Hello everyone! Can you believe September is almost over and summer with it? (I am not too sad about the loss of summer as I am a fall gal) Now we have fall and the holiday seasons setting in. Beautiful colors, cooler weather and lots of festivals and holidays. For October I am celebrating with a Supe Octoberfest Extravaganza of my own right here in the comfort of your living room. Be sure to read to the bottom for a fabulous giveaway!
Though it isn’t quite October we will start off with Alice Renaud telling us about magic and her story The Sweetest magic of All in the Mystic Desire anthology. Hello Alice! Take it away.
How does one learn to do magic? Is it like learning to walk – something we do almost by instinct? Or is it more like learning to read – slowly, bit by bit, with a lot of tuition? Or maybe it’s a combination of the two, like learning to swim.
Looking at stories and films, there are two ways to learn magic. One is through formal schooling. Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts (and wouldn’t we all love to be taught by the likes of Maggie Smith and the late, great Alan Rickman?) Before him, Ged (Sparrowhawk) goes to wizard university in Ursula Le Guin’s marvellous Earthsea tales. There’s also Terry Pratchett’s bonkers Unseen Academy, where wizards are busy eating and messing things up when they’re not trying to kill each other.
The other, more low-key, route, is apprenticeship, where a young would-be wizard or witch, is taught by a single master (or mistress). Merlin teaches Vivian on a one to one basis… which leads to him falling in love with her… then she steals all his secrets and imprisons him in an invisible prison of air, the ungrateful cow. The theme of the sorcerer’s apprentice is a popular one, remember Mickey in Fantasia? Magic is dangerous, you have to study it the right way, if you don’t want to end up like Mickey, attacked by stroppy dancing brooms.
Historically, that was certainly how magic used to be taught. Because there was a time when witches were very real. People believed in them. In the Middle Ages magic was legal, as long as you didn’t use it to do harm. Even priests dabbled in magic, to help their parishioners. The Bible was believed to have powerful magical properties. It’s only in the seventeenth century that all witchcraft was banned – mainly because King James didn’t like witches.
In my story The Sweetest Magic of All, Sapphire is an apprentice witch who is struggling with a spell, until warlock Aaron turns up to show her how it’s done. Together they travel back to what I think is the golden age of witchcraft, the seventeenth century. Aaron teaches Sapphire more than spells, he teaches her physical pleasure, and love – the greatest magic of all. Like Merlin, he falls in love with his apprentice, but fortunately their story has a happier ending!
Title: The Sweetest Magic of All
Series: Mystic Desire anthology
Author: Alice Renaud
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions
Release date: 1 October
Cover Artist: Jessica Greeley
Genre: Supernatural Romance
Pages: about 20 – the whole anthology is 402 pages
Blurb: Mystic Desire is a collection of brand new supernatural romance stories by award-winning BVS authors!
The Sweetest Magic of All by Alice Renaud: When a sexy apprentice witch and a hot warlock go back in time to locate a magical amulet, they find more than they bargained for. It’s May Eve, the most magical night of the year, and normal rules don’t apply…
An Awareness of Evil – Dee S. Knight Only two things stand between evil and a small girl: the visions of Amanda McMasters and Detective Brendan Gilchrist. Neither can afford to be wrong.
Bewitching the Wolf – Zia Westfield The Witch, Alice Humphreys, has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience the fantasy vacation of their dreams! Brodie MacEwan has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expected to discover his soul mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? Alice knows that there is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t!
Calling All Angels – Lora Logan Elijah Baker, an immortal tasked with fighting against demons that exist on earth, finds peace when he meets his new neighbor, Celeste. But when he realizes that their love comes with a cost, he is faced with choosing between his calling and a chance at true love.
Dream Catcher – Callie Carmen Long ago, a medicine man had made a matched set of dream catchers as a wedding gift to protect the Chief’s daughter and her warrior husband. He had called upon the benevolent spirits to keep the two soul mates safe and in a loving, healthy marriage. It was foretold that if the two dream catchers were ever divided the new owners would be drawn together as soul mates. Was that possible?
Excerpt: (Heat Rating(pg-R)
Saffy knelt on the grass and opened the book of spells. Book was a strong word for the worn diary in which Auntie May had recorded her enchantments, but all witches had books of spells. So she’d call it a book, just as she called herself a witch.
Though she was only an apprentice. A chill crept over her skin, as if a shadow had blotted out the summer sun. She stared hard at the spidery handwriting, but all she could see was the thin body of her aunt, almost swallowed up by the tubes and machines that were keeping her alive. Only one thing could help her now, the magical amulet that she’d once worn around her neck. The amulet had vanished a week ago, on the day she’d had a stroke, and they’d rushed her to the hospital in Swansea. No one had been able to find it since.
Cold enveloped Saffy and seeped into her limbs. The amulet was her aunt’s last hope. She had to find it. Now.
She took a deep breath. The familiar smells of the seaside meadow streamed into her nose, pushing back the icy fear that dug its claws into her flesh. Salt on the wind. Wildflowers. Good, rich earth, softened by the morning dew. “I can do this,” she said.
She placed the book on the grass and waved her hands above it, the way her aunt had shown her. Auntie May had made magic look so easy. Saffy had never managed to cast a spell on her own, but today she had to try, and succeed. She kept breathing, in and out, to keep herself calm. The spell to find lost objects was supposed to be easy. And this meadow was a special place, where the ancient magic of the world flowed fast and strong. Surely the spell would succeed here.
Saffy laid her hands in the grass, on either side of the yellowed pages. A ladybird landed on her index finger and walked down onto the book, as if to encourage her. She concentrated. All her life seemed to pour into the breath she was taking… into her tongue as it formed the words.
“Bound and binding
See the sight
Hear the sound
What was lost
Now is found.”
She closed her eyes and waited for the vision that would show her where the lost amulet was. All she saw was the red light of the sun, shining through her lids. She opened her eyes. There was only the meadow, frothy with oxeye daisies, and the turquoise dome of the sky. A perfect midsummer day, mocking her and her pathetic attempts at magic. Bitter dismay surged, burning her throat and the back of her eyes. She let out a strangled cry. “Fuck and triple fuck!”
“What have you lost?”
The male voice, behind her, made her jump. She turned. A man, wrapped in a black coat, was staring at her, just a few feet away. A warm tide of embarrassment rose from her neck to her cheeks. He must have heard her say the spell. He’d think she was nuts.
Meet Alice Renaud
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is on pre order now. Alice has also written a short story, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” included in the BVS “Mystic Desire” anthology, on pre order now.
Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested.
You can stalk Alice here:
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B
More from Alice Renaud
A Merman’s Choice, Book 1 in the Sea of Love series: https://amzn.to/2QglyeI
Mermen are forbidden from marrying humans. When Yann falls in love with Alex, he faces the most difficult choice of his life. A hot and tender forbidden love story between a shape shifting merman and a young woman, set in a mysterious island off the coast of Wales.
Music for a Merman, Book 2 in the Sea of Love series, on pre order now, release date 1 November: https://amzn.to/2ZkU5wR Rob Regor knew that humans were trouble. All the shape shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands knew it. And human women were double trouble… especially when they were lying on the road in front of a digger.
Can Rob, merman and rookie cop, fight his attraction to the sexy eco-warrior Charlie? OF COURSE HE CAN’T!
Can Charlie open up her heart to Rob – when a secret buried in her past surfaces and changes her completely.
Do you believe in Magic? What are some of your favorite books or movies about Magic?
And now for the giveaway. Alice is giving away a free digital copy of her new release Music for a Merman, a sexy shifter/fated-mates/cop-protester romance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grand prIze package Personalized bookbag by Cathy Brockman $20 Amazon Card from Shannon Nemechek 10 dollar card Tara Lain and SJ York Print book by Belle Scarlett, Kate Hill, Macy Blake, B a Tortuga Signed books by Kryssie Fortune Gabrielle Faust ebook of Titania Acedemy by Samaire Provost Individual prizes (19) $5 Amazon Cards--Trevann Rogers Christna Lynn Lambert Misty Harvy Meredith Bond V.L.Locey Stacy Turner Danita Mannis Arc by Shannon Nemechek Audio book By Leona Bushman Halloween Necklace fromKatherine Eddinger Smits Pendulum from Judi Pillips Scary Soap Gift Basket From Wednesday Lee Friday Ebooks from Rick R, Reed, Flossie Benton Rogers, Brenda Sparks, Sean Michael, Samaire Provost (2)Alice Renaud That's a total of 20 winners! Good luck!