Sorcery and the Single Girl

Sorcery and the Single Girl

by Mindy Klasky


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AUTHOR'S PREFERRED EDITION!A cozy paranormal romance by USA Today bestselling author Mindy Klasky.Librarian Jane Madison's life has turned upside down since she discovered she's a witch. The local coven has issued an invitation she can't refuse-work a spell to protect their new safehold or lose her beloved arcane books, her sassy feline familiar, and her brooding astral protector, David Montrose.But the coven's test isn't the only challenge Jane faces. There's her new boyfriend, a handsome Brit who seems determined to distract her from magic. And a witchy friend who has a distinctly loose grasp on arcane ethics. Not to mention a long-absent mother, a mojito-loving best friend, and a boss who expects Jane to step up to the next level in library management.Is sorcery the answer to all of Jane's problems? Or is magic only another name for disaster?The Washington Witches Series includes:Girl's Guide to WitchcraftSorcery and the Single GirlMagic and the Modern GirlCapitol MagicSingle Witch's Survival GuideJoy of Witchcraft"Dreaming of a Witch Christmas""Nice Witches Don't Swear"100218mkm

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611383225
Publisher: Book View Cafe
Publication date: 10/27/2013
Series: Jane Madison Series , #2
Pages: 396
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere in the world through stories. She never forgot that advice.

Mindy's travels took her through multiple careers - from litigator to librarian to full-time writer. Mindy's travels have also taken her through various literary genres for readers of all ages - from traditional fantasy to paranormal chick-lit to category romance, from middle-grade to young adult to adult.

In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her endless to-be-read shelf. Her husband and cats do their best to fill the leftover minutes.

Read an Excerpt

Once upon a time, I thought that being a witch would make everything easier.

Yeah, right.

There I was on another Friday evening, leaning against the counter in Cake Walk, the Georgetown bakery owned by my best friend, Melissa White. Over the summer, I'd started helping Melissa close up every Friday night, after I left my job at the Peabridge Library. My assistance gave us a chance to catch up on our weeks, and then we conducted always-needed mojito therapy.

I was just waiting until we could turn the sign on the door from Walk On In to Walk On By. I could already taste icy lime juice and rum, mixed with mint and nearly frozen seltzer water in a chilled tumbler. Summer in Washington was always hot, and this late August day was no exception.

I held a glass of iced tea against the pulse point in my right wrist and tried to forgive the bakery's air-conditioning.

After all, it was doing its best to beat back the swampy heat. My red-shot curls frizzed against the back of my neck, and I was pretty sure that my kohl liner had smeared around my eyes. So much for drawing out the emerald glints trapped inside my hazel irises. Anyway, did that stuff ever work outside of fashion magazines?

I probably should have taken a page from Melissa's book and ignored makeup altogether-after all, it was just the two of us girlfriends. The two of us, and a pitcher of icy mojitos.

Since therapy had not yet commenced, however, I took a deep swallow of mango-lime iced tea and tried to explain to Melissa. Again. "I know that it shouldn't matter. I dated Scott for twelve years-twelve years! And I only saw the I.B. for twelve weeks."

I.B. That used to stand for Imaginary Boyfriend. Now, it stood for Idiot Bastard. Or Ignorant Boor. Or Irritating Boil. Get us going, Melissa and me, and we could continue the game for hours.

The I.B. The man I'd set my heart on. My friends and family had all agreed to refrain from using his name. He didn't deserve a name.

I sighed. "It's been ten months. Ten months, and nothing. Not a glimmer of a hint of a scintilla of a possibility on the romantic horizon. I'm never going to date again."

"Jane Madison, never is a very long time," Melissa said.

"I don't think that I can seriously take romance advice from a woman with fifty-two first dates under her belt in the past year."

"Don't exaggerate," Melissa said with a good-natured shrug. "There were only forty-one."

I shuddered. Forty-one. Forty-one nights of sitting at a table for two. Forty-one nights of coming up with witty and compelling Conversation Topics, five per date. (Okay, I knew that Melissa reused many of them, but still!) Forty-one nights of putting on perfect dating clothes, of combing out perfect dating hair, of squelching down perfect dating jitters.

And what did she have to show for it? A Friday evening with me. Me, a DVD of Casablanca,and microwave popcorn.

As if she'd read my mind, Melissa brushed her palms together, a businesswoman ever in charge. "We'd better turn on the air conditioner upstairs, or it will be hot enough to make the popcorn without getting anywhere near the microwave."

Melissa lived in a comfortable apartment above her bakery. Her little home was perfect in every way-except it didn't have central air. In fact, it had a wheezing window unit that was probably Carrier's prototype. You know. Willis Haviland Carrier, the inventor of the air conditioner. I said Iwasalibrarian. We accumulate a ridiculous amount of trivia.

Actually, Melissa's contraption could get the job done, if we gave it enough time. The only problem was braving the oven of an apartment long enough to turn the rattling thing on. She waited for me to volunteer to step into the swamp that was her living room, but I merely shifted my wrist against my icy glass.

"Come on," she finally said. "Rock, paper, scissors." Melissa and I settled all our disputes with the childhood game. We might be immature, but we'd never had a serious fight, not in the twenty-five years that we'd been best friends. Now, we counted to three, tapping our right fists against our left palms, and then we displayed our choices- paper for me, rock for Melissa.

"Paper covers rock," I said, trying not to gloat.

"Yeah, yeah," she said good-naturedly. She turned to the steps in the back corner of the bakery. "Keep an eye on things while I'm upstairs. And don't do anything I wouldn't do."

Well, that just opened up a huge realm of possibilities, didn't it?

I turned to the gigantic stainless steel sink at the back of the bakery, ready to wash a few dishes and get Cake Walk shut down for the night. It was the least I could do, since Melissa was braving the air upstairs.

In fact, I'd been practicing a water spell; I thought that it would be perfect for a little kitchen cleanup. I'd worked through it with my familiar, Neko, three times in the past week, trying to get my mind around the controlled whirlpool that the magic required.

Not that Neko excelled at helping out with water magic. When I'd first met him, he'd been frozen into the form of a black cat statue. I'd awakened him with my very first spell. He still retained a lot of his feline features, even though he'd remained a f lesh-and-blood man for ten straight months. Okay, not straight months. Not precisely.

Neko had turned my little home upside down more than once with his parties and his exploits and his boyfriends-of-the-week, but when magical push came to enchanted shove, he'd been there for me, helping me to focus my powers and learn new ways to use my gifts.

Even when I wanted to work on water spells.

After a week of practice, I'd succeeded in gathering up water from the faucet, and I could consistently get the miniature windstorm spinning in the center of my old farmhouse sink. Each time I tried to factor in dish soap, though, my concentration fell apart, and I was left cleaning up a froth of bubbles. Or a slick river of soap. Or an ocean of foaming water, ankle deep on my kitchen f loor.

I bet that the Weird Sisters in Macbeth never needed to worry about these things. They just hired some sniveling apprentice to scrub their cauldrons clean. Eye of newt, wing of bat....

I decided that it was wiser to use conventional cleaning methods in Melissa's bakery. No reason to endanger pastries and pottery alike. Shaking my head and promising myself that I would master the spell, I reached for a sponge.

Before I could add soap, though, the bell over the door jangled its jaunty greeting. I turned around with a ready smile; I knew how to treat Melissa's clientele when I was at the counter.

And I almost sat down in the sink.

The man who stood in the doorway was drop-dead gorgeous. I couldn't compare him to a particular movie star- he was like the best of them rolled into one.

He seemed utterly unperturbed by the August heat; there wasn't a hint of sweat on his brow, on his lip, anywhere about him. His short blond hair lay perfectly, each strand cooperating to set off the strong lines of his cheekbones, his jaw. His eyes glinted in the early-evening sunshine, a blue so light that they seemed like glass. He wore a crisp white shirt that looked as if it had just left an ironing board, and his jeans fit well enough that Levi's should pay him for the advertising. His shoulders were broad, and his waist was narrow.

He had to come from the Midwest-corn-fed, small-town, a football quarterback if I'd ever seen one. There were country songs written about this man. He'd dated the head cheerleader; they'd been the prom king and queen. He had wanted to stay on the farm, take over for his daddy, but his mother had presented him with egg money she'd saved through the years, begging him to leave Kansas, to move to Washington for college, for a business degree.

He had broken his father's heart, even as he'd made the old man wipe away a surreptitious tear of pride. He still called home every Sunday afternoon at four, to catch up with his parents after church, after the mid-afternoon meal they called dinner. He tried to describe the big city to them, to fill them in on his life on Capitol Hill, but they never truly understood.

"I say, are you still open?" he asked.

A British accent.

Okay, so maybe I got a little carried away. It could happen to anyone. A Brit, though... That was even better than a Future Farmer of America.

I knew that I was supposed to be a levelheaded woman. After all, I had two graduate degrees-in library science and English. I was supposed to know better than to swoon over a man's good looks, to melt because he smiled at me, to fall at his feet because he spoke the Queen's English.

So shoot me. I was a fool. I'd always had a soft spot for a British accent.

Obviously, plenty of Englishmen were jerks. I knew that, too. But my track record wasn't so great with the standard American issue. And if you asked me to define my perfect man, to write up a quick summary of what I was looking for and place it in an online-dating profile, those crisp consonants and plummy vowels would be near the top of my list.

"Um, yes," I said. Brilliant. Witty. Yeah, that's me.

"Have you any Lust, then?"

"Excuse me?"

He winced and then smiled ruefully. "A friend sent me. She said that you sell Almond Lust, and that I couldn't walk by without trying a piece. In fact, I'm to buy up all you have and bring it to a dinner party this evening."

Oh. Almond Lust. One of Melissa's specialties.

Well, maybe in some cultures a stinging crimson blush was considered attractive. After all, those British women were all fair skinned. My dream man was probably used to a gentle companion who blushed the color of a summer sunset. I could hope.

"Of course," I managed to say. I pointed to the pottery plate of shortbread confections, their thick chocolate layer covered with toasted, sliced almonds. At least my Code Red nail polish was smooth and unchipped. Chalk one up for the colonial team. "We have four left."


Again, that f lush spread to my face. Pastry, I reminded myself sternly. He was only commenting on the pastry.

I found a paperboard box beneath the counter and began to transfer the Lust. "Do you work around here?" I asked, intent on drawing him out before he walked through the door, before he disappeared from my life forever. "I do now. I've just accepted a new position in Arlington." Arlington. Just over the river. Not in my backyard, but close enough for me to imagine seeing him again. "What do you do?"

"I'm in acquisitions."

Acquisitions. A lawyer, then. My skunk of an ex-fiancé, Scott Randall, had been a lawyer. I felt my shoulders stiffen, but I ordered myself to take a deep breath, to smile, to act like lawyers were my favorite people in the world. After all, if I was going to hate all lawyers, I'd have to move out of Washington.

I punched a few keys on the cash register and announced the price. My British friend reached into his pocket and pulled out a money clip. A money clip, with stylized art deco lines that made me think of the statue of Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the golden god delivering the torch of knowledge to all mankind. I'd never seen an American man use a clip. I bit back a heartfelt sigh.

"Blasted American bills," he muttered with good humor. Blasted! He said "blasted"! You couldn't get any more British than that!

He shook his head as he slipped off the clip. "You Americans don't have the sense to make your money different colors. Force a poor sod to sort through every last bill to find the right one."

He'd complicated his task by forcing the money clip into double duty; he had at least a dozen slips of paper tucked next to his cash. He smiled at my quizzical look. "Receipts. I'm terrible about filling out my expense account."

I smiled, anxious to keep even this stilted conversation going. "Receipt!" I exclaimed, like a parrot that had mastered a new word. "Do you need one?"

"That would be lovely, actually." I pressed a button on the register, and it spit out a curl of paper. By then, my Brit had finally found the appropriate bill. I calculated his change, wishing that I could think of something else to say.

Monty Python. Upstairs, Downstairs. Pride and Prejudice. Bridget Jones. I didn't think that any of those was likely to spark a deep and meaningful conversation. Certainly not enough of one to get him to ask for my phone number.

And so, I collected his change from the register. I counted it into his palm, and no one could really blame me if I let my fingers slip against his. The touch lingered only a moment, just long enough for him to curve a smile and say, "With these coins?"

I had no idea what he meant, but I was eager to prolong the conversation. "Pardon me?"

"It's an old nursery rhyme. Mother Goose, I think. 'With these coins I find you. With these words I bind you. Keep our secret, silent be. Speak to no man, not of me. Diddle dum, diddle dee, fi, fo, fum.'"

When all I managed was a puzzled smile, my mysterious Brit laughed and shrugged at the same time, saying, "I suppose our nurseries had different rhymes." He shot his cuff and glanced at his watch, clearly eager to be heading out to his dinner party. Reluctantly, I made a show of tucking in the lid of his paperboard box. I took a printed sticker from the roll that Melissa kept by the register and pressed it onto the box for good measure. At least all the guests at his dinner party would know the source of the delectable treats he carried.

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Sorcery and the Single Girl 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Before the local Georgetown coven accepts her as a witch, Jane Madison must perform a creditable deed worthy of this skilled group. She knows she is not ready, but keeps studying the GIRL¿S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT for the day she can prove herself.-------------- Meanwhile as she struggles with her training as wannabe sorceress single swinger, Jane also has relationship issues with her best friend and her mother. However, her new boyfriend makes her feel good about herself yet is also lacking. Finally as she practices for a Halloween performance, her world crashes down on her as those who care about her no longer know her since her priorities changed---------------- The second Jane coming of age fantasy (see GIRL¿S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT) is an enjoyable tale that will be enhanced by reading the previous book first as the audience will be able to gauge how far (or little) the heroine has come in meeting her objective. Readers will enjoy Jane¿s efforts to be good enough to be accepted by the local coven and how her endeavor causes friction with her best friend and her mother as wiggling noses bewitches no one in Mindy Klasky¿s humorous whimsical tale.---- Harriet Klausner
tyesenpitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice, fast read. So glad Jane Madison does what she did at the very end of the book and can't wait to read the next one.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second in a series, the followup to Klasky's A Girl's Guide to Witchcraft. In the first, Jane Madison finds out that she is a witch, with a familiar, Neko, and a warder (teacher and guardian) David. In this one, she is set a challenge in order to become part of the powerful DC area ccoven.Jane has to learn to balance the need for intensive study about witchcraft with her job as a librarian, her duties to family and her best friend, and her romance with Graeme, who seems her ideal man. Overall , the characterizations are good, and the depiction of witchcraft is pretty accurate. The only thing I found rather unbelievable was that having been badly betrayed by a man in the first book that Jane would enter so easily into another relationship with a somewhat mysterious figure.Recommended.
Taelac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As enjoyable as the first book in the trilogy, our librarian friend discovers the value of her independence.
dulcibelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sorcery and the Single Girl by Mindy Klasky - I didn't like this as well as Klasky's first effort. Jane just seemed too unaware, too gullible, too needy in this outing. Yeah, maybe she's still getting used to the fact that she is a witch and that not all witches are "good", but she still should have recognized Haylee's motives (for example) using "real world" smarts. Still, it wasn't bad enough to swear off Klasky. There's supposed to be a new book out in October. I'll have to make a note.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first book in this series but this was disappointing. The first 600 pages were full of romantic drivel and the story line was far too slow. It did pick up again in the last few pages but that was far too late. What a shame!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this installment. You got to know Jane alittle better and understand her child like quirks. It drags alittle with flashbacks to her younger self but over all a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charaters are fun to read. I feel a connection tothedmwheni read
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missieann More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed her style, it was a fun and easy read. I enjoyed the characters and nothing too complex. I don't like trying to read a novel when I can't pronounce names and no problem here, thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read. It's light and and entertaining with just the right amount of humor mixed in. The story comes together nicely and the characters are entertaining.
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