MAGIC, MAYHEM & MURDER
by January Bain
Book one in Manitoba Tea & Tarot Mysteries seriesCharm McCall, armed with a library full of Agatha Christie stories and her unique witchy gifts, knows how to solve a small-town murder…
Charm McCall, the oldest of the McCall triplets by a whole day—or one minute before midnight if one’s being picky—is the designated driver for her whole town. Why, if it wasn’t for her, Snowy Lake would incinerate or fall into Hudson’s Bay. With her unique abilities, she’s all set to keep her family and town safe and on its proper course.
That is, until a hot Mountie moves into town, a busload of strippers breaks down on Main Street and Mrs. Hurst goes and gets herself murdered with poisoned jam. Jam crafted by Charm’s family at the Tea & Tarot café. Now it’s up to her to solve the murders—yes, plural, when another local business owner ends up dead.
Charm knows just what to do. What’s breaking a few laws if she can sleuth out the culprit? She knows the people of Snowy Lake better than any new lawman possibly could. So why can’t he just leave her be to get on with things?
And why does he have to be so darn hot?
“Will she let us stay?” Tulip’s eyes widened, her nose and cheeks reddened by the freezing wind. My triplet shivered, wiping her dripping nose on the back of her red mitten. I straightened the collar on her worn jacket and tucked the thin scarf around her neck. The snow was falling more heavily now, already filling in the tracks the three of us had made walking from the street light to the front stoop, the warning still ringing in my head. ‘Don’t knock until you’ve counted to a hundred if you know what’s good for you. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen…’
“I’m not sure, but if we’re really, really good, she might. At least for tonight,” I interrupted my counting to answer her.
“Yeah, don’t you be backtalking her like you did to Mommy,” Star said, staring accusingly.
“I never did that!” Tulip’s bottom lip started to quiver.
“Hush, no one is at fault,” I said. If she started bawling, I didn’t know how long I could hold off. My throat had a lump in it big as a baseball. Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three.
Star screwed up her face but held her tongue, though only after I gave her my sternest older-sister look. I’d been born at one minute to midnight, making me the oldest sister by a full day. Not that birthdays were ever celebrated, though we’d had eight already. Mommy said we were too much trouble on a regular day. No way was she holding a two-day party for a trio of brats.
I tugged the paper sack holding all our possessions closer to my chest, thinking of the one precious book and the half-box of Pop Tarts Mommy had tucked inside for our supper. Maybe Granny would have a toaster or a stove element to warm them up? Or maybe she might have some juice or pop? My throat was dry. Even water would taste good.
Star stamped her feet to stay warm, her pink running shoes leaving an intricate pattern from the soles as she packed the snow. Her scarf had icicles forming from her warm breath hitting the frosty air and her cheeks shone bright red. No frostbite—not yet anyway. But the wind was picking up, blowing showers of ice crystals off the roof and onto our bare heads.
Sixty-six, sixty-seven. I glanced across the open field between Granny’s house and the house next door, visualizing wolves coming out of the evergreens of the thick forest and circling the town. We’d been dropped off on one of the coldest days of the year. Minus forty-seven, according to the loud man on the radio in our old van. I’d caught the name of the town on the welcoming sign leading in. Snowy Lake, population 1259. I was proud to be the first one to learn to read, first one to do most things. Then I could help my little sisters, when they’d let me.
Eighty-nine, ninety. I was shaking now, could barely keep from kicking at the door with my foot. But a promise is a promise. If Mommy came back and saw me doing wrong, I’d get a swat for sure.
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.
If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.
If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…
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January Bain will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway