Monday, February 1, 2010

Excerpt from Sweet Magik

I finally made it to the 15,000-word mark for my new Work-In-Progress, Sweet Magik! Woo hoo! This is the second of the Klaus Brother's Series. Here is a blurb for the story (just in case you're already thinking ahead to next Christmas....hee hee!), and an excerpt for your reading pleasure. I'm already thinking ahead to a vacation in a tropical location, but since that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon, I guess I'll make due with a roaring fire and a hot toddy until spring shows up. That damned groundhog better not see his shadow tomorrow!!!!

Sweet Magik...

Free-wheeling Oskar Klaus loves snowboarding and no-strings attachments. Or does he? A mind blowing kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve leaves O breathless for uptight librarian Kiana Grant. Little does he know, a mischievous elf in Glasdorf has cast a magik spell on him that will change his destiny forever....


Ingo pawed through a stack of old books in the library. He hadn't bothered to turn on a lamp. Thin shards of moonlight filtered through the dusty windows and cast an unearthly glow around the room.

"Where the hell did I put it? It's got to be here somewhere." Finally his eyes spied a teetering pile by the desk, and the thick tome at the bottom looked familiar.

"Ah, got it!" Ingo pushed the tower, scattering manuscripts all over the floor. He knelt down and lifted the gold-edged book, brushing cobwebs off the leather bindings. It had been scores of years since he had the occasion to look at this volume. Even after all of this time, bits of light buzzed off the ragged edges of the spine, reminding him how powerful the Zauberwort Buch really was.

He held the ancient tome in a shaft of light, illuminating the faded pages. What are you gonna do, Ingo Hertz? Verboten. Verboten. The magik of our ancestors is a sacred responsibility. Not to be used in an inappropriate manner. Not to be used for personal gain, vengeance, or evil intent. The voice of Master Eugen echoed in his head. His callused fingers hesitated briefly over the book. Then the image of Lys struggling to free herself from Per's grip popped into his mind. He flipped open the tome and a long sigh was released into the air. Swirls of dust laced with magik funneled upward from the yellowed-pages and disappeared into the darkness.

The Zauberwort Buch jumped from his hands and started to hop across the floor. Ingo could tell the magik was warming up, getting ready for mischief. Eugen taught all of the elves of Glasdorf that the magik must be reigned in; its natural course was to "run toward trouble." He would shout "Dicke Luft!" (trouble's brewing) as streams of unrestrained magik swirled throughout the classroom, teasing the students, attempting to incite them.

Ingo distinguished himself from any early age as a Magik Bändiger, or magik tamer. Only certain elves were capable of this feat. It required the ability to trick the magik, which was extremely difficult. Magik was crafty and cunning and had a mind of its own. Tricking it at its own game entailed complex strategies depending on the energy involved. Ingo always enjoyed devising traps for the runaway magik, and then sitting back to watch the inevitable downfall.

Master Eugen had been disappointed that he had not apprenticed as a Bändiger, but the Hertz family had a long and distinguished history as woodworkers, and Ingo's talent with the wood rivaled his talent with the magik. Ingo felt the familiar thrill of power course through him as he dove for the book, grappling with it as it snapped at his fingers.

"Halt!" he barked at the irksome Buch. Too bad these spells don't work on elves, or I'd give Per a night he would never forget. The elfin magik worked on the human population, but not on other elves. It was a built-in protection for their well-being.

Fumbling in the darkness, he found a candle on his desk and lit it. He carefully pulled apart the dusty pages of the book until he found a section entitled Herz Magik, Heart Magik. He nodded as he perused the ancient spells, searching for one he remembered from long ago. Once he located the enchantment, he knocked about his house collecting various items...scraps of paper, more candles, a photograph, a button, and finally a page ripped from his new calendar in the kitchen.

Ingo placed the Zauberwort Buch in the center of his desk. He opened the book to a spell called Zottig Herz (Ragged Heart). First he scribbled his name and Oskar's onto a piece of paper and placed it on the tome. Then, he took the calendar insert and held it over the flickering flame of the candle, scorching the date January first, just above the image of a crescent moon. He searched the calendar for the full moon. January eleventh. Eleven days of misery. He singed the square marked eleven, blackening the plump full moon.

Ingo rubbed the mother-of-pearl button in his callused fingers and reverently placed it atop the book. Then the photograph, torn from a Klaus Enterprise newsletter. Every spare candle in his home was scattered on the tabletop, looking like a collection of ominous stalagmites. He took a deep breath and swallowed the last of the liquor from his flask. The empty container fell to the ground, clattering on the floor.

Ingo began to recite the words, dictated centuries ago. For one brief moment, his voice wavered as he thought of Lys and her sweet smiling face. She was all goodness and light, and he knew would not approve of this act of vengeance. But then the images of Wiebe's laughing face and Per tugging at Lys' waist swirled inside his brain and his voice gained momentum as the ancient words rolled off his tongue. Again and again he uttered the spell, until he collapsed in a drunken stupor on the floor. As he fell into a foggy slumber, Ingo could hear the Zauberwort Buch rattling on the table, clearly unhappy with his choices.

Happy Reading,