January 26, 2021

The Forest Witch Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE FOREST WITCH by Britt Laux Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


THE FOREST WITCH (Tales of Unara #1)
Author: Britt Laux
Release Date: February 1, 2021
Publisher: Magic and Moons Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 333

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, TBDBookshop.org

Read For FREE With A Kindle Unlimited Membership!

A warrior, her witch, and the spark that ignites a war.

Lanira na Caliri never expected to find a human in the North Forest of Unara, let alone a witch. When she discovers Siobhan unconscious by the portal that leads to her world, she soon learns of a prophecy that foretold her coming. A warning that a daughter of Unara will bring destruction upon the realm. The reign of blood will come again unless Lanira can stop it. With the little witch by her side, Lanira embarks on a journey across the clans of Unara to unite the people and save her realm from the Dark Karika’s return at all costs. Even if she must risk losing herself to the mysterious Minra na Goran in the process.

A deleted scene or a scene from another character's POV.

The Forest Witch went through several iterations before it became what it is now. Originally, I was writing this story from Ilnor’s perspective and he was the twin, who just so happened to find himself in the human realm as a child. There he meets a young girl with a secret, who inspired Siobhan. I loved Ilnor’s character so much that I kept him as Lanira’s trainer and best friend when I realized this story needed a female voice.

I still have the old drafts, though, so I’m sharing a scene from what you might call an alternate reality where Ilnor is our main character and narrator.

Pushing my body to the limit, I welcome the rush of cool air on my face and the effort of exertion. I have always been faster than Nilan, my one victory over my twin, but tonight I want to break even my own record. Ignoring the burning in my legs and the stitch in my side, I run faster as twigs claw at my hair and clothes.

I want to get as far away from my brother and father as possible.

What I really want is to do something that will make my father furious. Show him he cannot keep ignoring me and favoring Nilan. When an idea takes root, I roll it over in my mind. I veer off through the forest, grinning through my anger.

Coming to the arch in the middle of a peaceful clearing, I dig my heels into the earth to stop myself. Dirt scatters, and I nearly topple over. The portal is a towering contraption of ancient stone, the open space slightly distorted. It almost looks like water, with just a hint of shimmer.

Only the Karik can activate portals, or at least that is what I have been taught.

But I am his oldest son, am I not? The heir? Gritting my teeth, I step up to the arch and raise my palms. Taking a deep breath, I exhale slowly to bring myself back into focus. It is not easy to cross over into the midland, according to my tutors. Those who used to travel to the other side went through extensive training.

It might hurt.

I feel a rush of power through my core, rising along my center and extending through my hands. Peeking an eye open, I see the placid center start to swirl. It whirls faster and faster, but I stand firm until I know the portal is ready.

It starts as just a pinprick, a clear space in the very middle, widening slowly until a man could pass through. I can see sunshine on the other side, brilliant compared to the nighttime of Unara. Bracing myself, I lower my hands and launch myself through.

I feel as though I am spinning out of control, finally landing in a heap on the forest floor. Sitting up slowly, I groan and hold my head, not entirely sure I am not going to vomit.

A crawling feeling spreading over my skin makes me aware I am being watched. Opening my eyes, I see a girl sitting on the ground near me, gaping in terror. She opens her mouth, and I can sense the scream rising in her chest, so I scramble to my feet.

“No! No scream!” I plead, looking around frantically, holding my hands up defensively.

Her mouth clamps shut as she looks at me curiously. “No scream?” Blinking, I stare back. “Not right?”

“No,” she says with a giggle, getting to her feet as she brushes off the seat of her unusually short pants. “You don’t speak English?” Offended by her tone, I draw myself up proudly. She does not know who she is speaking to, obviously. “I do.”

“Not well,” she points out, crossing her arms over her thin chest.

I look her over, irritated to have my act of defiance thrown off by this strange girl and her pale eyes. Minaran eyes. Can humans have grey eyes, too? We learn so little about the occupants of the midland...

“Why are you staring?”

“Apology,” I tell her, looking around again. “Drew Forest?” She nods, watching me warily. “Are you Unaran?” I look at her sharply, fists clenched. “You Minaran?”

“What?” she asks, wide-eyed. “Why would you say that?”

“Eyes,” I reply, gesturing vaguely.

Maybe she’s a half-blood, minralo, the child of one of the damned Minarans that threw our world into chaos. There is magic around her, certainly, but it is strange… not entirely familiar.

“I couldn’t be,” she says finally, frowning. “I’m just… me. Lira. You know, kind of like lyrics? Dad says my mom was really into music.” Her rambling is irritating, and I take a step back to investigate the crossing. This is what the arch looks like on this side? I suppose it is a good disguise, really. Only an Unaran would be able to see the shimmering portal among the skinny trees, bent to delve their branches into the earth.

Another group of arched trees stands across the clearing we are in, and a shiver runs through me. I know exactly where it goes, draped with white flowers that give off a heady scent even from here. Looking back at the arch I came through, I reach out a hand to touch the golden petals of the Nadir na Una, the sun flowers of my people.

“How did you come out of that?”

I look over as the girl follows me from the clearing, gaze intent on my face.

“I open portal.”

“Portal,” she repeats in a whisper. “You really are a faerie!” Now I laugh, shaking my head. “Faerie not real.”

“Then how do you explain you?” she retorts.

“Unaran,” I tell her drily. “Not faerie.”

“Well, my dad says Unarans are faeries. Bad faeries,” she adds in a quiet voice, backing away from me slightly.

Scowling at her, I try to remember my English lessons. Human languages have always seemed like such a waste of time. We learn them to honor our former alliance, but I am not the attentive student Nilan is.

“We not bad,” I say firmly. “Unara land of light.”

“What kind of light?” she asks, enthralled.

I look down at her, dressed so oddly. Her arms are bare, no sleeves on her bright orange top and her legs exposed by the short pants. Hair wild in a mussed braid, she looks just as feral as I expected humans to be.

“This,” I tell her, touching my chest.

Her brow pinches as she touches her own chest. “I don’t understand.” Exhaling a sigh, I try to gather my words. “Kind. Good. Love.”

“Ohhh,” she says, dragging it out. “I get it. What about the Minarans? I thought they were the good guys?” How does this minralo know so much about us? I narrow my eyes at her, sizing her up again. She looks a few years younger than me, maybe ten or eleven. Other than her eyes and questionable garments, she looks just like any other girl.

Her skin is pretty, though, so fair… Like moonlight. Like the Minarans.

“Minara land of shadows,” I finally say, another shiver running through me.

The Minarans are our enemies, the ones that chased us away from the midland. They started bonding with the humans, making the minralos - half-bloods. Creatures to be feared, if you believe my father.

And most everyone does.

“Oh,” she says again, face falling. “But my dad says…”

“Dad?” I interrupt sharply.

“Yeah, you know, father…”

I huff. “Who dad?” “Who is my dad?” she asks, and I nod impatiently. “Seamus Collins. He’s the director of the board for this preserve.” Her words take on a note of pride.

A human, then. “Mother?”

“Well, my step-mom is Kirsten.” “Step-mom?” I echo, confused.

She looks at me with a cocked brow. “You know, when your parents get remarried? She’s not my real mom, but she raised me. My real mom died. Here in the forest.”

“Apology,” I mutter.

“It’s okay,” she tells me with a wide smile. “She was called Balani. Isn’t that pretty?” Balani. I stare at her, mouth dry. That is most definitely a Minaran name, confirming my suspicions.

“What’s your name?” she asks, interrupting my racing thoughts.


“That’s cool.”

I frown. “Cool?” “Yeah, awesome. Neat. Umm… radical.” Still not understanding, I just nod. We have been walking slowly through the trees, neither of us making much noise. She has the gift of moving through the forest silent as a whisper. I glance over again, amazed by my discovery.

How many more of her are there?

Brushing back a strand of hair, she catches me staring. “What?”

“I fix,” I offer, before I can stop myself.

She laughs, touching her hair. “You can braid?”

I nod, not entirely sure why she seems so amused. Nilan always wears his hair in a braid, close to the scalp. My own hair hangs loose around my face, and I shake it out of my eyes as she turns her back to me.

“What this?” I ask, pulling the strange thing off the end of her hair.

“A scrunchie,” she says with another tinkling laugh, twisting to pluck it from my fingers. “I’ll hold it.”

Her hair is an ashy brown, muted somehow. Everything about her seems faded, from her pale skin to her silvery eyes. I touch her silky strands, running my fingers through them to tame them. I thought all Minarans had light hair…

She stands very still as I weave it back into a braid, moving only to hand me the scrunchie. I fumble with it until she reaches back, hand brushing mine as she takes over.

The contact sends heat up my arm, and I jerk away.

“What was that?” she asks, turning around.

I shrug, avoiding her eye. “Show me forest.”

“Okay,” she says easily, then grins before tapping my shoulder. “You’re it.”

“It?” I ask, but she is already bounding off.

Nearly smiling when I realize she is playing chase, I take off after her. She is fast, moving swiftly, darting through the trees like it is second nature. But she is not faster than me, and I catch up easily, tapping the center of her back.

“It.” She giggles, stopping to catch her breath. I find we are now on a path, leading both north and south. Turning around, I take it all in. The trees seem to go on forever, not unlike the forest at home.

“Well, I found the trail,” she says. “It leads back to the nature center,” she adds, pointing north.

“No go there,” I tell her. The last thing I need is to be seen by humans or a Minaran. The danger of what I have done is catching up with me, and I swallow hard.

“Are you okay?” she asks, and I feel her small hand slip into mine.

Heat runs through me again, and I can know she feels it too. The Unar. With a half-blood? That cannot be.

“Lira!” I am startled by the deep voice, calling her name.

“Uh oh,” she says with a wince. “That’s my dad… I’m not supposed to be out this far. I’d better go.”

Her hand slides out of mine before I can stop her.

“Maybe I’ll see you again sometime,” she says over her shoulder, running down the path. “I play out here all the time!”

“You will.” I whisper the promise, holding my hand to my chest.


Britt is an Ohio-based author and editor, and parent to three. They are inspired by the baby forest they live in, often found wandering through the trees thinking up new stories. You can catch them on Instagram - almost constantly - @authorbrittlaux or @magicandmoonspress, where they share inspiration for other indies.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon


(1) winner will win a character art print, a custom candle, a signed paperback of THE FOREST WITCH, and a bookmark - US Only.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:



Guest Post & Instagram Post


Rockstar Book Tours



A Dream Within A Dream

Guest Post


Jaime's World


Two Chicks on Books/Jaimerockstarbooktours

Guest Post & Instagram Post


Pass Me That Book



Writer of Wrongs

Guest Post


Lifestyle of Me



Books A-Brewin'/Books A Brewin'

Excerpt & Instagram Post

Week Two:


The Momma Spot/The Momma Spot

Review & Instagram Post


Three gals and plenty of books



Wonder Struck



Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Guest Post


Pine Enshrined Reviews/ Pine Enshrined

Review & Instagram Post


Jotted by Jena



Fire and Ice



Books and Zebras @jypsylynn

Review & Instagram Post


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