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Midlife Potions Book 1
BY C.A. PHIPPS
A phone call throws into chaos Jessica Lavender’s mediocre life.
The death of her mother is quite enough to cope with, but her suddenly snarky cat has more news. Yes, a talking cat isn’t usual, but discovering Jess is a witch scares the heck out of her. Nearing middle-age, suddenly she’s on a quest to figure out what it means to be a witch and what is expected of her.
And let’s not overlook a body in the garden!
Two suspicious deaths in this small town are bound to lead to trouble. Is Jess up to the challenge of solving the crimes?
The death of Lissa Lavender shocked the small town of Good Fortune.
Lissa was apparently the heart and soul of the community and on Jessica Lavender’s arrival, as the only child, she became the center of attention.
Lissa had been the heart and soul of the community which meant her daughter Jessica’s arrival in town was big news.
Knowing how the small town operated, Jessica Lavender should have expected it, but the shock of being in the limelight sent her into defensive mode and made it difficult to come to grips with what the loss of her mother truly meant to her.
Arriving at night with a suitcase and her cat Maestro she went straight to her mother’s house situated at the end of Main Street. An hour later the phone rang and hadn’t stopped since. Eventually she’d pulled out the connection, hoping the townsfolk would get the message.
As soon as she opened her eyes this morning, she knew she’d only been fooling herself. After the first thundering knock from well-meaning neighbour #1 that forced Jess out of bed and, after a quick wash, into yesterday’s clothes, people flooded in. Visits overlapped and people who were mostly strangers, stayed far longer than it took to drop off a dish of recently cooked food and pay their respects.
Eventually, every counter-top and table was filled with plastic containers and plates and Jess had no words left to thank them or answer the myriad of questions. As if how she was or what she had been up to since they’d last seen her mattered right now. They didn’t know her and she didn’t want to know them.
“You’re tired. You should tell them to leave.”
The words swirled in her head, and Jess suddenly yawned in the next-door-neighbour’s face—the one who had set today off into this nightmare. Jess put a hand to her mouth. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Crandle.”
The short round woman, reminiscent of a fairy godmother, tutted. “You poor dear.” She clapped her hands and the noise in the living room and kitchen instantly hushed. “We’ve outstayed our welcome, ladies. Jessica is exhausted after her journey and needs to rest.”
With a few hugs and more sympathetic words, the rooms emptied as if by magic.
Jess smiled genuinely down to her left. “Thank you, Mrs. Crandle.”
“You’re welcome, dear. I’ll be off as soon as I’ve cleared the rest of this food into the freezer, but might I give you a few words of advice?”
Jess’s smile froze. She sensed there no choice but to hear it. “Of course, Mrs.Crandle.”
The woman counted off the fingers on her left hand. “Don’t touch Rebecca’s stew—you’ll have heartburn for days. I’d be wary of that pie from Daphne Dennison. Reg Doherty, the local chicken farmer, told me she’s been out collecting road kill again. Make sure you return all the containers if you don’t want to make enemies. Get down to the shop tomorrow and throw out all the expired ingredients you find there before they rot.” She was down to her last finger. “And now that you’re all grown up, please call me Amy.”
Jess brushed her auburn hair over her shoulder and smothered a groan. The list seemed doable and potentially life-saving. “Thanks you, I’ll be sure to do that.”
“Don’t you worry about a thing.” Amy patted her arm. “Your mom was always saying how capable you are and she has plenty of friends who are only too happy to help with the arrangements.”
This was a surprise. Their mother-daughter relationship had been tense for more years than Jess cared to remember. When the expectations to follow in Lissa’s footsteps proved too much to deal with twenty years ago, Jess moved north. If she was honest, she’d checked out on their relationship long before that. As for a team of Amy’s coming back to boss her about…
“I’m sure I can manage, but please tell them I said thank you.”
Amy tilted her head and after a second or two nodded before gathering up more containers. “Well, you just say the word if you change your mind.”
Forcing as much as they could into the freezer, Jess finally locked the door behind Amy and with her back pressed against she let out a long breath having desperately waited for this moment for hours.
“Now what do I do?” she muttered. It was a small house. Some might say quaint. Jess had always considered it cramped. Clean and tidy, with two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and a utility room with toilet by the backdoor, she hoped it would be relatively easy to sell.
Maestro appeared from behind the couch and sauntered across the room.
“I wondered where you’d got to, buddy.”
“If you thought I was going to put up with them patting me or clutching me to their bosoms all day, you were sorely mistaken.”
Jess gaped. “You did not just talk to me.”
He sat down in front of her and tilted his head exactly the way he did whenever she spoke to him. “See anyone else here?”
Only, he’d never answered her before. She slithered down the door and landed with a thump on her butt. “It was inevitable. I’m going crazy.”
Lazily he licked one sleek paw. “No, you’re not.”
She put both hands to her face and rocked. “I haven’t got time for a nervous breakdown. There’s too much to do.”
“Then don’t have one. They’re overrated from what I’ve seen.”
She peered between her fingers. “I’ve owned you for five years. Why would you suddenly be able to talk now? If you really are and this is not a figment of my imagination.”
He stuck the paw out to her. “We’ll leave the whole who owns who thing for now. Consider this, the issue isn’t about me not talking, but rather you haven’t been listening.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
He sighed and came a little closer. “Look me in the eye and tell me you haven’t heard voices in your head.”
C. A. Phipps is a USA Today Best-selling author from beautiful New Zealand. Cheryl lives in a quiet suburb with her wonderful husband, whom she married the moment she left school (yes, they were high school sweethearts). With a big family to keep her busy when she’s not writing, there is just enough space for a crazy mixed breed dog who stole her heart! She enjoys family times, baking, rambling walks, and her quest for the perfect latte.
Links to C.A.’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:
Buy from C. A. Phipps’s website and get a 25% Discount https://caphipps.com/discount/MFVQ5CPVS9PM?redirect=%2Fproducts%2Fwitchy-awakening-a-paranormal-cozy-mystery
Thanks, C.A., for sharing your book with us!
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