Book Title: Unholy (Witchbane #5)
Author: Morgan Brice
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.
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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.
Guest Post by Morgan Brice
Crossovers and Found Family
One of the things I have the most fun with as an author is the fact that all of my urban fantasy MM paranormal romance series written as Morgan Brice and all of my urban fantasy series written as Gail Z. Martin cross over with each other. It’s one big shared universe, characters show up in each other’s books, sometimes in cameos, sometimes as major players. For me, that’s very realistic, because I would think that hunting monsters would be a fairly small group of people and they’d cross paths and know each other.
In Unholy, the fifth book in my Witchbane series, Seth and Evan head to Charleston chasing one of the dark warlocks responsible for a series of ritual murders. Simon Kincaide, one of the main characters in the Badlands series, tells them to connect with his cousin Cassidy, who is also involved in stopping bad supernatural things from happening. (Simon just had his crossover with Cassidy in The Rising). Cassidy is the main character in my (Gail) series, Deadly Curiosities.
Every time the characters from different series meet, the reader gets to see them in a different light (and so do I). We get to see them from a stranger’s perspective, not from their own internal point of view. So we learn about the characters, see some different strengths and challenges, and watch how they interact with other people. That is a lot of fun for me, and I think it brings depth and realism to the characters.
I also love the idea of ‘found family’, family by choice and shared interest not by blood. For many of us, we fit in much better with the found family we create than the people who ended up technically related to us. So for Unholy, Seth began his quest to avenge his brother’s death alone. Then he met Milo and Toby who became his mentors (we meet them in Flame and Ash), falls in love with Evan, and later meets Travis and Brent (Dark Rivers), and then on to Simon and Cassidy and others. And as Seth’s found family grows, he realizes that he isn’t alone and doesn’t need to do this all himself. He has a reason to want to survive the quest. It changes everything for him, because other people help, support and care about him.
So for me, writing the crossover element in my books is one of my favorite things, because it expands the universe and the overall story, and most importantly, because it creates a network of friends that makes all the difference for the characters.
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!
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