Lena, a shamanistic cat, and her conjure woman Eulalie live in a small town near the Apalachicola River in Florida’s lightly populated Liberty County, where longleaf pines own the world. In Eulalie’s time, women of color look after white children in the homes of white families and are respected, even loved, but distrusted and kept separated as a group. A palpable gloss, sweeter than the state’s prized tupelo honey, holds their worlds firmly apart. When that gloss fails, the Klan restores its own brand of order.
When some white boys rape and murder a black girl named Mattie near the sawmill, the police have no suspects and don’t intend to find any. Eulalie, who sees conjure as a way of helping the good Lord work His will, intends to set things right by “laying tricks.”
But Eulalie has secrets of her own, and it’s hard not to look back on her own life and ponder how the decisions she made while drinking and singing at the local juke were, perhaps, the beginning of Mattie’s ending.
Bonus “Glossary and Notes” included in the back of the book.
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About the Author
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of six novels, including one comedy/satire and six within the contemporary fantasy and magical realism genres. His short stories include the paranormal Emily’s Stories, Cora’s Crossing, Moonlight and Ghosts, and The Lady of the Blue Hour. A three-story collection of folk tales, The Land Between the Rivers, is set in the Florida Panhandle not far from the settings used in Conjure Woman’s Cat.
His work has appeared in The Lascaux Prize 2014 Anthology, Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories Anthology, Quail Bell Magazine, A View inside Glacier National Park: 100 years, 100 Stories, Future Earth Magazine, The Smoking Poet Magazine, Nonprofit World Magazine, Nostalgia Magazine, and Living Jackson Magazine.
Campbell lives on a north Georgia farm with his wife and three cats. He grew up in the Florida Panhandle where Boy Scout camping trips, family day trips and dozens of hours spent driving his smoking 1954 Chevrolet from the Georgia border to the Gulf coast introduced him to every river, swamp, sink hole, beach, and all-night diner within an 11,000 square mile area often called “the other Florida” and “the forgotten coast.”
Florida’s Tate’s Hell Forest, longleaf pine forests, Apalachicola River, Garden of Eden trail, small towns, and dusty unpaved roads were a perfect place for growing up and for telling the story of his novella Conjure Woman’s Cat.