Croakies & Scream
Enchanting Inquiries Book 5
Okay, I’ll admit it, this is my least favorite time of year. Yeah, I understand the magic of the season…I get that…but most people don’t have jobs that involve wrangling magic. During the last three months of the year magical influences run rampant. And that means a lot more work for me.
And this year is the worst of all.
Why, you ask?
Because I’m not only trying to wrangle the out-of-control magic artifacts flying around all over the place. This year, I also have to try to keep a magical cat and a talking frog out of trouble.
Goddess take the wheel.
Things are about to get really ugly.
Reader Review: "I started Crokies and Screams last night before heading to bed and COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!! Talk about nonstop action in a book! I finished it just a few hours later in a dazed state of awe! Unbelieveable!!!!!!!! Sam Cheever, you NEVER fail to write a book that isn't worth the investment of time and is always rewarded with fun and excitement! "
More from this series
Praise for Enchanting Inquiries Books
Daisy Kay - Booksprout Reviewer
I really enjoyed this introduction into this world and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I just so thoroughly enjoyed meeting these new characters and getting to go on their journey. I will most definitely be reading more wonderful books from this author.
Disney - Booksprout Reviewer
Can this series get any better!!!! Can I have the next one NOW!!!!!!!! Drama, action, flirting and what will happen next, all in one book. I could not put it down. Unfortunately, my body crashed against my will and I had to finish it first thing in the morning before doing anything else.
This is book 4 in this series and I am trying to wrack my brain around if it can be read as a stand alone. I am going to say yes/maybe if just starting here; some of the characters may not make full sense since you will not have the background from the previous books. You will definitely go back and read them as a result because this series is that GREAT!!!!!
Read an Excerpt
Dang the Sucky Parts!
I ducked just in time to keep from getting hit by Nurse Ratchet’s bedpan. The nasty curve of dented and pocked metal shot past where my head had been and clanged into the wall, clattering down onto my sales counter. Behind me, Sebille leaped over the magical vacuum cleaner currently trying to suck up Mr. Slimy, and smacked the bedpan down as it tried to rise again.
I grabbed the frog, giving him a smile that I hoped would help his eyes sink back into his head before they popped out, and hurried over to dump him into his fish tank for protection.
“Incoming!” Rustin’s voice shouted
I turned to find Blackbeard’s sword skimming through the air, SB the parrot riding its hilt and painting the air around him blue.
I ducked sideways as the sword slashed toward my heart and reached out, clasping the hilt and sending SB into the air on another wave of foul language overlaid by bleeps.
The parrot dropped onto my shoulder among a cloud of feathers, huffing out a breath as I fell backward, my knees finally giving out on me.
“Avast ye, Lass. Tis the bleepin’ devil’s spawn stirrin’ the bubblin’ cauldron this eve. We’ll be blessed ta find the bleepin’ back end of the moon without losin’ our bloody tail feathers to a bleepin’ magical trickster.”
I sucked air, watching as Rustin wrangled a golden theater mask that kept trying to fix itself onto his ghostly face. I knew I should go help him, but I needed a minute to gather my breath and count all my fingers and toes.
“Time check!” I yelled, praying the response would be the right one. It had been a long eight hours, and I didn’t know how much energy I still had in me.
The mask thwucked onto Rustin’s face, sending him reeling back to smack against a bookshelf and send several magical volumes tumbling to the floor.
The vacuum locked onto the pile of books and took off in that direction, putting Berbie the Loving Bug to shame with its speed and maneuverability.
With an alarmed squeal, I threw myself onto the machine just before its sucky parts glommed onto the books and inhaled them whole into its insatiable bag.
I’d already lost two teacups, one bank deposit bag, my favorite pair of sneakers, a bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jelly, a hairbrush, and we’d almost lost Sebille’s giant bag to the machine. We would have lost it too if all three of us hadn’t jumped in to hold onto the bag and wrestle the rabid vacuum to the ground. Sebille had yanked the frayed plug from the wall at that point, and we’d all taken a deep breath in relief. She’d shoved her bag into a cabinet and closed the door on it, just as the vacuum’s cable lifted off the ground and inserted its plug back into the wall.
It had been a downhill battle for sanity ever since.
Rolling violently beneath me, the vacuum shoved itself off the floor, nearly managing to unseat me in the process, and fought my tightly-wrapped arms to get to the books.
“Time?!” I shrieked, sweat pouring down my temples and my last nerve unraveling before my very eyes.
“Ten, nine, eight…”
I gritted my teeth and held on.
“Seven, six, five…”
Sebille skidded past, a dancing mop in her arms, and her red hair sticking up as if she’d snacked on a lighted bulb for dinner.
“Four, three, two…”
The world dipped and spun. The magic-drenched engine beneath me roared, and Sebille’s head hit the wall with a hearty, whack, whack, whack as the mop gave it everything it had and then some.
“One!” Rustin screamed.
Nothing changed for a moment. I was still being beaten to a pulp by the determined vacuum. Sebille’s head was still denting my wall. And Rustin continued to look out the front window through the eyes of the golden mask, which was clinging to his wispy countenance as if it had been magically glued there by Elmer the glue god himself.
The dividing door slammed open and Wicked shot through on a yowl, Casanova’s chair hot on his heels. The chair stopped in the middle of Croakies, turned this way and that assessing its targets, and then propelled itself right at Sebille, slamming into her just as the sun rose over the horizon and everything went quiet and still.
I dropped to my butt on the carpet, sneezing as the vacuum coughed out its last, dusty breath. Sebille collapsed under the chair’s attack on the back of her knees and sighed, momentarily glad for the chance to rest.
It didn’t last long. She soon started shrieking and jumped to her feet as the chair no doubt molested her and then took off across the store, dancing from leg to leg in obvious pleasure of its coup.
A final, alarming clang announced the theater mask’s landing on the table beneath the window.
I scrubbed the back of my hand over my brow, mopping up sweat, and let the breath heave through my lungs. “I’m just going to come right out and say it. I hate Samhain.”
Sebille shoved the mop to the floor and leaned against the wall. “Amen and amen.”
I looked at Rustin. Around midnight, when the mystical veil that was holding magic back from the natural world had first dropped, he’d had a few minutes to enjoy being almost fully formed. I’d enjoyed seeing the look of wonder on his face as he examined his hands and looked down at his feet, which were actually touching the carpet. Unfortunately, his pleasure had been blasted away ten seconds later by a herd of ghost bison running from two spectral American Indian warriors on painted ponies.
If I squinted, I thought I could still see the hoofprints compressing his wispy form.
I shoved to my feet with a groan. “I’m going to bed. I’ll see you guys in a few hours.”
Sebille nodded. “Don’t expect to see me before three this afternoon. I’m going to need serious peanut butter and fudge ripple ice cream therapy to get over being made a sex object by that ferking chair again.”
I felt my eyes go wide. “You have ice cream?”
She pasted a glare on her pale, freckled face. “Don’t even think about trying to beg some. It’s going to take every last spoonful of my stash to recover from last night.”
I didn’t have it in me to fight. I headed toward the dividing door, yawning widely. “Will you check the locks and wards?”
Sebille grunted her agreement, and I started up the stairs to my apartment. A moment later, soft footfalls behind me announced Wicked’s arrival. He shot past and slipped through the apartment door, which I’d mostly given up on closing since my cat always opened it again anyway.
The sound of wings fluttering above my head reminded me I hadn’t returned the artifacts to their assigned spots. With a weary groan, I turned and flung out a hand, sending my seeking energy toward SB. “Take the sword with you,” I told him, my jaw cracking under another yawn.
“Fair seas to ya, Lass.”
I saluted him.
A beat later, the mop and the vacuum cleaner floated through the door on a wave of green energy. Sebille trudged through after them, heading toward the spots on the shelves from which the magic had pried them loose. It occurred to me that I could follow her and see where she’d moved her stuff.
I still didn’t know where she was living. Only that it was somewhere inside the artifact library. And that it was well-hidden because I hadn’t been able to find it.
I hesitated, torn by warring desires to drop into bed versus finally discovering where Sebille was resting her stubborn red head.
Eventually, weariness won out and I trudged upstairs, praying the following night would be better than the last. A prayer that wouldn’t be answered.
The coming midnight would be Halloween eve, and the magic veil would be even thinner than what we’d just survived.
Nothing good was gonna come from that.