…Halloween is just around the corner!
I know this blog has been quiet lately, but that’s all about to change.
So much exciting news on the way from the friends and family
Monsters & Angels
What is the draw of magic in stories? Why does it attract us? What does it say about the human condition that no matter who or where we are in this world, we so love a story with magicians and witches, elves, dwarves, and various monsters causing mayhem?
Magic is the potential of dreams and desires. We wish for our heart’s desire as we blow out candles and after a successful hunt for a four-leaf clover. No matter how much or how little we have, we wish for more. More of whatever we feel a lack of in our lives. Prettier looks, money, success, and, of course, love. We wish pain would go away and that our enemies will suffer. Because we wish, our minds are open to stories of magic. We are well-prepared to suspend disbelief and enter worlds where wizards walk and witches sing and dance around cauldrons. A good many of us desire interaction with fantasy worlds so much we dress up, plaster our surroundings with symbols, and memorize words of power.
From our birth, when wishes and prayers for a long and healthy life rain over us, to the first time we are instructed to make a wish, the longing for magical or divine intervention is ingrained into our psyche. It is no surprise then that as we grow we are often transfixed by stories where people are helped by magic-bearers and secret wishes are granted by faeries. Our life, physically and emotionally soars and dips. Having magical stories to escape to helps us cope with change and tension – even if only to distract us and give our minds a rest.
The magic used in Keeper of the Way is from a time when magic was everyday, concocted over the kitchen hearth, and used for the well-being of all. Rosalie Ponsonby and her friends use beans on their runners, honey fresh from a hive, bread baked with fine-ground flour, and specially prepared herbal teas. This is hidden magic – where the ordinary can be used to create something extraordinary. Black salt (salt mixed with ash) and lavender is used as protections from evil. Lemons are cut and left by doorways and windows. We may think of these as “old wives tales” today, but this is merely another way of hiding magic.
Sigil-craft is also used – the manipulation of written words to request a blessing or boon from the Spirits. The women start with Chaos-magic – simplified spells using the quickest means and easiest tools (pencil and paper) and will work their way toward intricate designs with ink and air and mist as their ability grows. Their tools also become more assertive; from pencils to craft basic sigils and a wooden spoon to stir their cauldrons to swords, daggers, and wands.
But we also require balance and we can’t have good without some bad. We wish and wish, and are told to be careful what we wish for – we must think about the things we are asking for or the wish outcomes may not be as we expect. Faeries are ever ready to play tricks on us. Magicians, wizards, and witches may not be as they seem, and monsters lurk in every dark crevice of the mind.
The antagonists in Keeper of the Way, Algernon and Clement Benedict use blood sacrifice and dark rites to align themselves with malignant spirits. They misuse tools of power to infect malicious energy into the home and sanctuary of Rosalie and her family, and are prepared to commit murder to further their own needs. They have stolen relics guarded by the MacKinnon Clan for millennia and corrupted their purpose, deliberately opposing the morality of the Ponsonby family, their friends, and their ancestral spirits.
Fairytales of our youth drip with warnings, symbols, and moral lessons. Often these lessons have helped shape our moral compass without us realising. In Keeper of the Way and throughout the Crossing the Line series, we will see how easily this compass can be disrupted as the Benedict men continue to act in opposition to the beliefs they profess to.
If you’ve grown up on a steady diet of speculative fiction, everything from fables and fairytales to Lord of the Rings-style high fantasy, and Harry Potter-esque teenage adventures then you’ll be ready to believe in magic everywhere you see or hear of something otherwise unexplainable. Even in the kitchen pantry.
Keeper of the Way is published by Odyssey Books.
Patricia Leslie is an Australian author with a passion for combining history, fantasy, and action into stories that nudge at the boundaries of reality.
Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.
Lexie Arden and her fiancée, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.
A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.
As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.
Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.
Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans
It’s almost May and my blog feels neglected. No more!
These past months have been a blur of work, school and snow, but we kicked stress to the curb with a wild, Billy Joel drink n’ dance party at Madison Square Garden. Special thanks to Brian!
The upcoming months will be busy…super busy. Fun busy! I’m putting the final touches on Monsters & Angels, approving the interior, setting up blogs tours and reviews, scheduling social media stuff… All this craziness is aimed at my release date of October 11, 2017. Sign up for the newsletter here !
There will be the saga of my Vampire Ball dress. This gown demands a blog series of its own. Its a monster.
The party will only grow wilder, all the way through Halloween and the Endless Night Vampire Ball in New Orleans. Because the truth is, all the roads I travel lead to New Orleans.
But before all that—the Monsters & Angels cover reveal! I can’t wait to show off the dazzling cover art designed by Storm Owl Art !
A fellow author Ramon Ballard recently published the heartfelt, historical tale , The Last Chance. Ramon asked himself this question > “Why did you write your book?” I’m going to answer that, with a new twist.
Author Dan Alatorre just released the hilarious Italian misadventure, Poggibonsi . On Dan’s blog, he interviews one of his characters, Sam , to showcase her incredible voice. I’m going to try that also, with one of my characters who hasn’t received enough spotlight yet.
Even though I was exhausted yesterday after Scott and I spring cleaned Glory Days, the spirit of our boat always gifts me a jolt of creativity. It felt like summer and reminded me of “Jazz Fest Syndrome”… where I leave 40 degrees and rain in New Jersey and nearly pass out at Jazz Fest in 85 degrees plus humidity<<not even that hot, but any event that coins a syndrome or a gets its own name like “The Gumbo Incident” is unforgettable.
I’m a little bummed about missing Jazz Fest this year, but the winding road to New Orleans glows brighter every night…