A Cursed Midlife

Witching After Forty, Book 2

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Necromancer trainee, book seller, novel writer Ava Harper is settling into her new life with friends and her houseguests. And she definitely isn’t thinking about a certain hunky sheriff who pops in unannounced at every turn. And mostly ignoring her devilish new neighbor, a lingering Christmas present from herself.

She has bigger things to worry about. Like learning her newly woken powers. And convincing her house that she isn’t selling it so it will stop scaring off any visitors. Plus, she’s teaching a ghoul to use a computer. Why shouldn’t he? He can’t talk, he might as well be able to use social media.

Her life gets more complicated when the local coven decides Ava has dodged them for long enough. She doesn’t have any interest in joining the coven. She’s everything they turn their nose up at. A necromancer with a weird ability to heal people.

But they want her.

When a member of the coven is severely injured in a freak accident, the coven calls Ava in to heal her. And the more Ava learns about the so-called accident the more her past haunts her.

When other coven members fall victim to freak accidents, Ava is sure something dark is at play.

Once again, she puts her trust in her friends—and the deliciously mysterious man in charge of the local law enforcement—to get to the bottom of whoever is targeting witches.


“Coming!” I called. 

The persistent knocking on the door roused me from a dead sleep. I’d just settled into the deep bliss of dreamland. And my crazy house didn’t help. Every time whoever-was-about-to-get-an-earful-from-me-for-waking-me knocked on the door, the house echoed the sound upstairs, and I would’ve sworn it was doing it on purpose. Right outside my bedroom door. The last double tap was so loud I jumped out of bed. Literally landing on my buttocks on the hardwood floor, and then I understood why they were called hardwood. 

Rubbing my behind, I stomped down the stairs, paying back the house for waking me. Whoever it was could have left a message and went away. I’d call them back, maybe. Eventually.  

The last time someone woke me up this persistently, a skeleton stood on the other side of the door.  

“Where is everyone?” I mumbled loudly. I’d told Alfred not to answer the door unless he knew who it was, but my son was here for the weekend, and Owen, my friend, roommate, and teacher, was hanging around somewhere. Apparently, neither of them was home. 

As long as our new houseguest, the fully defleshed skeleton, Larry, didn’t answer, we’d be okay. It was way too fudging early to deal with the aftermath of anyone seeing him. 

Alfred stood beside the door, dry-washing his hands. He shrugged at me, his eyes somehow looking worried even though he couldn’t move the skin on his face to convey that emotion. “It’s okay,” I said softly. “Just stand behind the door.” 

As my ghoul, Alfred had become a beloved member of our family, even if he wouldn’t let me take out the strings tying his lips together. His vocal cords definitely worked, because he made grunting noises all the time. I’ve even caught him mumbling to Snooze once. So he could talk. I wasn’t sure why he didn’t want to. But I filed it under one of the many mysteries of life I didn’t have time to solve at the moment. There was something about him he wanted to keep hidden. But hey, who was I to judge? I’d kept my necromancer side squashed for over twenty years. 

Sometimes we suppressed part of who we were, and that was okay. So I wasn’t about to push him to share his secrets. 

Peeking out the peephole, I frowned. Nobody out there. “Probably some town kid playing a prank,” I muttered. We had the spooky old house on the hill. Well, spooky with fresh paint and newly renovated insides. 

I’d been thinking about doing some major upgrades, but at the last minute decided to restore the old house and keep the historical value of it. Although the value may have been zero since the house was basically alive. It wasn’t possessed or anything, it was just… animated. My theory was the house had absorbed so much magic through the centuries that it formed its own spirit along the way. 

I opened the door cautiously in case there really was someone out there. Couldn’t be too careful after the winter we’d had. Murders and Satanic Christmas parties and all that. It had been chaos. The neighborhood was going to Hell.