Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway by Morgan St. Knight
Good witch or bad witch?
Ah yes, the million-dollar question from “The Wizard of Oz”: are you a good witch or a bad witch? You’d think this would be a moot question nowadays with so many formerly taboo subjects gaining wider acceptance. But it’s still a big issue. We know we’re supposed to be good, but oh my, isn’t it delicious to be bad once in awhile?
Admit it: don’t you sometimes envy the bad person just a little? Do you get a bit of a thrill when they give someone a smackdown just for the hell of it? Don’t you wish you could be as uninhibited as the villain, giving free reign to satisfying your desires? A strong, multi-dimensional villain has a certain allure. If that wasn’t true, everyone would be Batman and no one would be the Joker or Catwoman at Comic-Con.
It’s the law of the forbidden (I didn’t write this law, I’m just citing it). We all feel it. Sex in the broom closet during your office’s holiday party or in an airplane bathroom is far more stimulating than the routine romp every Wednesday after you’re done watching “Conan”. In terms of witches, putting a hex on someone who is making your life miserable is a lot more satisfying than turning the other cheek. I speak from personal experience on that one.
Many paranormal/fantasy books put immense strictures on witches: never use your power for selfish purposes, never use it to cause harm, don’t interfere with someone’s life unless they give you permission. Those who break those rules are the “bad” witches. Those who keep them, even when it means they or someone close to them will suffer, are the “good” witches.
Just to be clear, I understand that these same rules are part of many Pagan religions including Wicca. It is not my intent to mock those religions. At the same time, I see no reason why any witch, real or fictional, should not use their knowledge and abilities to have the life they desire.
One reason I chose Medea as the protagonist for my book “Curse of Prometheus: a tale of Medea” is that she is neither wholly good nor wholly evil. Myths involving her tell how she restored youth to Jason’s father, healed Heracles of a blood-madness, and healed the Athenian king Aegeus of infertility. Yet she also is calculating and cold-hearted when needed. She betrayed her father to help Jason, had a hand in her brother’s death, and killed the usurping king Pelias, as well as Jason’s mistress.
I would love to see more books with witch characters who are willing to work with both hands, as they say in voodoo. Witches who can heal those in need, but who have no compunction about using their knowledge to epically punish those who harm them or others. Great leaders have the power to offer clemency, but also the power to impose justice. It’s high time that witches take their rightful place as strong leaders in paranormal literature rather than limited caricatures.
This isn’t only for witches. It’s for everyone. The next time you deny yourself a pleasure, whether it is that gigantic dessert, sex, or turning the tables on someone who has hurt you, ask yourself why you’re holding back. Does the sacrifice and restraint really make your life better? Does it? Or are you just trying to live up to behaviors that were forced on you as a child, behaviors which you had no hand in devising? As the saying goes, good girls rarely make the history books.
It’s your story. You don’t have to wait until the last chapter to come out a winner and start enjoying yourself. Edit out the things and people that detract from your life, give more space to those that enhance your life, and don’t try to rearrange your life into an unsatisfying plot that someone else wrote. And yes, when someone hurts you, go ahead and be the witch-bitch needed to set things right. Happily ever after can start today, if you’re willing to be bad when needed.
I spoke the charm that unsealed the sanctuary door. It swung open, and simultaneously candles in sconces around the walls flared to life.
But they weren’t the only things that were glowing.
Next to the altar that held a statue of Hecate, a censer and vessels for libations, there was a small side-table. The single object on it was radiating an eerie light. It was a Sybil’s mirror, my direct link to Hades. It was a convenient way to send in my reports.
It was convenient most of the time, anyway. Just not at that particular moment. It should not have been glowing before I spoke the incantation to activate it.
The smart thing to do would have been to run right out of that room, lock the door from the outside and chant an invocation to call up some of the entities I was on friendly terms with. But smart is never high on my list when I’m tired and hungry.
So I went closer to the mirror. Mistake number one. The surface rippled like water, and I knew that images would soon break through.
At first, all I could see was something ill-defined, like an object bobbing just below the surface of a cloudy pool of water. The image became more defined. I dimly saw a bejeweled hand caressing what appeared to be a crumpled mound of crimson velvet. The image sharpened even more: it was not velvet.
It was flesh. A gaping, bloody hole in a human torso. The hand was stroking it slightly, dabbling ringed fingers into the gash as someone might lazily trail their hand in a cool pond on a warm spring day. I could tell it was a man’s body, but the image wasn’t wide enough for me to see his face, or the woman who was stroking the wound.
Everything had a cloudy sheen to it and her jewelry had an off color, making the gems unidentifiable. They were an odd, bluish-green.
A soft voice filled the room, as if it was coming from every corner.
“Drink, drink…” it cajoled. A woman’s voice, light and soothing with the hint of myriad promises.
The image receded a bit, enough for me to see more of the torso as well as the body’s arms. I could see it was a man, but no more.
The vista slowly sank back into dimness. Another was surfacing. A mouth, surrounded by a lush beard. It was like black sable, sleek and oiled, arranged artfully into intricate curls and ringlets. A classic Greek style. The mouth and beard were all I could see, no other features to give me a clue about who it was.
The mouth was full and sensual, or at least it normally would be. I could tell that much even though it was twisted and pulled into a grimace. Pain? Ecstasy? A little of both, it seemed. It was not the expression which disturbed me the most.
The lush lips were streaked with blood. I could see, as the mouth opened in a silent groan, traces of blood on the teeth.
The image sharpened further, coming closer as if it was trying to come out of the mirror into my reality. My eyes widened as I realized it was no trick of light. The mouth was emerging from the mirror. Only a slight protrusion at first, then more, more…
The rim of the Sybil’s mirror was changing, becoming the same color as the blood on the lips pushing through the mirror’s surface.
As I backed away my ears started buzzing and I felt the floor wavering beneath me. I heard a sound that quickly grew louder, a throaty whisper that turned from a hoarse cry of need into distinct words.
“Join us. Join us. Join us… Medea…”
Hearing my name sent a shock through me, enough to make me want to bolt. But I couldn’t.
The hideous mouth opened wider and scarlet clouds spilled from it like steam from a seething cauldron. They swept across the floor, flowing over my feet and up my calves. My legs were rooted to the spot even though my mind wanted nothing more than to run in terror—out of the room, out of the house, out of the city if I could run that much.
The room reeked of copper and ordure. Noxious fumes poured up my torso and over my chest and face, choking me.
Without warning or intent I fell backwards. It took me a moment to realize that I hadn’t stumbled. I had been pulled.
I could see the arms reaching from under my own, curving up over my chest towards my shoulders. They ended in hands that were as white as alabaster. White, except for the black nails that curved like talons from the fingers. Talons that were coming dangerously close to my throat.
I barely noticed that the vile clouds were being sucked back into the mirror, as if some gigantic monster on the other side had drawn in a large breath. The light started to fade from the mirror.
I was spun around. As the mirror’s glow dimmed I saw a face pale as moonlight, a mouth crimson as a ripe pomegranate, and eyes the color of amethysts just inches from my face.
The most pronounced feature was the hair. It seemed to be made of cobwebs and mist, floating in a silvery-grey cloud. Some of it was moving. Alive. As I looked at it, things looked back at me. Vipers.
The intruder’s mouth opened, revealing long curving fangs.
“Medea…” The voice came from a distance, echoing as if I was in a deep cavern. The last thing I saw was the mouth opening wider, the fangs coming closer. Then the darkness took me.
Welcome to my world.
A Tale of Medea
Morgan St. Knight
Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy
Number of pages: 276
The ancient world's most notorious sorceress has just become the modern world's only hope for survival.
How do you fight a god of light who has been seduced by darkness? That’s the challenge Medea Keres must meet. Posing as a wealthy young heiress in modern day Atlanta, no one knows she is the original Medea, the sorceress from ancient Greek legends.
As priestess of the witch goddess Hecate, Medea is charged with hunting demons that would otherwise overrun the world. Now she must face a far greater adversary. One of the twelve shining Olympian gods has turned rogue, violating the edict against human sacrifice. As the body count quickly rises, Medea knows her enemy is getting stronger.
With the help of the underworld nymph Orphne and the hero-god Heracles, she must find a way to unmask the evil so that the other Olympians will take action.
But as she probes deeper into a blood-soaked labyrinth of suspense and intrigue, Medea finds a net of deceit and treachery that will require all of her cunning to escape.
Available at Amazon
About the Author
Morgan St. Knight live in Atlanta, and is a lifelong student of mythology, the occult, and comparative religion. With more than 25 years of experience as a journalist, Morgan enjoys the occasional foray into fantasyland to escape the grim realities of life. He is currently working on the sequel to "Curse of Prometheus" and is developing a second paranormal series which also takes place in the South.
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morgan.stknight.5
To win, you just have to follow Morgan on Twitter @MorganStKnight and send a tweet that says "Entering giveaway for CoP". Only one tweet is necessary, but you must send that one tweet to know you're interested in entering the giveaway.
Additionally, Morgan will be giving away 2 copies of "Curse of Prometheus" each week of the tour. Everyone who enters for the Kindle giveaway on a given week is automatically entered for that week's book giveaway.
And yes, if you win a copy of the book, you are still in the running for the Kindle giveaway.