Sunday, October 14, 2018

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop - YAY!

Thank you, October for finally arriving and sharing with us my favorite time of the year.  With Fall leaves, Pumpkin lattes and Halloween in sight, I can't get enough. What about you guys? Excited yet? Well, you should be because today starts that absolute best book hop of the year, the annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop.

The host of the giveaway hop is Mary from Bookhounds. This year there are over 50 blogs participating and to celebrate, I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter:

Enter To Win!

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The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on Oct. 15th - October 31st, midnight. The contest is open to US participants.

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See who else is participating.

Mina Burrows

Friday, September 14, 2018

Clear Your Shelf Hop Giveaway

This month we celebrate Banned Book Week on September 23-29th and normally I usually participate in an annual book hop. This year, however, I'm changing things up a bit. While I'm still a big fan of the Banned Book week, I'm in cleaning mode. Out with the with the new, type of thing. Summer's over and we're moving at full speed into Fall. To prepare for the change, join me in this month's book blog hop, Clear Your Shelf Hop Giveaway hosted by Mary from Bookhounds.


For this blog hop, there are nearly sixty blogs participating so join in on the fun this month. I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

+2 Subscribe via email
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Comment
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on September 15th - September 30th, midnight. The contest is open to US participants.

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See who else is participating.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

End of the Summer & Mary Shelley

Hello, my Blog Freinds. Summer is nearly over and that's somewhat distressing and also thrilling since Fall is upon us. I wanted to blog one last time before September to let everyone know I'm alive. Summer sped by so fast, it hardly felt like a break.


Not much excitement happened to me other I visited family in Texas. What an amazing trip! The state is positively larger than life and the residents tend to beam with such pride and joy it's infectious. You gotta love it. If any of you have visited Texas or have lived there give me a shout out and tell me where.

Since returning from that trip, I jumped back into the grind and got my kids off to school. This year I have two kids in middle school which is equal parts frightening and exciting. It's nice when both kids are at one school which means less driving and more productivity.

Happy Birthday, Mary Shelley!

Anyway, for those of you who don't know Mary Shelley's birthday is today. It's not surprising that after all this time, she is still relevant and still an original. Amazing, huh? I wonder what she'd think of her fans, and how her notoriety and cult following continues to grow. It's simply amazing. I've read Frankenstein several times and may have to do so again for inspiration. If you haven't had a chance to read it, check out my review. Such a wonderful book and treasure.

According to Biography, she defied convention even before she wrote her classic horror tale. She ran away with Percy Shelley who was a poet and already married. Yikes, that must have been a scandal to be sure. The article mentions how her father didn't speak to her for some time after that which is kind of sad. She was very young when she fell in love and ran away. *Sigh* Oh, young love. She had a somewhat tragic life with the death of her mother when she was young and then a tumultuous marriage. Shelley endured the deaths of two of her children (only one survived) and was also widowed at the age of 24. Very sad, indeed. She was an incredible woman in her day and gave birth to one of the greatest literary masterpieces of our time. What an icon! To learn more about her background, click here. Happy Birthday, Mary.

Favorite Quote:

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” 
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Hope you enjoyed your Summer!

Mina Burrows

Thursday, June 14, 2018

SPLASH INTO SUMMER Book Giveaway Hop 2018

Hello, friends! Summer is finally here and I'm already feeling the heat. What about you? Have you planned your vacation this summer? Or are you already enjoying it? If you're like me, your summer has just started and now's the time to read a lot and write even more. To celebrate all the beauty of these next few months, I'm participating in the SPLASH INTO SUMMER Giveaway Hop hosted by Mary from Bookhounds.


For this blog hop, there are over fifty blogs participating so join in on the fun this month. I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

+2 Subscribe via email
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Comment
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on June 15th - June 30th, midnight. The contest is open to US participants.

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See who else is participating.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Hello, my friends. It's time for Book Buzz where I feature a book that's a new release and one that's getting fantastic buzz. Just released this month, SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC By C. Lee McKenzie is about a young wizard who embarks on an awesome adventure and somehow gets in over his head. Read more about this fantasy book below.

Book Description

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found.

There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.

But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018
Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

Get your copy here!

About C. Lee McKenzie

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

Follow & Share!
Twitter: @cleemckenzie

Available now - Some Very Messy Medieval Magic by @cleemckenzie Barnes & Noble iTunes Amazon #middlegrade #magic

Doesn't it sound cool for kids? I've already got my copy and so should you.
Can't wait to read it.

Have a great rest of the week.

Mina Burrows

Monday, May 14, 2018

Love in Bloom Book Giveaway Hop

It's Spring for most of us by now. I know many of my friends up north had to deal with a lingering Winter, but let us hope there is none of that any longer. Whew! Anyway, with Spring comes a promise of all things in bloom including flowers, love and you guessed it...books! To celebrate Spring, I'm participating in the Love in Bloom Book Giveaway Hop hosted by Mary from Bookhounds.

For this blog hop, there are over thirty blogs participating so sign up and join in on the fun this month. I'm giving away one (1) FREE $10 Amazon Gift Card. See the details below on how to enter.

Enter To Win!

+2 Subscribe via email
+2 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Comment
+1 Tweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

The giveaway runs from 12:01 AM on May 15th - May 30th, midnight. The contest is open to International participants.

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See who else is participating.
<!– start LinkyTools script –><!– end LinkyTools script –> Mina Burrows

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

IWSG: May & the Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime Release

April went far better than I expected with the A-Z Challenge and my theme, Under the Sea Myths and Legends. For the next several months, I plan on visiting all the blogs I didn't get to in April so I'm looking forward to that. There were hundreds of blogs that signed up so be sure and take a look when you get a chance.

Before I dive into the IWSG for May, I wanted to mention our fearless Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh who created this monthly hop and also give thanks to the people who are co-hosting this month,, E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant. Thanks for all your help!

To learn more about the IWSG program and how it can help your insecurities, visit the website here.


Monthly question:  "Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?"

For sure it's a good time as any to write. What I like most about this month is I get some spring cleaning done with my files. Sometimes I find that I need to go back and reorganize things to streamline my writing and reinspire the creative process.  I'll review old chapters and decide if I need to rewrite, add back in or delete completely--that type of thing. Maybe it's the spring cleaning-type of thing in preparing for summer? I don't know. 

Fun Find for Writers

I thought I'd share this little tidbit from Take a look at this link: The Weird Side of Famous Writers when you get a chance.  Here's a snapshot of a couple of the fun and weird facts about some the most famous writers we love. 

Book Release: Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime Release

 Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime is out now. Woot!  Take a look at the book description: 

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Get your copy here: Amazon / B&N / / Kobo / Goodreads
That's it for May!

Mina B.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A-Z Challenge: Y is for Source and Z is for Zambian Water Spirits

It's the final day for the AtoZ Challenge and we are at the letter's Y & Z.  I'm posting about two different sea creatures in the Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme today. For the letter Y, I'm featuring a myth that as far as mythical beings go, is pretty creepy looking. This sea creature lives near the rivers in the Amazon.


This legend, according to sources, lives in underwater cities and resemble humans, and is described as hairy beings with abnormal feet and--here's something strange--they can rotate their head backward. Yuck.

The image here depicts a Yacurana holding a snake and riding a crocodile. Legend says the Yacuruna mythical beings sometimes kept company with the reptiles. Additionally, they lived in crystal palaces under the water.  Like other myths, they liked to kidnap humans, preferably young women. That's a shocker, huh? I often wonder if young women disappeared for other reasons, not unlike today, and their local villagers created these wicked tales to cover up something even more nefarious done by humans rather than legends. Who knows? Anyway, these Yacuruna were considered dangerous. They liked to shapeshift into other humans and then lure females into their water worlds. One tale said a young female vanished by the Yacurana and later she appeared as a mermaid with healing powers.

Whatever mystical powers they have, the one that's most interesting is their healing powers.  Sources say a shaman can summon a Yacurana to help with the healing of their humans who are sick. This was the first time I learned about a creature that could be summoned to heal a person's illness. Apparently, an important bond can be created solely between a shaman and a Yacurana to help aid humans.  Among the locals, these creatures are considered gods with untold powers in the Amazon. That said, I'd have to say they are formidable beings.

The Letter Z

The letter Z was a doozy to find an underwater creature or myth. The first creature I found was for a water spirit called Zin. Unfortunately, I didn't find much information about it, so I decided to feature a different one. For my letter Z, check out

Zambian Water Spirits

There are many legends based on the Zambezi River in Africa to include water spirits and mermaids like the powerful god, Nyami Nyami (a.k.a. “Zambezi Snake Spirit”) or the famous water spirit, Mami Wata. The waters of Zambezi River and Victoria Falls are considered magical. Some of the legends say the mythical deities would roam the area and expect offerings from the locals and can become lethal when not honored. 
Nyami Nyami was said to be content until the 1940's when outside civilization entered their territory and built a damn. The damn offended the god and kept him from his wife.  During its construction, the area suffered mass flooding and deaths and many believed it was the wrath of Nyami. After it was completed, the myth said the irritated god disappeared back to his world and away from humans. Interesting, huh? 

Mami Wata translates to "Mother Water" which is really quite lovely. This water spirit represents water, healing, sex, and fertility according to folklore.

That's it for the letter Y and Z and thankfully for this challenge.

If you missed my last post for the letter X for Xana, a water fairy.

Mina Burrows

Friday, April 27, 2018

A-Z Challenge: X is for Xana

Today for the AtoZ Challenge we are at the letter X.  My Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme found an interesting creature to discuss.


Xana is described as a fairy from Asturian mythology in north-west Spain. This fairy female has long blond locks and prefers to hang out near water fountains, streams, waterfalls etc... Some references depict the Xana as bad while others say she can bring fortune and untold wealth to humans.

A Xana looks like a young beautiful female, but the being is more fae then human and has magical powers. A Xana's voice can be alluring to humans and it's said a pure soul can hear her melodic sound and feel love and peace. An evil person who hears the voice can go mad. Xanas can be kind or they can be evil. Some myths say they've attacked humans and stolen their children and food.

As far as water creatures go, this one seems to be a bit milder than the rest which is fine with me. I'm just glad I found a creature for the letter X.  Right?

Yesterday, I posted about Tolkien's fictional character, Watcher of the Water. If you get a chance, check out that one too!

See you next time for the letter Y & Z!

Mina Burrows

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A-Z Challenge: W is for Watcher in the Water

We are at the letter W today for the AtoZ Challenge. Whew! We're down to the final letters on for this challenge. Yes!  For the Under the Sea Myths & Legends, I thought about many different myths such as another type of Water Sprites and other types of whales but then decided to post about a fictional creature who embodies the idea of myth.

Watcher in the Water

 J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy series The Lord of the Ring took the concept of myth with it's fictional Middle-earth world of creatures, places, and beings and created an epic tale that felt mysterious, ancient and a tad real at times. This series is a masterpiece on how a fictional story can create the illusion of lore and legends. 

The sea monster, Watcher of the Water appears in The Fellowship of the Ring, where he's lives in a lake near the entrance to the dwarf-realm Moria. The description of the creature is a monstrous underwater beast with mass amounts of tentacles and a head that could be comparable to that of a spider. He has razor sharp teeth and his tentacles can slice it's prey dead. That's the general appearance of the monster, but usually, when it came to Tolkien, he could take a creature like an octopus and revamp it into something that could devour a Kraken.

I found this in-depth character review of the Watcher of the Water. It's incredibly entertaining and I highly recommend it if you're a fantasy-geek like me.

In this video, it references one of Gandolf's famous quotes about the unknown darkness that lurks deep within the Moria mountain and on Middle-Earth. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandolf says, "There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world." When I think about the sea and the vast amounts of creatures burrowed deep--both known and unknown, I can't help but wonder the very same thing. I suspect Tolkien thought the same thing.

That's it for the letter W. If you missed yesterday, check out another Slavic lore creature called Vodyanoy.

See you tomorrow for the letter X!

Mina Burrows

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A-Z Challenge: V is for Vodyanoy

We're on to the letter V with the AtoZ Challenge. For my Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme, I'm featuring another Slavic folklore myth about a dark and disturbing sea creature called...

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a Vodyanoy is a type of "water sprite" who is known to be "evil and vindictive" and can drown humans who enter their territory.  The myth warned people who chose to bathe in a stream on a holy day must make the sign of the cross before doing so or else the Vodyanoy would strike. Ugh. Some of these legends and their reasonings seem positively ridiculous. Then again, maybe people couldn't swim so a blessing before hitting the water certainly could hurt. Right? 

Previously, I blogged about another Slavic creature, Rusalka who, like Vodyanoy enjoyed drowning humans too. Another source mentions this sea monster, like the Rusalka, hangs out in the water, only it's a male not female. His description varies from an overly-large frog-like creature with quasi-JaBba the Hutt features to an elderly male with greenish hair and a long beard. He's said to live near rivers and streams and if angered can also drown humans by destroying their damns, water mills etc... He's basically one deadly dude if you piss him off.

There's more about this creature in this video here that I didn't find in my research. Apparently, he lures and captures young maidens with a flower and then takes them to his underwater realm where they serve him. Uh, that's creepy and totally cool too.   

That's it for the letter V.  Tomorrow is W for Watcher in the Water.
If you missed yesterday, check out my post on Umibozu

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A-Z Challenge: U is for Umibozu

Today we're on to the letter U with the AtoZ Challenge. My Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme today features a really creepy sea monster from Japan called...


In Japan's folklore, the Umiboza legend is also known as the Sea Monk or Buddhist Monk because of his round head. There are many different accounts of what this creature looks like, but the description that's mentioned most is a gigantic blackened beast with two large eyes and oversized bald head, This legend has been around for centuries. The Umiboza rumors started originally from sightings which then spawned into creative tales about the mysterious creature. According to sources, one mention of the Umibozu can be found "in a collection of writings called Kanso Jigo" from the "Kansei era (1789 – 1801)."

These same sources reference that the Japanese historically feared the ocean and due to that fear, some myths like the Umibozu were created. This particular beast could appear in calm waters to ships. If the sailors saw the beast and tried to speak it, it would enrage the creature and cause certain demise to the ship and everyone on it. Umibozu were so terrifying they could "rise ten feet tall and break ships in two." Yikes! From the looks of this legend, it'd be hard to ignore the creature.

Now you may wonder if this sea myth is real or not? Well, as of 1971, one Mainichi Shinbun newspaper reported that a fishing boat near New Zealand caught a creature tangled in the fishing lines with a similar appearance to the sea monk. The Captain and crew believed the creature to be some sort of monster.  Freaky, huh? Even Japan sent an oceanography team to investigate. If you're interested in learning more about this creature and others Japanese folklore, ghost stories and myths, visit this amazing blog, Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

Tomorrow it will be the letter V! Until then, see you later!

Monday, April 23, 2018

A-Z Challenge: S is for Sirens & T is for Triton

Today I'm posting a dual post for the letter S & T with the AtoZ Challenge. This next sea creature is a must with my Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme. For the letter S, I'm posting about one of the mysterious creatures of the sea. S is for


According to Greek mythology, sirens were evil temptresses who would use their magical voices to seduce sailors and their ships toward treacherous rocks and cliffs, delivering them to their doom. Sailors were warned not to hear the call of the wanton sirens. These sea myths are not to be confused with mermaids. Although they are similar, sirens are deadlier. Sirens were referred to as part women, part bird for their sing-song beautiful voice. In ancient times, many ceramic references show Sirens with wings and feathered tails.

I found this interesting since I never knew that about these mythological beings. Sources also say that they are descendants of the Greek god, Poseidon, which is incredibly cool.

Homer's Odyssey is one of the famous Greek stories passed down mentioning the sirens. The crux of this tale is that Odyssey had his sailors plug their ears with beeswax to deafen the siren's song and also had them tie himself to the mast. It was told that a siren would die if a person heard their song as was still about to pass through their waters. I guess Odyssey must have killed many sirens that day or so the story says. Pretty cool, huh?

That's ancient Greek mythology though. What about today? Well, other than some fantastic fiction novels and ancient mythological tales, there's little scientific evidence that proves the sirens are real. Sirens are monstrous creatures who live more in our imaginations and in folklore than in reality. If you're interested in watching a hip new television series that features siren/mermaid-like creatures, FreeForm, has "Siren" television show which recently debuted.  I watched a few episodes and it's okay. I think it would be cooler if it had less of a damsel in distress writing and more of a murderous mermaid on a rampage. I don't know. Has anyone else seen this?

The Letter T

For my Under the Sea Myths & Legends theme, I'm posting about Triton, the Greek mythological creature who's the son of the Poseidon and Amphitrite. I previously blogged about the Poseidon here so take a look if you're interested in learning about Triton's Dad.

Initially, I learned Poseidon is the Greek mythology's God of the sea. When he had his son, Triton, he named him the King of the sea, and according to sources, made Triton his messenger. 

Triton is described as a merman, with part fish with fin and scales and the other part a human male. When we think of Triton, most of us think of Disney's The Little Mermaid, with King Triton, the father of Ariel. He's likable charming and overprotective of his children. As a king, he uses a trident similar to his Dad, Poseidon. Some people may not know this, but Triton's conch shell was a great source of power. When blown, he could summon or calm the waves or even rile other water creatures. As a son of Poseidon and a king in his own right, I suspect he had much power.

Later, Triton the mythological creature was referred to more of a group of mermaids and mermen, as were called the Tritons. Many schools and universities use the mythological creatures as their mascot, including University of California in San Diego.

And that's it for the letters S & T! We're getting close, guys. Six more days left! Whew!

Friday, April 20, 2018

A-Z Challenge: R is for Rusalka

It's Friday and I'm posting for the AtoZ Challenge for the letter R. My theme is Under the Sea Myths & Legends and I'm excited to feature Slavic mythology and folklore with the sea creature...


According to sources, these mythical creatures are referred to as a mermaid, siren, a water nymph-like sea legend who originated from  Pagan Slavic tribes. These creatures were at one time referred to as fertility blessings and it wasn't until the 19th century when they were deemed evil. Some of these myths say young women who died or drown in the water would come back to life and haunt the shoreline as a Rusalka. Unlike mermaids, they didn't have fins and must stay new the water, shore, using trees or rocks to lurk for their prey.

The Rusalka find young men and lure them into the water, their beautiful looks. Once in the water, they use their long red tendrils of hair to wrap and perhaps strangle the unsuspecting lover.  If the victim realizes he's in danger, he may try to grapple, but the Rusalka's skin turns slippery and any effort to flee is futile. *shivers* Wow, that's creepy.

Slavic cultures celebrated these sea monsters well into the 20th century with an annual week called Rusalka Week.  Every summer, usually during the first week of June, people would avoid the water, no swimming etc... because the Rusalka would be most deadly and or powerful during these times. The Rusalka like to dance under the moonlight where onlookers would wander and capture a glimpse of the creatures. If caught by a Rusalka during this time, it meant certain death.  To ward off these evil-spirited creatures, the villagers would hold fake burials near the water. Doesn't sound like that would help, but I guess people did strange things back then.

If you're interested here's another cool video that features this creature and other Slavic myths. The Rusalka is number 1 on the list here so you can skip to the end or watch the whole thing. Enjoy.

That's it for my letter R. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A-Z Challenge: Q is for Qalupalik

Today from the AtoZ Challenge, we're onto the letter Q. Usually, when you get these tough letters, it's nearly impossible to find a topic, but not today, my friends. My theme, Under the Sea Myths & Legends, features another myth that's terrifying and oh so delicious.

Now, these sea creatures come from Inuit People who are from the Canada Arctic territory and also areas extending to Alaska and northern Canada and to Greenland. According to sources, Inuit tales were passed down through story-telling, a sort-of macabre children's fairy tale.

In this particular myth, a creature called, Qalupalik, was a sea-creature, that some say are a type of mermaid with scaly and also human-like features. The myths said these monsters like to steal children and take them to the sea. They disguised "themselves as humans" and would "wear similar ponchos," luring unsuspecting children and kidnapping them. Sources say it's possible these tales were created to keep children from wandering away or being disobedient to their parents. If you think about the freezing temperatures of the ocean and the dangerous terrain, it's conceivable why parents would want their kids to heed the legends. I guess that's one way to keep your kid obedient. Scare them into obedience? In the case of this sea creature, I'd prefer to obey instead of meeting a Qalupalik, wouldn't you?  Yikes, that's creepy, huh? 

Interested in watching video on this myth? It's pretty awesome and highly recommended. See below. 

Not bad for Q, huh? Have you ever hear of a Qalupalik?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A-Z Challenge: P is for Poseidon

P is for  Poseidon for the AtoZ Challenge. For my Under the Sea Myths & Legends, I thought it was important to feature Greek mythology's god of the sea (and water, earthquakes, droughts, and horses).

If your Greek mythology fan or better yet, a Percy Jackson fan, then you already know about Poseidon. He's bad-ass personified. I never knew this, but he's actually the father of King Triton - which is another sea creature I'll be posting about for the theme. According to sources, Poseidon was the son of the Titan, Cronus, and Rheia. He also fathered Pegasus which is crazy cool and was said to create the first horse ever.  He had several aliases, including Sea-Father and the name Neptune.

As a god, you can imagine what his powers were like what with summoning earthquakes, commandings the seas and even creating horses. Myths also mention that he used his trident to create springs, which would be great if you're stuck in a desert and thirsty. I think he might be one of my favorites. 

Poseidon is as much as a mystery today as he was in ancient times. Back before 300 BC, they even had coins created with Poseidon and his trident. 

Some of the most popular ancient tales feature the powerful god, Poseidon such as Homer's Odyssey or Iliad. Even today there are countless books about Poseidon.

That's it for the letter P. I'm curious if you have a favorite book with this Greek god?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A-Z Challenge: O is for Octopus

For the AtoZ Challenge and O is for Octopus or in sea monsters terms, the Kraken. My theme this year is Under the Sea Myths & Legends and so far I've unearthed some creepy-crawling creatures from the deep blue sea. 

The Octopus myth stared centuries ago, but none so famous as the deadly Kraken. Before I dive into the Kraken and why this legend is so notorious, I wanted to give you some background about the octopus.  
Cephalopods have existed for hundreds of millions of years, many of which have been fossilized and are now extinct. These sea creatures have amazing talents like camouflaging and contorting that it's no wonder why we have myths like the Kraken.  Does anyone remember recently when they found a squid that was as large as a school bus? Youzers that's big!  

Now, this legend started in Norway about this creature haunting the seas.   When you think about it, it could be from sailors stuck at sea and thought they saw an oversized squid.  This sounds a bit more plausible, right? There are large creatures in the ocean for sure. Is it possible that the Kraken would attack a ship like this picture above depicts? Well, sure. Just take a look at some online footage of whales, sharks and, their sometimes aggressive or predatorial behavior. Now take a look at an octopus or a squid. According to sources, "cuttlefish, squid, and octopuses, are thought to be the most intelligent invertebrates." They can be playful, and have personality according to some researchers, but does that amount to the tale of the sea creature, Kraken? Well...there's frankly not enough proof. But with the technology we have today and the information we keep learning about this strange species, I wouldn't be surprised if this legend becomes a shocking reality.
Interesting in watching a fun video about the Kraken? Check it out.

At that's my letter O. What do you think about the Kraken? Do you think this myth is real?

Mina Burrows

Monday, April 16, 2018

A-Z Challenge: M is for Mermaids & N is for Ningen

Next up on the AtoZ Challenge is another double post for the letters M & N! For the letter M for my Under the Sea Myths & Legends,  I'm posting about a sea creature myth that everyone already knows about...


Mermaids have been around for centuries. Some say as far back as the 25 century BC. These sea creatures come in both male and female and are described as half human and half fish. There have been many maritime stories about
 these beasts. Some say these superstitious tales started from hallucinating sailors after being stranded at sea long periods of time. It's not a far stretch that a sailor with little food and water could hallucinate just about anything. It's unlikely that anything could be proven some hundred plus years ago either. Today, however, people have so much access to their cell phones to capture the mysterious on video and frankly, anything's possible. Right? Maybe. Take a look at this video below and determine if you think this myth is real or not.

There have been historical sightings of mermaids since the 1400's from Christopher Columbus and even in the 1600's from John Smith, the famous explorer who worked with Pocahontas.  According to this legend, Captain Smith said "he was sailing off an island in the West Indies and saw a woman “swimming with all possible grace” who, despite her “long green hair” was “by no means unattractive.” The intrigued Captain Smith then observed that “from below the stomach the woman gave way to the fish” as the lovely siren slipped away." 

Cool, huh? Who knows?

The Letter N

For the letter N for my Under the Sea Myths & Legends,  I'm diving into Japanese folklore about a strange sea monster that, to be honest, I've never heard about before.

N is for Ningen

This sea monster is considered more of a humanoid-life form and some consider them to be the Japenese mermaid. The term "Ningen" means human and the creature, according to sources, is described as being white, approximately 20+ meters long and having a human-like shape with fingers and a possible tail. Other sources describe these creatures with fins and tentacles or possibly mermaid-like. Whatever these sea beasts look like, some have mistaken them for white whale because of their size? That seems a bit far off to confuse a whale for a bizarre-looking sea creature. Still, these under the sea creatures have caught a ton of buzz lately. There have been numerous sightings, causing much speculation about these monster origins.

Many sources say these massive beasts live in Antarctica, while others say they've traveled as far as Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Are they real? Well, other than some grainy images/videos caught on film, these creatures seem to be more myth than anything else. Still, watching videos like the ones below, certainly makes you wonder...

That's it for the letter M & N. What do you think? Is the footage weak or wicked?