We are honoured to have Astrologer and Author Joyce Mason treating us to a guest blog about her first novel.  As one who has had a novel on the go since university days I experienced a vicarious thrill on holding Joyce’s first novel in my hands. She’s an astrological Janet Evanovich!  The book transports you to the whacky world of Californian new age society, a world I would secretly like to inhabit or at least visit.  What Joyce has is a bubbly humour, and this book had me smiling on every page, so that was one continuous smile from ear to ear and cover to cover ~ Lana


Chiron Goes to a Party, Stumbles into a Crime Caper

© 2014 by Joyce Mason

All Rights Reserved

Imagine the mythical centaur Chiron, bigger than life and very tall because of his horse half. He’s dressed up for the costume party of the Millennium.  It’s the Silver Anniversary and New Year’s Eve celebration of the Immortalists on Planet Earth Association. Chiron could easily be a past president of this group, given his immortal nature that kept him stuck in a lingering wound. In this fantasy, he’s alive and well enough to party. The costume party theme is “come as you’ll be in the future.” What do you think he’d be wearing?

After you muse on that for a bit, I’ll confess, that’s not how Chiron comes to the party between the pages of my debut novel, The Crystal Ball: A Micki Michaels Mystery. Instead, Chiron has a starring role in an educational video that’s shown at the gala event, celebrating 25 years of accomplishments by IOPEA (pronounced eye-OH-pea-uh), the non-profit organization of longevity seekers and do-gooders throwing the party.

There’s much more going on. Astrologer Micki Michaels, current president of IOPEA, and her ex-FBI-agent boyfriend, Curt Stern, find themselves mixing their hot chemistry into a beaker of smoking crime-solving solutions. Curt and Micki have honed their creative problem-solving skills from being opposites that attracted each other, now trying to live together and make it work. The results are a laugh a minute.

She solves problems by taking or passing out flower essences. He carries a gun. The Battle of Guns and Roses has just begun, as Micki and Curt prepare to bust an extortionist who wants to steal the “secret” of longevity. The mystery man threatens, in numerous phone calls, to show up and wreak havoc at this heartfelt, milestone event. He has already threatened to kidnap Micki’s young niece—and has done other actual damage. He’s escalating, but who is he and where is he hiding in the masked crowd?

It doesn’t take long to see why Chiron is the informal patron saint of IOPEA and so beloved by its president. Like astrological Chiron, Micki is a bridge between Saturn and Uranus, old and new. She lives in an antique-décor Victorian home in San Francisco built in 1900, but it’s full of futuristic inventions, including the forward-thinking protagonist, invented by the author. Like most IOPEANs, Micki looks twenty years younger than her age of 50. She’s sure having an interesting Chiron Return.

According to astrologer Armand Diaz, The Crystal Ball is one example of an evolving new composite genre he calls Astro-detective fiction. I know you’ll enjoy his article, The Astrologer Did It: A New Kind of Mystery. Again, just as Chiron is a composite being—half-man and half-horse—The Crystal Ball is a composite genre, classified as both mystery and visionary/metaphysical fiction. With more composite themes than a collage—astrology, longevity, relationships, mystery, humor and evolution, to name a few—the next fact probably won’t surprise you, if you didn’t already know. Chiron has been my astrological specialty since I started my practice in 1988.

Mainstreaming Astrology

The Crystal Ball has been unusually long in the making, published in November 2013 more than 24 years after I completed the original manuscript. The Ball and I evolved together over the years. It became much more than the original story with its multiple purposes: sorting out a relationship and conveying information on astrology, metaphysics, and tools for health and happiness. As it finally neared publication, I realized The Crystal Ball and other Astro-detective novels have the potential to be a Chironic bridge once more, this time between people initiated into these more esoteric topics and those who aren’t.

I wasn’t focused, in the beginning, on being an “ambassador for astrology,” a catchphrase adopted by my local NCGR chapter as its abbreviated vision statement. This is a happy side-effect. My hope is that those who already enjoy astrology and “freelance spirituality” have so much fun at The Crystal Ball; they share it with others who have little or no experience on these topics. It stands alone as a fast-paced, humorous mystery, and as Armand Diaz points out in his article, mystery readers are used to books on highly technical topics where the authors educate them as they read. Often, they’re drawn into unique worlds they may have not previously known or thought would interest them till the mystery lured them.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if astrologers and more Uranian thinkers were better received in their communities? Without prejudice and assuming we’re weird, evil, or maybe a little crazy? Prejudice and misinformation are overcome by getting close to real people with the characteristics that aren’t understood from afar. It doesn’t matter whether the “real” people are living or fictional, as long as they are alive on paper, likable, and part of a good story.

I hope The Crystal Ball is both an enjoyable read and part of the divine domino effect of helping spread cosmic ideas that help so many of us understand and experience our relationships and lives better. In another article I read recently, PJ ­Swanwick says We Need to Promote Spiritual/Visionary Fiction as a genre. What a wonderful way to heal the world through the pleasure of reading.

I can’t help but believe Chiron is behind this. Not only is transiting Chiron separating from a long-standing conjunction with Neptune, but Chiron’s transit through Pisces has a large component of healing through the arts. I want to be part of it. I hope you do, too.


Joyce Mason is a writer and astrologer. Her trademark is blending humor with deep insights. Her popular blog is called The Radical Virgo. She’s past president of NCGR-Sacramento Area Astrologers. To learn more about her leap into fiction and all her books and purchase links, visit her website: www.joycemason.com.


Joyce will be happy to respond to your Comments on The Crystal Ball or your questions about Chiron, related to this post