by D. Lieber
GENRE: Fantasy Romance
Kai Stephenson is determined to prove magical principles aren’t set in stone. Having lost her younger brother in a tragic accident, she will ensure such accidents never harm anyone else. She enrolls at the most elite university to gain the knowledge she needs to achieve her goal. Overconfident that living as a boy at an all-boys university will only be a minor inconvenience, Kai is convinced her classmates will never discover that she’s a woman. After all, women aren’t capable of higher forms of magic, and her boyish figure certainly doesn’t hurt her disguise.
Hiding her true identity becomes a problem when her new friends start to awaken her repressed sexuality.
I smiled internally at his change in attitude. “I don’t know. Leif seems pretty confident. He will be a great tutor.”
His boredom shifted to disappointment.
“Still, you’ve already taken the class. If Leif and I need help, may we ask you?” I asked, not wanting to torment him longer. Smugness warred with boredom. I had to look away so I didn’t laugh.
Long fingers gripped my shoulders, and a face appeared close to mine over my left shoulder. A slight turn of my head revealed Des, way too close to me. “Aren’t we snuggly,” he whispered, breath hot in my ear.
I tried to shrug him off, but he held tight. His face blocked Ryn’s from my view. A look to my right showed three pissed off first-years. All three stood slowly; Reid was the one to speak. “You are going to remove your hands,” he growled.
“Why would I do that?” Des asked sweetly.
A pitcher of water from the center of the table hovered over to us and slowly poured itself over Des’ head. He shrieked and shoved it away. Flynn laughed uproariously, identifying himself as the culprit. Des turned his fury on Flynn, who ran from the room. Des followed in hot pursuit.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise) and cat (Yin).
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/conjuring-zephyr-d-lieber/1123960843
Publisher site: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/s9z49haqrwqniiqt4cb10b1k3feq0l?rq=conj
Signed copy on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/477968061/personalized-author-signed-copy-of
Quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder. The way I am seems completely normal to me until I encounter someone else. I suppose that’s where social norms, societal pressures, and statistics come in.
Saying that, one facet of me that falls into a statistical minority is that I’m pagan. To me and my fellow pagans, going into the forest and communing with the trees or having a drum circle under a full moon is not only normal, but a part of what makes us whole, in much the same way going to church, mosque, synagogue, or temple does for many others.
Because the majority of people in western society haven’t met a pagan (that they know of) let alone had a compassionate conversation with one, the way we look at the world can seem quirky. Somewhere along the way, believing in multiple deities became associated with being barbaric, uncivilized, and frightening (or laughable at least). Why that is and how it translates to modern society is a much larger discussion for another time.
I love learning about other religions, as it helps me understand the world better. People’s faiths are so much a part of who they are. I feel if I can’t understand what they believe, I can’t make human connections based on compassion.
I’ve had many experiences since I came out of the broom closet. I’ve met loving people who are curious and have treated me with respect, and I’ve met others who’ve condemned me to Hell. I try to remember that not everyone has had the same journey I have, and I can’t expect compassion if I’m unwilling to give it. However, I’m only human and sometimes the best I can muster is to walk away.
But those experiences, uplifting or difficult, are what bring life to an author’s writing. Terrenus in Conjuring Zephyr has a pagan society, completely made up but pagan none-the-less. I was curious what a misogynistic pagan society would look like and what would happen if magic became standardized like science.
A large part of what draws people to Paganism, especially eclectic Paganism, in the modern world is the freedom. But if it was the norm, the seemingly chaotic freedom would move toward rules and structure. That’s the path I wanted to explore in Conjuring Zephyr.
Though an understatement, the world is a big place. Each person is unique in his or her own way. We may have similarities, but it’s our special combination of quirks that make it a joy to meet new people. My main goal in life to make real human connections, and I believe compassion is how that’s done.
Because readers may not have encountered a pagan before, feel free to ask me any questions about my personal journey and beliefs in the comments below. If you are interested in learning about Paganism in an academic sense, I suggest reading Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higginbotham.