Hiya guys! We have Katey Hawthorne popping in today with her new release Witchy Boys, we have a fantastic guest post, a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link ❤ ~Pixie~
Just in time for Halloween! Two novelettes about men with magic—and the occasional demon.
“Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse”
Griff has a bad habit of getting talked into black magic he shouldn’t be using—but this time it’s even worse. His ex is bent on revenge in the form of a mini zombie apocalypse, and the only person who can help Griff is a hottie white magic practitioner named Blythe. The catch: one of Griff’s spells gone wrong left Blythe with a haunted apartment a year ago, and Blythe isn’t over it.
Still, Blythe agrees to work with Griff. As they unravel the ugly blood, sex, and death magic, they also discover surprising things about each other. Hopefully, it’s enough for the ultimate trust they’ll need to defeat a lot of zombies and a crazed witch, or their town will end up covered in corpses.
Six years ago, Thackeray agreed to let a demon haunt him in exchange for help hunting other demons. It’s a lonely life, but worth it to be the best demon hunter possible — to save families from the kind of evil that ruined his own childhood.
This Hallowe’en, Thackeray’s dealing with an upstart coven. A powerful, pretty witch named Matt defects to help Thackeray stop their scheme to invite god-knows-what from the other side.
Demons are much easier to fight than the urges Matt’s flirting inspires. But Thackeray can’t hook up with a demon watching over his shoulder… can he?
Setting the Mood: The Perfect Night for a Dark Tale
by Katey Hawthorne
Thanks so much for having me back to talk about my new Halloween release, WITCHY BOYS: SEXY STORIES FOR DARK NIGHTS. It’s a small anthology of stories about, you guessed it, witches! There’s magic, intrigue, demons, and… well, you know.
I’m gonna share something personal with you guys, because it’s almost Halloween, and that puts me in a sharing, happy kind of mood. My favorite activity once everyone else in the house is asleep (except the cats, obvs) is to turn my office into a dark, peaceful, semi-creepy place… and watch or read scary stuff. Now that it’s fall at last, I do it a few times a week, and it’s so much fun.
This involves more than just turning off the lights, though. Obviously, because I’m a huge nerd, there must be candles. My family knows I love to do things like this (though they question my sanity), and so they’ve bought me a few cool candle-things over the years. One is a skull candleholder. Creepy, right?
I have a couple more, but you get the idea.
I like to burn some incense, too. Anything woodsy is great for fall, and the slight smokiness in the room after is delightful. If that kind of thing bothers you, of course, it’s not necessary! All just fun mix n match options to set the mood.
And here’s the real confession: as a joke gift once, my mom bought me one of those cheap little egg-shaped things that project stars in different colors onto the ceiling. (It also makes different “soothing” sounds but I just… leave those off.) To her amazement, I love the thing. And I change the color of the stars with my mood. 😀
Two other accessories are important to this ritual for me: my softest blanket and a hot mug of something. Could be chocolate (with peppermint schnapps? Who knows!), could be cider (with bourbon… wait I’m seeing a pattern…), could be tea. Choose your own adventure.
And then, the movie or the book, and voila! Now, if you’re reading a paper book, you will need to add. more light, obviously, as candlelight reading isn’t always great for the eyes.
I know I’m not the only one who does this. Got a variation? Let me know in the comments and enter the giveaway! And happy reading!
from Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse
“Nah, man, no fucking way.” Blythe tried to shut the door in my face, but instead he caught my steel-toed boot.
“Please,” I begged. “Ain’t no one else can help me.”
“Last time you brought your black magic shit up in here, I had to do a cleansing ritual every five minutes to get rid of it.” But Blythe opened the door enough that I got a good look at him. He wore a pair of running shorts and a seventies-looking Star Wars tank top that displayed his copious arm and chest tattoos. No one with legs that blindingly white should be wearing shorts, let alone shorts that showed most of his thigh. Nice thighs, don’t get me wrong, but that ain’t right.
“I fucked up last time,” I admitted. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t know the spirit would attach itself to you.”
“This is why I don’t touch black magic, Griff.” Blythe narrowed his big, baby blue eyes and tried to look mean. Might’ve even worked, if he hadn’t reached into his shirt and plucked out the pentagram he wore on a chain, then rubbed it between his thumb and forefinger. He’d done it as long as I’d known him, any time he was conflicted. Nice to see some things hadn’t changed. “It always fucking backfires. Always.”
“No black magic this time,” I promised. It hadn’t been that black last time anyhow, just a little hint to make the summoning stronger so—
Blythe asked, “Then what? You got nothing else.”
That was not untrue, I admit it. “I know other—”
Blythe tried to shut the door in my face again. This time I grabbed it in one hand. “Hear me out, I’m begging you.”
Blythe cocked a dark eyebrow. His hair was shaved on the sides and long on top, like a floppy Mohawk, and bleached blond. It shouldn’t have worked with his dark eyebrows, but it did. The look he was giving me was full of innuendo. “Begging, huh?”
I tried to act offended. “I ain’t offering a trade.”
“Ass, grass, or gas.” Blythe snorted out a laugh that said he wasn’t even a little serious, though.
“Grass,” I suggested anyhow. I had some, if he really wanted it. Not that I’d mind some ass if—
“Shut the fuck up, man; I don’t want anything.” He sighed. “What do you want, Griff?”
“Can I come in?”
He stepped back and gestured for me to come in.
I did. His apartment always smelled like sage… but that might’ve just been from the copious cleansings. Was he still doing them because of that summoning gone bad? That had been a year and a half ago.
Probably better not to bring it up.
“So,” I began the second he closed the door behind me, “you remember Cathy?”
Most of us magical types used the word “practitioner” and didn’t like the word “witch”. Bad connotations, Salem and the Inquisition and shit, and we weren’t organized enough to reclaim it. So we used it for people who… well, who did the kind of shit the Inquisition accused us of. “Witch” was one of those words that made the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stand up, because it meant death to our kind—or had until recently.
That’s what Cathy was, though. She was a witch, and she meant to do bad things. And I’d be damned if I let her. “Yeah, that’s the one.”
“Sure.” Blythe led the way into his kitchen. It was decorated with empty whiskey bottles holding candles and flowers. Pretty cool, as aesthetics went.
I settled on a bar stool, and he started pouring large whiskies. After he handed me one, I took a deep breath, knocked back a long drink, and then admitted, “We did this ritual last year. To kind of, uh, get ready for this one.”
“October full moon?” He sounded level enough, but there was a furrow between his eyebrows that said he already didn’t like where this was going.
“Let me guess: there was a lot of blood and sex involved in this ritual?” Blythe rolled his eyes.
I nodded. He could roll his eyes all he wanted, but that was some powerful magic.
“Okay, so she’s been gathering power all year, and now…?” He gestured for me to finish his sentence.
“Well, I thought it was because she wanted to summon her ancestors and get some answers. Like, she did this DNA test and it showed—”
“I don’t give a shit if she’s really 1/100th Cherokee or an Irish princess.” Blythe tossed his head to get his floppy hair out of his eyes. “Get to the real reason.”
I shifted in my seat and took another long swig of whiskey. “Mini zombie apocalypse.”
Blythe just looked at me for a long moment, his pale brow scrunched. Then, finally, he said, “You have the worst fucking taste in women.”
“My taste in men ain’t great either,” I admitted.
“Fuck a duck.” He facepalmed.
I figured it was best to get on with it. “So, you can see why I need a strong white magic practitioner to—”
“And now I pretty much have to say yes or we get a mini zombie apocalypse.” Blythe scrubbed his hand over his face, then leaned a hip against the counter. It pulled up his shirt so I could see his pale belly and a dark happy trail disappearing into his shorts.
This was the source of my bad taste. I had a white trash weakness. Fuck.
“Describe this mini zombie apocalypse,” Blythe said.
“You know Hirsch Cemetery? The real old one? We did the ritual there last October on the full moon. She said it was just so she could gather her power and talk to her family this year. But then I found the spell we did, and it said it’s for waking the dead—like, corporeally.” I felt like such a goddamn idiot. My face heated. “And there’s a lot of dead in there. They ain’t gonna be happy if she wakes them up.”
“Why in the hell would you not read up on it before you agreed to something that—?”
“I know, I know, I fucked up.” I was always fucking up, was the problem. Always jumping in head first. Always following people I thought loved me off cliffs like a magic-happy lemming. “I just want to make it right, now. And I can’t do it alone.”
“No, you fucking can’t.” Blythe finished the rest of his whiskey in one shot, then slammed the glass down on the sink. “What’s her game, anyhow? Why would she even want that?”
“She, uh…” I blew out a long breath. “Cathy was writing this book called New Necropolis when we were together, about this woman who had an army of undead servants who went around fucking up everyone who ever did her wrong and built her this crazy city and… I thought it was just fiction.”
“But it’s an actual design for life?” Blythe was always pale, but now he was the color of milk. “Unreal. How does someone so stupid live to be thirty?”
“Are you talking about me or her?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
I couldn’t honestly answer. I wondered myself, sometimes. So instead I tried to explain: “Look, I just wanted her to be able to connect with her past. I thought I was doing a good thing for someone I—I loved.” I didn’t like admitting it, but it was true, and I didn’t mind groveling a little if it meant he’d help me fix what was fucked. “Black magic can be good, man, you know it can.”
“It’s a fucking shortcut, and shortcuts are dangerous,” he grumbled.
“Please, Blythe.” I sounded pathetic in my own ears, but whatever, right? “I’ll do whatever you want, seriously. I’ll owe you big time. I’ll—”
“No more blood magic,” Blythe said.
That drew me up short. “Like, ever?”
“Ever. After this is done, we’re gonna do a binding ritual to hold you to it, too.”
But since I was over a barrel here, what could I do but nod?
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.
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