Sassy Saturday – Burned by Magic Part 6
Hello, and welcome to week 6 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 5, you can do so here.
BURNED BY MAGIC – PART 6
“Thank you.” I sighed a little as Comenius disappeared into the back of the shop. This reticence to take action, this stickler attitude about following the rules was the reason Comenius and I hadn’t worked out as a couple a few years back when we’d tried dating. Sure, he had a pretty hot bod beneath those conservative clothes of his, and those long fingers were good for more than enchanting amulets and grinding herbs. But I preferred to live on the edge, whereas Comenius tended toward camping behind the lines. Sometimes it amazed me that a man who made his living by working with the forces of nature could be so rigid… but then again, it took all kinds.
“You know,” Noria interrupted my inner monologue. She leaned back in her wicker chair, a thoughtful expression on her elfin face. “I might have some ideas myself about how the silver could have been masked.”
“Oh yeah?” I leaned forward, hope sparking in my chest. Part of me knew that it was wrong for me to involve Annia’s little sister – she was a smart kid, not yet eighteen years old, with a bright future ahead of her, and I didn’t need to mess it up by dragging her into my bullshit. But I was also desperate and without leads, and I needed all the help I could get. “You think you might be able to track down who did it?”
Noria shrugged. “Sure, if I can figure out how it was done. I’ll jump on investigating how the silver could have been diluted. A couple of my friends at the Academy have done experiments with metals and electricity. It’s very likely that whoever did this was human.”
I nodded. “That makes sense. I couldn’t imagine it being one of our own.” Shifters didn’t use silver to kill other shifters – we preferred to settle things with our fangs and claws.
Comenius came back from around the counter, a bracelet clutched in his fist. “I couldn’t find anything in the books I have here,” he said.
“But I’ll check the Mage Guild’s library and see what else I can find. In the meantime, you should wear this.” He held up the hemp bracelet to reveal a small, circular amulet dangling from the center. “It will help quiet the spirits around you and sharpen your focus, so you can concentrate on the investigation.”
“Thanks.” I smiled, touched by his concern, and held out my arm so he could fasten the bracelet around my wrist. Electricity buzzed up the nerve endings in my arm as his long fingers brushed against my skin, and from the way Comenius’s pupils dilated, I could tell the same thing had happened to him. Which wasn’t exactly strange, since we’d tumbled together in the sack before, but it was pretty awkward with Noria sitting right there watching us, so I settled quickly back into my chair, breaking the contact as soon as he was done.
“So,” Noria said. “What now?”
“Now we look at this.” I unzipped my jacket and pulled out the file. Com and Noria’s eyes widened, and they both leaned forward.
“Is… is this a case file?” Comenius said.
“Yep. From Roanas’s house.” It had taken me quite a while to find it, so I hadn’t had a chance to do more than stuff it down the front of my jacket before Brin and Nila arrived. “He told me to get it before he died.”
Comenius looked like he wanted to say something about stealing evidence, but he wisely kept his mouth shut. I flipped open the file, scanning the notes and various newspaper clippings. My eyes smarted at the sight of Roanas’s handwriting – it was a painful reminder that he would never write another word again. But I blinked away the tears, knowing I couldn’t afford them now – there would be time enough to grieve after the killer was caught.
“Naya? Isn’t this about one of your own?”
I glanced down at the article Noria was pointing at. My eyes widened as I took in the photo of the beautiful woman depicted at the top of the article, dressed in leathers and armed with a short sword. It was Sillara, one of the more competent Enforcers, and one I’d been quite fond of.
“I had no idea she’d died of silver poisoning,” I murmured, tracing the outline of her face with the tip of my finger. She’d been part of a crew, whereas I was a solo mercenary, so our paths didn’t really cross. But she’d always struck me as frank and dedicated, one of the true diamonds amongst a sea full of rhinestones. And now she was gone.
Come back next Saturday to find out what happens next!