Category: My Books

My Father’s Magic – Sneak Peek!

My Father’s Magic – Sneak Peek!

Hello! and thank you for visiting my page,

On a side note, I have more on my old blog, Ingrid Foster’s World, and we’re in the process of moving…but that’s not why you’re here… 

One of my favorite quotes, by Arthur Miller, “The best work that anyone ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always,” has never been truer for me than with this book. So much of me is poured into its pages.

During the process of writing of My Father’s Magic, I laughed, I cried, I felt embarrassment and pain, and even elation… My entire goal in this process was to write a book that I would enjoy reading.

So with that in mind, I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it…

Thank you, again, for visiting my site. 🙂 I hope you’ll come back often…

“Albion, where strangers become family and “family” turn psychotic…and it all starts w an old key…” 

Prologue

He took a sip of amber liquid as his eyes shifted once more to the report. I should have known, he scoffed. The warning signs were all there.

But as the words of a former mentor returned to haunt him, Drake Hermanus set the glass down on his leather-capped desk. After all these years, could the old wizard have been right? Could I really have been such a fool?

“Father?”

Shielding his thoughts, he looked across the dark expanse of his office at the young woman silhouetted by the hallway lights. My God, in this light she could be her mother. “Yes, Esme?”

“I was just about to go home. Do you need anything before I leave?”

Tell her, Drake. Tell her. “No. Thank you. I’ll see you in the morning.”

She remained there, another second, two.

“Was there something else?” He grimaced as his words hung in the air.

“No. Good night, Father,” she said and turned away.

As he watched the door close, there was so much that needed to be said, but, as usual, the timing was wrong. With a sigh, Drake opened a hidden panel in the front of his desk and extracted a small brown envelope labeled, “Hermanus House.”

After emptying its only content, a skeleton key, he wrote, “Highway 13 to FR 190, right on Hermanus Lane,” on the front of the envelope. Then, replacing the key, he laid the envelope inside his center desk drawer.

His backup plan now in place, Drake removed several sheets of private stationary from a side drawer. It’s time, he decided. This can wait no longer.

* * *

The grandfather clock in the front hallway chimed two o’clock when Tom Delaney, dressed in a velvet bathrobe and corduroy slippers, led his friend into his study.

“How about a drink to warm you up?” he asked as he headed for the cherry hutch he used for a bar.

Drake sat down on the burgundy leather sofa and placed his briefcase on the coffee table in front of him. “No thanks, Tom. I’ll need a clear head tonight.”

Stopping in mid stride, the middle-aged lawyer turned to face his friend of more than twenty years. “Drake, what the hell is going on?”

Drake allowed his briefcase to fall open. “What do you mean?”

In an effort to steady his hands, Tom picked up his pipe from a nearby ash tray and began stuffing it with tobacco. “First, you call me this late at night, something you haven’t done in what, eighteen years?”

Drake paled, but allowed his friend to continue. “Then you show up, frazzled, something you never are, and with a five o’clock shadow, again, something you would never allow,” he paused to light his pipe. “So, tell me, Drake. What is going on?”

A pensive smile curved Drake’s full lips as he rubbed the coarse stubble on his chin. In answer, he pulled a folded paper from the inside pocket of his tailored suit jacket and laid it on the coffee table. “I think you need to read this.”

Taking a seat in a leather armchair, Tom returned his pipe to the ashtray and read the paper. Seconds later, he handed it back. “You need to tell Esme.”

Without pause, Drake slipped the paper back into his pocket. “You read the report, Tom. It’s pure speculation. Someday, I will retire leaving Esme and Geoff in charge. My planting unproven accusations inside her head would not make that any easier, for either of them.”

His lips pressed together, Tom reclined in his chair. There were many arguments he could have given, but as he looked at his friend he knew it was pointless. “So, what are you going to do?”

Drake’s eyes took on their usual cold semblance of steel. “When I leave here, I will return to the office. I have it on good authority that my apprentice and future son-in-law will still be there.”

Tom grew more uneasy; his pipe forgotten. “There’s nothing I can say to talk you out of this?”

“No, but there is something I need you to do.” Drake removed a rectangular, wooden box from his briefcase and set it on the coffee table. “In the unlikely event of my death, I need you to give this to Esme. There are a few letters, a copy of my will, and some other things I want her to have. But this box and all it contains is for her eyes only.”

“Drake, this is foolishness.” Tom said as he leaned forward. “If there’s any possibility that Geoff could retaliate or harm you in anyway, you must tell Esme. You must warn her.”

Drake smiled. “Tom, the boy is my apprentice. I will simply confront him. If I don’t like what he has to say, I will order him to resign and refrain from all contact with my daughter. Geoff is not foolish enough to cross me.”

“And what if he does?”

“I’m a master sorcerer, Tom,” Drake said as he leaned back against the sofa. “You worry too much. Now, if you’re still offering that drink, I’ll take it.”

Chapter One

Breathe, Esme, breathe. I willed myself to calm down as I wrapped the blanket around me. “It’s a dream. It’s only a dream.”

A quick glance at the bright numbers on my alarm clock, 5AM, he should be up by now.

I reached out telepathically, expecting one of two responses, both instantaneous. Either I’d hear my father’s voice, finding him awake and well into his day. Or I’d feel a wall, my father’s mental version of a “do not disturb” sign. Instead, I got nothing.

Nothing? What the heck? My telepathic connection with my father, something we shared genetically, had always been consistent. But now that connection was just a big, empty void.

As a wave of panic threatened the edges of my concentration, I reached out again. “Nothing?! No. That’s not possible.”

I grabbed my cell phone from the nightstand and jumped up from my bed. With a deep, calming breath, I told the phone, “Call Father’s mobile.

“Please answer. Please, please answer,” and pressed the phone harder against my ear.

As the call rang out and went to voice mail, I tried to think of a message, any message. But as I heard the loud beep, all I could say was, “Father, please call me.”

Still holding my now-silent phone, I started pacing. I need to go over there. I need to check on him.

But still, I hesitated. What if I’m wrong? What if I go over there and he’s pissed because I interrupted his morning routine. No. There’s got to be another way. I continued my pacing.

Wait. What about Geoff? Maybe he knows… Calling my temperamental fiancé at five in the morning was not my idea of fun. But we were both business partners with my father, so maybe Geoff knew something I didn’t.

And my sense of intuition, one of the few things my father prided me on, told me to call him. So, braced for whatever nasty reaction Geoff might give, I told my phone, “Call Geoff’s mobile.”

Three rings later I got, “Esme. I’m glad you called.”

What? If it weren’t for my dream, that felt more like a nightmare, I would have died of shock. But priorities being priorities, “Geoff, I can’t reach Father. Do you know where he is?”

“Yes,” he said as he lowered his voice. “I’m at the morgue. Your father had a heart attack.”  Long sigh, “He’s dead, Esme. Drake is dead.”

As his words registered, the first of many tears began to fall. “Please tell me I’m dreaming and that this is all part of a nightmare.”

Silence, and then, “I’m sorry, Esme. For your sake, I wish I could.”

* * *

According to the coroner, my father had died earlier that morning and according to Geoff, they had both been at work. I had thought to ask him for more details. Like why was my father, who seldom worked past midnight, pulling an overnighter?

But at that point, it didn’t matter. Father was dead and no amount of questions would bring him back. Apparently, even a master sorcerer can’t stop a heart attack.

Two days after his death, we had my father’s funeral during the morning. It all seemed so quick, so hurried. But I had asked Geoff to make the arrangements, so I had no right to complain. Besides, with my father gone, I was lucky to still have my fiancé.

That afternoon, I was on my way out of Cascadia, the large, sprawling city we all called home. “A much needed bit of time off,” my now very-much-in-charge fiancé had called it. On some level I knew Geoff was getting me out of the way, but I didn’t care. One of my other gifts, my ability to read minds and emotions, was in complete overdrive.

In truth, I was a basket case. I was so drained from my father’s death that being able to block other people’s thoughts was impossible. As much as reading Geoff’s mind might have answered some of my questions, I was grateful that he had finally mastered the ability to keep me from reading him. At least I didn’t have to worry about his dark thoughts.

I needed some time alone and wandering around Hermanus Enterprises, the company my father started, and Geoff and I had inherited, wasn’t helping. So, after finding an old key labeled “Hermanus House,” inside my father’s desk, I decided this unknown house bearing my father’s family name was as good a place as any to start.

But first, I needed to tell my mother that her husband was dead.

My Father’s Magic

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