“Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.
I Love Urban Fantasy!
What is Urban Fantasy? A rich blend of fantasy tropes (magic and magicians, witches, wizards, vampires, shapeshifters, and/or demons) in a contemporary setting, often a city but not necessarily, and mystery tropes (detective work, murder and crime, police procedural), spiced up with dicey romance, troublesome relationship issues, and wit and whimsy.
How I Came to Urban Fantasy
Books I adored as a child have shaped my love of Urban Fantasy. Supernatural people in a real-world contemporary setting and wise articulate animals appear in all four volumes of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins (such beautiful and humorous writing, a true sense of wonder, and wonderful pen-and-ink illustrations). Same for Myths and Enchantment Tales adapted by Margaret Evans Price and illustrated by Evelyn Urbanowich (illustrated Greek and Roman myths). Then there was the Giant Golden Book of Dogs, Cats, and Horses (61 short illustrated stories, a Newberry Award winner). Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Books (my vintage edition has dazzling pastel illustrations). Who could have missed Charlotte’s Web, mixing up humans and talking animals, plus a magialc spider? I took these all books with me (lovingly wrapped in plastic) from my home in Shaker Heights to college in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and lugged them all the way to California where they sit on my bookshelf to this day.
That First Inspiration
Like every author on the verge of a special big new project, I well remember that transcendent moment of first inspiration for The Garden of Abracadabra.
Often inspiration springs from something quotidian, something quite ordinary. You’re in the shower. Or shopping for groceries. Or, in this instance, searching for a parking space in Berkeley.
Berkeley is a small leafy university town across the Bay from San Francisco, the historic home of the original University of California campus. The town is so crowded now, searching for a parking place on the street is something of a quixotic quest.
As Tom and I cruised through unfamiliar neighborhoods of vintage brown-shingled Craftsman houses surrounded by old oaks and elms, looking for that elusive parking space, we passed a spectacular 1920s Mediterranean apartment building. We were both instantly struck by its opulence and beauty. But more than that, the place had a powerful vibe. It was spooky!
The idea sprang instantly to my mind. “What if you hired on as the superintendent of a building like that,” I said to Tom, “only to discover that every one of yours tenants was some stripe of supernatural being—witches, shapeshifters, vampires, wizards–and every apartment was a portal to a fantasy world? To a fairyland or a hell?” Tom said, “Sounds like a book!”
At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus.
She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and that each apartment is a fairyland or hell.
On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before.
Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between humanity and demonic realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.
“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”
Goodreads: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more!”
Amazon.com: “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy”
This is a very entertaining novel—sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.”
Coming in 2014! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series
From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!