Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Witches, witches, witches! They are seeped into our culture: “Wizard of Oz,” “MacBeth,” “Charmed,” “Snow White”—“Sleeping Beauty”—“Little Mermaid”—“Tangled” (okay, most every Disney movie ever made), “Buffy,” “Drag Me To Hell,” Elvira, “Practical Magic,” Halloween, Salem Massachusetts 1670! So what is the fascination with the dark, wicked women?
I believe it is their versatility—evil, good, ugly, beautiful, nasty, charmer, destroyer…the witch is anything and everything. There is a certain magnetism to things not easily understood or defined, like witches. The desire for control is in all of us, and witches. Most people are attracted to things dark and sexy, again, witches. She can even be a he (warlock/witchdoctor).
In fact, my favorite witch of all time is Eric Schweig in the movie, “The Missing,” with Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones. He is powerful and horrific, conjuring spells in a way that is so
frighteningly real, I wonder if magic really does exist, to a certain degree.
In my book, “Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery,” one of my favorite characters is a witch. Her name is Thea Wright, and I wanted to depict her with similar brooding qualities as Eric Schweig. She is not drop-dead gorgeous, but she definitely has a pull of her own. She is smart, cautious, dark, and a risk-taker. She knows more than she should (through dreams and intuition) or would probably like to, and for this, she knows magic is not good or bad. Like nature, it encompasses both yin and yang, and all the gray in between. That is Thea. Much of her coven (Thea is the priestess of the Blue Moon Coven) is continuously suspicious of her because she practices both light and dark magic. I dive further into this aspect of witchery in my next Kate Waters Mystery novel, “Wicked Tempest.” A witch, as well as the coven priestess, is chosen by higher forces, and when there is a curse foreshadowing deaths, higher forces will collide.
Until then, here is an excerpt from my novel, “Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery”—
* * *
“What can I get you,” she said to him.
Wells pulled out his badge. “My name is Detective Orwin Wells. Are you Thea Wright?”
“Yes.” She didn’t appear a bit nervous as most civilians were after seeing his badge.
“I need to talk to you about Jevanna Waters.”Her face hardened, and she stopped cleaning.
Her eyes peered into him, as if searching his thoughts. “What about?”
“Some matches were found in Jev’s home. They are from your club.”
“That sounds terrible, detective.”
Sarcasm now. She seemed overly brave. “The house was locked up, but her house key is missing.”
“Any one of her friends could have dropped them in there.”
“But only one of them can get in. The one with her house key,” Wells challenged her.
Streetlights pierced into the dark tavern like flashlights in a dusty coffin. Wells twisted around, noting the two burly-looking men who had walked into the bar. He turned his attention back to Thea. “I wouldn’t be making a big deal of it if we hadn’t discovered fingerprints on the deceased’s neck where one would take a pulse.” He noticed a sign of worry flash across her eyes and straighten her mouth. “And the sister believes someone might be following her.”
Thea motioned to the detective to wait while she filled a pitcher full of beer for the two customers. Then she came back over and stood in front of him. “I don’t have a key to Jev’s house if that’s what you want to know.”
“Was there anything unusual with Ms. Waters before her accident?” He spoke of the victim professionally to stress his seriousness.
“She was acting different,” Thea replied, combining half-empty liquor bottles together. “I don’t think she was getting along with her boyfriend at the time.”
“Sean?” Wells clarified. Thea nodded. “Do you know what they were fighting about?”
“She never told me. Jev liked to try to solve her own problems, even though she wasn’t very good at it.”
Wells admired her honesty. “Were you two close?”
“I’d like to think so.”
“Close enough to practice witchcraft together?”
Thea set the bottles on a glass shelf behind her and then turned to him. “Sometimes.”
Wells looked around the joint while she helped another customer at the register. She moved with confidence and grace, and he imagined she probably made a good penny in tips. She came back to him with a shot of whiskey. “On the house.”
Even though he was on duty, certain situations required a slack attitude if the truth was to be revealed. He lifted the glass and winked at her. Then he downed the smooth, golden liquor, enjoying the burn down his throat.
“Are you supposed to be drinking on the job?” A smirk drifted over her face.
“You going to tell on me?” he replied, motioning his empty glass to her for another.
She reached to the glass shelves behind her and filled his glass, handing it back to him, her face hardened. “Only if you quit investigating Jev’s accident. Her sister is in danger.”
Wells nearly coughed up his drink. He set the glass down. “Why do you think that?” It came out more of a whisper than he wanted it to.
Thea’s eyes probed the bar for eaves-dropping ears. “I have a bad feeling.”
“A bad feeling?” Wells repeated.
Her venomous eyes locked onto him. “Ever since my dog died. I know someone killed Cernunos.”
“You think someone murdered your dog?”
“The vet said he was poisoned.”
“Any reason why someone would want to kill your dog?”
“I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out, Detective,” she said, cunningness magnetized in her shrewd smile. “Someone obviously doesn’t like me, and I’m not exactly popular.”
Wells gathered that much. “How about the boyfriend? He have a good reason to dislike you?”
“You could say we had mutual feelings of dislike for each other, but I don’t think Sean had anything to do with Jev’s accident. He adored her, like a puppy.”
And maybe that made you jealous, Wells thought to himself, but Thea stared at him, as if she knew exactly what had just crossed his mind.
* * *
There’s a lot more witchcraft and witches in, “Wicked Tempest,” due sometime in 2012. I also have a few writes about witches, if anyone is interested, they are on my website under Online—“Inevitable Encounters”, “Barracuda Hearts”, and “Black Soul Bitches.”
Witches will always thrive in our culture. They give us fear, mystery, and hope if we are on their side! I’d love to hear about the witches that you like and why. Thanks for reading, everyone, and thank you, Nicole, for the invite!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Today is an extra-special day here at The Dandridge Estate -- not only are we giving away Godiva Chocolates and Bath Junkie Bath Salts, but one lucky Winner will also receive a copy of Kerri Nelson's Vegan Moon!
When a vegetarian werewolf falls for a celebrity chef, will his appetite for her cause him to stray from his vegan ways?
Santiago Salazar is a reformed werewolf living in sunny Beverly Hills, California. When he catches sight of celebrity chef Gabrielle Connor on television, he’s soon drooling in his tofu burger.After they meet at one of Gabbi’s book signings, Santiago is thrilled to discover that the attraction is mutual. The two hit it off in a major way but when the night takes a dark turn…Gabbi must decide if she can live with the new world that she’s discovered and Santiago must ultimately answer to the werewolf code of conduct.
Take one hungry werewolf and mix with one lonely chef, stir in some hot sex and Vegan Moon delivers a tasty treat that will keep you coming back for more.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race?
By: Kerri Nelson
I was thinking about the children’s story of The Turtle and The Hare and how it relates to being an author.
Are you the turtle or the hare?
The parable teaches us that “slow and steady” wins the race. So, if we apply this to our writing careers…some might think that we should focus all of our attention on one manuscript. Pour our heart and soul into it. Languish over every plot detail day and night and edit it inch by inch until it is pure perfection. Then we should search for the perfect agent submitting query after query and wait until the perfect contract is offered by the perfect publisher. Right?
Guess I didn’t learn much from that parable after all.
In my writing career, I’m much more like the hare. Not that I believe it should be a race or that I should brag about being the best (like that pesky rabbit did in the story). But I don’t believe that slow and steady is ultimately the best tact to take when it comes to publishing. I believe that you should write, get published, and strive to STAY published.
If this means selling a shorter work (a novella versus full length novel) in order to get your name out there and start to build a following, then so be it.
If this means selling to a small or mid-size publisher versus a “traditional” New York publisher, then so be it.
And, yes, even if it means doing all the work yourself and self publishing in order to get your voice heard sooner and in your own way, then so be it.
Maybe this will work for you and maybe not. But all I can tell you is that based on my personal experiences—if I had written this parable—the hare would be sitting at the finish line counting his royalty checks while the turtle waited for yet ANOTHER agent rejection. Perhaps one reading, “this just doesn’t work for me.”
As authors, shouldn’t WE be the ones deciding if and how our voices are heard?
As a reader, would you prefer to wait a long time between novels from your fave author if it meant a longer book or would you prefer more frequent releases but shorter in length?
© Kerri Nelson 2011
Kerri Nelson has always been passionate about reading books but when she wrote her first poem in the second grade, she discovered her love of writing. At the age of sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly "Panther Tales" column. She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts.
After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels with a legal or law enforcement theme. She is a true southern belle and comes complete with her dashing southern gentleman husband and three adorable children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies for her family. Kerri is an active member of Romance Writers of America as well as numerous Chapters including Celtic Hearts Romance Writers , Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal, and Outreach International Romance Writers.
Read more about Kerri’s books at her website: www.kerrinelson.com
Follow her on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/kerribookwriter
Visit her industry blog here: www.thebookboost.blogspot.com
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Hello Gang! I was going to post something specific on Witches and Practical Magic, but that sorta fell by the wayside as real life took precedence this weekend.
Monday, February 7, 2011
So, since I saw The Rite last weekend, I thought I'd give this movie a go. I remember when it was released that it looked like it might be kinda good, but I wasn't sure.