Wish Magic

Wish Magic

J.D. Blackrose

July 2023 $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-61026-221-7

The Summoner's Mark, Book 5

Our PriceUS$15.95
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Hi, I’m Becs. And I’m a Summoner.

The Kiss on my wrist--a mark I’ve had since birth--signals my rare ability to call on immortals and negotiate with them on behalf of my clients for information, favors, or other services. In the past few years, these powers got me entangled with the demon Valefar, a bevy of fae and even Lucifer himself!

It’s complicated, dangerous, and exhausting…especially when dealing with a guy like my pseudo-friend, businessman/mobster Gregory Adamos.

When Gregory told me he was having a package delivered to my door, I was suspicious. After all, I know he’s desperate to get his very human hands on any sort of magic. So, I opened the package…and found a crystal that had no business being in the United States, much less Smokey Point, Ohio.

Worse--this crystal contained a djinn. And when Gregory released it, all hell broke loose. Gregory thinks he can control this ancient creature, but I know better. The djinn has to be put back in his prison and locked away forever. But Gregory wants to use the genie’s power for himself. Before long, the entire magical community of Smokey Point is in chaos.

And if that isn’t enough to keep me busy, Asher has returned. Only he’s human this time, not an angel.

I don’t know which will be harder to do--imprison a genie or trust the love of a man I thought long dead.

I wish I knew.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Wish Magic is the fifth installment in The Summoner’s Mark Series. Previously, she’s published The Soul Wars, The Devil’s Been Busy, and the Zombie Cosmetologist novellas through Falstaff Books. She’s also published multiple short stories, including "Welcome, Death,” in the award-winning Jewish Book of Horror. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website: slipperywords.

"I highly recommend this series. It's a thrill ride from beginning to end.” --Wonderfullyweird88, Goodreads on Fae Crossed
"Fabulous! The chaos continues. The action is just as energetic with well-crafted characters, flaws, and all keeping the excitement riotously flowing along at a good pace with its great writing. This has been a wonderful Urban Fantasy and the surprising epilogue teases maybe Becs’s story isn’t quite finished yet.”—C. Sinclair, Amazon Reviewer on Hell Bound
"Great urban fantasy, wonderful writing, intriguing characters (love Pinky!), and an enthralling plot. Highly recommend.”Penny, Goodreads Reviewer

Chapter 1

MY MOUTH WAS having a Friday.

Not just any Friday. An on-vacation-after-a-few-too-many-drinks kind of Friday. And I was aiming all that tactless, blundering speech at my sister.

I took a deep breath, willing myself to calm down. "I’m sorry, Mickey. I don’t mean to be grumpy.”

"Yeah?” she replied. "Well, for someone who isn’t trying, you’re doing a good job of it.”

I pulled my car out of the back lot of the apartment building-slash-Chinese food restaurant where I lived and headed for my magic shop. My landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Long, owned "So Long Noodles” and the units above it, renting to me and a few others, including my former boyfriend, Asher.

Even the magic shop wasn’t mine—Gregory Adamos owned it. He’d bought it for me with the idea that I’d eventually pay rent, but I was conveniently forgetting that part. The shop didn’t make much money, and he’d put it in my name, so he could just shove it up his—

My sister interrupted that thought, grinding out her words through my car’s speaker phone. "You’ve been pining for over a year. Asher isn’t coming back. Dating again will be good for you.”

Asher wasn’t returning, true. She thought my ex-boyfriend was a rat on the lam, a no-good bastard who’d left her sister without so much as a kind word. In truth, he’d been a literal angel who’d fought a battle in Hell to retrieve my father after he’d been captured by a demon. Asher had sacrificed himself in the process, but it was in vain. My father had died as well.

At least my dad’s soul went upward, where it was supposed to be.

I ground my teeth and counted to ten before responding. "I understand your point. Really, I do. And I appreciate you looking out for me. But I’m not interested in being set up with your synagogue singles.”

"Why not?”

I stopped at a red light. "I don’t know. It feels weird. And sad. Pathetic, frankly.”

"How judgy of you.”

I took off the second the light turned green, letting my magic car do its thing. Thanks to my otherworldly mechanic, the little car took off, as if I were racing in the Grand Prix.

"You need to date grown-ups and find yourself someone steady. Someone you can depend on.”

I slowed down and changed lanes. "Is this another Jewish mother speech?”

"What’s wrong with finding a nice boy?”

A nice boy wouldn’t understand summoning, for one thing. Hey hon, do you mind watching the kids while I summon an immortal creature from another plane of existence? Thanks. Dinner is in the crockpot.

Yeah. No.

I had a mark on the inside of my left wrist called the Kiss, which indicated that I was a summoner. I used to hide it with a leather cuff emblazoned with protective symbols—a Solar Cross, Star of David, Eye of Horus, Pentacle, and a Chamsa—but I’d lost that cuff in a battle with a demon and now the Kiss was visible for all to see. The name came from its shape. With a wavy line up top—similar to a line drawing of a seagull—and an upward curved line beneath, it looked as if someone had pressed their lips to my skin. The total effect was impossible to describe as random.

And I couldn’t imagine any normal "nice guy” believing I could talk to dead people. I couldn’t see the dead, but it appeared I could hear them if they wanted me to. Edgar, the ghost who hung around my shop, talked to me often. I passed messages to his dearly beloved Alice who was quite alive—and still driving.

Which was scarier than chatting with ghosts.

A nice boy probably wouldn’t appreciate the magic shop either, with its potions, wands, spell books, and other freaky knick-knacks. A nice boy wouldn’t want to date someone who could summon demons, fae, or other mystical powers, and chat with them, make deals with them on behalf of clients, and close the deals with a drop of her blood. I could also travel between planes of existence, an astral-projection type of thing called spindrifting, which only summoners could do. Imagine trying to explain that to your friend from Hebrew school.

"Mickey, I love you dearly, but how about you stay out of my dating life and I won’t purposefully aggravate Jonah the next time I come over by telling him there’s an entire world underneath Smokey Point called UnderTown that’s inhabited by the impoverished, lonely, and magical?”

My sister harumphed. "I don’t even know if I should believe you.”

"It’s true, but that’s not the point. The point is that Jonah doesn’t want to hear about it, or anything else supernatural.”

Mickey sighed. "Fine. I’ll keep my nose out of your non-existent love life, even though a date is such a small thing. One night.”

I made a frustrated noise that she’d heard a million times growing up.

"Fine, fine. I won’t mention it again.” I heard a child’s voice. "Okay, gotta run. Ruthie’s waking up from her nap. These moments of peace are getting shorter and shorter these days.”

"Take her outside. It’s starting to warm up.”

"Yeah, but you know how it is. March is weird in northeast Ohio. I look out the window and it’s blue skies and sunny, but when I step out, it’s twenty-nine degrees and snowing.”

"It’s about forty today.” I drove down the street to my shop and turned into the parking spot behind the store.

"A heatwave.” Static hit my ears as she pulled the phone from her mouth. "Coming, honey!” she yelled to her child, then returned to finish our conversation. "Okay, Becs, definitely have to run. Love you.”

"Love you, too. Kiss Ruthie for me.”

I parked, got out, and entered the shop’s back door. A disembodied voice greeted me.

"It’s late! Were you going to sleep all day?”

"I tended bar last night, Edgar. I had to sleep in. And Laurel was out last night so I had the apartment to myself.”

A whoosh of air rushed past me as the ghost went by. "This is no way to run a business, young lady. How are you going to make a profit if you don’t open promptly at eight a.m.?”

A whole-body shiver swept through my body. "Eight? In the morn­ing? Are you insane? I don’t get up that early unless the building is on fire and they can’t put it out around me. Besides, no one who needs this store is up that early.”

Another whoosh of air. "Well, you’re here now. What’s the 4-1-1 for today?”

"Nobody says that anymore, Edgar.”

"Too bad. I’m too dead to learn new tricks.”

I dropped my knapsack in my little back office. But it was more than an office. It had a desk, a sleeper sofa, and a small closet. Sometimes—okay, a lot lately—I slept here.

I extended my arms in front of me and cracked my knuckles. "Today I’m sorting and pricing the spell books. They need to be locked up in a cabinet, and I want to make sure I have a full inventory.”


"Well, do you have a better idea?”

"Go find that Phineas Chandra guy and ask him out on a date.” A small breeze ruffled my hair as Edgar brushed by and continued his Dear Abby routine. "Scratch that. He’s not Jewish. You need a nice Jewish boy.”

"ARGH! You and my sister! Enough. I’ve had it with the two of you.”

The door opened, and Phineas, as if summoned by Edgar’s utterance, stood in the entrance. "Who are you talking to, Becs?”

I blushed and flicked a hand. "No one.” Phineas didn’t know about Edgar. "My sister is driving me crazy, and I’m venting since I’m afraid to tell her that to her face.”

Phineas slipped out of his jacket and hat and hung them on the coat rack. "Ah. Siblings. I have one of those.”

"Really? What flavor?”

"Brother.” Phineas made a face. "Older.”

"Mine’s younger but much more mature.”

Phineas laughed. "I find that hard to believe.”

I waggled my hand. "Well, she’s married with a toddler, in any case. And since I’m unwed and childless...” I lifted an arm and swept it outward as my sentence drifted off.

He finished my thought. "She thinks she gets to lecture you.”

I pointed to my nose. "Got it in one.”

Phineas was a handsome man of Indian heritage. A snappy dresser, today he wore a sky-blue cotton crew-necked sweater with black jeans, black Oxfords, and a silver Rolex. His arrow necklace hung in the center of the sweater. His skin was on the lighter side but with warm undertones, and thick lashes framed his large, dark eyes. He sported a carefully cultivated stubbly beard and mustache that accented his strong jawline. He looked like a financial magazine cover model. New Delhi by way of Wall Street.

Phineas sunk into a waiting area green wingback chair and patted the soft blanket draped over the back appreciatively, a comfy throw in the same green as the chair mixed with brown and blue. The chair diagonal from it was also green with a pillow that matched the blanket. I rearranged the coasters on the coffee table and sat in the second chair.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?”

A cloud darkened Phineas’s handsome face, and he worried a manicured cuticle. "Have you heard anything about crystals?”

I frowned at him. "Uh, no?”

"Maybe heard about the Crystal Calamity?” He leaned forward. "Ring a bell?”

"That’s a dramatic name.”

Phineas struck a pose. "Mages are a dramatic bunch.” He dropped the pose but studied me with a stern eye. "Actually, the more theatrical newscasters gave it that name, even though they’re dismissing it and generally making fun of it. So, do you know anything?”

"Nope. Not even a little.”

He flopped back. "Damn. I was hoping you’d have heard something.”

"You need to give me more information.” I opened my palm and wiggled my fingers inward. "Spill.”

Phineas stared out the big front window. "How much do you know about crystals?”

I shrugged. "A little. There’s a drawer full of them back there.” I pointed to the middle of the store. "But I’m no expert.”

"Okay, we’ll start at the beginning.” He took a breath and blew it out. "Crystals are usually used in positive ways. For healing, dispersal of negative energy, to bring clarity of thought, and relaxation, for example.”

"Sure. I know all of that.”

He nodded. "Good.” He looked up at the ceiling, thinking. "Re­cently, people have placed large overseas orders for crystals. They’re coming into Ohio, particularly Smokey Point.”

"Maybe a local store owner or someone who loves precious stones, mineral deposits, and geodes is simply collecting.” I lifted a shoulder in a one-armed gesture of "who cares?” "There’s a ton of this stuff at Ren Festival every year, and the New Age shops have baskets full.”

"Right, and normally I’d agree with you, but the vast number being imported caught the Mage Council’s attention, as well as the type. No one is looking for small crystals. The orders are for large ones.”

"Still not seeing it. I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation. Why does this concern the Mage Council?”

Phineas reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a small vial. He handed it to me. "Don’t open it.”

I took it from his hand and held it up to the light. The clear vial was about the size and shape of my pinky. It contained a black crystal fragment with a white streak down the middle.

"What is it?” I asked.

"Black Tourmaline from Pakistan.”

"It’s beautiful.”

"I agree.” He nodded. "It is usually a protective stone that repels neg­ative energy. I use it with depressed and anxious patients all the time.”

"And it works?”

"It helps, along with traditional Western medications and talk ther­apy. I employ all the tools at my disposal.”

"You know, my landlords are far more than fast-food restaurant owners. Mr. Long was a doctor in China, and Mrs. Long is an herbalist. Maybe I should introduce you.”

He brightened. "I would love that. Thank you.”

"So, what’s with this piece, and why can’t I open the vial?”

He grimaced. "Its larger crystal of origin has been corrupted, and I don’t know how. Instead of drawing negative energies out of someone, it is catching the negativity and returning it back to them, multi-fold.”

I blanched. "That’s terrible.”

"Indeed.” He shifted in his seat. "It makes the depressed or anxious person worse, not better.”

"How does that happen?”

Phineas drummed his fingers on the chair’s arm. "I don’t know, and the Mage Council is concerned. We’ve seen other crystals turn against their true intention as well. A few weeks ago, a hunk of malachite made a person’s mood swing wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other. Instead of balancing his emotions, it sent him over the edge. I withdrew the stone from his possession just in time and locked it away.” His face grew taut. "I’m a green mage.” He turned his head to look out the window again. "I make healing potions and help people. Perverting the true nature of these crystals is a magical crime. It’s like poisoning a batch of medication.”

I stood and clasped my hands. "I’m sorry. I wish I could help you.”

He stood to face me. "Just check yours out and make sure they feel clean to you.” He took a deep breath. "Also, and I hate to be the one to tell you this...”—he looked me in the eye—". . . Gregory Adamos is involved.”



Chapter 2

I SAT BACK INTO my chair and squeezed the armrests. "How do you know this?”

"We’ve only been able to track five shipments. Three of them went to Gregory Adamos.”

"What about the other two?”

Phineas gave me a wry glance. "Anastasia Andino.”

I rolled my eyes. "Naturally. The two warring families are at it again. You’d think he’d learn.”

"Learn what?”

Ack. That had slipped out. I couldn’t say Gregory should have learned about getting involved with the Andinos from his mother and her fate. Phineas knew Gregory and I had gone to Hell, but he didn’t know that we’d seen Gregory’s mother in Hades. Or that she was locked in a black carapace, unable to move, while she listened to all those that she’d hurt in life tell her their stories and recite their pain. Nope. That wasn’t public knowledge.

And, oh yeah, Phillipe Andino had been the one who’d killed her. I mean, he apologized via video after her death, but still, if I were Gregory, I’d stay as far away from the Andinos as I could. There was nothing about their business that should have enticed him, except perhaps the stunningly beautiful Anastasia, now head of the family after the death of Phillipe, her grandfather. She was most enticing, I imagined. In fact, she was damn near perfect.

I looked down at my torn jeans and sneakers and sighed. "I mean that Gregory knows the Andino family is dangerous and that bad things happen whenever the Andinos and Adamos clans get into the same business. They’ve kept things separate for a while now, and I wish they’d stay that way.”

Phineas tapped his upper lip. "It’s almost as if they’re searching for something.”

"By buying every crystal they can get their hands on?”

He shrugged. "I don’t know. Maybe. Anastasia and Gregory might be totally innocent. However, I’m not concerned that they’re buyingcrystals. What I want to know is what is happening to them? How are they getting corrupted?”

"Maybe they aren’t doing it?” I tilted my head to the side. "Maybe they are selling the crystals and their buyer is the one corrupting them?”

"Could be.” He nodded as he considered that idea. "What I want to know is why would anyone do that? What’s the motivation?”

"Because someone is evil?”

He gave a weak laugh. "That is the easiest answer.”

"Easiest and most straightforward is usually the right one.”

Phineas reached for his jacket. "Let me know if you hear anything useful, okay? These crystals are dangerous.”

I opened the door for him. He slipped the jacket over his shoulders and exited. I waved him off.

Then went to study the box in my back office.

The one Gregory had had delivered to me. It had arrived earlier by courier, and I’d brought it to the back room. I had been about to call him to tell him it was here.

Now I hesitated.

Because when I’d asked him what was being delivered, he told me it was a tall narrow crystal and that his mom had been looking for this exact one because it was exquisitely beautiful. He’d also told me that someone was hijacking his cargo vans and shipments. That last part jived with what Phineas had told me.

Unfortunately, so did the part about Gregory being involved in something immoral and possibly criminal.

I wished I could talk to Asher. He’d know what to do. I craved his presence so deeply, so profoundly, that if wishing could have made it so, he would have appeared before me in a flash of light and a crackle of thunder. It had been more than a year. And though the pain had mostly faded, it wasn’t completely gone.

Given that he had been an angel, the thunder and lightning scenario was entirely possible. But miracles didn’t work that way. At least not in my experience.

I considered what to do. Gregory would want his crystal, and I’d been planning to give it to him. But Phineas’s visit made this problematic.

Should I open the box? Give it Gregory and wash my hands of it?

I walked into the back room and stared at the box.

Ah. Screw it.

I retrieved a box cutter and slit through the packaging, revealing Bubble Wrap and packing peanuts and all the things used to cushion fragile items. I shoved all of that to the side, sliced through the rest of padding, and studied the contents.

A milky-white crystal rested in the protective filling. It was about four inches in diameter and approximately ten inches tall. It came to a slightly off-center point at the top, as if one side had been sliced diagonally more than the other. It wasn’t that pretty. I’d seen crystals that took my breath away, but this one was just an opaque white, sooty-looking hunk of rock.

I dug into the packing materials to see if there was something else within the box. The only other thing was a small, handwritten card that read, "This is the one. Crystal Mountain, Egypt verified.”

My knuckles brushed the crystal, and a small vibration emanated from the stone. I snatched my hand back.

I reached in again and touched the firm surface with my fingertips. The contact elicited a stronger vibration this time, and the crystal warmed as I stroked it.

I retreated and typed Crystal Mountain into my phone. It was a ridge in Egypt, not truly a mountain, made of calcite crystal. The stun­ning images probably didn’t do justice to the real thing, particularly the natural crystal arch. I swiped through page after page, learning about this natural wonder and discovered one of the most important rules for visitors.

Don’t remove the crystals.

So why was one sitting on a desk in a magic shop in the middle of northeastern Ohio?

That was a question for Gregory Adamos, and I meant to ask him. Pointedly.

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