Halfway Hunted (Halfway Witchy Series, #3)
by Terry Maggert
Publication Date: June 2nd 2016
Genre: Adult, Paranormal
Some Prey Bites Back.
Welcome to Halfway; where the waffles are golden, the moon is silver, and magic is just around every corner.
A century old curse is broken, releasing Exit Wainwright, an innocent man trapped alone in time.
Lost and in danger, he enlists Carlie, Gran, and their magic to find the warlock who sentenced him to a hundred years of darkness. The hunter becomes the hunted when Carlie’s spells awaken a cold-blooded killer intent on adding another pelt to their gruesome collection: hers.
But the killer has never been to Halfway before, where there are three unbreakable rules:
1. Don’t complain about the diner’s waffles.
2. Don’t break the laws of magic.
3. Never threaten a witch on her home turf.
Can Carlie solve an ancient crime, defeat a ruthless killer and save the love of her life from a vampire’s curse without burning the waffles?
Come hunt with Carlie, and answer the call of the wild.
Chapter One: Silent Night
There were only two reasons for me to be awake on my couch, staring up into the gloom of the pre-dawn hours. The first is my house itself, which complained against the deep cold with creaking pops like the knees of a guy who played sports a long time ago when he was younger and had more hair.
The second was Wulfric. My lover was out there in the Adirondack winter somewhere, his vampire skin now as cold as the deep snows that settled on Halfway with a heavy hand. I missed him every second of every day with an ache that started in my heart and ended in the emptiness of my arms. Living without him was like swimming through wool that took my breath and will at every turn.
Everything was hard. Little things made me sad.
Smiles died on my face and I knew if I didn’t find the magic to save him, moving on was going to take the rest of my life and all of my tears. In the midst of my somber reverie, my giant familiar Gus put one of his Maine Coon cat paws on my shoulder. His rumbling purr calmed my mind enough that I sighed and began absently rubbing the magnificent fur of his Tabby neck.
“Brrrrtt?” He asked me, his bronze eyes fixed on me like two coals floating in the dark.
“I miss him. Sorry. I know I should sleep. Or listen for spell requests . . . or do anything except lay here having a pity party.”
Gus answered with a head butt and an even deeper bumble of contented reassurance. He stretched along me from hip to head and I was reminded again that my cat is nearly as tall as I am. Or he would be, if cats could walk upright, but he doesn’t because that would be weird. I felt a small grin touch my cheeks and let it bloom, then looked across the room to the kitchen. There, I saw another friend who was always near.
Even in the heart of a mountain winter, the moon always finds a way to touch me. Laying on my couch in the middle of a frigid night, I watch the square of moonlight light dance across my kitchen floor like the slowest ballet possible. The brilliant smudge of light comforts me, telling me that no matter how short the days and how deep the snows, sunshine will use the face of sister moon to reach across the dark and set my spirits to right.
So I watch, and I wait.
I listen for the telltale creak of my mail slot, an old brass hinge that swings inward when someone needs me. Or, to be more accurate, they need my magic. When the moon is high, I spend my nights listening for the telltale footsteps on my porch. Those are followed by a hesitation as the person decides if they can go through with their request—they always do—and then I wait a bit longer. It’s understood that to ask for my family magic, you must write a note in natural ink, then fold the note within an envelope that is hand made. Hand crafting invests meaning into something as simple as a note, and the poignant pleas I get range from simple to impossible.
But I always try.
Tonight, there was no slide of an envelope on the floor of my foyer. Perhaps it was too cold, although Adirondackers are tough people. A few feet of snow and subzero temperatures wouldn’t stop a local person from asking for help if they needed it, which meant that at least or tonight, my town was free of unusual heartache.
In witch parlance, the night was clean. Spirits were at rest, and after casting a final wish across the snowdrifts to Wulfric, so was I. Before dawn’s gray could pierce the low clouds covering the mountains, my eyes grew heavy, I let the sadness leave me, and then, when there was nothing else to fight, I slept.
About the Author
Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.