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Rachel E. Carter: The Black Mage
Monday, August 11th, 2014

Take a girl who is obsessed with YA (young adult), Harry Potter, medieval fantasy, kick-butt heroines, and hot bad boys and what do you get? For me that answer is my debut series THE BLACK MAGE.

To be honest I’ve had this story line floating around my head since the 7th grade. At the time the vision wasn’t very clear –all I knew was that I wanted a boy and girl as rivals who were secretly starting to fall for one another despite their own wishes. See, unlike the TWILIGHT fans out there I’ve always been drawn to the aloof/arrogant/misunderstood bad boy-types of characters. Romance in real life is almost always sweet –or at least predictable, when I read my novels I want spicy.

Enter Prince Darren. He was born with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. To start with he is second-in-line to the throne so he already feels like has something to prove. His obsession with being best leads him to alienate many people with his biting sarcasm and condescension. When he meets the protagonist he is torn between disdain and an unbidden attraction that leads him to help her later on despite his own nature.

Enter Ryiah. She was born dreaming of a better life than the lowborn one she was brought into. Hot-headed to match her scarlet red locks, she tries out for the faction of Combat and finds her biggest rival in the school prodigy, Darren. He seems to go out of his way to insult her, yet as time goes on she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him anyway.

Anyway, that is just the beginning of their tale. For more check out my excerpt and trailer below, or better yet, buy the book!



Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice –follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead –the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.

Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth –and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail –and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve –and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems –and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in –herself. Will it be enough?

Magic just got a whole lot harder.


Author PicRachel Carter lives in Placerville, California with her fiancé and their two spoiled pets: a feisty feline named Charlie, and Zoey, the Australian Shepherd who gets jealous of her own shadow. She loves to organize –and when she is not color-coding her closet she is always looking for the next good book. She grew up reading about magic, hot bad boys, and lady knights. The Black Mage, her debut series, is a tribute to all the things she never stopped loving.

THE BLACK MAGE: FIRST YEAR is the first book of Rachel’s four-book YA fantasy series with Astraea Press. Rachel invites you to visit her author page at  She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at Follow her on twitter @blackmageauthor and read her blog at