Posts Tagged With: J.P. Jackson

Magic or Die by J.P. Jackson: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Magic or Die

by J.P. Jackson

“ALL RIGHT.” MIRIAM tried to assuage the small crowd and waited until the side banter in the room dissipated. “I understand James’s abilities are rather unsettling and somewhat forceful.”

“Exactly how many others have abilities like him? He controlled every single one of us. What’s to prevent him from controlling an army?” Major Harris said. He was shaking, and his fat stuffy face formed angry red blotches that bled together. From the way his jowls hung over his tight shirt collar, you’d swear he was swelling with rage at my takeover.

“I couldn’t sustain large numbers of people for any lengthy period of time, and frankly, you weren’t actively resisting me. You were just sitting there,” I said. It was true. My abilities also had a physical cost and other limitations. “If you fought the impulses I had sent, you wouldn’t have succumbed. It works best on the element of surprise.” I gave them little morsels of information. That certainly wasn’t the total extent of my restrictions, but I’ll be damned if I was going to give it all away.

“Feel better, Major?” Miriam asked. “Perhaps you’ll agree James is the most qualified for the job, then.” She looked around the room, presumably waiting for anyone to disagree. “Very good, let’s proceed. We are here today to review prospective candidates. These are the five students James will be taking on.”

The participants in the room nervously shifted the dossiers in front of them.

“I didn’t agree to take on any class. I said consult—” I hissed from the corner of my mouth while my hackles rose and panic stirred in my gut.

“Need I remind you about your sister?” she whispered to me through tightly pursed lips and gritted teeth.

“I hate you,” I retorted back just as quietly.

“In front of each of you are dossier reports. Let’s start with the first.” A hidden movie screen descended, filling up the front of the room. Lights around the periphery of the stone table dimmed as spotlights above each seat turned on, creating an eerie halo around the executives’ heads.

“The first is twenty-four-year-old Ning Chiu,” Miriam started, as I grabbed the file on the girl. A picture of Ning appeared on the screen. She was pretty, bright, perky, and looked like she was all of sixteen in her schoolgirl uniform. “Ning is an exchange student from Beijing, China. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, English, German, and Italian. She’s incredibly gifted with languages and came to Canada to study the North American prairie indigenous tongues.”

Miriam held up a remote and pushed a few buttons. The picture on the screen flickered, disappeared, and then returned. She clicked the remote again and poof, the image was gone, blinding the audience with a pure white screen.

“Goddamn thing…” She pushed more buttons and waved the remote with unsuccessful results in the direction of where Ning’s picture had been. People around the table held their hands over their eyes, trying to shy away from the blinding light.

An underling who had been standing against the back wall rushed forward.

“May I,” he inquired as his hands flailed in an attempt to wrestle the remote away from her.

“Just make it work,” Miriam barked.

With the click of a few buttons, the tech guy had a movie clip playing with Ning and an unknown male interviewer who was off-screen.

“Ning, can you make the wind blow?”

“Yes,” Ning said softly. She closed her eyes as her long black hair swooped and swayed as if she was outside in a gentle autumn breeze.

“More?” the interviewer asked.

“Are you sure?” she said tentatively.

“Yes, please.”

A whirlwind began, and a desk behind Ning jerked and shifted and then lifted off the floor, spinning in a clockwise motion, pivoting on one desk leg. Papers, books, an assortment of odd items were violently sucked into the vortex Ning had created. A spiralling tunnel of wind, akin to a mini tornado, twirled behind her. Objects caught up in its rotation flew out at random intervals, but oddly, as items were ejected from the small twister, none of them came anywhere near Ning.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Once Upon a Rainbow by Various Authors: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Exclusive Excerpt from Morning Star

by Sydney Blackburn

Tariq ducked his head and murmured, “Yes, master.” He understood exactly what his master wanted him to do, even if he did not understand why. Magic had its reasons. Malik was a saahir of great renown and Tariq was fortunate to be his apprentice. One day, he too would know the mysteries of sihr and the healing blessings of barakah.

His unquestioning obedience was rewarded with a careless caress as Malik’s elegantly long fingers brushed through his dark hair, lingering a little too long. Or so Tariq imagined.

His feelings for his master and mentor were wrong. He knew that. Malik, great sorcerer that he was, would be horrified to know the wayward thoughts and unnatural desires of his apprentice.

Tariq was embarrassed when those fingers then moved lightly over his ear, sending a tremor of desire through his slight frame. He resisted the urge to push his head into the touch. His cheeks were burnished with shame when Malik lifted his chin so that they were eye to eye.

“It’s not just about stealing a perfume jar, my boy. It’s about the future. Our future.”

Tariq swallowed as his heart beat a little faster. “Y-yes, master.”

Malik smiled warmly at him and released his chin to take his hand. He slipped a brass ring, still warm, onto Tariq’s finger and then closed both hands over Tariq’s. “This ring holds a spell of finding and returning. It will take you to the treasure room and bring you back safe to me.” He released Tariq’s hands and reached into the folds of his robe again, this time pulling out a small sandglass. “Set this upon your arrival. When the sands run out, the ring shall transport you back here, so waste no time staring at the marvels you may see. You are there for one thing only.”

Tariq reached for it, accidentally brushing Malik’s fingers with his own. Power seemed to spark through him until the ring, loose on his finger, rattled against the sandglass and whatever spell that might have woven vanished.

“The perfume jar that weighs empty. It shall be as you desire, master.”

Tariq collapsed in a heap, coughing and choking and clutching at the thick carpet beneath him as if he might fall off the very floor. The magic of the ring that had transported him had torn him apart and put him together in a rough fashion that left him nauseated and dizzy.

Awareness of the soft wool beneath his cheek helped steady him. Thank goodness it wasn’t dusty. Why had Malik not warned him of the effects of the ring? Perhaps a saahir such as Malik was able to use it without ill effect. Belatedly, he recalled the sandglass and carefully set it on the floor.

The room was cavernous and dimly lit by rays of sun piercing small decorative openings at the top of the thick walls. Tapestries were hung at odd angles. Ornately carved tables and chests filled the room, their surfaces covered with enamelled vases and precious statues. Smaller boxes spilled out jewels that glinted and cast a rainbow of coloured sparks over the smooth sandstone walls. The carpet he’d landed on was but one of several stacked on the floor, golden threads capturing stray beams and winking at him from delicate arabesques.

The sand was falling rapidly. He had no time to admire the many fine riches surrounding him. Where might one store perfume jars in such a room as this…? He turned slowly around, seeking shelves or cabinets. There, to his right, in the corner closest to the great doors most people would use to enter the treasure room, stood a large cabinet with girih-patterned doors.

There were clear, if narrow, paths around the piles of forgotten treasures, and Tariq took care in his haste to find what his master needed. He threw open the doors of the cabinet and saw half a dozen shelves laden with perfume jars of every description: coloured glass, smoothly gleaming metal, glass and silver, glass and gold, bejewelled, or merely intricately filigreed.

Cautiously he picked up one of the vessels. It was a blue globe with a simple silver stopper, and he raised it into the light. It was opaque, and he realized he had no idea what the difference was between a full jar and an empty one. He touched the stopper, hesitating. Malik had told him not to open the one that weighed empty. What if this was the very jar he’d been sent to find? And if it is not, he thought, Malik will be terribly disappointed in me. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment