Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for MARK OF THE WICKED! I’m so excited because today I have a guest post by Georgia Bowers to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers
Published on August 10, 2021 by Swoon Reads
Genres: Fantasy, YA
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Magic always leaves its mark.
All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn't interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.
When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic - and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn't responsible -- at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth...before anyone else turns up dead.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Mark of the Wicked?
My favorite scene is one that wasn’t in the first draft. My editor was really interested in the dynamic between Matilda and her mother and grandmother and wanted to see more of their relationship as a theme of the book. Matilda has a very strained relationship with her mother, but they’re also deeply connected by witchcraft and their ancestors, so my editor wanted to see some kind of reconciliation between them. I also needed to up the word count so there was plenty of room for added chapters and scenes.
I came up with the ritual of Matilda receiving the family grimoire as a way of tradition forcing Matilda to spend time with her mother and look her in the eye. Matilda only goes along with it because she knows it means a lot to Nanna May, as generally she disregards any kind of traditions or even respect for the craft and her ancestors. When I wrote them wearing black velvet cloaks and creeping into the woods at the dead of night, I had The Craft and Hocus Pocus in my head, and I wanted to make it feel witchy and secret and atmospheric. The moment Matilda steps into the circle, she feels the energy of the ritual and realizes the importance of what she’s doing, not just for her and her family but for the witches that came before her too, especially after being through so much at that point in the story.
I think having them together and sharing in that important moment felt so special to me because it made me think of my own family and what it means to be forever connected to someone, even if they’re not here anymore. Matilda had been so distant from her mother for a number of reasons, but in that moment, tradition is what brings her a few steps closer and there they are, three witches, three women, daughter, mother, and grandmother stronger together and ready to take on the world.
I cried when I wrote the end of that scene and I still cry when I read it now.
What do you think about Mark of the Wicked? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!