As I get settled in Austin, the release of volume 2 nears!
As you may have guessed from my last couple of blog posts, life has been pretty busy lately. I'm now mostly settled in Austin, with only a couple random boxes left to find homes for. Yesterday I started my second week of work at CBS Austin, and I'm out working in the field now. And back in Texas, I'm enjoying making up for lost time with old friends. Life is good.
I have great friends in Austin! So happy to be reunited with them.
Despite the cross-country move and adjusting to a new life here in Austin, Welcome to Wis' Apothecary has remained a priority. My editor and I have been working hard on final edits for volume two, and though it's been challenging with everything that's been going on, I'm pleased with the progress we've been able to make. As always, I'm so grateful for him.
As we gear up for a Fall release, you can expect to hear more from me on what to look forward to. Like ahead of the first book's release, I'm working with my talented illustrator to introduce some of the characters you'll be meeting beforehand, and I have some other special things planned too.
And to kick it all off, a first look at volume two! Please enjoy these first couple of pages, where we find Isabel taking on the next steps of her training following the events at the end of volume 1:
*** SPOILER WARNING FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T FINISHED BOOK ONE YET ***
For witches, being able to feel the ‘magic in the air,’ was more than an expression. And on cool nights like this one, this fact was especially apparent.
The air was absolutely electric, and the band on my left ring finger burned with energy. Set within rose-colored metal, the apple red gemstone that matched my eye color glistened, sending its mystical power coursing through my body. The hair on the nape of my neck stood on end, and my fingers and toes squirmed restlessly.
My teacher stood several yards in front of me, her long curls blowing in the breeze like wisteria vines. The sun had long ago disappeared, yet I could see her clear as day. I mean, Luna was brilliant enough on its own. But Oceana too? With two full moons, everything was bathed in a beautiful mix of silver and blue.
We were in a large clearing outside the city, where it felt like we were all alone in the world. The earth was soft beneath my feet, the autumn breeze rustling through the grass and sending a shiver down my spine. I felt the wind wrap around my skin, and tousle the peach-colored hair that spilled over my shoulders in waves.
I took a deep breath. “Okay. I think I’m ready, Master Wis.”
“You think? You don’t sound too sure.”
“No, I am ready.” I bit my lip. “… I think.”
“Isabel.” Master Wis crossed her arms.
What? I was nervous! It had been weeks since I got my Arcanus, but I had yet to successfully cast a single spell. I was plagued with self-doubt, and my confidence was at an all-time low. Was there something wrong with me?!
“Close your eyes, Isabel.” My teacher instructed.
I breathed sharply through my nose, but did as I was told.
“What is magic?”
“The essence of all things.” I quickly and mechanically replied.
“And how do we harness that energy?”
“We harmonize with it.”
“And how do we do that?”
“By feeling it.”
“Then open yourself up. And feel it. Not just the wind, but its very essence.”
Having the practical knowledge to answer a question was one thing, but applying that knowledge was something else entirely. The matter was far too abstract. Is there even a difference between the wind and its essence?!
I groaned in frustration, but tried to focus and imagine what harmony felt like. But as the chilly gusts of air chipped away at my body heat, all I could think about was getting back inside the apothecary and under some blankets with my fluffy cat Cloud. Still, it wasn’t as if I was completely unaware.
“I feel… something…” I told my teacher, as the Arcanus on my finger continued to tingle.
“It shouldn’t be difficult. Tonight is special.” Master Wis replied. “Everything is born from the celestial sphere, so the sky wields great power. With both moons at their peak, so too is our magic.”
In other words, if I can’t cast a spell now…
“Now come,” She continued. “Send my hat flying!”
I opened my eyes, and fixated my gaze on the pointed cap resting on her head. It was adorned with an amber-colored ribbon that blew delicately in the wind. My own hat matched hers in every way, marking me as her student. I gripped it reflexively, and pulled it down tighter on my head. The wind was picking up.
I can do this, right?
I inhaled deeply, and began synchronizing my breathing with the wind. I closed my eyes and searched for every little sensation: the wind flowing through my robes, the breeze tickling my neck and the cold air burning my cheeks. The energy from my Arcanus, the energy hanging in the sky — I worked to focus it all. There was no way I could fail.
I thrust out my hand and confidently shouted, “Without shape and without form, wind come forth like a storm!”
There's More to Come!
What did you think? Please let me know in the comments. I'm so excited for everyone to read more! Growth only continues for Isabel and her friends, and we'll even learn more about the illustrious Master Wis in this next volume. I worked really, really hard, so look forward to it! Thank you for all the support.
In the meantime, I know I've been quiet during the big transition, but now be sure you're following my blog for more regular content. And if you're not subscribed to my mailing list yet, now is the time as I will soon be sending out regular updates regarding the book's release and future appearances.
I'm no longer in Rochester, but that's where Wis' Apothecary got it's start. I won't forget that. I hope to have launches in both states, so stay tuned! So many good things are happening right now, I can't wait to share that happiness with you all. Life is good.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!