Tarot Tuesday- Facing Fears: The Tower

I wrote both Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle with a deck of cards at hand – much like my heroine, Tara Sheridan, a criminal profiler who uses Tarot cards to solves crimes. Whenever I get stuck on a character or plot point, I shuffle the cards and pull out one at random. More often than not, I can find something in the symbolism of the image that captures my imagination and propels my writing forward.

When I was developing the outline for Rogue Oracle, there was one card that haunted me more than any other. One card that kept coming up whenever I shuffled the deck and spread the cards out before me: The Tower. 

The Tower depicts a disintegrating structure at night, struck by lightning, from which two people fall. The traditional meaning of the card has to do with old ways of life collapsing and a new order taking its place. It's about destruction, an event after which nothing is ever the same again.

There was always something about the Tower that bothered me, that frightened me on a deep, subconscious level. Something distantly familiar. I looked at its image in several other decks before I realized what it symbolized to me for this story: the disaster at Chernobyl, almost twenty-five years ago.

One of my childhood fears was Chernobyl. I was in middle school when the news reports began to filter in that something terrible had happened in Europe...that a Soviet reactor had melted down, breached containment in fire and invisible poison. The Ukraine seemed a thousand worlds away. And I was less than a bystander, an ordinary kid on an ordinary street in the U.S.

But something about the story captivated and frightened me. I remember seeing some pictures of Chernobyl on the news, of an industrial plant not quite so different than those plants that surrounded me where I grew up, where my dad worked. And seeing fire. And the rumors about plumes of poison moving over Europe, unstoppably.

It made me shudder. I remember that my mother turned off the television when we were in the room.

But the story of Chernobyl - of the people who died immediately in the fire, those who died after of horrible cancers, of secrets and something invisible that could kill more effectively than an army - it seemed to seep into the minds of the adults. I remember that my class was shown a film about radiation in the school library. I don't remember what it was called, but I remember that it was pretty graphic. It talked a lot about Hiroshima. Poisoned radioactive organs in jars. A man in a perfectly pristine white T-shirt who was covered in radiation burns. Almost a supernatural horror - more terrifying than the books about the making of classic Dracula and Frankenstein movies that we were reading.

It did give me nightmares. And I think many of the other kids.

And I guess that it never did completely dislodge from my memory. The black shape of the containment structure, the Sarcophagus, reminds me so much of the shadowy tower in all its supernatural power.

And because it scared me, I knew that this was the concept to pursue. I would put my heroine on the trail of a Chernobyl survivor who was selling old nuclear secrets on the international black market. I would take her to the place that I dimly remembered from old television footage, now sharpened by research. I made Tara walk through the tall grasses and stand before the Sarcophagus. I'd let her feel the prickle of radiation on her skin, taste the metallic tang of the rain, let her see the bird's nests wedged into the splitting seams of the structure.

I made her stand in the shadow of the Tower, the closest thing I could connect to such a fearsome symbol in the real world.

And...it does still scare me.

~Author Laura Bickle writes the Delphi Oracle Series as Alayna Williams.

Hoodoo Blue Cocktail By Katalina Leon

In Katalina’s paranormal romance “Hoodoo Blue” the cocktail is blended by a sexy Fae bartender named Sid and loaded with a witch’s tricky love spell and a time released mojo. 

If you are not a practicing Witch or Fae, I suggest you start with the basic recipe and add lots of your own brand of fun, laughter and love and see what happens. 


1 oz. Rum

1 oz. Blue Curacao 

2/3 oz. Coconut Cream

Pineapple Juice

Garnish: Red Maraschino Cherry, Pineapple spear and silver of lime.


Pour the rum, Blue Curacao and coconut cream with 6 oz. crushed ice in the blender. 

Add pineapple juice, quick pulse blend a couple seconds.

Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with maraschino cherry, pineapple spear and lime sliver. 

Extra points for locating a real Tiki glass and a paper parasol. 

The drink is best enjoyed with a handsome werewolf.

Find this recipe and more in Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts

Stir up a little magic from our cauldron full of cocktails and desserts.

The authors of Bewitching Book Tours conjured a collection of delicious potions inspired by their books and characters.

Grab your wand (or spoon) and cast one of these spellbinding recipes today.

Join Us Every Thursday for Flint's Violent History- Early Twentieth Century

They say truth is often stranger than fiction. Nowhere is this more apparent than Flint's weird and often violent history.

You see Flint in the news a lot these days for the water crisis and for being one of the worst cities to live in in the US. As of June 2018, Flint MI is considered USA Today’s #2 Worst City to live in the USA (Detroit is #1).

The violence of Flint is nothing new. It has made negative city lists for quite some time- murder capital, crime capital, high rates of unemployment...the list goes on.

I always thought Flint's crime started when the big three auto companies started pulling out of Flint in the last two decades of the twentieth century. 

Factories closed, people were out of work, stores and other businesses closed because the auto workers were no longer purchasing from them. It was a downward spiral that affected everything. 

Soon people were leaving Flint by the thousands. What was left was a wasteland of boarded up businesses, toxic factory sites, and neighborhoods that became ghost towns. Crime, drugs, and death filled the emptiness.

But it turns out Flint's modern crimes and murders are rather mundane compared to Flint's history of murder and violence.

Join us every Thursday for the next several weeks as author, Flint resident, and hobby historian, Joe Schipani, tells us about the violent and often weird deaths that occurred in the early twentieth century in Flint, Michigan.

Hunting for Halloween in Flint

It all started with a post from an Instagram friend in Missouri.

Midnight331 posted a photo from her local Micheals store and I instantly fell in love with the skeleton cameos- I mean they are lifesize replicas of the ones I make for jewelry and crafts. 

How could I not adore them?

I knew my store wouldn't have them yet. So I waited a few days. Then another Instagram friend, Trick_thirtyone, posted she found the cameos at her local Micheals. She's nowhere near Michigan either.

So I went hunting.

The Flint Michaels had minimal Halloween stuff, and not the good stuff I was looking for.

So I waited a week. An entire week.....

Then a local friend posted photos from the Lapeer Michaels. 

I didn't see the cameos but I sent him a screenshot and he said, yup Lapeer had them. So I thought if Lapeer had Halloween stuff out Flint must have put theirs out. I drove to Micheals, excited to see Halloween pretties. Get there and....its the same stuff they had the week before. Nothing new!!!! Gah!!!!

I just wanted the skeleton cameos. I was obsessed. I NEEDED them.

So I freaking drove to Lapeer in a rain storm and got my damn cameos. An hour round trip to a place I'd never been, thank goodness for phones and GPS.

 The Lapeer store did not disappoint.

My daughter bought the psychic sign, that's her hand holding it :-)

I wanted ALL THE THINGS but managed to walk out with just the Skeleton Cameo Couple.

Now I just need to decide where to hang them. 

Avon Halloween 2018 Preview

Here's a quick preview of some of the things Avon will have available this Fall

Look for these goodies in the upcoming Campaign 21 Catalog or shop at my online store

#AvonHalloweenPreview #Avon #Halloween2018

Tarot Tuesday: The Dark Side of the Priestess with Alayna Williams

I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections.

One of the cards I used frequently in writing the ORACLE books is the Priestess.  The Priestess sits on a throne, surrounded my the moon and shrouded in white robes. The black and white pillars to her right and left hands represent good (mercy) and evil (severity). She's about goddesses, mystery, intuition, and the subtle power of the moon.

In my stories, the Priestess represents a secret order of women, Delphi's Daughters. They are the descendents of the Oracle of Delphi. The title of Pythia, the leader of the oracles, is handed down through generations of women, all oracles with their own unique talent for foreseeing the future. Delphi’s Daughters are a secret organization, nudging world events and gathering information through vast networks of helpers. Their behavior is sometimes sinister, sometimes pure, but always secretive. No one but the Pythia herself knows how the puzzle of world events fits together, and her priestesses are often left in the dark, guessing at her motives.

Tara Sheridan, estranged from Delphi's Daughters, uses Tarot cards to solve crimes. Her relationship with the Pythia is contentious. She often feels the Pythia's hand in her cases, interfering, moving people around like chess pieces. Whenever Tara draws the Priestess card, I wanted her to see both the light and shadow sides of the card.

Interpreted in the upright position, the Priestess is the card of secret, supernatural power. She represents all the psychic talents Delphi's Daughters: cartomancy, astrology, pyromancy, geomancy...she is mistress of all the hidden arts. Used for light, as represented by the white pillar, they can be a force for immense good in the world. The Priestess can reveal secrets by the moon's light and teach magic to the initiated.

But the Priestess can also be a force for evil, twisted by her own power and shadows. Reversed, the Priestess represents keeping secrets and abusing power. She can lean too close to the black pillar of severity, becoming ruthless. She can forget the compassion of her intuitive teachings, amassing power for its own sake.

Tara questions these things about Delphi's Daughters. She sees that they are a force for good, sheltering the weak and seeming to work toward mankind greater good. But she also sees their shadow side...the ruthlessness, the ends justifying the means. She knows the brutal tests that Oracles must endure, has seen the Pythia kill in a cold, calculating fashion.

Not only will Tara need to fight to solve her current case - a spy killer who's selling nuclear secrets on the international black market - but she will also need to look over her shoulder. The Priestess can be her greatest ally or most devious enemy, putting Tara and those she loves in harm's way, seeking to sacrifice them all in the service of a larger goal. 

~Author Laura Bickle writes the Delphi Oracle Series as Alayna Williams.

Super Soft Halloween Leggings from Buskins Are Now Available

Buskins Halloween Leggings are Available!

8 Legged Freaks, Get Spun, and Monster Mash are all Buskins Exclusive Designs available in yoga waist leggings, capris and Pluskins 

Get them fast because once they're gone, they're gone forever

Buskins also has many skull prints and non-exclusive Halloween Prints

I adore the Bones n Harmony Capris available in regular and Pluskins

Frightful Fiesta

Cat Walk