Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from The Reluctant Witch (Santa Cruz Witch Academy #1). This book is currently available with eleven other witch books in a special deal on Story Bundle for Halloween. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, this is an introduction to Brie, the daughter of Rosa from Small Town Witch.
The Unicorn Dorms
I looked up at the girls’ dormitory building with narrowed eyes. It wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t what I’d expected from a magical school for witches. I must have missed the dorms when we took the campus tour. The main building was brick and very blocky in a mid-century style, but it was across a stone bridge. In the low alley underneath the bridge, there were murals painted by students, showing everything from anime characters to the obligatory “Starry Night” homage. There was an obnoxious number of unicorns. Most of it was rough and amateurish, but maybe that was all you could expect from a school that only offered, like, one art class.
Santa Cruz Witch Academy prided itself on being different from most witch schools. Besides general ed and magical subjects, they had non-magical activities. My moms insisted that it would be just like going to a regular high school with things like art class, swim team, and dances. Except all the teachers—and students—were witches.
Mama Rosa set my suitcase down on the bridge and looked over the railing. On her shoulder, Kitten peered down, too. “Oh, look at that, Bridget,” she said. “There’s some art!”
I rolled my eyes and walked faster, gripping my luggage. I didn’t know what annoyed me more: the condescending way that she pointed out the murals, or that she used my first name. “Bridget” sounded like a perky cheerleader’s name. I’d told her a hundred times to call me “Brie,” but she always seemed to forget.
Mama Ashleigh’s long faeriekin legs made it easy for her to catch up with me. “Don’t judge it too harshly yet,” she murmured over the stack of boxes she carried. “Remember, you promised to try it.”
“What’s the minimum time? Could I transfer at the end of the semester if it’s bad enough?”
Mama Ashleigh frowned. “I think you should give it at least a year. It would be hard to switch in the middle.”
So, I’d have to come up with a really good reason. Maybe I could blow myself up in a Potions class, but I’d have to be careful not to end up in the hospital.
Mama Rosa came running up behind us, breathing hard. Like me, she was short even for a human. “Wait for me, you two! I’ve got to see our baby girl go into her new room for the first time.”
Ugh, did she just call me “baby girl” here? Never mind, I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. This was so embarrassing.
Inside the dorms, there was a large common area with comfortable-looking couches and a large flat-screen television. A kitchenette on the side had a snack table, a distilled-water cooler, and a counter with hot coffee and tea. Unicorns were everywhere, like it was designed for five-year-olds instead of upper high school students.
An older blonde girl met us at the door, brandishing a clipboard. She wore the university version of the uniform and had a squirrel familiar on her shoulder, so she must know what she was doing. “Welcome to the Unicorn Building! I’m your RA, Hailey, and I’ve got the room assignments. What’s your name?”