Ulster County author Carol Goodman remembers writing her first magical story, a 90-page crayon-illustrated tale, as a fourth-grader. Published under the pseudonym Juliet Black, Goodman’s The Water Witch (Ballantine Books, $15) is the second book in her “Fairwick Chronicles”
trilogy. This paranormal romance novel introduces readers to Callie, a professor of (appropriately) gothic literature who lives in Fairwick, a town in the Catskills that is home to fairies, vampires, and mythical creatures of all sorts. As a “doorkeeper” between the natural and supernatural worlds, the heroine must use her emerging powers to help save the town from a group of sinister witches — even though she may lose her heart in the process. Atmospheric and suspenseful, this fast-moving fantasy shows off Goodman’s storytelling skills to good advantage.