To Kill a Kettle Witch by Barb Hendee – Review, Interview & Giveaway
To Kill a Kettle Witch
Mist-Torn Witches series – Book #4
by Barb Hendee
Release Date: May 3,2016
Powerful prince Malcolm is facing ruin in the wake of a curse that has destroyed his harvest. He blames the band nomadic Móndyalítko who summer in the meadow below his castle—and he is determined to root out the people who caused the blight by any means necessary.
When Céline and Amelie Fawe, descended from the Móndyalítko, learn that their mother’s people are under suspicion of sabotage and treason, they set out to use their magical gifts to save their estranged relatives and learn about their own origins.
Now it’s up to the sisters—along with their motley escort, including a prince’s lieutenant, a shape-shifter, and an old woman with a murky past—to discover the source of the curse to restore life to the ravaged land and protect the innocent from unfair vengeance.
To Kill a Kettle Witch by Barb Hendee is the 4th book in her Mist Torn Witches series. I have enjoyed every book in this series, and Hendee continues the trend with another wonderful story. Celine and Amelie Fawe, two sisters that are Mist-Torn witches, who are seers. Just by holding a person’s hand, Celine can see the future and Amelie can see the past. They live in Seone, under the protection of Prince Anton. In the previous books, both of them helped solve mysteries in dangerous situations. In To Kill a Kettle Witch, they are asked to help their deceased mother’s family, who have been accused of destroying Prince Malcolm’s land and harvest. No one is allowed to leave Malcom’s land until the person behind the destruction is found.
Despite Prince Anton’s disapproval, Celine and Amelie are determined to go help the family they have never met; with Helga, Jaromir and Marcus making the trip with them. When they arrive on Prince Malcom’s territory, they are welcomed by the Fawe family, which includes their mother’s sister. Jaromir meets with Prince Malcom to explain that they are there to help him find the Kettle Witch who is destroying his land. What follows is an interesting and exciting story that will have both Amelie and Celine stumped almost to the end, as to who is behind the curse. During their attempt to find the culprit, there is a villain who is after Celine, who will endanger them all. Celine will also be caught in the middle of Marcus’s attempt to woo her, but she only cares about Anton. We hope one day Celine & Anton will find a way to be together despite her being a commoner and him being the Prince. I do love Celine and Anton, who really had a small part in this book. Marcus was a good guy, who also protected Celine during this trip.
The last 1/3 of the book was exciting, and had a few twists, which were very surprising. This was unexpected, but we suspected the truth once we went into Amelie’s flashback on one person. I also loved the progression of Amelie and Jaromir’s relationship, and hope these two will also find a way to make this work. Barb Hendee has given us another wonderful story revolving around Celine and Amelie and their ability to see the future or past. I love this series, and I want to see more, especially the romances for both ladies. I totally recommend you read this series, and suggest you start with the first book, in order to learn this world and the budding relationships evolving.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher
Hi Barb. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today.We are always looking forward to reading about the author behind the book.
TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Barb: I live in northwest Oregon with my husband and writing partner, J.C. We have a funky little two-level townhouse that feels kind of like a cabin on the inside. There is a large patio area for gardening. I love cooking and gardening. I love to be home. In addition to writing novels, I teach writing for two different community colleges, but I teach entirely online . . . so I can work from home. Hah!
TRC: Have you always been interested in writing? When and how did you first start writing?
Barb: The first question is tough for me to answer because I don’t really know how long I’ve been interested in writing. I think I was fifteen or so before I realized that not everyone had characters and stories constantly playing out in their heads. I thought everyone did.
I started college a little later than most people (I was twenty-six), and that’s when I started writing short stories and sending them out. I sold the third story I ever wrote to a magazine called After Hours, and then I sold my next piece to Cemetery Dance for professional rates.
I kept writing, but later, I came to realize that I was not a short story writer by nature—and that the novel length came more naturally to me. J.C. and I wrote Dhampir in 2001 and sold it Ace/Roc.
TRC: To Kill a Kettle Witch is the 4th book in your Mist Torn Witches series. Can you please tell us about the premise of this series? How many books are you planning for this series?
Barb: In 2012, I showed my editor a proposal for a series of novels that would mix traditional fantasy with murder mystery elements and a hint of romance. She loved it and made an offer.
The Mist-Torn Witches series was born (smiles).
The novels surround two sisters, Céline and Amelie Fawe. Céline can read snippets of the future, and Amelie can read snippets of the past. They live in a dark world of warlords who all call themselves “princes.” A personal crisis leads the sisters to solve a string of unexplainable murders for one of the princes, and they end up inextricably tied to him and his over-protective lieutenant.
This series is great fun to write, and I always look forward to the time of year when I need to begin the next book. At present, book four is the last one for which I’ve been contracted, but I’m hoping to write two more.
TRC: Can you please give us a brief description of To Kill a Kettle Witch?
Barb: Oh sure. Céline and Amelie know very little about their deceased mother’s past. In this novel, they learn that they have a large extended family who has run into trouble down in the southeast part of the nation. These people are accused of cursing the land and killing the crops, and as a result, they are being held prisoner. Céline asks Prince Anton for permission for herself and Amelie to leave—to go and try to help these family members they never knew existed. Of course he refuses. Hah! Céline gives him an ultimatum, and he gives in. So, Céline, Amelie, Helga (a friend), Lieutenant Jaromir, and a shape-shifting wolf named Marcus all head southeast to try and solve a mystery. They have no idea what they’re walking into.
TRC: You write multiple genres, such as Fantasy & Paranormal. Have you ever considered writing other genres?
Barb: Indeed I have! My agent is currently shopping a Victorian romance novel I wrote. We’ll see what happens (smiles).
TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2016/2017?
Barb: I am very excited about a project coming out in January 2016. JC and I have contracted for a new series set in the same world as the Noble Dead Saga: The Dead Seekers. This is an entirely new series—with new characters. We’ve seen the cover for the first novel already, and it’s gorgeous! The series surrounds an anti-social ghost hunter named Tris, and his shape-shifter of a partner, Mari (she’s a lynx). After writing fourteen Noble Dead books together, I must say, we had a lot of fun working on something new.
TRC: What is your writing process? Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write? Is there a special time of day that works best for you?
Barb: I’m a binge writer. When I’m “in the zone,” I’m drinking coffee and hammering away by 6:30 in the morning. The hard part about this is that I do need a block of time though. I’m not one those lucky writers who do three pages a day. I need to get the whole thing out of my head. This means that when I’m writing, I need to schedule the rest of my life pretty carefully. I wrote the first novel in The Mist-Torn Witches series in thirty-four days. I loosened three of the keys on my MacBook Pro, and one of the guys at the Apple Genius bar had to replace them for me. I tend to outline the first three chapters, and then I just start writing. Of course the process is very different when I’m working with J.C. With him, we need an extensive outline because there are two people working on the same book. I draft, and he comes behind me to revise, but we have to plan the story together first.
TRC: When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?
Barb: J.C. and I live with two cats (sisters) who on the verge of celebrating their 4th birthday. We brought them home as kittens when they were eight weeks old, and we trained them on harnesses. So, one of the things we love to do is take our cats for walks.
Favorite Food: Udon noodle soup
Favorite Dessert: Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars
Favorite Movie: The English Patient
Favorite TV Show: Downton Abbey
Favorite Movie or TV Celebrity: Christian Bale
Dark or Milk Chocolate: Oh, milk . . . all the way.
Favorite literary character (not your own): Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon
Dog or Cat: Two beloved cats: Ashes and Cinders
Thank you, Barb, for answering our questions. The Reading Café wishes you the best of luck with To Kill a Kettle Witch.
Barb’s Publisher is graciously offering a Full Series Giveaway of all 4 books to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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