For most of you, it's extremely close to Friday. The weekend is almost here! Let me ease that transition a bit with a lovely cover reveal, shall I? I have to say, when I first saw this cover I had a serious case of cover love. Magic of the Gargoyles is right up my alley, and might be up yours too. I'll be reviewing this in a few days as well, but here it is!
Someone has kidnapped a nest of helpless baby gargoyles and is using them as pentagram focuses, devouring their magic—and their lives—for a horrific, illegal power boost. Swept into the dangerous underworld of black magic, Mika Stillwater must cobble together her limited resources and skills to have a chance at being the hero the baby gargoyles desperately need. If she fails, the city will be at the mercy of the gargoyles’ murderers and their overwhelming destructive magic.
But pitting herself against powerful black-magic villains is proving just as deadly for Mika as for the gargoyles.
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“Can you save him?”
I jumped, having forgotten all about the gargoyle panther. She pawed at the chalk circle, careful not to cross it.
My caution morphed to horror when I realized the significance of the hatchling’s placement. Using a magical creature as a pentagram focus drained the creature of its own magic and its life. Rumors said the average magical creature doubled a person’s power when used as a focus, but gargoyles were natural elemental enhancers when they chose; a scumbag who used a gargoyle as a focus would get a far greater boost. The idea was repulsive in theory, enraging in reality. It was black magic, punishable by nullification.
I examined the injured gargoyle closer. Unlike the panther-shaped hatchling, this one’s body was mostly rose quartz, with sporadic coils of blue dumortierite. Jagged patches marred his otherwise smooth sides, and his entire stomach looked like raw, unpolished crystal. Acting on instinct, I reached for earth energy, refined it to resonate with quartz, and probed the baby gargoyle as if I planned to work the quartz. The sensation was like trying to capture an echo. The gargoyle was quartz, but he was also so much more: He was alive. I twined fire around the earth magic and trickled wood, air, and water into the mix until I had the right magical resonance. I pressed the mixture into the hatchling. A backlash of pain and fear ricocheted through the magic—not from my actions, but from the horror the gargoyle had already endured. The gargoyle’s feet and wings ended in acid-eaten, eroded lumps. Gasping for breath, I eased my magic out of the hatchling. My stomach heaved, but there was nothing to vomit up.
Rebecca Chastain is the internationally selling author of A Fistful of Evil, an urban fantasy novel. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. She has been employed as a VHS sales clerk, bookshelf straightener, government pseudo-employee, professional finder of lost sporting goods, and strategy guide wrangler in the video game industry. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old, and she’s incapable of stopping. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats. To be the first to know about new releases, sales, and freebies, sign up for Rebecca's newsletter: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter/.