Hi everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome K.J. Charles to the blog. I loved her first book, The Magpie Lord, so much that I pretty much chased her down and begged her to come talk to us about the second book in the series, A Case of Possession. It comes out next week and I have to tell you, it was just as amazing as the first! Today she will be sharing more about the book as well as offering up a copy as a giveaway. So please join me in giving K.J. a big welcome!
Magicking up the Victorians: A Case of Possession.
My first book, The Magpie Lord, and its forthcoming sequel, A Case of Possession, are historical fantasies, set in a slightly alternative Victorian England, where magic exists in a secretive, under-the-radar sort of way. I wrote them because I love Victorian and I love fantasy, and I love m/m, and for some reason I couldn’t lay my hands on all the other Victorian m/m fantasy books that I felt must surely be out there somewhere.
Since publication of The Magpie Lord, several people have asked why I write something as ridiculously weird-ass as Victorian settings with magic (not usually in those words). Apparently some people don’t see the Victorian period as magical. It seems that, when some people hear ‘Victorian’, they think about top hats, railway-building, penny post, sexual repression, hansom cabs and not being amused, rather than an imaginative explosion of the fantastic and grotesque. It may be that I’m the odd one out here.
But why shouldn’t there be magic in historical fiction?
Remember that old advert for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? ‘Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate!’ ‘Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!’, followed by a moment of bliss as our protagonists understand that the combination is ecstatically good. That’s how I feel about historical paranormal. (This is not an endorsement, as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are revolting, but let’s go with the metaphor.) You have all the delicious goodness of historical settings – repression, concealment, injustice, grotesque power imbalance, excellent clothes, no plot-ruining mobile phones – plus everything that you can do with fantasy, which is of course everything. Magic can give your characters incredible abilities, and present them with incredible threats. Magic brings in a whole new set of power relationships, dangers, threats and possibilities, on top of everything inherent in the historical setting. Magic sets the past world ablaze.
In Magpie-England, it’s the latter end of the Victorian era. There are trains and telegrams, the Poor Law and the Labouchere Amendment (which criminalised male homosexual acts), and the massive growth of international travel and business that had helped turn London into the biggest and most cosmopolitan city on earth. It’s a thriving, seething, unjust place of absurd wealth and appalling poverty, crime and punishment, high society and dark mysteries. In the middle of it all is Stephen Day, a man with two secrets to keep. He’s a practitioner of magic, who enforces the laws that keep his fellow practitioners under control and out of plain sight, and he’s the lover of Lucien, Lord Crane, smuggler turned businessman turned earl. It’s a precarious position to be in, and when Crane ends up at the heart of one of Stephen’s cases of magical murder, it seems like everything will start tumbling down…
A Case of Possession comes out on 28 January. A free short story, Interlude with Tattoos, set between The Magpie Lord and A Case of Possession, is available now from Smashwords.
I’m giving away an electronic copy of A Case of Possession – comment below to enter!
Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. True, Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician’s disappearing act bothers Crane more than it should. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, Crane knows a smart man would hop the first ship bound for China. But something unexpectedly stops him. His heart.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes watching him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. And Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
Contains m/m sex (on desks), blackmail, dark pasts, a domineering earl, a magician on the edge, vampire ghosts (possibly), and the giant rats of Sumatra.
K.J. is giving away a copy of A Case of Possession to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, January 26th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.