Sassy Saturday: Burned by Magic, Part 7
Hello, and welcome to week 7 of the Sassy Saturday Blog Hop! Over the coming weeks, participating authors will be showcasing excerpts from novels about kick-butt heroines. We post every Saturday, so if you’d like to participate you can sign up here.
The excerpt I’m sharing below is from my New Adult Fantasy, Burned by Magic, which is due out on December 24th. Burned by Magic stars Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid with a potty mouth and an innate sense of justice that tend to get her in trouble in a corrupt world where she is considered a minority, at best.
If you need to refresh yourself on what happened in Part 6, you can do so here.
BURNED BY MAGIC – PART 7
Comenius said nothing, simply laying a hand on my shoulder as I read the article. It said that she’d been found in her apartment on a Friday night, dead on her living room floor. The Mage’s Guild was conducting an autopsy, but there was no conclusive evidence pointing to a cause of death, murder weapon or killer, for that matter.
“They wrote her off,” I muttered, my fingers curling so tightly around the edges of the paper that it started to shred. “I remember now. The Guild said she’d died from some kind of fucking heart failure.” Which was incredibly rare amongst shifters, especially one who was as healthy and in shape as Sillara had been. Magorah, why hadn’t I seen it? I should have questioned it, should have suspected something… but of course, I’d been too wrapped up in my own problems, and I hadn’t.
“I’m sorry,” Comenius said gently, rubbing his thumb along the edge of my shoulder. I wanted to lean into him, to sink into the comfort he offered, but I couldn’t – someone was killing off shifters, and I needed to find out who.
“Do you think the mages might be in on this?”
I glanced up at Noria, who’d spoken. “You think the Mage’s Guild is responsible for the murders?”
Noria shrugged, lines bracketing her mouth as she scanned another one of the articles. “I can’t say for sure, but it seems like someone’s definitely trying to keep all of these hush-hush. I mean, usually the papers are quick to connect cases like this, and yet we have six issues here, spread across three months, and not a single peep from the media. What gives?”
“But this is the Shifter Courier,” I argued. “These stories aren’t published by the Mage’s Guild.”
Noria shrugged. “Race doesn’t seem to matter when someone shoves a pouch full of gold in your face. They probably bribed the editor or something.”
Even though as a hybrid I wasn’t fully part of the shifter community, my gut still twisted at the idea one of us was a sell-out. Sure, I’d had to take down my fair share of shifter bounties, but it was still tough to admit we were just as susceptible to the same weaknesses as any other race.
A gloomy silence descended as we all pondered the possibilities. So far, the beginnings of our theory suggested human involvement with mage cover-up, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense because there was no reason I could think of that the mages would want to cover up for humans. I’d searched Roanas’s house for clues while I’d been waiting for the Enforcers to show up and hadn’t found anything helpful, but that didn’t mean nothing was going on. I had a feeling that even if we were on the right trail, we were only scratching the surface, and things were going to get a whole lot messier the deeper we went.
“What about your cousin Rylan?” Comenius asked. “He might have heard some rumors about this underground.”
“Huh.” I hadn’t thought of that. “I haven’t heard from him in a long while, but I should ask.” Rylan was a member of the Resistance, a ragtag band of humans and shifters who lived on the outskirts of civilization and worked tirelessly to overthrow the mages. He was the only one of my cousins I was close to, which was ironic considering that I worked for law enforcement. Unfortunately, his way of life meant I didn’t get to see him much.
“I think that’s a good idea.” Comenius paused. “Are you going to be alright?” he asked, his voice gentling. “I mean, if you lose your job at The Twilight –”
“I’ll be fine,” I cut him off, not wanting him to worry. For all of his self-preservation instincts and tendencies towards conservatism, Comenius could become a freaking mother hen when it came to keeping his friends safe. “I’ll figure out a way to make ends meet.”
“You haven’t come to me for amulets in a long time,” he said quietly. “Which means that you haven’t been going after any new bounties. That Talcon fellow has been giving most of them to the Main Crew, hasn’t he?” His brow darkened.
“Com, stop.” I rose to my feet, agitated now. Most of the Enforcers Guild was made up of small crews – eight to ten people, usually – but there was always a Main Crew of at least forty people who got the best bounties. Unfortunately, since the Main Crew didn’t have to work so hard to get their bounties, they were also pretty half-assed when it came to their job – and Brin and Nila were part of them. “There’s no need to worry about this, because I’m going to change it.”
Come back next Saturday to find out what happens!