Napoleon Hill's statement that "Whatever The Mind Can Conceive And Believe, The Mind Can Achieve" separates, I think, those who succeed from those who don't--this depends on how one defines "succeed." Or, as James Allen wrote many hears ago, "You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."

Everything I know about magic can be based upon these and similar statements. Whether one is talking about magic or the processes of daily living, many people limit these statements because they either don't see that people are more powerful than they know or because both statements force a person to acknowledge his/her responsibility for his/her "lot in life."

Since my novels and stories are about magic, I don't have to get into lose-lose debates about whether or not we create our own realities or not. That's good, because magic in a story or a novel is as it is and doesn't need any footnotes to how it might work in "real life."

I love storytelling. In addition to that, I am sheltered by it because stories are considered fiction from start to finish. That is to say, readers don't ask me to prove that things in my books are true. I pity the poor writer who attempts to prove Hill's and Allen's statements are true in a non-fiction book, Why? There's no way to win an argument with anyone who uses anecdotal evidence from life "to prove" that s/he is the victim or fate or destiny rather than they're own thinking and subsequent actions.

It's rather ironic that those who say that Hill's and Allen's statements are false are so hell-bent to prove this is, in fact, the case, that they won't spend a moment trying out techniques that would demonstrate the truth in them. My characters don't have this anchor around their necks and, if I'm lucky, an occasional reader will think about how his or her life might change if some of the ideas are true.

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 included for reference.


Conjure Woman's Cat, Eulalie and Washerwoman, and Sarabande are published by Thomas-Jacob and are distributed by Ingram at standard bookseller terms and discounts.

Torreya, a small 1950s Florida Panhandle town, is losing its men. They disappear on nights with no moon and no witnesses.

Foreclosure signs appear in their yards the following day while thugs associated with the Klan pack out everything of value from inside treasured homes that will soon be torn down. The police won't investigate and the church keeps its distance from all social and political discord.

Conjure woman Eulalie Jenkins, her shamanistic cat, Lena, and neighbor Willie Tate discover that the new "whites only" policy at the once friendly mercantile and the creation of a plantation-style subdivision are linked to corrupt city fathers, the disappearing men, rigged numbers gambling and a powerful hoodoo man named Washerwoman.  After he refuses to carry Eulalie's herbs and eggs and Willie's corn, mercantile owner Lane Walker is drawn into the web of lies before he, too, disappears.

Washerwoman knows how to cover his tracks with the magic he learned from Florida's most famous root doctor, Uncle Monday, so he is more illusive than hen's teeth, more dangerous that the Klan, and threatens to brutally remove any obstacle in the way of his profits. In this follow up to Conjure Woman's Cat, Eulalie and Lena face their greatest challenge with scarce support from townspeople who are scared of their own shadows.

Even though Eulalie is older than dirt, her faith in the good Lord and her endless supply of spells guarantee she will give Washerwoman a run for his ill-gotten money in this swamps and piney woods crime story.

Florida Folk Magic Stories

Conjure Woman's Cat

Eulalie and Washerwoman

Website for author Malcolm R. Campbell

Eulalie and Washerwoman on Kindle

"A simply riveting read from beginning to end, 'Eulalie and Washerwoman' is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

- Julie Summers, Midwest Book Review

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