Title: Broomsticks and Board Games
Author: Amy McNulty
Narrator: Danielle Daly
Length: 7 hours 4 minutes
Series: A Spooky Games Club Mystery, Book 1
Publisher: Crimson Fox Publishing
Released: Jan. 5, 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Dahlia Poplar is a genuine witch, an unofficial gofer, and Luna Lane’s only cursed resident.
With a werewolf best friend, a vampire ex-boyfriend, and a ghost for a hanger-on, Dahlia is far from the most unusual dweller of her sleepy small town, but she’s the only one unable to leave. Dahlia has to perform at least one good deed per day – or she’s one step closer to turning to stone.
Fortunately, the residents of Luna Lane have plenty of tasks for Dahlia to complete to avert the curse until Cable Woodward, fetching professor and nephew of her elderly neighbor, stops by for the semester on sabbatical. Attempting to help Cable’s uncle work through the trauma of losing his wife, Dahlia uncovers the man’s collection of board games, which leads to him reminiscing about the long-forgotten Luna Lane Games Club.
Dahlia reestablishes the Games Club, only to find evidence of a number of horrible demises connected to the original group. While trying to uncover the truth about the deaths, Dahlia has to fight off her curse, protect her elderly neighbor from becoming the next victim, and most vexing of all, keep Cable from figuring out Luna Lane’s supernatural secrets.
Only, with eerie board games like these, there may not be a loser – or even a winner – who survives.
Dahlia (sometimes “Lia”) Poplar: age 30, 5’8”, long, wavy red hair, sharp eyebrows, hazel-green eyes. Witch partnered with Broomhilde (“Broomie”), an enchanted broomstick that acts like cat. Suffers from a curse inflicted at birth. Every day, while the sun is up, she must complete a good deed without relying on magic. If she fails, she grows a stone scale on her skin. Her left arm is covered in scales, though she usually manages to do her good deed in time—unless she’s distracted. Her mom passed away ten years before; she lives alone.
Cable Woodward: age 32, glasses, dark, wavy short hair, 6’4”, muscular, brown eyes. On sabbatical from teaching American literature in Scotland. Cable spent his childhood traveling the world with his single mother, Ingrid, who had him later in life. Ingrid grew up in Luna Lane and suggests Cable visit her brother during his time off from work. She just doesn’t appear to have clued Cable in to the fact that the supernatural exists—and paranormal creatures call Luna Lane home.
Milton Woodward: age 85, spotted skin, thin, white hair. Milton has dementia, which has worsened since the passing of his wife, Leana, a few months before the story begins. He used to run the general store, Vogel’s, which he sold twenty years before to the Mahajans. Dahlia’s next-door neighbor and Cable’s uncle, though he didn’t see him in person much during Cable’s youth.
Goldie and Arjun Mahajan: age mid-50s, plump, on the shorter side, black and grey hair, Goldie a beauty. They run Vogel’s, the town’s general store, and love to stay busy. Goldie is especially protective of Dahlia and loves to play with Broomie. Both are amateur matchmakers. Their sons, Hitesh and Zashil, Dahlia’s childhood friends, moved to other cities for college and stayed there after finding their spouses.
Draven: age unknown (at least 500), deathly pale complexion, tall and trim but with defined muscles, long, blond hair like a rock star’s. Likes to wear dark leather. Runs the local pub First Taste and lives in an elegant Victorian with Ravana, his sire, and Qarinah, a newer vampire. Dated Dahlia for several years after she turned 21. They had a hot and passionate romance, but his ego and inability to apologize led her to break up with him a few years before the story begins.
Faine Vadas: age 30, wild, brown hair, 5’3”; curvy. Loves to dress in vintage styles, like a pin-up model. Dahlia’s best friend since childhood. Her husband, Grady, is 35, tall and thin. They run the local café, Hungry Like a Pup, which is connected to First Taste. Their kids are Flora (girl, 7, tall), Fauna (girl, 5, short, puffy pigtails), and Falcon (boy, 3, troublemaker). All five of them are werewolves, though they only turn during the full moon.
Virginia Kincaid: died in 1911 at age 20. Ghastly white, often transluscent, dressed like an early 20th-century Southern Belle. She’s a ghost who’s very social and talkative. Easily offended, a gossipmonger, and a flirt, Virginia has a complex about cheaters and will get very angry if she thinks anyone is cheating in even the most harmless of ways.
Sherriff Roan Birch: age late 50s, bald, handsome, wrinkled, with a gut. Dahlia considers Roan like a father since he was always helping her mom out when Dahlia was growing up. Everyone knew Roan harbored an unrequited love for Dahlia’s mother, but he never let that get in the way of an earnest friendship. Since no crime happens in Luna Lane, Roan has a pretty easy job—until Dahlia uncover clues that indicate there’s been a murder.
Eithne Allaway: age unknown, long, white hair, tall and willowy, dark eyes. The mysterious witch who cursed Dahlia at birth, most likely because she hated Dahlia’s witch mother. She’s been gone from Luna Lane for decades, but when things start going wrong, Dahlia suspects the witch’s involvement.
Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.
Danielle Daly hails from Long Island, New York but hopes you can’t tell that when she’s reading to you. Grateful for her many years of experience in narrating stories for various short story fiction podcasts, the opportunity to narrate audiobooks for a wider audience is a dream come true.
Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.