Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Jodine Turner, author of Carry on the Flame

Today's special guest is Jodine Turner, author of Carry on the Flame. Welcome Jodine! I have been given the opportunity to interview Jodine as well as offer a giveaway ebook to one lucky reader. Read on to find out more about Jodine, Carry on the Flame, and her pesky cats!


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an author of YA/Adult fantasy, magical realism, visionary fiction, and paranormal romance. I am also a therapist, a consecrated priestess and a deacon in the Gnostic Church of Mary Magdalene. I’m a mystic at heart, fascinated with the world of the unseen. While living in Glastonbury, England, the ancient Isle of Avalon, I began writing my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series. I now live in Oregon with my husband Chris.

Is Carry on the Flame your first book? If not, what else have you written?

This is my third book. The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis and The Keys to Remember are the first and second novels in my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series. I wrote my novels to be stand alone reads. The series is an edgy saga of a young priestess who's reborn during three different critical junctions in history in order to help humankind move through fearful and dark times - the demise of Atlantis, the Dark Age's suppression of the feminine, and today's turbulent world. The novels are adventure filled journeys that carry keys to embodying the ultimate magic - love.

Are you writing anything else at the moment?

I’m working on another urban fantasy, paranormal romance. Another novel in the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series. Because of my connection with Glastonbury, it will take place there, of course! Specifically the ancient Glastonbury Abbey, time traveling between the present and during the time of its desecration/burning in medieval England. The history of the Abbey is filled with legend and mystery. There will be beings from the fairy race, priestesses, angels, demons, psychics, and every day folk in the story.


Humanity is in the midst of the greatest crisis in their evolution. Sharay is the one chosen to show the way forward and  help humankind move through the fear and dark times of today’s world. Born into a lineage of priestesses in modern day Glastonbury, England, Sharay’s way is blocked by her jealous Aunt Phoebe, who uses black magic against her to steal her fortune and magical power. When Phoebe commits Sharay to a psychiatric ward and accuses her of murder, Sharay struggles with the temptation to fight Phoebe’s vengeance with her own. Through the ancient Celtic ceremony of Beltaine, Sharay experiences profound sacred union with the Welshman Guethyn, who shows her how to open her heart. But Sharay must learn to transform her hatred for her aunt in order to claim the mystery held deep within her cells that will allow her to fulfill her destiny to prove that the ultimate magic is the power of love.


What inspired you write this story?

I can honestly say my story chose me. What inspired me to write my novel was when I first read "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I became enchanted with Glastonbury, England through Marion’s story. That land and its sacred sites captivated my heart, and my imagination. That’s what led me to move there for a year. I experienced inspiring dreams and waking visions about Glastonbury. I studied its folklore and legend. And using all those experiences, I began to write my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series.

I have visited the locations readers will find in Carry on the Flame  - the coast of Wales and some of its quaint villages like Betws-y-coed, the Orkney Isles of Scotland, and of course Glastonbury. Each locale I visited informed my scene descriptions with firsthand knowledge. And each location imbued my story with its own brand of magic.

Who is your favorite character from Carry on the Flame? How is s/he different or similar to yourself?

I relate to the heroine Sharay’s sense of spirit. I loved Dillon, the elderly wizard. I think Guethyn, Sharay’s love interest, is hot! Rosheen, an elder priestess feels like a dear friend. I think every character an author brings to life has a piece of the author in them.

The romance in Carry on the Flame was inspired in part by my personal story. I met my husband Chris while I was living in Glastonbury. He is English/Welsh/Irish, and the Welsh name his mother originally wanted for him, Guethyn, became the name of my main male character in Carry on the Flame. Guethyn is the wizard Dillon’s grandson, a rebellious college student. When he falls in love with Sharay, he finds himself, despite his rejection of all things magic, drawn into an adventure that requires him to awaken to the truth of who he really is.

The other part of writing I like is getting to explore edgy ways of behaving that I would personally never engage in but my characters certainly do. In Carry on the Flame, Sharay’s Aunt Phoebe has a penchant for using sex to get her way. Phoebe also has a dark side. She conjures a dark magical entity called a Tracker, created to stalk Sharay, suck her dry of her magical power, and destroy everyone dear to her.

What was your favourite scene to write? (no spoilers please!)

I’m partial to the intense scenes. Where emotions run high, action is tense, and something major is on the line.

I like tapping into the realms of legend and magic, especially Celtic lore. In Carry on the Flame, I liked writing the scene where Sharay meets the elder, eccentric wizard, Dillon. Dillon offers to take her on a journey of initiation, a vision quest called the Celtic “Imram,” in order to set her on her rightful path. I loved playing with the archetypal themes of an Imram, and bringing that into contemporary times.

What was the hardest part about writing Carry on the Flame?

I found that I went through a personal initiation process for much of this novel. For example, I had to move through some of my old grief before I could flesh out Sharay’s grief in my writing. It seemed like much of the novel continued on in that manner for me – having to experience some of the things personally first.

This quote from Sports writer "Red" Smith says it - “There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” 

Can you share a few lines with us from the book?

     Sharay took the Tarot card Dillon offered her. Its edges were worn, the colors faded. It showed the picture of a young man and woman facing each other with hands clasped, standing under a rose trellis and being blessed by a hooded figure of a Goddess. The word LOVERS was printed across the bottom of the card.
     “Yes, Tarot. But this is a very old deck, a special deck. That card is for you. Keep it with you. Sleep with it under your pillow.” Dillon lowered his voice. “Don’t show it to anyone else.”
Sharay touched the outline of the figures with her fingers, inexplicably intrigued by the faded picture.
     Dillon coughed. Sharay looked up to see Dr. Deluth walk toward her, clip board in hand, two interns following obediently behind. She shoved the card under her sweater and tucked it inside her bra. Dillon laid a magazine across the top of his card spread, his movements betraying none of the anxiety Sharay felt whenever she saw Dr. Deluth.

I love covers. I'm always curious to know how much of an input the author had in it. Can you share a little bit about your involvement? What do you like about it? What do you wish was different?

My cover for Carry on the Flame: Destiny’s Call is distinctly different from my other book covers. My publishers wanted it to speak to my young adult readers. I originally wanted to go with the art style of Kinuko Y. Craft – a magical setting with pre-Raphaelite looking women. My publishers suggested a more contemporary look and I liked their ideas. We still put the elements of magic on the cover, along with the mysterious landscape of Glastonbury, England, where most of the story takes place. Our joke was that the main character, Sharay, had to undergo three ‘breast reduction surgeries’ in the cover’s drafts because…well, let’s just say the illustrator originally portrayed her as way too buxom!


I love the scenes at the beginning where Sharay is sent to a mental institute. How did you come up with this? How did you make it so convincing?

The idea was catalyzed by a TV show I saw where a teenage girl was unjustly sent to a mental institution. The convincing tone of my hospital scenes came from the fact that I worked as a nurse at a psychiatric hospital for a while. I saw things firsthand. Many of them were not pretty.

There are quite a few dreams and visions that appear throughout the book. How important did you feel it was to include these?

I wanted readers to get the flavor of the unseen worlds. What the ancient Celts call the Otherworld. I wanted them to see and get a feel for what’s inside Sharay’s mind. She sees things in visions and dreams that the average person might call crazy because they don’t see or hear the same thing. In the Scottish tradition that’s called the ‘Second Sight’. In other words, psychic.
The book is a fantasy, or paranormal, but the religion of The Goddess of the Stars and Sea seems very real to me. How much of the book do you feel is fantasy and how much from real life?

I’m glad to hear that. She’s very real to me, too. I wanted readers to have an experience of this Goddess through the venue of fiction. My hope is that readers get to feel a sense of her by means of what Sharay undergoes. An initiation into the mysteries of the Goddess via story.

I found the writing to be very riveting. I always wanted to know what was happening next and the writing flows so smoothly. Is writing something that comes very naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?

Both. And thank you, I’m happy to hear your feedback. The first draft of a novel I pour my heart out, sharing my soul, it’s unedited and raw. After that, I use a blend of head and heart plus Muse and inspiration, refining my craft as I go along. That means a gazillion rewrites until it is the best I can make it.


Where do you write?

In my heart and soul.

Where it gets written down is in my home office, surrounded by some of my favorite artwork, trees outside…and my three cats. A lot of inspiration comes right before I fall asleep, so I have learned to keep pen and paper close by.

What are some things that distract you while writing?

Those same cats I just mentioned! Also, reading books. My husband is another distraction, albeit a good one! He has learned that unless he’s emergency bleeding, my shut office door means I’m writing and do not come in!

What is your favourite book of all time?

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. She captured my imagination and changed my life. Her character, the priestess Morgaine, sparked a passion in me to learn about and eventually become a priestess. And Marion’s novel changed my life in a literal way in that I moved to Glastonbury, the ancient Isle of Avalon, for a period of time, began writing, and met my husband there


Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Sharay’s story concludes in Carry on the Flame: Book Two Ultimate Magic which releases October 31, 2011

I love feedback from readers. Please contact me and let me know what you thought of my novel, or if you have any questions.
Website  http://www.jodineturner.com
Blog  http://www.visionaryfiction.blogspot.com
Twitter   http://www.twitter.com/JodineTurner
Facebook Author page    http://www.facebook.com/JodineTurner.Author
Amazon.com Author page            http://amzn.to/kzfNA7          
Goodreads    http://bit.ly/k1PPbJ

Jodine Turner is an author of YA/Adult fantasy, magical realism, paranormal romance, and visionary fiction. She is also a therapist, a consecrated priestess, and a deacon in the Gnostic Church of Mary Magdalene. While living in Glastonbury, England, the ancient Isle of Avalon, Jodine began writing the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series about priestesses who had lived in Glastonbury, the ancient isle of Avalon, throughout the ages to today. First in the series is the highly acclaimed The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis. The second novel is the award winning The Keys to Remember. The third novel, Carry on the Flame: Book One Destiny’s Call, is already award winning. Carry on the Flame: Book Two Ultimate Magic will be released October 31, 2011




 As part of the tour I have been given the opportunity to give away one copy of Carry on the Flame in ebook format. 

This giveaway is open internationally. Must be 13 years or older to participate.

You will receive one extra entry for tweeting or facebooking the giveaway.

You can also receive extra entries for following me in any of these ways:
100 Stars Or Less on GFC

To enter the giveaway, leave your name and a way to contact and any extra entries in the COMMENTS.

Giveaway ends Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Your next stop on the tour is August 31st, 2011 at Songs and Stories

Find the tour schedule at The Bookish Snob Promotions


  1. I love stories with Avalon thanks! I'm a GFC follower and on goodreads.


  2. thanks for stopping by Margaret! Since I am passionate about Avalon also, it's a perfect place to set a story. So much magic there!

  3. Great interview!
    GFC- Krysta Banco


  4. thanks, glad you liked it!
    With Morganlafey as your email, it's a sure bet you would resonate with Glastonbury/Avalon setting of Carry on the Flame, as well as all the priestesses in the story!

  5. The story sounds very intriguing.
    The interview was great too.

  6. thanks for your feedback! Glad you liked it.


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