Title: The Counterbalance
Series: Ruling Magic #1
Author: Lissa Bolts
Genre: New Adult/Adult, Urban Fantasy, Cinderella Retelling
Release date: November 15, 2020
Publisher: Indie published
Mother can’t kill me. Not that she hasn’t tried. I’m the heir to a modern-day magical dynasty, daughter of the most powerful mage in existence. From day one, Mother made it apparent that she never wanted me—never wanted an heir at all. That’s why she’s forced me into the shadows, where I remain invisible. Nobody even knows what I truly look like. Locked away, I dream of ordinary things. You know. Friends. A boyfriend. A purpose for my existence… But I’ve got secrets too. Things she can’t find out. For years, I’ve watched her scheme to expand her grip on the mage world. Like a snake, she waits for the right moment to strike. If she succeeds, there will be deadly consequences. As my powers grow, I think Mother and I have both come to the same conclusion. I might be the only thing that stands in her way.
Visit @lissabolts and @magicpenbooktours on Instagram and enter the US/INTL giveaway in honor of THE COUNTERBALANCE release this week. There will be selected two winners. 1st Prize: $10 Amazon eGift Card + Digital Copy of THE COUNTERBALANCE 2nd Prize: $5 Amazon eGift Card Giveaway will end on November 20, 2020 at midnight PST.
After a brief trip to my sparse apartment to change, I carefully made my way down to the first floor. Walking the corridor, my fingers traced the jade wainscoting. Up ahead, the intoxicating smells of seafood and pasta, along with the delicate clinking of silverware, drifted from the dining hall.
Passing by quickly, my feet carried me straight to the kitchens. I had no desire to be told, once again, that these lavish things weren’t meant for me.
For whatever reason, Mother’s spies—who pretended to act as my security—never felt the need to follow me into the kitchens for my lunch breaks.
Grabbing a wrapped stack of sandwiches, I slipped unnoticed past the cooking staff and out the door to the loading docks in the back.
In a motion that I’d practiced at least a million times, I pulled the amulet from my neck as I stepped over the threshold. It felt like stepping through a sheet of water but without actually getting wet.
By removing the glittering amulet, my disguise immediately shimmered away as my appearance shifted to my natural self—my trick of all tricks. A fatal flaw in Mother’s evil plan. She had disguised me so well that she’d unknowingly facilitated my ability to escape the building.
Avoiding the cameras with ease, I snugged on my ball cap and moved into the early afternoon sun. My skin tingled—the thick moisture in the air gripping my body as I shed my air-conditioned reality for the outside world. I breathed it in, fully expanding my lungs to take in the taste of freedom.
Everything felt sweeter when leaving those towers behind. Removing my hoodie and tying it at my waist as I went, left me with a loose tank, neon sports bra, joggers, and sneakers. Tying my long brunette hair into a braid, I tossed it over my shoulder.
Knowing I only had an hour or so until my watchers would start looking for me, I hustled to my favorite gym—just a few blocks down the street. From the outside, it didn’t look like much. It honestly looked like a sketchy basement below a dive bar, but that was only to keep the norms away. Every mage fighter worth their salt knew of Master Tye’s gym.
Out of habit, my fingers reached up to touch the hanging sign that read ‘The Dojo’, as I flung myself down the steps.
“You’re late,” Master Tye barked as soon as I entered. The underground gym was massive. It had high ceilings, sitting atop white cinderblock walls. The large room was stuffed to the brim with equipment and training mats. Several round fluorescent lights hung from above, and a vast central fan whirred like a propeller in the center, circulating the air.
“Sorry, Master Tye!” I shouted as I jogged by.
A smile pulled at my cheeks as I breathed in the smell of sweat and determination.
Damn, it’s good to be here.
Lissa Bolts is an urban fantasy writer and the author of The Ruling Magic Series. She has a passion for creating new worlds, perilous situations, and villains you’ll love to hate. A Utah native, Lissa enjoys spending time with her family tearing up the powdery slopes in the winter and long lakeside camping trips in the summer. She’s a happy wife, mom, and dog mom.