“Stay if you choose, Jackal, but do not fling your hatred at me or anyone else in this class or this school. Do that again, and I’ll expel you, effective immediately. You follow?”

At her grudging nod, Bonwitch pulls a handkerchief from his vest pocket and mops his perspiring brow. His defensive shield of power appeared effortless, but apparently takes a toll, even on him.

“Now. Stay with me, friends, I’m still talking about the Second Fundamental of Real Magic, the Living Mind of the Universe, and the kind of magician you want to become. The motto of the black magician is Might is Right. The black magician exerts his power over anyone and anything to satisfy his ego, no matter who or what he harms. The black magician seeks to dominate the atoms, plants, animals, people, and planets. He seeks to dominate the Living Mind of the Universe. There is nothing a black magician won’t do to further his power. Yet, in the end, without fail, his power returns to him threefold and destroys him.”

“And the white magician?” I say.

“Abby, the motto of the white magician is Right is Might. The white magician masters her power to serve every atom, plant, animal, person, and planet. She protects, nurtures, teaches, and guards. She guides as a leader, a commander when necessary, but never as a tyrant. She seeks harmony with the Living Mind of the Universe. And in the end, without fail, her magic flourishes and the magician finds peace in her life and thereafter.”

“Ain’t that sweet,” Jackal says. “What if a terrorist wants to cut off your head? Or a gangster’s got a gun aimed at your heart? What does the white magician do then? Nurture? Teach?”

“That is an excellent question, Jackal.” Bonwitch meets my eyes. “What is your answer, Abby?”

“The white magician nurtures and teaches, if possible. But if that’s not possible, she blows the baddies away. She fights evil and kills evil, whenever and however necessary.”

Wow. Did I just say that?

The other students murmur and glance at me, alarmed. This is Berkeley, after all, home of Peace and Freedom and homemade mango ice cream. But I don’t retract my words. Maybe in an earlier time, I might have spoken more softly. Or not spoken at all. But that was then. This is now.

“I’m so impressed,” Jackal says. “And what is evil in your book, Abby Teller?”

“I define evil as anything that seeks to enslave and destroy and kill.”

Bonwitch stands, and I brace myself for another nauseating carousel ride. But all he does is pace thoughtfully around our circle of chairs. “My friends, may you never need to test that proposition. Including you, Jackal.”

“How nice of you to think of me, professor.”

“Every student of mine is important to me. Now,” Bonwitch says. “Stay with me further, there’s more to this lesson. We at Magical Arts and Crafts have a name for the Living Mind of the Universe. We call It the Ether.”

“Ether? That’s a chemical doctors used to use to sedate people in preparation for surgery,” Maggie says. “A hundred years ago.”

“Correct, and the Ether is also an ancient alchemical term for the Living Mind. Every culture and religion in the history of the world has its own term for the Universal Mind. For Christians, it’s called the Holy Spirit. For Hindus, the Prakriti. For Taoists, the Chi. Nineteenth-century scientists also called the Living Mind the Ether. The term fell out of favor for most of the twentieth century, but now twenty-first century scientists once again refer to the Ether. Whatever you wish to call It, the Ether is the force of inconceivable power that enables all actions taking place between bodies at a distance without an apparent physical connection. Actions such as gravity, magnetism, and electricity, which scientists to this day cannot fully explain.”

 “And Real Magic?” I say.

“Real Magic, of course.”

Bonwitch strides to a walnut shelf and hefts a crystal ball the size of a bowling ball. He cradles the object in his hands, straining to hold its weight.

“The Ether is the repository of all pure forms from which every object in our world manifests. Picture how, at the subatomic level, this crystal ball is merely a cloud of whirling atoms. When I visualize the pure form of the crystal ball and connect my power through the Living Mind to its atoms in the Ether, I may prevent its physical existence in reality.”

The crystal ball vanishes in his hands.

Copyright 2012 by Lisa Mason. All rights reserved.
Nov 9, 2012: This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”
Buy the book for your Nook, Kindle, phone, or laptop!
Read the whole book!

THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, the Omnibus Edition of all three books of my urban fantasy is on Nook and on Kindle. The publisher’s print edition is planned for late 2013.

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before. Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between good and evil, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”

Whether you’re a fantasy fan or someone who simply enjoys an entertaining read, please give this book a try! On Nook and on Kindle.

New! Also available as The Garden of Abracadabra Trilogy so you can read in affordable installments.

In Book I, Life’s Journey, Abby arrives in Berkeley, filled with hope and promise, hoping to land a new job and start magic college, when she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. On Nook and Kindle.

In Book 2, In Dark Woods, Abby is drawn into a dangerous murder investigation and torn between three men, Daniel Stern, her ex-fiance, Jack Kovac, an enigmatic FBI agent, and Prince Lastor, a potent supernatural man who lives in the penthouse. On Nook and Kindle.

In Book 3: The Right Road,Abby uncovers ancient supernatural secrets behind the murders and faces dangers and challenges ahead. On Nook and Kindle.

Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

Nov 9, 2012: This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”

The Bantam classic is back! SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL was a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. On Nook and on Kindle.

Nineteen five-star Amazon reviews
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the gorgeous Summer cover.

The Bantam sequel to Summer, THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL, aNew York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended book, is on Nook and on Kindle.

“Dazzling. . . .rollicking.” Locus Magazine

The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.

And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.

“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review.

THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the lovely Gilded cover. It looks like an 1890s handbill!

The Story That Sold To The Movies. TOMORROW’S CHILD began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook and on Kindle.

A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.

The ebook includes my month-long blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns this story took over the years. TOMORROW’S CHILD, on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the fantastic Child cover.

New! HUMMERS was published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, chosen for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 5th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), and nominated for the Nebula Award.

Laurel, in the terminal stages of cancer, is obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Jerry, her homecare nurse whose lover is dying of AIDS, gives her a surprising gift. A hummingbird feeder. As Laurel comes to grips with her own death, she learns powerful and redeeming lessons about Egyptian Magic from the hummingbirds that visit her. On Nook and on Kindle  for 99 cents. Here’s the Hummers cover.

New! My thriller, SHAKEN, is an ebook adaptation of Deus Ex Machina published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales from Asimov’s (Donning Press), and translated and republished in Europe and South America.

Emma “J” for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area. Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her possible marriage to her long-time boyfriend.

But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death. A list of Sources follows this short novel.

SHAKEN is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the Shaken cover.

THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, is on  Nook and  Kindle.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art. But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.

The novelette was inspired by my favorite Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. I include in the ebook an Afterword describing Carrington and Varo’s actual lives and a List of Sources. THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, on  Nook and  Kindle. Here’s the Hysteria cover.

EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, is on Nook and on Kindle.

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame. He learns to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt and to assume his place at center stage as a magician in his own right with the help of a mysterious beautiful lady. EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the Mystery cover.

DAUGHTER OF THE TAO, published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), which included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, is on Nook and Kindle. Five-star Amazon reviews.

Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea. One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.

But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.

Soon Sing is destined to go to the same fate. But will her invocation of Tao Magic save her?

Daughter of the Tao
5.0 out of 5 stars
a beautiful novella! April 23, 2012
By Mark Abrams
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
The characters in this little book jumped off the page and you really cared what happened to them. It is a rare talent that can do that so well! This was a compelling tale of a girl sold into slavery as her culture allowed. I found myself hooked from the very first page as I followed her through the twists and turns of her life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character-based story with a touch of magic and fantasy to it!

DAUGHTER OF THE TAO is on Nook and Kindle. Here’s the Tao cover.

For something fast and fun, U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY, my script for a producer looking for the next Galaxy Quest or Men in Black that evolved into a novella, is on Nook  and Kindle. Here’s the  UFO cover.

Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent. Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office. And the search is on: who—and what—is Donor Number 333?

For something very different: TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, is on Nook and on Kindle. I’ve included a List of Sources with this title. Since I’m a novelist, the screenplay has a bit more description than you’ll find in other scripts. Tesla’s story is fascinating, sort of a secret history of corporate America. Give it a try!

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

TESLA, on Nook and Kindle. Here’s the Tesla cover.

For a short erotic novel, you should try Eon’s Kiss by Suzanna Moore on Nook and Kindle. This has a paranormal hero who is not a vampire or a werewolf. If you’re looking for something sweet and steamily erotic, check it out! Here’s the Kiss cover.

On the eve of what Jenna Coltrane believes will be Brett Becker’s marriage proposal, tragedy strikes her life—not just once, but twice. In the midst of trouble, she encounters Eon, a regal young man unlike anyone she’s ever met before.

With him, she enters the magical world of the Arbor, discovering love, passion, and beauty beyond her wildest dreams.

Jenna is swept up in a struggle for survival between human greed and the Arbor, a struggle in which her love for Eon and her very life are at stake

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery, Books I through IV. Also forthcoming is The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation improving upon my early cyberpunk classics, Arachne and Cyberweb, and much more.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, screenplays, and forthcoming news about print books and ebooks, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. I thank you for your readership!

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