Mabon in the Southern Hemisphere – Ostara in Northern Hemisphere

Many Mabon blessings for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as we say goodbye to summer and prepare for the autumn months.  Although here in Australia where I live, we seem to have skipped summer. May we be wrapped in warmth from the autumn/winter fires.   Blessed Be!

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Mabon is very much like Thanksgiving. Most of the crops have been reaped and abundance is more noticeable than ever! Mabon is the time when we reap the fruits of our labor and lessons, both crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, to celebrate that which is passing (for why should we mourn the beauty of the year or dwindling sunlight?), looking joyously at the experience the year has shared with us. And it is a time to gaze into the bright future. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe; endings are merely new beginnings.

Since it is the time of dying sun, effort is also made to celebrate the dead with joyous remembrance. Natural energies are aligned towards protection, wealth, prosperity, security, and boosting self-confidence. Any spells or rituals centered around balance and harmony are appropriate.

Also, (from a variation in legend) the Equinox is the day of the year when the god of light, Lugh, is defeated by the god of darkness, Lugh’s twin and alter-ego, Tanist. The night conquers day. The tales state that the Equinox is the only day which Lugh is vulnerable and the possibility of his defeat exists. Lugh stands on the balance (Autumn Equinox-Libra) with one foot on the goat (Winter Solstice-Capricorn) and the other on the cauldron (Summer Solstice-Cancer). He is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).

Two events occur rapidly with Lugh’s defeat. Tanist, having beaten Lugh, now takes over Lugh’s place both as King of our world and lover to the Goddess Tailltiu. Although Tanist now sits on Lugh’s throne, his official induction does not take place for another six weeks at Samhain, the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Dark King, the Winter Lord, the Lord of Misrule. He mates with Tailltiu, who conceives, and will give birth nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) to her son, another incarnation of Tanist himself, the Dark Child.

 Northern Hemisphere – Ostara

To those in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Ostara as you welcome the Spring and all the new growth. Blessed Be!

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This festival is named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre, also known in Old German as Ostara. Little is known about this Goddess except that Her festival was celebrated at the Spring Equinox. She was a Goddess of Fertility and was connected with hares and eggs. She may have been a Goddess of the Dawn. She may also be connected with the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora, both Dawn Goddesses, and with the Babylonian Ishtar and Phoenician Astarte, both who are Love Goddesses.

The Spring Equinox is a time both of fertility and new life, and of balance and harmony. Light and dark are here in balance, but the light is growing stronger. It is a time of birth, and of manifestation.

The days grow lighter and the Earth grows warmer. At Ostara, seeds may be blessed and planted. Seeds of wisdom, understanding and magikal skills may also be planted. Eggs are used for the creation of talismans, especially for fertility, or ritually eaten. The egg is a symbol of rebirth and its yolk represents the sun, and the white representing the White Goddess. This is a time of both growth and balance, a time to work on balancing yourself.

Ostara is a celebration of birth and new life. You will begin to see shoots of new growth and swelling buds on the trees. Energy is building as the days become warmer. This is the time of the official return of the young Goddess after Her Winter hibernation. The young God has now grown into manhood. It is believed that at Ostara the Goddess and the God consummated their love for one another. From this the Goddess became pregnant with the God to be reborn at Yule.

The Green Man is very predominate at this time of the year. He is a personification of all life that exist deep within Nature and is usually represented as the foliate mask made up of greenery, leaves growing from mouth and nose, and encircling the face as beard and hair. In some pictures He looks savage, ugly or threatening; in others He is benevolent and watchfully protective.

Blessed Be!

 

New Release – Battlecry by T. Jackson King

Today I have a New Release for you from my friend T. Jackson KingBattlecry is book three in the StarFight series.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-spaceship-des

 

Description1

Jacob Renselaer arrives in the Kepler 22 system, carrying a wasp ambassador as a sign of humanity’s hope for an end to its first interstellar war. But that hope crumbles as Jacob, his girlfriend Daisy, ambassador Hunter One and Marine chief O’Connor watch unknown aliens drop thermos-nukes on the wasp colony world, killing wasp larvae and adults. These new aliens pursue Jacob’s ships and a fleeing wasp ship. To Jacob’s horror, the new aliens attack with mobile balls of antimatter! Facing sure death, Jacob retreats to the Kepler 63 wasp colony world where Hunter One demands that he and his fleet defend a colony with 23 million wasps. Where does his duty lie? Must he fight and risk lives and ships to protect their former enemies? Or will help arrive from his father the admiral, or from other wasps? When the shark-seal aliens arrive at Kepler 63, battles happen that threaten the lives of all three peoples—human, wasp and amphibian. Can Jacob and his friends win a fight where they are badly outnumbered? Or will a fight to defend wasp civilians end in the destruction of the Battlestar Lepanto and all of Jacob’s hopes for a future with Daisy? All that is certain is that the amphibian aliens are relentless, their mobile antimatter balls are something no ship can escape and communication is impossible with creatures who talk with skin color patterns!

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Re-Release – Outcome by Dr Barbara Ebel

Today I have a re-release of the novel, Outcome by my friend Dr Barbara Ebel.

OUTCOME

Fierce weather from Hurricane Ivan stalks Karen Puno and her dog, Putt-Putt, as they flee their home and reach the barrier island’s bridge where both their destinies change. Karen is about to give a woman named Jennifer Barns a gift that she’s been praying for … a new liver.

As a cascading medical crisis begins, it interlocks the lives of Karen and Jennifer’s college-aged children, an anesthesiologist, a crafty surgeon, and a feisty pilot involved with the organ harvest procurement.

Will Jennifer live through the heart-stopping surgical tension in the O.R.? Will Putt-Putt find shelter from the devastating storm and circumvent the horrific events that befall him? From tragedy to triumph, Outcome is an intense, heart-wrenching, and climactic novel.
*****
Has it been a long time since a book made you cry, or cheer, or make you regret finishing the last page?

If it has, then put Outcome on your reading list. It’s an emotionally-charged novel about the families, health-care team, and pilot involved with a liver transplant. Keep a box of tissues within reach. You’ll also need them for the heartbreaking yet glorious plight of the donor’s dog who goes missing in the original disaster.
*****
This is the NEW 2017 EDITION of Outcome, a Novel.

‘Doctor Barbara’s other books are also standalone stories like Outcome. However, each one of them also belongs to one of her two medical fiction/suspense series:

The Dr. Danny Tilson Novels:
Book One: Operation Neurosurgeon
Book Two: Silent Fear: a Medical Mystery
Book Three: Collateral Circulation: a Medical Mystery
Book Four: Secondary Impact

The Dr. Annabel Tilson Novels:
Book One: DEAD STILL
Book Two: DEADLY DELUSIONS
*****

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Cover Reveal -Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene

reblogged from http://www.susanillene.com/2017/03/06/cover-reveal-for-destined-for-shadows/

I am excited to reveal the cover for Destined for Shadows to you all today, and if you keep reading, there is a giveaway to go with the post!

This is the first book in the Dark Destiny Series (a spin-off of the Sensor Series).  Both this book and the second one will feature Cori and Bartol as the main characters.  Originally, I’d planned to give them only one installment, but with their histories and obstacles to overcome, I felt there was a lot to tell that probably wouldn’t fit into just one novel.  After I conducted a poll last spring among readers, I found everyone who responded agreed and thought Cori and Bartol needed at least two books.

COVER ART– Victoria Miller

PHOTOGRAPHER– Josh McCullock

MODELS– Samantha and Max Radcliffe

 

SUMMARY

Cori Marsh might have a shady past, but at least she’s human, which is more than she can say for her new neighbor.  Bartol is something else—a nephilim who just got out of a century-long sentence in Purgatory that damaged him both inside and out. He’s as intriguing as he is grumpy, and she’s determined to fix him no matter how much he tries to push her away.

But Cori has her own problems.  A man from her past has returned to Fairbanks, Alaska to seek revenge.  While she can hold her own against the average person, this guy is no longer human, and he’s determined to make her pay for what she did years ago.

If she’s to survive the danger coming for her, Cori will need the help of her supernatural friends—especially Bartol.  And if a little romance develops along the way with the nephilim?  Well, at least she’ll have gotten his mind on something besides what he went through in Purgatory.

Expected release date- March 25th, 2017

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We conducted the photo shoot for the Cori and Bartol books back on February 6th.  I was lucky to find a husband and wife model team who fit close to what my characters looked like, and it definitely helped show the chemistry between them for the various poses we used (some of the ones you see in the video were for promo and others for the covers).

Because Bartol has burn scars on one side of his face from his time in Purgatory, I wanted that reflected on the model for the cover.  I hired a fantastic makeup artist, Celeste Raquel, to handle it and thought she did an amazing job. It isn’t an exact replica of how Bartol’s scars would appear since his are a little more extensive and influenced by magic, but it’s fairly close.

Celeste and her assistant, Mauri, also had to do a major tattoo cover-up job because the models had tattoos the characters did not. In addition to that, we had to put a wig on the female model so her hair color and style could match Cori’s from the book.  It took several hours to prep the models, but I am very pleased with how the shots turned out.  It was definitely worth all the effort.

 

And now for the giveaway details!  Three lucky individuals will receive an ebook copy of Destined for Shadows the day before it releases.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post http://www.susanillene.com/2017/03/06/cover-reveal-for-destined-for-shadows/ (not Goodreads if you’re reading from there) and make sure you put a valid email address in the appropriate field so that I can contact you if you win.  This giveaway will remain open until March 15th, and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Also, if you’d like to add the novel to your Goodreads TBR list, you can do so here.

New Release – Flesh for the Zombies by Anthony Renfro

I have another great story for you by author Anthony Renfro, Flesh for the Zombies, The Mike Beem Chronicles. Enjoy.

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Description1

When Mike Beem’s community is savagely attacked, he must exact revenge on those who wronged him. He must put aside all the good he has ever accomplished in order to become someone else. A man without a moral compass. A man without right or wrong. A man who is a cold blooded killer. Will he get his justice or will he die trying? The answers lie within the pages of this short story.

 

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Lammas in Southern Hemisphere – Imbolc in Northern Hemisphere

To all of us in the Southern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Lammas.

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Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest

By Patti Wigington, About.com

The Beginning of the Harvest:

At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days  are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.

This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures:

Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread:

In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheaves of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.

The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God:

In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Honoring the Past:

In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

Crafts, Song and Celebration

Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

Imbolc – Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Imbolc, stay warm and cosy during these cold nights.

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Imbolc Lore

Posted on February 2, 2015 by ladyoftheabyss

It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house-if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.

If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow.

Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins-all foods symbolic of the Sun-are also traditional.

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham

 

Available for Pre-Order: Legends of the Damned

Reblogged from – http://jadekerrion.com/available-for-pre-order-legends-of-the-damned/#respond

The ULTIMATE Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Boxed Set!

Legends3D

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With over one million words of magical fiction from the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres, this omnibus will provide over one hundred hours of reading, including some BRAND NEW material!

The sparks fly off these fantasy and action-driven pages, carrying you away into parts of the world you’ve only ever dreamed of!

If you want a collection packed with witches, vampires, shape shifters, faeries, aliens, ghosts, and more, then you’ve found what you’re looking for with LEGENDS OF THE DAMNED!

Pre-order today to find out where these legends will lead you!

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International bestselling author Lindsey R. Loucks
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