A missing warlock
Reg is reluctant to help with the search for the missing coven leader, but there is a tradition of psychics helping the police, so she feels like she is under some obligation.
Reg has always been good at finding lost objects, and showed her ability to find a wizard who had been lost in the Everglades for 50 years, so finding Davyn should have been a piece of cake. But no matter what method she tries, she can’t seem to sense him, and that terrifies her.
What if it’s already too late? Or is Davyn out there somewhere, his life dangling by a thread, hoping that she will succeed?
With time running out and her own doubts weighing heavily on her mind, can Reg summon her inner powers to locate the missing warlock before it’s too late?
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I never cease to be amazed and entertained by the fertile imagination of P. D. Workman as she weaves wondrous adventures for her incredible characters while still managing to subtly incorporate some real-world issues into the story. If you enjoy paranormal cozies, do not miss out on this series.
Like paranormal mysteries? Psychics, witches, fairies, and more! Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author P.D. Workman waves her wand to transport readers to the myth- and magic-filled small town of Black Sands for another paranormal cozy mystery to be solved by Reg Rawlins and her friends.
A self-professed con artist practicing as a contact to the dead, a drop-dead gorgeous warlock, and a psychic cat—what could go wrong?
Fall under Reg’s spell today.
Release date: December 16, 2022
Publisher: pd workman
Print pages: 288
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Behind the book
Author Notes may contain spoilers!
At the end of Undiscovered Tomb, Reg receives the unwelcome news that Corvin has been reinstated to his coven. While this is something that she has been expecting, it still hits her hard.
What could be worse than Corvin being readmitted to his coven? Trust me, things can get a lot worse. Missing Powers opens with the revelation that not only is Corvin back in the coven, but he is lobbying to lead it. This is not the beginning of the fight for him, but something that he has been fighting for for some time, as hinted at in A Catastrophic Theft.
Things go from bad to worse. Davyn, Reg’s mentor and friend, disappears without a trace. She can’t feel him anywhere.
A number of storylines have been leading up to this book. If previous books have left you with a few questions, maybe this is the book that will answer them! Or some of them, anyway.
Reg met with Davyn for her lesson on firecasting in a forested area outside of Black Sands. The woods in Florida were a beautiful, lush green. Davyn wore his usual black cloak, hood pulled up over his head so she couldn’t see much of his face. He had been selecting different areas for her to practice in each time they met lately, which she supposed was to help her be prepared to use her craft in whatever circumstances she found herself in. He did seem to prefer remote outdoor locations. Easier to avoid detection. Less danger if her fire got out of control. Assuming that she didn’t accidentally start a fire that was too big for Davyn to control. She worried about things like that sometimes. She’d had at least one experience where he had been unable to stop her and didn’t want to experience that again.
“How are you feeling today?” Davyn asked. It was a routine question, but Reg felt something different from him. Not the usual concern of a mentor for the young, red-haired firebrand he was training, but something more. Deeper. His dark eyes were piercing under the hood of his cloak.
She looked at him, trying to mask her curiosity about his emotions. He would reveal himself sooner or later. If there were something wrong, she would find out. But she didn’t want to pry into his personal life. There were things about Davyn Smithy she didn’t want to know. Reg gathered her red box-braids in one hand and pushed them back, over her ears and shoulders.
She shrugged casually. “I’m fine.”
“Got a good sleep? Hydrated?”
“Yeah. All ready to go.”
Davyn started to form a fireball between his hands, cupping the glowing ball. Reg mimicked him, calling on her own fire. She tried to mimic every movement he made and every change he made to his fire. Bigger or smaller, warmer or cooler, changing in color. It was a routine warm-up exercise.
“I just wondered… how you were handling the news about Corvin.”
Reg grimaced and kept her focus on her fire, which immediately flared at Corvin’s name. She calmed it down again and watched Davyn’s fire closely for any changes. He would be examining her to see whether she could maintain her focus when he distracted her with talk about her archenemy, the warlock who had once stolen her powers but then given them back to save her, something unheard of for his kind. The warlock who would like to take them back again, and this time keep them for himself. It would be one thing if she and Corvin were just enemies and she could keep a wall between them. But having shared her powers and part of her consciousness, Corvin was bound to her in a way that couldn’t be dissolved. They had helped each other out of sticky or dangerous situations. They had dated and flirted, and Reg couldn’t help but be tempted every time he tried to charm her.
But she was strong. She had learned to use some of the powers that she had never realized before she took up residence in Black Sands. She could hold Corvin off. Usually. If she wanted to, she believed she could overcome him. But she didn’t want power over him. She didn’t want to destroy him or take his powers or to drown him in the depths of the ocean.
There were times…
But she tried to suppress those impulses.
“Corvin being allowed back into the coven doesn’t affect me,” she told Davyn, keeping her eyes on his ball of fire. “I knew that he was going to be allowed back in sooner or later. I don’t like it, but I always knew that Corvin being shunned by his coven was only temporary.”
“You think it is too soon.”
“I don’t think anything. It isn’t anything to do with me. I’m not the one who brought charges against him in the first place. What you people choose to do with him is your own business.”
Davyn was part of the tribunal that had judged Corvin and imposed the sentence on him for his attacks on Reg. For breaking a promise and trying to wrest her powers from her without her consent. They didn’t care about the time that he had taken her powers because, in their eyes, she had consented to it—but of course Reg hadn’t. She hadn’t understood anything about what he was or what he was capable of. She had no idea what she had been agreeing with. She hadn’t even understood anything about her powers. She had thought that the voices in her head were just that, voices in her head. Not that she was really hearing the voices of those around her, both living and dead.
Corvin’s silencing of those voices when he took her powers had been terrifying. Reg didn’t know how the people around her could walk around with empty heads, hearing only their own inner voice. To her, the silence had been like a cacophony. Overwhelming and terrifying.
“Focus,” Davyn prompted quietly.
Reg looked at her own fire, growing smaller and darker. She instantly fed the flames and it burned brightly.
“I’m ready to play. Can we get on with it?” Reg asked impatiently.
“I just want to make sure that you’re ready. That you’re not too distracted.”
“I don’t care what Corvin does or what the coven does with him. He can do whatever he wants. It doesn’t have anything to do with me. Let’s just play.”
Throughout Reg’s childhood, her various foster parents, teachers, and leaders had always warned her not to play with fire. It was too dangerous. They said that she couldn’t control what happened once a fire was started. A fire could get bigger, jump to a new location, hurt someone. Even hurt Reg herself. Fires were dangerous tools; not for children, not something to play around with or experiment with.
But now, with a firecaster for a mentor, Reg was allowed to play with fire, and it was one of the best parts of her week. If Davyn would just stick with the lesson and stop trying to distract her with talk about Corvin.
Davyn gave Reg a tolerant smile. His concern was still there, under the surface. Maybe he was doing more than trying to distract her this time. Maybe he really was worried about her mental state and how the news of Corvin’s reinstatement in the coven had affected her. But it wasn’t time to think about Corvin or about Davyn’s concerns. It was time to play.
“What is your fire drawn to here?” Davyn asked. He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and looked around.
Reg mimicked him, closing her eyes and reaching out with all of her senses, trying to identify what things attracted her fire. Her fire was like a separate entity, a different Reg that dwelt inside her, with its own agenda. She knew it was part of her, but was sometimes surprised at its strength of will and how it could be so different from her conscious desires. She opened her eyes.
“There is a crow’s nest in that tree,” Reg nodded to an ancient tree that towered over them. “Very big. Lots of sticks that are as dry as a bone.”
“And… deadfall, over here…” Reg indicated an area where she could see the trunk of a tree that had fallen years ago. There were other remnants of the tree scattered around it. Wood that had been there a long time and had time to dry out.
“Yes,” Davyn agreed.
“Dried mosses,” Reg closed her eyes, trying to envision everything clearly in her mind’s eye and to feel the stirrings of her fire. “Other birds’ nests, little ones.”
“What would you choose to burn?”
Her mind went again to the crow’s nest. It was huge. So much tinder. But she was hesitant to choose a nest. She could see that it wasn’t abandoned, but was still in active use. She couldn’t tell if there were any eggs in it, but it was home to at least one bird. She turned her mind back to the deadfall.
“The fallen branches over there, I guess. I could gather them together. Make a nice bonfire.”
A warm feeling in her chest, her fire responding to the idea. Bonfire. Bonfire was good.
“Why did you discount the nest?”
“There’s something still using it. The bird. I don’t want to burn up its home.”
“There is other wildlife here. Smaller. Less visible. Did you consider the creatures that might live in the deadfall?”
Reg shook her head. “Bugs? Termites in the wood or maggots underneath? Gross. No. I don’t care about those.”
“Is that the only life that would be affected?”
“Yes.” Reg focused on the dry wood again, checking her premise. Was there only insect life? What about mice or squirrels making a home in a hole in the trunk? Woodpeckers drilling for the bugs? She couldn’t feel anything else and shook her head. “I don’t feel anything else.”
“You always need to be aware. Sometimes, there is more there than you can see.”
Is there something else?” Reg asked, a little impatient. “Did I miss something?”
“There might be other kinds of creatures that you are not aware of.”
“Like what?” Reg thought about Sarah’s garden. There had been a number of visitors there. “Like elves, you mean? Are there elves or some other magical race out here?”
“I don’t feel anything either,” Davyn admitted. “But you do need to be aware when you enter a new environment. If you burn a tree attached to a tree sprite, or that elves have made a home in, or some other being, you could end up in a lot of trouble.”
Reg glowered at him. “So, this is just a safety lesson?”
“Safety is important. Not just your own, but of other creatures too. You don’t want to end up cursed or the target of a malevolent force, do you? I’ve been trying all along to teach you how to use your fire responsibly. Firecasters… can be very dangerous and tend not to have good control. There’s a reason for the expression ‘a fiery temper.’ Not only can that lead to the firecaster’s early death, but also to a certain amount of prejudice from other practitioners.”
“You’re not like that.”
“No, I mean, you don’t have a temper. You’re never out of control.”
He shrugged. “You can master it. But mastering your fire is a lot easier than mastering yourself. There are a lot of things that can trigger your temper or distract your focus. It’s much easier to let your fire burn than to keep it confined or put it out.”
Reg nodded slightly. She’d had more than one experience where it had gotten away from her. But it was hard to see Davyn ever losing control. He always seemed very disciplined and calm.
“So… can I burn some of the deadfall, then?” She motioned to the trunk and branches. She ached to get a really good fire going. The warm-up exercises were fine for a start, but she wanted to ignite a nice big fire. She wasn’t allowed to practice by herself, only when she was under Davyn’s supervision. And that made it way too long between opportunities.
“Go ahead,” Davyn agreed, nodding. “But keep it to the log and the larger branches. Don’t let it spread to the undergrowth.”
That was a little tricky. But Davyn knew that she was good at small, targeted fires. Reg focused on the log to start with. It was very big and dry, and she was excited about setting it blazing. Davyn stood nearby but didn’t give her any instructions. She didn’t have to make it burn with a blue flame or rise to a certain height. Davyn was allowing her free rein. Almost. She couldn’t allow anything else to catch fire, but other than that…
The wood started smoldering. A thin column of black smoke rose from the surface. In a moment, it was blazing merrily away like a log in a campfire. The flames warmed Reg’s face and hands and, even though it was already quite warm outside, Reg enjoyed the almost-scorching feeling she got from standing close to it. An ordinary person would not be able to get that close to it, but Reg didn’t have to worry about being burned. She could tolerate any fire as long as she was concentrating.
Reg let her mind drift as she watched the fire. She wasn’t taking her focus off of the fire. She was just allowing the back of her mind to work through some other things. Watching her subconscious thoughts as well as the flames.
It was Davyn who had brought up the subject as Corvin, as he often did, knowing that it was a good test of how well Reg was able to focus on her work. That and Davyn’s… friend Julian Sabat, someone Reg had known when she was still a child. A tormentor that she was not interested in having back in her life. Bringing up Corvin or Julian was a great way to raise Reg’s blood pressure and pull her attention away from her fire.
But Julian was not in town. He had work to do with Magical Investigations. And Corvin being reinstated back into his coven—maybe that was a good thing. Being shunned by his coven, he had no one to keep him company or focus his attention on, other than Reg or non-practitioners in the neighborhood. The other covens supported Davyn’s and Corvin’s coven by not having anything to do with him. Now that he was going back to his own kind, he would have other things to do, other people to talk to, and he would leave Reg alone.
She told herself that it would be okay. She did not need to worry about late-night calls or dinner invitations from Corvin.
“Reg.” There was a hand on her arm. “Regina.”
Reg turned her head toward Davyn and looked blindly in his direction for a moment before she could see his face or the rest of the forest around her. He had lowered his hood so she could see more of his handsome, clean-shaven face and dark hair. And over in the deadfall, a pillar of fire rose straight out of the log toward the sky. Not a campfire, but a solid pillar of fire that looked like something off of some sci-fi TV show. Reg pulled back, but her fire was happy where it was. Happy to be allowed to play, to pull in deep breaths of oxygen and grow and strengthen. Davyn tried to use his fire to contain Reg’s. Like stopping a forest fire with a back burn so that there was no fuel left for it. Reg fought the anger that flared up in her at Davyn’s interference.
“Wait. Just let me.”
Davyn withdrew his hand from her arm, but she could tell that he was still cautious, eager to step in and contain Reg’s fire before it could get beyond his control.
Reg thought about the little fire in her hands when she started an exercise, encouraging her fire to shrink down and not to consume the wood so quickly. She breathed slowly, trying to cut down the amount of oxygen it was sucking in.
“Come on,” she murmured to herself. “Just a campfire. Not too big.”
The wood crackled. Reg reached out, letting the fire warm her cold fingers.
“Just take it easy.”
She didn’t know whether she had said the words to the fire or whether Davyn had said them to her. Maybe both. Maybe they were that synchronized after the warm-up exercises.
“A nice calm fire.”
The pillar of fire that had seemed to be reaching directly for heaven gradually shrank down until it was closer to the size of a campfire. A large campfire, to be sure. But there was nothing wrong with a campfire.
“Good,” Davyn approved, relaxing his stance. “That was quite the display. You’ll attract unwanted attention with a fire like that.”
“We’re out in the middle of nowhere,” Reg dismissed. “No one would see it.”
“We’re not that isolated. And it can still be seen from the air.” Davyn raised his eyes over the treetops. Reg had to concede that it had certainly been high enough and large enough to attract the attention of someone in the air. What would they do? Call in those firefighters that jumped out of airplanes to fight forest fires? What were they called? Fire jumpers? Smoke eaters?
“No one saw it.”
“Were you aware of its size?”
Reg hesitated. It would be easy to tell him that she had known it was that big. That she realized what she was doing and had it all under control. Davyn was not a human lie-detector like Damon Knight, but he would probably know she wasn’t telling the truth.
“I… lost track for a minute.”
“You need to work on that. When you’re kindling or tending a fire, it’s not a good time to daydream, however hypnotic it might be.”
“I wasn’t daydreaming.” Daydreaming would imply that she was thinking about something she liked, not that she was thinking of her enemy, worrying about how things would change when he went back to the coven. It would be good, wouldn’t it? It would be good not to be Corvin’s sole focus in life.
“Bring it down,” Davyn told her, jerking his chin toward the fire. “There is more to tell you.”
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