Title: Secret Mage (The Blood Magic Series, Book One)
Author: Rebecca Jaycox
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Publisher: Aelurus Publishing
Some secrets are too deadly to keep, some bloodlines too powerful to contain …
Reggie Lang might only be seventeen, but she’s had to grow up fast. Losing a father as a baby made things hard enough, but when her mom turned to alcohol for refuge, Reggie had to hold things together. She still does. If only she could escape it all …
When the other kids at school start calling her a freak, things only get tougher. What’s worse, she worries they’re right. Reggie shouldn’t be able to bring dead creatures back to life but somehow she can? If it wasn’t for her ride-or-die best friend, she’d have completely lost it by now.
When a mysterious man invades Reggie’s dreams, is it just another sign that she’s falling apart? He claims he’s her guardian – that he’s from another world. He tells her that her father’s killer is there …
… and that now an evil mage is gunning for her, destroying anything in his way.
Reggie’s always wanted to escape her life, but not like this. Does she really have to run to protect the people she loves? Who will take care of her mom? The man in her dreams says he’ll teach her about magic and protect her. That he’ll send someone he trusts to collect her. That her blood makes her powerful. It’s a hard choice, but ultimately protecting her mom is worth anything.
The magic-saturated world she discovers might be full of wonders, but the horrors are worse than she could have imagined. Can the man sent to guide her really protect her, or is the sign of his slavery an omen of what will happen to her?
Reggie will be pushed to her limits as she attempts her treacherous journey, struggling to adapt to a strange new world and learning to wield her powers. The Dark Mage isn’t easily evaded. He rules this world with a bloody fist. Because it’s blood he’s after—Reggie’s blood. And avoiding capture might just be the toughest thing Reggie has ever faced.
Reggie’s escalating terror affected the animals below. The attacks become more vicious.
“Reggie, listen to me. I know you’re frightened, but you need to calm down. They’re attracted to your magic and your fear is making it worse. I can feel it too. That’s why they’re not leaving, that’s why the boar isn’t running away.”
“Right, calm down. I can’t be killed by an overgrown pork chop and the Big Bad Wolf. I can’t go out like that,” she muttered to herself as she closed her eyes. “I can’t go out like—” Another wolf slammed into the tree. “That!”
“Dammit!” Asher held onto her. “Wait! The alpha wolf, he hasn’t taken a hit. He’s waiting. He’s different. Can you feel that?”
Reggie watched the alpha. There was something different. Too much intelligence shone from its frosty blue eyes, even for a top predator. “That’s not a normal wolf, is it?”
Asher’s eyes widened. “No, it’s not. It’s a Changeling Elf.”
“Changeling Elf. They’re almost as rare as you are. I need to climb down.”
“Are you out of your mind? No way, I’m not letting you get killed!”
“Trust me. I know you’re still feeling weak, but I need you to hold on. No matter what happens, don’t come down, okay?”
“Asher, I don’t think—”
Reggie didn’t like it, but she nodded, watching as he scrambled down the tree. Somehow she felt naked without his strength. Asher dropped to the ground silently, his body turned toward the struggle in front of him. The wild boar was still kicking, swinging its massive head. Reggie knew this magnificent animal was trapped because of her. She couldn’t control her fear, and it had just been transferred from worry for herself to Asher.
The alpha wolf swung its shaggy head around, looking at Asher, who raised his hands in the air. “I’m not here to hurt you, brother. Please take the hunt from here and let us go.”
Reggie held her breath as the wolf and Asher stared at each other, ignoring the violence around them. Suddenly the wolf turned from Asher, leapt onto the boar and tore its throat out. Cringing, Reggie closed her eyes to block the sight, but she couldn’t block the smell. Death. She felt the life drain from the boar. Growls rose again. She opened her eyes. The other wolves had taken notice of Asher, but the alpha jumped in front of him. The alpha growled and snapped, and the other wolves cowered in obedience. Reggie blinked as the alpha started changing. Fur disappeared. Bones made a sickening crack as they rearranged themselves into a new shape. Fluids flowed onto the ground. A few moments later, a tall, naked man stood, long wheat-colored hair flowing down his back. He turned and faced Asher, blood staining his face and chest. Reggie saw he had long, pointy ears. An Elf. A very naked Elf.
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Rebecca Jaycox grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about seventy miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age ten and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction.
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