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 horses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horses. Show all posts

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!
 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.)

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, 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."

 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.)

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, 18 July 2016

Monday's Ramblings

I've been a bit quite recently - apologies.  I've been quite busy with one thing and another.  It's a beautiful sunny day here in the UK today - I thnk summer has come at last.  Perhaps it will last for a few days if we're lucky.

It's a good day for drying and my washing is drying merrily on the line! The horses are enjoying the warm weather, we left them grazing happily in the shade. (One day if I win the lottery I'm going to buy a small farm in Wales so I can just look out of my window to see them, instead of having a half hour car drive every day)  Too hot to do much so Choccy will get his long walk a bit later when it's cooler.

Beloved Enemy - Banner


Before I get down to some writing, I just wanted to mention that I'm touring with 'Beloved Enemy'  this week for three days, and I'd like to thank all the lovely bloggers who are hosting me. You can find out more by clicking the above link.

And - don't forget too join me on the 22nd June, when I will be taking part in the Wild Rose Press Blog Hop.  Should be fun.

How are you enjoying summer?  Leave a comment and tell me what you're up to.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Country Affairs

Country Affairs Tour Banner 1
If you follow this blog, or my website or Facebook page, you'll know that besides books and writing, my other other passions are horses and dogs, and of course the countryside.  So when I found out about fellow Brit author Zara Stoneley's latest release, 'Country Affairs' I just had to invite her to my blog as part of her Brook Cottage Books tour.  Here's some more about the book.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Humour/ChickLit
Release Date: e-book 7 May 2015, Paperback 16 July 2015
Publisher:  HarperCollins (HarperImpulse)

'A great treat for readers who love their books jam-packed with sexy men and horses.' Bestselling author Fiona Walke. It’s time to get back in the saddle with the follow up to the deliciously naughty Stable Mates!

Swapping her spurs for stilettoes and becoming Lady of the Manor is not on loveable, but scatty, Lottie’s life plan. Nor does she have the faintest idea how to rescue it from rack and ruin.

But with footballer’s wife Sam on the case, determined to bring glamour to the manor, and fun-loving eventer Rory egging them on, nothing can possibly go wrong, can it?

Todd never forgave himself for abandoning Lottie on a Barcelona beach, but now he’s tracked her down and he’s ready to kiss and make up. With a roving eye and his roguish grin he soon has more than one girl in Tippermere going weak at the knees, but why is he really there?

With wedding plans going awry, unexpected pregnancies and relationships starting to look rocky, will Lottie ever be ready to accept her inheritance and help Tipping House Estate move into the 21st Century?

Let's find out more about the super sexy hunks in her book. Over to you, Zara:

Here come the men!  Country Affairs

The great thing about sportsmen is that you can guarantee they’ll be fit, they’ll probably be pretty competitive and chances are they will love a challenge. And all the men of Tippermere pretty much fit the bill – so which one would you go for? (Check out my pinterest board for pics!)

Rory Steel – is a sexy three day eventer. He’ll do anything for a dare, is a bit of an adrenalin junkie and is the one man who is guaranteed to make Lottie laugh. He could be the guy for you if you like a challenge and having fun, and don’t mind his terriers and horses. Don’t expect him to sit still for longer than absolutely necessary though, like Tilly the terrier he’s always got a glint in his eye and is looking for trouble. And bear in mind his taste in girls might be similar to his taste in horses - he like them flighty, brave and slightly unpredictable, like Flash.

Todd Mitchell – is an Australian surfer who abandoned Lottie on the beach in Barcelona. He prefers the surf to the green grass of Cheshire and is far too tall for the Tippermere quaint cottages.   If you’re not desperate for a happy ever after (he’s not got a great track record), but do like wall to wall fun then Todd could be the one for you. And you are guaranteed that his fit body comes with an all over tan (not something you often get with a horse rider), as well as a six pack! With the exception of Lottie, he’s always had a thing for perfectly groomed blonds (girls not horses!), but he’s open to offers.

Mick O’Neal - dangerously sexy, deep thinker, Irish charmer, he’s ruggedly handsome in a dark and mysterious way but often has a twinkle in his eye. Do you like a guy who’s perceptive and protective? Mick could be for you, but he’s not been lucky in love and with his damaged heart might be a tricky customer. A farrier, not a competitive rider, he’s still a wonderful horseman so steer clear if you don’t like horses and the country life. But can any girl resist that steady gaze, and those warm, firm hands?

Dominic Stanthorpe – is a true aristocrat. He’s always striving for perfection, and has a strong sense of duty. This man is undemonstrative, but totally loyal and will do anything for the woman he loves (which can surprise even him). As a dressage rider he dislikes shoddy behaviour, flamboyance and surprises. If you like control and the best things in life then Dominic could be your perfect man, if you’re a tantrum type of girl then he might well be off at a gallop.

Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she's not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas! Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novels, 'Stable Mates' and ‘Country Affairs’, are fun romps through the Cheshire countryside and combine some of her greatest loves - horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!
She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.

 Find out more about Zara:
Website      Twitter        Facebook        Google+
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, 9 June 2014

Rhiannon goddess of the moon and protector of horses in Celtic mythology

Continuing with my legends of Wales, Rhiannon is one of the characters who appears in The Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh-language tales which  Lady Charlotte Guest translated into English, and which were first published in three volumes between 1838  and 1849. The original stories were to be found mainly in two collections of medieval manuscripts known as the White Book of Rhydderch (c.1350) and the Red Book of Herge.

I share Rhiannon's love of horses, so it is only fitting that she features on my blog!

 The goddess Rhiannon's name meant “Divine Queen” of the fairies, and she loved horses. Rhiannon was promised in marriage to an older man. However, she fell in love with the mortal Prince Pwyll (pronounced Poo-ulch, translated as Paul) She to Pwyll one afternoon while he stood with his companions on a great grass-covered mound in the forest surrounding his castle. The  prince was enchanted by the vision of the beautiful young goddess Rhiannon, dressed in  gold as she galloped by on her graceful white horse. Pwyll sent his servant, riding his swiftest horse to catch her and ask her to return to meet the prince.  But the servant soon returned and reported that she rode so swiftly that it seemed her horse’s feet scarcely touched the ground and that he could not follow her.

 The next day, ignoring his friends’ advice, Pwyll returned alone to the mound and, once more, the Celtic goddess appeared.   Pwyll pursued her but could not overtake her. Although his horse ran even faster than Rhiannon's, the distance between them always remained the same.  When his horse was exhausted,  he stopped and called out for her to wait.   

She allowed him to draw close, saying it would have been much kinder to his horse had he simply called out instead of chasing her. She told him he had come seeking her love, but that they must wait a year. Then she disappeared

One year later, she reappeared on the same tor. She led him to her father’s palace, a magnificent castle surrounded by a lake.   There they were married but at the wedding feast the man she’d once been promised to marry made a scene, saying she should not be allowed to marry outside her own people. 

Rhiannon slipped away from her husband’s side to deal with the situation in her own way.She turned him into a badger and caught him in a bag which she tied up and threw into the lake. They returned to Wales the  next day, with Rhiannon forsaking the fairy kingdom of her childhood, but she had no regrets.

Three years later, she bore Pwyll a son.As was the custom, six women servants were assigned to stay with Rhiannon in her lying-in quarters to help her care for the infant. However, they fell asleep and the baby disappeared. When they woke to find the cradle empty, they were fearful they would be punished severely for their carelessness. They smeared Rhiannon with the blood of a dead puppy and accused her of eating her own child.

Rhiannon swore her innocence, Pwll refused to divorce her and begged for her life to be spared. Rhiannon’s punishment was announced. For the next seven years she must sit by the castle gate, bent under the heavy weight of a horse collar, greeting guests with the story of her crime and offering to carry them on her back into the castle.

In the autumn of the fourth year three strangers appeared at the gate—a well-dressed nobleman, his wife, and a young boy. The boy handed her a piece of an infant’s gown.  Rhiannon saw that it was cloth that had been woven by her own hands.  The boy then smiled at her, and she realised she was looking at her own son. The nobleman farmer told his story.  Ever year on the 1st May, his mare  foaled and every year the foal disappeared. Four years earlier, he had slashed with his sword at a claw that came through the open window of the stable, to snatch the newborn foal. Running outside, he heard the infant’s cries and found him lying abandoned by the door. He and his wife took the baby in, raising him as if he were their own.

When the rumors of the goddess Rhiannon’s fate reached him, the farmer realized what had happened and set out at once to return the child to his parents. It was rumoured that the  the enraged suitor that Rhiannon had rejected and turned into a badger, had escaped and taken his revenge by kidnapping Rhiannon's infant son.

Rhiannon was restored to her  her place beside her husband.  Although she had suffered immensely at their hands, Rhiannon, she saw that the people who had condemned her were ashamed and forgave them.

In some versions of the legend, Rhiannon was the Celtic goddess who later became Vivienne, best known as the Lady of the Lake. She was the goddess who gave Arthur the sword Excalibur, empowering him to become King in the legends of Camelot.  

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hop here for the great MFRW Spring event

Welcome to the MFRW Spring Fever Bloghop! The Next button at the top of your browser is a gateway to some fantastic authors, or you can choose any name from the scrolling list on our banner.

If our navigation bar disappears anywhere, clicking the bloghop banner in the post you're reading or using your browser's back button will bring it back.

Happy hopping!

Welcome to my post for the 
MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop

Spring is finally sprung! Time flies, we're over a quarter of the way through the year already!

It's been a long winter in the UK. The weather hasn't been too extreme in the area where I live, but it's been wet and miserable - until last week when spring suddenly arrived.   The sun came out and it was really pleasant outdoors.

This picture is of the track down to the bridleway. The farmer has prepared the soil ready for sowing and the cheery daffodils sway their heads in the breeze.

The  crocuses in my garden decided it was safe to show their flowery faces without being soaked with rain or blown to pieces, while the daffodils were actually in bloom for St David's Day this year (March 1st and the birds are building their nests.

I love this time of year, the spring flowers are so fresh and colourful and the hedgerows are beginning to turn green  again and nature is bursting with  new life.

Last week I was able to take the horse's blankets off  and let them feel the sun on their backs for the first time this year. 

It's quite hard to stay indoors when it's so nice outside. Soon it will be warm enough for me to take my laptop into the garden so then I'll have no excuse for not working on my next futuristic romance, which I have a feeling might turn into Steampunk.

Easter is just around the corner, so to finish I thought I'd mention the origins of how we celebrate this Festival. The name Easter actually comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. According to my research:
"In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall, the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were frequently personified.

One of the most important pagan myths was the search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g., Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth, symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence."(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"The name of a feast,
according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre. It was she who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions. As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus. There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them."

So, like Christmas the early Christians adapted the pagan Festival of Eostre and it became our Easter.  So, technically we should refer to Easter Sunday, as 'Resurrection Sunday' as this would be a truer name for what we are celebrating.

 I'll leave you with a question.  What is your favourite season?  Do you like the cold beauty of a snowy winter and Christmas, the gold and red of autumn glory, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the richness and warmth of summer, Holidays and trips,  or like me the freshness and newness of spring and Easter?

Leave a comment and 'follow' my Blog if you would, and I'll put you in the draw to win a $10.00 Gift Cert) Or the equivalent in pounds if you live in the UK)

 I hope you have a lovely Easter or Resurrection Sunday, and I wish you a beautiful spring.

You can also read a FREE fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' on my page at The Wild Rose Press (You'll have to go through the 'checkout' precedure, but don't worry, you won't get charged.)


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year and a look back at 2014

2014 Chinese New Year of the Horse eastern elements composition. Vector file organized in layers for easy editing. - stock vector 

I know I'm a bit late in wishing my blog readers a Very Happy New Year, but I'm like a horse's tail - all behind. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and that I manage to do better in 2014!

I thought I'd have a brief pictorial look back at my own personal 2013:

It started off with some snow in February - after missing giving us a white Christmas, but the horses didn't mind.  They just stood waiting for us to come with their dinners! They have their rugs and an  open  shelter so they were snug and warm

Then spring came, bringing with it some sunshine and walks through a
 bluebell wood near where we live
Then in May the village next to ours held the first ever literary festival which I was lucky enough to be able to take part in
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Later in the summer we visited several steam rallies, just love these old steam engines...
Not to mention the heavy horse displays

The highlight of the year however, has to be my holiday with hubby in beautiful Pittsburgh and Ohio...

where we met our dear friend, the late Sharon Donovan's lovely sister, Mary Beth and went on a river cruise with her, as well as being treated to a lovely lunch at her parents home...
and my sweet friend and Author Roast sister hostess, Mary Ricksen, pictured here at the 'spaceship' at Mars
Mary, hubby Dave and I then moved on to the Dreamhouse  Guesthouse in Ohio, belonging to Cat and Allan Kaulback, where we had a wonderful time in the lovely countryside, seeing the sights and spending time with them and their lovely horses

Mary me and Cat at Smolen-Gulf Bridge, the longest covered bridge in Ohio

 Then in November, I attended the third Festival of Romance in Bedford, and had a great time, meeting old and new Twriter friends and the conference on Sunday was really interesting with some great talks by editors and agents.

The year didn't end on such a good note, as at the end of October, our little rescue, Bouncer the  Jack Russell terrier, fell ill and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  He was badly treated before we had him and has gone blind in the last year, so it doesn't seem fair that he should have this as well.  However, he's on medication and seems quite happy and comfortable, and is back to his normal self at the moment, so we're making the most of whatever time we have left with him and hope that we'll be able to enjoy his affectionate and cheeky little ways for a long time to come.

I hope that 2004 will bring you everything you wish yourself