(FF#2) Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft


Feature Friday is something new we have that features books we get sent by authors, but can't review them.
This is Feature Friday two.
And today the book is:

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Jody Gehrman

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Here's an excerpt:

The perfume of scorched sugar conjured my Mom’s face again, her eyes bright, her lips curved into a proud smile. We’d baked together a lot over the years. She was the one who taught me to use a culinary torch back when I could barely see over the counter. As I watched, the memory of her happy face morphed, her mouth opening in a scream, her eyes going wide with horror. I shivered.
“Your turn.” Bridget handed me the torch.
I took it from her. The flame sprang to life when I pushed the button; I adjusted the intensity with the dial, turning it up just slightly. Bending over the nearest custard, I focused my attention, letting the room disappear around me. The top layer of superfine sugar quickly transformed as I touched the flame to it. White powder became dark, bubbling beads. Soon the whole surface started to darken, oozing a rich satiny brown. Mesmerized, I watched the sugar transform into something else, something molten.
From under the surface of the custard, a slow movement began. At first I thought it was just bubbling slightly from the heat, but then I felt my stomach clench in fear and I knew something bizarre was happening. The yellowish custard roiled under the layer of liquefied sugar. Gradually, beneath the steady kiss of my blue flame, a face began to take form. The darkened sugar gave way as the pale features took shape. At first I could only make out a faint outline, but then it sprang out at me, eyes and nose and mouth bulging up from the custard like a swimmer emerging from the depths of an opaque sea.
“Ack!” I yanked the torch away so abruptly I almost burned Bridget, who hovered at my side.
Bridget spoke softly, almost reverently. “What was that?”
“I don’t know!” With panicky fingers I turned off the torch and set it down. “Did you see it?”
“I saw something.”
“Oh, god.” I darted a look at Mrs. Jackson, who thankfully had her hands full keeping a couple pimply-faced sophomore boys from using their kitchen torches as light-sabers. “It looked like—didn’t it—wasn’t there a—?”
“A face?” Bridget said. “Yeah. What’s up with that?”
I covered my mouth with one trembling hand, afraid to answer her. The scariest part was that I hadn’t just seen a face, I’d seen the face, the same blue-eyed man that had been haunting me all morning.
Bridget stared fixedly at the custard. “You can still kind of see it—like the Jesus face on that tortilla.”
“What Jesus face?”
“You know, the miracle tortilla.”
A nervous, slightly hysterical laugh escaped me. I covered my mouth and studied the custard. I had no idea what miracle she referred to, but she was right about one thing; you could still see a man’s face etched into the caramelized sugar. The singed caramel coating outlined high cheekbones and fine, angular features. I knew I’d never seen him before, yet something about that face felt hauntingly familiar.
Bridget suddenly got all excited. “Maybe he’s a being from another dimension trying to contact you.”
I snorted. Here it was! I’d been right to keep it from her earlier. “If you say so.”
“You’re so cynical. How can magic ever find you if you won’t let it in?”
 “Put that on a bumper sticker.”

jody gehrman 6982476550843690108

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