Saturday, 27 April 2013

Strange creatures of the water

A simple walk along the river bank can be fraught with with danger, deep in the water strange creatures of the world of fae lurk ever ready to drag you under!
The Bean Fionn of Ireland, a white robed woman who will drag children and unwary travellers to their deaths in the rivers of Ireland.
Another two from Yorkshire: Jenny Greenteeth who waits in the shallows for children to venture too near to the river bank, if they do a skinny arm will drag them under.
And Peg Powler, another of the green river hags with sharp teeth that wait for children by the river banks.
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sneak preview of Faerie Flora

Faerie Flora. Now available on my website 
or Amazon
It's a fully illustrated seasonal book detailing the faerie myths and legends surrounding our most common flowers and plants and includes spells, herbal remedies and culinary recipes.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Lavender Witch cont...

The lights were still on in the village shop as the couple walked past.
'It looks open,' said Kitty suprised. 'Shall I try the door?'
An elderly woman stood behind the counter reading a newspaper, she looked up sensing she was being watched and smiled when she saw Kitty peering in through the window.
Kitty opened the door, making the bell tinkle madly. 'Are you still open?'
'Yes dear,' the woman looked at her wristwatch. 'Oh goodness is that the time? I didn't realise it was so late.' She shook her her head and folded the newspaper.
'We've run out of milk and coffee, are you usually open this late?'
'No I just lost track of time, I don't usually work on Friday night but my nephew had an appointment so I volunteered.' The woman watched as Kitty wandered around the shop picking up the milk and the coffee, she also picked up a crusty loaf of bread.
'Freshly baked this morning, dear.'
'It smells lovely; I'll have one of these as well.' Kitty placed it all on the counter. 'Do you have any eggs?' she asked looking around the shelves.
'Over there by the newspapers. They're free range; they come from Mr Squires's farm.'
Kitty placed a half dozen next to her other purchases on the counter. 'I'm afraid I didn't bring a bag, we weren't expecting the shop to be open.'
The woman pulled a carrier out from under the counter and started packing Kitty's groceries.
'How's the move going?' she asked suddenly. 'William's a good friend, he's been keeping me informed,' she smiled at Kitty's surprised face. 'It's a small village dear, you'll get used to it.'
Kitty smiled back at her. 'It's lovely here, it feels like home already.'
' I'm sure it does,' the woman said quietly. She passed Kitty's shopping over. 'That will be six pounds fifty please.'
Kitty opened Gordon's wallet and handed over a ten pound note. The woman's hand closed over the money and Kitty's hand.
'Sybil,' she said.
'Sybil Leavenham, my name, she explained. 'I know you're going to be happy here Kitty, and if you need any help with anything,' she shook Kitty's as if to emphasis the point. 'Anything at all just ask.'
Kitty smile hesitantly. 'Thank you, that's very kind of you.'
Sybil smiled and released her hand, she nodded towards Gordon standing outside, 'He's getting impatient and he wants his beer.'
Kitty glanced around; her husband was gently tapping on the window and gesturing at her to hurry up.
'I'd better go, she gathered up the bag and her change. 'Thanks, see you again.'
'Oh you will, goodnight.'
Kitty smiled and pulled the shop door closed behind her. Gordon looked at the carrier bag and smiled ruefully.
'I thought it was just milk and coffee you needed?'
'Well I thought I would pick up a few things for breakfast as well.' Kitty handed back his wallet and looked up, Sybil was standing in the window calmly watching the couple outside.
Kitty waved and she smile slightly in response.
'She seemed very nice, she;s a friend of Mr Beamish. She knew all about us.'
'She even knew I was called Kitty.'
Gordon looked puzzled for a minute. Hr started to say something but behind them the shop lights suddenly turned off leaving them standing in the dark.
'Oh, time to go I think,' as he said this he turned and glanced back into the darkened interior of the shop, just on the other side of the window a dim figure stood, arms folded watching them through the glass. Gordon shrugged off the strange feeling of unease and took Kitty's hand.
'Come on; let's get off to the pub Kitty.'

The Lavender Witch
available Amazon

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Healing Poppet

Healing Poppet have been used for centuries, they are lifelike figures made from either clay, wax, straw but usually cloth. Made to represent a certain person and by using their hair, toenail clippings, saliva, etc, it reinforces the bond between the poppet and the intended recipient. Life must be breathed into the doll and then named.
Poppets are used in ritual magic and spell craft and have been in use for thousands of years, they are very similar to the voodoo doll but are of much older origin.
These dolls are a good example of sympathetic magic, which works on two laws. The law of similarity; this states that like produces like, so the poppet is made to represent and therefore substitute a certain person. The  law of contact states that whatever is done to the object affects the person to whom the poppet is linked.
Faerie Flora- Elizabeth Andrews
Healing and Love Poppets are available from ( full instructions given)

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Lavender Witch cont...

Gordon rubbed a hand over his face. 'Okay, I'll look at it tomorrow; have you found the coffee yet?'
'The coffee,' he said impatiently. 'Oh never mind, I've got it, Gordon opened the jar. 'There's not enough here for one cup let alone two.' He looked at his watch. 'I wonder if the village shop is open.'
Kitty looked up from the box. 'I shouldn't think so, not at this time of night.'
Gordon sighed. 'How about a beer then?'
'A beer? Well,' she hesitated. 'Yes that would be nice, I could do with getting out of here for a while,' she looked at the dog who was pushing his now empty bowl around the floor. 'And Nero could do with a walk,' she bent down and fondled his ears. 'You've been such a good dog today, haven't you?'
Kitty straightened slowly wincing. 'I'm going to ache tomorrow,' she complained, rubbing her back.
'Why didn't you let the men do the lifting?'
'I had to help, Gordon; I couldn't stand there and just watch.'
She turned away from him to shut the back door and noticed an elderly grey cat sitting in the doorway.
'Hey, we've got a visitor, our first one. Hello puss.' She put out a tentative hand and gently tickled it behind it's ear. 'Now who do you belong to?'
Gordon came back in from the hall, he had taken off his jacket and tie and had pulled on a thick jumper.
'A  cat,' she turned back to the door. 'Oh, it's gone already.'
'It's probably from the farm or a stray.'
'It looked too plump to be a stray.'
'Then it's from the village, or the farm, and no... we are not taking it in, he warned her.

Gordon pulled the door shut behind him and followed his wife down the drive. He glanced back at the house. 'Once we sort out the front garden the place will look as though as though it has always been here.'
Kitty stopped and turned round, she smiled contentedly. 'It blends in nicely with the old farm buildings, doesn't it? And it feels like home already.'
Gordon put his a rm around her shoulder and gave her a hug as they walked out into the lane. 'We need to plant some more apple trees in the back garden, we can't call it Orchard Cottage if it hasn't got an orchard.'
'Maybe, it's a shame we couldn't keep a few more but I think most of the old trees were past saving.'
They turned right and followed the old stone wall of the orchard past the farm and walked down the lane into the village, the dog running a few paces in front of them. A bat swooped over their heads and disappeared into the farm buildings.

The properties of Lavender

Just had an interesting tweet about Lavender and its uses, and as there is never enough space for replies on twitter I thought I would carry  waffling on my blog.

Lavender is an amazing herb as I found out when I started researching herbs etc for my new book Faerie Flora.
It has been used medicinally for hundreds of years as well as being used in love spells and rituals. By carrying the flowers you can attract spirits as well as bringing peace love and good health and also gives protection against the evil eye. Re:The Lavender Witch!
Lavender Oil is good for many skin conditions and can be used for acne usually in conjunction with Bergamot as it is a powerful antiseptic and inhibits the bacteria which cause skin infections.
Also can used for treating burns and scalds.
For a remedy against coughs colds catarrh and sinusitis add a few drops to hot water and inhale for 15 mins
Adding a few drops to bath water will help with skin infections muscular pains arthritis etc
Lavender Tea is good for soothing and calming nerves and helps to relieve headaches.
However herbs can be extremely powerful and can interact poorly with other medication so probably best to check with a doctor or herbalist if you are in any doubt.

I have explored the uses and folklore surrounding Lavender more fully in my upcoming  book Faerie Flora which will be available the summer of 2013.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Lavender Witcn cont...


There were a few early fallers under the two remaining apple trees in the orchard behind the house, the old neglected trees had long since stopped producing a decent crop but the wasps had found the few apples that had dropped and were drunkenly crawling over the rotting fruit.
One stray wasp flew in through the kitchen door and buzzed slowly around the room until it found the empty tubs of the Indian takeaway on the table. Kitty flicked it away with a tea towel and swept the debris into a carrier bag.
'Thanks for bringing the Indian.'
Gordon pushed his empty plate away and stood up. 'Well I thought it would be easier for you, after all,' he said looking at the pile of boxes in the hall. 'You've had a busy day. So what time did the removal company finish?'
Kitty sighed and pushed her greying hair back from her face.
'I think we finished unpacking the van about five, so then they had one last cup of tea and went on about five thirtyish.' She picked up the dirty plates and piled them in the sink. 'I've run out of milk as well, they drank so much tea and coffee. I was brewing up the whole time they were here.'
'Oh well, at least they worked hard for it and moving all our junk in one trip! I'm sure they deserve all the tea they could drink for that.'
A cool breeze blew in the door, outside dusk was falling and the last few minutes of birdsong drifted over the newly landscaped garden.
'Thank goodness it stayed dry, there's nothing worse than trying to move in the rain.'
Gordon opened the fridge. 'Yeah.. We were lucky this time, is there enough milk left for a cup of tea?'He picked up the carton and shook it. 'Nope it's dry,' he complained. 'It will have to be a black coffee.'
Kitty pulled a couple of clean mugs out of a cardboard box on the table.
'I hope I've got enough coffee left, there's some tea,but black tea? And by the way, there's something wrong with this door,' she indicated the back door. 'It won't stay open.'
Gordon raised his eyebrows and sighed mockingly. 'Anew house and you're finding fault already.'
I'm not finding fault, it just won't stay open. And the front door is just as bad. It kept shutting when we were trying to bring things in. I'm sure the men thought I was doing it for a joke, so Greg propped it open with your armchair. He had a look at it; he said it might be the hinges.'

Published 2013
available from Amazon & www.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Lavender Witch

The first few paragraphs of  The Lavender Witch
Elizabeth Andrews

Devon, a beautiful green county of gentle rolling hills and woodlands. Steeped in history and home to the Anglo Saxon tribe the Dumnonii from which the county reputedly gained its name. Dumnonii meaning 'deep valley dwellers'; an apt name for this beautiful countryside, hiding scores of small villages and hamlets deep in the fertile valleys of the Blackdown Hills. Reached by a maze of winding single tracks lanes enclosed on either side by high banks and hedges which in high summer grow together and meet overhead forming long green tunnels. Within just a few miles of the bustling towns and streets you enter a different world where the past is so close that it could be just around the next bend of the road.

The small village of Medbury, worthy of mention in the Domesday book is bounded by the river Yarty to the west and the county border of Dorset to the east, its single street winding its way way along the valley and rising gently to the slopes of Castle Hill. The street peters out at the rambling buildings of Castle Farm, originally the last residence on that road but with the overgrown orchard to the side of the barn recently having been sold, a new dwelling had risen inside the old stone walls of the orchard. The builders rubble had gone, lush green turf had been laid and a new gravel drive led up to the front door. Orchard Cottage was finished, and deep in the soil something stirred.

Published 2013

Redcap, most evil of the border goblins

Now this is an evil resident of the faerie world! He is called Redcap and is well known for being the most evil of the border goblins. He is short and wiry with ragged pointed teeth and sharp claws like steel. Redcap lives in any old abandoned castles or towers that he can find, he is especially fond on any with a violent history.
Hermitage Castle in Roxburgh was the home of Lord Soulis, a man with an evil reputation, and keeping him company was  a Redcap who acted as his familiar.
Redcaps are fond of killing people by rolling boulders onto them or tearing at them with his sharp claws before drinking his victims blood. His name comes from the fact that his cap is dyed in his victims blood!
Faeries and Folklore of the British Isles

Monday, 15 April 2013

Hairy Meg of Scotland

This is another creature of the world of fae that should not be judged by her appearance!
Hairy Meg was a brownie that lived a hundred years ago in the farmhouse of Achnarrow near Glenlivet. She was a grand worker and practically ran the place single handed, in fact she was too good! All she required in payment was a bowl of milk and an oatcake. At this time the farmer was struggling financially after a bad year of crop failure and sickness in his livestock so he decided to sack the rest of the servants to save money.
Hairy Meg was not pleased with this and decided to go on strike, refusing to do any of the chores and throwing pots and pans at the farmer if he ventured into the kitchen. She made such a nuisance of herself that the farmer had to relent and re hire all the servants. Hairy Meg was delighted to see them all back at the farm and peace and harmony reigned again.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Grugach of Scotland

There are many strange creatures in the world of fae, not all are beautiful, but still, what glitters is not always gold! Take the Grugach for example, she is very ugly but always welcome where ever she goes, as she is the guardian spirit of grazing animals in the Highlands of Scotland. The old crone protects the animals from harm and if she does enter the crofters homes to seek warmth from their fire, she will bring good luck with her.
Up until the 1900's milk was still poured into hollow stones as offerings for her.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Well, I have just sent off my artwork to China for printing. It is my latest book called Faerie Flora, it's a seasonal guide to  our most common flowers and plants including the myths and legends for each plant and including spells, herbal remedies and culinary recipes.
It's like giving birth in a way, painful to get out and you're not sure what it's going to look like!
China was the obvious choice for printing because of the price, I would have liked to keep the printing in Britain but it was not cost effective. Luckily the nice girl I have been communicating with speaks very good English, especially as my Chinese is non existent!

 Just put on an image of the cover!
Faerie Flora should be available June/July

Friday, 5 April 2013

The 1st of April- April Fool's Day. the origins of this festival are unknown. This is the day when practical jokes can be played with inpunity up until twelve of course! Along with all the silly chants; pinch punch first of the month!
There may be a link with Lud,a Celtic god of humour whose festival occured during spring, most of our festivals seem to originate from the Celts. The May Day festival is the day of Beltane, when the Celts marked the beginning of  summer with great bonfires in honour of the sun. Greenery and flowers were collected from the woods and hedge rows to decorate homes. This was the method of ritually conveying the fertilising powers of nature into the community. The May day rites have their origins in the fertility ceremonies which includes the crowning of the May Queen, dancing around the maypole( which I did as a child, must have worked I have four children!) morris dancing and plays.