Sunday, February 24, 2019

Release Blitz ~ The Rising (Badlands Book 2) by Morgan Brice (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)

Release Blitz ~ The Rising (Badlands Book 2) by Morgan Brice (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)

Book Title: The Rising (Badlands, Book 2)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Release Date: February 13, 2019

Can be read as a standalone

Buy Links


A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide (not main characters)

Excerpt from Chapter 1


"We need more pirates. Pirates sell.”

Simon Kincaide, owner of Grand Strand Ghost Tours, looked up with a chuckle. “Especially dead pirates. Or should I say ‘dread’ pirates?”

Pete King, Simon’s assistant store manager and part-time tour guide, rolled his eyes. “Both. I’m just saying, we could switch up the scripts and add more pirates to the ghost tours. Especially with the new wrecks the hurricane exposed. That’s all everyone seems to be talking about these days.”

Simon nodded. “I think you’re on to something. I have some good pirate ghost stories, but they’re pretty well known. Why don’t you do some research and see if you can come up with some that aren’t as familiar?” He grinned. “Let me guess—you’re itching to try out a new pirate costume?”

“Guilty as charged,” Pete replied. “You know the tourists love that stuff.”

“Oh, believe me. I know!” Simon used to do all the tours himself, but during the past year, business had grown enough for him to promote Pete and bring him in to expand the number and types of tours offered. Pete did his tours in full costume and made it more of a performance, fitting since he was finishing up a degree in drama. Simon had been a folklore professor before coming to Myrtle Beach, so his tours stuck to the facts and history. Both types of tours were popular.

“People say that the new wreck was a pirate corsair, pretty notorious in its day,” Pete went on, obviously thrilled with his topic.

“Don’t get your hopes up too much—around here, everything is a pirate ship until proven otherwise,” Simon joked. “Seriously, the last time a good wreck washed in, everyone was sure it was Blue‐ beard’s ship until it turned out to be a garbage scow!”

“Shh!” Pete teased. “Leave me my fragile illusions!” he added, throwing an arm across his face and pretending to swoon.

Ten in the morning on a late January Monday meant Myrtle Beach was quiet. The snowbird tourists were likely still sleeping or enjoying breakfast. Not like the summer when walkers and joggers practically crowded the beach and boardwalk at dawn. And with a storm forecast, it was likely to stay quiet.

“I’ll go pick up some coffee,” Simon offered. “Somehow, I don’t think you’ll get overwhelmed with customers while I’m gone.”

Simon wandered down to the railing and looked out over the Atlantic. Wind blew his shoulder-length brown hair and stung his hazel eyes as he looked out over the whitecaps and the rough surf. He loved the ocean like this, wild and powerful. Simon took a deep breath of salty air and listened to the pounding waves.

Tourists might not be on the boardwalk, but the weather never stopped its resident ghosts. Simon watched two children in old-fashioned clothes skip several yards, then vanish. A translucent old man on a bicycle laden with possessions rode past, giving a ghostly jingle of his bell. On the steps to the beach access, a dreadlocked young man leaned on his elbows and stared out at the water that took his life, in no hurry to move on.

Most people couldn’t see the ghosts, but Simon could.

5 Stars! 

Another amazing tale, really well done - Morgan Brice is a 5-Star 'find' for me in 2019. 

This is my third book by this author, all in her Badlands series, and each has been a 5-Star tale. I'm now on a mission to track down more of her works.

With book 2, I'd have said that you could have picked it up as a standalone, as there was enough info given to bring readers up to speed with the leads and events from book 1, but reading this, it's clear that the Badlands books do need to be read in order, as they gradually introduce more and more of Simon's paranormal talents, friends and connections, and Vic's coming to believe in Simon's world, and we get to see their careers mesh, their romance evolve and grow into something really solid, and we get some GREAT stories. This was pretty much perfect: a case for the cops linked to ghosts from long ago, with same MO killings that can't be explained. It was great to see that Simon and his talents are being taken seriously by the local PD, and that Vic's once-sceptical partner, Ross, has fully embraced both what Simon means to Vic, Vic's faith in his partner, and Simon's abilities to help them solve cases. We also get to see Simon's friends and collaborators, and I find it really refreshing that age and experience, which is often derided in tales, are portrayed as nothing but assets in two great characters in their 70s, whose skills and knowledge are being imparted to Simon and to others, and who kick butt in a way that's not physical, but that's entirely needed in these tales. And, I love how the author blends superstition, the paranormal, the Catholic church and legends and voodoo into her tales, seamlessly, with great grounding so that nothing feels planted.

This tale had it all: spookiness/danger/more than one character who could potentially be a suspect/voodoo protections/a legend that turns out to be rooted in proven history/a ghostly ancestor of Simon's who comes to the rescue (Dante, who has his own tale/s, I believe, that I will be checking out very soon)/good guys to the rescue/ghostly possession/a bad guy whose comeuppance most of us would like to see, because he really was that obnoxious/a Vatican-trained paranormal investigator (I totally need to check if this guy has his own tales, as he's appeared in more than one Badlands tale as a side character, and is kick butt!) and much more. And, the author managed not to go OTT with anything, blending everything so well that it's a read with revelation after revelation after revelation that really work.

Simon and Vic are pretty great guys, too, but often their relationship seems to have to take a back seat when duty calls. It's both cop duty and paranormal happenings duty, but it's good to see how they have a pretty equal relationship, with both looking after the other, both initiating sex to reconnect (actually, if I had a tiny, tiny gripe it'd be that the sex was always the same MO, the same time of day, the same scenes, the same place/s. Yes, it worked for the guys and was what they needed, but a little variety would be good. And, the sex is surprisingly descriptive for the series, which from the start has felt more PNR than romance, but I'm not complaining; the sex has definitely upped its game since the previous tales, which is understandable, given that the guys are more committed, solid and secure) and both considering their actions and how there are two people in their relationship. I particularly liked Vic's heart-to-heart with Ross, his partner who's been married for five years; done wrongly, that could have come across as faux and as trying too hard to dispel the so-called toxic masculinity that so many US authors of MM are seemingly on an agenda to highlight and obliterate, but MB got that convo spot on, and the advice, too. And, there are so many decent characters in this series, and so much caring for each other; there's a real feeling of community spirit, too, which is heartwarming.

These tales are some of the best I've read in my entire life of reading. There are proper tales; there's proper meshing of all the elements in the tale to make a tight story that has no plot holes, and in Morgan Brice, I've found another author who's made it onto my Autobuy list.

ARC courtesy of Gay Book Promotions and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Author Links


Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card


No comments:

Post a Comment