Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense ONLY
a Cosmic Nonsense novella by A. D. Marrow
Breaking it off with her long-time non-magical boyfriend, Evan, was for his own good. At least that’s what Maggie Owen tells herself. After all, a witch and a human can have no future together. Her vision told her so. But now it seems the universe is exacting revenge for upsetting the balance of what “should be” and her heart is telling her she was wrong.
Evan Jackson can’t believe his bad luck. It’s been a year since Maggie broke his heart, and now his business partner has hired her as their new receptionist. Fine, they need the help. But no way will he let her get close again. He can’t take another heartbreak from the woman he still dreams about, even if it feels like there’s still a magical pull between them.
Being in the same building with Evan is a start, but it’s going to take more than Maggie’s special talents and a wink to get the hard-hearted bad-boy to see that love is really more than just cosmic nonsense and set the universe back into balance.
Title: Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense
Series: The Cosmic Nonsense, #1
Author: A. D. Marrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance, novella
Length: 80 pages
Release Date: March 2014
Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.
Praise for Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense:
“A sexy, magical romance, blended beautifully by the talented A.D. Marrow!” – Dakota Cassidy
An Excerpt from:
Love and Other Cosmic Nonsense
by A. D. Marrow
Copyright © 2014 by A. D. Marrow. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Maggie Owen blew out a long, slow breath.
“Calm. Collected. You can do this.” She adjusted the red belt that broke up the black pencil dress she reluctantly put on that morning. It wasn’t her usual style, dressing like a circa nineteen fifties pinup, but her current wardrobe was poorly lacking in anything other than maxi dresses, pajamas, and worn-in jeans. Not exactly first-day-on-the-job material, especially for where she would now be working. It was either make do with what was in her sister’s closet or shop, and the boutiques that surrounded their shared apartment boasted sticker prices that could choke Donald Trump.
She stared up at the old brick building across the street. It blended perfectly with the business offices that made up the downtown area. The historic district was home to doctors, lawyers, interior designers, realtors, a few café-style restaurants… and then there was Ink and Paint, a high-end tattoo parlor smack-dab in the middle of them all.
It was a stroke of pure luck, finding a position so close to home. To be fair, she had to give the credit to her sister, Annabel. When she mentioned she knew someone that was hiring, Maggie didn’t even ask what the position was; she just told Anna to call and say she’d take it. The position was touted as a Client Relations Specialist, but she harbored no illusions that it was anything other than a glorified receptionist. But a paycheck was a paycheck and that was what she needed most. Aside from her own clinic’s clientele, she didn’t have much experience with handling the day to day of a bustling business, but she was more than willing to learn.
The tattooing aspect was a totally different story. She’d spent plenty of time around a tattoo parlor, thanks to her ex-boyfriend, Evan. It was little more than a hole-in-the-wall shop, but Maggie used to sit for hours, watching him blend colors to create magic on skin or freehand a portrait with the skill of Rembrandt.
Thinking about Evan Jackson was the most maddeningly unhelpful thing at the moment. Maggie needed to move. Staring up at the building, wringing her hands together, and pacing a wear pattern in the sidewalk wasn’t getting her any closer to her fresh start. It was time she got her life back, and the only way to do it was to push the button on the crosswalk sign, try to walk in the red stilettos without falling over, and smile like it was going out of style at any and every client that came through the doors. She would listen to every word that came out of her new boss’s mouth, and at the end of the day, she would feel better about the fact that the universe seemed to have her on a short list for karmic practical jokes.
Stupid cosmos. She reads one piece of psychic information wrong, and her entire life goes to absolute shit. But really, what was she supposed to do? Maggie had never been one to take her abilities lightly, especially when it came to premonitions. The vision was so clear, so concise, that she knew it had everything to do with her and Evan. One minute, they were locked together in a happy embrace. The next, Evan stood in front of all of his hopes and dreams, watching helpless as they burned to the ground. The only words spoken in the vision before she snapped to were his agonized cries, blaming her for the destruction.
Dramatic, yes, and without a doubt, the most frightening, non-temporal moment in the whole of her twenty-six years on the planet, but Maggie knew what it meant. If she stayed with Evan, every goal and aspiration he’d had would blow away like ashes in the wind. She had to end her relationship with Evan, or something bad would happen.
Talk about a backfire. While she let him go to save his dreams, hers simultaneously crashed around her. Stepping onto that crosswalk would be a shot across the bow to the cosmos that she wasn’t going to be a puppet anymore. She would hold her head up high and piece the puzzle that was her life back together. This job was exactly what she needed.
So what was she waiting for?
Sucking in a cleansing breath and blowing it out again, Maggie pushed the button to change the pedestrian sign. Smoothing her dress, she waited until the light changed before cautiously walking across the street. The closer she came to the building, the clearer the space behind the glass front became. The neonclosed sign was still flashing, but there were a few people milling around, toting large canvases and black cases back and forth. She was still a few minutes early. It was only eight fifty, and the man that owned the place said to be there at nine. It would give her time to calm her nerves, maybe make some coffee, and get accustomed to the place before starting her shift.
“I’ve got this,” she whispered to herself. As she reached for the twisted iron door handle, she looked into the gallery one more time, and her body seemed to completely shut down.
It’s not possible. There was simply no way that of all the places in the entire world, he had to be there. The last she’d heard, Evan was packing up and moving out of the galaxy just to get away from even the idea that he may bump into her. But there he was, plain as day, leaning against the counter, talking with the blonde behind it. Immediately, her stomach twisted.
There was no mistaking him. He was an odd combination of three-piece suit and skin art. His go-to outfit of choice had always been a dress shirt topped with a waistcoat and a pair of worn-in jeans. He’d push the sleeves up to his elbows and almost never wore a tie with it, but something about the striking juxtaposition of his wardrobe choices spoke volumes about who he was as a person. Serious when life called for it, relaxed when it didn’t. The tattoos that peeked out from under his linen shirts were an anomaly on their own, and yet, they seemed to tie him together perfectly. Colorful. Beautiful. Passionate.
Maggie’s heart pounded. The anxious butterflies were gone, and in their place was a rollercoaster of fear and a blistering wave of nausea that threatened to turn into something out of The Exorcist. Why couldn’t that gorgeous, dark hair have fallen out? Why couldn’t he have at least gained a pound or twenty?
Her first instinct was to run, to say thanks but no thanks, turn toward her apartment, and hide under a cloaking spell. Maybe that was what she needed to do. Hide herself until he left. But then she would lose the job that she hadn’t even started, and she’d be even farther behind the eight ball. No, she needed to put on the big-girl panties, go in with her head held high, and walk right past him.
She sucked a breath deep into her lungs, long enough to let it burn so that she could get her wits about her. Here it was, the moment of truth. There was no going back now. Her shaky hand reached out for the door again and…
Suddenly, the blonde Evan had been talking to burst through the door, sending it crushing into Maggie’s face. She felt her nose crunch behind the glass and her feet lift out from under her. Before she knew it, her back smacked against the concrete sidewalk, and a slew of onlookers came to stand beside her.
“Holy shit, are you okay?”
Maggie held her nose, could feel the warm rush of blood as she looked up through blurry eyes. Everything was fuzzy, but as she felt large fingers hold a handkerchief to her nose, she instantly knew he was there.
She tried to open her mouth to speak, but the pressure in her head made her quickly shut it. Her vision was beginning to clear, and as it did, his face started to come more into focus. A pair of hazel eyes, surrounded by thick, dark lashes, looked down at her with a combination of pity and anger.
Way to go universe. Way to freaking go.