The Black Act

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The Black Act. A serial fantasy novel by Louise Bohmer.

Witches, faeries, and curses.

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testc7 The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga The Complete Serial Novel
Louise Bohmer
Introduction by M.R. Sellars

About: The history of a curse is filled with bloody battles, bitter hatred, and dark secrets.

Through five generations, ghosts of war haunt the wise women. When the rebellion of Glenna ends, their curse sleeps bound in the Tunnels of the Dead, waiting for its chance to re-awaken the war between the wood people and Dalthwein clans. Claire, a wise woman born in the valley of the fae, unwittingly helps it escape imprisonment, while her twin sister Anna receives psychic glimpses of ancient secrets she must unravel. With her scribe teacher Rosalind, she also struggles to uncover the reasons behind Claire’s strange behavior, ever escalating since the death of their guild mother, Grianne.

The Age of the Wise Women will cease if the curse does not end with Anna and Claire. Perhaps inheriting the mistakes of their ancestors and learning the truths of their identities will bring great suffering for these witch twins.

The Black Act Witch Twins Saga includes all six books in the serial novel, plus an introduction from award winning paranormal thriller author M.R. Sellars.

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Available On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
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Available on Smashwords


TBACompanion12The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga Companion
Louise Bohmer
Essay by Kate Jonez

About: The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga Companion is a guide to the world found in the dark fantasy novel by Louise Bohmer. This ebook includes an essay by Bram Stoker nominated author Kate Jonez, a glossary of terms, a play list, excerpt from The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga, and more.

When Approaching The Fair Folk by Kate Jonez
The Black Act Glossary
The Black Act Playlist
Peering into the Fickle Eye of Fae
Troll Hunter Review
Queen of Samhain (The Sound of Horror version)
The Black Act Excerpt
Bonus Story: The Book of Dreams
Fae Books & Movies

Available On Kindle US
Available On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
FREE On Kobo
Available On Nook
FREE On Smashwords


test8d The Black Act Book 1; Witch Twins Born
Louise Bohmer

About: This is a serial fantasy novel that will be released in regular installments. Watch for Book 2: Witch Twins Secrets coming soon.

The history of a curse is filled with bloody battles, bitter hatred, and dark secrets.

Through five generations, ghosts of war haunt the wise women. When the rebellion of Glenna ends, their curse sleeps bound in the Tunnels of the Dead, waiting for its chance to re-awaken the war between the wood people and Dalthwein clans. Claire, a wise woman born in the valley of the fae, unwittingly helps it escape imprisonment, while her twin sister Anna receives psychic glimpses of ancient secrets she must unravel. With her scribe teacher Rosalind, she also struggles to uncover the reasons behind Claire’s strange behavior, ever escalating since the death of their guild mother, Grianne.

The Age of the Wise Women will cease if the curse does not end with Anna and Claire. Perhaps inheriting the mistakes of their ancestors and learning the truths of their identities will bring great suffering for these witch twins.

In Book 1: Witch Twins Born Claire begins to confess the truth to Anna, and Anna discovers her twin is having an affair with a woodman named Luthien.

Download The PDF
FREE On Kindle US
FREE On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
FREE On Kobo
Available On Nook
FREE On Smashwords


test6d The Black Act Book 2: Witch Twins Secrets
Louise Bohmer

About: In Book 2: Witch Twins Secrets, Anna begins having visions of the witch guild’s creation history, and Claire reveals the devastating secret their guild mother told her before she died.

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Available On Kindle CA
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Available on Smashwords


TBA3_11 The Black Act Book 3: Witch Twins Cursed
Louise Bohmer

About: In The Black Act Book 3: Witch Twins Cursed Anna learns more about the origins of the curse handed down through generations of her family, when Rosalind shares with her the story of Drea, the first wise woman, and how Drea’s crime against the wood people led to the creation of the wise women’s guild.

Read an excerpt

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Availlable On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
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Available On Nook
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Scroll down past the 2009 book trailer and book cover to read excerpts from The Black Act.


tba4-8 The Black Act Book 4: Witch Twins Rebellion
Louise Bohmer

About: In The Black Act Book 4: Witch Twins Rebellion the story of Glenna, a wise woman haunted by the ghosts of her family curse, unfolds and her connection to Anna and Claire is revealed, along with devastating truths for Claire and her lover Luthien.

Read an excerpt

Available On Kindle US
Availlable On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
Available On Kobo
Available On Nook
Available on Smashwords


TBAtest10 The Black Act Book 5: Witch Twins Haunted
Louise Bohmer

About: In The Black Act Book 5: Witch Twins Haunted Glenna sneaks into the elder main house, where she faces dire consequences and life shattering truths. The phantom woman takes Claire to the wastelands, but Claire has a change of heart about carrying on the curse. However, it may be too late to refuse the ghosts of her ancestors.

Read an excerpt

Available On Kindle US
Availlable On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
Available On Kobo
Available On Nook
Available on Smashwords


TBA18 The Black Act Book 6: Witch Twins Hunted
Louise Bohmer

About: In The Black Act Book 6: Witch Twins Hunted, the saga of the witch twins concludes with Claire’s daughter. War and plague rage through the valley, threatening the very existence of the wise women guild. Will Ella end the curse inherited from her mother, or will she bring the destruction her ancestral ghosts seek?

Read and excerpt

Available On Kindle US
Availlable On Kindle CA
Available On Kindle UK
Available On Kobo
Available On Nook
Available on Smashwords


Maps

Click on each map and hit zoom once for the full sized version.

T.B.A. Area Map (Final)MED_OLDTINT

T.B.A. Village Map (Final)_MED_OLDTINT


Reviews

“The characters are well-drawn and we sympathize with them as their loyalties are torn between two worlds. Because the story spans such a great deal of time and introduces so many characters from different generations I did at times forget the genealogy, but the threat to the characters was always high. Often the effects of the curse were gruesomely described. I would recommend The Black Act to readers who enjoy epic fantasy. I’m looking forward to the next book from this author.”

Kate Jonez, author of Candy House and Ceremony of Flies

“Louise Bohmer has created a powerful story, set in a captivating world with a host of compelling characters. The author meshes elements of fantasy and horror with an ease that is inspirational. The Black Act is a thoroughly enriching read.”

Rio Youers, author of Mama Fish, Everdead, and End Times

The Black Act is very, very good! It sort of walks a literary tightrope between Octavia Butler and Orson Scott Card…. I find high fantasy of any kind difficult to keep my attention over the long haul, and once a book starts getting into high magicks my eyes usually start glazing over, but this is doing an admirable job of keeping me fixed on it.”

Karen Koehler, author of the successful Mrs. McGillicuddy series

The Black Act is a beautiful tale, beautifully written. Louise Bohmer places her pot squarely on the pile and begins cooking immediately. The aromas in her kitchen are familiar–a hint of J.R.R. Tolkien, a trace of Geoge R.R. Martin, and a whiff of Ursula K. LeGuin–ah, but when you taste this delicious stew, you’ll find a fresh recipe with plenty of meat and potatoes. There’s a new Chef in town, and I’ll be the first in line for seconds!”

Michael Knost, editor of Writers Workshop of Horror

The Black Act blew me away. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I have to tell you, this far exceeded anything that was nestling in the cobwebbed recesses of my cranial dungeon. It was so magically charged, lyrical, and filled with such stark imagery. There were times when my breath was literally taken away. You’ve built a rich and beautiful world filled with wonder, excitement, and a darkness that is as visceral as darkness can be. Your depiction of the Fae was nothing short of brilliant, culminating in a dark and terrible feeling of loss and hopelessness that feeds the story so well. This is, in a very real sense, your coming out party.”

Bob Freeman, Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead


Original Book Trailer for 2009 Release

Original Book Cover for 2009 Release

Click on each image and hit zoom once for full sized versions.

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1897370164-backcover


Excerpt from Book 1

Anna concentrated on her scrying bowl and frowned. She reached beside her to find three dried sage leaves that she added to the stubborn, silent mixture. They bobbed across the dark green surface like tiny boats, but still no clear or distinct visions came to her. This troubled her greatly. Claire was guarding her mind from entrance. Neither sister had ever kept secrets from one another until recently.

Since the death of their guild mother, Grainne, early in the last Winter Quarter, Claire had changed. Now deep into the Spring Quarter with no signs of her sister’s grief or her odd behavior, including frequent disappearances from guild classes, waning, she’d started to fear for Claire’s mental well being.

Anna had spoken with one of her own teachers, a lower-level scribe elder who’d often acted like a second guild mother to Anna and Claire growing up. But even Rosalind found Claire’s erratic ways a bewildering situation.

Together they watched Claire’s comings and goings, spying on her in covert concern, trying to discern a reason for her strange disappearances and frequently missed instruction in her beloved and bestowed craft of music. Even Bathsheba, Claire’s teacher in the lyrical arts, had expressed equal worry over her absences. Claire’s love for music nearly rivaled Anna’s love for her own bestowed craft—that of the scribe. The keepers of histories and stories for the guild and for all of the Dalthwein region. There was a time Anna knew her twin had never missed a day of studies.

Claire was slippery in her clandestine escapes, and Anna and Rosalind had little luck in keeping tabs on her comings and goings. Frustrated from the lack of communication, the constant worry, she decided to try a new tactic for gaining entrance into her sister’s deeper mind. She’d grown desperate to learn the secrets Claire now tucked into shadowed corners of her psyche.

The murky mixture in her worn birch scrying bowl bubbled slowly, pulling the three sage leaves down into the depths of the potion. As the leaves vanished, the potion boiled faster and the liquid grew opalescent. Anna concentrated and waited.

First came eyes. Yellow eyes, with a lick of orange flame in their depths. She gripped the thick cutting block and squinted. The face that materialized in the small, shimmering pool was a visage woven of both animal and something akin to human—feral, frightening, yet entrancing.

A mahogany-skinned satyr leaped down from the high, thick branches of an old cedar, just as Claire crawled through a cluster of underbrush and greeted him with a shy, somewhat fearful smile.

Anna moved closer to the bowl and watched the two walk toward one another. They were tucked somewhere in the northeast forest near the cabin. She was sure of that. She knew every spot possible for hiding and taking a moment of solitude within the first ten feet of the forest’s perimeter.

The northern forests bordered the upper half of the guild lands, wrapping around the northwest and northeast boundaries and stretching across the Dalthwein River. The river separated the wise women’s property from fae territory. The northern forests grew lush, barely ever touched by any mortal presence on the other side of the wide, long stretching river.

The dark satyr took Claire into his thick arms of root, bone, and blackest soil. Anna wanted to look away from her scrying after the woodman removed the white kerchief from her sister’s russet hair and Claire leaned into him, taking his shaggy face into her pale and calloused hands, bringing him close to kiss him deeply.

After picking the bowl up, she moved to the tiny back door of the cabin she and Claire shared. She opened the creaky pine-board entrance and poured her vision mixture into the grassless earth near the short stoop.

A visit to Rosalind was in order. She needed counsel regarding what she’d just witnessed inside her sister’s mind.

***

She found Rosalind’s cabin empty. The scribe elder would be at the guild center, at the scribe’s hall. It would have to wait then. Her worry wasn’t strong enough to bother her guild mother with when Rosalind was busy doing the history transcriptions.

Afternoon turned to early twilight as Anna walked back to the cabin. Just before she reached the back door, she decided to change direction and veered toward the northeast forest’s edge. She didn’t want to wander far from their gifted property, but an instinct told her to investigate the patch of land closest to the storage shed.

Traditionally, a wise woman did not receive her gift of property from her guild mother until she’d reached third level initiate status. But, under the circumstances, the higher elders of the guild decreed the young witches should inherit the property not long after Grainne’s death. Their third level of initiation was only a short time away, due to take place at the end of this Autumn Quarter, on Samhain morning. With the provision Rosalind watch over her and Claire until their time of third level initiation was completed, they took over the cabin and the patch of land.

Something in her third eye whispered Claire was still in the forest with her secret woodman. This higher instinct pulled her closer to the border of the northeast woods and farther from the meager home she shared with her sister. Her stomach warred with a concoction of emotions—anger, fear, betrayal. What was Claire thinking with her rash, secretive actions?

She remembered the death of their guild mother. While very few witch women chosen for the guild were mother and child by blood, all third level witches, and wise women who hadn’t yet reached high elder status, acted as mothers, teachers, to the lower level initiates who were newcomers to the guild lands.

Their guild mother had loved both of them. Yet Anna always felt Grainne paid her sister greater favor. It was, she suspected, the reason Rosalind had stepped in as a bit of a second guild mother to her, in addition to being her scribe teacher. She, too, had been aware of the slight difference in Grainne’s affection for her and her sister.

Anna and Claire were different from most wise women lower level initiates, and not just because they were blood sisters and identical twins. They were also the only wise women in the guild lands who were born within the sacred valley nestled between the Dalthwein mountain ranges. Most young girls and witch women within the guild were chosen for their special blood—females born with natural shamanic abilities and innate magical qualities—but Claire and Anna were found as babes, abandoned near the opening of the valley that led into the western pass and on into the lands of the western Dalthwein clans.

It was Grainne and Rosalind, then fourth level initiates of the guild, who found the twin girls nestled in a basket woven from willow branches and covered by a grey wool blanket. When the elders of the guild discovered the twins held the prized witch blood in their veins, they were welcomed into the guild, and it was decided Grainne would act as their guild mother and serve as the babes’ primary caregiver and teacher. Rosalind would act as a secondary mother.

Anna heard a rustling low in the underbrush near her feet and she stopped, standing as still as a pursued animal trying to make itself unseen in the tall grass. She caught the scent of rich, wet earth. Then she heard laughter, Claire’s laughter, low and filled with wild abandon.

An old cedar four trees to her right swayed back and forth and an animal-like whooping call drifted from the top of its shaggy, outstretching branches. Anna jumped, gathered her arms across the bib of her white apron, and scoured the trees in the direction of the movement. She caught the woodman with her gaze as he leaped to a tree farther back in the edge of the woods. His yellow eyes stared back at her from his new perch. Amber orbs in a face crowned with horns of black and a vulpine smile of sharp, pointed teeth. The satyr from her scrying bowl.

Claire stumbled from the bushes in front of her. When she met her sister’s glance upward, Anna saw doubt and a raw fear in Claire’s deep green eyes. Just briefly, Anna had seen something primal and more akin to forest folk than human in her twin’s prolonged stare.

“What are you doing, sister?” Anna shocked herself with the ferocity of her words. She spat them at her twin and grabbed Claire by the arm, yanking her from the cover of underbrush.

“Let go of me,” Claire whined and yanked herself free of Anna’s grasp. “Give me a moment. Let me straighten myself, please?”

Claire tidied her drab muslin dress and took her bib apron from one of the side pockets of her skirts, looping it back over her head and tying it in place. Now Anna took hold of her twin again and drew her near. She did not give her sister time to fix her badly tousled hair or to replace her small, white hair kerchief.

“Who was that woodman I saw you with?” Anna shook her sister. “He is not of the northern forests. What were you doing with him?”

Claire bit her bottom lip then frowned. “How do you know he is not of the northern forests?”

Anna didn’t have to read her mind to know her sister was trying to evade the true nature of the inquiry between them.

“Who was he? I could smell his scent and it was not of our woods. It had the smell of wild, south forest blood to it.”

Claire jerked her arm away.

“What business is it of yours anyway?” Wild green flame seemed to dance in Claire’s narrow-eyed glare. “You were spying on me. Are you jealous? Is that why I can have no privacy from you?”

The remark hit Anna’s heart with an odd kind of hurt. It was unexpected, and it wounded something deeper in her that she tucked away, not ready to look at that part of herself quite yet. Without warning, she reached back and brought her open palm forward with as much force as she could find within. Claire yelped when Anna’s hand met her cheek. She staggered backward a few steps, unable to gain her balance fast enough to prevent herself from falling back into the underbrush she’d just crawled from.

Anna moved over her quickly, pinning her sister to the ground with her black boots, holding down the loose fabric on the arms of Claire’s dress.

“Do you realize what you do, laying with him? I would not have had to spy on you, were you not hiding your mind from me ever since Mother Grainne’s death.”

At this Claire turned her head away, and Anna caught the tears that fell as her twin’s guilty gaze drifted off. She stepped from Claire’s sleeve and swung her leg over her sister’s prone body then knelt.

“You sacrifice your position as a wise woman within the guild if you bond with a lover, if you take any vow of bonding. You know that.”

Claire swiped the tears from her face and turned back to Anna, scowling now. Anna shuddered at the coldness in her twin’s eyes.

“Who says I wish to bond with him? It’s nothing but a secret affair, sister. I will end it soon enough and no one within the guild will be any the wiser to my actions.”

Anna snorted in disgust and stood, crossing her arms over the bib of her apron as she scowled down at Claire, giving her twin no help as she righted herself to her feet.

“You are a fool, and you’ll be filled with much regret one day if you continue this way—so callous and rash.”

With that, Anna turned away from Claire, who adjusted the wispy white kerchief over her tidied hair, re-plaited and gathered in a large red bun at the nape of her neck. Anna intended to leave her sibling to her own defenses, walk back to the cabin, when something farther down the tree line and directly ahead of her caught her attention.

She heard Claire shuffle behind her and gasp as she mumbled something. Anna knew her sister had seen the phantom too, that it was no trick of her angry, chaos-filled mind.

A red-haired woman who resembled Claire stood about ten feet from them, her transparent hand resting on the wrinkled bark of a dying cottonwood. Anna swallowed and closed her eyes. Taking in a deep breath, she attempted to read the specter’s energy—taste it and feel it for the hint of any insidious intent. But Anna could pick up nothing from the green-cloaked ghost. It was well aware of its state of death and it was guarding its sentience carefully. Frustrated, she gave up and opened her eyes, staring at the phantom.

Claire stood beside her now. Anna turned to her sister and found she too studied the tall, translucent apparition. Was she reading anything off the mysterious woman? Anna tried to reach into her twin’s mind, but found Claire slapped her third eye away.

Anna grabbed her twin’s arm and shook her. “Are you speaking with her? Who is she?”

Claire sneered at her, almost growled, and Anna fought the urge to slap the feral appearance off her sister’s face. Claire composed herself quickly, obviously sensing Anna’s inward reaction, and whispered while lowering her gaze to the grass, “I do not know. She does not speak to me either.”


Excerpt from Book 2

She surely would’ve died had it not been for him.

Claire stirred to the sound of eerie music. Someone was piping a tune on a wooden flute and they could not be far off. Her sluggish heart beat faster with the promise of a possible rescue.

She followed the haunting song to a cluster of pines. There, under the largest tree in the cluster, a tall, burly satyr leaned against the trunk. His head was bent forward as he concentrated on the notes he played. His fingers moved slowly across a pattern of holes notched into the wood to produce the sad melody.

Against the backdrop of the pristine snow, his mahogany skin shone like the dark opening to an inviting cave. The woodman stood with his head tucked forward and his chin pointed toward his chest, one furry thigh drawn up so his cloven hoof of earth and bone rested on the tree trunk. As Claire drew nearer she had to stop herself from calling out in awe at his odd, otherworldly beauty.

She was certain he could not be from any of the northern forests, or even from the east or west forests. She’d never seen a woodman the likes of him. His hide was blacker than an empty night sky. Unlike most woodmen of the northern forests, who were tall, looming creatures usually made of oak, pine, or flesh woven from birch, this satyr was shorter, squat, more thickly built. His body was comprised of soil, mahogany, and a shaggy, black fur that covered his midriff and hindquarters. Thick, wormy white and brown roots twined around his torso and up his neck, holding his form together.

Claire came within a few feet of the satyr and he abruptly stopped piping his tune. He turned his head and a yellow, intent gaze met hers. His presence pinned her where she stood. She swallowed and bowed to him, showing respect for his kind and apology for her intrusion on his solitude.

Through chattering teeth, she spoke. “I beg your pardon for startling you, but—” Tears broke free and she could barely speak as she collapsed to the snow blanketed ground.


Excerpt from Book 3

The wind is warm this morning. Anna knew it held an omen that the approaching Summer Quarter would be stiflingly hot and long. It’ll probably drag well into the Autumn Quarter this revolution.

She wouldn’t mind so much though. She preferred the Autumn Quarter, and a lengthened one meant she could enjoy the vibrant colors of final harvest time that much longer.

“Why is Claire not with you?”

Rosalind finally broke the silence as they walked to the guild’s orchard—a long, sweet smelling grove of apple trees. The fruit was sacred to wood people and Dalthwein alike, and served as a symbol of hardy abundance for harvest times.

“She was already gone this morning when I woke up.”

She heard Rosalind’s soft sigh of worry. She certainly shared this troubled state of mind with her.

They continued their walk, Anna carrying the small picnic basket. Though the birds sang and the day was lovely, in their collective thoughts Anna and Rosalind exchanged nothing but darker, troubled images.

Once they entered the orchard and settled on the grass beneath a leafy, fragrant apple tree, Anna decided to break the quiet.

“Last night, you said we come from the tainted line of Goddard.” She opened the basket. “That Claire and I are of the McCleod ancestry. I don’t understand. I thought the fae sent all of the McCleod tribe out of the Dalthwein lands. After the Rebellion of Glenna, when her connection to the McCleod bloodline was discovered, she and her sympathizers were exiled. Most went back to their nomadic roots. That’s what you elders taught us.”

Rosalind looked so weary, so old and frightened. Anna feared the toll all this was taking on her elder’s health.


Faery Inspiration

Art that helped to inspire the wood people I created in The Black Act. Click on each thumbnail and hit zoom for full sized versions.

411px-Jacob_Jordaens-_Satyr_and_Girl_with_a_Basket_of_Fruit

cernunnosgathering

forbidden fruit

Netherworldgraphic

Pan_and_Daphnis

satyrandwomen

satyrred

300px-Vrubel_pan

800px-Formorians

Arcimboldo_Quatre_Saisons

arcimboldo4

pan0109

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