The Unholy, a novel by Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D.
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“A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.”
Have you ever thought that something other than yourself has a hold of your mind? Meet Claire, a young curandera, in the mystic land of Aztlan who struggles to overcome the forces of evil and claim her inner inheritance.
The Unholy is a riveting novel about the dark side of religion, cultural prejudice throughout the Southwest, realms of mystic happenings, folk healers, native shamans, and signs from the spirit world. It is a psychological thriller, supernatural journey, and neo-gothic horror.
The Unholy lures the reader into a twilight realm that pits two old worlds against each other — the indigenous medicine ways versus institutional religion. Natural magic and the dark side of religion each play a role as healer confronts slayer.
“Paul DeBlassie III has brought us a richly imagined supernatural thriller set in the high mountain desert of Aztlan, where Claire Sanchez, an herbalist and medicine woman, has come to reclaim her healing heritage and uncover the secrets of her mother’s death. The book digs deep into legend, folklore, and the author’s own imagination to paint a stirring picture of a traditional curanderismo pitted against the oppressive forces of institutional religious power. Make sure you have lots of time; once you start reading this book, it will be hard to put down.”
-—Stephan V. Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon
“The Unholy, an excellent novel by Paul DeBlassie III, keeps the reader engaged throughout in mystery, suspense, and church politics. In addition to vividly depicting the beautiful landscape and culture of New Mexico, it exposes and strengthens the traditional work of the medicine women of the Southwest. I am looking forward to Dr. DeBlassie’s next book.”
—Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, author of Curandero: A Life In Mexican Folk Healing, professor, and university administrator
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the dark side of the human psyche. The mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic, provides the setting for the dark phantasmagoric narrative in his fiction. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
“Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s
closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us.
We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. Ya no
llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.
The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the light
of a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared
to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for
you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman
walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.
Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in
her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining
through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows
now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images
flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place
scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had
struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify.
Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and
she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl
felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would
spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the
mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from
the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.
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