Book Cover: HARd MAgIC
Part of the Weird Magic series:

Shouldn’t magic solve all problems?

Apparently not. And Thea Gale has to live with her disillusionment.

First, The High Tribunal exiles her lover, The Uncrowned King of Right-Thinking Witches and Warlocks. Three months in remote Scotland should give him time to rehink loving a common-human … whose DNA just happens to carry a witch-killer gene.

He manages to escape a kidnapping attempt as he leaves the country, but Thea fails to welcome him with open arms. Someone wants hand and her magical red shoes.

Get real. How could she levitate without the shoes? How could she grow her magical powers without the shoes? She demands answers Magnus can’t give.

When two rogue genus-magicus practitioners target her family to bring Magnus to his knees, she’s not afraid to click her shoes and scramble a few derailed brain cells.

Can two lovers from different worlds leap the obstacles to find love?


I’ll never see him again.

As I stood by helplessly and watched two guards lead away the warlock I loved, I fought tears. Exile had never entered my mind when a constable from The High Tribunal delivered their summons to my house the night before.

“Magnus Girogair Aindreas Rogon, Uncrowned King of Right-Thinking Witches and Warlocks in the Twenty-first Century, you are hereby ordered to appear before the august body of The High Tribunal twenty-four hours hence on the stroke of midnight.”

Blissed out from our lovemaking, I let Magnus reassure me the directive was no big deal. Wanting only to feel him inside me again, I lost my mind in the goose-bump pleasures of his body coupled with mine. Little wonder my brain had no room to question what those orders meant. What better distraction than great sex?

Nothing beats orgasm after orgasm to relieve tension and suck out your brain.


Magnus knew what to expect. Of that I was sure. We came from two different worldshis, genus magicus and mine, genus common human. A warlock and the great-great-granddaughter of Dorothy Gale—Romeo and Juliet in the Land of Oz.

Star-crossed lovers.

Uh-huh. I laughed out loud as I levitated out of the innermost chambers of The High Tribunal. Born in Kansas City, I’d passed this mansion thousands of times. Never occurred to me—before Magnus—that witches and warlocks existed in the new millennium. That they walked and worked among us common humans. That they owned this particular piece of very expensive real estate boggled my mind.

Next to me, Magnus’s mother tugged my hand. Trying to make me put my red-sequined heels on the thick carpet. Trying to force me to walk instead of levitate. Trying to shush my lunatic laughs.

Tough. Invisible knives pierced the back of my skull. I managed to resist the temptation to turn and stick out my tongue at the mighty judges seated on their golden thrones. They didn’t like a common human sailing like an adept witch or warlock past the open-mouthed guards?

Tough. Jaw locked, I floated down the grand staircase. The magic of my magic shoes momentarily boosted my sense of control. Ultimately, though, the judges had exercised the real power.

I’ll never see him again.


Sixty minutes after leaving court, I turned off the bathroom light and padded barefoot into my bedroom. I carried the red-sequined shoes tucked under my arm. No way was I leaving those four-inch stilettos next to my bed. Not with Magnus headed halfway across the world. Why not Ft. Levenworth—twenty miles from Kansas City?

Only one of the multitudes of factoids I didn’t know about genus magicus.

Before Magnus came into my life, before I knew squat about my red shoes’ magic, I considered myself a take-no-shit woman. Ask most of my former dates—some of who took a few of my well-aimed tai-chi-kicks after refusing to back off.

That was before I met witches and warlocks determined to prove me wrong. That was before I accepted I was vulnerable—especially without the red shoes. Back home after leaving court, I considered sleeping with them between my knees but rejected the idea. With Magnus exiled to a castle in Northern Scotland, though, my paranoia made sense.

Commonsense, on the other hand, suggested I avoid surrendering so soon to obsessive behavior.

“Speaking a fear out loud gives it power.” Magnus’s words echoed in my ears.

A few patches of lemony moonlight filtered through the curtains at the closed bedroom window. The smell of sandalwood and pomegranates and sex still hovered over the bed. I imagined Magnus’s warmth still rising from his body’s indentation on the sheets. I sucked in a deep breath and cracked the window.

I should change the sheets or I’ll never sleep. The digital clock-radio turned over to one minute before two. The judges took less than five minutes to render their decision to exile Magnus and effectively sentence me to hell for the next three months. His successful capture of The Cat Stalker—a nasty group of wicked witches, warlocks, and bad humans failed to impress the judges. The real truth? They were punishing him and me—mostly me—for daring to fall in love. I was not worthy of a future kind.

Careful. You’re teetering out on the cusp of melodrama.

Downstairs, the yowls of my three cats, locked in the laundry room, broke my free fall into self-pity. Let us out or we’ll call the humane society.

“Okay, okay,” Since sleep was out of the question, I capitulated. “You win,” I called. “Your devoted servant is coming.”

The din increased, but I detoured to the foot of my bed, knelt, and pulled out a plastic storage box. While the feline frenzy rose, I pawed through half a dozen old purses, tossing them in all directions. The small, black-beaded envelope I carried with my favorite little black dress lay on the bottom of the pile.

Just where it's supposed to be.

I opened the purse and unzipped the tiny silk pocket. The key I needed was tucked in a corner.

Just where it's supposed to be.

Relief should've flashed through me, but another hit of adrenaline jolted through me instead. Witches and warlocks, I’d learned from experience, had the very bad habit of simply appearing at my house and entering without warning. Wrong Thinkers wanted my red shoes. Stealing them would work. Technically, though, they couldn’t take them off my feet. To pass on the shoes magic, I had to give them to someone. But I imagined a group of Wrong Thinkers chanting, “Finders, keepers.”

Standing, I entered the closet, shut the door on the cats’ yowls, and then turned on the light. Clothes, shoes, boxes, and the dirty clothes hamper all stood in their places. I moved the hamper a foot and rolled back the carpet. Sweat slid into my eyes as I put the key in the lock on the trap door.

"Okay, okay," I whispered, my chest burning. "Everything's going to be okay."


Reviews:MollyH., Amazon wrote:

Thea kicks, and clicks, tail!

An odd collection of right and wrong thinking witches seem to have infiltrated her general region, and her family.

A hard balance between trying to follow love, and all the sort of witch rules against it, and trying to keep on good terms with her own family.

Toss in several witches with habits that include kidnapping, involuntary, spelled seduction, and messing with her nephew, love with Dr Wonderful seems a very difficult and dangerous thing.

For such a powerful wizard, he does seem to get himself into scrapes that are hard to get out of - then let himself get legislated by fearful and bigoted lesser witches and wizards.

Can't wait to see if fear or love will win out - and whose love it might be that can make the most difference in the equation!