Book Title: Haven
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Release Date: April 8, 2021
Genre/s: MM paranormal romance/mystery
Trope/s: Action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA. Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.
Themes: Age gap, starting over, friends to lovers,
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 60 000 words/200 pages
It is a standalone book, but there are soft ties to Morgan’s Fox Hollow series. Other than the shared elements of the magic emporium, it does not connect to any of the other books in the Magic Emporium series.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.
A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium. Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery. Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way.
Haven is part of the Magic Emporium series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains explicit scenes, action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA. It is loosely connected to my Fox Hollow series.
The alarm on Jamie’s phone went off, telling him it was time to lock up. “I have to close on time,” Jamie said, sorry to bring the conversation to an end. “Our insurance company won’t let me stay open beyond the posted times or have anyone inside after we’re closed.”
Austin rose. “I understand. Thanks for listening. I’ll be glad for any help.” He paused. “One more question—where’s a good place to get a bite to eat?” he asked with a slightly shy smile that sent a surge of heat to Jamie’s groin.
“Do you like pizza? Moosehead Inn is a locals’ joint that serves great food. I was going to head over once I lock up—you’re welcome to join me if you don’t have other plans,” Jamie offered, trying to sound nonchalant.
Did I just ask him out? Holy shit. I haven’t done that in…forever.
Austin brightened, and his smile grew broader. “I’d like that. I’ll wait outside. Can we walk there? I didn’t bring my car.”
Jamie nodded, still a little surprised at his own boldness. “Sure. See you in a few minutes.”
He ushered Austin out the door and locked it behind him. Fortunately, Jamie had gotten a head start on the lock-up checklist before the sexy stranger arrived. He powered down the computer and started flipping off light switches as he made his way toward the back door.
This was the part he really disliked. Once he turned on the alarm system, the security lights would come on. But on the way to the back door, the old house got darker, and the shadows stretched longer with every switch he flicked.
I thought I knew what I was getting into when I took the job. But it’s just temporary, and I’m still sending out applications for something better, he reminded himself.
An old house like this was likely to have ghosts, even without being turned into a museum of sorts. Bring together the personal belongings of hundreds of people, bits of local history, journals, and letters, and it didn’t surprise Jamie that the place was haunted. Even if no one else seemed to believe it.
Click, click, click. He turned off the lights in the foyer and the former sitting room and dining room. Jamie had closed up the upstairs rooms early since it was a slow day. It held a storage area, a library of books written by local authors and books about the Saranac Lake area, as well as a conference room and a small classroom for lectures. The attic and basement were storage areas that weren’t open to the public, which made Jamie very happy since both gave him the creeps.
Click. The lights in the old parlor went dark, and Jamie braced himself. On the nights the ghosts felt frisky, this was when the shenanigans started.
A cool breeze out of nowhere made the hair on the back of Jamie’s neck rise. He heard the glissando of crystal pendants gently bumping together, the decorative dangles on a vintage oil lamp in the parlor that shouldn’t have any reason to move.
Jamie resolutely ignored the shadow gliding just at the edge of his peripheral vision as he hurried down the hallway. The kitchen doubled as the staff room and was the least haunted place in the building. Jamie heard footsteps on the stairs and forced himself to breathe. He knew there was no one else in the old house—at least, no one living.
In the room to his left by the back door, the former sewing room for the ladies of the house, he glimpsed a familiar gray figure and heard the swish of crinoline and linen. To his right, in the small office that was once the cook’s room, a rocking chair creaked.
Jamie’s hand shook as he set the alarm. The ghosts didn’t act up every night, and some evenings they were more riled than others. So far, none of them had tried to hurt him. As unsettling as the ghostly manifestations were, Jamie couldn’t object to spirits wanting to stay in a place that meant something to them. He didn’t mess with them, and he really hoped that meant they would return the favor.
The alarm beeped, and the security lights came on, dim but enough to send the shadows scurrying. The sounds stopped, and the house grew quiet. Jamie slipped out the back door and checked the lock, then let out a long breath. The halogen light above the door made the area around the steps almost as bright as day. He shook off the weirdness and smiled, excited about dinner with Austin.
It’s not a date. But I wish it was. Maybe…
This could be a pleasant diversion, Jamie told himself. Austin was just in town to look up some family history, and Jamie’s role with the archive was temporary. Nothing said they couldn’t have a little fun while their paths crossed.
Q & A With Morgan Brice
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was 14, and got published when I was 45. This is my full-time job now, and I love it!
Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
Here’s the overview: A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium. Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery. Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way. It’s got action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA.
My favorite aspect is always having the characters fall in love. Second to that, I love plotting out the mystery and trying to keep people guessing until the end.
I don’t really have a favorite character—I love both of them!
Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?
Largely a planner at least for the big picture, although chapters may be more pantsed. The big overall plan doesn’t usually change, but I may find that I need more of a subplot or some additional scenes to round the book out.
Do deadlines motivate you or block you? How do you deal with them?
Deadlines are part of the job, self-imposed or from editors. I do my best to meet them and to keep everyone informed if I’m going to be late.
Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?
This is my full-time job, so I work on writing the book, keeping up on social media, and planning the marketing all day, everyday. I’m happy to be getting the books out into the world and keeping in touch with readers, so it’s working!
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
Getting started with new characters always goes more slowly until I have a clear voice for each one in my mind. Once I get a chapter or so in, it goes much faster.
How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?
It depends on the story. It can be any of those, and then I work from the starting point outward to understand who the characters need to be for that story and what needs to exist in their world to make it happen.
What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I read a lot of fantasy and urban fantasy MM romance. I’ve been reading more ebooks lately because they’re more portable, but I read both.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I love writing and it energizes me most of the time. Editing exhausts me!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Hang in there—everything takes longer than you think it will.
What is the best money you ever spent as an author?
When I was starting out I read everything I could find on how to write, how to create plot, characters, dialogue, and world building, as well as on the business of writing. It helped a lot.
What do you find to be the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I’ve never had difficulty writing male characters. All but one of my main characters in my series are male. I think that’s because I’m not focused on them as ‘male’—I focus on them as people.
What did you edit out of this book?
The stuff that slowed down the action!
How do you select the names of your characters?
It depends on the time period/setting. I’ll look up common names for a certain birth year, and by region. Sometimes I’ll happen upon a cool name in real life and make a note of it for later use. Once I have an idea of what the character is like, then I have to find a name that fits the personality!
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I’m usually thinking about the next scene I need to write!
What were you like in high school?
I was the kid who told everyone she was going to write books someday!
What are the three best things about you?
I’m persistent, optimistic, and outgoing.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
About the Author
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.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!