Friday 31 October 2014

Choc Lit Halloween Round Robin - Part 5!

Happy Halloween! I'm delighted to be hosting part five of the Choc Lit Halloween Round Robin.


A New Love for Halloween:
 Part Five by Evonne Wareham 

An amateur witch attempts to summon a new (and hopefully less gittish) lover using her grandmother’s spell book … what could possibly go wrong?

Each section of A New Love for Halloween will be told by a different Choc Lit author to create one magical story.

Catch up on the previous parts:
Part One - by Berni Stevens - Bookaholic Confessions
Part Two - by Jane Lovering - The Romaniacs
Part Three - by Christina Courtenay - Dark Readers
Part Four - by Kirsty Ferry - Girls Love To Read

Her left arm was numb and the house was on fire.

Jo lifted her head with a jerk that set the tendons at the back of her neck screaming. The smoking remains of the candle stood in front of her, in a pool of red wax.

How could you fall asleep and leave it burning like that?

She stretched carefully, shaking her arm and squinting at the clock. It was after midnight. The kitchen was cold. The boiler had gone off hours ago. Just before she’d started the spell from Gran’s book.

Gran’s book!

She jerked fully upright, scanning the table. Her heart went back to normal speed when she located it at the far end, safe and firmly closed. But she didn’t remember …

‘Ugh!’ Abruptly a shiver of creepy cold ran up her spine. The vestiges of the dream were making her disorientated. Musketeers, locked doors, blue lightning – but it felt so real …

At least it hadn’t degenerated into one of those scary scenarios where she was in a meeting at work with no clothes and no papers. She’d had a few of those lately. Probably stress overload – new job, new home, losing Gran, breaking up with Gordon …

Jo yawned. Her arm had come back to life and it would be a darn sight warmer upstairs under her duvet than down here in a chilly kitchen, with the shadows creeping around her. She gathered up the debris from the table and dumped it in the bin, picking up the book.

‘Don’t meddle with things you don’t understand, Joanna.’

Jo jumped. It was almost as if Gran was standing behind her. She ran a finger down the cover of the book.

That last day, sitting by her grandmother’s hospital bed – the old lady had opened her eyes for a moment. ‘He’s waiting out there.’

Gran passed away the following morning, without regaining consciousness.

Jo hugged the book to her chest. The spell business was just Gran’s joke. It would be much more useful to try out her hand-written recipes. There was one for pork and cider casserole – and a chocolate cake.

Jo headed for bed, closing the door. In the kitchen the shadows lengthened and shifted. A thin sliver of light from the new moon edged across the floor. In a dim corner a draught stirred and a small pile of black feathers floated into the air …

One month later – All Hallows’ Eve

Jo plodded down the street, tired but content. Her presentation to the Board had gone well. Her boss was pleased and had asked her to work on costings. As she passed, light was spilling onto the pavement from the windows of number 29. A burst of hammering, curses and laughter drifted over the fence from the back garden. The tenant was certainly a party animal. Every weekend there was something going on. Now preparations for the evening ahead were well under way, with bales of hay and wooden frames positioned around the front door, waiting for ghosts and pumpkins.

Away from the lighted house, the shadows seemed very deep. There were no street lamps at this end of the road and the new moon hadn’t risen yet. Jo quickened her step, fumbling in her bag for her keys. She really needed a security light, on a timer. And perhaps she could get a cat, or a dog. Someone to welcome her in the evenings? A few steps and she’d be home.

The overgrown shrubs at the side of the house rustled. Her key was almost in the lock when she saw the silhouette – a tall dark figure, outlined against the shivering leaves.

Her fingertips tingled with static charge as she peered into the gloom – she could just make out a plumed hat and the faint glint of metal …

Read the final instalment now over on the Choc Lit blog.

Evonne Wareham lives by the sea in Wales and writes romantic thrillers. She loves the theatre, likes staying in hotels and enjoys the company of other authors through her membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Evonne’s debut novel, Never Coming Home won the 2012 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award.

Give Out of Sight Out of Mind a go this Halloween if you fancy a change from vampires, werewolves and ghosts.

Follow Evonne on Twitter: @evonnewareham

To win three Choc Lit paperbacks of your choice, collect each of our 5 questions (you’ll find one at the end of each story section) and email ALL 5 answers to

Question 5: Out of Sight Out of Mind’s heroine Madison Albi is a scientist with a very special power. Is it:

a) mind reading
b) time travel
c) invisibility?


  1. Hi Sophie
    Thanks for hosting me today. Hope readers will have as much fun with the story as we had writing it! And, of course, have a try at the competition.

    1. You're welcome, Evonne! I've loved following the story.


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