Tarnished_and_TornAidan Rhodes is the mysterious, “godfather”–like figure in the Witchcraft Mystery Series; he’s also a very powerful witch. Lily Ivory – the series protagonist– is never quite sure where Aidan’s loyalties lie, or whether or not he can be trusted. Perhaps if we follow him around for a day…

AR: A day in my life, you ask? That’s a tough one. Someone like me has to keep a lot of balls in the air…luckily I’m good at juggling. There’s my own work to attend to, of course, but more importantly I must keep track of all the magic folk here in the Bay Area. If you let them run rampant, it’s a recipe for disaster. Believe me, I know whereof I speak.

I can’t let on about where I actually live – that’s a well-guarded secret. Suffice it to say that I used to go every day to my office at the San Francisco Wax Museum—second floor, past the Chamber of Horrors, right behind the European Explorers exhibit. You might have visited the museum but not noticed my office door; I’ve cast a glamour upon it so you’d only be able to see it if you had an appointment.

I loved having my office at the Wax Museum; I got a real kick out of all those overgrown poppets –stand-ins for humans, life-sized voodoo dolls if you will. They put people on edge and off-kilter, which was very much to my advantage when they come for a visit. It opens the portals, makes it easier for me to manipulate or to “suggest” things to them. But not long ago, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to move into temporary quarters at the Ferry Building. I…don’t particularly like to talk about that unpleasant incident.

Anyway, when I arrive at my office –wherever that may be – I am greeted by my witch’s familiar, Noctemus, a lovely cat with long hair as white as snow. Noctemus is smart, pretty, and jealous, and every once in a while she shows her claws. In fact, she reminds me of another female in my life…Lily Ivory, the talented daughter of a beleaguered former colleague of mine. Lily intrigues me…but again, I should save that story for another day.

My office is decked out in high Victorian style because, after all, if you’re going to be a practicing witch in San Francisco, it seems the thing to do. Lots of dark woods and ruby-red velvet. Important to keep up appearances, after all. Some of my clients are very important people: respected politicians, business moguls, famous actors, and the like. They need to understand that I’m a professional, however unorthodox my methods might seem.

On my shelves are dozens of grimoires, books on demonology, and encyclopedias of magic. Like many of my ilk, I don’t trust the internet – that cybermonster in a box will wind up taking down civilization, you mark my words. Besides, books contain information one might never find on the web, since they carry with them the history not only of the author, but of all those who have held and read the book before. I also possess many a magical Book of Shadows, forfeited to me by their owners who have had…difficulties. Again, the less said, the better.

I hate to disappoint anyone who expects someone as handsome and urbane as I to be out on frequent romantic adventures, but the truth is that I spend a great deal of my time in quiet study and reflection. Because of an accident some years ago, I am forced to horde my energy in order to maintain glamours over my surroundings, and myself. It’s hard to explain…suffice it to say that when I use the term “glamour”, I am referring to a particular kind of cloaking magic, not the pictures one might see in a fashion magazine.

Still, nary a day goes by that I don’t have to intervene in some magical brouhaha or another in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, the frustrating, thorn-in-my-side witch I mentioned earlier –Lily Ivory—needed help with a certain family member come to town, trailing with him a dangerous man in a sharkskin suit and wingtips. What a fiasco. All I can say is, if I hadn’t been on top of things, we’d all be in some serious trouble.

But does Lily understand that? Much less thank me for it? I think not. I am a man among men, but apparently my lot is to be taken for granted and underappreciated. I’m used to it, and it doesn’t usually gall me…but with Lily, well…I have a soft spot for that little witch.

Ah yes, back to a day in my life. At the end of a long day at the office spent in quiet divination, spell-casting, and meetings–my client list is a well-kept secret—I usually go to some function or another: banquets, balls, big to-do’s. This is my weak spot, perhaps: I’m a night owl, and I simply can’t resist the opportunity to don my formal attire. I do look splendid in a tuxedo, if I say so myself.

If you don’t believe me, ask Noctemus. She’ll be on watch, as always, over the door of my office.

Juliet is giving away one (1) copy of either TARNISHED AND TORN or another book in the series if you’re new to the series. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends July 24; US entries only.

You can read more about Aidan in Tarnished and Torn, the fourth book in the “Witchcraft” mystery series. The first book in the series is Secondhand Spirits.

Meet the author
Juliet Blackwell is the NYT bestselling author of the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series (If Walls Could Talk, Dead Bolt, Murder on the House) and the Witchcraft mystery series (Secondhand Spirits, A Cast-off Coven, Hexes and Hemlines, In a Witch’s Wardrobe, and Tarnished and Torn ). As Hailey Lind, Juliet penned the Art Lover’s Mystery series, including Agatha-nominated Feint of Art. A former anthropologist and social worker, Juliet has worked and studied in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France. She now lives in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California, where she is a muralist and portrait painter. She was a two-term president of Northern California Sisters in Crime. Visit Juliet at www.julietblackwell.net; on Facebook and Twitter

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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