Time for another excerpt!
My mansion was on the outskirts of Bedlam, but given how small the island was—only twenty-six miles long and from two miles wide on the ends to a good thirteen miles wide at the center—driving into the town didn’t take very long, but I was glad I had the forethought to have snow tires put on. The roads were thick with snow. Obviously Harold Winsket had overslept. The chief of trash collection, he was also our snowplow aficionado during winter. When he couldn’t make it, Skerrit Tomas, his assistant, took over. Both of them were ferret shifters, and they were usually on-the-spot about their work.
As I neared the town square, I smiled. Bedlam made me happy. It always had, when I had first lived here and now that I’d come back. Over the years the architecture had changed, but some of the old buildings were originals, going back to the early days of the island. Red brick and gray stone, the post office, city hall, and police station were the same on the outside as they had been during the 1800s. Oh, they had electric lights now, and heating had been installed and plumbing, but the architecture stood true to form, and the buildings rose under their cover of snow, full of old-world charm and strength. I had my doubts if they would survive a major earthquake, but then again, if the big one hit along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, we were all going to be running for cover.
Bedlam was a tidy town, but she really spruced up for the holiday season. Multicolored lights encircled every tree along Main Street, and wreaths hung from the lamp posts, shimmering with the brightly colored faerie lights. Downtown proper was built up around the central square, which acted like a gigantic roundabout. In the center of the square itself was the city fountain, with a massive sculpture of a cat sitting on a crescent moon in the center. The water had been turned off because of the freezing temperatures, and a layer of snow dusted the cat’s ears and head, and the horns of the moon. There were four Yule trees, one at each corner of the fountain, and shoppers milled through the square, though no one lingered on the benches in this weather.
I found a parking spot in front of McGee’s Apothecary and, bracing myself against the chill, slid out of the car into the biting wind. Snowflakes were blowing every which way, as I headed into the apothecary shop. I needed to stock up on ingredients for several of my spells, and I also wanted to get some of Andy McGee’s elixir. It was the best tonic in the world—better than any multivitamin for energy and general vitality.
Andy’s daughter, Beth, was behind the counter when I opened the door, greeted by the jangling of bells. She glanced up from her computer screen as I entered the shop.
“Hey, Maddy. What brings you to town on a morning like this?” Her frown of concentration vanished, replaced by a wide smile. The girl was pretty enough, but more than that—she had the nature of a healer and just standing near her made anybody feel better.
Blood Music (Bewitching Bedlam #1—prequel novelette)
Holiday Spirits (Chintz ‘n China holiday novella—wrap up of series)
Fury’s Magic (Fury Unbound #2)
Fury Rising (Fury Unbound #1)
Shadow Silence (Whisper Hollow #2)
You can preorder Souljacker
Coming late this month: Bewitching Bedlam (Bewitching Bedlam #2 –first full novel)
Coming in late April: Moon Shimmers (Otherworld #19)