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Magic and Mayhem: My Peculiar Road Trip (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Peculiar Mysteries Book 6), page 1


Magic and Mayhem: My Peculiar Road Trip (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Peculiar Mysteries Book 6)

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Magic and Mayhem: My Peculiar Road Trip (Kindle Worlds Novella) (Peculiar Mysteries Book 6)

  Text copyright ©2017 by the Author.

  This work was made possible by a special license through the Kindle Worlds publishing program and has not necessarily been reviewed by Robyn Peterman. All characters, scenes, events, plots and related elements appearing in the original Magic and Mayhem remain the exclusive copyrighted and/or trademarked property of Robyn Peterman, or their affiliates or licensors.

  For more information on Kindle Worlds:

  My Peculiar Road Trip

  Peculiar Mysteries (In Between)

  A Magic & Mayhem Kindle World Novella

  By Renee George


  A special THANK YOU to the fabulous Robyn Peterman, an awesomely funny writer and my favorite cookie, for allowing me the privilege to write in her world. I love your guts, woman!! You make me want to live in Magic & Mayhem! And because of you, my Peculiar chicks got to live there for a while. I loved every single thing about this adventure, but I think Sunny hopes to never hear the name Assjacket ever again. *smile*

  Also, I must thank the usual suspects, my BFF sister and most fabulous beta reader Robbin, and my lovely and wicked accurate niece Jeanna (who seriously knows my characters better than I do). You guys are superheroes!

  For Michele Bardsley, Jesus, darling, we know how to live on the edge. I love you to bits and pieces.

  To my Rebels, you all RAWK!

  To my fans, I would not be anything without you. Seriously. If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!

  Oh! And, as always, black coffee. You are the life blood of this middle-aged writer.

  Table of Contents

  A Special Note from Renee

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Want more Peculiar?


  About the Author

  A Special Note from Renee

  This is a cross-over story between my Peculiar Mysteries and Robyn Peterman’s Magic & Mayhem world. There is a reason the town name isn’t mentioned specifically in the book. While I own my characters in the Kindle Worlds, I can’t own the towns, so my fictional town is never named so that it will stay mine. On that note, I hope you laugh yourself silly with some of the pee-your-pants antics in this story!


  Sometimes you ride the road to adventure and sometimes the road rides you, which is exactly how I’d felt as I sat up and picked ditch gravel from my elbow and tall grass from my hair. All I’d wanted was a girls’ weekend away from home, a sort of double bachelorette party for two of my friends who were both getting married soon. No guys, no kids, no restaurant.

  But right now, as I cataloged the bumps and bruises, I only knew two things for certain: First, we were no longer in Reno, and second, Hell had a new name--Assjacket.


  When human psychic Sunny Trimmel and her three best friends decide to go on a weekend getaway, they get away all right— into an alternate reality where cats talk, her Shifter friends are stuck in their animal forms, and they’re dumped into a rural hell known as Assjacket, West Virginia.

  Thanks to a vengeful witch’s magic gone wrong, the girls are sucked into one of the most peculiar adventures they’ve ever had. People and landmarks are disappearing all over town. Sunny will have to rely on her faulty psychic visions, her friends, and the crazy townsfolk to solve the mystery—or they might never find their way home.

  Suck it, Dorothy. Tornadoes have nothing on this twister of a tale.

  Chapter One

  Somewhere I’m not supposed to be...

  SOMETIME YOU RIDE the road to adventure and sometimes the road rides you, which is exactly how I felt as I sat up and picked ditch gravel from my elbow and tall grass from my hair. All I’d wanted was a girls’ weekend away from home, a sort of double bachelorette party for two of my friends who were both getting married soon. No guys, no kids, no restaurant. Co-owning a vegetarian restaurant in an all therianthrope town was no easy task.

  Take getting paid, for instance. I’d gotten a check, finally, from the Tri-State Council, the head-mucky-mucks of therianthropes in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, for the food we’d provided at last year’s Jubilee. Frankly, after the whole kidnapping-slash-serial killer debacle, I’d written off the idea of getting compensation.

  Anyhow, Chavvah, my best friend who was also my husband’s sister, was getting married. And her honey, let me tell you, is a hunka-hunka-sweet ass man. Imagine Jason Mamoa with silver hair and silver eyes. In other words, fine. Very, very fine. My own guy, Babe, is not too shabby either, but this isn’t about me. It’s about Chav. I used the money to book a weekend in Reno for me, Chav, and two other friends, Ruth Thompson and Willy Boden. Since Willy was getting married as well, at the time, it seemed like a win-win foursome.

  But right now, as I cataloged the bumps and bruises, I only knew two things for certain: First, we were no longer in Reno, and second, Hell had a new name--Assjacket.


  The last thing I remember before dying...

  CHING, CHING, CHING, dinga-ding-ding sang the slot machines as we walked through the Harrah’s casino. I felt light-headed and dizzy, which probably had more to do with twenty hours of no sleep rather than the crisp cool air circulating in the place.

  “I heard they pump oxygen into casinos here in Reno to keep people wide awake.” I yawned deeply, almost painfully. The extra oxygen trick wasn’t working on me. The only thing keeping me awake was my screaming feet. If I were less a lady, I’d kick off the heels and walk around in my stockinged feet.

  Oh, who was I kidding? I was totally less of a lady. I took my shoes off and shoved them into my red hobo bag purse. It was huge but stylish, and it matched my outfit. Willy was the only one to grumble about getting dressed up, but getting girly every once in a while was good for the soul. Besides, she looked dynamite in her green pencil skirt and black silk blouse.

  “That’s an urban legend about the oxygen,” Willy said, fluffing her mass of red curls. Willy was a were-bobcat who had recently moved to our small Ozark town.

  “Willy’s right,” Chavvah said, which in my eyes was a complete betrayal.

  “What happened to having my back?”

  “I got your back, front, and sides.” Chav sucked in a deep breath through her nose. “But the evidence is in the air. All I detect is air-conditioning coolant, cologne, cigarette smoke, various kinds of booze, coffee, and the acrid aroma of desperation.”

  Since she was half coyote-half wolf, I didn’t argue. Instead, I sniffed my armpits. My deodorant seemed to be holding up, but as the only human in the bunch, I was nose-blind compared to my compatriots. “You’d have one less thing to smell if you’d let me go back to the room to shower.” And sleep for eight hours straight, I wanted to add. I hadn’t had that kind of sleep since Jude was born, and now that we had a new baby, our little Dawn, sleep was a place that I rarely got to visit, and I knew in my heart I’d never live there.

  “Oh, hell yes,” Chav exclaimed.

  Awesome, she was going to parole me from this casino prison. “Thanks, babe. I appreciate—hey, where are you going?” Okay, parole was off the table.

  Chav made a bee-line for a lit-up neon door that proclaimed to
house Reno’s most highly sought-after psychic, Madame Jane Tennison.

  “You have got to be kidding me,” I groaned.

  “Finally.” Ruth, the fourth in our quartet, and a deer shifter and an even dearer friend clasped her hands together. “It’s something on my bucket list.”

  “You’re not dying, Ruth,” Willy said. “You only get a bucket list if you’re dying.”

  Ruth, who had the skin and facial features of a Disney princess, gave Willy a disappointed look. “If I was dying, I wouldn’t be spending my last precious days in Reno. Besides, it’s not that kind of bucket list.”

  “Please, don’t make me,” I whined to anyone of my friends who would listen. “I’m the thirty-something mother of two, and I’m not as...sturdy built as you therianthropes. I need my sleep.”

  Chavvah, who’d finally come back after reading a sign hanging on the door to Madame Tennison’s, harrumphed. Ruth and Willy both shook their heads.

  “I have a bad feeling about this,” I complained.

  “Did you get one of your visions?” Chav asked, clear concern on her face.

  I thought about lying for a hot minute, but I couldn’t make the words cross my lips. While I was a bonified psychic, unlike Faker-McFakee my friends wanted to consult, I had not had a vision about the fortune teller, but I’d seen enough of her kind when I was growing up to make me sick. My New Age parents loved the idea of people who could talk to the dead. When I first started getting visions of my own, they jumped all over themselves to take credit. It’s no wonder I took the first bus out of commune-central when I turned eighteen.

  I shook my head. “Fine.” I crossed my arms across my recently deflated boobs, down two bra sizes since weaning my youngest. “But under protest. Fortune tellers are nothing but charlatans and con artists.”

  Willy snorted. “I can’t believe you are a non-believer.”

  “I’m a psychic, not a circus act. Only a liar would say they could predict someone’s future accurately.” My visions tended to be unhelpful and ambiguous, and worse yet, I had no control over how or when they happened. To top it off, I was usually neck deep in doo-doo before I figured out what the hell they meant anyhow.

  Ruth pointed half-way down a list she’d printed at home. “Madame Tennison is ranked number five as a must-see-attraction in Reno.”

  “On a review written up by someone whose Twitter handle is @Antsyinmypantsy.” Willy laughed. “I don’t know if he or she is a credible source.”

  Ruth covered the left side of her chest with her hand. “The heart wants what the heart wants, and I want to check out the Madame Jane Tennison. But since this is Chav and Willy’s bachelorette weekend, they should have the final word.”

  “I’m in,” Willy said.

  Chavvah nodded. “For sure. Me too.”

  Ruth grinned at me. “Come on. It will be fun.”

  Famous last words. Ugh. I think the fact that Ruth had drunk three glasses of champagne at the VIP table at Reno’s Queens of the Desert drag show had a lot to do with her push to walk on the wild side. “It’s after midnight. I’m usually in bed by now.”

  “Oh, Sunny,” Chavvah said. “I remember when you used to close down the bars in San Diego.”

  “I was much younger and a lot less tired.” Being a mommy was the most awesome thing I’d ever done, but two energetic therianthrope babies took a lot out of me. “Can’t I skip this one thing?”



  She held up her hand and cut me off. “I get to do anything I want this weekend.”

  “You’re cruel, Chav.”

  “You bet your sweet bippy.” She didn’t look the slightest bit guilty. “Besides, I didn’t make the rules. You did.”

  “I can’t believe you’re throwing my own words back in my face,” I whined. “Just you wait until you have kids.”

  This time Ruth held up a hand. “I’ve got nine children, Sunny Trimmel. You don’t see me crying about being tired.”

  I frowned, because what else could I do. Ruth does have nine kids, and Linus, her youngest, to put it nicely, is rambunctious.

  “Well, you three are therianthropes. I’m just a mere human.”

  Willy snorted again.

  I narrowed my gaze at her. “That’s not attractive, you know.”

  “Brady doesn't seem to mind none.”

  I grinned. “Do tell?”

  “No!” Chav and Ruth said in unison. They did not share my same interest in getting all the juicy details.

  Chav held out her hand to me. I sighed and took it, all the while grumbling about the unfairness of it all as she dragged me into the fortune teller’s lair. The set-up was cliché—round table with two high-back chairs, a long, purple tablecloth with the hem rumpled on the circular throw rug, big all-seeing eyes on various objects and wall-hangings, black velvet curtains, strings of fairy lights, and the freaking place smelled like patchouli. Ugh. The scent reminded me of my childhood.

  “It looks like Madame Fraudison is out. We should go,” I said to the others.

  Ruth gave me a stern look. “Now, Sunny. Quit being a spoilsport.”

  “I am Madame Tennison,” a woman said as she swept the black curtain aside. “I feel a strong aura, a powerful presence in you ladies. Please,” she gestured to the chair nearest us, “who shall I read first?” Her pale blue eyes framed by thick, dark lashes twinkled as she flashed a wide, ruby-lipped grin.

  I pushed Chavvah ahead of me. “One of the brides-to-be should go first.”

  My BFF glared at me then she turned a smile to the fortune teller. “I’d love to go first.”

  After Chav sat down, Madame Tennison took the seat on the side. “What is your name?”

  “You’re the psychic,” I muttered. “Don’t you know?”

  The fortune teller raised a brow at me. “My gift is more abstract. I get images, not words.”

  “Uh huh.”

  “Chavvah Trimmel,” Chav said. “Excuse Sunny. She’s not usually this cranky.”

  I stuck my tongue out. Chav and the charlatan ignored me.

  “I don’t mind,” the con-woman said. “I am used to nay-sayers. Can I have your palm, Chavvah?”

  “Sure.” Chav extended her hand. The fortune teller brushed her finger over a thick scar at Chav’s wrist. My friend winced. It was a souvenir of a terrible time in her life, and I didn’t like the fortune teller bringing attention to it.

  Madame Tennison closed her eyes. “You have suffered much in the past.”

  “You are a regular Sherlock Holmes,” I said. Anyone could have guessed that revelation.

  “Hush now,” Ruth admonished. “We’re trying to have a good time here, Sunny. Why are you so intent on ruining it?” She blinked her big doe eyes at me and waited for my answer. It was a move I was certain she’d perfected on her multiple children to great effect.

  Apparently, it worked on her friends as well. I filled with guilt. Ruth had never been out of Missouri, and I really was acting like a buzz-kill. And worst of all, I didn’t know why. I’d just had a terrible feeling all evening, and I couldn’t shake it. The weighty foreboding had soured my mood. “I’m sorry. I’ll try to relax.”

  Madame Tennison continued her schtick with Chavvah. “I see a great loss in your past.” She met Chav’s gaze. “A parent.” She shook her head. “No. A sibling. A brother?”

  “Oh, for fuck’s sake. She’s reading your face, Chav. It’s a lucky guess.”

  The con-woman narrowed her gaze at me, then back to Chav. “A hunting accident? Such a terrible shame.” With a flickering glance, she gave me a nee-ner-nee-ner stare.

  “Fine, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then,” I said, borrowing a euphemism from a possum shifter I knew back home.

  Willy put her hand on my shoulder. I looked down at the fiery redhead.

  “Maybe you should wait outside, Sunny,” she said.

  “No, I’ll behave.”

  Willy snorted. “That’ll be
the day.”

  Madame Tennison was drawing a line across Chav’s palm. “I see a handsome man. A wolfish demeanor.”

  My eyes widened. Humans—aside from myself—weren’t aware of therianthropes or lycanthropes, so having the fortune teller describe Chav’s werewolf fiancé, Billy Bob Smith, as wolfish, was just a little too on the nose. I saw a tug of a smile at the corner of the fortune teller’s lips. I got a horrible feeling she knew more about us than she should.

  The foreboding intensified. “Chav, get up.” I tried to walk toward her and stumbled. My lips were numb and hard to move. “Don’t let her touch you.”

  I forced my arm up and threw myself on the table. Chav jumped back with a startled yelp as I grabbed Madame Tennison and my vision fuzzed.

  A large bear stands over me. I yelp and roll away. They can’t know I’m back. Not yet. So how... Wait. The bear isn’t moving. And, gruesomely, it is missing a large chunk of its head.

  Nooooooooooooo! I’m in goddess-damned West Virginia. That fucking Hildy has probably already called Baba Yaga to haul my ass off to jail. Shit-damn-fairy nuts-and-honeybadger-stinkpits.

  I throw my hands up. Sparks fly from my fingertips as I zap the bear in the jewels.

  My power is back. All is not lost.

  ...And that was the last of the vision I remembered before I awoke in a ditch on a lonely stretch of road.

  Chapter Two

  Now that you’re up to speed...

  MY MUSCLES ACHED, and my breath smelled like baby poop. With two babies at home, I was very familiar with the awful stench.


  “I’m here,” she said.

  I looked around, my eyes still trying to adjust the dark surroundings. “Where are you?”

  A wet nose bumped my cheek. “Right here.”

  I jumped. A huge seven-foot black wolf stood next to me instead of Chav. “How in the world?”

  The last and only time my BFF turned into Brother Wolf, her spirit guide’s avatar, was when she was in danger from a deranged serial killer who wanted to skin her alive. Literally. When she’d turned into the giant, talking wolf, she’d ended up eating—well, more like swallowing—the killer in one bite.

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