The Witch of White Lady Hollow by C. David Belt



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The Witch
of
White Lady Hollow


Coming soon

from

C. David Belt


Magnus, the masked, mysterious

High Priest of the Circle,

will stop at nothing to possess

Tabitha Moonshadow and her Power...

and Tabitha has no idea

she's a witch.


Tabitha Moonshadow and her mom, Molly, are running away. It's 1978, and seventeen year-old Tabitha has just spent a disastrous summer with her dad, Molly's ex-husband. So mother and daughter flee to a small town in southeast Missouri. Once there, Tabitha experiences isolation and rejection at church as well as vicious bigotry at school. However, Tabitha is befriended almost immediately by Beulah Martineau and the girls of the Circle. And in the Circle, Tabitha finds acceptance and a sense of belonging.

But the Circle is more than the social club Tabitha thinks it to be. Led by the mysterious, masked figure known as Magnus, the Circle wields a marvelous Power, and together, Magnus and the Circle can perform great wonders. They can also perform great evil. And the Circle--or more specifically, Magnus--desires Tabitha, for Tabitha seems to possess more of this Power than the rest of the Circle combined. Magnus wants to possess Tabitha and her Power at any cost. And Magnus will let nothing--and no one--stand in his way.




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Advance praise for The Witch of White Lady Hollow:


Written with his customary clear prose, C. David Belt has crafted a knock-your-socks-off paranormal novel set in the late 70s in Missouri. Tabitha Moonshadow and her divorced mom, Molly, are trying to start over as disparaged Mormons in a small, rural town, but overwhelming obstacles keep them on edge, dealing with forces of evil they had never even imagined. With delicate language, Belt handles the touchy issues of secrets, sexual assault, incest, and magic, while deftly guiding Tabitha in her journey involving the defense of her best friend and wielding mysterious power. Highly recommended for mature LDS readers.

Marsha Ward, author of The Owen Family Saga


"I'm almost done with this chapter." That's what I told the impatient flight attendant who asked me to get off the plane so she could get to her hotel. Be prepared to say that to your family, friends, your boss, or a police officer because this book grabs you and doesn't let go until the very last page.
C David Belt, one of the premier voices in LDS paranormal fiction, delivers again with this tale of witchcraft, love, magic, and power. You'll be enchanted with Tabitha and her mom, Molly, as they try to begin life over again in rural Missouri in 1978 only to find a new evil waiting for them. Tabitha must navigate a new high school, new friends, and new powers. Powers that Magnus, the High Priest of the Circle wants to control. Tabitha and her mom must learn who they can trust before it's too late.
Belt deftly weaves in themes of control, sexual abuse, and the abuse of authority with magic, humor, and one young woman's journey to discover who she really is. While certainly not graphic in nature, this book addresses rape, incest, and sexual assault and is written for a mature audience, but a mature LDS audience.
So, grab your mug of hot chocolate and get ready to settle in, y'all're about to go one hel-, er, heck of a ride.

Dan Earl - DeWitt, MI


I'm not a horror fan, but I do love a story where the characters overcome overwhelming odds. Tabitha's father made bad choices that destroyed her family. Tabitha and her mom are trying to start over and find themselves in a little town that is quite un-hospitable to Mormons. Tabitha is trying to understand who she really is now that life has changed so much and wondering how she might put her life back together. Those who befriend her want to use her, and she finds herself in the middle of a trap that is truly unique to her and seems to offer somethings that she has always wanted. The trap blinds her to the reality and the temptations that she is facing. She has to fall back on her faith and learn to trust others, which after being betrayed by her father is incredibly difficult. She discovers things about the past that help her to remember how to rely on inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father. This is truly a unique story. David Belt is a masterful story-teller and had me wondering how things could possibly work out from the very first chapter.

Dean Giles, Author of "Dragons Restored" - Provo, UT


This book was not afraid to tackle some hard questions. I loved the exploration of how a teenage girl might reconcile her magical powers with a Christian-based faith. Though it's set nearly 40 years ago, I found Tabitha's journey to find her place as a woman extremely relevant today. The Witch of White Lady Hollow examines some pretty complex issues. While not graphic in it's portrayal, the story addresses sexual assault and rape with raw honesty and vulnerability. I stayed up far past my bedtime to see how Tabitha and Molly were going to fare as they navigated their new move, new friends, Tabitha's new magic, and new romances, and I was not disappointed.

Crystal Brinkerhoff - Billings, MT


C. David Belt has a real way with character development, creating an interesting story, and keeping you wondering what in the world is going to happen next; thus, it can be a challenge to put the book down!
Most of the time while reading The Witch of White Lady Hollow, I was reminded of how it feels to be a participant in a murder mystery dinner party. This was a murder mystery dinner in book form--sometimes even complete with an actual meal for me to munch on whilst continuing to further my reading after a good, long workday.
I had an easy time painting the town and scenes from the book in my head; I felt like I was there in the mind of each character as the author transported me, the reader, from chapter to chapter, exploring the vantage point that each character had on any given event in the story.
I enjoyed the time I spent getting to know the Moonshadows and their friends, foes, and associates. (By the way, "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens is an excellent song!) Also, discovering the clues and piecing them together helped keep the old noggin sharp, which was a very mentally-satisfying activity. Thanks for the opportunity, David!

Alison Barton - Salt Lake City, UT


I want to put a huge fangirl shoutout to C. David Belt. I finished beta reading for him today and WOW. His writing voice is lyrical and haunting. He has a talent for putting it all out on the page, not holding anything back. His books aren't for everyone, since he does write LDS horror. I'm putting that disclaimer out there since I wasn't expecting the graphic nature in one of his chapters and had to actually walk away from my laptop for a bit. But I came back because he really is that good.

Melissa Cox Meibos - Syracuse, UT


The Witch of White Lady Hollow by C. David Belt is the story of a teenage girl who, upon moving to a small town in Missouri, begins discovering she has special powers. The allure of those seductive powers not only creates conflict within herself as she tries to reconcile those new experiences with her Mormon upbringing, but also makes her a target of powerful and unsavory men who want to exploit her abilities.
It is a fresh story with a unique plot that will quickly captivate a reader's interest. Belt introduces a wide range of characters that he uses to propel the page-turner's many twists and turns, keeping the reader guessing until the very end.
Despite the book's horror genre, Belt does a fine job of infusing humor and a Mormon protagonist's worldview throughout the story, both of which are refreshing ways of keeping the story from getting too dark.
Although there are nuances in the book that may be missed by those not familiar with the Mormon faith, the story has a universal appeal that can be enjoyed by readers of all backgrounds.

Adam Ward - Centerville, UT


In the latest Star Wars film (Episode 8: The Last Jedi), there's a scene where Master Yoda is briefly speaking with Master Luke Skywalker about the sacred Jedi texts--which Skywalker believes are then being burned. Yoda quips "Page turners they are not," which elicits laughter when you realize he's indicating how boring they are. I submit that David Belt's books, including "The Witch of White Lady Hollow", are just the opposite; they are very interesting and compelling to read! I always have a hard time putting them down! David depicts the scenes and characters with such vivid details that it's easy to picture them in your mind when reading through the story. From his descriptions of Tabitha, Molly, Mike, Joey, and others I can picture how they look, feel how they feel, and imagine how they would act--which makes the story really come alive. Like the protagonist in the story, I was kept guessing to the end. I was brought through a roller coaster ride of being scared, to laughing, to being angry, to sleuthing, and to breathing sighs of relief as I read it. To me these are signs of a great story that doesn't disappoint. Enjoy!

John Abercrombie - Bountiful, UT


Some might question whether a good Mormon could write real horror novels.
But many good Mormons read horror novels. I think I might suggest that is at least one good reason why we need good Mormon authors to write in the horror genre.
The Witch of White Lady Hollow, by C. David Belt, is a new novel in the horror/fantasy genre. When it is published, you will be able to find it in the usual places. (I had the opportunity to beta-read it through the LDS Beta Readers group on Facebook.)
The setup has a Mormon divorcee, Molly Moonshadow, moving to a 1970s backwater town in Missouri with her high school-aged daughter Tabitha, to teach, and to escape from an abusive ex-husband. She has found a cheap house outside city limits where she can live with her daughter.
That the house is haunted is probably not surprising, but what--or who haunts it, and how dangerous the haunting is, is a very interesting story that takes much of the novel to unfold.
Whether the haunting is limited to their house or extends beyond it is another question of interest, as is the involvement of the local police, other high school staff, students, and even the local branch of the Church.
Belt uses the tools of horror fantasy to explore some very real issues of abuse. Sexual preference, gender identity, power relationships, and rape are also touched on. Innocent people do get hurt, but abusive people get their just deserts (sometimes in ways that are graphic enough to turn more than the stomach -- be warned).
If you are looking for light fantasy, this is not. But it's also not a one-way trip down.
I am not a fan of horror, so it's a little out of my genre. But I think it's a good read, and thought-provoking. I suspect that some of my friends and family who are fans of horror will find it a very good read, too.

Joel Rees - Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan


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