Brenda’s debut novel, WITCH IN THE WIND, starts with a murder, but comes to life with witches, warlocks, a canine familiar and a magical dimension called The Otherland. For upcoming titles in The Otherland Chronicles, and other stories, keep an eye on Brenda’s website www.brendamcollins.com and follow her on Twitter.
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Genre: A [Sweet] Paranormal Romance
Formats: Kindle, eBook
Everything happens in Bandit Creek when witches, warlocks and canine familiars slip through the portal from the magical world called THE OTHERLAND.
When murder strikes in Bandit Creek, and the victims aren’t who they seemed, powerful guardian warlock, Marcus Egan, is sent from The Otherland to investigate. What he doesn’t expect to find is Avalon Gwynn, the grieving daughter of the victims, who has no idea she’s an extraordinary, hereditary witch. And Avy’s pent up magical abilities have just been set free in the mortal world.
Can Marcus catch a killer while making sure Avy doesn’t bring Crow Mountain crashing down on the town—destroying Bandit Creek for the second time?
This is a sweet paranormal novella of approximately 50,000 words written for an adult audience but also suitable for young adult readers.
Everything happens in Bandit Creek when WITCHES, WARLOCKS, and CANINE FAMILIARS slip the portal from THE OTHERLAND
(Excerpt from Chapter 2)
Marcus debated if he should fade into the background. In his line of work, his talent for making even another witch’s eye look past him without registering his presence was useful.
He felt another power surge. “What the—
The woman wasn't the magic source. Fierce, dark eyes locked on him, not in a friendly, or mortal, way. And the beast already knew Marcus was there. What the hell is a familiar doing here? Familiars couldn’t be summoned. They appeared only when gifted by a more powerful spirit in times of great danger. There hadn’t been such a creature around The Otherland for centuries. So who sent this one to the mortal world, he wondered. And why?
Pushing away from the wall, Marcus wandered over to the reception desk. By habit, he moved with quiet steps, yet the young woman seemed to sense his approach and turned in his direction. She pulled the cap from her head, pushed loose wisps of hair from her forehead, and looked up at him.
His breath stopped in his throat and his mouth watered. The little nymph was more than the usual pretty combination of golden blond hair and flawless fair skin. Her electric blue eyes, even smudged with fatigue, jolted his gut in a way he hadn’t felt since his teens, when his magical energy was working overtime along with his hormones.
He smiled and managed to keep his stance casual as he kept one eye on the familiar and one on the woman. She seemed startled for a second but then returned his smile with a brilliant one of her own. The familiar didn’t. He bared his teeth and growled.
“I mean you no harm.” He didn’t want the familiar to blow his cover so he stood completely still as he spoke to it directly.
To the woman he said, “Is he always afraid of strangers?”
The familiar rumbled again as if insulted.
“Only you as far as I know,” she replied. Her voice, a rich alto, wrapped around him like a siren’s song. “He was fine with me, and the sheriff, yesterday.”
He blinked trying to regain some control of his brain. “What’s his name?” He eased his hand, very slowly, towards the familiar murmuring reassurances that only the magical beast would understand.
“I don’t know really. I found him last night with no collar.” She shrugged and a light flush colored her cheeks. “I’ve been calling him Busby. You know, after the big furry hats the guards at Buckingham Palace wear. When I first saw him on my porch, that’s what he reminded me of.”
That answers one question, Marcus thought. He’s here to protect this woman. But does she know that? With his hand dangerously close to the familiar’s mouth, he let the beast scent the strength of his power. Warlocks were a level above most magical creatures, having been bred for generations as warriors. Of course, that didn’t mean the familiar wasn’t as strong, or even stronger. No one knew how familiars travelled from witch to witch and many assumed they were from the spirit realm.
Finally, the creature eased back on his haunches.
“Busby’s giving me a reprieve.” He very slowly withdrew his hand. To the familiar he said, “Giving me a chance, aren’t you, Busby. But you let me know who’s got the teeth when it comes to this woman.” He stepped back.
This book is a part of a much larger series but reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. Bandit Creek is a small mountain community that has been rocked by a double murder. Avalon Gwynn returns home after learning of her parent’s untimely demise to find her childhood home ransacked and worse. A friendly dog shows up who she immediately feels connected to. As she tries to make sense of the tragedy, Busby, her new pet gives her solace.
Marcus Egan is a powerful guardian who is sent from The Otherland to investigate the unusual murder in Bandit Creek. There he discovers Avy, a young, grieving witch, with tremendous power; untrained, frightened, and angry. The Council instructs Marcus to retrieve two powerful amulets and then kill Avy because they fear her unbridled powers.
This exciting story kept me glued to my kindle. Avy is a sympathetic character with a lovely voice. She and Marcus are a delightful couple. There is plenty of action and humor in this clean romance that moved along without any sags or bogs. I enjoyed the adventure, loved the characters, and thought the remote setting of Bandit Creek perfect for this story.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Jan 14 - Black Lion Tour Blog/introduction
Jan 16 - A Writer's Life
Jan 18 - Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews
Jan 21 - Cheryl's Book Nook
Jan 23 - Oh, Chrys!
Jan 24 - Bookworm Lisa
Jan 25 - Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries, and More
Jan 28 - Chanting of Muses
Jan 28 - My Seryniti
Jan 29 - MK McClintock Blog
Jan 30 - Melissa's Midnight Musings
Jan 31 - I am a Reader, Not a Writer
Feb 1 - I Know that Book
Feb 5 - My Escape
Feb 6 - Open the Page
Feb 7 - Turning the Pages
Feb 8 - Black Lion Tour Blog/wrap-up
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Black Lion Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Black Lion Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*