Category Archives: My magic

Destiny of Angels is on promotion! Last day!

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Download Destiny of Angels today for just 99p/99c!

You can read Destiny of Angels anywhere…. or even…

Here’s a brief synopsis of Destiny of Angels and some of the characters you will meet in the book…

Traumatic events in her childhood, send Angel Parsons upon a different life path.

Fifteen years later, with the help of her new ‘family,’  Angel confronts the perpetrators of her misery. Rather than seeking revenge and to free herself from her past, Angel uses the skills she has acquired to offer her persecutors the chance of redemption.

Laugh at  Angel’s partner Aidan, slim, blond, chiselled, a landscape gardener and former stripper, as he attempts to form a friendship without sex with the orange tanned, surgically enhanced Tiffany.

Cry as Eli, a big, triathlon competing hunk, tries to dissuade Clare, who is consumed by jealousy and hate, away from her life of prostitution.

Enjoy the struggles of Sophia, a slim, smart, sassy young woman who runs her own company, carrying on the philanthropic work of her granddad, as she shows Justin, a confident, cocky, player, an honest, less egotistic way of life and Maddy, a petite, doll-like young woman who runs her own events company, who attempts to steer Vincent, cool, hard and unfeeling, away from money as his driving force.

Smile as Zac, a broad, dark, quiet man who runs his own fitness centre befriends the sad, overweight Danielle and turns her world upside down and Jed, a rugby playing Adonis, who runs a security firm and helps Aidan expand his business into vertical gardens, gives Rob, a sad, lonely, overweight single dad, a second chance to be a success and he flies with it.

Open your mind to the possibilities of magic, levels of consciousness, angels, demons and parallel universes as Angel is guided by Lilith, the dark goddess, in her quest for closure on the past.

Will Angel fulfil her destiny and put her past behind her or will the demons she unleashes consume herself and her ‘family’ and leave her empty and alone once more?

Today is your final chance to download Destiny of Angels, First book in the Lilith Trilogy at the amazing price of 99p/99c!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

And there is a sequel! Wrath of Angels is available too, while book three is in production.

I do hope you enjoy your magical read, and if you still haven’t had enough of a magical fix, why not tune into my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, for short stories told to you on my Welsh riverbank https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

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Destiny of Angels is on promotion! Why read Destiny of Angels?

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Destiny of Angels is on promotion at just 99p/99c!

Destiny of Angels is the first book in the Lilith Trilogy, and my first published novel. A reader summed it up perfectly in their review…

‘a revenge/ redemption story with a spiritual twist, where the mundane and the mystical intertwine.’

Destiny of Angels isn’t a fantasy novel. The modern characters are real, as are the rituals and Angel Parson’s magic, where she follows the paths of the witches Qabalah. Destiny of Angels is Witchlit; modern, contemporary magical writing, with a heroine-centred narrative focussing on the trials and tribulations of the protagonist, Angel Parsons.

While writing the novel, I imagined Salma Hayek playing the lead role of Angel; a beautiful, strong yet vulnerable and feminine young woman.

Here’s an extract for your enjoyment…

Seven figures stood in the circle, identical in pure white shifts and new flat leather sandals. Each wore a moonstone on a leather thong about their necks bar one, who wore a citrine flecked with azure, as the sweet scent of jasmine and exhilarating ginseng invaded their senses. A single voice and then the joined chorus protected their work and raised the power.

            Seven figures stood on fine white sand, the depth of night around them dappled by a host of glittering stars. A crescent moon appeared and they hailed and greeted the goddess Levanah.

She descended to the horizon where she spoke to them. “Welcome worthy travellers to the sphere of Yesod, the Treasure House of Images. Here, everything that is to manifest on earth must first emerge and gain strength. Every dream, every wish and desire must first become an image and be given form here with me. I am the Force before the Form, the Divine Source of all being, who succours humankind and takes care of its needs.”

            Levanah paused, smiling down, her pure white hair glistening with stars as it enfolded her naked body and her eyes, the bluest cerulean, twinkling like planets. “As individuals, you’ve been brought together and lead to this point. You’ve been strengthened and tutored within a family unit, relying on each other for nurture and support. From this point on, whilst travelling the astral planes beyond this realm, you return to your individual status. Guidance and learning will be different for each one of you. Within you exists a special image, now in your unconscious but soon to be made conscious. Be aware of your dreams and you will know. No longer will you view the earth as you once saw it, all things separate and disconnected from each other. You’ll see not just the Form but the Force that inspired it and, as you strive on the plane of Malkuth to make sense of these wonders in the face of criticism, disbelief and unkindness remember, you have seen Yesod.”

            Dark and murky water crashed and flowed all around and above the circle, smashing and mixing and wallowing in a mass of uncertainty. Above the thunderous waves they heard anguished  moans, screams and cries and they held each other’s hands tighter, seeking comfort from the touch. Levanah rose out of the chaos aboard her crescent train. Silver and glistening in the midst of the darkness, whispering her purity over the bedlam, she calmed and cleansed the waters and they quietened and stilled.

            Angel lay in the centre, on the hub, as the wheel began to turn and she rose up into the sky, past the earth and the universe, on into space. There she lay with all that is around her. She saw planets and stars and, as she watched, silver threads began to join one to another and then, each and every one to her and as each thread attached, she felt a tingle or a buzz and on and on, the threads crossed and joined and soon, space was dark no more, as every planet and star she could see and all the dark matter between were connected.

If you’re looking for a magical read, a ‘no punches held back’ kind of book about relationships and the human struggle to make sense of the world we live in, you’ll enjoy Destiny of Angels.

Destiny of Angels has a host of characters, including Angel’s friends…

Laugh at  Angel’s partner Aidan, slim, blond, chiselled, a landscape gardener and former stripper, as he attempts to form a friendship without sex with the orange tanned, surgically enhanced Tiffany.

Cry as Eli, a big, triathlon competing hunk, tries to dissuade Clare, who is consumed by jealousy and hate, away from her life of prostitution.

Enjoy the struggles of Sophia, a slim, smart, sassy young woman who runs her own company, carrying on the philanthropic work of her granddad, as she shows Justin, a confident, cocky, player, an honest, less egotistic way of life and Maddy, a petite, doll-like young woman who runs her own events company, who attempts to steer Vincent, cool, hard and unfeeling, away from money as his driving force.

Smile as Zac, a broad, dark, quiet man who runs his own fitness centre befriends the sad, overweight Danielle and turns her world upside down and Jed, a rugby playing Adonis, who runs a security firm and helps Aidan expand his business into vertical gardens, gives Rob, a sad, lonely, overweight single dad, a second chance to be a success and he flies with it.

Open your mind to the possibilities of magic, levels of consciousness, angels, demons and parallel universes as Angel is guided by Lilith, the dark goddess, in her quest for closure on the past.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O/

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007OX5J8O

 

 

 

Life begins at fifty – Healthy life #13 – Why Vegan?

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This post documents my personal journey from being brought up as a meat eater by my parents to my ethical and health based choice to be counted as a Vegan. Everyone’s story is different. My reason for sharing my story is my inability to understand how a person can stop being a Vegan, if they’ve made a stand to be counted as one, and return to eating animal products. Let me tell you why…

I was born and brought up in a typical, ordinary household, where we had a roast dinner on Sunday, that also made up a dinner of cold meat, chips and peas on Monday, and the remnants added to the curry on Tuesday. As a child, I always disliked hot meat.

It wasn’t until I left home, bumped into an old friend at a wedding reception, that I learned there was an alternative to eating meat and fish. I was in a position to cook for myself, but didn’t know how, so I signed myself up for an evening class in vegetarian cookery. I chose to give up eating living creatures when I committed to being a vegetarian. It wasn’t easy. Though I rarely ate out, omelettes were the usual choice available at a restaurant. Over the years I built up a repertoire of delicious vegetarian meals, sharing recipes in the school playground if asked. At that time, I believed I was doing my best for animals, the human family and the planet by not eating meat and fish. I’d read as widely as I could (before the internet) about the huge swathes of land and water given over to producing beef that could feed the world, and I wanted to be part of a movement that had that as a goal.

Almost fifteen years later, with my life maxed out with stress, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In order to stop the pain, I needed to change my diet. With little guidance, I struggled to work out what was causing the problem. Further tests revealed I was intolerant to wheat and dairy, as well as a list of other foods. Wheat and dairy were the main culprits, causing most of my pain, yet I’d spent years cooking and perfecting recipes that regularly featured both (hence the problem), and I struggled to cope with the change. I continued to cook for my family, while eating very little in an attempt to keep my pain small too.

Bellydance saved my life. I joined in a class at the age of 40 with my daughter, then aged 9. I knew if I wanted to dance, I needed to eat. I began to learn to put meals together for myself without wheat and dairy.

It took me years to get the balance of foods ‘right’ in my body, and I tended to eat less, just to be on the safe side.

Five years ago my partner and I moved to Wales. Around this time, one of our sons switched from vegetarian to veganism. He pointed me in the direction of videos and books, explaining how damaging dairy can be on the body. He lives with arthritis, has done since he was twelve, and he decided to remove dairy from his diet. The inflammation in his joints reduced significantly and he felt a lot better, so my partner and I took a step in that direction; I gave up the goat’s cheese I occasionally ate and the Magnum ice lollies (made with skimmed milk powder that didn’t affect me as much), and my partner cut down on cheese. The biggest change was adding more green vegetables to our diet and making them a much bigger part of our plate share. Eldest son and his fiancee joined in the plant based eating, switching from eating meat to focussing on plants. Recipe swapping was prevalent, though the youngsters were so much freer with trying new ideas, making up recipes as they went along.

January 2018 my partner and I gave up smoking nicotine. The hormones in my body went ballistic. Weight landed around my middle, I felt weighed down, depressed and anxious. I took up walking regularly. In the time we’d been in Wales, we’d watched documentaries and Youtube videos about the environment, knowing a crisis was coming. We’d always done our best to recycle and make as few trips in the car as possible. By December 2018 it was evident that the climate crisis was upon us. Everyone needed to do their best.

I knew eating a whole food, plant based diet was best for my body. I now know it’s best for the planet too. I can’t proclaim to care about the amazing planet we live on, if I don’t stand up and be counted as a Vegan. I know Vegan means different things to different people; it must do, or the vloggers who can quit so easily were lying all along. I was a vegetarian; I am now a Vegan, and for me that means not consuming animal products or derivatives, but it also means I live my life caring about the causes of all my actions; from driving to a supermarket for only three items, to buying a bag of salad in a plastic bag. I need to think, and make choices not just for me. I’m not perfect. I have a long way to go, but it’s no longer a good enough excuse to say ‘but plastic is so convenient’ or ‘but I prefer drinking from a plastic straw’.

The new array of Vegan products in the supermarkets made to taste like meat, are a step in the right direction for all meat eaters to join in Meat Free Monday, but small steps need to be converted to big strides quickly. We need celebrities to get on board now. I was appalled to read Dr Michael Moseley’s articles on why he won’t be going Vegan or giving up meat, and even more disheartened to read in the comments the hateful abuse against vegans. It’s time we woke up to what is really happening to our world, or there won’t be a world to wake up to. It’s time to care. The time has gone to say ‘I’ll think about it’. We need to act now, so why not join me on my Vegan journey?

I’m excited! I’ve thousands of new recipes and food combinations to explore. Plant based food tastes good and it does you good! My energy levels have definitely increased since the beginning of this year, and my excess weight is disappearing. Check out the recipes on this website – put in ‘plant based’ or ‘healthy eating’ into the search box and away you go. All recipes are tried and tested, and my tips and alternatives are listed for your convenience.

We already do clothes swaps within our tribe….why not organise a similar one with your friends? Use local swap sites rather than buying new. Recycle items yourself….the inside of a washing machine makes a fabulous fire pit!

We can do this! Let’s join forces to save our planet.

 

Coming Soon! The Witch Lit Anthology!

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I’ve ‘met’ such a fabulous bunch of magical writers on the Witch Lit Facebook group, and four of us have worked together to produce an anthology of magical writing to be published at Beltane.

The wonderfully talented and creative Laura Perry edited this first edition. I interviewed her on the Witch Lit Podcast two weeks ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvwGxF6lQWA

Here’s the link to Laura’s original post, as she gives you a taste of what’s to come, and why we’re doing it. Enjoy!

http://www.lauraperryauthor.com/post/coming-soon-the-witch-lit-anthology

 

If you are a magical writer, or enjoy reading magical fiction, non-fiction, poetry and prose, join our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

 

 

 

 

April Inspiration

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With new life shooting up all over my riverbank, how can I not be inspired?

The willow has taken hold, and shiny lime green leaves reach for the sun. They’ve made a huge difference reducing the moisture on the bank (it used to be part of a leat running along our riverbank, over the road to the mill), and also sustaining its integrity, following the flooding swells we experienced last year.

We’ve planted over 100 tiny trees this year, with 60 little saplings getting a start in pots, still to put in.

Loki likes to accompany me down to the riverbank to help me write.

I’m delighted to announce I’ve almost reached the midway point of my tenth novel, the fifth book in the Lizzie Martin series, The Able Witch. Fancy a few lines? Having burned her hands rescuing Bilbo the dog after he knocked a candle over with his tail, this is the first time Lizzie has potted for a while…

Lizzie grasped the new lump of clay on her wheel. She missed Marsha. Into Lizzie’s mind arose the tanned, smiling face, and blue eyes sparkling with mischief, and then she thought of her own mother, Elsa, but she couldn’t pin down her features. With her eyes shut, she found herself walking the path to another world, but all was in darkness. Twitters, hoots and howls of fear and flight rose from the blackness of the forest. Strange eyes glowed. Vines, leaves and branches brushed against her body, snagging at her ankles, threatening to trip her. Grotesque shadows loomed out of the trees, into the clearing ahead. A roar echoed behind her and she turned. Slime, a dozen eyes, a mouth-like tunnel and rows of pointed teeth threatened to consume her.

“This isn’t real,” she whispered.

She opened her eyes and sat back from her wheel. The flowerpot was perfect, but the road to the land of the fae had changed. She removed the pot and picked up her coffee.

In fact, everything had changed in only a few months.  It was little wonder that the road to the underworld was no longer a pleasant one.

Today, there is no sunshine. The first of the bluebells are hiding, bending to the rain. It’s another great day to write a magical novel.

 

Making Save the Cat work for you

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Last week I chatted to the fabulous Laura Perry on the Witch Lit Podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvwGxF6lQWA and afterwards, we started talking about Save the Cat! We discovered we both felt the same way about how we could get the most from the book.

You can read about my struggles with it here https://wendysteele.com/2019/03/05/how-much-did-my-cat-really-need-saving/

Since then, I, and it seems Laura, came to the conclusion that the book works on two levels; the large picture and the minutae. Reading the options for the different type of novels, there were times when not all fifteen beats were required, and we both came to the decision that writing three acts with various hingeing points for the plot worked well, allowing the story to flow, but that trying to fit our stories into the beats wasn’t the way to go.

Laura has finished the first draft of her Minoan Historical novel this week using this less stringent idea, picking out the beats that were right for her story, and my fifth Witch Lit novel, The Able Witch is half written using the same method.

If you’ve purchased Save the Cat! and are finding writing from it hard going, maybe it’s not for you. From a screen play perspective, where the original idea came from, I can see how it can work, but selecting beats that work for your story could work better.

When it comes to editing, Save the Cat! can be referenced again, as I did with The Eloquent Witch having bought the book after I’d written the novel.

Hope that helps.

If you’re looking for a magical series to start today, here’s the link to The Naked Witch, the first book in the Lizzie Martin series https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

For Laura Perry’s books and Minoan Tarot deck https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Perry/e/B001K8LSQ6?ref

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laura-Perry/e/B001K8LSQ6?ref

 

 

 

 

The magic of writing, dancing and healing – International Women’s Day 8th March 2019

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I am author, wise woman and goddess. I write, I dance, I teach, I heal, I inspire.

In March last year I published my first Witchlit novel, The Naked Witch, contemporary fiction, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. Since then, I’ve published two more, The Orphan Witch and The Flowerpot Witch, gritty and believable stories with magic sprinkled through them, offering the reader a new perspective on reality. There are layers to my novels, making them enjoyable to all readers, hopefully teaching and inspiring too, dispelling the myths about modern day witches.

I discovered belly dance at the age of forty, having been told I was a fairy elephant and too fat to dance as a child. Fifteen years on, I’ve been teaching for eleven years, encouraging women to shake off their inhibitions and dance for themselves. I learned Egyptian belly dance first and taught that, before being bitten by the tribal bug, and completing my training in American Tribal Style® Belly dance. I began Tribal Unity Wales in March 2014. We take our dance into the community, not to perform but to share, offering other women the opportunity and the freedom to dance irrespective of age, size, shape or ability.

I’m reiki and aromatherapy massage trained, so mixed with my latest facilitator training in Kate Holland’s Awakened Bellydance ™, and my magical practice, I heal in my classes and workshops and through my writing.

I’m a riverbank witch, a hedge witch, living my life with the Wheel of the Year, honouring the Sabbats and loving and respecting all that lives on our amazing planet.

Embracing my crone phase, I am wise woman, not necessarily right, but reflective and contemplative where once I jumped in feet first. Looking back, I learn from my mistakes, let go of old stories and embrace new beginnings and exciting ideas.

 

The goddess is in me and in every woman. She is the tiny voice that tells you how beautiful and perfect you are. Trust in her helps us remember, because we all know, but it is just that this reality encourages us to forget who we are and where we came from. Hers is the voice that has inspired women to stand up for equality, for equal pay and equal rights, throughout history. The more we trust in her, and ourselves, the possibilities are infinite. Listen. She is here.

 

 

 

 

 

How much did my Cat really need Saving?

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For regular viewers of my blog, you’ll remember my post singing the praises of the author help book ‘Save the Cat’. You can view the post here https://wendysteele.com/2018/11/19/are-you-ready-to-save-the-cat/

It’s a great little book of ‘beats’ to help you create a great score to hang your story words on, but how much did I really need this book? How much did I already know? How big a part should a book like this play when creating a novel?

Having already written the first draft of The Eloquent Witch, I applied the beats to it, and though some of the points weren’t in the exact order, I was there or there abouts, so the manuscript needed a good edit and tighten up…but I would have done this before publishing any way.

I’ve started the fifth book in the Lizzie Martin series, The Able Witch, twice now, using the Save the Cat beat sheet, and though the story is moving on, finally, and I can feel the magic happening in some of the scenes, I’ve not been feeling the joy. I put the book aside for a few weeks, and returned to it last week, as I had a break from teaching.

On the first day, I gave myself free rein to pick up the story and run…and I loved it! The next day I read through what I’d written, and started to get concerned I’d veered away from the sheet. I spent the day attempting to write my way back…it wasn’t a good writing day.

Day three, I spent a good few hours distracting myself with outdoor jobs (it was sunny!), digging and barrowing wood, even washing up, rather than picking up my WIP. When I did, the writing was forced.

Day four, I deleted what I’d written the day before and allowed myself to be caught up in domesticity.

Day five, Friday, I realised the problem…my characters and the story wanted to be written one way, while the beat sheet wanted me to write a different way. I was writing to fitting in what I needed to meet the requirements of the beat sheet, rather than how the characters wanted to run with the story. The struggle became a battle because I didn’t trust my own ability enough. I spent the weekend arguing with myself about it.

On Monday, I picked up my WIP, read the last chapter I’d written, made a few changes and wrote on with my hand written notes beside me. I’m not giving up on Save the Cat, but sticking to a pre-planned beat sheet of the whole book isn’t suiting me at all.

Sadly, my schedule this week isn’t going to leave much room for writing as I’m launching a new evening dance class in Aberystwyth on Thursday, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday lessons, and it’s Women’s International Day on Friday, but once I’ve established a new routine, I’ll let you know how the writing is going.

There’s no doubt Save the Cat has taught me a lot, but I’m beginning to see that my story writing/story telling, is as important as the structure.

 

 

Book Review – The Wiccan Wellness Book by Laura Perry

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Having ‘met’ Laura Perry on the Witch Lit group on Facebook, and seen that she had updated this book, I treated myself to a copy, and I’m so glad I did! It’s been on my bedside table for me to dip into for a few months and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Laura Perry, N.D. is a Pagan author and artist, herbalist and Reiki master who considers natural healthcare to be part of her Earth-oriented spiritual life, focussing on healthy living in body, mind and spirit. Here’s my review of The Wiccan Wellness Book by Laura Perry…

This is a gentle, beautiful and caring book, well put together and offering the reader a host of ideas and options for ultimate wellbeing. The author’s knowledge and experience is evident throughout the book, but more than that, her intuition and spirituality shine through, giving the reader the experience of being healed and nurtured.

The Wiccan Wellness book is an interesting read in its own right, the author paying heed to all aspects of our lives that have a bearing on our wellbeing. However, I can see it being a wonderful reference book in the future too. The reader is able to select a specific section or chapter, depending on their needs at that moment, finding help from the author, or links to other books or societies who can offer more help.

The concept that mind, body and spirit working in harmony leads to well-being, is the basis of this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring all the possibilities to seek further balance in my own life.

It’s a versatile and informative book, while still being a magical read. A perfect ‘pick me up’ when you need a personal, spiritual boost.

You can purchase this book on Amazon UK here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wiccan-Wellness-Book-Natural-Healthcare/dp/1720269459/ref

And for friends across the pond here https://www.amazon.com/Wiccan-Wellness-Book-Natural-Healthcare/dp/1720269459/ref

If you are interested in magical writing or reading, join the Witch Lit Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

or subscribe to our new channel on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHtAJO5uh6c9TSai1lhwF7g

We’re hoping to interview Laura Perry on our podcast very soon!

 

The Witch Lit Podcast Episode 2

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Tune into our second episode today! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZdKsXSo074

What’s been going on behind the Broom Cupboard?

What are you reading?

Listen in to Witchanory!

The benefits of an anthology

Divining with the Tarot

Subscribe for more episodes. We’ll be discussing topics including book covers and the joys of formatting, as well as interviewing magical writers, novelists, non fiction writers, poets and musicians.