Magis

Enhanced Magic Book 1

I’m Glynn Forester and I’m Magis. More. I enhance and strengthen magical energy. My power augments rather than creates. But sometimes More is not enough.

My world is fractured between magic and non-magic. The magical elite rule. And they are ruthless and corrupt. They want what I protect. But protecting it has been my family’s job for time before time. So I hide. I hide from those who would attempt to use my abilities for unscrupulous purposes. I hide to save innocents from their venom.

But something’s changing. The world around me is pulsing with malevolent magic, I realize I no longer have the luxury of anonymity. It’s hard to give up my old ways. But I may not have a choice. Others will need my help. And if I deny them I’ll be no better than those who threaten my world.

Will my magic make a difference in this new reality? I can offer Magis. More. But will it be enough? And will there be anything left of me when it’s done?

Praise for Magis

Valerie Irwin Reviews

"Glynnie will learn where her true powers lie and will take you along on the adventure of your life! Buy this book! Open up the pages and step inside the world of magic and monsters, even monsters who look like you and me. This is one adventure you don't want to miss!!!!"

Booksprout Reader Review

"A portal guardian, a cute little gargoyle, an ever present black cat, a hell hound, a daemon, and power hungry people who want all the magic and the portal and will do anything to get it — an exciting, spellbinding story."

Read an Excerpt

A light fog had settled into the zone. A cool mist that fell over my clothes and turned my chin-length brown bob stringy and limp. The miasma encapsulated the gently awful smell that always pervaded the street, invigorating it, turning it into something almost alive.

I grimaced as I shifted against the still-warm scratchiness of the roof. My boot stuck for a beat, clinging to the tar where a piece of the shingle had broken away.

Behind me, the soft glow of a lamp bathed the sharp slope of roof. Like a siren’s melodious notes sifting through the fog of a storm-tossed sea, the light called to me.

I sighed, shifting again.

My stomach growled. I winced at the sound, despite the fact that it fell into the fog and was lost. Nobody heard it but me. It was a stark reminder that it had been a long night, and I was ready for it to be over.

But it wasn’t over yet.

Not until I found him.

Not until I confronted him.

A soft scuff had me straightening from my crouch, the sharp, wavy blade of my knife held at my side in a firm grip. The grip of the weapon was warm, as if I’d been holding it for a while. But it had been safe in its sheath against my thigh.

The shadows behind the mist swirled and gained density. I tensed, staring into the moving fog. “Who is it?”

My voice was soft enough to barely nudge the mist aside. But the creature that moved in an uneven shuffle in my direction heard me. He heard me just fine.

Perfectly round eyes glowed briefly in the light from my window. A small face, gray and leathery, grimaced as he took in my stance ─ the charcoal heft of my knife. “Sorry, Glynnie,” the little gargoyle said. “I didn’t try to sneak.” Boyle ducked his head, his pointed ears shifting with guilt. A soft scraping sound preceded the sliding of his long tail across the roof, and his claws scritched softly as he sat.

“It’s okay,” I told the baby. I gave him a smile because he had a tender psyche and was generally unsure of himself. That was what happened when you were dumped with a stranger as an infant. “I should have been paying attention.”

He shifted again, the scritch, scritch, scritch of his strong black claws a soft song in the night. “Is da man there?” he asked in a whisper so loud it couldn’t help carrying across the street.

I hid a grin. “No.” I turned back to the street below, watching the moonlit surface of the rough asphalt for signs of the creature who’d invaded my life and yanked what peace I’d managed to scrounge brutally away. “Not tonight.”

My stomach growled again. A soft huff of amusement spilled between Boyle and me. I grinned, spreading my palm over my belly. “I’m hungry,” I told him. “How about you?”

His round eyes, so dark in the night but a bright turquoise blue in the sun, sparkled with excitement. “Yeth!”

I grinned at the soft lisp. He’d almost grown out of the tendency with the arrival of his adult teeth. But every once in a while, one would slip through again. I loved the sound. It reminded me of the first years of his life. “Come on, then.,” I told him, moving toward the window. “I made stew.”

The baby ’goyle gave a gentle huff of pleasure. He jumped through the window when I opened it, landing with a soft thump and then waddling across the room and flinging himself onto my bed.

Boyle loved my bed. He rolled happily, pulling the covers over his small body with another huff of pleasure.

I climbed inside and turned, my gaze sliding across the street below for just one more minute. My heart pounded hard with expectation or worry. I was never sure which anymore.

He was out there. I knew he was. I just had to keep watch. Eventually, I’d catch him in the act of invading both my mental and defensive space.

It was only a matter of time. And then I’d ask him why he was there. Because his presence felt wrong. It felt dangerous. Like an omen of bad things to come.

***

He stood in the shadows, his back pressed against the still-warm brick, and watched her. She was strong and attractive, with long, muscular limbs and thick brown hair that he guessed would have blonde highlights when the sun caught her out. Her lips were full, her eyes framed in thick arcs of golden brown. They were probing, intense. She stood on the roof of her three-story Victorian home every night, staring down at the street as if searching for something in particular.

Was she looking for him?

He shook off the question, knowing it couldn’t be. He’d been careful. She had no idea he was there. But she was lucky he was. Already he’d seen dangerous activity around her home. Deadly creatures that wouldn’t hesitate to take her down. And it was his job to make sure that wouldn’t happen.

He knew he should move on…expand his hunting area…but he couldn’t bring himself to walk away. It wasn’t just because of the woman. Though she was definitely part of it. Something about her intrigued him. Something called to his magic.

Still, there were others in the zone who needed protection.

Many others.

He should go.

Even as he had the thought, he knew he wouldn’t leave. Not for a while. The feral energy he’d been chasing was thicker there than anyplace else he’d been. He didn’t know if it came from her, or something in her sphere. Either way, she was important.

Either way, she was dangerous.

He lifted his head, inhaling the night on a long, deep breath. The sour reek of wet asphalt, flavored by the scents of a dozen cats, dogs, and heaven knew what other critters, filled the air. The normal stench was made worse by the soft rain falling around him like a shroud. And beneath all that, something else. The scent of some kind of energy he couldn’t identify. It was what had initially drawn him to that spot. The smell of power. Along with the sheer numbers of animals converging on the street. Actually, most of them had converged on that one house.

Her house.

It had intrigued him.

Even now, with the rain falling in sheets from the iron-gray sky, the porch was draped in cats. The yard boiled with dogs that seemed for all the world as if they were keeping watch on the perimeter.

Dozens of raccoons chittered a warning from the massive trees surrounding the hundred-plus-year-old house. Squirrels gathered en masse to keep watch.

It was unnatural.

The zone had been mostly abandoned over the last few years, as magic contracted and sent its favor to other places. Places where money and connections created more opportunity for power.

It made a certain kind of sense that stray critters would leave the magic-dense areas beyond the zone. That wasn’t what intrigued him. It wasn’t what kept him there night after night, watching and waiting.

It was where they went. And how they behaved.

If he hadn’t known that all the magic had been sucked from the zone a decade earlier, he would have suspected the woman was some kind of pied piper sorceress.

But that wasn’t possible.

True magic couldn’t survive in the zone. Sure, there were touches of the kind of energy humans created without realizing it. It was the power of instinct, of déjà vu. But no real magic lived there anymore.

If there was elemental magic, he’d have felt it when he arrived. It would eat at him, chewing on his flesh like an army of biting bugs. It would make his stomach twist and cause his pulse to pound in alarm.

He would know if she was magic.

He would know.

Still…

Get more from Sam