So it’s been a while since I put up a book review. Mostly, that’s because I haven’t really been reading much. You can see my ramblings about that over at the Mad Genius Club this morning. But when my friend and fellow author put out her latest book, Witchfire Burning, I knew I had to make time. It’s not just because she’s my friend, and has been a huge help to my writing career, it’s that she’s a darn good storyteller.
I’m not quite to the point where I’d buy her grocery list (although it would be fun to swap recipe ideas) but I will buy all of her fiction under her various pen names. Amanda, like most of us in this Indie author world, writes in many genres, and this book is under the name Ellie Ferguson. It just so happens that Witchfire is a paranormal romance, which I normally wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. On the other hand, I’ve read her paranormal romances and just plain romances in the past, and I trust her to deliver a good story without the tropes that genre is prone to.
She delivers in this story, as usual. A young woman returning reluctantly to a small town full of bittersweet memories, with her young daughter in tow. So far, so normal. But the reasons she left, and the big reason she’s running back, seeking help, that’s where her world diverges from ours into one where magic is real. Magic is also dangerous, and when a young child manifests it, it could risk everything. And if that’s not enough, when the main character gets back into town, her mother is gone and her childhood home is sentient and talking to her. Not that she didn’t know it was sort-of-alive. The talking is new.
Amanda pulls you into the story with action, and delivers more action, interspersed with a down-to-earth romance. She handles the parenting part very well, deftly weaving the child into the story without falling into the plot moppet trap. It’s a fun, light read, and perfect for a few hours of escapism to relax your mind before you have to come back to our mundane world. Readers of her other books may recognize the setting, first introduced in the romantic holiday novel Slay Bells Ring. If you like your romantic entanglements lightly tangled, with a splash of peril, a soucon of conflict, but no overdramatics, then this book is for you.