I am thrilled to announce that What A Witch Wants, my contribution to Robyn Peterman’s Magic & Mayhem World, is now LIVE at Amazon.US. [Apologies to my international fans, but Kindle World books are only sold on the US Amazon bookstore].
What is a Kindle World, and Magic & Mayhem world, in particular? Basically, a Kindle World is a fictional world created by an author, and other authors are invited to write a book using elements of character, setting, and genre as dictated by the originating author.
Robyn’s Magic & Mayhem world is paranormal and populated by witches and shifters and other sundry paranormal types. We, as authors, are then invited to use as many or as few of the attributes of Robyn’s world to create our own stories.
In What A Witch Wants, I have used quite a few of Robyn’s original characters and her setting of Assjacket, West Virginia. My story integrates her world, I hope, seamlessly. It was a challenge and it was fun — and as I mentioned in a previous blog [Returning to My Roots], it was a breath of fresh air to go back to the paranormal world where I began my writing career.
Will I do more in Robyn’s world? I never say never — and I did leave my heroine Amethyst’s sister Gloriana hanging out there, married to a jerk chosen by her and Ammy’s controlling mother. Glory just might need a Shifter of her own — and Assjacket has more than enough room for another witch.
Wanting is good; getting is harder.
Magical artifacts can be deadly…or seductive, and Amethyst St. John delights in them all. She’s curator for the U.K. Covens’ Magical Artifacts Library, and her magic isn’t the usual run-of-the-mill hocus-pocus. Oh no. With her powers, she can turn the nastiest artifact harmless.
Unfortunately, her magic is useless when her egotistical mother pressures her to marry a depraved aristocrat. So, when the most powerful witch in the world asks her to present an artifact—a very intimate piece of the infamous wizard Merlin—to their sister city Assjacket, West Virginia, Amethyst jumps at the chance.
Bobcat Shifter Kerr Montgomery, chief detective for Assjacket, has better things to do than meet some British ambassador witch … until he catches Amethyst’s scent. She’s his mate—the one woman who can complete his soul. But his Ammy doesn’t understand mating. And she distrusts men. Even worse, she won’t be in Assjacket long enough to change her mind.
And then someone steals Merlin’s intimate body part. Ammy, aided by Kerr, sets out on a quest to find the artifact. In the process, she discovers what she really wants.
Incoming. Beelzebub’s bitch at twelve o’clock.
The sarcastic tone of her familiar whispered through Amethyst Sophia St. John’s mind. She straightened up from the magical artifact she’d been bent over for the last hour. Rubbing her aching lower back with grubby hands, she cast him an admonishing glance. “Oliver … be nice.”
Meh. I call them like I see them. The huge gray-and-white tabby yawned, then began to groom his thick fur.
Amethyst couldn’t really scold Oliver for his low opinion of her mother since she totally shared it.
Mildred Earlene St. John was a horrible mother and an even lousier person who lived only to further her wealth and status.
Amethyst took a fortifying breath as the unique signature of her mother’s magic preceded her into the dusty bowels of the United Kingdom Covens’ Magical Artifacts Library where Amethyst had chosen to work today.
Don’t you mean chosen to hide? Oliver shot her a fess-up stare, proving he could groom and poke through her thoughts at the same time.
Amethyst rubbed her tired eyes. “Okay, hide. But in my defense, I have a lot of work to do.” Plus, her mother hated the basement, called it that “rat-infested cess pit.”
As much as she loved her position as the library’s head curator, the demands on her time and attention were frequent and seemingly unending. She scanned the stacks and stacks of artifacts that needed to be classified and their specific magic either defined, repaired, or, for some of the more dangerous artifacts, contained before they could be made available for the library’s members and invited guests to study.
Oliver uttered a disgusted meow over Amethyst’s equivocation. Work-shmerk. You’re hiding because Beelzebub’s bitch called and said she planned to visit today.
That, too. When it came to her rapaciously ambitious mother, Amethyst followed a strict avoidance policy and had even moved out of the family’s manse several months ago, much to her mother’s severe disapproval.
Bottom line, what Amethyst wanted out of life and what her mother demanded were so diametrically opposed as to place them in separate universes.
The only reasons Amethyst still dealt with her mother were—one: her mother, the High Witch for the local coven, was nominally her boss, and, two: there was still a part of Amethyst that wanted her mother’s love and approval.
Fat chance at that ever happening. Oliver sniffed. That bitch doesn’t have a heart.
“Amethyst!” Her mother’s strident tones had her clenching her jaw.
Oliver rubbed his head against her arm and purred. His energy soothed her. After an affectionate head butt, he plopped his furry arse next to the artifact she currently worked on. Maybe they could move the library to Timbuktu?
Mildred—as her daughters were told to address her—stopped in front of Amethyst and cast a haughty glare at Oliver who’d stuck a leg in the air and had blithely begun to groom his balls with vigor as if the task was essential to the continuation of life on the planet.
It could happen. Good grooming is next to godliness.
Amethyst snickered, then immediately sobered as Mildred focused her death-ray glare on her.
“What in the name of the Blessed Goddess are you wearing?” Her parent sniffed, a sour expression fixed on her too-thin face.
Frowning, Amethyst looked down at the much-washed tee featuring the iconic Rolling Stones’ tongue, her distressed blue jeans, and her favorite black-and-white Chuck Taylor high-tops and shrugged. “Clothes?”
Mildred, as always, was dressed as if she were about to have an audience with the Queen of England. Today’s ensemble was Chanel and pearls.
“Rags, more like it. Really, Amethyst, you’re twenty-four years old and born into one of the most prestigious families in England. Yet, you still dress like a cross between a teenager and a homeless person. Don’t you have any pride in your appearance? Any respect for your family’s ancient lineage and reputation?”
A right snot-nosed social bigot, isn’t she?
Her mother’s criticisms weren’t anything Amethyst hadn’t heard before, but she refused to engage her mother on topics that weren’t important in the grander scheme of things—such as clothing choices. A long time ago, Amethyst had made the decision to save her energy for far more dangerous points of disagreement.
Mildred circled around the room, a look of rampant disgust on her face as she swiped a perfectly manicured finger over a dusty box of magically warded Celtic grave goods. “Look at this filthy place. Amethyst, if you had a decent job, one befitting your station—”
And there it was; one of the battles Amethyst had decided was worth fighting. Mildred loathed Amethyst’s job and was horribly embarrassed by her daughter’s peculiar mix of magic.
But Amethyst loved her job, relished the challenge of taking on every dirty artifact and potentially explosive bit of ancient magic. Her magical abilities, unlike many witches, were neither healing nor creative, but something totally unique. Her power allowed her to sense, track, fix, and survive magical wards and spells thousands of years old. Her specific abilities were the main reason she’d been chosen for her current position at a very young age. Most curators of magical artifacts were far older.
Amethyst’s magic had been discovered at the age of five during a family visit to the British Museum. While viewing the Egyptian exhibit, she’d accidentally unleashed a mummy’s nasty curse. Purely on instinct, she’d quickly reversed and contained the curse’s effects. Her father had laughed and praised his “very talented daughter.” Mildred had looked horrified and stated no child of hers could possess such a lowborn skill.
From that day on, nothing Amethyst had done pleased her mother—yet, Amethyst had continued to try … until recently.
“Amethyst, you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.” Her mother’s lips had thinned to the point of disappearing.
You didn’t miss much. Blah, blah, blah-da-dee-fucking blah. Repeat. Oliver yawned and curled into a ball, his eyes slitted as he glared at Mildred. Acid-tongued bitch.
Amethyst petted Oliver’s head and let the witch-familiar connection calm her nerves. “Mildred, why are you here?”
“Two reasons.” Her mother paced back and forth in front of the work table. “First, you turned down Reginald Wolverstone’s offer of marriage.”
And there was one of the other battles Amethyst would engage in with her mother.
Amethyst refused to marry a warlock of Mildred’s choice merely to further her mother’s skewed ideas of power.
Copyright, 2017, Monette Michaels.
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