Aya and the Red Witch (Origin of Souls Book 1)

Some say magic ceased to exist on earth, but the world is full of secrets. There are still ancient and mysterious places where ethereal beings hide, concealing their power from humankind. HolyOak Hold is somewhere like this, not quite here and not quite there. For nearly three hundred years the HolyOak clan of witches have hidden in the Louisiana wild, protecting their boundaries from outsiders. But the universe is changing and the seals between realms are breaking, opening long shut doors between worlds. Meanwhile the HolyOak witches watch fate unfold in fear… sure that the inter-dimensional reawakening will bring trouble to their clan.

Rowan HolyOak, a young and powerful witch living peacefully at the Hold, is unaware of the changes occurring with the order of the universe. As mid-mortals, witches, angels, and demons scheme, Rowan is oblivious to her part in the war that is unfolding. With each day that passes, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear… everything in her life is about to change.

All that happened once will happen again, as the karmic cycle of life and death circles back to the source of its inception. Destiny must take its course for Rowan most of all; and as it does she will realize that it all has to do with a strange girl… an outsider with profound connections to her own soul.

CHAPTER #1

A Girl with Secrets

Alone, after one of her nightmares, Aya stared at her reflection in the mirror, considering that on the outside she looked like a normal teenager, except that perhaps her hair was just a bit too white for someone her age. Only when she gazed into the darks of her eyes could she sense something wasn’t quite right. Of course if anyone else looked into her eyes, they would see nothing out of the ordinary. She had “pretty grey eyes, like her mother,” one of Aya’s adoptive fathers, Tyler, would often say. But that was what bothered Aya; when she considered her own reflection, staring into the dark holes within her irises, thinking how they looked like a pit-less well, she knew her eyes looked exactly like her mother’s.
For most girls that was a harmless thought. They saw their mother’s eyes every day. But Aya never met her mother. She had never even seen a photo of her.
Aya knew what her mother looked like because Dasha was a regular visitor in Aya’s nightmares.
When Tyler would tell Aya that she had her mother’s eyes she would think, You’re right, I do have my mother’s eyes, but she never said it out loud. A statement like that would shock, or more likely, terrify her father. Normal people, like Tyler, believed a girl couldn’t know what her mother’s eyes looked like without having met her. Nightmares didn’t count. To Tyler and Aya’s other father, Stella, bad dreams were just “dark figments of the subconscious bubbling up into the inactive mind.”
Her two fathers simply didn’t understand that her dreams were different.
It wasn’t that Aya wanted to keep secrets from her fathers. She wished she had someone to confide in about the strange things she saw and the even stranger things she dreamed. But she knew her fathers’ efforts to assure her she was a normal girl were in fact efforts to convince themselves. Aya knew she was different. Aya knew her fathers knew this too (inside) because any sign of her peculiarities scared them more than anything. And that was why she didn’t tell them about the nightmares of her mother or the strange visitors she heard creeping (seeing nothing but their shadows) in her room at night. She wanted to protect both her fathers from the bad things they had no power to stop. The only creature she could confide in was her raven, Ka.