Lucy March A Little Night Magic: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780312389376

A Little Night Magic: A Novel

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9780312389376: A Little Night Magic: A Novel

"positively magical." Booklist

In A Little Night Magic, Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She's been working at the same upstate New York waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She's been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he's never made a move. Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends―Peach, Millie, and Stacy―and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories. Intent on shaking things up, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends...

"Sexy, funny, heartfelt...Lucy March is sublime!"―Jennifer Crusie, New York Times bestselling author

Then Liv meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman who shows her that there is more to her life than she ever dreamed. As her latent magical powers come to the surface, Liv discovers that having an interesting life is maybe not all it's cracked up to be. The dark side of someone else's magic is taking over good people in town, and changing them into vessels of malevolence.Unwilling to cede her home to darkness, she battles the demons of her familial past and her magical present, with those she loves at her side...and in the cross fire. Can the most important things in life―friendship, love, magic, and waffles―get her through the worst that the universe can throw at her?

"delightful."―RT Book Reviews

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About the Author:

Lucy March lives in magical Syracuse, NY with her husband and two daughters. Her powers have yet to come in, but she's keeping her fingers crossed. She is also the author of That Touch of Magic.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1
 

There’s magic linoleum at Crazy Cousin Betty’s Waffle House.
Okay, maybe it’s not magic, exactly. It’s this one weird sparkly blue square, in the midst of all the solid, checkerboarded blues and whites. I first noticed it when I was six, and I remember tugging on Betty’s periwinkle blue skirt and pointing down at the floor. Betty, who’d seemed ancient to me even then, knelt down to level her wrinkled eyes with mine.
“Oh, that? It’s a magic square,” she’d said. “Step on it. Make a wish. It’ll come true.”
“Really?”
She winked. “You bet. But don’t go just stepping on it every time you want a new doll, or a motorcycle. Magic’s not to be messed with, Olivia.” And then she stood up, mussed my hair, and moved on.
I didn’t believe her. Even at that tender age, I could tell bullcrap when I heard it.
But then, right after I’d started working at CCB’s, I desperately wanted Robbie Pecorino to ask me to prom. On a whim, I stepped on the square late one night, and boom—two days later, he asked me. So, that was cool. But then there was the time I wished my college boyfriend, Charlie, would give me a little more space, and he ended up dumping me to date his roommate, Neil. Finally, six years ago, when I was twenty-two, I used it to wish my mother didn’t have cancer anymore.
Two months later, she died.
I stopped wishing after that. I mean, I didn’t really believe that it was magic and could grant wishes, but ... I kind of believed it was magic and could grant wishes. And that it was a sadistic little bastard, to be avoided at all costs. Whenever I took orders at Booth 9, I always stood either too close or too far away, just in case I absently wished for anything while standing on the square. Still, on that Friday night in June as I swished my mop over the square, I considered, just for a second, making the wish that would finally help me get my stupid act together.
“You’re not done yet?”
I looked up from where I was standing in the middle of the dim and empty dining room, mop handle in my hand as one white-Kedded foot hovered over the square, and there was Tobias Shoop, CCB’s night cook, his broad form clad in his standard outfit of crumpled jeans and a black T-shirt. He had a smile that was a little too big for his face, and one of his front teeth sort of overlapped the other, and his five o’clock shadow came in almost while you watched, but I loved him, goddamnit. And I had to do something about that, because loving this man was gonna kill me. I couldn’t wish the love away with him standing right there looking at me, though, so I pulled my foot back and started mopping again. “Do I look like I’m done?”
His bulk nearly blocked all the light streaming from the kitchen into the dining room as he leaned against the doorjamb, simply watching me in that way he had of simply ... watching. He gave me one of his classic Tobias looks—a combination of total focus and mild smolder that I had been stupid enough to mistake for romantic interest—and strode toward me. “You need help?”
“Nope.” I set the mop aside and looked at him, his dark hair glinting with premature strands of gray at the temples. My fingers itched to run through that hair, to indulge in the same traitorous instinct that had screwed everything up in the first place.
“I’m almost done,” I said coolly. “You go. I’ll lock up.”
His response to this was to cross to Booth 9, haul himself up on the table, and stare at me.
I continued mopping. “You can leave, you know. Believe it or not, before you got here, I used to lock up by myself all the time.”
“I don’t mind.”
I do, I thought. I swished my mop over the square, wishing he would just go away and leave me alone. Tragically, I wasn’t standing on the square at the moment I wished it and so he remained right where he was.
“You ever going to stop being mad at me?” he asked.
“I’m not mad,” I said automatically, then swished my mop over the square again. I wish you’d break out in boils. Swish.
“I’m not an idiot, Liv. I know you’re pissed.” He let out a long sigh. “Can we at least talk about it?”
“I’d be happy to, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Swish swish. I hope your ear hair grows freakishly long. Swish.
“Bullshit.”
I stopped mopping and looked at him. “If you’re trying to get on my good side, you suck at it.”
“I’m not trying to get on your good side,” he said. “I just want us to be like we used to be. You know. Before you got all mad.”
Grow a clubfoot. “I’m not mad.”
He hopped off the table and grabbed my arm, and I felt the electricity rush through me, the way it always did at his touch. I pulled my arm away and forced myself to look at him, doing my best to maintain an expression of steely indifference, but likely landing somewhere between abject adoration and poorly suppressed rage.
“You’re saying we’re fine, then?” he asked, his tone thick with skepticism.
“Yep.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, challenging me. “Then come over tonight and watch The Holy Grail.
I looked at him, softening for a moment, remembering all the nights we’d spent over the last year and a half watching stupid movies, talking for hours about nothing and everything. Then those memories had a head-on collision with the memory of what happened during Movie Night last Friday, and I stopped softening.
A clubfoot and a hunchback. “Can’t. I have to pack.”
He released my arm. “Pack? For where?”
I took a breath, feeling a little nervous but keeping what I hoped was an air of confidence in my tone. “Scotland.”
He drew back in surprise. “Scotland? Why?”
“Because that’s where the dart landed,” I said, keeping a sharp tone of defiance in my voice. “I’m starting in Scotland, anyway. I’m going to travel all over Europe. You know, like college kids do after graduation.”
“What? Backpacking?”
“Yeah. The idea just popped in my head, and at first I thought, Wow, that’s insane, but the more I think about it the more awesome it sounds. I’ve got money saved up, and between that and the sale of the house—”
“You’re selling your house?”
“—I should have a good six months before I have to settle down and get a job somewhere, but by then I figure I’ll know where I want to be. I’ll waitress again, maybe, but this time in Italy, or Vienna. Or, if I have to come back to the States, maybe Atlanta, or San Diego. Somewhere warm, I think.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
I stopped to look at him, taking him in. He was broadly built, and had the kind of quiet strength about him that no one ever tested. He was smart, confident, and thoughtfully quiet, until you got him talking about the things that fascinated him, like sci-fi/fantasy novels and the way conspiracy theories spread like viruses of the intellect. He was the simultaneous symbol of everything that was right with my life and everything that was wrong.
And it was time to let him go.
“I’m talking about leaving. Going. Good-bye.”
He absorbed this for a moment. “If this is because of what happened between us last week—”
I snorted, a little too loudly. “Back it up, Superego. Not everything is about you.”
“The timing seems a little conspicuous, that’s all.”
I shrugged. “I mean, yeah, sure, throwing myself at you after a year and a half of waiting for you to make the first move, only to be rejected and then completely ignored for three days—”
“Christ, Liv, I said I was sorry.”
“—might or might not have inspired me to print out a picture of you and put it on my corkboard, and I might or might not have thrown a dart at you and missed, hitting my world map poster by mistake.”
“Well,” he said flatly. “At least you’re not mad.”
“I will neither confirm nor deny any of that, but the fact is, when I blew the plaster dust off my world map and saw that gaping hole next to Edinburgh, it hit me what a great idea it was.” I sighed and looked at him. “I’m twenty-eight, Tobias. I’m tired of waiting for my life to come find me, so I’m gonna go find it.”
He stared at me. “This doesn’t make any sense.”
And suddenly, insanely, I felt tears come to my eyes. “I have to leave first.”
He shook his head. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about you.” The terror on his face sent a jolt of pain through me, and I held up my hand to keep him from saying anything, not that he was jumping at the chance. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to kiss you again. I’ve learned my lesson.”
“Liv—”
I held out my hand to stop him from talking. “You’re not a small-town guy, Tobias. Someday you’re going to leave, and when you do, if I haven’t left first, I’m going to spend the rest of my life pining away for you. That’s what happened to my mother with my father. I never even knew the son of a bitch, but whoever he was, he took part of her with him and she never got it back and that’s not going to happen to me.”
There was a long, horrible silence in which my heart sputtered along on the hope that h...

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