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Authors: Christine Warren

Black Magic Woman

BOOK: Black Magic Woman
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This book was donated to Demonoid.me Public Library by semi enjoy

To Beth.

Because even though it took me twenty-some-odd years to realize I actually like having a sister, I now know I had a good one all along.

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

I have a confession to make: When I set out to write my first novel (the story that started its life as the e-book
Fantasy Fix
and later became
One Bite with a Stranger
), that was all I intended to do. You see, I had this idea for a story about a group of friends who wanted to help each other fulfill their romantic fantasies, and I thought it would be a hoot if one of those friends had a fantasy that should logically be impossible to fulfill—like a fantasy about meeting a smart, sexy, dominating vampire. So that was the story I told, and I honestly meant for it to end there.

I certainly never imagined that I would end up writing
more
than five books about the original group of women in
One Bite
. I owe the continuation of the world of the Others utterly to all of you. Without your encouragement, your letters and e-mails, your words at book signings, and your willingness to read about my Others, these books would never have existed; however, after nearly eight years and thirteen books (fourteen, including this one!) even I have to admit that this world of mine has gotten a tiny bit complicated; nay, even confusing.

A lot of that comes from the fact that six of those fourteen stories were originally published as e-books, but were later edited, rewritten, and released as paperbacks, but only
after
several new stories (ones that take place later in the timeline of this world) had hit the scene. For instance, remember
One Bite with a Stranger
? That book was originally released in 2003 as the first novel featuring the Others, but it wasn’t published by St. Martin’s Press as a paperback until 2008, well after books like
Wolf at the Door
(2006) and
She’s No Faerie Princess
(2006) had advanced the timeline of the world of the Others by several years.

I swear, I didn’t do this to confuse anyone. But let me try to clear things up now by telling you what the proper order of the Novels of the Others
should
be, in terms of the chronological order of the events in the books:

 

One Bite with a Stranger (
aka
Fantasy Fix)

Big Bad Wolf (
aka
Fur Factor)

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here (
aka
Faer Fetched)

Black Magic Woman
(this book)

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (Fighting Faer)

A brand-new novel (title to come)

Fur for All

Fur Play

Wolf at the Door

She’s No Faerie Princess

The Demon You Know

Howl at the Moon

Walk on the Wild Side

You’re So Vein

Born to Be Wild

 

That’s it. I promise.

And yet …

I can hear you saying, “But, Christine, you’re trying to confuse us again! I’ve never heard of
Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale
, and I’ve looked everywhere for copies of
Fighting Faer
,
Fur for All
, and
Fur Play
, and I can’t find them anywhere.”

The problem here is one of compromise. In an ideal world, I’d love to release each book in the order it appears on this page, but there are two problems with that: first, I can’t go back in time and fix the publication order that’s already happened; and second, if I released all of the old stories as paperbacks in the order in which they first appeared as e-books, some of you out there would be cursing my name for not writing anything new for you to read (and I really hate it when you get mad at me). By staggering publication so that you get one new original book, then a reworked version of a familiar story, and then another original book, I’m trying to give everyone a little something to look forward to. If I’m failing miserably, maybe I’ll at least get points for effort!

You may notice that while this book is being published in 2011, I’ve made a conscious effort to fit the events into my timeline so that they do, in fact, occur directly after the events of the book published immediately before it (
Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here
). This will hold true for the next several books in this series. After
Black Magic Woman
will come the new and improved version of
Fighting Faer
, now titled
Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale
, and the events in that book will take place immediately after the ones in these pages, followed by the events in a brand-new story, then
Fur for All
, and then
Fur Play
. If I’ve just confused you again, look back at the list above. I promise that list is chronologically correct and will not change.

From now on, I’m a reformed author and all my books will contain events that take place in the same order in which the books are published.

Unless I delve into time travel, but that’s another matter entirely …

 

With much love and sincere thanks,

—Christine

xoxo

Contents

 

Title Page

Dedication

Dear Reader

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Epilogue

 

St. Martin’s Paperbacks Titles By Christine Warren

Praise for
New York Times
bestselling author Christine Warren

Copyright

One

 

So now you know. Suffice it to say, you’ll never look at the world the same way again.

—A Human Handbook to the Others,
Author’s Foreword

 

Daphanie Carter had witnessed a lot of interesting things over the course of the last forty-eight hours, not the least of which had been her baby sister’s wedding less than five hours ago. However, the sight of a small, chubby red hand reaching out from under an elegantly draped reception table and groping among the cutlery really had to take the cake. Or in this case, the diet soda, which the hand curled around and began to ease slowly through the obstacle course of discarded dinnerware.

Daphanie blinked, but the hand was still there and making remarkable progress. Considering all the cutlery, porcelain, and glassware it had to avoid, the hand and the soda were cooking. And that was when it occurred to Daphanie that maybe the hand of fate came in a variety of shapes and sizes.

And colors.

It took less than ten seconds of fascinated observation before her curiosity overcame her. Casting a furtive glance around to be sure the rest of the guests were too preoccupied with each other to notice what she was doing, Daphanie reached for the bottom of the tablecloth and lifted it so she could duck underneath. Her silk maid-of-honor dress slid easily across the antique carpet as she settled herself cross-legged in the dim light of the little cavern. Directly in front of her, the owner of the red hand started and snatched the hand and the captured prize back so fast that the diet soda inside ricocheted right out of the glass and onto his demonic little face.

“Harpy’s tits!” the little creature cursed, wiping the sticky liquid from his face. Daphanie watched as he lifted the end of an incredibly long and currently dripping mustache to his lips and sucked out the moisture.


Baghk!
Diet cola! How do you humans drink that poison?”

“It’s an acquired taste,” Daphanie murmured, her fascinated gaze taking in the sight before her.

Standing less than three feet tall—probably more like two and a half, since he didn’t even have to crouch to keep from hitting his head on the table above them—the creature with the dislike of diet sodas looked like nothing so much as a comic-book rendition of a devil. He had dark red skin, marked here and there with black moles, and hair the color of coal, which he wore in a short, spiky Mohawk positioned precisely between the tips of his two pointy ears. The hairstyle stopped where his forehead started, or more precisely, just shy of the two stubby black horns that sprouted there, as if he’d just walked out of a painting of a mythological faun. He also sported the Fu Manchu mustache that grew long enough to tuck into his belt, had he been wearing one. Instead, he appeared to be decked out in a pair of toddler’s OshKosh denim overalls with the cuffs turned up over his tiny cloven hooves. The garment had apparently been altered further to allow for the pointed red tail Daphanie could see lashing behind him. All in all, he constituted the most amazing thing she had seen in a pretty amazing few days since her return to New York.

“I’d rather acquire a root beer,” he grumbled. “Doesn’t anyone drink root beer anymore?”

“Sure.” Daphanie stared at his face, finally noticing the little silver ring that pierced the end of his nose. It flapped a bit while he talked, making her grin. Seriously, the last couple of days were blowing her mind. In a good way. Hadn’t she been longing for something
interesting
to happen lately? Right before Danice had called to announce her engagement and add to the chorus urging her to move back to New York from her most recent home in Pennsylvania. “I mean, I don’t know if anyone at this table does, but I assume that there are people who do.”

BOOK: Black Magic Woman
2.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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