Goth Girl Virgin Queen by JoAnne Keltner - Untold Things about being Psychic + Giveaway!

Sunday, February 21, 2016




Title: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen
Author Name: JoAnne Keltner
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal
Length: Approx. 298 pages
Release Date: December 3, 2015


Calling Jackie Turov psychic makes her cringe. But Jackie’s no normal seventeen-year-old. She picks up emotions from people and objects like a freak. The emotions make her sick, and the guilt she feels for lying to her church when she was twelve causes her to deny her psychic abilities.

So Jackie goes goth to make others stay away from her and forget her past. But her past is soon resurrected when her jealous friend Trish invites a demon, a persecutor of healers, to steal away Jason’s love for Jackie. The demon causes Jackie to be bullied for the lie she told and puts her best friend, Jason, in danger.

Jackie must learn how to use her gift to protect Jason and herself and to heal the negative energies of those around her. To do so means she must overcome her guilt and accept who she is before the demon claims her soul.

Sacramento Regular


The medicine cabinet mirror—dotted with rust and turning gray—made the powder foundation on Jackie’s face look ashen and her jet-black hair, blurry. She looked like a shadow of a girl. She smeared black lipstick on her lips and shook out her shoulder-length hair. Her straight-cut bangs veiled her mascara-lined eyes, and the layered ends of her hair stuck out in defiant wisps.

Some of the kids at school—the ones she didn’t hang out with—called her Goth Girl. Some, whose memories wouldn’t die, called her VQ for Virgin Queen.

Jackie preferred Goth Girl, to be one of the living dead, to be numb to the emotions that plagued her. But this was what she wanted, not what she got.

Goth Girl or Virgin Queen, she was a freak, absorbing the emotions around her like a sponge. Sometimes the emotions made her sick. Sometimes they made her see things.

Because of this, she kept to a tight-knit group of goth friends—Jason, Zeta, and Trish—and avoided social activities. She attended high school only because Mom wouldn’t let her homeschool. Mom was afraid she’d hang with Babu all day, making piroshki and doing needlepoint instead of studying. Jackie, afraid of what life offered a freak like her beyond high school, had to admit that hanging with Babu all day was tempting.

Typically, Fridays were movie nights for Jason and her, but tonight would be different. Tonight, she’d subject herself to a hodgepodge of emotions from crowds and rides and the very ground she’d walk on to protect Jason. For this, she would need physical and spiritual strength, which she sought from Babu these days.

Babu’s door was cracked, and Jackie slowly pushed the door open. “Babu?”

The room smelled of beeswax and down. A candle burned on the shrine on the dresser. The flickering flame animated the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir and cast shadows across the picture of Babu, Grandma, Mom, and Jackie. Although Babu didn’t speak English, and Jackie didn’t understand much Russian, Jackie knew Babu kept that picture on her shrine to pray for Grandma, who passed away several years ago; for Mom, who divorced Dad; and for the girl who saw the Virgin when she was twelve—for the girl she had become as a teen.

Babu sat in bed, a country quilt spread over her legs, her thumb pressed against a knot of her prayer rope, her head bowed sleepily, and her lips wording prayers.

“I wanted to say goodbye,” Jackie whispered.

Babu crossed herself and then smiled at Jackie, her gold eyetooth shining from the light of the bed-stand lamp. She patted the empty space beside her. “Sadees.”

Jackie sat down beside Babu at the edge of the bed and took Babu’s hand in hers. Babu’s hand was warm and knotted with arthritis. Jackie rubbed her thumb over the bumps on Babu’s knuckles; her black fingernails were a sharp contrast to Babu’s flour-white skin.

She wasn’t afraid to touch Babu’s hands and absorb her emotions. Jackie got a good feeling from her. Babu filled Jackie’s inner vision with white light. She renewed her spirit. And this is what Jackie needed for the commitment she had made for tonight.

Kooda eedyosh?” Babu asked.

“I’m going out,” Jackie said as if Babu understood her. This is how they communicated: Babu telling her stuff she couldn’t understand, Jackie telling Babu stuff she couldn’t understand. Somehow they carried on fine this way.

Eedyosh sdroozyamee?”

“I’m going with Jason.”

Babu rubbed the top of Jackie’s hand and ran her thumb over black fingernails. “Fsyevo kharoshevuh,” she said in a comforting tone and gently squeezed Jackie’s hand. Then she cupped her hands around Jackie’s jaws and pulled her forehead to her lips. Jackie imagined Babu’s kiss imprinted on her forehead and carrying Babu’s blessings and love with her tonight.


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Just Another Hand Regular

It’s common knowledge that psychics are highly sensitive and intuitive people, picking up vibes when entering a room, easily reading the moods of others. But they are also affected in ways we may not begin to imagine. For example, what may be a mundane shopping trip for the non-psychic may not be for the psychic, who may be distracted by the many feelings he or she picks up from the other shoppers. To learn more about how psychics are affected by everyday events and how they deal with them, I thought it would be fun to interview two psychics whom I know personally: Madam Sophie and Jackie Turov from my latest YA, paranormal novel Goth Girl Virgin Queen.

Before the Interview

Jackie, wearing a black T-shirt, black jeans, and combat boots, leans forward in the fold-out chair. Her elbows on her knees, she picks at her black fingernail polish. “I’m only here because I want the audience to know me better, but honestly, I really hate the attention, hate being a freak.”

Madam Sophie gently smacks Jackie’s shoulder. “Relax and sit up,” she says. Madam Sophie is sitting square-shouldered, her head raised and chin up like a prairie dog curiously poking out from a hole. She smiles at me, showing her crooked teeth. She’s a tiny woman in mismatched clothing: a striped scarf, winter sweater, a flowered maxi skirt, and gold ballet slippers.

Jackie rolls her eyes and then slides up in her chair, her shoulders still slumped. “Can we just get on with this? I promised my great grandmother, Babu, I’d help her make piroshki tonight.”

Interview

JOANNE KELTNER: Thank you Madam Sophie and Jackie for being here. Jackie, I promise I won’t keep you long.

MADAM SOPHIE: You will. You were just thinking your question list may be a little too much.

JACKIE TUROV: She reads my thoughts like that all the time. No one’s safe thinking around her.

JOANNE: Good to know. I’ll narrow my questions down to a few each. Jackie, I’ll start with you so you can run home.

MADAM SOPHIE: (Laughs) And that she can, like the time she ran home to get away from young seminarian David. Couldn’t shake him, could you?

JACKIE: Ugh! (Drops her head into her hands) I don’t want to talk about it. Two questions and I’m out of here.

JOANNE: Deal. Jackie, you’re an empath and a psychometrist, which means, you absorb people’s emotions just by being near them and you pick up emotions and information through touch. From this, you can learn things about a person’s past and about the present. Your empathic ability is the most crippling for you because the emotions you absorb often make you sick, especially when the emotions are toxically hateful or extremely sad. Am I correct?

JACKIE: That’s me, el freako.

MADAM SOHPIE: (Clucks her tongue) She doesn’t realize how special she is.

JOANNE: Can you tell us, then, what it’s like for you when clothes shopping?

JACKIE: A joke! First of all, I avoid all crowds, so Jason and I get there when the mall walkers do. I start by window shopping, careful not to touch the glass. As soon as stores open, I’m in, pointing to the thing I like. Jason lifts it from the rack so I can take a closer look. I thought about having him try on the clothes for me because we’re about the same size, but then not only would I have to deal with the emotions clinging to the fabric from other customers, I’d have to deal with his too. His are a little too emo for me to bear. So, I make sure he only touches the hangers, holds the outfits up in front of me as I stand before a mirror. When I get home, I dump the clothes from store bag straight into the washer. Soap, water, and a good spin cycle wipes out any emotions they might be carrying.

JOANNE: Wow, that’s really interesting—a new “spin” on clothes’ shopping, pardon the pun.

MADAM SOPHIE: Ha!

JACKIE: (Grimaces) Next question, please.

JOANNE: Okay. I’ve read that some psychics have difficulty sleeping either because they are visited by spirits, ridden with negative feelings they’ve picked up during the day, or awakened often by vivid dreams. Jackie, what’s your night life like?

JACKIE: Lately, not so good. It’s been easy for me to fall asleep because I’ve been emotionally drained from all that’s been going on, but I’ve been having these strange dreams about me and Babu—people hurling stones at us and calling us witches, she and I escaping into a forest. Right now, I’m seeing gothic crosses and Ouija boards in my head and I’m feeling really jealous. Were you interviewing my friend Trish in this chair?

JOANNE: She didn’t want you to know.

JACKIE: As if I wouldn’t?

JOANNE: I don’t want you getting sick. You’re free to go.

JACKIE: Later.

MADAM SOPHIE: (Leans toward me) It’s just an excuse. Her mind is elsewhere. She’s been torn between the young seminarian David and her best friend Jason. I know who she’ll pick. But I’ll never tell. (Winks)

JOANNE: You would know, you’re a classic mind reader, plus you use psychometry and Tarot cards to gain insight. You’re also a professional psychic, seeing quite a few people a day to read their fortunes. How does all of this psychic input affect your night life?

MADAM SOPHIE: Sometimes, I do find it hard to sleep. My brain is like this receiver that never shuts off—makes me have the weirdest dreams. I typically enjoy the imagery and interpreting the symbolism, so I don’t mind waking up many times during the night. I don’t need as much sleep as I did when I was young, and my waking up to premonitions and insights is usually accompanied by a much needed bathroom visit. When I’m really tired and need a good night’s sleep, I drink a hot cup of Sleepy Time—with a shot of bourbon, of course. I also hang a dream catcher on my bedpost. The dream catcher filters out bad dreams. The sleepy time and bourbon take care of the rest.

JOANNE: What’s it like clothes (I look at her mismatched outfit and pause) shopping or any type of shopping for you?

MADAM SOPHIE: Oh, I love flea marketing and thrift-store shopping. Love to buy things that give me a good vibe. Life isn’t all negative energy, you know. There are many positive, creative, energetic people out there, and I like poking into their vibes, if not their heads. Some may say I’m psychically nosey. Maybe it’s because I live alone, never married. I have a terrible time with relationships, so I guess it’s my way of relieving that loneliness.

JOANNE: Hmm. On that note, of relationships, can I ask you a personal question?

MADAM SOPHIE: My answer’s waiting.

JOANNE: I’ll ask it out loud, then, for the audiences’ sake. If you knew through your psychic ability that a friend was in danger, would you warn them even if you knew they wouldn’t believe you or would never speak to you again?

MADAM SOPHIE: Trying to get me in trouble, are you? Well, in my defense I have to say that sometimes even I’m taken by surprise. Sometimes my overzealous expectations overshadow my insight. But generally, yes, I feel obligated to disclose what I see, hence my relationship problems.

JOANNE: Thank you for sharing, and thank you for coming here today.


MADAM SOPHIE: You’re very welcome. And the audience is welcome to learn more about me and Jackie by reading Goth Girl Virgin Queen ... odd title, but it does apply. Teens love to label. Anyhoo, Jackie’s not a bad person at all, she just needs to accept herself for what she is—once she learns what that is. So, Toot-a-loo! See you all in book land.

Miltonian  Regular 


JoAnne Keltner is the author of Goth Girl, Virgin Queen (Solstice Publishing, 2015) and Obsession (Musa Publishing, 2013 ed.). As an only child and avid daydreamer, she spent hours alone in her backyard on the South Side of Chicago, which she imagined to be everything from an alien planet to the Antarctic. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, four dogs, cat, and three chickens. When she isn't writing or freelance editing, she's obsessively streaming popular TV shows.

Contact her through:

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4 comments

  1. Thank you, Natasha Anne, for hosting me today!

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    1. You are welcome! Thank you for commenting, it was a pleasure! :)

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  2. Thank you so much for hosting JoAnne and Goth Girl Virgin Queen!!

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Thank you for commenting, I love reading them! :D