by Bridget E. Baker
Publication date: June 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
Fans of the television series FRIENDS will love this supernatural romp on the magical side of NYC.
Forget Murphy—it should be called Minerva’s Law.
Paranormal affairs officer Minerva Lucent has always wanted to stand out by making a difference in the supernatural world. Unfortunately, she’s only managed to stick out—like a sore thumb. Her stun spells often misfire and freeze people by mistake. Her magical restraints have been known to pull objects to them like magnets. And last week, her truth spell caused a perp to start singing in verse.
But when a coveted guardian position opens up, Minerva’s determined to finally show everyone that she’s the witch for the job. She makes a plan to redeem her reputation, and she’s about to set it in motion, when her old finishing school pal, Roxana Goldenscales, shows up on her doorstep in dire need of assistance.
Can Minerva enact her plan and help Roxana (knock on wand!)? Or will she have to choose between becoming a guardian and being a good friend to her old mate?
Most mistakes in life are no big deal, even the big ones. After an apology, restitution, and a little time or training, eventually everything is fine.
But occasionally, a tiny error can land you in hot water.
Or boiling water, in my case.
Three months ago, while trying to apprehend a vampire who was feeding on blitzed people in a hot tub on the rooftop of a residential building, one of my spells misfired. Instead of a freeze spell, I let off a heat flash. . .and everyone in the hot tub boiled like lobsters. Thanks to a few strong potions, everyone survived, and were mostly fine within 48 hours, but the vampire I was trying to arrest, well. He was the son of their Sublime Chancellor.
Yeah, it’s a really stupid name. Magical organizations are kind of famous for those.
But vampires vote as a bloc, and the New York Paranormal Affairs Chief is an elected position. So when his daddy called my boss, Chief Lumos had to do something.
I’ve been on probation ever since, and let me tell you, having to take remedial magic courses really sucks. Usually magic is fun—spell casting, potions, circles, wards, I like most all of it. But getting sent to remedial magic class is like a plumber being sentenced to spend three months unclogging toilets. Boring, embarrassing, and it stinks.
If I’m being honest, the class hasn’t even really fixed my problem. My magic has been erratic and unreliable since I was a baby. These classes may have helped me learn how to mask my failures more effectively, but I’m pretty sure the real reason I was finally cleared is that my instructors got sick of me.
Until I’m cleared, I have to earn my paycheck somehow.
Which is how I got stuck as the NYPAD liaison to initiates from the human world. In general, the sharpest crayons are not assigned to coordinate departments.
“You’re saying that there are cops out there running around who are actual vampires?” The chunky man with ruddy cheeks leans back in his chair, his disbelief palpable.
There’s an art to explaining the supernatural world to people who only know about parodies, like Twilight or Interview with a Vampire. I usually start with vampires, because most humans want to believe they exist. It makes for an easier transition.
But sometimes, like with this guy, it’s better to just rip the Band-Aid off.
“I think I got ahead of myself.” I sigh. “A war has been waged for more than a thousand years.”
“A war has been waged? Isn’t that a little melodramatic?” He looks around the room. “Are you recording the introduction to Star Wars here?”
Do not smack the fat, rude human, Minerva, not when you’re already in trouble. “This is real.” I cross my arms, expecting another interruption.
He, miraculously, stays quiet.
“The akero, embodiment of all that is light and good, and the daimoni, the epitome of all that is dark and evil, have clashed over and over and over. You’d think they’d have realized the futility of it, but they never did. It’s like an epically bad marriage, where the husband and wife are both taking out life insurance policies and making plans.”
Officer Stevens drops the front feet of his chair back to the ground. “Wait, are you actually serious about this?”
I pull out the laminated photos of the akero, who look like the most gorgeous angels you could imagine, and drop them on the plastic card table in front of him. “I’m not a stand-up comedian.”
He splays the cards out and hunches over them, finally stopping to stare at the most predictable card, the image of Raguel, the akero who embodies joy. The priestess who snapped the photo managed to catch a shot where she has her arms raised, her face upturned toward the Northern Lights, her expression rapturous. It’s a moving photo. I’ve seen grown men cry while looking at it.
Not Officer Derpey here, but you know, emotionally intelligent ones.
“You’re saying the angels and demons are here? On Earth?”
“I haven’t explained that part yet.” He’s wrecking the rhythm of this, and that kind of thing matters with stories. “Their most epic battles happened in many different places. They’re so evenly matched that neither side could gain any advantage. It was sort of like two kids leveling each others’ sand castles, over and over and over.”
Mental note: analogies are wasted on Officer Derpey. “Something shattered the delicate balance between light and dark, and neither of them will fess up to what that was.”
“That’s when the angel Gabriel, their leader, directed the akero to flee for the first time. And of course, the daimoni have doggedly pursued them ever since.”
Bridget loves her husband (every day) and all five of her kids (most days).
She’s a lawyer, but does as little legal work as possible. She has three quarter horse geldings, a Holsteiner (jumping) horse, and she spends too much time riding and not enough time writing. (Or too much time writing and not enough time riding, depending on your perspective!)
She has more chickens than she’ll admit to having, two lions head rabbits, a cat, two dogs (one bouncy and one yappy). She makes cookies waaaaay too often and believes they should be their own food group. In a (possibly misguided) attempt at balancing the scales, she kickboxes daily.
So if you don’t like her books, her kids, her horses, her chickens, or her cookies, maybe don’t tell her in person.
B.E. Baker is the romance/women’s fiction penname for Bridget E. Baker, who also writes fantasy, end of the world, and dystopian books that add a little magic to the world.
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