Author of Circle of Five and its sequels; Spirit, a novel; the Superfoods cookbook series; and two collections of poems, Doors to the Universe and The Nature of Things
When Olivia Andreas goes to an auction with her friend Jamie Finch, she doesn’t expect to bring home a ghost!
A professional records organizer who starts every day with a “To Do” list and is always on time for appointments, Olivia is not a believer in the paranormal or even an afterlife. In fact, she never glances at her astrology in the newspaper (even though she’s a perfect Virgo). But on a whim, she buys a silver frame and decides to keep intact its photo of a smiling blonde woman whose curious collections were sold that night.
Soon afterwards, a series of strange events completely upsets Olivia’s orderly world. Various ghostly manifestations of former showgirl Lily Lamoureaux shake up Olivia’s personal beliefs. A number of break-ins at Olivia’s home, with nothing stolen, defy explanation. Scary as these events are, there’s an upside. The investigating detective is an attractive guy named Dave Lowenstein who may almost meet Olivia’s carefully listed criteria for a husband.
Olivia’s orderly life becomes increasingly complicated and perilous as evidence surfaces of Mafia involvement in Lily’s death. Seeking revenge, Lily’s ghost draws Olivia and Dave ever deeper into danger as their investigations escalate into a fast-moving, spine-chilling adventure that culminates on the 4th of July in an explosive conclusion.
August 1 and 2, Time to Celebrate Lammas,
a Threshold Between Late Summer and Early Fall…
otherwise known as Lughnasadh, after the Celtic god Lugh
The god of the liminal is Lugh of Lughnassadh, a master of many skills and forces, as Brigid is a mistress of many arts and crafts.
To the ancient Celts, the space between one thing and another was called the liminal, from the Latin for threshold.
In metaphysical terms, the luminal is the place of transition between two different existential planes. Metaphorically, it’s like the twilight between night and day. Serene moments between wakefulness and sleep. Seaweed is a liminal plant, existing between sea and shore, and mistletoe, between earth and sky, both used in healing.
Lammas is also the loaf-mass, a festival of the first wheat harvest of the year, or sometimes, festival of the first fruits and harvest home. Time to bake a loaf of Lammas Bread to enjoy with Faery Butter (softened butter mixed with honey and fruit.)
In deep summer, we will celebrate this time of bounty even while we prepare for the dark seasons.
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 ¼ cups flour (or gluten-free flour that can be measured cup for cup)
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon each baking soda and salt
½ cup plain yogurt
¾ cup milk
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
Whisk together yogurt, milk, and egg. Whisk in melted butter.
Combine liquid ingredients with dry. Spoon into pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Pour batter into buttered 9 x 9-inch pan or 10-inch cast iron fry pan.
Bake in the top shelf of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until risen, lightly browned, and dry inside when tested with a cake tester.
Makes 8 or more servings.
Fold in 1 cup blueberries. You can also use Craisins.
Note: the yogurt makes the batter thick enough to support berries or other additions, so that they don’t all sink to the bottom of the pan.
Really Big Cornbread
Double the recipe (with or without additions) and bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes at least 16 servings.
LADIES DIGGING THE DIRT
THE BEWITCHING LADIES OF THE CIRCLE
ARE DIGGING UP TROUBLE AGAIN!
The serenity of summer in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is rudely disturbed when a rabid preacher and his ragtag following begins to picket military funerals, liberal churches, and Pagan businesses. This hateful campaign naturally rouses the ire of the Circle of Five: Deidre, Phillipa, Heather, Fiona, and Cass, ladies who follow the Wiccan way—especially since Deidre’s Faeryland is one of the targeted shops.
Before they have time to thwart the preacher for good and all, however, Heather, with characteristic enthusiasm, throws herself into an archeological “dig” at the Morse Homestead in Salem where American Indian artifacts have been unearthed in the strata below the historic “witch” house. Great fun, until a mysterious sniper starts wounding and killing members of the team. Rushing to Heather’s aid, the ladies find themselves lodged in a haunted inn, which, along with an unearthly cold spot at the foot of the stairway, also offers a congenial bar where the five often gather to plan their strategy and fortify their spirits.
Believing that they have confounded the Salem Sniper, the Circle heads home, only to encounter a new challenge. A little girl named Molly Larsson has disappeared! The Circle resolves to employ all their witchy arts and off-the-wall brainstorms to find her. Mayhem, mischief, and magic are non-stop in this exciting new adventure for Cass and her Circle.
The Fabulous Five are out for justice—one way or another!
The ladies of the Circle are rushing to the rescue again, crusading for the Goddess of Justice in their own preternatural way—even if that means tipping Her scales a bit. It all begins at Lammas, the August Festival of Bread, when Cass Shipton is called to jury duty in Plymouth County—the tragic case of a home invasion, the brutal death of a mother and daughter. Although she considers it her Libran calling to weigh evidence in the most impartial way, Cass the Clairvoyant soon finds herself knowing too much for comfort. Meanwhile, Heather Devlin, the Circle’s intrepid animal activist, pursues a local dog-fighting ring with her own zany brand of “special ops.” Fiona helps a light-footed young widow named Ashling lay to rest the ghost of her late husband, an irascible poet. Phillipa cooks up trouble at favorite local restaurant. And Deidre runs into an old flame. Clearly, the ladies have a full agenda on their hands. With their usual flair for mischief, mayhem, and a little judicious spell-working, the ladies of the Circle are off on another wickedly exciting romp.
Available online from Amazon.com (just click on the title below the cover) and from many book distributors.
Do urge your library to order a copy!
The 8th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 7th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 6th Cass Shipton Adventure
The 5th Circle Adventure
The 4th Circle Adventure