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Catalyst (Tethered Trilogy Book 1)

Catalyst (Tethered Trilogy Book 1)

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Click To Read The Synopsis

Sometimes who we are lies buried just beneath the surface.

When Addison Harmon unexpectedly inherits a house in the beach town of Soul Harbor, Georgia she and her best friend decide to take a vacation before the pressures of life after high school weigh them down.

Once there Addison soon learns that she’s inherited more than just a house—she’s also inherited magic.

All it takes is one touch from Kace Sullivan—a local she can’t seem to get enough of—for a world of magic and witchy secrets to be revealed to her. Tossed into a world she isn’t sure she’s willing to be a part of, Addison soon discovers she might not have a choice in the matter.

Click To Read Chapter One


Good Reason

Angela Avery snuggled the soft, warm body that was wrapped tightly inside a pink fleece blanket close to her chest. The little girl she held was perfect in every way. Peeling the edge of the blanket back once more, Angela allowed herself a glance at her beautiful baby girl. She stared at her chubby, rose-colored cheeks and her tiny button nose as she gently ran the tips of her fingers through her darling daughter’s feather-soft, caramel-colored hair. It would darken one day to be the same shade as her own; Angela knew this without any doubt because she had glimpsed the future—her daughter’s future—not so long ago.

It had been a game really; at least that was how she had thought of it that day, a bit of entertainment for herself, a little more magick in her life. She had been foolish to think that way—Angela knew this now. She should have stuck with creating energy balls, stone magick, or even candle magick—but she hadn’t. She’d been too interested in clairvoyance and seeing the future. Angela frowned as she remembered the things she had hoped to see that day—herself married and living happily ever after. The vivid clip of her vision from that day flashed through her mind involuntarily for the millionth time since she’d first witnessed it. Closing her eyes, Angela took in a deep breath and pushed the image away, sealing it behind a door in her mind once more. 

The little girl snuggled up against Angela and released the most peaceful-sounding sigh imaginable. Contentment relaxed the delicate features of the sleeping baby’s face even more, and a tear trickled from the corner of Angela’s hazel eye as she realized this would be the only time she’d ever be able to hear that tiny sigh of contentment. Footsteps sounded from down the hall. Angela wiped the tears from her eyes and straightened her back. She would not let her final moments with her daughter be tainted by the harsh reality of what she was doing. There was a reason for this, she reminded herself, a good reason.

“I’m doing this to save you,” she whispered aloud, more to tame her guilt and ease her conscience than for her daughter’s tiny ears.

Bending down, she kissed her darling daughter and whispered her name, “Addison Avery.” It was a good name, a beautiful name, and even though Angela didn’t want her daughter to be exposed to the type of lifestyle she had grown up in, it didn’t mean that she wanted to give up on all family traditions. This was why she had chosen a first name for her daughter that began with the letter A, same as hers and every woman on her side of the family, as well as passed down the family last name of Avery. She saw it as a way to give her child a little piece of herself, a tiny piece of her biological family to take with her through life.

The footsteps paused outside the entrance to Angela’s room; time with her daughter was nearing an end. Rewrapping the blanket snugly around Addison's tiny frame, Angela kissed her daughter for the last time on the forehead and whispered, “You are safe, you are whole, you are well. Guided by the light of the Goddess and the God, may happiness come to you wherever you dwell.”

The door slowly creaked open and in walked the plump older lady who had helped with the delivery. Her lips twisted into a sympathetic smile as she crossed the room to stand beside Angela’s bed.

“It's time, Miss Avery,” the older woman said as she extended her arms for the delicate pink bundle Angela held. “You’re doing the right thing, honey. Don't beat yourself up thinking you're not. As young as you are, there’s no way you could raise this little bundle all by yourself.”

If only she knew, Angela thought to herself, how right of a thing she was actually doing. Pulling her newborn daughter tighter against her chest, Angela traced her eyes over every soft curve, every patch of pink skin, memorizing even the most minute details.

“I love you, little Addison Avery. That’s why I'm doing this, because I love you. I hope one day you'll understand,” Angela said as she passed over the bundle that was her daughter. Tears blurred her vision and dripped from her chin.

Angela watched as the elderly woman turned and exited the room, closing the door tightly behind her and sealing Angela away from her daughter forever. She reminded herself of the reasons she was doing this, of the reasons she’d given her child up for adoption. The vivid image of a grown-up Addison falling into choppy ocean waters and dying flashed behind her closed eyelids.

As more tears than she ever thought possible flowed from her eyes, Angela prayed silently that the spells she’d done to counteract her daughter’s early death and the fact that she’d given her away would be enough to save her from the magick that stirred within her hometown, the magick that stirred within her.


Aduro Street

The salty air clung to my skin, making me sticky with sweat. I hadn’t remembered it being this humid when I came a few months back with Mom and Dad. I’d always heard summers in the Deep South were horrendous. Living in North Carolina, though, I’d never bared witness to one that seemed complain-worthy yet. I loved the heat. But as I continued on the narrow interstate toward Soul Harbor, Georgia, I was beginning to see there was an inconceivable difference between summer in North Carolina and summer in southern Georgia. One I duly noted as I rolled down the window of my nineties-model Jeep Grand Cherokee farther, letting even more of the thick, humid air roll in.

“I can’t believe you inherited a house,” Vera said from beside me in the passenger seat as she twisted her long blond hair up into a knot on top of her head. “That is still so freaking insane to me!”

I reached over for the bottle of water I’d bought at our last stop and placed it between my thighs, so I could twist the cap off one-handed. “I know. Trust me, it still hasn’t sunken in yet,” I said before taking a swig of the cool water and replacing the cap.

“I bet.” Vera nodded and then popped another pretzel into her mouth from the bag sitting in the cup holder between us. “Only fifteen more miles to go!” she squealed, leaning forward to read the GPS.

Fifteen more miles, a tiny prick of nervousness pierced my mind. In fifteen more miles I would be pulling into the crumbling concrete driveway of the house I’d randomly inherited nearly three months ago from my biological mother. Why she gave me up for adoption at birth and then turned around and willed me her mother’s house upon her death baffled me still.

“So, exactly how close is this house of yours to the beach?” Vera asked as she manually rolled down her window all the way and flung one arm out to ride the wind.

“Super close,” I muttered as I listened to the GPS tell me to turn right in 500 yards. I prayed silently that the exit I saw up ahead was the correct one and not the one I was just about to pass. My GPS and I weren’t always the best of friends, especially not on this trip. In the five-and-a-half hour drive from Linfrank, North Carolina, to Soul Harbor, Georgia, I’d managed to get us lost three separate times, even with the use of a GPS.

“I can’t wait to just chill out on the beach with you for the next two weeks!” Vera said, pulling her arm in so she could open the Mountain Dew bottle that sat in her lap. “I just wish I could stay longer.”

I cut a right, following the GPS’s orders, onto Sunny Street. “I know; me too.”

“Oh my God, this place is so stinkin’ cute!”

I smiled. “Read the street signs. They cracked me up when we came last time.”

“Sunny Street… Sky Lane… Forrest Road… Ocean Cliffs… Heritage Hollow…” Vera read as we continued toward my house. “Look at this place; it’s like Pleasantville or something.”

“My thoughts exactly,” I said as I glanced around, taking in the few clothing stores that dotted the main street.

My muscles grew slack as soon as we’d taken the exit into the little town. There was something comforting about it to me, like something burning inside of me had now been tamed.

“What is this, the center of town?” Vera asked, an unbelieving tone etched into her words.

I grinned and nodded. “I told you it was small.”

“You weren’t kidding,” Vera said, her plump lips twisting into a frown. “Well, at least we have the beach. Dear God, let the beach and the guys be gorgeous to make up for all this town is lacking,” she said in her famous dramatic fashion.

“It’s not that bad. I mean look, there’s an art gallery, a coffeehouse, and a used bookstore,” I said, pointing to each place.

My eyes paused on the used bookstore. I hadn’t remembered seeing it the last time I’d come, surely it had been there though. A wooden sign hung above the door where a scrolling script etched out Spellbinding Reads. I made a mental note to check the place out some other time. After all, there was nothing better than reading a good book while sitting on the beach.

“No way, a used bookstore.” Sarcasm dripped heavily from her words and I rolled my eyes. “Eeekk, we’re like less than a mile away from your house! Oh, and there’s the beach!”

The air suddenly shifted as it wisped through the windows of my Jeep, becoming more dense and salty. Just the tiny glimpse of the ocean’s deep blue waters between the houses and through the trees was enough to make my heart hammer with excitement. I couldn’t explain it, but this place felt like home.

“What’s with these street names? They went from straight up Pleasantville names to foreign or something. Ventus Lane? I mean what the hell is a Ventus?”

“Google it,” I said as I turned down Aduro Street, completing our last turn before the driveway of my house.

Vera fished out her phone from inside her oversized purse that sat at her feet. “Good idea. I don’t remember how to spell the other one, what’s this one?”

“Aduro Street—A-D-U-R-O.”

“Destination on left,” the GPS informed us both.

“Okay, so, Aduro is Latin and means…to set fire to, burn, singe, kindle, light. Weird,” she said, reading directly from her phone. “Oh wow! Look at this place!”

I laughed and put my Jeep into park. “God, you sound like you were expecting a serious dump or something.”

“I was,” she said bluntly with a little smirk. “This place rocks, though! You’re keeping this house, right? As a vacation place or something?”

“I don’t know yet,” I said truthfully.

My eyes assessed the size of the house while taking in its old-world charm at the same time. It was white with a gray roof and double the size of my parents’ house, easily. A stone wall separated the concrete sidewalk from the manicured front yard, and twin bushes stood on either side of the front steps.

My driver’s side door opened with a creak as I stepped out. “C’mon, I’ll show you the inside and you can pick whichever room you want to stay in.”

“How many are there?” Vera asked. Closing the Jeep door gently, she walked to where I stood and tugged her suitcase out from the back.

“Five.” I grinned. “I’ve already picked mine so that leaves you four to choose from.” I rolled my suitcase behind me and started up the front steps. Stopping at the chipped white door, I fished in my purse for the set of keys I’d inherited along with the house.

“Are you freaking kidding me, five bedrooms? This house is amazing!” She squealed as she came up the porch steps to stand beside me.

“Wait till you see the inside,” I said as I found the right key and inserted it into the lock. I opened the door and heard Vera gasp beside me. “I know, right?”

“Holy smokes!” was the only response I got.

I stepped inside, taking in the blue and white wallpapered foyer with its glittering crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling and the dark mahogany-colored stairs that wound up to the second floor all over again. It was just as jaw-dropping as the first time I’d stepped through the threshold.

The house was incredible. Hands down.

“Seriously, I love this house—well, minus all the dusty, draped-in-white-sheets furniture. If I weren’t already signed up to go to Western in the fall, I would totally be telling you that we need to move in here and be roomies!”

“It’s always a possibility,” I said in a singsong voice and winked at her.

“Gah, yeah right. My mom would have a freaking cow if I told her I wanted to take a semester off so I could bunk with you in your freaking awesome house by the beach, you know she would.”

Vera had been lucky enough to get the two weeks off from work to come with me, quitting and bunking with me for an undetermined length of time was out of the question. It was something I understood. Her family could be pretty strict, especially when it came to school and Vera’s future. Part of me always believed that was why Vera was so outgoing and rebellious; she had a lot of time being trapped in her parents’ house completely under their thumb to make up for.

“I know, I know…it’s just a thought,” I said as I started trudging my overstuffed suitcase up the winding stairs. Vera followed behind me, her big blue eyes soaking in every tiny detail of the house. “Haul your crap up here and I’ll show you the rooms you can choose from.”

“God, I so wish I could spend the entire summer here with you. You are so lucky, you just don’t even understand,” she gushed, letting the sheer size of the place go to her head.

I rolled my eyes, but didn’t say anything. There was no point. Vera wouldn’t understand how far from lucky I felt when I’d inherited this house. It was more like odd. Inheriting this house had been an awkward reminder for me, and everyone else in my family, that I was adopted.

I’d never really given much thought to being adopted growing up. Both of my parents had brown hair just like me, and there were never any other siblings for me to be compared to because, due to medical reasons, it wasn’t possible for my adoptive mother to have children of her own.

My parents had been just as shocked about the house as I was. We all drove out a few months ago, as soon as everything was finalized, to see what I’d been left with. Then came another shocker when we pulled up to this place. My dad had been ecstatic about living in a house by the beach and wanted to move immediately, but Mom had said it just wouldn’t feel right to her. So she’d left what to do with it up to me.

This was why I was here for the summer. I was deciding what I was going to do with it, while at the same time, deciding what it was I wanted to do with the rest of my life now that graduation had come and gone.

“The very first thing we’re going to do is get rid of all these ghostly sheets on everything. How did you guys spend the weekend here with everything covered up so creepy-like?” Vera muttered, folding her arms across her chest as she stared at the covered furniture in the hall with distaste.

“We uncovered some stuff, but not much. My mom didn’t see the point,” I said as soon as I stopped at the first bedroom on the right. “It’s almost like she wants me to just sell it and forget about it, like it’s stepping on her adoptive parent toes to keep it or something.”

“Eh, I can kind of see where she’s coming from. I mean this is so out of the blue,” Vera said as she leaned against the doorframe of the bedroom and peeked only her head in. “Nu-uh…this had better not be what all the rooms look like,” she said, crinkling her nose.

I laughed and shrugged one shoulder. “They get a little better.”

I couldn’t blame Vera for not liking the first room; it wasn’t my favorite either. White wallpaper with tiny pink flowers covered the walls. A canopy bed with plastic tossed over the mattress stood in the center, flanked by two incredibly dusty nightstands, and across from one tall, cream-colored block that I could only assume was a dresser beneath the heavy sheet.

“Next please,” Vera said as she started across the hall to the room diagonal from that one.

“This room is mine, actually.”

“Figures.” She scoffed. “Of course you’d take the one that’s halfway decent.”

I smiled as I leaned against the wall and peered inside. It had pale yellow walls, dark furniture, a four poster bed, and best of all—a balcony. I’d fallen in love with it the moment I saw it.

“All right, next.” She shuffled across the hall to peer into the next room.

“This one isn’t all that bad,” I insisted, following behind her.

“Eh, I need to see the others first,” she said as she continued on to the next room.

“This is the room my parents stayed in.”

She nodded approvingly at the lavender walls and darkly rich furniture. “Nice, but didn’t you say there were five? I only counted four.”

“The fifth one is in the basement.”

“Oh, hell no.” She put her hand up in mock defense and bugged her eyes out like she was talking to a crazy person. “I am not staying in the basement by myself. End of story.”

I chuckled and shook my head as I crammed my hands into the back pockets of my jean shorts. “So what room do you want, then?”

“I’ll take this one,” she said, pointing to the room where my parents had stayed. “I’m not even worried about putting my stuff in there right now. I think first we seriously need to de-creepify this house, open up the doors and windows, and let some fresh air and sunlight in.”

“First, I need to grab some necessities from the Jeep—water, a fruit bar, and some Claritin,” I said just before starting back down the stairs.

Vera fingered the dusty drop cloth that covered a table, or something, in the hall. “Claritin is a must.”

As soon as we’d taken some Claritin, eaten a small snack, and quenched our thirst, we headed all the way down to the basement. It was best if we started at the bottom and worked our way up. This was my philosophy anyway.

The basement held virtually nothing. It was a large room with blue walls and a light-colored hardwood floor. Random things were placed sporadically around—an empty fish tank, a broken coat rack, a purple futon chair, an incredibly bowed TV stand, and a large mirror leaning against the far wall with a crack right down its center.

“Someone got seven years of bad luck,” Vera said matter-of-factly.

I walked straight to the closer of the only two doors in the entire basement. “Guess so.”

“God, why would you even put a bedroom down here? It’s so dark.”

“I don’t know, privacy maybe?”

“Ugh, it’s like you’re cut off from the world down here,” she whispered, obviously not enjoying her surroundings. Vera had never been a basement kind of girl; they’d always given her the creeps.

“Oh, come on. It’s not that bad. Don’t be such a baby,” I teased, gripping the doorknob to the bedroom. I turned the knob and opened the door just as something big, black, and furry darted from inside and through my legs.

I didn’t know who screamed loudest, me or Vera. Glancing back, I spotted the culprit—a black and white cat—as it dashed up the steps to the first floor.

“How the hell did that thing get down here?” Vera asked, her hand still pressed against her chest. “Eww, please don’t tell me it’s been locked inside that room since you guys left, because if that’s the case, then I’m so not cleaning this room.”

I flicked the light on and searched the room for any signs that the cat had in fact been trapped inside since then, but saw nothing. “Doesn’t look like it.”

Vera stepped into the room behind me and cautiously crept to the bed. “I can see where it’s been sleeping though.” She pointed to the white sheet that covered the bed. Black and white fur clung to it heavily.

I grimaced when I took a closer look and noticed tiny bones from a mouse beside it all. “Yuck...and eating.”

“Eww, gross!” Vera shouted. “I can’t be in this room. Close it back up. You don’t need it for anything.” She bolted out of the room, leaving me all alone inside.

I slowly followed her out, glancing around at it as I went, wondering how the cat had managed to get inside in the first place. There was only one tiny window up at the top of the far wall. Beneath it stood a tall dresser with numerous cat paws imprinted in the dust. The cat had come in through the window. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a gaping hole in the screen of the clearly opened window.

“Huh, guess I have a pet,” I muttered to myself as I exited the room.

“Can we please head back upstairs? There’s nothing down here,” Vera called to me from the steps. “And besides, I really want to open up the front door, maybe your freeloading cat will go back outside.”

Great, I’d forgotten it was now loose inside the house and I had no idea whether it was friendly or not. Awesome.

Main Tropes

  • Beachside Town
  • Witches
  • Inherited Magic

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