Today I welcome Marva Dasef, who is introducing the interestingly named SCOTCH BROOM, the third book in her Witches of Galdorheim series.
** Check out the rest of the SUMMER TEEN READING PARTY for great prizes!! ** - I'm also at Marva's blog talking about, what else, but dogs and animals and...
* MuseitUp Bookstore
About the Book:
Kat expects to have a great time on her graduation trip to Stonehenge. However, from the moment she leaves the witches’ arctic island, Galdorheim, she gets in nothing but trouble. Her younger half-brother tries to horn in on her trip, she gets lost in the magical Otherworld realm, is led astray by a supposed friend, then she has to confront a Scottish goddess who’s fallen on hard times. (Keep reading for the contest!)
While dodging the goddess’ minions and trying to find her way out of the Otherworld, Kat soon learns she shouldn’t underestimate the old has-been for one second; the crone still has a few tricks that can drain a witch’s magic in a flash. To make matters worse, Kat's brother secretly followed her into the Otherworld. Now he’s in danger too. Kat has to go one on one with the goddess to save herself and her brother.
** Download a PDF Sampler of all three books in the series and the bonus short story, Spellslinger, here.
** Watch the SCOTCH BROOM trailer
Leave a comment to win a free ebook of any of the Witches of Galdorheim. To win a GRAND PRIZE, read the posts carefully, then answer the easy quiz on Marva's blog between May 27th and 31st. All the information and links you need will be posted.
HART AND HOUND
Researching Celtic mythology, I knew I wanted to use some of the lesser know magical creatures. I also decided that they needed to be “like” animals, but not quite. The reason for this is obvious to readers who’ve been following Kat’s story from the beginning. Kat’s magical ability is to talk with animals. She has greater or lesser success depending on the innate brain-power of a natural animal. For example, she chats along nicely with Salmon the Orca since a killer whale is the largest of the dolphins and are at the top of the IQ charts. I believe the ability to communicate to others shows greater intelligence. Sorry. Don’t want to offend any fish out there, but you guys just aren’t that bright.
I found two mythic creatures who met my criteria. Sianach, a huge stag (possibly a Red Deer) and Cusith, a giant-sized green dog with a braided tail.
From my favorite source, Encyclopedia Mythica.
An enormous hound of the Scottish Highlands. It is said to be a dark green in color, with a long braided tail and the size of a bullock. Whenever his baying was heard on the moors, farmers would quickly lock up their women because the hound's mission was to round up women and drive them to a fairy mound so they might supply milk for fairy children.
I’m a bit leery of that rounding up women part, but decided that was just an ancient attempt to keep women close to home. Clearly, not much has changed except for the mythological excuses.
"Monster." In Scottish Gaelic oral tradition, a large, malevolent, predatory deer.
That’s to the point. Other research indicated that the basis for Sianach might be the Irish Elk, which is now extinct.
Now that I’d identified a couple of mythical critters, then all I had to do is get them together with Kat. Since she was tricked into entering the Otherworld (land of fey), she has been searching for the hall of the Trow King. She meets Sianach first and he agrees to guide her to King Connor’s hall. What Kat find strange is that she can’t look into Sianach’s mind; he can close off his thoughts from her. This makes Kat a bit nervous since Sianach, while seeming to be amenable to helping Kat, is also very vague as to his reasons for doing so.
The two begin their search for the Trow Hall, although Sianach claims, reasonably, that in the Otherworld, there is no such thing as a map to anyplace. They’ll have to seek the Hall in other ways. Apparently, Sianach’s method is to simply wander around through the swamps.
They camp for the night, and the next morning, Kat meets another denizen of the Otherworld, the giant green hound, Cusith.
Sianach grazed near the edge of the small clearing. When the lean-to disappeared, he raised his head. “Good morning. I thought you were going to sleep all day.”
“You sound just like my mom.” Kat let out an exasperated snort. “Besides, it can’t be past eight o’clock.”
“I do not carry a timepiece.”
“Of course, you don’t.” Kat opened her pack and rummaged through it. “Cool. I’ve still got the granola bar.” Her head snapped up when she heard something large crashing through the underbrush. Sianach stood stock still, staring toward the ruckus.
“Omigosh, what’s that?” Kat’s voice trembled as she looked to Sianach for an answer. The hairs on her neck and arms stood at attention.
Sianach turned toward a nearby tree and struck his antlers against it. The clash of antler against bark rang like a warning bell. Kat didn’t expect the loud clang coming from horn against wood.
“Hide,” Sianach said in a breathy whisper. His head raised now and pointed toward the howl that sounded closer than before.