Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors
Annette Marie, Rob Jacobsen
(The Guild Codex: Warped, #1)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: August 7th, 2020
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
My name is Kit Morris, and welcome to my warped life.
Picture the scene: Me, an average guy with psychic powers—not that my abilities are in any way average—just trying to scrape by in a harsh world. So maybe I’ve conned a few people, but did I really deserve to be thrown in MPD jail alongside magic-wielding serial killers?
According to Agent Lienna Shen, one-hundred-percent yes.
But her hardass attitude and “Arcana prodigy” status aren’t enough to bring down my former best friend, who slipped through the MPD’s fingers and is days away from unleashing untold horrors upon the city. Or he’s going to steal something. I don’t really know.
Whatever he’s up to, that’s why I’m sitting in an interrogation room with Lienna. And that’s why I just offered myself as her temporary new partner for the purposes of thwarting my ex-accomplice.
And that’s how I’m going to escape. I might even help with the case before I cut and run.
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors is the first book in a new series set in the world of The Guild Codex. It can be read on its own or as part of a larger adventure.
More series in the Guild Codex world:
The Guild Codex: Spellbound
The Guild Codex: Demonized
The phone beeped again. Captain Blythe sighed, reached under the table, and lifted a cell phone into view. The screen lit up as she checked her messages. Her mouth tightened, which I took to mean doom and disaster were impending and we should take shelter immediately.
Standing, she clipped the phone back to her belt and turned to Lienna. “I need to take care of something. Keep him talking, Agent Shen.”
With a sharp nod, Blythe strode out of the room and graciously slammed the door behind her.
“A little intense, isn’t she?” I observed.
Lienna took the vacated seat. “She’s a precinct captain in one of the biggest cities in the country.”
Hmm. Despite her neutral tone, her voice had a soft, caressing quality that I found surprisingly pleasant. It was a shame she wasn’t playing good cop.
“Every day, Captain Blythe deals with rampant magic, illicit guilds, arrogant guild masters who think they’re above the law, and violent criminals who use their abilities to hurt, cheat, or kill people.”
She didn’t add, “Violent criminals just like you.” Her restraint impressed me.
“And,” she continued, “all while keeping the existence of magic, guilds, and the MPD hidden from the public. A crucial mandate your guild flouted.” She cleared her throat. “But you were just an intern, weren’t you, Kit? You were doing what you were told. You don’t need to protect them.”
I grinned. “That works better without the throat-clear first. Really obvious tell that you’re about to bullshit me, I’ve gotta say.”
She stiffened in her seat.
“Oh, and try to relax more. The fake sympathy will be more convincing.”
Her glower returned full force, obliterating the remnants of her kind expression. It’d been a decent attempt at building a rapport with me. She wasn’t experienced at the technique, which seemed like an oversight in her training, but I suspected Lienna’s real role in the agency involved far more skill than mere interrogation.
According to the rumors floating through the holding cells—of which I believed maybe five percent— Agent Lienna Shen was an abjuration sorcerer, and abjuration was … anti-magic sorcery?
That concluded my knowledge on the topic. But I did know the handcuffs around my wrists were an artifact created by a sorcerer for a specific magical purpose: in this case, nullifying the magic of whoever had the unfortunate pleasure of wearing them.
When she didn’t respond to my helpful critique, I attempted a charming smile. “You’re pretty young for an agent.”
Lienna’s scowl deepened, even though it was a reasonable observation; she looked my age, which seemed like a stretch for full agenthood.
“Do you know why you’re here?” she asked coldly. “In this room?”
“Because Blythe has a thing for younger guys who can quote the entire courtroom speech from A Few
“Because,” she said in that clipped tone people use when they’re silently praying for patience—or imagining what it’d feel like to strangle me, “we’re currently investigating three cases of extortion totaling two million dollars, five cases of embezzlement over five hundred thousand dollars each, and eight reports of blackmail. Your guild was behind them all, and unless you want those charges added to your already extensive list of crimes, you should strongly consider shedding some light on the inner workings of KCQ.”
Despite myself, my mood sobered. This wasn’t my first interrogation, but it was my first time in the custody of the international organization responsible for dispatching magic-wielding criminals. I had no idea what to expect as far as charges and sentencing.
“Let’s go back to the beginning,” she suggested. “Your name.” “Kit Morris.”
“How old are you?”
“What’s your magic class?”
“Psychica.” Which she already knew. KCQ had been a guild populated entirely by voodoo-brain psychics with wildly varying abilities—all the wilder once I’d joined the team.
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.
Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.