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A girl releases one demon and all of a sudden her Ph.D. is useless. As the only black listed archaeologist on the planet, Dr. Arienne Cerasola needs a job. When a family friend hires her to find a magical tree, it seems like a good idea. The problem is Arienne isn’t that talented as a witch. If she were, she would have been recruited by the United Coven and Alliance, not discouraged from ever practicing the craft. Looking for a new life, Arienne sets out on a quest to find the tree. With a Shaman and the trickster spirit, Coyote, to (maybe) help her – she hopes to prove to herself that she can do something useful with her meager talents. After all, with magic comes fantastic possibilities….and terrible consequences.
Reviews (from Amazon.com):
“…a wonderfully written amusing tale…”
“I am really looking forward to reading more about Dr. Arienne Cerasola the heroine in the book Elementary Magic so here’s hoping the author is writing a lot more. And yes, I have noted there is one more book involving this character. (pout… there should be lots more!) “
I slid my eyes toward the plant in the corner of the room again. It looked worse every time I glanced at it. The giant plant with thick leaves seemed as if it were melting in the cool office of the museum. Every time I looked, another spike seemed to droop.
I pulled my eyes away from it and answered the next question the interviewer asked.
“Yes, I am very impressed with your conservation department, and I think my experience would be an asset.” My voice was strong, and I tried my hardest to make good eye contact. The now completely flat plant caught my attention. I saw a flicker of something behind the pot, by the radiator. I blinked and the flicker disappeared. The tension of yet another job interview was making me see things.
The committee nodded collectively as I described my experiences as a field archaeologist and I glanced around the table trying to make eye contact with every person. The flicker at the corner of my vision grew into a glow and I glanced back at the plant. My eyes widened in surprise as flames licked at the now melted plastic pot and steadily climbed the wall. I looked back at the table and five pairs of eyes were staring in horror at the inferno that consumed the corner of the office.
Without thinking, I grabbed the pitcher of water off the table and threw it onto the blazing plant. Under my breath, I murmured “deincendio” with flick of my hand I willed the flames to subside. The fire hissed, but obeyed.
Unfortunately, I had doused the flames a second too late, because the alarm started to blare and the sprinklers engaged sending cool water over the office, the interview committee, and my four hundred dollar power suit.
Dr. Birk, the head of the Albany Museum of Natural History, ushered me out of the office. Her low heeled shoes clicked on the tiled floor as she brought me outside to the hum of the city.
“We are so sorry, Dr. Cerasola. I believe we have taken enough of your time today, and I’m afraid I must go meet with the head of security.” She ushered me to the curb and hastily shook my wet hand. Water dripped from her grey hair and her speckled eyeglasses must have been impossible to see out of. She swiped at them impatiently and hurried off to meet with a man in a blue uniform. They scurried back toward the museum and the sound of fire trucks could be heard blaring their warning from a few blocks away.
The other members of the interview committee were nowhere to be seen, and I stood alone on the street, drenched and confused. “And thus concludes your interview…don’t call us, we’ll let you know when the arson investigator wants to speak to you…” I mumbled like a crazy person as I headed back to my car.
I pulled a towel out of the trunk of my car and laid it gently on the seat before climbing in. I took a moment to rest my head on the steering wheel, fighting the tears that burned behind my eyes.
“Who does that?” I asked the empty car. “Who sets the office on fire during an interview? What the hell is wrong with me?” I mentally kicked myself before pulling into traffic and pointing my car in the direction of the Corning Preserve. I had to pick up my partner, Basir.
I parked far from the other cars and opened the sunroof. I waited a few moments, letting the early summer sunshine warm my lightly freckled face. An owl hooted from the trees above and I looked around to make sure nobody was watching.
The owl landed on the roof of my car and hopped in through the opening. Basir blinked his large yellow eyes at me and hooted again in greeting.
I dissolved into a tearful mess.
“Fire. This time it was goddamned fire, Bah! What is going on?” Basir hooted softly and nuzzled his feathered head against my arm. When I’d finished cursing and berating myself, I swiped at my runny nose and sniffled before pounding my fist on the steering wheel in frustration.
I’d had three job interviews since being fired from the last archaeological dig I was in. They had to fire me after I’d collapsed a 16th century cathedral in Ireland. I had to collapse it after I’d accidentally released a three thousand year old demon, but I couldn’t tell the University that part of the story. So I was now an unemployed, homeless archaeologist who had blown three job interviews by causing minor disasters.
Magic has a way of getting ahead of me…
A special thanks to Kate Policani for organizing the Author Blog-In…Check back and I’ll have re-blogged about some great books from other authors!