Well, This is Embarrassing

Hey Readers,

I hope you’re enjoying the magical mayhem in Curse Breaker Fallout.

When you last saw me, Ran, the most entertaining sidekick ever, I had just thanked that dragon. Well, in the two days since, that dragon is up to her old tricks again. And this time, it’s a little embarrassing.

What did she do?

I’ll get to that in a moment. First, she might have done another good thing. It’s shocking, right?

I can hardly believe it, and I’m staring at proof of it.

What good thing did she do now?

Well, back when we put Curse Breaker Fallout on preorder, we’d planned this big sale to accompany its launch. But then the dragon got us a BookBub, and we didn’t know how to deal with that. So the sale got pushed to the back of our minds.

But the dragon didn’t forget. Since no one said anything about the sale or told her what dates to set for it, she picked a date and set it up.

I think you know where I’m going with this.

So this morning, the prices on the books we had planned to put on sale for the launch of Fallout dropped in all stores.

It took us a few hours to find that dragon and get the truth out of her since the internet was up and down at the Scribe’s apartment. Since that dragon is made of code, we need internet access to talk to her.

We finally reached her, and she confirmed the sale.

So it is my pleasure to announce the sale and invite you to check it out and pick up some books if you’ve got holes in your collection of our magical adventures.

But it’s also embarrassing because we didn’t know the sale was happening until it started. It makes us look like we don’t know what we’re doing. And that’s bad because we like being in charge of our books.

We need Melinda, our faithful Scribe, to write the books and pay for the internet, so we can email you. But she doesn’t need to deal with any other details. We’ve got those, or I thought we did.

But I digress. I’m excited about the sale. I just wish we had some advanced notice. But with that dragon around, I doubt we’ll get it.

What’s on sale?

I think that’s all of them. That dragon didn’t leave a list. She also wouldn’t say when the sale ends. I’ll keep asking her.

And now, in celebration of its publication this past Monday, we return you to our special presentation of:


Curse Breaker Fallout

by Melinda Kucsera

An owl hooted by the open window. It was probably Thing returning from a night of hunting. He could still talk in people’s minds even when he wasn’t in the flat, and that just wasn’t fair. Claws clicked on the deep stone sill as Thing or one of his offspring landed on it.

Would you give me up to get your sister back? His magic appeared in the darkness behind his closed eyes as a man-shaped cloud and walked away before he could answer.

Great, now his magic was talking in his mind too. That dark place reformed as Sarn reached for his magic and fell back into the same dream as before.

“Is this better?” His magic asked. It was still talking in his mind, but it sounded like real speech.

Sarn nodded. At least this way, he could pretend they were having a proper conversation. “No, I won’t give you up again. I hated not having magic. It was horrible.” Sarn shuddered in remembrance. “Nothing could convince me to give you up again. You’re stuck with me.”

His magic stopped. “You say that now while you’re staying with a family of magical creatures, but will you still think that when you’re back amongst people who don’t have magic?”

“Yes, I want people to accept me for who I am, magic and all. I’m a mage.” Sarn pounded a fist against his chest. “I’m not a normal man, and I never will be. I’ve accepted that.” He wished people would accept that too.

But those closest had abandoned him, first his unknown father, then his mother and sister. Ran’s mother had vanished. Friends had turned against him. Shade had died, and the list went on.

“But Sovvan came back, and so did I.” His magic floated closer.

“But she left again.” And that abandonment cut his heart. Sarn rubbed his chest. Was Sovvan all right? Sarn had heard nothing from her since she’d vanished, and that was three days ago, by his reckoning.

“But it wasn’t her fault.” His magic floated closer until they were almost touching. “She’ll return when she can.”

“Will she?” Sarn wanted to believe that as he replayed his last meeting with his twin in his head, more to torture himself than to find answers. But maybe there was a clue he’d missed. He’d been concussed then. According to Thing, that concussion was still healing.

***

Three Days Ago

Sovvan appeared out of thin air the moment Sarn turned to blast a tentacle shooting toward him. He hadn’t seen how she’d arrived.

“J.C., where are you? I heard you talking, and that sounded suspiciously like a goodbye,” Sovvan shouted from behind him in that giant underground cavern.

Sarn wrapped his arms around her when she splashed past him and stopped her before she stepped off the edge of the cliff.

“Thanks for the quick save, bro.” But she’d gotten an eyeful of what was down there. “Yikes. That’s one ugly creature.” Sovvan shivered in his arms.

And Sarn hadn’t let go. He’d dragged her out of the way of a flailing tentacle covered in white-glowing Andurai and asked about his son because he’d left the boy with his twin sister before the monster had grabbed him. Without his earth magic, Sarn hadn’t known where the child was and fear for the boy had eaten at him for the moment it had taken Sovvan to answer him.

She’d patted his arm and told him Bear had his son. Bear was in Nulthir’s flat too since he lived in Ran’s stuffed toy. But he’d been quiet these last three days. Sarn didn’t know why. Bear was strange, but he’d gone out of his way to protect them more than once, so Sarn would let him tell his tale in his own time. But that was now.

Then, relief had swept through Sarn upon hearing his son was all right and far from the monster in the pit. Sarn had hugged his sister for that miracle, then released her.

Her eyes had widened in alarm at something. Then Sovvan had grabbed the air beside Sarn and addressed it.

An armored angel had appeared in that space, complete with a glowing halo, and his sister had gripped her arm. She was his guardian angel according to Sovvan, and her name was Misriah. “The second seal has broken. Come on. We must stop him from breaking the others,” Misriah had said.

What did that mean? Sarn still had no idea, and no one to ask either. Nor had that angel explained.

“But I have to help my brother defeat this monster first. He can’t do that without his earth magic, and I still have it.” Sovvan had pounded her fist on her chest.

“But not for much longer. Look.” Misriah had pointed as the two women turned to face the stack of tentacles trying to squeeze through the giant crack in the wall.

Sarn had followed their gazes to another angel, carrying his boss, Jerlo, the commander of the Rangers. The new angel had glided to a stop nearby and deposited her stunned charge, then converged on Misriah and his sister. This new angel was as armed and armored as his guardian angel. In her white robes, Sovvan had looked like a damsel in distress next to them, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get that image out of his mind.

I must find out what happened to her and save her if I can. Sarn didn’t know what he’d do if he couldn’t save her. That didn’t bear thinking about.

Jerlo’s guardian angel had grabbed Sovvan’s other arm before his sister could protest, and all three women had disappeared without saying a word.

You’ll see her again, Thing said in his mind, echoing what he’d said in that cavern three days ago.

And Sarn wondered the same thing now as then. How do you know that?

***

To read what happens next, get Curse Breaker Fallout now!




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