Jealousy’s a Witch by Louisa West



What is Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Anyway?

A Conversation with Louisa West

Buffy. Sookie Stackhouse. Elena Gilbert. Bella Swan. If you know one or all of these characters, then there’s a pretty good chance that you like to read paranormal romance. These women range between being kick-ass, plucky, and just plain special—but there’s another thing they all have in common: really hot supernatural love interests. I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing I love better than a Buffy re-watch, or curling up with a Charlaine Harris novel to whittle my time away in a land where Eric Northman exists. But as I get older (sigh), I find myself wanting more out of my paranormal romance.

I want to relate.

I want to feel as though my real-life struggles of bills, and raising a child, and the body-image issues I have are real for the characters I’m reading as well. I want to be able to laugh because I’m not the only one who has problems with her neighbors, or can never fold a fitted sheet (that’s another kind of witchcraft, friends!), or because sex after twenty can sometimes be a little awkward and hilarious at the same time. Life after 35 just gets even more real. At best, you start thinking about long-term plans for your retirement. At worst, you need to be careful about how many cups of coffee you have before you drive to the grocery store fifteen minutes down the road.

Paranormal Women’s Fiction is a rising genre thanks to the collective efforts of a group of women known colloquially online as ‘The Fab13’. The genre touches on what it’s like for ‘mature’ heroines to get by in a modern world, with all the hurdles that life throws in their paths. These women are dealing with issues like divorce, potential homelessness, toxic relationships, and other really gritty, grown-up stuff. But the sparkling platter that these themes are served on comes in the form of literal magical circumstances, witty one-liners, love interests that are hotter than Hades and women who are empowered to not only move forward but to do so while coming fully into their own power.

Typically, the heroines of these books are over forty. It’s kind of that golden age where you’ve lived enough of life to know what’s what, but also you’ve seen enough to know that you just don’t have the time or energy to put up with any more crap from anyone. It also means that you’re probably not as perky or unwrinkled as you once were (if you are, leave your skin-care and exercise routines in the comments below!). For me, reading these books and getting to know these women who not only face who they are but fly that Older and Fabulous flag proudly has been an absolute joy.

So it made sense that my next series would be written in the same vein.

The main character in my Midlife in Mosswood series is Rosemary Bell, a thirty-nine year old mom who finds the courage to finally leave a toxic relationship. While she’s petrified of starting over again, Rosie and her young daughter Maggie soon settle into the slow rhythm of life in a small town. Rosie is resilient hard-working, and desperate to raise her daughter right. She’s also emotionally damaged, untrusting, and determined to hold everyone except Maggie at arm’s length. Throughout the series Rosie must face not only her past with her ex, but also her family history. She learns how to be a better mom, and how to navigate the challenges of living in a small town when you’re obviously different and more than a little out of your depth. And she also finds a way forward for herself, finding out that she’s actually a witch and that there’s possibly and handsome Irish witch King in her future.

The Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre has set up new expectations for books about older women written by older women. I’m thrilled to be part of it!

Jealousy’s a Witch
Midlife in Mosswood 
Book Two
Louisa West

Genre: Paranormal Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Louisa West
Date of Publication: September 30, 2020
ASIN: B087KYLF3N
Number of pages: 170 (eBook)
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Louisa West

Book Description:

She thought the thriller part of her life was behind her. But when the man she’s falling for has a sinister secret, she’s no longer sure whether he’s a trick or a treat.

Rosemary Bell is a witch for Halloween… and every other day of the year. And that’s not even the weirdest thing about her life. Her ex-husband is a turtle, her daughter Maggie’s new best friend is an imaginary kangaroo, and the guy sleeping on her couch is a King—as well as her fated lover.

Just as she’s starting to fall for Declan, Rosie gets spooked by a revelation that leaves her wondering whether she is really meant to be his Queen. And as a new houseguest quickly proves, promises don’t always mean forever. When a sexy choir girl arrives in town with her eyes set on Rosie’s King and crown, she will have to decide for herself what her destiny is, and soon.

Struggling between caring for Declan and caring for herself, Rosie has better luck advising her friends what to do about their love lives than tending to her own. But when Maggie goes missing on All Hallow’s Eve, Rosie is forced to admit that jealousy’s a witch – literally!

The Good Witch meets Hocus Pocus in this short novel about stepping into new shoes, choosing who you’re going to be, and never letting fear decide your fate, even on Halloween.

Jealousy’s a Witch is the second book in the heartwarming new Midlife in Mosswood series by Louisa West. Available exclusive to Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon US      Amazon CA      Amazon UK      Amazon AU




Excerpt – Jealousy’s a Witch

The sounds of the hot summer afternoon seemed dulled by the arrival of Tammy. She looked sheepishly between Declan and Rosie, her knuckles tight around the laundry bag of clothes she held like Santa Claus’ sack over one pudgy shoulder.

“I hope I’m not imposin’,” she said softly, even though it was clear that she knew she was. “Only that…well!” Unshed tears suddenly welled in her eyes, and she tried a combination of blinking and fanning her wedding-ring devoid hand in front of her face to stop them from falling.

Declan looked from Rosie to Tammy and then back again, as though trying to weigh up how useful he might be in a situation like this versus how much damage he might cause by way of a poorly timed and probably inappropriate joke. “I think I better check on the painting crew,” he murmured, rubbing the back of his neck as he took off for less emotional turf.

Rosie crossed over to the table, set down the potato salad she had been carrying. “Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll pour us some lemonade,” she suggested. Tammy nodded mutely, swiping at the tears now streaking down her face. Two sips of lemonade seemed to give her the confidence she needed to carry through with the story.

“I’m so sorry to barge in on y’all like this,” she sniffled, “but I didn’t know where else to go.”

Rosie thought back to the day Tammy had rolled up to the cottage as part of Prissy’s entourage. She had seemed like the only genuine woman out of the three. Rosie had felt terrible when Tammy had seen her husband Terry making a pass at her the day he’d come out to the cottage to ‘offer his services’ as a handyman. She hadn’t seen her since that day, but it didn’t look like things had improved for her any.

“You don’t need to apologize,” Rosie told her, “so let’s get that out of the way right-quick. We’re havin’ a cook-out, and you’re officially invited.”

Tammy offered a weak smile in return, sipping her lemonade. “Thank you.”

Rosie smiled back. “You’re welcome. Now,” she added, glancing up at the cottage. “I feel duty-bound to tell you that at any minute we’re likely to be infiltrated by a rush of starving teenage boys, an Irishman with a huge appetite, a girl who can put away three hotdogs in one sitting, and a turtle that—”

“—a turtle?”

“Long story,” Rosie grinned.

About the Author:

Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.











a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soul Seeker by Kaylin McFarren

 


Soul Seeker
Kaylin McFarren

Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing
Date of Publication:  Oct 27, 2020
ISBN: 9798665284903
ASIN:
Number of pages:308
Cover Artist: Amanda Yoshida

Book Description:

The battle between good and evil resides with…

While awaiting his execution for murdering his son, Benjamin Poe confesses to his lawyer the true story behind his crime, a harrowing tale of a manipulating, soul-collecting demon named Crighton.

Following Poe’s death, Crighton continues his malevolent duties, until he’s kidnapped by members of The Sovereign Sector. This group of scientists, notorious for experimenting on supernatural creatures, forces Crighton into a soulmate relationship with the very angel he was sent to capture for Lucifer.

However, with secrets revealed and loyalties shifting, Crighton soon becomes the target of Lucifer’s revenge, and his journey to redemption and freedom–or eternal enslavement–begins. 

Amazon

Book Trailer 1: https://youtu.be/ZdopUKpfHpM 

Book Trailer 2: https://youtu.be/yJG9_9xUQUA

 


 Excerpt:

“Are you aware of our situation?”

“Of course, I’m aware,” Poe snapped. “The date is approaching fast and we’re running out of options.”

Beaudoin sighed. “It would seem so. But I haven’t given up hope just yet. We can still try for an insanity plea, although I know how you feel about that.” He paused a moment to study Poe’s tired eyes. “I’ve seen it work even this late in sentencing. If there’s one chance to keep you alive, Ben, then we need to–”

“Counselor, it’s over. You and I both know that. I’m done fighting. If I plead insanity, they’ll send me away to the State hospital…and I don’t want to spend what time I have left in that place. But I don’t want to go home either. There’s nothing left for me there.” He leaned forward, resting his elbow the counter. “I know I’m not crazy, and I understand the seriousness of it. But I swear to you it was never my intention to kill him.” He paused. “Not Gabriel. Not my son.”

“Can I be frank with you, Ben?”

He nodded.

“Any ordinary case would have resolved itself by now, but as you’re very well aware, this is far from ordinary. Your son’s blood was found on your clothes. The same caliber revolver found in your possession matched his wounds, and you never denied firing it. Yet you continue to claim your innocence. Which begs the question…” Beaudoin paused briefly, choosing his words carefully. “If you didn’t kill your son, as you’d like me to believe, then who did?”

Poe tipped his head to the side. “I never claimed he was killed by someone else, Mr. Beaudoin. If you read the transcripts, my story has never changed. Not one iota.” The crease between Poe’s eyebrows deepened. “I was the one who pulled the trigger. I was the one who fired all six shots. My son Gabriel died by my hand, but like I said, it was never my intention to kill him. The six rounds I fired were meant for someone else.”

Beaudoin slapped his hand on the counter. “Right! That’s what you said before. Someone else was there. But who, Mr. Poe?” He paused, exasperated. “And why? Because you refuse to admit your guilt. You refuse to take responsibility for your actions. Yet here I am…trying my best to keep you alive.”

Poe sighed. “I’ve accepted my fate, Mr. Beaudoin. I don’t expect any favors, but after everything you’ve done for me, you deserve to hear it all. The whole truth. I’ve never shared this with anyone because no one would ever believe me. But there’s no point now in keeping it a secret any longer. I just want to leave this world knowing I held nothing back.”

Beaudoin shook his head. “And you wait until now to share this?”

“I know, but I swear the story I’m about to tell you is the God’s honest truth.”

Beaudoin could see his own reflection in the Plexiglas barrier and it looked as shocked as he felt. He shrugged and said, “Very well then, you’ve got my full attention, Mr. Poe.”

“You’ll think I’m crazy. That much is certain. You might even demand that I plead insanity after you hear my explanation. But all I ask from you is to hear me out. Nothing more. Then you decide if the devil was there…or if he’s sitting in this room right now.”

Beaudoin eyed Poe, trying to decide if this bit of storytelling was worth his time. He tugged on his shirt sleeve and glanced down at his watch. It was 10:58AM and he had more than forty minutes to spare before his next meeting. So what did he have to lose, aside from his patience? Blowing out an exaggerated breath, he answered, “Okay, I’m listening.”

Poe shifted on his seat and appeared to be collecting his thoughts. Or maybe he was formulating his story. Then he began.:

“It happened two weeks before Christmas. The fire at College Inn. Do you remember that?”

Beaudoin nodded and waited for him to continue.

“It was the night that everything was destroyed, including my life. You see, Mr. Beaudoin, up until then, I was a good Christian man, a loving father. I made an honest living. I provided a comfortable life for my family. I did everything by the book…everything that was expected of me.” Poe rubbed his eyes and before he pulled his hands away, he continued, “I didn’t know until that night that the world is full of monsters. Monsters with dark souls and claws, waiting for the chance to tear you apart.”

 

 

About the Author:

Kaylin McFarren has received more than 50 national literary awards, in addition to a prestigious Golden Heart Award nomination for FLAHERTY’S CROSSING – a book she and her oldest daughter, New York Times/USA Today best-selling author Kristina McMorris, co-wrote in 2008. Prior to embarking on her writing journey and developing the popular THREADS psychological thriller series, she poured her passion for creativity into her work as the director of a fine art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; she also served as a governor–appointed member of the Oregon Arts Commission.

When she’s not traveling or spoiling her two pups and three grandsons, she enjoys giving back to her community through participation and support of various charitable, medical and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest. Her latest time-travel adventure, HIGH FLYING, asks challenging questions that will linger long after the final twists are revealed. Recently jumping to the supernatural thriller genre, Kaylin’s clever SOUL SEEKER series leads readers into the pit of Hell, through the mechanisms of secret societies, and across the earth’s crust, ever raising the stakes for her leading duo—a wicked demon and a saintly angel with secret earth-shattering agendas. With each story she writes, this author delivers unexpected twists and turns and keeps her readers on the edge of their seats, leaving them guessing and thoroughly entertained.

http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com/home

https://www.instagram.com/4kaylinmcfarren/

https://www.facebook.com/kaylin.mcfarren

https://twitter.com/4kaylin

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3184417.Kaylin_McFarren



Residual Magic by Suzanne M Sabol


Residual Magic
Blood and Bone Legacy
Book Two
Suzanne M Sabol

Genre: Urban Fantasy, New Adult
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: 10/21/2020
ISBN: 978-1-64716-143-9
ASIN: 
Number of pages: 357
Word Count: 104,215
Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: To save Ev and Tag, Brittany must master the powerful magic of a goddess to stop a sorcerer from raising the Goddess of Carnage from manifesting through the cauldron.

Book Description: 

Brittany is a long way from the scared witch who watched a necromancer murder her mother. She’s grown and more powerful than even she realized as the sorceress she truly is. But all the magic in the world doesn’t mean anything if her best friend and werewolf, Everett Cooper, rejects her again. How many times can a person’s heart break? Brittany isn’t willing to find out. So, when another werewolf asks her out on an actual date, she jumps at the invitation.

Caught between two werewolves, Brittany will need all her friends when one of the pack goes missing. But nothing is ever easy, and magic has a cost that they may not be willing to pay. A trail of disappearances follow in Brittany’s wake, as someone tracks her every magical movement. But to what purpose? To what end?

Brittany has been powerful. 

Brittany has been patient.

Now, will Brittany be enough to save her friends . . . and the world?


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Caught by Surprise

“I’m sorry, what did you just say?” I mumbled, as Tag’s question tumbled around in my head. My brain hitched, unable to follow. The kitchen island was a hard edge at my back as I clutched the sweating glass of soda tight in my hand. Huh, the refrigerator door was open. Did I leave that open? That’s such a waste of energy. Why was I worrying about the electric bill and the energy? God, Brittany, pull it together. Focus!

“I asked if you would like to go to dinner with me,” the werewolf asked . . . again. “On a date,” he clarified as if I hadn’t understood the first time. In all honesty, I hadn’t. I was staring at him with my mouth gaping open wide enough to catch flies but I couldn’t seem to snap myself out of a stupefied shock. His lips turned up in a teasing smirk that made my gut tighten and my brow crinkle in confusion.

“A date?” I asked, my voice uneven and hesitant as I considered. As many times as I’d dreamed of being asked that question by a werewolf—and I had, many many MANY times—the werewolf in my daydreams had never been Tag.

Stewart Taggar was long and lean, towering over my five foot six inches. I wasn’t a giant but I wasn’t tiny either. His red hair was more carrot than auburn but it seemed to shimmer when set against his bronzed skin. He was muscled but not bulky like a lot of the werewolves in the pack. He gazed down at me now in a way that was new or maybe it wasn’t and I just hadn’t noticed. He’d always treated me—I’d thought—like a little sister. Honestly, most of the pack did. Yes, I was only twenty-two and decades or centuries younger than most of the wolves and vampires but that didn’t mean I was a child. Tag wasn’t looking at me like I was a kid, that’s for sure. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about that development.

“Aren’t you a little old for her?” a gruff, clipped voice called from the kitchen doorway. Without my knowledge or permission, my body reacted to that voice in ways that made heat creep into my cheeks. Everett Cooper was three or four inches taller than me at most; lean and muscular. He seemed to be gaining bulk every day and it looked good on him. His sandy blond hair was styled away from his face, exposing the deep navy-blue of his eyes. His gaze fell on me like a weight, not crushing or overwhelming but comforting and all too familiar.

“That’s for her to decide, pup,” Tag responded, with an edge of condescension in his last word that surprised me.

Tag and Ev were friends, or at least had been, I’d thought. I wasn’t sure what was going on between them lately, but something was definitely up. Standing between them, I was ridiculously uncomfortable. Tension boiled in the kitchen until it was a physical heat against my skin as the two werewolves faced off. Sweat beaded on my upper lip. I was waiting for one of them to pee on me and mark their territory or something dumb like that. To be honest, I only wanted one of them to pee on me. Oh God, that didn’t sound right.

“She’s not going anywhere with you, old man,” Ev growled, squaring his shoulders. I perked up at that statement. I may be desperately in-love with Everett Cooper in a shameful and embarrassing sort of way, I wasn’t fool enough to lie to myself anymore about that fact. I was head-over-heels in-love with the idiot. That didn’t mean he could order me around like a piece of property. Because he couldn’t. I did not belong to him.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” I huffed out, throwing my shoulders back in irritation and raising my chin in defiance. I was a strong independent woman, darn it, and even if Ev was the man of my dreams, I wasn’t going to let him talk about me like a piece of meat.

Yes, Ev had kissed me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it had been a-maz-ing. And yes, I’d said I would wait for him to figure his stupid, insecure, man-baby crap out. But it had been more weeks than I’d like to admit since our kiss and I was tired of waiting for this grown man to figure out what he was going to do with me. If anything. Maybe a little fire under his rear end would move his addled brain along. Or maybe he’d decide I wasn’t worth the effort and let me go. Either way, it was good to know . . . wasn’t it? That’s what I told myself, anyway.

Both men turned, meeting my heavy—okay, angry—stare. I was too young and too cute for heavy. I just didn’t have the menace behind any stare to classify as heavy. Feisty anger though, I could do.

“First,” I started, meeting Ev’s deep, dark, and penetrating gaze. Ugh, he was so cute. Shake it off, Britt. Pull yourself together. “You’re not the boss of me,” I hissed. Tag snorted in laughter and I turned on him, “Second, don’t provoke him.” Tag had the good sense to drop the grin on his face and appear suitably apologetic. “Third,” I said with a bright and cheerful smile that was actually true, and my smiles hadn’t been true for a very long time. “Tag, I would love to go to dinner with you.”

“What?” Ev erupted, wide-eyed surprise clear on his face as he took an aggressive step in my direction.

Ignoring Ev’s apparent surprise, Tag stepped in front of me with his back to Ev, blocking my view of the angry werewolf. “I’ll pick you up tonight at seven.” Clutching my hand in his, Tag squeezed reassuringly and smiled down at me in a way that made me feel like I was his whole world. Something about that expression made my insides flutter and I couldn’t help but grin back at him. I hadn’t expected that look in his eyes or my reaction to his attention. Did that make me an attention-starved idiot? Ugh, maybe it did.

“I’ll be ready,” I said, feeling giddy at the prospect of just being wanted. Yep, attention-starved idiot right here. He squeezed my hand again and strode by Ev, his head just a little bit higher.

“My shift starts soon, so I’ve gotta go but dress up tonight,” he said over his shoulder. “We’re going someplace upscale.”

“We don’t have to,” I said, suddenly feeling awkward at the thought of Tag spending money on me. Somehow, I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of a fancy date. I could clean up, for sure, but I wasn’t very comfortable—like it wasn’t me but a bizzaro-world version of me.

Tag stopped, maybe hearing the uncertainty in my voice or wanting to drive the knife into Ev a little deeper, I don’t know. He turned to me and said, “You deserve the best, Brittany,” meeting my uncertain gaze with a self-confident grin. I blinked hard at him, seeing the man instead of my friend. It was the first time since we’d met—that I could remember, anyway— that he’d called me anything but “G”. He liked to refer to me as Glenda the Good Witch of the North because, by his own words, I had been all pink-fluffy-witchy-goodness when he’d first met me.

Tag continued, “You deserve so much more than anyone can or has ever given you.” With that last parting jibe, he left to go to work at the coroner’s office.

The front door closed behind Tag and silence descended on the kitchen. Uncomfortable and now, suddenly anxious, I turned and made my way around the overly large island toward the stairs. I took the long way around the island, clutching my soda close to my chest and letting the condensation soak into my shirt in an effort to keep as much space between me and Ev as I could.

“You said you’d give me time,” he whispered, sounding pained, or maybe that was anger. I couldn’t tell. Living in a house full of werewolves and vampires meant that nothing was really private unless you worked really hard to keep it that way. At that moment, I couldn’t decipher if he was protecting my privacy or his own.

“I did,” I agreed, turning to meet his now sea-foam green eyes. His wolf was close to the surface, magic flooded his irises with his wolf’s power. That show of power would have worried most people. But not me. I knew in my gut that neither Ev, nor his wolf, would ever hurt me. “I also told you not to wait too long or you might miss your chance.” I was so proud of myself, managing to get the words out without my voice shaking too much. I made my way around him with my shoulders back and my head high, looking to escape as quickly as my two feet would carry me.

“Brit,” he sighed, reaching for me, he caught my hip with the tips of his fingers. I froze at the touch as heat pooled in my center. My breath hitched in my throat and my fingers tightened around the glass. He made me stop and meet his questioning gaze instead of retreating up to my room like I desperately wanted. Ev and I lived in the same house with the vampire colony liege, the werewolf pack alpha, and their significant other—The Blushing Death. It’s a long and complicated story. Our living arrangement had made the last few weeks . . . awkward at best. “Brit, I—” he started but didn’t seem to know how to finish.

“Ev,” I said, wanting very much to ditch this mostly embarrassing and gruesomely uncomfortable conversation. “I’m not your mate. We both know it,” I said, the words sticking in my throat a bit. Werewolves had a mystical fated mate. Some werewolves found that mate over the course of their lifetime and some didn’t. Kurt, the pack Beta, had described it as a string tugging in his chest that linked directly to his mate’s heart.

Voicing the unequivocal fact that I was not Ev’s mate, made my heart break a little bit more each time I said it. Actually, a lot. It crushed me to my very soul. I cannot overstate this fact. Knowing I wasn’t his mate broke me on a foundational level. But the reality was, werewolves had fated mates and I wasn’t Ev’s.

He closed his eyes and breathed deep.

“It’s not fair to me to keep beating around this bush when nothing will ever come of it,” I said around the defeat lodged in my throat.

“You’re not Tag’s mate,” he growled as if that solved everything.

“No, you’re right about that,” I said, very proud of myself for not bursting into tears. “But I don’t love him,” I whispered, wishing desperately that I could suck those words back in. But I couldn’t. I’d said them out loud and to his face. There was no going back now.

His gaze narrowed on me in question and what I thought might be pity. I don’t think I could stand it if he pitied me. Before I could let that thought sink in, he asked, “Then why?”

“Because HE can’t crush me,” I answered succinctly. Blinking back the hot tears now flooding my eyes, I shifted my hip out from under his soft touch and made my way up to my room. Carefully, I closed the door behind me and finally released the tears I’d managed not to shed in front of Everett Cooper.

“Crying again?” a distant voice teased from my desk.

“Stay out of it, Cerridwyn!” I hissed, not wanting either of our voices to be heard by anyone. Everyone pretty much thought the succubus-witch that had killed ten people across Columbus and almost destroyed our house was dead. I hadn’t had the guts or the stomach to kill her. But I had managed to drag her soul out of her body and shove it into an amber amulet. Thinking back on it now, I’m not entirely sure I chose the kinder option. Maybe this was why the preternatural community thought sorceri were evil. Wynne certainly didn’t like being confined to the amulet. I was working up to telling everyone that I’d messed up on that one. Actually, I was trying to find a way to banish her so I wouldn’t have to confess my mistake to anyone. That seemed like a better idea. It was just taking longer than I’d thought. Especially if I didn’t want to destroy her soul in the process which I didn’t.

“So young and stupid,” she muttered loudly, clearly wanting me to hear her.

“I don’t need your two cents, Wynne,” I snapped. I’d come to my room for quiet but had forgotten about the nagging succubus currently residing in the amulet on my desk. How had I ever forgotten? The woman took every opportunity to gripe, badger, harass, or simply voice her opinions. I’d tried silencing her with my magic but it hadn’t worked. Sometimes my magic just did what I wanted with a single thought. Other times, I couldn’t do the simplest parlor tricks. My whole life, all I’d ever been told was how powerful I was. But since my mother’s murder, I haven’t been able to get anything to work right. It was either all or nothing at all. Unless, that is, I was cornered. Then everything seemed to work just fine.

“What two cents? I have no money,” Wynne replied, confused.

I smiled to myself at her confusion. Having been stuck in a vast wasteland of desert and mirrors the succubus-witch had dubbed the In-Between for more than a millennium, sometimes Wynne’s understanding of colloquialisms wasn’t up to scratch. I don’t know why I thought it was funny, but I did.

“Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that you are young and stupid. How many times have you cried over that boy? Too many to count by my opinion.” She huffed at me as if I was wasting her time. All she had was time. Plus, I was pretty sure she secretly loved it. I’d come to understand that Wynne liked to be needed. Who didn’t though? That was the point, wasn’t it? I wanted to be wanted and needed and it didn’t seem like Ev wanted or needed me at all. But maybe Tag did.

“Well, you’ll be glad to know that I have a date tonight,” I said, my chin high. I couldn’t keep the pleased grin from my face, even through the tears. When she stared at me, the words clearly not registering in her mind I added, “I’m going to be spending time with someone tonight in a romantic way . . . a man.”

“The boy finally became a man,” she grumbled and this time I wasn’t so sure she’d intended for me to hear her.

“Ev?” I asked, confused but continued on, “No, Tag. I’m going to dinner with Tag.”

“The soul stealer?” she asked, and I could hear the surprise and disgust in her voice. She almost spat to ward off evil spirits. I could almost see her bright blue eyes the size of saucers in astonishment from the small amulet.

“Wynne,” I said. “Redheads don’t steal souls. They just don’t.” I sighed. “But you know who does?” I asked and she was quiet for a moment, waiting. “Succubi. Succubi steal souls and that’s you.” When she didn’t respond—because I had her on that one—I said, “Tag is a nice guy. He’s steady. And he wants me.”

“Ahh,” she responded in a way that made my blood boil, as if she saw everything and I saw nothing.

“Ahh? What does ahhh mean?” I hissed, angry now. It felt good to be angry and show it. Turns out, I’d been angry for a while and keeping it pent up wasn’t doing me any favors. For some reason though, I felt completely comfortable showing anger to Wynne.

“Nothing,” she clipped, pleased with herself. “Just . . . ahh. Have fun on your . . . date,” she said with a snide lilt. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone, retreating back into her amulet to let me stew. I hated when she did that. She put just enough doubt in my head to make me second-guess everything. Wynne was just mean.

“I will!” I snapped at her, knowing full well she wasn’t listening. I plopped down on my bed and sighed. I would have a good time with Tag. I always had a good time with Tag. We were friends and I wouldn’t let Wynne’s nagging doubts cast a shadow on our date. This wouldn’t be weird at all.


About the Author: 

Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has two Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She has a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She is married with one child and lives in Columbus Ohio.

The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are published through Soul Mate Publishing. Editor, Debby Gilbert, can be contacted through their website at www.soulmatepublishing.com












 

 



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