Your Magic Touch
Romantic Comedy Novella
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Also available in audio from Audible
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A haunted mansion. Secret passages. Ghosts. A catacomb-like basement.
Novella — Approximately 106 print pages
Sensuality Level: Sweet (G-rated)
In this gothic spoof novella, three elderly wizards must make a successful love match or they will be sent to the Olde Majiks Home. Their last attempt at matchmaking failed miserably and their magic is rusty. Are they supposed to forward a match between tabloid reporter Frannie Fielding and the mysterious Sinclair Haliday? Or is Frannie to be matched up with Sinclair’s wealthy cousin, Harrison Haliday? If the wizards get it wrong, their dreaded fate will be sealed — as will Frannie’s.
Five Stars “I found myself, once again, unable to contain fits of giggles reading Your Magic Touch, between bouts of suspenseful punching of ye ole ereader buttons waiting to find out what happened next!” ~ Julianne Draper, Tampa Books Examiner
Excerpt from Your Magic Touch
Sharp blades of afternoon sun rays pierced through dark storm clouds, bringing every cornice, every pinnacle, every crenellation of the mansion into stark detail. Mansion was such a deceptive word. Haliday Hall looked like a medieval castle. While her research had indicated it was Gothic Revival, she hadn’t realized how it would impact her senses until now, when she was confronted with it.
To say Haliday Hall was asymmetrical was a vast understatement. Constructed of Sing Sing Marble, with intricately detailed carvings, the mansion was a mish mash of towers, gables, gargoyles and dormers. It was incredibly lovely, down to the veranda draped around one front corner. Despite its beauty, it looked exactly like a haunted house of nightmares.
If ghosts existed, they most definitely would make their home in a place like Haliday Hall. Frannie shifted uncomfortably. What would she do if she actually ran into ghosts? How would she react?
Would she be brave and rational? Would she live up to her reporter instinct to record as much and as factually as possible? Or would she turn and run? Because now that she faced the dominating majesty of Haliday Hall, the biggest thing on her mind was escape. Her heart pounded and every raw instinct screamed: “Run!”
But here she sat, cramped in the front seat of the taxi, buried beneath her carry-on, uncomfortably aware of the notebook burning a hole in her pocket because she should be capturing these moments for use in her article.
She deliberately turned her concentration away from the mansion and worked on gaining access to her purse, which was wedged between her thigh and the taxi door. Someone had to pay their driver, and if she had the money in her hand, perhaps she’d be less tempted to ask him to turn around and take her back to the bus station.
Menacing mansions were all well and good in fiction, but not so much in real life.
For the moment, she truly regretted her secret addiction to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney novels. Why couldn’t she have been into science fiction instead of gothic romance?
Just as she managed to slip a bill out of her wallet, the ghost hunters in the backseat caught sight of their destination.
“Th-th-this is it?” asked Maury in a frightened voice.
Thomas emitted a low whistle.
“It’s big,” said Frannie.
“No need to let it overwhelm us,” replied Willie Jo. “We’ve got a job to do, and if it means covering every inch of the place, from the turrets to the dungeons, we’re up for the task.”
Did he have to mention dungeons?
The taxi turned to navigate the circular drive. Inside the grassy area were no fewer than three statues and a huge fountain that could compete with Tivoli. The taxi rolled to a stop at the apex of the circle.
She shook off her reaction to the house, handed their driver the fare and climbed out of the van. “I’ll go let them know we’re here.”
She headed up the long walkway to the split stairs encircling yet another statue, this one of cupid hovering over some unsuspecting headless, Venus-like, half-clad female.
There were fifteen steps. She counted them. As she reached the landing, she glanced ahead at the dark and cavernous entryway culminating in a lone arched wooden door. It was exactly what she imagined would belong on a medieval castle.
Pausing to gather her courage, she looked for a doorbell, then gave herself a mental kick for thinking she might find one at a place like this. She eyed the elaborate door knocker, a sense of foreboding holding her back from grabbing it immediately. It seemed sort of goofy, when she thought a little more about it, as though she’d traveled back in time to when door knockers, elaborate or otherwise, were the norm.
Slowly, she raised her arm. She touched the smooth metal surface of the knocker. When at last she took hold of the semi-circular arm and lifted it, she didn’t see how it could make enough noise, in a place of this size, to alert the occupants of someone’s arrival. But what the hell. She allowed the arm to drop.
A deep boom resonated from the knocker. She jumped. The racket echoed all around her. So that’s how they managed to hear it.
The cacophony drew the attention of the cab driver and the ghost hunters, who had paused in their labors to look up at her. She held up her fingers in an “OK” sign.
When she turned back, she discovered the door had been silently opened and Heathcliff, Mr. de Winter, Mr. Rochester or some other gothic hero materialized before her, with a perfection of both sulkiness and arrogance and, yeah, a deadly combination of masculine beauty and gut-wrenching sexiness. Aristocratic, broody, moody and sexy as sin. O.M.G.
He raised an imperfectly shaped eyebrow, the corner of which turned up in an unusual fan shape, and like the mansion, there was a lack of symmetry in his other eyebrow as well as the features of his face. But most notable of all, besides a patrician nose, sensual lips and the mossy-green of his eyes, was his jaw.
Frannie didn’t usually think about a man’s jaw, and certainly, she’d never thought about a jaw in terms of poetry. But, good lord, this man’s jaw was something to behold. It anchored his face and features and gave him a look of nobility of purpose and spirit. Wowzers.
Said jaw, also, however, appeared to be angry.
Frannie gulped, speechless for once under the scrutiny of this man. Somehow, she had to find her words. She cleared her throat as he waited impatiently for her to say something. “I’m Frannie Fielding with The Global Spy.”
The man eyed her, slowly traversing from the top of her head down to her Sketchers-clad feet.
She drew herself up to her full height. She wouldn’t be intimidated. “I believe you were expecting us?”