My guest today is debut urban fantasy author Jenn Bennett. The first book in her new Arcadia Bell series, Kindling the Moon, hits bookshelves on June 28, 2011. Please join me in welcoming Jenn here today to Dark Faerie Tales. You can read the first chapter of the book here.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Kindling the Moon. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning visual artist-turned-urban fantasy author. Born in Germany, she’s lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the U.S., and the Far East. She believes rebellion is an under-appreciated art form, has conjured more demons than you’ve had hot lunches, and likes her fairy tales like she likes her coffee: dark. She currently lives near Atlanta with her film-geek husband and two very bad pugs.
Arcadia Bell Is Not a Witch
by Jenn Bennett
Urban fantasy is brimming with memorable witches, sorcerers, and mages: Rachel Morgan, Harry Dresden, Sabina Kane, Chess Putnam. But one of the first things my protagonist Arcadia would tell you about herself is that she isn’t any of these things: she’s a ceremonial magician, born and raised. And, sure, she’s a little snotty about it, but you might be too if your parents were famous occultists. Here is what she has to say on the subject:
My “other car” was not a “broomstick,” and if I saw that sticker on one more bumper in my neighborhood, I was going to ram somebody. I had nothing against Witches, Wiccans, Pagans, or anyone else on their own spiritual path, but my mother always taught me that “witch” was a slur; serious magicians were not witches. I didn’t spend Beltane dancing around in the woods naked or calling up friends to hold a f***ing drum circle: I do real magick with real results.
If you think she sounds prickly and defensive, she’s got a good reason for that. Well, several, actually. But this time, it’s mainly because another character, Lon, is teasing her, and she doesn’t quite know how to handle him yet.
Regardless, you might be wondering what exactly *is* a magician? And why is she so adamant about the term?
In Arcadia’s world, people with genuine magical talent can tap into an energy known as Heka. Heka collects in living entities and is especially abundant in body fluids like blood, saliva, tears . . . and other things (ahem). And Heka can be used to charge spells, create energy wards, and even trompe-l’œil—”fool the eye.” Arcadia wields a bit more Heka than her peers, and she’s very good at “kindling” it: drawing energy from outside sources to light a match under her Heka, which super-charges it for powering bigger spells.
But working with this much energy has a price. The immediate repercussion is nausea, which ranges from mild to debilitating, but the greater consequence is madness. Many of the elderly magicians in Arcadia’s occult organization have gone a little crazy from excessive spell-casting. Arcadia’s young, so she’s not too worried about that right now, but she’s smart enough not to waste her talents on trivial things. Magick is Serious Business, not to be tossed around lightly, and a Real Magician knows that. Or should, anyway. She doesn’t use magick to find her missing car keys, or to drum up business for her tiki bar. Okay, well, she might use a little magick to break up bar fights and keep her customers in line. But come on—a girl’s got to make a living, right? I mean, so what if she binds a couple of Earthbound demons in her bar now and then, or doses them with a magical calming elixir? No biggie.
One of the more important things she uses magick for, however, is to summon Æthyric demons for information and favors. In KINDLING THE MOON, there’s one particular demon that Arcadia must summon in order to prove her family’s innocence . . . if she can only figure out the demon’s name.
Names are tricky things in Arcadia’s world. Especially hers. Arcadia Bell is an alias that she’s been using since she’s been on the run. People from her past call her by her birth name, Seléne. Some even call her Moonchild because of her rather, umm, esoteric conception, and Æthyric demons call her Mother of Ahriman for reasons she has yet to comprehend.
She’ll answer to all of these.
But whatever you do, please don’t call her a witch.
About the Book:
A new urban fantasy series about a magician and daughter of accused serial killers who must clear their names—or pay for their crimes with her life.
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Kindling the Moon.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
What would you do with your magick abilities?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +3 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter and Facebook.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 5th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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