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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Amber & Jet Jewelry

Those of you who follow me on Facebook have probably seen these already...

A couple of weeks ago, I posted pictures of a few new pieces of jewelry I'd made, one of which was an amber and jet necklace with a silver pentacle. To my surprise, people got very excited about that one (amber and jet is a traditional witchy combination) and no fewer than five people asked to buy it within a couple of hours of my putting up the pictures. So I made a few more pieces. And they sold too. (I was only putting the pictures up to show everyone what I was doing, and had intended to put them up on Etsy eventually. Needless to say, they never made it there.) So I made a few more, and they got snapped up too. Guess what I'm going to be doing this weekend?

Of course, my friend Kathy is visiting from Arizona, and Blue Moon Circle will be celebrating Lammas, plus, you know, WRITING. But I'll probably get at least a few more done and post pictures of them on Facebook too.

This was them. Which is your favorite?

amber and jet necklace #1

amber and jet necklace with chips #2

amber and jet necklace with fancy pentacle

amber and jet with sterling silver goddess

another one! chunkier

this one has a cool glass pendant

details of the pendant

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Less Than Three Months! (Dangerously Charming Giveaway)

Holy book release, Batman! I suddenly realized that DANGEROUSLY CHARMING, the first of the Rider books, is out in less than three months! *Kermit arm flail* October 4th will be here before we know it! Someone should start spreading the word, don't you think? Oh wait, that's me. And maybe you, if you want to help out. How about I make it easy for you with another fun giveaway? *nods sagely* I thought you'd like that.

Here you go:

A Dangerously Charming themed giveaway! That's a lot of cute.
This one includes a fun tote (to carry all your books to the beach in), a notebook, a postcard sized magnet (that's the one on the right) for your fridge, and a postcard and bookmark. That's a lot of Mikhail Day staring at you. Tough, isn't it...

Plus, there will be a BONUS prize...I'll be picking one random person who either pre-ordered the book or bought Wickedly Powerful or left a review for either WICKEDLY POWERFUL or WICKEDLY WONDERFUL 

That person will win one of the few ARCs (advanced reader copies) of the book I have to give away!

Advanced Reader Copies!!!! Booyah!
 As always, no purchase is necessary, and all you have to do is use the Rafflecopter form below. (If it, or the comments, don't work, try again.) Don't worry if you have already done something on the list, like followed the blog...you still get credit for that!

Thanks so much for all the enthusiasm everyone is showing for this book. Less than three months!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Books Celebration Giveaway!

As most of you know (unless you missed it), last week I announced not one, but two pieces of good news. The first was that my friend Mindy Klasky and I are going to be putting out a two-book duo of light paranormal novels together this August. (yay!) The second was that I'd just agreed to write another Llewellyn book, The Book of Cat Magic (meow!).

And just as I promised, here is a giveaway to celebrate! As always, all you have to do to enter is fill in the Rafflecopter form and do one or more of the options offered. You can still get credit for things like "Follow the blog" if you signed up for it in the past, but you only get the points for reviews and book purchases if they are new as of this contest. (Keep in mind that you can post the same review you posted on Amazon to B&N or Goodreads, and vice versa.) You can even get points for pre-ordering the upcoming Rider novel, DANGEROUSLY CHARMING, which I know you were all going to do anyway. (Right? Right?)

Here's what you might win! Your choice of either Wickedly Dangerous (or another one of the series if you already have that one) or Everyday Witchcraft, plus a cool Dangerously Charming notebook, a dragon necklace, and some magnets and bookmarks. Fun, yes?

Cat not included :-)

Of course, you could just leave a comment here and get your 3 points for that. Tell me, have you ever read any of the Llewellyn books? (And do you own any?) And are you curious about Witch Ever Way You Can, which was my first novel?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 24, 2016

Big News for Llewellyn Fans!

So, I promised y'all more good news, and here it is. But there is kind of a funny story behind it, so I thought I'd share.

I keep saying I am not going to write any more Llewellyn books, as much as I love them, because the novels take so much of my time now. Then, of course, I came up with the idea of the 365 Day book, which I'm working on now. But that was ABSOLUTELY going to be the last one.

Then, around my birthday at the end of April, my beloved Llewellyn editor, Elysia Gallo, made a cryptic comment about how she had something for my birthday, and I was either going to love it or curse her name. Huh? I said. And then promptly forgot about it. (I pretty much promptly forget about everything.)

Then, towards the end of May, a package showed up in my mailbox.

The Mysterious Package
 I felt it as I walked up my driveway, and it was clearly a book. But it felt like a hardcover, albeit a small one, so it clearly wasn't one of mine. I was without clue. (Also not unusual.) So I opened the package as I was walking and pulled out this:

DOG Magic? WTF?
 For a minute, I was completely baffled. Elysia knows I'm a cat person. Why on earth would she be sending me a book of DOG MAGIC for my (belated) birthday?

So I read the pretty card she sent with it...and laughed so loudly, I think I scared the birds. (Yes, I was still in the driveway--I was curious!)

My belated birthday card. Isn't it cool?
The Card
Here's part of what it said:
Dear Deborah,
Happy belated birthday!
Your crazy-making gift from me is a new book idea--how would you like to write the companion to this book--but The Book of Cat Magic? Isn't it cute? And it's tiny--only 40K words! You know you want to! Please?
The really funny part? I had literally said in a conversation with my agent Elaine the day before, "And I'm pretty sure the 365 Day book is the last Llewellyn book I'm going to do." Boy, when the universe laughs at me, it isn't even subtle, is it? Snort.

So I called Elaine and asked her if she thought we could squeeze this into my schedule, and she said, "It's the book of CAT magic! You have to write it!"

So I called Elysia and said yes :-)

Apparently I'm doing one more Llewellyn book after all. It won't be out until sometime in 2018 (the tarot deck is coming January '17 and the 365 Day book will be out in the fall of '17, probably), but boy, am I going to have fun writing it!

Anyone else excited about this too? (And yes, I'll be putting together some kind of giveaway to celebrate at the beginning of next week. Any requests?)


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sekrit Project Announcement! Magic Times Two

I've been working on a sekrit project for ages with my friend, author Mindy Klasky. Mindy approached me with the idea when we were both at the RWA National Convention in NYC last July, so I have kept this under my hat for a LONG time! Today, we finally get to share!

Here it is!

Yes, that's right--it's two times the magic and two times the fun! (For the price of only one book, which is even better!)

Magic Times Two: Two Books for the Price of One!

A Unique Duo of Humorous paranormal romances by USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky and award-winning author Deborah Blake.

Vampires! Witches! There’s magic afoot!
In Mindy Klasky’s Fright Court, Sarah Anderson has found her dream job: Clerk of Court for the District of Columbia Night Court.  Dream job, that is, until she’s attacked in the open courtroom by a vampire defendant.  And until she’s forced to take self-defense lessons from her boss, the enigmatic vampire James Morton.  And until she learns she can’t share the truth about any of that with her best friend, Allison Ward – even over delectable cupcakes from the Cake Walk bakery. Soon, Sarah is surrounded by vampires, griffins, and sprites – all members of a secret supernatural court.  And when a deceptively easy-going reporter starts to ask questions, Sarah wonders just what answers she is supposed to give…. Will Sarah be able to create order in the court?
In Deborah Blake’s Witch Ever Way You Can, Deirdre Connelly is a modern witch who accidentally becomes the reluctant guardian for the Star Stone, an ancient mystical crystal. With the aid of handsome actor Robert Daniel Addison and a mysterious spiritual guide, Deirdre uses magic, ingenuity, and determination to fight a deranged billionaire for possession of the Star Stone and its power.*
Magic Times Two will be in stores on August 18. Between now and then, keep an eye out for giveaways from both me and Mindy, plus one BIG joint giveaway on launch day!

*Those of you who have been with me since the beginning may recognize this title. It is my first novel, which I briefly had out on its own but took down when the Baba Yaga series came out. Since many of you have asked about it, I decided to release it again, in this special form!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Solstice Ritual: Drawing Down the Sun

The Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer and Litha, is coming up on Monday June 20th. For those who celebrate, or anyone who could use a boost of positive energy after the last few weeks (and months), I thought I'd share this ritual from the Midsummer book I wrote for Llewellyn' Sabbats series. Midsummer

As always, you can change any of the elements of this that don't work for you. Happy Summer Solstice!

The Solitary Midsummer: Drawing Down the Sun
In Wiccan magickal workings, there is a practice known as “Drawing Down the Moon,” in which a witch (usually, but not always, a priestess) channels the Goddess by drawing Her essence into herself. Less common is the practice of “Drawing Down the Sun,” in which a (usually male) witch channels the God. This is not that kind of drawing down the sun.
Purpose: This ritual’s focus is on pulling in the power of the sun at its zenith and taking that energy inside yourself, where it will charge your own spiritual battery in preparation for the darker months to come. The ritual is fairly simple, with few tools needed, and is perfect for both the experienced practitioner and one who is new to the path. It can also be converted relatively easily to a group ritual, if desired.
Setting: This should be done at noon if possible, on the day of Midsummer. If necessary, it can be done at any point during the day as long as the sun is still shining overhead. If it is raining on the actual day, the energy will still be much the same within a couple of days before and after, although not quite as powerful. As with most other Midsummer rituals, this one is best done outside, under the sun, preferably in the middle of an open area like a meadow or a yard. It can also be done on a beach, or anyplace where you will be sitting where the sun is shining on you. If you can’t be outside, try to find a spot inside where the sun will fall directly on you while you are doing the ritual, even if that means performing it before or after noon in order to have the sun shining in the right place.
Supplies: You need god and goddess candles (gold/silver or yellow/white or white/white) in fire-safe holders, four quarter candles (one each green/yellow/red/blue), a pillar candle to represent the sun (yellow or orange or red). You also need a cast iron cauldron or fire-safe container or candle holder, salt and water in small containers, a small bowl to mix them in, incense or a sage smudge stick in a holder or bowl, wide ribbon in a color that matches your sun candle (if your candle is yellow, use a yellow ribbon, etc.) long enough to tie around your waist, matches, sun-shaped or round cookies for cakes and ale (you can make sugar cookies and coat them with yellow frosting if you want), fruit juice or wine or mead or ale in a chalice or fancy cup. Optional—sunflowers or daisies as an offering for the gods, candle snuffer, athame, broom, or wand, decorative altar cloth, table to use as an altar, blanket or cloth to sit on if you are going to be outside.
Notes: While the instructions call for a full ritual set-up, if you don’t have everything listed here, don’t worry. The tools are meant to help you focus, and to heighten the sense of ceremony, and they will probably make your ritual even more powerful. But if you are not in a position to do the entire formal ritual (for instance, if you are not out of the broom closet, and you need something you can do quickly and without being obvious about it), you can do the core section of the ritual on its own.
Pre-Ritual Preparations: Place the god and goddess candles on your altar or in the middle of your circle (depending on whether you are using a formal altar or simply placing things on the ground or floor). Put the pillar candle in its holder between them, toward the front of the space, so you can sit in front of it easily, and tie the ribbon in a loose circle around the base of the holder. Place any offerings or decorations on the altar. Quarter candles can be placed on the altar in their proper directions, or at the edges of the circle, with the candle for earth facing north, air facing east, fire to the south and water to the west. Cakes and ale can be placed to the side, where you can reach them when the ritual is nearing its end.
The Ritual: Start by cleansing the space and yourself by smudging it with the sage wand (or incense). Walk around the circle clockwise, moving the smoke through the air, and visualizing your ritual area being washed clear of any negativity. Then do the same thing with yourself, starting at your head and working down to your feet. You can leave the sage/incense smoldering in its holder, or put it out.
Pour a little bit of salt into the small bowl, and add a little water. As you mix them together with your finger or an athame, say:
Salt into water, water into salt. Wash away all that is negative and impure, leaving only that which is positive and beneficial.
Dab the salt and water mixture on your forehead (for thoughts), lips (for speech), and heart (for feelings).
Cast the circle by walking its parameters and pointing toward the ground (you can use your finger, an athame, a broom, or a wand—if using a broom, make sweeping motions but keep the broom slightly above the surface of the ground), saying:
Earth to sky, sky to ground; let sacred space be all around.
Visualize your circle filling with white light, enclosing you in a space that is outside of normal time or place.
Call the quarters, starting with the east. Turn to the east and say:
I call the guardian of the east, the power of air, to come to this circle bringing refreshing summer breezes and lightness of spirit.
Light the yellow candle. Turn to the south and say:
I call the guardian of the south, the power of fire, to come to this circle bringing warm sunlight and a passion for summer joy.
Light the red candle. Turn to the west and say:
I call the guardian of the west, the power of water, to come to this circle bringing life-giving rains and a healing flow.
Light the blue candle. Turn to the north and say:
I call the guardian of the north, the power of earth, to come to this circle bringing energy for growth, and the strength of the ground below.
Light the green candle. Then, invoke the gods, using the words here or any of the alternatives in the previous chapter.
Great goddess, I greet you! You who are known by many names and many faces, shine your divine blessing down on me on this Midsummer Day, filling me with light and love.
Great god, I greet you! You who are the lord of the beasts and the fields and the woods, shine your divine blessing down on me this Midsummer Day, filling me with strength and energy.
Light the god and goddess candles.
Stand (or sit, if necessary) in front of your altar and light the candle that represents the sun. Close your eyes and lift your arms up into the air, as if reaching for the sun overhead, palms open and turned up. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face; feel its life-giving energy flowing into you through the crown chakra on the top of your head and down to fill your entire body. See yourself glowing with light and energy. Keep this image in your mind as strongly as you can, taking as long as you need. Then open your eyes and look at the candle. The flame in the candle symbolizes the heat and power of the sun—see that energy moving also into the candle, and from the candle, into the ribbon that is underneath it. Say:
Today is Midsummer and the sun is at its zenith. Its power and energy are all around me. Its power and energy are part of me. I am the fire of the sun.
Pick up the ribbon, hold it up to the sun, and then tie it around your waist. Feel the strength of the sun inside the ribbon, and say:
Within this token, I store the power and energy of the sun, that they may carry me through the darker days ahead.
Cakes and ale (optional): Hold up your “cake” and say,
I thank the earth for its harvest, and for the bounty it brings to my life.
Eat the cake. Hold up your cup and say,
I thank the sun for its life-giving rays that help the harvest to grow, and bring sweetness to this cup and to my life.
Drink the ale.
Thank the god and goddess by saying:
Blessed lady, blessed lord, I thank you for your presence in my circle here today and in my life always.
Snuff out the god and goddess candles.
Now it is time to dismiss the quarters. Starting at the north and turning counterclockwise (west, south, east), say in each direction:
I thank you (insert name of element in the order of: earth, water, fire, air) for watching over my circle and my magickal work.
Snuff out the candles after thanking each element.
Open the circle by turning counterclockwise and pointing as you turn. Visualize a wall of light dropping down until you are back into your normal life. Take a moment to let it all sink in. You can wear your ribbon all day, or take it off and put it away someplace safe like a box or a bag that can be stored on your altar or in a special drawer. Anytime you feel as though you need an extra boost, you can take it out and either wear it (under your clothes if you choose) or put it in a pocket.
Check out what I found when I went to Amazon to get the link to the book! It was #1 Best Seller in Paganism!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Feline Friday: A Luna and Angus Update

Happy Feline Friday all!

I figured I'd give y'all a quick update on Angus and Luna.

Angus's icky eye is *finally* much better, after four months and three vets. It was probably caused by a virus like the herpes virus that causes cold sores in people, so it may well come back at some point, and I'll still be putting ointment in his eye for a bit, but he is looking (and clearly feeling) much, much better.

The right eye (on the left in this picture) was swollen and inflamed.
I have mixed feelings about my Luna news. I found someone who is going to try adopting her--a lovely woman who is the friend of a friend, and who lost her own tortie two years ago and has no other cats. She's picking Luna up tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

If it works out, it will be a great thing for Luna, who at less than 2 and very active, shouldn't have to spend most of her days shut upstairs because she can't get along with Magic and Mystic. (Not to mention that getting up and down has been tough with my twisted knee, and I'm going to have guests upstairs for most of July and part of August.)

But I have to admit, it is breaking my heart to give her up. I've had her for 15 months, and I am very attached, of course. And when she's not being a holy terror, she is sweet and adorable. But I have to do what is best for her, and having the run of a house and someone to love her all day long will probably make her very happy. We'll see. I've told the woman that if Luna isn't happy, or if the cat drives her nuts, I will take Luna back. At least then I will know that I did everything I could. But I still haz a sad.

Luna on "her" stool. You can see the jar of treats where she got on the counter and knocked them onto the floor.
In non-cat news, look what I got from Berkley today!

ARCs fo Dangerously Charming!
Yes, that's a box of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of DANGEROUSLY CHARMING! I didn't know if they were going to do ARCs for this book or not (they tend to do them at the beginning of a new series, and I wasn't sure if they considered this a new series or a continuation of the Baba Yaga series). I was really pleased to see that they had the cover photo too, since a lot of ARCs are just a white cover with the title printed on it. And let's face it, the cover photo is pretty cool :-)

I guess I'm going to have to do another giveaway now, huh?

Who wants one?

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