Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Sadira Stone…
Crystals, Palmistry, Astrology & Tarot: Getting Woo-Woo for Zodiac Encounters
My two novellas in the Zodiac Encounters Anthology feature a funky, woo-woo crystal shop in a Washington State beach town. Customers come to Madame Zora’s Psychic Emporium for tarot, palm, and aura readings, or to buy all sorts of esoteric gear like books, crystals, figurines, and don’t forget the tie-dyed socks!
I love browsing this kind of hippie-dippy shop and dabbling in divination. As a teen, I learned palmistry—mainly because my best friend learned to read tarot cards and I wanted a cool party trick like hers. Recently I bought my own tarot deck and am slowly learning how to use them. Fascinating!
A hippie mama at heart, imagine my delight when I was invited to participate in a steamy, astrology-themed romance anthology! My two signs are Capricorn and Taurus, paired with a Scorpio and an Aquarius, respectively, so I had to learn lots about these star signs. I also got my own natal chart done just for kicks. About 80% was spot on, while the rest left me scratching my head. I’m a Leo with Capricorn rising and a Taurus moon! Coincidence? Or a nudge from the universe?
Gemma, my Aquarius heroine, works in her Aunt Zora’s crystal shop, so of course I expanded my crystal collection while writing her story—to add authentic detail, and because pretty rocks are cool! I’ve got carnelian and clear quartz crystal for mental clarity, rose quartz to balance energy, rainbow flourite for productivity and creativity, amber for healing, aragonite for homesickness, labradorite to temper negativity, and amethyst for decision making. The latter also protects from drunkenness, in case I’m every tempted to drink while writing! So far, that’s not a problem, but you never know…
My theory about crystals: just knowing that a certain stone is supposed to help with a certain problem will focus your intentions and actions toward solving that problem. Woo woo? Not necessarily. After moving from Washington State to Las Vegas, I was terribly homesick and having a hard time seeing the pluses of living here. Placing that chunk of aragonite (small brown crystal at 7 o’clock in the photo) on my nightstand and holding it every night and morning, my homesickness has eased—probably because I set the intention of letting go of those sad feelings.
So, I hope you’ll enjoy Madame Zora’s crystal shop and the help she provides to the characters in Capricorn and Taurus. Zodiac Encounters is on sale for just 99¢ (ebook only) for a limited time, so grab your copy from your favorite online bookseller! Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMYOr8
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He turned toward her with a quizzical scowl.
“You know about the Esoteric Arts Expo in Portland next month?”
“Yeah. Got the extra herbs Zora ordered under a bank of grow-lights.”
“You’ll be there, right?”
His dark brows drew together. “At the expo? No. Why?”
Gemma grasped his arms, relishing the feel of firm muscle through his thick woolen coat. “You’ve got an organic herb farm! You could offer teas, tinctures, potted plants. Give me a list of what you grow, and I’ll write up their magical properties.”
Jesse snorted, which only made him more bull-like. “Listen, I grow culinary herbs, stuff for tea and home remedies, not magic potions.”
Yup, bull-headed to a fault. She forced her lips to unscowl. Being judgmental would get her nowhere with his type. He needed practical proof. “How could you ignore this huge market? The esoteric community is hungry for local products with integrity.”
“My business is none of yours.” With another sexy snort, he loomed over her. “You ever actually worked the land, princess? It’s not airy-fairy spirituality. It’s heavy lifting and dirt under your nails.” He held a broad, dirt-stained palm before her face and wiggled his fingers. Immediately, her imagination zoomed to how those powerful hands would feel on her bare skin, their rough scrape raising goosebumps of pleasure. Would he be a forceful lover? Brutal, even? Or perhaps surprisingly tender?
Giving her head a little shake, she took his hand and inspected his palm. “Interesting Mount of Venus.” She rubbed the base of his thumb. “Nice and fleshy.”
She had his attention now. People loved being told about themselves. With narrowed eyes, he peered at the spot she was massaging. “Mount of Venus? What does that mean?”
“Fullness here shows you’re passionate, sensual. And see this mark? Like a little X?”
He squinted, rumpling his eyebrows adorably.
“This means you have a lot of love to give.” She was only quoting the many books on palmistry she’d studied, but a skeptic like him would probably assume she was just spouting pickup lines.
But now, he simply held her gaze for a long, heated moment. His nostrils flared, but whatever snarky comment he concocted remained behind his tightly pressed lips.
Focus. Plan. Expo. She forced her shoulders down. “So why not share some of that love with Zora and me? You help us with new products for the Esoteric Expo, and we’ll help you with new customers for your herbs.” See? Practical, logical—just the way you like it, stubborn Taurus.
Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMYOr8
Fascinating, Sadira. Thanks so much for sharing. Your anthology soujnds wonderful.
Please tell us a little about yourself…
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, spent most of my adult life in Germany, first as a soldier and then as a teacher on U.S. military bases, moved to Washington State, and recently relocated to Las Vegas to be near my first grandchild. No pets at the moment except my adorable granddogs, two short-haired mini dachshunds. Married to a wonderful guy—ours is a late-in-life love story. One gorgeous, talented daughter from a previous marriage, and one handsome, smart stepson.
I adore writing steamy contemporary romance. Some authors and readers prefer to flee reality in favor of fantasy worlds, but I love plumbing the depths of life in our times—the heartache, the humor, the passion. Themes you’ll find in any Sadira Stone book: heroines who reject confining traditions and roles, and the complex men who cherish them—also chosen family, family reconciliation, and lots of food!
Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?
I’m a retired high school teacher—English, French, German, theater. I loved some of the kids like my own, but the constant bureaucracy, negativity, and pointless “educational initiatives” wore me down.
What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?
I just don’t get the appeal of most reality TV. What’s the point? I do like cooking competitions, though.
Do you collect anything?
Crystals and semi-precious stones. Pretty rocks are cool!
What was your first job?
Church secretary. Not fun.
What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?
Housework! Alas, the floors don’t clean themselves.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Zodiac Encounters?
A big, satisfied smile. 😉
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I’ve written, but never published, some slightly sexy cozy romance—but experts in that genre tell me cozy readers want zero sex in their stories. Hmmph. Cozy romantic suspense? I’ll find a bookshelf for them someday.
What is your favorite quote?
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here, we might as well dance.
Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?
I don’t enjoy reading dark stories, so I’ll never write about a character being tortured, abused, etc.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
She had a blast.
About the Author:
Award-winning contemporary romance author Sadira Stone spins steamy, smoochy tales set in small businesses—a quirky bookstore, a neighborhood bar, a vintage boutique… Her stories highlight found family, friendship, and the sizzling chemistry that pulls unlikely partners together. When she emerges from her writing cave in Las Vegas, Nevada (which she seldom does), she can be found in belly dance class, or strumming her ukulele, perhaps exploring the West with her charming husband, or cooking up a storm, and always gobbling all the romance books. For a guaranteed HEA (and no cliffhangers!) visit Sadira at sadirastone.com.