Sunday, July 30, 2017

All Signs Point To Murder - An Astrological Guest Post & Giveaway

I've always been interested in astrology and Connie di Marco, who writes the Zodiac Mystery series, has agreed to share some information with us. Be sure to check out my review of ALL SIGNS POINT TO MURDER, the second book in the series, if you haven't already. Now...here's Connie:




Hi Kathy ~

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit today.  And I’m so glad you’re curious about astrology.  When I first thought about writing a mystery set in San Francisco, I wanted to invent an amateur sleuth with an unusual profession.  What could be better than to make Julia Bonatti an astrologer?  An astrologer whose clients bring her their problems and involve her in solving crimes! 

The first time I saw an astrological chart I was awestruck.  I thought the ancient symbols were fascinating and I wanted to learn more.  Fast forward many years and finally I met an amateur astrologer who astounded me with her predictions and recommended some very good books.  I was off and running.  I do have a fairly decent library of astrology books now and I’ve done lots of reading and studying.  Believe it or not, once you spend a lot of time experimenting with charts, it all becomes second nature. 

There are many different branches of astrology.  Sidereal astrology incorporates the precession of the equinoxes.  I’ve worked a little with this method, but for me, the geocentric, tropical charts seem to work best.  Mundane astrology relates to larger issues, like world events or the study of countries’ charts.  Horary astrology is a very ancient practice with different rules.  I know a little about this subject, but it’s not my field of expertise.  It’s used when a client has a specific question.  The astrologer sets up an exact chart for the day and hour and minute that the question is asked and that chart will provide the answer.  It’s mindboggling, but it does really work.  Electional astrology is useful for picking a date, for example, a wedding, so the marriage chart will be favorable.

Julia’s field of practice is a little different.  She works with individual natal charts and relationship and composite charts.  A natal or birth chart is a map of the solar system at the time of a person’s birth, with the earth at the center point of the circle.  Planets above the horizon of the chart indicate a person who’s much involved with the outer world and how that world judges him or her.  A chart with a heavy eastern (or left) emphasis would indicate an individual who is cautious, even fearful of connecting with others, while a western (or right emphasis) is someone who is very outgoing and easily able to connect with other people.  The shape of a chart can tell a lot about a person.  



The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars.  The heavier planets -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are much slower moving and take a long time to travel through a zodiac sign.  Their placement and aspects to the personal planets are important in a chart, but because Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are so slow-moving, a whole generation may share the same planet in the same sign. 

For example, Pluto is a transformative planet, discovered in the 1930s and associated with the rise of gangsterism, mob rule and even atomic power.  So Pluto in a larger sense represents transformation, even sometimes violent change.  The Pluto in Leo generation, now older, is the generation that questioned authority (Leo) and instigated the rebellion of the 1960’s, the generation with Pluto in Libra (relationships) is now in their forties and instrumental in creating unique concepts of relationship --  hence the LGBT movements and the legalization of same sex marriage. 

Each of the twelve houses represents a different area of life, and there are many levels to each house.  For example, the sixth house shows the work one does on a daily basis, which may be quite different from a career or an avocation.  It’s a house that’s related to the state of a person’s health and also a house to look at in terms of self-esteem.  If there are difficult aspects to planets in that house or its ruler, there may be childhood problems that need to be addressed.  Oh, and if there are questions about pets, that’s the house to look at. 

It’s also important to look at axes, houses opposite each other  – the 4th-10th house cusps, the 2nd-8th cusps, the 5th-11th.  To give you one example, the fifth house represents ‘love given,’ while the opposite house, the 11th, indicates ‘love received.’  

The 4th-10th house axis is all about home (4th) and career (10th).  Opposite issues.  Or are they?  They really can’t be separated.  Both are important or show a need to maintain balance.  This axis is also the parental axis – Mom and Dad.  What was their relationship like?  And how did the child relate to the parents? 

I’ll touch upon the personal planets a bit, so you get an idea of these energies:

  Your Sun, its zodiac sign, and the house it is placed in, and the aspects to it, delineate your basic nature, your life path, the ‘ego’ if you will.

  Your Moon, its zodiac sign and its house describes your emotional nature, your needs and feelings.  It also has a lot to do with health, as does the sign on the Ascendant or first house.  A person with a Moon in Gemini (`) relates to others from a mental  perspective, perhaps not really experiencing their emotions, while someone with the Moon in Cancer (a)will be extra super-sensitive.

Mercury indicates how you think, your mental abilities, speech and the written word.  A person with Mercury closely connected to Pluto in their natal chart might be obsessive.  Opposed to Uranus, Mercury can be highly intuitive and perhaps speaks before they think.

Venus describes your love nature (and has a lot to do with how you treat money).  If Saturn forms a close tie to your natal Venus, you might be very conservative and tight with a buck, too concerned with security to spend your money (or your love), but if it’s opposed to Jupiter, you might be overly generous or too free with your money (or your love).

Mars is the planet of doing-ness, how you accomplish tasks, how you deal with anger and so on.  In a fiery sign, Mars is hot-headed.  Combined with Uranus, it can indicate an explosive temper.  Opposed by Saturn, the individual has a hard time deciding when to move forward and when to step on the brakes, and it can take until the middle years before the individual feels comfortable with that aspect. 

Julia in the Zodiac Mysteries is a Sagittarian (f), a fire sign, so she’s a bit headstrong and impulsive.  It’s probably one of the reasons she leaps before she looks and gets herself into a lot of trouble investigating crimes.  But she does have some interesting adventures!

If you’d like to learn more, I highly recommend books by Noel Tyl (www.noeltyl.com), Steven Arroyo, Liz Greene, or Robert Hand.  They happen to be my faves, but there are many more brilliant and talented astrologers who are researching, writing and breaking new ground in the field.  There’s a lot to learn, but well worth the journey!  

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All Signs Point to Murder

by Connie di Marco

on Tour July 23 - August 23, 2017

Synopsis:


Rob Ramer was the perfect husband until he committed the ultimate family faux pas — he shot his sister-in-law to death. Believing himself under attack by an intruder in his home, he fired back. But when evidence is discovered that Rob’s wife, Brooke, was plotting his murder, Brooke is charged with conspiracy in her sister’s death. Geneva, a third sister, is desperate for answers and seeks the help of her friend, San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Geneva’s lost one sister and now it seems she’ll lose the other. Was this a murder plot or just a terrible accident? Julia vows to find the answer in the stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: August 2017
Number of Pages:336
ISBN: 0738751073 (ISBN13: 9780738751078)
Series: A Zodiac Mystery, 2 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | IndieBound  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

The building on Guerrero was a once proud Victorian with bow front windows. It had since been broken up into six small units and fallen into disrepair. I drove around the block several times before I managed to find a parking spot a few doors down. The shops on the main street were long closed and the streets deserted. I shivered and let the car heater run another minute to warm up before I left the comfort of my little metal box. There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman’s possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime? Should I remove it and risk the police finding out?
I climbed out of the car, careful to lock it and approached the long stairway leading to the front door. The wind had died down and now fog danced around the streetlights. It was eerily quiet. No lights shone from any of the windows. I hoped all the residents were safely tucked up in their beds by now. I climbed the cracked granite stairs to the entrance. The weathered door stood ajar, listing slightly on its hinges. I grasped the handle and twisted it, but the lock mechanism was out of commission. Inside, a bare overhead light bulb hung from a chain. It cast a meager glow down the long corridor, cannibalized from a once grand entryway. The hallway smelled of dirty cat litter, moldy vegetables and cigarette smoke. I followed the corridor to the end, and stopped at the last door on the right.
I slipped the key into the lock. It offered no resistance. The door opened immediately. Had it not been locked? I caught a slight scuffling sound and cringed. I hoped no furry long-tailed creatures were waiting inside for me. I reached around the doorway and felt along the wall. My fingers hit the switch. A rusting chandelier with two bulbs missing illuminated the one large room that was both Moira’s living room and bedroom. I tested the key with the door open, locking and then unlocking it. Now I felt the resistance. The door had definitely been unlocked. I stepped inside and shut it behind me, making sure the lock was secure. Was it possible someone had been here before me and left without locking the door? Or had Moira simply been careless?
I had to make sure I was alone in the apartment. There were no hiding places in this sparsely furnished room. I checked under the bed just to be sure and opened the closet, terrified that someone or something might jump out at me. The closet was narrow, filled with a jumble of clothing, half on the floor. I walked into the kitchenette and spotted a doorway that led to the back stairs and the yard. I tested the handle on the door. Locked. I checked the space between the refrigerator and the wall, and then the shower stall in the bathroom. I was alone. I had been holding my breath and finally let it out in a great sigh.
I started with the drawers in the kitchen and checked the counter, looking for any notes with names or phone numbers. There was nothing. The kitchen was surprisingly clean, as if Moira had never used the room. Inside the refrigerator were a few condiments, a half-eaten unwrapped apple and a loaf of whole wheat bread. I quickly rummaged through the drawers and the freezer to make sure there were no bundles of cash disguised as frozen meat.
The main room housed a collection of hand-me-downs and broken furniture, ripped curtains and piles of clothing in various spots around the floor. Had she really lived like this? I heaved up the mattress, first on one side and then the other, making sure nothing was hidden between it and the box spring. Under the bed, I spotted only dust bunnies. I pulled open each of the bureau drawers, checked their contents and pulled them all the way out to make sure nothing was behind them. I opened a small drawer in the bedside stand. Amid a loose pile of clutter was a dark blue velvet box embossed with the letter “R” in cursive gold script. Could this be from Rochecault? I was fairly certain it was. Rochecault is an infamously expensive jeweler on Maiden Lane downtown. How could Moira have shopped there? Was this what Geneva had meant when she said her sister seemed to have a lot of money to spend?
I opened the box and gasped. An amazing bracelet heavy with blue stones in varying colors rested inside. The setting had the slightly matte industrial sheen of platinum. Moira couldn’t possibly have afforded this. Shoving the box into a side pocket of my purse, I decided I was definitely not leaving this for the police to find, and slid the drawer shut.
I scanned the room. Moira hadn’t been much of a housekeeper and it didn’t appear as if there were many hiding spots. I headed for the desk, a rickety affair with two drawers and a monitor on top. I clicked on the hard drive and waited a moment. The monitor came to life and asked for a password. It would take someone much more talented than I to unearth its secrets. Under a jumble of papers and unopened bills, my eye caught a small black notebook. This looked promising. Perhaps it was an address book that would give us all of Moira’s contacts. I dropped my purse on the floor and reached for the book. A searing pain shot through my skull. Blinded, I fell to the floor.
***
Excerpt from All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2017 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder, available for pre-order now, will be released on August 8, 2017.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Connie di Marco On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

 

Tour Participants:

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of All Signs Point to Murder. The giveaway begins on July 21 and runs through August 24, 2017.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me a second time, Kathy! I hope you enjoyed my post!

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    1. Thanks for coming by and sharing your knowledge! I love to learn about astrology. I guess I have a pretty interesting chart!

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    2. It's a really interesting subject, Kathy! You'd enjoy Dell Horoscope magazine, I think!

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    3. I'll have to check it out! BTW I'm a Gemini with Pisces ascending. :)

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  2. I had no idea astrology was so complicated. Very interesting post. I'm really looking forward to reading this series.

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  3. I had no idea astrology was so complicated. Very interesting post. I'm really looking forward to reading this series.

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    1. Hi Dianne, it really depends on how deeply you get into it, but the basics still remain the same. Happy reading!

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  4. Hi Connie, Before you started provided such fascinating info, I just thought astrology was something about the planets, must make some sense since I'm Cancer and homebody and my hubby is Leo and pretty strong-willed ;-). Thanks for all the reference info to go along with the stories. sally

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    1. Oop, I hit the wrong button. See my reply below, Sally!

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  5. Hi Sally, so glad you enjoyed the post! Comparing the charts of two people is really fascinating too. I'm sure there are lifetime connections between you and your husband, even though your sun signs are so different. Julia has some thoughts about all this at the wedding! Happy reading!

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