Today I am so pleased to welcome S.J. Himes to Joyfully Jay. S.J. has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Necromancer’s Reckoning, book 3 of the Beacon Hill Sorcerer series (see my review here). She has also brought along an excerpt and a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series Cast Interview with SJ Himes
SJ Himes: Hello everyone and thank you for having us. My name is SJ Himes, and today I am here with the cast of my bestselling series, The Beacon Hill Sorcerer. With me are: Angel Salvatore, necromancer; Simeon, Elder Vampire and Angel’s mate; Isaac Salvatore, fire mage and Angel’s younger brother; Daniel Macavoy, sorcerer apprentice; Dame Milly Fontaine, tutoring sorcery specialist and Angel’s partner; and Eroch, dragon and wee beastie extraordinaire. Today I’ll be fielding questions from fans of the series for each of you.
First up, some general background everyone before we start the interview! The series is named after the primary location in the books, a historic part of Boston called Beacon Hill. It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited places in the entire country. How’s it feel to live in such a historic place?
Angel: It’s a place of history, sure, but also community. A sense of continuity, despite the years that pass or the generations that come and go. It was a place that welcomed us, Isaac and myself, after we lost our family. Close to home, but still different enough that we could start over. Beacon Hill is home now.
Isaac: I appreciated the anonymity, for certain. It was nice to get out of our parent’s previous social circles and be one kid among many in public school. Sure, I wasn’t in the healthiest place mentally, but not being a famous Salvatore was one less stress to bear. The mundane human kids just figured my last name was a coincidence, since why would a rich practitioner whose big brother just pulled off the magical feat of the century be in a Boston public school?
Angel: I know it was hard. I figured a clean slate was best for us both.
Isaac: It worked out okay. I’m still alive. And enough about me. Interviewer! Stop crying and ask things!
SJ: Let’s jump right into it. First question is for Simeon, our 400-year-old vampire Elder of Boston’s only bloodclan, with a question from fan Selina Pritchett. Simeon, you have lived a long and adventurous life filled with thousands of people. What was it about Angel that you fell in love with? When did you know that he was the one for you?
Simeon: I usually never share details of my relationship with Angel… But it seems my Leannán does not object. Angel is strong, wise, a warrior and yet also one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. He persevered through immense tragedy and loss and forged a new life for himself and his brother. I admire and respect him and love him as he is. When we moved the bloodclan to Boston, we did research on the most prominent beings in residence in the city, one of whom was Angel. I respected him first, and when we met in person that night he trounced two of the clan’s newest fledglings, his skill and wit and indomitable spirit hit me like a lightning bolt. I had never felt love before, but it was impossible to deny that I fell the littlest bit that night.
SJ: Aww! Let’s switch to our resident Dame. Milly, this question is from Jovan Johnson. Whose idea was it to start the business together, and how much meditation did it take to not strangle Angel while you were getting established, choosing a location, picking students etc.
Milly: Angel refused seven highly favorably and fashionable locations across downtown for our studios! There was one that overlooked the Commons on Tremont that was divine, but Angel disliked the neighbors! Said they were too happy and friendly, of all things. Freaked him out. He said he’d raise some friends if he needed any and had no interest of making new ones. This other building was in a delightful part of the business district, but Angel refused to work in a building that had a member only gym that offered jazzercise classes at 3am. Said it was unnatural! I nearly hexed the dear boy several times, …but then he found the delightful space in Beacon Hill over the bookstore, and it has been wonderful since. We decided to work together not long after the…unfortunate end of the Blood Wars. Angel was looking for something to do while Isaac was at school. He did not need to work, since he and Isaac inherited the combined wealth of their family, but he’d gone from fighting daily to a single parent and living in peace. I was bored working at the private practitioner school where we’d met back when he was attending very briefly as a student. I came to see him here in town to offer my condolences, and I found a young man ready to snap, on edge, and lacking purpose. His father, Raine Salvatore, had been one of the most sought-after specialty teachers and tutors in the Northeast, and Angel was already on par with his late father at the tender age of twenty. Our business began as a means to occupy ourselves, and a way to manage difficult life changes, and it became our calling.
Angel: I was not that bad!
Milly: Yes, you were. Now shush. SJ has more questions.
SJ: Thank you, Milly. My next question is for Daniel. <Daniel startles and looks nervous> This is from fan Selina Pritchett: When did you know that you could trust Angel and his family? When did you know you had become a part of this family Angel has created?
Daniel: Um, hi. I guess I knew I could trust Angel when I woke up that first night in the Tower and I wasn’t dead. Last thing I remembered was Deimos ripping my throat out and Angel standing over me. I was dead. Waking up alive, and safe, and Deimos on the run was the first step to me trusting Angel. Once I realized he wasn’t my enemy like I’d been raised to believe, trusting his was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t really define a more distinct reason other than the way Angel protected me and saved me every day, from the very first.
SJ: Thank you, Daniel. I know it’s hard to talk about. I have a more light-hearted question here from Sabella Long. What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen/heard living with all day them (the Salvatores)?
Daniel: Simeon complaining aloud to teen vampire shows, Eroch dragging a fire-roasted pigeon inside to snack on while it rains, and Angel swears to himself a lot. Like, all the time. He’ll be sitting down reading or napping, and he’ll randomly say ‘fuck!’ and dart off to take care of something. Isaac spends a ton of time reading. He’s kinda boring.
Isaac: Hey! Pot and kettle! You read more than me!
Daniel: Oh, yeah. That’s true. I’m kinda boring, too.
Isaac: You’re not boring. You let me watch your werewolf porn with you at 2am in your room. Definitely not boring.
Milly: Werewolf porn?
Daniel: New question!
SJ: OK, Isaac. From Mary Myers-Huff Barger: What is the most annoying thing Angel does?
Isaac: How long do we have for this interview? I have reams of things I can mention.
SJ: How about you pick the top thing you can think of.
Isaac: He’s bossy. Horribly. He acts like he rules the world. And the scariest part of it is, give him enough time, or if he gets bored enough, he could rule the world for real.
Angel: I don’t want to rule the world. I wouldn’t do that.
Isaac: Man, you’re one epically bad day from becoming a supervillain. Admit it. And notice you didn’t deny being bossy.
SJ: OK, a few more questions then we can say goodbye. Angel, this one is from me. What can you tell us about Reckoning?
Angel: Not much that isn’t all horrible spoilers. I can say that this book is where I absolutely lose what’s left of my patience. Things get nasty. I revert a bit to my Blood War days. Readers get to experience a wider range of my repertoire. Isaac makes a brave choice, Daniel learns something new about himself, Simeon gets to do something he’s wanted to do for three books, and Eroch reveals a big secret.
SJ: Speaking of Eroch! We can’t forget our dearest wee beastie. Let’s end the interview with some questions for Eroch.
Daniel: He can’t talk?
SJ: Oh. Yeah. Hrmmm. I can translate! Eroch, Susana Perez R would like to know: Who do you prefer to sleep with?
SJ: No need to translate that answer, I think it’s clear. From Maggie Breese: Will you ever win the Pigeon Wars?
SJ: Huh. He says if he wins, there’s no more pigeons to eat. He’d rather have pigeons to eat than win. That’s smart. Makes sense to me!
Thank you for having us, and I hope everyone has a great time visiting Beacon Hill. The Necromancer’s Reckoning is Book #3 in the series.
Angel pulled the letter from the envelope, unfolding the thick sheets with a soft crackle. Daniel waited anxiously from his spot on the couch. Angel lifted the top page and began reading. Daniel twitched, and Angel moved so his apprentice could read as well.
Necromancer Angelus Raine Salvatore
Greetings from The High Council of Sorcery
The events from the last several months have drawn the concern of the council. Due to reports of violent and murderous events in which you feature prominently, the Council has determined an inquiry is vital to get to the root of these matters. High Magister Corinne Malis from the Council will be arriving shortly to take your statement and to ensure compliance with Council mandates. A full trial is to be convened in Boston one month hence. The charges are as follows:
Engaging in acts of vigilantism with the intent to kill.
Engaging in a duel in times of peace with no regard for public safety.
Violation of Apprenticeship laws regarding allegations of abuse and endangerment.
Daniel Macavoy is essential to our investigation, and we request he remain in Boston until the above matters can be addressed. Due to the historical conflicts between the Salvatore and Macavoy clans, your custody is hereby deemed an unsafe environment for Daniel Macavoy. A Council representative will be along shortly to remove him from your custody until the truth of the above charges can be determined. Failure to comply will be added to the list of charges and will be dealt with severely.
Your cooperation is expected and appreciated,
Sorcerer Corning Wills
Assistant to Esteemed Council Members
High Council of Sorcery
“Angel?” Daniel’s voice was watery and full of fear. He set aside the roiling anger the letter’s contents engendered in his own gut. Daniel was stricken, dark eyes wet from tears and face tight. “They’re coming to take me away?”
“I won’t let them,” Angel replied fiercely, dropping the letter to the floor and gripping Daniel’s face in his hands. He leaned in close, making eye contact. “I will never let anyone take you.”
Daniel bit his lip, tears overflowing, but he managed a nod. Angel stood straight and let the boy cuddle in close, pressing his face to Angel’s hip. He ran his fingers through Daniel’s soft blond hair, giving what he hoped was some comfort. He was vulnerable and needed safeguarding.
Eroch was awake, sharp eyes watching Angel and Daniel, his wings slightly mantled and his nostrils flaring as he scented the air. Eroch crawled up the back of the couch and churred, an odd chirping and purring combination that was uniquely dragon.
Angel closed his eyes and powered up the last and most powerful level of his wards. He breathed in, tapping into the boundless depth of death magic coiled in his core, supplied by his soulbond with Simeon. The death magic answered, and he funneled it through the shield spells, activating the full set of runes and protections. Shields rose, hellfire green and nearly alive, reverberating through the walls and the levels below, along the roof and the outside wall. They were so powerful the whole four-story building gave a fine tremor before settling down with a soft hum that was barely on this side of audible.
Nothing and no one would be able to enter, not spells or thought. With the infinite reaches of primordial death magic he had access to, the shields could run indefinitely until he took them down.
His cell ringing from the inner office snapped him from his casting trance. Eroch squawked then took to the air, flying to his desk. His familiar picked up his phone and carried back to Angel before it hit its third ring, dropping it into his open palm. Eroch landed back on the couch. Angel breathed out a sigh of relief, answering.
“Simeon,” he managed a smile despite the tension riding his shoulders and the tears Daniel cried quietly into his jeans.
“A ghra,” Simeon purred, Irish accent smooth and deep, “I missed you this past night.”
Simeon had been summoned to the Tower, the bloodclan headquarters and residence in Downtown. He lived with Angel in Beacon Hill until such times he was needed to perform his duties as clan Elder, or whenever Constantine Batiste, City Master, requested his presence.
“I missed you too.” It was true—he missed Simeon in that moment more than anything. Angel wasn’t afraid, or at least, he didn’t think he was. Fear was something easy for him to work around and through—it rarely gave him pause. Sometimes his indifference to fear left him reckless, and with others depending on him, he needed to heed it more. What he felt now was vicious anger and a need to protect his apprentice. The effrontery of the High Council leveling charges against him didn’t bother him as much as what was implied underneath. The Council never moved like this unless there was something they wanted. He couldn’t recall the last time a citizen in the States had been charged with anything like this, much less a trial. The Council had a presence in Town, but it was a sparsely staffed consulate in an old townhouse in Back Bay. He couldn’t recall the last time he even saw someone from the consulate or an enforcer from the Council.
And why did they mention Daniel specifically? What did they want with him? He could smell bullshit a mile away, and the line about Angel being an unfit master for his apprentice was a ploy. He didn’t know what the High Council’s endgame was, but there was no way in hell they cared about Daniel or any laws they believed Angel might have broken. The High Council didn’t even interfere in the Blood Wars, which waged for generations. Hell, for the last generation of the Wars, the consulate lay empty, the High Council having withdrawn its people from the fray, only staffing it again once Angel ended the Wars.
“I need you to come to the Tower, my love. Is your appointment over? I can send a car for you.”
Angel shrugged, trying to roll the tension away. “Appointment is over, I’m at the office with Daniel. I need to talk to you, too.”
“What’s wrong?” Simeon heard the tension in his voice, and Angel relaxed a little bit.
“Did Batiste get a visitor from the High Council consulate? An enforcer, maybe, or a magister?”
“Is prescience one of your new abilities, my love?”
“Nope. I don’t believe in coincidences.”
“But yes, a representative is here from the High Council. Apparently, as a courtesy call to the Master. Or at least that is what it started out as—she is requesting to see you and Daniel. As you are bonded to me, I can only guess that is why the representative came here instead of directly to the apartment.”
“More like they’re trying not to get me pissed off and failed utterly by going through you. They may assume I won’t be as on guard if you’re the one asking.”
Every action has consequences.
For a decade, Angel Salvatore has been the most powerful sorcerer and only necromancer in all the Northeast. Never one to ask permission nor apologies, he has acted with near impunity for years.
The High Council of Sorcery has come to Boston, and Angel is their target. Charged with numerous violations of practitioner laws, his freedom and family are placed in jeopardy.
If found guilty, Angel’s apprentice Daniel will be imprisoned to serve out the remaining years of his apprenticeship. Isaac, his brother, is too vulnerable to be left unguarded, and Angel fears for his sanity and health. And Simeon, Elder vampire and Angel’s mate refuses to see Angel convicted under the laws of the Council and his actions to keep Angel free threaten to start a war that could destroy their world. And Angel faces the severest of punishments—the castration of his gifts.
The Council has never cared for the people of Boston, and Angel doubts their motives. They have come for some insidious reason, and it has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with Angel.
Dealing with an impending trial, a wayward ghost, and a grave robbing ring of thieves leaves Angel on the edge. He thinks he may have a handle on things until violence erupts across the city, and a stranger comes to town…a stranger with his own dark powers of necromancy.
This is book 3 of a series, and the previous books should be read first for full enjoyment. Trigger Warnings are on the Copyright Page and can be seen using the Look Inside feature or by downloading a sample of this book.
I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), The Wolfkin Saga, and the epic fantasy romance series Realms of Love. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.
S.J. has brought some great prizes for along her tour, including: Prize 1: Kindle Fire HD 8” Prize 2: Signed PB of series; Prize 3: Ebook copy of The Necromancer’s Reckoning. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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