The Hollystone Mystery Series
This is an urban fantasy series about a Wicca coven in British Columbia, Canada, who solve murders. Two books are available, and I am writing the third:
Book One: To Charm a Killer (2016)
Book Two: To Sleep with Stones (2017)
How to Purchase Books
Print and ebooks are available through your favourite online retailer. A few extra things:
You can order a print book through your local bookstore (including Chapters) and pick it up there to avoid shipping charges.
If you get the following message on Amazon, don’t let it deter you. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we’ll deliver when available. It takes a few days for print-on-demand, but the book is available, and shouldn’t take more than a week or two to reach you.
I also have books for sale if you live in the Lower Mainland, BC. Email me if you’d like to purchase a signed copy. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When a third witch vanishes from Vancouver, the witches of Hollystone Coven spin a charm to catch the killer. But spells ripple with repercussions and in the ensuing chaos, an innocent seventeen-year-old girl gets caught up in the charm. As obsessed with the killer as the killer is with him, High Priest Estrada vows to stop the man. Then, at their Samhain ritual, Hecate speaks through their high priestess and shocks everyone with her prophecy:
As one of you has spun the charm, now none of you are safe from harm.
One who all felt they could trust, breeds deception cloaked in lust.
One will gain their heart’s desire, while yet another pays with fire.
Before the dark of winter night, four souls pass over into light.
Once begun it cannot end, but circles round as circles bend.
To save the girl and catch the killer, Estrada journeys from the West Coast of Canada to Ireland and Beyond. Abduction, death, fire, and faeries. Who is the killer? Why is he killing witches? How can he be stopped before Hecate’s prophecy unravels?
WL Hawkin weaves threads of Macbeth and ancient Irish myth with edgy romance in this mysterious urban fantasy. To Charm a Killer is the first in the Hollystone Mysteries series.
To sleep with stones can reveal history…or get you jailed for murder.
Dylan McBride is one of the Hollystone witches, a Wicca coven that practices ritual magic in Vancouver, Canada. He has a unique gift. When he touches rock, it reveals its secrets. Stones are silent witnesses that hold the memory of the land and its people. Sometimes he hears voices; sometimes he sees visions. This ability draws him to archaeology and Kilmartin Glen, a megalithic sanctuary in Argyll, Scotland, where he spent his teen years. For Dylan, Argyll is home.
While digging there, with radical archaeologist, Sorcha O’Hallorhan, the team unearths an ancient Egyptian artifact: the broad collar of Meritaten, daughter of King Akhenatan and Queen Nefertiti. That night, while celebrating the find at a local pub, Dylan tangles with Alastair Steele, a nasty Glasgow journalist who wants more than the story. He wants the artifact. Back at camp, Dylan spends the eve of Summer Solstice communing with the standing stones in a nearby field. He falls asleep before sunrise, and is awakened by police. Steele’s battered body lies in a cairn, in the adjoining field. Dylan is arrested for murder and incarcerated. The artifact is gone: stolen from Sorcha’s tent. Fearful and forlorn, he summons his friend, Estrada, to solve the crime and set him free.
Sexy and flawed, Estrada is a free-spirited magician by trade, and high priest of Hollystone Coven by vocation. He’s just upset his best friend, Michael Stryker–the eccentric manager of a goth club, who likes to play vampire and thinks he’s the reincarnation of Lord Byron–so, Estrada fears what will ensue in his absence. But Dylan is an innocent man in jail, and he fears for his life. He must go to Glasgow, solve the murder, and set him free. Meanwhile, back in Canada, Michael romances a younger version of Estrada, embarks on his own adventure, and discovers that playing vampire can suck the life out of you.
In Scotland, Estrada is tempted by two women: Sorcha, the bawdy archaeologist that Dylan loves, and Rachel Erskine-Steele, a slick detective who happens to be the victim’s wife. Can Estrada discover the killer and prove Dylan’s innocence? Get him released from prison before it’s too late? Can he find the thief who stole the artifact? Or, will he succomb to his flaws?
To Sleep with Stones is a unique story that crosses genres. It’s a cozy murder mystery with a fast-paced, edgy bent. It’s also urban fantasy: a contemporary story that explores spirituality and homophobia, and opens portals into the realm of myth and faery. Book Two in the Hollystone Mysteries series, it picks up six months after To Charm a Killer.
The witches of Hollystone Coven celebrate and revere nature and the old gods by performing complex ceremonies at Sabbats. By combining elements from various mythic tales they create theatrical rituals and raise power. As environmentalists, they focus on saving the planet. If you’re curious about the characters who belong to Hollystone Coven, read on.
“Hollystone Coven was Sensara’s creation, so she made the rules. It was a microcosm of the world, in that no one who belonged was like anyone else. The small Wiccan group was strong in its diversity. People brought unique passions and skills; as well as, idiosyncrasies, irritation, and conflict.”
Sensara Narato is the high priestess and creator of Hollystone Coven. A credible psychic, Sensara sometimes works with the police to find missing persons. She is a therapist and psychic healer. Her mother rebelled against her strict Japanese parents by sleeping with a Spanish gardener while the family vacationed in Mexico. Sensara was the result. This may be why she is so drawn to Estrada.
Sandolino Estrada is the series protagonist. As high priest of Hollystone Coven, he performs key rituals and ceremonies with Sensara. He is also a professional magician who specializes in medieval and gothic flourishes and performs regularly at Club Pegasus in Vancouver.
“Then, a sudden flash of fire from the stage illuminated him. A gentleman in tuxedo and burgundy silk cape, he hovered between two flaming torches. His raven hair, slicked back in a French braid, hung halfway down his back. Chiselled cheekbones and charcoaled eyes, his mouth was thick and perfect, the top lip heart-shaped. Leaping off the stage, the magician landed in a fiery flourish and bowed to the applause; then cruised the dance floor, laughing, and tossing flames from hand to hand as effortlessly as apples.”
Dylan McBride is a Canadian archaeology student who was raised by his grandfather in Argyll, Scotland. He is a shy, innocent young man with strong morals. Dylan travels the world playing bagpipes in the university pipe band. He also communicates with stones. Dylan’s predicament is the impetus behind the second book, To Sleep With Stones.
“Dylan was obsessed with stone lore. His grandfather introduced him to megaliths in Scotland when he was ten and sent there by his sluttish mother (his adjective). He carried their photographs in his wallet like they were his family: magnificent stones carved with cup and ring marks; some set in circles five thousand years ago, the work of prehistoric artisans. Dylan’s grandfather lived near a place called Kilmartin Glen—a cemetery rife with the spirits of ancient clansmen and their kin. It was there that medieval grave slabs and burial cists first spoke to him. Estrada asked him what they said. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes it’s just feelings and images. Other times I hear voices. Estrada had heard of stone mages and believed he had much to learn from the boy who devoted his life to communing with stones.”
Dr. Sylvia Black is a Welsh university professor who publishes books on Celtic Studies. When Dylan arrived from Scotland, Sylvia became his foster mother and introduced him to the witches of Hollystone Coven.
Daphne Sky is a landscape gardener. She is the earth mother among them.
Raine Carrera is a journalist for an alternative press who recently joined the coven. Raine and Daphne are partners and live in the house on Hawk’s Claw Lane.
Jeremy Jones is an exceptional costume designer. He specializes in medieval clothing and ritual tools and makes a fortune through Regalia, his online shop, designing costumes and paraphernalia for film and theatre companies around the world. Jones frequents Club Pegasus and has created costumes for Estrada.
Maggie Taylor is a seventeen-year-old girl who becomes enmeshed in the charm in To Charm a Killer and wants to join the coven.
Other Series Characters:
Michael Stryker AKA Mandragora is the hedonistic manager of Club Pegasus, a Vancouver goth club. Estrada is involved in an intimate and complex relationship with Michael. Both men are free spirited and indulge in hedonistic pursuits. Michael believes himself to be the reincarnation of Lord Byron and likes to play Vampire:
“Then, Michael Stryker floated by in a shadowy sea of silk and set my mind adrift. The legendary Stryker—self-christened Mandragora—was reputed to host orgies that could rival Caligula, and be tied to organized crime through his grandfather, who was the real money behind the club. Angular and tantalizing, with a libertine charm, Stryker’s straight honey blond hair was parted in the centre and fell below his shoulders; a fitting frame for the hollow cheeks, painted lips, and black-lined eyes. He wore the look of a bygone era and he wore it exceedingly well.”
Nigel Stryker is an entrepreneur and owner of Club Pegasus. He is Michael’s grandfather and bought the club for him when he turned twenty-one.
Magus Dubh (pronounced Dove) AKA The Wee Pict is a tattooed half-fey dwarf who deals in antiquities through his Glasgow shop, The Blue Door. He is also a Druid.
Sorcha O’Hallorhan is a radical Irish archaeologist from To Sleep with Stones, who will reappear in an upcoming sequel.