Magic Heist by Mary Karlik
(Fairy Trafficking #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: July 9th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.
Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.
To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.
Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.
But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.
With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.
“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.” – I Am the Bookworm
Layla nodded and jogged up the trail. She thought about fairy-shifting. But the wind had picked up, making it unsafe to fly. Instead, she ignored the tourists’ stares and used her wings to help propel her up the path.
“Layla, go back.”
She had been sure Ian was ahead of them, but his voice came from behind. She stopped and turned. Ian ran to her. “Go back. It’s not safe.”
“What’s not safe? What are you not telling me?”
He opened his mouth to speak, and a black forked tongue darted out. He pulled it back in and clamped his lips shut. Every muscle in his face tensed, and his neck bulged as if he were swallowing the thing down. “Please. Stay. Away.” The words came out choppy as if he’d pushed them from his gut, past the dragon, and forced them between his lips.
“Let me help you.” Her heart pounded, and fear flowed up her spine. Was he turning dragon from the inside out? Would he shed his human skin like Miranda had? No. She wouldn’t let him lose this battle.
Dark clouds covered the sun. He raised his eyes to the sky. “It’s too late.” He ran toward the summit of the crag.
Layla sprinted after him. His back twitched, and she was sure his scales were glowing. If the dragon-spirit forced a shift, then Ian wouldn’t have control. It wouldn’t be just the fairies who were at risk. They were all in danger.
She had to help him. She had to stop him.
Her heart pounded as she ran up the steep incline, and her chest burned. She tried to gulp deep breaths, but lung-seizing, throat-tightening fear refused to allow air in. She was reduced to a stumbling, gasping walk as she made her way to the crest of the crag.
“The dragon does not control you!” she screamed at his back. But the wind scattered her words, and she wasn’t sure he’d heard her.
He turned to face her in a rigid, unnatural movement. “Back away.” His pupils had elongated into slits, and his muscles twitched.
Layla ran to him and took his face in her hands. “Think about the painting.”
He jerked away from her and looked up at the sky. “It’s coming.”
She raised her gaze, too, and the fear that had a hold on her system turned into terror.
Dark clouds swirled above the crest of Arthur’s Seat, and an eerie silence permeated the air. Energy crackled across her skin, but it wasn’t her magic. This was something different, dark, and dangerous.
“Layla, get out of here.” The tone in Ian’s voice went from tense to frantic and dragged her pulse along with it.
Lightning cracked. And from the center of the swirling black clouds, fire shot across the sky.
Behind the fire was a red dragon.
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.