New Release -Star Spy By Will MacMillan Jones

New Release Star Spy (Scout Pilot book 6) by my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  There are many new books to read during this lock down time.

Star Spy

 

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If you have a secret, then keep it secret that you have a secret to keep, goes the old saying. Frank Eric Russell now has one secret too many. Not only is he working for a man who believes that secrets are best kept by the dead, he is undertaking missions that stand high chance of being fatal in their own right while spying on his employer on behalf of the most feared man in the Galaxy – who also wants him dead. If the life of a spy is fraught with risk, the life of a double agent is doubly dangerous when the stakes are raised in the private war between the espionage services.

War is coming and the major Powers are readying themselves for the conflict. As the Galaxy descends into the confusion of war, will there be room for one man in an outdated scout ship to find a way of surviving and meeting his obligations to both his employers? If the chance comes his way, Frank will take the money and try to escape. Will he get that chance?

Follow Frank into the chaos where, to simply stay alive, he will need all his luck and to use his special skill to the utmost: running away.

Readers’ praise for the Scout Pilot Series:

I enjoyed the first one so much I just had to buy the next two straight after. The luckless Frank Russell is an engaging travel companion. I feel I have seen much of the underside of the Galaxy in his company.
LOVED IT!!! Very funny! A witty good clean fun read.

Will Macmillan Jones is a story teller and a fine one. As I read these books I found myself swept along by the story.

If you’re a fan of retro sci-fi and quirky humour, it’s definitely for you.

A twisting, turning sci fi plot and a galaxy full of larger than life characters

 

 

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New Release – Slayer Geezer By T. Jackson King

Today a New Release, Slayer Geezer (book 4 in the Transcendent series) by my friend T. Jackson King.

Slayer Geezer

 

 

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Jack Hansen just wants a normal life, despite his possession of super mind powers. He prefers to Heal kids with fatal illnesses. And spend time with his new love Claudia the brain doc. But the Emperor of the Realm of Blackness has other plans for him. The Emperor attacks the American President, Jack’s plane, a college professor and then comes up with a plan to kill most of America’s people. All to punish Jack for ‘hurting’ the emperor with Holy Water. Jack knows he has to win this fight. For himself. For Claudia. For a future with hope.

 

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Samhain in Southern Hemisphere – Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

Many Samhain blessings in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is Halloween here so why not put up some decorations to make the time indoors more fun. It’s cold and the rain is pouring down and I have a cat draped over my legs.  The days are growing cold here and in these trying times we are all indoors.  We have been incredibly lucky with the numbers here in Australia.  So continue to take care and look out for each other.  Blessed Be!

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Samhain Lore and Traditions

Also known as: November Eve, Feast of the Dead, Feast of Apples, Hallows
and All Hallows Eve.

Possibly the biggest festival of the Witches’ year, Samhain is a time to remember those who have passed on, celebrate the Summers end and prepare for Winter months ahead. The Sun God and earth fall into slumber, as the nights lengthen and winter begins.

Samhain, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne) means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this Sabbat.

Various other names for this Greater Sabbat are Third Harvest, Samana, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas (Scottish/Celtic), Vigil of Saman, Shadowfest (Strega), and Samhuinn. Also known as All Hallow’s Eve, (that day actually falls on November 7th), and Martinmas (that is celebrated November 11th), Samhain is now generally considered the Witch’s New Year.

It is generally celebrated on October 31st, but some traditions prefer November 1st.It is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltane. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands.

It is a time to study the Dark Mysteries and honor the Dark Mother and the Dark Father, symbolized by the Crone and her aged Consort. Tradition also teaches that the aid of spirits and guides from the other world was easily enlisted at this time, so in the increasing moonlight of longer nights, many used this time to hone their psychic and divinatory skills, especially with regard to love and marriage.

Originally known as the “Feast of the Dead” this sabbat was celebrated in Celtic countries by leaving food offerings on altars and doorsteps for the “wandering dead”.Today a lot of practitioners still carry out that tradition. Single candles were lit and left in a window to help guide the spirits of ancestors and loved ones home. Extra chairs were set to the table and around the hearth for the unseen guest. Apples were buried along roadsides and paths for spirits who were lost or had no descendants to provide for them. Turnips were hollowed out and carved to look like protective spirits, for this was a night of magic and chaos.

The Wee Folke became very active, pulling pranks on unsuspecting humans. Traveling after dark was was not advised. People dressed in white (like ghosts), wore disguises made of straw, or dressed as the opposite gender in order to fool the Nature spirits.

The Christian religion has adopted this day as All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, celebrating the eve as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween. The superstition and misconception linked to this celebration by the early church, led people to take some unusual precautions to protect themselves. They adopted the tradition of dressing in frightening costumes or disguises, and displaying scary looking Jack-O-Lanterns to help protect them from spirits they considered to be evil. In the British Isles, the young people would disguise themselves with hideous masks and walk through the village, lighting their way with lanterns made from carved turnips.

This was also the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits. Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning. The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Symbolism of Samhain:
Third Harvest, the Dark Mysteries, Rebirth through Death.

Symbols of Samhain:
Gourds, Apples, Black Cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, Besoms.

Herbs of Samhain:
Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, Oak leaves, Sage and Straw.

Foods of Samhain:
Turnips, Apples, Gourds, Nuts, Mulled Wines, Beef, Pork, Poultry.

Incense of Samhain:
Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg.

Colors of Samhain:
Black, Orange, White, Silver, Gold.

Stones of Samhain:
All Black Stones, preferably jet or obsidian.

Traditional Foods:
Apples, Pears, Pomegranates, All Grains, Pumpkin-pie, Hazelnuts, Cakes for the dead, Corn, Cranberry muffins and breads, Ale, Cider, Herbal teas (especially Mugwort) and Meat unless vegetarian and then tofu will do.

Herbs:
Calendula, Cosmos, Chrysanthemum, Wormwood, Hazel, Thistle.

Incense:
Mint, Heliotrope, Nutmeg, Sage or Floral’s.

Woods and Herbs Burned:
Apple, Heliotrope, Mint, Nutmeg, Sage.

Sacred Gemstone:
Aquamarine.

For further information on rites and rituals to celebrate the sabbats, we recommend:

Pagan Holidays and Earth Magic by Kardia Zoe

However you choose to celebrate Samhain, be adventurous and investigate some of the older traditions. There is a large amount of interesting and sometimes comical lore surrounding this date. As an aside, it’s OK. to dress up as Witches’, Goblins and have fun with the more nonsense aspects of this holiday. It is good however to set aside some time to learn the true meaning behind this date and follow those observances as our ancestors did.

Blessed Be!

Reference: https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/samhainlore.htm

Beltane in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere I wish you a blessed Beltane.  Your days are growing warmer, which will be making it difficult not to got outside.  I wish you all well, please take care and hopefully things will begin to improve.  Blessed Be!

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Beltane Festival is held in honour of the god Bel.

 In some modern traditions he is also known by the names, Beli, Belar, Balor, or Belenus.

In the myth of many modern traditions of wicca/witchcraft, Beltane marks the appearance of the Horned One, who is the rebirth of the Solar God slain during the Wheel of the Year. He then becomes consort to the Goddess, impregnating her with his seed, and thereby ensuring his own rebirth once again.

 Beltane marks the beginning of summer’s half and the pastoral growing season. The word “Beltane” literally means “bright fire”, and refers to the bonfires lit during this season.

It is also a time of beginnings, the beginnings of many new projects.

 Beltane is a fertility festival, concerned with Nature enchantments and offerings to wildlings and Elementals.

 The return of full-blown fertility is now very evident.

 The powers of elves and faeries are growing and will reach their height at the Summer Solstice.

 The celts respected faeries, active at this sabbat, and were sure that these Little People would come to the celebration disguised as humans to ask for a part of the fire, which, when freely given, would give the faeries some measure of power over the giver.

 Beltane is the cross quarter holiday between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice it is the time when the abundance of flowers and green is a welcome relief from winters drabness; it was traditionally a day for leaping the Beltane fires, which were lit to honour the sun god, and for celebrating fertility.

 Beltane celebrates the blessing between Mother Earth and Father Sky and honours all life.

 Both are times when the “veil” between the worlds is thought to be thinnest, and therefore magik can happen, such as visits from faeries or similar other-worldly occurrences.

 This is a good time for invoking our spirit guides to help us.

 A blessed Beltane to you!

New Release – Genic By J Bryden Lloyd

Today a New Release by my friend J Bryden LloydGenic, is part one, and I have added this to my list  I look forward to starting this series.

Bryden

 

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The Rix family have owned and run their factory for generations, and are the prominent family in Forge Valley.
But now a military force is moving into the mountains above the town, agents are watching them, and locals are being taken.
For Matthew Rix, the youngest son of the Rix dynasty, things are about to change. His family will be in danger, his girlfriend ostracized.
What could possibly be so big, that the entire town could be wiped out?

 

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New Release – The Lucky Lady Saloon By Linell Jeppsen

Here is a New Release for you The Lucky Lady Saloon (Deadman Book 6) by my friend Linell Jeppsen.  This is a great series, and at this time of staying indoors what better time than now to enjoy a great read.

NEL

 

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A HEART FILLED WITH RAGE, RETRIBUTION AND REVENGE…Thirteen-year-old Sweetie Mack’s life is turned upside down when Billie Drake and his gang take over her house and kill her father and uncle. Now all alone in life, Sweetie promises herself she will get revenge one day.

After twenty years have passed, Sweetie gathers all of her friends to make her move against her old nemesis, Billie Drake. With the help of sheriff Matthew Wilcox the team is ready to extract Count of Monte Cristo – like revenge.

For fans of the bestselling, five-star rated Deadman Series, The Lucky Lady Saloon features Matthew Wilcox and his detective agency!

 

 

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Here is my interview with Barbara Ebel

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

A big hi to everyone, and thank you Fiona for the invite. My name is Barbara Ebel, aka the “Credible Medical Fiction Writer.” I’m between middle and old age, whatever those ages are!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from all over the place in the eastern U.S., but now my home is in TN.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I am a retired M.D., not because I want to be, but because both my shoulders are disabled. I was a physiciananesthesiologist, and you really need your shoulders and arms to practice safelyin that surgical specialty.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I beat cancer in the last few months, but I’m still undergoing…

View original post 980 more words

New Release – Fatal Geezer By T.Jackson King

Today I have a New Release for you, Fatal Geezer, Book three in the Transcendent series by my friend T. Jackson King.

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Jack Hansen faces true danger when a cult tries to kill him, his sister is possessed by a Prince of Blackness, the Emperor of Blackness pulls him into the Realm of Blackness and a trip to Paris almost costs him his life. He just wants to live a normal life. But the white flash that turned him into a Transcendent has made that impossible. Worse yet the FBI, DARPA and NASA are spying on him and tracking his actions. It makes it kind of hard to have a real romance with the brain doc who says she needs him. Can he cope? Will he manage to become a true Transcendent? He’s gonna keep trying.

 

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Litha in Southern Hemisphere – Yule in Northern Hemisphere

For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere we are experiencing multiple weather conditions.  Sadly fires are raging in many states and my heart goes out to those who have lost family and homes.  The fire fighters are doing an exceptional job.  So everybody have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed Summer Solstice.  Blesssed Be!

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Midsummer or Litha (21st & 22nd December)

Midsummer, also known as Litha, is the time of the year when the days are longest and the nights shortest. The colors of the season are red and gold, representing heat and ripe fruit, and fruit is eaten in thanks.

In Australia the Sturt Desert Pea is a sacred flower of this time. Litha falls in the dry stifling heat of summer in the southern part of our land, but in the north, Litha falls in the hot, wet season, and represents fruitfulness.

Due to fire restrictions in Australia throughout summer, celebrations for this Sabbat tend to be quite different from those those throughout the rest of the year. No candles can be lit, no cauldrons burned, and no open flames are allowed throughout much of the country.

This means that we seek other ways of marking the quarters. One method is to make staffs for the Quarter Priest/esses to hold and brandish as the Elements are called in. Light sources include battery-operated torches that can be covered in colored cellophane to produce different colored light applicable to the various Elements. The cauldron can be replaced with a glass bowl of water, filled with rosewater and seashells, symbolising the importance of water to Australian Witches at this time. Garlands for our hair, wreaths to carry and use in ritual, and light, casual clothing are all a part of Midsummer celebrations.

Midsummer falls on the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year, and a time of joy and strength for the light. This holiday celebrates the Sun King in all his glory, who can be identified amongst others as Mithras, the Bull God and Jesus Christ in Christian belief. In Pagan celebrations in northern Europe, this is the time when the Oak King, representing the waxing year, is cast down by the Holly King, representing the waning year. The two are aspects of the one: the Oak King is the growing youth while the Holly King is male maturity.

Because Midsummer in Australia falls close to the mainstream Christian festival of Christmas, a lovely traditional part of Midsummer celebrations is to ask Coven members to give small monetary donations, which can then be passed on to children’s charities. By doing this, we are acknowledging that although our faiths may differ, we are all part of the Australian community and have a responsibility towards caring for children – especially at this time of the year.

Healings, growth spells, empowerment spells, and love magick are all incredibly potent at this time of the year. It is a time when all things are possible, and the sprites and faeries of Midsummer Night can cause mischief in the mortal world. It is considered that the veil between the immortal and mortal worlds is thin at Midsummer, and that time can be stretched and twisted as the worlds are drawn closer together.

Midsummer is celebrated on the 21st and 22nd of December in the Southern hemisphere, and on the 21st and 22nd of June in the Northern hemisphere. It is associated with Alban Hefin (Scottish), and the general midsummer mysteries.

(From http://www.akashawitchcraft.net – website no longer available.)

 

Yule in Northern Hemisphere

To all in the Northern Hemisphere, I see you are also experiencing extreme weather conditions, so stay safe and enjoy your Yule festivities as Winter Solstice and your shortest day arrives. Blessed Be!

 

dragon Santa

 

The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore

The date of this sabbat varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar.  The winter solstice is celebrated at this time in the northern hemisphere.

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider.  Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun.  The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit tthe residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration.  It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Many customs created around Yule are identified with Christmas today.  If you decorate your home with a Yule tree, holly or candles, you are following some of these old traditions.   The Yule log, (usually made from a piece of wood saved from the previous year) is burned in the fire to symbolize the Newborn Sun/Son.

Deities of Yule:  All Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid’s flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda’s cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

Copyright © The Celtic Connection. Wicca, Pagan and Goddess Information Pages

 

The 12 Terrors of Christmas By Claudette Melanson

An anthology of scary stories for you, The 12 Terrors of Christmas, by author Claudette Melanson, with a bonus story by Lynn Lamb.

 

CLAUDETTE 12TerrorsOfChristmas_cover

 

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Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers 11 new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon international best-selling author Lynn Lamb, titled “Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine”. A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, “Mislead”, previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.

Terror One: Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?

Terror Two: It is said that every wish bears a cost…even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?

Terror Three: Christmas can be a time for great joy…but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?

Terror Four: Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn’s home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly innocent luster?

Terror Five: As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa’s yearly deliveries forever.

Terror Six: A well-meaning elf casts a spell that could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa’s workshop and its inhabitants. The world’s children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.

 

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Christmas Treasures book set

Here is a group of Christmas themed books and stories to enjoy over the festive season by a talented group of authors.

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Through time and space, Christmas remains a holiday filled with the spirit of giving, good cheer and love.

Angela Gray – An Unexpected Christmas
Award Winning Author C. Forrest Lundin – Christmas Changes
E.M. Denning – Snow Angel
Award Winning Author Holly Barbo – A Magic Yule
Jess Mountifield – Santa’s Little Space Pirate
Maxine Murphy – The Best Christmas He’ll Never Remember
Best Selling Author Julie Elizabeth Powell – Yule Spirits
Marc Sanderson – Christmas Eve
S.P. West – Kickstart My Heart
Sean Gallatin – Best Selling, Award Winning Author Cherime MacFarlane – The Perfect Present
Suzy Stewart Dubot – The Christmas Ball

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