Spitfire, New Orleans weather girl, Cheyanne Murphey has everything, and that is exactly how she likes it. When she discovers evidence of her fiancé’s philandering, she refuses to let her perfectly cultivated image fall to pieces. Cheyanne has worked too hard, dragging herself up from the trailer park into New Orleans’ society, to give in without a fight…even if that means trading a year of her life in exchange for a love incantation from her ancestor’s spell book.

A skyclad, moonlit dance, a mysterious potion, and magic gone awry leave Cheyanne with a very peculiar life lesson: love can take on many forms, so be careful what you wish for.

Here’s how Cheyanne’s story began…



These Roots Run Deep (Excerpt)

by Em Shotwell


The burgundy stain stared up at me from the pile of whites like a hateful Rorschach blot.


I picked up my fiancée’s crumpled undershirt and held it for a closer look. What the hell?




Burgundy lipstick.


A shade which, with my orange hair and pale complexion, I’d never be caught dead wearing. The truth of what I was seeing made the room swim and I leaned backwards into the laundry room wall and slid down until I landed hard on my butt.


What does this mean? The question flickered through my synapses, even though I knew exactly what it meant. There was only one thing it could mean.


The stain was smeared along the collar and then again at the hem, as if the lipstick wearer had subtly made her way down his body. It was left in such an obvious way—such a cliché way—that I knew it was meant to be found. A slap in the face from another woman.

A taunt. Check. Your move…


And Brett… He’d have seen the dark red smears before he casually tossed the shirt into the laundry. Did he want me to see them?


I buried my face in the thin cotton shirt and inhaled.


I closed my eyes as I breathed in, filling my nose with the lingering scents of infidelity. What does she smell like? Look like? Is she prettier than me? Why would he do this?


There was no trace of the burgundy-lipped whore. No sweat or sex or woman’s perfume. Only Brett—the man I loved and who I’d believed loved me, too.


Anger welled through me. Not the useful, searing kind of anger—but something damp and soggy. The kind of anger you fed with wine and Netflix. The kind of anger that couldn’t quite believe what it was seeing.


The kind of anger I loathed.


It was seeped through with hurt and, not surprisingly, love. Traitorous love for the man who’d rescued me when I’d gone on a date with a jock in my junior year and wound up stranded when he got drunk off too many ninety-nine cent margaritas and passed out in our booth at Chili’s. Love for the guy who knew about my family—about what my Mama and her many boyfriends put me and my sisters through.


Love for the man who’d helped me track down my father and then didn’t judge me when I decided I didn’t want to meet him after all. Brett was with me just three weeks ago when Granny took her last breaths and held my hand at her funeral. So when I inhaled his smell from that shirt—even though it was stained with another woman’s lipstick—my brain associated his scent with good. My heart still craved him.


Why? Why, after so many years, would he do this now?



Read more about Cheyanne…


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