Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Monday, October 23, 2006

IMMORTALS is Coming!

Here's an early version of the cover for my August 2007 release Immortals: The Awakening

Isn't it pretty??????

Immortals: The Awakening is Book #3 of Dorchester Publishing's hot four-book continuity series IMMORTALS

The basic set up is this: in a contemporary world where magic and magical creatures such as vampires, demons, sidhe, werewolves, etc. live side by side with humans, four witches realize there is something very wrong with the balance of living and death magic. Death magic is taking over, with dire consequences for humans and living magic creatures.

Long ago, at the dawn of mankind, the balance of magic was protected by five Immortal Warriors, but seven long centuries have passed since the Immortals have fought for humanity. Now it seems that one of the Immortals has been imprisoned by powerful dark magic.

Can four human witches find the remaining four Immortals in time to save their brother and the world? Their journey will begin in May 2007 with the launch of the Immortals series.

May - Immortals: The Calling by Jennifer Ashley
June - Immortals: The Darkening by Robin Popp
August - Immortals: The Awakening by Joy Nash
September - Immortals: The Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

Stay tuned for a sneak peek at each book. It's going to be a wild ride!

Until next Friday...


» Monday, October 16, 2006

Into the books: Day 13, Stonehenge and Avebury

***Joy's Book Link***
No book link today!

July 6 was the last day of our vacation. We were leaving from London, so we spent the day on a leisurely drive from Bath to London, stopping off at Stonehenge and Avebury on the way. These were both places that my husband and I had first visited on our honeymoon, almost (gulp!) twenty-one years ago. (I was 12 when I got married, btw.)

Stonehenge, of course, needs no explanation! Twenty years ago, we were able to walk among the stones, but now the whole site is roped off and you have to walk the path around it. Good for picture taking, I suppose, but not quite as dramatic as having the stones loom over you. Here's a pic:

After leaving Stonehenge, we traveled a few miles north to Avebury. Avebury is the largest of the stone circles in England. Actually, it's two concentric stone circles, and the circles are so large that there's a small village in the middle of the circle! There are two roads crossing the circle that meet right in the center.

Here's a pic of one of the roads that cut through the center of the circle. You can see one of the stones of the outer circle in the foreground on the right, and a line of stones of the inner circle behind it. The stones were originally a lot bigger, they've been chipped away over the centuries by people looking for building material. In some places the stones are gone altogether, and there are small markers showing where they would have been.

These trees with the incredible above-ground roots are just outside the circle on the east side. We were told that author J. R. R. Tolkien visited these trees decades ago and received some inspiration for his work-in-progress, The Lord of the Rings. (Sorry I didn't do better with the light setting on the camera)

Later that day we battled the traffic into London. We'd been there for a week a few years earlier when my husband was sent there on a business trip, so we didn't stop this time to see any London sights. Early the next morning, we left the UK and returned home.

I hope to go back to the U.K. someday! I'd especially love to spend more time in Wales. There was so much we didn't see, but we felt very fortunate to have been able to make the trip. I hope my journeys bring that much more authenticity to my books!


Joy Nash

» Friday, October 06, 2006

Into the books: Day 12, Longleat Estate

***Joy's Book Link***
No book link today!

Well, our vacation is almost done - just two more days left! On Day 12 (July5) we visited Longleat, the estate of the Marquess of Bath. It's kind of like a British mini-Disney World. Seeking ways to pay taxes and avoid selling off land after WWII, the present Marquess of Bath's father opened the humongous estate house and gardens up for tours. Soon after, he added a Safari Park. Now there's also a train ride, safari boat rides, a butterfly house, amusement park rides, a kid's adventure castle, a motion simulator, Old Joe's Mine and Postman Pat's Village. There's also a huge Hedge Maze with 1.7 miles of pathways. We loved the maze - it took us about 45 minutes to solve it. I suppose we are smart, since the website claims the average person is lost in the maze for 90 minutes. Here are a couple pics of the maze:

The house is an Elizabethan mansion that has undergone a lot of renovating. The first Lord Bath was a lowly kitchen clerk for Henry VIII who managed a very quick and stunning rise to knighthood and then Marquess-hood, for services rendered to the crown. The guide said it's not exactly clear what it was that this kitchen clerk did for old Henry to be so honored, so you can use your imagination there. The house is completely magnificent. Here's a pic - not one of my own, since for some reason I didn't take a picture of the entire house:

After touring the public parts of the house, we were lucky enough to join a private tour of the present (seventh) Lord Bath's private apartments, in which the walls are literally covered from floor to ceiling with murals painted by Lord Bath, who is an seventy-something year old artist with, let's say, a very unique artistic style. Picture Salvador Dali's worst nightmares and wildest fantasies painted by Vincent Van Gogh and you'll have a faint idea what these rooms were like. The oil paint was so thick on the walls that even thirty-year-old murals still reeked of paint. Apparently, the murals have been featured often on the BBC. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed (especially in the Kama Sutra room), so I can't show you the murals here. But you can take a look on

Next up: Last Day! Stonehenge and Avebury


Joy Nash

» Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Into the books: Day 11, Cheddar Gorge & Glastonbury (Avalon)

***Joy's Book Link***

The cave scene near the end The Grail King takes place in the Cheddar Gorge. These caves will make a return in the next Druid of Avalon book, Deep Magic. The Druids of Avalon's settlement is on Glastonbury Tor and the surrounding hills. The red-watered spring that feeds the Chalice Well also appears in The Grail King, as well as being the inspiration for the Sign of Water in my earlier fantasy novel, Crystal Shadows.

Today's jaunt took us first to the Cheddar Gorge. Yes, this is where the cheese was invented, supposedly by medieval monks who were looking for something tasty and vaguely meat-like to eat on Fridays. In Roman times, there is evidence that the Gorge was actually a river. There were a lot of silver and lead mines in this area, and the ore was taken out by boat. The Caves in Cheddar Gorge are beautiful. They've been a tourist sight for over a century now. There are parts of the caves that are submerged and can only be explored by divers. Not for me! The caves appear in The Grail King, and again in the second book in the Druids of Avalon series, Deep Magic. Here's a pic of one of the many cool cave chambers:

After exploring the Cheddar Caves, we drove the short distance to Glastonbury. I first visited Glastonbury on my honeymoon twenty-one (gasp!) years ago. It hasn't changed much!

Two thousand years ago, the flat farmland between Cheddar Gorge and Glastonbury Tor was tidal marshland. Glastonbury is though to be the legendary Isle of Avalon, surrounded by mists and magic. Legend has Joseph of Arimathea bringing the Holy Grail to Avalon shortly after the Crucifixion, and a monastery was active on this site a couple centuries later. Connections to King Arthur abound, and the bodies of a Celtic Chieftain and his Lady buried on the monastery site are said to be Arthur and Gwenivere, though no one really believes this any more.

Avalon is also thought to hide one of the entrances to the Celtic Underworld, Annwyn. My Druids of Avalon have built their secret settlement on this sacred island and cloak it in magic and mist to avoid detection by the Roman authorities. There's not really any evidence of a Celtic settlement on the hill during this time period, although there are Celtic settlements such as the famous Iron Age "Lake Village" nearby. But hey, I figure my Druids have just done a really good job of hiding their presence.

At the base of Glastonbury Tor lies the Chalice Well, which is fed by a spring with a high iron content. The rocks over which the water flows have turned red from all the iron residue. Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea buried the Holy Grail on this spot, after which Christ's blood flowing from the Grail turned the water red. I've provided a bit of an alternate explanation in my book The Grail King. A few years ago, I co-opted an earlier legend associated with this well for my fantasy novel Crystal Shadows. Pre-Christian Celtic tribes called this spring the Goddess Well, and the water that flowed from it the Blood of the Goddess. The Well is now surrounded by a lovely garden, with beautiful trees, flowers and sculpture, lots of little nooks and benches for quiet contemplation. While we were touring, a freak hail storm popped up. An omen? Who knows? Here's a couple pics of the Chalice Well:

After the hail storm, we climbed the Tor - Avalon - itself. The hill is very steep, and you can still see a series of ancient terraces around it. There is supposed to be a labyrinth pattern overlaid on the hill. To be in harmony with the goddess, you should climb the hill in a circular and double-back pattern, following the lines of the labyrinth. But since that would have taken us hours, and it was a very hot day, we opted for the straight stair to the top! Here's a pic of the climb up the Tor. That's my husband, already at the top!

Next up: Longleat