Witchy Whiskers – Nine Lives Magic Book 1 by Danielle Garrett

Witchy Whiskers
Nine Lives Magic Book 1
Danielle Garrett


Have you ever wished your cat could talk to you?
If so, allow my story to be your cautionary tale.

My life was going just fine by most standards. I ran a successful business in a tight-knit magical community, and lived just blocks from a beautiful lake and series of hiking trails.

Then Selene showed up.

According to some magical code I inherit my aunt’s ancient familiar; a grumpy ten-pound cat with a broken filter. She fancies herself something of a saber-toothed tiger, and claims to have wrestled the thread of her ninth life from the hands of the Fates themselves — although, I’m pretty sure that last part isn’t true.

Almost positive.

I’m still looking into the magical fine print, but in the meantime I’m stuck as the guardian to a cat with the personality of Sophia from the Golden Girls. Oh, and by another cruel twist of fate, my ex-husband just moved back into town. I thought I couldn’t take any more, but when a murder rocks my small community, I wind up entangled in the investigation thanks to a handsome stranger.

If only life came equipped with a rewind button.

Cora has a unique candle store where she sells not only scents but candles that produce illusions to help the customer in whatever experience they are looking for.

She’s about to close up when one she goes to help one last customer. Clint Bridges is looking for a gift for his mother, and well he seems to pick some interesting candles, not ones one would give to their mother.

After a demonstration of what her candles do, she helps him pick out more.

This is a favorite scene.

Clint shook his head, still marveling at the whole experience. “That was amazing. I’m definitely getting her this candle. What else do you have?” He reached for a display of persimmon-colored globes the size of softballs. “Night Spice? What does this one do?”

I tucked my lips together for a moment, suppressing the urge to giggle.

Clint quirked a brow.

Gently, I took it from his hand and set it back on the display. “Let’s just say it gives dreams of an, um, amorous nature?”

“Wow, I sure can pick them, can’t I?” Clint laughed once again. I liked his laugh. It was unforced, and he wasn’t afraid to direct it at himself. “It’s a good thing I’m in the hands of an expert.”

I felt my cheeks flush. The chemistry with Clint was definitely there. It had been a long time since I had felt the peculiar thrill of excitement that came from a bit of flirting. My last few dates had left much to be desired in the departments of charm and savoir faire. Clint was a refreshing change.

“I promise not all of my candles are intended for honeymooners,” I teased lightly, as I snagged a candle on the opposite end of the display from the Night Spice. “She might like this one. It creates an illusion of the Venice Canal from the point of view of a gondola floating down the famed waterways. You also said she likes pink. I have one over here that creates a field of lavender at dusk. It’s not hot pink, but kind of a rosebud pink.”

Clint followed me around the shop, agreeing to all of my suggestions, and after ten minutes we’d managed to fill an entire wicker shopping basket. As I added in the last of my citrus grove candles, I realized I’d never asked what his budget was for the gift. Granted, judging by the looks of his tailored suit, loafers, and carefully coiffed hair, he wasn’t hurting for money.

After depositing the candle, I clasped my hands together in front of me. “Well, what do you think?”

“I think I need to tell my personal trainer we need to work on my endurance,” Clint jested, making a show of heaving the overloaded basket onto the counter before grabbing his biceps in jest.

I laughed and scurried to get back behind the register. Dusk had officially fallen over the small town, and after a quick glance at the clock, I realized I’d missed my window to stop by the library and pick up my holds. Somehow, I didn’t mind all that much anymore.

“I think you’ve made some great choices,” I told Clint as I started totaling up the order. “Your mother is a lucky lady to have such a thoughtful son.”

Something flickered in Clint’s eyes, and he looked out the front window for a long moment.

Sensing I’d stepped on some kind of emotional landmine, I busied myself with getting a paper bag ready.

“Aren’t you going to upsell this into a gift basket?” Selene interjected.

I straightened. “I, uh—”

“If you’re going to make me wait all night, you might as well get your full money’s worth out of the sap,” the cat groused.

Clint shifted his attention back to me. I was about to scold Selene for being so rude—not that it would make a difference—but to my surprise, instead of being offended, Clint laughed. “A gift basket sounds like just what this sap needs.”

“I am so sorry about her,” I whispered. “You really don’t have to—”

“No, no. I insist. That is, if you have the time. I know I’ve already kept you.”

I knew my cheeks were a bright shade of pink as I set about wrapping the candles and arranging them into a large basket. “I don’t mind.”

Selene looked on with feline judgement as I finished arranging the basket. In total, Clint’s order came to over two hundred dollars, a sum that far exceeded my typical order. Even if he weren’t handsome and charming, I would have been happy to stay well past closing for the sale alone. He flashed a black credit card and I ran it through. While we waited for the receipt to print, Clint thanked me once more for my assistance.

“You’re very welcome,” I replied, smiling as I handed him the receipt.

He tucked it into the inside pocket of his suit jacket, matching my smile. “I know I’ve already asked a lot of you, but—”

“Oh, boy. Here we go,” Selene sighed.

Undeterred, Clint pressed on, “—I’d be grateful if you could give me a recommendation for dinner.”

“Oh.” I blinked. “Sure! There’s quite a few good places in town. It sort of depends on what you’re in the mood for. Whimzee’s Deli is great for fast and easy. Um, there’s Elephant’s Palace, which has great Indian cuisine.”

“Mmm, that sounds like it could hit the spot.”

“It’s just a few shops down from here,” I said, gesturing out the front window in the direction of the restaurant. “They’re open for another three hours.”

“Is there any chance you might be free to join me, now that you’ve gotten rid of your last annoying customer?”

Clint asked with a shy half-smile.

Selene flew over my shoulder and landed with a light thump on the counter. “Unless my eyesight is failing, it looks like he’s still here,” she commented, glowering up at Clint with her bright blue eyes.

Great. My first decent dinner date invitation in months and my mouthy familiar was going to chase him off just to spite me. Generally speaking, a familiar was meant to assist a witch, to be her helper and confidant. Selene was interested in none of those things. She had two modes: sarcastic and grumpy, and even on her best day she wouldn’t so much as twitch a whisker to help me out of a bind.

I jabbed the tip of my finger against her hind quarter.

“I’d be delighted,” I told Clint, hoping it struck the right balance between enthusiasm and casualness. The last thing I wanted was to sound desperate.

The chime on the front door interrupted me, and I raised my voice, not really looking at the new would-be patron. “I’m sorry, but we just closed.”

“Closed? Surely you can make an exception for me.”

The sound of the all-too-familiar voice sent my heart plunging to the bottom of my stomach faster than an elevator car with a snapped cable.

Swinging around, my jaw dropped at the sight of the blue-eyed man standing in the entrance of the shop with his hands in his front pockets. Somehow, I managed to get out a single word. “Roger?”

“Honey, I’m home,” he said, his smile failing as his gaze darted to Clint and then back to me.

My magic candles could temporarily alter reality, but when the wick sputtered and the flame died out, real life was always there waiting on the other side of the illusion. This was especially true when it came to Roger.

Garrett, Danielle. Witchy Whiskers: A Nine Lives Magic Mystery (pp. 19-20). Roots & Wings Press. Kindle Edition.

“Great! Let me go put this in my car, and we can walk over to the restaurant.”

Nodding, I turned and began pulling my apron off over my head. “That sounds—”

There wasn’t a spell I could cast to scrub away his memory. All the magic in the world couldn’t get rid of one’s ex-husband.
Garrett, Danielle. Witchy Whiskers: A Nine Lives Magic Mystery. Kindle Locations (208-285). Roots & Wings Press. Kindle Edition.

Cora’s ex-husband Roger couldn’t have timed his entrance better if he tried. Now Cora’s annoyed and Clint will be eating alone.

Now with Roger in town, Cora’s uncomfortable, Seline is even more snarky than usual, and her new acquaintance Clint gets charged with the murder of his mother. Then just to add more to this scenario, it seems Cora’s Aunt Lavender isn’t just away but could be in trouble.

I love the way Cora gets involved in solving the murder and Selene for all her snarkiness is an awesome familiar. There’s also Clint wanting to date her and her ex wanting her back, fun times.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Danielle!

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Coming Soon!

From a young age, Danielle Garrett was obsessed with fantastic places and the stories set in them. As a lifelong bookworm, she’s gone on hundreds of adventures through the eyes of wizards, princesses, elves, and some rather wonderful everyday people as well.

Danielle now lives in Oregon and while she travels as often as possible, she wouldn’t call anywhere else home. She shares her life with her husband and their house full of animals, and when not writing, spends her time being a house servant for three extremely spoiled cats.

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