The Witches of Cleopatra Hill
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Dark Valentine Press
Date of Publication: 6/5/2014
Number of pages:
Word Count: 90,000
Cover Artist: Indie Author Services
Kidnapped by a rival witch clan, Angela McAllister envisions a dark future for herself until she discovers her captor’s brother is the unknown man who has haunted her dreams since she was a child.
Forced to re-evaluate everything she’s ever known about the Wilcox witches, Angela begins to explore the powerful connection that binds her to Connor Wilcox, despite the generations of hostility between their families and the disapproval of those closest to her.
And when a dark, malignant force arises, Angela knows she must draw on her growing powers as prima to protect enemies and allies alike…even if her choice threatens to tear her new and fragile love apart.
Darknight is the second book in the Witches of Cleopatra Hill, a paranormal romance trilogy set in the haunted town of Jerome, Arizona.
“So you talk to dead people?” he asked.
“Yes, I communicate with earthbound spirits, if that’s what you mean by ghosts,” I said primly.
Once again, he didn’t rise to the bait. “That’s interesting. And no, to answer your previous question, I’ve never seen her. No cold spots, no personal items moved around, no nothing. Not that my talent is conversing with the spirit world.”
“And what is your talent, Connor?”
A cloud seemed to pass over his face, but then he replied, his tone casual, “Nothing so spectacular, I assure you.”
“Well, it has to be pretty good, to be able to hide the fact that you’re a warlock.” That was something which had been troubling me ever since I realized he’d managed to hide his true identity so well. Normally, I should have sensed that he was a member of a witch clan from the very moment I met him, even if I couldn’t have known he was a Wilcox. But I’d felt nothing. He’d seemed like a civilian to me…up until the moment he bent down to give me the consort’s kiss.
Voice even, he replied, “That wasn’t me. That was Damon’s spell.”
“Damon’s quite the multi-tasker, isn’t he? Any other little tricks I should know about?”
He gave a humorless laugh. “A few. But I don’t think we need to talk about that now.”
“Fine,” I said. I could tell from his expression, the tight look to his mouth, that he wouldn’t appreciate any prodding on that subject from me. “But we do need to talk, don’t you think? I mean, last night you said we would ‘hash this over in the morning.’ Well, it’s almost noon, and you haven’t said much of anything except to tell me where the bagels are.”
Surprisingly, he said, “You’re right. Take these” —and he handed the white paper bag holding the sandwiches to me— “and I’ll get some plates and water and stuff.”
The first floor of the apartment was pretty much open-plan in style, except a few closed doors that might be a guest bath and a coat closet. The dining area sat just on the other side of the bar of granite that acted as a sort of separator from the kitchen, so I went there and settled myself in one of the heavy wooden chairs. Like the table, they were simple, almost rustic in appearance, but that didn’t fool me. I’d spent too much time shopping for furniture recently not to know that they, like almost everything else in the apartment, had not been cheap.
Connor came out of the kitchen carrying a couple of glasses and a bottle of Evian water, along with some brown earthenware plates. He set everything down at the table, then seated himself across from me. Probably just as well that he didn’t sit directly beside me; one brush of his knee against mine under the table, and I would’ve been in serious trouble.
After he sat he busied himself with pulling the paper napkins and the sandwiches out of the bag, not really looking at me as he set a sandwich wrapped in white paper down on my plate. “I didn’t know what you’d eat, so I got you smoked turkey with provolone. Hope that’s okay.”
“It’s fine,” I said. The bagel notwithstanding, I was ravenous. Probably my body trying to make up for all the energy it had lost last night through stress and sleep deprivation.
He poured some water into my glass, then did the same with his. After that there wasn’t much left for him to do except eat. He began to unwrap his sandwich.
“Eat first, then talk?” I asked. It was pretty obvious that he really didn’t want to have this conversation.
Something that was almost but not quite a sigh escaped his lips before he set the sandwich back down on his plate. “I just want you to know that none of this was my idea.”
“I had a feeling,” I said wryly, “considering you can barely even make yourself look at me.”
This time he did glance up, and I had to hold myself steady as the eyes I had dreamed of so often met mine, and held. The muscles in his jaw visibly tightened. “I want to look at you,” he said. “It’s just…dangerous.”
A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, and fantasy and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Trilogy and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though...not yet, anyway!