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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Release Wednesday! + Give*Away!


Help me welcome, Sapphire Phelan!
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With my erotic urban fantasy e-novellas, Being Familiar With a Witch and its sequel, A Familiar Tangle With Hell being released in print as The Witch and The Familiar, I admit that I enjoyed world building in my characters, Tina Epson’s and her demon Familiar, Charun Adramelch’s world. Though most of the demons, angels and places’ names are from demonic, angelic and mythological pantheons, how Tina becomes a witch is all my idea. There are in real life history and legends, good and bad witches. I decided to share a couple of things used by those against evil witches: witch bottles and witch balls.

A common counterspell against illness caused by witchcraft was to put the sick person's urine in a bottle with iron nails, brass pins, and piece of lead, cork it tightly, and either set it to heat by the hearth or bury it in the ground. Joseph Blagrave wrote in 1671 that a witch’s bottle, “will endanger the witches’ life, for … they will be grievously tormented, making their water with great difficulty, if any at all.” The theory is that the witch created a magical link with her victim and this could be reversed, using the victim's body-products. The witch had to break the link to save herself. The victim would then recover.
The recipe was still known in a Norfolk village in 1939: Take a stone bottle, make water in it, and fill it with your own toe-nails and finger-nails, iron nails, and anything which belongs to you. Hang the bottle over the fire and keep stirring it. It must be dark in the room and you can’t speak or make any noise. Then the witch is supposed to come to your door and beg you to open the door and let her in. If you keep silent and ignore her, the witch will burst. In the folklore it is said that the strain on the mind of the person when the witch begs to be let in is usually so great that the person breaks down and speaks. Then the witch is set free.
In London, England, seventeenth-century pottery jugs of the kind called ‘greybeards’ or ‘bellarmines’ were found buried in ditches or streams. They contained bent nails and felt hearts stuck with pins. In Essex and Suffolk, others had been discovered, underneath the hearths or thresholds of houses. Later, cheap glass bottles would be used in the same way. One was unearthed under the hearth of a Sussex cottage in the 1860s, as was common in the country. It contained two hundred bent pins. An example that dated from the early years of the twentieth century turned up in a shop at Padstow, Cornwall. Urine was put in a cod-liver-oil bottle which had its cork pierced with eight pins and one needle, and then bricked up in a chimney. In Cambridgeshire, a three-sided iron bottle held hen's blood and feathers mingled with the usual human urine, salt, hair, and nail-clippings; also (for protection rather than cure) small bottles of greenish or bluish glass filled with colored silk threads. These had been displayed beside doors or windows, to divert the witch's power by confusing her gaze. According to the East London Advertiser on August 1, 1903, a barber in Essex was asked to save some hair-clippings from a customer's neck. This was so someone who wanted revenge on the man could place them in a bottle and then heat it until at midnight it burst, making the man ill. Not a defensive counter spell, instead this was an active magic attack, using the intended victim's hair; sometimes, witch bottles were similarly used.
In Scotland, people used to wear witch balls around their necks to ward off witches. It was also believed in Scotland and Canada that if a witch touched one, her/his soul would be caught within the ball forever.
A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in eighteenth-century England to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells, or ill fortune, though the witch's ball actually originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing. Witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters) for a decorative effect. Witch balls appeared in America in the nineteenth century and were often found in gardens under the name "gazing ball,” something that has come back, as I bought one last summer to place in my own garden. However, "gazing balls" contain no strands within their interior. According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colors; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping.
Witch balls sometimes measure as large as seven inches (eighteen cm) in diameter. By tradition, but not always, the witch ball is green or blue in color and made from glass. There have been others made of wood, grass, or twigs, instead of glass. Some are decorated in enameled swirls and brilliant stripes of various colors. The gazing balls found in many of today's gardens are derived from silvered witch balls that acted as convex mirrors, warding off evil by reflecting it away.
Because they look similar to the glass balls used on fishing nets, witch balls are often associated with sea superstitions and legends. The modern Christmas ornament ball is descended from the witch ball. According to an ancient tale, the ornament was originally placed on the tree to dispel a visitor’s envy at the presents left beneath the tree.
Besides the ball, mistletoe was also considered a powerful charm to be used against witches, along with lightening.

Of course, even though her Familiar and lover is a demon, Tina is a good witch. Heaven has set her destiny to stop the apocalypse (or as she finds out, more than one needs to be halted). But as Tina learns, she gets to be more than a hero, she gets the guy too!

I am doing a giveaway for the whole blog tour April 23rd through April 28th. Leave a comment here or at any of the blogs I make at. You can leave a comment (plus your email, so I can contact you) at each blog, to get more chances, but no more than one per blog, please. The giveaway is a signed copy of The Witch And The Familiar. This is only for USA commenters though (due to price of mailing outside of US). For those outside of US, I will give instead a gift cert for price of the book at Phaze Books, so that I can email you.



Sapphire Phelan

Dark heroes and heroines with bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today.


2010 Prism Winner


Blurb:
Mortal woman Tina discovers she is part of a prophesy that says she and Charun, her demon Familiar, must make love so she can become the witch she is fated to be. If she doesn’t do it and stop the demon army bringing Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won’t stand a chance in Hell.
A year later, just when Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—another prophesy pops up. If Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it. This time they get help from an archangel, Jacokb, but with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina this time lose the battle and become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?

Excerpt (must be 18 and older to read):

The time had come.
About time too.
Not looking back, Charun rose from the bowels of Hell to the Mortal Realm, ending up just down the street from Cup of Tea and a Book bookstore. He shifted into the form of a handsome, naked man. His staff waved before him like a proud, hissing snake, spitting even as precum beaded at the slit. He shook his head. No, it was too soon for him to assume the man form.  He frowned, thinking.
A cat!
He would become a cat. That would do—for now. Just not a horny tom cat, as the pain of his arousal washed over him. He dodged into a nearby alley and worked his organ, biting his lips when he came.
Withdrawing his hand from his flaccid penis and using the other to prop himself against the building, he spoke in demon, “Denoch er nomonaty.”
A strange feeling slammed into him and he cried out as he dropped to his knees on the pavement. Thrusting out a hand against the ground so he wouldn’t topple over, he began to metamorphose, growing smaller and smaller as he did. Black fur sprouted all over his body and head. His ears sharpened into points and shot up over his head, while his hands and feet became paws edged with sharp claws. Whiskers pinged out of his cheeks and from his buttocks snaked a long tail. He hunched over and then fell over onto his ass. Within seconds, his metamorphose completed, he was a black cat. Resisting the peculiar urge to wash his face, Charun stretched and then rose onto all four paws. He padded over to a puddle of rain water to inspect the change.
He sat down and viewed his reflection. Not bad looking as far as cats went. Lifting a paw, he splashed his image. Then back on all four paws, he trotted to the street and paused to sniff the air. He sneezed as the full force of odors hit him. A multitude of different things, from the smell of blasted sunshine to the grime of city life. The sunshine revealed to him that it would not rain for days. He had arrived a day too late. The air revealed that it had thunder stormed yesterday.
He needed heavy rain to make his first appearance to his witch. Needed it as a reason for her to feel sorry for him and take him in. From what he remembered she would not leave any animal drowning in a torrential downpour. But from all the viewing he did of her growing up he knew she wasn’t an impulsive person either. He knew that she loved animals, but felt that she couldn’t afford one right now in her life. He might end up in an animal shelter or a place like that. This kind of operation needed the right things in place. Timing, too. Timing always mattered. He had learned that long ago as an Incubus. The wrong time could always mean the lover would wake up too soon. Find that their fantasy lover was real, and that the husband, wife, lover, concubine, whoever, wasn’t what really was taking them beyond the heights of lust. One Succubus found that out the hard way when her nobleman lover woke up not to find his wife mounted on his staff but a green-skinned fiend. He knocked her out before she could call her magic up and had a priest exorcised her. Exorcism was death for a demon. Instead of sending them back to Hell, it ended their existence.
So timing was important, even now. His witch’s survival was the true equation here. If she died before he made her a witch, he knew the fate for Earth if the demons took over. There was the matter of his lust for her too. Relieving it wouldn’t be bad, either.
He cocked his head and twitched his ears. He was a demon, with strong magic. Closing his eyes, he let his magic surround him with a shimmering golden light.
Lano’ste. Na la por lestano.
His fur stood on end, the ends crackling, and he widened his eyes as the magic burned within and outside with a violent heat close to atomic. He fell onto his side, dazed, and barely noted when it shot away from him, heading toward the blue skies. It dusted the few white clouds drifting along the blue sky and they became black ones, pregnant with rain.
Still unsteady, he rolled over onto his stomach and waited until the power quieted. Charun breathed in the rain odor and gave a Cheshire cat grin. He rose to his paws and padded off, as the sound of thunder vibrated in the air.
Fuck the weather forecasters and their predictions. With magic, he’d just turned their Doppler radar upside down.


About Sapphire Phelan:

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction ghost books.
She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast. 
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!
For more information, check out her website: http://www.SapphirePhelan.com .



11 comments:

  1. Very fun post. Great excerpts. The book sounds very good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  2. I really want to read this one. It looks awesome!

    Michelle V
    lifeinreviewblog(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  3. Thanks, Jennifer, for letting me do a stop on your blog for my blog tour.

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  4. Wow, Sapphire, quite an excerpt! Good luck with the release!

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  5. PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRR SHAPPIRE!!!

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  6. I loved this post. I have seen these spheres for the garden and always wondered about them and wanted one for mine because they are so lovely. Now I have a better understanding and thank you for that. I wish you all the best on this release and hope you have loads of fun on the tour :) Thank you so much for sharing with us and for the giveaway opportunity!
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  7. You're welcome, Denise, and glad I gave you the story behind the witch balls. :)

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  8. I gathered all the commenters on the blogs of my blog tour and drew. The winner is Sharon Stogner! She actually posted on my own blog that had the interview with Fluffy. Congratulations to her! I will be contacting her for her snail mail address.

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