Friday, February 13, 2015

PantheaCon 2015

Mossy Dryad Girl by Plastik Stars

The Witches Have Arrived

Cars bearing bumper stickers proclaiming "My other car is a broom!" and other pagan sayings fill every available space in the parking lot at the Doubletree. Notices in employee areas warn workers to park elsewhere for the duration of PantheaCon. And the big crowds won't arrive until tomorrow.

Random observations
Electric pink may not be the best hair color choice for beards.
Spelling your name in runes on your badge is slightly annoying.
The witches from the Mystic Dreams in Walnut Creek always think big and create visually interesting rituals.

PantheaCon Begins
Weapons at PantheaCon must be “peace-bonded,” meaning a spell must be cast on them so they can only be used for nonviolent purposes. I suppose this makes sense since wands and athames (double-edged ceremonial daggers) are magical tools that, in the wrong hands, could become magical weapons. Remember the Deathly Hallows café wand fight? No, it didn’t appear in Rowlings’ book (that I can remember). But didn’t you love it?

Rite of the Grand Convergence
Did you know that during World War II witches cast a spell over England to protect it from invading forces? Tonight 13 covens from all over the United States joined together at PantheaCon to cast one of the largest protection spells in modern history. To speak of magic dilutes it power, so I won’t say what they were protecting.  But I hope the spell worked!

Handing out loads of Teen Wytche Saga badge ribbons!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

PantheaCon 2015 So It Begins...

Reporting from PantheaCon 2015

The Doubletree by Hilton is eerily deserted the morning before the official start of PantheaCon, a gathering of 2000 pagans. Up since 5AM and operating on 4 hours sleep, I am grateful the only witnesses to my inglorious trip over the front curb are four uniformed bellboys and the distressed Super Shuttle driver.

Bruised and knee skinned, I stagger to the reception area where a petite (shorter than me!) young woman hands me a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie. My mood improves exponentially. I jokingly warn her of the onslaught to come. Her tattooed eyebrows arch in alarm and her gaze darts to the nearest exit. This will be her first PantheaCon. Perhaps her last.

Still shaky after an hour nap, I take the hamburger cure at Spencers' - totally worth the $19.97 (with tip). Two businesswomen at the next table stress through their power lunch. One keeps saying, “I hear you.” It takes me a while to figure out she is not the one in the power seat.

By 3PM the ground floor begins to fill with doublewide women, earring bedecked men, and toddlers in cowgirl boots and tutus. By tomorrow’s opening ritual, neo-Vikings swishing animal tails, Goth teens, silver-haired witches of both sexes, mambos, Merlins, and druids will cram the ballrooms, elevators, and Sprigs restaurant.

The tribes and covens are gathering.

My Teen Wytche Saga badge ribbons await.

Copyright 2015 by Ariella Moon

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love Spells

Is there a wrong way to perform a Love Spell? Yes. 

Can Evie stop Parvani from entrapping Jordan with a wrongful love spell? Maybe…

Ever since Evie’s photojournalist dad died, paralyzing fear prevents her from picking up a camera. If Evie can’t pull it together soon, she’ll lose her position as Yearbook Photo Editor and suffer academic failure. Even worse, Evie will lose Jordan, her secret crush, if she can’t stop her supposed friend, Parvani, from casting a love spell on him. Despite a falling out, Evie never forgot Jordan. Now they are lab partners and the chemistry between them definitely sparks. To save Jordan, Evie must join forces with Salem, the school goth. The clock is ticking. Can Evie get her mojo back in time to check this spell?

Also by Ariella Moon:

Be sure to check out the Spells page on this blog.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Torn: A Debut Urban Fantasy from Ashley Stambaugh

Ashley Stambaugh is in the spotlight today with her debut novel, Torn.

Back cover blurb

Three months have passed and Melina thought she was safe. Safe from the effects of the angel powers and safe from the Noxin demons. But she thought too soon.

Just as she’s starting to enjoy her new powers and her new relationship with Lee, the slight pain she still experiences after using the powers starts to grow worse. As the pain becomes more and more unbearable, she finds herself lashing out at innocent people with unexplained anger and hatred. Then to make matters worse, she sees a Noxin demon again.

No one, not even the elders, seems to know what’s happening to Melina, or how a Noxin demon found her. And when she’s introduced to Dean, another unique human like herself, she learns that his pain is completely gone, which only makes her situation even more confusing.

Grasping for any type of answer, Melina throws out one possible explanation after another. But as her angry feelings intensify, and her angel powers grow weaker, she begins to think there might be something malevolent inside her that’s trying to take over. It’s not long before her internal struggle spirals out of control, and her body is turned into a battlefield that’s torn between good and evil.

Melina fears that if no solution is found, then she might lose all the people she loves, especially Lee. But what scares her even more is that she might lose herself to evil.


Choosing between good and evil isn’t always that easy.


            Melina released his hands and nodded again as she turned to gaze out the front windshield. "I'll talk to him as soon as I…ʺ Her voice trailed off as she continued to stare out the window.
            "Is it the pain again?ʺ Lee asked.
            "No," Melina replied, her face turning paler by the second.
            He glanced out the window and then back at her, a look of concern in his eyes. ʺWhat’s wrong then? What do you see?"
            "A demon." She continued to stare out the window, her body frozen stiff with fear.
            Lee's brow furrowed. "Why are you so scared? I know you can see angels all the time now, but I thought you could see all sorts of different demons now, too. "
            Melina's eyes remained fixed out the window. The demon's black, billowy figure wasn't exclusive to his particular group, but the fiery red eyes were unmistakable.
            "This isn't just some random demon. It's a Noxin demon."
            Lee's expression turned serious. "Those are the ones I saw on the video footage from my apartment, right? The ones you said were really dangerous?ʺ
            She gave him a stiff nod, but kept her gaze locked on the demon. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him looking out the window to see if he could spot the demon himself.
            "Where is he?ʺ Lee asked.
            "He’s behind the antique store across the street, lurking back in the alley.ʺ
            Lee leaned forward in his seat and squinted his eyes as he looked in that direction. ʺI don't see it."

            Melina's breath suddenly caught in her throat. "It's gone. It's gone!ʺ She sat up in her seat, her eyes frantically searching the area outside. A few seconds later she turned to look at Lee, her bright green eyes wide with fear. "This is serious. We need to go.ʺ

About the author

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Social media links

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