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The Garden of Abracadabra

Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.

A Bast Book

Copyright 2012–2014 by Lisa Mason.

Cover art, interior art, and logo copyright 2010–2012 by Tom Robinson.

All rights reserved.

Serial 15: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

8

Blood spurts from my thumb. I love bleeding after a job interview. I hold my hand over a rat’s-nest of Post-its, cursing Stanley. If it’s the desktop or my black silk dress, the dress comes first. I find a balled-up take-out napkin next to the answering machine and press the filthy thing to my wound, ignoring the greasy kiss of pizza sauce left by Stanley’s lips.

Obviously poor old Stanley is loony tunes. Obviously, too, he has no power. No power at all. When he seized my hand and stabbed me, I felt nothing but the safety pin plunging in. Not even a prick of power.

I don’t stand there cursing for long. I’m too happy. The job is mine! The salary mine! An apartment for me and a garage for Hi-Ho Silver. Mine, all mine! I can go to the Registrar’s Office tomorrow, sign up for the first class, and write a tuition check. Write that check without a qualm and order out for pizza.

If Stanley was unfit to fill the position of superintendent, then I, Abby Teller, will prove my fitness. Prove my fitness pronto. Tonight. Right now. Yes!

Those two checks due? In my hand tonight for delivery to the bank tomorrow. I’ll collect those checks or die trying.

I stride around the living room, blowing out candles, turning down wicks on the miners’ lanterns, unplugging nightlights, turning off the TV and most of the lamps. Maybe Stanley didn’t give a hoot about burning the place down or blowing a fuse, but I intend to stay awhile and keep my carbon footprint light.

My suitcase can stay put for now on the floor. I retrieve my handbag, seize the ring of keys Stanley so triumphantly flung down and the paper tape with Twenty-seven’s total amount due, and head out the door.

I gaze down the hall at the pools of light, the pools of darkness. There’s the archway leading to the lobby. The double doors of the library standing ajar, just as I’d left them. And as many steps farther on, the door of Number Two.

Looks like a straight shot to me, but who knows? You can take nothing for granted at the Garden of Abracadabra. I’ve learned that lesson fast.

“I belong here now,” I say to the ceiling, hoping the message patches through to the spirit of the building or whatever entity rules this place.

I set off down the hall, my high heels clattering on the hardwood floor, and arrive at Number Two without further incident. I rap my knuckles with my best I’m-in-charge-here-now knock.

In a moment the peephole darkens as someone peers through it.

“Who’s there?” says a female voice so strangely husky, I don’t recognize it.

“I need to see Esmeralda. I’m Abby Teller, your new super. Stanley told me she hasn’t turned in her rent check.”

“Poor old Stanley.”

“I need to take the checks to the bank tomorrow. I need hers now.”

“Always so grumpy. Some people are just like that, I guess.”

Ah. Esmeralda, then. I wave at the peephole. Suddenly I understand why Stanley spoke of her as if she were a case of persistent athlete’s foot.

The door swings open, and Esmeralda stands regally in the doorway with a checkbook, a Sharpie pen, and a man. Sandalwood incense wafts out, and the sounds of a romantic song from the nineteen-fifties. “The Shadow of Your Smile,” if I’m not mistaken.

She’s changed clothes. Or, rather, she’s shed clothes. She wears a red push-up bra, matching thong panties, an unbuttoned man’s shirt, and the sparkly red high heels. She arches an eyebrow at my somber dress and heels, not nearly as friendly as she was this afternoon. Her eyes hold something darker, something crueler.

“Aren’t you all dolled up for your interview. You got the job, I take it?”

“As you can see.”

“And aren’t you a busy little bee. I myself have been so busy”–she coyly strokes the man’s chest–”I quite forgot the rent’s due.”

I don’t think so, but I nod briskly and give her a cool smile. She ought to know from the start she can’t play get-the-super with me.

She props her checkbook on the man’s biceps and takes her time writing out a check.

The man is a tall, testosteronic hunk with rippling sun-bronzed muscles. Thick glossy black hair tumbles to his impressive shoulders, but his swarthy cheeks and long, narrow jaw are clean-shaven. Curly black lashes frame his big brown eyes.

Those eyes glare at me now with a strange, wild fury.

“Hi, there, I’m Abby.”

The man raises the corner of his lip, baring the yellowish gleam of his teeth.

That’s one way to smile. I can tell about the rippling muscles part because he wears nothing but a pair of acid-washed jeans slung so low on his hips, I can glimpse the furry line of black hair leading from his navel to his nether parts. He’s knotted a red cotton paisley kerchief around his neck and accessorized that with a hefty silver chain.

Esmeralda tears off the check, gives it a suspicious little shake as if it’s a soiled Kleenex, and hands it to me with a knowing smirk. Wait a minute. Did she just cast a spell?

Now that she’s done using his biceps as a desktop, the man wraps his arm around her shoulders in a proprietary way and gazes at her with worshipful adoration.

“Thanks, Esmeralda. Have a nice night.”

She plays with a dangling red kerchief tip. “Oh, we will, won’t we? Senor and me, we’re gonna party.”

I retrace my steps, heading for the archway leading to the lobby.

Am I having fun?

You bet.

Now. Question.

Is Senor a dog who shapeshifts into a man? Or a man who shapeshifts into a dog? It’s your classic chicken-and-egg kind of question but, when it comes to shapeshifters, I think the answer makes a big difference.

If Senor is a dog, then when he shapeshifts into a man, I can deal with the man by smacking him with a rolled-up newspaper, whistling, and speaking simple commands. Sit. Stay. Fetch. No doubt Esmeralda has commands of her own. Kiss. Rub. Lick. And so on.

If, on the other hand, Senor is a man, then when he shapeshifts into a dog, I can deal with the dog by rational argument and appeals to reason. You don’t want to bite me because Animal Control will quarantine you. I’ll have to get rabies shots and sue Esmeralda under the strict liability law applicable to owners of dangerous animals. And so forth.

You have to think about these things at the Garden of Abracadabra.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments, beginning with The Garden of Abracadabra, 1: Life’s Journey.

Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website, Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

More breaking news!

I just received the copyedit tags for “Teardrop” from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Wow, that was fast!

The copy editor did an excellent job of digging into the minutia, following through on tiny details, and finding the spots where I occasionally and inadvertently indulged in what I call my writer’s echolalia—that is, needlessly repeating what are usually junk words in close proximity.

Sigh.

I sometimes find published works where the same little writer’s tick occurs, so it’s not uncommon. And their copyeditor didn’t catch it!

Gordon tells me that my story should be published in another two or three issues from when he receives my response, which he did today, and has the story typeset.

Which places my publication date (hopefully!) around Spring, 2015.

So excited to be published in such a longstanding and respected professional venue!

So there you have it, my friends. A professional copyeditor makes the difference between a polished piece fit for publication and something less so. I think so highly of copyeditors, I wrote a blog about them, In Praise of Copyeditors. Here’s the link:

http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/21/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-11-in-praise-of-copyeditors-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus.

She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and that each apartment is a fairyland or hell.

On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before.

Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between humanity and demonic realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”

Goodreads: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more!”

Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase “This is a very entertaining novel—sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.”

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

The verdict is in from The Hollywood Reporter: Summer 2014 box office earnings haven’t been so low since 1997. “The studios failed to connect with audiences,” THR laments.

This is a polite way of saying the summer movies stank. Several extremely expensive “big” movies tanked, including a piece by the makers of The Matrix Trilogy entitled (I think) “Jupiter Ascending,” which sank without a trace (or maybe the scheduled release has been moved up), and the second installment of the new Planet of the Apes franchise.

The two YA urban fantasy hopefuls, which I reviewed here earlier this summer, “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”, and ‘Beautiful Creatures” stumbled badly, suggesting viewers are weary of the genre. Neither film had an appealing young heroine or hero, and hopes for a trilogy for either have been dashed. Both were based on very good but very long books, and the scripts meandered and couldn’t focus on the core story.

Which supports the notion that a short story (like “Tomorrow’s Child”) or a short book like the Hunger Games provides a better basis for a film.

“Divergent,” the first in a proposed trilogy based on the YA dystopian novels, did moderately well by Hollywood standards ($250 million worldwide) but was damaged by reviews that the film seemed a lackluster derivative of Hunger Games. On the basis of reviews I’ve read, this viewer is going to skip it. Fans of the film and books will be happy to hear the producers at Lionsgate are proceeding with a second film.

The late summer “surprise quirky hit” is “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which has earned over $500 million worldwide in its second or third weekend. This is a cartoon movie based on minor characters in a Marvel Comic. The reviews I’ve read have called it “an irritatingly juvenile, derivative ‘Star Wars’”, which is setting the bar pretty low. We’re still considering whether to see it. I’ll review it here if we do.

And the verdict is in from Publishers Weekly: Summer 2014 book sales earnings were down twenty percent from last summer.

There just wasn’t any book that emerged as an exciting Must-Read except perhaps for Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which sold some 600,000 thirty-five dollar hardcover books. I’ve read Tartt’s first book, The Secret History. While I admire her writing, her subject matter and underlying consciousness just aren’t for this reader, let alone a 1,000-page book.

Similarly, Diana Gabaldon’s eighth volume in her Voyager series got a boost from a miniseries on Starz, debuting at Number One on the New York Times bestseller list. But within a few weeks, the book dropped off the list, suggesting the author has a solid core of fans, but hasn’t expanded beyond, in spite of the television exposure. I similarly have read an earlier volume in the series and admire the author’s writing, but her subject matter and underlying consciousness just aren’t for this reader, let alone a 1,000-page book.

Stephen King published a book that came and went; J.K. Rowling writing under a pen name published another murder mystery in her new series. Deborah Harkness wrapped up her All Souls Trilogy; her book appeared on the list, but has pretty much since wilted. If Laurell K. Hamilton published another volume in her long-running Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, I missed it.

So what were people doing this summer for their entertainment needs if they’re not reading or going to the movies? I’m guessing they’re watching television, playing games, and hanging out on the Internet. What did you do this summer?

So there you have it, my friends. I see the trends changing. Urban fantasy on the adult level continues to sell, especially among the latest volumes of multi-book series, but appears to have died out on the YA level. An author like Charlaine Harris has ended the Sooki Stackhouse series (the basis for True Blood on television) and has not presented anything new that’s compelling. Vampires are way, way passe. (I include minor vampire characters in The Garden of Abracadabra as objects of ridicule and scorn. They are comic relief, hardly the focus of the book or series.)

The genre trope of zombies (an image I personally dislike and will never write about) has succeeded in print in a limited number of books, notably Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series for the YA reader. But most people are getting their fill of zombies on The Walking Dead on television. I don’t see a huge expanding market for this unappealing genre.

So what’s new? What exciting or lurid new book or series has leapt to the top of the lists and claimed a gigantic readership out of thin air like The Hunger Games?

It’s not happening.

Which, in fact, is great news. Editors, publishers, and especially readers are searching for something new. That’s where writers like you and me may step up to the plate. The time has never been better to forge out there with a concept that’s fresh and original. Go for it!

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/19/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 9: Amazon Vs Hatchett Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/16/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-9-amazon-vs-hatchett-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 10: Conversations with Author Elle Emerson Lisa Mason #SFWApro http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/20/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-10-conversations-with-author-elle-emerson-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 11: In Praise of Copyeditors http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/21/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-11-in-praise-of-copyeditors-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

The Garden of Abracadabra

Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.

A Bast Book

Copyright 2012–2014 by Lisa Mason.

Cover art, interior art, and logo copyright 2010–2012 by Tom Robinson.

All rights reserved.

Serial 12: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason

5

I step through the library doors, set my handbag and my suitcase on the floor, and stand there warily. I’m not about to lock myself in, not before I take a good look around. The feeling of being watched by someone or something I can’t see nearly overwhelms me.

Then there he is.

A man is lurking in a shadowy corner between two bookshelves. Silent, still, a strange silvery sheen to the look of him.

I crouch in the position “Street Smarts for Women” taught me. Fists clenched against my chest to ward off a blow or deliver one, feet ready to dodge or kick or flee, whichever comes first.

“Hello, sir? Sorry, am I disturbing you? Esmeralda Tormenta tells me there’s a lavatory in here, and it would be all right if I came in and changed clothes. Do you know Esmeralda? I’m Abby, Abby Teller, and–”

My voice dies in my throat.

Total silence. Total stillness.

That’s kind of rude. I stride across a luxurious Persian carpet of dark scarlets and blues to where the silver man stands.

He’s not a man at all, but a genuine medieval suit of armor of forged and hammered metal, intricate chain mail, and heavy stitched blood-colored leather. He stands strictly to attention, his gauntlets hanging rigid at his sides.

What a marvel! What’s he worth? Priceless, no doubt. I’ve never seen such an artifact outside of a major museum housing medieval antiquities. And there, in the museum I went to, the suit of armor stood well behind a rope of scarlet velvet.

What a cutie! Men of five centuries ago and much leaner days grew to manhood as a tiny, scrawny lot. Even noble knights. The top of this knight’s helmet barely reaches my shoulder.

I peek in the helmet’s eye-slots. Darkness, darkness, nobody home. I rap my knuckles on the breastplate. The rap echoes in an impressive regression as if bouncing around in a cavern far vaster than the breastplate could possibly contain.

I step back, and now the suit of armor clutches a blunderbuss in his left gauntlet. Wait a minute. Where did that come from? Did medieval knights carry firearms? Even primitive firearms?

“You’re holding an anachronism, sir. A weapon way after your time.”

Skeptical silence.

“Knights in armor carried battle axes, bludgeons, hatchets, lances, spears, swords, sure. But not firearms. Not even blunderbusses.”

Insulted silence.

“Don’t sulk. Now that we’re friends, I shall call you”–I consider the question–“Sir Tin Man. Beware of rain and rust. You like?”

Disapproving silence.

“No, I don’t like that much, either. I don’t know what metal you’re made of, but it’s certainly not tin.” I think again. “I shall call you Sir Little Big Man. Better?”

Grudging silence.

“Better, definitely.”

A chill crawls up my spine as if someone is standing right behind me, watching me. I whirl around. Nothing, no one. I sprint to the double doors, yank them shut, and shoot the dead bolt home. Now that I’m sure—mostly sure—no one is here but me, I look around.

The library has an odd shape to it. I run my eyes around twice before I realize there are five walls. The place is a pentagon. Magnificent teak bookshelves line each wall from floor to ceiling, and each shelf is crammed with books of every size and color. Each book glows faintly and smells of dust, calfskin, a touch of mold.

The scent of Knowledge. Ancient Knowledge. Secret Knowledge.

Another scent of magic.

Teak armchairs offering plush scarlet-leather seat cushions crowd around a pentagonal table with a cherry-wood pentagram inlaid in the teak top. Tiffany lamps adorn the side tables, their multicolored glass lampshades glowing like jewels.

A soft creak startles me. Sir Little Big Man has lifted his left gauntlet and points the blunderbuss toward a shadowy doorway between two bookshelves.

The lavatory, has to be.

“Thanks, Sir Little Big Man. I knew I could depend on you.” I retrieve my handbag and suitcase, step inside. I run my hand over the wall and toggle a light switch. Fluorescent light flashes on in a ceiling lamp, lighting up a tidy little white-tiled lavatory smelling of lavender soap.

I shut and lock the door, set handbag and suitcase on the white porcelain commode. I strip off my sweaty tank, step out of my short shorts, unbuckle the Isis sandals. I unclasp the silver chain with the Eye of Horus and lay chain and amulet on the little glass ledge above the wash basin. Same for my rings and bangles.

The amulet certainly got a rise out of Esmeralda. But why? What does she know about the Eye of Horus that I don’t?

Standing before the basin in my peach lace bra and panties, I worry about the antique-looking bronze faucet. But a twist of my hand coaxes hot water out of the spout. I foam soap in my palms and relish washing away the sweat and grime of a very long day on the road.

Rinsing off, I gaze in the mirror.

Who is that woman staring back at me? A woman with haunted eyes of hazel and gold? Whose face is that, a face dripping with water like too many tears?

No time for tears? No time for grieving?

Now grief nearly blindsides me, a constriction gripping my chest, an ache overwhelming my heart.

Only days ago, Mama had looked up at me, her face strangely rigid like a mask of yellow wax, her breath rattling deep in her lungs, and whispered, “Abby, listen.”

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments, beginning with The Garden of Abracadabra, 1: Life’s Journey.

Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website, Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea.

One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.

But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.

Soon Sing is destined to go to the same fate. Will her invocation of Tao Magic save her?

Yes, there’s a unicorn—a Chinese unicorn—in the novella.

Published in the acclaimed anthology, Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), which also included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner.

Daughter of the Tao 5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful novella! April 23, 2012 Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase The characters in this little book jumped off the page and you really cared what happened to them. It is a rare talent that can do that so well! This was a compelling tale of a girl sold into slavery as her culture allowed. I found myself hooked from the very first page as I followed her through the twists and turns of her life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character-based story with a touch of magic and fantasy to it!

Daughter of the Tao is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Daughter of the Tao is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, on Wikipedia, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

If you’re a millennial, you may not realize just how bad American society was for women before, say, the 1970s and 1980s. Women struggled long and hard to win the vote and didn’t win that struggle until 1920—fully 144 years after this great country was founded. For many of those years, women could not sign contracts or take legal action without the permission of their husbands or fathers, were routinely denied gainful employment and access to higher education and the professions, and were generally denigrated and disrespected in society. This was especially true in the arts and literature. A woman like Edith Wharton—whose writing I revere—succeeded, but she was a very wealthy and socially prominent woman. The same is true of Gertrude Atherton.

In the arts, women were denied the publicity, access to top galleries, and critical review that male artists took for granted. That’s why many of us are unfamiliar with the great women artists of history. The 1940s was a period when numerous women artists emerged, especially in the Surrealist movement.

And that’s what The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria is about.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies are sweeping across Europe.

Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee.

Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their extraordinary, visionary Art.

But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey of the soul deep into her own troubled psyche.

I was inspired by the lives and the friendship of the brilliant Surrealist artists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, who are my favorite Surrealists and, in my opinion, were much more talented and visionary than the famous male artists of that period.

A summary of the artists’ lives and a list of Sources follows the novella.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria was published in Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which included stories by Michael Bishop, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and Neal Stephenson. This is a short story, mind you, not a full-blown book.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, on Wikipedia, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

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