Yay another book tour! This is for Rogue Oracle, the second book in the Oracle Series by author Alayna Williams.
I was first drawn to the cover art of this book. Then I read the blurbs of the two books and the words criminal profiler, forensic psychologist, Tarot cards, and divination jumped out at me! Hello, magic words that get me interested in a book! I really wanted to read them for this tour, but I know I wouldn’t be able to finish in time. So, they’re going on my review pile for now. (Ah review pile, you keep growing and growing!)
Anyway, check out this guest post by Alayna Williams. And check out the cover art, the book summaries and the excerpt from Rogue Oracle. Do check them out, friends, do check them out. Thou art awesome. ;)
I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections. It’s a fun way to work…sometimes the images touch upon an archetype that I can pull into my work.
One of the cards that captures my imagination is the Hanged Man. This card usually depicts a man hanging by a gallows or tree from his foot. He holds his hands behind his back and wears a serene expression. I’ve heard various explanations of this over the years, from the idea that the pose was intentional to a misprint or artist’s mistake with a reversed printing plate. In our modern decks, he looks back at us, often haloed, seemingly at ease with his suspension.
The traditional meaning of this card has to do with sacrifice, spiritual transformation, suspension, and a calm before the storm. By dangling from his foot, we can see that the man could easily reach up and free himself from the one rope holding a foot, but he chooses not to. He chooses to stay in this uncomfortable position in the pursuit of enlightenment or a new perspective. From his vantage point, he sees things that we can’t. He is literally suspended, in limbo, and seeing things as we do not.
The Hanged Man has its roots in an old myth about the Norse god Odin. Odin brought knowledge of the magic of rune divination to the world, but he sacrificed a great deal in order to do so. He stabbed himself with his own spear and hung himself from the world tree Yggdrasil, in order to absorb the gallow’s tree’s power. He hung for nine days and nights, in a twilight state between life and death, his blood nourishing the tree. He drew into himself the power of the underworld, through the tree’s roots, and the power of the heavens, scraped by the tree’s branches. The knowledge of the runes seeped into him and he fell to the ground on the ninth day, stunned by what he had learned.
The underlying message of the card is that progress and knowledge require sacrifice and a surrender of control. In a Tarot reading, this can be a very uncomfortable place to be in. In transition. Becoming. But it can be worth it.
About the series
The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.
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 relationships 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… – Get this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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. . . . – Get this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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.
Sparky the fire salamander from EMBERS and SPARKS has his own Twitter account: @SparkySalamandr
Read an excerpt from Rogue Oracle