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September 24th, 2010
A Little Magic with Michelle Picard

I’d like to welcome author, Michelle Picard to my blog today. She’s talking about her new release, Surviving Eden and giving us a little magic!

Michelle PicardI’m happy to be here today at Taste of Kiwi to talk about my newest release, Surviving Eden, and a bit about one of my favorite subjects being a fantasy romance writer – magic. Surviving Eden is the second in my Eden’s Court series, and the books hinge on the following question: What if a modern woman suddenly learns she is heir to the throne of a magical realm hidden in our world and is the most powerful magical being on the planet? That’s my heroine Rachel. She discovers she’s the leader of seven contentious magical races, which include angels, demons, witches, dragons, faeries, shapeshifters and vampires.

As I began the series, I sought for a driving reason for these paranormal races to come together with a singular purpose. I was tired of stories populating their pages with a combination of these species, but no explanation for their joint existence. The first step was creating a shared creation myth. My solution? A goddess forged these groups to work together as protector races for her precious humanity, but they’ve been lax on the job and fallen into a pattern of isolation.

If my creations had a common origin, then the source of their power must have a common source. I’d placed the majority of my action in this contemporary Earth-set fantasy in an imaginary Eden, my own version of the center of creation where the goddess did her work. I created my heroine to have all the powers of the seven races she ruled. So how did she get the magic? Once I realized how pivotal a role I wanted the garden to play, the next leap was easy. Deciding that the magic comes from the soil itself. Like effervescent bubbles in a carbonated soda, magic streams up and into the body, translated out into the particular powers of the races based on how they were each designed by the goddess. It turns out that magic is a limited resource, buried in the core of our Earth, and the ecosystem has been thrown out of balance, the power slowly diminishing. My Eden series explores the mystery of why this is happening and what normally replenishes it even as Rachel is discovering she can channel the greatest stream of this energy and is scared to death by her powers. Magic in my world building is pivotal to holding the fiber of our planet together. If it disappears, Earth dies. No big consequences there, huh? Just the end of the world as we know it. In Ruling Eden, the first of the series and a recent PRISM finalist, the ticking clock is begun during which Rachel must race to solve this problem before the final BOOM.

The struggle to solve this problem continues in Surviving Eden, as Rachel settles into her new relationships, battles her own internal hang-ups about her sexy angel/demon lover Gabriel, and solves the problem of human vampire hunters targeting the vampires who she now calls her own.

I hope you’ve found my version of magic intriguing. To me, the most important part of solid fantasy world building is consistency and fresh approaches. I aimed to add both to my books. I’ve included an excerpt below that gives you a taste of the magic and the way Rachel discovers the hard facts about that power. It occurs when Rachel is trying to avoid Gabriel, and has retreated into the garden for alone time.

Surviving EdenExcerpt:

My voice whispered out into the falling dark of the garden, calling to the earth with a seductive note I’d not used previously. Eager words of welcome tripped over my lips. The earth responded.

Different this time, no rushing whirl of energy shot up into me from below with vacuum and heat. I panicked, as, instead, a piece of me was violently sucked down into the ground, rushing through grass and dirt and rock to disperse outward into the layers of the planet resting underneath Eden. I joined the earth, burrowing like some giant overeager earthworm. Roots of plants and trees brushed against me, their tendrils bursting full with water and nutrients, all brimming with joyous life force.

The earth embraced me, sought to balance out the overwhelming presence of my female energy by reaching toward the males it sensed in the garden above. I finally understood why the use of my magic caused such intense arousal in the men standing close to me. The planet tried to balance female and male energies in every energy transaction. My magical essence was so much more powerful, the earth compensated by tapping into the men. The arousal was a side effect of that tap. Nice to get a grip on the mechanics.

No way I’d screw up my plan to avoid Gabriel with a stray bolt of lust giving him a clue to my location. A simple thought allowed me to bar the earth from tapping into him or Jet, forcing the probing reach for male energy out further to unsuspecting men elsewhere. With a silent apology to said strangers, I pushed further through the soil, ever downward to enter the tiny pores of rock barriers, passed through molten lava, closer to the slow beat of the heart of earth’s core.

There, frozen in wonder, I tasted the raw magic, the undiluted source of Everything.

Whatever allowed me to watch the process, as I was pretty sure my actual eyes had been left aboveground with my actual body, I observed a minute trickle of magic seeping downward through the layers of rock to settle in the potent stew of energy. This was the decaying essence of mortal remains, slowly, inexorably drifting downward to congregate in the breathtaking ball of power directly beneath me to feed the planet’s magic. The trickle was slow, too slow and after a moment, I felt a sense of wrongness around the core.

Power flowed upward and outward from the core, drawn to the call of other Kesayim above as they commanded their magic to their will and demanded the earth respond. Problem was the drain was faster than the trickle down from mortals. The potency of the magic in mortal remains had been diluted somehow and amounted to a whole lot of nothing. The drain by the Kesayim was greater than the supply and the battery for the planet was on the verge of failure.

The first side effect would be a series of stutters as the heart of the planet weakened. Then, as each stutter grew longer, the beat would stop altogether, thrown into arrest, flat-lining. When the magic dried up, the Kesayim would be powerless and as time passed the bedrock of the planet would crumble apart.

Cataclysms coming like falling dominoes, the tectonic plates would pull themselves apart or crush themselves against one another in rapid speed. We’d be destroyed. Everything would be destroyed.

Visit my website at www.michellepicard.com if you’d like to learn more about my books, click on my links to contact me, or read an additional excerpt from Surviving Eden or one from Ruling Eden.

Purchase Surviving Eden

Have a magical day.

Michelle

Surviving Eden Blog Tour

10 comments to “A Little Magic with Michelle Picard”

  1. Hi Michelle!
    Awesome to “see” you out and about! Congrats on the new release and good luck in the EPIC!
    Renee
    (Dee from FFP)


  2. Hey Renee,
    I knew who it was. Thanks for the howdy. I hope all is well for you and your marvelous books. I know how busy you always are. Take care.


  3. This does sound like fun. i like magic and sorcery.


  4. Then I hope you like this, Nessa. Thanks so much for checking out my post.


  5. Welcome, Michelle. I can imagine how difficult your heroine’s job is going to be keeping all the magical species in line.

    Congrats on your new release!


  6. Thanks Shelley. Yeah, Rachel has a very hard time keeping them in line. But I had a whole lot of fun making her struggle. I’m so glad to be here today. Thanks again.


  7. I am really into paranormal type books right now, this sounds like one I will have a lot of fun reading. Congrats on the new release.


  8. I hope you do enjoy Mary. Thank you for the congratulations.


  9. What an awesome world building. Very different from anything I’ve read before.


  10. Thanks Pat,

    I tried to make it unique, but really I just went where my imagination took me.