Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn’t know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.
Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír Na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.
Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.
She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the every growing sense of power that charged the room.
Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trace, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.
The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could ever offer. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking. She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.
“Wheel of Fortune,” she said aloud.
In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to start turning clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal. The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. But Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.
It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected. Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring with it fortune of some kind, it still scared her to death. So much so, she considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. The problem was, her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending them. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.
“The Empress,” she whispered. She exhaled deeply. “My mother.”
It was the only interpretation imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. No longer the vague featureless stranger that was there just a moment ago, but the same woman she had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.
The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of a strong feminine influence. But could it mean…did she even dare to hope that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream it might be so. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.
“Six of Cups.”
The third card in the spread represented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high, stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.
Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?
Morrigan turned over the fourth card.
“The Knight of Wands.”
The man on the horse carrying the staff had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. It was not at all the blank face that was nearly worn away from time that should been staring back at her. Yet, the familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.
She thought she was done with the fourth card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her own body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the longhaired stranger began to move forward—wondering over various landscapes—some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.
So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone. She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. However, the next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.
“The Moon,” she said. “Caution.”
It was a scary card. It warned of tricks and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl. For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.
Even the cats sensed it. The journey she was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she though could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.
She hushed the still hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. That she was only going to scare herself. She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to just let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.
“No…” she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face. “Oh no…”
She should have known. She thought perhaps a part of her did know even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?
“Death,” she whispered. “Death.”
She knew that in most cases, the death card was more a symbol of personal transformation than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death. Someone would die. That was certain. Whether that person was Morrigan or someone else, neither the cards nor her sixth sense was willing to reveal.
Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. She would soon be leaving on a journey—a journey that would undoubtedly end in death.
About the Author
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years
Other Books By Laura DeLuca
Available for $3.99 in e-book format or currently $15.73 for print copies on Amazon.
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.
Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.
Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.
DestinyAvailable for only $.99 in e-book format or $14.95 for print version on Amazon.
Gabriella is a witch. The problem is, she doesn’t remember. She repressed the memories of her powers years ago when her mother was murdered. Now, the warlock who was responsible for her mother’s death has set his sights on Gabriella. He is determined to use her fear to turn her to the dark side of magick…even if it kills her. Her mother’s spirit is reaching out to warn her, but even that she pushes away. Desperate to save her daughter, the spirit finds a male witch–one that just happens to be in love with Gabriella. Darron is more than willing to help but the two young witches will have way more to battle than just an evil warlock. There are overbearing jocks and petty rich girls who get tempers flaring and often set Gabrielle and Darron at odds.
There is more to the story than Gabrielle and Darron could even imagine. There are terrible secrets to be revealed, battles to be waged, and lives will be lost. Only after Gabrielle and Darron both come to terms with who they really are, and open themselves up to the true meaning of magick, can they have any hope of fulfilling their destiny.
Destiny UnveiledAvailable for only $3.99 for e-book version or $14.89 for print version on Amazon.
Gabriella and Darron thought their magickal battle was over when they defeated the evil warlock, Richard. When her Aunt Donna seeks Gabriella’s help in rescuing her catatonic daughter from the Dark Coven, Gabriella discovers that her cousin holds a power within her that would be catastrophic in the hands of the evil witches. Gabriella’s coven sets out on a journey that may be their last. Along the way, they meet new allies, face devastating treachery, and battle not only the Dark Coven, but the darkness within themselves. When Gabriella finally comes face to face with the cousin she never knew existed, her true destiny is unveiled, and the fate of the mortal world is in her hands.
And now for the exciting part! Three fabulous Etsy shops have created original works of art to go along with the Morrigan cover! Below you fill find the prizes they are sponsoring, as well as links to their shops in case you would like to order any of their wonderful products for yourselves.
The Whimsical Pixie offers an array of unique hand crafted items for the altar, home and garden for practicing pagans and the whimsical at heart. New for Spring, The Whimsical Pixie has Sabbat kits, ritual kits and more to enhance your celebrations.
Paula from the Whimsical Pixie has created a beautiful wood burned tarot card box emblazoned with the Celtic symbol featured in the title of Morrigan. The box has special significance to the story. If you read the excerpt above, you will see that Morrigan is quite gifted with Tarot cards. The box measures 5.25″Lx3.25″Wx2″H; retail value $26.99; tarot cards not included.
The Sisters Elemental offer natural luxury bath salts, cold process soaps, hand and body lotions, and other spiritual & inspirational tools to help you connect to the Universe. They hope you enjoy them as much as they enjoy creating them! Much love and light to you and yours, ~*Earth*~, ~*Fire*~, and ~*Water*~
Commissioned by Laura DeLuca to make something that will pull you in to the world of Morrigan, the main character of her to-be-released book Morrigan, we think that this combination will bring you to her world. A mixture of Dragon’s Blood, Cypress, and Sweet Orange essential oils with an accent of Hibiscus petals will leave you feeling blessed by the goddess and wrapped in magick. Created by ~*Fire*~
Using seashells from the beautiful beaches in Florida, I hand painted the Elder Futhark rune symbols on each shell. Used like regular runes, they give guidance for almost anything imaginable. The most amazing part about these is the connection to the ocean. They are infused with the sea, and loving thoughts of peace and love from me, as I painted them. I believe you’ll find these an amazing addition to your divination tools. And maybe even feel a little more connected to the ocean and it’s life!
Mother Earth handmade cold process soap ~ very outdoors and earthy; made with cypress, cedarwood, fir needle, wintergreen, and patchouli essential oils and lightly colored with green zeolite clay. Get in touch with Mother Nature herself! ~*Earth*~ Creation: All my soaps are infused with positive energy, love, and made with 100% natural vegan ingredients right in my own kitchen. Approximately 4.5 oz bar.
/ Crones Magical Crafts
Moonwise Creationz/Crones Magical Crafts offers Jewelry Design and Fine Crafts ! Inspired by Mother Moon and the divine feminine. Goddess Jewellery, priestess crowns, ritual tools. altar sets, charm bracelets. Pentacles,and sacred symbols, amulets and all things magical!
Commissioned exculsivly for Author Laura Deluca in celebration of her latest novel Morrigan.
This one of a kind jewellry set features bold and striking colors of Baby and periwinkle blues accented with pastel greens. Made with gemstones of sodalite crystals,and Tiara crystal beads and glass pearls accented with delicate silver filigree and celtic knot beads.The focal Of the necklace is a striking sodalite cabochon with a detailed silver celtic triquetra knot ,set on a filigree cameo frame.
The set comes with a matching charm bracelet, and earrings.
Retail Value of 70.00$
Compliments Of Crones Magical Crafts & Moonwise Creationz
Denise Reid * Jewelry Artist
Author Laura DeLuca is also offering a signed copy of her debut novel, Destiny, a rose quartz pendant, three packs of incense, three crystal points, a clear crystal pendant, and a geode. ARV: $50.
And finally, our two sponsoring mommy bloggers are each tossing in a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon for a total of $50 . The total value of the complete prize package is well over $300! One lucky winner is going to walk away with all this fantastic swag! To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to the US & Canada, but please note the prize in is US dollars. The giveaway will end at 12:01 est on 9/28/12. Winner will be selected at random and will have 48 hours to reply to the winning notification before another winner is selected.
A super huge thank you goes out to all the wonderful sponsors as well as the bloggers and authors who helped make this giveaway possible! We would also like to thank Paragraphic Designs
for designing the beautiful cover for Morrigan!
Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. This is Keeping Up With The Rheinlander’s personal opinion. Keeping Up With The Rheinlander’s is NOT responsible for sponsor prize shipment.