by Bri Clark
Blurb: Maeve da Paer has lived her life free from the restrictions of the world of sorcery and the Board of Witchery hidden behind the combined protection of her grandparents powerful clan magic—and a lie. Although her life has not been worry free, it is when all that desperation and grief cause her to cast her most powerful spell ever…a spell that will end the pain before it begins on the powerful All Hallows Eve.
Fionn Hughes, an immortal tracker, former heir to a powerful clan of time warlocks is on a mission to restore his honor—instead he finds Maeve da Paer. Following the scent of Gardenias and Honey Suckle, he discovers the last Scent Witch. It’s only after she almost takes off his ear that something more stirs, eventually changing his mission from one of duty to one of need.
What will Fionn do when he finds out Maeve plans to cancel out her own existence? Will he be strong enough to stop her?
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Scent of a Witch Excerpt: Feign and Flee
Maeve’s frustration drove her to speak words she had heard her Patty say when he thought she wasn’t around. It was a habit she’d started after he died. The native tongue of her relatives helped her sustain her uniquely blended accent of Scottish/Irish lineage and southern upbringing. But the habit also served to keep her grandfather’s memory close.
Disappointment over losing the dagger was a fleeting thought as her eyes met her pursuer. She was tall for a woman, but this man was a good head taller than her, and she’d guess his height to be several inches above six feet. Hair so black it appeared blue in the light of the setting sun fell past his broad shoulders in heavy strands, but in his eyes she saw power. He regarded her through eyes that were such dark brown they appeared as black as his hair.
And then she saw the faint red light enclosing the iris indicating the mark of immortality. It was a mark few knew, but it was something Granny had taught her. The instinct to flee took over and she dove.
The creek didn’t seem so sweet now. The power of the current pulled her along and the restricting material of her skirt pulled her under. She held her breath in the icy depth of the river attempting to relieve herself of the garment. A pull and tug of the elastic waistband finally gave way, and she was free, only now she was freezing and the bank seemed to be farther away. Still, Maeve fought the current to get back to land, as the compulsion to survive kicked in.
This wasn’t part of her plan. She had to go back and fix the mistakes of the past, and this was not to be how her time ended. Combined with the instinct to survive, the sudden thought renewed her determination.
Before exhaustion and panic could take over, a band enveloped her waist and moved her toward safety. She went limp, allowing the unknown force to carry her. The chill of cold air hitting icy skin made her teeth chatter, then the cursing her Patty indulged in caused her to smile inside. Maybe this death wasn’t so bad. It would be well if she could be with them again.
“Wake up lass,” a man ordered in the accent of her beloved grandfather. She opened her eyes only to see the brown irises with the red band she had been fleeing.
“Why didn’t you just let the cold take me?” she responded, startled to hear that her teeth didn’t chatter and her accent was the heaviest it had ever been. In fact, she wasn’t nearly as cold as she was a moment ago. Taking survey of her surroundings, she felt the same strength that had once anchored her now hold her up.
“Who taught you how to feign and flee, lass?” the dark stranger asked, his voice deep with what she suspected was anger. A scowl appeared before the brown of his eyes lightened.
“I wasn’t trying to feign…I just am not as sure with my left hand,” Maeve responded without thinking. A look of amusement softened his cross features.
An overwhelming sense of exhaustion coated Maeve’s body making it hard to stay awake. “I’m afraid I can answer you no more, immortal, for the blackness calls me. I pray that thee would have mercy and do your deed while I am unaware.”
Fionn started at the words the woman spoke. Not only was she a Scent Witch—she knew what he was. Then he discovered himself even more panic-stricken when she went limp in his arms. At the first chatter of her teeth, he shared his body heat with her instinctively. When she told him she had actually been aiming for his head, she’d impressed and amused him. Emotions he hadn’t had in longer than he could remember pushed at his heart. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. Setting her limp body on the grass, he ignored the emptiness his arms felt upon releasing her.
He needed to look at her closer and figured this was as good a time as any. While it was dark under the tall trees by the river, the sun hadn’t fully set. They were safe for now. Flawless ivory skin covered her from her eyebrows to the tips of her dainty toes. Elongated cheekbones ended in a soft but pointed chin, with a small pert nose set in the middle. And the shape of her eyes. . . There was no denying the mark of the Sweeney eyes. But she also had the look of Irish nobility in her untamed locks and lithe build.
Before Fionn could think too much, the girl coughed. He leaned her forward as some water escaped her lips then she quieted again. The action revealed a necklace hidden among her wet and tangled tresses. Fionn’s stomach dropped to his feet. On the underside of a blue cameo medallion was inserted the talisman of the Celtic Knot. The charm had been created between the Sweeneys and the Hughes, binding their clans for an eternity, ensuring their protection from those that would try to overpower and abuse them for their magic. Each family had received a charm…but with the coming of the rift, both had disappeared. How was it possible that this girl possessed one of the binding charms? Better yet, which clan’s was it?
Fionn smoothed the wild tangle of hair off the woman’s cheek and actually smiled. For in his arms was not only the last of one line but also two, the hope for not only his clan but an entire people. Then his eyes moved farther down and he was offered an unobstructed view of the legs he’d first noticed. Before his desire flared too high, he covered her with his coat, picked her up in his arms and headed back to the house from which he had followed her.
After a brief stop to bundle up her things, Fionn carried her limp body past the tree that still held her dagger. With the woman securely cradled in one arm, he inspected the hilt. Familiarity sparked, and determination made his lips press. When she woke, he would have all the truths of who she was. And then, he vowed, he would bring her back to his home, for his father.
About the Author: Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own.
Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything.
She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.”
Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.
Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and literary strategist she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.
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