Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Witchery in WANTED by Annika James


Witchcraft in "Wanted"
by Annika James

WANTED features a world where witches and vampires mingle with humans, and everyone is aware of the others. Young vampires can be out in the sunlight and witches have real power. Ashlinn is one such witch. Of course, she won’t come into her full power until she turns 18, but she’s still powerful enough to attract the attention of the Vampire Council. Witch magick is centered around nature, and the four elements. Ashlinn affiliates more with air, but she is able to manipulate all the elements. The more affiliation a witch has with an element, the more they can use it without having to cast a circle and do a spell.

She has a Book of Shadows, kind of like a spellbook, that is a collection of spells passed down through her family. These spells generally require more power and concentration. To do one of these, Ashlinn casts a circle using magickal tools, such as her athame - or ritual dagger. She also uses herbs, oils, crystals, candles, and sacred words. Throughout her ordeal, Ashlinn performs both circle magick and magick using only her power. Big magick is forbidden at school, but she does use calming spells every now and then to help herself feel better.

Vampires like powerful witches, because they can use the witch’s power to enhance their own abilities. By ingesting the witch blood regularly, the vamp gains the witch’s power. As a vamp’s familiar, the witch will also drink the vamp’s blood, this will help the witch live a long life, as long as she keeps regularly ingesting her vamp’s blood.

Once the Council gets wind of Ash’s power, they want her to become a familiar to avoid vamps fighting over her. Since she was attacked and bitten when she was younger, Ashlinn is afraid of being bitten and refuses to be used for her power. She also has trouble controlling her powers when she gets emotional. She needs someone to help her work on her control. This may or may not come with her continued close association with her vamp friends.

When she’s not getting chased by vamps lusting for her power, Ashlinn likes to hang out with Cora, her female best friend, and watch movies and eat ice cream. She also works on her spells at home and practices her control.

To see how Ashlinn does her magick and if she concedes to becoming a familiar, pick up Wanted and get all the details.

Blurb:

Attacked as a young witch and left for dead, Ashlinn is deathly afraid of being bitten again. Having survived until she’s almost eighteen without donating blood to any of her vamp friends, Ashlinn figures she’ll continue to live bite-free.  After her crush reveals how powerful she is, however, the Vampire Council declares she be claimed as a familiar, which requires biting. Ashlinn doesn’t want to be owned, even by hot vamp, Conor. Luckily, her best friend, Matt, volunteers for the job. She is given one week to choose her protector, and the list of willing biters keeps growing. Will she go with best friend Matt, hot vamp Conor, or someone else to protect her? Will she be able to get her power under control by then? Will she overcome her phobia of being bitten? And who says she needs to be protected, anyhow?

Excerpt:

He leaned toward me, holding my gaze with his. I forgot how to breathe, how to think. Then his lips touched mine, electricity exploding up and down my body. Soft and gentle, they probed, tasting, testing. I didn’t move to touch him, just remained frozen. There was only the kiss. His mouth moved to my jaw, kissing his way down to my neck. His teeth grazed my skin. I unfroze and found my voice. “No!” I felt a surge of power push through me. Conor flew backward across the room. He crashed into a bookcase, sending an avalanche of books over him as he fell to the floor. He slumped there, holding his head, dazed. He looked up in confusion, mouth opened ready to speak. At that moment, my muscles remembered how to move and I ran for the door. It opened in front of me, not of my power, and Matt appeared. He’d probably felt my surge of power. I hadn’t meant to throw Conor. Panic had overtaken me and I had lost control for an instant. I flew into Matt’s arms and he embraced me. Matt was my rock. His presence calmed me, it always did. He was like a protective big brother. I knew he understood the whole scene in the seconds before I’d found his arms. I buried my face in the T-shirt pulled tight across his strong chest, and breathed in his scent, a mix of fabric softener and cologne. It was familiarity, it was home, and it helped to center me. I peeked out at Conor. He stepped out of the pile of books and straightened his clothing.

“Is she yours, Matthew? I thought she was unclaimed.” Conor was now being formal. Vamps often addressed each other formally, even the teenage ones. He thought I was Matt’s, and to bite me would have been a serious offense to Matt’s family. I was not claimed, nor would I ever be. Matt’s arms tightened around me.

“No. I told you she’s not claimed. Did you try to bite her?” Each word seethed with anger. I had never heard so much menace in Matt’s voice. He trembled ever so slightly. Wasn’t Conor his friend? I felt like there was something else going on here I didn’t quite get.

“I just assumed she’d agree.” Conor’s voice came from right behind me. “I’ve never been turned down before.” His voice wasn’t cocky, not even confident. He stated it like he’d simply said his eyes were green.

“Did you ask her?”

Conor said nothing. Matt must have seen something in Conor’s face, though, because his grip on me tightened, voice outraged. “You didn’t even ask her?” He was furious. I raised my head. There was fire in his eyes, and if looks could kill, Conor would have been so much more than dead. I turned in Matt’s arms, forcing him to loosen his hold, although he didn’t let go completely. Conor’s brow furrowed, mouth drawn into a tight frown.

“I thought it was what she wanted.” His voice was soft and unsure.

About Annika:

Once upon a time, Annika believed her dreams had ended. It took awhile, but she realized no one could take her dreams away from her, and if she worked hard enough, she had the power to make those dreams come true. Getting published is proof of that. She lives in a small, Midwestern town with her husband and two beautiful children, and continues to turn her dreams into reality.

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