Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Salon: Wishcraft And Hallows

magic wand2Another seven days have gone by and it’s time for Sunday Salon, where we relax with a hot cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) and discuss the magic of books.

The word magic conjures up a variety of images. We could all use a little magic in our lives from time to time.

But magic, like everything else, comes in many forms. There’s good magic, bad magic, and every degree in between the two. So when you wish for magic, be careful which kind you’re wishing for. Today’s books both deal with magic, but in very different ways. One is a cozy murder mystery, while the other is a chilling thriller. Both, by the way, are the first installments in new series and are both great books.

IT TAKES A WITCH by Heather Blake

121464188How many times a week or day do you wish for something? Image if there were wish witches to grant those hopes and dreams.

Now there is in the form of Darcy Merriweather, the protagonist in author Heather Blake’s latest release, IT TAKES A WITCH. This is the first installment in her new delightful series, A Wishcraft Mystery.

Darcy Merriweather and her younger sister, Harper, are on their own following the death of their father. Then their Aunt Velma contact them and tells them of their heritage. They come from a long line of witches on their mother’s side. In fact, they are Wishcrafters - witches with the power to grant wishes through the use of spells.

Wanting a fresh start, the sisters move to their aunt’s magic-themed tourist town of Enchanted Village. Their peace is quickly shattered when a wannabe witch is killed and their aunt’s beau is arrested for her murder.

Determined to help her aunt, Darcy sets out to find the real killer. Along the way she must also learn the laws of being a Wishcrafter. Can she trust sexy Nick Sawyer, who is helping the town catch a pickpocket targeting the tourists in the village?

Blake has created not only unique main characters, but a mystical place filled with eclectic residents. She has made the characters realistic with flaws and problems and you accept their magical powers for normal.

The writing flows smoothly. The pace is lively but at the same time slow enough to savory the charm of the story. The twists and turns will keep you guessing and laughing. The end holds surprises that will surely lead to interesting future stories. 

Magic, murder, mystery, humor and a touch of romance…all cast a spell for a great read and an entertaining new series. Did I mention talking animals? The book cover also sparkles with it's own magic.

Author Heather Blake’s website is She also writes under the name Heather Webber.

It Takes A Witch by Heather Blake, A Wishcraft Mystery, Obsidian, @2011, ISBN: 978-0451235527, Paperback, 320 Pages

***GIVEAWAY: Thanks to Kayleigh at the Penguin Group, I have one copy of IT TAKES A WITCH to giveaway to a lucky visitor who comments on this post by 8 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Jan. 15. Be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment if it's not in your profile. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.***

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman

Going to the aid of an elderly woman, S9781427213488arah Miller is drawn into a world she never imaged existed. It’s a world of magic, ancient artifacts, sadistic killers, and a 2,000-year-old secret.

With her dying breath, Judith Walker instructs Sarah to deliver a bag to her nephew, Owen. The bag contains a broken sword with devastating powers. It’s name is Dyrnwyn, the Sword of Rhydderch, and it is a Hallow. It’s one of 13 Hallows and the Keepers of these artifacts are being brutally tortured and murdered one by one.

Sarah flees Judith’s house when the killers return. Soon she’s a suspect in a series of brutal murders, including Judith’s and her own family. Sarah leaves the Hallow with Owen, but is drawn back just in time to save his life when the killers find him in their search for the sword.

Sarah and Owen embark on a search for the remaining Keepers. Traveling through England and Wales, they uncover an ancient secret the Keepers, as children, were charged to protect. They must stop the Dark Man from collecting all the Hallows to unlock the door to the other realm.

This is a spellbinding tale of magic, murder, suspense, loyalty and a budding romance. As the tale of the 13 chosen ones begins, you will be captivated by the intrigue. It’s a fast pace thriller with graphic details concerning the murder. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Kate Reading does a marvelous job narrating this saga. She voices the pain and terror the Keepers experience. She gives voice to Sarah’s confusion and dream-like state the Hallow creates. She provides depth to Owen’s concerns. Her lovely voice is perfect for this magical tale.

The listener (or reader) of THE THIRTEEN HALLOWS is transformed to a place where the artifacts are the keys that protect the world and magic really does exist.

The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman, Read by Kate Reading, MacMillan Audio, @2011, ISBN: 978-1427213488, Unabridged, 9 Discs, Listening Time: 11 Hours 

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. 

Do you enjoy books about magic and witches? What are your favorites? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Sunday.



  1. I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed It Takes a Witch! It means a lot because I know you've followed the twists and turns of my career, and this is something very very new! xoxo

  2. Heather, it was my pleasure reading IT TAKES A WITCH. It's a fun read with intriguing twists and turns. I think you've created a wonderful new series here. Wishing you continued success.

  3. Oh, these both look very good! It Takes a Witch is one I'd love to read...hope you have a great week, and thanks for visiting my Sunday Salon.

  4. I have never really followed witches but as with most Harry Potter changed our perception of witches. I think this would be a great book. The premise would make for hilarity and seriously good cozy mystery. I can't wait to read it!

  5. I don't normally like stories with witches but It Takes a Witch sounds delightful. As always, great review, Mason.

  6. Thanks for featuring It Takes a Witch. Always love books about magic which give me a unique perspective. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. It Takes A Witch sounds like a great book to curl up with on a cold night. Magic and a cozy mystery are a fun combination.

  8. I love your audio book reviews. Thanks!
    lvsgund at

  9. I would love to read "It takes a Witch",I think it would be lots of fun. Who doesn't need fun in their life??


  10. The Thirteen Hallows sounds fantatic. Actually both stories sound great. I do love magic in stories.

  11. I love love love your Sunday Salon, Mason. I think It Takes a Witch sounds like so much fun. Witching (wishing) much success to Heather. The Thirteen Hallows sounds good too, but scary.


  12. Well, I didn't get here in time to qualify for the giveaway but that's okay - I raced to my local bookstore as soon as Heather's latest was released and have already enjoyed it from cover to cover.

  13. Thanks for the great reviews and giveaway—please enter me to win!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.