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In the January 15, 2012 Pearlsong Conversations teleconference call, psychologist/publisher Peggy Elam, Ph.D. talked with Mary Saracino, author of The Singing of Swans & other books.

Mary discussed how she came to write her multi-century novel rife with magical realism and feminine spirituality. She talks about the Black Madonna, which appears throughout The Singing of Swans, and Her roots in pre-Christian traditions; Lake Pergusa, a Sicilian lake whose waters for millennia periodically turned red and thus were associated with feminine mysteries; and even a spiritual meaning of the focus on 2012 "end times."

In addition to her work as a writer, Mary teaches creative writing classes and workshops on the Divine Feminine, which she has studied as an independent scholar for more than 20 years. During the Conversation she reports on workshops planned in Colorado and New Mexico.

The Singing of Swans is available in original trade paperback & ebook from Pearlsong Press. The novel tells the story of Madalene Ross, a thirty-year-old American who "lives in her head," cut off from her body, her heart, and her sense of purpose in the world. En route to and from her job as a computer programmer in Minneapolis, Madalene is hounded on the downtown streets by a homeless woman who asks "Got a match?" At night bizarre dreams haunt her sleep. Women fly through rooftops, chant in ancient temples, paint tongues of fire on vivid white canvases.

Madalene's story is interwoven with the lives of three women: Rosalina, a priestess of Persephone in 70 B.C.E. Sicily; Ziza, a strega (Italian witch) in 16th century northeastern Italy, and Ibla, an herbalist and painter in 18th century southern Italy. Sicily's Lake Pergusa and the Black Madonna also act as a portal to the rich tradition of pre-Christian spirituality that lies beneath Church dogma.

The Singing of Swans takes readers on a multi-century journey to uncover long-silenced traditions, crack Madalene's spiritual code and reclaim her soul. Elements of magical realism dovetail with historical storytelling as this compelling tale of redemption unfolds.

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