Sneak Peek Excerpt of HEXES & HIJINKS


~ HEXES & HIJINKS UNEDITED EXCERPT ~

I stood outside Grandma Elsie’s new-age shop, Karma Moon, with one hand hovering over the doorknob and dread twisting in my gut.

How had I ended up here?

Well, I’d lost my boyfriend and my job on the same day. My career as a copyeditor came to an abrupt halt when I’d kneed my horny-boob-grabbing-boss in the groin. And my boyfriend dumped me when I refused to commit. But seriously, he’d handed me a cheap cubic zirconia during dinner at Taco Bell, so I hadn’t exactly swooned over the proposal. 


With no other job prospects or places to live, I didn’t have much choice in moving here. Who else would take in a single, unemployed, homeless, thirty-year-old?

A sympathetic grandma, that’s who.

After being dumped by the jerk, I’d shared my sob story with her, and Grandma Elsie had told me to get my butt to Mystique, California—so, here I was.

I set my bags on the sidewalk and jiggled the doorknob. The shop door remained shut tight. I peered through the stained-glass window into the interior of the Victorian building. A neon sign—a psychic hand with stars around it—pitched a pink glow into the empty shop. 


Huh. Grandma Elsie knew I would be here by eight o’clock. I tugged my cell phone from the back pocket of my jeans and dialed her number. The call went straight to voicemail and I hung up.

Droplets pelted my head, and a soft drizzle sprinkled my aqua blue Mini-Cooper, which could use a wash. I’d just driven two hours in traffic from Modesto and bug guts and bird poop had splattered the windshield.

Well, I couldn’t keep standing in the rain like a lost pet.

Seizing my stuff, I went around the corner of the shop into an alley. A security light next to the partially open backdoor illuminated the entrance. I frowned, nudging the door wider with my shoulder. 


The shadows moved and I practically jumped out of my skin. My belongings tumbled from my hands and hit the ground with a thud.

What the fig?

A Hispanic woman in her mid-thirties moved into the light, a delicate and fierce smile on her face.

I placed a hand over my thudding heart. “You startled me.”

The woman snickered, the sound making my skin crawl. She was slightly overweight with vacant hazel eyes. Not much makeup, nor style to her straight, unevenly cut hair. Her wrinkled dress matched her slightly smeared violet lipstick, and she clutched a black messenger bag like a life preserver. She reminded me of a stray dog nobody wanted. 


Oops! Didn’t mean to frighten you,” she said, her smile drooping. Her voice sounded unnaturally loud in the stillness.

An icy pressure on my neck grew colder the longer I stared at the woman. She was lying. She wasn’t remorseful at all.

I licked dry lips. “What’re you doing back here?”

“Hexes and hijinks! Watch your back, Danika.” She darted around me and out of the alley.

Okayyy. I stood there a second, dumbfounded. That woman was not firing on all cylinders. A sudden chill ran through me, making the little hairs on my arms and neck prickle. A slithery sense of foreboding struck my nerves. 


Wait, how did she know my name?

I grabbed my bags, stepped into the storeroom, and flicked the switch to turn on the overhead light. One wall had dusty shelves stocked with an assortment of new-age type merchandise and books. The flooring was hardwood and the walls a dull grey. The room held the musty odor of an unused attic, and an ancient computer and printer sat on a small desk with a chair. Against another wall, a wooden bench squatted beside a gurgling water cooler. 


I shut the door and placed my stuff on the floor. “Grandma? It’s Danika.”

I turned to the spiral staircase on the right that led to a two-bedroom apartment above the shop, taking up the whole second-floor.

 “Hello, sweetheart.” An affectionate smile graced Grandma Elsie’s lips as she descended the stairs.

“You shouldn’t leave the backdoor open,” I scolded.

She flicked a glance at the entrance. “That’s odd. I thought I’d locked it after my client left...”

 



There you have it, a little peek at my new cozy paranormal mystery coming soon! Let me know what you think in the comments.

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