Monday, October 5, 2015

Illusion by Lea Nolan

Thanks so much for having me here at Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Illusion, the third and final book in my Hoodoo Apprentice trilogy, which releases today! I’ve also got a great blog tour giveaway for you!
My series features hoodoo magic, a lesser known type of folk magic predominantly practiced in the American south. To give you a better understanding of what this type of magic is and where it came from, I thought I’d put together this primer entitled….

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Hoodoo Magic

1. Hoodoo is an African American folk magic which originated in the American south in the 19th century or earlier. Uniquely American, it merges the cultural beliefs and customs enslaved Africans brought with them when they were forced to come to this country, with the botanical knowledge of Native Americans, and the magical folklore of Christian, Jewish, and pagan immigrants. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that while most hoodoo practitioners are African American, whites have always participated in this folk magic as well. 

2. Hoodoo is not the same as voodoo. In truth, the two couldn’t be more different. Voodoo, or voudon (or other, similar spellings) is a West African religion that was transplanted to Haiti by enslaved Africans. Voodoo’s practitioners worship loas, or spirits that are subservient to a supreme creator god known as Bondye. Hoodoo on the other hand is a magical belief system and practice that places strong emphasis on personal power and ability, and does not rely on a theological framework. Most hoodoo workers consider themselves Christians, and frequently perform spells using Biblical text, especially the Book of Psalms, and often conduct their spells in Jesus’ name. 

3. Hoodoo is deeply rooted in nature. Hoodoo derives its power from dried herbs, roots, and plants, minerals like magnetic lodestones, and curios such as animal bones and other parts (teeth, feathers, paws, etc), as well as seeds and nuts. Personal concerns like blood, hair, and even urine are considered to have magical properties that can be used to bind a spell to a specific person. Common household items such as brooms, needles, pins, coins, and nails can also be used in hoodoo charms.

4. Hoodoo spells have a wide variety of uses and are categorized by color. Red magic spells draw love or spice up smootchy times. Green magic spells will fatten your wallet or improve a client’s gambling chances. Purple magic spells will enhance someone’s power or success. White magic charms offer help and protection, and as you might guess, black magic spells are destructive. 

5. Hoodoo has also been used as a healing medicine. Enslaved Africans rarely received medical care, so they depended on home remedies made with medicinal plants and herbs. After slavery ended, the people left behind on the Sea Islands were so isolated, and physicians so scarce, they continued to rely on hoodoo medicine to cure their ills. For example, “Life Everlasting” is a popular herbal remedy chest rub for flu made from whiskey, lemon and turpentine.  This specific remedy makes an appearance in Illusion, but it’s used for a far different purpose--but no spoilers--you’ll have to read the book to see what it does!

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction to hoodoo. For more information, I highly recommend the single most reliable source of information on hoodoo magic. Many facts for this post came from catherine yronwode’s essay Hoodoo, Conjure and Rootwork, but there are many other fascinating things on the site, including authentic hoodoo spells.

Things aren't always as they appear…

New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie's worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies--human and spectral--who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis's revenge.

Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she's never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she's ever loved.

And now for the giveaway, a super awesome Illusion Blog Tour Prize pack. 
The Grand Prize includes a $25 Amazon gift card, a custom Hoodoo Apprentice tote, and six authentic hoodoo spells from the Lucky Mojo Curio Company. 
There’s also a second prize $15 Amazon gift card, and a third prize $10 Amazon gift card. So what are you waiting for? Enter below to win! 

In The Series

CONJURE (Book #1)

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry--hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma's ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper's soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

But when a strange girl bent on revenge appears, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before the last days of summer--and her friends--are lost forever.

ALLURE (Book #2)

Worst. Summer. Ever.
Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.
Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Faced with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.

   Meet the Author

Thanks again for having me. This was a lot of fun to put together! Best of luck to all who enter the giveaway.


Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. 

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance. 

Learn more at her ~