Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Release: Magic and Mayhem: Wicked Is As Wicked Does (Kindle Worlds Novella) by Cherie Marks @CherieMarks

Magic and Mayhem:
Wicked Is As Wicked Does
(Kindle Worlds Novella)
by Cherie Marks
Published October 19th 2016
Publisher: Timbercreek Press
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy


I know exactly how to be a bad girl: 

1. Be born that way 
2. Have notorious parent 
3. Be real witch to everyone. 

But, I’ve got to be good now because in between teaching Chemistry at the local high school in Assjacket, West Virgina, I have to save all humanity from the forces of evil and…blah…blah…blah…keep the Halloweeneedtokissourassesgoodbye apocalypse from happening. With the help of an off-the-charts, smoking hawt instructor/boss, I might just have a fighting chance—if I can stop drooling over his naked chest. Dane Calvin agreed to teach me how to use my abilities responsibly, but he’s never met a witch as hard-headed as me. And, of course, it doesn’t help that the last time I used my powers it ended in tragedy, so forgive me if I’m a little magic gun-shy. I might be made for wicked things, but when he’s watching, I’ve got to be good because Wicked Is As Wicked Does.

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Like the gorgeous best friend and amazing distraction I needed, Celia poked her head into my classroom and gave me a smile that said she had juicy, juicy gossip that I’d so want to know. School started in three days, and we were here prepping our classrooms for another school year of blessing young minds and shaping the future because we were professionals who’d chosen this job. Why? Clearly, we were good, decent people who wanted to make a difference in the world. Or, we were slightly insane and needed an outlet for our crazy.
“Is your ass coming, or what?” As usual, Celia looked like the model for the Van Halen song, Hot for Teacher. She was blonde, tan, and had legs that were longer than a week of standardized testing. She was flat-out hawt, and worked her physical blessings to get many, many dates. Or at least that’s what she led us all to believe. I thought it was likely she just loved to talk a big game, but we all let her maintain her bad-ass image. Seemed like the right thing to do.
“Where are we going?”
“To meet the new principal.” Her chin dropped and she waggled her eyebrows a few times before explaining, “I hear he’s hot, and I gots to see it for m’self.”
I laughed a little as I said, “Celia, you’re always horny. He could look like a puddle of melted ice cream and you’d slurp it up like the best thing you’ve ever eaten.”
She made a sucking sound and beckoned me to follow her. “Come on. Time’s a wastin’, darling! How will we get the jump on fruity-tooty Mrs. Rudy? If she digs her hooks into him, we’ll never have a shot.”
“She can have him for all I care. I don’t have time for dating right now.”
“Who said anything about dating? I was thinking I’d slam his body down, wind it all around, and then we’d zigga-zig-ah.”
We walked to the center of the building where the staff was hosting a reception in the library. As we walked inside, I noticed people standing around with cake and punch in hand. It just wasn’t a party until someone handed out a piece of cake, right?
As I glanced around, I saw a few familiar faces, but a number of new ones too. This was only my second year teaching at Mount Shelley High School, where the motto was, “Don’t be named Shelley.” Maybe it was really some crap about reaching for heights, but I was thinking about starting a petition to change it. For now though, I was still meeting everyone, and it didn’t help that turnover was inevitable in a school, but especially in our school this year.
Turns out, a new high school opened on the other side of town. For some strange reason, Assjacket was having some kind of population boom, and it had called for a new building to house the growing number of students. As a result, many teachers and even the previous principal from MSHS made the jump to the new facility, probably hoping to get the good office chairs and the student desks that didn’t wobble and rock. Fancy!
That meant one thing though for us—newbie staff—and all the hilarity that ensued. Of course, technically I was still a newbie since this was only my second year here. Sadly, I didn’t stay in one place too long, and as much as I loved the friends I’d made here, I knew the time would come that I’d have to run again. Until that day though, I’d enjoy belonging somewhere.
Celia and I hit it off first day last year or else I’d have been one of her targets for hazing. Instead, I got to be in on the jokes, and only had a few run-ins with the Mounters, Celia’s crew of hardcore veterans who got just a little joy in laughing at the inevitable moments of insanity brought on by the newness of newbie teachers.
Don’t get me wrong. They helped them more than they hurt them, but Celia showed me how finding humor in the situation kept you from going batcrap crazy like the rest of them.
Even now, Celia had engaged a new, male teacher wearing a caught-in-the-headlights look in his eyes into a conversation with her. He was clearly doing his best to talk himself up, and it was almost unfair how easy he was going to make this.
“Evie, have you met Mr. Feldman?”
“Um…it’s Mr. Frederick.”
“Uh, huh. He was just telling me that he’s going to be our new chemistry teacher. Just hope they fixed the problem. I’d hate to lose another teacher in the same way as the last one.”
Mr. Frederick’s eyes widened, and I nearly ruined it all with a giggle I covered with a swipe of my hand over my mouth.
“How exactly did the last one leave?”
I didn’t know how Celia kept such a straight face as she asked, “What do they call those things? Oh, yes, I think it’s called a body bag.”
Sputters and questions by Mr. Frederick were cut off as Celia raised her hand to wave at someone across the room. “Look! There’s Liz. Let’s go ask how her summer was.” As she stepped away, Celia called behind her, “Bye, Felicia.”
She grabbed my arm and took off for the side of the room where Liz was talking to a few other people, leaving poor Mr. Frederick to wonder what had happened to the teacher for which he was taking the position and calling after us, “It’s Frederick, but….”
“Celia, you’re heartless.”
“Oh, he’ll learn soon enough not to believe a word I say. It only took me explaining that there was a hierarchy for copier use, and that you were at the very bottom for you to see through my bullshit.”
The memory of the first time I met Celia made me laugh. I thought she was a real bitch. Of course, that only convinced me we’d be friends forever.
As we crossed the room and closed in on Liz, I noticed a larger crowd gathered in one part of the library. I tried to angle my head to catch a glimpse of our new leader, but only caught sight of short, wavy, brown hair with natural bronze highlights. He stood taller than the rest of the staff, but I still couldn’t see a clear view of his face. Not that I cared. One principal was just like any other. His or her job was to make the big decisions that guided the school. There were always four major factions pushing the administrator toward certain choices—students, teachers, parents, and the mighty ones in charge sending their own decisions from above. Usually, one decision helped one particular group but possibly hurt another. In other words, a principal didn’t stay popular for long.
I could’ve used my powers to separate the crowd. They wouldn’t even know what’d happened, but I’d sworn not to use magic. It would draw too much attention, and I was all about staying under the radar nowadays.
“Hey, Liz. How was your summer vacay? Did you finally get laid?” Liz winced the slightest bit at Celia’s blunt questions, but she no doubt expected such boldness from our brash friend.
“As a matter of fact…my summer was great but short. And I think you know the answer to your second question.” She gave a twist of her mouth and rolled her hands along her curvy hips. “I got a whole lot of…nothing.”
Though she often alluded to the fact she was a tad rounder than most, she was such a beautiful woman. Her cropped, blonde hair was always perfectly styled and her make-up looked airbrushed and striking every day. As much as she joked about wanting to be a walking stick, she was perfect the way she was, and we all knew it.
Liz changed the subject quickly by asking, “Have you seen the new principal? Beam me up, McHawtie!”
Again, my gaze strayed to the crowd, but I still couldn’t get a clear view of the subject of our conversation. “Is he really that attractive?”
“Let’s just say, I’m on my third pair of underwear, and I’ve only been here for fifteen minutes.”
“Oooo! Gross, Lizzy. TMI to the extreme.” I pushed my brain not to think about her revelation, but once it was out there, it was impossible not to know.
“Hey! I spit the truth. Handle it.”
“We should go over there.” Celia was beginning a plot. I could feel it.
Liz shrugged. “Looks pretty crowded right now. Maybe we should wait and catch him when he’s not surrounded.”
In a sudden motion, Celia grabbed my shoulder and squeezed. “Oh, no! Mrs. Rudy at nine o’clock! We have to stop her now before she makes him her bitch.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. There’s no stopping that train. She’s going to do what she’s going to do.” I’d had my run-ins with Mrs. Rudy. She always got her way, and people defied her at their own peril. Not only did she know the superintendent personally, but she also regularly hung out with the school board members. Needless to say, she got the computer lab whenever she wanted it.
“No! We can’t let her this time. Evie, get in there and cause a distraction. I’ll find a way to keep them apart.”
I laughed because she clearly had lost her mind. Did she think she could keep them apart all throughout the entire school year? I didn’t get her logic one bit. “Celia, you’re asking for the impossible.”
But, the next thing I knew, she was behind me, steering me toward the group, and I was digging in my heels, fighting her every step of the way. We were making unintelligible sounds to each other as I slapped at her hands on my shoulders, and people were starting to stare. Somehow though, she maneuvered me into the crowd, and with one last shove, pushed me straight into an immovable object, like a brick wall or a Mack truck.
Yet, when I looked up, I realized exactly what I’d hit. Him!
My hands were on his chest, and though I knew I should pull away, one involuntary squeeze of his warm, nicely-clothed body in my hands, and I went brainless. All I knew was that I had an unobstructed view of him finally, and this was my chance to see how handsome he was for myself.
I started at his black, motorcycle boots and let my gaze travel up his vintage-washed, indigo-detail jeans until I paused at the dark, blue button down where his chest widened considerably into full, linebacker shoulders. My anxiety built and rolled in my stomach as I started to lift my eyes to meet his gaze. Not much actually scared me anymore, but looking him in the eyes was the hardest thing I’d done for quite some time.
I took it slow, pausing at his perfectly sculpted mouth and lingering on his straight nose and sculpted cheeks. Oh, but, when I stared into the sparkle of his green gaze, I felt my mouth go dry, my heart constrict, and my happy place leap—actually leap—in response. I might’ve even let out a small squeak. I suddenly understood Liz’s underwear comment completely. Might need a change myself after this encounter.
“Are you okay?” The deep timbre of his voice sent shivers down my spine. It was like sweet, melted butter poured over the most delectable dish, and I wanted to hear it over and over again.
“Fine. And you?”
He chuckled lightly and a corner of his mouth lifted, but then his face turned grim again as he cleared his throat and set me back away from him, finally breaking my grip on his shirt.

“Doing my best to stay on my feet. Guess you’ll have to try harder next time…Ms. Ward, is it?”


It all started with an old fashioned typewriter. When my family brought it home, I knew what I wanted to do. All those stories rolling around in my head could finally get out. The press and click of the keys were satisfying in their own right, but when I pulled out a finished page, I knew this was for me. Since then, I’ve graduated to a laptop, but the stories still find a way out.

I’m a breast cancer survivor, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and from the very beginning—a storyteller. Always a hint humorous and honest to a fault, I love to make people laugh, smile, and have “a-ha” moments. My goal in life is to achieve tact and stop procrastinating. The battle wages on.