I am pleased to welcome Sonya Clark here today at Book Flame. Also check out her novel Mojo Queen. And without further ado:
By Sonya Clark
By Sonya Clark
The haunted South is the perfect setting for a paranormal story. Southern history is rich with blood and ghosts. Many stories of hauntings originate from the dual horrors of slavery and the Civil War. Battlefields all over the south are said to be haunted by dead soldiers from both armies. There seems to be a darkness cast upon this part of the country because of slavery and the war, as if the stain of owing other human beings and the nightmare of a country fighting itself have left this land susceptible to spirits that can find no rest.
One of the greatest things this region has given the world is its music: jazz, country, blues, and rock and roll. All can trace their roots deep into Southern soil, and all can boast of wonderfully spooky tales. Hank Williams Sr. is said to haunt the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Loretta Lynn lives in a haunted house in Hurricane Mills. The Orpheum Theater in Memphis is said to be haunted by the ghost of a child named Mary. Some believe the ghost of Elvis Presley haunts his home at Graceland, though that one may be wishful thinking.
My favorite spooky story from the South is also a famous blues legend. Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson is said to have met the devil at a crossroads at midnight to sell his soul in exchange for the ability to play guitar. With song titles like “Me and the Devil Blues” and “Hellhound on My Trail” it’s easy to believe Johnson signed away his soul. The truth is somewhat more prosaic. It’s known that he practiced playing in a graveyard at night so no one would be bothered by the noise. Although come to think of it, that’s pretty spooky in and of itself.
There’s no shortage of variations on the story of the Bell Witch legend of Adams, Tennessee. Some say the witch was a local woman who cursed John Bell in the early eighteen hundreds. Some stories suggest the frightening occurrences that befell the Bell family were the work of a ghost or spirit. President Andrew Jackson visited the Bell home and is said to have stated “I would rather fight the entire English Army then to have to face the Bell Witch again." The legend has taken on a life of its own and inspired plenty of fiction that bears little resemblance to the old tales.
Setting Mojo Queen in Nashville and drawing from the spooky atmosphere of the South has given the story a certain flavor that it might not otherwise have. I have a great well of supernatural material to mine for story ideas as I write about my paranormal investigator Roxie Mathis. She’ll never be out of work down here in the spooky South.
About Mojo Queen
Hoodoo and high magic are on a collision course.
Roxanne Mathis isn't like everyone else. Not only can she see auras and spectral entities, she can mix herbs and roots for spells to do good or ill. She can even light a candle without the benefit of a match. But when she’s hired to exorcise a demon from a young girl, she discovers the limits of her powers.
With her vampire cousin at her side and a sexy sorcerer chasing her on the rebound, Roxie sets out to send that evil entity back to where she came from.
Nothing is as it seems and Roxie’s in over her head. It’s not going to be enough for her to just be a paranormal investigator and old school root worker – to defeat this demon, she’s going to have to be the Mojo Queen.
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I sat in the chair opposite the loveseat, placing the candles on the coffee table. Glanced at him to make sure I still had his attention, which of course I did. One side of his mouth still curled up in a smirk, eyebrow quirked. I sat back, let myself sink into the comfy chair and relax as much as possible. First the candle on the left. Focusing on the wick, I visualized a tiny flame erupting from it--concentrating my will, pouring energy into my intention. I could feel myself sliding further into exhaustion as energy curled inside me, but after a long, agonizing moment the candle came to life. I let out a breath before I could stop myself, avoiding his gaze. I didn’t want him to know how much this was taking out of me, but I had a bad feeling it was obvious. I turned my attention to the other candle and though it took even longer this time, it too lit. I felt almost as bad as I had this afternoon.
Blake reached for a backpack on the floor I had not seen in the darkness. He opened it, fished something out, and tossed it to me. I didn’t so much catch it as let it fall in my lap. A chocolate candy bar.
It was my turn to quirk an eyebrow. Waving the bar at him I said, “What, is this to ward off dementors?”
The smirk became a genuine smile again briefly. “Something like that. You need to eat.”
I gave him a skeptical look.
“You know you’re using energy with that.” He gestured at the candles. “The energy needs to be replenished.”
I rolled my eyes but tore open the wrapper. The chocolate tasted, well, damn, like mainlining something illegal. Maybe he had a point. I was halfway through the bar when he spoke again, as if there had been no pause.
“Especially since you don’t really know what you’re doing yet.” Even in the low candlelight I had no trouble seeing the wicked amusement in his dark eyes.
I managed to finish chewing without choking, tossed the remainder of the candy bar on the coffee table and sat up straighter. “Why don’t you tell me why you’re here? Or better yet, tell me where I can find your demon lover? So I can send her back to Hell.”
“Well, actually, that’s exactly why I’m here, Roxanne.” Like we were discussing insurance or something. “I want you to find my demon lover.”
Gob-smacked, all I could manage was, “Huh?”
“And I want you to send her back to Hell.”
Sonya Clark grew up an Army brat, living all across the United States as well as Japan and Germany by the time she graduated high school. Books were one of the few constants in her life. An eclectic reader, she always had a special love for the paranormal and is a lifelong fangirl of all things that go bump in the night.
A deep love of music is another constant thread in all of her fiction. She writes at a desk equipped with High John the Conqueror root and a mojo hand. She has worshipped at the mother church of country music, traveled the back roads of the blues highway, been to the crossroads at midnight, and though she’s never cooked up a mess of polk salad, she has been to Graceland four times.
She lives with her husband and Yorkie in Tennessee.
Here is what you can win
Winners will be chosen from all of those who enter via the form,
leave comments at tour stops for bonus entries
you can also enter at each tour stop
10 winners will receive signed book plates
2 winners will receive free ebook copies of Mojo Queen
1 grand prize winner will receive the Mojo Prize Pack, which includes:
· Signed book plate
· Mojo Queen playlist CD
· A voodoo doll
· A protective mojo hand
· Spirit of Good Luck incense
· A seven day spell candle
· A bag of graveyard dirt
The winners will be announced on Sonya's blog on Friday, August 19.
Physical prizes open to US Shipping Only Please.