It’s here! It’s here!
My book is out! Just in time for RWA’s Chicago Spring Fling Conference! I will be stalking Christina Lauren SHAMELESSLY, and if I don’t get arrested for said stalking, I will be signing on Saturday. If you’re in there, make sure to stop and say hello!
This means, while you’re reading this blog post, I am frantically packing the car and about to set off on a five hour drive. So where does that leave you? It leaves you with a sample of my new book, Hunting Witch Hazel.
Hunting Witch Hazel
By Heather Novak
The Bridge Enchantment Spell
Only my twin would want a happiness enchantment placed on Hayvenwood University’s scariest bridge for her birthday. I set the vials down on the stone wall of the Pont d’Amour and turned toward my sister, Romi. “I can’t believe that this is what you want. You sure you’re okay with getting your present two months early?”
Between the possibility of destroying the bridge and overly nosy neighbors returning from summer vacation, it was just too risky to do the spell once school started. Luckily, classes didn’t begin until next week and this place was practically a ghost town. Romi swung her legs over the edge of the bridge and stared at the completely black sky.
Magic during a full moon was too dangerous, despite the stories. I preferred to use a new moon. Especially for spells I barely had enough power to cast.
“Definitely. Don’t you think it’s romantic to make the legend true? ‘Que les âmes perdues contemplant ce pont fassent leur vœu, à ce moment là seulement le chemin vers l’amour véritable s’ouvrira à eux.’ All of the feels!”
I raised my eyebrow at her. “Romi. Do I look like I speak French? I barely speak Spanish after taking it all four years of high school.”
She huffed on an exaggerated eye roll. “‘When lost souls look upon the bridge and make a wish, they will find their true path to love.’”
I made a gagging sound. “Barf. That’s so gross.”
“How do you not know the legend?”
“How do you think I’m a romantic person?”
“Live a little, Zee! I can’t do magic anymore. It’s fun to watch you! All I’ve got left is haunting French classes.” She waved her hand at me and sighed. She was remarkably solid tonight for being a ghost. “Vicarious living and all that.”
I set my battery powered lantern on the cobblestone wall and pulled a copper bowl from my bag. It took all my effort not to roll my eyes.
The chances of this spell working at all were the same as me winning a car on The Price is Right, but I was happy to go through the motions for my sister. After all, it was our twenty-first birthday this year; and tragically, she couldn’t drink. “Well, happy early birthday,” I smiled.
Her smile practically split her face in half as she kicked her feet. “Stop stalling, Zee!”
“You’re sure?” I triple checked as I opened my journal to the spell.
“Hazel Evanora. When have I ever been unsure about what I want? What else can you possibly give me? While I’d love jewelry…” she shrugged one shoulder, “can’t really wear it.”
My breath caught as I remembered what we both tried to forget. She was more solid than usual tonight, and I was comforted by that thought. We still weren’t sure what made her more solid some nights than others. I’m sure it was just something simple like weather or the moon cycle. But whenever she was too translucent, I panicked she’d just disappear and never come back. I blew out my sadness and proceeded to pour the elixirs into the bowl, combining them in the correct order.
“Here where darkness lies, let there be light. Bring to all hearts joy instead of fright. Let two lonely souls join as one. Let love reign, warm as the summer sun.” I swirled the ingredients together in the bowl and set it down. Then I picked up my purple candle and waved my hand to light the wick. I touched the flame to the liquid, which instantly burst into green and blue fire.
“Eliminate pain. Bring peace and love instead of shame. Fates, I make this request out of love, for love. In honor of Rosemary Evanora’s twenty-first birthday.”
I tilted the candle to the side and allowed the wax to drip down, then held the candle in the pile of wax until it cooled enough to hold itself upright. With practiced hands, I dipped the feather of an adult raven into the now smoking bowl and began sprinkling the mixture up and down the bridge.
Once I finished the methodical process, I poured the remaining liquid along both entranceways. With a bow, I raised the bowl and feather above my head. “Fates, we thank you for bestowing your attention upon us.”
I looked over at Romi, who was clapping her hands and giggling. “Thank you, favorite sister in the whole wide world!”
I laughed. “Only sister.” I picked up my bag and put the bowl and feather inside, then nodded toward the candle. “Make a wish.”
She flashed me a smile and turned her body so she was cross-legged before the candle. “Together, on the count of three. One…two…three.”
We blew the candle out. The spell was set.
On this day in 1926 – Thomas Edison spoke on the radio for the first time.
Hunting Witch Hazel: Now available
Threat of Raine: Summer 2016
Rosemary for Remembrance: Late Summer 2016