October is right around the corner and with it comes my favorite holiday. Halloween! This is the time of year that brings to mind all the supernatural creatures that have haunted our collective memories since the dawn of time. Vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts and demons. What interesting creatures to write about!
I chose to write a romance series about a family of witches. Ever since I was a little girl, witches have fascinated me. The mysterious spells and incantations, the power to change, create or move things sparked my imagination. When I decided to write this series, I first decided that I would set the world within the Regency era. It’s one of my favorite time periods and I love reading paranormal romances set in that time so it seemed natural that I do so, too. Second, I had to decide what type of magic they used. I narrowed my choices to 4 kinds of magic.
- Folk Magic: This type of magic includes superstitions, old wives tales and folk practices. These were performed by common people to do things like heal the sick, bring good harvests or grant fertility. It’s often referred to as Low Magic.
- Natural Magic: This magic uses things of nature such as herbs, stones and candles. It can also include the moon, sun and planets.
- Ceremonial Magic: This is the kind of magic where rituals are necessary. It depends heavily on knowledge gained from books, spellbooks or grimoires. The rituals can be simple or complicated with specific words or gestures required. This is often called High Magic.
- Fantasy Magic: These sorts of spells are completely fictional, made up by the author’s imagination. Pure fantasy.
For the world of the Merriweather Witches, I found that each witch had their own method of performing spells. Although most of them use folk magic, there are others that require specific rituals in order to cast. I found it was a good combination. And I use a lot of fantasy magic. It was simply too much fun to come up with spells and magical abilities for my witches that had no basis in fact or reality.
And as there are good and bad people, there are good and bad witches in my fictional world. Some stick to white magic, which is the kind where no harm will come to any. Then there is black magic, or dark magic. This is the kind that can harm a person such as curses or hexes. Performing this magic can taint a witch’s soul, turning them from good to evil if they’re not strong enough. Some of the characters in my books have to struggle with that, too.
It’s a fun world to write about and since its completely fictional there are many adventures and romances found within the pages. Here’s a little about my most recent book…
The Witch’s Thief
To save her sister’s life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady’s companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she’s bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.
Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he’s no longer the carefree man of his youth and she’s hiding something–deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.
While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language. In a grand attempt to save Julia’s sister and Basil’s life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admissions help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge.
“What are you doing?”
He ignored her frantic questioning. Instead, he blocked out the sound of her voice and raised his arms into the air at his sides, his fingers splayed out as he extended his senses to scan the area. His power eased out, like extensions of his fingertips, stretching into the corners of the room, seeking, searching for the source of the magic he sensed.
It was here…somewhere.
He had sensed it earlier on his arrival, but being that his aunt and siblings practiced magic on a regular basis he’d never given it a second thought.
This room, however, stank with it. He smelled the odor, something strangely like sulfur…
“A spell has been cast in this room,” he muttered. A strange spell. Odd. A spell he’d never sensed before, something new. It felt off is some way he couldn’t explain. Who would be working new magic of this kind in his home? And, in this room in particular. Aunt Petunia worked her spells in the privacy of her rooms upstairs, or sometimes in the gardens, but never in this room. And his siblings each, practiced in their own private settings, places where they could concentrate without the threat of being disturbed. A fairly difficult task with the number of people normally in residence at Merriweather Manor.
He took a step closer to the center of the room where he sensed a surge of power. He shivered as coldness seeped into his skin. It wrapped around his arm, sinking into his flesh, right down to the bone. This was not right.
The magic in his house was always full of warmth and gentleness. Goodness and love. This magic chilled him to the bone. His heart skipped a beat. There was fear, terror, pain. This spell was full of darkness.
About the Author:
Tricia Schneider is an author of paranormal and gothic romance. Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years in a Waldenbooks store as Assistant Manager and bookseller. She now writes full-time while raising her 3 young children. She lives with her musician husband and 2 neurotic cats in the coal country of Pennsylvania.