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 Welsh legends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Welsh legends. 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:
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, 7 September 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends The tale of Manadden and the mouse

 Hello my lovelies, I have another Welsh myth for you this

Harvest Mouse ORIGINAL Watercolour Painting, Realistic Wildlife Art, Cute Mouse

week, with a much less threatening creature than some I have featured.

The lord Manadden, who had been campaigning in Ireland, returned to Narbeth in mid Wales, to find his lands had been usurped. After a while, he met and fell in love with Rhiannon, the widow of Pwyll, and the goddess of horses, and soon they were married. 

Some time later, a fierce storm rose up and the land was covered with mist. When it cleared they saw that the countryside was deserted. All the animals, cottages and people had vanished. 

He and Rhiannon's grown up son, Pryderi, set out to discover what had happened and came across a deserted castle with a golden fountain. When they touched the fountain, he and Pryderi were instantly struck dumb, Rhiannon arrived in search of her son and husband and she too was stuck dumb. Then, with a sound like thunder, the castle and  Rhiannon and her son vanished. Manawdden was stricken with grief and turned his back on the land, to earn his living as a shoemaker in Hereford, but he was so good at cobbling that angry competitors threatened to kill him and he went back to Narbeth where he bought some land and settled down to the life of a farmer. He was as good a farmer as he had been a cobbler, and at harvest time he had three large fields of best quality wheat ready to be cut. "I will reap this to-morrow," he said and early the next morning went out to reap the first field. When he came there he found nothing but the bare straw. Every one of the ears of the wheat was cut from off, and all the ears carried away, leaving nothing but the straw. This also happened to the second field. He went to the third field and it was also ripe and he vowed to watch over it and catch the thieves red-handed.

At midnight there was a tremendous roaring sound and there appeared the largest hoard of mice ever seen, far too many to be numbered. Each mouse climbed up the wheat stem and bending it down with its weight,  cut off one of the ears of wheat, and carried it away, leaving just the stalk, then they all left taking the ears of wheat with them.

He rushed after them in a rage, but they all escaped except one, which he caught  and put  in his glove, tying the opening with string, and returned home. Then he went to the Gorsedd (a  Bardic throne) of Narberth, taking the mouse with him. And he set up two forks on the highest part of the Gorsedd, intending to hang the mouse.  While he was doing this, a scholar, dressed in rags, came toward him, and enquired what he was doing.

"I am hanging a thief that I caught robbing me," he replied.

"But it's only a mouse, set if free," said the scholar. He then offered him a pound to set the creature free but Manawyddan refused. "I will not let it go free, he said. "It is a thief and will pay the penalty for stealing."

Then a priest on a fine horse rode up and offered Manawyddan three pounds if hewould let the mouse go, but again he refused.

Then he noosed the string around the mouse's neck, and as he was about to draw it up, a rich bishop rode toward him, with a retinue of packhorses and servants, and again bargained for the mouse to be set free. He eventually raised the price of the mouse's release to twenty four pounds, together with all the pack horses and the their loads. Still Manawyddan refused, and the bishop asked what he wanted to reprieve the mouse. When Manawyddan insisted on knowing the truth, the bishop told him that the mouse was his wife. who was with child, hence her inability to run fast enough to get away, and he was a mage and the one who had cast the charm in revenge for the bag-trapping trick Rhiannon had pulled on the man who had wanted to marry her, many years ago. He'd turned his servants and the villagers into mice to strip the wheatfields, and his wife and ladies of the court also asked to be turned into mice, to join in the destruction of the harvest.

Manawyddan demanded that Rhiannon and Pryderi should be set free, and  the illusion of the castle be removed. He also elicited a promise that there would be no vengeance taken either on him, Rhiannon or Pryderi, that he would never cast a spell over the land again and that Rhiannon and Prederi immediately appear before him.

Llwyd agreed and as his wife and stepson came toward him, Manawyddan at once released the mouse.Then Llwyd struck her with a magic wand, and she was changed back into a beautiful young woman.

"Look around upon your land," Llwyd told him "and you will  see it all tilled and the people and dwellings restored.

And so it was. 

 

FREE AUDIOBOOKS


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.)

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, 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!


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, 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, 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, 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, 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
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, 18 May 2020

Welsh folk stories and legends - Y Tylwyth Teg- Welsh faeries

I'm interviewed on my publisher's blog today, if you'd like to find out a little bit more about me and my writing: https://thewildrosepress.blogspot.com/2020/05/garden-interview-with-hywela-lyn.html

Hello dear readers! I hope you're staying safe and well- today I'm going to tell you about the Welsh faeries, Y Tylwyth Teg (Pronounced 'er-tulwith teg)

According to Welsh folklore, fairies would ride Corgis into battle ...Known  by the native Welsh people as “Y Tylwyth Teg” (“the fair folk”) Welsh faeries typically live in lakes or streams and sometimes in hill hollows.
The are said to ride on Welsh Corgis, or use them to draw little carts. (The Welsh Corgi comes in two types, the Cardiganshire Corgi which has a long tail, and the Pembrokeshire, which has no tail at all.) They were traditionally used as cattle herding dogs by Welsh farmers, and the original two corgis were said to have been given to two human children by the TylwythTeg.

Welsh faery-lore is believed to be closely related to the legend of King Arthur and Guinevere; some believe her abduction by Arthur was abduction by the faeries – of whom Arthur was King.

The magical entities are said to resemble outstandingly beautiful humans, with blue eyes and blonde-white hair. Smaller fairies are normally more virtuous and kindly- the taller fairies tending to be more mischievous and dishonest.

Y Tylwyth TegUsually they dress in green, but the courtiers of the Welsh Fairy King Gwyn ap Nudd are described as being adorned in blue/red silk. In Welsh folklore faery interactions with humans feature quite heavily and kind and mindful mortals are typically rewarded with magic and the anyone found to be greedy or spiteful would be harshly punished.

There are various tales of humans being trapped in the fairy realm and the intermarriage between faeries and humans. The most famous faery tale is that of a beautiful young Cardiganshire woman called Shuï Rhys, who allegedly went away with Y Tylwyth Teg and never returned

    She was the daughter of  poor farmer,  and one of her duties was to drive up the cows to the milking parlour.   She would often  loiter  to pick flowers, or chase the butterflies, which caused her mother to scold her sharply. One night Shuï did not come home until bed-time, leaving the cows to care for themselves. Dame Rhys was furious but the girl told her it was the fault of the Tylwyth Teg. She  said they were little men in green coats, who danced around her and made music on their tiny harps. Her mother believed the tale because it was well known that the Tylwyth Teg inhabited the woods in Cardiganshire.

 Many times after that Shuï was late coming home,  but her mother stopped scolding her, for fear of offending the faery folk.

 One night Shuï did not come home at all, and although the family and friends searched the woods, she was never seen again. Her mother watched in the field on the three nights of the year when goblins are sure to be out and about, but Shuï never returned.

Another story concerns Llyn Cwm Llwch, a small Welsh lake that is situated in the Brecon Beacons of Powys. It is associated with some rather strange legends and folklore. One relates the story of the Tylwyth Teg and an invisible island,

According to local legend, the lake was the abode of the Tylwyth Teg, or the Fair Folk, who had a garden on an invisible island in the lake. On May Day every year, it was said a doorway would appear in a rock by the lakeside. Those humans who were brave enough could pass through it into a passage, which would take them into an enchanted garden situated on the island in the lake. Although visitors to the island could clearly see the shores of the lake, the island and the garden were not visible from the lake’s shore.

The Faery Folklorist: The Fairy Women of Llyn Barfog, North WalesThose who ventured through the door and down the passage entered into a wonderful land with gorgeous flowers of the most beautiful colours and intoxicating scents. These were visited by brightly-coloured butterflies and dragonflies, and songbirds sang e as they flitted through the branches of the trees.

In this glorious setting, the Tylwyth Teg provided their guests by with food and drink unlike anything to be found on Earth. Then they entertained them with songs, music, and amazing stories. All the Tylwyth Teg asked of their guests was that they should not take with them a single item from the island or garden when they returned tto the land of mortals.

However, humans have short memories while the  Tylwyth Teg never forget. There had never been a single transgression of this rule since the time when they first opened the door. But one day, one irresponsible and ungrateful guest decide he wanted something more than just a memory of his wonderful time upon the island. He picked a beautiful flower which had never been seen in the mortal world, and hid it in the inside of his jacket pocket. The second he stepped out of the door and placed his foot on earth, his senses all left him. He fell to walking round backwards in circles and talking nonsense, and lost all ability to reason, and eventually dropped down dead.

The Tylwyth Teg took leave of their guests with their usual good manners and courtesy. However, the following May Day the door did not appear. Nor was it seen again in the years that followed. and to this day, the door to the enchanted garden on the island of the Tylwyth Teg has never appeared again.






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
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, 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 
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, 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

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Welsh Legends - Ghosts of old Wales

 Hi everyone - hope you're keeping safe. If you're in enforced social distancing and feeling at a bit of a loss, how about a couple of old Welsh ghost stories to take your mind off the current weird and rather scary situation.

THE GHOST OF TY FELIN
An exciseman, overtaken by night, went to a house called Ty Felin, (Yellow House) in the parish of Llanynys, and asked for lodgings.  Unfortunately the house was a very small one, containing only
two bedrooms, and one of these was haunted; consequently no one dared sleep in it.  After a while, however, the stranger induced the master to allow him to sleep in this haunted room. He had not been there long before a ghost entered the room in the shape of a travelling Jew and walked around the room.  The exciseman tried to catch him and gave chase, but he lost sight of the Jew in the yard.  He had scarcely entered the room, a second time, when he again saw the ghost.  He chased him once more and lost sight of him in the same place.  The third time he followed the ghost, he made a mark on the yard where the ghost vanished and went to rest, and was not disturbed again.

The next day, the exciseman got up early and went away, but, before long, he returned to Ty Felin accompanied by a policeman, whom he requested to dig in the place where his mark was.  This was done and underneath a superficial covering, a deep well was discovered, and in it a corpse.

Under interrogation, the tenant of the house, confessed that a travelling Jew, selling jewelery and such items, once lodged with him, and that he had murdered him and cast his body in the well.


BLACK DOGS AND ARTHUR'S SEAT
In Welsh mythology and folklore, Cŵn Annwn" hounds of Annwn") were the spectral hounds of Annwn, the otherworld of Welsh myth. They were associated with a form of the Wild Hunt, presided over by Gwynn ap Nudd. Christians came to dub these mythical creatures as "The Hounds of Hell" or
"Dogs of Hell" and theorised they were therefore owned by Satan. However, the Annwn of medieval Welsh tradition is an otherworldly paradise and not a hell, or abode of dead souls.

They were associated with migrating geese, supposedly because their honking in the night is reminiscent of barking dogs
Cadair Idris at night

The Cŵn Annwn also came to be regarded as the escorts of souls on their journey to the Otherworld.
The hounds are sometimes accompanied by a fearsome hag called Mallt-y-Nos, "Matilda of the Night". An alternative name in Welsh folklore is Cŵn Mamau ("Hounds of the Mothers").

Hunting grounds for the Cŵn Annwn are said to include the mountain of  Cadair Idris, where it is believed "the howling of these huge dogs foretold death to anyone who heard them.The locals claim that the mountain is haunted, and that anyone who spends the night on top of Cadair Idris will wake up either a madman or a poet. Different legends surround the mountain and one of the earliest claims that the giant Idris lived there. Three large stones rest at the foot of the mountain, and legend says that Idris got angry once and kicked them, sending them rolling down the mountainside.  

Other Welsh legends state, however, that Arthur made his kingdom there, hence the name Cadair Idris: or the Seat of Idris.

Join me next week for some more old Welsh ghost stories.


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

Sunday, 28 October 2018

SundaySnippets, #WeekendWarriors, 'Dancing With Fate' - "It was my duty."

Hello fellow Snippeteers and readers.  Welcome to my Weekend Warriors post. I'm continuing  with another snippet from my fantasy novella, Dancing With Fate. Thank you to everyone who's been following my snippets so far, and been kind enough to comment. 

                                            Snippet Sunday Facebook  Group
Don't forget to visit the other authors at the link above, there's something for all tastes.

This is the last excerpt I'm posting for a while. I need to concentrate on my current W.I.P. but I'll still keep in touch with my Sunday Snippets friends.



BACKGROUND:
Having fulfilled the mission set by Apollo, Terpsichore the muse of dance  is about to return to Olympus when she meets the mysterious Myrddin.  She is lured into a bog by the evil Ellilldan, the fire demons.Myrddin rescues her. Although there is a mutual attraction between them, Myrddin is betrothed to another and is on his way to rescue her from her kidnapper. Apollo has sent Terpsichore a message that Myrddin is in danger. In this excerpt, Myrddin at last reveals his relationship to his betrothed.


SNIPPET  

You're telling me you were willing to marry a woman who meant nothing to you?"

Myrddin sighed. "Not exactly, it was a marriage arranged by our fathers when we were still children. We only met a few times; we didn't really know each other. Gwendolyn was right about that. But...she is very beautiful and I  thought I loved her. I really did."

Terpsichore wished more than ever she still had the power to read thoughts. The possibility he might no longer care for Gwendolyn, and be free to love her, was torture. Yet, did she really want to love a man who fell out of love so easily?

"I'm trying to understand, are you saying you no longer love her, even though you came all this way at risk of your life, to rescue her."

"It was my duty. "



BLURB - DANCING WITH FATE

BUY NOW
When Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit the land of Wales, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and
 her heart is lost. But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way.  

Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part  them  forever. Is she destined to lose the only man she has ever truly loved? Is there nothing she can do to save him? Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself DANCING WITH FATE. 









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