Romaniac HQ is delighted to host Part Two woo woo of the spooky Choc Lit Halloween Round Robin, as told by Jane Lovering.
Part Two by Jane Lovering
An amateur witch attempts to summon a new (and hopefully less gittish) lover using her grandmother’s spell book … what could possibly go wrong?
Each section of A New Love for Halloween will be told by a different Choc Lit author to create one magical story. You can follow the tale on five separate blogs from the 27th Oct to Halloween. You can read part one by Berni Stevens here. Here’s part two by Jane Lovering …
Part Two by Jane Lovering
Jo carefully opened the envelope and slid the red heart inside, her fingers fumbling with the fragile crepe paper. Little edges of it caught and tore against the thicker paper so she withdrew it again, sitting it on her palm and watching the sides flex and curl in the heat from the candle. ‘Now I come to look at it, it’s less heart shaped and more like a bum,’ she said, an annoyance at her own gullibility making her frown. ‘I’ll probably get another complete arse, like Gordon.’ Then, before she could rethink, she folded the little red heart down into a scarlet twist, jammed it into the envelope and dropped a blob of warm wax onto the seal.
As the first blob touched the paper, a strange breeze ran through the room. Jo couldn’t feel it against her skin, but it raised her hair and made the pages of the book flip and turn, as though something ghostly was looking through, searching for another spell. Jo felt her arms bobble into goosepimples and tried to stretch the sleeves of the T-shirt down to cover as much flesh as possible.
The front door banged again. Jo considered the possibility that Musketeer Dan had failed to find number twenty-nine and hurriedly pulled on the duffel coat that she’d left drying on the back of a chair. ‘Yes?’ She cautiously peered around the door.
‘Yeah, ah, um … sorry, do you mind me asking, have you seen another bloke dressed like me?’ He was wearing a full wig, sword, breeches and a tricorn hat.
‘Dan, you mean?’ She pulled the coat closer over her T-shirt. It was quite chilly out there.
‘Er. Yeah. Dan. He was supposed to be meeting us here but we’ve lost him.’
‘He came here about five minutes ago, got the wrong house. He can’t have got far, number twenty-nine is only two doors’ up, and across the road, just …’ Jo stepped outside, pointing around the corner ‘… past the green bin.’
‘Cheers.’ The second Musketeer swept his hat off and dealt her a long bow. ‘Loving the Paddington outfit, by the way. Excellent.’
‘Oh, it’s not…’ Jo started, then realised that there was no possible way she could explain opening her own front door wearing a duffel coat, so she just grinned. ‘Thanks. Hope he turns up.’
‘Yeah, so do I, he’s got the car keys.’
Sword slightly trailing along the pavement, the Musketeer headed off towards number twenty-nine, a location that had become, in Jo’s mind, synonymous with lurid excitement and a vast number of men. She turned round to head back into her kitchen, to the single burning candle and the illicit spell book. She hoped neither of her recent visitors had managed to catch a glimpse of these when she’d opened the door. ‘They’d think I was mad,’ she muttered to herself, then glanced down at her bare legs poking from under the damp wool of her coat and fringed with the dangling hem of the T-shirt. ‘Well, madder, anyway.’
But before she could go inside there was another of those freak draughts. The handle of the front door she’d been carefully holding was whipped from her grasp and she heard the horrible, and definite, slam and click of the Yale lock engaging, leaving her outside on the doorstep with nothing but Muse and a moist duffel between her and the elements.
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Jane Lovering lives in Yorkshire with five children, four cats and two dogs! She works in a local school and also teaches creative writing.
Jane writes romantic comedies which are often described as ‘quirky’.
Her debut Please Don’t Stop the Music won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Romantic Comedy Novel award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Get in the Halloween spirit with Hubble Bubble, Vampire State of Mind and Falling Apart.
To win three Choc Lit paperbacks of your choice, collect each of our 5 questions (you’ll find one at the end of each story section) and email ALL 5 answers to email@example.com.
Question 2: Vampire State of Mind and Falling Apart are set in which city?