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The Legacy of Androva Series


In the UK, our shortest day of the year happened on December 21st (with less than eight hours between sunrise and sunset). The woods outside my window are quiet and full of bare branches. However, as demonstrated by this photo from New Year's Eve, there is still life alongside the hibernation. Nature never stops creating, no matter how inhospitable the climate might be ☺.

We're a few days into a new decade and new beginnings. Today's blog post contains some quotes that describe this time of year and the way it makes our hopes and dreams seem a little more accessible.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”
— Nido Qubein

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C.S. Lewis

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
— Carl Bard

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, "It will be happier.”
— Alfred Lord Tennyson

My only resolutions for 2020 are to (somehow!) find more time for reading and writing, and music, and being outdoors. I'm not going to be too prescriptive this year in terms of the number of books I hope to release because I want to enjoy the writing without worrying too much about the deadline. But I've already started the second book in the Beyond Androva series, and it will hopefully be released in the summer of 2020. Art is telling the story this time. He's going to pick it up at the exact moment Matched in Magic ended. I'm going to finish with one last quote that explains why I love reading so much. Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope the New Year brings you good health, happiness, and lots of memorable moments ✨.

“Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand.”
— Janet Litherland



For my final blog post of 2019, I'm very happy to be able to share an interview with my friend and fellow writer, Anke SchΓΆnle. Her first book, A Brighter World, has recently been released, and I was lucky enough to be able to read it before everyone else ☺.

A Brighter World is a contemporary novella-length story for adult readers. I've included the description below, but the Look Inside feature on Amazon (here) is a great way to discover the first three chapters for yourself πŸ“–. You can also visit Anke's website for more information about the book including some exclusive bonus content!

A Brighter World, by Anke SchΓΆnle

Benjamin is at the low point of his life when he meets therapist Alexander Senne. Senne tries to help the young man, but then their relationship develops differently than expected.
Interior monologues, dream sequences and flash backs run through the story and lead to the reader often knowing more than the characters.
A story about identity and family, hurt and trust.

And now, on with the interview. I hope you enjoy meeting Anke, and thank you very much for visiting my blog today!

How much of yourself is reflected in this book (for example: professional expertise, personality, or other) and how?

I was recently told Alexander "sounded" like me. Quite a lot of my personality, my family background, the way I grew up went into him, other parts of me are reflected in Benjamin. I used to think that using myself as a foundation for a character was somehow cheating, but in the end we write what we know—from our own experience or from people we meet. There's this great line:
"I'm a writer. Anything you say or do can and will be used in a story", and that's so true. I always carry a notebook...

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Definitely Alexander. I'd shadow him to watch him work with his patients. I considered studying psychology for a while and it still fascinates me. I just hope it wouldn't be one of his migraine days.

How do you hope this book affects its readers?

I hope they can relate to at least one character, feel their pain and share their hope, and find a part of themselves in them. Maybe, just maybe if they had a bad start in life like Benjamin, the book can give them a little hope of things getting brighter. And even Alexander has his own demons that he overcomes with Benjamin's help. Looking at the dark parts of one's life can be painful, but with the right people to lean on I think we can start to heal.

Can you tell us about your cover?

It was designed by my friend Wendy. She's in the UK and I'm in Germany so there was no sitting at a table and discussing drafts—and still we found the final version quite fast. Her first draft matched the picture in my head very well, so it was basically a matter of adjusting colours and details. The idea was that Benjamin starts from a dark point in his life and experiences a better, brighter world once he lets Alexander in, so they walk towards that brighter future side by side.

Sum up your book for Twitter:  280 characters or less.

Oh boy. I love twitter, but being brief isn't my strong suit (unless I'm writing. I'm a lazy writer. Less is more and stuff). How about:
Benjamin meets Alexander at the low point of his life, but when he starts trusting Alexander, things begin to look brighter. A story about hurt and trust, family, identity and overcoming your demons.
Wow that wasn't even 280!

How do you select names for your characters?

I hate that part! Usually it takes me forever (finding titles is just as bad by the way). But the routine I've developed goes something like this:  if character A is based on real life person B, take B's name and change it in at least two stages. For example if the real life person is called Steven, I might go Steven -> Stevie Wonder -> Wanda -> Fish called Wanda -> Jamie Lee Curtis, and the fictional character might end up being called Jamie, Lee or Curtis. Yes, it does take forever! Usually after spending some time with my characters I forget their names' origins. In the case of Ben and Alex I did it for their last names. No, that's not true. Alexander's I just stole directly from a real life person!

How long have you been writing?

The first memory I have of trying to write a book I must have been nine. My mother accused me of plagiarism (absolutely justified) and that was that for quite a while. I wrote my first poem at seven, at fourteen I regularly wrote poems and song lyrics, and in my twenties I discovered fan fiction. I've been writing ever since, but I had to turn forty before I published my first novel.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Music has always played a big role in our family, so I learned a few instruments and sang in different choirs. These days it's mostly singing (classical in a big concert choir and pop in a band) and some trumpet. I read, but not as much as I would like to, I spend a lot of time online, I like to travel, I like going to the movies and to the theatre, I paint, I entertain our three cats—oh and to earn a living I'm a speech therapist, which I do like most of the time.

Did you like reading when you were a child?

I loved it. There's a scene in the book where Benjamin describes himself as a young boy, and that's 100% me. I was always reading. I would get a pile of books from the library every week, people would give me books for my birthday and for Christmas—my granddad was a bookseller, and no way would anyone in my family have said no to another book. My aunt had a ton of books and comics that I was allowed to borrow whenever I wanted. I wouldn't go anywhere, not even for one night, without packing at least one book.

Favourite class in high school. Why?

German and English. Those were the intensive courses I chose for my A-levels. It basically meant reading for ten hours a week, and I was reading all the time anyway, so why not read what was on the curriculum and get decent grades for it? Bonus: field excursions to Berlin and London.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?

I have half a dozen ideas, including trying to adapt "Wie einen seine Mutter trΓΆstet" for the stage—just to see if I can do it and because I love theatre. The project I'm spending the most time on at the moment is a story that will most likely be published online as a fan fiction. And I just finished an online writing class with Neil Gaiman that I still have a ton of homework left from.

Bonus question: You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

OMG Ben. It has to be Ben. Why?? Because he's hot! We'd have a great time. It's a tropical island, right? Nice beaches, crystal clear water, no sharks please. On second thought Angie would be very tempting, too. (She’s a side character that doesn’t get a lot of screen time but boy do I remember the woman she’s based on!) Can I have them both?



Up to and including Monday 30th December 2019, the Legacy of Androva series will be at a special price on Amazon! Stealing Magic, Capturing Magic, and Seeking Magic will be FREE and the other four books in the series will be priced at $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon US and UK.

You can find The Legacy of Androva: Books 1 -3 here:

Amazon UK The Legacy of Androva: Books 1 - 3

Amazon US The Legacy of Androva: Books 1 - 3

And the series here:

Amazon UK The Legacy of Androva

Amazon US The Legacy of Androva

Spell Tracker is still free to read on this blog under the New series label. Just go to the end of the page for Chapter One and scroll up ☺


Happy December! ☃ Today's blog post is a new short story in the Legacy of Androva series. I've been so busy finishing Matched in Magic that it's been a while since I had time to create any bonus content. But I miss the characters, and I jumped at the chance to write about them again as soon as I could ☺.

The question I get asked more often than any other is: What happens to everyone after the series finishes? I am certain that the answer wouldn't be "a quiet life"! I was curious about what I might find if I visited Jax and Shannon a few months after the end of Connecting Magic. It turned into a Christmas short story.

You can access other Androva bonus content here, including an earlier Christmas short story that was set after Seeking Magic. I hope you enjoy the new story, and thank you very much for visiting my blog today!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

“I’m so bored.”
“How, exactly?” asked Shannon, her brown eyes glinting with amusement as she looked at Jax. “We have loads of spells to practice before our assessment on Friday. And I know you’re still struggling with that remedy combination.”
Jax huffed. “I didn’t say we weren’t busy. I said I was bored.”
“This is our chance to graduate fourth year six months early,” she said. “I thought that’s what we both wanted.”
Shannon closed her textbook and put down her pen. It was a cold December evening on Androva, and she and Jax were studying in the kitchen of Mabre House. They’d left the Training Room when Shannon pointed out that although she enjoyed Combat, it was also one of the Six Disciplines where they already excelled. She wanted to finish her final History paper. Each underage magician in their year had been assigned a unique project, and Shannon’s was to research the Sygnus symbol she and Jax shared. She’d discovered the seven-pointed star had something of a volatile past.
Thanks to Shannon’s influence, the large kitchen windows sparkled with Illumination Spells resembling green and gold snowflakes. There was a matching Fire Spell flickering in the hearth and a few festive ornaments on the windowsill. Revus, Jax’s father, wasn’t a fan of excessive decoration, but he’d made an exception for the Terran Christmas that would take place the following week.
A row of shot glasses containing various remedies was lined up on the large wooden table in front of Jax. At least, they were supposed to contain remedies. But only the first three out of seven glasses were glittering with magical energy. Jax had abandoned his assignment and was staring into the Fire Spell. His black hair—too long as usual—was falling into his eyes. Green like the fire, they narrowed a little when Shannon chuckled. “Something funny?” he said.
“Admit it,” she said. “You’re struggling to be an ordinary magician.”
He turned his head. “I beg your pardon? There’s nothing ordinary about me.”
Shannon grinned. “I meant our lives are normal now. We haven’t been in danger for ages. And part of you misses the excitement.”
Jax opened his mouth and closed it again. “I don’t miss nearly dying,” he said eventually.
Shannon didn’t reply, wondering if Jax could hear the uncertainty in his voice. She’d half expected this. Living a quiet life didn’t come naturally to him. Their only challenges of late had been faced within the walls of the Seminary of Magic, creating new spells and trying to decide which of the Six Disciplines they wanted to specialise in for their fifth and final year.
Penny, Shannon’s best friend, had already settled on Manipulation, even though she wouldn’t finish her fourth year until the following summer. Her boyfriend, Darius, was going to join her. Jax, although he’d outwardly expressed support for his friend, had been shocked. He and Darius had always planned to specialise in Combat together. Darius’s confidence and creativity had grown significantly in recent weeks, and Manipulation was a good fit for him. But Jax couldn’t help taking Darius’s change of heart personally.
Shannon hadn’t decided. She enjoyed everything. It was fun. A lot of fun. But it was also safe. Predictable. Very different to the way things had been just a few months earlier. For Shannon, the novelty of being a magician had yet to wear off. She didn’t think it ever would. Jax’s perspective, however, was literally a world apart. He wasn’t bored so much as unsettled about his future. If there were no rules he wanted to break, and no adventures to be faced, and no mysteries to solve, then what was he supposed to do?
Jax got to his feet and walked to the window, raising his hand. Absent-mindedly, he projected his force field and added a few more snowflakes to the centre of the glass. “It’s not unreasonable to want a change of scene.” He looked at Shannon and lifted his chin, his expression slightly defensive. “It doesn’t have to be a deadly one.”
Again, Shannon said nothing as she tried to figure out what Jax meant by a change of scene. They travelled back and forth between Terra and Androva every couple of days and visited Imbera occasionally too. Three worlds would be more than enough for most people. Unless… unless he was talking about something else. She bit her lip.
Jax met her gaze. A half-formed snowflake, glowing in his palm, flickered a few times before disappearing. “Um… I’ve changed my mind,” he said hastily. “Forget I said anything.”
“Changed your mind about what?” asked Shannon.
There was a short silence.
Androva help me, thought Jax. She thinks I’m immature and completely irresponsible. And she’s probably right.
It’s me he’s bored of, thought Shannon. He wants a change of scene from me.
“Well,” she said brightly, “I think I might go back to Terra. I have to write a conclusion to my paper, and my argument on how the Sygnus wars started is still kind of weak.”
Shannon gathered up her possessions, keeping her head down so her long brown hair covered her face. She tried to push her textbook into her backpack, but it got stuck on one of the inside pockets. Gritting her teeth, she pushed harder, determined not to give in to the wave of emotion making her eyes sting. Finally, the book dropped into place, and she turned to leave.
Jax withdrew his force field, having been halfway to projecting the Communication Spell. Telepathy could be good or bad, depending on the circumstances. It was impossible to lie. He decided on reflection that he wasn’t quite brave enough to experience Shannon’s thoughts about him first-hand. “I’ll message you,” he said awkwardly, shuffling his feet.
“Whatever,” said Shannon over her shoulder.

 πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Shannon went down the winding staircase to the portal room with heavy steps. The more she thought about it, the more she decided Jax had a point. Their lives had been all about studying lately. She couldn’t remember the last time they’d done anything spontaneous. She thought back to the Valentine’s Day surprise she and Penny had organised. That had been a very long time ago. She took out her phone.
Do you think I study too much?
Lol, is that a trick question?” Penny replied.
Shannon looked at the screen, her heart sinking.
You love studying,” added Penny. “And you’re graduating early. Which is awesome. What’s the problem?
Shannon remembered the guilty look on Jax’s face as they’d said goodbye. “I think Jax is bored of me.”
What??? Did he say that??
As Shannon finished reading Penny’s reply, her phone started ringing. “Hi,” she said, her voice subdued.
“Are you OK?” said Penny. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know. Can I come over?”
There was a pause. “I’m… er… I’m not at home,” said Penny.
“Oh. Where are you?” said Shannon.
Another pause. Then there was the sound of Darius laughing. “Just tell her,” he said. “You can’t hide it now.”
“Well,” said Penny. She sighed. “We’re kind of in Rome at the moment.”
Shannon thought she’d misheard. “Rome. You mean… Rome, Italy?”
“Yeah. We were talking with Galen about how he and Claudia met, and what Ancient Rome was really like, and how the Colosseum at Christmas is supposed to be amazing—which it totally is, by the way—and there’s this place that does the best chocolate gelato ever, and you know how much Darius likes chocolate, and…” Penny trailed off. “Shannon? Are you still there?”
Shannon sat down on the bottom step and wrapped her free hand around her knees. “I’m here,” she said quietly.
“We would have asked you, but we thought you’d be…”
“Studying,” said Shannon.
“Um, yeah,” said Penny. “Well, you were, weren’t you?”
Shannon didn’t answer. She felt slightly sick. I want to be in Rome with my boyfriend, she thought. I don’t want to study my life away.
“What’s happened between you and Jax?” said Penny gently. “There is no way he’s bored of you, you know.”
Darius agreed loudly in the background.
“I’m not convinced about that,” said Shannon. “You weren’t there. You didn’t see him.”
She was so caught up in the conversation, she didn’t hear Jax descending the stairs above her. When he sat down and his shoulder brushed her arm, she exclaimed in shock, jumping to her feet.
“Shannon?” said Penny.
“I… I’m fine. Jax is here. I have to go.”
“OK. Send me a message as soon as you can,” said Penny before disconnecting.

 πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Ten minutes earlier…

As soon as he was sure Shannon had gone to the portal room, Jax sent a message to his father.
Are you home?
Jax’s phone indicated that Revus was typing. Three dots appeared and disappeared several times with no sign of a reply, and Jax scowled at the screen. “Yes or no would do, Father,” he muttered. “You don’t have to write me an essay every single time.”
Yes, I am indeed at home. You would know this if you bothered to walk down the corridor to my office instead of relying on your Terran device to do everything for you.”
Just managing to refrain from sending his father an eyeroll emoji, Jax put down his phone. He needed Revus’s help. This wasn’t the time to get into an argument. He left the kitchen and made his way to his father’s office. It was cold away from the Fire Spell, and Jax pushed his hands inside his pockets, hunching his shoulders. When he reached the heavy wooden door, it was slightly ajar, but he lifted his hand to knock anyway, knowing it was what Revus preferred.
“Jax?” said Revus.
Jax pushed the door wider. Revus was sitting at his desk holding a piece of paper and frowning. Jax recognised the Seminary of Magic letterhead. “What’s that?” he asked.
“Professor Alver’s report,” said Revus.
“What? I haven’t had my assessment yet,” said Jax. He remained in the doorway, giving the paper an uncertain look.
“I know,” said Revus. “This is a draft. He wanted to make me aware of something.”
“Do I get to read it?” said Jax.
“Do you want to?”
Jax half smiled. “That depends on what’s in it.” He knew he’d been distracted in his classes, even though his spellwork remained good. If the report said what he knew to be true—that he lacked direction and commitment—he wasn’t sure how he would feel. Losing both Shannon’s and Alver’s good opinions in the same evening was a horrible prospect.
Revus, typically, kept his expression neutral, giving Jax no clue as to whether the report was good or bad. “You can read it if you wish,” he said.
Jax tilted his head. “But will you project a Distraction Spell for me if I wish I hadn’t?”
“No.”
“I was joking,” said Jax.
“Were you?” said Revus.
His father knew him too well. As did Professor Alver, unfortunately.
“I don’t want to read it,” said Jax abruptly. “I came to ask you something. I’m going to sign up as a Council intern. Will you be my sponsor?”
At first Revus was lost for words. Of all the things he might ever have expected Jax to ask him, this would have been bottom of the list. The idea that his son might voluntarily sign up for a work placement in the Androvan government was unthinkable.
“Are you sure?” Revus managed.
“I’m sure. I want to prove to you and everyone else that I’ve changed. I know you always hoped I would follow you onto the Council. Well… maybe I will. I’m sixteen now. It’s about time I outgrew my reputation.”
“Is this really what you want?” said Revus.
“Yes. And I know it would make you happy. Wouldn’t it?”
Revus hesitated before nodding. He opened his mouth to say something else, but Jax started speaking first.
“Great,” said Jax. “I’ll fill in the forms tomorrow. Thank you, Father.”
He left the office at a run, making for the portal room in the hopes of catching Shannon before she made it all the way back to her house.

 πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

“Hey,” said Jax.
“Hey,” said Shannon warily.
Jax held out his hand, revealing the dark-blue glow of the Communication Spell. Shannon swallowed, gathering her courage before she put her hand in his.
Five minutes later, having caught up with everything from each other’s perspective, they started kissing. A jumble of words and emotions continued to spill between them via the spell.
“I will never be bored of you. Never, never, never,” said Jax.
“I don’t want you to change who you are. I miss the excitement too,” said Shannon.
The kiss became more intense. Shannon wrapped her arms around Jax’s body. He cradled her jaw in his hands, tilting his head and closing his eyes. Eventually, they broke for air, their force fields lighting up the portal room with a bright silver glow.
“I love you,” said Jax.
“I love you too,” said Shannon.
They laughed, both a little breathless, then kissed again.
“Shall we forget studying for tonight and open a portal to Rome?” said Shannon.
Yes,” said Jax. Then he hesitated. “Just as soon as I’ve spoken to my father. I can’t let him think… it wouldn’t be fair.”
He retraced his steps to Revus’s office while keeping hold of Shannon’s hand. When he knocked again, there was a pause before Revus answered. Jax thought his father muttered, “Thank Androva,” but he couldn’t be sure. “Jax, I hope that’s you,” said Revus in a louder voice.
“Yes,” said Jax, entering the room. He squared his shoulders. He’d never hesitated to face up to the consequences of his actions, and he wasn’t about to start now.
“About that internship,” he said. “I—”
Revus held up a hand to stop him and wordlessly handed over the draft report from Professor Alver. Jax held the piece of paper so that Shannon could read it too. A few words caught his eye, such as “disengaged” and “performing spells mechanically albeit to a high standard” and “lacking innovation.” His chest tightened as he continued reading. He was accustomed to getting bad reports for behavioural reasons. But he’d never had negative comments about his magical ability before.
“In conclusion,” Professor Alver had written, “I recommend that Jax takes a temporary leave of absence from the Seminary after his assessment. Jax is a brilliant magician, but he needs a change of scene to rediscover his enthusiasm for life, and magic, and the future.”
A change of scene, thought Jax. Overwhelming relief made him close his eyes for a second. When he looked at Revus, his father was smiling. “Alver is right, isn’t he?” said Revus.
Jax nodded.
“I had my suspicions,” Revus went on. “But they weren’t confirmed until your rather incredible suggestion a little while ago.”
Revus raised an eyebrow as he regarded his son, and Jax bit his cheek to keep from grinning.
“I am told there is also a draft report from Professor Lenora for Shannon,” said Revus. “It points out that she is trying too hard to prove via excessive studying that the…” Revus paused. “Let me get this right. That the astonishing and unprecedented power of her force field is not a risk. It is recommended that you both take some time off.”
Shannon squeezed Jax’s hand, using the Communication Spell to share her own relief. It was mixed with excitement and a little apprehension. Jax didn’t hesitate to show her that his own feelings were much the same. “Together,” he said silently.
“Yes,” she agreed.
“Would you really have gone ahead with the internship?” asked Revus.
Jax glanced at Shannon, then back at his father. The memory of disappointing the people he cared about wasn’t going to fade any time soon. “Yes, Father. I would have done my best to see it through.”
Revus cleared his throat. “I’m very proud of you, Jax. You have nothing to prove. Not to me or to anyone else.”
Jax’s green eyes widened. “Thank you,” he said.
“And Shannon?” said Revus. “I trust you.”
Shannon exhaled slowly. “I appreciate you saying that.”
“Go on, then,” said Revus. “I’m sure you both have somewhere you’d rather be than in my office.”
“No offence, Father, but we do,” said Jax with a grin. “We really do.”

 πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

One week later, on Christmas Eve, Jax and Shannon were standing near the top of a snowy mountain in Northern Finland. A little way behind them was the tell-tale shimmer of an open portal. Below them, a waterfall tumbled down the mountainside toward a large icy lake. Above them shone the Northern Lights in vivid blues and greens, transforming the night sky into something magical.
“It’s like the whole sky is covered in an Illumination Spell,” said Jax, his breath a cloud of white in the cold air. “If you told me it was magic, I’d believe you.”
“I guess it depends on your definition of magic,” said Shannon. “The Northern Lights are scientifically explainable. Who knows? Perhaps our force fields will be the same one day.”
“Not mine,” said Jax.
“Of course not,” said Shannon. She laughed. “Science is no match for the greatest underage magician the world has ever seen.”
Jax gave her his trademark mischievous grin. “You said it.”
Shannon put her hand into her pocket. “We should probably do this before we freeze,” she said, taking out a small scroll tied with green-and-gold ribbon.
“OK,” said Jax. He removed a folded note from his own pocket. The paper was extremely creased and had a small tear down the middle. “Give me a minute,” he said. His eyes glinted silver as he hastily projected a couple of spells to turn the note purple—Shannon’s favourite colour—and transform it into a perfectly-folded paper star.
“Nicely done,” said Shannon, grinning.
Having successfully passed their assessments with distinction, Shannon and Jax had agreed they didn’t need or want the added stress of finding Christmas gifts for each other. They’d spent the days leading up to the twenty-fourth of December travelling the Terran world for fun. Now they were about to exchange ideas on how they could spend their leave of absence. The aim was to be creative but sensible.
Shannon unfolded her paper star. “Go to Imbera and see if we can find a real dragon,” she read.
Jax untied his ribbon. “Convince Galen to give us the coordinates to one of the other worlds,” he said slowly.
They looked at each other. Jax started laughing and a few seconds later Shannon joined in.
“So much for sensible,” said Jax.
“Apparently you’re a bad influence,” said Shannon.
Before Jax could deny it, she kissed him, pushing her hands into his hair and leaning in. Jax responded with enthusiasm. It would be an interesting New Year no matter what they decided. But for now, there was only the snow, the glimmering sky, and a perfect Christmas kiss.


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„



I'm so happy to be able to write these words...

Matched in Magic will be released next month! The first book in the Beyond Androva series has a title, a description, and a beautiful cover πŸ’œ. The new series logo is Serena's Sygnus—three overlapping circles—and it replaces the seven-pointed star from the Legacy of Androva that belonged to Jax and Galen.

The story begins a few months after the end of Surviving Magic, and it takes place in a different timeline/world to the one(s) Jax and Shannon live in. Although Beyond Androva is a spin-off series, it can be read independently.

Here's the description:

Old secrets. New magic.
A world of trouble.

Serena is a sixteen-year-old magician in search of a new life. She doesn’t know what to expect from the world on the other side of the portal, but she’s certain it will be better than what she’s leaving behind.
Art is sixteen too. He’ll never have any magic of his own. His unmatched status forbids it. The threat of mage-sickness on his world means that everyone follows the rules.


When Serena meets Art, those rules are accidentally broken, exposing a deadly secret and a conspiracy going back generations. The perpetrators have killed before. They won’t hesitate to kill again to keep their secret hidden. Can Serena and Art survive long enough to stop them? 

The pre-order for the eBook (29th December 2019) will be up on Amazon soon, and I'll update this post with a link when it's available.

Update ☺
Amazon UK Matched in Magic
Amazon US Matched in Magic

Thank you to Kerry at Aero Gallerie for creating another amazing Androva cover, and thank you for visiting my blog today!


This weekend's blog post is just for fun πŸ˜€. It's been a while since I did an A to Z, so here's a list of quotes and gifs dedicated to my favourite fictional character: Loki. I would highly recommend the new YA book Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee if you're interested in discovering more about the character's early life.

I also have a quick writing update about my next book. The first story in the Beyond Androva series is on track for a late December release. I have loved getting to know Serena better. She's definitely not the shy and retiring type! I'll share the cover and description later this month. Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you enjoy Loki's A to Z 🐍.

is for Asgard. “I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose.”

B is for Brother. “Maybe you’re not so bad after all, Brother.” “Maybe not.”
C is for Casket of Ancient Winters. “Am I cursed?”
D is for Denial. “I’ve never met this man in my life.”
E is for Easy. “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
F is for Frigga. “Then am I not your mother?” “You’re not.”
G is for Get Help. “We are not doing 'Get Help'.”
H is for Hall H. “Say my name!”
is for Illusion. “Are you ever not going to fall for that?”
J is for JΓΆtunheim. “I am Loki of JΓΆtunheim, and I bring you a gift.”
K is for King. “My king.”
L is for Love. “Sometimes I’m envious, but never doubt that I love you.”
M is for Mischief. “You’ll kill me? Evidently there will be a line.”
N is for No. “No. No, no, no, no, no. I know that look.”
O is for Odin. “It’s not that I don’t love our little talks. It’s just… I don’t love them.”
P is for Poetic. “Odin brought us together. It’s almost poetic that his death should split us apart.”
Q is for Queen. “I swear to you, Mother, that they will pay for what they’ve done today.”
R is for Rescue. “Your saviour is here!”
S is for Satisfaction. “Satisfaction’s not in my nature.”
T is for Tesseract. “It burns you to have come so close. To have the Tesseract. To have power. Unlimited power. And for what?”
U is for Understanding. “I wish I could trust you.” “Trust my rage.”
V is for Variety. “It varies from moment to moment.”
W is for Witch. “I can’t see into the future. I’m not a witch.”
X is for Exasperation. “I have been falling for thirty minutes!”
Y is for Yes. “You think yourself above them.” “Well, yes.”
Z is for Zeal. “That’s how it feels!”


Chapter twenty-seven takes us to the end of Spell Tracker. We find out the consequences of Devin's attempt to sacrifice himself to save Cass, his sister, and Luca/Avi, the boy he loves. Nothing is ever straightforward when a magical contract is involved, and this Spell Tracker is a Shadow Mage to beware of. He insists on collecting what is due to him, and Luca is forced to ask the Master Mages for help.

The rest of the book is available to read via the New series link at the top of this post. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page for Chapter One. Spell Tracker and its sequel Spell Mason are also on Amazon (at $0.99/£0.99/€0.99). I hope you enjoy the conclusion to Luca's story, and thank you very much for reading πŸ’•.

Amazon UK Spell Tracker  Amazon US Spell Tracker
Amazon UK Spell Mason  Amazon US Spell Mason


27 A Different Life

It was instantaneous. The contract released me. As soon as I realized what had happened, I freed Cass from the Spell Tracker’s magic.
“Devin,” she said, running over to throw her arms around him. He held onto her and closed his eyes. It was the kind of moment guardians lived for. The love between them was beautiful.
“What? What?” said the Spell Tracker. “That wasn’t… That wasn’t a proper name!” he shouted.
He raised his hand to claim Devin.
“No,” I said, interrupting his spell. “You cannot harm a magician connected to a guardian. Not without the High Council’s endorsement.”
Wait until you find out he’s a Light Mage.
His face turned red, then reddish-purple. I raised my eyebrows. “Something you’d like to say?”
“You tricked me! You… you…” His anger overcame his powers of speech.
“No,” I said. “Devin outsmarted you, but he didn’t trick you. In this dimension it’s a recognized name. Otherwise the magic would not have responded as it did.”
Devin pulled back from Cass and gave me a grin. “I couldn’t be sure, but you told me how powerful thoughts and beliefs could be. I never expected to wind up grateful to Mina for creating Cavi.”
“God, no,” said Cass. “She’ll never let us hear the end of it if she finds out. Although… I can’t exactly tell her. I have no idea what’s happening.”
Devin’s grin faded. “Am I… am I still going to die?”
“Yes,” said the Spell Tracker, sneering. “My contract with you is perfectly valid. You entered into it of your own free will.”
“We’ll see,” I replied. I reached out with my magic. “Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Raguel, et Barachiel. Uno nomine veroque te invoco.”
The Spell Tracker recoiled. “W-what are you doing?” He leaned backward as if I were pointing an earthbound gun at his head.
“I think we should settle this now,” I replied. “Before one of us is—how can I put this?—tempted to adjust their magic in any way.”
He glared at me. Yes. I doubt Cass is the only magician whose contract you’ve manipulated.
“You should be happy,” I said. “You might be remembered as an extraordinary Spell Tracker yet.”
“No one has answered you,” he said, looking left and right. The four of us were still alone in the classroom. His superior expression reasserted itself.
“Who did you… call?” asked Devin. “Because those names sounded familiar.”
“They make up the High Council of the magical dimensions,” I said. “And someone is already here.”
My magic was being inspected. Guardians had to submit to a lot of audits, and I was accustomed to the sensation. Whoever had answered my summons would start with me. The ability to ask for help in this way was a guardian’s privilege and one we were not permitted to abuse.
“So much wishful thinking is absurd even for a guardian like you,” said the Spell Tracker. “I am returning and I’ll be taking my—”
He broke off mid-sentence with an expression of panic.
“What’s the matter?” I said, with fake concern.
Cass shivered and Devin lifted his shoulders, frowning. “Avi…?”
“Don’t be afraid,” I said. “You’ve done nothing wrong. It is the Spell Tracker and I who are at fault.”
“Indeed,” came a low, melodious voice. I turned.
“Selaphiel,” I said, lowering my head briefly.
“Luca,” she responded.
“Those are angels’ names,” said Devin. “I remember now. And you do… you do look kind of angelic.”
Selaphiel had not bothered with an earthbound covering. Though her usual form would look quite ordinary in the magical dimensions, here she looked like a person made from magic, glowing and golden.
She gave a faint smile. “Angel is an earthbound word. It simply means messenger. When we first created this dimension alongside our own, the High Council were the only guardians. We were a little careless with how much information we imparted, and the stories about us unfortunately persist.”
“You’re… I thought… the archangels are all supposed to be men,” said Cass.
“Hmmm,” she said, her smile turning mischievous. “Earthbound lessons regarding the irrelevance of gender are still a work in progress. We’ll get there eventually.”
“We?” asked Cass, smiling back. “I think you’re my new favorite person. If… person’s the right word?”
“Person and Master Mage,” I said.
“We’re all magicians,” said Devin slowly. “That’s what he meant about restoring my magic. This dimension… the life paths… the guardians… even the penalties. It’s like a kind of college, isn’t it?”
Cass’s eyes widened. “We’re all magicians?”
I looked at Selaphiel to see if she would confirm it. I still had no idea how the High Council would resolve our situation. She’d examined our magic. She would know everything.
“I demand the right to execute my contract,” said the Spell Tracker loudly. “You cannot prevent it indefinitely.”
Selaphiel’s expression turned cold. “You are not in a position to make any demands, Spell Tracker. However, I’m afraid you are correct as far as the contract is concerned. Go ahead.”
My heart sank. She was going to allow it, then. Cass would lose her brother when she’d only just found him again.
“What?” said Cass, moving in front of Devin. “What did you say?”
The Spell Tracker pushed her out of the way behind a wall of magic. “No!” she shouted. “Avi, stop them. I thought we were safe. Dev!”
With a satisfied smile, the Spell Tracker snapped his fingers and Devin crumpled to the floor. Cass threw herself against the wall of magic in an attempt to reach him, continuing to protest.
Selaphiel held up her hand and Cass was forced into silence. “Be patient,” she said. “Permit me to explain what will happen now.”
“Punishment of some kind, I assume?” said the Spell Tracker. “Get it over with. I have a magician to torture.”
“No, you do not. The physical covering you just killed belonged to a Light Mage. Congratulations, Spell Tracker. You have successfully created another guardian.”
Cass gasped. She gave me a pleading look. “Does that mean Dev’s OK?”
“Yes, he’s—”
I was interrupted by the Spell Tracker, whose face was distorted with rage. “Impossible. You…” He turned to me. I tried to keep my face expressionless. “You knew. You knew. I’ll kill you for that. I’ll kill you. You’ll be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life, Guardian.” He stepped closer and Selaphiel shook her head.
“You will not live that long, Spell Tracker. Have you forgotten the contract you entered into when you took your position?”
“I…” His furious expression wavered, but only for a second. He rolled his jaw and threw the lanista’s cloak over his shoulder with an imperious gesture. “You’ll never enforce it. That’s why you employ me. No one on the High Council would lower themselves to my position.”
“I would.” She narrowed her eyes and the glow of her magic crackled like static electricity. “I would consider it a fair exchange for the harm you have done. However, I won’t have to. Your successor will be tasked with executing your penalty. She is ready. You were due to step down soon, I think? I’m sure you remember the timing better than I.”
The Spell Tracker froze. His eyes flicked left and right as if looking for a way out, but there was none. If his magic was bound to a contract, he was done. As we watched, he was dragged backward, and the illusion of his physical covering disappeared.
“Now,” said Selaphiel, “we come to you, Luca. I am in something of a dilemma about your penalty. You could argue that the end justified the means, but the problem is you had no way of knowing the end before you engaged in the means, did you?”
“No,” I admitted.
“Would you do it again?”
“Yes,” I said.
She sighed. “And what is your view on the rules about objectivity now?”
I might as well say it while I have the chance. “I think they should be less strict. I think guardians could give better help—more help—if we were allowed to be part of the earthbound dimension from time to time and revisit former connections.
“And,” I added, “I think the High Council is too far removed from what’s going on in this dimension. You can’t legislate for what you don’t know. There are bound to be other loopholes you haven’t thought about. Plus… I’ve given more help in the five weeks I’ve been here than I usually manage in half an earthbound year.”
I bit my lip. I hadn’t intended to go on for so long.
“Are you quite finished?” she asked.
I nodded. My cheeks were hot. I was glad I’d managed to stop before I blurted out my feelings for Cass and Devin, too. Way to undermine your own argument, Luca. I’d demonstrated just how susceptible to emotion this physical covering made me.
“It seems you’re not alone,” she said.
“What? I don’t understand.”
“You’re not the only guardian who thinks that way.” Selaphiel extended a hand toward Devin’s body, which glowed for a few seconds before coming back to life.
“Hey,” he said, sitting up.
“Dev?” said Cass a little warily. “Is it really you?”
“Yeah,” he said. He gave her one of his amazing smiles and her expression relaxed. “I’m going to keep the name. I prefer it to my real one. And it will be less confusing for everyone.”
“Can I… can I hug you?”
He looked at Selaphiel.
“All right,” she said. She glanced at me. “I accept your suggestion. We will pursue this on a trial basis. You may live in the earthbound dimension with the freedom to identify your own assignments as long as you report for auditing once a month.”
I jumped. It felt as if the ground had dropped away from me for a second. My physical covering shimmered.
“I have made an adjustment. Your covering will remain an illusion, but tactile interaction will no longer be painful for the earthbound,” added Selaphiel. “No connections, though. I’m afraid the risk of discovery is too great if we allow the earthbound to look into your eyes and see your magic.”
She turned to Cass. “Last, but certainly not least, we come to you.”
Devin stood up and took hold of her hand, and I walked across to take the other one. “Don’t be afraid,” I whispered. “You’ve done the difficult part.”
“Congratulations,” said Selaphiel. “You have graduated your life path. Please forgive us for the additional obstacles you faced. I regret them deeply.”
“I don’t… What am I supposed to do?” said Cass.
“You are supposed to remember,” said Selaphiel, restoring Cass’s magical identity.
Cass held my hand more tightly. “Oh… my… God,” she said. Her disorientation passed quickly and it was like she’d stepped from a black-and-white movie into bright technicolor. Her energy signature was so strong compared to how it had been before. She’s kind of amazing.
“Avi,” she said.
“Leander,” I replied. She leaned over to give me a kiss, and I knew she was saying goodbye to what we’d had. She’s right. It’s time.
“I’ll always love you,” she said. “Both of you. And you’d better come visit me often. The thought of being an Animal Mage and a Healer is a little daunting. Especially now I remember that dragons are real. I’ll need all the help I can get to start off with.”
“We will,” said Devin.
“Just try and keep us away,” I added.
“I’m ready,” she told Selaphiel. “I have a favor to ask, though. Since you regret what happened, I wonder if you might… smooth my departure a little. If the earthbound were to believe I’d… maybe… gone to Europe to study or something?”
“An elegant solution,” agreed Selaphiel. “And a fair request, given what you’ve been through. Consider it done.”
“Am I…? Who will be training Devin as a guardian?” I asked.
“You, to begin with,” said Selaphiel. “You’ve been a guardian for almost two thousand earthbound years. You are sufficiently experienced.”
“He certainly is,” said Cass, with a wicked grin. “Dev, you’re a lucky guy.”
“Cass!”
“Leander!”
Devin and I protested together.
“See you both soon,” she said, unrepentant. In an instant, she and Selaphiel disappeared, leaving Devin and I alone in the classroom. It was dark outside and the glare from the overhead lights was unpleasant. I didn’t know what time it was, but I felt mentally exhausted.
Off,” said Devin, and the lights went out. “That’s better,” he said. “Although it doesn’t sound quite so impressive when it’s not in Latin, does it? Just my luck to graduate my life path as a North American high-schooler.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “You have a nice voice. It doesn’t matter what language you’re speaking.”
“Oh yeah?” he said, closing the distance between us.
“Yeah,” I murmured. His magic was buzzing. I think he’s a stronger magician than I am. That’s hot. I swallowed. “Thank you for saving my life, by the way.”
“Thank you for saving my sister’s life. Er… do you think you might ever kiss me again?”
I made a kind of helpless noise, then we were kissing. Gods. I am never going to get enough of him. Let’s hope the janitor doesn’t plan to check this classroom anytime soon.
“W-when are you expected home?” I managed when we came up for air.
“Later,” he said. “You can come back with me. I want to introduce my boyfriend to everyone. We’ll figure out the rest as we go along.”
I nodded. It was going to be an interesting new life. For both of us.