Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
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, 21 September 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - The dragon of Penmynydd

 Hello my lovelies

As always, I hope you're staying safe and well. Another mythical creature for you this week - and another dragon. Many dragons in fiction are noble, friendly creatures, not so much the one in this legend - here is the tale of the dragon of Penmynydd:

 

Top 50 HD Dragon Wallpapers, Images, Backgrounds, Desktop Wallpapers (High  Quality) | Dragones reales, Dragones, Dragón de fantasía

Not far from the manor farm of Penhesgyn, near Penmynydd on the island of Anglesey,  a dragon dwelt on the banks of the river Braint. A soothsayer in the area foretold that the heir to the manor would be killed by the dragon. Hoping to keep him safe,the lord of the manor sent the boy away to England. For several years the young man stayed far away from Wales in the safety of England.  Eventually a brave local lad slew the dragon by putting a polished cauldron in the bottom of a pit.

(The River Braint)Seeing its own reflection. and believing it to be a rival, the dragon fought the reflection it until it was exhausted, whereupon the youth killed the dragon and, amid much rejoicing, the locals buried the creature  in the pit. Thinking all was well, and elated by his new freedom to return to his homeland, the heir came back to the manor,  but insisted on seeing the body of the dragon. As soon as the carcass was exhumed, the he kicked the head of the dragon which had caused his exile, but one of the dragon's poisonous fangs penetrated his boot and went into his foot, killing him instantly. Thus the prophecy was fulfilled.

 

(Me thinks he should have been a lot more careful and not tried to take his revenge on the poor, dead creature!) 😉

 CHILDREN IN  READ

 #ChildrenInRead. U K readers will be familiar with CHILDREN IN NEED  which takes place every November and raises funds for deserving children all over the world. Children in Read is part of this and hundreds of authors have donated signed books to help this great cause.

I'm so happy to be taking part, and you can bid now for a signed paperback of the first book in my Destiny Trilogy - it's complete and a 'standalone'. I'll include any dedication you wish, and also some 'swag' goodies!


You can bid now for this or any of the hundreds of wonderful books in all genres. Go on, treat yourself and help a very good cause at the same time!

 

 If you 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, and there are plenty of other free listens available too.)

GET YOUR FREE CODES NOW:
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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)

 

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, 14 September 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - King Arthur's awakening

Hello my lovelies, 

I hope this finds you still safe and well. Here in my part of England, we survived a minor earthquake at the beginning of the week, no damage and no-one injured, thankfully. I'm going back to my native Wales for another legend, this time featuring King Arthur.

Somewhere in the beautiful peaks of Snowdonia, King Arthur is said to lay sleeping with his knights, awaiting the call to return, at a time when the world has need of them.  This place is said to be the mythical Avalon, and their sleeping forms guard a great treasure in gold. Many people have searched for the gold and this is a tale of one of them.

A Welshman visited London, after selling a herd of good Welsh Black cattle. He carried a hazel staff, and as he walked over London Bridge, he saw a man staring at his staff. After a while the man asked him where he came from and he replied that he had travelled from Wales, although he wondered why the man was so interested. "Don't be offended," said the man, but if you can remember where you cut that stick, it could be to the advantage of us both, for there is treasure buried near that place."

It gradually dawned on the Welshman that the man might be a sorcerer, and although unsure whether he should trust him, eventually allowed himself to be persuaded to show him the place.

They journeyed together to Wales, and the Welshman, pointed out an old hazel tree. "This is where I cut my stick."

"Then we must dig," said the sorcerer. Eventually they dug down to a broad, flat stone. Together they managed to prise it up, and found some steps leading downwards. At the bottom of the steps, they walked along a narrow passage until they came to a door, which they opened, to see before them  a great cave, dimly lit. The first thing they came to was a bell. "Do not touch that bell," warned the sorcerer. As they looked around the cave the Welshman saw many knights asleep. Each one was clad in shining armour, a steel helmet  on his head, and a gleaming shield on his arm. The sword of each was in his hand. The King held in his hand, below the hilt,  a mighty sword with scabbard and haft of gold studded with gleaming gems; on his head was a crown set with many precious stones. He too slept. On the floor was a huge mound of precious gold.

"Are they really asleep?" asked the Welshman, hardly believing his own eyes.

"Yes, all of them. The King is Arthur himself and they have been sleeping for over a thousand years," answered the sorcerer, "but if you touch that bell, they will all awake.

They swiftly gathered as much of the gold from the treasure mound as they could carry, but as they left, the young Welshman stumbled against the bell, and the sound reverberated throughout the cave. As soon as it rang, the warriors leapt to their feet. Arthur demanded "Who rang the bell? Has the day  come?"

 The sorcerer shouted back ," No, the day has not come. Sleep on, Arthur the Great."

The sorcerer hurried the Welshman out of the cave, moved the stone back to its place, and vanished.

The Welshman tried many times to find the way back to the cave again, but although he dug over every inch of the hill, he never did find the entrance again.


If you 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, and there are plenty of other free listens available too.)

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Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

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(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)





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, 24 August 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - Devil's Bridge

Hi everyone, I hope you're still staying safe and well.

As a change from rather scary Welsh creatures, this week I thought I 'd turn to a rather more light hearted tale - the legend of Devils's Bridge. I have featured this before but if you haven't heard it before, I think you'll enjoy it - and if you have, I hope you don't mind me repeating it. It's one of my favourite Welsh legends.

I used to live near a well known beauty spot called Pontarfynach, or Devils Bridge. It is really three bridges, built over a spectacular and beautiful waterfall, which rages down into a deep pool known as the Devils Punchbowl. The first bridge was built by the Monks of Strata Florida, (where the Holy Grail is reputed to have been hidden for a while) in 1075. In the 18th Century it was deemed to be unsafe, and a second bridge was built, over the first. The third bridge being built over that in 1901. I thought it would be nice to share the legend of how the first bridge was built:
 

An old woman had a cow of which she was very fond, and which provided her with all the milk she needed. Early one morning she was distraught to find that the cow had somehow managed to cross the river and was now grazing on the bank the other side. The old lady looked at the swirling river and wondered how she would be able to get her cow back. “What the Devil can I do now?” she asked aloud.

At once there was a smell of sulphur and a cloud of thick smoke, out of the middle of which appeared Old Nick himself! “You called?” he smirked. The old lady was made of stern stuff, and after a moment’s hesitation, she explained her predicament. Satan grinned wickedly. “That’s easily sorted,” he said craftily, “I can build you a bridge – but it will cost you.”

“How much?” the old lady asked uneasily. “Oh nothing much, just the soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge,” the Devil stated cunningly, knowing full well that she would have to cross the bridge herself to get her cow.

 “Done!” said the old woman. The Devil waved his arms and there, spanning the falls, was a beautiful new stone bridge. The Devil laughed nastily, “Now for my payment he said smugly. The old lady was not as naïve as she appeared. She put her hand into her apron pocket and drew out a crust of bread which she had put there for her breakfast, and threw it across to the other side of the bridge. Immediately her little dog ran across the bridge and gobbled it up.

Satan knew he had been outwitted, the soul of a dog was of no use to him; he scowled furiously and disappeared in an even bigger cloud of foul smelling black smoke than the first, and was never seen in those parts again. The old woman crossed the lovely new bridge, and having retrieved both her cow and her dog, made her way home, humming softly to herself. The bridge still remains, to this very day. (Although two later bridges have been built above it, and today it has the usual tourist trappings.)

You'll rarely see the Devil in Wales these days, local folk say he's too embarrassed to show his face!


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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.)

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Children of the Mist: https://freeaudiobookcodes.com/?q=children+of+the+mist


Also try this one by the very talented Helen Johannes:

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(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)


 

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, 17 August 2020

The Gwiber of Penmachno

 Hello my lovelies

I hope you're well and keeping safe. Continuing the series on Welsh mythical creatures, we're returning to the water again this week with the tale of how Wibernant (or the valley of the gwiber) near  Penmachno, got its name.

The word "gwiber" translated from the Welsh means viper or adder but centuries ago the word actually meant flying snake . This creature was similar to a dragon but not like the Graig Goch, the famous red Welsh dragon, being more serpent-like and legless.

The valley was terorised by a unique creature which was the only one in Wales that could live on land and under water. It preyed not only on the fish in the river, but also local livestock and on anyone foolish enough to cross it path.

The villagers offered a large reward to anyone who could kill he beast. A young man dcalled Owen Ap Gruffydd decided to try his luck at killing the monster.

He decided to seek the advice of a a local wise man,  Rhys Ddewin. "The gwiber is a huge winged snake, its body is slimy and it has a foul odour. It will bite you and kill you," the old man said grimly.

The next day, Owen decided to visit the wise man again . He disguised himself as a beggar, and told the old man he was about to face the gwiber, hoping to get a more favourable prediction. "You are brave but very foolish," Rhys told him. "You not succeed and will fall and break your neck."

Still not discouraged, the next day, Owen paid a third visit to Rhys, this time disguised as a miller, wearing a miller's apron and with flour on his face. He told Rhys he intended to do battle with the Gwiber. Again, Rhys told him he would not succeed and would die by drowning.

At this, Owen pulled off his apron and wiped his face in frustration, and asked Rhys to explain how he could give him three different predictions about his forthcoming fight with the Gwiber. Rhys merely smiled sadly and  said, "Time will tell".

Owen decided the old man was either senile or  just mistaken or lying to him, and bravely set off down the steep, rocky slope toward the river in search of the gwiber, swiping at the undergrowth with his sword, and yelling to the gwyber to show itself. 

All at once there was a rush of wings, a foul stench, and the moster swooped down from the sky, Before Owen could draw his sword against the beast, it pinned his arms to his sides and bit his neck. Dizzy from the odour and loss of blood, Owen lost his footing on the slippery rocks. . As he fell, he smashed into another rocky outcrop that snapped his neck, before  plunging into the river below, and drowning.

When his lifeless body was discovered shortly after, Owen's friends swore vengeance and set off kill the Gwiber. Eventually they found the Gwiber asleep on the river bank and let loose a hail of arrows that severely wounded the creature. With a blood-curdling scream, the gwiber plunged into the river and was never seen again. Some say, however, that the Gwiber’s eyes can still be seen looking up from the depths as you walk along the river bank.


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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)


 

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, 10 August 2020

Mythical creatures of Wales - Cath Palug

Cath Palug

This giant cat features in several early Welsh poems, and the name translates as Palug's cat. It is also known as 'the cat with sharp claws' or 'the cat that scratches.'

It was said to be one of the offspring of the sow Henwen, who was chased to the edge of the sea. Born as a black kitten which took to the water and swam away. Cath Palug crossed the Menai Strait between North Wales and the island of Anglesey. On Anglesey, it grew to gigantic proportions and was said to have killed 180 warriors. It was eventually slain by Cei (the Sir Kay of  Arthurian legend)

A medieval French story tradition tells how a cat called Chapalu or Chatloup (a corruption of Cath Palug) pushed King Arthur into a bog and then overcame him in battle, passing through Britain to conquer it, wearing the crown of Britain. This tale may relate to the early medieval stories of the conflict between King Arthur and Mordred (or Medrawt), in which Mordred's symbol is the cat.

Not the sort of kitty one would want to nurse on one's lap in front of the fire of an evening!


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
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, 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.


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
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, 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)





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 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
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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!
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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.)

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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."

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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).







 
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