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The Witches of the Blue Well: Thoughts on Writing The Winter Witch

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A captivating new original 20-page short story by Paula Brackston, author of The Witch’s Daughter, “The Witches of the Blue Well” is the story of Ceri, a young woman in early eighteenth-century Wales whose grandmother always told her the magic blood of the women in their family flows through her veins. But when famine and hardship come to their village, will Ceri be able t A captivating new original 20-page short story by Paula Brackston, author of The Witch’s Daughter, “The Witches of the Blue Well” is the story of Ceri, a young woman in early eighteenth-century Wales whose grandmother always told her the magic blood of the women in their family flows through her veins. But when famine and hardship come to their village, will Ceri be able to harness her magic to save herself and her sister, or will her power bring about the destruction of all that she loves? With her signature enchanting style, Paula Brackston has penned an enthralling story set in the world of her newest novel The Winter Witch. In addition to the short story, THE WITCHES OF THE BLUE WELL, this also contains a letter from the author, Paula Brackston, on writing THE WINTER WITCH, an excerpt from “Welsh Folk Lore: a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales,” an authentic publication by the Reverend Elias Owen, from 1886, on witchcraft in Wales, and an excerpt from THE WINTER WITCH, a beautiful and moving novel coming from St. Martin’s Press in February.


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A captivating new original 20-page short story by Paula Brackston, author of The Witch’s Daughter, “The Witches of the Blue Well” is the story of Ceri, a young woman in early eighteenth-century Wales whose grandmother always told her the magic blood of the women in their family flows through her veins. But when famine and hardship come to their village, will Ceri be able t A captivating new original 20-page short story by Paula Brackston, author of The Witch’s Daughter, “The Witches of the Blue Well” is the story of Ceri, a young woman in early eighteenth-century Wales whose grandmother always told her the magic blood of the women in their family flows through her veins. But when famine and hardship come to their village, will Ceri be able to harness her magic to save herself and her sister, or will her power bring about the destruction of all that she loves? With her signature enchanting style, Paula Brackston has penned an enthralling story set in the world of her newest novel The Winter Witch. In addition to the short story, THE WITCHES OF THE BLUE WELL, this also contains a letter from the author, Paula Brackston, on writing THE WINTER WITCH, an excerpt from “Welsh Folk Lore: a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales,” an authentic publication by the Reverend Elias Owen, from 1886, on witchcraft in Wales, and an excerpt from THE WINTER WITCH, a beautiful and moving novel coming from St. Martin’s Press in February.

30 review for The Witches of the Blue Well: Thoughts on Writing The Winter Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shaina

    This was a great short story about a well and a young woman connected to it. It makes me want to see Wales more than ever because of the superstitions and beautiful countryside described. There was first a bit of background on Wales and the folklore and the wells there, then the story which really helped to put it in context. Afterward, there was a bit of history and context about witchcraft, then part of one of Paula’s books. I find her work to be extremely interesting and naturally inspired.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    . This short story explains how the author applied her thoughts to paper, details what she does to get into the time period she is writing about, such as: journaling through how she surrounds herself with time period items, wearing time period clothing, and eating time period food. Her research describes how using herbs as a "natural and/or alternative cure" to help a patient with an illness, became known as "Witchery." . This short story explains how the author applied her thoughts to paper, details what she does to get into the time period she is writing about, such as: journaling through how she surrounds herself with time period items, wearing time period clothing, and eating time period food. Her research describes how using herbs as a "natural and/or alternative cure" to help a patient with an illness, became known as "Witchery."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Quadrel

    This was a really great short story. After reading "The Witch's Daughter" I decided that I had to read everything that Brackston has ever written. The story goes very quickly, and I really enjoy how Brackston ties in fantasy with historical fiction. This was a really great short story. After reading "The Witch's Daughter" I decided that I had to read everything that Brackston has ever written. The story goes very quickly, and I really enjoy how Brackston ties in fantasy with historical fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A nice introduction to the series and excited to read it now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    For me the best story is the one that leaves you wanting more and with the Witches of the Blue Well Paula Brackston certaintly leaves you wanting to know more about Mamgi and the Blue Well.This well constructed short is aided by thoughts on writing the Winter Witch of which we have the bonus of the first two chapters at the end of the Witches of the Blue Well and had me placing my order of The Witch`s Daughter and the Winter Witch stright away. For me the best story is the one that leaves you wanting more and with the Witches of the Blue Well Paula Brackston certaintly leaves you wanting to know more about Mamgi and the Blue Well.This well constructed short is aided by thoughts on writing the Winter Witch of which we have the bonus of the first two chapters at the end of the Witches of the Blue Well and had me placing my order of The Witch`s Daughter and the Winter Witch stright away.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I know this was a short story and history, but I really wanted the rest of the story. It is a good quick read. I will be reading the full story of The Witches of the Blue Well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Powers

    It wasn't amazing. Im a fan of this author but not of this book. It wasn't amazing. Im a fan of this author but not of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This novella is very good. For 20 pages, I was amazed at the connection I felt to the characters and the story told with such a page limit. Truly amazing. I now cannot wait to read more of Ms. Brackston's books! This is Ceri's story in 18th century Wales who must quickly become the head of what's left of her family, even though she's the youngest. In order to save her sister Ceri must believe in her own power. When Ceri and her sister stumble on a well, the witch who lives near the well, and an a This novella is very good. For 20 pages, I was amazed at the connection I felt to the characters and the story told with such a page limit. Truly amazing. I now cannot wait to read more of Ms. Brackston's books! This is Ceri's story in 18th century Wales who must quickly become the head of what's left of her family, even though she's the youngest. In order to save her sister Ceri must believe in her own power. When Ceri and her sister stumble on a well, the witch who lives near the well, and an angry village farmer Ceri must step-up or fold.

  9. 4 out of 5

    CerysAnne

    I loved this short story. As always with Paula's books - no matter the length of them - I was completely captivated with the story. You can read this either before or after The Winter Witch; it doesn't really matter, but it's clear that this short story and The Winter Witch go hand in hand. The Witches of the Blue Well tells the story of Ceri who wants nothing more than for her ill sister to be well again, and she knows she has magic in her blood, but she just doesn't know how to use it. It's wh I loved this short story. As always with Paula's books - no matter the length of them - I was completely captivated with the story. You can read this either before or after The Winter Witch; it doesn't really matter, but it's clear that this short story and The Winter Witch go hand in hand. The Witches of the Blue Well tells the story of Ceri who wants nothing more than for her ill sister to be well again, and she knows she has magic in her blood, but she just doesn't know how to use it. It's when they come across a Well, and meet an old lady who sees the magic in Ceri that she's able to heal not only her sister, but the cattle of the town where this magical blue well is. I finished this short story in under an hour and what a magical story it was. Paula Brackston truly does have a way with words that, during the whole time I was reading this, I truly was captivated, completely hooked, and even though I'd just recently finished reading The Winter Witch, reading this short story only has me wanting to go back and reread that book all over again. I absolutely loved it, and I don't usually say these words in my reviews, but I really, truly recommend to all that you give Paula's books a go. If you love historical/paranormal/fantasy books, then her books are the ones for you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I enjoyed this story. I didn’t know about the history of wells and witches so it was a very interesting read. A lot happened in a short number of pages, without it seeming overwhelming. I look forward to reading Winter Witch.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol Lee

    MUST READ!! This short story is beautiful written with so much passion and detail in such little pages. the only critique is that I wish there was more!! Highly recommend this book if you need a beautiful story to help with the passing of a few hours.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Spinning yarn’s I wish I could spin a yarn as you do. You weave words into magic that brightens my day! I can’t wait to dive into more of your books. Can’t wait until the third installment of the The Little Shop if Found Things!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Lovely to read after having read The Winter Witch.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Garton

    Good read! Short, but a good read....must get another one!! Lol, the descriptions make you feel the breezes, hear the animals....it takes me away.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shahna

    Quick little prequel to The Winter Witch. Good stuff.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    2.5 Too short to really develop any kind of story but I couldn’t resist that gorgeous cover!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mila Caron

    Too bad it was such a short story, it was alright, I liked.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anarae Harpenau

    Good Good short story as to where the well in The Winter Witch originated. I recommend it to anyone that reads the novel.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Agus

    Winter Witch This was a great introduction to the Winter Witch. With some background history to the story. I liked seeing the added photos of nearby area.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Nice quick read. Very atmospheric and loved the main character. I can't wait to be old so I can act like Old Mair. She was so adorably curmudgeonly cute. Nice quick read. Very atmospheric and loved the main character. I can't wait to be old so I can act like Old Mair. She was so adorably curmudgeonly cute.

  21. 4 out of 5

    TALISHA WINSTON

    Good short story! This was a good and quick read while I was looking for another good book to find me. Another place to add to my travel adventures!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Good little short story. Left me wanting more! Loved the characters!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ms.Lisa

    I love short stories, this one went by fast and hit that spot that was itching...I can't wait to pick up another by this author I love short stories, this one went by fast and hit that spot that was itching...I can't wait to pick up another by this author

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie DeShaw

    A fun and magical short story that adds history and lore to my favorite of Brackston's witchy books A fun and magical short story that adds history and lore to my favorite of Brackston's witchy books

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marta Scheiner

    Too short I liked the way the story started, and the storyline in general. If I were to recommend this story I would let the person know that it is extremely short. That's why I gave it the three star rating. Too short I liked the way the story started, and the storyline in general. If I were to recommend this story I would let the person know that it is extremely short. That's why I gave it the three star rating.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    A good short story that allowed my to be enchanted by Paula Brackston and also revisit The Winter Witch A good short story that allowed my to be enchanted by Paula Brackston and also revisit The Winter Witch

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ann Geffert

    The Witches of the Blue Well I am not quite sure how to categorize the books that Ms. Blackstone writes.....Paranormal? Historical? Whatever it is, it is interesting. She has a cool way of writing....using the "voice" that her characters would use. The witch in this story is young, just into her teen years, and faced with losing her family, all but her beautiful sister who is a bit older, but much more fragile, to disease and famine. Her Grandmother hints that she is a witch, but unfortunately, s The Witches of the Blue Well I am not quite sure how to categorize the books that Ms. Blackstone writes.....Paranormal? Historical? Whatever it is, it is interesting. She has a cool way of writing....using the "voice" that her characters would use. The witch in this story is young, just into her teen years, and faced with losing her family, all but her beautiful sister who is a bit older, but much more fragile, to disease and famine. Her Grandmother hints that she is a witch, but unfortunately, she dies before she can be trained as a witch. She leaves with her sister to find the ocean, something she's keen on seeing and experiencing. But something waylaid their journey, they meet an old woman while trying to rest, as her sister has shown signs of the deadly disease her family died of. The old woman guides the girl along her journey to self discovery, and into her full potential as a witch. You could read the summary and get more information. It's a short story, so I would rather not give it all away. Suffice to say that I enjoyed the story, and after reading the first chapters of "The Winter Witch", know that I will purchase it as soon as possible!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I loved Paula Brackston's "The Winter Witch". This short story references a blue well and the main character of that novel finds it and uses it to become a powerful witch. This prequel discusses the first witches who came upon the blue well and one witch in particular that harnesses it's power. The main character in this story is Ceri who has been told by her grandmother that she has magic in her blood. A pestilence causes her to lose her entire family except for her sister. Fleeing the sickness t I loved Paula Brackston's "The Winter Witch". This short story references a blue well and the main character of that novel finds it and uses it to become a powerful witch. This prequel discusses the first witches who came upon the blue well and one witch in particular that harnesses it's power. The main character in this story is Ceri who has been told by her grandmother that she has magic in her blood. A pestilence causes her to lose her entire family except for her sister. Fleeing the sickness the two head towards the ocean and come across the blue well. This story clocks in at 69 pages and also includes some of Brackston's thoughts on writing "The Winter Witch". I did like the short story and only wish that this could have been expanded since I became attached to the character of Ceri.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Duckworth

    I read The Witches of the Blue Well awhile ago and was so impress I read the Winter Witch too. I love how Ms. Braxkston brings the Welsh countryside of the time into such sharp focus, the peoples ways and superstitions along with the incredible poverty makes me wonder how easy it would have been to be born into that era rather than the 20th century. This was the first "witchy" book I have ever read, never thought I would like them but Paula Braxston is a gifted writer, I have gone on to read rea I read The Witches of the Blue Well awhile ago and was so impress I read the Winter Witch too. I love how Ms. Braxkston brings the Welsh countryside of the time into such sharp focus, the peoples ways and superstitions along with the incredible poverty makes me wonder how easy it would have been to be born into that era rather than the 20th century. This was the first "witchy" book I have ever read, never thought I would like them but Paula Braxston is a gifted writer, I have gone on to read read every one of her books and truly believe that she could write about anything and still rivet her readers imagination. I believe that her books will be read long into the future and become classic's.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    That was nice. Bit of information as well as a short tale. It's funny to think that Ffynnon Las could come about by two young teenagers and an old crone. and like The Winter Witch it still spurred up my irritation and anger towards those that mistreat people who use gifts, even to help people. I think that if there is truly magic in the world we should punish those that do harm with it and only if there is REAL evidence of the harm being caused by them. Woahh now.....my Merlin feels are springing That was nice. Bit of information as well as a short tale. It's funny to think that Ffynnon Las could come about by two young teenagers and an old crone. and like The Winter Witch it still spurred up my irritation and anger towards those that mistreat people who use gifts, even to help people. I think that if there is truly magic in the world we should punish those that do harm with it and only if there is REAL evidence of the harm being caused by them. Woahh now.....my Merlin feels are springing up again haha.

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