Tuesday, 10 December 2013

20 Questions with Author, Rayna Noire

This month we meet author, Rayna Noire...
Rayna Noire

20 Questions

1. What are you best known for?

Hard to say. It depends on whom you talk to. My daughter would say it was for getting lost. I would like to be known for writing fiction featuring realistic Pagan Characters.

2. How did you get involved in your line of work?

I was writing straight romances about “traditional” people.  A Wiccan friend commented that she couldn't find any books featuring positive Pagan characters and I should write some.

3. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the same line of work?

Get connected with other Pagan authors, communities like the Pagan Writers Community, and search for opportunities to meet with other like-minded folks.

4. What was your last project?

Last project was Initiation, 

5. What’s next?

I am currently editing book two, Revelation. I am writing book three, Declaration. I have already plotted out the fourth book, Affirmation.  On December 6th, I was signing at The Book Rack,  in Kingsport, TN. USA

6. Name a person in the same line of work as you who you admire

Maggie Shayne. 

7. What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail?

I do have many ideas for books. I mean hundreds.

8. How do you want to be remembered?

I want people to think of me as an original thinker and willing to venture out into new territories.

9. What do you love/enjoy most about your work?

After editing, I enjoy reading what I wrote. It’s especially good if I can make myself cry. 

10. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced?

I witnessed my grandfather die three years before it actually happened. That’s why I am convinced time is not linear.
I did also die this year, or so I was told by the paramedics, and was brought back to life.

11. What do you do in your spare time?

Spare time, what’s that? I garden, walk in the woods, and do research for new novels.

12. Who inspires you?

I do have a friend named Grace, who is probably the most loving and accepting person I’ve ever met. The odd thing is she doesn't know how wonderful she is.

13. Describe yourself in 3 words

Nurturing, Persistent, and Outlandish

14. Favourite colour


15. If you could have dinner with any 3 people alive or dead who would they be?

Maggie Shayne, Abraham Lincoln, Maya Angelou

16. What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Diet Coke, drink mixers, and condiments! I need to go shopping

17. What is the last book you read?  

Haunted Salem

18. What is next to your bed at the moment?  

The dog and a Kindle.

19. What would your one “can’t live without it” item be?

Incense. It helps dilute the doggy odor.

20. Favourite Season

Summer because I can swim outside.

Rayna Noire is an author and a historian. The desire to uncover the truth behind the original fear of witches led her to the surprising discovery that people believed in magick in some form up to 150 years ago. A world that believed the impossible could happen and often did must have been amazing. With this in mind, Ms. Noire taps into this dimension, shapes it into stories about Pagan families who really aren't that different from most people. They do go on the occasional time travel adventures and magick happens.
Find her on-line...

Rayna has also just begun her first official book tour 

Monday, 2 December 2013

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the Season...

Where has this year gone???

I feel like Samhain has only just happened, but yet somehow November is already over... and so the wheel begins to turn towards Yule. 

Yule is one of those festivals that has such close ties with other winter festivals it can sometimes feel like everyone is celebrating together. This can feel great, especially if you are the "only Pagan in the village". In the last week, more non Pagans than ever, have asked me about my religious choices and in particular my religious holidays and what we get up to.

This has led me to think about how I celebrate this season and how I share it with my children. Sometimes when there is so much emphasis on the corporate face of the season it can be hard to find the spiritual centre to this saccharine sweet seasonal candy-cane.

I can sum up my personal beliefs about Yule in this poem...


This is a time of renewal for all
A time to reflect and hear the Goddesses call
The Sun God is born this Solstice night
And so we welcome the growing light
The dark of the year we have lived though
And we look to the future, and light renewed
The Goddess has rested in darkest slumber
And now emerges with this new-born wonder
Now the sun’s rays will awaken the Earth
It is a magickal time, this time of re-birth
The God did die, to be re-born again
We celebrate his birth, with the lighting of a flame
It’s Solstice night so let us all rejoice
Warm our bodies and raise energy, with the power of our voice 

~ Arietta Bryant, Ramblings & Rhymes ~

I like to keep our decorations on the natural side of things, although who doesn't like a bit of sparkle?
My daughter enjoys helping me to make garlands of popcorn and cranberries to festoon our tree (these are put out on our hedgerow for the birds to eat when the decorations come down) and both children make decorations for the tree each year.

Our Yule celebrations at home are always informal, filled with joy and lots of singing (most seasonal carols can easily be adapted to have a more Pagan theme and are easy to join in with since most folks know the tune already). We all light candles to represent the Sun's re-birth and our wishes for the new year. The candles are placed into our Yule Log (As we don't have a real open fire our Yule Log is a large oak log with holes drilled into it to hold taper candles) and are left to burn for the evening.

We each get a gift at Yule and have a special family meal which the children usually choose and we save the rest of the gift giving for the 25th of December when we can share the fun and joy of giving with our non-Pagan friends and family.

 So yes, my children still write to Santa. We did for a while call him "Father Yule" but it was too hard for my youngest to say so we stick with calling him Santa and know that deep down we all know who he is, so it really doesn't matter what we call him.

We do the whole myth, with gifts magically appearing in stockings over night and the children leave out food and drink for Santa & his reindeer, which is perhaps less strange for a Pagan family who are used to putting out offerings for household spirits, fairies and Gods.

Both of my children are firm believers at the moment but as my children get older and start to question the origin of their gifts I plan to share this poem with them which I think sums up the magick & myth of Santa perfectly...

The Child Wonders...

Papa, she said, her eyes full of tears,
will you talk to me and quiet my fears?
Those bad boys at school are spreading a lie
'bout the impossibility of reindeer that fly.

There's no Santa Claus, they say with a grin
there's not one now and there has never been.
How can one man take all of those toys
to thousands of girls and thousands of boys?

But I told them Papa, that they were not right,
that I would come home and find out tonight.
Mama said wait until you had come home.
Please tell me now that I was not wrong.

Her Papa looked down at her questioning face
and sipped at his drink, while his frantic mind raced.
He had put this off for as long as he could,
he had better think fast and it better be good.

Whispering a prayer, he began with a smile...

"Remember at circle how we learned to pray,
asking the Goddess to take care of us each day?
And you know how we say a blessing before every meal?
To this same Goddess whom we know to be real.

Though we never see her, we know she is there
watching her children with such loving care.
The Goddess started Yule a long time ago
when she gave us herself to love and to know.

A spirit of giving came with that gift,
and with her generosity the whole Earth did lift
Man had to name this spirit of giving
just as he names all things that are living."

"The name Santa Claus came to somebody's mind
probably the best name of any to find.
There is, you can see, and I think quite clear
Truly a Santa who visits each year.

A spirit like the Goddess, whom we never see,
She enters the hearts of your Mama and me.
Each year at Yule for one special night
WE become HIM and make everything right.

But the REAL spirit of Yule is in you and in me
and I hope that you are old enough now to see
that as we believe and continue to give,
our friend Santa Claus will continue to live."

~Author Unknown~

How do you celebrate the season of goodwill to all? Why not share your favourite holiday traditions in the comments below or post them on my facebook page 

I will end here by wishing you all a very happy and joyful season ... Blessed Be!

If you have enjoyed reading my blog and liked my poetry then please consider entering my Good Reads Giveaway where you could win a signed copy of my Poetry Anthology... 

Just click on the link below before December 13th 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ramblings & Rhymes by Arietta Bryant

Ramblings & Rhymes

by Arietta Bryant

Giveaway ends December 13, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
This blog is part of the Pagan Writers Press Winter Solstice Blog Hop

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Saturday, 30 November 2013

20 Questions with Author, Samaire Provost

Here we are again, the second in our series of 

Small Songs - 20 Questions Interviews...

This month we are looking at Author, Samaire Provost.

20 Questions

1. What are you best known for? 

Thrilling stories

2. How did you get involved in your line of work? 

I've been writing since I was 10, been an avid reader all my life.

3. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the same line of work? 

Write a lot. Read even more.

4. What was your last project? 

The third book in my Mad World trilogy. It's called DESPERATION.

5. What’s next? 

A new book, a vampire thriller, due out by Christmas.

6. Name a person in the same line of work as you who you admire

Stephen King

7. What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail? 

Become a best selling author known for her great stories made into movies.

8. How do you want to be remembered? 

See #7

9. What do you love/enjoy most about your work?

It's very autonomous. I get to create stories and worlds and I am my own boss.

10. What was the strangest or funniest incident you've experienced 

Once my husband and I were kissing in a mall and some woman came up to us and told us to stop, that there were children present.

11. What do you do in your spare time? 

Spare time? What's that?

12. Who inspires you? 

My imagination is inspired by so many things. I read voraciously and I am inspired by my two favorite authors: Neil Gaiman and Stephen King

13. Describe yourself in 3 words 

Giddy Imaginative Author

14. Favourite colour 


15. If you could have dinner with any 3 people alive or dead who would they be?

Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Ray Bradbury

16. What would I find in your refrigerator right now? 

Food of various sorts. Diet Pepsi

17. What is the last book you read? 

"Twentieth Century Ghosts" by Joe Hill

18. What is next to your bed at the moment? 

The current book I'm reading: "Dr. Sleep" by Stephen King

19. What would your one “can’t live without it” item be?

Ice, I love crunching it all day long. 

20. Favourite Season

Winter and Christmas

Samaire Provost is a novelist living in California. Author of the Mad World Trilogy:

check out her books on Amazon worldwide, in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

If you would like to be interviewed for the Small Songs Blog then you can contact Arietta here 
or via her Facebook page

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bibliomancy, Rhapsodomancy, Stichomancy & Bookcase Poetry

Divining for Poetry

[From Wikipedia] According to the 
Oxford English Dictionary,[1] the word Bibliomancy (etymologically from biblio- "books" and -mancy "divination by means of") "divination by books, or by verses of the Bible" was first recorded in 1753 (Chambers' Cyclopedia). Sometimes this term is used synonymously with Stichomancy (from sticho- "row, line, verse") "divination by lines of verse in books taken at hazard", which was first recorded ca. 1693 (Urquhart's Rabelais).
Bibliomancy compares with Rhapsodomancy (from rhapsode "poem, song, ode") "divination by reading a random passage from a poem".

I have always used forms of bibliomancy for divination purposes and also as a means of sparking ideas and inspirations for my own writing, so I was intrigued and inspired yet again, when I found out about the Sorted Books project.

Started in 1993 but with no specific end date, and using books from personal, private and public collections the idea is simple...  Searching though piles of books, finding particularly inspiring titles, and then putting the selected books into a sequence which is photographed, and when read from the top or the bottom creates a lyrical, poetical, aesthetic.

Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aimed to examine that particular library's focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library's holdings. At present, the Sorted Books project comprises more than 130 book clusters and conceptual artist Nina Katchadourian’s playful photographic series is available now from  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/sorted-books.html

Pictured above: A Day at the Beach

Pictured above: Primitive Art

And so I thought I would have a quick go myself, but being short on time I thought I would try to create something using just the books within arms reach

(which in the house of a bibliophile is quite a few) 

And this was what I came up with...

Growing Up Pagan - by Arietta 

Growing up Pagan:
Magical tales,
Listening to trees
Ramblings and rhymes
Celebrating life
Ancient ways
Beneath a mountain moon

I rather like the outcome and I feel that this will become quite an addictive habit, and a useful tool should the dreaded writers block hit...

...So give it a go and please please please do share your creations with me


Here are the links to the books I used should you want to look at more than just their spines...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Repost from... Pagan Parenting UK: Magick Milk

I wanted to share this poem with you, I don't think it needs anything by way of an explanation or introduction, but suffice to say that it is about motherhood and in particular, breastfeeding...

Magickal Milk

At first the tearful hungry infant
Suckling at the engorged breast
Leaves me tearful, fearful, tired
Will this tiny succubus ever be fed? 

But days and weeks to months they blur
And babies grow and live and learn
My goddess given gift of a child
Is sustained by this magick milk of mine

The bond grows stronger and we wonder
At the child before us now
He is walking, jumping talking
With messy curls upon his head

Year one done we journey on
Learning, growing, all the time
And still this sacred special liquid
Keeps him healthy all the while

Year two passes all too fast,
Babies are not made to last
Here he is, my little lad
With a smile so like his Dad's

And so year three arrives with fanfare
Cake and candles, gifts and friends
But in my heart there is a burning
This is where my baby ends

No more magick milk for Ozzy
He is not a baby now
I must not be seen to feed him
He must drink milk from a cow

I just wish that they would tell you
When you start upon this path
To treasure each and every feeding,
For they vanish all too fast

So though my breasts are full and heavy
The time has come for us to stop
tears of sadness fill my eyes now
I have to let my baby grow up

Original posted on Pagan Parenting UK: Magick Milk 13/11/13

(C) Arietta Moon / Small Songs

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Book Review: Kitchen Witchcraft, By Rachel Patterson.

Kitchen Witchcraft, By Rachel Patterson.

This book is part of the Moon Book collection called "Pagan Portals" 

On the surface you might think that this book has nothing to offer the experienced craft practitioner but I can guarantee that there will be a nugget of gold to be found by all who read it

As I have come to expect of a book published by Moon Books, this book is well presented and well written, the author has a personable style and writes with familiarity over formality, a quality I enjoy in this kind of book. The reader feels as though they have popped in for a cuppa at Rachel's house and are being given a little tour of her kitchen and garden. 

I would recommend this book to those taking there first steps into kitchen craft as it is in my option one of the better guides available, and for others with more experience in kitchen craft I would still recommend it, especially if they own other Pagan Portals books and wanted to add to their collection.

This book should live somewhere easy to reach, once you start using these techniques for a more Magickal life you will dip back into these pages again and again. 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

20 Questions with Author, Mel Massey

Ok guy & gals... Here it is, the very first Small Songs - 20 Questions Interview...

Thanks must go to Author Mel Massey for being our first interviewee

Her book Getaway is available on www.Amazon.com from today!

Synopsis: When Lisa goes to visit her parents, she comes home to an empty house. Or so she thinks. As a storm rages outside, Lisa tries to getaway from something unknown that's hiding in the shadows.

 20 Questions

1. What are you best known for? 

 Well, I don’t think I’m known for much just yet! However, I am the witch that writes about witches, magick and all things paranormal. The witches that are the most important in EARTH’S MAGICK are gray witches and that’s fun and unique to write about. 

 2. How did you get involved in your line of work? 

I’ve been writing for years. I’ve only recently plucked up the courage to let others read it. 

3. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the same line of work? 

To simply write their story. Whatever that is, just write it. Worry about all the other stuff later on. Get it on paper first then make a plan for it. 

4. What was your last project? 

GETAWAY, the short scary story for Halloween/Samhain is my last completed project. I’m currently writing book two in the EARTH’S MAGICK series. But I’ve come to love writing short stories as well. I’ll be putting out a few companion novellas in between novels. 

5. What’s next? 

More EARTH’S MAGICK, novellas and possibly some short stories as they pop up. 

6. Name a person in the same line of work as you who you admire. 

Oh, that’s an easy one, Anne Rice. We all know her books, love them or hate them she’s amazing at her craft. More importantly, she’s a huge supporter of other writers. She’s an advocate of indie publishing and human rights. She’s just an all-around fabulous woman. I sent her an email, after I signed with my publisher, thanking her for her constant encouragement of fledgling writers. Ms. Rice has put out YouTube videos and interviews all full of advice for us newbie writers – and I watched every single one of them. I thanked her for that and do you know what? She wrote me back. She congratulated me and wished me all the luck in the world. I genuinely love that beautiful lady. 

7. What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail? 

Write a screen play. I looked into it because, for a while, I had a few ideas for a movie. I gave up after I saw what an overwhelming undertaking that is. Sheesh…those people deserve all kinds of credit. 

8. How do you want to be remembered? 

As the witch that wrote about witches and held nothing back while doing it. 

9. What do you love/enjoy most about your work? 

I think writers write because we have to. We have imaginary friends pounding on the inside of our minds just fighting to live the imaginary life we plan to give them. I love that the most. The constant conversations with my imaginary friends. 

10. What was the strangest or funniest incident you’ve experienced

Oh goodness, I surround myself with the super strange. But if we’re talking about my writing life, I’d have to say the editing process of one of my books. My editor, Kate, left the BEST editorial notes. Sometimes a simple, “SNORT” at funny parts but once, I wrote, “Her face melted into pure joy.” To which Kate responds, “EWWWW”. I laughed for real when I read that and realized what she was trying to tell me. Her EXPRESSION melted into that of pure joy. If her face actually melted, well, that’s a plot twist! 

11. What do you do in your spare time?

I’m a mother of two very active kids so I write while they’re at school and then play chauffer, soccer mom, football mom, etc. for the rest of the evening. 

12. Who inspires you?

Not really a who but a what- Being able to freely practice as a witch gives me the most inspiration. Every time I light incense, candle or spend time in meditation I feel revived and ready to write. 

13. Describe yourself in 3 words 

Witty, Passionate and Impulsive 

14. Favourite colour

Green, but deep, earthy green. 

15. If you could have dinner with any 3 people alive or dead who would they be? 

I love this question. This one is easy; Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Anne Rice. What a merry dinner that would be! 

16. What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

Leftovers, lots of carrots (not sure why), almost empty milk, almost empty juice and cheese. I need to shop… 

17. What is the last book you read? 

SHE by H. R. Haggard (My favorite) 

18. What is next to your bed at the moment? 

A pile of clean laundry. 

19. What would your one “can’t live without it” item be?

Oh gosh…..coffee. If I can’t have coffee in the morning the entire day just sucks. Of course, the same could be said for wine in the evening. If I don’t have wine my nights are all stress and chaos. 

And finally...

20. Favourite Season Spring. 

I love the spring time colors and green everywhere. 

So there you have it... Mel Massey in a nut shell, but if you want to find out more about Mel or her books then please head on over to her facebook page and give her a big thumbs up. Also remember that her recent project Getaway is available for only 77p on Kindle and includes a free sneek peek at her next book Earth's Magick too!

If you would like to be interviewed for the Small Songs Blog then you can contact Arietta here or at her facebook page