Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Book Out Today!!!

Cowbell, Book and Candle is my newest paranormal series, featuring Lily, Sara May, and BJ -- three friends from Central Texas.

There are 4 more books currently planned for this series: Don't Mess with Hexes, Royal Witch, Hexy Lady, and Hex and the Kitty. :D They're a little dark, a little humorous, and I adore the universe. :D

Official blurb for Deep in the Heart of Hexes:
Lily really isn’t the shop-owner type, but she knows she has to go back home after college and take over her granny’s weird, wonderful store, just like she promised. The problem is that Granny wants her to get serious about things she’s not even sure she believes in. When Granny falls mysteriously ill after an antique shatters in the shop, Lily starts to think that the whole world is off-kilter.
Marc deals daily with the kinds of phenomena Lily is struggling against. He knows it’s magick, but he’s not sure how to convince such a beautiful, stubborn woman how to start looking for solutions of the supernatural variety. Lily thinks Marc is arrogant and amazingly handsome, but she doesn’t want to trust him. Can the two of them learn to work together in time to save all that Lily holds dear?


“Granny? Are you sure these…wooden squirrels deserve a spot in the window?” Lily picked them up gingerly, holding them with the tips of her fingers. Good night, look at the dust.

“Of course they do. The nutcracker is a Texas antique, and every nutcracker needs a few squirrels.”

“Granny…” She shook her head. “There’s a lovely piece of stained glass that would catch the light…”

A year she’d been working here.

A whole year after graduation, just like they’d agreed to when Granny forked over her college tuition, and Granny had been like…like a boss instead of family. They’d tied it up about the inventory, the ancient pointless cash register, and buying every piece of worthless junk any old man brought in, saleable or not.

Lily had to spend one Saturday a month at the spa just to make sure she didn’t smell moldy. Or like chamomile. Or the weird-assed sage bundles Granny had in the old apothecary cabinet. Smudge-sticks, she called them. Lily still had no idea what was supposed to smudge. And then there was that stupid grandfather clock, ticking and ticking.

“Lilith Streigha…”

She closed her eyes and counted to thirty. Twice. “Granny, they need to be dusted at least.”

She could do it and drop them. Step on them. Hard.

“Gently. With a feather duster.” Granny waggled a finger at her, the green eyes that didn’t look anything like hers just dancing. Granny sure had her number. Sometimes it was like she just plucked thoughts out of Lily's head. Half the time she didn't even notice.

“Of course.” She stuck her tongue out at Granny, winked. “Bossy old bat.”

“Silly whippersnapper.” Granny eased down into the old wooden desk chair she’d lined with egg crate foam.

“Uh-huh. You forgot uppity.” She headed over to Granny, kissed her cheek. “I really think you should let me change the window display.”

“No. Not yet, baby girl.” Granny’s lips set in that thin line she was getting to know well and those eyes stopped twinkling. She was in stubborn mode. “You need to do a little reading this afternoon. Research some of the books, so when people ask questions, you can answer and sound like you know what you’re talking about. You’re taking on a big job with this place. Bigger than you understand.”

“But…” She wasn’t sure about all this witchy stuff. At best it was complicated, goofy and generally pointless, like Momma had always said. At worst, it was dangerous and she’d end up hurting someone. Granny had hundreds of books, pieces of paper, bottles and jars filled with weirdness. She knew some stuff—where to buy herbs, which vendors to buy candles from, which tarot cards were going to sell.

She’d even designed a neat altar piece—a triple goddess with a place for a stone in the center—that had sold out in only a week. Five of them. One set was ordered over the Internet from Dallas.

Still, it was weird, interacting with the more esoteric customers and…

Granny patted her arm, distracting her from her thoughts. “No. No buts, Lilith, my girl. You will do it. All I have will be yours someday, and I need you to educate yourself. There are things out there you don't understand.”

“Okay.” She sighed softly. One day. One day she’d be able to make the window classy, get rid of the old truly weird stuff. The junk. The pendulums and the crystals and the dry, dusty herbs. She would. Well, maybe not the crystals, those were pretty. “What do you want for lunch today, do you think?”

“I think we should grab pizza. I’m craving pepperoni.”

“Good deal.”

The bell over the door rang and Hedda, Granny’s best friend and fellow witchy woman, came in, followed by a pair of teenage girls dressed in altogether too many black clothes for the month of May. The temperature outside was already well into the upper 90s and would hit the century mark by late afternoon.

“Hedda! Come here, girl! How’ve you been?” Granny waved Lily over to deal with the customers, greeting her old friend, who looked worried or constipated or something. Not good at all. Sometimes she wondered what all those two got up to in the back room.

“Hey, y’all. How can I help you?”

One of them—who was obviously going for the look of the dark-haired girl in The Craft—smiled at her. “I. My friend. We heard that…I need to do a spell.”

Goodie. “What kind of spell, honey?”

“I…There’s this guy. He’s…”

God, she hated love spells. “I have a few good books on relationships…”

The teenager teared up. “You don’t under…”

“I told you she wouldn’t get it, Amy. Come on.” The other girl, who looked like a bucket of tar had been poured over her head, grabbed her friend’s arm. “Y’all are just posers.”

“No. No, wait.” Lily sighed. This kid was really upset. “Tell me what’s up, huh?”

“I don’t want him to…I just want him to leave me alone.” One stick-thin arm was held out to her, and Lily winced at the bruises. “Please. I just need some help.”

“Have you talked to your folks?”

“Her folks are just going to tell her to go to church, lady. We need real help.”

“Okay. Okay. Let me see what we can do.” She turned to ask Granny what to do, but the sneaky old broad was gone, along with Hedda, damn it. Personally, she thought they should call the police, but it hadn’t been that long since she’d been a teenager over at Dripping Springs High. She grabbed Granny’s big book and was incredibly grateful that the little Post-It tabs hadn’t been taken off.

Love spells. Having babies. Preventing babies. Health. Money. Depression. Protection.

That was it. The white tab right before the red one with ‘scary shit - don’t look here’ written on it.

Lily opened the book and looked quickly. Okay. White candles, a mojo bag with sandalwood, angelica, camphor, and bay laurel. One piece of onyx, one piece of jade. Some salt. No problem.

“We’ve got everything you need, honey.” No. No, Granny said names were important. “Amy, right?”

The girl nodded. “I’m Amy; this is my best friend, Roxy.”

“Hey. I need to put you a bag together. You’ll need to give me a few, okay?”

Amy had pretty blue eyes. “You think it will work?”

Lily nodded. “I do. I think it will work. We’ll make it work.”

Especially when she called to the school and talked to the principal, damn it. Kids shouldn’t be hurt like that.

She put the mojo bag together, anointed the candles with blessing and protection oil, and gathered the stones up, handing them over to Amy. “Okay. I want you to repeat after me now, then, when you get home, you light the candles and repeat the spell, every day until Saturday, okay?”

The girls looked at her, wide-eyed.

“What’s his name?”

Amy blinked. “What?”

“His name. Names are important.”

“Ricky. Ricky McAlister.”

She’d remember that. Asshole. “Okay, now. Love and light, surround me and my home. Let no one who wishes me harm come close. If Ricky comes with harm in his heart, turn him away. Protect me from harm. So will it be.”

The girls repeated it, twice, then she rang them up. Six dollars for two stones. “Come back on Saturday; let me know how it worked.”

“We will. Bye.”

“Bye, girls.” As soon as they headed down the street for the coffee shop, Lily dialed the number for Stella, the counselor at the high school and left a message. This shit was going to cease, now.

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