Girl's Guide To Witchcraft

Girl's Guide To Witchcraft

by Mindy Klasky


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Which is more unlikely?

Meeting a single, straight, reasonably attractive, willing-to-commit man?

Or discovering a secret cache of magic books?

For good girl Jane Madison, neither has a shot in hell of coming true—until the day she finds a hidden room….

Now she's done a bit of experimenting and found a spell that makes her irresistible to men—even those who have previously ignored her. And another that turns a cat into her witch's familiar (a snarky, critical, self-absorbed man—pretty much a typical male). Though her impulsive acts of magic have brought a warder (sexy, grouchy, elusive and determined to stop her from using magic) down on her, Jane's not willing to let go of this fantastic new life.

Though she wonders about having things that aren't "real," she's having too much fun to stop. After all, no one ever said being a witch was easy….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373896073
Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Publication date: 09/26/2006
Series: Jane Madison Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her that she could travel anywhere in the world through stories. She never forgot that advice. When Mindy isn't "traveling" through writing books, she quilts, cooks and tries to tame the endless to-be-read shelf in her home library. You can visit Mindy at her Web site,

Read an Excerpt

They don't teach witchcraft in library school. Vermin—check. Mold and mildew—check. Difficult patrons—check. But there was no course in witchcraft, no syllabus for sorcery. If only I'd been properly prepared for my first real job.

I was probably responsible for what happened. After all, I was the one who recited the Scottish play as I pulled a gigantissimo nonfat half-caf half-decaf light-hazelnut heavy-vanilla wet cappuccino with whole-milk foam and a dusting of cinnamon."Double, double, toil and trouble," I said as I plunged the steel nozzle into the carafe of milk.

"What's that from, Jane?" asked my customer, a middle-aged woman who frequented the library on Monday afternoons. Her name was Marguerite, and she was researching something about colonial gardens. She'd had me track down endless pamphlets about propagating flowering trees.

"Macbeth," I said.

See. It was my fault. Everyone knows that it's bad luck to say the name of Shakespeare's Scottish play. At least for actors it is. Still, I should never have risked the curse. I probably deserved everything else that happened that day and in the weeks that followed.Every last thing.Even the— Well. No need to get ahead of myself.

I rang up Marguerite's coffee and crossed back to my desk. Strictly speaking, it wasn't necessary to walk by the online catalog. I didn't need to straighten the pens. I didn't have to set out more scratch paper. I wasn't required to organize the newspapers.

But all that busywork gave me an opportunity to walk by Jason Templeton's table.

Jason was my Imaginary Boyfriend. Oh, he was real enough.He just didn't know that he was my boyfriend.Yet.

Jason was an assistant professor at Mid-Atlantic University. He looked exactly like that movie star in last summer's blockbuster—you know, the one who suavely seduced two different women while he double-crossed the Mafia and stole the Hope Diamond? Except his hair was caramel-colored. And curly. And he was on the skinny side. And I've never seen him in a tuxedo—he's more of a J.Crew sort of guy.

Okay, maybe he didn't look exactly like a movie star, but when someone is your Imaginary Boyfriend,you give your fantasy a little breathing room....

In fact, since fantasy was my only romantic outlet these days, I gave my dreams a lot of breathing room. After all, they were the magical cure. My dreaming about Jason was helping me to move on, to get over the near-legendary Jilting of Jane Madison.

I knew I should be over Scott Randall by now. Any man who would choose climbing the law firm ladder at his firm's London office over being my beloved husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse....

Well, he wasn't worth having. Especially when he'd hooked up with some British slut his first week on the new job. And when he had the nerve to write to me—write to me!—and ask for my engagement ring to give to her....

But Scott Randall was the only man I'd ever loved. Really.

And how sad was that? I was twenty-nine years old, and I'd only loved one man. He'd been my high school sweetheart. I'd never even dated seriously in college; Scott and I had made our long-distance thing work.College,then grad school for me (twice-first for a worthless English master's focusing on Shakespeare,then practical library science!) and law school for him. We'd lived together in D.C. before he took off for London.

He'd dumped me almost nine months ago, and it still felt like a part of me was dying every time I looked at my bare left hand.

So,Jason Templeton was actually a great development for me. Even if I wasn't ready to confess my attraction to him. Even if I hadn't quite brought myself to take a risk,to move him from the Imaginary category to Real Flesh and Blood.

At least I had convinced myself that—however unconsciously—Jason came to the Peabridge Free Library to see me. Well, to see me, and to study the relationships between husbands and wives in Georgetown during the two decades immediately following the signing of the Declaration of Independence. My best friend, Melissa, said that boded well—he had a romantic soul and a scholar's mind.

I was certain that one day he would look up from the letters of George Chesterton.He'd reach for the sharpened pencil that I'd have standing ready (no ink permitted around the original letters),and I'd say something witty and sly,and he'd smile his gorgeous, distracted smile, and then we'd go out for lunch, and our scholarly discussion would turn to personal histories, and we'd take a long weekend drive to North Carolina to visit George Chesterton's ancestral home,and we'd stay in a bed-and-breakfast with a king-size sleigh bed and lace curtains and homemade scones, and...

I hurried over to my desk and opened the top drawer. There,nestled safely among Post-it notes and Hi-Liters was my personal copy of Gentlemen Farmers. Jason's first book. University Press of Virginia had brought it out the year before and it received great critical acclaim.Okay,it got one column inch in the alumni magazine,but they really seemed to like it.

At Melissa's urging, I had ordered a copy of my own; it had finally arrived in yesterday's mail. She was the one who made me realize that a scholar needed recognition. He needed support. He needed a loving helpmate.

Before I could carry the book over to get Jason's autograph, the phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was Gran. I could let the call go, but then my grandmother would leave her one message: "Jane Madison's grandmother." Answering machines had been around for decades, but Gran refused to believe that they could be trusted with substantive messages.She was eighty-one years old; who was I to try to change her?

"Library, this is Jane," I said, trying to sound crisp and professional.

"Make me a promise, dear."

Oh no. We were back in "promise" mode. Gran went through these phases.She would read articles or watch television or listen to the radio, and she'd dwell on all the ways that people could die. As she was fond of saying, I was the only family that she had, and she wasn't going to lose me without putting up a fight. (Not until I blessed her hearth with a great-grandchild, in any case.)

In the past month alone, I had sworn that I would not go hang gliding, rappel down the outside of the Empire State Building or practice free diving in the Caribbean. Those promises were a small price to pay, I suppose, for Gran having raised me.

Every once in a while, though, I wondered if my actual parents would have been so insanely concerned about my safety. I mean, what were the chances that I'd ever engage in such risky behavior, promise to Gran or not? But I suspected that the car crash that took my parents' lives started Gran on her quest for "promises."

"Jane," Gran said."Are you listening to me?" I'd waited too long to reply. "Of course. I was just helping a patron at the circulation desk." I glanced across the room at Jason, smile at the ready, but he didn't look up from his notes.

"Make me a promise."

"Anything, Gran."

"This is serious!"

"Of course it is. You have my best interest at heart. You always have my best interest at heart. I'm the only granddaughter you're ever going to have."

"Don't get smart with me, Little Miss Librarian."

I glanced at the clock in the lower right corner of my computer screen."Gran, I've got a meeting with Evelyn in five minutes. I'm going to have to run."

"Promise me you won't lick any toads."

"What!" I was so surprised that I shouted. Jason did glance up then, and I managed a harried smile, pointing at the phone and shrugging elaborately.Great.Now he'd think I was a crazed mime.

"Promise me you won't lick any toads. I read an article about South American toads—they have poison on their skin,and it makes people hallucinate,and those poor people get into car crashes, and they don't even remember to try to get out of the wreck, and they die terrible, fiery deaths."

"Why would I lick a toad,Gran?"I tried to stop the chain reaction at the first link.

"I remember that poster you had on your bedroom wall. "You have to kiss a lot of toads to find a prince."

"That was in fifth grade, Gran. And it was frogs. You know, from fairy tales."

"We form our basic personalities very early,"she insisted, and I could picture her shaking her head. "People don't change. You'll always be that fifth grader."

Great. Ten years old forever. I was doomed to spend the rest of my life with braces, stick-on tattoos and bangs. And I'd always be chosen last for the softball team.

I sighed. Maybe Gran wasn't so far from the truth. I did still have freckles, sprayed across my nose. And my hair still had too much red in the curls that hung halfway down my back. And my glasses continued to slip down my nose when I least expected them to, making me blink my hazel eyes like a dazed chipmunk. "Gran," I said. "I don't even remember the last time I saw a toad."

"All the more reason for me to worry."

What did that mean? "Fine, Gran. I promise. No toad licking for me."

"Thank you, dear." I could hear the relief in her voice.

"You'll see. You'll be grateful when the decision is staring you in the face, and you'll know what to do because you've already made up your mind."

"I'm sure I will, Gran." My acquiescence drifted into silence as I watched Jason stack up his notes. I knew his routine better than I knew my own; he was preparing to leave so that he could deliver his noon lecture. He was shutting down his laptop, stowing away his books, capping his pen, clasping his satchel... And then he was gone. No autograph for Gentleman Farmers today. No blazing Templeton smile. No anything."Oh, Gran..." I sighed.

"What's wrong, dear?"

She might have been an eighty-one-year-old woman. She might have believed that my fate depended on my ability to withstand the siren call of toads. She might have worried about the most absurd disasters ever to preoccupy a human mind.

But she loved me. She loved me despite my unsightly freckles and unruly curls and smudged eyeglasses. And it seemed like I was never going to find another person who would—never find a man who would.

I shook my head."Nothing, Gran. I just wish..." I closed my eyes. "I wish I had a magic wand. I wish that I could change things."


I came to my senses just in time. The last detail I needed to share with Gran was the existence of my Imaginary Boyfriend. She was still waiting for me to get over Scott, a man she'd never truly liked. If she heard about Jason, she'd immediately start planning our wedding, my baby shower, our child's first birthday party, all before I could complete my confession. I forced myself to laugh. "Oh, Gran, you know. Just things. Make the day sunny. Find the perfect shoes to go with my new skirt. Finish shelving our new books."

"Jane, you know there aren't any shortcuts. No magic wands in the real world."

"Of course not," I sighed, glancing at my clock: 10:30 a.m. sharp. "Sorry, Gran. I really do have to run to that meeting."

As I hung up the phone, I wondered what other promises I'd make before the month was over. I shook my head and crossed the floor to Evelyn's office. She sat behind her desk; it was half-buried beneath the piles of important papers that had cascaded across its faux-leather surface. I glanced at the prints on the walls—the regimented gardens at Mount Vernon and the colonnaded porch of Monticello—and I wondered once again how my disorganized boss could have chosen to work in a library collection based on order, harmony and the rational strength of the human mind.

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Girl's Guide To Witchcraft 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Maggie02SK More than 1 year ago
Jane and her friends are LOL funny. I want to find a hidden cache of books in my basement!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Fun, light read, didn't want to put it down until I was done. I loved all of the characters and can't wait to see what trouble Jane gets into in the sequels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very funny and enjoyable book and I really look forward to reading more from this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Smart, funny, engaging characters.
bookwormmamaNE More than 1 year ago
I picked this book solely on the cover and it being close to Halloween, and its ok...its a cute story nothing at all like i expected I wish there would have been more romantic "chick lit" style and maybe there is in the following 2, but it was a super easy read and goes with this time of year I guess!
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
2.5 Stars I'm at a bit of a loss with this review, this is the second time I've read this book and I must have loved it the first time around as I have all 5 in the series and have read them all. Unfortunately, on this read through I'm not quite sure why that is. I could just about remember the basics - librarian Jane gets her wage slashed but free accommodation to make up for it, discovers secret basement full of Witchy goodies and awakens her familiar, Neko, by accident which leads her Warder, David to turn up on the doorstep berating her; all mixed up with her family relationships changing, her crush on an academic who turns out to be a bit of a prat and her friendship with the baker. Everything that happens in the book is narrated by Jane and she is annoying - whether it is her constant ramblings about the academic or worrying that people are only nice to her because she inadvertently cast a love spell - her voice soon began to grate on me. No wonder her grandmother keeps asking her to make promises not to do weird stuff (like "promise me you won't kiss a toad") as she is just dumb enough to do anything someone tells her too. The humour in the book comes from laughing AT Jane rather than WITH Jane and leaves you feeling a little bit less than you thought you were; not that there is much humour to be entirely honest. My favourite character is Neko - he is the king of snark and completely fabulous (yes, in the Ru Paul sense of the word). Unfortunately, he doesn't make enough appearances in the book for my money. I am so not sure why I loved this one the first time through and I am now wondering if it is worth re-reading the rest of the series but I've dug them out now so I guess I will.
RuthiesBookReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read. I've never read a book that so incredibly funny and entertaining. We meet a resourceful librarian named Jane Madison and she's trying to just make a way in her life and figure out where she belongs. So as things are starting to look up, her job offers her to stay in the cottage behind the library for free as long as she works there. Ok, sounds good right. So her friend and her make the way of cleaning up the place. That night she suddenly finds a hidden key and it unlocks the basement door. Upon going down there, she finds a whole bunch of strange books and this strange looking cast sculpture. She opens one of the books and repeats the words on the page and WHAM, next thing you know there is a man standing there looking at her from where the cat sculpture was. Her reaction was quite funny, and then there is a knock at her door and she meets a warder named David Montrose, who sensed when she used her magic and came to stop her from using magic until she was properly trained. After meeting these strange people, she can hardly even come to terms that she might be a witch, but Neko presses her sometimes to try little spells. Which in turn brings the presence of David afterwards. The book is fast paced and Jane seems to be taking things with stride, even after using a love spell and causing the janitor at the library to take a very big interest in her, along with some other men, including her imaginary boyfriend, Jason. But what she doesn't realize until the end of the book was that the spell only affects the first man, not the others. The rest was all her and how she had changed after learning magic. I enjoyed this book. It was funny at times and made me laugh, especially Jane's grandmother who always made her promise to do something before she told her what it was, including meeting her mother, whom she thought had died when she was little. The characters were all fun, especially Neko, gay and very cool! Jane, grew throughout the book and became a very confident woman. And David, well, he grew to like his new 'job'. I'm not going to say much else except that I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!
tyesenpitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Super cute read, I really enjoyed reading about the character's trials and errors!
MisfitRhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Witchy Good Chick-litWhat would you do if you discovered a secret room full of dusty, ancient books filled with "magic spells" in your new apartment? Certainly not read one of them out loud. Unless you're Jane Madison, librarian at the Peabridge Free Library in Georgetown. Afterall, Jane specializes in colonial tomes and these certainly look old enough to be an old collection worth learning more about. Until the spell turns that funky cat statue into a walking, talking man with designs on making a snack of Stupid Fish, the neon tetra her ex-fiance gave her. If that isn't the way to make her regret her careless reading the visit from her new Warder, David Montrose, certainly is.Jane has to choose whether to learn the magic she's unleashed or give up not only the stash of spell books and magical paraphenalia littering her basement but her newly awakened familiar too. Could being a librarian and a witch be such a bad thing? Surely a little charm casting to improve her luck with the man she's been lusting after wouldn't be wrong. Now if only there were a way to keep using her magic without getting herself into trouble!Now this is one that just hit the spot. I'm not a real big chick-lit reader but it blends so well with witch stories that this one was a real treat. Jane definitely has some moments where she seems too-stupid-to-live when it comes to men but haven't we all had those moments? Her commitment to her librarian job and her love of it are cute, if a little boring at times. Still, she manages, through her strongly written voice, to make a reader care about what happens both to the library and her romantic life. Though a bit cliched, her overtly gay familiar makes for lots of funny moments. Meanwhile her love interests bring a lot of conflict that isn't fully resolved by the end of the book but will definitely lure readers into the next book. If you're in the market for something different from the dark or erotic urban fantasy and paranormal romances out there this one is worth a read. It's light without being too fluffy and paranormal without being gloom and doomy. Jane isn't a blank slate could-be-any-girl character, yet she manages to be highly likable and genuine. Enjoy!
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jane Madison has an ideal life, a librarian with a place to live on the library grounds. She finds a cache of books about magic and reads a page out loud. This leads her to a life of magic, a warden, who doesn't want her to use magic without thinking about it and a multitude of issues.It's a fun read. I enjoyed it.
Taelac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Typical chick lit with a twist. A librarian discovers a magical library in the cottage where she lives, only to find out that a girl's best magic is a little self-confidence.
Kace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't really know what to think of this book. Its a really great idea, a boring, going nowhere librarian finds shes a witch when she moves into the guest house on the libraries property. She is thrown into the world of witchcraft through a familiar, a nod to one of the characters on "Queer eye for the straight guy" who happens to be the cat statue, when not in breathing form, and of course a sexy warder, who polices her and her witchcraft. The thing is, is the writing seems kind of amateurish...its almost like shes following the map to writing, and while I think its a brilliant idea, sometimes the dialogue, or just the writing itself, has me grinding my teeth. There are moments it hits the mark and I enjoy it, but I'm still waiting for everything to click into place.The writing was a little hard for me, made more aggravating by the fact that this was a great story idea. I'm intrigued enough with the story itself that I'm going to keep going with the series, disappointments aside.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not bad. I haven't been reading much chick lit lately, because I just can't deal with the "fluffiness", but this was cute. A librarian discovers that she has the ability to cast spells. She also has a really messy life that she is trying to put back together. Cute, fluffy, but fun.
averitasm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it, Funny, Quirky and Witchy. I laughed so hard at some points in this book , i couldn't put it down and will go get the other two books pronto, loved the sense of humour and her familiar. How she learned she was a witch sounds like something that might happen to anyone, it's really cute. I would recommend this and another author with similar humour is Kyra Davis.
DreamingInFiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading about Reference Librarian, Jane and her discovery of being a witch. Cute, easy read.
Dizneyfreek More than 1 year ago
Awful! Lame character longing for a boyfriend. Heck, if I were him I'd run away from a twit like her! Didn't make it past third chapter. Waste of time but thank goodness it was free.
Sodapop74 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! Jane is a great character and she is very easy to identify with. I love her familiar Neko and everyone wants a best friend like Melissa! I do not really like Jane's choice in men though. This is really worth the read! The only negative I can say is that it got a little long toward the end. However, I have already bought the next in the series and I am reading it now!
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I really enjoyed this book! Can't wait to start the next inthis series.
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