Silver Bells, Curses & Spells
Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Andrea Benezier is a clumsy witch who can’t seem to control her magic. Setting someones hair on fire and messing with the weather are everyday mishaps for her.Eryx Castille is a pretentious billionaire who has come to claim what is his—the stores run by Andrea and her neighbors.
After the death of her parents on Christmas Eve three years ago, Andrea now hates the holidays and anything associated with it. When Andrea receives an unwanted gift, The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, she is sure Eryx is behind the book that keeps mysteriously appearing.
When Eryx questions her magic abilities it's the last straw in an already horrible week. In a fit of defiance she casts the Christmas Carol Curse and curses them both for seventy-two hours.
Will they survive this curse without killing each other? Things will get heated but will it be enough to melt the snow built up around their cold hearts? Or will they learn the true magic of the Christmas season?
Excerpt One:New Orleans attracts tourists from all around the world. During Mardi Gras, Canal Street is pack from corner to corner with hundreds of thousands of people coming to celebrate. I love to people watch. You can tell who is a tourist and who isn’t just by the nauseated look on their faces. Every now and then the smell of the drains wafts up out of nowhere, as locals we don’t notice the smell anymore. We were born into it, just like I rarely hear the steamboats on the Mississippi anymore. Feeling happier, I start humming a song I heard on the radio this morning. I’m so caught up in what I’m doing that I don’t hear it coming up behind me. I don’t have time to move out of the way either as a curtain of brown slush covers me from head to toe.
“Oh my God,” I gasp out as a freezing-cold clump of slush works its way past the collar of my jacket and runs down my back. I open my coat and pull it off of my shoulders quickly, trying to shake the slush free. “Frick, that’s cold.”
A car door opens on the road beside me but I don’t look up. I’m too absorbed in trying to wipe off the icy sludge.
“Are you okay?” a deep, throaty voice asks. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.”
I make the mistake of looking up. His voice sounds deep and smooth, and extremely sexy. The way the words roll off his tongue gives me chills that have nothing to do with the cold weather outside. Looking up, my eyes lock on the face the voice is attached to. Great, it’s Mr. Jackass.
“No, I’m not okay. I’m completely soaked and there’s no heating in my store to help dry me off. I’m going to be wet all day now.” I grunt, looking down at my boots with a frown as I stomp off the slush covering them. When I look up again I notice the asshole is smirking. “What’s so funny?” I demand.
“Sorry, my mind just went into the gutter.” He chortles while I stare at him with a dumbfounded expression. “You said you were going to be wet all day... I can help you with that if you want.”
It takes me a minute, but I eventually understand. “Really? God you’re disgusting. Just watch where you’re going in the future, Yeah?” I say as I turn, pulling my damp coat back on and stomp off to Carla’s bakery. When my back is to him I let a small smile play on my lips. “I said I was sorry,” he calls out, falling into step behind me. “What I meant when I told you I could help you out with your ‘wet’ problem was that I’d be happy to pay for your dry cleaning.” Yeah, of course he meant that.
I turn too quickly and slam straight into his hard chest. He’s holding up a twenty dollar bill and grinning. “I don’t want your money Mr. Castille, but if you want to help, I’ll tell you what you can do,” I suggest. “How about leaving my shop alone?”
“Ah, you must be Miss Benezier.” His grin turns into a sly smirk as he looks me up and down.
“Yeah, and?” I ask a little insulted by his tone. Furrowing my brow I make eye contact with him, silently warning him to be careful about what he says next. It’s in that moment I notice the unique and unusual color of his eyes. One is a cool ice blue and the other is deep emerald green. They are the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. My eyes wander on their own accord as they sweep across his face appraising his other features. He has a chiseled nose - not too big and not too small - with a small scar across the bridge, high cheekbones that frame his eyes beautifully, and a solid square jaw that looks rather intimidating but entirely masculine.
“You and the other residents, actually mostly you, are causing me a lot of problems,” he says, snapping me out of my hypnotic state.
“Can you really blame us? We don’t want to lose our shops and homes. Plus you’ve reduced the time period. I understand you own the block, but seriously? Some of these
people’s shops have been here since the building was built. Two weeks is not enough time to pack up a home, never mind close down a business.”
“You’ve already had a month. What have you done in that time?” he asks, his tone accusing and all business.
“Nothing!” I exclaim. “We thought we had more time.”
“Well, that’s your problem then. The first letter you received clearly stated the time period was subject to change,” he says with no hint of remorse or guilt. I don’t bother answering him—I just roll my eyes and walk away. “You obviously didn’t read it over or you would have known. Sometimes Miss Benezier, ignorance is not bliss.” He sneers slightly. Outraged by his appalling attitude I turn and stomp off again. The quicker I get away from this insufferable man, the quicker my murderous thoughts will dissipate. “I take it you don’t want me to pay your dry cleaning bill then?” he shouts after me. The only response he gets is the middle finger I throw over my shoulder.
“Come to remind me of my eviction date again, Mr. Castille,” I sneer.
“Actually, I’ve came to apologize for yesterday. I was rude and it was uncalled for. I’m sorry,” he says in a soft tone. I tap my foot rhythmically on the tiled floor, while pretending to examine my cuticles. “Miss Benezier?”
I look up suddenly. “Oh I’m sorry, I was waiting for the punch line.”
“I guess I deserve that,” he mutters.
“I got your package by the way.”
“The book and the incantation.”
“You’ve lost me.”
“You were the only person in my shop yesterday,” I say and go to retrieve the book. “You’re also the only person I know who quotes Scrooge,” I continue and show him the book.
“That book has nothing to do with me. I haven’t read ‘A Christmas Carol’ in years,” he replies, seemingly distracted.
“God, you’re an ass. Why bother lying, no one else could have left it,” I state to him.
“I might be an ass, but you are completely crazy. You should be locked away in a mental facility,” he argues back. “Magically appearing books and incantations? You actually believe in all this hocus pocus stuff. Do you actually believe you can do magic?” When I just continue to stare at him, he laughs. “Oh, this is just too funny.”
“I can do magic. I’m a witch and I’ll show you,” I say as I move to my Samhain altar, picking up the two large altar candles and bringing them back to the register.
“What are you doing?” he asks, his tone full of humor.
“You thought it’d be funny to play pranks and make fun of me by leaving a spell inside a book and leaving it for me to find,” I state.
“I didn’t-” I interrupt him—I’m too angry to listen.
“Let’s make fun of the crappy witch, shall we?” I stop my train of thought to concentrate. Letting my energy flow, I stare at the candles and with a puff of smoke, they light on their own. Eryx jumps back about a foot, while I quickly sweep the store with my eyes. Wow, it worked and nothing else is on fire.
“Maybe you should stop now,” Eryx laughs nervously.
With a new found confidence I decide to continue. Besides it’s funny watching him practically wet himself. “You mean you gave me a spell, but don’t want me to use it? Where’s the fun in that?” I ask, pulling the parchment paper from the book.
“I’ve already told you-” he starts.
“I know, I know, you didn’t leave me the book,” I say sarcastically, playing along. I open the paper and read over the incantation. “Pater noster qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, adveniat regnum tuum,” I begin. When the flames from the candle flare up, Eryx and I both jump slightly. Me in excitement that my magic is working, and him more than likely in fear.
“Stop!” he yells but I don’t.
“Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra, panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie,” I finish pleased with myself. In the wake of my words there’s a flash of lightening and a clap of thunder. A moment later the lights flicker and the candles go out. After a moment, the lights come back on. We stand there staring at each other, unsure of what just happened. When the wall clock chimes we both startle. Eryx is the first to break the silence.
“That wasn’t funny Miss Benezier. You’re crazy. Now I really can’t wait to tear this place apart,” he snaps, obviously shaken by what just happened.
“You know what, I’m done being bullied by you. Get out of my shop and don’t come
back until the third of January,” I demand.
“That really isn’t a problem for me, trust me!” he laughs, but it lacks any humor, and then turns to leave. He makes it as far as opening the door, but doesn’t go any further.
“You have to walk through the door,” I say slowly.
“I’m not an idiot, I know that,” he growls. “I just can’t go any further.”
“For a billionaire, you sure are stupid. Let me show you,” I say as I walk towards the open door, passing him and smacking straight into an invisible barrier. “What the hell?”
“Haha, very funny, you got me, now let me out,” he commands.
“This isn’t my fault,” I argue. “You must have given me a shady spell.”
“I. Didn’t. Give. It. To. You.” His voice grows louder with each punctuated syllable. I really don’t think he’s lying to me now.
“You’re telling me the truth, aren’t you?” I peer at him nervously. Oh no, this can’t be good.
“Yes!” he shouts sounding exasperated.
“Oh no.” I back away. Running behind my counter I pull out my laptop I use for my store from the cupboard beneath the register. “That means the curse was real, it worked and I don’t even have a clue what it was or what it did.”
“Oh great!” he exclaims. “Just what I need, a negligent witch. What are you doing?” he asks.
“I’m searching for The Christmas Carol Curse on the Elder witches’ website,” I tell him as I fire up the search engine.
“What does it say?” he asks impatiently in my ear as he peers over my shoulder.
“The Christmas Carol Curse places a spell over the witch or warlock who performed the spell and the intended recipient of the curse. The curse lasts for seventy-two hours, where the pair will visit their Christmas past, present, and their Christmas yet to come. The curse will place a barrier around the area the spell was cast in, with the cursed two stuck inside the area until it has run its course, blah, blah, blah.”
“What does that mean?”
“We’re stuck in this shop together for the next seventy-two hours.”
“How do we get out?”
I shrug because even I haven’t got a clue how to get out of this.
Hey, Voices here, I’m M.S. Murray the leader and spokeswomen for said voices. I’m their translator from brain to paper. I take all their ideas and turn them into books.
A bit about me.
I’m from the West of Scotland and have lived here all my life. I love it here.
I’m married to an amazing man who sometimes looks at me like I might need institutionalizing and sometimes thinks he’d love the room beside me.
I have two amazing children who I love more than life itself along with a hamster, a cat and a dog. All of which are mental too.
Don’t tell the dog or the hamster but the cat rules the house.
Writing is a dream for me. One I didn’t realise until later in life.
One day (not too long ago) I sat down and actually listened to the voices then started writing down their ideas. Since then I’ve not looked back.
If you like my books or if you’d like to see what other ideas the voices produce follow me on Facebook. I’m always happy to hear from you.