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The Master and the Sorceress- 2 weeks til release!

Sorceress front cover (1)The release of my seventh book, The Master and the Sorceress, is only 2 weeks away.

I can’t wait to send this story out into the world and reveal more of one of the secondary characters from The Lady and the Pirate, sorceress Katrine Aranati. She captivated me while writing The Lady and the Pirate, so much so that I left another story to write hers.

Katrine is sassy and yet respectful, tormented, passionate, brave, and her impulsive nature gets her into trouble time after time. She’s the type of woman who commands attention wherever she goes and, in The Master and the Sorceress, Katrine makes her hero fight for her.

Here’s the blurb:

Desperate sorceress, Katrine Aranati, no longer knows how to deal with the woman she has become. She runs headlong into a man whose heart’s desire is order and control. James Tomel, master jeweler, is outwardly a pillar of society but he hides more than one dangerous secret.

When they are thrown together on a trip to Brightcastle, fierce creatures from legend pursue them but even more dangerous are the feelings swirling between them. When their hearts and bodies come together, one will flee while the other demands an accounting. Can they find common ground where their love will flourish or will secrets and betrayal kill all hope of a life together?

Find out if love and chaos can defeat order and control in the fourth exciting instalment of the Wildecoast Saga.

The Master and the Sorceress is up for pre-order on Smashwords and Amazon, not to mention Kobo , Apple and Barnes and Noble.

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The Witch

Wicket Witch of the WestMagic is integral to high fantasy and ‘the witch’ is central to the magic in many of these stories. The witch or sorceress wields her magic for good or ill and is often maligned. Popular culture is adorned with witches of all kinds, from the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz to one of my personal favourites, Polgara in David Eddings’ Belgariad series. Classically, the witch is hideous, with warts and whiskers. She might fly on a broom and make potions which can turn a man into a toad or make a princess sleep for a hundred years. Our fairy tales are full of nasty witches.

SorceressHowever in high fantasy, it is very common for a sorceress to be a force for good and also to be beautiful. Polgara could shift into the shape of an owl and was a powerful positive influence in the communities she worked in. The Aes sedai in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series were servants of all and devoted to various and distinct pursuits. Whether they were healing the sick, fighting wars, seeking justice and knowledge or mediating in kingdom disputes, they were virtuous- most of the time.

Hermione GrangerThis is one of the attractions of fantasy: that there is such variety. Your witch can be the most evil woman who has ever walked your world or she can be the saviour of that world. She can be the heroine or she can be the mentor, guiding the hero in his coming into power, as Polgara did for Belgarion and Moraine did for Rand in The Wheel of Time series.

Belatrix LestrangeIn Princess Avenger, I have a ‘classic’ witch, Hetty, who is Princess Alecia’s mentor. Alecia has no mother so Hetty fills this void and is always on hand to give sage advice or heal a wound if Alecia gets herself into hot water. She crops up again in The Lady’s Choice where a spell she casts at the behest of Squire Ramón causes a bucket load of trouble.  In The Lady’s Choice, Benae appears to be a normal woman, but she can speak mind to mind with her horse and she can delve and heal with her mind.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resI guess it’s not surprising that much of magic is centred on healing. In my fantasy world, medicine was primitive and a magical cure could save a queen or send a valued soldier back to the battlefield. Many modern techniques and medicines are still regarded as magical.

But no matter how the magic is used, witches in fantasy stand apart. They may do good but they are regarded with suspicion because they aren’t understood. This makes them lonely and puts them at risk. They guard their privacy and often live in a community in disguise. Witches and sorceresses live their secret lives with the people but their influences can extend right to the throne and beyond.

No wonder I love fantasy!