Haven Hollow #1
Welcome to Haven Hollow, a town of monsters…
After dating a string of losers and banishing a poltergeist, I packed up my Los Angeles life and my eleven-year-old son, and moved… to a town in Oregon with a population of 680. Well, 682 now.
Culture shock anyone? Ahem, never mind that… New starts can happen anywhere, right?
I hope so because I need to start the next chapter of my forty-three year life pronto. So, why Haven Hollow? For one reason—there aren’t any witches here. And a witch can make a gypsy’s life… complicated.
Oh, right, I’ve put the cart before the horse…
Hi, I’m Poppy Morton and I come from a long line of Scottish gypsies—gypsies who possess magic and make potions to treat any and all ailments. It’s been my dream to open my own potions store and I’m finally going to do it—in the picturesque and small town of Haven Hollow.
Once my son, Finn, and I get settled in our two-story ramshackle, decrepit and rickety farmhouse (that happens to be bordering a cemetery), the nightmares start. And they won’t stop. Almost every night, I find myself face to face with a shadow monster—and its victim. And I’m fairly sure it’s the victim sending me the night terrors, wanting me to figure out the mystery of who or what murdered him.
But, I’m not really sure I want to get involved. Between facing a huge remodel of the above mentioned “house,” getting my son situated in his new school, opening my potions store and dealing with one of the ghosts from my last house who somehow thumbed a ride to this one, I’ve got my hands full. Actually, more than full.
Good thing I’ve got a few handsome neighbors to call on—Marty Zach, a self-professed ghost exorcist who just happens to have the sexiest smile, and Roy Osbourne, a bear of a man who looks like he alone coined the word ‘lumberjack.’
While I’m taken by Marty’s charm and Roy’s really-really-really broad shoulders, I can’t help but feel like this whole town is hiding a secret… and that’s the mystery I mostly want to solve, ghost visions be damned.
Haven Hollow #2
Time to walk softly and carry a big stake…
I had it all.
A powerful coven. A charming Victorian mansion. A sexy car. A couture closet. Credit cards up the wazoo, and an endearing familiar.
Actually, scratch that, Hellcat would never be described as ‘endearing’. More like: the bane of my existence.
So, I almost had it all.
Then a vampire came along and ruined it when he turned me into a Blood Witch.
Now, I’ve been kicked out of my coven, kicked out of the mansion, I have no credit to speak of, the Lexus is a thing of the past and, not only am I driving something from the 80s, but it’s also unapologetically yellow. And rusted.
But the biggest kicker of all? I’m still stuck with Hellcat.
Even though my luck has too much in common with a toilet, if Wanda Depraysie is anything… it’s determined. Determined to make a go of things all by myself—determined to start over.
So, I pack up the few items I can actually call my own and I move to the only place that doesn’t fall under coven ownership—a little town in Oregon called Haven Hollow.
Imagine my surprise when I find out a gypsy has already taken up residence in this afterthought of a town. Well, no worries, witch magic trumps gypsy magic and I’ll make short work of her. After all, Haven Hollow is way too small for the two of us.
No, the gypsy won’t be an issue. It’s my new landlord who’s going to be the death of me… possibly quite literally. Why? Because he’s none other than the vampire who turned me into a Blood Witch in the first place, thereby ruining my life.
Lorcan Rowe is the most infuriatingly smug, irritatingly determined and offensively nosy person I’ve ever met and if my magic were functioning correctly, I’d hex him into oblivion.
But, that’s just it—my magic is on the fritz. And that won’t do—especially when I need to open my enchanted clothing store, Wanda’s Witchery, yesterday.
When my fabrics go missing at the same time that my magic stops working, I can only blame one person: Lorcan.
Well, that vampire is about to learn a very valuable lesson—you don’t mess with a witch, blood or otherwise, because when the going gets tough, the tough get a really sharp stake.
Haven Hollow #3
After spending a couple of months in the quaint town of Haven Hollow, Oregon, I’m settling in and things are looking up.
My shop, Poppy’s Potions, is successful, I’ve got a best friend in ghost-hunter, Marty Zach and I’m dating the local Sasquatch, Roy Osbourne. My eleven year old son, Finn, is doing well in school and everything seems to be blue skies and golden sunshine.
Until my resident ghost, Darla, shatters a vial of Mystic Veil, a powerful potion that opens the door to the Astral Plane, inviting a migratory ghost, the Todhchaí, into Haven Hollow.
It’s not soon after that two centaur girls go missing, followed by a werewolf boy. And by missing, I mean it’s as if the air simply swallowed them, because there’s no trace of the children anywhere.
That’s when Fox Aspen, monster hunter, appears in Haven Hollow. With the story that he’s meant to apprehend the Todhchaí, Fox introduces me to the world of the fae and some very unsavory characters.
Meanwhile, the local monster council won’t do anything about the missing children, so I take matters into my own hands, never imagining how personal this case is about to become…
Haven Hollow #4
I’m what’s known as a Blood Witch—a witch who was half-turned by a vampire. I’m still in the process of learning how to reverse my condition by returning his ‘kiss’ to the vampire who blooded me, Lorcan Rowe.
But every time we attempt the spell, it goes awry.
Now it’s become a race against time; if Lorcan’s powers aren’t returned to him through a reversal spell, he’ll eventually lose his mind and there’s a very good chance he’ll kill me in the process.
As if that weren’t bad enough, through a misfiring of my unpredictable magic, I manage to inundate my house with bubbling mold spores. When the spores start whispering about murder, I know something wicked this way comes.
Between ghosts suddenly coming back to life, bodies found buried in the backyard, and vampires demanding my full blooding, my life is going from bad to worse.
I can only hope that the bane of my existence, who also happens to be my familiar, Hellcat, doesn’t breathe a word of this to my mother. If he does, I’ll have to add ‘burning at the stake’ to the list of things already going very wrong…
Haven Hollow #5
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so love should be in the air, right?
Except it’s not—by a long-shot.
My sasquatch boyfriend, Roy, and I have been doing nothing but arguing and I’m not sure how our relationship is going to survive…
Things haven’t been exactly hunky-dory, but they’re about to get a whole lot worse when Fifi Stenham, a succubus demoness, barges into my store, declaring she needs my help.
Fifi’s family, led by her incubus brother, Angelo, are trying to kidnap her, wanting to ensure she fulfills the succubus credo—seduce and reduce—aka seduce men and reduce their energy by siphoning it from them.
Fifi, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with her succubus nature and wants to divorce herself from it permanently—so she’s finally able to find true love.
When Fifi is doused with a magical potion that quadruples her sensuality, all the citizens of Haven Hollow lose their minds and it becomes a mad dash to whisk Fifi off to safety, safety being Roy’s sasquatch foothold, located deep in the mountains.
It’s a trip I won’t easily forget as relationships and friendships are tested, as well as the bonds between mother and son.
And what I learn from the resident witch will change the course of my life…
DEMON IN DENIM
Haven Hollow #6
Lorcan and I continue to attempt a spell that will return his vampire “kiss” and return me to the witch I once was, but the spell keeps failing.
To make matters worse, Lorcan is getting heat from the head vampire of his line, Rupert. Rupert wants Lorcan to either fully blood me or kill me. And while I’m not a fan of growing fangs, I’m really not a fan of growing worms.
When a stranger, who introduces himself as ‘Dev’, walks into my shop, and I suddenly start acting like a lovesick schoolgirl, I’m fairly sure magic is to blame.
Dev is definitely something supernatural, but I’m not sure what. All I do know is that he makes me feel alive in a very...carnal way. Soon, I’m having dreams that become a reality and I find myself getting more and more confused as to what’s real life and what isn’t.
One thing I do know is that I have to get to the bottom of Dev’s appearance in Haven Hollow and, more specifically, what he wants from me. Because it’s becoming pretty apparent that if he doesn’t want something from me, then he definitely just wants me…
Haven Hollow #7
So, this whole returning Lorcan’s vampire “kiss” (which would also allow me to shed my Blood Witch status) isn’t turning out the way I’d hoped. No matter how many times we attempt it, the spell fails. Not only that, but I’m starting to develop… ahem… extremely sensual feelings towards the incorrigible man which doesn’t exactly float my boat or power my broom, as the case may be. But, the worst side effect of our blood bond is the fact that now whenever Lorcan leaves, my body goes into panic mode—it actually feels like a piece of me is being ripped away.
Not only is my personal life one big, chaotic mess, but my business looks like it’s headed there too. Someone or something keeps breaking into my store, which should be impossible, owing to all the wards and hexes I’ve got protecting the place (enough to give Area 51 a run for their money). Yet, breaking in is exactly what they keep doing—why? I have no clue. It’s not like anything has been stolen, destroyed or otherwise missing. Instead, the intruder keeps leaving strange scratch marks in my wood floors.
Thinking things can’t get much worse, enter wedding journalist, Gemma McClain. Gemma, the bridezilla to end all bridezillas, has come to my store for a custom and enchanted wedding dress. Even though Gemma is human, she has lots in common with demons from the ninth level of hell. Harpy customers aren’t such a big surprise, but what is a surprise is the maid of honor’s mother who I could swear is something supernatural… and the fact that she seems to have interest in me is off-putting, to say the least.
With my professional and personal lives plummeting, I need some good news pronto. Unfortunately, when I find myself facing the fight of my life, that good news is nowhere to be found.
THE BLACK CAT COCKTAIL CLUB
Haven Hollow #8 (Novella)
The women of Haven Hollow aren’t your typical forty-something singles. Poppy’s a gypsy who creates potions, Wanda’s a witch, Fifi’s a succubus, Libby’s a zombie, Darla was once a ghost but now she’s corporeal and Bailey’s a medium.
When they find themselves forming an unlikely friendship over potion-brewing and booze, Wanda decides their impromptu group needs a name. But, somehow, ‘Flushed and Forty,’ ‘The Haven Hollow Hoochies,’ and ‘The Witchy Winos’ aren’t exactly cutting it.
When Hellcat, Wanda’s feline familiar, starts stealing sips of various libations, Poppy tries to bat him away and accidentally knocks an experimental potion into her drink. Seizing an opportunity, the cantankerous cat immediately swallows down Poppy’s beverage and… vanishes!
As soon as they realize Hellcat is no longer in the house, it will become a mad dash to try and find him in order to reverse whatever magic Poppy inadvertently subjected him to.
And somewhere along the way, they just might find a fitting title for their boozy bunch.
Please Note: The Black Cat Cocktail Club was first published in the Seasoned Magic anthology (no longer available) but now has considerable changes and content added.
FRENCH COUNTRY FRIGHTS
Haven Hollow #9
Hi there! My name is Fifi and I’m a succubus... but I’m hopeless with men and relationships.
Yes, a succubus is a type of sex demon, but the first thing you should know about me is that even though I was created to suck the life force from men, I’m actually a nice person.
In fact, I can’t stand being a succubus because it goes against every moral fiber of my being. Truth be told, I’m a romantic at heart—all I really want is a loving husband, children and the house with the white picket fence.
As to my dreams of wedded bliss, I’ve got my hopes set on one man in town—a human named Marty Zach, but I’m pretty sure he only thinks of me as a friend.
Figuring my romantic dreams aren’t going to get me very far, I’ve turned all my focus and energy into opening my very first business, Hallowed Homes Realty.
Not only do I plan to sell properties to humans and supernaturals alike, but I’m going after a different class of paranormal creature—the exotics. Exotics are species like giants, ice dragons and gnomes (just to name a few)… they require a little more help in finding their forever homes, or crypts, as the case may be.
My first big exotic client is Darragh, a grim. Grims are spectral dog-like creatures that haunt churchyards and protect the dead. They’re notoriously selective and grumpy, but this could prove to be my biggest sale of the year, so I’m beyond excited!
Imagine my surprise when I arrive at Hollow Cemetery to show Darragh the tomb he’s interested in, only to find him and his elf attendant murdered…
Soon it becomes a mad dash to solve the case, especially because I’m worried Hallowed Homes might be the murderer’s target.
Between sniffing out potential clues, keeping my awful brother in line, trying to restrain my inner succubus (because she really has a thing for the local Sasquatch in town) and attempting to start something special with Marty, I’m wondering how much more a girl can take.
ALL HALLOW'S EVE
Haven Hollow #10
It’s two days until Halloween in Haven Hollow and witch, Astrid, is feeling the holiday blues.
After being kicked out of her coven, she’s missing the holiday festivities she’s grown up with, and she’s also upset about a boy. Not to mention she’s perplexed over the subject of what she should gift to Wanda for the most important night of the witching calendar (known as ‘Samhain’).
When Astrid’s ne’er-do-well brother, Maverick, reaches out, Astrid is over the moon to hear from him. Because Maverick is disallowed entrance into Haven Hollow (Wanda banished him after a witchly duel), Astrid agrees to meet him in the neighboring town of Riverport, where they plan to celebrate the season by harvesting apples for the Autumn Fae.
Reunited with her prickly brother, Astrid admits she has no idea what to gift Wanda for Samhain and Maverick suggests his newest concoction, Regression Oil—a potion which brings to light someone’s past lives.
Astrid, excited by the promise of the potion, eagerly agrees to assist Maverick in the creation of the Regression Oil, all the while wondering what lifetimes will reveal themselves before Wanda’s eyes.
During a meeting of the Black Cat Cocktail Club, Astrid spikes Wanda’s drink with the Regression Oil, waits until the clock strikes midnight and activates the potion with a spell.
And that’s when everything goes to hell in a Prada handbag…
Haven Hollow #11
When my son, Finn, freaks out after seeing a stranger peering in through his window, I have a feeling something wicked this way comes. Unfortunately, it’s not long before reports of the same peeping tom come pouring in from all around Haven Hollow, but no one knows who this guy is or what he wants.
And, when my good friend Henner reports a disturbance in his home, the Tayir Mansion, that culminates with the disappearance of his housekeeper and a room full of bloody handprints, I have a feeling things are about to take a downward spiral very quickly.
To make matters worse, my personal life seems to be equally out of control—there’s my ex-boyfriend, Roy, who keeps trying to salvage our relationship, and then there’s also my best friend, Marty, who’s giving me puppy dog eyes of his own.
As if peeping toms, missing housekeepers, amorous ex-boyfriends, and equally amorous best friends aren’t stressful enough, there’s also a void we discover in the laundry room of Henner’s house. And that void has recently been breached, which means either someone entered or someone escaped…
THE YULE LOG
Haven Hollow #12
It’s December 21 and the first night of the celebration of Yule!
Much to Lorcan’s feigned irritation, Wanda is in the midst of throwing a Yule celebratory party at one of his numerous residences within Haven Hollow.
But, yuletide exaltation is hardly on his mind. The only thing Lorcan can think about, other than the long and smooth line of Wanda’s delicate neck, is his Yule gift still awaiting her.
But, as with most things involving the vampire and the Blood Witch, not everything goes to plan.
When Lorcan imbibes one too many blood-chatas (ten, to be exact), memories of his unfortunate childhood revisit him and before he can stop himself, he’s waxing… well, not exactly poetic.
Faced with a ruined holiday party and feeling sorry for himself, Lorcan turns his anger on the Yule log, something which will prove to be quite the big mistake…
THE BROKEN MIRROR
Haven Hollow #13
When Poppy accidentally breaks her bedroom mirror, she has no idea the bad luck she’s in for!
With just about everything going wrong, Poppy’s first order of business is to reverse the curse of the broken mirror ASAP! Unfortunately for her, though, that’s not quite how the cosmos work.
Saddled with a serious case of misfortune, imagine Poppy’s surprise when one of her clients walks into her store with yet another mirror! This one isn’t cursed, though.
The ghost of the woman stuck inside the mirror appears to be from pioneer times, and as she yells in silent horror and pounds against the glass, it’s pretty clear she wants out.
But just how does one free a ghost from a mirror?
Poppy’s about to find out… the hard way.
ART DECO APPARITIONS
Haven Hollow #14
Things have been going decently lately—my new business, Hallowed Homes, is growing and my relationship with my brother, Angelo, has never been better.
My love life is still a mess, but what else is new, right?
And, yes, I still have a massive crush on Marty Zach, even if there are rumors he’s now dating my friend, Poppy.
Crappy love life aside, everything is about to go to hell in a handbasket when an exotic woman named Rhea walks into my office on a cold February day.
Apparently I’m the only one who can see her.
And as if that wasn’t mystifying enough, she won’t stop crying about getting access to one of my listings—an Art Deco house that isn’t currently on the market.
Wanting to help Rhea and hoping she’ll stop appearing to me, I start looking into the Mathison House and its owner, Tobias.
Pretty soon I’m involved in a double-murder mystery that not only threatens my sanity but my relationship with my best friend, Roy—a relationship that’s suddenly become pretty darn hot…
THE VAMPIRE'S GRAVE
Haven Hollow #15
Narrated by Roy!
When the gang finds themselves in Hollow Cemetery, helping Fifi renovate a mausoleum for a client, they have no idea that Astrid’s magic is about to go berserk, and Lorcan will be on the receiving end.
Find out what happens to Lorcan and how Haven Hollow’s best witch and gypsy plan to fix it!
Haven Hollow #16
When Lorcan and I fail to dissolve the blood bond yet again (this time quite an embarrassing one), I’m at my wit’s end.
The last thing I need is my cantankerous cat delivering a wax-sealed letter that I’m worried might be from my mother. But once I open the letter, I realize it’s an invitation to a witch assembly sent from High Witch, Scarlett Velardi.
The only snag? In order to attend, I’ll need to form my own coven.
Forming my own coven aside, I quickly realize the only reason Scarlett’s invited me to this assembly is to allow me the chance to take on my mother, who has me on her hit list.
As I learn more about the situation between my mother and Scarlett, I soon realize there’s a truth even I don’t know—something so big and horrible, everyone who knows it has been bound by Mother never to speak a word of it.
Now, if there’s one thing Wanda Depraysie dislikes, it’s a secret I’m not in on. So, I’ll do everything in my power to unravel my mother’s mystery in the hopes that I’ll be able to bring her down.
Once and for good.
Haven Hollow #17
My name is Darla Rowe… well, it used to be Darla Fenton before Wanda’s magic went haywire, and she managed to turn me back into a real, live, honest-to-goodness dame again.
Once that happened, Lorcan let me borrow his last name, like the real sheik of a fella he is.
Not only am I learning to be alive again, and one hundred years after the first time I tried my hand at it, but it’s looking like I gotta find me a job, so I can start earning some cabbage of my own.
Life ain’t too ritzy when you’re on the nut, if you know what I mean…
After medium, Bailey, sets me up with an interview with the big cheese of Spook Society, owing to my otherworldly connection to spooks; imagine my surprise when that hard-boiled bossman hires me right on the spot!
But it quickly turns out this gig ain’t the duck’s quack I thought it was gonna be.
Why? Because I’ve been hired to let some uptight, flat-tire of a copper named Cain Morgan possess me so he can finish working a case that got stalled when he got bumped off a year or so ago.
As if that weren’t enough to ruin a broad’s day, guess what? There’s more.
This case I gotta work with Cain; it’s a murder case—a double one. And that no good perp is still out there!
I ain’t about to risk my second life (after the first one ended so tragic), but it’s looking like I also ain’t got much of a choice.
Haven Hollow #18
Something Wicked to Haven Hollow Comes...
At least, I hope it’s not wicked.
What is it? A book.
But it’s not like any book you’ve ever heard of or seen before.
First off, it’s animated, and I swear it acts like a little dog, complete with a wagging red bookmark tail.
Secondly, the only person who can read it or see any of the pictures within the ancient and worn leather binding is my thirteen-year-old son, Finn.
The book, which Finn names ‘Vellum,’ randomly shows up outside my door at Poppy’s Potions one night and begs to be let in.
As if that weren’t enough to cause the hair on the back of my neck to sit up and take notice, Vellum has an owner. And a few days later, I meet that owner.
His name is Alixandre Osmont, and he’s a traveling magician. Only, he’s a magician who really possesses magic.
Not only that but there’s something about Alixandre that seems strangely… familiar, though I’m sure I’ve never set eyes on him before. Yet, my soul doesn’t seem to agree.
Oh, and Alixandre just happens to be gorgeous with a capital G, and he’s British and has a voice that could melt glass.
But I digress.
Anyway, while constantly reminding myself I have a caring, loving, and wonderful boyfriend in Marty, I can’t help but feel guilty regarding this strange and overpowering attraction I have to another man.
And, what’s stranger still is that Alixandre seems to return my same bizarre and confusing feelings.
It’s not long before my personal life is in turmoil, and that’s when I learn Finn is in trouble.
The only person I can turn to, the only person who can help me fight off the dark powers trying to gain control of my son, is Alixandre.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, I do what any caring mother would—I go after my son and damn the consequences.
Haven Hollow #19
Even though I’m in a relationship with Roy, he’s been avoiding me lately, claiming he’s just been super busy with work.
It’s an excuse I’ve heard many times before.
I’m not really sure what’s going on between the two of us, but I’m worried he’s lost interest in me and the relationship.
But as much as it pains me, I know I’ll survive. After all, I’ve survived my myriad breakups before, so what’s one more failed relationship in the mountain of ‘Fifi’s failed relationships’?
At least I have Hallowed Homes to keep me occupied and our newest set of clients—a family of four Romanian vampires.
The vampires have decided to open a year-round haunted house attraction (much to Lorcan’s dismay) in the old Colonial at the top of the hill, overlooking Haven Hollow.
But when someone suddenly ends up dead, I’ll find myself stuck in the middle of a murder mystery most foul.
Haven Hollow #20
Lookout, Dr. Frankenstein, because here comes Wanda Depraysie…
It’s not as though I meant to create a life.
I didn’t, but that life is still here, all the same.
And the worst part? I created it with… sigh… my detested cousin, Maverick.
Now, before you think I’m a double-timing, good-for-nothing witch, I’m not.
It was all an accident. Swear.
And the even craziest part? This little mixup isn’t even the worst thing that’s happened to me this week.
No, that award goes to the invitation I receive to my own funeral—a party sponsored by the leader of the vampires, Rupert, featuring me as the guest of honor.
Should be fun.
Haven Hollow #21
I’ve just moved to the legendary Haven Hollow to start the next chapter of my life…
My name is Sydney Blackstone, better known as The Sandman.
After losing my wife two years ago and getting lost in grief ever since, I decided I needed to start over.
So, I find myself in Haven Hollow, where I plan to open my own mattress store, Sandman Syd’s.
Almost as soon as I move to Haven Hollow, though, I realize my work is cut out for me—someone is having not only bad dreams but dangerous ones.
As the Sandman, it’s my responsibility to relieve this sleeper of whatever night terror is after them.
Little do I know the culprit is the infamous Jormungandr, the legendary serpent from Midgard.
With such a powerful predator on the loose, I don’t have much time to ensure the citizens of Haven Hollow are safe and, more pointedly, one citizen in particular: Bailey Bennett.
At the moment Bailey, a psychic from Spook Society, walks through my door, I have a feeling she won’t be walking out anytime soon.
As long as I can keep her safe, that is…
Haven Hollow #22
I got me a date with Death…
When Marty Zack shows up at my office at Spook Society, asking for my help, I dunno what to think.
See, Marty and me… well, we’re at cross purposes when it comes to ghosties—I like to help the dead move on at their own speed, and Marty’s more like an uptight landlord kicking them to the curb.
So, when Marty tells me the spooks of Haven Hollow have been disappearing for no good reason, and he needs my help to find out why, I gotta wonder what in the heck is going on.
With the deceased Cain Morgan at my side (actually, it’s more fittin’ to say—he’s inside my head), we start investigating this perplexing case.
And soon, I find myself at Death’s door—literally.
Death has come to Haven Hollow, and it seems he’s gone sweet on yours truly!
Haven Hollow #32