Top Ten Mythical Creatures with Charles E Yallowitz #Fantasy #Myth

Welcome back to Charles E. Yallowitz, today he chats about mythical creatures.

TOP TEN MYTHICAL BEASTS

  1. Vampires–  I’m putting this here entirely because my current series revolves around them.  I love how there are so many versions of vampires.  You can tinker with the mythos so much as long as you keep some of the basics or explain why your breed doesn’t follow the norm.  Also, it’s fun to have immortals get into fights because you pull off some wild moves that more fragile species could never accomplish.
  2. Griffin–  At some point in my life, I gravitated towards the griffin.  Funny considering I’m afraid of heights.  I think part of it is that they have the majesty of eagles combined with the regal presence of lions.  They come off as mythical beast royalty to me.
  3. Perytons–  This one is going to be obscure to most, but I got hooked on them while researching monsters for my books.  These are flying stags, which makes them similar to griffins.  I always saw them as vicious and feral as they travelled in flocks or herds. Not sure what you would call them.  I don’t get to use perytons often, so I save them for special occasions.
  4. Trickster Gods–  Not sure if they would really fall into the category of mythical beasts.  Gods tend to be closer to characters, but there are animalistic ones here.  Being someone who enjoys humour, I like reading about beings that exist to pull pranks and cause mischief.
  5. Trolls–  When you really need to throw a terrifying monster at your heroes, look no further.  These creatures are the stuff of nightmares to me because I always see them as top of the food chain.  They aren’t smart in the same way as orcs and ogres, but they have this primitive intelligence to go along with their power.
  6. Lycanthropes–  I feel it’s better to go with this instead of werewolves.  This becomes an umbrella term for any person who is cursed to transform into an animal or hybrid.  Many would argue against it and design a -thrope for each species though.  As far as this list goes, it’s easier to use this and say that I enjoy the tragic existence of them.  They aren’t human or animal, so they’re trapped in the middle of both worlds.
  7. Krakens–  Feels like a cop out thanks to the overused pop culture phrase, but I’ve always been amazed by enormous squid monsters.  They’re simply terrifying with their tentacles, arms, beak, and crushing strength.  Being that they’re ocean predators, I see them as even more dangerous.  Humans can’t do much against them once their boat is gone.
  8. Pegasus–  It’s another flying beast and one that many pick, but I have it on the list for nostalgia.  Long ago, when I was a little kid, my grandfather would tell me stories about Pegasus.  He was a flying horse who escaped a carousel, went on adventures, and always ended up visiting Davey Jones’s locker.  It’s surprising that I don’t use Pegasus in my stories that often, but that might be because it’s a rather special and personal monster.  It would feel weird if I kept throwing it into my more violent tales.
  9. Black Dogs–  In high school, I got really interested in crypto-zoology and tried to come up with stories revolving around them.  They never worked out, but I always tried to slip the Black Dogs into them.  The reason is because the thought of running into a large, black dog at night gave me chills.  It wasn’t even the idea of them being aggressive, but they came off as being a source of fear.  They are omens of death, which helps that.  Maybe part of it is that I always imagined they looked like Great Danes or Rottweilers.
  10. Jackalope–  I was sitting here thinking of so many monsters and not being sure which to end the list on.  Then, I remembered this one that gets looked at as a joke at times.  It’s a rabbit with antlers, which doesn’t seem that dangerous or even monstrous.  This appeals to my own habit of creating beasts by slapping animal parts together until I’m satisfied.  Makes me believe that I’m carrying on the human tradition of making monsters.

Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Social Media-

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Links etc

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

Character Interview – Clyde the Vampire #Fantasy

CHARACTER NAME:  Clyde

  • Tell us a little about yourself:

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  I’m a vampire.  Not the kind you’re thinking of, but a species called a Dawn Fang.  In fact, I’m the first one due to this thing called the Great Cataclysm.  It washed over the world and turned my execution into a rebirth type of thing.  Now, I’m faster, stronger, and immune to the sun.  A few accidents later and I realized I could make more of my kind, which resulted in me creating a kingdom called Nytefall.  I’ve been leading the Dawn Fangs for a few decades now and it doesn’t get any easier.  Running a gang of vampiric thieves is one thing.  Now, I have to run a kingdom in the face of a civil war, sun-worshipping priests, hunters, usurpers, and all manner of enemies.  The worst part is that I can’t kill all of them if I want to prove to mortals that Dawn Fangs aren’t monsters.  Not that I haven’t considered it.

  • How did you end up in the situation you’re currently in?

The mess I’m in is rather complicated.  As far as I know, I haven’t done anything to anger this vampire hunter.  He calls himself Alastyre and keeps ripping the heads off vampires.  Swears he’s the one who’s going to kill.  Scary part is that he might not be wrong since he’s the strongest enemy I’ve ever faced.  Nobody else has managed to match my power and primal brutality like this guy.  So, I’m going to have to do something I haven’t done in over one hundred years.  I have to train and get stronger in order to stop this maniac from killing my people and destroying my kingdom.

  • Do you believe in monsters?

Of course.  I am one.  Don’t go thinking all monsters are heartless beasts that can only destroy.  Sure, that’s basically the definition, but that way of thinking is why Dawn Fangs are having trouble.  We are vampires, which makes us monsters.  Yet, we’re able to live like mortals, so we’re in the middle.  Personally, I think any species can be seen as a monster in certain situations.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be?

I guess you could say that I do.  Hard to tell since I use illusions to trick people, especially in battle or when I’m stealing.  Guess you could say that my moral code depends on who I’m dealing with.  If I’m facing an honourable person then I’ll act the same.  Pit me against a jerk and I’ll do whatever it takes to either kill them or knock them down a few thousand pegs.  One constant rule I have is that you don’t draw children into your fights.  They can join when they grow up, but let them be kids before that time.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

I’ve proven that I would on several occasions.  Not only for the woman I love, but my friends too.  They’re my family and I’m going to protect them with this great power I’ve been given.  In return, they watch my back and make sure I don’t surrender to the monster in my soul.  Guess that desire to retain my humanity makes the whole killing for loved ones rather strange.  It makes sense if you’re a vampire.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Tough one here because you can only do this once.  It would have to be a very specific situation.  My sacrifice would need to result in my family being safe for the rest of their existence.  Otherwise, I’d get myself killed and they’d still be in danger, which means I made a mistake.

  • How do you define ‘heroism?’

Heroism is the ability to stand by your convictions and defend others.  It’s very easy to change your mind or abandon people to save your own skin.  In fact, I’d say most people do this once they’re challenged.  Those with heroism ignore their own survival instinct to make the world a better place.  Although, to be honest, I don’t have that much use for the mortal version of heroism.  For a vampire, it’s closer to having the ability to control your destructive tendencies for the good of your people.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset?

I would have to go with my illusions, which work off my cunning.  Sure, I can shatter mountains with my fists.  My Lord’s Rage allows me to get even stronger at the cost of my self-control.  Those work for slaughtering enemies and physical obstacles, but they can be undermined.  My illusions are much more difficult to get around and they create opportunities for my strength to be used.  I can create decoys, false attacks, or mask my true form to confuse my enemies.  That and it’s simply fun to mess with people.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell)?

This is the big question.  In fact, it’s the reason I’m on this ridiculous training quest while my friends are trapped with Alastyre.  I need to figure out my greatest weakness in order to overcome it.  After decades of never feeling threatened, I can’t imagine what it would be.  Could be overconfidence, but I’m trying really hard to stay humble while I rule a kingdom.  I really wonder why people can’t just show up and tell me the answer here.

  • Do you believe in god(s)?

Definitely.  I come from Windemere, which has active gods.  There’s a whole pantheon that lives on an island and watches the rest of us.  They have this rule against physically interfering in events because of past mistakes.  Actually, I recently had my first god encounter.  The guy was a jerk and I’d have punched his face in if I didn’t think he’d smite me.

  • Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?

Yes to both quests.  I believe I will find a way to become stronger and defeat Alastyre.  There’s no reason it wouldn’t happen since I always find a way to win.  I need to be patient and think hard about the problem.  That or beat up whatever’s in my path until they give me what I need.

My other quest is the big one.  I want to prove that Dawn Fangs can live amongst mortals without posing a danger.  This is possible since we can eat regular food and drink blood without killing.  The biggest hurdle is that we’re still vampires, so people see us as monsters.  Doesn’t help that we have a civil war going on between Nytefall and those who wish to stay in the shadows.  Once I get that cleared up, the big quest will be nothing more than a simple test of patience.

  • What do you think of your author/creator?

He’s got a pretty good imagination, but I have a major grievance.  It took the moron about 15 years to get to my series.  He pretended to be me in this imagination game for about a year, but then shelved me for nearly half of his life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m happy that he’s given me the spotlight, but I waited so long and I can see that my time isn’t going to be as long as that of his previous heroes.  We’re definitely going to have to chat once he goes to bed.

For the author:

Books in which this character appears:

War of Nytefall Series–  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KBFS2LK

  • Loyalty
  • Lost
  • Rivalry
  • Eradication
  • Ravenous
  • Savagery

Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Social Media

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Links etc

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

The War of Nytefall – Savagery #Vampires #Fantasy #Adventure – Book Spotlight

Title:  War of Nytefall: Savagery

Author:  Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre:  Fantasy, Vampires, Action Adventure

Main character description (short):

In the magical world of Windemere, Clyde was your average vampire thief who ran a gang of criminals.  Then, the Great Cataclysm struck in the middle of his execution and transformed him into a new breed of monster.  Able to retain his strength in the sun and possessing a heartbeat, Clyde realized he could pass as mortal.  He also learned that he could turn old-world vampires into what would come to be known as Dawn Fangs.  For years, he has defended the hidden kingdom of Nytefall as he waits for the day vampires and mortals can coexist.  It doesn’t help that he really enjoys fighting and keeps looking for trouble.

Synopsis:

After years of defending Nytefall and the Dawn Fangs from all enemies, Clyde may have met his ultimate challenge.  Matching the destructive vampire in power and ferocity, Alastyre the hunter is the first to make him feel fear.  Before he knows what is happening, Clyde has been driven from his home while his friends remain trapped with this new threat.  His only hope is to find a way to become stronger and return to reclaim his kingdom.  Yet, how can a monster who splits mountains with a single blow become more powerful?

Brief Excerpt:

The instant the longbow clatters on the floor, Clyde and Alastyre vanish for a moment and reappear on opposite sides of the courtyard. The force from their failed strikes create matching blasts of air and they whirl around in unison to face each other once more. Another charge results in the combatants crashing together, the shockwave sending a circular wall of sand billowing away from them. Palms pressing against each other, they appear to be evenly matched until Clyde is struck by a swift headbutt. Having been caught by surprise, his back-leg bends and he loses the leverage that was preventing him from being forced away. With his knee on the ground, he is bent backwards and left open for another shot to the face. It is only by increasing his Lord’s Rage that he avoids falling and musters the strength to shove Alastyre to the side. He dislocates his wrists to free his hands from the hunter’s grip and creates four illusions of himself to gain time to heal. With his own body masked to blend into the nearest boulder, the Dawn Fang crouches in order to pounce on the first opportunity. Instead, he has to leap away when his enemy ignores the decoys and punches exactly where he is lurking.

“I’ve studied your tactics, so your tricks are pointless,” Alastyre says as he throws the cracked boulder over his shoulder.

“Guess I’ll have to take you seriously then,” the Dawn Fang retorts with a grin.

Why should readers buy this book?

The only reason to buy this book is because it’s a fun adventure.  I write to entertain with humour, exciting action scenes, and colourful characters.  Like my other books, War of Nytefall: Savagery is pure, relaxing escapism.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

 

Forbidden – Blog Tour and Giveaway – Fantasy Romance, Fairytale Retelling

Forbidden: A Red Riding Hood Retelling
by Adrienne Woods
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
This is not The Little Red Riding Hood we grew up with.
Supernatural races—vampires, werewolves, witches, you name it—all exist.
Eighteen-year-old Rue Chaperon and her family belong to an elite hunting society, the S.H.A—Supernatural Hunting Association—and what the Chaperons hunt best are werewolves. When a new hunting group convinces the Chaperons to team up with them and try a different approach to hunting the supernatural by taking out the Alpha, it sounded like a great idea.
Taking out the Alpha meant they’d eradicate the entire race.
Piece of cake, right?
But nothing is ever easy when you’re a hunter.
A Little Red Riding Hood retelling with a spin that will make you believe not all fairytales were meant for children.
Adrienne is a USA Today Bestselling author.
She’s been in love with books all her life and knew at the age of 13 that she is going to be a writer one day.
That dream happened ten years ago and she started to pen her stories down on paper. Firebolt, her debut novel, was released 4 years after that, and she hasn’t stopped since.
Now she almost has 15 novels under her belt, and it doesn’t look like she is going to stop soon.
Go to her books to discover her series and those that still need to come.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon

The Cyan Huntress – Blog Tour

The Cyan Huntress
Prophecy of Caerleon Book 1
by Krystal Pena
Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance
She will avenge her husband’s death, even if she must kill every knight in Caerleon to learn who betrayed him.
Anwyn thought she would finally enjoy comfort and happiness when she married a traveling psychic–that is, until Uthyr Pendragon unleashed a war on all magic-users and had her new husband burned alive.
She’s determined to wreak her revenge, until a Druid boy’s prophecy convinces her to put aside her personal vendetta and learn to hunt the ones who want her dead–harder to do when she’s captured and taken to Caerleon to be tried as a sorceress.
Now, if she can escape with the help of Caradoc, a man whose secrets rival Anwyn’s, she will have to fulfill her vow of revenge while on the run and attempting to find the one leader who can unite three broken kingdoms under a single banner.
Assuming, of course, she can protect herself from burning at the stake, safeguard her heart from the enigmatic Caradoc, and complete her training as the Cyan Huntress.
Fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, and Laura Thalassa will love the blend of Arthurian legend and exciting action in this romantic paranormal fantasy adventure!
**Pre-order for only .99 cents!!**
USA Today Bestselling author Krystal Pena resides with her four children near Boston, MA. She writes PNR/UF and fantasy, and enjoys writing stories about strong women who overcome the greatest obstacles to achieve their dreams or goals. Many of her characters reflect her and the adversities she has overcome, which she wants to relay in her writing to empower the young women of generations to come. Many of her stories have roots in ancient ideals and folklore, and she loves hiding alternate meanings or symbolism in her writing.
Aside from writing, Krystal enjoys photography, archery, horseback riding and MMA. She loves history and art, and frequents historical sites and art galleries in her spare time. Above all else, she loves being at home, baking and cooking with her children, visiting her family and reading bedtime stories.
She works as a personal assistant to other authors by day and writes late into the night, a strong cup of coffee always within reach.
Krystal is also one-half of the pen name KM McKenna, which she shares with NYT bestselling author Margo Bond Collins in writing YA/NA fantasy. She enjoys working alongside Margo as both co-author and PA.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Enter the Giveaway Here!
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Dragon Blood – Blog Tour, Giveaway and Guest Post

Dragon Blood
Draco Sang Trilogy Book 1
by Mary Beesley
Genre: YA Fantasy
Cal, a hungry sixteen-year-old sick of mining the sand, wants to fit in and make his ma proud, but instead, his violent tendencies bring shame. And the truth. He’s the son of a Draco Sang. Carriers of the Dragon’s blood, the Draco Sang transform into half human half beast as they mature into adults. And if Cal can’t control the dark impulses of his dragon blood, he’ll grow into a man-beast—and he’ll be hunted.
Ferth, son of a Draco Sang chief and last of his class to grow claws, needs to prove his worth to his father, or he’ll be sent to the slave house. Hiding his human heart, he joins the army headed south to conquer the fertile human lands.
Neither brother feels they belong. Cal is human, fighting against becoming a beastly Draco Sang, while Ferth is struggling to push back his humanity and transform into a worthy Draco warrior.
Before ever meeting in open battle, Ferth is sent to kill Cal. But when he learns they are brothers, he must decide which loyalty is stronger, blood or country. And whether to finally give in to his humanity.
Mary Beesley believes humans are born to create, and promotes creativity in all its beautiful forms. She’s learning calligraphy and watercolor. She loves exploring our magnificent planet and finding all the best places to eat around the world. But nothing beats coming home and sharing a pot of slow-simmered minestrone and homemade sourdough with friends and family. If she’s not in her writing chair, you’ll probably find her hiking in the Utah mountains with her husband and four children.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon giftcard – 2 winners!

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

Leigh Bardugo, Robin McKinley, Naomi Novik, Sarah Maas, JK Rowling, Madeline Miller, Ken Follett, VE Schwab, Brent Weeks, Jane Austen, Brandon Sanderson…. I must stop, but it is so hard. There are so many great authors out there!

What is your writing process? Every book has been a little different, just like humans, I think each of my books comes with a personality and unique challenges.

Dragon Blood is a trilogy, and I did more outlining on that project than any other because I needed to be very organized to plan three books ahead. But with Betting on Love that’s coming out in 2021, I saw in my mind a scene from it and just went with it with very few notes. With the book, To Unite a Realm, I saw an idea I wanted to explore. I wondered what it would be like to marry someone you hated and what kind of pressure would a person need to be under to accept that kind of marriage.

I have another manuscript that I’m working on that is an adult fantasy, and it’s the hardest draft I’ve ever worked on. This story is big and important and it’s really testing my patience and commitment and creativity. I’ve left it and come back to it three or four times now and I’m still not done with the first draft, but I think in the end it will be that much better for the work and effort.

Usually I like to buzz through the entire first draft start to finish within about three months. I live and breathe and sleep the story, and it’s so much easier for me to stay deep in it than to come in and out and try to keep finding the voice and narrative. Now that I have deadlines and edits due, it’s harder for me to carve out exclusive time to one book, but I’m learning and adjusting.

I will say that with each manuscript, I’ve had to see where I was going before I felt comfortable starting. I don’t usually have a full-fledged outline, but I know several important plot points I’m aiming for and that helps the draft flow. I usually have a notebook full of ideas and have spent months just thinking about the characters and the scenes before I ever start on the first draft.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? I have to spend a good bit of time with my main characters walking around my head before I start writing, but they are far from fully formed until after I start writing and truly seeing them act and come to life. Secondary characters get even less prewriting meditation time so it’s a lot of learning who my characters are as I write and they start to do this. It’s especially exciting when they start to do things on their own and unexpected and interesting things happen.

Do you see writing as a career? YES!

Do you read and if so what is your favorite genre? I read as much as I can. I think it is one of the best ways to improve craft and creativity. I read all the genres—except horror and erotica. My favorites are fantasy and historical fiction, but I love so much that it was hard for me to even narrow it down to those two.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? Silence. Sometimes if I am really all over the place, I’ll put on some classical music to pull myself together, but I just like to really focus in silence. I very difficult for me to draft when my husband or kids are home making noise.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time? If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose? Harry Potter. Lol. Is there any other answer to that? But I also thought of the Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? That’s a range as wide as 5 months to 5 years.

The Light Beyond the Storm – Large Print Edition

The Third Edition Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I is now available in Large Print format – currently on Amazon only – but should aggregate to the Barnes and Noble online store in a few weeks.

In a dark world where magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

18 rated. Amazon, Audible, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and more on the link below.

In a dark world beset by tyranny and lies can love and magic entwined bring freedom? A dark adult fantasy with sizzling sorcery, romance and revenge.

Amazon.Com Large print
Amazon UK large print

Temple of Eternity – Blog Tour – YA Fantasy

Temple of Eternity
Bobby Ether Series Book 2
by R. Scott Boyer
Genre: YA Fantasy

Deep in the rain forests of Guatemala, an ancient Mayan temple holds a mythical secret. The legendary Fountain of Youth lies within, but not all myths are fairy tales. The temple ruins have been seized by the Core, a sinister cult determined to unlock the mysteries of immortality.
When their captured friends are spotted near the temple, Bobby and his cousin Jinx must journey into the dark heart of the jungle to save them. Harnessing their extraordinary abilities, the boys will undertake an epic quest to fulfill a centuries-old prophecy.
Cut off from their allies, Bobby and Jinx combat supernatural barriers, raging rivers, and deadly beasts. They’ll face savage natives, vengeful ghosts, and ruthless mercenaries who can conjure a person’s darkest fears. Past and present will collide, with the power of eternity on the line. Can Bobby fulfill the prophecy and lay the temple’s spirits to rest? If not, Bobby and his friends may become permanent inhabitants of the Temple of Eternity.

Add to Goodreads
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Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy
Bobby Ether Series Book 1
When sixteen-year-old Bobby Ether is abducted and brought to the secluded Jade Academy in Tibet, monks teach him and other special students how to tap into their Anima–the universal energy that connects all living things. But the headmistress of the academy is secretly exploiting the students, looking for genetic triggers to create a new breed of humans with metaphysical abilities. As his powers increase, Bobby is thrust into a cesspool of conspiracy, lies, and betrayal. A jade amulet left by his clairvoyant grandfather may provide answers, but what exactly is his family’s connection to this mysterious place?
Can Bobby master his talents in time to uncover the truth? If not, his fate–and the fate of the entire Jade Academy–may be sealed.
**Only .99 cents!!**
Scott Boyer grew up in Santa Monica, CA and graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1996. In 2008, he became fascinated with the idea of blending young adult fantasy with new-age/spiritual fiction and spent the next six years crafting his first novel, Bobby Ether and the Academy, which won critical acclaim for blending Eastern spiritual philosophies with a fun, fast-paced adventure style.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$75 Amazon gift card and copy of Book One: Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy

a Rafflecopter giveaway



British Legends – Goram and Vincent #Giants #Bristol Myth

The South West of Britain has many striking geological features – The rivers Severn and Avon, the Avon Gorge not least among them. As with many of such wonders there are myths aplenty surrounding their creation (nothing as mundane as ice – ages, glacial flow and tectonic movement). Giants were a common creature often blamed of tasked with the creation of these natural phenomena, and if the amount of myths about them are anything to go by the giants were plentiful, drunken and of a mind to fighting.

Here is the tale of Goram and Ghyston-Vincent – two brother giants who have left their legacy in the culture of Bristol, if not, in fact the scenery.

Goram and Ghyston (Vincent)

The most widespread version of this myth claims the Giant brothers Goram and Ghyston (later known as Vincent) were both enamoured of the lady Avona (who bears the name of the local river – the Avon – which is a story in itself). Avona offered herself to whichever one could drain the lake which once existed between Bradford-on-Avon (neighbouring county of Wiltshire), and Bristol.

Taking up the challenge Goram decided to dig a channel through the limestone hills via Henbury, and Vincent opted for a route just south of Clifton.

Goram, (in one version) finding the work hard and hot downed prediguos quantities of ale (did he take it with him? Do Giants have public houses or make their own?) and fell asleep in his favourite stone chair.

Ghyston-Vincent – the better planner – paced himself and completed his channel – leaving is with the narrow gorge at Hazel Brook, and the Avon Gorge, through which the River Avon now flows. On completion the waters roared into the Severn, leaving only a trickle for the Hazel Brook.

Upon waking the Giant Goram, was upset at losing the affections of the Lady Avona, and stamped his foot in a pit – leaving the Giant’s Footprint in the woodland above the Henbury Gorge, in what is now the Blaise Estate. He was so upset he threw himself into the Severn Estuary, leaving behind Steep Holm island (his head) and Flat Holm island (his shoulder).

Goram’s lake, near Henbury, was supposedly created when Goram stamped his giant foot, and the smaller lake is Goram’s Soapdish. Goram’s Chair is comprised of two flat topped walls of solid rock sticking out from the cliff-face – they look a lot like the arms of a comfy chair.

It’s not surprising he lost – it sounds like he’d been busy creating these other features as well as wooing the ladies.

Ghyston-Vincent wed Avona and named the gorge after her.

In some versions Goram was lazy and stopped for drinkies…

Other versions of the tale

A second version of the legend says the brothers were working together and Goram fell asleep and was felled by an accident blow from Ghyston-Vincent’s pickaxe. A variation of this says the giants were sharing a pickaxe for the work, and Goram was slain when he was resting when his brother threw him the axe. Giants throwing tools and rocks to or at one another are common British myths to explain monoliths.

Ghyston-Vincent then completed the work alone, going on to complete other stone-works such as the Stanton Drew Stone Circles in remorse and later returned to his cave and died from grief and exhaustion.

Yet another version states only Goram built the Gorge and there is no mention of Vincent. Goram, having completed the work fell over an iron-age barrow and plunged into the Severn Estuary.

A similar legend tells of a giant named Gorm threw rocks at his rival, and one particularly large one fell short, thus becoming Druid Stoke.

Goram was buried beneath the barrow tumulus at Charnborough Hill – although there is not much left of the barrow now.

Transmission of the legend

The oldest version known is found in Britannia (1586) by William Camden, later reworked by Thomas Chatterton writing as Rowley the monk. Another version appears in Robert Atkyns History of Gloucestershire) in 1712.

The name Vincent may reflect that at the narrowest point of the Avon Gorge there was an ancient hermitage and chapel dedicated to St Vincent. In another version of the story Vincent is known as Ghyston, which is the name of the whole cliff-face of the Avon Gorge from at least the mid-fifteenth century. Vincent’s cave is also known as Ghyston Cave, or the Giant’s Hole.

The name Goram may have come from Iseult’s father, the King of Ireland, in the early romance of Tristran and Iseult. ‘Gorm’ is Irish for blue or ‘dark-skinned.

‘Vincent’ as a first name arrived in about the 13th Century, and became popular as a result of St Vincent the Deacon, however it is unclear whether the Clifton hermit was called Vincent and became associated with the saint, or that St Vincent became known in Bristol due to trading links with Portugal and Spain (St Vincent is the patron saint of Lisbon and vintners).

Legacy of the Legend

Blaise Castle and Estate use the legend of Goram widely, including hosting a funfair bearing Goram’s name. There is a Giant Goram pub in the area, a smokehouse restaurant called the Goram and Vincent, and even an Enterprise level E-commerce company bearing the name.

There is also a website and collection of kids’ books about Goram and Vincent/Ghyston.

There are walking tours and other tourist attractions based on the myth.

There is a carved Giant’s head at Ashton Gate, and in the Middle Ages a turfwork portrayed Ghyston’s head. Ghyston’s Cliff is in Avon Gorge.

A bit about the area

The Avon Gorge is a mile and half long and runs through a limestone ridge about 1.5 miles west of the centre of Bristol. It’s been used in the defence of the city. It is spanned by the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The gorge spanned 700 feet wide and 300 feet deep.

The gorge is mainly limestone and sandstone – it is believed to have been caused by glaciation during the Anglian Ice Age, and the limestone carries fossils from the Carboniferous Age 350m years ago. The Iron Age Dobunni tribe are believed to have dwelled in the area and there are the remains of three Iron-Age hill forts. (A variation of the myth held that the Giant Ghyst built the forts).

There are over twenty rare plant species that grow in the gorge and two unique species of trees, the rare peregrine falcons have returned to nest there since the 1990s. Much of it is a Site of Scientific Special Interest.

Check out the post from Anthony Adolph – broadcaster who gives a wonderful account of the stories. https://anthonyadolph.co.uk/somerset-giants/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goram_and_Vincent

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/leigh-woods/features/the-avon-gorge-in-medieval-mythology

The Tainted Truth Blog Tour and Guest Post – Fantasy

Meet author Nathalie M.L. Römer

 Hello, everyone, my name is Nathalie and I’m a expat Brit who lives and works In Sweden (the country not the American city). I originate from the Netherlands originally where I was born, and I grew up in Amsterdam. (Fun fact, walking to school involved walking past the daytime versions of the “Red Light District” windows). My journey to authordom began originally with my ferocious bookworm addiction of devouring as many books as I could as I was growing up. My advice immediately is for kids to be as interested in reading books as early as possible.

I would typically read at least TEN books a day, and I’m not talking children’s books here though I’d read them too, but books by such authors as Isaac Asimov (still my favourite author and I’m excited for the upcoming Foundation movie), Tolkien, Georges Simenon and Jules Verne (I’d read the adult edition rather than the children’s edition of his books). My imagination was ignited by reading about so many different worlds and places, though circumstance caused me to only begin writing in 2014 (pesky bad marriage, annoying ex-husband getting in the way of creativity and all that sort of stuff). But when I began writing I realised that I had never forgotten any of the many stories I’d been dreaming up in my mind. One such story is the story in my series of The Wolf Riders of Keldarra, though the original premise did change somewhat as time went by…

I glance over at the suggested questions Silver Dagger Book Tours sent me and the first one is to tell something unique or quirky. I’ve often enough in my life been told I’m an empathic person who cares about others. I guess that’s not a unique thing but when I think back at what I’ve done throughout my life my mind settles on one event that has made me who I am.

The event is something that could have ended up tragic if I hadn’t acted as fast as I did. I knew I cared about others when I made an effort to rescue a toddler who got washed out to sea. I rushed to the child, got her from the water, and was already administering CPR and all necessary actions to save her. Her parents realised then what was going on. I still remember the mother’s words to this day, “Never forget what you did here today. You were a hero. You showed you cared for a child you never met before.” You need not do something massive to stand out from the crowd to “shine.” You can do a simple thing to show everyone you care about others. Though in Book 2 of my series, Stolen Truth, I decided to reverse the event somewhat, making the “rescue” spiritual rather than physical, there a scene in the book (available for pre-order on Amazon) that is a direct reflection of what had happened to me.

Well, even someone supposedly empathic can have her pet peeves. The biggest pet peeve I have is when I see people not wanting to get along with one another. I see us all as connected as we have one world to live on (so far and for the foreseeable future) and therefore we should all act in a way like we’re the hero. The best example of an explanation for this sort of behaviour comes from Melissa Benoist (never met her but she’s definitely on my bucket list of a “hero” I’d like to meet one day), who has said – and I’m not quoting verbatim: “We all are the heroes of the world. Girls come to me telling me that Supergirl has made them realise they matter no matter who they are.”

I kind of have the same approach with Marrida in The Wolf Riders of Keldarra (and had the approach before I knew of what Melissa Benoist said; she said it in 2019). Marrida in my story goes from a naive girl who knows very little about her world to someone who becomes an inspiration to others, i.e. a hero, and tells the people she meets they matter. A real hero, therefore, is ANY person who tells others they matter no matter who they are or where they’re from. So that means you can be a hero by simply being kind and loving to others, which then makes you my hero.

The drive to be an author comes from something a teacher once told me: “You’ll either be an artist or an author.” Before I became an author I did freelance work creating advert graphics (I guess that’s the artist part of the teacher’s statement fulfilled). As I decided in 2014 to embrace the other part of the statement that’s when I became an author. But whatever the creativity is, you become creative the moment you think about something you want to create, whether it is art, stories, music, movies or YouTube videos, theatre acting, costume design, or any other creativity. The ancient Homo Sapiens with their cave paintings teach us that by nature humans are creative. We invented writing. We invented mathematics. We invented engineering to create tools and later machines. It’s the first time you think: “What if I create…” that’s when you are a creative person. For me the “What if I create…” was when I was just four years old, created a drawing of a girl with a skirt (I still own the drawing) and then went into a lengthy tangent explaining to the girl beside me how drawing her art with just four fingers, opposed to me doing it with five, was likely the moment my storytelling skill was born. I may have begun writing my first novel over decades after that day as a toddler but I began being a creator of stories on that day in late 1973.

This leads into what I watch for added inspiration. I love movies that have a larger than life setting, which I commonly have in my books too, especially fantasy or science-fiction. When I write I have the movies of Lord of the Rings in my mind, where both the books and the movies offer the ultimate “hero’s journey.” Which coincidentally, right now, is my all-time favourite movies. But that may get eclipsed if either the movie Foundation, the reimagined Dune or any other movie comes along. I watch science fiction movies as they present to me the chance to see an imagined future. I watch fantasy movies for escapism. Personally, I’d like to see The Wolf Riders of Keldarra on the television screen though.

And finally, I’ll end this essay that gives you an insight in who I am with telling you that my “muse” is the plush doll of a WOLF that sits on my desk. Wolves are my spirit animal, and I have a high belief in such things as a Pagan. I’m someone who feels connected to nature, which is why almost all my stories always will feature animals in one fashion or another, especially wolves…

I support the Wolf Conservation Centre (https://nywolf.org/) as my chosen charity because of my love of wolves. Maybe you can show them your support too.

Tainted Truth
The Wolf Riders of Keldarra Book 1
by Nathalie M.L. Römer
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Begin your journey in the land of Keldarra…
It’s a land on the brink of war. Who wins it depends on which side is stronger: truth or the lies of thousands of years of deception and manipulation. But whose truth? What lies? That’s for you to find out in the first book of this nine-book series!
When truth and lies have been used as a weapon. When you fight an enemy from the past using lies, and truth becomes the weapon with which you fight that enemy.
The story takes you to an ancient land under siege. The history of Keldarra is long but forgotten. A distant past when someone knew the Wolf Riders would rise. They also knew they would come to an end.
The Truth: Words spoken.
Still spoken to speak a lie.
Marrida. Alagur.
Each individual has a reason for wanting change. But can the reasons co-exist without clashing? Can truth prevail when each of them exists because of lies? When they discover similarity it reveals a hidden past, a past that means so much more than either knew.
**Coming Soon!**
Stolen Truth
The Wolf Riders of Keldarra Book 2
**Release Date: Dec 1, 2020**

 

Truth of a Betrayer
The Wolf Riders of Keldarra Book 3
**Release Date: Aug 24, 2021**

Nathalie is a published author, based in Sweden, and born and bred in the Netherlands, with roots squarely planted culturally in Britain and Curaçao. She primarily writes epic fantasy, futuristic science fiction, mysteries, romance with a twist, and is now venturing into fairytale retellings, dystopian stories and much more (just keep visiting to see where stories take you and the author alike). And Nathalie describes her style of writing as unapologetically wordy, because she has discovered that the best part of writing is weaving a world that’s interesting to explore, to discover its back story, to meet its people, and find out what makes them tick. Nathalie weaves each world with her own experiences into the stories, and will touch on various causes and situations that speak to her…

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Signed Copy of the Book – 2 winners! ,
$10 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner