New magic is unpredictable, unreliable, and unsafe. The same could be said about Adrian Cotter, a snarky, cupcake loving, rookie police officer with the uncanny ability to make magic do anything but what it’s actually supposed to. The laughingstock of the police station, Adrian is determined to stick it to everyone who’s ever called him a worthless piece of trash, dreaming to one day become a hero everyone adores.
That is until he becomes the #1 most wanted criminal in the country.
Hunted by a menacing shadow and haunted by a voice in his head, Adrian sets off on a mission to catch the person responsible for his mess. Along the way, he teams up with the Black Sheep, a group of badass military soldiers from another world where magic is far more advanced than he could ever imagine. With their help, Adrian learns all about the magic that is new to his world, and uncovers his true magical abilities along with a startling discovery about his past that will no doubt determine his future. But who can he trust is telling him the truth? And will he find a way to change his fate to become the hero he’s always wanted to be before time runs out?
Targeted Age Group:: 18-30
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My grandmother always told me I had an impressive imagination. Although usually it was an excuse to get out of trouble, she knew there was more to it than that. She had told me that one day I should write a book of excuses. Although I took a slightly different route, I did take her advice and began my writing in the fantasy genre, exaggerating on all those playful excuses and adding just a touch of the humor and sarcasm I'd always give to her growing up.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are usually based on the personality traits of people I know. You'll notice my main character, Adrian, has some seriously curly hair, loves cupcakes, and has a pretty snarky attitude…a striking resemblance to me! Some of the others are even named after my friends and family.
Although my characters aren't exact mirror images, I did take some of their personality traits to mold them into characters that hopefully everyone loves and can relate to.
"You're in my way, idiot." A boxy woman behind me stood with her arms folded tightly across her chest, ferociously staring at me as I ripped open a sugar packet and poured it into my coffee. Her uniform was flawlessly ironed, from her dark blue button-down shirt to matching navy dress pants. Even her oxfords were nicely polished.
“Good afternoon, Officer Foster!” I replied in an overly enthusiastic voice. “Just a second…”
I picked up another sugar packet and meticulously tore it open, tapping the packet and sprinkling it into my coffee one sugar crystal at a time. She expressed her frustration with a loud exhale, and I couldn’t help but give a satisfying smirk as I paraded toward the door with my coffee in one hand and cupcake in the other. She mumbled something unpleasant under her breath.
“Have a fabulous day!” I smiled and raised a toast with my coffee cup as I exited the break room. The second she was out of sight my shoulders slouched and my face went back to its usual blank expression. I did my best pretending their antics never bothered me, but their repulsive behavior often got to me. My short fuse was pretty well known across the station. In fact, I was on thin ice with the captain for a few…mistakes.
I shuffled down the aisle of cookie cutter metal desks, each officer glowering at me like I was a dead man walking.
“Why are you staring? Is there something on my face?” With my hands occupied, I shrugged my shoulder, pretending to wipe something off my chin. I was met with an assembly line of eye rolls until I reached my desk in the back corner of the office.
The cheap rolling chair groaned under my weight, a testament to my love for delicious sweets, including the monstrous red velvet cupcake I snatched from the kitchen begging me to consume it.
I glanced down at the crumbs that dropped onto my lap. My uniform was not as flawless as Officer Foster’s. I brushed my hands down my shirt to flatten out some wrinkles with my hand while simultaneously sweeping away the crumbs. A brownish red stain was prominent across the front breast pocket of my button-down shirt from some ketchup that squirted out of my burger last week. I was at the station trying to catch up on work all weekend, and for the few short hours I was home I wasn’t about to spend it doing laundry.
I sighed at the mountain of paperwork on my tiny office desk, piled so high it was like a paper fortress surrounding me. I moved some files to clear a small space and placed the paper coffee cup next to my computer keyboard.
I grabbed a manilla folder from the top of the stack on my right just as someone replaced it by throwing another one on top. My paper fortress came crashing down, my coffee cup a casualty of the invasion. Piping hot liquid cascaded onto the keyboard and raced its way to claim the folders next to it. I glanced up to see a potbellied man who’s had one too many donuts retreating away from me, twisting his bald head around to say something.
“I need those done today.” The officer shoved half a donut in his mouth and kept walking until he was out of sight. I mentally laughed at my prior assertion. Cops really lived up to the stereotype here.
I raked my hand through my messy chocolate brown hair and pulled on the ends of my curls in frustration. “Keep it up and the only Captain title you’ll ever get is Cap’n Crunch,” I mumbled softly to myself, then took some napkins from my desk drawer to sop up the mess. I rubbed my eyes, dark and sunken in from lack of sleep. Almost lunch time. Maybe I could go find a locker to shove myself into and take a nap.
“Attention, everyone!” The whole office instantly fell silent. In unison, everyone froze in place and locked their eyes on the captain who was trotting down the stairs from his office. He stopped on the last step to give himself some extra height. Even standing on the stairs, the only thing that stood out from the back of the room was his overly gelled, spiky blonde hair sticking up over the sea of people standing around their desks.
His voice erupted, overwhelming the room with his grating tone. “Arcane Enterprises is holding their annual MagiCon event next week, and it’s all hands on deck for security patrol. As you know, these events draw tens of thousands of magic technicians and organizations from around the world. With this many people in one place, we need to make sure the event stays organized and we keep everyone safe at all times. All officers are to be on high alert and fully aware of their responsibilities during this event. Further details on assignments will be sent to your email.”
Arcane Enterprises, a magiceutical company dedicated to producing magic objects, hosted a massive magic conference each year. My mom, a genius magic scientist who basically paved the path to advancing magic, used to attend and sometimes speak about her work at the event.
There was a brief pause when he stopped talking, then the noise picked up again as the busy officers carried on with their work. The captain was storming his way down the aisle.
“Officer Cotter, with me.” He slammed his hand down on the corner of my desk, not bothering to even look at me as he passed right on by. I got up and followed him, entered an empty office, and shut the door.
“Have a seat.” He motioned to the padded metal folding chair in front of him. He sat down on the other side behind the desk in an elaborate leather office chair, leaning back while tenting his fingers, enforcing his dominance over me.
“Something wrong, Captain Fletcher?” That was usually the only reason people ever spoke to me. That, or I was finally getting the boot for my contemptuous behavior.
“Adrian, I’m going to get right to the point. We are short staffed as it is, and this event is big for us. I know you’ve never been assigned to work security like this after…that incident…but I’m putting you on patrol for this event. I need to know you’re up for this and you won’t cause any problems.” He wasn’t really asking so much as demanding. The darkness laced in his voice suggested a warning. If I made even the slightest mistake, I could kiss my job goodbye. Who knew how long he’d been waiting for the perfect opportunity to get rid of me.
“Of course, Captain Fletcher. I’m ready to assist the team in any way I can.” He nodded, got up, and left me sitting there by myself in the empty room. I pressed my lips together and made a discreet fist pump as I celebrated in silence. Most of the time I was assigned to direct traffic during construction and respond to fender benders—the safe jobs that were pretty hard to screw up. If I wasn’t doing that, I was entering endless amounts of paperwork into our system.
The day went on. I kept checking the clock as each painful hour passed, absorbing the insults and judging glares, and shooting them right back to anyone who passed by my desk. After what seemed like forever, my shift had ended. I packed up my bag and was about to give up for the day when I heard a soft hissing sound coming from behind me.
“Pssssst.” I twisted around to see Nolan peeking through the doorway. He waved his hand, gesturing for me to follow. I trailed behind him up the back stairwell to the second floor, watching him disappear into his lab. As I reached the top of the stairs, my shoulder collided with a six pack of brick walls rounding the corner, causing me to stumble backwards and nearly tumble back down the stairs.
“Watch where you’re going, dickhead,” a raspy voice beamed down at me, the smell of nicotine burning my eyes.
Insult number thirty-six of the day—that I knew of anyway. I tried to stay professional when other people were around, but it was only a matter of time until that bubble of anger burst and exploded with a nuclear bomb of rage. “Oh, that’s all my fault. I didn’t realize your head was so far up your ass you couldn’t see where you were going.”
Thankfully, there was no such thing as magic laser beam contact lenses or his turd colored eyes would be making smores with my melted face. I could already see this wouldn’t end well. His sausage fingers reached out and grabbed my shirt collar, yanking me against the side wall. He leaned in, his pointed nose inches away from my face. His grip was so tight I could barely breathe.
“What did you say, rookie?” he grunted in a low voice. My legs went limp, the heels of my feet slightly lifting off the floor. The air slowly escaped my lungs. Let it go, I told myself. When I didn’t respond, my assaulter spoke. “Hmph. That’s what I thought. Don’t go picking fights you can’t finish, pussy.”
“I’d rather be a pussy than an ass like you.” I managed to huff out, deciding I wouldn’t let it go.
I thought it was rather funny. He unfortunately didn’t. He squeezed his grip tighter around my collar, the scratchy fabric burning through the back of my neck. I closed my eyes and tried not to think about it, but his brazen laugh and the intense urge to punch his face was all that swarmed my brain. I was seconds away from passing out when the captain came out of his office heading in our direction. The officer relaxed his grip and slowly I began to breathe life back into my lungs. I stumbled on my feet as he let go of my collar and gave me a backwards shove into the concrete wall.
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