Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Book Blitz: The Sun God's Heir; Redemption, Book 3 by Elliot Baker...



The Sun God's Heir: Redemption
Book 3
Elliott Baker



Book Details:

Print Length: 468 pages
Publisher: Pronoun
Publication Date: October 18, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B074Y474QB
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Add to your shelf on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36181772-the-sun-god-s-heir

Purchase your copy from Amazon:
http://amzn.to/2wXdxO3

About the Book:

Death is not life’s final stop. There are worse ends.

Two brothers, once disciples of the Pharoah Akhenaten, reincarnate in seventeenth century France. From Spain to Morocco to Egypt, one is determined to rule, the other to protect.

Horemheb, driven to destroy his brother and end their ancient rivalry, invites an African shaman to assist in recovering ancient artifacts of power that will ensure his dominance. Twice before, these artifacts have raised and then destroyed civilization.

RenĂ© Gilbert escapes from the murderous sultan of Morocco, closely followed by the sultan’s personal guard, the Bukhari. Trained from childhood, these assassins live to kill.

Now, in the blockbuster conclusion to the Sun God’s Heir trilogy, RenĂ© must find a way to fulfill a commitment made lifetimes ago. His long journey across the ages hurtles toward its climax, with the fate of his soul, and perhaps our very world, in the balance.

Meet the Author:



Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

Monday, 16 October 2017

A Taste of the North from Chris Pavesic’s S’Mores Recipe and Book #2 of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls…

Quick & Easy S'moresWhen you envision scenes of family or friends sitting around the campfire at the cottage or campsite, what food pops into your mind? Hot dogs? Marshmallows? Well, yes, but how about those gooey gobs of sweet joy children crave the most? Yup, I’m talking about S’Mores! Enter my author friend, Chris Pavesic who has a sure-fire recipe that will fill those campfire desires enough to sit back and enjoy a ghost story or two inside or outside. Take it away, Chris...

This kid-friendly recipe is quick and easy to make. It’s a little bit like a s’more, a little bit like a bird’s nest, and 100% yummy. Get those marshmallows and chocolate chips ready!

Ingredients
  • 1 Package (12 OZ) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Bag (5 OZ) Mini Marshmallows
  • 2 Cups Pretzel Sticks
  • 2 Cups Vanilla Wafers (broken into pieces)
Materials
  • Baking Dish
  • Large Spoon
  • Parchment Paper
Directions
  1. Pour the chocolate chips into an ungreased baking pan. Pop it into the oven at 250 degrees for about 5 minutes. (Basically until the chocolate chips get shiny. They should still retail their shape.)
  2. Take the pan out and immediately start adding the other ingredients. Stir as fast as possible because the chocolate will cool quickly.
  3. This can be a bit messy when stirring—you will get chocolate on your hands—but that’s part of the fun!
  4. When the other ingredients are coated, start spooning the mixture onto the parchment paper in serving-size portions. Allow to cool completely and serve.
Thank you, Chris! While you’re busy devouring your treats, here’s a taste of what to expect in the next installment of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Blackflies and Blueberries set to be released in 2018 through Mirror World Publishing

Seventeen-year-old Hart Stewart possesses psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. He inherited this phenomenon from his murdered mother. Now a year has passed, and Hart has endured homelessness and hunger, as well as kept his secret of being illiterate under wraps. Then, through contact with a social worker, Hart learns of a great-aunt named Gertie Ellis living in a small northern community called Fairy Falls.

Seventeen-year-old Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls too. She lost her mother a year ago, through a senseless murder. This eats away at Diana until Hart finds her lost ring. The ring whisks him away to another place and time where he witnesses Diana’s mother’s murder. The ring’s vibrational memory informs Hart that she knew her killer. Now Diana has hope for justice, and through Hart’s psychic ability, Diana and her friends, Brook Bennet and Donovan Johnson, along with her younger sister Nancy MacGregor start their own investigative process that leads them into the corrupt world of a big development corporation easing its way into Fairy Falls, and of the treachery and greed that accompany it.

Meet Chris Pavesic:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends. She blogs on www.chrispavesic.com and Tweets @chrispavesic 



Thursday, 12 October 2017

Let’s Get This Cookbook Party Started…

Who doesn’t love the holidays? You get to bond with family and friends, shop till you drop for that perfect gift, decorate the house to your heart’s desire, plan a meal worthy of gracing your table, and attend all those fabulous parties. Wait…hope I didn’t exhaust you already? Yes, we ALL love holidays and celebrations, no matter what time of year they fall, but it can get a little (okay, a lot) overwhelming when it comes time to prepare for those holiday meals and parties when you’re working a full-time job, and taking care of your family’s needs.

How about some relief from the stress and pressure of figuring out what to serve your hungry guests during holiday get-togethers, events, or celebrations?

Cue a holiday-inspired cookbook written by the following thirteen busy authors, of various ages and genres: Carol Browne, HL Carpenter, Sara Daniel, Dominique Eastwick, Leigh Goff, C.D. Hersh, Vonnie Hughes, Alicia Joseph, Emma Lane, Sharon Ledwith, Anne Montgomery, Chris Pavesic, and Sloane TaylorThese wonderful writers have created recipes that will make your life easy and simple when it comes time to prepare tantalizing appetizers, tasty beverages, mouth-watering cookies, and decadent desserts.

The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers is your go-to recipe book for entertaining over the holiday seasons, hosting events, or celebrating that special day. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes have been tested and approved of by the most finicky family members.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE?  

So why not have your cake and eat it too? Yes, pun intended. You’ve got nothing to lose, and time to gain when you download The ABCDs of Cooking with Writers. There’s a recipe for every holiday, celebration, or event in your life. Give yourself a gift this holiday season with a cookbook from thirteen writers who share their favorite recipes and tips to help relieve the stress in your busy life.

Download your FREE E-Pub cookbook at SmashwordsKobo and Barnes & Noble.
Or click on the Cookbook Cover featured on my sidebar to download FREE PDF!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Thanksgiving Day(s) Goodreads Giveaways…

In the first book of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, Lost and Found, the main character, Meagan Walsh has the psychic ability to talk to animals. Imagine possessing the power to be a diplomat between animals and humans? To bridge that gap, and find common ground. In the first book of The Last Timekeepers young adult time travel adventure series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, my main characters are given a ‘Babel’ necklace. The main purpose of this necklace is to break any language barriers while on a mission in the past so that my characters will be able to understand and talk to everyone they meet.

I believe books hold the power to not only transport readers to different worlds, but also translate the world for us. You don’t need a Babel or a psychic ability to crack open a book and let it take you on a journey. Books have always been a wonderful gift to give, so I thought why not pair the first two books in both my series, and schedule a Goodreads Giveaway starting on the Canadian Thanksgiving (Monday, October 9th) and finishing on the American Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 23rd)? It sounded like a solid plan, and a way I can give back to my readers, especially during the upcoming holiday season!

If you haven’t read the first books in The Last Timekeepers young adult time travel adventure series or Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series, please consider entering both giveaways for a chance to win a signed copy and bookmark. We all need time to rest and rejuvenate during the holiday season, and I can’t think of a better way than relaxing with a good book, a comfortable chair, and cozy blanket. Good luck, and hope you get to escape to the past and have a blast with one of my books! Cheers and thank you!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis by Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends November 23, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lost and Found by Sharon Ledwith

Lost and Found

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends November 23, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, 2 October 2017

Meet the Furry Residents of the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter…

During my year-long stint as an animal care attendant, I learned so much about the procedures and daily routines of working in an animal shelter. Then, one day, I found myself wondering what the animals would say if they could talk? How they would act and sound? What did they really think of humans? So, chasing down the animal voices frolicking in my head, I decided to write their story. The result is, Lost and Found, the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls.

All the shelter animals in Lost and Found are based on an animal I cared for in some capacity at the shelter. Now, trying to come up with each animal’s unique voice wasn’t that hard for me, since I went by the personality of the cat or dog. I observed certain quirks, how each animal behaved, what were they afraid of, what they liked, and so on. What I found was that every animal (even kittens born in the same litter) was different. Just. Like. People.

When I was ready to sit down and write their story, I compiled a list of shelter animals that readers would emotionally relate to and connect with. Many came to me as a surprise, others were firmly planted in my imagination from the very beginning. Below are the names of the main shelter animals who I decided to animate in Lost and Found, and the roles that they played:

WHISKEY: The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter observer’s real name was Whiskers, but I thought that might be confusing when describing a cat’s anatomy. Whiskers was an old, calico cat who was on medication to keep her alive. She always tried to mooch food from us during lunch, and there seemed to be an air of wisdom about Whiskers, as if she truly was the sage of the shelter.

NOBEL: This bouncy Husky-Doberman cross was the pack leader of the shelter dogs, and was named for the town of Nobel where he came from. He was hard to handle at times, so we had to walk him outside and around to the kennel runs so he didn’t go off on the other dogs inside. Nobel had the most amazing blue eyes, and was truly a top dog in every respect. At least I think that’s how he thought of himself!

Good ol' Louis
GEORGE: The little white cat with grey markings on his ears and tail was very timid and shy when I met him. He was left on the shelter’s steps, along with his twelve siblings, and was the last to get adopted. George got along with all the cats on the floor, and would go around and scoop up any meat leftovers in the cat bowls. He seemed the perfect choice to be the underdog, er cat of Lost and Found.

LOUIS: Everybody loves Louis! Seems people relate to his goofiness and the innocence that this big Rottweiler-mix exhibits. The real Louis used to spin around in circles when we let him out for a walk. He also had a hate-on going with some of the dogs on the floor, so I removed this part of Louis’s personality to make him more lovable and easy-going.

SHADOW: Yes, there was a vicious beast named Shadow at our shelter, though she came in with two friendly kittens. Whoever put Shadow and her family in that box and plopped a log on top must have pissed her off good. No wonder she didn’t trust us humans! We had to use welder’s gloves to handle Shadow because if we didn’t, she’d lunge and spit at us while we tried to clean her cage. Shadow made the perfect antagonist for Whiskey and George, and I truly enjoyed giving her a believable voice readers love to hate. The real Shadow eventually calmed down enough to get spayed, and found a nice home with an old lady.

Poppy - one of the leaders in the animal shelter
BRUTUS: Found in a live trap, Brutus (known as Scar) came to us with red, raw ears infested with ear mites. Poor boy. At first, I was intimidated by his monstrous size, but soon grew to love him! Unlike his tough, fictional counterpart as the leader of the lost cats, the real Brutus won the hearts of the shelter staff with his charm and cuddly manner. Brutus ended up being adopted by a student studying as a veterinarian technician. Now that’s what I call karma, and it was a happy/sad day to see him go!


So there you have it, a glimpse at the shelter animals who inspired me to write Lost and Found. I wished I could have written all the animals into my book, but as you may guess, there was far too many. Which begs me to ask that if you’re thinking about getting a dog or cat to add to your family, then I urge you to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter. Trust me, there’s an animal with a personality type that will fit every household looking to give a forever home to an animal in need of tender loving care.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Book Tour: Starter Zone; The Revelation Chronicles, Book 1 by Chris Pavesic...


Starter Zone
The Revelation Chronicles, Book 1
Chris Pavesic

Print Length: 219 pages
Publication Date: September 25, 2017
ASIN: B074YZ9JKB

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, LitRPG

Follow the tour to read reviews guest posts, exclusive excerpts, and spotlight posts:

About the Book:


When hydrologists inscribe the consciousness of a human mind onto a single drop of water, a Revelation sweeps the land. The wealthy race to upload their minds into self-contained virtual realities nicknamed Aquariums. In these containers people achieve every hope, dream, and desire. But governments wage war for control of the technology. Terrorist attacks cause massive destruction. The Aquariums fail.  Inscribed human minds leech into the water cycle, wreaking havoc.

Street gangs rule the cities in the three years since the fall of civilization. Sixteen-year-old Cami and her younger sister Alby struggle to survive. Every drop of untreated water puts their lives in peril. Caught and imprisoned by soldiers who plan to sell them into slavery, Cami will do anything to escape and rescue her sister. Even if it means leaving the real word for a life in the realms, a new game-like reality created by the hydrologists for the chosen few.

But life in the realms isn’t as simple as it seems. Magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as the sisters navigate their new surroundings. And they encounter more dangerous enemies than any they faced in the real world.

Time to play the game.

Bonus Recipe by Chris Pavesic

Join author Chris Pavesic in the virtual kitchen with this healthy Couscous Salad recipe and a sneak peek into her new novel, Starter Zone.



This recipe is a family favorite. Some like it when I make it with goat cheese while others prefer feta. The choice is yours. (I think both are equally delicious!)

Ingredients:
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 1/2 cups water
    2 cups plain couscous
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup cubed peeled cucumber
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1/2 cup chopped green onion (scallion)
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons distilled vinegar (balsamic vinegar works too)
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta cheese)
    1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (or toasted almonds slivered)
    salt and pepper to taste

Materials:
    Measuring spoon
    Measuring cup
    Saucepan
    Small bowl
    Large bowl
    Fork
    Small skillet

1.  Pour pine nuts into skillet and cook on medium heat.  Toast about 2 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Set aside to cool.
2.  In a saucepan, bring the orange juice and water to a boil.  Stir in the couscous, cover; remove from heat and let stand for 5-7 minutes.  
3.  Transfer to a large bowl, and fluff with a fork.
4.  Add the cranberries, cucumber, parsley, and green onion, mixing well.
5.  In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, and garlic.  
6.  Pour the dressing over the couscous, mixing well, and stir in the goat cheese and pine nuts, carefully tossing together.  
7.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

While you are enjoying this healthy salad, please take a moment to enjoy a glimpse into my new novel, Starter Zone, the first book of my new YA/LitRPG series, The Revelation Chronicles...


PROLOGUE

I was born into a world where silicone still ruled. Where the products of the earth outshone those of the sea. Integrated circuits ran all electronic equipment and scientists strove to make the conducting lines smaller and smaller. Silicon Valley tried, and failed, to make chips fast enough to upload human consciousness.
The Revelation came a few years later from the hydrologists. They designed a system that did not use silicone, but instead worked with water molecules. The hydrologists managed to imprint the consciousness of a human mind on a single drop of water.
The water was to be kept in self-contained, sealed aquariums—pure, undiluted, eternal—where virtual realities were constructed to meet every need and desire. All of human knowledge encoded and stored in literal pools of data and integrated with the drops of human consciousness. It was, the hydrologists claimed, utopia achieved.
The obscenely rich were the hydrologist’s first clients, many taken near the end of their lives. The procedure did not always work, but there were enough successes to spur people’s interest. People suffering from terminal illnesses volunteered to be inscribed, and the hydrologists worked and refined their process. Private companies formed and competition forced price wars. Hundreds of customers grew to thousands, and then to millions. There were landmark court cases arguing whether or not health insurance should cover the cost of the inscription—whether or not this was a medical procedure designed to save lives or a form of physician assisted suicide. The law struggled to decide if life ended when the body was drained to a dry, leathery husk, or if life continued inside those glowing, sealed aquariums.
I was thirteen when the governments seized control of the laboratories, first in the Eastern European countries. Then the labs of Europe and the Middle East were swallowed up. Terrorist attacks soon followed and destroyed most of the civilized world over the next three years. The United States, Canada, and Greece, those bastions of democracy, did not fall until the very end. Of course, by then no one cared whether or not the government or the private companies ran the uploading programs. Many of the aquariums ruptured in the strife and the droplets, imbued with human consciousness, re-entered the water cycle of the planet.

CHAPTER ONE

As the sun hovers near the horizon, ready to dip below and plunge the world into darkness, the weather changes for the worse. Clouds gather. Peeking out my window and over the outline of rooftops in the distance is what looks like thunderheads moving toward me in the invisible polluted gusts of wind.
I try not to think about the coming storm as I methodically pull on my boots and zip up my jacket. It is supposed to be waterproof, but I would not risk going out in anything above a light drizzle. Water has a way of seeping through even the best defenses. There’s also a lining that’s overly warm for a summer evening. I’m already sweating and the discomfort adds to my nerves.
I check the hunting knife strapped to my left leg. It was one of the first weapons purchased for me by my dad back when the sporting goods stores were still open for business. He didn’t think I was ready to handle a handgun at thirteen, but he taught me to shoot a rifle in the open fields by our house, helping me hold the weapon steady until I grew strong enough to support the weight. Now, three years later, I have a handgun, a Ruger semi-automatic, but bullets are scarce and loud noises are problematic. My small ammo stash sits in the bottom of my backpack next to the gun.
Instead of the gun, I carry an extra-light crossbow as my go-to weapon. I can hand-make the bolts so I don’t worry about running out of ammunition and the shot is relatively silent. I carry the spare bolts in a quiver strapped to my right leg. It’s awkward when running, but I can draw the bolts fast when needed.
My little sister, Alby, has loaded her own backpack. I lift it to test the weight and then pull a few things out. I place them in my own pack without comment. I help her position the lighter pack over her shoulders, tightening the straps so that it will stay balanced. She always tries to do more than she should, but I don’t like the way her face has a perpetual pinched, strained look or the deep shadows under her eyes. She looks far older than her seven years. This scares me more than everything else and that fear threatens to register on my face. I force myself to stay calm.
I check her raincoat and boots, making sure everything fits snugly. I help Alby pull up the hood of her coat, tucking in a strand of dark hair that has escaped her ponytail. As frightened as she is, she manages to give me a smile. I smile back, trying to present a brave front. As my dad used to say, “fake it till you make it.”  Over the last few years, I’ve been faking confidence more and more often for Alby’s sake.
“Ready to go?” I ask with all the false cheer I can muster in my voice. I take one last glance over the motel room that had served as a temporary home for the last few days, looking for anything that we might have left behind. The room is swept clean. No trace whatsoever that we had ever been there.
Alby nods. “Ready, Cami.”
“If we get separated, remember to keep going north,” I say. “Follow the road till you get to the park, then take the walking paths. No matter what happens, keep going. Stop when you get to the Stone River. I’ll meet you at the bridge in the center of the park where we used to feed the ducks, okay?”
She nods again, looking up at me with those dark eyes so full of trust. I hug her, because if we do get separated, there isn’t much hope we will ever see each other again. I need to keep up the pretense of hope, though, because that’s all we have to keep us going.
Stone River Park is at the very limits of the city and the area surrounding it is relatively unpopulated. I figure that once we are out of the city, our chances of survival will dramatically increase. After reaching the park, we can follow the Stone River north. There’s bound to be deserted houses in the country and less chance that any of the gangs would be interested in the meager pickings outside of the city. We might even be able to find a place to stay before winter.
I crack open the door of our motel room. It is still light enough to stain everything with graying shades of color. The setting sun casts long shadows between the buildings, so I depend more upon my ears to find signs of other humans. I hear no motorcycle engines and no voices, only the wind, blowing and moaning, and the far-off call of a bird. The coming storm appears to have cleared the streets. They are deserted except for empty, crashed vehicles abandoned in every lane.
Alby and I had been lucky to reach the motel a few days ago. The single-story building is on the outskirts of the main town and catered to big rig truck drivers and other traffic from the interstate. I had found the skeleton key in the motel office after climbing in through the bathroom window. Alby and I spent the nights scouring every room for supplies.
No one had broken into it before we got there. Too many other rich targets to go around. But inside each room was a mini-fridge filled with snacks. Even though the electricity had been turned off, the chocolates and small bags of honey-coated nuts were edible. The tiny bottles of alcoholic beverages in each fridge did not seem useful, but I kept a few. They might be helpful in starting a fire someday when we made it outside the city. We even discovered coffee filters and a small bottle of chlorine bleach—a major score for treating our drinking water. 
If I hadn’t spent days secretly peering out the dark windows of the motel, I might believe my sister and I were the last two people left on earth. But I know that out there, behind the ruined buildings and boarded-up windows, there are at least a few pairs of eyes whose owners would kill us without a second thought. My eyes flick toward the two bodies hanging from the traffic lights in the nearby intersection. They hadn’t been moved. Good.
     The daytime usually belongs to looter-gangs, each with spray-can marked territories in bright displays of color that start on the buildings and drip down toward the pavement. The gangs wear something marked as well, usually a jacket or bandanna that will stand out from a distance. The snipers hole up in their nests and target anyone who encroaches on their gang’s territory. They particularly looked for members of other factions trying to increase their terrain.
Paint tags don’t show up well after dark, though, so the gangs have started leaving their victims as warnings to others not to encroach on their holding. These bodies have been hanging undisturbed in the intersection for several days, indicating a lack of activity in the area. I can only hope that the gangs have moved inward, toward the center of the city and more supply-rich targets.
No one is ever going to catch the murderers, or the ones who strung up the bodies like macabre trophies, and put them in jail. They’ll just go on and do it again and again. Like animals in the jungle—except that animals are not cruel.
We were lucky to go unmolested by the local gangs. Heaven knows we don’t look like we have much of anything, and we don’t look threatening, but that will only last for so long. Someday someone will try to kill us, possibly for no other reason than wanting to watch us die. The whole world, it seems, is at war, and no one is on my side except Alby. We only have each other.
A streak of lightning splits the sky almost directly overhead, making me wince. It is followed by a heavy clap of thunder. As frightening as it is, the bad weather is to our advantage. No one wants to be caught outside in the rain. Everyone is more afraid of fresh, untreated water and what it can do than they are of each other. But I believe we can make it out of the area and to shelter before the rain poses any danger.

In fact I’m betting our lives on it.

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starter-zone-chris-pavesic/1127125956?ean=2940158707476

Meet the Author:


Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends. She blogs on www.chrispavesic.com and Tweets @chrispavesic 




Monday, 18 September 2017

YA Book Tour: Bewitching Hannah by Leigh Goff...


Being a witch is the last thing she wants…


Bewitching Hannah
Leigh Goff

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publish Date: September 17, 2017

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Romance

Follow the tour to read reviews, exclusive excerpts, guest posts, and book spotlights:
https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/09/virtual-book-tour-schedule-bewitching.html

Powers of the Witches Rise: The Chesapeake Witches

The Chesapeake region is known for blue crabs, sailing, and the U.S. Naval Academy. However, Maryland’s past is cloaked in a dark secret–an intriguing and rarely mentioned history of witches.

In 1635, the state adopted the Witchcraft Act of 1604 that declared witchcraft a felony, punishable by death. Rebecca Fowler suffered the worst fate due to this law. A fellow indentured servant accused her of hexing him prior to an injury. She was arrested, tried by a jury, and hung at the gallows. Hannah Edwards faced similar charges, but luckily escaped the noose.

In 1665, Elizabeth Bennett (not that Elizabeth Bennet!) was caught making charms, casting enchantments, and delving into general sorcery. Philip Calvert, the fifth Governor of Maryland and the son of the first Lord Baltimore, charged her with witchcraft, but her neck was spared from the gallows by an acquittal. What’s ironic is that the Calverts were descended from the royal Grey bloodline (Queen Jane Grey’s family) who were known for delving into magic and alchemy. Also, another famous Maryland family, the Arundells (Anne Arundell married into the Calverts) were related to the Irish Wizard Earl, Gerald Fitzgerald, a famous magician and alchemist.

Around 1697, the Chesapeake witch, Moll Dyer of Leonardtown, was driven from her home when locals set it on fire. She raced into the winter’s night and died from exposure with her hand frozen to a boulder. According to witchlore, her handprint remains frozen in time and can be seen on the boulder as a reminder of darker days. The land where she lived is known to be cursed and reports of a woman’s ghost haunting the area abound.

In 1712, Virtue Violl starred in the very last state trial for practicing her craft. William Bladen, Maryland’s first Attorney General, oversaw the trial where she was charged with harming an elderly neighbor by striking her tongue lame, however, a lack of proof forced the jury to acquit her. Interesting fact–William Bladen is buried at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis on Church Circle. Sounds like a cool setting for a scene in a witch novel…hint, hint.

Ever heard of Witch’s Grave? Not many Annapolitans even know the place or the legend. A gnarled, slanted tree overhanging the bank of Spa Creek marks Witch’s Grave. At the base of the tree lies a crypt where three unnamed witches were buried. Local lore has it that two of them were hung and one was burned. Their tortured ghosts are known to haunt the area and anyone who summons them from their final resting place.

The Chesapeake area’s dark witch history inspires questions. Were these women deeply connected to nature or was there magic in their blood? Does Moll Dyer’s tortured spirit still search for the men who chased her out of her home? And is it possible the Chesapeake witches’ descendants quietly carry on the practice of their ancestors’ craft today, including the casting of spells and the breaking of curses? What I can tell you is this–I’m descended from a seventeenth century Chesapeake witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, and I love the idea of casting these kinds of powerful females into my enchanting ever-afters.

My upcoming novel, Bewitching Hannah, is set in present-day Annapolis and will answer some of these unsettling questions.

About Bewitching Hannah:

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Fitzgerald has always known she is descended from a troubled legacy of magic. Although a stranger to her coven in Annapolis, she is no stranger to grief and denial. However, when an ancient prophecy reveals the rise of a young, powerful Chesapeake witch and the impending death of another, she realizes she can no longer afford to suppress the magic that has taken away so much. She seeks out the frighteningly scarred, yet mysterious W, a Calvert descendant who is destined to change her life, but even he cannot prepare her for the danger that lies ahead. Engaged in a deadly game without knowing who her true rival is, Hannah isn’t certain she will survive, and if she loses she may lose everything, including the ones she loves.

Read an Excerpt:

Lightning flashed, followed by a rumble of thunder, jolting me alert. A tempest churned over the Chesapeake Bay and was rolling toward town. I stared at the clouds, ready to calculate how much time we had before the rain hit. Another bright flash of white-hot lightning forked across the purplish-black sky. One, two…twenty.

Boom.

The storm was at least four miles away. I pressed a hand over my chest, feeling the thumping slow.

I glanced at Aunt J, who was no longer bopping her head to the bad music. Instead, she blinked over and over, and rubbed her eyes with one hand.

“If you’re tired, I can drive.” Who needed a license when I’d already mastered a moped along with the Green Briar golf carts?

Her slender fingers searched for me as if I were a ghost she could only hear. She grasped my arm tightly.

“Hannah?” Panic drenched her voice.

My eyes widened. “What’s wrong?”

“I can’t see. I mean, I see something, but it’s not the road. What’s wrong with me?”

I peered out the windshield. A distant telephone pole grew bigger as her foot stuck to the accelerator.

A frightening swell of adrenaline flooded my veins, sending my heart into a frenzy. “Stop!” I yelled, but she was frozen with fright. I grabbed the steering wheel and threw my leg over to jam on the brake pedal.

It was too late. Absolute silence fell over us in the grim second before we plowed into the pole. My lower body slammed into the dashboard while the seatbelt squeezed hard against my ribs. Metal groaned. White bubbles deployed. Glass shattered with a scream. Or maybe the scream was mine. The car groaned to a halt with a hiss and clank.

Stillness settled over us. My head was reeling as I checked myself for injuries. Bursts of pain sparked from my chest and leg.

“Hannah?” Aunt J’s quivering voice reached out.

I pried my eyes open. She had escaped her seatbelt. Her lips and hands were trembling, but I saw no blood or broken skin. Inwardly, I sighed with relief.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

I sucked in a shallow breath. “Me? Fine,” I managed, not wanting to stress her out, but I struggled to breathe and my left leg was wedged under the intruding dashboard.

She reached over, wiping her hands across my cheeks and forehead, dusting away crumbs of glass. She touched her trembling fingers to the seatbelt release and pressed on it, over and over. “Come on, dammit. Let go.”

I pushed her hand away, restraining a whimper. “It’s okay. Go get help.”

She nodded and with a hard push, shoved her door open. “I’ll be right back.”

A heavy silence fell over the car’s interior until a hiss sounded from the engine. Within seconds, the smell of burning oil seeped in through the vents.

One toxic breath went deeper than I meant it to. “Ow!” I coughed and writhed beneath the unyielding seatbelt like a five-year-old having a tantrum. Panic swept over me as I struggled for freedom.

Stress vibrated deep in my gut. Self-soothe, self-soothe, I reminded myself. The air grew thicker with burning oil and a starburst of pain wracked my body. I was going to die. Unless…

No. How could I even think it? There had to be another way because what if I couldn’t send it back? What if it took me to the same terrible place it had taken them?

I peered out the windows, searching. There was no one. I turned my focus on the glove box. Maybe Aunt J kept a knife in there or a pair of floral scissors. I pushed the button hard, again and again. Jammed. My heart raced.

A burst of smoke puffed into the car’s interior. I coughed and closed my eyes. The pressure on my leg intensified and the sickening fumes filled me with dread. Eff it. I balled my hands into fists.

I recalled the spell I’d overheard my dad utter once. I recited it in my head before casting, making sure I had it right. “By the power of fire, I do summon and churn, and call thee forth to blaze and burn.”

I stopped breathing, trying to sense any changes. I felt no different. And then it filled my core like a warm sphere of energy. Quickly, the power expanded into a blazing inferno. My back arched, pressing me harder into the seatbelt as my internal fire surged. Every cell jolted awake. My heart pounded out of control as I imagined channeling the smoldering energy. Suddenly, my hands tingled with intense power. I swallowed hard and aimed my fingers at the strap. The fiery threads trickled out in a wiggly pattern until I steadied my hand. The seatbelt burned orange, then cooled to black before separating.

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Meet the Author:

Writing Enchanting Ever-Afters ♥


Leigh Goff grew up in Maryland where she resides today. Her writing is inspired by an eclectic childhood, a vivid imagination, and compelling historical events. After taking several writing courses in college and attending professional writing workshops after she graduated from the University of Maryland, she joined the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. 

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