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.
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.”
rosy morn, winter kissed—
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