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.

Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself

In dark woods, the right road lost.

Dante, The Divine Comedy

Inferno, canto I

Part I

Life’s Journey

1

I shouldn’t but I do it, anyway. That’s me, Abby Teller, a magician with a mind of her own. I used to worry about doing the right thing. Now I wonder what the right thing is.

He stands on the shoulder of the on-ramp, a string bean in his T and jeans beneath the sweltering September sun. A toothsome grin on his face, cowboy boots on his feet, and a cardboard sign in his hands:

BERKELEY

Whoa! I pull Hi-Ho Silver over, slam on the brakes. Four days of driving since I fled Buckeye Heights leaves me yearning for talk with more than my ‘65 Mustang. Chat with a hunk of steel tends to be one-sided. How about a hunk in cowboy boots?

I know, I know. It isn’t the sanest idea I’ve ever had in my life, picking up a hitchhiker on I-80 outside Sacramento. And me, Abby Teller, a lady alone. The most notorious bloodthirsty sorcerers in all the old stories always trick their victims into believing they’re foxy rogues.

I am nobody’s victim, but am I in danger? You never know when you’re on the run, on the road, and on your own.

He tears open the door, stows the sign and a backpack in the backseat, and slides into the bucket seat beside me, bringing with him the scent of male sweat and Florida Water cologne. The kind of cologne jailbirds and voodooists favor. Uh-oh.

What kind of man is he? A magician, a monster, or a mortal?

“Hey, thanks for stopping. I thought for sure the highway patrol would cruise by any minute and bust my ass.” He reaches over the gearshift and holds out his hand. “I’m Brand.”

“Brand?”

“Like the mark you burn on a heifer showing her who’s boss.”

“You a rancher?”

“Babe, I’m free range.”

My, my, he’s got an opinion of himself. I look him over one more time. Some ass Brand has. I mean, some grin. And Paul Newman eyes, an impossibly bright blue the color of Windex. From a distance, the vivid tattoos on his arms tell me twenties. Up close, the lines around his eyes and his mouth tell of sun-drenched days and high-life nights. Thirties, maybe? Forties?

Dangerous? Oh, yeah. He oozes the charm of a grifter, the shifty aura of a liar, the arrogance of a man who takes for granted what women do for him because women always do.

I’ve stopped for him, now haven’t I?

Why doesn’t an able-bodied man his age drive his own car? I consider the likely scenarios, none of them good, with the possible exception he’s a die-hard greenie. No consumption of fossil fuels unless absolutely necessary. Double up with someone already doing the consuming. A Greyhound bus would work, but I’m free.

I get a kick out of him, anyway, macho swagger and all. But there you go, that’s me, a daughter of Buckeye Heights where people still trust moneylenders, horse traders, grandstanders, and the foxy rogues of the world when they shouldn’t. They really, really shouldn’t.

I take the hand he offers in a knuckle-crushing grip, and a jolt ripples through my fingers, through palm and wrist, all the way up my arm like when you touch a live wire. Electric, electrifying. Black sparks follow the jolt, glittering over my skin.

The jolt reaches my shoulder; sparks cluster at my throat. The jolt, the sparks start pushing. Pushing in, trying to touch things inside me.

No, it’s not animal magnetism.

Not the alchemy of male and female hormones.

I’ve never shaken hands with anyone like Brand.

He’s got power. Crazy, wild power. Most likely not a monster; his skin is too hot for that. Some stripe of magician, then?

And me? I wouldn’t have glimpsed his power at all if I didn’t possess power of my own. I am vexed.

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.

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