John Slocum – Deputy Sheriff, Johnson County

Deputy Sheriff

John Slocum is a central figure in SORCERESS RISING and the upcoming sequel, SORCERESS REVEALED. He is a native of lake Melts Wisconsin, having lived there all of his life, except for the 3 years he spent in the Army with his lifelong friend Karl Grabinski.

John’s time in the Army, as you might expect, was as a Military Policeman. He joined with Karl directly out of High School. Eventually the two friends found themselves about as far away from Wisconsin as they thought they would ever get…Fort Polk Louisiana. At first disappointed the two avid outdoorsmen discovered the rich hunting and fishing around the area and neighboring Texas.

Until he became close to Clio Boru you could often find him hunting or fishing throughout the State of Wisconsin, unless he was with his children. John is divorced and has 2 children who live with his mother. It is because of this that he chose to work the 3rd shift as a Sheriff’s Deputy for Johnson County. That shift allowed him the time for his kids’ school and extra-curricular activities.

As a mischievous child, John and his friend Karl were always involved in some kind of prank. While he never did anything truly bad, he did enjoy antics customarily found in rural or semi-rural schools of Wisconsin. The occasional loose chickens inside the gymnasium or cows in the football field, while never directly tied to John were usually linked to someone he knew and knew well. Summer and fall Saturday nights were occasionally spent in Harvey Plausheks’ Barn, listening to music and drinking beer. John’s knowledge of the barn would eventually help him in SORCERESS RISING.

John and Clio have continued to grow their relationship. In SORCERESS REVEALED, Book 2 of the Clio Boru series, their closeness continues to grow into more than simple friendship. Both Characters are typical of stereotypical Midwestern people and as such exhibit an openness and honesty that epitomizes stereotypical values not frequently found in modern America.

John Slocum is just beginning his adventures with Clio, Karl and new found friend Roger Marquette. Follow the journey of this group in the soon to be released Sorceress Revealed and in the fall of 2015, SORCERESS RESURRECTED.

Yule… The Winter Solstice

 

yule

 

As the holiday season is upon us, I thought I would share how Clio, heroine of SORCERESS RISING, would observe traditional celebrations this time of year. On the Wiccan calendar, this season is known as Yule. It is also called the Winter Solstice and is one of the eight Sabbats, or major Sabbaths, of Wicca.

 Because Yule is associated with a period of great darkness, primarily due to it being the shortest day of the year, the celebration is frequently begun just before dawn, with sunrise marking the end of the actual ceremony. There is often talk of a Yule log at this time of year. This is primarily a custom of Germanic Wiccans, and, as a result, not something Clio would observe. However, as a true Wiccan being both tolerant and accepting of other religious beliefs, she would certainly participate in the use of one, were it available. Many Wiccans also include a Yule tree (sound familiar?) in their celebrations.

 The Wiccan Yule is also reflective e of new birth, for it was at Yule that the Goddess gave birth to a son, the God. It is interesting to see the parallels of this holiday with the Christian holiday of Christmas and the birth of Christ. Christianity, in fact, adopted the holiday of Yule some 300 years after the birth of Christ as their faith expanded into regions with large Pagan, Druid and Wiccan populations.

 Wiccans consider the birth of the God as the rebirth of the sun. As a result, they use candles and fire to welcome the return of the sun. Remember, it is after the Winter Solstice that our daylight begins to get longer. Interestingly a simple synopsis of the holiday of Yule is that to Wiccans, it is an affirmation of return or resurrection from the dead.

During this holiday Clio, like most Wiccans, would participate in many feasts to celebrate this rebirth. During these feasts, a good deal of drinking is done. A very common drink is wassail, a hot mulled cider, which lends itself to the toast “All Hail” and the response “Wassail.” Wiccans enjoy food like any other group and a great many Yule recipes exist to help make this festival a wonderful event.

 Wassail is usually an alcoholic drink. The following recipe is non-alcoholic and you can always add, if you wish, your own spirits. I generally add a good brandy, to taste. This is a very simple recipe and while more traditional recipes include raw eggs, whole apples and, of course, alcohol, this recipe works well for multi-age groups. It is easily doubled, too.

 

Simple Non-Alcoholic Wassail

6 cups of apple juice

4 1/2 cups of orange juice

1 cup of lemon juice

¾ cup of sugar

2-3 cinnamon sticks

1 TBS whole cloves

 Put all of these ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for around 20 – 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes. Strain out cinnamon sticks and cloves. Serve this hot.
Yuletide greetings to you and yours!

 

Roger Marquette – Paranormal Investigator

 

Crypto

 

Roger Marquette, crypto-zoologist and paranormal investigator, plays an important role in SORCERESS RISING. He has been investigating things like the Ohio Grassman, Bigfoot and other supernatural and occult related activities.

Roger is from back east, New York to be specific. While finalizing his divorce he discovered a book that had been left in his room: WEREWOLVES OF WISCONSIN—FACT OR FICTION by reporter Erika Klause. This book took him to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, a small town near Kenosha, Wisconsin. Fascinated by the book’s topic, the Beast of Bray Road, so named because that is the road the creature was most often seen near, he began conducting his own investigation of this phenomenon.

Eventually his investigation takes him to Lake Melts where he quickly becomes friends with Karl Grabinski, John Slocum and Clio Boru.

Roger is nationally known for his expertise in what he sometimes refers to as “events of the odd.” A regular contributor to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland Maine and the American Paranormal Research Association in Los Angeles, Roger’s passion has taken him to some of the premier Criptid and paranormal locations in the United States. He became interested in these activities at about the age of 12 when he was fascinated by news reports in his hometown in New York about ghosts and specters in the surrounding countryside. While he loves to investigate crypto-zoological events, such as Bigfoot and the Boggy Creek Monster, it was the Cayuga Lake Monster in New York State and Champ, the Lake Champlain Monster, that really drew him into the investigative part. Reading everything he could find about both animals, it was his discovery of a picture by Sandra Mansi that caught him hook, line and sinker. Roger was caught several times by law enforcement when he ran away to try and join several expeditions searching for these two legendary beasts.

Roger was instrumental in confirming the challenges John, Karl and Clio faced in SORCERESS RISING and will continue his very visible role in SORCERESS REVEALED, due out in April 2015. The future holds great promise for Roger and the adventures he will experience.

Harvey Plaushek

Plaushek truck2

 

One of the characters in SORCERESS RISING is Harvey Plaushek, an elderly farmer living in Johnson County. Unintentionally he has become beloved by readers.

Harvey Plaushek, local farmer in Lake Melts, is a character many found to be a key figure in Clio’s story , SORCERESS RISING. A minor character originally, Harvey begins to have a greater presence in the second book in the series, SORCERESS REVEALED .

Harvey lives on a dairy farm east of the Ledge in Lake Melts. A pioneer family of the area, Harvey’s family has farmed the same land since his family immigrated there in the late 1840s. Originally from the Baden region of Germany, the Plaushek family came to Wisconsin through Manitowoc, Wisconsin, following a period of revolution in Germany. The Plaushek family found their way to what is now Johnson County and began to farm the homestead that Harvey lives on today.

He is popular and noticeable in the community of Lake Melts because of his outspoken but friendly mannerisms. He is frequently seen in town driving his old red and rusty Ford pickup truck. Usually dressed in Carhart bib overalls, Harvey often comes into town to wander the local farm supply store and enjoy a cup of coffee at a diner along Highway 51 in Lake Melts .

Harvey’s farm is most famous for the large red barn that sits in the middle of his pasture. Built originally by his great-grandfather in the late 1800s, it became popular with young people in the county in the early 1960s as a party place. Beloved by the young people of Lake Melts, mostly because he never seems to notice their parties in his barn, Harvey also enjoys attending football and basketball games at Lake Nicollet High School. With a loud and booming voice that can be heard above the other crowd noise, he had been honored by the athletic teams of the school for his thunderous support..

His history with Clio Boru began during the Gavaudan episode. Suffering the destruction of his dairy herd, presumably at the hands of Jack Gavaudan, Harvey became less amicable regarding the use of his barn as a place for anything other than the operation of his farm.

Harvey will continue to play a small role in Clio’s adventures and while not an insignificant figure in the community, he will make his presence known.

 

Hello Friends and Readers

Welcome to my Blog and website. This is an exciting time as my first book in the Clio Boru series is released. I hope all of you enjoy it.

Lake Melts, Wisconsin, where the first book, as well as the next two parts of the series take place, is a real town here in Wisconsin. Of course I changed some of it and for the longest time that was hard for me to do. Then one day I remembered an experience I had over ten years ago that helped me immensely.

I was visiting a friend in Maine—he and I have very similar backgrounds and the chance to visit with him during a business trip was a big treat. My friend lives in the area where Stephen King grew up and bases many of his stories in. So I was treated to what I call “The Stephen King Tour”. I was fortunate to see many of the locations from his most famous books. Places like Carrie’s high school and Salem’s Lot. What I noticed at the time was that these places bore little resemblance to the descriptions Stephen King gave them. However they were real places.

One day reflected on that memory while writing Sorceress Rising and understood immediately. Stephen King used real places to inspire him. He was not writing a fact-based story. Rather, he was telling a story. Using his story telling ability, he added to the descriptions of these places as he saw them fit into his stories. From that point on, I did not have any problem converting reality into something that fit the story well. So, in a manner of speaking, he provided good inspiration for me.

Clio Boru will experience her adventures in Wisconsin, but after the 3rd installment I think I will let her travel a bit. This is a fascinating state with many known and little known places that will make fantastic additions to her story. That also gives me the opportunity to travel around my home state as well.

Again, I truly hope you enjoy the story, and ultimately the series. I love writing and telling stories. It is one of the better things in my life.

So as Clio would say, “Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.”

Evan Michael Martin