What better way to jump-start your Halloween countdown than a little witchcraft, romance, and pizza? Look no further than the adorable and quirky short comic Your Favorite Pizza Witch. British cartoonist Sarah Graley introduces us to Roxy, the eponymous pizza witch, who uses her awesome magic skills to craft the most delicious pizzas in the world. Along with her feline familiar, George, Roxy is running a smooth operation and living the dream of a young urban entrepreneur.
But things turn tragic when Roxy meets her dream girl on a routine delivery, only to discover she’s lactose-intolerant! Desperate to find the spell for the perfect cheese-free pizza, Roxy and George run into a heap of trouble, and learn a little bit about teamwork and friendship along the way.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, October 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Unlike the snarky witches in American Horror Story: Coven or Evelyn Poole and her devil-worshiping coven from Penny Dreadful, Paula Brackston’s magic-users are tied to ancient Celtic beliefs. Her novel The Silver Witch follows ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells, who moves into a secluded Welsh cottage in the wake of her husband’s sudden death in the hopes it will heal her grief. What Tilda doesn’t count on is the nearby lake awakening ancient powers and a mysterious connection to an ancient Celtic woman named Seren, who is believed to be a witch.
The intertwined stories make for an interesting plot, as Tilda must learn to use her newfound abilities while struggling to heal from her grief. Her heartbreak is real, despite a possible new love interest on the horizon. Plus, she’s not your typical strong female character who is extremely one-note and only relies on her physical strength. Instead, Tilda is emotionally strong while still being courageous enough to explore her bizarre paranormal connection to the witch Seren as she tries to understand her psychic abilities. By the time The Silver Witch ends, you’ll be glad that you stuck with Tilda on her journey to overcome her grief and make sense of the paranormal visions that were plaguing her. Devoid of tropes, this breezy read is paranormal fiction done the mature way.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, May 18th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re looking for something fun, colorful, and clever to read this lovely Spring, look no further than Victoria Grace Elliott’s charming comic, Balderdash! Or, A Tale of Two Witches.
Set in the lush countryside of a fantastical country, Balderdash! follows two young magic users, Georgie and Afia, in their quests to learn their respective crafts and grow into accomplished women in the process. Georgie, a rustic and determined witch, has traveled far from home to apprentice herself to the master baker Fausto. There’s a catch, though–neither the curmudgeonly Fausto nor his town seem too keen on having a witch among them, and Georgie (while being talented and driven) doesn’t have much experience in doing things without the aid of magic.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Thursday, April 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
MisSpelled is a new web series surrounding four modern witches. Unlike the pasty-white cast of Harry Potter, American Horror Story: Coven or The Witches of East End, the cast is actually pretty diverse, which is remarkable in a society that lives to whitewash the media.
In the official trailer, the five young women attempt to bring a young man back from the dead. However, unlike the self-assured Fiona from Coven, these witches are clueless about their powers and it’s clear they’re afraid the spell won’t work. Despite their fears, it’s obvious from the way one of the witches was telekinetically levitating her iPhone that their powers are growing, even if they are afraid to acknowledge that fact. Their fears could be what is holding them back, although they remain steadfast in their desire to bring the young man back to life.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, November 13th, 2014||No Comments »|
Suzanne Palmieri’s novel The Witch of Belladonna Bay is a fascinating tale that blends one dysfunctional family with the ancient tides of magic.Bronwyn Whalen is the descendant of New England witches and magic runs through her veins, but she’s been successfully avoiding her hometown of Magnolia Creek, Alabama for the past fourteen years thanks to the death of her mother. However, her father reaches out to inform her that not only is her brother in jail for the murder of her BFF, but her niece Byrd is running wild and needs to be watched after. Bronwyn’s return kicks off a paranormal mystery when she decides to stop running from her past and face her demons instead. With the help of a few ghosts, Bronwyn makes the decision to embrace the magic inside of her in order to help her family.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, July 3rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Thanks to Harry Potter and American Horror Story: Coven, witches are back in vogue. However, if you want your magic-users to be a little more grounded in reality, get yourself a copy of Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series.
While Tiernan is obviously inspired by real-life Wiccan and Pagan practices, she weaves in a bit of fantasy as well; aside from the usual spells and other mystical mumbo-jumbo, there’s also shape-shifting and telepathy. And unlike Coven’s Fiona Goode and Madison Montgomery, Sweep’s heroine Morgan Rowlands is quite relatable. When she’s not dealing with the conflict of pleasing her birth parents while simultaneously looking into her heritage as a “hereditary blood witch,” she’s struggling with keeping her grades up so that she can graduate and go to college. There’s also boy drama (of course).
Morgan’s struggle between her ordinary life in Widow’s Vale and her “magical” life is a great metaphor for the alienation many people feel, especially as they are growing up. Plus, young adults will enjoy that, unlike the Potter series, Tiernan’s Sweep books are neither long-winded nor heavy tomes. Her novels are short, sweet, and to the point.
Despite the fact that fast readers will breeze through the series in a week or so, Tiernan’s characters are both relatable and lovable. For the youngins (or the young at heart) who are looking for a new take on magic, Tiernan’s Sweep series is sure to delight the imagination.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, January 10th, 2014||No Comments »|