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Forgotten – Rune Witch Mysteries

Book Three in the Rune Witch Mysteries is out soon, and currently available for pre-order on Amazon. Before it releases, I thought I’d share with you a little snippet:

Chapter One

An air of mystique hung around the medieval ruins, as thick as the shrouding fog.

“You sure about this?” Thomas asked, when I reached out to take his hand.

I nodded, although, I was anything but, and Thomas knew it.

Set amongst rolling meadows, Raglan Castle may not have stood as proud as it once did — the ravages of war and time having taken their toll — but its presence and majesty could never be called into question. As we walked over the stone bridge leading to the castle, I was transfixed by the massive Yellow Tower of Gwent. Five stories tall and surrounded by its own moat, the hexagonal building must have been a sight to behold in its entirety. Even with the sandstone pitted and scarred, the walls missing, and the battlements destroyed, it cut a striking image.

Hand in hand, we entered the main castle through the double-towered gatehouse. Moonlight bathed the craggy, tumble down walls in a silver sheen, and added to the sense that we were stepping back in time… entering another world.

As we stood in the pitched stone court, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. Beside me, Thomas stiffened, ready to fight if the need arose. The castle may be a tourist attraction by day, but by night, the coraniaid roamed the battlements. Once described as a demon plague upon the world, the remnants of their society now hide in the shadows, waiting for revenge.

“Where are they?” Thomas asked.

“Everywhere.”

I took a deep breath and tried to ignore the sinking feeling in my stomach. In the courtyard, we were surrounded… vulnerable. We had to be to entice the creatures out.

A strange scampering sound accompanied the howl of the wind — to the right… another behind. My scalp prickled and my skin crawled.

“Dammit,” I said. “I’ve had enough of games.” I called my magic, igniting the power in each of my twenty tattoos, allowed them to turn me into a human lightbulb. The glow from my body bathed the castle in an indigo light.

A chorus of hoots and shrieks echoed around the court, but the coraniaid stayed hidden.

“There!” Thomas pointed to a bardic figure in the corner.

The ghostly apparition beckoned us before fading from sight. “The guardian spirit of the castle library,” I said. “He watches over his cache of precious scrolls and tomes. He won’t bother us.”

Thomas shook his head. “You sure we want to deal with these guys? There are plenty of other ways we could get what we need.”

Before I had the chance to respond, a creature leapt from his unknown hiding place and landed silently on the floor in front of us. A coraniaid: small, pointed creatures, no bigger than a bwchachod or five-year-old child.

“Whatss do you needs, little witchess?” The creature hissed, as it stared at me with eyes that looked as though they might pop out of its head.

I glanced around the ruins. None of the other coraniaid showed themselves, but they were there, watching and listening. “I’m Summer Daniels,” I said. “Rune Witch of the Ogham faith. I have need of your magic.”

Mocking laughter sounded from every direction. The coraniaid before us bobbed and shook his head.

“We knowss who you are, little witchess. Knowss what you are.” He tilted his head to the side and squinted his eyes, as though assessing me. “I am Moryss,” he said after a moment. “Whyss do you needs our magicss?”

“You can hear any word the wind touches. I need to use your power to hear words spoken long ago. Will you lend it to me?”

“Whyss should we?” Morys said.

My whole plan hinged on the coraniaid hating the Twyleth Teg. They were evil, malevolent beings, who were far more dangerous to deal with than any of the fair folk, but I wasn’t here to make a deal. I was here to offer them something they craved.

I took a deep breath. “Revenge,” I said. “In a time long past, Llefelys and Lludd conspired to destroy your race.”

The castle became a cacophony of caws at the names of their enemies.

Although I knew it to be unnecessary, I raised my voice above the din. “Only a handful of your people remain. To this day, the threat of poisoning hangs over your head.”

“What’ss thiss to you, little witchess?” Morys asked as the sound began to die down.

“I can’t offer to help, and I’m not here to bargain, as I can’t promise you anything. But I can tell you this. The words I need to hear are those of a curse cast by a member of the Twyleth Teg. My goal is to break the spell and thwart its magic. If I’m successful, and I aim to be, then the Twyleth Teg will stand in disgrace. Fear of their magic will diminish, and the power of Gwyn ap Nudd, the son of Lludd and the King of the fair folk himself, may be called into question.”

A susurrus spread around the courtyard as the creatures discussed amongst themselves all that I said. Morys’ ears swiveled moving towards the sounds like a cat’s. Yet, even with the power of my Ailm tattoo heightening the clarity of the noise around me, I was unable to discern their words.

Their discussion continued for a few moments, before gradually fading. A silence fell over the night, and one by one the coraniaid jumped from their hiding place and gathered behind Morys. Some appeared, shimmering into view, as if they’d been standing next to him the whole time. Sixty sets of eyes stared at me and Thomas, unblinking.

For a second, my resolve shook. I wanted to turn and run. My magic was strong, but these creatures were evil. Not for the first time, I wondered if I had made the right decision in coming here. Thomas and I had debated for hours. Mam had outright forbidden it, but she’d lost the right to tell me what to do a long time ago. We needed what they had. How could I hope to break a curse if I didn’t know exactly what the curse was?

Thomas squeezed my hand and I noticed the indigo glow of my magic, reflecting like ghostly orbs in the coraniaid’s eyes. I muted the power still soaring through my veins, but kept it ready should we need to fight.

“Have you made a decision?” Thomas asked.

“We do not believess you, little witchess,” Morys said.

He jumped and landed on the shoulders of a second of the creatures. Together, they moved towards Thomas, before Morys shook his head.

“Humanss have no place in the world of magicss.”

Moryss turned his attention to me. He moved so close, I could smell the decaying scent of flesh on his breath. “And you, little witchess. Whyss would you hurt your own peopless?”

“The Twyleth Teg are not my people.”

I stood indignant at the suggestion, but it wasn’t unexpected. I’d had three months to come to terms with the fact that my father was one of the Twyleth Teg. When Mam had turned up at Christmas and told me of the curse. Of how my father — a member of the Twyleth Teg — had destroyed my family, I’d thought of little else.

“We smells their blood in you. Their magicss on you.”

The coraniaids hissed and stamped their feet. The air became full of menace, but still they held back. They had powerful magic of a nature I’d never felt before. It cut the air like a lightning. Given their numbers they could easily defeat me and Thomas, but they held back. They were tempted to help.

“My father is one of the Twyleth Teg, but he did not raise me, and has no claim on my heart.” I’d said the words in my head over and over, yet it pained me to say them out loud. “His are the words I wish to hear, the curse I wish to break.”

I turned my face and met Morys eye to eye. “You can smell their blood in me, the magic on me. Then you can also smell their curse, and the truth in my words. I will break the curse and with it the magic of the Twyleth Teg.”

Marys flipped off the shoulders of the coraniaid he was standing on, and once again the courtyard filled with the raucous debate of the creatures.

“How do you think it’s going?” I asked Thomas.

“Well, we’re not dead,” he said.

I smiled. The creatures could hear every word we said, but neither of us cared. They would make their own mind up on what to do, and as Thomas said, we weren’t dead. That had to be a good sign.

The noise stopped along with the coraniaid’s discussion. Moryss turned to us once more.

“We do not believess you believess, little witches.” Marys laughed. “But we believess.”

The creatures jumped up and down, hollering and stamping their feet excitedly. Moryss picked a cobbled stone from the ground and blew on it.

A green mist enveloped the stone and seeped into its core. When the stone had completely absorbed the magic and all that remained was a faint glow. Morys stretched his hand towards me. “It is yourss, little witchess,” he said.

Before I could take it Thomas stepped in front of me. “You understand that no bargain has been offered in return? You give this freely. We don’t owe anything in return, and we can’t guarantee breaking the curse will cause any trouble for the Twyleth Teg.”

Morys, without saying a word, once again jumped on the shoulders of another coraniad and walked up to me.

He was a leader, a warrior, a spokesman for his people, and his desire to see the Twyleth Teg knocked down a peg or two overrode every natural instinct he possessed. Every instinct that screamed at him to rip my throat out. I saw it as he looked into my eyes.

I released all the guards I had against my own soul, and allowed him to look at my true nature. I can’t tell you what he saw: resolve, determination, vulnerability.. Who knows, but he smiled, wide and full of the sharp, pointed teeth of a piranha.

“The magicss is freely given, humanss,” he said. “We believess you will makess more troubless than you think.”

***

Other Books in the Series: Taken, Hidden, and Forgotten – all available on Amazon now!

Taken – Rune Witch Mysteries

Have you checked out Taken yet? No? Then, check out the prologue:

Dammit!

An alarm sounded in my head. I froze, although every instinct screamed at me to run. I glanced around.

No one.

The desolate streets rested in the silence of the night. Clouds seeped around the moon like black ink swirling in water. No-one was around, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. For a second, I felt a little foolish, walking alone through the dark streets at four in the morning. Everyone knows, the worst crimes in a city happen at night, and Cardiff was no exception.

The wind cut through my clothes, sent a shiver down my spine, and whipped my hair around my head. The gwyllgi’s baleful breath carried from the east. I called the magic in my Coll tattoo, sending forth its seeking power to be sure the creature followed and not some human up to mischief. The faint pulse of the supernatural greeted me, malevolent and dangerous.

For hours, I’d walked the streets. My feet hurt, my legs were tired, and, despite the magical wards giving me energy, I was long overdue for a sleep. Not quite the way I planned to welcome my twenty-fifth birthday.

I stepped from the pavement and crossed the road, struggling to keep my speed down. Legend told that the gwyllgi followed lone travellers at night, stalking them; slowly, silently. I didn’t want to run and give him cause to attack. Although, it was only a matter of time before he would.

I paced along the main road. My footsteps echoing in the empty space. A dog barked. The light from a nearby house flickered on. I cursed.

For a time, I carried on through the shadowed streets, measured and paced, despite the cold fingers of dread that inched along my spine. The gwyllgi’s stealthy approach continued at the edge of my senses. I turned off the main road and into Roath Pleasure Gardens.

Despite their name, the gardens were a dark place, and tonight, dark things moved within them. My pupils gathered in the light that seeped between the trees. I strained to see in the darkness. The wind hissed through the leaves, and sent those already turned autumnal orange to the ground.

A thump to the left.

The rustle of leaves.

A bloodcurdling howl pierced the air, too close for comfort.

My heart thundered in my chest.

The howl of the gwyllgi is said to paralyse people with fear, and I admit, my heart nearly exploded at the sound. But paralysed? Not me. Not now.

I gathered the magic of the birch trees, allowed it to refresh my mind and bless my adventure. The strength and power of the oaks soaked into my soul. I smiled. The Dog of Darkness might have thought he was hunting me, but in truth, it was the other way around.

A low growl built behind me. At last! I turned to face the beast. Blazing eyes shone through the darkness; so fiery and red in their intensity, they looked as though they could set the trees ablaze.

The monstrous creature emerged. At first, beyond the eyes, I saw little more than a silhouette. Then, as he grew nearer, his true form became clear: a large shaggy dog, with the bulk of a mastiff and the fierceness of a wolf. He padded towards me on his long limbs. Slather seeped from his powerful jaws, and dripped from his dagger like teeth.

“Nice doggy,” I said, as I edged backwards. The gwyllgi stopped. His ears cocked up, intent and listening.

“You’re a long way from home. Wouldn’t you like to go back? Feel the grass beneath your paws?”

The creature lifted its head and howled. The sound ripped through me, as his menace rose higher and higher.

He charged.

I breathed out, cleared my mind, and called the full force of my magic. The runic tattoos on my arms flared to life. Power flooded into me, and filled me with energy.

I thrust both hands forwards, and blasted the gwyllgi with the controlling power of the Blackthorn tree. He flew backwards, landing on his haunches, and then rose to his paws and snarled. I blasted him again, but this time, he pounced sideways, avoiding the blow. I tried again, volley after volley of power, but each time he was too fast and agile for me to strike him.

After a few moments, I stopped and stared at the beast. He stared at me, curious. He tilted his head to the side, as though assessing me for the first time. I wasn’t like the other humans he’d met, running and screaming in terror. I didn’t look like much, but his nose twitched. No doubt, he tasted my magic in the air.

The Dog of Darkness, the Black Hound of Destiny, the gwyllgi, whatever name you wished to call him by, at heart, he was a predator, and the one thing I know about predators, if you run, they chase.

I looked down and smiled at my foresight to wear running shoes, even though I hated the way they felt on my feet. After one last glance at the gwyllgi, I spun on my heels and ran.

The creature gave chase. I zigzagged between the trees. On instinct, I dodged to the left, and rolled out the way as the gwyllgi leapt through the air, narrowly missing my head. It landed with a skid. Its great paws tore up the grass and created deep furrows in the soft mud.

For a second, cold fear gripped my heart, and my head throbbed with worry, but there was no use thinking like that. Sure, I was in the city, away from the forest and cut off from the deepest well of my power, but in the park, I was surrounded by trees, and as long as I had their magic to call on, the gwglli wouldn’t best me.

I ran to the tennis courts as fast as I could. The creature followed only a pace or two behind.

“Now,” I yelled, as soon as I set foot past the centre mark.

Thomas emerged from his hiding place in the small hut next to the courts.

The gwyllgi turned towards him as he slammed the gate shut. With a new potential target to attack, he ground to a halt. The creature’s red eyes flashed from me to Thomas, and despite the fence between the two of them, the gwyllgi must have considered Thomas an easier target than me. He leapt forwards, snarling, but instead of passing through the chain link fence, as he’d expected to, he was hit by a pulse of energy and flung to the centre of the courts.

“Warded,” I said, although the creature may not have understood the words. “There’s no point making a trap that you can escape.”

The gwyllgi circled the court, before turning his attention back to me. A wolfish smile split his face and exposed his teeth. Then, a gurgling growl built in its chest, and I became sure he was laughing.

“You got this?” Thomas asked, a note of concern in his voice.

“I’d better have.”

I lifted my hands and created a massive ball of energy between them. I filled it will the power of BeitheLuisNion, and Straif, and focused the spell in my mind. When it was as big as the beast, I released its power. An indigo brilliance illuminated the court and encompassed the gwyllgi. The hound growled and strained against the spell, but he was trapped and powerless. Within the ball of light his presence faded, before disappearing completely. As the last vestige of him winked out, and his grumbles no longer sounded in the air, Thomas opened the gate and ran to my side.

“You okay?” he asked, taking me in his arms.

I smiled and rested my head on his chest. “I am now.”

“Let’s go home. I’ll make you a big birthday breakfast, and we can get some rest.”

I sighed. “Sounds great.”

*

I staggered out of the shower and into the bedroom.

“Breakfast’s ready,” Thomas called from downstairs, “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Starving,” I called back.

I quickly towel dried my hair, and was throwing on some comfy clothes when someone knocked. Thomas answered the front door, and muttered a few words, before closing it again.

“Who was that,” I asked when I entered the kitchen a few moments later.

“That was a package for you.” Thomas handed me a big box. “It looks like it’s from the states. Must be a birthday present from your mum.”

“I doubt that,” I said, remembering the cheques I’d received for every other birthday.

Thomas shrugged and placed a big plate of fry-up in front of me. My mouth watered and my tummy rumbled, at the delicious smell of sausages, but my curiosity got the better of me and I opened the parcel.

Inside was a folder of papers. I ignored the card on top, addressed to me in Mam’s handwriting, and instead opened the folder.

I squeezed my eyes shut, unable to believe what I saw in front of me. Tears came unbidden to my eyes. I couldn’t breathe.

“Summer.” Thomas rushed to my side. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

A sudden dizziness swam in my head. “It’s the cottage,” I said. “Nana’s cottage.”

Thomas took the papers from my shaky hand. “I thought you said it was—”

“Sold. That’s what I thought.”

Thomas smiled and clasped my hands in his. “This is good news, right? The cottage is yours. You can go home now.”

Home. I could go home. A place I only dreamed I could visit again. So, why was every fibre of my being terrified at the thought?

***

Like what you read? You can get the rest of the book on AMAZON now! – Also available in Kindle Unlimited!

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Hidden

Hidden Cover small

 

Book Two in the Rune Witch Mysteries is available for pre-order with a release date of 21st December!

***

One death, one pledge, one price to pay!

There’s nothing better than a walk amongst the trees with the man I love. So, how dare someone disrespect the sanctity of life and my forest along with it!

With the body of a murdered young man placed at my feet, there’s not a chance on Earth, I’m not using all the power at my disposal to find the killer. Even if that means I have to put on hold my quest to discover the magical curse that plagues my family.

I’ll fight to the end to discover the truth, but what do I do when the man I love wants to fight for me?

I’m a pawn in a game I’m only just beginning to comprehend, but I’m not the only one.

***

Here’s a little excerpt for you to enjoy 🙂

As soon as she’d left, I gave Thomas a friendly elbow to the ribs. “Are you going to tell me what the two of you are up to?” I asked.

Thomas pulled me in for a side hug. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said with a hint of mirth in his voice.

“Gwen didn’t ask us to harvest any samples. She’s covering your lie.”

“If you say so.”

I pouted and gave him a mock angry stare. “I will find out what’s going on,” I said.

Thomas laughed. “No doubt.”

“Okay,” said Gwen when she returned with a vial of green liquid. “This is a special blend of willow, fir, and hazel.”

“Hazel?”

“For manifestation.” Gwen handed me the vial and patted my hand. “This is my own special brew. You take it first, Summer, and then, if your memory proves lacking, we can try Thomas. The three of us should sit on the floor together, and then you can draw on the power of all three trees. The potion will project an image of your memory for all of us to see.”

I eyed the liquid suspiciously. Although I had once travelled into Gwen’s head and shared her memories with her, no one had ever looked inside my mind before. At least, not with my knowledge. It’s always possible one of the Tywyth Teg — fairy folk — had sneaked a peak.

“How does it work?” I asked while taking a seat next to Thomas on the rug. “Will you enter my mind?”

“No, no,” said Gwen. “Nothing so intrusive or dangerous. The hazel will allow your memory to manifest itself in the room between us.”

I twirled the vial between two fingers and then looked from Thomas to Gwen and back.

“Drink it down,” Gwen encouraged. “One quick gulp.”

I removed the lid and poured the potion down my throat, almost gagging on the acrid taste that burned my mouth and caused my eyes to water. “Ugh, you could have warned me,” I said to Gwen.

“Warning creates anticipation. Anticipation creates worry. Why create extra problems?”

“Cheers, then, I guess.”

Thomas and Gwen both stared at me as though I might implode at any moment. I ignored their impatient looks and called forth the power in my runes. The symbols of Saille, Ailm, and Coll blazed to life on my arms. I stretched out my hands and made them into a plate before me. A mist swirled above them and formed into a vision of the forest: bright, airy, and full of life. I felt like I was dancing in a dream.

Gwen laughed. “I feel much the same when I visit woodland areas. The cleansing peace of the ancient trees reminds us how small and insignificant we are. Such knowledge washes the pressure of human existence away.”

The image in my hands contained me and Thomas walking through the forest from a third person perspective.

“Connect with memory more,” Gwen said. “We need to see what you saw, not you.”

“You also need to move forward in time a bit. We need to see what happened after we found Lee’s body, not before.” Thomas added.

I connected with my surprise at finding Lee’s body, listened for the roar of an engine and then felt the wind blow through my hair as I chased after Thomas. Then I saw it, the flash of blue. I froze the picture, searching every last detail for something that might help.

“It’s no good,” I said at last. “I just didn’t get a good enough view.”

“Wait,” Thomas pointed at the image. “This is useful. That’s LeMans Blue. It means the car’s a BMW.”

“Seriously?”

Thomas shrugged. “It’s a nice colour.”

“I’ll take your word for it. I think you’d better try.”

“It’s a shame you didn’t see anything else,” Gwen said. “Are you sure there wasn’t something that led you to the body in the first place.”

I thought for a while and remembered the flash of movement, I’d readily dismissed as a bird and completely forgotten with everything that had happened in the time since then.

“There might be something,” I said, and moved my memories back to the time before we found the body. I explored the emotions of the moment. My happiness, the heat radiating through my body at Thomas’ touch, the fluttering in my stomach as I recalled the first time I introduced him to magic, the all-encompassing sense of peace and connection. The viewpoint changed. I concentrated harder, focused on the tightening in my chest, the flutter of my heartbeat. The image swirled to display the flicker of movement from my moment of confusion, then froze.

We had to look closely to spot the large figure. Half the body was covered by a tree trunk, but the remains on display were camouflaged a mottled green and brown, with the texture of bark. Long, droopy arms connected to oversized hands and hung down to the creature’s knees. Its round face was shrouded with long, dark hair, and the only feature on display was a large bulbous nose.

“What is that?” asked Thomas. I shrugged in response and we both turned to Gwen.

“If I’m not mistaken,” she said. “That’s a troll.”

Cursed Magic – Relic Guardians Book Three

Cursed Magic, Book Three of the Relic Guardian series is now available 🙂

Jamie Oxford: Friend. Foe. Bane of my existence!

I should have known better than to trust Jamie with the location of Pandora’s Box. The minute I tell him, he steals it from under MI5’s nose. Maybe I’d be impressed – if I wasn’t so furious. Now it’s in the hands of an infamous Magicai, determined to sell it to the highest bidder, who could unleash the next apocalypse. No big deal, right?

Jamie can try all he likes to redeem himself, but as usual, the fate of the world rests in my hands. Now, I have to recover the box for a second time, before it’s opened.

If only I could do it without Jamie tagging along for the ride.

Maybe the apocalypse is better than dealing with that idiot.

 

***

Excerpt:

My long overdue study of translation runes and the power of tongues over the past month had paid off. Using my spells, I could decipher every word on Pandora’s Box, or rather, the copy of them I had taken.

I might have been inside the most secure archives in England, deep within the London Magicai Library, where few were permitted to tread, but it would have been more than foolish – catastrophic, even – to bring Pandora’s Box through the heart of the city. It was secure, where it belonged, at the Great British History Museum.

The tension in my stomach did not ease, however.

No, it brought me no joy to translate these glyphs. My skin was cold as I read them, though it was warm – stiflingly so – down here. They foretold doom, should the box ever be opened: plagues upon the world of sickness and ravages against all good and whole until the earth lay in ruin and wreck.

Thank goodness I‘d gotten to it in time. Thank goodness I’d recovered it before it had opened. Thank goodness I’d been able to stop it. I hated to think anything might be locked away from the world, never to be seen again, but if ever an object deserved to be hidden away for all time, it was Pandora’s Box.

I remembered how it felt to hold it in my hands, as if the malevolence inside leeched out and bleached the life from me, poisoning me.

I shuddered. I was really glad the box was no longer in my care, to say the least. I knew as I sat there researching it, my boss, Duncan, would be placing it under wards beyond my knowledge that would keep it safe, secure, and most importantly, unopened.

At least, I thought he would be, but at that moment, my phone rang and his name flashed on the screen. I answered the call within a second; as much to silence the loud ringtone in the silent archives as to find out why he called.

“Duncan?”

“Zoe. I need you back here now.”

“What’s up?” I said, startled by the shaking of his voice. Not fear, not upset, but anger it seemed.

“We have a problem – a huge problem.”

Icy fear plunged through me. “The box. It’s not..?” I breathed. I didn’t dare say it. Open.

“No,” he said quickly, and a huff of relief escaped me. “Not open. Not yet. But it’s in danger.”

“I’m on my way.”

***

Cursed Magic is currently available on AMAZON, you can check out all the books in the Relic Guardians series on its series page 🙂

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Glimpses

Glimpses is a FREE collection of 16 short fantasy  stories.

Each story gives a glimpse into a fantasy world and also acts as an introduction to that author’s writing – you never know, you might find your next favourite author here.

Stolen Magic, a short story set with the Relic Guardians series, and features a new character, Nathan Scott. It is available exclusive to this set, so check out an excerpt below and grab your FREE copy 🙂

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Excerpt:

I’m a city guy, born and raised, but I’d seen more than my fair share of the world. My home was in the heart of Camden, a stone’s throw from the Regent’s Canal, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of London life. If my roots lay anywhere, it was there. Where the streets are lined with urban street art, and a punk mentality permeates the air, along with the appetising smells and constant cawing of traders in Camden market. A far cry from my current surroundings.

The wind screamed as a sand storm shrouded the sky and turned day into night. The once calm waters of the Nile rose in towering crests. Sand, wind, and an icy spray battered my fishing boat and tossed it around like flotsam.

My heart pounded and my skin felt stripped raw. I checked my bearings and steered the boat starboard. I had to be close, but the forbidding storm had consumed sky, land, and water with a sandy blizzard. The boat juddered to a halt and sent me tumbling to the deck. At last, I’d run aground.

A sensible man would have hunkered down, ridden out the storm, but no-one had ever called me sensible, and besides, I was one of the Magicai. Whether reckless behaviour came with magical powers, or it was just part of my innate nature, who was to say, but one thing was for sure, I had an advantage over most men in this cruel environment. Ordinaries, we called them, people with no magical power. Most of whom lived their lives unaware of the magic around them.

I clutched at the rune stone on a leather cord at my neck. It thrummed, acting like a conduit and drawing on the energy of the ley lines to infuse me with magic. The Eye of Horus, etched in the stone, flashed as I called upon its power to shield me from the worst of the elements and guide me through the storm.  

I spat out the sand lodged in my mouth and launched myself into the onslaught. Protected by a magical shield, the sand no longer flayed my skin, and the incessant roar of wind was a murmur.

I trudged over the inhospitable terrain, following the pull of my rune stone. The power calling me intensified as I neared the convergence of ley lines: a potent beacon of energy in the distance. After a while, the sand blew away, the winds abated, and the storm cleared. I dropped my shield as the remains of an ancient city rose before me. The Nubian Pyramids of Meroë.

My path wound between the dunes and through the crypt-quiet city. Neither man nor beast moved around me, not even a scorpion scuttled along the sand. The only sign of the once raging storm was a deathly stillness to the air.

My throat was as dry as the desert. The sun beat down from a clear sky, stabbing me with spears of heat and covering the landscape in a haze that blurred my vision. I pulled a canteen from my backpack and savoured the water as it moistened my mouth and slid down my throat.

With my senses on high alert, I approached the final structure and stood in the doorway of the weather-worn pyramid. Something moved inside. A glimmer of light burned like liquid fire. I took a deep breath, ducked beneath an overhanging beam, and entered.

The heat followed me inside, where stale air clogged my lungs and hieroglyphics lined the walls. I wiped the sweat from my brow and slid between a narrow opening. A dark figure moved in front of me, silhouetted like a shadow in the gloom. It reached towards me, its hand outstretched, beckoning me forward.

I entered the chamber and a tall man with green eyes and a turban covering his head towered over me. “It is good to see you, Nathan,” Skylar said. “Although I must say, you took your time.”

“Give me a break.” I sat on a rock and took another swig from my canteen. “It’s not easy to travel over five thousand miles. Not to mention, having to navigate through a deadly sandstorm.”

In ancient times, the Egyptians believed the Nile was a supernatural source, a place from the netherworld that crossed the boundaries between worlds. In many ways they were right. Hidden at the points where ley lines converged, doorways to alternate realities existed. The Pyramids of Meroë, like many ancient landmarks, were built on such a convergence.

Every Magicai knew the source of their power, but not every Magicai knew the secret of the doorways. I was one of the Travellers, and like my father before me, I crossed between worlds, exploring different realities. I’d only just arrived back in London, after an otherworldly expedition, when Skylar had entered my world from his and sent a magical summons.

“The storm has passed,” Skylar said. “We must make haste.”

“Now, wait a minute.” I shook my canteen to release the last drop of water into my mouth. “What’s so important that you travel across realities and summon me to Sudan?”

Skylar heaved an exaggerated sigh, but he sat down beside me and handed me his canteen. “The Kushite Stone has been stolen from my world.”

I thought for a minute, relaying the history of the area through my head. “Nope,” I said. “Never heard of it.”

“It is a relic of my world, not yours. Created during the Great War, when Rome pushed forth and tried to conquer the known world.”

That was the big difference between Skylar’s world and my own. Firstly, the Great War referred to a war in a different time and place. Secondly, where Egypt succumbed to the Romans in my world, and the Nubian empire faded and disappeared along with their trade routes, in Skylar’s, the Romans were defeated and the Nubian empire flourished to his present day.

“What makes you think it’s here?” I asked.

Skylar flashed me the signet ring on his finger, a conduit for his magic as much as my runic stone is for mine. “I know it is,” he said. “Arin, a Magicai of great power, has travelled between worlds in the hope of finding the sister to the Kushite Stone. In doing so, he hopes to create a powerful artefact that can help him enslave both our realities.”

I winced. Magical artefacts should never be joined with their counterparts in other worlds. The results would be… well, I wouldn’t want to be around to find out. Suffice to say, big bad magic equals big bad danger.  

“That’s not good,” I said.

“No, it is not.” Skylar stood. “So you understand the urgency. Arin has two days head start on us. His lack of knowledge of your world may hinder his process, but he must not succeed.”

***

Glimpses is available for FREE for a short time only, so grab your copy now!

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Rebels & Runes: An Urban Fantasy Novella Collection

EDIT: Rebels & Runes is no longer available as a box set. However, the Rune Witch Mysteries, a new series based on my short story Magical Retribution will be out October 2017.

My Story, Magical Retribution is available in the Rebels & Runes Boxed set for a limited time only.

There’s always a price to pay with magic. The question is… who pays?

Summer Daniels had simple plans. A pizza, a movie, a quiet night at home with her boyfriend. But when a teenage girl is kidnapped, Summer doesn’t hesitate to use her magic to find her. No matter the cost.

Caught in the middle of a deadly plot, Summer will fight to avenge her lover and friend. With the threat of unknown magic, her only choice is to risk her own freedom and find the true face of her enemy.

Will Summer be able to bring down the kidnappers and rescue the girl? Or is there more to the case than meets the eye?

***

Rebels & Runes is no longer available as a box set, but Magical Retribution will soon be available as a stand alone story.

The Rebels & Runes boxed set contains an incredible 23 URBAN FANTASY STORIES, including works by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors!

Spell-binding tales of magic, malice, mayhem and madness can be found in this impressive assortment. If you enjoy stories about shape-shifting creatures, monsters, ghosts, wizards and witches, then this is the collection for you.

 

 

Join the February KU Challenge & Giveaway 1/2 – 28/2!

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Are you a Kindle Unlimited Member?

Join the February KU Challenge & Giveaway 1st – 28th February!

In celebration of the release of my new PNR, Lucas, I have teamed up with Love Kissed Book Bargains, and over 90 authors, who have come together to offer an awesome giveaway in an effort to find new readers!

Come meet your new favourite author. Read for FREE with KU. Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for reading and telling us what you liked.

Not a Kindle Unlimited Member? You can enjoy a 30 day trial membership.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

H.J. Lawson Giveaway

The very talented H.J. Lawson is offering a FREE giveaway of her new paranormal romance New Order.

PLUS the chance to WIN a KINDLE FIRE!

New Order is the first book in the Hidden Vampire Slayers series.

They were born to fight. Created to win. But the question remains… Who’s the real enemy? When Sadie heads out for the night, she hardly expects to witness a murder– much less a murder committed by a dangerous vampire with a thirst for vengeance and destruction. Within a few hours, Sadie and her boyfriend Aaron are pulled into a violent vampire world. Searching for a way to survive, they know they must fight, but this might be a battle they just can’t win.

Check out this fantastic deal, amongst other amazing freebies and Kindle Unlimited offers. PLUS THE CHANCE TO WIN A KINDLE FIRE HERE!

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