Tag Archives: mythology

Review Tour: Shinigami by Xia Xia Lake

Shinigami | Xia Xia Lake

Takamagahara Monogatari #2

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Release Date: October 1, 2019

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 71,440 words /220 pages

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

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Blurb

Nothing is what it seems.

A coming of age love story between the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato and an orphan. The human world meets the yōkai world in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu.

While he battles to find his own path in life, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will first become his secret friend, then his salvation, then, as they become adults together, the love of his life.

The story is set during the Nara period of ancient Japan and will expand over a period of 25 years (715-740).

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Excerpt

Chapter 1: Kagerō

Kagerō: The quivering appearance of the mist rising from the hot surface of the ground”

On the day Fujiwara no Hirotsugu was born, Mount Kasuga was covered in golden shimmering kagerō rising from the ground to cloak the mountain in mist. The uguisu sang from dusk until dawn, and a crane appeared in the palace garden and didn’t leave for five days.

It was late May, close to the final days of planting the rice. These were the days when finishing the paddy field work was paramount, lest next year’s crops be affected. Yet in celebration of Hirotsugu’s birth, his father, Umakai, sent an order to his bailiff to decree half a day off for all workers. Servants from the palace went down the mountain to offer rice, fish, and sake to the poor in Heijo-kyo.

Gifts poured through the gates for weeks, coming not only from the greatest families living in the land of Yamato, but also from as far away as Silla and Tang. Even the old Empress Genmei, who had no love for the Fujiwara clan, sent Hirotsugu a gift fit for royalty: a sword replica modeled after Kusanagi the Grass Slasher, the sacred imperial heirloom of the Yamato Emperors. Since it was forbidden for anyone except the reigning monarch and the High Priest of the Ise Grand Shrine to lay eyes on the real Kusanagi, no one could actually tell how good the replica was. But neither could they deny that the sword Hirotsugu received was of exceptional workmanship and extraordinary value.

The greatest gift of all came from Hirotsugu’s grandfather, Fujiwara no Fuhito. The leader of the Fujiwara clan made a secret pact with Crown Prince Obito that on the day Hirotsugu turned twenty, he would marry Princess Abe, Prince Obito’s firstborn child.

Upon Hirotsugu’s birth, the Fujiwara clan made great plans for his future, and I watched from my throne of skulls behind the kagerō veil and laughed and laughed and laughed.

SPRING

Chapter 2: Uguisu

Uguisu: The Japanese nightingale

In spring, nature was at its most beautiful at dawn, when Amaterasu’s robe touched the hills and dyed them red, and the blooming cherry trees turned a vibrant pink. Hanging from the eaves of every Fujiwara castle were tendrils of purple wisteria, their blooms awakening to welcome the Sun Goddess. The white clouds above resembled boughs of cherry flowers.

When night approached, the birdsong gently shifted from cheerful to forlorn. The uguisu went to sleep in its pot-shaped nest, and the brown-feathered night thrush—recently returned from wintering in Tenjiku—took its place and claimed the night. Now and then, a deer would call and a fawn would answer back.

The day Hirotsugu was born, a young god wandered up and down the high-forested slopes of Mount Kasuga, tired from the day he’d spent blessing the fields and the future harvest. He would have gone home to Mount Kurama in Kibune, but something was amiss with the yōkai living on Kasuga and he’d come to investigate.

At twilight, he found a group of kodama and an old kappa gathered underneath the budding leaves of a giant plum tree, transfixed by its beautiful red blossoms. When he entered the clearing, they were trying to touch the blossoms, but as soon as a hand came close, the tree would raise its branches out of reach.

“Don’t touch it,” the god commanded. His voice was calm, but it came like the snap of a whip and took them out of their reverie. “It’s a ghost tree. It’s not really here.”

The kodama stumbled backward, frightened.

“When did it appear?” the young god asked.

“This morning, Inari-sama,” the kappa answered. “When the baby was born.”

“Baby?” Inari frowned. “Come closer, child, don’t be afraid. Which baby do you speak of?”

Kogitsune

Takamagahara Monogatari #1

It’s a 40-page short story and is FREE on Smashwords.

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About the Author

Xia Xia Lake is an Otaku & Slytherin that used to cosplay at every comic con she attended until a kid asked if he could take a picture with the “old lady.”

She decided a couple of years ago that she wanted to spend her free time writing stories and partying with vampires.

She lives in Transylvania with her fiancé and is a big fan of Romanian cuisine.

Social Media

Blog/Website | Twitter | Instagram

Pinterest | Goodreads

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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Cover Reveal: A Crown Of Iron & Silver by Hailey Turner

A Crown Of Iron & Silver | Hailey Turner

Soulbound III

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Release Date (Print & Ebook):  September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 107,043

All buy links or pre-order links:  https://haileyturner.com/a-crown-of-iron-silver-03/

 Blurb

Never promise a life that isn’t yours to give.

New York City is decked out for the holidays, and Special Agent Patrick Collins is looking forward to a reunion with his old team when he gets assigned a new case. A human child is missing, and the changeling left in her place causes a prominent witch family to demand justice from the fae.

Meanwhile, continued harassment from the New York City god pack forces Jonothon de Vere to formally establish his own with Patrick. Doing so will mean a civil war within the werecreature community—a war they risk losing from the start without alliances. Making bargains with the fae is never wise, but Patrick and Jono have nothing to lose when a fae lord comes asking for their help.

The Summer Lady has been kidnapped from the Seelie Court, and if they can find her, Patrick and Jono will cement an alliance with the fae. But the clues to her disappearance are found in Tír na nÓg, and the Otherworld has never been kind to mortals.

Venturing past the veil, Patrick and Jono risk losing territory, time, and their very lives while searching for answers. Because the Queen of Air and Darkness knows they are coming—and the ruler of the Unseelie Court has an offer for them they can’t possibly refuse.

A Crown of Iron & Silver is a 107k word MM urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to All Souls Near & Nigh. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Exclusive Excerpt

“Come on. Let’s go to bed.”

Patrick led him back into their bedroom, ignoring Jono’s huff of laughter when Patrick pushed him onto the bed. He shrugged out of his own jacket and stripped out of his sweater, tossing it aside. His dog tags were warm from body heat, even if he couldn’t feel where they rested on his scarred chest.

Jono watched Patrick undress the rest of the way, methodically getting rid of his weapons and clothes. He crawled onto the bed, pushing at Jono’s shoulders until he was lying down, with Patrick straddling his hips. Long fingers curled around his dog tags, tugging at the chain to pull him into a kiss that went from lazy to deep in the span of seconds.

Warm hands gripped Patrick’s hips, thumbs pressing against bone. Patrick bit down gently on Jono’s bottom lip before pulling away, dragging his mouth over the stubble along Jono’s jaw, to his throat.

“They drew first blood, and I don’t like that it was yours,” Patrick murmured against the skin stretched taut over Jono’s pulse.

He could feel it when Jono swallowed, and he tried his hardest to suck a bruise against Jono’s throat.

“Better mine than yours.”

“Fuck that.”

About the Author

Hailey

Hailey Turner is a big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download several free short stories:  http://eepurl.com/cAEejL

Social Media

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/haileyshellions/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/haileyturnerwrites/

Facebook Profile:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014824811406

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/hailey-turner

Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHaileyTurner/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/haileyturnerwriter/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16473068.Hailey_Turner

Website:  www.haileyturner.com

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Blog Tour Guest Post: Q&A with All Souls Near & Nigh author Hailey Turner

All Souls Near & Nigh | Hailey Turner

Soulbound II

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Release Date: March 19, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 104,100

Subgenre:  LGBTQ, Urban Fantasy

All buy links or pre-order links:

https://haileyturner.com/all-souls-near-nigh-02/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLQBLH3/

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Blurb

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Learning to navigate his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home.

But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

All Souls Near & Nigh is a 104k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Ferry of Bones & Gold, and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Please see the disclaimer in the Look Inside for content some readers may find triggering. Reader Warning:  This book contains on page sexual assault.

***

The action, mystery, and heat are kicked-up another gear in this second installment of Turner’s addictive, original and immersive Soulbound series.

— Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey and Trouble Brewing series

***

Nobody writes like Hailey Turner. Her world building is extraordinary, as are her edgy action scenes. However, she never loses sight of her central relationship, or her razor sharp and witty characters.

This series is amazing. 

— Bestselling author,  Lily Morton

***

Q&A with Hailey Turner

What comes first, the plot or characters?

This is like the chicken or the egg question. For me, it’s a mixture of both. I feel my characters play off the plot, but I need the outline of the book and series to really create a character and their motives. Characters and plot are pretty intertwined when I create a book, so I can’t say one comes first above the other.

Describe a typical writing day.

I usually write in the morning and evenings around work on weekdays, and for a block of hours on the weekend around errands and time spent with friends and family. On weekdays, I get up early in the morning (I’m talking 5:00am here) to get some writing in before work. I try to make time to write every day otherwise it would be difficult to finish a book if I didn’t.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I like to have themes with my titles and they tend to have the same sort of word structure for the entire series. For my Metahuman Files series, the titles spoke to the missions in each book. For Soulbound, every title has a hint of the mythology I’ve incorporated into that particular book. It varies with every series but I honestly can’t start a book without a title.

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Excerpt

Sunrise in summer came before 0700, and after a night of no dreams or nightmares, Patrick woke to warm lips pressing open-mouthed kisses down his spine. Cracking open one eye, Patrick flexed his fingers against the sheets.

He’d rolled onto his stomach sometime during the night, arms shoved beneath the pillow. He had a vague sense memory of Jono pressed close throughout the night but that was overtaken by the present teasing touches.

“You turned off my alarm,” Patrick mumbled. His internal sense of time told him it should’ve gone off five minutes ago.

Jono licked at the dip of his lower spine, the warm drag of Jono’s tongue making Patrick twitch. He’d gone to bed in boxers but those were missing now. The fact that Jono was able to strip him without Patrick waking up just proved his subconscious had firmly put Jono in the non-threat box.

“You get up too bloody early most days but it works in my favor sometimes,” Jono said, his breath ghosting over the curve of Patrick’s bare ass. “Figured I could welcome you home now since I didn’t get the chance last night.”

Patrick helpfully spread his legs, hissing at the way his already interested cock moved against the bedsheet. Warm fingers gripped his ass and spread him open. Patrick turned his face into the pillow at the first lick of Jono’s tongue over his hole, the scrape of Jono’s five o’clock shadow against sensitive skin making him gasp.

This was, hands down, Patrick’s favorite way to wake up these days.

About the Author

Hailey

Hailey Turner is a big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

 Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download two free Metahuman Files short stories and the Soulbound short story Down A Twisted Path:  http://eepurl.com/cAEejL

Social Media

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/haileyshellions/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/haileyturnerwrites/

Facebook Profile:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014824811406

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/hailey-turner

Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHaileyTurner/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/haileyturnerwriter/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16473068.Hailey_Turner

Website:  www.haileyturner.com


Giveaway

Win 1 e-copy of any back catalog Hailey Turner book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz: All Souls Near & Nigh by Hailey Turner

All Souls Near & Nigh | Hailey Turner

Soulbound II

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Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: March 19, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 104,100

Subgenre:  LGBTQ, Urban Fantasy

All buy links or pre-order links:

https://haileyturner.com/all-souls-near-nigh-02/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLQBLH3/

Soulbound-2-FullSize

Blurb

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Learning to navigate his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home.

But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

All Souls Near & Nigh is a 104k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Ferry of Bones & Gold, and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Please see the disclaimer in the Look Inside for content some readers may find triggering. Reader Warning:  This book contains on page sexual assault.

***

Plenty of excitement and magic fill this action-packed sequel to A Ferry of Bones & Gold.

— Ginn Hale, Spectrum Award-winning author

***

ALL SOULS is the rarest of creatures in the urban fantasy genre–a sequel that outshines the near perfect previous book. Astounding storytelling skill combined with layers of mythology, modern-day dangers, and the haunting sense this is all new yet frightening familiar, the Soulbound series by Hailey Turner is exceptional, addicting, and a new standard for the genre.

— SJ Himes, Award-winner Romance author

***

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Excerpt:

“I’m back,” Patrick said in lieu of hello.

Casale opened the office door wider, gesturing for them to enter. “I wish you weren’t.”

“One of these days you’ll miss me.”

“When I’m dead, maybe.”

Patrick couldn’t help the bark of laughter that escaped his mouth. He respected Casale despite knowing the NYPD didn’t much care for when a federal agency came in to take over a case.

But Casale would’ve been the one to reach out to the SOA asking for assistance in the first place. Henry had offered up Patrick out of the field office’s Rapid Response Division and Casale hadn’t said no.

About the Author

Hailey

Hailey Turner is a big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

 Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download two free Metahuman Files short stories and the Soulbound short story Down A Twisted Path:  http://eepurl.com/cAEejL

Social Media

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/haileyshellions/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/haileyturnerwrites/

Facebook Profile:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014824811406

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/hailey-turner

Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHaileyTurner/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/haileyturnerwriter/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16473068.Hailey_Turner

Website:  www.haileyturner.com


 

Giveaway

Win 1 e-copy of any back catalog Hailey Turner book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

A Touch of Darkness | Scarlett St. Clair

Hades & Persephone #1

Publication date: April 2019

Genres: Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Romance

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only.

The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

Add to Goodreads

Author Bio:

Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband.

She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology – all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Book Blitz: Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from around the World by Autumn Bardot

Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from around the World | Autumn Bardot

Publication date: January 8th 2019

Genres: Erotica, Romance

Who knew the ancient world could be so downright… arousing?

Like uncovering a sexy diamond in the rough, Legends of Lust reveals the fiery passions lying dormant behind your favorite mythological stories.

This adults-only, debut collection of fourteen steamy, erotic short stories by Autumn Bardot is an explosion of sexy, nasty, and romantic retellings that will take your love of myths to a whole new level.

Odysseus, a mere man, becomes a god-like master of the tease in the eyes of the sex-starved and eternally lustful goddess, Calypso. The tale of Amazonian queen, Hippolyta, and Theseus gives “love-at-first-sight” a whole new meaning that will enthrall your senses.

The encounter between Vishvamitra and Menaka takes them to explosive new levels of bodily nirvana. And Gilgamesh, the mighty god-king, sends temple prostitute Shamhat to tame a wild man, but instead he teaches her something about man’s most primal instincts… and is not left wanting.

Run wild in your personal Elysian Fields of pleasure with this spicy, irreverent peek into the sensual world of our most beloved gods, heroes, fairies, and shapeshifters from every corner of the earth.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Author Bio:

Autumn Bardot writes smart, sexy erotica and historical fiction about sassy women, spicy sex, and daring romances!

She also writes paranormal romances under a pseudonym. Autumn has a BA in English literature, a MaEd, and teaches literary analysis.

When Autumn is not writing or working, you’ll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue Maltipoo.

Autumn’s favorite things include salty French fries, a good foamy cup of coffee, chocolate, swimming, and a great book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


GIVEAWAY!

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Another stunning blending of world mythologies into a thrilling UF

All Souls Near & Nigh (Soulbound, #2)All Souls Near & Nigh by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arhgggghhjjjuhhvvcc – that’s the noise my brain is making at how bloody brilliant this book is.

Full review to come when I’m at my laptop and I can get some semblance of order back!

***

Righty, brain back sort of functioning so here we go.

A bit more detail about why this book is so bloody brilliant. As with Book One A Ferry of Bones & Gold Hailey takes well know mythological Pantheons (Greek, Roman, Norse) and mixes them up with the lesser known ones.

In Ferry it was the folklore of West African, Egyptian and European cultures, here we’re in South America with the Aztec Gods – Quetzalcoatl and Tepoztēcatl, the Mexican/Catholic death cult Goddess/saint Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte as well as the Native American trickster God Coyote or Altse Hashke and it is this blending together of powerful beings into a seamless narrative which is the hallmark of this series.

This plot is a complexly woven and intricately detailed navigation through an urban fantasy world which feels familiar to the reader but which has that otherworldly tinge to it. The after effects of the actions of Book One are still being felt at the opening of this one.

Patrick and Jono have settled into a sort of routine which is just starting to feel like normal when everything starts to kick off. As with the first one, I’m not giving away anything of the actual plot. These books deserve to be read blind and given the chance to work their clever magic on the readers.

I will say all the usual suspects are on hand, we see Hermes, (who I always picture as a used car salesman in my head 😀 ) and the Tempest Pack, Lucien the Master Vampire, (who is still hating on Patrick for the death of his mother Ashanti) and his crew, and the rotten to the core New York God Pack alphas Estelle and Youssef, who I want to punch in the face every time they’re on page!

I’m not sure how many books Hailey is planning for this series but, for me, it’s shaping up to be just as epic as her Sci-Fi Metahumans one.

More please!

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

As ever, the fangirling and mythology nerding are my own!

View all my Goodreads reviews

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