29 October 2011


Last night, the zombies took over Adams Street in downtown Toledo! My husband and I donned our biker gear and went out in search of a few brains to munch on at the second annual Zombie Crawl. This is probably the one time that turning off the red-eye reduction on the camera is actually a good thing. :)

This was one night we elected not to ride the Harley. Are you kidding me? With all those blood-hungry monsters roaming the alleys? [shudder]

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Carolan Ivey

25 October 2011

Early Celtic "Stonehenge" Found in Germany

Early Celtic Moon-based Calendar "Stonehenge" Found in Germany

Just in time for the Celtic new year!

From Science Daily:
A huge early Celtic calendar construction has been discovered in the royal tomb of Magdalenenberg, nearby Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany's Black Forest. This discovery was made by researchers at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum at Mainz in Germany when they evaluated old excavation plans. The order of the burials around the central royal tomb fits exactly with the sky constellations of the Northern hemisphere. Read more

11 October 2011

Highway to Hell (Mich.), Oct. 2011

Last weekend my husband and I explored south central Michigan's rolling hills and gem-like lakes to see the fall colors. Armed with a handful of printed off maps (oh yeah, I can hear you snickering already), off we went on our Harley beastie (I'm not riding solo that far or fast yet!). Within an hour the wind took a couple of the maps, so thus began our navigation by "iron booger." (Fans of Home Improvement will get that reference!)

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. Most of them were taken while the bike was in motion, so I apologize in advance for the tilted view. :)

Huron River below Barton Pond dam.

My hubby and the Beastie at Sandhill Crane Winery. Don't worry, I did most of the tasting, since I wasn't driving!

Most of these photos are from the Waterloo recreation area.

Lotsa bikes at the Dam Site Inn, Hell, Michigan.

Barton Pond

I'm not sure WHAT this is...!

Welcome sign over the bar at the Dam Site Inn.

Proof that Hell, MI is a real place!

Ticket to ride!

About this time last year, I posted a blog about my spectacular failure to pass the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF) basic rider course in a quest to get my license. I can look back on it now and laugh, especially since now, one year later, I have...(drum roll)...passed the course and earned my M!

Yep, instead of a generic picture of a girl on a motorcycle, today's picture is me on my second day riding my new scooter, which I've dubbed "Puck." In faerie lore, the pooka or phukka are a funloving folk, full of mischief and lively humor. But treated with disrespect or ignored, they can turn on you and make life miserable! That's sort of how I approach riding - have fun, but don't push my luck.

Puck is a 2011 Meiduo 150cc scooter, delightfully easy to ride and with enough zip to be safe on the townships 50-mph roads. The previous owner added a water bottle holder and a strip of bright blue LED lights on the underside, right before he decided he wanted a machine with a bigger engine.

My instructor, the proprietor of a local scooter shop, went above and beyond to help me get over my jitters. When I showed up for the schedule class in August, it turned out all the scooters he'd brought with him were too tall for me - I couldn't reach the ground with my toes, much less flatfoot it. So once again I had to bow out of the course before I'd barely gotten started. Tom promised me he'd meet with me one on one with a smaller scooter the following week. Then his lovely wife Katy broke her foot, so we had to put it off yet another few weeks.

Just when it looked liked I'd either be riding in the snow or putting it off another year, Tom called with the news that Katy was cleared to put weight on the foot.

A few days later I walked nervously onto the far corner of long-term parking at the local airport. Tom put me on a bright yellow former rental scooter that I promptly named Tweetie Bird. After learning the basics on Tweetie, Tom put me on a bigger scooter to see how I fared in the sharp turns. Suffice to say the bug population of the Lucas County airport parking lot was cut roughly in half as I raced around the turns with a huge grin on my face. :)

Two days later I'd mastered the dreaded Box (tight figure 8), cornering, weaving and emergency stopping. My only point off was not coming out of the corner fast enough.

Hmm, riding faster...better go work on that. See ya later! Now where's my helmet...

03 September 2011

CONTEST on my BtV blog post today!

Come on over and chat about your guilty media pleasures. :) Leave a comment to get in a drawing for a bag of Authors After Dark con swag and books. Click here!

26 August 2011

Summer Ghost Hunting

Read about the ghost walks and hunts I've done this summer over on the Samhain Publishing blog, and see my orb photos! :)

Read it here!

24 July 2011

Dark Wine & Dangerous Cheese: What Authors Do After Dark

Greetings! Just a quick announcement that I will be appearing at the 2011 Authors After Dark con, Aug. 11-14 at the Philadelphia Doubletree. Registration is officially closed, but the booksigning will be open to the public.

If you're signed up to go, here's my schedule:

3pm, Assembly E, Historical ROmance
4pm Assembly F, Myth and Magic

11am, Concerto A, Behind the Scenes of the Average Author
4pm, Assembly D, Spontaneously Paranormal

11am, Assembly D, Author Blog Fail
2-4pm, Ormandy Ballroom, Booksigning


On Friday, join me, Dana Marie Bell, Bianca D'Arc and J.C. Wilder for "Dark & Dangerous Wine & Cheese" from 4-6pm, Hospitality (2nd Floor).

Trust me, as an avid fan of "Suspicious Cheese Lords", I lobbied hard for "Dark Wine & Dangerous Cheese" as the title, but I guess everyone was afraid that no one else would get the reference. [grin] Oh well.

We'll have gourmet cheese and nibbles and a cash bar, and we'll be handing out goodie bags and holding a drawing for prize baskets and a FREE NOOK!!

Hope to see you there!

06 June 2011

Music Review: "Stories for Sale" by Christie Hennessy

Hey gang, I'm now a staff writer for Celtic Mp3s Magazine. If you haven't checked out this site, you should! There are even free Celtic music tracks to download. Enjoy! Click here

20 April 2011

Between Two Fires: Earth Day to Beltane

Eadar dà theine Bhealltainn. The Highland Scots honored the ancient traditions of May Day by casting juniper boughs upon two bonfires, then passing between them for purification and luck.

These days, our planet Earth could use a bit of both.

Here are a few things you can do to celebrate both Earth Day (April 22) and May Day/Beltane!

  1. Declutter and donate. As long as you're spring cleaning, do it right! Be ruthless and get rid of anything you haven't seen, touched or used in more than a year. Don't just pitch everything, though. Your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or homeless/domestic abuse shelters can use:

    - Clothing & shoes
    - Small appliances
    - Toys, games and books
    - Older but still functioning computers/laptops
    - Unused toiletries leftover from when you went crazy at that last 2-for-1 sale

  2. Recycle all those cardboard Christmas gift boxes you've got stuffed under the bed. (Yes, dear hubby, I'm talking to you!)

  3. Your local chapter of the American Association of University Women or Friends of the Library might appreciate your old books.

  4. Send your used paperback novels to soldiers serving overseas.

  5. Plastic grocery bags - there's a reason these are being outlawed in some states. Please don't throw these out with the garbage - save them and drop them in the collection box many grocery stores have their front doors.

  6. Oh, but keep a few to stuff in your pocket to collect trash on your next walk in the park.

  7. Take a stand against climate change and observe Earth Hour. Turn off electrical appliances, lights, computers, etc. for one hour. Do something crazy, like, um...talk to your kids and your spouse! ;)

  8. A great project for schools, churches, scout troops, etc. - Earth Day Groceries Project. "Borrow" paper bags from the grocery store (ask the manager), decorate them with earth-friendly messages, and return them to the store to be given to customers.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

  9. Put your talent to work! Contribute a photograph to the Earth Day State of the Earth photo project.

  10. Learn about kid and pet friendly, toxin-free cleaning products. Can't find these in the store? Make your own!

  11. Take a hard look at your overstuffed linen closet (come one, admit it, you know you have one!) and take out at least half of what's in there. My guess is you've got more towels and maybe sheets than you need or use. Your local animal shelter would love to have them! Here are a few more ideas.

  12. Save a few tin cans from the recycle bin and make Tin Can Herb Pots.

  13. Don't throw out that broken wooden chair - or that half a can of leftover house paint. Make a Faerie Chair!

Happy Earth Day and Blessed Beltane!


21 March 2011

Celtophile Monday - Get Your Tartan On!

Tartan Day is upon us! Wondering if there are any special events in your area? Check out my friend Scotty's list of events, many in the U.S. Click here.

What's your favorite tartan? I have a few. :)

My clan tartan, MacPherson:

Black Watch:

and Flower of Scotland:

...which is not unlike Black Watch but a little lighter and more reminiscent of the colors of a thistle.

Oh, come on, who am I kidding? Just about any tartan is my favorite, worn in the right context: