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The Witches of Echo Park
Cover of The Witches of Echo Park
The Witches of Echo Park
Witches of Echo Park Series, Book 1
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First in a "spellbinding"* series about a coven of witches living in L.A., from Amber Benson, author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels.
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using magic to keep the world in balance. But the witches are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls...

When Lyse MacAllister's great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping extraordinary secrets from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora's Victorian house; she is also expected to take her great-aunt's place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But accepting her destiny means placing herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last...
First in a "spellbinding"* series about a coven of witches living in L.A., from Amber Benson, author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels.
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using magic to keep the world in balance. But the witches are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls...

When Lyse MacAllister's great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping extraordinary secrets from her.

Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora's Victorian house; she is also expected to take her great-aunt's place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But accepting her destiny means placing herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last...
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  • From the book Eleanora

    "It's in the blood."

    Hessika's voice was low and gravelly as she spoke, her drawn-in Cupid's-bow lips overenunciating each word.

    There was a loud snap as the green pod in Eleanora's hands split into two, three glistening peas falling into the half-filled orange ceramic bowl cradled in her lap. She sat in a weathered rattan rocking chair, her bare legs and arms sticky with the autumnal California heat, the dark blue chambray shirt and jean shorts she'd put on that morning plastered against her pale, freckled skin. She stopped rocking at those words—It's in the blood—and turned to look at the woman who was twelve years her elder.

    Hessika sat perched on a rocking chair the twin of Eleanora's, but it looked small and fragile beneath her massive frame. In other, less forgiving times, she would've been drummed out of her home and marginalized to the fringes of society for the way she looked, but now she was just a curiosity, an object of intense fascination for the neighborhood children who liked to loiter at the bottom of her lawn and stare at the giantess as she worked in the garden that was her sanctuary.

    Standing six feet, eight inches tall in her stocking feet, Hessika was a female oddity of extreme contradictions: She had the posture and grace of a prima ballerina, but one who thought nothing of squatting barefoot in the dirt to pull the hardiest of weeds from her flower beds. Her garden was as close to a shrine or temple as their kind believed in, and Hessika was its rough master, forcing her enormous hands, joints stiff and swollen from arthritis, to do her bidding there. She alleviated the worst of her pain with a homemade stinging nettle tonic she took twice daily—a recipe she swore by but had never written down. Something Eleanora and the others had only realized upon her death.

    The first moment Eleanora had laid eyes on the master of the Echo Park coven, she'd known Hessika was a different creature from any other she'd encountered before.

    It was an indefinable thing, this differentness, but Eleanora believed it was due to the impenetrable nature of Hessika's personality. No one would disagree that she was as immovable as a rock when attacked, utterly impervious to the whims or whines or worries of those she did not respect. A true force to be reckoned with, she could bend people to her will with the calming weight of her words and actions but did not manipulate her reality just for the sake of manipulation. As master of their coven, she was also adept at rooting her blood sisters to the earthly plane, reminding them of their obligations to the world they inhabited.

    Upon her arrival in Southern California, it was Hessika who'd embraced her like an older sister, hugging Eleanora's thin frame to her massive bosom, so that, embarrassed, Eleanora had blushed scarlet. Then, her body and mind reeling from days of sitting up to sleep in coach on the train from Boston, she'd gone limp in the strange woman's arms and cried like a baby while the whole of Union Station watched.

    Instead of chiding the younger woman for her weakness, Hessika had spirited Eleanora back to the bungalow on Curran Street overlooking Elysian Park, settling her down in the tiny, womblike second bedroom and petting the girl's long brown hair until her tears had dried up. Never once did she question Eleanora about the trip, or the heartbreak she'd left behind in Duxbury when she'd hitched a ride into Boston and never looked back—and, for her silent kindness, Eleanora had loved Hessika with a girlish awe that bordered on hero worship.

    To that order, it seemed only apropos that Hessika would be the one to foretell...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 22, 2014
    Actor and author Benson (the Calliope Reaper-Jones series) launches another urban fantasy series that deftly mixes magic and the modern world. Lyse MacAllister is summoned to the peaceful Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park by her beloved great-aunt, Eleanora. Lyse is shocked to learn that Eleanora is dying of cancer—and that her death will leave a vacancy in the Echo Park coven, which Eleanora wants Lyse to fill. An evil called the Flood is bent on destroying covens around the world to make way for the Devil, and only “the Innocent,” predicted by an ancient prophecy, can stop it. Eleanora and the ghosts who advise her believe Lyse is the Innocent, but Eleanora only has three months to live, and Lyse has a great deal to learn. This story of good witches versus cosmic evil makes up for its thin premise with vivid characters and tangled loyalties in a place where nothing comes easily. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.

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The Witches of Echo Park
The Witches of Echo Park
Witches of Echo Park Series, Book 1
Amber Benson
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