Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery by Vicki Vass Blog Tour

From the publisher: Fleeing from the witch trials in Salem, Terra Rowan finds herself in modern day Asheville, North Carolina. A dark spirit from the past hunts this last witch of Salem. With the help of the ladies of the Biltmore Society, Terra must discover the secret within the forest to preserve the bloodline.

This is not one of the cutesy witch cozies that are so popular today. It's a complex novel rich with history taking readers all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Beginning as Terra Rowan flees through the woods with witch hunters on her trail she seeks shelter in a cave and drinks a potion that her friend Elizabeth guarantees would save her. It turns her into a cat, and now 325 years later she is still trapped in the feline form and living in Asheville, North Carolina. As a cat Terra is able to communicate with Mrs. Twiggs, owner of the Leaf & Page shop, as well as a mysterious young girl named Abigail who is on the scene when Terra's dear friend, homeless man Lionel, is murdered in the alley. As the story goes back and forth between past and present the connection between Terra and Abigail deepens and when evil descends upon modern-day Asheville the coven faces it's greatest challenge in centuries.

The gothic atmosphere of this story is chilling and each character is well-developed and intriguing. The rare moment of levity comes in the form of Pixel, Terra's familiar who is also a cat. He serves his purpose as a witch's familiar but also has very cat-like qualities that are just adorable. His pure innocence is heartwarming and the part he plays in the climax of the story is riveting. Bloodline is a paranormal mystery unlike any I've read before and it stayed with me long after the final turn of the page.

Guest Post by Author Vicki Vass

Who doesn’t love cats? I do. Two years ago for my husband’s birthday, we adopted two shelter kittens, Pixel and Terra. They are now my writing companions, either helping me type by walking across the keyboard or laying on it. I have often wondered what is in their heads as they invade my space.

This curiosity of mine grew stronger when we brought our Australian shepherd puppy, Atticus, home last summer. Both cats had grown up with a dog. Our previous Australian shepherd Bandit was 12 when we brought the kittens home. Bandit was inclined to ignore the kittens. Often preferring to sleep the day away.

However, Atticus was not so inclined. True to his herding nature, Atticus enjoyed chasing the cats around the house. They, however, were not having it. They decided to fight back in their own way. Terra constantly plotted and Pixel became her willing accomplice. She brought treats to the puppy as if paying homage to him. Instead these treats were meant to have dastardly effects. There was a water bottle cap, a sock, a screw and many more items. She would drop them by his nose and then sit back watching him, waiting for him to eat it. I would rush around, pulling items from his mouth, watching her to make sure she wasn’t giving him treats.

I never thought they would become the friends they have. Now that Atticus is a year and has calmed down, I have occasionally found them sleeping together. But then we brought another Australian shepherd puppy, Tracker, into the house. Tracker loves to chase the cats. We are constantly pulling him off the cats. Terra has returned to her favorite pastime—bringing him treats—a sock, a screw, a bottle cap—whatever she can find. I was continuously fascinated by her devious nature and how willing Pixel is to support her endeavors.

Out of their antics grew the main characters for my new series, Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery. Both Terra and Pixel play major roles within the story, which crosses the line between reality and paranormal, spanning generations of time and space.

And, within this story, place plays a major role. My husband and I have traveled to Asheville, North Carolina, a lovely community surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains. The fog from the mountains provides an atmospheric quality to the town, often engulfing it and giving it its own mysticism. In the downtown area, are various tea shops, healing stone stores and advertisements for witch circles. I wanted to draw on all those images for this book so this book truly combines paranormal, mysticism and slight versions of alternate reality. I hope I do Asheville justice within its pages.

I also wanted to bring to light some of the ancient remedies that were used within the mountains by the local healers. I spent time researching and reading about these fascinating treatments and share some within the pages of the story. In future books, I plan to share more.


About the author: Vicki Vass traded in her reporter’s notebook to pursue her passion of writing cozy mysteries. Her Antique Hunter series was a finalist in the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem contest. Bloodline is the first book in the Witch Cat Mystery series.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

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Purchase Link – Amazon

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The Menagerie Mom said...

Oh, this books sounds so intriguing, and I'm thinking it will make its way to the top of my to-read list. And I love the stories of real-life Pixel, Terra, and their puppy brothers! Smart kitties, Pixel and Terra are.

Unknown said...

How have I not heard of this book?? It sounds great! Much as I love cozies, I do like something darker and meatier sometimes. Will definitely be reading this :)

The Island Cats said...

This sounds like a book the mom would really like!

Vicki Vass said...

They are very devious. I did catch Tracker and Pixel touching noses yesterday.

Vicki Vass said...

Thank you.

Vicki Vass said...

Thanks for the review and for sharing Terra and Pixel's story. They truly bring a lot of life into my house. It is so much fun to watch them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa and Vicki. Sounds like there's never a dull moment in the Vass household! :)

ptclayton said...

Thank you for the review and excited to read

pilch92 said...

Sounds like a good book to read near Halloween time.

diannekc said...

I like the sound of this book, looking forward to reading.

Jana Leah B said...

Aww, Vicki has a pet turtle.

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

This sounds like a great book! It will have to go on Mommy's reading list.

Fur Everywhere said...

Sounds like a great book!

Three Chatty Cats said...

This sounds like a great book! I love that Pixel and Terra and her writing companions. :-)