Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours - Review and Excerpt: Bri Clark's "The Familial Witch"

File Size: 211 KB
Print Length: 36 pages
Publisher: Astraea Press (January 31, 2011)
Language: English
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Bewitching Book Tours


Lucien Lemione the clan leader of the feared and revered Eternals is faced with the ultimate betrayal. His second in command for two centuries has not only created the most grievous of offenses but also commissioned the creation of liquid silver. When poisoned by this toxin, an immortal suffers a fate much worse than death, frozen in an internal prison. After being wounded when found spying, he hides deep within the eerie woods that encircle the Triad Mountains. Desperate and in pain, he prays to an offended mother goddess for help. Her answer: a woman, but not just any woman. A witch.

After losing her entire coven at the hands of the Eternals, Aisleen is the last of her kind. She retreats from the world to Trinity Forest where she is giving the opportunity of a lifetime, or perhaps a test of principles. It’s there she discovers the man she heals is the Eternal that wiped out her people. Although she is bound as a healer, she could be creative in her revenge. Aisleen knows who and what Lucien his…but does not speak of it. There can be no future with Lucien for she can only be with a mortal man. Even if she wanted to be with him, can she forgive the man that caused the genocide of her people?

Lucien must act quickly for the survival of his clan is at stake. However, Aisleen’s ethereal beauty and emerald eyes keep pushing those thoughts far from his mind. Determined to find out what secret she hides, he prolongs his time with her. When his people need him most what will he choose…duty, desire, or will he make his own fate?

You can choose love but you can’t choose destiny.


Lucien groaned. His head seemed to pound in a rhythm. He opened his eyes to survey his surroundings on instinct. He jumped up, alert. In the process, he knocked over a bowl of water and cursed. He was still in the little cottage. There was no sign of the woman. Bending over to clean up the mess he had made, he caught the fragrance of dried herbs. Sniffing the cloth, he found the source. Then, smelling his forearm, he realized he was the additional source.

A small mirror was positioned on a desk opposite the bed. He inspected himself.  There was no trace of his shoulder wound. His skin had healed already. Nevertheless, the silver arrowhead had been within his body for too long. His insides would take longer to heal. It’s like recovering from a poisoning for a mortal. How long have I been asleep? In answer, his stomach ached from the lack of substance. Eternals didn’t have to eat much, but they still needed nourishment. The pounding rhythm started again and he cursed from the ache in his head.

That’s when he realized the rhythm was coming from outside the cottage. Lucien stood on stiff muscles. The smell of peony enticed him again and he followed, as obedient as ever. Walking through the low doorway, he knocked his head and swore again. Stumbling forward, the sun shone in his eyes, blinding him briefly as he went outside. When his vision cleared, he considered he might not be alive for the sight before him was nothing short of angelic.

A statuesque woman stretched her elegant body, turning her face to the sun’s rays. The ivory of her complexion was as soft as a cloud on the breeze. The beams colored her cheeks rose. Chestnut hair was pulled taut in a braid that ended at the small of her back. Her flowing white gown was almost see-through with the sunlight streaming behind it, revealing shapely feminine curves. He smiled in admiration. Lucien was an immortal, but at times, especially lately, he was more of a man than he had ever been. He continued to admire the view that temporarily distracted him from his aching body.

The angel stretched farther with something in her hands. His smile stretched, as well. Then, in one swift movement, she brought down an axe. Two pieces of wood fell over, adding to an already ample pile. The action was so unexpected, so unethereal, that Lucien swore and moved without thought. He stalked over to her and wrenched the axe from her hands. 

Saph's Review:

In Bri Clark's mythical world, the Mother Goddess is the creator with her creations being made in an alternate realm from earth.  Ethical and responsible behavior displayed by Eternals is what allowed them to walk among the humans.

The first rule of Eternals is that they must only mate within their own kind.  The half-breed creations of a mating outside their own kind resulted in abominations that were a threat to society.  Not only that, they were not bound by the same rules as the Eternals, making them a very dangerous group.

Lucien, the leader of the Eternals, discovers that his second-in-command, Alistair, has committed treacherous acts against the clan.  Alistair also had his minions create a new weapon in the fight against Lucien and his people; Liquid Silver.  Once injected and allowed to be distributed throughout the body, it renders the victim helpless and unable to move--a fate worse than death.  While spying on Alistair, Lucien is discovered and shot with an arrow full of liquid silver.  He flees his enemies as fast as he is able and comes across Aisleen, in the forest.  Aisleen, a witch, takes him into her home, cleans him up, heals him, and protects him from whatever monstrosity that wounded him.  

But then their pasts collide head-on.  Will either one survive when secrets are revealed?

Bri Clark weaves a very descriptive tale in the mere 34 pages of this novella.  For example:  Page 7:  "The first fifty feet was just bark before full branches spread out like the intricate folds of a woman's skirt."  Bri's descriptions of everything, from material/physical items to emotions, is well expressed without going overboard.  Lucien is a strong hero with a past that is tied to Aisleen and her coven but he also has other secrets.  Aisleen, the last of her kind, lives alone in the forest surrounded by nature, since her husband left her high and dry.  She is very independent and has inner strength and the will to endure and survive on her own.  

The novella is well thought out and I enjoyed the interactions between Lucien and Aisleen.  The ending was a bit abrupt and a few loose ends were left flapping in the wind so I'm hoping there will be another story in the series.


About the Author:

Bri Clark is a real example of redemption and renewal. Growing penniless in the South, Bri learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She watched her mother work several jobs to care for their small family. Once her brother could fend for himself, Bri moved on to a series of bad choices including leaving school and living on her own.

Rebelliousness was a strong understatement to describe those formative years. As a teenager, her wakeup call came from a fight with brass knuckles and a judge that gave her a choice of shaping up or spending time in jail. She took that opportunity and found a way to moved up from the streets. She ended up co-owning an extremely successful construction business. She lived the high life until the real estate crash when she lost everything.

She moved west and found herself living with her husband and 4 kids in a 900 square foot apartment. She now fills her time, writing, blogging, leading a group of frugal shoppers and sharing her southern culture. Her unique background gives her writing a raw sensibility. She understands what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles. She often tells friends, “I can do poor. I’m good at poor. It’s prosperity that I’m not used to.”

Bri and her husband Chris live in Boise. Bri is known as the Belle of Boise for her true southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.

Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and literary strategist she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.

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