The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest

by Scott A. Lerner


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The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest by Scott A. Lerner

Samuel Roberts, a lawyer in Champaign, Illinois, has just moved to a new home to escape the memories of his old place--the stray body parts left by evil entities as well as traces of his relationship with Susan, who left him because he couldn't stop risking both their lives trying to save the world. That leaves Sam free to fall in love again. Sam falls hard, suspiciously hard, for Bridget Gillis, a beautiful fortune teller who also happens to be a witch and a member of a coven. The village that encompasses the coven was founded by Bridget's great-great aunt, also named Bridget and a dead ringer for her descendant. The new relationship quickly gets complicated. It is two days before Halloween, and Bridget is about to be tried by her fellow witches for the crime of practicing dark magic involving the blood of children. The punishment is to be burned at the stake. Bridget needs an advocate, and Sam is the perfect man for the job. Sam brings in Bob, who is suspicious of his best buddy's sudden passion. The two of them have until the Witching Hour on Halloween to clear Bridget's name and find out who is killing the local children. As they comb the area for clues, quiz the locals, and take a crash course in witchcraft and Wiccan customs, Sam and Bob can't shake the question: is Bridget a good witch or a bad witch? The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest is the fourth Samuel Roberts Thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603812917
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Series: A Samuel Roberts Thriller Series , #4
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of criminal law and family law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cats Fern and Quinn. Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction, and going to the movies. Lerner's first novel and the first Samuel Roberts Thriller, Cocaine Zombies, won a bronze medal in the mystery/cozy/noir category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards. The second and third books in the series are Ruler of Demons and The Fraternity of the Soul Eater. You can find Scott online at:

Read an Excerpt

Her touch sent ripples of warmth through my body, and her scent grew stronger as we walked together. I took a deep whiff of sandalwood, anise, and cloves. I could actually feel the warmth emanating from her body.

We walked up the back stairs to the second level of the home. From there we walked down a hallway to the end, where a door opened up to reveal a smaller, narrower staircase. This led to a library. Oak bookshelves lined the walls, with an oil painting separating each shelf. The room smelled of old leather.

There was an antique tiger oak library table and four maroon leather club chairs around it. A wooden podium against one wall looked like it had come from a church. In addition there was a ladder on wheels that moved along a track. The ladder was necessary because books were shelved all the way to the top of the twelve-foot ceiling.

"Mr. Levi once offered me over a hundred thousand dollars for these books. Many have been in my family since the seventeenth century. They are beyond priceless. The collection includes the grimoire of my great-great aunt. Their pages reveal some of the greatest mysteries of magic. Mostly good magic."

The paintings on the wall were all of stoic looking women in conservative attire. Although the pictures were well rendered, the models appeared lifeless. Only one image broke the mold. It was a picture of my hostess lying naked on her back, surrounded by lit candles. She was in the middle of a pentacle painted in red. The painting was erotic and out of place in this room. It reminded me of a heavy metal album cover. She wore the same silver necklace she was wearing this evening.

"I must say the painting of you is a lot different than the others," I said. "I would have liked to see you model for it." I blushed. I had spoken my thoughts aloud. She hadn't invited me here to seduce me.

"That is not me," she said. "Look at the date."

I took a closer look at the canvas. The piece was signed by John William Waterhouse. The date was clearer than the signature: 1874. It was not possible, of course.

"That is my great-great aunt, Bridget Bishop. We do look alike."

"The necklace is the same," I said.

"It was hers."

"Your aunt was lovely."

Then Bridget did something totally unexpected. She kissed me gently on the lips. Passion rushed through me and I kissed her back. I was almost feverish with desire, and it scared me. It had been a long time since I had been with a woman romantically. Susan and I had broken up over a year ago. Yet what I felt now was more than desperation; it was a longing so intense that it completely overwhelmed me.

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The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
TicTocLW More than 1 year ago
Posted first to Blog Critics as Book review: 'The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest', a Samuel Roberts Thriller, by Scott A. Lerner. Samuel Roberts has moved and begun a new life as he tries desperately to get over a relationship with Susan. Unable to keep her from the danger that seems to follow him, she has moved on, leaving him free to find love again. In The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest by Scott A. Lerner, we catch up with Samuel as he begins putting his new life together. When his friend Bob introduces him to a new woman, he is strangely smitten. Bridget Gillis is beautiful and vivacious and also happens to be a fortune teller. Yet if that wasn’t enough to get his “spider senses” going, she also belongs to a coven of witches. The village that contains the coven was founded by her great aunt, and Bridget could certainly be her twin if the paintings are even close to her aunt’s depiction. The relationship becomes quickly complicated as just a few days before Halloween; Bridget is to be tried by their coven for practicing dark magic. The punishment is to be burned at the stake. With Sam’s background in law, he is the perfect advocate for her dilemma. His best friend, Bob, is suspicious of the quick relationship, but comes to help all the same. Can they help determine if she is the good witch or the bad witch before it is too late? Lerner gives us another fun and dangerous romp with his returning character Samuel Roberts. As usual Sam is only trying to do the right thing, and this new romance seems so wonderful. Caught up in the crazy circumstances that usually accompany his life, he finally seems to have found a new direction and woman. Can it all really be so simple? Bridget is such a mix of characters, part minx, part seductress and part innocence. Yet there are secrets hidden beneath her beauty. Calculated and cold she is temptress and succubus all at the same time ensnaring Sam in her life. She is in need of rescuing, is Sam the man that can get her back on track? If you enjoy mystery, humor, romance and danger you will find this perfect for your library. Paranormal and magic thread throughout the telling and you will fall in love with the characters one more time. This would be a great book for the upcoming holidays. It is fun and enjoyable, one you will want to pass on to your friends.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Sam’s friend Bob get him a tarot reading but in the middle of the reading, the fortune teller says that it is over. Bridget is the fortune teller and lives in a town that was created by witches to keep them from prosecution. But Bridget is accused of using black magic. Sam is surprised when he is asked to defend Bridget and keep her from being burned at the stake in a couple night on Halloween. Sam is smitten with Bridget and is determined to find out the truth behind the accusation of black magic. I really liked everything about witches and wiccan and what better time of year for the book to come out but during Halloween. The mystery was good and there were a couple twists that kept me on my toes. I have not read any other books in the Samuel Roberts series but after reading The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest I have already add the other three books to my wish list on Amazon. This is a smaller book, think cozy mysteries, but there is a great, entertaining story. I would definitely recommend this for those that like there mysteries with a little paranormal twist. I received The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"Witchcraft is like the Indian idea of Karma. Bad magic will come back to harm its maker." That's the premise behind Scott A. Lerner's latest paranormal thriller as he explores the guilt still hovering over the American consciousness when it comes to the Salem Witch Trials. In the seventeenth century, innocent women were put to death because of mass hysteria. Mob rule took over when fear, not justice, became the driving force in a community that was struggling to hold on at the edge of the wilderness. The idea that evil could take human form wasn't so hard to believe—be it a mother, a sister, an aunt, a neighbor. Evil was a very real concept to them, with the threat of Indian attack ever present and the deep, dark woods casting a formidable shadow upon their fledgling attempt at building a civilization. It's their close ties to nature that many believed gave the Salem witches their power. "Some Wiccans think of nature itself as a deity and that everything around us holds magic within it. Kind of like The Force in STAR WARS." That's how Lerner explains the Wiccan religion to the casual reader. He's not looking to provide a history lesson instead he shares some interesting nuggets of information about why women who consider themselves witches have been feared for generations. He debunks the pointy hats and riding on broomsticks, even while giving a nod to pop culture references like the TV show CHARMED and Carlos Santana's "Black Magic Woman," but his tone doesn't trivialize what many consider to be a way of life. Instead, he shines a light on Wiccan practices and traditions, illuminating them for the reader through the context of his story. "To open a hole in the world that separated the living from the dead, blood was always required." Samhain, otherwise known as Halloween, is one of the most important dates on the Wiccan calendar. It's when communication with the dead becomes most likely. And Lerner delves into that concept using the idea of Blood Thorns, a plant with a Venus flytrap mentality. But instead of flies, it eats young, helpless children. Surviving on their blood, it produces a type of fruit that resembles the shape of a baby in the fetal position, a fruit that can only be harvested on Halloween. "At this time of year, the veil between the living and the dead would be at its thinnest." In Lerner's tale, cultivating Blood Thorns is strictly forbidden within the Wiccan community. The penalty for growing them is death. It's not until a woman "with long black hair that fell to her waist and intense blue eyes like a Siamese cat's," is accused of seeking to reap its rewards, that another trial is conducted, this time pitting witch against witch. Why would anyone take such a risk in growing Blood Thorns? What could the benefit possibly be? Immortality. It turns out Bridget Gillis, the witch in question, is a direct descendent of one of the village's founding members, Bridget Bishop, a name synonymous with the Salem Witch Trials as the first woman executed. While Lerner's Bishop doesn't claim any direct ties to Salem, he does have her fleeing London for America in order to establish a utopia of sorts for those seeking to practice their craft. She chooses a spot smack dab in the middle of Illinois farm country, where for over a hundred years its residents have coexisted peacefully beside their Amish neighbors—until now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the latest in a series of books that I've read by Scott A. Lerner and I continue to enjoy the sleuth-solving duo of Sam and Bob as they wind their way through yet another paranormal mystery. After breaking up with his girlfriend, Sam lets Bob talk him into going for a tarot reading by a dark and beguiling fortune teller named Bridget. Sam immediately falls for her sexy come on and that's when his troubles really begin. She finagles him to act as her advocate in an upcoming witch trial where she's accused of murder. The story has a lot of interesting twists and turns that motivate you to keep reading, and you'll certainly enjoy the surprise ending. Just how old is Bridget anyway? :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fall. It's a usually a happy time of year when children rustle through pumpkin patches, and tractors kick up dust harvesting the fields. It's sunlight on colorful leaves. It's apples from the orchard. It's heading out to the nearest farm and enjoying the last of what Mother Nature has to offer before the chill of winter sets in. But Sam's not so lucky. He's already starting to feel the chill when he visits, "A village populated by witches in the heart of Amish Country." What he stumbles across is a community that's over a hundred years old with storefronts that resemble something out of an old Western—a candlemaker, a butcher, a booksmith. For Sam, his sense of disorientation is immediate. "Perhaps that is why this place is so unsettling. It was the juxtaposition of the modern with the archaic." The inhabitants who live in this isolated part of Champaign County aren't interested in pumpkin soup, pumpkin quiche or pumpkin ravioli. Instead, they're anxiously awaiting All Hallow's Eve to see if one of their own will be burned at the stake. The quaint environment doesn't seem so quaint when Sam finds out that several Amish children in this rural part of Illinois have gone missing, never to be seen again. But the funny thing is not one parent has notified the authorities. Why? They've been placed under a spell not to. Sam's heart goes out to these hard-working Amish families, even when they come at him with fear in their eyes, brandishing shotguns and yelling at him to get out. They make their living off the land, and now the land is turning against them. Their livestock is dying. Their crops are failing. Their children are being taken right out of their own homes. And they know the witches are to blame, even if they can't voice their suspicions aloud. And that puts Sam in a quite a quandary. He's been hired by the witch accused of kidnapping these kids to defend her against the charges leveled at her by the community of elders. The witches want to put her to death because she's placing their very existence in jeopardy. She's put them at risk, exposing them to the outside world, and they're not going to let her get away with it. They intend to hold her accountable for the deaths of these children. But their system of justice isn't exactly cut and dry. There's no sharing of evidence, no witness lists. There aren't even any legal precedents for Sam to follow. "No one has ever broken a rule of the coven." Until one of them sought immortality by hoping to consume the fruit of the Blood Thorn, much like Eve in the Garden of Eden. When Sam checks out this voracious plant firsthand, the ground around it is littered with the bones of its young victims, turning Sam's stomach like a twisted, new version of "Sweeney Todd." "A spell or potion could help alleviate almost any problem in life." But not for the witches. Not this time. The Blood Thorns' fruit is only ripe one day of the year—Halloween. And it's up to Sam to prove that one witch did not seek to betray the rest by plotting to consume its powers. Or did she?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sam's father once told him: "If you're bored, go out and play." It's a little tidbit of advice he's never really forgotten, even though it's not exactly a winning strategy for a lawyer plagued by the supernatural. Based on the strange things he's encountered over the past year or so, Sam seriously doubts that he's going to live a long life, especially when twenty crows swoop down and surround him with their black-eyed stare. After receiving such a dire omen, the message he gets from a dominatrix-like fortune teller is no less disturbing. She emphatically states that, "There are many people who are uncomfortable knowing about their destinies." But apparently Sam is not one of them. When she agrees to read his Tarot cards, she's perplexed by what she sees. First Card His Past The Tower He has seen great evil and has survived it. Second Card His Present Ten of Swords He is trapped. Evil is trying to hold him in place. Third Card His Future The Devil He is addicted to his struggle with darkness. Fourth Card How He Will Deal with His Future Death He is learning to deal with the darkness that has been haunting his past. But for Sam, her reading raises more questions than answers. When he asks if there's anything he can do to change his fate, she responds, "We have free will, so the future is not set in stone, but it rarely changes." Despite his trepidation, Sam finds himself insanely attracted to her. He's thinking about returning to her purple Victorian house and asking her out—until he learns that her quaint little neighborhood is what locals refer to as 'The Village of the Damned.' His lovely fortune teller is thought to be a witch, and a very powerful one at that, one accused of killing innocent children and using their blood to perform dark magic. But Sam ignores all of the warnings, believing her to be innocent. His lawyering instincts even kick in when he agrees to defend her. By taking on her case, Sam's motto becomes; "Life is about risks. You can't always play it safe." He puts everything on hold to work tirelessly on her behalf. Reading ancient spell books and brushing up on the basics of Wiccan philosophy, he immerses himself in the world of the occult. Yet what he finds most intriguing is the history of her sequestered community. Hidden among the cornfields of Illinois, it was meant to be a safe haven for those born with magical gifts, offering them a place of protection against the persecution of the outside world. Yet Sam fears the threat may be coming from within when one of their own is found dead, chopped up and laid out in a refrigerated display case with price tags listed for each body part. The gruesomeness behind such an act is not lost on Sam. The killer means to send a message—anyone who comes to the defense of the fortune teller will meet a similar fate. Sam's just hoping his seductive client really didn't kill those children, and he's not just falling under her spell.
TheCharacterConnection More than 1 year ago
e him into her bed again, and withholds the physical affection that he's craving, Sam gets perturbed, hating that she's treating him more like her pet than her lover. The final straw occurs when Sam uncovers a portrait of a witch, sprawled out naked in the middle of a pentagram, a witch known for practicing the dark arts, and he's thrown by its eerie resemblance to Bridget. Love is not always what it seems, and Sam is terrified that no matter what he does, Bridget's going to have the upper hand on him—just like she has from day one.