Today Marsha A. Moore is joining us to talk about the mythology lying behind her latest book, Staurolite.
In my new release, Staurolite, the fourth book in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends, I’m expanding and developing the foundation of the magical lore of my fantasy world. The characters find themselves needing the world’s ancient wisdom to solve their own present day problems. The basis of this ages-old magical power is a group of four mystical gemstones that parallel the four Chinese elements of nature: air, earth, fire, and water. These stones serve as four powerful keystones which, together, can empower the good Alliance to overcome the threatening attacks of the evil Dark Realm. There is one controlling master gemstone, the Staurolite, which gives this fourth book its title.
When I selected the gem that would be the master stone, I researched attributes that would make it an empowering symbol. Commonly called Fairy Cross or Fairy Stone, it was once believed to be created by the tears of fairies. It is shaped in an actual cross, with twined crystals that intergrow at nearly 90 degree angles.
Magically, is a grounding stone that assists in connecting with other worlds, including the fairy realm. This is an excellent stone for use in widening one's inner vision and awareness of other realms. For this reason, lore tells that Staurolite was considered to be a representative of all four elements of nature: air, earth, fire, and water. It was believed that a person who possessed this talisman could cause the elements to do his/her bidding.
In addition, it was believed that the 90 degree cross represented the crossing of the spiritual and physical planes. After the arrival of Christianity, these stones were popular with those who entered a crusade.
Many people now carry them as good luck charms. Staurolite is also used as an aid in discarding destructive habits, stabilizing the emotions, and bringing a feeling of protection, safety and security.
In my Enchanted Bookstore Legends, as a representative of all four elements of nature: air, earth, fire, and water, the Staurolite gemstone was a perfect choice for the master of the four keystones corresponding to those elements. In the series, each of the ancestral Scribes played important roles associated with one of the four keystones. In Staurolite, Lyra McCauley, the present Scribe, pieces together ancient wisdom about the properties of the Staurolite and how it controls the four missing keystones. The Guardians of the Alliance realize her magical power corresponds with the fifth and strongest element, quintessence, the pure and concentrated essence of a substance. This element parallels the master Staurolite gemstone. Lyra alone is capable of commanding the Staurolite to regain the lost keystones. But can she find the Staurolite soon enough to beat the race of time against increasing ravages of death and horrors from the attacking Dark Realm?
Staurolite: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Four by Marsha A. Moore
Lyra McCauley, current Scribe of the Alliance, is the only one who can decode magic hidden in the recently retrieved ancient texts written by her ancestors, the first four Scribes. Information in those writings can help Lyra locate the four missing keystones, which will restore power to the Alliance and allow overthrow of the Dark Realm. With peace restored, she and her beloved, Cullen, could finally marry.
Time is short with the Black Dragon’s Dark Realm increasing attacks to avenge the death of his heir. Many innocent lives are lost. Alliance residents are forced into hiding. Magicals and blue dragons follow leadership of the Imperial Dragon and the other three Guardians into battle to defend the Alliance.
While Lyra unlocks the ancient magic, she opens herself up to scribal powers from her ancestors. She alone can fight the deadliest of the Dark Realm’s forces—the cimafa stealth dragons—but at a cost. The energy flux threatens her health and ability to learn where to find the missing keystones. Can Lyra overcome this shrewd tactic of the Black Dragon to decimate the Alliance?
You can purchase Staurolite here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCW98P2
Excerpt from Staurolite:
From Chapter One: Ancient Scribal Magic
Lyra propped her head with an elbow against the low library table and rubbed her eyes, paging through the last chapter. She rearranged her weight on the floor cushion and twisted the end of her long braid.
The Tortoise Guardian’s wide, craggy cheek brushed against her forearm.
She jotted a few lines in a notebook and carefully closed the cover of the ancient copy. Her gaze rested on the faded embossed symbols—The Book of Dragonspeir authored by Elisabeth Walsh, the first Scribe.
“Good work. We’ve previewed two of the lost volumes you recovered. One more remains.” The Tortoise retracted his head halfway into his shell. “Take a break. My neck is aching.”
“I want to keep going and skim Scribe Brigid’s book too.” Lyra flipped through her notes.
The heavy wooden door to the lair library banged open. In two strides, the Imperial Dragon stood before them. “We’re under attack! Cimafa stealth dragons have stolen auras of a high order wizard and souls of three non-magicals. They also killed one of our blue sentry dragons.” His flared nostrils were ringed with fire and seeped smoke. A yellow color of concern flashed in the irises of his eyes.
“How?” Lyra rolled off the plush floor cushion, forced her stiff legs to stand, and grabbed her wizard’s staff. “I thought they only went after higher magicals?”
“Attacks from the Dark Realm?” The Tortoise pushed his front legs against the table edge to lift his shell higher.
The Head Guardian nodded. “They’re attacking in small groups for increased strength. Several pairs and trios have simultaneously flown over our Alliance before retreating to the Steppe of Ora into Silva Nocens. Those four people were taken in different places all over the Alliance during the past thirty-six hours. One cimafa attacks the victim, while the others fight our blues. Several sentries are required to battle one cimafa, and we don’t have enough squadrons. They typically sneak over our borders singly to pursue auras that will boost their power—higher magicals, like you said, Lyra. Never have they purposely attacked non-magicals.”
“Can the Guardians fight the cimafa better than sentries?” Lyra asked.
“Yes. We can do more by using our auras, but I will not ask the other three to fight. I’m on my way out to join a patrol, since I’m the most capable. Losing a Guardian would be a tremendous danger. To break the balance of the four elements would seriously harm the strength of the Alliance.” He clasped his foreclaws against his massive chest. “Even I must use control; the great expenditure of Guardian power required to kill a cimafa would temporarily weaken our governance. The blues primarily fight with physical strength, hurling lightning bolts. Unless injured, they can recoup quicker. I alone have the advantage of using both magical and physical means in battle.”
“Do you want me to help?” Lyra asked.
“No. It’s best for all if you continue your studies to unlock the clues from each Book of Dragonspeir. That will reveal a way for the Alliance to overthrow the Dark Realm. As the Scribe, you are the only one who can read the hidden magical code in those texts.” The leader turned toward the door. “I’ll check with you later, when I return.”
“Head Guardian, are the higher magicals helping?” Lyra’s voice caught in her throat. “Is Cullen safe?”
He stooped to miss the upper arch of the door threshold and glanced over his shoulder. “Most are riding the senior sentries to offer additional strike force. Sire Drake will accompany Yord in my squadron.”
Lyra stepped forward, but the Imperial Dragon gave her no chance for discussion, bolting down the stone corridor with tremendous strides. She stared after him, immobilized by the shock of his news and concern for her love. After all that she and Cullen had risked and accomplished, hoping to reach their goal of living together…this didn’t seem possible. Moments ago, a happy life seemed within their grasp. She stared at the gray stone floor, dumbfounded. Their future together, once again, hung by a thread. Her mind filled with a blur of their hard victories won over the past year.
You can purchase the previous books in the series here:
Marsha A. Moore is an author of fantasy romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.
The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical! She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is excited to be taking part in a Kripalu yoga teacher training program during 2013. That spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy.
You can find more information about the author here:
Fantasy Faction staff page: http://fantasy-faction.com/staff-members?uid=38
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
Photo credit of Staurolite: By Elade53 (Kolekcja - Lech Darski) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons