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.
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Quinn scowled as he rummaged through the giant wooden chest in his specially created basement that contained his treasured library and most of his magyckal paraphernalia, potions and spells. He’d bought this place on the heath especially because it had a huge subterranean basement, large enough for him to store everything he’d accumulated in his thirty-six years as a Warlock as well as Taliesin’s possessions, accumulated over the last fifteen centuries.
It was no mean feat having the ability to store such exotic items as unicorn hair, dryad tears, kairax root and thousands of other obscure items that Taliesin bought back from his travels. Quinn applied the same method of preserving his Withinner’s treasures as he did his own very precious and rare collection of books and artefacts.
The purpose-built library in the concealed basement was a hermetically sealed room, guarding against such human risks such as improper lighting, airborne pollutants, insect infestations and mould. Minimal human contact featured strongly in there too, with the only person able to enter either of the rooms being Quinn or his Withinner and then only by a retinal scan. Quinn really couldn’t afford to have anyone from the outside world find his Warlock treasure trove. The need for secrecy was paramount. To reveal it could be disastrous.
My birthday is in December, the 28th to be exact. When I lived in South Africa, this time of the year was always sunny, hot and we spent most birthdays around the pool, with the BBQ (or braaivleis as we call it there which literally means ‘cook meat’) and plenty of cold beers. Of course in England this isn’t an option. I’d freeze my proverbial nipples off doing this in the middle of December in an English winter. So my birthdays for the last 13 years have always been indoors.
However when I turned 50 in 2012, something rather different happened. It was July, the height of the English summer and my family and I went over to my sister Cathy for lunch. She lived then on a beautiful private estate of a select school in Gosfield and had a small flat on the premises. She was the Catering Manager for said school and catered to the night boarders as well.
I was getting out the car ready to go up the small metal staircase to her top floor flat and the family were all loitering about behind me. My husband said to me ‘Uhmm, we’re going to need some extra chairs, could you give me hand getting them from around the back?” If course I said ‘Sure, no problem’, and followed him around the stable outbuildings to the large grassy area at the back. Imagine my complete surprise when I saw a group of people, people I recognised, friends and family from afar, all milling around. And as soon as they saw me they all shouted out ‘Happy Birthday!’ Well of course all I could do was look at them stupidly and say ‘But it isn’t my birthday?’
Apparently the complete look of shock and surprise on my face was enough to set them off all giggling and roaring with laughter. The BBQ was going, there was a huge marquee set up with all the booze and salads, and presents, the weather was beautiful, hot, blue skies and glorious and all these people had made special trips to come to my surprise July birthday party. My sister Cathy had organised the whole thing, saying she wanted me to have another birthday in the sun and not in the usual gloom and cold of a British winter.
I was pretty overwhelmed that anyone would even think of doing this for me, let alone go to all the trouble of organising it and friends coming from far away just to take part. I think I had tears in my eyes just a little.
How everyone managed to keep it from me I had no idea but they had done a great job. My husband didn’t believe that I’d had no clue - he kept saying, ‘Are you sure you didn’t know about this?’ and I kept telling him ‘Nope, I hadn’t had a frigging clue.’
That was a very memorable day, having friends and family around, burning meat on the BBQ as usually happens, imbibing lots of beers and gin and tonics, music blaring across the school grounds as children played ball and everyone had a whale of a time.
I will always remember that brilliant gesture and the fact people cared enough to do that simply for me.
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About the Author:
Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. She has written ten novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.
Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell and lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family. Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.