With Trent gone, Faith, the last witch in the world, feels she cannot go on without him. The pain grows so intense that she shuts out her friends and loved ones to be alone, unsure of what to think about the paranormal world anymore. But when on a trip to see Gordon she realizes what she can do to make the pain go away. A spell.
The spell ends up back firing and Faith has now forgotten the past six months. All the memories of vampires, werewolves, and her magical training have vanished. And the first to find her is Louis who comes to whisk her away and change the course of her life forever.
Webs of lies and deceit have Faith feeling powerless and so scared that when Louis gives her the option of becoming a slayer she takes it, hoping to get revenge on the race she believes stole the past six months of her life away. With the Goddess Circe interfering, Lilith still missing and Faith unable to remember Trent, no one knows what will happen next!
However, when a stranger enters her life bringing with him secrets to her missing memories, Faith can no longer trust those around her and must figure out for herself who is good and who is evil, the world of vampires and werewolves or that of slayers. The coin is still up in the air and Faith must make a choice of where her devotions lie.
Three books into The Last Witch Series and Elizabeth J. Kolodziej doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. With a new novella for Zou Tai out and a brand new Steampunk series betting started she is far from having any free time. However, with help from new friends and the support of her family, Elizabeth plans on going for the marathon run, not the sprint.
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Witch Devotions Excerpt
The ice at the bottom of the glass had already numbed my fingers. I glanced at it to see the whiskey all but watered down. I lurched forward to grab the bottle, the cap sitting on the table beside it. As I poured, the gush of liquid swirled around until the glass was full once again. I was sitting in my bathrobe with nothing but a pair of pajama shorts and a wrinkled tank top on. I folded my legs beneath me as I stared at the blank TV in front of me. I could only guess how messy my hair was after not showering for the past couple of days. My eyes must have looked worse than a frat boy after a three-day binger, but it had been awhile since I slept for more than an hour. Every time I closed my eyes and drifted off, I was taken back to that place. Back to where Trent had died.
It was during the fight against the alchemist, Isaac Davies, the one with the philosopher’s stone. The thought of him caused deep wrinkles to furrow my face as my lips tightened and my eyes squinted. This was all his fault. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have made the deal with Daeka.
“A life for a life, one vampire for one werewolf and all that,” Daeka had said.
Yeah. A life for a life. Trent’s life for the death of Zou Tai. “But Zou Tai didn’t stay dead!” I protested while getting up and grabbing my pack of smokes and whiskey, making my way to the porch.
The sun had set a few hours ago. Oran, my little familiar, ran outside before I could finish opening the screen door the whole way. Guess he needed some air too.
“Let’s go for a ride,” Oran suggested. His little stature would grow bigger in an instant if I just said yes.
“No.” I slumped down on the lawn chair and clicked the lighter a few times before the flame caught, lighting my cigarette.
“Faith, it’s been two weeks now.” He jumped onto my knee and stared at me.
I tried to restrain the trembling of my lip and the tears that threatened to come. I didn’t want to cry again, I really didn’t, but they came out anyway. I put a hand over my eyes and sobbed. Oran purred, trying to comfort me. I let the glass and cigarette fall from my other hand, the glass making a slight thump against the grass as I began to pet Oran's little head.
I want to bring him back. I thought. There must be some way. Unlike Samantha, Isaac’s daughter, Trent would want to come back. Wouldn’t he?
The thought pierced my mind and my body stiffened at the sudden urge to search my book for an answer one last time. I knew I would have a better chance bringing him back if I found Lilith, who apparently knew how to do so. I just couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. I kept telling myself that Kane was lying, that there was no way Lilith knew how to bring Trent back; he only wanted me to find her because he wanted her back. What was the real reason?
“Do you think I’m scared to find Lilith?” I was surprised at my own question as it caught me off guard. I had never considered that before.
I looked down at Oran and felt so guilty for putting him through my despair.
“I think you are frightened, Faith, frightened you won’t succeed and let everyone down again. You just have to comprehend that you didn’t let anyone down this time.
But I did. I let Trent down.
Even Zou Tai… Morgan had to keep me from attacking him.
“This is all your fault! You stupid wolf! Why did you have to die? Why weren’t you stronger?”
Zou Tai looked as if he had just lost his whole pack. “Faith.” He murmured. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” Seeing the tears in his eyes infuriated me more.
“No!” I tried to pull myself out of Morgan’s grip, but she had both hands around my wrists, my back to her. “No! You don’t get to cry or anything.” I let out a scream and turned to walk away, after Morgan finally let me go.
From behind me, I heard her say to the others, “She is beside herself and not thinking clearly. She does not mean it.”
Vincent put a hand out to me, but the look in my eyes must have screamed, “Touch me and die” because he just let it hang there. I climbed onto Oran with ease. “Oh yes I do! I hate being this and I hate all of you!” It was the last thing I said before flying off.
When I got back to New York, I just let myself drown in my whiskey glass, hoping it would dull my sorrow. It didn’t. “I can’t believe that was the last thing I said to him… to them.”
Oran knew exactly what I was talking about. “They will forgive you. They love you, Faith. We all love you. What happened was tragic, but it was in no way your fault. No one blames you.”
“And still no one has come to check up on me.” My tears had calmed down, but they started up again as I thought about how alone I was in the world. I was the only witch left in the world, the love of my life was dead and I had totally destroyed any relationship I had with my friends. Well, all except two.
“Faith!” Mac called out as he waltzed through the front door without knocking. I flinched as he turned the porch light on, the brightness blinding me for a couple seconds.
“Mac, really? Turn that damn thing off.” I closed my eyes until I felt the heat from the shine vanish.
“Sorry.” He knelt down beside me. His puppy dog expression made me feel bad as he sniffed a couple of times.
Here it comes.
“Didn’t we talk about this? I thought we said no more smoking!”
I wish I had a comeback, something, anything, but there was really no excuse. “I’ll try again,” I finally said with a sigh. “Will you get me some more whiskey? I dropped my glass.” My eyes looked over the chair and to the ground, where it lay.
He followed my gaze and picked up my glass. “Only if you go take a shower. You stink worse than a mushroom farm during the summer.”
Did I really stink that bad? “Fine.” I got up from my chair and went for the shower.
The handle squeaked as I turned the hot water on. Memories filled my mind and I thought back to the times Trent and I took showers together. Fun showers together. The recollection warmed my soul and in that moment, I caught myself smiling. For at least a second, all the pain went away and I was happy. Isn’t that what they say? Think of the good memories, not the bad. With good comes bad though. Like the time I went behind his back and talked to Louis, a slayer who had been long time friends with my mom. Trent got so angry with me. How could I have been so stupid? I hadn’t talked to Louis since, but I had a feeling he would show up sooner or later.
Stepping into the shower, I let the water drench my body, my skin absorbing the water like a moisture-deprived, wilting plant. It did feel nice, but I didn’t deserve any comfort while Trent was in torment. How could I allow myself any amount of joy with him not here? With him dead. I couldn’t… or wouldn’t.
After I showered and dried my hair, I found my full glass of whiskey sitting on the table. Mac was busy in the kitchen, making something that smelled like spaghetti sauce and garlic bread.
I plopped down on the couch and took a swig. “I’m not hungry.”
“You haven’t been hungry the past several days,” he called out over his shoulder.
I rolled my eyes and found Oran batting at a fake mouse I had gotten for him when Morgan first presented him to me as a gift. Letting out a sigh, I leaned forward and put my elbows on my thighs.
I felt the couch sink as Mac sat next to me. He had an apron on and a wooden spoon in his hand. “Faith.” His voice was soft and kind. “Why don’t you go for a walk? Please. For me?”
“What’s the point?”
“That’s the point? You need to find your reason and I think a walk would help you possibly start to find it.”
“My reason?” My eyes fixated on him, curious.
He sucked in a breath before saying, “Your reason for going on even though he is gone.” Silence filled the room before he continued. “I know you have one, you just need to find it and it is not at the bottom of some whiskey bottle.”
The faintest whisper of a smile touched my mouth. Without another word, I went to my room and threw on a pair of jeans, my Wonder Woman shirt and a zip-up hoodie. As I grabbed my keys off the table and jingled the rest of the way to the door, I called out, “I won’t be gone long.”
“Oran and I will be waiting.”
Every step I took was difficult, but I continued forward; it was ironic to say the least. It was exactly what I had to start doing. Moving forward. It wasn’t easy and I wanted to turn back more than once, but I kept looking up into the sky, knowing somewhere Trent was gazing at that same sky. He had to be. I knew what happened when vampires died; Morgan told us. They ended up shadowing the descendant of someone they killed. The vampire was supposed to help the descendant make good choices if he wanted to be granted forgiveness and rest in actual peace. It meant Trent was somewhere in this world; he was with me, and not with me, at the same time.
Knowing Trent, he would do such a great job, he would be given peace and then truly depart from this world. Forever. I sniffled and ran a finger across my wet nose. Gazing up at the twinkling lights of Orion’s belt, I felt a sudden chill stir the very essence of my soul.
“Zack,” I whispered my salt whip’s name. The man destined to kill me, my former boss nonetheless, and all because of the simple fact that I was a witch. “Seriously?”
“Did you think I would let you finish mourning first?”
I could just picture his thin lips spreading as he laughed. Rolling my eyes, I turned at the snapping of his whip, now wrenching my attention. “I don’t think so.”
I reached out to block my face with my forearm. Something on the leather ripped through my long sleeve like acid, finding my skin and burning it like salt on an open wound. I pulled back from reflex, but that only tightened the grip. Shit. No wonder they were called salt whips.
“Bad timing for you.” I sent a blast of energy from my free hand that caught him in the side. Grabbing at the lash across my arm, I let out a stream of fire that singed the whip, freeing me to unravel the remainder from my arm.
I stared at him for a long second. His hair was grayer than the last time I saw him, but his nose was still way too big for his face. “You know what, Zack? Let’s see what you got. I’m sick of this shit!” I ran across the street and down a hill into a soccer field used by the neighborhood kids during the season. The open space would be perfect for this.
“Leading me into a trap, little witch?”
“A trap? Ha! I want to end this as much as you do right now.” I turned towards him from the middle of the field. “Just you and me, big boy.” I grabbed the energy of the trees and earth around me to form a tightly-knitted ball of dirt. Hurling it towards him, he broke the dirt ball apart with the crack of his other whip before it came close to hitting him.
Two weeks of not practicing magic was going to take its toll on me now.
Whatever. I need this.
I ran towards him, full force, jumping into the air. As I came down, I planted one foot on his chest before I switched to the next. Repeating the action several times, I pushed off from his chest and landed on the ground in a crouch. He was on his back, but it didn’t stop him from sending his whip out at me. It almost caught my foot, but I pulled away in time.
He got up and came towards me, his stature a foot above mine, and landed a fist in my kidney before jabbing another one under my jaw. I fell back, grunting.
“Stupid little witch,” he sputtered. I was lying on my back as he dropped a foot to my stomach, causing a rush of air from my lungs. “I hated every day I had to work with you.”
What? He knew what I was before I did? Before he hired me?
When he went to stomp on me again, I caught his ankle and pulled, causing him to fall. Scrambling to my feet, Zack was already jumping back up. I grasped at the speckles of energy around me and propelled a burst of fire. It caught his arm and he let go of his whip to bat at the fire. I licked my lips, unable to restrain a smile.
“You hired me, knowing I was a witch?” I couldn’t believe it.
He chuckled, picking up his whip. When he straightened up, three knives flew at me in one quick, fluid motion. I jumped out of the way of the four-inch blades, but the third one sliced into my thigh. I yelped from the sharp pain and pulled out the knife without thinking. Blood poured from the wound; I tore a piece of my hoodie and tied it tightly around the hole.
Zack was already coming as I finished tightening the knot. I turned in a circle, and the dirt erupting from the ground hit him before he got to me. He faltered, but didn’t go down.
He growled. “Of course I knew! Unlike your idiot father I was told who and what my destiny was since the day I was born.” Sneering, when he got close enough, he sent out a sidekick, but I blocked it with my forearm.
“You are such a bastard!” He knew the whole time! I thought I was angry when the fight first started, but now my rage was boiling throughout my body. My breathing quickened and I narrowed my sights. Using my good leg for support, I upper cut him, then used my other hand to create a burst of wind. He went soaring backwards.
Utilizing the same energy from the wind to enhance my speed, I ran up and clocked him in the jaw. Swinging for another hit, he caught my hand. He must have hit a pressure point because it sent a harsh, piercing sensation from my fist to my shoulder. “I should have just killed you, not given you a chance to find out, but that wouldn’t have been sporting of me.” He gripped harder, the pain sending me to my knees.
Taking in breaths filled with agony and anger, I glared at him, not wanting to make any noise and give him the satisfaction of knowing this hurt like hell. I swallowed back any sensations of pain and placed my other hand toward his chest, releasing my aura and blasting him away. I rubbed my arm, the odd sensation still there.
“What did you do to my arm?”
After getting up, he pulled out a blade, his acrid grin making me glower. “Just having some fun with my prey before I kill it.”
Asshole. “I’m going to send you to Hades with a big red bow attached.” A stream of water rushed from my fingertips and clasped around his wrist. I pulled a stream from the clouds, my hold tightening until he dropped the blade.
Before I could react, his whip found my waist and the water fell to the ground, freeing him. Yanking me forward, I noticed the new blade in his hand and I headed right for it. Acting fast, I started twirling backwards, the salt scraping against my bare skin. I tumbled to get away, then coming to my feet, I threw a fireball. He dodged and went left while I went right, both of us circling around. He jumped, his whip again coming at me, but this time I took from the earth. A root sprouted from the ground to wrap up into his whip while another root came up, taking him by the legs, and tossing him to the side. After they went back into the ground, I sucked in a few much-needed breaths, my throat burning from the cool air.
He was lying in the grass as I limped my way closer to him. “You’re a pathetic waste of space.” I took a few more hobbled steps towards him. “How is it you get to breathe while Trent doesn’t?” My words like ice, finally reached his unconscious body. “You won’t now,” I smirked.
The wind began to pick up and my sight focused as I pulled forth every element. My hair flew around my face and the electrical energy snaked through my body. The air grew crisp, my breath becoming visible under the starry night sky. Fire twirled around my arms as a sliver of water raced up from my foot to my thigh. I wanted to finish this. I wanted to do something right and taking this piece of shit out of the world would do just that. The snap of a twig from behind made me wince, but I didn’t look away from the mountain of weakness before me.
“What are you doing here?” I continued to stare down at my salt whip. There was no way I would take my eyes off him.
“You don’t want to do this. I know you don’t.”
A wide smile split my face. “You don’t know shit.” I heard him come up closer to me. The crunching of his feet against the grass shattered the surrounding quiet. “Leave me alone and let me finish this. He deserves it. He’ll always come after me.”
“I know he deserves it.” I felt his stern gaze on me. “But you don’t want to do this. You’re not a murderer; you never have been. Your innocence is what draws people to you.”
“Shut up!” I finally faced him. His black hair was cut shorter, and his olive skin glowed from the reflection of my energy. “You don’t know.” The crackling of elemental forces grew louder.
“I do, Fede, and I will not let you do this.” His words were hushed.
Frustration boiled inside me and my face flushed. “Let me?” I looked back down at Zack, absorbing more of the energy around me. The crackling now sounded more like a snapping. Unexpectedly, the warmth of a hand on my wrist and another on my face made me flinch.
Then, all I saw were Vincent’s gray eyes staring into mine. “I’m sorry, Fede. I can’t let you do this.”
I rapidly felt my spirit calming as Vincent began taking my energy. I tried to pull away, but my body wouldn’t listen. The whirls of fire around me now danced around Vincent’s shoulders. Slivers of water raced to be at his feet. The electricity in the air was still pricking at my skin, but not because I was doing it. Vincent was stealing all the power I had and leaving me to do nothing but… pass… out…