Friday, May 10, 2013

Beltane Fires by Erzabet Bishop: Virtual Book Tour

Title: Beltane Fires

Series: The Erotic Pagan series

Author: Erzabet Bishop

Genre: Pagan/Wiccan, Erotic Romance, Pagan Celebrations

Publisher: Naughty Nights Press (NNP)

Ebook: pdf, mobi/kindle, epub

Print: N/A

Pages: 21

Release Date: April 15th 2013

Purchase at: NNP eStore | All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Ca | Barnes & Noble | Diesel Books | Apple Books

Book Description:

The first book in the new line “The Erotic World Of Paganism” by Naughty Nights Press 

A recent breakup has left Ceri alone on her birthday. Her friends, Alex and Fiona, spirit her away to a Beltane festival guaranteed to light up her night. When everyone at the event seems to be a couple, Ceri ventures out for a walk along a wooded path. 

In the darkness, the Forest Lord has come to find his May Queen. He is everything she ever dreamed of in a lover, but is she willing to take the leap? 

**Based on real Pagan traditions and celebrations, “The Erotic Pagans Series” brings erotica and romance to reality, and shares the passion of erotic romance in the lives of Pagans with everyone.**

 Excerpt 3
"I've never danced a Maypole dance before." Ceri watched as some young men emerged from the surrounding woods carrying a long slender tree trunk. They wound ribbons around the top and carefully slid the trunk into the hole, letting the ribbons fly free in the afternoon breeze.
Looking at the fields beyond the festival site, Ceri noticed it was full of different varieties of flowers. The heady scent of their bouquet wafted toward her on the breeze and as the wind brushed her face, she felt a tingle run down her back. All of her teachings came back to her and she felt the pull of the earth reach up and tether her to this place. She had never felt anything like it.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Marilyn smiled and pointed in the direction of the flower fields. "My family has farmed this land for generations. Here, surrounded by the woods, we have been able to hold on to the old customs and keep our traditions strong. Beltane is one of my favorite Sabbats. Celebrating life and all it has to offer is what it's all about, after all."
"Sounds like a good idea to me." Ceri let her gaze travel across the young men and women gathering in front of the pole that was now firmly lodged in the ground. She sent up a silent prayer to the Goddess that there would be someone for her when twilight took over and the fires wove their seductive magic.
"Come, we must get seated. It's almost time for the festivities to begin."
A gathering of young men with fiddles began to play a smoldering tune and the crowd began to rally around the Maypole. Ceri smiled and let the rhythm of the stirring music settle into her bones.
Marilyn handed her a cup of spiced wine from the table nearby and they made their way to the action.


Meet Erzabet Bishop
Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could first pound keys on her parent’s old typewriter. She is a contributing author to Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs, Smut by the Sea Volume 2, Hell Whore Volume 2 and Coming Together: Hungry for Love. She is the author of the Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pure Magic by Judkia Illes

Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spellcasting

Pure Magic is a practical crash course for anyone who's ever envied TV witches. Or women who always seem to get the job, apartment, or date they want. Or people who can make their dreams come true. Judika Illes has written a spellcasting primer in down-to-earth language. "I consciously set out to write a book that would be different from any other on the market," Illes writes. "This book is jargon free. It contains information usually handed down from teacher to student. It focuses on the practical aspects of spellcasting in a clear and nonjudgmental way. . . . No specialized metaphysical training is required." What is required is that we become aware of the natural rhythms, energies, powers, and patterns of Earth and her diverse inhabitants. Pure Magic offers a plethora of individual spells, plus concrete advice on how and where to practice magic, to rightly use words of power, and to cleanse, protect, and enhance your magic self. Work your way through it's easy-to-follow, step-by-step plan, and all will become clear. Learn to listen to Mother Earth, focus on your magical allies, gather the simple equipment Illes outlines, and follow the straightforward instructions, and you will soon be constructing your own spells and experiencing magic in your everyday life. Pure Magic is a book that beginners will follow rigorously and advanced spellcasters will refer to again and again for guidance and inspiration. 

* Magic 101: this book is a complete course in real magic--how and why it works. 

* Pure Magic is a perennial, from an author with a great track who knows what she's talking about. 

This book was a lovely read! I was thrilled to receive a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When I was a little girl, I would find myself endlessly searching the television for movies like Bednobs and Broomsticks, or shows like Bewitched. Those are the moments that plucked at my imagination and made my heart race. Was magic something real? In my writer brain and in my childhood imaginings, I so wanted it to be true.

Pure Magic rests in the place that magic is part of the web of everyday life. That is the charm in this book.  Take a journey with Judika Illes as she teaches you about magic from the bottom up. I found this book to be a very good introductory course in all things magical, from the most simple to some a little more challenging. 

This book is full of sound research and will give hours of reading pleasure!

Highly recommended as an addition to any magical library, either for reference or practical knowledge.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grail of the Summer Stars: A Visit With Freda Warrington

The climactic novel in the spellbinding magical contemporary fantasy Aetherial Tales trilogy

By Freda Warrington

“A classy, beautifully rendered tale that persuasively builds from low-key beginnings into a complex enterprise with real heft, a rich back story and
characters that grow with the narrative. A must for existing fans, while being easily accessible to newcomers.”
Kirkus Reviews

Author: Freda Warrington
$27.99 / 384 pages


A painting, depicting haunting scenes of a ruined palace and a scarlet-haired goddess in front of a fiery city, arrives unheralded in an art gallery with a cryptic note saying, “The world needs to see this.” The painting begins to change the lives of the woman who is the gallery's curator and that of an ancient man of the fey Aetherial folk who has mysteriously risen from the depths of the ocean. Neither human nor fairy knows how they are connected, but when the painting is stolen, both are compelled to discover the meaning behind the painting and the key it holds to their future.

In a haunting, powerful tale of two worlds and those caught between, Freda Warrington weaves an exciting story of suspense, adventure and danger that fulfills the promise of the Aetherial Tales as only she can. This stand-alone novel will appeal to readers of urban and modern fantasy and grab the attention of fans who love dark and sinister tales.

Maiden, Mother, Who? By Freda Warrington

Just a few weeks ago I was the fantasy Guest of Honour at Eastercon (UK) and we had a panel entitled, “Maiden, Mother, Who?” discussing the invisibility of older characters, specifically older women, in fantasy fiction. This is a subject very dear to my heart. By coincidence I had pulled a book down from my attic – one I first read in the early 1990s – to reread. That book is The Crone by Barbara G Walker. You probably know it. In it, Ms Walker explores how the figures of the Crone, the Wise Woman, the Witch, indeed older women in general, have become invisible in our culture. And not only invisible but – not so very far in the past – reviled as evil, and even mass-murdered, hanged, burned at the stake. Her thought-provoking study examines how women were once attributed with supremacy over life and death – naturally so, since it’s women who give birth, and have always acted as midwives, healers, layers-out of the dead. Terrifying, dark goddesses such as Kali were believed to have the powers both of Creation and Destruction: the power to destroy all other gods and to consume everything into her black Abyss at the end of time.

Walker dissects how male religions arose and set about rejecting the dark goddess – far too terrifying! – by crushing all aspects of female wisdom, sacredness and autonomy. This was in a futile urge to deny Death itself. Female religion was circular, a churning cauldron of life, death and rebirth. Male religion was linear: one life, one God, one afterlife in eternal bliss or torment. In the process, the Crone figure of the older woman was demonized until she became virtually invisible. (Really, if you haven’t read Ms Walker’s book, just read it!)

We’re still living with the consequences today. In spite of a long battle for equal rights, there remain societies in which women are treated like scum. In the West, one of the greatest sins a woman can commit – at least in the public eye – is to grow old. In my Aetherial Tales (and other novels) I try to do my bit to redress the balance.

Themes of paganism and ancient earth magic weave through most of my novels, sometimes blatantly so and sometimes more subtly. The Crone, and numerous other books on female spirituality, helped me understand how the idea that women are naturally secondary and subservient to men is a Great Big Lie. What a relief to know that! However, the idea is distressingly persistent. We seem to be taking backward steps, if anything, as young girls are treated as sex objects and women still fight to be taken seriously. The term “witch” is still used as an insult, and there are countries where “witches” are still persecuted and murdered. Sometimes you’d hardly know we were in the 21st century!

My novel Midsummer Night revolves around Juliana Flagg, a sixty-something sculptor and grande damewho is a legend in the art world and something of a character, to say the least. She also appears in the new novel, Grail of the Summer Stars, to advise and guide Mistangamesh (a young man we first met inMidsummer Night) on the next step in his difficult journey. Juliana was one of those characters who leapt into my head fully formed, as it were, and she’s been hanging around for at least fifteen years before I found the right story for her. I imagine her as a tall, strong woman, silver-haired, bohemian, usually dressed in pale grey silks and velvets so she is like a tower of silver. She’s sharp-tongued, confident, intolerant of fools. That’s not to say she lacks warmth, or insecurities, or has no fear of ageing. Yet she faces the future with courage, remarking that when she dies, they will have to fell her like a tree and lash her to the back of a truck!

Of course Grail has younger characters too, and others who are ancient yet ageless – but writing Juliana was so much fun, I don’t know why anyone would shy away from wanting to write or read about older characters. Others crop up in my Aetherial Tales series – but I try to show them as real people, not all-powerful fantasy sorceresses. In Grail we also meet the tough, angular Frances Manifold, who is trying not to fall apart as she fears her missing son is dead. And we meet a character who first appeared in Elfland:the more obviously witchy Virginia Wilder, who never tells people what to do but subtly guides them onto the right path. These are women who have to deal with their own flaws and potential frailties – but they have guts, good sense and personality, and at their core they are strong, strong, strong.

The panel discussion left me somewhat optimistic as we uncovered lots of examples of strong, powerful, older female characters in SF and fantasy. The situation’s not as dire as I’d feared! In the real world, too, more attention is being paid to older females – usually in the shape of Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, or Sophia Loren! Which raises the question, can you only remain visible as you grow older by being a glamorous film star? The academic Professor Mary Beard, who presents historical documentaries for the BBC, has come in for irrational criticism for refusing to glam up, having unkempt grey hair and crooked teeth. For goodness’ sake! She is a Professor of Classics at Cambridge University and a fantastic presenter! But I think the tables are turning. People of discernment love Mary Beard. And folk the world over adore the Queen, who seems to be admired more and more the older she grows. Truly a woman of wisdom, compassion and power.

So let’s hope we can look to a future where the older female – both in real life and in fiction – is no longer denigrated for her lack of youth and fluttering eyelashes, but celebrated for her long, rich life and simply for her magnificent self.

FREDA WARRINGTON, who was born in and lives in Leicestershire, England, is the author of twenty novels. This is her third Aetherial Tales novel, her first series to be published in the United States. The first,Elfland, was named Best Fantasy of the Year by RT Book Reviews. For more information, please

I am utterly transfixed as I delve into the pages of this book. Stay tuned for an upcoming review!