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I’m too excited to keep one of Evan Robeson’s cases to myself. Here’s a sneak peak at his very own story: A Wayward Witch
The knock on the door was nothing if not authoritative. I grumbled and swore under my breath before reluctantly slamming my work back in the cabinet and trudging to the door. I flung it open without looking out the peep hole, and was startled to find one of Boston’s finest looking wide-eyed and flustered. I made a note to dial back on the irritation I felt at being interrupted.
“Mr. Robeson?” He asked, settling down into something resembling belligerent.
“Yes, officer. How can I help you?” I forced neutrality into my voice.
“We need to investigate a complaint filed by your neighbor, Mr. Durham.”
I didn’t hide the sigh. “What is it now? I’m the high wizard in some cult that tortures small animals?” I put on my best weary expression and ran my hand down my face.
The officer quickly hid a smile. “Um, actually Mr. Robeson, he claims you put something in his water supply.”
I grinned. “Actually, he probably thinks I ‘cursed’ his water, right? What did I put in it…eye of newt, wing of bat?” I shook my head sadly and stood aside, gesturing for the policeman to enter my townhouse. “Come on in, Officer. You might as well call me Evan, I think we’re going to be seeing quite a bit of each other.” I stood aside and the officer entered, glancing around with mild curiosity.
“Nice place.” He commented, and followed me through the rooms to the kitchen at the back of the house.
“Thanks. High Evil Wizard pays pretty well.” I replied, not hiding the grin in my voice or on my face. “You see, Mr. Durham is convinced I’m an evil wizard so everything that goes wrong at his place must be my fault. In reality, I’m an attorney.” I paused next to my suit jacket which was hung on the back of my sofa and fished out a card. I handed it to him with a shrug. “I’m sorry you got called for this, officer. May I offer you some water or maybe an iced tea?”
The officer declined and glanced at my card. It was a heavy cardstock with my name in raised black letters and a fictitious law firm name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a real attorney, but my employer is a little paranoid – and justifiably so. I watched as the cop flipped open his small black book and began reading his notes to me.
“Mr. Durham says his water has been running black for the past two days. He suspects you somehow caused it because you’re in a disagreement over a parking spot.”
“I can’t explain his water situation, but yes, he does complain that I usually manage to get a parking space right out front. He thinks it’s magic.” I smiled and spread my hands wide as if I had no explanation for Mr. Durham’s crazy ideas.
“Magic?” The officer tried to hide a grin, but the corners of his mouth twitched just enough to give him away.
“I come home at odd hours, and there’s usually one open space in front of the two houses when I get here. Mr. Durham comes home at 5:15 every night, and there’s no parking anywhere on this block. Probably because everyone else gets home at 5:10, but he thinks I use some sort of magic to clear out a space for myself.” I laughed and leaned against the counter, holding my hands out in surrender.
“Did you have words over it two days ago?”
“Yes. Mr. Durham parked his car down the street, and it was my bad luck to get a spot right out front of my house when he finally got to his own door. He made some snide comment, and I’d had a bit of a long day and told him I made the other car disappear. I suppose I probably shouldn’t have said there was no point in being a wizard if you couldn’t at least get decent parking.” I pulled a contrite look and shrugged. “You see, this has been going on for a few months now, and I’ve tried to explain it rationally, but there’s no reasoning with the man. This time, I changed my tactic and lied to him. I told him I was using magic, thinking he’d realize the absurdity of that, but apparently I overestimated him.” I laughed. “Who would have expected him to take me seriously?”
I forced some calm energy out of myself, giving the officer an apologetic shrug for good measure.
The officer nodded sympathetically and finally closed his notebook gently. He assured me he would alert the city water commission about the problem and speak to Mr. Durham again. I smiled, nodded, and thanked him wearily. I even shook his hand at the door. Really, a wizard with nothing better to do than get good parking spaces and screw with my neighbor’s water?
Maybe that’s what retired wizards do, but I had bigger fish to fry at that moment.
Stay tuned for more from Evan – as well as sneak peak of my new novel co-authored with April Chanderon and the debut of my new series! After all, it is NaNoWriMo!
I had one of those dark years where everything in life changes and it takes a long time to put the pieces back together and find “the new normal” – but here’s what I learned from the experience:
1.) Books transport you out of the stress and despair and into a whole other world where people have bigger problems than you. In this way, they give you perspective and they entertain you when you think there’s nothing on the planet that you can focus on. I will be forever grateful to Mercy Thompson (a great heroine from Patricia Briggs) and Jane Yellowrock (another of my “girlfriends” from Faith Hunter) for keeping me company on some really dark days. Those two series brought me through the scariest time in my life – and even made me laugh when I didn’t think I could. I went from therapy writing to therapy reading but I’m on my way back again.
2.) Writing takes tremendous concentration – and when I’m stressed I have the attention span of a gnat. I haven’t been able to string two coherent sentences together for an entire year but…
3.) Research is the first step toward recovery. I might not have been able to write, but I sure did put in some late nights at the computer researching for my next books. I haven’t lost the passion to write, just the time and focus – but that’s shifting back. Arienne’s on a new adventure, there’s a new heroine with a mystery to solve, and two other books I’m co-authoring with my good friend April Chanderon. 2016 should be an exciting year!
4.) At my core, I weathered the storm quite well. My characters have the same ability – when other people might crumble, they don’t – when sane people would give up, they forge ahead. There’s a little part of the author in every character – and I’m sure I’m not the only author who stitches together characters with bits and pieces of myself.
5.) I still write “smart, fun fantasy” because everyone needs an escape. That won’t change because I learned that escaping into a good book is salvation – and I am more than willing to have Arienne, Callie, and Cleo hold someone else’s hand through the scary times life sometimes brings.