WOODBRIDGE — A witch with power she has no idea how to use is tasked with a journey to a sanctuary that will save magic and humans forever.
But standing in her way are monsters, savage animals and evil.
It’s a fantasy novel that Woodbridge author T. Wells Brown has been wanting to write for several years, and now it’s being released next month.
“I had always wanted to write fantasy,” she said. “But I didn’t feel so confident in the stories I wrote. Luckily for me, I entered an internship with a large publishing company, I came up with a short story, and it blossomed into this novel.”
Over the last two years, Wells Brown has captured the imagination of local readers with her “Women of Wine Country” series of mysteries and thrillers set in Lodi.
She has five of the nine-part series under her belt, and will now embark on a new saga that she has plotted out over an epic 14 entries.
The first entry, “The Last Witch: An Earth Magic Grimoire,” was released earlier this month. She will be officially introducing it to the community on Oct. 16 with a Woodbridge Witch Walk in downtown Woodbridge.
Wells Brown said transitioning from thriller to fantasy wasn’t too much of a difficult decision to make, as the entire series has been in her head for the last decade.
“I would take my kids to Santa Cruz every year when they had a school break or something, and I’d always look at the mountains,” she said. “I’d always think, wouldn’t it be cool if there was witch up there we couldn’t see, and she’s looking down on us from a cliff.”
As a result, the first book in her “Earth Magic” series will be set in Santa Cruz, rather then in Lodi like her “Women of Wine Country” books.
The second and third entries in the new series will be released in April and June of 2022, respectively, she said.
The Oct. 16 Woodbridge Witch Walk will be more than just a book release party, she said, as food and arts and crafts vendors will line Lower Sacramento Road, and each booth will have candy for children to “Trick or Treat.”
Oddfellows Tavern will host pumpkin painting sessions, and there will be a fortune teller, zombies and a dragon with which attendees can take pictures.
Youngsters and adults alike are encouraged to don costumes for the event, and whoever wears the best witch costume — which Wells Brown will personally choose — will receive a free, autographed copy of “The Last Witch.”
Wells Brown will also be signing both hardback and paperback copies of the book on the Woodbridge Crossing patio.
She said she’s hoping to make the Witch Walk an annual event, adding the idea came about last summer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A group of us formed the Witches of Wine Country, and we went around and danced for the (Woodbridge) fire department, in front of (Woodbridge Elementary) school,” she said. “We did it to help everyone during the pandemic, because they just wanted to get out and to be able to do something. When we were planning this release party, we thought should we just throw the party, or do something enormous that all of us could enjoy.”
And for fans of the “Women of Wine Country” series, Wells Brown isn’t taking time off from writing a new entry. A Christmas book in the series will be released in November, something she said her readers have been asking her to write.
In addition to her thriller and fantasy series, she has a Day of the Dead trilogy planned for release in 2023.
It sounds like a lot of work for non-writers, but Wells Brown said she’s been able to balance her passion and life, thanks to the support of family, friends, and the community.
“Once I realized I could write, and that people wanted to read my stories, I knew this was something I could do,” she said. “Now it’s not about finding time to write, it’s finding time to do everything else.”
The Woodbridge Witch Walk will be from 1-5 p.m. on Oct. 16.
“The Last Witch” is available at Amazon.com for $25 hardcover and $16 paperback. An e-book edition will be available on Oct. 16 as well.
For more information about Wells Brown and her work, visit www.womenofwinecountry.com.