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Sara Casalino

Sara Casalino

Sara has a B.A. in English- Creative Writing. She lives in a fantasy world of magic, dragons, and other planets. She has published two young adult fantasy books so far.

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Magic Academy

When 17-year-old Dani tells the principal that the librarian is trying to steal the Mirror of the Future, he doesn't believe her. So Dani decides to steal the mirror herself.

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Young Adult Fantasy
Idaho, United States
17,000 words
100% complete
6 publishers interested

Synopsis

17-year-old Dani is a junior at Magic Academy and is studying to be a spells wizard. After learning about the Mirror of the Future, which is on display in the school's library, Dani witnesses the librarian trying to steal it. The mirror is able to show unlimited views of the future. Some believe that if they can see the future, they can control it. Dani tells the principal that the mirror is in danger, but he thinks she was mistaken. So Dani decides to steal the mirror herself before the librarian does. But the mirror is heavily secured and only the principal knows how to get to it. Dani teams up with her friend Ray in order to figure out how to steal the mirror and protect it before someone tries to use it to control the future.

Outline

Here's the outline for my novel. I had to keep some things vague in this outline, so that I don't spoil the story for you. Enjoy!


Chapter 1: Magic Academy 

While casting a spell, Dani sees a golden mirror with a handle. She learns about the Mirror of the Future and its dangers.

Chapter 2: Martial Arts

When Dani's martial arts class is canceled, she decides to join the Defense Club. Unfortunately, it's for guys only, so Dani needs to come up with a disguise.

Chapter 3: The Dance

At the school dance, Dani's cousin Macy suddenly disappears. Dani goes to search for her and comes across an attempt to steal the mirror.

Chapter 4: Mirror of the Future

Dani deceives the principal into telling her how to get past the security to steal the mirror. She attempts to steal the mirror and the librarian threatens her cousin, Macy.

Chapter 5: The Rash

An attacker gives Dani a rash that messes up the use of her magic. She has to figure out a way to get rid of the rash and restore her use of magic.

Chapter 6: Amanda Maze

Dani meets Amanda, the woman who created the Mirror of the Future. She finds out why Amanda had disappeared all those years ago. 

Chapter 7: Breaking the Future

The villain has gotten his hands on the mirror and is using it to see the future. Can Dani get the mirror away from him for good?

Author

Sara is the author of Unisphere and Thunderstruck, two young adult fantasy novels.  She has written numerous short stories, including "The Missing Hair Scrunchie," "The Principal Killer," "The AK-47 Bandit," "Stranded on Another Planet," and "Restranded on Another Planet." She enjoys writing fantasy, science fiction, and romance.

Sara has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and is currently working on an M.A. in Professional Writing. Sara wanted to be an artist at first. She frequently drew pictures of her characters and stories. But later she felt that writing gave her more freedom than drawing could. She decided to focus on writing instead, and first began writing stories when she was 14 years old. She wrote much of Unisphere while she was a teenager. Her drawing skills come in handy every once in a while when she needs to explore characters and settings. She is currently working on book two for Unisphere and Thunderstruck and has several shot stories in queue. 

Sara works as a freelance writer and blogger. She loves libraries and reading young adult books. She enjoys playing the piano, biking, and drawing. Sara is fluent in Italian and can read and write in Spanish. She lives happily with her musician husband and adorable pet guinea pigs.

Promotion

Author website: I regularly post updates about my books. I also post funny stories and examples from my writing.

Social Media: I have an author facebook page called Books by Sara Casalino. I have Pinterest and Twitter accounts, where I also post updates on my books.

I am active on Goodreads. I've done book giveaways on Goodreads in the past and will do it for this book as well

Competition

Here are some ways in which my book differs from similar books out there. For example, I came up with the idea of a library that's structured like a maze. Not just a stationary maze, but a maze that can move around and trap someone in it. I've also come up with certain magical objects, such as the Mirror of the Future and what it can do and some dangers it poses. The characters in my story do not need wands, but have the magic inside of them and mainly use their hands to cast spells. 

Here's a list of similar books:

Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones

Published by Greenwillow Books in 2009. 

Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Frustrated that the witches of the castle refuse to acknowledge her talents, Gwendolen conjures up a scheme that could throw whole worlds out of whack.

Journeyman Wizard: A Magical Mystery, by Mary Frances Zambreno

Published by Harcourt in 1994.

The young wizard, Jermyn Graves, with his skunk familiar, Delia, takes up studies with the strict, demanding Lady Jean at her country home, but her sudden death teaches Jermyn about more than magic. 

The Light of the Oracle, by Victoria Hanley

Published by David Fickling Books in 2009.

Bryn is the daughter of a humble stone-cutter. So no one is more surprised than she when the Master Priest seeks her out to become a student at the famous Temple of the Oracle; a training school for future priests and priestesses. But her innately gifted nature proves a threat to the evil embedded within the Temple, and Bryn encounters unimaginable danger. Is she able to struggle with the unknown and to save the whole world from untold misery? Or will the powers of darkness succeed?

Searching for Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers in 2015.

Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper, is back--but where is Kazul the dragon? That's what Cimorene is determined to find out! 

The Isle of the Lost, by Melissa De La Cruz

Published by Disney Hyperion in 2015.

Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon's Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the Dragon's Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.

Sample

Chapter 4: Mirror of the Future

“Hello, Danica,” the principal said when I came in. Dr. Prolix was the one person who
always called students by their full names. With all the extensive vocabulary he used, I guessed he liked to hear himself talk.

“I’m writing a research paper about magical security,”
I told him. “I wanted to ask you a few questions. Is that okay?”

“Indubitably!” he said, looking eager to share his expertise.
He motioned me to a chair and I sat down and pulled out my notepad.

“How are the magical artifacts protected?” I asked. “For
example, you could explain the security of one of them to me, such as the mirror.”

“We use a potent incantation that obscures the locale of the
authentic speculum. The magic induces the reflector to appear to be in a divergent venue than the actual locale. The speculum you witness in the exhibit is merely a spectral semblance. If a wizard were to strike the explicit
position where the invisible keyhole is located, then this wizard would undoubtedly be able to retrieve the reflector.”

“You said there’s a keyhole,” I said. “Does this mean
there’s a key?”

“Affirmative,” said the gloating principal. “The exclusive
key that makes the exhibit accessible is the key of magical abilities.”

“You’ve been very helpful. Thank you for this information,”
I started to stand but the principal motioned for me to sit back down.

“One more feature,” he said. “I have not yet completed
my discussion. I desire to recount the time one of the faculty members became disoriented in the labyrinth. You see, Dr. Amanda Maze was the designer of the labyrinth and she was practicing a most genius deception on one particular
professor.”

“What is the name of this professor?” I asked.

Dr. Prolix just stared at me, then dismissed my question with
a wave of his hand.

“I am not at liberty to divulge this information,” he said.

“Was it you?” I asked.

Dr. Prolix cleared his throat and turned a slight shade of red.

“Of course it wasn’t you,” I said quickly. “It must
have been someone else.”

Dr. Prolix immediately relaxed and his color went back to normal.

“So tell me about the prank,” I encouraged.

“Well, you see, Dr. Maze had smuggled one of the professor’s
trophies into the labyrinth. This educator was extremely distinguished and was in possession of several trophies. He was very accomplished, you see.”

I looked around Dr. Prolix’s office and spotted a good number
of trophies sitting on a shelf.

“The educator was very fond of his trophies and even the thought
of losing a single one was devastating to endure, so he set out to encounter the trophy in the labyrinth. Unfortunately, Dr. Maze had added a new feature to the labyrinth and the educator was ignorant of it. So he ventured
into the labyrinth and, while searching for the trophy, the labyrinth began to relocate and the professor became severely disoriented.”

“What happened next?” I asked.

“Well, by the time the professor discovered his prized possession,
Dr. Maze had extinguished the illumination, and the professor was left in the realm of perdition. He requested assistance, as he was in need of sustenance and his stomach was producing extreme sounds. So Dr. Maze finally appeared
and discovered him, then asked him if the trophy was worth all the struggle from the exploration. The educator replied that at this point he felt that Italian cuisine was more important than his prized trophy.”

“Interesting,” I said. “So she taught him a lesson.”

“But later he was deceptive in return,” said Dr. Prolix.
“He was very handy with certain incantations, so he cast some spells and caused the labyrinth to modify and become unsolvable. Then he challenged Dr. Maze to discover the path out of the labyrinth. She accepted the ultimatum.”

“Did she find her way out?”

“Yes. She scaled over the wall. She was quite a climber, you
see.”

“So the prank you played on her didn’t work?”

“Of course it did!” Dr. Prolix then stopped and turned to
me. “I never said I was the professor!”

“Thanks for the great story!” I smiled. “I’ve gotta
go to class! Bye!” I rushed out of there before Dr. Prolix could give another denial of his involvements.

That evening, I knocked on Ray’s door.

“Can I come in?” I asked, excited with my news.

“Sorry,” he said. “Rules are rules.”

“Oh.” With all the excitement, I had completely forgotten.

“What’s up?” he asked, coming out into the hallway.

“I know how to get to the mirror,” I said. “Let’s go.”

We climbed up the stairs and reached the library. It was late
in the evening and no one was about. We reached the entrance to the library, and gazed at the darkened maze. The library didn’t have a door; just an open doorway.

“He’s not here,” I said, referring to the librarian. I
made a fist, concentrated, then opened my hand to reveal a floating ball of blue light. It hovered just above my hand, providing light in this dark place.

“How are we going to get it?” asked Ray, as we stood before
the display case.

“With this book,” I said, holding up the one about the mirror.
I opened the cover and showed Ray the mirror inside the book. “I will hold this up in front of the mirror so I can see where the mirror is reflected.”

“I’ll stand watch,” said Ray. We pulled a desk over and
set it directly under the display case. I climbed up on the desk, and then held up the mirror in the book.

Then I saw it.

Just to the lower left of the illusion was the actual mirror!
I lifted my hand to feel around for the keyhole.

A lightning force struck me just then. I gave a loud gasp and
fell off the table with a thud, the book dropping to the floor. The intense pain left as instantly as it had come. My hand continued to throb.

“Dani! Are you all right?” Ray rushed over and helped me
up.

“There must be another way to find the keyhole,” I said.

I picked up the fallen book and opened it to the mirror page.
I did what I had learned in Aurum’s class. I tried to scry the future. Doing this would help me with the present.

I closed my eyes and imagined finding the mirror. I let all
other thoughts slowly drift from my mind and focused on the details of the gold around the mirror.

At last I saw it.

A single blue point directly over the lower part of the mirror.
I opened my eyes and turned to study the display. I gasped.

I could see the keyhole!

I went closer to the display case and help up my hand. I aimed
and shot a single blue spark of magic at the keyhole. The magic turned white when it hit and I heard a pop.

I gasped as the mirror dropped.

“Dani!” Ray called out. I lunged forward and caught the
mirror by the handle.

It was safe. I sighed in relief.

Footsteps sounded from the hall. I immediately extinguished
the blue orb of light.

“We have to go!” Ray panicked. “Someone’s coming!”
I hurriedly shoved the mirror into the back of the book, then we hid ourselves in the maze, crouching down in a corner.

The lights went on just then. Ray and I lowered our heads and
made ourselves as small as possible.

“Anyone here?” someone asked. It was Ashkelon. He began
to walk around, searching. “I know you’re in here!” he called out.

I heard a bang and another bang followed by a bunch of books
falling.

He was using his magic to try and startle us!

Ray and I stayed very still, huddled in the corner of the maze.

“The mirror is gone!” Ashkelon gasped. At last, we heard
footsteps hurry away and the room went completely dark.

I let out the breath I’d been holding.

“That was close,” I said.

“Yeah,” Ray nodded. I thought of where to hide the mirror,
then decided to leave it in the book. The book had a kind of pocket in the back. I waved my hand over it, causing blue light to cascade over the mirror, and then watched it disappear.

The next day there was a big commotion all over the school.
The principal ordered everyone into the auditorium for an emergency assembly.

Macy and I sat with our roommates and waited anxiously.

“I wonder what’s going on?” wondered Angel. “This has
never happened before.”

I knew what it was, but I didn’t dare tell them. Part of me
felt guilty. Should I tell the principal what I’d done?

Dr. Prolix walked quickly to the podium and glared at the student
body.

“It has come to my attention that the display case was burglarized
last night. The most priceless magical artifact, famously known as the Mirror of the Future, has been stolen. We do not know who is responsible for this horrendous atrocity, but we will discover it. The violator will suffer tremendously and be incarcerated immediately.”

Dr. Prolix removed the glasses from his face and began to wipe
them with a rag. He put them back on and glared at his audience even more.

“I suspect the reflector was stolen by a pupil, since I believe
a professor of this school would never allow himself or herself to commit such an atrocious act.”

He grabbed the sides of the podium with his hands and leaned
in, his voice getting lower and scarier.

He could definitely be frightening when he wanted to.

“If any one of you, professor or pupil, possesses any information as to who snatched the speculum, you must inform me at once. I anticipate I am understood. The reputation of this great academy is in serious
peril. You are all dismissed.”

He bestowed the students with another glare as he looked to
all corners and sides of the auditorium, then turned around and marched off the stage.

“I’ve never seen him so furious,” Macy whispered.

“Do you think a student could have taken the mirror?” asked
Hazel. “If you ask me, I think a teacher did it.”

“Which teacher would do something like this?” asked Angel.
“And why?”

I thought about telling my friends, but by now I was way too
scared. The principal’s words had truly frightened me. I could get into some serious trouble! I could be expelled!

But I had done it only to stop Ashkelon.

After school I made my way over to Aurum’s office. I knocked
and he called for me to enter.

“Hi, Dani!” he said happily. “Great job on that invisibility
spell today.”

“Thanks,” I beamed. Aurum moved aside the spells quizzes
he was grading.

“What can I do for you?” he asked. I sat down in a chair.

“It was me,” I said, looking down at my hands. Aurum’s
eyes became wide.

“You mean-“

“Yes,” I said, looking up. “I stole the mirror.” Aurum
didn’t say anything for a few seconds, just stared at me in shock.

“Let me explain,” I wanted to right things. “I know that
Ashkelon is after the mirror, so I decided to take the mirror so he wouldn’t be able to steal it.”

“Thanks for confiding in me,” said Aurum. “Where is the
mirror now?”

“In the library,” I said. Aurum waited for me to say more,
but I couldn’t bring myself to spill my secret.

“Please don’t tell the principal,” I lowered my head.
“I don’t want to be expelled.”

“Okay. I won’t tell him,” promised Aurum. Just then, a
knock came and Ashkelon entered. When he saw me he glared.

“I have to go do magicwork,” I excused myself and left quickly.

I was now truly worried. Would Aurum tell the principal on me?
What if I were expelled and sent to prison? And what was Ashkelon going to see Aurum about? My heart was beating a mile a minute and I needed to do something quick.

“The mail is here!” Macy announced in excitement. “This
one’s for you, Dani.” She handed me a gray envelope. I opened it and saw a message. It said: Read when you are alone.

I glanced at it again and the words disappeared.

“I’ll see you guys later,” I called as I went out the
door.

I had a feeling I knew who had sent this.

More words appeared: I know you have it. Meet me at midnight in the library. I need to tell you something about the mirror. Come alone. Or else. Macy’s well-being depends on it.

As soon as I finished reading it, the words disappeared and
the letter shredded itself. It kept tearing itself into tiny pieces until it was reduced to dust.

I stared down the empty hall and my hands began to shake.

If I didn’t go meet with him, he was going to hurt Macy. I
knew it.

But I needed to tell someone. I reached Ray’s office and went
in. Ray was sitting at his desk, grading papers. He smiled when he saw me, then the smile faded when he noticed my sorrowful expression.

“What happened?” he asked.

“I got a note from Ashkelon,” I said in a low voice. “He
wants me to meet him tonight in the library.”

“A note? That’s proof! We can finally convince Dr. Prolix.”

“The note dissolved itself,” I said. “I’m going to go
face Ashkelon tonight. I don’t know what will happen or what I’m going to do. He’s a hypno wizard, and I’m just a wizard-in-training.”

“Don’t go,” Ray said. “It’s a trap. He just wants
to force you to give up the mirror!”

“He threatened Macy,” I whispered. “If I don’t go, I’m
afraid he may hurt her.”

Ray’s face paled.

“I’m coming with you,” he said, getting up.

“But Ashkelon told me to come alone. If he sees you, he might
still hurt Macy.”

“I’ll hide, then,” Ray said. “You are my best friend,
and it would be wrong to leave a friend to face danger by herself.”

For a moment we looked into each other’s eyes. “You’re
my best friend too,” I smiled. I closed the distance between us and wrapped my arms around him. Ray hugged me back.

“All right,” I said. “We will meet at midnight.”

Chapter 5: The Rash

I stayed up while my roommates went to bed one by one. It was now a few minutes to midnight.

I made my way up the stairs and stopped before the entrance
to the library. I took a deep breath, then went in.

The library was dark, but soon a few lights came on. I looked
around the dim library and saw a figure.

Ashkelon strode on over.

“I’m here,” I said. “What do you want?”

“Let’s go on a walk,” said Ashkelon, and he turned to
go into the maze.

“I’m not going in there,” I stood my ground.

Ashkelon frowned and came back towards me.

“Fine. Have it your way,” he said. “I need to tell you
something about that mirror.”

“What is it?” I was alert.

“Do you know much about Amanda Maze?” he asked. I shook
my head.

“Amanda hated the unknown. She hated that she didn’t know
her future. To her, life was like a dark hole, a path surrounded by shadows. So she created the mirror, and in order to create it, she had to place her soul in it. That’s why she disappeared. That’s why she died. Because
of the mirror. Now, the reason why I want the mirror is to set her soul free. I know how to do it.”

“Then why don’t you let the principal know?” I frowned.

“He wouldn’t believe me,” Ashkelon said. “The principal
is a close-minded fool.”

Well, I agreed with him on that.

“Why were you threatening Macy?” I asked.

“Would you have still come if I hadn’t?” Ashkelon said.

“You attacked me before,” I told him. “I don’t believe
you’re just trying to get Amanda out. You don’t have a reason for that, and I know you are lying to me.”

Ashkelon glared at me and then gave a laugh.

“You surprise me,” he said.

I looked around. Ray was nowhere to be seen. But I knew he was
nearby.

Ashkelon took advantage of the split second I was distracted.
He raised his arm, pointed his palm at me, and shot a single dark beam. It hit me in the arm and I collapsed.

I gasped in pain. This was some sort of advanced spell. It seemed
to dig into my arm and it burned continually. Ashkelon strode on over to me, grinning.

“Where is the mirror?” he demanded. I tried to get up, but
Ashkelon came closer and shot a spark of magic at my head. I winced.

“Leave her alone!” Ray shot out from his hiding place and
prepared to strike.

Ashkelon’s eyes widened and he stepped back. I raised my hand
and shot blue streaks directly at Ashkelon. The magic streaks flew up and hit him in the eyes. He screamed in pain and dropped to the floor.

“Come on, Dani,” called Ray. “Let’s go!” He took my
arm to help me up, but I gave a sharp gasp of pain.

“Not that arm!” I pushed his hand away. I winced and cried
out as another burning spasm went through my arm. I gripped my injured arm and cradled it protectively.

“Sorry!” Ray said. He scooped me up and we dashed out of
the library.

We ran straight into Dr. Prolix. He stared at us and his eyebrows
turned down in anger.

“For magic’s sake, what are you doing out of your dormitory
past the assigned curfew?” he growled at me.

“Can’t you see she’s hurt?” Ray said urgently. “I’m
taking her to the infirmary.”

“I see. We’ll discuss this at a later time,” Dr. Prolix
said.

“Ashkelon just attacked her!” said Ray. “He’s in the
library right now, lying on the floor after Dani and I fought back. Go see for yourself!”

Dr. Prolix glared at him, then made his way to the library.

I was lying on a cot in the infirmary, the doctor hovering over
me.

“That’s a nasty rash,” she said. I looked down at my arm.
Where Ashkelon had hit me the first time was a bright red rash. The doctor had put some ointment on it which had removed the burning pain.

Dr. Prolix called us both to his office.

“Now confess to your superior,” he said, “What is occurring
betwixt you two? Why in magic’s name were the pair of you simultaneously in the same locale after the assigned curfew?”

“Well?” asked Ray. “Did you find Ashkelon in the library?”

Dr. Prolix frowned. “I did not detect our bibliothecary in
the library. Now participate in my interrogation.”

“Ashkelon wanted to get the mirror,” said Ray. “He attacked
Dani, and I went to help her. See this rash he gave her? It’s some sort of advanced spell.”

“I fail to see,” said Dr. Prolix, not even glancing at my
injury. “I do not accept your erroneous belief that Ashkelon assaulted Dani. What in the name of magic would be his rationale for wanting to acquire the speculum?”

“He said he wants to get Amanda out,” I said. “But I know
he’s lying.”

“I haven’t the slightest care about this matter,” said
Dr. Prolix. “Dr. Maze certainly vanished enigmatically. I am further disquieted about the pair of you. Do you admit affection towards each other?”

My cheeks turned a light shade of red, and I saw that Ray was
blushing too.

“Let me attempt a more straightforward question,” said Dr.
Prolix, seeing our hesitation in answering. “Have you two gone on any romanticized appointments?”

“Only one,” said Ray, realizing Dr. Prolix was asking whether
we’d gone on any dates.

“We went to the dance together,” I said.

“I will create a new regulation,” said Dr. Prolix, “that
professors and pupils cannot schedule and attempt romantic appointments together.”

“But he’s only a year older than me!”

“And you are severely underage,” said Dr. Prolix.

“I’m seventeen!” I told him.

“You have not yet reached the age of maturity. After you come
of age, at eighteen, then you can make romantic appointments with Mr. Raymond if you’d prefer. But at this time, I am imposing a special restriction on you two.”

“What is it?” Ray asked.

“You two are not granted liberty to be alone together. In
fact, you should remain as large a distance from each other as possible. You will not converse with each other except about curriculum-related activities.”

“That’s not fair,” I blurted out. Dr. Prolix turned his
cold eyes on me and frowned.

“Why is it unjust?” he asked.

“Because I don’t turn eighteen for another six months!”
I told him.

“You must pledge to it,” Prolix said. And he dismissed us
from his office.

“I’m so sorry, Dani,” Ray said, taking my hand. “We
must follow the rules.”

“And no grasping hands! It’s expressly forbidden!” Prolix
had stuck his head out of the door and was glaring at us. Ray immediately dropped my hand.

In spells class today, we were learning how to change the appearance
of objects.

“I’d like to demonstrate,” Aurum said at the front of
the class. He set a tape dispenser on the table, then waved his hands over it, and as we watched, the object began to change.

It grew in size and spikes poked out over it.

“And you see, we have a pineapple!” Aurum said, delighted.
“Now each of you choose an object and try to change it.”

I set a pencil on my desk, pointed my fingers at it and shot
a spark. The pencil jumped into the air.

“What’s going on, Dani?” Aurum asked.

“I was trying to make it grow feathers,” I said.

“Try again,” Aurum encouraged. I spread my hands out and
focused harder. I shot another spark at the pencil, and it split open, now ruined.

            Aurum shot a spark at the pencil and it was whole again.

            “What happened to your arm?” Aurum asked.

            “Someone cast a spell on me and this rash appeared,” I said.

            “Try a spell you’re more familiar with,” Aurum said.

            I tried to make
an orb of light appear in my hand, but instead, the light shot up into the ceiling and made a hole in it.

The students all jumped at the noise and looked at the hole
in the ceiling, then went back to their projects.

Aurum looked up at the blackened spot.

            “Come see me after class,” he said, then went back to his seat.

            I told him everything. How I got the rash. And what Ashkelon had
said to me.

            “The rash disrupts your magic,” Aurum said. “As long as you
have it, you can’t do what you intend to do.”

            “How do I get rid of it?” I asked.

            “I’m not sure,” he said. “But maybe the mirror contains
the answers. You said you hid it in the library?”

            I nodded.

            “Does Ashkelon know where it is?” he asked.

            “I think he suspects it’s in the library somewhere.”

            “I know a safe place to hide the mirror,” said Aurum. “Let’s
go get it. Do you remember where it is?”

            “Of course,” I said. We went up to the library.

            “I’ll distract Ashkelon while you grab the mirror,” said Aurum.
“Then meet me downstairs in my office.”

            I made my way into the maze and found the book. Soon, the labyrinth
began to move. I looked around, confused. I picked up the book and held it protectively in my arms.

            I turned to go back the way I’d come, but the path was blocked
by a wall. I went down the path that had just opened and turned left. The maze was moving before my eyes!

Had I triggered something?

            “Dani, run!” Aurum’s voice called out. I heard something fall
and pound against the wall.

            I ran.

            I didn’t know where the maze was taking me; I just ran as far
as it would go.

At last I reached the end. It was a dead end.

I turned to backtrack, then felt something hard under my feet.
I looked down, pulled up the rug, and saw a metal trapdoor.

Hurriedly, I flung it open and slipped through. I closed the
trapdoor above me, as I heard footsteps coming my way.

I was standing in darkness. I held the book close to me and
made my way forward into the unknown. I was in some kind of crawl space.

I opened my hand to make an orb of light, but instead, I began
to rise into the air. I tried to make myself return to the ground, but the magic sent me speeding down the tunnel.

I should have known I shouldn’t try to do magic with that
rash there to disrupt it.

At last the magic calmed down and I stopped just as I reached
a wall. I put my hands out and pushed against it. Just then, the rash on my upper arm began to burn.

“Aaah!” I screamed, and dropped the book. I grabbed my arm
to soothe it. As the pain began to ebb away, I reached down, searching for the book. I felt the cold metal under my fingertips. At last I got on my hands and knees, in that darkness, and began to feel around for the book.

It had moved.

Then I saw something shift in the corner of my eye. I turned
to the side and saw something move.

The book. It lifted off the ground a little, then shot forward
and clattered to the floor. I went after it.

The book moved beyond my reach.

“Come back here!” I whispered. But the book had a mind of
its own. I followed it forward into the darkness until I reached a door.

At last I picked up the book, holding it tightly in case it
tried to get away. I found the doorknob and turned it, then went through into the pitch blackness.

The door shut behind me and I jumped.

I realized I was in a small space. I felt around and found several
long sticks and other items. I flipped on the light switch.

I was in the janitor’s closet. I let out a sigh of relief,
then looked behind me. The door I had come through had completely vanished. So I turned to the exit and went out.

I brought the book to Aurum’s office.

“I’m so glad you got away!” Aurum stood up as I came in.
“I took care of Ashkelon. He won’t bother us anymore, I hope.”

“I brought the mirror,” I said, placing the large book on
the desk.

“Where is it?” Aurum asked as he opened the book.

“It’s in the back there,” I said. “In that pouch. I
hid it.”

“Only you can undo it,” said Aurum.

“But I have this rash. It causes my magic to not work properly.”

Aurum waved his hand over the book. We waited for a few hopeful
minutes, but nothing happened.

“We must get Ashkelon to remove that rash from you.”

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Austin Macauley Publishers logo Austin Macauley Publishers

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Dear Author, Congratulations on writing your book! Options abound in today's publishing world, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between traditional publishers, hybrid publishers, subsidy publishers, and self-publishing companies. 1106 Design offers independent publishing as it was initially intended, with you, the author, as the publisher. We don't publish your book, you do, and we'll show you ...

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Atmosphere Press is an independent full-service publisher for books in genres ranging from non-fiction to fiction to poetry to children's picturebooks, with a special emphasis on being an author-friendly approach to getting a book into the world. We're professional, honest, and kind. Learn more about what we do at Atmosphere’s website, atmospherepress.com.

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Authors Unite has helped 250+ authors become profitable bestsellers and grow their businesses. Check out some of our success stories here: http://authorsunite.net/wall If you want us to publish and launch your book for you, apply here: https://authorsunite.net/success We look forward to working with you! Tyler & The Authors Unite Team

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