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Yule's Sinister Spell - RR6 ebook

Yule's Sinister Spell - RR6 ebook

Regular price $5.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $5.99 USD
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Previously published as Delusions of the Past

Season of darkness, season of light

It's Reg's first Yule, and she should be learning all about the festivities in Black Sands. But her interest in the holiday falls by the wayside when Starlight falls ill.

What kind of a monster poisons a psychic’s cat?

When Starlight first got sick, Reg thought that she was the cause of it. She should have been watching him more carefully. She should have found out about household plants and chemicals that could hurt her familiar. She was clearly a negligent owner.

But it soon becomes clear that there is some darker force at work, and Reg is going to need all of her resources to find the culprit before it is too late if she is to have any chance of saving her furry companion’s life.

Like paranormal mysteries? Psychics, witches, fairies, and more! Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author P.D. Workman waves her wand to transport readers to the myth- and magic-filled small town of Black Sands for another paranormal cozy mystery to be solved by Reg Rawlins and her friends.

A self-professed con artist practicing as a contact to the dead, a drop-dead gorgeous warlock, and a psychic cat—what could go wrong?

Fall under Reg’s spell today.
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“Holy cow! What happened here?”

Sarah beamed at Reg. “Do you like it?”

Reg didn’t know where to look first. There was what she was pretty sure was holly, with shiny green leaves and red berries, and another plant with white berries. There were strings of twinkle lights and a wide assortment of candles flickering in jars around the room. There was an evergreen tree in a bucket and wreaths, pinecones, and garlands everywhere. It seemed like every surface was covered with some new decoration.

“Is this for Christmas? It looks like a department store blew up in here!”

“For Yule,” Sarah corrected. “Isn’t it lovely? I love decorating for solstice.”

“Yule,” Reg repeated, looking around. “I thought Yule was Christmas? Yuletide greetings and all of that. Isn’t that right?”

“Christians may think that Yule and Christmas are the same things because they borrowed so many of the symbols and traditions from Yule, but they are not the same thing. This is for our holy day. Little Jesus couldn’t have been born in December. Not if sheep were lambing in the fields.”

“Uh… oh. Okay. I don’t know much about the origins of either of them. I mean I’ve been forced to watch or read the Christmas story enough times, with all of the different foster families who wanted to educate me as to what Christmas was really about, but I never really saw the connection between a baby being born and Christmas and all of the rest—gifts and Santa Claus and…” She looked around, “…this.”

“That’s because there is no connection. It is a bunch of traditions cobbled together in an effort to keep the pagan converts happy hundreds of years ago. Christmas today is a chaotic mishmash of Christian legend and pagan symbolism and Coca Cola and Clement Clarke Moore. Hallmark and commercialism. Nothing like Yule.” She folded her arms and looked around at the decorations adorning every surface with a contented smile. “I love the simple symbolism and stories of Yule. They have barely changed during the time that Christianity was trying to get a foothold and build its empire. Still the same symbols and rituals that have always been part of the season.”

Reg indicated the garlands of twinkle lights. “Nothing has changed?”

“Well, if you want to bring modern technology into it. It is a little easier to string lights than it is to try to fill the house with candles. Most of these…” Sarah indicated one of the many candles flickering around the room, “are actually electric.” She reached into one jar and pulled the fake candle out, not burning herself. “I get them at the dollar store by the case.”

Reg laughed. “Well, you wouldn’t want to burn the house down.”

“Yule is a time of light, so I always try to provide lots of extra inspiration. You do want a few real candles to practice meditation and healing, but most of them can just be electric.”

Reg picked up another of the fake candles and looked at it. She put it back down. “Healing?”

“Fire is a powerful element. It can hurt and do devastating damage, but it can also heal.”

“I’ll have to take your word on that one.”

“If you want to learn about it, I am more than happy to share.”

“Yeah… why don’t you tell me about the rest? Are you telling me that the Christmas tree is really a Yule tree?”

“Yes, it is,” Sarah laughed. “Evergreen trees and branches were a symbol of life for long before the Christians borrowed them. They stay green all winter with the promise of reawakening in the spring. How could that not be a powerful symbol in any pagan culture?”

“Well, I guess.” Reg looked around. “Not that anything turns brown in December here. It’s sort of funny to be somewhere green all year long.”

“It is paradise,” Sarah agreed. “I have had enough of cold nights, snow, mud, and miserable weather. Florida is the perfect place.”

“As long as there are no hurricanes,” Reg suggested.

“Well.” Sarah shrugged, conceding the point. “I’d still rather be warm all year. My old bones do not like the cold.”

Reg supposed that if Sarah were hundreds of years old, as she claimed, she was entitled to complain about aching bones.

“When is Yule? Is it the same day as Christmas?”

“It is winter solstice. December twenty-first. But it is traditionally held for twelve days, so—”

“The twelve days of Christmas?”

“You didn’t ever wonder where that came from?”

“Uh… no.”

Reg had always had more pressing concerns around Christmas time. Was she living in a home where she was expected to give gifts? That could be a problem, especially if it was supposed to be paid for out of her own money, something she rarely had.

Was she going to be staying with her foster family for Christmas, or would they be visiting extended family and she would be required to go to respite care for the holiday, where the parents would know nothing about her?

Would she be forced to sing? To perform? To sit through mind-numbing hours of preaching? Or would it be a family that didn’t celebrate Christmas and was sneered at by the kids at school and other people in the neighborhood? Many years, she had wished that she could just skip Christmas. She had never once been tempted to research Christmas traditions and to find out where they had come from.

“I’ll tell you more about it later, then. We have plenty of time. I wanted to get the decorations up early to get plenty of usage out of them. I’m not one to put them up the day before Yule and take them down again the day after.”

“Sure, that makes sense. You may as well enjoy it all.”

Sarah clearly did, or she wouldn’t have been decorating the cottage as well as her own house. Reg assumed that it was not a Yule tradition to decorate other people’s homes.

“Are you going to decorate the tree?”

“You and I can do that over the next few days. I’m afraid I’m out of energy today. The well has run dry.”

“Okay.” Reg might have fun decorating a tree. But she couldn’t make any assumptions as to what they would be putting on it. She was pretty sure that round Christmas baubles and an angel on top of the tree would not be part of the prescribed decorations. “Well, thank you for all of this. It’s lovely. I didn’t expect anything. I thought when I came home, and the lights were on that… it might have been burgled.”

Sarah laughed heartily. “No, just an old lady who doesn’t know when to stop. I’m going to get something to eat and hit the sack. I will not be out partying tonight.”

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Customer Reviews

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P.D. (Pamela) Workman is a USA Today Bestselling author, winner of several awards from Library Services for Youth in Custody and the InD’tale Magazine’s Crowned Heart award, and has published over 100 mystery/suspense/thriller and young adult books.

Workman loves writing about the underdog. She has been praised for her realistic details, deep characterization, and sensitive handling of the serious social issues that appear in her stories, from light cozy mysteries to darker, grittier young adult and mystery/suspense books.

P. D. Workman does not shy from probing the deep psychological scars of childhood trauma, mental illness, and addiction. Also characteristic of this author, these extremely sensitive issues are explored with extensive empathy, described with incredible clarity, and portrayed with profound insight.
—Kim, Goodreads reviewer