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