April is shocked when she runs into a dragon in the alley behind her shop. Despite his urbane appearance, a wildness lurks in his gaze. Gathering her coven together, they discuss the ramifications of one of the witch-killing beasts appearing nearby. When spell after spell continues to go awry, is it a sign that their magic is truly weak or is it the dragon in the picture that is turning tulips into toadstools?
Dragons are too bossy to bond to their own kind, so when Drake meets the perfect witch for him, will he have enough fortitude to stand against her coven and their truly crappy magic?
“Most witches have useful powers. They manifest useful things like money, the power to do some good in this world or even a tuna sandwich,” April said as she popped the lid back on a plastic container half-full of cedar. “Not me.” She snorted. “So far, the only thing I’ve been able to manifest is a patch of toadstools and poisoned oak.”
She glanced at the other members of her coven. All twelve of her adopted sisters looked on with understanding. If anyone could understand her predicament, it was them.
“I know exactly what you mean.” Tansy stepped forward, her scorched cape still smoldering from her last attempt to cast a spell. “What’s wrong with us?” She spread her arms out as if to encompass them all. “None of us have been able to manifest anything like Mother and Father did.” She bowed her head and lowered her voice as though what she were about to say were somehow sacrilegious. “Do you think it’s because we’re adopted and not their blood kin?”
April shook her head and crossed her arms. “Being adopted has nothing to do with it.” She made her voice sound strong and firm even though she wasn’t sure herself. “It can’t be that.” Seeing her sisters looking so dejected over their failures, she decided what her next words would be, true or not. “If being adopted made any difference, why bother to train us at all?” She shook her head. “No, we are doing something wrong. I’m sure of it.”
What that something was, was beyond her comprehension, but she would find out what it was if it was the last thing she ever did. If not for her, she would do it for her sisters and brothers, wherever her brothers were. She hadn’t seen them since the unfortunate accident that stole their parents from them. She avoided looking at Rose, the little sister responsible for that horrific event.
“Look at Iris.” She waved toward her little sister whose thick ebony hair escaped her bun with abandon. “She managed to manifest eggs this morning.”
Iris grimaced. “Yeah. Eight dozen eggs and all of them raw, broken and covering the cheese, ham and English muffins that were supposed to be Eggs Benedict. Some success story.”
“Well, you’re closer than I am.” April scowled at her sister’s lack of enthusiasm. “I tried to conjure up mushrooms to go with the omelets we made out of all those eggs and got toadstools instead.” But they knew that. They had all raided her pantry after that. Now it was as empty as her refrigerator.
April paced back and forth in front of her sisters, her wand in her hand. As she passed, each flinched as the tip of her wand pointed at them in turn. “Stop flinching or I’ll turn all of you into Goddess knows what!”
As mad as she was about their reactions and this morning’s debacle with the eggs and toadstools, she just might lose her temper and do something unforgivable—what, she had no idea. Man, it sucked not having control over her powers. Their parents had made it look so easy. April glanced around at her sisters’ dejected faces and took comfort in the fact that at least, in this, she wasn’t alone.
She wrapped the cedar shavings in the paper they used to make their smudge sticks, then lit it. Smoke rose as the comforting scent of burning cedar filled the room. It was always good to cleanse the room before and after they tried to manifest things. It not only cleansed the room of their mistakes and the inevitable negativity that followed failure, the scent helped relax and ground them.
“Since this session was an obvious bust…again, we should head home, rest and practice until next month.” She nodded when Daisy raised her hand. “Yes, Daisy?”
“Do we have to practice? Can’t we just hang up our capes and shove our wands in a box in the back of our underwear drawers and call it good?”