Tuesday 16 June 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway - Hunting for Witches by Lana Pecherczyk

Hunting for Witches
The Ludus
Book One
Lana Pecherczyk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Creative Cartel Publishing
Date of Publication: April 25th 2015

Number of pages: 424
Word Count: 106,124
Cover Artist: Lana Pecherczyk

Book Description:
Witches have been obliterated - or so the world hopes. At 24, Roo struggles to keep her DNA-changing abilities secret. She doesn't feel like a witch, but if she isn't, how can she manipulate the physical world? Why does she feel the energy of all living things?

On tenuous ground, Roo keeps her skills hidden with the help of her sexy songstress BFF and her barmaid job at The Cauldron. Hiding in plain sight seems to be working until a mysterious witch hunter comes to town. Roo's powers are growing and, when a witch possesses the body of her sister, she defends her using any means possible.

Roo is exposed and attacked from all sides. She must learn to trust others while she discovers her identity and masters her powers to save the lives of her loved ones. She needs to convince herself and her town that she's more than a witch.

Inspired by mythology, science and fantasy, this fascinating debut novel is set in a brilliantly envisioned world where life is a secret game played by gods and witches until death ...

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From Chapter One

t wasn’t a key. Well, it looked like a key to the ordinary person, but I wasn’t an ordinary girl. Instead of a key, I saw a chance and my lifeline to the universe.

‘So, what’s it gonna be, key?’ I blew on it, like it was lucky dice about to be cast in a game of craps. Only, I wasn’t going to win money, just my independence. I held my breath and chewed my lip. Well, here goes. Up in the air it went, rotating in slow motion across the blurred backdrop of my hallway. Rows of black photo frames begged for atten- tion, but I kept my gaze on the key. The cold metal hit my shaky right palm and I closed my eyes. Here goes, I can do this. One eye opened, then the other.

Smooth side up. Fuck. My bottom lip trembled. I had to stay. A surge of defiance raced through my body. No, screw that, I hadn’t sur- vived three years of persecution and prejudice to chicken out now.

I inspected my mauve nail polish chipped from a hard day’s work in the vineyard. That wouldn’t do, I had to look presentable for work at the Cauldron. I imagined a beautiful new set of nails, strong, healthy and a glossy aubergine. As the vision formed, neurons fired in my brain, signals travelled down my spine, my arms and hit my nails, reshaping them before my eyes. The tips grew to perfect curves, the colour dark- ened and spread to cover the entire nail bed. I smiled, that was more like it. Witchcraft wasn’t so bad, if you ignore the part where being caught would mean a death sentence. I touched the probation collar at my neck. I wasn’t out of the woods, yet.

I curled my fingers into fists and punched the air, ready to take my future into my own hands. Now or never. I rounded the corner to the kitchen and planted my feet squarely in front of Aunt Lucy.

‘I’m moving out,’ I said, the tone of my voice higher than usual. We lived just outside the country town of Margaret River, and the scenery surrounding the Manor was picturesque, but I was over living at the Urser Estate Winery.

She turned, eyes blinking and pulled her arms out of the sudsy sink to tap her gloved fingers on the porcelain bowl. She removed her second skin, one finger at a time, and grabbed a tea towel to dab her hands. ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ she said through gritted teeth.

It took me three attempts to swallow and that’s how long it took for her to throw the tea towel over a shoulder and place her hands on her hips. She wore colourless clothing, never used makeup or dyed her grey hair and she never argued. She wanted to go unnoticed – in public. Here with me, she liked to cause waves. I seethed at her hypocrisy. Despite her careful charade, thoughts collided behind her steely eyes.

I took a step back, held my breath, and darted a glance at my sister as she sat at the grand table reading the newspaper. The ghost of a smile danced across Leila’s delicate features but she covered it with a sip of coffee. Her eyebrows quirked as she flicked her dark hair over a shoulder and turned the page. ‘Oh, look at this one.’ She picked up a pair of scissors with her left hand and snipped awkwardly, with her right she drank coffee.

‘I’m not being ridiculous.’ I held up my key. ‘Kitty’s leasing one of her apartments and I can move in tomorrow. I’m all packed.’

Leila spat coffee everywhere and grimaced at her accident. ‘Now, look what you’ve made me do,’ she whined, slamming her mug down. ‘I wish I had a normal sister.’

‘Yeah, well I wish my sister didn’t hate my guts for something I can’t control—’

‘Uh, uh.’ Aunt Lucy cut me off. She raised a finger, then turned her back on me to help Leila mop off her precious clippings. ‘What did you find today, Darl?’

My jaw dropped. I’d given her monumental news and she’d turned her back on me.

‘Look at this one,’ Leila said, swiping a drop from a clipping. ‘The Church is recalling their latest safeguard against witch possession. Ap- parently, there was a faulty part in the device or something. It would be nice for them to finally get one invention right, don’t you think? And this one, see?’ She held up another clipping. ‘The DNA test used to identify maleficent victims isn’t accurate because there haven’t been enough cases of witch possession over the last four years – you know, since the Purge.’

‘Tsk, tsk, such a shame.’ Aunt Lucy rubbed Leila’s shoulder. ‘Never mind, Darl, it could be a good thing. Only a few possessions in four years isn’t bad. But just in case, we’ll continue to go to church and take confession like they told us. It’s worked so far, right? We’ve never seen a witch around here.’ Leila hummed in agreement.

How dare they ignore me? I waved the key in the air. ‘Um hello?

Did you hear what I said? I’m moving out.’

A woman moving out of home was not to be taken lightly these days. Witches only attacked females – it had something to do with higher oestrogen levels. But like Leila said, since they’d burned half the female population in the Purge, there hadn’t been many cases of posses- sion. The world had relaxed and being a woman wasn’t so bad anymore. ‘You stubborn, stubborn girl.’ Aunt Lucy shook her head. Her  golden crucifix chinked against her necklace of glass baubles. It was the only thing about her that stood out. She said it was a gift from her late husband, so she wore it to remember him by. She wiped her fore- head with her wrist, dislodging her grey headband and releasing flyaway strands of shoulder length hair. ‘You’ll be labelled a whore, just like your friend. I should never have let you get a job at that devil’s playground, it’s caused nothing but problems.’ She pulled off her band and threw  it on the counter.

About the Author
As an author, marketer, and artist, Lana is a triple threat! She also makes a mean chocolate cake, and has Level 46 Creative Mojo. A fan of ‘pro-caffeinating’, Lana loves writing mash-ups of the fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and horror genres.

An author in her own right, with her urban fantasy novel Hunting for Witches recently released, Lana creates all of her own cover work and illustrations, and infuses websites with her unique stylistic talent and quirky graphic design.

She loves Sailor Moon. No judgement.

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5 print copies of Hunting for Witches.

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