Today I am so pleased to welcome Morgan Brice to Joyfully Jay. Morgan has come to talk to us about all kinds of goodies, including her Badlands series, and upcoming giveaway, and new book. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Danger and Romance at the Beach
I’m a huge beach fan. While the sun and I aren’t exactly besties (too pale, can’t tan), I am so happy when I’m in sight of the ocean, even if it’s too cold to go in. Even better is being on a beach chair (slathered with sunscreen, under an umbrella) with a full Kindle and a cold drink!
I’ve been to a lot of great beaches all over the world, but one of my favorites is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We have gone there almost every year since we’ve lived in the South, and our kids grew up going there as the official kick-off of summer vacation. I’ve got lots of favorite hang-outs, restaurants, and things-to-do. I guess that made it inevitable that I’d decide to set a series there with romance, hot guys, ghosts, murders and supernatural mayhem.
My Badlands series (Badlands, Lucky Town, short stories Restless Nights and Cover Me, and the upcoming novel The Rising) is set in Myrtle Beach. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his homicide detective boyfriend Vic D’Amato, solve crimes that have a paranormal element, from hauntings turned murderous to supernatural serial killers to creepy creatures that go bump in the night. Myrtle Beach as a location is very much a character in the books, which couldn’t happen anywhere else. I really enjoy sharing my favorite places and putting a spin on local legends and folklore!
Simon runs Grand Strand Ghost Tours, where he not only does tours but also holds private psychic readings and group seances. His fictional location is just down from the iconic Gay Dolphin Gift Shop, which has been a Myrtle Beach boardwalk fixture since the 1940s and has everything kind of souvenir you can imagine (and some you might not have thought of!). The boardwalk itself is fun, with a lot of great restaurants, bars, shops and attractions, plus fireworks every Wednesday night. You can see the Family Kingdom amusement park from there, and the Skywheel, both of which light up the night with neon. Simon’s shop isn’t far from the 14th Avenue pier, a long dock where people fish, watch for dolphins, enjoy the view of the beach, and relax with a beer or a snow cone.
Of course, it’s the people who make up the beach community in the books that are at the heart of the story. Simon came to Myrtle Beach after losing his job as a folklore professor because of his psychic abilities. Vic relocated from Pittsburgh because he experienced a supernatural attack during a hostage standoff and no one believed him. Once Simon and Vic find each other, they team up to solve murders that involve magic and the supernatural. But there are also recurring character like Tracey Cullen, Simon’s best friend, who runs a boardwalk coffee shop, Gabriella (a bruja) and Miss Eppie (a Hoodoo practitioner), and so many more. Revealing their backstories a little at a time is part of the fun!
I adore working bits of local history into the stories. In Cover Me (a new short story), the old Air Force Base plays a big role. In The Rising (next novel, due out in February), shipwrecks, famous ghost stories, haunted old mansions, pirates and boo hags all factor into the danger. I didn’t use a real local historic home for the setting in the latest novel, but I did draw heavily on the history of three famous old plantations. For me, grounding the books in local lore is one of the best parts, because I have a blast doing the research, and it makes the books feel more authentic.
Later this spring, I’ll be debuting a new series, Treasure Trail, set in yet another of my favorite beach locations—Cape May, NJ!
Watch for my new Badlands short story, Cover Me, to debut in the MM Valentine’s Day Short Story Giveaway on Prolific Works! And the new novel, The Rising, will be out in early February, in time for Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach, FL, where I’ll be a Featured Author—hope to see you there!
Cover Me (short story)
Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, Homicide Lieutenant Vic D’Amato, have big plans for Valentine’s Day. But when restless ghosts come calling, Simon and Vic find themselves racing to solve a mobster’s disappearance and uncover the secrets behind a lost World War II military plane. Can justice be served and mysteries solved without sending their romantic plans up in smoke? Cover Me is part of the Badlands series but can be read as a stand-alone.
A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>
Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.
As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>
With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves.
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa. Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers.