a Rafflecopter giveaway Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
How I handled the research for the book.
Actually it was more like The Unholy researched me, the story lingering in my mind and not settling until I was committed to the year’s long process of writing it. It went on and on in my mind, countless nights of seeing the scenes in dreams and nightmares that eventually became the narrative of The Unholy. So, then, it was very much like the muse researched me, saw into my level of insight, personal and professional experience, diligence, and willingness and then decided to give me the story. Of course, I followed up by jettisoning the story into the mythopoeic realm of Aztlan. This is a spiritual land of the mestizo, mixed blood, southwest. I wanted to take it out of the place of New Mexico and sensed the inspiration of the muse behind this. It was not a story that would permit itself to be trivialized by some thinking of it as a dramatized version of a single story in the literal place of New Mexico. The Unholy is a centuries old story told in such narratives as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and explored further in twentieth century venues such as School of the Sacred Beast by Yumi Takigawa in 1974 and the upcoming HBO documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” Overall, research into the mysteries of Aztlan held sway in this book as it became a voyage for me, something I grew up with but had never formally delved into. The Unholy gave me an opportunity to move into the mystic potential of the land, the people, stories lived, and lives forever changed. It has been a place of great suffering and tremendous transformation. Aztlan, the setting of my novels, remains an ongoing study in sense of place, inner meaning, horror, and archetypal energy.
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.
Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.
The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.