Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats by Carla Rehse
Release Date: July 24th 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old homecoming queen, Gracie Mason, is a budding burglar.
While attempting her inaugural break-in, Gracie blacks out and wakes up far away from the scene. It turns out she accidentally intruded on a male witch’s “circle of power,” and now she’s bonded to him for life.
Gracie quickly learns that dissolving the bond with Asher, admittedly a very handsome and charming witch, is more complicated than she initially thought. To break the bond, Gracie must delve deeper into a society of witches that involves a secret club, a shadowy council, and all sorts of magical mischief. And right when it seems things can’t get any worse, witches start turning up dead.
It’s clear that Gracie is out of her depth as her quest to sever the bond magically turns into a murder investigation. But if Gracie and Asher don’t quickly uncover the killer, they might be next on the list.
Buy on Amazon for only $0.99 until 9/9! (I don’t know how that correlates to £GBP, but oh well)
Excerpt: (As far as I am aware it’s the whole first chapter, it’s quite long so apologies. I could have put in a scroll bar but it looked weird.)
the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected
homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the
student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.
crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading
through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course.
Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did
it for me?
weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the
hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this
building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most
upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor
paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.
the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy
Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced
on his knee.
Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists
brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four
times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients.
“Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”
but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.
pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two
sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just
fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a
senior, I guess, since school’s not started.” Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses.
“Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys
involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during
our last session?”
much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my
parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each
other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t
split up, I never would’ve met Ben.
Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a
sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world,
kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s
legal—I Googled it twice.
about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the
lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next
with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no
to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time,
I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4
roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.
tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs,
and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a
fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr.
McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.
Maybe I should go to the reflection bench for a spell?”
building. The concrete patio surrounded by four walls radiates enough heat to
grill a steak, not that I eat meat anymore. Ben’s a founding member of the
Texas Animal Army Movement, which preaches a vegan lifestyle and the rescue of
abused animals. Dr. McDozzle wipes at the sweat running down his reddening face. “You have fifteen
minutes until the doors are locked for the weekend. We’ll continue our, uh …
conversation next time. Jane will email you with an appointment date.”
forty minutes while barely taking a breath. Daddy says I’d make a natural
politician. In desperation, Dr. McDozzle hit on the idea of the “reflection
bench” out here. He’s not really a bad therapist, but I only chose him ‘cause
his practice is in the Trinity Building.
Centex Therapy. I hotfoot it to the Ladies’ room across the hall. It’s not the
most sanitary place to wait until the coast is clear, but I brought
santi-wipes. I scroll through my photo album to pass the time. Ben has an entire folder dedicated to
him. When he and his mom first moved in with Daddy, I thought he was an
obnoxious douche with his constant sermons about how humans are destroying the
environment and enslaving animals.
out of his life and is determined to get it. I’ve never met anyone so brave and
Now, I can’t live without my fuchsia metallic lip tar from Obsessive Compulsive
Cosmetics. I even got Barksie, my cream-colored, toy Yorkiedoodle, on an
all-natural diet. I haven’t gone all cray cray and converted Barksie to a
vegetarian, but it is my responsibility as a pet parent to ensure he gets the
least processed food available.
wasn’t. Now, Ben and his mom live across the city in a tiny apartment and Daddy
is dating Whitney, who really knows how to put the “w” into witch.
but also his girlfriend of two years dumped him. Sad for him, but perfect for
me. I now have the chance to catch his attention.
Simple. To get information that really means something to Ben. He’s too soulful
to be distracted by short skirts and tight shirts; trust me I’ve tried. No, I
need to prove I’m a true partner in his cause—rescuing abused animals.
huge warehouses that supply care products for lab animals. All I need to do is
break in, riffle through their files until I find their mailing list. And then
I can hand over a list of every animal broker they sell to. Ben will be so
stoked. Not only will we know who’s raising the poor bunnies to be tortured,
we’ll also know where their labs are.
ribs. As expected, the security officer cracks open the door. “Anyone in here?”
He waits a few seconds before turning off the light and shutting the door.
Abigail. And my usual wheelwoman, Seraphina, is also out of the country.
Without my girls, I had no choice but to recon the building last Friday in my
cheerleading outfit under the guise of seeking new sponsors for the school’s
booster club. The Lanier Day Spa actually agreed. I need to remember to tell
Coach Sanders. Mr. Smith, the accountant, offered me his cell phone number so
we could discuss my college plans, as long as I don’t call on the weekend when
his wife is home.
started. Conventional wisdom might say a burglar needs to dress in black and
wait until midnight to do the deed, but screw that. If I get caught, all I need
is a few tears about getting locked in and a weak cell signal. Besides, who’s
gonna believe I’m a thief in Michael Kors wedges and pearls?
the stairs next to my therapist’s office. None of the doors to the stairs have
alarms, or at least the SWAT team has never jumped me for using them before.
After climbing three flights, with two more to go, I’m seriously rethinking my
choice of footwear. And what the heck is the smell in here? The Trinity
Corporation really needs to change janitorial services.
pounding and my knees shake. Thanks to my daily kickboxing routine, I know it’s
not due to poor fitness. Once I leave this stairwell, I’m committed. Should I
really do this? Then I think of Ben in his cute glasses and cargo shorts.
mounted on the walls offering the only illumination. Four quick steps and I
enter a dark breakroom. The Coke machine chooses this moment to kick in,
startling me into swallowing my gum. Too gross.
a desperate PMS need for a Snickers. The soda and candy machines are crammed
along one wall. Across from them is a small table holding an icky microwave
splattered with the Ghost of TV Dinners Past and a coffee pot missing its
microwave table blocks a door leading into Labpartners, Inc. When the nice
receptionist let me in last week, I spied the other side of this door. A potted
palm tree tried to hide it.
retrieve the hot pink lock picking kit I bought online for $12.99. It even came
with a brochure, though it warned its customers not to use the product for
criminal deeds. After watching a few online videos, I spent a week roaming
around Mama’s house, practicing my skills. The front door gave me some fits at
first, but I opened the cupboard in the hallway where she hides her erotic
novels and European chocolates without a hitch.
balance it in my mouth, while I bend down to work on the door lock.
still. Ringing in my ears makes it hard to determine if the footsteps are
coming toward me or moving away. Should I replace the table and bluff my way
out or quickly open the door? Is it the security officer or some dimwitted,
no-life office worker?
balance the flashlight on the microwave table and aim it at the lock before
inserting a tension wrench into the keyhole. I turn the wrench, then insert the
pick, hoping I can rake the lock pins up. I try the handle. It doesn’t move.
something in a singsong fashion. Italian, maybe? I use a wider pick on the lock
to try again, though a voice in my head loudly tells me to stop. The door still
won’t open, and I want to throw the tension wrench across the room.
throat. I’m failing, and I don’t do failure.
concentration is blown due to the idiot outside. Ben’s adulation will have to
wait for another day. I edge my way to the door and peek outside. Some guy in a
dark hoodie is kneeling and sprinkling something on the floor. If he’s the
cleaning crew, no wonder this place is a mess.
step outside and my shoe skids across chalky powder. I flail my arms, eyes