As told by Dirham, Magical Assistance Assistant to Kal, genie of the lantern
(Magical Assistance Assistants are assigned to djinn who are not permitted to use their magic when confined to their bottles/lanterns for long periods of time to help with daily life. Dirham is a fennec fox, a small, large-eared fox whose family members live in the Sahara desert.)
Hello everyone. My name is Dirham, and I volunteered to fill in for Kal and Samantha for this blog post because they’re busy arranging things in Izaaz, the magical city beneath the desert, for the first ever Magical Thanksgiving.
We can’t really call it a djinn thanksgiving—djinn being the official terminology for what you all call genies—because, well, no spoilers here, but when you read their story, you’ll understand why this is going to be quite the undertaking in bringing all these magical and so-called mythological beings together in one place. The island of Hufaidh will never be the same…
But I digress. There are reasons to celebrate in Izaaz, and with the release of the book this month plus Kal and Samantha having their own happily ever after (and that’s not a spoiler because the story is, after all, a romance), they figured it’d be the perfect time to introduce the citizens of Izaaz to the concept of a celebratory feast.
Oh, trust me, these folks know all about feasting, but usually it’s at each other’s expense (and throats), and then the leprechauns insult the gnomes, and the centaurs show up, and gods-forbid the dragon and wyvern go at it, and, well…
Let’s just say that, this year, we’re looking forward to a happy communal celebration. We’ve covered the fountain that runs down the length of the median on the main drag with a whole bunch of tables so everyone can sit at the table. Well, except for the peris; they have their own table floating above the one on the ground since fairies rarely like to go terrestrial.
And in the spirit of community, no two members of the same species will be sitting next to each other. I’ve suggested to Kal that maybe butter knives would be better than the traditional serrated ones, given that ogres and centaurs aren’t the best of friends, or that the dwarves are known to swipe cutlery and pull them out at inopportune moments, so I’m hopeful that the only skewering will be of the dinner.
As to that dinner, well, it’s a bit of a tricky wiggle when you’ve got fowl sitting down to the table. I mean, Kismet, a Simurgh, is the bearer of all knowledge and it’d be quite insulting to roast one of her cousins. And though the phoenixes burn themselves to a crisp at any given moment, I’m sure none of them expect to be eaten after doing so, so Samantha had to come up with a creative substitute. She swears the tofu in the shape of a turkey will work, but I’m going to hold off judgment until after she serves it to the trolls.
There will be bread stuffing and cranberry sauce and some vegetable casseroles, but the big event will be dessert. I don’t care what species you are, everyone likes sweet things. The peris are already atwitter over the possibility of blueberry pie. The unicorns cannot WAIT for the apple pie. The gnomes are looking for raspberry, the dwarves lemon (sour little folk that they are), the brownies, of course, are looking forward to gingersnaps (you didn’t think I was going to say “brownies,” did you? That would be cannibalism!), and the leprechauns are still arguing over whether trifle is Irish enough or should they just go with whiskey.
I, myself, am pushing for the trifle. Leprechauns and whiskey can ruin any gathering in under ten minutes. Of course, leprechauns without whiskey can ruin it in under twenty.
Well, here. See what I mean. This is what happened when Samantha first met the inhabitants of Izaaz.
Something dropped out of the sky and landed on the road in front of Samantha.
Something that looked a lot like a dragon.
An iridescent, purple-scaled, ridge-backed, frilled-neck dragon.
With lime-green fingernails. Claws. Talons. Whatever.
Samantha shook her head. There was a dragon in front of her.
“What’s your hurry, hon?” The dragon was chewing gum—at least, Samantha was hoping it was gum and not a leprechaun.
She stumbled back to the chair. The event planner couldn’t have had anything to do with this.
The dragon ambled closer, its long, pointed nose inches from Samantha’s face.
Samantha held her breath.
“Kal?” asked the dragon—which was so much more wrong than a talking fox or people congratulating her for throwing a good funeral. “What’d you do to this one? She’s looking a little green.”
The leprechauns chuckled.
“I didn’t do anything to her, Maille. She’s still adjusting to the magic, and now you all come along and upset her. I haven’t even had a chance to explain.”
Upset… The word didn’t quite convey what she was feeling, but Samantha had a feeling nothing would, so it was as good a word as any.
She licked her lips and then wished she hadn’t when the dragon’s eyes narrowed on her mouth. No need to give the giant lizard any ideas.
“You guys really don’t have anything to do with The Main Event, do you?” Samantha was amazed she had enough air in her body to utter that question.
“The Mane Event?” the mayor asked. “Heinz’s place? Faith, lass. Do ye think Orkney looks as if he’s had a haircut lately?”
Cousin Itt—make that, Orkney—shook his head with a weird snuffling sound that Samantha was going to assume was laughter just for her own peace of mind.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said the centaur—Wayne. “I’ve seen Heinz’s cuts, and I have to say, that’s one of his better ones.”
A garden gnome ran out from between the dragon’s front legs and poked Wayne’s fetlock with a pitchfork. “Watch it, Hoof-and-Mouth. That’s my cousin you’re talking about.”
The centaur pawed the ground. “Who are you calling Hoof-and-Mouth, you worm weasel?”
A colorful bird dove from the crooked spire of the highest building, its long purple-and-gold tail feathers skimming inches above the centaur’s head. “Worm weasel! I love it!”
And then the bird burst into flame.
“Show-off,” the dragon muttered, blasting the same spot with her own fire.
So, you see what I mean? This first Magical Thanksgiving is going to be quite the challenge. I sure hope Kal and Samantha are up for managing the chaos, but they sear this is something they must do because they’re both thankful to everyone in the town who came together to help rescue little baby dragon, Laszlo.
Who, along with his fourteen siblings, just learned how to breath fire.
Which could make this gathering a whole lot more interesting…
Be careful what you wish for…
Samantha Blaine is about to make a fateful discovery. A tall, dark, handsome, ohmygosh kind of fateful discovery…
Kal is very pleased to meet his attractive new master—especially since he intends to seduce her into granting him freedom. But when seriously dark magic spells trouble for both of them, Kal can’t help himself from falling for the woman who holds his fate in her hands…
Warmly acclaimed by readers and critics alike, Judi Fennell brings to life a fabulous world of magic and mayhem where wishes come true in the most unexpected ways!
Judi Fennell is an award-winning author and writes what she calls “fairy tales with a twist.” Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com’s First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, and have won numerous RWA Chapter Awards, including the FF&P Prism Award, and the New Jersey Golden Leaf Award. Judi lives with her family in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where she is working on the next book in the Genie Trilogy, Magic Gone Wild, set for release in August 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.judifennell.com/.
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