Thursday, March 07, 2024

Pop-Up Blog-Hop & Giveaway: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A. Traugott


Lisa A. Traugott

Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Witch Trials
Page Count: 398 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2024

It’s 1739. An abused girl accused of witchcraft must be defended by a man married to an actual witch.

William MacLeod, a fierce Scottish lawyer with a kind heart, takes on a daunting task—rescue young Annaliese from the clutches of her tormentors in the untamed wilds of Virginia colony and deliver her safely to her aristocratic father in London. But lurking in the shadows are enemies eager to expose MacLeod’s own wife, Fiona, as a witch with a dark secret.

Their perilous journey takes an unexpected turn when their ship wrecks, and Annaliese’s haunting nightmares and unexplained Devil Marks trigger suspicion among the crew. Tension peaks when MacLeod must become Annaliese’s unwavering protector in a witch trial, where Fiona’s clairvoyance and a murder are unveiled.

To Rescue a Witch navigates themes of betrayal and redemption, in a spellbinding narrative that blends history, magic, and the unyielding resilience of the human spirit.

William MacLeod has disavowed everything to do with his wife’s witchcraft, but it wasn’t always that way. In this scene we see a bit of their backstory at a Samhain celebration when they were just falling in love.


 Scotland, 1716 

Fiona felt heat on her face and a fluttery, empty feeling in her stomach as villagers walked their cattle between two bonfires to ward off bad spirits. She didna fear the spirits, just her vision of the future. Auntie Matilda had confirmed long ago this was the night her life would change.

William MacLeod smirked as he sauntered over, parting a sea of envious village girls eager for the young laird’s attentions. “Tisk tisk! A bonny lass standing alone on Samhain? Witches are wandering.”

“I’ve no fear of witches,” she said.

“I suppose Ewan will protect you,” he offered, glancing toward Ewan standing with her brother, Malcolm. She noted more than a wee hint of jealousy in his voice.

“If Malcolm likes him so much, he can marry him.”

A confident grin tugged at William’s lips, making a dimple in his left cheek. “Would you like a slice of Hallowe’en cake, Fiona?”

She nodded. Ushering her to the harvest table decorated with carved, candlelit turnips, a stout matron gave them a knowing smile and two slices of barmbrack. They made their way to sit on large stones.

“Are you sure your very proper English grandfather would approve of you sitting with your lowly Scottish tenants, my laird?”

“Considering he’s dead, he hasna much say in the matter. Honestly, he didna approve of my father in Skye, but in fairness my relatives there didna like that my mam was English and French. My family has always been at war with each other.”

“You’re Scottish, English and French? Why, Mr. MacLeod, you’re a walking contradiction,” she said, shivering.

“I huvnae mentioned that before? I thought I told you everything.” He draped his tartan over her shoulders and a flooding sensation of warmth came over her not remotely related to the plaid. After taking a bite of sweetbread, he started laughing, pulling a silver threepenny bit from his mouth.

“You’re going to be rich.” Fiona pricked the sweetbread, hoping desperately for a ring and not a thimble. A ring meant first to be wed, a thimble meant you’d be a spinster. Most slices held nothing.

“I ken that without the coin, but validation’s nice,” he said, thrusting out his chest as though he needed to. William MacLeod looked like a giant among men.

“Such humility,” she said, rolling her eyes. Tracing her finger over his open hand, she began to study its textures.

“Perhaps with a proper wife, I’d behave better. Do you see your name in the lines of my palm?”

Yes, she wanted to scream. Fiona frowned, dropping his hand. “Stop teasing me, Mr. MacLeod.”

“Call me William,” he said in a low voice, inching ever closer beside her.

“You have crumbs on your beard, William.”

A blush came to his cheeks, and he rushed to clean it, missing the mark. “Well, come Monday my beard winnae be a problem. One of the stipulations of my inheritance is that I attend Oxford to get my law degree. My grandfather desired I get a ‘proper English education.’ On Monday, it’s a clean-shaven face and breeches for me.”

“You’re leaving me?” Fiona wiped the crumbs for him, their eyes connecting. Perhaps she let her fingers linger over his lips a wee bit too long. “I mean, you’re leaving the village? When will you return?”

“When it’s time to collect the rents, I suppose. Unless you’d like me to come home earlier for a proper church wedding? My brother, Cam, will be thrilled to meet you. He was convinced I’d pursue a rich English widow.”

Fiona didna want to love him. Auntie Matilda warned her a rich man from Skye would try to take her magic away. Aching to touch William’s face, she forced herself to break her gaze. “Ambitious men dinna marry crofters’ daughters. Just because we’ve had a few interesting conversations since you’ve arrived dinna mean we should wed. You’d grow bored. Marry an English duchess. That’s the life you crave. I cannae even read.”

The skirl of bagpipes rang through the evening air and villagers began to dance. William glanced between his new tenants enjoying the festivities and his grandfather’s mansion high on the hill above the castle ruins.

“First to wed!” called a petite blonde lifting a ring from her slice of cake to cheers.

“Aye. I suppose you’re right. I winnae marry someone who cannae read. My grandfather would roll in his grave.”

A sour taste filled her mouth. My vision was just a magical fantasy all along. I’ll never marry a rich lad from the Isle of Skye. Auntie Matilda was wrong to think I had her gift of second sight, too.

“So, I’ll have to teach you to read before we wed,” he whispered. “If you’ll have me.”

Fiona’s mind raced, searching his face to see if he was serious. His finger lifted her chin and her breath quickened.

“You’re witty, bonny and you dabble in magic. That’s a lass who can hold a man’s attention. To hell with my grandfather’s notions. I love you, Fiona, and no brute will keep me from you.”

When did it get so warm outside? Her hands shook as she cut into the barmbrack to give her time to process what he had said. A ring dangled from her fork. “But the other lass found the wedding ring in her slice.”

William shrugged. “I had my own ring snuck in. I dinna take chances with important matters.”

Throwing her head back, she laughed, and he kissed her, right there for the whole village to witness. Her brother, Malcolm, crossed his arms over his chest, with Ewan scowling next to him. “Let’s take a jaunter,” she said, slinging her satchel over her shoulder.

“Come. Let me show you my castle ruins.” 

Lisa A. Traugott is an award-winning author and World Championship public speaker semifinalist and spoke five lines on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids, and English bulldog, Bruno.

WebsiteBlog FacebookAmazon


Autographed paperback copies


(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 03/29/24)


blog services provided by

No comments: