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Fairy Romance: Tojet

Fairy Romance: Tojet 1

Tojet, novel available as e-book here and here.

Cover art by Kimberly Steele.

Tojet is a fairy tale for adults.  A mysterious girl named Tojet appears in a convent-run school one day.  Two teachers, Sister Elizabeth and oddly-named Merkit Terjit, take her under their care.

But is she a lost, imaginative orphan or a time traveler with fairy powers?  How does she know who Merkit is and how he was named?

Tragedy drives her away, but she returns as a young, beautiful woman, far more mature than she should be.  She shows Merkit a world of obsession and dark fairies.

He can’t help falling in love with her, but what about the monastic vows he’s about to take?  Can he fight the temptations that surround him?

[Longer, alternate summary, from old website:]

Written by Nyssa (penname Nerissa McCanmore), this novel is a combination of the fantasy, time travel, and Celtic genres.  It combines the author’s imagination and European fairy lore to create the world of fairies in the novel.  This is not a child’s fairy tale.

A nine-year-old girl appears at a convent-run school in the 1990s, saying her name is Tojet and she, a Celt, was born on a fairy mound in England in 566.

Merkit, a lay teacher, takes her into his home when asked to do so by Sister Elizabeth, a good friend of his.

Tojet says that the fairies of the mound have always favored her.  They gave her the ability to transcend time, chose Merkit as her husband (knowing, unbeknownst to Tojet, that his wife would soon die), and named him so Tojet would recognize him.

Tojet now gives Merkit what she calls dream visions: interactive and sometimes dangerous dreams of her world of good and evil fairies, mixed with sixth-century Anglo-Saxon life.  The longest dream vision takes him underneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, where he encounters mermaids, mermen, and undines.

When Merkit’s wife dies in a car accident, Tojet feels guilty because, for a moment, she wished his wife would leave.  She disappears, taking all her belongings with her.

After two and a half years, Tojet returns­–aged by nine years, mostly spent in other centuries.  Now beautiful, brilliant, and well-educated, she wants to claim Merkit as her husband.

However, he has entered a monastery, and does not wish to leave it.  Tojet does not give up on Merkit, and resumes showing him dream visions.

Without meaning to, she also leads him into dangerous experiences with fairies­–and into temptation.  Two prominent figures in the dream visions and real life are the fairy queen and the goblin king, who are their ambivalent allies.

Read Preview here: TojetPreview

Buy e-book here and here.

—So far, this book has been given the highest rating by four readers.  Also see professional reviews here and here[Update: Last link was to Wayback Machine, but doesn’t work anymore for some reason.]  Excerpts:

Ms. McCanmore does an amazing job of bringing fantasy and reality together. Tojet grabs you and brings you happily into her world. I found myself waiting on the edge of my chair for a new story to emerge. The story is wonderful and the characters of Merkit and Tojet are endearing; I also found Sister Elizabeth to be an inspiring character.– Fallen Angel Reviews

 

TOJET is a fantasy inspired inspirational story brought to life by author Nerissa McCanmore. . . . TOJET is a story that mixes many elements which on the surface would seem mutually exclusive. Strict Christian faith from both Tojet and Merkit and faerie opulence. Faith in one’s God and devotion to Him, or secular love. Is it a sin to lust after Tojet after devoting his life to the church, or would God want him to love this woman? Are the faeries pushing him to love Tojet or God or is it his own free will? . . . Interesting and unusual, TOJET is a good book if you are looking for something different.– Romance Readers Connection

Since whenever I revise the book, my reviews go away, I put them here for you:

A Modern Fairy Tale for the Modern Reader [6 stars] 19 Feb 2005 (updated 19 Feb 2005) by Thom Strizek:

A modern fairy tale, Tojet really brings the realm of fantasy to life. Nerissa McCanmore really knows how to paint a picture. Here’s a quick synopsis:

A little nine-year-old girl named Tojet appears at a Catholic school, where an orphan named Merkit Terjit teaches fourth grade with Sister Elizabeth. Tojet is an imaginative little orphan herself that talks of living with fairies, traveling through time and about how she and Merkit are betrothed.

A few months later, tragedy happens, and Tojet disappears for three years, only to reappear as a beautiful eighteen-year-old maiden to a very bereaved Merkit, who has decided to become a monk, and is about to end his time as a novice and take his first vows to actually become a monk. Now, he must choose either Tojet or the monastic vows he is about to take.

Throughout the book, Tojet takes Merkit on dream-visions (a power taught to her by pixies) where he experiences a world that most of us only dream about: fairy hills, exotic creatures, and European life in the 6th century. He experiences feelings and desires that we can only imagine; lusts that we can barely comprehend. He is abducted by a mermaid, entranced by a fairy queen and is disgusted by goblins. When she returns to him as a maiden, hoping he will accept her as a bride, her dream-visions become more sexually explicit.

McCanmore deserves props for her attention to detail; not only her definitive descriptions of dress and surroundings, but also to historical detail, citing the evolution of language and time measurement.

Throughout the book, I felt as though I was being pulled into one of Tojet’s dream visions. Every time I opened it, I felt as though I was instantly transported to another realm, and when I was forced to close it, the current scene I was in lingered in my mind, making me feel almost as though in limbo between her world and the real world.

The only part about this book that isn’t in every way perfect is the end. I felt as though almost robbed of the climax by too much happening within the last couple pages. That aside, Tojet is a wonderful piece of work; a perfect introduction of an author into the fantasy genre. I give it a big 3 thumbs up. fairies and pixies and all things fantastic . . .

[6 stars] 17 Feb 2005 (updated 17 Feb 2005) by aurorawolf Beautiful writing! Scenes such as this one stirred up my old childhood fantasies and made me smile: “The fairy child flew up to his shoulder and kissed his ear. “You’re friendly,” she said. “We like you.’ Merkit tumbled down to the floor and sat there, laughing. He had wet pixies in his hair, a fairy on his shoulder, fairies in his sink, and a Celtic medallion in his hand. What more did a person truly need?” (This is one fairy tale worth reading!)

Where did this story come from?

Tojet was based on a dream I had in 1996.  The dream itself was caused by a story in Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine, in which Alice Liddell (of Alice in Wonderland) was a child vampire trying to tempt Lewis Carroll.  My dream took on a life of its own after I wrote it down and began plotting out a story.

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My Books: two published and my work-in-progress described

My Books: two published and my work-in-progress described 3My Books: two published and my work-in-progress described 5

Tojet is a fairy love story; The Lighthouse is a Gothic story collection.  To learn more, click on the above pictures.

What I’m Working on Now:

Typing An Unwilling Time-Traveler, a novella I wrote in high school, onto my main website, revived my old passion for that story.  Ever since October 2015, I have been working on a full revision.  The original was about a teenage girl abducted to Nazi Germany by a time-traveler; the new version has become far more complex.  Now woven in are various themes such as narcissism, authoritarian religion, and falling for a Svengali figure.  You can read about my revisions in my writing blog.

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Seth Abramson’s Proof of Conspiracy: A review

I just finished reading Seth Abramson’s Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump’s International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy.

Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review 7

Seth Abramson has become known for posting looooong Twitter threads (I believe one had about 100 posts) on politics of the day.  In order to share them on Facebook, I had to resort to the Thread Reader unroller app, which turns long threads into blog posts to make them easier to read.  But of course, while what he says is shocking, you’ve gotta wonder how reliable it is.

So I picked up the Kindle version of Proof of Conspiracy, which came out just a few months ago, so I could check into this.  Contrary to the spin by the GOP, Abramson argues that the Mueller Report proved both collusion and conspiracy (this book is in tandem with a previous book, Proof of Collusion).  And since I’ve read the Mueller Report, along with documents and analyses, I can confirm Abramson’s conclusion.

Publishers Weekly writes:

[Proof of Conspiracy] alleges a ‘Red Sea Conspiracy’ hatched in 2015 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates and then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Their plan….was to illicitly help Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in order to gain his support for a ‘grand bargain’ that would end U.S. sanctions on Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s help in evicting Iran from Syria, pave the way for dozens of new Saudi and Emirati nuclear plants, and forge an anti-Iranian, pro-Israeli military alliance among Sunni Arab nations….[CNN analyst Abramson] traces labyrinths of murky ‘ties,’ meetings, and business deals….[and offers] serious criticisms of Trump’s foreign policy, including his support of the Saudi regime’s brutal war in Yemen.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been working through POC, finally finishing last night.  Right about the time I started it, Trump pulled troops out of Syria–and I began to see, right before me in the daily news, eerie confirmation of things I had only just read in Proof of Conspiracy.  Not just regarding Syria, but other issues as well that started coming to light during the impeachment inquiry, allegations being corroborated by witness testimony.  Names in Proof of Conspiracy started showing up in the news.  We learned new names as well, which traced back to and confirmed claims made in Proof of Conspiracy.

Another way to confirm the claims of the book is the extensive bibliography, which was a PDF posted on the Web instead of in the Kindle book.  I also downloaded it onto my Kindle, where I could click on the links and verify the articles whenever I felt the need.

Then at the end of the book, in the acknowledgements, I discovered that Abramson relied on four fact-checkers.  People complained that Michael Wolff didn’t fact-check Fire and Fury, making it unreliable, so it is a relief to see that Abramson did not repeat that mistake.

And what are the claims of the book?  That Trump’s presidency has not just been a series of blunders, but that Trump is being manipulated–through his greed and desire for power–by leaders of several Middle-Eastern countries in a Red Sea Conspiracy.  Every day, the news confirms that this isn’t just some wild theory.  It certainly explains the Putin and MBS high-five at the G20 last year, while Trump looked on jealously.  It helps explain why Trump would withdraw troops from Syria, to the objections of pretty much everybody, even his attack dog Lindsay Graham.  It also explains why Mueller said Israel–one of our closest allies–is threatening our 2020 election integrity.

Abramson notes how overwhelming it is for Americans to try to keep up with the news when there are so many different sources and so many stories; his book helps by pulling together those stories that most of us probably missed in our busy lives.  I certainly learned a lot of things that were covered a year or two ago in the media, but I missed, despite constantly checking the news since Trump was elected.  Abramson writes on page 561,

At the end of December 2018, the United States for the first time in its history became one of the five most dangerous nations in the world for journalists. We cross this dark threshold at a time when the nation’s journalistic ecosystem simultaneously produces too much quality investigative reporting for even the nation’s best analysts to synthesize; too little accountability for corporate journalism that places profits above ethics; too many stories where commitment to evenhandedness masks an unwillingness to render conventional journalistic and even moral judgments about truth and falsehood, integrity and moral degradation; and too little attention for innovations in the journalistic enterprise that might allow the profession to survive, even if generatively transformed, amid the bewildering transfigurations of a digitized and increasingly virtual (if too rarely virtuous) world.

…The New Yorker quotes Tamir Pardo, the director of Israel’s chief spy agency Mossad from 2011 to 2016, as saying of the Russian election-interference operation in 2016—which appears to have received significant assists from Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati entities—“It was the biggest Russian win ever. Without shooting one bullet, American society was torn apart.” Yet U.S. media still spends more time dissecting Trump’s tweets than seeking to curate the hundreds of major-media investigative reports from around the world that confirm that it is Trump who is, piece by piece, dissecting our nation’s foreign policy and domestic institutions.

This, by the way, also confirms a Facebook post written several years ago by a Ukrainian American friend I met on an Orthodox forum many years ago.  After the invasion, he wrote that it wasn’t just about Ukraine, that Putin would eventually come for us as well.  He thought it would be a military invasion, however, so a few weeks ago, I told him he was right–except that Putin had a much more clever way of toppling us.

Abramson writes on page 546,

The question, of course, has never been about what Donald Trump can or cannot resist. Rather, it has always been about what a society that values the rule of law is willing to tolerate. And more recently—since November 8, 2016—the question has been an even more dire one: What happens to a nation when it not only tolerates the worst excesses and degradations of the human condition but celebrates them? What happens when a once-great nation makes of its very worst instincts and proclivities a shudderingly grotesque political and cultural idol?

What we find when we train this sort of lens on a man like Donald Trump is that his desire to rule has always been co-extensive with his desire to accumulate. Indeed, the fact that, as president, Trump now wants to combine diplomacy with business—even if it threatens America’s national security—is clear.

In short, I recommend this book if you want to understand the strange events that keep going on in our nation and world these past several years.  It is also a warning of why we can’t afford to be complacent about politics in this country.

[Update: Shortly after I posted this, the author himself saw it and retweeted it, which made it go viral.  🙂 I can barely keep up with checking my stats….]

 

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Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review
Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: A review 9

I just finished reading Seth Abramson's Proof of Conspiracy: How Trump's International Collusion Is Threatening American Democracy.

Editor's Rating:
5

Call it what it is: concentration camps. We are turning into Nazi Germany.

Despite having many friends these days, finding kindred spirits all over the place, and being far removed from the loneliness that made me feel dependent on ex-friend Richard’s friendship…there are times when I wish I could talk to him.  This is one of those times.

The news coming from the border keeps getting worse all the time.  One of Trump’s latest tweets (which I trolled) claimed that ICE will begin removing illegal aliens.  I saw this immediately after reading accounts that immigrants will soon be moved into military camps which can be blocked from media/Congress oversight.  And right after reading that some border guards have been using slurs for immigrants and calling them “subhuman” (you know, the meaning of Untermensch).  And soon after reading that the camps now being used can legitimately be called concentration camps.

As I tweeted to Trump,

Removed? To go where, exactly? Concentration camps? Are the death camps next???

The reason I’d want to pick Richard’s brain on this is that he himself was a border guard down there back in the 90s, and he–saw things, did things….This left him a shell of a man, along with at least one of his colleagues.  In the comments under Trump’s tweet, MAGAts are praising Trump and cheering what he’s doing–while I keep reading about the abuses and squalor these people are being subjected to.

It makes the blood run cold.

These are not criminals (they’re asylum seekers).  And even if they were, it’s still inhumane.

These are men, women and children.

But Richard–despite his other questionable stances that made my husband and me wonder if he had a heart (like saying “oh well” to the suffering his political ideas would bring on poor people)–was very much against abuse of immigrants.  He felt guilty for things he did as a border guard.

People these days casually say “shoot ’em!”–but this was the policy for a while, 20 years ago.  To tell border guards they can shoot women with children on sight, or to have citizens cheer on the idea–It’s disgusting.

I hope that Richard has not changed his mind about that.

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