If paranormal and urban fantasy are your thing then you are sure to enjoy this debut novel from Yasmine Phoenix. Years of plotting and planning and rewriting gave life to Resurrection, Book One in the Witches Brew series. I hope you enjoy this introduction.
Sometimes to do good you have to do bad.
Sophia Sullivan is a dedicated doctor who is also a powerful but untrained witch. Sophia has worked hard to keep her two worlds apart. Recently her older brother died and her best friend committed suicide. Gabrielle’s mother is furious over her child’s death and holds Sophia’s womanizing brother responsible. Lady Morgan plots to use dark magic to open the portal that separates the living and the dead. She will return Sebastian to life and save her daughter’s soul. Two acts that mean either immediate death or the destruction of Chicago.
Sophia tries to stop the witch, fails, the portal opens, and her brother escapes. Now Sebastian needs a body. And that body becomes that of a young black man. Neither man is delighted.
Now Sophia has hard choices to make that include using her fledging magic. Choices she spent her life avoiding. Can she save her friend’s soul, return her brother to the other side of the portal, and free the young man all within forty-eight hours and not be discovered by the Pagan leaders? She must decide to either honor her oath as a doctor and save a life, or her oath as a witch to protect Chicago even if it means her death.
“I’m going to save my daughter’s immortal soul. She’s been denied an afterlife because of her suicide. If anyone is unfit, it’s your brother. What did he get for his transgressions when he died? Perpetual reflection. He’s just as much responsible as if he’d poured those pills down her throat. Again the rich and powerful get away with murder.” The word dripped sarcasm and disgust from her lips.
“Lady Morgan, you’re not listening to me. You haven’t thought through what could go wrong.”
“I found an ancient spell that will allow me to save my child.”
“Opening the portal is dangerous and forbidden.”
“I don’t care.”
“You could release him…”
“I don’t care.”
“You could kill yourself and William.”
“I don’t care.”
“You could fail to save Gabrielle’s soul.”
“Then we all die.” She shrieked and raised her knife at me. Then she calmed down and smiled. The type of smile that told you the person believed what they were doing was right and they were crazy.
William mouthed, ‘Sorry’ as tears streamed down his ashen face.
I lowered my head and closed my eyes. Our families had been close for years. Gabrielle and I grew up together. We shared vacations and secrets. She cared for me during my med school days. I found her body. She addressed her suicide note to me. If anyone had the insane idea to save her soul, “t should have been me.
“You aren’t strong enough to open the portal.” I made one final desperate attempt.
“Well look around sweetie. The portal is opening. It seems the all mighty Pagan council and the legendary Peregrine coven don’t know everything.” Lady Morgan tapped her temple with her finger.
Don’t call me, sweetie.
I clenched my fists as anger and sympathy jockeyed for control. My magic raged to be turned loose and battle the witch.
Lightning struck the brick. Bits exploded on the ground. My eardrums throbbed with its loud crackle. Lady Morgan returned to her ceremony and ignored me. I was no threat to her as long as I remained outside the circle. I had to convince her invite me in, and then…. The fog closed in on the circle. I stumbled forward and placed myself between it and Lady Morgan.
Richard offered his arm for support.
“Well she’s gone old school,” he said.
“Enlighten me. My knowledge of ancient dark rituals is rather light. And make it quick.”
“If you want to save the soul of a witch who has committed suicide, she must confront the reasons for taking her life. Once they do and beg forgiveness from the person her death hurt the most, she could be forgiven, her soul cleansed, and she might be granted an afterlife.”
“Might? Could?” I tried to dissect the components of the spell. Something was off, missing. Gabrielle had been dead five days. She wasn’t inside the portal – yet.
The fog whirled faster. Its low moan morphed into a high screech. Richard’s mouth moved but I couldn’t hear what he said.
“Gabrielle isn’t on the other side. Lady Morgan wants—.
“Sebastian!” She held him responsible for Gabrielle’s death. She was going to make him pay for all the pain she’d suffered.
“No Lady Morgan, don’t release him. I demand you stop.”
I stepped closer. Perspiration sizzled on my cheeks. She ignored me. Richard reached for my arm.
Lady Morgan smiled as if she were winning. Her smile waned when she looked at the fog. Her eyes lit up with fear. A skeletal leg stepped out and then its fleshless bony body.
The immense magic was mesmerizing.
It was beautiful.
“Lady Sophia Sullivan.”
Richard’s voice snapped me back. The skeletal figure strolled past me. Its preternatural presence pulled me close. Its confident stride, arrogant demeanor reminded me of my brother. I sensed Sebastian’s presence.
“Lady Morgan’s shoulders slumped. She tried to catch her breath. She’d pushed her magic to the brink and it was killing her. There was no way she could finish, but she’d opened the portal.
“Lady Morgan, I offer my assistance.” The words tumbled out of my mouth.
“What? Are you kidding?” Richard squeezed my arm.
I rubbed his fingers and then stepped away. “Trust me and follow my lead,” I whispered. I swallowed the urge to vomit. I wasn’t going to let anyone die tonight and I wasn’t going to let him out.
“I… don’t… don’t… need …your help.”
There was fear and doubt in her voice. I used it, convinced her I was on her side, at least until she granted me entrance.
“Yes you do. You’re weakening under the power of the portal. William can hardly hold himself upright. You need….” The name seared my tongue. “You need a Peregrine. You need — me.”
Yasmine ‘Yas’ Phoenix was born and raised in Virginia but calls Chicago home. She loves tennis, professional and amateur and plays in local leagues. Her writing block is the four major Grand Slams, Indian Wells, and other tournaments. No, she can’t tape then watch. Yas loves to read, especially murder mysteries. She is a Terry Pratchett, Discworld fan, and scans the news for potential plot ideas. Melding romance and paranormal in her stories is her goal. Yas always asks the question, “What if?” She is a sucker for old black and white movies like Casablanca on one hand, and Deadpool on the other. She believes her family is her greatest gift and support.