Monday, October 18, 2021

Neely Powell's Top Ten Favorite Witches

Moira Franklin, Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

The wonderful Alpha and Omega (Charles and Anna Cornick) series by Briggs has one of my favorite witches in this book. Moira is married to Tom, a werewolf and second in the Emerald City pack in Seattle. Tom and Moira help Anna battle vampires that attack while the three are shopping. Moira is wonderful because she is a true white witch. In order to defeat her evil father, she needed a blood sacrifice and used her own eye. Such a sacrifice! Briggs also wrote a short story about how Tom and Moira met. Moira now wears wrap-around sunglasses because her eyes are so badly scarred. Though this is all I’ve read of the witch, I find she stays with me as a compelling character.

The Witches of Eastwick 

Though the book by John Updike is much darker, this movie, featuring Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher is dynamite. The three innocent young women don’t realize they have witch powers until Jack’s character helps them discover their hidden depths. Of course, you must have conflict, and the local devout Christian (Veronica Cartwright) wants their evilness revealed. It’s a fun movie with the dark side of magic. Like most movies, it drifts a long way from the book’s story, but I’d watch Jack Nicholson read a cereal box. Great movie for witch lovers everywhere.

Lily Ivory, The Witchcraft series by Juliet Blackwell

Lily Ivory is a powerful solitary witch. Abandoned by her father, given to her grandmother by her mother, and banished from her hometown in Texas, Lily spent most of her life traveling. Now she is settled in San Francisco, making friends, running her own shop, and solving murders. For a witch, Lily is wonderfully innocent and naive. She has an affinity for vintage clothing and has a lovely shop that attracts a variety of customers. She’s involved in so many murders that a local homicide detective, who believes in her powers, becomes a good friend. I like Lily because she always seeks the good in people but puts all her efforts into destroying the evil she finds.

Endora, Bewitched

The thorn in Darrin Stephens’ side is his mother-in-law, Endora. She’s the perfect nemesis because he has asked his beautiful witchy wife to live with him as a mortal. He wants her to leave her magic in the closet, as it were. Endora, clad in wonderful kaftans and scarves, Is the perfect witch, popping in and out of their lives at will. As Samantha’s mother, Endora resents her daughter’s desire not to be magical and spends much of her time casting spells on Darrin and generally bringing chaos to his workplace. What’s not to love? Add to that Samantha’s other relatives, you’ve got a great sitcom. I think of it often and always twitch my nose. Alas, nothing happens.

Brenna Connelly Burns, Awakening Magic by Neely Powell

Brenna is a young witch, full of rebellion and a desire to do more, with no definite goal in mind about what that is. She has returned to New Mourne after living in Atlanta. A gifted artist, she’s working on illustrations for a friend’s children’s book. She’s unaware her family has lived under the curse of the Woman in White for centuries. However, she and the four younger witches in the coven determine they will not just accept their fate as their ancestor witches have done. When she begins to feel the full impact of her power, she believes she can end this curse before another generation is damned.

Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard of Oz movie, 1939

Many people don’t know that L. Frank Baum’s fanciful 1900 book is quite different from the movie. In the novel, the Wicked Witch of the West had one eye, flew by umbrella instead of a broom, and wasn’t green at all. Thank goodness they changed her. She may be the stereotypical, hook-nosed witch as portrayed by Margaret Hamilton, but she is magnificent in her wickedness. The way she buzzes Munchkinville on that broom and orders her monkeys to fly—oh my, it’s divine! She’s the first film character that gave me nightmares. Maybe not good for my parents, but she lit my imagination on fire. 

Gillian Holroyd, Bell, Book and Candle movie, 1958

Portrayed by the gorgeous Kim Novak, Gillian lives in Greenwich Village, runs an art gallery and is really a witch. Her handsome neighbor, Shep, is portrayed by Jimmy Stewart at his charming best. Gillian is aided by her witch aunt and warlock brother in luring Shep away from his current fianceé It’s a lot of fun. For the conservative 1950s, the sexual chemistry between Stewart and Novak is off the charts. She’s like a cat on the prowl, and even when I was younger I liked how she owned her sensuous nature. Warning: this movie is well before Women’s Lib. However, it always gives me that happy “Awww” at the end. 

Nell Channing, Dance Upon the Air, Book #1 Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts

On the run from a dangerous past, Nell is unaware of her magical abilities. But she finds her true self and her sisters of the heart on this enchanted island. It’s the home she’s sought all of her life. Nell’s quiet power comes from the strength and confidence she builds day by day. She’s found the courage to face her darkest fear and realize she deserves the greatest of joys. In this trilogy are three complicated and intriguing witches, but it’s Nell who drew me in with her gentle ways and core of strength. 

Sally Owens, Practical Magic movie, 1998

In every family, there’s a practical member, one who throws the lifeline, rights the ship, and keeps a steady hand on the wheel. That’s who Sandra Bullock plays in this wildly entertaining movie. It’s Sally’s loyalty to her sister I love the most. Even though the women in Sally’s small town have ostracized her for being a witch, she sets aside her feelings and calls on them to help save her sister. I like Sally for being sensible, but it’s when she lets her hair down a little, I wish she was my friend. I defy you to watch the margarita scene and not want a tangy frozen drink of your own.

Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac song, 1975

Full disclosure: Rhiannon is not a witch, but a legendary Welsh goddess who chooses a mortal man instead of a god. She’s punished, of course. Songwriter Stevie Nicks didn’t know the full story when she introduced it as “a song about an old Welsh witch.” So Rhiannon lives in my mind as a witch. The image merges with Nicks’s own stage persona with her flowing black gowns and an air of danger and mystery. I really wanted to be Steve Nicks, wore feathered earrings and necklaces, and tried to convince myself I had the magical powers of Rhiannon. Sadly, I’m not a witch or as sexy as Stevie, but I can still dream when I hear this song. 

Healing Magic
The Witches of New Mourne 
Book Three
Neely Powell 

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: Oct. 18, 2021
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-5092-3960-3  
ISBN Digital: 978-1-5092-3961-0
Number of pages: 279
Word Count: 65,001 
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline: An empathic witch. A magical warrior. Joined by love, they battle a demon and an evil spirit.

Book Description:

Eva Grace Connelly is a witch and a beloved healer. Rodric McGuire, paranormal expert and descendent of faerie warriors, adores the flame-haired beauty. But their future is on hold as a family curse threatens her life. 

Centuries ago, the Witches of New Mourne struck a dark bargain with the Woman in White. In exchange for peace, the malevolent spirit takes a Connelly witch from each generation. 

Eva Grace is convinced she can heal the ghost's troubled spirit and end the reign of terror. But violence and family heartbreak challenge that resolve. As Samhain approaches, the Woman and her vile demon have control. 

Is sacrifice the only road to peace? Can Eva Grace and Rodric uncover the secrets and lies at the heart of the curse?

Amazon     BN

Excerpt 1:

Rodric watched as Eva Grace fell into the raging river. A wicked and powerful energy kept him in place. Below, she was caught in the swirling waters of a huge vortex.

A deep rumble moved through the air. Laughter, Rodric realized. The demon was laughing.

“Damn you!” Rodric yelled. “You’re a coward controlled by your mistress.”

As thunder boomed, the water shot up and Eva Grace was level with Rodric. Treasures the faeries had given her gleamed at her throat, and the demon made the earth shake.

“Give those to me,” the creature roared.

The demon couldn’t just take them, she’d have to give them to him. Which meant Rodric could save her. But how?

“Help me,” he called to his ancestors. “Help us!”

A thick rope appeared in his hands. He made a loop and threw it with all his strength toward her. She fought to get the loop over her head, but the effort cost her.

The demon roared at Rodric. “Tell her to save herself. Give me what I need.”

“She’s not giving you anything,” Rodric shouted.

“Maybe to save you.” A lightning bolt struck just feet from Rodric.

Summoning all the magic in his blood, Rodric slowly began to pull Eva Grace up from the river.

About the Author:

Leigh Neely and Jan Hamilton Powell are the writing team of Neely Powell. They met working at a rock ‘n roll radio station, discovered they’d both rather be writing fiction, and have been close friends ever since. Their path to cowriting paranormal romance took some detours. 

Leigh’s resume chronicles a diverse career as a disk jockey, newspaper reporter, advertising copywriter, magazine writer and editor. Jan wrote 24 romance novels as Celeste Hamilton for Silhouette and Avon Books and then built a career in corporate communications and public relations. 

Neely Powell became a successful team when they turned their attention to shifters, werewolves, witches, ghosts, fae and all things supernatural. 

Their first novel was TRUE NATURE from The Wild Rose Press, followed by AWAKENING MAGIC and HAUNTING MAGIC. The Witches of New Mourne trilogy will conclude in October 2021 with HEALING MAGIC. 

Their rules for maintaining a partnership are simple:  be honest, be kind, and bring Diet Coke and chocolate.

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