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The Stregoni Sequence, Book 3: Wish Granter and Other Enchanted Tales by Christine E. Schulze (Young Adult Christian Fantasy Anthology)

The Stregoni Sequence, Book 3: Wish Granter and Other Enchanted Tales by Christine E. Schulze (Young Adult Christian Fantasy Anthology)
 
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In Wind Whisperer, Aurora is cursed with eternal invisibility--until David discovers her. David is the only person in the world besides Aurora's captor who can see her. An old Stregoni Benefici, he understands a thing or two about dark spells. But the breaking of Aurora's spell will summon an ancient enemy, throwing the two of them into a dangerous love triangle.

In Truth Gazer, Sarah travels to Lisallight for the first time. She finds herself involved in a deadly mystery and must quickly learn that looks are not always what they seem. Can she use her gift to decipher friend from foe, real beauty from false, before more lives are lost?

Finally, in Wish Granter, Grace is given a very special gift--a gamelan, a musical instrument which, when played correctly, unleashes a genie. A genie whose origins are tied to dark secrets--and to a secret saboteur within the very castle walls. Grace must make her three wishes count if she hopes to save both the genie and her friends from a terrible fate.

These exciting stories filled with mystery and magic conclude Schulze's trilogy, The Stregoni Sequence. Sit back, prepare for adventure, and grab your magic books--there are a few last spells to be broken before the end.

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Sample Chapter

THE FIRST SPELL--WIND WHISPERER
Chapter One
A Vision

Some called us the "sweater geeks". Some called us the "sweater freaks". Some-- girls in particular, and in very particular girls such as Grace Fisher--called us the "sweater hotties". But for the most part, the students of the Southwestern Illinois College campus simply dubbed us the "sweater clique".

In fact, people actually came up asking to join our clique, as they called it. And of course, we said "yes". What else could we do? Try to convince them that only a week ago we all used to be vampires but were now turned back to our normal selves and thus were captivated with the sensation of being warm? Yup, that would've gone over real well with the non-magical folk. Then they would have thought us freaks, or at least mental.

So we kept our secret to ourselves and to those magical folks who had helped and were still helping us. Among these folks were the Johnsons. They'd adopted me after the reign of the Dark Enchantress came to an end and the Vampiro Curse was broken.

My name is David. As you may recall, I was the youngest member of the Stregoni Seven. Emma describes me in her narrative as possessing "a handsome face and look like a gentle, bright young man". I'm not so sure about all that flattery, but Mrs. Johnson, my adoptive mother, assures me it's so.

As for the Johnsons, they are the gentlest, most compassionate and giving people I've ever known. They already had two other adopted boys when they took me in. Michael is eldest, two years my senior. He's already away at graduate college, so I've only met him by phone, but he seems like a really cool, laid-back guy, like his father. Cory is my age, attractive, and blonde in both appearance and personality. But though I am generally more serious, and he, well, almost always joking around and lost in some state of craziness, fun, and humor, we became fast friends and get along pretty well.

Mrs. Johnson is an elf with short, black hair and a welcoming smile. A very gifted healer, she works in a doctor's office alongside her husband.

Actually, Mr. Johnson is, in a sense, the most unique of all. One of few people I've ever met to marry a magical person when he was born with absolutely no magical powers whatsoever. And then to accept an ex-vampire as a son to boot. A very compassionate, giving man, Mr. Johnson. And as I stated, not a trace of magic in him. He is a chiropractor, a very skilled one. Naturally, he and his wife argue at times about how to deal with certain medical situations--vitamins or magic herbs? That seems the most common dispute. But all in all, they get along wonderfully. I couldn't have asked Amiel for a better family to adopt me, nor can I thank Him enough.

I thanked Him even as I pulled into the SWIC parking lot for another wonderful day of college classes. "Wonderful?" you question. Yes, I love learning, and as I didn't have the chance to attend college during my Stregoni years, school truly has proved a marvelous blessing. Well, on second thought, maybe my History test wouldn't prove so awesome.

***

The test actually turned out better than I thought. Except for Jeff getting so nervous that he fainted three times. Poor guy, he's swooned for every single test to date. Set a record of ten faints on our last exam. Mercifully, the teacher granted him an extension to finish it.

After the History test and Calculus class, I wandered down toward the cafeteria to meet--

"Hey, new bro! What's up?"

Sighing, I rolled my eyes before turning and donning my most convincing smile.

"Hey, Cory."

"Hey, bud, what's up?"

"Nothing much. Except I have this math homework I really need to get crunching on--"

"Yeah, yeah, that can wait. You know that red-head I was telling you about, Amelia Schwan?"

I nodded, suppressing the urge to roll my eyes again. How could I not know? For the past several days, his mind seemed capable of only thinking thoughts connected to her. Even when he rambled about Mrs. Johnson's delicious carrots and sprouts at the dinner table, he managed to link these favorite vegetables back to Amelia Schwan.

"Well--awe, man, you're not gonna believe it!--I think I finally managed to snag a date with her!"

"Oh, congrats," I said, convincingly enough, though I inwardly sighed, preparing for a long-winded narrative.

"Well, she didn't exactly say 'yes', yet," Cory admitted in his fast-paced, sporadically excited way. "But she was all like, 'I'll think about it' and did that thing with her eyelashes, you know, like she used to do with Carl. Well, she dumped him, so maybe that's not such a good sign--do you think it's a good sign? Anyway, she's gonna be at Glenn's party tonight..."

My mind wandered as he rattled on, his voice fading into my subconscious.

It was in that ordinary moment that I first caught a glimpse of the most extraordinary thing: her.

As I scanned the crowds of bustling students, she suddenly stood there, though I felt certain she hadn't a moment before. Still, there could be no doubt that she stood there now, in the doorway of the cafeteria, several feet from us. Everything about her radiated a faint, silvery-white glow--hair, skin, clothes--everything but her eyes, which glistened a piercing silver. My own golden-brown eyes met hers, drawn to them as if in a trance--as if all will of my own fled away, as if no choice remained but to be drawn to them--and her eyes reflected the same expression I knew shone in mine as well. We stared at each other as if beholding a ghost, and indeed, though I'd never believed in such things before, I now wondered.

"Cory," I said, my eyes never straying from hers.

For a moment, he did not reply. No doubt he stared at me, shocked that, for once, I had interrupted his incessant babbling.

"Yeah, David?"

"Do you see that girl?"

"Hmm? The blonde? Yeah, she's hot--a little out of your league, though--"

"Not the blonde. The girl staring right at us."

"Uhh..." Confusion dripped from the word as he uttered it.

"She's looking right at us," I snapped, growing irritable. Cory owned a homing skill for cute girls, and this was the most beautiful young lady I'd ever laid eyes on. How could he miss her?

"Right by the cafeteria entrance."

"Umm...you know I usually have a homing skill for cute girls--" I rolled my eyes. "--but I'm just not seeing her, dude..."

"Right there! With the silver and--" Somehow, I managed to tear my gaze from her striking silver eyes to cast Cory a frustrated glare. But he stared straight at me with an equally troubled look, as if he wondered whether I felt all right. Cory joked around a lot, but he wasn't joking now. He was serious. He honestly didn't--or perhaps couldn't--see her.

In fact, turning my head slowly back toward her, I took note that no one seemed to notice her. People rushed right past her without as much as a curious glance, and that hardly seemed right. Such an unearthly beauty clung to her, such a graceful aura that even the magical people ought to be stopping and gawking, not to mention the non-magical ones. Everyone just glided around her like waves over rocks, never so much even brushing shoulders with her. It was as if some invisible shield encompassed her, rendering her unable to be touched any more than she could be seen.

I suddenly blanched very pale, feeling a sickening stir in my stomach as I realized: No one else could see her except myself.

Should I be horrified or not? It wasn't normal for people to see things no one else could, whether the person seeing them was magical or not. Yet in that moment, I felt so very drawn to her, more with incredulity than fear. Her eyes not only revealed her own wonder, but they called, beckoned to me, as if she felt just as surprised by the fact that I could see her. Heart pounding, I stepped toward her.

Suddenly, a group of students walked in front of me, and I nearly ran into them.

When they passed, she had vanished.

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