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Out Now: Legacy (Crystal 9)

legacyLegacy is out people 🙂 🙂 🙂 Finally!!!

Get your copy at:

Amazon UKAmazon USiTunes & Smashwords

I’m super excited. I can’t wait for you to read it and find out how it all ends. It’s been a long adventure, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has stuck with the Crystal series for all nine books. You’re amazing.

The Crystal series is like my manifesto; my statement of faith about how God is greater than anyone else, how He’s more powerful than the enemy, and how Christians need to be bolder about what they believe. I often struggle with boldness myself, so writing the series really made me look inward and do a lot of soul-searching. Jesus came that we may have abundant life, but we often give in to fear and intimidation rather than walking in the authority He has given us. We have awesome power and authority, and I hope Legacy reinforces that for you 🙂

Here’s the back cover blurb:

A powerful wizard is destroying America, one city at a time, and it’s up to Crystal and her friends to stop her.
It’s been a year since Luke and the SOT fell, but the battle is far from over. There are deadlier, more ruthless, practitioners out there. Practitioners who want to see the Enlightenment Agenda implemented.

Crystal has faced many challenges, but now she faces the greatest personal test yet. How far will she go to protect the people she loves?
How far she will go to survive?

Judgment Day has arrived.
Juda has spent the past year in jail, awaiting trial for crimes Luke made him commit. Crystal and her family may have shown him mercy, but it is certain that a court of law will give him only justice. With a new practitioner on the loose, Juda is released to fight one more mission with the team. But the success of the mission will mean the end of his freedom.

How will he cope when justice is served?

Legacy is the intensely gripping conclusion to the Crystal series.

The links to Legacy again:

Amazon UKAmazon US, iTunesSmashwords

***

P.S.  Have you read Jailbreak (Crystal 8.5)? In Jailbreak, Crystal and Juda have an adventure that sets Legacy up nicely so you won’t want to miss it. Get Jailbreak at Amazon USAmazon UKiTunesKoboSmashwords.

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The Crystal Series: Writing about Jesus, God and Angels

Jesus

I’ve just hit publish on Legacy (Crystal 9), which is very exciting. It’ll be out by tomorrow. I’m feeling particularly happy and grateful 🙂 You guys have been so amazing. I really didn’t expect the support that the Crystal series has received. This is my final post for the Legacy launch, and what better way to finish than with a discussion about our great and awesome God?

When I first started the Crystal series, I didn’t know that Jesus, God and angels were going to be in it. Neither did I know that God was going to work in me personally in so many awesome ways. I’d like to take you behind the scenes, so step into my office for a moment and let’s talk. Okay, so I don’t actually have an office as of the time I’m writing this. I write in my living room. My husband kindly bought a desk and chair and set it in the second half of the room (it’s a pretty big living room). Please ignore all the toys on the floor, and sorry about how hot the room is. My mum says I roast myself. My husband says I barbecue myself. I just like to be nice and warm. (I don’t know why the saying goes ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. It should be ‘the best thing since central heating’ as heating is my favourite invention; apart from laptops, internet and Indie publishing—but I digress).

So, take a seat in my chair. Don’t worry I’ll just sit on my daughter’s toy car 🙂 Cup of tea? Coffee? Comfortable? Okay, so…

Jesus in Powerful Enemies

I was actually a little reluctant to have Jesus as an on-screen character in Powerful Enemies. I felt kind’a like it might be wrong of me to put Him in a book alongside fictional characters. Another issue I had was ‘what if I don’t do Him justice?’ What if I write Him into a scene but it doesn’t fill readers with any awe? I didn’t want to just toss Him in there just to have Him in the mix, I wanted to get a reaction. I wanted my Jesus scene to be like an artist’s impression, with me as the artist giving you my take on Him. I wanted my interpretation of Him to fill people with awe, illustrate His love and goodness and majesty, and make people love Him more. Obviously, I got over these issues and just went for it. Believe me, my heart was in my mouth as I wrote that scene. The reason I thought it was necessary was, the book is called Powerful Enemies, and every single one of us has powerful enemies (the devil and all his agents) but we have no reason to be afraid because we have a Powerful Friend. Powerful Enemies could have been called Powerful Friend to be honest, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic, ha ha.

Jesus is an expression of God’s love (God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus). So, I wanted the whole scene to illustrate Jesus’ love. That’s why I had Him appear to Luke, who is pretty much the most evil person in the book. Yet, he is the one Jesus appears to. Not Crystal, not Pastor Dan, not any of the Christians. It’s easy to love your friends, but Jesus said ‘love your enemies’ so I wanted to show Him loving an enemy. I wanted to show Him seeking a lost soul. By the way, we were all His enemies when He died for us. And He knew that despite Him dying for us, many of us would still reject Him and never become His friends. But He died in our place anyway. Isn’t He awesome?

God in Legacy

In Legacy, God the Father is an on-screen character. That was particularly awesome to write. It was so different to writing about Jesus, because I wrote about Jesus from Luke’s POV. Not from Jesus’ own POV. In Legacy I write from God’s own POV. I had to resist the urge to use ‘thou’ and ‘thy’. It was so cool. When my friend read it, she texted me to say how moved she was at reading that scene. She’s one of my closest friends so I take her opinion seriously and I know she would never just try to flatter me. So mission accomplished. At least I know it had the desired impact on one person :-). I used Isaiah 6 as my guide for that scene. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also present. I was also careful about using ‘I’ preferring ‘we’ and ‘us’ because that was how God spoke in the Creation account and at the Tower of Babel, although there are many other instances in the Bible where He uses ‘I.’

Angel’s POV in Legacy

I was a little worried about writing about angels in Powerful Enemies, but not as worried as I was about writing about Jesus. By Legacy I was totally cool with it. In Legacy, I write from an Angel’s POV, which was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I read about Daniel’s encounters with angels and tried to base things from that angle. It was fun.

***

Friends, if you want to go deeper with God I totally recommend writing to you as a means to that end 🙂 (not that there’s ever an end since God is infinite). Writing is cathartic, it encourages introspection, and it makes you dig deep into your own beliefs. I have learned so much through writing the Crystal series. God has taught me a lot about Himself, and He’s challenged me about being real. Not just going to church on Sundays and spouting clichés to my Christian friends. What’s the point of having the form but not the power, being religious but not righteous, or saying I’m a Christian but taking God for granted? I really don’t want to be like that.

I don’t like watching the news because the horrific things going on in this world are disturbing and so depressing. But the news is just a snippet of all the horrors and atrocities. However, God doesn’t get a snippet. He sees it all. Remember Genesis 6 where it says God looked down on the earth and was grieved? Well I would like Him to be happy when He sees me. I want to be like Noah. Faithful, living right, putting a smile on God’s face. Not being a hypocrite or just drifting through life or, God forbid, being part of the problem. Writing the Crystal series has made me think about my attitude to God. Do I love Him no matter what? Do I stand up for Him and refuse to compromise? Is my life a witness? Do I influence others for Him? It’s made me think about what God thinks of me. Is He happy when He looks at me? Am I living out His love?

The Crystal series also made me put the devil in his place, so to speak. I made his human followers very powerful in the Crystal series. Maybe more powerful than they are in real life. But that was because I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter how powerful the devil and his people are. Even the ‘smallest’ of Christians has authority over them, because God is greater.

So, thank you for your support with the Crystal series. I often pray for those who read it to experience God. I definitely experienced God while writing it. I’m much better at worshipping Him now than I used to be. And I’m more conscious of His presence around me (I don’t know if Christians really do have fire around them but I used fire as God’s stamp upon His people in the Crystal series–who knows, maybe we do). I hope you are too.

Whatever am I going to write next???

God bless 🙂

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An Interview with Dan Black (Crystal Series)

The parking lot outside the church is packed, as though it’s Sunday morning. It’s eleven a.m. on a Tuesday. Inside, the main hall is jam packed with scores of people. I peep over at the youth hall. That too is filled—with young people. I enter the main hall. People are scattered all over the hall, some sitting, some kneeling, some standing, a few on the floor. People are in clusters of four or five, praying together. There are people moving around, praying with people.

A lady approaches me as I stand just inside the doorway, watching: Hi, how can we help you?

Dayo Benson: What’s going on in here?

Lady: We’re praying with people who want to become Christians.

Dayo Benson: There are so many people in here.

Lady: Yes. Are you here seeking prayer?

She gives me an assessing look

Lady: A good number of the people seeking prayer are practitioners who desire to leave the occult.

Dayo Benson: Wow!

Lady: Are you by any chance a practitioner?

Dayo Benson: No, no. I’m here to interview Pastor Dan.

Lady: Oh?

Dayo Benson: Could you show me to his office?

Lady: He’s in here.

She points towards a tall, dark-haired man in a black t-shirt and faded jeans. He’s praying with two men. One has tattoos covering both arms and his neck. The other has dreadlocks down to his waist and piercings pretty much everywhere.

I sit down a little distance away waiting for them to finish. Around me, the sound of prayer and praise fills the air. I try not to stare as people break down in tears every couple of seconds, and others lift their hands in joy. A few minutes later, Dan leaves the two men praying together and looks like he’s about to move on to a group of women. I jump to my feet.

Dayo Benson: Pastor Dan.

He looks my way and shoots me a grin: Hi. You want to be prayed with?

Dayo Benson: No, I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.

Dan’s easy grin is still in place: That’s fine. You know my name, but I don’t know yours…

Dayo Benson: I’m Dayo. I can’t believe how many people are in here on a Tuesday morning.

Dan: Yeah. This has been happening for the past year. It’s pretty amazing. Are you a Christian?

Dayo Benson: I am. I’ve heard about the revival going on here so I’ve come to witness it for myself.

Dan smiles: Since all that happened last year with Luke, and with God moving to defend us, our nation has seen an amazing revival. Thousands of people have become Christians. Scores of practitioners are exiting the occult. They’re all contacting our church wanting to speak to Crystal or someone on her team, wanting help and advice.

Dayo Benson: That’s incredible. Do you allow them to speak to Crystal?

Dan: Of course not. We try to direct them to a church in their local area, but many still come here daily seeking help, deliverance from the occult, or just wanting to know more about God. We’ve had people come here from all over the country.

Dayo Benson: So, do you just pray with them?

Dan: We hold exit counseling, three sessions a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. We also hold prayer meetings, warfare sessions, and intercession. There are Bible study classes. Some of these people are completely ignorant of the teachings of the Bible, some have never even heard of the Ten Commandments, or any of the things that we as Christians consider to be common knowledge. Most practitioners are familiar with the Bible but interpret it almost backwards. It takes a lot to change the way they interpret it.

Dan waves to a group of men who enter the hall just then: Some people come in every day for a few hours. We just keep our doors open for whoever wants help.

Dayo Benson: How on earth are you able to attend to them all?

Dan: Our full time ministry team are on hand nine to five, and we have volunteers who come in the evening.

Dayo Benson: I’m absolutely fascinated.

Dan grins: Let me show you what’s going on in the back office.

I follow him out of the hall and down a corridor. He stops at a door and peers in through a window. I peer in too. There are about a dozen people on phones, like a call center.

Dan: They’re answering all the phone calls we’re getting, and praying with people over the phone. We have an anonymous counseling line for practitioners who want to leave the occult but are afraid.

He steps away and looks through the window of another door. I look in too. There are two women and a man tapping away at computers.

Dayo Benson: What are they doing?

Dan: Responding to emails. We’re getting a lot of emails from practitioners and other people who want more information about God. I’ve also been recording video tutorials, Bible teaching and podcasts so that people don’t have to come here. They can get help without leaving the comfort of their own home.

Dayo Benson: That’s awesome.

Dan: It is. It’s great to see what God is doing. I feel so honored to be a part of it.

The door at the end of the hallway opens and a man pops his head around the door. He looks at Dan: Dan! We need you.

I take a step back: You’re obviously very busy here, so I’ll release you. It’s been a pleasure talking to you and I’d like to say that you are such an inspiration. Keep up the good work.

Dan holds out a hand: Thanks. Nice to meet you.

I shake it: You too.

***

I was going to interview Trixie next, but I think I’ll delay it until after Legacy is out. Less than 3 days to go now…

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The Craft of the Crystal Series (4/4)

Incense-And-Candles.jpgWell, this is the last post in my little blog series on the Craft of the Crystal Series. I hope you’ve found it interesting to read about. There were times when I was writing the Crystal series that I was covering myself in the blood of Jesus and doing spiritual warfare as I typed, lol. I’m definitely looking forward to writing some much lighter material.

The Centrality of death/ Sacrifices

The Bible talks about us, as Christians, being living sacrifices to God. And God doesn’t force us into being living sacrifices. He asks us to present/offer ourselves as living sacrifices unto Him (Romans 12:1). The devil on the other hand is all about death. Like Jesus said, his agenda is to steal, kill and destroy, while God died so that we can have abundant life (John 10:10). The SOT is big on death. In response for killing the practitioners receive more ‘energy’. Well, they think it’s more ‘energy.’ Really they’re just going into deeper bondage. They get more power from the enemy when they kill, but the more power they get, the more power he has over them, and the tighter his grip on them.

Incense

I did try to stay true to the different meanings that different kinds/flavours of incense have. However, I had to go on some dodgy websites to find out the uses (they were dodgy to me because they seemed so dark and occult). I think I mentioned Basil incense the most in the Crystal series. Basil incense is for ‘concentration, assertiveness, decisiveness, trust, integrity, enthusiasm, mental clarity, cheerfulness, confidence, courage to attract fidelity, love, good luck, sympathy, and wealth.’ I figured that covered all the bases of what practitioners would want. I know some Christians still burn incense today. I’m not exactly sure why. If you are an incense burning Christian I would like to know the reasoning behind it. Please leave a comment or email me.

Ascension

So, this one is a big deal in the Crystal series. Basically it’s a state of enlightenment that only the most dedicated and masterful of practitioners are eligible to attain, and is based loosely on ‘ascended masters’ (a real life thing that you can read about online if you want, but I’d say don’t bother). However, I also made it a point of no return. I was thinking along the lines of the unpardonable sin in the Bible. Some people say the unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but there are other schools of thought. However, in Powerful Enemies, Jesus says, “Your ascension is called a point of no return, not because I won’t receive you if you come to Me, but because you become too hardened to come to Me.”

There had to be a ‘point of no return’ in the craft in order to create more tension for Crystal’s and Juda’s relationship, because if he ascends there’s no hope they’ll ever be together. Ascension is used as a threat to Crystal and Juda’s relationship, and then as a threat to America (when Luke ascends and becomes almost indestructible).

So, that’s it for the Craft of the Crystal Series. I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my logic in creating the whole system, and I hope it answers some of your questions.

God bless.

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An Interview with Juda Lincoln

So, I managed to obtain permission to interview Juda in jail. (Thank you General Peters). I should have known everyone would want me to interview Juda next. Thanks for all the interview questions you guys sent me. I just hope Juda will answer them. He’s not the chattiest of people, you know? Hopefully he won’t just give me stony looks and refuse to speak…

As I am led down the echoing hallways towards Juda’s cell, I realise that I have never been inside a prison before. The prison officer unlocks a sturdy-looking iron door. On the other side is a wide open space. In the middle of that space is a large cage surrounded by bars. I figure it’s supposed to be a room. I can see someone lying on the bed inside the cage.

I look around as I am led over. There are no windows. And it’s dead quiet in here. As I approach, the figure on the bed sits up quickly. It’s Juda Lincoln. The hope on his face is unmistakable. So is the disappointment in his eyes when his gaze settles on me.

He lies back down.

Prison officer: Your interviewer has arrived Mr. Lincoln.

Juda doesn’t respond.

Dayo Benson: Am I allowed to go inside?

The prison officer looks at me like I’m nuts: You can interview him from here. He’s dangerous. And he’s a practitioner.

Juda: I’m a Christian.

His voice sounds like a growl.

The prison officer rolls his eyes. He leans against the wall and looks at me: Just hurry and interview him.

I clear my throat and offer my best smile.

Dayo Benson: Good morning, Juda. It’s great to meet you.

I move closer to the cage and reach a hand through the bars, inviting him to shake my hand.

Juda looks at my hand like it’s covered in mold: I thought it was Crystal.

Dayo Benson: Oh. Sorry to disappoint you.

I decide to withdraw my hand since he’s not shaking it.

Dayo Benson: So, how are you?

No answer.

Dayo Benson: How are you, Juda?

Still no answer.

Dayo Benson: Um, I would appreciate it if you would get up and come closer, and talk to me. I’m not like the other journalists who just want to tear you down. I’m doing this interview to try and make you more sympathetic to the general public. I would like to portray you in a positive light, so help me out here.

Juda: Why should I believe that?

Dayo Benson: Because I believe that God can change anybody, and that everybody deserves a second chance if they are truly reformed.

Juda sighs. He stands from the bed and walks over. It hits me just how big he is as he stops less than a foot away from me, only the bars between us. With the formidable frown on his face, and his narrowed gaze he’s a pretty intimidating sight.

Dayo Benson: So, I asked ‘how are you’?

Juda’s gaze narrows further: I’m fine.

Dayo Benson: Really?

Now his dark brows knit in a deep frown.

It’s then that I notice his eyes. He’s not wearing his contacts. Maybe he’s not allowed to wear them in jail.

Dayo Benson: Can we talk about your blue eyes. They’re unusual but pretty nice.

Juda glowers at me now.

Dayo Benson: Why are they such a sore topic?

Juda: Ask another question.

Dayo Benson: I spoke to Alejandro a few days ago. He made some comments…

Juda lifts one brow.

Dayo Benson: He said that the Bible talks about the joy of the Lord and the joy of salvation, but you don’t seem to be a very joyful person even now that you’re saved.

Juda just looks at me. It’s pretty unnerving being on the end of that quiet scrutiny.

Dayo Benson: Are you joyful?

Juda: Very.

I almost snort, but I catch myself in time.

Dayo Benson: You don’t look very joyful.

Juda: Joy is not laughter and smiling.

Dayo Benson: Then what is it?

Juda: An inner state of well-being

Dayo Benson: So, you have an inner state of well-being?

Juda: I do.

Dayo Benson: Right. Describe a typical day in jail.

Juda crosses his arms across his chest: There’s nothing much to say. I’m locked up most of the time. There are mealtimes. I get to make phonecalls.

Dayo Benson: You’re a loner so you must be fine with the loneliness.

Juda just looks at me.

Dayo Benson: Are you fine with the loneliness?

Juda: No. However, I busy myself with prayer and studying the Bible.

Dayo Benson: You mentioned mealtimes. Does the prison offer you your preferred restricted diet?

Juda: No.

Dayo Benson: Do you miss your fruit peel, enzyme yogurts and nuts and seeds.

Juda: Food is the last thing on my mind.

Dayo Benson: What is on your mind?

Juda’s expression darkens. I wait for him to answer, but after a few moments, it’s obvious that he’s not going to.

Dayo Benson: Is your trial on your mind?

Again, Juda says nothing.

Dayo Benson: What will you do if you are sentenced to capital punishment?

Juda: Die.

Dayo Benson: Well, obviously. I mean… Never mind. What will you do if you don’t get capital punishment?

Juda: I’ll thank God.

Dayo Benson: How will you celebrate?

Juda: I don’t know.

Dayo Benson: You have pleaded ‘not guilty.’ Do you not consider yourself guilty?

Juda’s eyes become flinty.

Dayo Benson. Okay, you don’t have to answer that question. Um, let’s see. What’s the best thing that ever happened to you?

Juda: Jesus and Crystal.

Dayo Benson: Explain.

Juda just stares at me. Once again, it’s pretty unnerving.

Dayo Benson: How sweet that you consider Crystal one of the best things that ever happened to you. You’re quite the Mr. Romantic aren’t you. I loved the way you proposed, and your crazy love for Crystal, and how sweet you are with her.

Juda is just looking at me. I decide to move on to the next question.

Dayo Benson: Uh, what’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?

Juda: Do you have all day?

I look at my watch.

Dayo Benson: No, but I have ten minutes.

Juda says nothing.

Dayo Benson: I’m waiting.

He still says nothing.

Dayo Benson: Are you always this chatty?

A muscle works in his jaw, suggesting that he’s clenching his teeth.

I decide that this interview is going nowhere. He’s obviously not in the mood to talk.

Dayo Benson: Well, it’s been a pleasure to meet you Juda. I have no idea why people find you intimidating. You’re so personable and friendly.

Juda grins.

I totally understand why Crystal is smitten with his smile. It’s surprisingly beautiful. His whole face transforms. However, I am taken aback.

Dayo Benson: Did I say something funny?

Juda: No.

Dayo Benson: Then why are you smiling?

Juda: Because you sound like you’re about to leave.

I’m semi-offended so I reach through the bars and slap his arm.

Juda: Don’t touch me.

Dayo Benson: Oops. Already did.

Juda’s smile is gone. He’s glowering again.

Dayo Benson: Can you teach me how to glower like that?

He says nothing.

Dayo Benson: Well, have a nice day. All the best with your trial.

Juda: Where is your accent from?

Dayo Benson: I’m British.

Juda: I’ve heard British accents before. You sound different.

Dayo Benson: I’m from up North. It’s a great accent isn’t it? Yours is nice too.

Juda holds out a hand.

I look at it, a little suspicious.

Dayo Benson: I thought you said I shouldn’t touch you.

His hand remains between us.

I slip my own hand through the bars and shake it.

Juda: You’re not scared of me.

Dayo Benson: Maybe because I created you.

Juda frowns: Are you trying to sound like Luke?

Dayo Benson: No, really. I created you.

Juda gives me an odd look: Right. Are they all as creepy as you in the UK?

Dayo Benson: Only if they’re writers.

A ghost of a smile passes over his features. It looks like he’s lightening up, so I look through my questions and decide to ask a few more.

Dayo Benson: You mentioned that you spend your time reading the Bible and praying. Now that you’re in jail do you regret your decision to become a Christian? If you were still a practitioner you could escape. In fact Abha tried to help you to escape. Surely you have considered escaping? You must have had low moments when you’ve felt so lonely and afraid that you wished you could get your practitioner power back and escape?

Juda eyes me: That was like fifty questions. Which do you want me to answer?

Dayo Benson: All of them.

Juda: I don’t regret becoming a Christian. Jesus’ yoke is easy, and His burden is light. The yoke of the devil is very heavy.

The words are spoken softly in that gravelly voice of his. They’re profound. So much food for thought there.

Dayo Benson: So, how are you dealing with…everything?

Juda shrugs: God is helping me.

Dayo Benson: Your fans want me to ask you about Crystal.

Juda’s jaw locks again.

Dayo Benson: Please answer. They’ve enjoyed watching your romance unfold.

A muscle works in his jaw.

Dayo Benson: When did you first realize that you were in love with Crystal? And how did your love grow?

Juda: I knew I was in love the day she yelled at me over President McCarthy’s assassination.

Dayo Benson: Really?

Silence.

Dayo Benson: Please elaborate.

Juda: Nobody yells at me. Well, not when I was a practitioner. But no matter what Crystal did to me, it didn’t cross my mind to hurt her.

Dayo Benson: So, that’s when you realized you were in love?

I’m not sure if it’s my eyes, but there seems to be a faint hint of colour in Juda’s cheeks.

Dayo Benson: So, how did your love grow?

Juda: I don’t know. What kind of question is that?

Dayo Benson: Your fans want to know.

Juda: The more I was around her, the more I wanted her around. I began to really fear the day that the team would go their separate ways because it would mean I would be without her. I’d never thought about getting married before, but all of a sudden I was thinking about it. But she was a Christian and I was an occult practitioner, so I didn’t know how it would work. I would have married her despite our different beliefs, but I knew she wouldn’t marry me.

Dayo Benson: Is that partly why you became a Christian?

Juda: What does 1 Corinthians 12:3 say?

Dayo Benson: Uh, you expect me to know off the top of my head?

Juda: Aren’t you a student of the Bible?

Dayo Benson: I am, but…hey, what’s that got to do with the question I asked you? And, I’m the one asking questions here.

Juda: It says that nobody can confess that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. And John 6:44 says that nobody can come to Jesus except the Father draws him. I am a Christian today because the Father drew me. The Holy Spirit reached out to me. If I did it just to be with Crystal, I would have given up by now. Jail isn’t easy. Neither will my trial be easy. I could even lose Crystal. I’m a Christian because there’s power in the Name and the blood of Jesus to save even the chief of sinners, which I am.

Dayo Benson: What are your plans for the future? If you don’t get capital punishment.

Juda: To be a Godly man. (Juda pauses, and then he grins and winks) And to make Crystal never regret marrying me.

Prison officer: Time up!

Dayo Benson: Just when things were getting interesting.

***

Hope you enjoyed the interview guys. I’m interviewing either Dan Black or Trixie next. Leave a comment or email me: dayo@dayobenson.com, to let me know which of the two of them you prefer, and what questions should I ask them xx

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The Craft of the Crystal Series (3/4)

man in hoodHi all,

Can I just say I still cannot believe I wrote the Crystal series? It’s so not ‘me.’ The romance is right up my alley, but all this ‘craft’ and scary stuff is just not how I usually roll. I don’t read or watch dark stuff because I hate it, even if it’s ‘Christian’. I’ve been told the Crystal series, and my book Bondage (Pure Passion Series) are similar to some of Frank Peretti’s books, so I’ve been wanting check him out and see. I downloaded ‘This Present Darkness’ months ago, but still can’t bring myself to read it. Yet I’ve been writing about practitioners and craft and angels and demons. Go figure.

Today we’re talking about:

  • Craft of Different Nations
  • SOT Hierarchy vs. other craft within the world of the Crystal series/Robe Colour
  • Energy release

Craft of Different Nations

I felt it was realistic to make different nations have different forms of craft. The way practitioners in the Crystal series practice their craft is influenced by their culture. This is the case with most things in life. For example, cultures with a ‘respect culture’ tend to be very respectful towards their politicians, pastors, or anyone in a position of power. While here in the UK, where we don’t really have a culture of respect for elders etc., we treat people in power in ways that people with a respect culture would find shocking. That’s just one example of how culture affects behaviors and practices. Juda learns his ‘superior’ craft in India, where he undergoes intense training and discipline. Shola Cardoso mixes and matches craft techniques from many different nations. This made Juda a tough opponent for anybody unfamiliar with his Indian craft, and it enabled Shola to sneak around behind Luke’s back.

SOT Hierarchy vs. other craft within the world of the Crystal series/Robe Colour

The SOT Hierarchy, from highest position to lowest, is:

Grandmaster

Principal

Spirit Ruler

Dark Lord

Obviously, Luke was a Grandmaster. Other crafts in the world of the Crystal series have different hierarchies. Because of the nature of the SOT craft, practitioners within the SOT graduate to a white robe faster than they would in other crafts. In most crafts of the Crystal series, people stay at the black robe for much longer and some never attain to the white robe. This is because the SOT craft is big on death and blood covenants. A white robe is a sign of being an elite practitioner of uncommon discipline and submission to the occult. I didn’t want the fact that there are so many white-robed practitioners in the SOT to make the white robe seem common, or easy to attain. Rather, I wanted it to portray the fact that those in the SOT are very high level practitioners and make incredible sacrifices for their power and position in society.  Crystal gets a white robe after making a blood covenant and taking an oath.

Regarding robe colour, I wanted a way to make the hierarchy of the craft visual. Rather than saying someone is a deeper/more powerful practitioner than another person, this fact is automatically conveyed to the reader by the color of the robe they wear. By the way I only mentioned black, white and red robes in the Crystal series, but there are other colors too (purple, gold etc.)—not in real life. Just in my fictional Crystal series world 🙂

Energy release

There is a lot of talk of conserving energy, and mental energy, and energy release, among practitioners of the Crystal series. This was a way of limiting the practitioners. Just because they have occult power doesn’t mean they are invincible. Just as the strongest man in the world gets tired if he exerts too much energy and may be overcome while tired, so also the practitioners get tired if they exert their craft muscles too much.

Anyway, I hope you’re having a good week. The closer we get to launch day, the more excited I get 🙂

God bless.

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An Interview with Alejandro Sanchez

Hi guys,

Thanks for tuning in. Legacy, the final installment of the Crystal series, will be out a week today :-). In Legacy things pick up a year after the events of Powerful Enemies and that huge climax where Crystal and the team scored a major victory (trying not to give away any spoilers here just in case some of you haven’t read Powerful Enemies). I recently caught up with some of the team members to see what they’ve been up to this past year.

I’m not sure why, but it seems the team still all live together in their safe house. I walk up the drive and ring the bell. The door swings open and a tall guy with brown-blond hair peers out at me. He’s in his boxers.

Guess who?

Alejandro of course. Who else?

Dayo Benson: Hello, Mr Sanchez. I’m here to see Crystal. I’ve booked to interview her at 6 PM.

Alejandro grins: Buenas tardes, señora. Didn’t you get my message?

Dayo Benson: What message?

Alejandro: She won’t be able to do the interview.

Dayo Benson: What do you mean she won’t be able to do the interview?

Alejandro: She’s not in a great place at the moment because Juda’s trial starts next Monday. She asked me to clear her schedule for the next two months. I left you a message explaining this.

Dayo Benson: When did you leave me a message?

Alejandro: This morning.

Dayo Benson: Well that’s just not good enough. I have flown all the way from the UK for this interview. Is there no way she can do it?

Alejandro: She really can’t. If I was just her manager I would try to force her. But I’m her friend as well. I care about her well-being. I think it’s best she doesn’t talk to the press at the moment. Thank you for your cooperation.

Dayo Benson: Uh, I’m not cooperating, Mr. Sanchez. I need to interview her ahead of Legacy. Fans of your team want to know what you’ve been up to over the past year.

Alejandro folds his chunky arms across the broad expanse of his chest. Well, you can interview anybody on the team apart from Crystal.

I’m so not impressed by this, but it’s obvious I’m not getting past Alejandro.

Dayo Benson: Who else is available?

Alejandro: Everybody. Including me.

Dayo Benson: Well, who else, apart from Crystal, would make an interesting interviewee?

Alejandro: Hmm. There’s Carsten, who’s just been modelling for the past year. To be honest he’s not a very interesting person. Zeke has been supporting Crystal on her world tour, performing during her breaks. That’s it really, he’s done nothing else of interest. Then there’s Max who’s done nothing all year but be miserable and geeky as usual. I suppose you could interview him if you want to return to the UK bored and depressed.

Dayo Benson: Not really. I guess that just leaves you?

Alejandro: Guess so. (He grins). Come on in.

A perfect gentleman, he steps aside for me to enter the house first. The safe house has a nice open plan. The hallway is wide. The stairs are to my right. Up ahead is the kitchen. The sound of a TV blaring comes from the open door to the den on my left.

Alejandro: We’ll talk in the backyard.

Dayo Benson: Okay.

Alejandro leads the way. I peep into the den as we pass it. Zeke and Carsten are inside, sprawled on the floor watching TV. They’re both in their boxers. Obviously, nobody who lives here bothers to wear clothes unless they’re going out. We pass a closed door.

Dayo Benson: Is that Max’s lab?

Alejandro: Yup. He’s in there working on something he told me all about yesterday, but it was so boring I remember nothing of the conversation.

(We enter the kitchen which smells heavenly).

Dayo Benson: Are you baking?

Alejandro: Yeah. Cookies. They’re ready. Do you want some?

Dayo Benson: Yes, please.

Alejandro: Okay, you go on out to the back, while I get us cookies and drinks.

He nods at the door in the kitchen that leads to the backyard. I open it and step out. The weather is warm today. Much nicer than the grey skies I left in the UK last night (:-)). I head over to the patio furniture, and lower myself onto a low seat.

A moment later Alejandro emerges from the kitchen holding a plate of freshly baked cookies and two tall glasses of lemonade. He sets them on the table.

Alejandro: You’re lucky Juda isn’t around, otherwise I’d be giving you something super weird to snack on, like fruit peel.

Dayo Benson: Oh, I’d much rather have cookies and lemonade.

I help myself to a cookie as I take out my interview questions. They were designed for Crystal, but I can tweak some of them as I go.

Alejandro settles down in the seat opposite me, and kicks his feet up onto the low table between us. He observes me through narrowed eyes: So you’re from the UK, huh?

Dayo Benson: Yes.

Alejandro: How long have you been a journalist?

Dayo Benson: I’m not a journalist.

Alejandro: Oh. What are you?

Dayo Benson: Excuse me, I’m the one doing the interviewing.

Alejandro grins: Muy bien.

Dayo Benson: What does that mean?

Alejandro: It means ‘okay,’ ‘okey dokey,’ ‘very well.’

Dayo Benson: Right. Are you going to put on some clothes?

Alejandro: Wasn’t planning to. Why?

Dayo Benson: Never mind. So, what have you been doing over the past year?

Alejandro: I accompanied Crystal on her world tour. As you know, I’m her manager now, and I’m also her stylist. I’ve worked a lot on her public image. She didn’t want the sexy persona anymore, so I’ve managed to facilitate her style evolution into a more modest, but still attractive and chic, kind of thing.

Dayo Benson: So, you’re managing her career, and still doing your design work? You must be super busy.

Alejandro: I am. I actually have quite a number of projects on the go at the moment. Wanna see?

Dayo Benson: Sure.

Alejandro jumps to his feet: Follow me.

I grab a cookie and then follow him back into the house. I nibble a piece of the cookie. It’s warm and practically melts in my mouth.

Dayo Benson: This is so good. How come you’re so good in the kitchen? Did you ever take classes?

Alejandro tosses me a glance over his shoulder: I’m self-taught.

Dayo Benson: You’re really good.

Alejandro grins: I like you. You can stick around. Some people around here don’t appreciate my cooking enough.

At the stairs he once again allows me to go first. At the top he leads the way into a room. There is fabric everywhere. A sewing machine sits on the table. There are tubs of buttons, zippers, sequins, feathers, and a dozen other things. Over the next 15 minutes, Alejandro shows me his latest works, and his sketchbook of dress designs.

I’m fascinated by the sheer number of dresses he’s making at once. A deep blue dress with lace sleeves catches my eye. I can’t help staring. It’s so beautiful, and it’s obvious that Alejandro puts a lot of passion and love into his creations. Each one is like a work of art.

Alejandro: You like that Carolina dress?

Dayo Benson: It’s beautiful.

Alejandro looks genuinely delighted at my fascination with the dress: Gracias, mi señora.

Dayo Benson: You give each of your dresses a name?

Alejandro: Huh?

Dayo Benson: You just called it ‘Carolina.’

Alejandro: Yeah that’s the color. Carolina blue.

Dayo Benson: Oh.

Alejandro: Try it on.

Dayo Benson: No way. I don’t want to mess with Crystal’s clothes.

Alejandro: That one’s for my boutique. Crystal’s never worn it. It’s too demure for the stage, but a little OTT to wear off-stage.

I shake my head, although it’s nice of him to offer. I look at my list of questions. I was going to ask Crystal about Juda, so I tailor the question for Alejandro.

Dayo Benson: How’s Anabelle?

Alejandro: She’s fine.

Dayo Benson: Has there been any progress in your relationship over the past year? Are you engaged yet?

Alejandro: No.

Dayo Benson: No? Why?

Alejandro shrugs: We’re just not.

I notice that his eyes have dulled slightly, and his lips have tightened a little. I’ve obviously hit a nerve.

Dayo Benson: Have you broken up?

Alejandro: No, we’re still together.

Dayo Benson: Then what’s the matter?

Alejandro: Can we not talk about Anabelle?

Dayo Benson: Why?

Alejandro smiles: Next question.

Dayo Benson: Okay, next question. Are you thinking of settling down any time soon?

Alejandro: You don’t give up, do you?

He nudges me with his shoulder. Only, he’s so much bigger than I am that it feels like a push rather than a nudge, and I practically go flying into the wall.

Alejandro immediately looks mortified: Lo siento mucho! Are you okay?

Dayo Benson: No.

Alejandro looks like he’s trying to keep a straight face: I do that to Crystal all the time and she doesn’t go flying.

Dayo Benson: Well, I’m a writer, not a tough woman who goes around fighting practitioners.

Alejandro: Sounds like you need to join us for some morning workouts.

Dayo Benson: I think I’ll pass on that. So, speaking of practitioners, do you miss being a practitioner?

Alejandro: Never.

Dayo Benson: Really? There’s nothing about it that you miss?

Alejandro: Nothing at all. It was a horrible life. The power it gave me was a poor compensation for the living hell that being a practitioner was.

Dayo Benson: To be honest, when I read Delirium and you got saved, I didn’t think it would last. I thought you wouldn’t be able to do it, especially since you were so used to sleeping around. How have you been able to handle the change in your lifestyle that becoming a Christian required?

Alejandro: First of all, I didn’t think it would last either. But it’s been over a year now. I just take it a day at a time. I believe in God’s grace. If He can help me to live right for one hour, He can help me for two hours, for five hours, for a whole day. If He can help me to live right for one whole day, that means He can help me for two days. For two weeks. For two months. I take it day by day. It’s all by His grace.

Dayo Benson: What would you say to any guys, or girls, out there who have a past similar to yours and are struggling with purity and all that?

Alejandro: I have three tips. Stay busy, stay accountable, and stay connected to God.

Dayo Benson: Care to elaborate on those three tips?

Alejandro: Okay, the first one. Stay busy. The busier I am, the less time I have to get into trouble, or watch things that I shouldn’t. These days I’m so busy that at the end of the day I just want to sleep. I can’t stay up until 2 AM watching filth online, because I’m just too exhausted. Exhaustion is good.

(I can’t help laughing at that).

Alejandro grins: It’s true.

Dayo Benson: The second tip?

Alejandro: Stay accountable. You need good Godly friends who won’t be afraid to challenge you if they see areas of compromise in your life. I learned a lot from what happened to Kyran last year when he went back to Trixie. It was because he wasn’t as close to the rest of us as he should have been and he wasn’t being honest with us. As much as Max annoys me, he’s actually pretty good at keeping me accountable about women, and what I watch, and which websites I visit. We talk openly about our struggles and we also receive mentoring from Jace and Dan, which helps a lot. Every time we meet with Jace and Dan I leave inspired to want to be a Godly man.

Dayo Benson: I love that.

Alejandro: My last tip, stay connected to God, is self-explanatory. We no longer do our morning workout, but we still do our morning prayers; every day without fail. That is so important. I like to commit my day to God and ask Him for the strength to just live right and to overcome any temptation that might come my way.

Dayo Benson: Awesome.

Alejandro: It really helps.

Dayo Benson: That’s great. So, can we talk about your relationship with the other team members?

Alejandro: Sure.

Dayo Benson: Let’s start with Zeke. In Powerful Enemies, Saleisha said you’re a ladies man, Juda is a man’s man, and Zeke is both a ladies’ man and a man’s man. She said that’s why you don’t get on with Zeke. I’d like to know what you think of that statement.

Alejandro: First of all, I’m man’s man. I do love the señoritas, but…I’ve changed. Not that I don’t see ‘em anymore, or don’t notice how hot they are…but I’m learning self-control, and personal discipline—all that fun stuff. And I have Anabelle.

Dayo Benson: So, why don’t you get on with Zeke?

Alejandro: I do. But he can be so annoying.

Dayo Benson: What about Carsten?

Alejandro: He needs to stop speaking German. He can hardly even speak it anyway, he’s just trying to make a statement about being European, when in actual fact he might not be, since he doesn’t know who his real parents are.

Dayo Benson: Right. Should I ask about Max?

Alejandro: He’s just old and miserable. And he likes to sound intelligent by using big words.

Dayo Benson: So, you don’t think Max is intelligent?

Alejandro: He is, but he likes to rub it in everyone’s face that he is.

Dayo Benson: So, you would get along better with him if he was more humble?

Alejandro: Sure. I mean, I’m very attractive—always have been—but I don’t go on about it all the time.

Dayo Benson: Right.

Alejandro: Right.

Dayo Benson: How about Juda?

Alejandro: Juda needs to smile more. Sometimes, I’m not completely convinced that he’s a Christian. The Bible talks about the joy of the Lord and the joy of salvation. Juda doesn’t seem to be very joyful even after becoming saved.

Dayo Benson: So you think he’s faking it?

Alejandro: No. I just wonder what’s wrong with him.

Dayo Benson: You’re aware of his difficult childhood?

Alejandro: Yes. But he needs to lighten up.

Dayo Benson: How about Crystal? What do you think of her?

Alejandro: Ah, the boss. She’s amazing.

Dayo Benson: You have no bad words to say about her?

Alejandro: No bad words.

Dayo Benson: So the only person on the team about whom you have not a single bad word to say, is the one woman on the team?

Alejandro: Not because she’s a woman. I’ve never looked at Crystal in that way. But she’s cool. I do wish she would have married AJ, instead of Juda, since he seems like a much better option. AJ and my sister, Estelita, seem to be getting on really well these days, so I ain’t going to say too much about that.

Dayo Benson: If you don’t get along with each other very well, why do you all still live here together?

Alejandro: We do get along. It’s just…some people can be so annoying. We’re all still here because we’ve been busy traveling the world with Crystal. None of us have had the time to find someplace else and move out.

Dayo Benson: How’s your mum? Is she proud of you for that medal you got at the end of Powerful Enemies?

Alejandro: Mum? I love how you say that.

Dayo Benson: Sorry. ‘Mom.’

Alejandro: My mom is so proud.

Dayo Benson: How about your cousin…I forget his name.

Alejandro: I have many cousins.

Dayo Benson: The one who stole your first girlfriend, and caused you to become a womanizer.

Alejandro: Oh, Carlos? I haven’t seen him for a few years. He needs Jesus.

Dayo Benson: Are you going to tell him about Jesus?

Alejandro: Dunno.

Dayo Benson: Do you still have hard feelings towards him?

Alejandro: No. I’m over it now.

Dayo Benson: What about Tiana, your first love?

Alejandro grins: She contacted me last year after I received the medal. I told her I’m in a relationship with someone else now.

Dayo Benson: She wanted you to get back together?

Alejandro: Of course she did. But I’ve moved on. She, and Carlos, didn’t count on me becoming the success that I have become. Success is the best revenge.

Dayo Benson: So you’re driven by revenge?

Alejandro: No, I’m successful because I’m talented and I work hard. But the revenge is sweet too.

Dayo Benson: So, are you really not going to tell me anything about you and Anabelle?

Alejandro: I’m really not going to tell you anything about me and Anabelle.

Dayo Benson: Okay, last question. Fruit peel or enzyme yogurt.

Alejandro: Neither.

Dayo Benson: You have to choose one. Imagine there’s nothing else left on earth to eat. Which one would it be?

Alejandro: I’d rather die than ever eat any of Juda’s disgusting rations again.

Dayo Benson: Thank you for your time Alejandro.

Alejandro: My pleasure.

***

Hope you enjoyed the interview guys. Who should I interview next? And what questions should I ask them? Leave a comment or email me: dayo@dayobenson.com.

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The Craft of the Crystal Series (2/4)

Hello all,

So here’s part two of my series about the craft. Today I’m talking about the SOT Tenets, the SOT’s use of force in recruiting certain members, and DNA/Genes. Fun stuff, eh!

SOT/DSV religion Tenets

Here’s the full version of the Tenets:

There is no such thing as good or evil, no such thing as absolute right or wrong. There is only energy and agenda. Forces of will and reason. Everything is relative.

The conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the superconscious mind work together to create each individual’s own reality.

Evolution did not happen, neither did creation. Life cannot be tied down to a sole event, but is the result of a summation of processes that we may never comprehend.

Love is a figment of the imagination, as is hatred. We desire sex, and we desire revenge. These things should not be labeled as something noble: love; or something wrong: hatred.

Equity, liberty and fraternity are the building blocks of civilization. Psychological cleansing is the pathway to enlightenment. The superconscious mind puts us in touch with divine infinite divine infinite intelligence by which mankind, too, may aspire to divinity.

Basically, it’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo that I made up. It’s the SOT’s statement of faith if you like. I did some reading about occult beliefs, and all the things I read made no sense to me. It just sounded deep, while simultaneously sounding like nonsense. It’s all just mystical and ‘spiritual’ and ‘we are all divine’, ‘we believe in the wind and the rain’, ‘we are God’. Just reading that stuff freaked me out. Seriously, ha ha. I think the devil likes to deceive people into thinking they’re deep and wise when really they don’t have a clue what they’re on about (British slang there). That’s one hallmark of the devil: confusion. He likes to confuse people. And he likes to sound all philosophical, when really there’s nothing to him. He’s just a deceiver.

Use of Force

Ah, this was another sore point for some readers; the SOT’s use of force to recruit Crystal. I usually get two main questions:

  1. If that’s how secret societies and cults work what’s stopping them from just grabbing anyone off the streets and making them join?
  2. Even if they can do that, Christians are off-limits right? They can’t force a Christian to join can they?

In answer to the first question, I don’t believe cults can just target anybody they want. I believe there’s usually a method to their madness. There is definitely a method to the SOT’s madness. They target Crystal because she was promised to them by a blood covenant her grandfather made, offering four generations to the cult. So, it wasn’t just a random thing. I hope that answers question 1. (This is all explained in Searchlight, by the way).

In answer to the second question, the devil can try to get what he thinks belongs to him, but if you’re saved you can rebuke him and he will flee. In Searchlight and some of Surrender, Crystal is religious, but not a Christian (like many churchgoing young people). She has moments of crying out to God, but He’s not really her God. He’s her parents’ God. She knows there’s power in the Name of Jesus, but her turning point doesn’t come until her parents kidnap her from the Victoria’s secret show In Surrender and she is prayed for. Things are still bad, and the SOT still try to manipulate her, but now that she has woken up to her authority in Christ they are powerless. This is illustrated by the fact that she is now able to leave the SOT.

Taking this further, let’s forget about cults for a moment and think of the horrific persecution that Christians have faced both in the past and present day (yes, there are parts of the world in which Christians suffer gross persecution today, because of their faith). The SOT and other occult people in the Crystal series are constantly trying to get Crystal to renounce her faith. Doesn’t the devil harass Christians, or does he only harass non-Christians? Do bad things happen only to bad people or do bad things happen to good people too? I personally do not believe that being a Christian means the devil won’t try to get at you, or that you won’t go through hard times. Or that you won’t face persecution. Therefore, Christians were not off-limits in the Crystal series. The SOT targeted whoever they felt belonged to them, Christian or not.

Another way in which the SOT used force was in ensuring that people within the organization don’t leave. In Searchlight, the only people who had ever managed to leave the SOT were Pastor John (from the Beauty for Ashes series), Jace, Dan and Simone Rivers. They only managed to get out with God’s help. No one else had ever been able to leave. In fact, Luke, the leader of the SOT, made sure every member committed some kind of crime (often murder) so that they would be afraid to leave for fear of being exposed. Isn’t that the way the devil works? He makes us feel like we’re too bad to change, he wants us to believe we can’t leave him. He throws our mistakes in our face all the time.

DNA/Genes

This one is deep. I read some stuff about reptilian DNA and the elite and those who are ‘truly in charge of this world’. Who knows whether this stuff is all just conspiracy, or if it’s true. Whether or not it’s true, some people truly believe in it, and it was handy for emphasizing the hierarchy of the occult in the Crystal series. Some practitioners, no matter how good at the craft they are, are limited in how far they can go because they don’t have the right genes. I thought it was a nice touch since it got me thinking of Hitler and how obsessed he was with genes. Hitler’s Lebensborn program encouraged people with certain traits to mate so that they could produce more people with those traits. I also wanted to a true sense of some people being elite and others not measuring up, as a contrast to Christianity. In Christianity we are all the elite, and we are all ‘nothing’ at the same time. We’re all a royal priesthood, kings and priests, and we’re all also servants. I love that. I don’t know if this elite system based on genes is truly a trait of the occult, but they do seem to be very concerned with bloodlines.

Hope all this isn’t too freaky for you. Do you now understand why I stopped doing research? I really don’t want to know. Most of the cult stuff in the Crystal series is my imagination, although I did try to base it on certain basic principles.

Have a good Sunday xx

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The Craft of the Crystal Series (1/4)

What-Would-You-Do-With-A-magic-wand.jpgHi Everyone,

This post is Part 1 of a four-part series I’m writing about the craft of the Crystal series.

I get a lot of emails from readers asking me how I know so much about the occult and the ‘craft’. And asking whether I know from personal experience or from extensive research.

I’d like to just say I know very little about the occult, and I’d like to keep things that way 🙂 I did begin to do some research as I wrote Searchlight (Crystal 1), but I got to a point where I didn’t want to know. I was sickened, disgusted, and quite frankly disturbed. So, I made the decision to use my imagination. I’m a Christian. I don’t know enough about God and the Bible. The last thing I want is knowledge about the devil and the occult. Apart from the basic knowledge required to know your enemy so that he doesn’t get the better of you, and so that you can keep him under your feet, I’m not at all interested in deeper knowledge. So, I used the principles of what I know about the occult and what the Bible teaches about our enemy, to create the craft and the laws of the occult in the Crystal series. I also mixed in some things I’ve heard about the occult from other people and I took a lot of creative liberties. After all it’s fiction. The aim was just to show that greater is He within us than He that is in the world (1 John 4:4), not provide a manual on how to get into the occult.

Over this series of blog posts I’ll cover the following points:

  • Terminology
  • Promiscuity
  • Vanity
  • Force
  • SOT Tenets
  • DNA/Genes
  • Centrality of death
  • Energy release
  • Sacrifices
  • Incense
  • SOT Hierarchy vs. other craft within the world of the Crystal series
  • Craft of different nations
  • Robe color
  • Ascension

And I’ll try to explain my reasoning behind them all. Hopefully, these posts will answer all your questions, and whenever someone emails me in future to ask me how I know so much about the occult I can just send them links to these posts 🙂

Terminology

i.e. Craft instead of magic, Practitioners instead of witches and wizards, Kingdom of Enlightenment instead of Kingdom of Darkness, etc.

The occult people in the Crystal series are wealthy. Many of them are celebrities. They consider themselves elite people. Their interpretation of the occult is different to the ‘average’ occultist. They consider themselves more refined. They reject the common stereotypes that most people have about people within the occult. None of them are knobbly cackling old women stirring smoking cauldrons. That’s the media’s depiction of the occult. The craft of the Crystal series is much different. It’s a rich man’s craft. On the outside, the practitioners look so glamorous and their lives look like so much fun. Only when you get in and look closer do you realise that the price they pay for their fame, wealth and success is extremely high. So, I wanted to use different terms to drive home the fact that they reject the common stereotypes about the occult. However, whether you call yourself a witch or a practitioner, whether you call what you do ‘craft’ or ‘magic’, it’s still evil. Rich or poor. ‘Elite’ or ‘normal.’

Promiscuity

Most of the negative feedback I get about the Crystal series is because of all the ‘sexual innuendo’ and promiscuity. However, there is nothing in the Crystal series that the average young adult doesn’t see or hear in their day to day life, or on TV. I wanted to emphasize the evilness of some of the characters, as there’s no point having evil people in the books if they don’t do anything evil, or anything that readers would consider to be wrong. I preferred to highlight their sexual depravity over showing them killing and doing dark rituals all the time. I didn’t want to show Alejandro, Shola, and certain other characters doing rituals, or killing.  For me, emphasizing their promiscuity was a way of showing how depraved they are without the books getting too gory. I wanted to keep the actual ‘on-screen’ gore and killing to a minimum. There are some pretty dark scenes, especially in the earlier books, but I wanted to limit the number of dark scenes.

Also, sexual sin is a form of self-worship and is an abuse of a good gift that God has given us. Excessive sexual sin and perversion can be evidence of demonic influence. That’s why when Alejandro and Shola Cardoso get saved, they change completely in this area. That demonic influence has left their lives. Yay for Jesus 🙂

Vanity

Many of the practitioners in the Crystal series are obsessed with beauty and their physical appearance. Yelissa Neir goes so far as to transmutate (is that the right word?), changing her skin color, hair color, height, body shape, etc. almost daily. The only common thing with each of her disguises is that they’re all beautiful. And I think her beauty adds to her evilness.

Beauty is a requirement for entry into the SOT. Everybody in the SOT, especially those with celebrity careers, is attractive. The Bible talks about the devil being perfect in beauty, and pride is one of his hallmarks. The practitioners in the Crystal series value beauty too, and are prideful and vain. Luke goes so far as to manipulate the genes of his children in order to make sure they’re physically perfect, and are athletic.

So, what do you think? Is there anything in the craft of the Crystal series that you didn’t agree with?

Stay tuned for more 🙂

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Legacy – Publication Date/Cover Reveal

legacy.jpgI’m excited to announce that Legacy (Crystal 9) will be out on Monday 27 June. Really…I’m excited. That’s just over a week away! Legacy is the last book in the Crystal series, and I’m really proud of it. I can’t wait for you to read it. Oh, and I love the cover, which my husband designed. He’s a gem.

Here’s the Back Cover blurb for Legacy:

A powerful wizard is destroying America, one city at a time, and it’s up to Crystal and her friends to stop her.
It’s been a year since Luke and the SOT fell, but the battle is far from over. There are deadlier, more ruthless, practitioners out there. Practitioners who want to see the Enlightenment Agenda implemented.

Crystal has faced many challenges, but now she faces the greatest personal test yet. How far will she go to protect the people she loves?
How far she will go to survive?

Judgment Day has arrived.
Juda has spent the past year in jail, awaiting trial for crimes Luke made him commit. Crystal and her family may have shown him mercy, but it is certain that a court of law will give him only justice. With a new practitioner on the loose, Juda is released to fight one more mission with the team. But the success of the mission will mean the end of his freedom.

How will he cope when justice is served?

Legacy is the intensely gripping conclusion to the Crystal series.

***

Over the next week, I’m going to be publishing lots of blog posts (maybe even 1 a day), just giving you my random thoughts about the Crystal series and explaining certain things about the ‘craft’, what research I did, etc. Legacy takes place a year after Powerful Enemies, so I’ll also do posts about what some of the characters have been up to in that time.

Jailbreak (Crystal 8.5) sets Legacy up nicely, so if you haven’t read Jailbreak yet now is the time to do so. Get Jailbreak now at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, iTunesKobo, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble.

And…make sure you’re on my mailing list so that you’ll get an email as soon as Legacy goes live. Sign up Here!!!

So excited 🙂 🙂 🙂