Scallops and Sorcerers Teaser

Scallops and Sorcerers Teaser

Scallops and Sorcerers, Vampire Knitting Club: Cornwall book 2

© Nancy Warren


“A knitting retreat?” There was thunderous silence as I announced my intention to host a week-long retreat here in Cornwall.

“That’s right.” I kept my tone enthusiastic. As a fledgling business manager trying to make a success of The Scallop Shell knitting shop, I’d been really excited at the prospect of hosting a knitting and crochet retreat. I wanted to have it here in the manor house where I lived and which had formerly been a bed and breakfast hotel. I mean, put together knitting shop, big manor house with a lot of bedrooms and an ocean view, oh yeah, and Cornwall and a knitting and crochet retreat sounded like it was meant to be.

At least, it did to me. Also to my best friend Lucy Swift Crosyer who would come down from Oxford to co-host the event.

Not so much to a crowd of horrified vampires, some of whom had even stopped knitting to stare at me. “You can’t possibly have daywalkers here on the property wandering around at all hours, an outraged vampire said. “It’s out of the question.”

There was general agreement from the other vampires who went back to their work. Some were knitting, a few mending nets. We’d stretched the definition of knitting club as some of the local vampires still put out to sea just like in the old days when they’d been fishermen or pirates or in some cases both. Only now they did their sailing late at night.

I hadn’t been part of their knitting club for that long and we were still getting to know each other. I was pretty sure they thought one lone thirty-year old American woman would be easy to control. I wanted to get along with them, for more reasons than the obvious one that I was never certain they weren’t eyeing me up as a potential snack. However, they were well fed and none of them bothered to hunt for food anymore. Besides, Rafe Crosyer, who owned the manor house would not let my unfortunate demise go unpunished and they all knew it.

Being a witch, I did have some skills and protection spells but I’d rather not test my strength against a nest of vampires. Yes, they lived here too. We cohabited pretty well for the most part. Me above ground in a gorgeous house and they in their luxurious accommodations below ground in an abandoned tin mine on the property.

“You used to get along okay when this house was run as a bed and breakfast,” I reminded them.

“And a very good thing it was when that shut down. Now, Jennifer, you don’t want a load of outsiders coming snooping around, you know you don’t. You’ve secrets of your own, haven’t you?”

I definitely did, but then who doesn’t have secrets?

 I let them talk and tried to concentrate on the sweater I was knitting. I had designed the pattern myself and was thinking of making it an exclusive project for the retreat. I let the annoyed mutterings continue and then finally, Agnes Bartlett spoke up. Agnes was Lucy’s grandmother and one of the nicest vampires I knew. She hadn’t been a vampire for very long and maybe that’s what made her more conscious of my needs. Besides, she’d owned the knitting shop in Oxford before Lucy inherited it and now she was helping me with The Scallop Shell, the pretty little shop I ran.

“It will only be for a week,” she said soothingly. “And you know, if the Scallop Shell isn’t successful, who’s to say my grandson-in-law won’t let the manor house out to a family or another couple who want to run it as a bed and breakfast hotel? A knitting and crochet retreat is really in all our best interests.”

That got them thinking. I knew that now Rafe had married Lucy he wanted to keep this place available anytime they felt like popping down. The knitting shop had been a way to get Agnes out of Oxford where she kept forgetting she was dead and wandering out into Oxford where she could bump into someone who’d attended her funeral. Giving her a new home and another shop to think about here in Cornwall kept her out of trouble but I knew she missed Oxford and Lucy. Keeping her very involved in the Cornwall shop gave her something to do and we both felt a bit competitive. We’d love to see The Scallop Shell do as well or even better than Cardinal Woolsey’s in Oxford. Then her best friend Sylvia Strand joined in the discussion. “I for one am very pleased to see Jennifer making a success of The Scallop Shell. It’s so convenient having the shop so close when we run out of wool or other supplies.

And they gave the term late night shopping a whole new meaning.

So, in the end, we managed to convince the vampires that a week-long knitting and crochet retreat would be quiet, harmless fun.

We could not have been more wrong.

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