Amanda Ryder V.I.
By Shanyn Hosier
When all signs point to trouble, can Amanda steer clear of disaster?
Amanda Ryder's determined never to fail her coven again. Next time, she won't hesitate to pull the trigger to defend her friends. If only they'd trust her enough to let her set foot outside the Academy…
Frustrated and itching to prove herself, Amanda snags her first Academy mission: she and Toby Laboyteaux, fellow teen witch who "kinda sorta sees the future," must work together to track down a local swamp monster stirring up trouble in the sticks. But overturned suburban garbage cans and blurry tabloid pictures aren't the only problems—strained relationships with her new colleagues, a growing guilt-complex, and the waxing moon all add to Amanda's stress. Add to that the pressure of being hunted by a psychic psychopath, and Amanda's got plenty on her mind.
Meanwhile, Hamilton Nash swears Marian Dupree and her Academy of bumbling do-gooders have thwarted his plans for the last time. Convinced Amanda's the subject of his mother's recent prophecy and the key to his future success, he redoubles his efforts to obtain the mystery girl. But when Amanda proves too slippery a quarry, Nash sets his sights on the next best thing. When a valuable member of the Academy coven is kidnapped, Amanda and her friends are in a race against time. Is a tragic future destined to come to pass?
The Biology of Witches
In my paranormal suspense series, Amanda Ryder, V.I (Brimstone and Portents are currently available), witches are human beings with an increased sensitivity to the natural world around them. They are born with an exceptional ability not only to sense but also to manipulate the world around them. And like a gifted athlete, intellectual, or artistic genius, these abilities are uncommon but not unheard of.
Individual witches are often adept at a particular sort of "magic"—what we call ESP, or extra-sensory perception—but in general, they have at least limited capability for most types. Some skills are more rare than others, though. The skills can be improved upon with practice, but cannot developed without the underlying genetic gift.
My witches are products of evolution, and share many of their gifts with the animal kingdom (which harbors some pretty amazing talents!). Here are some of the physiological differences between my witches and "normal" humans.
· Nervous system, including the brain and all sensory-receptive organs, is more developed. Increased number and sensitivity of nerve endings, increased connectivity.
· Increased blood flow supports this neural hyperactivity. Much like humans who live at high altitudes, a witch's blood is more efficient at carrying oxygen to tissues.
· Certain genes are turned on (remaining dormant or missing in the rest of us), enabling the production of many different proteins, enzymes, etc. that facilitate their powers. These genes are subject to the same processes of function and selection that any other DNA is.
· Female virgin witches have a thick, gland-like hymen that contains a fluid rich in an almost viral-like RNA, which quickly and effectively infects all host cells to boost body's production of "rescue" proteins. The RNA turns on many "magic" genes in the new host's body that produce a cascade of compounds including endorphins, clotting factors, regeneration promoters, stem cell initiators, immune-boosters, etc. This "infection" can bring a man back from the point of death.
· Retinas are sensitive to a broader range of wavelengths of EM thanks to altered photopigments. Very often this includes infrared (sensing temperature changes visibly, like many reptiles), electrical potential (auras), and magnetic fields (utilizing cryptochrome, like birds do).
· Cells analogous to electrocytes, in tandem with reorganized nerve endings and sweat glands in the skin, can discharge an electric shock on command.
· Senses of smell and taste can detect far more minute amounts and a far greater range of compounds. And since humans produce a lot of compounds, smelling a person can tell a witch a lot about them.
· Endocrine system is far more sensitive and responsive to physical and chemical signals like hormones, pheromones, and neurotransmitters. In particular, their sex drive is stronger than normal. Female witches' menstrual cycles are universally linked with the lunar cycle. Ovulation always occurs during full moon, menstruation during new moon.
To see these (and many other) amazing gifts in action, please check out my latest release!
Born and raised in small-town, rural Indiana, I now live in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona with an intimidatingly smart and devastatingly handsome husband and two hyperactively cute and talented sons who will one day be Earth's Overlords (never underestimate the power of Legos). I enjoy cooking, traveling, gardening, sewing, quilting, and embroidery but only when I'm in the right mood and seldom concurrently (I'm kind of streaky when it comes to hobbies). I adore reading and writing in the same way that I love breathing and eating, gaining a similar nourishment from each.