Today is an amazing day, massive congratulations to Lydia Sherrer on the the release of Betrayal (book #5 in the Love Lies and Hocus Pocus series) What better way to mark this day than with a character guest post from everyone’s favourite witch, Sebastian Blackwell! I have been a huge fan of this series from the start and one question I was itching to ask, was how did he learn to tame all the magical creatures that help (and also sometimes hinder) him in his escapades. Lucky for me, and you, he’s prepared this handy guide to help you tame a magical creature of your very own!
Sebastian Blackwell here, devilishly handsome Professional Witch and your guide to all things magical and beastly. It seems there is cause for celebration today because another one of our adventures has been “leaked” to you mundanes.
I think that’s all fine and dandy, but Lily is worried that some “poor” and “innocent” mundane is going to have the wrong idea and get themselves killed trying to copy us. Sooooo, I’m here to assure you that no cats were harmed in the writing of…hmm, that doesn’t sound right, what was it I was supposed to say? Oh yeah! All magical feats were performed by trained
professionals, and do not try this at home.
There, got that out of the way.
Now, since you’re going to pay as much attention to that warning as you do to the speed limit, the suggested serving size on a box of thin mints, and that safety tag you always tear off of your mattress, here’s a handy little guide to get you started. If you follow these ten rules, your chances of survival will go from about 1 in 5 to a good fifty percent.
Probably. Have fun!
Sebastian’s 10 Rules For Taming Magical Creatures
(AKA Sebastian’s Guide to Avoiding an Untimely and Grisly End)
So you want to tame magical creatures? Well, it’s not all exciting adventures, exotic animals, and fashionably dramatic cloaks, let me tell you. It’s more like life-threatening mishaps, seat-of-your-pants guesswork, and lots and lots of bleach—you’re gonna need that stuff by the gallon. Oh, and cloaks? Seriously? Talk about strangulation hazard right there. Ditch the cloak and stick with jeans and a t-shirt (and not your favorite jeans and t-shirt either, because they’ll probably get torn, stained, burned, and vomited on in short order).
- Never summon a demon.
Seriously, just don’t do it, no matter how desperate you are. Been there, done that, regretted it for the rest of my life. Plus, they stink like rotten eggs. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- When it comes to ghosts, do your homework.
Or don’t, if you feel particularly lucky and enjoy the thought of gambling your eternal soul on the off chance that whatever spirit you’re bargaining with is a stand up kinda guy. Unlike the fae, your run-of-the-mill ghosts, poltergeists, and the like don’t follow any rules and will happily lie to your face if it serves their purpose. So, make sure you research the history of said floaty individual and know what kind of person they were in life, not to mention what’s motivating them to stick around in death. People don’t change when they die, they just get cranky about all their favorite foods they can’t eat anymore.
- Invest in a sturdy pair of leather boots.
They come in handy when those miniature alligator fae decide they’d rather take a chunk out of your juicy human foot instead of eating the perfectly good slab of raw beef you just threw at them.
- Pay attention to your teacher in Spanish class.
Why bother developing your foreign language skills when everyone speaks English anyway? I’ll tell you why, because when you mispronounce that demon’s name you’ve just summoned (because, of course, you’re a reckless masochist and have ignored Rule Number 1), the demon is going to laugh at you and then bite your head off. So, kids, bring your teacher a nice box of chocolates, sit in the front row, and study Spanish (or French or Latin or whatever) like your life depends on it.
- Never accept a gift.
Because probably, it’s not. No matter how much that magical creature seems to like you, gift-giving is just a sneaky way to rope you into doing something later that you’ll severely regret. Ask me someday about the time I got hoodwinked into hosting a full moon fae jamboree in my apartment. Imagine one hundred drunk toddlers…yeah, and Lily wonders why I never bother cleaning my apartment.
- Take a bartending course.
Do you have any idea the kind of social skills it takes to bargain, cajole, bully, persuade, threaten, and trick various creatures into doing what you want? If you can’t make it as a bartender, don’t even think about trying to be a witch, not unless you want to be eaten alive, turned into a goat, or stuck in unending nothingness in-between dimensions (those are
just the first three things that came to mind, there are worse fates, believe me). Assuming you can handle bartending, such training will have the side benefit of teaching you about mixed drinks, which are a prime bargaining chips with pixies. Those little stinkers will do anything for a well-made cocktail.
- Always carry dog biscuits.
Because you never know when a well-aimed dog biscuit will be the difference between normal life, and life as a quadriplegic. Most hungry things with sharp teeth aren’t picky about what goes in their mouth, as long as something does. If you want to spice things up, you could even invest in some of those super fancy dog biscuits that look like cookies with icing and everything. Just don’t get them mixed up with the actual cookies (because who doesn’t carry around a handy bag of emergency cookies?)
- Build a greenhouse.
No, I’m not going all hippie on you. The greenhouse is so you have somewhere to cultivate the variety of grubs, herbs, and various other living things you’ll need to attract magical creatures. Or, if you’re lazy like me you could just use your kitchen sink and the back seat of your car. Back seats are a great place to ferment aged pizza, and there’s nothing better to attract mold fae.
- Adopt ten cats.
This one is not for the faint of heart. But I promise, if you can keep ten cats happy, you are much more likely to survive being a witch. Why do you think we have all those stories about witches keeping cats? It’s not because of the feline race’s winning personality, I can promise you that. Plus, cats are good at catching all the mice that’ll be hanging around if you’re cutting corners on Rule Number 8.
DISCLAIMER: I was in no way influenced to add this rule by the large grey ball of floof currently sitting on my lap. If Sir Kipling had his way, the rule would say “Find the nearest cat and give it salmon,” on the off chance that he might be near anyone reading it. When I pointed out that cats aren’t technically magical creatures, Sir Kipling decided to use my lap as a scratching post, so I quickly dropped the subject.
- Make friends with a wizard.
This is probably the most challenging rule, since wizards aren’t overly fond of witches. In fact, if you ever meet a wizard, best not to tell them you’re a witch until you’re reasonably confident they aren’t a “curse first and ask questions later,” kind of person. But if you do happenacross a rare specimen of magical impartiality and tolerance, be sure to:
a) Do your research (in case they are secretly a megalomaniacal narcissist plotting to rule the world—those are more trouble than they’re worth)
b) Give them lots of gifts (real cookies, not the dog biscuits) and
c) Don’t tell them about the greenhouse in your sink.
If they stick around after they meet your ten cats, then you’re golden. As long as you keep the cookies and/or mixed drinks coming (depending on their preference), they will most likely be excellent backup in any magically hazardous situation, and might even be persuaded to let you “borrow” their magical knick knacks (and by borrow, of course, I mean procure with no firm return date in mind).
Well, there you go! Ten sure-fire ways to stay on top of things when interacting with the various creatures of the magical underworld. Of course, it would be safer to just read about our adventures from the safety of your armchair with a cheese scone and a hot cup of tea close at hand. But then nobody has ever accused me of being “safe.” *Winks*
Betrayal (Love Lies and Hocus Pocus #5) is live now and you can grab it from Amazon here and it’s also available to KU subscribers.
You can also find my 5 star review of book five here and don’t forget reviews from all the books in the series are available in the blog review archive!