Dylan’s Quest by Blair Drake

Dylan’s Quest
Finding Magic
Book Five
Blair Drake
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Magic Quest Books
Date of Publication: July 19, 2018
Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 78,750
Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC
Tagline: What would you do to find your magic?
Book Description:
The most normal thing about Dylan’s morning was being called to the headmaster’s office. And that’s where normal forever changed for him. One minute he’s in the office, the next he’s on the roof, and moments later, he opens the doors to Gray Cliffs Academy to find he’s in a whole new world.
Troll, and pixies, and chameleman, oh my. In a dimension with real-world technology along with magic, Dylan must find his grimoire and get back to Gray Cliffs before the darkness invades both worlds.


Excerpt Book 5:
When Dylan
opened the door, he thought maybe he was dropped off the roof onto his head and
suffered a concussion. Nothing else, short of a dream (which he decided it
wasn’t a dream when he pinched himself and it hurt like hell), could explain
what he saw.
“Quantum physics
is real,” he said aloud.
He stepped
through the doorway and closed the doors firmly behind him, to keep the fog at
bay. Turning around to what should be the foyer of the school, he saw a city.
Was it a city? Could that be possible? And it felt familiar, only he was sure
he never saw anything like it before now.
“Holy…” He
didn’t finish his sentence because awe overtook him. He’d seen this place
before. Not the whole place necessarily, but he’d seen that house. He looked to
the left…and that house.
His father was
an architect, and he had drawings and paintings of Victorian homes all around
his office. But the homes were surreal, with blithely assembled gables,
dormers, turrets, and finials. It was a surreal whimsy. His dad said he
interpreted what he was taught about Stic, Eastlake, and Gothic Revival
architecture. He always thought his dad reimagined and reinvented original
architectural designs, but he drew real houses.
Dylan took a
tentative step forward. What the hell happened? Where were the rest of the
kids? And why wasn’t he terrified? Fog seeped through the seams of the door and
clouded the vision before him. He could see this town was near the sea and
thought maybe it was the other side of the island—or not.
He considered
pinching himself again, because this had
to be a dream. Only he looked down and saw the welt he gave himself moments
ago. Not a smart idea. He’d roll with it. He stepped forward onto the sidewalk
and was nearly run over by an egg-shaped man wearing what he’d call steampunk
clothing: cream colored, high-waist Regency fall front trousers, a brown vest
with a burgundy jacket with little round tassels hanging from the hem, a white
cotton neck scarf with the same tassels, and tan and burgundy wingtip shoes.
The egg man
walked on the tips of his toes while three cats, all tiger striped, walked with
him. The three cats were on leashes. With his nose in the air, not paying
attention, it was no wonder he nearly ran over Dylan.
Dylan started to
say a sarcastic, “Excuse me,” but he was awestruck by what he saw in the
An elephant,
wearing a hat and blanket the same colors of tan and burgundy as the round man,
had a miniature version of the Taj Mahal strapped to his back. As the elephant
walked past, Dylan could see two monkeys inside the Taj Mahal, playing chess.
Dylan shook his
head. What happened on that roof? He looked around to see the streets were
filled with other oddities: a woman who looked like a mermaid with legs, was
riding a seahorse as if the air were water; a frog with wings; fish floating by
in bubbles. And when he looked to the sky, he swore the crescent moon smiled at
him, then winked.
He felt
something hot in the pocket of his khaki school uniform pants and pulled out a
pin. It glowed. It was warm, but not really hot, though it felt quite hot in
his pocket, like it tried to get his attention.
“Hey,” he heard
a muffled cry.
Looking around,
he didn’t see anyone looking at him.
“Down here,
stupid,” the whiny voice said again.
Just as he
leaned over to see where the voice was coming from, a bee the size of a small
dog swooped down at him. As it flew away, he saw it wasn’t just a bee. The
insect had the upper body of a woman, with the butt and wings of a bee.
“Watch out, that
one can kill you,” the voice said.
Dylan looked at
the grass next to the sidewalk. A man’s pocket watch was wedged between the
grass and the white picket fence. He bent down and picked up the watch.
“Whoa,” he said
when he almost dropped it, after looking into the clear glass cover.
Instead of
seeing the face of a watch through the glass, Dylan saw a man’s face, and his
bare arms and legs. It looked as if he’d been stuffed into the pocket watch.
“Hey, be
careful,” the naked old man inside the pocket watch said.
“Sorry,” Dylan
responded without thinking.
“Press the top
and open this thing. I’m getting cramps.”
Dylan didn’t
immediately open the pocket watch. He turned it over in his hand to look at the
back. It looked like tarnished sterling silver, and it was old. But where were
the watch parts? He’d have to open the glass watch face to see what was inside.
How did that old man fit inside? And the man inside was talking to him. How had
he heard such a small man, who was closed inside a watch?
Dylan could see
the man’s face peaking from between his knees, which looked smashed against the
glass. His legs were bent, and his knees were on either side of his body, with
his ankles crossed. His toes were large and gross. He only had three fingers
and a thumb on each hand. Dylan could see a cog embedded in the left side of
his chest. He had a long, narrow face with a prominent chin, a wide nose,
smallish eyes that were hard to see behind his goggle-like glasses, and no
“You gonna stare
all day, or are you gonna let me out?” he said, then yelled, “Let me out!”
Dylan’s fingers
moved to the top of the watch and popped the cover open. It felt as if his
fingers were moving of their own freewill, even though he tried to keep them
from letting the little old man out. Something told him this old guy was
trouble. T. R. O. U. B. L. E.
The man tumbled
out and dropped to the grass. “Umph.”
Dylan blinked
and when he opened his eyes, the old man was no longer small enough to fit into
the watch. Dylan covered his eyes. “Dude, you’re naked. Your junk is hanging
out for everyone to see.”
When he opened
his eyes, the old guy had his hands over his crotch. “Sorry, I’m getting old.
Things don’t always go the way I plan them.”
The old man did
something Dylan didn’t see, and suddenly he was dressed in the same manner as
the round man with the cats.
“Who are you?
And where am I?” Dylan asked, now that he could comfortably look at the man.
“I’m Henry
Gidiro, but my friends call me Hank.” He swept his hand across and in front of
him, bowing deeply from his waist. When he stood again, he said, “And you’re
the young and stupid Dylan Streetman.”
Dylan’s chin
dropped, his mouth wide open. Just then, another bee swooped down at his mouth.
Henry moved
faster than a comic character, closing Dylan’s mouth with one hand and swinging
his other hand in the air to ward off the bee. “Nasty things.”
“How do you know
my name, Hank?” Dylan mumbled through his closed mouth, because Henry’s hand
was still on his chin.
“It’s Henry to
you, and I’ve been expecting you. You’re uglier than I expected,” he retorted,
pulling his hand away.

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.

The Affliction by Wendy E Marsh

The Affliction

Wendy E Marsh

Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Torrid Books of Start Media  
Simon and Schuster Partner

Date of Publication: 12/20/18

ISBN: 978-1-68299-301-9

Number of pages: 248
Word Count: 86,874

Cover Artist: Kelly Martin

Tagline: “Heart throbbing, nail biting Wendy E Marsh’s THE AFFLICTION will hold your attention until the end.” Stephanie Hansen, METAMORPHOSIS LITERARY AGENCY

Book Description:

A shadow passes behind the stranger’s hazel eyes, momentarily distracting Aubrie Lander from the scars slashing down his face and disappearing beneath his tightly fitted t-shirt. But she doesn’t care what makes this equally handsome and terrifying man so solemn. She wants to know why she feels compelled to sit across the booth from him while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Aubrie can smell the whiskey as her new acquaintance lowers his glass to the table, never taking those troubled eyes off her, and her intuition tells her that her life is about to change forever.

In one night, Aubrie’s small-town life collapses, as the stranger’s secret plunges her into an underworld that leads her on a non-stop journey of self-discovery, the unearthing of a secret society, and finding unexpected love she is willing to die for.

The ultimate question, though, is will she kill for him?

and Schuster
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About the Author:

Pennsylvania, where she spent a substantial amount of time as a child knee deep in pond water catching tadpoles and salamanders. She also developed a passion for reading and creative writing, which evolved into a love of writing paranormal romance novels. She loves reading books that keep her awake into the early morning and creating stories that do the same. She has her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and works with children with special needs and developmental delays. She currently lives with her fiancé and two fur kids, Bandit the tabby cat and Kara the hound dog. In Wendy’s spare time she enjoys riding her horses, hunting, and anything else that gets her outdoors. Whether she is making silly faces to entertain a child learning to walk or writing about two characters falling in love, she lets her imagination direct her passion.

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Shifting Auras by Claire Davon

Shifting Auras

The Universe Chronicles

Book One
Claire Davon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication:  July 25, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-68291-725-1
Number of pages: 203
Word Count: 60,000
Cover Artist: Ramona Lockwood
When Maya gets yet another call to retrieve her drunken roommate, her mind shows her a hot, amber-eyed Universe operative.
Once before, Ian failed to protect a sensitive from a brain-scrambling attack. He will not fail Maya . . . if it means using his talent—or his body—to stop a bullet.
Book Description:
Maya Wingfield was raised to trust no one—least of all the dueling U.S. and Russian paranormal agencies, Universe and Night Stars, who’d love to harness her mind-reading gift.
She thought Richmond a safe place to escape their influence and hide from a rising psychic malevolence that drove her out of San Diego. But when she gets yet another call to retrieve her drunken roommate, her mind shows her an amber-eyed Universe operative with an impenetrable net around his deepest secret—and a voice that sends shock waves of awareness down her nerve endings.
Maya’s curves and aquamarine eyes aren’t the only things that jolt Ian Sanderson’s mental shields, bringing sexual tension thrumming back to life. It’s a power his Universe-trained mind knows he shouldn’t trust. And a vulnerability that makes his telekinetic power burn in his palms to protect her.
But to Universe, she is just one of too many unanswered questions. A target for Whisper, a shadowy new group of paranormals with powers beyond anything Universe has ever seen. Once before, Ian failed to protect a sensitive from a brain-scrambling attack. He will not fail again . . . if it means using his talent—or his body—to stop a bullet.
The metallic
squeal in the distance indicated the train was arriving. A light in the tunnel
swept across the concrete wall as it rounded a curve and the brakes continued
to shriek. People began to crowd the yellow line, jostling for position, trying
to determine where the doors would open so they could leap on and get a seat, a
premium on the Metro.
By now the train
was visible, moving at a rate that didn’t seem normal. His experience with the
Washington Metro was limited, but the tube in London would have been slowing by
Awareness flowed
through the air, and there was a shift in the commuters as they began to
understand that something wasn’t right. Ian released Maya and shoved her behind
him. People scattered as the train started screaming into the station at too
high a speed.
“Bugger all,”
Ian said and reached out with his talent.
Without warning,
Maya was yanked from behind him and hurtled toward the moving train before he
could halt her.
He split his
mind, one focusing on the subway cars and one on her. People were flowing
around her, one or two pausing to try and help the woman jerking past them.
Maya careered forward, out of their grasp. Sparks lit the tracks as the wheels
lifted off the rails, the engineer no doubt applying the brakes in an effort to
make the cars stop.
Ian’s talent
blazed through him, starting in his belly and moving up his body. It pulsed and
crackled, filling him with power fueled by fury and desperation. He reached out
his hand, the palm glowing red as his ability hissed out in an arc. Maya halted
on the demarcation line that had just been vacated, her eyes wide and staring.
Her body was stiff, and her head was bent backwards in an attempt to clear it
from the path of the oncoming train.
Beads of sweat
broke out along Ian’s body as he found the train’s brakes on the wheels,
applying pressure via his telekinesis. The conductor was already applying
everything to the pedals, but they were going all the way to the floor.
Instead, Ian focused everything on those pads, stomping down as if he were
physically there. The train lurched and made a shrieking sound as it slowed. It
slid by Maya, her hair blowing back from the rush of displaced air.
For a panicked
moment, Ian saw Maya falling onto the tracks in his mind’s eye. Inside, the
people standing were thrown forward and then back as the brakes caught. The
train shuddered and ground to a halt.
Ian stumbled
when he released his grasp on the train. Maya ran to him as he slumped, his
shaking hands still glowing with red light. Energy drained from him but all
that mattered was Maya, safe.
The train doors
opened, and frightened passengers disembarked rapidly. The tourists had wide
eyes and open mouths while the regulars seemed more sanguine. They were used to
the vagaries of the subway and to them it was nothing more than a bad stop. A
very bad stop, to be sure, but just a random day on the Washington Metro.
“Ian?” Maya
asked, and he tasted the acrid, metallic scent of fear. It had been a long time
since anyone had mattered.
“What did you
sense? Anything?”
“I . . . it was
so brief. Someone surfaced and before I could react to his mind—it felt like a
he— I was being shoved forward. I reached out and tried to stop him, but I
didn’t know how. It had to be a telekinetic, right?” By her expression he
didn’t think she expected an answer. “It was only a flash, and then it was
gone. Why, Ian? What did he want?”

The oath on
Ian’s lips was savage. “I don’t know who it was, but they won’t get away with
this. Blast. Yin was right. You’re in danger.”

About the Author:

Claire can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t part of her life. Growing up, she used to write stories with her friends. As a teenager she started reading fantasy and science fiction, but her diet quickly changed to romance and happily-ever-after’s.
A native of Massachusetts and cold weather, she left all that behind to move to the sun and fun of California, but has always lived no more than twenty miles from the ocean.
In college she studied acting with a minor in creative writing. In hindsight she should have flipped course studies. Before she was published, she sold books on eBay and discovered some of her favorite authors by sampling the goods, which was the perfect solution. Claire has many book-irons in the fire, most notably her urban fantasy series, The Elementals’ Challenge series, but writes contemporary and shifter romances as well as.
While she’s not a movie mogul or actor, she does work in the film industry with her office firmly situated in the 90210 district of Hollywood. Prone to breaking into song, she is quick on her feet and just as quick with snappy dialogue. In addition to writing she enjoys animal rescue, reading, and movies. She loves to hear from fans, so feel free to drop her a line.

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