We’re so pleased to have author Susan Mac Nicol dropping by today on the backlist tour for her Double Alchemy series. Enjoy–because alchemy, everyone!–and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to win some books.
Alchemy and its place in the Double Alchemy series
Lisa Horan asked me to write a post about how alchemy applies figuratively and literally in the story, and in both of the heroes’ journey. Firstly, thanks, Lisa, for asking this question. I love it when people actually delve that bit deeper into a book and ask an insightful question like this one. I had no idea you liked this aspect of the strange and wonderful world we live in.
Alchemy is defined as a ‘philosophical and protoscientific tradition which aims to purify, mature and perfect certain objects.
‘the medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to transmute base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.’ Source -Wikipedia
‘A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination; ‘finding the person who’s right for you requires a very subtle alchemy’
Synonyms – magic, sorcery, witchcraft, enchantment. Source – Oxford Dictionaries
I’m surprised no one’s asked me about the meaning of the title before actually, because ‘Double Alchemy’ has a number of meanings as it relates to Quinn and Cade’s (and of course Taliesin’s) journey together. It encompasses the actual science of alchemy, the fringes of witchcraft, spells and potions, the burgeoning attraction between two irresistible forces and the transition of characters into something else. I called it Double Alchemy because Multiple Alchemy just didn’t sound right 🙂 My reasoning behind the use of the word Double was to convey the human elements of change and the more prosaic aspects of the science itself.
So I took this and wrote a story about two men falling in love, their transition into something else, their trials and tribulations as they face magic and sorcery, their transformation into a powerful couple, and the over whelming arc that things, and people, can change.
Based on the above definitions, some of the specific incidences in the book relating to the whole broader idea of alchemy are:
Quinn ‘morphing’ into Taliesin, Welsh sorcerer, bard, poet, and probably Quinn’s best friend.
Quinn’s development from what appears to be at first rather a tyrannical and cruel leader into a man who begins to seem ‘more human’ and more emotionally aware
Cade’s realisation and discovery of being a water sprite, part of the Fey world and his gradual change into realising his own powers
Quinn ‘purifying’ the world he lives in and rules one villain at a time….
I even made Percy’s Withinner renowned alchemist Nicholas Flamel. Flamel was only ascribed this status after his death when certain works were found purporting that Nicholas had made The Philosopher’s Stone.
Most of all it’s about the chemistry between Quinn and Cade- off the charts at the start, then transmuting to something softer yet still passionate.
I’m sure people can make similar connections to the Alchemical theme running through the book. I’d be interested to see what they come up with myself.
Double Alchemy (Release Date: March 24th 2014): Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.
THE WORLD IN SHADOW
In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.
In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.
Climax: Double Alchemy #2 (Release Date: May 22nd 2014): Powerful modern warlock Quinn Fairmont found ecstasy with the silver-eyed and not-quite-human Cade Mairston, but to know true happiness the pair must best both the shadow of a long-ago lover and an ancient enemy who seeks to destroy love, light and all they hold dear.
A BLINDING LIGHT
It begins with a Book of Shadows discovered by a London coven. The grimoire is as dangerous as it is rare, which is why it evokes modern-day warlock Quinn Fairmont’s desire. He collects objects of great power and beauty—like his lover, Cade Mairston.
Against all odds he and Cade found each other, but their perils have just begun. First is the ex-lover who once held Quinn in thrall. And, someone has been killing warlocks. Could it be one of his own kind? There are those too who would challenge Quinn’s power in their quest to overthrow him as Grand Master. Or is the danger something darker, something invoked inadvertently, rising from the shadows, building from the very inside of a man until it brings an end with a quick flash of light? Of the truth, the surface has only been scratched. Now Quinn and Cade must go deeper and find both answers and an end. They must learn what lurks in the hearts of men…and whether it seeks to love or destroy.
About the Author: Susan Mac Nicol is a self- confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self-righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.
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