Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Expect the unexpected?

The next Hillendale book, INTERRUPTED MAGIC, is with the editor. Fingers crossed that I haven't screwed something up! In the meantime, I've taken a running start at the next book - or maybe it would be more accurate to say I've taken a running start at TWO new books while I decide which one wants to be written more. And also depending on what my editor has to say about INTERRUPTED MAGIC and what comes next in Hillendale. Or not. Sound cryptic? Well, I'll let you in on a secret. Things are about to change! 

Here's a snippet of INTERRUPTED MAGIC -

When the first bubbles boiled in the pot, I turned off the flame. A car turned onto the street—Nora’s. Kyle and I hadn’t had a chance to finish our discussion, which increasingly felt like formalizing the end of our relationship.

“Great,” Kyle mumbled from the doorway. “Nora’s here.”

I poured some of the potion into the mug and gave him a glare. He knew Nora visited every Sunday. I refocused my attention on Daria.

“Now, before you drink, you need to ask for absolution from Madeleine.”

“But I didn’t do anything wrong. Her brother did steal the car.”

I held the mug away from her. “This is important. In her mind, you bear some of the responsibility for what happened, whether it was justified or not. You turned him in.”

Daria pushed to her feet, her lips pressed tightly together.

“I have to remind you, you will get sick after you drink this, but that will be an indication the spell is leaving you.”

She snatched the mug from my hand. “Forgive me, Madeleine. I didn’t mean to send your brother to jail.” She downed the contents, gagged, and returned the glass to me. “But he did steal the car.”

“Kyle?” Nora’s voice sounded worried, I turned to look. Kyle was on the floor inside the house.

“Are we done here?” Daria asked.

So much for a sincere apology. There wasn’t anything more I could do for her. “Yeah.”

Daria walked away and I rushed into the house.

I knelt beside Kyle and cradled his head. He opened his eyes and for a moment, I saw a dark flash there. “What happened?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” He pushed to sit upright. “One minute I was watching you, the next I was laid out on the floor.”

Nora fluttered across the room in her flowing caftan. “What were you doing?” she asked me.

“Helping someone.” I raised my eyebrows, to indicate it was a discussion for another time.

Kyle started for the door and tripped on the threshold.

“Are you okay?” I asked, reaching for him.

“Just clumsy. I’ll be across the street if you need me.”

Was I supposed to follow him?

Nora stood beside me as we watched him go, then turned to me. “What’s going on?”

I filled her in on Daria and the spell I had sought to lift.

“Oh, dear.”

My heart stuttered. “Oh dear?”

“What did you give that young lady?”

“The recipe was in the grimoire.” I pointed toward the workroom.  

“The grimoire in the wall?”

Nora was making me nervous with her questions. “No. One of the recipe books on the shelves.”

She blew out a sigh.  

I hesitated. “I did look at the hidden grimoire the other day, to find out about casting a spell to atone for a wrong.”


Kyle had walked in before I finished reading, chasing the book to its hiding place. “I assumed when the recipe grimoire gave me the potion for Daria, it meant I should remove the spell.”

Nora’s eyes glittered. “Show me.”

The hidden grimoire appeared on the dining table. My stomach did somersaults as the pages flipped. What had I screwed up this time?

Nora stepped to the book first. I looked over her shoulder, reading the part I’d missed after Kyle had come in.

Proceed with caution. If a spell has been performed, it could well be protective in nature.

To determine the purpose of the magic, look for these signs:

1.       Confirm the afflicted person has had contact with a witch.

2.       Be sure the afflicted person’s behavior is unusual. It is possible they are simply having a run of bad luck. If fortune has frowned on said person, traditional uncrossing rituals will set things to rights.

3.       Ask if the afflicted person is missing personal items or photos.

An interrupted spell runs the risk of transferring to another host.

“The grimoire gave me the potion,” I sputtered.

I closed my eyes, knowing in my heart the spell had transferred to Kyle. He’d tripped on the threshold.

My voice cracked. “Daria apologized.”

Her apology hadn’t been sincere.

I turned to Nora, panic rising. “How do I fix this?”

Want to read more? INTERRUPTED MAGIC is available for preorder now!