All posts by Victoria

Cursed Magic – Relic Guardians Book Three

Cursed Magic, Book Three is the Relic Guardian series is now available 🙂

What would you pay for the key to death?

Zoe and Jamie are in a race against time to recover Pandora’s Box before the unthinkable happens; it is sold to the highest bidder, and the apocalypse within is unleashed upon the world.

Zoe is furious to learn that Jamie Oxford has stolen Pandora’s Box, which she has only just recovered for safekeeping, from under MI5’s nose… and lost it. Determined to make him redeem himself for his mistake, she drags him across the world to track it down in the hands of the infamous Magicai Cleo and her team. They have an inside man, an Ordinary, clueless of the danger he is in; can he help them reach the box in time, without risking his own life?

As they struggle to keep up with Cleo and her shady business deals to sell the box for a fortune, a terrifying demonstration of the box’s power shows just how great the peril is. The stakes could not be higher, but Zoe and Jamie are too distracted by their own bickering to work effectively. Their chance to reclaim it is slipping away.

Can Zoe and Jamie avert humanity’s destruction and recover Pandora’s Box before it disappears forever?

***

Excerpt:

My long overdue study of translation runes and the power of tongues over the past month had paid off. Using my spells, I could decipher every word on Pandora’s Box, or rather, the copy of them I had taken.

I might have been inside the most secure archives in England, deep within the London Magicai Library, where few were permitted to tread, but it would have been more than foolish – catastrophic, even – to bring Pandora’s Box through the heart of the city. It was secure, where it belonged, at the Great British History Museum.

The tension in my stomach did not ease, however.

No, it brought me no joy to translate these glyphs. My skin was cold as I read them, though it was warm – stiflingly so – down here. They foretold doom, should the box ever be opened: plagues upon the world of sickness and ravages against all good and whole until the earth lay in ruin and wreck.

Thank goodness I‘d gotten to it in time. Thank goodness I’d recovered it before it had opened. Thank goodness I’d been able to stop it. I hated to think anything might be locked away from the world, never to be seen again, but if ever an object deserved to be hidden away for all time, it was Pandora’s Box.

I remembered how it felt to hold it in my hands, as if the malevolence inside leeched out and bleached the life from me, poisoning me.

I shuddered. I was really glad the box was no longer in my care, to say the least. I knew as I sat there researching it, my boss, Duncan, would be placing it under wards beyond my knowledge that would keep it safe, secure, and most importantly, unopened.

At least, I thought he would be, but at that moment, my phone rang and his name flashed on the screen. I answered the call within a second; as much to silence the loud ringtone in the silent archives as to find out why he called.

“Duncan?”

“Zoe. I need you back here now.”

“What’s up?” I said, startled by the shaking of his voice. Not fear, not upset, but anger it seemed.

“We have a problem – a huge problem.”

Icy fear plunged through me. “The box. It’s not..?” I breathed. I didn’t dare say it. Open.

“No,” he said quickly, and a huff of relief escaped me. “Not open. Not yet. But it’s in danger.”

“I’m on my way.”

***

Cursed Magic is currently available on AMAZON, you can check out all the books in the Relic Guardians series on its series page 🙂

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Glimpses

Glimpses is a FREE collection of 16 short fantasy  stories.

Each story gives a glimpse into a fantasy world and also acts as an introduction to that author’s writing – you never know, you might find your next favourite author here.

Stolen Magic, a short story set with the Relic Guardians series, and features a new character, Nathan Scott. It is available exclusive to this set, so check out an excerpt below and grab your FREE copy 🙂

***

Excerpt:

I’m a city guy, born and raised, but I’d seen more than my fair share of the world. My home was in the heart of Camden, a stone’s throw from the Regent’s Canal, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of London life. If my roots lay anywhere, it was there. Where the streets are lined with urban street art, and a punk mentality permeates the air, along with the appetising smells and constant cawing of traders in Camden market. A far cry from my current surroundings.

The wind screamed as a sand storm shrouded the sky and turned day into night. The once calm waters of the Nile rose in towering crests. Sand, wind, and an icy spray battered my fishing boat and tossed it around like flotsam.

My heart pounded and my skin felt stripped raw. I checked my bearings and steered the boat starboard. I had to be close, but the forbidding storm had consumed sky, land, and water with a sandy blizzard. The boat juddered to a halt and sent me tumbling to the deck. At last, I’d run aground.

A sensible man would have hunkered down, ridden out the storm, but no-one had ever called me sensible, and besides, I was one of the Magicai. Whether reckless behaviour came with magical powers, or it was just part of my innate nature, who was to say, but one thing was for sure, I had an advantage over most men in this cruel environment. Ordinaries, we called them, people with no magical power. Most of whom lived their lives unaware of the magic around them.

I clutched at the rune stone on a leather cord at my neck. It thrummed, acting like a conduit and drawing on the energy of the ley lines to infuse me with magic. The Eye of Horus, etched in the stone, flashed as I called upon its power to shield me from the worst of the elements and guide me through the storm.  

I spat out the sand lodged in my mouth and launched myself into the onslaught. Protected by a magical shield, the sand no longer flayed my skin, and the incessant roar of wind was a murmur.

I trudged over the inhospitable terrain, following the pull of my rune stone. The power calling me intensified as I neared the convergence of ley lines: a potent beacon of energy in the distance. After a while, the sand blew away, the winds abated, and the storm cleared. I dropped my shield as the remains of an ancient city rose before me. The Nubian Pyramids of Meroë.

My path wound between the dunes and through the crypt-quiet city. Neither man nor beast moved around me, not even a scorpion scuttled along the sand. The only sign of the once raging storm was a deathly stillness to the air.

My throat was as dry as the desert. The sun beat down from a clear sky, stabbing me with spears of heat and covering the landscape in a haze that blurred my vision. I pulled a canteen from my backpack and savoured the water as it moistened my mouth and slid down my throat.

With my senses on high alert, I approached the final structure and stood in the doorway of the weather-worn pyramid. Something moved inside. A glimmer of light burned like liquid fire. I took a deep breath, ducked beneath an overhanging beam, and entered.

The heat followed me inside, where stale air clogged my lungs and hieroglyphics lined the walls. I wiped the sweat from my brow and slid between a narrow opening. A dark figure moved in front of me, silhouetted like a shadow in the gloom. It reached towards me, its hand outstretched, beckoning me forward.

I entered the chamber and a tall man with green eyes and a turban covering his head towered over me. “It is good to see you, Nathan,” Skylar said. “Although I must say, you took your time.”

“Give me a break.” I sat on a rock and took another swig from my canteen. “It’s not easy to travel over five thousand miles. Not to mention, having to navigate through a deadly sandstorm.”

In ancient times, the Egyptians believed the Nile was a supernatural source, a place from the netherworld that crossed the boundaries between worlds. In many ways they were right. Hidden at the points where ley lines converged, doorways to alternate realities existed. The Pyramids of Meroë, like many ancient landmarks, were built on such a convergence.

Every Magicai knew the source of their power, but not every Magicai knew the secret of the doorways. I was one of the Travellers, and like my father before me, I crossed between worlds, exploring different realities. I’d only just arrived back in London, after an otherworldly expedition, when Skylar had entered my world from his and sent a magical summons.

“The storm has passed,” Skylar said. “We must make haste.”

“Now, wait a minute.” I shook my canteen to release the last drop of water into my mouth. “What’s so important that you travel across realities and summon me to Sudan?”

Skylar heaved an exaggerated sigh, but he sat down beside me and handed me his canteen. “The Kushite Stone has been stolen from my world.”

I thought for a minute, relaying the history of the area through my head. “Nope,” I said. “Never heard of it.”

“It is a relic of my world, not yours. Created during the Great War, when Rome pushed forth and tried to conquer the known world.”

That was the big difference between Skylar’s world and my own. Firstly, the Great War referred to a war in a different time and place. Secondly, where Egypt succumbed to the Romans in my world, and the Nubian empire faded and disappeared along with their trade routes, in Skylar’s, the Romans were defeated and the Nubian empire flourished to his present day.

“What makes you think it’s here?” I asked.

Skylar flashed me the signet ring on his finger, a conduit for his magic as much as my runic stone is for mine. “I know it is,” he said. “Arin, a Magicai of great power, has travelled between worlds in the hope of finding the sister to the Kushite Stone. In doing so, he hopes to create a powerful artefact that can help him enslave both our realities.”

I winced. Magical artefacts should never be joined with their counterparts in other worlds. The results would be… well, I wouldn’t want to be around to find out. Suffice to say, big bad magic equals big bad danger.  

“That’s not good,” I said.

“No, it is not.” Skylar stood. “So you understand the urgency. Arin has two days head start on us. His lack of knowledge of your world may hinder his process, but he must not succeed.”

***

Glimpses is available for FREE for a short time only, so grab your copy now!

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Hidden Magic – Relic Guardians Book Two

Hidden Magic the second book in the Relic Guardians series co-written with Meg Cowley is now available!

One little stone holds the key to multiple realities… and their survival.

On secondment from the British Archaeological Museum, curator Hayley Bevan is in New York cataloguing the exciting discoveries from an ancient Buddhist temple. But beneath the ordinary exterior of the world, there’s a magical underground operating on the fringes of society, and Hayley is about to discover more than she bargained for.

One impulsive act catapults Hayley out of her ordinary world and into one full of danger, wish fulfilling stones, and doorways to alternate realities.

Can Hayley find her place is the world of magic, or will she fall victim to a ruthless killer hell bent on getting what he wants?

***

Excerpt:

I gripped the door handle as the cabbie tore around the corner and joined the thundering traffic on Grand Central Parkway. Blankets of dark cloud released a torrential load that pounded on the roof of the taxi and obscured my view through the window.

If I wiped away the condensation from my breath on the glass and squinted through the droplets, I could just make out the strobe lights of aircraft overhead. “How much longer?” I asked the driver.

“Twenty minutes, if we’re lucky.” He smiled at me in the mirror before returning his attention to the road.

I looked at my phone. Twenty past five. Great. This day had barely started, but it kept getting better and better. First, no wake-up call, and then no pickup. Instead of experiencing the comfort of the museum’s Audi A4, I sat on a spongy seat, pinned by a seat belt that kept tightening itself around my chest, and endured the lingering stench of sweat, Thai food, and banana air freshener.

Stress tightened my chest. I fought the urge to nibble my fingers and glanced at the time again. Damn it! I smoothed the creases out of my forehead, took a deep breath and dialled Ben’s number for the umpteenth time.

For a heartbeat, I thought he might answer, but no; I went through to voicemail. “Hi, Ben,” I said. “It’s Hayley. Again. I’m not sure if you’re still asleep. I tried banging on your door, but couldn’t wait any longer. I’m on my way to meet the shipment. The museum car was a no show, so I grabbed a taxi. Hopefully, I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Call me as soon as you get this message, okay?”

After an eternity, the rain eased and we left the densely-populated area of Queens, only to be greeted by the immense expanse of JFK.

“Which cargo area did you say again?” the cabbie asked.

“Area A.” I pulled the paperwork from my satchel to check the details. “Hanger 19b.” I delved in deeper and emerged a few seconds later with my temporary ID from the New York Museum of Life and Antiquities, along with my ID for the British Archaeological Museum, which enabled us to pass through the security checkpoint with the minimal of fuss.

Now that we had arrived, I was practically jumping out of my seat to see the cargo. I’d only just heard of the Kailash exhibition in Tibet —  no surprise, it was kept under tight wraps given the sacred beliefs surrounding the site —  but it was being heralded as a complete success; at least within the confines of the museum. My job was to catalogue the finds and manage their future preservation.

Hangar 19b stood secluded at the end of a quiet road. As soon as the car came to a stop, I thanked the cabbie, paid the fare, and scrambled outside. The smell of jet fuel mingled with the oil-slick stench of water from the surrounding Bergen Basin hit me like a wall.

The Taxi driver rolled down his window. “Hey, lady,” he shouted over the sound of an aeroplane taking off. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. You sure this is the right place?”

I took another look at the paperwork in my bag, and then at the large building surrounded by a chain-link fence. “That’s what the paperwork says.”

The cabbie looked at me as though I was from another planet. Although, being a British woman in New York, that might not have been far from the truth. “I’ll stick around for a bit, make sure you get in safely,” he said after a moment.

I nodded my thanks, then proceeded towards the building. The gate was open, so I slipped inside, moving through the vast, empty courtyard and scanning the area for any sign of movement. The sound of aircraft overwhelmed any other noises, and the eerie darkness of the night was only punctuated by the glare from the taxi headlight reflecting on the rain-kissed tarmac.

I pulled my jacket tighter around me, but was unable to block out the cold air and the incessant thought that somebody would jump out and shoot me at any moment.

Now that the rain had stopped, I looked to the sky and wondered if the clouds would part and let the stars shine. Given the light pollution over New York, I doubted if the stars ever shone on the city. I sighed, frustrated with man’s obtrusive impact on nature, but then I realised part of the sky-glow was emanating from the far side of the hangar.

Somewhat reassured, I glanced over my shoulder and waved to the cabbie, then edged around the immense metal structure to the main doors. As soon as I did, my viewpoint on the world changed. I was definitely in the right place.

***

I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt 🙂 If so, you can check out the whole series on it’s AMAZON page.

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Alchemy and Arcana: An Urban Fantasy Novella Collection

Alchemy and Arcana is out today, and I am super excited to tell you that a second story in my Summer Daniels, Rune Witch Mysteries is available in the set, which is available for the introductory price of 99c!

To celebrate it’s release, here is a quick excerpt of A Magical Bond:

***

I squirmed beneath the duvet and opened my eyes to the bright morning sun blazing through the window and into the bedroom, then rolled to find Thomas staring at me.

“Good morning, sleepy head,” he said.

“Morning.” I took in the delicious form of the man stretched out beside me. Rays of light danced over his lithe body, twinkling on his firm, smooth skin and highlighting the sparkle in his eyes. Could there be a better sight to wake up to in the morning? The heat radiating through my body didn’t think so.

His strong hand brushed the hair from my shoulder and smoothed a gentle trail down my arm, sending a tingling sensation along my skin. My gaze travelled to his lips and I inhaled the fresh scent of apple shampoo that surrounded him. He leaned in close, a devilish light shining on his face, and damp hair flopping in his eyes. My heart thundered as his lips moved close to mine, but before they could touch, I whipped the sheet between us and giggled. “Not with my morning breath, Mister,” I said.

Thomas leaned back and propped his head on his elbow next to me. “Like that matters, Summer,” he said and pumped his eyebrows comically.

I jumped out of bed and ran to the en-suite. “Says the man who already showered,” I shot back.

Thomas growled in mock frustration.

Before I could reach the bathroom, his mobile rang on the bedside table. As I grabbed the toothpaste. I heard Thomas acknowledge Gwen, a witch friend, but the running tap drowned out the rest of the conversation when I brushed my teeth and washed my face.

Within minutes I was back in the bedroom. “What did Gwen want?” I asked.

“Oh, she wondered if we could pick her up some Alder and Rowan when we were out harvesting.”

Harvesting! It had slipped my mind that we were going to the forest today. Which completely does not sound like me. I’m normally champing at the bit to get there.

Although we try to visit at least once a week, with our busy schedules, we don’t always make it, and it had now been three weeks since our last visit. Trust me, that’s a lifetime to a rune-witch, who channels the magic of trees. I couldn’t wait for the ancient peace of the forest to wash over me and soothe my soul. I’d been so excited last night I’d had trouble sleeping.

“What time is it?” I asked Thomas and jumped on the bed beside him.

He looked at the mobile, “Ten-twenty,” he said.

“Ten-twenty.” I grabbed a pillow and knocked him over the head. “How could you let me sleep so late? We’ve got to go.”

Thomas flipped me onto my back, pinned me with his rock solid presence and traced kisses down my neck. “Well, maybe we have a little more time,” I said as his warm breath caressed my skin.

***

For the rest of this story, along with 21 more – some by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, check out Alchemy and Arcana!

 

Ancient Magic, Relic Guardians Book One

The Relic Guardians series is co-written with the talented Meg Cowley,

Meg’s books will follow Zoe Stark, a no nonsense witch and bounty hunter, and my books will follow Hayley Bevan, a museum curator, newly endowed with magical powers and caught up in a world she never knew existed. We will also have a few short stories following other characters in the series available for free – more details to follow 🙂

Ancient Magic, the first story in the Urban Fantasy series, Relic Guardians is available for pre-order at the introductory price of just 99c.

In Ancient Magic, you will meet Zoe Stark as she journeys to the jungles of Mexico to recover a lost Mayan artefact that could wreak death and devastation across the world.

Can she discover who the true enemy is in time to save the fabled Kukulkan Skull from being used for great evil?

Could Zoe be the skulls first victim?

Grab Ancient Magic, and Step into the Ley Line World to find out!

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Rebels & Runes: An Urban Fantasy Novella Collection

EDIT: Rebels & Runes is no longer available as a box set. However, the Rune Witch Mysteries, a new series based on my short story Magical Retribution will be out October 2017.

My Story, Magical Retribution is available in the Rebels & Runes Boxed set for a limited time only.

There’s always a price to pay with magic. The question is… who pays?

Summer Daniels had simple plans. A pizza, a movie, a quiet night at home with her boyfriend. But when a teenage girl is kidnapped, Summer doesn’t hesitate to use her magic to find her. No matter the cost.

Caught in the middle of a deadly plot, Summer will fight to avenge her lover and friend. With the threat of unknown magic, her only choice is to risk her own freedom and find the true face of her enemy.

Will Summer be able to bring down the kidnappers and rescue the girl? Or is there more to the case than meets the eye?

***

Rebels & Runes is no longer available as a box set, but Magical Retribution will soon be available as a stand alone story.

The Rebels & Runes boxed set contains an incredible 23 URBAN FANTASY STORIES, including works by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors!

Spell-binding tales of magic, malice, mayhem and madness can be found in this impressive assortment. If you enjoy stories about shape-shifting creatures, monsters, ghosts, wizards and witches, then this is the collection for you.

 

 

Fantasy Focus: The Tainted Crown by Meg Cowley

Today the spotlight is on Meg Cowley and The Books of Caledan:

The Tainted Crown: The First Book of Caledan

What is the price of kingship?

The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crime ill-fitting the beloved Prince Soren.

Now a fugitive roaming the wild, Soren has lost everything. He tries to reconcile his grief and determine how he can reclaim his throne when fate has left him with just one old man, but the odds are greatly against him. If no-one follows him, or believes his innocence, is he worthy to rule?

Across the kingdom, Soren’s cousin Eve takes matters into her own hands and journeys to the ethereal Eldarkind on his behalf, however this reveals her own inescapable fate. As she comes to terms with the gift and the curse of magic, Eve risks her life to help Soren.
Before the fragile peace shatters, can Soren reclaim the throne – and should he?

***

The Brooding Crown: The Second Book of Caledan

What is the line between good and evil?

Soren has defeated his usurping uncle and the semblance of peace has returned to Caledan, but surrounded by the twelve noble houses of Caledan, King Soren can trust few. In the shadows, treasonous thoughts grow. When news of Zaki’s presence in Roher reaches Soren, can he ally all of Caledan to his cause – and keep them?

Zaki has not given up on his plans to regain Caledan’s throne. First he must prove himself to Harad, the mighty king of Roher, but Zaki will stop at nothing to gain the support of Roher’s army, march on Caledan’s borders and take back the throne of the dragon kings.

War returns to Caledan, but a greater threat looms. The pact is broken. The Eldarkind are fading. The dragons war amongst themselves. A power too terrible to name grows in the North, and He seeks revenge. Only Eve stands in His way – but can she stop magic as old as time?

Return to Caledan for the fast paced sequel of The Tainted Crown, that fans of The Lord of the Rings, Inheritance Cycle and Books of Pellinor will love.

***

The Tainted Crown is available on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

The Brooding Crown is available for pre-order on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

But you can get a taste for the series by downloading a FREE copy of the Caledan Novelete, The First Crown, on Instafreebie.

***

If you’d like to learn more about Meg and her books, check out her WEBSITE.

You can also connect with Meg on FACEBOOK and TWITTER 

Happy Reading 🙂

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Join the February KU Challenge & Giveaway 1/2 – 28/2!

heart cookies in jar on wood background

Are you a Kindle Unlimited Member?

Join the February KU Challenge & Giveaway 1st – 28th February!

In celebration of the release of my new PNR, Lucas, I have teamed up with Love Kissed Book Bargains, and over 90 authors, who have come together to offer an awesome giveaway in an effort to find new readers!

Come meet your new favourite author. Read for FREE with KU. Even better, we’ve pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for reading and telling us what you liked.

Not a Kindle Unlimited Member? You can enjoy a 30 day trial membership.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Fantasy Focus: Her Dangerous Visions by Brandon Barr

Today, I’d like to tell you about the first book in the Song of the Worlds Saga by Brandon Barr:

Her Dangerous Visions

A fast-paced fantasy epic that stretches beyond the stars. Two women, two worlds, one epic destiny…

brandon-hdv

On the world of Hearth, Nightmares crawl out of the East to devour entire villages. A fire-blooded heiress named Meluscia seeks to destroy the threat plaguing her lands and become Luminess of the Blue Mountain Realm. Though she desires the throne, her heart is divided. Forbidden intimacy tempts her at every corner. With life in a state of chaos, she soon realizes that the hard choices before her will determine the fate of her world. Can she save her kingdom, or will all of Hearth be brought to its knees at the feet of a primordial Beast?

On the world of Loam, an ancient evil threatens to conquer the portals that exist on every world, and only a young farm woman named Winter is given the power to destroy it. Gifted as a Seer by the gods and tasked with a deadly mission beyond her world, Winter must first escape the cruel farmland she was raised on, even if it could spell death for those she loves.

Heart-pounding action, with rich, unforgettable characters—Song of the Worlds is the dramatic new fantasy saga for fans of Anne McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson. Begin the powerful new series today!

***

Her Dangerous Visions is available on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

brandon-ed

But you can get a taste for the series by downloading a FREE copy of the Prequel, Ella Dethroned, on Instafreebie.

 Here’s a short teaser:

Ella, the former ruler of the Blue Mountain Realm, must evade her pursuers and fulfil a mission given her by the gods.

But the relentless enemies at her back are not the only threat. An evil from beyond her world stalks her, for she carries a strange, otherworldly device, the purpose of which she does not know.

Her only aid is her sharp intelligence . . . that, and a devoted soldier named Rathan, who has sworn to protect her.

***

All the books in the Series are available through Brandon’s author page.

 Song of the Worlds Saga
Book 1 – Her Dangerous Visions
Book 2 – The Bridge Beyond Her World
Book 3 – Her Father’s Fugitive Throne

And the FREE Prequel – Ella Dethroned 

If you’d like to learn more about Brandon and his books, check out his WEBSITE and YOUTUBE CHANNEL

You can also connect with Brandon on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Happy Reading 🙂

 

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