A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.
Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.
Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.
The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.
I want to shed a little more light on the plight and terror of Claire Sanchez, curandera, medicine woman, protagonist in The Unholy. As a young child, she witnessed her mother’s brutal murder in the nighttime forest of Aztlan at the hands of a black-robed man. Hiding behind the tress, Claire, a five-year-old girl, was powerless to help. This nightmare haunted her waking life and dreams for twenty-five years. Day and night, she feared fulfilling her destiny as a medicine woman. Her mother died because of who she was. Terrible fright dominated her life. The black-robed man could find her and do what he had done to her mother. Death lurked around every corner of Aztlan. Religion, she came to discover, cloaked many a sordid deed and foul personage. There was no way she could continue to run. What she most feared came her way, discovered her whereabouts, what her life was about and was to become, and who she loved. The time came for her to decide. Decisions of life-long consequence are painful, agonizing. Nevertheless, she, I feel, did not regret the decision she made. She had to face the ghost of her past or forever be haunted by nightmares of what might come and what she could have done differently. She was not one to be indecisive. It was all a matter of timing. Yes, it was violent. Yes, the world of the supernatural and natural collided and forever changed the lives of so many people; but, she would not have it any other way. She needed to be true to her life, destiny, to herself as a woman who could run no longer. She could no longer cling to old ways and crippling terrors that needed to be confronted. She did what she had to do and for that she was satisfied and complete. To all who read, she would send courage as you confront the dark side of religion and a woman’s quest to discover self, destiny, and whether, because of the scarring of her past, she could ever love again.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-DeBlassie-III/e/B00E5TBJXY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1