Tag Archives: magic

Release Blitz: Dravyn’s Garden by Jessamyn Kingley

Dravyn’s Garden | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #15

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Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: January 16, 2020

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

In one extraordinary garden, is it possible to grow love?

Drindyr Duke Dravyn D’Vairedracon is is a quiet man who finds happiness amongst his plants. His affinity for living things astonishes those around him since he doesn’t have a drop of druidic blood in his veins.

Awed by his talent, his family grows convinced that someday when Fate pairs him, it will be a druid that is at his side. Someone to care for and who shares his love of gardening would be a dream come true for Dravyn.

Killian the Dwyer is a man broken and his secrets are plenty. Once the leader of the Circle of Druids, he handed off his duties and escaped, his whereabouts unknown. Rumors abound that he makes his home high in a tree in a faraway land. He is missed, and many who care for him reach out to no avail. Full of pain and taking comfort in his solitude, Killian only leaves the sanctity of his leafy abode to answer an invitation he finds himself unable to ignore.

Killian makes his first public appearance in centuries, and when he locks eyes with Dravyn, they discover they are mates. Astonished, neither man says a word and Killian retreats. Two and a half years of silence on Killian’s part have passed, and Dravyn is tired of waiting.

He wants the other half of his soul but is convinced Killian won’t do for the job. Fearful of what the future holds but afraid of defying Fate, Killian cannot help being intrigued by the talented dragon.

As they settle in Dravyn’s expansive garden, if the pair can find common ground, they might just discover the seeds to grow a love without limits.

Excerpt

Yanking off his gloves, Dravyn crammed them into the back pocket of his cargo pants. Crossing his arms over his chest, he waited for the guy to cross the distance between them. He was the last person on this planet Dravyn wanted to see, but if he wanted his freedom, he was going to have to deal with Killian the Dwyer.

“This is an amazing garden for a dragon,” Killian said once he was a few feet from where Dravyn had his boots planted into the sandy dirt.

“For a dragon?”

“Shifters aren’t normally known for their cultivating skills.”

“What exactly do you think we are known for?” Dravyn asked, wondering why the hell they were having this weird-ass conversation. He didn’t think Killian could be any more condescending if he tried.

“The obvious answer is for going from man to beast.”

“And when we aren’t in beast form, what is it you think we do?”

“I don’t know. I’ll confess I don’t really know any shifters.”

“You live in a tree; do you know anybody?”

“What’s wrong with living in a tree?”

“Look, I don’t give a shit where you live. What are you doing here?”

“I thought that would be obvious. We’re mates. I’m here to see if we can make things work.”

“I wrote you letters for two and a half years. You ignored them,” Dravyn pointed out. “So, excuse me if I’m surprised you have any interest in Fate.”

“Druids believe in Fate.”

“Apparently on their own sweet-ass timetable, with no concern for anyone else’s feelings.”

“I know you’re angry, and you have every right to be but—”

“But nothing, Killian the Dwyer. Go back to your tree.”

“I have a lot of explaining to do and—”

“Excuses to make.”

Killian’s brownish-green eyes with their interesting glints of gold narrowed. His face was even more remarkably handsome than Dravyn recalled, which only pissed him off more. The glossy hair was shaggier, and he seemed to have forgotten to put on shoes, but Killian was a perfect male specimen of lanky proportions. “Are you going to let me finish a statement?”

“You can talk all you want,” Dravyn retorted. He pulled his gloves out of his pants and tugged them on. “I’ve got work to do. Take your damn plants back too, I don’t want them near my garden.”

“I wasn’t going to leave them behind, so I’m going to need space in your precious garden.”

“Nope, get lost. You’ve got experience in that. Like when you walked into a ballroom and refused to acknowledge your mate, then teleported home to your tree.”

“You seem very bitter about the tree thing.”

“Must be nice to ignore your responsibilities and hide in a tree.”

“Hiding?”

“You heard me. Now beat it so I can work,” Dravyn growled as he crouched to check on his hybrid. There was no way he was going to lose another one. This plant had taken over a year of work to create, and each time he took one out of his cramped greenhouse, it refused to bloom and died. He wanted to give a cutting to Ellery for his solarium, so he had to solve this puzzle.

“I don’t know where to go. Where’s our room?”

Dravyn rocketed back to his feet and whipped around. “Our room?”

“I’m guessing you don’t sleep in a tree, as you’re strongly opposed to anyone occupying one. I promise you it doesn’t hurt the tree in question.”

“I’m not opposed—shit, who cares. That’s your business, not mine. What you aren’t doing is sleeping in my room.”

Killian took off and marched toward the deck that accessed Dravyn’s section of the house.

“Hey, where the hell do you think you’re going?” Dravyn demanded as he stalked after the sexy druid.

“That deck.”

“Stay away from it,” Dravyn snarled, but Killian was already thundering up the wooden steps.

“Wow, you hypocrite. Look at this,” Killian crowed once Dravyn got up to the wide deck. “That’s a bed in a tree.”

“Get off my deck.”

Killian stuck his head into the open doors of Dravyn’s sitting room. “Indoor and outdoor living. Very nice. Oh, and there are two beds, so we don’t have to share right away.” Killian dropped his bag on the one nestled in the tree. “I’ll take this one until we get to know one another better.”

“You aren’t sleeping in my room.”

“It’s a beautiful space.”

“It was until you marched into it.”

“It’s okay, we have to try. We might not be able to make this work, but at least we’ll have given it our best shot.”

Dravyn shook his head and pulled his baseball cap lower, over his eyes. The druid was stubborn, and he wasn’t going to sacrifice his hybrid for this asshat. “You need to go. Take your plants, your bare-ass feet, and get lost.”

Killian’s gaze dropped to his toes as Dravyn stomped back down the stairs. “I hate shoes.”

“Well, I hate you.”

“Okay, I deserve that,” Killian called after him.

“You should also think about a haircut.”

“Look who’s talking.”

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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New Release Blitz: The Empress of Xytae by Effie Calvin

The Empress of Xytae | Effie Calvin

Tales of Inthya #4

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 83,500

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, royalty, new adult, magic, paladins, gods, goddesses

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Blurb

Crown Princess Ioanna of Xytae has kept her truthsayer blessing a secret for twenty years. In any other nation, her powerful magic would be cause for celebration. But Xytae’s patron is the war goddess Reygmadra, and the future empress is expected to be a brutal warrior.

Reserved and peaceful by nature, Ioanna knows the court sees her as a disappointment. She does her best to assuage their worries every day, working quietly beside her mother to keep the empire running while her father is away at war. But when news of the emperor’s untimely death reaches the capital, Ioanna finds herself ousted by her younger sister Netheia, who has the war magic Ioanna lacks.

Princess Vitaliya of Vesolda has come to Xytae to avoid her father’s upcoming wedding, which she sees as an affront to her mother’s memory. Vitaliya has absolutely no interest in politics or power struggles and intends to spend her time attending parties and embarrassing her family. But when she saves Ioanna’s life during Netheia’s coup, the two are forced to flee the capital together.

Despite their circumstances, Vitaliya enjoys travelling with Ioanna and realizes that the future empress’s shy and secretive nature is the result of her unhappy childhood. Ioanna is equally unaccustomed to being in the company of one as earnest and straightforward as Vitaliya, for she has spent her life surrounded by ambitious and cutthroat nobles.

Ioanna cannot allow her sister to continue their father’s legacy, and plots to rally supporters to her side so she can interrupt Netheia’s coronation. Vitaliya knows she ought to leave Xytae before the nation is ripped apart by civil war but finds she is unwilling to abandon Ioanna.

But Ioanna’s enemies are always watching…and they’ve realized that Vitaliya is a weakness to be exploited.

Excerpt

The Empress of Xytae
Effie Calvin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Reygmadra

The Imperial Palace at Xyuluthe buzzed with anticipation. Empress Enessa had finally gone into labor, and the heir to the Xytan Empire would be born within a few hours. The archpriest of Adranus and the archpriestess of Pemele were both there to aid with the birth along with countless members of the imperial court who would bear witness to the historic event.

Reygmadra, Goddess of Warfare and Eighth of the Ten, waited just outside the empress’s chambers, unseen by all who passed. She would not deny she was beginning to grow impatient. She was only here to bless the child, the future empress. Then she would be on her way.

If the child ever arrived.

Reygmadra had no tolerance for children, nor for the tedious conversations that always surrounded a birth—discussions of size, weight, and bodily functions. She had left the empress’s room because she had grown tired of the pointless hysterical screaming, but this was undoubtably worse.

Unfortunately, she could not grant a blessing to a mortal until after it had taken its first breath. This was one of the rules she and her fellow gods had agreed upon when they’d first set out to create Inthya. Even Reygmadra could see the value in this one, for if babies could use magic in the womb, nobody would ever risk giving birth ever again.

Emperor Ionnes was occupied, as always, by his campaign in Masim. He would not return to meet his new daughter for several months. Some of the members of the court were muttering about this, but Reygmadra did not see the trouble. What help could Ionnes be right now? He would only be in the way if he tried to help. At least in Masim, he was serving his nation by leading the army.

She longed to be there, whispering ideas in his ear as he slept, soaking up the power she received when tens of thousands of warriors prayed to her in unison. Of course, the prayers would find her no matter where she was on the mortal realm of Inthya or in the celestial planes of Asterium. But there was nothing like experiencing it firsthand.

Babies seemed to bring out the stupidest, weakest aspects of mankind. One of the Xytans was now relaying a tale of someone else’s labor, and Reygmadra decided to take a walk before she lost her temper and stabbed someone.

She moved through the palace like a specter, her face unseen and heavy footsteps unheard. She was dressed as she usually did when she manifested on Inthya, as a common soldier with short sword and breastplate. If someone did somehow see her, they would think nothing of her.

One of the rooms led out into a garden, and Reygmadra decided she had been indoors for too long. She stepped out into the sunlight, into the fresh air.

Reygmadra didn’t think much of gardens—they were really just a waste of space—but this one was empty, so she would stay for a while. As she moved, she kept an ear to the palace, hoping she would soon hear distant cheers.

“Still waiting?”

A woman dressed as a Xytan noble stood there among the flowers. She had olive-toned skin and long, wavy ebony hair, and her face was impossibly, supernaturally beautiful. The dress she wore was simple but elegant, all wine-colored silk that perfectly emphasized wide hips and a narrow waist. Despite her disguise as a mortal woman, Reygmadra recognized Dayluue—Goddess of Love and Seventh of the Ten.

“It will be a while yet,” said Reygmadra. “Why are you here?”

“I’m feeling neglected,” Dayluue said. “You haven’t come to see me in ages.”

“I’m busy.”

“You’re always busy.” Crimson lips pressed together in a pout as Dayluue adjusted the neckline of her dress aggressively. “Maybe I should call on someone else. I wonder what Nara is doing.”

Possessive rage seized at Reygmadra, and Dayluue began to laugh. But the sound was cut short when Reygmadra grabbed her by the shoulders. A moment later, she had Dayluue pressed between the garden wall and her own body.

“I love it when you get jealous,” Dayluue said breathlessly. “Kiss me?”

Reygmadra brought her lips to Dayluue’s throat. Dayluue tilted her head back, hands clasping at Reygmadra’s hair, and laughed again. “I have missed you,” she said.

“I don’t believe you,” said Reygmadra because expecting strict monogamy from Dayluue was like expecting a bird to refrain from flight.

“I’ll prove it, then.” Dayluue’s eyes sparkled.

“No. I’m busy.”

“I never took you for the sort to get excited over a birth. Or are you finally realizing what I’ve been saying about the population—”

“No. I’m just giving her a blessing, and then I’m leaving.”

“It might be a while,” warned Dayluue. “Labor can last an entire day.”

Reygmadra shuddered. “Awful.”

“Well, they wouldn’t have to do it so often if you didn’t keep convincing them to kill one another.”

Reygmadra rolled her eyes. “Did you come here just to argue?”

Dayluue pressed her lips to Reygmadra’s. “Only if you really want to,” she murmured into her mouth. The scent of her mortal body, flowers and sweat and pheromones, was intoxicating.

They were antithesis to each other, and yet, there was an undeniable symmetry to their domains. They were two primal forces, mindless impulse given sentience. And sometimes the fiery lust Dayluue elicited from her felt identical to the thrill of battle.

Perhaps that was why Dayluue always returned to her. Perhaps that was why Reygmadra did not object to Dayluue’s wandering.

When they met like this in Asterium, it was a union of selves, of auras and magic, and two becoming one in the way none but their own kind could hope to understand. It was delightful to have Dayluue’s energy surging through her, to feel her own spirit within Dayluue. Reygmadra always came away from these unions feeling softer, lighter. But not weaker. Never weaker.

On Inthya, with warm bodies made of blood and flesh, things were different. On Inthya, Dayluue was in control, and Reygmadra was helpless under her expert fingers.

“Kiss me again,” said Dayluue. “But lower, this time.”

About the Author

Effie Calvin is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.

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New Release Blitz: A Husband For Santa by Doreen Heron

A Husband for Santa | Doreen Heron

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 23, 2019

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 20600

Genre: Holiday, LGBT, Folklore, magic, elves, Christmas, romance, fantasy

Buy Links:

NineStar Press

Amazon

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Barnes & Noble

Kobo

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Blurb

Father Christmas knows his time delivering presents is coming to an end, and his son is more than ready to take his place at the helm of the sleigh. But family tradition stands in Turk’s way.

He must find a Mrs. Claus to help share the burden. Unfortunately for tradition, he would rather a husband than a wife, and he doesn’t have time to meet anyone anyway.

At the same time, Christmasologist and PhD candidate Symeon Golightly finds himself sad and alone over the holidays.

Maybe a chance encounter and a Christmas wish will bring them together.

Excerpt

A Husband for Santa
Doreen Heron © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Prepare the landing bay to receive the sleigh. I repeat, prepare the landing bay to receive the sleigh. We expect the mission to be terminated in fifteen minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is fifteen minutes away.”

The elves began to scramble, thousands of them getting to their feet and running from dormitories and lounges, through the glistening silver ice corridors and into the straw-lined landing bay. With nimble fingers, trained through years of constructing toys and preparing lists, they padded out stables with fresh straw and hay. They filled troughs with water and bowls with cereals and carrots. They swept the solid snow that had drifted in when the sleigh left and dried up the pools of water where the snow had warmed enough to melt. The elf children, too young to have any real responsibilities yet but old enough to graduate over the year and take on jobs for the following Christmas, took a break from observing and making notes and leapt to the gas lamps, lighting them to give the reindeer a cozy environment to come home to.

“We expect the mission to be terminated in ten minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is ten minutes away.”

Some of the older elves, particularly those celebrating their final Christmases, jumped as Turk’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker. They hadn’t enjoyed this particular “innovation” and much preferred when his father had been in training and instead came to each of them in turn to make the announcements personally. They were glad to be retiring to let the younger generations—who didn’t seem to be quite as attached to the traditional ways—take the reins. En masse, the elves retreated to the back of the room, where they surveyed their work. It looked nice. Cozy. They wanted nothing more than for the reindeer to be able to rest as soon as they arrived home, and for Father Christmas himself to feel the wave of relaxation hit him after finishing his deliveries for another year. The younger generations waited with bated breath as Inger—the oldest elf and Chieftain of their little tribe—surveyed the room. She pointed to a corner where one last errant cobweb was stubbornly clinging to a beam, and one of the children leapt to a broom and scurried to clear it away.

“We expect the mission to be terminated in five minutes. I repeat, the sleigh is five minutes away.”

Inger surveyed the room again and smiled as she was satisfied with what she saw. Her team had served her well, this final Christmas. She nodded to the corner, where an elf stood alone. He was easily two heads taller than the others, almost the size of one of the human children for whom they made presents and was well muscled. At Inger’s nod, he turned to the wheel at his side and began to crank it. A creaking sound boomed from the timber roof, as it began to part. At once, the elderly elves started their chant, an ancient elven magic to protect the stable against the elements. The snow itself obeyed them, falling to settle on the roof and avoiding the hole that was emerging. When it was wide enough for the sleigh to fit, the muscled elf stopped cranking. But the elderly continued to sing, keeping the heat generated by the gas lamps inside the room, and keeping out the snow that was falling so violently.

“The sleigh has been sighted over the Crystalline Falls. I am on my way. I repeat, Turk is en route.”

The elderly elves rankled at the announcement. Never before had a Santa-in-Training ever felt the need to oversee the landing. It had always been a privilege afforded to the elves as a reward for their hard work. But times were changing, and all new Father Christmases had to put their own mark on the role.

Turk’s mark, it seemed to the elves, was micromanagement.

But they continued to chant, regardless. One slip in their song and winter would get into the landing bay, undoing all their work and discomforting Father Christmas and his eight faithful deer who had fit an entire year of work into a single night. And not one of them was prepared to let that happen.

The chanting could be heard across the palace. Turk emerged from the control room and stopped for a second to listen.

The sound of the elves was the sound of his life. Of hours waiting for his father to come home from work and tell stories of all the children to whom he had delivered gifts. Of those he thought Turk might like to be friends with if it were ever possible to leave Polynya. Those who had grown older and who chose not to believe in him anymore, just because their parents had chosen not to believe. Those who ignored all the evidence right in front of them that proved he existed, and instead put blind faith in parents who had no evidence other than what their parents had told them, who relied only on what their parents had told them before. Those were the stories that saddened Turk the most, particularly when he entered his teenage years and the children who he had considered peers and friends stopped believing.

They no longer wanted him to exist.

It was a happy song and a sad song. A song of hope and joy and obligation and loss. And in that moment, as he finally allowed himself a break in his work to take stock, he felt the loss of his own father about to retire and the joy of his own life about to begin.

He took a deep breath to steel himself. He couldn’t allow the elves to see his moment of weakness. Yes, they may have raised him and bathed him and changed his diapers, but as of the moment his father touched down in the sleigh, he was Father Christmas, and he had to lead them as a general leads his troops.

He had a family legacy to live up to.

He set his jaw, strong and stubbled, and took a moment to wipe the tears from his icy blue eyes. He pulled himself upright, towering over the elves at six feet and two inches and straightened his back. He’d read a book that said good posture commanded respected, and he needed his elves to respect him.

The echo of his black leather jackboots clattered through the ice corridors as he strode to the landing bay. Another tip from his book. Walk with a heavy step and make your presence known before you arrive so people know you’re there. He wasn’t entirely sure if that one applied to working from his own home, but he figured the author knew what he was talking about and was quite determined to follow all the advice on offer.

The torches lining the walls lit as he approached and extinguished as he walked by—lit long enough so that he could see, but not so long that they would begin to melt the walls. He moved deftly through the maze-like corridors and hallways, following the shortcut he’d figured out when he was a child and wanted to trick the elves into thinking his magic had developed. The truth was it would have been easier for him to teleport into the Landing Bay, but that didn’t quite make as much of an impact on the sound of his boots on the ice floors.

And it was all about the impact.

The elves scrambled out of the way as the two solid pine doors to the landing bay swung open, and Turk strode in. Quickly, they pulled themselves back together and stood to attention as he had taught them. The elderly elves objected to this, finding the position highly uncomfortable, and their hearts were glad they were required to carry on chanting.

“At ease,” he commanded, and the elves moved fluidly into position. Even the children, keen to impress their future boss, joined in and tried hard not to giggle as Turk walked back and forth past them, looking them over. “You are well presented, in spite of tonight’s working conditions. I’m glad I’m finally getting through to you.”

Inger chaffed at his words and closed her eyes to drown out what he was saying so she could focus on the ancient and magical words of her people.

“The loading bay is acceptable,” he continued, striding around the bay and peering into each hay-filled stall. “I feel we will have much work to do over the coming year to modernize this space and maximize efficiency, but that will come on December 26. For now, this is acceptable.”

A single snowflake fell through the opening in the roof as Inger let her guard slip. The Landing Bay had never been merely “acceptable” on her watch. Nor on her mother’s. Nor on her grandmother’s. She and the Matriarchs took their role seriously, and they worked hard to ensure that everything was done to perfection. Thankfully, the flake melted long before it was noticed by anyone other than her. She felt it fall as she felt her concentration lapse, and she certainly wouldn’t allow herself to do anything that he would merely consider to be “acceptable.”

She was so looking forward to retirement.

She felt for her daughter, who would need to take the reins and put up with Turk’s peculiar brand of nonsense.

A roar of wind and snow occurred overhead, and the children became antsy in anticipation of what was about to happen. Turk looked up and nodded, happy the elements were being kept out of the landing bay and satisfied the roof was open enough to allow the sleigh in so it could land. He squinted and saw a very faint red light in the distance.

“Showtime, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. The elves scrambled once again, lining up along the walls and the stall doors, leaving as much floor space as possible free for the sleigh to come in and land. While still chanting, the elderly elves walked to the far north wall, against which was set a raised platform. They walked up onto the platform and stood, choirlike, continuing their chant for the last few moments of their careers.

They were ready.

Turk joined them on the stage, running his hand through his dirty blond hair and smoothing down his wine-red suit. This was his moment. The moment he had spent his whole life preparing for. From the moment his father landed the sleigh, he would take charge, and the next Christmas would be his. His book had said to “make sure one presents oneself properly” from the very beginning of the job.

He was ready.

The red pinpoint of light grew bigger and bigger as the distant sound of sleigh bells began to chime. Turk took a deep breath and shifted his weight from foot to foot. He would never admit he was nervous and was almost positive the churning in his stomach was caused by the questionable reindeer meat in the curry which his mother had served the night before. But as he straightened his red tie for the fifth time that minute, the elves could see he was nervous. A couple of the children sniggered and pointed, but the others had sympathy for him. They knew his dad was a popular Father Christmas, and so he had a lot to live up to.

And if some of them were honest with themselves, they weren’t sure he would.

The sound of the sleigh bells grew louder and louder until finally the sleigh itself hovered overhead. The deer were well rehearsed by now and hovered in place until they were given the order to descend. It was a silent command, given by a Father Christmas who had spent two centuries working with each family line. He allowed for a delicate lowering of deer and sleigh alike until its wooden rails and thirty-two hooves set down on the landing bay’s tiled floor. At once, the elves scrambled into action and the bay became a hive of interaction. The elves turned the wheel, and the roof closed. The elves standing by the stall gates unlatched them, and then headed to their own deer, unhooking them and leading them over to their stall. First Rudolph, then Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, and so on until all nine were safely locked away and gratefully lapping their water.

As they were working hurriedly, Inger and the other elderly elves made their way to the sleigh and helped Father Christmas. He was wobbly on his feet as he stood but was able to make his way down to the landing bay floor entirely unaided.

“Turk,” he called, his voice booming through the Bay. “Please see to it that the sack is returned to its rightful spot.”

“Of course, Papa,” Turk replied. He turned to an elf, the only elf currently unemployed, and gave the command. “You heard him. Take the sack to the—”

“No, Turk.” His father stopped by the pine doors. “I asked you to please take the sack and put it away.”

“But Papa. This is what the elves are—”

“The elves are not your slaves, Turk. They work for the children, not for you. Now, please put the sack away and then meet me in the Lounge.”

“The Debriefing Room,” Turk corrected his father under his breath as he made his way to the sleigh and pulled the large, empty, hessian sack from the back seat. It looked so different with the enchantments faded and the magic gone for another year. Now, it was loose and malleable and normal.

He didn’t like it.

Carefully, he laid it out on the floor, careful to ensure no elf trampled over it and folded it in half, and then half again, and then half again. There was no ceremony to the sack any more, and that made him a little sad. He very much enjoyed being a child and watching his father and Inger fold it carefully and then carry it solemnly to its room to be put away. He looked at Inger, who was observing him carefully, and was certain he saw a tear in her holly-green eye. It was a shame, he thought, that she so disliked him that she refused to even help him with the sack ceremony.

“At least there will be new Elders next year,” he mused, picking up the sack and carefully making his way out of the landing bay along the twisting corridors toward the Toy Room. “Maybe the new Matriarch will want to do the ceremony with me.” The Toy Room doors slid open, and he walked amongst the empty shelves to the illuminated glass box where the sack resided during the off-season. Gently, he opened the box and placed the sack inside. As it hit the bottom of the glass, it began to shine in gentle hues of red and green and gold, its magic immediately beginning to replenish and rejuvenate. “I’ll see you next year,” Turk whispered to it before he turned around and tiptoed to the Debriefing Room.

He saw no need to announce his presence to his own father.

Meet the Author

Doreen Heron is a writer who is finally living her dream in Cornwall, England. She is lucky to live in the county she loves, and to be using her writing to entertain her readers.

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Book Blast: Magic & Mirrors by L.M. Brown

Magic & Mirrors | L.M. Brown

Cover Artist: Studioenp

Release Date: November 2, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 22,461 words/67 pages

Buy Links:

Available in Kindle Unlimited

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Blurb

Only the assassin sent to kill him can free him from the mirror.

When King Lucius is imprisoned in a magic mirror by an evil wizard, he is forced to watch as his life is destroyed and his kingdom brought to the brink of ruin. Trapped in his own reflection, he only has the freedom to move and talk when the wizard sleeps.

With his subjects under the dark spell of the wizard, Lucius is forced to rely on the most unlikely of heroes if he hopes to get his life back.

Harry comes from a long line of assassins and prides himself on being one of the best in the kingdom, but when he is hired to kill King Lucius he discovers that all is not as it seems in the Kingdom of Cinders.

Harry agrees to help Lucius in return for a full pardon for his crimes, but to complete his quest he may have to give up everything, including his freedom and the king he has come to love.

Excerpt

King Lucius sat in the chair in his bedchamber, reading the book he’d started the previous year. He was making slow progress since all the text was a mirror image of the writing he had grown up with.

On the other side of the barrier, his body slept. The evil wizard who had taken over his life four years ago had finished his dastardly deeds for the day, freeing Lucius to wander through the world of mirrors, instead of being stuck reflecting the actions of the wizard.

It was a frustrating existence and one he was eager to escape from.

Unfortunately, he could see no way out of his miserable prison.

A noise from the bedchamber in the real world tore his attention away from his book, and he set it aside. It wasn’t the wizard who had stirred. That was the one thing he knew for sure. He was always the first to know when the wizard woke to start the day.

Creeping towards the barrier, Lucius peered out into the darkened room. The only light came from the candle on the bedside table, the counterpart of which Lucius had been using to read by.

A movement near the balcony caught his eye. Someone was stealing into his chambers, and considering they had decided not to enter by the door, he had to assume they had mischief on their agenda.

Lucius waited in silence, observing the intruder as he stumbled about in the dark. He was lucky the wizard was such a heavy sleeper. Had Lucius been in his own body, the uninvited guest’s bumbling around the bedchamber would have woken him for sure.

Stifling his amusement and keeping as still as possible, Lucius watched as the intruder tiptoed closer to the bed. He clearly hadn’t spotted the living reflection in the dressing table mirror, but few people did. In the dark hours of the night most people chalked it up to imagination, or having mixed up the portraits and mirrors adorning the walls.

The flash of metal in the candlelight doused his amusement in an instant. This was no thief. This was an assassin.

“Stop!” Lucius ordered. He tried not to raise his voice too loud, lest the wizard woke.

The assassin ducked and rolled under the bed in a move that Lucius couldn’t help admiring.

“You can’t stay there all night,” Lucius said. “You might as well come out before he wakes up.”

“Who said that?” the intruder whispered from under the bed.

“I did,” Lucius replied. “Are you going to come out from under there, or are the contents of the chamber pot that interesting?”

“Who are you?”

Lucius sighed heavily. “I’m King Lucius the fourth, and you won’t be delivering the killing blow to me this night.”

The assassin crawled out from under the bed. He stood up and looked at the sleeping figure. “Are you awake?” he asked.

Lucius rolled his eyes. “Behind you.”

Finally the dagger-wielding idiot turned and saw who had spoken. “What magic is this?” he whispered.

“The blackest kind,” Lucius replied. “Would you mind going through the door behind you and following the corridor to the left?”

“Why?”

“So we can talk properly without him waking up,” Lucius explained. “You seem to be quite a resourceful chap, and I think maybe you can help me with a little problem I have.”

“What sort of problem?”

Suddenly, voices shouted from outside in the castle grounds. “Intruder! Call out the guards!”

“Dammit,” Lucius swore.

A grunt and snort from the bed caused the assassin to startle and Lucius sensed the king was about to wake. “Hide in the closet,” he said, pointing to another door.

The assassin didn’t argue with him this time. He ran for cover, only just sliding the door closed when the wizard sat up, awake.

Lucius, trapped in the mirror, lost control of his body the moment the wizard rose. He was a reflection once more, albeit a conscious one.

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.

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A quite different fairy tale with a bite to the romance

A Faerie StoryA Faerie Story by Barbara Elsborg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was different and nothing at all like what I was expecting – and in a completely brilliant way.

What I’d been expecting was a Christmas-themed MMM romance with a sweet ending. What I actually got was an amazingly complex, beautifully developed world in which Faeries are real and where three men find happiness after fighting hard for it.

On the way there was magic, there were dastardly deeds, there were acts of heroism, a cute kid and dog, a bit of a creepy Westworld-style village in the Scottish Highlands and secrets galore.

Each of the three main characters was unique, with their own faults and flaws and I liked each of them for different reasons, but Aiden was my favourite. A soul burdened with a hard life but who had never given up hope.

This book isn’t your typical Christmas romance but it’s a wonderful story of love all the same and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

SPOILER NOTE:

There should be trigger warnings imho, as this book contains some serious subjects including an incident of domestic violence (short but on page).

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Series Review Tour: Druid’s Curse by Shae Balik

Druid’s Curse | Shae Balik

Cover Artist: Harris Channing

Overall Heat Rating: 4 flames

PLEASE NOTE: Although each book in this series focuses on a different couple, to best enjoy the overall story arc, these books SHOULD be read in order.

Series Blurb

Ancient Druids, who monitored the Veil for centuries, curse a band of marauding Vikings. Now immortal and shifters, the cursed men must protect today’s Druids from Unseelie minions, allowing them to continue the rituals that protect all of humanity.

FOR BLURBS AND DETAILS OF BOOKS 1 – 5 CHECK OUT THIS POST

 

Mind Over Matter

Druid’s Curse #6

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Blurb

Who would have thought there was something more horrifying than an indoor boy being forced to live in the Amazon? Yet, there was. In fact, the more descriptive word would be mind-numbingly terrifying. That it was brought into his life by a drop dead gorgeous man claiming he was there to protect Wylie, only made everything that much more surreal.

Since the first druid came into their lives, Fritjof prayed he would never meet the druid that was destined to be his fated love. He knew that emotion would always lead to devastation and heartache. He’d seen it, experienced it, when his mother disowned him for not being able to save his father.

But what happens when the Fae goes after someone they both love? Will they be able to find a way to trust in each other? Are some things impossible to overcome or is it Mind Over Matter?

Tears of Life

Druid’s Curse #7

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Blurb

Mingus had one true love in life, animals. None of them were off the list, although, if he were completely honest, his favorite was his cat, Pretty Baby. He never imagined one day he might have to put someone else first. Not just anyone, but the man who has stolen his heart.

For centuries Oluf has dreamed of finding the one destined to be his. He’d even anticipated the need to woo him by becoming a chef. After all, according to his mother, the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. What he hadn’t expected was that he would come in second to a cat with sharp claws, who seemed to enjoy using people as her personal scratching post.

As Mingus, Oluf, and their friends get closer to Samhain, the Fae will try to stop them using everything at their disposal. It means finding a way to work together, even if it takes shedding a few Tears of Life to do so. But in the end, will the fate of the human world come down to a cat?

Mending the Rift

Druid’s Curse #8

Release Date: October 31, 2019

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Blurb

The END is NEAR!

The Fae must be defeated if Brandr and Logan hope to find their happily ever after. Only by working together will have any chance of Mending the Rift and saving humanity.

The end would be upon Brandr and his friends soon. The only question, would Brandr be able to find his fated one in time? He feared he was too late when he arrived to find the field empty. Then the Veil opens again and hell rains down upon him as the Unseelie pets attack. But when Brandr was too injured to move, the Druid he was destined to claim as his own flees in terror. Talk about demoralizing.

That did not happen. Not even in some weird fantasy could Logan have imagined that a dead man could come back to life. And he had definitely been dead, since Logan had to put his head back on his body. But when he was faced with the truth, that the man was immortal, Logan has to admit to being…intrigued.

But as Samhain draws closer, the danger around them increases as the Fae converge. The Fae must be defeated if Brandr and Logan hope to find their happily ever after. Only by working together will have any chance of Mending the Rift and saving humanity.

 

About the Author

Best Selling author of the Cedar Falls Series, Paranormal War Series, and Miracle Series, Shea Balik has always had a vivid imagination with stories running around in her head. Often her stories are taken from observations of other people with her own spin.

Traveling is one of her favorite ways of fulfilling her passion of people watching. You never know, one day you may spark her imagination for her next book.

Whether at home or traveling she is usually in front of her computer writing or curled up with a good book.

You can stay up to date with everything Shea by following any or all links below:

Social Media

Website | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter

Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Bookstrand | Smashwords

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1st Prize – $25 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize- One (1) ecopy of each of The Druid’s Curse Series

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Review Tour: Nightside by V. L. Locey

Nightside | V. L. Locey

An Erie Vampire Tale

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 50,236 words

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Blurb

Being a new member of the undead sect has its ups and downs, something that newly embraced Akio Lee is finding out first hand. Being able to spend eternity with his beloved Vincente, the man who introduced him to life in the nightside, is a definite up. Having to feed on strangers?

That’s one of the downsides, and something that Akio is finding difficult to swallow. But what other option is there for a recently wed vampire couple who need blood to survive?

Finding a new donor perhaps? One who comes into the lifestyle willingly, as Akio had done, and is open to the unique and sensual relationship that develops when three men have a blood bond.

A man who can exist in both the nightside and the dayside worlds. A man like Ian O’Keeffe, the handsome caretaker of the manse Akio and Vincente now call home? Ian seems to tick every box Akio and Vincente have—he’s comfortable around vampires, he’s obviously into men, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, he’s more than a little mischievous, and he’s human. Mostly.

But will the outgoing handyman be willing to offer two vampires his vein, his body, and his heart?

Erie Series

An Erie Collection – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

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About The Author

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Doctor Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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