I’m just starting a new story to introduce more about Willow, who was Brie’s roommate in The Daring Witch (SCWA #3). Willow is going to play a bigger role in the upcoming Santa Cruz University of Witchcraft series (a new adult series set after SCWA), so I wanted to write something from her perspective. Here is what I have so far.
If you’re interested in the new series, the first book will be exclusive to the upcoming Realm of Midnight box set.
I tiptoed out of the house carrying my running shoes and gently eased the door closed behind me. The early morning air was cool on my skin as I sat on the porch steps to tie my shoes. The late August sun would heat up the valley in a few hours, so I had to get moving now.
My legs stretched comfortably as I took off down the street at a slow jog. Around me, the scents of the neighborhood carried on the breeze. A few early risers were brewing their first morning coffee, and the old man on the corner was burning his bacon just as he liked it. I smiled to myself at the familiar routine.
Exercise like this woke me up better than a double shot of espresso. Even if I couldn’t let my wolf out in these southern California suburbs, she loved to run down the familiar streets and take in all the sights and smells through me.
Run, she urged me in my mind.
Before I knew what I was, that inner voice used to scare me. Mama didn’t tell me that my biological father was a wolf shifter. She hoped I would be human like her, and she tried to squash any potential shifter instincts. Hid me from other shifters and constantly lectured me on being a well-behaved girl.
When I hit puberty, things got harder to ignore. I was prone to wild mood swings and urges that I didn’t understand. Angry and literally growling at petty things one minute, then bursting into tears from the shame. I thought I was going crazy.
Then I shifted for the first time, and all hell broke loose.
Mama tried every trick in the book to get me to stop shifting. She bribed me with pretty dresses. Took me to any religious group that she thought could change me. Buddhist temple to pray for inner peace, a church youth camp with too much singing, a naturopathic healer who stuck me with acupuncture needles and prescribed nasty teas. When nothing else worked, she screamed at me to stop.
But as much as I tried to stop her, my wolf kept fighting back to the surface. Usually at the worst possible times. I couldn’t control her.
When Mama stopped fighting me and sent me to a shifter school, it actually got worse. I was so afraid to be around other shifters that I barely left my dorm room and failed most of my classes. The shifts kept happening and I didn’t know how to stop.
In the past year, I’d finally come to accept my wolf. We were still learning how to work together. I started listening to what she had to say. She couldn’t communicate in human language beyond a few basic words, but I could feel what she wanted from me.
It was a Fae who helped me stop the rages. He said my half-human blood wasn’t strong enough to contain the wolf inside me, but he could give me extra magic. His magic. All I had to do was protect someone important to him.
So the human part of me became a witch.