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Guest blogger: Beth Barany

23 August 2015

Beth BaranyFor a love of labyrinths

I’ve always been intrigued by labyrinths. There is a beauty and symmetry to them. They exude calmness and yet are shrouded in mystery. I’m drawn to both qualities. They invite me to find my meditative centre. As a creative entrepreneur and novelist with a busy mind, I welcome this invitation.

Perhaps you’ve seen some labyrinths. I’ve seen them as a maze-like swirl of tiles on a cathedral floor or as a small winding path in a park that you can walk. You can only enter by one place, and the pathway takes you to a centre. Unlike a maze, you can’t get lost.

According to Wikipedia:

“In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur eventually killed by the hero Theseus. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it.

In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction; while a single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.”

When I lived in Paris years ago, I made a point to visit several cathedral labyrinths. The most well known is the one at Chartres. But when I visited there, I couldn’t walk it as chairs covered the floor. So I was happily surprised to discover another labyrinth in Amiens, a northern cathedral town in France. This one didn’t have the chairs covering it. I walked the black tiles, surrounded by off-white tiles, and felt a moment of peace as I arrived at the centre.

You may be surprised to learn that people have built labyrinths in their back yards and community parks in the United States and other parts of the world. In fact, we have one next to Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland, California. The famous tiled one in our area is the one in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

In my story, A Labyrinth of Love and Roses, a magical contemporary romance, my hero Brett Barnaby goes to the Amiens cathedral to find traces of his great grandfather who died in the area in World War I. He stands in the middle of the labyrinth and is mesmerised by the symbols he sees at its centre. There’s another labyrinth in the story made of nature. This second one I made up and, of course, involves magic, as all my stories do. I hope you enjoy it.

A Labyrinth of Love and RosesA Labyrinth of Love and Roses, A Fairy Tale romance novella (Touchstone Series #4)

What if what you wanted got in the way of your destiny?

French MBA grad Lili Grenault needs to succeed at her last pitch meeting to fund her international green tech business. But her grandmother tells her to drop everything, find her one true love, and embrace her magical legacy by Beltane, in one week, or chaos and failure in her life will ensue.

San Francisco investor Brett Barnaby wants to find his great-grandfather’s gravesite in Amiens, France, one of the primary battle sites of World War I. Family legend says that purpose, greater mission, and perhaps even untold riches, will be unlocked when he finds that grave. But his search in Amiens brings up fear, anger, and dire warnings about some wild Green Man. He turns to local Lily Grenault for help.

Can these two independent freethinkers work together to prevent chaos from triumphing and find love in time in the labyrinth of roses?

Available on Also, part of the Touchstone series collection, Touchstone Series: Romance Novella Books 1-4, plus a bonus short story at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. You can get the first novella in the series, Touchstone of Love, a Time Travel romance novella (Touchstone Series #1) for free here.

Based in Oakland, California, Beth Barany writes magical tales of romance and adventure to transport readers to new worlds where anything is possible. In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira, travelling, and watching movies with her husband, bestselling author Ezra Barany, and playing with their two cats, Kitty and Leo.

You can find Beth here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

  1. 27 August 2015 11:36 am

    Here as well fascinated with labyrinths. Thank you.
    Happy reading!

    • Beth Barany permalink
      27 August 2015 12:02 pm

      Oh wonderful! Thanks, Ariadna! Enjoy!

  2. Malvina permalink
    23 August 2015 7:22 pm

    I love labyrinths as well, and although I haven’t seen the one at Chartres, I got fascinated by it from reading the book The Cleaner of Chartres. Your novella looked so fascinating I indulged in the whole series! Looking forward to reading them. All the best!

    • bethwriter17 permalink
      24 August 2015 9:54 am

      Oh, thanks so much, Malvina! I hope you enjoy it. I’ll have to check out the book you mention. Sounds fascinating! Happy reading!

  3. bethwriter17 permalink
    23 August 2015 12:22 pm

    Thanks for having me, ARRA!!! You’re the best! (Hello from California!)

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