When magic goes wrong, who’ll you call?

Hi Readers,

How are you doing? Are you sheltered in place with your loved ones? Are you staying connected to friends and family?

We hope you’re doing okay out there. We’re being good characters and socially distancing. Yes, even me, your bubbly host who enjoys clinging to his magical Papa.

To help pass the time in self-quarantine,

are 99 cents or whatever Amazon decides is the local equivalent.

Curse Breaker: Books 1-4 is $2.99

They are all free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

And we have a new book coming very soon, but I’m not allowed to say more than that because our Scribe is still trying to figure out when it’ll be done and how to pay for editing and a cover.

Normally, I’d return you to our ongoing adventure, but this week, we have to pause that because today is the big day!

The second anthology in the trilogy of multi-author anthologies our Scribe led publishes today. That’s why our newsletter is a day late. You can grab the first anthology in the trilogy, Hidden Magic, for 99 cents on one of those countdown things from April 15 until April 22 if you’re in the US or the UK. It’s also a free read with Kindle Unlimited.

If you haven’t already, you can click to read Wayward Magic for free right on your kindle device or reading app if you have Kindle Unlimited and enjoy over 600 pages of magic gone wrong in twenty different stories.

Today, we bring you a preview of our Scribe’s story from Wayward Magic. It’s called “Spell of Bone & Ash,” and it stars some familiar faces.

What’s it about?

Nulthir thought he’d escaped the darkness that nearly destroyed his family, but he was wrong. That evil is now inside him, straining to break free. It’s up to Thing, Amal, and their family of mind-talking creatures to stop the transformation set in motion by a magical attack before it changes their only human ally into an inhuman monster.

Spell of Bone & Ash

Part of Wayward Magic: Magic Underground Anthology II

by Melinda Kucsera

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Her mate glanced at something in his hand. Amal couldn’t see what because His Orneriness kept his hand cupped around the object in question, hiding it from her prying eyes. Amal dug her claws into the wood of the headboard in frustration. What was Thing up to?

 “What’s in your hand?” Amal hissed.

 Thing stared worriedly at his unconscious friend and brother-of-the-heart. He was no use in a crisis that didn’t have a target for his ire, and this one didn’t unless those strange glass shards counted. But they didn’t have a safe way to deal with them yet. It was up to her, as usual, to sort everything out. 

“What aren’t you telling me?” Amal poked her mate in the chest. When that didn’t elicit a response, she sighed. Surely, this wasn’t the first time Nulthir had fallen ill? 

“It is,” Thing said finally. He was reading her mind again. Good. Amal hoped he’d just gotten an earful. He deserved it for being so secretive while their only human friend struggled for every breath.

 Nulthir lay on the narrow bed in his flat where the floating blanket had deposited him before it had completely unraveled. A shadow lay over him that was partly magical and had nothing to do with the orange crystals on the nearby dresser, suffusing the room with warm light. 

“We have to do something. We can’t leave him like this.” Amal gestured to Nulthir. 

“Of course not.” Thing glared at her for even suggesting that. 

Amal tapped her finger claws on the headboard. She’d already cleaned and bound the wound in Nulthir’s shoulder where her son, Crispin, had accidentally gored him. If only that was all that ailed Nulthir. Until he woke up, there was nothing else she could do except pry into her mate’s secrets. 

Thing closed his hand around the object he’d just been studying, and his hand fully engulfed it. Damn. 

What are you hiding, heart of my heart? Amal aimed that thought at her mind-reading mate. 

Thing just mantled his wings, which forced her to move aside, or get clocked in the head by a wingtip. Great way to treat your mate. Amal suppressed some of her irritation, because letting it show wouldn’t win her any points. Thing had always been bull-headed, and he liked nothing more than a good argument. 

“You remember the last time you hid something from me?” Amal folded her arms over her feathered breast. Just below where her hands rested, her brown and cream feathers gave way to soft fur. 

Soft light filtered through Thing’s fingers cast by the object he refused to let her see. So, it was a magical thingamabob. Amal had figured it was since her mate had removed that mysterious object from a pocket on Nulthir’s utility belt. Almost everything Nulthir carried around with him was enchanted in some way.

But a search of said utility belt hadn’t turned up any clues. Whatever her mate had taken, he’d replaced with an item that looked enough like it to fool her, and just thinking about that raised her hackles. What the hell are you up to? she asked again, but he didn’t react to that mental barb either. Amal whistled to get his attention.

“Let me remind you. The last time you kept secrets from me, it didn’t go well for you.” Amal jabbed her index finger into his chest while he glared at her with those intimidating yellow eyes. “Secret-keeping never does. So, whatever you’re up to, you’d better spill it now before it blows up in your beak.” That cagey creature tended to forget his mistakes. 

But his plan could actually blow up since Thing was holding a magical object of unknown purpose and power. Amal waited a moment for that to sink in. Her words had the effect she’d predicted, and she fought the urge to shake him. 

Thing puffed out his feathered breast in indignation, but before he could say anything, she rubbed his furry belly until he chortled with laughter. He playfully batted her away with the hand that wasn’t holding the object she wanted to see. Oh, he was a coy one, but so was she. 

Silly mate wants to play when serious things are afoot, Thing chided her. 

Amal relented long enough for him to nuzzle her cat ears. “What are you really up to, heart of mine? And don’t say you’ll ‘tell me when there’s something to tell’. That didn’t work the last time you tried skulking around without me, and it won’t now. We’re a team.”

But Thing wasn’t ready to spill yet. Amal rolled her hawk eyes ceilingward. He could be so difficult at times. Thing was one maddening creature. “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”

“Nothing to tell.” Thing looked down at Nulthir’s thin and drawn face. “Why doesn’t he wake? I call, but he doesn’t answer.” Thing leaned into her, needing her strength. “It’s like when the demon took him. I almost couldn’t pull him back then either.”

 This was far more words than Thing usually strung together aloud. Mentally was another story. He could chew your ear off mind-to-mind, but he wasn’t a fan of speaking aloud, probably because mind-talking had been the easiest and best way to communicate with the human child who’d adopted him. Now, that child was grown and possibly dying. They needed a way to help him, not secrets.

Amal shifted uncomfortably as a flash of red caught her eye…

To read more, get Wayward Magic now! “Spell of Bone & Ash” is included in that anthology.

***

Next week, we’ll return with our regularly scheduled shenanigans and an update about our next book.




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