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The Scarab’s Curse by Craig Halloran

Once a respected wizard, Finster is now a drunkard and a con man living anonymously amongst simple, easily manipulated village folk. But his self-serving cunning cannot save him when soldiers of the Magus Supremeus of the High Order burst in to drag the disreputable mage to the dreaded Red Citadel.

Finster’s captor, the new Magus, is none other than Ingrid the Insane, his former acolyte, a young woman of cold heart and ruthless ambition who has already murdered numerous magic-doers in her quest for ultimate power. The only reason Finster still lives is Ingrid’s belief that he knows the whereabouts of the Founders Stone, a magical artifact that could make her invincible.

Rendered powerless by a scarab beetle attached to his back, Finster realizes he is doomed unless he escapes and recovers the Stone before Ingrid does, and he turns to his dungeon cellmate for help. But the hulking, mute, barbarian youth he calls “Moth” is inscrutable and unpredictable. And their ultimate survival—and the survival of an entire kingdom—may require the cowardly wizard to assume a most unfamiliar and uncomfortable role: hero!

Oh, this was fun. Fast-talking, irreverent wizards are the best wizards, first of all. The Scarab’s Curse was non-stop action that had me frantically flipping pages. It might be a touch too gory for some – let’s just say that there’s a lot of blunt-force trauma and swords flying around.

If you don’t mind that, though, I think this is a nice one-sitting read for fans of swords and sorcery. Check it out!

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 15, 2017.

Length: 148 pages

Published: February 18, 2017 by Two-Ten Book Press

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A Spirited Manor by Kate Danley

When Clara O’Hare lost the love of her life, she felt her own life was over. But when she moves into a new home to escape the memories, she discovers that the veil between life and death is very thin.

Desperate to find answers, she attends a seance in a remote country home surrounded by a colorful cast of strangers. But something sinister has decided to make itself known. It will be up to her and the dashing young medium, Wesley Lowenherz, to find out what the spirits of the manor are dying to tell them.

A Spirited Manor is a genre smorgasbord – a paranormal Victorian gothic cozy mystery with sweet romance.

And it works! It’s a quick read and I enjoyed every page of it. The mystery kept me on the edge of my seat, with twists and turns up until the very end. Clara manages to be a proper Victorian lady and a kickass heroine at the same time (always a plus) and the gothic atmosphere definitely gave me a chill or two. Absolutely worth a read!

Kate Danley also has a couple of other paranormal books up for free today – check out The Dark of Twilight, another paranormal/historical novel, or Maggie for Hire, an urban fantasy.

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 15, 2017.

Length: 176 pages

Published: August 28, 2017 by Pronoun

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Incanta by Avie Adams

Cytriah’s songs can enslave souls in dead bodies.
It’s not a gift, or a curse.
It’s what’s expected of girls born on Daemon-controlled Malvaar Island, where failure is punishable with the worst any woman can fear.
Whilst Cytriah strives to join the elite of soul-catchers, a chilling secret from her past rips her life apart. Trapped between dangerous men, she’s left with one choice: to pact with a Daemon.
It is forbidden.
And it may bring her something far worse than death…

Oh. My. God. I’ll preface this by saying that Incanta is probably more for adult audiences than YA, and also not for the squeamish, but holy hell. I was captivated.

Adams has built a rich and intoxicating world – a dark gothic fantasy that gave me vibes of Laini Taylor mixed with the lovechild of Tim Burton and Stephen King. I adored every word. The writing is lush, the characters came to life on the page, and the atmosphere was so well-crafted as to be almost cinematic. Incanta pulled me in and refused to let go, so please just go and snatch a copy.

…unless you’re squeamish.

 

The Nitty Gritty

This book is free on Amazon as of September 14, 2017.

Length: 307 pages

Published: November 13, 2014

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