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Thanks so much for having me here at Lauren’s Book Shelf! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Illusion, the third and final book in my Hoodoo Apprentice trilogy, which is out now. I’ve also got a great blog tour giveaway for you, but first I’d like to tell you a little bit about hoodoo magic and some of the spells that appear in this book…

Hoodoo magic is an African American folk healing and magical art, not to be confused with voodoo, which is a religion. Hoodoo originated among enslaved Africans in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry and is largely based on African traditions, but has also been influenced by Native American, European and other practices.

In Illusion, Emma Guthrie uses many hoodoo spells to protect her true love but now-ex boyfriend, Cooper Beaumont, and her twin brother Jack. She’s also called upon to break some of the jinxes laid by her enemies. To give you an idea of the kind of hoodoo charms Emma confronts, I thought I’d share a few with you today. These come directly from my favorite and most informative hoodoo resources, the LuckyMojo.com.

Bottle Spells

A bottle spell is just what is sounds like: a magical spell contained in a bottle, that is intended to work for one’s desires. They are not limited to hoodoo and appear in many different kinds of folk magic traditions. Bottle spells are often buried under the threshold of a house or hidden in a chimney to keep witches or those who’d do evil away from your home. This explains why they’re often referred to as Witch Bottles. These bottles are often filled with commonly found and sharp items like pins, nails, glass shards, hair, and even urine. In Illusion, Emma works a Black Hen Feather Witch-Bottle spell that she buries beneath the front porch of one of her worst enemies. It’s filled with black hen feathers which are thought to be useful for reversing jinxes. For more fascinating information on bottle spells, click here.

Candle Spells

Many hoodoo practitioners use candles in their spells, and not just any candle will do. Each “light” is specifically selected for its individual color and the power associated with it. For example, white candles are thought to bring spiritual blessings; blue will bring peace and harmony, green are used in money spells, red for those involving love, pink for attraction, brown will bring luck in a court case, and black can repel dark thoughts, sorrow or bring freedom from evil. In Illusion, Emma works several powerful candle spells. One deals with love while the other is designed to send back evil to the witch who first performed it. I loved exploring this kind of magic and putting it in Emma’s capable hand. For a full run down on candle magic, check this out.

Psychic Visions

In hoodoo, psychic vision spiritual supplies are said to enhance the user’s spiritual insights and induce prophetic dreams. They can be added to anointing oils, incense, in sachets, bath crystals, or in specially blended candles. The Psychic Vision spell is one of the only instances in which I’ve strayed from authentic hoodoo for the purposes of my books. In Illusion and the other books in the series, Conjure and Allure, Emma uses a psychic vision spell to watch events that occurred in the past. Because these events happen in a vision, she watches the events in real time as if she was watching a news program on television. This gives her, and the reader, a front seat to the action, some of which occurred up to three centuries ago. These have been some of my very favorite scenes to write, but as I said, they are not reflective of how hoodoo practitioners use psychic vision spiritual supplies in real life. To read more about these supplies are put to use by real hoodoo practitioners click here.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to hoodoo magic and some of its spells. Though these charms seem simple on their surface, many people believe in their power and rely on them to offer protection or grant their most fervent desires. For more information about hoodoo magic and more examples of spells, I highly recommend that you check out the Lucky Mojo Curio Company’s website. It’s owner, Catherine Yronwode, has painstakingly recorded the history of hoodoo, collected oral histories of spells, and is a well respected manufacturer of authentic charms.

Thanks so much for having me. This was a lot of fun! Best of luck to those who enter the giveaway!

~Lea

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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.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Gi71zh Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Lz3AWl

And here are the gorgeous new covers for the first two books in the series, Conjure and Allure:

Conjure and Allure - New Covers Side by Side

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 which features the gorgeous new covers, 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!

REVISED ILLUSION Blog Tour Giveaway
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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 website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Goodreads

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