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Authors: Melanie James

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Back to the Fuchsia

BOOK: Back to the Fuchsia
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Table of Contents

Excerpt

Back to the Fuchsia

Blurb

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Epilogue

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Excerpt

O
ne minute, we were in my kitchen in the middle of the night, the next minute, Darcy and I landed in a heap outside. The grassy field we found ourselves in was bordered by thick oak trees. By the way their twisted shadows stretched across the field, I could tell it was late afternoon.

“Meow, meow.” Darcy licked her paws.

“Ouch. Me, too.” I rubbed the knot on my thigh. “It feels like we fell…like perhaps we fell out of one of those trees.”

Something wasn’t right.

“This doesn’t look like home. Not at all. My wand! It must have fallen in the tall grass.”

A breeze chilled me, urging me to wrap my robe tighter and pull up my panda hood. I rolled onto my knees and pawed through the tall grass. “Help me find it, please.”

A once familiar sound pounded in the distance, and it rapidly grew louder. “A horse! It’s coming closer!” Then another familiar, but more alarming sound rang out; the fervent bays and yelps called out by a pack of hunting dogs in hot pursuit.

The mere thought of some killers hunting on my paranormal animal sanctuary was enough to make me nearly insane. The idea that they brazenly galloped around with hounds made me want my magic wand more than ever.

Darcy and I scratched at the ground like rabid squirrels. The search for my wand was futile.

“We’re out of time, they’re almost here. Without my wand, I’ll have to stop those hunters the old fashioned way.”

“Meow, meow, meow?”

“No, Darcy, we’re not going to hiss and scratch their eyes out. I’ll give them a good tongue lashing for sure. I might even threaten to call the sheriff.”

“Meow.”

“Lame? How is that lame? We can’t stoop to their level of cruelty.” No sooner had I uttered those words than we were surrounded by noisy terriers.

A man’s voice shouted, “Your Grace! There! Yonder, beast is trapped!” The accent was English and his speech sort of silly, as if spoken by an actor in a Shakespeare play.

I was still on my hands and knees. My oversized panda hood partially blocked my vision, but I could tell another man had dismounted. He rushed at me, the blade of his dagger gleamed. I was so frightened that I sprang up and screamed like a skewered banshee.

“Bloody Christ!” my would-be assailant shouted. “Magical beast! I command thee to shut thy mouth!”

“Magical beast? Where?” I looked over my shoulder, expecting a dragon. It took a minute of wide-eyed confusion until I realized I must have presented quite a sight crawling around in a full length panda robe. I dropped my robe to show that I was just an ordinary human. I suppose I should have acted more modestly, after all, I was wearing nothing more than a sheer pink negligée.

The man who had remained mounted fainted, and fell from his horse. Thankfully, the fall brought him back to his senses.

The man with the dagger smiled and nearly drank me up with his stare. “Squire, send forth a messenger to Heaven.”

“Yes, Your Grace. What shall it be?”

“Ask God if he is missing an angel, for it appears I have found one!” he said, returning the dagger to its sheath.

“Very witty, Your Grace,” replied the squire flatly, like he’d heard it said one too many times.

“Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it seems you’ve just attempted a cheesy pickup line on me. By the way, from the looks of your clothes, you two have lost your way to the Medieval Times Dinner Theater, or you’re the next Burger King mascot.” My jabs must have worked. The royal stranger was now the one looking dumbfounded.

“What is your name? Tell me, am I rescuing thee or capturing thee?”

“How about you tell me your names? So when I call the sheriff, I can tell him exactly who has been trespassing on my plantation.”

“Thou art a feisty wench! I shall tell you my name. Then thou shall know how to scream my name in my bedchamber tonight!” He nodded proudly to the squire. “’Tis another good one!”

“Yes, Your Wittiness.” The squire sighed.

“I am Charles, Duke of Suffolk, Earl of Sussex, and Master of Great-sex.”

Back to the Fuchsia

Tales From the Paranormal Plantation, Book 2

Melanie James

Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.

ISBN: 978-1-944003-48-7

Copyright © 2016, Melanie James.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Book Boutiques.

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, locales, or events is wholly coincidental. The names, characters, dialogue, and events in this book are from the author’s imagination and should not to be construed as real.

Manufactured in the USA.

Email [email protected] with questions, or inquiries about Book Boutiques.

Blurb

For some people, time travel is a fantastic daydream, but for Gertie O’Leary, it’s just another magically induced accident.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get weirder at the Paranormal Plantation, Gertie decides to jazz the place up with another DIY project.

Fuchsia’s a great color, don’t you agree?

Sure, it’s great. But after Gertie mixes her favorite color with a heavy dose of untried witchcraft, creating a strange time-warping side effect, she and her paranormal posse land in the court of King Henry VIII.

You know what isn’t great? Your friend loses her memory and tries to steal your boyfriend, you can’t figure out how to get back home and worse, you’re accused of witchcraft!

Add in a pair of mischievous Sasquatches, along with a curious dragon and it spells certain doom for Gertie and her friends as they take their magical buffoonery to the sixteenth century!

Dedication

To all those who believe in magic.

Acknowledgements

TheRiot – Thank you for always having a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen when I need it the most.

Editing: AVC Proofreading

Proofreading: AVC Proofreading

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs, Tibbs Design

Prologue

I
’ve come to the conclusion there is a rare magic more powerful than any magic found in all the spell books at the Witches Union.

Surprisingly, it’s not a charm, or spell. It’s not a potion or enchantment. No, it’s the love shared among my circle of friends. Sounds awful cheesy, doesn’t it?

I know, I groaned too when I wrote it. But I’m a witch, so I can actually prove it to be true! How, you ask? Listen, I have quite a story to tell you.

First, there’s something you should know about magic, it never, ever comes with a guarantee.

There are times when spells go wrong, enchantments become mishaps, and charms become curses. All you have to do is check my personnel file at the Union. It must read like a Greek Tragedy. Yet here I am, still living, breathing and loving all creations. It’s all because of my friends and their beautiful hearts.

I’ll be honest. Sure, there are days when you might think you’d be better off going through life alone. Or you might even ask yourself, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” but we’re all human and we all have our off days.

In fact, I’ve nearly pulled my hair out over some of my friends’ antics. Just remember, in the end, it’s the people closest to your heart who see you through even the darkest of days.

I’ll tell you a story about something that happened to me. I found out that when the days spin away and you find yourself hopelessly lost in a time beyond yesterday’s faded shadows, friendship endures. It can even save you.

By the way, yes, I’m talking about accidental time travel. It’s real and it’s nothing like you’d expect.

Chapter 1

Give Me a Sign

D
arcy’s black fluffy tail curled around the base of the tree—her hiding spot. My cat couldn’t bear to witness the bludgeoning and pain-filled shrieks.

Squinting at my target, I shifted my weight and adjusted my stance. “Stay! Stay right there.” Holding my shiny victim with one hand, I brought my hammer down with all my might. I scored a direct hit.

“Plink.”

That was it, just a pathetic little “plink.” The nail, completely indifferent to the force exerted by my tiny muscles, mocked me. It was obvious, I would never know the satisfying feeling of driving a nail home with a single strike.

“Meow, meow.”

“It’s all right, Darcy. You can come out. I actually hit the nail this time.”

My fingers were still throbbing from the last three bashings I’d given myself. If you wonder if I can cuss, let’s just say each finger-crushing blow caused me to howl out strings of shockingly inappropriate words. I bet those garlands of obscenities still hang from the trees like some kind of vulgar Spanish moss.

The sign I’d been trying to nail to a tree flopped to the ground. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Meow.”

“No. I’m not going to get a bigger hammer. I’ll ask Brad. You have to admit, the man has skills. He knows just how to nail it.”

“Meow, meow.”

“That’s what she said? You too now, Darcy? We can’t let those boys rub off on us too much.” Even my cat was getting out of hand with the one-liners.

“Meow, meow.”

“Speak for yourself, you say? You know, you’ve got to start pulling your mind out of the gutter. We might be in the 21st century now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act like ladies.”

Now, I don’t know if I really believed what I was saying to Darcy, but a cat owner has to set a good example. Any mom will tell you, good parenting requires you to be a hypocrite.

Before resting the sign against the trunk of a large oak, I took a minute to admire my handiwork. I’d just made the sign the previous night, using my newfound colors of spray paint—the most wonderful colors I would never have imagined possible in 1873.

Neon green letters against a bright orange background clearly warned any visitors: Please, no musical horns allowed. Thank you.

Randy made fun of what he called the most polite sign in the country, but I don’t see how being rude would make people comply.

Darcy’s tail twitched against my ankle as we strolled back down the tree-lined alley to the plantation house. Olaf crossed our path and decided to block us, bumping his head against my arm. It was his way of asking me to scratch his back with the claw of my hammer.

Darcy sauntered on to the house, eager to sleep in her cat tower. After Oaf was satisfied, he picked up the old boot he’d been carrying and lumbered down the path to the bayou.

Alone, all I could think about was Brad. I couldn’t wait for him to come home. My heart and body yearned for something only he could provide. Let’s just say it had nothing to do with nailing up a sign and everything to do with an itch that needed scratching. Unfortunately, Brad was stuck on the nightshift and I had a few hours to kill until he got home.

It was still early and I knew I would find Randy in the kitchen. We’d gotten in the habit of chatting over coffee, or tea in my case, every morning.

That particular morning there was something I remembered thinking about the previous night and decided I should talk to Randy about it.

Sure enough, Randy sat by the table in his red silk robe. His long bare legs were crossed and his elevated slipper twitched somewhat rhythmically. His face was hidden behind the morning newspaper.

“Randy? I’ve a question for you. Have you ever carried on a conversation with someone and afterwards, you felt like you’d endured an ordeal, which left your head aching from trying to understand it? I mean, it’s if you weren’t sure if you were just handed some valuable sage advice or if you just suffered through fifteen minutes of incoherent babbling?”

Randy’s eyes never peeked out from behind his Sunday copy of The Times-Picayune.

He noisily sipped his coffee and chuckled. “Hmm. Incoherent babbling, you say? I know exactly what you mean. Long-winded stories, wild speculations, multiple trains of thought all tangled up into a big monkey knot. That’s quite a question coming from you of all people. Isn’t that what you’re doing now?”

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