Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

What Happens When a Witch Meets a Reporter?

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Seems like our little Lizzie is trying to stay out of trouble these days. Instead of finding herself in a calamity, she’s been trying to get back to writing. While researching her latest novel, Lizzie realized she needed a source with intimate knowledge of all things magic. An inside source connected her with one of America’s most powerful witches, Sydlynn Hayle of the Hayle Coven Novels by Patti Larsen.  

Lizzie and Syd met for lunch and sat down to chat. Of course, as ladies are prone to do, the conversation quickly turned personal as they discussed everything from boys to dreams, and of course, magic.

Lizzie: Sydlynn, I have a question for you that I am pretty sure everyone is dying to know. What does magic feel like? Is it anything like butterflies in your stomach, because when I have those something is usually about to blow up.

Sydlynn: I used to have a lot of trouble with magic, thanks to my grandmother. When I was a baby, our coven came under attack and to protect her power, she embedded it in me. Only trouble, the fight—which she won—cracked her nut. Completely bonkers. So she forgot. And left me with a geas…

Lizzie: What’s a geas?

Sydlynn: It prevented me from using my magic without woofing cookies. Not so fun. But now that’s been taken care of… it’s really an amazing feeling. Depending on which power I’m using—I have access to many—the feeling is different. Using fire heats me up, air usually gives me goosebumps. But the best part is you can sense the whole world around you when you’re using magic. I love it now. How do you stay safe with no magic? I couldn’t imagine… normals have things so tough!

Lizzie: I don’t think I would be safe even with magic. I’m a natural born klutz. Put me in a car, I’m fine. But the moment I get out of the car, all bets are off. I do think being able to use magic would have been helpful when I got shot, though. Maybe I could have found a way to avoid that. What kind of powers do you have?

Sydlynn: Well, I was born a witch to a demon father, so both of those apply. So I have access to all the elements thanks to Mom and more fire power through Dad. I also have a reincarnated Sidhe (fairy) princess who hitchhikes along, named Shaylee, so my Earth power is enhanced. And I’m also home to the essence of all vampires (don’t ask—long story), so my spirit magic has a boost. Oh, and sorcery, the dark, devouring magic. It’s a bit of a balance, considering all of my magicks have personas who are rather vocal in their opinions. Good thing we work together so well or I’d have lost my marbles ages ago.

Lizzie: Didn’t having powers make high school difficult? What about college?

Sydlynn: It really, really did, especially when I wasn’t in control of them. My demon tried so hard to get out those days, while Gram’s geas kept my witch power pent up. Trouble is, bottling up magic just makes it more interesting when the top blows off.

Let’s just say it took a long time before I made any friends.

As for college, I was fortunate enough to go to Coven Hall at Harvard with other witches. So at least my magic wasn’t an issue. Being Sydlynn Hayle, daughter of the High Council Leader, on the other hand… life is never boring. How is it you always seem to be in the middle of a mystery? Trust me, I know the feeling.

Lizzie: When I moved back home, things were still relatively quiet. I spent most of my time working on my book, which I still haven’t finished. But ever since my crazy half-aunt killed my grandfather, my world has been turned upside down. Now, I always seem to find myself in the middle of a disaster. When you have a crazy aunt you are afraid wants to kill you, well…I could use a little extra fire power. Do you think having magic makes it easier to be brave?

Sydlynn: I can so relate. Seems like trouble just jumps out of the woodwork with my name written all over it. Sigh. I don’t know that having magic makes me braver. I just see something that needs to be done and fix it. Okay, so I’m a little impulsive. So far, so alive.

Lizzie: Not to sound like a college entrance essay, but how did magic help you get out of your worst situation?

Sydlynn: Considering magic often gets me INTO my worst situations? Yeah. Balance, right? And there are so many times to choose from… I’ll have to get back to you.

Lizzie: Living in a coven is probably a lot like living in a small town. Everyone knows your business, right? How do you cope with that? Everything I do gets spread around by the town gossip.

Sydlynn: Oh. My. Swearword. Used to drive me around the bend and into fits. Not only is the coven in my business 24/7 physically, they are magically, too. We’re all connected through the family power, which means if I’m not careful, they know what I’m thinking, doing… talk about embarrassing. There used to be a time they didn’t trust me, back when I couldn’t use my power. But, all that’s changed and I’ve come to love it, really. Taking over from Mom, being coven leader and finally understanding how important their support is makes a big difference. Family is everything. Yours sounds as convoluted as mine. How do you feel about them?

Lizzie: My father died when I was 18, but he was a wonderful man. I miss him every day. My mother is my rock. She may not always agree or approve of the things I do, but she stands by me through thick and thin. My grandmother, who left me her house, was a strong woman who taught me to stand up for what I believe in. My grandfather was a mean, spiteful man who thought he ruled the town because his family was one of the founders of Brookdale. If I learned anything from him, I suppose it would be how to treat people with respect. It was the one thing he could never do. As for my crazy half-aunt, I don’t think I’ve sorted out all my feelings about her yet. She put me through a lot the last few months. I’m still trying to sort through everything that happened. There’s also my extended family, my friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. I could live without the grief I get from the local gossip, though. And speaking of gossip, I hear you and I have a similar affliction. You have more than one guy after your heart. I’m caught between the man I think I love and my first love. How in the world do you choose?

Sydlynn: *sigh* In all honesty, there is only one man for me. We are destined for each other. Even have power tying us together. But that doesn’t mean the road is smooth sailing… and when he’s being a jerkasaurus, doing his own thing, I refuse to wait for him. So, there are lots of lovely men in my life  But I know Quaid is my fate. Tell me about this FBI agent? Is he cute? And your other love… I feel your pain! But what’s holding you back from choosing between them?

Lizzie: TJ is very cute, in a rugged, outdoorsman kind of way. Jake was my college sweetheart. I thought for sure that we would get married. But I didn’t like the way he was trying to micromanage my life. He was so busy planning out our future that he didn’t stop to ask me how I felt about it. I realized I didn’t want to live my life that way. When I found out that Jake was planning to promise me to at a party the night we graduated from college, I ran.

As for TJ, he is everything I could ever ask for in a man: kind, considerate, protective, a great listener, very passionate. He was working undercover as a deputy’s sheriff, and he was using me to get information about my crazy half-aunt. I was deeply hurt when I found out the truth, but I still saved his life when she tried to kill him. I love him, but I’m not sure if I can trust him again. Jake always has something up his sleeve, like an ulterior motive for everything he does. He tells me he’s changed, but I don’t know if that is true or not. Sometimes I still feel like he is trying to control a part of my life. With Jake, I always feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. What was it like to be forced into marriage?

Sydlynn: Well… it’s coven law, unfortunately. And while I fought it for as long as I could, I knew I had to choose. And Liam is lovely, truly lovely. My oak tree. Kind and supportive. No one seems to think he’s strong enough for me, but I love him and he’s good to me. That’s all that matters.

I have a cat Sassafras (well, he’s a demon boy in a silver Persian, but it still counts) and a dog Galleytrot (um… he’s a man forced to wear the body of a hound by the Wild Hunt. I have weird pets.) I take it you like animals, too?

Lizzie: Absolutely! I have two dogs. I guess you could consider them rescue dogs. Babe, the bloodhound, was my grandfather’s dog. His wife, Earline, hated Babe and was planning to turn her over to Animal Control. There was no way I was going to let that happen, so I impulsively said I would take her. Mittens, the Maltese, belonged to a friend who ran the local animal shelter. When her owner was killed in a case of mistaken identity, I brought Mittens home with me. She and Babe get along great. They helped me solve a case a couple of months ago. I can’t imagine my life without them.

Sydlynn: I live in a small town called Wilding Springs. It’s an… interesting place. What’s Brookdale like?

Lizzie: It’s a small Texas town. There aren’t a lot of big retail stores here, mostly Mom and Pop places that have been around for years. It is starting to grow a bit because people that have been living in the big city realize that small town life is better than the high crime rate in the Metroplex. The downside of living in a small town is, of course, the gossip. I can get into an argument with someone in the town square at 10:30 am, and by the time I go to my mother’s house at noon, she has heard four different versions of the story, and usually none of them the right one. Despite that, I love it here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Lizzie: If you weren’t a witch, what would you do?

Sydlynn: At this point, I have no idea. I’ve fully embraced being a witch, coven leader. I’ve had a time or two where my magic has been taken away from me. The first time, I thought it was what I wanted. The second, I had to make a choice. Both times I realized just how wrong the whole situation felt.

So, if I couldn’t be a witch, I wouldn’t want to be. I’m going to turn this question around on you: if you could be anything, what would you do?

Lizzie: Bestselling author, of course! *laughs* Seriously, I’m not sure. I was given an opportunity to run the town newspaper for a few months, and I found myself really enjoying it. The owner, who left me in charge, has come back to town, and I’m not sure where I stand at the moment. I hope he will let me stay there so I can learn more about the business. If he doesn’t want me to stay, I might look for another newspaper job somewhere else. I’m open to anything right now, and I’ll go wherever life takes me.

Excuse me while I go have a total fan-girl moment. What I would not give to join these two for a lunch date.

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Want to know more about Syd and the Hayle Coven? Check out Family Magic, book one of the Hayle Coven Novels, on sale now for 99 cents.

Lizzie box set cover

And of course, The Lizzie Crenshaw Mysteries Box Set includes the first three Lizzie stories for 1.99.

Posted in Uncategorized

Brookdale News: A New Fashion Boutique is Coming to Town…

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Okay guys, we are back with this week’s installment on the Summer of Lizzie tour. Are you following along here and on Paws and Print? Check out all of the Summer of Lizzie posts to collect secret words and become entrenched in Lizzie’s world. 

Brookdale News
Interview with Dashing Creations Owner Lula Draper 

 

By: Ellen Carpenter

ImageNew businesses are springing up all over town as more people move from the big city to smaller towns. Many have told me that they have come here to escape the rising crime rate (I do hope no one tells them about our recent rash of murders).

Luna Draper is the owner of Dashing Creations, a new women’s boutique that is opening next door to the Curl and Dye Beauty Parlor. I had a chance to sit down with her for a few minutes to ask about the new store and herself.

BN: So what brings you to our small town? I’m sure there are bigger places you could have opened your store.

LD: Every woman, regardless of where they live, should be able to find nice, affordable clothes.

BN: Will you be offering only name brand clothing to your clients?

LD: Absolutely not! Dashing Creations are custom made for each woman. Over the years, I have found that most women would like to have things that fit them specifically, but they just cannot afford the tailoring prices. My store will have samples of various types of clothing, like blouses, shorts, pants and dresses. We’ll help them find the outfit that works best for them, regardless of their shape or size. It makes them feel more confident and will bring out that hidden inner beauty that they normally don’t let others see.

BN: Wow! That sounds like a lot to ask from a blouse or a pair of pants.

LD: (laughs) It does, doesn’t it? But you would be amazed the change in a woman’s attitude and demeanor with just a scarf. It makes them see themselves differently. Sometimes the smallest thing makes all the difference in the world.

BN: Tell me about yourself. Are you a native Texan?

LD: What’s the saying: “I wasn’t born here, but I moved here as fast as I could”. I was actually born in Colorado and adopted when I was just a week old. My parents moved to Amarillo when I was three.

BN: Any siblings?

LD: An older brother and a younger sister. I was a major tomboy when I was growing up. My brother and I would play football and basketball with the neighborhood boys, and in the evenings, my sister and I would play with our dolls.

BN: How did you get interested in fashion?

LD: I didn’t like some of the outfits we had for the dolls, so I started to make my own. After a while, I made a few things for myself, and my friends asked me to make some for them, too. My parents noticed my natural talent, and they sent me to a fashion school in New York City.

BN: You worked for a rather big label in back east. Why did you give all that up to come to a small town in Texas?

LD: Personal reasons. I’m looking for an old friend, someone I haven’t seen in many years.

BN: Sounds intriguing! Any juicy details you’d like to share? I know a lot of people in this area. I’m sure I can help you out.

LD: That’s very kind of you, but there are some things I’m just not ready to share just yet. I don’t want to say anything without my friend’s permission. I’m sure you understand.

We talked for a few more minutes before Ms. Draper was called away to deal with a new shipment. After getting a sneak preview of her work, I can safely say that the women of Brookdale and the surrounding towns are in for a treat. I’ll definitely be buying something from this wonderful new boutique, Dashing Creations, and finding out more about the lovely Luna Draper.

secret word: mysterious

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer of Lizzie Tour: Gossipy Gladys

ImageFor those of you new to the Summer of Lizzie tour, Teresa Watson and book blogger, Erin Maurer have teamed up to use our blogs to bring the life and times of LIzzie Crenshaw and Brookdale, Texas to life. Each week, you will find posts here on My Funny View of LIfe and on Paws & Print. Each post contains a secret word. Collect the secret words to enter to win a Lizzie prize pack at the conclusion of our tour. 

 

Okay, loves, now that we have the business out of the way, lets get to the good stuff today. Miss Gladys is taking over the blog. Do you think she’ll having anything nice to say about Lizzie (no, I don’t really think so…) 

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First of all, I want to start by saying that this is not a gossip column. I don’t gossip. I merely keep people informed of what is happening in our lovely town of Brookdale.

New stores are opening in the town square, as people from the suburbs of Dallas move down here. It seems they prefer the peace and quiet of Brookdale to the hustle and bustle of a large city. The most recent store opening up is a little boutique near Delia’s Bakery. There is no name posted yet, but I have learned the owner’s name is Luna Draper. Honestly! What kind of airhead names their child Luna? Probably some crazy 60’s flower child, high on something. Never did understand what those fool hippies got from all those “recreational drugs”, as they called it. All that came of it is a bunch of children with weird names.

My dear friend, Amelia Crenshaw, recently announced that she was getting married again! I am so happy for her, as she has been alone for many years. No word on who the lucky man is, but I am sure he is a wonderful man.

Her daughter, Elizabeth, or Lizzie, as everyone calls her, is quite frankly just shameless. Kissing in public places! I swear, young people these days have no sense of decency. She has two men chasing after her: an FBI agent, T.J. Reynolds, or Roosevelt, whatever his last name is, and a millionaire, Jacob Mathias. Quite frankly, I think she should ditch the agent and marry Mr. Mathias. From what I have been told, his family is very prominent and very rich. It’s a shame she seems to be hung up on T.J., though. I have it from a very reliable source at the police station that the sheriff is thinking about hiring T.J., who is resigning from the FBI. Doesn’t it make you wonder why someone would resign from such an important position to work as a sheriff’s deputy in a small town? I wonder what happened to make him quit. Perhaps it had something to do with the death of that crazy half-aunt of Lizzie’s, Debra Crenshaw. And from what I’ve been told, someone stands to inherit a lot of money from that crazy woman. Care to guess who?

 

Be sure to stop by Erin’s post today to collect all the secret words. 

 secret word: kill