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Awakening Magic by Neely Powell

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  • The Witches of New Mourne Series

    An enchanted town. A vengeful spirit. A powerful coven under siege.

    For generations the Connelly witches made a great sacrifice to protect their town. In exchange, New Mourne remained a refuge for humans and supernatural beings to live in peace. Now Brenna Burns, or another chosen female of this generation, is next in line to die—unless Brenna can find a way to end the curse of the malevolent Woman in White.

    With coven protections breached, Sheriff Jake Tyler joins the battle. The witch and the shapeshifter search for answers to break the curse, becoming closer every day. Passion overrules reluctance as their romance intensifies. But how can love grow when murder and violence threaten their world?

    The time for sacrifice draws near. The powers of the Connelly witches may not be enough to defeat the dark magic that holds New Mourne. As the demonic influence drains the small town of its peace, the coven struggles to break its deadly bargain with the Woman in White.

    Rating: Spicy   
    Page Count: 342
    Word Count: 84140
    978-1-5092-1159-3 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1160-9 Digital

    Excerpt

    Brenna learned as a child that barn owls didn’t hoot. Their call was shrill, almost a scream. Or if threatened, they issued a hiss that could turn your blood cold.

    It was fitting that an owl had come out early tonight, as myth and legend associated them with death.

    The screeches continued. Brenna turned around, trying to spy the animal’s distinctive and pale heart-shaped face in the gathering shadows. She zeroed in on a ghost-like shape in an ancient hickory tree. Peeking out from around one branch, the bird fussed at her with increasing fervor.

    “You feel it, don’t you?” Brenna said to the bird. “This beautiful place is soiled.”

    The owl’s low warning hiss sounded in agreement.

    Brenna smelled death and sadness with a nasty undertone of evil. She might not be able to conjure the Woman in White at will, but she could reclaim this little sanctuary and clear it of the spirits that disturbed the land’s natural inhabitants.

    The bird fell silent as she set up her candles at five points. With a flick of her wrist they flamed to life. Then she shed her clothes and shoes, tucking them near the altar before moving to the center of the ring of fire.

    Skyclad, she lifted her hands, palms up, and chanted, “Dirt from the earth, wind through the trees, water to cleanse, salt to set free. Banish the evil, honor my plea. As I will, so mote it be.”

    With quick, sure motions learned from Sarah, Brenna poured salt and water in a wide circle. She closed her eyes and repeated the cleansing spell aloud. The ache in her heart eased. She felt the calm and beauty of her family’s land push against the darkness.

    The owl called out another warning. Brenna opened her eyes and locked gazes with a white tiger.

    Huge. Predatory. Standing like a statue just beyond her charmed circle. His tongue flicked around his mouth and displayed gleaming, sharp teeth.

    Brenna expelled a deep breath. “God, shifter, you scared me.”

    He watched her a moment, then turned with slow, deliberate grace.

    “No need to look away,” Brenna said, straightening her spine. “We’re all just as the goddess made us. No shame here.”

    The tiger turned back. He sat like the majestic cat that he was, his blue eyes moving over Brenna’s naked body in a brutal inspection. He stretched, sleek muscles rippling in the twilight and candle glow.

    Brenna chuckled. “Preening a bit for me, now, aren’t you?”

    He growled, low and deep, then showed her his back again.

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