Hazel really wants to fulfill her potential and be the witch her Grandma always said she could be. Unfortunately, though her spells always work, they never quite work the way they're supposed to.
Drake, the hunky werewolf next door, has been dutifully watching over Hazel for the local coven. He's not convinced she's a witch, until she accidentally turns him into a dog. Of all the indignities.
Now she's got his undivided attention, and my oh my how she's grown up. Man, has Drake got an appetite for a certain witch… and it's all for her own good. After all, who ever heard of a virgin witch?
Praise for The Witching Hour
"The Witching Hour is a wonderful little paranormal romance of magic and giggles along the way. Marteeka Karland has done a tremendous job"
-- Jessica, Fallen Angel Reviews
"This is a fast moving work. Hazel and Drake's living situation in an apartment building full of senior citizens has the potential for some really funny moments, especially when Drake is caught naked after his change by one of the residents, there's a lot of life in that group yet. The lecherous sheriff is well done and gets his just desserts. This is a fun story with very hot love scenes."
-- Maura Frankman, The Romance Studio
"Funny, desirable and filled with wicked pleasure, The Witching Hour will thrill your senses while raising your temperature. Ms. Karland has written of characters that create a place where fantasy and pleasure combine to give readers a fantastic story. I would love to read more about this hilarious world. So buy this book because it will give you an insight into a world that only exists in fantasy. "
-- Sheryl, Ecataromance
"This was a cute and funny read with a great couple! These two had me in stitches, I loved their banter and the situation. This was a short read but was very entertaining and had some great characters."
-- 5 Stars from MeemsAngel82, Amazon Review
"The Witching Hour is a story thst holds adventure and magic. Hazel abd Drake are great characters. I can't wait to read more from this author."
-- 5 Stars from Leslie Twitchell, Amazon Review
"The characters are cute and quirky. It was a fun read."
-- 4 Stars from AnotherDayInParadise, Amazon Review
"Short story that will make you laugh."
-- 4 Stars from Chris L., Amazon Review
"Short read with magic and escapades. Hazel and Drake make wonderful characters. Great chemistry with funny good-natured teasing. New author for me and this story was a favorite genre of mine."
-- 5 Stars from Rebel L., Kobo Review
"Who's the hunky wolf? Oh, I don't think I've chuckled so hard. I've enjoyed this book. The paranormal twist makes it an adult version of Red Riding Hood. The romance, action and drama make it so much fun. I couldn’t put it down."
-- 4 Stars from AnnV, Barnes & Noble Review
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The Witching Hour
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 Marteeka Karland
An Authorized Excerpt
"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble --"
"What the fuck is that, Hazel? That's never worked!"
The bent aluminum pot on Hazel's rickety stove rattled as its contents boiled. The bright afternoon sun managed to peek through the drapes of both her apartment windows, shining on the old mayonnaise jars resting in her windowsill. She'd never been able to afford the expensive glass flagons she should have been using to store her potions.
Grasping the metal handle with a potholder to stop the rattling, Hazel took a tentative sniff of her brew. She wrinkled her nose, but gritted her teeth in determination, wanting only to complete this spell even if it did stink.
Hazel gave her best friend, Irene, an exasperated look. "Nothing else has, either. Do you have a better idea?"
Irene snorted. "Just don't pull out the eye of newt or I'm outta here."
"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…" Hazel paused. "What comes next?"
Irene threw up her hands. "It's no wonder your spells don't work."
"Hey, they work. Just not like they're supposed to." Hazel wanted to be indignant, but couldn't manage the effort. Irene was right, to a point. "Now, are you going to make fun of me, or help me?"
"As much as I'd love to help you, Hazel, I don't know anything about witchcraft."
Hazel sighed. "That's okay, Irene. Neither do I."
They looked at each other a moment, then both started to giggle.
"Oh, well." Irene hugged her life-long friend with one arm as she picked up her coat from a nearby chair with the other. "At least you didn't turn Mrs. Johnson into a goat again. It's a damn good thing she didn't remember what happened or she'd have you locked up."
"Don't I know it! That woman already thinks they should kick me out of this apartment building simply because I'm forty years younger than everyone here."
"Well." Irene grinned wickedly. "Not everyone."
Hazel groaned. "You could have gone all day without mentioning him."
"You're the one who said he was a hunk."
"Sure. But you didn't have to tell him I said it."
Irene held up her hands in mock defense. "I only stated the facts as they pertained to the moment."
"But that wasn't all you told him. Was it." Hazel made that last a statement. They both knew she had told the tall, dark, and oh-my-God handsome Drake Cole more about Hazel than she should have. At least, from Hazel's point of view. She'd met Drake at the wedding of her friends, Laura and Jake, and he'd taken a permanent residence in her fantasies from that point on.
"He seemed to take it in stride."
Irene's innocent look didn't fool Hazel for a moment. "He thinks I'm a blooming idiot, thanks to you." Hazel pouted. "And I really wanted to jump his bones. Now --" She sighed dramatically. "I guess I'll just have to slip him this love potion I was making for your hamsters."
"Why not just cast a spell that makes him forget I told him you were a witch?" Irene deadpanned. They both knew Hazel couldn't "cast" her way out of a paper bag.
"I would, if I wasn't afraid I'd completely erase his memory." Hazel sighed. They joked about it, but it was a very real concern to her. Her spells always worked. But sometimes what she got and what she intended weren't in the same ballpark. Or the same universe, for that matter.
Irene hugged her sympathetically. "Oh, honey. I would never have said anything to hurt you on purpose. It was Laura's wedding reception and she'd filled me up with champagne. I suppose my tongue ran away from my brain."
"Now, there's a mental image."
They both laughed.
"I have to go." Irene picked up her purse, slung it over her shoulder, and opened the door. "I'll try to make things right with Drake. He knows I was tipsy. It shouldn't be hard."
"Thanks, but no." Hazel held the door for her friend. "If he can't accept me being a witch, then I didn't need him to begin with."
Irene winked at her. "It would be fun to have a romp in the hay with him, though. Admit it, Hazel. The man's hot!"
Hazel fanned herself. "Oh, he's definitely that!"
"See you later. Are we still on for the Halloween party?"
"I guess. As long as I'm back by midnight. I'm going to try a spell that's supposed to draw its power from the Witching Hour on Halloween night. That way, maybe I won't mess it up with my weird energy."
"Okie dokie. I'll pick you up at six."
"See you tonight."
Hazel Montgomery closed the door and walked to the kitchen of her small, but homey, apartment. Okay, homey was probably too kind a word. Maybe it was just crowded. It consisted of two rooms: one that tripled as a kitchen/living room/bedroom, and one bathroom. Her sofa pulled out into a bed, and there was one recliner. She didn't have room for anything else other than a coffee table, but it was still hers.
Sort of. She paid three fifty a month for the tiny thing, but it was hers as long as she paid the rent. As long as she had her own place, she could explore the magic she was trying so hard to master.
So far, she was failing miserably at it.
Taking a deep breath, Hazel closed her eyes and cleared her mind. When she opened them, she stared intently at the aluminum pot of boiling herb mixture on her stove.
"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…" She sprinkled a pinch of red pepper into the mixture and tried to add a few drops of peanut oil, only she sneezed and missed the pot. The hot burner flamed when the oil splattered onto the coil and singed her arm. She pulled back with a yelp. Oh, well. If it hadn't exploded now, it probably would have later. She muttered under her breath as she ran cold water over her arm.
Being a witch wasn't supposed to be this hard!
Hazel filled a goblet with the liquid and looked at her "witch's brew" before setting it on the coffee table. She wrinkled her nose. It stank. Okay, so it was positively rank. She pulled a tendril of her jet-black hair to her nose. Pee euw!
She needed a bath. Desperately.
After cleaning up the mess in her kitchen, Hazel headed to the bathroom. Stretching as she went, she didn't watch where she was going and tripped over her shoe -- which she had kicked off and left in the middle of the floor -- and hit the little table with her knee before she fell. Grabbing at anything she could to try to break her fall, she knocked the foul-smelling stuff off into her lap. She gave another sharp yelp and pulled her white dress away from her body. Thank goodness there wasn't much of it, and it had cooled somewhat.
Oh, God! That smelled awful!
She had just gotten to her feet when someone knocked on the door. Thinking it was Irene -- the woman always forgot something -- Hazel simply flung open the door as she picked up the goblet from the floor. When she stood, she got the surprise of her life.