It's coming soon in print and audio (Kale Williams has signed on to voice Cosmo and John) but as of tomorrow morning, the book is digital only.
This is the first in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy (although, given the amount of world-building, I'm not 100% convinced I'm stopping at three books). It's a bit different from, well, pretty much everything I've done in the last few years in that I plan to write it quite quickly (I Buried a Witch comes out in November and Bell, Book and Scandal is *probably* the first book of the new year).
There are some other differences as well. It's a bit sexier than what I typically write now days, it's more romance-focused, there's a strong fantasy element. But though it definitely has that cozy, witch mystery vibe, it's still very much a Josh Lanyon book as far as characters and themes.
Cosmo Saville guiltily hides a paranormal secret from his soon-to-be husband. Thanks to a powerful love spell, uncertainty threatens his nuptial magic. But when he’s suspected of killing a longtime rival, he could spend his honeymoon behind bars…
Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith never believed in Happily Ever After until Cosmo came along. Falling head over heels for the elegant antiques dealer is an enchantment he never wants to break. But when all fingers point to Cosmo’s guilt, John struggles to trust what his heart is telling him.
As Cosmo hunts for the missing grimoire among the arcane aristocracy, John’s doubts grow. With an unseen enemy threatening to expose Cosmo’s true nature, the couple’s blissful future could shatter like a broken charm.
Please note: this is the first book in a three-part trilogy. While the initial and essential questions are answered—Will Cosmo find the grimoire? Will he go to jail for murder? Will he marry John?—by the end of the novel many more complex mysteries have been raised. In other words, this trilogy follows the structure of most fantasy series versus most mystery series—and that is because this trilogy is as much a fantasy series as a mystery series. :-)
I rose to ask Blanche if she had been in my office, but my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, and my heart bounded awake, all weariness gone.
I clicked, said in a voice I had not expected to sound so unsteady, “Hi.”
“Hey. I’ve only got a minute. What’s going on?” John asked.
I hadn’t expected him to call back. I’m not sure why. For all I knew, Andi hadn’t even removed the spell yet. Even if she had removed the spell, we were still engaged. He would still return my phone calls. It was silly to be flustered, but knowing what I did, I felt…off. Diffident. Like I was talking to a stranger. Because I was. I now knew that everything I had previously believed about him and about our relationship was false, or at least predicated on an illusion.
Worse than that really, because John had inadvertently been wronged through me. He had been forced into emotional intimacy, forced to feel things he had no wish to feel: desire, longing, loyalty, love. And there were practical ramifications too. We were buying a house together. There was already an offer on his old home. He had paid for half of this ridiculously extravagant wedding, and he had paid for our honeymoon: a two-week stay in Scotland.
So his brisk What’s going on? was a question I couldn’t begin to answer.
“Cos? What was that cryptic message about?”
I cleared my throat, said, “Sorry. I just…wanted you to know.”
He gave a funny laugh, a little exasperated, a little not. “Thank you. I do know. I also know you’re worried sick about the investigation, but everything is under control.”
The crazy thing was, after learning about the love spell on John, I hadn’t given the missing grimoire or Seamus’s death another thought until I’d seen the mob of reporters waiting for me.
“Right. Of course.”
He added lightly, “And I love you too.”
I made a sound that hopefully passed for amusement.
“Okay, well, I’ve got to go. Are you at home or at the house?”
“I’m at the shop.”
“I’m at Blue Moon.”
“I specifically told you to go home.”
“No, you didn’t. You said…” Actually, yes. He had said to go home. Go home and stay there. I hadn’t paid much attention because I never had any intention of going home.
“Yes, I sure as hell did,” John said in a tone I’d never heard from him before. Or rather, I’d never heard directed at me. “I told you to go home. I said don’t speak to anyone until you heard from me. I—”
“I haven’t spoken to anyone,” I cut in. “Not about Seamus. Blanche didn’t even know about it.”
“Goddamn it, Cosmo. Is the press there?”
I felt sick at that goddamn. I know it’s different for mortals, but within the Craft, a curse in the name of the Lord or Lady is…not something you would ever direct at someone you love.
“Yes. I didn’t speak to the press. They didn’t see me. I slipped in the back entrance.”
“I don’t understand why you would flout my orders. Do you not understand how serious this situation is?”
That flout my orders put my back up just a little.
“Certainly I understand. But I had to— I couldn’t not show up.”
“That is exactly what you could and should have done. What the hell is so important at the shop, it couldn’t wait a day or two?”
“I thought I’d have a look for Seamus’s note. To prove that he invited me to the Creaky Attic.”
“No one questions he invited you.” John added into my doubtful silence, “It’s immaterial.”
“Why would it be?”
John said curtly, “Reitherman’s after-hours invitation doesn’t address his actual state of mind, nor your state of mind in accepting the invitation. It doesn’t prove the two of you didn’t fall out in the course of your meeting.”
When I didn’t respond, he added, “Which is why you should have gone home as I asked. Blanche seems more than capable of running that place for a few days.”
The word days jarred me. The realization that this investigation might be something that went on and on for days, maybe weeks. It was not what I wanted to hear.
“If it’s going to be for a few days, all the more reason for me to check in with her!”
“There’s this new invention called the phone,” John said.“I bet you could try using that.”
Sarcasm. That was another new one. And although I’m known in my circle for being on the sarcastic side, it hurt.
I protested, “A few days on top of my already taking—”
I stopped, my heart seeming to deflate as I remembered.
“On top of already taking what?” John snapped.
“On top of having to take time off for our…honeymoon.” I added gruffly, “Assuming we’re still getting married.”
A sharp silence followed. John sounded strange as he replied, “Of course we’re getting married. What kind of comment is that?”
“I don’t know. I just… I’m sorry.” I stopped because it felt like I was making it worse with every word. What do they call it? Self-fulfilling prophecy? See, there is magic in the mortal realm.
“Look, Cosmo.” I could hear his struggle for patience. “You’re upset. I understand. Finish up whatever you’re doing and go home. I’ll call you when I can.”
“Yes. All right.” I took a steadying breath. “What about tonight’s rehearsal dinner?”
He was silent. “Damn,” he muttered.
I waited numbly for his decision.
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