Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tag Team Review - Witches by Kathryn Meyer Griffith



Welcome to the Tag Team Event hosted by Laura and Sherry.  This is a special edition as we have two bloggers joining in to share their reviews. A warm welcome to Stormi and Barb. For today we are featuring Witches by Kathryn Meyers Griffith. Be sure to click on all of the links. Each blog will be hosting an individual giveaway, so visit them all for four chances to win!


 Witches

FROM GOODREADS:
WHITE MAGIC
Amanda Givens uses her powers with great care. The people of Canaan, Connecticut would not welcome a witch among them even a white witch a "good" witch. For years, she has lived quietly in a remote cabin with Amadeus, her feline familiar. Bit when an evil coven filled with creatures from the depths of hell torments Canaan with unspeakable horrors and brutal slayings, Amanda knows she can hide no longer. She is the one they are after. And she is the only one who can stop the terror.
BLACK MAGIC
Ever since fanatical witchhunters consigned her to an eternity of fury, Rachel Coxe has been waiting for her chance to come back to life. Now, centuries later, the time is right. Amanda is all that stands between her and her unholy vengeance. Flanked by the forces of darkness, Rachel is ready to unleash all the horror at her command.
MY THOUGHTS: When I first started reading "Witches," I wasn't really sure what I was getting into.  In fact, the first chapter was extremely long and so full of explanations and details that I was afraid the book was losing me.  However, once I got about 25% in, the book took off for me and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.  "Witches" is also a hard book to categorize but I can say it has tons of elements which I know many readers appreciate - paranormal, suspense, mystery and mild horror.  There is also a huge time travel element in the book which was probably my favorite part because I have really been enjoying historical fiction with paranormal elements recently.
Amanda recently lost her husband and lives outside the town of Canaan.  She is a white witch who prefers the simple life and who also enjoys helping people and respecting the land on which she lives.  Amanda has always been persecuted and judged by people who don't understand her, so she keeps a lot of her abilities secret and hidden from others.  Her only real family she has left is her two sisters, one who is a witch who has used her gifts to become a well-known author and "mainstream" persona, and one who has no supernatural capabilities at all who resides in Boston with her husband and children  Suddenly people are being killed in Canaan and the town is living in fear of a satanic cult who is taking over the area.  Amanda has been approached by an evil entity, a witch named Rachel, and it doesn't take long before the town starts blaming Amanda for everything that is happening.

I really liked Amanda as a character.  Although a loner, she still craves human companionship and has a close, yet sometimes stained relationship with her siblings.  I have to state that my favorite part of the book was the familiars created by Griffith.  I ADORED Amadeus, Amanda's cat (although please don't tell Booker T) and Tibby, the tiny mouse familiar of Amanda's sister Rebecca. They both add quite a bit to the story and play pertinent roles.  Sometimes I found myself more interested in their actions that some other things going on.

I really enjoy books about witches so I knew the chances were good I would like Griffith's book.  While I did initially find it slow, there is an awful lot of story packed into the pages and not for a second do I regret picking it up.  

RATING: 4 PAWS (dog paws....not Amadeus paws)


I was provided this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  In addition, Kathyrn Meyer Griffith is giving away 4 copies of this title (ebook or audible) - one on each blog participating in the tag.  Just answer the following question in the comments below - Who is your favorite fictional witch?  Also, here are the links for the other tag team blogs so you can check out their posts and increase your chances.  

FUONLYKNEW - Lauren's Ramblings and Reviews 
Sherry at fundimental

Stormi at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!


Why Kathryn wrote Witches: In 1991 I’d already been writing for about twenty years, on and off (though there was a long gap where I didn’t write because of a divorce, the finding of a full time job to support myself and my son, and a remarriage…life) when I contracted my fourth novel, my first of four to Zebra paperbacks, a romantic horror called Vampire Blood, about a family of vampires who run a movie theater in a small town. I’d already had a fifth novel, The Last Vampire, completed and in with them when they asked me for another novel.
Got anything about witches, they asked. Witches are hot right now. Hmmm.
For many years I’d played around with an idea about a present day white witch who finds a diary of a long dead witch–either good or bad, I hadn’t decided–in her old house’s attic, or basement, or under a floorboard. The story would have been about the good witch reliving the other dead witch’s life through the diary. In my head I’d always called that possible book Rachel’s Diary.
So in 1991 or 1992 I began the witch book and it quickly metamorphosed into a story of a present day good witch, Amanda Givens, who’s yanked into a perilous seventeenth century past by an evil witch, Rachel Coxe, to take her place…and possibly, unless Amanda can change the evil witch’s history, die a horrible death as an accused witch. I had the idea then to actually send Amanda into the past to live (for a while) the other witch’s life. Of course, being a good witch, Amanda, changes the other witch’s unsavory reputation but still ends up in a prison waiting to die for Rachel’s earlier crimes. The story, simply put, would be how Amanda overcomes her trials and tribulations, finds her lost eternal love again in the past, and finds a way to return to the present alive. In the process, learning some important life lessons about accepting what life has dealt her and the value of sisters, friendships and the love of those around her. Or, in other words, a story of good versus evil and, in the end, good wins and is rewarded. I also threw in a few touches of humor in the form of three precocious witches’ familiars…a mind-reading and speaking ancient cat called Amadeus, a mouse, Tituba, and a tiny bat, Gibbiewackett…all with feisty personalities and quirks of their own.
I was excited about the book as I was writing it and when it was done, pleased with it, but had no idea that over the years it’d become one of the jewels of my writing career and a book my fans would love as much as they did. I loved the cat face cover Zebra did for it in 1993 (a rare occurrence as I’d learned the hard way that covers weren’t always what I’d envisioned and in the early days I had no choice but to accept whatever the publisher’s gave me…and some weren’t so hot, let me tell you!); but I love Dawne Dominique’s new 2015 cover just as much with the witch and her cat.
Witches originally came out in 1993 and did well. I noticed soon after as I went on to publish other books I continued to get admiration for it and requests for a sequel (though I haven’t been able to do another one so far…but maybe in the future). Readers loved the three sisters, Amadeus and Amanda, Gibbiewackett and Tituba. In those days I was too busy working full time as a graphic artist, living my life and writing new books to notice. It went into a second printing in 2000 and after that, sadly, went out of print until 2010. But my fans never forgot it. I’d find comments on it and discussions on the Internet…even customer reviews raving about it years and years later. I tried talking Zebra into reissuing it but after Zebra and I parted ways in 1994 there was no talking them into it.
Then in 2010 when Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, the publisher asked about all (there was 7 at the time) my out-of-print Zebra and Leisure paperback backlist novels and if I’d like to have them reissued as new paperbacks and, for the first time ever, in e-books. Sure, that’d be great! I told them. And, as they say, the rest is history. Between June 2010 and July 2012 all 7 of them were updated, rewritten and came out again. Of course, that meant a heck of a lot of rewriting. A lot of work. Those early novels went back thirty-two years and were first written in the days of snail mail and on an electric typewriter before the Internet, e-mails and Windows Track Changes (for editing). Oh, boy, did they need revising. As of today I can happily say all my fourteen older novels have been totally rewritten, even my very first published romantic horror novel, Evil Stalks the Night (originally a 1984 Leisure Books paperback). Then, later, between 2012 and 2015 I finally (after much fighting with my old publishers) got all my rights back to all my old novels and self-published ALL my 23 novels myself in eBooks, paperbacks and Audible audio books. I will never go back to publishers again because I’m finally making a living with my books–and it’s great to have complete control for the first time in 45 years of writing.
I’ve often been asked what I think of e-books and I have to say it feels strange, all these years later, to be so into them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to put hundreds of books on one little lightweight hand-held contraption and sell them as inexpensively as we do. I started publishing e-books four years ago and have seen such great changes in even that short a time. With a chuckle I recall a writer’s convention I attended in 1990–yes, that far back–and the main topic back then was…OMG the electronic books are coming! They’re going to make us authors obsolete! Print books are going to die a terrible lonely death…etc., etc. Lack and alas, what are we going to do? Ha, ha. It’s ironic that 26 years later I’m in love with e-books and self-publishing. It is the present and the future. Though I think there’ll always be room for print books as well as electronic ones as many people still like to feel a real book in their hands.
So Witches…I rereleased it again in 2015 with a brand new cover and I’m thrilled. The cover is still of Amadeus, the magical cat, but now Amanda, the white witch, is also on it. As always my cover artist, Dawne Dominique, did an amazing job. I’m proud of the book, it has held up pretty well, I think. I hope it finds many more readers and fans.
So that’s the story of Witches…the little book that wouldn’t die.

12 comments:

  1. Great review, Barb. I loved the familiars too. Amadeus is quite the kitty, but Tibby, though they both have attitudes, is hilarious.

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  2. Wonderful review, Barb! Funny how the critters get so much attention. Tibby is the mighty mouse that roared. LOL

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  3. Thank you Barb (and all the other blogsters!) for liking and reviewing my WITCHES! It's made my day really happy...I love for people to discover my witch book.Please be sure to put the review up on Amazon and Good Reads for me, please?
    I plan to finally write Witches II after I finish the book I'm working on now (my 4th Spookie Town Murder Mystery Witches Among Us and actually my 24th book). The sequel will follow Amanda and her two sisters for further adventures with The Guardians.
    Ha, ha, I smiled when you said the book was long...back in 1993 when I first had it published (from Zebra paperbacks) that's what they wanted...long, big books. Now people like shorter books. Things change.
    I want to thank you for doing this Barb...and if you would like to READ and REVIEW any other of my 23 books just email me at rdgriff@htc.net and I'll send you a free eBook or audio code for ANY of them. I write romance as well as horror and murder mysteries.
    HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!!!!! Wooo.......author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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  4. Nice review. Witchy women are out and about these nights, so BEWARE! :-)
    --Michael

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  5. My favorite witch was Glenda in The Wizard of Oz.

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  6. I agree with your thoughts, the audio was really good as that is how I read it. I was a bit worried about how it was going to end but all was well. :)

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  7. I like Dianne Casey's favorite witch! Glinda is amazing! Of course so many new witches have been introduced in literature since 1900!

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  8. TAG IT SOUNDS GREAT HOPE I WIN A COPY

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  9. This book sounds great! I'm glad that it picked up for you despite the slow beginning. I love anything about witches so it sounds like one I need to read! :D

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  10. I have a LOT of favorite fictional witches so to choose one is difficult. One series I do love featuring a witch is Juliet Blackwell's Lily Ivory series

    wismomworks@gmail.com

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  11. Nice review - making me want to read it even more!

    So, my favourite witch. Ooh... there are so many.
    I'm sorry, but I'm gonna be really stereotypical fangirl and say Hermione. (Cringe!) Can't help it! Those books changed my life!

    eunder8191@googlemail.com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  12. Thank you so much for the chance to win an ebook of Witches! This is my first time hearing about Kathryn & her books and I have added about 15 of them into my wishlist already!! And my goodreads "want to read" list too! :)

    My favorite fictional witch - I would honestly have to say Harry Potter, Hermione Granger & Ron Weasley. And yes, I did just call them all "witches"! LOL

    OH! Actually, I just finished reading Renee George's Witchin' Impossible 2: Rogue Coven and I love, Love, LOVE Hazel! She kicks shifter butt! :)

    Thank you!

    Cheers! xoxoxoxo

    cboitson at shaw dot ca (ebook for the win! LOL)

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