Title: Magic Reborn
Series: The Peacesmith Series #1
Author: Carly Hansen
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
On the run and disguised as a boy, Fenix Graystone finds sanctuary when a witch opens her home, arms her with charmed knives, and transforms her into a fearsome fighter. But when an enigmatic vampire overlord arrives seeking help to solve the murders of three young women, Fenix’s newfound peace shatters.
The kidnapping of a fourth girl stirs up strange emotions in Fenix, bringing her illegal magical powers to the surface. But the magic within her points Fenix to suspects too close to the vampire overlord for comfort.
Now she must ally with an enemy she didn’t even know she had if she hopes to rescue the girl and bring the killers to justice—before she becomes their next victim.
If you like fast-paced action, strong female leads, and a dreamy love interest, you'll want to get lost in these pages.
PROLOGUE Outskirts of Birstall, Eastern Region 7:46 P.M. The girl sat up in her tent, her heart pounding. With trembling fingers, she pushed straggly, auburn curls away from her ears and listened to the wind rushing through the leaves. She was sure she’d heard a crackle. She’d just begun to drift off to sleep when the sound jolted her into a state of panic. Was it that the wind had snapped off a tree branch? Or was it the sound of twigs being crushed under approaching footsteps? If she hadn’t had a fight three days earlier with Jake, her boyfriend of ten months, the nighttime sounds in the woods outside her small canvas tent wouldn’t have bothered her. Built like an ox, tattooed from head to toe, and always spoiling for a fight, Jake was not a man that anyone in the squatter community dared to tangle with. But now he was gone, and she was all alone. She reached back to feel among her clothes and books for a flashlight. In her early twenties and broke, she was just an ordinary girl who owned nothing worth stealing. Still, she was a female, so theft was not the only reason she might be under attack. Just as her fingers touched something smooth, cool, and cylindrical, another crackling sound made her jump. The flashlight rolled away, out of reach. Breathing heavily, she got on her knees and frantically patted the ground in the darkness, searching for the object. Where the hell is that light? she thought. Maybe whoever was out there would think twice if they saw she had a light on in the tent. They’d realize she could shine the flashlight in their faces and identify them. Or maybe she could save it for when they were close, and then suddenly shine the light in their eyes to blind them and give herself time to run. But run to where? Beyond the thin canvas of her tent, there was nothing but a narrow, lonely road up on a hill, and forest for miles around. There was certainly nothing resembling law enforcement anywhere nearby, which was the attraction of these woods for people down on their luck or on the run from the authorities who found their refuge from the world here. Tents and makeshift huts were spread out haphazardly among the trees and brush. For all she knew, she could run for an hour and not encounter a soul to help her. Or she could run for mere minutes and crash into the hovel of someone more dangerous than whoever was prowling outside. Her mind raced. Ex-cons, wanted men, and people on the lam would be bad enough. She knew there were plenty in these parts. Even Jake was fleeing warrants. But what worried her more were the things she’d only heard whispered about. She tried to push them out of her mind because thinking about them only made her more terrified. Men who turned into werewolves, panthers, or bears were only urban legends, right? Vampires, gargoyles, and dragons were just the stuff of scary bedtime stories and couldn’t really exist, could they? And those evil magicians who tortured people for fun, they’d all been rounded up and jailed or executed a long time ago, if they ever even existed, hadn’t they?
“Where the hell is that damn light?” she muttered under her breath. In her mind, she cursed that blockhead she’d been stupid enough to have a relationship with. It’d been Jake’s idea to move out here a few months after they’d met. How could he have abandoned her in this place? She’d been used to hardship since she’d run away from foster care in her early teens. She’d scraped by on menial jobs, and she’d had plenty of experience sleeping on people’s bug-infested couches in cold basements. But living in a tent in a squatter settlement in the woods had been a new low. Three days earlier, they’d argued like cats and dogs over something trivial and stupid. She’d awoken the next morning to find him gone, along with the little money they’d saved up. She’d spent the last few days stunned and unsure what to do next. And now this! The sound of twigs snapping outside grew louder. It couldn’t be a good thing that someone approached her tent at this hour. What did they want with her? She couldn’t think of one good reason for someone to be out there. Goose bumps covered her flesh and she knew, instinctively, that whatever the reason, it had to be bad. Very bad. Her entire body shook uncontrollably as her fingers found the slim form of the small flashlight and curled around it. “This is the third and final one for the night,” a deep male voice said from outside. The girl froze on her hands and knees. The crackling of twigs, louder and more frequent now, was unmistakable as the footsteps—of more than one person—drew nearer. “Remember,” the voice, muffled but clear beyond the canvas that offered her no protection whatsoever, said, “I’m the only one who gets to enjoy her.” Her heart banged against her ribs, and she fell back on her butt. Digging her heels in, she scrambled backward. She nearly jumped out of her skin as her spine met the back of the tent. She wanted to scream. But when she opened her mouth, her throat was dry and no sound came out. It went quiet outside. Inside the tent, her breaths came loud and fast, and the noise filled up the small dome. Her head spun and her hand clutched the flashlight so tightly her knuckles ached. She couldn’t decide if the silence was a good thing. Did they leave? All she wanted was to be safe. Suddenly, a ripping sound sent a shiver down her spine. A sharp object had stabbed the tent, just inches from her left shoulder, dragging down in an attempt to open it. She finally found her voice. The scream was so forceful her lungs felt like they would burst. But her shrieks did nothing to stop her attackers. The canvas split apart violently. Something sharp dug into her shoulder, riveting her with pain as her cries rang out… Chapter 1 Tresmort, Eastern Region Same night
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