A MelanieM Review: Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by SJ Himes

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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.

Through the preceding stories in The Beacon Hill Sorcerers Series, the main focus has been on the older Salvatore brother, Angel.  We have watched him develop his bond with his soul mate vampire Elder Simeon, gotten to know his close circle of friends/found family, and seen incredible character growth from haunted young man still reeling over the traumatic events of the last of the Blood Wars to the powerful necromancer that looms large over the city of Boston now.  Isaac Salvatore, the surviving troubled younger brother was mentioned as someone Angel has to go rescue, look after, even parent as it were.  As the series progressed, the arc enlarged and more of each player and their roles were revealed, the readers got to see more of Isaac and just how deeply the past has damaged him.

Isaac was broken, vulnerable, and yet so engaging.  We needed his story and we   wanted him to heal.

Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by SJ Himes is that story we’ve been waiting on.    There is so much to this story.  Isaac had abandoned his magic and now tries to reclaim it.  He’s a fire mage so this tale is full of flames and heat.  It’s in the romance and in the recovery of Isaac as a functioning being.    Of course, his  soulmate is one we have met before,Constantine Batiste.  This turns out to be as much his story as Isaac’s interestingly enough.  The author has done wonderful research here into Batiste’s background and makes that era come alive.

There is a mystery here that aligns with the growing romance and bond between Isaac and Constantine that keeps you intensely connected in every way  to the characters and action happening on the pages before you.  All your favorites appear as the stakes are raised for survival of all in Boston.

This is one exciting, high stakes story, full of romance, redemption, recovery, passion, and love.

And the series isn’t over yet, thank goodness.  More questions are raised that need answers and I can’t wait for more.

If you are a lover of urban fantasy and haven’t found this series yet, start at the beginning and read them in the order they were written.  They are fantastic and I highly recommend them all. See the list below.  Trust me, you will adore them as I do

Cover arti s perfect for Isaac and works with the series covers overall.

 

Sales Links:

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 394 pages
Published October 4th 2019 by SJ Himes
ASIN B07YM2XF52
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: A History of Trouble (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3.5) by S.J. Himes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A HISTORY OF TROUBLE
A Beacon Hill Sorcerer Collection

A collection of brand-new short stories, featuring characters from The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series by bestselling author SJ Himes.

Red Wine and Blood
The Blood Wars raged for centuries across Boston. Witness a brief glimpse into the brutal history of the Wars with Ignacio Salvatore and the vampire he loves, Ashwin Metcalfe, in 1897.

A History of Trouble
Angel was joking when he asked O’Malley if someone resurrected a mammoth. Little did he know that was exactly what someone did. Experience the untold story of what happened that unfortunate night at the Boston Public Museum.

A Dragon in the City
What happens when Eroch goes adventuring in Beacon Hill without Angel? Chaos, pure chaos.

Fae’s Gold
Daniel is helping the newly-resurrected fae Ruairi Brennan become accustomed to modern-day living. A boring trip to the bank quickly escalates, and Daniel calls Angel for help. The day goes downhill from there but ends in a comfy meal in a pub for an ancient fae warrior and a necromancer’s apprentice.

This is a collection, featuring vignettes and short stories from the universe of The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series. For full enjoyment, the Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series Books 1 through 3 should be read before reading this collection.

Normally with a collection of short stories such as this one, you think that they might be snippets that cot ccut from the series stories or bits that danced in the author’s head but had no place to land until this collection (which may be the case).  Or nestled among a small dragon’s hoard of jewels, lies a clue to something that may, just may have a huge impact on the series arc as the saga continues.  And the author is giving us a hint.

Hmmmm.

Such are my thoughts about A History of Trouble (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3.5) by S.J. Himes.  A collection of short stories featuring the characters from the Beacon Hills Sorcerers series, a saga full of mages, vampires, mysteries, and yes, even a dragon I quickly have become addicted to.  I quickly read through all the stories, cataloging them and their references to any stories already released.  Some were cute, clever, informative, and always entertaining.  Eroch’s especially.  And each adds more details to the universe Himes is building.  But are those details important ones?

Didn’t necessarily seem so…not so in the mammoths case.

And then I got to one story.  Nope, not saying which.  I liked it, it added to the history and the characters were fully fleshed out and believable.  Again, I read on.

Love this collection…..then I read the next story in this series.

I’m looking at you, SJ Himes!!!!

I’m never taking anything for granted, not even a collection of short stories! lol.  Nor should any fan or reader of this series.

Yes, pick it up.  Read them all carefully.  Enjoy them.  And then be prepared to return to them in the future.  Just saying.

Cover art is moody and perfect! Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Published February 25th 2019 by SJ Himes
ASIN B07P541GLQ
Edition Language English

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 Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again pulled back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

I have always liked this author and stumbled into this saga by accident when Himes announced the release of Mastering the Flames, which happens to be book 4 in the Beacon Hill Sorcerers series.  I loved the way that book sounded and clearly it wasn’t a standalone so back to the beginning I went.  I am so thrilled that I did.  I just adore this sort of urban fantasy romance and having all these stories to binge read through is my idea of a fabulous time.  Especially as they turned out to be extremely well written, full of memorable characters, heartstopping romances, and, frankly couples to die tor.  This series has it all and yes, more books to come.  I’m in heaven.

So starting with the first story in the series, The Necromancer’s Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes, the author immediately sets the  tone and atmosphere for the story and series with the introduction of Angelus “Angel” Salvatore, necromancer, and one of the last two surviving members of the powerful and magical Salvatore family.  Himes’s layering, of universe building and depth of characterization, is interwoven from the first paragraphs.  The Blood Wars, the massacre, the trauma that those events have left behind on both brothers and the city they live in….it resonates through the powerful scenes and situations here.

That includes our meeting the ancient vampire Elder Simeon, a great character who only gets better as the story and series progresses.  For me, it’s the author’s relationship dynamics that grab me.  Himes pulls me into each character and shows such depth of personality as each being interacts with the others around them, whether it be a soulmate like Simeon, the deeply troubled brother Isaac, the best friend Madame or a Master of the City Constantine Baptiste or even the various City Police that seems to be out to get the remaining Salvatore brothers.  The people spark, fight, feel, and breath (or not depending upon what exactly they are here) on these pages and I absolutely love it and them.

The plot, which will be built upon story by story, starts the overall series arc, and its terrific.  Full of suspense and action, my attention never wandered, not once.  There are multiple plot threads here and the author intertwines them perfectly, romance and mystery, temporary resolution and a jumping off spot for the next story.

If you are looking for a urban fantasy story and series, look no further than SJ Himes’ The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series and The Necromancer’s Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) .  Well written, great characters, wonderful plot….it was a story I couldn’t put down and quite frankly I binge read the series and am now waiting on the next release to come out.  I love this and all the rest.  I highly recommend it.  Check them out now!

Cover art shows a pretty good representation of Angel, although I would have loved a bit more of the magical element.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published February 25th 2016 by SJ Himes
Original Title The Necromancer’s Dance
ASINB01C8VW8GC
Edition Language English
Series The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Characters  Angelus Salvatore
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

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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New Book Release Blog Tour: THE NECROMANCER’S RECKONING (THE BEACON HILL SORCERER #3) by S.J. HIMES (excerpt and giveaway)

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 The Necromancers Reckoning Tour Banner

THE NECROMANCER’S RECKONING

THE BEACON HILL SORCERER, BOOK 3

S.J. HIMES

GAY URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 05.27.18

Necromancers Reckoning 

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

 

COVER DESIGN: Kellie Dennis of Book Cover by Design

 

BLURB

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 grave robbing 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.

This is book 3 of a series, and the previous books should be read first for full enjoyment. Trigger Warnings are on the Copyright Page and can be seen using the Look Inside feature or by downloading a sample of this book.

 

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reckoning 4 

 

 

 

EXCERPT

“What do you mean, I got a letter?” Angel held his smartphone between his ear and shoulder, fumbling with the keys to his office. It was still dark, and he huffed with impatience, blinking a small orb of hellfire into existence over his hands so he could find the right key. Inserting it into the lock, he opened the door and dismissed the orb, flicking the light switch by the door.

“It was delivered by courier about ten minutes ago,” Daniel replied, his apprentice talking past food. “I had to sign for it. The courier almost didn’t leave it with me until I told him I was your apprentice.”

Angel grumbled to himself, tossing his keys on his desk and grabbing his phone, rubbing the back of his neck. He left his apartment not even ten minutes before, which was only a couple blocks away, so the courier must have shown up right as he was leaving. He frowned, thinking back to the pre-dawn street, and he didn’t recall seeing anyone—not even a car or taxi.

“Well, go ahead and open it,” Angel said, tapping his phone to put it on speaker. Daniel made a happy sound past whatever he was chewing, and Angel snorted out a laugh. He booted up his laptop, looking for the appointment he had that morning at the ass-crack of dawn. Why in the world he thought it would be a good idea to have a private consultation so damn early on a Monday was beyond him. Which was why he decided on waking up everyone he lived with so he could share the misery. Though it was only Daniel since Isaac was at Nevermore and Simeon was at the Tower.

A sharp yelp and swearing came out from the speakers, and Angel laughed. “Papercut?”

“No! It shocked me!” Daniel gasped out, cussing under his breath. “I can’t open it!”

“What do you mean you can’t open it? Just rip it open.”

“I’m trying! Ouch!” Daniel yelped again, and the sounds coming from over the phone were parts hilarious and alarming. “I’m not risking my fingers. You can open it.”

“Who is it from? It might be warded if a courier brought it.”

“Now you tell me,” Daniel muttered, and Angel grinned as he found the appointment time. Daniel was finding his courage and picking up sass lessons from Isaac. His shy apprentice was learning all about sarcasm in the Salvatore household. His appointment was in about five minutes. No time to run back home and get the letter that was singeing his apprentice’s fingers. Daniel recited the address on the letter, “It says, ‘To Angelus Raine Salvatore, Necromancer of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. From’…Oh, wow.”

“Who’s it from?”

“The High Council of Sorcery, Bucharest, Romania.”

Angel stood up straight, hands falling away from his laptop. He stared at the phone, the quiet in his office somehow loud, heart pounding in his ears. He looked up at the door as if any second one of the Council enforcers would blast through the doorway, ready to take him into custody for crimes sundry against international sorcery laws. He breathed in, breath shaky, and flexed his fingers. He reached out with his mind, cautiously testing the wards around his office, and there was nothing.

“Angel? Angel!” Daniel squawked over the phone, and Angel snapped free of the tension that held him frozen and snatched up the phone.

“Daniel, my appointment is any minute. Can you bring the letter here? Just hang out in the main room until I’m done if we’ve started when you get here. Wake up Eroch and have him come with you.”

“Um, okay…wake up the fire-breathing lizard, he says.”

“Just pick him up and carry him with you if he doesn’t wake up. He was sleeping on my pillow when I left. Don’t walk over here alone. I’d say hold on to it until I get home, but I have a feeling I need to read that letter as soon as possible.”

“Okay. Can I take a shower first?”

“You better,” Angel chuckled and hung up. Twenty-year-old men needed showers for the sake of everyone.

A knock sounded from the front of the office, and Angel took a deep breath, calming his off-center nerves before heading to answer the door. He was still cautious, sending out his awareness, his wards humming in the recesses of his mind, unmolested. There were two people on the small landing outside his door, their auras muffled by the panel, but they were both practitioners.

Angel opened the door, a polite smile on his face.

“Angelus Salvatore?” asked a tall, bulky man in a dark coat, his face set to glower. Angel lifted a brow, unable to see the person behind the big man. He could see a flash of red hair and a small bit of alabaster skin before the big guy shifted.

“I am,” Angel replied, opening the door wider, stepping back and gesturing them inside. His wards were set to allow strangers inside, but they would dampen any magic cast in this space by strangers or those he blocked. Came in handy when dealing with young sorcerers and unexpected guests. They could still cast, but his magic permeated the space, claiming even the ambient magical energies and stifling spells cast by interlopers. Not much use against a practitioner who used their own reserves, but the more dangerous, higher-ranked practitioners tended to reach outside themselves first before casting.

A tall woman was behind the big guy, slim and covered head to toe in black, from her leather high-heeled boots and ankle-length black pea coat to her black silk scarf and a jaunty, tiny pillbox hat atop titian curls. She was familiar, but the shadows were still dark enough Angel was having difficulty determining her identity. He led them back to his office, gesturing at the chairs in front of his desk. The woman sat, unwinding her scarf, her escort taking a stance beside the office door. Angel turned on the lamps as dawn was taking its time arriving and the room had shadows in inconvenient places.

The woman removed her scarf, putting it on her lap before shrugging from her coat. Her escort stepped forward, taking it from her before returning to his spot by the door. The woman, dressed in a thin black wraparound dress that hugged every slim curve and long line of her body, smiled at Angel. She was pretty, in a very human way, nothing of the fae about her in face or form. Dark green eyes, nothing at all like the brilliant emerald of Simeon’s eyes but arresting enough in their own merits, gazed back at him, glistening with wry humor.

“Lady Kensington,” Angel acknowledged after a moment’s pause, surprised. The recent widow was a wizard and a skilled apothecary who owned and ran Nightshade Apothecary not far from where they sat in Beacon Hill. Angel would see her occasionally in the neighborhood or when he needed supplies between scheduled deliveries. Her husband, Lord Greyson Kensington, died of a heart attack three months ago while shoveling snow off the front stoop of their shop one chilly winter morning.

“Call me Heather, please,” she said, voice melodic and rich, smooth as hot chocolate with a shot of whiskey. Her chin rose as if she was expecting argument. What Angel could remember of her husband, the man was a stickler for propriety and demanded to be addressed by his title, even to friends.

Angel never liked the man.

“Heather,” Angel agreed with a grin, surprising her into smiling back at him. “What can I do for you? And why so early? I would’ve come to the shop.”

“I’m afraid this matter requires a measure of discretion,” Lady Heather replied, twisting her scarf in her fingers. “It’s regarding my late husband.”

Angel paused, thinking. Usually when the recently bereaved came to his door, they wanted either the impossible, like a resurrection, or more commonly, a summoning of the departed spirit. He rarely acquiesced as nothing good could come from repeatedly dialing in to the Other Side. It kept the living from moving on and tormented the souls he would be recalling to this plane.

She must have seen some of these thoughts on his face, as she held up a dainty hand, forestalling his coming denial. “I don’t want you to summon him from the Other Side,” she said, tears gathering on her lashes. Angel waited, curious despite himself. “I want you to find him for me.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not following,” Angel said warily, hoping she didn’t cry. Isaac or Daniel breaking down he hated but knew what to do, a near stranger crying left him awkward.

“The shop was broken into three nights ago,” Lady Heather said quickly, words tumbling over themselves as she hurried to explain. “I heard the commotion from my apartment upstairs, but by the time the police arrived, it was too late.”

“What did they steal?” Angel was trying to follow along, he really was, but he had no idea what a burglary would have to do with her deceased husband.

“They stole him,” Lady Heather said, digging out a handkerchief from her tiny black purse. She dabbed at her eyes, miraculously not smearing her mascara.

Angel frowned. “I’m going to need you to spell this out for me.”

“The thieves stole Greyson’s ghost. I need you to find him.”

reckoning 2

AMAZON US – THE BEACON HILL SORCERER SERIES

AMAZON UK – THE BEACON HILL SORCERER SERIES

SJ Himes Logo

I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), The Wolfkin Saga, and the epic fantasy romance series Realms of Love. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJHimes/

Website: https://www.sjhimes.com/en

 

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Audiobook Release Blitz for The Necromancer’s Dilemma by S J Himes and Joel Leslie (Narrator) ~giveaway

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Title: The Necromancer’s Dilemma
Author: SJ Himes
Narrated By: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2
Release Date: July 21st 2017
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

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BLURB

Even love can die without trust.

Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begins 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.

Contains male/male sexual content. Violence, gore, sex, vampires. A cute dragon and some snark. Okay, lots of snark.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes

Find The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series on Goodreads

EXCERPT

The entire back of the boy’s hand was split open by the intense heat, the skin white and thick, the flesh beneath cooked by the magic spike that turned the kettle and its contents into a kitchen supernova. The heat curled in his fingers, and the flesh was weeping fluids. Blisters distorted the edges of the worst of it, the flesh red and warped all the way up the back of his hand to his wrist. The curling of the hand was so severe he couldn’t see how badly Daniel’s palm was injured.

“Isaac, never mind, I need you here.” A burn this bad was not life threatening— not yet— Daniel was going into shock, but he wasn’t hovering on the edge of death, so Angel was unable to heal him. This injury was caused by intense and powerful heat— and so was under the purview of any practitioner with fire affinity. “You need to heal this.”

“I’m not a healer!” Isaac gasped out, but he came anyway. Angel grabbed his brother and yanked him down so they were both kneeling by Daniel’s hand. Angel held Daniel’s arm aloft, and put his other on Isaac’s shoulder.

“Isaac, all you need to do is settle into your inner sight, look at Daniel’s hand, and call to the heat in the injuries. The actual temperature has nothing to do with healing— this is a mental exercise that relies on how your brain interprets and processes the injury in his hand. It was caused by heat, and you can reverse the damage,” Angel instructed. He squeezed his hand on Isaac’s shoulder when a wave of uncertainty crossed his features. “No room for doubt. I taught you how to heal fire and heat based injuries before you even got your driver’s license, so don’t lie to yourself and think you can’t do this.”

“How… his hand… how can I fix that?” Isaac whispered, looking sick.

Book One

Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 Hours 8 minutes
Release Date: 21st March 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, MM Romance

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BLURB

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.

Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill…and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK I iTunes

Listen to an audio teaser from The Necromancer’s Dance at Soundcloud.

About the Author

I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon

About the Narrator

web version joel arm

Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Find a list of Joel’s books on Audible

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

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The prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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