WHAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE THIS BOOK
by Christy Nicholas
The magic of the land of Ireland is what inspired me to
write this book – I think everyone should get a chance to share in that magic,
to experience the joy and love of the place and people.
While there are many stunning, beautiful places in the
United States, and specifically in the state I live in of West Virginia, these
sites are spread out across this vast land.
The land of Ireland is compact, and these sites are almost on top of
each other. One simple day of
sightseeing can give you rocky sea cliffs, white strand beaches, ancient
monuments, and charming pubs. You can
chat with friendly locals over a pint, while baaa-ing at the sheep as you wait
for them to move out of the road in front of you.
I discovered that most of the guidebooks concentrate on
the big places – those places that are overrun with tour busses and gift
shops. While these places are usually
popular for a good reason, there are so many other places, off the tourist
radar, that are worth exploring. The
advantage being that you might have the place to yourself, as you explore at
your own pace, and soak in the history, the culture, and the beauty. It’s the hidden holy well off to the side of
the country road, or the Neolithic shrine on the top of the hill. Perhaps you enjoy visiting the family pub
that’s been owned by 5 generations of the same family, or the hidden valley
park with stone circles and waterfalls.
I have definitely learned there are many places yet left
to explore, and I look forward to trying!
I will likely just need to move there to see all the things I want to
Christy will be giving a $20 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.
IRELAND: MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, MYSTICAL
Do you find yourself
drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the
typical tourist traps? Come, join me on a journey through the mists of legend,
into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths,
the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of
millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on
planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while
away the magical hours of your holiday.
Magical Facet The Fair Folk
Everyone has heard of fairies, of creatures with supernatural powers to curse,
to bless, to find gold, or to cause mischief. Literature and art is full of
them from Shakespeare to contemporary artists Amy Brown or Jasmine
Beckett-Griffith. Western culture, especially in the US, is bred on Disney’s
Tinker Bell, children’s books of flower fairies from Victorian artists, and
grim tales of the darker side of these Fae folk.
In Ireland, fairies, known as the Sídhe
(pronounced shee) or the Good Folk, originate from the Tuatha Dé Danann, the
people who immigrated to the island before the Sons of Míl. Supposedly full of
powers, the Tuatha Dé Danann could not bear to be near iron, and therefore
their superior skills were for naught. Rather than leave the land they loved,
they agreed to reside below the earth. For this reason, caves are said to be
entrances into their underworld homes. Traces of this legend can be seen in the
classic film, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, where Darby is led under a
mountain to the Fairy King’s palace.
has countless portals, be they hills, hawthorn trees, caves, wells, or other
A more Christianized origin of these creatures claim they are angels which fell
to Earth before humans resided there. They live beneath the waves or gardens,
and while some are evil, others can be helpful as long as they are treated with
While many modern legends show the fairies to be sweet, kind, magical
creatures, this is really a Victorian creation. The traditional views in
Ireland and Scotland show the Sídhe to be mischievous to the point of cruelty a
force to be reckoned with. They are not sought out by the wise. In fact, most
of the herb and spell lore of an almost forgotten era is meant to instruct how
to keep you from coming to the Folks’ attention.
|Author Christy Nicholas|
My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many
things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real
life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother,
grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected
me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an
obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful
sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a
picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this
beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and
thus I write. Combine this love of beauty
with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and
craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions
throughout the country and abroad.
Find Christy’s book here, and at other eBook stores:
My husband and I have been to Ireland twice and we yearn to return. When I was offered the opportunity to review this book, I snapped up my chance. I'm so glad I did.
Ms Nicholas has succinctly covered an amazing gamut of Ireland's past and present in easy to read, pleasurable form. I love the photos, as well, because they add to her commentary. I only wish this was available in print. In her words:
"Do you find yourself drawn to the magic of the Emerald Isle? Would you like to see places beyond the typical tourist traps? Come. Join me on a journey through the mists of legend, into the hidden places of mystery. Immerse yourself in the legends and myths, the history that has made this island precious in the hearts and minds of millions. Along with the tales and history, there is practical information on planning your trip, budgeting your costs, and finding the best places to while away the magical hours of your holiday."
The Mythical, Magical, Mystcical: Ms Nicholas opens with the myths. She recounted some of my favorite and a couple I didn't know. Are they based on embroidered fact or fiction? She leaves it to the reader to decide.
My husband and I found the Irish people to be friendly and welcoming. Ms Nicholas had the same experience. Warning: beware when they tell you someplace is just "a wee stretch of the legs" down the road.
But the author shared wonderful stories of her various trips and the delightful people she encountered. This section alone is worth the price of the book!
One can't discuss Ireland without mentioning music. Ah, the Irish must each be a gifted musician. And she isn't talking "River Dance." No, she means the genuine folk music and dance found throughout the country. Just reading this section brought back happy memories for me.
Photo Opportunities: I'll let you read this section yourself. All I can say is you'll be taking hundreds of photos. This is the greenest, loveliest place on earth.
The author covers foods very well. Traditionally, Irish fare was plain. After all, this country suffered many famines and the population learned to get by on little. An influx of tourists coupled with culinary schools has produced diversity in foods. My husband and I were well fed there. We found it interesting that more than one type potato dish is served at dinner and also that carrots combined with parsnips is ever present. We happen to like them, so that's fine with us. One thing I had to avoid is the black and white "pudding" sausages. I tried them. Blech!
Ms Nicholas offers practical suggestions for traveling without struggling. She also gives insight into the "hidden" or less traveled sites. These are the places that you won't see on a standard tour--the very places my husband and I long to see.
I loved this gem of a travel guide. I highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Ireland. In fact, if like most Americans, you are of Irish ancestry, you'll enjoy reading IRELAND: MYTHICAL, MAGICAL, MYSTICAL.