I really liked this book. It was easy to read, likable characters and funny. I actually wish for more like this. A really good book I recommend.Totte
I love this author's stories. The characters are well developed and enjoyable to read about. I highly recommend this story for a wonderful quick read.C. Roberts
I enjoyed reading this delightful romp through magical realism, fairy characters and witches.K. Shaputis
Sky Pyewackett is a working woman who also happens to be a witch.
Sworn not to use magic because of the trouble it can cause, she's working herself into an early grave. Every moment of her day is spent supporting her two beloved aunts, as well as trying to keep her ancestral home away from the tax collectors.
When her aunts decide to work a little magic—just to help out—the situation goes from bad to worse. Their incantation might have actually worked except that it was misspelled.
Because of one little mistake, with one letter of the alphabet, a magnificently sensual entity from the Fairy Realm is now roaming around Sky's woods. She can't make him go back to where he came from. Not unless he wants to go, and he doesn't!
It's an adventure of magical proportions; one that might not have happened at all, except for a small case of incorrect spelling.
Note: Be aware of some adult language and situations in this story.
Release date: February 22, 2018
Publisher: Candace Sams
Print pages: 109
Content advisory: Sexual content/Fantasy
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Behind the book
Imagine you are casting a spell and get it wrong?
Imagine the consequences of your actions?
This is a short story about how things can go wrong when you don't check your spelling.
Somewhere in the British countryside
Rowan remained on the grass, stretching his nude body under the noonday sun. He laughed at the two elderly witches standing before him. Which of them was the more flabbergasted was debatable.
“Who a-are you?” one of the two witches shakily asked.
“I’m the one who heard your conjuring. To whom would I be speaking?”
The heaviest of the two ladies spoke first. “I-I’m Eartha and this is my sister, Windy.”
“I don’t understand,” Windy announced as she twisted her hands together. “We never summoned anyone from the Fairy Realm. You are from there, aren’t you?”
Rowan leapt up from the ground. “I am. Being creatures who work with magic, you’d surely recognize a being from the Fairy domain.” He tilted his head. “You completed the spell that brought me here. How do you not know who I am?”
Windy gulped loudly. “Oh, there’s been a terrible mistake! You see, I burned a written spell in the flame of a black candle. It was supposed to summon baby deer into our garden. As a birthday surprise for our niece.”
“Yes,” Eartha said, nodding earnestly. “We were asking for a fawn to come into our garden so Sky could see it when she got up tomorrow morning.”
Rowan thought for a moment, then burst out laughing. He quickly sat on a nearby garden bench, unable to contain his mirth.
Eartha frowned. “Really, sir! I hardly think this is a laughing matter.”
“Don’t you see what you’ve done?” he gleefully responded.
Windy frowned. “Would you care to enlighten us?”
He wiped tears of hilarity from his eyes, and stared at the two adorable old witches. “When you wrote out your spell, exactly how did you print the word you used to conjure the deer?”
Eartha cleared her throat. “I’ll write the exact spell that we used, so you can see for yourself.” She pulled a notepad from her kitchen apron, along with the pencil she’d carried to print out the original spell. “Here. Read it,” she demanded as she handed the paper to Rowan.
Rowan glanced at the paper and he almost fell off his perch in outrageous amusement. “My dear lady…Eartha, isn’t it?
Eartha nodded in return.
“What you wanted to summon is spelled f-a-w-n. Not f-a-u-n. I’m afraid you’ve requested the wrong creature entirely.” He tried, yet again, to suppress his delight.
Windy quickly grabbed the paper from the man’s hand and read it. “Oh, Eartha, this is terrible!” She gazed at her sister in frustration. “Put him back this instant.”
Rowan merrily shook his head. “Sorry, ladies. It doesn’t work that way. You opened a door between my world and yours by requesting that a Faun be sent to you. Since you asked that I come, I did so of my own free will. I’ll leave the same way. I can’t be made to do anything I don’t want to. And right now, I want to be in your reality. For a long time, your world has intrigued me. I’ve had glimpses of it from the other side, but have never had the opportunity to visit here. I am unable to conjure a pathway on my own.” He chuckled heartily, then stood, stretched once more and took a long look around. “I think I’ll see what people on this side of the Fairy Realm find amusing.”
Eartha swallowed hard as her eyes slid down the tall, muscular body to the thick curls between his legs and the huge penis resting within those curls. “My! You’re certainly…oh, my!” She put her fingertips to her lips as she stared at his lower body.
“Eartha, stop it!” Windy reprimanded. “Quit ogling the man. He’s a Faun. If my knowledge of the Fairy folk is correct, he likes being looked at. You’ll only encourage him.”
“I am trying. But he’s just so…so…there!”
Rowan put his hands on his hips and blinked back new tears of amusement. “I’m kin to the Satyrs and the Nymphs. But they only like mixing with each other. I, on the other hand, love cavorting with women of all kinds. Being so well endowed pleases those with whom I frolic.
“Well, that’s…that’s nice. Um…what did you say your name was?” Windy asked as her gaze wandered over his body.
“Rowan Sultmhor, at your service.” He politely bowed and waggled his brows at the two older women in a bawdy gesture. “Your desire is mine.”
“Oh, but that I was a few years younger, Mr. Sultmhor. I might take you up on that offer,” Eartha announced, and smirked at him.
Windy sharply jabbed her sister in the ribs. “He has to go back where he came from! No matter how pleasant he is on the eyes. We simply can’t have Sky coming home to find someone from the Fairy Realm, literally bouncing around our garden,” she said and pointed at the man.
Rowan crossed his arms over his chest. “Sorry, I do understand your dilemma. But even though your enchantment was an honest mistake, I’m here anyhow. I see no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity. As I’ve said, all I needed was an open door, and you ladies most graciously provided it.” He glanced around the garden. “I’m not leaving.”
Windy gazed at her sister. “What do we do, Eartha?”
“I don’t know,” Eartha replied in a whisper. “Sky will be furious. You know how she feels about us conjuring when she isn’t around.”
Rowan arched one brow, shook his hair back over his shoulder and shrugged. “Just tell her the truth. As soon as I’ve seen what I want to see, you can open another pathway between the realms and I’ll go back. It’s just a matter of having my curiosity satisfied.”
“B-But you can’t walk around like that,” Windy told him and waved her hands to encompass his entire body. “What if a neighbor should see you? Sky would be absolutely mortified.”
Rowan shrugged. “If this niece of yours is too young to see me as I like to roam, I’ll agree to put on something more concealing. That’s about the only reason I’d consider donning any garment for more than an hour. Fauns don’t like clothing. We relish the fresh air against our skin.”
“It isn’t that she’s too young,” Windy explained. “It’s just that…”
“She’s a perfectionist!” Eartha firmly finished. “Everything has to be correct and just so, or Sky doesn’t like it.”
Rowan stroked his chin with the fingers of one hand. “How old is this perfectionist niece of yours?”
“She’ll be twenty-seven tomorrow,” Windy supplied. “She loves to watch the wildlife in the garden, and planted everything here to attract animals from the nearby woods. That was why we were trying to summon the fawn. She wished she could see at least one in the garden, and we were trying to accommodate her.”
Rowan had to smile. The two older women were guiltily gazing at each other, and agreeing over their mutual heartfelt attempt to give their niece a small birthday gift. “I believe you mentioned that your niece isn’t home right now?”
“No, she works in Barnsdale and won’t be home until after dark,” Eartha told him. “She works very hard.”
Windy nodded. “Very hard, indeed. All so we can stay together, and keep the cottage great grandfather left us.”
Rowan’s interest in this mysterious woman called Sky was elevated, even as his heart warmed to the two elderly women standing before him. They really seemed very kind. “Send Sky to me tonight. I’ll make an explanation as to why I’m here. She can find me over by your pond.” He nodded toward the area of the garden that was most visibly prominent.
“She’ll be furious,” both women warned in unison.
“Never fear, ladies. I’ve yet to meet a young woman who was worse off for knowing me, this world notwithstanding. Just send Sky to the pond.”
“Y-you won’t leave the garden?” Windy quietly asked.
“No. I’ll wait for Sky to come to me. But, make no mistake. You’ve aroused my curiosity where she’s concerned, and Fauns simply must have their curiosity addressed. If your niece doesn’t come to me, I’ll most certainly come to her.”
“You will put something on, won’t you?” Windy asked. “I can leave some old clothes out on the porch. We have our grandfather’s things in trunks. In the attic.”
Rowan smiled as he saw Eartha bob her head up and down in agreement. “Do as you wish, if it makes you comfortable. But, I won’t promise anything. I’ve told you, Fauns won’t don clothing if they can help it.”
“Well, it certainly will be a surprise for Sky,” Eartha admitted as she gazed at her sister.
“She’ll be furious,” Windy repeated.***
“You did what?” Sky shouted as she glanced between Eartha’s heavier face and Windy’s much slenderer one. “What in the world were you thinking? You know we aren’t supposed to meddle with the Fairy Realm! You weren’t supposed to be conjuring at all. Neither of you has ever been as detailed as you must be, to keep this kind of thing from happening!”
“Dear, we never intended to make such mistake,” Windy explained. “It was just a stupid spelling error.”
“And this creature is in our garden? Right now?”
The older women nodded and glanced out of the corners of their eyes at each other.
Sky pinched the bridge of her nose between her index finger and her thumb. Silently counting to ten, she prayed she could find a way to undo what her aunts had conjured, or the consequences could be dire. Tradition said that the Queen of the Fairy Realm tolerated no outside interference from witches or others seeking contact with her world. Only the queen herself was supposed to admit or release denizens into or out of her domain. That Windy and Eartha had done so, even by accident, would probably have dire side effects, about which she could only guess.
She held out her hands in a flattening gesture that was meant to put down any further discussion. “All right, this is what I’ll do. I’ll go to the garden, and ask this creature to return to the Fairy Realm.”
“But he won’t—”
“I know,” Sky interrupted Eartha’s insistence that the man-thing wouldn’t go back willingly. “But he’ll just have to listen to reason. I’m sure that this Faun is a sentient creature who’ll be more than willing to listen, if I approach him with the proper attitude. I want you two to stay in the cottage and let me handle this.”
Both women bowed their heads and stared at the toes of their sturdy, but rather worn, lace-up shoes.
Sky sighed as she saw their guilty expressions. All they’d tried to do was give her a wonderful little birthday gift. But she’d expressly forbidden her well-meaning aunts from conjuring when a more powerful witch, such as herself, wasn’t present.
Like making a wish from a genie, if the words of a spell weren’t written or uttered very precisely, all kinds of mischief could result. That was the reason spells were so rarely cast, and only when they could help a situation…never to cause harm.
“Okay, this isn’t really a huge problem,” Sky deduced. “I’ll just go out and talk to the man…Faun…creature…and just get him to see reason. I’ll not make a universal incident of it.”
The smiles her aunts bestowed made her feel a little less guilty for having berated them. They were darlings, but the world didn’t know that magic existed. One slipup in conjuring could end that secrecy. She had to protect her aunts, and all other witches at the same time. Without her intervention, doctors and psychiatrists would have probably institutionalized her beloved aunts long ago, for their crazy-sounding, magical rants. She’d seen the same thing happen to other witches.
She, alone, stood between her only remaining family members and that fate. For that reason, the Faun had to go. His presence here endangered them all, including the denizens of his own world. If he came across a farmer or hiker, he might say or do something that implicated her family in magic. Or at least get local constables curious. She’d take no chances. He’d have no identification and no answers that would satisfy any law enforcement officer.
Sky left her aunts standing in the kitchen, went to her bedroom to change into a pair of old blue jeans and a worn sweater. She then made her way back down to the rear entrance of the cottage.
As she walked a few feet into the garden and stared into the twilight, there was no sound to indicate a denizen of another world had taken up residence on their property.
“Hello,” she tentatively called. “Um…hello out there?”
“I’m here. You must be Sky. Come to the fish pond.”
That low, baritone voice made her jump. “If it’s all t-the same, could you please come nearer the cottage? The light is better here.”
“Have no fear. Just come to me.”
A strange tingling sensation filtered over her skin. It wasn’t unpleasant, but certainly was unwanted. “I recognize the come-hither enchantment. I dislike having magic used on me! It’s inappropriate.”
“I’m not doing anything. If you feel something, it’s because you’re supposed to, for reasons having nothing to do with me!”
She let out an exasperated breath, and angrily flounced forward until she came to the small fish pond. Surrounded as the pond was—by flowers and shrubs that were planted for their ability to reflect nicely in the water— she still couldn’t see him. But, she felt the presence of a very powerful creature. There was an electric-like current in the air that could only herald the arrival of a commanding entity. “All right. Come out, right this minute.” All her tactful intentions fled in the face of his magical conjuring.
Standing in shadows, behind a particularly tall growth of ferns, Rowan took a moment to look her over. Strands of long, dark brown hair escaped a scarf that held the bulk of her mane at the nape of her neck. Even in the dim light, her brown eyes appeared sultry; like a summer evening under the stars. Those eyes were darker than any woman within the Mountain Goblin tribes. He likened the color to the lovely, smoky topaz gemstones that the queen of his realm so adored.
Her figure was exquisite. She was taller than most women, and the curve of her breasts beneath her garments suggested fullness. Her legs appeared shapely yet lean, but not too thin. The skin of Sky’s face was flawless; clear but gently kissed by the sun. He bet she had just enough freckles to give her a playful look he so loved.
As she gazed into the darkness searching for him, he couldn’t name any painting that did her bone structure justice. She was divine.
His Faun’s blood heated to a point he’d never experienced. It was in that moment that he truly believed his coming to this place was no accident. This woman was meant for loving. He was meant to be exactly where he was.
“Where are you?” Sky called. “We need to talk.”
He moved slowly, deliberately trying not to use any of the stealth for which his race was so renown. He didn’t want to frighten her off. Still, she wasn’t prepared for his being so near. She jumped when he said, “I’m behind you.”
Sky twirled around. Before her stood the biggest, most muscular man she’d seen in her entire life. Much, much taller than her, the dark-haired giant in front of her was built for hard physical labor.
She’d expected some waif-like entity, with pale skin and a paltry physique. The name Faun certainly didn’t invoke this kind of being. He was monumentally muscled, with a granite-like presence.
She swallowed hard and stared into his unearthly green eyes. They seemed to glow from some inner source. A gentle breeze lifted his shoulder-length, curly hair and dropped strands of it across his face. A slow, sinfully delicious smile—bright as any sunburst—spread across his slightly bearded, square jaw.
“Uh, w-we need to talk,” she repeated.
“Shouldn’t we at least introduce ourselves formally? I know you’re Sky…”
“P-Pyewackett,” she stuttered.
“I’m Rowan Sultmhor. I believe you know the circumstances surrounding my appearance in your world.”
“Uh…M-Mr. Sultmhor,” she began, then quickly licked her lips to quench the dryness in her mouth, “my aunts made a small mistake. I’m sure we can come to some agreement about you. Returning to your world, I mean.”
She gaped at the summary reply.
“I’ve already told them that I’m not going back until I’m ready.” He stepped away from cover of the ferns. “And I’m not.”
Sky felt her entire body go numb with shock. She stared at the nude colossus in front of her, but couldn’t look away. No matter how hard she tried. “Oh, my stars!” she whispered.
Rowan grinned, as though he was pleased with himself and her response.
“Forgive my current state of undress, but Fauns don’t like clothing. I’ve told your aunts this.”
She still stared. He was, according to her experience on the subject, quite above normal in certain male aspects. Particularly those that should be covered.
“I take it you don’t know much about Fauns.”
“Huh?” she stupidly uttered, unable to tear her eyes away from the lower half of his body.
“We’re creatures of the earth. We love nothing better than romping around the woods, and enjoying life to the fullest. But, like my cousins, the Nymphs and Satyrs, our blood runs hot. Making love isn’t a passing fancy with us, it’s an art. We greatly enjoy long, leisurely lovemaking and refuse to be hurried. Satisfying our partners is everything. And we can’t enjoy ourselves fully until our partners are enjoying themselves.”
“What? What the bloody damned hell does any of that have to do with…” she left the sentence unfinished and finally raised her gaze to his face. “Y-you have to leave,” she uttered.
He slowly walked forward. “No. I won’t.”
“I like your garden. Your aunts are kind women who only wanted to gift you with a special birthday surprise. If you look at it that way, I see no reason why I can’t be the gift, and you can’t take advantage of my presence.” He smirked and briefly held his hands out to his sides. “Surprise!”
She finally found her voice as reason pervaded her shocked brain. “A-are you suggesting what I think you are?”
“You’re a beautiful woman. I’m an available man. Why not?”
Shaking her head, as if by doing so she could put common sense back where it belonged, Sky spoke much more firmly. “I am not one of your Fairy playthings! This is my world, not yours. You don’t belong here, this is a mistake, and you have to go back where you came from. I don’t know who you think you’re dealing with, but I can cast spells that will make you wish you’d never been born. Now…you can choose to stay, and spend a very long time as a dung beetle, tumbling turds in a pasture…or you can willingly and safely go back to the Fairy Realm when I utter the spell to open a portal.”
He grinned mischievously and shook his head. “You can’t undo a spell originated by others of your kind. I’m not ignorant of your magic. Your aunts’ request brought me here. They need to open the portal to send me back.”
He grinned. “Even if you open a portal and somehow find a spell that will undo your aunts’ request—”
“I’ll say this again. I’m not leaving until I’m good and ready.” He moved to within inches of her. “Finally, I didn’t try to enchant you. What you’re feeling is your own response to being lonely. I can sense your inner need. It’s not my doing. It’s yours.” At her snort, he held up his hand to stop her defense. “You won’t harm me by turning me into anything. Your magical creed is to harm none. More to the point, my queen will have your home and life in complete turmoil if you do.”
“Your queen could wreak havoc in this world if you don’t go back?”
“Nonsense. She knows that I’m here and that I’ll eventually return.”
“How can you be so sure?”
He shrugged. “If she had objected to my coming, I would have been immediately ordered not to cross over. The Fairy Ring…the small round circle of mushrooms on the ground, at the back part of your property…served as the connection between our two worlds. The Queen of the Fairy Realm would certainly know if that dimension had been breached. She knows every time a Fairy Ring is entered or tampered with.”
“So, you can stay as long as you please?”
“Then I’ll make it my job to see that your reason for staying isn’t all that good,” Sky swiftly returned.
He arched one brow in what Sky took to be a show of superiority.
“You’re denying what you want, Sky. And you’ll pay for it. When a woman responds to one of my kind, even in the smallest way, it’s because she truly wants the contact. Deny it, and you’ll feel the nasty effects, later.”
“You arrogant, oversized, oversexed…intruder! If you’re remotely implying that I feel sexually attracted to you—”
“I’m stating it as a fact. I told you, I can feel the loneliness in you…and the frustration. Apparently, the lovers in your life haven’t done enough for you.”
“All you have to do is say the word, and I can fulfill your innermost desires. I can rid you of any reticence. I can sense how long it has been since you’ve sought release.” He tilted his head, studying her for a moment. “The experience left you yearning. It wasn’t what it should have been.”
“Your ego is unbelievable!”
“I’m trying to help you. I’m using my senses to ascertain—”
“I don’t give a bloody damn what you…ascertain! I want you gone by tomorrow morning. Is that clear?”
She turned and stalked back to the cottage.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” he murmured at her retreating form.
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