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Abracadabra by K. Stevens

by K. Stevens 
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy 

Magic and mayhem are his middle names. Figuratively. Not literally. He's not sure he even has a middle name, let alone two. 

Rod's a trickster by trade, magician by hobby, and thief by night. But when an old friend hunts him down and asks a favor, he can't refuse. Mostly because she'll likely try to kill him before asking again. But also because it presents a very interesting puzzle: to hunt down what a half-elf, magic weapons, and a killer-led cult of shapeshifters have to do with each other. 

Lucky for him, Rod has the ability to be in three places at once. The problem? Even he can't always tell which him is the real him. 

Abracadabra Excerpt 1

You’d be surprised how many pirate ships can fit into a magical underground harbor. It was laughable how much Miles’ ship looked like a toy boat compared to the mechanical wonders surrounding it. The huge slats of wood on either side and bottom of his ship didn’t help the notion. It was considered “old-fashioned” to still have a wooden hull -- not to mention dangerous if there wasn’t an ample amount of protection behind it. Apparently Miles happened to be an old-fashioned type of guy.
The wood was old, but had a bright sheen to it as if Miles had gone over it was some sort of gloss. One could only hope it was for protection and not decoration. It had a pointed nose and a narrow rudder, the sides bulging and creaking as it teetered in place. Large metallic fins stuck out from either side with a single larger fin protruding from the deck, and all three were  pulled tight against the ship, resulting in the ship looking even smaller.
To be honest, it looked kind of like a giant fish.
As if its size and shape weren’t enough to make it stand out, two cannon noses poked out near the front like a pair of empty eyes while something akin to a huge sniper barrel rested on the deck.
Miles motioned to an old rope ladder clanking along the side. He flashed a mischievous smile to Olyvia, who was clearly uncomfortable with the whole affair and rethinking her deal.
“Ladies first,” he said.

Abracadabra Excerpt 2

The roads were wide tracks in the ground, the ground around the edges of each hut a trampled mess of sticky mud. Woven grass mats were laid in the middle of the messes, probably to increase traction despite the mud reaching through any holes available.
            I followed the beaten path to the closest cluster of buildings, finding my way to a building with a crudely-constructed porch made of logs forced into place among the mud. The sounds of community drifted through a makeshift curtain of thick leaves covering the entrance. A pair of pale, hollow-eyed elves walked past, keeping their heads down as they pushed past the leaves and made their way into the building.
            Judging by the many muddy tracks on the makeshift porch, this place was where the elves gathered. Or at least, one of them. Might as well start asking question and see what I could see.
            I went to the curtain and attempted to brush it aside. My hand passed through the leaves instead. I pondered it for a second before snorting to myself; of course. Of course I can’t interact with things. I pushed past the curtains and entered the hub.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Rod is one of those that has been around for a very, very, VERY long time. He’s seen things come and go, wars fought, and people he thought he was close to die off while he remained. He’s got a tinsey bit of abandonment issues, but these don’t come out as clingy so much as they do ‘disinterested’. He figured out that if he remains distant from others (to a certain extent), then it won’t hurt so much when they leave him...and his general attitude is that everyone will leave him eventually, either through walking out or dying. He’s not completely absolutist, though, as there are a few exceptions due to their own lifespans and survival interest -- and Olyvia is one of those people. It’s one of the reasons he so carefully guards her without actively guarding her; he can’t stand the idea of someone taking her away from him, but yet refuses to get completely attached to her.

As for Olyvia herself, she keeps others at arms length due to an...unfortunate past that constantly makes her think of herself as a monster. Instead of wallowing in sorrow or sulking away into a cave, however, she’s dedicated herself to this idea (so she thinks) and refused to admit there might be more to the story. She’s fairly long-lived, and in that time has become confident in her own ability to think and fight her way through any given problem. She resents feeling trapped, pressured, or someone lording secret knowledge over her, but her lifetime has taught her patience and restraint...which is what makes it so much harder to deal with Layla, the half-elf that is a puzzle unto herself.

From an early age, K. Stevens devoured all things magical and mystical. To this day, she hesitantly struggles to keep one foot in reality while the rest of her remains firmly rooted in the fantastic and insane. In 2015, she finally worked up enough courage to share her stories with more than just her family, and was encouraged by the fact that she wasn’t eaten alive for it. She may be the crazy lady that talks to bugs and stares incessantly into the sky, but don’t mind her. She’s just thinking. 

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