Guest Post: Aldrea Alien author of To Target the Heart (Spellster Series Book 2)

Book Title: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series Book 2)

Author: Aldrea Alien

Cover Artist: Leonardo Borazio

World Building

Building the Kingdom of Tirglas

One of the things I love about high fantasy, both in writing and reading, is the world building. From landscapes, to weather, to history and politics… everything is free game. But it’s also a lot of work, even though my newest release, To Target the Heart, is part of the spellster series and set in the Known World (which consists of a single giant continent and a few outlying islands).

The story itself involves a pair of princes from two realms that might as well be oil and water. Prince Hamish of the Mathan Clan is from the rustic Kingdom of Tirglas, whereas Darshan vris Mhanek comes from the gluttonous Udynea Empire.

The latter was fleshed out a fair bit whilst I wrote In Pain and Blood (which was set elsewhere, but clashed with Udynea), but Tirglas had little fleshed out beyond it being a largely rural place full of forests and home to big people that kind of spoke with a brogue. That was all right when the kingdom was a faraway land the MC had only academic knowledge of, not so much when the story is set there.

So, off I went to craft me a new kingdom.

It became obvious to me quite early on that there’d be a fair few differences between the two lands. Tirglas is a kingdom that abhors slavery and confines its spellsters, whereas Udynea is widely known for slavery and its nobility is full of spellsters. Added to how Tirglas leans heavily on its Scottish and Celtic influences whilst Udynea influences come from several cultures (sprinkles of India, Ancient Rome, a dash of Victorian England being the top three)… a few clashes and misunderstandings were bound to happen.

I already knew Tirglas’ history was full of clan skirmishes, border disputes, plagues and even an almost complete extermination of the royal line during a coup (I had fleshed out that information whilst writing In Pain and Blood). I tend to build as I write when it comes to new worlds, but I couldn’t quite get to the underbelly of Tirglas as swiftly as I had done with Udynea or Demarn. I especially couldn’t find the reason why Hamish’s mother was so virulently against him being with a guy (beyond her obvious longing to control everyone and everything) except for a vague mention of ancient scriptures.

Following that thread had me reaching a point where facts finally started to knit together, leading me to a history of deep-seated homophobia throughout the kingdom as a whole that it has yet to fully shake off. Just like the real world, the outlook isn’t universal.

When I reached the knowledge that a certain law legalising their deaths was abolished only half a century back… it coloured a lot of the world building; be it how Hamish sees himself, the individual reactions of his family, their deity’s views on such unions, or even how people see an innocent kiss between the two MCs. Alongside this serious core, I mixed in details that sounded more-or-less innocuous without that knowledge and ran with it.

And that is how I wound up with a rural, magic-confining kingdom that’s still struggling to adapt under the rule of a controlling, homophobic queen.


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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

How can he win with the odds stacked against him?

 

Blurb 

Prince Hamish has no interest in fulfilling his duty of marrying. Not to a woman, at least. That doesn’t stop his mother, Queen Fiona, from presenting him with every eligible noblewoman that enters their castle. He’s certain it’ll be no different with the representative of the Udynea Empire.

So when they do arrive, Hamish is relieved the imperial prince, Darshan, is not the woman everyone expected. Until the man kisses him and Hamish is confronted by the very emotions he has been forced to conceal or be punished for. Emotions he is eager to explore.

But the kiss proves to be a little too public and leads his mother to take drastic measures to ensure Hamish adheres to her family vision. The contest of arms will force Hamish to make a choice: give up his happiness for convention’s sake or send the kingdom spiralling into civil war for the right to love his own way.

 

About the Author 

Aldrea Alien is an award-winning, bisexual author of fantasy romance with varying heat levels. Born and raised in New Zealand, she lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats. Since discovering a love of writing at the age of twelve, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.

 

Social Media Links

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Release Blitz – Space Fox by L.M. Brown

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Space Fox (G-Force Federation Book 1)

Author: L.M. Brown

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Fantasia Frog Designs

Release Date: January 31, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Sci-fi Shifter MPreg romance

Trope/s: MPreg, biological urge to mate

Themes: Sacrifice for the one you love, forced together

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 54,000 words

This is part of a shared universe series and Space Fox is the first to be released.

It is a standalone story.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Protecting his shifter from threats is easy, but can he protect him from his own ambition?

Blurb

As part of the G-Force Federation, gargoyle Jude is a newly promoted pilot eager to prove himself on his first solo assignment. Unfortunately, his plans go awry when his craft is shot down, leaving him stranded in the desert.

Kirby is a fennec fox shifter on the desert world of Cairo. When Jude’s ship comes under attack he races to help him, and after the crash he offers to guide him back to the base.

Their journey across the harsh desert is fraught with dangers, one of which is the lure of Kirby’s scent as he goes into heat for the first time. Jude’s protective attitude towards him pushes all the right buttons with Kirby, and it doesn’t take much for him to persuade the gargoyle to be his first lover.

When Kirby discovers he is pregnant they know one of them will have to make a sacrifice if they want to raise their baby together, but can either of them give up everything they have ever known?

 

Excerpt

Jude almost tripped over Kirby when the young shifter did a sudden about-face, darted through his legs, and crouched behind him.

“What is it?” He kept his voice low. Something must have startled Kirby, and he trusted the shifter’s hearing to be far more acute than his own.

He took a few steps, cautiously scanning their surroundings.

By keeping a close eye on the direction Kirby appeared to be focusing on, he was ready for company. The two fennec foxes were larger than Kirby and had a haggard appearance that told of fights and rough living.

Kirby growled and hunched lower.

Jude crouched and placed a hand on Kirby’s furry back. “I don’t like the look of them either,” he whispered. “Do you want me to carry you?”

Kirby hesitated for a moment, before shaking his head and shifting back to human form.

The two newcomers did likewise. The change didn’t improve their appearances. They were older than Kirby, perhaps in their thirties. The larger of them leered at Kirby. “It must be our lucky day. Such a ripe little treasure crossing our path.” He sniffed loudly. “Ah, yes, and untasted. There’s nothing like being the first.”

Jude didn’t like the sound of that, and from Kirby’s shiver, neither did he. He took a step in front of Kirby. “Back off.”

“Stay out of this, human.”

Jude felt Kirby’s hands on his arm, the grip tight. “Don’t worry Kirby, I won’t let them hurt you.”

“You hear that, Sandy? He thinks we want to hurt him.”

Sandy laughed and shook his head. “No, we’re going to make him feel good. I mean, it might hurt him a little, since it’s his first time, but he’ll get over that quick enough.”

Kirby whimpered and Jude reached behind to give him a reassuring pat. “You won’t touch him.”

Sandy smirked. “Do you think you can stop us? His scent is a beacon, drawing us to him—along with every other fennec fox for miles around.”

Jude glanced over his shoulder. Kirby’s expression was one of fear and… guilt? “What is it, Kirby?”

The shifter hung his head. “I’m sorry. I hoped we would make it back to my den before I went into heat.”

“You mean you didn’t realise it was so soon?” Jude asked. He had been able to tell how close Kirby’s heat was from the day they’d met. How had the shifter not realised?

Kirby nodded. “Back on Earth, my kind used to go into heat at certain times of the year, but on this world the seasons are different and it’s hard to tell when one finishes and another starts. Predicting your first heat is kind of hit and miss.”

Sandy coughed to get their attention. “As nice as it is that you’re educating the ignorant human, I’d rather we just get down to business. Right, Flick?”

Flick nodded. “Who gets the honour of going first?”

“You went first last time, so it’s my turn,” Sandy replied.

“But last time it wasn’t such a fresh piece as now. Who went first the last time it was one like him?”

Jude backed up a little, urging Kirby along with him. Maybe they could make a run for it while the two of them were arguing.

They made it about five meters before Sandy noticed.

In a flash the shifter pounced towards them, Flick right behind him.

Jude pushed Kirby out of their way and altered his stance, ready to take on the two shifters. He might not know everything about shifters and their heats, but he knew more than enough about fighting to protect the innocent to handle this pair of would-be rapists.

He concentrated his energy and hardened his body, letting Sandy hit him just as he turned his chest to stone. Other than a slight tearing of the seams of his shirt, the partial shift didn’t cause too much damage to his clothes. The same could not be said for Sandy’s fist.

The shifter screamed and clutched his hand to his chest. “What are you?”

Jude grinned. “I’m one charged with protecting the inhabitants of this world. And Kirby is under my protection.”

Sandy glared at him. “You’re not human or shifter.”

“No, I’m not.”

Flick, who had stalled his assault at the last moment, drew near. “I think I know what he is. There were stories, from back on Earth, about his kind. Hideous creatures of stone, who had the ability to take human form. They were even rarer than shifters. They were known as gargoyles.”

Jude wondered briefly what the stories said about his kind. From the look of hesitation on Flick’s face, he suspected not all of them were flattering. Not that the reputation of the gargoyles mattered to Jude, in fact it helped to have a fearsome reputation.

 

 

About the Author

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances.

She believes mermen live in the undiscovered areas of the ocean.

She believes life exists on other planets.

She believes in fairy tales, magic, and dreams.

Most of all, she believes in love.

When L.M. Brown isn’t bribing her fur babies for control of the laptop, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

She loves hearing from readers and can be contacted

via her website or by email at lmbrownauthor@gmail.com

 

Social Media Links

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Review: Hathonatum by Taylin Clavelli

Hathonatum by Taylin Clavelli

Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
 Publisher: MLR Press | Smashwords
Length: Novel (~300 pages)

An interesting take on star-crossed lovers. A soulmate story that crosses dimensions. This review is littered with spoilers, so beware. Long story short, a very sweet romance with some great characters and fantastic world building.

I was drawn to this novel for two reasons. I love Egypt and the mythology and history of that country. The other was the promise of interspecies romance. Taylin delivered beautifully on both. Her research and knowledge of Egypt shone in this novel and in her interview, she talks about her own love for Egypt. And while Hathonatum isn’t all that different from humans, there are definite differences between biology, culture, and world.

Ben is an archaeologist and one of the reasons he’s drawn to Egypt is that in his past life he was the king’s consort of a sort. And Hathonatum (in a very interesting way I won’t go into to avoid too many spoilers) was that king.

The worldbuilding really shines in this story with the layers of past lives, soul mates, and alien cultures. It seems like a huge mash up, but it works.

Ben, the human, knows what he wants. And when he meets Hathonatum, he knows this is the man he’s been waiting for. They are drawn together. Hathonatum was there specifically for Ben, because he knows Ben is his soulmate. Hathonatum is the capable, older, confident man of the relationship, but doesn’t bully Ben. There is support and love.

Though the story has one (unnecessary in my opinion) relationship set back, for the most part there isn’t much relationship angst. (Ugh relationship angst… not my fave.). The conflict is with the world out there, with other characters, with other aliens with agendas, it isn’t between the two main relationship characters. So, cheers for that.

Ben’s brother is a pretty significant character in this book. Jared is awesome and supportive and makes me wish I had a sibling like him. Their closeness is a gem and how they will do anything for each other. I’m happy to see strong family support.

My biggest gripe has nothing to do with the relationship, but one aspect of the worldbuilding. I had issues with the time slip between dimensions. I’m wondering if I missed some vital clue in my reading. So an hour in Hathonatum’s dimension is a week or so on Earth. But we have a couple where one half is on this side and the other half is on that side, but there is no problem with the time slip with them. I didn’t understand why. There was another issue with DNA sequencing to make earthlings and Hathonatum’s people age at the same rate (apparently Hathonatum’s people are very long lived)… but I wasn’t sure if this was attached to the time slip, and if so, why would it matter if the human was in the other dimension. It seems he would age at the speed of whatever time he was in (see author’s comment explaining where I got it wrong!). So, those two things kinda nagged at me, but if you’re not picky about details like these, they shouldn’t bother you to enjoying this romantic story as a whole.

I wanted more closure on Jared getting the King’s DNA (for the aging issue mentioned above) and what exactly that meant. Lots of hubbaloo and hinting with no actual follow through. Then I found out this was book one of a series, and I’m betting this is going to continue in the next book, which has me excited and eager to find out what is up with the DNA sharing!

All in all, a satisfying story and a fairly smooth read. The characters are likable, you want to root for the romance, and the world is interesting. Interesting teasers for what might be unveiled in the next book. Definitely worth a read to anyone interested in star-crossed/soulmate type stories.

Check out Taylin’s guest post on why she chose Egypt as her settling! Guest Post Taylin Clavelli

Guest Post: Taylin Clavelli, Author of Hathonatum

Setting

Setting is one of the pillars of any good story. To find a place to set the story, one that fits the theme, stirs the senses and opens the author’s eyes in wonder is an art form. Hathanatum’s main setting is Egypt and part of it at an archaeological dig. I have a personal love for Egypt and was immediately drawn to this book due to the setting and the themes (star-crossed lovers, reincarnation, alien love) I asked Taylin about why she chose this setting for her new book.

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Hathonatum

Author: Taylin Clavelli

Why Egypt?

By Taylin Clavelli

History has always been a passion of mine. I am a historian at the manor house hotel, where I work. But Egyptian history has a special place in my heart. Since childhood, I have lost count of the TV programs I’ve watched featuring Egypt. Documentaries, films, series are just a few avenues. Stargate is a favourite of mine along with other sci-fi series such as Star Trek and the awesome Star Wars. So, I believe that subconsciously I’ve been looking for an opportunity to feature Egyptian history in a story.

I have seen many an archaeological program uncovering artefacts and mummies. I also own several books about Egypt, its tombs, pharaohs, and its people. A while ago, for fun (in the days of floppy disks), I completed a family tree of the first pharaoh to the last, including relatives. Did you know that the famous Cleopatra wasn’t the first Cleopatra – she was the seventh. Although, Greek by birth, she embraced all that was Egypt. Alexandria has a small feature in the story.

Many years ago, I was one of those who queued to see the Tutankhamun display when it came to London. Then, in 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting the Cairo museum, and the pyramids, followed by a boat trip down the Nile. I have personally looked upon the mummies of Seti I, Ramses the Great and many others. I love going to the British Museum in London, but, The Liverpool Museum has a particularly good Egyptian display, too.

I originally planned a story involving the ancient pharaohs in a more active capacity. However, I discovered that I had to be careful. Egyptian authorities do not look kindly on anyone depicting their pharaohs in alternate ways, especially as the country isn’t especially LGBTQ tolerant. So, I had a rethink. I decided to stay factually correct regarding the essentials of Egyptian history. Records show that the ancient people were a nomadic race who could be brutal over territory, particularly water holes.

Given that so much remains hidden or is lost beneath the desert, I went back to a period where little is written. Before the first recognised pharaohs – To those times where, when historians talk about them, they start with, “very little is known about this period.” In the same way that in the film The Mummy Returns, Evie says that there very little is known about the Scorpion King. She is correct because at the time the film was made, Scorpion was only a name on a piece of parchment. Therefore, they invented a world for him. The era where I created King Sahakemwy was a window of opportunity where I could add some characters of my own within a believable world.

I am not out to teach anyone about archaeology, as the focus is on Ben and Ashari Hathonatum. So, having already watched much about excavating in Egypt, all I needed was maps. I downloaded many pictures of cities, tombs, digs and temples. Once I had my plans in place, I could insert my main characters.

Science fiction enters the story in several places, with the use of alternative dimensions. Although while reading, it isn’t actively noticeable until later. Science fiction links the past with the present before my characters get to have their future. Therefore, Egypt heavily features, especially Abydos, Alexandria, and Cairo.

Because Hathonatum is a science fiction set in the present day, I am hoping that some of the events and theories make people think – “Yeah, that’s possible.”

Buy Links

Publisher: MLR Press | Smashwords

 

 

Hathonatum is a love story that spans time, dimension, universe and death.

 

Blurb

Have you ever wondered if that little voice inside you is actually your voice?

Egypt captivates Benjamin. As an adult, he immerses himself in his chosen profession, as an archaeologist in the ancient city of Abydos. For Ben, the hieroglyphs, and paintings unlock dreams of a time long lost.

The dig Ben works on is financed by Ashari Hathonatum. For many years, the man has been looking for the one who completes him. He initially saw his heart’s match from a distance. But that was a long time ago and from an alternate universe. When Ashari encounters Ben, he wonders if he is the reincarnation of the man he saw, through another’s eyes, all those years ago. Will the secrets Ashari hides about his heritage stop their love blooming, or will others from his dimension, determined to keep Ashari from his heart’s match, rule the day?

**The story is written with British spelling/grammar. **

 

 

Excerpt

Though Ben loved the thought of studying Seti, he was part of a small crew concentrating on Narmer (3180-3120 BC), whose tomb was located to the west of the dig, almost as far away from Seti as a tomb could get. Not much was known about the first pharaoh of the combined kingdoms, and Ben wanted to help discover something new. He wanted to shed light on a life that no one knew about—a new phenomenon to capture the imagination.

Ben had been on-site for a little over a week when he saw an intriguing man talking to Terry, his dig leader. Judging by his skin, Ben suspected the man to be local, but it was difficult to tell. Other than his face, the only other exposed part of him was his hands. The rest of him was covered with clothing designed to keep out the worst of the sand—layered, lightweight, loose, and black.

When the man locked gazes with him, Ben found himself staring into a vibrant blue sea of lapis lazuli, framed with black lashes and dark eyebrows. It wasn’t until a fellow worker walked between them that the connection was broken. When Ben sought to re-establish contact, the other had his back to him. Ben returned to his work, clearing out a trench of sand. The heat and excitement over what his group might find overshadowed any musings concerning the stranger.

At the end of the day, Ben was so tired he clambered onto the city-bound truck with as much grace as a stumbling mummy.

That night, while lounging on his bed, images of dark blue assaulted him. The event was rare for him, considering Egypt was his prime…prime everything.

Every day, the journey to the ruins was like being transported back in time. Ben could close his eyes and almost feel like he was there, in ancient Egypt. Often, he imagined he could see a partial image of the hustle and bustle of the ancient civilization continuing around him. At other times, he was in the quiet solitude of a temple. The images were odd, considering ancient Abydos was a graveyard.

From the drop-off point the next day, Ben made his way to tombs B17 and B18—the tombs attributed to Narmer. He worked there all morning with his small, square trowel and brush, slowly moving away the sands of eons.

As lunchtime approached, he relocated to the edge of the main dig and took his break. From there, he would imagine life in ancient Egypt.

Daydreaming, he chose to walk back to his station.

Suddenly, an alarm sounded. It was the warning for a sandstorm. It was similar to what his grandparents had described as the air raid warning from the war.

There was a flurry of activity while people efficiently covered artefacts and other areas of importance. Ben glanced around, noticing the storm was a lot closer than he’d originally thought. It had come out of nowhere. What crept toward the dig seemed like a moving wall of cloud, dense enough to shield the view and engulf anything below it. If it wasn’t for the cottonlike plumes of wheat colours, Ben could have believed a curtain of rain was heading his way. The screen of rapid shadow was making quick progress toward the dig, swallowing all in its path. Briefly, Ben went rigid, unable to move. When the sound of hissing reached his consciousness, and sand stung his feet and face, he dashed toward shelter. He was running a losing race.

Abruptly, he was grabbed and pulled to the floor behind a shallow wall. In a spell of activity as sleek as the sandstorm, a mask was put over his face, and his body along with that of his saviour rolled together. Over and over, they turned. Coming to a halt, and dizzy, Ben found himself cocooned, head to toe in a thick blanket. From the outside, the two of them probably resembled a fat, discarded mummy.

As Ben regained his senses, he could feel a wall to his back and secure arms around him. The only thing between them was his messenger bag containing the bottles of water he was required to keep on him to prevent dehydration in the desert sun.

Panting, he opened his eyes to a familiar sea of lazuli.

 

About the Author

I am proud to be British and proud to be an author of gay romance stories from varying genres. I write under the pseudonym Taylin Clavelli, not because I don’t want my real name out there, but because I think my real name is unmemorable for an author. The name came about from a night of Skype and a lot of wine.

My first published work – a comedy called Boys Toys and Carpet Fitters – came out in 2012. It was part of a Dreamspinners anthology called Don’t Do This At Home. Since then, I have produced a further two novels and five short stories, not including Hathonatum.

As well as being married for close to thirty years, and have a grown-up family, who I adore – I work part-time at a Manor Hotel, where I am also the resident historian. I am a book reviewer, too for a well-known site.

Not being a spring chicken anymore, I have a few hobbies that over the years have come, gone and resurfaced again. I am an experienced horse rider, and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. I help my husband with DIY projects, upcycle as much as possible and love my garden. As for those simple things that make me stop in my tracks. The dawn chorus, baking bread, lasagne, and the scene where Shadowfax makes his screen entrance.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

Giveaway

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A choice of paperback + swag from Dakota Skies, Secret Of The Manor or 5 shorts from Taylin – 3 winners

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Guest Post: Gail Z. Martin, Author of Inheritance (Deadly Curiosities #4)

World Building

Perhaps the best thing about writing spec fic (fantasy and science fiction are just two flavors of speculative fiction) is the freedom to create a new world that follows your own rules. From completely second world high fantasy, to something closer, like a near future sci-fi that is firmly grounded in this world but has just a tweek or two, authors spin worlds as much as they spin plot and character. World building is no lesser a pillar of a good story as a strong character.

I asked Gail to give me some thoughts on World Building in her Deadly Curiosities world.

Book Title: Inheritance

Author: Gail Z. Martin

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Building a World to Share

By Gail Z. Martin

One of the many things I love about writing urban fantasy is that the stories happen in our own, recognizable world—but with the addition of magic and supernatural elements. On one hand, setting the stories in the real world means readers can picture landmarks and may be somewhat familiar with a region or city’s history. When you add magic and the supernatural, however, that well-known landscape becomes different, strange—even spooky.

I write three different urban fantasy series under my Gail Z. Martin name—Deadly Curiosities, Night Vigil, and Spells Salt and Steel (co-written with Larry N. Martin). And I write three more urban fantasy MM paranormal romance series under my Morgan Brice name—Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail. All happen in various real-life cities, with plenty of magic and creatures.

What makes it especially fun for me is that all six series cross over with each other, so the characters know each other and show up in each other’s books, and ask each other for help. One reader dubbed it the ‘MCU—Martin Cinematic Universe’ (apologies to Marvel). But as with the Marvel movies, there are little in-jokes and ‘Easter egg’ comments that show up in the books for those who have read across the series.

Although the stories are set in the real world, there’s still a lot of worldbuilding that goes into each series and book. I draw heavily from the local history, urban legends, ghost stories and culture of each of the cities where the books are set—Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Pittsburgh, Cape May, as well as Northwestern Pennsylvania. And in the Witchbane series, each book takes place in a different city. So part of my preparation for writing a book is delving into that lore so I can make the location a character and assure that the story wouldn’t happen the same way anywhere else.

I joked that I couldn’t keep six different universes straight, so they had to cross over, but that’s only partially true. It’s a lot more fun for me (and from what I hear from readers, for them also) to run across old friends, hear from characters they follow in other series, and most importantly, see the characters as having a network of friends and allies they can rely on when things get rough.

I’ll be adding a crossover Morgan Brice series that connects with our Iron & Blood steampunk world, as well as two Morgan Brice connected series that extend my Assassins of Landria medieval adventure series. Stay tuned—there’s more crossover fun to come!

Buy Links – ebook and paperback

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

About the Author

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.

Get a free complete short story, Catspaw here

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog | Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter @GailZMartin | Pinterest

Newsletter Sign-Up | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads | Amazon Author Profile

 

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Cover Reveal: Inheritance (Deadly Curiosities #4) by Gail Z. Martin

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Inheritance

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: October 22, 2019

Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.

(Note—Characters from my Morgan Brice (MM paranormal romance) books make several key appearances in this book.

Also, a long-time committed MM couple figure prominently in the plot).

Trope/s: Established relationships, strengthening commitment, supportive partners, protective partners

Themes: Friendship, found family, loyalty, family always has your back, trust

Heat Rating: 0 – 1 flame (No sex, kissing/hugging for MF and MM characters)

Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages

It is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a standalone.

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Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

 

Blurb

Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.

Caribbean ghosts terrorize Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

 

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

“I have a problem antique I’d like you to take a look at.” The man on the other end of the call sounded rattled. I recognized his name—Alfred Stone, from Stone Auctions—but I didn’t think we had ever spoken, let alone met.

“What kind of ‘problem’ does it present?” I asked. A number of possibilities came to mind. “Questionable provenance? Not sure how to authenticate?”

“I think it’s trying to kill me.”

Well, damn. That kind of problem. “All right, Mr. Stone. Try to stay calm.”

“I just told you, it’s trying to kill me. I heard you…know…about these things. Please, help me.”

Across the store, Teag Logan glanced up to make sure everything was all right. I nodded, and he went back to helping a customer.

“I can come now. Are you at the showroom?”

“Yes. Thank you. And…please…hurry.”

I ended the call and sighed. This might be the first time Alfred Stone had an antique try to kill him, but that made it just another day here at Trifles and Folly.

I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The shop has been in my family for more than three hundred years. While we’re known as a great place to buy high-quality antiques, the shop is also a cover for the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who save Charleston—and the world—from supernatural threats. I’m a psychometric, which means I can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. Teag is my assistant store manager, best friend, and sometimes bodyguard—and he’s also a talented Weaver witch. Sorren, my business partner, is a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire. Together with some other friends with very specialized abilities, we do our best to keep the world safe from dark magic and things that go bump in the night.

“Problem?” Teag asked when the customer left.

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Alfred Stone just called—from the auction house. He says he’s got an item that’s trying to kill him.”

“You want me to go with you?” Teag pushed a lock of dark hair out of his eyes. His skater-boy haircut and skinny jeans made him look younger than his late twenties. “Maggie can handle the store.”

On cue, Maggie—our lifesaver of a part-time associate—waved to agree from the other side of the store. She was sporting a new bright pink streak in her short gray hair, and it matched her sweater, a reminder—as if I needed one—that she believed in taking risks and living large.

I reached up to slick my humidity-frizzy strawberry blond hair back into a ponytail and shook my head. “Let me go see what the problem is, and I’ll figure out what to do from there. It’s not far away, in case I need to give a shout.”

 

 

About the Author

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.

Get a free complete short story, Catspaw here

 

 

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Release Blitz – Awakening (Wild Oak, Book 1) by JJ Harper

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Awakening (Wild Oak, Book 1)

Author: JJ Harper

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tammy Clarke

Release Date: November 26, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, MM shifter romance

Trope/s: Wolf shifter, mild fantasy, mention of Mpreg

Themes: Coming of age

Heat Rating: 3.5 flames

Length: 60 000 words/ 240 approx. pages

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Blurb

A prophecy, a True Alpha, and fates mates. Can Ascha accept that his life has changed forever?

At twenty-one, Ascha Stanton has it all: a wonderful family, great friends, a long-term girlfriend, and a promising career as an NFL star.

The appearance of three unknown men in his small town changes everything. Not only his life and future but also what he always thought himself to be: straight. Why then is he attracted to the handsome auburn-haired Thaddeus? How can Ascha hear his thoughts? And even more intriguing, what does the mark on both their chests mean?

Thaddeus explains a new path has been paved for him, one with the Wild Oak pack, who has been waiting for seventy years for the True Alpha to show himself and fulfill the prophecy.

Will Ascha accept that Thaddeus is the man he’s destined to be with, and will the rival pack accept him as their new leader?

Awakening is an MM wolf shifter book with elements of fantasy and mention of Mpreg. It includes some sexual content and is suitable for adult readers.

 

Excerpt

I stomp through the house, dodging my friends, and out to my truck. I slow down as I get closer. The dark-haired guy with the cold eyes I saw earlier is here, leaning against the side of the flatbed.

“Nice truck,” he says and rights himself. He’s taller than my six foot, but not by too much.

“Thanks. Do you mind moving away? I like to get going.” The guy gives me the creeps, and I remember Jared’s words. In my head, I try to reach out to Thaddeus, although I don’t why. Why would I trust him? I don’t even know if I can. “He’s here,” I tell him. I feel dumb, but it’s done. I reach for the handle of the cab.

“Hey, Ascha, you forgot your coat,” a voice behind me calls out. I look over my shoulder. Thaddeus is running toward me, holding a leather jacket I’ve never seen before. The dark-haired guy lets out a hiss and curses under his breath.

“Thanks, man.” As I take it from him, my fingers graze over his, and fireworks shoot up my arm. “Get out of here. I’ll get rid of him.”

“Sure, no problem. See you around,” Thaddeus says.

I drive straight home and park in my usual spot next to Dad’s BMW. Mom’s Prius is parked closer to the house. I climb out, but instead of hurrying inside, I stand still for a minute. I’m not alone. Someone is watching me. I can’t see anything in the pitch black surrounding me, but I know it, sense it. Tiny pinpricks are piercing my skin. The clammy feeling is all over me again. I’m burning up. I stagger inside and stumble through the kitchen. I need to get to my bedroom and my bed. If I lie down, I’ll feel better.

“Ascha? Are you okay?” It’s my dad, but I can’t see him properly. My vision is cloudy.

“No, it hurts. Every-fucking-thing hurts. I’m so hot.” I pant.

My mom lays her hand on me. I pull my arm away. Her touch is soft but still painful on my burning skin. “It’s happening, Tom. Dear lord, it’s happening to Ascha. I thought it was too late, that it had passed him by. What should we do?” Her voice is laced with worry, and tears fill her eyes. I wobble past them and make it to my bedroom, where I tear my clothes off. My T-shirt weighs too much on my skin, and I rip it from my chest. My jeans are next. They are too thick, too coarse, hurting me. Then another wave of pain overwhelms me. The pressure on my chest is like a branding iron, stamping marks on my skin, so hot, so deep, but it’s coming from inside me.

What’s happening? What the fuck is happening? I cry out, but it sounds more like a howl. My throat tightens. Too much pain, too much… my legs buckle, and I collapse, landing on my hands and knees. I cry out again. “Thaddeus.”

 

 

About the Author

You will normally find her in the living room—typing away—with her dogs, Maud and Siddiqi. As a hopeless romantic, JJ dives into her stories, always falling in love with her men, making sure they get the happy ever after they deserve, even if they do have to work hard for it.

As a bona fide bookaholic, coffee-addicted, wine-drinking and swear-like-a-sailor type of girl, she has yet to work out how to act her age!! LOL. And she has no intentions of growing up or growing old gracefully.

JJ lives in a small, very quiet, village in Lincolnshire, UK, with her husband and dogs, and spends all day dreaming up stories full of really hot men.

 

 

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