Bewitched and Betrothed (Witchcraft Mystery Book 10) by Juliet Blackwell
English | 2019 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.6 MB
A supernatural force on the loose in San Francisco and a family reunion keeps witch and vintage storeowner Lily Ivory on her toes as she prepares to walk down the aisle… When Lily Ivory stumbles on the uniform of a former prisoner from Alcatraz and SFPD inspector Carlos Romero’s cousin is kidnapped, Lily suspects something dangerous has been unleashed on the ghost-ridden island of Alcatraz. She’ll have to sleuth out the culprit—when she’s not busy entertaining her visiting relatives and resolving romantic conflicts as her wedding date approaches. Could recent omens be pointing to the magical threat in her adopted city? If so, she’ll have to line up her allies to change the fate of the Bay Area. Because no matter what, Lily’s determined to celebrate her marriage with her friends by her side—even if it means battling a demonic foe before she can make it to the altar.
The next morning Aunt Cora’s Closet was bursting at the seams with witches.
Fourteen elderly women—an entire West Texas coven, plus my mother—crowded the aisles of my shop, searching for glittery garments to rival the silver bugle bead jacket my grandmother Graciela had nabbed from my inventory a few days ago.
“The sparklier, the better,” said Agatha, pawing through a rack of ’80s-era, padded-shoulder flapper-revival tops.
“I want one exactly like Graciela’s, except in blue,” said Kay, her thick tortoiseshell glasses magnifying her rheumy eyes to a comical extent as she tilted her head back to examine a royal blue sequined jacket through the bottom of her bifocals. Her beaded glasses chain clicked. “Blue brings out my eyes.”
“No two vintage items are the same, that’s what makes them so special,” MariaGracia said, then added in a loud whisper: “If you want that silver one you can win it from Graciela on pagan poker night.”
My mother, Maggie, was flipping listlessly through a rack of 1950s sundresses, listening to the goings-on with a slightly bewildered expression. Not only was my mother not part of the coven, she had only very recently come to approve of magic at all. I couldn’t imagine what the long road trip from Texas had been like for her, given her boisterous, opinionated travel companions.
“This one’s nice,” said Winona, holding up a bolero jacket encrusted with gemlike rhinestones known as crystal chatons. Their facets reflected the late-morning light streaming in through the store’s street-front display windows. “It’s purple, that’s my color.”
“That’s not purple, it’s eggplant,” said Caroline in an imperious tone, tucking her subtly highlighted blond hair behind one ear as she studied a full-length silk charmeuse evening gown.
“Purple, eggplant, what’s the difference?” Winona shrugged.
“And that, my dear, is why you’ve never mastered color magic,” quipped Caroline.
“Well, at least I can work with a pendulum without breaking a black mirror,” muttered Winona, slipping some cheesy crackers to Oscar, who was currently in his public guise as my pet Vietnamese miniature potbellied pig.
The thirteen coven members were women of a certain age: Darlene, Winona, Betty, Caroline, Iris, Kay, MariaGracia, Nan, Pepper, Rosa, Viv, Agatha, and, of course, my grandmother Graciela. They represented all sizes and colors and temperaments; sort of a witchy United Nations drawn from the far-flung corners of our dusty West Texas county. I had grown up with and around these powerful, stubborn, quirky witches and was overjoyed to have them with me now.