Tag Archives: Fiction

New Pagan Fiction and Poetry

I’ve had such a lot of recommendations for new Pagan books this month that I’m going to have to do two posts! It doesn’t seem so very long ago that ‘new pagan book’ was a rare occurrence to get excited about. We’ve grown as a community in so many ways.

So, here’s the new Pagan fiction and poetry….

Forest Rain

Poetry and prose by Michael Forester

This collection of Spiritual Learnings in prose and poetry form a unique meditation that will support you in exploring your own journey, and the life events, both great and small, that will offer themselves to you as you travel forward.

More here – http://michaelforester.co.uk/books/forest-rain

 

Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

More here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MRCASMU

Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings, by Philipp Kessler

It was a simple protection spell, what could possibly go wrong? Everything and then some!

Sandra Blackwell wants to help her friend find peace and protection after a nasty break up. Little did she know that Elaine’s home was already under protection – if you call flickering lights and depression protection. After the bulbs begin to blow and they realize something has backfired, they battle their own mental and emotional demons to fix what Sandra did. Two Egyptian Gods play with Sandra’s understanding of who she is and Elaine is floating in her own personal limbo after the blow up of her relationship and the backfire of a well intentioned spell. Can they fix things without it all blow up in their faces?

More here – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XTSBM9W/

 

The Shadow Crucible by T.M. Lakomy

In a world where angels, demons, and gods fight over the possession of mortal souls, two conflicted pawns are ensnared in a cruel game. The enigmatic seer Estella finds herself thrown together with Count Mikhail, a dogmatic Templar dedicated to subjugating her kind. But when a corrupted cardinal and puppet king begin a systematic genocide of her people, the two become unlikely allies.

You can read my review here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/review-the-shadow-crucible/

Find out more here – https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Crucible-Blind-God/dp/1590794141

Moon Song, by Elen Sentier

(Previously published by Cosmic Egg, recently re-released by Moon Books)

When Isoldé hears that her lifelong hero, Celtic folk singer Tristan Talorc, has just committed suicide, it strikes home and makes the oppressive London, where she works just after “nine-eleven”, feel nearly as oppressive as the Belfast of The Troubles where she grew up.  Fate intervenes when an ex-boyfriend offers her a job with him down in Exeter in the West Country. And so begins her enchanted journey to find the lost song of Tristan Talorc, the Moon Song…

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/moon-song

New Pagan Books

Here’s a list of recent Pagan releases – not reviews, but blurbs taken from author and publisher websites. if you have a book you’d like including, do get in touch.

Pagan Portals – By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root

by Melusine Draco

A large number of poisonous plants have beneficial uses in both domestic medicine and magic. Needless to say, when utilising a toxic plant in magic, we are adding certain extra deadly or potent energies into the mix.

Buy the paperback – AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

Buy the ebook – AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

 

The English Runes: Secrets of Magic, Spells and Divination

By Suzanne Rance

You may be familiar with Runes, an old European lettering system. They can be found widely in literature and film; however, these Runes are usually the Elder Futhark. What people are less aware of is that the English have their own Runes, steeped in the heritage of an ancient land. Runes rooted in the culture of the early English and whose sound is part of the birth of the English language. Discover The Old English Rune Poem and, through this, find out more about the lives of the early English and their runes.

Buy on Amazon

 

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry

Many Tarot decks come with a tiny booklet that offers snippets of meaning about each card and maybe a layout or two. The Minoan Tarot, in contrast, comes with a full-size, full-length book (176 pages) that describes the artwork and the meaning of each card in depth. It also includes detailed instructions for several layouts (including one designed just for this deck) as well as a Minoan Fool’s Journey, Elemental Journeys, and background information about Minoan culture and art.

Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon platforms as well as other good online bookstores.

 

The Naked Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 1)

By Wendy Steele

fiction: Lizzie Martin’s new boss has asked her to ‘bare all’ and become more corporate.

For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

She has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, monitor her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

Find it on Amazon

New Pagan Books

Recent releases of Pagan fiction and non-fiction titles… These are not reviews, content is taken from author and publisher websites.

New fiction:

Mac Ailpin’s Treason by Andrew J Keir.

Out of darkness, Scotland is born. When Dál Riata’s King is viciously killed by the Pictish army, his son, Cináed mac Ailpín, is driven into exile.  Resultant chaos reigns across the lands of Alba, in the guise of tragedy and Viking brutality; ultimately forcing Cináed to seek out a new kingdom for the Gaels … and to extract bloody revenge.

More about the book here – http://www.andrewjkeir.net/mac-ailpins-treason.html

Matlock The Hare: The Trial of The Majickal Elders, by Phil Lovesy, art by Jacqui Lovesy. This is volume three of a three part series.

Immerse yourself in the most fully-realised ‘majickal’ world ever imagined as Matlock and his clottabussed friends from Winchett Dale set off to complete three ‘peffa-twizzly’ tasks to prove him the most worthy hare in all the dales –  in a wondrous fantasy saga with more twists and turns than Trefflepugga Path itself… Animist fiction for subversive adults.

More Matlock here – http://matlockthehare.com/page/654816-books.aspx

Non Fiction:

The Secret People by Melusine Draco

The Secret People is a remembrance of times past and a preservation of ‘parish-pump witchcraft, wise woman and cunning ways’ adapted for use in the 21st century.

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/secret-people

 

A Mystic Guide to Cleansing & Clearing, by David Salisbury

Using energetic methods from a variety of traditions and philosophies, this is a new approach to the practice of cleansing our lives.

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/mystic-guide-cleansing-clearing

Character flaws in fiction

Having started poking around the subject of flaws yesterday, I thought it worth exploring in further detail. From a writing perspective, character flaws are very important (Druid perspective tomorrow!) Real people are flawed, after all. Perfect people are dull, and predictable, so once you get beyond very simple children’s stories, flaws become very important in character creation.

A rounded character needs weak points, failings, blind spots, and things they are rubbish at. These open the way for narrative, as through them, events unfold that the character cannot quickly or easily deal with. Failings actually make a character more endearing, I’ve found. People who are too nice, too good, too kind, too reasonable can actually be hard to empathise with. They might be the sort of people we ought to like, but they aren’t quite human and are a lot harder to engage with.

So, how do you go about putting flaws into a character? You might need to consider it in light of the needs of the plot. The character may need to be blind, or agoraphobic, or clumsy for the story to work. You might grow the flaws out of their personal history – in the form of fears and anxieties, beliefs about themselves or the world, old problems that haunt them, and so forth. You might want to give your character a physical disadvantage of some sort – from injury, illness or birth. You might consider a mental disability. Then there are personality traits – anger, jealousy, paranoia, depression, and so forth. Obsessions compulsions and phobias can flaw a character in some very interesting ways, giving you all kinds of scope to play with them creatively. You could make them a bit lazy, bad at handling money, gullible. A combination of flaws can make for a very convincing person.

Of course, if you make a character too flawed, they become unsympathetic or hard to engage with. A selfish, lazy, clumsy heroine who swears compulsively and hates cats and children may be hard to engage readers with. She might however, make a very good problem ex-girlfriend to have complicating the main plot. Getting the balance right with enough flaws to make a character plausible and likable, is not entirely easy.

Settings and Landscape

Although I don’t always make settings explicit in my stories, I always have somewhere in mind – usually a place I’ve spent time in. I think this is one of the ways in which my druidry manifests in my writing – land matters to me. Every place has its own character, and that does affect my writing and the kinds of stories I tell.

Being back in Gloucestershire and seeing the landscapes I’d written from memory, is an odd sort of process. I suspect being here will mean I’m more likely to write about the Worcestershire landscape instead. The distance helps, I find. I can’t write what’s directly around me, it gets too personal and I become bogged down in the details.

Of my stories, the following have Gloucestershire settings – Hunting The Egret is set along the banks of the River Severn, and Dreams Come True is set in Gloucester. (I didn’t make that apparent in the book, but cover artist Dalia tuned in somehow, and picked a picture of Gloucester cathedral!) My cross dressing m/m tale Sweet Illusions owes a lot to time spent with a boyfriend on a farm in Coaley, a long time ago. Teacher’s Pet was based on another village round here, although I made a lot of stuff up for that one. There is no way, living in the area, that I’d feel comfortable about writing any of that now. Being at a distance also means not having to worry about what the neighbours think, and whether they fear I’ve written about them! That set of stories are all at www.loveyoudivine.com

The bigger peculiarity on this score is the comic. The imagery underpinning Hopeless is a mixture of Maine and the Cotswolds. Tom has drawn on personal experience for the Maine architecture and landscapes, but where he’s been looking for other elements, I’ve sent him images from the part of the world I grew up in. I’ve borrowed place names from here – both for places and character names. Frampton, and Arlingham Jones were both named after Gloucestershire villages. Tom hadn’t realised this and was amusingly startled when I suggested I might be going to Frampton (they have a folk club).

There are some odd parallels between the town I grew up in and the island of Hopeless – this is a foggy place too, and when the autumn mists roll in, they can turn the hills into islands. Where the lighthouse ought to be, there is a tower in memory of William Tyndale. Thanks to its geography, Dursley does have a feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world, and that affected my writing too. And now I’m back in the area. It feels just the teensiest little bit weird, seeing things I’ve borrowed, and having them be part of my reality again.

Where will I write about next? No idea, but it almost certainly won’t be from round here!

What a good novel should have …

Of course, this is only my opinion but for a good novel must have the following attributes …

  • Fully 3D characters
  • Excellent description of places, so you feel you are there
  • Complexity – nothing is simply black or white
  • Heroes who get it wrong some of the time
  • Bad guys who get it right some of the time
  • Events and characters that explode cliches
  • The ability to make you think, turn your values upside-down, if only a little
  • The story should grow you, your attitudes, as it does those of the protagonist

Novels that have all this do not grow on trees :-).

I’m currently re-reading Frank Herbert’s “Whipping Star”, it has all of these qualities and is still brilliantly thought provoking after 38 years.

What do you think? What makes a good novel for you?

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Oak Man

I intend to do a brief resume of the plot-so-far of my new novel “Oak Man” that I’m currently writing. I hope this update will go out about once a week on a free-for-all day :-).

Here is the first …

Tumulus Dawn

The accompanying picture is by a super artist-friend of mine, Wendy Davies. The story also uses (with her permission) her teenage adventure of finding three 4000 yr old gold torcs on the farm – again in the Wels Marches – where she grew up.

The story is a mystery/magic/romance … as usual for me 🙂 – and set here  in the Welsh Marches, based around the legend of the place where I live.

Elen Sentier

writer artist gardener shaman
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Celtic shaman – Elen Sentier Oak Man … the beginnings of the plot