Read CnC 5 One Hex of a Wedding Online

Authors: yasmine Galenorn

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Mystery & Detective, #Mystery Fiction, #Single Mothers, #Witches, #Occult Fiction, #Divorced Women, #Washington (State), #Women Mediums, #Tearooms, #O'Brien, #Emerald (Fictitious Character)

CnC 5 One Hex of a Wedding

BOOK: CnC 5 One Hex of a Wedding
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Table of Contents
PRAISE FOR THE
Chintz’n China Mysteries
 
“The perfect book to curl up with.”
—The Mystery Reader
 
“A truly charismatic, down-to-earth character … Don’t miss this charming first book in the series. I look forward to the next one.”—
Rendezvous
 
“A very appealing series with some very scary stuff. Thank goodness there’s a charm included!”—Mysterylovers.com
 
“This paranormal mystery has enough romance in it to keep readers of three genres very happy … The audience will adore Emerald, a bright, shining, and caring soul who wants to do right by everybody and use her powers to make the world a better place.”
—Midwest Book Review
 
“For those who love paranormal mysteries,
Murder Under a Mystic Moon
… will not disappoint.”—MyShelf.com
Chintz ’n China Mysteries by Yasmine Galenorn
GHOST OF A CHANCE
LEGEND OF THE JADE DRAGON
MURDER UNDER A MYSTIC MOON
A HARVEST OF BONES
ONE HEX OF A WEDDING
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr. Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
ONE HEX OF A WEDDING
 
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / August 2006
 
Copyright © 2006 by Yasmine Galenorn.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-03428-6
 
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

To Daniela, who was my
matron of honor at my wedding.
You stuck with me through all the crazed planning,
you championed Samwise before
the rest of our friends accepted him,
and you did everything a blood-oath
sister is supposed to do.
Love ya, babe!
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
As always, love and thanks to my supportive husband, Samwise, and our four cats, who are the joys of my life. Thank you to the usual crew: To Christine Zika, my editor. To Meredith Bernstein, my agent, for believing in me and being there when I need to talk. To my sister, Wanda. To Margie M., Vicki St. C., Siduri, Theresa S., Tiffany M., and Brad R., Lisa DDC, Linda W.—good friends all. To my Witchy Chicks blogging group: You’re all warped women and I love you.
 
Thanks to my readers, old and new. Without you, we authors would be lost. And of course, Mielikki, Tapio, Rauni, and Ukko, my spiritual guardians.
 
If you wish to contact me, you can via snail mail through my publishers or the address on my website (please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for reply), or via e-mail through my website,
www.galenorn.com
.
 
Bright Blessings to all,
the Painted Panther
Yasmine Galenorn
 
 
 
 
 
Anger and jealousy can no more bear
to lose sight of their objects than love.
—GEORGE ELIOT
One
 
 
 
THE PARTY WAS in full swing when Harlow grabbed the microphone and motioned for the Barry Boys to take a break from the ’80s retro dance numbers they were playing. The strains of “Burning Down the House” fell silent as she stepped up on the stage and clapped her hands for attention, although she needn’t have bothered. My ex-supermodel buddy was tall, gorgeous, with golden blond hair braided à la Bo Derek’s cornrows, and the mere sight of her standing there in a gold mini-dress and red stilettos stunned the room into silence.
“Welcome, and thank you for coming. As you know, Emerald and Joe will be taking that last leap of faith and making it official. Countdown is T-minus two weeks! And we’ll all be right there with them, cheering them on. Until then, let’s bring down the house!”
The crowd erupted in a roar and Jimbo, who was standing next to me, swung me up to sit on his shoulder. I grabbed hold of his shirt collar with one hand—I’ve never been one for high-wire acts—and he braced my legs against his chest and paraded me around the room. I waved as a volley of friendly catcalls rang out from our friends, and then he stopped in front of Joe and tossed me into my fiancé’s arms. I gasped as I sailed through the air, but Joe caught me without so much as a grunt. As he set me down on the floor, I looped my arm through his.
Harlow’s voice rang out again. “Be careful, Jimbo. Remember she head-butted you to the floor once before. I’m sure she can do it again.” Another round of laughter from the crowd. “Okay, let’s show these two just what we’re made of. Get your butts in gear and bring on the music!”
Joe and I found ourselves unceremoniously pushed into the middle of the dance floor while the band began a frenzied rendition of “Whip It.” He grabbed my hand and spun me out to the center, where I let go with a shimmy that brought yet another round of cheers, and then the room was filled with dancers, clapping and head-banging to the beat. As the band segued into “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” by Simple Minds, I rested my head on Joe’s shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around my waist as we swirled around the floor, lost in the music. Would we still be dancing like this in fifty years? I couldn’t see that far ahead, but something inside told me we would.
“Babe, you look gorgeous,” he whispered.
And in truth, I felt gorgeous. I had shaped up a lot over the past six months as I advanced my practice of yoga, and while I vowed never to give up my caffeine or chocolate, I had managed to cut back on the sugar. As for my outfit, I’d found the perfect lilac gauze and lace skirt for the party, thanks to Harlow and a trip to Seattle. It floated a couple inches above my knees, and I’d paired it with a plum camisole and a Victoria’s Secret demi bra.
I’d also succumbed to vanity at long last, and dyed the silver out of my waist-length mass of curls. When I told Harl I intended to go to Bab’s Salon down the street from my teashop, she whisked me away to Seattle. We stopped at the Gene Juarez spa for the works. As an early shower gift, she paid my way through a trim, color job, manicure, pedicure, and massage, and I didn’t put up a fight. Then we hit her favorite boutiques, where I found my outfit and the perfect pair of shoes.
As Joe danced me around the floor, I glanced down at the open-toe, sling-back black pumps, still aghast both at how high the heels were and at how much they’d set my credit card back. My toenails, painted a brilliant fuchsia, stood out against the rich fabric. Suddenly overwhelmed by the whimsy of the situation, I pushed aside my worry over their cost and laughed as Joe dipped me. The back of my head almost touching the floor, I raised one leg into the air, toe pointed, in a kick that would have made Catherine Zeta-Jones proud.
After the song ended, the band took a break and everybody headed for the buffet. I rested my head on Harlow’s shoulder. “Thank you,” I said. “Even with my family here, I’m having so much fun. Thank God, I don’t have to entertain them tonight. The buffet will take care of that. It’s been crazy since they showed up.”
Harl’s eyes twinkled. “Relatives can be a bitch, can’t they?” She threw her arm around my shoulder and wrinkled her nose. “I’m so glad you let me plan everything. Murray’s knee-deep in work right now, and I love playing hostess. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything.”
I frowned. She’d just touched on a point that had been bothering me all day. “Harl, does Murray seem different to you lately?”
“What do you mean?” Harl cocked her head to one side.
I shook my head. “I don’t know. It seems like she’s been moody and distant for the past couple of weeks. I know things are okay with Jimbo, so I don’t think it’s anything to do with their relationship. I’m just a little worried. She doesn’t seem herself lately.”
Harlow shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. To be honest, I’ve been focused on other things. Like this party.” She looked around. “Everybody seems to be having fun, don’t you think? And the room looks gorgeous.”
She was right, on both counts. Everyone—including my easily offended Grandma McGrady—had a smile on their face. And the banquet room at the Forest End’s Diner had been decked out in full glory. A huge photograph of Joe and me blown up to poster proportions graced an easel near the buffet. Roses, both pink and red, filled vases on every table. Streamers in sparkling metallic hues of purple, green, blue, and gold spiraled from the ceiling, and the walls had stick-on hearts plastered on them.
I had a suspicion the latter was Kip’s idea. He’d developed a romantic streak ever since he realized that I’d be marrying a man who would be there every day to hang out with him and treat him like his father should have, but never did. Add in the fact that I’d seen the hearts peeking out of my ten-year-old’s backpack before he and Miranda headed out to help Harlow get things ready, and I was pretty sure my guess was on track.
“Speaking of Murray, where is she?” Harl asked. “I wanted her to lead the toasts.”
Anna Murray, my best friend in the whole world and my maid of honor, was nowhere in sight. I glanced around, wondering where she’d disappeared to. “I don’t know. Last I saw she was dancing with Jimbo. Whoever knew he could do the twist? And I’d have lost my shirt betting he wouldn’t know the difference between the Hustle and a waltz.” Jimbo, it turned out, was not only a biker extraordinaire, but also quite the star on the dance floor.
BOOK: CnC 5 One Hex of a Wedding
8.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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