A warm welcome to author E.J. Russel joining us today to talk about new release “The Druid Next Door”, part of the Fae out of Water series.
Welcome E.J. 🙂
Beyond Dragons and Unicorns: Five Weird Fae
One of the things I discovered when I first started reading Celtic folklore as opposed to classical Greek or Roman tales is that their supernatural creatures comprise more than unicorns, dragons, and winged horses. Although of course dragons are popular (there’s a dragon on the Welsh flag, for instance), and unicorns appear in tapestries and whatnot, weirder fae pop up in folktales that are a little more obscure—at least to those of us who live outside the UK.
Here are five of those more unusual fae. (My source for these is British folklorist Katharine Briggs’s An Encyclopedia of Fairies.)
- The bean-nighe haunts remote streams in the Highlands, washing the blood from clothing of those about to die. She has webbed feet and (as is a common theme among a number of fae) is usually dressed in green. If you see her before she sees you and manage to get between her and the water, she’ll grant you three wishes. She might also answer three questions for you—but first she’ll ask three of you, and you’ll have to answer truly.
- The nuckelavee is one of my favorites, because it is soooo weird. It’s sort of like one of the recombinant toys that Sid, the twisted neighbor boy, constructs in the first Toy Story movie. It’s a creature who lives in the sea, but can move across the land—although it can’t abide fresh water. Its lower half is horse, but with flippers. A humanoid torso grows from its back: its arms reach the ground, its head is three feet around, and it has only one eye—fiery red, at that. Oh, and it’s skinless, so its blood, veins, and musculature are visible. Nice, eh?
- Gwargedd Annwn (Welsh water fairies or Lake Maidens) These ladies are much less portentous or dangerous. They’re beautiful women who reside in lakes, and may be wooed into marrying human men. This is a good deal for the husbands, because the Lake Maidens usually come with pretty impressive dowries. However, they also come with a warning: if the husband should deal the wife three causeless blows, she’ll vanish, along with all her wealth. Naturally, in most of the tales, the husband does exactly that, the flaming idiot.
- Redcaps—at least the ones from the Scotland-England border area—are a kind of nasty goblin fond hanging out in ruined castles. They’re likened to short, sturdy old men, with the standard evil red eyes. They get their name because they wear an actual red cap—but the way they maintain the color is to continually re-dye it with human blood. Brrrr.
- The first reference I ever saw to a glaistig was in Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks (an early urban fantasy, and a terrific book). A glaistig is another Scottish water spirit, sometimes described as half-woman, half-goat, and when they’re bad, they’re very, very bad. However, in some tales, they’re more benign and protective of children, the elderly, and…well…cows.
About The Druid Next Door
Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?
Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.
All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.
Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.
Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.
Available now from
About the Fae Out of Water Series
Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—
Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.
Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.
The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar. But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.
Check out Fae Out of Water!
About E.J. Russell
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
Connect with E.J.:
To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Druid Next Door tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!