Double Alchemy by Susan Mac Nicol



EVERYDAY FEAR

Have you ever had that creepy sensation that someone was behind you when you look in the mirror…?

Carrie Benton kicked off her shoes, did a little twirl around her bedroom, and sank gladly into the armchair beside the bay window that looked out onto the street. She gazed down dreamily at the road below, still seeing Gerald’s tanned face smiling down at her, still feeling the gentle touch of his hand against her arm. She decided there and then that it had been the perfect evening. Nothing could mar this, she mused, and it would be even better in the morning when he came to collect her for breakfast and they would share the whole day, not just the evening.

Tosca chose that moment to make his entrance, his pitiful meow shaking her out of the dream world she was currently in. Carrie gathered the cat into her arms. ‘Hi there, cattykins, who’s hungry then?’ she crooned into his fur. He arched his back and playfully shot his paw at her. She giggled and set him down on the bed where he regarded her with an air of suspicion.

‘I am going to fix you some food,’ she teased, ‘right after I wash my face and get my dressing gown on. You’ll just have to wait a while.’

Carrie switched on the en-suite bathroom light and hummed to herself as she picked up the facial wash from the shelf. She heard Tosca scratching the coverlet of her bed in what she assumed was act frustration at being thwarted out of his food. ‘Not long,’ she sang out, ‘Then I’ll get you your dinner and I’ll tell you all about Gerald and our date.’

Carrie heard Tosca hiss as if to say,’ Damn your date, just fix me some food!’ and she heard a soft plop as the cat jumped off the bed. A minute later she shivered as she felt a sharp cold draft blowing through the bathroom. Darn cat, she thought, he must have squeezed through the bedroom door to the landing and left the door open.

Carrie smeared the facial wash over her face, mixing it with water from the tap. The soapsuds bubbled on her skin. As she splashed warm water on her face, she thought she heard someone behind her. She looked up into the mirror, her face dripping water.  Gerald stood there, framed in the entrance to the bathroom. She peered at him through a veil of soapy tears, thinking at first it was a trick of the light, or perhaps some water in the eyes making her vision blurry and unstable. It was only when she felt the quick bloody pain across her throat and smelt the scent of his Brut aftershave mixed with her blood that she realised, too late, it was Gerald and that her dream date had just turned into a nightmare.


Double Alchemy
Susan Mac Nicol

Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy MM romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 23/03/2014
ISBN: 978-1-941260-04-3
ASIN: B00J7FVYRC
Number of pages: 335 pages
Word Count: 110 000
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: The World in Shadow

Book Description:

Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await. More awaits in book two…



They lay beside each other in Cade’s bed, snuggled under the covers together. It was a large king-size bed, one they’d made the most of it that evening. Quinn turned and regarded Cade with drowsy eyes as his fingers trailed soft patterns across his chest. Cade caught his breath at Quinn’s lazy touch, his body still jazzed up from their love making. Quinn fingered the small metal piercing in Cade’s left nipple with lazy indolence. Cade’s hands caressed Quinn’s stomach, lingering on an ugly, puckered three-inch scar which stretched down to his left hip.

“You seem to be getting used to this whole situation,” Quinn murmured. He caressed the nipple piercing. “And this was a nice surprise. You didn’t have it in the other night.  I think I explored you enough to know you don’t have any more anywhere.” He grinned wickedly as Cade’s fingers pinched his hip.

Cade laughed softly. “I took it out for the benefit dinner. It doesn’t fit well under a dress shirt. And as for all this -I don’t believe it all myself.  But I don’t seem to have a choice. You’ve made that quite clear. And I have to say it’s not all that much of a hardship. You’re a pretty personable and sexy guy and to be honest, this just feels –so right- somehow.” He licked a wet tongue down Quinn’s shoulder and grinned as Quinn lost his breath.

Cade murmured, “I saw you in the paper with a man called Adam Carnover.”

Quinn started and looked at Cade with hooded eyes.

Cade watched his eyes. “Is he still in your life? The papers seemed to think you were getting married. “

Quinn leaned over and kissed his forehead softly. “I wouldn’t be here with you if I was with another man. Adam isn’t in my life any longer.”

“What happened?”

Quinn frowned, his face dark. “We had a difference of opinion and decided to go our separate ways.”

“Was he like me, or was he normal?” Cade asked curiously, glad that the man was no longer around but still intending to find out more about their past relationship.

Quinn was still. “He was normal, nothing like you,” he said shortly.

Cade could tell he really didn’t want to talk about his ex. Wisely, he let it rest for the moment.  “Another thing you haven’t told me. Who was that man I saw in the forest that evening? Was that something to do with you?”

Quinn’s eyes narrowed as if debating what to say next.

 “Are you going to tell me?” Cade watched him closely. He reached down and grasped Quinn’s semi erect cock. “Or do I have to suck it out of you like I did earlier?”

Quinn gave a low laugh and sat up, the bed covers draped across his waist as he leaned back against the headboard. “As much as I find that idea very appealing, I think I need to recuperate first. I don’t think I’ve got any moisture left in my body after that very intense blow job. But please feel free to repeat the experience in a little while.”

About the Author:

Bringing lovers together, one book at a time

The official stuff

Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and hopefully always entertaining. She’s also Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a member of The Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and the Authors Guild in the US. 

Susan is also an award-winning script writer, with scripts based on two of her own published works. Sight Unseen has garnered no less than five awards to date and her TV pilot, Reel Life, based on her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was also a winner at the Oaxaca Film Fest.

The ‘unofficial’ stuff…

She loves going to the theatre, live music concerts (especially if it’s her man crush Adam Lambert or the divine Cumberbatch) walks in the countryside, a good G and T, lazing away afternoons reading a good book, and watching re-runs of Silent Witness.

Her chequered past includes stories like being mistaken for a prostitute in the city of Johannesburg, being chased by a rhino on a dusty Kenyan road, getting kicked out of a youth club for being a ‘bad influence’ (she encourages free thinking) and having an aunt who was engaged to Cliff Richard.

I’d love you to stalk me so here you go..  










LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanmacnicol/ 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alpha’s Revenge by Catherine Stine


The Peculiar Delights of Research in a Halloween Spook House

Catherine Stine

          I’ve been fascinated by the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia ever since I visited for their Halloween fright tour, and saw the actual, untouched surgical room from when they opened in 1829. It still had a rickety metal operating table, sharp and crusty medical tools, and frighteningly tiny holding pens. The idea for one of my witch novels, Witch of the Wild Beasts rushed in right then and there. It would be a thriller involving doctors devising medical mischief and unlucky prisoners, including Evalina Stowe, a woman accused of witchcraft.

          It turns out that in the 1850s, when my novel takes place, Philadelphia experienced an explosion of new medical “breakthroughs”, from the wacky to the notable. At the offbeat end, there were herbal remedies inspired by the German Pow Wow or Braucherei practitioner, a combination of ritual prayer, herbal applications and the chanting of charms to not only heal the patient, but protect the farmers’ cattle and sheep. On the remarkable side, were the “plastic operations” of Dr. Thomas Mütter, who pioneered plastic surgery at Jefferson Medical School, and who invented applications we use to this day, such as the Mütter flap. This uses a flap of living skin, still partially attached, to cover open, damaged areas until they can heal, at which point the connected flap is cut and stitched. Dr. Mütter, who appears in the book, was quite the flamboyant dresser, who liked to match his suit to the color of his carriage. To this day, the Mütter Museum is a go-to attraction for all sorts of medical oddities, including dozens of wax molds of eye diseases and ‘The Soap Lady’, a woman whose body was exhumed in Philadelphia in 1875. She is nicknamed this because a fatty substance called adipocere coats her remains.

          I grew up in Philadelphia and thought I knew a lot about its history, but in the process of research for the novel, I learned many new, startling facts. I love writing historical fantasy for this very reason.

          Before Eastern State Penitentiary was built with its single cells and solitary confinement, people of all ages, including children were thrown in one holding pen at another location. Thus, Eastern State revolutionized the system and was considered state of the art when it was built. It was equipped with skylights, central heating and some of the very first flush toilets, and inspired by the Quakers’ belief that solitary penitence could quell an inmate’s urge to commit crimes.

          Yet it wasn’t long before people realized that “paying penitence” 24/7 alone in a cell did not cure people of criminal behavior. Rather, the isolation drove them stark raving mad. Charles Dickens, who visited the prison, wrote a scathing treatise, saying, “Solitary confinement is rigid, strict and hopeless… I believe its effects to be cruel and wrong.” Oddly enough, during that era the phrase What the Dickens was a euphemism for What the Devil! Go figure.

          Even in this cultured, modern city of Brotherly Love, superstition and chaos were alive and well. According the an article on the Historical Society of Pennsylvania blog, a sensational case occurred in 1852, with newspaper headings entitled, “Superstition in Philadelphia,” and “Witchcraft – Evidence of an Enlightened Age”.

          “Mary Ann Clinton & Susan Spearing, residents of Southwark Ward, were formally charged at the ‘Court of Quarter Sessions,’ with “conspiring to cheat and defraud George F. Elliott, by means of fortune telling and conjuration,” in order to extort money. The ‘Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’ alleged that the two women were giving Mrs. Elliott, “a bottle containing some portions of Mr. Elliott’s clothing, and telling her that as the clothing decayed, so Mr. Elliott would moulder away, until he would finally die by virtue of the spell…”

It appeared that Mrs. Elliott suspected her husband was guilty of infidelity, a belief that “had so strong an effect upon her as to make her wish for his death.” Thus, she had enlisted the services of Clinton & Spearing, who also encouraged the jealous wife, as an “ordeal of witchcraft,” to “take her husband’s clothes, tear them to pieces, fill the bottle with them, then boil the contents nine times, and this would give him such extreme pain as to cause his death.”

          Enter my heroine, Evalina, accused of witchcraft when her pet bird, flies down the throat of her violent boss and chokes him to death. Add to this mix, Dolly Rouge, her prison neighbor and ex-bawdy house madam, Lightning, a homeless urchin who knew Evalina’s brother and was jailed for stealing horses, and Birdy, a handsome, kind Irishman jailed for a tragic accident while blasting granite for the railroad who Evalina falls for. Oh, and add a handful of sinister doctors, and Evalina’s perilous plot to gain justice for her brother’s murder.

          Research is the grounding for the fire that ignites the writer’s mind. And research in a Halloween destination was a pure spine-tingling delight.


Alpha’s Revenge
Royal Alpha Wolves Club
Book Three
Shared World Series
Catherine Stine

Genre: Werewolf Shifter Romance
Publisher: Konjur Road Press
Date of Publication: September 3, 2020
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-7333901-4-9
ASIN: B08CWVBZM7
Number of pages: 165
Word Count: 42k
Cover Artist: Crown Atlantic

Book Description:

A heartbroken furious alpha, a forbidden childhood crush revisited.

Will karmic justice destroy them both?

From the languid, sexy heat of New Orleans, all the way to the icy Canadian Wilderness, supernatural creatures live shadow lives amongst mortals. But what if one of the most powerful and regal of beings—wolf shifters—found their packs disappearing through longstanding battles and vicious payback?

The Royal Alpha Wolves Club, a worldwide, ancient organization formed to keep order and secrets safe among werewolf packs is faced with this very dilemma. So, when the club leader gives the dire order for all royals to find a mate and produce an heir within a year it’s in the wolf shifters’ best interest. Wayland, though, is not on board.

Meet Wayland Leblanc—legendary royal alpha, hell-bent on revenge for his murdered mate. When the edict comes down from the leader in his new territory that all royals mate and produce an heir within the year or lose royal status, Wayland hits the road. He’s not ready. Instead, he charges up to Canada in his mini-camper, to wreak revenge on Thorn, the Tundra shifter who killed his mate Sabine and their unborn babe. He conscripts an army of coyote shifters in his revenge plot, and stuffs down his lingering heartache by partying with neighboring witches.

What he doesn’t plan for is falling hard for Stormy, Thorn’s mysterious sister. But pursuing a star-crossed Juliet to his Romeo just might cost Wayland and Stormy their lives.

4 books. 4 authors. 4 alphas. 1 shared world.



“Who are you?” It was dawning on him. Could it be his old Tundra playmate, Stormy? They hadn’t seen each other for years. It was rumored that Thorn had kept her so protected it was like she was locked in his ivory tower prison. Holy damn, if it was Stormy, he should have nothing to do with her. She was Thorn’s little sister. Could he still be confused? He’d just been hit so hard that maybe his brain had gone freaking haywire. “Where’s Ransom?”
          “He’s alive but you messed him up good. Why are you coming around, so angry, gunning for a fight? You look so familiar, but… ” She ran a cooling cloth over Wayland’s swollen eye. She smelled of forest phlox and river moss—of the Canadian tundra in summer. He struggled to get up again and realized she’d tied his arms, torso and ankles down with thick vines. He didn’t believe in hurting a woman. But his rage bubbled dangerously close to the surface. If he stayed like this too much longer, and she leaned closer to him as she cleaned his wounds he might not be able to stop from snapping his head up and biting her.
          “Why the hell did you tie me up?” he snarled.
          “For your own safety and for mine. You seemed unhinged. Who are you anyway? You look so familiar.”
          “Wayland. I used to live around here.”
          “Wayland!” She stopped cleaning his swollen eye and stared down at him. “Wayland Leblanc.”
          “Yeah, a damn Leblanc. The Tundras, led by your vicious brother slaughtered us a year ago in case you need reminding. Bunch of fucking savages,” he growled.
          “I know who you are. Your father killed my father.”

          “So, you are Stormy, Thorn’s sister,” he muttered. The very man I’m hunting down.

 

About the Author:

Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fantasy, paranormal romance and sci-fi thrillers. Witch of the Wild Beasts won a second prize spot in the ‘19 RWA Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books for Teens. She lives in Manhattan, grew up in Philadelphia and is known to roam the Catskills. Before writing novels, she was a painter and children’s fabric designer. She’s a visual author when it comes to scenes, and she sees writing as painting with words. She loves edgy thrills, perhaps because her dad read Edgar Allen Poe tales to her as a child. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, writing about supernatural creatures, gardening on her deck, traveling and meeting readers at book fests.






Catherine on Facebook:

Subscribe to Catherine’s Newsletter:

Goodreads:

Amazon Author Page:




a Rafflecopter giveaway

ORIGINS by Celia Breslin



Carina’s Halloween Cocktail and Snack

Carina Tranquilli, the star of my Tranquilli Bloodline series, owns two dance clubs and has been known to mix a wicked cocktail. Here’s one of her favorites, plus a savory appetizer she likes to eat with it. Enjoy while watching your favorite spooky movies or reading a spooky tale… 

The Bloody Carina

* 1-2 oz. vodka (optional)
* 4 oz. tomato juice (Carina prefers V-8)
* ½ – 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce (Carina makes her own!)
* dash of celery salt to taste
* pepper to taste
* Tabasco to taste
* dash of lemon juice
* twist of lemon as garnish

Pair your tasty beverage with Deviled Eggs.  

Carina likes Mary Nolan’s recipe on the Food Network

* 6 hard-boiled egg yolks (set aside egg-white halves for later)
* ¼ c mayo (Carina uses Vegenaise for an egg-free, dairy free option)
* 1 tsp vinegar
* 1 tsp yellow mustard (or to taste. More, if you like it tangy like Carina)
* 1/8 tsp salt (optional in Carina’s opinion)
* black pepper to taste
* smoke paprika for garnish

Mix. Dispense into the egg white halves. Eat!


ORIGINS
Tranquilli Bloodline
Book 3
Celia Breslin

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Date of Publication: September 9, 2019
ISBN:  9781393477938
ASIN: B08FFCWNF2
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 94,000
Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Tagline: The Chosen One is home. Bad little vampires beware…

Book Description:

In HAVEN & DESTINY, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli finds love and fights her vampire family’s enemies. Now, in ORIGINS…

En route to reunite with her estranged father in Italy, Carina is kidnapped by a human organization intent on vampire genocide. Beaten, starved, and forced to fight fellow captives, she finally manages to escape. Along the way, she encounters the group’s leaders—their identities shock her to the core.

Once home, Carina warns her family of this new threat, but dear old dad is missing. In his absence, the Tribunal, the governing body for all vampirekind, lies in disarray, with an old enemy making a bid for her father’s throne. What’s worse? The usurper wants her for his queen…and slave.

With a human-vampire war looming on one side and a vampire-vampire battle brewing on the other, Carina will have to rally her troops, take back the throne, and fulfill her destiny as the Chosen One. If not, her whole world will fall, taking everyone she loves with it.

Amazon     Apple Books      BN      Champagne Books      Kobo


Excerpt:

The car stopped. […] I couldn’t convince myself to step out. […] What if this was a freaking, injection-induced hallucination? What if I was still back in the damn prison?

Besnik helped me out. […]

The mansion’s mammoth double doors eased open. The man illuminated in the doorway chased away the numbness, pumped my heart so hard it might pound right out of my chest. He opened his arms wide, calling me. My lips curled upward in the first true smile I’d cracked since the last time he’d held me in his arms. That man, my man, loved me more than any other on this whole damn planet.

“Alexander.”

I ran to him.

Alexander’s arms closed around me, his hold so tight I could barely catch a breath. Tremors ran through his hard body, again and again.

“Carina,” he croaked, voice sandpaper rough. “Carina.”

Nuzzling his neck, I planted fevered kisses along his tan, heated skin. He’d fed recently to be this warm under my lips. Temptation had me licking his pounding pulse, nipping at the vein. Couldn’t resist it. My fangs slid home.

Energy exploded between us, our mate bond bursting to life and tearing away whatever magical wall had separated us for far too long. My bite, the catalyst, his blood the cure. Awash in the force of our reunion, Alexander staggered then clutched me closer while I pulled out of his neck and laved the rapidly healing holes.

As our power continued to bubble and stitch us back together, he whisked us into the grand entryway, planted my ass on an ornate, antique cabinet, and devoured my mouth like a starving man. His hands roamed everywhere, searching, cataloguing, as if to reassure himself this wasn’t a hallucination, that I was really here, in his arms, relatively unharmed.

The more he kissed me, the more those wonderful, golden threads of our connection resurrected inside me, around me, between us, and I felt like freaking Sleeping Beauty awakened from her magical slumber by a kiss from her fated handsome prince. The silly thought made me giggle against Alexander’s seeking mouth, and then I was crying while my love cupped my face between his hands, wiped away my tears with his thumbs, and pressed tender kisses to my forehead, my cheeks, the tip of my nose…

“Alexander.” I fisted his shirt tight. Please, God, let him be real. “I… I don’t want to wake up.” Please, don’t let this end.

His smoky blue eyes bored into mine, his brown hair spiked in every direction, a bit longer than in my memory. It’s not a dream, baby. You’re here. You’re home.

Oh my God, I can hear you. I swiped some willful bits of hair away from his forehead, touched his full lips, ran my fingers along his strong jaw, taking in the whole handsome, bad-boy package. You’re back in my head. I’d never been happier to have someone inside my mind. Silence was seriously overrated.

And back in your arms.

About the Author:


Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and warrior-class angels. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise.












a Rafflecopter giveaway