Read Magic and the Modern Girl Online

Authors: Mindy Klasky

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Fantasy, #Contemporary, #Occult & Supernatural, #Humor, #Topic, #Relationships

Magic and the Modern Girl

BOOK: Magic and the Modern Girl
4.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Praise for MINDY KLASKY

“Fans of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted, Inc. series will find much to love in Klasky’s zesty blend of fantasy and romance, as well as her winsome heroine.”


Booklist

“This is an irresistible tale of power and love, friendship and acceptance. The main character’s constant and often rambling internal dialogue is surprisingly charming and insightful, endearing readers to her playful quirkiness and private insecurities.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“What fun!
Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft
is a charmer of a story from start to finish. Its appealing heroine gives whole new shades of meaning to the occupation of librarian. With her great characters and delightful prose voice, Klasky really brought this book alive for me. Recommended highly.”

—Catherine Asaro, award-winning author of
The Misted Cliffs

“Klasky emphasizes the importance of being true to yourself and having faith in friends and family in her bewitching second romance featuring fledgling witch Jane Madison.”


Publishers Weekly

“The entire cast of this book comes to life, making it almost painful to witness Jane’s misplaced trust and inherent naiveté. Keeps you entranced from start to finish.”


Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Sparkly, magical fun! Jane Madison is that perfect combination, a powerful novice witch with a train wreck of a love life and the best friends a witch ever had. I couldn’t put it down!”

—Jennifer Stevenson, author of
The Brass Bed

Also by
MINDY KLASKY
and Red Dress Ink

Sorcery and the Single Girl

Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft

Magic and the Modern Girl

MINDY KLASKY

To Joan Craft and Melissa Jurgens—
every witch should have
friends like you to stand beside her

Contents

Acknowledgments

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

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In the end, colleagues, friends and family are responsible for the continued existence of Jane Madison—my crazy witch-librarian would not live inside these pages if not for the support and guidance of many wonderful people.

Countless thanks to all of the “book” people who not only kept Jane alive, but who made her experiences richer and more complete. Richard Curtis continues to win the award for most supportive agent ever; I could not write without his frequent and generous gifts of time, career guidance and moral support. The Red Dress Ink crew has been phenomenal as always. Mary-Theresa Hussey, Margaret Marbury, Elizabeth Mazer, Adam Wilson, everyone who works so hard behind the scenes—I cannot thank you enough!

As always, I owe thanks to the “library” people who worked beside me throughout this book’s creation—the library staff at SNR are some of the finest professionals I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and for supporting me through Writing Marathons, National Library Week and hosts of other evils.

My family has been there every step of the way as well—Klaskys and Timmins and Maddreys and Fallons, who always are ready with a phone call or a recipe or a letter to let me know that they support me on this crazy road.

Mark continues to be my anchor, day in and day out, as I plot my way through sometimes stormy writing seas. I could never play this writing game without his constant, unquestioning support. I simply cannot thank him enough.

To correspond with me and keep track of my writing life, please visit my Web site at www.mindyklasky.com.

1

C
omputers are the modern world’s way of controlling witches.

No need for burning at the stake. No need for hanging. No need for crosses and prayers and good citizens of Salem driving elderly women from their midst because butter won’t set. Just give a witch a computer, and watch her magical abilities come to naught.

I stared at the blue screen of death on my library computer and swore softly under my breath. This could not be happening to me. Not now. Not when I had spent the past six hours composing a brilliant—if I do say so myself—presentation about the James River plantations and their impact on the growth of colonial America. Without saving the file. Even once.

I should have known better.

After all, I’d been a reference librarian at the Peabridge Library for long enough that I knew my ancient computer couldn’t be trusted. In the past year, we’d only had the budget to upgrade three of our machines—the sleek new ones used by our patrons at the public access desk.

I knew better. I should have saved every single word. Only a fool would have gone on for more than a page without protecting herself. I had just gotten so wrapped up in my work—for the first time in weeks—that I’d forgotten. Now, the mouse was dead. The keyboard was dead. The entire computer was locked up.

And the worst part was, I knew what I had to do. I knew that I had to press the power button, turn off the damn machine and lose whatever brilliance lurked inside what passed for its silicon mind. I’d be lucky if it kept my title page: Jane Madison, Reference Librarian, Peabridge Library, Washington, D.C.

I felt as stupid and as frustrated as when my ancient laptop froze, six months before. At least the laptop was at home, in the cottage that I enjoyed as a rent-free perk from my under-paying library job. I could rant and rave there, threatening to throw the metal-and-silicon doorstop out the window, knowing that I had the privacy of colonial gardens to spare me from disapproving neighbors’ delicate ears.

And to think, I’d hesitated to accept living in the cottage two years before. Of course, at the time, I hadn’t known that there was a treasure trove of books on witchcraft lurking in the basement. And, of course, I’d had no idea that
I
was actually a witch, capable of using those books. I would certainly have embraced the idea of the cottage a lot sooner if I’d known those little details.

Even if I’d known the heartbreak my laptop would cause when my entire, carefully constructed catalog of witch’s books disappeared into the electronic ether with one computer-based blue screen of death a few months ago.

Yeah, I should have learned to be wary of computers on that deceptively mild spring day. But I’d told myself that the catalog disaster had been inevitable. I’d created the listing on my ex-fiancé’s computer, and the stupid machine was cluttered with bad memories and no-one-knew-how-many electronic viruses.

At least I’d found a silver lining in that catalog destruction. I’d needed a break from my witchcraft studies. After taking a year to figure out that I actually
was
a witch, and another year to discover that I never, ever wanted to be a member of the snooty local coven, I’d spent six months totally immersed in my esoteric supplies.

I had organized bags of runes. I had stacked boxes of crystals. I had refined my original book catalog, not once, not twice, but three times, creating a system that was so carefully cross-referenced, I could find any one of my possessions in a heartbeat.

Losing that catalog on the laptop, though, had brought me back to my senses. I mean, witchcraft didn’t pay the bills. I needed to devote some energy to my day job, to the Peabridge, if I ever wanted to get ahead in the fiscal world. Even if the library was less and less my dream job and more and more the place where I showed up to work, so that I got a paycheck every two weeks.

The weeks had slid together, clumped into months. How much time had gone by? Could it actually be six months since I’d worked a spell? Was it really already August? I shook my head and felt my mobcap shift on my humidity-challenged hair.

Yeah. A mobcap. You know, those muslin caps that milkmaids wore in the eighteenth century? Deporting me to the cottage had not been my boss’s only cost-savings measure. All of us librarians wore colonial costume to help bring in patrons (and with patrons, hopefully, dollars). And I was lucky enough to serve as the library’s barista as well, mixing overpriced coffee drinks for our eager researchers.

At least I’d managed to eliminate the frothy cappuccinos and time-consuming lattes from our caffeine repertoire. We’d reduced our offerings to hot tea, hot coffee, and—for a few select patrons—a shot of chocolate syrup, to make a mocha. We compensated for the change in beverage service by offering up baked goods—delicious cookies, brownies and cakes created by my best friend, Melissa White.

Melissa, in fact, was number one on my speed dial. She would understand my disappointment about my library presentation computer disaster. Still glaring at my peacock-blue monitor, I picked up my phone. One ring. Two. Three. She must be helping some customer in her increasingly popular bakery. “Cake Walk,” she finally answered, just as I was considering hanging up.

BOOK: Magic and the Modern Girl
4.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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