Archives for posts with tag: fantasy

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!

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 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!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,934 other followers