Authors: Tonya Kappes
Magical Cures Mystery Series
To my Krew members. Gosh. We’ve come a long day from June burning her shed in her back yard in Locust Grove. I couldn’t write June without y’all in my head and encouraging me through emails and social media. I truly love you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sam McCarthy is a rock star! I asked my readers to help me name a what-knot shop and Sam came up with Hidden Treasures. It’s perfect for Whispering Falls! You will get a little introduction to Hidden Treasures in A Charming Hex. I just love it.
Thank you to Cyndy Ranzau. You are the best editor anyone could ask for. You go above and beyond for not only me, but June Heal and bringing her adventures to the page! This has been a fun journey, girl!
Of course I have to give a shout out to my family of now men. When I started writing June, my boys were in elementary, middle, and high school. Now three are in college while the last one is a senior in high school. They have grown up with June and sees her as just another member of the family. I love you guys! And Eddy…who doesn’t love him? He’s so patient and kind as I spend many night, days, and weekends pouring June’s life story out on the computer. He says he loves seeing me smile as I type. He is the love of my life.
Welcome back Whispering Falls.
, the long and much needed sigh passed my lips. I lifted my chin up to the warm tropical sun and dug my toes in the hot, grainy sand. I’d never been to the beach. Darla never took me on a summer vacation. She said that the tourists ruined the natural habitats and she didn’t want my images of Earth’s natural beauty to be tainted at an early age, and that I had all my life to be influenced by outside forces she couldn’t control when I became of age.
But I couldn’t help but think that she’d love being here with me right now.
The crystal blue and almost white water was very calm. The small waves curled slightly over the sand, creeping up and hitting the tiptop of my toes. I smiled and glanced down the beach in both directions. No one was there. Just me and the white sand surrounding me as far as the eye could see.
“Oscar?” The flailing arms in the ocean caught my attention. Where was Oscar? “Oscar?” I pushed myself up to stand, not even worried about the hot sand that felt like a bed of hot rocks on the soles of my feet.
The arms went under and my instincts kicked in.
I dove into the vast ocean, surprised it was so deep as soon as I took my first step. Deeper and deeper I pushed myself, from the crystal blue into the suddenly-turning black, dark depths of the ocean with the arms of the man in sight.
A bright orange light pierced the darkness and dove in a spiral around the man. The man’s body stiffened, his arms out to the side, his head thrown back, and his eyes looking over at me.
The water felt as if it turned to ice, my body was still warm, but the man’s glare chilled the space between us. His eyes were diamonds. I watched as the spiral closed—he was gone. The spiral was gone. I pushed myself up toward the surface. The ice surrounded me. It sucked the air out of my lungs. I pushed harder, fighting the heaviness in my chest.
The light. The light of the bright sun pierced the surface of the water.
Just a little more. Push to the top. My mind told my body, but my arms were stuck to my sides as if there were concrete blocks tied to each finger. My shoulders moved rapidly back and forth. I kicked my legs. The light wasn’t far, but the blackness engulfed me.
“Ahhh!” The animalistic sound escaped me from deep inside as I gasped for air.
“June.” I heard the familiar voice and felt the strong hand stroke my back. “It’s just a dream. Just a dream. Open your eyes. Please open your eyes.”
When I tried to open my eyes, my inhale skipped down my nose and filled my lungs. The darkness filled with light as my body willed my eyes open.
“Oh, baby.” Oscar pulled me into his safe and warm arms after my eyes found his face. His crystal blue eyes held concern. “It’s okay,” he assured me. He rubbed his strong hand down the back of my head as it rested against his chest.
“The beach.” The words came out in a raspy voice as though my mouth was filled with the sand that I had just dreamed my toes were in. “There was a man drowning.”
That was all I could remember. My nightmares were so intense, I swear my body and mind blocked the memories. One problem, I knew over the course of a few days, the memories would trickle back into my head and leave me with the memory of the full dream. And sometimes it was too late. I’d never had a nightmare where some part of it hadn’t come true.
“You are just stressed,” he assured me. “You’ve never been to the beach and you’re not sure what to expect, but I promise,” his heartbeat thundered in his chest; I pressed my ear closer to him, “I promise, we are going to have a wonderful time.”
“I really think I need to take Mr. Prince Charming,” I whispered and pulled away. I glanced around the room looking for my fairy-god cat.
“June,” Oscar’s head tilted. His hair was stuck up in different directions all over his head and as black as a raven’s wing. “It’s our honeymoon. Nothing is going to happen to us. I am a cop. I can protect us.”
“But. . .” I gulped knowing that whenever I had a nightmare like the one I had just had, something evil was lurking.
“But nothing.” He pulled the covers back and pushed himself up with his muscular arms and got out of bed. “I’m going to get in the shower. Don’t be late for the council meeting.”
I watched him disappear out the bedroom door. I waited until I heard the water turn on and the shower curtain pulled close before I reached over and rubbed the palm of my hand over the glass crystal ball of my other familiar, Madame Torres.
“Who is it that you seek? Or shall I say who seeks you?” The voice dripped out of the confines of the ball.
“I am open to who seeks me or the dangers surrounding my dreams.” I could feel the fear in my voice as it trickled through my vocal cords.
I closed my eyes and let all the sounds and the feelings of the dream drift away from my soul. When I opened my eyes, Madame Torres had turned her ball into a clear calcite crystal. The small bubbles floated deep within her. My eyes focused on the center of her. The answer within the depth of Madame Torres told me everything I needed to know.
“Mr. Prince Charming,” her voice was resigned.
Mr. Prince Charming yawned. He was curled up in a tight ball at the foot of the bed.
My white, ornery fairy-god cat reached his front legs out in front of him, elongating his arms and spread his claws apart before his entire body waved in full stretch.
I tried to swallow the lump that had formed in my throat.
The clear calcite turned lavender and Madame Torres’s face appeared, taking up most of the space within her ball. The orange turban perched on her head had a large diamond in the front where the material was gathered, bringing the memory of the man’s eyes from my nightmare back into my head.
The waves deep in the ball moved like those of the ocean. Her eyes magnified, the bright yellow eye shadow covered her lids, bright red rogue was rubbed along her cheekbones, her lips stained ruby red.
“Mr. Prince Charming must accompany you and Oscar on your honeymoon.” Madame Torres was well aware that Mr. Prince Charming was the last familiar Oscar wanted me to bring. Plus it wasn’t easy trying to get a cat on a plane or to a tropical island. “Or you shall not go.”
“So you do see some sort of danger?” I had to clarify. “We shouldn’t go on the honeymoon?”
“What?” Oscar walked into the bedroom with a towel around his waist and another one in his hand dragging it through his wet hair. “We are going on a honeymoon. I’m taking you to the beach and we are going to be secluded. No one around but us. And no magic.”
“Madame Torres said that. . .” I pointed to her but kept my eyes on his handsome physique.
“Madame Torres hasn’t been outside of Whispering Falls and wants to go.” Oscar sat on the bed and leaned toward my familiar.
The only thing he could see was her lavender liquid insides rolling around. He didn’t have the gift of reading crystal balls. Oscar was a wizard and he only knew how to use his wand. But I could see the look on Madame Torres’s face as she glared and then rolled her eyes in his direction. I smiled. Neither of my familiars got along well with my husband. I felt like I was constantly brokering peace between them.
“I’m going to head to Locust Grove and finish up my paperwork so we can be on the plane in the morning,” he said in a stern voice. “Don’t you think I’m a nervous wreck about flying? I’ve been to the beach a bunch but we always drove.” He sat down on the edge of the bed next to me. “You are nervous about flying in a plane.” He kissed my forehead. “It’s really fun. I’ve flown several times and you are going to love it. Promise.” He criss-crossed his heart with his finger.
. Mr. Prince Charming wasn’t happy with Oscar’s observation. He batted at us and darted off the bed.
I patted Madame Torres on the top of her ball when Oscar left the bedroom. I peeled the covers off me and got out of bed. There was so much to do before Oscar and I left and staying in bed worried about a nightmare that may or may not come true wasn’t going to check the to-do items off my list.
I tooled around my cottage and got ready for the day while I waited for my coffee to brew. I loved where I lived. It was small and cozy. It had only one bedroom and bath along with the family room and a kitchen. But the view was undeniably the best feature. I leaned over the kitchen sink and stared out the window, overlooking the magical town I called home. Whispering Falls, Kentucky.
The morning sun was dripping over the mountains and spotlighting all the cozy shops that held secrets only the members of the village understood. Like Oscar, everyone who lived in Whispering Falls had a magical power. In mortal words we’d be called witches. In our world we considered ourselves Spiritualists.
My homeopathic cure shop, A Charming Cure, was my cover for my spiritual gift of potion making. It was a gift I had gotten from my spiritual side of the family—my father’s side. I grew up in Locust Grove, a neighboring town about twenty minutes away, with non-spiritualist Darla, my mother who didn’t like to be referred to as Ms. Heal, Miss Heal, Mrs. Heal, or Mom. So I called her Darla. She was a mortal and tried to use my father’s family journal to create homeopathic cures, but it wasn’t until she died and I got my hands on the journal did the recipes come to life.
Growing up, Oscar and I lived next door to each other in Locust Grove and it wasn’t until we were in our mid-twenties that Isadora Solstice came to Locust Grove and told us of our real heritage, along with introducing us to the magical village of Whispering Falls. It was here that we embraced our gifts and made it our home. Oscar was a police officer in both Locust Grove and Whispering Falls. It wasn’t until a few months ago that we finally got married, but had yet to take a honeymoon.
It was easy for mortals to drop everything and go on a honeymoon, but it was different for us. Well. . .for me. My two familiars kept me safe from the outside forces and knew things before they happened. The nightmare for instance. I didn’t have them a lot, but when I did, I had to be on high alert. I couldn’t help but think I was having one because I was leaving the comforts of our small town like Oscar had said.
“I can’t worry about the what if’s,” I said and poured myself a hot cup of coffee to go and made a mental note to grab some Mr. Sandman Sprinkles from my shop. Mr. Sandman was the best potion I had created to help me sleep. Though. . .I’d promised Oscar “no magic” on the honeymoon, but I was sure sanity trumped it.
, Mr. Prince Charming was perched on the back of the couch. He walked it like a tightrope and jumped off at the end. He stood at the front door. When I opened it, he darted out and down the hill toward Whispering Falls. His tail swayed back and forth. He was on a mission. I shook my head and locked the door behind me. He was like an old man in the village. Every morning he made his rounds to all the shops and greeted them.