Double Alchemy; by Susan Mac Nicol—Blog Tour and Giveaway
Today I get to welcome my friend, Susan Mac Nicol, back to the blog. About two years ago, she and I met when she was promoting Double Alchemy, her urban fantasy series. Now, those who follow my blog know I’m a fan of fantasy, and modern day warlocks and the like are fun reads.
To celebrate the two year anniversary, Susan is doing a small tour to re-introduce Cade and Quinn to the speculative fiction world. She was gracious enough to do a short interview with me and she also has a tour giveaway.
I’ll also post a review soon—I suck at reviews so getting it right without spoiling things is never easy for me, but if you’ve not read the series, you should.
An Interview With Susan Mac Nicol:
Double Alchemy has different elements than your Men of London series. What is it that drew you to write an Urban Fantasy?
Various elements got me to thinking about this book. I love magic and the occult, and all things mysterious and incorporating this into a book seemed like a lot of fun. Also, I live in the county of Essex which is where the Witch Finder General, Matthew Hopkins ‘did his business’ and if the rumours are to be believed, died. I love King Arthur stories, so using Taliesin, Welsh bard and sorcerer, who lived in those times, was a cinch. So bringing this all in together into one story was easy enough to do. It lent free reign to my imagination and brought in all the elements I loved that I could use any way I liked.
Do you like writing speculative fiction and would you consider writing one without a true romance?
I love writing this kind of fiction. Creating your own worlds and letting your imagination run riot- there’s something liberating about it. I would definitely consider writing a book without the romance, maybe just a touch of a love interest. In fact, I’ve already got one on the go. It’s called ‘Soul Quest’. I even drew a map showing the kingdom the events take place in. I’ve been writing it for over 30 years and it’s the typical stuff- battle between good and evil, a quest for something, a coming of age, a journey made by a young man destined to be someone. Yep, it’s got tropes but I believe that as long as the story is fresh and exciting- who cares?
What was the hardest part in writing Double Alchemy?
Without doubt getting the Withinner, Taliesin, to have his own voice distinct from that of his master, Quinn. They are so inextricably intertwined with each other that sometimes they could have blended into one. The other tough bit was all the magic the Withinner could do, like being in another place, taking over from Quinn, only being able to die in a certain way, and the logistics of bringing this character into the story. I didn’t want to contradict myself. It was challenging.
One young reader was so entranced by the Withinner concept that I had to put together a Cheat Sheet for him so he could better understand the facets of the book dealing with this magical being. He was fascinated with Taliesin.
Given the romantic element is somewhat ‘magically’ affected, did you find it harder or easier to write the romance than if it were a contemporary romance
Heh, are you asking in your polite way whether the sex scenes were more difficult to write because of the fey attraction and the fact they couldn’t keep their hands -and other parts- off each other? No, it was fun to write the quick instalust scenes just as much as it was to write the softer, more emotional ones that take place after the intitial Fey ‘bonk my brains out’ feelings were lessened due to the emotion becoming more prevalent. I didn’t really think the sexy bits were any different to my usual ones actually, other than of course in the one scene where Taliesin gets hold of Cade. That was a little worrying as I didn’t know how the readers would see it- was this cheating or not? I decided to hell with it, the magical influence was over riding so I did it anyway. And no one so far has really minded, although there were some slight rumblings of discomfort. The story needed what the story needed, so *shrugs* I wrote it the way I wanted to.
Can we expect more stories that have that paranormal, speculative fiction edge like Double Alchemy?
You can indeed. As I mentioned, I’m writing a fantasy novel (or will be once I get down to it) but I’ll probably be about sixty before this gets anyway (and yes, dear reader, that IS still a ways to go J)
Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.
THE WORLD IN SHADOW
In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.
In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.
Cade Mairston was no ordinary man. Quinn had known it from the minute he’d touched Cade’s hand, smelt his scent and heard the rushing of his blood through his veins. Cade was Fey.
Not overtly Fey, but something resided there, buried deep down within him. Quinn didn’t think Cade Mairston had any idea who or what he was.
Quinn shivered. The way Cade had crouched in a fighter’s stance, fierce glare and strong body ready to do battle— he’d been inspiring. It was only due to Quinn’s Warlock skills that he’d the ability to anticipate and deflect the other man’s moves and not be grievously injured. Cade Mairston was a strong, agile presence and Quinn wouldn’t have liked his privates to be on the receiving end of the other man’s foot, which was attached to a muscled leg which he wished would wrap itself around his legs as he pounded the man’s arse….
Quinn checked himself mentally.
Christ, Quinn. Get a grip! Hell, my hormones are running riot.
Thank God the man was gay. Quinn’s gaydar worked very well, thank you, despite noticing the evidence of the large erection the man had sported in his trendy cream chinos for him.
What were the odds of meeting another gay Fey? Quinn chuckled softly. If things had turned out the other way, Quinn would have been in danger of deflowering a straight man and that one never worked out for the best.
Cade had looked a little rattled himself. For a moment, from the look in Cade’s smouldering grey eyes, Quinn had thought he might be about to get savagely violated. While Quinn topped most of the time he was definitely not averse to being taken by a man like Cade. There’d been anticipation so strong for Cade to touch him, kiss him right there, that he’d lost his breath for a moment. Quinn had a really tight feeling in his boxers right now as his cock threatened to burst into song and dance a jig out of his pants.
He sighed. Best get home, have a cold shower and do whatever else was necessary to relieve the turmoil snaking through his nether regions. Cade’s sexy stubble on his jawline and light silver eyes were playing havoc with Quinn’s sexual urges. Next time they met— and he was sure there’d be a next time— he’d have to search his apothecary for something that would deaden the sexual attraction. If not he’d never make it through a next meeting without ripping off Cade’s clothes until his need was fully satisfied for the first time. After the first time, it became more controllable. Experience had taught both he and Taliesin that.
Buy the Book:
About the Author:
Susan Mac Nicol is a self- confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self-righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.