Monday, November 27, 2023

Read an #Excerpt from A Demon's Guide to Wooing a Witch by Sarah Hawley

It’s Payback’s a Witch meets Overboard in Sarah Hawley’s latest witchy romantic comedy - available now!

About the Book

A Demon's Guide to Wooing a Witch
Glimmer Falls #2
by Sarah Hawley

Format 432 pages, Paperback
Published November 28, 2023 by Berkley
ISBN 9780593547946
Calladia Cunnington curses the day she met Astaroth the demon, but when he shows up memoryless, why does she find him so helpless . . . and sort of hot?

Calladia Cunnington knows she's rough around the edges, despite being the heir to one of small-town Glimmer Falls' founding witch families. While her gym obsession is a great outlet for her anxieties and anger, her hot temper still gets the best of her and manifests in bar brawls. When Calladia saves someone from a demon attack one night, though, she's happy to put her magic and rage to good use . . . until she realizes the man she saved is none other than Astaroth, the ruthless demon who orchestrated a soul bargain on her best friend.

Astaroth is a legendary soul bargainer and one of the nine members of the demon high council--except he can't remember any of this. Suffering from amnesia after being banished to the mortal plane, Astaroth doesn't know why a demon named Moloch is after him, nor why the muscular, angry, hot-in-a-terrifying-way witch who saved him hates him so much.

Unable to leave anyone in such a vulnerable state--even the most despicable demon--Calladia grudgingly decides to help him. (Besides, punching an amnesiac would be in poor taste.) The two set out on an uneasy road trip to find the witch who might be able to restore Astaroth's memory so they can learn how to defeat Moloch. Calladia vows that once Astaroth is cured, she'll kick his ass, but the more time she spends with the snarky yet utterly charming demon, the more she realizes she likes this new, improved Astaroth . . . and maybe she doesn't want him to recover his memories, after all.


Astaroth of the Nine-demonic high council member, legendary soul bargainer, and renowned liar-was having a very bad day.

He limped down a firelit stone corridor within the high council's grand temple on the demon plane, leaning heavily on his cane sword and cursing witches and traitor demons under his breath. His former protégé, Ozroth the Ruthless, had just handed him a neat and complete defeat, turning a soul bargain that ought to have been a coup for Astaroth into an embarrassment. And for what?


Astaroth scoffed at the absurdity. A demon soul bargainer falling in love with the witch whose soul he was supposed to take? Human-demon pairings were rare, but they did happen-Astaroth knew that all too well-but this was unprecedented.

It should have been a simple bargain. After Ozroth had shown signs of decreased performance as a soul bargainer, thanks to accidentally gaining a human soul during a bargain gone awry, Astaroth had been determined to help his protégé recover his edge. When Mariel Spark, a powerhouse of a witch, had accidentally summoned Ozroth for a bargain, it had seemed the perfect opportunity to resurrect Ozroth's ruthlessness and gain a beautiful, bright human soul for the demon plane.

Ozroth hadn't claimed the witch's soul though. No, he'd dawdled and brooded and pined for the witch like bloody Lord Byron himself (and Astaroth ought to know, since he'd shagged that dramatic bastard for a few months in the early nineteenth century). Unlike old Georgie, though, Ozroth lacked the charisma and sartorial panache to pull off romantic brooding, so Astaroth had quickly stepped in to make the deal himself and save both of them embarrassment.

Then it had all gone wrong.

A few impossible spells later, Ozroth and Mariel remained in a disgustingly happy relationship with both partners still in possession of their souls. And Astaroth had bargained away any leverage he might use to punish them.

He scowled at a torch sconce shaped like a hellhound's three gaping maws. The other members of the demonic high council would rip into him as viciously as a pack of hounds if they sensed an opportunity to reduce his influence and promote their allies. The scent of his blood was in the air, and there was no shortage of aspirants in the hunt for power.

The huge black doors leading to council chambers loomed ahead. Each was banded in silver and held half of the crest of the high council: a nonagon with nine spokes arrowing toward a stylized flame in the center.

Dread squeezed his insides with an iron fist. Astaroth rested with his back against the wall for a moment, closing his eyes and breathing through the surge of undemonlike fear. After six centuries, he knew how to force his secret weaknesses under control.

His aching leg welcomed the respite. It had been broken during his defeat thanks to one of Mariel's allies, a violent blond witch wearing spandex, of all things. Humiliating enough to be punched in the throat, kneed in the groin, and nearly launched into the stratosphere by the witch; her naff attire had added insult to injury. The same accelerated healing that kept demons immortal allowed him to walk on the damaged leg, but he hadn't had time to change out of his dirt-and-blood-stained white suit before being summoned to council quarters.

It's fine, he told himself, tapping his sword cane against one white, stack-heeled dress shoe, as if that could knock off the grime ground into the leather. So you lost this bet. Make another one, then win that.

The high council was fond of bets and wagers, which were an excellent way to test rivals, since it was dishonorable to refuse a bet. Frustrated after centuries of deadlock with his main rival on the council, an aggressive demon fundamentalist named Moloch, and with the council muttering about Ozroth's fitness to continue as a soul bargainer, Astaroth had rolled the dice. If Ozroth succeeded in his next bargain within the allotted time, Astaroth would win whatever prize or punishment he wanted from Moloch. If Ozroth failed, Moloch could decide the prize or punishment.

A wager with open-ended terms was a risky move, but Ozroth had never failed to complete a bargain, even if he had felt some guilt about it recently. Astaroth had been sure Ozroth would seize the witch's soul and win the bet.

Ah, to return to such an innocent time.

The door's silver sigil gleamed in the wavering glow of torchlight like a bright, flame-pupiled eye, judging Astaroth with its stare. Bets had been lost in the high council before. The results were never pretty.

But Astaroth had centuries of cunning and experience on his side, and he was determined not to go down without a fight. Besides, any legendary schemer had a backup plan. He'd been investigating Moloch for years, looking for a weak spot to target, and he'd finally discovered the evidence he needed to take out his greatest enemy on the council. Moloch might win this bet, but he would soon lose everything else.

Astaroth straightened, cracking his neck before shifting his weight onto both legs. Sharp pain shot through the injured leg, but he gritted his teeth and started walking without a limp.

The scent of his blood might be in the air, but Astaroth had fangs as sharp as any hellhound's.

Time to show them.

Excerpted from A Demon's Guide to Wooing a Witch by Sarah Hawley Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Hawley. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sarah Hawley is a cohost of the Wicked Wallflowers Club podcast and the author of A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon. She has an MA in archaeology and has excavated at an Inca site in Chile, a Bronze Age palace in Turkey, and a medieval abbey in England. When not dreaming up whimsical love stories, she can be found reading, dancing, or cuddling her two cats. Find out more at

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