In a dark world where magic is illegal, and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.
Hell is just a place on earth, right? For Lucy, this couldn’t be any closer to the truth. Stuck working in another dead-end job in another unremarkable city, Lucy’s adapted to life on the run by arming herself with a smokescreen of snarky humor. Sometimes though, her filter-less sasses land her in hot water, especially when it comes to triggering her unruly magic.
After a trip to the pound, where a small, scrappy black cat befriends her, a rapid series of events thrusts Lucy—literally—into the complicated world of Hell.
Lucy will need to learn to rely on others and use the help offered to her by an alluring demon and a ragtag team of misfits in order to save Hell before it’s ripped apart by all manners of depraved, ruthless enemies.
The Queen Lucy series is a fantasy romance adventure with a reverse harem theme. ** This series contains explicit language and adult situations. **
Like greeting an old friend, if that friend is a slap across the face from reality, Lucy launches herself headfirst into a new series of challenges that come with the territory of being the Queen of Hell.
On top of being pulled every which way by royal duties and rules, and a conflict simmering just below the surface of Hell’s five realms, Lucy must also juggle a newfound romantic life she couldn’t have previously imagined. As her love for Cain grows, the arrival of a mysterious stranger throws a wrench in her initial plans. And of course, he’s not the only one who has their eyes set on the vivacious queen.
The uncertainty of Lucy’s future increases as a lurking threat begins to rear its head. Can Lucy figure out the key to keeping her world intact while also opening her heart to the love of all the men in her life before it’s too late?
The Queen Lucy series is a fantasy romance adventure with a reverse harem theme. ** This series contains explicit language and adult situations. **
On the scale of being caked by a minxle to foiling assassinations, everything should have prepared the Queen of Hell for waking up to a handsome stranger, right? After Abaddon ran away with this tail firmly tucked, and Lucy could finally catch her breath, she was prepared to start a new life with the men and family she loved most. But letting her guard down was her first mistake.
In a race against her own future, Lucy must trust her instincts now more than ever. And if she wants to stand a chance at restoring Hell and her reign, she also needs to tread carefully around familiar faces. If there is one thing she knows all too well, it’s that not everyone is as they seem.
The Queen Lucy series is a fantasy romance adventure with a reverse harem theme. ** This series contains explicit language and adult situations. **
Lucy must prove herself to the people of Hell for a second time. And things are not just where she left them. If that doesn’t make things difficult enough, Cain and Bohden don’t remember her and she learns that reclaiming the rest of her men won’t be as easy as she hoped. With her world falling apart, she must march an army across hell to defeat Abaddon once and for all. But will there be enough time to reunite her family, or will she lose part of her heart forever?
This is the epic conclusion to the Queen Lucy series. It contains adult situations and language, and a fair share of hilarity. A why choose romance adventure!
I’m contemplating offering signed copies of my print books (including large print). Possibly with merchandise. Payment would be through paypal. Postage would be dependent on the timescale you wanted the book and where you lived but I could give you an amount at the time of enquiry. Please complete the poll above – it’s only worth doing this if enough people are interested.
OUT NOW—The Persecution of the Wolves by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #paranormal #wolves #werewolves #shifter #thriller
Someone’s got it in for the Adams brothers. But who? And why?
Werewolf brothers Matthew and Isaac have lived in the peaceful village of Eyam, Derbyshire all their lives. The villagers know what they are, and have their reasons for keeping quiet. But this secrecy comes at a cost—the brothers can’t risk romantic entanglements.
Then, at the next full moon, a sheep is slaughtered on Eyam Moor, by what could only be a large animal. Even the brothers’ staunchest supporters begin to have their doubts about who—or what—could have done it.
As the brothers fight to clear their names, things are complicated by unexpected opportunities to indulge their lust. Isaac is intrigued by a handsome newcomer to the village, and a vivacious visitor is happy to offer Matthew her all.
Can the men prove their innocence, or is their centuries-old secret about to be revealed to the outside world, bringing their carefully crafted existence crashing down around their ears?
Please note: This book has been previously published. This version has been re-edited.
As Matthew and Isaac Adams stepped through the front door to their house, the telephone started ringing. Matthew sighed. “Typical. No rest for the wicked. I’ll answer it—you go and get ready for work.”
Isaac nodded and headed off to do as his brother advised. Matthew, the older of the two, walked up to the ringing phone and snatched it off the hook. Then, remembering the person on the other end of the line would have no idea what a rough night he’d just had, he made the effort to inject some politeness into his tone.
“Hello? Adams residence.” Isaac had told him time and time again the last part about the residence was old fashioned, that people didn’t say that anymore, but Matthew couldn’t seem to shake it.
“Hello, Matthew? It’s Richard.” The village vicar’s voice, even though he’d only spoken four words, sounded strained, almost panicked. “You boys just get back?”
“Yes, a moment ago. Why, what’s up?”
“I, uh… I got a call. A dead sheep has been found up on the moor. Not just dead. Mutilated. Like an animal attack.”
An unpleasant feeling wormed its way under Matthew’s skin and his stomach flipped. “Oh?” He paused, then figured he had nothing to gain by not saying the next words he wanted to. “You don’t think it was us?”
The vicar’s gasp was instant, one of genuine surprise. “Lord, no! Absolutely not. I just phoned to let you know and I was wondering if you’d come up there with me and take a look? You and Isaac are probably more qualified than anyone else in the village to tell what did this.”
“Isaac has to work. He just went to get ready. But yes, I’ll come up. I’ll let my brother know where I’m going, then I’ll be straight over. Are you at the rectory?”
“Yes. Okay, I’ll see you soon. Thanks, Matthew. Bye.”
Matthew hung up the phone with another sigh. The horrible feeling that had crept under his skin and taken over his gut seemed as if it was there to stay, and it was never a good sign. The vicar’s news was surprising, yes, but he also had an inkling it was going to spell trouble, or at the very least inconvenience for him and his brother.
Pulling in a deep breath in an attempt to calm his jangling nerves, Matthew walked upstairs and towards his brother’s bedroom. The door was closed. He knocked. “You decent?”
“Yeah,” Isaac replied, “close enough.”
Matthew stepped into the room and looked at his brother. He was half-dressed, almost ready for his shift at the doctors’ surgery, where he was a general practitioner. “Sorry to interrupt, mate, but that was Richard on the phone. Someone’s found a mutilated sheep up on the moor, and he’s asked me to go with him to check it out.”
Isaac paused with one arm pushed into his shirtsleeve. “He doesn’t think—”
“No. He was quite adamant about that. He just thought we’d be able to help figure out what did it. I explained you’ve got to go to work, though. I’m going to head across there now and go up with him.”
“I could phone in, let them know I’ll be late.”
Matthew held up his hand. “There’s no need, brother. Relax. Just go to work and help the sick people. I’ll let you know what—if anything—I find out.”
Isaac opened his mouth, then closed it again, apparently having thought better of whatever he was going to say. He continued to dress. “All right, I will. But make sure you let me know what happens. Send me a text or something, and I’ll phone you as soon as I have a gap in between patients.”
Matthew grimaced. He hated texting. Hated mobile phones, actually. Technology was one of the things he disliked most about modern-day life, though it was a necessary evil. It solved as many problems for him and his brother as it created, so he dealt with it as best he could. Fortunately, Isaac had always had an affinity with computers and phones, so he tutored Matthew.
“Yes, all right. I’d better go and find my phone first then, eh?”
Smirking at his brother’s rolled eyes, he left the room and headed for his own bedroom, where he thought he’d left the device the previous night before he and Isaac had headed for the caves. On spotting the mobile phone—which Isaac often made a point of telling him was akin to a brick—he grabbed it, stuffed it into his pocket, and made his way downstairs.
Retrieving his keys from the hook by the front door, he called up to his brother. “I’m going now, Isaac. I’ll see you after my shift at the pub. I’m working until closing time.”
“Okay. Don’t forget to keep me posted.”
“I won’t.” As if he could forget. The dead sheep was going to be a big thing, he just knew it. The vicar might not think he and his brother had anything to do with it, but some of the other villagers might. When there was no proof either way, just his and Isaac’s word, it was understandable, really. Since he and his brother changed into wolves every full moon, it was a natural conclusion to draw. Particularly since wolves had been extinct in England for over five hundred years.
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter
In ancient times on earth, there lived a race called Dragonors. Following in a tradition to gain status and recognition in the village, those able would compete in rigorous games of cunning and abilities. Tournaments culminated into a weapon battle to the death or submission while riding a dragon; at its end, the winner was given status within the village.
In this event, a blacksmith named Luken intended to win and gain the regard necessary to ask for Talulah’s hand in marriage from her father Ephenio, lord of the village, competed in the challenge. Luken, who had no dragon or experience dragon-riding or battling, had no choice but to win against all the other competitors for his love. The final contest pits him against the worthiest aggressor. He is fortunate to use the more aggressive dragon of his true love, Talulah, that carries the battle and allows him a most unlikely victory.
Over time the happiness of Luken and the Dragonor princess turned to despair as men invade their once pristine swamplands. The earthlings eventually caused the death of Talulah, and the great Lords of the Dragonors decide to leave the earth instead of destroying men.
Dragonors run into unlikely allies in their new lands, the Mejuarian, and the two different groups in all ways and mannerism develop friendships and a familial bond. This closeness compelled the valiant dragon riders to assist the king of the Mejuarian in the recovery of his missing mewlings.
As luck would have it, King Teloby also discovers a new diminutive race interested in a friendly alliance with both the Mejuarian and Dragonors. A meeting with Marina, Queen of the Arvunglies, revealed that she has found one of the three missing nests and treasures it as a colorful bauble. The little queen agreed to return the nest happily. Still, she told them that rescue of the other two could prove a challenge. To retrieve the babies, they had to venture and most likely defeat a rogue dragon that attacked their small village from time to time.
On earth in 1960, Ren discovers two nests while exploring by a lake. His father, a veterinarian, drew an interest in them and took them back to his facility for further investigation. Ren feared they were UFOs with body-snatching capabilities. Ren’s fears soon disappear when his father indirectly hatched the two creatures in his incubator and discovers they are lovely, intelligent creatures that reminded him of some rare species of puppies.
Unaware that the missing nests fell to earth off the airship on their way to the Dragonor land, king Teloby prepared himself. For the next day, the three groups would head out for the dubious task of entering and searching the dragon’s lair for his missing mewling.
For god-like creatures named Mejuarian living on planet Ercutis, their world was near perfect.
Mejuarian, a cross between an animal and godly beings, have a splendorous village where everyone gets along. They live in a hierarchical society, and everyone loves their king and queen. A near utopian life that allows all Mejuarian to rise to their most extraordinary levels of consciousness. That is until they discover using systems much like our own, an asteroid is on course to decimate their village and erase their long history. Short notice, they plan to move all inhabitants, along with those bound to them by their magical powers, to the other side of their planet and reside in the lands of their longtime ally and trade partners, the Dragonors.
Very upsetting to many Mejuarian mothers and fathers having mewlings is that their ancient tradition of birthing nests on an ancestral altar would be away from their homes.
However, all seems to go as planned, and they depart with all twelve ships successfully. One ship dedicated to moving the birth alter intact with nests placed on it trails the fleet. Unfortunately, the Mejuar scientist’s slight miscalculation allowed for the meteor’s early arrival. A shockwave forces the underpowered, overloaded ship carrying the nests to crash land. Before its descent, a piece of the broken altar is dragged into space, and two of its occupants
On earth, a family torn with grief after the loss or their mother tries to enjoy a day of convalescing by a local lake. Hubert, the local veterinarian with his two children Ren a teen, and Brooklyn, his baby sister, are exploring after a picnic lunch. Ren discovers the charred nests and is curious as to what they are. Hubert also becomes interested in the unusual possible chrysalids. The inquisitive vet takes the nests back to his facility and uses the extent of written and photo journals available to him in 1960. He is unable to identify them and ponders, what are they?
A masterful race of magic users called Ecrutians once lived on earth. They held a divine eminence over humans, using them as pawns in a game of chess.
As the old ways were no longer accepted by most, Ecrutians grew soft and lackadaisical and allowed attitudes of pride and self-importance to consume them. A lust for power overtook many with aggressive natures for destruction and harm to others.
Rebellious Ecrutians created long-distance teleportation enchantments, and this once peaceful race of spellcasters began to explore other planets in search of others to dominate with their magic.
Thie, one of the most powerful Ecrutians, had natural abilities that gave the creation of life. His staff of gnarled, twisted wood infused with magical enchantments, too, held terrible spells.
To maintain order and preserve Ecrutian life, Thie decides to join with three other powerful magic users to form one fearsome magical force so their lands might be saved. He chose Lotus, Os, and Irenia, three supernatural beings that couldn’t have been any more different from himself.
Lotus, an Ecrutian sorceress, had a pleasant countenance, flirtatious manner, fanciful demeanor, and a festive quality. One of the most adored sorceresses in the village, she worried over the deterioration of their kingdom.
Os, burly and over eight feet tall, was a formidable force. Dark eyes with no pupils, he never smiled, and a scowl on his face always intimidated. A warrior in his soul, he fought deadly battles against other warlords.
Irenia, an ancient wizardess, clumsy, awkward, and limited social ability, always made other Ecrutians shy away from her, but she loves peace and cherishes the life of all creatures. All love in the village diminished, and she sought for the return of harmony.
The Four unite into one being named Thire-los. Joined power directed through Thie’s staff is unstoppable. All Ecrutians live under their rule or suffer the consequences. Under their leadership, as Thire-los, kingdom order is soon restored. However, restlessness consumed the great entity, and the four began to fight within.
No longer can Os live under such scrutiny by Thie, and he is cast out by the sorcerer and banished to earth to live out his life as a meager human. Without the four, order quickly returns to chaos. Irenia watched nature turn to decay while Lotus suffered heartbreak at the loss of Os, her true love.
As all Ecrutis falls to ruin and despair, Irenia and Lotus hatch a plan to reunite Thie-los.
Born in Florida, I am a resident of the US, but now I reside on a lovely island in British Columbia Canada with my mother and two dogs, and one cat. During the early years of my life, I worked in the business industry, thus reaching my goal of obtaining my degree in Business Management.
I love to read, and over my lifetime, I have probably read hundreds of books. Now that life has given a bit more time to concentrate on my personal life, I am following God and writing fun, fanciful fiction stories, which blend over into the fantasy realm.
I hope that each time I put words on the paper, it makes you want to read it. I always hope someone has fallen in love with my words and want to continue reading them.
Welcome to the Infernal Interview Service. Today we feature one of the characters and his writer from the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. Ernst Haeckel (and his writer Seth) feature in Mystics in Hell.
*Who are/were you?
EH: Ich heisse Ernest Haeckel, renowned evolutionist, artist, and philosopher. From German descent, of course. You have heard of my contemporary Charles Darwin, no doubt? I coined the term ecology and am famous for my beautiful drawings of lifeforms.
Why do YOU think you’re in Hell?
EH: Well, my Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) was universally adored. However, my embryological montages unexpectedly drew anger from my fellow scientists. They deemed I embellished too much. Yet, I stand by my depictions of embryos and the notion that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. You look confused, no doubt because of your retarded ancestry. Just understand my proposition that embryos express shapes of all their lesser, ancestral forms as they develop. So before your embryo matured into a human form, it expressed features of a pig and even a fish. I think I am in Hell to finish my census of life, to gather more evidence to support recapitulation theory.
What is are your greatest fears/desires here?
EH: I have no doubt I will find data to further support recapitulation theory. I fear that I will be stuck in Hell so the Royal Society and greater humanity will not learn about the truth.
What puts you above all the other self-proclaimed ‘mystics’ in Hell?
EH: Some consider me a mystic, but I am more of a scientist who searches for spiritual truths (I am certain you have read my treatise The Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the Nineteenth Century). Lately, I am wrapped up with mystics of the hierophant and alchemical type. See, there is a gold rush in hell! King Midas swallowed the Philosopher’s Stone and transmutes food into gold. He’s minting the promising new gastro-currency: buttcoin. I know, that sounds absurd, but the economy and nature of Hell is cruel. Anyway, the damned Forty-Niners are digging through excrement in attempts to get rich. The imprisoned Thoth, the Egyptian god of mysticism, has charged me to retrieve the Philosopher’s’ Stone. With it he can regain control of the afterlife, rescue me from Hell. So there is hope for me.
Who are your friends/allies here?
EH: I am more interested in acquainting myself with biology than making friends, but if you mean “human allies” then there is my fellow Caucasian Howard Carter. Note, Howard is not a naturalist. He is fascinated with antiquities and material artefacts. That is why he is in hell. So, he wants the Philosopher’s Stone too, but not to escape from Hell….just to profit while he is here. Our partnership is fragile.
Name and bio.:
SEL: S.E. Lindberg here. I reside near Cincinnati, Ohio working as a microscopist. Two decades of practicing chemistry, combined with a passion for the Sword & Sorcery genre, motivates me to write adventure fictionalizing the alchemical humors (including my independently published “Dyscrasia Fiction” series). With Perseid Press, I write weird tales infused with history and alchemy (Heroika: Dragon Eaters & Skirmishers, Pirates in Hell, Lovers in Hell, Mystics in Hell). I’m a Managing Editor at Black Gate and co-moderate the Sword & Sorcery group on Goodreads.
Tell us why you chose this story to tell out of so many possible options?
SEL: Strange muses have had inspired my creativity for decades. I’m fascinated with the intersection of science, art, and spirituality (alchemy essentially) and have turned toward writing as a medium to learn. Since 2014, I’ve also interviewed authors on the topic Beauty in Weird Fictionto explore how others approached such inspirations. By education and trade, I am actually a chemist. For Perseid Press, I’ve contributed five alchemy-inspired tales to date (three for the Heroes in Hell series and two for Heroika).
For Mystics in Hell, my muses motivated me to highlight alchemical mysticism via:
The Egyptian god of mysticism Thoth, also known as Hermes, and perhaps the root of “Hermes Trismegistus”, champion of the alchemy-inspired philosophy Hermeticism.
King Midas, who was purported to turn elements into gold (a side-goal of mystical alchemists infatuated with controlling nature’s elements).
What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen?
SEL: I’ve adopted the duo of Howard Carter (renowned archaeologist and looter of King Tutankhamun’s tomb) and Ernst Haeckel (discredited evolutionist and original ‘ecologist’) as tour guides. Their motives contrast: Carter adores material, artificial wealth as much as Haeckel is fascinated with nature’s riches. They roam the Egyptian world of the dead, Duat.
Tell us about your story for this edition.
SEL: “Fool’s Gold” in Mystics in Hell is the third to feature the duo of Howard Carter and Ernst Haeckel. The stories are stand alone, but they all tap into conflict: Carter values human wealth and artifacts above all, and Haeckel values natural life. Their adventures and links to previous Hell Weeks are detailed here:
“Curse of the Pharaohs” in Pirates in Hell: In the Egyptian realm of the dead of Duat, many pharaohs wait to be judged by Anubis; yet, he has been in absentia for centuries. As the piratical Sea People threaten to come ashore, the meddling duo of Carter and Haeckel unearth Anubis’s Hall of Two Truths. Eleven anxious Rameses risk leaving the shoreline unprotected to chance judgment (and a chance to exit Duat!). Read this teaser interview to learn more: Ernest Haeckel Interview (Hell Week 2017, Pirates in Hell).
“Lovers Sans Phalli” in Lovers in Hell: Surviving Pirates in Hell’s “Curse of the Pharaohs”, the lovers Hatshepsut and Senenmut depart Duat toward hell proper, Anubis having removed their hearts and broken their toy phallus. They find Osiris, missing the penis he requires to retake the realm from Satan’s influence. Carter and Haeckel quest with the Egyptians, seeking to make everyone whole again by stealing genitalia from the Undertaker’s Mortuary. Read this teaser interrogation of Carter and Haeckel as higher powers seek out the location of a stolen artifact: the phallus of the Egyptian god of rejuvenation, Osiris: Hell Week 2018 – A Day in the Life of Haeckel and Carter.
“Fool’s Gold? in Mystics in Hell: The Egyptian god of mysticism, Thoth, seeks conspirators to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone; with it, Thoth could usurp Satan’s control of the realm of Duat. Taking up the charge is Carter and Haeckel. They discover that King Midas’s alchemical ability to transmute flesh into gold relies on the stolen Philosopher’s Stone, and Midas is producing hell’s new gastro-currency: buttcoin. Yes, rejoice, there is a gold-rush in hell! Mine for a price. At your own risk.
If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?
Seth E Lindberg (SEL):
“It is OK to go to Hell at any time.”
There is a lot to say about Hell, more specifically about the Heroes in Hell series. New readers need to be assured that it is always okay to explore any edition. I defer to several authors from the Doctors in Hell anthology in which they formed an informative death-panel. They offered many quotes about the series (key quotes highlighted in the link) and the post serves as welcoming introduction to the Heroes in Hell series. Check it out: Death Panel Convenes on why it is OK to go to Hell at any time.
What other books/short stories have you written?
SEL: For Perseid Press’s Heroika series, I track the mystical Emerald Tablet (a.k.a., the Philosopher’s Stone) through time. You’ll see that Thoth and Osiris make appearances here too. Read these and experience the birth of chemical warfare.
“Legacy of the Great Dragon” in Heroika 1:Dragon Eaters: Legacy of the Great Dragon fictionalizes the Hermetic Tradition, presenting the “Divine Pymander–Great Dragon” as being the sun-eating Apep serpent of Egyptian antiquity (a dragon who ate the sun each day from under the horizon, in the underworld). Thoth, physician of the gods (the Father of Alchemy), helps Horus to find power to avenge the death of his father, Osiris, at the hands of Set. This is a wild piece, with a cosmically huge dragon and gods fighting inside of it. Learn more: Library of Erana Interview.
“The Naked Daemon” in Heroika 2: Skirmishers: “The Naked Daemon” pits the mystic Apollonius of Tyana (deceased ~100 CE) against zealots who destroy what remains of the Alexandria Library. In life, his principles had been aligned with those of the pacifist gymnosophists (a.k.a. naked philosophers); hundreds of years past his death, Apollonius finds himself reborn as a daemon empowered with Hermes’s Emerald Tablet. He observes the Roman oppression over pagan scholars and is challenged with an urgent need to defend knowledge. Will Apollonius rationalize war by unleashing the power of alchemy to do harm? Will he become an angel or demon? How will alchemy transform The Naked Demon? Learn more: Heroika: Skirmishers – Witness the Birth of Alchemical Warfare!
Join the doomed on their vision quests in eleven stories by the damnedest writers in Perdition: Janet Morris; A.L. Butcher; Joe Bonadonna; Andrew P. Weston; Gustavo Bondoni; Seth Lindberg; Tom Barczak; Michael H. Hanson; Louis Antonelli; Christopher Crosby Morris.
*** 2021 Romance Writers of America Vivian Award Finalist ***
Winner of the 2021 RNA Romantic Fantasy Novel Award.
‘Wow! This book should come with warning! It’s almost as addictive as chocolate!’ 5* reader review
‘Fabulous. Highly recommended for fans of Barbara Erskine and Susanna Kearsley – and if you want a thumping good read’ 5* reader review
Brimming with romance, adventure and vivid historical detail, Christina Courtenay does for the Vikings what Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Clanlans does for Scottish history. This pacy, evocative and romantic dual-time novel is perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine.
***Don’t miss Christina’s stunning timeslip novels, The Runes of Destiny, out now and Whispersof the Runes, available to preorder now! Search 9781472282682.***
‘Completely magical’ NICOLA CORNICK
‘A rich, dual-timeline story that totally drew me in’ SUE MOORCROFT
‘A fabulous adventure, with characters I loved!’ JO THOMAS
Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.
When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.
Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.
As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…
‘Courtenay’s writing brings the past vividly to life, using dual-period narrative to brilliant effect’ Historical Novels Review
‘I was compelled to read on as I was caught up in the adventure, intrigue and romance of the dual timelines’ SUE FORTIN
‘Sparklingly authentic – and page-turning’ MAGGIE SULLIVAN
‘Rich in Viking history…intrigue, adventure and romance’ GLYNIS PETERS
‘Christina Courtenay weaves the threads of her contemporary and Viking love stories together expertly and the novel moves along at a cracking pace. The characters are appealing and the rural Swedish setting is engaging’ JUDITH LENNOX
Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).
Dans un monde sombre où la magie est illégale et où les elfes sont réduits en esclavage, une jeune sorcière elfe s’enfuit de la maison de son méchant gardien. Poursuivie par ses hommes et l’Ordre corrompu des chasseurs de sorcières, elle doit trouver refuge. Alors que les esclavagistes parcourent les terres en volant des elfes de ce qui reste de leur maison ancestrale, les chasseurs de sorcières ferment les yeux sur la tragédie et une histoire de pouvoir, d’amour et d’une terrible vengeance se déroule.
What inspired you to write this book? I love fantasy, all subgenres, and there’s common mythical beings who get written about (vampires, shifters, fae, witches to name a few), and I was trying to think of a “darker” fantasy character to write about, and a banshee popped into my mind. Researching it more, I found out banshees stem from Irish/Celtic folklore, and it was a slippery slope from there, leading me to all the other characters like druids, pucas, and other Celtilc fae.
What can we expect from you in the future? **Chants** More books! More books! More books! I wish I could write as fast as my novel ideas sprout in my brain. I plan for Banshee’s Curse to be a 4 or 5 book series. Plus, I have the first book of my YA mermaid series written, and I hope for that to be a 4 book series. That one is really fun because I essentially thought, “I have a lot of knowledge about the ocean, so how can I take real ocean phenomena and create a mer-community?” I still take creative license plenty of times, but most of what I write is grounded in something factual, so in a way it hinges on sci-fi too. Also, I already have a witch-familiar trilogy loosely plotted, dragon shifters, and incubi/demon ideas. Different representations I will have across these will be more LGBTQ+ characters, cancer survivor, and epilepsy to name a few. Also, in my mermaid series I have a main character who lost an arm. I am so excited with how all these diversities wind into these fantasy worlds I’m creating. Again, I wish I could write faster. I want to get books out to readers as soon as I can, which is one of the many reasons I decided to go an indie instead of the traditional publishing route.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I do have a prequel novella out called Losing The Light. It’s short and sweet, about five chapters, and written from the perspective of the main love interest about six years prior to when the main series takes place. What happens in this novella is so pivotal to why certain characters are certain ways in the main series, I couldn’t help but dive into the day that changed everything a little bit more.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Whisper of Darkness? Cara is the main character who has spent her life thinking she is cursed due to a ringing that occurs in her head before someone around her dies. Surprise! She’s not cursed, she’s a banshee! Other fun facts, she loves animals and makes inappropriate sounds when eating something delicious or has coffee. Also, she struggles with her mental health, which is to be expected when you have lived life with death haunt you.
Shay is a druid, and kind of a prick. He’s also the reason Cara ends up being taken away to another realm.
Killian can make a person’s worst nightmares come to life, but broody and hot despite the scars maring the left side of his body. Oh, and he loves crumble. Shay and Killian have a complex history, but I can’t tell you too much more because that’s part of the story!
I’d say these are the main three, at least for Book 1.
Where did you come up with the names in the story? Googling Irish/Celtic names until I found ones I liked. Sorry, it’s not more interesting than that.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? I really love complex characters. Creating their backstories was so wonderful, and really letting my mind fly when it comes to magic.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel? Darkness is a theme for both Cara and Killian, something they bond over, both with their powers and the darkness they fight mentally. Whisper of Darkness makes me think of those evil voices in the back of your mind. You know the ones. The ones who say you’re fat, not worthy of love, that you’ll never accomplish anything, and whatever other terrible things that make you question yourself and your life. Cara is haunted in many ways, and I feel it’s a darkness always whispering in her mind, in her soul, dragging her to a darker place.
Who designed your book covers? A very talented friend and coworker designed Book 1, and I am using Miblart to design the others. My talented friend has 3 kids and is moving soon, so I didn’t want to make him commit to a 5 book series and figured it was better to find someone to finish out the series covers sooner rather than later.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Don’t ask a writer that! We are our own worst critics! We will never be fully happy with our books, and we will always question things, even down to the “should I use the word ‘excited’ or ‘ecstatic’. So, needless to say I’ll say ‘no’ because if I think about it, I’ll question myself too much and start to stress out. See! Those little evil voices! Totally a thing. (Note: The end of this answer will only work if coupled with the ‘Title of your first novel’ question).
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? So much! I learned so much about Irish and Celtic folklore. It was all wildly fascinating and so much fun to find ways to incorporate it. However, what I was most excited to learn about was more about autism for my character, Cadan. I did tons and tons of research as it is not a personal identity. However, I ended up hiring this absolutely amazing sensitivity reader who is not only autistic, but has a BA in creative writing and is currently working on a Master’s in Critical Theory with an emphasis on environmentalism, postcolonialism, race, gender and disability. They, also, identify as Black, an immigrant, trans, and indigenous. So, their scope both personally and academically/professionally was astounding. This made it so not only did they provide me feedback on Cadan, but often would explain more on the “why” behind including a specific characteristic. I wasn’t only being told what I did well or needed to work on, but learned why that is too. I am so immensely appreciative of them, and finding them was a complete blessing.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Lily Collins would be perfect.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Find me on social media and say ‘Hi’! I love creating worlds, my mind creates worlds even if I don’t write them down, but it’s the readers that keep the steam in my engine. Hearing what you love, fan theories, seeing fan art, or just connecting about our mutual love for fantasy is such a huge driving force and will make my entire day.
What is your favorite part of this book and why? I love the Korrigan! A small water sprite who can see the past, present, and future. I make her a little devilish and wildly beautiful. It’s one chapter encompassing one of the trials in the competition that Cara is a part of, but I love it so much!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? 100% from my imagination. Well, I guess certain qualities of my main character was inspired by my alpha reader, like her love for animals.
Have you written any other books that are not published? My YA mermaid series, but I plan to publish Book 1 soon!
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? “First Rain.” The smell of a first rain is so distinct, and that would 100% be my book. You’ll completely understand why if you decide to read it.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? Any fantasy writer! I want all the author friends! Annette Marie, Sara J Maas, Laura Thalassa, Audrey Grey, Annette Marie, Leia Stone, Jaymin Eve, Jennifer L Armentrout, Holly Black, this list could go on forever! They are so amazing with their world building, character development, story flow. They are all icons in their own way, and it would be hard not to fangirl around any of them. I would do my best to play it cool though because I want more author friends. I adore the best friendship between Leia Stone and Jaymin Eve, and totally hope to find my author BFF one day.
Whisper of Darkness
Banshee’s Curse Book 1
by Kristen Braddock
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Cara Winters is cursed. Loss has haunted her through life. A fun night out with her sister ends in disaster when she learns she’s a banshee. With a chance encounter and life debt owed, she’s coerced into a deadly competition in the far realm. To survive she finds an unlikely ally in Killian, a mysterious and prickly dark fae. The only way to win and get back to Earth is using her powers, but doing so may unravel her to the point of no return. Perfect for fans of fated mates, enemies to lovers, complicated & diverse characters, slow burn romance, and celtic folklore. Suggested for ages 15+ due to some language and violence.
**From June 7-21, 100% of my profits will go to Foundations of Divergent Minds (instead of the usual 10%), a nonprofit founded and run by autistic people for disability justice!**
Characters and their worlds have inundated Kristen’s mind since she was a kid. Traveling to far off places and having words on a piece of paper transform into entire scenes pulling at her emotions is an obsession.
Her goal as a fantasy author isn’t solely to relish in her imagination, but to bring representation to this genre. She wants stories with characters who are diverse inside and out. Their differences are not the focal point of the story, but rather a natural part of their being. Due to this, you will often not only find characters of varying ethnicities, but of the LGBTQ+ community, who battle diseases, are neuroatypical, and plenty of other areas that make us all so different from each other. These are not their defining qualities. It’s simply a part of who they are. To further support these communities, Kristen donates 10% of her profits to various organizations.
When Kristen isn’t cooped up on her computer or curled up with a book, she is often outdoors– hiking, snorkeling, diving, camping, etc.
Currently, she resides in California with her husband and fur babies (two dogs and a cat).