Guest post by Michelle Hauck, author of Grudging

Posted On 23 November 2015

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Today I’d like to welcome Michelle to my blog.  Michelle’s latest book, Grudging, has just been released and is filled with witchcraft.  Michelle was kind enough to write me a guest post all about witches and how they fit into her latest novel.

‘Thanks for having me on your blog, Lynn!’

Thanks for agreeing to be my guest 😀

‘It seems proper around this time of year to look at witches in history, literature, and entertainment as I use them myself in my latest book. Witches go back centuries with mentions in the Bible. I think everyone knows from Exodus, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” In a harking back to the three fates of Greek mythology, Shakespeare used witches in Macbeth as prophets and sinister figures.

Salem had their own real-life run in with “witches” being burned at the stake in Puritan times. For all of history, witches have been women to cast blame upon for unexplained things like the failure of crops, or men who couldn’t stay faithful. Not to get too much into gender discrimination, but the word wizard just doesn’t have the same negative connotation behind it. It was easier to pin problems on the old woman, living alone, without family, than to seek a real explanation in a world without modern science.

But that’s not so much the case anymore in fiction, though the theme of witches shows no sign of slowing down. Sure there are still evil witches in testosterone-filled movies such as the very recent The Last Witch Hunter. But there’s so much variety to witches nowadays. You have the sinister, along with the benign, the romantic, the sexy, and even witches who are neither good nor bad, but somewhere in between.

JK Rowling and Hermoine did a lot to reinvent the idea of witches, giving us a heroic witch. They could be smart, fun, and brave. Hermoine does her fair share of saving other people and is no typical damsel in distress.

I was always partial to Terry Brooks’ Ilse Witch, where a bad witch with powerful magic turns good. One of my favorite witch movies is Hocus Pocus for some family Halloween fun. We even have the comical witch as in Sabrina: The Teenage Witch and Broomhilda from Bugs Bunny.


For most of my life, the image from the picture above was my idea of witches. They were ugly, wore pointy hats, rode brooms and did hexes and curses. We all know they keep black cats as part of their familiar bargain with the devil, and warts are how Satan marked them to distinguish them from righteous people. They carry wands and brew stinky potions in their cauldrons.

That’s why when I wrote Grudging and made witches the needed allies for a city under siege from an overwhelming army, I wanted the witches to be different. Oh, the witches in my story live apart in a swamp, but that’s the only typical witch characteristic. My character, Claire, has a cauldron, but she only uses it to brew soap. Instead of black cats, they rear goats. She doesn’t cast hexes or curses. She can’t wither any crops, though she may make the reader fall in love with her.

In Grudging, the people of the city call them witches, those living nearer to the swamps call them more accurately sirena. And Claire calls herself a Woman of the Song. They have voice magic that lets them bewitch and bewilder any man—rumor is unclear whether it works on other women—foolish enough to attack them. All Claire wants is for her mother to relent and let her practice her Song on someone/thing who can hear her.

She’ll get her chance when the city men appear on the scene, bringing their prejudices of witches as a cross between cannibals and temptresses. Can two traditional enemies become friends or just more casualties?



A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power.  And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

Release Date: November 17, 2015; Harper Voyager Impulse

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads


A little about Michelle:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly query contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, PitchSlam, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints Series from Harper Voyager starts with GRUDGING on November 17, 2015. Her epic fantasy, KINDAR’S CURE, was published by Divertir Publishing.

Twitter: @Michelle4Laughs

Blog: Michelle4Laughs: It’s in the Details

Facebook: Michelle Hauck, Author

Tumblr: Michelle4Laughs


Thanks again Michelle for writing this guest post.

Whilst we’re thinking about witches – one of my favourites is Tiffany Aching created by Terry Pratchett – which witch is your favourite??



5 Responses to “Guest post by Michelle Hauck, author of Grudging”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’ve been seeing this book and author around the blogosphere, the story definitely sounds interesting from the description. Great post too, about witches. Always a good topic 🙂 I’m probably going to grab a copy of this on Kindle.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, currently reading it. Not read any of her books before so interested – especially a different take on witches.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Sharry

    I love witch stories, especially if they are protrayed as the nature-loving, in-tune-with-themselves, earthy wisewomen. I really REALLY dislike witch hunts. They are probably number 1 on my list of scenes that I hate to read about. So much injustice!!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know – the Salem Witch trials – oh my lord! This book is completely different from that type of feel – although, having said that, the witches are greatly feared and not at all popular!
      Lynn 😀

  3. Grudging: Birth of Saints Book One by Michelle Hauck | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] to read the first book in the Birth of Saints trilogy.  Michelle also provided a guest discussion post about witches which I found really interesting.  Particularly the way in which witches have been […]

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