were quiet in Strange Herbs & Teas. For about a week.
crossbow slinging hero and her ragtag gang of Wiccans tuned in to the
paranormal have earned some rest. But when Kylie learns that the
Booke may have released not one, but two creatures of horror out into
the world, it’s up to her to save Moody Bog. Again.
upon the devilishly handsome demon Erasmus once more for help,
Kylie’s determined to handle the mischief of the Booke and go backto a normal life. But when digging through Moody Bog’s history
leads her to the ghost of her grandfather, the past she once knew is
turned upside down.
Kylie save the town and her grandfather, or will the horrors of the
Booke be too much to handle?
of the Hidden
creates an utterly believable history of witches, demons, and magic
for her claustrophobic New England village including a heroine with
enough spark, smarts, and stubbornness to keep both the bad guys and
the deliciously dangerous love-interest on their toes.” —Kat
Richardson, author of the Greywalker series
get a fresh start away from a bad relationship, Kylie Strange moves
across the country to open a shop in a seemingly quiet town in rural
Maine. During renovations on Strange Herbs & Teas, she discovers
a peculiar and ancient codex, The
Booke of the Hidden,
bricked into the wall. Every small town has its legends and unusual
histories, and this artifact sends Kylie right into the center of
Moody Bog’s biggest secret.
puzzling over the tome’s oddly blank pages, Kylie gets an
unexpected visitor—Erasmus Dark, an inscrutable stranger who claims
to be a demon, knows she has the book, and warns her that she has
opened a portal to the netherworld. Kylie brushes off this nonsense,
until a series of bizarre murders put her, the newcomer, at the
center. With the help of the demon and a coven of witches she
befriends while dodging the handsome but sharp-eyed sheriff, Kylie
hunts for a killer—that might not be human.
Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson writes
the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Mysteries, historical
novels, paranormal novels, and LGBT mysteries. To date, her medieval
mysteries have garnered twelve industry award nominations, from the
Agatha to the Shamus. Kirkus Review said of her latest Crispin Guest
Medieval Mystery A MAIDEN WEEPING, “Once again Guest’s past
misdeeds actually help him in the present in a case that includes
plenty of red herrings and an interesting look at medieval
jurisprudence.” Jeri is former president of the SoCal chapter of
Mystery Writers of America and frequently guest lectures on medieval
history at local colleges and museums. She lives in southern
California with her home-brewing husband, a complacent tortoise, and
Hidden.“Mortals,” he muttered with a sneer. “I—who have been intimately intertwined with the
book, captured by its covers for thousands of years—I don’t even know what it does or why. Do
you think for one moment I like this? That I like being yanked about from century to century, to
listen to the mewling of each Chosen Host as she does her job. Do you think I truly enjoy taking
He stopped, shutting his lips as if locking a door on them.
“Taking your what?”
“Never mind,” he growled. “This is my lot in life. I was created for this. And I shall be
part of it until the end of time.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What do you mean you ‘don’t think so’?”
“I’m stopping this Booke. This is the last generation of crap from it. Its days of taking a
Chosen Host are over. My family…” I laughed, thinking about it. It’s our curse. Did we bring it
over to the New World? How long had my ancient ancestors been entrusted with this thing?
Cursed by it? “When I close the covers of this Booke, it isn’t opening again for anyone else.”
He folded his arms. “Oh, how the arrogance of the human race astounds me. Go on. Tell
me. Explain exactly how you are going to do that?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. But I’ve got my Wiccans. We’ll figure something out. I’m not
alone, you know.”
His expression faded and his arms fell away from his chest. “I see. You…you think to
succeed where others have failed. Well…the others were alone. Perhaps…perhaps there may be
something to what you say.”
That gave me hope. No, I wasn’t alone. If those other Chosen Hosts had struck out on
their own without any back-up, then of course they had little chance. Ha! I had my little army.
There was a chance. But then…
“What happens to you?”
He looked toward the floor, his long hair hanging over his face and hiding his eyes.
“Cease. What do you mean ‘cease’?”
When he lifted his face there was no expression either on his face or in his usually
expressive eyes. “I fail to exist. Or in your parlance, I die.”
“What? No. That…can’t be right.”
“My sole existence is to serve the one who opens the book. There is no other reason for
my creation. When the book dies, so, too, do I.”
“We’ll find a way. We’ll find a way to…um…unbind you.”
“And why, by Beelze’s tail, would you want to do that?”
I breathed. There should have been a lot swirling around in my mind but there wasn’t.
Only the aspect of this stupid demon’s non-existence. I couldn’t fathom it. I didn’t want to.
Striding forward I took his face in my hands and kissed him.
There were suddenly arms around me holding me close. His mouth opened and his
lips—so hot, so wet—kissed me urgently, as if it was his last day on earth. I tried not to think
about that and just surrendered myself to simply feeling.
He nipped my bottom lip and grazed my chin with his teeth. His mouth was on my neck
and I arched toward him. I could feel his hardness through our clothing and I had a flash of about
a week ago of my bed, the quilt, the body of a god, and the wildness as we let ourselves go. I
began vaguely wondering about the kitchen floor when he suddenly drew back. I nearly fell
backward when he released me and turned away.
Stumbling, I adjusted my stance and wiped the wet from my mouth.
His back was to me, and his shoulders were heaving with great gusting breaths. “Damn
you,” he murmured. “We…can’t.”
“We did once.”
“That was my arrogance. And my folly.”
I breathed, trying to control the tremors in my body. How he could get me into such a
lather I’ll never know. Even harking back to my evening with Ed, it had been good with
him…but it was never like this.
“Okay. All right. Let’s focus on what’s important. My grandfather’s notebook.”
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