Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Magic Harvest by Mary Karlik

Magic Harvest
Mary Karlik
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Young fae girls are disappearing.
Layla has never belonged to the fairy realm – at least, half of her hasn’t. She’s never known anyone with human blood, not even her father. When she was three, the dragon Fauth attacked the fairy festival, murdering her fae mum & stepfather. Frankly, some fairies think she should’ve been eaten too.
As she grew, despite being called names like “fuman” for being a half-blood, she’s discovered that being half-human isn’t terrible. She may lack magic, but she is immune to iron sickness, and she can wield a sword with elven skill.
Magic in the human world is disastrous.
Sixteen years later, when Layla’s half-sister is kidnapped and taken through a portal to the forbidden human realm, Layla rushes to the rescue. She’s older and stronger, and she’s not about to let her last living family member be taken from her without a fight.
Only someone who belongs to both worlds can find the truth.
The portal spits her out in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but neither her sister or the kidnapper are anywhere to be found. Stuck in a world she only knows from school books, Layla forges unlikely alliances to find her sister. As she becomes tangled in the dark world of fairy trafficking, magic harvesting, and murder, Layla will have to find the strength within if she is to survive and save her sister.

Jerking left, she narrowly missed a headfirst crash, but the evasive maneuver sent her bouncing across the ground like a stone skipping across water. On the fourth bump, she landed on the toe of a human-sized shoe in mid-stride. Gasping for air, she reached for the laces, but the foot lifted and sent her tumbling backward into a bush. She fell through the leaves, smacking her back against each branch as she crashed to the ground.
Dirt prickled her face and a single blade of grass tickled her nose as her mind lingered in the comfort of semi-consciousness. But a relentless pounding in her temples wouldn’t let her stay there.
She drifted toward awareness and opened her eyes. Blue lights fizzled across her body in little bursts, but the energy they’d produced before had been replaced with a trembling exhaustion in her muscles.
And then, disorientation hit her as though she’d run into the granite above the cottage. Roaring from the street, voices with unfamiliar accents, and the never ending tap of shoes hitting the walk assaulted her ears. Fumes more pungent than bog gas mixed with savory smells from a nearby kitchen and made her stomach roil.
Where had the portal spit her out?
Heaving deep breaths, she managed to crawl to her knees and peek between the leaves of the hedge. Her heart lurched and she rocked back on her heels and clutched her neck as though everything on the other side of the bushes had been lodged in her throat.
All around her were buildings, automobiles, and humans.
Non-magical. Greedy. Humans.
Ceann socair. Smaointeann soilleir. Aon cheum aig aon àm. Cool head. Clear thoughts. One step at a time.
Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus.
Human world. She was half human. She should be able to manage this place.
In school she’d had classes on human culture. And since the portal had only been closed for little more than a dozen years, they’d often listened to guest speakers with firsthand accounts of the world. Plus, when she was a wee bairn, a slight obsession with humans led her to read everything she could about them and prompted an occasional sense that she’d been left on the wrong side of the door.
Well, she was on the other side of the door now and had a sister to save. She sat up and secured her weapons on her body. It had been a rough ride through the portal, but since she’d come through only seconds after the horseman, Esme and Isla had to be close. It was a matter of finding them, rescuing them, and returning to the fey world.
She peered through the leaves again. Tall buildings lined both sides of the street as far as she could see. An uneasy feeling crept from her center right up her neck, slamming doubt into her mind. Her breathing became rapid and erratic and like everything else at that moment, out of her control.
How would she find them? Where would she begin to look? And once she did get them, how would she find her way back? Would the portal have the same blue door on this side?
Placing a hand on her jittery stomach, she backed away and settled on a hawthorn branch.
Think and plan. I can do this. She scooted up against the trunk and repeated her mantra until she calmed.
Ceann socair. Smaointeann soilleir. Aon cheum aig aon àm. Cool head. Clear thoughts. One step at a time.
By the time her breathing had returned to normal, she’d almost managed to settle the doubt chewing at her confidence. A wisp of a plan to find her sister teased her mind, but before she could grasp it and develop it, a piercing noise hit her ears. She covered them, but it was too loud to be muffled.
Plants vibrated as the sound neared. The leaves next to her shook as if a cyclone were
passing through. And that cyclone hit Layla with a blast of wind that sent her tumbling out of the shrubbery. Her body skittered and spun across the walk, scattering her arrows in every direction. She landed arse-side up against the building as if she’d stopped mid-way through a somersault.
She flipped over, stood with her back pressed against the stone, and sucked in deep breaths once again. Her arrows were everywhere and so were the human footfalls. She watched them like a cat after prey. When there was a break in the flow of people on the walk she scrambled after the arrows.
With her pulse whirring through her body, she grabbed them and stuffed them tips up and tips down into her quiver as fast as she could. Then, as she gathered the last one, a pair of dark brown human shoes formed a vee on either side of her.

Author Bio:
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.