"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Post: Authors Who Have Inspired Me By Sonya Clark with Giveaway!

I don’t remember ever not knowing how to read. First there were the stacks and stacks of Little Golden Books. Then the Scholastic Book Club at various schools I attended. I always ordered a lot from that book club. I always had cards from both school libraries and whatever local libraries were available, either on post or off (I grew up an Army brat). I remember devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, editions with blue hardback bindings and cover art that made me think of the TV show Happy Days because it looked very 1950s to me. Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes was a favorite and made a  lasting impression.

Ray Bradbury was one of my favorite authors growing up. I read just about everything by him I could get my hands on, both his novels and short story collections. We were stationed at a post not far from Bradbury’s hometown in Illinois when I first began reading him. Military families are welcomed in communities now but that hasn’t always been the case, so it was a tough time for a brat to be attending a civilian school. Bradbury’s tales of hidden wonder and hidden monsters resonated with me in ways I didn’t understand at the time. It was a Bradbury novel that first gave me the idea that I might turn my love for telling my own stories into something more: Death is a Lonely Business, his valentine to noir with an unnamed protagonist who is a struggling writer.

Moving around so much growing up, I had to find non-traditional means of stability. Books and music were two things that fit the bill perfectly. It didn’t take long for me to move on to adult authors. I knew Stephen King’s Castle Rock almost as well as I knew any of the places we lived. It was an all-time favorite. Between Pennywise and the clown under the bed in the movie Poltergeist, I developed a serious case of coulrophobia. Other King favorites were The Body, the basis for the movie Stand By Me, and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, which was also eventually made into a movie.

There was a song called Moon Over Bourbon Street on Sting’s first solo album. In the liner notes he said it was inspired by a book called Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice. I liked the song a lot so I decided to keep an eye out for that book. I still remember which library I found it in: the post library at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, either 1986 or 87. I pulled it from the shelf where it sat next to another Rice novel, titled The Vampire Lestat. I was a goner for Rice and her Vampire Chronicles.

Growing up on a steady diet of horror and the paranormal, no wonder I write urban fantasy. As I create my own supernatural worlds now, the ones that nurtured me as a child and teenager remain an echo in the back of my mind. I’m happy to hear them still whispering to me.

Mojo Queen Blurb:

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.”

Author Bio:

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.

Author Links:

Giveaway Details:

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.

Ebooks international.


  1. We have a lot of books in common... I am curious about your book!

  2. Great excerpt! This story sounds amazing! And I'm lovin the cover. I can't wait to read it!


  3. Thanks for the awesome Giveaway!!



In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.