Thomas-Jacob Publishing and Malcolm R. Campbell announce the 9/3/20 release of Fate’s Arrows in paperback and e-book. The hardcover edition will be available soon, The novel is the fourth in the Florida Folk Magic Series.
The novel is also available at Barnes and Noble (web site), Apple, and Kobo, and will be available soon to bookstores via their Ingram Catalog.
Fate’s Arrows Description
In 1954, the small Florida Panhandle town of Torreya had more Klansmen per acre than fire ants. Sparrow, a bag lady; Pollyanna, an auditor; and Jack, the owner of Slade’s Diner, step on fire ants and Klansmen whenever they can while an unknown archer fires fate-changing arrows at the Klan’s leadership. They are not who they appear to be, and while they take risks, they must be discrete lest they end up in the Klan’s gunsights.
When Julia and Eldon, a married couple from Harlem, New York, run afoul of the Klan because of Eldon’s pro-union stance at the sawmill, they find themselves down at the ancient hanging tree where two policemen, hiding their identity beneath white robes and hoods, are the ones holding the noose.
Meanwhile, Sparrow seems to have disappeared. When the ne’er-do-well Shelton brothers beat up the Klavern’s exalted cyclops because they think he harmed Sparrow, they, too, find themselves the focus of a KKK manhunt.
Bolstered by support from a black cat and an older-than-dirt conjure woman, Pollyanna persists in her fight against the Klan, determined to restore law and order to a town overwhelmed by corruption.
When I began writing Conjure Woman’s Cat, I didn’t know how it would end, much less that it would lead to the sequel Eulalie and Washerwoman. When I started writing the sequel, I didn’t know how it would end, much less that it would lead to a third book named Lena which–of course–I had no clue what the ending was.
I did know one thing for sure: Eulalie, the conjure woman, and Lena, her cat, weren’t going to get killed no matter what else happened.
So, each time I told people I had started a new book in the series, I began getting comments like, “You better not hurt that kitty,” “Promise me I don’t need to look at the ending first to make sure nobody (you know who I mean) is dead,” and “If anything happens to that kitty, don’t think you can fix it with a bunch of that rainbow bridge stuff and that will make everything okay.”
It was fun hearing that a lot of people had connected with the main characters and were concerned about their welfare. After all, things were always touch-and-go in these books, what with bad cops and noxious KKK thugs. One person said she really liked the Pollyanna character who appeared in Lena and was happy to see she made it to the end of the book without dying.
Then she added, I want to see a Pollyanna book and she better be alive when I get to the last page. Okay, okay, I’m writing the Pollyanna book right now and she doesn’t get killed. (I hope you’re happy, Linda, knowing you can read the book without worrying about the main character.)
Previously, while I was writing my contemporary fantasy Sarabande, the sequel to The Sun Singer, people started saying “You better not kill off that black horse.” (I didn’t.) You see the pattern here, right? People don’t trust me, assume I’m hard-hearted and cold enough to kill off magical critters. My mama didn’t raise me that way.
I’m tempted to write a novel where all the main characters die on the first page of the book. That will prove I’m not some wimpy author who’s controlled by his readers and doesn’t have any artistic integrity. Perhaps it will begin, “Everybody is dead.” Then, the next chapter will be called SIX MONTHS EARLIER and we’ll see how it happened.
Naah, I don’t think I’ll do that. But I might. I might drink some bad whisky and go over to the dark side at any moment.
TaleFlick holds contests in which site visitors can vote for the novel they think a producer/director ought to consider for a feature film.
One vote per person. Nothing to buy. Just find my book on the list and click on the vote button.
The audio edition of this book was well-received in an AudioFile Magazine review. Maybe movie reviewers will like it to. (Of course, I’m a bit biased.)
There’s supposed to be a chevron at the bottom of the entry to display more info. Since it’s randomly missing, here’s the publisher’s description from Amazon:
Lena, a shamanistic cat, and her conjure woman Eulalie live in a small town near the Apalachicola River in Florida’s lightly populated Liberty County, where longleaf pines own the world. In Eulalie’s time, women of color look after white children in the homes of white families and are respected, even loved, but distrusted and kept separated as a group. A palpable gloss, sweeter than the state’s prized tupelo honey, holds their worlds firmly apart. When that gloss fails, the Klan restores its own brand of order.
When some white boys rape and murder a black girl named Mattie near the sawmill, the police have no suspects and don’t intend to find any. Eulalie, who sees conjure as a way of helping the good Lord work His will, intends to set things right by “laying tricks.”
But Eulalie has secrets of her own, and it’s hard not to look back on her own life and ponder how the decisions she made while drinking and singing at the local juke were, perhaps, the beginning of Mattie’s ending.
Voting is open through Friday, February 14th. Tell your friends. Tell people you don’t know on the streets and juke joints. Scribble thhe URL on the bottom of all the Valentine’s Day cards you’re sending.
Now, one should always, always, always be hesitant on working with graveyard dirt. Whether you’re petitioning Grandmaw or the sheriff who passed two years ago, you gotta be on your toes about this work. When you go to buy the dirt you need to feel the place. Cause you ain’t never alone in the graveyard. Never. – Graveyard Dirt in Appalachian Hoodoo
In conjure, graveyard dirt is used for causing enemies to get sick, luck in gambling, protection, and making goofer dust. It’s harder to get graveyard dirt these days because there are fewer and fewer family graveyards. Needless to say, you can’t (or shouldn’t) wander into a city or a private cemetery with a trowel and throw a few scoops of dirt of a bucket. And, during the sad time when you’re attending a burial ceremony, people will look askance if you put a handful of the turned soil into your pocket rather than throwing it on your beloved’s coffin.
You can buy graveyard dirt, but it might be fake. It might be herbs masquerading as dirt or it might be a scoop of dirt out of somebody’s backyard. Even if the stuff you can buy online is real, you don’t know where it came from. What you don’t want, is dirt collected from the grave of a criminal, a crazy person, or dirt that wasn’t paid for by leaving behind whiskey or coins. If you collect the graveyard dirt from the grave of an ancestor you know, the point is: you know them, what they’re like, and how they might help with a charm or spell.
According to Conjure Work (whose product is shown in the photo), “It’s important to note that the grave was not disrespected or in any way desecrated. The gravesite didn’t actually look any different after removing the dirt than it did before. The desecration of a grave is completely unacceptable and would have the opposite effect of the work that is intended by a respectful “barter” with the Spirit of the person.”
If somebody died in a bad way, the dirt from their grave can be mixed with sulphur, pins, needles, and nails in a bottle and buried in a place where your enemy walks.
If you have a powerful ancestor, dirt from their grave can be mixed with red pepper and salt and sprinkled around your front door to protect the household.
If you can get ahold of dirt from the grave of somebody who loved you, mix it with vandal root (powdered) and sprinkle or toss if (without getting caught) on the person you love and ask the spirits to help them see you as a potential lover.
I found countless uses while doing the research for the three novels in my Florida Folk Magic series. I don’t provide specific recipes because I don’t want people using my novels, which are fiction (of course) as a source for spells.
Thomas-Jacob Publishing has just released the hardcover editions of Eulalie and Washerwoman and Lena. The first book in the Florida Folk Magic Series, Conjure Woman’s Cat, was released in hardcover last month. The books are also available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook editions. All e-book editions are also available together in one e-book volume.
Thomas-Jacob Publishing has released a hardcover edition of Conjure Woman’s Cat by Malcolm R. Campbell. Also available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook, the story set in the Florida Panhandle in 1954 follows the efforts of a conjure woman to find justice after her granddaughter is assaulted in a small town. The novel’s sequels, Eulalie and Washerwoman and Lena will also be released in hardcover in the coming months.
Copies are already available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and can be obtained by your nearest indie bookstore via their Ingram catalogue.
“I dearly loved Eulalie and Willie, I could easily have been friends with them both. The more I read the name Eulalie the more I adored it. It has a beautiful rhythm and made me smile every time I read it. Eulalie was a wise woman and deserved the respect she was given. Kudos to Malcolm R. Campbell for a story well told.” from Big Al’s Books and Pals
“For me to truly love a book, it needs the following: great plot with something to get fired up about, intelligent, engaging storytelling, well-defined characters, at least one of whom makes me wish I could conjure them into my life and my living room, and a deeply satisfying conclusion. Campbell’s work delivers beautifully on all of the above.
“The book is narrated by Lena, cat and spirit companion to Eulalie, Conjure Woman and human being extraordinaire. Eulalie (don’t you just love that name?) has an innate goodness that can’t be denied, but she’s no saint. She’s devout and dedicated to doing God’s work, and has a willingness to confront what others refuse to acknowledge. Her determination to set straight the injustices in her world, combined with her resilience and wisdom, made this reader fall in love with her.” – WordNerd on Amazon
“This was a delightful read, mostly because of the unique narrator … Eulalie’s cat Lena. I was taken into the heart of a world so foreign to my own, and ended up grateful for the glimpse. Poetic justice for inexcusable cruelties abounds but only because of Eulalie’s faith and intervention.
“More than simply characters in a fictional piece, I soon believed in their culture and social conventions. Most of us don’t believe in hoodoo and conjuring, but there was a time when those beliefs were much stronger. The novella took me back to that period. This book is magic.” L. Record on Amazon
Enjoy the book!
Thomas-Jacob is a traditional publisher in Florida.
Master of the Woods (Asperula ordorata) is a strongly scented, 12-20-inch long herbaceous perennial typically referred to as woodruff, sweet woodruff, and wild baby’s breath that is often used as a ground cover. Its four-petal white blooms appear between April and May. It has been used in perfumes, teas, and potpourris.
According to Sunlight Gardens, the semi-evergreen is easy to grow in shady, moderately moist areas, is resistant to deer and is “great with Bellwort, Gingers, Lenten Rose, and acid-loving shrubs.”
According to Web MD, “sweet woodruff contains ingredients that can help decrease swelling (inflammation) and kill germs.” Other uses include circulation problems, restlessness, nerve pain, urinary disorders, and blood purification. Botanical.com notes that the plant has been used as a medicine since the middle ages; “The fresh leaves, bruised and applied to cuts and wounds, were said to have a healing effect, and formerly a strong decoction of the fresh herb was used as a cordial and stomachic. It is also said to be useful for removing biliary obstructions of the liver.” (Medical information is presented here more or less for historical or traditional background without warranty of any kind.)
According to catherine yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic–the primary source I used when writing my conjure novels–Master of the Woods is a “commanding and ruling herb.” This implies that uses, in or out of mojo bags, will include strength, protection, control over enemies, personal energy, and even getting a job.
Mama Starr uses master of the woods, Jezebel root, calamus, loveage, and lavender boiled and steeped in water and placed in a spray bottle while ironing clothes along with a prayer and a petition that your target (a spouse, for example) will behave (whatever that might mean to you). You can also gain the upper hand over an opponent by sprinkling master of the woods in an area where that person will walk.
Auntyflo says that “the herb has very strong power in commanding, most people carry it along for to get protection from various harms, additionally, it helps the owner get out of any trouble they may encounter in their day to day activities. When combined with gravel root, it helps the job seeker get that job they have always desired. On the other hand, sprinkling the herb over the masters allows you commanding powers over them when they cross it.”
Like many herbs, master of the woods can be used alone or in combination oils, water, minerals, and other herbs to provide a root doctor or hoodoo practioner with mastery over situations as well as opposing forces, including enemies and situations.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Fate’s Arrows,” the fourth novel in the Florida Folk Magic Series about conjure, crime, and the Klan in the 1950s Florida Panhandle.
Holly Palance has done a wonderful job narrating this final novel in the Florida Folk Magic series. For those of you who like listening to a story, Holly will draw you into this one and you just might find yourself listening to the book in one sitting.
When Police Chief Alton Gravely and Officer Carothers escalate the feud between “Torreya’s finest” and conjure woman Eulalie Jenkins by running her off the road into a North Florida swamp, the borrowed pickup truck is salvaged, but Eulalie is missing and presumed dead. Her cat, Lena, survives. Lena could provide an accurate account of the crime, but the county sheriff is unlikely to interview a pet. Lena doesn’t think Eulalie is dead, but the conjure woman’s family and friends don’t believe her.
Eulalie’s daughter, Adelaide, wants to stir things up, and the church deacon wants everyone to stay out of sight. There’s talk of an eyewitness, but either Adelaide made that up to worry the police or the witness is too scared to come forward.
When the feared black robes of the Klan attack the first-responder who believes the wreck might have been staged, Lena is the only one who can help him try to fight them off. After that, all hope seems lost, because if Eulalie is alive and finds her way back to Torreya, there are plenty of people waiting to kill her and make sure she stays dead.
If you’re a cook, you’ve probably used cloves with baked beans, fish, chicken, squash, and a variety of desserts including gingerbread and chocolate cake. Monica Bhide, in the Seattle Times, wrote that “As I began to bake, I would do combinations of cinnamon and cloves for more flavor. I also like to pickle olives, and a small bunch of cloves in the pickling juice adds a wonderful earthy dimension of flavor. When I began barbecuing, I found that cloves added to barbecue rubs or sauces added a very nice depth of flavor.”
They’re dried flower buds, bitter when raw, that can be used ground or whole in cooking, often paired with cinnamon and cardamom. They’re very pungent and aromatic.
Medicinally, cloves have been used to treat stress, inflammations including arthritis, toothaches, and carminative. Healthline notes they contain fiber, manganese, calcium and vitamin E and are high in antioxidants.
My primary source is Hoodoo Herb and Root magic by catherine yronwode. She says that you’ll find cloves (Caryophyllus aromaticus) in friendship, money, and prosperity spells. Plus, if you press hold cloves into a red candle and burn it, you can stop your enemies from slandering you or gossiping. Crapshooters carry red mojo bags with retired dice, five-finger grass, cinnamon, Irish moss, cloves, thyme, and Hoyt’s cologne.
You can make friendship bags, according to Herbmagic.com by placing seven cloves in small bags and wearing them around your neck. For protection/cleaning, add them to a floor wash or a cleansing bath.
This post makes no guarantees about the medical or conjure uses of cloves, but simply presents them as traditional information for those interested in hoodoo.
This herb is also called “Cassie Flower” and “Gum Arabic” among other names. In her wonderful Hoodoo and Root Magic book, catherine yronwode warns against confusing Acacia with Cassia Sienna, Cassia Bark, or Quassia (bitter root). They are not the same. Acacia’s classification is Leguminosae (Mimosacaceae).
In her book, yronwode mentions the fact that today’s conjure workers tend to be less aware of the herbs they’re using because they aren’t growing them or finding them in the forest. This opens them up to fraud, especially from merchants who substitute herb XYZ and call it ABC. If you don’t know what the plant looks like in the wild, this is a danger.
According to Web MD, As a medicine, acacia is taken by mouth for high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and weight loss. It is also used to remove toxins from the body and as a prebiotic to promote “good” bacteria in the intestine.
Acacia is applied to the skin inside the mouth for plaque and gum inflammation (gingivitis). It is also applied to the skin to decrease skin inflammation (redness).
This plant symbolizes immortality and, as such, can be used to communicate with the dead. It can be mixed with holy water or burnt as an incense. You can also use it as an aid to psychic dreams and visions.. According to Occult1.com, Acacia can be “used as a Holy Oil for candles and your Altar. You will find this oil mentioned in the bible Exodus chapter 25. This is a very holy oil, used to anoint items that are used on the altar, used in the bath for Jinx Removing.rituals or at a time of prayer. You may also anoint your body at times of worship. • Due to the holy influences, Acacia is also known to be a protection oil, and one used for blessings, it should be worn on your wrists, palms and heart.”
Can you use it to summon the dead? Perhaps. Suppliers that mention this sell the plant as a curio only to avoid legal trouble. As a writer rather than a rootworker, I can’t really say what works and what doesn’t. I simply enjoy the research in support of the characters in my novels.