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Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Arcane Imaginarium Book One
Two mates are better than one…
Vanessa lives vicariously through the romance heroines in her overflowing bookshelf. No real man can ever measure up to the sultry, shapeshifter heroes with their feral smiles—or so she thinks until a creepy costume shop and a chance encounter with a fortuneteller shake up her ordinary life. When Vanessa’s best friend brings her to a sexy costume party, she realizes more than fur is going to fly.
Rick is an Alpha cat shifter and co-owner of the Imaginarium. When he scents the luscious Vanessa, he has no intention of letting her slip away. But Rick isn’t the only man searching for his one true love. Cian is a former Captain of the Winter Court in Faery, wielder of shadows and magic. When Fey enchantment and shifter might collide, more than mere hearts are caught in the crossfire. And as a threat looms closer with the turning of the season, both men may be the keys to Vanessa’s heart—and her survival.
Reader note: contains BBW heroine, ménage, spanking, light BDSM, and erotic romance elements
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“Do you want your fortune told, my dear?” The crone’s rheumy eyes met hers, and a shiver slid down her back. The woman gave her the willies.
“Please. Be my guest. It will be my treat to show you your fortune.”
Indecision warred within her. “I’m here with my friend.”
“Go ahead! Get your fortune read.” Aria came up beside her and looped an arm around her neck. “Let’s find out what kind of night you’re going to have at the party.”
“OK.” Vanessa made her way to the small table and lowered herself into the seat. In front of her laid a strange-looking Ouija board printed with an alphabet and a yes and no.
The older woman took an item out of a wooden box and placed it carefully on the surface of the board.
“It’s called a planchette, silly.” Aria rolled her eyes and grinned at the annoyed look Vanessa gave her.
“I’ve never used one of these, OK? My father would kill me.”
“Why? Does he think they’re a portal to some other dimension or something?”
Vanessa wrinkled her nose. “I’m not sure. He just never let anything like it in the house. It’s beautiful.” The workmanship of the board and the intricate lettering transfixed her. She reached out to touch the planchette but the older woman stopped her.
“Not yet, my girl. First you must think of a question.”
“What kind of question?”
The woman’s thin lips curved upward. “The spirit board offers much guidance but also warns of things to come. Ask the right questions and you’ll find the answers you seek.”
“Cryptic, much?” Aria yawned. “Why don’t you play with the board and I’ll find you something to wear.”
“Sure. Whatever.” Vanessa focused her attention on the board in front of her. The letters weaved in front of her eyes.
“Now,” the old woman began, her eyes bright in her pale face, “think of the question you would like to ask the spirits. But be warned…”
“The truth can wound or it can set you free.”
Vanessa held out her hand and the old woman enveloped it in her own. She placed Vanessa’s hand on the planchette and released her. “Fingertips only. Now…think of what you want to ask.”
Vanessa moved her fingers until only the tips touched the planchette. Her mind raced. There were so many questions she wanted answers to. Who was her mother? Not her father’s wife, but her biological mother. Should she go to this party with Aria on Friday or stay home like she always did, safe behind a pile of books?
Before the woman placed her own fingertips on the planchette, it took off toward the yes. Then it sped to the letters and began to spell out something.
“What the—?” Vanessa snatched her fingers away as if they’d been singed.
“Goddess…” The fortune-teller stood abruptly, knocking her chair over. Her brow contorted and her eyes were owlish with fear showing a ring of veined white around the iris. “Stop.”
“It’s still moving,” Vanessa whispered, her pulse hammering beneath her skin. “I’m trying to make out what it’s saying, but the thing is going too fast.”
“What’s going on over here?” Aria scrambled back toward the table, an expression of horror on her face. “Jesus, Vanessa.”
“I didn’t do it,” she snapped. “It’s wigging out.”
The old woman backed up, her eyes wide. “You must go to the party. Something you need will be revealed to you there. That is all I can tell you.” With that, she yanked the planchette off the board and swiftly tucked it back into the wooden box it came from. Without looking at either of the girls, the fortune-teller retreated into the back room, the door shutting behind her with a resounding thud.
“Thanks,” Vanessa called, a little too late.
“OK then. That wasn’t weird.” Aria grimaced. “Come on. I have a couple of dresses you need to look at.”
“Yeah. Sure. OK.” Anything to get her mind off of whatever just happened. “Freaky” didn’t even begin to cover it.
“How about this?” Aria raised her arm and a flowing Egyptian priestess costume dangled from her fingertips. The white fabric was sheer, but it had so many layers, it had the potential to work. Around the hanger was a plastic bag complete with golden armbands and some kind of bluish lapis necklace.
“OK,” Vanessa replied reluctantly. “Hand it over.”
Aria scurried over and passed the dress off, a smirk on her full lips. “This is going to look great on you. Just wait.”
“Sure.” As long as it got her out of here faster. Vanessa decided putting distance between the fortune-teller and her would be a good thing. “Why did I let you talk me into this again?”
“Cause you love me and you’ll have lots of fun?”
“You haven’t even told me what kind of party it is.”
Aria gave her a cheeky grin. “And ruin the surprise?”
About the Author:
Erzabet Bishop is an award-winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the Beast, Bayou Shadows (Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.
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