When Endora Bast is asked for help by the same witch Tribunal that reduced her magic to almost nothing, she wonders why she should bother. Years ago, they punished her harshly, all because she’d fallen in love. Now, they desperately need her to save the entire witch community.
Endora is in for a shock when she’s told she must stop her old nemesis, Obsidian Ashmedai, before he regains his full magical powers. If she does, she’ll regain all of her magic and have her record expunged. If she doesn’t, Ashmedai will become the most powerful being in the world.
Only one other witch can help Endora defeat Ashmedai.
Marcus Morion, her former lover, was also punished by the Tribunal. As a penalty, Endora and Marcus were forced to remain apart, indefinitely. But now, without benefit of full magical powers, they are the witches’ only hope of survival. Failure might cost them their lives. But if they succeed, the happiness they’ve always yearned for will be theirs for the taking . . .
PrologueShe’d been in his dreams every night for forty years.
Actually, if he was brutally honest, and he had been of late, he’d admit she’d crossed his mind at least once every day of that time, too.
Seeking answers, he shuffled an intricate deck of tarot cards and laid several out in a Celtic Cross spread. The first card he placed in the middle of the table, putting the second card sideways across the first. The third went directly below. To the left of the cross he placed the fifth card. The sixth went to the right. The seventh card he positioned to the right of the entire six-card cross, level with the number four card. Cards eight, nine and ten were lined up in ascending order above the seventh card.
Then he studied the spread intently.
The King of Wands was upright in the first position. His current circumstance. So, he was handling the people around him with strength and compassion. True, he thought wryly. I’m just a compassionate sort of guy.
His light mood was instantly engulfed by resignation when he considered the card lying crosswise over the King of Wands. The Queen of Swords. That fit her completely. Amazing wit, inventiveness and grace. A strong ally. But the disturbing aspect of the Queen of Swords was her ultimate need to put her own interests first. He had no doubt this would be true, and he wasn’t certain he was ready for that.
Finding the Two of Swords in position three made his wry smile return. The best he could do at present was balance all the aspects of his life as skillfully as he could manage. Guess that’s going to take some doing, given what’s coming up.
The next two cards changed the tone of the reading. The Wheel of Fortune and The Tower. A negative situation over which he had no control, and the harbinger of bad luck, respectively.
Cards six through nine continued on the theme of unrest, danger and change. Very little to misinterpret here, he concluded. Cut and dried.
In the tenth and final position lay the Death card, reversed. It represented major changes for which he was ill-prepared but which were nonetheless entirely necessary. Change. Renewal. Possibly in a real sense death itself. Yet the latter really held little fear for him. Being what he was, he was philosophical about all aspects of the spectral universe. Physical death was just a shifting of energy on the metaphysical plane. Of course he was now fifty-nine, not twenty, and even though witches aged at about a third of the speed that humans did, he’d matured tremendously over the years. He liked the body he now occupied, yet he knew eventually it would break down and his light, the core of his being, would take some other form.
Right now, he had a bigger problem to worry about than dying, though.
She was coming.
And that scared the hades out of him.
About Laurie C. Kuna
I’ve been a reader since I was four and a writer since not long after that. I love words and the creative process, and it’s my hope that readers will enjoy my efforts to entertain them via those words, as I have been entertained by hundreds of authors throughout my life.
I know many readers also are or aspire to be authors, and my advice to those starting on the road to publication is to join a reputable writing group–whether literal or on-line–and to hang in there. I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Mid-Michigan RWA, my local chapter, since 1988. Five years after joining, I was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest. Then in 2002–nine years after the contest final–my GH entry, A WAR OF HEARTS became my first published novel when ImaJinn Books picked it up. So, no overnight sensation status for me!
I taught English in a public high school for 29 years before retiring and use that knowledge not only to write my own stories but as a free-lance line editor. I also enjoy public speaking, and have given speeches and workshops in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, often on my two favorite subjects–grammar and swearing. I’ve even had the privilege of twice speaking at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in Auckland, New Zealand. This time on American English.