Happy Hump day! It's A Cozy Mystery Wednesday and I have Madelyn Alt's fourth Bewitching Mysteries book for today's spotlight!
No Rest For The Wiccan follows Hex Marks The Spot and even earned a four star review from Night Owl Reviews. The covers are more appealing with each new release and I love how the cover artist has included a touch of magic within each design that hints at the paranormal sub-genre of the series. The titles are also just as creative as the design and really stand out like most cozy mystery titles.
Take a peak at this oldie-but-goodie and let me know what you think in the comment section. :)
No Rest For The Wiccan
Bewitching Mysteries series,
Back of the Book
Maggie O’Neill loves her job at Enchantments as much as she loves being Indiana’s newest witch. But when her family needs her, she's still willing to lend a hand—even if she has to reach beyond the grave…It's a long, hot summer in Stony Mill, and Maggie is busy watching TV reruns, minding the store, and figuring out her love life. Then she reluctantly volunteers to care for her bedridden, oh-so-perfect sister, Mel, and her beautiful nieces. But Mel isn't the only focus of Maggie's attention. There are some strange spirits hanging about the area—and it looks like a job for Maggie and the N.I.G.H.T.S. ghost hunting team.And even as she tries to deal with the long-dead, Maggie must cope with the recently-deceased. A friend of Mel's loses her husband to a dreadful fall, and the police are calling it accidental death. Maggie's not so sure, and sets her second sights on finding a first-degree murderer…
It was with great relief that I was finally able to extricate myself from the grief-stricken tension in the office with the excuse that I needed to get back to my car. Leaving the three Turners alone to comfort one another, I darted here and there across the feed mill complex to avoid the emergency crew milling about the scene. I was heading toward the road and my car, knowing that Liss would have been far too polite to ditch me no matter how long I’d been absent, when a dark something caught my eye. Despite the beginnings of a headache starting at the base of my skull, I found my feet veering off on a completely different path toward the far end of the pig barn.
The smell of the hogs, as I drew near the long, narrow building, was even more atrocious. New building or no new building, it didn’t take long for the stench of pigs to permeate the concrete, the steel, the insulation, the beams. Everything. The smell was one thing, but the sounds were downright ghastly. I couldn’t say that I’d been this close to a hog holding barn in over twenty years, but the sound that the animals made was something that a person could never quite forget. It was a cross between a scream and a guttural squeal, made somehow worse by the knowledge that they were in a holding barn on their way to slaughter. I wondered, sometimes, whether they could sense it, their impending demise. Did they know?
The shadow was too tall for a hog that had gotten loose, far too stealthy. There it was again, darting into the cove created by two grain silos.
I fished in my pants pocket for my key ring and the handy little LED flashlight I kept clipped to it. Damn. I’d left the keys in the car with Liss, and there was nothing there but dryer lint left along the pocket seams.
As surreptitious as a person could be when in the middle of what amounted to a big paved lot without a single bit of cover in sight other than the fact that they were one of twenty people moving around the area, I made a zigzagging beeline for the pig barn, flattening my back against its newly painted surface once there. I know I probably looked ridiculous, had anyone been paying attention—but sometimes a girl had to sacrifice dignity and an aversion for trouble when there was a higher purpose involved. Namely, to figure out whether Spook the Shadow was a real, live person, or the manifestation of something else entirely. Although given a choice between the two, I’m not sure which was the better alternative at that particular point in time.
I inched my way down the barn in my best Fred “Twinkletoes” Flintstone style—back and hands flat to the wall, tippytoes tootling along—until I was within a few feet of the end. I’d sharpened my ears to the noises around me, but I had heard nothing out of the ordinary considering everything else that was going on. Just the grunting and squeals of the pigs, commentary slung back and forth by police and medical personnel, a whisper of a breeze every now and again, the crunching of footsteps across the pavement where gravel had scattered, and the occasional squelch of police radios.
Nothing to make the fine hairs on my arms stand on end. So why were they?
The Shadow knows.
I was creeping myself out. Heh. I really needed to stop doing that.
There was nothing to fear. There were people—big, strong men, in fact—all around me. All I had to do was step around the edge of the barn, stay within sight, and see what it was that was creeping along the fringes, watching the processing of the accident scene. I could, I suppose, call for Tom . . . but was there really any reason to when it was most likely nothing? He already thought I was halfway to the loony bin for my involvement with the N.I.G.H.T.S. in general and Liss in particular . . . not to mention for my current predilection for all things esoteric and mysterious. No reason to confirm his worst fears without just cause.
I took a deep breath, steeled myself, and leapt out to confront . . . Nothing.
The cove was actually just an alley created by two grain silos, and this particular alley led around and about the maze of other alleys created by still more silos. The security lights and spotlights had eliminated some shadows and created others. Maybe the shadow I had seen was nothing more than a bat or a bird that crossed into one of the beams of bright light.
Or maybe there had been something there. Something that knew I’d been watching and had eluded me in the thrill of the chase.
Your Turn! How did you enjoy today's snippet? Something you want to continue reading or is it not for you? Either way let's talk cozy mysteries and what you like to read in the pages of one.