THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND

THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND: death of a Juggalette in the SFV

Much of the inspiration for the real side of life in the Night Angels Chronicles came from my experiences raising children as a single mother on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia. I write essays on the topic and this is the latest one, published in NAILED magazine. It’s a tragic story, about a friend of my son’s.

There’s the fun side of writing Urban Fantasy, the magical world a writer can create where anything is possible. For me, I’m enjoying my vampires and denizens, the angels and demons, the Lizard City beneath Los Angeles , the Key of Mystery and the tablet upon which is written the Secrets to the Origins of Life. It’s been especially fun to build the history of the Night Angels, going back to the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire.

And then there’s a real side of Urban Fantasy. For me, I’ve chosen to peel back the façade of a suburb and see what’s really underneath. As a single mother, raising kids on the mean streets of Los Angeles suburbia, I’ve had first-hand experience of this. As the co-founder of a creative writing program for incarcerated youth, I’ve heard so many horrible stories of injustice. I’ve made friends with my students, now going back over twenty years, encouraging them through their struggles. And I always did my best as my kids were growing up to be there for the young people of my neighborhood who were struggling with addiction and gangs.

NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES is a blend of these two worlds–the fantastical and the often more horrific reality. This essay shows what really happens, and how, sadly, parents and community leaders most often don’t want to acknowledge the truth of what our children face every day when they walk out the door and into the world. I hope to do my part to change that blind mentality.

The Key of Solomon’s Secrets Revealed in NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES

I saw Dr. Strange and I loved it. It’s making a lot of money around the world so I guess a lot of other people loved it and I’m not surprised. It takes us back to the spiritual, reminds us how little we know about the universe and how unwilling or unable most of us are to try and find out. Not through science and traditional learning, but through spiritual practice. Through the denial of the physical and the training of the spirit and the mind.

I loved the library in the movie, and Dr. Strange ‘s insatiable appetite for learning. One of the books he took out of the library was The Key of Solomon, a book of deep magic. I sat forward in my seat in amazement because what is inside of that book is important to the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES.

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Remember that as Sera’s father, Theo, tells her, coordinates lead to destinations and keys open doors. But what kind of doors?

And at what point does one decide, “Here and now, I start following the coordinates?”
How does one know where to begin counting down?

From what world have the demons come? The universe is made up of 70% dark energy and we don’t know what that is. But Sera has caught a glimpse of it through the mysterious boxes.

How can an infinite number of beings be trapped inside the Life Box? How can an infinite numbers of object be trapped inside the Object Holder? Who is channeling power to the Queen and what horrors await if she breaks free?

Solomon imprisoned the 72 demons in the Life Box. But then, what happened?  You can find out in Book of Angels.

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In Book of Angels, Sera battles one of those demons, but I can’t say more here.

There are 6 angels. This Sera finds out when she steals the Book of Angels and brings it to…oh, I better not say who.

Yes, there are 6 angels.

But now, there is destined to be a 7th.

And this, more than anything, fills Sera with fear.

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Book of Angels on Amazon

 

 

NIGHT OWL REVIEWS Author Interview

Author Interview Night Owl Reviews

Check out this sort and sweet interview in Night Owl Reviews.

Who Are the Night Angels? Marek Tells His Story

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In Book of Angels, readers find out more about who the Night Angels really are…and their terrible histories.

Here Marek tells his story to Sera, after a lesson in sword-fighting. It isn’t a pretty tale, be prepared…. The images it brings to mind are horrific. But the stories need to be told…the truth must be revealed.

MAREK’S TALE:

Marek drew close to me, so that I saw the fine sheen of sweat on his brow, still fresh from our practice. As usual, his expression was neutral but his eyes were cold and hard, the look I had seen in Peter’s eyes so many times when he remembered his past and the humans who had inhabited it.

“One night I overheard my master’s drunken conversation with his wife. The next morning he was going to send me to the Coptic priests at Abu Gerbe to be castrated.”

I shook my head and took a step back. This was something I had not seen in my Turning. What I had seen was bad enough. I didn’t want to find out more.

But Marek stepped forward, almost daring me to try and escape. I was against the wall and he was in front of me. I didn’t try to get away. What would be the point?

“His plan was to sell me to the Ottomans. It was against the Ottoman’s faith to make eunuchs. But the Christians had no such qualms. Do you know how they would do it?”

I shook my head.

“The priests chained the boy to a table and sliced off his penis and testicles. Then, for the healing process, they stuck bamboo catheters into the genital area, dug a hole in the sand, and buried the child up to his neck. The survival rate was ten percent. Naturally those who survived fetched a large price.”

I was revolted. I had heard of female genital mutilation. But this was something I did not know. And why should I? It wasn’t necessary to know every horrible detail of what had happened down through history!

“So…the Ottomans wouldn’t make eunuchs but they had no problem buying them?” I asked.

Marek still didn’t look angry. Only amused, and always in complete control. I wondered what it took to make Marek truly angry. I never wanted to find out.

“Humans are nothing if not hypocritical. They can justify the most horrific and obscene behavior by telling themselves lies over and over until they believe them.”

I had to admit that this was true. I’d discovered it the hard way, after my dad’s death, when the carefully preserved façade of lies hiding the true nature of Oak Haven was torn away.

“I slit the throat of my master while he slept in a drunken stupor.  It was my first killing. I ran away. I was quickly captured by a group of traders and brought to the Sultan’s court anyway. But at least I had escape castration. The Sultan was far crueler than my first master but he was of a superior intelligence. He took a liking to me and made sure I was taught history, art, poetry and philosophy. For that I am grateful.”

Marek now took a step back and I breathed easier, feeling my muscles relax slightly. When would I ever really relax, every again, I wondered?

I was too stunned by his story to say anything. We picked up our swords and walked toward the small door in the courtyard. Marek grinned sideways at me. “I see how kids in your culture pierce and tattoo themselves. Some put rings through their noses–willingly! It’s very funny to me.”

I felt grateful he didn’t expect some response from me about his terrible story. What response could I possibly give? It was all so horrible.

 

 

BOOK OF ANGELS COVER DETAIL

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Sharing this beautiful cover detail from Book of Angels. As an artist myself, I have great respect and awe for the artist, Jay Aheer. She puts her soul into her work! She definitely has captures my vision for Key of Mystery and Book of Angels.

Book of Angels for sale at Evernight Teen

Introducing Author Christine Potter!

This is the first time I am hosting an author of my website. I’m very excited to introduce to you Christine Potter, author of Time Runs Away With Her and the soon-to-be published sequel, In Her Own Time.

Christine and I found out we had something in common: a love of travel. Christine carries that love into her time travel trilogy. Bean, a 1790’s folk singer, gets to time travel and it’s pretty awesome to follow her adventures. I’m intrigued by Christine’s traveling life as well and wonder what her husband does for a living and I would sure like to find out more about that haunted house! Below is a little peek into the wonderful world of author, Christine Potter. 

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SEQUELS, TIME TRAVEL, AND WRITING ON THE ROAD

I am a former homebody married to a man who lives and breathes travel. I’m also a writer of YA Paranormal fiction–and a poet. (Being a poet is kind of like playing Pokémon G; you wander around trying to catch all the poems before they jam up the cosmos. Dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.)

My favorite place to write both fiction and poems is in my cozy study in my own haunted (for real) house in New York State. But because of my husband, I have learned to write on the road. I have written in Berlin, in Edinburgh, in Nova Scotia, and squinting into the laptop in the front seat of our car somewhere in the wilds of the American West–with Ken driving, of course.

And the YA fiction I write is also about traveling…in time. It’s way interesting. And you don’t have to worry about reservations and hotels–or airport security. Or passports . The main character in my YA time travel series, Time Runs Away With Her, sure doesn’t. But Bean Donohue doesn’t always get to choose where she gets to travel, either. Or where. And that makes for all kinds of issues with her social life. So maybe it’s a wash.

Bean’s sixteen, a folk-rock musician, and mostly lives in 1970–but she gets zapped back to the 19th century, the 1940’s and the early 1960’s. And explores the dark side of the American Revolution in the Trilogy’s second book, In Her Own Time. In Her Own Time is coming out on Evernight Teen any day now, and I am dancing a jog in my seat waiting for that to happen.

I am writing this blog entry on the road now. Here’s what I have learned about writing on the road: it is impossible to write with your husband blaring some stupid show on the giant TV at the foot of your hotel bed. Especially if the stupid show is about Scottish guys building log homes with chainsaws. You need, as Virginia Woolf said, a room of your own. That requires renting a cottage which–good news–can cost less than staying in hotels, since you’ll take advantage of the local markets and cook your own food. More good news: cooking while traveling is the quickest way out of the tourist bubble I know.

You’ll eat more vegetables, because you’ll hit the local green markets and the docks, a great way to take the measure of any place. For example, on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, they sell oysters at the dock by the pound, not by the piece. You can get a couple of dozen oysters for what two Starbucks coffees cost in New York. Of course, you have to open the oysters, but you can train your husband to do that. That way he won’t turn on the TV because he will be busy in the kitchen and you can write in the quiet living room. A win-win.

The little house we checked out of in Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, was within sound of the sea with spectacular views. It had an airy loft with a desk; possibly the best place I have ever written away from home, except for the time I got stuck in Washington State after a writing workshop because of hurricane Sandy. I was traveling alone that time, and ended up coming back to New York on Amtrak.

If you can swing a room on a long-distance train, you’ll get your own personal assistant, who will carry your luggage and bring you food and drink, and be very impressed that you are a writer. I had an amazing cow-girl looking attendant taking care of me from Seattle to Chicago. I loved her. She kept slipping me free sparkling wine, which I used as a carrot on a stick for getting work done.

At dinner in a train’s dining car, you share dinner with folks you’ve never met before, which is weird at first, but then it’s great. People tend to tell you their life stories, and since you’ll most likely never see them again…hey, free material! I wrote like a fiend on the train.

I also did some very good writing on here Prince Edward Island last time, in the living room of a house owned by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s (Anne of Green Gables) family. I was staying there when I got the first book of the Time Runs Away with Her series accepted by Evernight Teen. I went and saw Lucy Maud’s grave the day of the acceptance and told her thanks. I was again a little jealous of my main character, Bean. How great would it have been to have caught a glimpse of Ms. Montgomery writing, instead? Bean would have!

I think it’s important to keep moving-both in space and time. The great thing about the past is that it’s always there for you to play with. Did I mention In Her Own Time is coming out any day now? Meanwhile, here’s a link for buying Time Runs Away With Her, a featured book on Evernight Teen just now. Happy trails!

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Christine Potter is the author of Time Runs Away With Her and In Her Own Time, YA Paranormal romances set in the year 1970, about sixteen year old Bean Donohue. Bean can slide out of her own time period and see things that happened decades or centuries ago. Being a time traveler when all you really set out to do is play your guitar and maybe get a boyfriend can complicate life! Christine is also a poet with work in many small literary magazines and two poetry collections: Zero Degrees At First Light and Sheltering In Place.

Buy Time Runs Away With Her on Amazon

Buy Time Runs Away With Her on Evernight Teen

My Guest Post for Author Christine Potter!

My Guest Post for Author Christine Potter

Thank you to Christine Potter for hosting me today! this was my first experience writing a post in exchange with another author and it was fun! Check out the post about how my childhood travels inspired Book of Angels and NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, with photos and everything.  The photo featured here is the 17th century Swiss castle I lived in as a child.

Book of Angels Released Today!

Buy Book of Angels now from Evernight Teen

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Join Sera and the Night Angels as they continue their search for the Secrets to the Origins of Life.

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Do Artists have a Responsibility to Society?

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View from my balcony right now as I write! Lake Arenal, Costa Rica.

Here is an article I just published on my other blog, which I would also like to share here.

Do Artists have a Responsibility to Society?