Harper Hicks is a bonafide witch, who has brewed up a bonafide love potion for sale to the normal and not so normal customers at her bookstore. After all, who doesn’t want a little extra heat around Valentine’s Day? And this one is guaranteed to make fantasies come true. What could possibly go wrong?
Robin @ Blushing Books- http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_list&m=81
Restlessly, Harper chatted with the regulars while Damien rang up sales: a selection of incense and a pentacle nose ring for the sorta-goth teen girl, a set of altar candles for Mrs. Emerson, a very nice Bastet statuette for Amelia MacGuire’s collection, a fairy coloring book and toy wand for Mrs. Fern’s granddaughter, Aunt Agatha’s monthly supply of herbs and essential oils (which the old bird could have easily ordered online herself, but witches of Aunt Agatha’s generation retained a lofty disdain for ‘gadgetry’ of that sort), and a stack of books for a nervous-looking stranger with titles like Sexual Alchemy and The Illustrated Guide to Tantric Massage. After the last of them was out the door (Aunt Agatha toddled off into the cupboard under the stairs and disappeared with a flash of light and a whump of collapsing air), Harper hopped down to lock it and flip the welcome frog from Open to Closed.
“Big news?” Damien prompted, moving over to clean up the coffee area.
“Yep. Where’d I put it? I’ve been working on this for months, off and on, but I had a whatchamacallit, a eureka moment, on my lunch break—”
“Can you still call it a lunch break when you’re gone six hours? Because I call that ditching.”
“Yeah, yeah. If I want to hear my mother’s opinion, I’ll call her. Check it out.” Harper successfully located the page she wanted among the damp and smudged papers that had been her umbrella minutes ago and thrust it out triumphantly.
Damien took it and held it at arm’s length, squinting. He was a man, as he had often explained during his years in her employ, and real men did not wear reading glasses. “Warm ye rainwater in which are set the petals of the red rose…you’ve crossed that out and wrote infused with rosehips.”
“I sure did.”
“…over a fire of burning mandrake, male and female,” he continued. “And you’ve doodled in some anatomically-improbable plants that appear to be having an orgy while on fire. This sounds familiar. Did you copy it out of Verity’s book?”
“Yup. And perfected it.”
“Perfected what, exactly?”
“That,” said Harper proudly, “is a real-live love potion.”
“Your line is, ‘Wow, that’s amazing. You’re so talented and attractive.’”
His frown deepened. He put the paper down and pushed it away slightly. “You’re not planning on making this, are you?”
“I sure am.”
“What do you mean, for who? For people. You know.” She waved vaguely at the shop around her. “People.”
Taken aback, Harper began to feel uncomfortably defensive. “Why the tone?”
“You’re planning to sell a magic potion, one that—if I’m understanding you right—is genuinely magic and genuinely works, to Fred and Franny Fluffbunny off the street and you think I’ve got a tone?! Your dad would shit kittens if he knew you were doing this!”
“Well, no one’s going to tell him, are they?” Harper snapped back, annoyed. “Why would you even bring him up? I’m almost thirty! Besides, it’s harmless!”