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feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wales. Show all posts

Monday, 27 July 2020

Mythical creatures of Wales - the Twrch Trwyth

 Hello my lovelies

Welsh mythology inspires new novel during 'Year of Legends' | Y LolfaI hope you're keeping well and safe. This week we're back on dry land for our mythical creature - and a return to the Arthurian legends.

The Twrch Trwyth iwas a massive, enchanted boar. A young squire, Culhwch was given a series of tasks in order to impress the evil giant,
Ysbaddaden Bencawr, who was the father of Olwen, with whom Culhwch was in love.

The hardest task was to take a magical comb, razor and scissors,entangled in the long hair around the boar's head. If Culhwch completed this task successfully, Ysbaddaden said he would use these items to shave his beard before the wedding!

Culhwch then enlisted the help of King Arthur. They pursued the creature to Ireland, but the boar took his family of monstrous young pigs across the sea, where it landed in Porthclais, Pembrokeshire, and created havoc, destroying large areas of the adjoining counties of Ceredigion (my home county) and Carmarthenshire, and killing many people, including some of Arthur's men. Eventually, they did manage to fulfil the quest,  and kill the young pigs, although even Arthur was unable to kill the gigantic boar itself, and it swam across the sea back to Ireland.


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Monday, 20 July 2020

Welsh myths and legends - Llamhigyn Y Dwr, or the Water Leaper.


Continuing my series of weird and wonderful Welsh mythical creatures, we return to the water this week, and a creature known as Llamhigyn Y Dwr, or the Water Leaper. It is an evil creature, described as a monstrous, carnivorous toad with a long tail and  bat's wings instead of legs, having no hind legs. The tail has a sting on the end.

 It jumps across the water using its wings, hence its name.

It is especially prevalent around two Welsh lakes - Llyn Gwynan and Llyn Glas,where it preys on unwary sheep or dogs, takes the bait and fish off fishermen's hooks and can even pull the fishermen themselves into the lake,, The water leapers are fast, powerful swimmers, capable of pulling an angler out of a boat. So, if you ever go fishing in a Welsh lake, please be very, very careful!



FREE AUDIOBOOKS


If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192




(If you have a free audio book you'd like me to mention, just leave a comment with an email addy so I can contact you)





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Monday, 13 July 2020

Welsh myths and legends - the gwyllion

The Gwyllion - Creature of Mischief Hi folks
Continuing my series on Welsh myths and legends, we've concentrated on mythical animals over the last few weeks - so this week I thought we'd have a kind of fairy.

No nice, pretty little fairies though, nor even the rather mischievous Tylwyth Teg, featured a few weeks ago.

No, these fairies are the gwyllion, female fairies, said to be frightfully ugly and scary, who haunt lonely mountain tracks and roads in the Welsh Mountains. They are really more like bad witches. They would lead the unwary traveller astray so that they were hopelessly lost, even if they had travelled the same road before.  One gwyll was reputed to be the ghost of a witch, and to shriek and cry in the Llanhyddel Mountain which she haunted.  A lost traveller upon encountering her, assumed she was a mortal woman and followed her, calling to her to help him find his way, but she led him further and further out of his way, eventually enticing him to a marsh. As she emitted an evil laugh, he realised the cackling sound was not human and drew his knife, whereupon she disappeared, because Welsh ghosts and fairies have an inherent fear of knives.

So should you ever come across an ugly old woman in the Welsh Mountians, be sure to flash a knife, and she will quickly disappear, but should she arrive in your home, treat her kindly, and you will come to no harm.

FREE AUDIOBOOKS
  If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, so why no try a new author.
If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)




GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

https://www.freeaudiobookcodes.com/book/4911f918-9db3-4733-867a-53e015ec3192








For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 6 July 2020

Myths and legends of Wales - Adar Llwch Gwin

Apologies for there being no post in this series last week - no real excuse except time caught me up and passed me! Anyway the mythcal animals are back this week with the Adar Llwch Gwin (but more about that in a minute. First I want to say I hope all my friends in the U.S. had a very happy Independance Day and also that you are all keeping safe during this horrid pandemic.

Back to the Adar Llwch Gwin and once again, this story is connected to the Arthurian legends.
The name means Bird of dust and wine (Adar - bird, Llwch - dust, and gwin - wine.)  This creature was a ferocious, giant bird, similar to a griffin. They were said to understand the human language and obey every command given to them by their keeper.

The story goes that the Adar Llwch Gwin was given to a warrior named Drudwas ap Tryffin, by his wife, who was also a fairy. Drudwas's father was the King of Denmark and his sister, so the story goes, was a mistress of King Arthur.

Drudwas was about to do battle with Arthur, and commanded the Adar Llwch Gwin to kill the first man to enter the battlefield. As he prepared for the battle, confident that Arthur would be first on the field, his sister delayed the King, and when Drudwas strode out onto the battlefield, the bird turned upon him and tore him to pieces. When it realised what it had done, the Adar Llwch Gwin let out a shrill and mournful wail.

Later, in medieval Welsh poetry, the phrase Adar Llwch Gwin came to describe all kinds of raptors including hawks and falcons, and was the name was also given to men who proved their bravery.



If you haven't yet read (or listened to) The Destiny Trilogy, and would like to see a 'taster', I'm thrilled to have had the covers animated, and a new trailer made for the series, by the talented Morgan Wright, with music by GeeGee Music
Productions.
 
FREE AUDIOBOOKS

 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, so why no try a new author.
If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)


GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist

Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:



For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 22 June 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - the Welsh dragon







Hello again, and if I have any male readers - I hope you had a truly loving and happy Father's Day.
In my series on Welsh myths and legends, the last few weeks have been devoted to mythical legends. It would be very remiss of me not to mention the famous Welsh dragon - Y Graig Goch - which appears on the Welsh flag. (LOL not many countries have a dragon on their flag, do they!)

You might be surprised that it relates to the Arthurian legends.

King Vortigern came to the mountains of Eryri, in Gwynedd. On the summit of one of these, which was then called Dinas Ffaraon, he decided to build a fortress.

Then the king sent for artificers, carpenters, and stonemasons, and collected all the materials for building. In the night, however,they all disappeared. Materials were procured from all parts a second time, but a second time they disappeared in the night. A third time everything was brought together for building, but by morning again not a trace of them remained.

Vortigern called his wise men together and they told him he must find a child born without a father, put him to death, and sprinkle with his blood the ground on which the citadel was to be built.

The king thought the advice of his wise men was good and sent messengers throughout Britain in search of a child born without a father.When they eventually found one, they took him to Vortigern the king.

The boy asked why he had been brought before the king and when they told him he was to be sacrificed to enable Vortigern to build a fortress, he told the king his wise men were wrong and that there was a pool beneath the ground where they were trying to build. In the pool were two vases and in the vases a tent.  in the tent were two sleeping dragons, one white and one red.

The dragons fought each other, and the eventually the red one won the battle and drove the white one away.

The boy told the king and his wise men that the pool was the emblem of this world, and the tent that of Vortigern's kingdom. The red dragon was the king's, but the white serpent was the dragon of the Saxons,  At length, however, his people would rise and drive the Saxon race beyond the sea. But he must seek another place to build his citadel.

The boy's life was spared. He became famous as the great magician Myrddin Emrys , or Myrddin ab Morfryn (Merlin, as he is called in English), and the mountain on which he proved his mighty power was called  Dinas Emrys instead of Dinas Ffaraon.  Thereafter the red dragon became the symbol of Wales and portrayed on the Welsh flag.




FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, so why no try a new author.
If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)


GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=Beloved+Enemy

 



For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 15 June 2020

Welsh myths and legends Y Ceffyl Dŵr the water horse


After the tale of Rhiannon, the goddess of the horse, which I told you about a few weeks ago, I thought I'd mention one of the mythical creatures of Wales, the Ceffyl Dŵr, literally translated into English this means the 'Water Horse'.
Tales of this creature, which appears as a white horse (for some reason most mythological horses seem to be white, although when I was learning to ride as a child, I was taught that there are no such things as 'white' horses, only 'light greys, or albinos, but I digress.) Depending on which region of Wales one hears the stories, the Ceffyl Dŵr was believed to shapeshift, as well as having the power of flight. For example, in North Wales, it is represented as being rather formidable with fiery eyes and a dark foreboding presence, whereas in South Wales is seen as merely mischievous. She also is known to walk on her hind legs and disappear down the well in the graveyard of St Illtyds church in Oxwich Bay, or to simply evaporate into the sea mist. Over the centuries there have been many sightings of Ceffyl Dwr mostly around St Illtyds church.
The Ceffyl Dŵr is said to inhabit mountain pools and waterfalls and although it appears solid, it can evaporate into a mist. In one legend the Ceffyl Dŵr leaps out of the water to trample and kill lone travellers. In another legend, the Ceffyl Dŵr rises from the sea and entices the unwary traveler to ride her, then takes to the  air, and evaporates, and the unfortunate rider falls to his death.
Hmm, rather glad not to have met any horses quite like that, in real life!
FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, so why no try a new author.
If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)


GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=Beloved+Enemy





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 8 June 2020

Welsh myths and legends - the story of Gelert


Get your hankies out for this one, folks.

In the thirteenth-century, Prince Llywelyn the Great, so the story goes,  had a palace at Beddgelert in Caernarvonshire.

He had many hunting dogs, but one day when he summoned them as usual with his horn, his favourite hound, Gelert did not come as usual, when called, so regretfully Llywelyn had to go hunting without him.

When. several hours later, he returned from the hunt, Gelert came bounding towards him…his jaws dripping with blood.

The Prince was shocked and immediately went in search of his one year old son. His worst fears were realised when he entered the child's nursery to see an upturned cradle, and blood spattering the walls. He searched for his son to no avail.

Mad with grief he plunged his sword into Gelert’s heart, believing he had killed the child.

As the dog howled and die,  Llywelyn heard a baby crying underneath the upturned cradle. It was his little son, completely unharmed! Beside the child was the body of an enormous wolf, killed by the faithful hound, Gelert.

Llywelyn overcome with remorse and carried the body of the brave dog outside the castle walls, and buried him where everyone could see the grave of the faithful animal, and hear the story of his valiant fight with the wolf. It is said he was so full of remorse, he never spoke to anyone again.

To this day, a cairn of stones marks the place, outside the small village of Beddgelert. The name Beddgelert means  Gelert's Grave’. The story is told on two slabs of stone, one in English and the other in Welsh.

(Just to make you feel a little better, the story is probably not true as the cairn is less than two hundred years ago, and it is said it was a tale put about by a local innkeeper to encourage visitors and increase trade. It's till a great story though.)

FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, so why no try a new author.
If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)


GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=starquest
Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist
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For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 1 June 2020

More Welsh folk tales and legends - Rhiannon the horse goddess

Apologies for missing my post last week - its been somewhat hectic as my husband has been in hospital (thankfully not the virus, and he's out now) but it's been a worrying time and I just haven't had the time to devote to my writing or my blog. Anyway, I'm back now, and as  a horse lover, I couldn't resist telling you about Rhiannon - a horse goddess depicted in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh folk tales.
Rhiannon was married to Pwyll, the Lord of Dyfed. When Pwyll first saw her, she appeared as a beautiful woman dressed in gold, riding a magnificent white horse. Rhiannon managed to outrun Pwyll for three days, and then when he shouted to her to stop, allowed him to catch up. When he said he'd fallen in love with her and wanted to marry her, she scolded him for not telling her  to stop before, and making his poor horse work so hard. Then she said she'd be happy to marry him, because it would save her from marrying Gwawl, who she despised and who had tricked her into an engagement. Rhiannon and Pwyll conspired together to deceive Gwawl and thus Pwyll won her as his bride. 
Three years after they married,  Rhiannon gave birth to a son, but he disappeared at night while his nursemaids, who were supposed to have been watching over him, fell asleep. Frightened of the consequences, the nursemaids smeared the blood of a dead puppy on the face of their sleeping queen. When she awoke, Rhiannon was accused of killing and her son and eating him. As penance, she was made to sit outside the castle walls, and tell passers by what she had done. Pwyll, however, stood by her,  refusing to send her away or have her more severely punished.

The newborn child had been in fact found by Teyrnon, the lord of Gwent-Is-Coed. He was a horse lord whose beautiful mare gave him a foal every May Eve, but  each year. the foal would disappear. Before his mare had her next foal he took her into his house and sat vigil with her. After her foal was born he saw a monstrous claw trying to take the newborn foal through the window, so he slashed at the monster with his sword, before rushing outside. He found the monster gone, and a human baby lying by the door. He and his wife cared for the boy as their own, naming him Gwri Wallt Euryn (Gwri of the Golden Hair). The child grew rapidly, and had a great affinity for horses. As the boy grewTeyrnon who once served Pwyll as a courtier, recognised his resemblance to his father. He was an honourable man, and so he returned the boy to the Dyfed royal house.

Rhiannon is also connected to three mystical birds. The Birds of Rhiannon (Adar Rhiannon) appear in the Second Branch, in the Triads of Britain, and in Culhwch ac Olwen. In the latter, the giant Ysbaddaden demands them as part of the bride price of his daughter. They are described as "they that wake the dead and lull the living to sleep."

FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are many great books out there to be read, try a new author.

If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, again there are some really great books available in audio.
(You can get my own Destiny Trilogy for FREE.)


GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
Children of the Mist: freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.p 
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=3285




For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 4 May 2020

Welsh ghost stories and legends - Blodeuwedd

Hello my lovelies! I hope you're staying safe and well and managing to survive 'lock down'. Last week I told you about Merlin's Oak, in which I mentioned the owl, 'Blodeuwedd'. This is the legend of Blodeuwedd:

 
Lleu Llaw Gyffes' own mother, the goddess Arianrhod, tried to prevent her son Lleu from receiving his birthright to become the king, by saying he would never have a a name, unless she gave it, he would not receive his arms, other than from her and, he could never marry a mortal woman. Thus, he could not become king, unless she willed it. 


The Celts were matrilineal; a person was born to their mother’s line, not their father’s. Therefore, the son of the king’s sister and not the son of the king and the queen was seen as the heir to the Kingship. Often the queen held the actual power, with her husband being a warlord rather than a king in the true sense of the word. In order to be a king, he had to 'marry' the land. This was often accomplished by the practice of the symbolic Great Rite between the proposed king and a priestess.

However Arianrhod was tricked into giving Lleu his name and his arms but he still needed a wife in order to assure his right to the land.



Blodeuwedd meets Gronw (illustration from Wikipedia)
To overcome this problem, the magicians Math and Gwydion took the flowers of the oak, the broom, and meadowsweet, and from those they conjured up the fairest and most beautiful maiden  ever seen. and named her Blodeuwedd, 'Flower Face', and she and Lleu were duly married, although Blodewydd doesn't seem to have been give much actual choice in the matter, so it's perhaps not surprising that while Lleu was away, hunting, Blodeuwedd fell in love with, and had an affair with a warrior, Gronw Pebr, the lord of Penllyn, and the two lovers conspired to murder Lleu.

There was only one way that Lleu could be killed, and Blodeuwedd managed to persuade Lleu to reveal the exact situation that would cause this, by pretending to be concerned about his possible death.  He revealed that he could not be killed during the day or night,  indoors or outdoors, neither walking nor riding,  clothed or naked, nor by any lawfully made weapon. He could only be killed at dusk, wrapped in a net, with one foot on a bath and one on a black goat, by a riverbank and by a spear forged for a year during the hours when everyone was at Mass. 

Armed with this knowledge, Gronw and Blodeuwedd prepared a bath on a riverbank, covering it with a thatched roof, thus making it neither indoors nor out.  Lleu was tricked into standing with one foot upon the edge of the tub and the other upon the back of a goat and wrapped in a net. Gronw threw a specially-made spear, hitting Lleu in the side, but instead of being killed, Lleu turned into an eagle and flew off. 

Gwydion tracked him down and found him perched on an oak tree. The magician lured Lleu down from the oak tree and switched him back to his human form. Gwydion and Math nursed Lleu back to health before  reclaiming his lands from Gronw and Blodeuwedd, who fled, but were overtaken by Gwydion. He turned Blodeuwedd into an owl. saying "You will not dare to show your face ever again in the light of day, because of enmity between you and all other birds. It will be in their nature to harass you and despise you wherever they find you. And you will not lose your name - that will always be 'Bloddeuwedd'.

Llech Ronw - WikipediaMeanwhile, Gronw fled to Penllyn. Lleu refused his plea for forgiveness, demanding that Gronw stand on the bank of the River Cynfael and receive a blow from his spear.  Eventually, Gronw agreed on the condition that he be allowed to place a large stone between himself and Lleu.  Lleu agreed, then threw the spear with such strength that it pierced the stone, killing Gronw. A holed stone in Ardudwy is still known as Llech Ronw (Gronw's Stone).







 
FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are so many great books out there to be read, try a new author. If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, You can get my Destiny Trilogy for FREE.



GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
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For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 27 April 2020

The legend of Merlin's Oak

Happy Monday, my lovelies, I hope today finds you well and safe, and not too frustrated by 'lock-down.'

As promised, I thought I'd tell you about Merlin's Oak, which stood in the centre of Carmarthen town. (I was lucky enough to see the remains of it before it was removed.)

(Not this one, but one very much like it!)
Legend has it that King Arthur’s famous wizard placed a protective curse on the tree. The wizard said Carmarthen would 'drown' if the oak was ever removed. Some folk said a curious, pointed notch in the tree was the face of Merlin himself.

Sadly, in the 1850s, a local vicar, who objected to young people courting beneath it, but its trunk was preserved within iron railings. In the year 1951, a branch was broken off of the tree and it lies now in the Carmarthen Museum. It was  removed from the town when someone set it on fire at the end of the 1970s.

Carmarthen then suffered its worst floods for many years. In 1978, the last remaining fragments  of the tree-stump were  placed in Carmarthen’s Civic Hall.

Google Images

(The name Myrddin is  the second element of the place-name Caerfyrddin, the Welsh name for Carmarthen) and I'm happy to say Carmarthen is still standing, indeed flourishing, despite the floods that caused so much devastation.)

However, in a way,  Merlin’s Oak is back in Carmarthen, the town which he said would fall “when Merlin’s Tree shall tumble down”.

A Cambridge-born sculptor, living in Wales, bought a 500 year old oak which had been felled in Carmarthen to make way for a new superstore. The sculpture is one of the centrepieces of a spectacular  town centre shopping development called Merlin’s Walk.

Before the carving began, Mr Hedger,said: “The townspeople of Carmarthen will breathe easier whenMerlin’s Oak is back in the town centre.“We will have an oak which definitely has Merlin inside it – back where he belongs.”

The statue of Merlin is adorned with the symbols of nature and the Celtic religion that for him was a way of life.

"From his twisted honeysuckle beard that falls from his smiling face which holds his bardic wisdom. On his left shoulder sits the dragon of nature's temptation and in his hand the three sticks and a
rope with thirteen knots; a druids measuring kit, in the other, a bag of healing herbs from the garden of your imagination. The feathered horn of the orax hangs on his shoulder, whilst the La Tène torc is tied to his belt.

Embroidered on his back is the story of Blodeuwedd, for in the day the eye of the owl is the open flower but at night blodeuwedd is the owl. Ortywyllwch Ir goleuni, from the darkness into the light, as meant in Welsh, to be inspired. These are the words that are carved into the trunk of Myrddin. Where the three spirals ripple from the water source, you can run your finger through the journey of life to the labyrinth."




FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are so many great books out there to be read, try a new author. If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, You can get my Destiny Trilogy for FREE.



GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
Children of the Mist: freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.p 
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=3285


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Monday, 20 April 2020

Nanteos Mansion and its ghosts

Hello lovelies -

I hope you're staying well and surviving the enforced 'staying at home' and 'social distancing'.


Nanteos Mansion
Although I've lived in a small village in England since my marriage, my heart is still in my homeland and I cherish the times when I've been able to go back to visit my family and my old haunts, and long for the time when I'll be able to do so again.

One of my favourite places is Nanteos Mansion, set in about thirty acres of land near where I used to live. I used to keep my horses at the beautiful old stables and spent many a happy hour soaking up the atmosphere of this historic house. Nanteos is a Grade I listed, early Georgian country house situated just outside Aberystwyth, on Wales’s west coast. The house was built in 1738 by William Powell, and it remained the Powell family home for over 200 years, until the 1950s, when Lady Powell, the last of the family, died without children and the Mansion fell into the hands of a distant relative.

Horses in front of the mansion
Nanteos Mansion is also reputed to be home to a number of ghosts. These include the spirit of Elizabeth Powell, the late wife of William Powell, who wanders the hallways looking for her lost jewels; a phantom horse and carriage that pulls up to the front entrance in the middle of the night; and the ghost of harpist Gruffydd Evan, who played for the Powell family in the music room every Christmas for 69 years and whose music can still be heard in the woods around the house. My favourite story is a rather sad one. One of the windows on the bottom storey has been boarded up for many, many years. The story goes that the lady of the house was watching her husband ride up the drive towards her, when the horse spooked and threw him, killing him instantly. She could not bear to look out of that window again and ordered it to be boarded over and so it remains to this day. I have to say I never saw a ghost there myself, and always felt the house was a friendly place, rather than a sinister one, but sometimes, late at night the stables would ring with unearthly screeches, like souls in torment. Actually it was nothing more sinister than a colony of screech owls nesting nearby.

The Mansion itself was slowly decaying when I had my horses there, the stables having been sold several years before. Now the stables and Mansion are in the hands of a consortium who have renovated the mansion and use it for functions such as weddings and conferences. At least the house is now restored to its former glory and put to use.
Entrance to the old stable yard

Sadly, last time I visited, I found the elegant, roomy looseboxes changed into holiday apartments. No horses looking over the half doors, no stamping hooves or soft welcoming whinnies.
I closed my eyes and imagined my three horses, now gone over the Rainbow Bridge,
Flikka, Sally and Star, as I often used to see them in the early morning, next to each other with their heads over the doors in that lovely old stable range, overlooking the cobbled yard, reminiscent of days long gone by.




Apologies -  I promised I'd tell you about Merlin's Oak, in Carmarthen. I forgot! I'll tell you next time - It's not exactly a ghost story, but it is interesting - and some of it, at least, is true.

and finally...
FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are so many great books out there to be read, try a new author. If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, You can get my Destiny Trilogy for FREE.



GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
Children of the Mist: freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.p 
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=3285












For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 13 April 2020

Welsh legends and traditions


EASTER GREETINGS
 
 Hi my lovelies. I hope you're keeping safe and have managed to have a good Easter, despite the 'lock down'.

As a change from ghost stories, I thought I'd tell you about some of the Easter traditions of Wales.
Palm Sunday is known as Sul y Blodau (Sunday of Flowers) in Wales, as it is traditional to decorate and clean graves of loved ones with lots of beautiful flowers on this day.

In Tenby it has been well documented that no one works on Good Friday, with no horse or cart (and very few people) to be seen on the streets for the whole day.

On Good Friday, people also walked barefoot to church, so as not to "disturb the earth"

The custom of "making Christ's bed" was also popular in Tenby. Children would gather reeds and weave it into a 'Christ' figure, which was then laid on a wooden cross and left in a quiet part of a field or pasture to rest peacefully.

Llun y Pasg means Easter Monday in Welsh
It is often celebrated by a procession up to the very top of a mountain or a hill before sunrise (we are very proud of these in Wales!) to watch the sun rise.

In Llangollen, in the Vale of Clwyd, villagers used walk to the summit of Dinas Bran (a location famous for its inclusion in many medieval Welsh folk tales) to greet the sun's arrival with three somersaults.

In other areas, a bowl of water was taken to the top of the nearest hill to catch the sun "dancing" in the reflection.

Rogationtide was celebrated on the 5th Sunday after Easter. This was the Pagan spring fertility rites and Roman blessing of crops. Local Church officials should visit local crop farmers on this day to bless his crops

Ascension day is on the 40th day after Easter. This is the Roman Festival honouring streams and fountains.

On Ascension day wells were rededicated to saints in Wales and people would be wary of accidents. For example, you wouldn't wash clothes on this day as it was feared that someone would die as the clothes dried. Miners and farmers would also refuse to work through fear of mishaps!

 With many thanks for this article to Becca Hemmings of The Welsh Book Shop 
(They sell beautiful, traditional Welsh gifts and do Mail Order!)






For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 6 April 2020

More Legends and Ghost stories of Old Wales


PWLL-Y-WRACH - THE WITCHES' POOL

Pwlch-y-Wrach
There is a pool hidden from the road among a copse on the top of Flint Mountain, in Flint North Wales. The pool is so small that travellers would not give it a second glance. But this was not always so. In days gone by Flint Mountain was a bare and desolate place and the pool was known as Pwll-y-Wrach, the Hags' Pool or the Witches' Pool, the place where the ellyllon (as the Welsh call goblins) would congregate, and thus a place where humans would stay well clear of, especially after dark.

In 1852 John Roberts a farm labourer paid an unexpected visit to Pwll-y-Wrach. It was a cold winter's morning and John was setting out to work when he found a youth blocking his path. With a harmless gesture he made to pass the youth but all of a sudden a force propelled him through the air. He landed face down above Pwll-y-Wrach, and the force held him there despite John's best efforts to free himself. He struggled for what seemed a lifetime, but in fact was just a few short minutes, until at the sound of a cock crow he was released. The ellyll, still disguised as a youth, stood astride him and warned. " When the cuckoo sings it's first note on Flint Mountain I shall come again to fetch you".

John got to his feet and stumbled back home, shaken but otherwise unhurt.

The following May John Roberts died. He had been repairing a wall at Pen-y-glyn on Flint Mountain when it collapsed and crushed him. A lady who witnessed the accident said a cuckoo came to land on a nearby tree just as it happened. When the body of John Roberts was being returned to his home the cuckoo followed, singing from tree to tree all the way to the front door.

Cadair Idris
Last week I told you about the Cŵn Annwn whose hunting grounds include the mountan of Cadair Idris.

Several Welsh legends state  that  King Arthur made his kingdom there, hence the name Cadair Idris: or the Seat of Idris. Being Welsh, of course I  myself subscribe to this theory!  Merlin was supposedly born in Carmarthen, West Wales, and his connection with the area forms the background for my fantasy novella Dancing With Fate , which also features not only the Ellylldan, or fire goblins, but a Greek Muse! 
 (I hope I've aroused your curiosity as to how she fits into my take on Welsh folklore, and that  you've enjoyed some of the myths and legends of my beloved homeland.)You can download Dancing With Fate for FREE at Smashwords, until 20th April 2020. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/53249

 Next week I'll tell you about Merlin's Oak, in Carmarthen. It's not exactly a ghost story, but it is interesting - and some of it, at least, is true.

and finally...
FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are so many great books out there to be read, try a new author. If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, You can get my Destiny Trilogy for FREE.



GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
Children of the Mist: freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.p 
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For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join

Monday, 30 March 2020

More ghosts of old Wales

 Hi folks, hope you're keeping safe and not going too crazy with social distancing!
(You might want to keep your distance from these ghosts though!)


 THE GHOST OF LLANDEGLA
 A small river runs close to the secluded village of Llandegla, and in this mountain stream under a huge stone lies a wicked Ghost. This is how he came to be there:

It  not is not known why Ffrith farm was troubled by a ghost, but when the servants were busily engaged in cheese making the Spirit would suddenly throw earth or sand into the milk, and thus spoil the curds. The dairy was also visited by the ghost, and there he played havoc with the milk and dishes. He sent the pans, one after the other, around the room, and dashed them to pieces. The terrible doings of the ghost was a topic of general conversation in those parts.
The farmer offered a reward of five pounds to anyone who would lay the Spirit. One Sunday afternoon,  an aged priest visited the farm yard, and in the presence of a crowd of spectators exorcised the ghost, but without effect.

The farmer then sent for Griffiths, an Independent minister at Llanarmon, who enticed the ghost to the barn. The ghost then changed its appearance to the form of a lion, but  could not touch Griffiths, because he stood in the centre of a circle, over which the lion could not pass. Griffiths tricked the ghost  into appearing in a less formidable shape, and it changed into a mastiff, but Griffiths demanded that it change to something smaller.

At last, the ghost appeared as a fly, which was captured by Griffiths and secured in his tobacco box.  This box he buried under a large stone in the river, just below the bridge, near the Llandegla Mills, and there the Spirit is forced to remain until a certain tree, which grows by the bridge, reaches the height of the parapet. When this takes place, the Spirit shall have power to regain his liberty.  To prevent this tree from growing, the school children, even to this day, nip the upper branches to limit its upward growth.

THE GHOSTLY GIANT OF PONT-Y-GLYN

There is a picturesque glen between Corwen and Cerrig-y-Drudion, down which rushes a mountain stream, and over this stream is a bridge, called Pont-y-Glyn.  On the left hand side, a few yards from the bridge, on the Corwen side, is a yawning chasm, through which the river bounds.  Here people who have travelled by night affirm that they have seen ghosts—the ghosts of those who have been murdered in this secluded glen. A man who was a servant at Garth Meilio, said that one night, when he was returning home late from Corwen, he saw before him, seated on a heap of stones, a female dressed in Welsh costume.  He wished her good night, but she returned him no answer.  She, got up and grew to gigantic proportions as she continued down the road which she filled, so great were her increased dimensions. Other Spirits are said to have made their homes in the hills not far from Pont-y-Glyn.

and finally...
FREE AUDIOBOOKS
 If you're at a loose end in these strange and rather scary times, there are so many great books out there to be read, try a new author. If you'd like to listen to a book rather than read it, You can get my Destiny Trilogy for FREE.



GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
Starquest: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=2735
Children of the Mist: freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.p 
Beloved Enemy:https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=3285https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/book_details.php?BOOK_ID=3285



For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join