Author of Adventure and Romance

Diane Wylie

Magic of the Pentacle

Mark of the Magician: Book Two

"Your characters were awesome, the plot unique, and your descriptions blew me away.
The ghosts in England at the castle were right in sync for what Richard needed to do.
​A wonderful job of creative writing and romance."  

Amanda Barnett, Acquisitions Editor for Vinspire Publishing

Read the book that USA Today listed among their hot new romances.

Publisher: Vinspire
Editor: Amanda Barnett
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee

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​The human mind. This is something psychiatrist Juliana Nelson has in common with magician
Richard Blackstone. But one seeks to explore and heal while the other is out to trick and amaze
the human mind. When their paths cross, the lines between reality and magic begin to blur. Juliana
soon discovers that Richard’s tricks are not merely sleight of hand when he transforms a broken umbrella into a sword to defend her from attackers.

Since the time of lords and ladies, Sir Richard Blackstone, a knight of the Order of the Garter, walked upon this earth and never found a woman worth loving…until now.  The key to Richard’s magical abilities are soon exposed when Juliana finds him lying in the moonlight wearing only his five-pointed star amulet, the Pentacle.  As events spin out of control, he knows must face the truth of his past and place his trust in Juliana or risk losing her for good. 

Only one place can hold the secret to the Pentacle—Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England—the place where the amulet came into Richard’s life and scene of horrific tragedy so many years ago. With Juliana by his side, Richard returns to the present day ruins of the castle and immediately encounters strong emotions of sorrow and terror. They discover the spirits of his family and friends, who were killed during the siege of 1483, trapped for all time in Bodiam. To free their souls from the castle, Richard must complete the quest and battle legions of spirit warriors to fulfill the five virtues of knighthood—courtesy, fellowship, noble generosity, compassion, and purity.

Can Richard complete the quest and live? Or will the glowing points of the Pentacle spell the end of his immortality…and his life.

Excerpt from "Magic of the Pentacle"

Chapter One
San Francisco, CA

​Instead of diamonds, syringes of fast acting tranquilizers were Dr. Juliana Nelson’s best friend. And since they were, she checked her jacket pocket one last time to make sure it was loaded and ready before unlocking the door. As she moved into the common room, closing and relocking the door behind her, she located the only person in the spacious recreation room. Her high heels clicked on the tile floor, the sound echoing amongst the silent television and vinyl padded chairs.

The San Francisco police had said the man was violent. He didn’t appear to be now. Dressed in hospital-issued pajamas and slippers, the handsome, dark-haired man sat staring out of the window, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings.

Juliana walked to where she could see him better and took a moment to study her newest patient. The soft material strained a bit across his broad shoulders. Wide hands with long, elegant fingers lay relaxed on the arms of the high-backed, institutional green chair. But his face fascinated her the most. The chart in her hand said Richard Blackstone had told everyone in the bar late last evening he was an English knight of the order founded by King Edward III. It didn’t take much for Juliana to imagine his face with its straight nose, high cheekbones, and square chin, surrounded by chain mail and a metal helmet. Okay. I’m being a bit too dramatic here.

​She walked closer. “Mr. Blackstone?”

No response. His eyes were open, but a bit glassy and unfocused…and they were green. An unusual shade of dark green, like the color of a tree-covered mountain in summer. Not common at all, but very attractive with thick black lashes.

She read his chart. The staff doctor had given him a drug to keep him calm. Flipping up the medical papers, she surveyed a copy of the police report. According to the bartender and a few witnesses, two of them the women who had come into the bar with Blackstone, the man had been perfectly fine most of the evening. Polite and courteous and extremely entertaining the women noted. One woman, Candy Cane—obviously a made-up name—reported she saw a man drop something into Blackstone’s drink. Miss Cane didn’t have time to warn Blackstone, who she said was a magician.

Skimming to the end, Juliana learned Blackstone became agitated and loud shortly after downing the drink in a rush. He jumped up on a pool table and wielded a pool stick like a sword when the bouncers tried to remove him. The police were called and upon arrival forced to dodge billiard balls thrown at them in addition to avoiding being stabbed with the stick. Blackstone shouted a string of nonsense about going into battle for King Edward, and demanded his horse. When four cops and two bouncers finally subdued him, Blackstone was brought here for evaluation.

​Juliana raised her head to take in the patient’s appearance again. He must have a vivid imagination—magician and knight—those were unusual delusions.“Mr. Blackstone.” This time she stepped in front of him to block his view of the small flower garden outside. She smiled. “Hello. I’m Doctor Juliana Nelson. I’ve been asked to come speak to you.”

It took a few seconds for his gaze to connect with hers. When it did, her throat closed convulsively. Deep, dark sorrow filled those beautiful green eyes. This man was suffering. She wanted to help him more than ever.

“What are we talking about? You need to help the others. There is so much pain here. Too much for me to handle.” The metal of the handcuffs on his right wrist rattled. Then his free left hand slowly lifted to close around an object hanging from a silver chain around his neck.

Juliana pulled up a chair and sat across from her patient. “Let’s start from the beginning. Your name is Richard Blackstone and this says your occupation is ‘magician,’ is that right?”

“Yes.” Closing his eyes briefly, he gave his head a shake. “Ma’am, I would like to stop having pills forced upon me. They interfere with my magic and my control.”

​Flipping to a clean page on his chart, Juliana began to take notes. “Can you tell me what happened to bring you here today?” 

Reviews for Magic of the Pentacle

I found it a really dynamic, fast-paced novel, extremely well plotted, a brilliant synthesis of romance, crime, and time-travelling paranormality. An exquisite cover introduces two beautiful people, Juliana eminently desirable to any male reader, Richard to any female.

"In case I didn't mention it before, you looked terrific in that red bikini.""Thank you, sir. You are no slouch in bathing trunks either."

The abundant love scenes are handled with supreme delicacy and taste, always sustaining their allure and fascination.

Reviewed by David Russell