Always a Witch

by Carolyn MacCullough

In the satisfying conclusion to the story begun in Once a Witch, Tamsin is forced to follow enemy Alistair Knight back to Victorian-era New York in order to save her family, and finds herself at the center of the fray as the evil Knight family and her own square off in a thrilling display of action and magic.

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780547534183
  • ISBN-10: 0547534183
  • Pages: 288
  • Publication Date: 08/01/2011
About the Book
About the Author
  • About the Book

    Since the gripping conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother’s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady’s maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

  • About the Author
  • Excerpts


    I was born on the night of Samhain. Others might call
    it Halloween. Born into a family of witches who all carry
    various Talents. Others might call it magic.
     Except for me.
     I alone in my family seemed to have no Talent. No
    gift to shape me or to grant me a place in my family’s circle
    around the altar to the four elements. All I had was the
    prophecy that my grandmother made to my mother in the
    first hour of my life. “Your daughter will be one of the most
    powerful we have ever seen in this family. She will be a beacon
    for us all.”
     And then for reasons still unknown, my grandmother
    spent the next seventeen years making sure I doubted that
    prophecy at every turn. It took the return of an old family
    enemy, two episodes of time travel, and one very dangerous
    love spell that nearly killed my sister before I learned three
    things. First, I can stop anyone from using their Talent to
    harm me. Second, I can absorb a person’s Talent if they
    attempt to use it against me three times. Third, I apparently
    have a choice ahead of me. A choice that will explain the
    mysterious workings of my grandmother’s mind and why
    she raised me in complete denial of my Talent. A choice
    that’s vaguely hinted at in my family’s book. A choice that
    will fulfill the prophecy my grandmother made all those
    years ago.
     Or destroy my family forever.
     A choice that will be so terrible to contemplate that I’d
    just rather not encounter it at all.


     “I look awful,” I say, staring at myself in front
    of the dressing room mirror. The dress I have just struggled
    into hangs like a shapeless tent down to my ankles.
    Okay, actually, it clings to the top half of me a little too
    tightly before suddenly dropping off into the aforementioned
    shapeless tent. And it’s gray. Not silver, not opalescent
    mist, as the tag promises. Gray. Concrete gray.
     My best friend, Agatha, scrunches her eyebrows
    together over her bright green eyeglasses as she examines
    me from all angles. “You do look awful. Perfectly, awful in
    fact,” she finally confirms.
     I stick my tongue out at her. Agatha loves the word perfectly
    just a little too much. “Yeah, well, that was probably
    Rowena’s intention all along,” I mutter, struggling to find
    the zipper. The overhead lights of the narrow boutique are
    suddenly too hot and glaring.
     “Here,” Agatha says, and with swift fingers she yanks
    the zipper down.
     With a sigh of relief, I slip back into my jeans and flowered
    T-shirt, then steps into my fringed wedges that I found
    in my favorite thrift store last week. I can’t resist them even
    though my ankles start to throb after more than five minutes
    of wearing them.
     “Why can’t you wear your rose dress?” Agatha asks
    again as she arranges the hated gray tent back on its hanger.
    Rowena had pronounced it “ethereal” when she had been
    in the city a few weeks earlier and had left me three messages
    on my cell to come to store “at once.” However, I never
    picked up the phone. Caller ID is one of the best inventions
    out there.
     “Because Rowena wants silver. And what Rowena
    wants, Rowena gets.”
     “Bridezilla, huh?”
     “She gives new meaning to that term.” I refasten my
    pink barrettes to the side of my head, useless, I know, since
    they’ll be falling out in about three minutes. My curly hair
    defies all devices invented to contain it.
     “Too bad,” Agatha says as we exit the dressing room.
    “That rose dress is so pretty and you never get to wear it.”
     “Yeah,” I say, keeping my expression noncommittal,
    while inwardly feeling the familiar pang. Oh, how I wish I
    could tell Agatha that I already did wear it. I wore it when
    Gabriel and I Traveled back to 1939 to a garden party in
    my family’s mansion on Washington Square Park in New
    York City. But if I told her that, I’d have to tell her who I
    really am. What I really am. And the truth is, I don’t know
    who or what I really am. For most of my life I thought I was
    ordinary. The black sheep who got stuck in a very extraordinary
    family. Not until I left my hometown of Hedgerow
    and came to boarding school in Manhattan did I learn not
    to mind that so much. For the first time in my life, I was
    surrounded by people who had no idea that just enough
    powdered mandrake root mixed with wine can make a
    man want to kiss you. But too much can make that same
    man want to kill you. It felt good to be among people who
    thought I was just like them. It felt normal. I felt normal. I
    felt like one of them.
     And now that feeling is gone. And I can’t decide if I’m
    happy or sad about that.
     I gaze at Agatha for a moment and contemplate how
    to tell her that I don’t really have a hippie crunchy granola
    kind of family, as she likes to think. Instead, I have a family
    of witches who actively practice their Talents but who
    still manage to live relatively obscure lives. I have a mother
    and grandmother who offer love spells, sleep spells, and
    spells for luck, good fortune, and health to the town residents
    who come knocking on the back door after night
    falls when they can’t be seen by their neighbors. I have a
    father who controls the weather. A sister who can compel
    anyone to do anything just by mesmerizing them with the
    sound of her voice. My grandmother's sister who can freeze
    someone where he stands just by touching his forehead. A
    boyfriend who can find anything and anyone that’s missing.
    A whole bunch of other people I've been taught to call
    "uncle" or "aunt" or "cousin" who are all Talented in one
    way or another.
     If I told Agatha any of that, she’d look at me like I was
    speaking in tongues. If I showed her that I could shoot fire
    from my hands or freeze people into statues with one tap of
    my finger, she’d think I was a freakshow.
     Or worse, she’d be afraid of me.
     Agatha’s one of the first and relatively few people who
    made me feel normal in my life. Back when I thought I
    didn’t have a Talent at all, when I first came to boarding
    school in Manhattan, it was okay omitting certain things
    about my family life. It was okay to blur the line between
    the truth and a lie. But now that I’ve discovered I do have a
    Talent after all, it feels harder.
     “So what are you going to do?” Agatha asks, breaking
    into my headlong rush of thoughts.
     “What?” I blink at her until she flourishes the dress
    through the air. “Oh. I’m not buying that thing!”
     The saleslady who has been hovering around the
    dressing room apparently overhears me. She takes the
    dress back from Agatha, stroking it like she’s afraid its feelings
    just got hurt. Her long pink nose twitches once, reinforcing
    my initial impression of a rabbit. “Well,” she says,
    her tone frosted over. “Your sister did say that was the one
    she wanted. She specifically asked me to put it aside for you
    even though it’s really not our policy to do that here. Not
    for more than twenty-four hours and it’s been three weeks
    already.” The saleslady blinks a little as if suddenly wondering
    why she did break store policy.
     I try not to roll my eyes. Apparently Rowena has won
    over yet another heart. People seem to want to throw themselves
    in front of speeding b...

  • Reviews
    Once A Witch
    "A fantastic urban fantasy with an enchanting romance at its heart." --Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author of City of Bones

    "Carolyn MacCullough casts a mesmerizing spell with Once a Witch. Family secrets and sibling rivalry, time-travel and magical 'Talents' all brew together to create a superlative--and supernatural--coming-of-age story. Add an epic battle of good versus evil and an enchanting first kiss and this bewitching novel commands a sequel." --Megan McCafferty, New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series

    "A light urban fantasy that goes down easy and will have readers asking for its sequel." --Kirkus Reviews

    Drawing the Ocean
    A New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age 
    "MacCullough has a gift for using language with spectacularly evocative phrasing." --VOYA 
    "MacCullough's subtle use of present tense and visually evocative writing create an eloquent portrait." --Kirkus Reviews 
    "Sadie's narrative voice is absolutely authentic, and the story of her quirky, endearing relationship with Ryan is memorably poignant." --ALA Booklist

    Stealing Henry
    "MacCullough's dialogue is flawless. The journey is fascinating." --ALA Booklist, starred review 
    "Finely crafted." --Kirkus Reviews