Allison [Witchy Woes Book 3] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Michelle Hasker
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
eBook Description: When a spell to undo harm goes awry, six witches find themselves knocked out by a powerful spell cast by the newest member of their coven. At first, everything falls apart, but then Allison watches as first Tamara and then Candace fall in love. While she wants that same thing for herself, the guy she's in love with doesn't even realize she's a woman. The solution to her dilemma? A makeover. Don't miss the first two books in the erotic fantasy paranormal series from Michelle Hasker, WITCHY WOES BOOK ONE: TAMARA and WITCHY WOES BOOK TWO: CANDACE
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2008
This eBook is part of the following series:
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23 Reader Ratings:
"If you liked the first two books of this series, you will like this one too. Ms. Hasker is still tickling my fancy with this series and I am looking forward to the next installment!"--The Romance Studio
"The potential for comic mishaps are fully explored and exploited by Ms. Hasker: the only people in the story who are "in the know" emotionally speaking are Allison, Brian, and Brian's girlfriend Marie. This unknown element keeps the pace moving, and the reader reading in anticipation; I found myself chuckling as I quickly turned each page waiting to see what would happen next. Once again, Ms. Hasker has a hit on her hands, if possible taking her game to an even higher level!"--Simply Romance Reviews, Received an Outstanding Read
"Candace! You made it!"
Allison rolled her eyes and turned to watch Candace hurry toward them. Even though she was a dear friend, Candace frustrated them all with her lack of promptness. They joked that she'd be late for her own funeral.
It was too cold to stand outside. The longer they took to set up the faster she'd freeze to death. Allison growled and turned to look at the others again.
At least Camryn and Sandra were back on task now. As soon as Camryn finished laying out the altar items, Sandra handed her the besom.
"As I sweep, may the besom sweep away all negativity and clear this circle for our work."
As Camryn spoke, a thrill of excitement raced through Allison. The rest of the coven had other things going for them, but for her, this was where she was most comfortable. Most at home.
Sandra had her job and her role as High Priestess. Candace was the friend. She was the life of the party and had more friends than Allison had acquaintances. Macy was the quiet one. She was smart, very smart. So smart it sometimes scared Allison what she knew. An encyclopedia of never ending facts. Tamara ... she had problems. Lots of them. But she never let them down anytime anyone needed something, Tam was there. Camryn, too, even though she was new and a lot of trouble. Camryn was also overeager and hyper. She often went above and beyond when asked to accomplish a task. Once she calmed down, that woman would be a force to be reckoned with.
A sense of calm filled her as Allison took her spot in the circle. Once Camryn finished sweeping, it was Candace's turn. As north, Candace always went first, and her power never failed to amaze Allison. All of their powers.
Candace took her spot and lifted her hands up to the heavens. "I call upon light and earth at the north to illuminate and strengthen the circle."
The ground shifted beneath them, sending a surge of energy through the circle. Good, they could use all the help they could get. Especially with Camryn casting the spells.
Allison lifted her hands up and closed her eyes. "I call upon light and air at the east to illuminate and enliven the circle."
A strong wind blew through the circle, whipping around her. It was a relief to see her own magic was strong tonight, as well.
"I call upon light and fire at the south to illuminate and warm the circle," Tamara said as she lifted her hands up.
Heat rushed through the circle, leaving Allison feeling not only energized, but warm.
"I call upon light and water at the west to illuminate and cleanse the circle," Macy said.
A huge wave broke and crashed on the shore, water coming to the edge but not into the circle.
Sandra lifted her athame and stepped forward. She stopped in front of the altar and said, "I draw this circle in the presence of the Lady and the Lord, that They may aid and bless us in our work." As Sandra walked around the circle, the earth vibrated underneath them all.
When Sandra finished, the ground shifted slightly and settled, but no one acted like they noticed. Continuing with the ritual as if nothing happened, Sandra chanted a spell to protect them while they cast tonight's spells. Finished, Sandra moved back to the altar and blessed the salt which she then sprinkled in a circle around them. As it touched the ground, the color turned bright white, and rose, wrapping over them until they were sealed inside a huge bubble.
Again, they went around the circle, starting with Candace. "I call upon you, Guardians of the North, Element Earth, to guard this circle. By the body and strength that is ours, we ask you to attend this rite." Before she finished speaking, a loud rumble sounded underneath them.
Allison lifted her hands to the sky, power coursing through her. She loved this feeling.
"I call upon you, Guardians of the East, Element Air, to guard this circle. By our breath and thoughts we ask you to attend this rite." Another strong gust of wind whirled around the outside of the circle. Allison grinned and turned to Tamara.
"I call upon you, Guardians of the South, Element Fire, to guard this circle. By our energy and consumption of life we ask you to attend this rite." As Tamara finished, flames leapt up surrounding the circle, reaching high and wide, like a protective shield.
"I call upon you, Guardians of the West, Element Water, to guard this circle. By our emotions and blood in our veins, we ask you to attend this rite," Macy said.
A light rain drizzled down upon them, then ceased as Sandra lifted her arms up in the air, holding her athame up high. "Hail to the elements! Welcome to the Lady and Lord! We stand between the worlds surrounded by light, love and power."
Sandra poured wine onto the ground for the Lady and Lord, and turned to face Camryn.
"I know we've done spells before, but the power you five hold is amazing," Camryn said.
Allison silently echoed her. Even though Camryn should have kept quiet, it was true what she said. There was an amazing amount of power within the coven.
"Are you ready to begin, Camryn?" Sandra asked.
"I'm not sure where to start. I did spells for love, money, health, a job and looks."
"Did you follow my instructions?"
"Yes, I did. But--"
"No buts. Get your spells in order, Dear. Job, looks, health, love, money. Please start when you are ready."
Camryn nodded, but looked nervously around the circle. Sandra piled some small oak twigs inside the cast iron cauldron. Camryn rifled through her papers until she produced the one she wanted. After reading the paper, Camryn reached for the frankincense candle and lit it.
"Please cleanse me, as I reverse the spells I cast in ignorance."
The flame flickered, but held strong. Then Camryn drew in a deep breath, looked down at the sheet and repeated the spell. Fortunately, this time the flame stayed strong and true. When Camryn finished, she dropped the paper in the cauldron. It burned with a brilliant flash of light.
Camryn smiled and looked around the circle before she pulled out the next spell. As she read this one her confidence was more assured, and Candace prayed Camryn didn't mess up the spells.
When finished, Camryn dropped the last paper into the cauldron. A huge flame leapt out and split into five separate flames. One shot at each corner, and the last at Sandra as she stood next to the altar.
A flame flew straight at Allison, expanding as it did, until it was a wall of flames that slammed into her chest. It felt as if she were breathing in flames as her insides burned. A second burst hit her hard enough to sweep her off her feet and send her flying back into a sand dune.
Screams echoed around her as she clawed at her chest, trying to relieve the agonizing pain.
Allison sat up with a gasp, the remnants of her nightmare refusing to clear out of her head. She clasped one hand over her heart as she focused on her breathing and tried to calm down.
Ever since that fateful night on the beach, nightmares haunted every minute of her dreams. She didn't know how she had survived the last few months with as little sleep as she had been getting. If it weren't for Ken, she'd have lost it a long time ago.
A quick glance at the clock showed her it was already six. She'd never get back to sleep now. With a sigh, Allison untangled herself from the sweaty sheets and stumbled down the hall to the bathroom. She turned on the water and then walked the rest of the way down the hall to the kitchen.
In the dark, she grabbed a mug out of the cabinet and pulled a tea bag out of the tin on the counter. She plopped it in the mug and added some water from the sink. With another sigh, she slid the mug into the microwave, set the timer for two minutes and then walked back down the hall.
When she tested the water, it had reached the warmest it would get in this tiny, crappy apartment, so she stripped out of her sweat-soaked nightgown and climbed under the harsh spray. While she tried to wash away the nightmare, Allison thought about how many things had changed since that night.
Tamara and Candace had both found mates. There would be handfastings coming up soon, she could tell by the way they were so loving and happy. But there would be no handfasting in her future. She was plain and unattractive. In fact, she couldn't remember when or who she'd last dated. Men saw her as a buddy. Including Ken, her best friend.
But that was okay. He was the only one who understood her, and she needed him in her life like that. His brother Brian, on the other hand. Well him she wanted, but in a totally different way. Brian was one of those guys she wished would notice her as a woman and not as a buddy. Or worse in this case. His brother's best buddy. But she had known the entire family too long for that to change now, so she just lusted after him from afar.
Allison turned off the now freezing cold water and shivered as she wrapped a towel around her. As she began the time consuming task of drying her waist-length brown hair, her thoughts went back to Tamara and Candace. She longed to have someone who she could call her own. Someone who would love her for who and what she was, and not make demands on her.
The phone rang as she was dressing. Instead of answering, she just listened for the message.
"Hey, Alli. I wanted to let you know I'll be over in a minute with some coffee and doughnuts. I hope you're ready for a busy, busy day. I've got a lot planned for you. For the new you."
Allison sighed and brushed her hair before pulling it back into a bun. She needed to get a trim. The weight of her hair was giving her headaches.
When she sat down at the table with her tea, Ken knocked on the door. She groaned. It was too early to deal with his energetic presence. She didn't know how anyone could stand to be around him in the mornings.
"Smile, Alli girl. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. The first day of the new you. Aren't you excited?"
"Yay." She rolled her eyes and closed the door behind him.
"The first thing we're going to talk about is money. I don't understand why you choose to live in this rundown apartment when you have enough money to buy something nicer."
"I've been here for years, Ken."
"And you hate change. Yes, yes. I know that." Ken set the doughnuts on the table and glanced around the tiny living room, kitchen, and dining area. "Really, Alli. How can you stand it here? I know you keep it clean but it's so damn small."
Allison sighed and opened the doughnut box. She grabbed one covered with white powder and prayed it had vanilla icing in it. She needed a jolt of sugar, but not the rush from caffeine that chocolate would give her.
As she bit into it, Ken devoured a chocolate frosted chocolate flavored doughnut in one bite and grabbed another. "So I thought we'd start with the salon. A haircut, then new glasses from the optometrist, and followed by some new clothes."
"You sound possessed." Allison shook her head as he wolfed down that doughnut and leaned back, rubbing his stomach. "Are you sure we need all of that? New hair, glasses and clothes? Wouldn't just a haircut and an outfit or two be enough?"
"Allison, you're a beautiful person who hides behind boring and unflattering clothes. You asked me for help, and you're getting it. In fact, my new girlfriend Marie is going to do your hair and nails at the salon."
"Nails too?" Allison glanced down at her fingers. "I like them the way they are. I don't want gaudy colors or fake nails."
"You just come with me and we'll let Marie work her magic."
"I don't know." At his determined look Allison sighed. "Okay, if you say so."
She had wanted a new her, and she'd asked Ken for help. So what if she now found it unlikely she'd find someone even with a makeover? If they didn't love her for the old her, then what did she want them for? But she'd already asked Ken, and now he had recruited his girlfriend to help.
"I'm telling you it's a trap!" Julia stamped her foot and threw a romance novel at him.
Brian caught it and glanced at the cover. A couple embraced in a passionate kiss. The hero had dark skin and hair past his shoulder blades, while the heroine was a dead ringer for his sister. Minus the odd green color she'd died her hair yesterday.
With a smirk, he looked up at Julia and showed her the cover. "When did you pose for this?" Her green eyes flashed fire at him as she shook her head, whipping her long green tresses around her face.
"I don't pose for romance novel covers."
"Well, at any rate, you're a dead ringer for this chick." Brian flipped the book over and read the back cover. "While on her way to meet her fiancÚ in the New World, Desiree O'Hallahan meets her destiny when dashing pirate John Silvers raids their boat and takes her hostage."
"Enough! Enough already!" Julia laughed but shook her finger at him. "You need to stop making up bad back cover blurbs. And you call yourself supportive."
"It's not my fault you write this stuff."
"Trust me, it reads better than your made up blurb."
"Being abducted by a pirate isn't my fantasy, but now I know yours. Does Dale know? He might want to borrow my pirate costume so he can sweep you off your feet."
"Shut up. Besides, you're missing the point."
"And what would that be? Allison, sweet little innocent Allison, is trying to trick our brother into marrying her?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying!"
Brian laughed. The idea of Allison trying to vamp herself up was preposterous. Add in Julia's idea that she wanted to marry Ken, and he was hard put not to roll on the floor in laughter.
"You haven't seen her lately. I have!"
"Okay, Julia. Let's just say for a moment, that you're right. What reason would she have for trying to marry Ken? She's got more money than him, and a successful job."
Julia gaped at him. He chuckled, knowing he'd won that point. She sputtered, probably trying to work up some evidence in her favor.
"Look, Sweetie. I know you're just looking out for Ken's best interests, but you've loved Allison like a sister all these years. I can't believe you'd suddenly turn against her. Someone like her would be good for Ken. If he was going to fall in love with her, then he'd already be in love with her. A makeover isn't going to make him love her."
"You have no clue." Julia walked up to him and tapped him on the forehead. "I've read so many makeover and best friend stories. The heroine is always secretly in love with the hero, but he never notices her until she changes her appearance. Then wham!" She punctuated it with a light punch to his heart.
"Geez, Julia." Brian laughed and rubbed his hand over his heart. "Hit me for real next time, why don't ya?"
"Then it's too late. She seduces him and marries him before he comes to his senses."
"Hey ... didn't you write a story like that?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Julia crossed her arms and glared at him.
"Yes, you do."
"Maddie's Makeover. Wait!" He tapped his finger against his chin. She was rather fond of that topic. He knew there was more than one makeover and best friend story in her back list. "What about Shannon's Surprise? Or Making Ms. Right?"
"Look," Julia growled as she poked him in the chest. "I know what I'm talking about. And how do you know about all my stories? Do you actually read them?"
"You're my little sister. What do you think?"
"Oh, God." She groaned and buried her face in her hands.
"I particularly enjoyed Taming Tara. The taste of BDSM in there was very ... realistic. Did you research it firsthand?"
"God damn it!" Julia hit him again. "You're the biggest pain in the ass I know."
"That's why you love me so much, and I'm a voice of reason, not a PITA."
"Please, Brian. Believe me on this. Allison is trying to get Ken to marry her. I've seen the way she looks at him. She loves him."
"No more than she loves you or me."
"Why don't you follow them today and find out?"
"You heard me. You don't have to work today. It's your chance to follow them and see firsthand for yourself." Julia looked smug and self-assured.
"Damn it, Julia. I have plans. This was going to be my day to catch up on my," he glanced at the book in his hand, "reading."
"I think Desiree will keep until you get back." Julia pried the book from him and smirked. "They're going to the spa and salon on Main Street. You know, the cool, hip one."
"Yep." Julia grinned. "Now I gotta get back to work. I have a deadline to meet."
"You owe me big time for this, Julia."
"Not if I'm right, Brian. If I'm right, then Ken will owe you for saving his ass."
"But if he loves her..."
"Then she wouldn't need to trick him and trap him into marriage."
Brian sighed, but Julia turned and walked through the far door into her study. Sometimes living at home with his brother and sister was enough to make him go batty. * * * *
Brian arrived at the salon and found Ken standing next to Allison as she looked at hair colors. With her hair up in a towel turban, she did look younger and prettier. Especially without her old lady glasses on.
"Can I help you?" A young blonde came up to him with a sexy smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes.
"Um. I know this is going to sound really bad, but do you see that couple over there?"
She turned and looked at Ken and Allison. "You mean Ken and Allison?" She turned back to him with narrowed eyes.
"I'm Ken's brother Brian, and I want to keep an eye on them without them noticing."
"Are you kidding me?"
"No, I'm not."
"Then you'll have to let us work on you."
He glanced down at her too tight, white, button-up shirt and read her name tag. "Excuse me, Marie."
"No. If you want to stay in here and spy on your brother, then you're going to need to get a facial. I recommend a complete facial. And those eyebrows..." She shivered. "We definitely need to take care of them."
"You don't understand--"
"I don't think you understand." Marie glared at him. "We are a business. If you want to be in here then you need to be a customer. Besides, if you don't want him to know it's you, once he sees you it'll be too late. A facial will hide most of your face."
"Ohh." Brian glanced around. She had a point, there wasn't anywhere for him to hide except behind some potted palms, and that would be obvious. "Okay, a facial it is. But I need to be near enough to keep an eye and ear on them."
"No can do. See, those chairs are taken. But, what I can do is to seat you across the room where you can watch them through the mirror."
"Okay. Anything. Julia will pickle me if I come home without the scoop."
Marie giggled and rubbed her hands together as she led him over to a chair. Suddenly, he wondered what he'd gotten himself into. * * * *