by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Bewitched and Betrothed. There is also a link to purchase it Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Witch Lily Ivory may have grown adept at wielding spells and charms, but she’s never before manifested a nightmare to the point that she wakes up covered in sea water. The new experience is not one she welcomes, especially since she’s finally planning her wedding to the mysterious Rom gypsy Sailor. Not only is Lily in the midst of scheduling a honeymoon that will include tracking down the gargoyle mother of her shape-shifting familiar Oscar, Lily’s mother and grandmother’s coven are in San Francisco to sight-see and prepare for the ceremony.
Lily’s vintage clothing store provides the ladies with a vast supply of outfits perfect for the nuptials, but it is another piece of clothing that sends an ominous ripple through the witches. The chambray shirt Lily’s young assistant found in an attic has the number 258 stamped on it, connecting it to Alcatraz prison and possibly worn by one of the few who attempted to escape it. Inmate Ray Perry was believed to have drowned in his 1937 plot to dig his way out and float to safety, but the discovery of the shirt has them believing that his legendary caper was successful. Lily is simply relieved to have this be a crime of the past, and her friend Detective Carlos Romero’s cousin is thrilled to have the chance to display the shirt in the Alcatraz park service museum. The bad vibes Lily sensed around the artifact should have been countered by the spell she casts, but she can’t help but feel responsible when Elena Romero is kidnapped just after taking possession of it.
When Carlos returns with news of a dead body being discovered inside of Alcatraz prison, Lily fears the worst. She is tremendously relieved to learn that the corpse is not Elena’s, but still alarmed when she’s shown how the body has been ritually sacrificed and wearing the 258 prisoner shirt. Lily may feel that many of her past successes with the investigations were due mostly to luck and sheer determination, but as San Francisco’s witch detective Lily feels responsible for protecting her town and the covens who adopted her. The mystery of a prophesy that involves Lily, a possible half-brother, and the safety of San Francisco continues to play out in the background, preparing readers for even more magical confrontations and gatherings of Lily’s allies and coven friends.
This extraordinarily compelling series builds a strong mythology that has slowly combined traditional mystery elements with an increasing number of fantasy elements and characters. Lily herself has grown as she’s allowed more and more in on her and her familiar’s secrets, and now she even has her estranged mother on her side. Her fiancé Sailor sits on a bit more on the sideline as his Rom family tentatively seeks Lily’s help in their own confrontations with a spirit. Reliably enjoyable has been the descriptions of San Francisco, which celebrates diversity and where Lily and her fellow feel welcomed. Alcatraz’s dark and fascinating history plays a crucial role in events, and readers will be as drawn into its own lore as much as the adventures of the charming Lily and her food-obsessed familiar.
To enter to win a copy of Bewitched and Betrothed, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “betrothed,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 17, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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