In Random Magic, we meet a witch girl (Winnie), who uses both her wits and her magic to rescue herself and her friend Henry from all sorts of scary people, as they make their way through Edgeland to try to find Alice (Alice in Wonderland) -- yes, thatAlice!) and return her to her book.
Winnie’s clever and resourceful, and tries first to outwit the baddies before she resorts to casting spells, which drain her of energy -- but all along the way, magic sure does come in handy for all kinds of things.
She uses everyday items that people barely notice -- a feather, a lock of hair, even a crumpled-up piece of paper -- to work quick spells for all kinds of useful things, and for more important things, like saving their lives.
In this excerpt from Random Magic, Henry watches Winnie pull together some curious essentials before they set out for the spooky Black Forest:
Winnie opened a black cupboard and carefully extracted a small red book, a big copper key, and a pair of knitting needles.
“Story-weaving needles,” she said briefly, “Might be--”
“I know -- might be useful.” His face read: …but I don’t think so.
Winnie rolled up a map and stuffed in into the knapsack. She added a battered red felt hat, a large ball of wool, and her new feather. She slung the knapsack across her back, and scanned the room.
“Aha. Nearly forgot.”
She yanked open her closet door. There, hanging from the rod, was a crinkly piece of blank paper. She sighed impatiently. “Oh, balls. Not again.”
She pulled the scrap down, laid it out on the floor, and carefully folded the paper over into a triangle. She tossed it in the air, and watched, frowning, as it flipped over, then hit the ground.
“That’s not right,” she said, smoothing the sheet out, and folding it back up the other way. She shook her head, mumbling as she worked.
Henry looked on politely, wondering what she was up to. Was it another newspaper? It was blank. Blank paper. Was she making a paper boat? What for?
“I say…What is it that-- ?”
“Shhh,” she mumbled, and ignored him. “Aha, this way.” She added another triangular fold, and stood up. “Done. There we are.”
Henry blinked. A sleepy grey bat had suddenly appeared, nestled in Winnie’s palm.
“Wakey, wakey, Cinders,” she said, chucking the bat under the furry little chin.
Random Magic by Sasha Soren (Kindle edition)
Conjuring a living animal requires a knack for magic, and there’s plenty of that about in Winnie’s world -- but here, on the other side of the mirror, there’s also magic in the everyday.
For example, sure, it might be difficult to create a living bat from a scrap of paper in this world -- but, then, an artist skilled in origami can create something that’s nearly as astonishing.
Some of the beautiful creatures artists can conjure from a single scrap of paper, with fluttering wings or moving mouths, are pretty extraordinary, even if they’re not strictly magical.
Or maybe they are…after all, what is magic? Is it a cascade of light and a magic wand, or is it creating something beautiful from something totally ordinary?
Is it something we do or something we feel? If you set out on a journey to look for magic -- where, precisely, would you try to find it?
Those are some of the themes explored in Random Magic, but we leave it to every individual reader to find his or her own answers.
If you’d like to know more about the use of particular tools in working spells, or you’re curious about the specific symbolism of various colors and how they can be used in magic rituals, feel free to read: ‘A Modern Witch’s Toolkit,’ from an earlier tour stop on the Random MagicHalloween Tour.
Otherwise, in honor of Halloween, here we have a sweet, witchy spell for lovers everywhere -- a bit of everyday magic for anyone and everyone, to make the world that much sweeter…
Only two magical tools are required for this ritual: a small mirror and fresh flowers. They can be daisies, carnations, violets, lilacs or gardenias, but roses of any color are best. If you use roses, remove the thorns.
Buy or collect seven or eight stems of the chosen flower. If cutting them yourself, thank the plant for its sacrifice in any words or actions that you see fit. Remember that nature is a power source. Magicians respect it.
Perform this ritual when you won't be interrupted, give this time to yourself.
Place the flowers in a large vase or bowl. Nearby place a small mirror so that you can see your face within it. Sit or kneel comfortably before the flowers.
Remove one flower from the vase. Stroke it over your head, hair, and ears. Be open to the energies the flower radiates. Close your eyes and say these words:
I see love.
Smell the flower’s rich scent. Drink in its aroma. Let it fill your soul. Say...
I breathe love.
Lower the flower to your heart, letting its energies melt into yours. Say...
I hold love (in my heart). I feel love and I nourish it.
Still holding the flower in your hand, gaze at your reflection in the mirror. Say…
Love is before me. Love is behind me. Love is beside me. Love is above me. Love is below me. Love is within me. Love flows from me. Love returns to me. I am loved.
Place the flowers in a spot where you'll see them several times a day. If possible, wear or carry the flower you've used in your ritual. When it begins to wilt, bury it in the Earth thanking it for its energies.
And be prepared to receive as well as to give love.
This is only one love spell of the hundreds of thousands of love spells available, in the handwritten 'Book of Shadows’ owned by witches, in printed books, or sites online.
You can also make up your own, individualized love spells, including candles or incense, gemstones, sweets, music, favorite colors, flowers, personal mementos, or living plants -- anything that resonates with vibrant energy or brings tranquility, focus and contentment.
This particular love spell, *Petal Love Spell, is included here because it was written by a practicing witch, who included it in a book as a reference, not as a novelty item to be included with the purchase of a mystery potion.
The spell is slightly modified for length, but includes the major aspects included in the original. The title of the specific book including the spell is unknown, as the spell excerpt was sourced from Empathy UK.
You can read more about the late Scott Cunningham, and browse his titles available, here. You’re sure to find lots of other spells of all kinds, as he was a prolific and knowledgeable author and long-time practitioner of ‘the craft.’
There are more love spells for perusal here and here, and some books to browse, here.
About the book: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes.
Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is.
Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Strüths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.
This blog award was put together by Missy's Reads and Reviews and asks us to fill out ten survey questions then pass it along to fifteen other bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic.
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I actually started out anonymously and in some ways I still am, but my real name is out there now and I like being refered to that rather than Wings sometimes.
2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
I don't have an inner stubborn side...it's well out in the open. I argue about almost anything if I know I'm right (notice I didn't say "think") including - but not limited to - how great my car is compared to everyone elses, how awesome Bon Jovi and Queen are and why it's not only stupid but dangerous to support anyone who has a degree in red-neckery or boganism and believes in pushing their own opinions down other's throats.
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Angelina Jolie - nah really, an extremely tall, auburn haired loud mouth who could stand to lose a few pounds.
4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Coke Slushies! But really I drink them all year round.
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Read, Blog and Write
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
Of Course! I still haven't taken over the world yet *evil laughs*
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
I was kind of always an overachiever but on top of that I started out shy then moved to clown then settled nicely into ditching in my final year.
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
Getting my license...no...seeing the look on my mums face when I bought 30 books at once...no...walking past the chick at school who used to tease me for being a red head nerd and seeing that she got ugly when I finally got out of my "awkward blossoming" stage...yeah.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I try to keep everything "professional" but recently I have found myself definitely sharing more than what I used to.
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read...I have read whilst on the phone and ended up missing the conversation.
Yet another random occurence in the randomness that is Random Magic.
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
What it's about:
Music is a strong theme in Random Magic -- so strong, in fact, that one of the celestial characters Winnie and Henry meet is Efterpe, the Muse of music.
In celebration of music, Halloween and all things spooky, here’s a fun blog hop to check out. You’ll find tidbits about creepy characters from the book -- and some great music picks.
Come enjoy a musical Halloween blog hop with us, we’ve got tunes for ghouls…
You are here: #6 of 8 (StoryWings)
Songs for: Ghosts
Ghosts – Laura Marling
Random Magic excerpt:
“This stuff is knotted with a revenant charm.”
“What’s a revenant?”
“I don’t understand.”
“They can be standing right in front of you and you won’t see them. So. That’s the idea with the map, right,” she said, shaking it out. “Hiding in plain sight. There. What do you see?”
He looked down. “Not much.” (More)
(If you enjoy a particular music pick, please consider buying the track to help support the person or group that created it for everyone’s enjoyment. Across The Sky is the unofficial soundtrack for the Random Magic Halloween Tour (2010). Happy listening – and Happy Halloween!)
For the impatient, here are all the blogs on the hop:
Yes my dear readers, I am in a reviewing slump. Last week I was in a bit of a reading slump - having to force myself through Darkborn - but since the end of september, I have been in a reviewing slump.
I can be doing something (like going to the toilet) and suddenly a few lines of a review about a book will come to me, but when I sit down to review...nothing.
So please bear with me as I try to dig myself out of the slump.
In other news: I received Random Magic by Sasha Soren in the mail today and it came in the most beautiful package ever with a rubber ducky and a feather and some lovely smelling tea...ooh and a chocolate minty.
It really made me feel better today as I had a pretty crap day yesterday so thank you to Lyrika for taking the time to wrap up such a beautiful package, I have already started Random Magic and I am enjoying it so far, so if and when I get out of the Slump I will definitely be looking forward to reviewing it.
Methinks that I may have finally cracked...why you ask? Because I own all of the Vampire Academy books in paperback, but in my eagerness to get my hands on the fifth book I bought it in Hardcover (I hate Hardcover books) now I want the paperback.
Why is this such a problem? Because I already own two harcover copies and a paperback would cost about as much as one of those in Australia to get the paperback...
But I can't stand that they don't all match...
Yes, I have officially checked into crazy town.
Same goes for the Anita Blake series, not as bad but still a little bit sad...see I have what I call the torture version
Which wasn't even what I really wanted, but now i have grown to love them. I got them from Book Depository some months ago and when i pottered back yesterday to get the next few books I couldn't find any torture device covers...
Which was the original version that I wanted...but now if i get these...they won't match.
Yes, it's finally official...I have lost my marbles.
Am I the only person who seems to have not heard of this book?!
Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.
Awkward and allergic to the sun, sixteen-year-old Finbar Frame never gets the girl. But when he notices that all the female students at his school are obsessed with a vampire romance novel called Bloodthirsty, Finbar decides to boldly go where no sane guy has gone before-he becomes a vampire, minus the whole blood sucking part.
With his brooding nature and weirdly pale skin, it's surprisingly easy for Finbar to pretend to be paranormal. But, when he meets the one girl who just might like him for who he really is, he discovers that his life as a pseudo-vampire is more complicated than he expected.
This hilarious debut novel is for anyone who believes that sometimes even nice guys-without sharp teeth or sparkly skin-- can get the girl.
How cute does this sound? It sounds like it might take a few cracks at Twilight as well...which I am always up for.
It isn't often that I give up on a book but I just couldn't get there with Interview with the Vampire. I think my main reason for giving up on the book is the very heavy descriptions of absolutely everything. I mean it took an entire page for Louis to look at a window which for me was a little too much.
The characters were a little boring, yet interesting in their own unique ways. I will say my favourite character was Claudia, who ever knew that a child could be that evil. Although Louis was narrating, I found him to be quite boring not in the way that he wanted to be "good" but because he never seemed to do anything.
The lack of action on top of the heavy imagery is what brought this book down for me I got to page 200 and just couldn't go any further.
I am so stoked right now! I just read Jeaniene Frost's latest post regarding her Night Huntress series.
Now for those of you who don't know...I absolutely adore this series and Mrs. Frost herself for creating something so perfect (she is my only true author crush) so you can imagine how excited I got when I found out there was going to be 9 books in the Night Huntress series instead of the initial seven.
Two more awesome tales of Cat and Bones!!!
In other awesome news:
We all know Vlad, pyrtotech and all round evil nice guy....
HE'S GETTING HIS OWN SERIES!!!!
I think I am about to have a conniption. So much good news in one morning.
I am uber excited about this info! Although I only got halfway through The Sword of Truth Series I am restarting it and I was always sad to think the Confessor was the last book in the series because I absolutely love Richard and Kahlan.
Now finding out about The Omen Machine I am both excited and scared...because of the synopsis.
"An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone's ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen ...In exchange for an impossible demand."
Is it just me or does that sound a bit like a Sci-Fi Novel?
I don't seem to remember there being any machines in the Sword of Truth world or it talking...
That was more Wizard of Oz type fantasy rather than Midland Fantasy.
Hopefully it will have a little more context once I get around to it...
So I just wanted to let you know what's been going on this past week.
We had a guestpost from the lovely Carolyn Crane in which she talks about the significance of names in books - including how English words or names can mean something completely different in other languages. There is also the chance to win one of her books! Mind Games or the recently released Double Cross.
Wednesdays review was of The DUFF by Kody Keplinger for YA Wednesday.
And as always we had our weekly Book News and Comments Giveaway on Friday.
We also had our debut of Smutty Saturday a new feature devoted to our recently discovered mutual love of smut. This week we also told the stories of our "First Times" when it came to Smut.
So that's what happened this week (among other things) over at BLI
September, a month of reading fat books, watching a lot of Nickelodeon and Animal Planet, getting a tan and doing nothing. Seriously nothing.
It's been kind of obvious that I haven't been around the blogging world this last month but next Thursday is the last day of my holiday and then we're going home! Yeay! This has probably been the only year in history that I have been completely psyched to get back home.
I can't wait to get a job! I can't wait to start earning money again!
But the biggest can't wait? My gorgeous boy...OMG never again! will I voluntarily go six weeks without seeing him. Far out!
So this month, with everything hopefully going back to normal I shall return to my blog! And play an active role in the communtiy once again, yeay!!
My Favourite book for the month would have to be: Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
October's Goal: Review More! And Blog More! And be more alive!
My Shelfari TBR Pile at the start of the month was 1,042 At the end of the month it is 1,040 - yeay! it went down without me deleting books.
My physical TBR pile took quite a blow this month with all the reading I got done :D we're down to 41 now. Er - it was 42 as at last month and even though I read 7 books on my TBR list and haven't bought any new books...it's only gone down 1...hmmm well it seems this accountant can't count...
This post is for bloggers to post their OCTOBER reviews for the 2010 - Stand Alone Book Reading Challenge. Please DO NOT put your blog's URL in below. Put the link to your review.Click here to sign up for the challenge.
Name: Title of the Book (author optional)
Your URL: The Link to Your Review
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. - Charles W. Eliot
Connect With Me
Subscribe by Email
Authors / Publishers
I AM NOT ACCEPTING ANY BOOKS FOR REVIEW UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
I'm always up for anything anyone feels like sending me, the only genres I don't like is anything to do with the Wars (WWI, WWII, Vietnam), Hard-core Sci-Fi, and Non-Fiction (Memoires I will consider).
If anyone wants contests hosted or reviews posted don't hesitate to ask.
Feel free to contact me at: wings (dot) reviews (at) gmail (dot) com