L.M. Somerton's Warlocks series is a dangerous mix of love, magic, mayhem, and the four elements - and a great MM paranormal tale:
Elemental warlocks are a rare breed. There are only four known to exist across North America and they don’t tend to advertise their talents. But when you have the power to control earth, air, fire and water there’s bound to be some drama, especially when one of the four is young and untrained.
The elements don’t always combine well and warlocks are no different. When their lives collide, it isn’t just sparks that fly. Add love to the mix and a dangerous cocktail of magic and mayhem is primed to ignite.
Book One: Elemental Love - Blurb
An untrained warlock is a dangerous man to love.
On his twenty-first birthday, Evrain Brookes discovers he is an elemental warlock. The spell suppressing his talent lifts and he has to get used to a whole new existence. The protection that kept him safe during his childhood is gone, his skills are wild and uncontrolled and there are those that seek to use him for their own gain.
Evrain’s grandmother is a witch, his godfather another warlock. Between them they do their best to keep Evrain on the right path. He learns that in order to gain control of his formidable powers, he will need to ‘channel’ through a life partner, a process that happens only with consent and through love. But how will he ever find a man prepared to put up with a Dominant warlock for a boyfriend?
Dominic Castine has no idea that Evrain’s grandmother sees him as a prospective partner for Evrain. He tends her garden and she teaches him about herbs—a trade-off they both enjoy. He is drawn to Evrain’s charismatic presence but doesn’t understand why he wants to drop to his knees and submit to him.
When Agatha is murdered, Evrain and Dominic are thrown together as she manipulates them from beyond the grave. Dominic becomes the pawn in a terrifying game between warlocks whose powers he barely comprehends.
In the end, lives will depend on his courage, his willingness to grant Evrain control and the power of love.
Book Two: Elemental Hope - Blurb
A warlock’s blood gives him life. It can also bring his death.
It’s no wonder Evrain Brookes, newly fledged warlock, is feeling the strain. A coven of power-hungry witches is after his blood. Literally. A psychotic warlock wants him dead. His godfather’s training regime is about as much fun as chewing on nettles and an overweight, scarily perceptive cat has moved into his house.
His boyfriend Dominic yearns for a normal life, or at least a safer one. He accepts his role both as Evrain’s submissive partner and as the conduit through which he channels his gift—but he’s afraid for his lover, and the lengths Evrain’s enemies might go to in order to fulfill their lust for power.
When Evrain falls victim to a plot between the Octis Coven and malevolent warlock Symeon Malus, it’s up to Dominic to rescue him. With the help of the two other North American warlocks, Shadow the cat and an old enemy, Dominic takes steps to get his lover back. There’s a high price to pay and no guarantee that the risks he must take will work out but Evrain is worth going through hell for, even if it costs Dominic his life.
Excerpt - Elemental Love
“What’s with the weather today?” Evrain exclaimed, as his grandmother and godfathers turned toward him from their seats around the fire. “I swear I left Portland in the most glorious sunshine but I seem to have dragged a storm along with me.”
Coryn and Gregory exchanged glances. Agatha rose from her chair and came toward him, holding out her arms.
“Give your old grandma a hug, birthday boy.”
Evrain bent to accept Agatha’s embrace. He kissed the top of her head. She smelled of nutmeg and ginger, the scent familiar and comforting.
“Happy birthday, Evrain.”
“Thank you, Grandma.”
Coryn and Gregory queued to take their turns for hugs.
“Did you enjoy the drive over?” Coryn asked, his eyes twinkling.
“I did. Thank you both, so much. It was a great gift and a brilliant surprise. I could get used to driving around in that.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s just for the day. A special treat.”
Evrain shrugged. “I’ll take it.” He cast his gaze at each of the people he loved. They returned his scrutiny with an intensity that made him feel a little uncomfortable. “What? Do I have a smudge on my nose or something?” He walked over to the fire and peered into the mirror hanging over the mantel. As far as he could tell there were no weird marks or splotches.
“How are you feeling? Any unexplained headaches or nausea recently?” Gregory asked.
“No. My joints are a bit sore but I’m putting that down to a lack of exercise over the last few days. I was going to hike along the river this afternoon and shake off some of the lethargy.
I haven’t been sleeping well—I think I’m still getting adjusted to the time zone.” Evrain’s sense of discomfort grew. It wasn’t like Gregory to ask after his health. “Why the sudden interest in whether or not I have the sniffles? Is there a weird hereditary disease in the family that I don’t know about?”
“Why don’t you take a seat by the fire? There’s something we need to talk to you about.”
“Is this some kind of intervention?” Now he was really worried. “I’ve heard about those.
I promise I’m not a drunk, I don’t take drugs and I’m not addicted to gambling.” He gave a nervous laugh.
Gregory stood. He placed his hand on Evrain’s shoulder and squeezed. “It’s nothing to worry about. In fact, it should make things a whole lot clearer for you. I think it’s time.
“Indeed. The hour doesn’t matter. I geared everything to the date.” She hummed a
strange tune under her breath.
“And a very significant date it is.” Gregory guided him to a chair, ignoring Agatha’s weird behavior.
Evrain sat, sinking into the overstuffed cushion. He’d need a cleaver to cut the atmosphere, not just a knife. Or maybe a scythe, that seemed appropriate. Agatha’s gothic mantel clock began to chime. Evrain’s senses sharpened. He could pick out every detail, every thread of the woven hearth rug. A mixture of intense aromas—spices, burning wood, candle wax, even Gregory’s aftershave—assaulted his nose. He wanted to cover his ears there was so much sound—spitting and crackling from the fire, leaves and branches thrashing outside in the wind, breathing, heartbeats. Evrain gasped. It was too much. He gripped the arms of his chair and felt every imperfection in the wood. His head swam.
“What’s… What’s happening?” He squeezed the words from between gritted teeth.
In the hearth, the fire exploded, sending huge flames shooting up the chimney. The storm outside intensified, pounding at the cabin with weapons of hail and wind. Evrain took short, sharp breaths. He sensed movement behind him and swiveled around to see the pot plants on the windowsill sprouting shoots and new leaves at incredible speed, the foliage spilling over countertops and onto the floor. This could not be happening. The pressure in his head built to an intolerable level. He was aware of Gregory’s touch, clasping his hand.
“Let it go, Evrain. Don’t be afraid.” Gregory’s voice, calm and soothing, penetrated his panic.
Evrain willed his body to relax. Multicolored lights exploded before his eyes, then everything went mercifully dark.
* * * *“Evrain, you’re a warlock.”
“What the hell happened, Grandma? Am I ill? My head feels like a grenade exploded.
Inside it.” Evrain massaged his temples and groaned. “Wait. What did you just say?”
“I said, my dear boy, that you are a warlock. Now drink this, it will make you feel better.
You were out cold for a few minutes there.” She thrust a mug into his trembling hands.
“What is it?” He sniffed the drink with some suspicion.
“Butterbur, chamomile and ginger root tea sweetened with a little honey. My own remedy and better than any chemical you could poison your body with.”
“Does it cure insanity, because I could have sworn that you just told me I’m a warlock?”
“It doesn’t, and you are. Don’t be a child. Drink it.”
“Don’t be a— Gregory! Please tell me I’m hearing things.” He looked to his godfather who stood in front of the fire making strange movements with his fingers.
“Just hold on a minute, Evrain. I need to damp down your conflagration a little.”
“What? Wait… You’re… Oh my God. I’m in an alternate reality, aren’t I?” He addressed his question to Coryn, sitting in the chair next to him. Coryn seemed a bit pale despite the heat. His smile was full of sympathy and understanding.
“It’s true, Evrain. You are a warlock and so is Gregory. Your grandma put a suppression spell on your powers shortly after you were born, to protect you. You heard her humming? Well, she was lifting the spell. You have come into your powers. You’re very strong, Evrain. The change was too much for you and you blacked out for a few minutes.”
Series or standalone?
A question I’m often asked is whether I prefer to write a series or standalone stories. I’ve written both, and there is great pleasure in completing a standalone novel, knowing that characters have their happy ever after and the reader isn’t left wondering about dangling threads in the storyline. However, I’ve often found though that readers pick up on minor characters or fall in love with the protagonists and want more, so maybe all standalones have the potential to become serials.
Standalones can explore any theme or location to the very limit, knowing they or their characters will never go down this road again. The main characters can be led a merry dance, even to a fatal end. The reader is on edge because they know that the character they’ve related to and connected with could be done away with at any moment. The author is under no pressure to set threads running for future instalments. In lists of the greatest (or most popular) novels of all time, standalones are always there. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Catch 22, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Invisible Man… the list goes on.
But imagine if Arthur Conan Doyle, having put his heart and soul into the creation of Sherlock Holmes, had left him after one story and moved on. I doubt we would have the modern day joy of watching Mr Cumberbatch interpret the role on screen. Standalones deny us the prospect of enjoying a protagonist taking on more challenges and allowing us to bond with them further.
Writing a series presents more opportunity to portray deeper characters and I enjoy the way I can write around a theme. In my Warlocks series, each book features the same principle character but with a growing range of minor players as the world expands. The theme of a burgeoning BDSM relationships is consistent, as is the growth and development of a young warlock discovering his powers.
That said my work in progress is a standalone – so clearly I’m not good at following my own advice!
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
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