Sassy Saturday Hop: Burned by Magic Part 4
Hello, and welcome to week 4 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 the unedited opening scene for 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 3, you can do so here.
BURNED BY MAGIC – PART 4
My boot-clad feet finally took me near the end of the pier, where my friend’s shop, Over the Hedge, sat nestled in between an apothecary and a fortune teller’s shack. It was a small brick building with a glass storefront, the company name frosted on the large glass window in simple but charming letters. A small bell tinkled as I opened the door and stepped inside, and something inside me relaxed as I inhaled the scent of herbs, wax, and burnt-sugar magic.
Every piece of furniture and decoration in the place was crafted out of natural materials – from the white cotton curtains hanging in the windows, to the driftwood tables and shelves scattered throughout the shop and laden with merchandise, to the hand-woven and colorfully dyed rugs covering the wooden floorboards. The only machinery in the entire shop was the clock on the wall and the register on the counter.
Behind said register stood my friend Comenius, the shop owner, muttering under his breath and tapping at the keys. At his shoulder was Noria Melcott, a human redhead dressed in denim overalls, a loud t-shirt, and an aviator’s can. An annoyed scowl was stamped all over her freckled face as she watched Comenius try to ring up a purchase for the customer standing in front of the counter. She was the younger sister of an Enforcer friend of mine named Annia, and a college student who paid her way between a scholarship and the wages she made working at Comenius’s shop.
“Com,” Noria huffed as she rolled her eyes. “Would you please just let me do it?”
“No,” Comenius said, his crisp, throaty Pernian accent tinged with annoyance. He impatiently brushed back his ash-blond bangs with one long-fingered hand that was stained with herb residue, drawing attention to the strong bones of his face. “I’ve been operating this register long before I hired you. I am perfectly capable of ringing up a sale.”
“Not when the machine’s broken, you’re not.”
“Look, can I just come back later and pay for this?” the customer whined. “I’m going to be late for my shift.”
Amused despite my dire mood, I leaned up against the counter and tapped the table to get Comenius’s attention. “Com, let the geeky girl have a go at it. You don’t want to lose a paying customer, do you?”
Comenius’s pale eyebrows shot up as he glanced over at me. “Naya? What are you doing here?” He took a step toward me, and Noria used the opportunity to dart in front of the register and open up the back end to unstick whatever little gears had jammed inside it. He hardly noticed though – his cornflower blue eyes were firmly fixed on mine. “You’re usually asleep this time of day… or did you get the night off?”
“Not exactly,” I muttered. All the dark emotion, which I’d pushed down somewhere behind my lower intestines, came bubbling up into my chest again. “It’s more like I took off.”
“Why would you do that?” Noria asked. The bell jingled as the customer left the shop with his purchase in hand. It had taken her about two seconds to fix the machine and ring him up – which was not surprising, as she had a real bent for machinery. Narrowing her coffee-colored eyes, she hopped up on the counter, placing herself directly between me and Comenius so she couldn’t be ignored – a tactic that was both endearing and annoying. “I can’t imagine that they’d be able to forgive you leaving in the middle of a Friday night crowd.”
“Yeah, well they’re just going to have to deal.” I shoved my hands into my hair, promptly tangling my fingers into the black ringlets. “Roanas was murdered.”
Come back next week to find out what happens next!