Oct 31, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Divination

The folks taking home the card decks are:

The Green Witch Tarot - Chad

The Earthbound Oracle - Hexe

The Fantod Pack - Rob Phoenix

Thanks again, wonderful folks, for playing along all October. I'm missing that magical month already!


 The It has somehow all come down to this - the last day of October, and the last bit of frivolity here in this month of giveaways. I have had several people ask me why I do this - why I gather books and oddities throughout the year from authors I meet or enjoy, or find something I fancy and buy an extra one for a stranger. It pleases me. It's as simple as that, really.

This blog has been a safe place for my thoughts and my heart for some time now (even during a year like this one when I only get by once or twice a month to post something). Picking up these books (and this year in particular, some extra fun items) is my way of keeping the people who stop by here in my thoughts all year long. It's a bit like a never-ending game of trick or treat for me.

It is also important to mention that it couldn't be done - not at the number of giveaways of this year and last - without the generosity of various authors, publishers, and friends. Some of the lovely people I have featured have gifted me either free books or a reduced rate on purchasing directly from them. I have had folks offer to ship their work to the winners directly, so I didn't have the extra postage fees, and my wonderful friend Aidan Wachter donated an extraordinary gift of his talent.

What you may not know is that I work what essentially amounts to two jobs in October - this year even more than previous years, and I am long hours at the office, while still trying to put my gardens to bed and find some small pleasures in this treasured month. I couldn't run this yearly party without the kind folks who help with these giveaways and those who share these posts on social media and beyond. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now for the last three giveaways - which are not books, but a bit of divinatory fun I picked up for you.

First up, The Green Witch Tarot from Ann Moura:

I don't own this deck, so can't speak for it, but I have heard whispers that it is quite charming. It is a new release - it has only been out two months, I believe - and is packaged nicely in a set, a book accompanying the cards.

This next oracle deck, I own and love. It comes with cards only, no little white book, but the images are luscious and I have not once thought a book would improve the insight I gain while reading with it. I use this for reading for myself only - it feels very private and special.

The Earthbound Oracle, from A. L. Swartz: (click through to her shop page to view these gorgeous cards - I don't feel comfortable swiping the photos of her artwork and posting them here).

The last deck is for those of you who can appreciate a spectral hippopotamus, or an epileptic bicycle. Edward Gorey's dark, delightful, and strange "Fantod Pack" tarot deck is not quite a tarot deck at all. But then, in Gorey's world, nothing is ever quite what it seems. When I saw this perfect oddity, I grabbed one for a friend and one for you, and then upon seeing them sit on my bookshelf over the last couple months, I gave in and ordered one for myself. You can never have too many delightfully odd things in your life.

There is a great article about this deck here, and many more pictures of the cards.

If you would like to have one of these three decks show up in your trick-or-treat bag, leave a comment below. You may tell me which deck you would prefer, and if possible I will match winners to their choices.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us - some of you are already drifting out into this Halloween night, in search of mischief or candy - so I will leave this last giveaway open until Tuesday, November 3rd at 6pm Pacific.

Thank you again for playing along with me all month!

You can find the rules and legal bits here.

All photos are copyright their respective authors/creators and linked back. They are used only to showcase the items to be given away.

Oct 29, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Byron Ballard

Byron's books are going home with:

KellyM and Sam Saye - congratulations!


When I read our next author's first book "Staubs and Ditchwater: A Friendly and Useful Introduction to Hillfolks' Hoodoo" I felt like I was sitting around a table with my grandmother and aunts, a large pot of tea making the rounds, while they talked about the business of keeping house, and keeping other folks noses out of your business. My grandmother was not from the Appalachians however, she was a British import who could grow spectacular roses with little effort, brew a pot of tea that would fix anything from a headache to heartbreak, and use a potato to dislodge the stinger of a bee that was stuck in your foot. She had a small witch on a broom hanging in her little yellow kitchen, and gods help you if you lifted a lid on one of her pots while they were bubbling on the stove (she knew if you did too - whether she was in the room or not).

Byron Ballard writes in such a way that makes me miss my grandmother with even more than the usual ache. She reminds me of a time when women were in command of their kitchens and gardens and every item had several purposes. A time when the person who kept the home, kept it peaceful and safe with whatever skill and items they had on hand. That time does not have to be "back then" - it can be now, with a little know-how.

Byron has generously offered up two signed copies of her new book "Asfidity & Mad-Stones: A Further Ramble Through Hillfolks' Hoodoo"

I had the pleasure of taking a sneak peak at this book and it is a treat!

"Grab your work-basket and a good, sharp blade, and come along in to the back lots, the meadows, the hills. Byron shows us the folkways of her beloved Appalachian homeland, and shares practical wisdom and workings that she has learned and adapted over a lifetime of practice.

Ms. Ballard tells of ancestors and ghosts, folk-sayings and omens. She offers up a list of herbal helpers, discusses fundamental needs, and shares all manner of works - from blessings to banes. All while weaving an enchanting picture of the land and the spirit of place that holds her heart. 

This is good, get-dirt-under-your-nails craft. By the time you are finished reading this charming book, you should have an impressive toolkit of local plants, dirt, stones, and waters, and a bit of a sore back. 

Dig in deep to this gem, and be sure to carry a buckeye in your pocket, encourage plantain in your yard, mind your dishwater, and pay attention to the moon."

There are two copies of Asfidity & Mad-Stones up for grabs. I seem to be running out of October, so you will only have until Friday at 11pm Pacific to leave a comment here. I will be out in a haunted cornfield that evening, so I'll draw the names when I stumble home, cold and scared silly.

Here are the rules and legal bits.

Photographs copyright Byron Ballard. Quoted text my own.

Oct 24, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Sarah Anne Lawless

Wow - you all love you some Sarah Anne Lawless! Do swing by her shop and blog, she has a new look happening over there and some lovely new products in the works!

The issue of Clavicula Nox is going home with Magaly Guerrero.

The flying ointment will be whisking off to Jen Lawrence.

Swing by tomorrow when more magical books appear!


I am a bit late posting this next giveaway today, because I spent a good portion of the late morning and early afternoon up in the hills, wandering through the now naked birch and tamarack trees, across drifts of yellow needles and leaves, and through pine and fir forests that made me swoon.  I know that our next author/artist would approve of how I spent that portion of my day, so I am not too worried that I am finally sitting down to post the next giveaway for your wicked October pleasure.

Sarah Anne Lawless is an author, artist, folk herbalist and witch, who spends her days creating with plant, bone, ink, and whatever she can get her magical hands on. In between chasing around her delightful pixie of a son, she is a wildcrafter, a poison-plant maven, and works with the land spirits where she resides. She weaves spellbinding posts on her blog and her wonderful articles appear in various publications far and wide.

I am offering up two very special gems from Sarah:

The sold-out, visually stunning issue of Ixaxaar's Clavicula Nox: Magic & Mayhem which holds within its pages, Sarah's article "Intoxication, Seership, and the Poison Path" which she signed for you.

From Ixaxaar:

"Honouring the Covenant to the forbidden teachings of Traditional-Diabolism & Sorcery.
Included in this witchcraft issue: The Commemoration of Lord Qayin by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, The Curse of the Burning Grave by Frater Ben Nachash, The Way of the Night by Asenath Mason, West Country Curse-Magic by Gemma Gary, Djävulspakt- Infernal Pacts in traditional Swedish Witchcraft by C.A. Nordblom, Intoxication, Seership, and the Poison Path by Sarah Lawless, Wyrd by G.
Professionally printed, illustrated magazine, thick brown covers, perfect binding, 60 pages."

And one of Sarah's incredible flying ointments - Saturn: belladonna, henbane, poplar buds, monkshood, yew. I have happily partaken in a few bewitched balms from Sarah, and love them. 

You can find Sarah's shop here, and read up on her flying ointments here.

Please feel free to leave a comment telling me which item you prefer - if I can match winners to items, I will. I will draw two names on Tuesday, October 27th at 6pm Pacific and update this post with the winner's names.

You can read all the rules and legal bits here.

The photograph of the Saturn flying ointment is used with permission, and copyright Sarah Anne Lawless.

Oct 21, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Judika Illes

The Encyclopedia of Spirits is going home with: William Jones

Magic When You Need It is going home with: Stephanie Clayton


Another wicked duo will be up for grabs tomorrow...


I find it a rare thing to hear an author spoken well of across varying groups of practitioners. Often, I hear a book or a writer mentioned, and there is someone else in the room who immediately starts rolling their eyes, or wants to tell you why that particular author is not worth your time. I can honestly say that I've never heard anyone speak ill of our next author.

Perhaps the amount of research and information she pours into her books, is the reason there is a wide reaching appreciation of her work, or it may simply be that others have discovered what I have - she is a truly lovely human being who adores this magical world, and wants to share it with others.

I am pleased to be sharing two of Judika Illes' books with you:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demon, Ghosts, Gods and Goddesses

"...a comprehensive and entertaining A to Z of spirits from around this world and the next. The spirits in this encyclopedia represent every inhabited continent, deriving from many cultures, eras, and spiritual traditions. Some, like the goddesses Kwan Yin and Ma Zu, currently possess millions of devotees while others are barely remembered. Within this book, you’ll find individual spirits of varying degrees of power as well as type (genres) of spirits from all over Earth."

Magic When You Need It

"Magic When You Need It serves as your magical emergency kit. This simple to read, easy to use, mini-grimoire contains 150 tried and true spells to eliminate and remedy the emergencies you already have as well as spells to prevent them."

If you would like to add one of Judika's books to your library, please leave a comment below before Friday, October 23rd at 6pm Pacific. Feel free to let me know which book strikes your fancy!

Rules and legal bits are here.

All photos and quoted text are copyright Judika Illes and used only to promote these books for this particular giveaway.

Oct 17, 2015

Death Rites and Remembrances: My Grandfather's Music

The delightful Magaly Guerrero hosts a blog party each October under the "Witches in Fiction" banner. Each year she chooses a new haunting theme, and this year the idea surrounds celebrating or marking the memory of loved ones that no longer walk with us in the flesh.

I have a small story to share, if you want to pull up a chair and sit a while. It won't take long, but there is a campfire here, and I'll pass you a cup of hot chocolate if it pleases you. The neighbour brought fresh apples from his trees this week, and I made tarts. Help yourself.

My grandfather (top right) stands with his siblings and parents outside the castle that his father built for his mother upon coming to Canada. The "castle" was a grand house sporting a roof with faux turrets. More impressive than the house, were the grounds my great-grandmother kept. Secret garden rooms and hidden sculptures were found all over her yard, and I spent long days getting lost out there among the plants and wildlife, and protesting every call from my mother to return inside.

My grandfather played the spoons. He played the piano too, and when his fingers could no longer stretch out and press down on the keys, he took up the guitar because he was able to hold the rudimentary tool he created to strum the strings.  He played the harmonica at times. Not well, but no seemed to mind.

He loved to sing. He was part of a gentleman's choir for years, and when he was 90 he began performing solo in retirement and nursing homes to entertain "the old folks." His eyes and memory started to fade a bit (but only slightly) and so I spent some time tracking down a list of old songs he gave me, and I created a large-print song book for him to carry around so he might have a bit of backup if his mind lost a word or two of a favourite tune.

Few of his children inherited the musical gene, and even fewer still of his grandchildren. Many of us have wished that we carried even a small portion of his talent in us.

I don't know that I have a memory of my grandfather that doesn't include hearing him sing, or recite a funny poem or lyrics, or seeing him take up any item within his reach and try to make music appear from it.

I saw my grandfather, my father's father, the day before he died. He was 99, and only a few short months away from his 100th birthday. We had planned a big bash for him, as well as a family reunion, and he was very excited. But his body was failing. He was tired. My cousin and I sat with him that day, and he told us stories and sang for us, and I knew by his breath and manner that he was moving away from us. I called the family that night, aunts and cousins, and told them to come.

I didn't return the next day. I had my quiet moment with him, and told him the things I wanted to say, and thanked him, and kissed him, and knew we wouldn't meet again while I was in this body. I can't remember what I did the next day, but I received messages from family telling me how glad they were to have rushed to his side. He was delighted that day - his tiny apartment was brimming with people who had come to sit by his side and tell him stories and sing with him. My cousin told me that he kept asking "is everyone here for me?"

The man that wandered through his life with music on his lips and in his hands, sang to his family on the day he died. As people went home he grew quiet, and at last, with my aunt by his side, he drifted on the music he had given us, into the next world.

When it comes to making music, there is almost no talent in me. I tried out choir and band in high school, but my voice isn't much, and I grew frustrated with reading sheet music. The few instruments I tried I gave up on because my short fingers wouldn't cooperate with stretching out to hit a chord or a key. My hands are better suited as spades for the earth, than for traveling nimbly down a piano. Recently though, I picked up a pair of spoons. I was putting away the dishes, and I found myself wedging them between my fingers and trying to rattle them the way my grandfather did. It turns out that my chubby fingers are good for something - they held those spoons perfectly.

Perhaps there is a bit of his music in me after all.

The Great October Talisman Giveaway - Aidan Wachter

The "Wolf Moon" talisman will be going home with...

Kashmira 17

Congratulations, lucky duck!


The month is somehow half over already, and I have not gotten up to my usual amount of mischief. I still have some ideas up my sleeve, and there are more forest journeys to take, and moons to howl under. In the meantime I thought I'd shake up this bookish month with an extra special treat. My brilliantly talented friend Aidan Wachter has offered up a wicked talisman for your October pleasure.

This beauty, titled "Wolf Moon" is Aidan's nod to Circe:

I have several of Aidan's charms, and each one is wildly special to me. His craftsmanship is spectacular. As pretty as his photos are, there is nothing quite like seeing his work in your hands, and around your neck.

You can order any of his designs for yourself, here, or you can contact him directly about custom work. You might also want to leave a comment on this post, because on Tuesday, October 20th at 6pm Pacific, I will be giving this little bit of lunar wolfishness away.

The contest rules and legal bits are here

The photograph is copyright and property of Aidan Wachter and used only to show his offering to this giveaway.

Oct 14, 2015

The Great October Colouring Book Giveaway

The colouring books are heading home with the following people:

Just Add Color: Day of the Dead:  thevapyrwithin

The Mindfulness Coloring Book:  lesadora

The Shakti Coloring Books:  LJ Dogsmom

Congratulations and happy colouring!


One thing you should know if you are new to this little blog is that I am Canadian, and we toss the letter "u" around like confetti on New Year's Eve. We especially like it cozied up to the letter "o" in particular. This post is titled correctly. However, these next books to give away...they look a bit naked without the "u" in their title.

In this case, they are in fact naked, and waiting on your hands to fill them. (This is sounding naughtier than I planned.) Colouring books for grown ups are all the rage of late, but I have been squirreling away my nieces old books for years. When I can't turn my mind off, when meditation just doesn't work, I dig out something to keep my hands busy for a while. There is an entire market springing up around adult colouring books, though there are differing opinions on whether colouring is truly therapeutic. Why not try it, and decide for yourself?

I have three different colouring books for you to play with:
(You will also get your choice of classic Crayolas or pencil crayons)

Just Add Color: Day of the Dead - from Sarah Walsh, published by Rockport Publishers

The Mindfulness Coloring Book by Emma Farrarons, published by Boxtree

The Shakti Coloring Book by Ekabhumi Charles Ellik, published by Sounds True

If you want to get your colouring on, leave a comment below, making sure there is a way for me to contact you if you win (linked comment or email address). You have until Friday, October 16th at 6pm Pacific. If there is a book that calls to you, let me know and I'll see what I can do about matching up winners and their choices.

As always, here are the rules/legal bits.

Thanks for playing!

All images are copyright of and linked back to their respective authors/publishers.

Oct 10, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Amy Stewart

These are the lucky folks taking home Amy's books:

Jennifer - The Drunken Botanist

adventuresinverdance - Wicked Plants

Congrats!  I'll contact you tonight!


Our next books are from The Drunken Botanist herself, Amy Stewart. Amy is a New York Times bestselling author who writes fantastic books about gardens, pests, plants, poisons, and booze. How could you not love her? She has just released her first fiction novel, but you are getting a chance to grab one of her wicked garden tomes.

First up, we have "The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks."
"This New York Times bestseller uncovers the enlightening botanical history and the fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, fruits, and even a few fungi—all with a delightful two-color vintage-style interior, over fifty drink recipes, growing tips for gardeners, and Amy Stewart’s trademark wit. "

And next, "Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities"
"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the garden! An A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend, with frightfully fascinating illustrations by Briony Morrow-Cribbsand Jonathon Rosen."

If you are in the market for some extraordinary herbal reading and exploring, leave a comment below (making sure that I can contact you). The dull rules and legal bits are here, for those that haven't seen them yet. As always, feel free to let me know which book grabs your interest, and I'll do my best to pass them out accordingly if possible.

I have a big Canadian Thanksgiving weekend ahead of me, so I will circle back to draw two names on Tuesday, October 13th at 6pm Pacific. Good luck!

 All pictures and quoted text are copyright Amy Stewart and are used only to showcase these books for the giveaway.

Oct 5, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Red Wheel/Weiser Books

The two Debra's have swept this round - Debra She Who Seeks and Debra Nehring! And because you have requested different books, you shall have your wish. I will be in contact for your mailing addresses.

Thanks so much to Weiser Books, and to all of you who stopped by - do swing back early tomorrow morning for the next set of books up for grabs!


If there is a publishing house that is staffed with nicer folks than the lovely people at Weiser Books, I would be terribly surprised. For the second time, these generous book lovers have offered you, dear readers, a duo of this year's releases from their wonderful catalogue.

Special thanks to Eryn for going above and beyond and Judika for keeping me connected!

First up, we have Courtney Weber's gorgeous study on the goddess Brigid:
"Brigid—mother, daughter, healer, bard, warrior, fire goddess, goddess of the oak, animals, and magic. Brigid of the spring, her festival Imbolc, oversees fertility of all kinds. Brigid is many things to many people. In this enticing book, Courtney Weber offers up a wide-ranging exposition and celebration of all things Brigid, who is arguably the most popular figure in Celtic mythology and religion. Meet Brigid in her various incarnations—Celtic Pagan Goddess, Christian Saint, and Voudon Loa. 
Each chapter ends with guided meditations and exercises that help readers tap into Brigid’s healing powers. Inside you’ll find Brigid-focused spells, blessings, recipes, and rituals for love, harmony, protection, and much more."

Next, you might want to grab Orion Foxwood's book of old-style witchery, The Flame in the Cauldron:
"For the first time, Foxwood reveals some of his own deeply personal rituals and spells directly from his own grimoire of witchery; he highlights the differences (and similarities) between Wicca, "traditional" witchcraft, and old style witchery. By weaving his own path to witchery throughout the book, he gives readers examples of how to identify the way toward this path. 
There is a revolution among the Pagan and Witchcraft communities, a movement away from prescribed ritual and neopagan practices and a reaching back toward what Foxwood says is in the heart of any true witch: a thundering call deep within their very blood to become a healer, a reckoner, a protector of magical arts, and a guardian of the wild woods."

You can check out Weiser's wonderful catalogue of books anytime here. Also, if you are a Twitter-type person, follow them there - they are very close to ten thousand followers and are planning to give some books away themselves when they reach that milestone!

Leave a comment below if one of these books inspires you. You can let me know which book you would like if you win, and I will try my best to accommodate you.

Please be aware of the rules and legal bits here.  You must leave me a way to contact you - if you are not commenting with a profile that links to an email for you, then please leave an email address in your comment in whatever form you are comfortable with. (For example: Jen AT gmail DOT com.)

I will draw the winning names on Friday, October 9th at 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern). Good luck!

*Photos and quoted text are copyright Weiser Books and are used only to showcase the giveaway items.

Oct 1, 2015

The Great October Book Giveaway - Neil Gaiman

These books are now heading out to haunt:

~ Birgit
~ Autumn Earthsong

Congrats! I'll contact you shortly!


Once upon a time, I gave away four books in the month of October. I enjoyed it a great deal and decided to continue the tradition the following year. I thought that perhaps I should name my October book party something clever, and the name "All Hallows Read" came to me, which I thought was perfect! And it was perfect - so perfect that Neil Gaiman had already thought of it. Thanks Neil.

Fast forward several years later, and I'm now giving away oodles (a scientific term) of books, and Neil and I are good. I have since forgiven him, and discovered his reimagined "Hansel & Gretel" with dark and stunning illustrations by Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti.

Neil talks a bit about the horror of Hansel and Gretel for him as a child, and why you should make children aware of dark things, in this brief interview.

I have two copies of this gorgeous fairy tale up for grabs (sadly, unsigned, but still fabulous). If you want to revisit this story, curled up with a blanket on a cold October night, leave a comment below. I will draw two names on Monday, October 5th at 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern) and update this post to let you know who the lucky folks are.

Thanks for joining me again for another October of mischief! If you don't see something that tingles your spine, stick around. Something else is bound to creep up.

*Giveaway rules/regs are right here. Simply make sure this is legit where you are and we are good.

*Photos are used only to showcase the featured title. They are linked back to source, and are copyright Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti.