Happy Tuesday, everyone! I am thrilled to feature my good friend and fellow Story Empire contributor, C.S. Boyack‘s newest book release in The Hat Series! If you saw my review last week, you know how much I loved this newest addition to the series. I have read all of Lizzie and The Hat books and highly recommend them!
But for now, I’ll turn it over to C.S. Boyack and let him tell you about this new book!
Thanks for lending me your space today, Jan. I’m here to talk about the newest tale in The Hat Series, called Good Liniment.
This one has been planned for a long time. Ever since book one I intended to return to witchcraft, but felt like Lizzie had to grow a bit as a fledgling monster hunter. She’s chased down a variety of different classic monsters, and has some skills by this time. Enough to be recognized by the local coven as someone who could help them with a problem.
This left me with the need of developing a magic system, and I had some personal desires of things I wanted to avoid. The biggie on that list was a school for magical sudents.
I took the path of apprenticeship for those who got spotted by the coven. In my world, magic is a genetic variation. One that has been hunted down and eliminated from the gene pool for centuries. This makes the coven quite secretive about their existence and lives in general.
To bring readers some of the fun with magic, I decided my witches would have one natural ability, no more than two at most. Other disciplines could be learned by study and practice. I decided early on not to limit myself to elements, those are part of the mix, but so is gadget magic, plant magic, death magic, weather, and anything else I can come up with later.
Writing this took some effort, because there are a lot of new characters. I made it so readers would be able to make a guess about specific witches without spelling it out for them. When Cyrus Yoder uses specific kinds of dirt, manipulates gravity, or uses a lot of clay, readers can make a logical guess about his skills.
I did spell things out for Dash Goodman, who is apprenticed to Cyrus. They spent some time figuring out that his natural ability involves air. Because he’s the character to walk us into this world, I don’t feel bad about how this got spelled out. I’m toying with the idea that he may have a second natural ability involving artwork. Might happen in a subsequent volume, might not. I’m on the fence about that. Dash has a penchant for stealing airplanes which helps me sell his natural ability. He’s also an artist so the groundwork has been laid if I want.
The clues are there, but can be subtle. Sometimes you have to glean it from names, like Solis and Umbra, who are twins. I may not revisit everyone in subsequent volumes, but I have a nice pool to draw from.
Just for fun, I included a test for witchcraft of my own invention. (Actually, I stole it from Staci Troilo, so props to her. She didn’t know it was a witchcraft test.) Readers might have a good time seeing if they can pass.
Readers should keep in mind that The Hat Series is dark humor. You’ll find death and blood, but there are light moments and pop-culture references aplenty. If this sounds like the series for you, they were all written as stand-alone short novels. You can pick up any volume that interests you and not feel lost.
Someone is murdering members of the local witches’ coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.
A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.
This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.
Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.
Convincing her strong-willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?
Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.
The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.
PURCHASE LINK (GOOD LINIMENT)
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