This cover is so HOT!! Just now getting into the witch craze in reading....and loving it.
Gabby had found her grimore, her families’ book of spells and incantations, amongst some of her Grams' things in the attic. It was only then she began to better understand her affinity with magic.
She began visiting the cemetery near the old Degaud Manor, conducting her 'experiments' as she called them, trying different spells and rituals that were written in the grimore. Silly things, like lighting candles, making things levitate and communing with the earth. The last was her favourite; every witch had an earth sense of varying strengths. She didn't quite understand what it meant, but when she concentrated, she could feel living things around her. Plants, trees, insects.
That was why she was surprised at first when she met the brothers. She was sitting cross-legged in the old cemetery early last winter, feeling the shift of the seasons in the plants about her, when she began to feel uneasy. She understood later that it was her latent power warning her that she was being watched. She was startled when upon opening her eyes, she saw a man standing in front of her.
It was as if he was a statue, until he grinned lopsidedly at her. "Well, well, well. What do we have here?"
Gabby panicked a little. She hadn't sensed the man at all and she could always feel people when she had her earth sense focused. That would mean that the man was... dead? That couldn't be right. She scrambled to her feet and took a few steps back.
"Leave her alone, Zac." Another man had appeared beside the first out of thin air.
The first man, Zac, rolled his eyes, "I wasn't going to eat her, brother, if that's what you're thinking. She's a witch and I don't want her to cast any witchy juju spell on me."
"You're both dead," she stammered.
"As a door nail," Zac grinned.
"Forgive my brother," the other man said, stepping forward. "I think you know what we are. We can't hide from you, but we mean you no harm."
"Vampires," Gabby said, finally realizing. The only undead creature that she was aware existed.
"Ten points to Glinda," clapped Zac.
"Ignore him," said the man. "I'm Sam, the moron is my brother Zac."
It took her a while to trust the vampire brothers, being their mortal enemy and all. She quickly came to realize that they were different, despite all their faults. Zac was always an asshole and Sam was always kind hearted, but they never hurt or compelled anyone. They'd ingrained themselves into the town as normal young men. Sam had even got a job as a gardener with help from her childhood friend, Alex.
So, when Gabby walked into Max's, the bar they frequented after work, she smiled when she saw them sitting in a booth along the far wall. "Happy birthday you musty old man," she elbowed Zac as she sat down.
"Please, don't remind me," his eyes rolled in exasperation.
"Can I get you a drink?"
"Go for it Tabitha." They watched her retreating form. "I've been looking for you all afternoon," Zac hissed, once Gabby was out of earshot.
"I was out with Liz," Sam fidgeted.
Zac didn't notice the gesture, he was too busy eyeballing Alistair, who had just walked in. "Uh oh," he gritted his teeth.
Sam frowned. He knew all too well from his tone that Zac had gotten himself in trouble again. "What did you do, Zac?"
"I didn't start it, just so you know."
"Start what?" Sam groaned, like they needed more trouble.
"Big bad, super creepy vampire over yonder is out to get us," he gestured towards Alistair, who was now over at the bar. "He's looking for some black haired, blue eyed woman who's pissed him off and he seems to think we know something about it."
"Obviously, we don't," said Sam, trying to keep his voice even.
"I told him as much, but I don't think it matters anymore," he grimaced.
Sam sighed, "You couldn't help but talk back, could you?"
Zac raised his hands in defence, "Hey, he came in talking like he was out of Lord of the Rings, even you couldn't pass on the opportunity." Looking over to Alistair, he noticed Gabby standing next to him. They were talking, and he was buying her a drink! Bloody hell, did she know he was a vampire? What kind of witch was she?
Sam snorted his disagreement, and before he could speak Zac interrupted, "Yeah, yeah. Don't say it, bro. I get it. We can't afford to be exposed as blood sucking parasites. Believe me. I get it."
His brother sighed, "We have another issue to deal with." Zac raised his eyebrows expectantly. Like they needed more issues with a vampire bent on making their life hell. "Liz and I had a run in with the werewolves," Sam said, not looking at his brother.
"Oh, so you want to have a go at me when you've been out pissing off the puppy dogs?" Zac scowled. "Did you piss in their territory?"
Sam nodded, reluctantly agreeing with his brother, "Seems like they want to claim the land bordering the manor."
"Sounds like they already have," Zac sneered.
"They warned us off, but given any opportunity they will attack us anyway," he said through gritted teeth. "They're getting bolder."
Zac felt the anger rising within him. The dogs had threatened his brother and Liz. She was his brother’s girl, but he had fallen for her just as hard. The only thing that had stopped the wolves from attacking was the fact that the moon wasn't even half full yet. He was thinking about the many ways to kill the werewolf pack, when Gabby sat back down at the table.
"I see Sam told you about the pack," she said, when she noticed the scowl etched on his face.
"Wait until you hear who Zac pissed off today," Sam changed the subject.
"Your boyfriend over at the bar," Zac inclined his head towards Alistair.
"He's a..." Gabby stammered, suddenly feeling foolish.
"Yeah," Zac rolled his eyes. "What kind of witch are you that your witchy compass doesn't work?"
"It's serious Gabby. He could expose us all, or kill us. So stay away from him, okay?" Sam warned.
Gabby fidgeted nervously and pushed away her glass, as if she was suddenly wary of drinking it.
Zac snorted, "What, do you think he put a vampire roofie in there?"
"Shut up," she hissed.
Connect with the author
Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser.
She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first.
The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is available in e-edition and print from March 20th 2013
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