Witches, Wiccans and Pagans are not exactly the same thing, though many who don’t belong to either of these groups might use the terms interchangeably—but no! I’m not listing every modern ‘witch’ community here because this post is about MY witches, and they are fictional.
But even fiction needs to be based in fact, so—armed with a liberal-arts education in politics and religion, some real-world experience and the knowledge shared by several Wiccan friends—I did my research. Not on general neo-paganism, but on witchcraft, and what I could make of it.
We all know tons of witchcraft history. Witch hunts and witch trials, burning at the stake and drowning in the rivers, pacts with the devil or born with a natural talent, casting spells or raising the dead, flying on broomsticks or transporting their spirit through astral projection, hags and sorceresses… or simple village wise-women striving to combat disease with herbs. Religious texts of nearly every faith share some opinion on witchcraft, which proves that the concept is one of the oldest known to mankind—which isn’t that surprising, really. Even today, witchcraft is something mystical, magical, fearful…
Uppermost in my mind, when I set out to write about my witches, was the day I arrived in the African village I called home for years. The villagers beheaded a woman for ‘bewitching’ someone. As far as I know, that was the only death sentence passed down while I was there, but there were many other cases of witchery brewing (pun intended?) and some were fantastical—a man claimed to have been turned into a dog for years by a witch, children were exorcised and blessed to stop them from being witches… I could go on, but I won’t.
My research of witchcraft naturally led to researching witch hunts. With my first-hand experience urging me on, I found out that a lot of places are still actively pursuing witches—who are still predominantly thought to be women, though men are not completely excluded. For the purposes of my story, I narrowed my focus to Europe, North America, Africa, India… and then threw in some Japanese mythology.
I took pieces of many traditions and beliefs and mixed in real history and politics. I created a society that exists amidst modern-day reality—hidden, of course, to prevent more witch hunts—and constrained by ancient rules. With so much focus on female witches, my society originated as a matriarchy, but I twined fictional events with real history so that men (males) waged war to gain power, and now the witching world is divided into matriarchal and patriarchal covens. In my witching society, magic and politics are the only things that matter, and marriages are arranged for advantage rather than love.
Magic Matched is a four-part series that follows Silviu Lovasz, a patriarchal witch, and Georgeanne Davenold, a matriarchal witch, who must open their hearts to each other in order to unlock their full magical potential. They both have rare talents, which prompted their families to reach across the divide between the covens and betroth them as children, with the hopes that the pair could attain positions of power in their society.
Betrothed is the first book in the series and weaves together two stories. After a ten-year separation that left Georgeanne distrustful of Silviu, and Silviu hungering for Georgeanne’s return, they reunite in Poland, at Silviu’s sister’s betrothal celebration. Georgeanne is the key to Silviu’s rise to power, but she is fighting to gain her own power, in her own coven and he is a threat to her personal ambitions.
Ileana Lovasz is a pawn, with a string of broken betrothals to prove it, and she’s willing to use her body to escape her manipulative grandfather, and gain an edge for Silviu’s political goals. Eliasz Levy has every intention of forming an alliance with Silviu and marriage to Ileana is an ideal way to get what he wants. But when the new couple meets, emotions they never expected change everything.
Ileana, Eliasz, Silviu and Georgie must build an alliance that will help them all get what they want but, with too many lies and too many enemies, the game they’re playing turns deadly. When the two women come under attack, neither Silviu nor Eliasz knows which is the target. They only know they will protect the women their hearts have claimed as their own, even though that means defying the traditions of witching society, risking every goal they hold dear and confronting the dangerous members of their own families.
Betrothed is now available for early download through Totally Bound and will be found everywhere else on April 24th. Enter the witching world and follow Silviu and Georgeanne as they gather allies for their cause, and learn the true strength behind their magic.
My name is Lola White, and I write any story that happens to haunt me at the time. You can find me at my website, www.lola-white.com and get Betrothed at https://www.totallybound.com/betrothed
Thank you Lisabet for letting me be your guest, and congratulations on your own release, The Eyes of Bast, also through Totally Bound.