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Wyrd Magic: White Haven Witches Book 11 (HARDBACK)

Wyrd Magic: White Haven Witches Book 11 (HARDBACK)

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Samhain is approaching. The past draws closer. A reckoning is coming.

Avery and her coven are looking forward to celebrating Samhain, and the townsfolk are preparing to honour their ancestors with the Walk of the Spirits.

But then Ben disappears from Old Haven Church, leaving no clue as to where he has gone.

Panic-stricken, the witches and their friends widen their search, but when they can’t find him, they have to accept that he’s 
somewhere else—somewhere their spells can’t reach.

When part of the town vanishes, they realise that their lives and the town’s future are in danger.

Their ancestors reach out, desperate to help them—if they can.

But what has happened in their past that is having such huge repercussions on the present?

With every hour that passes, the risks escalate. They need help, and they need it quickly, but it means they have to find their familiars…

Wyrd Magic is the biggest and most twisty action-packed mystery in the series yet, filled with your favourite characters and lots of new ones. You won’t put it down!

Join the coven and battle Wyrd’s magic, now!


Chapter One
Briar Ashworth threw another pile of golden leaves onto the garden fire, and then dusted the debris from her hands.

She smiled with satisfaction as she looked at her surroundings. She was working in one of Stormcrossed Manor’s larger courtyards, this one with a potting shed on one side, and finally, after weeks of work, the grounds were looking much tidier. However, there was no doubt they still required a lot more work. No matter. She was enjoying every minute of it.

It was Sunday afternoon near the end of October, and the sun was sinking low on the horizon. She was wrapped up in boots, scarf, and thick layers of clothes to keep out the autumnal chill. It was one of her favourite times of year. She enjoyed the feeling of putting the garden to bed, knowing that everything would be ready to emerge again in the spring.

The gardens were now a skeletal framework of branches. Perennials were dying, some had been cut back, and only the hardiest of flowers now remained. Tamsyn, her grandmother—even now saying that word brought a smile to Briar’s lips—had given her permission to come and go as she pleased. It meant that with every day that Briar spent there, she’d been able to spend time with her newfound family, too. It was strange to think that only three months earlier she hadn’t even known they existed.

The squeaking of the wheelbarrow as it came down the path heralded the return of Max, Briar’s twelve-year old nephew. His excited chatter had accompanied many of her hours there. After the events in July in which the family banshee had almost killed Tamsyn and Briar, Max seemed to have recovered well. Back then he’d been quiet and withdrawn. Now, he never stopped talking. He was keeping a running commentary at present, as he appeared with Tamsyn next to him.

“Granny! You’ve come to see us!” Briar said to her in greeting, kissing her cheek. “I thought you were baking.”

“I’ve baked enough to see us through until Yuletide. Well, I would have if this small man didn’t eat three times his body weight every day.” Tamsyn narrowed her beetle-dark eyes at Max, who was almost taller than she was, but her smile was genuine.

“I can’t help it, I’m always hungry,” he grumbled as he forked the leaves out of the wheelbarrow and into the big pile ready for burning. Briar had organised a compost heap for the leaves to rot down and create leaf mould, but there was so many of them that they added them to the piles of dead and pruned branches that needed burning, too.

“That’s all right,” Tamsyn reassured him. “It’s a sign my cakes and biscuits are good.”

Max grinned, wheeled his barrow around, and headed off again. “I’ll go and fetch some more.”

Briar laughed. “I think you know that your baking is good, Gran. My friends never stop asking for it.”

“Good. Take some home with you. Although, you know this could be your home.”

This was a familiar discussion, and one that Briar refused to back down on. “As lovely as this place is—or will be—I need my space, Gran. And I like being in White Haven, close to my shop, and my friend’s pub. I won’t lie.”

“And that nice Newton man.”

“He’s a friend! I’ve told you, I’m seeing Hunter.” Briar hadn’t told her that Hunter was a wolf shifter. Tamsyn had accepted witches and banshees, and there was no doubt she was open minded to the old ways and the paranormal, but a shifter? Maybe not so much. And she hadn’t told her about the Nephilim, either.

“You are so not seeing Hunter,” Tamsyn said. “He’s miles away. He’s been here once since I’ve known you. That’s no way to have a relationship.”

Briar fell quiet, staring into the flames. She was right. Cumbria was a long way away, and Hunter was busy with his family and his pack. She was busy with her own circle of friends and family. As much as Briar had fantasised about Hunter moving to White Haven, or her moving to Cumbria, she knew it would never happen. Especially now that she had family here.

Tamsyn cleared her throat, and Briar felt the weight of her stare. She turned to her. “Yes, I know. I need to end it. But I don’t want to.”

“Why not?”

“Because I like him! He makes me feel loved and safe.”

“With abs to die for, too.” Tamsyn cackled with glee as Briar’s mouth dropped open. “Oh yes, I remember abs. I’m old, not an idiot. But a nice chest does you no good so far away. You need someone close. Maybe that big man who helps here sometimes. That Zee. I bet he has abs, and then some. If I was fifty years younger…”

Tamsyn had met Zee when he had helped with some of the bigger gardening jobs, and was impressed with his size. The Goddess help her if Tamsyn ever met Eli. Briar was determined to keep them apart, or she’d never hear the last of it. Briar shook her head, unable to believe the change in her grandmother. Now that she had shed the weight of carrying the banshee’s grief, her sense of humour had emerged, and it was wicked. She was observant, teased them all mercilessly, baked endlessly, and helped in the garden where she could. And, with Rosa’s help, she was cleaning the house, which was no mean feat. The place had years of accumulated dirt and everything was dilapidated, but she scrubbed what she could manage. Her kitchen now gleamed.

Briar huffed. “Gran, please stop trying to fix my love life. I’ll work it out.”

“Well, just make sure you do. And let Hunter down gently. It will be hard for him, too.”

Briar felt her eyes prick with tears just at the thought, and she brushed them aside with the back of her hand. She needed to change the subject. “How’s Beth doing?”

Tamsyn heaved a forkful of leaves onto the fire, and then prodded the burning branches, watching embers drift skyward. “It’s slow going. She’s gifted, but too young to control the Sight well. It doesn’t help that her power is so raw.”

“Do you think the lapis lazuli and obsidian necklace is helping her?” El had fashioned a necklace with two small gemstones and spells woven into it, designed to protect Beth and help strengthen her response to visions.

Tamsyn shrugged. “Perhaps. It has been a while since she’s had a vision. It could be the necklace, but more likely that things are stable right now. She’s happier, too. The fact that Rosa is calmer is also helping.”

Tamsyn’s lips tightened at this statement. She and Rosa did not always see eye to eye. Briar understood why. Rosa had a flair for the dramatic, and had clashed with Tamsyn over the family’s ability with the Sight. She was furious that Beth had the gift, but it was hardly Tamsyn’s fault. She had known it was a possibility, but had tried to forget about it. Briar found her cousin’s attitude frustrating, too.

“What about Alex’s help?” Briar asked. Alex Bonneville had been a regular visitor to the manor. His own psychic abilities were strong, but trying to teach a child was not Alex’s specialty.

“When she’s older he will help, no doubt about it. His strength is in calming his mind and his ability to focus, but she’s too young to grasp that right now. And of course, the fact that he can walk paths that few can.” Tamsyn cocked her head at her like a bird. “A great skill, and a scary one. Hopefully a skill Beth will never have. I certainly haven’t got it.”

“I agree. It’s not something I would like,” Briar confessed. She shuddered at the thought of entering the spirit realm. “But the thing is, Gran, it will soon be Samhain. The time when the veils between worlds will be thinner. I’m not joking when I say that in White Haven it can be very strong. Could that affect Beth? Or you?”

Tamsyn drew her shawl around her shoulders and stared into the flames. “Since the banshee has gone, I have felt my own abilities stir. Last night, I saw a stag. A white stag. It was on a rise on the moor, wrapped in mists. Its eyes glowed a bright blue and it seemed to stare right through me. It was…odd.”

“A white stag? That means something, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it signify that something important it about to happen? Something good?”

“It offers support for what will come. Emotional and spiritual support.” She turned to Briar. “The stag is positive, a good thing—I felt it. But what it portends, I don’t know. Perhaps it is to do with Samhain. Time will tell.”

“Have you ever seen one before?”

“Never. That’s why I’m confused. Normally, I see snatches of the future. This felt different. A totem spirit perhaps, come to guide me.”

Briar was unfamiliar with the concept, although she had heard of it. “A spirit guide! Is that yours?”

“I never knew I had one, but maybe it is. I’m not a spirit-worker, Briar. It doesn’t make sense to me. Not yet.”

Briar was going to ask more, but Tamsyn had fallen silent as she stared into the flames.

The sun had almost vanished below the horizon now and ground mist was rising and mixing with the smoke from the fire. It was so cold that Briar could see her breath pluming in front of her. A shadowy stillness had fallen over them, broken only by the crackle of the branches in the fire. Briar pulled her thick cardigan around her and held her hands to the flames, comforted by their warmth.

The branches shifted as the fire consumed them, and just for a moment they looked like huge, tined antlers mounted above a face covered in swirling symbols, from which two intense eyes stared back at her.

Not a stag, but a young man.


“Here you go, Avery,” Alex said, thrusting a glass of mulled wine into her hands. “That will warm you up. It’s a good one.”

Avery Hamilton smiled at him. She was wrapped in a voluminous green scarf that brought out the colour of her eyes and deepened the red of her hair. “Your mulled wine is always good. Too good.” She sipped it and shuddered with delight. “Lovely.”

“Excellent.” He leaned forward and kissed her cheek, taking in the scent that was all Avery. A hint of musk and roses, with extra hints of woodsmoke rolled in. “Smoky. Sexy!”

They were in their walled garden, celebrating the end of a hard day’s gardening. They had collected herbs, plants, and roots for spell work, as well as raked up leaves and cut plants back. A fire burned on the turned soil beyond the small lawn, and twilight was already thickening, although it was only late afternoon.

“I think I prefer autumn to any other season,” Alex confessed after sipping his own spiced drink. “Although maybe it’s because of Samhain, my favourite festival. This year should be fun. Are we at Rasmus’s again?”

“Yes, and he’s excited, too. He’s providing mulled wine and cider, toffee apples, cinnamon buns, and all sorts of other delicious treats. It’s all he could talk about at the last Witches Council meeting.” She looked over her steaming glass at Alex. “We need a good celebration. Something that doesn’t involve being attacked or having to bind other coven members.”

“And we need a Samhain that doesn’t involve us tackling the Wild Hunt.”

“It did deliver us Shadow. That was a blessing.”

Alex laughed. “That’s one way of putting it. At least we’ve had a few quiet months.” He rested his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side. “I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been good to spend time with Briar’s new family, too. I just wish I could help Beth more.”

“She’s too young to really understand what’s happening.”

“I suppose so.” Alex thought of Beth’s intense stare and far-seeing gaze. “She’s uncanny, though. An old soul.”

“Is she?” Avery twisted to look up at him. “You haven’t said that before.”

“Don’t you think so? Maybe it’s because I’ve spent more time with her. I’ve been trying to get her to understand she needs to relax when the visions come. At the moment, it freaks her out so much she tenses up.” He laughed. “Maybe she isn’t an old soul, or you’d think she’d be more comfortable with all this. Maybe it’s the Sight that makes her seem that way. Tamsyn calls it raw power, and she’s right. It certainly is.”

“I believe in that, though,” Avery said thoughtfully. “The old soul thing. Some people are new to the world, as if they have only just arrived. They’re naïve, see everything at face value. Others, like us, we’ve been around a few times, wouldn’t you say? I sometimes feel the weight of previous lives, especially when I’m reading the tarot. It’s as if other eyes are seeing through mine, and passing their knowledge on to me.”

“Your fugue state, you sometimes call it,” Alex said, nodding. The cards always transported Avery to another place. It was her way of accessing the unseen things of the world, like the visions and spirit-walking worked for him. “Of course I believe it, but this is a strange topic for mulled wine and fires.”

“I think it’s the perfect time. Twilight, smoke, and flames, at the end of a day spent collecting herbs and plants for spell-making. Magic is spinning around us tonight. I feel it.”

That’s why he loved Avery. Her ability to feel magic in everything. It wasn’t just her capabilities as a witch and her strength with air; it went beyond that. He stilled his mind, casting his worry for Beth away, and opened his senses to the garden. She was right. “It’s a liminal time, though, isn’t it? When the veils between worlds become thin, especially at Samhain. But there’s more.” He sent his magical awareness out further into the gathering twilight that was cloaked with mist and whispers. “It’s like something is watching us, just beyond our normal sight.”

Avery wriggled into him, her arm around his waist under his jacket. “Our ancestors are gathering, ready for Samhain. Helena is stronger than usual. I see her every day now. I wonder if Gil will return. I hope he does. I miss him.”

“Me too. Although, I hope he’s at rest, too. But I feel more than just a vague sense of spirits. It’s something else.” Alex closed his eyes and focussed. “A strong presence seems to be predominant. A male, I think. I sense that he’s old—both in time and place. As if he’s reaching out from the past.” The longer Alex stood with his eyes closed, the stronger the presence felt. The garden and the fire fell away, but the scent of smoke remained. In fact, it was getting stronger. He took a sharp intake of breath and his eyes flew open, and immediately the sensation vanished. The fire still burned low in front of them, the smoke idling towards the sky. “That was odd. I thought the smoke had blown my way, it smelled so strong.”

Avery pulled away from his arms and faced him. “I sensed something, too. I’m not sure if it was a presence, but I had the feeling of being watched, and the distance of time. How old, do you think?”

“Hard to say from that brief interaction, and now it’s gone. Damn it. I should have just focussed a bit longer.”

“While I hate to say this, it’s likely we’ll feel it again. Especially as we get closer to Samhain. Perhaps it’s an ancestor reaching out. I like that idea. I think.” She grimaced. “As long as he just wants to say hello.”

Alex’s phone buzzed in his pocket, dragging him back to the present. A text message from the tone. When he saw it, he couldn’t quite believe his eyes. “Bloody hell, Avery. Something weird is happening.”

“Why?” She looked alarmed. “Is everyone okay?”

“Hard to say. My dad is coming to visit. All the way from bonny Scotland.”

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