Update: I’m using my writerly prerogative and changing the name of the first book to A Witchy Surprise. 🙂
I just wanted to share this excerpt from A Witchy Secret, the first book in my new Witches of Whispering Pines young adult paranormal cozy mystery series. (Remember, this is an unedited first draft. 🙂 ) If you like this opening scene and would like to know when it’s released, subscribe to my email list. I’m still giving away a copy of Jenny’s Story: Survival Beginnings for signing up.
Cackling, laughter, and high-pitched squealing came from our backyard and I stepped outside just in time to snatch Babette, our miniature pig, out of the air.
“What the heck is going on?” I cuddled Babette to me, her squeals slowly ratcheting down as she pushed her warm velvety snout into my neck. I hugged her closer and she quieted.
The scorching Texas heat had me sweltering in seconds. Backing up, I opened the screen door and sat Babette gently inside before turning to face the dastardly duo in the yard. My cousin Danu was bent at the waist, hands on her knees, laughing so hard she had tears streaming down her face. My great-great-aunt, who was definitely old enough to know better, cackled the laugh of the wicked witch she sometimes was.
“What in heaven’s name do you two think you’re doing? You’ve probably traumatized Babette for life.” Folding my arms across my chest I stood looking at them, my bare foot tapping against the wooden beams of the porch.
“Oh, don’t be a spoilsport, Charlie.” Aunt Ruby huffed and rolled her eyes. She sometimes acted like a twelve-year-old rather than someone in her seventies.
It’s not every day you see a pig flying by. Not even in Whispering Pines. As shocking as that was I was still surprised it took so long to finally notice Aunt Ruby’s attire and my eyes nearly bugged out of my head. Aunt Ruby wore her signature ruby red. Only today, the color spanned a pair of shorts. Short shorts. I mean, really reeaallly short. A black halter-top adorned with red ladybugs and black combat boots finished off the outfit. Pasty white wrinkled skin with blue veins running the length of her legs was on full display.
I gasped and then couldn’t seem to close my mouth. I scanned the backyard and sighed in relief when the high wooden fence and trees surrounding the large property came into view. Then I remembered Mom had recently put a concealment spell on the backyard because Danu and Aunt Ruby had been spending a lot of time working on Danu’s magic this summer.
I breathed in and out, calming myself. “Aunt Ruby, what are you wearing? You haven’t left the house like that have you?” I was trying not to be disrespectful in my panic, but with school starting back in a couple of weeks, I didn’t want the kids teasing me about my crazy aunt on the first day. I had my whole freshman year ahead of me for that.
“What? It’s hot out here. Besides, I think I look good.” She twirled around and Danu put out a hand to steady her when she tilted to one side. As she turned I got a good view of Aunt Ruby. Way more than I ever wanted to see. Fortunately, she was skinny and her boobs weren’t that big, so they didn’t sag down like some of my friends’ grandmothers. Still, the side view of Aunt Ruby and the glimpse of buttcheek were a little more than I needed to see. Ever.
Shaking my head, I remembered Babette. Focus, Charlie. “Why was Babette flying through the air?”
“Well, Miss Nosy. I told Danu she had to get over her fear of flying and get on the broom and she said, ‘When pigs fly.’ So…” Aunt Ruby waved her arm in front of her as if that absolved her of her misdeeds.
Danu’s laugh burst into the silence that followed. “I’m still not getting on that broom, you old witch.”
“Better an old witch than a scared witch.” Aunt Ruby bent over to pick up the broom lying on the ground and I slapped a hand over my eyes. Seriously, the woman needed to put some clothes on.
I peeked through my fingers and found her standing again. I lowered my arm and turned around, opening the door. I commented over my shoulder, “You know… Mom’s not going to be happy when she finds out what you did to her familiar.”
“Well, don’t be a tattletale!” Aunt Ruby shouted at me.
Just before the door closed I said, “I won’t have to say a word. Babette will tell her.” I glanced back through the screen and saw Aunt Ruby frown which made me smile. Dinner tonight would be entertaining.
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