A Charming Cure
Book 2 in the Magical Cures Mystery Series
Bubble. . .Bubble. . .
Psychic June Heal’s homeopathic cure shop, A Charming Cure, is the most popular shop in the unusual little town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky.
Cures and Trouble. . .
June is about to learn she has more than psychic abilities when she attends Hidden Hall A Spiritualist University, leaving her shop in the hands of handsome sheriff Oscar Park.
Hidden Hall has an internal war between the Good-Siders and the Dark-Siders, putting June in the middle.
Magic Stirs. . .
Hidden Hall is riddled with every type of spiritualist. Magic is lurking around every corner, even black-magic.
Unfortunately, the Ultimate Spell gets into the wrong hands. But it is only discovered after a few spiritualist go missing or end up poisoned to death.
And Trouble Doubles. . .
Madam Torres, June’s crystal ball, reveals that A Charming Cure is in shambles along with the rest of Whistpering Falls.
Will June figure out who has the Ultimate Spell and stop them before they destroy the entire spiritualist community?
A Charming Cure is book third of the bestselling Magical Cures Mystery series. Come walk around Whispering Falls for a fun, fantasy mystery with magic and romance. You won’t want to leave.
A Charming Cure
Book 2 in the Magical Cures Mystery Series
A Charming Cure
“Bubble, bubble.” My hands hovered over the copper cauldron; I leaned back. It was the first time I had ever used it and was a little unsure of the effects. If something was going to fly out, I didn’t want it to hit me. Plus, I didn’t want the fertility potion I was making to hit me. My fertility was fine exactly the way it was . . .non-existent. A puff of relief escaped my lips when nothing out of the ordinary happened, causing my blunt bangs to fly up in the air.
I stood up straighter, pulled down the edges of my jean jacket and picked up the Magical Cures Book. Little did I realize that when my mother, Darla, left me the book in her last will and testament, it would teach me who I really was.
Slowly, I opened the leather bound book and found my page. I held it up to my nose. With a deep inhale, and with a bee fertility cure in mind, cinnamon, sage, yellow jasmine and marsh tea took over my senses. I sat the book down next to the cauldron and placed my hands back over it.
Nothing happened so I continued. This time I spoke a little louder, “Bubble, bubble. Clear the bees’ troubles. Let the bees create honey, to keep bringing Petunia more money.”
Steam flew upward as I pinched off different ingredients and tossed them in the simmering pot. Petunia peeked around the partition, making me a little nervous.
Originally, I had the cauldron in the back of A Charming Cure, but I didn’t like going in the back and leaving the shop unattended. So, I had the counter made taller and a partition to block off any and all magic happening behind it.
I ducked as a mini-tornado whirled and churned like mad over the steam. Carefully, I reached over and threw in a dash of marigold just like the instruction in the Magical Cures Book said to do. Only it didn’t say throw, it said to gently stir.
As soon as the marigold flakes hit the bubbling water, sparks flew up, stopping the cylinder from twirling. The cauldron shut off, letting me know the bee-pollen potion was finished.
Petunia stepped back from the partition.
“Scaredy-cat.” I smiled and picked up the ladle, stirring the mixture and making sure it was the right consistency.
“I’ll take licks and rubs over that any day,” she chimed from the other side of the partition, referring to her four-legged creatures.
She owned Glorybee Pet Store a few shops down. Every shop owner in Whispering Falls had a psychic ability with a magical twist. The entire village was magical.
To an outsider, Whispering Falls, Kentucky was just a tiny town with a population of five hundred, set in the foothills of a few mountains. Most people that visited our little village didn’t know how special we really were, but they felt the magic while they were here, which was why they continued to come back for more.
Meow, meow. Mr. Prince Charming ran over and created figure eights around her ankles. You could always tell when my cat liked you. He would do his signature figure eight move.
The bell above the door dinged, letting me know that my first customer of the day was here. I glanced up at the clock. There was still five minutes until A Charming Cure opened, but I would never turn someone away that needed a cure for whatever ailed them.
“Good morning, Mr. Prince Charming.” In one quick move, Petunia picked up the cat. Her hazel eyes narrowed and focused on the customer. Petunia pushed the stick back in place that was falling out of her makeshift up-do she had created with her long, brown hair. She always had some sort of nature hanging around in there. Sometimes it was a small creature, but today it was a twig. Petunia’s gift was being able to communicate with animals and Mr. Prince Charming loved her.
“I’ll be right with you.” I popped my head around the partition and stared at the woman dressed in all black. I tucked my black bob haircut behind my ear, and pushed my blunt bangs to the side to get a better look. She didn’t look like one of my usual customers.
Without acknowledging me or without a word, the woman’s long, thin hand stretched out and retrieved a homeopathic bottle from the round, tiered table that sat just inside the door.
Hiss, hiss. Mr. Prince Charming had jumped out of Petunia’s arms and stood at attention facing the customer. He was never good at disguising his dislikes either.
“Mr. Prince Charming!” I whistled him over, and he came running behind the counter. “I’m so sorry. I’ll be right with you.”
Quickly I grabbed the glass bottle that looked like a stack of lifesavers. The rainbow-inspired bottle lit up when I touched it, letting me know it was the perfect match for the bee pollen. I put a small funnel in the mouth of the bottle. I scooped the potion in the ladle and carefully poured it into the funnel. Slowly, the potion dripped into the bottle. I twisted the lid on securely and waited until it was ready.
Meow, meow. Mr. Prince Charming jumped up and landed next to the box of Ding Dongs.
“You know exactly what I need.” Carefully, I unwrapped the foil and took a big bite of what I considered to be real magic. The chocolate treat was magic to my soul. The best comfort food—ever! My go-to when I became stressed. And, for some odd reason, the new customer seemed to put my intuition on high alert.
My spiritual gift was making healing potions and my intuition. I didn’t have anything cool like the mediums, palm readers, and tarot readers of the village. But, my intuition had never failed me, so I guess it was a good gift to have, even though I sometimes wish I could turn a few people into ants or fleas.
I pinched a small piece off and fed it to him. I’d always heard chocolate wasn’t good for animals, but fifteen years of eating Ding Dongs hadn’t hurt him yet. He’d never been to the veterinarian. I tried taking him a few times in Locust Grove, Kentucky, where we lived before we moved to Whispering Falls, but somehow he’d end up disappearing right before my eyes. Finally, I gave up.
The bee pollen glowed in the rainbow bottle. It was ready.
“All done.” I held the bottle in the palm of my hand and walked out from behind the partition. “Just add a few drops to the hive and you’ll be buzzing with babies in no time. Pun intended.” A big smile crept up on my face.
I was the youngest and newest spiritualist in the community and I was sure they still didn’t know how to take the Samantha Stephens wannabe.
Petunia didn’t smile at my joke. She took the bottle, but never took her eyes off the customer who continued to pick up my bottles while curling her nose.
The customer had picked up the lime green potion bottle that was sitting on the corner shelf closest to the door. Tapping the bottle with her red-tipped fingernail, her eyebrows raised.
“Do I know you?” There was something familiar about her. At least that was what my intuition told me, and it wasn’t in favor of her. Before I gave her a not-so-nice potion, say a potion that would turn her hiccups into a croaking frog or her negative attitude into one of giving, I needed to know her answer.
It was only a few weeks or so ago that I moved to Whispering Falls, Kentucky, took over Darla’s, my deceased mom’s, homeopathic shop, and made it my own. After the initial shock from learning that my father had psychic abilities as a healer by using cures, I’d become excited to learn that I too had inherited the psychic gene. A Charming Cure had taken off.
Not only was I dishing up the best homeopathic cure, I was also giving a little extra dose of magic in each potion. Also, I had a knack for knowing what else someone needed in their life. A little extra dose of love or a little financial help didn’t hurt anyone. My intuition never let me down.
Hiss, Hiss. Mr. Prince Charming, my cat, darted out from the counter. Hiss, Hiss. He pawed the air with his back arched and his teeth gnashing toward the woman.
“Oh, shut up!” She drew her black cloak around her as if she was shielding an attack from Mr. Prince Charming. “I should’ve squashed you when you were a kitten. I had plenty of opportunities when I fed you.”
“Are you his owner?” No way! There was no way I was going to give Mr. Prince Charming back to his original owner. Especially someone that seemed to be as nasty as her. “I’ve taken really good care of him over the last fifteen years. I’d be happy to pay you for him.”
Mr. Prince Charming was unlike any other stray cat in Locust Grove, the town I grew up in before I moved to Whispering Falls. There were a lot of stray cats. He showed up on my porch on what-so-happened-to-be my tenth birthday. He had on a faded collar with a tiny turtle charm dangling off it. The turtle had one green emerald stone for an eye and the other one missing. I didn’t care. It was beautiful.
Oscar, my childhood best friend and now Whispering Falls sheriff, had asked around if the cat belonged to anyone. No one claimed him, and he just continued to hang around. Darla didn’t mind, so he stayed. I got him a new collar and kept the charm for myself.
“Want him back?” She threw her head back letting out a full cackle that rattled the bottles on the shelf. “Oh, no. I don’t want him back. I’m here to collect you.” The woman raised her voice. Petunia rushed between us and came nose to nose with her. The scary woman continued, “She has no choice. She must leave right now!”
“Take me?” My mouth dried, and I gasped for air. Water filled my eyes. “Take me where?”
Petunia turned toward me, embracing me. She whispered in my ear, “it’s okay, June.”
“What is okay?” The room spun around me. Things definitely weren’t okay.
“This is your Great Aunt Helena,” Petunia whispered as if it was going to ease the blow. “She’s the dean at Hidden Hall A Spiritualist University. The school for people like . . . us.” She fanned her hands in the air.
“School? Hidden Hall?” This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise because Whispering Falls was definitely full of them, but I never thought I’d be going back to school, especially to hone my magical skills. “Listen, I’m not college material.”
Didn’t they realize that I went straight out of high school to selling Darla’s potions at a flea market? Far from going to college.
Mewwwl, Mewwl, Mr. Prince Charming cried, and hung his head. His tail was not wagging as it normally did.
“I told you to shut up. You know the rules!” A spark shot from Helena’s eyes. “Quite frankly, I’m surprised they let you stay here. What good were you? You let the killer live right across the street!”
Hiss, hiss. Mr. Prince Charming batted at the woman, claws out and ready to slash.
“What is going on here?” A clap of thunder gave way to an all out downpour outside just as the door opened and Isadora Solstice bolted in. Her hot pink A-line skirt swayed with each step she took in her pointy-toed black, laced-up boots. She stopped when she saw Aunt Helena. She folded her arms and spoke lightly, “Helena, we’ve been expecting you.”
“We have?” My hands balled up into fists and dangled at my side. I certainly had not been expecting anyone. Especially not a long lost member of my family.
Helena pointed at Mr. Prince Charming and scowled, “He is your fairy god-cat, who was supposed to take care of you. And all he did was get you in a lot of hot water. Mr. Prince Charming my ass.”
“I . . . I,” I stammered. The room spun faster. I reached for the counter. A Ding Dong would taste good. Instead of grabbing one, I grabbed the edge of the counter and held on for dear life.
Petunia grabbed Mr. Prince Charming. “He did a fine job. He gave you all those charms to protect and guide you. See.” She touched my wrist.
She was right. Mr. Prince Charming did steal several charms from Bella’s Baubles in Whispering Falls, but Bella claimed they were presents from her. If I thought back a little more, Mr. Prince Charming was always around when I found myself in hot water, even was I was a kid. Memories whipped around my head like the small funnel clouds do when I mix a cure.
Everything started to add up. Mr. Prince Charming really had been watching over me all these years.
“June.” Izzy put her hands on my shoulders. “Remember how good souls come back as animals?”
I nodded, my mind cloudy.
“Well, your father couldn’t come back as an animal because he was married to your mom, a mortal. But, your grandparents were pillars of the village so we were delighted when they appointed a fairy god-cat to watch over you. You know, in case something happened to your parents.” She picked him up and stroked his back. White fur flew everywhere.
Helena swooped across the floor and created a breeze when her cloak wrapped around her. She stopped in front of me. I pushed my blunt black bangs out of my eyes. She obviously had more magic in her one pinky than I had in my entire shop. Now she had the type of magic I wished I had. Not just a little dab of this or a dollop of that.
“It’s time, June.” She held her hand out for me to take. “I’m here to collect my niece.”
I reached out, but hesitated. This was all still new to me and I had learned to just believe in what went on around me in Whispering Falls. I pulled my hand back.
“I’m not joking, June.” A spark flew from her finger. “It’s time to go.”
No one seemed to want to argue with Helena but me. Mr. Prince Charming seemed to be stunned. He sat motionless in front of the shop door, no dragging tail, no figure eights… just staring at her.
“He’s my fairy god-cat?” I knew it. I looked to Petunia for some answers. “Can you talk to him?”
“He is a fairy god-cat. He didn’t come back from the dead like the animals that I talk to do.” She rushed over; leaves fell out of her beehive of a hair-do and onto the floor. She gave Mr. Prince Charming a good rub under his chin. “He’s done a fine job. He continues to do exactly what he was supposed to do.” She turned and glared toward Aunt Helena.
“Fine.” Helena rolled her eyes and let out a big sigh. “Regardless. All of you know that every new village member has to go to school. It just so happens that it’s my heir this time. And we all know what that means.”
“I don’t know what that means!” There was a nervous tickle in my stomach. Mr. Prince Charming ran over and did figure eights around my ankles. He knew exactly what I needed, his reassurance that I was going to be okay.
“It means that you will tap even further into your spiritual gift. You might even have another ability you don’t know about.” She drew her cloak close to her.
Hmm . . . so, I might just be a little Samantha Stephens? Or maybe have cool magical and psychic abilities like the Fairiwicks.
“You are not a Fairiwick.” Her eyes were icy and unresponsive.
Did she just read my mind? I eyed her suspiciously. You’re a whack job, I hoped she read that thought too, but she didn’t flinch.
Fairiwicks were bred of spiritualists that were half fairy and half witches. Just recently, the village council approved Fairiwicks to join the community. Before that, only psychics lived in Whispering Falls.
“We are an inter-communal village now.” Izzy’s eyes narrowed, zeroing in on Helena.
“Umm, hmm. I heard.” Helena pursed her lips. Disgust dripped in her voice. “In my day. . .”
“We aren’t in your day.” There was a confidence building in me that I couldn’t explain.
If what she was saying were true, my grandparents were the royalty of the village, leaving my father as the heir. Of course, I wasn’t here to take over, so it went to my Great Aunt Helena. I was here now.
“You are a smart one.” Helena crossed her arms in front of her. “You have to go to school. Your father would expect it. Besides, it’s a rule. See section F in the village handbook.”
Oh, throwing in the family card?
“Just how well did you know my father?” It was a valid question. If she was such a wonderful Aunt and cared for my well-being, where was she when I was framed for murder a few weeks ago?
I admit that I had not read all the way through the rule book that Izzy had given me when I moved to Whispering Falls. All I knew was that there was a village council that included Izzy, Gerald Reguila, Chandra Shango, Mac McGurtle and Petunia Shrubwood.
“And one day, we were hoping you could take over as Village President.” Izzy brushed her long wavy blond hair behind her shoulders away from her face, revealing her beautiful hazel eyes.
Petunia bent down and picked Mr. Prince Charming up. “Everyone loves your sweet nature and fresh presence. You would make a very popular Village President.”
Village President? This situation was getting weirder by the minute.
“I’m getting old, June, and we need fresh voices.” Izzy’s chest heaved in and out with each breath. “And Helena is right. You do have to go to school in order to make the cures. You have only lightly tapped into your psychic powers.”
Tapped? Knowing how to make cures with my intuition was enough power for me. But what would happen if I did have some cool power I didn’t know about? I admit I was a magic wannabe.
“Do I have to go away to school?” There was no way I wanted to leave A Charming Cure or Whispering Falls. I was just getting used to the move and embracing the village. Plus, business was booming. The extra income was exactly what I needed to buy more ingredients to produce more products. Especially for the made-to-order customers. Some of those required ingredients
came from all over the world.
“It’s preferable, especially if you are going to be the Village President.” Helena pushed back her auburn hair exposing a scar that started at her ear and ran along her jaw line. Quickly she pulled her hair over her shoulder when she saw me staring at it. “Or you can go to the four-day quick class with a few of the chosen.”
“What if I don’t want to be President?” I didn’t run for any office when I was in high school, much less President of an entire village. “Besides, I’m too old to go to a University.”
Anticipation and excitement lay like a lump in my throat as they all stared at me like I had five heads, which really wouldn’t be that unusual in a spiritualist community.
“Okay fine.” I inhaled, not believing what just came out of my mouth. Going to college was something I wasn’t cut out for, but maybe I could just do my four days and be done with it.
Izzy smiled and clasped her hands together. “Thank you, June.” She tilted her head towards Helena, and a wide smile covered her face. “Since that is settled, why don’t you come to The Gathering Grove and visit with Gerald?”
“Well, I could use a real cup of tea. Hidden Hall can’t seem to serve a decent cup. Which is odd, since we have so many tea leaf readers going to school.” Helena’s attitude had made a complete 180 degree turn. “And it would be good to catch up with old University friends.”
The two of them headed toward to the door.
“Oh, he will be delighted to see you, and laugh about old times.” Izzy put her hand on the door, and then glanced around. “June? Petunia? Are you going to join us?”
Petunia held the bee pollen potion in the air. “No. I have some bee issues to take care of.”
I shook my head. “No, I had better settle a few things here before I go on my mini-school trip.”
“Don’t worry about A Charming Cure. We will make sure it’s taken care of.” Izzy held the door open and swept her hand in front of her and said, “After you, Helena.”
Once out the door, Helena looked back in the shop. “Oh, June, there are no electronics allowed at Hidden Hall. You must rely on your own abilities and not the abilities of Mr. Google or a cell phone. You’d be surprised how many students would cheat that way. I’ll see you tomorrow, June.”
“Tomorrow.” I nervously smiled. There was something about tomorrow that didn’t sit well, which gave me bit of a worry. When something didn’t “sit well,” that meant my intuition was trying to tell me something. Only I didn’t have time to listen to it. I had limited time to tell Oscar goodbye and talk him into looking after the shop while I was gone.