It is my pleasure to share a guest post by the prolific and talented author Morgan Brice/Gail Z. Martin...
Hitting the Books for the Book
By Morgan Brice
Research is one of my favorite parts of writing. Every book requires some research--even if it's set in the present. Of course, since I write urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, I end up doing a lot of research on story elements--some of which are 'normal' and some which are definitely strange! Like most writers, I assume I'm on a lot of 'lists' for some of the things I search for on the Internet!
Whether I'm writing paranormal romance as Morgan or non-romance urban fantasy as Gail Z. Martin, I take the magical elements very seriously. I want to get the lore right. There is a large body of information based on many real-world magical traditions, and I not only want to get the details correct, but I also want to be respectful to those traditions, which are the belief systems of real people.
So I'm constantly looking up the reputed magical properties of plants, minerals, and other things. I look at the urban legends and the lore around different types of monsters. I study up on banishing spells and exorcisms. And if I'm incorporating monsters, I base them on actual legends and mythology.
Wherever a book is set, the location is important. I try to ground my books in the history, legends, scandals, landmarks and lore of its location so that the place becomes a character in its own right, and the story couldn't happen the same way anywhere else. Also, since these are real places, people actually live there, and they'll let me know if I get it wrong! So details matter. Sometimes I make the decision to change a name or create a fictional location based on a real person or place to preserve privacy or for legal reasons, but it's always anchored in research.
Research also helps me get unstuck. When I can't move forward on a story, I know it's because my brain knows I don't have all the pieces. Usually if I start researching and let one interesting thing lead me to another and another, I find the missing piece that I didn't even know to look for! It's a wonderful feeling, a little bit of 'magic' in itself!
Research is definitely part of the fun of writing. I get to look up all kinds of things, no matter how strange, because it's 'for the book'!
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: February 8, 2020
Genre/s: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance
Trope/s: monster hunting, paranormal, supernatural, magic, ghosts, curses, cursed lovers, hurt/comfort, established couple
Themes: loyalty, brotherhood, found family, keeping promises, trust, commitment
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 66 000 words/ 224 pages
It can be read as a standalone, but is book #5 of the Witchbane series.
A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out.
Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?
A cycle of ritual murders. A coven of dark warlocks, drawing their immortality from the magic of their dead master. Two men sworn to stop the deaths, destroy the warlocks and avenge the victims. Except this time, the killer is hunting the hunters.
Seth Tanner swore vengeance on the dark witches who killed his brother, Jesse. He rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is still new, tested at every turn by danger and magic.
Seth and Evan head to Charleston to stop the next warlock and save his intended victim. But this time, they’re too late. The warlock has already powered up, and he’s determined to destroy the two hunters one way or another. A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out. Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?
Unholy is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with plenty of supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, hot sex, found family, dark magic and paranormal thrills.
It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
From Chapter 3
“Hi, and welcome to Charleston,” Alicia said. “I’ve heard a lot about both of you.”
That left one other person. He looked to be in his late twenties, with blond hair in a trendy cut, high cheekbones, and gray eyes the color of the sea after a storm. Unlike the others, he didn’t have a drink or a plate in front of him. The man’s appraisal made Evan shiver, although nothing in his manner seemed hostile.
“This is Sorren,” Cassidy said. “He’s my business partner, and he and my ancestor founded Trifles and Folly—my shop—back when Charleston was first chartered.”
Seth and Evan exchanged a glance. “But Charleston is over three hundred years old,” Seth protested.
Sorren smiled, and Evan caught his breath as he glimpsed the tips of fangs behind his lips. “You’re correct. And I am nearly six hundred. I am deeply interested in finding out about this witch-disciple you hunt. He has, apparently, gone to great lengths to avoid my notice.”
As soon as Sorren spoke, Evan wondered how he could have thought the man was close to his own age. Sorren had a presence that made it easy to believe he was immortal. Instinct warned him not to meet Sorren’s gaze, and he remembered stories about a vampire’s ability to glamour mortals and bend their will.
“Don’t worry. You’re safe here,” Sorren said, apparently noting Evan’s uneasiness. “You are guests in Cassidy’s home, and allies. That puts you under my protection—something I take very seriously.”
Evan pasted on a smile and nodded. Holy shit. What have we gotten ourselves into?
“You already know Teag, and I believe he and Seth have bonded over hacking to get information on some of the cases we’ve worked on. But his ninja computer skills are really an outgrowth of his Weaver magic,” Cassidy said, “which you know at least something about, from the spell-woven braided bracelets you gave each other for your birthdays.”
She sat at the table beside Teag. “Eat first, and then we all want to hear your story.”
Evan wasn’t sure what might pass for normal conversation with this crew, but the banter felt comfortable and familiar. They obviously knew each other well and were friends as well as colleagues. While they ate, the conversation drifted to local happenings, upcoming events, and the shared frustration that went with having to avoid road construction. Even Sorren commented now and again, and Evan noticed that no one at the table seemed to regard him fearfully. Evan glanced at Seth and knew from the look on his boyfriend’s face that the mental wheels were turning, appraising their new allies.
When everyone had their fill of the pizza and had topped off their drinks, the chatter stopped, and they all looked to Seth and Evan. Teag stepped away and returned with his laptop.
“We know a little bit about your hunt for the witch-disciples from the information Teag helped you find in the past,” Cassidy said.
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
A chance to win one of three ebook copies of any book in the Witchbane series
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Unholy by Morgan Brice is part of the ‘Witchbane’ series and features Seth Tanner and Evan Malone as they continue to travel the U.S., trying to break the evil cycle started by the disciples of dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory. The hunt takes them to Charleston, where they finally get a chance to meet some of the allies who have been giving them assistance and advice thus far. Unfortunately, danger stalks the pair as well, and this time, they may have run into a curse that they can’t defeat.
This adult gay urban fantasy is also a romance, with plenty of action and adventure. Although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, however, one will appreciate the nuances better if the other books have been absorbed. The ticking clock adds to the tension of the story and the interactions with the denizens of the city are fascinating and provide a nice crossover with some of the other series by this author. I love the camaraderie and unhesitating support that is provided even as I was captivated by the challenges faced by Seth and Evan as they fought the curse that threatened to destroy everything they’ve accomplished thus far.
This is one of those books that you don’t want to start too late at night because you’re never going to be able to put it down until the very end. Whether you’re new to the series or already a fan, plan to be enthralled by an exciting entertaining story featuring two likable guys who are devoted to each other and determined to break the cycle of evil that has destroyed so many families.
A copy of this title was provided for review