Guest Post: “Saving the World — With a Little Help From Friends” by Gail Z. Martin

0061-eWomenNetworkWhen the chips are down and you’ve got monsters on every side and the fate of the world hangs in the balance, you need to know you’ve got good friends watching your back.

And if those friends include two people learning to wield powerful magic and a nearly 600 year-old vampire, your odds of winning — and surviving — just went up.

Welcome to the world of my Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series including Vendetta, my new novel that just launched December 29. The series is set in historic, haunted Charleston, South Carolina. The main character, Cassidy Kincaide, is a psychometric who can read the history and magic of objects by touching them. She owns Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop with a few dangerous secrets.

The first secret is that the store is part of the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who get dangerous magical items off the market and out of the wrong hands. And the second secret is Cassidy’s business partner, Sorren — a centuries-old vampire who founded the shop over three hundred and fifty years ago who is committed to protecting Charleston — and the world — from supernatural threats.

Teag Logan is Cassidy’s assistant store manager. Teag also has a secret — he’s got Weaver magic, the ability to weave spells into cloth and data into information, making him one hell of a hacker. Together, Cassidy, Teag and Sorren protect Charleston — and the world — from dark magic, supernatural predators and paranormal threats.

Cassidy and Teag are in their mid-twenties, and while Sorren is centuries older, he looks like he’s around the same age. Sorren has been working with Cassidy’s family since Trifles and Folly was founded, and he’s oath-bound not to harm her or her family and friends. The three of them have forged a friendship based on trust and the knowledge that in a fight, they have each others’ backs.

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Sorren’s centuries of experience and large network of contacts in the supernatural world give him an edge with experience. He doesn’t talk a lot about his past unless it relates to the situation at hand, but Cassidy does know that before he was turned, Sorren was the best jewel thief in Belgium. Some of the supernatural enemies he has fought refuse to accept defeat, showing up time and again to get their vengeance, which requires Sorren to acknowledge more secrets from his past. Because the Alliance maintains outposts like Trifles and Folly all over the world, Sorren is frequently out of town, leaving Cassidy and Teag to improvise and work with other allies. That has pushed both Teag and Cassidy to explore their magic and learn how to use their skills defensively, since they can’t rely on Sorren being available to back them up.

When Cassidy and Teag aren’t running Trifles and Folly or fighting off demon hordes, they’re often practicing fighting skills or socializing with friends. Teag is a competition-level mixed martial arts practitioner. Cassidy often spars with him for practice, and Teag has been teaching Cassidy non-magical ways to defend herself. Teag also has experience helping Cassidy recover from the visions she receives when she touches objects with malicious magic or strong emotional resonance. Strong readings can knock Cassidy flat, and while she’s gaining more control of her power, it still helps to have a trusted friend watching your back when you’re vulnerable.

Teag is in a steady relationship with Anthony, a lawyer from a well-connected Charleston family. Anthony isn’t part of the Alliance. He has learned more about the shadow side of what really happens at Trifle and Folly and keeps the secret, though he has reservations about the danger Cassidy and Teag are in because of their work for the Alliance. Cassidy is between serious relationships, although a local ghost hunter and a daring urban explorer have caught her eye. Sorren swore off romantic relationships with mortals long ago.

Surrounding Cassidy, Teag and Sorren is the vibrant city of Charleston, South Carolina, filled with friends, allies and fellow business owners. My goal is for Charleston to be as much a character in the book as Teag, Sorren and Cassidy, so that readers can’t imagine the stories being set anywhere else. Charleston is a beautiful city with a bloody past, and that intriguing contradiction suggests all kinds of stories. In the books and short stories, readers get to know more about the allies and friends who help Cassidy fight off supernatural threats — and the supernatural enemies who just won’t stay dead.

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About the Author

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Dec. 2015, Solaris Books); Shadow and Flame the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (March 2016, Orbit Books); The Shadowed Path (June 2016, Solaris Books) and Iron and Blood a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities. Gail writes three eBook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Her work has appeared in over 20 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Heroes, Space, Contact Light, With Great Power, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Cinched: Imagination Unbound, Realms of Imagination, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Find out more on her website, blog and podcast; and by following her on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads. You can also find free excerpts of her work on Wattpad.

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