But one of my favorite things is finding books to read with witchy magic in them. Or ghosts, like in Southern Spirits where a woman finds herself with the ability to see and interact with all things on the ghostly plain.
I love the magical realm so much, I've written almost exclusively in the paranormal genre myself and wanted to celebrate Halloween a little early with a witchy excerpt from my novel Enlightened.
Enjoy the excerpt!
Rachel blew out a breath and chugged her wine, eyes darting around the alley. “I haven’t seen him in ten years, and when he left, I was upset. My folks said we needed to take a break.” She gave the empty glass a dazed look. “Because of me.” When she looked back up at Loti, her eyes were thick with tears. Loti touched Rachel’s arm in sympathy.
“It was the first few weeks of college and I was not paying attention to my classes. I was much more interested in working on a project with Wolf.” She frowned, dabbing her eyes with the cocktail napkin. “He had a theory that he could amplify a witch’s powers—don’t ask me how. We experimented.” Rachel tugged at the ends of her sleeves until the cuffs covered her hands.
She was one of the best witches Loti knew, with strong energy and incredibly good instincts, so it was no wonder her “uncle” wanted to work with her. Loti had seen her perform magic many times and was always impressed with her abilities. The most impressive time had been when she, her grandmother Katie, and their coven mate and old friend,Patrick, scryed for any sign of magic in David’s cancer. They swept the house for black magic and found nothing, except the angry energy of the cancer, which Loti had been living with since the day he fell off the ladder. Shaking herself back to the present, she realized Rachel was struggling to say the next thing. She leaned closer.
“Whatever it is, it’s okay. It’s me.” She put the wine glass down as Rachel looked sideways at her.
“My parents weren’t just worried about my grades.” She lowered her eyes to her empty wine glass. “They were worried about what was going on between Wolf and me.”
“Were you two—”
“No.” Rachel glanced up, wrinkling her nose. “Of course not. Geesh. He’s my—well, uncle. But we, uh, did exchange blood.”
Loti’s mouth fell open, but she closed it at Rachel’s anguished expression. As far as she knew, blood exchange was a fairly intimate act with a vampire. Allowing a vampire to feed on you was, well, orgasmic. Loti knew the clinical aspects of blood exchange from a course she’d taken in college, but she’d never donated herself. God, no. A suspicion bloomed, but she gathered her thoughts and looked for the tactful approach.
“So, there were unintended consequences to this experiment?” she asked, proud of herself for not blurting something that would embarrass them both.
Rachel nodded too quickly, twirling her wine glass in both hands. “And it did work, to some extent. But Wolf never saw the results he was looking for. And when my parents realized what we’d done, they asked Wolf to leave me alone for a while.”
Rachel stared into her glass, turning it in uneasy circles. “Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought through what the blood exchange might do to me.” She looked up and cringed. “I was eighteen at the time, and I never thought he would disappear from my life.”
“Well he should’ve known better—he’s the 400-year-old vampire for god’s sake. Vampires.” Loti rolled her eyes. “They’re so self-centered.”
“Hey.” Rachel sat up straighter, a little of her feistiness returning. “It wasn’t like that. He explained it all to me, but I was too damned infatuated with him and the whole idea that we could be partners in some great magical experiment that I wasn’t listening.” Rachel leaned back in her seat, narrowing her eyes at Loti.
“And he should’ve realized—” Loti started, trying to pick careful words.
“Let me finish, please.” Rachel held a don’t-go-there palm up.
Loti sat back in her seat with a huff and grabbed her glass, splashing wine on the table and her white yoga pants.
She’d been doing so well at this tact thing David had often begged her to practice. The waiter appeared with dinner, and after the plates and bowls were settled and their drinks replenished, Loti dabbed at the red stain with a wet napkin. She dipped it into a glass of ice water, then dabbed again, refusing to look at Rachel.
“Oh, Loti, here.” Rachel sighed, touching the wine stain with her fingertips. The wine extricated itself from the fabric’s weave, curling into tiny tendrils that flowed with Rachel’s slender fingers as she lifted her hand. Casually, she guided the red swirls, smirking as the wine fell back into Loti’s wine glass.
“Neat trick.” Loti chuckled.“No trick. Just magic.” She tossed her hair in an arrogant flip and devolved into a good-humored laugh.
Loti smiled. At least Rachel was laughing again.