2ND PLACE

Writing Contest

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Fiction

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2nd place
2nd
Place
The Witches of Vegas.jpg

The Witches of Vegas

by

Mark Rosendorf

Where can Witches and their vampire mentor practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted?

By using their magic, the Witches of Vegas become the number one act performing on the Las Vegas Strip--a great achievement for them, but not so much for the magicians--who can't possibly keep pace.

Isis Rivera is the adopted fifteen-year old daughter of The Witches of Vegas. Zack Galloway is the teenage nephew and assistant to the last magician left in the city. Although they should be rivals, when Valeria, a four-hundred-year-old witch with a long-seeded grudge against humanity arrives in Sin-City, both teens act to bring their families together to stop the evil hag in her tracks.

But can the combined witches' powers and the ingenuity of the magicians be enough to stop Valeria from taking over the city and possibly the world?

Get the Book and Learn More About it Here

Amazon Reviews Of The Book

Gothic Las Vegas

I ordered the "Witches of Vegas", initially because the title grabbed me. As a child I remember watching the television show, "Bewitched." The character of Samantha and her mother Endora intrigued me as they related to the mortal world in which the average person lives. The story, "The Witches of Vegas" satisfied my curiosity in that the witch characters do directly intermingle with the average human being, by highlighting their witchcraft through the guise of a magic show. The author describes each magic trick quite visually. During her stage debut, Isis the main character appears to fly through a hoop, then takes a nosedive towards the audience. I was able to "see" the tricks happen before my eyes. Many of the magic shows throughout the novel were described succinctly and energetically. Zach, a mortal magician , later becomes part of the witches life. He learns to respect and believe in what appears to the average person as unbelievable, that witches and vampires can really exist. In reality there are people of all races, nationalities ,sexual orientations and religions that we know little or nothing about. When encountering those outside our natural experiences, we make choices either to accept or reject that person. In a much more extreme case the witches accept Zach and vice versa. It takes time for both parties to feel comfortable, but nonetheless the transformation solidifies over time. This subtext drew me further into the characters and the plot. I recommend this story for those looking for character growth as well as unexpected twists and turns in the story line.

Written for young adults but will spark the imagination of any adult!

The world-building and character development are so well crafted. The main protagonist, Isis, is very relatable, and the supporting characters are as well. It was great to see Isis go through struggles and develop her abilities throughout the story. Luther has got to be my favorite character. He is an old, cranky vampire that serves as sort of a mentor to Isis. I am grateful that the author devoted an entire chapter to flesh out Luther and not just shoehorn him in as just another character. I enjoyed this book so much I bought the audiobook too!

What do Witches, Vampires and Vegas have in common? READ IT! Fun!

Imagine being nine-years-old and strange things start to happen all around you and you have no idea what is going and you look around trying to figure out what is happening and you start to notice everyone looking at you like you are the devil or something and it frightens you to the core of your being.

You soon realize that the strange things that are happening are you, that you caused all those things to happen but you have no idea how or why. Now everyone is looking at you like they want to burn you alive like they did to those people in Salem in 1692. Well, this is just how I imagined Isis Rivera felt as it was happening to her.

Fast forward about six years, Isis is fifteen-years-old now and living with her adoptive family in Las Vegas. Isis was adopted by a coven of witches after that horrible time in her life and she has been living in Vegas ever since.

This coven of witches performs magic on the stages of Vegas. They use and practice their magic right out in the open in front of a crowd of humans. Isis has been taught by the coven to hide what she is, a witch. And what better way to stay hidden? By performing out in the open under the disguise of being a magician.

The witches have been warned by their vampire mentor that something big was coming and they must prepare for it by practicing their magic as much as possible. What is coming he has not deemed it important enough to tell them.

Then we meet Zack Galloway the teenage nephew of the last magician in Vegas. Zack’s uncle is teaching him all the tricks and trades of being a magician so that one day he will hopefully be as famous as Houdini himself.

One day Zack is sent to spy on the witches to learn all their secrets and find out as much as he can about them. When Zack meets Isis there is an instant attraction between the two.

Isis gets permission from her parents to attend one of Zack’s performance but when she doesn’t return home her family begins to worry about her as Isis has always been one to stay close to home as that is what she has been taught as it can be dangerous out in the world for a witch.

Isis has been taken by a four-hundred-year-old vampire. After Zack’s show, they go backstage to visit for a while and run into the vampire. The vampire throws Zack and his uncle out the door and won’t let them back in. Afraid for Isis’ life Zack runs to the witches to get their help to rescue Isis. Zack and Isis’s family must overcome their differences if they are to save Isis. Can they be friends long enough to save Isis? Or will the world as they know it is destroyed?

The Witches of Vegas was a fun little read. I love the concept of witches in Vegas and performing magic right in the open for everyone to see and no one knowing it is real.

I love stories about witches especially the Salem1692 witches. So with saying that I can’t wait for the next book in The Witches of Vegas series, Journey to New Salem. What will it be about? Will our two young friends Isis and Zack take a journey? What is this New Salem? Will Zack and Isis be back or will we be introduced to a whole new set of characters. Oh, I can’t wait.

I highly recommend The Witches of Vegas to all fans of witches and vampires. One-click your copy of The Witches of Vegas today to begin this magical journal!

Learn More About The Author

Mark Rosendorf

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Mark Rosendorf 's writing is based on the personalities and experiences he has come across throughout his life, coupled with his own wild "if only I could do that" imagination. He is the author of the young adult series, The Witches of Vegas. He is also credited with The Rasner Effect series, a suspense/thriller trilogy published between 2009 and 2012.

Born November, 25th, 1974, and raised in Queens New York, Mark holds a Master's Degree from Long Island University's Human Development and Leadership program. He is a licensed Guidance Counselor for the New York City Department of Education's special education district. He began his counseling career in September, 2001. Prior to that, he worked in the hotel industry.

Mark has also moonlighted as a professional magician. Today, he teaches magic and Illusion to his students in order to teach teamwork while developing their confidence.

Having accomplished his goals of becoming an author, Mark decided on an early retirement from writing. Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into Mark's brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it. Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas series was born.

The Witches of Vegas placed second in the young adult category of The International Digital Awards. It was also named one of Shelf Unbound's Notable Indy and received a five star rating from the prestigious InD'Tale Magazine.

Connect with Mark

Check Out Mark's Other Books on BooksShelf

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Interview With The Author

When did you start writing?

My writing career actually started in 2009, but it stopped in 2014, only to begin again in 2020. At the time, burnout had taken over. I honestly thought book writing was in my rearview mirror…until the idea for “The Witches of Vegas” hit me in the middle of the night. I wrote the story, fell in love with my own characters, and reached out to publishers to see if this story would interest them. The Wild Rose Press was quick to pick it up. So, seven years after quitting, I am back in the writing business with a new story, a new genre, for a new audience, and I'm having more success than ever before. That’s why I call myself a “born again writer.” 

What makes writing your passion?

I would say a huge part of it is my characters. They have a lot of personality and they're fun to write. Based on the reviews, I see they're fun to read about as well. Readers connect with them as if they were family or best friends. In fact, found family is a huge aspect of The Witches of Vegas series. That they happen to be witches, vampires, magicians, and they're trying to save the world...well, that's part of it too, but they're a family first. 

What’s the story behind your choice of characters

As I mentioned earlier, I had given up writing for what I thought would be forever. (I know, never say never, right?)  Writing felt like it was a long distance in my rearview mirror, and I was sure I’d never get back to it again. I considered myself officially retired from writing. Sure, I still had ideas for great stories, but I was no longer motivated to put pen to paper. Then, one night at around 2 a.m., a thought hit me. I started thinking about witches. Imagine if they used their powers to put on a magic show. Most people wouldn’t know the difference, they’d just see it as amazing magic. For the witches, it would be a perfect way to hide in plain sight, because they could practice their powers without being discovered or persecuted. 
I figured these witches would end up in Las Vegas because that’s the magic capital of the world. They’d amaze their audience. Plus, they wouldn’t incur the cost of the typical magic show since they’re using their powers to create the performance. But, how would this affect the rest of the Las Vegas magic community? They’d never be able to keep up; what would happen to them? 
Over the next few nights, the characters popped into my head as if they were speaking to me from another reality, telling me their stories. I started asking my characters questions, like why they’re doing the show, what are their motivations? I asked them about their lives…and they answered all my questions. They spoke and I wrote it all down. 
So, is The Witches of Vegas a fictional story I wrote? Or is it a true story from another reality where they are telling me about their adventures so I can share it with the world? Read The Witches of Vegas series and determine that for yourselves.