A Charmed Death (Bewitching Series #2)

A Charmed Death (Bewitching Series #2)

by Madelyn Alt

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425213179
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/05/2006
Series: Bewitching Series , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 377,453
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Madelyn Alt is the author of the Bewitching Mysteries. A born aficionado of all things paranormal, she currently spends her days toiling away in the mundane world of business and her nights writing tales of the mysterious. She loves chocolate, Siamese cats, a shivering-good ghost story, the magic in the world around us, and, sometimes, more chocolate.

What People are Saying About This

"Forecasting the future, Madelyn Alt has a surefire winner on her hands." -- Midwest Book Review

"This new series is going to be a winner." -- Romance Reader's Connection


Ransom Notes Interview with Madelyn Alt

Paul Goat Allen: Madelyn, how exactly did you get into writing? And what was the motivation behind writing a romantic, paranormal mystery? Those kind of genre-blending books are very popular right now, and I was wondering if the success of other authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, et al., had any effect on you in any way…

Madelyn Alt: I wish I could say that I had the foresight to see the success of the genre-benders you mentioned and to try my own hand at it. I actually started out writing what I read most often in my teen years and early 20s: historical romance. I'm a real Anglophile and I love history, so it seemed natural for me to focus in that area. And though I have also been a paranormal buff since childhood, it never once occurred to me to try to write it into my historical manuscripts. Weird, I know, but true.

The truth is, years and years of rejection were the real cause of my sudden decision to try something new and completely different. I had had enough. Enough of the rejections, however nicely worded, and enough of the requests to see "something else." It's amazing how incredibly freeing giving up the ghost can be. I decided that I might not be selling, but at least I could, by God, be happy writing something just for myself. Something that didn't follow a guideline, that wasn't written to market or genre rules -- and if it flaunted those rules, so much the better.

That makes me sound like such a rebel…but all I really wanted was to feel the joy in the creation process again.

And I did. The Trouble with Magic flowed from me, well, er, like magic. When it was finished, I took a good look at it and thought, Huh. You know, that's not half bad. Why not give it one last shot? By that time, I had found Kim Harrison's wonderful Rachel Morgan series and Charlaine Harris's Dead series and recognized that this book and my ideas for more could probably, possibly, with a teensy bit of luck, fit in with that same readership. The success these fine authors enjoyed gave me hope, and that was so important to me after years of struggling.

PGA: What was the hardest thing about getting the first book published?

MA: If a writer isn't blessed with an agent, I would have to say the Great Agent Safari is probably going to be one of the hardest obstacles for a new author to overcome. It's also absolutely necessary. With that out of the way, the next hurdle was finding a publisher that wasn't put off by the cross-genre aspects of the series, one that had a clear vision of how to publish it well. Berkley has been wonderfully supportive.

PGA: Predictable question here, but how much are you and Maggie O'Neill alike? Do you have the hots for Tom Selleck, too?

MA: How did I know you would ask that? Maggie and I are like sisters. I know her every thought, her every doubt, her every worry. Her struggles. Her triumphs. I will admit, there are some aspects of her that are very much like me, and then there are elements of Maggie that belong to her alone. (I think she likes it that way.) And as for Tom Selleck.... Well. A girl has to be allowed her secrets.

PGA: Did you consciously create Maggie as an Everywoman kind of heroine so that any female reader -- and male, for that matter -- could identify with her? You know: an average kind of character who is kind of stumbling through life but with a ton of potential…

MA: This may sound a bit weird, but I'm not sure I had much of a hand in creating Maggie at all. Maggie simply IS. She came to me fully formed in a kind of "stream of consciousness" flow of words and images, completely out of the blue. Remember, at the time I was writing straight historical romance told strictly from a third-person point of view. What came to me, oh-so-compellingly, was three pages straight from Maggie's point of view. Obviously not romance, obviously not historical, and obviously first person. I'd never done any of that. I didn't even know if I could.

This might disappoint those who see authors as mystical, creative beings, wholly in charge of the worlds they build and the people who inhabit them. I feel very fortunate now, looking back, that Maggie is as normal and irreverent as she is -- she keeps things fun and fresh for me.

That being said, I love the fact that Maggie is someone that I can relate to, and I love hearing that she resonates with others as well.

PGA: The aspect of your Bewitching Mystery novels that I just love is the pure benevolence of Maggie and her -- for lack of a better phrase -- healing energy. In the B&N review, I compared these novels to Janet Evanovich in that they're really "feel-good" reads at heart; I finish one of your books feeling better somehow about the world around me. Is that your goal with these books -- a little healing escapism?

MA: First of all, thank you. I love Maggie's energy, too, as well as that of her friends. They're good people -- a little quirky and off-the-beaten-track, but good. One concept that was important to me to present was that goodness is not limited to one concept of spirituality, that you will find both good and bad in all walks of life. This is shown on a smaller scale within Stony Mill proper. For reasons that no one immediately understands, Stony Mill is simmering with unrest, both physically and spiritually. Its people are suffering along with it, in fear and in doubt and in despair, and they are acting out in response to those provocations…but there are moments of light. Perhaps they are no more than pinpricks at times, but still they are there, and while the world goes quietly mad around them, these rays of light bring a bit of sanity to their situations. I think that's an important lesson -- that if someone is looking for light, they will find it. It's there. They might have to look a little harder to find it, but it's there.

So, for me, Maggie is a part of the light. She is a reminder of the core goodness of humanity, even as they plot their way through the unseen reaches of the spirit world that most people tend to fear.

PGA: You share a blog with some other female paranormal fiction writers, aptly called the Witchy Chicks. How has the popularity of the blog affected your readership?

MA: The fun thing about the Witchy Chicks is the sense of camaraderie we all share, the encouragement and support we give each other. Our blog is a "feel good" place. I love that. Our readers come to us knowing what they can expect: a bunch of really cool chicks talking about subjects that interest them, sometimes paranormal and sometimes not. They also have the opportunity to make their own comments in response to our posts, and as a result we often have a sort of dialogue going on back and forth between authors and readers that we all enjoy. We have readers who speak up on a regular basis, and we have many who lurk along, ever so quietly. It's all good.

PGA: What's next on the Madelyn Alt "to write" list? Are you going to continue with the Bewitching Mystery novels or have you thought about writing something new?

MA: Right now, I would have to say the Bewitching series is my number one priority, as I just accepted a deal for books four through six with Berkley Prime Crime and have ideas for so many more. But who knows? A writer always has ideas knocking around in her head, clamoring for attention. Thank goodness! I wouldn't know how to cope if I didn't.

Customer Reviews

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Charmed Death (Bewitching Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the plot of this book. Continue to like the tone and attitude with which Madelyn Alt writes. A little annoyed with Maggie's passiveness and the character Tom needs some work. I felt in this book and the first that the author isn't sure which direction to take.
sharno22 More than 1 year ago
Having read this second book in this series, I want to move to Indiana and work at Enchantments! Great cozy read. I loved the ending and didn't see it coming. Can't wait to read the next installment.
stephel147 More than 1 year ago
This book has its hint of romance and also some jelousy between Tom and Marcus. The words flow easily and its easy to lose yourself into the book. It has a well thought plot line and keeps its reader guessing. A wonderful mystery novel with loving characters like Felicity Dow and Maggie O'Neill. Love the small western town setting and the lovely stores described in this story.
Ranick More than 1 year ago
I love the story telling and the characters. I love nice cozy stories with some unexpected turns and development of her and the others. Very witty. I miss reading them and I wish she would have more soon.
KristaStMarie More than 1 year ago
This series is for anyone who has ever believed in magic.
JACk1026 More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for some light reading, you'll like this series.
astucity More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, but not as much as the first one. It has second child syndrome but not as bad as it could have been. It's still a good read. Maggie finds herself once again thrown into the town's current murder drama when a rambunctious and prominent high school girl, Amanda Roberson, goes missing soon after her visit at the antique store Maggie works at. At this part it's sort of made unclear why Maggie feels the need as an antique store worker, that's not particularly close to the girl, to dive in on trying to find out where she is but I guess that's me nitpicking. The story has to start off somewhere right? A few hours later Amanda's car is found under an old abandon covered wooden bridge and the murder investigation starts. Maggie really starts getting into the investigation when Amanda's mother wanted to return the clock Amanda had bought that day for her Christmas present. Hidden inside the clock was some incriminating photos with Amanda entertaining an older gentleman, along with evidence she was running an underground sex blog that the high school population was frequenting. Tom, her love interest to be, (for reasons I don't entirely understand, he seems like your typical small town narrow minded bigoted cop), doesn't make much of a return in this one but her sidekick in all these little mysteries so far, Marcus Quinn, does. Maggie seems to think he and her boss and friend Felicity have this torrid May-September romance going on but it's painfully obvious they don't. It's just kind of ridiculous, in my opinion, she is supposed to be this crime solving wiz and the reader (us) is sitting there going, "Oh give me a break. Could it be anymore clear that there is nothing going on?". A few chapters before it ended I knew who it was. It being the dastardly murderer of said high school tramp Amanda Roberson. The mysteries are a little better than standard but the series is more than that. It has genuine pagan witchcraft as it is today and not any of that Charmed crap. (Sorry if you liked Charmed, I personally hated it) You get an understanding of who modern witches are. Both the flighty and powder puff types to the vastly intelligent personality set. The rituals and tools explained in the book are genuine information that witches use in practice today, so if this series succeeds and becomes mainstream at least it is contributing to easing some of the horrid stereotypes inflicted upon this religion.
woosang on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A much better story than the first. The book is tighter and the mystery is a hard one to solve. It takes to the last chapter to find out where the story os going. The characters are mostly in the background to Maggie's sluthing and she spends more time actively trying to solve the mystery instead of reacting emotionally like the first book. STill not Agatha Christie, but a good fluffy mystery. I look forwards to the third book.
BaronessBookTrove More than 1 year ago
Maggie O’Neill is back in another very interesting book. This one takes place in December a few weeks before Christmas and it’s all cold and dreary in Stony Mill, Indiana. Her friend has found a keeper in Dr. Danny but yet Maggie is in a tossup with Officer Tom Fielding. While she is basically taking care of Enchantments full time, with the help of Evie, as her boss/friend Felicity Dow has decided to take some time off so that she could mourn the loss of her murdered sister. The victim of murder in this book was kind of someone that Maggie knew. Granted it is a small town so everyone almost always knows everyone. This time though it’s a teenage girl that isn't living the life her parents think and the one that almost everyone else knows of. We get to meet her friend and a cousin of Marcus named Tara. Tara is very interesting, the complete opposite of Evie wholesomeness. Maggie also got to do her first ghost N.I.G.H.T.S investigation. The poor girl was scared out of her mind but then again I guess anyone would be if they always got the heebie jeebies from cemetery’s and only recently found out why they had that reaction. This whole book is a really good one. It kept me guessing and the murderer wasn't who I thought it was at all. But then again that is the whole point of these books I think. To get the reader guessing while trying to figure it out as you read along with it. I am going to give this book a five since it was really good and I loved it. Happy Reading! :-) Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by Baroness’ Book Trove. To read more book reviews like this one please go to my book review blog site @ baronessbooktrove. Thanks so much! You won't regret it!!!
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