Saturday, December 10, 2022

Merry Winter Solstice

The first day of Winter is December 21st. That is the Winter Solstice. I wrote a book set during the Winter Solstice, The Bear and the Druidess. It's the third book in my Shapeshifting Celtic Fantasy Romance series, Druidry and the Beast.

Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes a secret must be revealed to move from the winter of love into its spring.

Romans stole all the winter grain from Druidess Bronwen’s tribe. Now, pursued by Romans, she ducks into a cave to hide. There she finds a handsome warrior who offers to help. He ignites a fiery spark of attraction within her but she can tell he’s keeping something from her.

The prayers of a beautiful druidess he can’t resist lead the Bear God Artaois into the cave where Bronwen is hiding. He pretends to be asleep until she finds him.

Artaois (Art) is determined to spend the longest night of the year with her. But Bronwen doesn’t realize he’s a god. He keeps his secret from her and even though he can transform into a bear, he only reveals himself in human form.

With the Winter Solstice upon them, can Artaois (Art) find a way to save her tribe from starvation? And, when Bronwen finally discovers his secret, will she leave the romance building between them out in the cold.

So, what is the Winter Solstice, you may ask. You know it's the longest night of the year. But, why and how did the ancient Celts celebrate it?

Well, it’s December 21st to 22nd, when the shortest day and the longest night of the year fall in the Northern Hemisphere. In Welsh they call the Winter Solstice  Alban Arthan (Light of Winter).

To the ancient Celts this day signified the battle and defeat of the Holly King (ruling from Midsummer to Midwinter) by the Oak King (ruling from Midwinter to Midsummer). The Holly King, also seen as a wren bird, symbolized the old year and the shortened sun, while the Oak King, also seen as a robin, stood for the new year and growing sun. The Celts would act out the battle of the Oak King defeating the Holly King during the Winter Solstice celebration.

They also had wren hunts, signifying the death of the Holly King. In Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man, Lá an Dreoilín, (Wren Day) was celebrated on December 26. Wrenboys dressed in masks or straw suits, usually had a hobby horse covered in a sheet, and it had strings that could close their mouths and make their legs kick. Wren boys were led by a captain and a boy who dressed as a female captain. These boys hunted and killed a wren as a tribute to the light for overcoming the dark. They’d set the dead wren in a box decorated with evergreens on a pole and go from house to house asking for food and good cheer. The wren was buried at the end of the rounds. Nowadays, they use a fake wren instead. Both the Holly King and wrens are associated with the Welsh god Bran.

For the Winter Solstice, ancient Celts decorated Yule logs with holly and ivy, which are linked to the God Bran. Usually, they sprinkled ale or mead over the log before they lit it. They kept it slowly, yet steadily burning for 12 days in the fireplace before extinguishing it. To pass the light on from one year to the next, they kept part of the unburned log safely to one side and used it to light next year’s Yule log. Also, they stashed the log’s ashes away until spring, at which time they mixed them with seeds and scattered them on the fields, spreading the blessing contained in the Yule log over the land.

Mistletoe and oak were sacred to the ancient Celts. As an evergreen plant, Mistletoe symbolized continued life over the cold dark winter which is why druids picked it from oak trees five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. One druid climbed the tree and cut the mistletoe with a sickle, while others held an open sheet beneath him to catch the sacred plant since it was taboo to let it touch the ground. The druids handed out sprigs of mistletoe to tribesmen who hung them over entranceways for protection. Mistletoe is also believed to be an aphrodisiac, so this might be where the holiday tradition of ‘kissing under the mistletoe originated.

The Celts' livelihood depended on what they could raise, grow, or hunt. So, the long, cold days of winter were hard on them. Since they didn’t have enough grain to feed all the cattle during winter, many were slaughtered at this time. This meant fresh meat for the winter solstice feast. Also, ale and mead brewed during the year fermented by this time and were ready for drinking.

Merry Winter Solstice, Merry Yule, Merry Christmas 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Book Stores and Self-Published Authors Part I


So now your book has been ghostwritten. It's finished. Or maybe you or you wrote a book yourself but are new to the industry. Either way, if you are self-publishing it and want it in bookstores, this article is for you. Picture books and books for young children are different and some nonfiction and literary fiction, but other than that, the following information applies to most book genres.

You can market and sell books without having them in brick-and-mortar stores. Your books don’t need to be in bookstores for successful sale numbers. Not at all. In many ways, there is no benefit to having your book on a store shelf when you consider most print books are sold online by Amazon. You can make high sales without having your books on store shelves. Many successful self-published authors do not sell their books in stores. It is unnecessary, and this is certainly not a recommendation to go that direction, especially since you have to deal with the cost and hassle of returns of unsold products and you do not get the high royalties you get from online distributors. Most self-published authors don’t put their books in brick-and-mortar stores. Most shouldn’t. There’s little reason to bother with it, if any.

When a print book sells on Amazon you get 60%, no brick-and-mortar bookstore will give you that. You’ll get closer to half of that from them. Plus, with physical bookstores, you have the cost of returns for unsold books. These are not books someone buys and returns. They are books that were never purchased. You must pay the bookstore retail price for all of those, plus what they paid in shipping costs. Most people that sell self-publish books in stores get those books printed in China to reduce the high production costs, which is something else to deal with. So, getting into bookstores is not a decision to rush into. It is not necessarily a benefit at all. Again, many self-published authors skip bookshelves for good reasons. You need to look at the pros and cons before you decide to go after that coveted shelf space. I urge you.

But if you have some passion or some reason to believe it is beneficial to have your self-published book in stores, you need to learn some marketing and relationship-building techniques regarding bookstores. I cover that in my blog post, Book Stores and Self-Published Authors Part II.

Cornelia Amiri Ghostwriter


Saturday, August 20, 2022

GIVEAWAY Win Scifi Romance Prizes

Rare Finds Giveaway:


  • Good Luck Socks, Women's Space & NASA Socks  
  • Siver-toned metal  Irish Celtic Knotwork designed Bookmark
  • Ice -Planet Barbarian inspired soy vegan candle
  • Silver Toned Goddess Pendant on chain
  • Silver Toned metal Star Trek Starfleet Divison Badge – Engineering
  • Autographed copy of Rare Finds


Book Description:

Earthman, Robbie McGreggor, eager to get down and dirty on digs at the far corners of outer space, lands on a remote planet, and is shocked by the alien culture he encounters—the gods of Irish mythology.

When the chief god, Dagda, uses his powerful magic to hold Robbie at his mercy, Niamh helps him escape. She makes her getaway by jumping aboard the shuttle with Robbie. But not before Dagda puts a curse on the immortal beauty.

What’s a cursed goddess to do?

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Sci-fi-Rom Contest - Win Star Trek, Ice Planet Barbarian, and other Awesome Merch

 To Celebrate my new release:

Is archeology the sexiest profession in the universe? Just ask the Irish Goddess of Beauty and Brightness—Niamh.

Earthman, Robbie McGreggor, eager to get down and dirty on digs at the far corners of outer space, lands on a remote planet, and is shocked by the alien culture he encounters—the gods of Irish mythology.

When the chief god, Dagda, uses his powerful magic to hold Robbie at his mercy, Niamh helps him escape. She makes her getaway by jumping aboard the shuttle with Robbie. But not before Dagda puts a curse on the immortal beauty.

What’s a cursed goddess to do?

Team up with the mortal nerd, of course. And heat up the galaxy—uncovering alien artifacts as well as a passionate allure for Robbie…while she tries to answer the big questions:

  • What dangers await?
  • Can she break the curse?
  • And will they survive?
If a helping of original Star Trek meets Merlin plus a pinch of comedy and generous dashes of spice whets your appetite, then take a ride on the Starship Celestial with Niamh and Robbie.

Announcing the Rare Finds Contest, Coming Soon so get ready!

You can win:

Good Luck Socks, Women's Space & NASA Socks, Adult

Siver Toned metal Star Trek Starfleet Divison Badge - Engineer

Siver-toned metal,  Irish Celtic Knotwork designed, Bookmark
Ice -Planet Barbarian-inspired soy, vegan candle 


Silver Toned Goddess Pendant on chain

The contest is from August 22-26. 
Information on how to enter, coming soon. 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Rare Finds Cover Reveal

Coming July 14, 2022 Is archeology the sexist profession in the universe? Just ask the Irish Goddess of Beauty and Brightness—Niamh. Earthman, Robbie McGreggor, eager to get down and dirty on digs at the far corners of outer space, lands on Niamh’s remote planet. And is shocked by the alien culture he encounters—the gods of Irish mythology. When the chief god, Dagda, uses his powerful magic to hold Robbie at his mercy, Niamh helps him escape, then makes her getaway—jumping aboard the shuttle with Robbie. But not before Dagda puts a curse on the immortal beauty. What’s a cursed goddess to do? Team up with the mortal nerd, of course. And heat up the galaxy— uncovering alien artifacts as well as a passionate allure for Robbie…while she tries to answer the big questions: • What dangers await? • And will they survive?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Weddings the Sci-fi Way

It’s June, so someone you know may be getting married. What if they were getting married in the far future, in outer space?

Well, there is a wedding and bridal shower in my soon to be released 35th book, a comedy sci-fi romance, Rare Finds.

Here is an excerpt of the Bridal Shower:

Action at the front of medbay and the constant noise of the doors sliding open and closed grabbed Robbie’s attention.

“Why are all these ladies bringing fancy wrapped presents?” He watched them coming in by themselves and in pairs and heading to the back. “How many are in that little food copier area, and what are they doing?”

A woman came from the back area with a tray of white-frosted cupcakes and set them on the front counter.

“They’re about thirty now.” Hernandez flashed a sheepish grin. “It’s a surprise bridal shower.”

“Oh!” He shook his head. “Does she know?”

Hernandez’s grin grew even wider. “I just told you. She thinks she’s just coming here to take you home.”

“Well, as long as you let me have a cupcake, I’ll play along.” Robbie walked over to the doors so Niamh would see him as soon as she entered med bay.


 But the ultimate space wedding was probably on season 6 of Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine, You Are Cordially Invited. But instead of a bridal shower for Dax, she had to prove her worth and go through some crazy Klingon trails, as did the groom—Worf, and his groomsmen.

But Dax did have a wild bachelorette party, which included a hot fire dance from Lt. Manuele Atoa of the USS Sutherland, while Dax plays the drums for him. And Atoa is as hot as the firebrand he dances with, believe me. There is also lots of drinking and some table dancing. The party almost gets shut down due to noise complaints and a fight.

The wedding is called off twice, but then it’s back on.

The ceremony takes place on the space station at Quark’s Bar. Worf’s son, Alexander, serves as the Klingon equivalent of a best man—a Sword Bearer. Instead of an organ playing the wedding march, Klingons beat the traditional drums as Dax and Worf, wearing scarlet and golden bridal clothes and gold crowns, vow that their hearts beat only for each other. The entire space station cheers the newly wedded couple.

What do you think weddings in space will be like? Please comment below. And for more of my books, please visit my Amazon Author Page.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

5 Facts and 2 Fantasy Romances About May Day

It will soon be May and the first of the month is Beltane (bell-tayn), in modern times we call it May Day. 

1. This festival of the ancient Celts celebrated Spring and the Fire God, Belenus.

2. The May Queen led the Beltane procession with her ritual courtship of the Green Man. These symbolic marriages of the god and goddess, in the form of King and Queen of the May, were mirrored in human romances. 

3. Courtships for the ancient Celts would often begin at Beltaine and the marriages would be held at Samhain (Sah-van), which in modern times we call Halloween.

4. One of the most important Beltane traditions was the Need Fire. Tribesmen built two huge bonfires next to each other and drove the tribe's cattle between them so the smoke would purify them and protect them from disease as well as grant them fertility from God Belenus. 

5. The tribesmen also ran or jumped between the fires for the fertility of the tribe. 

I wrote two books that celebrate Beltane:

The Dragon and The Druidess (Druidry and the Beast Book 2) 

Click Here The Dragon and The Druidess (Druidry and the Beast Book 2) 

To a passionate man…all women are goddesses.

Druidess Nona is seeking a lover for the Beltane rite. Without warning, a fierce red dragon swoops down before her. Not just any dragon…it’s God Dewey in wild, beastly form. Hot, in a rage, blowing smoke and flames… because Nona’s tribesmen snatched gold from the earth without the gods’ consent.

Captivated by Nona’s beauty and bravery, sparks fly and ablaze with desire for Nona, Dewi flies away… only to land nearby and shapeshifts to human form. In the guise of a visiting warrior needing the Druidess' hospitality, Dewi returns to the village. But, he discovers he has a rival for Nona’s affection, a chief who will stop at nothing to have her for his own. 

The moment Nona sees the warrior Dewi, her passion ignites, she envisions them coupling together in the Beltane mating rite… unleashing powerful, magic. Little does she know, the handsome warrior is really the mighty Dragon god. What will happen when Dewi’s secret is revealed? And what evil might the jealous chief unleash on the druidess and the dragon god?

The other book is an anthology of Celtic Fantasy Romance Novellas of mine. 

Need Fire - Five Celtic Couples Risk All For Love

Click Here Need Fire - Five Celtic Couples Risk All For Love

On sale for Beltane - May Day for  99 Cents

This box set includes: Moon Goddess Wife, Timeless Voyage, Pendragon's Obsession, A Fine Cauldron Of Fish, and Some Vampires Shimmy all published individually as well.

A Fine Cauldron Of Fish

It's a hot summer romance for Margaid and Andrew on the Isle of Man. There are only a couple of minor problems: Margaid lives in a cave under the sea, is invisible, and thinks that only Andrew's blood can save her from turning into a water horse! But hey, whoever said love was perfect? 

Moon Goddess Wife 

Chief Pwyll's life turns into one wild ride the day Goddess Rhiannon gallops past him on her magic horse.

Timeless Voyage 

A Celtic pirate, Anwen, captures the enemy, a Roman seaman. As she holds a dagger to his throat... memories of fated lovers, druids, and sacrifices stay her hand.

Pendragon's Obsession 

What if a warrior king wanted you so badly he'd turn to magic to have you? 

Some Vampires Shimmy 

It's all sizzle and steam when the last of the dancing vampire sisters get together with a sexy rock guitarist and a hot-looking god at a Scottish Steampunk Con.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

10 Tea-rrific Facts You Never Knew About Tea

Hot tea is a nice drink for the cold weather most of us are having. We are even having chilly days here in Houston Texas where I am at. In the US 159 million people drink tea each day, but in the US it’s mostly iced tea. In the south, like Houston, Texas, we also drink what's called sweet tea, which is a type of ice tea drink, made as a large batch, where the sugar is seeped in with the tea before the ice is added.

 1. Globally, tea is the second most consumed beverage. 

 2. The history of tea began in China. The ancient Chinese started to grow and brew it around 2732 BC and used it for medicinal purposes. 

 3. Then, it ventured into Japan. Buddhist monks sent to China returned home with the seeds in 815 AD.  Emperor Saga of Japan encouraged the growth of tea plants and is credited with the popularity of tea in that country. Tea was associated with Buddhism and used as a religious drink. Japanese tea ceremonies are still performed to this day.

4. It wasn't until the 1500s that tea made its way into Europe. By way of missionaries to China, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover the pleasures of tea. But, it was very expensive, so only the nobility drank it.

5. The Portuguese saw the value of trade in tea and brought it to England, but it didn't take off until 1662. That's when the English King, Charles II, married the Portuguese Princess, Catherine of Braganza. Her fondness for tea caught on in England. So the nobles switched from coffee in the English coffee houses to tea, but at the time only the nobility could afford it. 

So that’s a quick history of where tea started and how it reached England. Nows, let's speed up to 1837 which is the start of the Victorian era, which goes to 1901. During this period, most people in England drink tea. Tea was a big drink in Victorian England so since some of my books are Steampunk Romance I thought I'd write about tea time.

6. Once everyone is seated, the hostess pours the tea, filling each guest’s cup. During a Victorian tea party, the spout of the teapot faces the hostess or pourer. 

7. A teacup is shallow and wider than a coffee or chocolate cup to give the tea room to temper before drinking.

8.The hostess offers lemons, milk, or sugar for the tea. Milk and lemon are never added to the same cup, as citrus spoils milk. Cream is not offered as it is much too heavy for tea. An infinite variety of tasty sandwiches may be served at tea, sometimes filled with chicken or turkey salad, and cucumber sandwiches are often offered as well. The crust is always trimmed off the bread. 

9. Do not extend your pinkie finger when drinking tea, it is rude. 

10. When stirring tea, do not clink your spoon against the cup, instead, swish it gently to and fro. After stirring, place the spoon on the saucer behind the teacup. Remove the spoon before drinking your tea. Do not swirl the tea in your cup or you might slosh and stain the tablecloth. 

There is specific etiquette for gentlemen attending teas. They must stand when a lady enters or leaves the room, open the door for the ladies, and escort the ladies downstairs to their carriage or cab. One would never expect less of a true gentleman. 

 Here are two of my Steampunk books that are set in Victorian England.

Spinster Librarian Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until her sister Polly transforms her with a bras octopus beautifying machine. With her new look, the librarian catches the lusty attentions of London’s most notorious rogue. Blake Blackmore enjoys the favors of beautiful women from the brothels of London to high society’s most fashionable debutantes but only the spinster librarian consumes his mind night and day. Piety insists she will not wed but devote her life to her position as head librarian, but Blake will stop at nothing to win her. He takes matters into his own hands and tutors her in carnal pleasure in three passion filled lessons. Now that she is sharing her body, instead of just her books, Piety is shocked yet pleased at how naughty she can be under Blake’s personal tutelage. But if anyone finds out about what goes on in the library after closing time, her reputation would be ruined. Is that Blake’ ultimate plan?

A Wild Ghost Chase Queen Victoria orders the premiere phantom hunter, Sexton Dukenfield, to track down England’s missing ghosts. On the job, Sexton stumbles into Ceridwen, a phantom Celtic warrior woman. Not only does Sexton find her intriguing as a clue to the missing spirits, her sultry beauty haunts him as well. Though they both burn with desire, it’s difficult to quench their fiery passion since Ceridwen is so translucent. On a mission through the bustling narrow streets of London, to a dreary match factory, and to the Otherworld and back to stop a genius scientist and his phantasm debilitater machine, the ghost and the ghost hunter also seek the secret …to freeing the boundaries of life and death. Is it possible…or just a wild ghost chase? More Here