by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Madness of Mercury, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
After the death of her fiancé, Julia Elizabeth Bonatti derailed her plans to become an anthropology teacher in order to find answers to such an incomprehensible loss. She turned to astrology as a source to help her make sense of Michael’s death, and perhaps see how it could have been prevented. This led to Julia’s new career as a professional astrologer, with her own ‘Ask Zodia’ astrological advice column in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Breaking one of her set rules of only seeing clients at either her apartment or at the North Beach, California Mystic Eye occult shop, Julia ventures to the home of nonagenarian Evandra Gamble to do a personal reading. Julia never expected that Evandra was looking for confirmation that her life was in danger from her own niece Dorothy, or that the Gamble House gardener would immediately suffer from a fatal fall.
Julia’s attempts to ease Evandra’s concerns lead to the arrangement of a séance with one of Julia’s friends, even though she is not entirely on board. Julia is far more concerned with the attacks upon her home and business being led by the Reverend Roy and his Prophet’s Tabernacle, whose Army of the Prophet followers attack virtually everyone who strays from their stringent beliefs or dares to speak out against them. One of Julia’s columns warning against the Reverend’s cult has made her and her friends the target of break-ins and firebombing, and just as alarming is that they seem to have access to her personal email, phone, business, and home addresses.
Also the writer of cozy mysteries penned under the name Connie Archer, the author explores her astrological background in this fascinating new series. She takes a scientific approach to the study of astrological predictions using birthdates and signs, focusing on the influence of Mercury over one’s mental state. Julia is surprisingly practical and methodical for an astrologer, and one can’t help but sympathize with her frustration in battling the political power of the Prophet’s followers. When Evandra’s sister either joins willingly or is abducted to the Prophet’s Paradise, Julia is propelled into conducting her own invasion upon the commune/fortress. Containing cozy elements of Julia’s cat Wizard, a questionable heir, and possibly poisoned cookies, this new series delves into unique territory that explores the philosophical aspects of astrology and its influence upon one’s life.
To enter to win a copy of The Madness of Mercury, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “mercury,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 9, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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