‘Coven Be Charmed’ by Caitlin Ryan is a lovely, up-beat and thoroughly engaging witchy tale. Rose is a life coach with her feet firmly on the ground. When her girlfriend takes her to a charming B&B in the countryside, she finds herself re-evaluating all she believes about things supernatural. Witches can’t be real, can they? And she certainly can’t be one. But when she is surrounded by witches, warlocks and demons, what else can she conclude?
Rose is thrust into a mystery, with weird goings-on and some very strange people. I loved every minute of it.
My favourite kind of story will always have a puzzling mystery and witches. Caitlin Ryan has woven both into this well-thought out novel. I look forward to many more in this series.
As this is a story featuring witches the author addresses the mention of the HP universe in her notes at the end.
‘Enchanted Autumn’ is an engaging romance, full of magic, interesting characters and the perfect setting. Hazel is a Salem witch – and a real one at that. With a black cat, her very own broom stick and a penchant for potion-making, she is proud of who she is. That is until English academic, Dr Elizabeth Cowrie, arrives in town. The history researcher has an interest in the Salem witch trials, but does not believe in magic. In fact she scoffs at the very idea that it may exist. Hazel’s attraction to her is going to be a problem, as she must decide if she’s willing to give up her true self in pursuit of love.
I loved that the story was set in Salem. The author managed to weave some historical details from the witch trials into this modern romance. But it was ultimately about the triumph of magic, of love. Hazel was an astute businesswoman, but still managed to stay true to her roots. Her witchcraft was important to her and to the whole community, even if some of them were not aware of her true nature. Elizabeth may have been a sceptic, but she was kind, passionate and intelligent. I adored the ‘Britishisms’ scattered throughout the story. They were spot-on. I also enjoyed the writing style, which pulled me into their world, a world I’d like to revisit.
‘A Letter To Three Witches’ by Elizabeth Bass is a delightful story that is sure to be the first in a much anticipated series. Gwen’s family have been forbidden to practice witchcraft by the Grand Council of Witches. Nearly one hundred years ago her great-great grandfather cast a spell that caused havoc and since then his descendants have been watched closely. Any whiff of magic and they are in big trouble. Although Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, have avoided being caught for minor transgressions, things change when Gwen’s adopted sister puts a spanner in the works. She sends a letter to each stating that she will steal one of their partners by the end of the week. Who will it be? And how will they stop her? The stress results in the magic they have been denying surfacing, with disastrous consequences. Long buried secrets threaten to change everything they thought was true.
This was a lighthearted, funny and totally enchanting read. It was the perfect escapism, and one I really appreciated in these difficult times. It was a wonderfully conceived story, with some laugh out loud moments and some poignant ones too. I loved the characters and the world Elizabeth Bass has imagines. I want more of these characters and I can’t wait to read the next one.
‘Longing For You’ takes us back to the Debrek clan of vampires and those around them. We get to see Amelia and Byron as they get used to their life together. This is the story of Alexis and Katie though. Alexis has kept other women at a distance for many years, but she has her reasons. Katie is the Debrek’s housekeeper and part of a long family tradition. There is an obvious attraction, but the fact that Katie is human is a stumbling block to love.
I enjoyed being with the Debrek vampires again as I believe that there is huge scope for stories in their world. The tension between Alexis and Katie was well done and passionate. I liked how this thread was woven with others regarding Amelia’s background and a threat from less honourable vampires. There was certainly a lot going on in the background. I expect some of that will pay off on future books.
I am delighted to announce that my new book ‘The Women And The Storm – The Tarbet Witches Series’ is out today.
Being the only witch in a small Scottish town is not easy. Especially when the love of your life is totally unaware of the fact. Gillian has been in love with her best friend, Diane, for over ten years, but has yet to pluck up the courage to tell her.
How will Diane react to Gillian’s professions of love? And more importantly, will she run for the hills when she finds out she’s a witch?
If that was not enough, strange happenings in their little town convince Gillian that there may be more to them than freak weather or coincidence. As the town fights for its survival against the onslaught of all-too-frequent storms, the women face personal battles of their own. Can their relationship survive the turmoil? Or will long-hidden secrets pull them apart?
Last year I published a short story ‘The Woman By The River’ and soon discovered that I did not want to let Gillian and Diane go just yet. Readers and reviewers asked if I was going to tell more of their story, and I found myself imagining how their relationship would develop. The short story is free on Amazon if you want to read how it all started, but you don’t have to have read it to enjoy this one.
I hope you enjoy the book. Click on the links below to take you to the Amazon pages.
Hazel Abbott has no idea she is a witch or descended from Sarah Hutchinson, a woman imprisoned during the Salem witch trials of 1692. When Sarah suddenly appears in modern day Salem, she sets off a series of events that neither could have imagined. Raven Dare, supernatural hunter under the employ of Queen witch, Morgan le Fay, becomes embroiled in their adventure and the women must work together to save humanity and bring balance to the realms.
The story is imaginative and brings in elements from historical Salem and a very convincing present day dilemma, with parallels to something we will all recognise. It is exciting and thought-provoking and cleverly marries a link to history, witchcraft and present day political machinations. There is, of course, a love story or two in the tale and they are very much integral to the story. Hazel becomes more and more attracted to Raven as she begins to learn who she really is. Raven is trapped by duty and family obligations and has to begin to consider that there is a different way to live. Sarah has been catapulted into modern day America, and it is so different. But in some ways things always stay the same. People are people and the pedantic Puritans of her age are not so different from certain sectors of present day society. Sarah’s feelings for another woman begin to make sense to her though and that was a fascinating element of the story. Morgan le Fay is selfish and unsentimental and determined. Will she ever be able to see the point of view of those around her? As the group battle for what is right and good, we see that their fight is timeless. So much depends on them defeating evil. The thing is, I know it’s a fantasy story, but there is one particular hypothesis in it that makes perfect sense. I really wouldn’t be surprised! Once you read it you’ll know exactly what I mean.
A wonderfully enjoyable book and highly recommended.
I found it so difficult to narrow down my list of favourite books this year. And even more difficult put them in order of preference. I loved them all. So, this is my top twelve, and in alphabetical order. I highly recommend all of these books and will certainly be re-reading them again in 2020.
Astral is a Fireside witch of the influential Projector family. Borage, her familiar, is a cat with a rather prickly personality. She’s not a powerful witch, but she makes up for it with her kindness and the ability to make anyone feel at home and comforted. The new High Priestess of her coven has a nasty streak and when she gives Astral an important task to fulfil, we wait for the other shoe to drop. I won’t say anything more about the plot as it would be too easy to give something away. But I can say it’s brilliantly done and wonderfully satisfying.
The descriptions of people and places were delicious. Lush and imaginative . One particular character description was stunning and made me stop and re-read it-just to take in an amazing piece of writing. It’s also very funny and Astral is completely adorable. I want to know a Fireside witch just like her. Abby Black is more than we first think. Think Ice Queen boss mixed with hot, mysterious and enticing object of desire. It all goes in ways I didn’t see coming. This is the kind of book that grows on you more and more as it reveals itself.
The world Gill McKnight has invented is beautifully crafted, with depth and humour and an addictive quality that means I will be eagerly awaiting the next in the series. Wonderful.