Everyone please welcome Guest Author Regan Hastings!
Regan Hastings, Author of Visions of Magic
Regan Hastings is the dark alter ego of a USA TODAY bestselling author. She intends to maintain her disguise until the highly anticipated release of VISIONS OF MAGIC on February 1. Regan has been nominated for multiple RITA Awards from the Romance Writers of America. Visit www.reganhastings.com to read a free excerpt of VISIONS OF MAGIC and to enter the Who Is Regan Hastings? contest for a chance to win a Federal Bureau of Witchcraft fleece jacket.
The Painful Distinction between a Person and “People”
In the first book of my Awakening series, VISIONS OF MAGIC, Shea Jameson is on the run for her life. She lives in a modern-day world that burns witches at a steel stake on a gas-powered grid. Her aunt was the first to die, but there have been many more in the ten years since. Shea has just learned in the most horrific way possible that she is a witch. Like it or not, her powers are awakening.
But where can you run when Society is your enemy?
Writing VISIONS OF MAGIC gave me a chance to explore one of the dark truths of human nature: Individually, we can be generous and forgiving, understanding and kind. Collectively, we can be monstrous.
All too often, fear rules us. We accept innuendo as fact without bothering to investigate for ourselves.
What would you do if your best friend was accused of witchcraft, in a world where witches are put to death? Would you risk your own life to protect her? Would you risk your family’s lives? What if the accused wasn’t a friend, but the mother of an innocent child who turns to you for help? What would you do then? Shea faces that problem in VISIONS OF MAGIC. Helping the child will bring unwanted attention to Shea, but turning her back on the girl goes against everything Shea believes in.
I understand the fear that drives human behavior. We want to protect our loved ones, and we live in terror that there are some things beyond our control.
In VISIONS OF MAGIC, witches are real, and people are inundated on the 24-hour news stations with tales of their evil acts and near constant warnings about the latest threats. In this excerpt from Chapter 1 of VISIONS OF MAGIC, you’ll witness for yourself the terrifying awakening of Shea’s powers:
[The junkie] pulled a knife as if he sensed she was hesitating. “Give me the money now.”
Shea shook her head and when he reached for her again, she instinctively lifted both hands as if to push him off and away. But she never made contact with him. She didn’t need to. A surge of energy suddenly pulsed through her and shot from
her fingertips. As a whoosh of sound erupted, the man in front of her erupted into flames.
Shea stared up at him, horrified by what was happening. By what she’d done. His screams tore through the air as he tried to run from the fire. But it only fed the flames consuming him and as his shrieks rose higher and higher, Shea staggered to her feet, glanced down at her hands and shuddered.
That’s when she heard it.
Over the sounds of the dying man’s cries, voices roared together, getting louder and louder as she was surrounded. One word thundered out around her, hammering at her mind and soul, reducing her to a terror she hadn’t known in ten years.
She looked up into the faces of her students’ parents as they circled her. People she knew. People she liked. Now though, she hardly recognized them. Their features were twisted into masks of hatred and panic and their voices joined together to shout their accusation.
“Witch! Witch! Witch!”
They don’t understand that despite what happened, Shea is a good person. She didn’t intend to set the man on fire. He attacked, and her body reacted instinctively in self-defense.
In Shea’s world, intent doesn’t matter. The Magic Police and the Federal Bureau of Witchcraft don’t believe there is any such thing as a “good witch.” When witchcraft is suspected, the woman is imprisoned, and untold innocents have been caught up in Society’s fervor.
Shea has a secret weapon in her corner – her sexy Eternal, a warrior who has protected her through many lifetimes so that he can claim her as his mate when her powers awaken. Shea doesn’t want to be a witch, she doesn’t want to have an immortal mate. She just wants to be a normal woman and to live her life without fear.
Even witches don’t always get what they want.
Have you ever found yourself spreading rumors that you later discovered were false? Forwarded emails? Can you think of an example where Society behaved badly because of fear? Was that fear motivated by reality or innuendo? What are some other books in which Society was the antagonist?