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New and Witchy

New Witch on the Block Book Cover New Witch on the Block
(Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
Louisa West
Adult, Paranormal
June 30th 2020

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.

 

Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.

 

A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.

 

And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

 

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.

 

 Practical Magic meets  Bridget Jones’ Diary

  • in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it

Guest post

An Interview With My Author

By Rosemary Bell – Heroine of New Witch on the Block

What made you decide to write my story?

As someone who has spent time as a single mum, I am fascinated by the plight of women who are striving to slay it in their everyday lives: mums who work full-time, mums who are at home full-time (because that has a whole other set of challenges), mums who are in-between, or run their own businesses… the list goes on! I knew I wanted you to be a witch, and that I wanted moving to have to be a difficult experience for you. Giving you a downright reprehensible ex-husband whose influence you needed to overcome so that you could bloom into the woman you always were deep down inside meant I got to see your grow throughout the book. Adding the witchery on top of all that seemed like a logical step – but you needed to believe in yourself before you could believe in magic!

I see. Randy sure is a piece of work, so thanks for that I guess? Moving on – why Mosswood?

I’ve always been fascinated with the United States, ever since I was a little girl. A few failed attempts at visiting has meant that for the short-term future at least, my experiences of the US will need to happen through books, TV shows, and movies. I love the pictures painted of places like Bon Temps (Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series) Mystic Falls (L. J. Smiths’ The Vampire Diaries series) and New Orleans in general – so it made sense to set my series in the South. My editor is Southern and is an incredible source of real-life info, helping me adapt my language. And then once I knew I wanted a really tiny town surrounded by woods, I got my ten year old daughter to draw me a map! Kids are so inventive, and she thought of things that I never would have thought of. I loved collaborating with her on the project, and the story is so much richer for it. 

That’s actually adorable, bless her! But for real now – was the palmetto bug really necessary? And the biceps? Were the biceps really necessary? And the laundry machines? The skunks?! Actually nevermind, we aren’t speaking.

Stop being overly dramatic, it was just a bug? And sexy biceps. And… well okay, the skunks probably didn’t need to scare the crap out of you, so I’m a teeny bit sorry for those. 

Did you feel even remotely bad for any of the hurdles you threw my way during the course of the book?

Not really! The scene with the eggs was difficult to write, because I was actually imagining it happening to myself and my daughter as I was writing it and I shed a tear or two, I can’t lie! But everything that made it into the book was totally necessary for your growth and development as a character, so I can’t be too sorry! And I mean, sure Declan is annoying, but could you really call him a ‘hurdle’? Heh.

What about the naked magic casting? Did you feel bad about that? Because that was just unfair.

Not in the slightest, and I will do it again in a heartbeat. You needed to come out of your shell, figuratively and literally – and those scenes really demonstrate your transition from Randy’s Rosie to your own person in so many ways. In fact, the last of those scenes might just be my favourite scene in the whole book!

What’s in store for me in Jealousy’s a Witch? The title sounds ominous.

There will be a huge raft of new characters, and new places in Mosswood to explore in-depth! The plot definitely takes a turn – you discover that Declan’s been keeping a pretty big secret from you that makes you re-think your whole association with him. Maggie will experience a lot of growth in the book too, and the main plotline revolves around some dangerous situations for her. It’s gonna be a wild ride!

That makes me worried for Maggie! Will she be okay?

Absolutely – but it wouldn’t be the type of book I write without a little drama! She will come out of Jealousy’s a Witch with a rather cool experience of her own – but I don’t wanna spoil it for you!

 Author Bio

 Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

 Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

 She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

 She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

http://www.louisawest.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16738794.Louisa_West

https://www.facebook.com/louisawestauthor

ttps://www.instagram.com/louisa_west

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A World of slavery and …

House of Earth and Fire Book Cover House of Earth and Fire
Crescent City
Sarah J. Maas
fantasy, romance. sci-fi
Bloomsbury Publishing (3 Mar. 2020)
Pub Date 3 Mar 2020

Perfect for fans of Jessica Jones and True Blood, this is a blockbuster modern fantasy set in a divided world where one woman must uncover the truth to seek her revenge.

Half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan loves her life. Every night is a party and Bryce is going to savour all the pleasures Lunathion - also known as Crescent City - has to offer. But then a brutal murder shakes the very foundations of the city, and brings Bryce's world crashing down.
Two years later, Bryce still haunts the city's most notorious nightclubs - but seeking only oblivion now. Then the murderer attacks again. And when an infamous Fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, is assigned to watch her every footstep, Bryce knows she can't forget any longer.
As Bryce and Hunt fight to unravel the mystery, and their own dark pasts, the threads they tug ripple through the underbelly of the city, across warring continents, and down to the deepest levels of Hel, where things that have been sleeping for millennia are beginning to stir ...
With unforgettable characters and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom - and the power of love.

 

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.
I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine. After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.
I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.
And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves. Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.
For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Mass carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.
I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

I was given an extract of this book through NetGalley – now I don’t usually
bother with extracts, but this one looked intriguing. And it was.

I’ve never read Sarah Maas before, and this is apparently her first venture
into writing for an adult rather than YA audience. And for me it worked. I have
read some comments where people who have read her YA books thought that this
one had faults – yes of course we had Alpha aholes and a kick ass heroine.
After all, this is the trope in which this book was written. Nice to see also that the angels weren’t all bright and light and good – plenty of grey and nasties.

I thought it was good universe building – yes we had the MidGard planet and a continent called the Pangera (see Pangea – the real land mass on Earth) and other references to these universes/worlds built in other books in this genre – but still the mix of technology and magic in this one was different.

And I so far haven’t come across a universe where there are angel slaves.
Which I thought was a nice touch and permitted new storylines to emerge.

For me, this was a good read – it could have stopped at many points and been a much shorter book and left stuff for the next – but instead Maas carried on with a new twist and more highs and lows. The twists and hidden secrets kept coming right until the end – hints of these secrets only realisable after the action – which is good writing and means good plotting took place.

I liked the extract enough to buy the full book which means I wanted to find
out more in the story… so a good read for me. I hope to read the next one in
the series and that it is as long and complex in plotting as this one.

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Magic Show Secrets

Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy Thriller
Witch Series Book 1
Marilyn Messik
Mystery & Thrillers | Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
12 Jan 2020

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, the newly discovered nearest and dearest with their peculiar tendencies and failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to b.

There are just a few things to sort first including a possessed chef; a hanged housemaid; a fly-on-the-wall documentary and a doppelgänger. Things slide swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One minute she’s saving the family business the next, battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

A fun and different read. And they gave away just how the knives into the assistant’s outline is really done, even when he is blindfolded…
And what a way to run a hotel… and what a family. I hadn’t realised 8 was a coven but maybe with the baby they were really 9? And such a sweet baby and so used to being thrown from person to person.
I got the evil person wrong. I should of thought about the timeline more. More fool me. And the whole head twisting thing? Really nasty and then the wasps…
Not going to say all of what happens but look out for some paranormal nasties. And yes, of course Sandra or Serenissima is not going to stay away from the hotel. So we can expect more of the same in the future, which I shall look out for. I liked her – Sandra that is, and thought she coped extremely well under the circumstances. But them after coping with her parents all her life…

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Water Slugs?

The Witch of the North Pole
Cinnamon Mercy Claus series
By Snow Eden.
fantasy, humour, crime,
Azure Willow Press
(13 Oct. 2019)

BOOKS 2-4 OF THE CINNAMON MERCY CLAUS SERIES.
HAVEN’T READ BOOK #1 YET?- THE WITCH OF THE NORTH POLE – FIND IT HERE - 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078CY9V93
BOOK #2 - The Full Moon's Slumber - Cinnamon Mercy Claus has been a witch for two years. At least that’s how long it’s been since her grandmother let her in on their little secret. She’s in the process of picking up her life and starting over, searching for something that means more to her than her mundane existence. Then a fairy drips down out of her bathroom faucet and tells her the moon’s gone all wonky and it’s up to Cinnamon to figure things out.

Since there’s nothing like a threat to the earth’s very existence to give your new life a kick into high gear, Cinnamon heads out across the country—with a talking dog and an unearthly woman who absolutely terrifies her—to figure out a mystery she doesn’t have a clue about.

BOOK #3 - Once Upon A Murderous Retreat - Cinnamon has just settled into the Aire Mansion when she opens up her doors for a writer’s retreat. With her best friend Ginger: the Christmas elf turned talking chihuahua; Mei: the giant Hawaiian consumer; a houseful of eccentric guests; an ominous storm covering the island; and a murderer on the loose; what possibly could go wrong?

BOOK #4 - The Return to the North Pole - She has returned. To the North Pole.
Time has passed and Cinnamon has done her best to deny her destiny as the next Mrs. Claus--the witch who is to run Christmas. She returns to the North Pole, ready to face whatever life has in store for her. But she's not ready in the slightest.

Between avoiding being seen by Danny, juggling her meddling parents, having the daylights scared out of her every time Ginger practices a 'quick change' from doggy form to elf, and with another Christmas season fast approaching, Cinnamon is running out of time to figure out what it is in life that really matters to her.

 I have read Books 1 and 2 of this series of novellas.

 Snow Eden has shown herself to have a great-child-like – imagination.

As you may suspect from the name of the main character, we are reading about a member of the Claus family – as in Santa Claus. The grand- daughter who has never met  her grandparents.

Book I introduces her to the North Pole and the SIA computer system- seriously advanced and the 2nd chances Naughty List. So far so normal for an Xmas story.

 But Book2 is where Snow Eden lets her imagination out. Meet Mei- the muumuu wearing Consumer, water slugs, trolls wearing human skin suits and a Moon Goddess. And Ginger the dog-elf.

Bk 1= 4 BK2 gets 5 stars for imagination.

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How to steal: the author lets us know

Heist Book Cover Heist
Melanie Perkiss Witch Hunter
Kezzy Sparks
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Square Six
Publication date: October 31st 2019

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter.  In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state. No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners. The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?  

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Answer: I chose this particular plot premise because a theft of body parts off a living person by witches is not something you often encounter in urban fantasy books. And further, what appealed to me regarding the genital heist is that the victim is set to wed, which therefore puts pressure on the main character to solve the mystery and bring it to closure before the day comes.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Answer: I must say I do take quite a bit of time, thinking about a plot line and weighing whether it will appeal to readers or not. Although I do not make heavy notes about a book before writing it, I do outline a little bit so that the writing process is guided and can be completed faster.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Answer: I don’t do a lot of research really, since most of the stuff that I put down is something I create in my head. The plot material for HEIST was never researched on, except for some minor details about the witchcraft trials of Salem Massachusetts in 1692—3, which I speak about in one chapter.

  1. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Answer: For HEIST I never used any researched materials, except for the dates of the small historical event I mentioned before.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

Answer: I suppose in situations where one is writing a novel that closely follows reality, the information you’d get from authority figures would be of great value since they are the ones who actually work in the field you have chosen to write about. Fantasy works differently, though, because almost everything is imagined. Myself I have never approached any authority for background information.

  1.  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Answer: Yes, I have had some early works of mine rejected, and that didn’t surprise me. It’s only the fewest authors who can boast that they have never been turned down. Rejection is all part and parcel of the creative industries.

  1. Did you need to self-publish any e-books before a publisher took you up?

Answer: Sure, I did self-publish, and still would do so if needed.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Answer: Without a doubt, I do believe self-publishing actually offers a viable alternative to the traditional approach. Many authors have succeeded first as indie writers and then gone on to snag traditional contracts. Yes, it’s harder to find audiences when writing as an indie, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The biggest benefit of being an indie is total control. Everything you put out there, you are responsible for it.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take you before this happened?

Answer: To be honest, current trends show that for the average writer, it’s well nigh impossible to survive solely on royalties. For that reason most authors have a day job with which to support themselves, and they will continue to work until such time royalties have built to a substantial amount. Very few do ever get to that level, though, and I am still a long way away from quitting my day job myself, unless a miracle happens.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Answer: This is my first virtual tour and I am not very sure what could happen. If there is to be anything awkward or embarrassing coming however, we will see about it.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

            Answer: I haven’t been ill enough to stay in bed for a number of years now, and I can count myself lucky in that regard. What I would read, though, were such a thing ever to happen, would be something perhaps light and fun, think Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but definitely not something with a lot of ghosts and dead people in it like Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Answer: Currently my favourite genre is the paranormal mystery. I have always been fascinated by magic and its elements and at some point in my life, actually believed it existed. To that end, I have sampled everything from Ilona Andrews to Jeaniene Frost.

  1. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Answer: One writer I would never fail to recommend is Dan Brown. He is not perfect by all means, but it’s no fluke either that he has sold hundreds of millions of copies of his books. He is definitely the master of the modern day thriller.

A dead author I’d recommend any day is Charles Dickens—no need for introductions there.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Answer: No question, I would say Dan Brown has been a great influence. He has this ability to get into a story fast and then keep you hooked till the last word. And you’re left with no idea how much time has elapsed when your eyes are glued to the pages. With that said, I have found myself trying to do things like he does. Genre-wise I am not into the same stuff he is into, though, and I enjoy writing the fantasy story more.

  1. In your opinion, who is the funniest author now writing?

Answer: I would say two authors compete for that title currently, the first being Janet Evanovich and the second Jim Butcher. In any instalment of Stephanie Plum’s series, she gets into many laugh-out-loud funny moments and her banter with her associates is out of this world. She is quirky and comedic and does things you might imagine as foolish, but she always gets her way in the end and delivers on whatever she set out to do. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is another funny character and is very popular for that reason, less so for his ability to work magic.  

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

            Answer: I certainly did do a little imitation during my early days. And the author I naturally chose to write like is Dan Brown, because he is phenomenal and a great influencer. I actually have a novel that bears the same structure as the Da Vinci Code, though it’s one I never got as far as publishing.

            Recently though, I have grown up and struck out on my own, and in HEIST you never sense anything Dan Brown-esque at all.

  1. Which of your books are you most proud of?

Answer: Since HEIST is my only published book, I would then say that debut of mine is the one I am most proud of. It possesses all the elements of what I imagine constitutes a good story. Its plot premise is one that hasn’t been overly done, its magic elements are unique and inventive. Also it has got all the suspense, vulnerability and subterfuge that readers look for.

  1. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

Answer: I’d say following my dreams and doing those things that I love to do is what I am proud of most. Many people go around with a novel idea in their head but never get around to actually put it down on paper, but I have been able to do it. And for that, I’d say I am blessed.

  1. Do you have an unusual hobby?

Answer: Probably not at the moment, but some years ago, I really tried to get into underwear modelling. That’s, of course, not an easy thing to do and the chances of succeeding are tiny. It’s a fun thing to try though, and when I was at it I was really serious about it, though now when I look back I realize it’s not anything I was made for. It did provide a little entertainment and heartaches, though, while it lasted.

  1. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Answer: There is really many candidates for this, and it’s hard to make a choice. Florida with its warmer weather and many good beaches would not be a bad idea, as would be New York City with its variety and bustle.

  1. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

Answer: One Harry Potter maybe, just to have a little magic with me—for in case I need to work some spells. Second, an epic horror from Stephen King, just to make things look as grim as possible, and then a Dan Brown thriller to provide the suspense and quick thrills.

Author Bio

Young man with a mobile phone standing at the wall

Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.

https://kezzysparks.net/

https://www.facebook.com/authorkezzysparks

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