Spotlight & Review: MEMORIES OF MAGIC (Fay of Skye #3) by Cara McKinnon

Once I fell in love with the Fay of Skye series, I could no longer claim to dislike romance, historical romance, or paranormal romance. But I definitely fell in love with this series because of the incredible twist McKinnon puts on her tales, setting them in an alternate universe and focusing on both diversity and strong characters.

Today I’m pleased to present the newest installment on its release date. Memories of Magic is my favorite of the series yet!


memories of magicABOUT THE BOOK

Her visions could save English magic…if he can teach her to control them.

Olivia Seward never developed the magic of her elder siblings, but now she’s plagued by visions of the past. Etta, Duchess of Fay, asks her to use those visions to discover the source of the drain on English magic. Unfortunately, the visions draw too deeply from Olivia, leaving her weak and vulnerable.

Savitendra Reilly, a half-Indian, half-Irish historian, is hired by the duchess to research the origins of the Aegis Spell, but it is the magic of his birthplace that Olivia needs to learn to control her visions.

The only problem: Savit is an ascetic, performing magic by honing his mind and ignoring the needs of the flesh. Olivia is a hedonist, and accesses her power through pleasure. And every time they do magic together, Savit’s desire for her grows.

If he succumbs to their mutual passion, he believes won’t be able to protect her from the ravages of her unpredictable gift. But Olivia is convinced the only way to access the truth of the past is to immerse themselves in each other–sharing bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.

Amazon


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novel prior to publication. I fully intend to purchase a hardcopy version of the book to add to my collection of this series.

Often, fantasy-romance novels (or romantic fantasy novels) are romance novels with a dash of the magical or fantasy novels with a more-or-less strong romance subplot. Memories of Magic blends genres seamlessly by using the relationship, including the sexual aspect, between the two main characters as a basis for the magic without ever crossing that thin line into straight-up “sex magic” for the sake of titillation.  Continue reading

Blog Tour: CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE

crazy-little-spring-called-love updatedThe authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.

About the book:

This delightful fantasy romance anthology features eight magical stories inspired by the awakenings and renewal of springtime. If you like fairies, djinn, gods and goddesses, druids, mermaids, magic, and true love, then this is the anthology for you.


What Prompted your Element “X”–Mermaids, Djinn, Fairies, etc? Continue reading

Cover Reveal: CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE

Crazy Little Spring Called LoveI’m pleased to be part of the cover reveal for an upcoming fantasy-romance anthology called Crazy Little Spring Called Love from Stars and Stone Books, featuring so many lovely authors that I know! It will be released May 3, and is available for preorder from Amazon!

Includes stories by Heather Bythesea, Elsa Carruthers, M.T. DeSantis, Traci Douglass, L.J. Longo, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, and Mary Rogers.

Check out short teasers from selected stories after the jump! Continue reading

Review: A THEFT OF MAGIC (Fay of Skye #2) by Cara McKinnon

theft-of-magicDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend, and the two of us have worked together to help promote each other’s work as nontraditional authors. I won a hardcopy version of this novel from the author in a random giveaway drawing during a social media launch event. I would absolutely have purchased this novel anyway.


Romantic fantasy is not my usual cup of tea, but McKinnon hits it out of the park once again with this delightful blend of alternate history, historical fiction, action, and sensuality. This novel focuses on another member of a magical family set during Queen Victoria’s reign in a world inhabited by magic. At first glance, Sorcha is a stereotypical fantasy heroine, a loner Scotswoman with a talent for visions, while Ronan embodies the cliche Irish rogue. However, McKinnon’s talent for world-building also extends to character building, and Sorcha and Ronan’s relationship, set in the larger framework of missing magical artifacts, set in the even larger “Fay of Skye” series framework of disappearing magic, is an exciting magical romp from start to finish.

Continue reading

Guest Post: Cara McKinnon on Alternate History

theft-of-magic

I’m pleased to host author Cara McKinnon today for a discussion on alternate history. And it’s a special occasion! Today marks the release date of the second novel in her Fay of Skye series, A Theft of Magic.

I’m a huge fan of the alternate history version of Victorian England McKinnon has created, as evidenced by my 5-star review of book 1, Essential Magic. I can’t wait to read this next installment of the series to see where McKinnon takes her world next!


Alternate History: One Alteration Changes Everything. Or Does It?

When writing any sort of speculative fiction, the accepted wisdom is that you get a single “buy in” for your world-building. Maybe time travel works, or FTL travel is a thing. You don’t need to explain it (unless you want to). Your audience will accept that change from the world as they know it. The more you add to your world after that, the more you will need to elucidate. Continue reading

Review: ESSENTIAL MAGIC (Fay of Skye #1) by Cara McKinnon

essential magic

Disclaimer: The author and I attended the same graduate school program and participate in group promotional tours for our books. However, I purchased my hardcopy version of this novel for full price.

For a person who doesn’t claim to be a “romance book” reader, I seem to keep lucking out with some amazing speculative fiction romances. In this case, I enjoyed a lovely historical fantasy romance (or is that a historical romance fantasy?) that takes place in an alternate version of Victorian England. Magic is both real and expected in this world, and our heroine has returned to her English roots to find training for her supernatural gifts. Continue reading

STEEL MAGIC Release Day and Blog Tour, Stop 4: After “The End”

_Steel Magic-Jacket.indd

It’s finally book release day! The Steel Empires series now has two books, making it officially a series!

I know I’ve been spamming it a lot, but here’s the link to purchase your print or ebook copy of Steel Magic, just in case you’re new to my little corner of the internet. If you are, welcome! Help yourself to tea and don’t mind the cats loudly demanding attention.

I’m also pleased to announce today’s stop on the blog tour. I visited fantasy author Cara McKinnon and shared the step-by-step process that I go through for revising my books: So You’ve Finished Your Novel. What Next? I hope that this is a handy guide for all writers, regardless of whether you have any sort of additional editing experience.

I’m planning a celebratory dinner with my writing group tonight (well, treating myself to ice cream at our usual Wednesday-night writing spot), but alas, the work doesn’t stop. I’m currently on step 7 of my revision process for book 3, and if all goes well, we’ll be right back here in a year to celebrate the publication of Steel Blood!

excited

Guest Post: Why (Camp) NaNo? by Cara McKinnon

Today I’m hosting author Cara McKinnon as she goes walkabout on the Internet in honor of her new release, Essential Magic. As a veteran of both NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m eager to hear her thoughts on the subject!


nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo has become quite a monolithic movement in online writing circles. Not everyone loves it, and that’s OK. The first rule of writing is that you need to do what works for you – find your own process, your own pace. And NaNo is a heck of a pace.
But I love it. I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2001. I haven’t always “won” (made it to 50,000 words in a month), but I’ve completed several projects or first drafts in the month of November over the years. My current release started as my NaNo book in 2015. I actually thought I was going to write the sequel to an earlier novel, but when I sat down to write on November 1st, Etta Mae Cook walked into my head and onto the page. And now she’s headed out into the world in Essential Magic. Continue reading