New Release Giveaway
Murder By Magic by Meriam Wilhelm
1 Lucky Winner will receive two beach themed hand towels and a free copy of Murder By Magic!
**Giveaway Eligible in US Only**
The word outsider described Ola Mae Masters to a T. Orphaned at seven, raised by nuns, and tortured by an unexplainable ability to read minds and see the dead, Ola Mae wanted nothing more than to find a place she could call home. Determined to make a new life for herself, she lands in New Moon Beach and opensLiterally Magic – her own bookstore. Things seem to be finally looking up for her.
But all is not as it seems. Fate has dropped Ola Mae, into a cauldron filled with unexpected shocks and surprises. Not the least of which is that she’s no longer an orphan, but part of a powerful family of witches who settled in her town. Opening their arms to their sister, they help her hone her witchy powers just in time. A dark evil has descended on New Moon Beach that threatens to engulf Ola Mae in a maze of murder, magic, and mayhem that she must now learn to control.
With the support of her new family, some emerging supernatural skills, and the guidance of a handsome witch – Ola Mae must navigate a maze of death and destruction to save New Moon Beach and the man she loves.
At least five days a week I pop out of bed at five forty-five a.m. and embrace my early morning ritual of a brisk walk along the winding bluffs and beaches of New Moon Beach; always with a steaming cup of French Vanilla coffee in hand. I guess you could say that I’m a creature of habit; addicted to following the same routine, day in or day out – rain or shine. It’s what makes me…me…
The ocean, the surfers, the birds, the beach walkers – they are the constants in my life. Guess that’s why something felt off this morning when I saw her sitting all alone on a bench, staring out to sea. From what I could tell, she was a new face in town; at least she was new to me. And her appearance was certainly not like any of the random tourists who frequent our beach city.
She caught my eye in part because she sat motionless, dressed all in black from head to toe; including a large pair of Jackie O designer sunglasses that covered a good portion of her small, round face. Raven black hair was collected on the top of her head the way a geisha would wear it. And shiny, red enameled chopsticks protruded from an unkempt bun that rocked precariously, buffeted by the early morning sea breezes.
If I let my imagination run wild, I can envision those chopsticks becoming some kind of mortal weaponry with razor-sharp spiky tips, capable of puncturing even the toughest of skin. Her bushy black mane had a strange, dull hue to it and I questioned whether it was her real hair or a weird accessory worn in an attempt to make some attention seeking fashion statement.
Looking at her one might wonder if she had recently attended a funeral, although that seemed unlikely since the sun was just now coming up. She wore a tightly fitted, black suit with shiny buttons that glittered like diamonds in the morning sunlight. The jacket’s tight Nehru collar squeezed her neck, forcing her full double chin upward and making her look a bit like a bullfrog. Black spidery lace crawled out from the cuffs of her jacket and shrouded delicate pale hands. Her short A-line skirt accentuated long spindly legs encased in sleek, red soled high heeled boots; a far cry from the flip flops or tennis shoes most beach goers were sporting this morning.
If I hadn’t had such a close-up sighting, I’d have presumed that the visitor was in her late sixties or maybe even older. But the part of her face not covered by her obnoxious sunglasses was surprisingly unwrinkled and smooth, reflecting someone much younger. Even though the visible part of her face was without lines, there was harshness to it and a pallor that spoke almost of illness. Maybe she stuck out even more because her complexion was missing the natural sun kissed tan common among the majority of our New Moon Beach residents. But, in truth, I think it had more to do with the strange aura that was emanating from her body. I mean the woman actually glowed…….
I had a strong premonition that she and I were going to get to know each other a lot better, if not now, very soon.
Staring at her I watched as a lone tear escaped from behind her glasses and the woman in black suddenly came to life. She turned, pushed the sunglasses up onto her forehead, wiped the tear away with her index finger and focused her eyes directly on me. Her hypnotic gaze was unsettling and definitely not what I had expected. A pair of amber eyes, projecting a hint of both yellow and copper and shielded by extraordinarily thick black lashes held me prisoner.
All at once I could feel my palms begin to sweat as my stomach rolled and a thundering roar filled my ears, completely silencing the raucous ocean. Anger bubbled out of the woman and it was as if I could feel her thoughts painfully shoving their way into my head.
Reality felt like an ugly pinch as it dawned on me that this was not the look of a normal woman in mourning, but perhaps a supernatural creature saturated by some crazy fury. Even with my newly emerging magical powers, I could not figure out why she was directing her anger my way. Her lone tear seemed more an expression of annoyance than an emotional release. The longer she looked at me, the more her copper irises glowed and the more ill at ease I became. I mentally shoved back, refusing to let her fierce thoughts intrude into my brain.
Who the heck was this dark diva and what was she doing on my beach? And why did I have the ominous feeling that she brought a whole lot of danger to our quaint seaside town of New Moon Beach? A chill ran down my back causing me to consider what other dark magic she may have sent my way. Was she alone or attached to something or someone far worse?
About the Author:
After spending over thirty five years in education I discovered my love for writing and decided that it was time to retire and create my own magical beach city. Modeled after Redondo Beach, California, where I grew up – I’ve had a super time introducing readers to the Merriman community. A family of witches filled with love, magic and adventure, these three sisters and their extended family members are constantly running into one paranormal problem after another.
My latest book, Murder By Magic, is my first attempt at writing a cozy mystery and I hope that you find as much enjoyment reading it as I did writing it. Feel free to stop by my website where you can see my other books and learn about my love for sewing and traveling. I even included a picture of me and one of my troll friends that I met on my recent trip to Bergen, Norway.
I hope you find your own magic soon…until then, you can borrow mine!