Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Release Week Celebration Giveaway!

THE BROOM HAS LANDED! Yes, a week earlier than expected, THE WITCH'S BROOM is out as of TODAY!

Needless to say, I'm going to celebrate. Will you celebrate with me?

I hope you're not getting bored with giveaway contests, because I am going to do one last contest to celebrate Book Release Week. I've got a couple of goals here--the first, of course, is to reward all the wonderful folks who have been so excited about this book coming out. I'd also like to try to spread the word to anyone who might have missed it, or remind those who meant to buy the book when it came out, but didn't realize it was releasing a week early.

There's one more crazy, probably-impossible goal too... And I'm hoping you'll help me reach it. I was really excited to see that during our last contest, The Witch's Broom actually hit #10 on Amazon's "Witchcraft" books list. Seriously--none of my other books have ever cracked the top 100, so I was completely thrilled!

 So I started thinking...what if we could get it to #1? I mean, how cool would that be? Will it happen? Probably not...but on the other hand, you guys are awfully good about spreading the word... (And we should probably remind people about the Goodreads giveaway contest, since that ends April 8th.)

This time, I'm giving away TWO signed copies of The Witch's Broom, TWO signed cover flats, and the last two adorable broom refrigerator magnets. So that's six great prizes. And you can increase your chances of winning by doing some of the options every day that the contest runs. As always, no purchase is required. You don't have to buy the book (or anything, ever). You get extra points if you already have the book and put up a review, because I'd LOVE to get a few reviews up right away to encourage everyone else. (Believe it or not, the few people who have already put up reviews are complaining because it is a witchcraft book. Um...duh?)

Folks outside of the USA and Canada are welcome to enter, but depending on the cost of postage, I reserve the right to send a smaller prize--like the broom magnet--instead of something heavy like the books.

[And don't forget that you can still order a signed book from me by using the "Buy Now" button in the top left corner...until I get 100 requests, and take it down.]

So, let's celebrate! The broom has landed! Let the happy dancing commence! Whoo whoo! Who's dancing with me?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Books are Here!

Look what I got yesterday!!!

As you can see, Magic the Cat was pretty excited too. Of course, she does think her picture is on the cover...

Apparently the books arrived in the Llewellyn warehouse a little ahead of schedule, because I noticed that Amazon has changed the release date from April 8th to APRIL 1st!!!! Yes, that means that you folks who preordered will be getting your books sometime next week!

And the arrival of the books at my house means that those of you who used the "Buy Now" button on the blog (or on my website) to order a signed book from me will be getting those soon too. I plan to sign them and pack them up this weekend, and take them to the post office on Monday. (They may still take a little longer, since I will probably be sending them media mail, which is cheaper, but also slower.) If you wanted a signed book but haven't ordered one from me yet, you can use the button at the top left of the blog, which will take you to Paypal. (Remember that I am only going to send out signed books to the first 100 people who ask, since it is a lot of work, and I should REALLY be working on the next book! So after those 100 are gone, I'll be taking the button down.)

I can't tell you how happy I was to hold this book in my hands at last--it is just the coolest little thing, if I do say myself. And I can't get over how excited everyone else is about it. That makes it all way more fun for me, too.

There will be one more giveaway to celebrate the actual book release week, probably on Monday...along with a really fun announcement and a special surprise for you all that I think is going to knock your socks off. In the meanwhile, I hope you are all having a great weekend. This is me, off to work on revisions...

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Goodreads Contest, which runs until the 8th!


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        The Witch's Broom by Deborah Blake



          The Witch's Broom


          by Deborah Blake


            Giveaway ends April 08, 2014.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




      Enter to win

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Fabulosity of Fans

I have, of late, made the rather startling discovery that I have fans. No, really.

It’s not as though I didn’t know people read my books (I’m pretty sure Llewellyn wouldn’t keep buying them if SOMEONE didn’t occasionally purchase one), and every once in a while I’ll go to a Pagan conference where people have heard of me. But as I got ready for the release of book 7, The Witch’s Broom, it suddenly became clear that a lot of people were excited to have the book come out—not just because it is a cool book (which it is, of course), but because it was a book by me.

I have fans. Wow.

And not just fans, but GREAT fans. In fact, a fabulosity of fans. Yes, I just made up that word. I can do that. I’m an author.

There was so much enthusiasm, in fact, that I decided to reward everyone by having a Big, Huge, Mega Giveaway Contest. Which attracted so many people, many of whom spread the word far and wide, and generated even more enthusiasm, that I had to come to the undeniable conclusion that I had fans. A bunch of fans, even. I already knew I had friends who followed what I was up to, and readers, and such, but…fans. Wow.

Here’s the thing about writers. We mostly spend our time sitting in a corner, by ourselves, writing. Some folks occasionally go out and do a book signing, but unless you are Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King, you are pretty happy if ten people show up. For most of us, our interactions with the people who read our books are limited to the occasional comment on Facebook or that rare, lovely email from someone telling you how much they loved your book. I can’t speak for all authors, but most of the ones I know don’t feel any different from anyone else.

Which is why it is pretty cool to discover you have fans. As I’ve spent the last couple of months talking (and talking and talking) about the upcoming book release, I have had so many people say truly lovely things about how excited they were about the book, and how much they loved my previous books, and sometimes even that what I’d written had changed their lives.

It is a pretty good feeling for someone who spends most of her time sitting in a living room full of cats with a laptop on her lap, I’ll tell you. What’s more, I already knew that my readers were the nicest, coolest, best looking (yes, of course you are) people in the world, but I have been truly amazed by just HOW fabulous y’all have been about the book, the contests, and everything else. I feel very blessed.

So this is a thank you love letter to my fabulosity of fans. Thanks for your enthusiasm for my writing, your willingness to spread the word, for buying my books, for generally supporting and cheering on everything I do. You people make my life a better place And I just wanted to make sure you knew that I appreciated it.

So I have one more surprise up my sleeve. A gift, to all of you, to give back something of what you have given to me. I’m not quite ready to announce it, though, so for today, you’ll have to take this love letter instead. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being my fans. Y’all rock.


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Witch's Broom has Landed! Book Giveaway

It's here! I got my first preview author copies. The rest of my author copies should follow soon, but I was just THRILLED to finally hold this book in my hands.
Magic the Cat was pretty thrilled too. Not only was she looking on with a smile in this picture (no, really, that's a smile), as soon as I took the books out of the box and put them on the table, she jumped right up and gave them her Magic the Cat seal of approval.
As you can see, I also received a number of cover flats (flat versions of the cover, suitable for framing--I've got a copy of each of my covers framed and hanging on the wall of my office). Maybe I should give one or two of these away too? What do you think?

I should probably wait until I get the rest of my copies before I give one away...but you don't want that, do you? No, I didn't think so! So we're going to do one quick giveaway of a book, starting at midnight tonight, March 24th (EST), and running through midnight Wednesday the 26th (EST).

There are only a few options in this one, since we're going fast and furious. You can share on Twitter, leave a comment or two, or pre-order the book (for yourself or a friend, if you've already ordered one for yourself). You still don't have to buy anything if you don't want to.

But for those of you who requested a signed book, there's a new way to get a book. (See? And you though I wasn't paying attention.) As those of you who signed up for my newsletter already know, I have put up a "Buy Now" button on the blog (upper left) and on my website. This button will take you to a Paypal page where you can order a book, signed by me, and dedicated to you or anyone you specify in your instructions. Clearly, this isn't something I can do forever, so I'm going to take the first 100 requests, then the button comes down. Sorry, this option is for USA folks only. (But everyone else can buy a book through Amazon, B&N, or any local Indy bookstore.)

But don't worry--THIS CONTEST, as promised, is for everyone, everywhere. I know it is tough to be an out-of-county fan, so this one is open to all of my readers, no matter where you live.

So as soon as the clock strikes midnight EST, go ahead and enter. Maybe you'll be the lucky person to win the first book out! As always, I'd love it if you'd spread the word. Thanks!
ADDED NOTE: If you click "Tell me which book you like the best" you have to actually TELL ME in the comments. Ditto with clicking "Leave a comment." Leave the comment first, then click on the contest to get the point. (Silly people.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blue Moon Circle--Ten Years of Magic

Yesterday, Sunday the 23rd, Blue Moon Circle celebrated the Spring Equinox for the tenth time as a group. It is hard to believe that it was on this holiday, in March of 2004, that I first gathered with the core members and various Pagan and Pagan-friendly friends to hold our first ritual together.

Ten years on, Blue Moon Circle is both the same and different. Some people have been with the group from the beginning, and others have come and go. Our practice is changing and growing, but is still centered on nature, goddess (and god), and positive forward movement in our own lives. One thing that hasn't changed is our love and dedication to each other. Blue Moon Circle has always been as much a family as it is a spiritual group.

I can't even begin to say how much this group has impacted my own life. There is the obvious, of course--without them, I probably would never have ended up writing Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice, and therefore all the books on witchcraft that followed. But more than that, leading this group has brought such love and learning and grace to my life, I can't imagine the last ten years without them. I hope that I am lucky enough to spend the next ten years in their company.

Happy anniversary, Blue Mooners. You bring magic to me life, and I am grateful.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feline Friday: Celebrations and Updates

This is what an author looks like when she finished the revisions on her latest book (Everyday Witchcraft for Llewellyn, the follow up to The Goddess is in the Details )

This is what an author looks like when she finds out that her new book, The Witch's Broom has arrived in the warehouse at Llewellyn Worldwide, fresh from the printer
(Yes, seriously, that was me last night. Only slightly less green.)

Books in the warehouse means that soon I will get my author copies! And if you've been here before, you know what that means...GIVEAWAY!!!! So make sure you check in over the next week or so--I'll post as soon as I get them.

I'm getting ready to send out my spring newsletter, with all sorts of info in it, so if you haven't signed up yet, run over to my WEBSITE and sign up (in the top left corner).

Also, don't forget that I am giving a copy of the book away over at GOODREADS--go enter!

Now for Feline Friday. Here are the cats, all excited by the things going on in my life

 Yeah, I know.

Happy Friday all! Who's excited about The Witch's Broom?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring has Sprung--Time to Reboot!

You know how sometimes you have a problem with your computer or some other electronic gizmo, and you can fix it by simply turning it off and on, or unplugging it and plugging it back in? Don’t you wish it was that easy to reboot our own lives? I know I do. Of course, life doesn’t exactly work like that. But there are times when it is easier to give the process a jump-start, and this is one of them.

The Spring Equinox arrives this year on Thursday, March 20th—not a moment too soon for those of us who have struggled our way through a tougher than usual winter. And while spring on the calendar isn’t always reflected outside our windows, the energy of the season makes this the perfect time to reboot your body, mind, and spirit.

The energy of the natural world varies with the seasons, and different times of the year can give our endeavors a boost if we work with that energy instead of against it. We’re just coming out of winter, which tends to be a slow and quiet time, where the land rests and the light is dim. This can make trying to get things done pretty difficult if your to do list doesn’t say: eat, nap, eat, read, go to bed.

The spring, however, is an entirely different story. The energy in this season is all about coming up and out of hiding, new beginnings, and growth. It is the perfect time to start new endeavors, or to give yourself something of a personal reboot, if you will.

Most of us have issues or goals we aren’t making as much progress on as we’d like. You know, things like losing weight, quitting smoking or other bad habits, devoting more time to friends or family or spiritual activities so that our lives are more balanced. (Coff:get more exercise:coff). Try taking advantage of spring to give new energy to old ambitions, or come up with brand new ones instead. As the world around us wakes up from its long winter’s sleep, we can hit the reboot button on our lives and wake up too.

Take a look at your life and decide which aspects of mind, body, and spirit could use a jumpstart from spring’s vibrant inclinations towards growth and rebirth. Then push the reboot button, and give it all you’ve got, while spring is bursting out all around us.

What will you reboot this year?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Final Report on the Big, Huge, Mega Contest--WOW

After a fun, roller-coaster ride of a week, the Big, Huge, Mega Giveaway contest finally came to an end this morning. All 20 winners have been sent emails, and their names are listed on the original post HERE. There were two people whose emails bounced back as unreachable, so if your name is on that list and you didn't get an email, send me a note at magicmysticminerva at yahoo. I'll try to get the prizes out sometime next week. (The books will go media mail, and so they will take a little longer.) I'd love it if the folks who won took pictures of themselves with their swag and emailed them to me, so I could put them up here on the blog.

I want to congratulate all the winners, and thank everyone who took part. I hope you all had fun, because I sure did!

Here's the way things ended up, by the numbers:
Total entries: 3,278 -- That's just AMAZING. To give you something to compare it to, the last big contest I ran, I think there were about 850 entries, and I considered that a big success.

Total blog post page views: 3,188 -- again, AMAZING. You folks clearly did a great job at spreading the word.

Reviews put up: 7 (THANKS so much for doing this! Reviews are really important for getting new readers.)

Comments: 104 (nice!)

Books pre-ordered: I'm not sure, since I haven't had time to go through all the entries yet, but I'm grateful for every single one...


#25 -- that's the number the book reached in the "Witchcraft" category on Amazon (It's nowhere near that now...but either way, that's spectacular, especially considering it isn't even out yet!)

And a big thank you to everyone who followed me here on the blog, or on Twitter or Facebook, or who signed up for the newsletter.

Basically--ALL OF YOU ROCK.

So even though we didn't reach the 3,500 goal I put up on the last day, I'm still going to send the new Wickedly Dangerous mini-swag kits out to all 20 winners.

And if you didn't win, don't worry. Sometime towards the end of the month, I should be getting my author copies of The Witch's Broom  and I will be giving at least one of them away in another contest. Maybe two, if you're good :-)

Oh, and Rebecca Elson--no more complaining that you never win one of these things!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Big Huge Contest--Last Day Push and SURPRISE

As most of you know, I have been holding a Big, Huge, Mega Giveaway CONTEST POST for the upcoming THE WITCH'S BROOM book here for almost a week. We're in the end stretch now (1 day 12 hours as I write this, ending at Friday morning 12:00 AM EST), and I have to tell you that this contest has exceeded my wildest dreams. Seriously. I can't believe how much enthusiasm and participation we've had. I've been happy dancing so much I have scared the cats :-)

Here's where we're at right now:
3,037 entries (yes, that's right--OVER 3,000!) Of course, remember that people can earn up to 32, if they actually use all the options.
2,951 page views (holy crap!)
A few fabulous people put up reviews and/or pre-ordered the book (BIG thanks to you folks) and many people spread the word. The book is actually up to #39 in its category, and it isn't even out yet. You people ROCK.

So, now that we're in the end stretch, I've got one more push...

Look what I just got!
Yes, that's the first of the swag for my novel, Wickedly Dangerous. *bounce bounce bounce* That's a fridge magnet, a card, and a postcard. So here's what we're going to do.
IF we can get the contest entries up to 3,500 by the end of the contest, I'll send all the winners (that's right, all TWENTY of them) their very own threesome of Wickedly Dangerous swag too. You will literally be the first people it goes to. Excited yet?

So, what if you already entered? Don't forget that three of the options (tweet about it, share the news, and put up a review for an existing book) can be done every day. Which technically means you could do each of them today AND tomorrow, before midnight EST. And the "put up a review" and "pre-order the book" options are worth 10 entries each, so if a bunch of people do those, the numbers could go up fast. [Already ordered the book? Consider ordering one for a friend!]

Impossible, you say? There's no way we can get to 3,500 entries. Maybe so... On the other hand, I would never have in a million years guessed that we would get to 3,037. Let's see if we can pull off the impossible. Ready, set, GO!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Big Huge Mega Giveaway for The Witch's Broom

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's the big one! I'm so excited that THE WITCH'S BROOM is coming out on April 8th--only a month away--that I am having the biggest giveaway I have ever done. There are, count 'em, TWENTY prizes, so lots of people will have a chance to win something. [I can't afford to send the bigger prizes outside of the country, alas, but if you live outside the USA and are one of the winners, you will be sent one of the smaller ones, so no one is left out.]

Here's what I'm giving away: the last remaining mug and notebook with the cover of The Witch's Broom on them, five of the very cool broom refrigerator magnets, ONE EACH of my other six books from Llewellyn, including a copy of Circle, Coven & Grove which went out of print last year. (Each of the books will be signed and personalized.) In addition, there will be seven "mini swag sets" made up of a postcard, a business card, and a business card-sized magnet, all with the book cover on them. (I had two notebooks, as you can see...but my mother made me give her one.)

There are lots of different ways to enter, some of which can be used every day of the contest, which will run through midnight EST on Thursday. I hope you have fun, spread the word, and help me celebrate the excitement of my new release.

Not enough? Then go over to Goodreads and enter there to win a copy of the book! That contest runs until April 8th, book release day!


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        The Witch's Broom by Deborah Blake



          The Witch's Broom


          by Deborah Blake


            Giveaway ends April 08, 2014.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




      Enter to win

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Four Books and a Novella

No, that's not the name of a RomCom movie about my life starring Hugh Grant (although that would be pretty cool).
Although if you WERE going to do a movie about my life this year, "Four Books and a Novella" would make a pretty good title, since it is starting to look like most of my time is going to be devoted to those five projects. And if you're thinking "Gee, that seems like a lot," you'd be right! (I'm not saying I'm sitting here hyperventilating just thinking about it, but um...anyone got a brown paper bag?)

Here's the thing: normally, I write two books a year. One nonfiction book for Llewellyn, and one novel. For many years, the nonfiction books were published at about the rate of one a year, and I had to do edits and publicity for them, and the fiction books made the rounds of agents (until I got one) and then editors as I was writing the next one. A lot of work, but just about manageable on top of the day job, making jewelry, chasing cats around, and all that jazz.

Then last year, I finally sold the fiction. (HUZZAH!) The first two books in my Baba Yaga series, plus a prequel novella. Which changed the scenario quite a bit. And because I had decided that once I sold a novel, I probably wouldn't do any more Llewellyn books, I then signed contracts not only for another one (Everyday Witchcraft, a follow up to my popular 3rd book, The Goddess is in the Details), but also for a small book that is one is a series they are putting out about the eight sabbats. (More about that some other time. And yes, I realize that there is something wrong with my plan here.) So I spent the last couple of months working on those, and not really thinking about the big picture, until it suddenly struck me a few weeks ago that I had THREE BOOKS AND A NOVELLA coming out this year.

Holy crap.

And then it occurred to me that since my next book for Llewellyn, The Witch's Broom , is coming out in April, that would be a great time to finally get around to putting out an eBook version of Circle, Coven & Grove (my first book, which went out of print last year). I have a secret plan for that in the works right now, which I will blog about when some other stuff is finalized I'm ready.

Which led me to the realization that I would then be putting out FOUR BOOKS AND A NOVELLA this year. All of them requiring editing, publicity, and such.


Well, I'm the one who wanted to be a writer, so I'm not complaining. Mostly, just a little...flabbergasted. I have a few writer friends who put out that many books in a year on a regular basis, but I am not that writer. And I think it is unlikely that this confluence of events will reoccur--I'm perfectly happy to stick to two books a year. But in the meanwhile, here's what we're looking at:

April 8th -- The Witch's Broom
 April 8th (give or take a few days) -- Circle, Coven & Grove (release as an eBook)
August (no exact date yet) --  Wickedly Magical (Baba Yaga novella, released in eBook form)
September 2nd -- Wickedly Dangerous (Baba Yaga book 1)
December (no exact date yet) -- Wickedly Wonderful (Baba Yaga book 2)

So--four books and a novella. Fortunately, the edits are done for everything except the last book (although I still have the last copy edits read-through for Baba 1). Circle, Coven & Grove is written, of course, but I have to come up with a new cover and a new cover blurb, since those things belong to Llewellyn, the original publisher, as well as adding a new introduction. And I have major revisions to do on the current Llewellyn book, which will be out sometime next year.

Right now, I'm a somewhat muddled mix of Really Excited and A Tad Overwhelmed, with a smidge of Ridiculously Happy thrown in for good measure. I hope you're all just a little bit excited to be taking this ride with me, too.

Because here's the thing--the other thing--sharing this journey with all of you is part of what makes it so great. My friends, my readers, my fans (holy crap, I have fans!) guys are what makes the fun outweigh the freaked out. I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you coming here (and Facebook, and Twitter, and such) and cheering me on. Obviously, such dedication deserves a reward. Right?

And I  have two in mind. The first is A REALLY BIG GIVEAWAY. I'm going to do a massive contest, starting this Friday, which will be a month and a day before the release of The Witch's Broom. Remember all that cool swag? Swag Blog Post I'm going to be giving away almost all of it. That's right--the remaining  mug and notebook, a bunch of broom refrigerator magnets, and some other stuff too. Why should I be the only one excited? So be sure to check back on Friday!

What's the second reward? I'm not telling...not yet.

So, you tell me: of all the releases coming out this year, which of the four books and a novella are YOU the most excited about?


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Getting Through the Long Winter: Spirit, Spells & Sharing

Winters are often tough, but this one has really been a challenge for many of us. Much of the US has dealt with long stretches of bitter cold and winter storms bringing snow and ice as far south as Texas. On the far western side of the country, there are droughts and winds instead. Outside the United States, the weather has also been extreme, although not always cold. It’s the beginning of March, and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like this winter is Never Going to End.

Of course, there are plenty of practical things that can help you keep going: exercise, rest, and of course, lots of chocolate. But if those aren’t working for you this year, I’ve got a few ideas for how to cope, using spirit, spells, and sharing—hopefully one or more of these approaches help you make it through until the spring comes.

When the temperature drops below zero AGAIN, or you’re slipping and sliding on your way to the car, there may be a temptation to curse the gods. Instead, why not use this long winter as inspiration to get in touch with one of the darker crone goddesses you may not usually commune with? Winter is the time of the hag—Hecate, for instance, or some of the other “hag” goddesses like Kali Ma, Cerridwen, or Morrigu (check out this fabulous blog post on connecting with Baba Yaga by Pagan author Gail Wood ) so if you’re feeling rather haggard yourself, do some research or just reach out to the goddess in her crone form.

On the other hand, if you are longing for the warmth and sunlight, perhaps you can light a candle to one of the sun gods, like Apollo, who is also a god of healing and music (which can be very healing during the long dark months). Meditate on one whichever sun god resonates with you the most, and feel the gift of light and warmth filling you from head to toe. Do a ritual thanking Prometheus for his gift of fire that keeps us warm during these cold months.

Spellwork can help too. For instance, if you are feeling like you just can’t take any more, try doing this spell for “Endurance” from my Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook:
I will be bright and fierce
Like the flame that burns
In the candle hot
I will be strong and grounded
Like the tumbled stone
That once was earth
I will be flexible and resilient
Like the water that flows
Always to return
I will be the essence of potential
Like the seed that waits
And grows again when needed
I will endure
I will survive
I will triumph
And rise like the phoenix
At the dawn of another day
With the help of the gods
And my own determination
I will endure
And rise like the phoenix

You can also try my spells for Acceptance (to help you accept the weather you can’t change), Depression (if the never-ending winter has you down), or Peace and Quiet, if you just want to tune into the more positive aspects of this time of year.

I tend to hibernate during the winter—I’m less social, rarely leave the house (except for work and necessary errands), and don’t talk to people as much. This isn’t always a bad thing, and certainly fits with the general energy of this time of year. But if you’re feeling blue, sometimes the best thing you can do is get together with friends or family.

Blue Moon Circle has a tradition during the cold dark months of getting together for a few “girls’ nights in.” We don’t do anything magical; simply watch a fun video, share food, and enjoy each other’s company. But it is amazing how much these nights can recharge our batteries and make us feel better.
Of course, if you want to do something magical AND get together with your friends, you can always do the infamous Chocolate Ritual. Here is a link to one version:
I told you chocolate helped!

And hang in there…spring is coming soon, no matter what it feels like at the moment.