With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, my thoughts turn to romance and love spells.
In my first book, Spell Check, Evie O'Reilly is desperate to prevent her best friend from casting a love spell directed at Evie's secret crush. As the Jefferson High gang quickly discovers, a love spell aimed at a specific person delivers terrible karmic repercussions. There is a better, safer way to attract love.
A Safe, Simple, Powerful Love Spell:
focused intention. They are meditations. Think of the sort of love you desire
while you follow these simple steps:
ahead so you can perform the love spell on a Friday, the day ruled by the
A candle: Pink for love and friendship, or red
for lustful love.
A small bowl
filled with enough olive oil to coat the candle.
Petals from any of the
following fresh garden-cut flowers (Do not use store-bought bouquets.): A pink or red rose,
gardenia, hyacinth, pansy, jasmine, or orchid.
a handwritten list of the qualities you most hope for in a new love.
together the flower petals, oil, and a pinch of cinnamon (optional).
within reach some paper towels and the candle holder you plan to use. Using your
hands (as opposed to a brush), coat the candle with the oil/flower/spice
mixture. Begin at the bottom of the candle and work towards the middle. Then coat
from the top to the middle. Infuse with positive thoughts of love as you work.
candle into the holder then place the holder atop your list.
candle completely in one day or one night, preferably a Friday.
not leave the candle unattended. If you must leave, snuff (don’t blow) out the
candle and relight it when you return.
Aim a love spell at a particular person. A binding love
spell will harm you and the person you entrap. Trust the Universe will find you the
best possible match.
A hero or heroine’s strength or brilliance can be measured
by the quality of their opponents. Would Sherlock Holmes seem so brilliant if
he were up against a common thief instead of a criminal mastermind? Would Harry
Potter be just another child wizard if Voldemort didn’t symbolize supreme evil?
It’s difficult to identify the true villain in the recently
released movie, Saving Mr. Banks.
Screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith present two indomitable characters
with opposing goals. Walt Disney wants to adapt P.L. Travers’s book, Mary Poppins, into a movie.P.L. Travers wants to protect her
characters from Disney’s perceived frivolity. She refuses him for twenty years,
and agrees to meet Disney only when faced with dire financial difficulties.
From the outset, Mrs. Travers is prickly and oppositional.
Walt Disney is affable and determined. Travers blocks his every move to
transform her book into a fluffy, animated
musical. The author appears destined to become a cartoon foil to the more
loveable Disney. The great surprise in Saving
Mr. Banks is the use of backstory to slowly shift the viewer’s perception
of the contentious Mrs. Travers.
Importance of Backstory
Dictionary defines “backstory” as “a story that tells what led up to the main
story or plot (as of a film).” Unforgettable characters have compelling
backstories that drive their current goals. Walt Disney had promised his
children he would make Mary Poppins
into a movie. Late in the film we discover details about Disney’s father that
provide further understanding of his motivation. But it is Travers’s Australian
backstory —and what it reveals about her father and her relationship with him —
that profoundly changes our understanding of her.
As Mrs. Travers’s backstory unfolds, Marcel and Smith slowly
build her emotional foundation. The shapeshifter archetype comes to the fore. Spoiler Alert! Travers’s father shapeshifts from an
imaginative, playful, doting father to a drunk who is unable to hold a job or
grow up. As our perception of him changes, so does our empathy for, and our
understanding of, his daughter.
On another level, the shapshifter archetype brings fresh
comprehension to Travers’s assumptions about Disney. In The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler states, “By nature we look
for people who match our internal image of the opposite sex.” Subconsciously,
Travers judges Disney’s whimsical, magical (pixie dust!) side through the
filter of her past and projects her father onto him. She wants to save her
beloved characters from Disney because she fears he is too much like her
father. But a character’s greatest weakness can be his greatest strength.
Without the destructive influence of alcoholism that killed Travers’s father,
Disney transformed imagination, magic, and childhood wonder into a highly
Travers’s emotional journey from distrust to trust, from
disempowerment to empowerment, makes her an unforgettable character.
I'm happy to welcome back fellow Astraea Press author, Karen King, for the one-year anniversary bash of her first YA novel, Perfect Summer. Karen has had over one hundred children’s books published. She’s written for many children's magazines too including Sindy, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine. She writes for all ages and in all genres; story books, picture books, plays, joke books and non-fiction. Perfect Summer was runner up in the Red Telephone books YA Novel 2011 competition.
Blurb for Perfect Summer
Growing up in a society so obsessed with perfection that the government
gives people grants for plastic surgery, 15-year-old Morgan can't help being a
bit envious of her best friend Summer. Summer is beautiful and rich, her father
is a top plastic surgeon and her mother is a beauty consultant with a celebrity
client list. Her life seems so effortlessly perfect. Whereas Morgan isn't so
rich or beautiful and her little brother, Josh, has Down's syndrome - which,
according to the Ministry and society in general, is a crime. Then Josh is
kidnapped and the authorities aren't interested so Morgan and Summer decide to
investigate. They, along with another teenager, Jamie, whose sister, Holly, has
also been kidnapped, uncover a sinister plot involving the kidnapping of
disabled children and find themselves in terrible danger. Can they find Josh
and Holly before it's too late?
The street was
deserted. I guessed everyone was at work and school. It was so quiet and
peaceful. So normal. So hard to believe that anything as awful as a kidnapping
could be about to take place.
Maybe we are panicking, jumping to
conclusions, I thought. After all, Mila vans were quite common.
“The van could belong to a plumber or
electrician going about their business,” I suggested. I hoped it was.
be. But I think it’s a bit too much of a coincidence for it to be parked in the
same street that Emma lives on, don’t you?” Jamie asked.
remembered how Josh was playing in the garden just before he was snatched. Emma
could be doing the same thing, heartbreakingly unaware what fate was in store
for her. We couldn’t take any chances.
van does belong to the kidnapper, it means he’s on his way to get Emma right
now. We’ve got to stop him. How about we split up? One of us goes to the front
of the house and the other to the back?”
better idea. He’ll have to come back to the van so it might be best if I stay
here and see if I can immobilize it while you go warn Emma’s parents? Then he
won’t be able to get away.”
idea.” I started to run off, anxious to get to Emma’s house before the
I paused and glanced over my shoulder. “What?”
do see the kidnapper, no heroics. Okay?”
like leaving Jamie by the van alone. The kidnapper could be armed. Or there
could be two of them. A gang even. There’s no way Jamie would be a match for a
couple of men, but I had no choice. Emma’s life could be at stake.
along the street, looking for number fourteen, the address we had for Emma. I
was at number thirty--‐‑four so
I ran on.
passed a small pathway separating a block of houses, two people came running
out--both dressed in dark leisure suits. I barely had time to notice that one
was a man, the other a woman, before the man charged into me, knocking me to
yelled as I hit the pavement, landing on my left shoulder. “What the heck…?”
I pulled myself up and rubbed my shoulder. It stung like mad, and I could already
feel the throb of a bruise forming. I glared up at the man then sucked in my
breath as I saw the young girl, flung face down over his shoulder. I noticed
heavy boot on her
left leg then the metal splint supporting it. She was wearing a calliper. She
must be Emma. And they were kidnapping her!