Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Magick and Mayhem" by Sharon Pape

Magick and Mayhem
(An Abracadabra Mystery Book 1)
by Sharon Pape

Magick and Mayhem by Sharon Pape is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?
Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office - and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband ...
As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer - who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

I was ready when my aunt Tilly came through the connecting door from her shop, Tea and Empathy. She was my mother's younger sister and my one remaining relative, aside from a few distant cousins somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania. Although I loved Tilly dearly, she tended to be a bit scattered and eccentric. According to my grandmother, she was hands down the best psychic our family had ever produced.
She padded up to the counter in one of the frothy Hawaiian muumuus she’d taken to wearing, after menopause settled in with some extra pounds. Her ballet flats dangled from her left fingertips and the turban she often wore at work was still perched on her head. She thought it lent her an air of mysticism. I thought it made her look like a Hawaiian swami with identity issues, but I would never tell her that.
“Did you want to wear the turban to see the attorney?” I asked, because I’d never seen her wear it outside the shop.
“Oh my,” she said, plucking it off her short red hair and giggling. “Silly me - I forgot I had it on.” I laughed too, because even as a child I’d thought of her as Silly Tilly. She plopped the turban onto the counter and finger-combed her curls. I beckoned my purse from the shelf behind the counter and was actually surprised when it popped up and floated into my hand. These days my magick was far from a certainty.
While I set the security code, Tilly slipped on her shoes. My little blue Prius was parked outside at the curb. Tilly climbed, or more accurately fell, into the passenger seat. I tucked in the edges of her dress and shut the door, before hopping behind the wheel.
Jim Harkens, who handled our family’s legal matters, shared a small, one story office building with the town’s only dentist. It was less than a three minute drive from our shops, hardly worth taking the car. But Tilly had arthritis in her hips and corns on her feet. My mother had tried everything in her bag of tricks, but the ailments had proven impervious to her spells and potions. So we drove to our appointment.
When we pulled into the parking lot behind the building, Jim’s big, white SUV was the only vehicle there. I pulled into one of the diagonal spots and helped my aunt out of the car. His office suite was off the short common hallway on the left. We opened his door and walked past Ronnie’s unoccupied desk. She was Jim’s receptionist, secretary and paralegal all rolled into one. Since she only worked until four, we saw ourselves down to Jim’s office. I knocked on the closed door. There was no response, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’d found him asleep, his padded chair angled back and his feet propped up on his desk. Although he was on the brink of fifty, he’d confided to me recently that early retirement was beckoning with a Siren’s call. I knocked again, then tried turning the knob. Since it was unlocked, I walked in, Tilly right on my heels. The room was dark, bits of sunlight creeping in around the edges of the closed blinds. When I stopped to let my eyes adjust, Tilly slammed into me and sent us both sprawling. If Jim was awake to see our little vaudeville act, he would have enjoyed a good laugh. But he must have been sleeping soundly.
“Are you okay, Aunt Tilly?” I asked, doing a quick appraisal of my own condition. My left knee had taken the brunt of the fall, and although it hurt, I didn’t think it was broken. 
“I’m okay, dear. Just had the wind knocked out of me,” Tilly said. “Guess I have more than enough padding these days.”
Unfortunately she’d landed diagonally across my lower back and legs, softening her fall, but grinding me into the coarse, commercial-grade carpeting. As my eyes accommodated to the darkness, I could see that Jim’s chair was empty. Maybe he’d gone to use the bathroom in the outer hallway. I was gathering myself to stand up, when I realized he hadn’t gone anywhere. He was inches from where I lay, and even in the dim light I could see what looked like a dark bloody halo around his head.

Praise for the Book
"What a delightful read this was! [...] Sharon Pape has an undeniable sense for details and atmosphere, and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel." ~ Annika
"A fun cozy with the magical twist that I'd recommend to those that enjoy something a little out of the ordinary." ~ Carrie
"Nothing is quite as it seems in this mystery and I loved it. I will anxiously be awaiting more in this series and know that paranormal cozy mystery lovers like myself are going to be so enchanted with this story!" ~ Karen
"I am definitely going to read more of this series! Any reader who enjoys paranormal cozy mysteries, or those with humor and wit interjected throughout will love this book!" ~ Juli
"Populated by a likeable, determined heroine, and an adorable cast of supporting characters, Magick & Mayhem is a solid start to what promises to be an entertaining series. The writing shows a light, deft touch, and even after I'd finished the last page I kept flashing back to New Camel, and the new friends I'd made: it's the kind of book you can devour in an afternoon but will stay with you much longer. Unquestionably, this is mood-enhancing reading of the best sort." ~ Amanda

About the Author
I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry - some of it in French.
After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen - but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of "breast cancer".
Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love - writing.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two ebook copies of Magick and Mayhem by Sharon Pape.