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It may be snowing everywhere else, but in Magic, New Mexico, it’s hotter than ever!
The holidays are happening in Magic but temperatures haven’t lowered from sweltering to slow melt yet. Despite all the lectures to Jessica about life in a desert climate, Topper’s young witch daughter still longs to celebrate the festive season as humans in cooler climates do.
Top of Jessica’s Christmas wishlist this year appears to be getting her mother and father to make her some snow. Conjuring cold is not a magical problem for Topper, or for Stark who’s an alien from an ice planet, but getting rid of the men in black who would show up to investigate it definitely would be.
Jessica’s insistent demands for snow are enough to drive Topper crazy, but now Dr. Lena Verglas from the University of Arizona has arrived in Magic looking for pretty much the same thing.
The very human doctor of climate science wants to build a bio-dome and make snow in it. A swarm of academic humans moving to the town? That’s never happening so long as Topper can prevent it. Thankfully, Sheriff Theo and Deputy Calyx are in agreement with her about running the human off. Or at least they were until she heard Deputy Calyx started sleeping with the nosy human. Dragons and their libidos—just one more problem she doesn’t need.
The arrival of six more naked aliens from Glacier, having to deal with a set of bad hyena shifters, Deputy Calyx’s Greek dragon family showing up, and Stark wanting another baby is all sending Topper right over the top. As the witch in charge, she’s got to get a handle on the mounting chaos before it’s too late.
Read Chapter 1
Topper smiled as she braided her daughter’s purple hair. Like her father, Jessica’s hair was naturally silver but she liked to wear the same color her mother was wearing. Sometimes they all had purple hair, even Stark. Today her husband was expecting visitors from his home planet of Glacier and had asked for his hair to be restored to normal while they here.
“Elizabeth Crawley has very short hair. She can’t have a braid like me. She said her mother said that she wouldn’t grow long hair until she turned into a wolf. Then her mother said Elizabeth would have more hair than anyone. Is that true?”
“So Elizabeth told you she’s wolf?”
“Uh-huh… I wish I could be a wolf. Will she be a wolf puppy, Mommy? Do you think she’d fetch a ball for me?”
Topper chuckled at the image of Jessica playing fetch with a werewolf, but she doubted Elizabeth Crawley’s parents would have found it as funny.
“Don’t get your hopes up, sweetheart. Elizabeth won’t turn into a wolf until she’s much, much older.”
“How older?” Jessica asked.
“Oh… at least thirteen.”
“Wow. That’s really old,” Jessica said.
Topper wondered what Jessica would say when she was equivalent of thirteen while Elizabeth was still in elementary school? Her four-month pregnancy had netted her a child who’d passed from infant to being a five-year-old in the same number of months it had taken her to be born. While Topper missed cuddling the infant version of Jessica, she was finding it a lot easier taking care of a child capable of speech. Her primary problem now was how much her daughter loved to talk.
“Mommy? Do witches celebrate Christmas? Elizabeth Crawley said they celebrate Christmas at her house.”
Wishing Elizabeth Crawly wasn’t so talkative about her home life, Topper tied a silver ribbon at the bottom of her daughter’s purple braid and turned her around to face her.
“Elizabeth’s mother is a human who’s married to a wolf shifter. They celebrate ‘Christmas’ because Elizabeth’s human grandparents do. Witches are different. Witches celebrate the ‘Winter Solstice’ and the resting of the Earth.”
“That doesn’t sound as fun as Christmas,” Jessica said sadly, her chin dropping as she thought about it.
Topper chuckled as she lifted her daughter’s chin and made her meet her gaze. “Sweetheart, all celebrations are about being happy for the good things in our lives. That’s common across all beings on this planet no matter what holidays they celebrate.”
“Does Winter Solstice at least mean having a tree with lights and decorations?”
“No, but we make a bonfire and dance around it,” Topper said brightly.
Jessica sighed with disappointment. “That’s not the same.”
“I think you’ll like it. Just wait and see.”
Jessica sighed louder than before. “Do we at least get to have snow? Harley the Third said his grandfather makes it snow at their house. Harley the Third said snow was always part of his presents.”
When her daughter started going to school, Topper suddenly had insider info on all the forbidden magic being practiced in town. A warlock making snow in the middle of the desert? No wonder the men in black kept showing up every few weeks. They had become an unsolvable problem.
“This is New Mexico, sweetheart. We live in a desert climate. It doesn’t naturally snow here. I know Auntie Rime sometimes creates little pockets of ice and snow, but with her, it’s always an accident. And although Harley the Third’s grandfather is a warlock, Harley the First can only do that spell once a year because it takes a lot of energy. Did Harley the Third tell you that the snow his grandfather creates only lasts a few minutes before it melts away?”
Topper sighed at the disappointment in her daughter’s voice. “I’m sorry we don’t have snow in Magic, Jessica, but that’s just how it is.”
“But Daddy likes snow. Couldn’t we get him some as a Winter Solstice present? Humans give each other presents and witches are a kind of human, aren’t they?”
Topper arched one brow as she studied her daughter. Jessica’s confidence in her own five-year-old logic had to have come from Stark. She was fixated on having snow and would be asking about it until that logic was satisfied in some way.
Topper’s heart melted at her daughter’s hopeful gaze. Some tough-love mother she was turning out to be. Certainly, she could create snow for Jessica. Stark could create snow and ice as well when he wanted to. However, the novelty of a few minutes of cold and snow wasn’t worth the risk of Magic being invaded by the men in black over it.
“Witches are indeed human, and I would love to give your father a Winter Solstice present. Maybe we can take a trip somewhere and go see some snow. Even if Magic doesn’t get snow, plenty of places in the world do.”
Jessica reached up and patted her mother’s face. “Don’t give up, Mommy. The pretty lady in the mirror said she was sending someone to help us make snow in Magic. She said Daddy was her second favorite male and she wanted him to have his every wish.”
Topper frowned. “Jessica, have you been calling Goddess Icela again? You know you’re not supposed to be using my special mirror.”
“You don’t have to worry. She’s super nice to me, Mommy—just like Auntie Rime. They both have hug energy.”
Topper nodded with her lips pressed firmly together. How could she warn Jessica about the whelms of a powerful goddess? She really couldn’t right now. Maybe she could in the next year or so. At the rate her daughter was growing, Jessica would be a teenager by next summer. The two of them would look like sisters then, which oddly depressed her.
No matter how much she’d been against it, Evanna had removed the aging spell tying Topper’s visual age to her younger witch sister’s. Topper looked about twenty even though she was chronologically sixty, and the oldest of three. She still hadn’t adjusted to her youthful reflection in the mirror each morning.
The residents of Magic had blamed her renewed youthfulness on Jessica’s birth and her daughter’s alien father. Topper let them assume what they wanted. The actual truth of her youthfulness being a gift from her long-dead mother was far too difficult to explain to those without such power.
Maybe she would move all the mirrors in the house out to the potting shed. That would solve both her problems. What if her daughters started calling the Fates as well as Icela?
It gave Topper chills thinking about it.
“But the pretty lady in the mirror…” Jessica began.
“Her name is Goddess Icela,” Topper supplied, frowning over her daughter’s familiarity.
“Yes. Good IceyLaLa said she had it all worked out. She said the Fates were helping her with the tails.”
“Helping with the details?” Topper asked to be sure she understood.
“Yes. That’s what I said, wasn’t it?”
Dreading to find out what the Fates were up to, Topper smiled reassuringly at her daughter. She liked all three of them, but they better not mess with her child. Jessica deserved to retain her innocence about life for as long as possible.
“I think you speak very well for someone who was only born five months ago.”
“Thank you, Mommy. Can we witch pop to school this morning? I like showing up that way.”
Right now anything that distracted her daughter from wishing for snow, Topper was all about it. She stood and took her daughter’s hand. “Yes, we can definitely witch pop to school. I’m glad you don’t get sick like your daddy does.”
“I think it’s funny when Daddy barfs,” Jessica said with a happy giggle.
“Let’s never tell him that,” Topper advised, grinning down at the miracle that was her child.
The portal closing after only one Glacieran came through did not make Stark happy. He hadn’t opened one in several months, but he was sure the one he’d just created was as sufficiently powerful as any he’d ever made. His calculations about the space-time fluctuations and the positioning of the vortex were precise. Six hand-picked warriors had been scheduled to come through, but only one had done so.
“Hail, General Stark.”
“Greetings. Where are your clothes, Lieutenant?”
The selected officer bowed low and then looked down at his naked body. “We were instructed to disrobe and leave all of our Glacieran belongings behind. Commander Freezing wanted us to have the full Earth experience you modeled for us, sir.”
Stark gave Thor a stern look when he covered his mouth with his hand to stifle his laughter. He knew Thor wasn’t purposely trying to embarrass the man just reacting in a very human manner. Apparently, Thor being on the Earth a hundred years without seeing anyone from his home planet had changed what the formerly stoic Glacieran found amusing.
Stark saw nothing funny about every official on Glacier passing along the story of him arriving on Earth naked. He had Frost’s father, politician Polar, to thank for the original over-sharing. It had been a simple miscalculation on his part that he hadn’t understood all Earthlings wore clothes. Frost’s reports back to Glacier hadn’t been clear on the matter—at all.
Stark turned to his Glacieran visitor. “And the other five warriors who were to come with you? Where are they?”
The warrior turned and looked at where the portal had been. “I do not know, General. We all entered the portal together. Only I seem to have exited. This is quite unexpected.”
“Indeed,” Stark said, frowning as he looked in the same direction.
Thor asked the question he assumed they were all wondering. “Do you think the other warriors are lost within the portal, Stark?”
Stark shook his head. “No. The goddess would not do such a thing to her loyal subjects. I suspect the men have been sent somewhere else for some purpose she forgot to share with me. I will contact the Goddess to ask about them when we return home.”
The lieutenant drew in a breath. “So it’s true then? You were indeed chosen by the goddess to be here? And you talk to her frequently?”
Stark nodded. “Yes, and I am twice blessed, Lieutenant. My mate is a powerful Earth female. She also speaks to several goddesses on a regular basis. I speak only to Icela.”
The lieutenant bowed his head. “It is a great honor to have been chosen by you for this visit, General Stark. I look forward to meeting your extraordinary mate.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant. Let’s find you some clothes before the town’s chief protector has a fit. Public nudity is not condoned in Magic. Were the others…?”
“Yes, General. They were unclothed as well. Commander Freezing advised all of us to emulate your arrival on Earth as closely as possible.”
Beside him, Thor burst out laughing, and Stark turned this time to openly glare. “You are not being helpful, Thor.”
“I know,” Thor admitted, through his laughter, trying to sober again and failing to do so. “Perhaps I should check with Sheriff Theo and Deputy Calyx to see if five naked aliens have shown up anywhere unexpected.” The town’s two dragon law keepers were both going to be very unhappy about his news.
“Good idea,” Stark said firmly, motioning for their visitor to follow him.
Thor smiled as the two started walking off. “Perhaps I will check with Priestess Rime first. She may have some knowledge.”
Stark nodded without verbally responding and walked away.
Thor finally turned and walked away too, relieved to finally be able to grin without being judged poorly for having a sense of humor.
The Worlds Of Magic, New Mexico?
Imagine The Worlds of Magic, New Mexico… A series that brings together outstanding paranormal and science fiction authors to expand a town where witches, aliens, vampires, werewolves, goblins, sorceresses, pirates, time travelers, and paranormal live in harmony – when they aren’t joining forces to defeat the bad guys. A magical town where being abnormal is the norm!
S.E. Smith, the creator of Magic, New Mexico invites you to curl up with each book and discover all the action, the magic, and the love that makes Magic, New Mexico the ultimate go-to series for Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance readers.
For all the stories, go to MagicNewMexico.com/books/. Grab your copy today!
Who is SE Smith? So glad you want to know!
I met SE Smith through a mutual paranormal author friend. We’ve been fellow geek friends ever since. I’m a fan of her aliens, her shifters, and pretty much all the characters SE creates. Her premise for the Magic, NM series is very funny–alien cop chases an alien bad guy to Earth where both end up in a town full paranormals. Alien cop + powerful witch = a lot of fun and laughs. I was excited when SE suggested I write a story about her head witch in Magic, who’s nearly 60. SE asked me for an HEA for Topper….. Wish granted… in MY CRAZY ALIEN ROMANCE series.
WRITTEN FOR: The Worlds of Magic, New Mexico
SERIES: Book 4 of My Crazy Alien Romance
LENGTH: 43,700 words/174 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 4, 2018