Tangled in Magic: Have you read it?

If you have read Tangled in Magic,

please post a review on Amazon.



Saachi thanks you, and I thank you.



Are Dwarves Evil?


-my sketch of the dwarf Morg, in Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles

As I read about dwarves, I find the most interesting and creepy information in the descriptions of their origins.  The Norse mythology has dwarves either being created from the blood and bones of the giant Ymir, from whose flesh came the Earth. Even creepier is the other Norse myth that has the dwarves originating as maggot-like beings devouring the giant’s corpse.

Dwarves may go back as far as the beginnings of monuments like Stonehenge. Could their skill in stonework point to dwarves as the possible creators of the standing stones found throughout Europe?


Dwarves are found in both Germanic and Scandinavian legends. The Germanic dwarves live in mountains and underground. They are known for their skills in mining, smithing, and crafting, and have a reputation for wisdom. In the Germanic tradition, dwarves may have originated as nature spirits and healers, and some sources consider them a type of faerie. The concept of dwarves’ appearance depicts them as short, hairy, and ugly, but these characteristics may only be a recent development.


Scandinavian dwarves are metalworkers with a more sinister association with death. In some stories, dwarves guard the mountain doorways between the two worlds. They live in subterranean kingdoms full of treasure, and have magical skills, are able to forge enchanted swords and rings, and can make themselves invisible.


In both traditions, dwarves can be friendly to men, but if crossed, they are likely to seek revenge. They are also reputed to abduct children and young girls.


In my Karakesh Chronicles, the dwarves buy children to use as slaves in their mines. But not all dwarves in the Kingdom of Karakesh are immoral or evil. In Book II, the pureblood dwarves use the healing powers of gemstones to help others.


Which way do we spell it: dwarfs or dwarves? J.R.R. Tolkein, our supreme source of heroic dwarves, formed the second plural in error, and let it remain.

So what do you think? Are dwarves evil…or not?


dwarves by julie dillon

by Julie Dillon (online)



Fantastic Creatures: Selkies


Selkies are legendary shape-shifting creatures of the sea. Stories abound about these seal people who shed their skins and come ashore in human form to dance on the beaches, or bask in the sun.

The folktales tell about selkie women whose pelts are stolen and hidden by enamored men. Trapped in their human forms, the female selkies must remain as the wives of their captors until they can retrieve their skins and escape to the sea. Male selkies are reputed to seduce human females. Some human women actually seek out the handsome selkie men.

Book III and Book IV of the Karakesh Chronicles have characters that are selkies. What most interests me is this: what happens to the children of these unions? What do they look like? Are they born with the same combination of traits, or are the selkie and human features mixed up in different ways?

That is partly what Book IV is about. The main character is a half selkie/half human girl. I’m writing it now. I hope you’ll read it when it is published.

Meanwhile, you can explore the Kingdom of Karakesh in Book I: Tangled in Magic, available at www.amazon.com and check out my author page at www.amazon.com/author/ellisk

selkie 1