I’ve Been Bewitched!

A-Wolfs-Song-Banner-AUTHORS-FB
In honor of the upcoming release of A Gargoyle’s Might, I am running a tour through Bewitching Blog Tours, owned by the wonderful Roxanne Rhoads!
The schedule includes some fun guest blog posts, a giveaway (of A Wolf’s Song), and an interview or two. Please join me at:
December 9 Spotlight
Night Owl Reviews
http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/A-Wolfs-Song-by-Shannon-Phoenix
December 10 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com
December 11 Spotlight
Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews
http://literalhottiesnaughtybookreviews.blogspot.com/
December 12 Spotlight
AC James
www.acjames.com
December 12 Spotlight and review
Penny For Them…
http://pennyforthemuk.com/search/label/tour
December 13 Guest Post
Mythical Books
http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/
Guest Post – The Soul-mate myth
December 16 Interview and review
The Book Review-
http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com
December 16 Guest blog
Ebook Escapes
http://ebookescapes.com
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“I’m Raiding” has Replaced “Bring Me a Beer”

So on my 7 year old daughter’s birthday (She turned 7 this Halloween), my ex ended our 10 year relationship. At first, I was devastated. I gave the guy 10 years of fidelity and honest effort. I’m told that women are led by their emotions and men are the rational, logical ones… yet it was I who hung on despite the many times I no longer felt any emotional attachment–or connection–with him at all. But when he decided he didn’t “feel the same” about me anymore, and “never would”, he walked away like 10 years is nothing. It’s been almost a year since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and it’s been one hell of a hard year for her and me both.

Relationships fall apart for a lot of reasons. Ours fell apart in part because my ex only considers two things to be of value in this world… money and sex. And once he started treating me poorly, he wasn’t getting the second and I was too focused on our daughter to focus on the first.

Yet it goes deeper than that. We all know and recognize the iconic image of the guy with his hand down his pants, yelling for a beer while he watches TV and his wife is bringing him a beer with two kids dangling off of her and her eyes crossed from exhaustion. After all, as we all know, he has had a rough day and he deserves to be waited on hand and foot because… he makes MONEY. And nothing else is of value in this world…

But the new iconic “involved husband and father” image isn’t quite so obvious. There’s no beer to depict his disconnection. Instead, it’s a computer and a group of soda cans.

Today’s dad might look more like this: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/3003526/Video-gaming-Top-Tuns-are-top-slobs-too.html

When his kid wants his attention, it’s “Stop it, I’m busy.” Or, if he’s in a good mood, it might be, “After this raid”. Which incidentally takes him well past the child’s bedtime. Unlike the beer drinking slob, he’d probably disengage long enough to get laid–because in the gaming community, getting laid is cool (as long as you don’t do it on raid nights).

I’m a gamer, too. It really is kind of addicting, and definitely fun. It can be social, as well. But when my daughter came along, it was me who cut back my gaming hours. It was me who quit raiding. It’s me who stops to play a game or to read a story or to take her to bed–on time (imagine it!).

Yet he was entitled to his gaming time because HE had a REAL job. Because HE brought in money. And he was entitled to sex for the same reason. The idea that he should get off of the computer and spend time with his family was a wonderful one. And he intended to do it. But not tonight. Not during a raid. Not when there were coins to gather or gear to get before the next raid.

I did a lot wrong, too. I kept giving up… and trying to get back into it. Our relationship was like working out. I’d give up and then try again. Then give up and get back into trying again. It was like working out for him, too… he’d try for a day and expect everything to magically change. A kiss that morning on the way to work was “trying to show affection” and if he didn’t get laid that night, then “it didn’t work” and if he did get laid that night, he didn’t need to try anymore because “it worked” and now he should be getting it all the time.

At the end of the day, I thought we were back on track to try with “us” again. I thought that, now that our daughter was on the insulin pump and I wasn’t checking her every single night at 12 and 3 and 5 am, we could work towards us. We’d finally found a babysitter for her who wasn’t petrified of her chronic health condition. It was all coming together…

Except it wasn’t. And you can’t have a relationship all by yourself. He had “fallen out of love” with me… was still in love with his computer… and just didn’t feel like anything was worth the effort anymore. But he did try for a couple of weeks to actually be a dad. And when he’s not near the computer, he’s okay as a dad. He gets angry easily, which he blames on me.  Though him blaming everything on me–whether it has anything to do with me or not–is trademark for our relationship. We quit counseling because it wasn’t fixing me fast enough.

The truth is, as I look back on it, he always thought he would be happy “when” and all of his “whens” focused on me. When I got a job, he’d be happy. When he was getting laid every day, he’d be happy. When that was happening, he wasn’t happy. When that was happening, he picked fights about other things every chance he got.

Now he can raid in peace, and I’m okay with the breakup. The reason why is simple. Because now I realize on a profound level that him being a jerk and a slob really didn’t have anything to do with me. We’re broke up now and I’m working to find my real self again while he… he’s still a jerk and a slob. Bless his heart.

Despite this post, I don’t hate him. I’m not even angry at him anymore. I’m seeing things clearly for the first time since I met him, and I know now that he will never have another chance with me. More than that, I know to look at my part of the relationship now, because I can’t trust what he says is my part in what went wrong. He’ll blame me for everything, just as he always has. So I have to figure out for myself which part of me I don’t want to take into the next relationship.

The most important thing is that I’m going to quit blaming myself for everything. I didn’t learn that from him, I blamed myself long before him. But he did teach me one very important thing… I don’t like someone blaming me for everything, even the ones I had nothing to do with. So it’s long past time I quit doing it to myself. I didn’t like it when he did it to me, so now I need to stop being a hypocrite and quit doing it, too.

If you know what I mean, you may want to check out this website: http://gamerwidow.com/

God/dess in the Garden

This week’s letter for the Pagan Blog Project is G.

Before I begin, I must point out that I’m sort of an unofficial pantheistic polytheist, which is not exactly pagan in the polytheistic meaning. But it’s as good a label as anything, I suppose, and I’m content with the appellation and the company. 🙂

That being said, my discussion here will make more sense in that light, I hope. I believe that God, better known to me as The Infinite, Loving Intelligence that created everything and is in and through all things, is what brings forth life in everything. This infinite force IS Life, and Love. And it is in everything, as everything… and life yearns for itself with a deep, abiding longing.

This, to me, is no more apparent than in the garden, where each plant has its own personality and its own penchant for passing forth its own life.  Seeds, runners, tubules, tubers… everything in the garden yearns towards life.

It is time in our state to begin thinking of and planning the garden. Soon planting will begin, as well. It is the way life is, this cycle of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.  Before the great fires of Beltaine come the indoor planting and the nurturing of the seeds from a glimmer of life to a seedling.

Gardening is not for the faint of heart, and you must be prepared for the seedlings to die sometimes. It’s an art, or perhaps a science–neither my forte. I imagine sometimes that this must be what it is like for the Divine force that created us. There is such great pleasure and hope when we flourish, such an eagerness to assist when we flag, and a tender sorrow when we must be composted back into the great Earth from which our various minerals, proteins, fluids, and the like sprang.

In the essence of gardening I find the whisper of spirits. Nature spirits, gods and goddesses, or the Divine Creator Itself, I know not… and it matters little. For these whispers are meant for me, from the garden to my heart.

When it is time for you to begin gardening and growing the seedlings in your house, may you find yourself also in a place of such joy. Take the time as your hands are sunk into the brown soil to feel the joy and wonder of the lives, both great and small, all around you. For in giving life, we reflect the Divinity within us that is reflected back at us from everything around us. In living, the things around us reflect our own natures and our own souls, that we might know the truth of our intrinsic nature.

God, or that being within whom we have our life, is in everything. But there’s a special connection in the garden, even for those of us who bumble and fumble about in it like fools.

I’m ready, spring. I’ll kill a few seedlings and I’ll screw some of it up, but I’ll still feel the life that comes from gardening, and the magic and wonder of when it works out right.

F is for Pagan

Okay, not really. But the Pagan Blog Project is featuring the letter F this week. As fate would have it… oh no, I can already tell this post is going to be punny. Or something.

(Please consider all of the following to be according to my PERSONAL walk with The Morrigan, and not written according to established lore or writings! Thanks!)

As I was saying. As fate would have it, I’ve recently begun intense personal research into the Celtic deities. Including (not limited to) The Morrigan. The Morrigan is a Goddess of Fate, Death, War, Fertility, Passion, and many other things. Given the human fascination with such morbid subjects (and the less morbid, but no less interesting ones), The Morrigan is a popular target for fascination and for fear and misunderstanding, even in some who claim to revere her.

What I’d like to talk about is The Morrigan’s dual position as Death and Fertility Goddes, and her dual position as War and Fate Goddess. So I’m taking on two F-words today. Neither of which is the most famous f-bomb of all (even though the f-bomb is an integral part of one of these words, even should we prefer not to talk about it–though we will. We will).

The interesting thing about The Morrigan is that she is an amazingly multidimensional deity. One story includes her ill-fated passion for Cu Chulainn, and how he wounded her three times. He swore never to heal her, and yet he did, blessing her three times when she gave him milk to drink. His excuse was that he didn’t know her. But that was his excuse all along.

This story is deeply wrapped up within all of her aspects. Cu Chulainn was off to fight in a war when he met, and rejected The Morrigan. When she changed into her Goddess aspect as a raven, he declared that he wouldn’t have rejected her, if only he had known her. How often this is true of us in our lives… how often we reject friends (perhaps even lovers), because we do not know them. This is a not-so-subtle warning against prejudgment and standing upon it without thought.

Not mollified in the least, Morrigan warns him of his fate, and she (being a goddess of revenge) pretty much tells him that she’s going to enjoy watching him suffer. He mutters to himself and ignores her.

The story as a whole is a microcosm of marriage and/or the search for love, really. A woman determines the fate of the marriage. “Happy wife, happy life” is a common saying, and it would behoove men to begin to heed it. The Morrigan did not inflict the suffering upon him herself. She simply informed him of his fate. It wasn’t the fate that was the problem. It wasn’t even that he was warned of it. The problem was that he rejected and ignored her. Much could have been prevented if he had listened, and if he had concerned himself with getting to know her.

The question could be begged of whether The Morrigan chose and sealed his fate, or simply disseminated the information to him; but such an argument would take away from the larger image that the story portrays.

Morrigan warned him of what would happen to him in his war. War can be many things in life, it isn’t always a group of men running around with swords (or guns). It can be relationships, it can be our work day or even our mindset when we post on forums or blogs. War takes many forms, not all of them Earth-shattering. One of the most timeless wars is “the war between the sexes”. And there are many genders involved in that war, too. It’s disingenuous to ignore the war between extremists who loathe homosexuals and those who feel a person’s sexuality is his or her own, and no one elses’.

The war on drugs, the war on cancer, the war in Afghanistan… they are all wars. They can fall within the purview of the Goddess of Fate.

Yet the war most notable of all of these, and which is displayed in the story of Cu Chulainn and The Morrigan is the war between men and women. The endless dance during which children are created–or not.

Fertility (not merely childbearing, but all forms of fertility) in a marriage requires that both sexes sit back and listen. Yet as the story shows, it is frequently the man who strikes the blows, and it is the man’s purview to heal them. Fate can only intervene to the degree that we each are willing to let her in. Within that timeless dance is the secret of a fertile life and a fertile relationship… the fate of humanity left to us to decide.

A barren future, or a fertile one? Will we embrace Fate, let her in, and allow her to set aside the aspects of revenge and war… or will those be the only aspects we will harken to? It is our choice. It is a choice that we make every day, in every area of our lives, from the war in the bedroom, to the war in the boardroom, to the war abroad.

Fate can be our friend, but unlike Cu Chulainn, we must accept and acknowledge her love… and hear and know her voice as that of a friend, perhaps even a lover.

— Shannon Phoenix is a paranormal romance novelist. You can find her books at www.shannonphoenix.com

Inside Outcast

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Inside Outcast is now published.

It will be finished publishing at Amazon in a few hours.

Otherwise, it can be obtained now for the same price at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/289595

I haven’t made any fanfare about this one because I’m not all that happy with it. After months of editing, tweaking, and revamping, I’m still not all that pleased with it. Others have raved about it, so I have decided to publish it, though I am charging the least I can for it (thanks to Amazon’s anti-indie pricing).

This was my NaNoWriMo novel. I shortened it up in order to “finish” the book at 50k words by the deadline. All of my attempts to return the additional desired content to it have been failures, so this is what we’re all left with. That being said, the story is decent. It’s not terrible, it’s just… it’s not what I had in my mind and thus I don’t seem able to make myself happy with it.

What is a Psychopomp?

Via dictionary.com:

noun

a person who conducts spirits or souls to the other world, as Hermes or Charon.
Origin:
1860–65;  < Greek psȳchopompós  conductor of souls.

A psychopomp can be anything, however, not only a person. Some American Indians believed that ravens escorted the spirits of the dead to the afterlife. In other mythology, it was Charon, who shuttled souls across the river Styx in his ferry.

In Welsh mythology, shared around much of the region, it was Gwyn ap Nudd.  This rich culture and heritage has been lost to the ravages of time, but I do not believe it must remain so.

I hope to revive Gwyn figuratively, by his literal revival within the pages of this book. It is my deepest hope that I do true justice to the story, but also to the man. The God. The Psychopomp.

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The Risen God by Shannon Phoenix

The book I’m currently working like mad on is currently called The Risen God.

So far as I know, my background is English or Irish. Possibly Scottish. Either way, with what little I know of my family history, at least some of my ancestors are from that area. I’ve always felt a pull towards that area, and thus I have decided to begin my ‘gods’ series with one of the most compelling ones from that area. I suspect that many of them will be from that area.

Something that is not talked about at all is how many of us white people have also lost our own heritages and backgrounds. I am not out to demonize Christians or their religion, I am simply stating a fact when I say what I am about to: Christianity in its early incarnation wiped out multitudes of other cultures–and many of them were white cultures.

The Irish, the Welsh, the English, the Scottish… they all had their own religions, their own culture, even their own writing. The Christians tried at that time to claim that they brought writing to the Isles, but this is not true. The druids (the ‘educated’ of the Isles) had a form of writing called Ogham well before the Roman Christian conquerors came.

So my first book in the Gods and Goddesses series centers around Gwyn ap Nudd. This ancient God was the Welsh God of the Hunt. His job was that of a psychopomp… meaning that he led forgotten or lost… or evil… souls to the Afterlife.

In The Risen God, the first in the series, Gwyn is found buried in a pasture by Terry. Terry is an average woman. There’s nothing special about her. She’s not psychic, she’s not the reincarnation of someone he loved. She’s just a typical American woman going about her day…. when she finds something extraordinary.

Now, Gwyn must find his Horn, fetch his horse and his hounds, and ride again. The fate of mankind rests upon the psychopomps being found and being able to do their jobs again. The gates to Annwyn (paradise) are degrading, and soon souls will be entirely unable to return home between reincarnations. And there will be no more choice in reincarnation thereafter–all souls will be trapped eternally on what will rapidly become a desolate planet upon which only a few will appear to thrive–even as the evil that rots their souls grows.

But that evil has had a lot of time to plot and plan. And even as Gwyn begins to search for his Horn, his Horse, and his Hounds, he continually finds himself stymied by the long-term planning of an encroaching evil.

The resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd is symbolic, certainly; as he was not dead. Yet it is symbolic on two levels, for the resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd into common culture is past its time. All of us whose cultures were destroyed have a right to our heritage; to pride in that heritage, and to resurrect that heritage.

So I welcome back Gwyn, God of the Hunt, God of the Dead. May you once more, in the minds of mankind, usher the dead home.

Announcing Free Ongoing Stories!

I am taking an innovative approach to writer-reader interactions on my website. At ShannonPhoenix.com, you can now find free story chapters. Posted online each Monday (as life permits), these will tell an ongoing story within the Universes introduced in my books.

I hope that these stories will help alleviate some of that impatience of waiting for the next book.

Enjoy!

Diary Ebook: The Virgin and the Wolf

Download it free: http://www.goodreads.com/ebooks/download/15707652

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