Please welcome author Jennifer Harlow here today for the second day of Fantastic Fables. Her new release What’s a Witch to Do? was recently released on March 8, 2013 from Midnight Ink. Today’s Fantastic Fable is set in the Wizard of Oz world.
Five lucky readers will win a copy of What’s a Witch to Do?. This contest is a part of a blog tour giveaway provided by Midnight Ink.
The “Wicked” Witch of the South
Monaleigh, the Witch of the South sat in her wooden, moss covered castle beside the Great Swamp waiting for Glinda to swan in in her pink bubble. Goody. Half a day’s notice, she gave just half a day’s notice and though not said, did expect the royal treatment. Pink cupcakes, the finest ambrosia, all the furniture devoid of imps and dust. The monkeys were put to work immediately, flittering around like fairies with dusters instead of magic wands, but the majority of the work fell to Monaleigh. As always. The negotiations with the Crocodlillies and Fighting Trees had to be postponed, as did the cauldron of salve for the outbreak of pox that affected the moss pickers. At least she was able to cast the approaching storm away so the poppy crops could be picked in time. The Wizard would not take the excuse of, “I had to entertain a pink crème puff filled with righteousness and perfection.” Not when it came to the poppy supply. Nothing short of an ogre war would do.
Fifteen minutes late, as always, the bubble could be spotted gliding over the swamp by the flying monkey brigade on patrol. Monaleigh smoothed her black dress and hair, checked in her looking glass that her red skin was more cherry than copper, and plastered a smile on her round face. “Glinda! It’s been over a year, far too long. How are you?”
“Fine,” the Good Witch replied in that lyrical voice of hers. “You’re looking…healthy.”
Yes, it would be that kind of meeting.
After the dissemination of cake and ambrosia, the women sat across from one another. Glinda wrinkled her adorable nose as the smell of methane wafted in. “I do so love coming down to visit. I must do it more often.”
“Yes, you must,” Monaleigh said meaning it as much as Glinda did. “So, you didn’t mention in your message this morning what prompted this pleasant surprise. Is all well in the Emerald City?”
“Actually, yes, it is. Now.” She set down her chipped ambrosia goblet as her expression grew dour. “I wanted to be the one to tell you. Your cousins, their reign of terror is over. A girl from another land named Dorothy took it upon herself to rid us of the scourge of Oz.”
“G…reat.” In truth, Monaleigh had already received word about her cousins deaths the day before. Everyone in all the lands of Oz had heard about the stranger and her little dog too. Monaleigh attempted to feel sadness for the loss of her only remaining family, but nothing rose beyond relief. She had never been close to the witches of East and West. From the moment each was brought into the world, they often tormented their less aggressive cousin the few times she was forced to receive them. Those visits often include her attempted recruitment in all their schemes and plots to take over Oz. Monaleigh just nodded and smiled. She had no desire to rule beyond her own lands. She simply wished to be left alone in her swamp with her people. As she did at that moment. “Thank you Glinda for coming all this way to tell me. It was most kind of you.”
“Do not thank me yet. I’m afraid that is not the only news I am here to impart,” Glinda said with a sad smile. “It’s a new dawn in Oz. A chance for a fresh start for all. The wizard feels, and I agree, that…because of your affiliation with East and West, it would be improper for you to remain warden of the South.”
Monaleigh let the words sink in, then…“WHAT?” she shouted as she leapt up.
“Please contain yourself, Monaleigh,” Glinda admonished.
“You are joking, correct? I have brought this land to prosperity! All that the Wizard has asked, I have done. I-I supply his moss and poppies without fail. He hasn’t even been to this land in a decade!”
“You are fruit of the poisonous tree. The same rotten blood that flowed through their veins flows through yours, which is as evident as your red skin, hook nose and frizzy hair. Everyone knows bad witches are ugly. And we do have evidence that you assisted them in several of their schemes, were even the mastermind of a few.”
“Lies! I am no more wicked than you are. I cannot help my physical afflictions anymore than East or West could, but unlike them I never let it corrupt my soul.”
“Not from what I’ve heard,” Glinda said with a glint in her eye. “I shall take command of not only your territory but those of your cousins. You are to vacate the premises at once. My builders are already on their way. This is the command of the Wizard.”
“Is it now?”
The truth of the situation dawned on the Witch of the South as she studied the face of the “Good” Witch. Though on the surface it was sympathetic she could see the undercurrents of triumph and glee. In that moment Monaleigh could all but read Glinda’s devious mind. This was all her. She convinced the Wizard of this course of action. With East and West dead, and the Wizard never leaving the Emerald City, all of Oz was ungoverned. She could do as she liked. Unopposed. The only threat being the last vestige of the most powerful magical dynasty Oz had ever seen. The quiet one. The docile one hiding away in her swamp who would cower before the Wizard and his bullying pink right hand. Glinda fully expected the witch before her to roll over, fade into obscurity or be forced into a looking glass and imprisoned for all eternity. The “Good” witch intended to take her home, her position, perhaps even her life. All for power. And the weak willed, possibly insane ruler of Oz was going to allow her to do it.
A rage like nothing she’d ever felt possessed Monaleigh, originating in her believed tainted blood. It should never have come to this. She didn’t want this. But the thought of this…witch governing over her people whom she looked down on was too much. She had no choice now. “You think you can just glide in here, insult me, and make your proclamations and I will bow before you? Who do you think you are, Glinda the Good, and with whom do you think you are addressing? I am Monaleigh, Warden of the South for these thirty years. I was casting spells while you were still crawling. And you make threats to me?”
“We can do this the easy way,” Glinda said, rising with a triumphant grin, “or—”
One flick of the wrist. One flick was all it took to forever silence Glinda the Good. She never saw it coming. Poof! Nothing but pink sparkles mixed with ashes glittering around the room. It had never been more beautiful. “She always did believe she lit up a room.” Monaleigh dusted off the detritus from her dress, and rang her bell. Within seconds, a few monkeys flew in. “Clean this up, please. Our guest made a mess.”
With a smile for her minions, Monaleigh sauntered out of the room. She now had a million new things to do. Rally her troops, contact her cousins’ allies, outfit her army to march on the Emerald City. She was exhausted simply thinking of it all. But it would be worth it. This world needed a good leader, a strong leader not an old man who hides behind curtains and allows a bully to rule in his stead.
It needed a Not-So-Wicked Witch.
Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time, she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.
Want to read more from Jennifer Harlow?
This contest is provided by Midnight Ink!
Five lucky readers will win a copy of What’s a Witch to Do? by Jennifer Harlow
(Winner’s are chosen from Blog Tour)
Available March 8, 2013 from Midnight Ink
About this Book:
Mona McGregor’s To Do List:
• Make 20 13 potions/spells/charms
• Put girls to bed
• Help with Debbie’s wedding
• Lose 30 pounds before bachelorette auction
• Deal with the bleeding werewolf on doorstep
• Find out who wants me dead
• Prepare for supernatural summit
• Have a nervous breakdown
• Slay a damn demon
• Fall in love
With her to-do lists growing longer each day, the last thing Mona McGregor—High Priestess and owner of the Midnight Magic shop in Goodnight, Virginia—needs is a bleeding werewolf at her front door. Between raising her two nieces and leading a large coven of witches, Mona barely has time for anything else. Not even Guy, the handsome doctor who’s taken an interest in her.
But now there’s Adam Blue, the sexy beta werewolf of the Eastern Pack who’s been badly hurt, warning Mona that someone wants her dead. Hell’s bells! A demon is stalking her, and Mona starts to suspect her coven members and even her own family could be responsible for it. With two attractive men and a determined demon after her, Mona teams up with Adam to find out who really wants her dead . . . and who really wants her.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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