The Case of the Love Spell

Is magic real?

That’s what Penny has to ask herself, after a mysterious book reveals her destiny as a witch…

Welcome to Hillcrest, a small box-canyon town snuggled high in the mountains of Colorado. It’s been Penny’s home for her whole life, and she’s always thought of it as a peaceful — if boring — place to live.

All of that changes when the elderly Claudine Terra is killed, and a mysterious mountain pass behind her mansion opens up to through traffic. Could the new visitors to town, including a handsome vampire, have something to do with Claudine’s murder?

Penny is intent on finding out. She wants to save her failing PI business, get her love-life in order, and prove the police department wrong, all in one fell swoop. But as Penny learns about her own witchy powers, things turn out to be a bit more complicated than she expected.

For one thing, her ex boyfriend, Chris (a captain on the Hillcrest Police Department) is suddenly single. And then there’s the fact that her precious cat won’t stop throwing up. On top of that, Penny’s attempts at casting spells tend to go horribly wrong!

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The next morning, I’m heading down the walkway towards the sidewalk in front of my apartment unit when I catch sight of a head of blue hair, bobbing up and down, behind a very full cardboard box.

I recognize that blue hair.

Pausing, I wait for the woman to slow down. As she passes by me, I look over. Yep. It’s Azure Spincraft, leader of the Air Coven of witches.

Azure and I met in July, when I was first learning about my witchy abilities. Back then, she wanted to steal ‘The Art and Science of Becoming a Witch’ from me, and take over the portal into Hillcrest. She thought it was dangerous to have a portal into the Earth Realm guarded by inexperienced witches.

“Azure?” I say, as our eyes meet.

She sets the box down with a thud.

Azure is slender and pretty, and about my age. Her long blue hair is pulled up in a bun, held in place with Chinese chopsticks. She’s wearing purple lipstick.

“Penny! Fancy running into you here,” she says with a mischievous glint in her pale blue eyes.

“I live right upstairs,” I say. “You know that. You tried to break into my apartment to steal my book, remember?”

“Ha! Your book. As if a book that has been around for millennia could really belong to you.”

“It’s in my possession,” I argue. “Claudine Terra gave it to me.” I fold my arms across my chest. “The book says that I’m destined to become a witch. It’s my destiny, Azure. Don’t act like it’s a mistake.”

“Are you sure it’s your destiny to be a witch?” she asks. “Wouldn’t you be better at it, if it was really your destiny?”

I don’t have a response to this, so I point to her box again. “What are you doing here, with that box?” I ask.

“Oh, this,” she says. “This is just a portion of my herbs and tinctures collection. About a fifth of it, actually.”

I eye the box. It’s about three feet wide, and three feet tall. “That’s a lot of herbs,” I say. And then, “Why are you carrying all that around here?” I ask.

“I’m moving in,” Azure says, motioning to the door we’ve stopped in front of. It’s unit B.


“Excuse me?” I say.

“I think you heard me,” Azure says. She places a hand on the hip of her skinny jeans and turns her purple lips down into a pout. “What’s wrong, you don’t want to have me as a neighbor?”

“You can’t be moving in here,” I say. “You’re an air witch. Don’t you live in another realm?”

“I’m not moving in full time,” Azure says. “Goddess, no. This place is… ug,” she makes a face as she looks around. “So earthy. Look at this, dirt, rocks, grass, wood, rusty steel.”

She gives the corrugated siding of the building a rap with her knuckles. “I feel about a hundred pounds heavier the minute I enter through the portal.”

“I believe that’s rusty tin,” I say. I don’t like the way she’s talking about my home. What’s wrong with dirt, rocks, and grass? True, I’ve never been anywhere else, but the Earth Realm doesn’t seem so bad to me.

“Steel… tin, whatever,” Azure says. “It’s all metal to me. Heavy metal. Where I’m from, there is nothing this dense. Honestly, I don’t know how you live with it full time. I’m going to have to take a lightness-tincture every few hours just to sustain myself.”