Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer

Today I have Camilla Chafer, author of the Stella Mayweather series, to talk to us about some of her world-building, as well as give away an e-book copy of the first book in the series, Illicit Magic, to one of my lovely followers! Here is a quick blurb of the book one blog follower will be winning:

          More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it's happening again.
Racing from attack by the ruthless Brotherhood in London to the powerful witch council in New York, twenty-four-year-old novice witch Stella has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive but she might not be any safer in their midst than from the danger she is running from.
Sent to an extraordinary safe house by the sea to learn her craft, Stella finds there is more than one dark secret in her new family: √Čtoile’s sister is spoken of in fear and sadness; Marc is supposed to be a powerful witch but is missing his magic; where does the owner of their safe house vanish to every day and why does Evan have the eyes of someone not quite human?
There is only one secret that someone will do anything to keep quiet, but whose secret is it and will Stella have to pay the price for silence?
Take it away, Camilla!

          Reinventing witch mythology
Throughout the ages, witches have been closely identified with cauldrons, black cats, weird ingredients (frogs legs, eye of newt, anyone?), and cackling. Old and warty, witches of yore were often depicted as a little off their marbles. Quite why all this came about, I’m not entirely sure, though I suspect some of it is from the ancient practitioners of herbalism and the elderly spinsters who understood the properties of nature’s produce, and some of it from people’s fears, hundreds of years ago, when an malady or blight could be blamed on a “witch”.
Then, witches in fiction began to change with writers like Alice Hoffman and Joanne Harris who gave us the magical realism genre and imbued their attractive witches with skills that made them intriguing, likeable and mysterious. And, of course, there are many fun witches on film and TV whom practice spells, their magic frequently backfiring for some comedy relief. It’s probably why we’re so intrigued by them; every depiction is so different.
I wanted to incorporate traditional elements and fantasy ones in my witches of the Stella Mayweather series. To support my witches, a blend of urban fantasy and mythology works well rather than entirely reinventing the wheel. So, pentagrams, circles, spells and numbers imbued with power all feature along with supernatural elements (with a few fun extras, of course!) Two kinds of magic exist in my novels. One is the innate magic Stella possesses that allows her to do fun things like dematerializing or telekinesis. The other kind is spell-casting, where spells and potions are used to create magic. Some of my witches can do both. Fortunately with magic, the possibilities are endless. From psychic visions to controlling the weather, necromancy to summoning fire, my witches have a wonderful array of skills.
My witches don’t get an easy ride. It would be no fun if they did! In fact, you’ll never know what you’re getting with the witches that pop up through the series. Neither ‘light’ nor ‘dark’, they can be loyal or devious, power hungry or willing to give it all up for a normal life. They can heal and kill. The witches have their own specific powers, so Stella had better watch out or start fighting back!
Now for the giveaway!
To enter the giveaway for one e-book copy of Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer, you must be a follower of Jacob's Beloved's Books by one of the following methods: Google Friend Connect (right sidebar), Twitter, Networked Blogs, or RSS Feeds. I will double check! Only enter the giveaway once, as I don't do extra entries. Giveaway is open to all, and ends Friday, April 13th.

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Anonymous said...

Hey! Thanks for having me over to visit today!

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