Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Blogger: Melody Carlson and Giveaway!!!!

Welcome back, ghouls and ghosts ; )
Today we have a very special post! Melody Carlson has written a short post on the supernatural for you all! How cool is that!? Without further ado, here's Melody!

Teens and Their Supernatural Pursuits

By Melody Carlson

Have you even wondered why some teens are drawn toward things like Ouija boards or psychics? Or why séances are still popular at sleepovers? Does it just have to do with Halloween and that spine-chilling need for a good scare? Or could it be something more? And, as a Christian, should you be concerned?
Those questions, as well as some confused reader letters, prompted me to tackle the “supernatural” in one of my teen novels (Moon White, TrueColors, Nav Press). And whenever I write an issues-based novel, I’m forced to research—and often in some dark places. So I began scouring websites, learning more about Wicca and the occult, trying to grasp what was really going on with today’s teens—and how I could write about it in a helpful and relevant way.
But, as usual, when I write a teen book, I go back to my own adolescence...trying to connect with my inner teen...and I suddenly remembered a short era when a friend and I got very interested in witchcraft. I had honestly forgotten about this time and was fascinated to recall how we scoured some witchcraft stores on a local campus—I think we even purchased a few things. Fortunately, this interest was short-lived and I became a Christian not long afterward.
However, as I reconnected with my inner teen, I had to ask myself—why had I looked into witchcraft back then? Why do teens dabble with it now? Suddenly the answer became crystal clear. I was searching. I’d been calling myself an atheist for several years by then, but I was spiritually hungry—starving in fact. Consequently I was looking for spiritual answers—something that would fill that empty void within me. I wanted a supernatural force in my life and I didn’t even care where it came from. I needed something bigger than me, more powerful than me, something to hold onto. I had no idea at the time that I was really searching for God.
This realization changed the way I viewed my research. Instead of feeling disgusted and dismayed by the witchcraft/Wicca sites (which are not particularly enjoyable) I began to recognize that these people (mostly girls) were simply searching too. They wanted a power source in their lives just like I wanted one in mine. They just hadn’t found God yet.
This led to another discovery. A girl who’s attracted to a religion like Wicca is usually seeking to gain some control over her life. Something is wrong and she wants to change it. To do so, she’s often enticed to purchase something—like “magical herbs”—to create a potion that will give her some control over her situation. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even realize she’s being tricked.
But think about it, wouldn’t you love to have control over a bad situation sometimes? Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the circumstances that make your life unpleasant? So what if someone offered you the “power” to do just that? Perhaps if you’re fifteen, you wouldn’t see that person as a charlatan and you would fall for it.
Which brings me to another important factor in understanding this generation’s attraction to the supernatural. Follow the money. The more I researched, the more it became painfully obvious that Wicca and witchcraft and the occult are money-making enterprises. Thanks to the internet, these savvy distributors sell anything imaginable—and many things you can’t. That leads to some serious motivation—these marketers want to hook their unsuspecting young customers and reel them in. Of course, these potions and trinkets and how-to books don’t come with a money back guaranty. Nor are they approved by the FDA. Yet they are a multi-million dollar industry.
So, in a way, it’s a perfect storm. Teens that are insecure, lost, unhappy, and searching...meet up with an unregulated industry that offers supernatural answers and power and control...for a price. And, oh yeah, I never even mentioned how this opens a door for Satan to slip in and wreak havoc. For that...you’ll have to read the book.

For more on Melody Carlson:

Wow! What an interesting post, Melody. I'll be honest, I had a Ouija board that I was given to me by my aunt in.....third or fourth grade for my birthday. Of course, my sister and I pulled it right out afterwards to check it out. As soon as my friends found out, I had to bring it to every sleepover! LOL! There really was an obsession with it. I never really thought about it until reading this post. It just kind of....was, if that makes any sense. I still have it, but we don't use it anymore. It's pretty much a dust catcher now, but holds a lot of memories. Lots of laughs, silly questions, and stupid scares from my friends and I! I have to agree with you though. I think it's just searching. Everyone longs for that power, that sense of something greater in their lives whether they admit it or not. By thinking that there IS a spirit in the room or whatever, it's the same as God but we probably haven't yet. That is an excellent point!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!!! TWO (yes, two!) lucky commentors will be winners this time! We're giving away books :D Woot woot! There will be few books to choose from. The first winner pulled will get to choose two books they would like to recieve, then the second winner will get to choose theirs from what is left : )

~ Must leave an email address so I can contact you if you win

Extra entries:
+1 Become a new follower
+2 Let me know if you're an old follower
+1 Go to Melody's site and tell me one thing you liked, found interesting, etc
+1 Sign up to follow Melody's newsletter on her site

Books to choose from:
~ Clandestine Cover-Up by Pamela Tracy
~ Final Warning by Sandra Robbins
~ Twisted by R.L. Stine
~ The Locker by Richie Tankersley Cusick
~ The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt
~ Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant

This contest will run until November 1, at 12am! So you have all day next Monday to still get in your comments, if you're interested! I really hope more people enter this contest compared to the last one, it makes it more fun that way!
Have a great Wednesday, halfway through the week people! You can do it!


  1. What a wonderful post. I think Melody is definitely onto something about the control factor, and the empty factory.
    Thanks ladies!

  2. This entire series is really good :)

    +2 Old follower!
    +1 I love Melody's blog design and title! The clouds and sky are gorgeous, and the title is super creative :)


  3. Hey!! Super cool giveaway! I am an old follower of yours, and would love to be included in the giveaway! (+2) Thanks!

    My email: agirlslegacy(at)yahoo(dot)com

    On a side note, be sure to check out my post today. You won two blog awards on my blog. Congrats! Read the post for details on how to accept the award. :-)