Tag Archives: Myth

Fairies, Myths, and Magic – all for 99¢

Colleen Chesebro has a new book out. Check out the promo, then check out the book.

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

From the Summer Solstice Eve through International Fairy Day, (June 20th – June 25th) the veil thins between our existence and that of the fairy realm. This is the best time of the year to experience magic in all its forms.

On International Fairy Day, we honor these supernatural creatures who have enchanted us for generations—the fairies, the fey, the sprites, and pixies of lore. Everywhere you look, fairies have permeated our culture through movies, stories, and even in our gardens!

In my research, I’ve discovered that fairies or some similar creature appear in the written and oral traditions of most cultures. Often there is a connection between the good or evil deeds the tiny beings to perform. The fairies, sprites, pixies, brownies, all fall into the category of mischievous little beings. The myths and legends are filled with sightings of these ethereal creatures performing both good and bad deeds.

Almost like parables or myths, fairy sightings were also used to teach lessons. Many a mother warned their offspring not to venture near the creek alone or the fairies would get ye! In reality, the warning was meant to scare children away so they wouldn’t drown.

My own experience in meeting a swamp fairy is recounted in Fairies, Myths, & Magic. I believe they reveal themselves to us for a reason. Fairies are elementals, the protectors of nature. As humankind wreaks havoc on the environment, these beings are alerting us to the damage we have caused. Their message is clear—fix the destruction before it is too late. An apropos message for the times, wouldn’t you say?

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the CarrotRanch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband, Ron. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. You can learn more about Colleen at www.colleenchesebro.com.

You can find Colleen in all the usual places. Drop by anytime.

colleenchesebro.com Author Blog

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Facebook Author Page

Sisters of the Fey Group Blog

Pinterest

Google+

Instagram

LinkedIn

And here is that all important purchase link: Smarturl.it.FairiesMythsMagic

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The Fireborn, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

My special guest today is here seeking our help. It’s like an APB for civilians. “Welcome to the show, Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones.”

“Thanks for having me on, Lisa. And please, you don’t have to spit out the alphabet when you talk to me, I am just plain “Elliot”.”

“Elliot it is then. Before we make that plea to our listeners, let’s get into you a bit. You recently went through a bad divorce, and fled London for New York City. Was it really all that bad?”

“It does seem like yesterday, but I wouldn’t call ten years recent. Eleanor is beautiful and devastatingly intelligent. She’s the woman of dreams. She’s… Damn it, I didn’t mean any of that. Actually, I hate her. She left me for my best friend, Mark. Ex-best friend I should say, and, I guess now ex-anything since he recently passed away. With Mark safely in the great beyond, I could return to London without fear of perhaps bumping into him at an awkward moment. An awkward moment would be any time either of us were breathing.

“I haven’t been back long, but I’ve been enjoying every minute. I did love New York. There is a treasure trove of old books the Yanks stole, I mean brought over there, allowing me to do some research as I taught at CUNY. But I do love exploring old estates, trying to be the first to lay eyes on a manuscript lost for hundreds of years, stuffed away in a great library, gathering mold. All of my best ideas have come from those dusty old forgotten books. That is what I do, read books and interpret them. A lot of people say I misinterpret them, but what do they know? In case you are wondering, I’m not a librarian or bibliophile, I’m a historian.”

“What era do you focus on in your work?”

“I like those fuzzy areas just at the verge of history, but if I had to pick one era that I specialize in, that would be British history from the time the Romans left until the Saxons were well settled and had the island carved up. It was an exciting period, full of change. And there are so many blank holes in the record of that era, which fascinates me. Imagine, some of those holes are perhaps big enough to hide a king, though I think he was more of a war lord or general, not a king at all. That’s Arthur, if you didn’t catch on. Uhm, King Arthur if you insist. Of course, my brother laughs at it all. He thinks I’m a bit daft and teases me about this little obsession with Arthur and some of my other fringes of history passions, which he thinks is a bit extreme.”

“In what way?”

“Hmmm. You’ve heard of Dr. William Everett-Jones, the distinguish archeologist, haven’t you? Half of the time I call someone they think I’m him and sound disappointed when I tell them that, no, I’m the less than distinguished Dr. Elliot, the historian. William has taken on the family profession and is as straight-laced as they come. All of the facts must be in a row, thank you very much. No room for creativity. Creativity. Right. He thinks that I am a bit too creative. Sure, some of my sources are little known romantic era authors who quote obscure 15th century poets who quote long lost 9th century manuscripts that have quotes form even longer lost 6th century letters, but I do pull some amazing facts form these madmen and absinth addicts! William just doesn’t understand. He is always so cold, so reserved. Except, except… Well, the other day, when he showed me the uhm.. well, his latest find. Hmmm. It was, how can I put it? Excuse me, it has that effect on people. Even William was at a loss for words. He felt it’s power. Yet he didn’t believe me when I told him that the giant pot he had discovered was the mythical Cauldron of Resurrection.”

“You’re going to have to flesh that out for me.”

“Oh come on, you know, don’t you? It is in just about every Celtic myth and legend written. The Welsh went wild over it. Some called it Pair Dadeni, the Cauldron of Rebirth. And there are references even in artifacts, like the famous Gundestrup Cauldron, with its depiction of an altered king creating an army of the undead. No? I mean, it is all over The Mabinogion. You know the parts about taking dead bodies and making fighting men? I’m sure you know the story Branwen the daughter of Llyr. And that’s just the beginning. There are stories of an ancient king, the Cauldron King, who used the undead, the Fireborn, to conquer large sections of Europe, pushing Celtic culture all over the continent. No?”

“Um, yeah, my history research is kind of lacking in that area.”

“You’ve have heard of Caesar, haven’t you? Julius Caesar? Name ring any bells? Right. Caesar described meeting naked Celtic soldiers painted blue when he tried to invade Britain. I’m not saying Caesar saw any fireborn, but these Celts were in costume of the scariest thing they could imagine. You see, when the Cauldron King placed a dead body in the Cauldron of Resurrection, given that it is properly heated, a fireborn will come out. This is an undead soldier. It is animated by the fire. The body is blue, like the heart of the flame while the hair sticks up like a punk rocker, but bright red, like tongues of flame. They are hot, so fight in the nude. The fireborn are dead and so can’t be killed.”

“Zombies, or super-zombies?”

“If you must call them that, yes. Actually, I think sword wielding naked blue zombies does have a certain ring to it, don’t you?”

“And what makes you think this is all real?”

“William dug up the cauldron. One-hundred-percent-fact-based William. It’s real. I touched it. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen it. There is nothing in the universe that has so affected my mind, not even Eleanor. It sucks the energy out of the room like a black hole yet spits out a dark energy. I’ve had dreams about it. I’ve seen them. The fireborn and more. My dreams match my research, obscure sources be damned. And it’s not just me. Everyone who has come into contact with it has had the dreams, even needs-ten-references-to-take-it-seriously William. The dark lord, the Cauldron King, would speak to him in his dreams every night. William told me this.”

“Maybe they used the cauldron to brew some kind of super hooch and it’s still potent enough to give you guys hallucinations.”

“No, no, no. Well, OK, there was a mythical cauldron like that, but this isn’t it. William’s kettle was guarded by bodies that still looked alive, including one I suspect was the Cauldron King himself. It all fits. It all is exactly as my research says it must be. Not that I’d mind finding the never-empty super-brew cauldron. In fact, I used to enjoy a pint at a pub known for its bottomless glasses and topless… oh, never mind. What’s important here is that the cauldron vanished into thin air. It weighed over a ton, the car park was muddy as all hell, and someone took it without a trace. No helicopter was involved. It’s just gone. That would only happen if it were, you know, the Cauldron of Resurrection. Damn. We need to find Caledfwlch right away. Uhm. You know, Caliburnus? Ah, yes, I’m sure you call it Excalibur. We need the Sword!”

“Excalibur. Seriously?”

“Yes. Excalibur. It was created to kill the fireborn. Didn’t you ever wonder where it came from? I’m still researching the Lady of the Lake, but I do know that she is the keeper of the sword. She rose form the depths to give Arthur the sword in Britain’s time of need and his men tossed it back to her when he rid the land of evil and died. We need her to rise from the depths again and give us the sword now that we are in our own time of need.”

“Strange women, lying in ponds, distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.”

“Ha ha, I say ni to that. Or perhaps no as I don’t want to be king. And if you were listening, Arthur wasn’t a king either, just a warlord that became famous because he rid Britain of the fireborn. Which he did because he had the Sword. It all comes down to that blasted sword. We need our fiery sword to stop the fiery undead, to stop the… Well in your terms, the zombie apocalypse. It is coming. Bullets can’t stop them. Arrows can’t stop them. Locomotives can’t, uhm, well, clichés can’t stop them. The sword can stop them. It is the only thing in the world that can kill the undead. Please, if there is anyone out there that is listening, if you have seen a forever young lady handing out magic swords, please call into this program. She’ll most likely be around a body of water, but if she is standing in a pond, puddle or on Lake Street… well, just call, OK? Do I sound a little desperate? I hope so. We need the Sword.”

“To tell you the truth, I hope you find Excalibur. I’d like to see it in a museum somewhere. On the off chance the Fireborn are coming, I’d also like you to find it. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Thanks Lisa, I think you are the first one who has taken any of this even half serious, or perhaps it’s a quarter serious. I’m known as an eccentric and I’ve screamed about this so much people are beginning to think I’m a lunatic. Those who don’t assume I’m just doing promotion for another one of my books. I’m not! It’s been several weeks since the cauldron vanished. The police are clueless and aren’t listening. I’m sure that sooner or later it will be all over the news. All of you out there, please be careful and keep your eyes open. If there is even a hint of sword yielding naked blue zombies, uhm, damn, I love saying that… as I was saying, if you hear a hint of the fireborn, stay away! They can’t be killed. Well, without the Sword. You’ll keep your eyes open for that too, won’t you? Let me know if, well, you know. Hmm, it does sound silly when I saw it out loud, doesn’t it? But, damn it, we need to be ready for them. They’re coming!”

“Elliot, I wish you luck in your… might as well call it a quest at this point. Listeners can learn all about Elliot, the cauldron, and the Fireborn in the book The Fireborn, by Trent McDonald. I’ll post all the deets on the website after I go off the air.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Trent and Elliot would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

The Fireborn is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.

US Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522046488

US Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MMH537

UK Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1522046488

UK Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074MMH537

 

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I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up.  I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write.  I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com.  I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.

I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.

If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts, specifically, Cape Cod.

One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.

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Collaborating on a book

I invited Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty to talk about writing a collaborative book. I’ve written one story in concert with Mari Wells over Halloween, but we each wrote our own story. The collaboration was in making sure our tales complimented each other. Ali and Jane have a book out now, and I’ll let them tell you about it.

Grá mo Chroí

‘Love of my Heart

Long ago in a green island surrounded by protective mists, a people lived among the relics of a bygone age of which they knew nothing, not being archaeologists, but around whom they created a mythology. They were a volatile people, easily moved to love or war, and motivated by a strict sense of honour. They had women warriors and handsome lovers, wicked queens and cruel kings, precious heroines and flawed heroes. Magic was in the air, beneath the ground, and in the waves of the sea, and hyperbole was the stuff of stories. They were the Irish, and these are a few retellings of some of their beautiful stories.

Introduction

Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty are writers with a shared heritage. Ali has woven that heritage into the fabric of her stories about Conor Kelly and his adventures in the Otherworld. Jane consistently slips references to the old stories and the old heroes into all of her novels.

This collection of retellings of some of the great love stories from Irish mythology is our tribute to this culture which has so captivated us. Love in the Iron Age, as you will see, did not have the benefit of Disney. The Ancient Irish had to contend with far more violence than modern lovers, and their ideas of what constituted happiness were not necessarily the same as ours. An Irish princess was not going to languish at the top of an ivory tower waiting for a knight in shining armour. She was much more likely to get on her horse and drag him out of his bed with a curse if he hung about too long. But in many ways, love through the ages has not changed one iota. Grief, sorrow and passion are all there in spadesful.

If the only thing you know about Irish mythology is Saint Patrick, serpents, and Leprechauns, it’s about time you read this collection. If you like what you see, this could be the start of a life changing experience.

Excerpt

From the Story of Baile and Aillinn:

Bailé, the soft-spoken, left Emain Macha in the north to meet Aillinn, his betrothed. Rare was such a wedding host, and uncommonly joyful. For the king of Ulster’s only son and the daughter of the king of Leinster had made a love match. Even the sun shone bright on Bailé’s journey, the hounds danced and milled about the horses’ legs, fancy bridle bits sang silver songs in the wind, and the company was filled with joy.

Bailé left behind his own lands of Ulster, the blue lochs and gorse-yellow hills where the eagles cried. Before him, beyond the purple peaks of home, lay the low, wooded hills and the rich plains of Leinster. He saw his Aillinn in the contours of the hills, in the white plumage of the swans on the river. She was soft as new grass and spring foals, wild as the March wind, and generous as the blackbird singing to the world. His heart was full of joy that soon they would be wed and their union would bind together her rich beauty of soft hills and birdsong, and his wild majesty of the eagle and the red deer.

Why did we write this book together?

Ali; We had already become friends through our blogs. I had this idea of re-telling stories from Irish mythology kicking around in my head for a long time, in fact, I had been incorporating some of them into my Conor Kelly books. It turned out that Jane, too, had already been re-writing her favorite myths. It just seemed natural that we would join forces and work on a compilation together. The first stories we worked on and subsequently revealed to each other just happened to be the most tragic ones, the love stories, perhaps because we connected in some way with the characters and what happened to them. We noticed the theme, and thought it would be fun to launch them for Valentine’s Day. That was in November, so we had to work fast… the Christmas and New Year celebrations held things up, but it’s amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it!

Jane; I started these retellings about a year ago with the story of Deirdre. It was cold, we had had a flurry of snow for about five minutes that had everybody gazing in wonder up at the sky, and the blackbirds were taken by surprise and fussed about in the trees. Something in the combination made me think of Deirdre and her feelings as a young girl kept in seclusion, just waiting to be married to an old king. One story led to another, and when Ali, at the end of last year suggested we have a go at rewriting some of these tragic stories, I knew I could do it. Tragic usually means love stories. Love stories means Valentine’s Day. Our collection had to be ready for February 14th. And it was!

Here’s what Jane and Ali think about author collaborations

Jane: There’s nothing like a good poke in the ribs from a so-called friend to produce results. The proof: I have been writing my own versions of some of the great Irish myths for over a year and have a whole clutch of them waiting to be polished and published. I even have a cover. What has been lacking is the motivation to finish the job. When Ali suggested in November last year that we have a go at retelling one or two of the old love stories, I was game. Of course I was! This was something I knew I could do.

But having the idea is one thing, getting the damn stories written and ready for Amazon is quite another. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t had Ali cracking the whip, this project would have been dead in the water. For all I know, she was getting as little actual writing done as I was, but to hear her go on! Setting deadlines, then pointing at the calendar, waving the stop watch at me. Even now, when the book is finished and up on Amazon, she’s still badgering me about different ideas for promotion, contests and giveaways. If you need a harridan on your back to make you work, Ali Isaac is your woman.

Joking apart, Ali’s energy and enthusiasm have made this project happen. She has been great fun to work with, a fund of ideas and invention. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Well…when I’d had a bit of a rest first.

Ali: And she calls me bossy? No sooner had we agreed on the project, and the stories, when a book cover pops up in my in-box! So while I was looking at that, she only goes and sets up a blog tour… she’s a whirlwind, I tell you, and I had my job cut out just keeping up with her!

Actually, I found Jane to be a pleasure to work with, and a very inspiring person to be around. Her writing style is so beautiful, her prose is so full of poetry, and she has a way of really seeing into the heart and soul of her characters, and transfers that onto the page with ease.

We naturally fell into the roles we took on, felt comfortable with editing each other’s work, and accepting criticism. It was a real team effort, and I think we have created something unique.

Of course, if the book flops, I can always blame her cover… and no doubt she will blame my poor formatting! Teamwork is a wonderful thing!

***

I have my copy in my TBR list. I’m not familiar with Jane’s work, beyond her blog. I am a great lover of Ali’s books and will certainly read and review this one.

You can contact and follow Ali and Jane at the following locations:

Jane can be found on her blog, on her Facebook Author Page, or tweeting. You can find out more about her on Goodreads, and all her books are available on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk.


You will find Ali pottering about most days on her blog, her Facebook Author Page, or tweeting. Alternatively, you can email her at: ali@aliisaacstoryteller.com. Her books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

 

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Researching a novel, by Mae Clair

I have something fun for you again today. Mae Clair and I are blogging about researching your novel today. You know the drill, my post will appear at From the Pen of Mae Clair.

Settings, Research and the Mothman by Mae Clair

 

A huge thanks to C. S. Boyack for inviting me to be a guest on his highly entertaining blog. I’m not sure where or when we originally connected in the blogosphere, but I’ve found he’s always got some interesting slice-of-life musing or observation to share. Craig is also a guest on my blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair today, so be sure to hop over and give him a shout-out if you can!

 

As an author, I primarily write romantic suspense and mysteries, but I’ve got a strong slant for most things mythical. I’m also mildly obsessed with folklore, cryptozoology (think Nessie and Big Foot) and urban legends. Every Monday I run a post called “Mythical Monday,” in which I blog about some aspect of the ethereal world, or shine the spotlight on a beastie of legend.

 

And that leads me to my topic for today. Strange as the segue may seem, I wanted to share some thoughts on research. I presently have four releases on the market with a fifth, MYTH AND MAGIC, due to publish on June 9th through the Lyrical Press imprint of Kensington Publishing. With each of those novels, I created fictional settings and towns. I never wanted to use an actual “place” because that would involve research. Ugh!

But a while back, I developed an idea for a novel spun around the legend of the Mothman. Remember that cryptozoology thing I mentioned? Well, for those who might not be familiar, the Mothman is a winged humanoid (cryptid) who plagued Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966-1967. You might remember the Mothman Chronicles with Richard Gere—a movie based on the bestselling book by John Keel. Hundreds of people reported seeing the Mothman in Point Pleasant, and also among the abandoned buildings and “igloos” of a nearby old WWII munitions storage facility. Now a wildlife management area, that facility is known locally as “The TNT.”

How could I realistically write a book about the Mothman without visiting Point Pleasant? Sure I could research the area online, haunt Google Earth sites, and read all the books I could get my hands on—all of which I did. But without visiting Point Pleasant and the TNT, I felt I couldn’t accurately capture the flavor of the area. For the first time, I would be writing a novel with an established town as the setting, and I wanted to do it justice.

So I convinced my husband we should take an extended weekend trip to Point Pleasant. You won’t find touristy attractions there, or hotels catering to spa-like leisure activities, but you will find a town that has changed dramatically since 1967.

It isn’t just the legend of the Mothman that haunts the area, but also the memory of the Silver Bridge—an eyebar suspension bridge that spanned the Ohio River between Point Pleasant and Gallipolis, Ohio. On December 15, 1967, at the height of rush hour traffic, that bridge collapsed into the icy river below, claiming 46 lives.

For someone who routinely fictionalized settings, learning to pay tribute to the spirit of an established town and its history—good and bad—was an action I’m glad I took. Fortunately, I live on the East Coast, so the drive was only a little over six hours each way.

What about you? How much research would you do for a WIP,or how much have you done? How important do you rank author research when writing, or even, reading a novel?

 

The book I mentioned above will be ready for submission to my publisher in the next two weeks. In the meantime, should you like to take a glance at any of my current releases—ranging from time/travel paranormal romance, to contemporary romantic suspense/mystery, I invite you to check out my Author Page on Amazon.

Thanks again to Craig for allowing me to take over his blog for the day. Any Mothman or urban legend fans out there?

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website

Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads

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