Title: Grandma Must Die
Author: Maureen Bonatch
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Carman has worn out more towns and last names than impractical shoes protecting the secret of her magic blood. But when a friend goes missing, and another is infected with a deadly spell, Carman must choose. Expose her magic blood by curing the spell—or stop the infection from spreading by killing the source…the grandmother.
Magic bounty hunter Dylan has scoured libraries of banned magic paraphernalia seeking a method to distinguish genuine witches from impersonators. He suspects unorthodox librarian Carman might hold this information tighter than the hair he’s dying to unleash from her bun. With a past as hidden as his sleeve of tattoos, Dylan discovers he’s been used to gain Carman’s trust and their passion risks more than mixing mortals and magic.
“What about that one?” Dylan pointed at a large book wrapped in plastic. “It’s bound to contain magic. I’ve never been able to open it.” His clipped words and sour expression conveyed his evident jealousy.
Carman recognized genuine enchantment without touching the book. Magic emanated from the cover like a sink with a leaky faucet, as if struggling to hold it within its pages. Common sense should’ve made her uncomfortable handling it. She should’ve been fearful of what the book might contain. Being a witch didn’t mean she could touch magic items without potential consequences. Witches more skilled than her suffered maiming or met unfortunate ends by dabbling in magic. She’d seen as much watching Anthony stirring basic spells. But fortunately for Dylan, she’d never been one to follow common sense.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, conjuring images of Abigail, Ellie, and Louise in her mind to boost her confidence. Tempering her unease, she concentrated on helping her friends as she placed her hand on the spine of the book. The plastic encasing it crackled, as did the book wrapped within. Obviously spelled to prevent anyone from opening it, but a spell hadn’t stopped her from opening the chest.
“Are those sparks coming out of the book?” Dylan took a step back. “Leave it on the shelf. You don’t have to take it out. I just wanted to know if any of these were hoax magic, not burn down the building.”
He touched Carman’s shoulder. “Ouch!” He hopped, shaking his hand. “Seriously, leave that one alone.”
But once she’d started Carman couldn’t stop, the book beckoned. Pressing its spine against her palm, begging her to search within the pages to find the answers she’d unconsciously sought her entire life. As she lifted the book, her scalp tingled and her hair elevated like a halo.
“Whoa.” Dylan shielded himself with his hands. “Put it back, slowly, because this is reminding me too much of the incident with the chest. Having my apartment blown up from magic isn’t covered in my rent.”
The plastic evaporated in a puff of smoke in Carman’s hands and the book unsealed with a sigh. She smiled, the welcoming warmth emanating from within its pages against her palms.
Why had Mother kept her from this? This is what she’d been waiting for.
As curiosity overtook his common sense, she detected Dylan’s cautious approach. He stood close enough to peer over her shoulder into her book, but far enough away to avoid touching her.
After the shockwave the last time their skin met, he probably worried he’d ruin another pair of pants. Carman closed her eyes, absorbing the power from the book. The delicious feeling evoked a sensation like melting chocolate, sweet and satisfying.
“I remember hearing about her, Esmeralda Wrath. I wonder if this was her book?” Dylan’s warm breath caressed her shoulder.
Carman opened her eyes and examined the page. To stare right at a photo of the most powerful witch of all time…her grandmother.
She dropped the book and staggered into Dylan when the book hit the floor. The book snapped shut and lay in front of her, taunting and tempting her with a soft whine. Her suspended hair collapsed as her magic deflated.
Dylan steadied her, placing his hands on her shoulders. “Are you okay? Did it burn you?”
“Where did you find this book?” She lowered her outstretched hands and smoothed them against her skirt. Tremors started in her palms and traveled up her arms. She hoped if Dylan noticed her shaking he’d blame the magic, and not the shock of finding out the true identify of her grandmother.
“It was with a lot of other items, including the chest.” He glanced from her to the book, apprehension creasing his face.
How did Dylan get one of Grandmother’s spell books? She wouldn’t have recognized her grandmother from the last name because she’d used so many names over her lifetime. Considering the age and power of this book, perhaps she’d finally discovered her grandmother’s original last name—Carman’s real last name.
She knew the name. How couldn’t she know the name of the first pure bloodline of witches? Her phone vibrated. It was her mother, again. Good, she had questions of her own, but she’d rather ask them face-to-face.
“I have to go.” Carman picked up her coat and walked briskly to the door, barely containing the urge to run.
“What? Why now? You can’t leave like this. We didn’t even talk about the chest.” Dylan stared at the book on the floor as if it were alive. “Are you going to put that back?” With the wrap no longer holding it, the book didn’t appear as ominous, but returned to the guise of a regular book, except for the low growl emanating from the cover when he approached. He stepped away, glancing with concern at his vulnerable toes.
“Leave it there, I’ll come tomorrow to finish.” She did want to see within the pages of the book and the other things stashed in the cabinet, but not now. She had too many questions for Mom after finding out Grandmother was practically magic royalty, as was she.
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If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
I’m going to make this really challenging, since I dress up for Halloween almost every year. I would be motivation. Many of us are seeking motivation in our lives and I’d love to be able to harness, and offer, motivation to all that I meet.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
Carmen is a sexy sassy witch librarian during a time when being a witch isn’t very safe. Grandma Must Die is a story filled with magic, romance, secrets, betrayal and growing up to find out who you truly are meant to be may not be who you thought.
Plus—no real Grandmas were harmed in the making of this fictional story. In real life everyone loves Grandmas (unless, of course, they’ve been infected with a nasty spell).
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Runs October 1 – 31
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Just a small-town girl, Maureen Bonatch is a novelist, healthcare content writer, and nurse leader. Maureen’s first novella was a paranormal romance published when blogs were a newfangled thing. Her most recent release is the second in The Enchantings series which features magic, motorcycles, and dark undertones in a contemporary world. She is currently working on editing drafts of several humorous paranormal romance and fantasy books, and writing a new urban fantasy series.
While she’s not busy writing or doing nurse-things, she’s being a mom to her twin daughters, bicycling in the beautiful woods of PA with her hubby, doing the bidding of a feisty Shih Tzu, and dancing as much as possible. She believes music can be paired with every mood, laughter is contagious, and that caffeine and wine are essential for survival.