A MelanieM Review: The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Every action has consequences.

For a decade, Angel Salvatore has been the most powerful sorcerer and only necromancer in all the Northeast. Never one to ask permission nor apologies, he has acted with near impunity for years.

Until now.

The High Council of Sorcery has come to Boston, and Angel is their target. Charged with numerous violations of practitioner laws, his freedom and family are placed in jeopardy.

If found guilty, Angel’s apprentice Daniel will be imprisoned to serve out the remaining years of his apprenticeship. Isaac, his brother, is too vulnerable to be left unguarded, and Angel fears for his sanity and health. And Simeon, Elder vampire and Angel’s mate, refuses to see Angel convicted under the laws of the Council and his actions to keep Angel free threaten to start a war that could destroy their world. And Angel faces the severest of punishments—the castration of his gifts.

The Council has never cared for the people of Boston, and Angel doubts their motives. They have come for some insidious reason, and it has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with Angel.

Dealing with an impending trial, a wayward ghost, and a graverobbing ring of thieves leaves Angel on the edge. He thinks he may have a handle on things until violence erupts across the city, and a stranger comes to town…a stranger with his own dark powers of necromancy.

As The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series heads into the third story, Himes continues to layer the overall series themes and arc, deepening the complex interpersonal relationships that have been developing through books 1 and 2, and now enlarges to pull in the Council of Sorcery , a worldwide organization that enforced certain magical rules and restrictions.   Here its Angel that’s the object of the Council’s intense focus.  It’s not a good one as they intend to obtain Angel’s power, by any means possible, including a trial.

The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes is a tremendous story, full of great relationships, an exciting plot, and new developments that, once again move the entire arc forward in an highly suspenseful and imaginative way.  Yes, that Council was plenty scary but Angel and crew was up to the task.

Or should I say family because as I mentioned in a previous review, Angel has been gathering a found family around himself and Isaac, his younger brother. It consists of Angel’s mate, Simeon, the vampire Elder (and those associated with him), Angel’s best friend Milly, Daniel and Rory (Angel’s apprentice and an ancient fae). And of course,Eroch, the dragon.    It’s hard to describe all the many relationships in play  here, all the various aspects to each relationship that makes each so different and interesting, and a story that reaches out and grabs you with the mystery and suspense that’s incredibly powerful and entertaining.

Even as Himes is setting us up for the next story in the series (which we need immediately) , we are still absorbed here in the present and the relationships and politics that created the mess that brought the Council to Boston and all the ensuing events.  Believe me, your mind will be full of people, romance, and thrilling possibilities for the future.

I love this series and can’t wait for all the next stories in the series.  It’s just a great saga and one that will continue and one I highly recommend.

Cover Art tells a part of the story and grabs your interest.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published May 28th 2018 by SJ Himes
ASINB07DCFM57S
Edition Language English
Series The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3
setting Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series – Goodreads links

The Necromancer’s Dance

The Necromancer’s Dilemma

The Necromancer’s Reckoning

A History of Trouble

Mastering the Flames

Untitled – Daniel’s Tale coming in 2020

A Lucy Review: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5:

There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

This is the third installment in the Goddess Blessed series and is an awesome holiday themed book with a voyeuristic Goddess thrown in for good measure!  While the book has some similiarities to A Christmas Carol, Eben is not a Scrooge – he’s at his wit’s end because his now-deceased business Marney had been embezzling from the office.  There’s no money to pay the bills, including the salary of his clerk, Bob Pratchet.   Eben has been going crazy trying to figure out what Marney did with the money.  When Bob becomes ill, Eben sends him home only to have Bob’s son, Timothy, show up to take his place.  Eben is attracted to Timothy, a former soldier injured in the war, but nothing can come of it – Eben has to find that money!

Eben’s patron Goddess, Althyone, is pretty ticked that she put her mark on Eben while he was still in the womb and yet he has never shown what he’s really made of. “You were so tiny, then, a delicate little spark, so rich with potential.”   Eben hasn’t done what is best for himself is in so long.  “You’ve bored me, Eben.  I’d hoped for those great things from you and you’ve disappointed me at every turn.  Subordinating yourself to that sour little thief Marney, allowing your wretched realtives to use us, shying away from anything that could bring you joy.  But no more.”  To “help” him along his way she puts a not-curse on him – he is unable to lie.   So rather than make excuses for himself, he is brutally honest and the best kind of snarky. .  The scene with the charity collectors is wonderful.  A nod to Christmas Carol, as well as Frank, Eben’s nephew, except here Frank is a waste of space who is always mooching off his uncle. “What a pampered, unbearable imbecile Frank was.” 

Timothy is there for Eben and wants to help him figure out what is happening with the money.  The two become close as they try to solve the mystery and the way too nosy Althyone just make me laugh.  I loved getting to see Eben make baby steps towards happiness.  “He was lonely, that was the plain truth of it, and Timothy had a warmth, a genuineness, that Eben so rarely found in others.  And he seemed to have seen something in Eben that he liked in his turn, an even greater rarity.”  He has to go through the aggravation of Althyone, of course, but it’s all worth it.

This is a wonderful series and definitely an awesome installment with a creative twist on Scrooge.

The cover, showing Eben against a background of the city, is simple but works.

Sal

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published November 8th 2019 by Smoking Teacup Books
ASIN B07ZBNG4FH
Edition Language English

In the Spotlight: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

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Yuletide Treasure

(Goddess-Blessed #3)

 

 

 

BLURB:

 

There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

 

 

BIO:

Eliot Grayson is an editor by day and a romance writer by night, at least on a good day, and more of a procrastinator by day and despairing eater of chocolate by night when inspiration doesn’t flow and the day-job clients aren’t cooperating. Go ahead and guess which of these is more common.

A steady childhood diet of pulp science fiction, classic tales of adventure, and romance novels surreptitiously borrowed from Eliot’s grandmother eventually led to writing; Eliot picked up an M/M romance a few years ago and has been enjoying the genre as a reader and an author ever since.

LINKS:

Amazon Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/Eliot-Grayson/e/B07NL54KNF

Website: eliotgrayson.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/eliotgrayson

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/191900890-the-alpha%27s-warlock

BLOG TOUR Stocking Stuffers (So Over the Holidays #1) by Erin McLellan (Exclusive Interview and giveaway)

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Stocking Stuffers by Erin McLellan

Series: So Over the Holidays #1

Publisher: Erin McLellan (self pub)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Nov. 1, 2019

Length: Novella

Subgenre: erotic romance, holiday romance, contemporary romance

Warnings: explicit sexual content; discussion of deceased family members

Order now: https://amzn.to/2JBWfP9

Book blurb:

Sasha Holiday is so over the holidays after getting left at the altar last Christmas Eve. But as the marketing maven for Lady Robin’s Intimate Implements, she’s stuck not-so-merrily pitching naughty toys at a romance book club’s Christmas party. Her loathing of the yuletide only intensifies as a snowstorm rolls in and traps her at the Winterberry Inn. Stranded with her is Perry Winters—a hot bearded book club member trimmed in flannel and tattoos.

Perry’s a romantic with an unerring belief in the magic of the season, and he recognizes a Christmas miracle when he sees it. Brave, smart, and confident—Sasha Holiday is a gift. And the gifts keep coming when she suggests they pass the time with some no-strings fun. After all, she has a big bag of toys that would make even Santa want to stay in bed on Christmas Eve.

But the frisky festivities turn complicated as feelings spark between Sasha and Perry. Perry wants to see Sasha once the snow clears, but Sasha is reluctant to take the relationship sleigh ride again. Perry will have to show her that love is more than just a holiday feeling.

About the author:

Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after. Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows. Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska chapter.

Connect with Erin: Fb Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter | FB | Website | Bookbub

Excerpt:

I don’t want to get hurt.

I don’t want to get hurt.

Those words rang through Sasha’s ears through dinner. She’d donned the stupid-ass reindeer antlers and a Christmas sweatshirt from Valerie in the hopes that a little cheer would do her some good. She’d fake it to make it and all that crap.

After the talk with Ryker earlier, she’d decided it was worth it to pull on false merriness like an ill-fitting Santa costume this evening. She only needed to make it through a few more hours of cozy Christmas social time, then she was home free come morning.

And yeah, the thought of leaving tomorrow left her breathless and hurting, a physical ache from her ribs to the pit of her stomach. She’d never see Andie and Karen, who were the biggest troublemakers ever. Never see Louise, who was sweet and shy, or Valerie, who could so easily become a friend.

And she’d never see Perry Winters.

She kept trying to convince herself that they could somehow continue this no-strings affair, that it didn’t mean anything and they were on the same page, so it was okay to keep seeing each other once the storm passed. But she couldn’t lie anymore.

I don’t want to get hurt.

She didn’t want to hurt him. Their goals, their hopes were too incompatible. He deserved a woman who would cuddle up to him while roasting chestnuts in the fire or who would help him trim the million Christmas trees in this adorable bed and breakfast.

He deserved a partner who would happily dance with him at the Winterberry Sappy Christmas Twosomes’ Extravaganza or whatever it was called. And that would never be her.

She was almost sure it could never be her.

Blog & Review Tour Exclusive Q&A:

List five fun facts about this book:

  • The heroine owns a 1984 VW Bug, which subsequently cannot make it up an icy hill and strands her at a cozy B&B with the hero.
  • Sasha is the head of marketing for a sex toy and lingerie company. I had to come up with unique names for the sex toys that her company sells. It was FUN!
  • The characters use a total of 9 sex toys together through the course of the story.
  • The hero is covered in floral tattoos and loves romance novels.
  • There is am ornery band of matchmakers (members of a romance novel book club) who try push the hero and heroine together.

What was the research process like for this book?

EM: There were three aspects of this book that I had to do quite a bit of research for. The first is the heroine’s VW Bug. I looked up specs and information on driving Bugs in bad weather. I got a few things wrong initially, but luckily, my editor has owned a VW Bug and was able to set me straight. I also had to research gardens and landscaping for this book. The hero wants to be a landscape architect. Lastly, I had to do a lot of sex toy research. Mainly, I needed to come up with unique names for the sex toys my heroine sells, which meant searching vendors to ensure the names weren’t super common.

Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

EM: I don’t often listen to music while writing unless I’m having trouble getting into a certain writing mood. If I need to write a sad scene but can’t get in the right headspace, I’ll listen to sad music. Stocking Stuffers is kind of an odd case. I wrote a lot of this book during the summer and fall last year. It was hard to feel Christmassy in the middle of June. This is also a sexy book. Basically, I went on the search for the sexiest Christmas music I could find and listened to that.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

EM: Normally, when I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching TV, which doesn’t make me sound very exciting. But I also love to hike and camp, and since moving to Alaska, I’ve learned to downhill ski, which is a lot of fun. Other hobbies include sewing, antiquing, and gardening.

Giveaway:

Erin McLellan is celebrating the release of STOCKING STUFFERS with a giveaway featuring (1) backlist e-copy of any of her books and (1) bookplate + bookmark! Must be 18 to enter and win. Open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Join Us for the Release Blitz with Excerpt for The Lowest Realm by Amy-Alex Campbell

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Lowest Realm

Author: Amy-Alex Campbell

Publisher: AAC Publishing 

Cover Artist: Warren Design 

Release Date: November 9, 2019

Genre/s:  Crossover fantasy, with a dash of MM romance

Trope/s:  Forbidden love / quest to fulfill the great prophecy

Heat Rating: 3  flames

Length: 103 831 words/368 pages

It is a standalone story, although there will be more books.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon  US  | Amazon UK  | Amazon AU 

 

Paperback also available from:

 Buy directly from the author’s website

 There is a Paypal button there that includes book price + shipping.

Angus & Robertson

 

Blurb

Life on an offshore oil rig is grueling hard work. For Nika the hard work, isolation and discipline is ideal.

On the eve of flying back to the mainland for a two week break, disaster strikes, and Nika is thrown into darkness.

When he awakes in a strange world, with no memory of his past, he finds himself in the presence of monks, who offer to help, on one condition. Nika must deliver an urgent message to the king, and in return, the mysterious monks will help him recall his memories and find a way home.

Instead, Nika is sent on a long journey with his new friend Freyne, and the spoilt Princess Iryna, to fulfill a prophecy that will restore balance to the world.

Nika must adjust to more than just a new world; as his body undergoes a transformation he does not understand, he must also deal with being hunted, forbidden love, mancery, and gods he’s never heard of.

 

 

Excerpt 

The sound of a gunshot pierced the night, followed by a loud scream. Nika cowered in the linen closet, trying not to make any noise. He could see shadows flickering in the light under the door, and could hear yelling.

“I’m asking you one last time, Monique. Where’s our money, bitch?” Someone demanded, and Nika heard a loud slap and a hiss.

“I told you, we don’t get paid until tomorrow,” Nika’s mother spat back.

“We’re going to need some collateral,” A man said angrily. “Let’s get her kid.”

“Nickolai!” She screeched, but Nika didn’t move.

He heard some heavy footsteps rush past the closet, followed by the sound of his bedroom door being forced open. He opened the closet door a crack, and could see the bad men in his bedroom, looking for him. 

Nika dashed from the closet and ran past his mother as fast as his little legs could carry him. She sat slumped over the coffee table; white powder and needles were scattered amongst empty beer cans. Blood was oozing from the bullet wound in her shoulder.

Nika could hear the bad men shouting behind him. He pulled open the kitchen door and ran into the darkness, and found a place to hide.

There was more yelling, then the house went quiet. Nika watched as the bad men ran from the house, climbed into a car and sped off down the street. Thick black smoke started billowing from the house, and he felt the panic rising from his belly and into his chest. He didn’t know what to do, he felt like he was going to cry.

Nika heard the shatter of glass, and looked to see flames erupting from his bedroom window. He watched with dismay; although he had very few toys and possessions, they were all he had.

His eyes swept back to the door, as his mother staggered from the burning house and into the driveway. Nika took another nervous look around, before leaving his hiding place, and ran back towards her.

She sank to her knees, and Nika watched as she fell to the ground. Her skin was turning blue, and she started convulsing on the ground.

“Mother?” Nika asked, shaking her shoulder gently.

Nika felt sick; she was making gurgling noises, and he didn’t know how to help her. He knew that if his father came home at any time, Nika would be blamed and beaten half to death.

He could hear sirens in the distance, and soon a convoy of emergency vehicles sped up the road, coming to a stop at the burning house. His mother had gone still, and Nika found himself shaking her, but she wouldn’t wake.

 Nika’s seven year old mind couldn’t comprehend what was going on. He felt no love towards his parents; his father constantly beat him, and his mother never made him stop. And yet Nika was afraid to lose them, he didn’t know who would look after him, or where he would go.

A lady in a uniform drew Nika away and wrapped him in a blanket, as firemen started to spray water on the house. He was confused and terrified. He tried not to cry, but the tears fell. The lady put out her arm, and Nika cowered, expecting to be beaten for crying like a girl. 

“Hey, it’s ok little buddy, I’m not going to hurt you,” she said. “Is there anyone else still in the house?”

Nika shook his head, unable to speak. 

“Come on, you can sit in the big ambulance, and I’m going to check that you’re ok. Is that alright with you?”

Nika nodded, and followed the nice ambulance lady. He took one last look at his mother, and could see policemen rolling out blue and white checkered tape around the house. The fire was almost out, and a man in a suit was walking towards her with a camera and toolbox.  

She lay on the ground, not moving. Her limbs had spasmed into unnatural angles, and her face was blue, her eyes wide open with a terrifying expression etched into her gaunt face. Nika felt the image burn into his brain, and knew he would never forget that sight for as long as he lived.

 

About the Author 

Amy-Alex Campbell has been an avid reader and writer from a very young age. At just nine years old, she was writing short stories and poetry at a high standard.

At the age of 17, she began world building and writing Death of Thy World. However, after writing a captivating prologue and first chapter, she felt that the story was going to be like any other novel – hero gets the princess and lives happily ever after.

Amy-Alex is anything but cliche, and shelved the project.

Seventeen years later, in April 2019, she revisited the work after reading a meme on social media that reignited her muse. Amy-Alex picked up the proverbial pen, and started writing. 

On July 20, The Lowest Realm was completed. With new plot lines and title, the book received positive reviews from beta readers.

The Lowest Realm will be launched on November 9, 2019.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter: @AmyAlexCampbell 

 

 

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

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