A MYSTICAL CREATURE
By: Gracen MillerHowdy, folks! A super big thank you to Brea for allowing me to join you to promote my newly released e-book Pandora's Box, book one in the Road to Hell series, available now at Decadent Publishing (www.decadentpublishing.com)! When writing Pandora's Box I mixed things up a bit, sometimes crafting new, unheard of creatures from my imagination and at other times using mythical creatures with established lore behind them. The crow was one of the mythical creatures with a legend behind it.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a crow? For me, aside from the black birds that scavenge, it was the mystical belief that they are omens of death.
In Pandora's Box, I needed something that could deliver a riddle from a higher power about the future. So, I did a little bit of research and my focus soon centered on the crow, which is similar to the raven. It appears in mythology as a soothsayer, as a creator and cleanser and as omens of death. Okay, so I wasn't completely wrong, but neither did I know near all of it.
Among the North America tribes the crow was considered as the guardian of the sacred law that could see not only the past, but the present and the future. Ah, just what I needed, a soothsayer that could easily be used in my story to deliver a riddle about future events.
In Celtic lore, the battle goddess Morrigan would shapeshift into either a crow or a raven and they were both seen as allies and companions.
Medieval fairytales saw the crow as birds of parental devotion and it was said that the crow led the migration of storks. Medieval Christians thought the crow was a sign of the devil because of its scavenging conduct, but it was also an icon of fidelity because it was thought that crows did not seek a new mate when its mate died. Magical properties were given to the crow as well, which included the skill to foretell the future, dismantle the past and to educate humans about how to mix humor, playfulness and love.
So, what do you think? Do you believe in the magical elements of crows? I had fun using the crow as a magical creature that shapeshifts into a beautiful woman with birdlike qualities and clothing made of feathers. To read how that turned out, scroll to the excerpt below.
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Thanks for having me with you today, Brea!!
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Pandora's Box Blurb:
Where does the road to Hell begin?What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.
With good intentions? Or by demonic design?Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison's life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses--and for her jaded heart--but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?
In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind's liberty has begun...
Madison sat up straight and her feet plopped to the wooden floor as a crow landed on the rail. Nix set the bottle of liquor beside his foot and moved to the edge of his seat.
The crow shifted into a woman with almond-shaped eyes and long hair, both as black as a crow's feather. She possessed a body to die for, dressed in a black cat-like-pantsuit. Well, no, that wasn't quite accurate. The pantsuit wasn't made of cloth, but rather a seamlessly flowing feathery substance. A glossy, black feather floated across the porch and came to rest across Madison's bare foot.
“You've been found worthy of the crows,” the woman said, her voice as melodious as a bird's warble. “Keep the feather secure, and if you ever need assistance, grip it in your hand and consider our help a one-time deal.”
“Lucky me.” Pushing out of her chair, she heard Nix rise beside her. She palmed the dagger he had given her. In the paranormal world, things could turn on a dime, and she trusted no one. Not even a shape-shifting crow. She grew weary of feeling defenseless as each new supernatural entity arrived on her doorstep. Grew restless sitting and waiting on them to come after her.
Crow shuddered like she'd seen a bird do, her feathery black hair buzzing with the movement. “I came with a message only.”
“You're an omen of death,” Nix snarled, glaring.
Startled, Madison peeped at him, his posture alert, pistol gripped tight in his hand.
“Sometimes, yes,” Crow agreed, looking him up and down. “You're cuter in person, Phoenix Birmingham.”
“You….” He made a face of disbelief, “You know my name?”
Crow clucked her tongue at him and swiveled her head to stare at Madison. She blinked slow, like a bird assessing its prey. “The boy has risen from the puppeteer's hell. Evil has been dismantled from his past. His future isn't set in stone. The choice is his. A blood-father born of Hell will test the mettle of his son again, yet the boy owns his future.”
Chills scattered across Madison's body. “What does that mean?” She glanced at Nix, feeling more than a little paranoid.
If you wish to read more of Pandora's Box before purchasing it, go to my website to read the first chapter for free: www.gracenmiller.com.