Title: James: Witch-Hunter
Author: K.S. Marsden
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release date: 1st October 2017
~Prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy~
James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.
His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe'en.
A girl's murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.
After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it's only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.
This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers.
Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life - books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.
Charlotte had just made her second coffee of the day, when she heard a very insistent banging at the front door. Not in the mood for visitors, she reluctantly opened it.
And was met by the sight of James.
In a dress.
“I'll never get used to your humour, James.” She said, stepping aside and letting him in. “Fancy some fresh coffee? And when I say fresh, I mean instant stuff I've only boiled once.”
James closed the door behind him, and made his way through the narrow corridor to Charlotte's tiny kitchen.
Charlotte promptly poured an extra coffee and added sugar, her normally bright eyes were red, and it was clear she'd been crying.
“I broke up with Nathan.” She said, looking embarrassed that he had to see her like this.
“I think my roommate's a murderer.” James countered.
Charlotte handed him a mug of coffee, shaking her head. “When a girl says she's broken up with her boyfriend, most people would offer... never mind. You win. Why is Hunter a murderer?”
James gently lowered himself down onto Charlotte's rickety sofa. “I followed him last night. He was bein' weird, and I have a tracker on his phone-”
“And he went to this warehouse, where...” James trailed off, his throat closing around the words.
Charlotte misread his inability to speak, and gently rubbed his shoulder. “It's alright, you're safe here. Who do you think he killed?”
“Bea.” James gasped out. “You remember the blonde, Scottish lass? They hooked up at start of term; then the other night she was looking for him; next thing you know, she's dead!”
Charlotte put down her coffee cup, her hand shaking too much to hold it. She looked at James in all seriousness, “And you saw Hunter kill her?”
James shook his head, thinking back to last night, and the hooded figures. He was sure it was Hunter, “I couldn't clearly see who it was, but why would Hunter be there? It's one hell of a coincidence, that he bails on the Hallowe'en party and ends up at the same warehouse where the girl he was shagging ends up getting sta-”
“Did you physically see him there?” Charlotte asked.
“No, I was following a tracker.” James admitted.
“An illegal tracker, that'll never hold in court, James.”
James snorted, “Trust the trainee-lawyer to say that.”
“Hey, I'm just trying to see every angle.” Charlotte said, punching his arm. “There could be another, perfectly normal explanation. Maybe someone mugged Hunter and stole his phone – that sort of person would be more likely to head to the dodgy side of town.”
“Ha, it'd have to be the king of muggers to get the better of Hunter.” James argued. “He's super-fast, super-strong, and has anger issues. Which all adds up to someone very capable of murder.”
“Do you not remember how we first met? It's not often I get thrown against a wall, instead of the usual handshake. And I do rugby training with him – trust me, it's like getting hit by a car-”
“James, you're exaggerating.” Charlotte sighed.
“And I've seen him run – I forgot to show you.” James dug out his phone from the flowery handbag, and quickly found the video he'd taken weeks ago. “Look – look how fast he is! And don't you find it weird that he's never that fast in rugby games? It's almost like he's holding back.”
Charlotte looked at the video, and when the brief clip was over, she shrugged, “It doesn't look that fast to me.”
“Well, it seemed it when I was watching with my own two eyes.” James tucked his phone away. “He's not normal.”
“Yes, but there's a huge leap between what's not normal, and a killer.” Charlotte said, exasperated. “Don't get me wrong; I want to help you James, I really do... have you been to the police?”
“Yes, I stayed there overnight.” James answered. “I got knocked out, and some cop must'a found me. Next thing I know, I'm waking up in a cell.”
“Oh no, what happened? Did someone attack you?”
James opened his mouth the speak, but he didn't even know what to say. He remembered getting knocked off his feet by some powerful force, but that didn't make sense.
“What did the police say?” Charlotte asked, when it was clear James wasn't giving her an answer.
He shrugged, “Not much, just that Bea had died. They were dodging a lot of my questions.”
“That's normal police protocol for an ongoing investigation.” Charlotte said, knowledgably.
James shook his head. “There was summat not right about the whole thing. It just felt shady.”
Rites of Heirdron: book I (audio book)
They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.
Now, they’re coming for him.
A bastard prince, born to a dishonored queen, Zrahnz is the last hope of a dying world. As he struggles to reclaim his legitimacy as a ruler and protect his planet, a debilitating illness threatens his sanity and his life. If he cannot save himself, his planet will succumb to the corrupt intergalactic alliances aligned against them.
The irrepressible allure he feels for an Earth-born visitor, Itanya, nearly overwhelms him, yet through her, Zrahnz discovers the secret that can ease the devastating agony of his illness. Could she be the key to his survival and the future of Triaxeyn?
With Q-1 Raydren at his side, and the Oracles’ influence, he uncovers corrupted histories and unscrupulous enemies. If he fails to make a crucial decision, his people and everyone he loves will be destroyed.
Zrahnz is denied his rule, denied his birthright, and denied the one truth that will save his life.
He wasn’t supposed to survive, he wasn’t supposed to fight, and he wasn’t supposed to receive, the RITES OF HEIRDRON.
Orbs of Trenihgea: book II (eBook)
They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.
Then, they came for him.
After an interplanetary betrayal decimated his world, Zrahnz struggled to protect his people and reclaim his legitimacy as their ruler.
Now, he has received the Rites of Heirdron and vows to defend the Triax planets torn asunder by a corrupt galactic council, and the “shadow whisperers” who have manipulated them all.
With the aid of First Commander Lezayen and his QuNytwanian fleet, Zrahnz must unite the factions that deceived them in the past. The ensuing battle is for more than the survival of Triaxeyn, it’s for the liberation of the galaxy.
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About the Author
Aaron-Michael Hall (aka Newland Moon)
Aaron-Michael Hall is an award-winning author residing in Georgia (She uses the pseudonym Newland Moon exclusively for her scifan novels). Aaron-Michael writes classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge, and science fantasy romance. Since August 2015, she has written nine full-length novels and published five. Her first novel, The Rise of Nazil has won numerous reader awards.
Now, when she is not interviewing indie authors on her Desu Beast Blog, being super mom, wrangling stampeding miniature dachshunds, or managing her 9 to 5, she is interweaving genres, creating languages, and adding just the right edge to keep you turning pages.
Aaron-Michael created the Mehlonii language for her diverse Epic Fantasy series. Along with intriguing characters, multilayered plots, new species, deities, and creatures, the Mehlonii language adds that fantastical element missing from most modern Epic/High fantasy. You can listen to samples of the spoken Mehlonii language on her website’s Mehlonii page.
When asked why she wrote this series, Aaron-Michael simply said, “It needed to be written.”
It is her hope that the readers enjoy the wonders of Faélondul and Ahmezurhran even more than she enjoyed writing about them.
Mailing list http://theriseofnazil.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=6b56f127540fa86812db8fc01&id=2d8cf30afe
The role of dragons in fantasy is as varied as the descriptions of dragon themselves. There are deadly dragons, evil dragons, friendly dragons, and heroic dragons. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and feature various abilities. But perhaps the most fearsome and touted ability of all is ... Dragon Breath.
Even the breath of a dragon can be described in many ways and with many varied results. I've read many stories in my lifetime involving dragons, and I've seen dragons that breathe fire, dragons that breathe smoke, dragons that breathe poison, and even dragons that breathe healing. The possibilities, as with anything in the fantasy genre, are endless.
When creating a dragon for my own stories, the first thing I always considered was, "What does this dragon breathe?" In my Rangers of Laerean series, the answer was fire. But not just any fire. For this story, it had to be a fire that rivaled the very depths of Hell itself. In fact, when the dragon appears, near the end of the first book in the series, A Whisper in the Shadows, he is composed of shadow and flames, having no physical substance. The dragon named Doomrage is the very essence of fire. When he reappears in the next book of the series, Where Shadows Fall, we see just how devastating the breath of Doomrage truly is.
Another series I've written, Dragonblood Throne, also has a dragon. This time, the dragon is the hero of the tale. In fact, the dragon is not a dragon at all, in the beginning. Delina must learn to become a dragon, which is her birthright. When she does, she is a very different kind of dragon from those in many other stories. Her breath is a white fire, but her breath is not the focus of her abilities.
A dragon's breath is just as varied as the dragons themselves, and I'm many of you have read stories of other types of dragons and dragon breath. If so, I invite you to comment to this blog post, and tell me about what you have read or seen, or even what you have created. I'm sure we'll all see there is no end to the possibilities for Dragon Breath in the fantasy genre.