by Dame Devon
MAGIC IN THE BLOOD, book 2 of the Allie Beckstrom series, hits store shelves on May 5th. That’s only eight days away. Wow!
To celebrate the book’s imminent release into the wild, I’ve posted an excerpt from the first few pages. You won’t find this snippet of the book anywhere else on the web–heck, this is the first and only excerpt of the book I’ve posted anywhere. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Monday! (Any typos/errors below excerpt are my fault. I had to retype it into this post, as my electronic file is not playing nice today, lol.)
MAGIC IN THE BLOOD
I dunked my head under the warm spray of the shower and rubbed shampoo into my hair, wondering where my next Hounding job, and paycheck, were coming from. I hadn’t been using much magic since I got back to town, and the bills were piling up. It was time to get on with my life, time to get on with tracking spells again.
I heard a distant pop, like a light bulb blowing, and all the lights in my apartment went out. I opened my eyes just as a stream of soap dripped into them.
“Ow, ow, ow.”
Outside, the wind howled past my bathroom window. We’d been having some bad storms lately–plain old windstorms, not wild magic. Probably a tree or landslide up in the west hills had knocked out the line or blown a transformer, throwing this part of Portland into a deep early-morning darkness. The wail of an alarm from a nearby business started up, and then an answering siren, and then two, joined in on the noise. A couple car alarms got busy.
I rinsed as much of the soap out of my eyes as I could, turned off the shower, and stumbled out of the tub. I hit my shin on the toilet bowl.
“Ow!” I groped for the sink, found the cool surface with my fingertips, and looked over my shoulder at the single frosted window behind me. No light, which meant the magic grid was down too. There were backup spells to power the streetlights in case of blackout–spells the city paid the price for. Weird they hadn’t kicked in yet.
I felt my way along the sink, the wall, the light switch, and the towel hanging on the back of the door. I knew there was no one in the room with me, no one in my apartment. Still, I did not want to be alone and naked in the dark.
“Allie,” a voice whispered so close to my cheek I could feel the cold exhale.
I bolted out into the hallway and turned. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything.
I traced a glyph for Light in the air in front of me, completely forgetting to set a Disbursement for the pain that magic was going to put me through. Pain, I could deal with later. Light, I needed now.
The hallway, hells, the entire apartment, lit up like sunlight on snow.
I was not alone.
My dead father stood right there on the yellow ducky bath mat in front of my shower. It didn’t look like death had done him any favors.
Sure, he still wore a dark business suit–I’d rarely seen him out of business dress–and he was clean shaven and gray haired. Other than that, he looked like a hastily drawn interpretation of himself–his skin too pale, his green eyes gone so light as to be white. Dark, dark shadows caught beneath his eyes and pooled in the hollows of his face. He scowled. He was angry.
Angry at me.
Well, apparently death didn’t do much for a person’s mood either.
He stretched out his right hand, traced the first strokes of something in the air–maybe a glyph–and then moved fast, faster than any living person, until he was standing in front of me, close, so close his hand pressed against my forehead.
I raised my arms to keep him away, push him away, make him stay away from me. I could smell him–or maybe it was just the memory of him–and taste him, leather and wintergreen, on the back of my throat.
I yelled, tasting more wintergreen as he leaned in closer, all ice and bone–cold and damp against my naked wet skin. The Light spell flickered out….
copyright Devon Monk 2009