Don't forget to follow our guests instructions to enter in their drawing.
A Special World in an Ordinary Place
When we began plotting our first paranormal novels, we found we didn’t want to create an alternate reality as much as we wanted to put the extraordinary in the ordinary world. For us, this provides more of a challenge and gives us more ways to make our fiction believable. Is it so difficult to imagine the beautiful woman working quietly in the corner of the jewelry store is a faerie who thrives in a world of jewels? And maybe once in a while when she sees a couple she thinks are worthy, she adds a special bit of magic to the lovely engagement ring they pick out? As a matter of fact, that sounds like a great idea for a new book!
Since our first book, True Nature, is about a shape shifter and a psychic, we next wanted to create a world of white magic. We went to Ireland for the roots of our coven of witches and brought them to America after the first great plague in the 1700s. They traveled inland and, in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia, found a home that reminded them of the beautiful Mourne Mountains they left behind in Ireland. And that’s where New Mourne was born.
However, peace and prosperity comes at a price for our witches and their home. Since their first long-ago winter in New Mourne, they’ve been cursed by an angry ghost known as The Woman in White. She demands the life of one young witch from each generation. In exchange, New Mourne is a haven for the supernatural. Other witches, werewolves, Druids, shape shifters, wizards and fae populate New Mourne. An ancient dragon is rumored to reside at the top of a nearby mountain. All live in harmony with the Connelly coven, nature and humans.
Having all these magical people walking around in a regular town filled is what we love. We can go to the grocery store and imagine the man picking up his oversized frozen dinner is a shape shifter who needs some protein so he can shift and run in the wild that night. Or that the woman next door can fly. Or that faeries dance in the moonlight on the front lawn. So creating the fictional world of The Connelly Witches has been incredible fun.
Our witches are dedicated to the protection of their family and their town, but the latest generation will not acquiesce without a fight to the fierce spirit’s demands. The time of sacrifice is upon them in the first book of The Connelly Witches, Witch’s Awakening. The heroine is Brenna Connelly Burns, an elemental witch, the strongest of her generation, and destined to become the coven leader. Elemental magic gives Brenna power to control earth, wind, fire and water. She needs all of that and more as she battles a demon, searches for a way to break the family curse and falls for a shape shifting lawman.
Brenna’s younger sister, Fiona Connelly Burns, is a witch and a medium. She communicates with spirits and helps them pass over when unfinished business would otherwise bind them to earth. In Witch’s Haunting she struggles with evil of a ghostly nature as The Woman in White’s promise to take yet another Connelly seems destined to come true. While Fiona tangles with some angry specters, her heart is claimed by a charming reality TV producer who wants to make her and New Mourne infamous, even as he runs from some ghosts in his own past.
Eva Grace Connelly is first cousin to the Burns sisters and closer than most kin; she and Brenna were born to twin sisters at the same moment in the middle of a wild winter storm. In contrast to Brenna’s raw power, Eva Grace is a gentle but strong empath and healer. She’s sacrificed much in her life—never knowing her father, losing her mother to The Woman in White and her fiancé to a wicked supernatural force—so Eva Grace is certain she will be her generation’s sacrifice. Standing with her against that deadly end is paranormal expert Rodric McGuire, PhD, who uses his gentle strength to heal Eva Grace’s broken heart and his special knowledge to help the Connelly witches face their worst enemy.
We hope you enjoy a scene from Witch’s Awakening, the first book of The Connelly Witches:
A barn owl was out and about, having left the nest in the old barn early on this sad night. These birds were usually seen when it was full dark, their wings spread, carrying them with silent speed. Brenna learned as a child that barn owls didn’t hoot. Their call was shrill, almost a scream. Or if threatened, they issued a hiss that could turn your blood cold.
It was fitting that an owl had come out early tonight, as myth and legend associated them with death.
The screeches continued. Brenna turned around, trying to spy the animal’s distinctive and pale heart-shaped face in the gathering shadows. She zeroed in on a ghost-like shape in an ancient hickory tree. Peeking out from around one branch, the bird fussed at her with increasing fervor.
“You feel it, don’t you?” Brenna said to the bird. “This beautiful place is dirty.”
The owl’s low, warning hiss sounded in agreement.
Brenna smelled death and sadness, with a nasty undertone of evil. She could reclaim this little sanctuary and clear it of the spirits that disturbed the land’s natural inhabitants.
The bird fell silent as she set up her candles at five points. With a flick of her wrist they flamed to life. Then she shed her clothes and shoes, tucking them near the altar before moving to the center of the ring of fire.
Skyclad, she lifted her hands, palms up and chanted, “Dirt from the earth, wind through the trees, water to cleanse, salt to set free. Banish the evil, honor my plea. As I will, so mote it be.”
With quick, sure motions she had learned from Sarah, Brenna poured salt and water in a wide circle. She closed her eyes and repeated the cleansing spell aloud. The ache in her heart eased. She felt the calm and beauty of her family’s land push against the darkness.
The owl called out another warning. Brenna opened her eyes and locked gazes with a white tiger.
Huge. Predatory. Standing like a sphinx just beyond her charmed circle. His tongue flicked around his mouth, displaying gleaming, sharp teeth.
Brenna expelled a deep breath. “God, shifter, you scared me.”
Witch’s Awakening will soon be released as an audio book too. Details coming soon!
Witch’s Haunting, the second book of the series, will be out in late fall, and we’re writing Witch’s Healing now for a 2015 release.
Do you ever wonder about the supernatural that might be lurking just beneath the surface of our everyday world? Tell us more on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NeelyPowellAuthor, by July 31st, and you’ll be entered to win a free ebook of Witch’s Awakening.
About The Authors
Neely Powell is the pseudonym for co-writers Leigh Neely and Jan Hamilton Powell. The best friends met when they both worked at a rock 'n roll radio station in Chattanooga. They tried writing fiction together for several years, but life and other adventures got in the way.
Their friendship endured as they went on to individual careers. Writing as Celeste Hamilton, Jan published 24 romance novels for Silhouette and Avon Books. Her books appeared on the B. Dalton, Waldenbooks Romance, and USA Today bestseller lists before she left fiction for a career in corporate communications.
Neely Powell was reborn. The result was the sale of their paranormal mystery, True Nature
Lynda Again -- Hope you've enjoyed our guests today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let them know (and don't forget about their drawing - see above). Also I've included the recipe for the gluten free scones in my newsletter but you register for it. The good news? It's free!). The recipe and other tidbits will be there for you to enjoy
Have a Blessed day!
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-K-Scott/201599553208653