Playing with Words

a journey into the world of writing for young readers

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Guest post by Teresa Frohock on her new book Miserere: An Autumn Tale
michele on trike
Michele asks: "What is the relevance of the magical world of Miserere to our current contemporary society?"

Thanks for having me here, Michele. I think your question wins for the most thought I had to put into the answer (that’s a good thing, by the way). I really had not considered the relevance of Woerld’s magic to our current society.

I think the thing I really wanted to impart with MISERERE is that magic doesn’t cure everything. That was why I deliberately downplayed the emphasis on spells and enchantments in MISERERE.

Lucian is powerful; he is the ONE SPECIAL CHILD, but as an adult his life is an unholy mess based on the choices he made when he was younger. By the time he finally realizes that he must accept responsibility for his mistakes, his magic is useless against his sister Catarina. She has gained more power and the balance of their relationship has shifted in her favor. At first, Lucian believes the only way to overcome Catarina is through enchantments; in the end, he escapes his sister not with magic but with his courage to change.

Catarina, on the other hand, craves the way magic makes her feel—she is like an addict seeking a greater high after every infusion of power she receives from the Fallen. She doesn’t want to study or learn but demands instant gratification, and she gets it.

And finally, like Lucian, Rachael has great power, but all the magic in Woerld cannot heal her heart. She must work through her own feelings and decide whether Lucian is sincere or setting her up for another betrayal. Her great power is useless against her past and pain.

So, very much like our current society, power through money, property, prestige, or even magic doesn’t exactly guarantee an individual a perfect life in Woerld. It’s all about choices, those decisions which are made from the core of an individual’s principles, whether they be good or evil, and where those choices lead a person.

That’s why MISERERE isn’t about magic; it’s about people who are living through violent times and political upheaval. Yet no matter how great the external world events, they are simply people, just normal people, struggling to get through their lives and loves in the midst of all the turmoil surrounding them. That’s what MISERERE is about.

Raised in a small town, Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. She eventually moved away from Reidsville and lived in Virginia and South Carolina before returning to North Carolina, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter.

Teresa has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Miserere: An Autumn Tale is her debut novel.

Teresa can be found most often at her blog and web site ( Every now and then, she heads over to Tumblr and sends out Dark Thoughts, links to movies and reviews that catch her eye. You can also follow Teresa on Twitter ( ) and join her author page on Facebook (

Miserere: An Autumn Tale
(Night Shade Books / July 1, 2011)

Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina's soul, but Catarina doesn't want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell.

When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina's wrath isn’t so easy to escape. In the end, she will force him once more to choose between losing Rachael or opening the Hell Gates so the Fallen's hordes may overrun Earth, their last obstacle before reaching Heaven's Gates.

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