Announcing a new novella set in the world of LADY LAZARUS – coming soon!
WHAT: “The Magic of Fabulous” — A new novella, set in the world of the LADY LAZARUS series
WHEN: Releasing December 2011
WHO: Featuring the outrageous and irrepressible Eva Farkas, a Hungarian girl with no magic who must survive in a Budapest filled with local Nazis, werewolves, and vampires.
WHY: Let me tell you why…
Let me tell you my worst nightmare.
I’m in my daily world, just doing the shopping and taking care of my kids and hustling to pay the bills. And suddenly, events outside of my control overtake that homey, boring little world and rip it apart. You know, there’s a war. Or a revolution. Or a financial catastrophe hits my city.
Can’t pay the bills any more — no job. Running errands goes from a never ending merry-go-round, to a life-or-death race to survival — the streets now crawl with killers and desperate people. And those little, defenseless kids…they need me to somehow make sense of all this and keep us together.
Imagine becoming an enemy of the state, just for existing. What do you do with that?
This is real-life nightmare stuff. This is the stuff that wakes me up at 2 a.m. (when I am writing this). The thought of losing my home, becoming a target…it makes my heart pound, my hands shake.
My grandparents went through this exact scenario in Europe in World War II. These primal fears are the root of the LADY LAZARUS series, and Magda Lazarus — the untrained witch who refuses to stay dead, who uses her magic as a secret weapon in the fight against evil — is the answer to those nightmares in a magical world.
In the series, Magda has a friend — a funny, cute, even silly friend — a best friend, who reminds Magda she not only is loved, but liked. Everybody needs a friend like Eva Farkas, somebody who can make you laugh when all you want to do is cry and assume the fetal position.
But Eva’s situation is even worse than Magda’s. Because, unlike Magda, Eva doesn’t have magic in her. Not a drop. And in a world where werewolves are Nazis, and the local nobility is fanged, a girl with no magic isn’t worth a half-smoked cigarette.
What I love about Eva Farkas is that, even though her situation is hopeless as a factual matter, she still refuses to give up. She never, never, ever gives up. So she doesn’t have any regular magic…she just makes up her own special kind. The fabulous kind.
Some people do curl up and die when the world explodes — the newly-broke Wall Street stockbrokers jumping out the windows during the Great Depression come to mind.
Others keep their head down, make their world smaller, and get by as best they can.
Still others, like Magda, find their magic comes to the surface when life gets too dangerous to survive any other way.
And then there are people like Eva Farkas, who survive based on sheer determination, wit, and moxie. Who don’t just survive but spread their wings, and like butterflies, ride the wind…
Here’s an excerpt of the forthcoming “The Magic of Fabulous,” where Eva explains her science of survival to her students of the future:
I have three rules for surviving on the streets of Budapest, dear reader. Rule the first, make sure your stocking seams are straight, especially if you have to draw them on. A lady is known for her deportment, the state of her shoes, and for her attention to those all-important little details.
Rule the second, know your friends and enemies, and keep them all amused, especially the enemies.
And Rule the third: when cavorting with vampires, make sure your perfume has a poppy seed base.
I would go for garlic instead if I could, of course, but smelling like garlic is a quick way to achieving social and personal ruin. No, garlic is not possible, alas, but opium messes with vampires, long enough for a girl to get away, and poppy seeds are in the opium family, yes? So I lace all my perfume with poppy seed oil, darlings, and no vampire has sunk his dirty fangs into my neck. At least, not yet.
You better believe I wore my poppy seed Chanel the night I ventured into the cafe of the vampires, Café Istanbul, on a sullen, overheated night this past July. I had no choice but to go there. Magda was gone. Her little sister Gisele, prone to fainting fits and strange prophecies about the end of the world, was none too helpful about keeping body and soul together, not hers and not mine, either.
So yours truly, Eva Farkas, madame guttersnipe and girl with not a drop of magic in her whatsoever, not even to the extent of the poppy seed oil hidden in a tiny bottle of Chanel — I had to find some money, you see, or I was finished. At the time, I worked for an old lady who ran a decrepit flower shop across town on Ferencz Korut, and she was so poor herself she paid me in posies, not even in roses. My hysterical little prophet, Gisele, sewed ladies’ brassieres and shirts, but she didn’t make near enough to cover the rent.
So now Magda was gone, and if I was going to eat, I had to figure something out, something more filling than posies. I tried appealing to the old lady with the flower shop, but she was too old to lie to me or to threaten me either, she knew as well as I that death was breathing down all of our necks with bad breath, in this awful summer of 1939.
Nothing for it. Magda was gone; the vampire Bathory needed a new girl. I have no magic, none, nada. And in a wicked city like Budapest, having no magic is like missing an arm or a nose, or like trying to navigate the Ring Road alone and blind. And drunk. It’s lucky for me I’m a lively girl, with lots of energy and a neck with no bite marks on it. At least, not yet.
If all you have is chutzpah, you have to use it or you are a goner. Dear reader, I’m telling you this story so that if I leave this wicked Budapest for good, if the bastards find me out and I die, I will at least leave behind me, if not a child or a nice sweet husband, at least a guide to the magically challenged.
You can survive war and mayhem! Even if I don’t make it – just because my luck ran out, doesn’t mean I never had any luck to begin with. I visited the vampire because my human luck was out of gas. If you get this desperate, I recommend you look good, trust nobody, and remember about the opium.
I don’t have Magda’s spell-casting or summoning magic either…so I’m a disciple of Eva’s school of magic, the kind the rest of us all have. “The Magic of Fabulous” — coming soon!
If you can’t wait any longer to dive into this world, and you haven’t yet read about the adventures of Eva, Magda, and Gisele in LADY LAZARUS: read the first book in the series today!
Here are some buy links:
Order — IndieBound
Order — Amazon
Order — Barnes & Noble
Order — Books-a-Million
And I have another, FREE book, that gives the reader a window into the magical and historical background of the series — the gilded, dangerous cafe culture of Budapest in the 1930s:
Free at Smashwords
Free at Amazon
Let me tell you what — if you have read this far, thank you. I would like to send you both a reminder of when Fabulous is live, and also share with you a free, SECRET story set in the world of Lady Lazarus. I am writing this secret story as a thank you to all my readers.
So please fill out the box below and I will send you the reminder and the story when it is ready. Thanks again :)
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