Genre: Paranormal Time Travel YA/NA
Publisher: Sleeping Dragon
Number of pages: 208
Word Count: 68,528
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique
Leah Carpenter thought being the only witch in her local high school was hard. That was until she inexplicably found herself in the past running from an angry mob, which turned out to be much harder. Lionel, the man in charge of the mob, holds a grudge against a girl he calls Arabella. He thinks she’s Arabella.
Luckily, just about the time it looks as if she’s done for she pops back into her century. This causes trouble at school, but at least she has an understanding family. What happens in the past can hurt her. The whiplashes covering her body are proof enough. Her Nana believes she has to right a wrong in the past to stay in the present and go out with her crush, Dylan. What she discovers in the past is an evil so pure that it makes her blood run cold. She might not ever make it back for geometry class or more importantly a possible date with Dylan.
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On the Broomstick
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The smell struck her first. The acrid, smelly odor reminded her of her fourth-grade field trip to a pioneer village. The candle maker had intrigued her by dipping wicks in what she had assumed was wax until the woman explained it was made of animal fat from butchered animals. That’s what it smelled like, along with the campfire aroma of burning wood.
In the misty night sky, a clouded crescent moon shed meager light on the surroundings. Turning slowly she examined the primitive thatched hut behind her. In the small front garden, a split log supported by two stumps served as a bench. An oaken bucket sat by a door that flew open. An elderly woman hobbled out, dressed in a black cloak. The woman reminded Leah of her grandmother, but instead of a look of fierce determination, terror pulled her face into an anxious mask. Reaching Leah, she tugged on her clothes, pushing her toward the woods. “Flee, flee, they come. Smell the torches.” The woman pointed to a path winding toward the east.
A dim glow was coming from that direction, along with the sounds of voices and snapping branches as dozens of feet marched in their direction. An overwhelming desire to run after the unknown woman came over her. Another part of her wanted to see who was coming down the path. It was only a dream, right?
People couldn’t be hurt in a dream, or could they? She struggled to remember what her psychology teacher, Mr. Schaeffer, had said. He’d said either people couldn’t be hurt by their fears or your fears could kill you by bringing on cardiac arrest.
A few men came into view, burly men garbed in shapeless garments, with wild hair and ragged beards. Held high the flickering torches illuminated a small circle around them. One held a curved knife, reminiscent of the scythe the Grim Reaper carried. It didn’t bode well. One of the men spotted her, yelled, “Witch!” and charged her way. It was a definite bad sign, causing her to sprint toward the woods in the same direction as the old woman. Sticks, rocks, and briars pierced her feet, reminding her of her shoeless state. At home, she excelled in cross-country, but she had shoes, sunlight, and a feel for the course with no angry villagers behind her. The running men drew closer. Leah stumbled over a tree root, wasting precious time.
“Here, over here.” The voice came from overhead. Staring up into the canopy of leaves, she saw a small hand motioning to her. Of course, hide in the trees. Why didn’t she think of that? Grabbing the lowest limb, she pulled herself into the leafy covering. In the dark, she felt for the branches, climbing higher. Eventually she grabbed an ankle or calf, and received a hand up for her trouble, helping her climb higher.
Good Goddess, how many people were in this tree? She held her breath as the light and noise came closer. The few men below argued about which way to go, while a woman waded in with her opinion. “Samuel, let the witch get away. Mayhap he uses the witch for his own purposes.”
One of the front-runners denied the accusations. “Martha seeks to harm my name, because I did not plight my troth with her.”
The argument moved on a little farther away from the tree. Leah exhaled in a whoosh, thanking the stars for the scorned woman and lack of dogs. As if hearing her silent prayer, a long canine bay rent the air.
About the Author:
Rayna Noire is an author and a historian. The desire to uncover the truth behind the original fear of witches led her to the surprising discovery that people believed in magick in some form up to 150 years ago. A world that believed the impossible could happen and often did must have been amazing. With this in mind, Ms. Noire taps into this dimension, shapes it into stories about Pagan families who really aren’t that different from most people. They do go on the occasional time travel adventures and magick happens.