Archives for category: Urban Fantasy and Beyond

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!

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

My Mustang rights itself, landing on all four wheels with a resounding thump. As for me, I still crouch next to the driver’s side door, clutching the side-view mirror, peering through the windows.

She finally notices me. “Hello over there. Dorothy Gale has been so naughty today. You all right, miss?”

“Excellent, thanks.” I stand up and calm my pounding heart. What’s a little funnel cloud?

“Good, I’m glad.” Her dark, sardonic eyes appraise me, then turn to Hi-Ho Silver. She takes her time looking at the license plate which, in the way of my home state, is embossed with the name of the county where my mother registered the car: Buckeye Heights. “You’re a long way from home. Just visiting or looking to stay?”

“Oh, I’m staying. I’m starting a new life and I’m hoping to stay here.”

“I don’t know if any apartments are available. We tenants at the Garden of Abracadabra tend to stay a long time. A long, long time.”

“Actually, I’m looking for an apartment and the job.”

“Hah, the job.” Her sardonic eyes soften. “Poor old Stanley. Always so grumpy. Some people are just like that, I guess. He’s the one you want. You’ll find him in Number One. Senor and I live down the hall. Come on, I’ll show you the way.”

“Thanks, you’re very kind.”

“Don’t mention it. I am Esmeralda Tormenta.”

“I’m Abby Teller.”

Her eyes widen with alarm. Her olive complexion turns pale. She pulls a Cross on a silver chain out of the neckline of her blouse and eyes my license plate again.

Senor growls, spit dripping off his lip.

“Abby Teller of Buckeye Heights?”

She doesn’t need a crystal ball to scry that. “Yeah, that’s me.”

“Next I suppose you’re going to tell me your father was Jorge Teller, your mother Alice Teller?”

“That’s right.” She’s spooking me. And annoying me. “How do you know my parents’ names?”

“Well! Abby Teller is famous. Everyone in the World of Magic has heard of Abby Teller.” She backs away, never taking her eyes off me. As if I’m dangerous.

Senor lifts his lip, baring his fangs.

I feel the same way about her and her dog. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t understand.”

“Neither do I. Abby Teller is dead.”

I laugh out loud. “What?”

“Abby Teller has been dead for years.”

“You must be mistaken.”

“I don’t think so. Abby Teller from Buckeye Heights died as a child of eight.”

“No, you really are mistaken. My father died when I was eight, not me.”

“Everyone knows Abby Teller died as a child by her father’s side.”

I’m not just spooked and annoyed, I’m getting angry. Confused and angry. Is she mocking me? But why? Every day since his death, I’ve missed the sunshine of Papa’s love. How dare she add insult to injury?

On her deathbed my mother told me secrets I’d never known my whole life. Family secrets. Terrible secrets. An awful thought strikes me now: did she tell me everything?

Why would this stranger fabricate such a strange story?

I take a deep breath. I need this job, need this apartment, need this paycheck. I need to start school, need to master my power. I need all these things tonight. Right now. Whatever it takes.

Okay, so smile.

“As you can see, I’m not dead.” When she brandishes her Cross, I add, “Or, uh, undead.” I press my left hand on my amulet. “I swear on the Eye of Horus, I am Abby Teller of Buckeye Heights and I am well and truly alive.”

Esmeralda peers at me. “You wear the Eye of Horus?”

The silver amulet smolders in the hollow of my throat. The arch of an eyebrow, the stylized eye, the curvilinear slashes, all set inside a silver triangle.

“My father left it to me years ago. And I further swear I’ve driven all the way from Buckeye Heights to study Real Magic at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts.”

My mention of the college changes everything.

Esmeralda gasps. A little gasp, true, but an expression of awe and respect, just the same. “The people at the college, they know who you are?”

“I applied online, they accepted me the same day. Yes, they know who I am. I’m hoping to start my first class tomorrow afternoon, if I can scare up the tuition. Esmeralda, I’ve got to land that job. Will you still show me the way?”

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!

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

4

Before I can take one step toward the great destiny I burn to claim as mine–wham!–the door bangs open and a funnel cloud whirls out.

I duck behind Hi-Ho Silver and peer through the windows. What the hell?

The eerie, greenish cloud twirls across the roundabout, a miniature twister the size of a child blasting dust, gravel, and dry leaves from its meandering path. Leafy streamers of the willow oaks sweep back like green hair on a bevy of tree ladies.

The blast tips my Mustang onto two wheels, fore and aft, nearly overturning twenty-five hundred pounds of aerodynamic style on my head. I shove my shoulder against the driver’s side door and push with all the strength weightlifting has buffed me up with. As if that’ll do any good. I clutch the side-view mirror with my right hand, shield my eyes from flying debris with my left.

Now a dog–a barrel-chested, long-limbed, smooth-coated black beast the size of a Shetland pony–lopes out and leaps at the funnel cloud, barking, snarling, snapping tyrannosaurus fangs.

I recognize the breed: Great Dane. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I just don’t trust a leaping, snarling dog the size of a Shetland pony. I consider climbing in my Mustang, then dismiss that idea. What if Hi-Ho Silver overturns with me trapped inside?

Now a scowling woman strides out after dog and storm. She wears black jeans like a second skin, an embroidered peasant blouse, and high heels of a red patent-leather so shiny the shoes sparkle. A mane of silver-streaked sable spills to her waist. She brandishes a mason jar and the screw-top lid.

I recognize the label at once: 365 Organic Pasta Sauce. My sauce of choice. A sauce I’ve driven ten miles from Buckeye Heights to Oakley Falls for because Buckeye Heights, to its shame, has no Whole Foods.

Well, all right! We’ve got something in common, this fierce lady and me, and I’ve learned a vitally important statistic about my new neighborhood. Somewhere–closer than ten miles, I’m hoping–a Whole Foods eagerly awaits my swipe of Aunt MasterCard.

“Senor, get down,” the woman commands, but the beast keeps leaping and snarling and snapping. She shouts, “SENOR, GET DOWN. SIT! OR NO PARTY FOR YOU TONIGHT.”

The Great Dane meekly drops on his haunches, doggy adoration for his mistress shining in his big, brown eyes. A tongue the size of a dish towel lolls between the fangs. Senor wears a red cotton paisley kerchief and the hefty silver chain-links of a serious choke collar. Which, I’m guessing, is de rigueur canine attire in Berkeley.

The woman shakes her finger at the funnel cloud and holds up the jar. “Get back in there, you little shit.”

The funnel cloud playfully circles the roundabout, stirring up another blast of dust, gravel, and dry leaves.

The woman chases after it, tapping the jar with her long, scarlet fingernail. Tap tap, tappety, tap tap tap. “Dorothy Gale, don’t make me tell you twice.”

It’s a spell, has to be, the tapping of her fingernail. I want to jump in the jar myself.

The funnel cloud whirls up to the mouth of the jar and shudders, whirls away and whirls back. Then dives in, tornadic apex first.

Talk about a tempest in a teapot. I mean, a pasta sauce jar.

The woman claps on the lid and screws it tight. She shakes her finger at the imprisoned funnel cloud, which spits angry little bolts of lightning. “Now you behave.”

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!

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

3

University is a boulevard of eight hectic lanes, traversing the tiny town of Berkeley eastbound and west. A polyglot of enterprise holds court along the curbs. I spy Smokey’s Eatery featuring Bear and Waffles. Through the wide front window of Kali Copy Center, I glimpse a blue woman whirling, her dozen arms feeding doctoral theses into a dozen steaming copiers. Salaam’s Emporium purveys Carpets: Persian, Indian, Floating & Flying. Merlin’s of Berkeley offers alchemist’s supplies: Alembics, Catalytic Reformers, Orreries, Retorts, Homunculi Guaranteed or Your Money Back!

Tattooed skateboarders cruise by in the bike lane, baseball caps bill backwards and sweatshirts with the slogan: I DON’T KNOW AND NEITHER DO YOU.

Turning at University onto Oxford, mindful of a herd of Priuses stampeding silently up the eastbound lanes, I fetch from the glove box a printout of the ad I found on craigslist:

GREAT JOB IN BERKELEY   NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

FLEXIBLE HOURS   APARTMENT PROVIDED   SALARY NEGOTIABLE

APPLY IN PERSON ANYTIME

Hmm. A job too good to be true? Perfect for a working student like me returning to college, facing her first course load?

So what’s the catch?

I scan the printout for directions: South on Oxford. Cross the intersection at Bancroft. Continue on to Fulton.

I hear bells as resonant as church chimes tolling the hour of six in the P.M. Above the soaring dark foliage of eucalyptus and pines, beyond the flat rooftop of Wheeler Auditorium, stands the source of the sound: the famous Campanile. At the top of the Venetian-style bell tower a soft golden beacon beams through the twilight stealing over the eastern hills.

Below the Campanile cluster turreted gothic buildings of luminous dark brick, and my heart leaps into my throat. The Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts! I recognize the distinctive profile of the towers from the web site. How I long to go and learn there! If only things work out!

A left on Dwight Way takes me up a block from quaint shops and mom-and-pop businesses to a residential neighborhood of well-worn houses and apartment buildings. A right on Hillegass, a left on Derby, then a sharp right onto Mirage Way.

It’s a slip of a street, an alley really, overgrown on either side with gnarled old oaks and spreading elms. Crooked sidewalks lead past the ragged rock gardens of vintage brown-shingled craftsman houses. The streetlights have yet to turn on, and shadows play hide-and-seek with sunset’s rosy glow.

The perfume of magic infuses the evening air: the scent of red roses and some sort of sweet spice. I hear the jangle of a wind chime, the mew of a cat.

Hi-Ho Silver and I cruise slowly now, searching for the address. There it is, the number stenciled on the curb in iridescent white paint: Seven Mirage Way.

A cobblestone driveway angles up from the street to an apartment building set back in a grove of willow oaks. I cruise through the welcoming wrought-iron arms of an ornate gate, pull onto a roundabout bordered by manicured boxwoods and lacy fan palms. A fountain drizzles water over marble angels poised above a pool. Amber lamps atop wrought-iron lampposts glow on, lighting the roundabout in gossamer gold.

I turn off the ignition, pull the parking brake, climb out and stretch, savoring the restorative crackle of my travel-weary joints. “Good car.” I pat the little chrome galloping mustang next to the door. The mustang tosses his tiny chrome head and snorts.

Then I catch my breath.

I’ve never seen any place like it!

Five stories of Mediterranean magnificence rise before my eyes. Andalusian windows punctuate peach stucco walls, the sills and the eaves meticulously trimmed in ivory and teal. Half-moons of terra-cotta tiles adorn the gambrel roof. A forest of stonework chimneys promises cosy fireplaces inside.

Two lions stand guard on either side of a glorious door, each with his paw raised up, his jaw agape in a silent marble roar. Inlaid in the cobblestones, a bronze plaque engraved with a cipher sets out a powerful spell conceived by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago:

A B R A C A D A B R A

A B R A C A D A B R

A B R A C A D A B

A B R A C A D A

A B R A C A D

A B R A C A

A B R A C

A B R A

A B R

A B

A

A richly ornamented arch soars over the carved oak of the door. As I gaze up in sunset’s last glow, I see chiseled deep in the arch the name of the place:

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 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!

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

“Brand? Oh my God, Brand?” a woman calls out in the rasp of a three-pack-a-day smoker.

The rasp’s owner bursts out of the town house, her welcoming smile swiftly rearranging itself into a dangerous frown. She stands over six feet tall with the muscular build of a gal who hauls UPS packages for a living. A Valkyrie in ripped jeans. I can see how she and Brand made a stormy physical match, if not a magical one.

She clutches, of all things, the knitted arm of a man’s sweater, the rest of the garment trailing beside her. The sweater looks to be nearly finished. A welcome-back gift for Brand? She also clutches a ball of homely gray yarn and a pair of lethal-looking steel knitting needles.

A dazed look films her eyes, as if Brand’s voice compelled her out the door before she had the presence of mind to set her knitting down.

She looks at him, at me, at him.

“Who the fuck is she?”

“Hi, there.” I wave. “Pleased to meet you, too.”

“Abby, this is Barb,” Brand says.

“Brand and Barb. Sweet. You two sound like a nineteen-forties horse opera in black and white. Starring John Wayne, say, and Barbara Stanwyck.”

They both look at me–he amused, she outraged–and say in unison just like a longtime couple would, “What?”

“Free-range rancher wants to roam around. Lady rancher wants to fence him in.”

Brand laughs, his easy merriment a little strained. “You see, Barb? Abby’s cool. She gave me a ride all the way from Sacramento.”

“Oh, I see. I see, all right.” Barb fixes her furious eyes on him as if she could bend him to her will. He stands where he stands, unmoving. Nope, she’s got no power. No power over him, anyway.

She steps between us and swivels to face me, looming over me. She’s got a good five inches on me, and I have to look up. I hate having to look up at lunatics.

“Brand is staying with me.” Gripping the knitting needles in her fist, she viciously jabs the tips against my breastbone, hard.

Oh, man! Is she trying to kill me? With knitting needles? The tips hurt enough to have punctured my skin, pierced flesh, dented bone. I jump back and glance down, expecting wounds and blood, but glimpse only a pair of angry red spots above the scoop neck of my tank top.

“Hey, Barb, you know? People get arrested for less.”

“Hey, Abby, you get it? Brand. Is staying. With me.”

I turn to him. “Is everyone so friendly in Emeryville?”

“Cut it out, Barb,” Brand snaps.

“Don’t give her any ideas.” My hand whips out and seizes the needles and pulses a volt of my power up the steel. A friendly electrical shock, that’s what Barb needs.

“Ow, fuck!” She flinches and shakes her hand, then stares at me, wide-eyed. I’m one of Them. One of the Weird Ones. Don’t ask me why, but I don’t think she likes me. “Why don’t you hit the road, you freaky slut.”

Brand grins, a lot less comradely. “I’ll catch you later, Abby. You should go.”

“Later,” I say as they stand in the street, glaring daggers at each other. A shining example of how love and hate tangle with passion, whereas indifference means the affair is truly over.

I climb into Hi-Ho Silver, turn the ignition. I don’t make a habit of grappling strange men in front of their jealous ex-girlfriends. I’ve got too much respect and sympathy for women. Even a psychopath like Barb.

I drive away from Emeryville, wondering whether I will catch Brand later. I kind of want to, even though he’s a cad. He’s got magic, oh yeah.

I should catch Brand later only after he’s moved to a place of his own. I want to meet up with Barb’s knitting needles a second time like I want an ice pick plunged in my chest.

And what about him staying with her? Isn’t that a little cruel when she so clearly hopes for a reconciliation and he so clearly doesn’t? Do I really want to connect with this user?

Brand plays a lot of games. Games I’m not ready to play. I’m on a rebound of my own devising after leaving Daniel.

First things first. Land the job, line up a paycheck. Register for school, start the class. Never forget what my mother told me on her deathbed. My survival depends on learning to master my power. Survival against the Horde when they finally come looking for me.

I feel feverish, my cheeks and my forehead burning. When I glance in the rearview mirror, my face is the color of a boiled lobster. Brand’s great big bear hug left little to wonder about and much to fantasize.

But, wait, wait. This isn’t me, Abby Teller. I’m not the feverish, fantasizing type. Am I?

No way. Not in a million, billion years.

So why did I pull over to the shoulder and slam on the brakes? Why spill my life story inside of five minutes? What did our clasped hands do? Why didn’t I mind he was being disingenuous, lying, jerking me around? And why do I feel so feverish?

What has Brand done to me?

You see? I set one foot outside of Buckeye Heights, and a foxy sorcerer is trying to enchant me.

Berkeley is going to be a blast.

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!

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

I pull Hi-Ho Silver over to the curb in a bus zone, yank the parking brake, and wearily climb out.

Brand climbs out, too. He takes his backpack from the backseat, strides around the Mustang, and drops the pack with a thud on the street. He wraps his arms around me in more than a friendly way, grasping me in a great big bear hug, lifting me clear off my feet.

“Easy, easy. You’ll squeeze the life out of me.”

He’s hard beneath the jeans. His power laps at my skin, greedy and insinuating. That’s not sharing power, that’s a power grab. A sorcerer’s grope. A rogue’s game.

He sets me down on my feet and I shove him away, smacking the palm of my hand against his chest. He staggers back, catching his boot heel on the curb, and sprawls with a grunt on the grimy bus bench.

Like I said, he ought to know from the start.

I expect his frown and a curse or two, but he only grins and hoists himself to his feet. “You got a number?”

“A number?”

“Yeah, you know that thing you need to call someone.”

I do have a number. I’ve got a brand-new cell phone with a brand-new number I’ve given nobody but one person and one person only: Carla, the realtor selling my mother’s house. I’ve disconnected my old landline, left no forwarding number.

Why? Because I don’t want Daniel calling me. I don’t want Daniel finding me. I don’t want Daniel tempting me to renege on a decision that’s supposed to be final. Is final. I know how tempting Daniel can be when he puts his mind to it.

And Brand?

“You didn’t just get out of prison or anything like that?”

“We’ll talk over lunch. I’m buying. I owe you big-time.”

Fascinating, how a man in cowboy boots refuses to answer a simple question. My number? I’m guessing he’s one of those men who loses women’s numbers as a matter of habit.

Against my better judgment, I give him mine.

He fishes a little black notebook out of his back jeans pocket and a stub of a pencil, and writes my number down. “Let’s get together, dear Abby. You’ve got magic. I could show you a real good time.”

“We’ll talk,” I say, “on the phone.”

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!

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

2

Sunset stains the sky lavender and orange by the time I crawl onto the parking lot that passes for the coastal highway. The slow-and-go affords me ample time to admire the restless gray bay and San Francisco’s enchanted spires on the opposite shore.

I take the westbound off-ramp at University Avenue and chauffeur Brand to Emeryville, an urban blight bordering Berkeley where he tells me his ex-girlfriend lives.

“Turn left,” he says. “At the next corner, turn right. At the second light, hang a left. Here we are.”

The ex-girlfriend rents the ground-floor unit of a shabby little town house slapped together decades ago of dingy stucco. Weeds thrusting through cracked concrete serve as her front yard. A graffiti artist has accomplished with cans of spray paint what government subsidies never could: given the town house some character. Lurid obscenities splatter the walls and weird, leering faces. A monstrous red eyeball weeps tears of blood, the sort of apocalyptic vision only a potent hallucinogen can inspire.

I’m jarred by the sight of rusty security grilles barring up every window and door. People in Buckeye Heights have boarded up the windows and doors of foreclosed houses but they haven’t barred up everything against the crowbar of a thief. Not like this.

The sight sobers me, reminding me I’m entering another world.

The world of Berkeley.

Berkeley, home of the original campus of the mighty University of California. Berkeley of nouvelle cuisine and Berkeley of research leading to the atom bomb. Berkeley of genetic engineering and Berkeley of needle exchanges. Berkeley of free speech and Berkeley of political correctness. Berkeley of the Tree People and Berkeley of Students Against Hippies Living In Trees.

Berkeley, a world of wonders, of enigmas.

I can feel it thrumming all around me: Magic. Black, White, and Every-Color-Of-The-Rainbow Magic.

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!

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