Nothing is certain but
death and taxes…
When Remy asks Brighton to take their taxes to a local accountant, she happily agrees. Even witches have to pay taxes, but she’s just glad she doesn’t have to do the paperwork herself.
It’s an unseasonably beautiful day, so she bundles her little one up, and they go for a stroll instead of driving. She and the baby have a good time on their walk. Still, unfortunately, Brighton makes an unsavory discovery when she walks into the accountant’s office.
The bean counter is dead, and Brighton has a difficult decision to make. Will she stay out of the investigation now that she’s a mom? Or, will Brighton and friends solve the crime one spell at a time?
From the moment Brighton was pregnant we knew her baby would be anything but normal. Well normal for a witch maybe.
Remy and Brighton are going to introduce their new addition to the family. Bright wants to clean up first and Remy is holding the baby while she does. That is until he isn’t…
Kinsley Marie Skeenbauer makes it very clear on the day she’s born that she is a force to be reckoned with. In proving that she nearly gives her parents a heart attack. All this before this book really gets started.
This is a favorite scene.
“Well, I’m sure I can manage Kinsley long enough for you to change your clothes,” Remy said.
I went into the closet and slipped into a pair of jeans and my favorite sweater. It was black and white striped with a gray skull on the front over the stripes. I couldn’t believe that I just put on my old favorite jeans. Magic certainly did have its perks.
When I stepped out of the closet and showed Remy, he whistled at me appreciatively. It made me laugh until I realized he wasn’t holding Kinsley.
“Where’s the baby?” I asked as I scanned the room. My heart began to pound so loud that I could hear it in my ears, and a line of cold sweat dripped down my back. Not knowing where my baby was produced a dread in me like I’d never experienced before.
“What do you mean, Brighton? She’s right here.”
It was then that Remy looked down and realized for the first time that his hands were completely empty. The baby was gone, and he hadn’t noticed at all?
“That’s not funny, Remy. Where is the baby?”
Wild thoughts began to race through my mind. Had the entirety of our relationship since he had come back from his darkness been a lie? Was the Skeenbauer Coven so loving and attentive because they’d been plotting to take my baby? Had I been duped? They had been so interested in me having a baby, and I couldn’t stop thinking of nefarious reasons why.
“Brighton, I don’t know what’s going on.”
The fear in his voice was real. I could feel it coming off of him. I felt bad for thinking he could have done something to the baby, but I had to push that guilt aside. It was my maternal instincts acting as fast as they could. At that moment, I needed to focus them on figuring out what happened to my daughter.
“Nobody came into the room?” I asked.
“No,” Remy said, “I was just standing here alone. You were gone for less than five minutes. You were right there in the closet.”
“We have to find her,” I said.
“Where do we look? She could be anywhere,” Remy said.
“Meri!” I called out.
He came skittering into the bedroom a few seconds later. The fear in my voice must have tipped him off to it being serious. He was followed by the sound of everyone downstairs plowing up the stairs. Brigid made it to the top first and she came rushing into the room.
“What’s going on?” she asked. “Where is Kinsley?”
“That’s what we don’t know,” I said. “I went into the closet to change and Remy was holding her. When I came out, she was gone. He didn’t even know she was gone until I said something.”
“Then something magical has happened,” Annika said.
“Should I call it in?” Gunner asked from the hallway.
“No,” Amelda said as she pushed past everyone into the center of the room. “We don’t need to involve the human authorities. We can find her.”
Suddenly, I heard her cry out from somewhere downstairs. “Kinsley,” I said and rushed past everyone so fast that I almost fell down the stairs.
I practically leapt down the steps two at a time as the adrenaline surged again. Witch adrenaline was obviously nothing like human adrenaline. I almost felt like I could fly if I needed to. Whereas at the top of the steps I’d stumbled, I suddenly had the grace and agility of an elite athlete.
Kinsley cried out again, and I instantly knew she was in the kitchen. I ran across the house, and found her, still in her blanket, in the kitchen sink.
“What on earth?” I asked as I scooped her up and held her to my chest. “How did you get down here?”
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I looked around to see if there was someone in the kitchen with me. I didn’t know how someone could have snatched her from Remy’s arms without him noticing, but it was the most plausible explanation I could think of at the time.
I checked the back door, and it was still deadbolted shut. No one had gone out that way. As I made my way back into the living room, everyone had come back downstairs.
“Oh, gosh,” Remy said and rushed to my side. “She’s okay?”
“She’s fine,” I said. “She was in the sink still in her blanket.”
“Well, that settles it,” Amelda said.
“Settles what?” I asked.
Amelda walked over to us and pulled a small red thread out of her pocket. I looked closer, and it was actually a delicate braid of thin red silk strands. On the end was a charm in the shape of a hand with an eye in the center.
“I’m going to tie this around her wrist. It should stop most of the shenanigans for the time being.”
“Shenanigans?” I asked.
“Some babies are born with their powers right away,” Amelda said. “It’s much safer and saner, for the parents anyway, if they develop them as they grow. But, I suspected that might not be the case for one as powerful as little Kinsley here. Which is why I have this ready,” she said as she tied it around Kinsley’s tiny wrist.
“You mean she teleported down to the kitchen sink?”
I asked. “Why?” “I’m sure she didn’t mean to, dear,” Amelda said just before giving Kinsley a kiss on her tiny hand. “She probably wasn’t even aware that her magic was about to go off. It was like a hiccup.”
“That could be really dangerous,” I said.
I tried to imagine the possibilities. If my daughter had the ability to teleport as a newborn, she wasn’t even an hour old, what could she do as she got older? If she had magical “hiccups” then my baby could end up across the country in someone else’s sink. Or worse.
“That’s what the bracelet is for,” Amelda said.
“It will keep her from disappearing again?” I asked.
“It will keep her safe,” Amelda said. “We’ll take it off when she’s ready to control her powers.”
Bourgeois, Sara. Wicked Witches of Coventry: Books One – Eleven. Kindle Locations (12328-12371). Kindle Edition.
Things are quiet for a bit after that first scare and Brighton is getting antsy. Remy asks her to bring tax documents to their new accountant so she can get out for a bit with the baby.
This leads to a gruesome discovery and Brighton arrested and put in jail. This of course brings down the wrath of the Aunties and Gunner’s wife is fuming at him.
Brighton is released once the fingerprints come back, but the evidence Gunner found still remains a mystery. Brighton knows she has to solve this murder so her family can settle again.
Incidents from the past come back full force as this tale unfolds. Once again there are many twists, but we also get to see Kinsley growing up as we skip through time.
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Sara Bourgeois is a Midwesterner through and through. She spends her time writing, reading, herding cats, and standing in her driveway during tornado warnings. (You can’t see them from the basement.)