer; he was a creature of magic. It shouldn’t surprise her he couldn’t be killed.

Turning her attention back to the dog, she looked him over with interest. His shoulder was as tall as her own. The dog’s shaggy fur coat was a startling, and quite attractive, forest green, and he sported a long, braided tail. By the shape of his blocky head and the size of his jowls, Kat thought he must be a mastiff.

“Just what is going on here?” she asked, planting her fists on her hips and glaring at both creatures.

Sianach stepped toward Kat and pointed his rack toward the dog. “Our apologies, Kat. We did not mean to frighten you.”

Kat looked back and forth at the two legendary beings. She closed her mouth when she realized she’d been gaping. “You scared the stuffing out of me!”

“I would not want to do that. I imagine you need your stuffing.

* * *

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.






HALLOWEEN IS FOR WITCHES
The entire Witches of Galdorheim ebook series will be 99 cents each throughout October.
BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook  Nook Book 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords

WRITE A COMMENT - WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK OR EBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS
Tales of a Texas Boy
Missing, Assumed Dead
Bad Spelling
Midnight Oil





Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cheryl Carpinello Walks Like an Egyptian

What could be scarier than a mummy all wrapped in rags rising out of its tomb. A favorite Halloween motif is based in ancient history. Cheryl Carpinello shares some facts. Dang it! No walking mummies! Check out Cheryl's Egyptian adventures, Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhaman Speaks, on Amazon. Find Cheryl on her blog: http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com


4 Facts About Ancient Egypt You may Not Know
by Cheryl Carpinello

Since our visit to Egypt in 2008, I’ve been researching and plan what eventually became my Tween/YA novel Sons of the Sphinx. I’ve learned so much and wanted to share with Marva’s readers four of the many amazing facts about Ancient Egypt.

1. The Rosetta Stone

Discovered by Napoleon’s soldiers during the invasion of Egypt. This stone, with the same message written three times in Greek, Demotic, and Hieroglyphs, was instrumental in relearning how to pronounce the hieroglyphic symbols from Ancient Egypt. 

It was later captured by the British and now resides in the British Museum. I took this picture during our visit in September 2014. On the top of the stone are the hieroglyphs, in the middle the demotic script, and on the bottom the Greek.








2. The Egyptian Museum

Located in Cairo, Egypt, this museum houses the most amazing collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world. The entire outside of the building is pink!








3. Cartouches of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egyptian pharoahs had as many as five names. The birth name and the throne name of the pharaohs were enclosed in oval called Cartouches. We are most familiar with Tutankhamen’s throne name and his birth name.

Tutankhamen’s throne name—Nebkheperure—appears on artifacts found in his tomb like his golden throne. It is shown below.

At the top of the cartouche is the sun disk with a basket under it. Next is the bettle with the three dashes underneath. The name means “Lord of the forms of Re” (the Sun god).

Tutankhamen’s birth name or son of Re was given at birth. This is the name we know him by although originally his name was Tutankhaten. Tut changed his birth name to Tutankhamen after the death of his father. This was also when he abandoned the worship of the Aten and return to worship the Amun. This is what it looks like.

4. The Opening of the Mouth Ceremony

In Sons of the Sphinx, the ghost of Tut must perform this ceremony on another dead pharaoh in order to take another step forward in his search.

The Opening of the Mouth was often conducted on a statue of the deceased. The purpose was to enable the body’s spirit to be able to partake of food and drink in the after life. It is an elaborate ceremony with prayers said to Re. If the ceremony is not performed, then the deceased’s spirit will not survive in the afterlife.

And now that Sons of theSphinx is published and waiting for readers, I am still drawn to that Ancient and Mysterious land. I continue to read and absorb all I can. Who knows, I may revisit that land in a future book. For now, here are some of my favorite reads. Maybe you’ll get hooked on Ancient Egypt also!

Bibliography

Beneath the Sands of Egypt by Archaeologist Donald P. Ryan; non-fiction
Omm Sety's Egypt By Dorothy Eady; a memoir
Discovering Tut-ankh-Amen's Tomb edited by Shirley Glubok; non-fiction
The Lost Army of Cambyses by Paul Sussman; fictional series
Description De L’Egypte by Franco Serino. A look at the diaries and drawings of Napoleon’s savants from 1798.
The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past & Present by Toby Wilkinson; non-fiction


Monday, October 27, 2014

Scotch Broom - Diamond the Unicorn

SPECIAL KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL
Witches of Galdorheim Boxed Set 
Today $0.99
10/28 - $1.99
10/29 - $2.99
10/30 - $3.99
10/31 - $4.99

A Diamond of a Companion

“There was green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn.”
Lyrics and Music by Shel Silverstein

This song kept running through my brain when I wrote about Diamond, a lonely unicorn, who meets up with Kat in her travels through the Otherworld. Naturally, unicorns are drawn to...um...maidens, so Diamond immediately joins Kat’s journey to help her in whatever way he can. That’s what a unicorn is all about, right?

Lately, I’ve seen at least two books which portrayed vicious unicorns, but in both cases, the aberration was a result of some type of black magic. Unicorns are always good, rainbows and lollypops, paragons of virtue, and all-round nice guys when it comes to their attachments to innocent girls.

But is Diamond all good? Does he really have Kat’s best interests at heart? Guess you’ll have to read more than this excerpt from Scotch Broom to find out.

Excerpt

Kat spotted Cait Sidhe angling backward to the same spot where Sianach and Cusith were converging. Frustrated by the soggy muck, Kat could only slog slowly across the swamplands. As she neared her three companions, she spotted a pond. About twenty feet across, it was bigger than most of the scattered pools sprinkling the bogs. Tall grassy bunches topped with white, feathery tufts hid much of the pond from view. When Kat finally came near enough to see the surface, she stopped to stare.

Two horses sloshed in the pool. Sunk up to their hocks in the water, they struck at each other with raised forelegs. Strangely, neither horse whinnied or screamed, but the sounds of their huffing breath made it clear they were both near exhaustion. One horse was sky blue, the other snow white. Kat looked harder and thought she saw...yes! A horn grew from the white horse’s forehead. A unicorn! A smile spread across her face before a scowl of concern quickly replaced it. Blood ran down the unicorn’s neck, splashing into the scummy, green pond water turning it a noxious brown.

The two creatures, their muscles rippling, hooves slinging the muck into the air, appeared to be matched in strength. Steamy breaths came out in blasts from the blue horse’s dilated nostrils. Kat lifted first one leg then the other out of the mire, only to have them sucked down again. Now up to her knees, she could hardly move at all. She’d lost one shoe somewhere along the way and would have to spell another up as soon as she figured out what to do about the battling beasts.

Kat reached out with her thoughts, trying to break into the mind of either the unicorn or the blue horse, but hit the same frustrating wall blocking her ability to read animal thoughts. Then, she heard something in her head.

Help me!” It was the unicorn pleading for aid. For a moment, Kat was puzzled. She had not been able to hear the thoughts of the other creatures in the Otherworld. She felt the sincerity in the plea and had to help the unicorn.

The edge of the pond had a raised bank, which kept the water from streaming across the bogs. Kat glanced around but couldn’t see anything to use as a weapon. Pulling her legs out of the muck, she climbed atop the small berm. When the battle moved her direction, she bent her knees and jumped as far as she could. Grabbing the long mane of the blue horse, she pulled herself forward and slung both arms around its powerful neck. At first, she thought she had him when his head ducked toward the water. Her grip didn’t last long.

The blue horse reared back on its hind legs, but Kat held on, her body whipping back and forth under the horse’s neck. When its forelegs came down hard, her hold slipped. Plunging toward the water, her stomach knotted, and she held her breath. But when her feet hit the bottom the water was not quite waist deep. She fell backward onto her rear end with her head just above the surface. Kat let out her breath in relief...until she looked up into a wide-opened mouth full of black teeth surrounded by a flash of blue. It lunged at her head. She tensed her shoulders and brought her arms to cover her face in a feeble attempt to protect herself.

The unicorn had jumped backward when Kat launched herself at the blue horse. Now it lunged forward with its head down, its spiral horn pointed at the breast of the blue horse. The blue reared, barely avoiding the unicorn’s attack.

Kat risked a glance while she struggled to stand. She saw Sianach, Cusith, and Cait Sidhe were all standing around the pond, looking on with interest, but doing nothing.

“Why don’t you help?” she screamed at them.

“Who would you have us help?” asked Sianach with a mild tone.

“Me,” Kat yelled.

Cusith jumped into the pond and slogged his way through the shallow water to her side. “Grab hold, and I’ll get you out.” Kat clutched his neck and pulled herself to her feet. Looking around, she saw that the two horses stood still at opposite sides of the pool, their heads down, sides heaving.

“What is this? I cannot believe you, you people! All I wanted was to take my Winter Abroad. But could it be that simple? No! Instead, I get a bunch of gladiator animals all intent on proving whose attitude is bigger! What is wrong with you...you...see! I don’t even know what to call you!” She waded ashore holding Cusith’s fur to keep herself upright.

Sianach laughed his bugling, grunting laugh. “Not an attitude comparison at all. These two are quite intent on killing each other.”

* * *

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.







HALLOWEEN IS FOR WITCHES
The entire Witches of Galdorheim ebook series will be 99 cents each throughout October.
BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook  Nook Book 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords

WRITE A COMMENT - WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK OR EBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS
Tales of a Texas Boy
Missing, Assumed Dead
Bad Spelling
Midnight Oil




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Midnight Oil? It's All About the Solstice!

HALLOWEEN IS FOR WITCHES
The entire Witches of Galdorheim ebook series will be 99 cents each throughout October.
BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook  Nook Book 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords

Summer Solstice – More Than Just the First Day of Summer

In historical terms, the Solstice is the exact point of time when the daylight outstrips the night in length. That’s hard to reckon, particularly since the exact point in time depends on where you live. Why should that be?

Take a look at model of the solar system, specifically look at earth. If it’s properly oriented, then it’s a bit tilted, not straight up and down as you might think. Stand back a bit further, and you can see the earth doesn’t travel in a circle around the sun, but in a big oval called an ellipsis.


Since the Solstice varies when it occurs (anywhere between June 20th -23rd), most people won’t know exactly when the earth moves from Spring to Summer. Instead, a variety of festivals from different countries and people celebrate Midsummer. Fortunately, astronomers are available to let us know exactly when the solstice occurs.

Many cultures celebrate the Summer Solstice. A few of these celebrations are: Adonia, St. John's Feast Day, Jani, Liða, Midsommar, Ivan Kupala Day, Juhannus, Mittumaari, Alban Hefin, Gwyl Ganol yr Haf, Sankthans, Jaanipäev, Keskikesä, and Rasos. Oh, my. That’s a lot of celebrating! Wherever you live, you can have a party.

Another group of professionals other than astronomers who can tell you when the solstice occurs are witches. No, not the evil witches with warts and ugly noses, but the Wiccans who inhabit my books and Galdorheim Island in the Barents Sea. This is a fictional place, but is quite close to some very real islands in the Arctic with very real people who live on them.

Midsummer for Wiccans is called Litha. Just like every people who had some means to really look at the movement of the stars and planets Well, the earth is moving, but from where we stand, it appears the stars are the ones in motion. They are, but I’d refer you to Doctor Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the narrator of the Cosmos series, for exactly what’s going on in the universe.

In the second book of my Witches of Galdorheim series, “Midnight Oil,” the exact time the Solstice occurs is crucial to the plot. The magical midnight oil is a curative required by a tribe of mutant Nenets tribespeople to heal the radiation poisoning which deformed them. It must be administered at the exact time the Solstice occurs. The year I selected had to have that event occur (somewhere in the world) at almost precisely midnight on June 20th. Some confusion about the exact moment of the Solstice almost leads to the restorative oil to arrive late at it’s destination. After all, the Solstice usually occurs on the 21st (in this century).

A lot happens to thwart my heroes from delivering the oil on time and in good condition. An evil forest spirit happens to possess the oil. But this isn’t simply a “find the magical thing and deliver it” plot. There’s a lot going on in “Midnight Oil.” A kidnapped boyfriend, mutant tribesfolk, Ajatar the forest spirit, a man who was tragically disemvoweled (lost the ability to pronounce a, e, i, o, or u and sometimes y), a witch trapped on the lost island of Atlantis with the Loch Ness monster, and, um, there’s lots more to discover in the book.

So, back to Litha, the Wiccan midsummer celebration. One of the most famous places in the world to observe the Solstice is at Stonehenge in England, but only if the Solstice occurs during daylight hours. Nevertheless, the midsummer celebrations take place no matter what time the Solstice actually happens. Oh, right. This year, Stonehenge will be a great place to party. The Solstice occurs at 10:51AM Greenwich Meantime on June 21st. Don’t forget to celebrate no matter where you live. Where I live, it occured at 3:41AM this year. I slept through it.

Fun thing to do: Find out when the Solstice occurs where you live (compare your local time to Greenwich Meantime).  

MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book  Audio Book
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.





WRITE A COMMENT - WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK OR EBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS

Tales of a Texas Boy
Missing, Assumed Dead
Bad Spelling
Midnight Oil


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Historical Hauntings on Renee Duke's Blog

Check it out! Renee's blog has dozens of posts on historical happenings. Definitely worth following if you enjoy historical tidbits.

In time for Halloween, the post today (the 25th) is on Historical Hauntings. Click through to check it out.

My audio books will be featured somewhere in the post because Halloween is for Witches, after all.

What you might not know, is my murder mystery, "Missing, Assumed Dead," has a ghostly presence.  The audio book and ebook are available through Amazon.

Here's a ghostly short story for your amusement.

Copyright Lee Kuraganti - All rights reserved

A Visit to Potter’s Field

Originally published in Lorelei Signal and “A Time To..., Volume 1” from Wolfsinger Publications

Rap Rap Rap

Now who? More of those darned kids?”

RAP RAP RAP

What do you want? Can’t you just leave me alone?”

RAP RAP RAP

Oh, for Pete’s sake...some people have no manners.”

Griselda reached up through the hole in the coffin and pulled a clod of dirt downward. Grunting with the effort of digging herself out of her grave, she also muttered a few very unkind words about the visitor and his parentage.

RAP RAP RAP

I am doing my best. Quit being so impatient. Hmmph.”


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mystery Writers Visit J.Q. Rose

Today, I visit J.Q. Rose with my offering. The topic was marketing, but since marketing is a mystery to me, I talk about the process of taking a book into the audio market. Drop by and say hi. Commenting on my post there can win you a free audio book of your choice.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Low Prices on Audio Books

I've been trying to give these audio books to folks, but people apparently only read my blog from someplace other than my actual blog. So, no comments means no giveways. So, please! Click through and leave a comment. You can get the ebook or audio book of your choice. Just to remind you, here's the audio book selection. These are the lowest prices for audio books, but they're not short stories. They're 5-6 hour books (with the exception of Tales of a Texas Boy and Spellslinger).

The final books in the Witches of Galdorheim series is being reviewed right now for release. It should be out soon, and it is included in the giveaway.


Tales of a Texas Boy
Amazon Only $1.99 
Audible Only $1.99

Missing, Assumed Dead (KindleUnlimited Ebook)
Audible Only $1.99
Amazon Only $1.99

Bad Spelling - Book 1 of Witches of Galdorheim
Midnight Oil - Book 2 of Witches of Galdorheim
Audible Only $1.99
Amazon Audio Link Only $1.99
Slide show on YouTube

Scotch Broom - Book 3 of Witches of Galdorheim COMING SOON

Spellslinger on audio Listen on SoundCloud Free!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wizardly Archetypes

HALLOWEEN IS FOR WITCHES
The entire Witches of Galdorheim ebook series will be 99 cents each throughout October.
BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook  Nook Book 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords 

Wizards, Sorcerers, Magicians, Warlocks

These are the males of the species Homo Spellcasterus. Please comment on how you use these terms in your own writing. If you’re not a fiction writer, feel free to give your opinions as well.

A magician, wizard, sorcerer or a person known under one of many other possible terms in fiction is someone who uses or practices magic that derives from supernatural or occult sources. Warlocks, who are normally the male counterpart of witches, tend to be portrayed as evil, perhaps because ‘war’ is part of their title, and who doesn’t hate ‘locks’?

To supply some examples:

Wizard: In medieval chivalric romance, the wizard often appears as a wise old man and acts as a mentor. Long, white beards and robes seem to be required for most wizards.

Wizard of Oz
Dumbledore and Harry Potter
Discworld has a plethora of wizards, many inept
Gandalf in Tolkien’s Middle Earth
DC Comics and Marvel Comics both have wizards
Dungeons and Dragons and similar role-playing games
and Mr. Wizard, the science guy before Bill Nye the Science Guy

Copyright Disney Inc.
Sorcerer: Often an alternate term for Wizard. Many of the above mentioned wizards are sometimes referred to as sorcerers (except Mr. Wizard), but there doesn’t seem to be much consistency in doing so.

Magician: This seems to be the catchall phrase for spellcasters, but also includes stage performers with sleight-of-hand tricks, showgirl sawing, and disappearing and reappearing showgirls and white tigers.

Warlock: In Medieval tradition, warlocks are male counterparts to witches. However, modern Wiccans consider the term pejorative.

In some role-playing games, warlocks are demon summoners. After obtaining said demon, they can control them, make them pets, change their litterbox, etc. This usage may stem from the derivation from the Old Norse varð-lokkur meaning caller of spirits. However, the Oxford English Dictionary (the definitive source for all things magic) does not concur. The Oxford suggests the term warlock comes from warloke meaning to secure (a horse) as with a fetterlock. How this translates into a spellcaster, I have no idea.*

My Mashing Isn’t Very Up. I tend to use the standard definitions, although the Witches of Galdorheim series refers to male witches as warlocks. I see nothing pejorative about it. My apologies to any offended Wiccans.

* An excellent article “What is a Warlock?” gives an interesting take on warlocks http://www.boudicca.de/warlock-e.htm


MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book  Audio Book
Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?
Traveling with her newly-found grandfather, a raging storm catches them unawares. Kat is tossed into the icy seas, while her brother and grandfather travel on to find help. Kat is rescued by an unlikely creature, and Rune is captured by mutants. Only the magical Midnight Oil can save her brother, but an evil forest elemental is trying to stop her.





WRITE A COMMENT - WIN A FREE AUDIO BOOK OR EBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE OF MY BOOKS

Tales of a Texas Boy
Missing, Assumed Dead
Bad Spelling
Midnight Oil


Monday, October 20, 2014

KindleUnlimited Books

Here's a reminder I have several books in the KindleUnlimited program. I'm a subscriber myself and, so far, finding it an excellent way to get books which cost way too much with the regular Kindle price. "Too much" in my opinion is more than $3.00 for a single title. Boxed sets (like my Witches of Galdorheim 3-book volume) can certainly cost more.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scotch Broom - Cait Sidhe

HALLOWEEN IS FOR WITCHES
The entire Witches of Galdorheim ebook series will be 99 cents each throughout October.
BAD SPELLING Kindle Ebook  Nook Book

MIDNIGHT OIL Kindle Ebook  Nook Book
SCOTCH BROOM Kindle Ebook  Nook Book 
SPELLSLINGER #Free on #Smashwords 

CAIT SIDHE 

Many many, many, many writers are in love with the Celtic myths. I’ve delved into them, too. However, I’m not a big fan of the flitty little cute faeries (or fae or fairies). In Celt mythology, there’s a fairy (or fae or faerie) for just about any purpose. The “serious” fantasies love the idea of the fairy troupe. More than a few equate fairies to Arthurian legends, more specifically Merlin.

The third book in the Witches of Galdorheim series, Scotch Broom, is set in the Scottish Highlands. Of course, I had to include at least one fairy in the mix or I’d be violating some unwritten fantasy rule.

If you write Celtic fantasy, then you know that Sidhe is pronounced Shee in Ireland and Sith in Scotland. I wonder where George Lucas got Sith lords? Hmm.

Anyway, I found a particular sidhe I liked. She’s a big black cat with a white chest. Aha! I used to have the model for said cat (in a much reduced size) sitting at my door every morning demanding a handout. We called her Bitch Kitty. Yes, she had attitude in spades. So, she's my model for Cait Sidhe, a companion to my erstwhile heroine, Kat.

My Mashup: From Scotch Broom

Kat has already found two companions: Sianach a stag and Cusith (another sidhe) a giant, green hound. They’re tromping through the swamps trying to find the Trow King’s hall in the middle of the Otherworld (the alternate magic world in the Scottish Highlands).

Excerpt:

They marched on in a straight line, having no better idea of which direction to go, while Cusith zigzagged ahead of them with his nose close to the earth. Suddenly, the green hound raised his head and bayed. A moment later, he galloped across the moor, water splashing when his huge paws hit the tiny pools.

“What’s up with him?” Kat asked.

Sianach lifted his chin for a better view. “He appears to be in pursuit of an animal of some type.”

“I hope he’s not hurting some little swamp creature.”

“If he is, then the beast is making Cusith pay for the privilege.”

Kat and Sianach walked faster after Cusith, the dog’s trail marked by flying grass and water. When Cusith finally stopped, Kat and Sianach trotted to catch up. The hound was standing over something furry and black that lay on the ground beneath his huge paw.

“No, don’t! Don’t hurt it,” Kat called out. Cusith turned his head toward her, tongue lolling.

“I won’t. It’s not food.”

Kat reached Cusith’s side and knelt down to examine the raggedy clump of ebony fur. It leapt up, scrabbling for a foothold, but Cusith clamped his paw down harder to hold it still.

“It’s a cat!” Kat reached out with her mind but met the same blank wall she had with Sianach and Cusith. So, she tried the old-fashioned way. “Here kitty, kitty. Nice kitty.” An ear-splitting yowl almost knocked Kat back on her rear.

“I am not your ‘nice kitty,’ you rude thing! I am Cait Sidhe; I’ll have you know. Surely, this stag...and mutt...have heard of me.”

Sianach, who stood to one side to stay out of the fray, nodded his elegant head. “Yes, I know you. Not that it is a pleasure.”

The cat hissed and swiped a pawful of razor sharp claws across Cusith’s foot. The big dog quickly released the black cat. “Sorry. Just having some fun.”

Cait sat up and licked a couple of swipes over the white spot on her chest.

“Now you’ve covered me with mud. It’ll take hours to get clean again.”

* * *

SCOTCH BROOM: Book 3 of The Witches of Galdorheim
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.
Kat is on her way to an exciting trip to Stonehenge but is led astray by a jealous rival. Caught in the Otherworld within the Scottish Highlands with a has-been goddess trying to kill her, Kat has to defeat the goddess and rescue her brother from the hag's clutches.






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