The Darkest Arts Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lachesis Publishing
Number of pages: 276
Word Count: 85,000
Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.
Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening. Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.
Phaedra is so happy she doesn't notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.
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One of my favorite parts of writing fantasy is that you can draw from old mythology and legends to create characters with interesting histories. The Accidental Witch is the story of a small town psychologist, Phaedra, who turns to black magic to help cure her patients. She is pulled into a world of dark magic and finds herself completely in over her head.
In order to create a magical landscape for my dark witch, I drew on many mythological and legendary characters. The first is Nineveh. Nineveh is Phaedra’s mother and she is the origin of all of Phaedra’s problems. Nineveh came from Arthurian legend. In legend, Nineveh is also known as Nimue or Viviane. Because of the many variations of the Arthur legends, sometimes Nineveh is the Lady of the Lake. Her name is sometimes spelled Nyneveh, but there are so many variations on her name in legend it is hard to keep up with the true spelling. Regardless of her name, she is always the woman who defeated Merlin. In legend, Nineveh seduces Merlin and he becomes so enamored with her that he teaches her all of his magic. She uses this magic to imprison him in a crystal cave. I do play with the traditional legend a bit in my book. I divide The Lady of Lake and Nineveh into two separate characters. I take the good aspects of Nyneveh away from her and turn her into the evil witch from legend.
Another character I took from legend was Morgause. Morgause is one of Arthur’s nemesis in legend. She is his half-sister and the mother of Mordred, who ultimately defeats Arthur. I won’t talk too much about her role in my book, but I will say that it was fun to pull some of my favorite legendary witches from the pages of Malory and breathe life into them. The witches from legend ruled the land and toppled kings. Toying with history and creating new witches in a world that has forgotten magic made writing The Accidental Witch the most fun I’ve had writing in a very long time.
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It is amazing how the most world-changing days can seem entirely mundane to begin with. Friday the 13th seemed no different than any other day to me. I woke up late, as always, and rushed to get dressed and make it to the car with my usual box of animal crackers and diet cola. I pulled my shoes on as I backed out of the driveway and ate while I drove to work.I was late to work, but just early enough to not be noticed as late. The small hospital where I worked was a blip in a vast nowhere and the small psychiatric floor I worked on was a blip in a blip. I was a blip within a blip within a blip, making me practically nothing. I could’ve died in my sleep and the world would barely belch. I liked to think that I was good at what I did. I liked to think that even though I was a nothing, I made a difference in the patients’ lives. I was one of those deluded people that believed in saving the world one person at a time. I guess I still am. Certainly, I was one of the few people that actually cared about the patients. The management didn’t care that I cared. Management was too busy trying to balance the books and keep the floor profitable to care what the staff did with the patients. I could take all the patients outside and have them moo like cows and management wouldn’t care as long as I billed it as a recreational therapy group and got the proper reimbursement.
About the Author:
Jessica Penot is a therapist who lives in Alabama with her 2 corgis, cat, sons, husband and other strange creatures. She is the author of Haunted North Alabama, Haunted Chattanooga, and Circe.
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