Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cover Reveal: Of The Blood Of Witches

During World War II, British witch Vivian Eldon works with a network of witches to prevent a Nazi invasion. Assisted by intelligence officer Commander Ian Fleming—the future author of the James Bond novels—and flamboyant MI-5 astrologer Captain Louis de Wohl, the Eldon family becomes the magical force behind the Miracle of Dunkirk. Coming soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Witch Hunt: Of the Blood - An Excerpt

My novel Witch Hunt was first published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books in 1990. It's the tale of 300+ years in the history of the Hawthornes, a family of hereditary witches. The novel takes the family from the Salem Witch Trials into a modern-day witch hunt. My publisher wanted to market it as a horror novel and insisted I add an abundance of gratuitous sex and violence. I was young, naive, and did what I was told. It was a decision I always regretted. So, I petitioned for my rights to the novel, rewrote it, and published what I like to call "The Director's Cut" edition. Since its release in 2010, it has become my bestselling novel ever. Over the course of time, the novel has been translated into German and Turkish, and there was even talk of a TV mini-series. 

Since its initial release, fans have requested a sequel. It took a long time before I was inspired with a plot good enough to complement the original novel. I'm planing a 2013 release of that sequel: Witch Hunt: Resistance. It's the story of the Witches' Underground Resistance Movement and begins right where Witch Hunt left off.

In the meantime, I thought it would be wonderful to address the many fans who requested to learn more about some of the historical characters from the first novel. I selected writers whose work I admired, asked them to choose a character from the original book, and write a novella about him or her. The result is Witch Hunt: Of the Blood. This anthology also serves as a bridge to the upcoming sequel.

Regarding my own contribution to this anthology, when I was a child I learned about the role the British witches played in preventing the Nazis from invading England, and I always wanted to write a novel about it. Unfortunately, sidetracked by other writing projects, I never got around to it. When the idea for this anthology arose, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to tell the story via Vivian, the young English witch brought to America during World War II to marry into the Hawthorne family.

Please enjoy an excerpt from my novella, "Of the Blood of Witches,"  wherein seventeen-year-old Vivian Eldon and her magical circle work to stop Hitler. The story is a prequel to Vivian's appearance in Witch Hunt.


Dylan charged into the room without knocking. “Quick! Come quick! Rhonda’s got an astral visitor and it’s awfully serious.”

Vivian rushed to follow Evelyn and Dylan.

“A little Gypsy girl named Lala, who used to be a friend of Rhonda’s, appeared asking for help,” Dylan told them as they hurried toward the far wing of the mansion. “From what Lala’s said so far, she and her family are in one of Hitler’s prison camps. There’s a big ditch filled with burning petrol and the guards are pushing the Gypsies into it: men, women, children, old people. They’re burning them alive!” Dylan’s shaking voice broke. “Lala saw her parents pushed in and the trauma caused her to come here. Father says the girl’s manifesting astrally, but all of us can see and hear her so I think the extreme circumstances made her bilocate. Lala and Rhonda have a psychic connection and used to work magic together before the family returned to Europe.” Dylan turned to look at them with anguish. “You know how the Gypsies are hated here in England. They thought they’d be safer in Europe.” Tears exploded from his red-rimmed eyes. “I’m so ashamed to be English. Shame on us. Shame.”

They arrived at the bedroom Morgana and her daughter were using. A small crowd of houseguests gathered outside the door, quietly listening to what was happening inside. Vivian pushed her way through the bodies to the threshold where she could see Morgana and Rhonda sitting on the bed with a little girl about Rhonda’s age perched between them. Lala had fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes—common among the Romanichals who lived in Britain—and yes, their people were greatly discriminated against. Vivian cringed when she recalled seeing the signs outside business establishments that read, NO DOGS OR GYPSIES. She suddenly shared Dylan’s shame.

Lala whimpered. “I’m next! I’m trying to hide behind bigger people, but the bad men are going to throw me in anyway.” Her whimpering morphed into inhuman shrieks of abject terror.

Morgana grasped Lala by her arms and drew her close. “Do what I say! Right now! Look in my eyes, right now, and don’t look away!”

Lala continued to shriek and Morgana gave her a fierce shake, repeating her command. Rhonda leaned into Lala and whispered something no one else could hear. Almost immediately, Lala settled down enough to allow Morgana’s magical eyes to seize hers.

Morgana said, “You’re swimming in the sea with me. We’re together in the cool, fresh water. Do you feel it?”

Lala didn’t respond, so Morgana shook her again. “Do you feel the water, Lala?”

Rhonda grasped Lala’s hand. “I’m swimming with you too! Do you see the dolphins? They’re swimming with us, taking us far away from the shore.”

“Look deep into my eyes, Lala,” Morgana said. “They’re green, just like the sea. Dive into them.”

Lala quieted down and managed a tiny, little nod.

“That’s it,” Morgana said. “The water is so cool and soothing.”

Lala jerked, coughed, and uttered a brief shriek.

“Oh! The dolphins are singing to us, Lala!” Rhonda shouted. “Do you hear their squeals? That’s their song and they’re singing it just for us.”

“Cool, refreshing, life-giving water,” Morgana said, grasping Lala more tightly. “Such cold, wet water all around us.”

“The water feels so good,” Lala whispered. She looked away from Morgana’s eyes and stared into Rhonda’s. “I love you, but I’m going to swim far away with the dolphins now. Let me go.”

“I love you too, Lala,” Rhonda managed to say through her thick veil of tears. “Go play with the dolphins and be happy.”

Rhonda and Morgana released their holds on Lala at the same moment and she disappeared, the ghost of a hopeful smile lingering for just a few seconds. A faint whiff of smoke followed. Then there was a moment of terrible silence before Rhonda’s screams filled the air. Morgana drew her daughter close and gently rocked until the screams faded. “I am so proud of you,” Morgana said. “You’ll never know how proud.”

Fighting back tears, Vivian quietly closed the bedroom door, turned, pushed her way blindly through the crowd, and raced back to her room. She changed into her riding clothes and ran out to the stables where she mounted Epona bareback, urged her into a gallop, and headed out toward the distant meadows.

“Oh Goddess,” Vivian murmured. “Oh Goddess.” She chanted it over and over again like a mantra, hoping it would dull her horrified reaction to the travesty she had just witnessed. “What has Hitler unleashed upon the world? It is beyond evil. We have to stop him before he does worse things. Oh Goddess!”

Perhaps the Divine Lady took pity on her, or perhaps Vivian’s bond with Johnny was stronger than she knew, but through the pounding of her blood and Epona’s hooves, she heard the distant roar of an aircraft engine. Vivian scanned the skies until she saw the plane—his plane. Johnny had previously flown over Hollywood Manor while headed across the Channel on sorties, but that he would appear right at this moment was nothing short of miraculous.

Johnny dived as low as he could safely fly and tipped his wings to her, back and forth and back again—a special salute he had greeted her with before. Holding onto Epona’s mane with one hand, Vivian used her other hand to pull a red scarf from her head and wave it high in the air. She shouted to him at the top of her lungs, knowing he couldn’t possibly hear the words but hoping he’d capture the message.

“Stop them, Johnny! Don’t do it for England. Do it for humanity!”


Witch Hunt: Of the Blood

Five novellas based on Devin O’Branagan’s bestselling novel, Witch Hunt!

You’ve closed the cover on Witch Hunt, but the story isn’t over … yet! Devin O’Branagan has handpicked writers to take up her characters’ stories and explore what happens next.
The anthology begins with O’Branagan’s own novella about Hawthorne matriarch, Vivian. Vivian and her fellow British witches work together to prevent a Nazi invasion during World War II. Then there is Colonial maiden, Bridget, who struggles with the guilt of failing her family in Salem, 1692. Her younger sister, Prissy, mysteriously disappears and finds another magical world. Julia, torn by family loyalties, love, and her spiritual quest, pays a huge price to continue the bloodline. And Miranda uses her powers against the great influenza outbreak of 1918—but finds the ultimate foe is prejudice against her kind.

Discover what was left out of Witch Hunt and revisit your favorite characters with these exciting novellas. The story isn’t done until the battle’s lost and won.

This anthology contains novellas by Devin O'Branagan, Suzanne Hayes Campbell, Keri Lake, K.L. Schwengel, and Krista Walsh.

All five authors of the anthology are available for discussion at Devin's writers' forum. This is the link to chat with them: Chat With The Authors!

Witch Hunt: Of the Blood is available in both print and eBook formats and may be found at AmazonB&N, and Smashwords. (Smashwords provides copies compatible with almost all types of eReaders including Sony, Apple, Kobo, etc.) It is also available internationally via Amazon worldwide!

Two of the stories in this anthology are bridges to the upcoming sequel, Witch Hunt: Resistance, which will be released in 2013.

 The original novel, Witch Hunt, is available as both a paperback and an eBook. It is available at AmazonB&N, and Smashwords. It begs the question, "Could it happen again?"

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What is Life?

On this holiday that celebrates Life, I would like to share these magnificent words spoken by Mother Teresa:

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

Image of Mother Teresa from

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Gay Christmas Story by Valentino DeMitri

I have to confess that I have a huge crush on Santa; I’ve always had a thing for older men. Working for his organization is a family thing. My mother still works for him. My father did too, before he deserted us shortly after I was born to run off with an elf with pointier ears than Mom. Last I heard, he had a gig acting in The Hobbit. No word on what became of Miss Pointy Ears, except rumor has it she dumped him for an elf from Lord of the Rings.

The weeks before Christmas are always wild and crazy in Santa’s workshop, and sightings of him are fleeting. However, today I am suddenly aware of The Man himself standing behind my chair, watching me work.

“Gah!” I say when I look up into his jolly face. I always considered his demeanor to be so—dare I say it?—gay.

Santa stroked his beard and looked down at my GI Joe. I could smell the scent of peppermint on his breath. For a moment, I got a whiff of mistletoe and frantically looked up, hoping someone had helpfully hung a sprig right above us. 

“The sparkling pink pasties glued over his nipples are an interesting touch,” he finally said.

I held up my GI Joe masterpiece, pride washing through me. “Well, initially, they would be hidden by his uniform.”

Santa stroked his beard—such a sensuous caress—and nodded. “Ah, I see. Don’t ask, don’t tell.”


He looked me in the eye. Me! I felt the tips of my pointy ears grow hot. Then he glanced down at my name tag. “Spock, is it?”

“My mother was a Trekker.”

“Clever name.”

It was the first time I hadn’t been teased about it, which caused me to fall even deeper in love than before...if such a thing were possible.

Santa looked thoughtful for a few, timeless moments before he asked, “Are you romantically involved with someone right now?”

What? I shook my head to clear my brain. What did he ask me?

He grinned. “Great. Why don’t you come over to my place for dinner tonight?”

“Gah!” was my eloquent reply.

Omigod. Dinner with Santa!

He slapped me on the back, a hearty—but assuredly intimate—gesture. “See you at six, my boy.”

Twinkle, the pretty elf who worked next to me, stared at Santa as he walked away. “Seriously?” she asked. “Dinner with The Man? None of us ever get invited to have dinner with him.”

To boldly go where no elf has gone before.

*          *          *

As I knocked on the door to his house, I pushed the multitude of questions out of my mind. The big one that had been bothering me all day was: what about Mrs. Claus? Had Santa sent her off to test drive the reindeer? I struggled with the moral dilemma of having dinner with a married man. What would my mother say? What if Santa wanted to kiss me? Should I play hard to get? Would he think me easy if I planted myself under any and all mistletoe I could locate? As waves of angst coursed through me, Mrs. Claus swung open the door and greeted me with a toothy smile.

“Hello, Spock! So glad you could join us this evening.”


In a daze, I stumbled inside their warm cabin and melted into a soft chair near the roaring fireplace.

“Would you like some hot cider, dear?” Mrs. Claus asked.

Mutely, I nodded.

Santa’s hearty laugh snapped me out of my stupor, and I jumped to my feet. Walking into the room at his side was another, younger man. Not as soft and cuddly as Santa, he was nevertheless handsome. And he was bald, just like Jean Luc Picard. A sigh escaped me. I liked bald men—the look was so...dare I say...phallic?

Santa introduced him. “Spock, this is my baby brother, Sven. He’s visiting from Sweden where he works on the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee.”

I took note of the smart military uniform Sven wore. “You serve in one of the armed services?” I managed to somehow ask, proud of myself for being able to finally master a complete sentence.

Sven grinned and gave me a coy wink. “No, but my brother told me how much you like men in uniform.”

He flexed his muscles, a button flew from his shirt, and I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be it possibly be? A pink pastie!

I swooned as visions of sugar plum fairies danced in my head.

Note From Devin O'Branagan

Valentino DeMitri is the most popular character I have ever created, and critics labeled him "the best gay character in fiction." He woke me in the middle of the night recently and dictated this holiday story to me. We hope it made you laugh. If you would like to discover the beauty, wit, and charm of Val, please read The Red Hot Novels. You can learn more at

Red Hot Property is available as an eBook and in print at Amazon

 Copyright © 2012 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved

Valentino DeMitri

Wishing all our readers a joyful holiday season!

(Please note: All character representations on my blog and website are professional models.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Christmas Dance

I wrote this story as a holiday gift to my fans. It is a prequel to Show Dog Sings the Blues and The Red Hot Novels. The Christmas Dance is a touching tale that sheds light on the characters in those books, and speaks to what I believe is the true message of the season: Love is the greatest gift we can give one another.
Please enjoy The Christmas Dance:

My name is Talisman and I'm an Australian Shepherd. My person is Valentino DeMitri, and he's the heart of our family, our brilliant sun.

Peter, the man Val loved, was the moon reflecting Val's sun. He was gentle, shy, and fragile, so Val and I focused our energies on caring for him. Peter even inspired my latent maternal instincts. For some strange reason I always found comfort in licking his feet, probably because they were both left feet. At least that's what Val said. I figured it was some kind of human frailty and perhaps my sincere attention to them might remedy the situation.

The week before Christmas, Peter was killed by a drunk driver. Grief became a giant black hole that swallowed every bit of our light.

Val wouldn't get out of bed for days, so I crawled in next to him. My fur soaked up his tears, and my love absorbed a measure of his anguish. Humans came and went, bringing food and sympathy. However, at the end of the day it was just the two of us clinging to each other, wishing with all our combined might that we could change the unchangeable.

"Before Peter drove off I gave him a hard time about not being able to do the dance routine," Val told me with a shuddering sob. "God forgive me, that was the last thing I said to him."

Val and Peter had been preparing for a Christmas Eve recital at Cafe au Gay. Tap dance was a challenge for Peter.

"If only I had told him how much I loved him!"

I felt so helpless.

My stomach growled. Lost in grief, Val had forgotten to feed me. As I pondered my dilemma, I remembered that his mother, Margo, left a freshly baked cheesecake on the kitchen counter. I gently disentangled myself from Val's arms, jumped off the bed, and made my way down the hall into the kitchen. My toenails clacked on the tile floors, echoing in the tomblike silence.

Earlier, when Margo came over, she plugged in all the Christmas lights. Now that darkness had settled, the house was awash in a bath of brilliant colors. It reminded me of the stages on which I had seen Val and Peter perform. We had always been a show biz family. Margo taught theater arts, Val danced, Peter sang, and I had once won Best in Show at Westminster. I thought about how Val had always insisted that the show must go on. I was afraid he would forget how to do that now.

My nose led me straight to the cheesecake, perched enticingly within my reach. My hind legs steadied me while my front paws reached for the pie. Carefully, I pulled it to the edge of the counter and flipped it onto the floor where it landed with a fragrant splat. I dived into the sweet, creamy concoction with gusto.

"Why, Miss Talisman! Aren't you just a naughty little Talismanian devil?"
The familiar voice startled me. Peter? I swung around, and there he was. Peter wasn't the first ghost I'd seen, but I had never been so thrilled to see one before. Peter! I bounded over to him, and he knelt to greet me. I tried to press the top of my head into his chest, but his body was just a shimmer of light that I passed right through.

"Whoa, did you feel that?" Peter asked.

When we merged it had been warm and tingly, and a faint veil of sparks flew.

"Do it again," Peter said.

Carefully, I pressed the top of my head into the middle of him, and I was filled with his sweetness; he was sweeter than cheesecake.

"It's like we're inside each other," he said.

My Border Collie friend, Bippity Boppity Boo, has a person who is a medium. I once heard her say that psychics could sometimes body-share. Was that what was happening?

"I can't move on until I make things better for Val," Peter said. "Will you help me?"

*          *          *

We started slowly. Now Peter really did have two left feet, but he also had two right ones for balance. And he had me to help; I was famous for being a wonderful dancer.

Time seemed to stand still while we struggled to synchronize ourselves. I closed my eyes and surrendered to Peter while he took over and showed me the dance steps. Then I exerted myself and coordinated the movements to include my two extra limbs. We encouraged each other, conquered our doubt, and when the flow of time returned, we were tap dancing our shared hearts out. The clickety-clack of my toenails on the tile sounded like tap dance shoes.

Val appeared at the kitchen door. "Tali?"

"It's show time," Peter whispered to me.

Together, we performed a flawless four-legged version of the dance Peter had been trying to learn for the Christmas recital. We finished with flourish and took a well-deserved bow.

Val gasped. "Omigod...Peter?"

We dance-shuffled over to Val and sat down at his feet. We reached out to him with my front paw; he grasped it and fell to his knees.

We leaned forward and blew into Val's left ear, just like sweet Peter had always done.

Val was breathless when he said what he had longed to say. "I'll always love you."

We nuzzled Val's neck, and Peter gave him a gentle kiss goodbye.

*          *          *

Copyright © 2011 - Devin O'Branagan - All Rights Reserved

Author’s Note

My Australian Shepherd, Kolbe, died two days after Christmas. For a week following her passing, my other Aussie, Jazz, morphed into a startling replica of her. Kolbe’s expressions, mannerisms, and unique behaviors were all mirrored by Jazz. I was in such a state of grief that I didn’t immediately notice the transformation. It was my veterinarian who pointed it out to me. She said, “They’re body-sharing. I’ve seen it before. It won’t last long, but it will help them both with the transition.” A week later, Jazz was Jazz again. It was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing, but the experience was undeniable. It helped to teach me that life is full of great mystery and wonder, and it inspired this story. I hope it touched your heart.

“Love is stronger than death.” – Preacher Levi,  Red Hot Liberty

To learn more about The Red Hot Novels, please visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Method Writing and Crazy Novelists

In twenty years of being a professional author I’ve had a lot of strange adventures and created a bunch of crazy characters. The riskiest part of what I do as a novelist is to practice “method writing.” As in “method acting,” I “become” my characters so they come across as realistic. No wonder I am a neurotic mess.

I’ve been the Antichrist, a female version of the second coming of Christ, witches, demons, angels, vampires, drag queens, Cher impersonators, tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists, and dogs...a whole hell of a lot of dogs. Oddly, I do dogs best. Go figure.

In my paranormal thriller, THRESHOLD, I was a tween boy who drowns, has a near-death experience, and returns with a mission. First off, I must mention boys that age sure think about sex a lot, don’t they? It was hard to get past all Cole’s lustful yearning to stay on track and save the world. Besides Cole’s compulsive desire for a hot sixteen-year-old redhead named April, he’s also a die-hard Trekkie. So, of course he sees the after-death tunnel of light as a wormhole, and the divine guide on the other side as the omnipotent Q from the Star Trek franchise. He ponders profound Star Trek episodes in order to work out metaphysical dilemmas. (Thank goodness I had a ten-year-old Trekker on Twitter to consult with about such divine matters.) And Cole sits at the bar of the Desperado Saloon waxing philosophic by the hour, pausing every once in a while to tell the barkeep to, “Hit me again.” Bartender Saul stifles his amusement as he tops off Cole’s frosty mug of root beer.

I really enjoyed being Cole, especially since he ends up being the most heroic character I ever created. My own earliest fantasies involved saving the world and because of my writing I’ve been a superhero more times than I could have ever imagined. I love my job.

However, I also love being a dog. I really, really do. Perhaps this is something I should discuss in detail with the veterinarian, um, psychiatrist on my next visit.

*          *          *

Read the first chapter of THRESHOLD here:

*          *          *

THRESHOLD is available in both print and as an eBook. Find links to where it may be purchased here:

*          *          *

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pretty Sacrifices

Wow, it has been an exciting month since my new novel, PRETTY SACRIFICES, was released! In the first week, PRETTY SACRIFICES hit Amazon's bestseller list. Reviews have been wonderful:

"Thrilling, emotional, mysterious, amazing!"

"Devin O'Branagan's best book yet!"

"Imagination at its best!"

"A great and stirring tale!"

"An adventure with depth!"

"Terrific follow-up to GLORY!"

PRETTY SACRIFICES is the second book in The Legend of Glory trilogy. In the post-apocalyptic world following a pandemic, dark angels arrive in Glory's small hometown to claim the eternal souls of her loved ones. Targeted by evil because of her heroism during the great plague, Glory fights back with the help of gutsy young witch Kaia, inexperienced guardian angel Sasha, and her intrepid demon-fighting dog Hallelujah. Complicating everything, a rift in time reunites Glory with an old flame and forces her to pay a huge price for love.

I had more fun writing this novel than any that have come before. A plot-driven writer, I worked from a tightly constructed outline, but my characters kept changing directions on me. There were three huge plot twists I totally wasn't expecting, and this sort of thing has never, ever happened to me before. I fought it at first, but then surrendered to the characters and am so glad I did. My fan mail indicates that my readers are glad I did too!

All of the fascinating characters introduced in GLORY return in PRETTY SACRIFICES: seventeen-year-old Glory and her feisty dog Hallelujah, the witches of the Moonstone and Starlight covens, a family of angels, a family of vampires, and the amazing Goth Girls gang of vamps-with-attitude. New, colorful characters abound, including the precious four-year-old Belle Starr and a mysterious physics professor who may hold the key to Glory's ties to the 19th Century. Linking them all, the demoness Nyx returns with vengeance in mind.

GLORY was nominated by the American Library Association for their Best Young Adult Paperbacks List of 2011. PRETTY SACRIFICES is a thrilling continuation of that tale. The third book in the trilogy, GENESIS, will be released in 2013.