Margaret Frazer

Posts tagged ‘circle of witches’

Circle of Witches - Margaret Frazer

Kindle EditionKindle UKNook EditionSmashwordsTrade Paperback

Circle of Witches has been enrolled in the new Kindle Matchbook program. What this means is that when you buy a copy of the trade paperback for Circle of Witches, you’ll also be able to download a free copy of the e-book from Amazon.

This is a pretty nifty program. It doesn’t look like a lot of books are using it yet (and most are still charging for the e-book instead of offering it for free), so I’m excited that mother’s book can be a part of it. We’re investigating the possibility of making other books available through the program, but that’s tougher because different publishers control the Frevisse and Joliffe books currently in print.

– Justin

For all of you who have been lamenting that Circle of Witches was only available as an e-book, I have wonderful news: My latest novel, Circle of Witches, is now available in trade paperback! You can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers.

At some point within the next two weeks, it will also be available through the distribution system. Unfortunately, because it’s being offered through a small imprint it’s quite likely that your local bookstore won’t automatically carry a copy of it. But you will be able to have them order a copy for you. (And you should ask them to order an extra copy to put on their shelves at the same time!)


Her mother had always been afraid. That’s what Damaris remembered. From the time she was a little girl until the day her mother died, she had seen the fear in her eyes.

But now she understood. Now she was afraid, too.

Young Damaris wanted more than anything to be happy at Thornoak, the ancient manor owned by her aunt and uncle. Adventuring through the wide, open beauty of the Dale in the company of her rambunctious cousins she rediscovered a joy she had thought lost with the death of her parents. And in the deep, storm-tossed eyes of Lauran Ashbrigg she was surprised to find an entirely new emotion.

But even under the warm and inviting sun, Damaris is chilled by the undeniable fact that the family which claims to welcome and love her is hiding truths from her: The truth of the Lady Stone. The truth of the Old Ways. The truth of moon and star and witchcraft.

The truth of her mother’s death.

Kindle Edition - Kindle UK - Nook Edition - Smashwords
Trade Paperback

– Margaret

Margaret Frazer - Midwinter Blog Tour

The winter solstice has arrived and, with it, the end of the Midwinter Blog Tour! But before we bring things to a close, we do have one last special event planned to celebrate the release of Circle of Witches: The Great Midwinter Blog Tour Quiz.

Here’s how it’s going to work: Below you’ll find a list of twelve questions. They can all be found within either the guest posts, interviews, or sample chapters of Circle of Witches which have been posted during the Midwinter Blog Tour. (And you can find links to all those posts on the blog tour’s home page.)

1. Answer the questions.

2. Send your answers to by December 31st, 2012.

3. A winner will be drawn at random from among those who answered the most questions correctly.

4. PRIZE: A signed copy of Circle of Witches + 1 e-book of your choice.

Wait… how am I going to sign an e-book?

I’m not. Surprise! Circle of Witches will be getting released as a trade paperback! (It was actually supposed to happen during the blog tour, but we’ve had some quality issues with the initial round of proofs and it’s been held up until we can make sure it gets printed the way it’s supposed to.) I’ll be posting more information as soon as I have it!


1. How many novels have I written including Circle of Witches?

2. What were the two books I wrote while taking chemotherapy for the first time?

3. What are the names of Damaris’ cousins?

4. Where did I work as an assistant matron?

5. How old was I when I wrote my first story?

6. If there was a fire, what’s the one book I would save from my shelves?

7. What are the names of BOTH of Damaris’ uncles?

8. If I wrote a memoir, what would be its title?

9. What’s the book I said I found most useful as an author?

10. How long did I live in the Yorkshire dales?

11. How old was I when I read Shakespeare for the first time?

12. What is herb named “lily of the valley” used for according to Aunt Elspeth?

– Margaret

The Clerk’s Tale and Bastard’s Tale.

How many novels have I written including Circle of Witches?

Where did I work as an assistant matron?
British public school.

How old was I when I wrote my first story?
8 years old.

If there was a fire, what’s the one book I would save from my shelves?
The Letters and Papers Illustrative of the English Wars in France During the

Reign of King Henry VI.

If I wrote a memoir, what would be its title?
Gone to Earth.

What’s the book I said I found most useful as an author?
The Oxford English Dictionary.

How long did I live in the Yorkshire dales?
6 months.

How old was I when I read Shakespeare for the first time?
16 years old.

What are the names of Damaris’ cousins?

What are the names of BOTH of Damaris’ uncles?

What is herb named “lily of the valley” used for according to Aunt Elspeth?

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

A Midwinter Blog Tour - The Hopeful Heroine

For the eleventh day of the Midwinter Blog Tour, the Hopeful Heroine takes us on a guided tour through the Yorkshire dales — the beauty-ridden countryside in which Circle of Witches is set. I had a truly wonderful time with this interview, wandering through places and memories that I love in an exploration of how those experiences shaped both my life and the novel. Please join us with a few joyful laughs.

– Margaret

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

A Midwinter Blog Tour - Tiffany's Bookshelf

Today’s pit stop for the Midwinter Blog Tour is Tiffany’s Bookshelf, where Tiffany is offering up a fresh review of Circle of Witches for you. If you’re still wondering whether or not the book is for you, check out what Tiffany has to say about it!

Meanwhile, the cover remake contest at the Authoress continues apace. We’ve also been seeing some really great discussions at our other stops and over on my Facebook page, so please click around and feel free to join in! Looking ahead, the blog tour will be wrapping up in a couple of days with the Great Midwinter Blog Tour Quiz, featuring questions about the tour and the book with another prize package give-away!

– Margaret

Circle  of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

Midwinter Blog Tour - The Alexandrian

Let’s pop over to the Alexandrian, where Justin Alexander is Designing a Cover. Justin has been designing the covers for the e-books releases of my short stories and Dame Frevisse Mysteries, and he threw himself into the task of designing the cover for Circle of Witches. He created more than a dozen unique drafts of different covers for me to consider, slowly working through a dual process of elimination and refinement until we finally ended up with the very handsome and very dramatic piece which blesses the front cover of the book today.

– Margaret

Circle of Witches – Chapter 6

December 17th, 2012

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

Start with Chapter 1!


Autumn dwindled into early winter, with the last ploughing done and the sheep and cattle driven down from the farthest hill pastures. The weather continued wet and chill, and Damaris came down with the fevered cold and cough she had helped treat in others with her aunt all autumn. It took deeper hold with her than it had with most. She was moved from her high room to one near her aunt’s and uncle’s. There she was nursed through the nights, turn and turn about, by Aunt Elspeth, old Agnes, and Betty, for more than week. Even when the worst was past, she remained weak, only too happy to lie abed or – when she was stronger – sit at a window for hours, first in the bedchamber, then in the parlor, watching cloud-shadows shift along the winter-grayed dale or, in worse weather, the rain falling in icy sheets.

Her body’s exhaustion as it struggled to heal had exhausted her mind, too, but when she was well enough for visitors, she was stirred a little more aware by Irene’s company a few afternoons and even several visits from Lauran. Irene brought fashion magazines and chattered on about nothing in particular, requiring only slight answers from Damaris in response. Lauran, unexpectedly more thoughtful, came his first time with a book of ballads and read aloud to her – strong, stirring ballads of danger and daring; of desperate battles won or heroically lost; of perilous loves and fatal sword fights and wild rides to safety.

“Irene says I should be reading you softer stuff,” he told Damaris as he settled into a chair. “That these aren’t for ladies. Are you become a lady, Damaris?”

“No,” she said. She might be presently too weak to do even embroidery, but she was quite sure of that. So he had read to her by the hour, and when he was done she was no stronger in body, but her mind was stirred more awake than it had been since she fell ill.

He came twice more, the last time bringing not the ballads but a novel of dire doings in Scotland’s past. This he left with her after having read from it. “To keep your mind from having nothing but Irene’s fashions to think on,” he teased before giving her a surprising kiss on the cheek and leaving while she was still too startled by that to say anything. (more…)

Circle of Witches – Chapter 5

December 16th, 2012

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

Start with Chapter 1!


For the next few weeks, however, Damaris found that her best chance of seeing Lauran again was not by way of visiting Irene, but by being out and about with Nevin and Kellan, since her cousins and Lauran were together more days than not.

“Making up for lost time,” Kellan told Damaris.

“And avoiding his mother,” Nevin added.

“And you two having no more sense when you’re around him than you ever had,” Aunt Elspeth said the evening her sons came to supper late and damp from climbing near a waterfall farther up the dale with Lauran who was going to be even later to his supper, having farther to go to home. “Let you be glad you weren’t with them today, Damaris.”

Uncle Russell shared a grin with both boys and said, “They’re sensible enough under it all. Lauran has been talking to me, and my guess is he’ll steady to his duties at Ashbrigg by autumn’s end, once these two are off to school again and stop bringing him into ill ways. There are brains in that handsome head of his, no matter what he pretends. Which is more than I’m willing to say about these two oafs of ours,” he added with a dire look at them that no one, including them, took seriously.

The trouble for Damaris was that when Lauran grew used to her sometimes being with Nevin and Kellan, he was the same toward her as they were, and it was impossible for her to remember he was handsome and think him charming while he and Kellan were trying to put a frog down the back of her dress and she was both avoiding it and throwing stream water at them. As the summer went through July, Lauran became less the handsome youth from the next manor and more like simply another cousin.

But she could not be always with her cousins and him. Instead, she often kept company with Irene, a kind of friendship growing between them. Their talk – mostly Irene’s talk – was of clothing and of all she had seen and the admirers she had had while traveling with her mother. Damaris could not quite understand how she could have had so very many admirers, being only two years older than Damaris and not even come out yet. Irene talked much of her coming out. “Not that it can be here in Glavedale,” she said more than once. “There’s simply no society here, just friends. It will have to be in York, with my aunt and uncle. They’ve a very fine house that will suit perfectly. I might even be able to use their carriage instead our shabby old one. Surely I will. They won’t want to be embarrassed by their niece!”

She also confessed to Damaris in absolute and utter confidence that she had romantic hopes of both Nevin and Kellan. “I’m awfully used to them, of course, but they are handsome and there’s no one else nearby at all.” (more…)

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

A Midwinter Blog Tour - Sharon Kay Penman

Sharon Kay Penman started as one of my very favorite authors and has become a very dear friend. For the Midwinter Blog Tour, we had a very long discussion of where the ideas that lay at the heart of Circle of Witches came from… and what the book means to me. Please join us for a thoughtful lingering as the blog tour marches on.

– Margaret

Circle of Witches – Chapter 4

December 15th, 2012

Circle of Witches - The Midwinter Blog Tour

Start with Chapter 1!


Damaris went to breakfast the next morning embarrassed by how promptly she had fallen to sleep and expecting to be teased, but her cousins and uncle were deep in talk of the sheep-shearing and the likely price of wool this season. They gave her smiles and nods as she joined them but nothing else. Damaris supposed they might be trying to be kind, but she thought resentfully they could have done that better by letting her go to the bonfire last night.

Aunt Elspeth was not there, and Damaris asked Betty, coming in with a plate of fresh-baked muffins, where she was.

“Already gone out to the garden,” Betty said, setting the muffins closer to Damaris than to her cousins, giving her first chance before their quick hands.  “Says you’re to come out when you’re done, Miss.”

With nothing to say about sheep or wool and refusing to ask about last night – especially whether Nevin or Kellan had danced with Virna – Damaris ate in silence, left the men still talking sheep, and went out to the garden that was now in the full-leaved richness of late June, the flowers of high summer blooming in their scarlets and yellows and a few blues among the varied greens of other plants that had finished their year’s glories or were still to come to them. Aunt Elspeth, in the far corner from the gate, looked around as Damaris entered and raised a dirtied hand in greeting.

Damaris joined her, scooped her skirts around herself, and sat down on the grass. She thought maybe her aunt would say something about last night, but rather than that and as if yesterday hadn’t happened at all, Aunt Elspeth began to talk about the herbs she was weeding, just as usual. Damaris still felt wronged, but being wronged did not lessen her pleasure in learning; she leaned close and listened.

“You see how it spreads by its root along the surface,” Aunt Elspeth said, holding aside the spear-pointed leaves of a thick-grown bed of lily of the valley. “It grows abundantly, given the chance, and is useful…”  She paused and looked at Damaris.

Pleased she remembered what her aunt had told her in the spring when the plants were flowering, Damaris said, “It’s useful against inflammation of the eyes, palsy, and apoplexy. It comforts the heart and vital spirits, and in quieting disorders of the head and nerves. It need be used in only very small amounts for any of those.”

“Do you know why?”

Damaris paused, then shook her head. “Why what?”

“Do you know why it should be used in only very small amounts?”

“Oh.  Because that’s all that’s needed and enough is better than too much. Waste not, want not.”

Damaris stated that with assurance. It was something her mother had often said about almost everything, from a serving of dessert to rising early rather than late in the morning.

“Yes,” Aunt Elspeth agreed, but then added, “And also because the entire plant is deadly poison if too much is taken.” (more…)

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