Tag Archives: magic

Excellent urban fantasy romp through the eternal struggle from Miranda

Surviving the Shadows CoverSurviving the Shadows by Miranda Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Miranda Turner delivers her second book in this urban fantasy paranormal series with the same level of detail and big action adventure as she did the opener.

It’s another romp through the pages as Gabriel struggles to connect with Evander, the fight to discover who is behind the plot to end his life, and the search for his Daemonic Prince father, Abaddon, continues at a pace.

Romance takes a back burner in this one and it completely makes sense within the narrative, although I have to say I felt more for Evander in this one and Gabriel was occasionally a bit of a dick but I did understand where he was coming from.

There’re new characters brought into the fold and the team has to deal with an unimagined situation which is unexpected and all the more shocking because of it. Interesting twists and turns bring another chapter to a close but without narrowing down the overriding arc and I’m dying to see where it’s going to go next.

I’m deliberately being vague because there’s a lot of stuff going on in this one and it would be a shame to spoil any of the different ways the journey splits and meanders, suffice it to say, it’s all handled with skill and great attention to detail.

So far I’ve really enjoyed both books in this series and I’m looking forward to more.

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

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Blog Tour: Eight Lives by Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee

Eight Lives | Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee

Match Made in Hell #1

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Cover Artist: Raven Brooks

Release Date: May 20, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Buy Links

Universal Link: mybook.to/EightLives

Amazon US  https://amzn.to/2Hx85br

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eight-Lives-Match-Made-Hell-ebook/dp/B07RT6XYK7

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Blurb

Two Hearts. One Curse. Zero Time.

A century ago, a spiteful witch cursed Edmund.

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

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

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

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

And suddenly, he is human again.

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

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

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Excerpt

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

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

Everything changed but not Edmund. Nor me.

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

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

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

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

Where was Edmund? Why wasn’t he answering?

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

He was missing, gone, disappeared.

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

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

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

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

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

My lips parted. “Edmund?”

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Authors

Autumn Breeze is a bestselling LGBT+ author, and current Radish Content Provider. She is also the winner of a 2015 Watty Award, a former Wattpad Star, with more than 70K followers on Wattpad who was featured in Cosmo in 2017 “My Lessons with the Sexy Dance Instructor.”

In 2017 she worked as a Freelance Writer for 20th Century Fox on, “A Cure for Wellness: Seeking A Cure.”

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Ashley Chamblee is a bestselling author with 10+ years of experience who specializes in writing horror, fantasy, paranormal, and romance with LGBT themes. Currently, she has 35K+ followers on her combined Wattpad accounts EzraWinn and HonestDying.

When Ashley isn’t writing she is either working with special needs adults, playing video games, reading or spending time with friends and family.

Blood Prize, her bestselling novel is available on Amazon.

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Prometheus steps out of the Underworld and into romance

45482837Prisoner of Shadows by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Greek Mythology is second only to Arthurian Legend in my list of loves and makes up the second largest section of my factual and historical library of books.

So, when Sam Burns started writing this series with W.M. Fawkes I was seriously happy and, with book two now finished, I have to say it’s been a two for two top quality five star reads for me.

This book goes a bit further down into mythology and steps into the Underworld in a surprisingly different place – with the Titan Prometheus – he who brought fire to mankind after crafting them from clay and so set them on the path of independence from the Gods.

Needless to say, Zeus had a toddler-style temper tantrum and chained Prometheus to a rock in Tartarus while an eagle eats his liver, only for it to grow back overnight -nice! And that’s where this story begins.

Hermes is trying to avoid his father after the events of book one, although this can be read as a standalone, and so he frees Prometheus in the hope Zeus will be distracted getting him back. Not all goes to plan however and Prometheus ends up crash landing in the path of New York’s head vampire cop Julian.

There then follows an absolute gem of a narrative which sees plotting and double-crossing in the vampire world having a parallel with the interference and actions of the Gods while Prometheus and Julian fall into an unlikely relationship.

I loved Julian, he’s all about duty and doing the right thing and he has an inbuilt need to look after people, and while Prometheus is the original rebel, after five thousand years underground, he’s like a newborn baby in the modern world and utterly out of place.

The passion between them is wonderfully spicy but it quite quickly turns into more as Julian becomes involved in Prometheus’ fight to stay out of Tartarus.

I also loved, as with book one, that the authors pulled in another lesser-known member of the Greek Pantheon – in this case Prometheus’ daughter Aidos and introduces my favourite Greek Goddess Nemesis.

***Spoiler***

There’s also a wonderful subversion of the vampire origins myth to here have them created by Artemis to be her eternal hunt, immortal warriors placed on Earth to protect mankind against the machinations of the Gods, and it works really well.

The pacing in this book is so good, I was still awake at 3am finishing it off (having started it at midnight) because I couldn’t find a spot at which I felt capable of leaving it overnight!

As with the first book, there’s humour, steamy scenes, romantic scenes and fast-moving dialogue which pulls the reader deep into the world of vampiric New York.

Next up is another hidden gem from Greek mythology Thanatos, the God of Death and Glaucus and I’m interested to see which version of his origins they’re going to use!

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

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Audiobook Review Tour: Witchbane by Morgan Brice & Kale Williams

Witchbane by Morgan Brice & narrated by Kale Williams

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Publisher: Darkwind Press

Release Date: March 29, 2019

Length: 7 hours and 34 minutes

Genre: Urban Fantasy, MM, paranormal, romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

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Audible US | Audible UK

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Blurb

He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years.

Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell-bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. 

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About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after.

Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

She writes the Witchbane and Badlands series. Watch for new series, coming soon!

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Blog Tour: The King’s Fear by Isaac Grisham

The King’s Fear | Isaac Grisham

The Brass Machine #2

 

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Publisher: Cooper Blue Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Dissect Designs

Genre/s: Fantasy, LGBT Fiction

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 95,000 words/290 pages

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

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kings fear ebook cover.jpg

Blurb

Everything will burn

Myobu has waited all his life to find love, and just as he makes a connection, it’s taken from him in an instant.

Reeling from the fatal climax of his love story with Prince Kitsune, the magical Yokai must take advantage of his second chance at life, reconciling his past and present while keeping the prince from going down a path of darkness. Together with Kitsune, Myobu is tasked with destroying an evil that threatens the brass machine—and their world.

Meanwhile, Prince Kitsune is lost in the depths of responsibility and the murkiness of grief. His role is at the head of an army, defending against the whims of his deranged father. King Oni’s aggression is mounting, and he will stop at nothing to maintain his power over Kitsunetsuki.

Overcome with the guilt of killing the man he loved, Kitsune finds direction when he discovers the legendary Sword of Inari—but when the voices within the steel speak to him, they lead him deeper down a path of deceit.

In a tale of good versus evil, life and death, Kitsune and Myobu must come together alongside their allies to face unspeakable horrors.

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Excerpt

It was the perfect morning.

Treating himself to a good long stretch, Myobu worked his way up to sitting. With his back against the wooden headboard, he looked down at the pair with whom he had spent the night.

Ryn and Nikki owned one of the oldest taverns in Hawte, having belonged to Ryn’s family for generations. Myobu had met them not long after arriving in the capital nearly three sun cycles ago.

Something else had happened as their friendship grew. Late one night after helping close up the tavern, they had spent a few hours drinking by the hearth. Ryn and Nikki spoke of their first encounter and subsequent marriage, purportedly a scandalous affair.

Having lived over a century without ever engaging in sexual activity, Myobu had drunkenly bombarded them with endless questions on the subject. The pair looked at one another, a glimmer of humor and desire in their eyes, and decided to answer his queries physically rather than verbally. Taking him by the hand, they led him upstairs to bed.

Upon closing the bedroom door, the first thing the couple did was peel off their clothing. Myobu had watched in awe as the differences in their skin were revealed. Ryn was a burly man, and there were few areas on his body not covered in hair. Nikki was dark-skinned and appeared free of any blemishes or extraneous hair.

The two had begun tugging at Myobu’s own clothing, which he sluggishly gave up. He wasn’t timid or particularly self-conscious, though he had wondered if the human form he had taken was correct in the details. He possessed all the parts of a man, but he lacked the massive tufts of hair Ryn displayed. He was almost as smooth as Nikki. Concerned they would figure out he wasn’t actually human, he had contemplated adding hair to his body before his shirt could be removed.

In the end, the two hadn’t given a second thought to his nearly hairless form. They stripped him naked, looked at him appreciatively, and began running their hands over his body. The dual sensations of Ryn’s rougher palms and Nikki’s smoother fingertips elicited a gasp from Myobu. Goosebumps broke out over his flesh.

It heightened his tactile awareness, dulled his sense of time, and deeply aroused him. He tentatively put a hand on each of their bodies, awkward at first, but easily got into it once he realized his touch elicited the same types of responses from them.

About the Author

Isaac Grisham currently lives in a blue county of Illinois with his partner and doggos. By day, he works at a local college.

The King’s Fear is his second completed novel and, by night, he is busy assembling the gears of the third and final piece of The Brass Machine.

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Gloriously & vividly crafted magical fantasy from Jackie

45319502.jpgHealing Glass by Jackie Keswick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantasy is my favourite cake.

Well written and detailed world building adds a cherry on top and an imaginative and complex narrative gives me lashings of quality double cream to bind it all together.

I’m using food metaphors here because Jackie herself is always sharing her love of cooking and the flavours of the world with her friends and readers and this book felt like an extension of that creative vision.

The book itself is glorious, the pace pitched just right between the slow exploratory early tastings as we’re introduced to characters and plots in motion and the heady details as the narrative drives towards its final conclusion.

There is an amazingly complex world in play here which we’re allowed to discover as we read, no telling what we should be seeing but plenty of feeling the love between Minel and Falcon.

The secondary characters also come to life in vivid detail, the mystery and magic elements of this world are slowly revealed as the story continues.

I loved everything about this book and I can’t wait now to find out more about Javier and Rein.

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

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Release Blitz: The Gathering Storm by Tricia Owens

The Gathering Storm | Tricia Owens

Juxtan #2

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Cover Artist: Tricia Owens

Genre/s: Fantasy, MM, romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 50,000 words

Release Date: April 22, 2019

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Buy links:

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

This book was previously published as The Gathering

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Blurb

After betraying the only man he ever loved, Hadrian ni Leyanon waits for death amid the ruins of a sorcerous battle. Before that can happen he is recruited by the Council of Elders which governs the use of magick in Juxtan.

The Council needs him to track down his evil sorcerer father and force him to face a justice they aren’t powerful enough to inflict on their own. Wracked with guilt, Hadrian agrees to join the mage-led mission in the hopes it will allow him to redeem himself.

But when Caled, the handsome mercenary whom Hadrian betrayed, insists on joining the mission too, Hadrian discovers that redemption needs to come from the man who hates him most.

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Excerpt

The mercenary tightened his fingers around Hadrian’s wrist in response. For a brief instant Hadrian was transported back in time, when Caled held his arm this way because he was leading Hadrian back to the Bell and Buckle for a midday roll and they were trying to be discreet while excitement quickening their pulses. The memory was so sharp and the ache it caused so painful that Hadrian let out a whimper of longing before he could stop himself.

Caled turned his head at the sound, his glorious blue eyes still full of a hate that seemed to age him. But there was something else which lurked in those sapphire depths, something…

“Please,” Hadrian said, the word holding a thousand meanings―it was up to Caled to decide which interpretation to take. “Please.”

Caled had brought them to a mudroom off the main entrance that afforded some privacy. In the semi-darkness, surrounded by hanging cloaks and furs, Caled released Hadrian’s arm and turned around. He herded Hadrian back against the nearest wall, Hadrian clumsily moving his feet out of the way to avoid being stepped on.

“It’s too late for that,” Caled told him grimly. “It’s too late for pleas, for forgiveness. It’s too late, Hadrian.”

Hadrian found himself pressed into the scratchy fabric of wool cloaks. Damp mud on their hems brushed the backs of his bare calves, making him shiver at the cold. But if he needed heat, all he needed to do was look into Caled’s eyes.

“I understand you’re going to kill me,” Hadrian began, his voice stronger than he expected. “I deserve your justice.” The lines around Caled’s eyes deepened. “But I want you to know, Caled. I want you to know―it wasn’t a deception. What we shared―it was real. It was real for me.”

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About the Author

Tricia Owens has been writing MM fiction since 2000, after stumbling onto the term ‘slash’ and thinking it referred to horror stories.

She is the author of the Sin City, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Juxtapose City series, among several others. She lives in Las Vegas.

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