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Cursed (A Balance of Magic #2) by Jackie Keswick #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Cursed (A Balance of Magic #2)

Author: Jackie Keswick

Cover Artist: Jackie Keswick

Release Date: March 23, 2022

Genre: M/M Fantasy

Tropes: Friends to lovers, love vs. duty, soul mates, found family, worlds in peril, two against the world, hurt/comfort

Series Themes: the world is fragile, short-term decisions have long-term consequences, gifts are given for a reason

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length:  77 000 words

It is the second book in a trilogy.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger. Raijin and Sandro’s story ends on a HFN. The main story arc continues across all three books.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  PayHip

Apple  |  B&N  |  Kobo

 

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

 

Blurb

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

Raijin killed a witch and found himself cursed.

Sandro went to Raijin’s aid and became an assassin’s target.

Neither expected that they would trigger the biggest upheaval their world had seen in a thousand years.

And that it needed the love between them to lift the curse.

 

Cursed, the second book in the Balance of Magic series, is a slow-burn m/m fantasy romance featuring friends-to-lovers who become soulmates, irate death gods, curses, inept, narcissistic politicians, curious, compassionate witches, and a found family.

 

Excerpt 

France, Summer 1920

“Poplars and plane trees, beeches and birches, or a mountainside of firs.” Sandro stared into the bottom of his wine glass and tried to keep the misery at bay. “Is it really too much to wish for a few olive and lemon trees? I’ve not been near my grove in six years. Six years, Raijin!”

“I know.”

“What if they’ve dug it up?”

“Why would they?”

Sandro set the glass down. “To spite us,” he said.

Raijin stared at him.

“I know, I know. It’s not like me to think badly of people.” He waved a hand. “But what other interpretation is there for the way Tan Hao treats us? Every time we finish a task, he finds another one that keeps us from the base. Do you really think he does that to everyone?”

Raijin wisely kept his mouth shut.

Sandro was grateful. He’d never been a maudlin drunk, but the last six years had changed many things. Being prevented from visiting the only home he’d ever known… hurt. Even if he’d barely spent a day alone while the human world tore itself to pieces.

Maybe he shouldn’t complain. Especially not to Raijin. He hadn’t been home for far longer, but… He lifted a hand to summon the waiter and order another bottle of wine, when Raijin stopped him.

“Come along. I have an idea.”

“What kind?”

“The good kind.” Raijin smiled the soft, lopsided smile that Sandro had no defences against.

“Tell me.”

“In a moment.”

They paid for their meal and left the restaurant, wandering up the street towards their lodgings. They had their own courtyard garden, had food, and even wine, but Sandro had been too restless to stay home, and Raijin had indulged him.

“You’ve been doing that a lot lately.” He tried to express his gratitude.

“Doing what?”

“Indulging me. I’m… Ignore me.”

“Never.” Raijin unlocked the gate and ushered them into the place they’d made their base since the Armistice. It was clean, comfortable, and private. But it wasn’t home.

Sandro had no idea what Raijin meant to do, but he didn’t have to wonder long. As soon as he’d locked the gate behind them, Raijin took hold of his arm, opened the veil and tugged Sandro through.

Two steps later, scents of brine and citrus hit his nose. Soft, springy turf caressed his feet, and one look at the familiar trees had him fight back tears.

Raijin had brought them to the top of the Custodia base. Had given Sandro what he’d most needed: a visit to his grove of lemon trees.

If he could have touched all his trees at once, he’d have done so. Since he lacked that ability, he wrapped his arms around the nearest tree, and hummed.

The trees responded, impressions wrapping him up like a cloak: comings and goings, hot sun and sparkling raindrops, a storm from the east. Sandro soaked it all up like a starving man and shared his own experiences in turn.

After the first sharing was done, Sandro went from tree to tree, touching, checking, renewing his connection. When he joined Raijin at the centre of the grove and accepted the glass of wine Raijin had poured him, he hummed with green energy, his watcher sight as sensitive as it had never been before.

“I wish I could explain—” he began hesitantly.

Only for Raijin to wave it away. “It’s fine. You wanted to check on your family. I understand.”

Raijin wasn’t demonstrative.

But when he chose to make a point, he took Sandro’s breath away.

 

 

About the Author 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

 

Blog/Website  |  Facebook group  |  Facebook page  |  Twitter 

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  |  TikTok  |  Patreon 

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

$10 Amazon gift card and an ebook of choice from the author’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Caught (A Balance of Magic #1) by Jackie Keswick #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Caught (A Balance of Magic #1)

Author: Jackie Keswick

Publisher:  Jackie Keswick

Cover Artist: Jackie Keswick

Release Date:  September 24, 2021

Genre: M/M Fantasy

Tropes: love vs. duty, cinnamon roll death god, soul mates, found family, worlds in peril, two against the world, hurt/comfort

Series Themes: the world is fragile, short-term decisions have long-term consequences, gifts are given for a reason

Heat Rating:  3 flames    

Length:  52 000 words

This is book #1 in the series. The romance ends on a HFN. The main story arc continues across all three books, and Tenzen and Rakurai will get their HEA at the end of book #3.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Apple Books  |  B&N  |  Kobo

 

 

Blurb

Rakurai hunts demons. He doesn’t consort with gods. Until he meets Tenzen.

Tenzen cares for souls. He despises the callous, self-absorbed Yuvine. Until he meets Rakurai.

A rescue and a sacrifice make a death god and a hunter fall in love, but a life of bliss is not on the cards. Someone is disturbing the balance of magic, leaving two worlds in danger. And while desire draws Rakurai and Tenzen together, duty, assassins, and clan politics keep them apart.

Who will Tenzen and Rakurai save in the end? Two worlds or each other?

Caught starts a new mm paranormal romance series, A Balance of Magic, featuring mortals and immortals from both sides of the veil, old promises, new revelations, and a bloody fight between love and duty. It is the first book of a trilogy and ends with a HFN. The characters will get their HEA in the final book.

 

 Excerpt

He walked through the mists, gaze scanning the trees and bushes lining the path. Judging by the colour of the leaves and the bounty of fruit, the seasons still aligned on both sides of the veil, though the time of day did not. He’d left the human realm in the late afternoon, yet here it appeared to be early morning. And something—or someone—called to him.

There were no words, just a powerful tug on his awareness. A tug that made him want to follow the path, walk faster, run—

He stopped.

Breathed.

The tug eased a fraction, but didn’t disappear.

“Who are you and what do you want?” The trees swallowed Rakurai’s question and returned no answer. Could this be the rafeet’s doing? Did it have the power to make Rakurai rush headlong into a trap? He’d never read of such a skill.

He took a careful step forward.

The tug eased a little more.

He took a step back the way he’d come.

The tug grew stronger.

“Understood,” he said, irony strong in his voice. He had to find the rafeet, but he could spare some time to see what other creature had need of him.

He followed the path, watching the bark of the trees, the grass, and the rushes underfoot for signs of the rafeet’s passing. There weren’t any now. The demon wouldn’t hunt on its own turf, and it would take care not to lead a hunter to its lair. 

It grew warmer as Rakurai walked, and the sun had passed its zenith when he topped a ridge overlooking a manor house set in a neat pattern of fields. The dwelling looked much like his own: three wings of rooms arranged around a courtyard, dark wooden beams on foundations of rough stone, with a veranda edging each wing, and shoji screens hiding the interior from view.

Servants passed back and forth, and Rakurai saw people tending the fields. He thought about approaching openly, like a traveller looking for a place to rest, but finally dismissed the idea. Instead, he slept the afternoon away, up on his ridge, then slid through the fields under cover of dusk, found a sheltered spot beside the house, and waited for full darkness.

The statue in the courtyard had drawn him here, he realised as he came closer. Shaped like a tall man with long flowing hair, it stood on a plinth surrounded by water. The artist had caught each swirl of robes and hair with precision, as if the figure walked in a light breeze and was just about to take the next step. It was an exceptional work, worthy of an emperor’s court, and Rakurai wondered who had stolen it, and why. 

He waited until a cloud dimmed the moonlight, then crossed the courtyard to get as close to the sculpture as he could.

The statue regarded him from glowing violet eyes, and the moment their gazes connected a voice, deep and commanding, rang in Rakurai’s mind.

Get me out of here!

Rakurai recoiled so hard he almost landed on his arse. He’d not had another’s voice in his mind since Naomi’s death and the sudden command—and command it had been—came as a shock. He wrapped himself in mist, hoping to hide his hasty movements, and heard a chuckle.

I can still see you, Yuvine.

I wasn’t hiding from you, Rakurai thought, using the same pathways he’d have used to talk to Naomi. It didn’t feel as strange as he’d expected.

You don’t need to try so hard, either. I’m not deaf.

What are you?

Can’t you tell? The sculpture shot back, its eyes flashing violet.

Only death gods, Shinigami, had violet eyes. Rakurai had never met a death god. Or thought that they stood frozen on plinths, surrounded by water.

And then it all came together.

A demon trap.

Yes. The voice held so much sorrow that tears gathered in the corners of Rakurai’s eyes. It caught me as I was returning from a soul collection.

Rakurai could fill in the rest for himself. If the Shinigami had gathered souls that had died in fear and pain, he’d have appeared like a walking banquet to the rafeet. It wants the souls.

It will not have them, the god said. Even if it keeps me trapped here for the rest of my years. Are you hunting the rafeet?

I am. 

Then you can help me escape this prison and we can defeat it together. 

Why would I do that?

Because if you try it alone, you will fail. This rafeet isn’t like the others.

Rakurai hesitated. It was common knowledge that Shinigami valued truth and honour above all other traits. Despite that, his teachers had warned him to mistrust the gods and never to do their bidding.

Help me out of this trap and I will grant you a boon of your choosing, the Shinigami offered as if he had heard Rakurai’s thoughts.

Rakurai stared into the glowing violet eyes and recalled the hint of mirth when the god had first spoken to him. Any being capable of mirth while caught in a rafeet’s trap deserved his respect and his help. He drew a deep breath. I am Yamakage Rakurai, hunter for the Custodia, he offered. And gathered all his courage. Will you honour me with your name?

The impression of a smile came to him first, comforting like a cool wash of summer rain on parched ground. Then the Shinigami’s chuckle sent shivers rippling over Rakurai’s skin. You are a brave man, Yamakage Rakurai, to trust me with your name. Such bravery shall not go unrewarded. Again, Rakurai felt the smile. My name is Tenzen.

 

 

About the Author 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website   |   Facebook group   |   Facebook page  

Twitter   |   Instagram   |   Newsletter Sign-up

TikTok   |   Patreon

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a

$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of choice from the author’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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