A big welcome to Sonya Clark who is here to telling us about Persephone’s Choice and celebrating the release of Witchlight, Magic Born #2 (published on June 30, 2014 by Carina Press). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
The myth of Hades and Persephone is one that’s always intrigued me. Most versions of it go more or less like this: Hades kidnaps Persephone and takes her to the Underworld, her harvest goddess mother Demeter lets crops wither while she searches for her daughter, and eventually a deal is worked out. Persephone will spend half the year with her mother, during which time vegetation will flourish and all things will grow, and she will spend half the year in the Underworld with her husband Hades. There are many variations and interpretations. It wasn’t the seasonal aspect of the story that drew my interest. It was the possibility that Persephone might choose to stay in the Underworld with Hades.
Nightclub owner, underground leader, and unrepentant outlaw Vadim Bazarov made his first appearance in Trancehack, book one of the Magic Born trilogy. In Witchlight he steps front and center. The situation in New Corinth is getting tense as kids from FreakTown put on illegal magic displays outside the zone, to the delight of younger Normals and the abject terror of those invested in keeping the Magic Laws intact. Now Vadim’s lost his high-placed contact who supplied him with blank ID cards for use by the underground. It’s a problem that should be solved with an easy bit of blackmail. All he has to do is find himself a secret witch, someone living as a Normal thanks to money and privilege. City councilwoman Lizzie Marsden fits the bill.
Of course, that’s when Vadim’s plan falls apart. By all outward appearances, Lizzie is a high-society ice queen, brittle and guarded, seemingly a sure thing for higher office. What he finds beneath the façade is a woman infinitely more complex, and more damaged, than he expected. He’s attracted to her, he’s intrigued by her, and soon he’s in love with her. But a city ordinance could turn FreakTown into a prison if passed, making it illegal for Magic Born to set foot outside the zone and for Normals to enter it.
My interest in the Hades and Persephone myth went into one of my favorite scenes in Witchlight. Vadim wants to show off Sinsuality, his legendary nightclub where Magic Born and Normals take to the dance floor together. He takes Lizzie to a special show in an exclusive area of the club. After a performance by a band (that might possibly have a strong resemblance to Depeche Mode), two dancers take the stage to tell the story of black-clad outlaw and the red-haired beauty he desires as his queen. When offered a way out, a life of freedom in the light, she ultimately chooses to stay in the darkness with her lover. It’s Vadim’s way of telling Lizzie what he wants, but even he is far too pragmatic to think it could ever happen.
As a noose tightens around FreakTown, Vadim knows his nights with Lizzie are numbered. How could anyone be willing to make such a choice, and stay in the darkness that will descend on the zone once they’re cut off from the rest of the city? For the first time in his life, he’s in love, but heartbreak is the only possible ending.
Except…what if Persephone chose to stay with Hades? Could love ever be that strong?
Oh, and if you’ve read Trancehack then you know Lizzie isn’t the only Persephone in New Corinth faced with an impossible choice.
Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lot of music for inspiration.
One digital copy of Witchlight
Witchlight by Sonya Clark
Available on June 30, 2014 by Carina Press
In 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she’s a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw discovers the last remaining one…
Vadim Bazarov smuggles Magic Borns through the underground railroad and threatens to reveal Elizabeth’s secret unless she helps him access blank ID cards. Elizabeth wants to hate him for having a stranglehold on her life, but can’t help being attracted to someone so sure of who and what he is.
Vadim initially sees her as a political ice queen, but is intrigued by her suppressed magical abilities. He trains Elizabeth to use her magic, and before long finds himself falling for her. But their newfound love may be shortlived; an anti-magic ordinance forces one of them to make a choice that will change both their lives for good.
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