What Do I Write?

Evil and black magic lurk in the shadows of Prague beneath The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square. (photo by Joseph O’Neill, 2016)

What Do I Write?

What do the COME HELL OR HIGH WATER trilogy and the STORM WOLF novel have in common? They are supernatural/fantasy thrillers that straddle timelines and cultures.

The Come Hell or High Water trilogy alternates between 1350s Prague and contemporary Prague. A witch curses the city in the 1350s and the curse is reawakened in the modern city; the curse works its way through the life of the town in both time periods as a handful of people in each period race to stop it before Prague is destroyed.

Storm Wolf follows the adventures of Alexei, the last werewolf in 1880s Estonia who is driven to become a killer and frantically searches throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Bohemia for a sorcerer who can save him from the wolf-magic.

All the fantastic or magickal aspects of my novels are based on authentic medieval and Renaissance occult beliefs or practices; these are the real deal! (You can use them as recipe books, if you want. This is what people actually did if they wanted to use the supernatural to achieve their goals.) The books also incorporate local legends and history so that you get a taste of what it was really like in Central Europe or the Baltic States in the Middle Ages, the late 19th century, or now.

I’m currently working on Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes which is a novel about an Irish female vampire and the ghost of a witch who have kidnapped three high school boys from Waterford in August, 2002; their uncle, a professor of Irish folklore, and a graduate student try to rescue them from the vampire and the witch before they are lost forever in the Otherworld.

You can subscribe to my email list to get seasonal reading suggestions (who doesn’t need a good book for the beach? Or to curl up with in the winter as the snow falls outside?) as well as hear about my upcoming projects. See the spot over to the right? Where it says “Newsletter” and “Subscribe?” Just type your email in the box there and click “Subscribe.” Thank you for keeping in touch!

Now, you can HOP to the next blog on the tour! Or here.

Step #5 – Be sure you mark your calendar! As a Blog Hop participant, you will be responsible for checking your link and the Blog Hop once it is live to confirm it works.

The goal is to create a kind of “daisy chain” that readers can follow from site to site to B2BCyCon.com to site.

April 7: National Beer Day

Got hiccups? Plunge a dagger into a mug of beer and then drink it all in one breath. You’ll be cured!

National Beer Day celebrates the end of Prohibition with the Cullen-Harrison Act, which went into effect on April 7, 1933.

A thirsty public lined up outside breweries in 20 states and Washington, DC on April 6, or “New Beer’s Eve,” counting down until midnight. They purchased 1.5 million barrels and April 7 has unofficially been National Beer Day ever since.

Beer has a long history in folklore and mythology as well as US legal history. Aegir was primarily the Norse God of the Sea, but was also the brewer to the Gods of Asgard. He and his nine daughters (the billow maidens) brewed ale in a large pot given to Aegir by Thor. His association to brewing is most likely due to the foam on the ocean looking similar to the foamy head of an ale. Aegir was also a terrific host. The mugs in his house refilled themselves with more ale when you drained your cup so your never went thirsty. Albina was the goddess of white barley, which was used to make beer; one of the earliest names for the British Isles, Albion, is thought to come from her name. (Find out more gods and goddesses of beer here.)

St. Amand is the patron of bar staff, bartenders & beer merchants while St. Urban of Langres is the patron of coopers (barrel makers). St. Hildegard of Bingen protects hop-growers.

Beer is said to froth and bubble if an absent loved one is in danger. See? Never let a relative go drinking without you!

It is also said that if spilled beer runs toward you that good luck is coming your way which may be the source of the custom in some parts of Russia to pour beer over a groom’s horse at the wedding! But if you dream of beer, then trouble is on its way.

Don’t forget to celebrate beer on September 9 as well–since 2013, it’s been designated “International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!”

April Daisies

Daisy, the flower of April, is associated with the planet Venus and the deities Freya, Artemis (Diana), and Thor.

“April showers bring May flowers,” they say. But its nearly April and April flowers are pretty important as well.

Daisy was said to have sprung from the tears of Mary Magdalen and associated with April whose “showers are sweet with fruit” according to Geoffrey Chaucer. Daisy is a “feminine” flower whose element is water (according to the alchemists). According to an old saying, spring has not fully arrived until you can step on 12 daisies. Daisy can be used in magic to promote lust and love. Thor used daisy-chains when he disguised himself as Freya to fool the giant  Thrymer, who wanted Freya as his wife.

When you were little, do you remember plucking the petals of a daisy while reciting, “S/he loves, s/he loves me not?” I remember my aunt plucking a daisy from my grandparents’ garden and asking the flower this question about her fiancé. This repetitive questioning will reveal the true feelings of a potential lover. Picking the first daisy of the season will make you an uncontrolled flirt and sleeping with a daisy under your pillow will bring an absent lover back to you.

Daisy can be eaten to relieve stomach ulcers (as Henry VIII did). King Henry’s family came from Wales, where daisy was used to cure insanity, treat smallpox, tumors, jaundice and skin diseases. According to an ancient Celtic legend, daisies came from the spirits of children who died at birth; therefore daisies are also associated with innocence.

Spring and innocence and love all go together, right? Pluck a daisy and hold all three in your hand. Gather a vaseful of April daisies and attract spring and innocence and love to your house.