…He realized someone had touched his shoulder to get his attention, and that it was the boy Pirekenies.
   “What do you want?” Aruendiel asked roughly. He was pleased to see that the younger man moved back a half-step.
   “To inquire after Lady Nora,” Pirekenies said. “She said she would try to return to her world. Has she—?”
    “Yes. She has gone back to her people.”
    Pirekenies looked steadily at Aruendiel. “How do I know you are telling the truth?”
    “All I have is your word that she traveled into another world—” Pirekenies frowned, as though it disturbed him to repeat such nonsense. “—and did not meet some other, worse fate.”
    Wonderful, the boy’s stark foolishness. Aruendiel stood up, his hand on his sword hilt, and glowered down at Pirekenies. “What, you suspect I murdered her?”
    “I’d simply like an assurance of her safety.”
    “You think I would have harmed Nora?” He added, more menacingly: “You doubt the word of a peer and a magician?”
    “I don’t mean to insult you,” Pirekenies said. So he was not a complete idiot. “I only want your reassurance that she is well.”
    “She is well,” Aruendiel said. “She reached her parents’ house in safety. I can attest to this.”
   In fact, Aruendiel had done the observation spell that very afternoon, finally succeeding, after several tries, in finding his way to Nora’s father’s home in the other world. There he had moved around the house like a restless ghost, looking for Nora. She was not in the house, but he had overheard her being discussed by her father and a woman who was no doubt her stepmother.
    They spoke too quickly for him to make out all the English words. He gathered, though, that Nora was buying food at the market, that she would cook the dinner that night. (Yes, just as she had done in his own household.) They were concerned about her—he could hear it in their voices—but from what they said, as far as he could tell, there was nothing wrong with her health or spirits.
    He had waited, hoping to see Nora when she came home, but his candle had gone out and the spell had ended before she appeared.
“If you doubt me,” Aruendiel said to Pirekenies, in a more measured tone, “you can speak to the magician Nansis Abora, who also saw her travel back to her own world.”
    “Another magician,” Pirekenies said, with a distrustful smile.
    “Yes, and an honest man. If that is not enough for you,” Aruendiel added reasonably, “my sword can continue this argument with yours.”

I absolutely can’t wait for you to read the rest of the sequel to THE THINKING WOMAN’S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC.

From the social media messages and emails I’ve received, I know a lot of you can’t wait, either. Here’s a quick update: Over the past year I’ve revised the sequel further, I’ve gotten good feedback on it, and now my agent and I are looking for the right publisher to bring it to you.

Thanks so much to everyone who’s asked me about the progress of Book 2! It’s inspiring to know that you care about Nora, Aruendiel, and the rest of the characters as much I do. I’ll let you know as soon as I have some more news to share.

Posted March 21, 2018

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“Emily Croy Barker is the executive editor of The American Lawyer magazine, where she oversees coverage of things like antitrust mass actions in Europe and the population of minority lawyers at big law firms. One can only imagine the fun she had writing this soapy, snappy tale. I’d be a sucker for any book in which Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice played a prominent role. . . but The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic stands on its own merits as a thoroughly enchanting read.” —BookPage

Screen shot 2013-07-28 at 2.32.58 PMCheck with your lawyer before making that wish: “As literature shows us, if you want to dabble in magic safely and successfully, it helps to have the advice of a good attorney.” Click here to read Emily Croy Barker’s New York Times Op-Ed article on “The Rules of Magic.”

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 9.51.03 PMThe Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic is an Indie Next pick for August 2013! “The great thing about Nora, the titular ‘thinking woman,’ is that she is completely relatable….She brings an analytical eye to a highly stratified, low-tech, but magical place, and by speaking truth to power she learns new lessons about herself. This beautifully written first novel reverberates with echoes of fairy tales and fantasy literature from Narnia to Harry Potter.” —Tonie Lilley, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, NC

“Nora must find her place in a world where her academic skills, and even the English language, are suddenly useless. She is alternately aided and thwarted by the magician Aruendiel, who can perhaps be best described as an Alan Rickman character when the Harry Potter films meet Love, Actually…. By the end of the novel, readers will feel at home in the alternate universe Barker has created, and their protagonists come to seem like old friends.” —Shelf Awareness

“…As the novel closes, Barker leaves Nora poised on the brink of a decision that could lead to another adventure. This reviewer can’t wait. VERDICT Readers who love magical fantasy adventures with strong female protagonists will enjoy Barker’s novel. And fans of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians may also want to try this.” —Library Journal.