Welcome to a special event with guest romance author Dani Harper. This is a three day event so make sure you come back for the next two days;)
Changeling Celebrations with Dani Harper – Part One
In my new shapeshifter series, the Macleod family are Changelings, able to become wolves at will. The family escaped from Scotland during the wolf exterminations and started a new life in northern Canada. (This book trailer tells their story: http://www.daniharper.com/VIDEOS.html)
Their celebrations became a blend of old and new, of traditions from both countries. Connor, James and Culley Macleod volunteered (okay, they were drafted) to talk to us today about their memories of Changeling celebrations:
“When we were kids, our family always observed the Solstice on December 21st,” James began. “And—”
Culley interrupted at once. “We should explain that we were kids a couple centuries ago. Changelings are pretty long-lived.”
“Right, it was a long time ago. And we celebrated Solstice, the return of the Light,” continued James.
“We still do,” said Connor. “Zoey and I held a family celebration at the farm. We built—”
“James built the bonfires,” he said. “Helped by my wife Jillian and my kids, Hunter and Hailey. Took us a couple days to haul all the wood and stack it into the right shapes but it was worth it.”
“The bonfires were enormous,” Culley said. “But the fireworks were my favorite.”
“There weren’t supposed to be any fireworks. Someone –” James looked hard at Culley “—put them amongst the stacked logs.”
“And it really jazzed up the celebration.”
“The celebration didn’t need any damn jazzing.”
“We celebrate Yule too.” Connor carried on quickly, obviously hoping to distract his brothers. “Scotland’s ancient Celtic traditions got mixed in with Scandinavian customs brought by invading Vikings.”
“Like this one,” said Culley, yanking a handful of James’ white-blonde hair. “He’s the only one in the family with this coloring, so we figure he’s a throwback to the Vikings.” He had to duck fast to avoid his brother’s big fist.
“Remind me again why we brought you?” asked James.
Connor rolled his eyes and carried on. “Yule or Yuletide gets celebrated in late December. It was said that the Norse god, Odin would disguise himself in a hooded blue cloak, and visit the earth in the twelfth month. His pet wolves, Geri and Freki, would wait outside as he would wander through the towns, sitting at firesides and listening to the people. Whenever he saw there was need, Odin would leave a gift of bread or coins.”
“In some of the really old stories, Odin flew through the air on his magical eight-legged horse, Sleipner,” laughed Culley. “Does that sound like Santa Claus or what?”
“Dad used to tell that one,” said James. “Mostly I remember going with him to cut a Yule Log. It had to be enormous because it was going to burn continuously for at least twelve days.”
Connor nodded. “Fireplaces were pretty huge back then, so they could hold logs like that.”
“Weren’t the ashes good for something?” asked Culley. “Mom used to spread them in all her gardens.”
“That was to ensure a good harvest,” said James. “The ashes of the Yule Log were supposed to have all kinds of powers. You might keep some as a protective charm. Some people used the ash as medicine.”
“Yuck. Let’s talk about something more appetizing, like the food.” Culley closed his eyes and smiled as if he were back in the old family kitchen.
“Later. We promised to meet the gals downtown for Christmas shopping,” said Connor.
“Shopping?” James looked pained. “I’m sure I’d remember promising that.”
Culley was more concerned about the interview. “But we haven’t told them about all the food. And that’s the best part!”
“Tomorrow,” said Connor. “We’ve got a date to come right back here to Bitten By Paranormal Romance tomorrow and tell them the rest!”
Dani Harper is the author of a hot new shapeshifter series from Kensington Brava. CHANGELING MOON and CHANGELING DREAM are available now in trade paperback and ebook. Her latest novel, CHANGELING DAWN, is being released on December 27th. Check it out at http://www.daniharper.com
December is a time of gifts and giving. Leave a comment, telling your favorite holiday tradition, and you’ll be entered to win a Dani Harper tote bag with swag! Draw closes Dec. 31st.