Archives for posts with tag: fantasy

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!

Thanks to Google Alert, I was forwarded to this review of “Every Mystery Unexplained” by The Writerly Reader.

“Magician “Professor” Flint ends each performance by endeavoring to contact the Spirits of the Dead. An illusion only, of course. Surely, the audience knows that the white handkerchief dancing around the stage is the work of Flint’s assistants, not spirits. His sword fight with an apparition is only a matter of a well-placed pane of glass and proper lighting. No one can really contact the dead. Unfortunately, when lovely Zena Troubetzskoy offers the down-on-their-luck magic act a fat payment for a seance, Flint and his son, Daniel, can’t say no. But, there is more to Zena and the man she wishes to contact, the man she left in the mountains, than meets the eye.”

“This is the type of story I was hoping for from these anthologies: a blend of fiction and magic history. The setting is 1895 San Francisco. Professor Flint and his act have been trekking westward through cow-towns, rail-road towns, and mining towns, complete with horses, wagons, and misfortunes. Quite similar to Howard Thurston’s tour of, as Mason puts it, the far West. The story is a nice juxtaposition between the magic ethos and spiritualism ethos and the Victorian era and the Old West. Mason knows her magic history (the title is from a Harry Kellar quote) and she knows San Francisco.”

My favorite story of the year.”

Every Mystery Unexplained (first published in Tales of the Impossible [HarperPrism]):

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his controlling father, Professor Flint, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Uncle Brady, Professor Flint’s trusted assistant and business manager and Danny’s best friend, cannot stay in the same hotel as them—Uncle Brady is African-American.

Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death. After a contentious relationship with her, he feels he’s to blame.

When a beautiful mysterious lady asks them to help her contact her husband, Danny and his father will confront the ethical dilemma between spiritualist séances and faked séances performed by stage magicians like them.

But things are not as they seem.

With the help of the mysterious beautiful lady, Danny will learn to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt, learn the astonishing secret of Uncle Brady’s identity, and assume his place at center stage as a talented magician in his own right.

Every Mystery Unexplained was published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), a gorgeous hardcover anthology including stories by fantasy masters like Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and F. Paul Wilson.

Every Mystery Unexplained is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.

Every Mystery Unexplained 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, forthcoming projects and more, 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, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy this 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 11: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason

5

Esmeralda locks eyes with Senor. The dog scrambles to his feet and smiles the way dogs do, lolling his tongue, snuffling and slobbering, and thrashing his tail. She nods. “Sure, I’ll show you.”

Excellent. A Great Dane has green-lighted me.

“Is there some place where I can freshen up and change clothes? I’ve been driving all day.” I pluck at my sweaty tank top. “I’m not presentable for a job interview.”

I expect her to protest that I’m not welcome in her apartment, but she only nods again. “Sure.” To Senor she says, “Heel,” and strides to the glorious door. The dog trots obediently by her side.

I collect my handbag and suitcase from the backseat, lock Hi-Ho Silver, and catch up with her. A tall, arched plank of solid oak, the door is heavily carved with arcane symbols. In the adjoining wall is a console with numbered buzzers. An intercom connects to the residents within. I like that. Some apartment buildings this old aren’t wired for security.

Esmeralda pries a key from her jeans pocket and fits it in the lock. “You’ll need to get one of these from poor old Stanley. The door locks automatically, so don’t ever step outside without your key, looking for your morning paper, or you’ll find yourself locked out in your jammies.” She smiles in her sardonic way. “Unless the famous Abby Teller can open locks with magic.”

“Not yet.” Gosh. Every person with power I’ve met today has mastered more magic than me. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do at school.

Senor turns as I walk in behind Esmeralda and bares his fangs, favoring me with a full-throated growl.

“Good Senor,” I say. “Nice doggy.”

“Senor, don’t make me take the MacBook away,” Esmeralda says. The dog trots beside her, studiously ignoring me.

Huh. That is one smart dog. Does he have a web site?

We stride across the polished hardwood floor of a cavernous lobby scented with lemon wax and some sort of sweet spice. A picture window looks out at the roundabout and the fountain. Scarlet silk shantung richly covers the walls, and honeyed light streams from filigreed bronze wall sconces.

A bank of brass mailboxes takes up an entire wall. How many? I take a quick count. Twelve boxes across, five rows up. Sixty mailboxes. Sixty apartments. That’s a lot of responsibility for whoever takes the job.

Is that the catch? The salary doesn’t match the responsibility? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Esmeralda leads me past a splendid staircase braced on each side by wrought-iron banisters spiraling up from the lobby to the floors above. We leave the lobby beneath an archway and stride into a broad hall sprawling some distance in either direction.

No windows let in the last glow of sunset. The hall, spotlit here and there by ceiling lamps, holds pools of light and pools of darkness. Weird rustling whispers drift from the darkness.

I could get used to weird rustling whispers.

Esmeralda points to a pair of stately double doors standing ajar midway down the hall.

“We’ve got our own little library at the Garden of Abracadabra. There’s a lavatory. Lock the doors while you’re changing, if that makes you feel more comfortable, but leave them open when you go. The books like company.”

“I will.” I peer through the gloom. I could have sworn the hall was one long, unbroken expanse. But there they are, stately double doors standing ajar.

She points to a door at the far end. “That’s our place.” She turns and points to a door at the opposite end. “And that’s Number One, where you’ll find poor old Stanley.”

“Thanks for all your help, Esmeralda. I couldn’t have found poor old Stanley without you.”

She stares at me for a moment, wonder and skepticism warring in her dark eyes. “Are you really Abby Teller?”

“I’m really Abby Teller, and I’m really not dead.”

Esmeralda nods, apparently satisfied. I notice she doesn’t invite me over for a neighborly cuppa java, but that’s cool. Storm witches who trap tornados in pasta sauce jars and own big black snarling dogs want their privacy.

“Good luck with the interview, Abby.”

Senor growls a farewell.

“Thanks. And a good evening to you, too, poochie.”

The mistress and her Great Dane saunter down the hall, her high heels clicking on the hardwood floor in a rhythm with his canine toenails. They make a striking woman-and-dog couple.

“Senor, pipe down. You’re just asking for Alpo for dinner tonight.” She waves her hand at her door, the door swings open, and woman and dog step inside. Darkness swallows them.

She hasn’t used a key.

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!

As I mulled over my short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these strange ladies came from.

In The Oniomancer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), a Chinese-American punk bicycle messenger finds an artifact on the street. In Guardian (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), an African-American gallerist resorts to voodoo to confront a criminal. In Felicitas (Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion [Carroll and Graf]), an illegal Mexican immigrant faces life as a cat shapeshifter. In Stripper (Unique Magazine), an exotic dancer battles the Mob. In Triad (Universe 2 [Bantam]), Dana Anad lives half the time as a woman, half as a man, and falls in love with a very strange lady. In Destination (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), a driver takes three strangers from a ride board on a cross-country trip as the radio reports that a serial killer is on the loose. In Transformation and the Postmodern Identity Crisis (Fantastic Alice [Ace]), Alice considers life after Wonderland.

As you can see, my friends, this isn’t the kind of science fiction with space ship captains and aliens!

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

Five stars on Facebook and Amazon! “Great work, Lisa Mason!”

“Hilarious, provocative, profound.”

From Jeanne-Mary Allen, Author on Facebook and the BookBrothers Blog: “Kyle Wylde and I are thrilled to have found such a talented, dedicated, and brilliant collection of shorts in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories…Your style/craft is highly impressive.”

From the San Francisco Book Review: “Strange Ladies: 7 Stories offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor…This is a must-read collection.” http://anotheruniverse.com/strange-ladies-7-stories/

From the Book Brothers Review Blog: “Lisa Mason might just be the female Phillip K. Dick. Like Dick, Mason’s stories are far more than just sci-fi tales, they are brimming with insight into human consciousness and the social condition….Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is a sci-fi collection of excellent quality. If you like deeply crafted worlds with strange, yet relatable characters, then you won’t want to miss it.” http://www.thebookbrothers.com/2013/09/the-book-brothers-review-strange.html#more

5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com Great science fiction short stories! November 1, 2013

Fantastic book of short stories. All have some science fiction/fantasy elements. One is about a road trip with strangers, a bit more on the horror end of the spectrum, another is more humorous, based on Alice in Wonderland. One is a fascinating imagining of alien gender, and how it might differ from human. All have been published in various magazines and anthologies before, but were hard to find until this great collection. Recommended.”

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, 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 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!

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