Friday, August 23, 2013

The Trees are Dripping with the Magic of Fairy Tales

The trees are dripping with the magic of fairy tales...and sometimes downright pouring.  Outside my window is a constant, quiet roar of water.  Every leaf on every tree is twitching with glistening secrets, and I am wondering if I need to build an ark.  No, seriously. Check out my backyard bayou.

Days like these make me feel like I'm inside a fairy tale.  Anything is possible as water sprites muster their armada in my backyard bayou and flower fairies hide inside drooping, late summer blossoms.  

With all this magic going on, I feel like writing AND curling up with a good book. Decision, decisions.  I have several books I'm reading at once but the one currently glowing on my iPad screen is The Troll with no Heart in His Body and Other Tales of Trolls from Norway retold by Lise Lunge-Larson. Are you surprised? It started out as research for a novella I'm currently writing that will be part of my new series coming out next spring, The Little Flame series.

But it has become my rainy day magic read, taking me back to my childhood, when I used to read all the fairy tales I could get my hands on.  Someone asked me the other day when did I first start reading paranormal and Urban Fantasy and, as it turns out, I told them a lie.  I said I was a teenager, reading everything sci-fi and fantasy I could get my hands on and that led to paranormal.

But it was actually much, much earlier than that.  My mom  turned me on to paranormal when she read me bedtime stories about tar babies and witches before I could read myself.  And when I learned to decipher those magic runes that stories were hidden in, I devoured endless volumes of fairy tales and folk lore, which are the fuel and fodder for all paranormal novels ever written.  While the Paranormal Romances and Suspense novels I read now are definitely for adults only, they are still about my childhood favorites: witches, ghosts, fairies, elves and even talking animals (I know that's stretching the lycanthropy a bit, but hey, think about it).

And my favorite authors keep inventing new creatures, too, like sekhmets in Liz Schulte's Guardian Trilogy and continued in her Easy Bake Coven series; neutralizers such as Lynlee in Olivia Hardin's MAUC Series (that's Magical and Undead Creatures); and C. G. Powell's race of alien Nauss in Immortal Voyage and soon to be released Firewall.  There are many more, and I bet every one of those authors heard Sleeping Beauty's tale before they could even write a word.  I bet they read the Three Billy Goat's Gruff and even, maybe, The Troll with No Heart in His Body.

The seed was planted years ago before we ever thought we'd be storytellers ourselves one day.  Probably on a day much like this one, with the rain pouring down while the branches sagged protectively around the house.  Mom wrapped us in a blanket and settled us in her lap.  "Once upon a time" made our little hearts race...and still does today.

Snip, snap, snout
This tale's told out!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: The Acid King by Maggie Abbott

Four long-estranged friends from London's turbulent Sixties scene of sex, drugs and rock and roll are thrown together after seventeen years when one of them accidentally discovers the secret identity of their betrayer; a man they knew only as The Acid King, a charismatic figure who orchestrated a weekend of alluring drugs ending with a bust, jail time and death.
  • What the friends don’t know is that a New York FBI Agent, another old enemy of the Acid King, has been on a long frustrating manhunt of his own, driven by the same rage for revenge. Until, by coincidence, he discovers the mystery man’s hidden Los Angeles location and tracks him to his lair. Resulting in a dangerous confrontation that puts lives, both guilty and innocent, on the line.
  • The Acid King is the thinly veiled story of the famous Redlands drug bust of 1967; an event that put Mick Jagger and Keith Richards behind bars and nearly destroyed the world’s most famous rock band. All orchestrated by an unidentified man who set them up and then disappeared.
  • By a strange twist of fate the Author (former film agent for Mick Jagger) met the Acid King in Los Angeles and became involved with him for several years, never knowing who he really was, until her friend Marianne Faithfull (former lover of Jagger) surprisingly identified him.

Buy on Amazon | Kobo | B&N | Escargot Books

My Review:

For those of you who know me, you will appreciate the fact that the book's title alone clinched the deal and I had to read it.  Raised in a household where the Beatles and the Rolling Stones serenaded me from the stereo every day, I was completely enamored with the mystique of my parents’ generation.  I would become giddy when dad got out his guitar to play and imagined how thrilling it must have been to be coming of age when all the great rock and rollers were emerging.  (To illustrate just how infatuated I was with the era, I died and went to heaven when my dad procured a 1966 Mustang as my very first car *swoon*.)

And all the myths and legends from the tumultuous sixties and seventies fascinated me, as well.  So Maggie Abbott’s fictional exploration of the famous Redland drug bust of 1967, the aftermath of the blooming drug culture, and one of its most persistent conspiracy theories was a logical and natural choice in reading material. While at times I felt this book read more like a screenplay than a novel (I imagine it must have played out like a movie in the author’s head as she wrote it), I enjoyed her ability to create some engaging images with words.

The story of the Veils is not only the unraveling of the Acid King’s betrayal, but also a journey through a generation’s potential, derailment, and the search for healing.  Through the veil of nostalgia, regret and that persnickety and persistent bugger, hope, it explores the personality of an era while proposing thought-provoking theories and why, well, things in general have turned out like they have.
It’s also just a fun, psychedelic true-crime fictionalization that you will not be able to put down because you must know what’s going to happen to Pete, Barry, Anne, and Mister X.

About Maggie:

The Acid King tells the fictionalized story of what she imagined could have happened afterwards. Maggie Abbott started writing novels when she moved to Palm Springs after a long, successful show business career in Los Angeles, London, Rome, and New York. A casual job as a secretary at the William Morris Agency in Rome introduced her to the exciting scene of Cleopatra, Fellini's and The Pink Panther, with the city's influx of big stars calling by the office every day, and triggered her lifelong love affair with movies. Over the years, Maggie has enjoyed being in the most interesting places at the best of their times, while working as the movie agent for some exciting stars: Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Charlotte Rampling, Jacqueline Bisset, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, Christopher Plummer, Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Peter Sellers, Richard Chamberlain, Peter O'Toole, Britt Ekland, Ken Russell, John Boorman, and many more. Somewhere in between, Maggie was the production assistant on three Broadway plays, and a producer and studio executive at Columbia Pictures where she developed and got production credits on two movies. Follow the Book Tour The tour prize is a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Please fill out the form below to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cover Reveal for the Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy by Author Olivia Hardin

7x5_postcardI'm absolutely thrilled today to reveal the brand new look for Olivia Hardin's Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy. Stephanie with Once Upon a Time Covers outdid herself with these gorgeous covers for the trilogy.

Witch Way Bends


Barnes & Noble



Bitten Shame - Olivia Hardin


Barnes & Noble



Shifty Business - Olivia Hardin


Barnes & Noble



And those who subscribe to Olivia's newsletter got an early bird sneak peek at these covers yesterday, so if you're not on the list, be sure to click here and get added. She gives lots of fun teasers and release info that you don't want to miss out on.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Love and Light Series Gets a Total Cover Makeover

I am excited to announce a whole new look for the Love and Light Series.  The talented Stephanie Nelson has redesigned all the covers.  I hope you like them as much as I do!

Subscribers to our newsletter get this kind of cool stuff earlier than the average bear, so sign up here for cover reveals, teasers, contests and other fun things.  

Check out the new covers ...
Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Change, Change, Change OR Why is my Aura Blue like the Throat Chakra today?

My life is constantly changing, and apparently so are the colors of my aura.  Today, I'm noticing a propensity for blue, the unique sky blue, slightly turquoise of the throat chakra, also known as Vishuddha.  This is the energetic center of cleansing and creative expression.  And it all makes sense as I revisit its meaning and purpose.

I struggled with keeping a writing schedule as I traveled this summer, as well as staying true to myself despite the resistance from friends and family.  For instance, I've known for a while that I really need to let go of some limiting beliefs about what was the right thing to do and it all hit home for me last week at the YogaFit Mind-Body Conference in Austin, Texas.  Little did I consciously acknowledge that I would be dealing with healing my own emotional issues when I signed up for Healing Emotional and Physical Trauma with yoga, as well as Yoga for Warriors.

Both courses immersed me in the world of healing trauma, and I found myself drowning in the repercussions. But for once, I wasn't being asked to talk about my problems.  I was being asked to let the feelings emerge.  Oy vey.  Not comfortable, at all.  While I focused on the sensations in my body, strong swells of sadness, fear and helplessness overtook me and more than once I considered running away.

But I am glad I didn't.  While the experience crescendoed with a full-blown panic attack alone in my hotel room, 1400 miles from my loved ones at 2:00 am, I can't say it was a totally bad thing.  After considering whether I needed to go to the ER (if you've never had a panic attack, think restricted breath, profuse sweating and shakes, as well as a feeling of impending insanity and death), I unfurled my yoga mat and laid down on my back, knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor.  I rested my hands on my low belly and breathed the way we did in class the previous day.

I dug out my balancing essential oil blend and soothed my terrified amygdala by rubbing the oil on the back of my neck.  Then, I lowered my knees and pressed my feet together into reclined butterfly pose.  Lifting my knees just two inches, I began to shake uncontrollably.  It was a fierce, rattling sensation that went from my knees to my inner thighs, into my pelvis, and eventually all the way up my spine.  When the shakes subsided, I lifted my knees two inches higher until the shakes began, again.

I did this until I could breath, again, and then cried myself to sleep.  It was cleansing.  While I didn't sleep all that well--after waking up too many times to count, I gave up and watched episodes of Veronica Mars--I was better.

Exhausted, but better.

I am realizing right now that during that ordeal I was forced to let go of the limiting belief that I would fall apart if I had to endure those repressed feelings. I let go of the limiting belief that I was not strong enough.  I let go of the limiting belief that I needed anyone else to validate me. While I'd rather not have that exact experience again, I survived.  I didn't go crazy and I took care of myself.

I spent one more day in the world of yoga and healing and then could not wait to head home.  And here I am, still trying to figure out what it is I need to do next, but a few things are very, very clear.  I must keep writing.  I must keep talking to you.  I must keep opening myself up to new experiences.  I must keep my throat chakra spiraling in the right direction.  I must be true to myself.

All my love and light to each of you who suffers with your own emotional and physical wounds.  You are not alone.  You are so not alone.

As always, comments would be greatly appreciated.  I love hearing from you.


For more on the throat chakra, check out my Pinterest board.  I am always adding new stuff so why not follow my pins?