Fairies, Myths, & Magic II, Book 2: A Winter Celebration

Greetings, Readers, One and All.

Welcome to the launch of Colleen Chesebro’s new book, a celebration of the winter season’s Fairies, Myths, & Magic. She’s the head poetess over at Word Craft Poetry (her blog), and she’s put me in the mood for a mug of eggnog, a sprig of mistletoe, and a warm fire. I have a review of her book below, but first, I’m turning the post over to Colleen.

Day One: 12/1/22 Yule Blessings Book Tour

Thank you, Diana, for the opportunity to share the news of my new book, just in time for the winter solstice and Yule.

In Fairies, Myths, & Magic II, I researched the mythologies of Yule and the winter solstice. I was surprised to learn how almost all cultures featured a myth about Yule and the winter solstice.

In the northern hemisphere, the date falls on December 21st or 22nd. In the southern hemisphere, the dates are June 20th or 21st. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere is the day with the least amount of daylight, giving us the longest and darkest night of the year on December 21st.

In the Pagan tradition, the winter solstice represented the figurative death and rebirth of the sun. Yule became a time of great celebration because the people realized spring would bring warmth back to the land.

Did you know there were many female figures of Yule and winter? Many of these women are long forgotten. There’s the Irish Goddess of Winter – The Cailleach Béara, The Night of the Mothers, Frau Holle, and many others. I share their stories through short stories and poetry.

Here’s one of my favorite myths featuring Frau Holle. The wild hunt was a way to explain the wicked storms of winter. Odin bears a resemblance to our Santa Claus and could have been the inspiration for the jolly old soul.

The Wild Hunt

Call down the huntsmen,

upon black horses they ride

with hounds as black as pitch

and staring hideous eyes

their screams and howls

resound against the algid night.

*

Odin’s phantoms—the cult of the dead

glide through the ebony sky

a spectral, nocturnal horde

howling on the wind,

Frau Holle riding high.

*

When the baying winds blow,

and Yule fires are lit

stay away from nightfall

lest you manifest the restless dead.

*

Beware the berserkers…

for the host of wild souls will sweep down

and drag you to your death!

___

Prepare to embrace the darkness and the light in Fairies, Myths, & Magic II.

Colleen’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Colleen-M-Chesebro/e/B01N9MV2RX

Amazon Universal Link: https://mybook.to/FairiesMythsMagicII

About the Book

In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.

From autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, the Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.

Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.

My Review:

A celebration of winter is a great description of this highly recommended collection of poetry and short fiction. It’s the companion to the first book “Fairies, Myths, & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Chesebro explores winter legends from around the world, from pagan creatures who steal naughty children in the night to mischievous house elves. From the wild hunt to the origins of traditions such as yule logs, holly, and Father Christmas. The book offers explanatory introductions to winter’s fairies and myths and brings them to life with syllabic poetry and flash fiction.

A few of the legends that struck my fancy were “Ameratasu” from Japan, “Gryla, the Christmas Troll” from Iceland, and “Snegurochka – Snow Girl” from Russia. Some of my favorite stories were “Tomte, the House Elf” and “The Long Walk.”

Chesebro’s syllabic poetry shines, full of beauty, humor, nature, and magic both delightful and haunting. Written in multiple forms and replete with beautiful imagery, it was the highlight of the book for me. A few favorite poems were “Lady Autumn,” “The Wild Hunt,” “Happy Dongzhi Festival,” “Swift Passage,” and “Dreaming.”

Dreaming

rosy morn, winter kissed—

fields incandescent

bursting with the glory of a brand-new day

the wheel of the year turns

another month gone

from the sun’s fiery glow

lilac shadows fade

while frost browned grasses

sing anthems to the wind

wild black-headed geese soar

far away from home

beneath the frosty rime

roots tremble with growth,

awaiting the thaw and the

warm rains to come

seeds loiter in the depths

dreaming of the spring

About the Author:

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction.

In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry.

Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch.

In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books.

Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

Find Colleen here:

Blog: Word Craft Poetry: https://wordcraftpoetry.com

Author Blog: Colleen M. Chesebro, Author, Poet & Unicorn Cats Publishing Services: https://colleenmchesebro.com

Facebook Page: Colleen M. Chesebro, Poet & Author: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100085941528913

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/colleen-m-chesebro-6b856b237

Welcome Teagan and her latest book Hullaba Lulu

I’m so pleased to welcome Teagan to the Mirror to share her latest book. I haven’t read this one from end to end yet, though I caught a lot of episodes on her blog. Now I can read the whole novella without interruption! Teagan has a wild imagination and this one promises to be another zany, fantastical read. Take it away, Teagan:

Lulu and Friends by Teagan R Geneviene

Lulu and Friends by Teagan R Geneviene

Hi, Diana. Thanks so much for hosting me to announce my novella, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure. I know you already have a lot on your plate. Congratulations on a superb launch for your latest, Liars and Thieves.

Even though this story was a blog serial in 2018, it will have a different “feel” to sit down and read it as a book. Plus there are plenty of people who weren’t on the dieselpunk train back then.

What is “dieselpunk” anyway? Hullaba Lulu has a 1920s aesthetic with retro-futuristic technology, a dash of magic, and some creepy settings, along with a crew of misfit characters. Lulu is a snarky, but good-hearted flapper. She and her friends get into all sorts of trouble (often due to Lulu’s clumsiness). They travel on a magical train to a lot of “sideways” places.

At the back of the novella I included a list of Real-World Things. The one I’m sharing here is the Tesla Coil, which was also known as a lightning machine. I’m including a related snippet from the novella.

Real-World Thing

Tesla tower. Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Tesla tower. Illustration by Teagan R. Geneviene

Tesla Coil (Lightning Machine) is an electrical resonant transformer circuit designed by inventor Nikola Tesla in 1891. Tesla used these circuits to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in spark-gap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in medical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices.

Snippet

The Tesla coil comes into the story several times. Here’s a snippet:

I moved to a device with a sphere and lightning bolts that ran steadily to another machine.

“Hello, Miss. Your friends are looking for you,” an angel-bot commented as he entered the control room. “Do be careful. All the instruments are precisely set and require delicate handling,” he added in the typically matter-of-fact way of the clockwork creatures.

“What’s this thing?” I asked of the lightning bolt device.

“Ah! The Tesla Coil. It was made by Nikola Tesla himself and gifted to Valentino,” the angel-bot explained with a tone of awe.

I had heard of Nikola Tesla. He sounded like a real grouch. No wonder Valentino knew him. Grouches of a feather… Maybe Tesla wore those pointy toed shoes too. Those dog kennels would make anybody grumpy.

“Something seems rather off about the devise,” the angel-bot said with an inquisitive tilt to his bluish gold head. “I should—” he stopped talking and blinked at me as if I were suddenly the object of his curiosity...

***

Video Book Trailer

Diana, thanks again for letting me visit. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

Here’s the rest of the information for Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

Cover and Blurb

Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene

Hullaba Lulu cover by Teagan R. Geneviene

Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure is a wild and wooly 1920s fantasy story. Lulu, the heroine is inspired by the song, “Don’t Bring Lulu,” from 1925 ― so are her pals, Pearl and Rose. My Lulu loves to dance, and freely indulges in giggle water. She snores and burps and says whatever she wants. Lulu is a snarky but good-hearted flapper. The song’s inspiration stops there, but the story is just beginning.

Travel with Lulu and her friends on a magical, dieselpunk train that belongs to the smolderingly handsome and enigmatic man known only as Valentino. They get into all sorts of trouble, usually due to Lulu’s clumsiness. It’s an intense ride through a number of pos-i-lutely creepy settings, including “sideways” versions of Atlantic City and the Cotton Club. At every stop and in between, Lulu ends up creating chaos. There’s no telling where they’ll end up. No, Lulu! Don’t touch that!

Lulu’s the kind of smarty, breaks up every party,

Hullabaloo loo, don’t bring Lulu,

I’ll bring her myself!

Purchase Links

Throughout October, Hullaba Lulu is at an introductory price. The eBooks are only 99¢. For those who boycott Amazon I made a Kobo eBook too.

Kindle: Click this universal link

Paperback: Click this universal link

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hullaba-lulu

Hullaba Lulu promotional image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Hullaba Lulu promotional image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Also…

While it is not exactly a companion volume to any of my Roaring Twenties stories, I’ve written a 1920s slang dictionary. I’m careful to use slang in a context that makes it understandable, but you might enjoy having Speak Flapper. It debuted at #1 in its category at Amazon. Here’s a review from Annika Perry at Goodreads.

Author Bio

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest (of the USA). Teagan most often writes one kind of fantasy or another, including the “Punk” genres, like steampunk, dieselpunk, and atompunk. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or an urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no extremes in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her talents also include book covers and promotional images. She makes all of her own. Teagan is currently exploring the idea of offering that service to others.

All of the books by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene are available at her Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Page Universal Link

Her latest release is from the punk genres, Hullaba Lulu, a Dieselpunk Adventure.

Social Media Links

You can also visit me at:

Blog: www.teagansbooks.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

The Bossy Muse insists that I need help

My Muse (pixabay compilation)

I have my feet up in my writing room, and I’m getting a little cross-eyed from editing commas.

I look up and listen. Someone’s clomping up the stairs. I’m hoping it’s the hubby with an iced coffee. But no such luck. I hear the roar of a howler monkey, and my laptop nearly flips to the floor. I know who it is.

My muse.

She walks in without knocking. The monkey on her shoulder bares its yellow teeth and squeezes a banana until the peel splits. The muse sits beside me and puts her boots up on the coffee table. The howler smears banana on my arm and grins.

I frown at the mess. “Why did you have to bring him?”

She ignores my question and gives me a flat look. “I just had an iced coffee with your husband. He said you’re planning to do the usual.”

My chin draws back. First, where’s my iced coffee? Second, I have no idea what “the usual” means.

I’m about to ask when the howler swings to the floor and starts pulling books out of my bookcase. He bites the corner of Jacqui Murray’s new book Against All Odds. I jump up and snatch it from the beast’s teeth. It barks at me, and I growl in reply.

I keep one eye on the monkey while questioning my visitor, “Okay, I give up. What’s ‘the usual?’ You know, I have work to do for my launch.”

“Exactly,” my muse says. “A launch is more than one blog post announcing a new book.”

“Oh.” I wince. “But… but that’s…”

The muse arches an eyebrow. “… what you usually do?”

My face contorts. My stomach hurts. She’s going to make me do a real launch. My little introverted self squirms at the thought. “Do I have to?”

“I’m not forcing you to eat a goblin’s heart.” She rolls her eyes and takes Jacqui’s tooth-marked book. “Jacqui does great launches. Run it by her. If you do half of what she does, it will be ten times more than your usual.”

“But she’s good at everything.” I slump, my head sliding down between my shoulders. “She’s so organized.”

My muse looks as sympathetic as a stump. “The next time you see me, we’ll discuss a new book. It’s up to you to finish this series up and give it your best. Ask for help.”

With that, she takes the monkey’s hand and clomps down the stairs. I get up and peek out the window. The monkey vanishes in the sunlight. My muse turns to wave and shifts into her next shape, the one that will invade my space in a few months with fresh inspiration…

***

Thank you to everyone who signed up. I’m so grateful for your kindness and generosity.