The Celtic Festival of Beltaine which marks the beginning of summer in the ancient Celtic calendar is a Cross Quarter Day, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. While the Beltaine Festival is now associated with May 1st, the actual astronomical date is a number of days later. The festival was marked with the lighting of bonfires and the movement of animals to summer pastures.
In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer season started with the Fire Festival at Beltaine. Great bonfires would mark a time of purification and transition, heralding in the season in the hope of a good harvest later in the year, and were accompanied with rituals to protect the people from any harm by otherworldly spirits.
In my novel, The Keepers of Éire, the Tuatha dragon clan members renew their sworn oath to protect the land and its inhabitants, and rejuvenate the dragons’ magic by reciting the clan motto: Ni neart go cur le cheile (There is no strength without unity) and flying over the ley lines at the Beltaine Fire Festival on the Hill of Tara. Also, my two protagonists, Christian and Devan, officially pair up with their dragons (Roarke and Dochas, respectively) in a Chosen Ceremony, and end with both humans in great peril. To find out how the story ends, check out The Keepers of Éire.
May you enjoy Beltaine with this image from http://www.irelandcalling.ie
Want to celebrate “being Irish”, even if you’re only Irish for one day? Would you like to get a taste of Éire, but can’t afford the travel expenses?
My debut fantasy novels, The Keepers of Éire and The Keepers of Éire-YA Edition are set in modern-day Ireland and feature an American woman and an Irishman searching for their destinies and a way to stop a dragon killer. Readers will be transported to the lush, rolling hills, spectacular stone circles, and bustling cities of Ireland. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I am offering both Kindle e-books at reduced pricing for one week starting Thursday (3/16). Visit here to get your copy.
Enjoy the read. Let your imagination take flight! Sláinte!
I have just released a YA (Young Adult) Edition of my first novel, The Keepers of Éire. Same great story, just without the more adult scenes. Print version is now available on Amazon here. The ebook edition will be available shortly.
What is NaNoWriMo TGIO you ask? For me that is today, December 1, because on this day Nationonal Novel Writing Month Thank God It’s Over is officially here. My goal this year participating in NaNo wasn’t to write 50,000 words (I knew that would be nearly impossible with me still recovering from elbow surgery—and believe me there were days I just wanted to quit—but also because of writer club duties as president). My goal was to get back to writing consistently, get the words, the story flowing in my mind. I may have started NaNo as the proverbial turtle, but in the end I was hopping and running like the rabbit.
I worked on a middle-grade story that has a ten-year-old boy, Niall, the grandson of the Tuatha Dragon Clan healer/caretaker dealing with leaving his home in Dublin, Ireland and staying with a grandfather he never knew about, getting mixed up with a school bully, and finding out about Ireland’s greatest secret—dragons!
At TGIO day, I have just over 37,500 words written. I am probably half-way through telling this story. Of course, then I’ll need to edit, but Hurray!! For those of you who have read The Keepers of Éire, Niall is mentioned in one sentence—when his grandfather, Timothy, tells the dragon clan leader, Sean he’ll have Niall help care for the injured Grayson. That one sentence—and Jake R. and his class of fourth graders in Dublin, CA, inspired this story.
So, for December, I’ll be writing, and writing, and writing.
On August 30 and 31 I performed readings in the Irish Pavilion at the Pleasanton, CA 149th Scottish Gathering and Games. My participation was sort of last minute, so I only brought the ten books I had on hand—five on each day—I sold out!
Check out my little display table.
I teamed up with Orla, the Irish Castle Shop owner, who hosted my book launch in March at her shop in San Francisco.
I read in between the Irish dancing performances. The dancers were amazing.
I had a terrific, but tiring, two days. I enjoyed hanging out with some new friends at the clan tents, especially the Fraser tent—the Fraser clan will figure predominately in the next book because of Devan’s heritage on her father’s side.
Now, back to writing…
I’m leaving for my book tour / research trip to Ireland and Scotland tomorrow. Today was spent packing and finishing last minute details. Check out Roarke’s new hair cut.
In this photo, you can see the bits of black in his coat. Haven’t seen that since he was a wee pup. To see those pictures, go to my website at http://www.jordanbernal.com and click on Media Kit.
I’ll check in and post next in Ireland!!