The Gifts of Our Mothers
(The Witches of Auburn, #1)
Publication date: October 2nd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
In the dark woods I’m forbidden to go into, lying on top of the one person I swore I’d stay away from, and hiding from the men who chased him, I hold still as Ike Kennedy whispers in my ear, “Don’t leave me.”
The questions of why my mother packed up our lives and moved us to Auburn, New Jersey when she, herself, fled here twenty years ago, plague me every day. Her past and the people in this town loom over our family with a haunting understanding of the coven I was born into, but realize I know nothing about. The enemies I heard stories about as a child attack without warning or regard for human life, but I don’t know who they are.
I’m Ever Ayars. I can fly. I can disappear. I can move things with my mind, but my gifts are my only clarity. Lost within a new school, new friends, and a new life, there is only one thing I know for sure.
I’m not leaving Ike Kennedy.
Hazel Black graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks, her neighbors began to talk, and her mother told her to find a job.
She settled into corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Hazel quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It was during this time she became an avid observer of the characters she met and the heartaches they endured. Her years of study taught her that laughter, even the completely inappropriate kind, was the key to survival.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. As an avid swimmer, if Hazel is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she is, and always has been, a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.
Hazel Black writes contemporary romance as Eliza Freed. To keep up with all new releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter here.
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The woman’s hands were knotty knuckles covered by freckled skin. She rubbed them together, suggesting they ached as much as they hurt to look at. She was the first person at the party—or whatever this was—that didn’t greet us warmly. Our mothers approached her with great reverence. When I heard my mother say, “Please,” I knew they needed her help for something, and I wasn’t going to miss a word of it.
I hunched over the side of my chair with my head hidden in my arms and focused on their voices.
“We’re desperate, and they’re strong,” Sloane said. The agony in her voice rattled me.
“Unbelievably strong,” Lovie chimed in, but the witch only shook her head.
“They can do it. We just don’t know how. We’ve tried ourselves a hundred times, but we can’t break it.”
“A witch’s spell is not meant to be broken,” she said definitively. A group of boulders lying next to each other immediately piled together without anyone touching them.
“Please . . .” Lovie’s voice was tragic, and I looked over my shoulder to make sure she wasn’t crying. Ruby and Maya were watching our mothers as well.
“Bring them here,” the old witch said.
Without direction, the three of us walked over to our mothers. They moved us in front of them to face the old woman’s inspection. She walked past each of us, leaning in as if suggesting the knowledge she sought was somewhere between our scent and our aura.
“Hold hands,” she said. We reached out and took each other’s hands standing in our line. “Exactly. They should be a circle. These girls have never known what it feels like to be whole.” There was an underlying disgust in her voice, and it was directed at our mothers. “All three are completely unaware of how deficient they are.” She glared at our mothers behind us, placing the unspoken blame on them. “You should be ashamed of yourselves. It’s one thing to live a full life having been born without an arm, but why would you cut one off if you have two?”
A chill slipped across the back of my neck. I tightened my grip on Maya and Ruby’s hands and braced myself for her coming words.
“They’re missing their Earth witch. And somewhere out there is a witch that has no idea how powerful she is.” The old woman stepped away from us. “You can’t change the future by ignoring the past. Buried secrets will always rise again.”