Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews (The Windhaven Witches #1)


Hi all! Welcome to my stop on the Secret Legacy Book Tour!! Read on for a synopsis, my review, author bio, purchase links, and don’t forget to enter the U.S. ONLY giveaway where you could win a Kindle Fire and 7 signed Carissa Andrews paperbacks!

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Secret Legacy
Carissa Andrews
(The Windhaven Witches #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

☆☆~~ 50% of Royalties Donated to the American Cancer Society! ~~☆☆

Nestled in the woods of Windhaven, Blackwood Manor waits to unleash a dark and deadly legacy…

When Autumn Blackwood shows up at Windhaven Academy for the Witching Stick Orientation, she hopes to find out what dormant powers she could possibly possess to have been accepted to the elite supernatural school. Instead, the academy is in chaos as everyone frantically hunts for two missing girls.

But as school begins with Autumn no closer to figuring out her powers, strange occurrences start to follow her everywhere. Even at home, Blackwood Manor keeps many secrets, and Autumn can’t escape its haunting past.

New friends urge her to learn more about her family’s history in order to unlock her powers and make sense of what’s happening at Blackwood Manor, but Autumn’s not so sure. Once an accident brings Autumn face-to-face with death, however, she realizes her gifts are tied to a legacy that can either save or doom them all…

Fans of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, or MR Forbes’ Necromancer: The Complete Series will love The Windhaven Witches.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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My Review

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Autumn is just your average 20 year old, looking forward to going off to university as soon as she can. She’s resigned herself to going to the local Uni, until the day that she receives a package from the esteem Windhaven Academy – school for Supernaturals. The thing is, as far as Autumn knows, she’s never shown any sign at all of having a gift of any sort. So is completely torn when she finds out she’s received a full ride. Her decision is made harder when one night, she meets the mysterious Wade, though he is also going to be attending Windhaven Academy, just not yet. After taking the plunge and moving in with her Dad at his big Ancestral home, things take a turn for the weird. Disembodied voices, cold pockets around the house, her Dad always disappearing, and is that a ghost? It can’t be, because Autumn doesn’t believe in ghosts… Things continue to get weirder as secrets about Autumn’s past begin to surface, and they’re not all secrets that she’s going to like. Not knowing who to trust, or how to navigate this new life she finds herself in, will Autumn survive her first year at Windhaven Academy and what the universe has in store for her?

I am honestly, pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel. I wasn’t holding out SUPER high hopes, but man, I was, I’ll admit, blown away by the fervor at which I plowed through this story. I’m not going to lie, it’s not the next winner of the most amazing literary book this year, but it was just a downright enjoyable story which had me feeling super nostalgic for shows like Buffy.

The story doesn’t dive straight into the whole Windhaven Academy life style, which I loved, and the book doesn’t necessarily really revolve around the Academy that much at all. It follows Autumn as she discovers that she may not be as average Joe as she believed herself to be. The mystery aspect of the story, well…aspects, as there are more than a few, were well thought out and executed. I will be honest though, I already know Wade’s secret and pretty much worked it out from the beginning, though I don’t know if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, I do know what his power and his legacy is. The mystery surrounding Autumn though, I was pleasantly surprised at the revelation for it all. I had no idea what her power was going to be, OR the secrets that she was uncovering from her Ancestors or even the secrets from her childhood. So that was great. I really enjoyed what Andrews did with Autumn’s story. I have a feeling about her Dad, but it wasn’t revealed in this instalment so I’m not sure if I’m right or not. I’m being as vague as possible so as not to give anything away.

One thing that I did find a little bit weird, is how focused Andrews is on her character’s gestures…particularly their eyebrows. Every single conversation or anything really, the characters eyebrows are mentioned, whether they’re pinching together in worry, or tilted up at the end or raising into their hairline, or any number of other descriptors used. I found this to be a bit much, and kind of wish there was LESS emphasis on this aspect of the characters as now I find myself thinking way more about eyebrows than I probably should be. Also, Buffy is not old. I won’t hear of it. Andrews obviously grew up watching Buffy, as did I, and I feel like it really shows in the dialogue and narrative of this story, which honestly, is absolutely perfect for me because Buffy will always hold a place in my heart, and I rewatch it as much as I can. Though seeing it referred to as being ancient really had me feeling old. I also love the little Dru and Angel thing that Wade and Autumn have going on. I adore it.

The characters are well written and I found they each had their own distinct voice and personality which is great and I always love to see. I saw in another review that they had a problem with Autumn talking to herself, I didn’t, but I feel like it’s because it IS very reminiscent of Buffy which is why I didn’t mind it, because it made sense to me as someone who grew up with show writers who make their characters talk to themselves and give themselves pep talks now and then. I really like the character of Wade, but I’m not sure yet if I trust him, and I did find his and Autumn’s relationship to be a bit insta-lovey, but I guess, if you feel it for someone, you feel it, and you can’t help that. It just seemed a little bit full on for them having been together for such a short time. I’m really loving Cat and Colt, and I can’t wait to see what becomes of the twins, especially because of that ending.

All in all, I really enjoyed this story, it had definite creep vibes at times which was an awesome surprise as I wasn’t expecting it. As said above, I enjoyed this story WAY more than I was anticipating, so much so, that I have already pre-ordered the next three books on Amazon… Even though I still have a TBR pile that is over 300 books long…it was just THAT enjoyable for me. It has an engaging storyline, intriguing characters, and I honestly just loved the voice of the author. If you like a good paranormal/supernatural/PNR story, give it a go, it might surprise you too!

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Author Bio:

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: http://www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. xpressoreads says:

    Great review, Jessica! This sounds very well written with a writing style that really pulls you in! Glad you liked it!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for being a part of the tour, Jess! I really appreciate your review. (And I LOVE that you love Buffy as much as I do! That totally made my day!) Oh, hey! Did you catch the new live-action book trailer we just launched for Secret Legacy? I thought you might like it. Here’s the 40-second one, if you want to check it out! https://youtu.be/v2pHzZ-s7J0

    Liked by 1 person

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