It’s Magic!

Paranormal: Not in accordance with scientific laws, seemingly outside normal sensory channels

Magic: Any art that invokes supernatural powers; an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers

I like the Wordweb definitions above better than Webster’s mealy-mouthed ones. They clarify why it’s hard to describe what the characters in my various MAGIC books can do. In the original historical versions, I was dealing with a Georgian setting where even the word “science” is suspect since it could refer to mathematics or phrenology. Magic was the only word I could use to describe heroines with mysterious gifts that are scientifically possible if you stretch your imagination just a little—you do realize dogs are capable of smelling cancer, don’t you? That’s a bit magical and certainly seems outside normal sensory channels, but it’s been scientifically proven. And it’s been proven that some people have more empathic receptors than others, making them more sensitive to emotion—shades of Star Trek’s Deanna but true.

So when I placed the descendants of my mysterious Georgian Malcolm characters in contemporary California, I had to ground them in today’s science and culture. The only sirens we’re really aware of these days are the ones on emergency vehicles and burglar alarms. Ulysses’ Odyssey isn’t studied much in schools these days, so the magic of song doesn’t occur to us. But everyone is aware of the miraculous voices of child prodigies like Charlotte Church and Aria Tesolin if only from YouTube videos. Wouldn’t uncanny voices like that be called a siren call in days of yore?

Of course, Church and Tesolin probably haven’t killed anyone with their voices, but the heroine of my latest Magic book, THE LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC, could very possibly do so. Whether that’s a magical or paranormal ability, I’m unwilling to conjecture. And so are Pippa and Oz, the protagonists of this star-crossed romance, and I’m saying that with tongue in cheek since Pippa was a former child singing sensation and Oz—as in Dylan Ives Oswin and Wizard of—is a Hollywood producer. Pippa has no intention of returning to the emotional turmoil of her teenage career, but Oz has a clue that she might lead him to his kidnapped son. Since he has a reputation for never taking no for an answer, they hit head on. That’s when the magic erupts–and love is just as magical and beyond the normal as a siren call.

If you enjoy romance with a hint of the paranormal, I hope you’ll take a look at the excerpt on my website at and sample what I do in my spare time when I’m not putting up backlist books on BVC!

And for those who prefer the DRM-free e-books here at BVC, I have a new one coming out in January, SMALL TOWN GIRL, a contemporary romance without the supernatural but with lots of humor and emotional roller coaster rides.

Which leads me to ask—how many of you enjoy a dabble of the paranormal or supernatural with your romance? And if not, why not?




It’s Magic! — 5 Comments

  1. Eh-h-h. I like what I call enchantment more than fine – mental seduction by words and graces, of which Church’s voice is one example and any book worth reading another. I don’t see how romantic love can exist without it. When it crosses over into glamour – directly reaching out into someone’s head, wilfully or otherwise, to expedite infatuation – it comes over creepy and horrible. As if, let us say, a siren’s voice were not an instrument of art, but a tasp, a remote device that could bypass the mind to induce ecstasy as impersonally and reliably as an electrode to the pleasure-centre.

    Where it gets really interesting is in the borderlands, where one imagines art so prepotent that it can bedazzle all humans with small regard to which particular humans they are, or telempathy as subtle and negotiated as a flirtatious duel of wit.

    Any hint of glamoury tends to make my skin crawl, and not in a good way, so a romance that plays along that edge had better have plenty of bread and cheese and working-day affection to ballast it, and convince me that Our Heroes are sharing not a syringe but a loving-cup.

  2. LOL, Gray! Enchantment is an excellent word, but to me it means a willfully cast magic spell, which yes, I suppose Pippa is capable of if we believe in magic. But if I’m understanding your definition of “glamoury,” that sounds as if it’s magic cast for evil purposes, and that’s certainly not at play here. I’ll leave that to vampires and faeries. Real bread and cheese is necessary to ground the magical in reality, although this book being set in California, wine is much more likely involved!

    And the syringe has me laughing as I start my day…

  3. Small Town Girl renewed my interest in straight romance, no paranormal to stave off boredom needed. Even though I was doing a nit picking read looking for typos and such I found I wanted to go back and just read it. The characters and their problems drew me in like quicksand.

    I believe in psychic phenomena so writing a paranormal isn’t so paranormal for me. I have a cat that actually herds me into the kitchen when my blood sugar drops below a certain level. I’ve seen a ghost, and I’ve heard a friend 200 miles away call my name the moment she died.

    So what so para about paranormal romances?

  4. Thank you, and folks, I didn’t have to pay her a cent. “G” I, too, have experienced what others might call ESP and just figure it’s the universe speaking to us. (and look up the butterfly people seen after the horrific Joplin tornado…)

    What’s para about MY paranormal romances is exactly the question, because I do believe in extra senses. Most paranormal gets into kinkier things like vampires and other beings, I believe.

    But LURE is a perfectly normal couple faced with perfectly normal problems except that Pippa has a voice that can lure men to destruction or lure children out of hiding or comfort the forlorn. Not para at all as far as I’m concerned. But Pippa believes she killed her teenage husband with it, and she has reason to believe that.