"Great Halloween tale full of lore"
Sandra Heath so impressed me with her wonderful novel
Lavender Blue, A Regency Gothic strong on pagan lore, that
I rushed out and bought her backlist. And again, I am
impressed. Halloween Magic is another strong tale of dark
magick and things that go bump in the night. Once again,
the lore surrounding May Day and Halloween are presented
in a non-hysterical fashion, steep in lore and myths
surrounding these pagan festivals.
On Halloween, there was a terrible thunderstorm that
plagued the small hamlet of Wychavon. The remote
Shropshire valley had to forgo their usual All Hallows Eve
celebration, as the country folk, hid in their homes as
they shook from the thunder. In strike of lightning, The
Elderly Admiral Villiers is shocked to look out his front
window and see a beautiful woman suddenly appear from
nowhere. She was gorgeous and very naked. He had the
servants bring her into his home, and word quickly spreads
through the village that she's a victim of amnesia and
cannot recall who she is or where she came from. He calls
her Judith after his mother, and gossip runs rampant, as a
short time later, the village learns he is to marry the
woman 1/3 his age. The shock is fed fuel, when scarcely
two months later, the man is found drowned under very
mysterious circumstances. Since he had no heir, Judith
inherits his estate. Only Judith, knew precisely who she
is -- or rather was. She was Meg Ashton, a powerful witch,
burnt at the stake two hundred years ago. The clap of
thunder freed her spirit where it had been slumbering in
an ancient stone called The Lady. Now she is set on
punishing the descendents of those responsible for her
being burnt. First on that list was Admiral Villiers. Next
is Nicholas Montacute, the lord of Wychavon.
On Beltaine -- May Day Eve -- she goes to cast a spell to
bring Nicholas back from London, so she can plot his
death. Only she dropped the seal she had stolen from his
house. She had charged it with bringing Nicholas back and
making him fall for her charms. Only when she dropped it,
the seal ends up in Verity Windsor hands. Verity has
slipped out to wash her face in the dew on Beltaine, and
found the seal. By her possessing the seal, Judith's spell
works -- but instead of Judith being the object of
Nicholas' affection -- he returns and is suddenly obsessed
Verity has long worship Nicholas from afar, but felt it
was a hopeless love. But suddenly, the handsome Nicholas
declare himself taken with her. Only, true love shall not
run smooth in this case, as Judith is furious that Verity
keeps thwarting her black magick.
It's a charming Regency Romance, with a strong feel for
the period and the lore. Give the writer extra points for
knowing a turnip is a pumpkin, and a pumpkin is a neep.
Also, for the flawless Mutli-Point of View writing that
shines, painting her story with the full rich textures of
letting you know all the characters.
Reviewed by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
Posted October 11, 2004
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 13, 2007
Verity Windsor was startled beyond belief when the dazzlingly handsome, wealthy, and charming Lord Nicholas Montacute declared himself her smitten slave. What witchcraft was at work to make a man who could have any woman he desired want to have only her? And how could a country miss such as she resist the spell that made her senses swim when this lord and master of sophisticated seduction took her in his arms?
All her doubts about this man's hunger and her own melted in his first bumming kiss. ..only to return with a vengeance when she found herself fighting for his heart against the ravishing Judith Villiers, who knew every trick of tempting a man. Verity could only hope and pray that this wanton widow's sensual sorcery could be bested by the mysterious magic of love....