New Release Blitz: Witch in the Wind by Damian Serbu (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  Witch in the Wind

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/11/2024

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 87400

Genre: Fantasy, witches, pirates, Royal Navy, military, action/adventure, magic/magic users, religious extremism (Puritans)

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A winter storm blows through Salem, Massachusetts, setting young witch Alexander MacBeth on a perilous path to adulthood as his dying mother gifts him an heirloom and pleads for him to use it to survive.

To do so, he will need to perfect his inherited witchcraft to protect himself from those who want him dead. In his journey to adulthood, he falls in love with dashing nobleman Crispin Nottingham. Abandoned by Crispin and pursued by the Puritans, he finds he must harness the wind to assist his escape and flee his homeland aboard a pirate ship led by the handsome captain, Henri the Twisted.

Struggling against distrustful pirates, an evil witch, and his continued longing for Crispin, Alexander sharpens his magical skills and falls into a romance with Henri. Chaos and danger confront him at every turn, even as he searches for love and belonging. A new sail on the horizon may signal hope or more danger than ever before—if Alexander can survive to meet his future.


Witch in the Wind
Damian Serbu © 2024
All Rights Reserved


December 1692

Salem, Massachusetts

Alexander hid in the loft of the old barn despite the bitter cold blowing between the boards and swirling around him. He had traipsed through the snow from the nearby house to his secret hiding place in the hay to spend a few moments alone.

His body was undergoing major changes. Other boys went through transformations at this age too. Alexander learned as much from the gossip and stories he heard of expanding muscles, hair growing in new places, and voices deepening. Except those alterations hardly worried him.

He jumped when the violent wind slammed a door shut beneath him. He reached over and grabbed the small doll his mother had made him long ago, which he played with until his father announced him too old for such things. After that, he’d hid his toy up here.

No, nothing going on physically alarmed him, not even his emerging sexual excitement. The pastor’s warning against sinful thoughts seemed out of touch. Though he’d never say it aloud, Alexander thought that a bunch of rot.

He came to his hideaway today because of the memory of his mother’s lesson from last summer when he’d turned thirteen. Alexander curled up in a blanket, clutching his doll, warding off the freezing temperature as the blizzard covered the landscape outside the barn.

One hot summer evening after dusk, his mom had taken him out to a darkened field and spoken in a whisper.

“Your body is changing,” she had said. He blushed at the memory, embarrassed that his mother noticed such things in him. “But that’s not all. Listen closely, Alexander. It’s a dangerous time. Not everyone understands your family. They’ll come for us if we’re not careful. There’s a legacy in you that will blossom in the next year or so. I’ll teach you about it. You must promise to keep it a secret. Come only to me as the changes stir and when you have questions.”

He had nodded and said nothing else, too humiliated by the thought of talking to his mother about his body’s transition.

Since then, he had asked a number of times about this mysterious new power in him, only for her to admonish that he was not ready to learn more. If his father ever overheard, he scowled and told them to keep quiet.

There came an alarm, as if a wisp on the tail of a storm, blowing a chill into his very brain. He reached for his mother’s crystal, one she allowed him to examine from time to time if he promised to keep it hidden and never speak of its magic. The glass orb fit in the palm of his hand, smooth and clear. Peering into the crystal, he saw a vision of men: the pastor, the sheriff, and others, riding their horses hard through the storm and coming toward the farm. In the last month, images of the present had flashed into the crystal, a power he understood to come along with the other alterations to his being. No doubt his mother referenced these forces during that warm night in the field on his thirteenth birthday.

Minutes later, Alexander heard horse hooves pounding outside, and a horse whinnied as the posse came to a halt. The fact they ventured out on such a horrid night caused Alexander’s heart to race.

Alexander peeked out a crack in the barn to see the men gather together after tying their horses to a post. The family’s old dog bellowed a warning as the men approached the house.

“Goody Macbeth? Come out.”

Instead of his mother, his father came to the door and held his musket.

Alexander shivered at the cold and then ducked under a pile of hay when he heard someone climbing up the ladder toward him.

“Alexander?” his mother whispered. “Show yourself. I know you’re up here. We haven’t much time.”

Alexander sensed the urgency in her voice, so different from the gentle way she always spoke to him, even after a transgression. He saw her crawling toward him.

“Hush yourself and listen, child.” She took him in her arms as if again a babe. He thought better of resisting, despite the adult in him protesting this infantile turn of events. “You remember what I told you about the changes you’ll experience? I wanted to teach you about them at the appropriate time. I wanted to do it as my mother did for me. But they’re going to take me away.”

“I won’t let them.” Alexander reached for his own musket, but his mother held him tightly.

“Listen to me. You can’t do anything.”

Alexander frowned at the thought of cowardice. Except, he loved his mother too much to disobey. He relaxed again in her arms.

“Good. That’s a good boy. If you lash out, they’ll get you too. I need you to survive.” She leaned over and glanced out the crack in the barn for herself. He glanced over her shoulder and saw his father in a heated discussion with the men.

Only when his mother pulled him back into the hay did he notice the tear trickling down her cheek.

“These are evil times in which we live, son. Not the evil they’ll speak of, with Satan coming into their midst. No.” She shook her head. “It’s the innocent they kill. The complete misunderstanding of the power. This is what you must learn, and I’ve but a few minutes to teach you. You have power in your blood. To see the present, no matter where it may take place. To heal. To control the wind. Alexander, believe me, it’s not from a demon. It’s from your grandmother, and your great grandfather before her. Use it to protect yourself. Use it for good, no matter what you may hear otherwise.”

“Where is your wife?” They both jumped at the sheriff’s screaming voice.

“Are you a witch?” Alexander whispered to his mother. “Am I a witch?”

“Give me your hand.” Alexander held his hand out to his mother, who took it and then pressed their index fingers together. A warmth cut through the biting cold that had taken hold of every other part of his body and then seemed to course through his veins. He felt dizzy for a moment, but then a new powerful control overcame him.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Damian Serbu is an author of gay horror/speculative fiction. After over twenty years of teaching history at the collegiate level, he now writes full time. He lives in the Chicagoland area with his husband and two dogs.

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