**Release Day Blitz** ~ Knight of Pentacles by Nina Mason (includes #excerpts, super #sale and #giveaway)

Knights of the Tarot Series

Erotic Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

Today we celebrate the release of Knight of Pentacles, book three in Nina Mason’s Knights of the Tarot series. Unlike the first two books in the series, which Nina revised and re-released on May 24, Knight of Pentacles has never been released before.

Knight of Pentacles, an erotic PNR/UF set primarily on Scotland’s Black Isle, tells of the romance between Sir Axel Lochlann, who guards the portal into Avalon, and Jenna Cameron, the daughter of a witch who hasn’t yet discovered her powers. Their love story is based on the old Scottish ballad of Tam Lin, which plays an important role in the book.

Pentacles

Here’s the blurb:

The future looks bleak for Jenna Cameron when, after a five-year engagement, her fiancé breaks it off the night before the wedding. Hoping to regroup, Jenna decides to drive alone to the cottage on Scotland’s mysterious Black Isle where they were supposed to spend their honeymoon. When her car breaks down, Jenna wonders if her troubles can get any worse. Then, while cutting through a secluded glen, she sees a handsome man bathing in a waterfall. The next day, she learns the man she saw is the faery knight who guards the portal into Avalon, the otherworld island ruled by Morgan Le Fay. Jenna, ready to be rid of the virginity she’s saved in vain, offers herself to Sir Axel Lochlann, the shaman knight of Faery Glen. From that moment on, she finds herself inside a faery tale complete with druids, goblins, runic magic, and vampire owls. She also discovers powers she didn’t know she had—powers she can use to break Sir Axel’s bonds to Queen Morgan. First, however, she must persuade Axel to put his desire to be free ahead of his duty to the queen he’s sworn to serve and obey.

Here’s a little more about the Knights of the Tarot series:

Knights of the Tarot, a four-part series, was born of a relatively simple concept. Nina wanted to write a paranormal/fantasy series incorporating different forms of divination. Tarot cards, astrology, runes, numerology, and the like. From that kernel grew the overarching storyline. The heroes of this contemporary paranormal series are Scottish noblemen of times past who were taken by the faeries into Avalon to serve as breeding drones to the queen, the legendary Morgan le Fay. Each of the books tells the story of a particular knight and the heroine whose love saves him from his unhappy existence.

Each hero grapples with a different relationship with their cruel and selfish queen. Callum Lyon, the knight of book one (Knight of Wands), is free of Morgan’s influence, having escaped Avalon after faking his death. Leith MacQuill, the knight of book two (Knight of Cups), was expelled from Avalon after the queen discovered his affair with one of the ladies of her court. To punish Leith, Morgan cursed him so any women he should fall in love with in the future would die.

In Knight of Pentacles, Axel Lochlann is still enslaved to the queen, who he serves as a guardian of the portal between the mortal and immortal realms.

The Knight of Swords (book four) is Finn MacKnight does not yet know he is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy telling of the queen’s overthrow by a natural-born drone.

The knights are blood-drinking shape-shifters who can assume the form of any creature, real or mythical, but generally take the form of their alter ego. Callum’s preferred form is a lion, Leith’s is a Kellas Cat, Axel’s is a gyrfalcon, and Finn’s is a jaguar.

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Haven’t read the first two books in the Knights of the Tarot series?

No worries. Both are on sale this week for only 99 cents!

Pentacles1

Knight of Wands

Pentacles2

Knight of Cups

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Axel Lochlann, the hero of Knight of Pentacles is a Highlander of Viking descent who uses runes for divination and magic. For those who don’t know what runes are, they’re the letters of an alphabet called the Futhark, the first system of writing developed and used by the Germanic peoples.

More than just letters to make words, each rune is an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological principle or power. When written together in various sequences, the powers can be invoked to cast protective spells. Individual runes carved into stones, bone, or wood are used to seek the guidance and wisdom of the Old Norse gods, especially Odin, who discovered the runes after hanging upside down for nine days from Yggdrasil, the Old Norse tree of life .

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GIVEAWAY!

Order Knight of Pentacles today for a chance to win the beautiful blue-onyx runes pictured above. To enter, simply email your proof of purchase to NinaMasonAuthor@gmail.com.

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Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Pentacles: 

As the sputtering engine gasped its last, Jenna Cameron set her forehead against the steering wheel and groaned. Could this day get any worse? As if it weren’t enough her world had turned upside down, now her car decided to quit in the dead of night on a desolate stretch of road with no bloody cellular signal.

If not for the dream she’d had last night, she’d be Mrs. William Comstock right now, on her way to the honeymoon cottage she’d rented with the man she’d waited five long and frustrating years to marry.

The thought of William sent a chill through Jenna. In the dream, she’d seen herself driving off the edge of a cliff. She was married to William and utterly miserable. As her car soared over the edge of the precipice, she heard her mother’s voice. “The right man is out there, waiting for you to find him. But it will never be if you bind yourself to a man you don’t love.”

As soon as she awoke, she rang William. When she told him about the dream, he said, as she’d secretly hoped he would, “I was willing to overlook that your mother was a witch because I believed your father had safely guided you away from the path of darkness, but now I see that, like her, you have been led astray. I pray someday you will embrace the Light of God, Jenna. I truly do. But, for now, I cannot risk my own immortal soul by marrying someone so susceptible to the darkness.”

William, a Presbyterian pastor like her father, blamed everything he did not understand on the devil.

As relieved as Jenna was to have escaped, the sudden change of course had thrown her life into chaos. Expecting to be married, she’d given up her job and flat in Edinburgh and, consequently, was left with no source of income and nowhere to live.

So, she was on her way to the rented cottage in Rosemarkie, a small seaside town on Scotland’s Black Isle. Since she couldn’t get her deposit back, it seemed like a good idea to use the cottage to reflect and regroup.

Coming all this way alone had suddenly lost its appeal, but here she was—and wallowing in self-pity was not going to solve anything. According to the Google map she’d printed out, she wasn’t far from her destination. She might as well suck it up and walk the rest of the way. When she got there, she could ring a garage about her car.

Grabbing her purse, her forest-green wool cloak, and the battery-powered torch she kept in the glove box, she climbed out of the car and set off along the rural tree-lined road, which was dark and a little spooky. No cars passed her in either direction. Crickets chirped all around and small rustlings from the surrounding woods startled her sporadically. Senses alert, she stopped repeatedly to check her mobile for a signal.

Her heart pounded and, despite the chill in the air, she was sweating under her cloak and sweater. The only good thing she could say about her present predicament was that her fear of being torn to pieces by wild animals had temporarily eclipsed her other worries.

She didn’t know how long she’d been walking when she came to an old stone bridge. Just beyond was a sign. She shone the beam of her torch at the words carved into the wooden plaque.

pentacles4

Faery Glen.

Jenna took heart. She’d read something about the glen on the website for the cottage, so she shouldn’t have much farther to go. Unfortunately, she needed to pee rather urgently. Might there be somewhere to go in the glen?

Venturing into a forest in the middle of the night might not be the smartest thing she’d ever done, but her bladder was bursting and she wasn’t about to tinkle by the side of the road. Just because no cars had gone by since she’d started walking, didn’t mean one wouldn’t appear the moment she dropped her knickers. Besides, there was a carpark abutting the glen, so there might be a public lavatory there as well.

Up above, the sky was an indigo canvas splattered with specks of white, some larger than others. She crossed the small asphalt lot. Finding no bathroom, she squatted in the bushes. When she’d finished her business, she shone the torch into the glen. Everything outside the beam was pitch black. Water ran somewhere nearby. Thirst drew her down the footpath. All that crying had made her as parched as a dry sponge.

I’ll only go a little ways, find the stream, and take a wee sip.

The hollow clomp of her footsteps disturbed the silence as she crossed a wooden bridge. On the other side, the path curved sharply. In a clearing just beyond the turn were the falls. In the silver light of the full moon, the cascading water reminded her of the bridal veil she might never get a chance to wear.

Then, she saw him. A man in the pool below the falls. He was stark naked, soaking wet, and had his back to her.

Alarm electrifying every nerve ending, she stepped back into the shadows. Her first thought was that he might be a homeless man who’d taken refuge in the woods. He had a beard and long hair, so it seemed the most logical explanation. Her next thought was that he might be performing some sort of ritual. She was on the Black Isle, after all, in a place called Faery Glen on the night of a full moon, so his being a New Age warlock or druid didn’t seem all that infeasible. A long shot, perhaps, but not meters outside the realm of possibility.

When curiosity overrode her apprehension, she stepped closer to get a better look at him. The moonlight bathing his glistening physique revealed a tall, slender frame with broad shoulders, narrow hips, and a shapely bum. Wetness and poor lighting made telling the color of his hair impossible. Light brown, maybe, or dark blond. She started a little when he bent over and shook his head like a dog. As he threw it back, he raised his muscular white arms to push the clinging wet hair off his face.

Despite her long engagement and having achieved the ripe age of twenty-five, she’d never seen a naked man before. Not in the flesh, anyway, and watching this one bathing in the wild was making her feel things she shouldn’t. The prospect of being caught spying on him was even more unsettling.

Ducking behind the thick trunk of the nearest tree, she watched as he continued his bath. Drunk on a tart cocktail of shame and lust, she took in the graceful slope of his shoulders, the long muscles supporting his serrated spine, and the alluring dimples just below the small of his back. His beautiful form and the way the moonlight sparkled on the droplets clinging to his skin made her pulse race and her knees weaken.

A strong urge to touch him welled up inside her. How badly she wanted to run her hands over every glistening curve and indentation of his manly form—both for prurient reasons and to absorb some of his confidence the way plants absorbed sunlight. As exposed as he was to the elements, he seemed admirably comfortable in his skin.

She’d never felt that at ease with herself, even when alone. All her life, she’d been made to feel inferior. As much as she didn’t want to believe that she was, part of her did.

Mesmerized by the man in the pool, she went on watching. Something told her he was like her mother. Esoteric rather than religious. Open-minded instead of rigid. Accepting, not judging. She couldn’t say how or why she sensed this about him. She only knew she felt it deep down in some instinctive part of her psyche.

Hope fluttered in her heart. Could he be the one her mother spoke of in the dream? Scoffing at her romantic delusions, she smashed the thought with the rock of reason and headed back to the footpath.

About the author:

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Nina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. In addition to the Knights of the Tarot series, she is the author of Royal Pains, an erotic historical series following a Scottish duke and duchess through the hedonism and intrigues of the Restoration period, and Sins Against the Sea, a paranormal romance steeped in the myth and magic of the Scottish Isles.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason currently lives with her family in Woodstock, Georgia. When she isn’t writing, she makes art dolls and works as a consultant for Pure Romance, a line of relationship-enhancement products.

Visit Nina’s website: http://ninamasonauthor.com

Follow Nina on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ninamasonromance

Follow Nina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ninamasonauthor

Subscribe to Nina’s newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/authorninamasonsnewsletter

 

 

**Blog Tour** ~ Knights of the Tarot, by Nina Mason (includes excerpts)

Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Adult/18+ read

Nina Mason has just re-released significantly revised editions of the books previously published as Starry Knight and Dark and Stormy Knight. If you’ve read them in the original version, you might want to do so again because they’re very different now. If you haven’t yet checked out Nina’s excellent books, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Knights of the Tarot, a four-part series, was born of a relatively simple concept. Nina wanted to write a paranormal/fantasy series incorporating different forms of divination. Tarot cards, astrology, runes, numerology, and the like. From that kernel grew the overarching storyline. The heroes of this contemporary paranormal series are Scottish noblemen of times past who were taken by the faeries into Avalon to serve as breeding drones to the queen, the legendary Morgan le Fay. Each of the books tells the story of a particular knight and the heroine whose love saves him from his unhappy existence.

Each hero grapples with a different relationship with their cruel and selfish queen. Callum Lyon, the knight of book one (Knight of Wands), is free of Morgan’s influence, having escaped Avalon after faking his death. Leith MacQuill, the knight of book two (Knight of Cups), was expelled from Avalon after the queen discovered his affair with one of the ladies of her court. To punish Leith, Morgan cursed him so any women he should fall in love with in the future would die.

In book three (Knight of Pentacles, which releases on June 13), Axel Lochlann, a rune-casting Highlander of Viking descent, is still enslaved to the queen, who he serves as a guardian of the portal between the mortal and immortal realms.

The Knight of Swords (book four) is Finn MacKnight does not yet know he is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy telling of the queen’s overthrow by a natural-born drone.

The knights are blood-drinking shape-shifters who can assume the form of any creature, real or mythical, but generally take the form of their alter ego. Callum’s preferred form is a lion, Leith’s is a Kellas Cat, Axel’s is a gyrfalcon, and Finn’s is a jaguar.

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Title: Knight of Wands
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book one)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: May 24

Here’s the blurb for Knight of Wands:

Paranormal Investigator Vanessa Meadows believes in every kind of magic except love. When her new boss sends her on an assignment to remote Caithness, Scotland, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to prove the Vampire of Barrogill is more than a legend. First, however, she must get inside the castle where the entity is believed to dwell.

Castle Barrogill belongs to Callum Lyon, a handsome baron and reclusive political astrologer. Their strong mutual attraction proves a boon to Vanessa’s plans, but, once inside his castle, she encounters more paranormal activity than she bargained for. There’s no vampire, but there is a blood-drinking faery knight—and a ghost who will stop at nothing to keep her there. Will freedom-loving Vanessa’s feelings for Callum, coupled with nudges from the other side, be enough to persuade her to give him a chance? Or will the dark secrets of Castle Barrogill only reinforce her unwillingness to put her faith in the power of love?

Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Wands:

“Have a look at your adoring fan over there,” Duncan said, leaning in. “I do believe she’s visually undressing you.”

Callum looked up from the book he’d been signing Political Astrology through the Ages, his latest in a series on the subject. The fan in question stood by the refreshment table, clutching the book to her chest. Was she undressing him with her gaze? A smile stole across his mouth as interest deepened its hook. Judging by the heat of her stare, he was already naked in her mind.

While delivering his lecture on the same topic, he’d seen her in the third row, giving him equally heated looks. All through his talk, her presence, not to mention her seductive stare, had made it difficult to concentrate on his notes. Luckily, he knew the topic well enough to wing it.

Licking his lips, he traced the long, smooth contours of flesh and muscle beneath the posh black pantsuit she wore. She was tall and slender—willowy—with an angular face and a wide, full mouth that stretched into an inviting smile as his gaze met hers with an electrical charge he felt in his groin. Her eyes were as blue and deep as a loch. Mesmerized, he returned the smile. How easily he could get lost in those eyes, forget how to swim, and realize too late he was drowning.

He lowered his gaze to her breasts, which were large, firm, and unharnessed. Did she have an aversion to undergarments? He hoped not, given his penchant for naughty lingerie. He dressed her in a lacy black corset and thigh-high stockings. Oh, aye. She definitely had the figure to indulge his weakness. Swallowing his rising lust, he shifted in his chair to ease the tightening in his trousers.

Turning to Duncan, he asked, “Who is she? Do you know?”

“I’m afraid I don’t,” his friend replied.

Swallowing, Callum shifted his focus to the woman directly in front of him. She was fiftyish, plump, and squat with curly dishwater hair. “What was the name again?”

“Sorcha.”

“That’s lovely.” He grinned through the qualm inflicted by the name. “I once had a wife called Sorcha.”

His statement clearly aroused her interest. “Would you be looking for a new wife by any chance, your lordship? Because, if you are, I ken a bonny lass who’d be just perfect for you.”

“Oh, aye?” Still smiling falsely, he arched an eyebrow. “What sign would she be then?”

“She’s a Gemini.” The woman beamed at him in a manner suggesting the lady in question was probably her daughter.

“Ah. I see.” He cleared his throat. “Well, Sorcha, that’s too bad. Because, you see, I make it a strict policy never to get tangled up with anyone born under the sign of the twins. They’re far too changeable for me, I’m afraid.”

He signed her book and handed it back. He made more or less the same claim whatever the answer. Well-meaning women were forever trying to set him up—usually with themselves. He sought out the dark-haired lass again, wondering what sign she might be. Not that it mattered, since what he had in
mind would be brief and involve very little talking.

Buy Knight of Wands now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Wands-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYH38IC

Read more of Knight of Wands for free on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/story/68103579-knight-of-wands

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Title: Knight of Cups
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book two)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: May 24
Here’s the blurb for Knight of Cups: 

When Gwyndolen Darling, a sexual abuse survivor who lives in a fantasy world, travels to Scotland to meet her obsession, she soon finds herself in a dark faery tale of epic proportions. Sir Leith MacQuill, the object of her quest, isn’t just a reclusive author who’s into BDSM, he also is a shapeshifting faery knight who carries a curse that will kill any woman who captures his heart.When his usual methods fail to protect Gwyn, a dead ringer for the wife he tragically lost back in 1746, Sir Leith must find a way to break the curse or lose his One True Love a second time. Unfortunately, the article he needs to reverse the hex is in the otherworld land he was banished from by the ruthless faery queen who cursed him.Gwyn must, therefore, undertake the dangerous mission alone. Will she find the courage to fight for herself and her knight? Or will she choose to stay inside the imaginary tower she’s built to keep herself safe from the world?

Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Cups:

Leith slipped into the garden shed, stripped off his clothes, and contemplated what lay ahead. Shifting was a self-abandoning experience much the way orgasm was. La petite mort, the French called it. The little death. Orgasm, not shifting. The absolute dissolution of mind and body brought about by shifting was closer to a near-death experience.

Peace followed the quieting of conscious thought, especially the grief and regret that seemed always to be squirming inside his heart like worms boring their way through an apple.

The hush of animal instinct was heavenly—or would be if his human self didn’t squat in the background making a nuisance of itself. Conversely, the cat was always there, too, living inside him like a restless embryo, constantly striving to make more room for itself inside his subconscious womb.

Sometimes it was a wildcat, big and blood-hungry. Other times it was a kitten, docile and contented. Often, it woke him in the night, needing to stretch its restricted limbs. Occasionally, its swiping claws would tear at his insides, drawing blood.

The change was nothing to him now (the whole process only took a minute), but it wasn’t always so. Like sex or roleplaying, like everything, really, shifting got easier with practice.

In the early days, the transformation took place from the inside out. He would sit for a spell meditating upon the picture of himself as the cat before speaking the incantation. He would imagine himself growing fur, a snout, and a tail; envision his hands and feet becoming paws and his ears rising to the top of his head to form points. It took a considerable amount of effort and concentration back then.

Now, he simply called the sleeping cat forth.

Here, kitty, kitty.

Well, no, it wasn’t quite that simple. He still had to recite the ancient spell Belphoebe taught him before he turned her over to the druids and imagine himself covered in black fur with a long tail and slanted green eyes.

Taking a deep breath, he got down on all fours on the shed’s dirty floor. Grit dug into his knees and palms as he called the image of a Kellas Cat into his mind and spoke the magic words.

Fee-faw
Fee-faw

Fee-faw

His hands and feet changed first. The feeling was like the chills one gets with a fever. His toes and fingers retracted as their nailbeds sprouted claws. He dug their sharp points into the rough wood of the floor as a symphony of smells waltzed up his elongating snout. The sharply pungent steer manure behind him led the way, followed by the garden’s roses, lavender, and honeysuckle. The sea come next with his bracing primordial pong. Then, the woods joined in with the soft notes of soil, grass, pine, and decaying leaves. Finally, he caught the scent of that earthy perfume Mother Nature dabbed on after the first few drops of rain.

Inside him, the cat purred like a lawnmower.

His shoulders, back, and haunches changed next. The hands of an invisible sculptor pushed, pulled, and reshaped the cellular clay of his form. Flesh, blood, and bone magically and painlessly reconfigured in a matter of moments.

Buy Knight of Cups now on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Cups-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYV21BS

Read more of Knight of Cups for free on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/69275123-knight-of-cups-knights-of-the-tarot-2

Knight of Pentacles Coming Soon!

Title: Knight of Pentacles
Author: Nina Mason
Series: Knights of the Tarot (book three)
Genre: PNR/UF
Heat Level: Erotic
Formats: Kindle, paperback, Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: June 13

Pre-order now! https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Pentacles-Knights-Tarot-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYT94R4

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About the author:

Nina Mason, author_small

Nina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. She has one other series out at present, Royal Pains, which follows a Scottish duke and duchess through the events of the Restoration period.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason currently lives with her family in Woodstock, Georgia. When she isn’t writing, she works as a consultant for Pure Romance, a line of relationship-enhancement products. Nina combines author readings with in-home Pure Romance parties.

For more information, email her at  ninamasonauthor@gmail.com.

Visit Nina’s website: http://ninamasonauthor.com
Follow Nina on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ninamasonromance
Follow Nina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ninamasonauthor

Subscribe to Nina’s newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/authorninamasonsnewsletter

 

*BOOK LAUNCH BLOG TOUR ~ THE QUEEN OF SWORDS: A PARANORMAL TALE OF UNDYING LOVE, by Nina Mason*

blog tour banner

We are SUPER excited to be participating in the Blog Tour launching Nina Mason’s SIZZLING paranormal release The Queen of Swords! This post is jam packed full of information on the book and includes the book blurb, my personal review, excerpt and trailer, author interview and a fantastic giveaway!

THE QUEEN OF SWORDS: A PARANORMAL TALE OF UNDYING LOVE

Queen of Swords Cover_finalAuthor: Nina Mason
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Heat level: sizzling
Formats: Kindle and paperback
Where to buy:
Kindle: http://smarturl.it/queenofswords (or http://smarturl.it/queenofswordsUK)
Paperback: http://smarturl.it/queenofswordspb

 

Blurb:

When Graham Logan, a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life. For the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life…or making her what he is. Neither of which his morals will permit him to do. Graham, who believes he lost his soul to the curse, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the third incarnation of Graham’s twin flame, won’t let him escape so easily. As soon as they meet, she feels she knows him and begins having past-life flashbacks. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him, wanting answers and to fill the void she’s felt all her life.
Graham has other problems, too. Like the seductress who wants him for herself and the dark wizard who cursed him and killed his beloved the first two times.

Will he find a way to save her this time around? Or will she save him?

My Review

Simply Spellbinding!

This book is such a deliciously dark and sexy read! If you love Paranormal Romances and Urban Fantasies I strongly suspect that you will feel this way too. The Queen of Swords draws on elements of vampire lore, Fae and Celtic mythology, Witchcraft and Tarot in a spellbinding tale full of action, suspense and lovemaking scenes which sizzle off the page!

The hero Graham, a vampire, is a real hottie and I wished I knew the summoning spell to bring him to my side as the heroine does! Turned against his will, he mourns the loss of his humanity and also the loss of his love, whom his maker has cruelly taken away from him on two occasions already. He has a fascinating tale to tell of his life which we learn of through a series of flashbacks. I liked how once Graham realises that Cat is his soul mate he seeks to protect her by putting as much distance between them as possible. The fact that he is unwilling to turn her into a vampire so that they can be together makes this book very different to many other vampire romances.

I LOVED how Cat goes against his wishes and uses her own substantial powers as a Witch to summon him to her for answers! The attraction between them is undeniable and she realises that he is her destined other half and without him she will be incomplete. Cat, a trifle bookish, is essentially a strong woman and I enjoyed how her character grows as she seeks to save Graham’s soul, which he believes is beyond redemption. However, what future do the couple have when Graham is hell bent on maintaining distance, a jealous lover is on the loose and Graham’s nemesis has returned, putting their future and lives in jeopardy?

The sexual tension and lovemaking scenes between the couple are passionate and intense and leave little to the imagination. There is also plenty of emotion and humour. I found the couple’s relationship very believable and realistic and enjoyed the moments of conflict between them as they seek to resolve the dilemmas thrust in their way and the tension they experience in rediscovering each other, for after all Cat is a modern woman and Graham a man first alive in Regency times!

It is clear that the author has carried out a substantial amount of research into vampire lore, Celtic mythology and history and the Tarot. The scenes describing the various spells carried out by Cat and the magic carried out by others is also very authentic, all of which added to my enjoyment of the book. A number of scenes pay homage to Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The secondary characters in the novel are also well drawn and portrayed and I sincerely hope that the author decides to share Avery and Benedict’s tale with us in the future. Scenes of a homoerotic nature occur in the book as do those involving torture, however, these do not dominate the plot and form an important element to the storyline.

I recommend The  Queen of Swords to lovers of Paranormal romance and Urban fantasy who enjoy a hotter read than normal, with an entertaining and well researched plot and strong and engaging characters.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Excerpt

the promise

12th May. Visited Caitriona tonight for the first time since becoming a monster. She slept, unaware of my presence, & for a time, I was content simply to observe. As the hours passed, I began to wonder what might happen if she awoke to find me in her room. Would she think me a wraith? Would she think it a dream? Desiring to know, & to get closer, I sat down on the corner of the bed, alert for any stirrings. Seeing none, I crawled up the bed until I reached her side. Still she did not stir. Ever so carefully, I set my head upon the pillow next to hers. She slept on. Drinking in her scent, I felt contentment for the first time since fate & Fitzgerald tore us apart. I closed my eyes & must have drifted off, because next I knew, her arm fell across my chest. Startled awake, I found her blinking at me in disbelief.

I lay there, still as death, waiting for her to react. Her hand moved up my chest to my face. She dragged her fingers across my jaw, pressed them against my lips, touched the end of my nose, my eyebrows, my forehead. As she combed back my hair, she whispered: “This must be a dream. But you feel so real, so alive. I don’t ken how such a thing is possible; nor do I care. I only pray I shall never awaken.”

I kept still. I could hear her heartbeat, smell her blood, but her blood was not what I craved. She set her head on my chest & started to sob.

“Am I dreaming?” she asked, soft & low.

“Aye.”

She raised herself up, came over me & pressed her mouth against mine.

“Can we make love in my dream?”

“Aye.”

When it was over, I collapsed beside her, feeling so elated, so profoundly moved, I very nearly wept.

She set her head against my chest. “Will you promise me something?”

“Anything, m’aingael.”

“Always come to me like this in my dreams.”

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ABOUT NINA MASON, AUTHOR

Nina Mason, authorNina Mason is a hopeful romantic with strong affinities for history, mythology, and the metaphysical. She strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. Three of her books will be published in 2014: The Queen of Swords, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance; The Knight of Wands, book one in the Knights of Avalon Series; and The Tin Man, a political thriller about the dangers posed by media monopolies. She is currently at work on Book Two of the Knights of Avalon series and is itching to get back to a book she started a while back about a merman who falls for an oil company spokeswoman after a phantom tanker capsizes on the coast of the Hebrides islands. When not writing, Nina works as a communications consultant, doll maker, and home stager. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with her husband, teenage daughter, two rescue cats, and a Westie named Robert.

Social-Media Links:

Website: http://ninamasonauthor.com
Blog: http://ninamasonromance.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ninamasonromance
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ninamasonauthor (@ninamasonauthor)
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ninamasonauthor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ninamasonauthor
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105622637668245901733/posts

Interview with the author:

Q. Tell us about your book.
A. The Queen of Swords tells the story of a bookish white witch who returns every century to reunite with her earthbound soul mate. He’s a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse back in the Regency era on the eve of their wedding. She came back once before in the Edwardian era only to be killed by his maker in the same manner as before. He believes he has no soul, so can’t understand why she keeps coming back. She believes he does have a soul and that she comes back to free him from the curse. The story follows their journey as they try to work out who’s right and how they can stop history from repeating.

Q. After this, what’s your next project?
A. My current work-in-progress is book two in The Knights of Avalon series. After that, I haven’t decided. Probably another paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve got a stalled manuscript about an oil company spokeswoman who gets involved with a merman during an oil spill in the Hebrides. Might get back to that one, or write one featuring Benedict and Avery, the secondary couple in The Queen of Swords. I’d also like to maybe write a sequel to The Tin Man, my political thriller releasing in August. It tells of two journalists thrown together to solve a series of murders tied to a global conspiracy to take over the media.

Q. What inspires you to write what you do?
A. All of my paranormal stories are inspired by my love of the history and mythology of Scotland, my interest in the unknowable, and my belief in the redemptive power of love.

Q. When did you start writing?
A. About as soon as I could write the alphabet. When I was a kid, I won an essay contest sponsored by the local library (I was an avid reader and always did the summer reading challenge). Back in the days of typewriters, I wrote a romance novel about a couple of ballet dancers, but never did anything with it. Didn’t try my hand at fiction again until five or six years ago, when I started what is now The Queen of Swords.

Q. What inspired you to write the book?
A. I started the first draft after reading Twilight. While I liked the saga, I also found myself frustrated by the lack of sex and Edward’s lack of history. In literature, vampires originally personified uncaged sexuality, so a chaste vampire seemed counter-intuitive to me. Plus, I felt writing an immortal creature provided fantastic opportunities to build an interesting backstory. What had he/she seen and experienced over the centuries? How was he/she affected by it? My immortal characters all have a history tied to the world and what they’ve seen and experienced has colored them in some way.

Q. Are you a careful planner or do you let the story guide you?
A. I do a bit of both. I work out the characters and their motivations, setting, and where I want the story to go. I also tend to do index cards for each scene or major plot point from start to finish. Once I begin to write, it can go completely off the rails, depending on where the characters want to take it. As long as they’re reaching the touchstones, I let them do what they want. If they go too far off track, I either re-plot the novel or rein them in, depending on which direction seems better at the time.

Q. Who is your favorite among your characters?
A. I love them all, of course. Graham, the hero in The Queen of Swords, is both noble and funny. Callum, the hero in The Knight of Wands, is a good-hearted romantic. Leith, the hero of my WIP, is a bit on the dark side, but still well-intentioned. If pressed to pick just one, I’d have to go with Alex Buchanan, the journalist hero in The Tin Man. He’s very complex and has lots of demons to overcome, but also is a really good guy.