Thursday, 17 March 2011

Two of Swords - Guestpost by Alayna Williams + giveaway

Today I bring you a guest post by the amazing Alayna Williams!
Some of you might know her book Dark Oracle was on my list of favourite Pearls of 2010 and so far Rogue Oracle, her second book in the Delphic Oracle series, is on top of my favourites list of 2011. Not only does she write awesome books both as Alayna Williams and Laura Bickle, she's an awesome person as well.

As part of her Bewitching Book Blog Tour she'll tell you all about the tarot card Two of Swords and she's got a really cool giveaway for readers of my blog as well.


Image of Two of Swords from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot.

Two of Swords: The Balance
by Alayna Williams

I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections among characters

One of the cards that's intrigued me most over time is the Two of Swords. It shows a seated woman wearing a blindfold. She balances two swords over her shoulders. At her back is the ocean and a crescent moon. It's a very mysterious card, one that takes on a different meaning with each reading.

The suit of Swords is tied to the element of Air: communication, mental faculties, logic, and messages. In numerology, the number two is about love and harmony - and it's ruled by the intuitive power of the moon. The Two of Swords usually signifies compromise, withdrawal, denial...and sometimes a stalemate. The woman is holding the swords to shield herself, and she is blindfolded against considering options. The ocean, representing the vastness of emotions, is at her back...and she's trying her hardest to put her head down ignore it. The moon has risen, and the moon-driven tide's going to rise and engulf her unless she rouses herself and takes action.

The concept of the card reminds me of the myth of Eros, who is often depicted as wearing a blindfold. Eros was the son of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. But even that was up for dispute...some scholars believe he was a primeval force that came directly from Chaos: love, passion for life.

In ancient Greece, Eros was not the chubby cherub we know today. He was a handsome man who carried a bow and arrow - whoever he shot fell hopelessly in love. The idea of the blindfold - which came later - signified the idea that love is blind. Love can make us powerless and make no rational sense. We love whomever we first lay eyes upon after we are struck by the magic arrow.

With that idea in mind, I consider the woman in the Two of Swords. She's blindfolded herself to avoid considering her emotions - the ocean behind her. But all's not lost. She can still hear the ocean. And the lesson of the card is to listen to intuition, to love. She must consider these with as much weight as the tangible, rational swords on her shoulders.

Not that she should cast them away...the swords are sharp, useful weapons. But she needs to remove her blindfold, face the tide. When she listens to her intuition and her intellect, the Two of Swords becomes a balanced force to be reckoned with.


Then you really should pick up Rogue Oracle (and Dark Oracle as well if you haven't read it yet).

This is what Rogue Oracle is about:
The more you know about the future, the more there may be to fear.

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around - and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn't need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards - and Tara's increasingly ominous dreams - suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationships with the mysterious order known as Delphi's Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen…

ROGUE ORACLE is available at and Barnes & Noble among others.

Read my review of Dark Oracle here and my review of Rogue Oracle here

And now for the really cool giveaway I told you about at the start of this post!

Alayna Williams has been so generous to offer not just Rogue Oracle, but both Dark Oracle and Rogue Oracle as a set to one reader of my blog.

Yes, you read that correctly:
You could be so lucky to win both books of the Delphic Oracle series!

So leave a comment about Alayna's guestpost or tell why you want to win these awesome books and cross your trotters or fingers ;-)

Some rules for the giveaway:
- This giveaway is International
- Leave a comment before March 31
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- You don't need to be a follower to enter
- Winner will be picked at random on March 31 and announced that same day or the day after.


Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

Whoa, this is a very awesome giveaway! Your tastes seem to line up with mine about 75 percent of the time, so the fact that you love these books means there is a high likely hood I will too. :D

Thanks for visiting, Alayna. I agree, the two of swords is a very romantic card. Makes me want to be that woman - strong and beautiful and intelligent.

Have a great St. Patty's Day! Miranda
mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

This is a wonderful giveaway, thanks! And so cool that you read this blog Alayna.

The thing I like most about Alayna's books is the intuitive storylines and character choices. They always make sense to me. I can't wait to read Rogue Oracle!

Take care,

Supeiema at gmail

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Sullivan love the photos- especially the one with you holding the tarot card- awesome.

Alayna Williams said...

Thanks so much to Sullivan for hosting me! I really appreciate it. :-) I love the pix of you and the card! The card is almost as big as you do you shuffle?

Sweet Vernal Zephyr, the Two of Swords is very romantic...and mysterious. She's one of my favorites, because I can imagine a lot of different stories about her. :-)

Thanks so much, Kim! I'm so glad that you like them. I love playing around with intuition and figuring out how it works in a's a fun process to write about. :-)

Hi, Roxanne! *waves*

YzhaBella's BookShelf said...

I have heard SO many great comments about this series 'round the blogosphere! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the chance to win!

Happy Patty's Day!

Sharon S. said...

Hey, McPig! Great job! Tarot cards can be so beautiful. I would love to learn how to interpret them on day.

thanks for the give away!

Alayna Williams said...

Hi, Kate! Thanks so much for stopping in, and best of luck!

Sharon, I love cards...and am very curious about which deck Sullivan is using. I have not seen that one before, but I may be adding it to my "must have" list!

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!
@Alayna: I got a human on stand by to shuffle for me ;-)
And this card is yet again from the 'Mage, the Ascension' tarot deck. It's out of print, but maybe available second hand somewhere. I love the artwork of this deck, every suit has a different artist, but still they all fit together.

ChristyJan said...

Alayna's Delphic Oracle series sounds wonderful and I really liked reading her concept about the Woman of Two Swords card.

I want to win these awesome books for my birthday on the 1st (April Fools Day)

Alayna Williams said...

Sullivan, I checked out the Mage Ascension Tarot on! What a collector's item! You should keep those under lock and key. ;-)

ChristyJan, thanks so much and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sullivan McPig said...

*jaw drops*
Ok... I knew it was a limited edition deck, but hadn't expected it to be so expensive even secondhand.
I noticed they made a new one with different artists though:
Mage: The Awakening Tarot
looks nice, but still love my deck more.

LittleMsBookish said...

Thank you for this giveaway!
Who wouldn't want a signed book? It makes the book more special when it's personalized :)
Can't wait to read this!

Katie Dalton said...

I hope to the undead gods I win! I have this book on my read list, ask anyone I know! :)

*fingers and hooves crossed*


Alayna Williams said...

Sullivan, it just proves you have excellent taste!

Thanks so much, LittleMsBookish. I love collecting signed books, too. I don't have very many, but keep them on a special shelf.

Thanks for including me on your read list, Katie! I'm thrilled to be on it. :-)

Marie said...

I have been wanting to read these books as your owner and I usually have similar taste in books Sullivan. This is the perfect way to get to read them and score signed copies!!
Either way, win or lose, I will be reading them!


Alayna Williams said...

Thanks so much, Marie! *hugs*

I always look forward to Sullivan's recommendations. I've discovered a lot of new books through them!

Sullivan McPig said...

Aaaww... thanks Marie and Alayna *blushes*

winnie said...

Interesting post! I love the concept and interpretations of the Two of Swords card.

Thanks for the awesome giveaway, Alayna! I also love how I'm learning about some fascinating tidbits about Tarot cards by following your blog tour! :)


Anonymous said...

Ah I'd like to enter! These books seem realllllly interesting.


Alayna Williams said...

Thank you so much for following, Winnie! I'm having a lot of fun writing about the Tarot. I'm becoming aware that I had certain impressions of individual cards that I didn't really analyze much until I put my thoughts in writing. And plus...I'm meeting some great folks who like to chat Tarot!

Thanks, the bookwurm! I'm thrilled that you stopped in!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for opening this fabulous giveaway internationally! I'm so glad I came across your blog.

Sullivan McPig said...

I myself am not from the US so completely understand the frustration about US only giveaways ;-)

buddyt said...

I have read some goods reviews on the series so I would like to be entered in the giveaway.

Thanks for opening it to worldwide entries.

Much appreciated.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

mariska said...

I love reading your books. would love the signed copies please :)

uniquas at ymail dot com