Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Book Feature & #Giveaway ~ Hybrid Magic by Cristy L. Bowlin @CristyLBowlin ~ YA Fantasy


Hybrid Magic
by Cristy L. Bowlin

Genre: YA Fantasy

Two nations joined peacefully as one, but a band of assassins lurks in the shadows.

Magic isn’t uncommon in the Deravine Commonwealth, where people can be gifted with the faculties of combat, healing, transformation, or sight. Yet as a hybrid mage, Aaron Ztrong’s abilities aren’t so easily categorized. He managed to save his parents during a dangerous confrontation when he was only a young boy, and now a decade later most people in his life expect him to do remarkable things with his powers. Then there are those who fear what Aaron and others like him can do. When Aaron’s life is threatened by a group calling themselves the Defenders, he takes refuge with two other hybrid mages and the teacher who is training them to enhance their abilities. As the Defenders continue to hunt down hybrid mages, Aaron and his new companions must find a way to survive.

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Elara rubbed her arms as a chill in the air brushed over her. She pulled her light brown cloak tighter around her shoulders and undid the knots in the ribbon that tied up her wavy, wheat-colored hair, letting the tresses fall around her neck. Her father used to tease her whenever she stayed out working with the crops until dusk, claiming she was just another corn stalk blending in. She was tall and thin, with tanned skin that almost matched the color of her cloak.

It was just recently that Bennet Wynstrom had taught her to blend in with the trees of the forest. She always knew she was good with plants, but it wasn’t until Bennet found her that she understood the true extent of her powers. She could do more than just heal the plants she worked with—she could become one of them. So far, she had only managed it twice with any success, but she was getting better at it. Like a wood nymph straight out of a fairytale, her limbs and torso turned a sinewy dark green, and her hair became a cascade of leaves dotted with tiny yellow flowers.

Despite the thrill she experienced in her transformation, she sometimes regretted that Bennet found her. She would still be with her family now if it weren’t for him. But if Bennet hadn’t found her first, one of the Defenders of the True Four might have.

Elara never would have guessed that she was a hybrid mage. How could she be when no one else in her family even possessed any of the usual magical faculties? It was only after Bennet contacted her parents six months ago that she learned the truth. Her birth parents had died when she was two years old, and the father she could no longer remember was a combat mage. A fire burned down their house. Elara only survived because of her abilities. Her aunt and uncle found her in a mud pit surrounded by charred vine tendrils. Somehow, Elara had reached into the earth with her magic and guided the vines to the surface, opening up a wellspring in the middle of the family’s kitchen.

Elara’s aunt and uncle didn’t have any children of their own at that time, and they adopted her. Her brother and sisters were really her three younger cousins. She frequently reminded herself that she left before others discovered her abilities in order to keep her family safe. Anyone who didn’t know of Elara’s adoption would assume Rylan, Adaline, and Bella were also hybrid mages. Hybrid magic was the genetic outcome of a specific and rare family lineage traced back through four generations, and siblings with that lineage would all be hybrid mages. Her family’s luck with farming had always caused rumors, which made it better for Elara to get far away from prying eyes.

Cristy L. Bowlin grew up in Ventura County, CA where she spent most of her free time ballet dancing and reading fantasy books. She got her BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in dance from the California Polytechnic State University. She then received her MA in English with a minor in gender and women's studies from the University of Kentucky. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and cat in Southern California where she is a college English professor. Her debut YA fantasy novel The Temple Dancer's Diary was published in July 2019, and her next book Hybrid Magic was just published in the summer of 2021.

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  1. I like the cover and synopsis, this sounds like a good read. Thank you for sharing the book and author details

    1. Thanks, Bea! It's been great seeing your comments at so many of the book tour stops! :)

  2. Thanks for the great excerpt. The book sounds fascinating.