It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author Gail Z. Martin (aka Morgan Brice) who tells us about...
A Writer’s Journey
Gail Z. Martin
I decided that I wanted to be a writer when I was 14. I started writing my first book when I was 19. A much different version of that book got published when I was 45.
Now admittedly, I didn’t work full-time on making that dream come true for all those years. I went to college and grad school, and then got married, got jobs and changed jobs, moved, had children, changed jobs several more times...life got in the way. But every time there was a lull, I would pull out the manuscript and work on it, giving it another pass or two. And then it would go back into the drawer for a while, until the next lull.
I read every book I could find on how to write books and how to get published. I went to book signings and talked to authors about how they got started.
Every time I went into a bookstore, I would go to the shelf in the fantasy section and move the books apart where my name would be, and put my hand on the open space, and visualize my book being there.
I did that for *years*.
Finally, I got laid off from my corporate job when I was 40, and I decided that it was now or never. So I got serious about doing a final clean-up on the manuscript, researched agents, sent out query letters. Got lots of rejections. Talked to some of the published writers I knew for more advice. Revised my query letters. Got an agent! Found a publisher!
The Summoner, my first book in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, came out in 2007.
I started out writing Epic Fantasy, then added Urban Fantasy (like Inheritance, which is part of my Deadly Curiosities series), then co-authored with my husband, Larry N. Martin, on steampunk, near future post-apocalyptic adventure and horror comedy series. And as Morgan Brice, I write urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Writing across several genres keeps things fresh and exciting for me, and helps me reach new readers.
I’ve written and published 30+ books, and been an invited author in 45 US/UK anthologies. I write full time now, happy to leave corporate life behind. My husband has come into the business full-time too, handling a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff as well as writing his own books and co-authoring several series with me. I’ve been published by Top 5 New York and London publishers, mid-size publishers, and small presses. Now, we publish most of our own new releases, but we still work with a vibrant small press, a boutique press, and an audiobook publisher as well. We brought out 10 new releases this year, and had stories in four new anthologies. Next year, we’re aiming to do more.
Along the way I’ve met wonderful readers, and made so many close friendships with other authors who are my found family. I’m still always learning about (constant) publishing industry and marketing changes. Most of all, I make my living doing something I love, sharing stories to help people escape from the real world for a while.
I do a lot of panels at genre conventions and writers’ workshops about the craft and business of writing, host a monthly meetup group on marketing and business issues for writers, and have written four books on social media marketing. I’m committed to paying back and paying forward, because so many writers helped me at every stage of my journey and continue to help as we all try to make sense of this crazy business. Writing isn’t competitive—no individual writer can keep up with how much readers can read. So there’s room for all the books, which helps to assure readers will find something for everyone!
Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.
(Note—Characters from my Morgan Brice (MM paranormal romance) books make several key appearances in this book. Also, a long-time committed MM couple figure prominently in the plot).
Themes: Friendship and established relationships
Heat Rating: 0 - 1 flame (No sex, kissing/hugging for MF and MM characters)
Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages
It is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a standalone.
Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
Caribbean ghosts terrorize Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?
“I have a problem antique I’d like you to take a look at.” The man on the other end of the call sounded rattled. I recognized his name—Alfred Stone, from Stone Auctions—but I didn’t think we had ever spoken, let alone met.
“What kind of ‘problem’ does it present?” I asked. A number of possibilities came to mind. “Questionable provenance? Not sure how to authenticate?”
“I think it’s trying to kill me.”
Well, damn. That kind of problem. “All right, Mr. Stone. Try to stay calm.”
“I just told you, it’s trying to kill me. I heard you…know…about these things. Please, help me.”
Across the store, Teag Logan glanced up to make sure everything was all right. I nodded, and he went back to helping a customer.
“I can come now. Are you at the showroom?”
“Yes. Thank you. And…please…hurry.”
I ended the call and sighed. This might be the first time Alfred Stone had an antique try to kill him, but that made it just another day here at Trifles and Folly.
I’m Cassidy Kincaide, and I own Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The shop has been in my family for more than three hundred years. While we’re known as a great place to buy high-quality antiques, the shop is also a cover for the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who save Charleston—and the world—from supernatural threats. I’m a psychometric, which means I can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. Teag is my assistant store manager, best friend, and sometimes bodyguard—and he’s also a talented Weaver witch. Sorren, my business partner, is a nearly six-hundred-year-old vampire. Together with some other friends with very specialized abilities, we do our best to keep the world safe from dark magic and things that go bump in the night.
“Problem?” Teag asked when the customer left.
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Alfred Stone just called—from the auction house. He says he’s got an item that’s trying to kill him.”
“You want me to go with you?” Teag pushed a lock of dark hair out of his eyes. His skater-boy haircut and skinny jeans made him look younger than his late twenties. “Maggie can handle the store.”
On cue, Maggie—our lifesaver of a part-time associate—waved to agree from the other side of the store. She was sporting a new bright pink streak in her short gray hair, and it matched her sweater, a reminder—as if I needed one—that she believed in taking risks and living large.
I reached up to slick my humidity-frizzy strawberry blond hair back into a ponytail and shook my head. “Let me go see what the problem is, and I’ll figure out what to do from there. It’s not far away, in case I need to give a shout.”
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About the Author
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Inheritance by Gail Z. Martin is part of the ‘Deadly Curiosities’ series that features Cassidy Kincaide of the Trifles and Follies antique and curio shop that features all kinds of intriguing items, and acts as a cover for the Alliance that specializes in disposing of the supernatural threats that are inherent in some of the objects that are brought to them. Cassidy and her friends and allies become embroiled in an inheritance struggle that not only stirs up the resident spirits and inimical beings but threatens to destroy Charleston and most of its surroundings.
This paranormal/urban fantasy story blends a combination of legends and myths, with an emphasis on a few Caribbean entities. I am fascinated by the idea of psychometry (being able to read the history of objects by touching them) and adding the twist of feeling their magic makes things even more intriguing. I enjoyed the cameos by key figures from other stories and series and the variety of techniques that are used to combat the different foes that appear, but I almost had the feeling that this book was a blend of multiple short stories designed to introduce more and more of the members of the Alliance, tied together by the overall threat by the Pendlewood family. It also felt awkward that Sorren, Cassidy’s partner who is a powerful vampire, was absent so long in the face of such a major threat.
Despite all of this, I enjoy getting the flavor of this part of the world and learning about other cultures and belief systems. The confrontations are deliciously creepy and the maltese dog Baxter who has the “heart of a lion, body of a guinea pig” provides a bit of levity to balance some of the intensity. This is a fun series that should appeal to those who enjoy urban fantasy and things that go bump in the night.
A copy of this title was provided for review