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Release Blitz: Seducing the Sorcerer by Lee Welch

Seducing the Sorcerer | Lee Welch

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Release Date: September 23rd, 2021

Cover Design: Tiferet Designs

Editing: May Peterson

Length: 100,000 words

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOJJQ9

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58526936-seducing-the-sorcerer

READ MY REVIEW

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Blurb

Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.

Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.

However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.

Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?

Features:

• Scheming court sorcerer (probably evil)
• Gruff, out-of-work groom (possibly with a heart of gold)
• Magical sackcloth horse
• Spies, lies, saving the realm
• True love and spanking.

Content warnings: Graphic sex scenes including consensual rough sex/spanking/humiliation; kidnapping (named character is tied up and gagged); gun violence (gun is held to a named character’s head); death by crushing (non-named character); mention of suicide.

Author’s note: Seducing the Sorcerer is written from the point of view of a hero whose grammar isn’t perfect. These are not errors in the text but deliberate style choices. Thank you!

Excerpt

The sorcerer gave his staff a vicious twirl and pointed it at Fenn’s chest, clearly ready to destroy an army. Fenn gritted his teeth against whatever hideous hex was about to kill him. How much would it hurt? How unnatural would it be? He ought to run, but he could barely move. He hunched, eyes closing of their own accord, and clutched the horse’s sacking mane as if the coarse twine could help him keep a grip on life.

At least he’d die astride a horse. 

But nothing happened. The rain pattered cool on his head and hands. He opened one eye, then the other, and risked a glance at Morgrim. A shadow of doubt passed over the sorcerer’s narrow face. It was almost confusion, if a hunting hawk can ever be said to look confused.

“Well?” Morgrim said.

His tone said “and how dare you keep me waiting”. It was clear Fenn was expected to make the next move.

“Er, evening, sir. My lord.” Fenn ducked his head. “I’m right sorry for the intrusion.”

“You’re sorry?”

There was such vicious scorn in the sorcerer’s voice that Fenn flinched. Morgrim cocked his head to one side, raptorlike. He hadn’t lowered his staff. “Who are you?”

 “Fenn Todd. Er…your grace. Sir.” Gods, what were you supposed to call a court sorcerer? “Um…your honour.”

“Fenn Todd.” Morgrim sounded as if he were sizing it up to put in a spell.

Fenn shivered. Should have given a false name. Why hadn’t he thought to give a false one? Now Morgrim would be able to find out that Fenn had a criminal record and all. Oh Gods, this was going to be bad.

“And what is your purpose here?” Morgrim snapped.

“There ain’t one, your worship. It was a mistake. The horse brought me. I didn’t mean to trespass. I’ll go, eh? Quick as you like.”

Morgrim frowned as if Fenn’s answer hadn’t made sense.

“Who sent you?”

“No one. Honest. I came by the horse sort of…accidental. Tried riding it, only it took off in the air and…well, then it came down here.” Fenn had never felt more stupid or incompetent in his life. The whole thing was a ludicrous humiliating nightmare. “But I don’t want no trouble. I’ll be off, eh? Sorry to disturb you…er…sir.”

“You came to the Unket Tower by accident? You expect me to believe that?”

The name made Fenn shiver. He’d heard of it, of course, because court sorcerers had lived here for over a thousand years. The name was synonymous with magic. The place was reputed to be haunted. It was a giant trap.

He glanced about the courtyard again. There were several doors but they were all closed fast. The stone walls were five yards high and slimy with wet that flickered red in the torchlight. And there was that young bloke with the sword to think of, let alone the angry sorcerer. If the horse wouldn’t fly there’d be no escape. Why in blazes had the creature brought him here?

“Aye, by accident. Gods’ truth,” Fenn said grimly.

“And what magic did you use?” Morgrim still hadn’t moved from the top step. The tower door stood open to the dark behind him.

“Magic?” Fenn shook his head. “No. No, no. I know what it looks like, but I ain’t a magician.”

“You’re lying. Worple horses can’t fly. Don’t antagonise me, Mr. Todd. You’ll regret it.” Morgrim’s glare intensified. “I repeat: What magic did you use?”

“A worple horse?” It was Fenn’s turn to frown. “Wait. Is that a thing? What is that?”

“I’m asking the questions.”

There was an edge to the sorcerer’s tone, like anger and yet not quite. Fenn found he’d raised his hand in a reassuring gesture.

“All right, sir. I meant no disrespect.”

“What. Magic. Did. You. Use?” Morgrim demanded.

“None. Honest. I know the horse has a rune on its chest but that weren’t me. That just appeared. I can’t do magic.”

“Liar.”

“You think I’d come here if I could?”

“You are trespassing in my courtyard in the middle of the night. Are you now also being insolent?” Morgrim sounded as if he couldn’t believe his ears, but he lowered his staff.

Some of the tension went out of Fenn. It seemed Morgrim wasn’t going to do anything unnatural to him just yet.

“No, sir. It was an honest question. If I could do magic, why would I come here? Wouldn’t I be lying on silk sheets somewhere with a glass of wine and a valet peeling me a grape?”

Morgrim gave him one of those quelling looks that folks who liked to be in charge often gave. Fenn had weathered plenty in his time, though never one from the most powerful sorcerer in living memory. It made his blood run cold, but he kept his face plain. It didn’t do to be too easily cowed. It could make these domineering types worse. No, Fenn must strike the right balance between deference and dignity, and never mind that he felt too rattled to be up to the task.

It wasn’t helping that it was still raining. Even though the moon was right there, clearly visible over the yard wall to the east. It was raining only on the tower. Fenn shivered.

That was right uncanny. It certainly looked as though Morgrim had stolen all the rain clouds like people said.

This whole situation was unimaginable. Perhaps Fenn was dead after all.

There was a change in the solid body of the horse beneath him. It was sinking, deflating like a pricked balloon. Its legs bowed and then slid outwards. Its body grew thin and its head nodded towards the ground. Fenn jumped off with a muttered curse and it sank into a sad pool of sacking on the wet cobbles at his feet.

Fenn scratched his beard. “Blame thing.”

There’d be no flying out of here on it now. Not that it had seemed inclined previously, but now he was definitely stuck. Perhaps that quelling look of Morgrim’s had been more than just a look. Perhaps it had been some sort of evil eye.

Fenn glanced up. “You do that? Sir.”

Morgrim made a scoffing noise that said, “of course I did, but your question is beneath me”. He was glaring at the horse with a sort of outraged curiosity. He looked like a bloke who did a lot of glaring. His eyebrows were two perfect curves, positively made for the job.

Fenn nudged the horse with the toe of his boot and it gave a plaintive whinny. So, it hadn’t gone lifeless. It just wasn’t standing up any more.

In a way, Fenn sympathised. His knees felt right shaky. But Morgrim didn’t seem about to strike him down with a bolt of lightning just yet. And if Fenn was flung in a dungeon for a few nights, well, it wouldn’t be pleasant, but it wouldn’t be the first time. Who knew what would happen to the horse, but he himself would at least be fed and watered. Probably. Regular prisons had to feed you these days, though it was quite possible that Morgrim was a law unto himself.

“Well. I know it’s an ugly great thing to have littering up your courtyard,” Fenn said, wiping a raindrop off the end of his nose. “And I’m right sorry to have bothered you, and I hope you’ll be a gentleman and forgive the nuisance. I’ll be off now, eh? I won’t trouble you again. I promise.”

“All in good time.”

Morgrim came down the stairs in a ripple of black silk. He moved like a snake and in spite of himself Fenn was impressed. The man’s grace was mesmerising. It was hard to look away. And not just because Morgrim was so bloody terrifying.

“I have questions for you, Fenn Todd.”

Fenn was hardly in a position to refuse. “Aye, sir. Ask away.”

***

Photo by Jose Aragones from Pexels

Original image: Jose Aragones on Pexels altered for illustrative purposes only

Sublime and ridiculous

Lee Welch talks about the inspiration for her new book Seducing the Sorcerer

After finishing my last book (Salt Magic, Skin MagicNOTE from Mirrigold: Read this peeps, it’s amazing!) I felt as if the creative part of my brain had gone on strike.

I tried and tried to write and I couldn’t. It was hard, because I need to write or I feel only half alive. So after over a year of feeling ‘meh’ about every idea I had, I was jaded by the whole thing. Maybe I’d never be able to write another book? Maybe the magic had left me?

Then my daughter drew a picture of a horse.

It was blobby and dodgy-looking and none of its legs matched. But that was the point. She’d drawn the crappiest picture she could. Then, as a joke, she tried to sell it to my partner for NZ$10.00.

He refused (naturally) and so she kept sticking the picture where he’d find it: on the dining table, on his pillow, under his pillow, on the ceiling above his side of the bed. We had a laugh about this ridiculous horse that kept following him around. And I’d dearly needed a laugh, and so, during a time when things felt bleak, that silly horse brought me a ray of hope.

Then I got to thinking: what if that ridiculous horse was real? What if it was brought to life by magic? What if it really kept following some bloke about? And what if this sketchy, dodgy-looking horse that made people laugh also brought hope, just as my daughter’s silly picture had lightened my mental load?

And there it was: the germ of a story idea.

To give the story tension, I decided two things. First, that Fenn, the man the horse was following about, would love horses, but would also find this one’s behaviour mortifying. And, second, that if being able to laugh is one kind of magic, opposing it would be another kind: something dignified and serious and a bit frightening—and thus my second character, Morgrim, the scheming court sorcerer, was born.

So, Seducing the Sorcerer grew into a romance about Fenn and Morgrim; two cynical middle-aged grumps who seem poles apart, but who find they have a lot in common. It’s a story about the fear of being laughed at, about humiliation and power. But mainly it’s a story about hope. Real hopes and false, hopes lost and found, and the pain and the joy of having hope.

It’s also got spies, a sword umbrella, political machinations, and a magic tower in it.

I hope you enjoy it! Lee x

***

Lee Welch profile pic

About The Author

Lee Welch lives on top of a hill in the windiest city in the world, Wellington, New Zealand. She shares the house with her partner, two kids, two cats, a dog and quite a lot of spiders. Lee studied ancient history at Auckland University and creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London.

By day, she works as an editor and business communications adviser for a large government department. By night, she writes escapist romances, usually with magic in them.

Social Media

Email: leewelchwriter@gmail.com

Website + newsletter sign up: www.leewelchwriter.com

Twitter: @leewelchwriter – https://twitter.com/leewelchwriter

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

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Release Blitz: The Vampyr’s Husband by Jessamyn Kingley

The Vampyr’s Husband | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #25

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Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: September 16th, 2021

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 93,683 words

Check out the D’Vaire Series on Goodreads

Check out the D’Vaire Series on Amazon

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Blurb

For one vampire, finding his mate is far easier than convincing him Fate is real.

A shrewd business owner, Vampyr Lord Nikolai Volkov has one of the most powerful companies on the planet. Besides success, Nikolai has a loving family that leads the vampires, but he aches to find his mate. Although Nikolai is proud to be a vampire, he begs Fate to bring him someone to adore—someone who can quench his need for blood. Nikolai believes his other half will be a human, and he’ll stop at nothing to find him.

James Chase swore off love, marriage, and any romantic entanglements at twenty-two when he discovered his boyfriend cheating on him. His father tried to dictate his future, so James left him behind too. Over a decade later, James is a hard-working and successful man who allows no one to impact his feelings. Like every human he knows, James prefers to ignore the Council of Sorcery and Shifters.

At a party James attends to satisfy his sister, he meets a vampire who insists they are mates. James knows little and cares nothing about the people in the Council. Despite Nikolai’s best efforts, James refuses to be swept off his feet. Torn between their two vastly different worlds, Nikolai must convince James that Fate is real if they are to honor her. But first, the vampire will need to persuade the other half of his soul to give their relationship a chance.

OUT NOW 1000 x 700

Excerpt

“I really appreciate you agreeing to have dinner with me tonight.”

“You left me with little choice,” James stated, picking up his fork and forcefully spearing a slice of cucumber. “Not only did you call my assistant on multiple occasions, but you tried to fill my office with flowers and other junk. You need to stop sending me things immediately.”

“I apologize if I’ve made you uncomfortable. I’m possibly overzealous, but I have waited over a thousand years for you.”

“Excuse me?”

“Did you read the book I sent, Jamie?”

“It’s James, and no, I work for a living. I don’t have time to read books, nor do I care at all about your Council.”

It was the truth, or at least the one James wanted to believe. His curiosity was easily squelched, or so James told himself. The way the book on his coffee table beckoned to him was a secret he’d never share. Whatever attraction he felt for Nikolai had to be ignored, no matter how gorgeous the vampire was.

Nikolai frowned. “I was hoping you’d at least have read the section about mates.”

The Vampyr Lord’s persistence was commendable but annoying. James refused to give in to the newfound interest he might have about Nikolai’s world, and he wondered how the vampire could be so sure of his pursuit of James. Slapping on the stare he gave an underperforming employee, James’s gaze met Nikolai’s head on.

“Why, so I’d understand whatever relationship your butler and chauffer have? Nikolai, I’m here to tell you to stop contacting me, not because I want to be friends.”

The disappointment on Nikolai’s face was unmistakable, and James wondered why his immediate reaction was to soothe the vampire. The feeling was unexpected and unwelcome.

“I suppose there’s no delicate way to explain matebonds or Fate to a human.”

“Are you really going to try that whole line about how fate brought us together?” James asked with a forced laugh. “I didn’t expect someone as successful as you to have your head stuck in clouds. I at least expected you to have enough experience to know that tired clichés rarely work.”

“The Council of Sorcery and Shifters is comprised of races who share a single thing in common. We were granted gifts from Fate,” Nikolai explained quietly. “For some, they wield magic, or can shift into a beast. I was given immortality, the ability to teleport, and other talents. Because we live for so long, she also matches us with someone who is our perfect complement. If they find themselves willing and able to build a relationship, they bond with blood or bite, which unites them for eternity.

“There are signals to tell us when we’ve met that person. It varies but often consists of a strong scent associated with that person and instant sexual attraction. I saw the surprise on your face. I know you felt it,” Nikolai insisted, his pale eyes boring into James’s in an unwavering way that made James uncomfortable.

Was it possible for Nikolai to see through James’s hard-earned mask?

James had no idea how Nikolai knew about the roses that even at the moment he could smell wafting off the vampire, or the inopportune erection he’d had at his sister’s party, but perhaps mind reading was one of his gifts. A sense of fear swept through him at the thought of pissing off the vampire, as he had no clue what Nikolai was capable of, but he quickly dismissed it. Nothing about Nikolai gave the impression he’d lash out.

“I’m not a fan of organized religion, nor do I believe in God,” James said. “I’m not judging you because you’re a believer or because you’re part of a larger religious structure, but you can’t expect me to start a relationship with you because some book told you that you’d meet your match someday. Maybe it’s a completely legitimate foundation, but I can assure you that I’m not your perfect complement.”

“Our belief in Fate is not a religion. There is no faith necessary. I’m clearly a vampire, and I’m surrounded by happy mates bonded by blood and bite. It’s a tangible thing and is explained clearly in the book I sent over.”

“Which I already told you I’m not going to read.” The Council continued to hold no interest to a man whose life wouldn’t intersect with magickind, shifters, or sexy vampires, no matter how much they might appeal. If James kept repeating it, he’d get the courage to toss the book Nikolai wanted him to read in the trash, or so he hoped.

“I suppose it would be asking too much to expect Fate to grant me someone far less stubborn than myself,” Nikolai muttered.

For a moment James had to question whether the beautiful and enticing man was unhinged. “Have you ever spoken with a professional?”

“I’m not crazy, Jamie.”

About the Author

jessamyn

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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WebsiteJessamyn’s Ruffian’s |Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Forced proximity and a surprise twist make this second entry a hit

58657555._SY475_Declared by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This second entry in Sam and Fawkes’ alien Sci-Fi series is just as good as the introduction book but has a totally different tone.

The differences between Jax and Wesley were never more obvious than after their ship was forced to land on the ice cold moon Zathkar with most of its systems damaged but Wes is very quick to put Jax in his place about thinking he’s weak just because he’s smaller.

I loved the dynamics between them. Jax may be in line to be the Thorzi’s next Proeliator, their greatest warrior, but he’s also a ray of sunshine, always smiling and very aware of his place as a hybrid.

Wes may be a human, and more susceptible to the intense cold of the moon, but he’s also resourceful and won’t let Jax despair over the fact he can’t “protect him”.

When Wes meets the leader of the ancient enemy the Zathki that live beneath the surface in cleverly constructed tunnels, it becomes very clear that both sides in the turbulent conflict have been played by Crux.

I loved the tone of this book, it’s a bit less directly political than the first one and there’s obviously less need for extensive world building so the narrative moves swiftly through the crash landing and into the revelations that the Zathki are actually Thorzi also, just a different version. They are the Scientists to the Thorzi Warriors.

They bounce off each other as Jax begins to realise that there is more to what he’s been told about their planet’s history and the nature of the human abductions that Crux (he of the bad behaviour in book one and the series’ main nemesis) has been performing.

Learning about the differences in what are essentially the same people has more than a few similarities with how humanity treats people differently because of their ethnicity or where they were born.

It paints a poignant picture of a home world destroyed by people unwilling to work together towards better goals and instead, utterly destroying their planet and being forced into exile on Thorzan and Zathkar.

There’s also a bit more of a sense of slowburn in the relationship between Jax and Wes, even though it takes place over a relatively short period of time. It’s clear there is an attraction between them, but Jax’s honour and his future role makes him feel he cannot accept Wes as a potential mate because of his own hybrid nature.

Wes, with a great deal of humour, some rather funny pointed Star Trek and Star Wars references which had me chuckling, puts Jax firmly in his place about what’s suitable or not and their have a few very sweet and low key sexual encounters before the main story arc kicks in.

Suffice it to say, eventually things take a turn for the better and Wes’ position as Jax’s mate becomes as obvious as Lucas’ was for Kaelum in book one!

And it all leads into the final set-up for book three which I am desperate for. Kaelum’s half-brother Vorian, the Bastard – like literally that’s his official title! Born from Crux’s forced mating of Kaelum’s human mother and Beau, the most vulnerable of the humans who were abducted from Earth.

I can’t wait!

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

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