Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.
Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.
In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.
Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman and ruins their shared dream of happiness. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.
‘Miss Spelled’ is set in my old hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and seeing as Sophie is keen to come down under one day, I thought it would be a bit of fun to share an excerpt from ‘Miss Spelled’ where the lead characters, Lou and Aidan are standing in the Eureka Sky Deck, a glass cube suspended on the side of the Eureka Tower, 88 storeys above ground. It is the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere and the view is breathtaking.
The lights go out and I can’t see a thing. It’s pitch black. But despite the temporary blindness, there’s the sense that there is a great, cavernous void between my feet and solid ground, the thought of which makes my shoulders tighten and rise up towards my earlobes.
“Close your eyes,” Aiden says. “It will help your eyes to adjust quicker.”
I do as he says and can feel the sway of the building in the wind, underneath my feet. My thigh muscles tighten in readiness to turn and run. As the fear starts to consume me again, Aiden stands behind me and wraps his arms around my shaking body. With his guidance, we walk the three metres to the far wall of the cube, where my fingers automatically clutch the railing in front of me. Eyes still closed, my grip is such that my knuckles feel like they are about to pop out of the skin.
Aiden puts his hands over mine and intertwines our fingers. Even though it means I have less of a grip on the railing, their warmth and strength is welcome, and my heart rate slows a fraction.
My body shudders slightly as he steps closer, his hips now pressing firmly against the small of my back, his thighs resting against the back of my legs. There is no gap between our bodies. He has become my blanket, my warmth.
“Now, open your eyes,” Aiden whispers. His warm breath wafts past my ear and I can feel the pressure of his chest against my back. The fine wool of his suit feels cool and soft against my bare skin, but does little to conceal the contours of Aiden’s lean, muscled chest beneath it.
Not wanting to lose this moment of oneness, my eyes slowly open to be greeted by a magical land of lights that stretch out forever around me, on all sides. The usually mundane street, traffic and building lights take on the appearance of an enchanted wonderland, and the cloudless sky twinkles with a million stars as though heaven is reaching down towards us. If it weren’t for the pane of glass between the us and the sky, I may be able to reach out and brush a star with my fingertips.
A feeling of peace washes over me like a cleansing waterfall, as I allow myself to be lost in the beauty and magic of everything around me. Floating amongst the stars is beautiful with the feel of Aiden’s body against mine, his heart beating at my back, his breath against my skin. If this moment never ended, if it lasted for eternity, it wouldn’t be long enough.
“Oh Aiden! It’s so…so…incredibly beautiful. Look at it. Who would think that a smelly old city could be transformed into this…magical kingdom.”
“Over there,” he points to the left, our fingers still intertwined, “is your house, and a bit further over is your parent’s house.” My eyes followed his fingers. “ Down there is my office, and just over there is your school.”
As beautiful as the view is, I can only see Aiden’s long fingers wrapped around my own. My hands moisten in his as my heart rate speeds up, but not out of fear this time.
His voice is low, barely above a whisper. I tilt my head to the side slightly so that his breath touches skin of my neck. It tickles in a very pleasurable way and even though our fingers are still intertwined, mine are tingling with the need to touch him, to feel the warmth of his body underneath them.
A small groan escapes me as a delicious shiver works its way up my spine.
“And down there is my apartment where I intend to take you after this, so I can feel every part of your naked body pressed against mine,” he says as his lips touch my exposed neck and shoulders.
I inhale deeply, taking in the mixture of Aiden’s woody aftershave and his own scent. It’s intoxicating and leaves me feeling light headed. He smells delicious, and my desire to have him now is too overpowering to deny any longer. I spin around to face him.
“Why wait until we get home?” I say, and then reach up to take his lips with mine. It’s as though I could devour him on the spot, not caring whether or not people can see us.
He lifts me up onto the railing as my hands work quickly to release him from his trousers and wrap my thighs around his hips. The heat between us has risen to the point that the cube has now fogged up, leaving only the promise of the lit wonderland on the outside as a dull reminder that other humans exist.
Sarah Belle started her professional life in the hospitality industry, working in some of the roughest hotels in Melbourne in the late Eighties, surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, and undercover police. Tiring of the inherent dangers of her working environment, Sarah completed a business degree and went on to work in the recruitment industry where she met and married the man of her dreams. They have four young sons and live on the beautiful Queensland coast, where Sarah’s days are spent being a frazzled mum, writer, Bikram Yoga devotee, a Naughty Ninja and the only woman in a house of five males.
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