H. L. Burke’s newest novel, Beggar Magic, will be released December 9th. Below is a rafflecopter giveaway for you to enter, a summary of the novel, and an exchange between two of the MCs in the story for your reading enjoyment.
A New Young Adult Fantasy from author H. L. Burke!
available December 9th, 2014
In Gelia City, magic is music: a constant ever-changing melody known as the Strains. Hereditary ability to use the Strains divides the city into two classes: the wealthy Highmost, who can access the full potential of the Strains, and the Common tradesmen, who are limited to mundane spells, known as beggar magic.
With the help of the Strains, Common teen Leilani rescues and befriends a gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy. The girls’ friendship opens Leilani’s eyes to the world of the Highmost. She’s intrigued by Zeb’s close relationship with the Strains, and longs to know them as she does. Zeb, in turn, comes to depend on Leilani’s strength and intelligence, making them an inseparable team, ready to take on anything with the Strains at their back.
As their unlikely friendship strengthens and endures, Zeb draws Leilani further into the Highmosts’ intrigues. Beneath the polished, academic facade of the Highmost manors lurks a threat to the Strains. An unknown force consumes their music, leaving only heart-rending silence behind.
Leilani and Zeb will do anything to save their beloved Strains, but as the silence grows, they face danger their previously sheltered lives could never prepare them for. Whoever is behind the death of the Strains is willing to kill to keep their secret safe. To preserve the Strains, the girls may have to sacrifice their friendship, or even their lives.
Zebedy Brightly received a class assignment to interview a friend of her choosing. She chose Leilani Weaver. Things just went downhill from there.
Leilani: Why do you have my notepad?
Zeb: I’m going to interview you.
Leilani: I should be the one with the notepad. I write faster than you.
Zeb: But I’m interviewing you.
Leilani: Plus no one can read your chicken scratch.
Zeb: I can. I’ll dictate it back to you later, anyway. It’ll be fine. Trust me. When have I ever steered you wrong?
Leilani: That’s another one of those questions you don’t really want the answer to, isn’t it?
Zeb: Look, it’s just five questions. We’d be done already if you weren’t being so difficult.
Leilani: Just five? You promise?
Zeb: Question one, what is your main ambition in life?
Leilani: I notice you didn’t promise. Oh well, I’ll play along. I guess it would be to join the Merchant Guild. My grandparents immigrated from Rynar, and it was important to my mother that I learned Gelian customs but also that I understand my heritage. She taught me the Rynaran language, and I’ve always had a knack for translating. The Merchant Guild hirers a certain amount of translators each year, and I think it would be rewarding to be one of them. Plus I’d get to meet all sorts of exciting people and maybe even travel.
Zeb: You speak Rynaran? How do you say, “My best friend is a genius” in Rynaran?
Leilani: I don’t know. I’ve never had a reason to learn that particular phrase.
Zeb: Oh, that’s mean.
Leilani: Seriously, Zeb, why are we doing this?
Zeb: It’s fun. Anyway, it’s supposed to be. Next question: other than me, of course, who is the biggest influence on your life?
Leilani: Oh, hm, my mom, I suppose. I always have admired how she holds our family together, but she never raises her voice. I would like to be like her someday, you know, unshakable, but sometimes I get so annoyed with things and people it is hard not to just lose it, even about little things.
Zeb: Like that time at the seminar? When you bit my head off?
Leilani: You told me we were going to see a play and then dragged me to a lecture on “predicting weather patterns with the Strains”. You deserved everything I said.
Zeb: Let’s change the subject. Oooh, this next question is perfect. What makes you happiest?
Leilani: That’s hard. I guess just a quiet place to listen to the Strains. When there is nothing else going on, it’s like they put on a symphony just for me.
Zeb: I love that too, especially when they are particularly energetic and sound like happy birds or street musicians. Actually, I think my favorite is when they make up poems.
Leilani: The Strains make up poems for you?
Zeb: Yes, well, limericks, anyway, not sonnets or anything, mostly comedic stuff, they had this one about the rain that was really quite funny. I can’t remember it exactly, though, something something rain, something something pain, something abstain… .no, that doesn’t make sense.
Leilani: Can I go now?
Zeb: No, I still have three questions!
Leilani: It feels like you’ve asked a lot more than two.
Zeb: Well . . . five was more of an estimate.
Leilani: You get one more.
Leilani: Do you want me to slap you?
Zeb: All right, one. Strains, if you find me so annoying, why do you keep coming to visit?
Leilani: There’s good food here. So we’re done then.
Zeb: No wait, that wasn’t the question!
Leilani: It sounded like a question to me. All right, one more chance.
Zeb: Well . . . are you really just friends with me because of the food?
Leilani: Strains, Zeb, of course not. We’re friends because you have the oddest way of looking at the world and it both amuses and perplexes me. Now, can we go play Toss Stone or something?
Zeb: There’s a lecture on ‘The Movements of Celestial Bodies and the Tracking of Comets’ at the . . .
Leilani: Zeb. . .
Zeb: Toss Stone, perfect. Let’s go!