Wavin' atchya, D. D. Scott-ville Peeps!
Hope y'all are havin' a great day so far!!!
I'm hard at work on my next book - PRACTICAL MAYHEM (Belle Bishop, Queen of Witches, Book 2) - and thought I'd treat you to the Cover Reveal.
I've gotta say, this one might be my new all-time fave...
PRACTICAL MAYHEM is based on the following question:
What if you were one magic wand away from getting even with everyone who's made your life hell?
The book will release around Halloween.
Today though, I'll also treat you to a Sneak Peek at Chapter One.
So grab a glass of wine, put up your feet and enjoy...
PRACTICAL MAYHEM (Belle Bishop, Queen of Witches, Book 2)
In their retirement years, some people play canasta. Others...cast spells.
Thankfully for Angelica Bishop, casting spells is turning out to be much more popular than the rummy-family card game.
“No-No, Louise. Never point your wand at someone. Well...unless you’re going to do something fabulous like this,” Angelica said, aiming her favorite magickal butternut stick at Randy, the spoiled rotten son of the resort’s owners, Glenda and Bob Hiatt.
Randy was pretending to clean the pool. But when you’re busy looking over the rim of your high-dollar sunglasses, ogling all of her students’ bikini-clad granddaughters, it’s tough to clean the pool.
With three quick swooshes of her wand, and a sassy magickal mantra — said under her breath so her students couldn’t hear it and repeat it on their own without her guidance — the hose from the pool’s vacuum suddenly got a mind of its own. With one mighty powerful bit of sucking action, Randy was yanked into the deep end.
“Splendid, Angelica! Simply splendid!” Dorothy squealed. “I can’t stand that little weasel dick.”
And when Dorothy Parker, age eighty-three-and-three-quarters, the leader of the resort’s womens’ league, offered her squeal of approval, her fellow league members also hooted and hollered.
“How did you do that?” Marie asked, taking aim at Randy with her brand new wand.
“Whoa there. Hold up, Marie,” Angelica said, her ornery cackle filling the room with a burst of magickal and mischievous energy. “First, we’ll let Randy dry off and then I’ll show you.”
Stepping behind the podium at the front of her new classroom, she tapped her wand against the royal-purple silk draping the table next to her. Since she was in her teens, she’d used this same scrap of fabric to cover all of her magickal work stations. So if she did the math, which really wasn’t her forte, that meant this particular witchery tool had been in her service for going on twenty-five years. One of the few things that had been in her life for that long and was still in good standing.
“Take your seats, and we’ll get started momentarily.”
As her students chose their chairs, she counted heads, making eye contact with each of her twenty witchy wanna-be’s, sharing her most wicked grin.
Excellent. All eyes in the room were on her. As they should be.
A warm buzz whipped through her body, sending fantastically energized tingles into her fingertips and toes. Nothing beats being respected for your power.
Day One of her Academy of Mischief was turning out to be more fun than she’d ever dreamed of.
So this is how Belle must feel! No wonder she’d decided not to abdicate her throne, Angelica thought, totally getting, for the first time, what it was like to be the awe-inspiring leader of the pack.
She may be “just the sister” of the beyond bewitching Queen of Witches—Belle Bishop, but Angelica had proven many times that she was her own force to be reckoned with. And she was about to prove it again.
So much for the magickally pure, prim and proper spell-casting sovereign her sister had become. Talk about boring. Thanks be to the universe, Angelica offered a fabulously fun alternative to the witchery realm over which her sister presided.
Every bit of the Queen of Witches’ sparkling goodness comes from the same gene pool as Angelica. Or at least so says her birth certificate. In the Bishop family tree, however, there was also a recessive gene for mischief, and every bit of that magickal, mayhem-inducing genius constituted Angelica’s DNA.
“Now then, my witchlings, take out your Shit Lists and let’s get started,” Angelica said, watching with delight as the men and women reached for the assignment she’d given them on Registration Day.
A palpable buzz surged through the room.
“I must say it was damn fun doing this kind of homework,” Pearl spoke up.
Pearl Howard was the wife of a retired sheriff, so Angelica figured that her Shit List was probably several pages long.
During her tarot reading days, politicians had proven to be fantastic customers. So, Angelica expected no less in her academy. They always seemed to have someone they were at odds with and needed her expertise in handling. Oh the games that politicians play.
“You think it’s fun making your Shit Lists, my darlings, just wait till you act on ′em,” Angelica said to a room full of nervous giggles. “That’s when the real fun and therapy begins.
“I founded The Academy of Mischief based on one principle:
What if you were one magic wand away from getting even with everyone who’s made your life hell?”
Oohs and aahs filled the resort’s community room.
It really was a brilliant concept, she thought, once more giving herself an atta girl for developing it. I mean c’mon, who couldn’t come up with or wouldn’t want to come up with his or her own personal Shit List, filled with the names of people who’d royally pissed them off? And then take those lists and learn how to master the powers of the universe to do get even?
No wonder her enrollment had been so successful. Her first class was completely full with a waiting list. A waiting list. Hmph. As if anyone would bow out of his or her chance to give karma a boost.
“So, who wants to go first? Who’s brave enough to take the first step to settle a score they’ve long hoped to avenge?” She asked, knowing firsthand it was one thing to want to get even but another thing entirely to have the balls to do it.
Dorothy’s hand shot up well ahead of any others.
“Okay, Dorothy. Is this something you’d like to share with the group or will it require a private consultation?” Angelica asked, mindful that she’d need to work individually with some of her petitioners—for an added fee of course—who may have grievances against their fellow classmates.
“Oh, I’ll share. I have nooo problems with that at all,” Dorothy said, standing up, holding her list out in front of her while looking over the rim of her bejeweled designer bifocals. She paused till she had everyone’s attention.
The sassy Southern tart definitely added drama to a room. And for once, Angelica thought, it was nice that someone else seemed to make people as uncomfortable as she usually did.
Dorothy may be the leader of the park’s esteemed ladies’ league, but it didn’t appear it was because she was popular and loved. It was because the other women were simply too afraid to cross her.
Angelica laughed all to herself. She’d bet all the money she’d already taken in from her students, and it was a bunch at five hundred dollars a head, that Dorothy herself had made several of the Shit Lists and would thus be the target of more than one private consultation. Because of this sassafras, Angelica was going to make a fortune.
“I need to do something about Betty Sue, who most certainly does not bake the items she brings to our fundraisers. She buys them and puts them on a plate,” Dorothy said, huffing and puffing as if this truly was the ultimate karmic imbalance.
Oh yeah. Angelica had absolutely no doubts now. Dorothy Parker would also end up a victim of the pool’s magickally-manipulated vacuum system.
“All right. We can take care of that,” Angelica said, hoping for something with a little more substance in order to begin to showcase her powers for her students. “Who else would like to share from their Shit List?”
The students looked at each other, and then at Angelica.
She knew that look. It was fear. None of these silly wimps had the guts for magickal mischief and mayhem, except Dorothy, who really did seem to be best described by a word that rhymes with witch and that starts with the letter...anyhoo...
“No worries, darlings. Maybe I need to break the ice a bit,” Angelica said, reaching underneath the lectern in the center of her altar set-up and taking out her large, frosted lilac crystal ball and its fancy-schmancy gold-filigreed stand.
“Fairest ball of ‘em all, show my witchlings dear, what kinds of things they no longer need to fear,” she chanted the command three times while gently moving her hands around the circumference of the ball.
The energy zapping between her palms and fingertips and the hefty crystal ball sizzled and swirled into the depths of her soul.
She visualized the magkickal waves filling the gap between her hands and her favorite scrying tool as purple streaks of lightning crackled to life. The memories she drew upon became perfect images inside the ball’s crystal prisms.
The room, once radiating with the enthusiastic curiosity of her students, was now the still of a summer storm waiting to strike.
In the middle of the ball, the misty lilac haze cleared and in its place, a tall bushy tree appeared, loaded with ruby red apples...and Angelica.
Angelica inhaled deeply, synergizing all of the zen-cool calmness she could muster. Perhaps if her students got a glimpse of her own Shit List, they’d understand just how far they could go when it came to planning and enacting revenge. They’d be able to see that anyone could rise above their past. With her help, of course.
“Is that you, Angelica? Hanging upside down from that apple tree?” Pearl asked, standing up in her seat and adjusting her readers for a better view.
“Sure is,” Angelica said, watching with her students as everything she recalled about that awful time in her life transferred from her mind into the image forming inside the crystal ball. “Why don’t you all gather round so you don’t miss anything?”
Her students didn’t waste any time joining her as the story she was conjuring up in the foggy swirls added layer upon layer of detail in the center of her scrying ball.
“But why? Why are you just hanging there like that?” Louise asked.
“Damn. Talk about a headache. Must have been quite a rush,” Melvin said, one of three men who’d enrolled in the Academy of Mischief.
“That’s an understatement,” Angelica said, feeling the familiar pressure filling her forehead and then zinging and pinging against her temples.
With the magnitude of mind witch skills Angelica possessed, simply remembering an occasion felt as if she were still living it. For all intents and purposes, she was once more hanging upside down in that awful apple tree.
“To answer your question, Louise, I’m hanging there like that thanks to my sister, Belle Bishop.”
“Your sister? The Queen of Witches? But I thought, according to your bio, that she’s the good witch and you’re the naughty one?” Dorothy asked, the incredulousness in her voice speaking for the surprised looks mirrored on all the other students’ faces.
“Oh, she’s good...very, very good. But even good witches make bad decisions that will eventually catch up with them,” Angelica said, meaning every word she’d spoken.
And her sister Belle was a good witch. But that said, she’d made a very bad decision. And that decision was about to exact a price.
“Let me tell you a story,” Angelica said, moving the image of her hanging upside down from the apple tree to the right side of the crystal ball, just like you would move images on a touch screen computer or tablet, a new spell she’d perfected just this week and one she was having a helluva great time applying.
Conjuring up a roaring bonfire to fill the left side of the now glowing orb, she basked in the awestruck expressions gracing each of her students’ faces at the same time she shuddered knowing she was about to relive her worst night ever.
Hope Y'All Enjoyed the Sneak Peek at PRACTICAL MAYHEM --- D. D.
P.S. Would you get even, if you could (without breaking the law or doing anything that would seriously harm someone)? We're talking just some superfab fun mischief and mayhem. And if so, what kinds of things would you like to avenge?