QSFer D.R. Perry has a new coming of age ace/gay fantasy book out: “Hawthorn Academy: Book One.”
If ultimate power corrupts, how does one learn to be incorruptible?
I’m Aliyah Morgenstern. All of my life, I grew up on tales of my great-grandfather’s magic bringing light and healing to the world.
Then, I bonded with my dragonet Ember on my sixteenth birthday, which means I’ll be scary powerful someday.
There’s one problem.
Mom’s kept secrets that everyone at my new school seems to know.
Turns out, I’ve got an infamously criminal uncle and now everyone’s waiting for me to do something evil.
After my first horrible day at school I’m convinced I’m going to do something evil.
My biggest challenge this year isn’t history, math, Gym, or even the dreaded Magiscience Lab. No, it’s keeping a devastating secret from almost everyone, including my own family.
I’m an extramagus.
Is evil really my destiny, or can I fight it somehow?
“Beware the Ides of June.” I lifted my hand and touched the back of it to my forehead, tilting my head back in a melodramatic pose. “They herald impending disaster!”
I wasn’t trying to be a drama queen, only distract my friends from the boring news broadcast about the Federal Bureau of Extrahumans arresting that evil extramagus from Rhode Island. Not a good look for a television hanging from an arcade’s ceiling.
“Aliyah, honestly. It’s only your birthday.” Noah rolled his eyes. “I’d tell you to grow up, but that’s pointless.” His familiar, Lotan, poked her snaky head out of my brother’s collar, sticking her forked tongue out at me.
“Don’t be a dick, Noah.” Izzy shrugged. “Anyway, Aliyah’s sixteen today, not six. And her magic’s at least as strong as yours, so watch yourself.”
“But I’m her big brother.” Noah flashed us all one of his stage-perfect smiles. “It’s my job to give her grief, after all. She can’t exactly hold it against me.”
I took my hand off my forehead, made a fist, then used the other hand to make a cranking motion as I raised just one finger in my brother’s general direction. You can guess which one.
“Hey, Miss, please don’t do that in here.”
I dropped my hands, turning to face the speaker. It was a broad-shouldered, dusky-complected, blue-haired guy in a Salem Willows apron. Great. Just what I needed on my birthday—a seasonal employee on my case for flipping the bird. He seemed to be about my age on top of it all, with melty brown eyes, perfect ringlets, and a chiseled jawline.
“Sorry, yeah, I know.” Salem Willows Arcade has always been an all-ages environment. “I’ll watch my figurative mouth while I’m here.”
” I’m sorry, it’s kind of my job to be a jerk. My manager really doesn’t like it when parental units ask to speak to him.” He shrugged. “Them’s the breaks, I guess.”
“Oh, good gracious me, is it really so awful working here?” Cadence folded her pale hands, then used them as a pedestal to rest one side of her head on. She blinked, her turquoise eyes like the sea. Which makes sense, ‘cause she’s a mermaid.
“Yeah, this is the best and worst summer job in Salem. But what can you do?” He shook his head. “This job is sort of a requirement for me.”
“I guess everyone wants more money.” Cadence sighed, sounding sympathetic. Practically everything she says, whether word or noise, comes off sounding like exactly what you want to hear. It’s all part of her mermaid mojo. “Easy come, easy go.”
“She wouldn’t know anything about that.” Noah turned his head, pausing beside the Skee-Ball machine. “Cadence’s family is super-important. Rumor has it, they’ve got mountains of clams.”
“Noah!” I tossed my crumpled straw wrapper at his head, and for once, he didn’t manage to duck in time. “It’s my freaking birthday, and you weren’t invited, so just leave already.”
“Whatever.” Noah rolled his eyes for the five hundredth time that day. “You’ll have to put up with me and my attitude at home later.” He faked a pout. “So there.”
And with that, my obnoxious older brother flipped his jet-black shoulder-length hair to one side, slapped his last token on my table, and sashayed toward the exit.
“What’s his problem?” Izzy scooped up the token, bouncing it in her hand.
“I don’t know. But you’d think he was my younger brother, the way he tags along everywhere we go.” I chuckled. “And that attitude.”
“He’s your brother?” The curly-haired guy blinked. “That guy there?”
“Oh, it gets worse.” Cadence sighed, batting her eyes.
Why was she flirting with this guy? It shouldn’t have mattered to me. She was the flirt of the group. I’m awkward and gangly, and Izzy just isn’t interested in boys. Or girls either, for that matter.
“Do you know they’re going to the same prep school in the fall?” Cadence dropped this line while somehow managing to brush right past the heartrending elephant in the room.
Which was that we three besties would suffer social amputation from each other, come September. But I couldn’t blame her. I’d have tried forgetting that too if I could. That was impossible because Izzy, Cadence, and I had an epic friendship history that had started in kindergarten. We thought it would never die, but Izzy didn’t talk about it all last year. For a divination psychic like her, that silence was a literal bad omen.
D.R. Perry writes tongue-in-cheek Urban Fantasy, noir Alternate History, and YA with cute magical critters. She lives with her husband, child, and dog in Rhode Island where all her books are set.
Although she’s not a native New Englander, once up north she got so inspired she couldn’t leave. A wild Northern Muse attacked. D.R. used Typing; it was Super Effective. This is one geeky author who loves writing for the sense of adventure and wonder. In her books, you’ll find real characters, fantastic worlds, and a handful each of humor and hope.
D.R. hopes you have as much fun reading her books as she did writing them.
You can find her on the web here: http://www.drperryauthor.com/
|Amazon Buy Link||https://www.amazon.com/Hawthorn-Academy-Year-D-R-Perry/dp/1642027383|