Book Title: Flame and Ash (Witchbane #4)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: September 5, 2019
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal, MM romance
Trope/s: Second chance, established couple, hurt/comfort, monster hunting, supernatural creatures, magic, ghosts
Themes: Learning to trust, navigating a new relationship, sticking together when the going gets rough
Heat Rating: 4 flames
This time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.
Seth 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 new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer.
In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?
Flame and Ash is the third novel in the Witchbane series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
After all, Evan thought, what value do I bring to the situation? Six months of training had improved his skills, taught him a few more rote spells, and helped him understand more about the kinds of things that went bump in the night. Despite it all, Evan knew he had a long way to go before he could match Seth’s abilities, and he worried that he could be the weak link that cost Seth his life.
The trip from Pittsburgh to Boone would take most of the day, and while Evan offered to take a turn behind the wheel, he knew that Seth preferred to drive. When he wasn’t chasing down loose ends about the Boone situation on his computer, Evan planned to doze in the passenger seat, but dark dreams woke him more than once, earning him worried glances from Seth.
“Hey.” Seth’s voice roused Evan from his thoughts. “Whatever you’re thinking—let me in. Don’t keep it to yourself.”
“I just don’t want to let you down,” Evan admitted.
“You don’t know that.”
“I know that you’ve saved my ass more than once,” Seth replied. “And that was before we spent the last three months doing more training.” He reached out to take Evan’s hand. “I trust you. I believe in you. There’s no one I’d rather have beside me in a fight. And I love you.”
Evan’s throat tightened. “I love you, too. And I want to be here, doing this, with you. It’s just…I’m not really the action hero type.”
Seth chuckled. “And I am?”
“You were in the army. You’re a soldier. So, yeah.”
Seth sighed. “I went into the army to get away from a bad breakup. Not exactly the most noble reason. I did okay, I guess. I was lucky enough to come home. But I knew I wasn’t going to make a career out of it. Some guys, they get in, and they know that’s where they’re supposed to be. It becomes their home and family, like they were born for it.” He shook his head. “It was never that for me.”
“I made okay money, working at the bar.” Evan looked at the road instead of at Seth. “But something was always missing, you know? What I did didn’t really matter. This…” He gestured to mean the two of them, hunting, the search for the witch-disciples. “It makes a difference. Saves lives. Stops a hundred years of killing. It just seems like fate could have picked someone who was better prepared.”
Seth laid his hand on Evan’s thigh, solid and warm. “Hunting doesn’t work like that. You’ve talked to Travis and Brent and Mark. They didn’t train to be a hunter from the time they were kids. They lost people, and it changed them. And from that point on, they learned on the job,” Seth said. “Just like you.”
Evan managed a wan smile. “If this were a TV show, I’d want to skip to the finale, where we ride off into the sunset.”
“I wish we could,” Seth admitted. “But I’m afraid there’s no fast-forward on real life.”
Q&A with Morgan Brice on Flame and Ash
Q: Who are five characters from the book/series?
- Jesse Tanner—His death starts the plot. Younger brother of Seth, wants to make a video about a supposedly haunted bridge and maybe prank his friends. It all goes terribly wrong.
- Seth Tanner—Jesse’s older brother. Just came home from his time in the army. Figures that doing the video will be some fun time with his brother. When Jesse is killed by a dark witch, Seth’s life spirals out of control.
- Evan Malone—When he meets the sexy stranger while he’s tending bar, he figures it will be a fun night. He doesn’t expect Seth to save his life and for them to fall in love. Now they’re on the run together, hunting monsters.
- Milo Cornell—Milo was a cop before he became a hunter. He and his husband, Toby, become Seth’s mentors, teaching him how to kill monsters.
- Toby Cornell—Toby became a hunter after a rougarou killed his first husband, Ray. He became a hunter, and later met Milo, who stubbornly convinced him to take a second chance at love.
Q: How do you deal with using real places and historic figures?
A: The location of a book becomes a character to me, and I want it to influence the book to the point where the plot couldn’t happen the same way anywhere else. I also draw a lot from the location for ideas on local ghost stories, urban legends, haunted places, and other elements to root the story in that locale. I also try very hard to get the details right, because people live in those places and I don’t want them to get thrown out of the story. I sometimes also use historical figures, but I’m very careful to either use them very peripherally, or if they are a bad guy in the story, it’s based on something they were convicted of in real life.
Q: Talk a little about how your characters crossover among your series.
A: All of my urban fantasy series, written as either Gail Z. Martin or Morgan Brice, cross over with each other. The characters know each other, they help each other out on lore and hunting, they back each other up. That makes it so much for for me as a writer, and I’ve had a lot of readers say that they love the larger expanded universe.
Q: What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
A: They’re totally onboard. My kids grew up with me writing and are now adults (I’ve been published for a dozen years in epic and urban fantasy as Gail Z. Martin). I told them early on that writing helped pay for their education, so they took it upon themselves to hook their friends on the fantasy series, recommend me to other people, and help me at book signings. They all know how to work my table and pitch my books at an event. My husband is my first best editor, behind-the-scenes formatter, and on the fantasy side, co-author. It’s really sort of a cottage industry! Even our extended family read my books! And most of my friends are writers, so they get it.
Be sure to check out the LGBT Romance giveaway that I’m part of as one of the Featured Authors at GayRomLit (GRL) Retreat 2019! And if you’re going to GRL, make sure you come say hello! Here’s the link to the giveaway.
I’d also love to invite you to join my Worlds of Morgan Brice group on Facebook—it’s where I share cover reveals, talk about what I’m writing, show pictures that inspire the people and places, and do fun giveaways!
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.
Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands, Lucky Town, and The Rising, plus Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
I’ll be a Featured Author at GRL in October and also at Coastal Magic in February!
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