It’s wonderful to be back at Fang-tastic Books for the release of my third Southern Witch novel, Halfway Hexed. Visiting this site has become a fun tradition for me with the release of each book.
For those not familiar with my Southern Witch series, it’s a blend of mystery, paranormal romance, and action/adventure. The main character, Tammy Jo Trask, is a young woman who’s descended from a long line of witches, but whom the family magic seems to have skipped. In Would-Be Witch (Book 1), Tammy comes into her powers. Unfortunately they don’t work properly, and all her spells go hilariously wrong. In Barely Bewitched (Book 2), she learns why her magic malfunctions and taps into a different source of supernatural mojo.
Now in Halfway Hexed, Tammy Jo has two weeks of mystery-solving, butt-kicking adventure behind her, and she hits the ground running when dangerous foreign wizards come to town, a new mystery arises, and her in-town nemesis, Jenna Reitgarten, orchestrates a plot to force her out of her hometown.
One of the things that’s terrific and fun about writing a series is the way a thread can be allowed to unravel slowly. In the case of Tammy and Jenna, their animosity began before the stories start, and they clash frequently in the first two books, but in the third book their conflict finally comes to a head.
Here’s an excerpt from early in the book:
* * *
“Get her!” Jenna ordered. Then they knocked me down and piled on top of me, and we were a mass of scratching fingernails, kicking legs, and tangled hair. I didn’t want to hurt any of them, so I didn’t actually hit anyone with a closed fist. In retrospect, that was a mistake. I should’ve treated them like any killer werewolf or vicious faery that I’d fought the past two weeks. But hindsight is twenty-twenty and foresight is more like twenty-two-hundred. With my wrists, ankles, and lips duct-taped, all I could do was glare at them when they picked me up and carried me to the back door.
I shouted against the tape. It came out sounding something like, “Mm-errrr-mum-hu-mmurma.”
Predictably they ignored my garbled protests. I squirmed and struggled until they dropped me, making me bang my butt and left elbow on the tile floor. Scowling and snarling, they picked me back up.
“Stop moving! You’re only hurting yourself,” Lucy snapped.
“That chocolate sculpture is really great, by the way. It’s going to make a wonderful focal point for the fund-raiser,” Sue said.
What the fudge? They were still expecting to use my work? Not if I had anything to say about it. Unfortunately, at the moment I really didn’t, but I shouted against the tape anyway.
“If you cooperate, maybe you’ll be free in time for the fundraiser. Wouldn’t that be nice?” Mindy said, sweet as a Stepford wife.
I flailed until they dropped me again. My left butt cheek was going to be one big bruise tomorrow.
Jenna leaned over and grabbed my arm, squeezing hard. “That’s enough,” she hissed.
I glared at her.
“You brought this on yourself, you know,” she said as they lifted me again. “We’re taking you into custody on behalf of DeeDAW.”
“Defending Duvall Against Witchcraft. DeeDAW,” Jenna said triumphantly as they dropped me into a car trunk. “Now be quiet in there.” With that, the lid whumped shut and plunged me into darkness.
My very first chocolatier’s commission, and the clients turned into witch-hunting kidnappers! Apparently, my plan to keep my regular life as a pastry chef separate from my new life as a witch wasn’t going to work out as well as I’d hoped.
* * *
As you can see, Tammy loses the initial battle with Jenna and DeeDAW, but as you might expect there’s a lot more to the war. I won’t give you the details about what finally happens to Jenna, but every dog has his day, and where Jenna’s concerned, Tammy’s day is in Chapter 27 of Halfway Hexed. :-)
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Best wishes & happy reading,
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