Another Halloween guest post!
Today I have the lovely and interesting Marion Croslydon talking about Voodoo and psychic powers and all things paranormal! Read on readers! I'm excited for this one.
Hi Leia! Thank you very much for the invite. It’s an honor to be there.
Oxford Whispers is a New Adult Paranormal Romance (Upper-Young-Adult / Mature Young Adult / “College-Lit”). It tells the story of Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, with psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.
I have a natural inclination for the occult and magic. My maternal family has gypsy roots to start with, but my heroine Madison has an even more powerful heritage to deal with since she comes from a long line of Voodoo Queens and Voodoo Priestesses. Voodoo-ism has always fascinated me. There are so many misconceptions starting with the clichés born in watching James Bond’s Live and Let Die too many times ;-)
I was born in West Africa. When I had to leave, aged four, I left a piece of my heart behind. Elizabeth was the name of my nanny. She looked after me as if I were her own, carried me on her back in the traditional African way. This proud and kind lady gave me one of my most precious possessions: a Voodoo gris-gris. It was a leather pouch with a small shell on top of it. She had hung it on a rough thread so that I could carry it around my neck. It was meant to protect me from evil spirits and bring me luck.
I took that gris-gris everywhere with me: Each time I took an important exam at school, on my first day in a new job, even when I went to hospital and gave birth to my daughter. Elizabeth passed away many, many years ago, but I know she still looks after me from above and uses a few Voodoo tricks to make my life a happier path to follow.
The idea of mixing Madison’s Voodoo heritage with psychic abilities came to me when I visited Louisiana and New Orleans… and, to be honest, in obsessing about True Blood. The storyline in which Lafayette is possessed with the spirit of Mavis (Season 4) teased my imagination. When I created Madison’s character, I had in mind a kind of “Ivy League’s Sookie Stackhouse”.
Now, my book is titled Oxford Whispers for a reason… It takes place in misty, foggy, Jack-The-Ripper-y England. If Madison is a true daughter of the South, the ghosts who are haunting her are characters from seventeenth-century England, Royalists versus Puritans. The haunting is taking place in Tudor Manor houses and the dark cobbled streets of Oxford. I spent many hours at the British Library researching that period.
Why? Because I studied there and spent many weekends in its surrounding countryside of the Cotswolds. It was a natural place to choose as a setting because I was so familiar with it. And anyway, everybody knows that ghosts originate from Britain ;-)
Oxford Whispers offered me the opportunity to merge the many influences my own life is made of. Africa and Voodoo, gypsies and psychics, Oxford… I’m not as exciting, pretty and smart as Madison, but I can’t deny she has a little bit of me in her.
Wow! What an amazing experience! Here's more about Marion and her book.
Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge
Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.
But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.
In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.
College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.
With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…
Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.
Fall in love for the first time… Again
In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.
My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.
Marion will be giving away a $20 New Adult Reading pack --i.e. selected NA titles on Amazon to one commenter on the tour) and encourage your readers to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/07/virtual-book-tour-oxford-whispers-by.html.
Remember my giveaway ending HALLOWEEN (with the release of The Dom with a Safeword)! Leave a comment and be entered to win Marion's giveaway and mine (of a $25 gift card)!