April 19, 2014 at 1:00 am (Uncategorized)
Elemental magic is one of the strangest and strongest powers. It means the person who wields the magic can control earth, wind, fire, and water. In our books about The Connelly Witches, Brenna Connelly Burns is the strongest witch of her generation. It becomes obvious she will one day be the coven leader.
Brenna is also very at home in the lovely mountains of North Georgia where New Mourne is. That’s why it’s such a great place to make a haven for all beings–supernatural and human. With both books, we’ve sought to show how many supernatural beings coexist with humans here. There are werewolves, shape shifters, fairies and other fae entities as well as witches and rumor of a dragon and a powerful wizard.
Here’s the opening scene from Witch’s Awakening with Brenna:
Brenna Burns shivered as she watched the storm build outside her family’s home. Pines and ancient hardwoods whipped in the wind, bending at impossible angles. Her breath caught as the top of one old oak tree snapped and crashed to the ground just yards from the house. Thunder echoed down the mountains and through the Connelly Valley. Lightning strikes came in a constant stream.
Like fire, Brenna thought, her senses sharpening. A wholly unnatural fire.
June in North Georgia brought its share of thunderstorms, but this was different. Though clouds boiled overhead, there was no rain, and Brenna’s skin prickled with trepidation. She turned with a start as her younger sister Fiona ran into the room, shouting for help.
“We’ve got to stop her!”
“Eva Grace. She says Garth is in trouble and she needs to go help him.” Eva Grace Connelly was their first cousin, but the three of them grew up together and, as Connelly women, they shared a bond deeper than sisters. Garth was the man Eva Grace was to marry tomorrow. The sisters and cousin had just arrived home from a bridal luncheon when the storm began building out of a clear, blue sky.
Brenna gasped as thunder shook the old house, rattling windows and china in the breakfront.
“Come on,” Fiona said, and this time Brenna obeyed. She could feel the evil spinning around the house, encircling them.
They ran through the kitchen, where they found Eva Grace at the door of the screened-in porch, just about to step into the violent storm.
“No,” Brenna screamed, reaching for her. “Don’t go outside. This isn’t just a bad storm. There’s darkness in it.”
“I know,” Eva Grace said, pulling away. “Garth is in trouble. My moonstone was glowing hot in my pocket. When I focused, I realized he was alone and fighting for his life. I have to get to him. He’s at Mulligan Falls.” She pushed the door open, and wind slammed it against the wall. Then she was gone, her long red hair streaming behind her as she ran across the yard.
Brenna looked at Fiona and saw her own terror reflected in her sister’s eyes. All three of them shared the same green eye color, distinctly Connelly and equally expressive.
“Come on,” Brenna said, grabbing Fiona’s hand.
They raced into the maelstrom, dodging flying tree limbs and calling Eva Grace’s name. They caught up to her just as the lawn gave way to dense forest, and the sisters flanked their cousin, each taking one of her hands. Wind tore at Brenna’s clothes, and lightning bolts hit all around them, splitting trees and sending sparks through the dry underbrush. It was good they joined hands for Brenna feared they would never have pushed through the dark force trying to bar their way without that link. Three Connellys were difficult to stop.
Eva Grace yelled over the thunder and roar of the wind. “Brenna, can you do something to weaken the storm?”
Brenna braced her legs so she could stand firm and closed her eyes. When she was set, she raised her free arm and splayed her fingers. While slowly dropping her hand, she repeated an old Celtic incantation.
Brenna felt the first drops of rain, and then the torrent began, a curtain of rain so thick it was difficult to see the path in front of them. “This storm isn’t nature. I can’t phase it.”
For a witch with strong connections to the elements, this was a rare occurrence. North Georgia’s mountains and hills were a second home to her. Brenna had a special bond with these slopes. Like generations before her, she had often called upon this land’s power for her spells.
“Let’s go,” Eva Grace said, surging forward again. “We have to get to the falls.”
What curse? Buy Witch’s Awakening and get all the details!
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We’ve had such a great time writing about The Connelly Witches. Witch’s Awakening, which is Brenna Connelly Burns’ story, is out now. We recently finished and submitted the second book, Witch’s Haunting, which features witch and medium Fiona Connelly Burns. Now we’ve begun work on the third book, Witch’s Healing, Eva Grace Connelly’s story.
The Connelly Witches live in the town of New Mourne, Georgia, which is in the mountains in the northern part of the state. The town has a picturesque Main Street with Bitta’s Bakery, run by a kitchen witch whose bread and pastries are magical. Mary’s Diner has wonderful homemade Southern dishes like biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, and cornbread cooked in iron skillets
Moving on down the street, you’ll see Frannie’s Flowers, Mulligan’s Hardware, and The Clip ‘N Curl, where the elder aunts still get their hair teased and sprayed weekly. The little shop on the corner is Siren’s Call, which Eva Grace owns. It’s the place to find all things Wicca, beautiful athames, homemade salves and lotions, along with an array of dried herbs and teas.
For antiques and collectibles, go to Dagen’s Trunk, which is near the storefront business, F. Connelly Paranormal Investigations, where you can discuss problems with spirits and haunted houses with Fiona.
Once you head out of town, you’ll find Devil’s Creek Road, where Fiona likes to do her daily run. She calls this area her personal “dead zone.” You can learn why in Witch’s Haunting, coming in the fall.
On the other side of town, heading toward Interstate 75 is The Enclave, a relatively new development that is home to many former Atlanta residents. They moved to the area to get away from the traffic and busyness of the city and have no idea they’re living near witches, shape shifters, werewolves, and fae. There’s even a Native American legend that says a dragon lives at the top of the mountain.
That’s our little tour of New Mourne. We hope you’ll enjoy visiting it in the pages of the stories about The Connelly Witches.
Get Witch’s Awakening at these sights:
April 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm (Uncategorized)
True Nature is still available. This is an exciting book that features Hunter MacRae, a lawyer who can change his shape to any feline form. He works with Zoe Buchanan, a PI who is also a dysfunctional psychic. They begin investigating murder when a client is brutally beaten to death.
But that death isn’t the only one that affects them. When Hunter’s grandfather and family patriarch dies, Hunter discovers he has a role in a centuries-old family feud. Now he must assume the reigns of the MacRae Clan against the evil Killins, who are led by the Lion of Wall Street, Michael Killin.
An excerpt from True Nature:
Outside the hotel, the trio headed down Park Avenue toward Times Square. They took a turn at 47th Street and ended up at the club Denim and Diamonds, with country music pounding and girls in tight jeans everywhere. Hunter soon grew restless and bored, so they left, again heading toward the bright lights of 42nd Street.
He was crossing 44th Street when a movement caught his eye. He did a double take, sure he’d seen a huge cat standing in a doorway down an alley. But when he looked back, the doorway was empty and people were walking by undisturbed.
“I saw it too,” Evan said. “Killin is playing with us.”
Hunter stopped, staring down the alley and trying to see what wasn’t there.
“That seems risky,” Zoe said slowly. “What if someone saw him and screamed?”
“Michael Killin is very old and very skillful. He can switch forms faster than you can blink.”
“I’m still working on keeping my clothes on as I change,” Hunter grumbled.
Evan sighed. “For lack of a better word, Killin’s movements are often…magical.”
“Magic,” Zoe breathed, her eyes somber. “I’m feeling a little like Meagan. There’s not much we can do against him.”
Evan disagreed. “We have magic of our own.”
“Nana told me to believe in magic,” Hunter said.
“What else would you call what you can do?” Evan asked.
At his question the busy city sounds around dimmed. Hunter had a sense of de ja vu, as if he and Evan and Zoe were standing with their backs against edge a wide, deep precipice.
“Whoa,” Zoe said and jerked Hunter back to the present. He knew by her expression that once again, she had seen what he pictured in his head.
Evan darted a look around them. “I think we should go home.”
For once, Hunter agreed without protest.
Get your copy of True Nature from one of these great websites:
Phantom of Riverside Park
By Peggy Webb
I enjoyed reading Phantom of Riverside Park by Peggy Webb. Not only is the prose lyrical and warm with Southern charm, the story itself is well developed and emotionally charged.
Elizabeth Jennings works hard to provide a small income for her little family. She, her 90-year-old grandfather, and her four-year-old son live in a small rental house in a low-income area of Memphis.
Webb sets the scene with her simple philosophies that contain a measure of absolute truth. The opening sentence:
When you live in the middle of your own tragedy you get so used to the daily terror that you can sail unharmed past the boulders that drop into your path at every turn. It’s the pebbles that make you trip and fall.
The family, originally from the Mississippi Delta came to live in Memphis when Elizabeth found herself pregnant, dismissed by her wealthy college boyfriend, and thrown out of her home. With very little money and a minimal amount of hope, Thomas Jennings had promised Elizabeth God would take care of them, and his faith was still strong.
While Elizabeth works in the unpleasant atmosphere of a local bakery, Papa and Nicky spend the day at Riverside Park. Once they get back to their little house, have dinner, and Nicky goes to bed, she heads to her second job at a dry cleaners. There are also her night classes to finish the college degree she longs for.
Watching all this happen from his office high above the city is David Lassiter, a decorated hero of the Iraq war, who has his own scars—physical and mental—to deal with on a daily basis.
This story is rich in Southern heritage and emotional impact. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly. Frankly, I didn’t think you could write such a sweet love story in such a contemporary setting. Please don’t tell anyone, but parts of it made me cry, and the Peggy’s descriptions put me right in Elizabeth’s shoes.
The story built slowly but had a wonderful sense of anticipation. I stayed up late to finish it and was so glad I did!
We had a wonderful Facebook launch party Monday night and enjoyed meeting all the readers. Now we’re going to share our space with the writers of the other books included in the box set. Just to remind you, the books are Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley, Wicked Ink by Misty Simon, Witch’s Awakening by Neely Powell, and Her Wild Protector by Naomi Bellina!
Today, we’re introducing Lisa Medley, author of Reap & Repent. Here’s her fantastic cover and the writer herself!
Reaping & Writing
I didn’t originally sit down to write a book about reapers. Reapers aren’t sexy. Reapers are death. And skeletal. And…grim. I first tried writing about vampires because, well, VAMPIRES. When I gave my first 30K of my first real novel, attempt to my BFF, her reply was, “It’s good, but what makes it different?”
Erm, nothing. Same old story. I needed something fresh. Something that might stand out in a crowded field of paranormal monsters in love.
I chose reapers. And then I set out to make them better. Still human looking but human DELUXE! Lots of dark potential there. I sat down and got to work making a world for them to live in, threw in some demons, an evil fallen angel and the Reaper Series was born.
Reap & Repent is Deacon and Ruth’s story.
Once I started writing, it didn’t take long for Deacon and Ruth to take over. I wasn’t telling their story. They were telling their story. About halfway through, I realized we all three needed a plan and finally sat down and organized all of the sticky notes, which had previously been decorating my car dashboard, writing cave desk and notebooks. I typed them up and printed them out.
HOLY COW, I had a plot! So THAT’s how that happens.
From that point on, I put Deacon and Ruth in peril, threw roadblocks in their way, and let their love grow until I reached the end, some eighty thousand words later.
And THE END ends with one of my favorite things.
If you’d like to see how it all plays out, here’s your chance. Book one of the reaper series, Reap & Repent, is available now. Here’s a taste.
Prologue from Reap & Repent:
What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.
For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.
It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.
He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace
He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, there was a nightmare.
When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.
Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all.
So far, the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.
As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts as if they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.
While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.
And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand.
His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.
Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?
God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.
Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.
This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God.
Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.
He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.
Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.
He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.
Lisa Medley writes reapers. The grim kind. Her urban fantasy romance, Reap & Repent is available now in a Harlequin E Box Set with three other Harlequin debut authors. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.
BUY LINKS: Reap & Repent is available now in a Harlequin E Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Box Set with the works of three other amazing new Harlequin authors! Reap & Repent will be available for single-title release June 2, 2014.
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March 3, 2014 at 11:42 am (Uncategorized)
Don’t forget the party! 🎉🎊🎈Prizes! Win a classic Kindle! 📖🎶🎉🎊🎈
Originally posted on Neely Powell Storylines:
Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley: Dean realizes Ruth is a soul reaper as he is. Their chance meeting sparks an undeniable attraction–and it draws the attention of an ancient evil that seeks to destroy them both.
Wicked Ink by Misty Simon: Garrett’s gift for violence is tattooed on his flesh. Dory looks like the typical door next door, but she has dark secrets of her own. When a predator strikes, Garrett discovers only Dory can save him. First, however, he must save her.
Witch’s Awakening by Neely Powell: Generation after generation, a Connelly woman is sacrificed to maintain the magical community of New Mourne. No one seeks to learn why…until now. Brenna Connelly Burns wants to stop the cycle…
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