Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Paranormal Mystery
Number of pages: 149
Word Count: 51,643
Cover Artist: Katerina Martinez
"Lonely witches get up to no good."
Amber Lee has a decent life: she lives in a great house, she's about to start school again, her best friend Eliza is pregnant, and the pair of them are Wiccans with a healthy bond. But ever since Eliza moved out of Amber's house and in with her boyfriend Evan, Amber's been feeling a growing pang of loneliness in her chest.
When Damien, a stranger to her town, mysteriously comes into her life bringing with him all manner of strangeness, everything changes. Damien shows Amber a side of her she never knew existed, and ignites in her a spark she hadn't felt in a long time, but he's haunted by a dark secret and a purpose which may prove fatal to them both - and by the time she realizes it, there's no turning back.
Midnight Magick will take you deep into a world of witchcraft and mystery, where bonds are tested, hearts broken and lives lost.
I was sitting cross-legged on the main counter of a bookstore on Rosella Avenue one cool autumn afternoon. As blades of orange light from the setting sun cut through the gaps in buildings across the street I somberly thumbed a silver Triquetra—a three cornered trefoil knot with a circle around it—not much bigger than a quarter.
Angular shadows crept across the floor growing larger and more predominant with each passing minute. Copper dust motes hung in the air, twinkling without a care in the world. Even though I’d been fiddling with my mom’s old charm for a good half hour, the metal was still cool on my fingers. After years of having it hanging around my neck I couldn’t believe I’d just broken it.
“—don’t you think?” asked Eliza.
“Huh?” I pocketed the pendant and came back down from my thoughts.
“Are you even listening to me, Amber?”
“Totally… what did you say?”
Eliza sighed. “That girl? The one who drowned in her pool?”
“What about her?”
“They closed the case today. They say it isn’t suspicious anymore, writing it off as an accident.”
“Accidental? I thought they had a suspect and everything.”
“They did, but they didn’t have enough evidence to convict. Don’t you think it’s all a bit weird?”
I shrugged and feigned disinterest, but the grim topic gave me jitters. People didn’t normally die suspiciously in my neck of the woods, but this was the second one this year. The first was another girl. She hung herself from a withered birch at the heart of the forest. I saw the pictures. God how I wish I hadn’t.
“Can we talk about something else?” I asked, “How’d that fight with Evan go last night?”
“The fight?” Eliza planted a copy of Jules Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ on my lap. I wasn’t expecting it. “Go put this on the shelf, will you?”
“Yes, master,” I said. I hopped off the counter and wiped my hand on my grey dress as I searched for the book’s proper home among the shelves. “So? What happened with Evan?” I asked through the aisles.
Eliza grunted. “It’s this thing with Mordecai.” Mordecai was her tabby cat. “He’s been wheezing a lot. I asked Evan to take him to the vet yesterday for a check-up and he didn’t do it, so we had a big stupid fight.”
“How does that turn into an argument?” I slotted the book between a pristine copy of Moby Dick—a personal favorite—and A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
“Because! It just does,” said Eliza.
I walked around the aisle and caught her stacking books from a box marked “OLD” on a high shelf. Her tank top crept up her stomach exposing her flat belly as she stretched. No bump yet. Evan and Eliza always fought over silly things but it’d gotten worse ever since she found out she was pregnant. I could never say that to her face, though; she might charge at me with a step ladder!
“You guys will be fine,” I said, “You’re fighting because of the baby. Babies bring stress.”
Eliza shot me a scowl. “When did you become Doctor Phil?”
I smiled. “I’m just saying, you guys never used to fight about stuff and now you are. What’s changed? You’re pregnant.”
Eliza closed the box. A puff of dust exploded forth in defiance. “And he’s still a jackass sometimes,” she said.
“Oh come on, a little ice cream and a kiss in just the right spot and the fight will be history.”
Eliza moved the box into a small closet nearby and smiled to herself. “Yeah, okay, I’ll give you that. Anyway, let’s get finished up so we can get out of here.”
The doorbell tinkled. Evan’s silhouette broke the faint sunlight and crept into the store as quiet as a mouse, eyes to the floor. I smiled as he arrived and gave him a light peck on the cheek.
“Hey Evan,” I said, “How’s the cat?”
“On meds,” he replied, though he wasn’t looking at me, but rather at the visage of annoyance itself glaring from; behind me. “But he’ll be okay.”
Eliza had black, poker-straight hair which fell to about the small of her back. Her pale skin and cobalt eyes gave her an Ice Queen kind of air, but her round face and button nose gave away her heart of gold. Evan, meanwhile, was tall—taller than Eliza—and nicely put together. She’d get on her tiptoes to kiss him. It was cute.
“That’s great! Eliza was just telling me. I hope he gets better soon.” I gave the pair a winning smile. “Eliza, I’m gonna go through the new stock and whatnot. I’ll be in the back. Let me know when you’re ready to lock up,” I said.
Eliza nodded at me and then glanced at her man. He approached her like someone would advance on a stray cat they wanted to pet; slowly and cautiously. They started to speak as I disappeared into the back room.
We didn’t get any new stock today; I simply figured they needed to talk. Besides, I knew she’d appreciate the space. Luckily I wasn’t stuck in a tiny room entirely without purpose. Inside my backpack I had a bunch of brand new textbooks and more stationary than a girl knew what to do with, ready for my first day back at the Raven Hall University.
Lost in the plethora of pens and notepads my back to school kit comprised of, I almost didn’t notice the sore thumb on the oaken desk. I had to double-take before the words written on its spine, and the image on the front, struck a chilling chord.
The giant squid on the cover of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues stared back at me from atop the table. An old copy, just like the one I’d placed on the shelves moments ago. Why did we own two of them?
I plucked the book from the desk and advanced toward the door to the main room. Evan and Eliza were still there. Their muffled voices told me the discussion still hadn’t finished. At least they weren’t shouting. No one wants to be caught in between these two when they shout. It’s like watching cats fight. I’d know.
I slid out of the back room and snaked my way silently down the closest aisle. The lovebirds went quiet as I approached my destination. I’d slip the book in next to its sister so they can spend time together before someone buys one and separates them again. When I found the nook where I’d placed the original copy, I froze. The two books flanking Mr. Verne were still there, but the absence of a book between them made them slant into each other like tired lovers.
“Dammit,” I said, under my breath. I wish I could’ve dismissed the strange event, pretended like I’d imagined the whole thing, but in truth this kind of thing had happened before.
With the delicacy of someone trying not to disturb sleeping children, I slotted Jules Verne into its rightful place and decided that this time I would be cleverer than whatever specter enjoyed playing tricks on me. I snapped a shot of the books with my smartphone and double checked the image to confirm, smiling smugly at the triumph of technology.
Making my way back, I wondered if our repository of books was haunted. It’s an old building built on an old street in an old town. And I’m sure a lot of old people live in the apartment block above. I could ask Mrs. Peters on the second floor. She’s probably as old as the building itself, or at least that’s what her musky perfume suggests.
A sudden pleasurable moan made me dart back into the aisle just as I was about to waltz into the open. I peered around the corner and was met with a scene like something out of a fantasy. My heart raced. Eliza would’ve easily spotted me if I hadn’t any wits about me.
Eliza sat on the counter, her legs wrapped around Evan’s waist. Their lips locked in a passionate kiss. I glanced toward the front door, which they were in full view of, and hoped for their sake no one would come in.
Evan picked Eliza up by her thighs and carried her out of sight, to the back of the historical section which accumulated the most dust. The bookstore already smelt of lust, and listening to Eliza’s giggles brought a flush of warmth to my cheeks. I thought about that night a few months ago when the three of us called down the Moon Goddess and experienced each other intimately. It was my first time with two other partners, but I was glad they were my best friends.
The door to the office was only a few feet from where I stood, backed up against an aisle. The store had been quieter when they were talking. Now that Eliza’s moans rang off the walls I entered the safety of the back room without being spotted. I emerged a few moments later into the middle of a warm embrace between true soul mates.
“Look guys, why don’t you go home?” I asked, “I can lock up.”
“Are you sure?” asked Eliza.
“Absolutely. Get out of here.”
I’d grown used to hiding my green eyes from them. They had something I’d always wanted to share with someone else; a connection. Happy for them though I was, lonely people will yearn, and lonely Witches will get up to no good; ask my ex-boyfriend.
Review - 3.5 Stars!
I don't often read these types of paranormal romances unless they throw in a lot of other paranormal type creatures. I don't know why. Never really thought much about why I don't read much in the way of straight witch paranormal. Hmm. In any case, it intrigued me and I jumped on the chance to read it. The cover is also amazing!
Admittedly, it took me a bit to get into the story. I couldn't pinpoint why exactly, maybe the same reason witch stories (without the other paranormal stuff) wasn't something I usually read. However, once I gave the story a chance, I really did enjoy it.
I loved Amber. She was an interesting character with a depth all her own in this story with enough flaws to keep you interesting, but not so many you disliked her. She was awkward and sweet and had questionable taste in men. It was nice.
Damien, while cute, isn't usually my type of favorite male protagonist of any romances. He's nice and sweet and awkward too. I also had an issue with one huge scene that happens between Damien and Amber in the story that I can't get into because spoilers and all, but that scene made me dislike him just a tad. Maybe I will like him more in book two. However, he was very well done from a purely written characterization standpoint. It's just my opinion.
Writing was very well done and the dialog wasn't awkward. The were enough hints to keep you guessing throughout the story, enough sexual tension to keep you wanting more, and plot twists all around. It was a very enjoyable read. I think the only reason I didn't rate this 4 stars was because of that major scene in the middle I disliked. I will read book two though! I'd like to see the morally questionable situation improve. 3.5 stars!
My name is Katerina. I love to read and write, and until now I've been cooped up in a desk job with nothing to do but drift away on a sea of corporate bull until I do what is expected of me (marriage, kids, etc).
Eventually I decided that enough was enough, so I took a chance and wrote a book; my first book. Then I mulled over my options and chose to self-publish with Amazon, panicked over the "Publish" button for a few hours, and waited patiently for my book to show up on the listing.
Now I'm here, part of this big, wide world, trying to meet other people like me - folks starting out in the self-publishing business or just fellow authors/ readers who share my kinds of interests!
For those of you starting out, I can tell you, it's a rollercoaster. None of it is easy. And even if your work doesn't sell, at least you can be proud that you put yourself out there and took that step!
Amazon Author Profile: www.amazon.com/author/katerinamartinez
$15 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway