Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Magic Quest Books
Number of pages: 193
Word Count: 67,550
Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC
Tagline: What would you do to find your magic?
Rebecca is in a nightmare. Can magic save her and those she loves?
10 quests. If one fails, all fail. And one will never return. ... Now it's Rebecca's turn.
On the eve of Rebecca Martin's eighteenth birthday, fate throws her into a mysterious and thrilling adventure. Bounced around like a pinball in a machine, where time is fluid and death does not exist, Rebecca must survive to discover her magical destiny to save her entire family and the boy she loves.
Transforming himself into Simon the cat so that he could manipulate Rebecca often exhausted his patience. Through icy blue eyes, from his position on the cold stone floor, James Simon Russell watched his granddaughter hurry down the corridor toward Professor Kell’s classroom until she was safely inside and on time. She would have been late had he not intervened.
Keeping her on the right path these past four years had been more difficult than he’d expected. So many ways a young girl could go wrong when she was away from home, as he well knew. He’d had very little sleep last night, curled up in the corner by the door just outside her room, ensuring she did not escape for any reason.
For his granddaughter, and only for her, Gray Cliffs Academy resembled a nineteenth century boarding school more than a twenty-first century one.
Using his magic, he had cloaked this world. Her experience at Gray Cliffs was different from the other students from the very first day. Nothing incongruent that actually happened here caused Rebecca to question her own experiences. She believed her Gray Cliffs experience was the same as all the others.
He’d also totally isolated her with no connection to the outside world at all. She wasn’t here to mess around online with her friends or call to chat or watch hours of television or anything else. None of that nonsense. None at all.
The purpose of Gray Cliffs was similar to all boarding schools everywhere: to prepare the students for adult life. With one important difference. Not all of the students were aware that Mortal and Magic coexisted here, as they did everywhere in the world.
Mortals were, of course, were unaware of Magic at Gray Cliffs, but the opposite was not true. Magic always knew Mortal well, and Magic students were forbidden from exposing mere mortals to any Magic activities. Penalties for violating the Laws of Magic were severe, and the Counsel of Elders rarely needed to invoke them.
Magic students entered Gray Cliffs unaware of their Magic orientation. Most students learned their true natures during their four years at the school. A few were particularly stubborn though, and refused to see themselves as they were. Those students would not graduate from Gray Cliffs’ Magic stream. They were condemned to a Mortal life.
Russell was desperate to avoid that fate for his granddaughter. Magic was strong within her. He would not allow her to throw her destiny away.
He’d conjured a daunting environment only Rebecca experienced. He’d placed the school on an isolated mountain peak surrounded by deep ravines, instead of the lovely island where Gray Cliffs was actually located. Using such Magic, he’d kept his granddaughter a virtual prisoner, under his constant surveillance since she’d arrived at Gray Cliffs. It hadn’t been easy.
Early on, she seemed to be making friends and fitting in too well. He’d handled the problem swiftly and permanently. At this point, she was miserable and afraid of her own shadow, desperate to escape. Which was exactly what he wanted.
She needed no distractions. She hadn’t been brought there to make friends. She was there to learn what she needed to know and then to leave. Nothing more and nothing less. She went nowhere and did nothing unless he allowed it.
He had made mistakes with Rebecca’s mother and her aunt all those years ago. He knew that now. He’d relied on Headmaster Auster. Auster had failed. He wouldn’t be allowed another chance to screw up with another member of his family.
Russell could not lose this time. There was too much at stake. If Rebecca chose Magic, Russell’s family could be saved. If she chose Mortal, everyone he loved would be doomed for all eternity.
He was satisfied that Rebecca’s last days at Gray Cliffs were unfolding according to the rules the elders had established before she was born.
He shook his head. His lip curled. Rebecca should have discovered her Magic long before now, of course. She should have realized and embraced her Magic powers before the rooftop. She was born with Magic DNA, like all of his family. As her life had developed, no matter how many Magic opportunities and experiences she’d encountered, she’d never allowed herself to make the leap away from the mortal reality her parents had instilled in her. Russell blamed Olivia and Jake Martin for the entire catastrophe. The blame was well placed.
He glanced around to be sure none of the students were watching him before he transported to the roof for one last check on conditions before her final test began. Once there, he transformed to a normal man. He needed to stretch.
Russell ran through his plans for Rebecca’s test once more. She would face a series of bewildering challenges: Situations and events that defied logic or reason would be presented to her in fluid time without warning or explanation. Each challenge was based on her prior experiences remixed by the magic he used to change them.
Rebecca would feel like a ball in a pin-ball machine, bouncing from one strange experience to the next, until she recognized the origin of a particular memory.
She must understand the memory, recognize the Magic applied to it, adapt to the situation, and survive each challenge in succession. Or she could simply complete the test successfully at any time by applying her own vast Magic powers.
If she learned to control her Magic, she could use it to return to Gray Cliffs, safer and wiser. If she didn’t pass the test? Russell shook off that possibility. Failure was not an option. If she failed, she’d be as good as dead.
She simply had to graduate and turn eighteen, whether she knew it or not.
Then and only then, would Rebecca be allowed to make the choice upon which her family’s survival depended. Would she choose to live as Magic or Mortal? She could not be both.
One day, Rebecca could take the seat that had rightfully belonged to her mother on the Council of Elders. His daughter, Olivia had thrown their family’s future away. His granddaughter, Rebecca had the power to redeem them all.
Elders had decreed the terms of Rebecca’s quest, and Russell had given his word. The First Law of Magic still had to be honored: Rebecca must exercise her own free will to make her choice.
Satisfied that preparations were in order, Russell became Simon the cat once again. He transported back to wait patiently in the corridor near Professor Kell’s classroom. When the class ended, Rebecca would answer the headmaster’s summons.
When she entered Auster’s office, she’d begin the most important test of her life.
She was as prepared as she would ever be for the challenge.
All Russell could do now was trust the Laws of Magic.
About the Author:
Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.
When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.
In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.
She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.