Occasionally on Facebook I’ll put together a call to author groups I belong to for newsletter shares. If you’re part of my newsletter, you’ll likely recognize this character from a January feature. This was the book I had to grab for myself, and my review is below. I admire authors who tackle tricky issues in their characters like addiction, so I’m really excited to bring this character to my couch.
Hand of Miriam
A Bayla and the Golem Novel
On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem; a mythical man of clay, who protected the Jewish community over three centuries ago.
The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom –by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet, Bayla challenges his mind, body and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her?
Besides, dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel.
Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other, while protecting the world from encroaching evil.
Thanks so much for interviewing Bayla on the Couch
1. If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in?
Bayla Gideon, archeologist/adventurous and blue stocking extraordinaire, would definitely need to seek therapy, now better than later. Most likely unwillingly. On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force. Upon awakening, Bayla finds she is branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Now she can detect evil people as well as supernatural creatures. Danger now shadows her every move. Including the infamous Jack the Ripper. Bayla has no choice but to suspend rational thought and awaken the golem to protect her from peril.
2. Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?
Yes. To ease her grief and nerves she comes to rely on absinthe in a much too addictive fashion. Too her shock, her protector, the golem shifts to his original form, an avenging angel. One she is very much attracted to. An angel who must not love a woman if he is to return to the celestial spheres as he’s longed to do for thousands of years.
3. It’s always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?
Politely hesitate until asked to take a seat.
4. Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be? What will she say first?
Bayla, being British will be calm and carry on. She will insist there is nothing wrong with her. She will politely claim she is handling her problems swimmingly. Former angel and now golem, Gesher knows better and would tell the therapist about her issues.
5. Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?
Bayla will order Earl Grey Tea, but if no one is looking, she will ask for absinthe.
6. When you’re building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?
I’m a panster so I write about their back-story and research first. For example for the golem I researched all the myths surrounding the golem and then added my own unique take of him being an angel. Then I let the characters take over and tell me their story.
*Speaking of Couches. In Book 2, Her Majesty’s Witch, it is Emmet (Der Golem) who seeks therapy from none other than Sigmund Freud.*
CD says: Ooooh, that sounds amazing.
Eva adds: If you think you want to learn more about Bayla and her adventures with the Golem check out my books.
This is a delightful steampunk book full of supernatural surprises and a hunky angel/golem hero who goes through his own satisfying character arc. The book’s highlight is definitely Bayla, who is a strong, independent woman in a time when those traits were considered undesirable. Having a heroine who is a widow is risky because it can feel like there’s a love triangle with the late husband and book hero, but the author handles the tricky emotional balance with sensitivity and skill. Also, while I anticipated some of the plot twists, they came with surprises I didn’t expect. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read the next one!
You can find Hand of Miriam at the following sites:
If you happen to be at Anachrocon this weekend, please come find me! I’ll be on panels in the literature and horror tracks.
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