Witching For Joy (Premonition Pointe #3) - Deanna Chase

Chapter One

“Do you think a jury would acquit me if I murdered her?” Joy Lansing whispered to her makeup artist.

“I’d vote innocent,” Sam Catts said as she scowled in Prissy Penderton’s direction. “If she asks you about Troy Bixby one more time, I’ll—”

“Joy,” Prissy drawled in the sickeningly sweet voice she used when she was pretending that she and Joy were friends.

“Yes, Prissy?” Joy said, eyeing the other woman from across the makeup tent. Joy’s long blond hair had already been styled into an elegant twist, and her makeup artist was working on her face for the next scene in the indie film she’d been cast in recently.

Joy’s life had taken a dramatic turn after photos of her had been used in a national marketing campaign for a classic perfume line aimed at mature women. Troy Bixby, her… friend? Potential boyfriend? She wasn’t sure what they were, but Troy had asked her to pose for him and the next thing she knew, her face was plastered all over the internet and in the pages of every women’s magazine known to man.

The attention had been flattering and also pretty overwhelming. But when she got a call asking her to audition for a family drama that was being filmed in Premonition Pointe, that’s when her lifelong dream of being an actress had come true. Joy was part of a multigenerational cast. Her character was the mother to a twenty-five-year-old and the daughter to a woman in her late sixties. All three of them come together when the granddaughter is dealing with an abusive husband through a contentious divorce and custody battle.

The script had moved Joy to tears, and she was full of pride to be a part of the project. Unfortunately, Prissy Penderton landed the lead, playing Joy’s daughter. The woman had just hit stardom with a breakout role a few months before, and she’d turned out to be insufferable with her demands and entitlement. Joy stayed out of her way whenever possible. It seemed as if her luck had run out.

“I heard Troy’s coming to town this weekend. You did talk to him about my cocktail party, didn’t you?” Prissy asked.

Joy gritted her teeth. Prissy had been begging her to bring Troy to her cocktail party ever since the news broke that he was scheduled to be in Premonition Pointe that weekend for a gallery show. Too bad Joy had learned the news from a gossip rag and not the man himself. But the last thing she was going to do was tell the starlet that it had been more than three weeks since she’d talked to Troy. She forced a tight smile. “No, the subject hasn’t come up.”

“Jooooy,” she whined. “I need Troy to be there or else the male-to-female ratio will be off. I’m counting on you.”

“He’s a busy man,” Joy said with a shrug. “I’ll mention it when I talk to him.” If she talked to him. The entire world thought they were dating, thanks to a throwaway comment he’d made during an interview recently. The reporter had asked him about the gorgeous new face of Elegance, and he’d called Joy his muse. When the reporter pressed about their relationship, he’d been noncommittal, but the article had described him as having ‘a sexy half-smile and a glint in his eye.’

The tabloids had run with it, calling them the hottest new “it” couple. The entire thing was making Joy question her own sanity. Because the truth was that she and Troy had spent one amazing week together heating up his sheets. During that week, he’d photographed her for the Elegance perfume campaign. Then he’d left for Europe, where he was working on his next project. He’d said he wanted to get back together when he was back in town, and while they’d sort of kept in touch, they mostly talked about his project and her new acting job. Neither of them had talked about what the future might bring when he returned home. And according to the Premonition Perspective, the local gossip rag, he was due back in town in just a few days.

Too bad he hadn’t given her a heads-up.

“Just make sure you’re both there Saturday night,” Prissy insisted. “Get your hair and makeup done and dress as if you’re walking the red carpet. Maybe even get some blue contacts to brighten up your eyes. Undoubtedly, the press will be there. You don’t want the first photos of you after your perfume campaign to make it look like Troy’s