I am on a witchy kick lately, so I was excited to read the novella Brand of Magic by K M Jackways. This New Zealend-set short novel tells the story of Hazel, an empath/mind-reading witch who hasn’t used her powers in a while, and her family and friends, including a hot neighbor who reluctantly is selling his house.

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The summary, from Amazon:

An empath witch should be able to keep everyone happy, right?

Hazel has put magic and men out of her mind. A break-up meant her own thoughts were bad enough, without sensing everyone else’s emotions too. The ghost in the attic and her sarcastic dog familiar would be way too much to explain to any partner.

Instead, Hazel put all her energy into her job promoting the city she loves – Dunedin, New Zealand. And she is pretty good at it, too. When her neighbour, Joel, needs her expertise to save his woodworking business and stop the sale of his family land, she can’t resist getting involved. But the more time they spend together, the more stubbornly locked away his thoughts are.

Then her powerful aunt is attacked, and Hazel has to find a way to get through to her and discover who or what is behind it. It seems as if her psychic powers are the key to everything.

Can she bear to let magic – and love – back in?

A contemporary witchy fiction story – with a dash of romance!

Buy Brand of Magic here.

Hazel is a witch who suppressed her powers some time ago. The constant stream of others’ voices grated on her. But when her aunt has a medical event with a suspicious cause, Hazel needs to tap back into those powers. Hazel is also faced with deadlines at work, and helping out her neighbor so his business doesn’t go under. Not that she has to help him, but she’s a bit of a busybody and her empath skills cause her to just want to help people!

There were a lot of characters in this short book, and I had trouble keeping them straight at times, but they all played a part in the plot. I especially loved Hazel’s familiar, a sarcastic spitfire of an elderly dog named Bonnie. Hazel’s romance with her neighbor, broody Joel, was very fun. I was rooting for them to just kiss already the entire novella! I also really liked the setting of New Zealand, and how descriptive of a portrait the author painted of the country.

The magic in this one is both gentle and exciting, which I loved. I enjoyed the homey touches like teas that enhanced one’s mood just as much as the mind-reading.

Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable 4 star read, and a promising start to a series. My thanks to the author for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Brand of Magic: A Contemporary Witchy Fiction Novella (Redferne Witches Book 1)Brand of Magic: A Contemporary Witchy Fiction Novella by K.M. Jackways
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novella was a fun start to a series! I loved the magic in this world – it’s both gentle and exciting. I did have a little trouble keeping all of the characters straight, but it was still a fun read and I loved the New Zealand setting, which was described beautifully. Hazel’s familiar, a sarcastic dog named Bonnie, was my favorite character! My thanks to the author for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Book Club Questions

  1. What do you think Hazel and Joel’s relationship could be like? Would you like to be able to read your partner’s thoughts, or vice versa?
  2. Hazel’s grandmother names a variety of familiars she had in the past. What animal would your familiar be if you were a witch?


P. S. Brand of Magic is free to read with Kindle Unlimited. Check out Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans to score this and other great reads for free. You can thank me later.


Interested? Buy Brand of Magic.
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peacefully reading