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 MelanieM Review: The Necromancer’s Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Even love can die without trust.

Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begin to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family?

Daniel Macavoy, Angel’s new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought—especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt.

The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston’s only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon’s devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true…and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family.

Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

One element I have always loved to find in my stories is the “found family”, a family cobbled together not of blood relatives (although some may be related) but by those of the heart and loyalty and friendship.  Connections made so strong that overtime those people and beings in that group have formed a tight-knit bond that is family. Such a “found family is starting to form here in The Necromancer’s Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes.  The basic foundation is the remnants of the powerful Salvatore family, two magical brothers, all that was left of the massacre of the last Blood War in Boston.  There was the necromancer Angel who brought about the end of the Blood Wars by a mighty spell that killed those who destroyed his family and all the assassin vampires and associated family.  And there was young traumatized Isaac Salvatore, the youngest brother who denied his magic and ran from his past.  Right into a bottle.

What incredible, believable and haunted characters.

What a foundation!

Attached to Angel, starting in The Necromancer’s Dance, is one of the Elders of the City, Vampire Simeon.  Simeon comes with his own family, including the complex Master of the City,  Constantine Batiste. who figures largely in every story and overall arc.  There’s Dame Mildred ‘Milly’ Fontaine, Angel’s best friend and fellow teacher of the magical arts (and formidable personage) and now we add Daniel Macavoy and of course Eroch, Angel’s familiar. Lord Cian Brennan, the fae will follow.  Slowly and surely a family is being built, relationships and bonds, found, ,  moved toward, strengthened and interwoven.  Honestly, each book is better than the last.

Here we have a continuation of Angel and Simeon’s relationship.  They continue to figure out who they are to each other, how the bond works, and more about the roles each plays within the city and the dynamics upon their own romance.  It’s fascinating as Angel has little patience for answers and little time with all the mysteries and murder needing his attention.  There is also Daniel who he considers family and needs his attention along with Isaac.

Himes builds the anguish and suspense up skillfully, there’s humor but then it’s on to the main story thread and plot points that have you up reading all night to get to the end.  And oh what an end.  Yes,a bit of a cliffhanger.  Luckily I had book 3,The Necromancer’s Reckoning already in hand, and just kept on going.  What a jaw-dropping series!  I couldn’t sleep my head was full of characters and thoughts and wth was Himes doing ! lol I love this series so!

If you love urban fantasy, mystery, romance, magic, even dragons and vampires, well, this is the series for you.  I love it and absolutely recommend this and all the stories which should be read in the order they were written.  Well written, amazing characters, outstanding plots, and over the top suspense and romance!  Don’t miss out!

Cover art is good and brands the series.  Just wish for something a little more magical.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 213 pages
Published July 1st 2016 by SJ Himes
Original TitleThe Necromancer’s Dilemma
Edition Language English
SeriesThe Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2
settingBoston, Massachusetts (United States)
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

Love Urban Fantasy? Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Tour with Excerpt for Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by S.J. Himes

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Mastering the Flames

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series

S.J. Himes

M/M Urban Fantasy

Release Date: 10.04.19

Masting The Flames E-Book Cover

Blurb

Guilt-ridden after the massacre of his family, Isaac Salvatore turned to binge drinking to escape the pain. Now twenty-four years old, Isaac is a recovering alcoholic woefully out of practice in the magical arts, leaving his fire affinity hanging on the edge of disaster. After a month of rehab, he returns to Beacon Hill and his family, determined to remain sober, learn to control his magic, and figure out a plan for his life that doesn’t involve drinking.

Constantine Batiste is the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Born in ancient Gaul, the bastard son of a Celtic king, his long life has been shrouded in tragedy and horrors. Recent mistakes have left him wary and determined to guard his clan from all foes. When two of his clan members fall victim to an ancient evil, he summons the Necromancer of Boston for aid. Accompanying his older brother to the Tower is the handsome young fire mage once wounded by Constantine’s arrogance, and their encounter reignites an attraction that burns within both Constantine and Isaac.

The answer to who is targeting the vampires of Boston is buried in the dark, early days of Constantine’s transition to an immortal life. Isaac finds himself saddled with a painful insight into the evil cutting a swath through the supernatural population of Boston. While his brother, Angel, takes over the hunt to find and stop the threat to the city, Isaac struggles to find a balance between helping his brother and finding his own purpose and place in the world, free from his brother’s shadow.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan, but mastering the flames that burn between him and Constantine soon becomes the most important thing in his life, even as an ancient evil seeks to destroy them.

Mastering the Flames is the fourth book in The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series and is not a standalone. The series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment and understanding of the plot and characters.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon AU: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon FR: https://amazon.fr/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon DE: https://amazon.de/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon IT: https://amazon.it/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon ES: https://amazon.es/dp/B07YM2XF52

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Excerpt

Isaac woke to an incessant pounding in his head. He groaned, sat up, and realized his mistake. Someone was pounding on his door and he wasn’t hungover. Being back in his bedroom in the apartment after so long was fucking with his mind.
He tossed back the covers, brushed his long brown hair out of his eyes, and got out of bed. The sun poured through the bedroom window, warming the floor beneath his bare feet as he went to the door. He flung it open and scowled at the impish grin on his best friend’s face. Daniel flung himself forward and Isaac caught him, hugging the apprentice tightly. They were nearly the same height, and both were built lean with similar frames. If not for the hair and skin coloring, they could pass for brothers. Daniel was fair and bright, and Isaac had naturally darker skin that was tanned as if he spent his days under the sun, his hair dark brown with remnants of fire-red highlights.
“You’re home! I’m so glad!” Daniel cried, and Isaac chuckled.
“Hey, Danny,” Isaac replied in greeting. “Angel said he made you go out last night. Lemme guess, Rory was lonely again?”
Daniel pulled back, Isaac’s teasing making him blush. Daniel was a pretty man. Isaac suspected Daniel was entirely unaware of just how gorgeous he was, as there wasn’t even a hint of vanity to be seen in his personality.
“I wanted to stay and see you when you got home, but Angel said you were probably going to crash.” Daniel hedged, biting his lip. “Rory is all alone out there. He still refuses to stay in the Mansion, sleeping in the greenhouse instead. I feel bad for him.”
“I’m sure that’s all you feel,” Isaac teased, and Daniel’s blush went inferno. “My first night home and my best friend bails to hang with a super-hot fae.”
“Hey!” Daniel glared, but his eyes were twinkling. “I am glad you’re home. Going to Nevermore to visit was awkward.”
After the chaos of the first week of his stay, and when his horrific withdrawal was over, Daniel came to visit three times a week, bringing news from home. The High Council was booted from New York City, Portland, Seattle, and Miami, after those cities refused to cooperate with the consulates and magisters stationed therein. They took the chance after Angel defeated the High Magister, forcing the Council to abandon their footholds in Montreal and Boston. In two weeks’ time, half a dozen American cities declared their independence, and rumors swirled that New Orleans was next, with a certain female necromancer and her undead army leading the charge. Angel was being credited with a major shake up in world governments, and he was grumpy about it.
Isaac grabbed his shower kit and a towel and left his room for the bathroom down the hall. He and Daniel shared the hall bath, since Angel had his own in the master bedroom. Daniel followed him in and sat on the sink while Isaac used the toilet then stripped, turning on the shower and waiting for the hot water to start. They didn’t really have any boundaries, not like Isaac and Angel did. Angel was big on personal space and privacy. Isaac really didn’t care. Daniel chatted away, sharing that he’d taken Rory to the City Museum, watched the Marathon at the finish line, and convinced the fae to let Angel front him some money and a credit card.
Isaac hopped in the shower, but left the curtain partially open, listening to Daniel. “I’m with Rory in the bank, and he drops a pouch of gold on the counter, and the teller’s eyes get huge! Some nuggets were bigger than a tennis ball! It was a mess though, since the bank manager thought Rory was his crazy brother, then the cops got called and I had to use the SOS on my phone and Angel came and made everyone leave us alone….” Daniel was excited and his run-on sentence was a non-stop adventure from beginning to end. “Angel puts his foot down, though by this time O’Malley has shown up, the cops are all like, ‘Where did all this gold come from, how’d ya get it?’ Some of them seemed to think Rory was suspicious—he told them his last name, and tons of the police know what Cian looks like, so things got really tense. Rory got all haughty and declared he’d got it from a Roman Caesar for dispatching an orc raid pillaging through a province over 1,800 years ago.”
Daniel shook his head, sighing. “When Angel arrived, I’d never seen humans get so quiet before. Everyone shut up, let Rory gather up his gold, and Angel gave Rory an account in his name from the Salvatore fund and the bank gave him a debit and credit card and a pile of cash.” Daniel was animated, talking with his hands, heels kicking against the cabinet under the sink.
Isaac laughed while he washed, dunking his head under the spray. Watching Daniel talk with so much emotion was enjoyable. His friend was blooming. There was a huge difference in him even in the last month.
Isaac rinsed, then hopped out, Daniel tossing him the towel. He dried off while thinking about the shenanigans his family experienced while he was going through boring group therapy and meditation sessions. “How did Angel get Rory out of the bank?”
Daniel grinned and flipped back a strand of bright blond hair from his eyes. “Eroch saw the gold, curled up on the pouch in Rory’s arms, and hissed at anyone who got too close. No one wanted to piss off the fire-breathing dragon, so Angel declared we were leaving. We went out to eat then took Rory home. Angel refused the gold in exchange for the modern currency, saying the currency was payment for restoring the gardens and the greenhouse. Rory gave Eroch a huge nugget of gold in thanks, and Eroch has it stashed in Angel’s bathroom on a stack of towels in the corner behind the toilet.”
“What? Oh, I bet Angel loves that!” Isaac laughed at the image of Eroch nesting on a gold egg, grumbling whenever Angel went in to use the toilet. Isaac stopped laughing, a sudden thought worrying him. “Wait. Eroch doesn’t think it’s an egg, right?”
Daniel shrugged, and his face fell with sympathy. “No idea. That would be sad, though. Maybe Angel knows. Poor Eroch, if he does.” Daniel paused, eyes wide in alarm. Isaac stopped drying himself, wondering what was wrong. Daniel leaned in and whispered, “What if we got Eroch’s gender wrong? What if he isn’t a he? What if he’s a girl?”
Isaac wrapped the towel around his waist. “We’ve been calling him a male for a year, Danny. If he cared at all, he would have made it known. I think we’re okay.”
“I don’t wanna assume. We’ve been so rude.”
“If he were humanoid and had human ideas of gender, then yes, we’ve been rude.” Daniel rolled his eyes at Isaac then slid off the sink. “Ok, fine. We can ask him at breakfast.” Daniel waved at Isaac over his shoulder as he left the bathroom, dismissing him. “What did I say? Make me some tea!” Isaac called after Daniel who grumbled back at him about being rude, but the water running and the clicking of the stove burner told him Daniel heard him.
Hopefully they didn’t make anything explode this time.

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My name is Sheena, and I have more pen names than I probably should. I write as SJ Himes, Revella Hawthorne, and Sheena Himes. I reside in the mountains of Maine (closer to Canada than I am to fresh lobster) on a 300-year-old farm beside a river in the woods.

My companions are my furbabies: Micah, my large dog who hates birds; and Wolf and Silfur, two cats who love me but hate each other. I write romances with an emphasis on plot and character development, and almost all my characters are LGBTQ+ and that’s on purpose.

To keep current on what I’m working on and where to find me on social media, go to my website: http://www.sjhimes.com

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A MelanieM Audio Review: Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.

Seth Tanner uncovers the cycle of ritual killings that feeds the power of the witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on getting vengeance for Jesse and stopping the murders. His fledgling romantic relationship with Evan Malone complicates his mission, but Seth can’t walk away. Seth and Evan are learning to navigate their partnership—as lovers and monster hunters—while they chase down the next witch-disciple and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.

When the hunt takes Seth and Evan to Pittsburgh on the trail of the next killer, they’ll have to save the intended victim and take down the powerful witch. If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die…

Note: Includes mention of past domestic violence and stalking

Again, another really strong outing from Morgan Brice and her narrator of choice Kale Williams.   I am hardpressed to say which of this author’s series I love more, especially since they are all interconnected and I switch back and forth between the latest stories at will. That includes eBook and audio versions.

Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator) demonstrates a growth in every level for this series from the character development and the couple’s relationship to moving the overall series arc forward.  Dark Rivers picks up shortly after the events of the first story that set everything into motion.  Here they are on the trail of the next witch disciple and his prey while working on their very new partnership, both as a romantic duo and as a working team.

Brice is careful to keep Seth and Evan’s relationship front and center while still maintaining a focus on the highly suspenseful search for the powerful witch, those helping him, and all the while trying to keep the man designated as the next sacrifice alive.   This is a huge goal, often bringing in new elements of magic and the paranormal, new characters and old from various other series, and visits to sites around the city they are in. Location is everything.

It all works.  The suspense builds slowly until your skin is crawling and you can’t wait until the big denouement!

Kale Williams’ excellent narration, his host of voices and range of emotions carries us effortlessly along this paranormal adventure, through the romance and horror, through the meticulous research for clues and the mad rush at the end.  It’s a joy and pleasure to listen to and a thrill as well.

This is terrific characterizations, sharp plotting, tight suspense, and an overall arc that just keeps getting better and better.  All narrated by Kale Williams who’s voice keeps me throughly entertained.

I highly recommend this audio and the entire series.  Love a marvelous paranormal?  Here’s one to check out!

Cover art is terrific.  Love the models that standin for Seth and Evan.  Great job.

Buy Links

Audible US  |  Audible UK 

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

Audio Book Details:

Listening Time: 7 hrs., 17 min.

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published July 7th 2019 by Tantor Audio (first published October 23rd 2018)
ASIN B07R546K59
Edition Language English
Series Witchbane #2

Love to Listen to Your Stories? Check Out the Audio Review Tour for Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2)

Author: Morgan Brice

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Narrator: Kale Williams

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Length: 7 hours and 17 minutes

Trope/s: Second chance, fast relationship, monster hunters, hurt/comfort

Themes: Established relationship, learning to trust, overcoming fear

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die…

Blurb 

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.

Seth Tanner uncovers the cycle of ritual killings that feeds the power of the witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on getting vengeance for Jesse and stopping the murders. His fledgling romantic relationship with Evan Malone complicates his mission, but Seth can’t walk away. Seth and Evan learning to navigate their partnership—as lovers and monster hunters—while they chase down the next witch-disciple and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention. 

When the hunt takes Seth and Evan to Pittsburgh on the trail of the next killer, they’ll have to save the intended victim and take down the powerful witch. If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die…

Dark Rivers is the second novel in the Witchbane series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older. Note: Includes mention of past domestic violence and stalking.

 

Buy Links

Audible US  |  Audible UK 

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

 

About the Author 

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands, Lucky Town, and The Rising, plus Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

I’ll be a Featured Author at GRL in October and also at Coastal Magic in February!

Join my Worlds of Morgan Brice Facebook Group! Get the early scoop on upcoming books and new series, see new covers first, enjoy insider news and special contests and giveaways! Plus it’s where I get my beta readers and launch team!

 

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Facebook Group

Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail)

Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

Website

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

 

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Love a LIttle Urban Fantasy? Check out the Blog Tour for Eight Lives: (Match Made in Hell #1) by Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Title: Eight Lives: Match Made in Hell #1

Author: Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee

Cover Artist: Raven Brooks

Release Date: May 20, 2019

Genre/s:  Urban Fantasy, M/M Romance

Trope/s:  Friends to Lovers, Roommates to Lovers

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Add on Goodreads 

 

Buy Links

Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Blurb

Two Hearts. One Curse. Zero Time.

A century ago, a spiteful witch cursed Edmund.

Ever since then, he has lived as an immortal house cat—short one life.

Anselm is a mildly depressed vampire with a soft spot for the feline he calls friend.

They live together as equals, companions for eternity—or so they hope.

But their lives take a dark turn when the witch who cursed Edmund long ago dies.

And suddenly, he is human again.

In a race against time’s cruel hand, Anselm and Edmund must make a decision.

Do they find a dark witch and re-enact the curse that plagued Edmund so they can be together for an eternity? Or . . . does Edmund give up forever as a cat to be with Anselm for now as a man?

 

Excerpt

I clenched my jaw. If this stranger had hurt Edmund, there would be hell to pay.

My immortal cat, as irritating as he could be sometimes, was my best friend. We’d been a pair since the beginning of the twentieth century and . . . in reality, he was all I had.

Everything changed but not Edmund. Nor me.

He was a cursed cat, once a young man in the prime of his life. I was the vampire he called friend.

“Edmund,” I called, dropping the bags I held. The fresh fish and blood I’d bought cascaded to the floor. Some of the packets burst open, but I didn’t care about the mess the blood would make or the smell that would linger for days; I cared about my best friend. “Edmund?!”

The stranger turned; his sharp gaze followed me though he was rooted to the spot.

I rushed through the living room, heading deeper into my home, knowing that if my heart still beat, it would be pounding against my chest like a sledgehammer.

Where was Edmund? Why wasn’t he answering?

Hunting through the rooms, I checked in all of Edmund’s favorite hiding spots—on top of the bookshelf, on my side of the bed, behind my pillow, in the perfect patch of moonlight that streamed through the bay windows in my office—but Edmund was nowhere to be found.

He was missing, gone, disappeared.

“Where is he?!” I demanded as I raged into the living room and caught the stranger by the throat. My fingers tightened as my anger—my fear—tainted the air, sending the thick stench of decay curling around us. The strange young man’s lips parted, opening and closing like a fish out of water as he grasped my wrist and fought for breath. “If you hurt him—” I couldn’t even finish the thought, much less the sentence.

The very idea of not having Edmund, of being without him . . .

I shook the man impatiently. “Where is he?!” I bellowed, shaking the boy.

He appeared desperate as he clutched my wrist and tugged on my arm, attempting to remove my hold, but my grasp was absolute as my fingers tightened around his neck.

Panic danced across his face. His wide eyes shined, a familiar neon blue that I knew.

My lips parted. “Edmund?”

I loosened my hold. It wasn’t possible. Edmund was . . .

The man I held by the neck trembled in my grasp, one minute a man, and in the next, thick black fur sprouted out of his transformed body.

“Y . . . You choked me,” he gasped as I gathered him close.

“You turned into a-a-a man!” I pulled him away from my chest, inspecting him as I did so.

How was this possible? He was cursed by a witch to live the rest of his life, or at least nine lives—eight now that he’d died once—as a cat. Right now, the fluffy black thing I peered down at looked like my housecat, but seconds ago . . .

 

 

About the Authors

Autumn Breeze

Autumn Breeze is a bestselling LGBT+ author, and current Radish Content Provider. She is also the winner of a 2015 Watty Award, a former Wattpad Star, with more than 70K followers on Wattpad who was featured in Cosmo in 2017 “My Lessons with the Sexy Dance Instructor.” In 2017 she worked as a Freelance Writer for 20th Century Fox on, “A Cure for Wellness: Seeking A Cure.”

 

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Ashley Chamblee

Ashley Chamblee is a bestselling author with 10+ years of experience who specializes in writing horror, fantasy, paranormal, and romance with LGBT themes. Currently, she has 35K+ followers on her combined Wattpad accounts EzraWinn and HonestDying. When Ashley isn’t writing she is either working with special needs adults, playing video games, reading or spending time with friends and family. 

Blood Prize, her bestselling novel is available on Amazon. 

Twitter 

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Web of Arcana: Book One

A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.

I am always beyond thrilled to see Angel Martinez come out with a new novel, let alone a new series and The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) represents both.  My biggest complaint?  That the page count reads 170 pages and not 670 which is what I feel these terrific characters, plot, and relationship dynamics and history is due.

That Angel Martinez!  Her mind is a wondrous and twisty thing.

This is a story that builds upon itself, like a simple melody into a wild crescendo. Told from Toby and Darius’ perspectives,  with each layer of world building, of magic, of relationship, the author adds to her story and men making the tale sing stronger and wilder.  Especially during the search for Toby’s “gift”, the magic he should be able to channel and the paths it takes both of them on.  It’s a journey of revelation for the reader, one of redemption and forgiveness/ It more deeply connects us to them both and gets us ready, ok not really, for the wildest climax of them all.  How all the imaginative, incredible elements that Martinez built into that white knuckle, suspense filled, heart pounding fierce ride!  And am I giving them away? Nope not me.  Buy the book, read it for yourself.

I found the relationship between Darius and Toby very touching and tender.  It’s not just Toby that  needs saving here but Darius too.  Toby from immediate death at the hands of the Guild and Darius from a deep depression and years of neglect.  The interaction between the two men, despite the age difference, is extremely enjoyable, it’s one’s yin to the other’s yang. The author making us feel the need each has for the other, not just physical but mental and emotional.   One bringing the other alive as he hasn’t been in years while the other is ensuring the other stays alive so he can become the best man he can be, including a whole mage.

There are also three other mages,  some former students of Darius’ or mages at the Guild with him that we meet. All are of huge importance to this couple and the series.  I loved all three and can’t wait to see where this series takes them.

In fact, I can’t wait for the next installment.  I want it now.  Can that be arranged?

I highly recommend The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez.  It’s highly imaginative, with great characters, an absorbing plot,   and an ending that will have you flipping the pages in your desperate need to know what’s happening next!  I just love it.  You will too. I really need that next story.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design. I like this design. I think Tiferet Design is so strong in it’s cover art but it’s hard to tell whether that’s a white streak in his hair (yes) or  pat of the magic happening around him.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644052648
Edition Language English
Series The Web of Arcana #1

Felicitas Ivey on Knitting, Surprises and her new story ‘I’m Not Who You Think I Am’ (author guest blog)

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I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Felicitas Ivey

Harmony Ink Press, Paperback by Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Designs
Published March 19th 2019

Sales Links:   Harmony Ink Press | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

Whenever I start these types of posts, I spend time debating what I’m going to write. Mainly because I don’t know what to say, because I don’t know how much of my personal life I want to write about. My bio covers the basics of my life, mostly, and I don’t want to overshare on the Internet. Basically I have a day job, I have three cats, and I have hobbies.

So this is going to be about one of the hobby obsessions in my life~Fiber. Yarn and not the other kind from food. From a casual scan on Facebook and at conferences, shows that  I’m not the only author who has this obsession. Yarn and authors, go together like cats and authors.

I knit in my spare time, mostly so I don’t fall asleep the rare times I’m watching television or a movie, when my cats let me. I’m not ant television, it’s just I really don’t have time for it. Knitting’s also useful on long trips, because I’m a bad passenger on highways and it keeps me distracted. I’ve been knitting since I was in high school and have collected a lot of yarn over the decades with my hobby. Some of it was bought on an impulse, some for projects which never got knit and some of it is left over from long ago projects. Unfortunately, I’ve outgrown most of the early knitting project or they’ve fallen apart because of wear.

I’m a yarn hoarder. I have far too much of the stuff, bought in binges when I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I have my stash stored in odd containers scattered around my home, in spare rooms and underneath my sofa. I have truly embraced the notion of the person with the most yarn wins. The hoard has gotten so bad, I have a spreadsheet, broken down by fiber type, noting the location of every skein and ball. That’s about the only organized part of my life. But if I didn’t have that, I would lose track of what I have. I’m proud that I’ve even separated the storage containers by fiber also. I also really don’t have to hide my stash, because I live alone, but it does keep the cats out of it. I’m lucky to have a large enough living space to indulge in the passion I have for fiber, the wonderful color and feel of all sorts of textures of fiber, from delicate lace to a hearty bulky yarn used to make rugs and toys.

I prefer natural fiber, mainly because I’m not knitting for anyone else but myself most of the time. I’ve looked for yarn wherever I can, dragging my traveling companion off the beaten path to find yarn shops in New England and beyond. Sometimes I buy the wrong things because I didn’t bring the correct pattern book with me. Most of these types of splurges were before tablets and smart phones made looking up patterns so easy.

I’ve also collected a number of knitting books over the years also. They are a snapshot of the changing fashions in fibers and styles over the last couple of decades. Unfortunately there are a number of books which I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to use because the yarns listed no longer exist and I can’t find any information on them to figure out yardage for the sweaters. “Beastly Knits” by Lalla Ward is the one that frustrates me the most, because it has a lot of interesting sweaters in it.  I haven’t had the ambition over the years to try and figure out what I could do in the way of substitutions, since everything is given in ounces/grams and not yards. I still like the book, I mainly bought it because I am a big Dr. Who fan and the author was a companion and later a Time Lady with the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

My most recent project has been knitting a sweater out of Marino wool, which I’ve hand dyed on my own.  Dyeing has been something I’ve been dabbling in on and off for a couple of years. I’m lucky that I have access to stores in your area which I can buy the higher end dyes for these projects. The dye didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but the colors are still nice.

Dyeing is fun and I do most of my dyeing in old crock pots. They are useful for me because I do individual skeins. The main issue I have is keeping the my cats away from the pots, but a sniff or two of the dye and they wander off to nap.

I had bought the above mentioned sweater project with me on vacation, not doing a test swatch to see if I had the correct sized needles to get the right gage, so my sweater doesn’t end up fitting me. I’d skipped that once and it didn’t end well for me. Hours of work and the sweater didn’t fit me. That was one of the reasons I switched to less form fitting projects, like shawls.

I needed to get different knitting needles than what I brought with me and wandered into a Michaels and found what I needed and then discovered a wonderful sight!

It seems that Pantone the color company and Caron a yarn producer, have gotten together to package five colors together, in different shades and the yarn tag looks like a paint strip. I haven’t used the skeins I’ve bought yet, but I do have a project in mind for it. And was very proud of the fact I waited to have a project in mind, before I gave into the squees of joy I had when I first saw the yarn

Blurb

Mykayla’s parents’ marriage is in trouble, but they’re working on it. Unfortunately for Mykayla, that means she’s getting shipped off to Boston to spend her summer with Uncle Yushua while they work out their issues. Mykayla has issues of her own—like her confusion about her sexuality, or apparent lack of it—that she’d like to explore alongside her best friend, Xiu. The situation at her uncle’s house is weird to say the least. There’s something off about his coworkers—aside from the fact that they won’t go away.

Things go from strange to stranger when a supernatural being shows up to protect Mykayla from someone he calls the Shadow Pharaoh. Sutekhgen is a sorcerer who never made it to the afterlife, with a huge Seth beast as a companion… and the mistaken assumption that Mykayla is the reincarnation of his lost romantic partner.

She doesn’t know what’s worse: being caught in a metaphysical conflict between ancient gods, or being stuck with a pushy jerk who doesn’t know the meaning of personal boundaries.

About the Author

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her other husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which threaten to take over her house, even with e-books.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com

Facebook: felicitasivey

Twitter: @felicitasive

Cover Reveal for Ties That Bind by Alex Whitehall

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Ties That Bind by Alex Whitehall
Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Kirby Crow

Release Date: April 23, 2019

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press

Blurb:

For Chel, Tomlin, and Mathias, life is simple but good. They share a home and a love, and despite a few conflicts of personality, are happy. Mathias runs a magic shop, where he makes magic items and potions for his customers, and Tom is his familiar, helping supply his magic. Chel, who’s not magical, works at a bookshop and makes sure dinner is on the table for his lovers.

When Mathias suddenly comes down with a mysterious illness, Chel and Tomlin seek out answers. As Mathias’s familiar, Tomlin can sense that nothing is wrong with the magical parts of him, but when a trip to the doctor’s indicates nothing is wrong with him physically either, they start to worry.

Then Mathias collapses, and the search to find the truth becomes urgent.

 

About the Author

If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn’t one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious evenings laughing with friends.

While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerge from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, contemplating tweeting, and tending after their aloe plants.

Connect with Alex:

A MelanieM Pre-release Review: Jacked Cat Jive (The Kai Gracen #3) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

In a series that by turns has been dark, gritty, wondrous, and wild in the previous stories, Jacked Cat Jive has me gobsmacked with it’s , dare I say it, jacked up gloriously layered plot,  the multiple story threads running and twisting and turning each pulling your attention this way and that, while the author carefully weaves a vivid complicated tapestry that will pull them all back together into a stunning whole.

It’s a stunning series, grounded in a warped universe where dragons fly over cracked highways, elven palaces grow themselves, and the peace between humans and non is tentative at best in a world where neither quite understands the new laws of nature and reality can buckle along with the ground.

If someone would ask me what are my favorite elements, I couldn’t tell them, because there are far too many.  From the world building to the characters and the weirdly complicated, often twisted relationships.  This is a harsh landscape, not only of land but of the mind and soul.  And Rhys Ford gives us the same tortured, determined, and incredibly real beings that now inhabit it.

Kai Gracen has undergone many changes since , the first story in the series, Black Dog Blues.  He’s grown, learned more about his past, accepted responsibilities ,j and given much thought as to what his genetic pool makes him as a person.  It’s a journey of self that continues, along with his relationship with Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court (Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen #2).  Talk about your slow burn!  They haven’t even kissed yet!  And it’s book three!

This story is so crammed full of high adventure, suspense, breathtaking hijinks and political manipulations of all sorts along with the just ol pull at your heart emotions that this author never forgets is needed as the heart that holds it all together.  It’s the perfect combination of them all and I couldn’t stop reading once I started, I think I ended somewhere around 3 am.

We are introduced to new characters even as we brace to let old ones go. Ford breaks our hearts even as she prepares us for further attachments and excitement to come.  Really this is my favorite story in the series yet.  And that is saying something.  Because this series is already full of favorites.

The writing is tight and flows like a fast moving river.  The characters are both real and fantastical, flawed and incredibly moving.   And the universe building, which continues to evolve, is absolutely stunning.

If you love urban fantasy, here is a series for you.  But they are not standalone stories but should be read in the order they are written.    Already I’m primed for the next in the series.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kai, Ryder, and everyone they care for.

I highly recommend this and all the stories listed below.  Stay tuned

Cover Artist: Chris McGrath. I like the cover, Bright, colorful although not quite as edgy nor my idea of Kai.

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by DSP Publications
ASIN B07L8LZSLK
Edition Language English
Series Kai Gracen #3

Mad Lizard Bites(.05)

Black Dog Blues

Mad Lizard Mambo

Jacked Cat Jive