What if you could smell magic—or go to a bar and get a shot of magic to go with your cocktail? Will an aging sorcerer’s last pupil ever learn anything? And what could possibly go wrong when a pair of witches enter the local chili cook-off?
Includes stories by DeAnna Knippling, Leah R. Cutter, Robert Jeschonek, Debbie Mumford, Annie Reed, Rei Rosenquist, Alicia Cay, James Pyles, Grayson Towler, Jamie Ferguson, Dayle A. Dermatis, Thea Hutcheson, Leslie Claire Walker, Sharon Kae Reamer, and Steve Vernon.
“The Coffee Shop Ghost” by DeAnna Knippling
Pink-haired goth Tiff Cordero isn’t a witch. She’s a clairaliant, someone who smells spirits. And she’s been hired to sniff out a ghost who has recently started to give migraines to the patrons of a local coffee shop.
Only problem: nobody’s died anywhere near the building recently, no one has cursed the place, and the only odor Tiff can pick up is the smell of burnt plastic.
If she can’t solve the case, all the cool patrons will ditch the coffee shop—and it’s already in a neighborhood getting updated and plasticized out of existence.
“Dreams of Saffron and Lace” by Leah R. Cutter
Regina Victoria Edmondson rules as Queen over the nursery she shares with her twin brother Tobias.
Except when she allows him to direct their play as Raj.
However, on the rambling country estate where they live, neither of them control the gardens, where time moves in an unorderly, disquieting fashion.
Secrets hide there.
“A Spice Most Demanding” by Robert Jeschonek
Most guests at The Unicorn’s Egg in downtown Philadelphia come seeking shots of magic—just one more belt to satisfy their addictions to spells and sorcery. Newcomer Oliver Box breaks the mold, though, coming to the pub to help others—bringing old-timers to warlock bartender Homan Teatree to restore ruined memories in minds burned by dementia. But when those memories connect to each other and an ancient mystery in unlikely ways, Teatree suspects a game’s afoot, and he’s a loser in the making. Layers of lies peel away to reveal secrets undreamt of, as Oliver’s shocking true agenda points to the miraculous restoration of a flavor of the world long thought lost…and a piece of his heart lost and found along with it.
“The Solitary Sorceress” by Debbie Mumford
It’s been ten years since the Firestone turned Kaitlyn into a sorceress to be reckoned with. Since that fateful day, she’s been in seclusion, mastering herself as well as the artifact. But now her mentor and friend, Aelfric, has died and King Lorien has called her to court to take her place as the King’s Magician. Is she ready? Can she maintain control of the Firestone while surrounded by courtiers?
“The Fixer” by Annie Reed
When Amelia botched her first spell as a kid, her parents enrolled her in an after-school program that taught her how to fix her screw-ups. She loved doing this so much that as an adult she opened her own business to help people who couldn’t get their spells to work quite right.
Now the best spell reclamation wizard in the business, she’s never run into a spell she couldn’t fix…until now. And to make matters worse, the spell in question is one of her own, pirated by a shady online wizarding school out to bilk unsuspecting wannabe wizards—and ruin Amelia in the process.
“A Worthwhile Sacrifice” by Rei Rosenquist
Cedar had a simple task: get water from the northern well and bring it back to their town before dark, when all doors are sealed with magical locks to keep everyone safe inside.
Instead of completing the task on time, Cedar got distracted and dawdled.
But the wolves come every night, and tonight is no different.
“Campbell County Cook-Off” by Alicia Cay
The oldest of three elderly witch sisters always wins the County Fair’s chili cook-off…but this year, things are going to be different!
Rebecca and Leah steal their sister’s prize-winning recipe, whip up their own batch of chili, and head off to the competition ready to surprise their sister—and win the contest. But they didn’t follow the recipe correctly…or did they?
“No Place Like Home” by James Pyles
What would have happened if Dorothy hadn’t wanted to leave Oz and return to Kansas? What if the “good witch” Glinda had craved the ruby slippers for her own? What would the transformed Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion really have been like with their new attributes?
You’ll never think of Dorothy and her friends the same way again…
“Terminal Sorcery” by Grayson Towler
Kenryk the Magnificent once cast demon princes back to the darkness, and brought demigods to their knees. Now he’s just an old man trapped in his own tower, shivering under a stack of grey, threadbare blankets, unable to walk more than a few steps on his own without the help of his fool of an apprentice. No matter what Kenryk tries to teach her, the woman just is not good at magic—and she’s going to be his last apprentice. But Kenryk has one final lesson for her…
“Diamond Betty” by Jamie Ferguson
It’s 1883, and the silver boom is well underway in Colorado. Penelope heads to Denver to use her witchcraft to steal a necklace from Diamond Betty, a beautiful woman with a questionable past who recently married a wealthy silver magnate almost twice her age. The diamond pendant contains a demon, and Penelope plans to put the necklace in a place so safe that no one would ever be able to harness the creature’s magical powers. But things don’t always work out as planned, especially when magic—and demons—are involved.
“Telling the Bees” by Dayle A. Dermatis
Some kind of weird Sleeping Beauty curse has hit a Portland, Oregon, suburb—the entire town has fallen asleep. Hedgewitch sisters Holly and Willow, and Holly’s fae familiar, Cam, head out to help. But “weird” doesn’t begin to describe what’s really happening….
“The Final Initiation” by Thea Hutcheson
Sindal returns to the village she left years ago with the goal of completing her final initiation into witchcraft. To do so, she must kill her former husband, who’d beaten and humiliated her after she’d been forced to marry him as a young girl. When she arrives at his hut, she finds he took a second wife to replace her. Sindal needs to complete her task in order to be a full-blooded witch, but her once easy decision is no longer as simple as it had seemed.
“Fight or Flight” by Leslie Claire Walker
Little Charlie Nobody fights to survive on dangerous streets. Each time he hovers between life and death, he not only sees the future, he enters it.
He falls in love with the wonders he sees, the people he meets, and even the trouble he finds. No one captures his heart more than Sunday Sloan, who wields the kind of magic that others would kill to possess.
He wants nothing more than to become part of her world. Will magic allow him to leave his own time and remain in hers?
“Witches of Cologne” by Sharon Kae Reamer
Gwen and her best friend Faigel are imprisoned in medieval Cologne, waiting to be burned for bringing the Great Death down on the city. But they weren’t responsible for the plague—the only thing they did wrong was fall in love with the same man. And it was this love that caused Gwen to make a deal with the Raven Queen…Cathubodua.
“Travis Alamo Boone – Witchhunter” by Steve Vernon
Twelve-year-old Travis Alamo Boone went to the eye doctor to get 20-20 vision; that’s where he saw the one-eyed witch. Travis had something that the witch wanted. And that’s how he started on the road he’s still on today.