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Alex's Magic by Blair Drake - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Alex's Quest
Finding Magic
Book Nine
Blair Drake

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Magic Quest Books

Number of pages: 225

Word Count: 78,750

Formats available: Kindle

Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC

Tagline: What would you do to find your magic?

Book Description:

She must save a strange world if she hopes to ever return to the one she left.

Alex Benton is an exile at Gray Cliffs Academy. Sent there for her senior year, where she knows absolutely nobody, all because of a little, uh, incident with her stupid “gift.” Some gift. Inherited from her mother, who died before she could give Alex a clue on how to deal with this water thing hanging over her like … yeah, go ahead, say it. Like a dark cloud.

Until the day ten students are called to the Gray Cliffs headmaster’s office and then, boom! she awakens in a scorched landscape and discovers she’s in a place called Togwotee.

That information is courtesy of her rescuers, a guy named Kel and a girl named Ria, who call themselves Nines. Very reluctant rescuer when it comes to Ria. In fact, Ria accuses her of being a spy for the enemy Tens. But Kel is not reluctant, not at all.

As Alex fights to survive (suspected of being an enemy spy, remember?) this odd world, she must learn her own magic to try to save the Nines, and especially Kel. But will she ever get home? Because the key to that is thorny Ria.


beat down from above her, and reflected sun radiated up from the rock below
Lots and lots
and lots of serious sun. And not a drop of sunscreen. The dermatologist and her
mom would not approve.
She had more
immediate problems.
Starting with no
When she was
told to report to the headmaster’s office, she was in the library. Making sure
she wasn’t observed, she dropped her backpack behind a row of books on Tudor
England, then nudged the spines straight.
It seemed a good
move. No backpack meant no journal Headmaster Auster or Headmistress Lalane
could demand to see. The journal where she’d written her thoughts, including
not so complimentary thoughts about Gray Cliffs Academy.
Not such a good move now, huh. No backpack,
no phone, no power bars, no bottled water, no sunglasses.
She peeled off
her navy Gray Cliffs Academy blazer. Using it like the most awkward visor ever,
she held it over her head to shield her eyes and see something, anything other
than the sun.
In front of her
stretched horizontal slabs of rock, here and there broken by rock eruptions
frozen into erratic shapes. One eruption had a void in its center. A
bull’s-eye. Around it, rocks rose like stubby pillars.
grooves cut into the horizontal rocks, like water erosion caused. But no water
had been here lately. The area framed by her blazer visor showed brown or gray
skeletons of plants scattered among the rocks. Nothing living.
Alone. No water.
No. food. No way to get help.
Dad and her
younger brother Ethan would probably do great here. Not her. She was not
Survival Girl.
Don’t panic. It’s a waste of energy.
She could hear
her dad’s voice.
She would not
panic. She would not. Take stock. Assess
the situation. Assess your surroundings. Assess the possibilities. Only then do
you act.
How many times
had Dad said that on yet another camping trip after he and Ethan overruled her
and Mom on how they’d spend vacation? Heck, he said it when they couldn’t find
the van at the mall.
Continuing to
slowly pivot, she saw more of the same. Then, not far from her, a ridge of rock
looked as if it gave way to a dropoff.
Another pivot
“Holy crap.” She
dropped the blazer visor. The blinding glare returned. She grabbed at the
blazer, turning it mostly upside down before dragging it back into place to be
sure what she thought she saw was
what she really saw.
Huge, sharp,
abrupt mountains, rising and rising, and then rolling off forever.
She wished they
were the mountains near GCA. She’d know where she was then. Sort of, anyway.
She’d only been
at the school this year. A senior outsider who didn’t fit in any better at GCA
than in her hometown.
She liked the
views around GCA, though, with the mountains and the stretches of water. Not at
all like Iowa.
These mountains
gave off the water vibes of streams, rivers, lakes. Not of oceans, sounds, bays
like the mountains at Gray Cliffs.
She ducked her
head. Stupid. Mountains giving off water vibes? Right. Be practical. Be normal.
She concentrated
on the mountains again.
“The Rockies.”
The name came out between parched lips. She licked them. They instantly
redried, making them even drier. She needed water. And lip gloss.
Knowing these
were the Rockies didn’t do her any good anyway, since they were really, really
far from GCA.
Plus, it didn’t
help with why was she here? It would
be good to know how she’d gotten
here, too.
And none of
those were as big as how to get out of here. To get back.
Get back.
A swell of
something shimmered through her. She needed
to get back. She had to get to Gray Cliffs. She didn’t know why — she wasn
exactly Ms. School Spirit — but the necessity of it overwhelmed her.
If there wasnt
a distraction right then, the pressure in her eyes would have turned into
another episode of her personal plague — tears.
But there was a distraction.
A faint sound,
like something sliding, was the only warning.
Then a shape
began to rise over the ridge to her left. A glimpse of something light-colored
and sort of rounded.
It dropped back
out of sight, rose again, retreated, then rose higher, all in a peculiar rhythm.
The light-colored something appeared
to be cloth. And the rounded shape… Cloth covering a head? Was this a person?
But how tall would the person have to be for its head to be that high off the
ground? Assuming it was a head.
Never assume.
Another of her
dad’s sayings.
Considering the
strange things she’d encountered today, assuming anything about anything was a
real leap.
She squinted. It
was a head. A face peered out of the
small aperture of what appeared to be an old-fashioned sun bonnet covered by
folds of cloth worn like Lawrence of Arabia.
As if that
thought conjured it up, a new head showed above the ridge. An animal. Not a
horse. It had short, rounded, furry ears. Fuzzy beige color. In the same rhythm
as the first head, it appeared, disappeared, then appeared higher. It was
climbing, carrying the first head — please,
let there be more than just a head
. And then the rest of the animal’s head
came into view.
Alex sucked in
more hot air and stepped back.
A camel?
That had to mean
those mountains weren’t the Rockies.
She would
remember if there were camels when they visited Yellowstone Park three years
ago. Her father and brother read aloud every single factoid on every single
kind of wildlife in the whole place. She forgot most of it, but she’d remember
camels ...wouldn’t she?
“Halt. Or I will
shoot.” The first head had a voice. A threatening voice. A girl’s threatening
Alex halted.
The camel came
fully into view, hump and all, topped by the girl-voiced figure wrapped in
sheets the same color as the camel. The animal’s color was thanks to genetics,
the sheets’ from dirt, judging by the streaks marking them.
“What are you
doing here?” the threatening girl asked. From the little Alex could see, and
from the voice, she guessed the girl was somewhere around her own age—eighteen.
The harsh demand
rubbed at Alex. That’s my question, Camel
. Right after, Where the hell is
She forced
herself to calm.
“I, uh, I need
help. Please, can you take me to the nearest town?” Silence met that request.
She lowered her aim. “A phone. Anyplace with a phone would be great. And some
water? I’d really like some water. Maybe a shower.” Fresh clothes wouldn’t
hurt, either. But she wouldn’t push.
Gray Cliff’s
uniform was not cut out for fire and rocks. Of course, she had to wear the
stupid skirt today. If she had the pants on, her phone in would be in her
pocket. Instead, she’d gotten ink on the pants yesterday, so she put on the
skirt and stashed her phone in her backpack.
“No town. No
Alex took a
step. “A phone—”
A point showed
in the folds of the sheets. “I’ll shoot. Stay back.”
The girl
threatened her if she backed up, threatened her if she stepped forward. Was she
allowed to breathe? Something
unfamiliar bubbled up in Alex.
“Shoot with
what? Your finger?” She never mouthed off. Ever. Think it, yeah. Say it out
loud, no. Yet, here she was telling Camel Girl, “You think I don’t know that’s
just your finger? Besides, if you had a gun, you wouldn’t shoot it through your
The sheets
shifted and between them emerged the tip of an arrow, followed by what looked
like a miniature crossbow.
“Not through my
clothes. Through yours. Through you.”
Beneath the brim
of the bonnet, under the swaths of cloth, the girl’s eyes were hard and direct.
“Why? Why?” It was a familiar question. The
one she so often wanted to howl at the universe when the empty ache that made
no sense welled up inside her, when the gift
she didn’t want or understand pulled another crappy trick on her, when
frustration at…everything ... rose up
so strong, she couldn’t breathe. That happened on ordinary days.
Today wasnt
Why?” Alex practically shouted.
Clearly unmoved,
the girl said, “I don’t know you.”
“That’s easy.
What’s your name? Mine’s—”
“I don’t want to
know you.”
fear, encircled by darkness, hurtling through lightning, landing on fire, it
all boiled over. “Well, then go, just leave me here to die, Camel Girl.”
The reins on the
camel tugged sharply to turn it around. The animal seemed to resist, but Camel
Girl pulled harder, until the camel’s head was nearly back to its shoulder. The
camel turned, and in three steps camel and girl were back over the ridge and
out of sight.
She was alone

Like always.

About the Author:

Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.

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