Straw Man by K.A. Silva

Greenwitch Cassandra is connected to every growing plant on her farm. Her new neighbors don’t feel she belongs.

When they hire a sleazy lawyer to try to force her off her land, she has little choice but to cast a hex. Jack has spent his career hustling for rich clients. This case seems no different until he runs afoul of an actual witch.

As her spell takes hold, he’s forced to examine his life. Now Cassandra’s heart as well as her farm is on the line. Could this arrogant lawyer become an ally against hate, and the partner she needs?

K.A. Silva

Give us the one to two sentence tagline for your book.

Can Cassie save her farm? Can Jack change his life?

What is your favorite scene/moment in your book?

When Jack and Cassie first experience an overwhelming connection, caused by her spell acting unexpectedly on him. Suddenly both of them find the partner they thought didn’t exist!

How do you use magic in your book?

Cassie is a greenwitch, using her magic to grow crops and brew herbal remedies. She believes she’s a failure since she can’t make the farm bountiful as her mother and grandmother could. Slowly she sees her talents lie in a different path, when the spell she casts on Jack just to make him understand how she feels about the land instead begins to transform him. The spell’s effects make Jack re-evaluate his life and bad decisions he’s made out of fear.

Would your hero enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, candy corn, or apple bobbing?

Cassie loves all things pumpkin! Jack is relearning an appreciation for simple pleasures.

What costume would your heroine (or hero if MM) wear to a halloween party?

She’d make a great Dorothy.

What scene did you adore writing in this book?

The banter in the farmer’s market when Jack seeks out Cassie after a life-changing night. Reconciliation for the lovers and Jack’s determination to make things right brought out some playful exchanges.

Is this book a spooky/scary PNR, or a cozy/snuggling with a monster PNR?

More about struggling with real-world issues of intolerance, isolation, and the fear of failure, which are all scary enough. The spell which at first seems to curse Jack, changing him, instead brings about a romantic, happy ending for them both!

What is your favorite monster to write?

The ones who aren’t physically human but whose souls are capable of more empathy and love than many humans ever display.

If you had to pick, would you rather have fangs, claws, or wings?

Claws. Great for teaching greedy jerks a proper lesson.

Halloween’s coming. Do you do anything special to celebrate?

The apartment has been decorated for weeks! Pumpkin everything! Jack o’lantern carving, mulled apple cider, and tasty pumpkin desserts will still be done in quarantine.

Excerpt from Straw Man

“Cassandra O’Sheagh?” This was not at all what he’d expected.

She chuckled. “Yes. I know, most people don’t expect the Irish part.”

His clients hadn’t mentioned that their neighbor was not in fact a doddering old white woman. Jack tugged at his tie, rearranging his assumptions. This was going to be harder than he’d thought.

He stuck out his hand. She shook it easily, still smiling. “Jack Strohmann. I’m actually here on behalf of your neighbors, the Krassingers.”

Her smile immediately vanished, along with any hope he had of asking her out. How could this woman possibly be as bad as the Krassingers made her out to be? This clearly sharp-minded, capable, assured woman. This was the allegedly Satanic cat-hoarder neighbor?

Margie Krassinger’s comment about “someone like that” living next door suddenly took on a more unpleasant connotation. As did asking Jack to push her off to “someplace more appropriate for her.” His stomach contracted unhappily. It occurred to him what label Cassandra O’Sheagh must be mentally assigning him right this minute, as he proclaimed his representation for the people who didn’t look at this strong, beautiful woman and see her as Jack had.

He definitely couldn’t picture the Krassingers sharing a lunch table with her.

She tilted her chin up and folded her arms over her chest. “I see.” She eyed his tie tack and crisp collar as if reappraising him entirely. “What about?”

“They claim you caused their son to sprain his wrist.” What the hell, she was already frowning, he might as well go all in. “And that you said you were going to curse him.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Then you heard it wrong, Mr. Strohmann. You with the police?”

“No. I’m a lawyer. What part did I get wrong? Why don’t you tell me your side of the story.” He swallowed, voice sounding too scratchy even in his own ears. This was not at all how he’d wanted a second conversation to go between them. “If you’re comfortable talking without your own counsel present, of course.”

Her jaw set, her stance immovable. “What I told that little monster was if he came onto my property and destroyed anything of mine again, he would find himself hexed so badly he’d run screaming home to that rude mother of his faster than you could say boo.”

Jack’s smile felt frozen. “Hexed?”

She nodded. “Hexed.”

Halloween has always been K.A. Silva’s favorite holiday, and a few decorations remain up year-round in her apartment. Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and sweet straw are her favorite scents. A love of the macabre and autumnal comes through in all of her stories, whether she’s writing about a reluctant wendigo or witches and scarecrows.

K.A. Silva is a happy transplant to snowy Wisconsin. She lives with her audio-engineer partner Scott and too many fish to name. Each summer she cultivates pumpkins in the hope that one will finally gain sentience and rampage across the countryside.

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