Tag: Magic

Back to Burma (Myanmar)

Back to Burma (Myanmar)

I traveled to Myanmar (Burma) in 1997 while I was living and working in Thailand. At the time, the country was still mostly closed to foreigners. Only select parts of the country were open. During my month ‘in-country’ (the maximum the visa allowed) I conducted research on the Burmese puppet troupes and stayed at small guesthouses for a better chance of meeting local people. Unfailingly, everyone I met was giving of their time, knowledge and their kindness.

That began my love affair with Burma. (You can read more about my travels here.)

Since then I’ve written a number of novels set in Burma, including the modern, paranormal romance Shades of Moonlight.

In April 2017 Guardbridge Books published Death By Effigy, the first in my historical Aung and Yamin Fantasy Mystery series, in which an aging puppet singer and a mischievous puppet, must solve the murder of the king of the puppets or risk the destruction of the entire troupe.

I’m pleased to announce that the second in the series, A Death In Passing, has just been released, continuing the trials and tribulations of Aung, the puppet singer, with his troublesome assistant, Yamin, as they try to solve the murder of Burma’s most powerful spirit dancer.

In all of these books I’ve attempted to be true to the country’s culture and to accurately present the wonderful nature-magic systems (with a few embellishments). Burma seems to be in my blood and I envision more novels set in this wonderful and varied country. Whether historical or modern novels, I hope to capture the country’s magic for readers.

If you’ve traveled in Burma, I’d love to hear how I did.

Covers, Cover copy and Categories

Covers, Cover copy and Categories

Hi everyone, I’ve come to the conclusion that a set of covers may not be working properly for a series of novels of mine. The series is set in a beach resort town in the summer. It involves a romance. Sounds like a contemporary romance, right? The challenge is that the story also has paranormal elements and a building suspense. The level of darkness and suspense builds throughout the series, though I’ve kept the summer feel of the place. So I’m going to show you two covers for the first book in the series as well as the two blurbs and I’d really appreciate feedback on which better conveys the idea of the story I’ve described above.

Current Cover and Blurb: 

Unlocking Her Heart_cover_final 200-300When Kylee Jensen returns from Africa, she leaves behind her fiancé and brings back a badly broken heart. To heal, she seeks out her best friend in the idyllic lakeside town of Peachland, where she meets bad boy vintner Brett Main. Meeting Kylee might just be the incentive Brett needs to change his ways, but Kylee’s barely mended heart can’t take a man like Brett. Then a mysterious death disturbs the peace that Kylee desperately needs, and only Brett can keep her from being next on the killer’s hit list. A killer on the prowl, a peculiar bracelet that won’t come off, and a man she can’t handle… Africa is starting to look a lot safer than Peachland.

Karen L. Abrahamson creates a cast of wonderful characters in this, the first book of the Bracelet contemporary romance series. The book takes readers to the sun-soaked Okanagan Valley where orchards and vineyards cover the hills and sometimes magic raises its head, like the ancient Okanagan Lake monster.

Possible New Cover and Blurb: (note that the cover is still in draft form so it still has shutter stock on the images)

Bracelet 1 cover23 200-300In this supernatural romance, Kylee Jensen had worked hard to turn a string of bad luck into a life that every woman dreams of. She’d met the love of her life, they’d both quit their jobs, and she and her fiancee were on a romantic round-the-world tour together…until things fell apart.

Returning to North America with nothing but the realization that she’s a disaster at relationships, Kylee seeks the help of her childhood best friend who co-owns a new-age jewelry store with three other women in the small beach side town of Peachland. Drawn into the shelter of the group of friends Kylee finds herself the focus of their efforts to help her heal. All seems well…until Kylee tries on a mysterious magical bracelet linked to a recent murder.

Brett Main is the typical beach-bum, bad boy—at least he used to be. With his blonde good looks, and his half ownership of Elkhart Winery, a long line of women litter his past. But then he meets Kylee. The petite blonde may be everything Brett ever wanted, even if she has vowed not to become involved with anyone.

When supernatural forces threaten Kylee, Brett realizes that he’s in danger of losing her. Kylee and Brett will have to come together with their circle of friends to defeat a ghostly, entity that can turn any man into a killer.

Fans of steamy sex scenes, suspense and the paranormal will enjoy this story of evil infiltrating a summer beach town.

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Unlocking Her Heart_cover_final 200-300Unlocking Her Heart

Karen L. Abrahamson

Read how it all began free on Goodreads until Febraury 29, 2016.

When Kylee Jensen left Africa she left behind her fiancée and brought with her a badly broken heart. To heal, she seeks out her best friend in the idyllic lakeside town of Peachland where she meets bad boy vintner Brett Main. Kylee knows her barely mended heart can’t take a man like Brett, but meeting Kylee might just be the incentive Brett needs to change his ways. When a mysterious death disturbs the peace that Kylee sought, and she finds a puzzling bracelet that refused to be removed from her wrist, only Brett’s help can keep Kylee from being next on the killer’s hit list.

Karen L. Abrahamson creates a cast of wonderful characters in this, the first book of the Bracelet contemporary romance series. The book will take readers to the sun-soaked Okanagan Valley where orchards and vineyards cover the hills and sometimes magic raises its head, like the ancient Okanagan lake monster.

ENTER GIVEAWAY

NEW RELEASE: Book 2 in the Unlocking Series

NEW RELEASE: Book 2 in the Unlocking Series

Unlocking Her History – Karen L. Abrahamson

Book 2 of the Unlocking Series

As a runaway teen Chloe Main ended up on the seamier side of the street but escaped through the help of kindly New Age friends. Years later she has put her life together—almost. She still doesn’t trust men and still doesn’t trust herself around them, but she uses her New Age practices to center herself. When a robbery threatens the livelihood of Chloe and her friends, solving the case means she has to deal with hunky realist Detective Jas Stone who seems determined to be more to her than the investigator of the case. But the threat of more robberies might mask someone’s darker motive—one that hinges on the mysterious silver bracelet Chloe now wears. It may take more than Jas Stone to protect her from them.

Karen L. Abrahamson returns readers to the magical, sun-filled Okanagan Valley, where ley lines give power to healing stones, and friendship and love are always the heart of living well.

Available as an e-book at: 
Two New Releases

Two New Releases

Two new releases came out in December. One is the short fantasy story of the first case of Vallon Drake, the heroine of Afterburn and the American Geological Survey series. The story is called All She Can Be.

The second new release is the first in a contemporary romance series with  touches of magic and suspense. The novel, Unlocking Her Heart leads off a series of books in what will be the Unlocking Saga.

All She Can Be

Karen L. Abrahamson

When someone moves the Canada/US border along the flooding Red River, the American Geological Survey assigns freshman agent Vallon Drake to find the culprit and repair the damage. If she doesn’t it could destroy the peace between the two nations.

But solving a crime in the shadow world of the AGS is never straightforward, especially when assigning blame can have serious career repercussions.

Karen L. Abrahamson once again transports us to the change-ridden world of the AGS, but this time she takes us back in time to Vallon Drake’s first dirty little case.

Available on:

Unlocking Her Heart (The Unlocking Series, Book 1)

Karen L. Abrahamson writing as Karen L. McKee

When Kylee Jensen left Africa she left behind her fiancée and brought with her a badly broken heart. To heal, she seeks out her best friend in the idyllic lakeside town of Peachland where she meets bad boy vintner Brett Main. Kylee knows her barely mended heart can’t take a man like Brett, but meeting Kylee might just be the incentive Brett needs to change his ways. When a mysterious death disturbs the peace that Kylee sought, and she finds a puzzling bracelet that refused to be removed from her wrist, only Brett’s help can keep Kylee from being next on the killer’s hit list.

Karen L. Abrahamson creates a cast of wonderful characters in this, the first book of the Bracelet contemporary romance series. The book will take readers to the sun-soaked Okanagan Valley where orchards and vineyards cover the hills and sometimes magic raises its head, like the ancient Okanagan lake monster.

Available at:

New Fantasy Novel: THE CRYSTAL COURTESAN

New Fantasy Novel: THE CRYSTAL COURTESAN

The Crystal Courtesan – Karen L. Abrahamson

Seven years ago, a night of flames destroyed everything Ressana loved in the city of Noralla. Now she hides as a village healer far from those who might recognize her true nature. But the night of three moons brings Norallan guardsmen seeking those of her kind. Captured by Prince Dak, the only man she ever loved, Ressana will learn that the fate of all Noralla lies in her hands—the crystal-bound hands of the last crystal courtesan.

Karen L. Abrahamson once again creates a vivid world of magic and danger where old evil abides in the bodies of the dead and living Gods ride the three moons.

Available in print here.

Available as an e-book at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Smashwords
iBooks

Maps, Magical Thinking and the Magic Kingdom

Maps, Magical Thinking and the Magic Kingdom

So I’m here at Disney World with my sister and nieces. Yesterday we visited the Magic Kingdom and of course had to orienteer our way around the park with the small maps that they provide. Actually the small map was pretty good and we made our way around the park pretty well, taking in the sights the girls wanted to see. Getting to the park was another thing altogether.

Leaving our resort we thought we had it figured out, except I thought one way and my sister thought another. Given she has been here a whopping four hours longer than me, we went by her directions and soon weren’t sure just where we were going. Glory of glories, she said let’s stop and ask for directions, which we did.

It put me in mind of a wee episode I had in Portugal with my beau of that time. There we were in eastern Portugal with a specific destination in mind (I can’t recall what). We followed the route our map showed and ended up travelling a huge loop that did not take us where we wanted to go and we ended right back at our starting point. At which time I suggested we stop for directions. My beau would not.

So we drove that same loop again. And again. With my beau getting madder – not so much because we were lost, but because I kept suggesting we ask for directions. Such repetitious action—travelling the same route again and again, but expecting different results is a lot like something problem gambling Counselors call magical thinking. People with gambling issues play a game of chance again and again believing that the odds of them winning increase with the number of times they play and don’t win BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO WIN SOMETIME. What they don’t realize is that they are wrong. They have exactly the same odds of winning a gambling game each time they play and the house has stacked the odds against them. Just like taking the same hopeless route again and again doesn’t improve our odds of not getting lost.

So stopping for directions was an auspicious beginning to this trip. Aside from the comedienne gas station clerk (who informed me that if I wanted Disneyland (not Disney World) I’d taken a wrong turn for the east coast somewhere) I got straightforward directions that took us direct to the Magic Kingdom. Here are some photos to prove we were there.

Tinkerbell at the Parade of Lights (2012) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson
In the Frontierland Stocks (2012) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson
Jo on the Fantasyland Carousel (2012) Photo (c) Karen L. Abrahamson
The girls at the Magic Castle (2012) Photo (c) Karen Abrahamson
Free Fiction

Free Fiction

Pretense for Murder (part two)

By Karen L. Abrahamson

Vallon Drake continues her investigation into a dead girl where no girl should be. In a school with too many students with too much power, continuing the investigation might just lead to a second body: Vallon’s.

To read on, click here.

Magic and Reality: Everything comes at a price

Magic and Reality: Everything comes at a price

I’ve been thinking about magic systems a lot lately because I’ve been working on novels that involve magic and I’ve been planning out book number two in the Terra Trilogy. I also happened to catch a bit of Jurassic Park last night and for the first time really heard the Jeff Goldblum character give his lecture about how the Jurassic Park scientists had come by their science too easily, and how everything – in their case the creation of dinosaurs—came at a price. In Jeff’s case he was foretelling the deadly price that was to come in the movie, but what he said resonates on many levels. Everything has to come at a price to characters, especially when it comes to magic.

This relates to the planning and the world-building a writer must do before they write their book. I recall when I wrote my first book set in the Cartos universe, a universe where god created both humans and older beings made not of clay, but of earth and the Creator’s blood. This gave them the power to Create and change, so they can rewrite the landscape of their world. But the power of almost gods has to come at a price, so what would be fitting? Sure, there would be exhaustion, but there has to be something more. Logically, the price has to relate to the magic, so Creation had to play into the price. In this case, use of the Cartos magic means they are taking power from the mother goddess, so the price is that they must repay that creation. Which means that after the use of their power, they desperately need sex, which repays creation with procreation. If they don’t have sex, lets just say bad things happen. It may sound funny when I talk about it, but think about the consequences. No wonder the characters are hedonists and generally bitchy. How would you feel with a case of lust that literally burns in your bones after you’ve used the magic? Think about the societal impacts that sort of magic might have. It plays big into my upcoming epic Fantasy, the Warden of Power, and equally as big into my dytopian Fantasy, TERRA Incognita, my Historical Y.A. fantasy The Cartographer’s Daughter which will be coming out in September and in my current Urban Fantasy Afterburn, all of which take place in the Cartos universe.

But the price of magic exists even when it isn’t quite as front and centre. Magical creatures pay a price for their power. The Fairy folk can’t touch iron. Vampires, by their very nature, are killed by sunlight. Werewolves lose total control once a month and have to live with the guilt they inflict on the people they kill. Zombies—well—they fall apart, and even Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson character who seems to get off pretty lightly for being a shape shifter, is part of a race that has been almost wiped out because of their power.

In today’s commercial world, this need to ‘pay’ seems normal, because these creatures aren’t gods. They are creatures ‘imbued’ or, some would say, ‘inflicted’ with magic. So magic is not only their ‘specialness’ but it is also a burden to carry. After all, even the Cartos carry the burden of Creation and knowing that if they change the landscape, they change all the beings on it—including the humans with whom they intermarry.

As non-magical beings and, in my case, a writer, I think this is one of the key lessons perhaps Jeff Goldblum, and Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, were commenting on. Yes, they were talking about scientists, but in today’s society we need to remember that everything comes at a price and not just at the grocery or the department store. Last night, in addition to Jurassic Park, I also caught a National Geographic special on Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The special talked about the huge decline in the penguin, parrot and albatross colonies and in the dolphin and sea lion populations due to the industrial fishing taking place in that part of the world. Night shots from space showed the lights of the industrial fishing fleets were brighter, and larger, than the lights of Buenos Aires. Think about it: The fishing fleets are larger and brighter than a major metropolis! And so the sardine and other fish populations are disappearing and so are the birds and the porpoise and the seals that feed on them. Many of the young birds starve to death because their parents have to travel so far (fifty miles or more) for food and can’t get back in time to feed the chicks.

Many years ago, I read the wonderful fantasy novella by Larry Niven called The Magic Goes Away, about a world where all the magic had been used up. As I watched the Patagonia show last night it seemed to me that we are using up our own real magic— the funny little penguins , the rush of wings of the brightly colored parrots, the leap of the dolphin. When I read that book I was filled with a horrible sense of loss–the same feeling I had last night watching that show.

Unlike all those magical characters, we haven’t yet realized the price we’re about to pay.

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