Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card & Paperback Copy of WINDSTORM by A.L. Hawke!
(The Hawthorne University Witch Series Book 2)
By A.L. Hawke
Believe in witches, for sometimes you need magic to ward off the evil in darkness.
It was my junior year at Hawthorne University when Mira dealt me a reversed Lovers card. That meant trouble in paradise. I thought nothing of it until Alondra introduced me to a new witch from outside our coven—Enora. Enora’s precisely the sort of witch you’d call wicked. Even worse, she used to be in love with my boyfriend.
I just wanted a normal year. But as our leader fought illness, I fought with my friends trying to hold the Hawthorne coven together. I felt abandoned. And my loneliness dropped me into trances where I wandered the dark forest alone. These altered states were created by my magic, but I learned that they were spurred on by something far more sinister.
Where did this evil come from? The wicked witch? The old devil? I had to find out because it threatened the people I love.
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Excerpt From Windstorm:
I’m holding my lover’s hand as we walk under leaves and thin branches that darken the clear, starry night in patches. We tread over pine-needle paths, smelling the clean woodsy air, passing dirt trails, streams, and brooks, up into the hills that overlook our campus. It’s so lovely out that I convinced Bryce to walk with me from his apartment. It’s Friday night, and we’re heading to Alondra’s.
Somehow Bryce convinced me to go with him to our second Sabbath of the year. We’re going to try a healing spell, he told me. But the closer I get to the house, the heavier my feet feel. Maddie’s told me we’re planning a summoning. That means it’s not going to just be a meet-and-greet; it’s going to be a full-fledged witch show. I don’t know if I’m ready for that.
Bryce raps Alondra’s large antique brass knocker. He turns to me because my hand is shaking.
“Relax, babe,” he says.
“Why did I say yes?”
“Because I didn’t want to go alone.” He leans down and kisses me on the cheek. “And because you care about her as much as I do.”
The door creaks open, and Madison opens the door wearing a black hooded cloak, looking like an ancient druid, with her hood down and her black hair flowing behind her. She’s got a gaping grin.
“We’re out in the back,” Maddie says with a tight hug. Then she puts her hands on my shoulders in the foyer. She knows I’m nervous. “You ready?”
“Mira’s chanting,” she says.
I roll my eyes. Mira does this thing where she makes up words and dances around the fire like a fool.
“It’ll be fine,” Maddie adds.
A gray cat scurries by my legs and I jump in fright. “Shit!”
“That’s Pete,” Bryce says.
“Come on, girlfriend,” Maddie says, “everybody’s waiting for you.”
Everybody’s waiting for me. Great.
We make our way down the hallway to the living room. The sliding glass door is wide open. I hear chanting from the yard. It sounds like gibberish. I lurch back at the sight of a tall bonfire; it’s about the height of a person. I don’t want to go out there. This isn’t the campfire we had last week. But Bryce takes my hand, and my feet somehow carry me.
Large white rocks circle the white plastic chairs around the fire. The smell of smoke and fire permeates the backyard. I can see the witches walking slowly around the bonfire in their black druid coats.
They all turn as we approach. I realize Alondra isn’t here. And what’s worse, Enora is standing beside her henchwomen, Beatrix and Cordelia. Cordelia scowls at me. Enora narrows her eyes. I wonder how she feels about me holding Bryce’s hand?
Mira walks over and crouches on one knee as the other girls remain beside the fire. It feels ridiculous, like I’m some sort of queen or something. The flames are raging over Mira’s head behind her welcoming grin. “Yatu, Windstorm,” she says and looks deeply into my eyes.
Meet Author A.L. Hawke
A.L. Hawke lives in Southern California torching the midnight candle over lovers against a backdrop of machines, nymphs, magic, spice and mayhem. With a medical science background, the author specializes in paranormal fantasy romance and science fiction.
Interview with A.L. Hawke:
Q: Hi A.L. Hawke. What’s your favorite type of paranormal creature and why?
ALH: Witches, of course. Windstorm and Broomstick are witch books. Witches are strong female characters who cast spells, say incantations, and perform magic and the occult. That all fascinates me. But another reason I like witches is they worship nature. Nature brings them in closer contact with the untamed side of us, which leads me, as a writer, to delve into what makes humans human.
I’m a fan of ghosts and shapeshifters. I added a dash of them in my recent paranormal books too. Love vampires, but didn’t add them in my tales … yet.
Q: Tell us about your heroine. What inspired her quirks and struggles?
ALH: Cadence is the heroine in Windstorm. She’s shy. She’s a good student, smart and responsible. But going to Hawthorne University dropped her in the middle of total weirdness. She just wants to be normal. But Hawthorne isn’t normal. Even her cute boyfriend is deep into metaphysical and strange things.
The books in my witch series are also coming of age tales. Cadence is growing up and you’re experiencing this change with her. Broomstick takes place in her Sophomore year; Windstorm in her Junior year. She faces separate challenges in both years, but each one helps her grow into a more mature woman. She learns about love, and sex, and her relationship with her lover and close friend. But her maturing also makes her face life’s not-so-pleasant challenges—like death and evil.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a published author?
ALH: I love sharing the world I’ve created with my readers. I wrote for years not sharing my stuff, except to my closest friends. The writing itself was a pleasure, but it’s a rush when others read my stuff. I like reading reviews or getting in touch with someone who’s enjoyed my books. Or seeing people reading my books half a world away.
Q: Is any part of your story or the characters based on personal experience?
ALH: Only Hawthorne University. I mean, I think all writing is influenced by personal experience. That’s another thing special about writing. But in Windstorm, the university was definitely influenced by my past experiences in college. I went to college in Southern California (never lived in Georgia, but I fell in love with the trees when visiting the state). So descriptions of lecture halls, the dining commons, and dormitories are influenced by my past. In fact, Cadence and Maddie’s room is a description of my freshman dorm room.
Q: Where can our readers find you? (Social media, website, etc.)
ALH: You can find me …