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Authors: Gena Showalter

Magic at Midnight

BOOK: Magic at Midnight
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PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF

Gena Showalter

“Combining passion, humor, pulse-pounding action, and just plain fun, Gena Showalter’s books are always a refreshing escape! . . . Gena Showalter knows how to keep readers glued to the pages and smiling the whole time.”

—Lara Adrian,
New York Times
bestselling author

“One of the premier authors of paranormal romance.”

—Kresley Cole
, New York Times
bestselling author

“The versatile Showalter… once again shows that she can blend humor and poignancy while keeping readers entertained from start to finish.”


Booklist

“Showalter is a master of creating unique, fun, and super-sexy characters.”


RT Book Reviews

“Sizzling romance and nail-biting suspense… . Will please a wide cross section of readers.”


Booklist

“Gena Showalter is a rising star in paranormal romance. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.”


The Romance Reader

“Gena always writes with such a fluid ease… . This book is guaranteed to keep the reader interested and excited.”


Fresh Fiction

“Ms. Showalter continues to deliver an engaging, sexy, action-packed paranormal romance with enough humor and angst to appeal to all readers.”


Smexy Books

“Perfectly delectable characters and a plot that keeps you guessing all the way to the end.”

—Examiner.com

PRAISE FOR

Mysteria Lane

“Fabulous paranormal tales of things that go bump in the night.”


Romance Reviews Today

“This super quartet of talent brings an off-kilter and humorous viewpoint to magic, romance, and daily life. Much fun.”


RT Book Reviews

Mysteria

“Splitting the difference between
Desperate Housewives
and
The X-Files
, this paranormal romance brings magic and monsters to the steamy suburbs in four satisfying novellas about the town of Mysteria. There’s magic, heat, and lots of laughs.”


Publishers Weekly

“Charming, funny, and quite offbeat, this collection highlights the vast talents of these authors. The perfect escape read!”


RT Book Reviews

“Four enchanting paranormal romantic novellas.”


Midwest Book Review

“This [anthology] has all of the elements that I just love to read about. I had such fun reading this book. I really didn’t want these stories to end. I loved the town of Mysteria and hope these authors see fit to visit the townspeople… again!”


The Best Reviews


Desperate Housewives
meets
Charmed
, this collection of novellas is as varied in its content as the authors who’ve written them. From sweet and passionate to dark and sexy, the werewolves, vampires, demons, witches, fairies, and humans of
Mysteria
are as engaging and fun as they are diverse and compelling.”


Fresh Fiction

Berkley Sensation titles by Gena Showalter

MAGIC AT MIDNIGHT

Anthologies

MYSTERIA

(with P. C. Cast, MaryJanice Davidson, and Susan Grant)

MYSTERIA LANE

(with P. C. Cast, MaryJanice Davidson, and Susan Grant)

MYSTERIA NIGHTS

(with P. C. Cast, MaryJanice Davidson, and Susan Grant)

Magic at Midnight

GENA SHOWALTER

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

Penguin Group (Australia), 707 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa), Rosebank Office Park, 181 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North 2193, South Africa

Penguin China, B7 Jiaming Center, 27 East Third Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

MAGIC AT MIDNIGHT

“The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them” by Gena Showalter copyright © 2006 by Gena Showalter.

“A Tawdry Affair” by Gena Showalter copyright © 2008 by Gena Showalter.

Cover images by Shutterstock. Cover design by Jason Gill.

Interior text design by Kristen del Rosario.

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

BERKLEY® SENSATION and the B design are registered trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

PUBLISHING HISTORY

“The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them” previously published in
Mysteria
/ July 2006

“A Tawdry Affair” previously published in
Mysteria Lane
/ October 2008

“The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them” and “A Tawdry Affair” previously published in
Mysteria Nights
/ July 2011

Berkley Sensation trade paperback edition / February 2013

Berkley Sensation trade paperback edition ISBN: 978-0-425-26538-3

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-61931-5

An application to register this book for cataloging has been submitted to the Library of Congress.


CONTENTS

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Introduction

 

The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

 

A Tawdry Affair

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine


INTRODUCTION

Once upon a time in a land closer than anyone might be comfortable with, a demon high lord was sent to destroy a small, starving (and, let’s face it, weird) band of settlers who were fleeing the last town they’d tried to settle in (a place eventually known as Kansas City, Missouri, the Show Me State, which did indeed show them tar and feathers and the road west). The group was composed of magical misfits and outcasts: a bloodaphobic vampire, a black-magic witch and her white-magic husband, a pack of amorous (translation: hump-happy) werewolves, and a man named John, who had gotten confused and joined the wrong wagon train. When the demon spied this ragged, rejected bunch, he (for a reason known only to himself but which had to do with uncontrollable random acts of kindness) decided not just to spare them but to create a magical haven for them.

And so, nestled in a beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountains, the town of Mysteria was founded. Over the years, it became a refuge for creatures of the night and those unwanted by traditional society. No one—or thing—was turned away. Magic thrived, aphrodisiacs laced the pollen, and fairy tales came true.

The first settlers eventually died (those that weren’t already dead or undead, that is), but they left pieces of themselves behind. The vampire invented a powerful blood-appetite suppressant for any other vampires with a fear of blood. The witch and the warlock created a wishing well—a wishing well that swirled and churned with both white and black magic, a dangerous combination. The hump-happy werewolves left the essence of perpetual springtime and love (translation: they peed all around the boundary of the city, so that everyone—or thing—that entered or left Mysteria was, well, marked). John, the only nonmagical being in the group, left his confused but mundane genes, founding a family that would ultimately spawn more humans of nonmagical abilities who remained in Mysteria because finding their way out was just too much like geometry.

BOOK: Magic at Midnight
5.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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