Unseen Magic

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Unseen Magic

A Guardian Novella set in WWII

Jane Macrae is a Guardian, a member of the magically gifted families who quietly use their talents to aid humankind. During the darkest days of WWII, Jane's abilities make her invaluable to British military intelligence. But when a powerful instinct sends her home to Scotland, she doesn't expect to be sought out by a wild-eyed Canadian RAF pilot in desperate need of her help.

For Wing Commander David Sinclair, fighting the Battle of Britain is challenge enough. Becoming Warden of the Grail when he visits his ancestral home in Scotland is way, way outside his experience. Then his newly discovered powers lead him to a cool-eyed Scottish beauty who must become his partner in retrieving a stolen mystical treasure that could bring victory to the Nazis and destroy Britain forever.

Only if they survive might there be time enough for love….

Originally titled "The White Rose of Scotland," Unseen Magic was first published in the Chalice of Roses anthology.

Books in The Guardian Trilogy

A Kiss of FateStolen MagicA Distant MagicUnseen Magic

Chapter 1

Scotland, May 1941

Jane Macrae’s heart was in the Highlands. Unfortunately, her weary body was on a crowded wartime train crawling its way north from Edinburgh. She woke from a restless, unsatisfying doze to find that the young soldier snoring next to her had a hand resting on her thigh. It was the most fun she’d had in months.

She removed his hand, grateful that she had chosen to look “fast” by wearing trousers. These last horrible months in London during the Blitz had made her a dedicated trouser wearer. So much more convenient when running to an air raid shelter or pulling survivors from collapsed buildings, as she’d done more than once.

Jane was good at finding people in the rubble. If she tired of working for military intelligence, perhaps she’d join one of the rescue services.

She glanced at the window, wishing she could see the Scottish hills beyond. Railway blackout regulations required blinds over windows and painting all the light bulbs blue. The effect was eerie, to say the least. But soon she’d be home.

Closing her eyes again, she tried to find a more comfortable spot on a deeply uncomfortable seat. She was one of the few civilians on the poky train. Most of the passengers were soldiers, sailors, and airmen heading north to serve at some of Scotland’s many military installations. The young, earnest, and doomed. Damn Hitler!

Jane’s work had kept her in London for these last crazy months, and on the whole, she’d coped reasonably well with the constant threat of German bombing. But two days before, she’d been hit by a fierce need to head home to Scotland. The pure, calm energy of her family estate at Dunrath would clear her mind.

Macraes had lived at Dunrath since before the family was called Macrae. The glen had been a grand place to grow up, and not only because it had the best weather in Scotland. As the youngest of a large family, she’d been teased and indulged and taught. Those had been golden days between the wars, though she’d been too young to fully appreciate them. Such times were gone forever. But the peace of Dunrath endured, and it was calling her home.

Though the distance between Edinburgh and Dunrath wasn’t that great, the train was a slow one that halted at every tiny station in the empty hills. She kept track of them, since name signboards had been removed from most stations. It would be easy to get off in the wrong place.

Her compartment cleared out two stops before hers since that station was a transfer point. Already the peace was getting into her bones and unwinding her tension and grief. She yawned. Only an hour or so more…

Jane woke when the train lurched to a halt at the next station. This was remote moorland, with only a sprinkling of crofts and villages. She was settling down again when the door to her compartment opened and a wild-eyed lunatic surged onto the train.

Not a lunatic—a pilot. She would have known that even if the stranger wasn’t wearing a leather flying jacket like hers. Near thirty, she guessed. He was tall and tawny and fit, with a pilot’s quickness and the confidence that can seem arrogant.

But what caught Jane’s attention and brought her sharply awake was his aura. Magic blazed around him like a city in flames.

The pilot’s fevered gaze swept the compartment and locked onto Jane. Two steps brought him to her seat. “You must come with me now!” he said in a North American accent as he loomed over her. “It’s…it’s life and death!”