Tag Archives: novella

The Mystery of Magic (Plus a New Release)

by Kirsten Weiss

The mystery of magic
photo by Maxim Lugina on Unsplash.com (cropped)

Part of the fun of writing witch mystery novels is the research. And since my trio of witchy sisters in imaginary Doyle, CA are busy trying to get rid of a cursed spell book, it’s led me to thinking about the mystery of magic. What is it? How does it really work, if at all?

The infamous occultist Aleister Crowley defined magic as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” But what does that look like? How does it work?

A magic spell is a form of ritual that may be simple or complex and is believed to have magical force. The spoken part of the spell is the incantation. But the words and the ritual don’t in themselves create the magical force – it’s the magician’s intention behind them. That intention is built and amplified by the ritual. And yes, that is a bit circular.

A spell-caster will usually start by psychically “clearing” the space and creating a protective barrier for the spell work. Then the incantation will be chanted, focusing the spell worker on the intent of the spell. Other magical objects, such as candles or items representing the elements, may be used to further charge the intention.

While no one really understands the mystery of magic, there are several working theories.

The mystery of magic
photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.com (cropped)

Quantum physics has a different answer to the question, what is the mystery of magic? It tells us the act of observing or paying attention to an object may affect its behavior – at least on a sub-atomic level. Can a spell-caster, by paying attention, amplified by ritual and intention, affect an outcome at a molecular level?

The psychologically-minded argue that a spell changes the caster’s own behavior, and once her behavior changes, the people and things she interacts with react differently to her. She changes, therefore, so does her world. I like this answer, because it gives us all some personal agency… if we can change. As many of my characters have discovered, change doesn’t come easy, but it is possible.


Author Dr. Masaru Emoto tested the impact of intention on water. He printed out words and taped them onto bottles of distilled water, leaving them out overnight to see if the structure of the water molecules changed. Photographs taken of the water the next day showed that they did – loving words created gorgeous snow-flake molecule patterns. However, Dr. Emoto concluded that it was his thoughts and intentions that affected the molecules; the words were just the medium.

My Witches’ Magic

Doyle witch Lenore Bonheim is a shamanic witch. She sees ghosts and can seek the help of her animal spirit guides in Middle World. In Oak, the first of my novella trilogy about the cursed spell book, she must not only try to keep the book’s evil in check but she’s recruited by Doyle’s sheriff to help solve a murder.

Her sister Jayce unconsciously practices a simpler kind of magic. She’s attentive to the present moment, otherwise known as mindfulness. She pays loving attention to her world—not an easy thing to do in this era of constant tech distractions. But it’s a way of life that can unfold in surprisingly magical ways.

In Stone, she and her sisters continue to search for a way to destroy the book, and Jayce discover its ties to a local haunted house where a recent murder occurred.

And yet sister Karin, who sees the magical bonds that tie things together, may be the one who finally finds a way to break the cursed book’s grip on the witch triplets. Check out her story in my new release, Stream.

What’s your answer regarding the mystery of magic? What do you think it really is?

Stream, A Doyle Witch Cozy Mystery ~ releases 7/23/20

Will murder cancel this Doyle Witch’s Christmas?

Certain holiday spirits are keeping Karin’s hands full. And the challenges of motherhood and a cursed spell book have already put a dent in her usual good cheer.

But when she discovers the body of a man in a mountain stream, she’s swept into a mystery that will take all her magic and mental powers to solve. Because the dead man’s mysterious colleagues have taken an interest in Karin’s children…

This Christmas holiday novella is a complete cozy mystery and wraps up the story of the cursed spell book once and for all. If you’re a fan of Charlaine Harris, Heather Blake, or Amanda M. Lee, don’t miss Stream, book 9 in The Witches of Doyle cozy mysteries.

Stream is a witch cozy mystery featuring true-to-life spells in the back of the book, a trio of witchy sisters, and a dash of romance. Stream can be read as a standalone.


Posted by Kirsten Weiss. Kirsten’s never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway. She writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

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When the Saints Come Marching In (and a New Release)

book cover

In honor of my new release, An Unsaintly Season in St. Augustine, I decided to write a Just for Fun Friday post about saints. (See below for details about my book.)

Now I know sainthood should be a reverent, serious topic but you go Google the list of patron saints and see if you aren’t smiling or even downright laughing out loud over some of them.

Most of us are familiar with St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, and St. Christopher who looks over travelers.

But did you know that St. David of Wales is the patron saint of doves and praying to St. Polycarp of Smyrna will probably keep you from getting dysentery?

stained glass window of St. David of Wales

St. David of Wales (photo by Wolfgang Sauber, CC share-alike license, Wikimedia Commons)

If you have arm pain, have a little chat with St. Amelia. If you’re going ice skating, a short prayer to St. Lidwina of Schiedam wouldn’t hurt (seriously, there is a patron saint of ice skating).

If you’re inclined to have fits of frenzy then St. Dennis is who you should be madly praying to (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

The various professions have their patron saints and the number of saints a particular profession has doesn’t seem to correlate with the degree of need for divine intervention. Accountants, librarians, bankers, barbers, chefs, engineers, engravers, gardeners, funeral directors, veterinarians, translators and whitewashers all have one each. (Yes, whitewashers have a saint.)

Soldiers have four which seems fitting but astronauts only have one, as do road workers, nurses and surgeons. Teachers have two, which doesn’t seem like quite enough considering all they have to deal with.

Prisoners have two while prison guards only have one. Hmm. Not sure I’d like those odds if I were a prison guard. Police officers and firefighters only have two each, while bakers and comedians have three. What’s up with that?

The ones I was most interested in were, well, interesting. The patron saint of therapists and psychiatrists is St. Christina the Astonishing. Oookkaay.

St. Francis de Sales and St. Lucy of Syracuse are the patron saints of authors and writers. St. Francis de Sales was a very pious fellow. He was the Bishop of Geneva during the Protestant Reformation and he used a lot of flyers and other writings in his attempt to convert Calvinists to Catholicism.

St. Lucia (or St. Lucy) of Syracuse is better known for being the patron saint of the blind. She was martyred around 300 AD and one story says her eyes were poked out before she was killed. Another version is that her pagan fiancé, whom she was trying to ditch because she was a devout Christian, had admired her beautiful eyes. So she plucked them out and gave them to him, saying something to the effect, “Okay, take them and leave me alone so I can dedicate myself to God.”

In artwork, she is sometimes shown holding a tray with her eyes on it.

Renaissance painting of St. Lucy

Renaissance painting of St. Lucy (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Eeeww! With all due respect to St. Lucy who, one way or another, died a gruesome death… Ixnay to the eyesway on the aytray!

But back to St. Augustine and my new book. It’s set in the city of that name in Florida. The city was named by the Spanish sea captain who founded it. He first sighted land on the feast day of St. Augustine in 1565. My guess is the scene went something like this:

Guy up in the rigging yells in Spanish, “Land! I see land!”

The captain, one Don Pedro Menandez de Avilla, falls on his knees and says, “Gracias, St. Augustine, for putting this piece of land between us and the edge of the world, because that Columbus was a fool. Everybody knows the world is flat.”

In addition to being the patron saint of brewers, printers and theologians, St. Augustine is the one to pray to for the alleviation of sore eyes. How apropos for me, since by the end of a day at the computer writing and/or editing, my eyes are quite sore.

Okay, you all check out my new release while I ask St. Augustine for some eye drops and then call my priest to set up an appointment for confession, ’cause I think I’m probably in trouble with the Big Man Upstairs after writing this post.

Then tell me about your favorite saint down in the comments.

(And because I love how this cover turned out, I’m gonna show it to you again!)

An UNSAINTLY SEASON in St. AUGUSTINE, A Kate on Vacation mystery

Even on vacation, Kate Huntington can’t seem to avoid other people’s troubles. While in St. Augustine, Florida for the Christmas holidays, she and her PI husband get caught up in trying to find a friend of Kate’s parents who’s gone missing. They soon discover that this isn’t just a case of a senior citizen wandering off. Can they reunite the elderly man with his wife before Christmas, or will others who mean him harm find him first?

This is the first of a series of novella-length mysteries with a cozy flavor to them. They feature the same characters from the Kate Huntington Mystery series. These are intended to be light, suspenseful reads that also allow the reader to travel vicariously to interesting and sometimes exotic places.

Available now as an e-book for just $1.99 on:



Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.

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