Welcome to Realm Explorers! In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Enjoy your travels! And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.
Author’s name: Juli D. Revezzo
As witches Caitlin and Trevor prepare for a family gathering, a creature out of fantasy and myth bounds into their lives demanding they repair his precious cloak. But the cloak isn’t made of run of the mill material, but is also laced with magic. How will they satisfy his demands? And if they don’t, will he eat them?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Well, since the Antique Magic series is urban fantasy, there are two. One is the world Caitlin and Trevor live in a small town just outside Pensacola called Gulf Breeze. It’s a small town of about 6,500 inhabitants. The coolest thing about the town is they are in view of a fort from the early days of the Civil War. The fort is, supposedly, haunted, so that’s why I chose the location. They have the accompanying weather—heat, mild winters, thunderstorms, and hurricanes, which they frequently fret over. Throughout the series, under an assignment from the goddess Arianrhod, the couple have dealt with (and helped) spirits that come to them for assistance. But this is the first time they’ve ever had a dragon drop by.
The other is the Welsh “Otherworld”, Annwn (pronounced, but it’s okay to say Annwin if you like, in fact, good ole Wikipedia says one of its pronunciations is Annwvyn). Annwn is, like, their heaven. The entrance and Ariarhod’s castle, is Medieval in tone. But Annwn has tons of areas and can fluctuate between eras (the battleground especially changes depending on the mood of the Otherworld soldiers and what tournament they’re holding). Caitlin and Trevor frequently visit Arianrhod’s courtyard, where (especially Cait) is usually turned away at the gate by the temperamental guards (in Mourning Dove Locket) or let in on special occasions (in Caitlin’s Book of Shadows). In The Dragon’s Seamstress, the couple learns there’s a whole other section they’ve never known about where dragons live. Mostly, the Otherworld inhabitants come to Gulf Breeze with their problems.
If we were to visit Gulf Breeze as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you’re a history buff, you have to go Fort Pickens! 🙂 It’s a really cool, old fort, built in a pentagonal shape with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. If you’re not a history buff, definitely head to the beach.
What dangers should we avoid in Gulf Breeze?
Sometimes, the ghosts and other entities can get a little confused, so tread lightly, if you run across one. (And as a practical tip, if you go to the beach, be mindful of undertow.)
(And in Annwn, you can find yourself in trouble if you try a raid on the Spoils of Annwn. 🙂 So be warned. Don’t try to go after their riches. You don’t want your soul eaten by a proper Hound of Annwn. [see below for more on them.])
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Gulf Breeze?
They have great seafood.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Gulf Breeze?
We try to avoid confrontations, but Caitlin has some self-defense training, and…she can throw magic at a pesky imp and fry its…erm, tail, even without the help of her latest charge. 🙂
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Gulf Breeze?
Cars, bicycles, other automobiles. But Caitlin has the special talent of being able to teleport, learned from her mentor, a “guardian” sent to her and Trevor by Arianrhod. And they’ve learned the goddess, enjoys, especially, our expensive, flashy cars.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Gulf Breeze that we don’t see on Earth?
Caitlin and Trevor have adopted a Hound of Annwn named Rhonabwy (pronounced Ron-a-bwee). He is a dog-being out of Celtic legend, with white fur and red-tipped ears, (a marker of the Otherworld) who can detect supernatural beings. He can speak telepathically with Caitlin and Trevor and their witch friends are learning to hear him. His fur is always cool to Caitlin’s, instead of warm, and his eyes glow red when he’s in protection mode. He doesn’t have to obey the laws of physics so can just appear at their sides, and …do other things that if I tell you, here, will be a spoiler for The Dragon’s Seamstress
Ahem, Rhonabwy was originally raised by Arianrhod’s supernatural kennels, to join the Hounds of Annwn, who hunt souls, but…he didn’t like that job at all. So, Arianrhod’s pack-keepers ousted him, and Caitlin found him loping around a corner in her hometown, one day, and fell in love. He’s been with them ever since, and yes, defends her against, and warns her of, supernatural threats. But, poor thing, he ain’t sure how to deal with this dragon. 😉 There are other gods living in Annwn, too, but as Arianrhod is the patron goddess of Trevor and Caitlin’s family, she’s the only one who visits them. Her, Michela (their family guardian), and the gate guardians.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in a huge role? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Caitlin is a witch, and first encountered the supernatural in the first book in the Antique Magic series, The Artist’s Inheritance. Here, Trevor (who is a woodworker) started building an odd chair that the goddess Arianrhod tried to get him to give to her. But, she didn’t just walk right up and ask, but tried to blend in with human society, and so sent her emissary, Michela. On the other side, a pesky imp tried to keep Trevor from giving it up. All the while, Caitlin sensed there was something otherworldly about Michela, Arianrhod, and this imp—and got hit with a bunch of odd visions, including being visited by the ghost of her husband’s ancestor.
She thought she was going mad, until she reconnected with an old friend from school, who just so happened to be a witch, too. It was the friend who realized what was happening to Caitlin. So she knows everything Caitlin needs to learn and between her and her coven, they helped Caitlin get control of her budding powers and drive off the imp, and save her husband’s sanity (and life). Then, in the next books, Caitlin gained more and more control and learned more about ghosts (they’re not scary, after all—for the most part—just lost and lonely and in need of her “ear” and a helping hand). She can blast an enemy, if necessary, she can pick up an item and “see” its history. She sometimes gets yanked into a vision of the original owner’s life, which (as discombobulating as that can be) it can be helpful. From her coven, she’s learned enough herbalism to whip up helpful medicines; she’s learned the history and legends of this goddess, and Trevor’s Welsh ancestry. They both have (Trevor too is a witch).
They even helped a teen witch gain control of her own growing powers and they’ve both frequently visited Arianrhod’s realm of Annwn (that’s a whole ‘nother Realm Explorer’s), but they don’t go often, onscreen. (It makes an appearance in the freebie “Caitlin’s Book of Shadows
Caitlin’s magic also comes in handy in that she and Trevor run an antique store, and from time to time, she senses spiritual and magical vibes from treasures people bring in or inquire about. These always work into the series, somehow. For instance, in The Dragon’s Seamstress, a customer comes in looking for antique “witches” brooms that turn out to be a little more than meets the eye.
Also, in the book, the dragon is (obviously) magical, and furthermore, he has a cloak that he wears that is made of the beards of all the kings he’s defeated. One beard might, they speculate, have come from King Arthur. Also, at one point, he gives Caitlin a gift that pushes her powers beyond even those of her old school chum, the longtime witch. So, I can’t wait to see what she can do next!
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Gulf Breeze? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Caitlin and Trevor live in the modern world so they have everything we do: television, coffeemakers, computers, cars, Internet etc.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Gulf Breeze.
The usual—movies, books, radio. Trevor likes to surf. Gulf Breeze also has antique stores, like Trevor and Caitlin’s. I can’t say whether those others receive magical and magic-touched items like Cait and Trevor do, though. 😉
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes; as a matter of fact, in The Dragon’s Seamstress
, the couple are gearing up for Thanksgiving dinner with their families and friends. Caitlin and Trevor also celebrate the holidays peculiar to the Welsh and pagan calendars. Samhain (October 31), Gwyl Awst
(August 1), also the full moons, they always try to get together with their coven. They do only close their antique shop on national holidays, though (New Years, Christmas, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc).
Is there a particular religion practiced in Gulf Breeze? Please describe what it involves.
Caitlin and Trevor (and their coven) are pagan so they revere pagan gods—in their case, in particular, the Welsh gods of Trevor’s family, that being the goddess Arianrhod. They also, via their coven, revere the goddess of light. The coven gets together on solstices and equinoxes, Samhain, Gwyl Awst, August 1st (the abovementioned Gwyl Awst), May 1st, and so on, according to the modern pagan calendar. They cast circles, which contains their magical energy while they do their charms. At least when they’re together. If Caitlin needs to defend against a pesky imp, circles, be damned, she’s just going to blast the thing! She’ll also “bless” the homes of her friends and family to keep them safe and happy, and their environment loving and peaceful. She’s also been known to cook the best feasts around, and mix up fine teas.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Gulf Breeze?
If a ghost walks by, say hello.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve an art history degree, and a love of Celtic mythology. I also know some artists, so all of these things tied into the series. Oh, and Caitlin and Trevor’s antique store is inspired by a few that we have around town. And yes, I have actually visited Gulf Breeze. The one in the books doesn’t have exactly the same layout as the real town, but, I have. It’s a nice little coastal town, with lovely beaches, and of course, Fort Pickens. A few other things: Caitlin’s neighbor knits, and I can (a little); also, alas, in 2017, I had experience with the hurricane they talk about in The Dragon’s Seamstress. Welcome to Florida life. (haha). Caitlin lives further north of us and down here in our area, we had rubble—in fact, according to the news, there were piles of it all over the state for even after Christmas, that year. So it was hard not to be constantly reminded of it, that year.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
It really depends on the book. But throughout the Antique Magic series, I’ve covered the Civil War, spousal domination, Cuban history and the Revolution, flappers, and a huge dose of feminism. In fact, at one point, Trevor answers the dragon’s question with “Haven’t you figured out who runs this house yet? Cait does.”
Please share a brief author autobiography.
Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl with a love of speculative and romantic fiction and legend, and loves writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of The Antique Magic series and the fantasy romance Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, along with a few historical romance novels, and short stories published in ETERNAL HAUNTED SUMMER, LUNA STATION QUARTERLY, among others. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? Please include links.
The Dragon’s Seamstress releases August 11, 2019 in ebook
and coming soon to paperback via Amazon.
The other books in the series (and the reading order) are:
And, well, to understand everything you should probably read them in order, at least start with book one. Just so you know, some readers think the first two can be a little creepy, as Caitlin is creeped out by her early contact with the ghosts around her. As she gets a handle on things, the “fear” factor vanishes. Really, the ghosts aren’t scary-creepy-evil once you get to know them. They’re more like friendly spirits, or (can I say this?) “Force” ghosts. They’re in need of someone like Caitlin and Trevor to listen to them, and even helpful, when you get to know them. Some can be pesky, some can be belligerent. Just like people.
In The Dragon’s Seamstress
, a friendly ancestral ghost helps the couple figure out what it is that is coming to them for assistance, this time, when the dragon is still playing hide and seek with them. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book.
Where can readers connect with you online?
, of course, is the main place.
Find all my books on Amazon
. I have a few on Itunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, too. Those links are on my website, if you need them. (I’m working on getting the series turned into audiobooks, but it’s going to take time. If that’s your favorite format, feel free to join my newsletter—linked below—and I’ll let you know when they’re available.)
They can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub, I have a Pinterest board for the Antique Magic series, and you can join my newsletter here, if you like, to be kept abreast of new releases. Here's the synopsis, if you'd like to check it out:
Since Caitlin and Trevor vowed to assist the Otherworld and opened their enchanted antique shop, they’ve seen many strange things. But now, someone comes in asking for a mundane item: kitschy “witches” brooms. Has their magical life returned to normal?
As the couple prepares to host a family gathering, fate intervenes and something they’ve never seen before roars into their life: A creature out of Welsh legend and fantasy: A blundering, somewhat underdeveloped dragon—not at all the type of dragon they ever expected to meet. Forced to undertake his unique challenge, Caitlin and Trevor are perplexed by his demands, but the magical beast is certain they are the only witches who can help him.
Doing so might unlock an ancient hidden secret. Refusing might destroy them.
I hope you will enjoy The Dragon's Seamstress as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for having me again here at your lovely little home, Annie!
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Gulf Breeze. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
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-Annie Douglass Lima