Tag Archives: Lord of Fire

Fae Friday: Amp up Your Fantasy Novel with Spirit Horses

The Fomorians, Duncan 1912

By John Duncan [Public domain],The Fomorians via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy creatures come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Regardless of the fantasy genre you write, whether paranormal as my books are, or high, low, historical, dark, urban, etc., there may come a time when you are in need of a little extra something. Done right, spirit horses can be an espresso shot to a story. Here’s a peek at a few. Keep in mind that the fae horses often share attributes and can exist in various locales under different names. Using one of these enables you to create exotic settings, but there is also the opportunity to have the creature show up closer to home in a more normal setting. Many readers appreciate blended mythologies where the author adds a new or surprising aspect to age old stories. I love to do this in my books.

The Phooka, Pooka, Puca, Pwca (and various other spellings) is a Celtic fairy horse of capricious character, sometimes beneficial to humans, but usually dangerous and deadly. One small, benign herd paid nightly visits to help a farmer’s son bring in the crops after being perceived in their willowy incandescent form. Years later at the boy’s wedding, the Phooka presented him with a magical drink to ensure his matrimonial happiness.

More often, the Phooka are portrayed as ravaging, wild, and fearsome creatures with long, jagged teeth and chains around their necks. They have a particular grudge against travelers and make it their business to lure them to their deaths. At times their nature is dark, flesh eating, and vampiric.

Not only does the Phooka appear as a horse, but it can also shapeshift into a bull, hare, and human form. The name of Shakepeare’s Puck is related to the root word of Phooka. In the movie, Harvey, the name of Jimmy Stewart’s 6 foot tall imaginary rabbit friend is referred to as a Pooka.

The Geetoe (or Gitto, Gryphon, Griffin, and Griffith) is a Welsh fairy creature with an equine head and body of a goat. Their particular brand of malice is to blight crops in the field. These creatures possess the power of human speech and laughter. However, they dislike humans and go out of their way to cause harm. They loathe children most of all and do their best to entice them into misdeeds and danger. A Geetoe’s power arises at night and extends only between Samhain (Halloween) and Beltane (May Day). The remainder of the year the creatures reside in Fairyland.

Thekelpie large

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], The Kelpie via Wikimedia Commons

Water horses can be especially interesting. One type is the Scottish Kelpie, which lives in or near rivers and streams. Kelpies are generally more whimsical and unpredictable than evil. They do not tend to stalk their prey. However, they are not to be taken lightly. Humans who venture too close are fair game. Kelpies will often maim and drown their victims, and sometimes devour them. Kelpies often take the form of a beautiful woman.

A Nuggle is a variety of water horse from the Orkney Islands. It is chock full of mischief but not evil in the sense of dangerous or demonic. It can be recognized by its odd tail that resembles a wheel.

Another type of water horse is the ominous Each-Uisge. This malevolent creature favors fresh water lakes, and many sightings have occurred in Scotland. The most famous example is Nessie or the Loch Ness Monster. The Each-Uisge can not only take the shape of a horse but also of a man or predatory bird. When in man shape, the Each-Uisge is handsome, compelling, and deadly to those who come near. In the olden days country folk knew to beware of a solitary person loitering near a body of water. A human can ride the Each-Usige when it’s in horse shape, but if horse and rider approach water, it is bad news for the human. The skin of the creature develops a bonding power that grips the human, not allowing dismount. The Each-Uisage will then plunge down into the depths, taking the rider to his death.

Fire Horses are unusual and perhaps the most fascinating type of spirit horse. In Greek mythology the god Helios drove four fire horses to guide the sun across the sky. The god of war, Ares, tamed a number of fire breathing horses. The Fire Horse is one of the sign designations in the Chinese zodiac. In my book Lord of Fire, the hero Gabriel rides a fire horse during one particularly harrowing part of the story. If you’re interested in reading how and why, grab your copy of my anthology, Dark Warriors. This paperback book also contains another of my paranormal fantasies, Time Singer.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: 9-30-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Tuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. I am honored to be in the group. Today’s word prompt is pretty. The snippet is from a new novella based on supporting characters from the 5th Wytchfae book. Although I haven’t named it yet, the story is a prequel to the appearance of these characters in Lord of Fire. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Lucien grunted. “You smell pretty for a cat. Your owner must have splashed you with her perfume.” He lifted the feline for inspection and raised a brow of wry satisfaction. “Exactly as I thought. Female through and through.”

A puff of hair took flight as he patted the snowy thicket of her neck. Its fragility surprised him. “No collar.” He had expected a diamond circlet, or at least rhinestone, emblazoning something like Precious.

Meowrrr. With a testy thump the cat regained her prime position on Lucien’s chest and resumed her love fest with his Adam’s apple. Leave it to a cat to have its priorities straight.

He grinned. “Damn it, that tickles.” He shook his head at the inanity of the situation. He’d better unload her and slink back to the podunk hotel before Bradford called out a posse.

Stepping away from the building, he gazed up and down the lake shore. No houses were visible. “Where’d you come from, cat?” Gemstone eyes blinked at him. With determination, he unglued the cat’s paws from his body, wincing at the resulting needle pricks. Setting her down on a clump of grass, he flicked his hand in the general direction of anywhere but here. “Shoo. Run along home now.”

Squinting at the midafternoon glare, he thrust his hands into his jean pockets and headed toward the far speck of the hotel. A bass drum pounded his temple. What had possessed him last night? Jack never solves jack. How many times had he heard his father say that? A patch of sandspurs caught him, and he yanked his leg to escape their insidious trap. He hadn’t noticed those on his wayward trek. What a crazy place to plunk down a hotel, right in the middle of a sandspur palmetto swamp. Christ, could he get any farther from a top venue?

At long last he neared the hotel. All he wanted was a shower and a week’s sleep.

“Mister Silver.” It was the weasly doorman from the previous night.

Lucien scanned the name tag. “Afternoon, Ted. How goes it?”

The man eyed him like he had sprouted a second head. “Mister Jenkins has been looking all over for you.”

“Right.” As Lucien made to pass, Ted raised his arm and a flying umbrella came straight toward Lucien. He ducked. The missile zoomed on by. “What the hell, man?”

Thump. Meoowrrr.

“That good for nothing stray is back again.” Ted waved his arms around like a demented windmill and rushed toward the white Persian.

The world was full of hissing cat. With her white hair stretched out straight from her body and her eyes shooting blue sparks, she looked like a miniature mad snow demon.

Lucien grabbed Ted’s jacket sleeve, jerking him up short. “Hold it, bub. What the hell do you think you’re doing to my cat?”

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Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Tuesday Tales: Lucien Silver 9-24-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Boathouse9-24-2014Thanks to the inspiration of Tuesday Tales and Secret Cravings Publishing, today I start a new novella based on supporting characters in Lord of Fire. Although I haven’t named it yet, the story is a prequel to the appearance of these characters in Lord of Fire. The above picture is our prompt for this week. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Lucien Silver opened one bleary eye to see what the hell all the commotion was about. Bird caws pierced the air, making it sound like Mother Nature was on some kind of drunken rampage. He blinked and pressed a hand to his throbbing forehead. Oh, hell no, it was him with the monster hangover. Bright sunlight shafted through a crack in the clapboard wall, piercing him with its overdone joviality. It took him a moment to remember where he was. Some kind of deserted boathouse at the edge of the lake where he’d taken refuge last night. He’d grabbed a bottle and lit out from the hotel to escape his leech of a manager and a few dozen rabid fans and had ended up here. The mostly empty bottle reclined on the dirt floor beside his chair. Disgusted, he gave it a kick that sent it spinning.

He looked at his watch. Two o’clock. Christ, he’d missed the press conference. Bradford would kill him.

Groaning, he lurched unsteadily to his feet, holding onto the broad arms of the dilapidated wooden slat chair. Swaying a little, he used the grey wall boards to make his way outside. The huge door creaked open, its hinges unoiled for how long? Had to be at least a decade or two. The view might have been serene and soothing at some other time. Right now the oak trees shading the building were too green, the lake too blue. The heavens were too blindingly bright for the likes of him this morning. He should have closeted himself in his hotel room last night, drawn the heavy drapes tight against the outside world and prayed for haven, instead of coming out here. Instead of running away.

With a shaking hand, he brushed his long unruly hair from his eyes. He’d really screwed up this time. Damn it all to hell.

A plaintive sound captured his attention. Frowning, he looked down. An enormous white puffball sashayed around his ankles, bare above the buttery leather of his Italian loafers. The creature purred loudly and curled around his legs like Lucien was a long lost favorite chew toy.

He grimaced, shaking his leg to deter the affectionate feline. “Shoo, cat.”

The cat ceased its revolutions to peer up at him with disapproving gemstone eyes. “Meoooow.”

The demanding cry should have annoyed him further. Instead, he grinned and shook his head, amused at the opinionated Persian at his feet. “What do you want, cat?”

The cat shoved its not insubstantial weight against his leg and twirled, again stopping to favor him with a periwinkle gaze. “Meooow.”

Lucien furrowed his brow. Reaching down, he captured the snowy bundle, lifting it into his arms. The quicksilver feline was on the move. Black tipped pads burrowed into his chest, soft fur tickled his nose, and a sandpaper tongue flicked delicate laps against his Adam’s apple. The cat smelled sweet, like orange blossoms and pears. Top notes. Below that was another scent that made him think of Chanel No. 5.

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Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Lord of Fire 9-9-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

TUESDAY TALES – Each week a group of authors bands together to share snippets of our works in progress. Visit the other fabulous authors. My excerpt comes from my paranormal romance, Lord of Fire – starring warrior hero Gabriel Hawk and Wytchfae heroine Garnet McAnna. In this scene Gabriel and a fae familiar named Angel discuss events surrounding Garnet’s disappearance. This week’s prompt is RIBBON.

   “Oh!” Her mouth rounded into a look of astonishment.
   “For god’s sake, what is it?”
   “Something I had forgotten about until you said that. I don’t know for certain if this is what you mean, but a few days back I overheard him mention something to the ogre about a place called Slice.”
   Rage scraped The Hawk’s insides. The cups rattled when he pounded a fist on the table. Heads turned his way, and he forced himself to relax. He didn’t need undue attention right now or the manager calling the police or looney trolley to pick him up.
   Angel’s eyes widened. “You know of it?”
   He nodded. “I’ve been to Slice. I hate to think of her stuck there. It’s a hellhole club wrapped up in a pretty ribbon.”
   “Where is it?”
   “Where and when. It’s not only an alternate dimension but the owners keep it a couple of years into the future.” He slid from the booth. Reaching into his pocket, he extracted a wad of cash and pressed it into her hand. “Get yourself into a safe hotel room and call that master of yours again. I don’t care if he’s still overseas. Persuade him to come get you, understand?”
   Her bottom lip trembled as she stared up at him. “It’s that bad?”
   At least he had scared her. Maybe she would show some sense now. “Yes. Call him, okay?”
   “I’ll phone Lucien right away, but I’ll still be a nervous wreck about our girl.”
   “You have the Wytchfae’s cell phone. Keep it until you hear from me. I’ll let you know how things go.”
   “Wait.”
   He turned back with a frown of impatience.
   She lifted a bundle from beneath her chair, extracted the cell phone from it, and then handed him the bag. Her voice lowered to a whisper. “Her gun and other things.”
   In the truck, he slipped his blue shirt out of the sack. Pressing it against his face, he conjured the image of Garnet wearing it that morning in his kitchen. The smell of his after shave hit his nostrils but also the sweet scent of Garnet. It reminded him of clover and fresh flowers. He turned the key to start up the truck. He’d bring her home.Badge for TT - small

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Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Tuesday Tales: Lord of Fire 7-22-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Badge for TT - smallTUESDAY TALES – Each week a group of authors bands together to share snippets of our works in progress. Visit the other fabulous authors here.
My snippet comes from Lord of Fire – Wytchfae 5, a WIP soon to be submitted. This week’s word prompt is BLOOM.

The forest track broadened to a wider dirt road covered over with pine needles. Before long the pines gave way to scrub. “There’s my car.” She pointed toward the small gold SUV parked where she had left it alongside a tall spike of blazing star. The vibrant magenta bloom stood in sharp contrast to the tranquil green of the surrounding clumps of grass and palmettos.

Slowing to a bumpy stop, The Hawk shifted his truck into park and left the engine running while he moved to let Garnet slip out the driver’s door.

His arm brushed against hers, and despite their long sleeves, an electric quiver shot straight to her insides. She looked up at him. “What about Cassie and Ava?”

“No use in shifting them over. Ava is still out cold. They can stay in my truck, and I’ll follow you on to your friend’s house.” His gaze heated her skin. “It’ll make it easier all the way around.”

Easier for whom? In some ways, every minute she spent in his company made her life harder. His effect distracted her from what she needed to do. Yet, his words sent a shiver of excitement skittering up her spine. “Are you sure? It’s nearly an hour’s drive.”

His mouth quirked upward. “I’m sure.”

She nodded. “So, Hawk…” She looked down, hesitating.

“What’s on your mind?”

She met his eyes. “We’re in this together then? You’ll stick until we get Borros?”

His voice deepened. “I’ll stick.”

“Thanks, Hawk, I appreciate it.” With her fingers on the car door, she stopped, feeling his breath on the top of her head. He had moved up behind her, and her own breath quickened. His scent, one of deep woods and hot blooded male, twined its scorching tendrils around her, teasing her with the sheer animal magnetism of the man. She cleared her raspy throat. “What about the ogre?”

“The interrogation can wait. He’s not moving an inch from where I left him.”

She clenched the door handle, and his hand covered hers. His words came out a low, husky whisper. “One more thing, Wytchfae.”

She twisted half around toward him and tilted up her face. “Yes?”

Her flesh trembled beneath his warm touch as he brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes. “Since we’re in this together, call me Gabriel.”

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Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Tuesday Tales: Lord of Fire 7-15-2014 by Flossie Benton Rogers

Tuesday TalesTUESDAY TALES – Each week a group of authors bands together to share snippets of our works in progress. Visit the other fabulous authors here.
My snippet comes from Lord of Fire – Wytchfae 5, a WIP soon to be submitted. Note this week’s picture prompt above.

She moved with catlike stealth along the faint narrow tracks, using only the light of the full moon and night vision heightened by the drop of fae blood running through her veins. No high tech goggles. Not even a green capped penlight meant to resemble a swirl of firefly in the dead of night.

Not that she didn’t have just such a penlight safely stowed in an inner pocket. She did, plus a couple of blades and a dainty 357 revolver with decidedly undainty shells. Just the weapon to stop a low life scum in his tracks. She wouldn’t fool around with spells or other Wytchfae tools. Anyone who enslaved defenseless animal familiars deserved to be plugged.

As she ducked beneath a low hanging branch, a scurrying sound signaled a small animal off in the periphery. Probably a raccoon or armadillo. Possibly a night fae of some sort. Halting for a moment, she listened into the night. She heard no other noise to alarm her. Nothing to bar her way or keep her from the task at hand. If luck was with her tonight, the demon had captured his last victim.

Visit the other fabulous authors here.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance