Category Archives: Pagan

RONE Awards: Vote for The Beltane Escape

 

The Beltane Escape has been nominated for a RONE Award for excellence in

YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi!

The Beltane Escape InDtale Mag.png

Reader voting begins today, May 22 – until May 28.

To vote:
1. Go to http://www.indtale.com/2017-rone-awards-week-six
2. Follow the instructions to vote, follow (“Click to register)
3. Click the verification link sent to you via email. If you do not verify that you registered, you will be unable to vote.
4. Return to www.indtale.com.
You will find The Beltane Escape under the YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi category.

All votes will be greatly appreciated!

Coming Soon!

  • The relaunch of The Teen Wytche Saga will begin in June with new covers, new content, and new stories.
  • The Amber Elixir, a Two Realms novella featuring the Lady of the Lake, Merlin, and Morgan le Fay will soon be available for preorder.
  • The Viking Mist, Book 2, The Two Realms Trilogy, is in the final stages of editing!

 

 

Magical Young Adult Fiction

I am super excited to announce today’s release of my fifth YA novel, THE BELTANE ESCAPE, Book One: The Two Realms Trilogy. This is my first medieval fantasy adventure

Betrayed. Branded. Betrothed. Lady Fenella’s fate is shackled to the most powerful sorcerer and sorceress: Merlin and the Lady of the Lake.

Blurb

Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.

But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with a half-Viking/half-Fairy.

Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between two clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.

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Excerpt

Trapped within the doeskin pouch, Merlin’s spell book pulsed like an angry heart. Viviane, the young Lady of the Lake, pushed her qualms aside and knotted the stolen treasure to her waist. An eerie quiet settled over the woods. Either the tree spirits sleep, or they watch me in silence, Viviane surmised as she carefully surveyed the canopy. Knees quaking, she deftly concealed the pouch beneath her cloak, then ran. Shallow breaths caught in her throat, and a sharp pain needled her side as she quickened her pace. She pressed her hand against the twinge and kept running. With each pounding stride, the prize slapped vehemently against her hip.

Viviane chanced a glance over her shoulder. Hah! No sign of Merlin. In her arrogance, she stumbled, her heel catching on her long indigo cape. Her heart cartwheeled. With an oath, she righted herself. Ahead, the Enchanted Forest’s dark mantle ended, and gloaming’s early light shone. She bolted towards the dawn.

Dry pine needles crunched beneath her deerskin sandals. The spell book’s muffled rage beat louder, waking a nearby tree spirit whose angry screech roused others. As one, they grabbed at Viviane with their prickly branches. A wizen-faced pine scratched Viviane’s cheek, stirring the creature marked into the skin above her cheekbone. Agitated, the blue sea serpent threaded itself around the crescent moon inked near her eye. Its nostrils flared, assessing the danger. Viviane shoved the impudent branch away. Catching scent of the lake, she broke through the trees. Her lungs heaved as an ache bloomed between her shoulders where the tree spirits’ angry glares thrust against her.

Viviane ran to the coracle moored at the water’s edge. The woven willow boat creaked when she scrambled into its hull and drew in the rope. Her long gown and flowing cape pooled around her as she crouched. Clutching the boat’s wooden sides, she commanded, “Hasten to the isle!”

The water surrounding the boat surged, forming a current that propelled the craft forward. A flock of startled grebes took flight, their wings thrumming.

“Mist, cloak me from Merlin’s sight.” Viviane arced her arm above her head. Her prisoner pummeled against her hip. But the spell book’s blows were futile and inconsequential.

Amazon  iTunes  Kobo  Barnes & Noble

Here’s a sample tweet if anyone has a moment. Thank you!

Nine days to rescue her cousin, and the Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way. THE BELTANE ESCAPE. http://amzn.to/1WYwCpX #newrelease #yalit

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon

Source: Cover Reveal: The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon

Ariella Moon Book Signing

PicMonkey Collage

Do you think the Desert Writers Expo organizers know about my sugar addiction? Is that why my table for the March 11, 2015 book sale and signing is as far from the refreshments (and entrance) as humanly possible?

I’ll be selling and signing copies of Spell Check, Book 1, The Teen Wytche Saga. (Winner of the Zola Award) Perhaps there was some unease about having a shaman in the house. As the characters in Spell Check know, sometimes magic goes awry. Not that I’d cast hex hives on anyone…

If you are in the desert, (mid-80s!), stop by the Rancho Mirage Public Library and make your way back to the stage area. I’ll have swag, emergency brownies, and of course, copies of Spell Check. I’ll be happy to answer questions about writing, publishing, and magic.

Spell Check New Cover

~Ariella Moon

Spell For Sophia Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Spell-For-Sophia Blog Tour

$25.00 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Everyone could use some extra money or a $25.00 Amazon gift card, right? My present to the Teen Wytche Saga fans – old and new – is a blog tour giveaway. You can enter at  http://www.iamareader.com/2014/11/spell-sophia-ariella-moon-ya-fantasy-tour-blast.html#comment-107731 then blog hop for more chances to win.

Good luck!

~Ariella Moon

 

Evolution of the Halloween Hag

From Goddess to Hag: The Demonization of the Crone

 crone doll

A primary symbol of Halloween is the bulb-nosed, black-clad, eat-your-children-for-breakfast old witch. You’ll recognize her by her pointy hat, broom (besom), cauldron, and black cat. She’s depicted as one of two extremes: a belittling crone caricature or a fierce embodiment of dark magic. Neither image reflects her true origins.

Many cultures throughout the world once revered the triple Goddess. She manifested in three aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. These archetypes matched the phases of the moon, the cycles of a woman’s life, and the Earth’s annual seasons. Halloween and its Celtic precursor Samhain (SOW-en) follow the abundant harvest period of the Mother and mark the fallow season of the Crone.

Before the Christian Church redefined and demonized the Divine Feminine and Her followers, the Crone, a word derived from “crown,” symbolized tribal leadership and/or a priestess in the old religion. The word “hag” derived from the Greek hagia, meant holy woman. The Crone was a Wisdom Keeper, tribal elder, medicine woman, Grandmother, and sage. She is the waning moon and the Gateway to Death. Her cauldron is the vessel of rebirth. Her broom (besom) sweeps away the negative past. Her black cape symbolizes the darkness of long winter nights, death, and the Otherworld. Although a pointy hat has replaced her crown, the hat symbolizes the cone of power witches raise when they perform magic.

The Crone in the Teen Wytche Saga

The archetype of the crone/witch first appears in Spell Check in the guise of math teacher Madrun Ravenwood. Teen Evie O’Reilly encounters the witch in a metaphysical store:

The door opened, and a bone-chilling wind preceded a frizzy-haired woman with a bad dye job and a worse scowl. The New Age CD playing on the sound system skipped. A sour, evil smell scythed through the incense-laden air. I clutched the topaz and slipped my other hand around my mother’s arm. Mom drew herself erect. Her green cat eyes glittered and narrowed.

In Spell For Sophia (November 2014, Astraea Press), a teen runaway finds temporary sanctuary with an aged voodoo priestess:

senior black woman

When we reached the porch, a wiry old woman dressed in an ankle-length African garment held open the front door. “Thanks, Grand-mère,” Breaux said.

His grandmother raised one hand, palm facing us like a stop sign. We halted. The woman supporting my side — presumably Breaux’s mother, Miss Wanda — protested. “The girl needs to fill her belly.”

The older woman ignored her, clasped my hand before I could wriggle free, and rotated my palm skyward. The colorful beads in her silver cornrows clacked together as she bent over my hand and examined it. Her scent — spicy incense, magnolias, and dark secrets — seeped into my pores. She shook her head and mumbled something I didn’t quite catch, and then she touched her fingertip to a line on my palm. With a jolt, my life flashed before me like a movie stuck on rewind. I drew back, trying to escape the worst parts.

Copyright 2014 by Ariella Moon

To read more excerpts from the Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon click 

http://www.amazon.com/Ariella-Moon/e/B0071NUOAK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

From Samhain to Halloween

Centuries before modern-day Halloween and its army of costumed trick-or-treaters, Celtic people in Ireland, northern France, Scotland, and Wales celebrated Samhain. The tradition of trick-or-treating evolved from this pre-Christian festival.

The Celts

Samhain (SOW-in, SAH-win, or SAH-ween) marked the end of summer. The veil between realms was thinnest, and the souls of those who had died during the past year traveled into the otherworld. But the portal worked both ways. Ancestors and other spirits from the otherworld, and fairies from fairy mounds could cross into the human world.

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Photo: Ariella Moon. Stone carving. Barclodiad y Gawres, Wales

The Celts disguised themselves in animal skin costumes to a drive back the spirits. They left food offerings to appease the ghosts and fay. Bonfires were lit to deflect unwanted spirits and to light the way for departing souls.

Mummers

Mummers Pinterest

Mummers. Photo found on Pinterest

In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued an edict directing missionaries to no longer directly try to obliterate native beliefs and customs. Instead, his followers were instructed to overlay Christian beliefs. Wells sacred to the goddess Brigid became wells dedicated to Saint Brigit. The festival to the goddess Oestra became Easter. Jesus’s birthday was switched to coincide with the winter solstice. The list goes on. In the 9th century A.D. the church tried to subsume Samhain with All Saints Day/All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve incorporated the belief in high supernatural activity. But the church claimed the Celtic otherworld was the Christian Hell and demonized spirits, witches, and fairies as well as the Celtic priests, the druids. Mummers, people disguised as the demonized folk, would perform antics and threaten more mischief (tricks). Villagers would appease them with food (treats). All Hallow’s Eve became Halloween.

Souling

In 1000 A.D. the Catholic Church designated November 2nd (Samhain) as All Soul’s Day. In England, the poor would visit the wealthy and promise to pray for the wealthy people’s deceased kin in exchange for soul cakes. Later, children would take up the task of souling for treats or coins.

Samhain traditions have survived for over 2,000 years. For an inside look at how one American coven celebrates Samhain, click here.

Spell Check

Spell Check by Ariella Moon. Book #1, The Teen Wytche Saga. Cover Artist: Amanda Matthews. Astraea Press

In Spell Check by Ariella Moon, high school freshman Evie O’Reilly must prevent her best friend from casting a binding love spell on Evie’s secret crush, Jordan. Soon it will be Halloween, the anniversary of Evie’s father’s death. It’s also when the moon will be optimum for spell casting. Can Evie push past her grief in time to save Jordan? To read an excerpt or purchase any of the Teen Wytche Saga books by Ariella Moon, click on one of the links below.

http://www.amazon.com/Ariella-Moon/e/B0071NUOAK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/8187

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=Ariella+Moon

http://www.amazon.com/Spell-Check-Teen-Wytche-Saga-ebook/dp/B0071B6500