MERLYN’S RAVEN Blog Tour Information

I am kicking off my blog tour for Merlyn’s Raven today. Please join me at Fangtastic Books. If you leave a comment there, you’ll be entered to win a free e-copy of the book.

You can also follow me on tour at all of these stops. I am looking forward to a fun time. I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy the journey with me!

April 23 Tour Intro /Excerpt
Fang-tastic Books
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

April 24 Promo
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com

April 25 Guest Blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

April 27 Guest blog
~**All the days of (Book Blog)**~

May 3 Promo and interview
JeanzBookReadNReview
http://jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com/

May 5 Guest Blog and review
Always a Booklover
http://alwaysabooklover.blogspot.com

May 7 Guest Post
Paranormal Romantic Suspense
http://sjclarke.com/blog-2/

May 6th Promo
http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/

May 8th Review
http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/

May 8 Guest Blog
SalaciousReads
www.salaciousreads.com

May 8 Guest Blog
Fiction Fascination
http://fictionfascination.blogspot.com/

May 14 Guest Blog and review
Lissette E. Manning
http://www.simplistik.org/lissetteemanning

May 16 Promo
Reader Girls
www.readergirlsblog.com

May 17 Promo and review
The Jeep Diva
http://www.thejeepdiva.com/

May 17 Guest blog and review
Urban Girl Reader –
http://www.urbangirlreader.com

May 19 Guest Blog (review later)
Read2Review
http://read2review.com

May 20 Guest blog and review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books

May 20 review and interview
Kindling the Fire
kindlecatchingfire.blogspot.com

June 15 Interview (SQAI)
Night Owl Book Lover’s Magazine

MERLYN’S RAVEN: My first novel is HERE!

 

Today’s the day!

So, how did this happen? I’m not sure I know myself.

I fell in love with Arthurian legend in high school. My English teacher, Mr. Geier, introduced it to us junior year. We read Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. Those stories were enough to hook me into a universe where knights and ladies and magic permeated every page and kept me engaged from cover to cover. I continued reading Arthurian legend in college and even considered pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration in Arthurian literature.

Once I began to study metaphysics, my interest in Celtic mythology, legend, and magic (spelled with a “k,” to define it as the purposeful manipulation of energy) only deepened. I read a great deal of Celtic history and submerged myself in works by John and Caitlin Matthews, who shed light into the very early roots of Arthurian legend and helped me to better understand the underlying esoteric mysteries of the stories. My love for King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Lancelot, and especially Merlin the Magician grew by leaps and bounds as I began to not only enjoy them as characters but understood their intrinsic archetypal energies and how these might be useful insights in my own life and on my spiritual path.

Many of you who regularly read my blog or who have read my metaphysical nonfiction books know that I am a Spiritualist medium, and I work very closely with my spirit guides and teachers. One of them is called Merlin, and he is my master guide, a being who is very interested in helping me along my spiritual path. Is it a coincidence that I have a Merlin who is very prominent and important in my spiritual life, and I have a character in a novel based on that figure from legend? I don’t personally believe in coincidence, but I do believe in energy parallels. It’s not surprising to me that my love of Arthurian literature and my deep connection to these legends became a theme in my first fiction book. I didn’t necessarily plan it that way, but Spirit has a way of leading us to events in our lives that are important and essential to our continued growth. I know that this novel is a reflection of that progress forward in some way, even if I don’t know exactly how.

The Merlin I communicate with on a regular basis is very different from the Merlyn in MERLYN’S RAVEN. In fact, my Merlin thinks it’s quite funny that the Merlyn in the book is the romantic hero, something that is very different from his own reality. But it is still my interest in my Merlin and the many Merlin legends that coaxed this novel into being. The Vita Merlini, written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in 1150, is a lyrical poem describing the life of Merlin. In it, Geoffrey draws on other old legends to tell the tale of Arthur’s Merlin, including in it a wife named Guendoloena. When I read this, I was stunned. Nowhere else in Arthurian legend had I seen Merlin in love, let alone married! This revelation started my creative juices flowing. Who was this woman? What was she like? Why would Merlin fall in love with her? And what would it be like for her to be married to the greatest wizard/magician/necromancer/prophet (pick your poison) that the world has ever known?

Thus, my heroine, Gwendydd, was born. (I didn’t like the name Guendoloena, so I chose a Welsh name similar to it.) And I decided to spell Merlyn with a “y,” just to be difficult. 🙂

So yes, Merlyn’s Raven is a love story. But it’s also an adventure, as is all Arthurian legend. For people who enjoy Arthurian stories, there are references to other aspects of Merlyn’s life that may seem familiar. Hopefully, no matter if you are a fan of the Arthurian universe or are brand new to these tales, you will find a story centering around two young people who fall in love and try to change a kingdom for the better. Along the way, they encounter terrible obstacles, including evil kings, dragons, invaders, magical swords, spells, and family secrets that threaten to destroy their union. Can Gwendydd and Merlyn find a way to be together and fulfill their destinies?

You’ll have to read the book to find out. I hope you will. And if you need another incentive to do so, here is the beautiful book trailer that my twins sons put together to support Merlyn’s Raven. Enjoy.

Merlyn’s Raven

You can download an e-copy of the book at Soul Mate Publishing today. By the end of this week, it should also be available for download at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

And to celebrate today’s release, I am offering a special prize. If  you leave a message here on the blog, I will put your name in a drawing to win a 3-month forecast Tarot reading, performed via email by me! The winner of this prize will be announced on Friday, April 20. And if you feel compelled to share this announcement with your friends, please do! I’d love to welcome them here on the blog.

Thanks and love to you all!

 

Friday Fun Post

Since next week I will start publicity in earnest for the release of my novel, Merlyn’s Raven, I thought I would post something completely superfluous and silly today. This is taken from a blog I love to read, just eat your cupcake, written by Maria.

Put your IPod on shuffle and then of course, each question gets a song.

Here we go.

1) Your first kiss:

Turning Tables, Adele.

The first kiss I remember was in fourth grade, when a kid named Tom used to chase me around the playground to try to kiss me. I let him catch me once. Does this count as turning tables?

2) First date:

Somebody to Love, Jefferson Airplane

I went to the park with my first boyfriend, and we walked around the lake. We also did some smooching under a bridge. I suppose I wanted somebody to love, all right, but frankly, I’m glad it didn’t turn out to be him.

3) First Day of Kindergarten:

Looks That Kill, Motley Crue

HA! This just makes me laugh. I don’t really remember my first day of kindergarten. I recall very little of that year, except that we had a bathroom in the kindergarten room and one day, my friend’s mom was our substitute teacher. But, knowing me and my nonstop chatter, I’m sure the kindergarten teacher gave me some looks that killed during our time together.

4) Relationship with parents:

I’m Counting on You, Chris DeBurgh

I’d say this is true of my parents. My mother was a wonderful lady and a good mom. My dad wasn’t around much, and when he was, he was scary when angered. Overall, though, I know my parents loved me, and I could count on them.

5) Relationship With Siblings:

Rehab, Amy Winehouse

What are you trying to say about my older brother here? He may be a perpetual partying twenty-year-old, but I love him.

6) First real love affair:

So. Central Rain, R.E.M.

My first real love affair is the one I’m still having. Since this song has a recurring line of “I’m sorry,” I really don’t think it’s appropriate for my relationship with my husband.

7) First Break-Up:

Bust Your Window, GLEE cast

Well, it wasn’t a very nice break-up. He just stopped calling me, and I never found out what happened. I also heard later from a friend who went to school with him that he was spreading rumors about me as a conquest, which really hacked me off. So yes, I suppose I was mad—but not mad enough to bust the windows of his car.

8) BFF song:

Toast, Tori Amos

This is a rather sad song, written for Tori’s brother who passed away, so it doesn’t seem appropriate for my best friend, Melissa. I did, however, raise a toast to her at her wedding, which I think went very well. And I meant every single sappy, sloppy word of it.

9) Partner song:

The Prisoner, Howard Jones

No, no, absolutely not. My husband and I treat each other with the utmost respect and love, and I know neither of us feels trapped in our relationship.

10) Your relationship with your child(ren): 

Moon Over Bourbon Street, Sting

Unless my children have turned into vampires and I don’t know about it, I can’t imagine a less appropriate song.

11) Song about fights with your partner/husband/wife/whomever:

I’m Slowly Turning Into You, The White Stripes

Hmmm…Well, my husband and I are both passive-aggressive fighters, I think, so we really do mirror each other in our fighting techniques. That said, we rarely fight. Maybe we have already turned into the other person—after twenty-seven years together, we know each other pretty damn well.

12) Song about your career:

Bulletproof Heart, My Chemical Romance

Interesting song title. I’d say that in my work as a medium and as a writer, I do have to have a pretty tough skin. People can be extremely critical, and you must learn that you can’t please everyone. And to be both a writer and a medium, you have to expose your heart and allow your emotions to flow, so having a bulletproof one is probably wise.

13) How you feel about your co-workers:

Witch Hunt, Rush

LOL! Well, I really only have one co-worker, my office partner, Joanne, who is also a medium and a life coach. I don’t know if she sometimes feels as if she’s the quarry in a witch hunt, but I do occasionally.

14) How you feel right now:

Almost Rosey, Tori Amos

I’d say that’s almost right, considering my name.

15) Family vacations when you were a kid:

Forget Me Not, The Civil Wars

I look back on family vacations to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina quite fondly. I hope I won’t forget those times.

16) First sexual experience:

Television Rules the Nation, Daft Punk

Um…no. Just…no. And you’re not getting any other explanation than that.

17) What’s your future look like?

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), The Beatles

I’m not sure what to make of this answer. Perhaps I’ll fly to Norway. Perhaps it’s all about freedom. Or sleeping in a bathtub. Who really knows?

18) What your family was like growing up:

Winter, Tori Amos

Interesting. This is one of my favorite Tori songs, and it’s the one I associate most with my father. The song mentions, “I wanted you to be proud of me.” Those words, “I’m proud of you,” were ones I desperately wanted to hear from my dad but didn’t until I was in my thirties. And yes, that does make me sad.

19) What your own family is like now:

Someone Like You, Adele

Well, I do see my husband and myself in our children. And if anything ever happened to my husband, I would have to find someone very like him to even consider another relationship. Once you’ve had it so good, you never want to go backwards.

20) What will you be like in your old age:

Tear in Your Hand, Tori Amos

Oh, I hope not! I don’t want to be a big baby or a crier when I am old. I want to rejoice and remember all the great things about my life. I hope I can remain positive until my last breath, no matter what happens.

21) What your partner thought when you first met:

Die Hard the Hunter, Def Leppard

I don’t think my husband knew I was even interested in him when we first met. He actually considered asking out another girl who worked with us, until she was bitchy to him and he saw what she was really like. But I suppose I did pursue him a bit more than he pursued me.

22) What you thought when you first met your partner:

Miracle Drug, U2

Well, I certainly thought my husband was handsome the first time I saw him. But I don’t think I considered him a miracle drug.

23) What your child(ren) thinks of you as a parent:

Vertigo, U2

Never let them know what you’re really thinking. Make their heads spin! That’s my motto for good parenting!

24) What your co-workers think of you:

Hungry Like the Wolf, Duran Duran

Great. Everyone I work with thinks I eat too much. Does this blog make me look fat?

25) What your neighbors think of you:

Gone Away, The Offspring

LOL! This is probably very true. I hate to say it, but we’re not especially friendly with any of our neighbors. We wave and exchange pleasantries, but that’s about it. They probably think we’re very standoffish.

26) What your best friend thinks of you:

Bookends, Simon and Garfunkel

Awww….this makes me a little misty over Missy. 🙂  I could certainly see us sitting on a bench together as old ladies, cackling away. I hope she sees that, too.

27) What your family thinks of you:

I Am An Animal, Pete Townshend

Really? I never knew! And all this time, I thought I was being so loving and polite!

28) What your partner felt the first time you kissed:

White Russian, Marillion

Well, it was in my plan all along to make him drunk on my kisses. Looks like it worked.  🙂

Quick 777 Post

My Soul Mate sister, author Jamie Brazil, tagged me in her post today, so I thought I’d complete my task quickly. And it IS fun, so why not?

Here are the rules:

Go to page 77 of your current work in progress.

Scroll down 7 lines.

Paste the next 7 sentences into your blog.

Then tag 7 more authors to carry forth the 7’s game (add their links, and don’t forget to link to the person who tagged you… also let everyone know).

Well, my current Work In Progress doesn’t yet have 77 pages. So I will go back to the novel I wrote several years ago that needs a major overhaul.  This is a conversation between Kel, the protagonist, and Caddy, the girl he falls for. If you’re a theatre person, you’ll recognize that they are discussing audition songs.

Now I did smile, but it probably appeared to be more of a sneer.  “I told you, I don’t like Webber.  He’s a hack, too.”

“Then what would you sing instead?”

Les Miserables,” I answered immediately.  “Fantastic music.”

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, I suppose.  Or maybe something of Valjean’s?”

I blew a smoke ring, wondering if she remembered our conversation from the day before.  Her eyes followed it, smoldering like boiling chocolate.  “No.  Javert.  Stars.”

“Javert?  He’s the villain.”

I paused dramatically and carefully snuffed out my cigarette in the ashtray by the couch.  I smiled my best dazzler.  “I find that villains are infinitely more interesting to play.”

All right. That’s more than 7 lines. But I couldn’t just end it after Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. 🙂

I do like this story quite a bit. I love the characters. It’s so Kel to call Andrew Lloyd Webber, author of such huge shows as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Phantom of the Opera, a hack! I hope to someday revisit Kel’s world so everyone can meet him. We’ll see what happens.

So that means I need to tag 7 more authors to play this game. OK! Here are my 7:
My friend and editor, the divine Char Chaffin.
My friend Lee Allen Howard.
And my Soul Mate sisters Shelly Bell, Tracy Hewitt Meyer, Raven Raye, Katy Lee, and Julia Bade. Go check out their blogs! Read their stuff! Support writing!
Thanks, everyone, for joining in the 777 fun today! 🙂

Getting Ready…

It’s almost here.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, I will realize a lifelong dream. My first novel will be released through Soul Mate Publishing.

It’s so hard to believe. I have worked so long and so hard on this story, it seems surreal that other people will finally read it. I hope they enjoy it. I am honestly petrified about the possibility of negative reviews. That may seem silly, considering that I’ve published three other books and never worried an iota about what others thought of them. Maybe that sounds pompous, but it’s not really about my ego. My other three books are nonfiction metaphysical works, and I’ve studied and worked with my spiritual path for so very long, it’s a natural part of who I am. I no longer worry about what people think when they find out I’m a medium and a Spiritualist. If people look at me funny because of my beliefs, I simply dismiss it. My identity does not revolve around their approval of my philosophies or religious traditions. Being a medium is another part of who I am, and if they can’t accept that, it’s fine with me. I don’t feel any need to defend myself or to try to convince them that they should like or believe me.

Writing a piece of fiction is very different. Many artistic folks describe the creative process as comparable to birthing a child, and for me, this is an accurate metaphor. Your book is like a child, and you don’t want anyone bullying it, making fun of it, or tearing it down. It hurts you to see someone not understand it or think it’s silly or trite, because to you, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Again, this isn’t about ego–it’s about the painful creative process you put into it, and you want the end product to be appreciated and valued. I also think about all of the wonderful stories and books I’ve read over the years, and I remember how very special so many of them are to me. The magical experience of reading a book and being transported to another world is something I genuinely treasure. As a writer, I hope to bring a similar experience to people who read my books. There are characters who have left indelible impressions on me, and I hope that my characters will touch the hearts of those who read about them, too. Is this ego? Yes, I suppose it is. Our ego drives us to achieve the very best we can, and I hope that I’ve written the best book I am capable of writing. But my ego also wants readers to like it.

I suppose time will tell. I just finished my final edits for the book, and now it is out of my hands. On April 17, I will see the finished product as an e-book, and in a few months, I will hold the printed book in my hands. And I truly hope that Gwendydd, Myrddin, and all of my other characters will come to life for my readers and entertain them in a memorable way. As with every challenge in my life, I struggle, but I promise to work on releasing my fear, my doubt, and my anxiety, and I trust that Spirit will lead the right folks to my book, the ones who will appreciate it and love it for what it offers.

This is really the best that any of us can do. And I feel extraordinarily blessed to be given this experience. I hope you’ll all join me on this new journey.

Sending you all blessings and love.

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