Dark Origins – Peter Pan, Lost Boys who are murdered and mermaids who are Sirens.

Most of us know the Disney version of Peter Pan featuring Captain Hook, Mr Smee, Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys. Oh, and Tinkerbell, of course.

I am not sure how many people have read the original play called Peter Pan or the boy who wouldn’t grow up, written by J.M. Barrie in 1904, but it is a far cry from the innocent tale presented by Walt Disney.

We know from the Disney film that Peter Pan doesn’t want to grow up, but no mention is made of the extreme lengths Peter Pan is prepared to go to fight it.

Consider this extract: “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.

To put it bluntly, Peter Pan kills the lost boys to keep them from aging. While the film presents the view that Peter Pan is seeking eternal youth, he is, in fact, obsessed with death. This characteristic is believed to come from J.M. Barrie’s own childhood experience of losing his brother, David.

According to an article in The Herald, six-year old Jamie Barrie was hugely impacted by the death of his older brother, David, at the age of fourteen. David was said to have died the day before his birthday when he was accidently knocked over by a friend while skating, and fractured his skull on the ice. The article speculates that the ‘friend’ was in fact, young Jamie and that he was rejected by his mother as a result of the accident. You can read more about it here: https://www.heraldscotland.com/default_content/12469608.tragedy-behind-neverland-jm-barrie-cause-brothers-death/

And then there are the mermaids…

In the original Peter Pan story, the mermaids who inhabit Neverland all live in the lagoon. They enjoy the company of Peter Pan but are malevolent to everyone else. The are extraordinarily beautiful and have amazing singing voices, but they are vain and unfriendly.

The mermaids spend their days playing in the rock pools and ocean around Marooners’ Rock and they retire to their coral cave homes beneath the waves at night and during high tide.

The mermaids change when the moon is out and transform into darker creatures. They utter and wail strange calls in the moonlight. Captain Hook is terrified of the mermaids, calling them the ‘loreleis’ and saying that the lagoon is the most treacherous place in Neverland. A lorelei is a siren of Germanic legend whose singing lures Rhine River boatmen to destruction on a reef.

Picture credit: https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q5397781

If you are interested in the true story behind Peter Pan and the life of J.M. Barrie, you can read more here: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2014/12/78880/peter-pan-jm-barrie-true-story

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

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Paid Writing Opportunity – Call for Short Fiction Submissions

I recently embarked on the journey toward yet another degree – an M.A. in Publishing at Western State Colorado University – and I am studying under the prolific bestselling author and founder of WordFire Press, (and inductee into the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame), Kevin J. Anderson. For one of the publishing projects that must be completed for graduation is a cohort produced anthology. This will be the third year that the publishing cohort at Western has been headed by Kevin, and the third anthology that they have published.

Each of the previous year’s cohorts have produced an outstanding anthologies featuring stories by reputable author names, as well as new discoveries. You can see my review of Unmasked, last year’s anthology, here. The first year, Monsters, Movies & Mayhem received the Colorado Book Award. Both of these exceptional anthologies are available from amazon, your favorite bookstore, or buy direct at wordfirepress.com/gpcw.

This year’s cohort worked hard to develop the theme and guidelines over the past two weeks, and I’m really excited about this anthology. One of the cool things about this opportunity for writers is that it pays per word, if your story is chosen. Since I am a part of the publishing team, I’m not eligible to submit, but all of my readers are. I strongly encourage you to check out the guidelines below, get the gears turning and crank out an original story to submit for this year’s anthology. Feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.

Tips for getting your story accepted: Read the submission guidelines and follow them.

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MIRROR, MIRROR:

Modern Myths

Executive Editor: Kevin J. Anderson

When you’re alone with your reflection, are you prepared for what you see?

A prince in disguise? A monster revealed? An alien race?

Mirrors can be truth-tellers, wish-granters, face-concealers, illusion-makers, even monster-summoners. Maybe the mirror shows an evil twin, or an echo of the life that should have been. Or a portal to another world. 

What happens when it shatters?

Once upon a time, no one knew the phrase “Once upon a time.” You’ve read the classic stories. Now write the lore you’ve always wanted to read. Explore this creative challenge from your own unique perspective informed by your roots, culture, and background. We want original fables, folklore, and fairy tales for an eclectic anthology showcasing a new dawn of an old artform.

Imagine a canon of diverse characters for today’s readers to love and loathe. Gaze into the mirror, whether literally or figuratively—classic or genre-bending, grim or whimsical, as long as it is new and fresh.

We are looking for original short stories (prose poems will also be considered) to include a mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, magical, and romance elements. Must be appropriate for a “PG-13” audience. Please, no copyrighted characters. Previously unpublished stories only. Women, BIPOCs, LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse individuals, and other minorities are strongly encouraged to submit.

Length: up to 5000 words (firm limit)

Rate: 6¢/word on acceptance.

Rights: First Anthology Rights and audio rights as part of the anthology; rights revert to author one month after publication; publisher retains non-exclusive right to include in the anthology as a whole. 

Due: We are open to submissions from August 30 through October 15, 2021.  

Submit: A Microsoft Word or RTF file in standard manuscript format to 

https://wordfirewestern.moksha.io/publication/2/3/submit

If you don’t know what standard manuscript format is, review, for example, https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/

One submission per person, please. NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS. 

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson with an editorial team provided by Western Colorado University Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Publishing MA students. Anthology made possible by a generous contribution from Draft2Digital.

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Time to bring the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour to a close

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

Willow of Ashes has been a great tour. I’ve known Ellie about a year, and I learned things I didn’t know about her and her books. For this blog stop, we’re going to wrap things up and recap the highlights about the book. We covered the basics about this book in my introductory tour post on Day #1. This award winning fantasy novel is book one of the NecrSeam Chronicles series, and it is also available in audiobook through Libro and Google Play.

Willow of Ashes

Five kingdoms face destruction. Two brothers fight to prevent it. Their epic adventure of magic, love, and loss will become a timeless legend.

The five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death have been at peace for centuries, but that peace is threatened when dark forces seek to destroy it. The Gods have chosen a champion to protect the world, yet unexpectedly that champion was born as twin necromancers whose magic was split at birth. Only together would they be strong enough to survive what’s to come. But now one of them has died… and his soul became trapped inside his brother.

The coexisting twins embark on a journey across the five realms, determined to be normal again. But their quest of hope turns into a living nightmare when they stumble into an army of undead beasts that have been unleashed on the lands by a vicious sorceress. With the help of new comrades and a mysterious lady Reaper skilled with the scythe, they must fight for more than a new life. Now they fight for the future of the themselves.

Willow of Ashes is available on Amazon

Ellie Raine

Author Bio

“Writer’s Digest award-winning fantasy author Ellie Raine is a voracious BookWyrm when it comes to epic adventures, detailed world-building, and thrilling battles. Fueled by coffee-bean concoctions brewed by the finest caffeine alchemists in the land, she only emerges from the depths of these daring tales when she is summoned by her loving king and their darling daughter: the Dragon Princess Felicity, in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

Her first book, Willow of Ashes, won First Place in Fantasy for the 2019 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Ebook Awards, as well as Honorable Mention in Fantasy for the 2019 Readers’ Favorite Awards.”

We had a lot of fun on Day #2 over at Roberta Writes, where Robbie Cheadle did a wonderful Q & A with the author, Ellie Raine. We learned how Ellie accidentally became an award winning author of a story intended to be a video game.

Day #3, we heard from Ellie, herself in a guest post on This is my Truth Now, where she talks about the inspiration behind this story and the Necroseam universe.

Willow of Ashes

On Day #4, I posted my review of this fresh and original new series starter. With traditional elements of storytelling scattered throughout, usually with an unexpected twist to them, this book was unlike any story I had ever read before. Fresh and original, with interesting and unusual characters you can’t help but like, I highly recommend this book.

The Day #5 blog stop was on Robbie’s Inspiration, with a guest post from Ellie, where she talks about what it’s like to revisit the early beginnings of the five book series of the Necroseam Chronicles. Willow of Ashes is that beginning, and it is so cool that this award winning novel is now available on audiobook, too.

On Pictures from the Kitchen, Barbara Spencer hosted Day #6, with a guest post from Ellie that was designed to help us understand the Necroseam universe, including a chart to help translat the Grim language.

That brings us right back here. I want to thank you all for delving into this fresh new fantasy journey on this tour. If you joined the tour later in the week and missed some blog stops, or you’ve followed with us all the way through the tour and just want to go back and revisit a stop, click on the links above. Willow of Ashes and the Necroseam Chronicles are definitely worth reading. If you’d like to learn more about Ellie and her books, you can check out the following links.

Check out the books!

Aizelleraine@gmail.comwww.

NecroSeam.com

wwwEllieRaine.com

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Stopping by my blog today is author Ellie Raine!

Learn more about the NecroSeam universe and the Grimmish language of Ellie Raine, for Day #6 of the WordCrafter “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour on Barbara Spencer’s lovely blog, “Pictures from the Kitchen Window”. Drop by and join in the conversation.

Pictures From The Kitchen Window

“My goodness, what a difference a few weeks make. Stepping into the world of blog tours is like bungee jumping when you don’t know the first name of the instructor and only met him two seconds before – definitely a dive into perilous waters.”

My guest, Ellie Raine, is a young novelist who is currently taking readers of fantasy by storm. Not only does she write about things that might go bump in the night but she is very good at it. And on reading her bio, I realised she and I only share one thing in common – our love of Terry Prachett. Other than that she is young, reads Rachel Aaron, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Hulick, and originally set out to create a computer game. In all honesty, she shares far more with my granddaughter who has just given up on her attempt to create a graphic novel…

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Willow of Ashes blog tour – Day 5

For Day #5 of the WordCrafter “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour, Robbie Cheadle hosts a guest post from author Ellie Raine about what it’s like to go back and revisit her seriews beginnings, on “Robbie’s Inspiration”. Come join us and learn more about this award winning epic fantasy novel and the NecrSeam series, which follows.

Robbie's inspiration

Today, I am delighted to welcome author, Ellie Raine, to Roberta Writes for Day 2 of her Willow of Ashes blog tour with WordCrafter Book Tours.

You can read the other posts for this tour here:

Day 1: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/03/08/welcome-to-the-willow-of-ashes-book-blog-tour/

Day 2: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2021/03/09/willow-of-ashes-blog-tour-day-2/

Day 3: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/03/10/day-3-of-the-willowofashes-bookblogtour/

Day 4: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/03/11/day-4-of-the-willow-of-ashes-book-blog-tour-my-review/

Ellie Raine’s Take on Revisiting her Series’ Early Beginnings

After spending the last 13 years writing the NecroSeam Chronicles to completion, going back to work on the first volume’s audiobook was an interesting nostalgia trip for me. A lot happened between book 1 and book 5. Similarly, a lot happened in my life throughout the whole endeavor. I’m really not the same person as the girl who wrote Willow of Ashes. I barely remember who she was.

But since I’m an indie author with the rare opportunity to work (extremely) hands-on with the narrators for the audiobooks (Matt Goodson &…

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Day #4 of the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour: My Review

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

What they are saying on Readers’ Favorite:

“One of the most fascinating universes I have ever encountered… rich, mysterious, inviting and frightening at the same time. You will want to visit it again and again.” 

~Readers’ Favorite Review

Five kingdoms face destruction. Two brothers fight to prevent it. Their epic adventure of magic, love, and loss will become a timeless legend.

The five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death have been at peace for centuries, but that peace is threatened when dark forces seek to destroy it. The Gods have chosen a champion to protect the world, yet unexpectedly that champion was born as twin necromancers whose magic was split at birth. Only together would they be strong enough to survive what’s to come. But now one of them has died… and his soul became trapped inside his brother.

The coexisting twins embark on a journey across the five realms, determined to be normal again. But their quest of hope turns into a living nightmare when they stumble into an army of undead beasts that have been unleashed on the lands by a vicious sorceress. With the help of new comrades and a mysterious lady Reaper skilled with the scythe, they must fight for more than a new life. Now they fight for the future of the realms themselves.

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Willow of Ashes

When I picked up this Willow of Ashes, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was about to enter a fantasy realm, but I didn’t realize I was about to embark on fresh and different fantasy adventure unlike none I’d ever explored before. As I said in my introductory post for this tour, it is easy to see why this fantasy novel won the 2019 Writer’s Digest Award for best self-published eBook, once you begin to emmerse yourself in the story. Raine has masterfully crafted this epic fantasy adventure in a universe that is fresh and original in Willow of Ashes, which is book 1 of the NecroSeam Chrinicles series. In a universe where ears an tails are all the fashion, but probably a dead give-away in a poker game, Raine’s characters are well-developed, interesting and unusual, drawing us in as we meet each one and get his or her portion of the story. There are many ‘aha!’ moments as the details unfold and the pieces begin to fall into place.

In this story, we meet the future Reapers of Grim, Xavier, Alexander and eventually, Willow, none of whom are what you might expect. Oh, you may find them to be cloaked figures, who wield scythes, but underneath they are adolescents on the verge of adulthood, unsuspecting players in a vicious and deadly plot that is bigger than anything anyone on their world has ever seen. If their mysterious foes, who are always lurking in the background, are successful, it could mean the total destruction of their world, and to make matters worse, they may be the only ones who can stop them.

The story begins when Xavier’s soul is ripped from his body as he thrown over a cliff, and it only gets more difficult from there. Raine throws every obstacle she can think of at our protagonists and their companions, at every turn of the page. The two brothers have the ability between them to resurect the dead, or send them on to their next destination, which might be a good thing, since they now share one body. On a search for a ghost gone missing who might have information about Xaviar’s missing body, they gather a troop along the way, including their reptilian friend, Jaq; the cat-eared son of the ghost they’re looking for, Octavious; and and a fire-wielding fox/wolf girl, Lilli, who are fellow apprentice Reapers; a resurrected rabbit-eared ghost, Vendi, bound to serve them, and her weapon crafting uncle, Henry. Together, they prepare to take on a powerful and clever enemy, who controls the soul eating Necrofera and Rock Dragons that can crush buildings and destroy whole villages.

Willow of Ashes

Ellie Raine has skillfully created a fresh and original fantasy universe, with a diverse array of captivating and unique characters. It is easy to see why this was an award winning novel, as the characters draw you in and each individual storyline comes together to form the intricate weaving of the bigger story, as a whole. I give Willow of Ashes five quills.

Five Quills

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Willow-Ashes-Necromancer-NecroSeam-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B07BN9XMQQ

If you joined the tour late, you can visit the blog stops that you missed here:

Day #1 – Introductory postWriting to be Read

Day #2 – Interview with Ellie Raines and Robbie CheadleRoberta Writes

Day # 3 – Guest post by Ellie RainesThis is my Truth Now

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Day 3 of the #WillowofAshes #BookBlogTour

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

For Day #3 of the Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour, we’re over at This is my Truth Now, where James J. Cudney IV brings us a guest post from author Ellie Raine about the inspiration behind Willow of Ashes and the Necroseam Chronicles universe. I hope you’ll join us there.


Willow of Ashes blog tour – Day 2

For Day #2 of the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tours, finds us over at “Roberta Writes”, where Robbie Cheadle brings us an interview with the author, Ellie Raine. Don’t miss it. 🙂

Today, I am delighted to welcome author, Ellie Raine, to Roberta Writes for Day 2 of her Willow of Ashes blog tour with WordCrafter Book Tours.

You can read Day 1 here: https://writingtoberead.com/2021/03/08/welcome-to-the-willow-of-ashes-book-blog-tour/

Q & A with author Ellie Raine

What attracted you to writing fantasy?

I’ve always been into dragons and magic and gallant knights. My family is very strictly sci-fi/Fantasy readers, so I guess I just grew up surrounded by it. The first “long book” I ever finished to completion was The Dragon and the George, and after that it was The Color of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Hogfather, Mort, Reaper Man, Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, Artemis Fowl… and the list just kept getting bigger.

But truth be told, I never considered being a writer. I guess I did win some kind of writing award in middle school, but I had only entered it because…

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Welcome to the “Willow of Ashes” Book Blog Tour

Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour

Welcome to the Willow of Ashes Book Blog Tour, where we will explore and learn about the NecroSeam Chronicles epic fantasy series and more specifically, book 1, the 2019 Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Award winning novel, Willow of Ashes, by Ellie Raine. This tour is designed to get the word out about this award winning novel because the award isn’t the end of the story. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Willow of Ashes audiobook is now available on Libro and Google Play, (and will soon be available on Amazon), which is so exciting because it is one more new method of bringing the creative and original universe of Ellie Raine’s to life for readers, and listeners, too!

Willow of Ashes

Five kingdoms face destruction. Two brothers fight to prevent it.

Their epic adventure of magic, love, and loss will become a timeless legend.

I’ve just begun reading this fantasy journey for my review, which you’ll find later in the tour, but already I can see why this book won first place, with one of the most original universes I’ve discovered in many years, and well developed characters that draw the reader in and foster bonds, creating a need to find out what happens next. To respond to that need in her readers, Ellie Raine has created a five book series based on these characters and their Death World. It is a universe where death is viewed quite differently from our concepts of death and the boundaries of the afterlife are perhaps thinner and less distinctive. You can purchase this wonderful fantasy novel, Willow of Ashes, but you may want to purchase the entire NecroSeam Chronicles series, because once you emmerse yourself in Raine’s creative and original fantasy universe, you may want to stay for a while.

The five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death have been at peace for centuries, but that peace is threatened when dark forces seek to destroy it. The Gods have chosen a champion to protect the world, yet unexpectedly that champion was born as twin necromancers whose magic was split at birth. Only together would they be strong enough to survive what’s to come. But now one of them has died… and his soul became trapped inside his brother.

The coexisting twins embark on a journey across the five realms, determined to be normal again. But their quest of hope turns into a living nightmare when they stumble into an army of undead beasts that have been unleashed on the lands by a vicious sorceress. With the help of new comrades and a mysterious lady Reaper skilled with the scythe, they must fight for more than a new life. Now they fight for the future of the realms themselves.

Willow of Ashes Review

Willow of Ashes is the perfect introduction into this remarkably fresh epic fantasy universe. This tour will be running through the 14th, so stick with us to learn more about this award winning book and its author. Later in the week we’ll reveal more about the characters and their universe at each blog tour stop; with an author interview with Robbie Cheadle on Robbie’s Inspiration, more information about Willow of Ashes on This is my Truth Now, Pictures from the Kitchen and Roberta Writes, as well as my own review of the book right here on Writing to be Read. So, prepare to venture into a fresh new fantasy universe and join us for the rest of the tour.

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Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!


Day #5 of “The Click of a Pebble” Book Blog Tour: My Review

The Click of a Pebble Book Blog Tour

What they are saying on Amazon:

“This was a great coming of age fantasy story. I really enjoyed seeing these young characters struggle to survive in the aftermath of the massacre that leaves them only each other to depend on. Their journey drew me in and had me reading this entire book in one sitting, I’m looking forward to reading more books set in this fascinating world.”

The Click of a Pebble

In her Day #3 post for this tour on Robbie’s Inspiration, author Barbara Spencer talks about magical realism. I really loved her definition. She describes it, “Magical realism takes place in our world and follows its rules, except occasionally those rules are skewed.” I haven’t read a lot of magical realism, but what I have read have mostly were silly stories that were just kind of fun to read, with no real buy in because they were so ridiculous.

Not so with this skillfully crafted tale, which begins to lay a solid basis for the magical elements of the story. The Click of a Pebble had my buy in from the first pages and maintained it throughout the story. It was sweet and tragic, but there was nothing silly about it.

The Click of a Pebble is the tale of three children, Yost, Zande and TaTa, the only survivors of a massacre of their people. Ripped away from all they have ever known, they must stand together and go on, holding on to who they are in a place where things are new and different and try to fit in. They quickly learn that they dare not reveal their true origins, or risk falling prey to the same bigoted thinking that brought on the demise of their clan, because they are different, gifted. As they grow to know the family which welcomes them into their home, they begin to develop attachments with those around them and feel as if they belong. But, they are carinatae, children of Zues and what lies ahead for them is very different from the futures imagined by those who take them in.

The Click of a Pebble

Barbara Spencer has done a marvelous job of drawing the reader in and making her care about the characters, masterfully weaving historical detail into this wonderful coming of age fantasy. It touches on issues that ring true for many of us, at the same time portraying a time and culture in detail, with well developed characters readers will relate to. As the first book in her The Children of Zeus trilogy, Spencer does not tie everything up with a nice bow, but instead chooses the perfect point in the story to close off this chapter and leave the reader with a need to learn how all the loose ends will be resolved. I give it five quills.

Five Quills

In case you missed a blog stop along the way on The Click of a Pebble Book Blog Tour:

Day #1: Writing to be Read

Day #2: Patty’s World

Day #3: Robbie’s Inspiration

Day #4: This is my Truth Now

The Click of a Pebble

Get your copy of The Click of a Pebble today.

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Book you WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!