Once A Goddess Excerpt and Giveaway & Mabon Giveaway

You might remember my review of Once A Goddess by Sheila R. Lamb and then the interview with her. Second edition of the novel is being released now, so I have an excerpt and a great giveaway for you! :)

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Bres was a man hewn from the Earth Herself, dark, brown and lean as gnarled oak. Rough leather wrapped around his skin so that there was no distinction between the two. His eyes saw everything. Like a cat, he waited and watched patiently for his time to pounce. His black hair pulled tightly back from his face bought his eyes into prominence. He was a shock of brown and amber, a slicing sketch across the green hills of earth.
I drank in the sight of him, silent and hiding, from my place behind the stones. Bres scanned the landscape before him, heavy sword in hand. He was a warrior. The iron tinged the air. He breathed in the sweet scent of the wind, but it left him unaffected. He only wanted to own, to conquer.
That much I gathered from his movements, not needing to delve into his thoughts, not yet. He grabbed a handful of soil and clutched the dampness to his palm. It was his. He claimed it. Softly, he drew a brief design at his feet with the tip of his heavy blade.
He paced forward several strides. He was not a tall man, but then height didn’t matter. He desired only to fill the emptiness within him. He would control the crops, the wheat and the oats. He glanced skyward and his expression asked why he must share his powers with the gods of the sky. Climbing to the hilltop, he saw the silver edge of ocean. He shivered. He was not one meant for water. He preferred the solidity of land.
“This is mine,” he said quietly. He stooped down, brushing his hand over the blades of grass as he would a woman’s hair. He placed grains of soil grit on his tongue. The peaty soil must have melted inside his mouth and he closed his eyes in an unexpected moment of relaxation. He was of the earth and sky. His desire to control was deeper than simple selfishness. The green land was the only thing that could fulfill him.
I told no one of this knowledge of Bres. When I discovered we would marry, I wanted to determine his character for myself. He did not know that I, Brigid, watched him. Destined to be his wife, part of a treaty meant to end the summer of fighting between our tribes. His communion with the land was his first encounter with the Danann mysteries. I did nothing to dissuade his experience and believed this one-sided meeting would give me some bit of power over him on the day we wed.

Giveaway:

The giveaway is international and it ends on August 20. First two winners will get a signed first edition copy and two others will get an e-book. Good luck! :)





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And it's also time for Mabon Giveaway! :) It's of course international and it ends on September 19. One winner will get Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas. Please read the rules before entering. Good luck everyone! :)



There are 8 sabbats during the year and for every one I have a giveaway. As one sabbat is over the giveaway connected with it ends and a new one (connected with the next sabbat) starts. That’s why the giveaways last so long. I wanted continuity. Just to make things clear. :)
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Myths and Folklore: Epona & Rhiannon

Rhiannon riding in Arberth. From The Mabinogion, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest, 1877


Epona is the Celtic horse goddess who was worshipped in the whole Gaul and even adopted by the Romans. She's depicted sitting on a horse or standing with multiple horses around her. She's known for her Cornucopia, horn of plenty, which may suggest she's also a fertility goddess.
Rhiannon is her British version, often seen as primarily Welsh goddess. Her name means Great Queen or Divine Queen (of the fairies). She appears in Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh myths, in the story about Pwyll. She rides a white mare.

Books:

The Story of Rhiannon by Katy Cawkwell













A compelling tale, drawn from the fragmentary brilliance of the great Welsh mythological cycle, this new narrative of the story of Rhiannon weaves pictures that linger in the mind and stimulates the imagination.


White Mare's Daughter (Epona #1) by Judith Tarr











The saga of Sarama, the beautiful, headstrong young priestess of a nomadic warrior band. Her majestic white horse is the earthly incarnation of the goddess Epona; her fateful odyssey to a great city where women still rule, unleashes an epic clash of cultures that changes the course of history.


The Mountain of Marvels: A Celtic Tale of Magic (Ancient Fantasy #1) by Aaron Shepard


A thousand years ago, in the Celtic kingdoms of Wales, great lords gave great feasts for their fighting men and courtiers. In timbered halls, for days on end, heaps of meat and bread were washed down with gallons of beer and mead. And in between the meals, when bellies were stuffed and spirits high, the storyteller rose and spun his tales of times long past.

He told of lords, bold and generous. He told of ladies, grand and glorious. He told of friends, brave and faithful. But of all he told about, no friend was more reliable than Manawydan, son of Llyr. No lady was more admirable than Rhiannon. And no lord was more honorable than Pwyll, King of Dyfed.

The halls are now long gone -- yet some tales were written down and gathered in a book we call today The Mabinogion. And so the tales live on.

Divine By Mistake (Partholon #1) by P.C. Cast


The most excitement teacher Shannon Parker expected on her summer vacation was a little shopping. But then her latest purchase--a vase with the Celtic goddess Epona on it--somehow switches her into the world of Partholon, where she's treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess... It seems that Shannon has stepped into another's role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona. And while it has some very appealing moments--what woman doesn't like a little pampering now and then?--it also comes with a ritual marriage to a centaur and the threat of war against the evil Fomorians. Oh, and everyone disliking her because they think she's her double.

Somehow Shannon needs to figure out how to get back to Oklahoma without being killed, married to a horse or losing her mind...

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart




A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I'm sure you've all heard about this book before. Everyone praises it and recommends it. All I can say is: go read it if you haven't already! It's a quick, entertaining, and thrilling read.

Everyone talks about the ending, which is great and kind of mind-blowing, but... I think the strength of this book lies (also) somewhere else. It's the constant yet subtle feeling that there's something wrong, and yes, it is connected with the ending, but it's not just that. You know how disturbing it can be when you encounter racism and/or sexism when it's very straightforward and right in your face? It makes us feel uncomfortable. Now imagine something that's not so obvious, something more subtle, but all the more disturbing and unsettling. Yes, the ending is shocking, but it's only the consequence of all the nasty, unspoken things and feelings that have been present in the "beautiful Sinclair family" for generations. The whole time you expect something terrible to happen (which will happen), but the realization that something terrible was going on all the time is just as chilling.

This is a great suspense novel which explores human nature and everything (good and bad) that comes with it.

Rating:





Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Leah at Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!


This week's question: Best Shop in Diagon Alley?


All of them, obviously. But I suppose Eeylops Owl Emporium is the one, as I love animals and owls are my favourite birds. :)