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The Midnight Test Audiobook

The Midnight Test Audiobook

Rite World: Lightgrove Witches 1

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An unprepared witch. A mysterious human. And a quest that will test them both …

Main Tropes

  • Forbidden Lovers
  • Reluctant Protagonist
  • Dangerous quest
  • Magic and adventure
  • Dark Secrets
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Slight Academy Setting
  • Cameos from Rite World Characters


An unprepared witch. A mysterious human. And a quest that will test them both …

Hazel always knew she was one of the weakest witches of her generation. For a moment there, she even cared about that status.

Not anymore. She’s determined to live her life as a normal human—with exception for the occasional ghost hunting. What can she do if the damn spirits won’t leave her alone?

But when she finally settles into a new routine, Hazel receives a message that changes everything: the Lightgrove Coven, one of the most powerful witch covens in the world, grants her a rare chance to join them, but only if she passes a dangerous test on Friday the Thirteenth.

At first, Hazel wants to disregard the message. But who is she kidding? This is an opportunity she can’t say no to.

Everything is going unexpectedly fine until a human steps in Hazel's way. Sean is mysterious, hot, and inexplicably alluring. Despite Hazel’s best attempts to ignore him, she can’t. And when Sean’s fate entwines with Hazel’s task, it puts everything at risk—not just her test, but also their own lives.

The Midnight Test is the first book in the Rite World: Lightgrove Witches series—full of magic, romance, mystery, and excitement! Grab your copy today and start this new adventure!

Chapter One

Chapter One

The force like a cold wind mixed with an electric pulse ripped through me, and I gasped.
What the ...? Dozens of bad words crossed my mind, and I would have spat them if my cell
phone hadn’t dinged.

Amanda: So, did it work?

I sighed. If whatever was haunting this place stopped playing, maybe I could start the ritual
and find out.

Me: Hang on.

I knelt on the floor and resumed drawing a summoning circle. I could feel the entity
nearby, as if it were watching me, wondering what I was doing. I looked up, searching for the
moon, but both four-story dorm buildings did a great job of hiding it from me.

It was almost two in the morning, and even though it was Sunday, most students seemed to
have turned in early. Probably because fall classes officially started tomorrow. Good thing too,
because I didn’t need any curious eyes.

I finished the circle and withdrew a small leather pouch from inside my tote, which was
lying on the ground near my feet. I opened the pouch and shook the contents into the palm of my
left hand. The red hawthorn berry powder was running low, but I should have enough for
tonight's ritual. I made a mental note to stop by the Midnight Cauldron to buy more.

Focusing on my task, I pinched the red powder with my fingers and sprinkled the dust on
the ground, forming a six-pointed star in the center of the circle. After making sure there were no
gaps in the star, I cinched the pouch and threw it back in my tote. I pulled out my phone and sent
a message to my sister.

Me: Done.

Amanda: Now place the crystals on each point of the star and step into the circle, and then
call it.

I rolled my eyes.
Me: I know.

Amanda: Sorry. Force of habit.

Her powers manifested when she was eight, and she started learning magic right away. I
was six then, and even though I still hadn’t manifested, I sat through her lessons. I absorbed
everything. Amanda’s affinity appeared when she was thirteen—the ability to turn water into ice,
but only in small quantities. It was a fairly simple affinity, but she was happy with it. Until then,
I hadn’t even made a single spark with my fingers. My mother thought all the time I had spent
studying had been a waste.

Finally, on my sixteenth birthday, a sliver of magic appeared. To my mother’s disgrace, I
had been the oldest witch we knew to receive my magic, and also the weakest. However, I knew
it all. All the theory, all the history, all the spells, all the potions, and that knowledge, along with
my weak magic, made me somewhat useful.

But I still hadn’t discovered my affinity.

Amanda: Hazel, did you get it?

Suppressing a groan, I placed the fist-sized white crystals on each corner of the six-pointed

star. I looked around one more time, making sure nobody was in the alley or watching me
through the windows, and stepped into the circle.

The energy from the crystals flowed into me and I opened my arms, welcoming that bit of
extra magic. It rushed through my veins, bringing energy, life, and power. I smiled.

Veni ad me,” I chanted, funneling my power. I sent my magic to all four corners. I felt it
when it bumped into the other force, enveloped it, and pulled it to the circle. “Now you’re mine.”

The force struggled against me, but my magic was strong when backed up by the crystals.
The force crossed the circle’s barrier and my magic released it. Immediately, it tried to step out
of the circle. I almost laughed at its foolish attempts.

I channeled my powers. “Apparet.”

The air shimmered and smoke appeared, slowly forming the outline of a person. It was a
ghost. I knew it.

“Hazel Rose Levine.”

I snapped my head toward the voice and lost my grasp on my magic. The power of the
crystals faded and the ghost vanished.

“Shit,” I muttered.

A tall woman wearing a heavy white cloak with silver embroidery stood a good fifteen feet
from the circle. The magic within her was so powerful that I could feel it brushing against my
skin, filling the alley, chasing away ghosts.

A small brown owl appeared at the mouth of the alley, seated on top of a closed garbage
can. It hooted once, and somehow I just knew this owl was a familiar.

I stepped out of the circle. “Yes?”

She took off the hood, revealing a plain face with sharp lines. Still, she was beautiful in an
imposing, strong way. “I’m Lenora, one of the witches from the Lightgrove coven.”

My throat became instantly dry and my hands damp. Lenora ... she was one of the council
members of the Lightgrove coven. What was she doing here? I could only think of one thing.

“Um, have you received my request?” The one I had sent two months ago, when I first
arrived in New Orleans for summer classes. Several options had rolled through my mind since
then. One, they didn’t get my request. Two, they got it, and knowing how weak I was, chose to
ignore it. Three, they got it and were spying on me, waiting to see if I should be granted an
audience or not.

“We did,” she said, her voice grave. “We decided it’s time for us to meet.”

My heart skipped a beat. I truly wasn’t expecting this. “Really?”

She went on as if the excitement in my tone didn’t amuse her one bit. “Tomorrow evening.

At the appointed place and time.” She waved her hand and an old, rolled parchment blinked into
existence right in front of my face. I snatched it. “Don’t be late.”

“I won’t,” I promised.

She turned, but then stopped and looked around the tall buildings before her eyes settled
back on me. “You should be careful, walking alone in the middle of the night. New Orleans is
full of supernaturals, and most of them don’t have good intentions.”

I gulped. I had heard that, of course, but so far, I hadn’t encountered any supernaturals,
besides the one or two I knew about. But if she was warning me, then I should take it to heart.

The owl hooted again. Before I could answer, shadows surrounded her, and just like that,
she was gone—and her familiar too.

A thrill bubbled in my chest, and I reached for my phone from over my tote. I began typing
a text for my sister then stopped. What the hell? Who cared if it was past midnight? My mother
would want to know this no matter the hour.

She answered on the second ring. “They contacted you?” she asked, her voice alert.

I frowned. “How did you know?”

“Calling me at this time? That better be it.”

The excited feeling died down and I sighed. To her, that was the main reason I moved from

our tiny town of Oak Hill, middle of nowhere in Louisiana, to New Orleans. No matter how
much I wanted to go to college and live a normal life, since apparently I wasn’t cut out for the
witch thing. But she had made me promise, she begged me, to contact the Lightgrove coven, to
request an audience so I could introduce myself and also request a position within their ranks.

“It would be the biggest honor,” she had said.

Yes, it would. With the exception of my mother and Amanda, our family was the weakest
in our entire region, and I was the weakest of them all. She would love to have a daughter inside
the Lightgrove coven, the strongest, most powerful coven of light witches in existence. To my
mother, I could be there as a maid. She didn’t care as long as I got in.

“So,” she asked. “When will you meet them?”

“Tomorrow.” That was in less than twenty-four hours. My stomach knotted. I picked up
the crystals and stashed them inside my tote. “I’ll call you once I’m out.”

“Please, Hazel ...” She sighed. “Impress them somehow.”

How was I supposed to do that? My magic didn’t hold a candle to theirs. There was
nothing I could do that would impress them. Honestly, I didn’t know why they accepted my

I counted to ten before answering. “I’ll try.” I waved my hand to the circle. The red and
white lines turned to dust that drifted away in the soft breeze.

“If they ask you for a demonstration, what will you do?”

I scanned the alley one more time, making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, then turned on
the heels of my high-tops and walked out the alley.

“I don’t know, mayb—” I bumped into something and tripped backward, but recovered
before my butt met the ground. My phone fell from my hand, and my tongue tingled with curses.
“What the f—?” I cut my words short and stared at the guy before me with wide eyes.

Even peering out from under a hood, his eyes pulled me in. He was breathtaking. His eyes
were the brightest blue I had ever seen, and they went well with his fair skin and his dark brown
hair, which was shaved close on the sides and longer on the top, but he didn’t leave it up in

spikes like Mohawks or fauxhawks. His puckered lips and sharp chin and jaw added to his
beauty. As if his face wasn’t enough, he was tall and wide. Peeking from his sleeveless hoodie,
his arms were inked and toned, and right now, gleaming with sweat. I didn’t know what to stare
at first. The tattoos or the muscles or the sweat running over his skin.

Frowning, Hot Tattooed Guy bent down and picked up my phone from the ground.
“Sorry,” he said, offering the phone to me.

I forced myself to swallow. “Thanks.” I put the phone to my ear and flinched when I heard
my mother yelling my name. “I’m here. I’m here. Sorry. I dropped the phone.”

Hot Tattooed Guy stared at me the same way I had stared at him. Was he checking me out
or was he simply curious about my unusual visual? My fair skin and pale blue eyes were nothing
new. But blond hair streaked in red, a bar on my left eyebrow, a tiny crystal piercing in my nose
(I had another, not so tiny, on my belly button, but he couldn’t see that one), eyeliner and
mascara, but no other kind of makeup, a tattoo of three stars on the side of my neck (I had more,
but he also couldn’t see those) were almost always something people stared at. Not to mention
the style of clothes I liked. At the moment, I wore a thin, off-white, short-sleeved tee, black
leggings, black and red high-tops, and had my red leather jacket hanging from my tote. Well, my
style might have been a novelty back home, but I knew it wasn’t here in New Orleans. Maybe he
was staring at me for another reason, then. People always told me I looked younger than I was.
Did he see me as a fifteen-year-old girl instead of eighteen?

His eyes met mine and I inhaled deeply. “Um, Mom. Can I call you tomorrow?”

“Sure,” she said, sounding a little suspicious.

“Bye.” I turned off the call before she could say anything else. I dropped my phone inside

my tote. “Sorry about bumping into you.”

Hot Tattooed Guy buried his hands in the pockets of his sweatpants. “It’s okay.” His voice

was deep and gruff. I told my girly side to be quiet before I acted like a hormonal high school
girl and giggled at him. “It was my fault too. I should have been paying attention to where I was

“It’s okay,” I muttered. For some reason, I wanted to make him talk more. “I’m Hazel.” I
stretched my hand to him.

Hot Tattooed Guy glanced at my hand before taking it and enveloping mine in a firm
handshake. “Sean.”

My hand seemed so small in his. My cheeks warmed and I pulled my hand back. Trying to
sound nonchalant, I tilted my head to the side, and said, “So, Sean, you run at this time of night?”

“And you talk on the phone with your mother in dark alleys?” he said, his tone tight. I
almost flinched. He averted his eyes. “Sorry. It isn’t my business.”

“Yeah, well, sorry I asked too.” As much as it pained me, I turned around and started
walking to my dorm building.

The breeze blew again, carrying one of the many flyers spread throughout campus
announcing the big welcoming party next weekend. Like everything in New Orleans, it would be
one big costume party, and even though the dorms had started filling up two days ago, everyone
was already talking about it. I stepped on the flyer and I picked it up, thinking about throwing it
away in the next trash can I saw.

I took another three steps before Sean said, “Yes, I was running.”

I stopped and glanced over my shoulder. Sean’s body was angled toward me. Now he
wanted to talk? I turned back. “Do you always run at this time of night?”

“Only when I can’t sleep.” He paused and touched a red macramé bracelet around his
wrist. “Which is often.”

“Oh.” I wanted to ask why. Why couldn’t he sleep? But I had never seen this guy before,
and right now, he intrigued me. I neither wanted to pry too much or risk pushing him away, but I
wanted to keep talking to him, even though I wasn’t sure what to say.

“How about you?” he asked, surprising me. He looked like the quiet, lonely type. Making
small talk wasn’t his thing. “Do you always sneak into dark alleys and call your mother at this
time of night?”

I smiled. Turning my own question against me. Touché. “Sometimes.”

His expression hardened, and the muscles in his neck and shoulders tensed. “You shouldn’t
be out alone so late. It’s dangerous.”

On instinct, I took a step back. Was he warning me he was dangerous? Not that I was
afraid. I really wasn’t. I had ways of defending myself. A normal human would never touch me
if I didn't want them to. But he didn’t know that.

“Right,” I said, playing along. “Well, classes start early tomorrow morning. I should get
some sleep.” I took another step back.

He nodded. “Good night.”

“Good night,” I said before walking the short distance to my building’s front door.

Once inside, I spied on him through one of the lobby windows. Sean remained in place,
staring at my building door. Slowly, his gaze shifted up—to the dorm windows? He shook his
head, turned around, and pushed into a run again.

I watched until I couldn’t see him anymore. Sean was intriguing, to say the least.

I peeked at the flyer in my hand. It would be nice to go to the welcoming party. To go out,
period. I spent most of my weekend nights hunting ghosts and putting them to rest. A welcoming
party on a Friday the Thirteenth wouldn’t be any different.

Fishing my phone from my tote, I climbed up the steps to my floor. There were several
messages from Amanda. As much as I wanted to answer her, I really should go to sleep. Just
because I was a witch, it didn’t mean I didn’t get tired, and knowing me, tomorrow I would feel
like a zombie.

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