Discover the Magic Within You

Title:  Discover the Magic within you to believe in yourself.

In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon people I loved and feared to create some of my favorite characters.

Here’s an excerpt:

“You will learn that the way you think holds the key to all things magic.  Have the courage to imagine only great things.  By pushing your minds far beyond what you already understand, you will discover what is yet to be.”

Mondragon took his place next to her.  “Good afternoon, Bea,” he whispered hoarsely into her ear as if they were lovers.

The wide grin on his face told her he’d been up to something.  Probably something that, when she found out later what that was, she wouldn’t like it.

She ignored him for the moment.  She was too deep in her speech to bother with him now.  At least this time he showed up.

“The Bonaventure-Mondragon is awarded to the student or team of students who push their minds far beyond our known supernatural reality and create a thought or a way of thinking about our world that we’ve never before considered.”

“Like a frog with wings?” Morlock teased with a twinkle in his dark brown eyes.

“Not if you’re casting about for something else,” she smiled at the students.

Mondragon knew better than to interrupt her during her orientation speech.  What was going on with him?

“What if that is exactly what you want?” he persisted.

She shrugged and studied him.  Whatever Mondragon was up to, he’d better have a good explanation for why he was acting like this.  “Well, then, a winged frog would definitely be a success.”

Beatrice pointedly returned her attention to the students.  “Your grades will be decided by the number of successful spells you cast, not by the size or the perfection of your results.  And remember this: The Bonaventure-Mondragon Award isn’t just a competition.  It’s also about cooperation, how fairly you play the game, and what you learn about yourself along the way.  While you attend school here, you will do no harm to yourselves or to others as you study and learn.  And if you’re really lucky, you’ll make friends — real friends you’ll keep forever.  Boys and girls, attending the Bonaventure Academy of Magic is as much about your character as it is about the magic.  Keep that thought in mind should you be tempted to cheat, or steal, or sabotage someone else’s spells.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

Footprint Love Spell



Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day!

An excerpt from:


From the diary of Shellaire Lombard

A Footprint Binding Love Spell

  1. Find a good footprint left behind by your heart’s desire.
  2. Place your foot beside it, making a matching footprint. Meaning: If you have his left footprint, you make a footprint using your right foot.
  3. Using a small garden shovel, carefully dig up both footprints, and place the dirt in a flowerpot.
  4. Plant marigold seeds. Follow the directions on how to care for the seeds, and watch your love flourish.


Coming soon!


From the diary of Shellaire Lombard



From the Magical World of LILLY NOBLE

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, and, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, a gremoire

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush #Secrets

Read more: Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, Kindle Edition, and Lilly Noble & the Phantom Rush, Kindle Edition.

How to use a magical library



“Can I help you ladies find something?”  A low male voice, definitely older and full of authority, rasped from behind Lilly.

Startled, she jumped and whipped around to locate the source of the voice.  The man’s stern gaze made her feel guilty, though she knew she’d done nothing wrong.  “Um….”

A slight smile twitched at the corners of the man’s narrow mouth, and then his face grew serious again.  Tall and pale, he wore an ill-fitting, out-of-fashion, black mourning suit, which hung from his shoulders like wool over bones.  “Well?” he asked with a grimace and began tapping his foot.

Zymura answered him quicker than Lilly could, “Hi, Professor Banks.  We’re looking for our parents’ yearbooks.  I know I should remember where they are, but the shelves look different to me.  Did we come in through a different door?”

“For the students, there is only one way in or out.  The reference section you are looking for is over there today,” he said with a slow sweep of his long, bony fingers.  “Please, try to ignore the books being out of place.  I haven’t yet found the time to put everything back in order.”

Zymura frowned up at the professor.  “What happened in here?  Did someone play a prank?”

“The library had a spasm,” he said, as if that explained everything.

Zymura raised an eyebrow.  “A what?”

“A spasm.  The library heaves and twists occasionally, rearranging the materials.  When that occurs, I have to find everything and put it back where it belongs.”

Worried the library might spasm with her in it, Lilly glanced around warily.  “Why does it do that?”

“About three hundred years ago, someone who despised tidiness and order enchanted this wing of the school.  It’s been rearranging itself ever since,” he explained with a bored sigh and a slight grin that quickly vanished.  “The library only spasms at night when it’s unoccupied,” he added in a tired, long suffering voice.  His gaze had remained fixed on Lilly the entire time he’d spoken.  “Who’s your friend, Zymura?”

“Professor Banks, this is my roommate, Lilly Noble.”

Recognition lightened the man’s solid black eyes.  He bowed slightly from the waist and straightened.  Sadness softened the sharp edges of his corpse-like features.  “Geraldine Saint James and Randolph Noble’s girl.”  It wasn’t a question, which he made more obvious by the way he continued to study Lilly.

Growing increasingly uncomfortable under the man’s close scrutiny, Lilly could only nod.  At her throat, whatever it was that lived inside her locket twitched and hissed.

Suddenly, behind her, the air unexpectedly thickened with an anxious tension.  Change tingled at the edges of her awareness, forcing her to focus her attention.  Though she couldn’t tell exactly where the odd energy was coming from, she could certainly feel it.  Something was going on in this room, and it felt seriously wrong.  Lilly’s mind worried about the library having another spasm.

“Miss Noble,” Professor Banks said, gently gathering her small hands in his big gnarly ones.  “You look so much like your mother.”  Though he never stopped looking at her face, the expression in his eyes grew nostalgic and distant, as if he were remembering something from the past.

Though his damp, chilly touch felt unpleasant, she said, “It’s nice to meet you,” and hoped he didn’t hear the uneasiness in her voice.  Despite the creepy tension growing in the library and the professor’s clammy grip, she still managed to successfully fight the urge to snatch her hands free and wipe them dry on her clothes.

“We were friends once, your parents and I.  All of us were that year,” his tone betrayed both familiarity and contempt.

“You went to school with my mom and dad?” Lilly asked, instantly curious.  This was hard to believe.  The professor looked so much older than her parents.  Suddenly, the man tightened his squishy grip like a vise.  Lilly winced, but quickly decided letting him hold her warm hands in his clammy ones was worth it if she learned something about her mom and dad.

Then, he released her.  “Your parents weren’t your average overachievers,” he said, sounding bitter.  His gaze shifted back, signaling his return to the present.  “Everything was a competition with your father.  No one else stood a chance against him,” he said bitterly.

He’d known her parents and, for some reason, that really bothered him.  Maybe the yearbooks would yield a clue.

Suddenly all business, he gestured to the stacks with a quick flick of his wrist.  “Lucky for you, I located the yearbook section earlier this afternoon.  You won’t have to track it down yourselves.  Follow me,” he said, leading the way.

After walking a short distance, he stopped without warning, causing Lilly to bump into the back of him.

“Oops, excuse me,” she mumbled.

He didn’t bother to turn around.  “Here they are.”

Lilly backed away from him and searched the spines of the books for the years they were published.  “Thank you, Professor Banks.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

image by business2community.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

How to not to behave when stopped by the police



Morgann Janeway-Banks-Skaggs-Noble refused to look at the motorcycle cop handing her driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance in through the Jaguar’s window.  She had a strange hunch if she caught his gaze he would know she was hiding something.

She was hiding something.  Her newest husband, Randolph Noble, was locked in a box under her bed at home.

The officer liked her husband.  He didn’t like her.  And he was making his feelings toward her very clear in a not so subtle way.

With one hand, she snatched her documents from his gloved paw.  With the other, she quietly snapped shut the lid on the metal breath mint box in her hand, and slipped it into her jacket pocket.

“Mrs. Noble, do you know you have a broken taillight?”  The officer’s tone came across as impersonal and professional.

Of course, she knew.  She’d done it backing the car out of the garage earlier that morning.  “Sorry, Bill.  I had no idea.  Randolph must have done it and forgotten to say something,” she lied smoothly.  “He has so much on his mind these days.  Which side is broken?”


“Hm, really.”  In the side view mirror, she watched with growing irritation as the police officer took his sweet time putting the finishing touches on the traffic ticket.  Impatiently, she drummed her red lacquered fingernails against the Jaguar’s steering wheel and waited.

The cop cleared his throat and glanced at her fingers.

She stopped drumming.

With a flourish, he ripped the top sheet from his pad.  “Here you go, Mrs. Noble,” he said, handing her the ticket.  “I’m letting you off with a warning today, but you need to get that taillight fixed as soon as possible.”

She raked her fingers through her hair slowly and then sighed.  “I’ve got so much going on right now.  I’m not sure when I’ll find time to take care of this.”  She fluttered her eyelashes and tossed a sultry spell in his direction.

The man rocked back on his heels.  “Let me take a look at the damage for you.”  Officer Bill’s curt manner instantly downshifted to friendly and accommodating.  “I’ll call Jake down at the auto body shop and let him know what parts he’ll need to order to fix that taillight.  You drive a fancy European model, so it’s going to take a couple of weeks for all the right pieces to come in, but I’m happy to help out.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

Conquer Claustrophobia


Rounding the corner, they proceeded down a long, narrow, dimly lit corridor.  The farther they walked, the narrower and darker it became.

Concerned, Lilly slowed her pace.  She knew there were good reasons for rules.  And even better reasons to follow them.  “Maybe we should head back and go the long way around.”

“It’s okay, we’re almost there.”  Zymura pressed forward and encouraged Lilly to follow.

Even with the shortcut, Lilly knew they couldn’t possibly be close to the library.  Not yet, anyway.  “Almost where?”

“To the first classroom we have to cut through to get to the library.”

As they continued to travel along the darkened hallway, claustrophobia closed in.  The narrow corridor was starting to feel more like a mine shaft than a hallway.  “Oh,” was all Lilly managed to say.

A windowed door revealed a series of darkened classrooms.

Compared to the nearly black corridor, at this point, Lilly decided she’d pick a restricted classroom over this passageway.

But instead of going through the windowed door, Zymura continued moving forward, pressing deeper into the shadows.

“We’re not going through these rooms?”  Lilly whispered, not really sure why she was keeping her voice down.

“We don’t have to.  We’re almost there.  It’s just a little bit farther.”

Zymura stopped suddenly.

Lilly bumped into Zymura’s back.

“See.  We’re here.”

The darkness was complete.  “You can see?”  In the pitch-black, Lilly couldn’t have identified her own hand in front of her face if she tried.

“Of course, I can see.  Can’t you?”

“No!  I can’t see a thing.”  Lilly heard what sounded like a knob being rattled.  “Zymura,” she said nervously, “is that you making that noise?”

“Of course, it’s me.  Who else would it be?”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

#ActualMagic #PhantomRush

image from englishbaby.com

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

Meet Mister Leather Soles


Something brushed past Lilly from behind.  “What was that?”

“What was what?”

“I felt something.  Zymura, I think someone’s here with us,” she whispered.

“Lilly, that’s crazy.  What the…?  Ouch!”

Panic twisted Lilly’s stomach.  “What’s happening?  Are you all right?”

A sharp click was followed by a short, thin squeak.

“I’m good.  Finally.  Okay, we’re in.”  Zymura’s voice held a tone of satisfaction with a hint of impatience.  She pushed the door inward with a sigh of what sounded like relief.

A shaft of gloomy light poured out through the opening.

“What do you mean, finally?  Was there a problem?”  Lilly felt her doubts about the shortcut returning.

“I couldn’t get the latch to open.”

Lilly entered the classroom behind Zymura and closed the door behind her with a quiet click.  She gave the knob a slight tug to make certain the latch caught.

It did.

The wafting aroma of tangy chemicals singed her nose.  She heard a thick, wet, bubbling hiss, like stew boiling.

Slowly, she turned, facing the classroom’s interior and the source of the sound.

Lined up on slate countertops, cauldrons hovered above floating green flames.  The glowing blue contents bubbling inside the cauldrons cast a cadaverous pallor into the dimly-lit room.

“I thought you said everything would be put away.”

“It was the last time I came through here.”

“Maybe that was because school hadn’t started yet,” Lilly reasoned as she scanned the classroom, looking for another door.  “Which way is out?”

Zymura waved with a signal for Lilly to follow.  “C’mon.  Over here.”

As Lilly made her way past the rows of countertops, she noticed vaporous tendrils reach out from the seething cauldrons, like curious fingers, daring to touch her, but dissipating before they could.  Nervous, she edged away from the smoldering cauldrons, closer to Zymura and the center of the room.

From behind her, she heard the soft scuffs of leather soles treading quietly across the stone floor.  Glancing back, she saw only the simmering cauldrons.  She grabbed Zymura’s shoulder and whispered in her friend’s ear.  “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Zymura asked.


“Sorry,” her roommate lowered her voice to a whisper and stopped.  “Hear what?”

Lilly held Zymura in place.

Leather soles stopped moving, too.

“Do you hear footsteps?”


“I swear, Zymura, it sounded like someone was right behind me.”

“Lilly, I don’t hear anything.”

“That’s because when we stopped walking, they did too.”

“Maybe you’re just imaging things.  If you are, it’s okay, you know.  It’s creepy in here.  I’m imagining things, too.”

“Zymura,” Lilly whispered sharply.  “I’m not imagining this.”

“Okay, okay,” Zymura held her hands up, gesturing surrender.  “You’re not imagining anything.  But it’s okay if you are.”

“I’m not!”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Get us out of here, but walk as quietly as you can, and listen.  You should be able to hear the footsteps, too.”

Zymura glanced around the room, and then returned her attention to Lilly with a look of concern.  “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine!” she whispered.  “Just get us out of here!”

Zymura gave her a quick thumbs up.

They walked a distance of ten steps.

Lilly heard the scuff and quiet tap of leather soles closing in behind her.

Zymura stopped and turned suddenly.  The wide-eyed expression on her face betrayed her barely contained fear.  Her eyes scanned the room behind Lilly.

“Did you hear the footsteps, too?”

Zymura nodded, almost imperceptibly.

“Do you see anything?” Lilly dared to ask.

“Nope.”  Zymura’s hand shot out from her side, grabbing Lilly’s arm in a vise-like grip.


“Run!” Zymura whispered.

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

How to deal to with a jealous ex!


A hand shot out, grabbed Lilly by the shoulders, and slammed her back hard against the metal wall of folded bleachers.

The resulting clang echoed throughout the crowded gymnasium.

Everyone turned and stared.

Lilly found herself standing face to face with a very pretty girl with a pointy nose, a long, shiny black ponytail, and a nasty smile.

“Who do you think you are dancing with my Murosky like that?”  The girl arched one sharply angled eyebrow and curled her upper lip into a snarl.

“What?” Lilly asked, her mind too startled and too stunned to form an answer.

“Stay away from him!  Do you hear me?”  The girl’s tone was threatening.

“Loud and clear,” Lilly said quickly, trying to wrench herself free of the girl’s pinching grip.  “Not a problem.”

The girl released Lilly’s shoulders.  “He’s mine.”  Then, the girl turned, and with her ponytail swishing from side to side, she casually strolled away.

“Put a leash on him next time.”  Lilly kept her eyes on the retreating girl as she rubbed her sore shoulder and straightened her sparkly sweater.  “Who was that?”

Zymura moaned.  “Dayleen Kozar, she’s Murosky Skaggs’ supposedly ex-girlfriend.”

“She’s not acting like an ex.  I think your sources were wrong about their break up,” Lilly observed, still shaking from the encounter.

“Or, Dayleen’s in denial about their relationship being over.  Looks like you’ve made an enemy.”

“Great.  On top of not being able to remember anything, now I have an enemy, too.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

What to do when you think you are being followed!


From behind her, Lilly heard the sharp snap of someone stepping on a twig.  Her body tingled a warning.  She turned and stood silent and still for a long moment examining the shadows.  Though she couldn’t understand exactly how she knew, Lilly had the uneasy feeling they were being watched.

Zymura stood next to her, her eyes searching the darkness.  She looked nervous.  “Let’s go,” she said urgently.  She took Lilly’s elbow and steered her toward their destination.

“You feel it, too?” Lilly lowered her voice to barely a whisper.

“Yeah, I think I do.  Act normal, like we don’t suspect anything.”

“How do we do that?”

“Keep walking and keep talking like we would if we didn’t think we were being followed.”

“Okay.”  Lilly took a slow deep breath to calm her nerves.  “Besides the gremoires, are there any other reasons you want to skip the dance?”

Another twig snapped.  Someone was definitely following them.

“Yeah, I don’t know how to dance.”

“I don’t think I do either.”  Lilly struggled against the urge to peek over her shoulder to see who was behind them.  She stopped in mid-stride.  Were they really being followed or was the fog just making her paranoid?

Something rustled in the darkness just a few feet away.

Turning around slowly, Lilly scoured the foggy courtyards with her eyes.  Searching deep into corners and the pockets of shadow, she examined the night for signs of someone lurking.  She saw nothing.

“Lilly, what is it?”  Zymura stopped and stood, studying her with watchful eyes.

“It’s probably just my imagination.”  Lilly forced a smile to hide the tide of panic rising in her gut.

“I definitely have a creepy feeling we’re being watched,” Zymura said, her eyes darting, her voice barely audible and quivering.

“Me, too!”  Relieved to discover she wasn’t paranoid, Lilly relaxed a little.  “I feel like someone’s been following us since we left the dorm.”

“What should we do?”

“I say we get to the auditorium as fast as we can and blend in with the crowd at the dance.  In half-an-hour if we’re not having fun, we go to Plan B and sneak away to the library,” Lilly whispered quietly into Zymura’s ear and giggled nervously.

“And if we’re still being followed?”

“We head back to the auditorium and stay put until the dance is over.”

“We don’t go to the library?”  Zymura raised an eyebrow.

“If we really are being followed, we’re safer crossing the courtyards back to the dorms with everyone else than we are going to the library alone.”

Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

Read more: <ASIN: 0989180700> or <ASIN: B00D0DD97U> (Kindle).

Flirting With A Demon

Flirting With A Demon

In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, Lilly Noble & Actual Magic, I’ve always found people to be amazingly interesting, and the interest they generate keeps me forever curious to see what they will do next.  See if you can figure out exactly why I included this scene in Lilly Noble & Actual Magic.

Here’s an excerpt:

As the boat neared the breakwater, Lilly sensed someone’s stare.  She glanced up.

The handsome boy with the wavy black hair and ice blue eyes grinned at her and winked.

Oh great.  First a snub, and now a smile?  Did he think she was crazy, or better yet, desperate?

“Stop looking at me like that,” she whispered under her breath.

As if in response to her words, his eyes widened for a split second, and a nervous smile twitched the edges of his broad lips.  He acted surprised, but she knew he was too far away to hear her whisper.

Was that even possible, or had she just imagined his reaction?

She felt silly, but she decided to see if she could get him to respond again.  “Don’t stare at me,” she whispered harshly.  Then, she leveled an even gaze at him and waited.

He pressed his lips together in a defiant line and studied her face for a long moment.  Then, he looked away, as if confused and deliberating.

The boat’s hard rocking made Lilly’s stomach roll.

The boy turned back and dazzled her with a brilliant smile.  His lips moved.

“You’re kind of cute, and very bossy,” a hoarse, deep whisper floated into her ear.

Lilly flinched.  She heard his words clearly, as if he’d been standing right next to her.  How was that possible?  Then she remembered his words and instantly became annoyed with him.  “Do you honestly think you have a shot with me?”

The boat’s lurching made her seasick.  The strangeness of the conversation didn’t help.

“You were interested a few minutes ago,” came his retort.

“I was curious a few minutes ago.  Now, I’ve changed my mind.  I’m not curious anymore.”

“Okay, but kiss me anyway.”

“Get over yourself!”

“You turned out to be a lot cuter than I thought you’d be.”  With his eyelids at half-mast, his seductive expression was unconvincing.  In fact, he looked about to doze off.

She caught the meaning of his words, and instantly grew wary.  Apparently, Zymura was not the only one on the island who knew she’d be here.  “‘Than you’d thought I’d be’?  How could you possibly know anything about me?”

He gaped at her and then clumsily covered his surprise with a grin.  “Don’t you like me?”

The boat swayed.

Lilly clutched her stomach.  “No, and I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Sure, you say that now, but I’ll get you to change your mind.”  The smug grin on the boy’s face betrayed his belief that he’d successfully covered the tracks of his error.

“What are you doing?” Zymura interrupted, breaking the spell.


Posted by Deborah McTiernan

Author of Lilly Noble & Actual Magic

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!

photo credit: Neil. Moralee via photopin cc