Good news & bad news about Magic U 4… (another excerpt)

So the bad news about The Poet and the Prophecy is that it’s delayed a day or two because the publisher discovered a mistake in the ebook files, so they have to be re-done. Oops.
The good news is that I decided that means I should publish another excerpt! Below.
Also in today’s news, I’m interviewed at 4-Letter Words (“Bad Girls on Good Books”). In which they ask me about a sexy version of quidditch… Grin.
To the excerpt:
Kyle’s head was just drooping toward the journal in his lap when a loud bang woke him. A black cat came scampering into the common room and ducked under the wing chair he was sitting in. A moment later, both Master Brandish and Professor Pendragon came running into the room, shouting at each other. “This way!” “Are you sure?”
The two women looked around the room. It was almost midnight and the fire was burning low. Classes were due to start in the morning, and Kyle was the only student still in there.
“Did you see a cat run through here?” Master Brandish snapped.
“I was falling asleep,” Kyle answered, all wide-eyed innocence. “I thought pets weren’t allowed?”
That set Professor Pendragon to chuckling, but Master Brandish only gave Kyle a disgusted look. “It’s a ritual animal. If you see it, don’t hurt it. Just try to keep it in one place until we can corral it again.”
“Come on, Callendra. Maybe it went upstairs. You know how cats love to climb.” Professor Pendragon gave Kyle a little wave and then the two of them headed up the stairs.
Kyle looked over the armrest to see a pair of bright eyes staring up at him. “They’re gone,” he said.
The cat clawed its way up the armrest and into his lap, sniffing at his face curiously. Kyle petted it tentatively and could feel its spine through its fur.
“Scrawny little thing, aren’t you? Did they pick you up stray or something? For what it’s worth, I don’t think those two are into animal sacrifice. So you’re probably okay.”
The cat nuzzled at Kyle’s flannel shirt, sticking its face into the breast pocket and then sneezing. It walked in a circle on his lap and promptly fell asleep.
Kyle petted its head gently. “Halloween’s on the way,” he said. “Want to be my familiar? You could ride on the back of my broom.”
The little cat sneezed, but did not open its eyes. Kyle laughed and turned his attention back to the journal in his other hand. Longfellow’s notes swam in front of his eyes, though, and the cat began to purr. Kyle succumbed to sleep.
When he began to dream, he slipped into a perfectly normal dream. All those lessons with Dean Bell had taught him the difference between the different types of dreams: incubus dreams, prophetic dreams, lucid ones and conscious ones.
Often Kyle’s dreams turned erotic but he knew now that wasn’t unusual, and he knew how to keep his desires from turning into something more. There was no more chasing across the dreamscape. More often than not the nymph in his dream came to him instead.
So he wasn’t surprised when an otherwise ordinary scenario turned into dream sex.
He was surprised, though, when the faceless nymph he was coupling with whispered, “Is talking to animals one of your gifts?”
“Not as far as I know,” he replied. “I mean, I talk to them but they never talk back.”
“Listen harder,” she whispered, just before he woke.
The cat was gone. Kyle rubbed his eyes and checked his phone for the time. Nearly two in the morning. Should he drag himself upstairs to his actual bed, or wander over to Camella House for the night? He’d sort of promised Master Brandish he’d spend more time here at Gladius House.
Talk of the Burning Days was spreading like wildfire through the magical community. He was receiving letters now, not just from scholars, but from magical people all over, asking for his advice or his help on how to get through the coming cataclysm. Some had lost their Sight. Others were too weak to cast enchantments.
He didn’t know what to tell them. I’m just a poet, he wanted to say. I can’t save you. I’m not one of the Prophesied Pair, I’m just the messenger.
Because surely if he were one of the Pair, he’d know what to do by now?
And if he were, he’d have another half, a lifelong mate, who would face every challenge with him.
He didn’t have that. He had a collection of friends and lovers who supported him and made sure his bed was never empty if he didn’t wish it to be. Toward the end of the summer Alex and Jeanie had broken up spectacularly, only to end up friends, but in the aftermath, Jeanie and Lindy had become a thing. Since then Lindy had been spending more time with Jeanie than with Kyle. He wasn’t jealous. It was a beautiful thing, Lindy and Jeanie. What he had was good. What he didn’t have was someone special…

4 Comments

  1. Hey, I just got an email and a link for this, saying it would be released today. The buy link seems to be active too. Crossed wires?

    1. You’ll note this post is from yesterday (Thursday) and the book went live today (Friday)? So no crossed wires on this end — they delayed the book from Thursday to Friday and I posted this on Thursday to make up for the delay?

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