Writing the Shaman Mysteries by Nina Milton


As we’ve launched The Missing Piece in Bouncing Back this week, we asked fellow writer Nina Milton to share with us the inspiration behind her books, “The Shaman Mysteries” in this guest post!


I am a druid; a pagan path which takes me close to the earth and into the deep recesses of my mind. Shamanic techniques help me in my life – in fact they changed my life.


After moving through the rigorous training of the shaman with Caitlin and John Matthews, and working with Else and Howard Maplas, I learnt what all shamans know; that this new understanding totally changes you. Walking between worlds alters your approach to living… and dying.


I’ve always written; when my kids were young, I published books for children, which are still available. So after I started practicing shamanism, I knew I’d want to write about it. I didn’t expect, though, for a character to walk directly into my mind, fully formed. She announced;  “Hi, I’m Sabbbie Dare. I’m a young therapist, a shaman. Sometimes very interesting people walk into my therapy room to ask for help… people on the edge. They get me into the most terrible trouble.” With this visitation and the idea that a shaman could possibly solve crime mysteries, the Shaman Mystery Series was born.


Although I now live in Wales, I grew up in the West of England and love the vast moors of the Somerset Levels. Their beauty takes away my breath, but they have a wildness that is equally sombre, mysterious and threatening. I set my Shaman Mysteries in this unique place and love to immerse the stories in the landscape and traditions, which readers seem to enjoy. Ronald Hutton, in endorsing the series, describes them as having “a cracking pace, evocative landscapes and a shocking twist at the end; I’ve rarely read depictions of shamanic journeying that have felt so authentic.”


Sabbie’s huge love of life infects the books; Sheila M. Merritt, writing in Mystery Scene Magazine, says; “It’s impossible to refrain from rooting for such a plucky protagonist… Nina Milton skillfully integrates the shamanistic elements into her mystery.”


The books can be read in any order, but from the start of the series, Sabbie’s own mysteries are slowly revealed – to her and the reader – and, like all practising shaman, her own understanding of the craft grows incrementally throughout the series; “incredibly knowledgeable, suspenseful and a truly cool adventure into the world that lies ‘beyond’.” was Suspense Magazine’s verdict.


The first book, In the Moors, finds Sabbie trying to defend her client, Cliff Houghton—a wounded, broken man—when he is arrested for murder of a small child, whose body has been found buried in the eerie depths of the Somerset Moors. Continuing the therapy she’d begun with Cliff, Sabbie uncovers repressed memories of a decades-old string of murders. After another little boy is abducted, only Sabbie can prove Cliff’s innocence… and find the real culprit before any more lives are shattered. In the Moors soon began to receive rave reviews, such as this five-starred one from Library Journal; “Sabbie Dare is the most compelling protagonist I’ve met this year… the visceral suspense Milton creates is commendable, not to mention terrifying. I like pairing her work with Elly Griffiths’s atmospheric English mysteries.”


Unraveled VisionsUnraveled Visions begins with the gruesome discovery of a body in the River Parrett and quickly moves to the heady atmosphere of the Bridgwater Carnival, where Sabbie Dare meets a gypsy fortuneteller. The following day she learns that a police detective has been killed and the Romany has gone missing. Sabbie’s newest client—a scared woman with an angry husband—has also disappeared. Her spirit world is advocating caution and as she comes closer to the answers, Sabbie discovers there are people who want to keep the truth buried forever. Mara Freeman, author of Kindling the Celtic Spirit & Grail Alchemy said the book; “cost me several hours of sleep because it was so un-put-downable! An engaging heroine, a landscape at once so real and so menacing, and an intriguing mystery had me enthralled into the wee hours!”


The third in the series looks at the “legal high” problem and explores mental health issues. Beneath the Tor is set in Glastonbury, one of the most mystic places in England. It is midsummer eve and Alys Hollingbury has danced the entire night away on the summit of Glastonbury Tor. As the solstice sun rises, she drops onto the grass.

“I saw her spirit rise. It’s already gone.”

Sabbie Dare is again in the middle of a mystery with a murder to solve, but this time, the people closest to her are suspects and one of them is in deadly danger.


The Shamanic Mystery series is published by Midnight Ink, an imprint of mind and spirit publishers Llewellyn Worldwide. Available widely in the US, in the UK the series is available from Waterstones.com online as well as Amazon. Beneath the Tor, now in production, can be pre-ordered from Amazon. It will be launched in Glastonbury in February 2016 – watch out for further details. Nina Milton can be contacted via her blog.


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About The Author

Ami Marshall

Ami has been with Discover Your Bounce from the start and was one of the first guinea pigs for the services we now offer! She does all of the technical stuff in the business, along with writing blogs and making sure our lovely followers have interesting things to read on social media.