First, a big thanks to Wendy and LT for inviting me to stop by today. "Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies. Oh my!” is right! But how can you pick just one to love? Those are three of my favorite preternatural species. Add gargoyles and dragons and I’m a happy reader. And writer.
When I first developed the idea of the Penumbra Papers, I didn’t want to limit the series to just one “critter.” I knew my FBI agent, Sade Marquis, would be human but I wanted her to interact with all those fantastic creatures inhabiting the magical realms. I have nine books planned for the series, and more if my readers want. *waggles eyebrows*
Of course, when I decided on including so many “magicks,” that led to a great deal of world-building since each magical race needed their own mythos—and own book. For me, though, the world-building is icing on the cake. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing.
The first novel in the series, SEASON OF THE WITCH, takes place in Chicago and involves politics, an ancient evil, and a vampire wrongly accused of murder. Sade is called in to investigate and is embroiled in far more than just the case. That vampire? His name is Kristian “Sinjen” St. John and he was once a Templar Knight. The intrepid FBI agent has her hands full.
SEASON OF THE WITCH releases on Halloween. But if you want to learn about the main characters and get an introduction to the world of the Penumbra Papers, THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC is the prequel novella, available now in all digital formats. This is strictly Urban Fantasy, though the men are sexy. The romance starts with the novels and trust me, there’s some hot stuff going on with the magicks. Besides Sade, THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC introduces you to Caleb Jones, werewolf and Sade’s foster brother and FBI partner; Ariel, faerie courtier and dubbed the King’s Seducer; Roman, gargoyle Sentinel; and Nikos Constantine, Drakon of the Kholikikos Clan of dragons. Set in New Orleans, it’s a fun romp through the dark side of the French Quarter.
Just for fun, and as a Halloween treat, one commenter will win a copy of THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC in the digital format of their choice. So what magical race is your favorite?
Blurb: Welcome to the world of the Penumbra Papers where things go bump in the night.
Meet Special Agent Sade Marquis–a human FBI agent with an X-Files mentality. It’s her job to deal with all the monsters–under the bed and in it.
Along with her FBI partner—and werewolf best friend—Caleb Jones, Sade is sent to New Orleans to investigate the murders of several high-ranking magicks. The Big Easy is neutral territory so Sade must find and arrest the culprit before war breaks out between the Realms. Things look up when the gargoyle Sentinel, Roman, a permanent fixture in Sade’s childhood, arrives to keep the peace. Maybe.
The investigation is hampered by Sade’s faerie nemesis, Ariel—the King’s Seducer. Oh, and then there’s the new dragon in town, Nikolas Constantine. Sade can’t decide whether to arrest his ass or admire it.
When guilt and innocence come to play in the French Quarter, it’ll take Sade’s brand of crazy to sort it all out.
“I did what I had to do, Sade.”
“To keep me safe? Right? That’s your excuse?” She pivoted on her heel and stormed away. After ten feet, she whirled and marched back.
Her hands were clenched into fists and her bottle green eyes glinted like broken glass under the noonday sun. It was all Ariel could do to keep from reaching for her. He loved seeing her angry, with those flashing eyes and heightened color. She was so full of…humanity when she was like this. Alive and real and he wanted her with an aching so divine it took his breath away.
The growl behind him raised the hair on the back of his neck. Caleb. The damn wolf was never far from her side. He couldn’t retreat, caught as he was between the two of them.
“Sade, that homicide detective wants to talk to you.” Caleb didn’t give her a chance to argue. “Now.”
She read something in his expression that had her detouring around Ariel and striding around the corner headed back to the cemetery’s front gate.
“Back off, Jones.”
“The hell I will, you glittering sonavabitch.”
Ariel almost laughed. For the first time that he could remember, Caleb Jones sounded as crude as most of his brethren. The werewolf had been raised with Sade in the house of Mathias DeVries, master vampire and head of the vampire council. Sade had the foul mouth and wretched manners. Caleb worked hard to keep his animal side at bay.
“Jealous?” Ariel arched a brow to punctuate the superior smirk splashed on his face.
“Of you?” Caleb’s laughter exploded in a harsh bark. “Not hardly.”
“Fair notice, wolf. I will win her.”
Caleb rolled his eyes. “Yeah, good luck with that.”
“Do you believe she loves you so much?”
“I know she does. But see? Here’s the difference, fae. I love her back. You aren’t capable of loving anyone but yourself.”
“She’s still a virgin.”
“And your point is?”
“Why have you not bedded her, Jones?”
“Why have you been so convinced I had all these years?” Caleb grinned, his lips stretching enough to flash his canines. “I could smell your jealousy this morning, Ariel. You reeked of it.” He tilted his face skyward, sniffed, and smirked. “Still do.”
“You have shared her bed.”
“Yep. Sure have. Enjoyed every minute of it.”
Ariel’s hands curled and uncurled, the gesture an unconscious indication of his inner turmoil. He forced his face to smooth into a bland expression. Caleb baited him. Nothing more.
“And yet you have not…how would your kind put it? Fucked her.”
“And what would you fuckin’ fae call it, Ariel? Would you make love to her? Is that what your seduction was all about? She was fifteen when you first showed up. She didn’t even have a driver’s license yet. Wasn’t legal by mundane standards. She’s not like us. She’s human, Ariel. Why can’t you get that through all the damn glitter you call a brain? You only showed up because the goddamned king ordered you to stick your dick in her pussy.”
Ariel bristled. “And so you show your true colors, wolf. That’s what you would do to her. You would take her like the animal you are.”
Caleb shook his head, the expression in his eyes reflecting sadness. “And that’s what you just don’t get about them, Ariel. What you will never understand. It’s all about the sex for you. Humans are all about feelings. And until you figure that out, you’ll never have a chance with Sade.”
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AUTHOR BIO: Silver James likes to take walks on the dark side and coffee. Okay. She loves coffee. LOTS of coffee. Warning: Her Muse, Iffy, runs with scissors and can be quite dangerous. She’s the author of the best-selling Moonstruck series and new urban fantasy series, The Penumbra Papers. She's been a military officer's wife, mother, state appellate court marshal, airport rescue firefighter and forensic fire photographer, crime analyst, technical crime scene investigator, and writer of magic and mystery. Now retired from the “real world,” she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days at the computer with two Newfoundland dogs, the cat who rules them all, and myriad characters all clamoring for attention. She writes dark paranormal thrillers, time travel romance, and light contemporary with a kiss of suspense. To find out more about Silver, visit her at Website, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her infrequent tweets at @SilverJames_.