Woods of the Raven Read Online Mary Calmes

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, M-M Romance, Magic, Paranormal Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 91
Estimated words: 87608 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 438(@200wpm)___ 350(@250wpm)___ 292(@300wpm)

Something wicked this way comes…and it might be too late to stop it. Xander Corey lives simply, sustainably, on the outskirts of Osprey, a small, quaint town in Upstate New York. He’s a librarian when the town’s budget can afford him, a good friend, kind neighbor, and also, a witch. And while that’s of no concern to anyone around him, there are others, non-humans, who have a vested interest in Xander’s family land. Xander knows something dark and dangerous is brewing. He’s just not quite sure what. And that’s not the only mystery he’s dealing with. The new chief of police is, by turns, giving him heart palpitations and homicidal thoughts. Xander can’t decide if the gorgeous yet infuriating Lorne MacBain is on his side, or trying to drive him insane. Added to that, the man doesn’t believe in magic, and since that’s who Xander is, their future looks anything but bright. But Lorne is not the unimaginative, stick-in-the-mud Xander thinks he is. And a rock to anchor him as his life is turning upside down is just the thing Xander needs. Now if only the two of them can stay alive…

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It was early for whoever needed me, but I was up watering the garden, checking on the damage the deer and rabbits had wrought—which wasn’t bad. Unfortunately, I’d been unable to sleep and so had done my morning rounds early. From the time I was old enough to understand, my grandfather had drilled into my head that one must always check the land first before anything else. At the time, it meant sitting quietly, seeing through his eyes. Now, at the grand old age of thirty-two, it was a quick fly over twenty-two acres before breakfast. As usual, there wasn’t much to see, simply the normal ebb and flow of a forest. Since I didn’t allow hunting on my land, and neither did my neighbors on either side, all of us content to let predator and prey find balance without interference—cue “Circle of Life” from The Lion King—we never had to worry about accidents with guns. More importantly, no animals were murdered for sport. I did note that there were a couple of cars out by the road, but I didn’t check on them, as the only people who ventured this far down Cider Lane were probably lost and would be making a U-turn at the Wingate Farm a half mile from my mailbox.

Normally, I wouldn’t be home at this time on a weekday, I’d be at work instead, but Mr. Samuels, the head librarian in our small town of Osprey, New York, had to put me on leave, as the town budget didn’t have enough for both me, Xander Corey, and Joanna Milton in the reference section of the library. I knew he would have preferred I stay. He told me so. But she had seniority, though as far as I could tell, she hated it when anyone bothered her. That included questions, special requests, and having to search the archives for books no one had seen in over a hundred years. People always thought I was kidding when I said things like that, but the town of Osprey, sitting between Westfield and Mayville in Upper New York, had been established in 1825, three years before Westfield, and the new library—if 1920 could be considered new—was built over the basement of the old one.

There were treasures in the dark, musty rooms, but unless you were like me—unafraid of shadows and venturing down narrow staircases complete with spiderwebs, descending into an abyss—you weren’t going to find the good stuff. Joanna certainly didn’t enjoy the cold or what she thought was the faulty wiring on the lower levels. I would’ve told her to simply speak nicely to the ghosts, but since she wasn’t a believer, I couldn’t very well explain that if you asked kindly, Mrs. Radcliffe, the first librarian, who still watched over the reference stacks in the solarium, could be persuaded to descend the stairs to the basement to help you find whatever you needed. She was lovely, and I made certain to always put flowers on her grave on her birthday. I knew she appreciated it; hyacinths had been her favorites.

Now, as I saw a police car coming down my cobblestone drive, I stepped out onto the porch, pulling my cardigan tighter around me, the T-shirt underneath not offering much warmth, and waited.

Like many in Osprey, I was surprised when our little town got its own police department five years back. Before that, we were dependent on Westfield for anything law-enforcement related. But as Westfield grew, they could not oversee the needs of another town, even a small one just thirty minutes away. They were still there to offer backup, and beyond that, the New York State Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department also provided police protection. But for the goings-on in Osprey, now we had a chief, two deputies, and a receptionist. When our first chief left—apparently it was a snooze fest of a job and he had wanted out from the moment he was appointed—the mayor had looked at candidates and decided to hire someone from out of state. Someone who was looking for a new start and a slower pace. Six months ago, she settled on Lorne MacBain, who’d moved from Boston. When he was hired, I, like everyone else, had seen him onstage the day Madeline Kong, our mayor, presented him to the town, but beyond that, I didn’t think our paths would cross again. Why would they? If you weren’t in trouble, how often did you see law enforcement?

That was before I understood things about our new chief. Namely, that his idea of protect and serve had more to do with catching small things before they turned into big ones. And when I said small to the people I complained to, I meant tiny, teeny, slight indiscretions he caught you doing that seemed beneath the chief of police.