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K.Z., take it away!
Magic. It’s at the core of all romance fiction. (My hostess, Jessica, certainly knows this!) Sci fi, paranormal, contemporary, historical; fluffy or weighty; light on sex or saturated with sex; m/m or m/f or any variation thereof. Categories are irrelevant. Inevitably, magic prevails.
The unique interpersonal alchemy called love is almost always the most magical thing in our lives . . . and in the stories we’re addicted to writing and/or reading.
My May 29 release from Loose Id, Carny’s Magic, explores different variations of this theme. There are definitely paranormal events in the novel, but they’re inextricably tied to the different kinds of emotional bonds that exist: the first flush of lust that morphs into love; the profound connection that comes with an established partnership; the emergence of a father-son bond from a mentor-student relationship. And, of course, there are the internal and external forces that can undermine the magic that is love—or even destroy it.
But I’ll let Carny take over from here, since this is primarily his story. (I’m also giving away one download of this or any other of my books that feature Jackson Spey and Adin Swift. So leave a comment if you’re interested in winning. Thanks for stopping by!)
Carny Jessup here. The best part of my life began when my aunt’s homophobic squeeze smashed his fist into my face. I already knew a wizard named Jackson Spey lived on my side of town, so I figured I’d turn things around by becoming his apprentice.
Problem was, Spey didn’t want an apprentice. He was going through a midlife crisis. All he wanted was to build beautiful furniture and live in peace with his beautiful husband, Adin. He still took me in, though. Guess he felt sorry for me. And he was intrigued by the red paths I’d been seeing in the air.
Hey, I’m only 19, so how could I have foreseen the rest? That I’d fall for a breathtaking boy named Peter, who was at the center of some strange magic tied to Jackson’s past. And I’d have to deal with a sorcerer named Bezod, an evil pig who plagued all four of us and threatened to destroy our relationships.
Sometimes you just have to fight for what’s right. Like love. I might’ve been new to the boyfriend gig and Jackson might’ve been a reluctant wizard, but when the time came, we were ready to kick some supernatural ass.
I glide onto the shoulder and switch on the hazard lights. Jackson gets out of the car. I get out too.
Because we’re close to the lake, the air doesn’t feel entirely like laundry that’s just been pulled from the dryer. But damn, it’s dark out here. Creepy dark. All I can hear are small things singing from secret places.
Jackson moves away from the car and the illuminating blink of the hazards. I soon see why. Headlights are approaching. I pick my way to where he’s standing. A four-by-four pulling a boat shoots past us.
Once the boat trailer is no longer visible, Jackson tells me to face the northeast. I hesitate; I’m disoriented. “That way,” he says, stepping behind me and nudging my head a little to the right. “Pick a point of light in the sky, one you imagine is shining directly over Peter.”
“Star or planet?”
“Either.” He splays his hands over the back of my head, two of his fingers brushing my ears. I have a fleeting vision of Mr. Spock doing one kick-ass Vulcan mind-meld. “Have you chosen one?”
“Okay. Keep looking at it while you think of every good memory you have of Peter, and every warm feeling he’s generated in you, and each moment of happiness and hope you’ve shared. Vividly, Carny. Conjure them up as vividly as you can. Concentrate on the positives. Don’t let anything negative creep in.”
The memories and feelings swell inside me, all intertwined. I see Peter flashing me a smile over his shoulder as he leaves the shower stall, feel his hair between my fingers, hear him giggle as I tickle him and sigh as I hold him. I see the things we’ve done together, and I relive our pleasure in doing them. Tenderness fills me. Joy. Contentment. More…
“When you’ve remembered everything you can,” Jackson says quietly, “pour all of it into that speck of shine in the sky.”
I hold the star in place with my eyes and let that beautiful stuff gush out of me. Discrete images don’t form like so many BBs and shoot into the heavens. Instead, a stream flows, pure and sparkling—a stream that is the finest distillation of Peter-and-Carny.
The star glimmers.
I hear a whisper. “Now release the light. Direct it to spill over Peter and cocoon him. Make it blaze white all around him. See it happening.”
My eyelids flutter and close. Breath is hopping in and out of my chest. I think I’m smiling.
“Save some of the light for yourself. Pull threads of it toward you as it covers Peter. Let them wrap around the center of you.”
From that distant place where Peter is, bright tendrils float through the darkness and coil around me. I feel them just below my rib cage. A low voice is murmuring near or maybe in my head, but I don’t understand the words. Not at first. Then they give way to different words I do understand.
“Don’t give up on me.”
* * * * *
Carny’s Magic is currently available from the publisher, Loose Id http://www.loose-id.com/Carnys-Magic.aspx , and will soon be available at all major e-book outlets.