Archives for posts with tag: magic

The sharp rap on my door nearly knocks me out of my chair.

I run and unlock the locks with a series of paranoid clicks that must sound to Tesla, standing in the hall, a lot like poor old Stanley sounded to me yesterday night.

I am so not the same sort of super as Stanley. I’m not.

“My Abracadabra minute turned out to be forty,” Tesla says, cradling the two promised bottles of shiraz in the crook of his arm. “Sorry I’m late. Are we still on?”

“Absolutely. The pizzas are in the kitchen pleading to be eaten. Would you mind locking the door?” I jog back to my home office. “My iMac just crashed, and I don’t know what to do.”

I hear the reassuring clicks of the locks but, by the time I arrive at my home office, Tesla is already there, hunched over in my chair, his long bony fingers flying over the keyboard.

I have to blink. “Gosh, you move fast, Tesla.”

“Hey, I’m an electronics wizard. I can’t stay away from a computer in trouble.” He peers at the screen. “You’ve been writing some heavy shit on this thing.”

“You got that right.”

He taps twice on the keyboard with his left forefinger, and the flashing question mark dissolves into the usual calm blue background nested with menus and icons.

“How did you do that?” I say. “Oh, that’s right.”

“An electronics wizard,” we say in unison.

“You want me to shut it down?”

“Please. Where’s that wine? My custodial man left me a Swing-A-Way. I’ll go pop the first cork.”

Like a prestidigitator performing sleight-of-hand, Tesla plucks the bottles off the floor beside him and hands them to me while he shuts the iMac down.

I’m impressed. “Could you apport a couple of decent wine glasses, too? I’ve only got paper cups till the movers come tomorrow.”

“Sorry, apporting is way out of my league. Paper cups suit me fine.”

I find paper plates, napkins, and cups in the kitchen, bring the uncorked shiraz and the pizza boxes out to the living room.

We sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the fireplace, pizza and wine parked on the marble hearth. I open the box of Java Logs, find a tube of fireplace matches next to the box, and run a lit match along the seam of a log.

I watch fiery tongues of flame flicker up. The director Alfred Hitchcock famously used flaming fireplaces to visually symbolize passion. I steal a glance at Tesla. Do I feel that way about him?

No, not at all. Tesla is a friend, quickly becoming a good friend.

We toast each other with our paper cups, and I bite into the most salivatingly delicious pizza I have ever tasted in my whole entire life. Addictive pizza. Magic pizza. Pizza you can eat, well, every night.

I sip the shiraz, a mellow red fermentation with hints of blueberries, wood smoke, and crisp apples. Whatever that means. A blissful end to a bitch of a day. “Now, Tesla. You must tell me about your curse. Maybe I can help you break it.”

Tesla devours a slice in one bite and reaches for another, sighing sorrowfully. “You can’t break my curse, Abby. I wish you could, but you can’t. You’re not a witch.”

I pile three slices on my paper plate. Pizza glutton insurance. “No, I’m not a witch, but I am a magician. And I’m learning Real Magic at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts. I started class today.”

“Wow, really?”

“Really.”

“I knew you had power when I met you, but this is amazing.” He gulps his wine. “You’ll make a great magician, Abby, no question, but that’s not the same thing as a witch.”

“Okay. What’s the difference?”

“A witch conjures with her gut. A magician conjures with her head and her heart. The magic is pretty different.”

I mull that over, and Tesla is absolutely right. Bonwitch suggested as much in class today. “And a witch did this to you?”

Tesla nods mournfully. “I love witches. Always have. I fell in love with Tabitha. What a Venus of a witch! She sells spells and potions on the Av. One day she smiled at me and gave me a potion and man was I hooked. The sex, I can’t begin to tell you. Ah!” He dabs at his eyes with a napkin and sluices the rest of his wine down his throat. “Marriage? Maybe. I’d never thought much about a commitment like that before, but I thought about living with Tabitha forever.”

I top off his paper cup. “What went wrong?”

“I was a jerk. Your classic, Grade-A, shit-for-brains asshole.” He slides another slice in his mouth. “One day I was hanging out at Starbucks, okay, and I met another witch. A very, very bewitching witch. But all we had was a cappuccino together. Just a cappuccino, you know?”

“Let me guess. You had to see her again?”

“I had to see her again, but just one more time. Just one more time, because I loved Tabitha.”

“She saw you together?”

“She caught us lying on the grass in People’s Park, holding hands and kissing. Just a little kissing, okay?”

I shake my head. Go figure men. “She freaked out?”

“You never heard such screaming in the middle of the afternoon. The bicycle cops thought I was murdering her. I nearly got arrested.”

I drain the rest of my shiraz and pour myself another yummy cup. “And then?”

“Then she cursed me. She cursed me. She pointed her right middle finger at me and screamed,

‘Oh, faithless man, so now curse I,

Toil ‘rise to ‘set till the day you die.’”

I ponder the odd words. “Toil ‘rise to ‘set–”

“Stop! Please! Don’t repeat it!”

“Sorry.” I nibble my second slice. “Um, where do you toil?”

“At the Computers ‘R’ Us megastore in Emeryville, from sunrise till sunset. I’m talking every day of the year. Weekends, holidays, even my freakin’ birthday. No vacation time, none whatsoever. The manager always finds something for me to do. Sweep up, take inventory, fix buggy computers, reprogram the accounting system. He doesn’t even have to pay me overtime. He loves it.”

Tesla opens the second pizza box and sighs, resigned. “It’s easier now that the days are getting shorter. Summer is a bitch.”

I uncork the second shiraz, still pondering the curse. Maybe there’s a double meaning to the odd words?

“You’d think I’d be turned off by witches after Tabitha, but you know? I am so totally, hopelessly in love with Esmeralda. Isn’t she the most enchanting witch you’ve ever seen?”

Wow, is he bewitched. I haven’t met that many witches before I met Esmeralda–in fact, I hadn’t, to my knowledge, met any witches–but I have to agree that Esmeralda with her sable-and-silver mane is one foxy witch.

Tesla frowns. “She’s always with that dude every time I see her. That snarling creep with his dirty looks.”

I ponder that problem. Tesla is cursed to toil from sunrise to sunset, then free to enjoy his night till the next sunrise. And Senor serves Esmeralda as a dog from sunrise to sunset, then as her man from sunset till sunrise.

No wonder Tesla has never met the shapeshifter in his canine incarnation.

“Tesla, he’s a dog.”

“I know,” he says miserably. “The way he follows her around. Who can get near her?”

“No, listen to me. He’s a dog.”

His mouth drops open. “You don’t mean?”

“I mean.”

“Wow. Wow.” Tesla springs to his feet and paces across my living room. “If only I could see her alone after sunset, see her without him around when I get home from work! Maybe she could help me break my curse. Maybe. . . .I don’t know. Maybe we could get together.”

I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t think he’s ever going to see Esmeralda alone, without Senor around, especially after sunset. Plus I don’t think Esmeralda is an especially helpful sort of witch. More of a bitchy witch.

We devour the second pizza and drain the second shiraz down to the luscious last drop. I let Tesla out my door and lock the locks from floor to lintel, including the sturdy chain lock. Will locks protect me against vampires, against the Horde, against supernatural murderers, against the demons of the night?

And what about the demons of my heart?

I turn the iMac on–which works fine now, thanks to my electronics wizard–and finish and polish my essay. Know Thyself. Yes, indeed, Know Thyself. Who knew that contemplating the First Fundamental of Real Magic would unlock the rage and resentment of years I’ve held in my heart?

I email the demons of my heart to Professor Bonwitch and call it a night. 

********

Enjoy the book here for free!

Or buy it at the links below. Or donate if and when you wish, whatever you wish, at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/lisamasonthewriter/

The choice is yours!

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

Copyright © 2012–2016 by Lisa Mason.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website (newly updated for 2016) for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, and more!

And 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!

 

24

“That was more fun than a barrel full of barracudas.” I escort Kovac and Valdez from the service elevator through the maze of back halls to the lobby. Have I just become more involved in the Tilden Park investigation? Yeah, I think I have. I’m not that happy about it, but I’m not that ticked off, either. I don’t like the eye of suspicion cast on my building, and I sure as hell want to see justice done. “I’ve got those lousy vampires shaking in their platform shoes, don’t you think?”

“Your threat of eviction may not shield you for long, Ms. Teller,” Kovac says, somber, his cheek muscle twitching with annoyance at the fruitless interview. “What have you got in the way of anti-vampire protection?”

“Locks from floor to lintel, front door and back. Windows heavily mullioned with runic designs and latches that lock nice and tight. My Eye and my Cross, which I wear night and day. Will garlands of garlic bulbs help?”

Kovac shakes his head. “Garlic is an old superstition I’ve never seen work. Your locks and latches are good but some vampires–not all, but some–can shapeshift into mist and drift right under your door.”

“I can’t see Scorpio Rising shapeshifting into mist. I can’t see Jake, Flame, and Cuddles wanting to be anything other than Jake, Flame, and Cuddles.”

Kovac laughs his dry laugh. “You may be right.”

“They won’t dare disturb me.”

He looks skeptical. “Lock your locks, by all means, and wear your Eye and your Cross. We’ll talk more tomorrow.”

Valdez swivels her head so far around, I’m worried she’s about to impersonate Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”

“Till tomorrow, Mr. Kovac.” For Valdez’s benefit, I add, “Do I need to bring anything special to my official statement?”

Valdez presses her lips together as if bringing “anything special” means something more than what I intend. I pity Valdez, but I can’t be held accountable for jealous ex-lovers reading meaning into my words that isn’t there.

“Your driver’s license and some other form of ID,” Kovac says curtly. “That’s it. Good night, Ms. Teller and take care.”

I let them out the front door. Kovac hobbles to his BMW parked in the roundabout, unlocks the door, and awkwardly lowers himself in the driver’s seat, steadying himself with the cane. Valdez dogs his heels, reaching out to help him. No dice. Kovac yanks the cane in after him, slams the door, and speeds down the driveway before she’s even opened the door to the mud-brown Buick.

Maybe Valdez should transfer to a police department in another city. Maybe in another state.

She is navigating the Buick down the driveway as Tesla pedals his silver mountain bike up. I hold the door open for him, and the beanpole wheels his bike inside. He goes to his mailbox, glances at my announcement, and grins.

“What, me, bespell my rent check?”

“Your check was shooting sparks all over the place. I could been electrocuted.”

“Sorry. That was meant for Stanley, not you, Abby.”

He props the bike against his hip, opens his mailbox, and plucks out letters and magazines. He locks the box and stuffs his mail in a pocket of his backpack.

I’m struck at how his motions exactly replicate his motions the night I met him. I don’t mean the motions of long habit. I mean the propping of his bike on his hip, opening the mailbox, plucking out the mail, locking the box, stuffing the mail in his backpack look eerily like an instant replay.

As I’m pondering that, a woman’s high heels click across the lobby and the thud of a man’s boots. Esmeralda walks arm-in-arm with Senor. She’s decked out in a silky red dress and her signature ruby heels. As for Senor, the man wears his customary red cotton kerchief and a silver chain, a white T, white jeans, and riveted black boots way too warm for the weather.

“Good evening, super,” Esmeralda says in her strangely husky voice. “You look scrumptious in hot pink. Like peppermint candy.”

Senor curls his lip in a semi-friendly snarl.

Neither of them gives Tesla so much as a glance. As for Tesla, the beanpole gazes at Esmeralda as if he would gladly fall to his knees and worship at her high heels, given half a chance. He sighs as if his heart is breaking.

Hmm! Curiouser and curiouser.

“Thanks, Esmeralda, and a good evening to you. Off to paint the town?”

“We’re going to see ‘The Last of the Bohemians.’ It’s playing at the UC Theater.”

“You mean that notorious cult film from nineteen-sixty-five starring Larry Spaghetti and Billy Queens?”

“That’s the one.”

“Whoa. I always meant to see it whenever that dinosaur played at the Buckeye Art House, but never got around to it. I want a ruthless review.”

“You’ve got it.” Esmeralda and Senor saunter out the door like supernatural royalty.

“Tesla.” I tug at his shirtsleeve. “Tesla?”

He’s staring after Esmeralda with dark, feverish eyes, his mouth hanging slightly open.

“You and me, we should talk. How about dinner? Take-out, my place? What do you recommend?”

Tesla snaps to. “Take-out sounds excellent. I’m buying.” He hands me two twenties. “And I’ll bring down two bottles of an excellent Mendocino shiraz.” He waves away my protest. “To make up for the bespelled rent check, okay? What do I recommend? No contest. Call Too Cool Pizza, order two super-large veggies with extra sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese.”

Holy carbohydrates. Pizza will mean I’ve got to take my lazy ass out for another jog, tomorrow or the next day. A long, long jog. But not in Tilden Park.

“Too Cool, two super-large veggies, extra sun-drieds and feta, it is.”

“All right!” Tesla hoists his bike under his arm and wearily climbs the stairs, just exactly as he did before.

I’m struck again by the sameness of his gestures. He is cursed. And I’m still wondering how and why.

“See you in an Abracadabra minute,” Tesla says.

********

Enjoy the book here for free!

Or buy it at the links below. Or donate if and when you wish, whatever you wish, at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/lisamasonthewriter/

The choice is yours!

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

Copyright © 2012–2016 by Lisa Mason.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website (newly updated for 2016) for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, and more!

And 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!

A world pops up in the slice of light, and I see my mother’s name, the date of her birth and the date of her death, only days ago.

Only days ago? Try a lifetime ago. A lifetime passes when your mother dies, and another lifetime for you begins. Another lifetime without the source that gave you your life.

Her face fills that world, sallow and careworn, her eyes haunted by pain and sorrow. The pinch of wrinkles between her brows always made her look angry, even when she wasn’t.

Her face vanishes, and a world of light fills my eyes. Light, just light. Pure flat white light without depth, without shadow.

“By Jove!” Bonwitch exclaims and slaps his knees with the palms of his hands. “Your mother was never known for her power the way your father was. But look at this! Look at this!”

I peer at that world of pure, flat light. “What is it?”

“Her warding! Her warding of you. What a paradox! What an irony! Abby Teller, famous to all of the World of Magic, yet vanished from the world.”

“But that’s just crazy, Isaac.” I’m shaking my head. I don’t want to hear what he’s saying. I don’t want to accept what he’s saying. “I mean, how could I vanish from the world? Maybe in the Yonder, but not in the quotidian world.”

“Oh, I suspect so. I suspect in all the worlds.”

“No. No, that’s impossible. I’m here. Everyone in Buckeye Heights saw me and knew me. I attended Rowland Elementary and Buckeye Heights High. I earned my marketing degree at Carnegie College. I mowed my mother’s lawn, raked the autumn leaves, shoveled snow from her driveway. I ate barbecue with our neighbors, shopped at Whole Foods. I got engaged to Daniel Stern in plain view of the quotidian world, Aunt MasterCard, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.” I take a deep breath. “And I kept my power a secret, the way my mother urged me to.”

“Just so.” Bonwitch springs to his feet and paces, his hands clasped behind his back, a shadow moving in and out of the beam of light streaming from the projector. “No one of the quotidian world would have posed a threat to your life.” He raises an eyebrow. “Not like the Horde could.”

“Couldn’t the Horde have spied on me in my everyday life?”

“A spy may have watched you, certainly, then forgot what he saw. So powerful was your mother’s warding, even your inciting incident at fourteen with the fireflies has vanished from the Yonder. By Jove!”

Bonwitch rubs his hands with glee. A glee I can’t share. The more he enthuses, the more uneasy I feel. Not just uneasy, but resentful. And not just resentful, vexed. Very, very vexed.

“So powerful was your mother’s warding,” Bonwitch rattles on, “it has protected you for days after her death.” He claps his hands, applauding that world of pure, flat light. “Well done, Alice. By Jove, well done!”

“Professor Bonwitch–”

“Isaac, please.”

“Isaac, my mother struggled for most of her life with a wasting illness. The doctors couldn’t diagnose it, couldn’t treat it, couldn’t cure it. Couldn’t take her pain away, either, and she suffered for years.” I curl my fingers so tightly into fists that my fingernails dig half-moons in the skin of my palms. “Damn it, Isaac, is that what her warding of me did to her?”

Bonwitch stops pacing. Stops chortling. The sudden sorrow in his eyes confirms the truth. “Warding a person other than yourself may drain you of your vital essence, it’s true.”

“My God.”

“Listen to me, Abby. Your mother loved you that much. You must not add guilt to your grief for her. Grief has damaged your aura, here and here.”

He points at my heart, at my solar plexus, and sharp intrusions of his power jolt me. He’s not playing power games, I know, but still. I don’t like it.

“You must release this grief and guilt and heal yourself with compassionate magic. You’re too vulnerable to dark powers.”

“And just how do I do that, Isaac? How do I release grief? How can I not feel guilt, now that I understand the truth?”

He strides to the projector, presses the rewind button, and the film speeds from sprocket to sprocket with a clickety-clack. He unsnaps the reel from the supply sprocket. “It’s just a prop to boost the energy,” he explains and turns the projector off. “It will take work, Abby. Consider that part of your homework assignment. Write about this. It will help.”

“My homework assignment? Write about how all I did to care for her seems like nothing now? My daughterly obligation a sham and a joke compared to her motherly sacrifice for me?”

“Yes, write! In the beginning was the Word. Write, child! Write! The Word has power!”

Bonwitch crosses his office in two swift strides, pulls his chair around the table, sits and faces me. He frowns, his vast power roiling all around him like thunderheads crackling with lightning. He takes my hands.

“I’ve been rude and unspeakably callous. Crowing about your mother’s warding. Consider that an aspect of my dark side. Sometimes my love of magic is greater than my love of people. Will you forgive me?”

“I forgive you, Isaac.”

There it is again, forgiveness. Do I understand, exactly, what Bonwitch is asking me to forgive? Yeah, I think I do.

But I don’t know how I’ll ever forgive myself.

5.19.15.TGOA.CVR.TINY

********

Enjoy the book here for free!

Or buy it at the links below. Or donate if and when you wish, whatever you wish, at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/lisamasonthewriter/

The choice is yours!

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

Copyright © 2012–2016 by Lisa Mason.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website (newly updated for 2016) for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, and more!

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

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

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

The 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.

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 turned on 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. I kind of saw where the plot was going, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.”

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!

New! On a budget these days? Who isn’t!

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series (on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle) is also available as The Garden of Abracadabra Trilogy so you can read at your leisure in three affordable installments.

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before.

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

In Book 1: Life’s Journey, Abby arrives in Berkeley, filled with hope and promise, hoping to land a new job and start magic college, when she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. On Nook and Kindle. Also on Kindle in the UK.

In Book 2: In Dark Woods, Abby is drawn into a dangerous murder investigation and torn between three men, Daniel Stern, her ex-fiance, Jack Kovac, an enigmatic FBI agent, and Prince Alastor, a potent supernatural man who lives in the penthouse and may be a suspect. On Nook and Kindle. Also on Kindle in the UK.

In Book 3: The Right Road, Abby uncovers ancient supernatural secrets behind the murders and faces dangers and challenges ahead. On Nook and Kindle. Also on Kindle in the UK.

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

This in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more :)”
Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

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

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. When Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. As they begin a passionate affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom and Celestial Girl, Book 4: Terminus.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

More affordable titles for your reading enjoyment:

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

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