I’m excited to introduce another new series for you to enjoy! Cecily Plum has had magic all her life, but only after she gets a job at a mysterious crime-fighting agency does she find out that she is a witch! Book one is called Witch Is How To Find Your Magic.
I love writing about this fun new character, and these stories aim to bring a series of a lighter hearted, fresh, rapid-read stories into my Magicwild Universe mysteries. Cecily is in her early twenties and is just at the start of her life’s adventures, and you will get to learn all about the magical world along with her as she makes all of her discoveries.
In book one, Cecily must deal with the promise of her new life threatening to fall apart when her new flatmate goes missing. She is determined to use grit and determination to find out what happened to her friend rather than magic, because believing in magic is simply crazy, right?!
Read a sample chapter below:
I was excited. I dragged my heavy suitcase up the long staircase one step at a time. It weighed about a ton but today nothing could get me down.
I was starting my brand new life today. I was going to be a normal serious adult, and had even decided it was time to stop using my magic. Mum had said I was imagining it and that it was only going to get me in trouble, and she had been right.
New job, new me. Mum would have been proud.
“Whoopee!” I squealed under my breath and then laughed at myself for being childish.
Being serious would start later on today when I arrived at my new office. For now I just wanted to enjoy this giddy feeling.
I lugged the behemoth of a suitcase up one last step to the landing at the top. It was heavy because it had all my precious books in it. After wiping my brow, I gave a little skippety-hop, and promptly nearly fell down the stairs.
I grabbed the bannister just in time to save myself.
“Cecily Plum, twisting your ankle now will ruin everything,” I chided myself.
Chuckling, I turned to contemplate the door of my new apartment. “The Loft,” as my friend Lola called it. The loft was hers and she had said I could stay with her until I found my own place.
The door was one of those great big stout wooden ones. Very fancy looking. But I was a bit worried it might creak loudly when I opened it. If that didn’t wake Lola, the sound of me lugging all my luggage and boxes inside would.
Lola was not a morning person. She liked her beauty sleep and I did not want to start things off on the wrong foot by disturbing it.
I took my phone out of my pocket to check if she had replied to my messages. She had not.
She was probably completely zonked out. When I had last spoken to her yesterday afternoon, she’d told me she’d be going to a club last night and wouldn’t be checking her phone. Lola loved to be out and about having fun. She was dating some new guy too. She had a busy life, and it was no wonder she wasn’t replying to my messages.
Ooh! Maybe I would finally meet this mystery man she had been raving about!
To give Lola a bit more time to sleep in, I decided to lug the rest of my boxes up here first.
I skipped all the way back down several flights of stairs to where I had left the rest of my stuff below, humming a tune beneath my breath.
I stopped when I realised that I was humming, “Every little thing she does is magic.”
Mum had never liked that song. It had the word magic in it. All things to do with magic had scared her. She had always been so worried my over-imagination and me antics were going to get me in trouble.
The rest of my stuff was where I had left it at the bottom of the stairs. In my old neighbourhood I would never have left it all lying around untended. But this was St Katherine Docks, and I felt safe already.
This exclusive and secluded little area of London was like its own self-contained village. Plus it was dawn and no one was around.
Also, Lola had told me only our top-secret loft had access to this lobby. Top secret because no one was supposed to know we were living here.
Chuckling at this bit of mischief, I went to grab another box.
A loud yowl of discontent stopped me in my tracks.
It came from a cat carrier. Beastly was inside looking very annoyed with me.
“Okay, okay,” I murmured fondly. “I’ll let you out if you promise not to trip me up on these stairs. Is that a deal?”
Beastly glowered at me from within his little prison and refused to meow in agreement.
I crossed my arms over my chest and held out.
We had a little staring match – his baleful green eyes versus my sparkly blue ones.
Beastly was still just a kitten really. A scraggly floofy ball of grey fluff. I had rescued him and his siblings from a fire. I had managed to give the rest of them all away, finding lovely homes for them, but I had not had the heart to give Beastly away. I was sure that no one could love him as much as I did.
Beastly won our staring match. He was just too cute. With a sigh, I let him out, and tickled his adorable little nose. He ignored me, and proceeded to scamper up the stairs, determined to explore his new home.
I scooped him up before he could escape.
“If you see Lola, hide,” I cautioned him in a whisper.
I hadn’t told Lola about Beastly yet. I planned to introduce the two of them carefully. He was not the scampering playful little thing that his brothers and sisters had been. It would take a little more work to persuade Lola that once you got to know grumpy little Beastly, he really was the most wonderful darling.
After setting him free, I hoisted up another box. Ouch. Heavy. This one had more books in it, and the big suitcase had exhausted my muscles already.
I managed to go up only one flight of stairs with it before I had to stop and rest. This was going to take forever. At this rate I was going to be late for work.
I could not afford to be late on my first day.
I took a quick peek around. No one was here. Of course they weren’t. This was a secret loft after all.
Okay then, one last time wouldn’t hurt I told myself.
I stared really hard at the box I was carrying, and wished really hard for it to be as light as a feather.
My magic rewarded me. The box wafted gently up into the air.
I gave a squeal of delight and clapped my hands together. The box crashed back down to the ground with a sound like thunder.
With a gasp of dismay, I caught it with my magic and lifted it back up again.
At least magic was the word I used for what I was doing. The thing is that I wasn’t even sure what it was. Sometimes when I wasn’t doing it, it seemed like it couldn’t possibly ever have really happened. Since I was a kid I would guiltily use it and afterwards I would tell myself that it wasn’t real and had never happened. That was easy to believe, because how could magic possibly be real?
This time I continued to concentrate really hard as I guided the box up the stairs ahead of me. I did put my hands under it as if I was carrying it, but this was only in case Lola happened to come down the stairs and see me.
If the box really was floating, she was bound to scream and think it was a ghost carrying it or something. Lola believed in wacky things like that.
I hoped the thunderous thumping when it had dropped before hadn’t woken her up yet.
I carried the rest of my boxes up that way, feeling a little bit guilty by now, because mum had never liked me to use magic.
I told myself that it was the possibility of me getting caught doing it that she hadn’t liked, rather than me using magic. She had been so scared that someone would find out I was abnormal.
This one last time would not hurt. And then I would stop. Because whatever this thing I called magic really was, it was the reason I found it hard to make friends because I had to keep it a big fat secret. It made me feel so alone.
Plus mum had cautioned me that it wasn’t normal. That one day it would get me in big trouble if I kept doing it.
Mum was gone now. I could imagine her up there somewhere in heaven frowning down at me for doing this.
As I floated up the last box, I whispered, “Sorry, mum. You know I love you really.”
When I had finished with my boxes, I eased open that great big door with my shiny new key.
I had been right. The hinges creaked loudly.
Beastly scampered in ahead of me. I walked into the new apartment, and fumbled around for the light switch. When they came on, I almost squealed out loud. Instead I silently screamed in joy and clapped my hands quietly.
I was still scared about waking Lola.
I had to celebrate though. Even if it was silently. The apartment was amazing. Ahead of me was a huge open-plan kitchen-diner-lounge, wonderfully decorated in plush furniture.
The rent for this apartment was no doubt an absolute fortune. I could never have afforded it. In fact, with her job as a funeral home cosmetician, Lola could not afford it either. I had no idea how she paid for it. Maybe her rich granny had left her some money in her will.
However Lola had got this place must have been a little bit dodgy because she had told me she lived here on the down-low. No one could know.
I couldn’t blame her for not wanting to lose this place. This apartment was the dream.
I felt like I had won the lottery of life.
Just a couple of weeks ago I had been living in a tiny box room with mildew on the walls and a bathroom that I had to share with the eight other residents of my house. I had been working paycheck to paycheck as a waitress, worrying about becoming homeless if I couldn’t make the rent, and spending all my evenings and nights applying for the kind of job I had hoped to have after leaving university.
And now here I was, about to start a dream job with the police. Well, actually, not exactly the police. The Agency. It was some sort of private and confidential detective unit that worked alongside the real police.
I hadn’t even applied for the job. The interview invitation had just turned up one day in my email inbox. I had no idea how they had got hold of my CV.
The guy who had interviewed me had told me I would be serving in an administrative position, working alongside a team of crime investigators.
I wasn’t really sure what the job was all about, but I knew that the salary was enough to pay rent on a decent apartment and not have to spend sleepless nights worrying about the bills.
And even better, when I had mentioned to Lola that the job was in Central London, she had offered to let me stay! I couldn’t believe it! Lola and I had been close when we were young, but had grown apart, mostly dropping out of touch when we had gone to separate universities. It was really nice of her.
It felt like everything in my life was coming together magically.
Magic. That word again.
Beaming, I looked around to make sure that Lola was not anywhere in the lounge or kitchen area, and then I used my magic to float my luggage and boxes into my bedroom.
Beastly watched me, looking disapproving.
I didn’t care.
My brand-new bedroom had a huge four poster bed! I couldn’t believe it. With gauzy curtains hanging down all around the plush bedding. And it had its own attached bathroom!
I gave a little groan at the thought that sooner or later I would have to leave this place. Any apartment that I found was never going to be as wonderful as this.
But I refused to waste time worrying about this. Today was going to be a wonderful day.
I had no time for unpacking. I should have moved in a couple of days ago but my boss at the café I used to work at had gotten sick. I had felt too guilty about leaving them a waitress short so had worked there until the very last minute. That was why I had been dragging my boxes across London at the crack of dawn today. My new job started in a couple of hours.
So after taking a shower, I found the dress that Lola had talked me into wearing for my first day.
I held it up against me and looked in the mirror. It was a very nice tailored dress, but I wasn’t sure about it. It was red. The kind of brilliant cherry red that was completely unashamed of itself.
I had loved the dress when I had picked it out at the shop, but while the cut was perfect for work, I wasn’t sure about the colour.
But super-confident Lola had told me that the best way to get through life was to make a big impression. That I couldn’t afford to be meek on my first day. I had to make a splash.
So before I could think twice about it, I hurriedly put the dress on, pairing it with some nude tights and sensible shoes. Then I spent an absolute age trying to style my red hair into a neat chignon.
A few dozen pins later and I still wasn’t happy with it, but it would have to do. I tucked one of the wayward tendrils behind my ear, and went out into the lounge hoping that Lola would be up, and would tell me I looked exactly like I ought to look.
There was no sign of her. I frowned, and checked my watch.
Lola might like to party, but she was very professional when it came to her work. She would never be late. She should have been up by now getting ready, but I couldn’t hear a peep of sound from her room.
I went over to her bedroom door and knocked lightly. There was no response.
“Lola?” I called.
Still no reply.
I eased the door open and took a peek inside. The curtains were wide open and sunlight was streaming in. The bed was empty. Lola was nowhere to be seen.
End of Sample chapter.
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