Vadim was featured quite a bit in the first book, Trancehack. He was meant to be a side character, this shady guy who runs Sinsuality, the nightclub in the zone where Magic Born and Normals both like to party. As sometimes happens with secondary characters, his role in the story got larger and larger. By the end of the book, I wanted to write his story. He's back as the hero - actually, I think he would prefer anti-hero - of Witchlight, still just as shady as ever. This time, though, we get a look behind the façade at the man who is also one of the leaders of the Magic Born underground, as well as nightclub owner, friend, troublemaker, outlaw, witch, and lover.
This little teaser excerpt is one of my favorite passages and features Vadim trancehacking, which is using astral projection to enter cyberspace.
Trancehacking while high on nightshade always turned the internet into a Kandinsky abstract. The blue-and-white lines of cyberspace widened and stretched like rubber bands, bubbles of random color popping up all over. His consciousness sank deep into trance and even deeper into the greens and purples of the drug, wisps of it wrapping around his perception like fog on a rainy night. Realspace crackled at the edge of his vision as he lifted his glass, draining the drink in one swallow. He blinked away reality and dove fully into cyberspace, hopscotching through hidden links to reach the darknet. Wide lanes of glossy black opened up. Muddy swatches of red haze marked various sites, most of which he ignored out of habit, since he liked his porn live and in person. Password-protected chat rooms glowed in muted shades of blue. He searched for one with ribbons of yellow, red and green woven into the code, so faint the colors were easily missed. There. It pulsed with magic. Vadim opened it with a spell and entered to find he was once again late for the meeting.
In 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she’s a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw discovers the last remaining one…
Vadim Bazarov smuggles Magic Borns through the underground railroad and threatens to reveal Elizabeth’s secret unless she helps him access blank ID cards. Elizabeth wants to hate him for having a stranglehold on her life, but can’t help being attracted to someone so sure of who and what he is.
Vadim initially sees her as a political ice queen, but is intrigued by her suppressed magical abilities. He trains Elizabeth to use her magic, and before long finds himself falling for her. But their newfound love may be shortlived; an anti-magic ordinance forces one of them to make a choice that will change both their lives for good.
Witchlight will be released on June 30 and is available for pre-order from Carina Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration. Learn more at her website.