Category Archives: Guest Posts

Take the Autumn Train Blog Hop

This week I’m participating in the Wild Child Publishing event:

Do you have a favorite fall memory linked to a train? What do you imagine you would see if you were riding a train in the fall? Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freyas Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.

Prizes will include
 
  • Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two Freya’s Bower)
  • An awesome swag package that includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Books
    • Wild Child T-shirt and mug
    • Wild Child and Freya’s Bower bags
    • Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
    • An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
    • A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic “Up The Creek” (lovingly used)
    • One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
    • Book trading cards
    • Signed Dangerous Waters poster
    • of “Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud”
    • winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
    • A Yankee Candle
    • more…
A Brief Autumn Commentary by the Dreaded Author on Trains

I suppose I’m like a lot of people, and really enjoy watching or hearing trains. The trains in the Columbia River Gorge in particular have always drawn me. In part because of the many stories my father has of taking the train to Oregon every summer to visit his grandparents. They’d leave as soon as school got out, and return just before it began again and he found those summers wondrous, including the trains. So the year in Hood River I was excited to live on such a major shipping route. I used to stop on my walks along Starvation Creek trail and watch the train through the leaves when it passed by. I tried to take some pictures, but I never could get a good shot of them.

There is a sort of musical quality to the train whistle but it’s a diminished questioning sort of chord that leaves a person hanging. I suppose that’s part of it’s magic. Although as my mother said, the question it’s really asking is, will you get hit by the train or not? Still, it’s sort of romantic and symbolic, and so, as Paul Simon says, “Everyone loves the sound of a train in the distance.”

However, since moving to Salem, I’ve discovered they can be quite rude up close. Now, I was aware that Salem, like Hood River was on a major shipping route. Last time we’d lived here, we’d heard plenty of trains, especially on warm nights with the windows open. Those fall evenings just warm enough you can still have the window open and enjoy the breeze while all wrapped up in a polar fleece drinking tea.

Well, I got a wake up call, literally. At three am or so, I was startled away by a noise that was anything but distant. “Errrrr! Errrrr!” Like a foghorn in my backyard. The train wasn’t in the distance, it was in my bedroom. Too startled to do anything else other than roll over and go back to sleepy, I vaguely thought of that twilight zone where the ghost train smashes through the grandfather’s bedroom at the end, wrecking the house.

These Salem trains are out to get me. It’s a plot. I’m surrounded. I didn’t think I was really any closer to the tracks than the last time we lived here, but either 1) I am or 2) the wind blows just right (or wrong depending on your point of view) or 3) trains are a lot ruder than they used to be. Unlike the good old days where trains stayed questioning in the distance begging us to consider things could be better, they’re honking loudly in my window, telling me to get a move on it.

I’d better get going, because I think the question they’re asking is will that next novel of mine get done or will it get hit by a train.

Ardyth DeBruyn 

Chosen Sister Cover

My Wild Child book suitable for ages 9 and up in reading level, although you could probably read it aloud to a younger kid just fine:

Reina’s brother Austyn has been declared the Child Warrior, but he’s only six. What’s a big sister to do?

Allowed to accompany her brother, Reina discovers they’re in deeper trouble than she thought-the Gold Wizard isn’t shaping up to be the guide he’s supposed to be and the Red Wizard’s harpies and snakewolves are on their trail. If anyone’s going to find a way to track down the elusive Sword of Chivalry for Austyn and get him into the Red Wizard’s castle to fulfill whatever it is the obscure prophecy insists must be done, it’s got to be Reina.

 E-book available at Wild Child PublishingAmazon  and Barnes & Noble. Print Edition available at CreateSpace and Amazon.

Please visit these sites for more chances to win, the more you visit the more chances you have to win. We have 46 participating authors. You can stop at as many or as little blogs as you wish. At each stop, you will find either two chances to enter per blog to win some awesome prizes. If you visit all, that’s 92 chances to win! There will be five, lucky winners.
Take the Blog Train and Visit These Blogs for more chances to win

Marci Baun/Kit Wylde

Critters at the Keyboard

Teresa D’Amario

Judith Leger, Fantasy and Comtemporary Romance Author

Writing

The Fictional World of Jaime Samms

Follow Where the Path will Take You

The Wandering Mind of Lizzy P. Bellows

Where Love and Magic Meet

Kissa Starling

Marianna Heusler

Hell’s Ambrosia

C.M. Michaels

The Shadow Portal

The Blog Zone

Blog By iMagine

Ardyth DeBruyn Author Blog

Shadows of the Past

Dear Reader

Cassie Exline — Mystery and Romance

Sarcastic Rambling & Writing

That’s What I Think

Sue’s Random Ramblings

Make Old Bones

Elements of Mystery

Molly Dean’s Blog

Kenzie’s Place

The Forbidden Blog

David Huffstetler

Cassandra Ulrich

Carol Marvell

Andrew Richardson

Nick Lloyd

Fiddleeebod — land of stories

Nita Wick’s Blog

Ruth G. Zavitsanos

Too Poor for Texas

Jenn Nixon

City of Thieves

Musings and Doodles

Husein

The Western Writer

Bike Cop Blog

The Character Depot

Allen Currier

Tracy Holohan

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Thanks everyone!

Marva Dasef Guest Post!

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.

Marva Dasef: https://sites.google.com/site/mdasefauthor/books/galdorheim
MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/ScotchBroomMGD
Kindle Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ROH46K/
Scotch Broom Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYnRmbvPp7Q

Blurb:

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 she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times.

While dodging the goddess’ minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat’s brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.

Download a PDF Sampler of all three books in the series and the bonus short story, Spellslinger from http://temp.marvadasefcom.officelive.com/Spellslinger.aspx

Leave a comment to win a free ebook of any of the Witches of Galdorheim. To win a GRAND PRIZE, read the posts carefully, then answer the easy quiz on Marva’s Blog at http://mgddasef.blogspot.com between May 27th and 31st. All the information and links you need will be posted.

Scottish Legend and Myth – The Bodach

I had a terrific time researching Scottish mythology. I thought I knew a lot already being a fantasy fan and general myth and legend geek, but I was delighted to find a few beings to add to the Scotch Broom plot. Some of these lovelies became major players in the book. Sianach, the flesh-eating stag, Cusith the giant green hound, Cait Sidhe the cat fairy, to name a few. But I also found some irresistible characters I just had to work into the plot.

One that intrigued me was Bodach, the black giant. Once I had decided that Cailleach, the winter goddess, was going to be the villain, I decided she had to have a minion or two to do her bidding. The skrats were perfect to be the illusive little spies who reported back to Cailleach whenever Kat or Rune met someone in the Otherworld or made progress of some kind.

However, the crone would need some muscle to back her up. Bodach provided that. He’s not too bright, but is grateful to Cailleach for allowing him to live in her firewood box. Since it’s rather small for a giant, I allowed that Bodach could be just like me when waking up in the morning. Throw the legs to the side of the bed, then struggle to stand, creep slowly for the first few steps, but begin to work out the kinks. Stand up straighter, and grow taller. Finally, at full height and strength, stride off as the giant one is meant to be.

This is how I envisioned poor Bodach. A useful tool for Cailleach, kept in a woodbox, and taken out as the hag has need. I even found one reference indicating the Bodach was Cailleach’s husband. How more beaten down and subservient could a legendary being be then to be the spouse of a nasty old hag like the winter goddess. Indeed, their home is in a stone hut in Glen Lyon in Scotland. So, there you have it. A home, a husband, and a kid or two. Cailleach was the very model of a not-so-modern Scottish housewife.

Bodach has his own website (http://www.bodach.net/), which says:

The word ‘Bodach’ roughly translates as ‘Old Man’, and his favourite hobbies include crawling down chimneys and poking young children with his long bony fingers. Like the Bogeyman, the Bodach is said to steal away naughty children Specifically the Bodach-Glas, or Dark Grey Man (sometimes also known as the Dovach or Mournful One) and the Bodach au Dun or Old Man of the Hill were said to be heralds of death. These Bodachs are said to sometimes be swathed in a long grey cloaks and to hover slightly above the ground. Furthermore a tremendous gash cut across his pallid face dripping gore onto his beard and long, hoary hair.

My Bodach differs from this description. However, those who know me understand that I take every civilization’s myth and legend and then turn it to my own purposes. As always, I have taken great liberties with Celtic mythology.

Excerpt:

Cailleach groaned when she leaned over and lifted her bare foot high enough to clip her toenails with the gardening shears. She looked up and sniffed twice. The hag dropped her bare foot, stuffed it into her flipflop, and shuffled to the door. Throwing it open, she held her head high, closed her eyes, and sniffed some more.

“Drat! Not another witch.” She sniffed again. “Wait, a warlock. No, a vampire. Hmm.” She closed the door and slumped into a chair. “This is confusing. Maybe there are two.” She went to the woodshed door. Cailleach rapped three times and then stood back as it creaked open.

Bodach, her roommate and minion, dragged his crippled body out of the small hatch. “Yes, Mistrezz,” he slurred, casting one protruding eye upwards.

“We have another foreigner in the swamp. Get out there and find a skrat to check. No, not a skrat. I smell vampire. Find Glaistig and send her to investigate.” Cailleach patted him on the head. “There’s a good boy.”

“Can you tell me where Glaistig is hiding?” Bodach examined his armpit and sniffed.

“Go to the standing stones on the north side of the loch. She has a cave there.”

“Yes, Mistrezz.” Bodach dragged his limp legs behind him. He began to unfold in a way the eye could not follow. When he reached the door, he needed to bend and shuffle through sideways to fit.

“Bodach, stay with Glaistig and do as she says. She might need some muscle.”

“Yes, Mistrezz.” Bodach ducked and went to seek Glaistig, the Gray Lady.

Cailleach closed the door behind the giant and sat again. She twanged the long hair protruding from the wart on her chin. “This is all very disturbing. Two foreigners stomping around in my bog within hours. This second, though, he’s strange. Yes, male. That much is clear. But I smell on him both warlock and vampire. Very odd, indeed.”

****

About Marva:

Marva Dasef lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a fat white cat. Retired from thirty-five years in the software industry, she has now turned her energies to writing fiction and finds it a much more satisfying occupation. Marva has published more than forty stories in a number of on-line and print magazines, with several included in Best of anthologies. She has several previously published books. Her latest pride and joy is the Witches of Galdorheim Series from her super duper publisher, MuseItUp.

Where to find her:

MuseItUp Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/MIU-MarvaDasef
Blog: http://mgddasef.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/MarvaDasef
Twitter Handle: @Gurina
Book Trailers: http://www.youtube.com/user/MarvaDasef/videos