Title: Queer Magick
Series: Queer Magick Vol. 1
Author: L.C. Davis
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Pairing: Male/Male Menage
Length: 212 pages
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror, lgbt, polyamory, genderqueer, trans MC
An LGBT+ fantasy of apocalyptic proportions.
Twenty-something Holden Adams never asked to be the harbinger of the apocalypse, or for the seven lovers who come with the job. All he wanted in Stillwater, Vermont was a fresh start, but his past as a preacher’s kid turned witch threatens any hope he has of a normal life in the idyllic town. A fateful encounter with a strange cat on the brink of death earns Holden a new enemy and some unlikely friends, but as Stillwater reveals itself not to be as conventional as it appears, the line between the two becomes irreparably blurred.
Daniel St. James is getting too old for this crap. The love of his life turned out to be a cold-blooded killer and while Dennis got away with murder thirteen years earlier, Daniel and the rest of the town are still reeling from the tragedy. Now some kid who claims to be a witch waltzes into town and all of a sudden, Daniel’s unflinchingly straight best friend is head over heels for Holden. Chaos has a way of following Holden, revealing a web of supernatural secrets around Daniel that makes him question everything he believes about the town he’s lived in his entire life–and everything he doesn’t.
Welcome to Stillwater. Things are a little queer here.
Music is always a huge part of my writing process, but the Queer Magick cast has taken it to a near-dysfunctional level by demanding their own playlists, so I thought I’d share my top picks for each.
Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra (Series “Themesong”)
In addition to being the song that’s been stuck in my head for the last 15 years, this is more or less the unofficial Queer Magick “themesong.”
Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift (Holden)
Holden’s a country boy at heart, and the whole “let’s get out of this town” line could be his mantra.
Cold Cold Cold – Cage the Elephant (Daniel)
Without getting into spoiler territory, this song is oddly pertinent to Daniel. The eerie, supernatural undertones were the inspiration for many a spooky scene within the series.
Toes – Glass Animals (Locke)
There are quite a few Glass Animals songs that capture Locke’s duality. Bad, but sweet in a strange way, soft and purring one moment, vindictive and calculating the next, but always sultry.
There’s a Wolf – Silences (Nick)
Everything about this song is woodsy and clandestine and sexy and it’s always reminded me of Nick.
Windows – AWOLNATION (Dennis)
“Do we really know the way the wind blows? Are we really safe around our shadows?” This song is charming in a creepy kind of way, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on, which makes it perfect for Dennis. 😛
“Cute guys don’t just pick up and move across the country to live in the middle of nowhere with no connections unless there’s something they want to leave behind.”
Cute guys? The term didn’t make my skin crawl quite as much when it came from Nick, but maybe that was just because I was too busy trying to remember how to breathe. My lips parted as if his kiss was just something that was supposed to happen, something I had been programmed to respond to long before it ever crossed my mind. His lips were as warm as his hands, but much softer as they pressed mine, gentle at first as he gauged my reaction. His fingers played in my hair and I moved closer, drawn to him by some unseen force as his tongue slipped into my mouth.
When he finally pulled away, I was breathless and the look in his eyes wasn’t helping. Neither was the smile on his lips. It suited him, but I could think of far better things those lips could be doing…
“I can protect you, Holden,” he said, reaching for my hand in my lap, stroking the back of it as he looked into my eyes. I found myself incapable of blinking or looking away, my hearing focused on the rich sound of his voice to the exclusion of all else. It was so warm and soothing I felt like it was enveloping me as he spoke. Just like his eyes, that sound was tinged with gold. The difference between sight and touch and sound seemed negligible as he caressed my cheek, pulling me deeper into some hypnosis I was all too eager to succumb to. “Whatever you were running from, I believe something else brought you here to me, and I’m not going to let anyone hurt you or take you away.”
I felt the urge to respond, to say whatever he needed to hear, but all I could do was nod.
“Who is it, Holden?” he asked gently, leaning in a little closer. “Who are you so scared of?”
“My father.” The words came out like a breath.
“Hm,” he said thoughtfully, still absently stroking my hair. “And he wants to hurt you?”
“No,” I murmured. “No, he…he wants to take me back.”
“Take you back where?”
“To Arkansas. To our church, to the basement…”
Something flickered in his eyes, only it wasn’t the reassuring adoration that made me feel like a puddle of happiness. There was murder in that gaze, and it lasted only an instant, but it was enough to make me aware of what he was doing. I had seen hypnotists at work before. My father was one of them, even though he liked to claim his “gift” came from God above. I knew Nick had me in some kind of a trance, but I was powerless to break it.
“Why does he want to bring you back?” His voice was slow and controlled, but rough. It wasn’t nearly as hypnotic as it had been, but his spell remained unbroken.
“I can do things,” I said, my own voice hoarse from straining against the words he was drawing from me with such ease. “I have power that he wants, that he uses for his ministry.”
Something else crossed his mind. I could feel it, like our thoughts were linked somehow even if the influence only went in one direction. This time, it was curiosity. “Power? But you’re human…”
I frowned, or at least I could feel the muscles in my face that would have shaped a frown twitch, breaking my mask of complacency. Human? “What else would I be?” I wanted to ask. Instead, he wound a strand of my hair around his finger and the touch lulled me in deeper. “Holden.” My name was a command, gentle yet insistent.
“I’m a witch.”
He cocked his head to one side. He seemed surprised, but it faded too fast. “And what kind of ‘things’ can you do?”
My throat was tight, but I couldn’t keep the words down. “Awful things.”
“I don’t think you’re capable of doing anything awful, Holden,” he said softly. How could someone who sounded so kind be capable of doing something so cruel?
“I killed them…” My eyes burned and the tears spilled over.
He frowned. “Who?”
Before I could answer, before he could force me to, flames interposed themselves on my vision, blocking him out completely. The fire, the church, the screams, it was all bubbling to the surface, everything I’d tried so hard not to allow access to my conscious mind. Someone else was watching me, from the inside of my mind, and at first, I thought it was Nick, but the silhouette was off. This man was taller, slimmer. I couldn’t see his face clearly, but I could see a finger pressed against his lips. Light was coming from his eyes and soon it ate up the flames and made it impossible to see anything, either in the vision or in reality.
I cried out in pain as a shrill, mechanical scream merged itself with the blinding light and both were so piercing it felt like my mind would split in half. All I remembered after that was being caught in Nick’s strong arms, pressed close to his warm body as he whispered some apology I could only half understand. Then, everything was quiet.
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L.C. Davis is a trans & nonbinary author of lgbt fantasy and romance with a passion for representation. His current series include Queer Magick, Kingdom of Night and The Mountain Shifters.
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