It always amazes me when I approached an author I don't know with a hairbrained
idea, and she actually says, "Yes!" Yet the writing community is that
way: adventure seekers to the core. My guest today is one of those brave souls
who didn't hesitate to jump on board this crazy ride between her fictional
characters and mine.
Sharon Pape, author of
the fabulous Abracadabra
Mystery series, has co-written today's blog with me. It started out as an
interview between characters, but ended up as a short story we hope you'll
enjoy. Without further ado, here's Magick in the Barn!
I looked around and my knees nearly buckled. I closed my eyes, said a silent
prayer to anyone listening. "Please, let this be a dream." I slowly peaked out
my left eye. No one in the heavens heard a thing I said. We were standing in the
middle of what appeared to be a magick shoppe from 17th century England. There
were beakers and bottles and antique fixtures my daddy would absolutely love.
Princess nudged my leg and the breath I'd been holding so tight in my chest
escaped through my lips. I sounded like a cow snorting.
"We're not in Texas anymore, Princess."
My pet armadillo looked up at me. The expression on Princess's face was as plain
as the package on the shelf in front of me printed, Eye of Newt. I swore she
rolled her eyes and said, No kidding, Sherlock. Except Princess would
have replaced "kidding" with a four-letter word; she was that kind of girl.
Someone cleared her throat behind us and I'm not sure who jumped higher, me or
Princess as we spun around. We found ourselves staring back at a young woman who
was almost as surprised to see us as we were her--almost. But her expression was
more like, oh no, not again.
"Don't be afraid," she said. "There's definitely nothing to fear." She was
trying to smile, but not having great success with it.
What fearsome things didn't she want us to fear? Judging by our surroundings,
dragons were a distinct possibility. Princess and I were both pretty brave, but
I must have said it out loud, because she laughed. "There are no dragons, unless
Merlin misbehaves and that almost never happens anymore. There's just my
Sashkatu sleeping on his tufted window ledge over there. He's a spoiled old
curmudgeon, but harmless. I'm Kailyn Wilde by the way." She stuck out her hand.
Sure enough, a black cat lounged on a cushion in front of the window. I grasped
Kailyn's hand. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Charli Rae Warren and this is
Princess." Princess huffed and then brushed against Kailyn's leg in greeting
causing our host to stiffen. "That's the way she says hello to people she
likes," I explained. "Think of a cat with a hard shell, and you've got my
Kailyn reached down and hesitantly ran her hand along Princess's shell. The
first time someone came into contact with my pet was always interesting to
watch. Kids tended to tap on her shell like a glass fish tank, adults were more
tentative. Kailyn scratched behind Princess's ears, and my pet was in heaven.
"Can you tell us where we are and how we got here?" I asked. Outside the window
I could tell we weren't in Hazel Rock. The trees were taller than the front
porch, there were no tumble weeds in the street and not one building looked like
the old southwest architecture of my hometown.
"The first part is easy," Kailyn said, "You're in New Camel, New York. This shop
has been here since the 1600s. Over the years, the town grew up around it.The
how is a little trickier. Maybe we should go next door to Tea and Empathy, my
aunt Tilly's shop. She's off today, but we'll be a lot more comfortable there.
Its even got a little kitchen so I can offer you and Princess something to
drink. If we're lucky, there may be some baked goods left from yesterday's high
New York and tea. That did not sound as promising as my mama's southern sweet
tea, but Kailyn didn't seem evil, and her cat didn't appear to feel any
malevolence toward Princess as they stared at each other. Of course that could
change at any moment. My pet had an ornery side that could try anyone's
patience, and if magick brought us here, did that mean Kailyn was a witch and
Shashkatu her familiar?
Kailyn showed us the way to her aunt's tea shop and I was surprised at how much
it felt like the tearoom in the Book Barn back home. It didn't have antlers for
coat hooks, or mix-matched china or small milk bottles filled with lights in the
middle of the tables, but the two shops both had lace and a warm inviting
atmosphere that made guests feel at home.
Sashkatu followed us into Tilly's shop. He was keeping tabs on Princess,
probably trying to figure out what sort of creature she was. Kailyn asked me to
have a seat at any of the small tables while she foraged in her aunt's fridge.
She was back before we were beamed up into another dimension with a pitcher of
iced tea and a plate of buttery cookies with raspberry filling she called Linzer
"These won't make us grow smaller or larger, will they?" I asked, thinking of
Alice in Wonderland. Kailyn assured us they weren't magickal in any way and
after Princess and I shared one, we were instant fans. But we needed to get back
to business. "So...you were going to explain how Princess and I wound up halfway
across the country in the blink of an eye?"
"Right - it was magick, or to put a finer point on it, the problem with my
magick." She winced a little as she said it as if she was worried about my
The way I saw it, the words problem and magick should never be in the same
sentence. I managed to maintain a calm, cool expression, but my insides were
racing around screaming, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!
Princess couldn't care less, she had a shop to explore and a cat to bore.
Shashkatu's interest had waned, he'd obviously experienced more bizarre things
than a pink armadillo in a tea shop.
"The first time this happened, I was summoning a new familiar at the same time
Merlin was casting a spell to find mushrooms for his dinner. Somehow or other
our magick got tangled and he was transported here."
"Is he still here?" I asked, pretty sure my Chicken Little insides were
beginning to show on my face and in my voice. My mama's words rang through my
head, You're a strong Texan. Stand up tall when faced with adversity.
"I'm working on sending him back, but your case isn't nearly as complicated. It
was just a quirk in my magic that plucked you out of Texas and deposited you
here, not two different streams of magick like in Merlin's case. And there isn't
a temporal element involved with you. I should be able to send you back with
some simple teleporting," she said cheerfully.
Her explanation didn't make me feel any better about my situation. Teleporting
couldn't be that simple. I liked Kailyn, but I wasn't ready to entrust our lives
to her quirky magick. "Maybe we can just take the bus," I said. "It'll be nice.
We've never seen this part of the country."
I reached for my purse, but it wasn't on my shoulder. When Kailyn had beamed
us up, we'd been standing in the middle of the Barn and I'd just asked
Princess if she was ready for dinner. My purse was under the store counter back
in Texas and I was pretty sure I only had a couple bucks in my pocket.
"Really, I can do this." Kailyn assured me.
I wasn't sure if she was trying to convince my or herself. Either way, I was
going to have to rely on her magick, and the powers that be. Fuzz buckets. As if
sensing my discomfort, Sashkatu rubbed my leg and I suddenly felt all the
confidence in the world with Kailyn's ability to get the job done, and get it
"Princess, it's time to go home, girl." My pet looked at Sashkatu twining
between my legs and bee-lined for my side. She snorted in the cat's direction,
but Sashkatu didn't back down. Instead the two went nose to nose and I couldn't
help but wonder if a cat could damage my armadillo. He wasn't your ordinary
house cat--he was a magickal feline. Then Shaskatu did something completely
unexpected. He rubbed against Princess's shell just as he had my leg, and it was
as if he had a magickal ability to soothe her nerves as well. Whatever it was,
it definitely worked for both of us.
I picked up my pet and said, "It's been nice to meet you and Sashkatu. Y'all are
more than welcome to pop in at the Book Barn any time, but I think we'd
like this to be our very last popping experience, if you don't mind.
Next time we meet, we'll use our old fashioned mode of transportation and drive
my daddy's pickup."
Kailyn smiled. "I understand. Ready?" she asked.
I nodded, not sure how my voice would sound now that Princess and I were on the
brink of possible disaster.
Kailyn closed her eyes and I followed her lead. After a minute she started
reciting what sounded like an incantation:
"From here and now to there and then
Attract not change, nor harm allow.
Safe passage guarantee to souls
As well as lesser, mindless things."
Princess squeaked in my arms, and I took a deep breath before daring to open my
eyes. The scent of my daddy's Columbian coffee beans filled the air. I couldn't
hold back my smile as I scanned our environment. To my complete joy, we were
surrounded by books and western decor. I turned my gaze upward, not sure if I'd
see stars, a witch on a broom with a black cat, or Merlin himself waving a
magickal wand. What I saw, however, made my heartbeat steady. A chandelier in
the shape of a tiara lit up the loft in the Barn. "There is definitely no place
like Texas, Princess."
Kailyn opened her eyes about the same time and was relieved to find herself
alone with Sashkatu. He was back on his window ledge, looking at her with an
expression that clearly said, You need to be practicing a lot more!
"Careful Sashki," she said, "or I might just summon an armadillo as my new
Sharon and I hope you enjoyed a little bit of Magick in the Barn. To
find out what kind of trouble Kailyn and Charli can really stir up, check out
our new releases, MAGICK RUN
AMOK and LETHAL
One lucky reader will be chosen at random to win an e-copy of Magick
Run Amok and Lethal Literature. Extra
points if you post a comment below. Good luck and until next time, get cozy and
Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, Sharon Pape
had three paranormal books published. Her first novel was the first paperback
original ever to be condensed by Redbook Magazine. This time around, Sharon is
writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. MAGIC RUN AMOK is the third
book in her latest series, Abracadabra
Mysteries. Visit Sharon on the web at sharonpaper.com or friend her on Facebook @Sharon Pape
and on Twitter @spape.