Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Evangeline Heresy by Thayer Berlyn: Interview & Excerpt

Some secrets are best left alone.

Dr. Ethan Broughton has agreed to investigate a potent medicinal plant and a rumor of curative miracles on Porringer Hill in East Tennessee. What he finds is an isolated community of disturbing superstition centered on one woman, Ana Lagori, a local apothecary with a mysterious ability to heal all wounds.

This is the story of that most fateful encounter.


      “You love me,” she stated quite suddenly and quite unequivocally.
      “As the sun rises,” I replied, “I do love you.”
      “And would you give your life for me?” she asked pointedly.
      I felt a shudder surge from the center of my belly, as though the very sum and substance of my existence were caught in some singular web of fate, and this woman was the only living salvation in the face of inevitability.
      “If it came to that,” I said, “yes. Yes, I suppose I would.”
      “And what else would you give?”
      “What would you have?”
      “What times the beating of your heart?”
      “What are you asking?”
      “What is there left?”
      “My soul?”
      “Would you give even this?”
      “Would you ask for it?”
      “Would you give it?”
      “Yes,” I stated, stunned by the ease of my response, given I wasn’t particularly certain the soul existed, “if you asked.”
      She looked intently into my eyes and a faint smile twitched at the corner of her tempting mouth. I did not withdraw from her gaze as she took my hand and tenderly guided the tips of my fingers over the carvings of the casing.
      “Feel the arteries,” she said with a reverent lilt to her voice. I turned my attention to the magnificent carvings of oak leaves and acorns adorning all sides of the metal clasped box. “You've not seen such a casement before.”
      “I have not,” I agreed, captivated by the smooth perfection of carved wood traced beneath my fingertips.
      “Go deeper,” she urged, her fingers now pressing against my brow, “and see through here.”
      Again, she guided my hand over the carvings until I could see, indeed, touch, the phases of the moon beneath the acorns and feel the sun's warmth heightening and lessening against the seasons and the hours of the day. I felt the quivering of the salamander, the toad, the fish, the frail wings of the dragonfly and the determination of the honey bee; the appeal of desire and the mystery of sexual union, birth and the final passage of death.

Welcome Thayer!  It's so nice to get this chance to find out a little more about you. Thank you for taking time out for this.  Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I would like to travel to Italy and stay for a very long time. I would like to see every inch of Italy and experience the art and architecture, the history, the people, the cuisine, the wine...all of it. I have always loved the Katherine Hepburn film, Summertime, where she traveled to Venice on her own. I don't know if I would want to travel to Italy on my own, but I certainly would, if it came to it.

Tell us about your current release.

The Evangeline Heresy is a story of Dark Fantasy and Supernatural Suspense. I like to add to that description by saying it is also a tale of shadows and forest witchery. The story is told through the narrative of a young biologist, Dr. Ethan Broughton, who travels to a remote area in East Tennessee to investigate a rare medicinal plant, and perhaps find an answer to a strange incident experienced by his grandfather, in that same location, 65 years earlier. It is in that remote landscape, known as Porringer Hill, that Ethan comes to meet an odd assortment of locals, both intriguing and sinister, and most notably, Ana Lagori, a woman with a mysterious ability to heal the most mortal of wounds. What begins as a general scientific curiosity, turns into a web of secret legacies and dark enchantments. For Ethan, the experience just may change his life forever.

The book is an adventure into the spaces between illusion and reality. I wanted to test the possibility of creating a story and character outside the box of familiar stage players [often] found in the Paranormal or Supernatural genre. I want to take the reader to a place not visited before, where some models of supernatural creatures seem familiar and others not so familiar at all. In short, I want to give readers an unique experience.

Tell us about your next release.

My schedule is running behind for a summer release, so I am going to try for early to mid autumn. Come October, Here is a ghost story, where time shifts and voices appear to call from the past. I will be very excited to have two books offered on Amazon.

How do you describe your writing style.

My writing style is a little dated and perhaps an acquired taste, but I do feel it brings the reader deeper into the atmosphere of time and space within the story. I like to bring psychological tension into the picture, and that is often a little more heavy than strictly action-oriented storytelling.

Do you listen to music while writing. If so, what?

I often listen to Chérie FM Zen out of Paris. The internet is such a fabulous magic for listening choices the world over. The music on Chérie FM is a mix of contemporary and jazz. I also have a jazz selection of music by Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Hoagy Carmichael, Julie London, Jo Stafford and several others that I also listen to from time to time.

What books have most influenced your life?

I would say Kahlil Gibran's, The Prophet. Gibran's poetic insight brings a deeper perspective to things for me. Also, Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland books. I love them for allowing the imagination to soar throughout an entire lifetime. Alice Walker's, In Search of Our Mother's Gardens, as well as many of the author's short stories and essays have also been an influence on my life.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Because you are curious about a creature of invention. You are curious to explore the shadows in a dark forest grove...the domain of the Evangeline.

Thank you for stopping by.  I have to say that you positively sold me on this book.  I was lucky enough to snag it for Night Owl Reviews.  I am thrilled to get the opportunity to read and review it. 

Thayer Berlyn is an author from St. Paul, Minnesota. Her writing is inspired by the nuance of the natural world, and the thresholds contained within that sphere of shifting light and shadow. As a writer, Thayer is passionate about creating stories that draw the reader's imagination to a place where the impossible seems almost...possible.

Thayer has a love for vintage clothing design and restoration, Renaissance method sun/moon herb gardening, fossil hunting and collecting rare Victorian era books. Favorite moments are spent among friends, complete with French wine and philosophical debates.

Read this recent review of Evangeline's Heresy. Here's a snipped. Click the link to continue reading.

"This book is a combination of the paranormal, a mystery, and a sort of horror without the fast paced gore and guts so often prevalent, and an unusual romance. It’s beautifully written and very descriptive and it was easy to picture the characters living on the mountainside and the beautiful scenery and plant life surrounding it. (Continue Reading on Darkiss Reads)

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