Excerpt from “Dark Dealings” by Karen Victoria Smith

Dark Dealings: Magic, murder and monsters on Wall Street and beyond.

Wall Street has fangs. When international power brokers, creatures hiding in plain sight, threaten Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress of a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.


Her hopes for a nice, normal weekend away from the office died on a dark bend of Massachusetts’ Route 7. Micaela flicked on the high beams, wary of the deer that often darted into the unlit road. She downshifted the Porsche Cayman and guided it around a sharp curve. The crisp air that flowed through the open window smelled of late October snow in the Berkshires. As much fun as it might be to floor it, she wasn’t in any great hurry to get to her grandmother’s farm. A mile later, a shadow at the edge of the road made her slow to a crawl. On the shoulder, a man dressed in bloody shreds of clothes sat hunched over his knees. He looked up and stared into her eyes. His mouth formed words she couldn’t hear.


Micaela pulled over and grabbed a halogen flashlight from the glove box. She jumped from the car and dashed back to the place she’d seen her friend to find no one there. A dark stain gleamed in the ray of her flashlight. She touched her fingers to it and then lifted them to her nose. Motor oil. Micaela paced up and down, scanning the brush and road for clues.

“Reece, where are you? If this is some sick Halloween joke, come out now!” she shouted into the darkness. No sign of him or anyone on the road or in the woods beside the two lane highway, no footprints and, thankfully, no blood.

Reece wasn’t the type to pull this kind of stunt. His brother Adam, maybe. But Adam would have already stumbled into the road, doubled over in laughter. She walked slowly back to her car, ears straining for any noise she might have missed. Back behind the wheel of the Porsche, Micaela stared into the night sky. Until five minutes ago, she’d looked forward to time away, even if it meant being in Bridewell for Samhain.

She looked around one more time. No sign of Reece. Her stomach was a basketball-sized knot. If this wasn’t a trick… Damn. She slammed her hand against the steering wheel. It was just a delusion, she thought, spawned by exhaustion. She must have been micro-sleeping behind the wheel. Too many late nights hunched over the prospectus of a recent deal. The alternative was unacceptable. It meant the visions had returned. Why now, why had his spirit, ghost… No, she refused the idea that he had passed over. Then again, Samhain was the time of year when people and spirits moved between this world and the Otherworld. Shit.

She wanted to call Reece from her cell phone, but she’d never programmed any of the Bridewell numbers into her contacts. Dread gnawed at Micaela’s mind for the remainder of the drive to her old hometown.

Over an hour later, she turned off Cerwiden Street and onto the narrow country lane that led to the Rourke-O’Brien Farm. Flashing red lights slashed through the darkness between the gnarled apple trees of the Rourke orchard. She swerved left as she rounded the last turn to avoid the police cruiser stationed near the foot of the drive. The wooden gate, meant to keep sheep in, was pushed open. A patrolman in an orange vest flagged her down. Her dread turned to fear.

“Miss, you’ll have to park on the road.” The strobe from the light bar illuminated his name tag.

“Sean, Sean Murphy… it’s me… Micaela O’Brien. Is my grandmother all right?”

“Jeez, Micaela, I didn’t recognize you. Nice car. Is it new? I haven’t seen you since… ”

“Sean! Is she all right?” He had always been easily distracted, especially by high powered toys.

“Una’s okay. I think. Some kind of accident in the hills behind the farm.”

“Is Reece at the house?” Please say yes, she whispered to herself.


Karen Victoria Smith grew up with an Irish grandmother who tried to teach her the old ways and watched horror movies with her in the dark. From there she moved on the wider world of college and career. After 25 years in financial services working on Wall Street and for major national banks, she discovered her passion in writing. In Dark Dealings, she has found a way to bring the old ways together with the modern world.

Karen lives in New Jersey with her family who patiently allow her to believe that in a 24-hour world the monsters are real. http://kvictoriasmith.blogspot.com/


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