I am over the moon with the launch of Peregrine: The Ceremony of Powers. I wrote the hybrid thriller, paranormal, adventure novel way before the iPhone 12. However, my book languished because my freelancing career took off and I enjoyed being comped to cover events around New York City: wine tastings, theater, film festivals. My coverage included traveling to SXSW Austin, Texas, Edinburgh, UK for the International Festival. And in the midst of my daily writing, I managed to continue to perfect my writing and editing skills via residencies in Manhattan, Paris, France and Dublin, Ireland.
At the time, I didn’t care that the novel took a back seat to one rich and exciting adventure after another. Many of these I recorded in blog posts, reviews and articles. If you visit this website’s HOME PAGE and peruse the various pull down menus and the archives on the sites listing the entries, you will see select experiences that are a chronicle of my life up to March 2020. I was so caught up in a whirl wind of enjoyment, that the novel was destined to remain on a CD, a hard copy in my desk drawer, and in Word, Windows Vista files on a laptop I purchased in 2007.
Then the pandemic slammed into WuHan and eventually the US and New York City. Queens became the epicenter of disease and photographs of the disaster at the overwhelmed Elmhurst Hospital, Queens were published globally. The revelation forced me to recalculate priorities and stay safe, quarantined in the high tower of my writing life, moving to the finish line of what I had begun a decade ago. The novel was destined to be published after all. Simplistically, symbolically, one might say, I woke up and “smelled the roses.” Interpret that phrase as you will.
Peregrine:The Ceremony of Powers is the first book in the series which highlights four friends and their families: Peregrine Randolf, Mocha Hamilton, Fennelly Gerardo and Beach Comber (aka Paul Carver). In the first book the friends arrange to meet in Peregrine’s ancestral mausoleum to enact an occult “ceremony of powers” to change their lives. Peregrine wishes to use the powers to find her father, if he is alive. Mocha hopes the anointing bestowed upon her will help bring healing to her brother who dying. Fennelly believes that his brother’s mental debility might be corrected with the healing touch he receives. And Beach Comber who is terrified of the occult (to be revealed in another book in the series) hopes to overcome the trauma of losing his beloved Rebecca in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
What the four do not realize is that the crypt is magically empowered. The moment anyone who is not “charmed” enters its environs, the mausoleum activates against them perceiving them as a threat. Stepping on the grounds of the cemetery sets a sequence of events in motion. The four face a world of chaos and “normalcy” becomes a thing of the past. Only until they are able to resolve the mysteries of the mausoleum which take them on a journey to the crypts of Europe, do they understand who they are and their place and purpose in the world.
The inspiration for the novel came in part from my interest in the spiritual realms and the mystery religions which encompass the occult. The settings for the novel are taken from my experiences with Southampton on the Eastern end of Long Island, where I have spent time during all the years I have lived in the area. Calvary Cemetery I stumbled upon in my travels into the city from Long Island. It is one of the largest cemeteries in Queens which encompasses the largest geographical area in New York City. Decades ago and even today during the pandemic when I visited, people would visit their ancestors bringing flowers and spend time surrounded by the pastoral nature of what in effect is a parkland. Indeed, when I return to take photographs in the fall, there was a couple having sandwiches and sitting on the stoop of a small crypt. Considering that there were no crowds, it was peaceful and offered great space to walk safely from human contagion, I was not surprised to see them there without masks or panic from infection.