Monday, March 9, 2015

Elise, Evermore chapter!

“Moon” by Arvind Balaraman
Elise worked through the latest spell she was creating.  True love spells were tricky.  She had to be very careful for whom she performed them. Once she had all but completed a love spell for a besotted woman when she realized why the picture she had provided Elise looked so familiar. The infatuated woman had zeroed in on Englishman Tom Hiddleston—the actor who played Loki in Thor—as the object of her affection.  Luckily for Tom, Elise had stopped the spell before its completion; else a very befuddled Tom would have been on a plane to the United States without having a clue as to why he felt it so important to hop a red eye to Chicago.
Since that time, Elise had watched the movie Thor and could see the young woman’s attraction, as the actor certainly had a certain je ne sais quoi. And a girlfriend.
Her latest client, a young woman, had asked Elise for help in her love life; specifically, that a certain man who came into the coffee shop and sat near her almost every day would finally notice her and perhaps even ask her out.
Elise made it her business to wander into the coffee shop when the hopeful woman had said she would be there. Elise had ordered a latte and sat almost unseen in a corner, opened book in front of her, watching the goings on of the café, her client, and her client’s crush.
All was not lost.  The nice looking man her client was interested in showed up several different days when Elise was there. He had laptop and books in hand and sat suspiciously close to her client, throwing her longing glances when she wasn’t looking.
This wasn’t going to be hard at all. Elise smothered a grin.  Both of them were halfway there.  The looks—the timing of their supposed “random” encounters…might as well give them both the push they needed, even if it was just a tiny one.  She did a little research at home and came up with a suitable spell.
Two days later, she was in the café again, enjoying a coffee and a muffin when her client walked in, followed shortly thereafter by the man of her dreams.
This is as good a time as any. From her corner booth, she held her cell phone up to her ear to make it appear as if she were on the phone and spoke under her breath:
Stars and suns and moon above
Flying like a pure white dove
One thing in this room is clear
For both of them, true love is here.
She wiggled her fingers subtly at the two, gratified to see both of them flinch at approximately the same time.  Message received.  She pretended to be absorbed in the newspaper in front of her, while actually watching the cute young almost couple and the actions they were about to take.
This, she thought.  This is almost my very favorite thing to watch; that small period of time where it seemed everyone knew two people were attracted to each other except for the two in question.  Then, awareness dawns on them, sparks rev up, and finally the kindling bursts into flame as each of them open their hearts enough to allow the new feelings to come shining through.
The good looking young man, Grant, reminded Elise very much of the nerdy Clark Kent, and he was about as self-assured.  He got up from the table he had been sitting at, jostling his laptop and knocking his coffee cup over because he was unable to take his eyes off of Karen, her client.  Elise almost expected him to say, “Sorry, Lois.” Some of the coffee spattered on her client’s shoe, barely enough to matter, but he knelt down gallantly with a napkin to daub the moisture off of it.
Elise tuned them out then, only picking up bits and pieces of their connection.  “Awfully sorry.” “Are those the new cross fit shoes?” And her favorite, “buy you dinner?”
She picked up her empty coffee cup and brought it up to the counter. She gestured to the friendly woman washing up dishes.  “Here’s another one for you, Bev. It was delicious. ”
The woman smiled as she dried her hands on a towel and came forward and chat.  “Another satisfied customer, I see.” Bev, the woman who owned the shop and a good friend of Elise’s, nodded toward the couple.  “I better not find out you even charged her for that spell.  My granddaughter could have enchanted those two, and she’s five.  They only needed the smallest of suggestions. ”
Elise surreptitiously glanced at the two, now seated at the same table, dark heads bent together.
“Barely even that. And oh, don’t worry. I plan on charging her just enough to cover the divine cup of coffee and that absolutely wonderful lemon poppy seed muffin I just had. ”
“I sent her to the right person, then.  You are really the best with love spells, Elise. ” Accepting the compliment with pleasure, Elise huffed on her fingernails and shined them on her shirt. “Well, you know.  So hard being me.”
“Modesty becomes you.  Hey, on a different note, were you able to “worm” any additional information out of your house guest?”
“Oh, not really.  I sent him on his way.  Poor guy thinks he’s an unemployed worm farmer.  I also gave him a little suggestion that if he should ever even think of harming another person, plant, or thing, his penis is going to fall off. ”
Bev laughed then.  “Well, that will keep him out of all kinds of trouble, won’t it?”

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Mistletoe Miracle

(author's note:  I'm in Prompt Club, where we get a sentence or first line of something and we have to write about 1000 words on it.  This particular one was "when a distraction causes a miracle. Merry Christmas!
The Mistletoe Miracle
squeee!  Christmas!
“It’s his fault, you know,” Ronni proclaimed.
“What’s his fault, exactly? The divorce? Or the fact that he stopped paying child support?” Candace Mahoney juggled her three year old son and her purse.
“How about both?”
The two young women laughed.
“I like both. Both is good.”  Candace kissed little Ben on the cheek.  “But even if I can’t blame my job loss on him, Christmas is going to be rough.  Not to mention that big heating bill’s coming up. How could one tiny apartment generate such a high bill?”
 “I’m keeping him in daycare with you, Ronni.  Next to me, you’re the most stable thing he’s got.  I’ll find a job soon, and I’ll still have my spot.”  They said their goodbyes for the night. 
Candace did have a tiny bit of money set aside.  It would be helpful if her ex would pay child support, though.  He bounced from job to job.  The second he knew his pay was being garnished for child support; he’d quit and find a new one. 
A prince among men, that one.   What she needed was a Christmas miracle.
“That’ll be $15.21.”
Gah.  Well, she had to have milk. And laundry soap. And toilet paper, for God’s sake.  She handed over the cash.  It left her just enough to put gas in her car—guess she and Ben would be eating at her mother’s house this week for dinner.
Candace put away the meager supplies when they got home.  After their light supper Ben played in her room with his toy cash register as Candace cleaned her closet out.  She was making a pile of what could go to the consignment shop.  She figured while she waited on responses from the slew of resumes she had sent out, she could sell some of her unused clothing, accessories and shoes; perhaps she could make a few dollars that way.
With a sigh, she tossed a dressy gold lame’ dress on the “to go” pile.  She thought for a minute, fingered the material, and then grabbed it back out of the pile.
No, she thought.  It’s the one thing I have in my closet that I would wear if I ever go on a date.
As an out -of-work single mother, she wasn’t quite date material.
But she could feel attractive, right?
Grabbing the dress, she said, “BenBen, Mommy’s going to try this dress on, ok? I’ll be right back.  Just keep playing with your toys.”
“I’m playing bank, mommy.”
“I know,” she called from the bathroom.  She shucked off her flannel shirt and leggings and slid the thin gold dress over her head.
Oh. Oh. It still fit like a dream, clinging to her svelte body like a second skin.  It’s svelte because I can’t afford to swing through the drive through at McDonalds or Dairy Queen any more.
She did a few steps in front of the mirror.  She’d ask Ben to dance; that would be fun.
“Ben!” she sang, as she sashayed back into the bedroom.  “Let’s dance, baby…”
Ben was sitting on the floor, with her old brown purse in his lap and a half eaten roll of Certs in his grip.  His jaw worked furiously as he chewed the candy as fast as he could before Candace could take it away.
“Ben! No!  That’s old and icky! Spit that out!”
That’s what I get for being distracted.  Turn my back for one second and look what happens.
“I play bank, mommy. I find money.”
“Money? Where?” Candace held her hand out for Ben to spit the old candy into.  He did so.
“Playing bank, huh?” she ruffled his hair. “I’d like to have four dollars, please.” Ben loved a chance to show off his counting skills.  He proudly counted out three store receipts and a movie stub into her hand.  “One, two, free, four.”
Candace’s heart swelled.  What a big boy he was.  “That’s right!  Nice counting!”
Candace was turning to throw the receipts and candy into the garbage.  “Five?  What else do you have, Ben?”
“More money.”
He handed her the “money”.  It was a “Merry Mistletoe” lottery scratch off card that she had never scratched.
“Where’d you find this?” she asked Ben.
“In the purse,” he replied.
“And I never scratched this?  Hm.”  Probably not a winner.  Most of them weren’t, or were at most a $2 win.  Still in her dress, she carried Ben back to the kitchen for a snack.  After settling him into his booster seat with some graham crackers and milk, she leaned over the counter and began to scratch the play areas of the card.
The very first two amounts were $500,000.  Oh, God. That would be a miracle.  Wouldn’t have to worry about where the next meal was coming from—or the new brakes—could  take some time off to be with Ben.
She scratched the next two, revealing $40 and $2. Now that’s more my speed. Two more squares to go.  Her coin scratched the gray spot. $2.  That meant she had a chance of winning either a) nothing, b) $2, or c) $500,000.
She was surprised to find her hands shaking.  People like her won $2. Not $500,000.  Might as well not even get her hopes up.
Nervous, she went to the sink and filled her tea kettle, threw a tea bag into a cup, then sat back down at the table.  I’ll start from the right side and scratch left.
This tension was delicious.  Probably for nothing, but delicious anyway.
She called the gas station down the street and asked if the “Merry Mistletoe” game had ended and was told it was ending in a few weeks. 
So the ticket’s still valid.
Scratch. Another zero.
She bit her lip.  It’s probably $1,000, she thought.  The teapot whistled.  She jumped up and with shaking hands she poured the hot water over the waiting teabag.
Why am I doing this to myself?  It’s not a winner.
“Mommy, want to play bank?”
Recklessly, Candace scraped off the rest of the scratch area.  Her heart sang as the final amount was revealed.  Happy tear drops splashed down like diamonds onto her gold dress.
 “Yes, baby,” she choked out.  Let’s play bank.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First times are magical.

And this one was a biggie.

Guess where we were the other day, me and my sister and co-author. Just guess. 

You'll never guess so I'll just tell you.

We were selling our books! Printed books. Real books, with covers front and back, and an author picture, and lovely cream paper. Pages that you can fan and smell, which speaking only for myself I have done repeatedly.

Squee!!  Here we are selling honest to goodness books!
In Print hosted a book fair at the Mendelssohn in Rockford on October 25 (which, by the way, was yours truly's birthday, which is why I have a birthday badge on my boob). It was the first time that Jen and I had been able to set up shop with physical books that we could sign and sell.

There were over 30 authors attending that day, and we were right in the thick of it.

We were ready.

It was a very long-awaited, exciting day. Jen, at one point, said that I was so animated that she was just "the string to my balloon." Yes. That pretty much summed it up. 

Can you blame me? It was my birthday. I was selling books with my sister. We had a cool looking, witchy banner. We had (thanks to my media specialist sister) book stands. We had oversized post cards with the names of our books, as well as a description and QR code to scan on your phone. We had business cards and special book signing pens, thanks to Kelly Epperson. We had a beautiful tablecloth that matched the colors of our book covers.

Bull Garlington wandered over and told us how interesting our cover was for Cat, Charmed. (another squee in order here, since he's such a cool dude.)

We also had a Halloween candy dish full of chocolate. That was magical too, in that it kept disappearing.

We had two Whitfield Witch mug giveaways; people who signed up for our fledgling newsletter with their email address had a chance at winning. Winners were Sharon Boehlefeld and Margie Seger (congratulations!) and we also have a great start for an email list.

My son and husband volunteered all day long. My daughter filled in as booth babe for "Birth That Book" Kelly Epperson, who had a prior commitment, and my other daughter and her fiancé came with my granddaughter, who posed for pictures and got to visit and color in the Kids' Zone.

Can I color in this one, Grandma?
No. No, darling, you cannot.
We sold a respectable amount of books. We met some cool local and cool not so local authors. We signed, and chatted, and nibbled on Halloween candy and in general, had a spectacular day.

By the time the last table was folded up, we were so exhausted that we headed home for sweatpants and my kids all came over for pizza. And later, there was a whiskey on the rocks.

We know what to expect now for the next one, and we're ready for that one, too, books in hand.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Free for the weekend, Baylyn, Bewitched!!

Hello delightful readers!!

Guess what.  This weekend through Sunday night, Baylyn, Bewitched is free on and Smashwords!  Not only THAT, Cat, Charmed is also 99 cents everywhere.  Continue reading for a little snippet from Baylyn, Bewitched:

“Baylyn, you have to sit down if you want me to put your hair up.”  Cat drawled as she reached a little unsteadily for her wine glass.

Baylyn grabbed the magazine picture featuring her choice and sat down on the chair in her bedroom.  “I wish I had time to get my nails done too.”

“Don’t worry about it.  Your last polish color was too red anyway.  What was that called, Summer Slut?  It’s probably a good thing you didn’t have time.”

Baylyn laughed.  “You are such a bitch.  It was called Poppy Daydreams.  And look who’s talking…you with your Smothered Evening eye shadow.”

Cat paused in her deft movements to tug Baylyn’s hair a little.  “Probably not a good idea to insult me right now.”

“Fine.”  Baylyn grumbled.  “You look wonderful, by the way.”  Cat was wearing a dress a little outside of her comfort zone.  She of dark clothes and straight hair and sensible shoes was actually wearing a fitted royal blue dress and low heels.   

“It’s a pick me up.  Things kind of fizzled out with the paranormal guy.”

“Ah.  His loss, Cat.”

“Whatever.  Not worth talking about.  What are you wearing tonight?”

Cat finished Baylyn’s simple yet elegant hairstyle.  They had decided on a slight pouf with a casual braid around it, and the final result was chic and classy.

“I thought I’d wear that black dress I wore to that thing a couple months ago.”

“Come on, Baylyn.  You can do better than that.  Go for the glamour, girl!  Half the town’s going to be at the Whitfield Gala.  You know all the women love to dress up and show off.”

“Declan’s probably not even going to be there, Cat.  And seriously, it’s the Whitfield Gala.  The most exciting thing that happens every year is that Bob Tucker from Tucker Travel gets drunk and tries to hit on Margaret from Sahara Desserts but she’s too busy pouting over not winning a door prize to notice.”


Friday, June 20, 2014

Baylyn, Bewitched excerpt

Below follows an excerpt from Baylyn, Bewitched...the first book in the Whitfield Witch series.
The conversational tone he used belied his words.  “I couldn’t stay away.  I tried.  I turned off the radio so I wouldn’t be disturbed by songs that made me think of you.  I forced myself to work on dry, boring contracts.  I did sit ups.  I did pushups.  But Baylyn…” He let go of the chair.  “I couldn’t get you out of my head.” 

He advanced toward her.  “I kept hearing your voice.  Your voice, saying my name.”  He took another step, catlike, stalking her.  “Over, and over, and over.  Softly.  Declan.  Declan.” 

Her mouth went completely dry and the thudding in her chest sped up to complement the roaring in her ears. 

“As a matter of fact, I could feel you, calling to me.  Beckoning me.  Drawing me here.  Well, I listened, Baylyn.  I’m here.  I had to come.  What, exactly, do you want with me?”
Halloween can't come fast enough for this gal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Excerpt four from Cat, Charmed!

We have gotten really great feedback from people for putting out little samples of our book.  Those wanting more, here's your wish!  From Cat, Charmed, available on, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  If you're looking for something whimsical and magical to read this weekend, or at work when no one's looking, here's the story for you!
I want Halloween stockings like Cat has!
Cat assembled everything for the spell.  The love spell, her inner witch whispered.  A love spell to find not only Mr. Right or even Mr. Right Now, but Mr. Right Now and Forever.  She had taken notes on how to do it if the need should arise; she took notes on everything she was supposed to in order to make her own grimoire.  However, while taking these notes in particular, she was just a little more scrupulous and wrote them down very, very carefully.  Just in case.
Are you sure you want to do this?  She took a couple of deep breaths to calm her nerves and shaking hands. 
The list of things she needed wasn’t long…a foot tall white candle, which she was supposed to mold into the shape of a man.  The legs she figured out pretty well, the arms looked a little stumpy, like brontosaurus arms.  Should I make those bigger?  Does the size of the arms on the candle relate to the size of the arms on the man?  Did the same go for all the parts of the body…everywhere?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cat, Charmed...third excerpt

Be ready for this one.  It might fog up your computer screen just a little bit.

naughty Cat.
Here's the third installment of Cat, Charmed.  Buy it today at! 


Seduce him.  This would be new for her.

As she leaned forward now, holding his hand on her cheek, she used her other hand to slowly unbutton her white blouse.  Closer, closer still his mouth came to hers, until she could feel the warm current of breath on her lips.  She gave him one last, lazy smile before leaning to settle her mouth on his.  She closed her eyes.

And was lost.

At the touch of his strong lips moving gently on hers, she could feel the shift of power from being the seducer to being the one seduced and felt a brief frisson of nervousness that was quickly snuffed out when his lips found her ear, then her neck, and suddenly her unbuttoned shirt was sliding off one shoulder then the other and then she was in just her camisole and skirt on the bed before him. 

The light from the nightstand was dim and that was just fine with her.  She could barely form a thought as she became a puddle of feelings.  Her hands came up to cradle his head to her neck as he pulled down one strap of her cami, nibbling every inch of her skin as he went.  She felt around him for the bottom of his shirt, desperately lifting and pulling until he took hold and pulled it over his head, barely leaving her for a moment.

Both of her cami straps were down now.  He was shirtless.   He slid his hands up her arms to cup her face and kissed her hard.  She was melting, melting with the intense feelings, and they were both completely out of breath.  He suddenly pulled away.

“Are you sure about this?   Are you sure you’re ready to…?  Because woman, the things I’m going to do to you…”