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Friday, February 22, 2013

Guest Post & Promo! Oracle Series by Alayna Williams

Title: Dark Oracle (Oracle #1)
Genre: Adult (Urban Fantasy)
Date Published: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Pocket

The Blurb:
As a criminal profiler, Tara used science and her intuitive skill at Tarot card divination to track down the dangerous and depraved, including the serial killer who left her scarred from head to toe. Since that savage attack, Tara has been a recluse. But now an ancient secret society known as Delphi’s Daughters has asked for her help in locating missing scientist Lowell Magnusson. And Tara, armed with her Tarot deck, her .38, and a stack of misgivings, agrees to try.

Tara immediately senses there is far more at stake than one man’s life. At his government lab in the New Mexico desert, Magnusson had developed groundbreaking technology with terrifying potential. Working alongside the brusque but charismatic agent Harry Li, Tara discovers that Magnusson’s daughter, Cassie, has knowledge that makes her a target too. The more Tara sees into the future, the more there is to fear. She knows she has to protect Cassie. But there may be no way to protect herself—from the enemies circling around her, or from the long-buried powers stirring to life within. . . .

Title: Rogue Oracle (Oracle #2)
Genre: Adult (Urban Fantasy)
Date Published: February 22, 2013
Publisher: Pocket

The Blurb:

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around—and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn’t need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards—and Tara’s increasingly ominous dreams—suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationship with the mysterious order known as Delphi’s Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen. . .

Meet the Knights of the Tarot
by Alayna Williams

I love using Tarot cards to help me develop characters and ideas. Whenever I get stuck on a character or concept, I shuffle and draw a card. Sometimes, the results are thought-provoking. Other times, I follow the image down a rabbit hole of whimsy.

One of the things I've learned is that every card has its positive and negative meanings...just like people. In that spirit, I'd like to introduce you to four exceptional gentlemen...the Knights of the Tarot. They're the embodiment of the romantic ideals of the chivalrous knights of old, but in very different ways.

First up is the Knight of Swords. He's your man of action, riding his white horse at breakneck speed over the landscape. His sword is lifted, and he's rushing into battle. He's the fellow who brings dramatic change, expansive vision. He's brave and full of derring-do. He'll build a business empire from a single idea.

But he also has his drawbacks. He's blunt, sometimes too blunt. He also tends to be overbearing, and will charge ahead with what he wants. He's very intelligent - and will often let you know it. Because he's an avatar of the element of air, he will often view people too logically, discounting their feelings.

In short, he'll come to your rescue. But he might be a bit of a jerk when it comes to cuddling.

Up next is the Knight of Wands.  Like the Knight of Swords, he's in armor, rushing forward on a fiery red steed. The pattern of his tunic is one of salamanders, revealing him to be an avatar of fire. He cuts an impressive figure, all gold in the shining sunlight. He's all about adventure, passion, and charm. He's an ideal lover, and acts on his emotions...all of them.

That can be something of a problem. While the Knight of Wands is great in the bedroom, he tends to be a bit superficial. He's thrilling, but tends to have the attention span of a gnat. He's easily distracted by the next horizon to conquer. He tends to be a little shallow.

He'll rock your world, for a day or even a season. But after that, consider him gone.

Third is the Knight of Pentacles. He arrives on a majestic black warhorse in full armor. His horse is standing still, however, and he's looking thoughtfully at a giant pentacle in his hands. He's loyal - the kind of knight who'll stand by your side 'til the end of time. He's also tied to the element of earth, and represents wealth. He's a pragmatic guy who knows how to make and hold onto money. He works hard and sees things realistically.

But all that hard work can make the Knight of Pentacles a dull boy. He can be serious, maybe too serious and tends to depression. He can become obsessively married to his work. Though you don't need to fear that he's found another damsel to rescue, he can be gone on quests for a long time.

The Knight of Pentacles is a steady partner. But there won't be much spice to that partnership.

Last is the Knight of Cups.  He's very shiny, sitting atop his prancing steed. He is more beautifully dressed than any of the other Knights...and he's bringing you a gift of a chalice. He's romantic, sensitive, artsy. He can be a dreamer. He'll paint your portrait or sing beneath your window. He enjoys the finer things in life and will love to see you in beautiful clothes...

When he's done admiring himself. He's the avatar of water, and can be as temperamental as the sea. He can be over-emotional. He'll cry at sad movies. His daydreaming can cause him to lack motivation. He can be moody. Maybe too moody.  He'll while away an afternoon contemplating the shapes of clouds.

The Knight of Cups can woo you and make your heart melt with heartfelt poetry. But be prepared to deal with sulking, jealousy, and running hot and cold.

The Knights represent different archetypes, different ideas. None of them, like people in real life, is ever ideal.

But it sure is a lot of fun to watch 'em joust.

About the Author:
Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. Like the Pythia in Dark Oracle, she's been known to belly dance. Unlike the Pythia she'd never consider herself a professional.

Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books.

Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.

To learn more about Alayna Williams and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook.

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