Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eliza's Shadow: Free November 14 & 15

Eliza Gowan's past has come back to hunt her. Since her mother's mysterious disappearance, Eliza has enjoyed a quiet life under the care of her aunt in the sleepy town of Port Rune. But the moment magnetic Ren Alden appears in her high school classroom, Eliza is thrust into the exciting world of magic and the path of danger. Menaced by an otherworldly enemy, Eliza embarks on a quest to solve the mysteries of her past and end the hunt for good.

Amazon link

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Earth Child's Handbook Virtual Tour

The Earth Child’s Handbook - Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child 
Books 1 & 2
Brigid Ashwood

Genre: Pagan Parenting, Pagan Kids             

Book 1
ISBN-10: 1479265519
ISBN-13: 978-1479265510

Book 2
ISBN-10: 147927108X
ISBN-13: 978-1479271085

Book Description:
The Earth Child's Handbook is a primer, reference, craft and activity book series for families that follow Pagan, Wiccan and Earth Based spiritual paths.  Designed to appeal to all age groups (and grown-ups too!), the books address common Pagan beliefs and practices, explaining the principles and traditions behind them. 
Each chapter features:
•             Recipes
•             Instructional craft projects
•             Coloring pages, mazes and word searches
•             Color, cut and assemble projects
Younger children will delight in the coloring pages and paper crafts. Older children will find educational fun with word searches, mazes, connect-the-dots and instructional crafts. And parents might find it a lifesaver with easy recipe ideas and inspiration for teaching and building Pagan traditions.

The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 1 features chapters on the joy of family and diversity, honoring the earth and the principles of the four elements, the universe and Pagan beliefs regarding the Sun and the Moon, explanation of Deities, and an introduction to Magick and Ritual with simple spells and exercises.

Special topics include Shapeshifting, Runes, Book of Shadows, Animal Guides, Chakras, Meditation, Astrological Signs, The Elements, Cycles of the Moon, Magickal Correspondences, Sun Deities, Moon Deities, Triple Goddess and Triple God, The Four Quarters and Casting a Circle.

Featured activities include making a Chakra shirt, rain stick, homemade face paints, herbal infusions, bath salts, a moon phase wheel, moon cake recipe,  a complete "color, cut and assemble" paper altar and much, MUCH  more.

The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 2 features chapters on the Seasons, the 8 Pagan Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat chapter includes facts, traditions, correspondences and information about that holiday as well as recipes, altar decorating ideas, rituals and crafts, coloring pages, mazes and word searches.

Special topics include Seasonal Altars, Solstice Sabbats, Equinox Sabbats, Quarters and Cross Quarters.

Featured activities include cinnamon ornaments, Yule wrapping paper, Brigid's cross weaving, handmade paper, flower beads necklace, Beltaine masks, prayer flag, magickal broom and much, MUCH more.

Excerpt from The Earth Child's Handbook – Book 2

Fall/Winter – Samhain

Other Names: Third Harvest, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas, Shadowfest, All Hallow’s Eve, Martinmas, Witch’s New Year, Halloween.

Northern Hemisphere: October 31st November 1

Southern Hemisphere: April 30 -May 1

Herbs: Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Oak leaves, Sage, Straw, Rosemary, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, pine needles, garlic

Incense: cinnamon, sage, mint, nutmeg, rosemary

Colors: black, orange, white, silver, gold, brown, rust

Decorations: gourds, apples, cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, brooms, pumpkins.

Foods: apples, nuts, cider, squash, corn, soup, pumpkin

Gods: Herne, The Hunter, Anubis, The Sage

Goddesses: The Crone, Hecate

Spirit: Family, remembrance of the dead, introspection

Samhain is sometimes celebrated as the Pagan New Year. It is considered a night when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest. This doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact there are many Samhain traditions that are a lovely way of remembering those we love that have passed on. Some families set a dinner plate at the table for every loved one that has passed over. They set out pictures and photos albums of them and tell stories remembering the ones they miss.

This holiday, much like Yule, is a great time for resolutions. Write down what you hope to accomplish in the new year and put it in a bowl on your Samhain altar. Afterwards keep the slip of paper in a safe place, check it often to remind yourself of your goals.

Samhain is a wonderful Sabbat in its own right, but perhaps is even more popular because of its close association with Halloween. Many Pagans celebrate both holidays. Some have separate celebrations for each, dividing the serious topics from the lighthearted; others incorporate the two together for a fun and inspiring celebration. Whatever you choose I hope you have a fun and safe time.

Enjoy yourself by decorating and making costumes but don’t neglect to consider the more serious side of Samhain, and take a moment to remember those who have gone before. Even if you have not lost anyone close to you, we can all find brave and worthy people throughout history and in our local communities who deserve a moment of quiet remembrance in honor of their good works.

Samhain Altar

The Samhain altar is an altar bursting with texture and color. For this holiday you may want to drag out the full altar set up. If you have a cauldron display it proudly. Fill it with candy, or floating candles.

Drape rich fabrics in gold and black across your table. Prints with stars and moons echo the dark decoration of the Samhain night sky. Witches on brooms are no stranger to Halloween decorations, but maybe you can draw a portrait of one you know personally and display them at your table. Set up framed pictures of loved ones, living and deceased. Pumpkins, and gourds make great decorations. Carve a pumpkin in a fabulous design and set them up indoors as well as out. Sprinkle flour around to give your table a dusty spooky look, and set your broom up in the corner.

Samhain Recipe – Pumpkin Bread

Make a delicious bread to share from one of the best treats of the season!

3 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose)
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
2 regular size bread loaf pans or muffin tins with muffin cup liners.

Have an adult preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread loaf pans or spray them with oil spray.

In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil together. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this mixture into the pumpkin mixture bowl and stir everything well. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans being sure to divide it up evenly. Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes to an hour and have an adult check them to see when they are done.

If you are making muffins you will bake them for only 30 minutes. You can add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to your loaves if you like. Wrap your loaves in plastic wrap to store them.

These books are an invaluable collection of crafts and seasonal activities for all members of a pagan household. Recipes, like the Samhain bread above. Yes, we are going into the season of Yule, but I wanted to include the autumn mix in the post as I think it will show how diverse these two books are.

Coloring pages, moon signs, Goddesses, Gods, Divination...anything you can think of are in the books. Author Brigid Ashwood has done a delightful job in her crafting of these knowledge filled books. I love how she teaches you to make runes.

I read these books for hours and they were so packed full of information that I couldn't put it down. The alter with the paper cauldron, athame, wand and chalice was perfect.

If you are looking for a book that covers all the basics with some creative craft ideas, then you need to check them out. These are going to be in my witchy library for a long time to come!


Greetings! Thanks so much to Dana for allowing me this opportunity to share with your audience.

The Earth Child's Handbook is an educational, craft and activity book for children and families who follow a pagan and earth-centric spiritual practice. One of the topics covered in the books is the 8 Sabbats and the various traditions associated with them.

The Pagan holiday that is most recognizable to Non-Pagans is Yule, which has a close association with Christmas.

Yule is the holiday of winter solstice. The Sun is below the Celestial Equator now and we have the shortest day and hence the longest night. After Solstice night the days will slowly get longer as the Sun climbs higher in the sky and stays out longer each day. Yule is celebrated as a holiday because it is considered the rebirth of the Sun God. Pagans celebrate this time as a return of light and warmth into our lives. The Suns new light warms our frozen Earth and prepares her for the coming seasons of growth and fertility. This is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Yule is is a festival of light and shares qualities with the holidays of other religions found at this same time of year such as Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. All of these holidays recognize the principles of light, rebirth, and joyous expectation of the coming new year.

Some common Christmas traditions have Pagan origins. The Yule Log and the tradition of Wassailing in particular have very ancient roots and are associated with well wishes, celebration, good health and prosperity for the new year.

The Yule Log

The Yule log is an old winter solstice tradition and often the highlight of solstice night. Traditionally the log was acquired off of your own property or received as a gift, you were not supposed to purchase your Yule log. Once a log was selected it was decorated with evergreen, holly and other seasonal green plants found on hand and placed in the fireplace.

It was then set to light with a piece of wood saved from last years Yule log. In this way the fire from this night was linked back to all those other fires that had gone before, all lit from a piece of wood saved from the previous year. Then the log was left to burn throughout the night and allowed to smolder for 12 days after.

On the twelfth night the ashes are dispersed outside to fertilize plants. If you have a fireplace in your home you and your family can create your own Yule log for celebration.


Wassailing means to wish good health to. It is an old winter holiday tradition and was generally performed on the 12th night, the same night that the Yule Log burns out. Originally wassailing was an evening long event that included homemade apple cider or “wassail” and involved caroling and singing to local apple tree’s to wish them good health and a good production in the coming year.

This custom evolved into general caroling and a wishing of good cheer and good healthy to family, friends and neighbors alike throughout the holiday season. Traditionally drums, bells and whistles were also used to wake up the tree and people often placed cider soaked pieces of bread onto the trees branches or lay them at its roots.

About the Author:
Brigid Ashwood is an artist, illustrator, blogger and author of various and sundry titles such as The Earth Child's Handbook (Books 1 & 2), Oracle of the Tarot Deck and more.

She is a core contributor to Wired's GeekMom Blog and creates freebies for Geeky Kids with her monthly Printable Fun feature.

Her artwork ranges from New Brow contemporary, Pop Surrealism, Steampunk, Fantasy and Fairy illustration, Celtic Knotwork, Witchy Pin-up to New Age, Pagan and Goddess imagery.

Facebook page for book:
Art & Blog

Wired Blogger author Page


Tour wide Giveaway features: Both volumes of The Earth Child's Handbook, signed by the author. A one of a kind Pagan Kid's tote bag to hold your books. Your very own craft kit bag that includes safety scissors, glue stick, tape, colored pencils, crayons and 7 tubes of glitter glue. A $90 value!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Super Book Blast: Kira Daughter of the Moon

Kira: Daughter of the Moon
by Beth Trissel



Logan McCutcheon returns to colonial Virginia after seven years in the hands of Shawnee Indians. But was he really a captive, as everybody thinks? He looks and fights like a warrior, and seems eager to return to those he calls friends and family.

Kira McClure has waited for Logan all those years, passing herself off as odd to keep suitors at bay––and anyone else from getting too close.  Now that he's back, he seems to be the only person capable of protecting her from the advances of Josiah Campbell and accusations of witchcraft.  And to defend the settlers against a well-organized band of murderous thieves.


“My secret in exchange for yours.”
Tantalizing.  He was drawing her into his snare, but she couldn’t resist asking, “How do you know I’ve a secret?”

“To begin with, you’re hiding in a tree.  What from, a wild beast?”
“Near enough.  You.”
He smiled.  “Was I to think you a large red bird, or overlook you entirely?”
Drawing her remaining shreds of dignity around her like a mantle, she said, “This isn’t one of my best hiding places.”
“Indeed?  Where are the others?” 
 “That would be telling.” 
The strengthening breeze tossed the branches around them as he considered.  “You never could keep secrets from me, Cricket.  I’ll discover them and you.”
An assertion she found both disturbing and oddly heartening.
His lips curved as if the deed were already done.  “Why were you hiding?  Am I so very frightening?”
“Oh––I feared you were some sort of warrior.”
The humor faded from his eyes.  “I am.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.
Historical Romance novel Kira, Daughter of the Moon is available in print and eBook from:

The Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble
and from other online booksellers.
Catch me on my:

Beth will award a digital copy of "Through the Fire" to one commenter, a digital copy of "Red Bird's Song" to one commenter and a grand prize of a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pure and Sinful Virtual Tour

Pure and Sinful
By Killian McRae

Book Description:

Statistician Riona Dade knows all about probabilities. Still, even she'd tell you the chances of discovering you’re a witch, being appointed to the demon-slaying trio known as the Pure Souls, and finding yourself sinfully attracted to a catholic priest who uses amen and other four-lettered words with equal enthusiasm are pretty slim. Also learning your ex was once Hell’s first-round draft pick, and realizing you're a prize catch for Satan’s soul-damning quota leaves a girl feeling like she just won the lottery while being struck by lightning while riding a unicorn across Atlantis.

Trying to keep her mind off role playing the Thornbirds with Father Angeletti, Riona leads the Pure Souls against a maniacal menagerie of Mephistopheles’s minions plaguing greater Boston. Giving in to lust is a direct flight to damnation for both her and the priest, leading Riona to distract herself by striking up a romance with her new, foxy neighbor, Lucy. But she can't shake her attraction to Marcello, and as the tension between them grows thicker than a lumberjack’s beard, temptation may become too difficult to resist.

How long can they deny the pull growing between them, knowing there will be Hell to pay? 

As Dee sauntered away, Riona focused on the priest’s expression. He wasn’t in his collar and coat today, but always carried the air of the clergyman within to some degree, like he wore his collar on the inside.
“How did you end up here?”
She took in the rugged cut of his jaw, the stubble that showed he hadn’t shaved in a day or two. He wasn’t bad looking by any measure, and he probably could have been quite the heartbreaker if he wasn’t a man of God. His eyes weren’t brown, they were black, and glistened like onyx pendants. A firm jaw and supple lips were likely often employed more for battling the fires of Hell than fanning the flames of lust. Nevertheless, the tools were there to be used, if he so desired. For a man of the cloth, he sure cut that cloth fine.  The priest rose to what she considered the perfect height, had a body not too muscular, but hardly milk toasty, and a swagger in his walk that would make a lady think he could move his body in all the ways the good Lord intended.
If only his collar and his personality weren’t pressed with double starch.
“Paolo’s is the best pizza in town. Trust me on that, I’m Italian.” Sarcasm wasn’t his most attractive trait, but it was one of the most prominent.
“Don’t deflect the question,” Riona commanded with a click of her tongue. “I mean being one of the Pure Souls. I know how you found me…”
“… secured in a straitjacket and pending shipment to a cushy psychiatric facility?”
She crossed her arms and grimaced, wondering suddenly if the hex she’d learned to give demons jock itch would work on humans. “Look, you walk through the steel wall of a meat locker and try to explain it to the police in a way that doesn’t get you 5150’ed, and then you can talk. But, I mean, a priest? Isn’t the Catholic Church, you know, kind of not kosher with the whole magical powers and battling goblins thing?”
“Technically, the Catholic Church isn’t kosher with anything,” he returned. “Kosher’s a Jewish thing, not that I think the people of the book are anymore approving of mortal combat with the spawn of Hell. I was born into it. Magic is a birthright, you know. It shows up in my family every couple of generations. Just like being a priest - like my father before me, and his father before him.” 

Character Interview:

McRae: It was a difficult task for me to decide whom to interview for this post today. My thoughts, of course, turned firstly to the three demon-fighters themselves, the Pure Souls. Unfortunately, at this time Riona Dade is inconsolable and Dee  Zitka is being all over-protective-big-brother-leave-her-alone-y. I would have called Jerry Romani, but last time he got ahold of my phone number he kept texting me less-than-appropriate messages and pictures. (I will never be able to get the image of him and that platter of Egg Fu Young out of my head. Seriously, the bleach required would make Clorox shares hit all-time highs.) Luckily Archangel Ramiel, the official liaison between Heaven and the Pure Souls, agreed to sit down with me.

Ramiel: I’m getting paid for this, right?

McRae (chuckles uncomfortably): We agreed I’d slip you a twenty. Like you have any need of money.

Ramiel: I don’t really have a need for food either, but you try coming between me and a tray of White Castle hamburgers and see which one of us walks away the wiser.

McRae: We’ll settle up later. Now, be good.

Ramiel: (winks) Always, baby. You know that.

McRae: Of course. Anyways, in Pure & Sinful we learn a lot about Riona, Dee, Marc, and even the sexy but sinister Jerry Romani, but you sort of dance around the edges of their story. At one point, someone mentions that you’re not allowed to get involved directly in Pure Soul battles. Can you tell us why that is?

Ramiel: Well, ya, it’s basically like fielding a baseball team. I can practice with them, give them insights and the benefit of my own experience, and teach them every dirty trick I know. When it comes time to take the field, they’re on their own. It’s all set out in the Heaven-Hell Accords.

McRae: (looks back through notes)  Right, that’s another thing I wanted to ask you about. The HHA. What are those exactly?
Ramiel: Just an agreement between both Councils of Seven about the regulations of the Elites – that’s the Archangels on Heaven’s side, and the Grigori on Hell’s side – what we can do, can’t do. What the definition of sin is, what gets one damned. Oh, and it also sets out all the rules of engagement for the Pure Souls on Earth versus Lucifer’s minions.

McRae: But it was only drafted in the sixteenth century. Humans have been judged upon their deaths for eons before that.
Ramiel: True, but up until that time, hardly anyone lived in a society where they had a choice of belief systems. The line between damnation and getting short-listed for Heaven was pretty clear cut. After that, things began getting mottled. Both sides laid claim the same soul. Big Boss wanted to advance our policies and become more inclusive, but Lucifer insisted he was owed what was due him under the old rules. The accords allowed us to grandfather in some belief systems – the Catholic Church, for example, while making salvation a more one-size-fits-all thing.

McRae: So it’s some sort of deified detente then?

Ramiel: Yeah, I guess you could say that. We drafted, negotiated, finalized, then both sides signed.

McRae: Signed? Like an actual physical piece of paper?

Ramiel: What do you think? We’re pretty up on the technology curve, but the only Apple either side had back then already had teeth marks in it.

McRae: And who’s your mediator?

Ramiel: (so totally feigning deafness) Excuse me?

McRae: Your independent third party. Someone who doesn’t benefit on either side, and mediates any disputes. Surely given the contentious nature of angels- both revered and fallen-you wouldn’t have overlooked that part.

Ramiel: That information is classified.

McRae: But-

Ramiel: NEXT question, Ms. Author. I’m going to be like Fort Knox on that particular.

McRae: (shifts, clears throat) Um, okay, fine. But you should know, I have other sources willing to talk to me on that issue. I think you know of whom I speak.

Ramiel: (raising eyebrow) Persephone doesn’t know anything.

McRae: (scrawls on paper) Per-seph-on-e. Right, then. (looks up) I wanted to ask you about something that happened… Well, something that almost happened in Pure & Sinful. At one point, you make a play at bedding Riona, but claim afterwards you only did it to get her to admit to her feelings for Marcello Angeletti. Is that true?

Ramiel: Absolutely. I never would have carried through with it. Angels only sleep with humans they’re willing to take a metaphorical bullet for. The act usually leads to negative consequences.

McRae: I’m also curious that, in that scene, though your plot succeeds a Riona turns you down because of how she feels for Marc, she admits to being totally attracted to you in dangerous ways. Is there a particular reason for that?

Ramiel: Screwed up chemistry.

McRae: Really? Do tell.

Ramiel: Okay, well angels, Archangels in particular, are more closely descended from the Light. The divine spark, whatever you want to call it. Human women in the child-bearing years of their sexual lives can pick up on that on a very primal level. The desire to screw us has nothing to do with pleasure. It’s all to do with reproduction. I know, not really that sexy when it comes down to it.

McRae: And would that work?

Ramiel: My plumbing is fine, Killian.

McRae: I mean the reproducing part.

Ramiel: (looking disapprovingly) You played an angel in the Christmas Pageant when you were ten. What do you think?

McRae:  Touché. So, you’ve never slept with a human then?

Ramiel: Mess around? Yes? Fool around with other non-human things? You bet your sweet bippy. Actually consummate with a human? No en perpetua. Seen others do it, always turns out badly in the end.

McRae: Kinda like it did this time?

Ramiel: (bolting up) Okay, this interview is over.

Okay, that was great. Thanks for joining me on the blog today and I hope you find Pure and Sinful as exhilarating as I did.


About the Author:
Killian McRae would tell you that she is a rather boring lass, an authoress whose characters’ lives are so much more exciting than her own. She would be right. Sadly, this sarcastic lexophile leads a rather mundane existence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She once dreamed of being the female Indiana Jones, and to that end she earned a degree in Middle Eastern History from the University of Michigan. However, when she learned that real archaeologist spend more time lovingly removing dust with toothbrushes from shards of pottery than outrunning intriguing villains with exotic accents, she decided to become a writer instead. She writes across many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.

facebook fan page: 


twitter: @killianmcrae

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wicked Witch Digital Doll: Fun With Winona Cookie

Gothic Wicked Witch Jointed Doll Digital Download

Newest Winona Cookie offering for crafty kids and grownups - a Wicked Witch of the West jointed jumping jack doll that you can print out, cut and assemble yourself! When assembled as instructed, her arms will move up when you pull the string at the bottom (click between 1st & 2nd pictures for preview of action - fun!). The original Wicked Witch illustration was done in ink and watercolor on hot press watercolor paper. Perfect for a Halloween project or anytime at all. When I receive your PayPal payment, I will email you a pdf file containing your Wicked Witch doll and detailed instructions for making her (usually within 24 hours).

Supplies you will need to make this doll are scissors, brads (available here on Etsy from many sellers), some heavy thread or floss, heavyweight paper or cardstock to print the doll on, and of course, a color printer. Other optional supplies are also suggested. Smaller kids may need some adult supervision and help - older kids and adults just need some patience and possibly a pair of ruby slippers. Have fun!

This will be a large pdf (6.9 MB), so be sure you have some room in your mailbox to receive it. No shipping cost and this item can be emailed worldwide!

Note: You can make this doll for yourself or make her for a gift, but please do not reproduce or re-sell. No reproduction rights are included in the sale of this item - all rights reserved by Ramona Szczerba © 2012.

This one looks like fun ladies!