Sunday, January 22, 2023

Gung Hei Fat Choi 2023

 The year of the Rabbit (it's your year, Bugs!) begins on January 22nd, the western calendar. Read everything about the year at The Chinese New Year site.

This is a great year for one of my animal characters in the Witches of Galdorheim series. Name, Teddy the Rabbit. Katrina Galdorheim is a witchy Doctor Doolittle. She can talk to the animals and the animals can talk back to her. One of Kat's animal buddies isn't very talkative, but he understands what Kat says and communicates his feelings about events in his own way.

Teddy is Kat's Familiar. He's also a little brown bunny. We first discover Teddy when Kat, the klutzy witch, is attempting a transformation in her class. Each student has a familiar, of course. They are witches after all. The lesson is to use the transforming spell to change their Familiar to something else. It doesn't go as planned, of course. Kat also has to contend with Merrie, another student witch, who'd easily make the top of the Mean Girls list in any school. In a school for witches, Merrie can not only be a bully, but she can also inflict magical grief on anyone she doesn't like. And, for some reason, she absolutely hates Kat.

Excerpt - Chapter 1, Bad Spelling

The younger students practicing their first transformations looked to the board where, under Miss Mariah’s control, the chalk drew a practice pentagram stopping short of completing the last of the five points. She tapped the board. “An unattended pentagram can cause all sorts of problems, the least being a tusser or tomte taking advantage of an open gateway. They’re harmless for the most part but like to play tricks. So be prepared with your spell before completing the pentagram.” More than one kid smudged an opening in their already drawn star.

“Children, you must focus. Don’t let yourselves get distracted.” Miss Mariah adjusted a child’s grip on his wand as she walked by.

Merry curled her lip and hissed, “You’d better not screw me up. If I can’t work this spell right, it’ll be your fault.”

“Tough luck, Merry,” Kat snarled. “If you’re such a great witch, my being here shouldn’t make any difference.”

Turning away from Merry, Kat finished the final leg of her pentagram and set the bunny in the center. “Stay right there, Teddy,” she whispered to her little brown rabbit, setting a chunk of carrot in front of him. He made a dash for the edge of the desk. Kat hauled him back. “Cut it out. You’ll smear my chalk lines.” She stroked his soft fur for a moment. “Hope this works.” He twitched his nose twice, closed his eyes, and hunkered down.

Kat checked her spell book one last time, took a deep breath, and completed the spell with a loud “FullgerĂ°ur!” and a dramatic sweep of her arms, just missing Merry’s head with her wand.

Merry shrieked and jumped out of her chair. She glared at Kat while wiping green goo off the side of her face. “Your rabbit stinks. Just like your spellcasting!”

Kat’s mouth hung open for a moment; then she clamped it shut when she glanced down at what was left of Teddy sitting in a pool of slime dripping onto the floor. Merry was right about one thing. The goo smelled like pond scum.

Teddy looked up at his witch with sad, bulging eyes, the top half of a frog’s body floating in the green glop. Kat groaned. Poor, long-suffering Teddy. Green and slimy—that was the good part. The pink nose and floppy ears—not so good. If she couldn’t master transformation and the other mid-level junior spells, she’d be left behind again.

* * *


All the books in the series are available on Amazon and Smashwords. All five books are included in a single volume, The Compleat and True History of the Witches of Galdorheim.


Bad Spelling (Book 1 The Witches of Galdorheim). 
Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.

Midnight Oil (Book 2 The Witches of Galdorheim). You set the price!
Kat is a nervous wreck waiting for her boyfriend's first visit to her Arctic island home. He doesn't show up, so she's sure he’s given her the brush-off. When she learns he’s disappeared, she sets out on a mission to find him. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe.  The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Scotch Broom (Book 3 The Witches of Galdorheim). 
Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

Spellslinger - A Witches of Galdorheim Prequel Story.
What does a teenage half-warlock, half-vampire do to have fun? Why build an old west town on a glacier in the Arctic. There he can play at being the good guy sheriff up against mean old Black Bart.

Blood Ties Tested - A Witches of Galdorheim Story
Unfortunate events lead Rune, Katrina's half-vampire brother, into indulging his vampire side, leaving him with regret and sadness. Can dear old Dad help him forgive himself?


Saturday, January 21, 2023

AI Conversation



A friend of mine on Facebook used an AI to ask about herself ("who is ....). It turned up a ton of information, but most of it was somebody with a similar name, not her. Foolish me, I decided to give it a shot. My reign as the Cellophane Queen continues unbroken. You probably don't know what that means (if you accidentally got to this blog post), but the conversation with the AI might clarify why this is my chosen soubriquet. 

Me: What books were written by Marva Dasef?

Ans: I'm sorry, but I couldn't find any information about a person named "Marva Dasef" who has written any books. It's possible that the person you are asking about is not a published author. Without more information, I can't confirm if any books exists by this person.

Me: What books are listed on Amazon written by Marva Dasef

I'm sorry, but I couldn't find any books listed on Amazon written by a person named "Marva Dasef". It is possible that this person is not an author, or that their books are not available on Amazon. Without more information, I cannot confirm if any books exists by this person.

Me: Did Marva Dasef write "Tales of a Texas Boy"?* 

Ans: I couldn't find any information about a person named "Marva Dasef" who has written a book called "Tales of a Texas Boy". Without more information, I cannot confirm if this book exists or if this person is the author. It's possible that "Marva Dasef" is not a real person, and the title is made up.

Me: "Tales of a Texas Boy was written by Marva Dasef. What editions are available?

Ans: I apologize, but I couldn't find any information that confirms that "Tales of a Texas Boy" was written by Marva Dasef, nor any editions available for this book. It's possible that this book does not exist and the information provided is incorrect. It would be best to check with other sources or verify the information from an official website of the publisher or the author if the book exists or not.

Notation by me:
* Tales of a Texas Boy was published in 2007 and exists in ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audio formats on multiple sites.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Time Travel Conversation

Since Renee Duke and Marva Dasef both have Native American/First Nation characters in their books, we thought it would be nice if they had a chat. Here's Mitch from "Eagle Quest" and Skwkwwilp (pronounced Skookaweethp) from "The Spirit Rose."

Bear Friend: Hi, I’m Mitch, also known as Alisoqualvdi Unalii. That’s in Cherokee and kind of hard to say, just call me Bear Friend. I didn’t know what it was until long after the events we’re describing here.

I couldn’t tell my friends the whole story of my encounter with the bear in the Wildlife Refuge. What I could tell them is in the book, “Eagle Quest” by Marva Dasef.

There are a couple of reasons I haven’t told the whole story. First off, Fiona, Hap, and Billy wouldn’t believe I sort of spoke with the bear in my mind. They let that go, figuring if I wanted to believe it what was the harm.

The main reason, though, is a lot weirder than that. To explain what happened, I needed to have a special person here to help me out. Someone you can read about in another book, “The Spirit Rose”, by Renee Duke. I didn’t quite know how to ask this person here. I mean, it’s not like I could call her up on my phone. But she must have known I wanted her help again because she talked to me in a dream. She said, if I sat real quiet, and really concentrated, she’d come through to my mind. So that’s what I’m going to do…Are you there, Sk…um,,,Skoo…?

Skwkwwilp: I am here.

Bear Friend: Can you help me pronounce your name and then explain what went down when I met the bear in the clearing?

Skwkwwilp: My name? Hmm. You would perhaps find it easiest to say Skook-a-weeth-p. It is good to be with you again, Alisoqualvdi Unalii.”

Bear Friend: You pronounced my name right and everything, but maybe just call me Bear Friend or Mitch since this is in English. Could you tell the readers who you are, where you’re from, and, for that matter, when you’re from?

Skwkwwilp: If by where I come from, you mean a location, I am from what people of your time know as the Okanagan Valley. As to when…just think of it as long, long ago. Millennia ago.

Bear Friend: Before you describe your part in this incident, I’ll set up the situation. Basically, my friends and I were wandering around the wildlife refuge when we come to a clearing. There’s a huge tree fallen in the way. Before we could even get to it, a big black bear looked up over the log. It scared all of us. The others took off, but I heard, maybe that’s not the right word, I felt something that made me stay. That’s when you showed up, out of, like, nowhere, which was a really good thing because, otherwise, I think that bear would not have listened to reason. I didn’t hear you say anything, but the bear sure did. Right after you talked in its head or whatever you did, it came right up to me, sniffed a bit, and looked me right in the eye.

Skwkwwilp: The bear was wiser than you think. And not there by chance. It was looking for you. Your spirit guide, the friendly spirit which now protects you and seeks to help you find your way, required a living form. I had asked the bear to allow it to take its form.

Bear Friend: Yeah, when the bear talked in my head, it said we’d be connected from then onward. All other bears would recognize me and think of me as their friend. It just about blew my mind!

Skwkwwilp: Through your spirit guide, all bears are now indeed connected to you. This is because the manner in which a bear lives its life is one you, too, should follow. A bear is strong and fearless, but not constantly active. Just as a bear goes off to hibernate, you, too, should withdraw from others from time to time, to contemplate your life’s path.

Bear Friend: Cool. I wanted to learn more about spirit animals when we met, but you said you had to leave to help some other kids from this time. Did you have a bear go to them, too?

Skwkwwilp: Yes. Though it was not, like yours, a black one. A bear and other creatures protected Paige, Dane, and Jack from the disruptor, thus enabling them to reach me and claim the power of the golden circle long held for them.

Bear Friend: The disruptor?

Skwkwwilp: He who sought to interfere with their destinies. And still so seeks.

Bear Friend: So, they’re not through having trouble with him yet?

Skwkwwilp: Alas, no.

Bear Friend: Too bad. He must be a really bad dude if it took a lot of spirit animals to see him off. I’m glad I’ve got a bear for mine.  I’ve got a lot to think about. I hope we can connect again sometime in the future. See you later.

Skwkwwilp: Past, present, and future are as one, Bear Friend. Until the time of our next connection, farewell.

 
SPIRIT ROSE Buy on Amazon and Visit Renee's Author Page on Books We Love and Renee's Web Page

The discovery of an old book provides more information on the medallion, but Paige and Dane will soon be returning to Canada and know it will be several months before they can make another time trip with their cousin Jack. Then, amidst all the preparations for Grantie Etta’s one-hundred-and-fifth birthday party, strange things start to happen. As a result, Jack, too, must go to Canada. Once there, it soon becomes apparent that the only way for the Time Rose Travellers to stop the increasingly distressing alterations to their modern-day lives is to venture far into the Okanogan Valley’s past and locate the Syilx girl who has the legendary Arcanus Piece.

Check out all of the Time Rose books. They're great fun to read and you learn some history as well.

EAGLE QUEST (free on Smashwords)
(Free on Amazon with the Kindle Unlimited membership
Free audiobook with coupon - ask Marva for a one-use code
A Vision Quest turns deadly when four friends confront eagle poachers in a wildlife refuge.

Fiona, Hap, Billy, and Mitch make an odd set of friends, as different from the usual junior high school crowd as they are from each other.

Mitch, the oldest of the four, is a half-breed Native American, adopted by white parents. Troubled that he doesn't know his tribe, he avidly studies Native American history and lore. Learning the nearby Bear Valley Wildlife Refuge is a bald eagle nesting site, he wants to add an eagle feather to his medicine bag and explore the refuge as a site for his Vision Quest, a Native American rite of passage. He and his three friends get far more than an overnight campout as they encounter a black bear, a retired forest ranger living in the refuge, and a pair of eagle poachers. Bringing the poachers to justice, they test their courage and gain confidence in themselves and each other.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

SciFi Kickass Heroines

Most of my books are fantasies suitable for middle-grade and older kids. I also delve into other genres. If you like Science Fiction, you might enjoy one of these books. They are essentially the same plot, but "First Duty" is a nice PG-rating, while "Ultimate Duty" has adult material. Not erotica by any means, but stuff you could watch on British TV.

Free at Smashwords (you need a .MOBI file for Kindle, .EPUB for B&N Nook, .PDF is for Acrobat reader):
First Duty
Ultimate Duty

Both of these books are also available in audio format. Ask for a coupon code to get either for free. How do you ask for the freebie? Send me an email at mgdasef@gmail.com - Specify which book you want and someplace I can send you the code. Replying to your email would be easiest for both of us.

Tall, redheaded heroines kick ass. 

Yes, they do. But mostly only in fantasy and science fiction. When I wrote a redheaded heroine in my books "First Duty" and "Ultimate Duty," I used as my model a real-life person I had known years ago. She was a natural redhead, close to 6' tall (and more in her Frye boots), and she kicked every single ass while barely moving a muscle.

ULTIMATE DUTY:  A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties.

Facing a life of drudgery on a repressive factory planet, Remy Belieux longs to escape. Her only option for release is to enlist in the Space Service, becoming a soldier for her own world’s oppressors.

She receives her first assignment: guarding a charismatic rebel leader being transported to a prison planet. When rebel troops surprise them, Remy fails to thwart the ambush. Despite a commendation from her Captain, she feels she must redeem herself by recapturing the handsome fugitive.

Shocked by what she learns during the pursuit–her own family’s past involvement in the rebellion–Remy faces a dilemma: remain loyal to the oath she swore as a soldier or join the rebel cause and condemn herself to a death sentence for treason. What is her ULTIMATE DUTY?

FIRST DUTY: Nyra Hutchings, a young woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life.

When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. 

Now, she must decide what to believe, where her first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds. What is her FIRST DUTY?

Friday, January 06, 2023

New Audiobooks Now Available!

 THEY'RE HERE!


A Vision Quest turns deadly when four friends confront eagle poachers in a wildlife refuge. 

Fiona, Hap, Billy, and Mitch make an odd set of friends, as different from the usual junior high school crowd as they are from each other. Mitch, the oldest of the four, is a half-breed Native American, adopted by white parents. Troubled that he doesn't know his tribe, he avidly studies Native American history and lore. Learning the nearby Bear Valley Wildlife Refuge is a bald eagle nesting site, he wants to add an eagle feather to his medicine bag and explore the refuge as a site for his Vision Quest.



A military officer must choose between her sworn duty or her rebellious blood ties. Remy Belieux, a woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where her ultimate duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.


Message me on Facebook or write to mgdasef@gmail.com for promo codes for any of my audiobooks.




Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Now That We've Got The Holiday Mishmash Out of the Way

Folks hellbent on making Christmas about Jesus have almost every aspect of the holiday wrong. 

First off, it was a rip-off of Saturnalia which was a Roman holiday of debauchery dedicated to the god Saturn. 

When Christians were trying to convert the pagans, they had to 1) get rid of those pagan holidays, and 2) replace them with the more sedate and holier-than-thou holidays of which Christmas is the most full of lies...I mean mistaken history.

They had to clean it up, so they took a few rumors, odds, and ends to at least trade the fun party of Saturn for another reason to convert those pagans to Christianity. So, they made up this whole myth by combining some of the pagan stories and put their guy in the starring role.

First, Jesus was not born in December. That is just their excuse to replace the fun times with their own sorry state of a lie to fool the local yokels.

Things stolen from pagan tradition: 

  • Virgin birth
  • God being born as a human in the dead of winter
  • Gift-giving
  • Christmas trees and decorations

Much of this has been debunked elsewhere, so I'll leave it to Cracked magazine to give us this theft of a perfectly good pagan party to celebrate the Solstice and to confuse the gullible into thinking their god had anything at all to do with the pagan celebrations.

Six Things People Get Wrong About Christmas

They do mention that the replacement for the pagan Saturnalia wasn't really the start of the whole mess. Saturnalia was a multi-day party held from December 21st to 23rd. Quick! Let's invent a pagan holiday that they can then replace with their own myth. Thus Sol Invictus was born and quickly trashed for their own purposes. 

Why December 25th? That has to do with Hippolytus of Rome. He figured it by starting with March 25th, the accepted date of Jesus's death since at least A.D. 200. Add in the fact that, according to Jewish Talmudic tradition, all righteous men died on the same day they were conceived, and Jesus' conception must have also taken place on March 25th. Then basic biology tells us that nine months after conception comes the birth: December 25th.

Did I mention that the Jesus story is derived from a number of precursor heroes who happen to share a number of characteristics?  Note that all of these godly sorts lived years (centuries and millennia) before the Jesus story was mashed together. Interesting similarities no?












This is getting too long for anybody to read, so I'll stop here. There is more to say about Christmas trees, wreaths, gift-giving, and (most importantly wassailing). But I'll leave that as your homework. Surely, if you can research COVID to the point you'd rather die than be vaccinated, you can research the holiday you thought you knew. You really don't know jack about it.

Here are some links from actual reliable sources you can begin with. Consider it homework.

https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/articles/when-was-jesus-really-born.aspx

https://haquil.com/blogs/viking/why-did-odin-hang-himself-his-everlasting-quest-for-wisdom

https://www.cracked.com/article_15719_pagan-orgies-to-human-sacrifice-bizarre-origins-christmas.html

https://www.newsweek.com/christmas-tree-origin-story-pagan-tradition-1254178

https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees

https://www.britannica.com/plant/Christmas-tree