The Christmas Village: Return to Canterbury

Melissa Goodwin’s sequel to the Christmas Village is getting ready to be unveiled in early December! Here’s Melissa’s blog blurb on her latest adventure:


Hello Friends,

Well, I am on track to release RETURN TO CANTERBURY, the much-anticipated sequel to THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE, in early December! We’ll have a Cover Reveal in a few weeks, but right now it’s time to tease you with the Back Cover Blurb!

So, if we could have a bit of a drum roll please!

by Melissa Ann Goodwin
Things have settled down for thirteen-year-old Jamie Reynolds since last Christmas. That’s when he time-traveled to 1932 and wound up in the town of Canterbury, Vermont. There he met Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, who quickly became his best friends. Back in his own time again, he misses them every day. But, as the July 4th, 2008 holiday approaches, the biggest black cloud still hovering over Jamie’s life is the mystery of what happened to his dad, who has been missing for almost a year.
Little does Jamie know that he will soon reunite with Kelly and Christopher for an adventure even bigger than their last. Together they’ll uncover a secret plot that threatens to destroy Canterbury. But will they be able to stop it before it’s too late? And will Jamie finally solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance? Return to Canterbury with us and find out!
Stay tuned for the Cover Reveal, a bit of a Blog Tour, Reviews and Buy Links – all coming soon!
You can check out Melissa’s Blog Here

The Christmas Village

When Jamie Reynolds comes to his grandparents’ Vermont home for Christmas, he just wants things to go back to the way they were before his dad disappeared. Time and again he is drawn to Grandma’s miniature Christmas village, where he imagines that life is perfect.

Christmas VillageLate one night, the village comes to life before Jamie’s eyes, and his fantasy of escaping into it becomes very real indeed. He discovers that the village is called Canterbury, where the year is 1932. Jamie becomes fast friends with Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, and is taken in by Ida, who runs the local boarding house. But he also makes a dangerous enemy of the mysterious and menacing Jim Gordon, whose return to town is nothing but trouble.

As Jamie desperately races against time to find his way back home, he is suddenly faced with a terrifying choice: to go ahead with his plan to leave, or to stay and help his friends, at the risk of never going home again. The Christmas Village is an adventure the whole family will love, filled with suspense, secrets and surprises to the very last page.

The Christmas Village is available at Amazon in Kindle edition or hard copy. Enjoy the suspense as town hero, Jamie Reynolds finds his way through his own life challenges by helping others.

Christmas VillageMuch of this review is was taken from the Amazon book description.

Warrior of the Light: The Stand

A Warrior of the Light carefully studies the position that he intends to conquer.

However difficult the objective, there is always a way of overcoming obstacles. He seeks out alternative paths, he sharpens his sword, he tries to fill his heart with the necessary determination to face the challenge.

But as he advances, the Warrior realizes that there are difficulties he had not reckoned with.

If he waits for the ideal moment, he will never set off. The Warrior requires a touch of madness to take the next step.

The Warrior uses that touch of madness. For–in both love and war–it is impossible to foresee everything.” An excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light: A Manual.”

The mature warrior stands up without standing up. He has become one who does not need to stand up because he is, at the very least, aware of the contents of his life and his actions, even if he does not know the results beforehand. He knows his intentions are to serve. He is curious and disciplined, often conservative in his stance.

Before he matured, he searched for other warriors; in his seeking he often found himself begging his closest friends and family to give up their lives to accompany him on his journey. He frequently laid himself out as a personal sacrifice to show those comrades how to survive even the biggest blows to the ego. He stood, like a baby deer, on spindly, clumsy legs.

At one point, long before he began this search, the warrior believed he was one of few people willing and capable of drawing his sword to fight off the dark and angry foes. Acting mostly alone, he used his point to do damage and power-over people, standing strong and loud in the battlefields of his life, wondering why no one ever came to support him in his quest. He destroyed almost everything he wanted to stand-up for.

His own rage was preceded by a long and quiet self-imprisonment, during which time his only weapon, his deep “wanting,” was turned against himself. Living in a self-fulfilling prophecy of helplessness and hopeless collapse, he was a soul without purpose, destined for failure. It is to this place the Warrior returns now and again, the place from which he first grew and one day will leave to those who are at the beginning of their journey.

These experiences have given the Warrior strength, conviction and trust, to climb up and out of the abyss, and to finally crash through the glass ceiling, into the place he’s envisioned all along. This is the place he’s always known, the place worthy of his lifelong warrior’s stance.

Paulo Coelho is a light warrior whose stories relate many of his own journeys, inexorably linking the inner and outer terrain. I find his stories both intriguing and somehow comforting as he is always reaching beyond his known world into new and different frontiers. Tens of thousands of miles and usually continents away, his journeys bring me close to a group of souls I feel I’ve known for aeons. Each of his books not only feels very real to me–whether he writes of men or women, via fiction or non-fiction; they are all quite personal.

This in itself, is incredibly captivating, and certainly why his stories are translated into 71 different languages, selling over 100 million copies.

From his beginning with the “Alchemist,” to his more recent publishing of “The Aleph,” Coelho’s characters–which no matter how obvious or obscure, I see as reflections and vignettes of his own life–are consummate warriors: both arrogant and humble, curious and complacent, fearless and afraid.

After reading through “Warrior of the Light: A Manual” for the second time, I now pick it up a couple of times a week, randomly thumbing through to find a pertinent verse. They are all pertinent, and as this next verse implies, hold a quality of humility and receptivity.

Coelho speaks from the heart every time.

The Warrior of the Light views life with tenderness and determination.

He stands before a mystery, whose solution he will one day find. Every so often, he says to himself: “This life is absolutely insane.”

He is right. In surrendering to the miracle of the everyday, he notices that he cannot always foresee the consequences of his actions. Sometimes he acts without even knowing that he is doing so, he saves someone without even knowing he is saving them, he suffers without even knowing why he is sad.

Yes, life is insane. But the great wisdom of the Warrior lies in choosing his insanity wisely.” An excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light: A Manual.”

Purchase Paulo Coelho’s book.

Faery Singers

Singer of Initiation

Last night I was awakened in the wee hours, most likely by the wee people!

As I lay there trying to find some physical comfort in an otherwise rather twitchy hour, I closed my eyes, looking behind the veils to breathe and practice opening my inner eye.

It’s not a new practice, it’s just that last night something different sort of, well…happened. Sometimes I see a lot of orange, other times it appears to be outlines of people and their faces, and frequently I see the Blue Pearl.

Not so last night. And even though I’ve seen this particular phenomenon before, I’ve never heard the singing that accompanied the visual brilliance. Last night was a first for that.

So many bright little lights, swirling wisps of pink, white and golden light, in all shapes and sizes–moving this way, dancing that way. I looked and looked, and at one point one of the faeries transmitted this to me:

We are the Singers! 

Unity, Ekstasis, Guardian of the Gate

If it hadn’t been so late, no, I mean so early…if it hadn’t been dark and if I’d wanted to come out of that brilliant space, I might have consulted Brian Froud’s, “The Faeries’ Oracle.”  I knew there was a section on the Singers of the Realms.

According to The Faeries’ Oracle, the Singers have many names: angels, devas, gods, dakinis…I can think of a few more too.

Faery Singer of Intuition

“And they sing the song of the underlying universe,” according to their Oracle anyway.

I have to say, this felt so true last night when I was beyond those veils, inside myself, in my inner world. It felt as if they were knitting me together in some way.

But that’s just me, I always feel like I’m being dismantled and taped back together, especially in the wee hours of the night. It’s an inner journey, personal transformation kind of thing; a shamanistic initiation of sorts in which one is shunned, dismembered and near death. Luckily for us, me in this instance, when the Faeries are the root of it, it can be a wondrous, even charming journey. Although when the Challengers are out in force, it’s a very shadowy experience, indeed.

You see, there are five different Faery clans: The Singers, The Sidhe, Faery Guides & Guardians, The Help-Line Troupe and The Faery Challengers. They all have different types of jobs and various vibrations, and depending on what kind of help our Earth and we humans might need will determine what clan makes its way into the land of potentially “seen.”

Yes, I did say potentially. Not everyone sees them, though I’m pretty sure everyone senses them on some level. If you don’t sense them, I think you just don’t know you do, or maybe you’re really dense! I don’t know, you’ll have to reflect on that for yourself.

I’ll bet the Faeries can help you with that!

The Faeries have a lot to say right now, and in this particular time on Earth we had better listen. FYI, I’m sure you can get a more intellectual book about Faery and study a much more intense vein of Faery wisdom, but it might not be as much fun.

G. Hobyah a Faery Challenger

Singers are the angels, the Sidhe are mediators of the singer energies, Faery Guides & Guardians are in direct relationship with we humans and our creative gifts, the Help-Line Troupe are the elementals, and the Faery Challengers help us with our shadow work: bringing it into the light, helping us confront our fears, denials, traumas and bad behaviors.

Pretty important role they play, isn’t it? Yes, actually all of them are critically important to the balance of the Earth and Cosmos and the humans in between.

Get the book. Get it now! It’s been around a while.

Spider Brains: A Love Story

This guy is hanging on my wall this morning. His legs, as you can see, are bright green and his body looks like a halloween goblin!

He must have arrived just in the nick of time and in honor of Susan Wingate’s new young adult release, “Spider Brains.”

I’d just finished reading her post about the blog tour when this strange looking arachnoid appeared! Today Susan is featured at Cocktails and Books, an online book review and book club blog.

What an interesting way to promote a book these days. In fact, if you are a writer, you might want to look into this type of marketing at Pump Up Your Book, a virtual book publicity service. You can also get a schedule for the rest of Susan’s blog tour there.

I haven’t yet read “Spider Brains,” though I have read Susan’s 2011 adult release, “Drowning,” which won national fiction awards…in fact, it seems as though all her books win awards. She’s pretty funny too…you might just want to follow the comedy of her life (click on blog at the top of her home page) and the writing challenges she posts of Facebook.

Check it far as I can tell, all Susan’s books are available on Kindle and other electronic devices….and she’s really interested in other writers’ success and evolution.

A golden quality, among all her other good stuff!

Meanwhile, I think I’ll try to find a way to put the green-legged monster outside. He’ll be happier there.

Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns

I adore Ireland; it’s in my heart, and my soul is just another tree, blade of grass, or one of the whispers of an Irish breeze. I long for that land’s misty climes, its green rolling landscapes and all its taunting and unseen inhabitants. I feel at home there and one day will mostly likely live there, at least part time. I loved Ireland even before I visited my first time, yet it wasn’t an easy relationship in the beginning, no sir-ree, not a bit! So when I read Tanis Helliwell’s new book, “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns,” I laughed and cried and felt nothing but empathy for each of her true-life characters.

Imagine traveling to Ireland for the first time with great expectations that the country was filled only with love and a thousand welcomes. Isn’t that what slainte means? Imagine believing you would miraculously find yourself in some castle ruin and that this little stormy island would open it’s arms to embrace and carry you, like a long lost child of nature, beyond the veils of the otherworld, to a place of incredible beauty. Imagine expecting to find immediate work, to meet wonderful new friends and even a romantic soul mate.

Ha! Instead, you meet a bi-polar escapee from a mental hospital in the North. Turns out you are a total fool, setting yourself up as bait, good pickins’ for the little people’s antics. During the first week your fantasy turns into the rainiest, grumpiest, most confrontational inner journey you’ve ever taken, and until this moment, you had no interest in learning about your shadow either! Spirituality was only a lofty and serene place high above the clouds, beyond the galaxy we know.

The rental car company, without notice, deducts three times the price of the quoted rate from your teeny tiny available credit card balance; you have crazy dreams and feel lonelier than you’ve ever been; you are fearful and lost, blaming the locals for giving bad directions and generally resenting their bright-eyed snickers as you drive away in some unknown direction. There are parking tickets, stolen hubcaps, and fights with the authorities about all of it. You are in a constant state of complaint as there is no internet connection; the truth is, you plain and simply just wanted to experience something fantastical, staying home and reading about someone else’s travels.

With what little money remains on your already bulging plastic ticket to a faeryland adventure, you eat potatoes, cabbage and carrots for five weeks straight, wandering around like a victim of the famine, at the effect of almost everything Irish. The brogue is so alien, it might as well have been Russian or Japanese. You look sheepishly and obviously, very American. Then one day the sun peeks out from behind the clouds and you finally find your inner Craic, your flow and your ability to meet the energies of this land which exist in a constant state of time warp and novelty.

This is my story, and now, 15 years later, I’ve been to Ireland many times, expecting nothing and coming home with everything. You get the picture. My own story, like many others, is similar to the tale Tanis Helliwell tells in her recently released, “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns.” Different people, same sites. Different experiences, same lessons.

Eleven days on a bus with 30 people from varying levels of spiritual knowledge and even religious backgrounds; a matching number of journeyers who came specifically for the elemental experience, and those who doubted almost completely; at least 30 taunting elementals including goblins, trolls, brownies, faeries and leprechauns, all laughing while stirring the cauldron of inner growth; a stubborn bus driver who refuses access to the on-board toilet; a grumpy tour guide who is a self-touted expert and author writing about faeries yet doesn’t want to meet them, ever; and three different versions of a sacred site tour itinerary, planned 18 months in advance, all magnified by the tensions running between the three leaders who were attached to them!

Yet, as dramatic as this seems, this is quite like a typical trip to Ireland, filled with trip-ups and misfires, when tourists meet up with the local Craic.The superficial definition of Craic is a joke, an adventure, or a good time, an identifier known as something quintessentially Irish. And while it’s all done in good fun, the Craic these tourists in “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns” experienced together was much more than a visit to a local pub and a sharp poke in the ribs.

At the very least, the Craic challenged everyone’s attachments and expectations. Some had physical manifestations, others more emotional and psychological experiences as a result of their own tightly held patterns and states of mind. The elementals were there “to help” each one of the participants get over themselves! In the end of course, some did and some didn’t learn to laugh at the inevitable reflections.

In “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns,” Tanis Helliwell describes the Craic as akin to the Tao, or The Way.

The Tao is a life path; it is the meridians and other energy channels inside us that also weave through the planet and all its creations. Because it is nature, the Craic, like the Tao, offers a constant growth stimulus demanding surrender or else! Naturally occurring, there is darkness and light, balance and chaos living within each human and every little blade of green Irish grass. It’s all about the little streams and gentle currents, yet it is also the rushing rivers of change within every living being; that which we see and that we don’t see quite so easily.

Unless we drop our roles, surrendering to the ebb and flows of something much grander than we are, we get caught up in the whirlpools, knocking about underneath the surface and only coming up for air when the water spins around a rock or bubbles up, just because. We are choking, bruised and battered by our own resistance to this thing we see outside ourselves called nature.

In a time when the news is all pretty discouraging at best, “Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns” inspires us to be trusting and accepting without blinders. It’s an adventure story, a story of humans co-habitating with elementals; it’s about life lessons. It is told with humility and grace, a nod and a twinkle, and absolutely filled with Craic. Entertaining, insightful and provocative, I read it in an evening lying on the couch and am now working on my psychic transport skills. I’d like to smell the peat fires burning, to feel the wind and soak up the dew on my skin. I’d like to walk on that dark rich soil of Ireland again soon.

“Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns” is available at Tanis Helliwell’s website or at

Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power

Carved into the Biblical mountains near Moab, sits an ancient Jordanian city named Petra. From the depths of one woman’s soul and the soft red stone of the middle east, emerges an energetic link to the past and many future conversations with the Goddess.

Little did Dorothy Atalla know when she first visited this mystical place while on a family vacation in the 1970’s, that her travels had only just begun. Seven years after returning home from that trip, she experienced her first encounter with the Goddess while meditating, beginning an inner journey that transformed her life and empowered her both physically and spiritually.

Recently released, Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power, is the first in a series of books about Dorothy’s dialogues as well as the connection every woman has with the divine feminine. Moving between present day and ancient times, we are launched on a spiritual journey to seek answers that potentially free us all from inner conflict, encouraging awakening women the world over to embrace the prominent roles they will play in the evolution of humankind.

As the story unfolds, Dorothy evolves, and her interpretations about being female shift rather dramatically. She embraces the fact that her body is not separate from spirit and recognizes that her place within the spiritual intentions of our planet are vast, spanning the expansive time line of Earth’s evolution. With this re-membering, she invites readers to understand what it means to be part of the universal story of the divine feminine which continues to weave through us all in our daily lives.

“There will be a new global spirituality in which great numbers of people will experience me directly. Peoples’ thinking will change. When thinking changes, society changes,” says the Goddess in Dorothy’s journey. This is what we have known, what we have been awaiting for thousands of years. It is a time of balancing the masculine and feminine archetypes by honoring the divine feminine in all human beings.

And Dorothy herself says, “My hope for the readers of “Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power,” is that they feel they are experiencing the voice of the Goddess. Every woman is part of Her Story, emerging in our times, a story which includes affirmation of women’s wisdom and the spiritual power of the feminine.”

Conversations with the Goddess: Encounter at Petra, Place of Power is available at

Feel free to visit Dorothy Atalla’s website too for more information on her programs and writings.