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  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , breath of magic, crystal cove, dark witch, daughter of the blood, , erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, , , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2017/02/17 Permalink
    Tags: blood magick, blood romance sex magick, cousins o'dwyer trilogy, dark witch, , , romance travel and magick, shadow spell   

    Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch Features Adventure, Family, and Smoldering Romance 

    Romance readers who have always dreamed of abandoning everything in order to move to a new country and have adventures will have a serious case of envy when they read Dark Witch, the first book in Nora Roberts’ Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. The book combines adventure, fantasy, familial love, and, of course, romance. The result is an entertaining read that gives readers a good dose of both otherworldly situations and matters that are more grounded in reality.

    The book opens in the thirteenth century with Sorcha, who is known as the Dark Witch and is guarding her home and her three children while her husband is away at war. She is defending herself and her family against their enemy, Cabhan, a dark sorcerer who wants Sorcha’s power—and Sorcha—for himself. Sorcha does her best to fend him off, but to no avail, and her children’s fates are ultimately left hanging in the balance.

    Readers are then transported to the present day. Our modern-day heroine, Iona Sheehan, is no ordinary woman. Acting on a hunch that she’s got some otherworldly powers, she moves to Ireland and seeks out distant relations who are not so different from her.

    When we first meet Iona, she’s already in Ireland and she’s gotten rid of the vast majority of her possessions, including, tragically, her designer shoe collection. She treats herself to a proper mini vacation, one that includes spending a week at a local castle-turned-hotel, but then wastes no time finding her relations. She meets her distant cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer, both of whom are also descendants of Sorcha. Connor gives her the warmer welcome, while Branna is a tad more reserved, but they are both ultimately happy to have her there, and Iona quickly forms a bond with both of them. Branna becomes Iona’s primary magick instructor, and teaches Iona how to use and control her abilities.

    Of course, there’s day-to-day life to focus on, because this magick business isn’t going to pay for itself. Iona finds a job at a local stable, which is owned by Boyle McGrath. Within minutes, she’s got him pinned down, looks-wise, and finds him to be a mix of “Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman,” which immediately has her feeling all “Sign me up!” Personality-wise, Boyle’s got that whole “strong and silent” thing down pat. In fact, “strong and silent” is probably a milder way of putting it. He’s not the most emotional guy, at least not outwardly, but even he cannot deny the attraction he feels for our girl.

    Iona and Boyle are pretty much immediately attracted to each other, but he is not one for having open, flowery emotions. That said, he wants to take things slow with Iona, and he’s old-fashioned about being the one to ask women out. In the age of infinite dating websites and mobile apps, Boyle’s ideas almost seem brand-new. He generously gives Iona a “We’ll go have dinner sometime,” which Branna, who has known Boyle for many years, hilariously notes to Iona that, coming from him, “It’s all but a proposal of marriage.” When Boyle and Iona finally do get to know each other in the biblical way, it’s quite awesome. He may play the big, giant protector when they’re out and about, and keep his emotions in check, but he certainly knows who he is in the bedroom.

    While Iona settles into her new life, everyone prepares to confront Cabhan, who has managed to stick around over the centuries and never truly disappear. What’s neat about all of the magick-related stuff is that Roberts doesn’t bog things down with too many details. We’re not tortured with long scenes detailing all there is to know about the magick these people create. That said, when there is a magick scene, it’s actually kind of fun, almost like a “Harry Potter” lesson, but one that’s for adults and ends with everyone drinking lots of wine and beer and eating comfort foods that they’ve cooked for each other.

    Of course, no Nora Roberts book would be complete without memorable supporting characters, and this one is blessed with two other couples, Connor and Meara, and Branna and Finbar. Connor and Meara, whose story is explored in the second book in the trilogy, Shadow Spell, have known each other for many years, and are now inches away from finally getting it on.

    As for Branna and Finbar, who we get to focus on in Blood Magick, we learn that they were sweethearts in their teen years. They separated due to magick-related drama, but, as we learn very quickly, that old loving feeling has never gone away. It makes sense that their story will be last in the trilogy, as they’ve really got that whole delicious, intense desire thing going on for each other.

    Dark Witch is an excellent start to an exciting trilogy. The combination of magick, family, humor, and, of course, romance, make for a real page-turner. Iona’s pluckiness is to be admired, and her new, close-knit circle of family and friends would make anyone wish they could follow in her footsteps— magick abilities not required.

    Have you read the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy?

    The post Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch Features Adventure, Family, and Smoldering Romance appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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