Magic Seasons Book 1
by Jacqueline Paige
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Step into a world of magic and passion…
A group of friends come together to dance the Maypole
Take a dash of spice, a pinch of herbs
Soft candlelight and resonant drums
Add a flash of magic and watch the sparks fly
Toss in a killer that’s targeting women…
To the outside world she is just Leena Duncan. A gentle woman with a troubled past, yet none know her full story. Her ability to control the elements and her knowledge of plants make her magic strong and unbreakable. It’s just too bad that she’s closed off her heart to not risk it again, having learned that horrors are possible, even with those who claim to love you. It only takes one man at the rainy Beltane celebration to change her outlook, and one killer to endanger her world.
Owen Grey, a well-known fantasy author, has returned to his childhood home to set down roots and reacquaint himself with old friends. Learning that magic is, in fact, possible, the second revelation is the one woman who calls to him: body, soul and heart. Even more surprising, he learns that with a simple touch he can relieve pain and lift emotional burdens, it just doesn’t help him deal with his own past. While he may write about happily ever after, he knows it only as fiction. Until her.
With a killer targeting celebrants at these small pagan gatherings, leaving two bodies in warning, this little group of friends who welcomed him with open arms, are at risk if they don’t find the killer.
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Dade lifted her hand and kissed it before he let go. “I’ll make sure they are.” He picked up the instrument in front of him and gently began to shake it from side to side. His lips moved in a silent chant, and he closed his eyes.
Owen watched as Leena and Steven both turned their backs to the circle, facing the pouring rain. Raising their hands, they lowered their heads in concentration. If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, he’d never have believed. As their heads came up, the wind circled the shelter and blocked out the pouring rain. He could no longer see, or hear, the heavy downpour. Not knowing what to expect, he looked at the others. Chris, Kasey, and Rachel were standing with their hands clasped and staring into the fire as the flames rose, flames that were nearly white now. He blinked just to make sure he wasn’t seeing things.
Dade’s motion with the shaker became faster and louder as he moved to stand beside Cora. Her head was thrown back and her eyes closed, she seemed to be shaking with the rhythm of the rattle. Her eyes flew open as she stopped moving and looked into the fire. He could see the sweat beading down her face, and her hands trembled. The look on her face told him she was afraid, but she said nothing. She reached empty hands toward the fire, and the flames flew higher. Not knowing what else to do, Owen went to stand behind her in case he was needed, hoping he would know if he was at some point.
She stepped back and cried out in fear. He caught by the biceps and held her, as Dade instructed. Glancing over her shoulder and into the fire he saw, he blinked again, images. They blurred together and he couldn’t understand them.
Cora cried out again and sagged back against him. He caught her tight against his waist and held her to his chest. His own chest began to burn. He didn’t know what was going on, but he felt compelled to stop it. “Stop now!” He said roughly.
Magic Seasons Book 2
Take a dash of spice, add a flash of magic and watch the sparks fly
Toss in a killer that's targeting women and add a handful of witches from all paths to stir it all together...
Separated by two different life styles yet their passion and magic ignite sparks hotter than the Solstice heat. Can they work out a way to be together as they try to stop a killer from striking again?
Kasey is a woman that exudes energy and brightness; equally passionate when angry or happy. Her energy comes through in all her magic, and she often wishes she could rewrite her own story to become charming and sophisticated enough to be with a certain wealthy male lawyer she wants more than anything else.
Chris is a force of strength and experience carefully hidden behind the easy mannerisms he has adopted. There is nothing he cannot do with his magic and he has tried all of it, whether right or wrong. His fortune has left him wanting for nothing in life except the one thing money can’t buy, the woman he feels too unclean to approach.
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Dade leaned forward and rested his elbows on his legs. “We were instructed they were coming here after work and they have been locked in your little magic broom closet for the last hour.”
Chris raised his eyebrows. “Doing?”
Owen lifted his hands. “Won’t say.”
Steven slumped down, wishing for a nap. “They’re not too pleased being driven to and from work.”
“I see.” Chris turned and started down the hall. “Let’s see what they’re up to.”
The men got up and followed him.
He tried the doorknob to find it locked. “Kase, unlock the door.”
“Soon.” She called to him through the door.
He stood there glaring at the door. They’d locked him out of his own room in his own home! We’ll see about this. He stepped back and slapped and invisible command at the door.
Sparks flew off it and the door remained closed. “What the…”
Dade grinned. “Quite the little witch you have there, Larkin.”
Steven whistled out a breath. “Just how much trouble can they get into with all your stuff in there?”
Chris still scowled at the door while he answered. “A lot!” He tapped the door with his hand. “Kassandra unlock the door.”
A gentle breeze blew over all four of them.
“That would be a polite no.” Dade said quietly.
“Like hell, I’ll be locked out of my own temple room.” Chris hissed. Stepping back, he stared at the door, the handle shook. When he thought it was going to open it started to pour rain on the four of them. He waved a hand to stop it and looked at the men beside him. Dade’s long hair was soaked and the expression on his face was similar to how he himself was feeling about the whole thing.
“And that would be a mind your own business.” Owen said sticking his hands in his pockets.
Chris looked at Steven. “You have any ideas?”
Steven shook his head trying to get the water to stop dripping in his face then took a step away from the door. “Oh no. I’m plenty happy enough to wait until it opens on its own. You might like lighting striking you but I’m not too open to trying that.”
Chris shook his head. “Are you all afraid of them?”
Dade nodded. “I’ve seen what each one can do alone – especially your little innocent there my friend; the four of them together scare the hell out of me.”
Chris sighed and looked back at the door. “Kasey?”
“Yes Christopher?” Her voice came through the door again.
“You’re making me angry and I don’t want to do something I’ve promised you I wouldn’t.”
A wind breeze ruffled his hair. “I know you won’t Chris. Now go away I’m trying to concentrate here.”
His jaw dropped. Sighing he looked at the others. “Beer?” They nodded and followed him down the hallway.
“Seems you’re a bit afraid of their wrath too councilor.” Dade mumbled behind him.
“Shut up.” Chris growled and walked into the kitchen.
Magic Seasons Book 3
Take a dash of spice, heat it a pinch of herbs.
Soft candlelight and resonant drums.
Add a flash of magic and watch the sparks fly.
Toss in a killer that's targeting women...
Armed with magic and a plan for the Lammas festival they are determined to stop the killer from harming anyone again. And Steven will, with a plan of his own, persuade Rachel that they are meant to be together.
Will the magic allow them to start anew?
Rachel is a woman that lives carefree with a buoyant recklessness. She loves being a flirt and has spent many years indulging that side of her personality. Her energy draws others; her character is to protect all those that cannot protect themselves. When she’s not riding on life, she is helping children less fortunate then herself.
Steven is man that gives more than his energy usually allows. He is a highly-respected pediatrician that always goes that extra step to ensure all in his care are receiving his utmost attention. He often sacrifices sleep to spend time with his friends, and he can’t seem to help affably chasing the skirt of the one woman that breaks his easy-going charm and makes him forget he’s supposed to be the jovial. He hides his strength in body and magic, never letting others know that he is more than the carefree man with everything he needs.
Armed with magic and a plan for the Lammas festival as a group they are determined to stop the killer from harming anyone again. With a plan of his own, Steven decides he’s done waiting for Rachel to see that they’re meant to be together and takes things into his own hands.
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Chris hissed out a breath as he looked around. “This should be far enough.” He looked at the trees overhead and then to the ground. “How do you want to do this?” He sent him a wary look. “Who are you going after?”
Steven rubbed his jaw. “Not Kasey, she’d just zap my ass and I’d probably have burn marks.” He noted the pride in Chris’s eyes as he tried not to smirk. “I’m going to aim for Rachel or Leena, definitely not Cora. If she so much as made a sound, Dade would thump me into the ground.”
Chris grinned. “And you don’t think Owen would?”
Steven shook his head. “Leena wouldn’t let him.” He let out a deep breath and then held up his hands, palms facing Chris. “Here goes nothing.” He closed his eyes and took slow breaths as he reached deep inside to the magic he held tightly within his body. He felt it climb through him and warm his skin. When Chris’s finger tips touched his, he felt a powerful boost to the magic gathering.
He pictured Rachel inside his mind and focused on her for a few seconds, testing. A heat spread through him as he felt the connection to her aura pass over his own. He searched for the way into her thoughts and felt her mind click open as if he’d turned a lock. Taking a deep breath he concentrated harder.
His hands shook until he felt Chris funnel some of his own power into the sight he was trying to grasp. He could see all of the women and a multitude of colors as they moved around inside the cabin. He could feel nervousness and anxiety. Furrowing his brow his held onto the link as it started to change. He couldn’t sense what it was now, it had somehow changed quickly. It was as if …
A blast of power shot through him and sent him sprawling to the ground. His hands were burning suddenly and it felt like he’d been hit across the head with something made of stone. He opened his eyes slowly and looked up at the leaves on the trees above him. Lifting his head carefully he looked around and spotted Chris lying flat on his back as well.
“We are in a lot of trouble, Doctor.” Chris sounded out of breath.
“Yeah,” he agreed and then turned his head towards the steps coming from the direction of the cabin.
Magic Seasons Book 4
Take a dash of spice and a flash of magic
Watch the sparks fly
With a handful of witches to stir it all together
In search of a killer targeting their kind.
The Mabon gathering brings this group of special friends together to use their powers to unmask the killer and prevent more victims, before moving to the celebration of the season.
Coralee has always lived her life with a small remove: her ability to feel other’s emotions has kept her guarded and alone. After reeling from the killer’s emotional tumult, her friends are concerned and looking to protect – none more than Dade.
His ability to call emotions and reactions with his drums leaves Dade singularly placed to draw the killer forward, but his concerns is only for Coralee. Always drawn to her, his past history with women leave him wondering if she ever could take a chance on him. A gathering that could change everything by catching the killer just may bring a new love to light.
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“Do you know where I can get a horse?”
He opened his eyes and looked at Dade. “There’s a horse on the list?”
Dade looked at him and frowned. “What? No.”
Steven sat back up. “Should I even ask what the hell you want a horse for?”
Dade smirked. “You said you wanted to see me top all you guys.”
Steven pinched the bridge of his nose for a second. “And you need a horse to do this?”
Dade nodded. “Yeah, a white one.”
Steven put his head down and chuckled. “Do you even know how to ride a horse? I’m assuming you’re planning on riding it.”
Dade shrugged. “How hard can it be?”
“I can’t get in shit for taking pictures this time.” He took a calming breath trying not to laugh again. “I have a patient; his parents own a farm. If you’re serious.”
Dade grinned. “I’m serious.”
Steven leaned over towards him. “You’re not going to ride a horse into Cora’s house are you…
Magic Seasons Book 5
Take a dash of spice, heat it
Add a flash of magic and watch the sparks fly
Add a handful of witches from all paths to stir it all together...
Patrick is a man that has lived a violent life undercover in all the wrong places, for too long. His light charm carefully keeps others from seeing the dangerous man that lies inside. He is the first for justice and will go out of his way to keep the innocent safe. He finds himself falling for the woman that was a victim of a sick and vile person and is caught between keeping her out of harm’s way and completing the job he needs to finish.
Rhonda is a woman that becomes a victim to the vicious attack of a killer. Even though she survives, she will have to learn to live with the scars for the rest of her life. In hiding she has to rebuild the strength to get through it. She is forced to spend her days and nights in the company of a detective, that seems to have no other plan in life than to constantly aggravate her and make her want things she may never have again.
When Patrick’s cover is blown and he is badly injured, the group of friends pull together to keep him and the recovering victim of a killer safe. As a result, the group of twelve become targets of the criminals after Patrick and have to live together in a safe house for Yule.
Can twelve witches follow orders or will they take matters into their own hands?
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Dexter shrugged. “He’s not here.”
Walt backed towards the door a bit, pulling Bob with him for cover. He pointed the gun at the large man. “We’ll be going then.”
Dexter shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
Walt shoved Bob as hard as he could toward Dexter, reaching for the door at the same time. He pulled it open only to have it jerked from his hand and close with a loud bang. “What the...” He spun around and pointed the gun at Dexter again. Bob was lying in a heap on the floor as if he’d fainted. Idiot.
He pointed the gun at the longhaired woman and grinned. “Walk over here, real slowly.” Her eyebrows went up in a look of shock.
“I don’t think so,” she said softly.
The short blonde flung an arm up and growled. “I don’t like you pointing a gun at my friends.” The gun jerked out of his hand and floated toward the big man, who reached out and plucked it out of midair.
He flipped the safety on and tucked it into the waist of his jeans. “You should listen to her, friend.”
“What are you people?” Walt looked from the longhaired one back to the short blonde.
“Sexy.” The black-haired woman said softly as she stepped from around the man who held his own gun directed at him now. “And slightly irritated that you barged in here.”
Walt stared at her for a second then turned back toward the door.
“Leaving so soon?” She purred. His back was against the wall, his feet not touching the ground. His shocked expression looked down at Rachel, as his heart tried to climb into his throat.
She began her writing career in 2006 and since her first published works in 2009 she hasn't stopped. Jacqueline describes her writing as "all things paranormal", which she has proven is her niche with stories of witches, ghosts, physics and shifters now on the shelves.
When Jacqueline isn't lost in her writing she spends time with her five children, most of whom are finally able to look after her instead of the other way around. Together they do random road trips, that usually end up with them lost, shopping trips where they push every button in the toy aisle, hiking when there's enough time to escape and bizarre things like creating new daring recipes in the kitchen. She's a grandmother to four (so far) and looks forward to corrupting many more in the years to come.
Also writes as J. Risk
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When I write, I see the scenes as you would while watching a movie, the same when I read a book, so to me all my book already are movies (inside my mind). Many have said that the Magic Seasons would make great movies. It would be rather fantastic with cgi to see the magic I have written about.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’d love to say the series was planned and plotted, but in truth it wasn’t. At the time I typed that first letter, I hadn’t written anything other than the odd poem for about ten years. The actual idea to sit down and write a book started as me trying to get the last word on a friend.
My close friend and I both worked from home when Beltane Magic was written and at that time we were together almost every day. She was going on a trip to see family and was going to be gone more than a month. I was devastated and had no idea what I was going to do with myself while she was away. When I asked her that question her reply was ‘write a book’, jokingly … so I did.
A month later when my friend returned I was on the second book and the story was just flying onto the pages. When she read the first story, I’m sure she expected a joke in some way. I hadn’t taken it seriously either, I just kept writing… no editing, just typing as fast as I cold. I was surprised, and she was shocked that I had an actual story, with plot—and a good one at that. The rest they say is history.
What can we expect from you in the future?
While I am shelving further Magic Seasons stories, I do have Animal Senses series, Ancestor’s Enchantment Trilogy and The Alterealm series (J.Risk) coming out in the next year.
The first book in the Animal Senses is out (Heart) and the next book in that shifter series will be coming out (Scent).
I don’t have a release date for the first in the Ancestor’s Enchantment trilogy (The Witch Within) but I am writing the second book (Magic Descends).
Once I have that trilogy wrapped up, I will be bouncing back and forth between the Animal Senses Series and the NA series I write as J. Risk, the Alterealm Series. They both have so many fantastic, intriguing characters I just have to write their stories.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I believe the hardest part about writing a book is naming the characters. Most of the time I know the general plot, possibly even the title but then I have to find the character name that fits. It’s not easy. I think a few times I spent more time selecting the names of characters than I did naming my children.
You have to avoid famous names, or the reader will be picturing the famous person instead of your character. The name can’t be too hard to pronounce, or the reader will be too distracted trying to get it right to focus on the story completely. Naming a tough character a ‘fluffy’ name wouldn’t do either. On rare occasions the name just comes to you and with it the entire image of the character and that’s exciting, but those times for me seem to be few and far between.
Each year certain names seem to be the most popular and after browsing through the bookstore you realize that five books you were interested in reading have the same character name, the spelling might vary slightly, but still the same name. I avoid using these names now as well.
Then there are the repeat names that seem to be stuck in your brain. If you’ve authored more than a few books it does happen. That “in the background” character in book number four I series x, the one that really didn’t do anything to stand out in your mind for long … suddenly has the same name as the main character in a book of a different series. More often than I care to admit I’ve realized this half way through writing a story and had to sit down and come up with another suitable name and replace all the instances of it in the story.
Now, years after writing my first book I have finally come up with the solution. I keep a names list and write down all the names even mentioned in my books.
Never take for granted the author just pulled a name out of a hat, it’s not that simple.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I actually had that chance with this series! I was so happy to be able to go back and add or restore scenes. Each publisher has their own editing style or preference and while they did a fabulous job translating what my mind saw into words to readers could also see it, I found a lot was cut or changed to do this. Re-releasing them allowed me to go back and add all those things that come to mind when it’s normally too late.
Thank you to the editors and proofreaders for rounds one and two, I know it wasn’t easy to correct for grammar and flow without losing how I saw my story and characters.
A huge thank you to Gaele who persevered and helped me take my story back to the way it started and working with and around my little quirks. It would be a mess of repetition and blurry lines without you. ♥
Many thanks to those that have read each edition of this series, you are amazing! To those that are reading it for the first time – you’re seeing the best version first.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I would love to say I am in complete control, but would be lying. More often then not my characters do something, or something happens that I did not plan and didn’t see coming. Beltane Magic is a perfect example of that. Without giving away the plot and scenes, all I will say is it was NOT intended to have anything to do with trying to catch a killer! When the first book took that turn, I wrote like a possessed woman, keeping up with the words flying from my fingers… then stopped afterward and read it and was astounded with where it went!
My characters do not listen, do not follow a plot lines and feel no remorse when I have to wander around mumbling to myself trying to figure out what to do with what they have done.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Usually the main character(s) come to me and I will have a general idea of the secondary characters before I start, but that doesn’t stop those other characters from jumping in that I didn’t plan, don’t know and have to figure out what they’re up to.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Every waking moment is research to a fiction writer.
I recently had a conversation with one of my readers and was a little shocked to learn what people thought fiction writers do. Apparently because we write ‘make believe’ it is thought that we just randomly pull something out of our imaginations and slap it on paper. Oh my, how I wish it were that simple or that my imagination was that fabulous.
Yes, we make things up and spin them into a story, but if a part of the invented pieces aren’t relatable, who is going to keep reading? Okay, occasionally I’ve fallen into a story so crazy it screamed ‘could never happen in any sort of way’ when I needed to shut off all possible traces of reality. The downside to that was at the end I was left feeling melancholy, with no connection to the characters or story. Most readers want to feel what the characters do, they want to root for the underdog and cheer when they kick butt and come out on top. So how does a fiction writer do that?
It’s simple, every waking moment is research. What does this mean? For me it torments the people I know and meet. My co-workers knew when I got this look on my face and seemed to be studying them or someone else (and they haven’t done anything ridiculously silly that will get me reprimanded) that I’m taking a little piece of their personality or actions and storing it to incorporate into a character or scene. I must do that a lot because many of them warn people, “Be careful or you’ll be the one she kills in her next book.”
I do research quite a bit during the writing process or when scenes pop into my head. If I have one of my characters in a (real) location or have them in a job or profession I make sure it’s as close to reality as possible. I haven’t had the issue of readers writing saying “that was unrealistic”, but I do know author friends that have. Yes, it’s fiction, but those bits and pieces that could be or are real, need to feel real for the reader.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
Anything with words and I’ll read it. When I’m not writing though, I do love dark fantasy, paranormal genres.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I am a mother of five, so silence feels… odd to me.
It depends on where I’m writing and the characters. If I’m not sitting somewhere in public jotting down a scene that won’t leave me alone, I do normally have headphones or earbuds with music playing. I use music a lot when I write. Certain songs, genres go with most of my characters, so when I’m writing a book I quite often have a playlist for that book that plays while writing.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I have never actually tried to write more than one at a time. That isn’t to say I’m not working on more than one at a time though. While writing one I could be jotting down ideas that come to me for others, doing editing of another. A few times if the story stalls, or the characters are silent, I will put that one on hold and go onto another, but usually the stories fly onto the screen too fast to have to focus on more than one plot at a time.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Napkin, grocery receipt and just about anything else, including voice recorder on the phone while driving. If the idea hits you it’s a must that you write it out, otherwise four hours later you will have lost most of it.
I still find the best writing for me is with pen and paper. Many days my writing starts by typing out the notes I wrote the night before.
Advice they would give new authors?
Keep writing, even if it’s absolute garbage (in your mind), keep going.
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I’m always asked day how I’ve managed to write as many books as I have and the system I use to keep myself organized and productive.
The first part would be having the ideas to write about. I actually have a note book filled with ideas and partial plots. This way I never run out of stories to write. If a scene pops into my head I scribble it down so when I get to that point it’s there and I’m not struggling to remember.
When I’m racing with the keyboard to get a story finished (not usually as fast as my muse would like) if I come to a part that doesn’t work or I’m drawing a blank on where to take the characters at that point, I leave it blank to come back to later. Most times there are two or three scenes missing in each story when I’ve reached the end. I close the file and set it aside for a week or more and then when I go back to sigh over the silly typo’s and mistakes.It’s easier to put those scenes in after reading the entire plot.
I have also abandoned a story I’m working on if another one keeps distracting me with scenes and plots. It just makes more sense to run with one that is playing out in your head from start to finish. As a result of doing this I have written complete books in a month that just kept flowing for me.
The great part to having all these ideas and hoping from one to the next is I never get tired or frustrated with one particular set of characters. If they’re not co-operating and helping me get them on the page then I have several other options sitting on the side lines waiting for their stories to be told.
The downside to doing this is I always end up with multiple books signed and edits due one right after the other. If I could just figure out how to get through that editing crunch of having releases close together in a smooth, stress free way I’d be a much happier me.
Following your muse…
What drives a writer to sit down and write? The love of the written word? Creating worlds and characters? For the readers entertainment?
It’s most likely all of those, but for me it’s the never-ending nagging of my muse. She will literally deprive me of sleep when a plot needs to be jotted down and will not let me rest if there’s a particular scene she has playing over and over in my head.
I know it’s easy to blame the exhaustion on a fictitious muse … I believe every writer out there has one and will agree that even though they are beyond exhaustion with no time to spare the drive is coming from somewhere inside they can’t identify. That would be their muse.
I have been asked how I find the time to write as much as I do in addition to being a mother to five and having a full-time 60+ hours a week job at one point. My answer … I don’t know! And I don’t. I have no idea how I’m able to sit up long past when most of my body has already gone to sleep and write entire chapters. Does it ever catch up to me? Yes. In those few times my muse is otherwise entertained or resting I’m able to take a nap from time to time. Of course, she is recharged much faster than I am and will wake me when a new idea has formed.
Presently I have a list of plot ideas and characters that are waiting to be written. If I were to sit down and do nothing but write ten hours a day it would keep me with more than enough to do for the next few years – at least.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I love my muse. I even gave her my middle name and that’s what we see on the covers of my books. We have a wonderful relationship, I just need an assistant and another set of hands to type with to keep up with her. I do wish she would learn how to proof read and edit, that would save me hours of stress as I try to get one story off to the publisher as she’s feeding the next one into my brain.
I may have titled this piece wrong, I don’t follow my muse I hang on tight and hope she stops occasionally so I can eat and sleep.
I definitely need a clone or assistant…
What an adventure!
If you’ve been following the history behind my writing the Magic Seasons you know it was not planned and in the beginning, I had no idea what was going to happen.
All I can say now as the fifth book is released is “What an adventure!”
From the first book until now my own characters have kept me on the edge of my seat with one thing after the other. I’ve held my breath while getting them out of the washed-out valley they were trapped in, several mishaps with spells, car chases, killers and even a few blundering moments that I’m sure the witches from the town of Russel would like to forget about.
I laughed (out loud) while writing this series, to the point that my family started to wonder if I was coming unglued. I fell in love with all of the characters in this series and even cried when they did, to the point of having to stop writing some scenes to calm down.
For the two plus years I was working on these books, I took everyone from them with me everywhere I went. It was a hard to write the end of Winter Mist, thinking I would have to let them go after that but I managed to get to the last page. The series was complete, all loose threads tucked in. Finished.
And then I deleted the last chapter and re-wrote it. The gang from the Magic Seasons Books isn’t finished yet, they’re just resting for a few years until I get through my huge list of projects and then I think we’ll be seeing more from them.
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