Rehab is for Witches (An Anthology)
Cynthia Valero, Elle J. Rossi, J. A. Howell, Miranda Stork, Tara S. Wood, Tyffani Clark Kemp
Published: 31st October, 2014
SideStreet Cookie Publishing LLC
Welcome to Little Raven: an unsullied, beautiful woodland hamlet in the heart of the Midwest. The sort of place where furry creatures romp about and spend their days bursting into song.
Actually, that’s a giant pack of lies.
Little Raven is a town…for witches.
And some of those witches might have bent the rules. A teensy bit. When six magical miscreants dabble with black magic, they end up together at Incantations, the town’s rehab center for witches gone awry. It’s a slap on the wrist for naughty witches. Pretty much a daycare center so they don’t wander off and start turning people into newts on a whim. Each witch must work through her addiction to black magic, and follow the tenets designed to lead them back to the path of the straight and narrow, as boring as that sounds. Even if following the tenets sucks worse than a group round of kum-bay-ya. Which sucks. Horribly.
We will admit we are powerless over magic—that our lives have become unmanageable.
We will make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Goddess as we understand Her.
We will make a searching and fearless moral and magical inventory of ourselves.
We will admit to the Goddess, to ourselves, and to another being the exact nature of our magical wrongs.
We will make a list of all persons or beings we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
We will make direct amends to such beings whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We are entirely ready to bow before the Goddess and have Her remove all our defect of character, even at the risk of being entirely stripped of our magic.
But this is just the start. There’s something rotten in Little Raven, something that seeks to take all the magic it can, and devour the inhabitants in the process. It will take the strength and power of all the witches to defeat the darkness seeping into their town, beat it back, and be rid of it forever…and maybe just make it through rehab while they’re saving the world.
The Authors & Titles-
Tara S. Wood – A Trunk Full of Peril
Tyffani Clark Kemp – A Diary Full of Names
Cynthia Valero – A Cauldron Full of Goodbyes
Miranda Stork – A Closet Full of Demons
J. A. Howell – A Basement Full of Secrets
Elle J Rossi – A Suitcase Full of Revenge
Content warning: Sexual scenes
An excerpt from A Suitcase Full of RevengeMy father had instructed the Watchmen to have me labeled an uncooperative inpatient upon check-in. Like any rehab facility, Incantations had rules, and I wondered how he had manipulated them to suit his needs. Technically, I was a first-time offender since he’d covered up all the other incidents, and should be listed as such on the outpatient log. I should know. Prompted by the screams only I seemed to hear, I’d been reading up about Incantations most of my life. I laughed out loud at my own naivety. My father could manipulate anyone and anything with money and a cheesy smile.I laughed harder—the noise spilling from my mouth sounding deranged even to my own ears. The ferryman drew closer. The Watchmen shuffled uncomfortably at my side, both staring at me with cautious eyes. I glanced down and found my fingers smoking. I waggled a hand at the one on my right—Stump. His already grim mouth turned down so far his lips reminded me of a horseshoe. I shrugged and returned my attention to the approaching ferry. Something about the ferryman was familiar, but it was hard to tell with him being covered from head to toe in a ratty cloak. Still, his presence demanded my attention.He docked the tiny barge and immediately offered me a hand. An involuntary twitch stuttered through my neck and I stepped back. I hadn’t really touched anyone since… I could almost hear the steel gate slam shut inside my head. My mind refused to go there.I tried to see myself through his eyes, smell myself through his nose. They hadn’t allowed me to shower or change clothes before they’d forced me into the back of the SUV, prodding me with broomsticks of all things, to keep their distance. My skin and clothes had dark splotches from ash, and I couldn’t get away from my own stench of sweat and smoke.Sasquatch stepped forward. “Don’t touch her, ferryman.”The ferryman cocked his head.“It’s alright,” he said to me, ignoring the warning. “She won’t tip. Let me help you aboard.”I stood dead still. His voice.What about his voice? Don’t listen to him. Listen to us!I whipped my head to the right so fast I was surprised my neck didn’t pull a full three-sixty.“Shhh, Faye.” It had to be a coincidence, just someone who sounded like him.“Faye?” the ferryman asked.“Can’t you see she’s crazy?” Stump said with a shrug, followed by a rumble of laughter.“Touch her at your own risk.”Sasquatch cleared his throat. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”“Shit. What do we care? It’s his life.” Stump jammed his hands into his front pockets. “Or death.”The ferryman reached up and shoved his hood back.I gasped. Said nothing. Considered running. Running until the memories of him and all the promises he’d made were nothing but dust in the wind. My mind screamed his name. My mouth refused to speak it aloud.
What I liked: I found each of the stories really interesting and entertaining. With each one they felt like they were too short to make me want them over, yet long enough to answer the questions I wanted to know the answers to. Each of the girls were characters who had to learn and grow into better people, stop doing the black magic that they had used for so long. I found the pace in each story to be a little different and all the characters stood on their own but were entertaining in their own way. I think the last story was my favorite though, I couldn’t put it down!
What I didn’t like: I wish there had been less romance in the stories, because they seemed a little forced, and didn’t always fit into the story. Sometimes the girls were too swoony, most of them used black magic for fun so it just didn’t seem like the girls should have been that swoony.
Overall Review: I really enjoyed this collection of stories about bad witches going to rehab to make themselves stop using black magic. Each girl was different from each other in her problems and how things turn out for them. While I wish there had been some more magic and the stories to have been longer because I liked the characters, I did like how everything ended up turning out by the end.
Recommend?: I can, I guess it’s all up to personal preference though!
My Rating: 3.8/5
Elle J. Rossi’s Top 5 Favorite Things
1) Music. Specifically country music. Raised on it and still love it. Something about it speaks to my soul. I think it’s because it’s so authentic.
2) Coffee. Buckets of it. All day long. The flavor, the aroma, the experience. All of it.
3) Books. I’m actually a pretty eclectic reader. From paranormal to literary fiction to comic books. Reading is such an escape from the real world. It’s a stress reliever, not to mention inspiring!
4) Moonshine drinkin’ and tailgate singin’. Sometimes literally. I love to hang out with my friends, drive around in old trucks while singing as loud as we can.
5) Nashville, TN. Best town out there. ‘Nuf said.
About the Authors
I’m Miranda Stork, and I’m addicted. Addicted to writing and reading books, anyway. And chocolate, but that’s another issue – no interventions, please.
I live in the middle of a forest in North Yorkshire, spending my spare time as the wild woman of the woods, scaring small children and upsetting the sheep. On the days that I feel like being civilized, or I haven’t got any unicorns to ride, I sit down and pour the tumbling thoughts in my head out onto digital paper. Mainly the thoughts and characters come out in paranormal form, with a good smattering of romance, because everyone likes a good cuddle. But you can also find strong elements of thrillers, myths, and even dystopia amongst the pages of all my novels. I’ve wanted to write books ever since I first realised that fairytales were not the newspapers of the fairy kingdom, but the imaginings of actual people who wanted to tell fancy made-up stories to other people. From that moment, I was hooked.
Why do I write? Good question. It might be easier to just keep the stories in my head, or even just to write them for myself. But I want to share them. There is no greater delight for a writer than when a reader devours your book, and declares, “Something in that novel resonated with me. And I want MORE.” So grab your lucky clover and a baseball bat (there’s some nasty paranormal creatures where we’re going), eat the cookie with ‘eat me’ tagged on it, and enter through the tiny door into the world of Miranda Stork…
Tara S. Wood-
Tara Wood divides her time between creating domestic bliss and creating hot paranormal romance with the occasional side of kink. When not playing June Cleaver for her hubby and daughter, she can be found at the local Starbucks slamming back Frappuccinos and plotting out her next idea. Or she’s watching the BBC. Tara resides with her wonderful and tolerant family in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. She is currently at work on several projects, one of them being the next book in her In Blood series.
Elle J. Rossi-
Elle J Rossi is a writer of Dark Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. Overly fond of the happily ever after, Elle lets her characters take control as they lead her down dark and twisted paths on their haunting journey toward love.
When not writing, you’ll more than likely catch her hanging with her husband, two kids and a cat who truly does rule the roost, or stealing the mic from her friends as the duel over country karaoke.
Cynthia Valero is an award-winning author of three paranormal romance novels and two anthologies written with Beth Ciotta as CB Scott. Her newest solo novella, A Cauldron Full of Goodbyes, is one of six dark and edgy stories in the anthology, Rehab is for Witches. A student of Natalie Goldberg, Zoetrope All-Story, and The Writers Studio, Cynthia is currently writing a rich tale of forbidden love and deadly feuds set off the coast of 1904 America. You can visit her on Facebook at Cynthia Valero Books or at cynthiavalero.com.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.
Tyffani Clark Kemp-
Tyffani Clark Kemp might be the quietest person in the room, but that just means she’s probably the biggest freak too. She is a multi-genre author with a gift for the written word and a desire to help all Indies reach their full potential. In 2012, she and her best friend Kimberly Fudge started SideStreet Cookie Publishing for authors who want to remain independent, but don’t have the time or the knowledge to do it all themselves. From the age of eleven she dedicated her life to writing and making sure she was good at her craft. Now, she passes that knowledge on to others. Her friends would describe her as determined and giving. She may be quite, but she always has a story to tell.
Review by Iris