This Week's Mystery Date:
Who: California girl-slash-witch Dream Ballantyne
What Book She's In: IMMORTAL MAGIC, a paranormal romance in progress
Where She Lives: San Simone Shores, an affluent and hip (fictional) Southern California beachfront town.
Why She's So Fascinating: Dream Ballantyne lives in a beautiful home overlooking the glittering Pacific Ocean...wealthy, beautiful, and a powerful witch. But darkness preys on San Simone Shores, a darkness that cost her both her parents and any chance at a normal life. When her attempt to conjure a love spell works a bit TOO well, Dream finds herself with a whole set of new problems--including the gorgeous new neighbor-turned-one-night-stand who has no intention of associating with a witch, and a vampire stalker who has every intention of taking Dream as a mate--forever.
A Memorable Moment with Dream Ballantyne:
A well-crafted spell was not unlike the careful chemistry of baking a cake. A proper blend of intent, correspondences, and actions provided the best results. Several books into her search, she opted for a two-part spell, done overnight to utilize both the moon's feminine, mystical energies and the sun's potent male power. Tied to the incantation would be a spell bag full of ingredients, specially selected for their potent love qualities.
“When the moon is waxing,” she read aloud,“place the witch's ball under the pillow.” She snapped the book shut, dropping it in her lap.“Easy enough. Sleep the night away on the potion bag, then do the actual incant tomorrow.”
Groaning to a stand on legs protesting the lengthy research party, Dream didn't bother to replace her books as usual. Grabbing her spell journal, she slid downstairs through a mantle of descending night, pausing outside the door to snatch several tiny white flowers just opening on vines snaking along the railing. Night blooming Jasmine.
Gathering more ingredients on the way to the kitchen, she narrowed her thoughts to a single purpose—the power of attraction. Lighting a narrow red taper, she focused her will on the flame for a few moments, then dripped a quarter-sized circle onto a square of tin foil. Allowing this wax coin to cool, she set the candle aside and laid out a square of cheesecloth. Into this would go nine correspondences of love, attraction, and lust: jasmine, her favorite moonstone, a copper penny, a sprinkling of cinnamon, a slice of red apple, a dash of vanilla, three pink rose petals from the bush outside the front door, and a photograph of herself.
A rather particular photo.
Turning behind her, she gazed out the window overlooking the front of the house. The home was elevated with a vacant lot directly across, and she was fairly certain no one could see in. Still, she twisted the mini blind louvers closed, then snapped up the Polaroid and fiddled with the self-timer. When she was as ready as she could get, she shrugged out of faded blue jeans and a double layer of tank tops, heaping the works in a pile at her feet.
“Just point and shoot,” she said, grinning like a fool at the irony of exactly what part of her was pointing of its own accord at the camera on the counter before her. Being naked while alone in ones' own home was hardly cause to feel jumpy, but she was no Playboy model. Not that the photo had to be professional quality, but a nervous shiver ran through her nonetheless.
Still, plenty of witches did all their casting in the altogether—some during group ritual. Surely she could manage this.
Giggling like a schoolgirl, she struck a ridiculous and awkward hands-behind-the-head pose, held her breath and waited. As always, she managed to blink right as the flash went off. Damn. As the mechanism spit out the results, she left it alone to develop.
--from IMMORTAL MAGIC
When Dream is Available: IMMORTAL MAGIC is a completed manuscript currently seeking publication. Stay tuned!