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Friday, November 21, 2014

Feline Friday--Introducing Cat-Crazy Book Lovers!

No, that's not actually Magic the Cat. It's her look-alike, Zoie, who belongs to author Karen Rose Smith

(And here is Karen's "Invitation to Cat-Crazy Book Lovers" stolen from her blog, since I was going to write exactly the same thing anyway. Thanks, Karen!)

Most of my friends love cats! I guess cat people just gravitate toward each other. In the writing world, the same is true. With a common interest in cats and their welfare, we just seem to find each other. Four of us have banded together to create something special--

a CAT-CRAZY BOOK LOVER page on Facebook!  (Click on the link!)

Along with Karen Rose Smith, Susan Meier and Melissa McClone, I will be posting photos and chatting with readers on this Facebook page. (I post lots of cat photos on my personal profile and author page now, but this just means I have an excuse to shoot more pictures.)

We're planning themed days when readers can post photos of their cats too. Visit us on Monday for MONDAY MAYHEM. Do your cats get into trouble? Ours do. We can compare notes.

Wednesday is for WEDNESDAY WISDOM. We can share strategies for caring for our cats, solutions to problems, a place to give and get feedback,

Friday is always FELINE FRIDAY. Every cat is beautiful, and on Friday you can let yours be a star by posting his or her photo.

We'll also have a giveaway every week--books and cat-related prizes. (We're trying Monday's for this, so be sure to check in. I'm up next Monday, and I have some fun cat prized to give away!)

So if you love cats, like to chat with others who do too, can't get enough of cat photos and generally just want a friendly place to discuss your fur babies, the CAT-CRAZY BOOK LOVERS page is the place for you.  Just LIKE the page and join the fun! (Don't forget to check GET NOTIFICATIONS on Facebook so you don't miss a thing.) And don't forget to follow these other great authors. They're cat-crazy too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jewelry SALE Part One

First things first:
Big congrats to the winners of the recent giveaway. If you won, you should have gotten an email from me, so check your inbox. (The winners are also listed at the bottom of the giveaway gizmo on the previous blog post.) I'm going to TRY to get your goodies out this week, so be sure to email me with your address if you won. ( Porsha W, I still need to hear from you.)

I should be getting my author copies of Wickedly Wonderful within a week or so, and I'm fairly certain that another giveaway will ensue, so stay tuned. Can you believe that the book is out in less than two weeks? Eeeeeeiiiiiiii! Have you ordered your copy yet? (Please say yes. Please say yes. Please say yes.)

And now for something completely different, as Monty Python would say. I've taken a short break from writing to madly get jewelry made to sell at The Artisans' Guild during the holiday season. I've been posting some pictures of my shiny new things over at Facebook, and lots of people have asked me where they can buy them, if they don't live close enough to come into the shop in person. Technically, I do have an Etsy shop...but at the moment, I haven't had time to get over there and list anything, and it is a crapshoot as to whether or not I'm going to manage it, what with the promo for Wickedly Wonderful (TWO WEEKS! Did I mention TWO WEEKS!!?)

So I thought, why not put a few pictures up here? And then I thought (what with the crazy and all), why not give my blog followers a special opportunity to get my jewelry ON SALE as a thanks for being so wonderful and supportive?

So here's the deal. For the next week or so, I'm going to post some pictures and descriptions of some of the jewelry I've made. And here only, I will let people have 15% OFF until the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you want a piece, just say so in the comments--first person to call "DIBS" on a piece will get it. If you have questions, ask those in the comments too. [Once you've yelled dibs, email me at magicmysticminerva at yahoo and we will work on the specifics. Paypal is usually the easiest way, but I'm flexible.] Shipping will be $5 for USA folks, and whatever the actual cost is for anyone out of the country.

Most of the pictures are necklaces, but I can make matching earrings if you want (in some cases there are already earrings in the pictures, but they don't come with the necklaces unless you pay for them too). Any questions? 

Here's the first batch:
This is all the Snowflake obsidian together, so you can see the bracelet and earrings too. Bracelet is $32 and earrings are $30--so $27.20 and $25.50 on sale. And yes, Snowflake obsidian comes from volcanoes!

Snowflake obsidian necklace #1 $72 -- on sale for $61

Snowflake Obsidian necklace #2 18" long, regularly $59, now $50

My favorite! Snowflake Obsidian cat-- 19" plus 1" cat. $72 on sale for $61

close-up of the cat

Ryolite, also known as Rainforest Jasper. Necklace #1 has lovely faceted beads, as does the  matching bracelet. 18" long and normally $69, on sale for $58.65 -- bracelet is $32/$27.20

Ryolite #2, a nice long 24" necklace for $85/$72.25

Another long ryolite #3 also $85/$72.25 (the earrings are $32/$27.20)
 That's it for today's goodies. Up next, Smoky Quartz, Labradorite, and a few misc. cool stones...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CONTEST! Wickedly Wonderful Prerelease Party & Giveaway


Did you realize that Wickedly Wonderful is coming out in less that three weeks? (Did you realize that December 2nd is less than three weeks away? Yikes!)

Obviously, that calls for a celebration. And, you know, a mad flurry of begging people to spread the word, preorder the book, and generally make me look good to my publisher Berkley, so they'll want to give me a contract for Book 3 in the series. But mostly, it calls for a HUGE giveaway!

So here it is.

So many great prizes!

As usual, it is *just* possible that I may have gotten a little carried away. Snort. There is a great big tote bag with the Wickedly Wonderful cover on one side and the Wickedly Dangerous cover on the other. A Wickedly Wonderful mug, notebook, and mousepad, and a swag pack with the winner's choice of temporary tattoo packs (dragons or mermaids), plus bookmarks, postcards, and magnets. There is also a signed copy of Wickedly Dangerous, since I don't have my author copies of Wickedly Wonderful yet. If the person who wins the book already has the first one, he or she has the choice to wait for the 2nd one to show up on my doorstep.

Six great prizes, lots of chances to win. It's pretty simple (thank you, Rafflecopter!). You get one point for doing the basics--tweeting about the contest, liking me on Facebook, or following me on Twitter. A couple more points if you follow the blog here on the left or sign up to have the blog delivered to your inbox. Leaving a comment is worth three points and so is signing up to get my newsletter. You can post a NEW review for another 5, but it has to be one you haven't posted previously (although you can copy and paste an earlier review into another place, like Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, your own blog, Facebook, etc. You can even Tweet a short review of the book). Of course, you don't have to buy anything, but if you do buy a copy of Wickedly Dangerous or preorder a copy of Wickedly Wonderful, that's a big ten points. BUT, it has to be a new purchase, not one you made earlier. Hey, you can always get one for a friend for the holidays, right? Or buy one of my other books, that counts too. Even the ebook version of Circle, Coven & Grove which is still only $2.99. [But hey, if you convince a friend to buy a copy, that can count too...]

Here are some handy links, in case you need them:

BERKLEY (where you can get links to all the other places)

You can also use the Amazon and B&N links to leave reviews, or use this link to GOODREADS (where, frankly, I could use some nicer reviews to offset a few not very nice ones).

Mostly, you should just have fun! So tell me, have you read Wickedly Dangerous? Are you excited about Wickedly Wonderful coming out in THREE WEEKS?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm a Cover Model! (For Witches & Pagans Magazine)

Whoo hoo! I can finally share some great news I've been sitting on for a while. (It's a little squished, but still fun.) I'm going to be a cover model!

No, not on the cover of one of my books (although there are folks who think that the picture of Barbara Yager, my first Baba Yaga, looks a bit like me on the cover of Wickedly Dangerous -- yes, my abs look *just* like that...snort). And not on the cover of Time Magazine as Witch of the Year, although really, I'm not sure why not.

This is what I'm talking about:
Witches & Pagans Magazine's Next Cover Girl. Look familiar?

Yes, that's me (and Magic the Cat, of course) on the cover of the upcoming issue of Witches & Pagans Magazine. Color me seriously excited. Possibly bordering on the ecstatic :-)

As some of you know, I write a regular column (Everyday Witchcraft) for the magazine, and I have been a dedicated reader for many years. So it is pretty thrilling to be featured on the cover and in the wonderful interview inside written by my Pagan author pal Ceallaigh MacCath (you may remember that I wrote the introduction to her fabulous collection of Pagan tales and poems, The Ruin of Beltany Ring and that we were both included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction).

I'm very grateful to publisher/editor Anne Niven Newkirk for putting me on the cover, and for my friend Bobbie Hodges for taking thousands of pictures in order to get a couple of ones that were good enough for us to use without making me want to hide under the bed. (She also gave me the broom I'm holding in the picture.)

I hope that some of you will reward Anne's faith in me by making this the Most Popular Issue Evah. If you don't already have a subscription (what?!), you can get one, or preorder this particular issue by clicking on this link:
The Deborah Blake Cover Girl Issue!
Of course, the preorder price of $6.45 is a deal, so you know you want to get a copy. (Mom, I'm looking at you.)The magazine will be out in December.

And just for fun, here are a few of the shots we didn't use either for the cover or inside. Which one do you like best?

So tell me, are you going to be getting a copy of the magazine? (You don't have to, of course. I'll probably forgive you. Now Magic, on the other hand... Nah, just give her treats--she'll be fine.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Samhain/Halloween Giveaway!

For many people, their biggest holidays of the year are things like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I don't actually celebrate Christmas, and I don't do much for Thanksgiving now that most of my family lives so far away. Instead, my biggest holiday is Samhain, known to many as Halloween.

 For Pagans, this is a significant day--sometimes called the Witch's New Year. It is both the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, and so it can be somewhat bittersweet. We let go of the past, say goodbye to those we have lost, speak to our ancestors...and embrace our witchy roots. Then we open ourselves to the possibilities of the year to come.

At my house, I'll be celebrating with Blue Moon Circle. We will have a deeper, more solemn ritual than usual...hopefully around a bonfire outside, if the weather cooperates. Then we'll come in and feast, of course!

I can't invite you to the feast, but I can invite you to help me celebrate by sharing a Samhain/Halloween Prize Pack with one lucky winner. (US only, I'm afraid, but as always, if you are outside the US, feel free to enter and if you win, I'll send you something cool and lightweight.)

Look what Mystic put together!
Samhain Prize Pack--Cat not included

There's a cute Halloween goodie bag, a copy of EITHER The Witch's Broom or one of the last remaining print copies of Circle, Coven & Grove (winner's choice), a little black cat, and a broom pen. Plus a little Halloween candy, of course.

It is easy to enter. You can tweet about the contest, share it on Facebook, or, join this blog (look to the left). For extra points, you can buy a copy of either book (obviously, you'll have to get the ebook version of CC&G, since the print one isn't available anymore) and/or leave a NEW review of any of my books. Heck, you get four points just for commenting here, and telling me what you like best about this time of year. So what are you waiting for? Let's celebrate!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 24, 2014

Seasonal Protection Magick

Life is uncertain. If you turn on the news, you will be subjected to a constant barrage of All the Horrible Things. But even beyond that, there are always things that can harm us, whether they are acts of nature, acts of man, or just bad luck. There is no way we can keep bad stuff from happening once in a while, but it never hurts to do a little protection work to give yourself and your loved ones a bit of a boost in that direction.

I try to do serious protection work for my house and property at least once a year, in the fall as I am shutting things down and closing up the house for the winter. The coming week, leading up to Samhain on the 31st, is a perfect time for these kinds of rituals and spells (although they will work any time, of course). The darkness is closing in as the days grow shorter, and with the veil becoming thinner, it is always a good idea to reinforce your defenses.

I have full protection rituals in Circle, Coven & Grove (that one is focused on making a protection charm for your home) and The Witch's Broom, but if you want to do something simple and subtle, you can try this.

Take a bag or bowl and place in it some salt (sea salt is best if you have it, but even table salt will do), dried or fresh rosemary, basil, and sage (you can also use bay, juniper, and garlic--although I'd save that one for outside work!). If you want to, you can place a protective stone like red jasper or black onyx in the middle of the bag/bowl, and reclaim it afterwards. For extra oomph, you can leave the mixture out under the full moon beforehand, or bless and consecrate it for magickal work, but that isn't absolutely necessary, since most of the power from this mini-ritual comes from your focus and intent.

If you are in an apartment or don't want to make a mess, you can always dissolve the salt in water and put the entire thing into a spritzer instead (you can even use essential oils instead of the herbs if you like).

I walk around the outside of my house and the perimeters of my property, paying special attention to any entrances (including the mailbox). As I walk, I sprinkle small amounts of my protection mixture and say something along the lines of this: My home is protected. My property is protected. All those who live within are protected, from all acts malicious and accidental, from any who would cause harm or damage. My home is protected. I am protected. With the aid of the god and goddess, with the power of the earth, air, fire, and water, my home is protected. So mote it be. (Repeat as you go.)

There are no "right" words. Just say what comes from your heart, and focus on your intent to wrap your home and all those who live within in a cone of magickal protection. Then put the rest of your mixture away until the next time, feeling just a little safer and more secure in a dangerous world.