A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, and fantasy and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Trilogy and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though…not yet, anyway!
Top 10 Things About the Witches of Cleopatra Hill
- The McAllister clan emigrated from Scotland to Connecticut in the 1790s, and then moved from the East Coast to Arizona in the mid-1890s.
- The McAllister clan has as its head what is referred to as the prima, or the most powerful witch of her generation. The role of the prima doesn’t necessarily pass from mother to daughter; in Angela’s case, it’s her great-aunt who’s the current prima.
- Every member of the clan has a different gift, in varying degrees of power. Angela can talk to ghosts, while her cousin Adam can control the weather (up to a point; he is not as powerful as she is).
- Although the prima has the final say, the day-to-day management of the clan is handled by its elders, a group of three powerful witches/warlocks. Currently, the clan elders are Margot Emory, Allegra Moss, and Bryce McAllister.
- The prima must bind with her consort during her twenty-first year in order to come into her full powers. It’s a great honor to be the consort of a prima, so eligible candidates come from all over to make their attempt at the ritual kiss to see if they’re “the one.”
- The McAllister clan’s sphere of influence includes the tiny former mining town of Jerome, Arizona, and neighboring Clarkdale, Cottonwood, and most of the Verde Valley. Prescott and Payson are also part of their “safe zone.”
- Approximately half the town of Jerome is made of up of a non-witch (what they refer to as “civilian”) population. Quiet spells have been cast to make sure that only sympathetic people move into Jerome, so the witches don’t have to worry about their secret being revealed to the rest of the world.
- Members of the McAllister clan occasionally marry civilians to avoid inbreeding, but the prima is never allowed to do so. She may, however, marry a warlock from a different clan.
- The McAllister witches and warlocks practice a sort of modified Wicca, based on rituals brought over from Scotland. However, they tend to be fairly nondenominational when it comes to religion, and some of them also go to church, practice Buddhism, etc. They’re spiritual rather than dogmatic.
- The binding of a prima to her consort must happen in her clan’s territory; otherwise, her powers can be used to strengthen the clan of her consort rather than her own people.
The Witches of Cleopatra Hill (# 1)
Publisher: Dark Valentine Press
Publication Date: March 30, 2014
Print Length: 233 pages
Finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare….
As the future prima, or head witch of her clan, Angela McAllister is expected to bond with her consort during her twenty-first year, thus ensuring that she will come into her full powers at the appointed time. The clock is ticking down, and her consort has yet to make an appearance. Instead, her dreams are haunted by a man she’s never seen, the one she believes must be her intended match.
But with time running out, and dark forces attempting to seize her powers for their own, Angela is faced with a terrible choice: give up her dreams of the man she may never meet and take the safer path, or risk leaving her clan and everyone in it at the mercy of those who seek their ruin.
Darkangel is the first book in The Witches of Cleopatra Hill, a paranormal romance trilogy set in the haunted town of Jerome, Arizona.