Under Witch Aura

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
There’s an ill wind blowing, and it’s touching every witch Adriel knows, including White Feather, who is far more important to Adriel than just any warlock. Adriel will do what she must to keep those she loves safe, but if she lures the enemy away, will she be able to save herself? Her only hope is to use earth magic to hide from the very air she breathes as she hunts down an untenable evil. More
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About Maria E. Schneider

Maria writes cozy mysteries, romantic fantasy, paranormal mysteries, urban fantasy and has just completed a ghost story. Audio books for some of her novels can be found on google play or kobo books.

Introduction to Author Maria Schneider

It’s gardening season again! I go out every morning to water and plant. Had just started the sprinkler, when I realized a bird had become tangled in the support strings hanging off the tomato cages used to prop up large tomato vines.

Upon closer inspection the fluttering, frantic “bird” was actually a baby dragon. “Not again,” I muttered. Dragons were so temperamental. Birds couldn’t singe me while I freed them either.

“Okay, you. Hold still.” I shut the water off, leaving the poor baby dripping. His dark blue head feathers hadn’t yet hardened into spines. Most of his iridescent scales were a mix of brown, light yellow and white. Later in life he’d probably turn more beige and sage to match the desert terrain.

I retrieved clippers from my garden cart, an old rag that used to be a kitchen towel and approached slowly. The dragon’s eyes were huge, wide orbs staring piteously up at me.

“You’re gonna hafta hold still,” I ordered. “I’ll cut you free.” Scissors would be a better tool, but I hated to leave him there, dripping, sad, and at his young age, vulnerable.

“Do not flame me,” I instructed, cutting at string behind him. This particular piece of twine wasn’t holding him at all, but he needed to adjust to my intent. Snip, Snip. The string frayed instead of cutting clean, but I kept at it. The dragon’s snout was wide open in distress.

“Gimme a couple of minutes and you’ll be free.” I ran the old towel down his back, squeegeeing his scales and accidentally smashing down a few feathers. He looked worse for it, but he barely dripped anymore. I finally freed one clawed foot. Predictably, he tried to fly, but his wing still had a cotton string running under and around. I latched onto it and half pulled, half cut the threads. He shredded the rest of the string and left a pretty good sized trench in the back of my hand from a toothy, smokey strike.

“Dammit!” I snatched my hand back. “Ease up, little one!” More cutting and suddenly he squawked, much like a bird, and bounced off the wire gate. He was still pathetically wet and in such a hurry, he splatted rather ungracefully onto the ground face-first.

A large shadow covered the sun, putting me and the little dragon in a gloomy, dark shade. The baby bobbed onto clawed feet, trilled an excited call and stared over my shoulder.

I swallowed hard, still leaning over the little guy. The clippers were a visible, threatening, but inadequate weapon.

With my heart making more noise than the baby dragon, I dared turn my head and only my head. Like a giant scaled bear sitting on her haunches, there was mom dragon. Her gray snout wound between two juniper trees, easily capable of taking a chunk out of my butt, which was inconveniently still high in the air. I knew the rules. Humans who saw what they weren’t supposed to see had to die, lest the magical others be discovered. “Never saw a thing,” I said. “Wouldn’t dream of telling a soul.”

Her diamond eyes seemed small compared to those of the baby dragon, but that was because her head was longer than my leg. She didn’t blink, letting slit, golden eyes convey a very nasty threat. She didn’t let loose with flame, even though a mysterious forest fire that cindered me, my house and my garden would likely be blamed on an errant lightning strike. Her gaze did search the sky hopefully, but the desert of New Mexico is often devoid of clouds.

“Not a soul,” I repeated, while baby dragon fluttered, fluffed and hopped over to his mother.

A tail many times larger than the largest of rattlesnakes snaked out from behind a pinon pine, gathering junior dragon inside protective scales and muscles. His protesting squawk was a direct result of her hurry and displeasure.

I straightened. No sense dying in a bad position with my butt up in the air.

She regarded me with solemn focus before one giant, black talon stepped back. Scales rippled with desert colors, reflecting gray-brown tree limbs mixed with mottled green and blue sage speckled with chamisa yellow.

“Nary a word,” a dry, hot wind boomed.

My hair blew straight back, and the ends split from the sudden heat. “Not a word,” I agreed with a very emphatic nod.

Of course I was lying. In the dark of the night, behind closed doors, I write about dragons all the time. Dragons of Wendal is the first book of one such series. Sure, it’s billed as fiction. No need to have mom dragon come back looking for me!

Visit Maria at her blog: www.BearMountainBooks.com.

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About the Series: Moon Shadow Series
Earth magic, mayhem and shifters. A fast-paced urban fantasy set in Santa Fe, NM.

Also in Series: Moon Shadow Series

Also by This Author

Reviews of Under Witch Aura by Maria E. Schneider

Marisa reviewed on Dec. 20, 2011

If you have liked a lot the first book in a series, it's complicated that the next one fulfills your expectations. This book has done it and more. Not your traditional fantasy, but a "normal" world with magic around, you find real characters who have some additional layers. No big fires and fights (at least in fireworks), but some hard ones. The fears that the author describes are common ones (insects!), but you feel then.

Not your book if you like your heroines "super", or too quirky, but if you like real characters, I think you can like it.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
LuvMyKindle reviewed on Dec. 18, 2011

I consider myself a devoted fan of Maria E. Schneider's books. I love her writing style, vivid imagination, and the distinctive personalities she brings to her characters. Under Witch Aura, the second in the Moon Shadow series, delivers all that and more. The magic in this book seems to be a multi-dimensional character in itself as it could be protective, healing, peaceful, and fun, or hungry, greedy, self-centered, and violent. Just like people, the magic is not always perfect and may be flawed and dangerous if one doesn't use talent wisely. Many of the varied paranormals from the first book are back, including Lynx. Adriel, the main character, is a bit more gutsy and edgy. Of course, there are new mad, bad, and dangerous evils and a bunch of creepy-crawlies. And, as much as I vehemently dislike seeing or reading about creepy-crawlies, I have to admit they made for some gripping (and itchy) moments in this story. I could tell a lot of research was done for this book and found the descriptions of the stones and their purposes very enjoyable and informative. I love the spin of witches and magic (in this series) which I interpret as having its base in natural elements, herbs, stones, bonding, motivation, and confidence. It makes me think with the right supplies, determination, and knowledge of the corresponding rules, I, too, could perform a few spells. In any case, I highly recommend this series to cozy paranormal/urban fantasy fans and dare readers not to be bewitched by Maria E. Schneider's story-weaving magic.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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